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4 Year Relationship May End, Would Like Advice/thoughts

Discussion in 'Marriage and Relationships' started by Janell89, Oct 21, 2012.

  1. Hi there. I guess I'm looking for opinions rather than advice by posting on this forum. I'm 22 (about to be 23) and my boyfriend is 23. We met in the beginning of our freshman year in college (Humboldt State, NorCal). I see my boyfriend as the person I want to be, but am not for various family background/childhood purposes which largely shape who I am today. We've broken up a couple times before, but have always somehow gotten back together. The first time it was because I was afraid about making a long-term commitment because of how my parents turned out (one cheated on the other, then they broke up when my sister and I were in high school). The second time it was because we thought we were too incompatible because of different hobbies, my boyfriend being more adaptable to almost any social situation compared to me who does have depressive tendencies for various reasons). We're both Christian, but in a more progressive sense I guess. The things that kept us together were our similar beliefs and philosophies on life and Christianity/God, simple lifestyles w/ interest in outdoors, youthful and ironic sense of humor, open and honest communication (sometimes it would take a while to express it because sometimes we wouldn't know how to convey our true emotions and thoughts, at the moment). Garrett was more skilled, intelligent, curious in things, rational. I wasn't very curious a person, created my own obstacles, didn't have many desires to motivate me. I guess you could say that I let my inner demons get the better of me. I was always self-interested in the sense that I would try to focus too much on what I was and wanted to be, what I should be. However at the same time, I knew that I had to put my life towards something else, that this world is not about me. I noticed that a lot of people around me (aside from my family) had a good or great sense of who they were, or had no sense of they were. I was always intimidated by the people who had a greater sense of self, and somehow that manifested myself in having friends moreso in the latter "category." Somehow, though, I meet Garrett who had a greater sense of self (but still has his struggles, I will admit), and we clicked.

    It feels like every bump in the road is a new stage. Right now we're wondering if our incompatibilities outweigh our compatibilities, and because of that if God does not think it best for us to be together. I'm usually the first to say it, but when he soon after concludes that we should not be together, I don't want to break up. I can't tell the line between hearing irrational human emotion or hearing God's whispers, in a sense. A couple days ago, we both somehow end up reading about how "all things work together for those who both love God." Romans 8:28, not read straight from the Bible but from another source. I think I'm more private about expressing my Christian faith, and he likes to go more into the theological aspects, but we both like to make jokes about Christianity and God as a reminder that religion in a sense is still a human creation, even with a "supernatural" historical figure/background to support its values and beliefs, feeding into the fact that we just don't understand God completely, joking is an expression of humility, in a sense- "I just don't understand how crazy this world seems to me, but there is a heavenly purpose for all this chaos."

    We used to volunteer together in our first couple years of college, we don't do it now because things have gotten busier, a random act of kindness in whatever form seems to be a trend now- we're still growing, we realize. The last time we broke up, we came with the new challenge to stick with each other, and whatever obstacles we experience, we will experience and push through together. Right now, we're both wondering if that's what God really wants for us or if it's just made out of fear of being without each other. Because making that commitment seems precious as well, all the work we're both putting into something that is bigger than us because love for another represents love for God, even though it should not make us forget about God and have the relationship become another idol. I do think that we will get back together again if we do choose to break up again, but at the same time I feel like "luck's" going to run out at some point, if it's not what God wills. I will admit, I do want to stay with the guy. I was the one who caused so much of the difficulties within our relationship, me holding myself back from everyone and myself, all out of fear and lack of trust in God. Sometimes I wonder if a lot of the things I say, like what I'm writing right now, is really me or me trying to make myself seems mature because it's easier to talk the talk than walk the walk. I feel like I'm trying, and Garrett sees it (he just doesn't recognize it as much because he has higher expectations due to his more "stable" upbringing, which he's aware and is still justifiable on his part, I think). After conversing with each other, we do see each other's side, and still maintain whatever opinion we have (sometimes it changes, sometimes not, which I believe is healthy in a good relationship).

    I was the one who told Garrett that if he did find someone better than me, than he should go to her. Yes, I have self-esteem issues. However, in order to improve my confidence, I am finally learning how to swim, I have a plant to care for. I was never that interested in the Psych degree that I've been pursuing for the past 3 years, but after a recent 2-year break in the year I should've graduated and a couple weeks into my first semester back, I just realized what I'm actually pretty interested in, so now I'm taking another semester break so I could take the classes I actually want to take, will be adding 2 more years about to apply for the post-bac program I want to do in the clinical lab sciences. Apparently I'd be going to the same school that Garrett'd be going to for his post-bac studies in orthotics/prosthetics, which for me was a big sign (I just don't know what the sign meant, and am hoping it's a sign that we should be together). We've talked about getting married, having kids. Both our parents are fine with whatever decision we make. I do have difficulty communicating with my family, I'm not going to lie. Garrett's mom is a little weary of us being together because she was in a similar position that I was in (though she and her husband are still together, not without their own challenges, I'll admit). I have areas to grow, we both do. I wish we could grow together, and am hoping that this is what God wills. I understand that He might not will it, but we all have desires in our life. It would be amazing if my desires were in line with God's will. Love is a working relationship, and if we're willing to put in the effort, I'd think that's a good sign, despite whatever challenges we face. FYI, we've been doing a sort of long distance relationship for about a year because his original major got canceled at Humboldt and they transferred him to Stanislaus 6 hours away; that and I did a year of AmeriCorps last year so a lot of traveling, but we would visit every once in a while, so it wasn't too bad. I don't think that's so big an issue. The stage where we're at right now I guess is putting our faith in God together in whatever way He wills, and hoping, praying, that our paths remain with each other. Any opinions, advice? Also, we didn't start going out until after our first year at college, while a lot of our main friends started dating eaching and became couples and broke up within sometimes a couple of months, or a year or 2. This is also both our first and only relationship we've been in, so yes we have a little naivety, but simultaneously live out of observation. It felt natural, less forced...now it's at the point of, are we now trying to force it, too much? I will be visiting him on the 27th, thiscoming weekend, which will involve a lot of talking I'm sure, we've done quite a bit on the phone, but things need to be discussed in person. It would be great to see some responses before then. Thank you and God bless- it just feels more appropriate to say this on a Christian forum for some reason. Again, thanks.
  2. I know I'm a little late, but your story was one I'm pretty familiar with, because several aspects of it belong to my story as well.

    I have always had very low self-esteem. Depression runs in my family and because I've seen how screwed up medication has made my mom, I'm not willing to try it. Of course, that means, I have to live with it.

    My relationship started a lot younger. I was 14 and she was 13. We didn't even technically date for 3 years after that. But it was great. However, after we started really dating and hanging out with each other a lot more, we came to notice that we were a lot different. We have a lot in common, but more things in conflict. She is outgoing, she wants to go to dinner with people, invite people over, go to parties. I want to stay home and have quite nights. I'm anti-social, I guess.

    This among many other differences made us fight like crazy as the dating years passed. We would have small disagreements to giant screaming matches practically non-stop.

    But, we loved each other. We felt God wanted us together. We "broke up" once, but that lasted a week. In fact, we don't even count it.

    Then, after she graduated high school, we got married.

    I can't tell you life has been peaches and cream, but we hardly fight anymore. We still have our differences and we respect each others limits, but we also expect each other to challenge those limits a little once and a while for the other's sake. So, a few times a month, I'll go out with her somewhere. And a few times a month, we'll stay in together. Stuff like that.

    Some nights, we do things separately. There's nothing in the rule that says you have to do the same thing all the time.

    We've had some hard times hit us, but we've been committed to each other throughout and it's only made us stronger.

    So, I guess what I'm trying to say is, a relationship is not doomed because you have different interests. It only becomes doomed when you expect the other person to give theirs up. There's got to be give and take, as well as some sacrifice at times.

    I know there are more issues at stake here than just differing personalities, but please, at least don't let that be a deciding factor.

    My wife and I have been married for almost 7 years now. Next year, we plan to start trying to have a child together. That's another thing. I never wanted a child. A few years ago, there was nothing you could do to convince me to have a kid.

    But God has changed my heart. I find that I'm all too excited to start that new challenge in life. To be a father. *chills*

    God grows us- always. And he uses people he puts in our lives to do that. Even though I'd rather stay in, the night's we go out with people, I have a blast. I talk, I joke, I dance (it's not pretty, but I do it!) and I do all the things I never thought I could. That's because of my wife. She makes me a better version of myself. And that's what we all want right?

    I'm sorry, I feel like I'm all over the map here.

    But I hope I've said something to encourage you! If you'd like to talk more, let me know. I'm new to the forum, so I'm not exactly sure how this all works, but we'll make it happen. God bless and I hope your visit went well.
  3. Hi there. Thanks for the response. I can definitely relate with your situation. And I think we are going to follow a similar path as you and your wife. I visited Garrett this weekend and we're not breaking up; in fact we have become convinced that we do belong together. I've had a number of revelations/signs which seem to have come from God which seem to show that He does accept and will us to be together. We are talking about marriage, having kids, just not now because of financially reasons; however, we are mentally committed to each other for the rest of our lives. We've made that promise before, and we're sticking to that promise. I needed to find God separate from Garrett, and I did. I've found a clearer path of where I want and should be, not just with my relationship but also even careerwise and in having friends. I'm happy that we don't have the relationship that my parents did- they've taught me a lot about love and communication. We do have our arguments, and luckily we do talk it out. When I visited Garrett this past weekend, there was a point at which he physically left me at his place to meet with another person (happened to be another female around my age) to make a sale of sorts, and he was gone for about an hour because she didn't have the money and he got distracted when they bumped into another person to talk with. I was at his place finishing baking cookies which we were making together, then washing dishes from baking and whatever was left in the sink, and then I just went back to bed until he came back home. He knew I was upset, and I told him that I was mad, literally, that I was not even invited to come. Later I told him I felt like I should go, and he got scared and upset with himself and grabbed my legs while I was just standing with my hands on his head asking such things as why did he not even think to ask me to come with him, what is he afraid of, etc. He didn't understand why I forgave and still loved him. Soon after that, we went over the letter that I emailed him which consisted of all the signs/gifts that led me to want to continue with this commitment. We even both started to joke about what happened: I told him that I even washed all the dishes out of spite, to make him feel worse (what? He deserved it)- it really was funny, hopefully you could tell. We both realize that love is a gift from God that involves effort on both parties and we must remember that God has given this gift and should be appreciated and kept despite whatever obstacles we face because God's gifts should not be taken for granted, they're the most precious to keep and maintain. It's not fun to throw a gift away or pass it on to someone else; it's not a gift meant to be recycled, it's not the same not as precious. I probably shouldn't write this here, but it feels like it was important and it was enlightening....we tried mushrooms together both of us for the first time (20's are the stage for experimenting, so why not?), and it was great to be in another state of mind to see how we fit together in that state where we're not completely our "normal" selves, and we were great...a lot of typical laughter, out of the ridiculousness of life's complexities, relating to dogs, coming to the conclusion that we're all stupid in a sense, that people's rationalizations and efforts for trying to cure people and define the world was just stupid, but we're human, we're not God. Anyway, thanks for giving your story, it does make me feel better about my relationship. I bought this book for both of us to read called I Isaac take tee Rebekah, by Ravi Zacharias, which is a pretty fun and worhtwhile book. Anyway, I'll stop here. I'm sure I've gone all over the place as well. Oh well. Thanks again, and God bless, again.- Janell
  4. Sorry to hear you are going through this. I don't have specific advice for you and it sounds like others can relate and help you more. But just wanted to let you know I am taking the next few minutes to pray for you right now.
  5. That is hilarious! I've done the exact same thing. In fact, I think I did it the other day.

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