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Is it an excuse to stay or a reason to stay?


CraziJ
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Hey everyone, thanks for taking the time.

I've been in a relationship for far too long and I know it's something I want to get out of.  Long story short, my girlfriend of 5 years has been unemployed for 2 and a half of those years and I've had to bear the weight.  It goes without saying there's an amount of resentment that builds no matter who you are, but I've talked about smalls things she could do to help me out through those years (she's very needy, so I simply asked to give me space from time to time.  Helping with the dogs, we have 3 dogs and taking care of them and her financially/physically can get exhausting.  Helping me get to sleep at a decent hour, there've been many days she needed me so much, I'd only get 4 hours of sleep before work.), and she was unable to keep any of those promises on a regular basis.  I know personally it's hard for me to ask for anything, but I didn't make it a secret these were important to me after a while.  There were moments the issue would come up naturally and she'd point it out herself.  Suffice to say I have reasons outside of that resentment.

 

Here's where we stand now.  Because of financial hardships, the house has gone to crap.  Over the past 2 years, I was able to help her get the mental help she needed and find a job she loves to start helping out financially.  I told myself I'd stay until the time this took place because I genuinely want her to succeed and have the help she needs.  She's willing to help out financially now because she thinks I'm staying with her.  I don't feel this is the right thing to do, but that would help me out a lot.  Is her help a reason I should stay, or is it just an excuse to prolong this relationship?

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1 hour ago, CraziJ said:

Is her help a reason I should stay, or is it just an excuse to prolong this relationship?

The latter, but I think you already know this. 

1 hour ago, CraziJ said:

there've been many days she needed me so much, I'd only get 4 hours of sleep before work

What exactly did she need you to do? And why was she out of work for so long? 

It sounds like you've been her caretaker over the last couple years and the romance is effectively gone. You know what you need to do here. 

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11 minutes ago, MissCanuck said:

The latter, but I think you already know this. 

Right.  Thinking to myself typing this out was kind of confirmation in and of itself.  I'm in such dire straights financially though that it's almost tempting to stay so that I do get that help, even though I know it's the wrong thing to do.  I don't want to prolong the relationship, I just want the help really.

11 minutes ago, MissCanuck said:

What exactly did she need you to do? And why was she out of work for so long? 

It sounds like you've been her caretaker over the last couple years and the romance is effectively gone. You know what you need to do here. 

She's a very anxious person and has big bouts of depression.  That kind of explains both.  Her anxiety keeps her awake and while she knows I need the sleep, she can't help it sometimes.  A bad week may give me 20 hours of sleep for the work week while others will be 30+ hours.

 

I don't mind playing caretaker, I thrive on bringing people joy.  I just struggle on being heard when it comes to me.  And it's not like we haven't worked on it.  If we had trouble stating a need, we wrote it on a white board until we felt comfortable saying it plainly.  When those needs stopped being met, especially when she'd recite them back to me, I felt as though there was no point of even talking about my needs anymore, no matter how big or small they were.

I've pushed back a lot of feelings and emotions to make sure she was in the right place and I know it put me in the wrong place for myself.  I think I need a therapist to sort some of this stuff out.

 

Thank you for your response.  Sometimes you just need to say it out load to know how messed up it really sounds.

Realistically I should get another job, pay down my debts, and work on me.  Then find someone better for me.

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3 hours ago, CraziJ said:

She's willing to help out financially now because she thinks I'm staying with her. 

Whose house is it? How long have you been living together? Do you co-own or co-lease? Who's on the deed? Who's on the mortgage?  Can you afford the place on your own?

 Why does she "think" you're staying when you have one foot out the door? Sever all financial ties. Sort out who owes who what and start paying your own bills separately. 

Stay in the guestroom. Stop using anyone for sex when you have no intention of staying.

Was she physically ill/on disability? Was she laid off/on unemployment? Don't string anyone along. Sever your unfortunate cohabitation ties and end it.

 

Edited by Wiseman2
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1 hour ago, Wiseman2 said:

Whose house is it? How long have you been living together? Do you co-own or co-lease? Who's on the deed? Who's on the mortgage?  Can you afford the place on your own?

- It's under my name, all of it.  It's been about 5 years since we've been living together.  I can afford it on my own.  She's getting a sign on bonus after 90 days and was willing to use that on the house.  I should let the truth go and have her use that on her next place.

 Why does she "think" you're staying when you have one foot out the door? Sever all financial ties. Sort out who owes who what and start paying your own bills separately. 

- She thinks that because she needs constant confirmation.  Once she got a job and was comfortable, I had to remind myself of why I knew I had to leave.  Look past the resentment and dig deep as to why I knew it was right because I hadn't visited it in so long.  During that time, she needed that confirmation because of her anxiety.  Until I could find that reason again, I fed her falsities.  I know that's not right, but this was an every other day thing.

Stay in the guestroom. Stop using anyone for sex when you have no intention of staying.  

- As MissCanuck said, the romance is all but dead.  She's chalked it up to "That's just who we are."  

 

1 hour ago, Wiseman2 said:

Was she physically ill/on disability? Was she laid off/on unemployment? Don't string anyone along. Sever your unfortunate cohabitation ties and end it.

- She quit her job because they cut hours so much that she lost her benefits and couldn't afford much of anything on that wage.  She wanted to take time to find the best job for her at a good wage and work on her mental health.  I signed up for it being all me.  When I took a second job, she spiraled out of control and took her a fair amount to get back on track.  She's much better now mentally and is now working.

My caring for her got myself here.  She feels we're stronger for having gone through it, I feel we're weaker because I've lost my voice due to unfulfilled needs and lack of independence. 

 

 

Edited by CraziJ
Ticked off where I responded.
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2 hours ago, CraziJ said:

don't mind playing caretaker, I thrive on bringing people joy.  I just struggle on being heard when it comes to me.

No you are choosing not to be heard -you prefer being in control as caretaker and telling yourself it is because of your big heart.  It is partially but people who take from a doormat type don't respect the doormat.  You're struggling because if you assert what you want that is showing vulnerability instead of being the all powerful hero who swoops in and says tell me how high to jump and I'll do it even if it means I am not taking care of my basic needs -sleep, etc.  

If you love being a caretaker do meaningful volunteer work where you have that role. To the extent you are doing it is has no place in a healthy relationship and you are enabling your girlfriend and not helping her to get the proper help so she can increase her independence.

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2 hours ago, CraziJ said:

I don't mind playing caretaker, I thrive on bringing people joy

You misunderstand what I mean by caretaker.

There is a significant difference between bringing people joy, and enabling them. And it sounds like you have been doing a lot of the latter, much to your own detriment. 

Caretaking the way you have been going about it is unhealthy. 

3 hours ago, CraziJ said:

Her anxiety keeps her awake and while she knows I need the sleep, she can't help it sometimes.  A bad week may give me 20 hours of sleep for the work week while others will be 30+ hours.

Why is that? Does she expect you to stay up talking to her and calming her down? Rubbing her back? What is happening in those hours that you are not sleeping, and why are you continuing to do it? She is not a baby that needs cradling, OP. You have a role in this dysfunction too, whether it's you getting an ego boost for feeling "needed" or simply lacking the backbone to draw an appropriate boundary and say no to her. 

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2 hours ago, CraziJ said:

Realistically I should get another job, pay down my debts, and work on me.  Then find someone better for me.

^This 100% and especially what's in bold.

Typically, people who choose broken people as partners are less about being caretakers and more about feeling in control. A person with issues is beholden to you for support and can't run away and leave you. On that note, it's interesting that now that she finally has herself and her life/work situation together and can actually be a proper equal partner, you are turned off.

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54 minutes ago, CraziJ said:

It's under my name, all of it.  It's been about 5 years since we've been living together.  I can afford it on my own.  She's getting a sign on bonus after 90 days and was willing to use that on the house.  I should let the truth go and have her use that on her next place.

Then sever things, don't string her along letting her pay down your mortgage while you build equity. That's using her and you know it.  Set her free to pay for her own place and find someone since you have no intention of continuing.

 This way you'll both be free and you'll stop resenting her and pretending you are in this together. Do not let her fix your house with her bonus. She can not recoup that, it's not an investment for her you know that .

Edited by Wiseman2
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3 hours ago, CraziJ said:

She's a very anxious person and has big bouts of depression.  That kind of explains both.  Her anxiety keeps her awake and while she knows I need the sleep, she can't help it sometimes.  A bad week may give me 20 hours of sleep for the work week while others will be 30+ hours.

Okay, so this is affecting YOU in more ways than one!  Mentality & exhaustion .  No good.

Does she not see her doctor to work on this stuff? Or see a therapist? These things, SHE can work on.  Instead of relying so heavily on you 😕 .

IMO, she is TOO needy and you can't keep this up.

So, some things need to change.  Can you not bring in a roommate to help with housing costs etc?

Do not stick around in a relationship that is so draining and affecting your own mental/physical health.  We can only do so much for other's.. But not be taken advantage of.

* as you asked, I say it's an excuse to stay.

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Staying and basically lying to her to get paid back financially is wrong but you already know that.

  My vote is be honest with her and yourself and have the talk as soon as possible.  She is in a better place and able to save up for a deposit somewhere so give her one last gift.

  Once she is out I am sure you can tighten your belt and get yourself in better shape financially pretty quickly. Heck without all the drama and her needs you could probably pick up a short term side job to speed things up.  You will be getting way more sleep so you should have the energy.

  You should probably wait till after Christmas if you celebrate the holiday.

  Do the right thing for both of you, you can always make more money.

Lost

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7 hours ago, CraziJ said:

Is her help a reason I should stay, or is it just an excuse to prolong this relationship?

It's just the next excuse on top of the last one you used.

When a relationship no longer works for you, THAT is the point at which it no longer works for you.

Projecting a breakup date into the future beyond that point only prolongs the misery and keeps that person tied to you for reasons of YOUR own.

Ever notice how you feel euphoric after, say, a difficult dental or medical procedure is over?

That's the liberation you are denying yourself. The ending may not be such a relief to her, but it IS the kindest and most beneficial thing you can do for her to start learning how to build her own future--over which YOU will no longer be involved.

Could that be the real thing holding you back--do you need her to need you? Or, do you really need her regardless of not being happy about it?

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