Did I Do The Right Thing Or Did I Make A Mistake? Should I Have Tried Harder?

I have been with my boyfriend for a year and four months. We met at a bar, and we just connected right away.  He was attractive and he made me feel like I was the most beautiful woman in the world.  We just had chemistry.  I focused a lot of energy and time into my education and career, that I never found myself interested in finding a committment.  I felt lonely a lot before I met him, and kind of out of place because all of my friends and sisters were either married or in long committed relationships.  I still to this day, do not know if the chemistry was because I was finally ready and willing to pursue a relationship, or if I did in fact fall over heels for him.  Since we started dating he was a full out gentleman to me.  He had bought me flowers more times that I can remember, he still opens doors for me (including the car), he comforts me and cuddles me & kisses me and hugs me whenever he gets a change.  Our physical relations are amazing and mind blowing.  He makes me dinner.  He cooks, he cleans and he loves surprising me.  He makes me laugh and I love being with him.  He knows when I am happy, sad, mad, confused, excited or frustrated without having to say a word.  He always looks out for my best interests and when I give him advice he takes it.  He is constantly working towards making me happy and making me feel like I am the most beautiful woman in the world.  He is wonderful to me and I have never really experienced this level of love and respect within a relationship.

We dated for the first year and a bit as a long distance couple.  I am from the suburbs and he is from a rural location.  Because we lived more than an hour away from each other, we spent every single weekend together to make up for the work days. My friendships started to suffer because I would only see them on work nights and I never was really able to party with them.  When we did make a plan on the weekend to spend time with my friends, he would make me feel so guilty for taking time away from him, that I could never really enjoy myself.  I became a different person in the eyes of my friends and sisters and they could only blame Peter for our relationship shifts.

As time went on, I became more accustomed to my relationship and made him my world.  I ignored the fact that my parents didn't like him and I ignored the fact that my friends and other family members thought I was too good for him.  I enjoyed our closeness, and liked the fact that his whole family and circle of friends adored me. 

After about a year of dating, it soon became a horrendous tug of war battle.  He knew my friends and certain family members were not fans of his, so he started to bear grudges and refuse to make social efforts with a lot of people who are important to me.  We became closer with his family and his friends because we never seemed to experience any drama, and we both had fun.  My family started heckling me about giving up on friends and never seeing them anymore.  So I started to force him to hang out with my side, and every time I did this we would fight and in the end never seemed worth it, because the whole time we were with them, we would both be so angry and upset that the time was never enjoyable... it was forced.

I am 26 years old.   I am getting paid a good salary and work in advertising.  My career has just taken off, in the city 45-minutes from my house, and I have job security as my boss is a close friend of mine.  I really enjoy my work and have no intention of leaving anytime soon.  5 months ago, I traded in my old car to finance a brand new one.  I still have other debts, on top of my new car.  I have a huge line of credit from University and living expenses.  I have incurred another line of credit for travel, clothing and other necessities.  I have a Car Loan and enough credit card debt.  So my financial seems impossible right now especially when it comes to buying a house... with all this debt a mortgage would not be possible.  I am maxxed out!

He and I talked about moving in with one another, but we battled about location and when.  I obviously wanted to live close to the city and he wanted to stay closer to his hometown.  He works as a steel worker, something that my friends and co-workers kind frown about.  It is one of the major reasons why they say "I am settling".  They can not believe I am with a "workie".  Anyways, in December he decided to buy a house for "us".  I remember the day he called me about this house.  It's the perfect fixer uper.  It is 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and 2 storeys for $145,000.00  It sounded amazing because in my area, to buy a house like that it would be $400,000+.  So I stupidly told him, put in an offer.  He put in an offer and two days later the deal was closed.  He started to become stressed almost instantly because he never thought about the closing fees.  The lawyer, the inspection, the taxes, etc.. etc...  He all of a sudden asked if I was able to help out, since it was "our home".  I wanted to avoid incurring more debt so I withdrew $2500.00 from my RRSP and handed it over.   

Moving in was a very difficult decision because first, it was hard for my family to accept, they still have their reservations about him and because it was against our family's morals and values. I have been brought up in a very Catholic family, where it is their belief that moving in prior to marriage is a BIG no-no!!  He and I discussed everything and all of my concerns.  He told me I would have my freedom (something he knew I wanted), I would be able to pay off my debts because he would cover all the bills and we could be together.  It all seemed to good to be true because weeks before I thought it would be years before I could afford my own home.  Putting all reason and logic aside I moved in two months ago.

Since I moved in, my family is resentful, my friends are resentful and I am not enjoying it at all.  My once 45 minute comute to work, has now become 2 hours.  I spend 4 hours in the car 5 days/week just commuting.. I fill up my tank every other day, I put on 1500 km / week on my car and basically have to get an oil change every month.  I would take the train, but I have to drive 45 minutes to the train station where I would have to pay for public transportation anyways.  

I came from a classy sophisticated neighbourhood, where I am surrounded by small town rednecks.  I haven't paid off my debts, I have incurred more debt.  Turned out that once I moved in, to make the house livable for ME, a lot of renovations were needed.  I had to buy ceramic tiles for the kitchen and two entrance ways.  I had to buy a granite counter top.  I had to buy tiles for the bathroom.  I bought all of the kitchen necessities (coffee maker, kettle, can opener, cheese grater, cutlery, dishes, pots, pans, cooking utensils, BBQ utensils, salt and pepper shakers, toaster, blender, etc... etc...)  I bought the first few rounds of groceries (because all he bought was like 100 pizzas, chicken nuggets, breaded fish and fries.. junk, junk, junk!).  I paid for half of 60" LCD television for our living room and half of a 42" LED television for our bedroom.  Luckily my family supplied us with a kitchen table, dining chairs and a sofa set.  Since I have moved in the house (two months) I have spent 7000+, without even noticing.  He has spent a lot too, but this house is in his name.  He owns the house.  So the past couple of weeks, I was becoming more and more frustrated with the financial situation that I refused to spend any more money, I just spent money on the commute and a small amount of groceries. 

He noticed that I stopped shelling out after two weeks and started to complain that he was being stuck buying all the tools and materials, on top of groceries and paying the bills.  He actually started to become resentful of me and told me that I needed to contribute more.  After a hellish Valentine's Day weekend of marching to the beat of his drum.. he told me where we were going, what we were doing and what I could do from morning to night. Since moving into the house, we lost our intimacy and our relationship has suffered.  He bitched about me finding a job closer (no position around him would even pay half the salary I make), that I had to make sacrifices to better our situation... I just grew more and more stressed and noticed him become more and more resentful.  Our relationship wasn't working anymore, and I was too frustrated to put in the effort, so...

Last Thursday I took the day off work, and packed up the majority of my things.  He knew something was up because I hugged him for a longer than usual time before I said goodbye.  When he got home, I gave him a letter and told him that things were not working out and I am sorry but it is over.  On my drive home, I wanted to turn back the whole time, but I continued to drive.  I just broke someones heart and he was shocked.  He had no idea that it had gotten to that point.  Since we have broken up he has been an *******, harassing me when I am going to pick up the rest of my stuff (living room furniture, dining furniture and other decor items).  I let him keep all of the kitchen utensils and tiles, and televisions to make things easier, however the furniture pieces belong to my family so I have to get them.

Since we have broken up, all of my friends have been supportive, my family is ecstatic and everything is back to wonderful with them.  However, they are all in relationships.  How much longer will this last.  They are all telling me that this is the best decision ever.  He wasn't the one for you.  You two would have gotten married, had kids and then would have gotten divorced if I didn't end it.  He is a manipulator, he is a "steel worker", he is an idiot, he is unattractive, he will never find better than you, he is a loser, he is white trash, he was disrespectful, he wasn't easy going, he was a nice person, he was ignorant, he was abusive, he was controlling and possessive, he changed you into someone we couldn't recognize, etc. etc.  "Best decision ever" was everyone's opinion and comment.  They told me to stay strong and that there was someone out there better for me.

Anyways, my stuff was his excuse for communicating with me, and then as soon as we made a date and time, I started getting "I love you, I want to marry you, I want you to be the mother of my children", "You broke my heart and crushed our dreams.  I feel sick and I miss you so much I feel like dying", "You and are are soul mates, we are meant to be.  Please call me".  It hurt even more.  I can honestly say that breaking up with someone is much worse than being broken up with.  You are going through heart break on top of feeling guilty and awful for breaking someone else's heart.  Finally I gave into one of his phone calls.  Once I got back on the phone with him, all of my feelings of missing him and loving him came back.  He told me how heart-broken his family is.  He told me his friends have been pestering him to come down to me and fight for our relationship.  They all think we are meant to be and that we should be together. 

I told him the reasons for my decisions... my financial situation has gotten worse rather than get better... the commute is irritating and unaffordable... I hate where we live and feel like I don't belong... I missed my friends and family.. He doesn't like my friends and family and they don't like him... I have given up on my religion... I have put on weight and am constantly feeling stressed out.. and that our relationship shifted from love, appreciation and support to selfish and resentful antics.  I expressed that I still loved him and cared about him, but I am put in a place that I can not afford it financially or physically any longer.

All of a sudden he started saying things like, "We are a team.  Couples go through rough patches but they work together and come up with resolutions".  He talked about us moving to my city after a few years in the house.  That he would be okay with going back to weekends, so my work won't suffer and I can avoid commuting expenses.  He talked about how my friends and family were not being supportive of our love and that they were in the wrong.  He talked about how much he loves me and how much he wants me in his future.  He talked about our children and our future.  He made me start second guessing everything I have done. 

So now I need strength and support from others.  I love him and I know that leaving him will destroy him.  I know that my family and friends will never be supportive of our relationship and that if I went back I would really disappoint them all, but I myself am unsure if I will ever find someone else that truly loves me as much as he does.  I will disappoint his family and friends and they will ultimately hate me for destroying him and breaking his heart.  I can't imagine life without him, and so far I am just becoming more and more numb to it because it really hurts me to think about it.  I also wonder when and if I will ever be able to buy a house, or if I will have to throw away money into rent.  I just feel so confused and hopeless and I am curious about what people outside the situation would have to say?

Any words of advice would be much appreciated!  Thanks (and sorry for the novel).

HavingDoubts HavingDoubts
26-30, F
4 Responses Feb 23, 2010

This is an old post but for anyone who stumbles upon this page who's going through a similar situation, this is what I'll share with you.

The woman who posted this story was in an abusive relationship only she didn't realize it because her boyfriend never hit her. If a man can make you feel on top of the world one minute and like scum of the Earth the next, this is a classic sign of emotional manipulation. The reason it is so effective at making you feel "in love" is because abusers are so good at making you feel loved (they know exactly what to do and what to say but their intention is to control you) that when they turn on you, you will do anything to get them back.

The intense longing for the love and attention they give when it's suddenly taken away is what leads women (or men) to believe they are intensely in love when what they really are is intensely unloved, isolated by the abuser in a desert of lovelessness (friends, family pushed away), where the abuser is the only source of love. They are the oasis in the desert. And there is no water that tastes better than the water you receive when you are about to die from dehydration. It feels like better water but it's not. It just feels that way because you need it so much.

The stress caused by this relationship on the poster and her relationships with her friends and family, her boyfriend's inability to empathize with her situation, his easy resentment of her, his choice to use her family's furniture as a way to keep her in his life are classic symptoms of abuse. When he realized he was really losing control over her, he attempted to reestablish it by suddenly rushing in with all the love and support he'd deprived her of so she could see a future with him again. If she stayed with him, he might follow through on some of the promises he'd made to get her to stay but more than likely, he'd simply lavish her with love and attention and start taking it away slowly but surely so she was addicted to his love again so he could control her again.

The financial stuff, her family calling him a redneck, her wanting to make a house livable to "her" standards, is petty nonsense. The real issue was the emotional abuse. I hope she got out of it.

Same situations. This is just so hard and fustrating. My boyfriend broke with me because he was so stressed out with his family and friends not excepting me so it was bad and then we are both in school accumulating debt and i just got in the nursing program, he broked the hell out of my heart and now he just came around but my heart feels like hell and like it wants to love him but cant and i know he is a great person i would want him to be the father of my kids and be married to him but he broke my heart so bad..my family never talked bad about him liek his family and friends but they make me feel likeIF IT IS MENT TO BE IT WILL BE, BUT WHEN YOU HURT SOMEONE LIKE THAT AND THEY WANT YOU SO BAD THE FEELING DOES CHANGE AND NOW HE WANTS ME BACK! UGH WHAT AM I DOING I DONT WANT TO HURT AGAIN ...I SUGGEST YOU BE CAREFUL AND PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR HEART ! ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD WILL NOT MAKE YOU HAPPY! AND WE DIE WE STILL WILL FIND OURSELVES OWING SOMEONE SOMETHING ..SAME DEBT

Im just starting to go through this. One of my friends boyfriends pointed out the obvious to me though. He didnt chase you, He didnt get in the car or in my case a plane and fight for the relationship, he just laid down and waited for you (or me) to make the next contact to organise things. Those problems are still problems, the reasons for breaking up, well at the moment for me they are still reasons. Nothings changed except im hurting like hell, and I know Ive hurt him.

This story is so uncannily similiar to my own right down to the very Catholic family. I don't have an answer for you other than that I made the same decsion to break it off and since then have been cnstatly second guessing myself. What usually helps is I try to take everyone elses feelings out of the equation and ask myself what I truly want. Sometimes it seems like I am loosin out on the greatest love of my life, but then I think I left for a reason and if we got back together does that mean those reasons have gone away? If not it is unfair to you and to him to string him along when you are so unsure. He may hate you and you may be miserable for it but I tell myslef I do love him and because I do, I cannot string him about. I cannot stay when I am so unsure and he is not.