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Im having such a tough time. Last week, very suddenly, I

I'm having such a tough...
I'm having such a tough time. Last week, very suddenly, I began having panic attacks. I came to the extreme realization that I'm not sure if I want to be with my boyfriend of three years any more. I love him more than anything, he is my rock, but we are terribly different... And the longer we are together, the more I notice it and the more it bothers me. I've been terribly upset for the entire past week, but have started feeling a little better. We have VERY different long term goals and I just can't imagine marrying him... But there is nothing 'wrong' right now, no fights, nothing different, nothing has 'changed' - so I don't know why the sudden realization. I didn't think I'd make it through last week, I swear. It's getting harder now, though, because when he is around (we live together), I feel a little better.. Because I do love him. But then I go back to feeling like crap because I feel like I should leave him. I just really need some advice and words of wisdom here. :(
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Answered in 2 hours by:
3/23/2009
Ms Chase
Ms Chase, Life Coach
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 2,897
Experience: Over 20 yrs experience with Relationships, Sexuality, Friendship, and Family Issues
Verified
Hello

What are your ages?

Have you discussed these differences in goals with him?

When did you start realizing this?

What are some of the differences in goals?

Chase
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
I'll be 26 in June, he just turned 32 in Jan.

We've discussed most of it in the past...

I realized it fairly early on, but I felt it was stupid to worry about something like whether or not he'd want to move out of the state when I finish school - in 6 years - when we'd only been together for a year or two. Stuff like that has been pushed to the back of my head ever since.

Here is an example: I work full time and go to school part time. I want to finish college (this is my 3rd attempt, and I'm determined), hopefully end up with a career I enjoy, and MOVE OUT OF INDIANA!!!! He doesn't want to leave here, ever. Also, I understand school isn't for everbody, but he is completely content with his life. He is 32 years old, works at a furniture rental company, likes the job, likes his co-workers and boss, and makes $10 an hour. Being stagnant in that type of position isn't going to facilitate moving in the future, enjoying vacation once a year, or *gasp*, EVER retiring. Also, his family is EXTREMELY religious (dad is a pastor).. I'm not. His sister finds it funny to jokingly call me an athiest. I don't have any major problems with them, but I don't love them.

I love him a great deal, and he's treated me better than anyone I've EVER been with. In any case, Monday morning he left for work and I completely freaked out for what appeared to be no reason. I was somewhat short of breath, my pulse was elevated (but not completely racing), my hands were sweaty, my face was red, and all I could (randomly) envision was being single, leaving him, hurting his feelings, destroying his life. He loves me so much - I swear I am his entire world. These panicky feelings have come and gone all week now.. I don't want to feel this way and I'm scared.

I've never envisioned marrying him. I'm just so scared to hurt him that much... Yes, I am afraid that I don't feel the same about him. As I put it to my dad (whom I tell everything to), all of a sudden when I'm around him, I feel like I'm hanging out with one of my friends, chatting with one of my friends, watching a movie with one of my friends - not my boyfriend. What just threw me for a loop was how sudden it was that I felt this way. Sunday we had a wonderful day, spent it together, went to a concert, had a great time, cuddled til we fell asleep. And then Monday came, and *poof*, I'm leaving for work early because I'm afraid of what I may say to him if he asks me what's wrong. God, it makes me feel so bad.

As far as being single, I'm definately not part of the majority in that I always enjoyed being single. I'm not afraid of it before and I'm not afraid of it now. Actually, when he and I first got together, I did like him terribly, but I was extremely sad at the thought of no longer being single. We have never really fought, but a recurring 'discussion' that we've had has been related to my independence - that I plan on not living here my entire life, and that that has been my plan since long before ever meeting him. He doesnt like it, but it is what it is.

I just feel like we've gone so far into a deep, serious, loving relationship.. I would personally be COMPLETELY devastated if the reason for my being turned to me one day and simply said "I'm just not that happy any more". I feel he deserves SOME type of reason, answer, or explanation. I'm extremely sad over it all, as I feel I'd be losing part of my self if I lost him, but I'm so torn now - It's a god-awful feeling. I'm sorry for the rambling. Did I make any sense?
HelloCustomer

You've given such thought to this and explained how you feel very succinctly. Along the way you had a lot of warning signs, but may have made excuses and reasonings for them and then you wind up at this point. He is your friend and he's been your friend for a long time, yes you do love him, but it certainly sounds like you aren't IN love with him. Many people say opposites attract, and sometimes they do, but they don't make for lasting long-term relationships. Without the same goals, dreams and out look on life, there's always going to be issues and you're always going to be unhappy. You cannot stay in a relationship out of fear of hurting the other person, you can't stay in a relationship because it's comfortable....sometimes life forces us to make the hard choices. You have to be honest (and it sounds like you have) as to whether or not you see a future with him. Can you be happy for him if he's with another woman? If so, then you have to let him go, and the sooner the better. he deserves to find someone who can love him like he needs to be loved, as do you. Even if it means that person who loves you will be yourself. I know it's scary right now, but trust me when I tell you, you've got a strong mind and a strong heart, I can tell by your writing. Your fear now is you might lose him completely, and I'll be honest...you might. However you can't sacrifice yourself on the alter of friendship, you're going to have to be true to yourself and your heart. I hope this helps, let me know if you want to talk more.

Warmly,

Chase
Ms Chase
Ms Chase, Life Coach
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 2,897
Experience: Over 20 yrs experience with Relationships, Sexuality, Friendship, and Family Issues
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
Chase, I have to be honest - I can be so selfish. While I can't envision being with him forever, I also can't envision being happy for him being with someone else... at least not now. And honestly, yes, I would be honored to be able to talk with you more. Everyone always tells me how strong-minded I "seem", and I can't blame them... That is how I "seem".. But I certainly don't feel that way all the time. I'm so scared and sad right now that it's reduced my day to day life to going through the motions at the moment. It's all so upsetting.
Im sorry that you're feeling this way. Perhaps it's not so much that you want to leave him, but that you're upset at having to be forced to make the choice because of your different goals?
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
That's probably pretty accurate. As I keep telling those that I've talked about it with, it's not that he's done anything 'wrong', it's not as if we've argued or had any major differences right now.. I just can not see us together in the long run, and it makes me feel like a liar to be with him now while feeling like that about the future. He is who I go to when I'm sad or scared. He is my rock when I need strength and support. He is my sounding board when I need advice... So, its extremely hard to think about NOT being able to go to him about his when he's the one I'd be hurting so much.
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
Hey Chase - I just now got an email saying you'd replied to me again! I haven't talked to him yet...In the few days since I spoke with you, he tried to fix a drip in the shower and almost destroyed the whole bathroom, my hamster died, and my grandpa died... So, I haven't really tended to this. But, to comment on/answer some of your questions:

Married to him with a couple of kids? - Doubt it. I'm allergic to kids. He "thinks" he wants some some day. (conflict)

Will the kids go to church, will religion be a factor in the home? - Kids or not, religion has been a hot button for all of our relationship. His dad being hte pastor of their church and all, they're extremely into all of it. I mean, these people won't even serve deviled eggs in their house - they serve angel eggs. I SWEAR! I could go about it for EVER, but it just wears me out. In the three years we've been together, I've never gone to church with him/them because I just don't want to - and I continue to hear about it.

Will you make enough to make up for what he makes in his job to live the way you want to live? - This is a catch 22. I hope to make whatever I can to be comfortable on my own, be able to enjoy my life, and travel every now and again. I don't want to HAVE to make that to make up for whoever I'm with doesn't make simply because they don't have ambition.

Will he be comfortable with you making more money that him? - Absolutely not.

Will the family continue to make religion an issue? - Without a doubt. If I ever did plan to marry him, I couldn't even begin to IMAGINE the fallout if I didn't want to get married in their church. HAHAHAHHAH!!

Will you ever travel? Yes. I will if it kills me.

What age will you both retire? Will you be able to save money? Let me put it to you this way - I was NOT making it up when I said that he didn't have a checking account once in his entire life until I talked him into it. And he recently enrolled in his 401k at work, although he doesn't know much of anything about it, but he did it because he heard me talking about mine.

Even if you were to say to him, I am not staying in Indiana, if he said, ok fine, we can move...would you stay with him? He would say this, and I know it. He's said it before - that although he's SO stubborn, if I ever ACTUALLY got up and just TOOK off simply because I wanted to live somewhere different, he'd 'follow' me there.

Would he resent you as time goes by? I would imagine that if he phrased the thought of moving in a way that involved "I'd FOLLOW you" that he'd probably resent me sooner rather than later. He doesn't seem to understand that I don't want him to do things because I want him to do them.. I want him to want more FOR HIMSELF.. I want him to do more because HE wants to. And that just simply isn't the case, so...

Would you resent him eventually if you stayed? Absolutely. Whether it is a scapegoat or not, I'm actually starting to already.
Customer reply replied 8 years ago
Hello Ms. Chase - Don't know if you check these after an 'accept', but just an update. We broke up. He started asking what was wrong last week, and I wouldn't lie to him, so it all came out. That happened Thursday. He moved out Friday. Haven't seen or talked to him since... Until tonight, he came and dropped off some of my things that had still been in his car. We're not on bad terms, but I would certainly say that it was a smidge awkward. I feel terrible about hurting his feelings - and I'm hurting too - but I sitll feel like I made the right decision. Just waiting for 'time' to kick in and start making me feel better!!
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