I ended my engagement a week ago to a man I have been with for 5 1/2 years (living together for 3 1/2).
He says that my reasons for ending our relationship are shallow, unsubstantial, and unfair. And that something else is going on with me that I’m hiding. He says that I’ve suddenly become calculating and cruel and that I’m “throwing our relationship and everything that we’ve built away”.
But actually I was hiding my sadness and dissatisfaction with various parts of the relationship all along and just hoping those parts would get better, change, etc. So it was perfect from his viewpoint but not from mine. I was also hiding/shoving parts of myself to better be the person I thought he wanted me to be. And I realize now that we were in a codependent relationship and I took on the role of his caretaker in many ways, making sure he ate and slept (he doesn’t seem to do either without me) and tiptoeing around him and his feelings and trying to live by his many rules for life and for us. He is also an alcoholic, albeit a high functioning one.
And I kept thinking some things would change but they didn’t. And finally I decided I had had enough and that I didn’t want to live together anymore. The final straw was when I realized how unhealthy the household dynamic was for my daughters. He has so much animosity and judgement toward them and there is so much tension in the house when they are home (they also spend some time at their dad’s house).
The girls are heading to the beach with their cousins and I am facing a long weekend with him and wondering how to get through it well. I’d like some help setting boundaries, addressing his accusations, and supporting each of us in the healthiest way. He has declared that he’s not going to look for a new place to live. Intimating that he’s going to just get rid of his stuff and be done with his life.
I want him to get therapy, seek support from his friends, look for his own house or apartment, take care of himself, and to understand that I still love him but that our relationship is not working for me in the form that it is.
I realize that I can’t make him do any of those things. I only have control over what I do, think, and feel. And I’m struggling to know what to do in this situation.
I also know that I have a lot of work to do on myself and how I interact in relationships (to stop being a people pleaser and to stand up for myself and what I want, etc).