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I need help with a life-altering decision...


Immy
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This is a very confusing relationship dilemma that I really need help with.

 

 

My Boyfriend and I have been together almost five years now. We love each other very much and our relationship has developed to a level where we know each other sometimes too well. Whenever we argue, we know exactly what measures to take to stop it and we are able to talk about ANYTHING.

 

My boyfriend is very much part of my family and is very close with my brothers and parents. I am close to his family too and have travelled to the other side of the world with him to see his sister (who emigrated to australia) and her family and my bond with them is strong. I feel like we are already married. We have talked about marriage and we have both said that we want to spend the rest of our lives together. We even discuss things like children and where we would like to live. Basically our lives are completely intertwined.

 

I can be a highly strung individual at times and often let my moods alter wildly from angry to depressed to elated all in one day! My boyfriend is well used to this and says it is one of the things he loves about me. He is very laid back and level headed.

 

Recently however, I have just found myself in a bit of a depressive rut. Now I am not saying that I am clinically depressed or anything like that because I am not but I just feel down alot of the time, resulting in mostly bad moods and a short temper. I fjust inished my university course and got a degree but cannot find a job and that is really frustrating me as i don't know what to do with my life. My boyfriend is still in university with two years to go but has failed some exams and this is causing him stress. He is not feeling happy either. I am unhappy and this is making me feel like I am unhappy in my relationship, even though I know I still love my boyfriend. I just feel like I am stuck in a total rut and maybe we have come to the end of our journey together.

 

Lately we have been arguing alot but we both know that this is definitely down to the way we are feeling with everything that's going on in our lives and not necessarily because our relationship is bad. But sometimes i just find myself getting so frustrated with him and I lash out. Then yesterday I said that I thought we should break up because we just weren't getting along anymore. He knew that I didn't really understand the seriousness of what I had said and we talked it out for a bit. We agreed that if I felt that way we would have to think about it for a while and come to a decision together. Our relationship could never end with one of us dumping the other in a fit of rage, we are just not like that.

 

So basically now I am at the stage where I just don't know what I want. We are meeting up later tonight to talk about things and decide what we want to do. Nothing is set in stone. We are either going to decide to go all in and make it work and try to help each other get happy again or we will part ways. I know that the decision will ultimatley come down to me though because he has maintained all along that he wants to be with me no matter what. He will respect whatever I want. Trouble is, I don't know. Do I decide to put everything in and give it a go? Or do I let it end and see what course my life takes? I love him very much and would miss him terribly but what is for the best? Obviosuly, because we have been together so long, we are not exactly in the throes of passion like we were when we first met but we have a very close bond.

 

Sorry for the length of this post, I know it's probably confusing but this situation is not cut and dry and I'm very confused. Please help.

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Hey Immy,

 

I am wondering why as you said yourself you know it's life stresses that are the problem, and not the relationship, why you feel this need to maybe end things?

 

Maybe you are not sure the relationship is entirely what you want/need?

 

I notice you are quite young, so, obviously you have been together since you were very young, and I assume thereforeeee you have had little other long term relationship experiences, and I also assume that in many ways as you have aged the past few years (remember, these teens/twenties are extremely formative years as you learn about whom YOU are) you have in some way grown more as a "half to a couple" than as an invididual, which may be part of why you are feeling this way.

 

Ultimately sweetie, I cannot tell you what to do, or what is right - since I myself am not in your relationship, nor can I tell you "your relationship is great, are you crazy"...because I don't know. Sometimes even when everything should be "great"....it's just not, and it is not something we can explain.

 

And I certainly cannot say "break it off" because maybe you are feeling this way as you are still finding that need to figure yourself out - some people can do this within a context of a relationship with supportive partners, some can't. Nor can I say "stay together" because maybe while you are he best of friends, there is something missing there too to make it the right relationship for you. I don't know.

 

Whatever way you go, it won't be an easy road now that these doubts have come up. On one hand, if you end it, I guarantee it will be hard for you both, you may regret or you may not....but it does not mean it is not right choice. If you don't end it, this may bring in a lot of insecurity on his side, and a lot of "what if" on yours.

 

So all I can say is...search your heart and mind for what you really are looking for, and what REALLY is missing in your life. And decide whether he can be with you or not as you go through that journey.

 

Good luck,

 

RayKay

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I think I know quite well how you feel, although my complications are somewhat different. You don't live on a desert island together and have to live in the real world. This means that you have to deal with career setbacks, money trouble, extended family issues, health and they can all undermine an otherwise good relationship. If you're both depressed (and you both have good reason to be) you will drag each other down.

 

I don't think splitting is the answer, unless you would split anyway if the times were good. I don't think going long distance so you can find a job will help too much, either, especially as you've spent 5 years in close proximity.

 

My advice is to discuss the issues that are affecting you both and deal with them.

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Ray Kay, you are right ,we have been together since we were young and I also think you are right in saying that we have grown and changed alot in recent years. We have largely been able to do that together and have adapted but now it is becoming hard. There is certainly no right or wrong answer to the question and I definitely need to try to decide where my life is going and what I want for myself in the long term. what a huge decision though!

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Momene, the real world is definitely a tough place to be and ultimatey the cause of our problems together. What you said was interesting though, about whether we would split if times were good. I have thought about it and the answer is no, we wouldn't split if times were good, at least I don't think so. Maybe I just need to relax about where my life is going in terms of career and all that serious stuff, stop worrying about it? It is just getting me down and that is what is effecting the relationship.

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Idea: if you can't get the job you're looking for, how about studying for another qualification? It'll be a positive thing and you'll no longer be in limbo. Also better than a "temp" job.

 

Yes, I had thought of that and it is something I would like to do, for sure. Problem is, another course would cost money which I don't have after spending the last four years in university. I just feel as if, at 22, I should start trying to earn some money and get some independence, my parents are still very kindly letting me live under their roof! There are just no jobs in the field of my degree and the thought of getting a job in retail is a bit of a downer i guess. See, this is what my bf has to listen to me complain about non stop, no wonder we have problems!

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Immy,

 

Believe me when I say...life is ALWAYS going to throw curveballs at you both. Times will sometimes be extremely hard, even feel cruel at times. A relationship, a healthy one, is a place where you support one another. The relationship itself hopefully is not the one causing these great setbacks though - instead it should be that warm, stable, safe place to be. Where you can support and trust one another to help you through.

 

To me, it sounds like you have a pretty great guy there, but only you can really know if he is the one you see as your life partner, and your "teammate" through lifes trials.

 

As for the job thing..honey, at 22, if you still want to follow a dream, do it. Don't settle for something you really don't enjoy either. I am 27 and going BACK to school now. I know people whom do it at 35, 50.....and at 22 you are in an even better position than many as you do have the ability to live at home. I am going back to school and I have bills, a mortgage....and THAT is hard enough. There are people whom do it with kids as well.

 

I am not sure what your education is, or the field you are in, but another alternative is to just get out there working, and take some night courses to bump up your credentials too.

 

Of course, just getting out there and looking and being patient too can also do wonders. It took me a while after graduating to find a great position, and I had to work in a less great one for a while - but that experience on your resume is important.

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RayKay, what you are saying makes me realise that my boyfriend really is that teammate you speak of, that person who will support me throughout everything. He is very supportive, I'm just a little crazy sometimes and don't see it. I think what I really need to do is talk with him about making our relationship the one thing in our lives that DOESN'T cause us stress, rather than letting everything else bring it down. Ultimately, we do have a great relationship, we just need to have a long talk and decide what we are going to do to help each other out with our problems.

 

I think I will definitely consider just going out there and getting myself on my feet financially while doing a weekend or night course, I had thought of that before and now that you say it, it makes the most sense. The field that I am in is Journalism and it is a very unsteady and unpredictable field so I think that is why I am so anxious. I need to do something different i think, for the sake of my sanity and my relationship!

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Hi all and hi Immy,

Some great speakers in this thread . It sounds like you are seeking some kind of change, or that change would do you good. It is hard right now because both you and your bf seem to be seeking the same support. Perhaps you and your boyfriend can make that change together. It can be difficult to give out the same kind of support you are in need of sometimes. On the other hand, often people who are in the same situation understand your woes best. Other people can only give you so much before you have to motivate yourself. Close your eyes and daydream what you really want to happen then work towards that.

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Hi Fisch,

 

you are right, I am in need of some kind of change in my life, which is why this decision seems so huge! It is the first time i have found myself outside the realms of a formal education structure (school, then straight into university) and the thought of having to decide on what to do with my life is daunting to say the least. My bf wants to help and support me with whatever decision I make but in some ways I think he feels guilty that he might be holding me back from making a decision, as he has two years of uni left. In truth, all I really want is to find a job here at home and save some money while he is still at uni so that we can build a life together when he is finished. I wish it was that simple!!

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Journalism, eh? The answer is to write for magazines which I've done on and off for 26 years. Just pick a subject that interests you and write off.

 

Seriously, is it that easy? I've always really hated doing freelance work because nobody ever takes my story ideas. I've written pieces and sent them to magazines but they don't print them! Any tips for pitching stories or persuading them that you know what you're doing??

 

Your ten per cent will be in the mail just as soon as i get paid....!!

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It's not easy and I've only ever supplemented the "day job" from it. Best year so far, I made nearly a grand and a half. The best idea is to write about your work or hobbies and find some angle to it that nobody else has. For example, my first ever published piece was a spoof about a scientific approach to catching minnows. My favourite piece I did was a spoof problem page called FIASCO - Freelance Informer Advisory Service and Counselling Organisation.

 

Most of my recent stuff has been reviews of astronomy equipment.

 

Sure, a lot of stuff's been turned down but you have to keep trying. Find your niche, exploit it and then go mainstream as well. You'll find though that after 2/3 years they'll be looking for fresh freelancers, so you should move on to other magazines or interests.

 

It took me 5 attempts at writing a book summary before my idea was accepted. It's the main reason I hardly ever come on here from home.

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I suppose it is obvious that there are alot of options for me, thanks to all the suggestions from kind people on here. I think I just need to take it easy, stop stressing and take my time finding the perfect direction for my life. What I should be concentrating on is repairing the harm I've possibly done to my relationship and try to start seeing things in a positive light. I really hope we can work as a team again, like we used to.

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RayKay, what you are saying makes me realise that my boyfriend really is that teammate you speak of, that person who will support me throughout everything.

 

I read the beginning of this thread, scanned the middle and then read the above. In reading your first post, all I could see was a guy who wanted what is best for you. What else could you ask for? One or two other things, but he'd probably need to be the one asking questions in order for you to get them. And then I read the above, and it seems like you realize what you are risking. Don't let something that good get away in a fit of temper, and learn to control that temper, a little.

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I read the beginning of this thread, scanned the middle and then read the above. In reading your first post, all I could see was a guy who wanted what is best for you. What else could you ask for? One or two other things, but he'd probably need to be the one asking questions in order for you to get them. And then I read the above, and it seems like you realize what you are risking. Don't let something that good get away in a fit of temper, and learn to control that temper, a little.

 

Thank you beec, i think that is really what I wanted to hear and what I wanted to be confirmed for me. And you are right, I do need to control my temper, as my mum is always telling me! I wouldn't want to let someone as great as my bf slip away from me because im at a bit of a turning point in my life. i want to have him with me through it.

 

Only a couple of hours to go now until i meet with him to talk about everything, im nervous but i know now what I want to say. can't thank you all enough. I just hope he agrees with me!

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