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Bf doesn't have time for our relationship...mom sick with dementia


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Hi, I've dated SO for a year and a half, friends six months before that. He has never given me reason to doubt him before, but lately he's been so preoccupied with work issues (mainly due to COVID), his mom sick with worsening dementia, and school (college online). He's 38 IDK if that helps. I live on the east coast; he lives on the west coast. It's been over a month since he's visited, and he got angry the last time i asked for specific dates because he said i should empathize with how ill his mother is and how I shouldn't doubt that he would come if he could. Today I told him that he should focus on his work, school, and mother, and forget about all our plans such as him moving here soon and leasing a place, and our trip to Costa Rica in November, for now, and think about that stuff later. I told him he doesn't have time or space to worry about anything else rn. He agreed with me. Said he'll focus on school, work and his mom, and figure out the rest later. He just seems so overloaded that I thought I was being a good gf by saying all of that. But I feel empty now. I feel hollow. I feel like I don't have a boyfriend. Am I being selfish? I think I am, but I don't know how to stop feeling depressed. 

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For context I'm a 25 year old medical student w/out a job and don't have money or time to go visit. He is more easily able to visit me since he works remotely and the plan was for him to move here this month but his mom's condition is deteriorating.

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As a medical student maybe understand the aspects of dementia? What it means for that person and the care givers ? My father-in-law just passed from Parkinson’s and dementia and my sister-in-law barely had time for a life caring for elderly parents. 

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Hey, OP. 

I do think it is important to empathize with your partner's awful situation. I have family members taking care of loved ones with dementia: it is an emotionally taxing time-commitment to say the leastDementia is a progressively degenerative disease from which people may suffer for years on end. If your partner is his mother's primary caregiver, he may be indisposed and unable to see you for a large amount of time.

Definitely give it a few weeks before doing anything - and see if you can adapt to this. Offer to be there for your partner. Check in and see how he is doing often. See if there is a way you can visit and support him instead of him visiting you. 

My last note is that if none of that works, you do have basic relationship needs, OP. Given these circumstances (long-distance, time commitments, his inability to visit you), you could be stuck/trapped in a relationship that will not work for you for an indeterminate amount of time. If you feel miserable and you are unable to make it work (see above), you two might consider splitting for now in a way that is not cruel or heartless. E.g., you could offer to be there for him if he needs a friend for support/to talk (and mean it). That way, he would be able to focus on his poor mom without the pressure of being in a long-distance relationship with you. 

--

Hope this helps. Sending virtual hugs to you and your S/O. 

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I see two possible things here, one is that he is breaking up with you due to all of the issues on his plate at the moment and the vast distance between you two.

The other is he is telling you the truth and you need to cut him some slack.

For now leave him be, concentrate on yourself and your own needs.

 

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5 hours ago, melody147 said:

For context I'm a 25 year old medical student w/out a job and don't have money or time to go visit. 

How did you meet? Why is it long distance?

How often do you see each other in person? Have you ever visited him?

All the things he's complaining about are routine life and nothing new. Sounds like a laundry list of reasons to back out.

Is he married/involved with someone? 

Do you live with your parents?

Talk to trusted friends and family about this. He seems more like a cyber-pal than a BF.

End it. Date real life local available single men in your own age group.

Be smart. He's full of lame excuses because it's not really a relationship.

Edited by Wiseman2
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6 hours ago, melody147 said:

I told him he doesn't have time or space to worry about anything else rn. He agreed with me. Said he'll focus on school, work and his mom, and figure out the rest later. He just seems so overloaded that I thought I was being a good gf by saying all of that.

Well, the problem is that you don't actually want him to concentrate on everything else but you. It sounded more like a thinly-veiled attempt to get him to reassure you that he still wanted some of those future plans you told him to forget about - but he didn't reassure you. So now you feel even worse.  

It's absolutely important to have empathy. He's overloaded, for sure. But it's also important to recognize when a relationship isn't really working for you anymore. You might completely correct that he just does not have the time or energy for someone else, especially considering it is long-distance. 

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8 hours ago, melody147 said:

 lately he's been so preoccupied with work  his mom  with  dementia, and school. he lives on the west coast. It's been over a month since he's visited, 

Ok. He works. He's taking online courses. And his mother has chronic dementia. 

Seriously? That's a full plate? Working,taking classes and an elderly parent?

He's pulling your leg. He's tired of long distance and using the "so busy, so stressed" excuse to end it.

 

 

Edited by Wiseman2
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You’re not being selfish, the reason you feel the way you feel is because this is not the right situation for you. Your mental health is as delicate as your physical health, and we all need certain things to be mentally healthy. For example, I need alone time, free time to spend with my family, to feel like I’m doing well at work, to be outdoors. If I don’t have enough alone time, I start feeling grouchy. If I were to let that go on for weeks, I would feel depressed too.

Try to put the specific tasks on your boyfriend’s plate out of your mind, and just focus on what you’re getting (or lacking). Daily texts, calls every few days, monthly visits, etc. THAT is what is not working for you, and your boyfriend doesn’t have anymore of himself to give right now. That’s when you have to make a tough decision that while he’s great, he’s just not right for you right now. I know it’s hard to walk away when no ones done anything wrong, but that’s a skill that is necessary to get you to a life where you can be completely happy. It’s tough but worth it.

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I think he should be the one ending things with you and realizing he can't handle it all and be a good partner.  Dementia -if he is the sole caregiver - is exhausting and if he's handling her financial/legal/caregiving needs (meaning if he's not with her 24/7 who is -is she in a nursing facility?) it's yet another part time job.  When my father had dementia I handled a lot of the financial/legal stuff from hundreds of miles away and it was stressful and exhausting -I was working as far as raising our son full time but not working outside the home.  That became my job.  If he leaves to visit you does he have to arrange for care for her? 

I spent many hours helping to care for my mother in law when she was dying, many hours taking care of our son when my husband had to be hundreds of miles away caring for his father when he was dying (at one point he was supposed to be away 5 days, it was 18 days and our son was in first grade, I had no outside help).  But when you're married you make it work.  Also we were in our 40s when it's far more common to have aging parents and be sandwiched in between child care and elder care.

Also in the future don't do long distance if you can't afford to visit.  My husband and I were long distance when we were dating -for the better part of 2-3 years but we saw each other every 11 days or so because we both could afford to fly to the other one plus I had to go to his city for work a bunch of times.  He could have afforded to fly me out but I wanted to be more of an equal partner and could afford it.  

This relationship is not right for you -at your age -you're not engaged with a wedding date, you're not planning to marry anytime soon, she is not your mother in law and/or the grandmother of your children - in that case then yes you make it work - I'd at least separate and tell him you empathize but you need someone who has more time and given your studies/work you can't help him with his mother right now.  

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I honestly think it was an unreasonable expectation on your part that he be the one always spending the money, travelling to you, and that he would move to you. 

Makes more sense to find someone local who is in the same stage of life as you, and to have a more balanced relationship. 

 

 

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It sounds like a typical LDR... you enjoy all the fun and the visits but you're not there to actually experience life together. 

I don't think he's pulling your leg. taking care of a dementia patient, especially a parent, is hard work- physically, mentally, emotionally. 

But... if you can't go to him and carry more of the burden, you're kinda just left with a pen pal.

You're not being realistic.  When you're caring for a sick parent, there aren't a lot of opportunities for extended breaks where he can go across the country. 

I don't think you really seem to empathize with him.  You're really just thinking of yourself and what you're missing out on. 

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14 hours ago, melody147 said:

 lately he's been so preoccupied with work issues, his mom sick with worsening dementia and school. It's been over a month since he's visited Said he'll focus on school, work and his mom, and figure out the rest later. I feel like I don't have a boyfriend.

You start feeling "less depressed" by seeing a physician for that and getting a referral to a therapist.

None of these conditions are new, are they? Work, online courses or chronic dementia?

How often does he usually visit?  "Being a good GF" is not about telling him that he should do what he's already doing.

You need to reconsider the relationship because it's true you actually do not have a BF. At some level you know that you are rather needy and that he's pulling away from that. So yes, he's using this as the exit ramp.

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Sadly, this whole relationship is bringing you down 😕 .

There are way too many issue's plus he is so far away.. Is not working out.. is it?

He's got a LOT on his plate, IMO, he does not have time for a relationship, plus the fact that it's a distant one.

I feel is time you just work on accepting this is not good for either of you and end it.

Is best for you and for him.

You work through your emotions, accepting the facts and move on.. Try to find someone in your own local.  Not other side of the country 😕 .

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Work, school AND a mother with dementia? These are not "excuses". These are legitimate stressors. Yes, he is busy and preoccupied.

However, if you want someone who is free to date this is not the man for you.

It's up to you if you want to put yourself on hold for him.

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You have several factors working against you.  LDRs (long distance relationships) rarely endure for obvious reasons such as infrequent get togethers, inconvenience, expensive travel arrangements and the hassle of it all.  Remain realistic about that. 

His plate is full; more like overflowing.  He doesn't have time nor energy for you.  He's extremely busy with school, work, his mother with dementia (which is heartbreaking) and there isn't anything left in the tank after that.  He doesn't have any brain space left for you. 

Accept this situation and how he is.  He's obviously moody, cranky, grouchy and grumpy.  This is human nature.  Either accept him and this situation due to his stressful schedule and personal life or realize that this relationship will eventually fizzle and dissolve.  Either prolong it and allow your relationship to barely hang on by the threads or end it when your patience expires.  

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On 7/28/2021 at 8:39 PM, melody147 said:

He just seems so overloaded that I thought I was being a good gf by saying all of that. But I feel empty now. I feel hollow. I feel like I don't have a boyfriend. Am I being selfish? I think I am, but I don't know how to stop feeling depressed. 

You said the right thing to take the pressure out of BF's cooker.

You're right--you don't have 'a boyfriend' at the moment.

You could go GET a boyfriend. Or, you could consider whether just any boyfriend would inspire the degree of love you feel for THIS boyfriend.

If not, rule that out, and consider instead what you would want from a partner if the situation were reversed and YOU were dealing with worsening dementia in a parent.

When it's your own parent, it's not just a concept or an inconvenience, it really matters, and it's really hard.

I'd project my mind around that, and sure, it feels depressing.

This is the stuff that love supports. If that doesn't ring true for you, then you're not a villain--you're just not in love with the guy--and you're not obligated to stick around. If that's the case, have the difficult discussion to liberate yourself, and go find a boyfriend.

 

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On 7/28/2021 at 5:39 PM, melody147 said:

I told him he doesn't have time or space to worry about anything else rn. He agreed with me. 

This was his ticket out. You pointed this blind man in the direction of the exit and he took it. This is also your answer that he's in no shape for a relationship, let alone a long distance one. Cut your losses now and move forwards, take time to heal and rebuild your life with someone more available in your location. Trust your gut instincts on all of this. If it's not right and you're feeling left out and shortchanged, believe it. Don't be afraid to move on from all this and ask for more in your relationships going forward.

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