Me or relationship.
December 30, 2012 10:08 PM Subscribe
How do I decide whether this relationship is worth staying and working on or leaving and working on myself?
posted by anonymous to human relations (31 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
A couple of days ago my SO and myself sat down and had a long chat starting with him stating that I/we seemed unhappy and that we needed to talk.
I took from what he said is that a: he is attracted to confidence b: I am not confident enough c: our sex life has declined due to a decline in his sex drive but also that he cannot ‘perform’ unless he feels emotionally connected (which he obviously is not right now) d: he is attracted to confident women and actively looks and flirts with them “that is all that has happened yet”
A bit of background. We are both in our 30’s, have been dating approximately 4 years, living together for the past few months. We love each other and that has grown from the initial flurry to where we are now. There are some things I don’t like about him but the majority of things I do and I find him attractive and interesting. Our relationship has always been a bit like an antique car, nice to look at and drives well but often breaks down and needs more frequent check ups than your average car. We both have our issues, mine being a lack of trust (not just with him, with men in general), I can be quite negative and critical (grew up in a family where criticisms not compliments were dolled out within a passive aggressive climate), I also find it very difficult to verbally express my feelings. Apart from the broad descriptions like ‘security’, ‘love’ etc..I can’t quite elaborate what my needs are in a relationship.
Before we moved in together we were in a relationship whereby we could only see each other possibly once a fortnight due to distance because of studying. I found it hard to maintain a meaningful connection through emails, texts and phonecalls while understanding that both of us were busy studying. However I always felt that I made more of an effort with the relationship during that time and that I was low on his list of priorities. This however has all resolved since we have finished our studies and are living together.
We are now in a situation where he has his dream job and I have none due to relocation. I am now the ‘trailing spouse’. I have found it difficult to find something within my chosen profession and while I was gung ho at the beginning in my search I have gotten myself into a rut now where I can waste hours on the internet. Instead of him coming home from work with a happy greeting he is thinking “There she is being lazy again on the internet”, I’m thinking “Great, here he is with his unhappy face again”. This, I recognize, can be fixed by me. I need to get out there again with gusto and if not find work, find myself something meaningful to do for my own self esteem and self worth.
On top of this we both have a problem with alcohol. His being binge like. He is able to ‘hold’ his drink i.e. doesn’t get abusive, doesn’t stagger around, becomes friendlier and funnier. However it is binge drinking as quite a lot is consumed into the early hours of the morning. It is not every weekend but I am not really ok with him out downing shots til 4 am. Now that we have moved and his mates (also in relationships) are not around to do this with he has started to find guys here who are single to do this with - I am certainly not ok with this as the last time they ended up down around the red light area, of which he had no memory of being there, his mate pointed this out while in conversation with us.
My problem is not the binge type but rather picking a fight over something. This is never with friends or family, just my SO. We can easily have 2 or 3 drinks together but if we have a big night out there’s a good chance that we will argue and this is most likely me instigating it. For me I think these arguments stem from unexpressed feelings and unresolved issues that cannot be suppressed any longer with alcohol.
So, we discussed most of this and have decided to a: limit alcohol drastically, be nicer and more respectful to each other. I will take control of my life here and find something that I want to do. He will try to stop looking and flirting with other women and we will check back with each other in 3 months (if not sooner).
Is it good enough to stay in? Is it bad enough to leave? Most of my issues will remain whether in this relationship or the next. While I appreciate honesty I am now left feeling hurt that, yes, he is out looking and flirting with other women and that, no, he is not finding me attractive right now. I can’t quite decide whether to cut my losses, go home, work on myself and slip easily into a job or stay here and work on myself within the relationship and on the relationship. I can have to odd ‘flirty’ banter with a guy in front of friends and SO but I don’t seek it out. How do I deal with the ‘yet’? By staying here am I setting myself up for inevitable hurt down the road from ‘yet’ becoming a SO who needs that validation and possibly more from other women?
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