If We Could Love Like We Once Did

This may be the most important post I've written to date.  It may not be the same forever, but it is this way now.  I've been thinking about this for awhile now, so I think I should finally say something about it.

My relationship started with sparks and flares.  I was dating around.  They were pretty pitiful canidates from the dating pool but they were my company for the time being.  Then I met him.  He were everything I was attracted to.  He was manly yet sensitive.  He was intelligent but not pompus.  He was tall, dark, and had these amazingly beautiful eyes of an indescript color.

He could read my body language like a book.  Often times, I rarely needed to speak to convey a mood.  He picked up on it instantly and was never hesistant to ask.  He was deeply curious about my life, experiences, emotions, hobbies, friends... pretty much everything that made everything me.  I never tired of him asking "Why?"  Although he was so involved, I kept him at an arm's length.  I was so deeply wounded by my last serious relationship, I was hesitant to get in too deep, too fast.  He would do romantic things for me that others had never done.  He lit candles.  He just laid naked with me and talked about everything, anything, and nothing.  It wasn't physicial, it was about intimacy.  When he bought me presents, they were extremely personalized.  It was as if he knew me for years.  He would express gratefulness for every last loving gesture.  We were deeply in love.

At around the six month mark, these things started going away.  Instead of spending time with me when he would invite me over for weekends, he would pretty much ignore me and play video games.  He would get stressed out about work and snap at me for every little thing.  He liked to belittle me for character flaws and vices (i.e. needing communication, drama and love, smoking, etc.)  He would contradict me to instigate an argument.  He would name call and then get on me when I cried and call me "weak".  Then he'd yell at me for crying.

We had good times, don't get me wrong.  But they were becoming fewer and farther in between.

About a year into the relationship, we got our own place.  That went smoothly for about the first month.  He would snap at me for my forgetfulness and clumsiness.  But when it came time for me to study for a test, he was all over me.  He would claim that I was smothering him with all the time I spent with him, but when I made plans to go out with my friends, he had a giant problem with it.  After all of these emotional attacks, I finally closed myself off from him.  Instead of letting him see the vulnerable side of me, I turned my pain into anger.  Instead of crying, I'd scream.  But he had a problem with that even more.  I would start to talk to him about our issues and he would claim that he didn't have the time.  He was too busy working a project for work, playing a game, destressing, whatever...  it was one excuse after the other.  I was trying so hard but it was only ending up in argument and resentment.  By the time we were at a year an a half, there wasn't sex anymore by his choice.  (Might I mention that's the only part of this relationship that I believe is fully functional at this point).  He then decided to go out there and find someone else.  It only went as far as him getting blown, but it still hurts...

A few months later around my birthday I laid it out on the table for him.  We would work this out together, or we wouldn't do it anymore.  He straightened up for awhile, but we fell into old habits once more.  I tried to explain to him once that I would only treat him as well as he would treat me, but it didn't get through to him.  The only time we moderately got along was when he was completely smashed.  And that was the only time he would talk to me and tell me what was on his mind.

I was still working hard at it, dispite everything.  He was giving it what I would consider a moderate effort.  There were many blowouts.  A few of them actually included physical spats.  Things were falling apart.

Thanksgiving, he came home from his family's get-together and was wonderful.  It was the most wonderful day in our relationship in 2 1/2 years.  We laid in bed and held each other.  There were no words except, "I really love you." and "I really missed you."  They were spoken with the most raw positive emotion I had heard in a long time.  We napped and when we awoke, it was as if we had been risen from relationship death.  There was communication and for once no white lies.  Everything was on the table.  It was a breath of fresh air.

That only lasted a few months.  We aren't fighting and I believe the only reason that we don't is because we rarely speak.  I mean, of course there is bickering here and there but no relationship is free of that.  Everytime I try to get him to talk about what is stressing him out or why he is obviously angered with me, he closes up.  He lies and says that it's nothing, but I can tell that it's there.  I feel like I'm beating at a brick wall.  Why is it that everytime we make some kind of progress, we have to evolve into something worse?  I would rather be fighting than living in this deafening silence.  At least we were being honest.

I hate that he lies to me.  He's already lied to me about something big.  Lying to me about the small stuff just says that he's even more untrustworthy.

I hate that he's not interested in anything that I'm interested in, but he expects me to just blindly follow him into any interest that he has.  He wants me to sit on the computer and play games with him every free moment of my life when he won't at least listen to one of my projects.  It's not as if I'm not interested in his choices in lifestyle, games, music, movies, or any of that.  But he refuses to even try anything that I'm into.  Why can't he at least read something of mine?!  It won't kill him to have some opinions, thoughts, or insight!  He's a hermit and happy to be one.  However, I am not and that bothers him.  It's not as if I'm out every night clubbing.  (For the record, I don't club).  I like to go out and experience the world occasionally.  I don't go party or do drugs.  I hang out with friends in the Walmart garden section and play cards or I go to public park after dark, sit on the swings, and joke with people.  Yes, generally I like to be left to myself, but sometimes I feel like a caged animal.  And if I go out and he stays here by himself, I'll either come home to him being incredibly irrate or passed out drunk.  He refuses to make friends outside of work, and then gets incredibly lonely.  He will not give any of my friends a chance and anytime they exhibit a bad quality, he has to criticize them to me.

We don't talk anymore.  About anything.  Unless I sit there and bother the hell out of him to do it.  And I practically have to have a conversation with myself before he'll jump in with a mere peep.

And don't get me started with his family.  You can find that in "I hate my mother-in-law".  Generally, he doesn't defend me.  He does occasionally when she brazenly crosses a line, but he won't step up to the plate when she accuses me of doing things like, "keeping them apart" and "ruining his life" and "trapping him".  I let him live his own life the way he wants to, as I have already stated.  He just doesn't want to tell her that he has no interest in spending quality time with anyone, including me.

He makes it abundantly clear that he wants to cut his own path in life, but refuses to even make simple decisions for himself.  "What do you want for dinner?" I ask.  "I don't know..." he replies.  He's the picky eater, not me and it's more economically sound right now for me to have what he's having instead of cooking two meals.  We can't even afford what we have right now.  He and I had a fight last night because his mother suggested we move back in with her out in the middle of nowhere so he could get involved in a job doing waterproofing for $8.50 an hour.  Then when I brought up all of the cons of moving back there he said that the decisions was ultimately up to me and his mother.  I told him that it was up to me and him and that his mother had nothing to do with our relationship, finances and life.  Which brings me to another point.  $8.50 an hour is not going to change our lives, especially if I were to quit my job right now and move out there.  There is no promise of a wonderful job for me out there and I can guarentee that it would be an even worse life.  And what about this college education he has?  How is waterproofing with his step dad (whom he hates) incorporated with an IT field?

He quit his $10 an hour job before he found a new one because "management was being unfair and unreasonable".  After two weeks of unemployment he found a part time fast food job making minimum wage.  And now he's stressed that we can't make bills this month.  Our financial problems are mainly his fault.  I know it's unfair to say that, but it's true.  During last summer, he spent 2 months unemployed because he was "searching for something in his field and there were no local openings".  Honestly, it looked like he was playing a lot of World of Warcraft.  What he does with his employment is just downright irresponsible.  I go through the same problems at work but I don't haul off, throw a tantrum, and walk out on a job because I'm fed up with the way a place is being run (which has been his excuse for quitting a job 3 times in the last year now).  I keep at it until a better opportunity comes up.  And it's been hell.  But I know that there has to be a light at the end of the tunnel.

I don't know if this can work.  With our financial problems, his irresponsible behavior, lack of communication, and slipping feelings of love, how could it ever seem to work out again?

theophania theophania
22-25, F
7 Responses May 20, 2007

I just read your MIL story and here's my 2 cents.<br />
<br />
First of all you may want to seriously consider your fiance has depression, it is incredibly likely with a mother like that.<br />
<br />
Secondly I think you really need to address the problem of his family. Until that is sorted I don't think there is really any hope for you. Of course having said that I really have no idea of how to deal with that problem.<br />
<br />
I would definitely consider the idea of therapy if not for both of you at least for him. I think he has some serious 'mommy' issues. And then there's the problem of getting him to admit there is a problem and seek help.<br />
<br />
Uh yeah. I have been of little help. Sorry. I hope you can find a way of making this work. If not you really need to get out of there because it is just not good for you.

Your boyfriend has Anti-Social Personality Disorder.

That doesn't sound like fun. i was surprised at how much i read that rang true to me though. I'm only offering this as a suggestion, and hardly knowing anything about you both i might be totally wrong, but do you think there's a possibility he may be suffering from depression? I only ask because there were a few things that you've described that appear to be quite stereotypical depressive reactions - certainly reactions i have given my partner when i've not been well and/or using drugs.<br />
<br />
Ultimately, as i see it , you are at a pivotal point in this relationship journey. <br />
You can choose to stick by him and go in for the long haul, asking is this the man you want to be with for the rest of your life?, hope that he'll wake up to himself and stop taking you for granted. Learn to love him as he is with all his crap and baggage,<br />
OR<br />
You can be greatful for the good times you did have, and take solace in the fact that sometimes we need to kiss(and even live with) a whole lot of frogs in this life before we find our prince, and move on to some greener pastures.<br />
<br />
Whatever you decide i wish you the best of luck. Take care of yourself, and never forget you always have a choice.

I totally relate to everything you've shared here. Sounds a lot like a couple of my ex-boyfriends that I had....Totally self centered! You are enduring verbal abuse, which goes hand in hand with the mental abuse he gives you when he chooses to ignore you. I myself put up with verbal abuse for a long time in my past because I tried to see other good qualities, but verbal abuse combined with drinking, being self centered and having a larger than life ego is a triple whammy to put up with. Sometimes its very hard to give up on someone in spite of everything. I agree with a previous comment that you will be better off leaving him when he is not there. <br />
<br />
As soon as you go, or if he knows you are leaving, he will beg or plead, and be so nice all of a sudden to try and keep you and make it very difficult for you to leave him at all. Another option you have is to leave and just try a separation for a couple of months if you are not sure. Surely some peace, quiet and reflection would be good for you at this point.<br />
<br />
I know eventually you will reach the point where you just can't take it anymore and you will make the decision to leave. In the meantime stay strong so that you don't become bitter if things become even worse. I hope you don't wait too long though.

Do yourself a favor, leave. From what I can tell, you're not married to him and you have no obligation to him. If he is unfair to you, and he does not want to listen, pack up your stuff one day when he is at work and leave. You do not owe him even a personal face to face good bye. He will realize what he is loosing when you leave, if he want the relationship to work, he will approach you and attempt to make things work, at this point it is your decision if you've wasted your time or if its worth a chance.<br />
<br />
I've been in situations where I hated my relationship but felt very guilty about ending it and my overall mood and desire to be in the relationship goes down. This is where i start to see similarities with your story. It seems to me he does not want the relationship.

I wwish you all the best. If it doesn't go right, get out of it. A comfort level in pain is no fun.

I commiserate with so much of what you said. My relationship is practically a mirror of yours. It is so hard to feel like you're the only one putting in an effort in the relationship. We just had a huge spat about it the other day and I all but threw my engagement ring back at him. I hope that we find a solution and I hope that you do too. If you ever need to talk or rage or vent, let me know.