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(66 Posts)
nitrox Thu 25-Jul-13 18:34:06

I just graduated. I received a card from all my loved ones apart from my boyfriend. We have been together over 4 years and he's been supportive of my degree in the most.

I don't understand, they are on the mantle, he's seen them. Got a few gifts yesterday from my mum, but still nothing today. Just a cheap 79p card would have been fine.

When I found out I had won an award and had to go to a special ceremony before the main graduation ceremony, he said 'cool' and then proceeded to ask me what time we have to leave now and other questions as though he was more irritated than happy.

He's said things to suggest that 'the world is my oyster and I can get a job anywhere', he is insecure and this has always caused conflict as I'm not, in fact I'm very outgoing.

I've posted a few times over the last 2yrs and I always come back to the same turmoil of whether to stay with him. We had a big row around Christmas where I said I wasn't happy and was thinking of whether we had a future or not, he said he would change, and did.. But it's things like this that make me wonder if he acting? Just wanting to get a house and family..

He made a fuss when I mentioned buying a smart/casual outfit got the graduation, even though he's a good looking and slim bloke, so he isn't self conscious or anything. He also made a fuss when I asked him to drive as his car is more reliable and I would be nervous and distracted.

I've been thinking of relocating for a job if I get offered one, and I know he won't want to.. I just don't know what on earth to do anymore...

I know you'll say the same as you have said before (I'm looking at you cogito) lol, but HOW do you decide?

I'm 30, have my own online business and no kids or financial ties..

nitrox Thu 25-Jul-13 19:27:33

Thanks for all the replies x

I think I am looking for permission, I feel like I'm going to ruin his life by leaving him and I don't know how to get past that.

I do love him, we have some great times.. But then he gets shitty about something and nothing and I'm back to square one.

I can imagine not thinking to get a card, but surely when others have, you would go and get one.

I've said before that I don't need big gifts, just small silly things are fine ( this was after a few Xmas and birthday where I'd get given my gift before the day and he would drop so many hints that it wasn't a surprise).. Sounds selfish, but its like he wants to get it out of the way and not out any genuine effort into a thoughtful gift, just throws money at it, which in my mind isn't right. I even went as far as an amazon gift list of things I'd love, and he ignored every single one.

Just feel like we are not on the same page at all.

nitrox Thu 25-Jul-13 19:29:49

Imperial, his mother, ergh, she's a problem in herself, and he has said he would move back home, how sad.

I want to go travel, my sister keeps trying to get me out to Oz, and I know I should go.

He also keep trying to get me to borrow money from him, for my work, a better car etc.. And I think it's all part of the need to control me and 'keep' me.

Numberlock Thu 25-Jul-13 19:31:08

What did he do for your 30th out of interest?

ofmiceandmen Thu 25-Jul-13 19:35:01

Nitrox you don't need permission. do what's best for your future.

With the additional information I really can't see where else you can go with this.
in an odd way you will probably be doing him a favour, giving him a chance to grow. (Big oak etc).
Hope that helps.

ofmiceandmen Thu 25-Jul-13 19:36:52


you have no children and no legal attachments (marriage). Please leave before the former happens or the latter becomes the inevitable.

This is probably the only time when parting will be less messy. Take it!

Good luck

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 25-Jul-13 19:41:31

I think you could make the decision easier if you phased it as a trial separation rather than going from where you are now to splitting up in one fell swoop. You've been together quite a long time and there's an element of 'habit' and obligation that creeps in. If nothing drastic or dramatic happens, you'll just bumble along... probably sleepwalking into marriage, kids and mortgages in the process. Take a serious break and you'll be better placed to work out what you want. Stay there looking at each other over the cornflakes and you won't have the heart to end what sounds like it's well past its sell-by.

ImperialBlether Thu 25-Jul-13 19:45:05

Rather than seeing yourself as taking something from his life if you left him, try seeing it as you've given him a number of years where he had the chance to make huge changes in his life (learning to be more sociable, making changes to his career) and he flat out refused to take them.

I think by not giving you a card and by not doing stuff for your birthday (without prompting), he is telling you that you aren't special. He's putting you in your place.

OP, it is so clear to us. You are special. You've done fantastically well on your degree. You've run a business simultaneously. You're not leaving university broke and without opportunities. You will always do well.

He can see this and (I think) he thinks you have it easy, because he can't bear to acknowledge that actually you've worked really hard. If he acknowledges that, he has to acknowledge he could have done the same, but he didn't.

For god's sake go off and see your sister in Australia. Do it as a treat for working so hard; the advantage of it also is to get you out of his miserable clutches.

ImperialBlether Thu 25-Jul-13 19:45:42

Oh and if you try to dump him, he'll propose marriage, so be warned.

karinmaria Thu 25-Jul-13 19:50:42

Reading your posts make me think of my sister OP.

She is a little younger than you and was in a very similar situation this time last year. She'd been having doubts about her boyfriend, who she'd been with for almost six years. He is a nice guy but had no ambition and she felt they were more like friends. He didn't do anything nice for her anymore and seemed to take her presence for granted, spending time in a job he hated and moaned about and resenting her for spending time with family and friends because he wasn't sociable (even though our mum was very ill at the time).

After finishing her education she wanted to get a job in that field and was offered something amazing but in a different part of the country.

She agonised and talked to her boyfriend. He also tried to make her stay. She left and has not looked back. She feels that if she had stayed she would have resented him for holding her back and this would have slowly eaten away at their relationship eventually.

Incidentally after having panic attacks and vomiting during previous discussions, her boyfriend is fine. He left the job he hated and has a lovely new girlfriend.

OP I'm going to ask you the same questions I asked my sister. Do you look forward to coming home to him every night? Can you see yourself marrying him, having children etc? Does he make an effort for you when it comes to the small stuff?

If you feel trapped and you feel like he's holding you back, then it seems you've outgrown him. And he sounds like he knows it and is desperately trying to keep you.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 25-Jul-13 19:51:01

Australia really does look like a godsend in this situation. You could even play it that it's a 'LDR' to start with.

MaryBateman Thu 25-Jul-13 19:52:27

As everyone else has said you have outgrown him and you need to move on. Yes I'm sure it will be hard but trying to life your life as you wan't with someone continually trying to drag you down will become intolerable.

Chances are that you will get yourself a great job or build your business to be even more successful and he will just become even more jealous and resentful. You've tried to help him get a better job but he hasn't been arsed. He sounds incredibly immature.

Walk away, go travelling and have a fabulous life. Better to do it now than 5 years down the line.

MadBusLady Thu 25-Jul-13 20:02:10

Better to do it now than 5 years down the line.

Yes MaryBateman! OP, annoyingly, I have discovered that I didn't reach late twenties/30 and stay there forever wink. You only get so many shots at being the "bright new young thing" - in career, in love, in leisure, life generally. It gets harder to make new starts as you get older - not massively harder, I know people do it. But a bit harder. You've done a lot with your twenties already and you sound like you have so much more energy to give - don't waste it on things that you know deep down aren't going to work out for you.

SomewhereBeyondTheSea Thu 25-Jul-13 20:04:05

You don't need to have a reason for ending things. Life is too short to waste it in unsatisfactory relationships.
Good luck with your bright future :-) Go have some adventures!

ImperialBlether Thu 25-Jul-13 20:09:15

Yes, you could end it at a distance. Put your things in storage or at your mum's and say you're going over to have a break from studying.

What would happen to your business if you went away?

MaryBateman Thu 25-Jul-13 20:19:36

Yep MadBusLady has said the things I forgot. And she is absolutely spot on.

Imagine you get the job of your dreams and you know you have to put in some extra hours to build your career. Networking events after hours, breakfast meetings, company away days involving overnight stays, social events where partners are invited. You just know it's going to be a moan fest. And you will be pressurised to not go 'as it's not fair on him.' And before you know it you'll no longer be the bright young thing. You'll be the one who can't do stuff. And so others will be invited to do those things and you'll slowly be left behind. He really isn't worth it.

Ezio Thu 25-Jul-13 20:43:50

Nitrox You've worked hard, knuckled down, got through it, so go enjoy it, live it like you deserve it, dont let this downer of a man drag you eback, if you dont wanna settle, then dont, the world is waiting, so go and bloody greet it.

JustinBsMum Fri 26-Jul-13 07:51:17

As in karinmaria's post there is a good chance that you moving on is the catalyst he needs to sort his life out. He isn't fulfilling his aims either from the sound of it. Start making your plans and once they are in place tell him you are leaving (shortly before you go or you will have to put up with possibly weeks of recriminations) and best of luck to him.

nitrox Fri 26-Jul-13 08:18:27

Thanks everyone, sorry I didn't come back last night, I was just mulling everything over and trying to work out what to do.

I've been here so many times before and I always end up just carrying on, until the next things that puts me into this spiral of despair.

I've not said anything to him, but I think he senses something. I have text him this morning to ask why he didn't get me a card. I know texting isn't great, but when I talk face to face he always goes way over the top, he can't just talk like adults, he descends into name calling, bringing up the past, accusing me of an affair.. basically anything that can divert the attention from his selfishness.

He's replied saying he's sorry and there is something on its way for me this morning, flowers probably from Interflora.. but that's totally missing the point.. and it's also why I've left it until today to say anything as I had a feeling he would say 'I've ordered something actually!', he's had enough time and two chances (my grades being released and the day itself) to sort out a card.

This really is the tip of the iceberg. I think I'm fed up of leading the relationship, thinking of all the ideas, not having my partner inspire me in any way and just feeling like he's smothering me with his desperation.

I'd love to go to Australia and I really don't know why I don't. I keep saying to my sister that if I were single I would be on a plane out there straight away. But this relationship isn't making me happy, so why am I staying in it??

nitrox Fri 26-Jul-13 08:22:25

My 30th, we went to London for the weekend, something I've mentioned to him about wanting to do. We staying in a Travelodge, and just did sightseeing, led by me of course. I took us to all the places, worked out the tube etc etc..

I had booked tickets (and paid myself) to go and see Les Miserables, but he fussed so much over what to wear, 'I don't want to have to dress up and be poncey' etc, that I pretended I wasn't bothered either and so we didn't go. blush

He literally just booked the train tickets and hotel for that weekend and I sorted out everything else it seems.

I had a great time, partly due to the great weather, but we didn't go out for drinks, or meet up with the couple of old friends I know in London.. confused sad

I was single in my early 20's for about 10 months, and it's some of the happiest times I remember.

nitrox Fri 26-Jul-13 08:28:33

Cogito and Imperial - I'm always amazing at how easily you read my situation, I guess it's a common theme in relationships.

Do you look forward to coming home to him every night? Can you see yourself marrying him, having children etc? Does he make an effort for you when it comes to the small stuff?

He's always odd when he gets in from work, I wouldn't say I look forward to it really no blush.

If I think of a wedding, all I see is him ruining it by stressing about what he'll wear, who to invite, where it'll be held etc..

Small stuff - not really.. only in so far as what I ask him to do, and to be honest, more recently he's not been bothering. When I've been at maximum stress levels with work and Uni, especially at Christmas time, it's when he seems to slack the most. If I've not done any housework, neither will he, even though he can see I'm struggling.

changeforthebetter Fri 26-Jul-13 08:31:25

My X told me my first with distinctions wasn't the best as it wasn't starredhmm My higher degree was a "failed PhD" hmm hmm (I wasn't funded nor had I applied for a PhD. I did apply for and get funding for the degree I got). He is jealous and/or feeling inadequate. Don't marry him and fgs don't have kids with him ( though I wouldn't swap mine now). Oh and huge congratulations on your degree and awardsmile thanks wine

TSSDNCOP Fri 26-Jul-13 08:32:58

OP one thing I know now, al though you should work on a relationship it shouldn't feel like hard work. The thing that comes over in your posts is the sheer amount of effort required in your relationship.

Time to leave before resentment and bitter become your room-mates.

nitrox Fri 26-Jul-13 08:44:15

changeforthebetter wow, my BF hasn't been that obvious, but I get the feeling he would love to say something similar.

TSSDNCOP he's been hard work from the start, he really has. sad I should have walked away then.

OctopusPete8 Fri 26-Jul-13 08:51:02

Oh dear I feel really , sad reading this , you love life just seems so sad,

the showering thing is odd, how have you played along with it so long, what does he do say, I'm feeling randy go and get showered?

you don't even have kids to turn your life into a drudgefest there's no excuse really.

nitrox Fri 26-Jul-13 08:55:22

The sex thing - he will text during the day asking me if I fancy it.. confused a lot of the time I'm busy with work, and no I don't 'fancy it', but I guess I go along with it. So yes, when he gets it he'll say 'are you going to get a shower?' in an apparently sexy way.. and so I do, he does and then I'm waiting for him to finish his shower and I'm sorry, but the romance / passion etc is all gone for me by that point blush.

To the point where I don't look forward to it at all.

I have tried to talk to him about this, and said it would be nice to just do it in the morning when we wake up at the weekend, or sometimes it's nice just to do it because we want to. But he pretty much said he liked to be clean and didn't seem keen at all.

When I think back to my ex, it was the total opposite, so I think I know what 'normal' is, whereas he was most likely a virgin when we met, or pretty close to that.

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