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.