How can I make myself work in this relationship?


#1

I've been dating this guy for a year and a half now and every so often he gets very...discouraged, angry, annoyed, and upset. He will tell me that he feels disconnected from me and then give me a reason. What normally bothers him goes along the lines of, he does a lot of thinking, a lot of future planning, a lot of work, and I do almost none. He says he feels like he is being aware for both of us and it feels like he is taking care of a little brother or sister because I am not motivated to do things on my own.

I quote:
"It feels like I grow tired of having a very idealistic standard, and then [having?] a girlfriend who does not genuinely share this. I think you rarely act on heavy loads of work without being pushed first, because you simply don't care or value the work."

I sort of agree. I know I have a hard time getting motivated and I think in the present. What I am doing now, and such. I don't know about careers, although I am working on it, and I get stuck just wanting to do something in the now, like play video games, read a book, etc. I've been trying hard to do something productive before I do such things (like find a better job, research careers, pray, and read books about self esteem or something that I lack). I felt like I was doing better and it was okay but he started saying these things again and it hurts. I know I've gotten kind of comfortable with just being comfortable and I have slacked, but I am trying. I can't get my mind to work like his though. Abstract things sort of feel difficult to me. Maybe it isn't even abstract, maybe it is the fact I have a hard time focusing. When I listen to anything, I can't ever remember what is said until I hear it a few times and then I still have problems.

Anyway, I don't know completely how to get through this and prevent it from happening in the future. I'm a shy person, with little self esteem but I am working towards being confident and being able to take care of myself.

He is Catholic, and I plan on going to take RCIA classes in the fall. We have promised ourselves to each other and plan on getting married, although we are both aware we are not and are free to leave. I don't want to leave him just because of some difficulties, I want to do whatever I can for him.

Will this work out?


#2

He has noticed a fault in yourself; and this fault is clearly not one his has fabricated or is taking out of proportion; you say yourself:

I know I have a hard time getting motivated and I think in the present. What I am doing now, and such.

I get stuck just wanting to do something in the now, like play video games, read a book, etc.

It must be difficult for him if he is particularily focussed on where he is and where he is going; and you arn't picking up the slack. Perhaps it would be better if he tryed to do some future planning specifically with you; and by including you in these sorts of discussions enable and help you to start planning not only for your future as a partnership; but your future as an individual as well.

It is all well and good for him to point out that you may be lacking in focus or direction; but I am sure he will gladly help you and involve you if you show an interest. The thing with motivation is once you get momentum rolling it is easier to perpetuate it.

Anyway, I don't know completely how to get through this and prevent it from happening in the future.

You can start by planning more together; even if it is only minor things such as where you will go out for a meal and so on and so forth; and transition from minor things into more important things; it is important for your boyfriend to assist and support you with understanding as you make this transition. The least he can do is repay your efforts with patience.

Now; as a general rule; organising something external to your life can help you provide a focul point for the week; something to do and prepare to for. For me it involves a weekly academic discussion with a few friends over tea for three hours; but pick something you enjoy and get involved in it; this will help you to keep up momentum and stop you slacking; going to Mass weekly is a good starter; or - if you have plenty of spare time going daily is a great way to start the day.

He is Catholic, and I plan on going to take RCIA classes in the fall.

I am pleased that you have chosen to enter RCIA; hopefully this will open up many more doors for yourself and getting motivated and interested in the world and your faith; for a Catholic the faith comes before work; play and even family.

Will this work out?

This depends in part on you; and in part upon him.

If you truly value your relationship - make the first move and really try to redouble your efforts; and be inclusive and share. Best of luck; I shall pray for both of your happy union.

:thumbsup:


#3

Oh thank you so much. I want to do anything I can to make him happy. Part of doing that is making myself a genuinely happy person and to want better things, even pursuing them.

A lot of the time though people don't seem to think I am interested or appreciative. I wonder if I have a hard time showing it, or if I am really not all that interested. I imagine if I went out and did something on my own it would show I am interested? Did it without being pushed?


#4

[quote="Ambyr_Dawn, post:3, topic:207345"]
Oh thank you so much. I want to do anything I can to make him happy. Part of doing that is making myself a genuinely happy person and to want better things, even pursuing them.

[/quote]

No Problem! -- It is great that you recognise that not only him; but also you must be happy in order for a happy relationship; and that happiness comes from day-to-day sacrifices like making efforts (even small ones) to try and be there for a person; and not only not asking for anything; but not expecting anything in return - generosity breeds generosity; we reap what we sow.

A lot of the time though people don't seem to think I am interested or appreciative. I wonder if I have a hard time showing it, or if I am really not all that interested. I imagine if I went out and did something on my own it would show I am interested? Did it without being pushed?

I cannot say for certain; but I will speculate that it is probably part the case that you are not active enough in showing you are interested; and from your own statements; you can see that you are not as interested as you could be. Gearing yourself to act more energetically will not only make everyones life more pleasant; but it will show everyone that you truly are; and that includes yourself! -- your self esteem and satisfaction with yourself will likely grow as you do.


#5

It may be prudent to ask yourself different questions.

Instead of trying to figure out how to fit your square peg self into his round hole world of planning and achieving-- look inside yourself for your own spiritual and vocational charisms.

How is it that God is calling YOU to live your life? It may not be in an orderly, planned, high-achiever way. It may be in a less materialistic, free-spirited way.

Neither is wrong. They are simply different. And quite possibly not meant to be shared in a spousal relationship.

Food for thought.


#6

It sounds more like he's not a very good Catholic or well educated in his faith. Maybe if he had put some of the effort in educating himself on making money into learning his Catholic faith, he'd be much more at peace.

In any relation, both must come as a servant to the other, ignoring the cost. Otherwise, it's just two selfish people using one another for personal reasons. That's a formula for failure.


#7

[quote="Ambyr_Dawn, post:1, topic:207345"]
He is Catholic, and I plan on going to take RCIA classes in the fall. We have promised ourselves to each other and plan on getting married, although we are both aware we are not and are free to leave. I don't want to leave him just because of some difficulties, I want to do whatever I can for him. Will this work out?

[/quote]

Only you can decide, but I'd take advantage of spending some time with each others family and friends more. One, to enjoy each other amongst them, but two, to start seeing if they think you are good for each other. I have a friend who ignored his family and friends 2 times (2 divorces) and finally woke up and asked for some guidance. I think he got it right this time. Sometime, you just need friends and family to just knock you upside the head.

Also, most of the RCIA classes give you two a wonderful opportunity to grow together and build a personal relationship with God. You need to jump in with both feet, but be honest with your feelings. If at the end of the sessions (discernment), you should have a good idea if you are ready to commit to Christ and his Church or not. It may take you a little longer. My wife converted 15 years ago, but her family is primarily Atheists/Agnostics (look these up if you don't know what it means) and still impacts her today. She has a great family, but also don't recognize their flaws. I think this comes from being self righteous in many ways. When you become Catholic, you read to understand, you don't read to believe. << okay, you should read to understand, not read to believe...the teachings (dogma/doctrine) of the Church.

Good luck on your journey of discernment and enjoy the ride. I'm praying that you'll become Catholic and fall in love with a man who loves the Church more than you. It'll benefit both of you plus your future family.


#8

I'm usually not one t jump right into a psychiatric diagnosis, but your situation sounds just like mine. I can tell you from experience that lack of motivation and procrastination are two huge indicators for me that I am heading into a depression. I find myself more and more able to focus an plan as I come out the other end.

It also sounds like it could possibly be adult ADD. I've known a few people who also have similar issues and treatment for ADD helped them immensely.

I would suggest you start seeing a counselor and discuss your lack of motivation and tendency to procrastinate. See what he/she says.


#9

this is great advice:

Instead of trying to figure out how to fit your square peg self into his round hole world of planning and achieving-- look inside yourself for your own spiritual and vocational charisms.

How is it that God is calling YOU to live your life? It may not be in an orderly, planned, high-achiever way. It may be in a less materialistic, free-spirited way.

Neither is wrong. They are simply different. And quite possibly not meant to be shared in a spousal relationship.

Food for thought.

though i feel it is perhaps FEAST for thought. tons to prayerfully consider here.

thought this may be true as well:

can tell you from experience that lack of motivation and procrastination are two huge indicators for me that I am heading into a depression. I find myself more and more able to focus an plan as I come out the other end.

It also sounds like it could possibly be adult ADD. I've known a few people who also have similar issues and treatment for ADD helped them immensely.

I would suggest you start seeing a counselor and discuss your lack of motivation and tendency to procrastinate. See what he/she says.

but what's alarming me here is not whether you're a free spirit or whether you have some depression or ADD (especially if you look into it and have it treated) no-- what's alarming me here is that you have a boyfriend who is so INTERESTED in changing you.

might it be for your own good? anytime one person becomes the personal project of another person it is NO LONGER for the recipient's own good. it is precisely, squarely and decisively for the "project manager's" own good.

your Father God is good enough, big enough, powerful enough and loving enough to accomplish ALL things in your life. you dont need another father and you dont need another god.


#10

two, to start seeing if they think you are good for each other. I have a friend who ignored his family and friends 2 times (2 divorces) and finally woke up and asked for some guidance. I think he got it right this time. Sometime, you just need friends and family to just knock you upside the head.

I sort of have a problem with that. I don't really trust my family's judgement. They say "family is important" and "family first!" and I believe that. But they get mad at me when I spend a lot of time away from the house. I don't necesarilly like the way they are living, and my parents don't have a good relationship. None of them do. They all act in a self centered way. And they seem to frown on me for wanting to be Catholic. My dad is actually ex-Catholic. But the pastor they listen to (and I listened to for ten years) has said things about Catholics that aren't true. It isn't centered on love at all really.

Done with my rant. Anyway, they don't really like him. But I don't really trust them.

I'm usually not one t jump right into a psychiatric diagnosis, but your situation sounds just like mine. I can tell you from experience that lack of motivation and procrastination are two huge indicators for me that I am heading into a depression. I find myself more and more able to focus an plan as I come out the other end.

It also sounds like it could possibly be adult ADD. I've known a few people who also have similar issues and treatment for ADD helped them immensely.

I would suggest you start seeing a counselor and discuss your lack of motivation and tendency to procrastinate. See what he/she says.

I actually went to a psychiatrist for a little bit because I was having severe anxiety attacks. They also said I had minor depression, probably because I had been restricted from a lot of activities due to a heart condition. So I was put on generic prozac (can't remember the name). It help the anxiety but it made me feel kind of bad. Like a robot actually. Sometimes I wanted to cry but I couldn't. So I stopped taking it and ta dah, no more anxiety attacks. I have wondered about the ADD though.

How is it that God is calling YOU to live your life? It may not be in an orderly, planned, high-achiever way. It may be in a less materialistic, free-spirited way.

Neither is wrong. They are simply different. And quite possibly not meant to be shared in a spousal relationship.

As in...don't get married?

but what's alarming me here is not whether you're a free spirit or whether you have some depression or ADD (especially if you look into it and have it treated) no-- what's alarming me here is that you have a boyfriend who is so INTERESTED in changing you.

might it be for your own good? anytime one person becomes the personal project of another person it is NO LONGER for the recipient's own good. it is precisely, squarely and decisively for the "project manager's" own good.

Well he wants me to change, but he wants me to do it on my own. He just wants me to wake up to the world because I have been basically dead to it.

I have often wondered if I should continue the relationship because I wondered if he really was that controlling to me and I am completely blind to it. Then I tell myself I don't really care and that I want to do everything for him. I actually get irritated when people say he is controlling me. I feel like he is guiding me. I feel like we met for a very important reason.

He was telling me today that he just always wants better. He seeks perfection...er...something like that. Something about Heaven and God being perfect and he seeks that so he is always looking to make things better. He wants me to want better too because "you'd rather retreat than die for something you want." He wants me to want better and go after things. He is tired of being "aware for both of us."


#11

OK, step by step. if you can take a deep breath, say a prayer and not get washed away with defensiveness, this might be helpful to you:

  • I actually get irritated when people say he is controlling me. * so people HAVE told you this before? and a few imaginary friends on CAF discussion board have picked up on it. too? there IS probably something here AmbryD.

  • I feel like he is guiding me. I feel like we met for a very important reason. * my husband is the bestest, smartest, best guy i ever knew. but he is NOT my sherpa giude. and ambry, perhaps the very important reason is to teach you a very important truth that you are very impoirtantly ignoring...?

*He was telling me today that he just always wants better. He seeks perfection...er...something like that. Something about Heaven and God being perfect and he seeks that so he is always looking to make things better. * yep. God is perfect. and in HIS perfection, HE doesnt like being dragged into anybody's agenda.

Jesus said, "Be ye perfect..." that's GOD'S job to tell me. that's the CHURCH'S job to remind me and giude me and give me the graces to strive. it isn't my job to tell my husband he's not perfect enough and to specifically point to the imperfections that are bugging me-- ESPECIALLY if the imperfections arent sinful.

and it isnt his job to realign my supposed imperfections-- ESPECIALLY those that arent sinful-- according to his aesthetics.

your bf should apply perfection to his own unchecked urge to try and prefect you. it's NOT his job.

He wants me to want better too because "you'd rather retreat than die for something you want."
how does he know this? this is so judgmental. perhaps you have not yet ever seen anything worth dying for. and maybe he's just mad that that something isnt really him...?

*
He wants me to want better and go after things. He is tired of being "aware for both of us." *AmbryD, a life with him is going to be all about him getting more tired all the time. and you being more sensitive to him. and him getting more pointed with his criticisms and you feeling more like a failure and never able to please him. and him repeating his dissatisfaction with you in ever increasing episodes of "discouraged, angry, annoyed, and upset."

i didnt make any of this up. i simply showed you back what you showed us.

Ambry, your guy does NOT accept you as you are. he accepts you as a project-- a lump of clay that he can mold into HIS own image.

but Ambry, you've already been made in an image. GOD's. and your guy ain't HIS equal.


#12

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