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Here I am, there you are



  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 11,566 Mod ✭✭✭✭miamee

    Hi Frank, it's a hard place to be alright. Maybe if you look at things from a slightly different perspective, it will help you to make a decision. She wants certain things, a lovely dovey man who is sentimental and who misses her desperately when not together, enough to be messaging her or video calling all the time. She deserves to have all of those things that she wants. But if being 'lovey dovey' or overly sentimental doesn't come naturally to you then you are not the right person for her. She deserves someone else who will give her all of those things.

    And it goes without saying that equally you deserve a woman who suits you too and brings what you need to a relationship.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,359 ✭✭✭PoisonIvyBelle

    I remember your posts a few years ago, I'm sorry to hear you're still feeling confused about it all.

    I'd be inclined to go easy on your GF, from another POV.

    My thoughts on it are:

    • You've been with your GF over 2 years, so I'd assume she hasn't been abusive (emotionally?) since day 1? Do you know what changed that started that behaviour? Is anything going on with her that could be causing the change in attitude?
    • Is she actually being abusive when you think about it yourself as someone who is with her daily, and not your friends or your Ma who hear about it second-hand?
    • Is it possible that she is anxious about you delaying your flight back because she gets the vibe off you that you're not happy there and is guessing you don't want to come back?

    In terms of whether you should come back to Ireland, I think you should if you're still thinking about it years later. However, it would seem the natural and fair thing to include your GF in that thought process and make a plan with her, e.g. does she come back with you, do you break up, what are the options? The fact that you're not doing that says alot. I think you've really already decided she isn't "it" for you and she's feeling that from you, hence the behaviour.

  • Registered Users Posts: 21,226 ✭✭✭✭Tell me how

    Just as an aside, I think the perception that the OP's girlfriend is abusive is going a bit too far. Wanting to know where you stand 2.5 years in to a relationship or being upset because your partner changed their return flight meaning that they wouldn't be around for your birthday don't sound excessive or abusive to me.

    She's not likely to be reading this, but still.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,001 ✭✭✭Tork

    To be fair, it's the OP himself who brought up the possibility that he might be in an abusive relationship. It didn't come from anybody here - it came from conversations he had with his own friends. None of us can say for sure if the relationship is that bad because we're only going on what he has told us. Having said that, to our knowledge he has now started two threads about this relationship in recent times. Is the girlfriend abusive? Who knows? What seems to be clear is that it isn't a good relationship for either of them and it's making them both anxious in different ways. When a relationship is hard work like this, you've got to ask is it worth it?

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,469 ✭✭✭✭Frank Bullitt I am, again.

    It has only been 2 months or so since I last posted in here, there has been some change but also not.

    Both myself and the OH have had some serious conversations over the past while, but the circle of things seems to be still there. There will be tension, it will spill over, we talk about and then there is a honeymoon period. Rinse and repeat.

    I have now had more close friends tell me they are worried about it, and I can't tell you how hard it is to hear that, especially from people who you just wouldn't expect it from too.

    More recently, I have been to another counsellor and he specialises in my kind of situation. I openly asked him if moving in together would help solve some of the issue and he flat out said no, it would only make it worse. I have another booked for when I get back as well.

    I sit here in Dublin, and the other big issue now is how covid is causing havoc across everyones life and Xmas plans. It has hit me hard again, thinking that it might be another stint after this before I can come home. This has, again, got me thinking about moving home fully to Ireland. I do now really see a life for me here, my hobbies and career are all readily available here for me now, and with the relationship being how it is, it is really hard to just not want to do it next year.

    Not really sure what I am posting this for, it is an awful update of sorts, but I find it is worthy to vent a little bit here.

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  • Family > Girlfriend

    Honestly, reading your post it sounds like you want to come home. Do what's best for you.

  • Registered Users Posts: 567 ✭✭✭LilacNails

    Op, you sound way too good for this person. Read over the thread again, and again after that and ask yourself what advice would you give to your best friend.

    I feel you need to move on, she does not to appreciate or listen to you.

    Its a crap time of year for a break up, but when is there a good time? You need a fresh clean break, and sounds as though you need to be around your family and friends more, they have your back and by the sounds of it your gf does not.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,001 ✭✭✭Tork

    Frank, nobody can make this decision for you but you're going to have to decide on something soon for everybody's sake. I'd say you're driving everyone in your life up the walls and frustrating some. You're long on talk and short on decision making. You're going to have to piss or get off the pot at some stage. The question is, how long have you been on the pot now? I'm not really sure how much advice you are actually taking on board either. I'm starting to wonder are you doing all this talking as a way of pushing away the decisions you have to make.

    Months ago, people on this thread told you much what your therapist did - do not move in with your girlfriend. I'm sure people around you have been giving you similar advice. Yet still you went along to that therapist as if none of this advice had been given before, still believing that moving in with your girlfriend will magic away the obvious problems you're having. Looking back over this thread, I don't think there is much more that can be added to the advice already given. You're stuck and dithering. I'm not sure how much progress you have made since you started this thread.

    While I'm not a fan of your girlfriend, going by what you've written, I have some sympathy for her. It's infuriating to be with somebody who has one eye on the door. She has her life plans and you're not fully on board with them. If you don't see a long-term future with her, staying together is wasting everybody's time. Especially hers if she wants to have a family.

    It's your decision to make, of course, but I think there is something to be read into your track record. Despite being in Canada for several years, you have never broken your ties with home in the way that somebody living abroad needs to do. Apart from your girlfriend, what's keeping you there? At a guess, a lot of your self-identity and self-worth is built around being Mr Successful over in Canada and you don't want to lose that status. Is it your ego that's keeping you in Canada? You don't sound like somebody who's at peace with settling there permanently. So what, apart from your girlfriend, is keeping you there?

    You can have a good life in lots of countries if you put your mind to it. Problem is, you've plonked yourself firmly on the fence. You're keeping your options open, making no decisions and driving yourself crazy. This has already been covered very effectively upthread by BitofaBind and Jim2007. You should read and re-read what they wrote because they've hit a lot of nails on the head regarding the experience of an Irish person person abroad.

    What makes you think that continuing with this troubled relationship or living in Canada will bring you peace? Neither have brought you peace so far, have they? You've started numerous threads on both and both are tormenting you in different ways. Do you really think that things will change? If something doesn't happen easily or naturally, how do you see that changing into the future? You're in a relationship that's turbulent, and that's before complications like mortgages or kids or other issues come along. You're very attached to home and seem to think a lot about when you can come back again. If you had a friend telling you this story, what would you tell them?

    You still have two big decisions to make and have conflated the two in your mind. If you decide to split from your girlfriend, it doesn't mean you have to take the next plane home. You can still stay in Canada and decide on where you want to settle at any time. But sort that relationship issue of yours sooner rather than later.

    Post edited by Tork on

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,469 ✭✭✭✭Frank Bullitt

    You’re right.

    Being on the fence isn’t right, and I’ve attached an awful lot of my identity on being abroad. I’ve built a strong career and so on in Canada, now that’s changed with the current situation of covid and my career is really global.

    Me not wanting to hurt someone does actually hurt them, putting it off does nothing to help anyone, and it’s high time I realise that.

    I appreciate all the feedback and help.

    You won’t hear from me from here on out unless I have real news.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,001 ✭✭✭Tork

    Frank, don't let my comments put you off posting here ☺️ You're clearly suffering horribly with these huge decisions you have to make and if posting here helps, keep doing that. Only you can know if this thread is helping or has become a way of avoiding big decisions.

  • Registered Users Posts: 939 ✭✭✭bitofabind

    Hey Frank. I can see both sides of this. The complexities and emotionally difficulties of the big life decisions you need to make. And the "sh1t or get off the pot" side of it too. This isn't a new problem that you have. You've been talking about it and making excuses to not take action for years.

    The way I see it: life is hard. Change comes with a lot of discomfort, instability, loss and grief. We humans hate the unknown, so even though it's "home", coming back to Ireland would carry some risk with it too. Your brain can't compute that and you're getting paralysis by analysis. Maybe it's better the devil you know. But what's harder than that, is ignoring your own gut instincts. That comes with consequences. BIG consequences, for you and the people you love. Not acting now, spells out greater loss, regret and grief in the longer term.

    I'm speaking as someone who made the big life decision six months ago, when I moved home to Ireland. It's been hard, between all the admin type stuff (setting up a bank account, huge tax issues, car insurance, new job and all the hardship that comes with getting onboarded, shipment delayed by Covid) and the emotional stuff (goodbye to my closest friends, and a job that was my life for a long time, getting used to no longer living abroad, the "new identity" stuff). I've gone through a period of grief and loss too, and I still get upset sometimes when I get the memories of my life abroad, the good times, the opportunities, the friendships, the incredible privilege of it all.

    But the reckoning, for me, came during the pandemic, when I was 6 months into therapy and realising that this "great life abroad" stuff was coming at the cost of my own happiness, peace of mind, my family relationships, my closest friendships, my own personal values of freedom and integrity and at the cost of me feeling like I was actually living life on my own terms, as opposed to passively going along with things and "I've made my bed and now I'll lie in it" about my life overseas.

    You get to choose your own life. And in this case, you also have to choose which version of "hard" you want to have. For me, knowing what I know now, I'd do it all again in the morning. Because I want the version of hardship that puts me in the driver seat of my own life, where I can feel like I'm making an active choice in my future, and if it doesn't work out - well, at least I've answered a few questions that would've plagued me for a lifetime. This decision is reversible. But time isn't. Time doesn't stop while you ponder these things - and it just makes the decision harder, ultimately.

    So the question you might need to ask yourself and discuss with your therapist is: what do you need to be able to move forward here? What does life look like, if you don't take action?