Hello all. So I have been dating my boyfriend for about 3 years now, and I've been experiencing a lot of conflicting emotions for a good 2 months now.
Some background to note, I am clinically depressed and have a severe form of bipolar disorder, but I am effectively medicated and lead a healthy lifestyle (gym, diet, etc). Basically, while it does still effect me daily, it is quite manageable, but may still be a contributing factor. I also had an extremely abusive relationship with an older man while I was still a minor for I would say, six years before this relationship. My current relationship began a year after my abuse ended, and my boyfriend has been 90% loving and healthy; he truly has a heart of gold.
Early into our relationship, we experienced a lot of stress and hardship. I lost favor with my family due to a family dispute with a cousin and was effectively banned from the property, and my boyfriend and his family were generous enough to let me use one of their rooms while I searched for a new home. He ended up moving out with me into our first home about a month into the relationship. He lost his job another month later due to the company having to lay off workers. I also lost my job that same week due to my departure from the university I had been attending because of the family fallout.
Our house was a glorified shack, but a home was a home. We ended up surviving off of my savings for about 2 months before we were able to secure new jobs (this was at the start of the new year in 2016, so no one was ready to take on new employees at the time). Our jobs were awful, but they paid the bills and things were looking up. Then the house started to fall apart, and for the next 8 months we struggled with house repairs, poor health from the condition of the house overall, and a lapse in my mental health due to our inability to pay for my prescriptions regularly.
After our first year together, my family contacted me to let me know that the situation was over, begged for forgiveness, and graciously ushered boy myself and my boyfriend back into my family home. I was able to quickly get back on top of my medication and mental state, and our physical health drastically improved. Then the hardest hit took place.
My boyfriend ended up being arrested for embezzlement of over six-hundred dollars form his workplace. I had no suspicion of him ever resorting to stealing, and while I understood his actions (our house was crashing down and we had nowhere else to go due to family situations on both ends) it was a terrible mistake. He obviously lost his job, so I went on to become the main breadwinner. For the next two years.
While the case was ongoing, I picked up 2 more jobs to save for legal fees, bills, groceries, everything we needed. All the while, he slipped very deep into a depression and effectively became a recluse. That year was mostly a blurr after that to be honest, but I remember our sexual relationship completely fizzled out, we started fighting often, and we had to keep the entire thing under wraps out of fear of losing shelter once again. After the trial came and we were blessed enough to get his sentence reduced to a fine, a ban from his old workplace, and a small three-hundred dollar fee, it was all over; However, he remained depressed and refused to pick up work again. The fighting remained, all affection and intimacy was gone, and we barely spent any time together due to me working all the time.
Fast forward another year to about two months ago from today (So December of 2018) He has a job, I am back to reasonable work hours, our health is back on the rise, everything seems to be going well. Except the love aspect. Up to this point, I madly loved my partner; I would have done everything and anything for him, even with the fights and the stress. We still do not have intercourse (so two years straight now) and affection is still minimal. We spend a lot of time together, but it feels really empty. Kind of like we're just two warm bodies in the same room together. I have had many detailed conversations with him on this, and he always assures me that he loves me deeply and would be heartbroken to lose me. He also says that he doesn't know if he could recover form losing me if I ever decide to leave him. In my head, I still love my boyfriend dearly. the idea of leaving him and breaking his heart destroys me inside, but I long for change. I feel horrifically guilty every day, to the point where I'm visibly starting to show it (he is beginning to notice my decreasing interest, as do my close friends).
this is where I beg for any advice and wisdom any of you may have. Is it just growing pains? Have my needs changed? I met him when I was only 18, and I am almost 21 now. He is currently 26. Am I outgrowing him? Am I being unreasonable? Do I need to move on? Am I just burnt out? should we take a break? please please help me. I don't want to hurt an innocent man's heart because I'm selfish and desire companionship. Any and all advice is openly welcome. I apologize for the length, but thank you so much for reading.
Much love~ Shrimpo
hmm from my experience only, you should always put yourself first. Two broken people cannot work and you need to save yourself and it is a brave person to do that. I lost my mother and sister before i was 20 and i felt obliged to marry the woman who helped me, when i finally came to my senses i realised that I really did not have anything in common with her and in fact i was not in love but I was obligated. I do not actually regret 25 years of marriage and i cannot tell her that I was not in love all that time. So i told her we simply grew apart and i wished her all the best.
While i accept that you care for your partner, you can still be his friend. You have already done enough to help him, it is time to help yourself.
Sure give it a couple of months to decide but I think you know in your heart what you need to do.
Good luck and be safe.
To tiredoflife and sirfire, thank you both for your advice. It was extremely insightful and gave me some options to think on. I believe I'd like to seek some professional help for myself and my partner, as a final shot. If that can't fix it, then like sirfire said, I need to care for my own heart. Thank you both again for the perspective and advice.