We just can't seem to make it work.. Advice?

Discussion in 'Relationships' started by Ooohwhatprettystars, Oct 13, 2015.

  1. Ooohwhatprettystars

    Ooohwhatprettystars Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2013
    Messages:
    159
    Likes Received:
    31
    Hey there! I've been in a relationship now for a little over a year with my girlfriend. We had dated before for just over a year and decided to split because we were fighting and just couldn't make things work. We decided to try again after being apart for around 8 months. We had talked and seemed to clear up things that we were having issues with before, but over the last two months they have come creeping back in. There is a big age difference, I just turned 27 and she is about 18 years older than me, but it really hasn't been a big problem before. We've always had disagreements, but recently things seem to just be not working more than working. I've been in college for almost two years and recently was accepted into a medical program that I've worked very hard to get into. Which takes an enormous amount of extra time and devotion. She was very happy and supportive when I was accepted, but now that I'm almost halfway through the first semester everything is going to pieces.

    For almost two years now I've really kept to myself and not done a whole lot of socializing. I've got friends, but most of them don't live here or have been pretty busy with their own stuff so I haven't been very social. Now that I am in this program, I actually have made a few new friends and shown interest in socializing again both with new friends and old friends and all hell has broken loose. It started with me showing interest in wanting to continue my education after this program to get my Bachelors. She had a not so supportive response, she didn't discourage me, but she just kind of complained that she thought I would be done with school after this program and that we could move forward to other things (marriage, kids, etc.) That is something I want in the future, but I honestly want to get my career in order first. Weeks went by and we didn't talk about it anymore, but a bad feeling started brewing inside me. Recently I started hanging out with friends from school (lunch, Barnes and Nobles, and going to the nail salon to be specific) and hanging with old friends (lunch, dog park, dinner, etc.) and she is starting to be wary of who I am talking to and what I'm doing.

    Specifically, I feel that she doesn't trust me and that she is jealous. In my opinion. I have never questioned her about who she is friends with, where she is going, etc.. I just trust her, I feel that if someone is with me then they are with me, if not then they can move on. Plain and simple. Her best friend, that she hangs out with often, is her ex, whom she was engaged to, and whom she still says "I love you" to on the phone. (She says she means it in a friendship way.) Never have I said a word about it.

    One of my friends that doesn't live too far away just graduated her program and now has free time until she transfers(military). She leaves in less than two months. We had dinner last week with her coworkers and it was great, I haven't seen her in a while and usually life gets in the way somehow. Same as all my other friends. Anyway, we hung out and that was great, then yesterday she asks me if I want to take my dog to the dog park with her dogs, I thought, why not. I needed to de-stress and get out of the house. She called while I was headed there and when I told her what I was doing she proceeded to get upset and then hang up on me. We fought later on the phone and she denied having a double standard since she is best friends with someone she wanted to marry, yet she gets upset at me for hanging out with a friend of mine. This friend and I met when she moved here and I initially had feelings for her, but we ended up just staying friends because that's just how it happened. We never made any moves or talked about being more, nothing like that. Anyway, we've been friends ever since, and my girlfriend knew all about this, but now she is freaking out on me about hanging out with not only her but anyone that she doesn't personally know it seems.

    Trying to keep this short didn't work. To put it simply, I feel like the walls are closing in on me. I've never given her a reason not to trust me, but I feel like all of this shows her lack of trust in me, and her insecurity in our relationship. All the while I'm trying to balance this relationship, my schoolwork, and a job. I should not feel sick to my stomach every time I do something with a friend, knowing that when I tell her she will get upset. That's not okay. I've asked what I can do to ease the situation and she said nothing. I now feel like I'm having to choose between my relationship and my friendships.
     
    #1
  2. Spygirl

    Spygirl Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2013
    Messages:
    743
    Likes Received:
    1,058
    Breaking up and getting back together when the underlying problems aren't resolved almost always ends in a break up. You broke up for a reason the first time -- "you just couldn't make things work"...so what on earth would make you think they could work a second time around if you didn't address those problems in the first place? Sweeping things under the rug or ignoring those issues will always come back to haunt you. In this post you mention that "weeks went by and you didn't talk about it..." that tells me all I need to know -- you don't address your problems head on. And neither of you seem to communicate -- you ask what you can do to ease the situation...she says "nothing."

    It seems like there is no compromise. She wants things her way and if she doesn't get them she throws an adult temper tantrum by treating you poorly.

    I also think the age difference is huge -- you're 27..she's about 45 by your math. Um...yeah, lots of difference there to make the age matter. I can't imagine that I'd have anything in common with someone in her 20's to consider dating seriously because we're just at different points in our life. You're starting a career -- she's at the age where other things seem to be more important. It's unfair of her not to let you have a life when she's already had the opportunity to experience the kinds of things you need to experience -- building a career, school friendships, etc.

    Do yourself a favor and be selfish for once. Find someone who's compatible and supportive of you, because this woman doesn't seem to be any of those things. I would imagine that if she's not happy with your career choices then you're going to find yourself in a position where you give up things for her and resent her...or you follow your dreams and she makes your life a veritable hell.
     
    #2
  3. Bluenote

    Bluenote Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2013
    Messages:
    1,390
    Likes Received:
    1,489
    I staid with my wife through medical school. It is not easy. But if you are committed and care for the person, you choose to do it. I could see how my wife really 'needs' to be a Doctor. She was so miserable in a 9 -5 pay the bills kind of job.

    It sounds like your gf is frustrated about you choosing to go to school. She is projecting that frustration into jealousy and accusing you of things. I guess that is easier for her than saying "I don't want you to go to school, I just want you to stay exactly how you are."

    And that, to me, is a problem. Couples need to grow and change together. If you are 27 and she is 45, that is a big difference. You are still growing and finding yourself. She wants to settle down. It is not fair of her to try and stunt you finding yourself. It is not fair of you to lead her on if you aren't ready to settle down (not that you have, but just to make the general point).

    If she isn't willing to commit to this, that is ok. But she should do it honestly - "I want kids in the next few years, before I am too old to have the energy for them." And not pick on some smoke screen issue.
     
    #3
    Ooohwhatprettystars and Spygirl like this.
  4. Spygirl

    Spygirl Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2013
    Messages:
    743
    Likes Received:
    1,058
    But that's the difference...loving someone so much that you want to see what's best for her..that you want to support her in what makes her happy despite that you might not've gotten to spend a lot of time when she was hitting the books. If you truly love someone, you want to see her be the best version of herself she can be....

    I would not have wished anyone on me when I worked full time and went to law school at night....of course, I was "dating" a guy then..but it was easy to be gay and hide behind a guy when I had absolutely NO time to date. I guess that's why our relationship worked, eh? ;)
     
    #4
    Ooohwhatprettystars likes this.
  5. Ooohwhatprettystars

    Ooohwhatprettystars Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2013
    Messages:
    159
    Likes Received:
    31
    Thank you ladies for your input! Quite honestly I think you are both right. I think that we really are just at two separate points in our life and even though we want the same things, she wants them faster than I do. I feel awful for putting anyone through hurt and I want it to work, but I just am failing to see how it will work. These aren't small things.. I don't want to feel guilty for wanting to stay in school and for being social. I think it just took something big like this to really open my eyes. I feel like we just decided to try things again because we both would like it to work, but maybe we are trying to make something work that isn't supposed to?
     
    #5
    Bluenote likes this.
  6. lorienczhiu

    lorienczhiu Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2013
    Messages:
    638
    Likes Received:
    596
    I'm not a big fan of destiny metaphors, but it seems like your stars are just not aligned with hers. You need and want different things from your lives and your partners, and it's not really reconcilable; up there with wanting kids and polyamory as goodwill dealbreakers. It sucks, you know, but you can realize it and let things end amicably, or you can hang on and make each other miserable. Sometimes "making it work" and "fighting for our relationship" are actually not the best choices.
     
    #6
  7. Ooohwhatprettystars

    Ooohwhatprettystars Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2013
    Messages:
    159
    Likes Received:
    31
    It absolutely does suck. We talked it out today for a little while, and for the most part we can agree that there is just no way for us to see things as the other person sees them. We both don't mean to make each other feel the way that we do, obviously I do not want her to feel insecure or upset ever and she does not want me to feel the way that I have. Splitting up was mentioned, but we were both late for work and school so we had to put the conversation on hold. We don't want to split up.. but we know its something that may have to happen. I explained to her that at this point in my life, I'm still changing and growing, especially while in school, and that I'm trying to establish my career; and that she is ahead of me having already established her career. She has her life all figured out and I have not reached that point yet, nor can I predict when I will reach that point. I've told her that I just can't go through this program at school and be upset everyday like I have been recently about problems going on in our relationship. I don't want to hurt her, but I don't want to be hurting myself at the same time.

    *She did say when I started the conversation that she just had a "moment" and that now she's over it... but I told her that we can't sweep things under the rug and expect not to be in the same position later. We've got to solve our problems and talk about things or nothing will be accomplished at all and we will end up resenting one another.
     
    #7
    Bluenote likes this.
  8. alphabet

    alphabet Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2014
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    22
    A friend of mine told me this once and I've remembered it ever since. Sometimes we forget that so much of what a person does is not about you, but really about themselves.

    As humans it's easy to get caught up in feelings of insecurity especially when life plans aren't going the way you want them too. It's also easy to to take it out on the ones you love too. But communication will be the death of any relationship, take it from someone who has also been there. I've dated girls who were very emotional and would have outburst or moments as you said. It was too hard though after awhile and you don't deserve to be someone's punching bag (also been there done that).

    We all deserve relationships that push us to be better people and to make us happy and not hold us back. Sometimes, loving someone is just not enough. I've always ended a relationship because I chose to go to grad school and that meant moving far away. I don't regret that even though I loved that girl a lot because you come first at the end of the day. If you are unhappy you can't have a happy relationship. Cliche but true but you gotta love yourself first before you can love anyone else. Sometimes that means walking way if things can't change. It's really really hard to do that though so I understand the turmoil that goes through your heart thinking about that. Do what's best for you though.
     
    #8
    Frazier and Ooohwhatprettystars like this.
  9. Coffee Addict

    Coffee Addict Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2013
    Messages:
    125
    Likes Received:
    110
    I don't know if I am too late for this conversation, I am sorry If I am so please ignore if this is not applicable anymore. I am a firm believer that age is just a number. We make ourselves that number big or small, important or not. You could have an abysmal difference in option with someone who is just a month apart from you. So, for me age doesn't mean there is a problem.

    I don't think there is a relationship that doesn't need a lot of communication, and honesty, and more communication. I grant you that communicating is hard and exhausting. Sometimes I don't want to talk about things, even though I know we need to.

    The most important thing is to know if you still love each other. Not the I-care-about-her love (because you do, and always will) but the kind of love-love that gives you passion and flame and ... you get the picture. So for the sake of argument, lets assume you love each other.

    There are to situations here: your friends, and your career (and all the things associated with those two things). About your friends, I understand her feeling jealous your time. For example, school and work can keep us so busy that we don't have time to enjoy our partners, and next thing you know you just want to go to bed (in her arms of course, but just rest). At the same time, I see why you would go with friends to just disconnect from work and relax a little.

    It is not that she does't trust you but she needs some intimacy and time together. What I try to do is to spend some quality time with my lady (sorry honey, I hope you don't mind me sharing this). I try to ask her out on dates regularly (e.g., once every two week). For example, you could do mini-dates, little things you can do together like watching tv while eating popcorn or walk to the park, or have dinner at candlelight even if it's a frozen dinner. That way when you do go out with some friends she won't feel you are preferring them. It also helps if when you go out, you let her know your plans and send her little winks every once in a while.

    About your career. You know she is established and you are trying to build your own. It is complicated but together you can figure things out. Even though I don't need to discuss my career plan with my partner, I keep her in the loop of what I am thinking. I am trying to build my career myself too and it takes a lot effort, communication, and honesty. If I see that it may not align with us, we talk about it and think of a plan for us. I know that all she wants is for me to be happy and I want the same for her.

    I am not saying it will be easy or that things will work right away. I think the key is to communicate and keep loving each other.

    I do wish you the best of luck.
     
    #9
  10. greylin

    greylin Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2013
    Messages:
    2,149
    Likes Received:
    963
    I have seen couples, close in age but one of them have a big change, like going back to college or starting grad school and the other would feel left behind. So I am not entirely sure if it is the age that is the problem. People can be in different stages because of age, but in school, career changes can hit any couple at any given time.

    It is really daunting to meet someone and all of a sudden it is a couple of years down the road and you can't pee without someone having a say it seems. I am not sure why we have this system that partners are so wrapped up in each others business it sucks the joy out of being together for love, companionship and fun. It seems like you are having to tip toe home after hours and tip toe around her for having a friend. It seems like you are weary because it sounds like most of things you listed out are things you want to leave her for. I agree with CA on couples just trying one last ditch thing and really talk things through. Doing this does not mean you are not self preserving, but whether you are staying or going, you know you have made a thorough decision so you don't have an on and off thing with her.

    Sometimes it really doesn't take much for you to help ease jealousies. A lot of times it may seem like nothing apeases a lover who is jealous of your time but I think it is not true. She probably needs to hear that special something and may have given you verbal cues of what she is looking for. If you want to stay and work it out I would listen carefully. I think she wonders if she is still important to you and you still think of her when you are out with friends. So the smiley winky thing CA suggested would help.
     
    #10

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice