RC. Your response on having an antisocial partner describes where I’m at exactly. I’ve been with this boy for over a year. I’m 30, he’s 28. He has his shit together, makes great money, owns a beautiful house – but hates fun. Not only can I never get him to go out with me and my friends, but it’s gotten even harder to get him to go out with me to do anything besides the occasional dinner. He also has a dog that he can’t leave for more than four hours. (He even takes her to work). Anytime I push for us to do something, he has an excuse. He’s tired, the dog, can’t get time off, and recently he said he couldn’t afford to travel. (Bullshit).
He has more than enough energy, time and money to invest in the projects he cares about. I love him like crazy and he can be amazing, sweet and generous. We obviously have a deep connection on some level. But just as you said, that constant feeling of resentment is starting to destroy us, and the frustration of his inflexibility infuriates me. I’ve been trying to live this double life but it’s starting to make me feel as though I’m losing who I AM. I don’t want to leave this person because there are so many things I do love about him but I just don’t know how I can possibly continue to manage my two worlds. Confused
That’s because you can’t, long-term. When you’re that incompatible, someone’s always the loser in the happiness stakes and it’s not him, is it? He’s happily living life completely on his terms with his dog and his castle and his choices, investing time and money in the stuff he cares about. You’re the one who wants more, and he’s the one telling you to talk to the hand every time you dare to ask for it.
Trouble is, as human beings we’re very good at talking ourselves into staying in shit situations out of fear, love, expectation, family pressure or hope that the person will miraculously change into who we wish they were, etc etc. And I’m not debating that you love him or that he loves you – I’m sure he does – but when someone is so bloody blinkered about how they want to live and won’t compromise EVER or give an inch to do something for someone they love (even if they would rather not), it’s a very conditional kind of love, isn’t it? It’s not the real kind of love that exists between two people who go out of their way to, well, make each other happy and make the other person’s life better.
As you read in that previous question I answered, I’ve been there and have the t-shirt and all that. My response said it all, really, but here’s a little postscript almost a decade down the road: 1) I can’t believe I stayed in that situation FOR FOUR YEARS and 2) My life is so, so much better than I ever could have imagined since I kicked my ex to the curb.
You can have the kind of love and life you want and crave, Confused. You just have to find the courage to say, ‘Much as it breaks my heart to admit it, this isn’t working for me. We’re just too incompatible and I’m not happy and I don’t think I’ll ever be’. And that’s scary. It’s hard and scary and heck, EASIER to not say anything along those lines at all and just put up and shut up and hope the good eventually outweighs the bad and you don’t continue to feel like your very identity is disappearing and your life is just a little bit shit and not quite what you hoped it could be, were you with the right person. But if you’re at the point of writing to an advice column about this issue, I think you and me both know what you need to do.
Love, reality chick