I’m new here so please forgive me if I say anything out of place.
I’ve been with my partner for over a decade and I notice it’s wearing me down. I look back at old photos and I’m not the person I used to be. I’ve lost the genuine laughter and twinkle in my eye. Maybe part of that’s to do with maturing and going through life experiences, making one more wary but I keep wondering if a large part of that is to do with my relationship with my partner.
We can’t seem to communicate. Most communications end up with him being angry, rolling his eyes, sighing or just plain ignoring (like not saying a word or making eye contact so that I have to repeat myself and ask if he heard). In arguments, we just go round in circles and I end up having to apologise and then nothing changes. On the rare occasion when he seems to make changes, it’ll only last a week. When I do confront him, the usual responses are “I didn’t hear you”, “ you should make yourself clearer”, “I don’t remember having that discussion”, “I didn’t realise it was important”.
When things go wrong, I’ll often get the blame. From small things - like the kitchen towel being soaking wet (it was draped over the sink which was wet) to bigger things like why the household financial situation is not as expected.
When I gathered enough courage together and listed out key areas for us to work on, his response was “ it is who I am, I can’t change”.
He told me I am the problem, and wishes there is someone who can “fix” me and tell me how to behave. When I try to put in my side of the story, he either says it’s not important or I’m being nasty to him and he is the real victim.
I can see that some problems are related to my low self esteem during my upbringing and perhaps I should have been more vocal about issues earlier on in the relationship. I can also see he had issues too during his childhood which also play a role.
Some days I cry because I feel so sorry for the little boy that I can see in his eyes and wish I could make this relationship better for him so he won’t feel so upset. Other days I cry because I’m just confused and don’t know what’s up or down anymore as the saying goes.
So I’m just seeing if the community can shed some thoughts on what feels like a confusing situation to me. I feel I should leave because the relationship is harming me (regardless of whether it classifies as emotional abuse or not) but I also feel guilty that I’m abandoning a person who needs love.