Doubts about my relationship
Hi all, I'm currently a uni student and I've been dating my boyfriend for about 18 months now. We grew up together since late primary school as close friends and had crushes on eachother on and off but never at the same time... bit of a game of catch haha. Anyways we both moved to the city to study at the same time and became eachothers family basically here. We lived separately the first year and moved in together about 6 months ago.
Life has dealt some tough cards. I've been diagnosed with a couple chronic health conditions and had a lot of family breakdown with my family back in my hometown. I've recently just stopped contact with my father too after deciding to end the pattern of child abuse I've experienced growing up. I've been seeing a psychologist to work through all the after effects and it has put a strain on my relationship as depression and anxiety took over through some of it.
All in all I couldn't be more relieved to have cut my dad out of my life now. But my partner has started having signs of anxiety and depression now and he has just started seeing a psychologist too, reluctantly. He manages uni and quite a stressful job which I personally think he overworks himself from as well as obviously dealing with my own mental health problems at home... I think has taken it's toll. He has been a huge support in my life and I love him for it.
I notice, through the years I've known him. He doesn't show emotion much. He won't tell you when he's upset or open up about it much. I am so glad he seemed help recently, but as his girlfriend I don't really know where I stand because I have no idea what is going on. On the daily: He will come home from work exhausted and just go to bed without more than 2 words to me. In the morning he sounds quite bummed and upset in his tone but just says he's tired when I ask. Anything I do or say to either support him or try and lift the mood he sounds annoyed with. I don't really know how I'm meant to exist and work with living with him when he won't work with me on what I can do, what's going on or atleast how I can help.
Back on topic- As I'm studying and trying to work out what I want to do in life, I'm increasingly feeling this feeling like being in a relationship is limiting me. Being with him welcomes the view of it lasting, our families are close so it almost feels expected that we will last. I set this idea up all through growing up with him that he was the perfect person for me, the person I would marry and all that. I wanted kids too. Through all this family breakdown I've now strongly questioned whether I want children one-day and actually have started seeing it as something that would limit me and something I personally wouldn't be good at. What I want to do for a career is an international job too which I don't see working well in a relationship, despite him working for a travel company, I still feel like having someone you have to work with is limiting. Not that I always want to be single, but i feel like whilst I'm starting my life with uni and a career I want to be free of commitment. I often daydream about moving overseas and meeting someone else later in life. I dream about walking out and being myself, not this girlfriend who always seems to compromise and support him with his career choices and ambitions whilst I've just been the partner full of health problems and is low-key viewed as a housewife because I don't work as many hours. I feel guilty for this. But I'm just feeling like I'm suffocating trying to stay as a person I don't want to be anymore. I don't know what I should do.
Re: Doubts about my relationship
Hey there @tashmcl,
Thanks for your post, I'm sure others will likely have some advice and support to offer in addition to this reply.
Haha a game of catch for sure!
Sounds like life has dealt you some tough cards.
Firstly, I hope that you're getting some support regarding managing the chronic health conditions, that would be . Also, it's great that you, and your boyfriend, are getting support through a psychologist each (even if it is reluctantly from him, it's still happening ).
Regarding supporting your boyfriend's mental health, it sounds like you're doing what you can to support him, and he does have professional support which it sounds like he initiated (that's a good sign isn't it). It sounds like you've been through a lot yourself, could his lack of sharing be him trying to protect you? Everyone copes with stress, etc. differently so maybe he only wants to talk with his psychologist? Perhaps he might have a sense of you pulling away from him?
It makes sense that the family breakdowns might have altered your future perspectives particularly about relationships and children. Your recent perspective changes are definitely something worth thinking about and discussing with your psychologist to understand where they might be coming from.
It is a time of big hopes and ideals for you and at the same time it sounds like you're feeling committed and not feeling freedom with your current situation. Is it worth having a conversation with your boyfriend about? He may feel the same as you. You could look at redefining your relationship, pausing it or closing it depending on what you both want.
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