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Need someone to talk to and some advice (relationship)


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This is very desperate for me but I don't know what to do. I have nobody to talk to and have no close friends anymore. I am a gay male who has been in a relationship for about 5 years and I am starting to think/realize that something is not right. We are both in our 20s and we have been together since senior year of high school.

He is a very neat and overall particular person who is very critical of everything. I understand him and the reason why he is like this, I love him for him. However, the way I feel sometimes is starting to get hard for me to make excuses for anymore. For example, he has the most say in everything. I have learned to make it easier to just let him pick whatever he wants whether it be choosing renovation items for our house, furniture, food, what we do, what we watch on TV, etc... I am not the neatest person but I am trying, I am a little scatter brained sometimes and I feel like he hates that I am like that. The moment I mess up or have an accident with anything he becomes very critical, belittling at times. It crushes me when he gets very critical but am learning to get over it quick. These critical attacks can be set off by me not doing the dishes one day or for dropping something on the floor, cooking something wrong, forgetting to do something, really anything that does not meet his standard.

I feel like I try to do my best and constantly walking on eggshells trying not to do something that sets him off.

This also affects our sex lives at times. When we first were together the sex was amazing. Now, I get criticized a lot. Its to the point where I am constantly worried about doing something wrong in the bedroom or I get chewed out or criticized to the max. I feel totally inadequate and it ruins the mood. When I don't do something right he will say "I have told you this a million times and you never fix it" and stuff like that and "I need to enjoy sex too, I make it so that you enjoy it." I feel like half the time we have really good sex and sometimes its not so great. On occasion, he will critique me or say I hurt him. This ruins the mood for me and is starting to make me not feel sexually attracted to him anymore. I understand that he needs to feel good in sex too but it just makes it worse and I do not feel adequate. It was really bad last time and I felt so defeated and I could not even continue having sex as I lost all my desire to. I felt inadequate and not sure how to fix it because I thought I was doing a good job.

I try my best in other areas to be the best boyfriend I can be, as I know I bother him. I work hard to get us a good life while he is still trying to figure out what he wants to do (work full time and worked my way pretty high up in a company. Own investments and real estate and on track to be a millionaire by a couple of years). Because of this I put my all into my goals and life so that we can live a much better life in the near future. All the time spent on my career has caused me to lose pretty much all my friends. The only person I hang out with him my free time is my boyfriend and I have nobody close enough I feel comfortable talking to about this. I help him with school and am even taking an online class for him right now because he was so overwhelmed. I try to always be nice to him. I understand he has a short fuse but I feel like I am always the one who just sucks it up to keep things peaceful. This may all be my fault or maybe we just are not meant to be together. Also at this point I am wondering if this is all me and I am the problem. Any advice from an outside perspective is helpful, I really do want to try to work this out in a way where I do not constantly have to feel like this.

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Getting chewed out and being criticized to the max is mentally abusive and toxic for your self-esteem. The dynamic that you described is unhealthy and chances are that both of you contribute to it. It's definitely NOT all you. It sounds like he may not be happy with his life and is taking it out on you, which is bad for your emotional and mental well-being. It also sounds like you are enabling him in overstepping boundaries e.g. taking an online class for him, letting him mistreat you etc. You got together when you were very young and it sounds like the relationship dynamic that you built together over time has become toxic. Being used as an emotional punching bag and being taken for granted is not ok.

 

Have you openly discussed with him all that you wrote here? If not, imo, you need to. Your relationship as it has evolved is no longer working and you need to discuss this. You both need to hear out each other's side and decide whether this is something you are willing to work on to change or whether it's time to end the relationship. No honest communication = no relationship.

 

Based on what you wrote, this is a dynamic where you have (accidentally) taught him that you are willing to let him have his way in order to keep the peace. On the surface you let him "win" but you secretly resent him for it and, understandably, this is not a sustainable situation. We teach people how to treat us. By not protecting your boundaries, you have taught him that it's ok to overstep them and mistreat you. It also sounds like you have made him your sole source of emotional support, which is problematic.

 

Imo, you need to seek new friends and, if your finances allow it, seek professional individual therapy to help you explore how and why you got to this point and how to proceed. Whether you can break out of this (co-dependent) relationship pattern that you two built over half a decade and manage to save your relationship is, sadly, questionable but it's high time that you begin to sort this out one way or the other. Good luck.

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You do have someone to talk to .

Your partner.

If you can’t communicate with him then the relationship is doomed.

 

I don’t mean arguing when there is an issue , but discussion when there isn’t.

 

Be open and honest. Say that lately you feel you are not meeting his expectations and that when you don’t it makes you feel miserable.

And see if there is a compromise.

 

Don’t get petty and say remember that day I didn’t do the dishes and you said x, y and z.

Instead say , sometimes I might not get around to doing the dishes but 90% of the time I do.

I would like if you could maybe realise that I’m not 100% perfect and be ok with that.

 

And if he isn’t ok with that , then you can’t strive for his perfection because something would have to give.

That might be you working less , earning less, not having the time to do his coursework etc

 

Btw it’s actually fraudulent to be doing his course for him so you need to stop that anyway.

 

All of the above is only really if you think there is a good chance for a good relationship.

What I really want to tell you is to dump him.

 

But I don’t think you are there yet.

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It crushes me when he gets very critical but am learning to get over it quick.

 

This is a mistake. A big one.

 

Why? Because there are some behaviour you shouldn't try to dismiss like this. His extremely controlling nature and verbal abuse are examples. You have continued to pander to him and parent him (doing an online course for him? No, dude...just, no. Quit that.) and your instincts are screaming at you to stop. It's coming at too high a price.

 

Honestly? You are young. This is toxic. I'm sorry, but I would end it so you can heal and move on to someone who wouldn't dream of being a jerk to you all the time. And I would also consider taking to some time to stay single really reflect on why you have allowed this to go on for long, and enabled his behaviour. That is what will save you from getting involved with someone like this in the future.

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I agree with Miss Canuck, don't ever get used to be treated badly or teaching yourself 'get over it' or kid yourself that 'it's not that bad'. All you are doing is teaching yourself to accept worse standards and to disregard your own feelings and wants over someone else's. You're also teaching yourself how to live with a type of abuse and excusing bad behavior.

It's a miserable way to live.

 

It sounds like you both have come to the end of the line if I am honest. Your relationship has worn itself down and you aren't compatible anymore.

 

Your boyfriend as well, has become toxic to you. Living with someone who constantly criticizes, it a type of bullying and will lower your self esteem and self worth more and more if you continue to stay in this relationship.

 

He is who he is, that's not going to change. But you shouldn't accept that this is how a relationship has to be or that this is the best you're going to get.

Even if you love someone, it doesn't mean it's still right for you to be with them.

 

Start focusing on making new friends. Be honest with him, and let him know that his criticizing has gotten to the point where this is just no longer working for you.

You deserve better, and you should make it known that you won't keep taking this terrible treatment.

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Your partner isn't just critical. He is abusive and you are trying to teach yourself to accept that, to normalize his abuse and to shrink yourself, your needs, and who you are into oblivion. This is NOT what healthy or normal relationships look like.

 

You got together very young. It seems that as you are getting older, you are slowly starting to realize that this relationship, this abusive dynamic is not the way you want to live. You are right about that. It's time to part ways and even if you aren't ready to call it now, start educating yourself on what emotional abuse is. I think it will help you a lot to make that decision.

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Seems he has an inferiority complex. Not good. You have to manage your personal with other areas of your life. It's only a matter of time when this relationship will end. The both of you are mismatched.

 

Are you afraid of being lonely? Most people are. You don't have to run away from it. Face it head on and get on with putting your personal life back together. It will hurt for awhile but you'll feel better about things in the long run.

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Thank you all for taking the time to give me great advice. It is appreciate it more than you know. I guess what makes this so difficult is despite all this I still love him a lot. However, I am seeing that there is definitely something not right and I do not want to put up with it any longer. Our lives are so intertwined that just cutting it off at this point would not be easy but if things do not change quick will be necessary. I am going to start by trying to set up some boundaries and talking to him about this. His reaction will undoubtedly be telling if this relationship is worth saving. I feel that I have gotten so used to this behavior that it feels normal when it shouldn't as some of you pointed out. He has not had an easy life by any means and has some issues of his own. I think that I understand why he is the way he is but at some point if it continues it still is not fair to me to be continually put down.

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Thank you all for taking the time to give me great advice. It is appreciate it more than you know. I guess what makes this so difficult is despite all this I still love him a lot. However, I am seeing that there is definitely something not right and I do not want to put up with it any longer. Our lives are so intertwined that just cutting it off at this point would not be easy but if things do not change quick will be necessary. I am going to start by trying to set up some boundaries and talking to him about this. His reaction will undoubtedly be telling if this relationship is worth saving. I feel that I have gotten so used to this behavior that it feels normal when it shouldn't as some of you pointed out. He has not had an easy life by any means and has some issues of his own. I think that I understand why he is the way he is but at some point if it continues it still is not fair to me to be continually put down.

 

You sound like a very empathetic person, but do be careful about accepting abuse in the name of childhood issues. Just about everyone has some kind of childhood issues. Yet people don't grow up to abuse others as a result. This is more of a character and core personality issue, than upbringing. These types of people come from all backgrounds. So do be very mindful about boundaries and becoming more and more clear with yourself about what you will and will not tolerate from others.

 

It's not about love and, of course, you can't just turn it off like a switch. However, you do need to ask yourself if the way your partner treats you is acceptable. If the answer is no, you need to walk away and love them from afar.

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Our lives are so intertwined that just cutting it off at this point would not be easy but if things do not change quick will be necessary.

OP, the whole point here is that nothing will change. You can have a talk, explain how you feel etc etc, but it will not change who he is. What you see is what you get. This is his personality. It is who he is and he can't change the core of him.

 

It is very concerning that you say you "can't just cut it off" and that his behaviour feels normal already. Also, don't make excuses because he "has not had an easy life". That doesn't cut it. Don't look for excuses to stay. You already have all the warning signs. Now take heed and act on it. No excuses. If you choose to stay then you can't complain when you get abused. It's a choice. Choose to leave.

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I'd look at the overall relationship and see whether it inspires you to be more of what you are, rather than less. The answer is fairly straightforward. The right fit will be someone who elevates you and complements you.

 

Don't get hung up on being a victim. Turn it around and look at what you need and what makes you more of you.

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What are your deal breakers?

 

Mine include the silent treatment, constant criticism, and feeling like I have to walk on egg shells. And a word of warning, constant criticism is like death by a thousand cuts. You might think you can weather each one individually but all together? Your partner is going to douse the fire that is you.

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If you've been the primary source of financial support AND the guy still mistreats you so badly, maybe that should tell you something about your degree of passivity and eagerness to please?

 

The guy takes you for granted.

 

You get to choose whether putting up with that is what you want to do, or not.

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Thank you everyone. I think it is beyond saving at this point. I tried to talk to him today and it did not go so well. Lately, I have been dealing with a lot of stress at work in addition to thinking about our relationship. I was having an off day and hit my head getting in the car. Before then he noticed I was kind of out of it and distant. He asked what was wrong with me. I told him I just have been under a lot of stress dealing with issues at work and other things. He turned it into being about him saying "what is wrong? Is it something with me? I wanted to have a good day today and you are putting me in a bad mood I just want to have a good day today." I went on to tell him that I am under a lot of stress and just not feeling myself. Also explained that I feel he is not sympathetic to me when I am having a lot going on and stressed out in addition a lot of the reason why I am stressed out is because I am helping him with so many things in his life as well and I have no time to relax. He went on to say that when I am in a mood it is affecting him and his mood. I told him how I am sick of being constantly criticized for everything and he again turned it back towards him. For example, saying he criticizes me on things because I never fix it and I always do the same stuff and he wishes I would listen and fix it. Mind you, the stuff that sets him off is all petty in my eyes. We stopped talking and went about our day. I am thinking it is time to have a hard talk and end this. It is toxic whether it is because of me or him it doesn't matter, as is not working out.

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You sound like you've distanced yourself so much and he also senses it. That usually makes partners insecure also. Yes, the kindest thing is to end the relationship but I think you got too involved with being a helper. I don't know what this is. Some might call it codependent and others just think you're doing too much with what little you have. This isn't healthy anyway. You have unhealthy patterns too in this relationship so try figuring these out soon.

 

If you've already checked out emotionally, you're not doing either of you any favours sticking around while the resentment and detachment continues. Blaming it all on him isn't quite fair either when you have one foot out the door while piling on far too much on your plate.

 

Neither of you are completely innocent in all this so if you're going to break up with him, end it as best you can and in your private time acknowledge your shortcomings too. I think you'll thank yourself later.

Edited by Rose Mosse
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