A few months into our relationship though, things really began to change. I began to note extreme jealousy in him and a desire to be kept apprised of all of my whereabouts. Though I eventually grew accustomed to telling him where I was going and where I was with the jealousy began to cause problems. Prior to dating him, I spent much more time partying and drinking. Though I have since cut this out of my life almost entirely, I was much wilder when I was drinking. On one occasion a male friend mentioned having seen my breasts. My boyfriend later called me many names and questioned my sexual past. We were eventually able to get through this but I was struck by how easy it was for him to be brutal—and how little remorse he showed later.
For the next several months, our relationship continued in the same fashion. My boyfriend never took my on dates, rarely did nice things for me, and desired to spend all of our time together in his room watching TV. It was became clear that he struggled to accept me for who I really am. He had a concept in his head that I am “pure and perfect” and was angered when I did not match up to this concept.
Eventually, I began talking to an ex-boyfriend in an inappropriate way. I was desperate for attention and affection which my boyfriend did not give me. He discovered my betrayal, but, remarkably, we were able to overcome it. I explained that his mean streak had taken a toll on my self-esteem and feelings of self-worth—I had desired comfort from elsewhere. I was elated that he did not end our relationship and I ignored the tumult that marred our relationship for the next few weeks.
The following months were the best we ever had. We both were very happy, we grew closer and stronger in our relationship and I felt we were both maturing greatly. Though my boyfriend still never spent much time trying to make me happy or do nice things for me, I failed to take note or worry about it much.
Then, I graduated from our college and decided to take a full time position with my alma mater, where he will be a senior this coming fall. Over the summer, my boyfriend returned to his hometown while I began working for the school. Every time we saw each other he was very passionate about me and our relationship and he expressed missing me a lot when we were separated. I looked forward to being reunited again because it seemed our issues were finally going to be behind us.
When he moved back here, though, our relationship seemed to have completely changed. As a housewarming gift, I bought him a really nice bottle of scotch—just a token of love and welcome. But he seemed reserved and lacked any passion toward me or our relationship. He began his partying and drinking lifestyle again and failed to make time to spend with me. One night, I had to go to the emergency room, but I was unable to get in touch with him to take me so I contacted a co-worker. I later found out that he had been out drinking with his friends. He was profusely sorry for not having been there for me and assured me that we could spend time together the following evening. Yet again he spent time with his friends all evening but assured me he would come over to sleep. My feelings were really hurt that he had backed out on our plans and that he thought just sleeping was adequate—after all, at the start of our relationship this had been a qualm he had with me. I tried to explain all of these feelings to him but he told me I should accept this because we’ve been together so long and this is just how relationships work since we are no longer in the “infatuation” stage.
I can’t help but feel like I’m being punished for my past mistakes and for my immaturity at the start of our relationships. But I also can’t get through to my boyfriend—he vehemently denies that there is anything wrong. I don’t know how to move forward or fix the situation and I’m also facing the feeling that maybe this relationship just isn’t capable of working.
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