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I moved in with my boyfriend recently and it’s not going well.


Leafygreens
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We’re both in our mid 20s and have been together for 2 years and moved in together about 2 months ago. It’s both of ours first serious relationship and first time living with a partner. As a bit of background, I moved out of home when I was 18 and lived with flatmates for 4/5 years, until last year when I moved back with family due to covid and was living with them for a year before moving in with my boyfriend. He has never lived out of his family home prior to us moving in. 

I was excited to live together but it definitely hasn’t been what I was expecting. We live in a small one bedroom flat and are constantly around each other, as we both work from home. As an introvert who values my space and privacy I’m really struggling to adjust to this. We bicker and argue a lot (multiple times a day) over little things and it’s really draining. It seems that we disagree on everything, even the smallest things. He’s kinda controlling over the decor and physical appearance of the flat, and has very strong opinions every time I suggest something or want to buy something and constantly opposes what I want. It sounds silly but I do find this quite upsetting as I’m really into art and interior design and it’s always been my dream to decorate my own place.

Another thing is he snores REALLY loudly and I have very disturbed sleep as a result. I’ve begged him to go to the doctors for sleep apnea but he keeps putting it off. A cause of this is probably that he is really overweight; when I first met him it seemed like he was going gym and putting in effort to get healthier, but after knowing him for years it’s clear that it’s mostly talk and that he has inconsistent habits and no self control with his diet. He constantly talks about how he wants to lose weight but never puts in consistent effort to actually lose it and I wonder if he ever will. 

I feel like I’ve seen a new side to him that I don’t like. He’s more selfish and arrogant than I thought, I always thought he was a chill easygoing guy but he isn’t. Whenever I try to bring up stuff that upsets me he just starts talking about stuff I do that he doesn’t like. I’m not saying I’m perfect myself but the arguments are draining. I feel depressed and I find myself crying often. It’s sad because he used to be the person who would comfort me when I felt stressed or sad but now he’s the cause of it. He used to put in effort to make me happy but now I feel like he doesn’t really care as much. All this has also turned me off him sexually as well, I originally fell for his personality not looks and now that I don’t feel as loved or prioritised I don’t feel attracted to him in the way I used to. 

I’ve heard some people say it’s normal to fight a bit when you first move in as you need time to get used to each other, is this true? Does it get better? I honestly feel quite low and I’m not sure what to do. I don’t wanna just give up on this relationship and it’s really heartbreaking how quickly everything changed. Living with family isn’t an option now as they’re quite toxic and I struggled the year I lived with them. I do feel vulnerable because he earns more than me and pays more of the bills (I wouldn’t be able to live here without him) and I can’t drive. I know it’s on me to improve myself so I can be more independent but in the meantime I don’t know what to do… I feel so lost.

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Why did you move in together? Did you both have the same intentions and goals? Was it for convenience, to plan on getting married soon, something else? I am not into interior design at all and totally get your dream of wanting to decorate your place.  But it's not your place -you share it with him.  I think lots of couples are hating the close quarters issues with covid.  My husband and I both teleworked before covid but not 100% of the time, and not with a child in virtual school till a few months ago.  In a two bedroom apartment. 

But he knows my "quirks" - like I need my space when I take my lunch break (I just want to eat, stare at a screen and not chat - yes I went out to eat regularly pre covid but with a child etc I now became more of an introvert/need my space when I can get it), and he is a night owl who sleeps in (works late into the night) even though myself and my son are up before 7:15 - 6 for me.  

We also worked out stuff re the kitchen because it's small.  Two people can fit but if I'm making dinner for myself, our son, etc I am hangry usually and need to move around freely -again, a space issue.  We communicate about certain needs, do trial/error other needs but we do love each other very much, we are very committed to each other and our marriage and family, so we make a concerted effort not to escalate small stuff at all and to not argue about big stuff in an inappropriate way.  But yes I can't just leave and get some air with covid so I do think you have to take that into account.

Snoring.  I'm going to say something really really unpopular but it's more popular than you think.  No not ear plugs unless they work for you (they don't for me - but you might want to try!). 

 

My husband snores.  It's gotten better over the years at points.  But when I was a sleep deprived mom of a toddler ten years ago I'd just had it.  I was done being sleep deprived by his snoring -for me personally I couldn't function and was in my mid 40s so I couldn't do the soldier through the day on no sleep -especially with a toddler.  And I was irritable and frustrated and resentful and sleeping on the sofa middle of the night so much of the time- disturbed sleep and insomnia from the fear that his snoring would wake me/not let me sleep. 

He wouldn't do the sleep study, nothing.  So many years ago we started sleeping in separate rooms -and he liked it because I go to bed early and he goes to bed very late -and he'd also wake me by coming in.  Yes, we're married, yes we love each other, yes we have a sex life and yes I would have completely lost it had we not done the separate rooms thing -physically and psychologically. 

Yes many many couples do this despite it being stigmatized. Yes, certain couples do  this because the marriage is over/ending/not good.  Honestly even with a CPAP machine etc I'm not sure if I could sleep with the sound of that.  When we go on vacation I often lose lots of sleep in the same room.  I realize you have a small flat - you don't have a child so offer to sleep in the living room or get a trifold mattress (it folds up in three parts -super comfy and easy to store). 

Tell him it's not because you're not desiring him but you're getting very ill from the lack of sleep and irritable and cranky.  I know I'm going against the grain but for us it's the only way I can function, he's happy too and he gets his physical annually so he can deal with any issues (he is only slightly overweight so I don't think that is it).  

Doing a sleep study is a big deal at least here -takes lots of time, the CPAP machine isn't for everyone and he's "just a boyfriend" -you're not married, no child so your leverage is much lower even than mine was.  Stop nagging him -it won't' help IMO.  I hope your adjustment gets better -all the best to you.

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I am sorry, but what you got here is really him in his natural state. When you were just going out its easy to be chill and outgoing. You spend a few hours together, have fun and its all cool. But when you spend some time with someone, like in your case moving in together, then the real flaws start to show up. He starts to show his controling side, he gets selfish and you notice that he is just lazy. That is the real him. Not everything has to be perfect. For example snoring thing(unless it interferes with your life in any way like that you really cant sleep because of it) is something that can get overlooked as "Eh, nobody is perfect" kind of thing and something you might get used to. But its clear he is making you miserable.

In a situations like that, you need to move away. Unless you are one of those girls that would "put the hand on the table" and literally make him to do stuff like going to gym, or doctor, or just buy stuff for home and put it there, he wont do it. And its clear you are not that kind of girl and that this whole thing is making you miserable. So, work toward moving away. If you cant rent alone, try to find somebody that needs roomate. If there is a will there is a way.

Edited by Kwothe28
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This definitely is a total bummer.

I don't think constantly fighting, losing attraction and the identification of his character flaws are normal "moving in together adjustments".

It is challenging to move and change to one's first place as an adult and one's first time living with a partner.

It's how a person and the couple handles it which tells the story. I think it would be normal to feel frustrated but there should be  compromise on both sides.

So I don't think, from what you've said, he is not doing this this and there could be some incompatibility coming to light... 

I think you're learning a tough lesson... to not make moves you can't afford and to not depend on another person to carry you (not driving)

You don't want to give up the relationship, but you need him to work on it, too. I would talk to him about your concerns. Give him a chance to respond.

His response will tell you want you need to do. That is mainly, put yourself first. If he gets angry and won't change or says he will but doesn't you have to make some tough decisions....

go back to your toxic family, stay in a toxic environment or find a cheaper place on your own or with a friend.

Financial independence is the most important factor. When you have this, you have options. You never want to limit your options. Even when you get married... when you do, you have to have deep discussions about who does what, how things get paid for, what it means if you make less or stop working to take care of children. What portion of the total household budget you each get to your individual personal use. If one person makes more, it does not mean the other gets less. Marriage is 50-50 on all assets. So you want to make sure you agree on that. But that's another post.

Good luck!

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I started reading this post thinking "oh only 2 months today, maybe it's just adjustment blues to living together". And then I read the entire post - yeah, no.

You are seeing him as he really is. Selfish, arrogant, not caring about his health, controlling over the decor, unable to communicate properly.

Look, I am not one to say "Run" right away but the fact that you two are like this and it's only 2 MONTHS into the living situation, not good. Yeah, maybe the place is a little small but how does that solve the issue of him not taking care of himself, or not communicating properly?

Something to think about. What does your "gut" tell you?

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Yep. You're discovering his true colours.

6 minutes ago, Fudgie said:

You are seeing him as he really is. Selfish, arrogant, not caring about his health, controlling over the decor, unable to communicate properly.

I agree with Fudgie.

And, it seems you tried to explain your concerns, but he keeps on dismissing them; very bad sign.

I would suggest going back to a flat sharing. No harm in doing this until your finances get better.

My ex was very similar. I thought what mattered to me had to be neglected as we moved in together (this includes the decor too! He Always had excuses for why I couldn't renew/buy new furniture). Please don't do the same mistake. He's not making efforts nor compromising. He just wants to live the way he wants. So cut your losses and let him be. You're better off alone.

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23 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

  Honestly even with a CPAP machine etc I'm not sure if I could sleep with the sound of that. 

Pardon my unsolicited advice - I have slept with 2 partners who were current, compliant CPAP users. Can you tell I like older men? 🤣

Anyway, the noise varies by the model. One partner had an "older" CPAP machine, sounded like Darth Vader was in the room with us, take that as you will. The other partner had a "newer" CPAP machine, definitely made post 2015, a nicer model, ResMed all that. Absolutely whisper quiet, quieter than your typical A/C actually. Both partners used facial masks with their CPAPs. As a healthcare worker, I can tell you that the newer ones are super, super, duper quiet. They have improved so much.

Not all snorers have sleep apnea but it is definitely a potential warning sign. My dad snores horribly but he has been checked out - no apnea, so that's good. Chronic, untreated sleep apnea can cause a host of issues for people.

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Well I think the main thing about living together is compromise. I think successful relationships where people have lived together for a long time are based on the fact that they both respect each other's needs and wants and they try to compromise. For example, I know you really want to decorate the apartment but it is also his apartment so unfortunately he does have a say in it too. So an example of compromise would be that you could put some decorations but if he really didn't like something then it would need to be compromise on your part to agree not to have that decoration. Basically it's a two way street and you both need to put the effort in.

Another thing is that if you know yourself and what you need, then don't put yourself in the opposite environment to that. You said you're an introvert and really need your space. So living in a small one bedroom apartment with another person is probably really not the right setting for you. I understand financially maybe it's cheaper but you need to have a bigger place. You would probably need at least a two bedroom apartment and preferably with a bigger lounge room and maybe even a balcony where you could go and have your own space. 

I think sometimes people that never lived out of home do act clueless out of ignorance and may need time to learn. When people live with their parents I think often they don't learn how to compromise because it's the parents who always try to accommodate their children. Also they might be used to having everything to themselves. I'm an only child so I was certainly used to that but I also knew that people wouldn't like it if I acted selfish in a sharehouse. Your boyfriend also might actually be arrogant and self-absorbed but you just couldn't see it before. When you start living with someone you really begin to see all their flaws. And you may be able to accept those flaws or it may turn out that you're actually incompatible.

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You dont know someone until you live with them.  That's what you are discovering.

I think you need to move out, whether it's bak to your family or into another place with a friend so you can afford it.  I dont think your relationship with this guy is going to work.

My husband used to snore like a chain saw and our chiropractor resolved it and now he doesn't snore.  Mind you, he's a slim man, and I do know overweight people can snore loudly.  But perhaps it could help him.

Also, you need to learn to drive.

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I think you simply need to weigh out the pros and the cons.  From what I've read, they are as follows:

Cons: Fat, Unattractive, Snores, Petty, Lazy, Controlling, Selfish, Arrogant, Causes you Depression

Pros: Pays Utilities and Drives you places

Is sleeping at your workplace an option?

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The snoring and your sleeping situation is the major issue. How can you work and expect to function normally or feel good or solve problems in your relationship or elsewhere if you're not getting adequate sleep? Every little thing seems like a big deal. 

His attitude is poor also which likely seems even worse without enough sleep. He's now acting like a complete belligerent jerk. 

You have to pull yourself together and sort out a new sleeping situation. Otherwise, move out. Both of you have different lifestyles (active versus sedentary, eating choices are completely different) and a pressing possible health issue with sleep apnea. And what if he does not have sleep apnea and is only incompatible with you and snores loudly? 

I'm very sure he senses that you resent him badly. Partners are aware of these things. He's not seeing a doctor because he's resentful of you and he's not dealing with his health in a grown up or responsible manner. You bug him or nag about decor but he probably knows he's out of shape, causes you grief and is not a great boyfriend overall. The difference between long lasting relationships and the ones that do not is the willingness to change and compromise and accept when something is not working. Some spiral out and do more self-destructive things and others meet the challenge or try to improve. You have to see what this man is and weigh yourself whether to stay or go.

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3 hours ago, Leafygreens said:

I wouldn’t be able to live here without him and I can’t drive. 

Don't use anyone for rides or income. Go back to living someplace you can afford with roommates and use public transport. Get a side hustle. Stop bickering about nonsense like décor. Pick your battles. 

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Can only echo what's already been said - you only get to see who the person really is once you start living with them. Sadly, if your case, you are finding out that he is quite the opposite from the person you thought he is and understandably, it's a shock to your system.

What you are dealing with is not the normal type of bickering and getting used to each other that happens with couples. The reason I say that is because of his style of arguing and approach to it. The hardest thing that any person can ever change or adjust is how they argue and how they approach conflict. In his case, it's toxic and until he gets dumped a few times and pays the price, he won't even think he is the problem...if ever. More likely than not, he'll never change that approach.

Anyway, when you find yourself crying, it's time to get out. Please don't tell yourself that you are stuck or that you need him financially. Just two months ago you were living fine on your own. Tell him this isn't working and leave.

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2 hours ago, Fudgie said:

Anyway, the noise varies by the model. One partner had an "older" CPAP machine, sounded like Darth Vader was in the room with us, take that as you will. The other partner had a "newer" CPAP machine, definitely made post 2015, a nicer model, ResMed all that. Absolutely whisper quiet, quieter than your typical A/C actually. Both partners used facial masks with their CPAPs. As a healthcare worker, I can tell you that the newer ones are super, super, duper quiet. They have improved so much.

Yes, I'm indirectly aware of improvements plus aware of people posting in my facebook groups about their partners not using the machines/being noisy, etc.  For me personally it's a moot point since it's not going to be attempted.  I don't think the OP has the leverage to ask a boyfriend after two months to get one-at least in any demanding way.  

Edited by Batya33
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8 minutes ago, DancingFool said:

Can only echo what's already been said - you only get to see who the person really is once you start living with them. Sadly, if your case, you are finding out that he is quite the opposite from the person you thought he is and understandably, it's a shock to your system.

I would want to know why they are living together because that can be part of the disconnect if they're not on the same page.  I did not learn anything very new about my husband once we started officially living together after marriage.  We spent many nights together including consecutive nights before marrying, and shortly after we moved in together we became parents -living with a newborn IMHO isn't anything like living with one adult so even if we had lived together I likely would have had unrealistic expectations of living with him and our son - so it worked out better.  It certainly was an adjustment but no significant discoveries of who he "really is" -I knew that far far earlier and didn't need to live together officially to know that.

Edited by Batya33
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4 hours ago, Leafygreens said:

We live in a small one bedroom flat and are constantly around each other, as we both work from home. As an introvert who values my space and privacy I’m really struggling to adjust to this. We bicker and argue a lot (multiple times a day) over little things and it’s really draining. It seems that we disagree on everything, even the smallest things. He’s kinda controlling over the decor and physical appearance of the flat, and has very strong opinions every time I suggest something or want to buy something and constantly opposes what I want.

It clearly shows that you two are not compatible at all. And so often you get to see another side of them really quickly, moving in together.

So, now you admit it isn't working for you and how about move back home again for a while.. until you can get your own place?

 

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8 hours ago, Batya33 said:

Yes, I'm indirectly aware of improvements plus aware of people posting in my facebook groups about their partners not using the machines/being noisy, etc.  For me personally it's a moot point since it's not going to be attempted.  I don't think the OP has the leverage to ask a boyfriend after two months to get one-at least in any demanding way.  

Yep, fair enough. Honestly, even if she were his wife - she can't really "make" him anyway. If someone doesn't want to use a mask, then it won't happen, regardless of who is badgering that person, wife or not. What is a wife going to do, threaten divorce? Abstain from sex? Write a nasty note? It's pointless if he doesn't care. 

OP, I have been with a guy who had bad health issues who couldn't be bothered even when those issues impacted the relationship. It affected our sex life and our finances through medical bills. He didn't care to change so I left. 

If your guy doesn't care, you can't get him to care, so now what? 

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Fighting is not normal.  No, it doesn't get better.  Fighting will increase. 

Is it possible to move in with flatmates or move back home?

Both of you are incompatible. 

He is not for you long term which is quite obvious and deep within your brain, you sense and know this.  I'm sorry.  I hope you will find peace without him in your near future. 

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11 hours ago, Fudgie said:

Yep, fair enough. Honestly, even if she were his wife - she can't really "make" him anyway. If someone doesn't want to use a mask, then it won't happen, regardless of who is badgering that person, wife or not. What is a wife going to do, threaten divorce? Abstain from sex? Write a nasty note? It's pointless if he doesn't care. 

OP, I have been with a guy who had bad health issues who couldn't be bothered even when those issues impacted the relationship. It affected our sex life and our finances through medical bills. He didn't care to change so I left. 

If your guy doesn't care, you can't get him to care, so now what? 

I think a wife has more leverage as it is a forever commitment and has more leverage especially if it's affecting children or other family who might be living in the home.  And because wife and husband are often more intertwined financially, etc.  More leverage.  But I agree "can't force". 

I mean my husband made me -basically made me - go to the ER 11 years ago or so because he knew I was exhibiting stroke symptoms, didn't want to freak me out.  I did NOT want to go.  Our child was less than 2 weeks old, had just been circumcised and I was convinced that my symptoms were side effects from an antibiotic I was on post C section. But I did it for him and my family even though the thought of leaving my newborn and after that procedure, wow.  He basically "made me".  Thank goodness I did.  Married couples very often have more leverage about health and medical decisions I find.

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