Selfish or Seen the Light?
March 27, 2007 6:00 AM Subscribe
How do you know if the time has come to end a 10 year relationship? Given that we both want completely different things out of life- it that grounds for termination?
(My apologies in advance for the LONG post inside)
posted by MayNicholas to human relations (58 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
Here is the background:
My boyfriend and I have been together for 10 years- since we were in college. We are both turning 30 this year. For the last couple of years I have made it clear that I want to get married. He doesn’t. He said he doesn’t know if he ever wants to marry anyone. But he will play along with my wedding planning scenarios, so I get mixed messages on the matter.
We both want different things out of life. He wants to be a musician and go on tour. I want a stable job that I can settle down somewhere and have a nice peaceful life. He wishes he could live in California on a beach. I love the east coast and living in the country. He doesn’t know if he wants kids ever. I know I want children with in the next few years.
Last January (06) I laid it all on the line. I told him that he had until October (our 10 year anniversary) to decide if he wanted to marry me. If he still hadn’t figured it out by then, I would start making decisions about where I wanted my life to go without considering what he would want to do. I didn’t bring it up again.
I had been unhappy in the industry I was working in, so when my contract was up in July, I decided to take some time off and re-evaluate where I was going. I started realizing I could not see myself in that line of work 10 years down the line. I started toying with the idea of a new career. I evaluated what I enjoyed about the line of work I was in and tried to figure out how to apply that to a different career field. I thought about going back to school. I didn’t say this out loud to anyone, but I let it stew in my mind for a couple of months while doing a lot of research online about my options. I had been unhappy living were I was for a while and was really missing nature- so I didn’t mind moving somewhere else if I did want to go back to school.
Ok, so October came and went with no proposal. That was when I started taking the idea of going back to school seriously. I announced to everyone in November that I was moving and going back to school. The BF was none too pleased and just grunted at the idea.
Christmas came around and he told me he got my xmas present. I like to ask a million questions and he always gives me little hints- it’s just something we have always done. He tells me where the gift came from- he names the jeweler (I know they specialize in diamonds). He tells me it is definitely something I wanted. It is something any girl would love to have. He says he knows I’m going to like it. Now after 10 years and given the current circumstances, I’m thinking that there is no way he is going to just get me a diamond ring that means nothing. I start to get excited. I curb my enthusiasm, just in case it is a ring, but not a diamond ring- just a nice ring. Well it was a diamond ring. But he didn’t propose. He got it because he thought I would like it. I was absolutely heart broken. It’s my own fault for expecting anything more.
So now I have decided to move in July. He doesn’t know if he is coming with me. As of now he says he isn’t; because he doesn’t want me to get my hopes up- and that it just isn’t a place he wants to live- at all. He wants to know why it has to be where I’ve chosen- why can’t I go back to school where we live now. In a previous post I said that he didn’t think there was a music scene for him where I am going.
But do I really want him to go- even assuming he wants to?
He is a wonderful (albeit frustrating) person, and he is part of my family to me at this point. I have tried to talk to him, but he offers no enlightenment- ‘just let it go and we’ll see what happens’- or- that I am being selfish and I make up my mind and just do things without ever considering anyone else’s feelings. If I go and he chooses not to come along, I don’t want to start moving on with my life and have him show up 3 months later and realize that he misses me. I told him that if he does that he better be coming on one knee. And even if he did, what are the chances that the new found appreciation for the relationship would last? On the other hand, I don’t want him to come with me and then resent me for the move. Am I missing something on his side of the argument? Am I really selfish?
Have any of you been through something similar? Know someone who has? I know I may not have a choice in the matter as he may chose not to come- which I am preparing myself for also. This is something I will have to come to terms with either way, but some outside experiences or enlightenment would sure help.
Again sorry for the LONG post…