[ Throw away account for this post specifically because my partner follows my real account. ]
TL'DR: My partner is my best friend and I love him but we've been in limbo for so long waiting for his schooling to finish that shit is downright toxic; there's a lot of resentment and neglect built up on both sides, maybe too much to overcome?
I've been with my partner for 3 years now. We live in the beautiful victorian I've always wanted; we have three super fucking high energy rescue kittens, and after busting my ass I'm finally making over 6 figures and looking down the barrel at an imminent pay raise and promotion. That said, it's been a weird ride. When we first started dating I had just graduated and he was mid-way through a PhD in solid state physics / earth and planetary science – we were bright eyed and rosy cheeked, what could go wrong?
Fast forward and while he's always been stressy about school (doing a PhD is the hardest thing I've ever seen someone endure. Seriously the constant stress and anxiety and sheer volume of work he does is insane) but he's nearing the end of his degree and I'm crumbling in the home stretch. I would say for the past year and in the past 6 months particularly I've become his stress punching bag. I'm a fairly direct, some would say potentially aggressive person, so I tend to rise to an altercation rather than back away from one, and this means maybe there were times I inflamed or escalated a situation unnecessarily but honestly I know it's a reflex from feeling neglected and unappreciated, as well.
Rant time. I support us entirely. I literally make 5x what his stipend is, and I insist he saves and invests all of his income. Despite this he is single-handedly keeping Amazon in business, I swear (insert eye roll). His financial dependence has NEVER been an issue to me though, but he constantly criticizes my financial decisions and you know what FUCK. THAT. I pay our bills, our rent, I pay my own savings, 401k, student loans, car note, car insurance vehovjsabvaorfbnv
I do all of the home chores and cleaning, though he washes the occasional token plate so he can say “I washed the dishes!” when we argue. I cook, despite also being the one who works full time and until recently that was usually until ~7PM at night, but if I don't cook – he won't eat. Fucking child. So I make super dishes on the weekend and freeze them to pop in the oven during the week. Suck it Betty Crocker. He complains about whatever I've cooked constantly. He'll request a certain dish. I make it. He says it was better last time. His justification for this is that he's “making me a better cook”.
He's English and we've spent the past 3 Christmas's with his family in the UK, on the condition that we spend Thanksgiving with my family, in CA. He STRONGLY dislikes most of my family and in fairness they're a bold flavor, but I never complain about his weirdly stiff and boring GOD is she boring, mother. It just makes me feel guilty for bringing him, but if I want to go alone he gets really pouty and manipulative. That's another thing, you know what we're going to bullet points:
- We don't have sex as often and when we do it's definitely selfish sex (read blow jobs and or no foreplay which we have discussed over. and over. and over)
- He shuts me down when I need support. His stress and anxiety level is so high he doesn't have the emotional bandwidth to support me when I need it.
- He doesn't like my friends, so I see them less..I miss them and tbh feel isolated
- He's a blanket and bed hog, to the extent that we sleep with separate blankets and sometimes in separate beds
- He's very needy sometimes but never reciprocates, I give him massages when he's stressed, watch his terrible shows, I even learned how to play COD just so we could have little mini-breaks between work when he needs them
- I love him, but he's let himself go from when we met – don't get me wrong he's a very very attractive man, but he used to be turn heads Chris Hemmy Gorg. Now he's…sad, depressed Thor with a belly. Not to sound like a 100% dick, but I know i”m attractive and I haven't gained a pound since we started dating. I'm a petite woman, but ya girl is keeping it tight
- He criticizes me pretty often, and just generally is so wearing. He projects all of his stress onto me and I just don't know if I should hang in there. He's living in the future (degree in December), everything is “when I graduate… when I graduate… ” but I'm here in today-ville hating every fucking minute. I live for the in-between seconds where we laugh and chat and he's the guy I first met, the one I miss. My friend.
I know it sounds like I've made my mind up, but he really is such a thoughtful, funny, kind person, he's just wrapped up in trauma and stress, and on top of that he's very dependent on me emotionally and financially. Is this actually going to end when his degree finishes ? Our brains don't work that way..they structure and reorganize our thought patterns habitually. He's been so stressed and so resentful of me (and me to him) for so long that honestly I don't think a switch is going to flip and all of those bad patterns melt away. So how long do you wait? A year? Two? Three? A lifetime?? I can't do this for a lifetime…so maybe I can't do it for another week. Or minute.
It's late. Or Early, depending on your state of mind. Thanks for listening MassimoL.