Great post, Diene! Makes me want to dump my non existent boyfriend for being such a jerk. Seriously though, great insight.
How come you are still with your guy?
So I spent some time yesterday reading parts of your journal, I went back several pages but haven't read the whole thing. I have so much to tell you that I don't know where to start so I guess I'll just start somewhere.
About your boyfriend. You said that he's American but grew up in a traditional Persian household with immigrant parents. Just like everyone else, I'm going to tell you that his upbringing has most certainly shaped the way he views women and relationships. My boyfriend is also American, but he grew up in an Indian household with immigrant parents (not even that traditional by the standards of that community--his parents were pretty open-minded with respect to the way they raised their kids). His views of women and the relationship between men and women have definitely been influenced by his parents and their relationship. This was not at all evident when I first met him or when we first started dating. He just seemed like a normal American guy. But I've come to realize that he is, deep down inside and maybe even at a subconscious level, incredibly sexist. Since I moved in with him, this has become more and more apparent, and he expects me to cook and clean and whatnot, as if I were his goddamn maid. I happen to like cooking a lot, and I don't really mind doing dishes and things. But that doesn't mean that I think it's okay for a man to expect a woman to do those things. This is not the 19th century, for God's sake. It's not even the 1950s!
I once straight up confronted him with it and accused him of being a sexist, and he got really pissed and vehemently denied it. But it's true. And it can't be changed either. It's a kind of deeply rooted worldview that you learn when you're a child by watching your parents, basically. I think some women may be okay with that kind of thing, but I know I'm not. And, after reading your journal, it doesn't look like you're really okay with it either.
He also seems pretty insecure and immature. You mentioned the one time when you commented on a bike being nice, and he accused you of being a child and wanting things and how no one ever asks what he wants and blah blah. For a grown man to have that kind of outburst is kind of ridiculous. The way I see it, part of the problem is that he is doing nothing with his life. You said that he's almost 38, yet he spends his days playing video games, taking naps, eating food that you prepared for him, and then goes out and parties all night. It's a nice life, in a way, to not have to work, but he's not handling the not having to work part very well. I have a lot of friends who would love to not have to work, and if they didn't have to work, they'd still live meaningful lives because they have creative or intellectual pursuits that they'd be able to devote more time to. It doesn't look like your bf has any of that. It's no wonder that he thinks talking about his passion and his goals is depressing. And he's been living like that for the past 10 years you say? I sort of don't really know what to say.
A man with no direction, no goal, nothing that he's working toward is not going to be thrilled at the idea of his gf having her own life. Since he doesn't really have any purpose in his life, he's not going to want you to have any either. He doesn't want you to have anything else because he doesn't have anything else. I mean, imagine if you went out and got a job that you really liked and that you're good at, how would that make him feel?
He's also probably pretty insecure so he probably wants to make you as dependent on him as possible so that you need him and won't leave him. That's why he said that you don't need a car or bike because he could just drive you places, and, yet, he doesn't want you to have a job because then he'd have to drive you. You don't need a job because you don't need the money, but you can't have a car or a dog because it's too expensive. You see the inconsistencies?
This insecurity, combined with his views of women and gender relations that were learned from his parents and their culture, is what causes him to want you to stay home 24/7 and take care of him.
Unless you resign yourself to the life you have right now, you should probably mentally prepare yourself for the possibility that your relationship will not work out. I think it would be pretty difficult to change him. I spent a few years trying to change my bf, but I finally came to the realization that it's just not going to happen. You can't get rid of their insecurity, and you can't change their deeply rooted worldviews.
If you really love him and want to stay with him, you'll have to set strict boundaries and basically give him an ultimatum. People don't like to give ultimatums, and I agree that it's not generally advisable. But you've already tried to talk to him about this several times, and he has responded in an unreasonable manner every time. If you don't make it very clear to him that he will either have to accommodate your needs or lose you, I'm afraid that things will never change. I don't know if this will work in the long run because, like i said, it's hard to change people, especially when they're old and set in their ways. But if you're firm with him now, I think there's a chance that it will work. It's tough love, and sometimes you have to use it on kids. He's been acting like a child so you'll have to treat him like one.
You're still pretty young, and you've been with him since you were 18 so I don't know how much dating experience you had before him. But, you know, men are not all like this. There are lots of men who would respect you as a person, who would respect your needs and desires and want to live and grow with you. I know this because I've been with wonderful men like that. Even knowing this though, I've allowed myself to be stuck in a relationship with a man who sees me as something less than a real human being for five years. And I'm still in this relationship. So I totally understand how hard it is.
In my opinion, trying to change him and fix him and save him from his own stupidity is not worth your time. Mostly because I don't think it will work. But, then again, I don't actually know the two of you, and I'm not in love with him.
You won't be alone if you leave him. You'll still have friends. And you won't end up in a women's shelter either. I think you have an easy way out. You said at the beginning of your journal that you were a part-time student but that you took time off to recover from your ED? What about going back to school? Where were you going to school before? You could apply to schools in Texas or PA. I would recommend Texas. Where in Texas are you from? I almost moved to Austin once, you know. I love that place, and UT Austin is a very good school. You could probably still get in-state tuition in TX. You're from there, and you could just use your parents' address when you apply. In your application, just say that you've been struggling with an ED, and that would explain the past four years. I talked all about my ED in my personal statement when I applied for college, and I think the admissions committee ate it right up.
Once you get into a school of your choice, you can take out federal student loans (assuming that your parents don't have much money, which it doesn't sound like they do) so you won't have to worry about money. And you can work part-time while in school to minimize the amount of loans you have to take out. You wont' be able to start until next fall though, and that might mean staying with your bf for another year because it doesn't sound like moving home is an option for you. Just apply now using your parents' address so that the schools don't send mail to your bf's and so he doesn't find out that you're planning on leaving him. And once everything has been arranged and it's time to start school, just leave him. It sounds callous and mean, but I really think it's the best option for you. You don't owe him anything.
Sorry that this has been such a rambling mess!
Btw, I live in Philly. Where in PA are you?
Edited to add: I'm sorry about your friend who died. I actually have a similar story. Well, he's not dead yet so I may yet redeem myself. But that's a story for another post. Must get some actual work done at work today.
Last edited by diene; 06-21-2013 at 08:50 AM.
Great post, Diene! Makes me want to dump my non existent boyfriend for being such a jerk. Seriously though, great insight.
How come you are still with your guy?
Zach--good question. Well, I live in PA right now, and I want to move back to CA. So I was waiting until I've saved up enough money to move. It appears that I have now saved up enough money, but I'm still scared that I won't be able to find a job in CA. I am tentatively planning on moving in September. It doesn't really make sense to break up now and have to find somewhere else to live if I'm going to move back to CA in September. I also don't know how to tell him. Although I made him sound like a jerk in the above post, it's not always bad 100% of the time. Obviously there are good times and a lot of memories. And I do love him in a way although I've fallen out of love with him years ago. So just facing the situation and telling him (the actual breaking up part) is also difficult for me to execute.
Sometimes it's easier to give advice than it is to take your own advice. :/
Last edited by diene; 06-21-2013 at 11:36 AM. Reason: typos
Hey i know how hard it is to break up with someone you love but are not in love with. God damn is it the most freeing thing to be out of it though! I love being by myself.
I want to live my life with no regrets and that comes down to being able to forgive myself. Not too long ago I finally forgave myself for rushing into a marriage I knew was wrong for me. But it's still hard when I see where I'm at today... not that I'm in a bad place.I'm just not as far in life as what I would have expected.
Diene, that was a really insightful post. Thanks for taking your time to really help me see your perspective. I feel that your advice is very valuable because of the way that you explained your own situation; we seem to actually have a lot in common.
So. I guess this is really what everything comes down to, in my mind:
I am aware that our relationship isn't going the way that I would like for it to go anymore, and honestly, I know that it's because of me. I am the one who's changed over the years, and he's stayed exactly the same. In the beginning, I can legitimately say that I thoroughly enjoyed being bossed around by him and following him around like a little puppy. I was so grateful for him opening up his life and his home to me when I felt like my family life was really not ideal. I was also grateful for him giving me the opportunity to go to college, and supporting me financially throughout the whole experience. I will always appreciate everything he has given me in the past, and all the great times we've spent together that I never could have experienced without him. I love him a lot, and he has a lot to give.
That being said, I am a different person. I really think I have grown into a woman now and need something more, or something different. To him, that would mean taking away from our relationship and losing the closeness that we have, that he enjoys so much. To me, that would mean enriching our relationship by giving it a new dynamic. Being away from him would give me an opportunity to miss him. Being apart for a few hours would mean we would actually have experiences away from each other and give us things to talk about. I would be energized, more fulfilled in life, and more inspired to do things joyfully, inside and outside of the relationship. He feels that I don't know what I'm talking about when I say that I want to change things up; I feel that he doesn't know what I'm talking about when I say that I need something different in my life.
Giving him an ultimatum (or giving anyone an ultimatum) is not in my character, at all. I really want everyone around me to be as happy as I can possibly make them, so forcing a compromise between each other would mean that he would either sacrifice his happiness for my own, or both of us would go our separate ways. I will be the first to admit this, though: I am terrified of being alone. I already feel alone enough in this world. After moving from my hometown, I never replaced my closest friends, and I would feel so detached from the rest of the world without being with him. I think maybe this whole situation would be about a thousand times easier if I just had one best friend that lived near me, someone in real life to rely on just momentarily, but it's not the case.
Today, he asked me if I even like him anymore. He says that I act kind of distant and unenthusiastic toward him all the time. I know that I'm acting this way, but I really can't muster up the positive energy to give to him right now. I just feel so oppressed because of the way he's behaving toward my needs. I was thinking about it today, and even young teenagers can have jobs and cars and money and spend time with their friends. I don't even feel like an adult right now. He says he doesn't feel like an adult either. I guess that happens when you don't work or have any responsibilities. I just don't understand how anyone could be this aimless in life? I keep waiting and waiting for him to say something like, "I really just feel like doing ______ would be an amazing accomplishment in my life." I ask him what he wants out of life and he gets angry with me for no reason. He says he just wants to be with a lot of women, and have a lot of money, and smoke a lot of weed. I laughed because I didn't think he was serious. But he was. That dream isn't meant for someone in a serious relationship.
I don't know. I really hate talking about this at this point in my life because I feel emotionally incapable of doing anything for myself. It's hard, so hard, to even think that all this time and effort I've put into our relationship is no longer working. Sorry if I was rambling, my thoughts are really scattered about this whole deal. This stress on my relationship is really turning me into an ugly person, and really showing a side of me that I do not enjoy.
Oh! I live in Pittsburgh. I've never been to Philly. Do you like it? Pittsburgh actually has a lot of really nice people in it. They just drink too much XD
Friday, June 21
2:30am on the couch. Got up to migrate to bed around 3am. Slept till noon! I was very sleepy, but woke up feeling rested, for the most part.
Picked up some more Vitamin D today, I was running low. I went to GNC because it was just right there, but I hate that place so much! Why do so many supplements have fucking soybean oil hidden in there?! I almost accidentally got some Soybean D3 today! But, I got the other kind, with hardly any fillers in there. Sheesh.
All my supplements were normal today. I didn't go to my weekly hookah session yesterday, though, and I've been kind of jonesing. I might sneak and smoke the butts of my boyfriend's cigarettes or something, I've been feeling a bit on edge. Ohh, it would be nice if I had one of those metal electronic hookah deals -- this thing: Starbuzz E-Hookah Pens and Electronic Hookahs - Starbuzz E-Hookahs at Hookah-Shisha.com
buncha weight lifting today. COY fitness thread, as usual.
B: coffee/almond milk/stevia. Made a lemon juice + fresh mint jelly thing, too.
L/S: Asian pear, 2 cups coconut water.
D: an entire roasted spaghetti squash (lol it was really small), 1/2c organicville pasta sauce, 4oz ground turkey breast, onions, spices. Cleaning up, I finished off the last few bites of my bf's baked beans.
S: 2 small bananas, 5oz. 0% greek yogurt, hot tea + almond milk. big bowl of popcorn, 1oz. halloumi cheese (soooo good!)
Drinks: coffee, almond milk, coconut water, 1 pitcher sexy tea, 1 slenderize fuze, hot chocolate-flavored tea, a sip of orange soda.
Update: had a binge after my bf left to go to a party that I wasn't invited to. Pathetic and gross, I know. Eating my feelings away like a spinster or some shit. I don't even want to count how many calories I had. (2k+) I had gluten, too. Can't help myself. Can I request a lobotomy please? And a stomach-otomy? My tummy is killing me, ugh. God damnit. I can't have many more of these weekends. It will not end well for my waistline.
Hair: needs a bit of a trim stiiiiiiiill. procrastinating mucho
Skin: looking good, actually. Went out without any makeup on today and got a compliment. win!
Body: Sore! My legs hurt so much today! And my back, too. A professional massage would be amaziiing.
Energy: Good. Better than my bf! He's KO right now for like no reason.
I was so angry all day today. Angry that I had to spend the whole day with my boyfriend, and had to entertain and be around him without any break. My friend didn't come to the gym with us today, so my boyfriend was coaching me the whole time. Directly, his encouragement didn't help me very much, but then I pretended to punch him and I got through every set. God, that's so horrible! Gotta get my shit straightened out.
Anyway, some good stuff that happened: my cousin's surgery went perfectly and he's recovering now!
I got into a conversation with a woman at the gym. She was 52, but looked about 35! I was surprised, really. She gave me a lot of compliments on how in shape I looked and started asking me about how long I've been working out and how much progress I've made. I could tell on her face that she was shocked to hear that I used to only weigh 85lbs. I think people would be less shocked to hear that you lost 85lbs before understanding that you let yourself get to be so underweight. My bf was standing there the whole time, and was making jokes about how I could never become a fat person, and how I was doing great but still have a long way to go before I get to "perfection." She looked at him in a really angry sort of way, and then back at me like she pitied me or something (?) and assured me that my journey to fitness was complete. I guess he just came off the wrong way to her. Maybe I just don't see the way he comes off. Sigh ...
Last edited by CiKi90; 06-21-2013 at 11:19 PM.
"And sometimes I despair
At who I've become
I have to come to terms
With what I've done"
And Ci, your fiance(?) says the most fucked up things, I think you should send him to a primal con, as a form of punishment. That's worse than being kicked in the dick.
He who dares not offend cannot be honest.