I met my boyfriend when I moved to a small city in Spain to work as a teaching assistant. I'm from the US, and our relationship has been challenging in so many ways. I'm his first girlfriend (he's 28) and he lives with his family (typical Spanish situation, especially with the economy how it is).

I worked in the small city for two years, and am now living in Madrid, which is about two hours away, studying a masters degree, which I was planning to do even if my boyfriend wasn't in the picture. He comes to visit twice a month; I hardly ever go to where he's from because, despite two years together, I don't know his family. He says he is not close with them, which is true, but he still lives with his mom and dad, and it's really hard for me to accept that he doesn't care for them to know me. He says that it's just not important to him and he doesn't want them to know his business. For me, it hurts so much. I'm trying to understand, and thought maybe we could compromise, so I asked him to come to the US to meet my family for the first time at Christmas. He has one whole month of vacation, and money is not an issue.

He said "no me apetece" (I don't feel like it.). I tried to be understanding about this, but I just can't. It's hurting me so much. I'm trying to create a life here in Spain, in large part to be with him, but he's not committing to anything, not even a trip to meet my f------g "people". All our mutual friends tell me that he's like this, very private and formal, but that in our time together he has done things they never thought he'd do/that he has grown as a person.

Now comes the hard part. I love him, and the thought of not being with him makes me feel physically ill. But I don't know if I can do it anymore. He says we want the same things in life-- family, kids, but I am having a really hard time trusting him. Actions speak louder than words. I believe that he loves me, but I don't know what to do. In June I finish my masters, and then it's either move back to Boston or stay in Spain with the hopes of finding work (have I mentioned how ****** the economy is here?), and with the hopes that my paperwork situation works out and that I can even stay. Whenever I stress out about this, he says, "don't worry, it'll all work out. It'll be fine.". It's easy for him to say, nothing in his life has changed since we've been together, and likely nothing will change. He won't miss all his friends' weddings, family graduations, etc. I am willing to sacrifice these things to be with him, but I don't know if it's a wise choice, since he has obviously sacrificed nothing to be with me (can't even go to Mass for Christmas?! Really?!).

I should mention-- I never stick with guys. I've had a lot of boyfriends and always find some flaw (flaws smaller than this one), focus on it, and we break up. But with him, I can't imagine not having him in my life. He's my best friend, he supports me in everything (...except for this..), he is loving and affectionate, and I have never even imagined I could be in a relationship like this.

I'm at a total loss. Any experiences or advice? I'm afraid of the inevitable "he's never going to change" theory... Thanks.
desdelaaldea desdelaaldea
2 Responses Dec 16, 2012

For the fact that he doesn't want to introduce you to his parents, that is very normal in Spain, ridiculous, but normal. But the fact that he doesn't want to meet your parents that is a no no, I mean that wont kill him right?. And the response "no me apetece" maybe because Spanish is not your mother language, but it is a very nonchalant answer. Demand what you need and if he cant give it to you, move on.

What city is he living at?

If you want him to change, you need to move on. That is the problem that my wife and I had. We couldnt just be happy with who we are and who the other is. Trying to change them is the death of a relationship. Trying to control or change someone to your wants will only breed contempt. If he loves you he will change his behaviors on his own, and the same goes for you.