Unsure of the future

posted 2 years ago in Relationships
Post # 46
Member
428 posts
Helper bee

Bee it’s true no one can tell you a timeline but you. However he’s already laid out one timeline and then missed it so if it were me I would be unable to trust his word again. Trust is everything. You deserve more than this. You have figured out he is stringing  you along, taking you to counseling to discuss your issues but  then he has none to bring up…..hes keeping you in the endless girlfriend zone. It’s ok to move out and live life for yourself. Maybe he will realize what he has lost but it sounds like he does this in ALL relationships and never marries. So it’s not you it’s him. Don’t feel you aren’t good enough for him- his goals and values simply do not line up with yours . In conclusion I think you should think about how much more time you’d be willing to wait and possibly waste without being disappointed in yourself or beating yourself up. If you can give him 6 months and know that if he doesn’t propose you will not massively regret that time spent then give him 6 months. If you already feel like you have wasted too much  time then leave sooner. Yes we are strangers on the internet but sometimes outsiders see things clearly. This man is screaming commitmentphobe and manipulator who is not going to marry you. I hope you move out next week . Hugs. 

Post # 47
Member
362 posts
Helper bee

seattlegirl87 :  Oh honey. If he’s done this to his other girlfriends, this is a bad sign. They got out and so should you. You deserve someone who brags about you and calls you beautiful and follows through on promises he made to you. 

Let us know how your next therapy session goes. 

Post # 48
Member
85 posts
Worker bee

duchessgummybunns :  I’m in the same boat. I don’t let anything go longer than 2-3 months when I realize they are commitment phobes. 

Post # 49
Member
1030 posts
Bumble bee

Honestly, what I’d like to see you discuss in therapy is your feelings of lack of value.  With your own counselor. Far away from him.

You sound like a smart, sensitive, loving woman.

“He brags to everyone how good at cooking and decorating I am, how beautiful I am, how smart I am at my job, etc” You also sound like a great catch. From the way you talk and allow him to dictate your relationship, it sounds like you don’t see that in yourself as much as you should and aren’t giving yourself the self-love you should. I’d really like to see that happen for you.

I’m so sorry to hear about your work-place discrimination.  I know that it must not be easy to deal with that, feeling hurt and trying to heal from it, while also wondering what is happening in your relationship. I can see how they would compound on each other and make you very hungry for the love, acceptance and support you really deserve right now. I can see how those things would challenge your perception of your own value.

The problem is, it sounds like your Boyfriend or Best Friend is not willing to give you what you need. Yes, he may be kind and you might have a comfortable relationship. But you want to feel wanted, loved, accepted – you want to be a wife, and in the future maybe a parent. And you deserve that.  Bee, you deserve that.

It probably seems like the worst, scariest, hardest concept in the world to swallow right now – but I agree with the Bees who think you should leave.  It kind of seems like all along he has been sort of “pushed along” in the relationship and goes wherever the river takes him. You should never have to fight to hear someone say they love you. But you did, and eventually he cracked and started saying it.  You were reaching the end of your lease and wanted him to invite you to move in with him and make your relationship feel valid, and you fought about it. Eventually, he agreed to that as well and gave you a “timeline.”  I don’t believe from the history you described of him stringing women along and then abandoning the relationship that he ever intended to propose. This emotional threat/power play of “don’t ask about marriage, we’re just starting to make progress mending our relationship” concept he tried to play on you tonight is another manipulation strategy.  I think he is willing to pay for counseling in order to use it as an excuse, and keep you around.  

And you said yourself that when it comes to marriage “he looks out for himself.”

Bee, look out for yourself. Even if it is hard. You are strong enough to walk away and fight for who you are, and to find a partner who will over his love and partnership freely.  

Make plans to look for a self-supporting salaried job, and create an exit strategy. Believe me, it will hurt so much more if you spend a few years with him and find yourself at 35, facing reproductive challenges and looking for someone to marry so that you can have a family before your “time is up.”  

I know right now the scary thing seems like rejection and losing him. But from so many Bees who have faced it, the worse and harder thing to cope with would be knowing that someone “stole” your reproductive years by lying to you and left you with nothing when you finally were able to see the relationship for what it was.

Please keep updating us on how you are doing, and consider your future fully.

 

Post # 50
Member
271 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2017

seattlegirl87 :  hey Bee, you NEVER deserve to feel that way. You deserve to be adored and to feel like you are with someone who really wants to marry you. I would say move ahead without him, and tell him your plan for the next year, and that you’d like him in your future, but you cannot wait around without commitment. Also, I would fully bring this up in front of the counselor next visit and see what they both say! Keep us posted 💕❤️ Oh also I am from Seattle too! If you need someone to talk to feel free to message me. 

Post # 51
Member
141 posts
Blushing bee

When I was 30 my whole life fell apart. I got laid off from my job. At the same time, my graduate school program wasn’t working out, which was crushing to my dreams of getting ahead in my career, not to mention leaving me with a whole pile of debt and no degree to pay it off. Because I was so desperate for something good to happen, I started pressuring my partner about marriage. Except this didn’t work so well because I was a mess and he wasn’t ready. Finally the relationship broke under all the stress and he left. So then I really had lost pretty much everything: job, school, partner, and place to live. 

Not gonna lie, it took a lot of hard work, therapy and self-care, support from my family and friends, and some luck to get back on my feet. I couldn’t have done it alone and I am grateful for the things I had working in my favor. However, I will say that six years later, my life is a world away from how it was when I was 30. I have a wonderful fiance who is excited to marry me and proposed without any prompting on my part after only 10 months. I’m almost done with another graduate program, and career prospects look promising. 

I know that you’re worried about losing a relationship, job, and living situation all at once. It will be terrible, believe me. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. I do think that sometimes a massive reboot can make room for something even better, though. Looking back, I’m glad that the relationship and school program didn’t work out because they weren’t a good fit.

I know your situtation isn’t the same as mine, and I don’t know what it’s like to walk in your shoes, but I am hopeful for you that this is a temporary setback and that the right things will fall into place for you before too long.  

Post # 52
Member
269 posts
Helper bee

I’m so happy you don’t have children with this man!! What will happen when you do? I’ve been in your shoes before, almost ten years ago. I was 19, I wanted to get married and have a family so bad with this man (29 years old) and he strung me along. I got pregnant, not on accident but because of my ignorance, after she was born he was all for being a father. When she was 6 months he disappeared, left a note saying he wasn’t ready for fatherhood. The next month I found out I was pregnant with my second daughter. I had two children back to back, they have no idea who their father is because he “wasn’t ready”. I was left with two children, no job, no degree, I hurt so bad. I hurt for my daughters, I struggled.  It hurts, but you learn so much. I’m now a nurse raising three very smart, beautiful daughters alone, I’m grateful that he left two good things behind, my daughters. 

Post # 53
Member
2503 posts
Sugar bee

“At a year and a half I’m his longest relationship. His other relationships ended at a year when the girls wanted to get married and he weaseled out of it. I’m the third person he’s done this to.”

This is a HUGE red flag. And I hope that you know that it demonstrates 1000% that this is NOT about you. Nothing about you is unworthy, and it makes me so sad that you are taking it that way. It’s entirely his issue and he has a pattern. His pattern is something that should definitely be brought up in therapy. You don’t have to ask him whether it’s okay to bring up. Therapy should be a safe space to talk about anything. Bring up your very valid concerns. 

But honestly, I don’t even think I’d bother with therapy at this point. I’d just leave. You deserve someone who can’t wait to start a life with you. 

Post # 54
Member
812 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2020

 

thefuturedrat :  

Good for you for getting back on your feet and getting to a better place.

My situation is not the same as yours or OPs, but I too have dealt with the stress of multiple parts of my life going wrong at once. And I have seen now how important it is to look out for yourself and take care of yourself.

I finished my PhD last May, and I had made the decision to move back to live with my boyfriend in our home state after I graduated, regardless of whether I had a job or not. I was feeling ok about moving without a job because I was looking forward to living with my boyfriend again and getting engaged. I knew my boyfriend would be there to support me through the stress of searching for a job in my field within a narrow geographical area.

By the time I defended my PhD in April, I didn’t have a permenant job lined up, so I took a temporary position for the summer that was below my skill level but had the potential (I was told) to lead to a 1-2 year postdoc opportunity. This summer job ended up being a lot of long hours and unpaid overtime, hours of sitting in traffic each day, and a lot of physical labor. I was working at the level of the field assistants I had hired to work for me as a PhD student, and my supervisor was a recent college grad with just a BS who lacked the time management skills to be a project manager. 

The summer progressed with no indication of a proposal from my boyfriend, so I talked to him in July to again reassert that I was ready to get engaged. He told me he needed more money after spending so much on the deposit for our new apartment and wanted to wait until I was “settled.” I was left disappointed again. I thought he was just waiting for me to move back so we could end our long distance. I was willing to accept that, even though I would have liked to have been engaged during my last year of grad school. But now I didn’t understand why we needed to keep waiting. It felt like he was putting me on a trial period. And I didn’t understand why he needed more money when he had $70K in his savings account.

September came and my position ended with no extension and no postdoc offer (I later learned that they had led me on about the nonexistant postdoc position to get me to do extra work). So I was left unemployed and had no leads. Two weeks later, my boyfriend went to a farewell party for a female coworker. For the next two months afterwards, my boyfriend went into a depression during which he abruptly withdrew from me emotionally and physically. When I tried to talk to him about it, he blamed first his workload and later our relationship. He told me he was unsure about us. He never mentioned his former coworker, who I later found out had left him a long note the day she left about how much he meant to her and then started up an email exchange with him. 

Those two months were miserable for me. The few friends I had were in another state, and I didn’t want to unload a bunch of crap on them. So I sat in the apartment by myself all day. I blamed myself for ruining the relationship by moving away for grad school. I felt like I had made the wrong choices in my career. I applied for every job opening that was at all related to my experience, but I had no idea when I would even get another interview. I was burning through the money I had made during the summer paying for rent, my car, groceries, and health insurance (I insisited on not having my boyfriend pay my way).

And when I figured out that my boyfriend was hiding the details of his former coworker from me, I deteriorated further. I was too stressed to eat and lost 10 lbs in two weeks (going from 116 lbs to 106). I am not much of crier, and in the prior ten years have cried maybe twice, but for a month I was crying almost every day. My boyfriend was too depressed and too distracted to notice how bad I was.

At the end of the November, I decided I needed to get it together. I wasn’t in a place to consider leaving the relationship, so I focused on being a better partner and being more productive for myself. I became more disciplined about cleaning, and I started teaching myself to cook. My boyfriend recovered from his depression, and I know his coworker found a boyfriend and stopped emailing him. My boyfriend has since been back to telling me how much he loves me and wants to be with me, but I had reached the point where words aren’t enough for me.

I never stopped applying for jobs, and I finally got an interview that turned into a second interview and finally, over two months after I applied, I got an offer. It’s a great paying job with nice hours. And it’s permenant! Getting this job has done wonders for my confidence. I have found a brand new luxury apartment at a great price just a few blocks away; my boyfriend doesn’t like the neighborhood, but I don’t care. I am looking forward to moving in and redecorating. My focus is on me and what I want, and I am feeling power in my life again. 

I let my boyfriend apply for the apartment with me, but I told him that I am having concerns about the relationship and the toll this past year’s insecurities have taken on me. He told me his plan was to propose this summer. But I don’t think that’s good enough to me now. I don’t want to sign another lease with him and enable him to keep dragging his feet and ignoring my feelings. I also need to have a conversation about his former coworker soon, because he needs to know that I am aware of what was going on and it was not ok. Honestly I am ready to move out and move on if he is not going to step up and make me feel like I can rely on him.

OP, I think you need to do the same. I know it’s hard to be facing possible unemployment right now, but trying to hold together a relationship with an unsupportive partner while unemployed adds another layer of difficulty. I don’t think I gained anything by living with boyfriend while he was depressed and I was unemployed, besides an increased willingness to break up with him. And I worry for you OP, that your boyfriend is going to hold every bad day over your head and make you feel like you aren’t good enough. And that’s not fair. You are allowed to be stressed and disappointed when stressfull and disappointing things happen in life. If he can’t handle that and wants to make marriage contingent on you never being unhappy with him or in general, then he’s not the right partner.

 

Post # 55
Member
2503 posts
Sugar bee

girlfriendphd :  Oh bee your story is so heartbreaking. I’m sorry you’re going through all this, but major kudos for getting the awesome job and moving forward with your own gorgeous apartment and a new life. It really sounds like you deserve so much more than what he’s able to give you. 

Post # 56
Member
1095 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

He doesn’t deserve you! Don’t just move out, DTMFA! Seriously, you sound amazing and this jerk is lying to you, stringing you along, and making you believe you don’t have other options. Trust me, you do. I agree with PP that I’d love to see you get counselling on your own to examine your self-esteem issues and help you love yourself and demand the respect you deserve from others. I also agree with your assessment that your boyfriend is using therapy to continue to string you along. I’m a bit surprised that the therapist goes along with these “hypothetical” situations rather than examining your actual relationship.

Your guy is untrustworthy and you deserve better! If he can’t or won’t give you a timeline that seems reasonable to you, and won’t explain what would make him “ready” then he’s basically making the decision for you in every way but one. I almost wonder if he’s trying to get you to break up with him so he doesn’t have to be the “bad guy.”

Post # 57
Member
812 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2020

browneyedgirl24 :  Thank you for your thoughts. I am already in a much better place than I was 5-6 months ago. At my worst I wasn’t able to imagine leaving the relationship; in fact, I was in a panic about him possibly wanting to leave. I was putting in more effort and trying to make up for how I thought I had damaged the relationship, and because he was despressed, I did not hold him accountable for his inappropriate behavior and treatment of me.

I see now that I have improved the relationship for him, but he has not done anything to improve the relationship for me. He just happened to stop being depressed and encouraging his secret infatuation behind my back. And I am getting used to telling myself that I’m not an unreasonable person for deciding that his partnership, even if well intentioned, is not enough for me anymore.

I hope OP realizes that she too is putting in the effort just to improve things for her boyfriend in hopes that he will come around and put in the effort for her. And he probably feels no desire or responsibility to do so.

Post # 60
Member
1095 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

seattlegirl87 :  Oh HELL no. He’s the problem, she’s the problem, you are not the problem. Get a new therapist on your own. You are strong enough to leave this douchebag. Don’t give up on your dreams.  

Leave a comment


Find Amazing Vendors