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I may have outgrown my partner but still love him

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  • I may have outgrown my partner but still love him

    My partner and I have been together for 11 and a half years. It hasn't always been easy but on average we have had a better relationship than many people I know. He has been a real inspiration to me in the past and has opened my eyes to a lot of things, and was the catalyst for me looking into how to be a better person etc (not because he asked me to, but he helped me look at life from a much more open-minded perspective, where I was very closed-minded before). Ironically now, though, I feel like I am outgrowing him. He is so knowledgeable about life, and has amazing intuition and so much knowledge about people and behaviours etc, but he just doesn't put any of it into action. I feel like he feels he knows enough about things that he has stopped really learning.
    The thing is, there are several things about his life that are less than perfect, and he doesn't seem to have the desire to change them. To cut a very long story short, some extremely basic things he has issues with are: he is overweight - he goes in phases of dieting and doing well then loses it and puts the weight back on. He stays up late on his playstation and gets up late, and is always tired, unmotivated and lacks concentration (which are obv all affected by the sleep and diet etc). I have been financially supporting the both of us for at least 6 years, on and off, and he sometimes doesn't show his full appreciation for that. He is self-employed in a creative industry that is very difficult to earn regular money from, but it is his passion which I have fully supported - financially and emotionally.

    The thing is, he KNOWS what to do. He knows he should diet and exercise more, and get to bed earlier etc, but he just doesn't. We've had conversations about it before but he just seems to lack motivation to change these things. Additionally, he often says he is conscious of me financially supporting him and feels bad etc, but yet he doesn't actually SHOW his appreciation in actions. I have worked long hours in demanding jobs for the last 7-8 years or so, and he doesn't ever offer to make my dinner for me for when I get home (he works from home and is self-employed). It's little things like that that make a big difference. Even at the weekends it's like I always just make the breakfast for us both, and the dinner, and he never offers. I have occasionally hinted that he is more than welcome to do it if he likes but he's never keen. Which does upset me, because he doesn't seem to have it in him to offer to do things. He rarely rings his family, he speaks to his mum rudely - but he did have a tough upbringing so I can understand that to a point.

    I want to have a partner who inspires me, who makes me feel like I can do anything. Who makes me feel so loved and thought of, and they go out of their way to do things to make me happy - I am not materialistic, and the small things like I've mentioned are the things that are most improtant to me, and they don't cost anything and are not difficult! He doesn't make me feel like this. I don't know if that's too idealistic. But we are best friends, we get on reallty well most of the time and I can't imagine my life without him. but it does feel like we are more roommates than lovers - he also has a massive issue with intimacy, and we very rarely have sex - maybe 5 times a year, and even then it's over so quick, which makes him feel worse and the cycle continues (there's a lot more to this but won't go into that!). I love him a lot, but don't feel any closeness anymore, no intimacy or romance or anything like that. Nowadays he is on his playstation in the evenings and I rarely get to have a conversation with him. The sex thing is almost secondary, although it's something I've had to deal with for most of our relationship past the honeymoon stage which deep down, really does get me down.

    I am going to have a serious conversation with him about all this, he is usually receptive to conversations around the sex thing - although will not seek any form of couples therapy when I suggested it in the past (and nothing ever changes after the conversations). but he won't respond well if I say I don't dig his daily habits anymore. he will ask why it matters to me if he goes to bed late and wakes up late. I guess, if we went on a first date and I knew all this about him, I wouldn't go on a second one as his lifestyle is so different from mine. I am healthy, active, motivated, someone who is always doing stuff, and he couldn't be more opposite! Not sure what the future holds for us, but I know I want a more fulfilling relationship.

    Thanks for reading my essay! Any thoughts would be appreciated.

  • #2
    Talk about children. If he doesn't want to be a dad say loud, what kind of a problem is that for you. Don't you want to be a mom? There is no higher glory than to be a mom and a dad.

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    • #3
      Wow! Seems to me that you have grown and matured and he has not. Sounds to me like he is quite comfortable to do nothing and let you do it all, including supporting the home and him financially. It sounds like you are the one in the relationship that makes the money, pays the bills, takes care of the home and takes care of him as well. In other words, you are the responsible adult. He is the man-child. I do not know how old the both of you are, but I will guess in your mid to late 20's and IF you want to wake up in another 15-20 years asking yourself why you didn't make the change all those years ago, when you knew all these things were serious issues for you, than do nothing. Otherwise, my advice is to have a serious talk about everything that is bothering you and either make a change or move on and get the life and partner you deserve.

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      • #4
        I agree with Lonleyforlife. If he knows, but there is no action - why should you put up with it? Now you obviously care for him, but you should find a solution that is right for you. If you think he could change with some couples counseling (but you've said he's turned that down but ask again?) then maybe it's worth salvaging. If he turns down the counseling/solution-seeking again - you may have to reconsider the relationship. You both have to be contributing to the relationship in some ways that are more equal than not. If you work hard and late - he should be making most of the dinners in my opinion. He can play playstation - but have more self-control in how long he plays and go to bed at a reasonable hour so that he shows you he has a responsible routine and IS doing what he can for his creative work. If that isn't working out financially (you've set financial goals and he isn't reaching them) he should find a part-time job elsewhere and still continue his passion part-time. Consider the next handful of years - is this man going to help you and support you to reach your goals and wants, or not? Also consider intimacy - it concerns me that you only have sex that amount during the year - intimacy is an important 'glue' for relationships - and are you satisfied? That would be another important topic to navigate if you were to go to counseling separately or together. What are your goals in the next few years?

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        • #5
          LadyLoz, What a situation. There are questions. In retrospect, did he show signs of his current behavior around sex or career ambition? What did the 2 of you have in common in the beginning that made you choose him? I heard the part about him opening your mind. That can be a friend, not a lover. Were you overweight when the 2 of you first met? Have you contributed to the current situation in any way?

          When I meet a woman, I let her know within the first couple of months that I will never tolerate her being overweight. I state the relationship will be over if she changes her body to something unattractive to me Ė overweight. While she may initially be offended, she gets Iím not bluffing. Thatís an FYI. It is also a way to imply that people donít discuss enough up front.

          At the same time, it is a way to let him know that if you knew he would be this person, you would have remained friends, instead of lovers. It sounds as though you value the conversations with him. However, it sounds as though he is on a self sabotage mission.

          Sometimes people have circuit breakers that shut them down in life. He may or may not be aware of those triggers. It might be the first place to look before ultimatums. If his relationship with his parents was not good, there could be some conversation, like youíll never amount to anything, which could be activated when he becomes successful. While it sounds counterintuitive, children believe what their parents tell them. As a result, success of any kind would be unbelievable to him.

          Everyone has triggers. If he does not address them, those triggers will run his life. Hypothetically, if the trigger is from his mother, she is still running his life. Whatever the belief is that has set him back, he will have to seriously confront it. If you are there to support him, it will be much easier for him.

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          • #6
            You've got different priorities. I think you're a bit of a doormat, OP. Nothing's going to change if you don't change what you want out of life or your partner. This guy is just going to keep on bumbling around like he always has because he can around you. I'm a bit puzzled why you think he is so knowledgeable and intuitive. I don't see how someone who spends his time cloistered with a playstation might have a heightened sense of anything except how to use the gamer console. This is a bit ridiculous. I'm sensing that you're kind and loving but you also have very low self-esteem The decision is yours what you want to do with your life and what you are willing to do in order to achieve it.
            Last edited by Rose Mosse; October 14th, 2018, 01:57 PM.

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            • #7
              Thanks for your replies. I am 33 he is 38. We donít want children- we have a dog instead! I do feel like he needs to deal with issues from his childhood as he has no self-worth or self-love at all, which is one reason he self-sabotages- and contributes to the sex and intimacy issues. Despite the things Iíve said he is a good person, I just think he is never forced to go out of his comfort zone which he needs to do to grow as a person. We all do. Heís too comfortable, so Iíll need to havebthe balls to have a frank conversation with him which is outside of MY comfort zone to be confrontational but that is where growth happens!

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              • #8
                You seem to think that after 11.5 years things are going to change if you have a talk with him. His behavior isn't likely to change, though. Ever.

                You've intelligently indicated the kind of man you would like to have, one who makes you feel loved and appreciated. One who challenges you mentally and physically. The problem is that you don't have that with him, and I think you're going to be spinning your wheels for another 10 years unless you make a decision to pursue what it is that will make you happy.

                I understand that you love him...that's natural when you've been with someone for as long as you have. But love isn't always enough to make a relationship work. You want a mature man that doesn't spend his time snacking and playing video games. You want someone who understands that after a hard day at work, it would be nice to make dinner for you. You want what you don't have and most likely never will have. Of course it would be painful to leave him. But eventually it will cause you pain to realize you've spent your youth chasing after things you can't have.
                "What lips my lips have kissed and where and why I have forgotten." ~Edna St. Vincent Millay

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                • #9
                  I should mention that he has recently got some very lucrative opportunities with tv, and from next year he will probably be earning more than me. So he has been trying his best, and has now become very successful in what heís doing. I have no doubt he will pay off all our debts and pay for a deposit for a mortgage, and he wants to. I know he does, he will pay me back for my years of supporting him. Itís just the other things and the lack of motivation and I guess zest for life that are becoming bigger issues as the gap between him and I seems to be increasing in the way we live our lives. Youíre right Sarah, in that I want a man who will love and support and challenge me- this is the thing I was referring to about being knowledgeable. He has helped me get through tough situations by helping me reflect on myself and encourage me to step up, and Iíve become a better person for it, several times. No one else I know would, or ever has challenged me in that way before, ever. (So Rose, I think it is very judgemental to suggest that because someone plays on a PlayStation that they are not capable of being knowledgeable or intuitive). Thatís why itís so hard because he has some amazing qualities in a partner which are very rare, but I guess itís the more day to day, basic things that are the issue. I think itís better that way round as maybe counselling will work for the basics. I am really torn

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                  • #10
                    The irony. You want him to leave his comfort zone and you wonít leave yours. It sounds as though he is really good at getting people to see themselves and the world from new perspectives. Far too often, people like that donít have anyone to do that for them.

                    Itís your turn. Iíll assume he has had profound impacts on others as well. As a result, he may not be accustomed to having people challenge him. Therefore, it may get messy. However, with 11 years under your belt, the 2 of you are more than likely able to talk it through, even if it gets chaotic. On many occasions, it is chaos that saves the day.

                    To take it a step further, because of his relationship with his mother, he may experience that he is on his own in the world. If he has a high IQ, that could exacerbate the feeling. What may be missing is someone who stands for him, no matter what. This is your opportunity to do just that.

                    At this point, it is not about changing him. Itís about taking a stand for the man you know him to be. If he is being less than that man, you will have to take the stand to challenge him to be greater than what he is presenting.

                    You may have to create a breakdown to create a breakthrough.

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                    • #11
                      Almost Yoda, that is what I said I need to do, go outside my comfort zone and confront him. Youíre right about everything else you said, he does have a high IQ and is always helping others see situations for what they are. People always tell him their problems as they feel he knows the answers, even if they arenít particularly close to him. I think he def needs to confront his issues in the past- his dad left when he was 2, and although he has met him in the last few years, he had a childhood of thinking his dad didnít love him etc, which I know has damaged his self worth and he needs to seek help to change that. He thinks he has got over that but itís engrained in his subconscious. I think once he deals with that, lots will start to change. I think thatís where we need to start.
                      Thank you.

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                      • #12
                        I donít believe you have supported him as well as you seem to think.
                        Yes financial support is great but he would have managed without you if he wasnít with you , through a less costly lifestyle. Student type accomodation etc.
                        Apart from financially how have you supported him. And bear in mind your financial support has been intermittent.

                        You seem to think youíve had it tougher than him because he got to work from home and that he should be motivated while working at home alone to cook you dinner.
                        His reward for his hard work is about to come to fruition with his Lucrative opportunities in TV after YEARS of little or no reward.
                        I donít know what your career is but Iím guessing you have rewards for your work on a regular basis be it daily, weekly, monthly.
                        Iím not talking financial rewards but sense of personal achievement etc.
                        And on top of that you likely get to socialise through your work place not stuck at home all day waiting for years for that same sense of achievement.

                        And yet you claim him to be unmotivated. There are not many that could do what he has.
                        Could you? I couldnít.
                        He clearly believes in himself and his career choice. I wish him all the best.

                        And i wouldnt be surprised that when he finally gets that reward in his career that his passion will increase and so will his sense of self worth.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Breakfast and Coffee View Post
                          Talk about children. If he doesn't want to be a dad say loud, what kind of a problem is that for you. Don't you want to be a mom? There is no higher glory than to be a mom and a dad.
                          ???

                          What children? There are none in this thread.
                          No higher glory?? In whose opinion apart from yours obviously?
                          Stick to the point please.

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                          • #14
                            LadyLoz, Youíre welcome. Confronting him is important. While doing that, it will be important for you to realize that he is not broken and does not need to be fixed. People resist any attempts to fix them, especially if they possess high intelligence.

                            Most people do not see how childhood incidents shape their entire lives. I work with many executives and it is amazing for them to learn that the 5 year old in them is still making many personal and professional decisions. In other words, they didnít know what they didnít know that as a 5, 7, 11 or 16 year old they made an inaccurate decision on how to handle certain situations. Itís difficult for most to see that decisions at a young age can influence future decisions for the rest of their life.

                            I have a suggestion. In your city, I bet there are transformational workshops that the 2 of you could do together. Doing it together will increase your bond.

                            Those workshops are designed to bring out the best in you, especially untapped talent. To discover that untapped talent, you also have to uncover blind spots and beliefs that derail you. Doing it together will be fun and you will learn an enormous amount about yourself.

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