I feel like Bear and I have really been struggling as a couple lately. I feel like we don’t communicate well; I feel like I don’t stand up for myself and he stands up for himself too aggressively. He needs so much more time than I have, and that’s horrible to say but I sometimes feel so trapped knowing if I don’t spend a certain amount of time with him a certain way that he’s going to be upset with me. I wish he was more go with the flow. I wish he was more secure in himself. He has so many insecurities that really get to him so if I say one thing that could be twisted so that it fits the insecurity about himself, it’s meltdown town for hours.

He was so angry at me all day the other day because I walked behind him to get my food out of the microwave instead of asking him to do it for me. Yes, it was impolite to squish behind him to use the microwave, but no, it did not make any sense that it lead to such a meltdown where he felt so “inconvenient” and “in the way”. It’s not that deep. I was trying to make my breakfast. I was angry about his reaction all day, and when I get home I didn’t want to waste me evening fighting with him, so I didn’t bring it up. I hate that he really isn’t someone that can be told a negative thing about himself without blowing it up.

Tonight he upset me because we spent about two hours playing a video game with my family. I know he doesn’t care for video games, but no one forced him to play. He stayed pretty okay most of the game, but I could tell at the end he was losing his patience with it. After the game was over I thanked him for playing, and his first reaction was “no problem, I got pretty much nothing out of that but I’m glad you enjoyed it” like why did he need to bring attention to the fact he didn’t enjoy himself? Why does he feel like he needs to tell me when he does something with me that I enjoy? Why does he need to remind me he doesn’t enjoy it? It hurt my feelings. I was really excited and all he could spew was how fast-paced and difficult and social the game was, then got frustrated with me when my feelings were hurt with his reaction.

I think he often feels guilty that he hurts my feelings, so he lashes out. That’s great, but it’s not okay. You’re 26 years old, figure out how to control your emotions! You don’t get to lash out at me because you feel guilty that you hurt my feelings. That’s not how it works, and it’s not fair.

I hate to say it but I am looking forward to him going home 3 hours away. I need some space. I need to be able to do what I want when I want to. He says I can do that now, it “just makes him sad when I choose not to hang out with him” like how is that not intentionally making me feel guilty? I just feel like I don’t have time to be as serious as he needs. We live together for God’s sake, I don’t also need an hour and a half a day of one on one attention from him. How can I truly enjoy the time when I feel obligated to spending the time with him? If I don’t spend the time with him then he’s upset. So i have to do it, and I end up not enjoying it, and we’re stuck in a bad cycle.

I totally understand where he is coming from. I understand that he lives surrounded by my family, with no where to walk to (he doesn’t drive) with very little escape because he also doesn’t work. I understand it has to be hard to be at home all day while your partner has other obligations and then when your partner does come home, they choose to hang out with their family or other friends or have school work to do. I understand that entirely. But I have SUCH a hard time because the simplest thing “ruins” our quality time and then it’s like it doesn’t count for him. We made dinner together the other night and it didn’t count as quality time to him because he was in a shitty mood. I did my best to make it a good night be he decided to be in a bad mood so then we apparently had no quality time together so then he got up with me the next morning, which he never does, and threw off my entire morning by getting angry about stupid shit (the aforementioned microwave situation).

I’m just exhausted. I feel like he expects more out of me than I can give. I feel guilty that I feel so trapped. I feel scared that I feel trapped — this is always the feeling I get before a relationship waltzes past the point of return and we break up. I desperately WANT this to work with him, but I feel like our current situation is not working.

I just feel like, because he’s never had a job and been in school and been expected to do things for my family and had a partner with quality time as their love language that he doesn’t realize the pressure he puts on me. I of course can’t say that to him because he will get so upset that I feel this way. I feel so lost in this.

I feel guilty anytime I do anything that doesn’t involve him. If I say this to him, he’ll say something like “fuck you, I never force you to do anything you don’t want to do” and he’ll be mad and he’ll cry and I’ll end up apologizing. We never do things that are only in my interests, because he can’t be arsed to fake enthusiasm. He thinks he shouldn’t have to. Does he not realize I have to do it for him all the time? No, he doesn’t, because I think it’s truly one of the things you just DO in a relationship without talking about it. Even when you don’t enjoy something, when you so clearly see that your partner is so happy and so excited, you find something positive about the experience to talk about. It’s shitty to just bring up your negative feelings when your partner is so obviously excited.

I want to enjoy spending time with him again. But so much of the time right now I just feel like it’s something I have to do to make him happy. I get up in the morning and I enjoy my time alone to the point where I’m annoyed when he decides to get up with me. I go to work, I have a couple hours there to do homework, I come home. Bear and I cook dinner together, then we watch a show or sit and talk while we eat. Then mostly the rest of my night is spent doing homework, and sometimes I get about 30 minutes to play sims or read. My weekends are spent doing homework, spending time with bear, spending time with baby W, and trying to also fit time with my friends in.

But last time I tried to spend time with my friends, he texted me asking when I was coming home and when I told him, he said “not to ruin your day or anything but that’s way later than you told me earlier” So  I came home but I was LIVID!!! Like I just got demanded to come home? What the fuck??? I am a grown ass woman and I was so excited to go hang out and I get DEMANDED home? And he didn’t demand it outright but how is that not intentionally manipulating me to come home?

Little things have just added up to this overwhelming feeling I have. He told me he couldn’t trust me because there was a weekend a while ago that we spent in his hometown where I felt like he was really mean to me all weekend, but I decided to wait to bring it up until we were back at my house so we didn’t argue around his family or dampen the mood of our trip. I did that literally thinking purely of his feelings, and then he turns it around and says he can’t trust me? What the FUCK!

I don’t know how I’m ever going to tell him about this. How do I tell him that I feel pressured to spend time with him? How do I tell him that I feel like he manipulates me sometimes? How do I tell him I feel scared to say how I really feel because I’m afraid of his reactions? It’s all going to crush him! He is so insecure about himself that if I say anything negative about him he just spirals into self-hatred and it’s not good, but am I helping him if I just let him be this way or would it help him more to be honest with him?

I’m torn between not wanting to hurt him and not wanting to baby him because he’s an adult and I don’t want to baby my partner.  Please respond with any advice or situations you’ve been in similarly. I am lost.