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Need sound advice regarding relationship issue / break up

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Hi everyone,
Hope you can help and give me some objective advice as I'm in bits here. Basically, I moved into my boyfriend's flat (I was actually his neighbour) about a year and a half into the relationship. I've since been living there almost 2 years. The biggest issue has been the lack of space - he owns his flat whereas I was only renting mine. In the space of the last 6 months we have been treading on each other's toes and started to argue because of the space. We said from Jan 2017 for 18 months we would save up and buy somewhere jointly.
HOWEVER, fast forward and I've been travelling a fair amount (just this last month). I came back home last Sunday after 9 days away and he was clearly excited to see me...but as soon as we got home he started chipping away at me scoring points about how he'd enjoyed his peace/space/keeping the flat tidy (ironic as I was the one who cleaned it top to bottom).
Matters escalated and by Wednesday we were tearing strips off each other - he said he couldn't bear the lack of space and when I said we were looking to buy somewhere he said he couldn't wait 18 months.
By 9am on Wednesday we were full blown slanging match and he asked for his keys back (he has done this a few times as a control issue). I called him on the way to work to ask if it were just a bad mood and he said no, he still wanted the keys back. So I took him up on the offer and moved out that evening - while I did this (he was out), he text me to say regardless of what I thought he did love me and it wasn't what he wanted. I obviously was seething so did not respond favourably. That was Wednesday evening and I've not heard anything since.
I am beside myself as I love him desperately but am frustrated that he is not running to chase me to get me back. I am also annoyed because I know he loves me and people say he is besotted but he is 11 years older than me and has never married/settled down/had kids with anyone and my head is telling me this will never change.
What do I do? Only a week ago he was messaging me while I was away to say he was taking me to Paris for Christmas...fast forward two weeks later and I've been asked for the keys back to his flat?
Please help!
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  • Artytarty
    Artytarty Posts: 2,642 Forumite
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    I think you continue to do what you have been doing. Hold your nerve. Would you really want to back to that? No thank you!
    There's being in love and there's loving someone, by that I mean treating them how you would like to be treated yourself.
    Norn Iron Club member 473
  • dilemma10
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    Artytarty wrote: »
    I think you continue to do what you have been doing. Hold your nerve. Would you really want to back to that? No thank you!
    There's being in love and there's loving someone, by that I mean treating them how you would like to be treated yourself.


    Yes thanks - you're right. I haven't done anything wrong - and believe you me I am very perceptive and self aware about my own shortcomings. So if I thought I had, I'd say! I've given that boy my all. But it's never been this long that we haven't chatted before. I'm really confused and thought he'd fight for it.
  • justme111
    justme111 Posts: 3,508 Forumite
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    You think that may be tearing strips of your man is not the way you want to act.
    You think that may be you do not want to be in a couple with someone who chips away at you and has slanging matches with you.
    You go and have your head examined on why would you want to buy a house with someone who you have relationship like this with
    The word "dilemma" comes from Greek where "di" means two and "lemma" means premise. Refers usually to difficult choice between two undesirable options.
    Often people seem to use this word mistakenly where "quandary" would fit better.
  • gettingtheresometime
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    How old are you both?

    i think you need to have a real heart to heart with him - if he's willing of course - as to how the relationship can be salvaged and if it can the way forward.

    I do find it interesting that you make the comment about his age and the fact that he has never married etc ....why do think he never will?

    In fairness to the guy I think he was extending an olive branch when he texted you saying it wasn't what he wanted and loved you but if you, in your words, replied unfavourable then I'm not surprised he hasn't responded or chasing you to get you back
  • Artytarty
    Artytarty Posts: 2,642 Forumite
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    Yeah, he may have been extending an olive branch I guess but continually chipping away and asking for the keys back previously would be enough for me. Sorry OP.
    Norn Iron Club member 473
  • FBaby
    FBaby Posts: 18,367 Forumite
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    So it's ok to wait for him to beg you to come back, but not to be the one doing so. I expect he feels exactly as you do, he thinks he is the one in the right, he thinks that you should be crawling back and apologizing and decided he is prepared to lose you if you don't.

    In the end, if neither of you is prepared to consider the situation from the perspective of the other, and not prepared to make any compromises, than indeed, there is little love can overcome and you are both better to move on.
  • Primrose
    Primrose Posts: 10,626 Forumite
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    edited 12 December 2016 at 8:03PM
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    I think the practical reality is that you both need a little space from each other, i.e. time apart. It's obvious that the space available in his flat is too small for both of you to be able to spread yourselves without feeling crowded and he's probably been feeling hemmed in.

    Your absence made him realise that perhaps you're just too much on top of each other and being older he's been used to having more freedom and space. He!s probably feeling a little suffocated, even if he does still love you so tempers have blown on both your parts. Living together does take quite a long time in terms of adjusting to each others' different habits.

    If you still feel you could be right for each other I suggest you swallow your pride, give him his keys back as he asks and try living apart for a while without breaking up your relationship. I think you both need to regain a sense of perspective here.

    But if his continually asking for his keys back is a control issue, before moving back in, if that,s what eventually happens as think this is something he need to be working on. He can't think he can get away with being able to blackmail you in this way.
  • getmore4less
    getmore4less Posts: 46,882 Forumite
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    You go off traveling the issues start when you come back.

    You say you were doing all the tidying up.

    Have you taken over since you moved in?

    Perhaps he gets reminded of what is what is what like when he was in control.

    if space is really the issue then you both need to solve that by doing things outside the flat or getting more space(rent a flat next door).
  • Tigsteroonie
    Tigsteroonie Posts: 24,954 Forumite
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    I'm not normally one to advocate the middle ground but, from what you've said, I think you would both benefit from a sensible discussion about the situation - away from the flat, somewhere neutral where there is plenty of space. Talk about the lack of space and what each of you could do to give the other a little more space (perhaps less clutter? more solo activities outside of the flat so that you're not in each other's pockets?)

    This relationship is something you both need to work at, if you want it to continue. He'll be sulking just now because you left, but that will pass. If you really like the guy and want to salvage any chance of a future, swallow your pride and ask him to meet to talk about it.
    :heartpuls Mrs Marleyboy :heartpuls

    MSE: many of the benefits of a helpful family, without disadvantages like having to compete for the tv remote

    :) Proud Parents to an Aut-some son :)
  • Lbuk
    Lbuk Posts: 71 Forumite
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    I think that you need to not live together for a while and whatever that means for your future only time will tell.

    Older men who have avoided marriage/children do not change. Ever.

    Ever!

    I married one, my sister had a child with one and my friend married one. They do the minimum that they have to do to maintain the relationship and if they are decent people they can be prodded into considering your feelings but it never becomes automatic.

    They either control you or do without you.
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