- 1 week ago
My boyfriend and I have been together 4.5 years now, we lived together for the last 2 and a half years of our university degrees. We were graduating at the same time and had agreed on a “semi” gap year following our graduation, the plan was to travel for 6 months before moving to/staying somewhere in the East Coast. Following our trip, my plan was to study for graduate school entrance exams and work on applications, while also looking for work in my field. We had decided on staying around Montreal, Toronto, Boston, the Tri-State area (since this is the best place to be in our respective careers). He’s a software engineer and I’m a mechanical engineer specialized in bioengineering (prosthetics etc). We were very confident and happy in our relationship up till this point. Depending on who found a job where/where I was in my application process, we were both flexible but definitely committed to staying together. We’ve talked about marriage, raising a family together etc extensively. Religion is important to both of us, and realistically we’d want to raise a family within marriage (and not too late, ie late 20’s-early 30’s)
When the pandemic became aggrevated, we decided to leave our small apartment in Montreal and quarantine with his parents who live near Kamloops (British Columbia), on the other side of the country. We only had about 48 hours to decide on it, and it was incredibly rushed. My parents invited us to stay with them (they live in Massachusetts), but we felt safer quarantining somewhere more rural like BC. I wasn’t totally totally sold on the idea, but I was anxious (as we were all due to the pandemic) and staying alongside my BF felt like the natural thing to do. He’s like family to me.
I was quite anxious to leave our home, and be across the country from my family, but I trusted my BF and figured we’d be ok as long as we stayed together. I suffer from asthma and was incredibly concerned/cautious during the pandemic.
We finish our exams and degrees from Kamloops (online school was definitely unpleasant) and are trying to figure out our next steps. Our travel plans were now up in the air due to COVID. I’m still finishing my exams and during my finals week – which my BF had off because he finished his earlier – my BF’s mother (who was particularly condescending and cold towards me, even though she’s known me for years) tells my BF about a job opportunity in town and encourages him to look into it. I encourage my BF to do so too. Now everything becomes so much more stressful because we’re now having conversation together about his/our future and his parents are literally sitting in and giving their opinions! They talk about how “decisions are so much harder when you have a serious partner you have to take into account” and try to tell me I’d be totally welcome to stay in the city, that they would help us set up (find a place, purchase a new car etc). Meanwhile, I’m struggling SO much living in this rural town across the country from my parents who I haven’t seen in months.
I support him through this process, and try to ask him about what we’d do. Would we push our travel plans back? Should I go home and be with my family (at this point my aunt had fallen ill and my family wasn’t doing well) ? Was the East Coast a dead dream? I hated long distance (I am too emotional for hard goodbyes and am terrified of flying), what would we do? I’m doing my best to be supportive of him while also investing in myself.
I tried looking into work for myself, because obviously we wouldn’t be able to travel. I would try talking to him about my ideas/plans, and tell him about opportunities in the East Coast I was looking into. I tried looking for work around Kamloops, but there was nothing in my field, I would likely be unemployed. Each time I talked to him about me, he always made it clear this job offer was more “pressing” and thus deserved our undivided attention. I felt so unimportant and stiffled. I honestly just wanted someone to talk to, I wasn’t asking for help, just trying to communicate during a difficult transitionary time.
He went through the entire interview/selection process in 2.5 weeks (there were only one other candidate for the job) and was given 7 days to decide on the job. Anyhow, during these 3 weeks of him deliberating on this job, I had taken the initiative of looking for work for myself and found my DREAM job at a research institute back in Montreal (which honestly felt like a lifesaver because I was feeling so isolated and anxious during those few weeks/months). I was devastated because everytime I told him about it he reminded me we should be spending our time deciding on HIS job. It would take a few weeks to hear back, but I was thrilled (the interview process was going great), and my BF had plenty of contacts in Montreal and I figured he’d find work there too. He has about 10 times greater job mobility than I do because I’m in a more specialized field, and there’s generally greater demand for software engineers.
He asked me what I thought, and when I told him my honest apprehensions – that I was happy for him, wanted to support him, wanted him to be happy, but that he should KNOW this wasn’t a city I would be happy staying in (even short term), that I didn’t want to be far from my family/friends, etc and that I would have zero to none professional opportunities there myself, he just… threw a total tantrum? My aunt was doing worse and wores and my parents were now on medical leave, I felt a huge responsibility to go be with them. I was so stressed.
I thought maybe he’d reflect and collect himself then tell me how he felt, what decision he wanted to make etc. Maybe give me a rational argument for why this job is a good idea right now, explain that he doesn’t want to take the risk of being unemployed? Idk, something rational…? Instead he goes on this HUGE explosive spiel about how he’ll “have no career ever without this 1 job” and be stuck working a menial job and made me feel soo guilty about the whole thing yet ke kept saying I meant the world to him and wanted me to stay.
I told him that I loved him, that if he wanted this job more than anything (and neither of us wanted to do long distance) that I would stay with him, but I needed a formal form of commitment from him, and then he said he didn’t feel ready to get engaged (and even though he knew he wanted to marry me, he wanted us to get to a stable enough place to actually get engaged). Honestly I wasn’t even necessarily talking about an engagement, a timeline for an engagement would have been sufficient. From his reaction, I was anxious he’d resent me (or, equally horrible, his entire family would resent me as they were now all caught up in this) if I objected to this job. The sad thing is, I didn’t even object, I tried finding terms and grounds where I was comfortable staying in town with him. I was trying to be accomodating and compromise, and I don’t know what I did wrong.
Anyways, he accepted the job, and I had to pack up my few clothes and university books I’d brought from Montreal, leave his parents house (he decided to stay with them instead of getting his own place) and fly back to Montreal alone, where I had to pack up our mutual appartment, then go back to be with and take care of my parents. A part of me felt so betrayed? I had left my life in Montreal and gotten on a plane to come stay with his family during a global pandemic… and now I was leaving that same “safe haven” alone? I went and took care of my parents (who were both sick and struggling during the pandemic). In the meantime I’m juggling my interviews and (thankfully) get the job. I lose 2 cousins and an aunt to COVID, and my family dog (who was like a sister to me) all passed away within a month, and I am absolutely distraught/overworked/losing my mind. I’m pleading my BF to come see me to help me grieve/during the funerals, but he can’t come see due to his job. I spend the rest of the summer looking for odd jobs to help support my parents who were both on medical leave before starting my own job in September.
At this point, I beginning to resent my BF, he wasn’t there when I was grieving and under incredible, incredible stress. I thought this pandemic reminded us of our priorities, and family and health are the most important things (right?). We went an entire 5 months before seeing each other, and I was the one to fly all the way to Kamloops to come see him (there were no direct flights, I was putting my life on the line, but I also felt like I had to talk things out with him). I was so heartbroken from the loss of my family members and the undue stress of caring for so many people in my life. We saw each other for a week before I flew back.
I don’t know if my feelings are out of place, but I can’t seem to get it out of my mind that I trusted my BF and flew across the country with him (and his younger brother who was also in Montreal at the time) even though I had the option of being with my family at this time (I’d have had more time with my aunt/cousins before they passed) and I was now the one leaving alone? Something about it felt like a form of betrayal and it was so heartbreaking. He and I have been communicating a lot on the state of our relationship but not making progress (I’m not just venting about it to the internet, just feeling exhausted)
Should I just reconsider the entire relationship?