- This topic has 4 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 1 month ago by ron.
From a LW:
“My partner has been out of town for a few days and while he’s been gone I’ve been feeling much more free and independent. I am a very independent person and value my personal space and alone time, and lately I’ve been feeling suffocated by the relationship. My boyfriend is a truly incredible person. He’s very thoughtful and kind and generous. However, he also prefers spending all of his free time with me. We pretty much have the exact same routine every day. I get home from work, and we hang out until bedtime, watch the same shows together, sleep in the same bed, and then, every weekend we pretty much spend it with each other.
I don’t know how to explain to him that I need some more free time completely away from him without hurting him. I need to do my own thing and not even text him while we’re apart. I feel very guilty about this, and feel like an awful person, but now that he’s away, I’m enjoying my time so much. This is the first time in a long time that I have truly felt like I can do whatever I want and not have to worry about another person. He seems to get a lot of his enjoyment, confidence, and validation from me. I honestly just can’t handle that a lot of the time. I love him and I really don’t want to end the relationship, but him being gone makes me wonder if I’d be better off single with no one to invade my space. — Feeling suffocated“AnonymousseAugust 22, 2023 at 8:42 am #1125005
Your entire last paragraph! Why are you so concerned/obsessed about hurting his feelings? You are living in a way that makes you unhappy and want freedom. I think the best thing you can do is tell him open and honestly, calmly that you need more time to yourself. That’s not a hurtful comment. I need time to myself, my whole family knows it and respects it. To me, it sounds like you’re not communicating what you need in a relationship and are just doing everything, the motions to keep him happy. Why? Keeping the man of the house happy used to be a thing, but it’s not anymore. He can make himself happy, you can have time to yourself.
Speak up and stop going through the motions. Maybe this relationship has run its course. But you have to talk and figure that out. Good luck.
You should talk to your boyfriend and tell him what you need. My boyfriend and I are proof that you can be independent while in a relationship. We live together and three days per week, WFH together… it can sometimes feel like a lot! We spend time together, but it’s important to both of us to balance that with time with our respective friends and pursuing hobbies. Balance is possible, but you have to talk to him about what your needs are.
Does your partner have hobbies? Friends? I hope you also have these things for yourself, but I raise it specifically in regard to him because there is a loneliness epidemic out there among cis het men. Studies show that they don’t tend to form the same close, intimate friendships as women and the result is that they enter relationships with women who eventually become their entire emotional support system. (This is part of the reason I find it grating when I hear couples say they married their best friend — men often don’t have best friends and it’s a problem!)
@Copa – Preach.
So many men don’t bother to keep up with their friendships (if they even have any as adults) once they live with a partner. This sounds like a problem the boyfriend needs to work out. He needs to have a life outside of his partner here.
Talk to him about it – you might find he’s also clamouring for more free time too.ronAugust 23, 2023 at 12:33 pm #1125036
It’s over and time to MOA. You and he are a poor match. You can stretch this out another half year trying to find a common ground to make it work, but best to just MOA. I don’t see how couples’ counseling or the like can help blend your oil and water personalities. Works for a very short time then you separate again. When you feel stifled and bored living with him and happy when he’s gone for days, that is a certain sign which you ignore at your peril. Yes, this will upset him, but he also will benefit in the long run.