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Boyfriend of 9 years is having doubts - what do I do?

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  • Boyfriend of 9 years is having doubts - what do I do?

    This is kind of a long story, so I'll try and be as short and precise as possible. let me know if anything needs clarifying.

    I have been with my boyfriend for 9 years. We own a house together, but have no kids. The last year and a half has been a little uphill for us. I finished my degree i january 2017, and landed a job in a very toxic workplace. I was absolutely miserable, when I got home from work I had no energy left, all I wanted was to sleep. I cried a lot as well, and naturally this was kinda tought on my boufriend. I did neglect him during the one year i worked there, and I'll always admit to that - there just wasn't anything left in me to do much more than go to work, survive, and then go home and sleep. I finally took a chance and got another job, where I started working in february this year. I immediately started feeling better, became happier and had more energy, and during the spring I started to come back to my former self. I realised that I had been neglecting the relationship, and started working on making amends for that. I bought board games and puzzles that we did, we watched movies together again, and thing were looking up.

    As I gradually got better, my boyfriend got worse. He became more and more stressed at work, and by june all he wanted when he came home was to go and play computer until bedtime. We still ate together for dinner, but afterwards he always wanted to go play computer, and I let him. I knew he was stressed, I knew he had a hard time, and I wanted to give him the space he needed, like he had done with me. At this point I wasn't unhappy or dissatisfied. He was going through a rough time, and I could tell, so I didn't give him a hard time about it. He was still generally very loving, and there was kissing, hand-holding and intimacy still. I knew he had gotten some new friends through world of warcraft, which I didn't mind - I also knew some of them were girls, but I didn't mind that either, but it will be relevant later, so I'll just mention it now.

    Fast forward to the beginning of october, which is about a month ago. He returns from a business trip in the middle of the night, and wakes me up crying. He is so upset because his best friend in world of warcraft had dumped him and didn't want to talk to him anymore. I have never seen him so distressed, and he revealed they had been messaging eachother every day, even on this trip. Now, this made me really upset, because he has never ever written me messages. He has always said that he wasn't the messaging type, and that he didn't want to text while he was at work. I had gotten two messages from him during that four day business trip, and now it came to light that he had been sending her loads, and had been for months. I felt like he was choosing her over me, and giving her all that attention that I had always craved. I had made peace with him not being the messaging type, it was something I could live with, but to find out that he could be that person for someone else, that really hurt. Moreover, he had been flirting with her over these texts, sending her hearts and telling her he loved her, joking and flirting with loads of winky smilies. So I became immensely hurt. He said he had no feeling for her, but felt like he had to respond in a similar manner to keep her as a friend.At that time I believed it, because he seemed sincere. He said he would do whatever it took to save the relationship. I told him that he could keep her as a friend, if he wrote her that they couldn't be flirting and such anymore. He agreed, and allowed me to see the message and her replies. I was okay with that, I wanted him to have friends, just not flirt with them, and I wanted to be the one that was most important to him, the one he wanted to text - if you know what I mean?

    That was a month ago, and things haven't gone as I had hoped. He said that he wanted to fix the relationship, but he did very little to do so. He has done something, it's not like he completely ignored our problems.He took initiative to go for walks and do other things together, but the majority of the time he seemed distant and grumpy, like working on our relationship was a housechore he didn't want to do. So this birthed a lot of arguments and a lot of hurt feelings. I have never cried as much in my entire life as I have this past month, and the feelings of not being wanted and being played for a fool keeps me up at night. I can't sleep, and I have suicidal and self-harm thoughts - which I do not intend to react on, but they are there non the less. I feel miserable. Sometimes we will have one or two good days after a fight where he actually feels loving and caring, and where it feels like he wants this.

    However, last night he told me he was having doubts about our relationship. We talked about it, and it became apparent that he has major guilt issues. He lied when he told me he didn't have feelings for that girl from world of warcraft, and he admitted that yesterday. He said he felt horrible, and I believe him. He felt guilt for even getting those feelings in the first place, guilt for letting himself get carried along, guilt for having doubts about our relationship, and guilt for not having tried hard enought. He says he still loves me, but that when the negative feelings take over, he feels unsure if he does love me. On the good days, he feels like he loves me, but on the bad days he doesn't - that's the simplified version.

    I want to stay with him, if there is any way to save this relationship. I'm willing to work on it, because I do love him. I also think this is a complex issue where we are both guilty in having let it get to this - and unfortunate in how our worksituations have clashed with each other. But what should I do now? I have contemplated moving home to my parent's place for a week to give him space to figure out what he wants. But I don't know if that is the right approach, or if I should stay and act as normal as possible. I don't want to be needy or make him feel strangled or choked, so perhaps I should stay but keep a little distance? Any advice or thoughts would be great!

    Also, if you made it this far, thank you for taking the time to read this, I really appreciate it!

  • #2
    You have been with him 9 years with no committment (except financial which makes separating difficult)

    He endured your tough times as did you. You didnít seek an emotional affair. You got through it although not with his support just his endurance.

    He goes through a tough time and seeks emotional support elsewhere. She supported that temporarily until she realised he wasnít actually committing to her either. The biggest red flag is that he didnít turn to you , but chose a stranger.

    You both have a financial commitment to each other, but thatís where the commitment ends.

    Should you move back home? Yes! But not for a week. Permanently .
    Get rid of your financial burden and move on.


    • #3
      He either loves you or he doesn't. He cant pick and choose when he 'feels' he loves or when he don't. If he is unsure about it then he obviously doesn't. You did nothing wrong but you were an idiot to give him the green light to keep talking to a girl he came home crying about. In what world did you expect them to to just be friends after the way they had been talking? What you should've done is made him cut ties with her completely. Do yourself a favor and move back permanently with your parents (as Maggie suggested) because he doesn't deserve you.
      I say it as I see it. Don't take it personally!


      • #4
        During the year you were exhausted from work, you abandoned the relationship. From what you have stated, you never cleaned that up. Abandoning it again to go to your motherís MAY exacerbate the situation. From what you are saying, you abandon or check out when you feel stress.

        Since you never effectively cleaned up the mess you made, he may be attempting to make you feel and experience what he did during that year. It is in your best interest to take full responsibility, without saying he did something wrong as well. His response is the result of feeling left in the cold while living with a woman who supposedly loved him.

        It will be in your best interest to explore how he felt during the year you checked out of the relationship. Let him speak without defending yourself. He has the right to feel what he feels. Then acknowledge those feelings and assure him you will handle things differently next time.

        As a side, from the things you are saying, your job may not have been as stressful as you claim. Life is never about what is occurring. It is about how you respond to what is occurring. You would have been better off if you would have discussed your work challenges with your boyfriend. That way the 2 of you could have brained stormed solutions.

        Cudos to you reaching out for support. In the future, he is your greatest support structure. However, when you make a mess with him, clean it up without pointing the finger at him.


        • #5
          Uhh.. he woke you up in the middle of the night CRYING because his girlfriend #2 broke up with him?
          Are you for real or is this a troll post?

          OP: If your story is real (which I'm actually dreading it is), I think you have a lot of bigger issues than a questionable bf. You both aren't practicing any boundaries and have no concept of what's appropriate or not appropriate in a relationship. Maybe this is your first real relationship as you have been together for a long time. This isn't the way happy couples spend their lives. They don't live crying, going to other women (or men) and they certainly aren't as unhappy as you. Why are you dating someone who's so engrossed in playing video games in the first place? Yes, he should be spending more time with you if YOU feel you deserve it. And YES, he should be texting you when you feel that's what a relationship ought to be. Why do you think so lowly of yourself that you deserve this kind of man? Are you very afraid of starting your life over as a single woman and worried that you won't find anyone else to be with?
          Last edited by Rose Mosse; November 6th, 2018, 09:12 PM.


          • #6
            Susling I don't think running off to your parents will solve anything. I'd deal with your boyfriend, try to resolve this and if it cannot, then it's time to go your separate ways. I doubt you'll survive his mood swings. You say he loves you on good days and doesn't love you on bad days. That type of inconsistent behavior is intolerable. He expects you to keep up with his mood swings? That's unreasonable and unacceptable. Move back home with your parents AFTER you've had a lengthy discussion with him first. Do things one step at a time. I hope it works out between you two but if it were me, I doubt I'd survive your relationship. It's too volatile.


            • #7
              My heart goes out to you. I am so sorry you have cried more in the last month than in your entire life and that you are feeling so miserable. Big caring hug!! Have you considered counseling? Sometimes it just helps to talk. I have talked to my pastor and Iíve seen a Christian counselor. Both gave me the support I desperately! needed at the time and good, sound advice. You are not alone. I will be praying for you this week, for Godís guidance and peace with your decisions.


              • #8
                Too many online games and "relations" can cause sever mood swings. It would do him good to have a break from it and come back to reality. Find a hobby or something? A good test for you both would be to take a little time apart. It may help you see things from a different perspective. It sounds like an intense situation, esp regarding moods and emotions etc that just needs simplified a little.