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Forums / Relationship and family issues / Struggling with relationship

Topic: Struggling with relationship

17 posts, 0 answered
  1. Kitty1991
    Kitty1991 avatar
    41 posts
    11 August 2021

    Hi everyone,

    my partner and I have been together for 10 years and engaged for about 5-6 years. I am the only one working and we struggle on a single income and are unable to save any money. I find this so stressful, I always have. I am always researching better ways to budget and trying to cut down on spending, but the money in and out doesn’t really change. I try really hard to provide my partner what every he needs/wants. I manage the money so he can travel several times a year to go visit his family, and this means I cannot visit mine. I get to visit family for Christmas approx every 2-3 years. I try and talk to my partner about the budget and how I need help but I am always told that it is my money and my problem. I guess I have been living in fairy land because I really thought as an engaged couple we should be working towards similar goals, but we are not. I was diagnosed with depression a year ago. I told my partner, explained the side effects of my medication etc... About a month ago I was told I now have extremely severe depression and extremely severe anxiety. Not really coping to well. My partner forgot that I was depressed... I struggle to leave my house without a mental breakdown.
    I have asked my partner to go to couples counseling with me because I am not happy and struggling.
    He has agreed to go but he doesn’t think it will help with my depression and anxiety because I must have some cognitive issues. He flat out refused today to even consider getting a job, as he refuses to be subordinate to someone, and that I am really shallow for wanting more money. I think I am looking for security and support. I am now freaking out that I am shallow and greedy.
    Also freaking out about the potential of us breaking up, I have never broken up with anyone before.
    Am I being too unreasonable? Does anyone have experience with couples counseling? Will it help or make it worse?

  2. geoff
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    11 August 2021 in reply to Kitty1991

    Hello Kitty, thanks for your comment and you are not in any way greedy at all, as it's only fair that your finance wakes up to try to get a job, especially if you are suffering from depression.

    I am sorry for the situation you are in and certainly believe that an engaged couple that both people should be wanting to look at their future because it's not reasonable that you try to work struggling with this illness, and his decision not to help and participate will only cause your illness to strengthen.

    If he dictates what he believes in and has no consideration for you, then a future life together may be very hard for you to cope with and perhaps if you do separate, then there's the chance you could feel better, not having o carry somebody who only wants to stay at home.

    I know this lockdown does prove to be a problem, but if he wanted to work then he would be able to get some job, it's the principle of this that counts.

    You shouldn't have to carry another person and to be accused of having 'some cognitive issues' is putting the blame on you, someone who is doing their best to work and support a one person relationship.

    I can't tell you what to do, but I can suggest that a couple needs both people to work with each other so you can achieve various goals you both have in life, if this doesn't happen, then it's time to move on.

    Please get back to us when you can.

    Geoff.

    3 people found this helpful
  3. sbella02
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    45 posts
    11 August 2021 in reply to Kitty1991

    Kitty1991,

    It's heartbreaking to hear that you're going through this. I agree with Geoff's response, and wish to expand on this with my own interpretation.

    Your relationship should never feel like a burden, an obligation, or a struggle. Often we accept the love we think we deserve, and in times of vulnerability (such as struggling with a mental illness), it can be difficult to prioritise ourselves and remind ourselves what values we seek in somebody we plan to spend the rest of our lives with. Two or three years ago, I was talking to someone who would've become my partner, had I not ignored red flags that were obvious to people outside the relationship but not necessarily to me. These people asked me to look at the situation objectively, and realise the dangerous signs to which I was oblivious due to lust, and I am forever grateful.

    You aren't being unreasonable, and I'm glad that you're recognising how this situation is making you feel. That's a fantastic achievement. You're also not shallow or greedy for wanting mutual financial contributions in your relationship, that's generally an expectation in most marriages, particularly if you share assets like houses and cars. It sounds to me like your partner often disregards your feelings and downplays your mental illnesses. He's also refusing to get a job, which already sounds to me like he may not be open to change, especially if you two began to attend therapy. Break-ups and separations can be terrifying, I know. In this case, it sounds like breaking up may be something you need to consider.

    I wish you the very best in this scenario, and hope it all works out well for you. Please make sure you're prioritising yourself and what you want, not just what your partner wants. I know that you mentioned that you don't see your family very often, which is tough because they can be a valuable source of support and encouragement for you. I would also have a talk to them about this situation, and ask for their opinions, as they would both know you well I'm assuming.

    I wish you happiness and health, and please let us know how you're feeling about it all/what your next plan of action is.

    Take care and best wishes, SB

    3 people found this helpful
  4. Juliet_84
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    11 August 2021 in reply to Kitty1991

    Hi Kitty1991,

    I’m not surprised that you’re struggling with your relationship, I would be too in your situation! It sounds like you don’t really have a partner to be honest and are instead doing things on your own. But with all the added burden of having another human being to look after, feed, clothe etc. And then when you try and raise your issues, your feelings are minimized and you are basically gaslighted and accused of being shallow and money hungry for expecting a grown man to be able to contribute to the household! I also think it’s convenient that he refuses to acknowledge the effect that his behaviour has on your depression and anxiety. I don’t know, I think this is your body’s way of saying that it’s had enough and you cannot keep going with the current situation. Whether you decide to leave or stay something has to change. The fear of you leaving may spur him into action or it may not, I suppose you just have to come to your own decision regarding what you do if he doesn’t change. It’s good that he has agreed to go to see a psychologist with you, as hopefully they will provide him with a bit of a reality check.

    1 person found this helpful
  5. Gabs_
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    11 August 2021 in reply to Kitty1991

    Hello Kitty1991,

    I think both Geoff and sbella02 are on the money. I especially agree with sbella02's comment that relationships should not be a burden, obligation or a struggle. Relationships are about being a partnership and having each other's back. And it very much sounds like the is a lot of you having his back, and very little of him having yours.

    Relationships can go through difficult times, but ultimately, the love and respect you have for one another should motivate a partner to wear a bit more weight when the other is struggling. And you've clearly told him that you are struggling with your mental health, as well as being the bread winner. And if he isn't responding to that, I think you have every right to question if this is the future you want for your life.

    At the end of the day, partnerships are 50:50. And you are responsible for the 50% you bring to the relationship, and he is responsible for his. And if his 50% if more like a big fat 0%, then I you have every reason to question his love and respect for you. I myself have walked away from relationships when I realise that there is a fundamental difference in what you both want in a relationship. And that's ok - it just means he is not your person. Yes, it hurts, but it's better to go through the break up, rather than spending the rest of your life trying to make someone happy, who won't afford you the same thing. ESPECIALLY when you have made it abundantly clear that it is having an impact on your mental health.

    A year into my relationship, my partner was made redundant, and was unemployed for 7 months. During that time, we sat down, did a budget, cut down on spending etc. Then earlier this year (after four years together), my mental health deteriorated so much that I ended up in hospital for a month. I ultimately had to leave my job, but it was a decision we made together, because it was in the best interest to my health. I'm still not working, but we have put a budget in place to get through this until I get better. I'm saying this so you have a demonstration of what I think should be expected in a relationship.

    Please know your own worth. You need to take care of you and put you first. I think you know in your heart what the answer is, just even reading your post..."he forgot you had depression"?

    We are all here if you want to talk more. Sending you big hugs.

    G x

    1 person found this helpful
  6. emotionallydrained
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    89 posts
    11 August 2021 in reply to Kitty1991

    Hi Kitty,

    Reading your post and the comments of the lovely people on this thread, I have to agree with all of them. There are a lot of red flags here and I think your relationship could be a big contributor to your mental health. You are carrying so much of the weight in the relationship. What does he do while you're working?

    A relationship should be 50:50. Not necessarily financially, but in contribution. It sounds like it's about 80:20 being generous.

    You should not be feeling bad about how much money you bring in and you are not being selfish in wanting it to go further or have more to make ends meet. The travel balance is also out of proportion and for someone who is not contributing financially, it sounds like he's almost using the situation to his advantage.

    If he doesn't want to join the workforce, can he work for himself? There are a lot of home based jobs around now.

    But honestly, I think you have to leave. He doesn't respect you by the sounds of it or appreciate what you do. Sometimes people need to have their safety net taken away from them to see their wrongs. You're not his mum there to provide a house, dinner and laundry. You're a partnership and if that partnership isn't working, then something needs to change.

    Please know though, this is not your fault and you did not cause this. No matter what he says to you, he is gaslighting to detract from his own shortcomings. xx

    1 person found this helpful
  7. Kitty1991
    Kitty1991 avatar
    41 posts
    12 August 2021 in reply to emotionallydrained

    Hi everyone and thanks for your support. It is good to get another perspective. In answer to your question emotionallydrained he plays video games while I at work. He plays video games and watches YouTube all the time actually, we can’t even have a meal without him playing a game or watching YouTube in the background. We also recently both started uni so he is doing uni full time and I am doing uni part time and working full time. But he can’t keep track of his assignments so I make a study schedule for him and have to remind him constantly to do his uni. That is quite exhausting especially considering I am trying to do my own uni as well, and work, cook, clean, do the yard work, freak out about living on a single income etc...

    I am organising couples counseling, don’t really know why I think I am over this now. Everyone who know me says I am being used, but I am really not use to standing up for myself 😕. I mentioned to my partner that couples counseling was going ahead and i needed it to decide if I wanted to continue the relationship. He says because I don’t socialise with many people I am blaming him for all my problems and it’s not really fair. And that he always helps around the house that I am blowing everything out of proportion and if sometimes I need to remind him to do chores that’s acceptable. Basically I am overreacting 🥺. Came home from work this morning solidly convinced the relationship is over. Now I am confused and I think I am being manipulated... He even said remember when I have paid for everything in the past (ahmmm I have always worked. Using my bank card is not paying for things himself), well think of this time (10years) as my share of the contribution. So I can work for 10years and he can use my card and that’s me paying him for my contribution?

    Thanks for all your support

  8. Gabs_
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    94 posts
    12 August 2021 in reply to Kitty1991

    Hi Kitty1991,

    I by no means want to tell you how to live your life, but I have some real concerns from what you have said in your last post. Your partner seems like he is undermining and gaslighting you - that's emotional abuse, not a relationship.

    And you're not his mother either - it is not your responsibility to cook, clean, earn money AND remind him to do his uni work. He is not a child, but he sure sounds like he is acting like one. Acting all defensive when you try to have an adult conversation with him, just demonstrates his emotional immaturity.

    You deserve so much more than that. Relationships are supposed to be a place of support and solace.

    You sound like such a motivated person - working hard, studying part-time and furthering your education....you have so much to give this world. Don't waste that energy on someone who doesn't deserve or respect it.

    You know that you are being mistreated. And the people around you who care about you clearly see that too. Please remember to back yourself. You are the only person who can make any decision about which path you tread.

    Relationships end. That's life. Sometimes we grow together and sometimes we grow apart. Myself, I've been divorced previously, and it was a hard decision to make, and it hurt like hell at the time, but I am so glad I made the choice that was right for me, not the other person.

    We are all here to support you whatever choice you make. As will be the people in your life that care for you.

    Sending you hugs and love,

    G x

    1 person found this helpful
  9. jtjt_4862
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    12 August 2021 in reply to Kitty1991

    Hi Kitty,

    It's really heart breaking to hear what you're going through at the moment, as I feel you're a very capable and hard working person who really deserves better. You've done your best with keeping this relationship going, and it has affected you tremendously. But it seems your partner might have some problems of his own, that he's dismissing all the concerns that you have about the relationship, instead of trying to work together to resolve the problem. It is as sbella said, a relationship should never make you feel like a burden, an obligation, or a struggle. It requires both sides to be giving and taking at an equal and acceptable amount.

    I'm glad to hear that you're starting to see value in yourself. By knowing your value, you can stand up for yourself, and know what you deserve in a relationship.

    • Do you feel it's fair for you to be a care taker for someone who seems to have a lot of issues and refuses to work on themselves?
    • Do you feel it's fair for you to have your hard earned money used by someone who isn't willing to share or contribute anything?
    • Do you feel it's fair for you if someone is dismissing and berating your feelings, concerns and worries in a relationship?

    It shows how little your partner values you and the relationship, and I feel you deserve better. You deserve a partner who's willing to respect and value your differences, appreciate your qualities, contribute and receive healthily, and work together with you to make the relationship work.

    Happy to listen to you more Kitty. Take care of yourself!

    Jt

    2 people found this helpful
  10. Kitty1991
    Kitty1991 avatar
    41 posts
    12 August 2021 in reply to jtjt_4862

    Hi everyone,

    So my partner and I had another talk today. He believes that our love should be able to conquer anything, and he would be happy to live in a tent together, why can’t I? I told him obviously I am never living in a tent because there will be spiders outside. I wouldn’t be happy in that reality, I like ammenities. But now I feel like the a really crappy person, for putting my needs first. He also mentioned that when he use to work 10years ago he could never keep a steady job and that’s why he hasn’t applied for anymore jobs. He says there must be something wrong with him, because he has always been let go from employment. He wants to do the couples counseling when I can organise it and he said he might look at getting help to see if he has any issues. I offered to organise help for him through my work EAP, but he doesn’t want it he will organise his own. I don’t think he has every organised anything in the time I have known him. He said he will go to the doctors to organise a MH care plan, but I can’t afford the doctors this fortnight. So I suggested maybe he call beyond blue to talk to someone there for support, he thought that was a good idea. But since our chat he hasn’t done anything.

    Emotionallydrained I saw you mentioned that he could be his own boss, that’s a good idea. But he doesn’t have any ambition to even think about that.

    I saw your questions JT and the answer to them is no but it’s so hard to stand up for myself, I normally try to avoid conflict as much as possible. I feel like I am being really selfish by recognising that I want more out of a relationship. I feel this is all my fault by suddenly changing the requirements of our relationship.

    Thanks for your support everyone

  11. geoff
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    13 August 2021 in reply to Kitty1991

    Hello Kitty, if he is unable to hold a job, whatever it is, then the writing is on the wall and if he says he's doing a uni course, I'm not sure he will get to first base, the video games are his priority as well as watching youtube, everything is focused on him and his needs, that's not 50:50 and it will be a struggle now and in the future.

    I can't say what you should do, but he will always have an excuse to feather his bed and that's not what you want.

    Geoff.

    3 people found this helpful
  12. jtjt_4862
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    13 August 2021 in reply to Kitty1991

    Hi Kitty,

    We should never be sorry for being ourselves. If we feel we deserve more from the relationship because of our own needs, then we are well within our rights to bring this up with our partner, and try to work something out. What I've learned thru my failed relationship, is that in a relationship, each individual is responsible for their own happiness. If there's something upsetting you about the relationship, we speak up for ourselves to get our needs met. Otherwise we'll be feeling resentful for the rest of our lives for not being able to fulfill our own needs. I feel, a change in requirements happens in a relationship because it is needed in order for the relationship to grow and strengthen. There will certainly be conflicts and turmoil when change is introduced, but if couples can work together to deal with changes, then there's always room for growth. Otherwise the relationship becomes stale and unfulfilling.

    I can understand that unusual feeling of standing up for ourselves. I too have experienced that unusual feeling. Even among friends and family, I've always felt it's not right of me to voice out my wants in life, and to avoid as much conflict as possible, even if it means giving up the things that I truly want. A lot has to do with my past and upbringing, and I'm slowly learning to gain confidence, and regain control over my own life. So you're not alone for having that feeling of wanting more out of your relationship, and the uneasiness of standing up for yourself. It is true that by standing up for ourselves, we may end up hurting others around us. But it is those who are willing to work together with us and strengthen the relationships (whether it's friends or family), those are worth keeping and fighting for.

    Will be rooting for you Kitty, and supporting you all the way regardless of the choices you make. I believe you'll be able to do what you feel is right for yourself and your life.

    Jt

    3 people found this helpful
  13. emotionallydrained
    emotionallydrained avatar
    89 posts
    17 August 2021 in reply to Kitty1991

    Hi Kitty,

    I can see how torn you are and how hard this is. I have some experience in standing up for yourself - or not standing up for yourself as the case may be for me as well. I have tried to have talks with my partner about my feelings and how past indiscretions have affected me. I am kind of met with understanding, but it also mostly feels like I'm still being told to get over it and move on. I too feel selfish asking for anything in return and, in my case, I am not considering his feelings and how much I am hurting him with what I say. It's a bit of a circle.

    You have every right to want to have your needs met and if he is not, or can't, meet them, then you need to look for another way.

    I have read that I was enabling my partner's illness by supporting him and making his life more comfortable (he has an anxiety disorder). I was living within the rules and restrictions that he had in place to keep us safe. But really, they were just to keep him and his world safe so his anxieties weren't triggered. It meant my life basically stopped and all that I enjoyed went with it. It's still a bit like that now. I am slowly regaining confidence to speak up, but a lot of the time it also comes out in anger and frustration. I let it go too far and now I am the one with the issues.

    I guess I am just saying that if you can see red flags now, then get out before it does come to affect you more. He is an adult and he is responsible for himself. It's great he is doing Uni, but I've got to say, what is the end game? If he has admitted he can't hold down a job, then what job will he get once he's finished? Sometimes Uni is just an excuse to prolong the inevitable.

    If he truly loved you, he would see how unfair he is being and he would change that. Sometimes you have to blow it all up to inflict a change. That change could be in him, or it could be that you are free and ready to move on with your life. It has nothing to do with love. People stay in bad relationships out of love and it just causes them to hurt even more. Abuse victims are usually caught in a bas relationship because they love their partner or believe their partner still loves them. If they love you, they wouldn't want to see you unhappy or hurting.

  14. Kitty1991
    Kitty1991 avatar
    41 posts
    17 August 2021 in reply to emotionallydrained

    Hi everyone,

    Geoff- I think you hit it on the nail. Everything has been about him and his needs for years. It is definitely not a 50:50 relationship. He cannot see why I say that though. He keep saying the this is the mental illness talking (apparently you can’t make rational decisions when your depressed or anxious 🤦‍♀️).
    I told him two days ago I want to separate. So he moved into my spare room, and because I have ‘paralysed’ him with my decision, I have organised Centrelink for him and changing our banks etc... I know it is his responsibility but I want to get the ball rolling on him moving out.

    he is concerned about his ‘assets’ (aka all the stuff I have brought) like the furniture, tv, laptop, push bikes etc...

    I have couples counseling booked on Thursday to try and get him to understand why we are breaking up and to help him move on. I don’t know why I am bothering it just seems like the right thing to do.

    Today he told me that he is really concerned because I will spiral into a well of despair when he leaves, unable to care for myself or my cat (the cat is my world, I will always care for my princess) and he isn’t sure I will mentally cope, and that the couples counsellor will agree with him. This seems a bit extreme right? Made me really anxious, had to shake myself out of it. I am a 30 year old female aircraft mechanic - I think I can look after myself. It will be easier than looking after the 2 of us like I have for the last 10 years.
    Tomorrow he is going to house inspections so I am hopeful he will find a place for himself and move out soon. He wants me to pay his bond, I don’t want to but it would probably mean that he will move out quickly.

    my anxiety has gotten worse with all the stress, had 2 panic attacks today. I don’t think I will tell him about them, I think he might try and use them against me. 🥺

    I really hope our separation goes as well as a separation can. Thank you for your support everyone. Sometimes I think it must just be a me problem and that I shouldn’t rock the boat, but I am glad others are seeing things similar to me.

    Thank you

    1 person found this helpful
  15. geoff
    Life Member
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    18 August 2021 in reply to Kitty1991

    Hello Kitty, he is only trying to make you 'give in' so that he can stay, but changing banks is a terrific idea, it's the start of becoming who you want to be and will develop even further, so well done.

    You won't spiral into despair, you will flourish and the counselling booked for Thursday, two to one on he won't attend to it, you can still go if you feel it would help, but what you are doing is the best therapy possible.

    Try and avoid paying the bond money for him, if he had worked then he could pay for it, alternatively, he can apply to Centrelink for the bond because you don't want any attachment with him, he has to do all of this by himself, no longer can he wait at home expecting you to do all of this, now he has to learn himself and perhaps he has someone he can live with until his bond money and a house/flat becomes available.

    Once he has gone, how you feel will change all for the better, it may take a few days, maybe a week but finally you and your cat will love your freedom.

    Please keep in touch.

    Geoff.

    1 person found this helpful
  16. jtjt_4862
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    18 August 2021 in reply to Kitty1991

    Hi Kitty1991,

    You're doing great. Getting the ball rolling on him moving out is a really great show of how capable you are with taking care of yourself, and defending yourself for what you feel is right for you. I am with Goeff that, I doubt you'd be spiralling down into a well of despair. There may be moments of grief as a break up marks the end of a relationship. But I'm sure life for you will just get better from here on, might be even better as you exit out of a relationship where you felt it isn't right for you or what you're looking for.

    I'm sorry to hear about your anxiety from the stress that you've been having. Happy to listen to you if you'd like someone to chat about it.

    Jt

  17. emotionallydrained
    emotionallydrained avatar
    89 posts
    23 August 2021 in reply to Kitty1991

    Good on your Kitty.

    You will be more than fine because you are strong enough to do what so many struggle with. You have seen that for your own mental health and wellbeing that you need to go your separate ways and you're doing that. You seems very level headed about it and you are making a lot of right choices in the bank accounts and helping him move out.

    As Geoff said, I would try and avoid the bond as well. I can see what you mean that it might help him move out quicker, but it's another thing keeping you tied to him.

    I think the counsellor (if he does go) will confirm that it's probably the best thing. And even if they don't, only you know you and what is best for you. I think you've made a very brave move and I think you will be just fine.

    Ps: You must be a strong woman, you're an aircraft mechanic! That is impressive in itself and says a lot about you.

    1 person found this helpful

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