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Should I stay or should I go

PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 12:09 pm
by Tarantula
PP, I need help.

I've been with a lovely man for nearly two years and we recently moved abroad together.

But I don't have feelings anymore. I realised when the other night we were having an argument and he delivered some home truths which, although I didn't like, I accepted and could admit to myself that he was right about. But in that moment when he was all sad, I realised something else: I literally could not have cared less. I don't care what he thinks and I barely even care how he feels. I'm indifferent, apathetic.

I can acknowledge that he's a good person, but the attraction has left the building. I think it's a combination of things happening over time, big things, small things, short term, long term.

He's soft. That's the nice way of putting it. He's a people pleaser through and through and there are times when I wish he'd toughen up even with me. I feel bored and am developing quite a cow attitude. And I don't want to be that person. I don't want to become his ex. She cheated on him multiple times and he stayed, and then met her for dinner after he finally called it a day, for 'closure', shortly after we got together. I know because I checked his phone, not because he told me. I felt betrayed yeah, but more than that, I judged him for being a doormat and that perception never really left. They were married (no kids), and during the divorce he caved in to her at every turn. He wanted to file under adultery, because that's what happened, but she browbeat him over the emailings into putting it down as unreasonable behaviour instead. She treated him very poorly and he took it and took it and took it (even after he was with me), and I never really got past it. They're divorced now and not in contact. There's nothing dodgy there.

I don't like the person I'm becoming in this relationship. I'm catty and critical and mean sometimes. It's not good. I don't want to be a nag, but here I am, nagging away, worrying about how long he spends in the bathroom and how much salt he eats and whether he really will be free to spend time when my brother visits like he said he would be, but then wasn't. I don't feel I'm living for myself anymore.

And I know I'm such a cliché. I know, I know. I'm supposed to stay with the nice guy, though my background experience compels me to go for far less suitable people. Those are the rules and regulations. Trust me when I say, I've psychoanalysed him, myself and the situation in full HD glory and could produce doctoral thesis on all the dynamics at play here. I cannot justify leaving this good person, all I can say is that attraction has gone down, desire to be free has gone up..

There's nothing I can say here that I haven't told him already, because honesty is important and I haven't done anything 'wrong', so to speak, either. I've told him that I'm not feeling the things, and that I often want to date other people.

He's hanging in there hoping this is a phase, which it might well be. I don't want to make the biggest mistake of my life. Which could be interpreted both ways.

He's a good man with all the bells and whistles - good career, lovely family, easy on the eyes, and devoted to being with me and making it work. He's very patient and loving. We have great conversations, though we don't really laugh together - humour is not his strong point. We travel a lot and he supports me and my work.

He's too soft. He chases people. He blames outside factors for things that are in his control, like how he manages his time. There's no excitement, no tension, no romance - but a lot of baby baby time, animal photos and cute memes. My inner child loves him dearly. But as an adult woman, I'm bored and dissatisfied and afraid of not living my life to the full which, yes, does mean being able to date again and have adventures independently of any man. I'd love to go backpacking myself one day, or with a travel buddy. The whole hostel thing. And other things...

I don't know what call to make. I'm in the UK visiting now, and he's taken a hotel somewhere else to allow space to think and decide. He's very upset. I'm kind of numb. If it's gonna happen, then it's best I don't go back abroad and he sends my stuff back to me. Being back here, too, makes me realise how homesick I am and how I want to feel young again

Instead of becoming the kind of content adult woman who spends her time scraping bread crumbs off the worktop with her hands and going 'ahhh, that's better' suffering from permanent existential crisis under the surface of well-to-do suburbial life


Re: Should I stay or should I go

PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 4:58 pm
by David020549
I'm so disappointed for you I thought you were well set up and being looked after but I'm sure it is so difficult organizing your own social life in a far off land. This is a problem all girlfriends/partners have when the men are working or playing golf or whatever, if there are no kids to occupy you it's easy to get bored. Were you working at all or living as a companion in your castle in the alps.

From your description I really don't think he is the man for you, you need someone much stronger and decisive to inspire you. I have no doubt that you are attractive enough to catch the right man so be especially selective who you date.

Re: Should I stay or should I go

PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:23 pm
by reckoner
Is this the guy you started seeing after the controlling guy? And is he in his thirties, while you're in your twenties? Sorry for being lazy and not checking facts first. But if it is...

I wonder if the current guy was what you needed at the time to get you back on an even keel after what you went through with controlling guy but now he has effectively served his purpose and you no longer need him. If I'm right about the age gap, you're after different things; he wants to settle down, but you're too young for that. You deserve some wild crazy times making breadcrumbs before you concern yourself with clearing them up.

In my experience, once you start feeling contempt, or any shade of it, there's no going back. It doesn't matter if you're right or wrong to feel it, it just shows your needs are different now.

Maybe you can go back with him, finish things amicably, sort your stuff out for return to UK (I think it'll be hard on him to do that if he's already hurting) and do a little travelling on your way back, even if it's just taking the scenic route?

Re: Should I stay or should I go

PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 2:39 pm

WOW I must say I did do a double take when I seen your name on the top right hand side :o

You always seem to have very matter of fact advice and have a good idea of what's right and wrong. You have done nothing but speak utter sense to myself personally. I know I really do have a cheek commenting when my relationship is in turmoil but I guess its easier to see it "looking in from the outside" sort of thing. If this was 2 years ago and I was giving advice I would say life is way too short, if you are not happy then you have to do something about it. You don't like the person your becoming and I think that is really dangerous (personally speaking). You don't want to end up resenting each other.

You say yourself you don't feel anything so that speaks volumes in itself. Everyone deserves to their happy ending in some form or another.

Fast forward 2 years and I really do understand that everything is not black and white and that there are so many factors to consider and well life..... it really isn't easy ](*,)

I haven't read all your posts but reckoner has a point. Maybe he was just Mr right now, not Mr all my life. Love is blind! It is so easy to get swept away on the waves of love & lust.

Every single decision we make in life has a consequence, whether it be good or bad. (That's what makes it so difficult) I believe in you that you will make the correct one. As cheesy as that might sound.

I really hope you are ok.

Re: Should I stay or should I go

PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 9:04 pm
by wakeupbomb
But as an adult woman, I'm bored and dissatisfied and afraid of not living my life to the full which, yes, does mean being able to date again and have adventures independently of any man. I'd love to go backpacking myself one day, or with a travel buddy. The whole hostel thing. And other things...
This is really the crux of the matter. Either you really, really want to go backpacking, etc, and it's more important to you than any relationship at this point in time. Or you want to go backpacking because it seems like a more exciting prospect than being tied down to this guy to whom you don't really feel attracted, and know that you will come to resent over time.

Speaking from a personal perspective, the idea that I would want to do any activity over being with my current partner is ridiculous. But if there was something that I was really into, I would try to find a way of incorporating it into our relationship. She actually couldn't go backpacking because she has a daughter, but we would find some compromise and I know she'd be into it because she's an adventurous and energetic person.

It seems to me that backpacking is just a symptom of the fact that you know this person doesn't have the qualities that you really want. If you really, really want to be with someone then you don't want to b*gger off to the other side of the world without them! You just don't! I can't say any more to you than that.

Re: Should I stay or should I go

PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 4:17 pm
by Tarantula
Hi all

Thanks for your replies. David, to answer your question, I run a startup company based in the UK. What you've said seems to read full of heteronormative assumptions - I'm not being 'looked after' financially, if that is what you meant...

Reckoner, yes, you've got the right one. And yes, that thought has crossed my mind too. However, I'm back overseas now, and things seem to be stabilising - he's really making an effort to focus on me/the relationship. He insisted on me coming back, as he felt such a massive decision warranted more time and consideration. So far, so good..

Skyglasgowgirl, I know! In fact, it's the stability and goodness of this relationship that has elevated me to a position where I can help people in your situation. So it's kind of ironic that it is also this newfound sense of confidence which makes me wonder if there's someone even better out there. If you want to keep me at any cost, knock me down a peg or two/make me feel abandoned. Then I'll never move on. That seems to be the story so far. But BF genuinely wants what's best for me, and in wanting so, has picked me up from a low place only for me to turn around and wonder if I could do better! What a cheek I have..!

WUB, I hear you, and that's how I reckon most relationships are... in the beginning. Of course, in the beginning I was not feeling this way. Backpacking is kind of symbolic - it's all the things I feel I can't do whilst in a relationship.

Anyway as I say, we're putting effort to rekindle the spark.. he really is a gold piece of a man (no David, not financially :P ) and I worry I would miss him terribly if we split. Maybe not at first, but the next time I find myself in another messed up situation.... oh, then I'd wonder what the heck I was thinking.

Re: Should I stay or should I go

PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 5:03 pm
Glad things are improving for you :) He does sound like a gem and loves you to bits.

Yup.... it really is strange how things turn around. Its not a cheek, everyone deserves the best possible partner/happiness. (Its when the confidence turns into arrogance, that's when you have issues) It is immense just how much the impact of low self esteem/confidence can do to an individual. I really hope he is the one to give you your happy ending.

Do you feel better within yourself though??? (Just remembering you saying you didn't like the person you were becoming) This is the main thing here. How this relationship makes YOU feel!!!

Just remember you should never settle for second best and follow your gut.

I have learned massive life lessons the past while and by god do I now know that your gut is 99.9% correct (even if you try and ignore it)

I wish you all the happiness and fun that life will throw at you :)

Re: Should I stay or should I go

PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 7:46 am
by David020549
Let's put the record straight Tarantula I am the most female friendly person around, women are very prominent in the professions and I deal with them on a daily basis and my experience is that they are better than their male colleagues. The only section of womanhood that I dislike are rampant feminists who play the discrimination card just to cover up their own inadequacy.

That is not intended as a slight against yourself, you seem to have put your past problems behind you since the very brave video last year and I complemented you on the presentation at the time. My private thoughts were " if she gets her head together there is a great future", finding your present boyfriend, staying with him and following him overseas seemed a big step in the right direction.

As I said your first post in this thread disappointed me, with all the comments, cowish, bored, backpacking, critical and all the rest, a few days later everything has changed, you're going back, you need to admit all the problems are going on inside your head, psychoanalyze yourself not him, he sounds a nice guy maybe a little soft but at least willing to tolerate your temperament swings you should see him as your rock.

PS If anyone wants to argue the feminism issue please start a separate thread.

I'm pleased you have gainfull work, as you are independant minded I'm sure you pay your fair share of living expenses, rent, food entertainment and transport all in accord to the lifestyle you now have. I will speculate what you do, seeing the video I could imagine a publisher commissioning a book or a series of press articles, you could of course do that wherever you are in the world, even backpacking. One thing for sure you are not running a workplace remotely from your computer.

You are very intelligent maybe hyper intelligent, having a difficult personal life is common, if you have an anchor that understands that will help bring the happiness you want. Don't over think everything because it will go round in your head and create a problem where none exists

Re: Should I stay or should I go

PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 12:44 pm
by Tarantula
Regarding your level of female-friendliness and me running a workplace, I didn't say otherwise David. I said heteronormative, and I said company. Thank you for your input and compliments both. You've made a clear point about the issues going on inside my head (well, philosophically, isn't it always?) - that's what BF was holding on to... that it was a fluctuation and I didn't really mean it. But at the time when I say things, I DO mean them. I'm not saying things and knowing I don't mean them... it all feels real to me at the time, and so sometimes yes, I do end up doing a u-turn and then wondering what on Earth is wrong with me.

I have thought in the past that I have borderline symptoms, as BPD is characterised by wild fluctuations in mood.. but much of that condition I don't relate to at all.

Anyway thanks all.

Re: Should I stay or should I go

PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 4:27 am
by Minna
Hi Tarantula. As has been said, you give such valuable advice to others, but of course its always different when its you that is in need of help.

I do have such sympathy for you. After such a hard time with other relationships, you really seemed to have settled with your ideal man. However, although I am absolutely sure that he is the kindest man you have ever had a relationship with, I do think that, sadly, perhaps you should go your separate ways.

They say that hate is the opposite side of the coin to love, and how true that is - to truly hate or love someone requires very strong feelings for that person. Apathy for your partner, on the other hand [as you admitted early on in your message] means that, perhaps deep down, you really "no longer care" about him. Do you subconsciously think that, in a parallel universe, your partner would have been better as a really good friend rather than someone with whom you were in a relationship?

I think that Carly Simon said it so well in her song "It's too late". I think it is so apt for your situation that, forgive me, I give you the lyrics. Read through them:

Stayed in bed all morning just to pass the time. There's something wrong here, there can be no denying. One of us is changing, or maybe we've just stopped trying.

And it's too late, baby, now it's too late, though we really did try to make it.
Something inside has died and I can't hide and I just can't fake it.

It used to be so easy living here with you, you were light and breezy and I knew just what to do. Now you look so unhappy, and I feel like a fool.

There'll be good times again for me and you. But we just can't stay together, don't you feel it too. Still I'm glad for what we had, and how I once loved you.

It's too late, baby. It's too late now darling. It's too late.

Sadly, I think you know that its time for both of you to move on. That's not to say you both made a mistake by getting together - far from it. I think it was what you both needed at the time and hopefully you will both look back on your relationship as a healing one. I would imagine it must be incredibly hard to walk away from someone who loves you like your partner but, Tarantula, if you are in apathy for the relationship and you are starting to criticise him over little things, then I fear your inner self is starting to put up a fight for you to move on.

I do hope I am wrong, and you manage to edge your way towards happiness with this gentle, lovely man but, if the relationship is not to continue, be brave and don't be hard on yourself, but instead, love yourself for having the courage to follow the path that you know will be the right way forward.

Good luck and hugs.

Re: Should I stay or should I go

PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 7:09 pm
by Tarantula
Hi Minna

Thank you for your thoughtful reply. What you've said represents one half of the debate I often have with myself. Certainly I relate to those lyrics. But, for me, it is not wise to go on feelings or lack of feelings alone. I have to understand WHY my feelings are what they are.

For me, given my past, it is dangerous to make decisions because feelings. Sometimes, I need to artificially wrench myself away from feelings that feel natural, but are nonetheless bad for me. Equally, indifference towards my partner could just be another manifestation of deep down not feeling like I deserve a proper relationship, and craving those familiar dynamics which are painful, but comfortably so.

It's hard to know which aspect to follow, but objectively speaking, this is the best relationship I've had by far. He's the best person I've met (and I've met quite a few!). I think I would struggle to find someone as consistent, supportive and loving as him. That could well be the exact reason I'm, to an extent, turned off.

He is straddling the boundary between someone who would've been an awesome friend, and someone I'm genuinely attracted to. He's not quite watered down enough for me to friendzone him. But he's also not edgy and provocative enough for me to feel the crazy attraction I've felt for others in the past.

I do know that the stakes are high for me to make wise choices, and if I choose him for the long haul, then no one can say I've made a bad choice.

Is it my inner self? And should I listen to it if it is? What if my inner self is actually my saboteur, and basically wants to see me go back to old ways which are not healthy for me.

I have also only just moved abroad a few months ago, and everything's so different now......... it warrants more time.