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I think I'm losing my identity.


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I've (M31) been dating my girlfriend (F35) for around one year now, and we just recently moved in together. Personally I thought it was a little too soon, but she was really pushing for it, so I gave in at some point along the way.

Anyway, we've been living together for 2 weeks now, and I don't know if this living situation, or even relationship, is cut out for me.

First, for the bad -

For starters, I've been feeling like she's been slowly separating me from my friends and family over this past year. Due to a recent traumatic health issue, she's still very concerned about COVID - to the point where she doesn't want me gathering with friends or family over ~3 people, without grilling me on their vaccination status. I understand the sentiment, but we never know when this will go away (if ever), so I feel like it's strongly encouraged that I don't spend time with them. It's to the point where both my friends and family ask me if I'm sure I'm OK, when they do see me, because I went from seeing them at least once per week, to once every few months. Every time I do happen to see them, I feel this countdown clock in my head of when I need to go back, and it stresses me out. I'm not asking to go to concerts and festivals unmasked - just to see my people every now and again. She's a very typical Type A personality, so she's definitely what people would consider "bossy", whereas I'm a B type personality, so I feel like sometimes I get trampled by her pushiness.

 

According to her doctor, she's not immunocompromised anymore, so it's not like we have to worry about it on that level. I understand that there are levels of PTSD she should be working through with a therapist, but from our conversations, she's still a ways away from that point.

Additionally, she's Monk (the TV character) levels of germaphobe, to the point where I spend most of my time around her nervous that she'll scold me if I rub my eyes with my hands after touching a surface, or god forbid bring clothes worn from that day, into the bedroom.

But I think worst of all, is that I don't feel like I can truly be myself. I'm usually joking around, it's my nature, but she's extremely superstitious (and in my opinion, hardly has a sense of humor), to the point where I often find myself just suppressing what I want to say, because if I mention anything that she views as putting bad energy out there, she tells me to stop talking about it. Every single one of my jokes is met with an audible sigh and eye roll. One of my greatest joys in life is making people laugh, and she just can't be bothered by it...

She also thinks most of my and my friends' hobbies are ridiculous. It's things like video games, anime, etc. But we're all productive members of society, so I don't see why she can't just let it go. If I sit down and play video games for more than 20 minutes, she'll comment on it, saying something like "wow, you really do like to play games, huh," meanwhile she'll scroll on her phone for half an hour like it's no big deal.

Now for the good -

 

On all of the long-term stuff, we're very well aligned with each other. We both don't want kids, we're both in agreement about lifestyle choices in regards to diet, exercise, drinking, and she's genuinely a great catch. We're both in a certain point in our careers where we're not well off, but we're not worried about how we're going to pay our bills. I truly do love her, and out of all the women I've ever been with, she's the one that I feel is the best choice for a lifelong partner, but some of the personality differences have me feeling stifled and sort of just sometimes wishing I could hit the rewind button and find someone who's more aligned with my hobbies, more relaxed, and understands that my time with friends and family is also very important. She openly acknowledges how difficult living with her can be, so it's not like that's not out in the open.

I also want to mention that I STILL have the lease on my old apartment for a month, and I can still decide that I don't want to do this, and at least go back to living on my own without too much hassle (from a logistical standpoint - she can afford this current apartment on her own if it came to that).

 

 

TL;DR: Living with girlfriend who is checks all of the boxes for what I want in a long-term relationship, but it's coming at the cost of my other personal relationships, and I feel is eroding my personality. I just feel like I'm playing a version of who she wants me to be. I genuinely can't tell if this is just how an adult relationship is supposed to work, where you both stick it out and learn to accept each others' quirks, or if we're a bad fit that won't be good in the long-term.

 

Sorry if it's a bit scattershot. This was way more difficult to convey succinctly than I thought it would be. Advice greatly appreciated.

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I don't know.   You've chosen a partner who is strong and assertive.  You will have to step up and be those things as well, if you are going to have a healthy and mutually respectful relationship with her.

Much of your post centers on how she has railroaded you in various ways, starting with getting you to move in together when you were not ready.  I don't get the impression that you have stood your ground. There is no reason that any adult should find themselves "playing a version" of, rather than actually BEING themselves.   She can't "make" you do anything.  Those are all your choices.  I believe that as long as you are passive in this way, you will find yourself in similar situations, unless you develop your own strength.

Things like her being superstitious and not liking your sense of humor are different - sounds like basic incompatibility on those fronts.

Your "positives" don't include ANY mentions of traits she has that you like / love, or things you enjoy together.  It's just about box ticking and fairly superficial, though important, lifestyle choices.  I don't get the impression that you like her or are having any pleasure whatsoever in this relationship.  So ... what do you think?

 

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She is stifling you and you're having to suppress parts of your personality to please her. You're basically walking on eggshells already. And please quit the people-pleasing. If your partner is so turned off by who you are, better be single. 

A good partner would bring out the BEST in you. Not the opposite.

And, you can find these with plenty of other people:

44 minutes ago, Scottr080 said:

we're very well aligned with each other. We both don't want kids, we're both in agreement about lifestyle choices in regards to diet, exercise, drinking

I think you know what you need to do.

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19 minutes ago, Jaunty said:

 

Your "positives" don't include ANY mentions of traits she has that you like / love, or things you enjoy together.  It's just about box ticking and fairly superficial, though important, lifestyle choices.  I don't get the impression that you like her or are having any pleasure whatsoever in this relationship.  So ... what do you think?

 

Well, she's a very compassionate and caring person, and she's very hardworking and smart. I respect her an awful lot, and I can look to her for advice. This is the closest thing to what I imagine "love" feels like, but is it really love if it's conditional? That's one thing that's throwing me for a loop. We tell each other that we love each other, and I never say it without meaning it, so I'm wondering how much of this is me not willing to grow up and have an adult relationship, and how much if it are issues that may be reasonable deal breakers... 

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1 minute ago, Scottr080 said:

I'm wondering how much of this is me not willing to grow up and have an adult relationship, and how much if it are issues that may be reasonable deal breakers... 

Isolating you from your friends and family is an intentionally abusive and controlling act-regardless of whether her reasons make sense to her or not. And I bet she would have found another excuse aside covid. Plus, she insisted to rush the moving-in together. Another red flag!

I advise you to NOT move forward with this. It IS a deal breaker. I would run to the hills... Life's too short. Stand up for who you are and never sacrifice friends, family, or parts of yourself for anyone. Specially, someone who is supposed to encourage you to be yourself and the very best version of yourself.

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1 hour ago, Scottr080 said:

she's a very compassionate and caring person

Uh, really? 

Because talking down to you, deriding your friends, and treating you like a child is not what I could call compassionate and caring. She sounds like kind of a jerk who's up her own backside, actually, and think she's better than you and all your friends. 

2 hours ago, Scottr080 said:

she's genuinely a great catch.

See above. She's not a catch. A great catch doesn't isolate you from your friends and family and treat you the way she does. 

You two are not compatible. Only you can decide how much longer you want to tolerate this nonsense. 

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4 minutes ago, MissCanuck said:

Uh, really? 

Because talking down to you, deriding your friends, and treating you like a child is not what I could call compassionate and caring. She sounds like kind of a jerk who's up her own backside, actually, and think she's better than you and all your friends. 

See above. She's not a catch. A great catch doesn't isolate you from your friends and family and treat you the way she does. 

You two are not compatible. Only you can decide how much longer you want to tolerate this nonsense. 

I think she is successful with a good career, so she is seen by others as a good catch. 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Scottr080 said:

I thought it was a little too soon, but she was really pushing for it, I STILL have the lease on my old apartment for a month, and I can still decide that I don't want to do this, and at least go back to living on my own without too much hassle

Sorry this is happening. Agree too soon to move in. Move back to your apt.

Unfortunately the incompatibilities came to the fore when you moved into her place.

It won't end well the longer you stay and get on each other's nerves. 2 weeks and you're already going nuts living there.

Edited by Wiseman2
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Just now, arjumand said:

I think she is successful with a good career, so she is seen by others as a good catch. 

Right, but in my point of view, that's a pretty narrow definition of "good catch."

Hence why I disagreed with OP that this woman is one. 

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You're not compatible and it's better to acknowledge that now than later. Her views may be valid but they conflict with yours. She doesn't agree with your hobbies or puts them down. It's constant negativity and possibly walking on eggshells. 

I'd also review the need to ask for her advice. It suggests you keep looking to her for guidance and approval much like a parent-child relationship. She treats you like a child too assuming that she knows better than you what you'd like to do in your free time. It's a very unhealthy dynamic. 

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1 hour ago, Scottr080 said:

so I'm wondering how much of this is me not willing to grow up and have an adult relationship, and how much if it are issues that may be reasonable deal breakers... 

I was wondering this myself. And if its maybe your first time commiting to somebody to the point of living with them. Because, for example, its very hard for somebody who lived alone his whole life to adjust to another person there. It needs time and effort, as well as some changes. 

For example, that includes less time for yourself. You cant do bachelor lifestyle where you can do whatever you want, but need to cut on that and maybe do stuff you both enjoy. For example, it would be ideal if she likes gaming, but if she doesnt, you maybe want to cut time on that and do something like watching a TV show together. Nobody would be a perfect in every way and you would both have some differences. That you would maybe need to tolerate. That means for both you and her. It was "easy" to adjust your lifestyles when you saw each other couple of hours or days a week probably, but its another thing when you are living together.

On the other hand, I dont like this

2 hours ago, Scottr080 said:

Every single one of my jokes is met with an audible sigh and eye roll. One of my greatest joys in life is making people laugh, and she just can't be bothered by it...

Because that means she doesnt really approve who you are inside. And that is pretty important if you are going to find a life partner.

In general, aside of maybe both of you not wanting kids(since I would imagine that is harder to find) most stuff you described is basic. Somebody with job that doesnt have too much but dont starve, somebody that is the same regarding diet is not that special unless you really want that, same with exercise. But as others noticed, she not allowing you to even joke even though its important to you, that just sounds like basic incompatibility. 

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What you see is what you get. She's not going to get any better, but possibly worse, and you're not even feeling capable of negotiating with her now--while you still have leverage.

You're walking on eggshells even while you know you've still got your place.

Do you really want to see how this feels after you've lost that safety net?

Me, personally? I'd scram.

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I basically agree with what everyone else said but I also want to add that just having some same life goals doesn't automatically mean this person is the one for you. There are a lot of nice, decent people in this world. Many people have a good job and financially comfortable. There are also women out there who don't want kids. Some of my female friends don't.

I think that being able to be yourself in a relationship is definitely really important. Someone mentioned that you need to be more assertive and maybe that's true,  but you also shouldn't have to feel like you're always trying to stand up for yourself in your relationship. Your partner should already respect you, your lifestyle and interests and not try to prevent you from doing things you enjoy. There does need to be a balance and compromise, so yes doing things together or taking interest in each other's hobbies and lives.

Your girlfriend's expectations are unreasonable because she doesn't want you to see friends and family much and also to limit it to under three people. Sounds like she's not OK with you playing video games either. You enjoy video games and if you don't play it that much then what's the issue? 

Your girlfriend does sound like the "alpha" type that always wants to express her own opinions and tell you what to do.

My main advice would be to listen to your gut feelings on this. If you feel something is off then it probably is. Of course all relationships have its challenges but they shouldn't be all hard work. If you're being controlled or even having to defend why you enjoy video games, that doesn't sound healthy.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Tinydance said:

I basically agree with what everyone else said but I also want to add that just having some same life goals doesn't automatically mean this person is the one for you. There are a lot of nice, decent people in this world. Many people have a good job and financially comfortable. There are also women out there who don't want kids. Some of my female friends don't.

 

Thank you, I have to remember this. I guess I forget this sometimes, and conflate success with compatibility. I was thinking about it, and through talking with friends and family about this, I've realized that I don't even think we'd be friends if we weren't dating. 

Quote

My main advice would be to listen to your gut feelings on this. If you feel something is off then it probably is. Of course all relationships have its challenges but they shouldn't be all hard work. If you're being controlled or even having to defend why you enjoy video games, that doesn't sound healthy.

Yeah... I have a hard time with this. The gut feeling is strong, but I view myself as someone who self-sabotages when things are going well, so of course, I've been second guessing whether or not me going is justified. 

I guess the question to the answer of "are you happy?" would be "no", and that should be all the justification I need. I'm not sure if I'll ever be happy, but that's way beyond the scope of the original post. 

Thanks again. 

Edited by Scottr080
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47 minutes ago, Scottr080 said:

Well, I did it. I sat her down a few hours ago and told her that I don't think we should live together. It was not a fun conversation to have, at all. I feel sad and sick and like I'm not going to find someone to settle down with at this age...

 

But, I know that's most likely not true, and I do believe that I'll find someone else again, down the line.. but boy, does this hurt. My friends and family are relieved for me, however... 

 

She's trying to keep the possibility of still making it work on the table, but I don't know... I sort of feel like deciding not to live together, is the beginning of the end of the relationship. I don't think these are issues that can be overcome overnight. 

Focus on moving and everything else to do with the relationship later. Things are still raw and hurting. Give yourself more time to adjust. 

The issues were she doesn’t accept you or your hobbies/interests/friends. She doesn’t need to share them but she also doesn’t have to criticize them or make them out to be “ridiculous” (your word in your first post). That’s quite harsh and hostile to be treating a partner’s hobbies in a dismissive way. I think getting back together with her is a big headache you’d do better without.  

Edited by Rose Mosse
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52 minutes ago, Scottr080 said:

My friends and family are relieved for me, however... 

So am I hehe

53 minutes ago, Scottr080 said:

She's trying to keep the possibility of still making it work on the table, but I don't know... I sort of feel like deciding not to live together, is the beginning of the end of the relationship. I don't think these are issues that can be overcome overnight

That's correct. She has shown you who she is and she has no problem being that way. There's no use making it work cause you've tried and it doesn't work. Tried and tested.

You've done the right thing and stuck to yourself. I'm sorry about the break up, but I'm sure as soon as she'll leave your place you'll be relieved and you'll be able to breath again. Take good care of yourself and do go back to your great friends and family for support!

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1 hour ago, Scottr080 said:

I sort of feel like deciding not to live together, is the beginning of the end of the relationship.

I agree. 

I think you know deep-down that this isn't the right woman for you. Don't let the fear of being single paralyze you into staying with someone who ultimately brings more stress and anxiety to your life than joy and contentment. 

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2 hours ago, Scottr080 said:

I sat her down a few hours ago and told her that I don't think we should live together. My friends and family are relieved for me, however... 

Good call. You'll be happier rather than letting the resentments build up.

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Edited by Wiseman2
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Noo, I dont see you two align.

She's too much for you where you can't 'be yourself', She's too judgemental and hey, her issue's are her problem!  Covid is out there, sure, but no, she cannot make you stop seeing your people!  Is like the flu, how can you live sitting in your little bubble for another 3 yrs?  You can't.. You need to be okay & live again. ( i have an overly-clean sister & she drove ppl around her nuts 😕 ).  Very hard to be comfortable with.. Yah, no thanks.

As for your interests, that's who you are!  You should not feel guilt for that.  See? You are not compatible.

You are just 'not' okay.  You are not happy.  You're second guessing this.  Then admit it to her.  

Take your own apt back. 

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Posted (edited)

So, for an update - after I wrote my last post, I ended up going back to the apartment to talk some more stuff through, and start to get some of my stuff, and, well, I did the vulnerable thing, and I ended up backpedaling and deciding that we would try to start the relationship over again from square one. Meaning, I go back to my old apartment, she stays in hers, and we sort of build up our relationship again, but this time, we try it with more of an understanding of what I want to do, meaning... whatever that means.

At the time, she told me to pick what I wanted to do, on the spot - either we try again, or we just cut it off. We sat on the couch for 10 minutes and she watched me squirm and run through my scenarios in my head. I decided to keep going with the relationship, but since I've had all night to mull it over, I think that was a bad idea. 

She said something that didn't sit well with me, and it didn't really hit me until a few hours ago.. but she basically told me that there aren't any adult women out there with any level of emotional maturity, who would think that my sense of humor is funny. That, "that's what your boys are for." So, I guess her solution to my sense of humor was... to go somewhere else if I want to be that way. 

She also told me "not to toot my own horn", but that I wouldn't find someone else like her - in regards to how she treats me. Basically, that she's as good as it'll get. 

It's funny, I was feeling that exact same way, and have felt the same way for pretty much our entire relationship - like I hit the jackpot in regards of punching above my weight, so I didn't disagree with her... but, with the clarity of a night's sleep, I don't see how that's anything but textbook emotional manipulation. She knows I already have self-esteem issues, so that hits me at my core. 

I guess I should go back today and tell her I just need time to myself. 

Edited by Scottr080
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2 minutes ago, Scottr080 said:

 I should go back today and tell her I just need time to myself. 

You're really not compatible at all. It seems like a mother-child relationship.

And now it's getting to the mudslinging point. Just end it. No "space". No "time out", etc.

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Just now, Wiseman2 said:

You're really not compatible at all. It seems like a mother-child relationship.

And now it's getting to the mudslinging point. Just end it. No "space". No "time out", etc.

Yeah. You're right. 

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9 minutes ago, Scottr080 said:

but she basically told me that there aren't any adult women out there with any level of emotional maturity, who would think that my sense of humor is funny. That, "that's what your boys are for." So, I guess her solution to my sense of humor was... to go somewhere else if I want to be that way

???!!!

And you chose to try again?! The amount of disrespect she has for you is astonishing! She's making you feel like no one else wants you? What a manipulative liar. How low. No wonder her previous relationships didn't work. Who wants to be with a woman who talks you down and hits you while you're down.

RUN.

Get yourself some self-respect and block this condescending self-absorbed woman. You're better off single.

You're a gentleman. Only look for a true lady. She ain't the one!

Edited by DarkCh0c0
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