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Question
Posted by: Liza | 2004/11/22

Boyfriend troubles

So I met 'n great guy whilst at the clinic last month. We met up afterwards and now we're seeing each other at least every second day (which in my book means he's my boyfriend). The problem however is that even though we understand each others' problems, it doesn't mean we're supportive of each others' problems. I try to support him by jollying him out of his bad moods, giving him some practical common sense when he has none etc. He is also bipolar, but has epilepsy too. My problem being that Saturday afternoon I was feeling depressed (saw my sons on Saturday. The oldest had a piano recital and got his certificate. I'm so proud of him I could burst - but the high was followed by a low when I had to say goodbye) So I wasn't feeling like doing much - wanted to crawl into my corner and stay there. Remembering some of the practical advice I got at the clinic, I called the bf and asked him whether he wanted to go to the movies since I needed to get out. Went to watch Collateral - strange movie, but anyway.

He spent the night at my place and on Sunday morning I got a call from one of our consultants asking me whether we were still on to update some software on our big computer. Something I had completely forgotten about. So I was p-off because I had to work for the third weekend in a row - didn't take it out on bf, just offered to drive him home since its just a small detour on my way to work. Okay - so I did drive a little faster than normal with a thundercloud hanging over my head, but instead of being a little supportive, bf just gave me frequent 'you're nuts' looks. Finally got to work - not even 5 minutes late and let the consultant in. This guy - whom I've worked with before, but he's still a bit of a stranger - he jollied me out of my bad mood, got me to smile again and we had a great chat whilst busy working. I actually enjoyed doing the work in his company. Then this guy asked me whether I had a boyfriend - the usual prelude to asking someone on a date (I think). I am attracted to him (have been since I met him). Now I think its mutual. My answer to his question - sort of.

Now I doubt whether my bf is going to change and become supportive of my issues - even though I'm supporting him through his. And its becoming a bit of a drain on me. I don't think that I can continue this way. Since he's epileptic, he's not allowed to drive - which means that I always have to drive him around. His attitude towards his job sucks - to the extent that he refuses to go to work some days. My job sucks most of the time too - I've got absolutely terrible managers who wouldn't know what good management is if it bit them. This doesn't mean that I refuse point blank to go to work. Then he complains about his salary being docked for unpaid time off. I understand his moodswings - its part and parcel of his illness. This doesn't mean that I want to be saddled with it for the rest of my life. Most of the time he is great to be around with though. We share a lot of common interests, like the same movies, love reading, we're even studying towards the same degree - but I just get the feeling that he won't be finishing his. I thought he had goals in life - and he does, they just change every week. My goals stay static: a) working and finishing my degree, b) becoming and IT manager, c) eventually owning my own business - which will become businesses, d) Reducing my medication to such an extent that I'm allowed to skydive again, and most important of all e) Keep on seeing my children as frequently as possible.

The question being - must I dump him? And if I must HOW? Here is this other guy - great job, understands my condition, has his own car, earns at least as much as I do, has definite goals in life - and he likes me, warts and all. Plus he knows exactly how to turn me from being in a bad mood, to being in a great mood.

What now?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Hello Liza,
Well, maybe he's a boyfriend "in your book", but have you checked to see what's written about this in HIS book ?
You seem, as unsure says, to assess the situation fairly realistically ; and if your assessment is at all accurate ( and I don't see why it wouldn't be ) then he might be OK as a friend among others, to spend some time with, but maybe not for a long-term relationship ? Sometimes, if we have enough trouble keeping our own act together and handling the problems of life, weneed a partner who can help, more than they would need to be helped.
Wouldn't the guy who even likes your warts (!) be a better bet all round ? And if the first guy doesn't see himself as your bf, is dumping necessary, rather than just clarifying that this is an informal and occasional pal-ship ?

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Pillars | 2004/11/22

Liza, CS, Not Sure,
good aftanun!
when I read paragraph 3 onwards, i feel that you are not ready yet to have any relationship with either of the two guys. serious relationship that is. yes friends, absolutely. i tell you why.

imagine a person as a structure (like a building or even a table) subjected to various forms of pressures, challenges etc inside and outside, that in order to survive the life pressures, challnges and so on needs some strong support pillars or structures to stand on. Get it?

These pillars or structures that you need for support and survival and to lead a fullfilling life are:
1- career (are you happy with your career/job-related life at the moment?)
2- family (have you got family? how supportive is your family? can you rely on them? I hear you make mention of your children that are somewhere? you therefore need this incomplete sphere to be fulfilled and happy)
3- spirituality (how much attention do you spend with your spiritual side eg meditating etc?)
4- social/friends (do you have a solid social or network of friends that are reliable and can support you?)
5 - healthwise (how do you look healthwise? I sense that you are on a particular treatment etc? Are you paying enough attention to that sphere of your life without relying on somebody else to pay those dues for you?)
6 - Education (reading and improving your knowledge and career prospects plays a critical role in the attainment of self actualisation or fullfilment. I sense that you are doing some studying but you seem to be needing this bf of yours there as well?)
7 - finally then you need a love relationship (however, you won't find a fulfilling one if you lack on all of the above, which will result in you relying more on relationship/partner for all of the above. That is exactly what i sense of you. you want you man to be everything. A one partner will never be enough to fulfill one's all needs. therefore you need all of the above before you can derive fulfillment in this one; otherwise we will see you resenting and blaming the relationship partner.)

What do you guys think?

Reply to Pillars
Posted by: Not sure | 2004/11/22

It all depends on you. If you want to be with him and go on with the relationship, you might later end up being resentful of him and his ways. You know how he is now.

Reply to Not sure
Posted by: Liza | 2004/11/22

The problem is that the first guy does see me as his girlfriend. This is why I need a way to dump him gently...

Reply to Liza
Posted by: Not sure | 2004/11/22

I think that you have sorted out the problem in our own mind and just want to throw it to others to test. You have analised the pro and cons of the relationship with the 'boyfriend'. You are realistic about it, yet you are not sure whether it will work. It is possible that he does not even see a relationship there. You do not really know the other guy that well. Why not go out with him a few times and see what it is like. You do not need to rush into a serious affair that quickly.

Reply to Not sure

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