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Dear Wendy

My long-distance partner won’t move forward with our relationship…

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  • #964281 Reply
    avatarDreamer
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    I am really in need of some advice. Me and my boyfriend have been together for five years. We are both in our mid twenties and live around 6 hours apart in the UK. We are both broke and since neither of us can drive or have a car, can only afford to see each other once per month, usually for around a week at a time. Recently we have gone months without seeing each other due to COVID restrictions and safety. Until recently, I was at university and a full time student with no work restrictions. We both struggle with depression and anxiety, my partner more severely so which has kept him from working since he left college at 19. As he had no work this meant he was also free in terms of time, hence allowing us to spend a week together freely each month. He has never moved out of his parents house, and I now live back home again with my parents but am ready to move out. I have always worked part time and would find work relatively easily in comparison to the struggle he faces having never worked. He receives benefits which he pays to his mum toward rent and other bills, and the rest he spends on visiting me. I appreciate that but I don’t want this for him or us. I want us to be able to live together full time, live our lives together no matter if we struggle. He is deeply afraid of starting a career he hates due to major anxiety and I understand that, and I have been so supportive towards him but it has been 5 years now and we are still no closer toward starting a life together. He says he is not ready to move out but I can’t see when he will ever be ready. The thing is despite all this, he is such an amazing person and the love of my life. I can’t imagine my life without him and he has supported me through everything. I want to continue doing the same for him but my mental health is also suffering living this life. I feel like I am in a part time relationship, when I need someone who can be there permanently. He makes out like were so young and we have our whole lives to figure this out, which I know is true, but I want to live my life. I don’t want to sit at home 3/4ths of the time miserable and wasting this time away whilst he is fairly content sitting at home and seeing his friends/playing xbox. I have had a big discussion with him today, but he just won’t take any responsibility or make any sacrifices for me. He says he will try to find a job if thats what i want but it will make him miserable, and of course I don’t want that but I don’t know how else we will ever be together properly. We have had this conversation so many times and he will never make a commitment or responsibility to me. I am so scared this is the end of our relationship as I am so in love with him still, but I don’t know what else I can do. Any advice will be greatly appreciated, or anything you can suggest, or if anyone has been in the same situation? Thank you so much.

    #964286 Reply
    avatarFYI
    Guest

    Break up, unless you want to support this person full-time for the rest of your life. That’s the reality. He hasn’t worked — ever — in his adult life and has no plans to do so. Act as though that will never change, because it is unlikely to. You can’t convince him of anything, so don’t waste your energy.

    And it DOES tax your energy. I suspect that a lot of your own anxiety issues will dissipate once you’re out of this relationship. Next time, look for a man who takes care of himself (physically, financially, professionally, mentally), so that you aren’t pulling dead weight as you try to enjoy your life. It’s easy to see how you got involved with this guy — you were a teenager maybe? — but it’s time to BE what you’ve already become. A grown-up.

    #964291 Reply
    avatarron
    Guest

    He is what he is and you will never be able to turn him into the man you want him to be. He is utterly dependent — upon his parents and the state. He has not/will not/ can not(?) work. Don’t throw your life away.

    #964294 Reply
    avatarMiss MJ
    Guest

    Ugh. Run, LW. Take the gift of your freedom from being tied to a man-child for the rest of your life and run!

    #964307 Reply
    avatarHelen
    Guest

    Please break up with this guy. You’re wasting your youth on him. He’s not changing or moving out of his parents house. And if he did, he would just be dependent on you. This isn’t going anywhere good. Stop wasting your time

    #964311 Reply
    avatargolfer.gal
    Guest

    He’s happy with the arrangement you have. He doesnt have to work, lives a cushy life where his every need is met for him by other people, and he gets to see you once a month for all the sex he wants with zero commitment or responsibilities.

    Listen to FYI. You’re going to see your friends start getting engaged and married in the next year or two, advancing in their careers, buying homes, travelling. If you want any of that for yourself then you need to break up because he’s not going to change. Also if you aren’t in counseling please start that now – to address your own mental health, to set goals for your future, and to help you through the breakup.

    #964313 Reply
    avatarHazel
    Participant

    Any job will make him miserable? But he’ll take one if you want him to? (and then resent you for it) Lots of people can’t work in the UK right now but if he’s decided he just doesn’t wanna and will never wanna and has no other plan for how to live a good fulfilling life, just leave.He could want to volunteer, he could want all sorts of alternative lifestyles which might be worthwhile but he just wants to play his ex box and that’s no life for you.

    #964315 Reply
    avatarLisforLeslie
    Guest

    No no no no no no no no no no.
    Do not commit to this person. I’m sure he’s lovely and he says lovely things and that you love him very much. BUT…

    He needs to get his shit together. Seriously, he hasn’t worked in 5 years because of anxiety? For 5 years he should have been figuring out coping skills, gotten on medication, done some work on himself to enable him to work.

    Getting a job isn’t deciding a career. You’re in the UK you’re not in some fantasy novel where a you pick your profession at 17 and you can never change.

    Not only that but you know what – work is not fun. Work is work. That’s why you get paid. You can enjoy your work – I really like what I do for a living. But if I won a $10 mil lottery, you can bet your ass I’d be resigning as soon as that check was in my account.

    #964321 Reply
    avatarDreamer
    Guest

    Hi everyone,

    Wow – I was expecting people to say I was in the wrong here…thank you so much for all your helpful responses, I really needed to see the situation from someone elses prospective.

    In regards to the job point – I agree 100% but always felt guilt tripped because his justification is mental health related which I understand and have been through myself. Although I have had several jobs they have impacted my mental health at times, and I think I always think to myself I would feel guilty pushing him into something that could affect him like that. And he has sought treatment, been through counselling and is on medication etc, he just really feels there is no point to life. Which is heartbreaking to me because I am still so in love with him, he can’t see how good our life could be if he just tried.

    I so appreciate all your points, it is just so hard to let go – he has been in my life since before I even became an adult – he has been my whole adult life in a way. And I am telling you all the negative points, but there are so many positives.

    I have left it with him that he needs to sort his life out or we wil have to end things…I am just so sad this is how it may be ending and what it will do to be without him, the only real thing I have in my life right now.

    Thank you again

    #964322 Reply
    avatarLisforLeslie
    Guest

    Mental Health is not an excuse – I’m pushing 50 and I’ve been on anti-depressants of varying types since I was in college. I’ve tried to go off of them and I have accepted that medication is my key to being alive, functioning and productive.

    I’m not going to say that depression isn’t tricky. But if it is so debilitating that he is sitting at home all day, every day and can’t leave his house – then he needs to get professional help. And if he is still doing things he enjoys and isn’t working because it “might” make him anxious or it “might” not be satisfying then he’s using his mental health challenges to avoid things he doesn’t like. Which is neither healthy or mature.

    90% of the adults in your life are just as confused, uncomfortable with new situations and change and anxious about things. The other 10% are either sociopaths, really really optimistic or just dumb.

    #964331 Reply
    avatarFYI
    Guest

    He is most definitely NOT the “only real thing” you have in your life right now. You are a student, correct? (Even if you’re on a covid break right now.) Your ability to go after a goal, to plan for your future, to want more out of life — all that is very real, and it’s in your life. In fact, it’s in YOU. Now.
    Your ability to get a job and take care of yourself is also very real. You have any friends? They’re real. You could probably make a very long list of things in your life that are real.
    Stop trying to cram your feet into shoes that are too small for you.

    #964336 Reply
    avatarPeggy
    Guest

    Hi Dreamer. I agree with the others that you likely need to get out of this relationship. As far as the argument that he has depression and mental health issues and you feel guilty for being unhappy with his behavior…think on this….My son has a mental health/medical condition that can cause him to act in ways that are not good for himself or others. When he was little, my ex and I attended a seminar by a renowned Dr. who was an expert in the field of my son’s issues.
    One of the questions a parent asked was “What about punishment for bad behavior? How can we tell if he is acting up because he is being a brat, or he is doing it because of his condition?” The answer was that you can’t tell…but that does not matter, because if the behavior is unacceptable to your rules as parents or society, then it needs to be dealt with. A child cannot be left to do whatever he wants, even if it is more difficult for him to learn to stop some behaviors, or do the right things. He and you will pay the price later.” Very smart advice and I believe the same concept applies in your case.

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