My heart says stay, my head says go - should I break up with him, yes or no? Please help...
posted by floweredfish to human relations (59 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I am having a major battle of my head telling me to leave my BF, while my heart feels that I should stay because I love him so much. Any advice would be greatly appreciated because I am feeling so utterly confused and it's killing me.
I've been dating my BF for 5 years and we have been living together for 3. I love him with all of my heart. However, I feel like things moved so quickly in the beginning that our relationship never really had time to develop that intense passion that I just totally crave...and I know it can exist for me because I've had past relationships where it was present (and those were 3 and 5 years long respectively). Instead, things with the BF have become comfortable, worn in, familiar, inert. That's ok - I definitely have never thought of love being all puppies and kittens and know that in real life people fight, no one is perfect and relationships are certainly not roses all the time. I don't get flowers, I'm not told that I'm pretty or anything like that...but I get a stable home life I suppose, so maybe that's ok?
With that being said, I think the BF is a narcissist but has never been diagnosed with NPD or anything like that. I read a description of what a Narcissist is the other day, and it sounds a lot like him. He always uses the words "blame" and "accuse" whenever we're talking about something heated, and is always very concerned that I'm "blaming him" or "accusing him" of something (even when I'm not, which is 95% of the time). He does have ADHD and is not doing anything to treat it, but does attribute a lot of his behavior to it. He can be quite loose at the mouth and knows that one of his faults is sputtering things off without thinking. Therefore, there have been times in our relationship where I feel like I have been physically slapped by the impact of what he says sometimes. On our third date he told me that I need to dress better. I think his intentions were good there, so I let it slide. He blurts things out in public a lot and raises his voice at me all the time while say...in a crowded grocery store or shopping area if I say or do something silly or if he's wondering why-the-heck-am-I-buying-XYZ. It's embarassing and I feel embarassed at times and it hurts. He's done this in front of our friends too. He was diagnosed with sleep apnea and had to go on a CPAP, and I was chatting about it with one of my friends who's SO is also on a CPAP and when he heard me comparing the machines that they are on with her he loudly and abruptly said "WILL YOU NOT DISCUSS OUR PROBLEMS WITH OTHER PEOPLE!?" and the two of us looked at each other and stopped talking. I definitely was blushing there.
Then, it started feeling like he was losing interest in me. We quickly fell into this routine where he'd just come home and crash on the couch and not want to talk. All the nice little emails I'd get during the work hours that made me smile went away. Some nights he'd be happy, others cranky after work and it was frustrating for me to feel like I had to tiptoe around him sometimes when all I wanted to do was just hug him and spend time with him. I've always been a very strong, independent lady. I have my graduate degree, have a very solid career, have lived and traveled abroad and have been financially independent since I was 18 (I'm almost 30 now). I started feeling depressed and started drinking a lot more. I'd get home from work and we'd fall into our usual evening routine and I'd drink a bit to try and escape. About a year and a half ago I realized that the drinking was not helping so I sought some therapy and worked with my doctor was able to resolve that. The drinking did put a strain on our relationship even more, and I think in retrospect, I was acting out of discouragement and frustration? I don't know. What I do know is that I've resolved that and have been managing it well for well over a year now.
But things with the BF haven't changed one bit. I ran my third marathon and in the car on the way home he asked me why I think I'm not super skinny like some of those crazy marathon runners. This made me feel horrible! Here I was with my medal still around my neck and felt bad about myself. Then we started having less and less sex and I know he was looking at pr0n all the time in the mornings before heading to work after I had left the house. The only times we would have sex was after a fight or if I dressed up and made some huge thing out of it. Whenever I tried telling him that I was upset or needed something from him in the emotional department that I felt was hurting for me and was a legitimate request (e.g. "I need to feel loved and I'm feeling ignored") he'd listen and then twist everything around and I'd be crying and apologizing after every conversation. SO FRUSTRATING. I'd end up not only feeling bad, but like my needs that I was raising to him didn't matter still and they'd still sit unaddressed. Even though the drinking has been addressed, he still brings it up all the time as the reason why things are the way that they are and why we haven't progressed together. It's been 5 years, I'm sober and when I do drink it's not destructive/in moderation and yet it's a reason why he doesn't want to marry me? I've tried talking about it with him and why I think I got to the point that I was drinking like that and he blows up on me and says that I shouldn't be blaming him for my problems (I'm not, but I think I may have been lashing out through my actions).
I feel so horrible about myself. We finally had a big fight and I told him that I can't do this to myself anymore - I'm so emotionally distraught and stressed out over this relationship that I feel it's time to move on. I'm going to be 30 and I want life to move and breathe/be happy like I've felt in the past and buy a house and get a dog. We have plans to do those things together when we get married, but I feel like we're never going to (and I'm now almost 30 and he's 34). I told him I'm going to move out and move on with my life. Then suddenly last night he tells me that he does "love me the way I want to be loved but he needs to work on showing me". He was all nice and loving and appreciative last night of me and told me that he needs me in his life and doesn't want to lose me. He wants to try couple's therapy and maybe start seeing a therapist on his own (when he was not a supporter of this in the past). My heart aches. My heart is telling me that by leaving, I'm making a mistake because I could lose him forever. However, my head is telling me that things are not going to change, I should move on even though it's going to hurt like hell, but I might be better off, even if I'm alone with that future dog forever. I'm so confused as to what to do.
As part of this recent development of me feeling it's time to move on, I've gotten pre-approved for a mortgage and have been checking out condos with a realtor...I haven't told him about this becuase I know he'd be upset. I figure if we're not going to get married, then why not get that house and that dog on my own? I can certainly afford it, again, I'm going to be 30 soon, and I'm not getting any younger.
Am I making a mistake by listening to my head? Is this situation really not all that bad and I'm just overreacting about nothing? I feel like I deserve to be treated better, but am I wrong - maybe I'm overreacting and every couple goes through this sort of stuff? Maybe he's the best I can find? Maybe I really am a bad person for the drinking even though I feel like I worked really hard to do something about it and fix it? My heart loves him so much, but I feel so crushed whenever I just want to spend time with him and he's cranky, or is blowing me off, or yells at me in public, in front of our friends, etc. etc. I feel like we're never going to progress and I feel like it's my fault. I'm so damn confused. :(
Help. Please. :(