Our issues started when we moved in together after living in separate cities. That first year was terrible. We fought a lot, then went on vacation and fought during that. Never have I sat on the beach in paradise so miserable. Honestly, what kept us together was the fact that we had a lease. I went to therapy, my friends recommended a stellar therapist, who I saw as things gradually improved. Some of it was growing pains in living with someone else. I had alone for close 5 years at that point and he lived alone for 1 year before that. My therapist knew about his hesitancy to get engaged and married. At the end of our sessions, we agreed that I would leave him if he didn’t do therapy, if things didn’t continue to improve and if he didn’t propose at a certain point. He didn’t know this. These things happened, so stayed with him. (Though, his therapist didn’t really seem as good or invested as mine.) We bought a house and I started wedding planning. As wedding planning began (we got engaged in November), things are pretty well documented here.
Other issues we’ve had was the location of where our house is. At the time, our realtor told us there were not houses with the features we wanted in our ideal location, which is half-way between our workplaces. He was able to find houses with things we wanted closer to my work. My fiance and I talked it over, and he thought he could handle the longer commute and we went with a house close to my work. Now, he will mope periodically and complain about how he gave me everything I wanted with the house and how now he gets stuck with a terrible commute. I didn’t force him to buy this house, I actually thought we had a very respectful, calm, analytical conversation about buying the house.
I’ve called him out on that it’s not fair to punish me for decisions he’s made. His issue was that I’m too quick to accept it when he gives in. From my perspective, if you’re telling me it’s okay, it’s not my responsibility to fact-check you’re sure. This is another example of how he decided to do something he didn’t like but did it because I wanted it and now is resenting me and lashing out at me for it. We could have kept looking for other houses, we could have continued renting. But we actually talked it over and decided to buy it. Now he makes me feel guilty for it. I think it’s the same with the wedding.
I have called him out on the sulking. I’ve told him it alienates me and each time and it makes me question our relationship. When he sulks, I ignore him. My rationale is that there is nothing I can do if you won’t talk to me. I can’t sit here and be miserable with you in silence. One time, he got mad about me ignoring him and that’s when he said we needed therapy. He said he didn’t think he could marry me if we didn’t.
So I’ve asked him to see my therapist, who I found very helpful. I really hope he will call him out on his bad attitude. He did with some of my own flaws and I had to face them and try to chance. Over the years, I see his dad does the same thing and his parents’ relationship leaves something to desired. Meanwhile, I come from a family where my dad really stepped up when my mom was diagnosed. He was always a “man’s man” but he took over all the housework, took time off work, learned to cook (got quite good) and went to every single doctor’s appointment with her.
I work in a field where I was trained to resolve conflicts, but it’s hard to do when you’re so emotionally invested in something yourself. I have a lot more skills and patience than him because he never learned those skills at home and went into a field where he didn’t need a strong of an emotional quotient.
It’s complicated. A lot has gone into this, and I see potential. That being said, I haven’t seen the potential amount to much. There is definitely progress, things are heaps better. We resolve things better. I would say 70% of the time we are actually pretty happy. However, then there’s this…portion that we’re focusing on here. This part is pretty crummy.