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What Am I Afraid Of?

Question:

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p>Where do i begin? i have been with my sig. other for almost three years. we had a long distance relationship for 6 mos. then he moved in with me. i was still in my 20’s and was going out a lot, now i am 31, bought a house (mortgage in my name) settled down and now prefer happy hour and dinners over late nights at bars and have changed my mind about his friends, i don’t like the crappy places they go and the people there. at first i thought i was getting old, ha ha, or i was selfish, then realized my values and standards have changed and i think for the better, his have not. there are some weeks he will go out to 3-4 in the morning 4 days a week, then never does anything at home to help me and is always cranky because he is tired and hung over and says it is his job and that the long hours and stress are alway y he is in bad mood, oh and my nagging to cut the grass finally or take trash out etc…and it is really the partying, i know. he even has fought with me then does not come home and blames it on me saying that y should he come to our home when it will be a fight, he runs away. i think it is all an excuse to go out and drink every night with his loser friends who cant keep a girl or a job. as u can tell i am mad at this point. all my friends hate him, and ask y i stay and what does he have to offer me??? he hardly makes any $$$, i am the bread winner at only $42k/yr, if he does make $ he gives me bill money then complains he is broke then i have to give him $$$ and he makes me feel crazy and turns it all on me and makes me feel guilty. y do i stay, y am i afraid to leave him. i have left bad friends and men before, y is it diff. with him?? my parents already told me that they would loan me the $9k! ( and they are retired and my mom is bedridden w/ MS and my dad only made $50k a year before that, take it out of their savings, makes me feel like crap) i would need to kick him out and clean our debt up (car, credit cards etc…) so i can keep the house and loose him, so if i have a way out, y do i stay and y do i feel this deep overwhelming love for someone like this?? there is so much more and i know i have my faults and have admitted them to him, but damn what is wrong with me? if i waist any more time i will probably end up alone, or miserable HELP!!!

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  • ‘Anne’ is the pseudonym for the individual who writes this relationship advice column.
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Answer:

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p>In the fairy tales we were raised with, the prince and princess live “happily ever after” at the end of the story. In reality, getting married (or deciding to live with one another) is only the beginning of the story. All two frequently there is no happy ending.

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p>Relationship partners change and mature over time, and sometimes at different rates. When this happens, it becomes difficult for the relationship partners to see eye to eye. You look at your partner’s behavior and see something irresponsible you’ve outgrown. It is like an outfit that you used to love that no longer fits you. Though you were once a caterpillar yourself, you climbed into your chrysalis at some point and came out a butterfly. You look at your partner and feel betrayed that he has not become a butterfly with you and is still insisting on his leaf munching caterpillar ways. He on the other hand must be thinking to himself, “Hey – I didn’t sign up for this butterfly stuff. I signed up for mutual leaf munching. I feel betrayed by my partner having gone and become a butterfly behind my back”. His point of view is as valid as your own, only now you have become different sorts of creatures, perhaps. It has become difficult for you to see the other’s point of view because you no longer view the world in the same way. Until you find a way to see eye to eye again, at least in terms of accepting that you each now see the world in a fundamentally different way, your relationship will be tense and in danger of imploding.

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p>I don’t know what it is that is different about this relationship that is keeping you on the hook, but am willing to hazard a few guesses. Perhaps you decided sometime ago that “this will be the one” and having to back down from that seems like an admission of failure ?? Perhaps you genuinely like this guy, even though he has become quite difficult to live with (in which case you have become ambivalent – not wanting to make the hard decision to leave on account of your genuine feelings of love – which probably are not sufficient to sustain your togetherness, but which nevertheless you’ve attached great sentimental feeling. Maybe you are simply dreading the difficult process of disentangling your finances and furniture. Based on your last sentence, maybe you believe that if you leave this guy, you’ll be alone forever. This of course is not true at all, but many people in your situation commonly fear that it is true. I had that fear myself once.

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p>In the end, it doesn’t matter much why you are afraid to leave. It matters how you are feeling (e.g., whether you are miserable or not), and what you decide to do about it. Don’t be afraid to leave if that is what you need to do in order to get out of a relationship that has become miserable with a man you’ve seriously outgrown.

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