Thank you for taking the time to read my situation. I apologize for the length of the email. I wanted to provide details for you. I have adjusted the compensation accordingly. Please let me know if this amount is acceptable to you!
I am in my 30's and have been in a long-term relationship for 6 years (the past 2 of those have been spent living together). We share a home and pets. I love my boyfriend and very much would like to resolve our issues. My boyfriend has stated that he DOES want to get married and have children.
In the past year, however, we have had several major issues that have caused continual fighting and tension between us. I have tried to discuss our future, and where our relationship is headed. I've mentioned numerous times that I want to be married and start a family, and I felt that he's dated me for long enough to know me and who I am. He has personal issues with my personality and behaviors, and has made it clear that he will not marry me until he believes the issues are resolved.
We are both college educated, middle to upper class individuals. We are both in business. I'd like to point out that I travel nationally for work and can be gone anytime from 3-4 days a week. My boyfriend is extremely detail oriented, neat, and organized. I am very laid-back and relaxed. He is not spontaneous and wants to plan very far in advance. I'm much more carefree. I have a great deal amount of stress and work, and just don't want to feel as rigid and scheduled at home. He has issues with my domestic abilities, how often I clean our home, assist with household activities, etc. He has issues with me not planning things far enough in advance. He says a relationship is a 50/50 and he should not have to pull all the weight. He's commented that this isn't a hotel. I understand that fact. I'm beginning to resent him, though. He expects for me to pay for half of everything, household items, a new tv, equal rent. At this point, we aren't married, no children. It is his home he owns, and I pay rent. He wants me to split buying all of our new furniture, paying for paint to remodel, etc. I've purchased appliances, thousands of dollars of items for a home that isn't mine. I've also stated that if I going to be spending money like this, I want to feel committed. He says that if we don't work out, I can take some of the items I've purchased and he will split the finances on other items he would want to keep. I feel like a roommate expected to play the role of a wife. When we discuss marriage, he continues to state that he still has many concerns about me and my issues, and won't commit to marriage until I change. I've asked for timelines (EXAMPLE: if I show you I've changed in 3 months can we re-evaluate? Can you provide me a list of items I need to work on)? My personal feeling is that he expects perfection before he will commit.
In all fairness, he is a very good boyfriend and would be a wonderful husband. He is very caring and loyal, he's responsible, extremely disciplined, funny, athletic, determined. All good qualities. Also, he is very domestic! He is always cleaning! Washing the sheets, doing the dishes, chores, etc. Its constant. He was vacuuming at 8pm last night while I was watching tv. That bothered him that I was sitting down not being productive while he was working. I'm ok if there are dirty dishes in the sink for a night, he lives by the policy work before play. He will write action item lists for me to do. He itemizes our monthly spending and provides me an invoice to pay including meals, utilities, groceries, rent, etc. We have both been this way our entire relationship, and I've known how he is, he certainly knows how I am. When I ask him how we can have dated for 6 years, and we are at this point of him being unsure about marrying me, he says that he loves me and he does want a future with me-he just thought that I would change. He's said that obviously I don't care enough to change to what he needs in a relationship. Also, he said that I would have these problems in any relationship, and I should be embarrassed that I don't want to change. He's also mentioned that if I CAN fix the issues that concern him, then he would move forward marrying me. We have had this discussion 4-5 times over the past year. I work on improving being domestic and appeasing him, he seems happy for a short period of time, then we are back to square one. I know I need to improve. I do. I understand that its not acceptable to pile up dry cleaning and leave dishes on the counter. I acknowledge that he has expectations and I need to meet them. The issue is that I am exhausted. I feel constantly judged and criticized by him. His comments and requests are never-ending.
A few examples:
Last Friday night, he said "if you clean the kitchen, and the master bedroom and bathroom, I'll take you out to dinner tonight". I had conference calls and reports due. I cleaned the bedroom/bathroom and not the kitchen. When he came home, he said...I see you didn't clean the kitchen. I told him I was working, and he said that it was just an excuse and I'm lazy. When 6pm came about, I asked if we were going to dinner and he said I hadn't done what I promised. I said, I cleaned the bedroom and bathroom. He responded by saying that he wasn't going to commend me for not agreeing to what I said I would do, and that I don't get to make excuses and get away with it. He said that too many people let me know off the hook and I must be used to getting my way, but he's going to hold me accountable. If I don't do what I say I'm going to do, then he's not going to reward me. He ended up making his own dinner, and I went upstairs and read alone all night. I have offered to pay for a cleaning woman and can afford it, and he said absolutely not, that is just lazy and I will not pay for something I can do on my own.
I've asked him to help me sell a few items on Ebay, and he said he wouldn't do it for free. I said, but you're my boyfriend, why won't you just help me? I haven't sold items before and he's a top rated seller. He said he was going to take a 30% commission off of each item I sold. Again, he said if I just did it myself, then there wouldn't be any fee. I thought he wasn't being serious (we have a home together!) and wouldn't charge me that high, but when few items sold, he provided me with an invoice of the breakdown and his fees and reminded me I could just take the time to learn how to do it on my own.
My mother is alone and lives near us. For the past 6 years, I've gone with him to his families home for the holidays. I've told him how much it upset me that she is alone for the holidays. He says I see her all the time since she lives near us. I've said, that's not the point. She's older and alone, and I don't like it. I've asked him to stay in town for the holidays this year so we can spend it with her, and he's said that he only see's his family a few times a year, so no, he wouldn't stay. His family has invited my mother to join the holidays at their home, but he said no, he wants to spend time with his family. So, this year, I've decided to stay with her. He said that I'm his family now, and I should be focusing on him and our future. I feel awful and torn.
Lastly, we aren't intimate anymore, and he says that he believes it because he resents me. Its been almost 6 months since we've been physical. I've told him that I understand his needs with me being domestic, and that I would like to work on this area of our relationship as well. Even after my pleas, there is no intimacy. I'm to the point where I feel like there is a checklist of tasks I must accomplish before he will see me as a perfect partner. I almost feel as if he is holding this above my head until I behave the way he wants. At times, it seems he withholds intimacy from me if I haven't met his expectations.
I used to be a very outgoing person, and now feel sad and desperate that I will lose this relationship if I don't meet his standards. He feels I am messy, when I have down time I should be picking up and cleaning. When he comes home from a morning appointment, and I am in my pj's with coffee at my desk, he asks if I am going to do anything productive today, and what's on my itinerary? When I'm not traveling for work, I have a home office-conference calls, meetings, emails, etc. and he is frustrated when he returns from work and the house is not clean and laundry done because I was home all day. I will admit that I am disorganized. There are hair and makeup products on the counter. I leave coffee cups out on table. I will set work papers on the dining room table and not pick them up for a few days. These things don't bother me. He comments DAILY now on these things, though. Why did you leave a dishes on the counter, why didn't you get the mail, why didn't you multitask and do the laundry while you were on your conference call? I know I am constantly disappointing him and making him unhappy.
My friends and family have all turned on me and state my boyfriend is controlling and that they are shocked often times by his behavior, his eye rolls at me, his comments. I believe he is a very good person, and we just have some personality difference and issues between us. I'm just trying to determine my next steps as I want to get married, I want to have a family. He holds being engaged over my head. I feel he promises that IF I change, he'll marry me. I do constantly beat myself up and am trying to change and make this relationship work. I often feel nothing I do is good enough, or when I do one thing, its something else. Last week, I cleaned the house before he came home. When he got home, I made mention of it. He said, "That's good, that's what you should be doing. I'm not going to tell you good job over something that is supposed to be done. It's part of be responsible, being in a relationship, and helping out". Sometimes I feel he isn't going to ever see me as the perfect person he's expecting.
Again, I apologize for the length of my description. I will certainly compensate you for your time.
What options do we have in this relationship?
Is this relationship salvagable?
Will I ever be able to meet his expectations?
I know that I am a large part of the problem. What can I do personally?
Thank you again immensely for your time and response.