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I Need Guidance

I am 22 years old, a senior in college and applying to grad school out of state.  I have a loving and supportive family and two amazing friends that I can always count on for support.  I have a boyfriend of five years, we have been together since I was in high school, but we have always had a difficult relationship.  Now he has to decide if he wants to go out of state with me to grad school and at first I thought I wanted him to but now I'm not so sure.  I don't know what I want anymore.  Sometimes I want to be in this relationship but other times I want to go to grad school alone.  I've told him how I felt and he is determined to make it work but I'm not as determined.  We have always fought, and it's not bickering or an arguement here and there, but rather full out fighting and yelling on a constant basis.  I've been so unhappy lately.  I know he loves me but I don't know how much I love him anymore.  I think I know what needs to be done but he is so determined to hang on to me but at the same time he gets so angry and it's impossible to talk to him.  I feel like we are no longer what we want from eachother.  I don't know what I want to get out of this blogging thing or whatever it is I'm doing.  I think my friends are tired of hearing my problems when nothing changes and this isn't the type of thing I talk to my family about.  I feel so lost and lonely and I feel so bad about myself in these situations. I am an independent person, I just need hope, wherever it might lead me.  Obviously I am meant to go through this to learn something from it, I just don't know what it is yet.  Me and my boyfriend have some good times, but lately the bad outweigh the good and I have to figure this out soon.  I sometimes feel like he will be the only guy that will love me and starting over is such a scary thought.  Please, someone, whatever advice you have for me would be welcomed. I just want to be happy again.
auburnWDEgirl auburnWDEgirl 22-25, F 2 Responses Nov 27, 2011

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Good luck! And if you need an ear again sometime feel free to message me.

You're right, you are meant to learn something from this. You will emerge from this difficult situation, look back on it, and be glad you went through it so you could become stronger and figure some things out about yourself. After all, it's the challenges in life that help us explore our souls.



I know the feeling of turning to a friend to ask for advice - or just because you need to talk aloud to feel listened to or figure things out - and they become irritated because you've 'gone over this again and again, gosh-darn-it!' even though if it's a complicated issue obviously you're going to want to talk about it more than once. My suggestion (and this won't work for every personality) is to write in a journal. Or even on a loose-leaf paper. Or if typing feels more natural than handwriting, type (it's much faster anyway). Whichever it is, journal to yourself about your problems and it will help you organize your thoughts. Whenever I journal about my problems I realize things/perspectives I hadn't before - as though a different part of my brain is now in gear.



To me it seems obvious that you care about this guy (even as you question your love) but you can't be happy in a relationship where your partner is angry/yelling all the time. As an outsider to your problem, I can tell you that kind of relationship isn't healthy, if it's fostering an atmosphere that you have to walk on eggshells and can't be yourself for fear of upsetting him! I'm sure there's more to your relationship than that. But whatever else, it seems clear that you want out.



Well, now is the time to do it. You can't very well break up with him AFTER he has moved with you all the way out of state for your sake! You'll have to do it before. Is this the man you want to be with for the rest of your life? To get married to and have kids with (or whatever future you imagine yourself in), and to grow old with? No. I can tell by your story that you want more. So now is the time to do it, BEFORE you have to move away - otherwise you'll be doing him a disservice as well, since him and all his stuff will be away from his familiar environment and he'll be completely alone without you if you break up later.



I consider the possibility of what you're supposed to learn from this situation is this: how to break up with someone you care about, with kindness. And to practice standing up for yourself, since I can guess right now that he's going to try his damnedest to talk you out of it. He'll get angry, emotional, he'll cry, and you're going to feel selfish and terrible, but you have to look after your own well-being. You CANNOT self-sacrifice your happiness for another human being even if you're feeling guilty and selfishness is unnatural to you.



Don't do it all at once though. Gradually let him get the idea that you're going alone, by distancing yourself a tiny bit by bit, so that he doesn't have to go "cold-turkey" from love-withdrawal. And when you do break up with him, no matter what, even if he's mean/unreasonable, treat him with great kindness and keep your dignity, or else you'll feel bad about yourself for a long while.

Sorry for such a long answer! I just felt a strong emotional connection to the story. :)

I have been distancing myself from him for a long time and he is aware of it and it hurts him. I am always telling him how I feel about our relationship and he gets angry because it hurts him so much. We have talked about doing counseling together but I have been so busy with school that I dont have time to do it right now, but when the semester is over we will most likely pursue it. However, my standards are very high and I told him that if our relationship is not near my definition of perfection, which is basically no more bitter fighting and we are both happier, then I would call it quits. I have tried journals before and I feel like they are too time consuming and not worth it for me, and typing is definitely easier and faster. I have also discovered a side to him that I want no part of. In a nutshell, he is completely unmotivated to find a job after he quit his job 4 months ago. I am a very hardworking person and the fact that he doesnt care about having a job really puts me in a bad position because I dont want that in my life. He is, again, completely aware of this fact and the day after I told him, he applied to 5 places for a job. So clearly he is trying to make me happy, I just dont know if it is enough at the end of the day. I used to see myself married to him in about 2 years but this whole job situation has really made me rethink everything. I'm going to wait a little longer to see how everything pans out, but if it is not better in a month or two, I'm done.

I liked that you did feel so strongly about this, I think anyone who has been in a serious relationship would. And I see that you really gave it a lot of thought, that is very comforting