Here's her story:
Firstly I want to say how great this website is and how glad I am to have found it. I feel like I cant talk to anyone about my problem so I shall ask you.
I am 42 and I started dating my bf a few years ago, previous to this I had been single for 6 years. A year ago I moved into his house and gave up mine. At the time I was very unsure but I felt it a good opportunity and so I jumped.
He has always told me he doesn't want to be tied to the hip or married but that I would always have a home here. In the beginning we went away for weekends and did fun things. Since living with him, we haven't done anything. When I ask for us to do something he always says "I don't know what I'm doing"!
He cant make plans for us but he can for his interests.
I now do things like sports and seeing family and friends on my own because he doesn't want to come and I seem to be doing everything on my own now. He has never said he loves me and the love care and affection is very scarce now.
He is happy working and sitting in front of the box every night. When I ask him to do something he always says no. Just lately I seem to be more hurt and angry with him than I do having fun with him.
I feel like a lodger who gets a daily kiss in the morning and in bed. I have told him this and he says if you are unhappy then you have to do something about it. When I ask for cuddles he gets funny but he wants to cuddle me at night.
I feel so confused, because I really love him and love to kiss and hug him, but I have pulled back and he doesn't come forth with the affection. The other day I said I couldn't cope anymore and that I was looking for another place to live but if we can work it out I would stay. He said "I don't work at things, they're either good or not".
I feel sad and lonely and think why am I here when I do everything alone and we have no future plans or goals we are working towards. I have been a bit depressed.
I suppose my question is does anyone understand what's going on here? Do I move out? Communication is an issue somewhat as he just kills it by saying its up to you, or I don't work on things.
Thank you for your kind words, Kirsty, and welcome! I’m so glad you've found your way here!
Whenever you’re not sure about what to do in a given situation, I've always found two things to be very helpful.
The first is that if you imagine your best friend is telling you about her own situation, and the story is exactly the same as what you just told me - what would your advice to her be? Your response to her will give you an outside perspective into what your own answer is for you.
What would you say to her?
What would you want her to see that she's not currently seeing?
How would you see her situation from a different point of view?
The second is that you can’t go wrong by doing what gives you the greatest sense of peace and calm with the least amount of regret. Would moving out give you that? Would you feel you didn't try hard enough? Or would you feel some relief after the initial shock of such a move?
Would you regret that you didn't keep asking, keep trying something different to elicit a different reaction? Or do you know deep down in your heart of hearts that you've tried everything – and then some – to try to turn things around?
There’s a reason we have such a hard time seeing our own answers clearly for ourselves; so often we don’t really want to see it for what it is. We hold tight to our subconscious belief systems – our programming – that tells us we don’t deserve better or we should be happy to have it as good as we do, or any other number of stories we buy into without even realizing this is what we’re doing.
Whether it’s someone else’s voice or our own, we hear the same words:
A relationship is work and you have to work for it to make it work. You’re expecting too much. He’s a man; what do you expect? Do you think it’s always going to be easy? What’s wrong with you?
The list of all the things we believe about ourselves and our relationships goes on and on if we are open enough to going beneath the surface and seeing what’s really behind why we settle for the things we do.
What’s going on is so clear from here, Kirsty. But when you’re in it like you are, it never is.
Reread what you've written to me, paying close attention to what you've said about his responses, his words. You've got your answers, Kirsty.
From the time he first told you he “doesn't want to be tied to the hip or married”. From the way he can make plans for his own interests, but not for the two of you. From his answer to you that he “doesn't work on things. They’re either good or not”. From the way he puts it on you, “If you are unhappy, then you have to do something about it.”
It’s all there.
Where he stands and where he doesn't. Where you stand on his list of priorities, and where you don’t. His activities motivate him, but not you.
It’s not surprising you’re sad and lonely and “wondering why you’re here.” It’s because you’re not there. He’s not there. You’re alone. It’s a paradox. You’re there in person, but you’re not there in all the ways that matter. You've pulled back and what did he do? Did he fill in that space and come closer? Or was he content to keep that space you created? It’s how you know what’s really there even if the words don’t convince you. It’s what he does.
Don’t accept these crumbs you’re being thrown anymore, Kirsty. Don’t keep asking someone who always says “no”. Don’t ask for cuddles, affection, love or attention from someone who you have ask these things of in the first place.
The only confusion here is that you don’t see what you’re doing to yourself by putting yourself through this and calling it love. Somehow, somewhere along the way, you've forgotten who you are and what you deserve.
You've replaced living with settling and loving with loathing – yourself. Don’t call this love. Don’t allow your beautiful , loving heart and soul to be a part of living and loving this way with someone so incapable of giving you what you deserve.
Yes, choose you. Yes, you absolutely deserve to be loved and this is absolutely not anything remotely resembling love. Ask yourself these questions - you know what the answers are.
Don’t do it for me or for anyone else, do it for you!
I know you can relate on some level to what Kirsty’s going through. She’s not alone. And neither are you. Kirsty would love to have your support and encouragement, too. Please give her your thoughts on her situation here in the comments. Thank you.