Need relationship advice/ perspectives. Please help

123xX's picture
Rank: Chimp | 11


I do feel weird to ask for it here, but I currently find myself in a deep black hole, and need fresh perspectives. I will try to be as short and succint as I can be to spare you deadly blocks of paragraphs.

Relationship summary:
- First and only one for both of us. Age we got together: 19y old. Currently: 26
- Boyfriend wants to marry; I do not know if to make a life together, or out of insecurity because I am changing job soon
- I find myself constantly unhappy in this relationship, feel unappreciated, sometimes taken for granted & at times, even insulted
- 6 years have gone like this: boyfriend needs help with moving job location, buying & renovating house, sickness and I support
- Now that I think he has achieved 'stability', I want to be able to do things I enjoy, mostly travelling
- After 6 years of waiting, I tell him to plan a trip. He does nothing for 3 months. I give up and plan it myself, he comes and ruins the whole experience for me

Why I am unhappy with boyfriend:
- I want to travel and see the world with my partner, but he thinks it's a waste of his money to go with me & even asks of me to share his costs (he earns twice as much as I do and I seriously thought after all the help and labour I put into his house, he would be the one to finally surprise me and take me on the trip I have wanted to go for years)
- I was his biggest support at many of the defining stages of his life, but when I was at my lowest, he did the bare minimum to help me. One example is my flat got burgled a month before my CFA L2, I lost all my belongings. He offered 0 financial support. When I asked him to walk 15 mins to collect a laptop I had to buy to replace the one I lost (which I paid for myself), he fought with me quite badly because of this
- On our first year anniversary, I was keen to celebrate, but he didn't remember the date. We fought again and never celebrated any anniversary
- He's happy sitting at home and watching Netflix. I need to get out.
- He doesn't surprise me in any way, nor pays attention to any of my very strong hints. Example: for the last 2 years, I have been mentioning how I want to go to this restaurant and how I'd love if he plans it, he does nothing at all
- He does not encourage me to become a better person or follow my dreams. Instead said "you're obsessed and stubborn". After I succeed in my obsession and stubbornness, I very explicitly say I would like to celebrate. He ruins my happy time feeling sorry for himself that he hasn't achieved the same
- I organized a trip for him to come meet my family after 5 years. On the eve, he dumps me because his parents tell him to and doesn't come (for 2 months, he gave me the impression he would come)
- After above disaster, we break up. He comes back in a weeks crying about how he needs help and support with his house and I decide to give it a second chance
- Now that everything is done, I don't feel the second chance was taken seriously

What I do like about him:
- I do feel he loves me, maybe in his own way, but I think his selfishness and seeking self benefit in everything prevents him from being the loving and caring partner that I want
- We are very comfortable being around each other, which I don't find with others, but I don't know if it's because I never dated other people
- He is not always unsupportive, he does sometimes support me
- His hugs and kisses are genuine and full of love and make me feel protected
- He tells me I look beautiful almost everyday
- He does apologize, but after a while, he goes back to being complacent and doesn't follow with actions

What do you think? Do we have compatibility issues? Am I unreasonable and have too high expectations? Should I stay/leave?

Comments (14)

Feb 13, 2020
    • 1
Feb 13, 2020

I empathize with your situation, but in general I'd advise against asking others for relationship advise, esp. randos on an anonymous web forum. We don't know you, or him, or how you are together. You're going to show one side of the story, and we have no idea about the bigger picture.

With that aside, I'll now contradict myself and give you advice, which I think you should totally ignore (see above). You're both young, and if after 6 years it's making you this upset to be together, then separate. He is not going to change, and neither are you. You're both young enough to find someone else and still be in your prime. Don't keep going down a dead end.

"I don't lie to myself, and I don't hold on to a loser." - Bobby Axelrod, Billions

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    • 1
Feb 13, 2020

I agree with @earthwalker7 that none of us know you or him or your relationship to give specific, actionable advice, but I will say that people change a tremendous amount between their late teens and mid to late 20's.

I can't imagine being with the people I was with in my teens or my 20's. I was nowhere near the person I am today.

    • 1
Most Helpful
Feb 13, 2020

thank you for laying out a thoughtful inventory of your relationship, that could not have been easy. I'm no expert, but I have a great marriage and I'm much older than you, so maybe some thoughts will help.

in any healthy relationship, there is a constant push and pull between attributes and values. attributes are parts of your personality that make you unique, but are not dealbreakers when determining a partner (either in romance, business, or friendship). values are the nonnegotiables, and it's easy to conflate the two and lead yourself to misery.

let me give you an example. I am a surfer and I love every aspect of the sport, whether locally or internationally. is that an attribute or a value? it's an attribute. I don't care if my wife surfs, I don't even care if she goes with me. let's try another. my wife is empathetic and puts others before herself. is that an attribute or a value? see the difference? if I treated that as an attribute, I may take the tack of "that's just how she is, good for her but that's not me," but since that's a value, she needs that part of her being nurtured, recognized, and appreciated. while she is selfless, she needs reciprocity, empathy for empathy's sake is exhausting.

it sounds to me like you're a sharer and a giver, and your boyfriend treats that as an attribute rather than a value. your financial support, your emotional support, your time invested in him, these are things you are clearly happy to do, but I'm getting the sense that while you do it for the intrinsic benefit (helping others), you need some appreciation for your efforts, and while you have spoken up about this, it doesn't seem to be getting through.

I can't tell you why that is, only your boyfriend can. maybe he can be changed, but what I'm reading is that the things he values are not the same things you value, so while you can have fun together, there does not seem to be a ton of reciprocity. I'm going to venture a guess that your bf's lack of career/financial success and his sense of self worth are challenging for him. I get the sense that he's not comfortable with the person he is, and until you are comfortable with your "self," it is difficult if not impossible to extend true love to another.

I'm just an internet person, so I can't tell your whole situation and all of the nuance there, but the fact you've been together for that many years with ongoing issues and breakups, a lack of alignment on important values, and his refusal to see your family...I think it's time to pull the plug. maybe he'll grow up and your paths will cross again, but for now, I think the relationship has turned toxic and you're better off moving on

    • 9
Feb 13, 2020

There's a saying "Women marry men, hoping to change them. Men marry women, hoping they don't change."

If your post is truly candid and forthright, then you already know that your relationship isn't balanced or healthy, regardless of how "comfortable" and "protected" and "beautiful" you claim that he makes you feel... you still posted this, so... I suspect you already have your answer, but you just don't want to take the next step and take true control of this relationship one final time and break things off.

From how you tell it, you give and he takes and/or he gives back very little and/or ruins the mood with his actions or lackthereof. As much as you might truly wish that he'd make more of an effort, why have you tolerated his lack of effort for this long when he apparently shows you in countless ways [ignoring your suggestions, hints, not celebrating things that are important to you, not helping or being emotionally there for you when you experience problem, etc] that he doesn't take your wants and needs into account, like you do his? Don't you deserve more than having to put off, delay or wait for the things that you personally want and need to be happy and content? In a healthy, balanced relationship, you BOTH make each other a priority, not just one of you, which is how your post reads.

Understandably 6 years seems like a long time, especially when it's only ever been your only serious romantic relationship. You're an adult, time to move on, don't settle for what's safe and comfortable -- you can feel horribly lonely or alone in some relationships and you can also be single and not necessarily feel lonely or alone. Maybe you'll reconnect, maybe you won't, but you are not likely to change his ways, especially if he sees nothing or little wrong with his behavior towards you.

Good luck to you with whatever you decide.

    • 5
Feb 13, 2020

Could not agree more.

Spoiler alert: his complacency will only get worse, and worse, and worse, over more time and especially if you get married. Prepare to have full brakes and letting himself go, and relying on you to not only work but also take care of the kids and also clean the house and also organize any fun activities... run, don't walk, away from this situation while you can.

Marriage is a PARTNERSHIP, you aren't just doing fun things and dating, and then going back to your respective homes. You are doing taxes together, cleaning the toilet, going to the doctors to hear bad news, etc. You're in the fucking shit together and you need a RELIABLE PARTNER to have your back, no matter what. Fuck all the beauty. You need someone in the trenches.

Credentials: have been married for 8 years

    • 2
Feb 14, 2020

"Women marry men, hoping to change them"

That's the problem. Sometimes they don't know when to shut their fucking mouths, which can cause men to distance themselves due to the constant nagging rather than letting a man be a man. Oh then ofc it's all his fault and he's this and he's that and leave his ass girlllllll

    • 1
Feb 19, 2020

Had the genders been reversed, or had it been a gay relationship, my advice would have been the same. No one should stay in a relationship where you're not appreciated, period. Hell, that even goes for platonic friendships.

I shared that particular saying because of the way OP wrote what she wrote. :)

    • 1
  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Feb 13, 2020

hey this guy is toxic. i was like there. one word for you: RUN. you are so good and you will go places believe it. he is only holding you back: even if you don't get a boyfriend you're still better off

    • 1
Feb 13, 2020

I think you already know the answer to this @123xX , regarding your relationship status. You have doubts beyond your own capabilities about finding a new potential partner.

What @earthwalker7 said is true - find someone that won't be a dead end. It will not make a better person. Rather, it breeds malevolence.

Pull the plug, delete whatever memory or signs of him, and move forward. You should want someone who wants the best for you and can help you improve yourself - vice versa.

No pain no game.

    • 1
Feb 13, 2020


"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

    • 1
Feb 14, 2020


everyone's a liberal until they start making money

Feb 14, 2020

You only get one life. Why waste it on what seems to be a mediocre situation at best.

    • 1
Feb 19, 2020