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In a relationship I can't bear to leave, but can't make better.

(57 Posts)
sparklyjumper Wed 02-Jan-13 12:25:48

I'm sat here again wondering whether I'm depressed, damaged somehow, unable to have a healthy relationship. Or is it him, or both of us?

I'm probably a textbook case, alcoholic, borderline abusive father, first relationship was domestic violence and ended badly, left with a ds who has no contact at all with ex p.

I've been with current boyfriend almost 4 years, I can't say it's been a good relationship but there have been good times. I can't possibly write about everything that's happened as I'd be here all day but we've spent most of the relationship breaking up and getting back together, him breaking up with me and usually me ringing him up crying saying I miss him then him coming over and apologising.

I feel that he's distant, often moody, excludes me from 'his life', I often feel very alone even though I'm supposed to be in a relationship. While he helps out, I don't feel like I can rely on him for any real support. He won't live together, he says he will but he seems to find excuses, avoids the subject when I try to talk. First he said I was rushing things after about a year together, then it was because his work was too far, the house didn't feel like his own, we wern't getting on. I've in the past found he's been on dating sites talking to other women, I was pregnant once and he didn't want anything to do with any of it, wouldn't talk to me for weeks. Most of the time I only really see him on weekends and maybe one during the week yet he's always saying he needs space, doesn't get chance to do the things he wants to do. Once he said he was going to move in for a trial, we'd just got back from holiday and he's stayed for about 2 weeks solid, then one morning I got up and he'd gone, taken all his things while I was still asleep but then a few weeks later he wanted to get back together.

Last Christmas was awful. Last year he said if we got married it would make it easier to move in together as the house would be both of ours, he didn't propose officially, but he took me shopping got me to choose an engagement ring, hinted (or maybe it was just in my head) that there would be some romantic proposal at Christmas, Christmas came and the ring was just wrapped and stuck under the tree with the other presents. He never proposed and it was all just swept over. This resulted in me building up to a big emotional meltdown over Christmas, a huge arguement, and him splitting up with me in the new year.

This Christmas was great, as far as I could tell, we didn't argue, we've done some nice things. But towards the end of the week I've felt that he's been getting fed up with me. The thing is, he will spend the week with me, doing whatever I fancy, I'll ask him if there's anything he needs or wants to do and he'll say no. But then when he goes home it all comes out and he'll say he needs space and how his time off has been ruined as he's done nothing he needed to do.

This morning was horrible, I've just got the impression the last couple of days that he couldn't wait to go, and this morning he starts packing his bags to go back home, he takes everything, it's as though he hates leaving so much as a t shirt incase he doesn't want to come back.

I felt like I had a serious case of the January blues and I can't work out why. Is it my own life I'm unhappy with, going back to work, to big dip after the build up of Christmas. Or is it the nagging feeling that after a week with my boyfriend he's had enough and is going to end it and I will go through weeks of hell, not knowing if it's for good this time, or if he will be back in a few days saying he was wrong.

This feeling makes me snappy, tearful, accusing. 'Why are you taking everything, aren't you coming back at the weekend?' So he stomps off, I've ruined a good week, then the texts come from him, I'm trying to control him, we shouldn't be living in eachothers pockets, would I blame him if he ended it all, he's living for me not for himself.

I feel so unhappy, I feel like I should end it for good but don't think I could bear to as I love him very much. But I'm an insecure wreck and I don't even know whether there's just something wrong with me or whether it's this relationship that's driving me crazy but I don't even know how to begin to make it better.

tzella Wed 02-Jan-13 16:33:17

Oh, and I'd like to add to the above - I can't work out what my STBXBF wants either hmm We love each other, mostly, and he's very happy and I used to be very happy but he continually and relentlessly doesn't do the (quite reasonable) things needed to make our relationship work. If only he'd do these things then he'd get to keep me and we'd be happy. Why has he... shit, what's the word? Means to make sort of a mess of stuff... uhm... undermine what could be great. Thwart, diminish, destablize and undermine an AMAZING THING that he says he wants?

What goes on in his head? Fuck knows. He doesn't know what goes on in mine either, but I do like to think I'm the reasonable one.

Back2Two Wed 02-Jan-13 16:51:19

It sounds like a very dysfunctional relationship.

I think you might benefit from looking at your own behaviour and wondering whether you are just as much to blame as him? You both have roles that you keep on fulfilling and sound co-dependant. It's easy to blame the other person but, in this sort of situation, it is two people enabling the same pattern to be played out again and again and again.......

So, are you ready to change it?

nkf Wed 02-Jan-13 16:51:19

Do you want to go on and on like this? Because you've already had four years. That's long enough you know. Three to four times a week - that's a lot of times a week to see someone. You have most of the tied down stuff without the commitment. At 29, you seem very young to me. I know you have a child but you could be having fun with girlfriends or meeting new people or even settling down with your next husband. You don't need to be putting yourself through this.

Back2Two Wed 02-Jan-13 16:52:39

You keep expecting him to do or say something different. He's not going to, and neither are you.

sparklyjumper Wed 02-Jan-13 17:42:31

tzella I'm sorry to hear that and I hope that you're ok tonight.

Nkf, don't take me the wrong way, I'm happy to see my boyfriend 4 nights a week. Even if we lived together if we were both out seeing friends or pursuing interests on the other nights I would be quite happy with that. It's more the fact that he accuses me of controlling him and that he's living for me not his own life and needs space when I see that he has his own house, goes out when he wants to, see his family without me mostly, he's away from me at least half of the week to have his own space. He goes skiing on his own each year. I have my own interests too I go swimming and running on my own. I love my reading, I also love doing things on my own with ds. It's not that I want to see him more it's just I want a commitment now I feel we've been together long enough.

gabbymum Wed 02-Jan-13 18:36:01

Sparkly, I can tell you that I have been there and worn the t shirt!!

I'm 42 now and very happily married for over a decade but before I met dh, I was in a relationship that was exactly as you have described yours - it made me deeply unhappy.

The man you are seeing is selfish and emotionally abusive. He knows you love him and uses this fact to manipulate and control you. He says you are controlling him which would be laughable if it wasn't so abusive.

If he really loved you he would want to be with you as much as possible, to please you, to make you happy and to commit to you without question. When you have to constantly analyse a relationship, it is a big fat sign that things aint right. The best way of judging the future is to look at the past and if you stay with this man, the next four years will be like the last four years or worse - do you want that?

I understand how hard it is to get out of an emotionally abusive relationship - my ex moved away and so the distance made it easier. However, I can now say that getting out of that relationship was the best thing I ever did and it made me realise what I don't need in a relationship. My choices after that were infinitely wiser and it wasn't long before I met my lovely huz. Run for the hills my love and let some other poor sod have the hassle!

nkf Wed 02-Jan-13 19:04:13

From what else you have posted, I think he wants out but can't bring himself to do it. Like you really. One of you will have to be tough and end the situation. Or you can both be miserable in this on and off mess.

SolidGoldFrankensteinandmurgh Wed 02-Jan-13 19:12:40

OK, he's a dickhead rather than just a misguided wimp who doesn't want to be the villain. But the remedy is still the same: bin and move on. You have to take some responsibility for your own misery here - you are not tied to this stupid man by having children with him, nor are you financially dependent on him. It won't be difficult in practical terms to dump him. But carrying on hoping he will change is completely pointless.

sparklyjumper Wed 02-Jan-13 19:49:58

I know of course I can't hold him responsible for me staying in the relationship that's down to me.

I feel as though I've never and can never be consistently happy. As though I was never supposed to be. And being too afraid to move on and take control has been the story of my life. Is it normal to go through such ups and downs in life?

When I lived st home with my parents I was utterly miserable, a lot of my childhood was miserable sometimes I still have nightmares that I'm back at home with my dad being an ogre and the constant atmosphere. I was always treated as though I was the problem and even blamed for my parents arguing when I was probably as young as 8-9. Then I went on to have a violent relationship which was volatile. Sometimes I think it must be me that's the problem because I'm the one with the messed up background whereas he's the one from the nice family with no baggage. Yet the dynamics of this relationship are completely different to when I was with my ex.

I've thought about counselling but wouldn't even know where to start, and don't know if it's counselling I need or just to be on my own for a good while and heal almost.

suburbophobe Wed 02-Jan-13 19:55:22

It's 2013.

Dump the shite and move on.

Sparkly, you need therapy, you have a lot of internal attitudes, both to yourself abs to how the world works that need to be changed before you should even contemplate being in a relationship.
Where you start is by going to your GP or Mind ( the charity) and saying that due to an abusive childhood you are having trouble functioning properly in some areas of your life.
As to the current relationship, I am exhausted just reading about it, I can only imagine how draining it is for you. You are looking to him to fufil emotional needs, but he's not going to.
You need to learn to self-nurture and one of the first things to do in order to start doing that, is to cut this guy out of your life permanently.
You can and will survive doing so and O'd be very surprised if you didn't see a vast improvement over the longer term.
Good luck xx

tribpot Wed 02-Jan-13 20:17:05

Totally agree with Maggie (and indeed with suburbophobe). Your issues don't necessarily relate to him but being with him sure won't help them get any better.

Please put yourself first and seek both peace and counselling. Your family background is more than enough reason to ask for help in redefining the nature of your closest relationships.

sparklyjumper Wed 02-Jan-13 20:26:29

Thanks Maggie, I will look into Mind, I am a bit sceptical about seeing my GP. I've been twice, once years ago and he just asked me to fill in a multiple choice sheet and told me there's nothing wrong with me. I then went about 2 years ago as at the time I was having an awful time with my periods but getting really low, snappy and anxious around that time more so than I think is normal but it may have been worse because it was around the time this relationship started showing cracks. I was offered anti depressants to take for just a week out of the month. This was after a 3 minute conversation and was not what I wanted or felt I needed. I don't think I'm depressed in what I understand of depression, I more feel as though I'm carrying a heavy weight around with me a lot of the time.

You said you think I have a lot of internal attitudes to how the world works can I ask in what way you mean I'm interested to know what you're seeing from my posts that perhaps I'm not?

'sometimes I think it's me that's the problem because of my messed up background' was the thing that really stuck out.
That is an unhealthy attitude to yourself, as you are internalising problems that come from an external source.
To me that suggests that you think if you changed, you could fix the way he treats you.
I do think you need to make changes within yourself but not for his or anyone elses benefit, but for your own benefit. Because you deserve stability and peace of mind.

I don't know about the heavy weight feeling, it sounds like depression to me but was not the way that I experienced depression.

bumhead Thu 03-Jan-13 10:30:23

Tzella I hope it went ok for you. Good on you for doing what needed to be done.

Sparkly I think probably people might be wasting their time telling you to dump this guy because you won't do that. So then you need to decide to put up with his shit. He has you right where he wants you and loves playing games with your head. He sounds fucked up. You need to work on your self esteem.

You're 29 and have all the time in the world to find someone decent but you're allowing this prick to treat you like shit. I had a boyfriend like yours once. I dumped him in the end because I got sick of his bullshit. You need to either ditch or decide you're happy chasing the carrot he is dangling.

He isn't going to give you what you want or need in life.
He is just not that into you.
As someone else said 'dating sites, really?'
Messaging people he knows under a different name?
He sounds fucked up.
Oh and the engagement ring under the tree and no proposal? That's just plain nasty.
Get rid of him and I guarantee that your problems will disappear.

bumhead Thu 03-Jan-13 10:42:54

Sparkly have you looked into PMDD?
I have this, it's the severe form of PMS (the one where women can end up suicidal etc).
Just with you having said that you went to your GP about bad PMS. It isn't the cause of your problems, your DB is, but for you, if you have this and get treated it will make your life so much better.

tzella Thu 03-Jan-13 10:44:32

Thanks for kind wishes smile There's a thread 'I'm packing up his stuff!...'

Sparkly Oh, crap GPs annoy me so. I think the best way to get what you need is to make an appointment and say "I had a difficult upbringing and believe counselling will be beneficial for me. Could you refer me to someone?" That's all you should need to say. Don't bother trying to explain it to the GP - they are not really qualified to help - that's why they default to meds. Their job is to refer you to someone who is qualified.

Then I think you'll have to wait a while for the referral to come through (which is a shame but that's often the way it works). Then you see a counselor and see whether you like them and think they can help. If you don't think they can you ask for another one!

Seems like you just know your DP has to go. Make 2013 about you smile

sparklyjumper Thu 03-Jan-13 11:13:42

bumhead I do want to leave this relationship I really do. I'm just terrified of that all consuming grief I feel when we split up, it doesn't pass quickly for me believe me I've tried. We split up for 4 weeks once and it was hell. Yes I have days when I'm ok and feel really positive, but then I have days when I struggle just keep a smile for ds sake and go to bed sobbing and wake up feeling an all consuming sense of loss. I know I would get over it eventually but I think it woudl be a matter of months rather than weeks. Sometimes in a way I wish he would just meet someone else and put me out of my misery, even though that would make me feel awful I would have no choice then but to get a grip and get on. While I'm like this even though that 75% of me believes what people here are saying, that other part of me thinks of all the nice things he does for me, and all the nice things he can say and makes me wonder does he just need to grow up a bit, do I just need to sort myself out a bit.

He says I'm controlling, I don't feel as though I am, I certainly don't set out to be. But then I wonder am I, but not in the obvious way, but in the sense that he's pretty feeble and I end up organising most things. Using this for an example, he doesn't want to split up but he's giving me the silent treatment because I annoyed him the day before he went home and probably because he'd got a bit sick of the sight of me. He's doing the old he wants space, then he made a snide comment about he'll be busy the next couple of days fixing his sisters light at her house as he wasn't let out of his cage over Christmas. I'm thinking back to the week, yes we spent the week together but that wasn't my choice, he didn't once say he needed or wanted to do anything.

We were busy the days before Xmas, we went to a hotel and then did our food shopping the next day. Xmas eve he took ds out to get me a little present from ds which turned into a big present and I was thrilled. Boxing day we spent the day with his family and we've just been pottering about the rest of the week, doing all sorts, we went to a splash pool, pub for dinner, all the things you don't always get chance to do. Everyday I've asked him what do you want to do today and not once has he said actually I want to go home now. The last couple of days I was feeling a bit like I'll be glad when you go back to work but I wasn't going to ask him to leave. I knew he wanted to do the brakes on his car but he said he couldn't be bothered he'd do it one weekend. Now he blames me for all the things he hasn't done and says I've kept him in a cage? Then he brings up my ex who he knows physically and sexually assaulted me and asks me what my relationship was like with him and says because if it was worse than this it must have been awful. But then he's saying he doesn't want to break up he really does love me but he feels he puts all the effort in and I'm not very nice to him. I'm making him unhappy.

Viviennemary Thu 03-Jan-13 11:28:02

I think the first thing would be to start building up things in your life that don't include him. Because at the moment he seems to be 100% of your life. This is easier said than done. But the point is when he ends it you feel as if you are left with nothing. So you beg him to come back and then the whole cycle starts again. It doesn't sound as if he will make you happy in the long term.

sparklyjumper Thu 03-Jan-13 11:34:54

Posted twice because it was so long. Regarding the PMS and seeing the GP.

I really don't know if there's something wrong with me or if it's external factors because I've always had some kind of drama in my life.

My mum and dad were crap yes, dad drank too much, put me down, shouted all the time, spoke to my mum like a piece of shit yes it's taken it's toll. I know that's not my fault but I wonder if my relationship problems are because of that. I find it hard to accept my boyfriend could be in the wrong because I'm the one who came from 'that' background. Even though I know some of the things he does are far from right either and not just in terms of our relationship.

My ex was crap and I know that no matter what I am I couldn't possibly have caused him to do some of the things he did because he was really violent physically, verbally and sexually.

Boyfriend isn't like any of that, he just disinterested and whiney.

I have researched PMDD, and at the time it seemed to fit, but the GP didn't mention that and I didn't want to appear to be self diagnosing. What I do know is the week my period finishes I'd find it impossible to even shed a tear no matter what was going on. I know it's been a lot better for a long time now but things like diet, how much sleep I've been having and what's going on in my personal life seem to have a huge effect on how I feel. If my boyfriend and I are getting on well for a few months I feel happy, it's when all the drama starts my mood dips and I start to self doubt.

In general I don't think I'm depressed, certainly not badly, I've always held down a job, I get enjoyment out of lots of things, but this relationship has made it more difficult to feel happy because I'm constantly on edge, it's made it more difficult for me to see a future because I feel as though I've wasted my best years. But I don't know if the relationships done that to me or I've ruined the relationship iyswim? Because according to him, if I was different we could be really happy and have it all. And because I've had crap in the past I automatically think well it must be me. I'm sure you see what I mean it's a vicious circle.

You are not and never will be responsible for another adults persons happiness or lack of it.
That is his responsibility. He can whinge all he wants about you keeping him in a 'cage' but quite frankly, unless you were really doing so litrally, that is bullshit. He is an adult, if he wishes to go somewhere or do something then that is up to him to make sure that happens, rather than sitting there sending out psychic thought beams and getting shirty when you fail to pick up on them.
You are addicted to him and like any drug, the only way to get off it is cold turkey, though having the support of a counsellor while you do so would be a good thing.
What do your friends think of him?
I do know what you are going through, I wrote this when I was going through similar:

Better than heroin
When you are there
But unlike that brown powder
You could at least pretend to care
Not in that sloppy childish manner
That responds to mine
When I begin to grumble, beg and whine
Don't stop pretending that you're really mine
And I'll keep pretending everythings fine
Keep up the lying
The samurai face
Gone is the day that we connected
For you it's a haze
For me it's a knife
Twisting and turning
Causing me strife

tzella Thu 03-Jan-13 11:46:07

Sparkly sad You feel awful in this relationship and awful out of it. The difference is that being out of it will get better but continuing is a relentless slog of crap.

Organise some counselling and just see if it helps. Might be depression, might be PMDD, might be residual stuff from your relationships. But the only way you can find out is to try.

You're really scared of being upset after a break-up. But how can that be worse than staying in the relationship?

bluebiscuit Thu 03-Jan-13 11:53:12

Op, this relationship is not good. It has not got a long term future having been so bad at such an early stage. Be brave - end it for good and then focus on sorting out your issues. I actually don't think your issues are very serious - a lot of the relationship issues are caused by him and you need to set them aside from the issues that are actually yours and could affect you in the future. The issues from this relationship will cease if you stop the relationship.

Your main issue is thinking that stuff is due to you because of your background - it isn't - you are ok and the problem is that you think things are your fault. Also you haven't quite found the strength to break free from this whiney twat.

sparkly love, I could copy and paste the last two thirds of your last but one post, sorry confusing, and hold it up as a complete emotional headfuck right there. This bloke, no matter how 'lovely' his upbringing was, is a controlling, spiteful character, who uses your weakness for him, and your shit previous relationship to yank your strings.

YOU NEED TO LEAVE HIM That;s all there is to it.

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