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Should I stay, or should I go?

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  • Should I stay, or should I go?

    Hi All.

    I am trying to work out whether I should continue to work on various issues with my girlfriend of two and a half years, or just call it quits and give up.

    We're both 46. She has two kids, aged 15 and 17. I'm from Australia and she's from Vietnam. The thing that makes this especially difficult is that she refuses to talk about issues relating to us, instead putting them to the typical tribulations that are part of any relationship. She is very blunt and wears her heart on her sleeve. I on the other hand am very cautious with my words and always try to be constructive. I will admit that I am pretty thin skinned. When I feel hurt, which happens regularly due to her bluntness, I want to talk about it. She doesn't. I don't know how to grow in a relationship with someone that won't talk about feelings.

    There's plenty more fish in the sea. However, this is my first long lasting relationship. I am very well aware of the fact that if we part, I may spend the next several years dating, only to end up with someone else who doesn't have her specific issues, but instead has different issues. I will have gained nothing.

    I often have to ask myself, are these problems generated by me or her? Maybe she is the normal one and I am the one with the issues? It seems like she is either always a) stressed, b) worried, c) second guessing herself, d) just plain cranky, d) PMS-ing, or e) all of the above. Someone told me this is normal for women. If that's the case, I'd rather be single for the rest of my life. If I apparently make her so unhappy, why is she still with me? She has her nice moments but they are few and far between. As her boyfriend, how much am I expected to endure? I'm torn because it feels like I owe sticking with her. However, it is HOW she deals with things like stress that are the bigger issue. When she's experiencing these negative emotions, she invariably lashes out at me and says things that I consider mean. When I am tired or stressed I do not lash out at those around me and say mean things. She has never thought to apologize for her comments. I would consider a normal person here would realize later what they said and apologize. She does not. The only time she has ever apologized to me was when we were at a Target store and she made a scene, swearing at the checkout guy, because we couldn't get help with something. I told her that kind of behaviour is not necessary - it belittles us.

    It feels like I have expended a monumental amount of emotional capital to her. She rarely sees it, and rarely returns or initiates it. I know she has issues and I try oh so very hard to be supportive but it's so hard to keep doing that when I feel like she's not at least seeing it. She bought a new car last weekend. She was going on and on about people at her work said they were sad for her when she had an accident in her previous car, and how happy they where for her when she got a new one. This hurts because it makes me feel like she doesn't think I care. I told her I did to which her response was "Do you? I can't tell because you have no emotions". How can she ignore all the emotional support I have given her over the past few years? That is so damn hard.

    She seems to lack empathy. She can't tell when I am upset. Completely oblivious. If I even attempt to try and tell her she will invariably find a way to look busy, not make eye contact and suddenly be doing something else. I'm constantly trying to think of ways to make her happy, improve her life and her situation. She is constantly thinking about work and how I should have sold my condo in the first six months of our relationship so she could buy a house for her and her kids and me. She resents me for that she says.

    I'm not happy. She has issues. She refuses to do anything to fix those issues and she refuses to communicate about us. Where do I go with this?

    My psychologist thinks the fact I apparently am not committing to her is what's bugging her. We're not married, and we don't live together. The housing situation is really screwed up. She spends most of her time in a rented apartment close to where the kids to go school. She bought a condo a long way from work and the kids school (she put down the deposit just before I met her). Now the kids don't go there and she talks constantly about how she made a mistake buying this condo (which has increased in value btw) because she's never there. We spend maybe one night a week there and she stays with me one night a week. Everything revolves around the kids, which I understand. Her ex lives at the rented apartment - yes, that's right, her ex lives at the rented apartment and sleeps on the couch. He pays the rent on the apartment because the kids need to live in a place near school. We live in the San Francisco bay area where houses prices are obscene. She can't stay with me at my place (i own a condo) because she's not with the kids, my place isn't really the kids school and if she did stay with me, she'd be living in THREE houses, which she doesn't want to do, and I can understand. There is really nothing I can do here. I feel helpless and it's very hard to commit to someone who seems angry around you all the time and is always making mean remarks.

    If I do break up with her, what's the best way to do it? I'm scared to stay with her, scared about how the breakup process will go, and scared to be alone as well.

    Thanks.

  • #2
    This story sounds familiar. Did you post this under a different user name?
    "What lips my lips have kissed and where and why I have forgotten." ~Edna St. Vincent Millay

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    • #3
      I remember your earlier post. I think there was a lot of good discussion there but you're still stuck in the same place. You're sort of asking everyone(who had commented) to repeat what they already wrote. I'm curious what you think you should do? You don't seem happy at all and fear is holding you back. When are you going to push past that and live life the way you wish to?

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      • #4
        SarahLancaster, that was me. Same username.

        I don't know how to push past that fear Rose Mosse.

        We all want to be happy. However, there is no such thing as perfection. I'm often told that 80% with a partner is good enough.
        Last edited by dgarstang; October 12th, 2018, 01:19 PM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by dgarstang View Post
          .....We all want to be happy. However, there is no such thing as perfection. I'm often told that 80% with a partner is good enough....
          80% with a partner with whom you are mostly content would be great. 80% with a partner with whom you spend most of your time being unhappy is not nearly good enough.

          You're 46 years old. How much more time do you want to spend being unhappy? Get some counseling to build your confidence and go find a better mate.

          Good luck

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