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Salvage this breakup or let it go and move on? Is she mature enough for this relationship?
April 6, 2012 8:19 PM   Subscribe

Am I doing the right thing with this breakup? Is there hope or do I need to push through it?

Well, my Fiancée and I have been together for two years. We met online, had an LDR for 6 months and moved in. It's been a year and a half since then.

We've had ups and downs but overall we've always shared a lot of joy in our life together. She is my best friend. We had a plan to move where I lived first, save up some money and move back to where she is from ultimately. I have my masters degree but she left college (around the time she met me when she moved down with me, however she always said shed start college again here - that never happened).

I love her so very much, but she has always been fairly selfish. I do all the laundry, cleaning, 90% of cooking, take care of pets, handles finances. Two months ago I got her to find a job and she has been working there since. She is unhappy at her job and has gained some weight due to metabolism changes and lack of eating pattern changes. She told me she wants to take 6 months off of work to focus on fitness and losing weight. I told her that is unacceptable to our plan of moving and starting a solid life, so she said I am stepping on her dreams.

I told her why not find a part time and do that or go back to school? She is dead set on quitting.

She has also been quite depressed for at least 6 months but won't see anyone about it. Her weight has only made the depression worse (ex athlete).

I have tried to be supportive and she is my love and my best friend but our relationship has 0 intimacy, sex or otherwise, is mostly a "we live together and hang out" kind of deal. It's sad, I wanted a life with her.

Recently, I had something amazing come my way in terms of career. I found my life's calling teaching and due to the people I know here i can teach in two amazing institutions where I can make a big difference, make great $ doing it, and Help bring our dreams to reality.

Big issue: this requires staying here since the opportunities are here. Ive told her its what I know to be my life's purpose and how I want to leave my mark on the world and help generations.

She's made it clear she misses her family and Friends.

I don't know what to do. We're at the make or break point. I either move with her and keep working on fixing things, like the selfishness, her depression, stick with her and hope we can push through it and sacrifice my dream or I choose the dream and give up on her. As she puts it "I ruined her life, made her drop out of school and move away from my loved ones and now you changed the deal. You lied."

I didn't lie, I do love her, but the dream opportunity of a lifetime is right here.

She blames her distance and apathy on her depression, saying that she doesn't love herself so why would she want to hug kiss sex etc

Everyone I know is saying end it. I don't know. I love her and I dont want to abandon her but things have been really bad as p late, but we have sweet moments and she is my best friend

Ahhh confusion :-/ I don't know where To go from here

We talked about it and she said shed move back home and that I betrayed her and lied to her, ruined her life, etc but I know if I said I'd move with her we could move past this.

Is it worth it? Is there something greater than love?
posted by ot_refresh to Human Relations (27 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Is there something greater than love?

There is, but I don't know how you can get there with somebody who hates themselves. Trite as it sounds, if I were in your shoes, I would walk.
posted by mhoye at 8:23 PM on April 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Since it seems like you aren't sure about just ending it and don't necessarily want to do that, I actually think counseling could do you guys a lot of good.

It sounds like she needs help with motivation, depression, and taking responsibility for her choices.

It seems like you both need help with figuring out what happens when your goals and desires appear to be incompatible. How to work towards a compromise that both people can live with. How to make sure both people feel supported and buy into the plan at every step, and are on the same page with the plan. I have the inkling that both of you could do with some work on that.

Maybe give it a shot for a few months if you don't want to break up right now.
posted by cairdeas at 8:25 PM on April 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


She doesn't do any housework, doesn't have any plans to go back to school or establish a career, wants to quit her job to do something just about everyone else does while having a job, blames you for her problems while not actually trying to improve them in a reasonable fashion, and you two don't have any sex.

She's not your fiancee, she's a particularly bad roommate.
posted by griphus at 8:28 PM on April 6, 2012 [29 favorites]


I think it's relevant to know if you two have moved past the guy who was professing his love to her? That could be a foundation to your problems, in which case, I really think counseling would benefit you.
posted by DeltaForce at 8:31 PM on April 6, 2012


Don't give up on your dreams. Especially looking at this along with your previous two questions about this relationship, my opinion is at this point you will be better off investing in yourself and she in herself. It sounds like you are holding each other back and the resentment could grow to intolerable levels if you stay together, if that hasn't already happened for her. That can cancel out any love you have right quick.
posted by treblemaker at 8:31 PM on April 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


And I just have to point out, not that your fiancee is wonderful in the relationship, and everyone will validate that for you heavily. But when the original plan was to stay in your hometown temporarily, and then move back to hers, and then you say you've changed your mind about doing that, that *is* changing the plan. And it is not selfish of her to object to that. Why are your dreams legitimate things to pursue, but her dreams are selfish? You said staying in your city will "bring our dreams to reality." How is that bringing "our" dreams to reality when her dream is to be with her family and friends again like the original plan was to do? And wanting to be around family and friends IS a strong need for many people and can be a strong, legitimate cause of depression for people. Wanting that is not selfish at all.
posted by cairdeas at 8:35 PM on April 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


Yes we got past the guy, but to this day she blames it on my jealously and says its due to that jealousy that she doesn't have friends and why she stopped speaking to that guy.

I am not overly jealous, but in her mind I am the source of her lack of friends and problems in general
posted by ot_refresh at 8:36 PM on April 6, 2012


Move on. Apathy is toxic, and virulent... you're about to embark on great things, and you don't need any dragging guilt because of her issues, darkening your happiness at your accomplishments.
The deal, if any, for a relationship is that you bring the best parts of yourself to the negotiating table and then focus on making the rest of you (both) better. You've put a lot of effort into bringing the best parts of her into the relationship, but it sounds like it's been a struggle. She needs to do this herself. Even if she's depressed, it is her burden, not yours. Maybe she can't do it right now, but she must, eventually. For herself, even, she needs to have ownership over the good happy person she can be, and not assign it to your activity.
Love is great, but it cannot make a person whole, or a relationship functional. Whatever she needs to do to get sorted out, move back to her hometown, focus on fitness(6 months not working?!), she should do it. But that should not be your problem, or concern. LDR it again if need be, but for both of your sake's it seems a good juncture at which to disentangle.
posted by Cold Lurkey at 8:38 PM on April 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


The moving/career thing would be a big strain even on a couple who was otherwise happy. In your current state, you two aren't really capable of making such big life decisions with ANY certainty of outcome.

This is the very definition of "irreconcilable differences."
posted by hermitosis at 8:39 PM on April 6, 2012


Oh and I fully agree that she is allowed to be upset because of the change in the plan, however maybe it was selfish of me to expect support. However, she hasn't made any effort to further her life or go back to school or make a plan so I assumed so long as we visited often it wouldn't hurt us to live here. Obviously it's far more of an issue after speaking to her which is why this is also a "have to make a big decision" question. My dream or move and risk with no plan
posted by ot_refresh at 8:41 PM on April 6, 2012


I have been in true love many times.
You probably also will be, or at least a few times.
Time to move on.
Also, 2nding hermitosis
posted by bebrave! at 8:45 PM on April 6, 2012


It's sad, I wanted a life with her.
You gave us the answer in your question -- you wanted a life with her. Past tense. It's over. Wave her goodbye.
posted by dancestoblue at 8:52 PM on April 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


You just don't sound all that happy together, either of you. It is possible to have good moments with someone, or to feel affection for someone, but for a relationship with them to be unsatisfying. You say you love her, and that she's your best friend, but how you describe her doesn't sound like that at all - she sounds like a burden you feel obliged to carry, and try to put a positive spin on.

Maybe you should have this conversation with her, so you can decide together what's best.
posted by thylacinthine at 8:52 PM on April 6, 2012


It's never selfish to expect support in a relationship--that's kind of the point of them.

It sounds like you are working really hard to maintain this relationship and she's not doing her share. Frankly, it doesn't sound like she wants to. As difficult as it might be, I think you need to break it off with her and find someone who will put in the effort it takes to build and maintain a relationship.
posted by too bad you're not me at 8:56 PM on April 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Six months off to lose some weight? Not that I wouldn't love to do that myself, but that is not the real world. Unless she's independently wealthy, my take is that she should expect to be in school or working.

And two years in is way too soon to have a non-existent sex life. Don't marry someone who doesn't want to have sex with you. It won't change.

You sound like you are making the best of your life, enjoying your work and trying to pursue something great. She sounds like she's trying to give you guilt trips.

It is hard to move someplace new, I get that. But I don't think that's the solution for you. And I don't think this is the relationship for you.
posted by bluedaisy at 8:56 PM on April 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


I'm going to echo dancestoblue and suggest letting her go. Your career ties you to your current locale, and she obviously wants to go back home.

That "stepping on my dreams" stuff, though...whew. Is she saying it was her dream to move there, become depressed and gain weight, then take 6mos to lose it? I'm skeptical.
posted by rhizome at 9:33 PM on April 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


It sounds like she is in some real pain. I use that word in a general sense to include mental, physical, and other forms. She could benefit from you giving her 'compassionate tough love.'

It sounds like she would benefit from a 'kick in the pants' to seek therapy, possibly take medications, and really do exercise at least 3 days. Since exercise is one of the best therapies for depression. She also needs to realize and internalize how to love herself, and be compassionate towards herself. (Ya, I know you can't do this for her, but maybe you can try facilitating this.) Have her seek out some support group or activity that is just for her that fosters these things. Maybe that's spiritual group, therapy, or some positive weekly activity, etc.

Try having a serious discussion with her. Depending on the situation give her an ultimatum, where if she doesn't exercise 3x a week and seek therapy you will eventually leave her. Some situations call for 'tough love' and this might be one of them. But in the back of your head remember that she is hurting.

Set yourself a time period where if you don't see significant changes in 4-6 months (or whatever) then you're leaving her. Be firm with yourself and follow through. Don't be co-dependent! But have honest discussions with her in order to give her the opportunity to change like a good manager would.
posted by Mr. Papagiorgio at 9:38 PM on April 6, 2012


Usually with questions like this, it's hard to answer one way or another for sure. In this case, I am 100% positive you need to break up. It's the perfect time to make a break--before a move, before marriage, before kids. I literally want to scream this at you. Please please please let her go. you will both benefit from it.
posted by katypickle at 9:49 PM on April 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


Just want to add that I agree with the others in that you should not sacrifice your great fulfilling career in any manner.

Also, please realize that moving with her will not be the 'magic bullet' that fixes all the problems. That is just so completely unrealistic.
posted by Mr. Papagiorgio at 9:54 PM on April 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'd just like to second the very important point Mr. Papagiorgio just iterated: Moving with her will most assuredly not be the 'magic bullet' that fixes all the problems.

In fact, the much more likely scenario is that you move, she remains depressed and apathetic (moving to her hometown is not going to magically make her love herself again) and you are now miserable because you are stuck in the same one-sided relationship in a new city where you know no one else, and to add to it all you'll have the terrible, nagging regret of having passed up the perfect dream job.

Make the break now.
posted by Falwless at 11:30 PM on April 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


I think you should break up with her, because you feel a lot of contempt for her mental unwellness and for her desire to be closer to her family.
posted by spunweb at 1:14 AM on April 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


First, I see a problem with her lack of regard for her own hand in the relationship. You didn't "make" her do anything. Even if you did some very heavy convincing, she is still the one that chose to leave her school/friends/family. It is rather immature of her to place the blame on you as if her moving meant that you were required to make the relationship work, find her new friends, and otherwise build a life for the both of you. Unless you specifically agreed to this, then she is expecting you to life up to her hidden expectations. This is not ok.

Second, very rarely in healthy relationships do you "break deals". Normally, you "change plans". This involves accepting that everything doesn't always go as expected, and opportunities can suddenly come up that are too good to refuse. I'm not saying that she would be wrong for moving back to her home city as that was a stated goal that you had to accept to be with her initially. However, suggesting that you give up an amazing career opportunity because of a "deal" that she expects you to be permanently bound to is unrealistic. In no way did you "lie". Lying implies intentional deceit, which is not what happend here. You changed plans based on life circumstances, it happens to us all, and it is not a "lie".

Depressed or not, she is treating you very unfairly and is making her happiness and life entirely your responsibility. Are you ok with this?

Relationships are not guaranteed against breakup, incompatibility, or unexpected life changes. If you chose to sacrifice certain aspects of your life for someone, that does not mean that they are permanently bound to you for life regardless of how you treat them. You are allowed to walk away if that is your choice, and you would not be wrong for doing so.
posted by Shouraku at 2:17 AM on April 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Pull the trigger, ot refresh. Just freaking do it, jump off the cliff, push the button, ring the bell.

For this reason:

I, (and many others) have wasted decades of our lives on the wrong person. But we LOOOVED them, and they LOOOOVED us, and we had some good times in between all the crap. But still, the nagging feeling that it's just not right doesn't go away, unless you stuff it waaaay down and then you die inside. I'm not even exaggerating, and you know this.

This is an opportunity of a lifetime for you. Many, many people will never have that opportunity, to do what they know is their "purpose". Also, many others will stay in unfulfilling, dead-end, less than happy relationships, because it's hard to change your life.

But damn, if you let this slip through your fingers over a sexless, one-sided, MANIPULATIVE relationship, you will have done yourself a massive disservice. You ruined her life? That one line right there, for me, says it all. No, she is not mature enough for this relationship. People start new lives every second of every day. She'll be alright.

Grrr, this makes me mad for you, OP. Take your dream chance. "Once in a lifetime opportunity" is knocking at your door, don't let it pass you by. Fortune favors the brave. Be brave.
posted by Grlnxtdr at 4:14 AM on April 7, 2012 [5 favorites]


She sounds manipulative and abusive to me. Blaming you for her problems? Guilting you for not sticking to your "deal" even when this amazing opportunity has come along? Demanding that you support her financially just so she can go to the gym for an hour a day? Says your "ruined her life"?

She sounds like an epic user and you would be well rid of her.
posted by 3491again at 6:21 AM on April 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


This is what is known as emotional blackmail.

I've been clinically depressed. It's much easier, when you're depressed, to feel like the world is unfair and make excuses than to actually get help for your depression and do anything about it yourself.. People who are depressed don't get a free pass. She's manipulating you through your guilt because you care about her.

You aren't helping her by allowing her to get away with this manipulation, either. She knows she needs to exercise, but she blames YOU because she has a job and "can't" work out? That's nonsense. When she had more time before, you KNOW she spent it playing games online and flirting with another guy.

She made the choices that brought her to this place. The only thing you've asked of her is to get a job so that she could contribute, and after just two months she is ready to quit that, too. Meanwhile, you are taking care of almost all the other responsibilities.

Has she seen anyone about her weight gain, metabolic changes, lack of sex drive or her depression? Has she done anything that shows she is committed to the two of you as a partnership?

You deserve better than this. Stay with the fulfilling job. Tell her you are done enabling her. Either you split up and she moves out, or she steps up and starts doing her share. You split up the chores evenly, she makes appointments to see a doctor or therapist--the conditions are up to you.

Personally, I feel you should just break up, without even offering the ultimatums. It's not only best for your own well-being, I honestly think it will be beneficial for her, too. She needs to get a wake-up call, grow up and start taking responsibility for her own life.
posted by misha at 8:48 AM on April 7, 2012 [5 favorites]


You stay and do your dream job and hopefully by her moving home she can get better.

BTW, the great teachers are the ones who show compassion.
posted by mleigh at 2:47 AM on April 9, 2012


Id say break it. It appears she isn't ready for you. She appears immature, thinks and has issues teens do. Nobody is 100% mature as they should be, but what I liked the least about what you said was her blaming you. She is clearly a scapegoat type, someone who for all the things they don't like about their lives blame it onto others. I have a sister like that, and it's quite toxic. Some call it emotionally co-dependent people. I dont know, she just doesn't seem to accept responsibility over what she wants, and it's so selfish and wrong to blame it on you especially when you're supportive. If I were you, I'd tell her I love her, but that the relationship doesn't seem to work anymore, and love alone doesn't make it work. You can find a new best friend in the future, someone you'll get attached to again, someone who understands you and is in sync or somewhat equal to you not just in maturity but in wanting to start a life together aka a journey together, working together for a common goal, bettering yourselves together, being considerate and loving to one another together. GL.
posted by chichi88 at 3:59 PM on May 30, 2012


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