Should we break up?
April 11, 2011 5:04 PM Subscribe
Do I break up with her? Is this her fault, or mine?
posted by anonymous to human relations (42 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
When I started a new job two years ago, I was immediately smitten with the girl who sat right next to me. A recipe for disaster, I know, but our connection seemed so deep and right I was convinced it would work. She had a boyfriend, I pursued her, things changed, and we eventually got together around Halloween of 2010. But the funny, sarcastic, self-assured woman I fell in love with quickly disappeared, giving way to a needy, insecure woman whom I feel I am constantly disappointing. From the beginning she has talked incessantly of the future, of us getting married and moving in together. I understand it’s a concern for her, but it literally comes up EVERY TIME we are together. It’s never just a relaxing night hanging out watching TV, it’s hanging out watching TV and having to pause the show so I can talk to her about the future and assure her that I don’t want to break up with her and that I can see the possibility of us being together long-term. I should mention that I am 40 and she is 26 so that obviously plays into it — I have never been married and have never really planned to, and I think she’s been thinking about it since the day she was born. In the beginning I tried rationally explaining to her that we were a new couple and we didn’t need to plan that far ahead, just enjoy being together and seeing where it goes. That didn’t go over so well, so now when she brings it up I pretty much just tell her what she wants to hear to keep the peace.
I told her early on that I need a lot of space in relationships, always have, but she wants to be with me every night and all weekend, and if I make plans with someone else she gets really sad and upset. She doesn’t have many of her own friends. I am a pretty big commitment-phobe and she is very insecure so we just keep going around in circles — I do love her and we do have fun together, but the arguments and heavy discussions about things definitely outweigh the good times.
The good news is that we don’t work together anymore — she started a new job last week, which has sent the neediness to new levels, and I feel bad and guilty because part of the reason she got the new job was for me. But now she emails me constantly saying how much she misses me — even though I just left her house 2 or 3 hours ago. I just drove about 15 miles on my lunch break to visit her at her new job and she got mad at me because I told her I might have plans with someone else on Wednesday night.
Her grandfather, whom she was really close with, died in February so I felt I needed to be there for her and comfort her through that. And now that she’s at her new job I feel I need to see her through that, but my patience is wearing thin. My 40th birthday is tomorrow and she spent a lot of money taking me to a hotel for the weekend and I know she’s bought some gifts, I feel like a heel even thinking about breaking up with her but I don’t know how much more of the neediness and insecurity I can take.
I do have anxiety issues and I know I’m filtering this all through my commitment-phobia, but I need some advice — do I hang on and hope things get better? Do I tell her the truth about my issues and misgivings even though it will break her heart? Do I break up with her so she can find the man of her dreams that will want to get married right away and can deal with the insecurity? In the beginning I thought maybe it could work long-term but now I don’t think so. I’m really starting to resent her and the fact that she wants every minute of my personal time, down to my lunch break. I’m not saying I’m some saint and that I’m right and she’s wrong, it’s just about our personalities and what I’m able to endure. I want a relationship that will enhance my life, not cause me so much stress. I’m starting to think my commitment issues are too much for anyone to deal with and maybe I’m better off alone, which, frankly, sounds fine.