My boyfriend and I have been together for two years. We moved in together after four months of knowing each other. Little did I know he is a germaphobe and little did he know that I have anxiety issues. His germaphobia would set off when I would cook, clean, shower, or use the restroom; basically everything I did. And I would feel horrible because I was trying to act in a way he'd be comfortable with. We have gotten to the point where we sleep in separate rooms, and I only come out of my room if it's to use the bathroom, work, eat, or shower. I am willing to go to therapy or counseling to work through my issues, but he says he has none. I feel like we were so great together, but we are both just letting our issues get in the way. I'm feel like I'm being a bad influence by doing everything he asks no matter how crazy the request, like wearing gloves when opening the doors to get into our apartment. Should I just leave him and work on myself?
I also have a phobia. I fear guys who make their girlfriends feel like it’s not safe in their own apartments.
I know you’re being extremely sensitive to your boyfriend’s condition. It sounds like you’ve been trying to bend over backward to make this work. But I want you to remember that you don’t have to twist yourself into a knot to accommodate problems this guy won’t even admit. You don’t have to live like this.
Do you really want to be in a relationship where you “only come out of my room if it’s to use the restroom, work, eat, or shower?” Do you want to “do everything he asks no matter how crazy” it seems? It sounds to me like you’re already doing whatever it takes to make him happy. It’s clear he’s not doing the same for you. He won’t admit that he’s got a problem, but he will ask you to completely change the way you behave at home. That’s as selfish as it is disrespectful. When’s the last time you asked yourself: What would make me happy? When’s the last time he asked what he could do for you?
The glaring warning sign here is that you feel trapped in your bedroom and he won’t even admit that there’s a problem. I know you feel like you have anxiety issues and you surely do. But all issues are not equal - and not all issues require a partner to rearrange her life. We do not all require our girlfriends to wear gloves before opening the door. His germaphobia is extreme - and he needs help. But you’ve suddenly found yourself policing your own behavior to accommodate his very peculiar needs. Phobia or no, that’s extremely unhealthy behavior.
It’s OK to have deal breakers. It’s OK for this to be too much. You don’t have to make everything work. If someone drives you bonkers and makes you unhappy, you do not have to put up with it - whether it’s intentional, accidental, or just plain not compatible with the life you want to live. At the very least, you need to stand firm and learn to say “no.” Probably, you need to end this.
So my boyfriend and I have been together a little over two years. We currently live together. Our relationship is a little complicated as he had a major motorcycle accident last year that left him with many broken bones, and he’s now basically in constant pain. We have been getting into a lot of arguments lately and I'm having a lot of doubts, but I still love him and honestly cannot see myself leaving. I have the constant feeling of "I didn't sign up for this" - he was a perfectly healthy, fit, energetic person when we met and obviously he's not anymore. At the beginning of the relationship, my income was quite tight, but when we moved in together, we got a joint credit card that we put all of our expenses on. Since then, I have gotten a new job and am now earning around the same as he is, but he is still off work from the accident and receiving a kind of sick pay. My problem is that I don't want to leave; I just want to take a step back and arrange all of our finances separately again, as I have been unable to save any money. We just put all of our money toward the credit card (and although I have bad shopping habits, his are a lot more expensive than mine) and I honestly just want to prove to myself that I could do it on my own if I had to. But I don't know how to go about doing this without upsetting him or starting a fight or anything like that. Obviously he's a very sensitive and irritable person. Please help!
So I understand why you worry about upsetting your boyfriend. A lot of guys, especially, have a tough time talking about money because they’re raised with a whole bunch of deep-seated chauvinist assumptions about earning and providing. It may be awkward for him to admit there’s a problem. He also may get scared and worry that you’re pulling back. But money doesn’t care about either of your feelings. You’ve got to talk.
This will be an awkward conversation, but you can do it. Remember four things.
1. Don’t apologize. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to separate your finances. It is absolutely your right to separate your money for one reason: After all, it’s your money! The trick is to be assertive and sensitive without either of you getting defensive.
2. Don’t judge how he spends his money. If you want to separate your finances, then how he spends his money is his business. Don’t put him on the defensive by judging his sneaker habit or his booze budget. Now is not the time.
3. Soothe his anxieties. Tell him that this is just about the money - and not any cold feet or doubts about the relationship. Just be clear that you’d like to get better at managing your own money and saving toward your goals. Tell him that you think it would be easier to keep track of your money if it was separate.
4. Propose a new plan to minimize tension and show you’ve thought this through carefully. Would a joint credit card make it easy to pay for date nights and groceries when you’re together? Even a small gesture toward your future together might calm his nerves and make it clear that you’re still investing in the relationship, instead of divesting your resources.
Being a 20-year-old college girl is hard when you're a virgin. I want to have sex, but I'm terrified of becoming emotionally attached to the first person I have sex with and I'm scared it's going to ruin me. My friends tell me all of these stories about how they regret having sex for the first time the way they did ... I just don't want to get my heart broken. Recently, I've reconnected with an old friend with benefits that I had been with for almost a year. We ended things because we both caught strong feelings and since we go to different schools, neither of us liked the idea of a long-distance relationship. It ended pretty badly with a lot of sad emotions. He cared for me a lot and we talked about letting him be the person that took my V-card for a long time. When he hit me with that "I miss you" text and we started talking again about a month ago, we decided a friendship would work between us, even with a little bit of feelings still there. I'm going to visit him at school in a few weeks and we talked about possibly, finally having sex when I go - just as friends. It was my idea initially because I just want to get it over with and he is the person I feel the most comfortable with even after our falling-out. He's the only person I've ever opened up to emotionally; he knows everything about me and vice versa. He said it would be completely on my terms, and he would do everything to make sure that I'm comfortable and that it's a good experience for me. I honestly couldn't imagine it going any other way for me, but I told my close friends,and they really didn't like the idea. None of my friends like him because of how sad I was when we ended it the first time and they tell me I'm going to immediately regret it. Now I'm second-guessing myself ... Am I making the right choice?
I know this seems huge and overwhelming right now, so I’m going to try to break down some big-picture advice into bite-size nuggets.
1. Are you doing this the right way? You tell me. That’s only for you to say. You can lose your virginity any damn way you want. It’s your body. It’s your life.
2. You’re “scared it’s going to ruin [you]," but under safe, consensual circumstances, that typically doesn't ever happen. Losing your virginity, for better or worse, is not your destiny. It looms large, but it’s just one decision among millions.
3. You’re obviously feeling a lot of peer pressure but you don’t have to have vaginal intercourse, just because you’re 20 years old. There’s not some magical right number. Do what you want, when you want, but also don’t let people convince you that you’re some sort of freak for being a virgin. According to this report by the CDC, 57.8 percent of American women ages 20 to 24 have had “sexual contact” with just one partner and 12.3 percent have not, while about 15 percent have not had vaginal intercourse. A full 37.7 percent of women ages 18 to 19 have not had vaginal intercourse. You’re not alone, not hardly.
As for your particular situation, why not wait until you are really passionate about someone? You sound more nervous than excited. You say your relationship “ended pretty badly with a lot of sad emotions.” Your friends think this is a terrible idea because you were hurt so badly the first time, and I worry that your friend may not see sex the same way you do. (Does it mean more to you than to him? If so, that’s a warning sign.) You say yourself that you’re worried about getting hurt badly - and I think that’s because you know you’d be reopening a painful part of your history. Why do that when you don’t have to? Where’s the rush?
For some people, sex is just sex. You sound like you really want it to mean something when you have sex for the first time. If that’s the way you feel, wait for that feeling to hit you. Sooner or later, you’ll find it.
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