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Hi,

I've got a lot of unsure feelings at the moment. I would like some unbiased views of certain aspects of my relationship to see how I can make positive changes/statements with my partner. I want to communicate in a way that gets some positive results rather than angers my partner. And also not to get angry with her, we've been cooped up because of the pandemic and have only been going out for around 8 months, but it has been intense with a sick family member, on her side, and she's started taking anti-depressants since the New Year.

Personally, I have felt OK but a lot of my friends are now having babies, I recently learned that 2 of my ex girlfriends are also pregnant which is a strange feeling. Not that I wish I had a child myself, but it almost feels like a lack of 'progress' and a stagnation on my side. Also, that my currently turbulent relationship is worse in comparison to the numerous examples close to me that are 'doing well'.

My current girlfriend is different to my ex-girlfriends. She has been mentally abused by a previous partner and is generally a very sensitive person. I'm quite jokey and blunt, but also sensitive (I think!) I have offended her numerous times and my communication style is quite quiet, sporadic but honest. Which I think jars slightly with her way of communicating (often and very informed and PC, relationship wise).

We have various issues that keep cropping up, but these are the main two which I think are at the heart of every petty squabble and bad feeling between us; 

- She moved in to my house (a house I own) relatively quickly as we were shielding together and she got an eviction date for her flat because her landlord had a change of circumstance. We discussed moving in for the period of the pandemic to around the summer time, that way we could save, shield and assess things after 6 or so months. At least I thought we did. Apparently my suggestion of getting new lamps for the bedside and curtains and being generally excited were taken by my partner as a permanent move. 

This has caused a fracture and has been addressed when I realised she was thinking differently. We discussed the issue and we agreed she can stay and we would see how it goes. This is against my better judgement but I also think if she was forced to move all her stuff out (of which there is a lot) then it would be over. The emotional step forward in moving in together was maybe judged too naively by myself but I wanted to help her out during a difficult time. I thought we expressly discussed that it was a temporary solution and we'd see how we got on but... See above. I have tried to make her feel welcome in my house by allowing lots of her furniture in (where space would allow, it's not a big place), she's put her ornaments and books and art around the place and I bought her a blind for my velux window as she struggles to sleep. I think there is only so much I can do as it IS my house. I don't want to change it completely as it's to my taste and would also be a waste of money replacing things that are perfectly fine just do placate her. I also am reluctant to let her buy things incase it doesn't work out and she blames me for all the wasted money (this happened to me when I first moved in to the house with an Ex). What do you think about this issue? Can I do things better? Is there a way to communicate with her and make her feel better about the issue? 

- Another is seeing my friends. She has met my friends a handful of times but with it being a global pandemic this has been relatively rare. I've seen them a bit more and I feel every time I go that she complains that we're not mixing enough and I'm 'having fun without her' and want to escape her. I've explained that it is true to an extent that I want to escape, we have been locked intensely together shielding for weeks and months on end and I want a change of scene and to see my old pals whom which I have a natural and longstanding bond. Chatting to them is easy and we don't have to make small talk (unlike when I meet her friends for e.g.) I think it stands to reason I would enjoy seeing my own friends and am entitled to. We had an argument where I was trying to communicate my feelings honestly - I said that I was worried all the arguments and issues we have had are not because of the pandemic/family cancer/antidepressants and that it was simply "maybe our personalities didn't gel well?". I used some examples and she has rather than take the overall point, fixated on the prompted examples and thinks I was being negative and mean about her character. This has now become an issue as I try to integrate her with my friends (the main original argument being fixed) has now been added to with her feeling anxious about what I said during that argument. 

Another facet of this is one time I went to have a drink with my friends in the park and was late back to her. I was having fun and lost track of time. She asked if she should join and I said it was wrapping up as everyone was going back to their respective houses (which it was) but we took a while to do so being slightly drunk and engrossed. My partner was ringing to check where I was and I was feeling increasingly harassed so I told her to leave me alone as I was enjoying myself. In hindsight this was the wrong thing to do and must've felt bad for my partner but my friends backed me up saying "I was entitled to see them and have some time alone, not a big deal if I'm back late etc" I told my partner the next day that my friends and I felt the same and she has held a resentment and anger over the situation since. I have tried to explain that my friends were just giving their opinions and I shouldn't have mentioned it. I've tried to explain that it was ultimately my decision and actions and they shouldn't be persecuted. 

So in essence I have a girlfriend who is desperate to make friends with my friends but is simultaneously resentful of their part in an argument we had around 3 months ago. She is also living in my house, which I think is nice, cheap and has a lot of her stuff in. But she doesn't seem to enjoy it... 

I think I've been bubbled up for so long and have lost myself slightly that I've got a real lack of surety in what's a good/bad idea, what's working and what isn't and just feel like I need some good advice to steer me right. Anyone who can offer any advice on how to move forward in a constructive manner with these issues would be greatly appreciated please!

Thanks 

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48 minutes ago, Don_Johnson said:

So in essence I have a girlfriend who is desperate to make friends with my friends but is simultaneously resentful of their part in an argument we had around 3 months ago. She is also living in my house, which I think is nice, cheap and has a lot of her stuff in. But she doesn't seem to enjoy it... 

You make it sound like your girlfriend is the whole problem. You're writing this like you're a camera man, and not actually a participant in the relationship.

Don't forget, you invited her to live with you. Your enthusiasm has since faded, but you even went through a "nesting" phase with her. You both rushed into this; it's unfair to blame her for misinterpreting the depth of your feelings.

48 minutes ago, Don_Johnson said:

Chatting to them is easy and we don't have to make small talk (unlike when I meet her friends for e.g.)

She' seems willing to put in the effort to make small talk with your friends. Why can't you reciprocate? And why do you exclude her and (worse) invite your friends to weigh in on the matter?

She's not a pet. She's a person. If you're not ready for a relationship partner, don't move in with a human being.

Edited by Jibralta
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1 hour ago, Don_Johnson said:

 going out for around 8 months

I recently learned that 2 of my ex girlfriends are also pregnant 

Sorry this is happening. How did you learn that your exgfs are pregnant and why do you care about that?

 8 mos. is way too soon to be together 24/7. You need to go to your respective homes. It's also way too soon to be talking babies.

Basically the problem seems to be way too much, way too soon. Space. You need space from each other.

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I think it's totally normal to know when exes get married/pregnant especially now with social media.  I think the root of it is she thinks you're in this for keeps and sees you having her live with you as proof.  As far as you getting home late -if you told her you'd be home at X time it's thoughtless not to let her know if you're running late -she could have been worried, etc. Totally you should spend time with your friends and part of communication is talking as maturely as possible about what works for each of you.

Does she work? Just asking to see how she occupies her time.  Also please do not compare yourself to others - at all -I tortured myself that way and for a long time -we got married and had our son when we were 42! The comparisons were painful and so unnecesary in higndsight.

I would have a simple conversation with her -after you have a simple conversation with yourself - about how you think this is going and where -if anywhere -you want it to go.  Good luck (and hope that if you choose you both can be vaccinated and have more freedom!!)

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You did way too much for her & way too soon.

She has issue's you know this and it is spilling into your relationship.

Yes, you are allowed to go hang with your buddies, without her! She needs to accept this... We need a life outside our relationships, that's fine & healthy.

You two do not get along right.  More a clash, right?

With just dating 8 months, the answer was not to have her move there - into your home.  You two were not ready for all of that.  your relationship was really not stable enough yet.. and this has noe put more strain on it, right?

I feel is best she get her own place.. or move in with another friend or something - but not your place.

As for your ex's having kids etc.. That has NOTHING to do with your life, your standing.  That is theirs.  If and when you get there, is your own process.  So, do NOT compare your life to everyone else's... so often relationships fall apart.. no one every knows...

But, we NEED stability.  many fail to reach that - for many reasons.

As for this one you are involved with, I am sure you are well aware of all her issue's and you can NOT solve them for her.. She is too needy & demanding on you.

I suggest you inform her that this is not working out and she needs to move elsewhere - for your own sanity!

Do not let her ruin you.  She is not good for you..right?

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I don't think you're treating her well. 

You're checking up on your exes or their current situations are weighing on you. Whether they have kids or not is out of the picture, past, kaput, doesn't need to have any influence on where you are at with your girlfriend. If you care that much about your exes, block, delete and get rid of them. Please don't put that on her or you or sabotage your future with your present partner. 

The issue about her moving in is you being a doormat. She had trouble with her current living situation and she could have remedied it on her own and found her own place to live. You still could have bubbled or shielded together and kept the network small, living separately.

The problem with her items appears to be you still having a chip over your shoulder hearing a past ex's voice in your head telling you that you are to blame for ..things. These are material things, things that can be moved, sold, placed in a dumpster if you both go your separate ways. Try not to let things govern your life. 

About the drinking in the park situation, take your time resolving your issues at home and don't air out your dirty laundry among friends. It's disrespectful to you and your girlfriend. Take time to resolve things with your partner.

All the conflict you're experiencing is too much, too soon. You still have hang ups about your exes and past life. Ditch that. You can make a choice to move forwards or not. That choice is up to you. 

 

 

 

Edited by Rose Mosse
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You can't really be in a relationship, invite your SO to live with you, but then make that conditional as if they are just a tenant for x months and then get out. So right here you made a false presumption about the dynamics of relationships. This isn't even your first rodeo, so no excuse for not knowing better.

On top of that you seem to be boiling over with resentment over this false presumption and the fact that she is still "in your space". You claim that you want her to feel welcome, but your attitude is opposite. You have quite a chip on your shoulder about "MY house". Yes it's your house, but when you invite someone to live in that house, it becomes their home too. You don't seem to be able to actually share your space with her in that respect. Also, what does this woman have to do with some ex and the weird guilt you are dragging around about whatever bs that ex said to you? Deal with your baggage and leave it behind you instead of punishing your current partner with it.

I think you've kind of driven yourself into a corner here where you either get over yourself and actually genuinely invite her into your life and accept her as a partner and live in gf and embrace that OR end the relationship and ask her to leave. This wishy washy middle ground is not working and is the reason for majority of your tensions - you are not really fully into this and never were. This is really a lesson for you in don't play nice guy/rescuer when you are not actually ready to live together. This is completely on you and you shouldn't be holding this over her head or punishing her for misunderstanding your messed up intentions.

As for friends, of course you should be able to go hang out with just your friends. However, the way you are communicating with her about it is callous rather than just being blunt or honest. No wonder she is upset. Most people would be in her shoes. Not only is the way you talk to her awful and rude, but you are also airing your dirty laundry and making her look bad in front of your friends. This is a relationship killer type situation. If you had promised to be home by x time, but realized you are running late, all you had to do was text her that you are fine and will be home much later. She wasn't asking for anything from you but to put her mind at ease - it's called caring, OP. You need to learn to communicate better than this and be better in general. 

You claim to be honest and blunt, but ironically, everything you are talking about is really the opposite. You are quite dishonest even with yourself.

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OP - I am sorry you are struggling with the relationship. You seem like a thoughtful and introspective guy, and I am sure you will benefit from the advice posted here.

A couple of my own thoughts:

Regarding communication and moving in: I observe that you probably give too many unnecessary details when communicating. You probably should not volunteer information likely to offend absent a clear reason to do so. As for "communicating" in general, I think it is right to be honest, direct, and clear; and then to act consistently with those communications. I do not have enough information to make sweeping conclusions about how you communicate with her overall and how you could improve, but in one area you seem to be acting inconsistently with what you communicate. if you expressly say X but then all of your actions impliedly show Y, then that would be confusing for any listener. Judging by how you acquiesced to the move despite your intentions to the contrary, I think everyone in your situation is left feeling confused as to what you really want. What are your goals here? Do you want her to move out, or start paying the bills? Do you want it to be YOUR house (I mean, your name is on the deed I assume), or a house which you aspire to share? Do you want to preserve and improve the relationship if feasible, or are you wondering how to escape it? Answer those questions for yourself, then communicate and act in ways that are consistent with those answers.

In regard to your "friends time": where on the spectrum between always asking to accompany you and merely asking to meet your friends once or twice does this part of the conflict fall? If it falls close to requesting that you include her in everything, and being angry when you don't, that would be irritating. Even in cohabitating relationships, some space and freedom is necessary. It is understandable that you might feel the weight of impending consequences over you every time you want time with your buddies. Have you set clear boundaries here, i.e., have you discussed with her your expectations about friends time and how her (I assume) incessant requesting / being upset over it makes you feel? If you have not, have that conversation. If you have had that conversation, and she still does this, then she is pushing your boundaries and that is a red flag.  

Lastly, seeing exes getting pregnant would give anyone a strange feeling. No worries there, unless you are pining over those exes. If you are, you must ask yourself why - what were you satisfied with in those relationships that you are not seeing here? 

There are a lot of "ifs" in my post. That is because despite your long original post, I still saw many alternative ways to read your situation. 

Edited by Pleasedonot5
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I've only read as far as grasping that there is a problem (somewhere) with her moving in, or the decor...or something. That's as far as I got because you say a lot of words without making anything clear.

Shoot for being concise. Think 'headline'. Skip the passive voice and start off with who is unhappy, and about what?

For instance, if she wants to decorate, why wouldn't you have anticipated that your place--to which you invited her--would need to morph into a combo plate of your tastes and styles?

From there, this is all just too much to sift through to find your points. What are those, and how can we help?

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Well, I think both of the house issues and the friends issue, regarding who is right or wrong depends on how YOU are actually approaching them. For example, regarding the house. Yes, it's your house but it also depends what vibe or attitude you're giving off. I understand you're not going to change too much in terms of interior decorating or furniture. I agree that would be too hasty, seeing as you did agree to just see how living together goes. It costs money to change furniture and so forth so I agree, no need to rush that. However people can pick up on vibes and attitudes. For example, if your girlfriend asks to have an ornament or something put up and you give off a vibe like it's your house and you're doing her a huge favour, then that's not good. So maybe just think about how you're actually acting overall and what message you're sending. I think I'd feel a bit funny if my partner actually asked me to live with him by his own will but then was giving off this big vibe "But this is MY house". She is your partner so when partners live together, it is kind of both their house. Even if you own it but she's not just a guest or housemate, she's your significant other.

Regarding the friends thing. I'm also very much a believer in partners having friends of their own and their own hobbies and interests. But the life shouldn't be so separate that your partner never gets to meet or to be included with your friends at all. In my opinion it needs to be 50/50. That's the way I've always done it in my relationships. E.g. I go out with friends some of the time, but some of the time I also ask my partner to join us. That's OK if they decline to join, but I still extend the invitations at least some of the time.

If you've never introduced your girlfriend to your friends, she might think you're embarrassed of her and/or don't want her around. I can kind of see it from her perspective. It's been a year of COVID lockdown, you've both been stuck at home for months. Now you're going out with your friends but she's not included. She's just sitting home alone. I sort of see how the drinking in the park situation looked. She seemed OK with you being out, but you were out long. She asked if she could join you and your friends. You said no because you were supposedly finishing up. But then you were still out for a long time. So it looked like you lied and you just didn't want her around your friends.

Also you said you prefer not to hang out with her friends because you need to make small talk or what not. Well, it has to go both ways. She's your girlfriend, so you hang with her friends and she hangs with yours. This relationship is not only about you. You have a girlfriend now, so it's not just YOUR house. YOUR friends. You have someone else in your life now.

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