The last straw. Hurt and confused.

Visitor's Question from a 21-30 year old Male

I've been in a relatonship to a mostly wonderful girl for over 6 years. We have lived together for ages. but i am in a serious crisis now. my mind is a blur and i think i'm about to break down.
my partner is wonderful and caring for the most part, but is also very controlling/ possessive. over the past 6 years we have made many plans together regarding our future life, and we were geering up to get married next year.
in the beginning, we had this wonderful plan of developing our careers, settling down, raising a family. I have increasingly developed my life to revolve completely around her.
My personality is naturally one of a free intellectual spirit. Before I met her, I had a wide circle of casual friend and was a member of lots of activity groups. I travelled alot too. yet there was always something missing, and when i met her, I felt that I had at last found 'THE' missing piece.
however, initially, we had a bumpy road. I had ambitious plans for my career, which I changed to bring myself more into line with her plans, which I saw were 'our plans', something worthwhile in my life I could devote myself to. I gave up many oppertunties, including a chance to work abroad in what I had thought was my dream job/ life at the time. I was heavily involved in i guess what you'd call 'artsy activities'. I used to visit go to the theatre regularly, attend talks exhibitions etc. however, because these events intimidated her, she would be extremely reluctant in accompanying me. when she wasnt dragging her feet and complaining, she would tell me to go myself, then would display a sense that I had betrayed or abandoned her. So I gradually scalled down my involvement, and finally broke off contact with my once large circle of casual contacts. but I always felt that it was all worth it. as i was devoting myself to building a happy relationship with her for the future.

my previous job allowed me to take long 'sabaticles' 3 -4 weeks at a time, each year, for 'personal developement'. i'd spend this time sometimes visiting places that i'd never been to, living rough, backpacking from place to place. However, she hated these activities. she wouldnt say no outright, but would express that I was loosing interest in her, abandoning her. I stopped completely, spending my time in a way as she dictated it. for a couple of years, I ended up spending all that time living with her family instead. of course i resented it initially, but I thought it was all going toward a greater good. building a mutually happy life for the both of us.

3 years ago, I was offered, what I felt at the time, was a golden career oppertunity to work abroad. it was what I wanted to do, in a place i've always wanted to go. She would not accompany me. It was too far away from her family she said. she could never do it. so I gave it up. I began to feel very upset at the time. however in my mind, she could do no wrong. I internalised all my anger and resentment and took it out on myself. It was at that time I began to abuse alcohol and drugs. always in secret, always to anaethetise myself against the pain.
She never suspected anything in all this time. 6 months ago, because of my lifestyle, I ended up in hospital, with complications of the abuse. My career at the time was very stressful one, which also contributed to my deterioration. to give you an idea of how bad a state i was in, I was only 25 at thetime.

that turned out to be a great blessing as it scared me into getting my life back on track. I quit all the junk completely, took my health seriously. I also changed my career to one which I liked. My whole life took a complete turn around and for awhile, I was at peace with myself and with all the compromises I had made. It was then that I began to seriously make plans to get married.

At this point, I need to digress slightly. When we got together, my partner and I had a dream of raising a family. I love kids, and have always wanted some of my own. This was her goal at the time. this dream of a family kept me going all these years, with all the compromises. 2 years ago, she began to mention to me that she was having second thoughts about children, but we didn't go into it seriously at the time. at the time, I was still in a very confused physical state. Our relationship was under slight stress and I though that what she said was simply a manefestation of that. I thought she would change her mind again.

back to the present. a month ago, with me in my happy new life and state of equillibrium, the idea of a family came up again. It was then that she finally told me that she would never want to have kids. the reasons she gave were that she didn't want to have her life restricted by child rearing. She was also extremely reluctant to go through pregnancy etc.

I felt I had been stabbed in the gut. I made it clear to her then that this was always my intention, and I had never changed my mind. I felt very betrayed. We had a major argument. She told me that I would have to choose between her and a life without kids, or life without her. However, it wasnt that harsh. She was in tears when she said it and cried that she could never bear to loose me.

We didn't speak for nearly a week, despite living together and sharing a bedroom. In the end, she confronted me and demanded an answer, telling me not to play around with her anymore. as i loved her more than anything else, I told her i would never give up wanting children, however, I too could not bear to live her. She accepted that at the time.

I was tormented. but suprisingly, I never relapsed into my old unhealthy lifestyle. it actually felt like we were becoming closer. my present career also started to take off and further oppertunities started to come out for advancement. It was actually the career i had wanted to do, just not in the place I wanted to be in, but that was ok. I was trying to strengthen myself to plan what I could really get out from the future. My partner at the time, began to be supportive in my career, saying that she would follow me anywhere, no matter how painful, because of my 'sacrifice'. (of course, in my mind at the time, i was still trying to figure things out). I had also been offered a sort of transfer, to take place in the next 3 years, which would allow me to end up in the place I had originally dreamed of.

However, last week, something big came up once again. My partner own family situation changed. And she was now in a position where she was being encouraged to return home, to deal with the family business. By coincidence, I was actually offered a post, to start in 5 years time, in that very place. But it was not a place I would have liked to work in. before, I would have put up with anything, be in any place, just so long as I could have a family and kids, something to devote myself to. However, my partner still stands firm in her desire not to have children in anyway. She naturally wants me to follow her.

the worse possible thing is I have to make a decision in the next 2 weeks. as actions I take will put me in a standing to assume one post but not the next. She has made up her mind and will definitely be leaving. the ball so to speak is in my court. my options are to follow her, to make an irreversible decision, or to leave her. this time, for good and we will be physically seperated.

I'm in agony, both choices seem to be one of misery. I still love her dearly. one choice will lead to agony in a life without her, and the other will lead to lifetime of insiduous mild misery and personal unfurfillment. the pain is very great as this seems to be a further betrayal and another stab in the gut. I guess because this really looks like the final straw that broke the camels back, I think I may have to leave her. But I dont want to hurt her. She is wonderful otherwise ad very caring. And I know that I do love her. I'm confuse and need help. I'd really appreciate any point of view as I'm having trouble thinking straight. Advice
You have little time to choose. You need to see a professional counsellor as soon as possible and have as many sessions as you can fit in. You are in a major lifetime crisis and help from a internet "love advisor" is not what you should be relying on.

For what it's worth, my advice is to think very hard about going with her and ask yourself if the sacrifice is worth it. You have already given up your life style (artsy), a nice job, a family, and now another nice job.

Face it, you are going to be asked to make other sacrifices in the future... hopefully not as signicant as what you have made already, but who knows.

It's time for her to make a sacrifice. And your need for a family should not be ignored.

Good luck! George

-- from George
One of Your Friendly Advisors at

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