Question: My boyfriend and I have been having a rough patch in our relationship. We’ve been together for four years but the last one year has really been very difficult. He got laid off and has not been able to get a stable job since. He has become withdrawn and not the fun loving man I knew. He’s a very proud man and I know not being able to pay for dinners or buy me gifts is affecting his self-esteem. But I’ve told him I don’t care about all those things, I love him and that’s what matters. I’ve also told him if he wants his space, I’ll give it to him but he says he does not want to break up because breaking up is not the solution but I should do what I feel is right for me. I want things to be the way they used to be. What do I do, Yangki?
Yangki’s Answer: I’m sorry for what you are going through and can only imagine the emotional stress. However, I agree with your boyfriend, breaking up is not the solution.
First of all, breaking up when your intention is not to stay broken up is not a very good idea because by breaking up, you’ll be reducing your chances of ever being in a relationship with him into a half. You may get back together – or you may not.
Secondly, by breaking up, you’ll be putting a distance — emotional and physical – between yourselves. Trying to recover that connection will not be easy — you may or may not get that connection back. This also reduces your chances of ever being together into a half.
From where I see it, this is more your problem than it is his problem. You are expecting him to be a certain way and because he is not, it’s upsetting and frustrating you. Don’t get me wrong, you have every right to want what you want and to ask for it. Problem is, he can’t give it to you right now, at least not in the way you want it.
My advice would be for you to let go expecting him to be a certain way and accept that for now, this is your reality. It is what it is. It doesn’t mean you agree that he should be putting having a stable job above everything else, it just means you accept that there is nothing you can do to change things, right now.
Letting go will relieve you of the burden of “expecting” and that will in turn reduce the stress, making you a more pleasant and supportive person to be around. In my opinion, it’s the most effective way of showing him that there are other important things in life than a stable job – like a girlfriend who will stand by you even when you don’t have a job. And unlike, breaking up, letting go allows you to maintain that connection through this rough patch in your relationship.
You have a good thing going on, don’t ruin it just because right now it doesn’t “feel good”. Even the most fulfilling relationships don’t “feel good” all the time. Life itself doesn’t “feel good” all the time. It’s unrealistic to expect a relationship to “feel good” all the time.
One of the quotes that I believe better illustrates the similarieis between life and relationships is:
“I never asked for it to be over. Then again, I never asked for it to begin. That’s the way it is with life, some of the most beautiful days come completely by chance; but even the most beautiful days have their sunsets.”
People who accept this simple fact tend to be happier and have better relationships than those who are always trying to “feel good” or avoiding the not-so-good feeling.
Excellent advice. My now ex had the same problem when I lost my job. She did not understand why I was depressed and kept pushing and pushing. Eventually, I had to let her go. She is upset with me and has cut off all contact with me. I still have VERY STRONG feelings for her and wish she is the first person I call in the morning and the last person I talk to at night. But right now it is best the way things are.
Everyone loves being in the company of someone who does not reject or resist them.
“Everyone loves being in the company of someone who does not reject or resist them.”
How so true!!! The exception to the rule are people who feel alive when they are struggling, in perpetual anxiety, suffering and in pain — i.e. trying to make someone love them.
Other than that, it’s human nature to want people who want us. Problem is, many of us say we want to be in a relationship with someone but at the same time keep telling the person they are not this or that, or that because they are this and not the other, they are making us unhappy. What we don’t realize is that, what we’re actually saying is “I don’t accept you”. And we wonder why the other person wants out (a.k.a. “I don’t know if I want a relationship right now”).
I really hope the two of you can work things out, eventually.
I’m going through really bat time. Your advice helped me a lot also I feel connect as same with others. Thank you
Thank you Yangki…. makes a lot of sense 🙂 I will contact you in a few days to set up a telephone session.
Pulling jealous card won’t work for me, because I know it is a game. A true relationship needs mutual supports. I still clearly remember what my ex-wife told me when I was between the jobs – She said, “I got my monthly paycheck, let’s go eat something delicious for a change.” It’s a sentence I have not forgetten in 12 years!
James, you’re a very smart guy… the jealous card is game-playing.
What your ex said made me go “oouch!” That must have really hurt. I don’t blame you for not “fogetting”. It’s hard to forget that “kick” when you’re down. Forgive… yes, forget… mmm… not! I say that from experience…(:
I just wish I had read this article before I broke up with my bf. For the last 2 months I’ve been trying to make the connection again but some days I feel like he and I are making progress and other days it just seems it’s never going to happen. I confess I pulled the jealous card a few times but now I suspect he knows it was to make him more interested in me. After reading your comment I now feel real bad. Should I tell him and apologize, and if so, how?
Unfortunately, the pull-push dynamics happens a lot in situations such as yours. I wish I had a lot more information on what you’re doing to “reconnect”, then I’d be able to advice you on how to move through this phase of getting back together.
As for telling him… unless it comes up in conversation, I do not think there is need to bring it up now. For all you know, it could just be your guilt that is making you see what is not even there. Also what do you hope to accomplish other than make yourself feel good? Forgive yourself and make a commitment not to do it again, that’ll make you feel good without stirring up stuff.
Hi Yangki, you said you would be put off by a man who pays attention because of jealousy, would you leave him because of it, and what would be your reason?
That alone would not necessarily make me leave. It’d certainly make me look at such a man with different eye lenses, may be that will eventually make me leave but it’d depend on a lot many other factors going on in the relationship.
That said, if the thought of making someone else jealous ever crossed my mind (let alone feeling giddy because someone else is jealous over me), I’d have to take a good look at my self-esteem. To get to that level there are two things happening 1) one’s self-esteem must be too low or 2) one has never experienced what true love really feels like and mistakes someone else acting out of insecurity and ego for love.
Whichever way you see it, not a good sign!
I agree with this article 100%. A few months ago I felt like leaving my relationship due to some problems but decided to let go instead. I’m more accepting of my new situation and things are so much better between us. It’s amazing what happens when you just let go.
It’s indeed amazing what happens when we let go!!!
I’m happy for you, LisaM… (:
Flirt with other guys infront of him. Worked for me. He became jealous and did not want to leave my side the whole evening. Show him if he does not pay attention, there is competition out there.
Just curious… 1) is he still at your side or was it just for that evening and 2) do you have to pull the “jealous card” every time he doesn’t pay attention?
No question about it, making someone jealous (if they have that streak in them) can work, sometimes. But wouldn’t it feel great to know someone loves you because you’re so special and not because his “competitive juices” have been squeezed?
I think there is a difference between love and “ego impulses”. I personally would be so turned off by a man who didn’t seem to pay attention and then suddenly does so because “I made him jealous.” It says to me it’s all about him and not about me. But that’s just me… (: I want to believe I have more value than a “pretty feather” stroking someone’s ego.