This is going to be a fairly long post so please do bear with me but it's important that I make it long as I feel some of the finer details of the situation are important to be known. I have been with my boyfriend for a year and a half, we have known each other (and very closely) for four years and were really good friends before we started out dating. A few months ago him and I were having this conversation and he was talking about his business plans, he has been talking about them for a quite a while and he told me he might move to this place that is 3-4 hours away. Well, we were essentially talking in hypotheticals but I said to him if that happens I was gonna miss him and he just says in almost robotic, matter-of-fact way "I know but if I had to I would choose my career over this relationship". It wasn't the fact that someone could do that that got to me but rather how he said it - almost like it wouldn't be difficult for him, like I was no consideration, like this relationship was nothing other than another hurdle to cross. When I talked with him about it and told him it was the way he said it that made me feel little and like I was not important. He simply replied saying: "Then you're worrying about nothing but semantics. I say what I mean and I mean what I say and in the past I have censored myself from saying things in order to not hurt others but I don't wish to do that again. And it should be a a given that being away from you will hurt me too. But pain is fact of life."
Fair enough, I guess? I tried living with it - I have been living with it - I let it go. Because all those moments we get to spend together are so happy and full of peace and love that I managed to let it go somehow. Yesterday I realized I probably never did let go that in some ways, what he said always has been in the back of my head. Yesterday I was talking on the phone with him about when we could hang out and he tells me he will have to see as he is working two jobs and he has a summer course and it's fine and understandable up until then but then he says something that fucked with my head for the rest of the day yesterday. He said "You know my career is the biggest priority right now and everything else comes after that and that was the entire condition of the relationship". Well, I never knew of any such conditions or agreement. Then he goes on and says, "I have to be able to straighten up my life and get my career if I wanna be satisfied with life overall and every time you bring this up it does nothing but stress me out and overwhelm me"
The way he said it - it made me feel little, lesser. It made me feel like I wasn't as important to him as he is to me. I always think of him in most of my decisions, I always think of ways to make out time, always. It's not that his being focused on his career that seems to be the actual problem - that is fine even admirable but rather the way that he says these things, the way he thinks these things. The imbalance between how much I care and how much he does. The lopsidedness of it all. I have always been the one to try and walk in his shoes, adjust, compromise, let go, forgive, went out on the limb to talk to my parents about him even though dating is frowned upon in my culture (and I am lucky to have parents that despite their culture were supportive and understanding). I have done all of that - went to hell and back FOR HIM. To be with him. And it feels as though that while he does care, this relationship is nothing more than a matter of convenience for him. Like something to hold on to because you enjoy it - but only holding on to it while it is blissfully convenient to do so. It's a very heavy feeling to bear and it is killing me so much that it was actually hard to get out of the bed this morning. Because I love him too much. And while I understand he is busy and that he has two jobs and a summer class, and I don't expect him to spend his every waking moment with me but I feel like he doesn't care enough about spending time with me. I feel like he isn't trying enough. Or at least not as much as I care. He said we could hang out next friday (which would be three weeks after our last date!). It usually isn't that long but I said to him he should make sure it isn't just a couple hours or something that we are able to spend time more properly and he just goes, "I will try. I will see. As you know, I am working". And I know that if it were me in his shoes - I will fight to make that happen, especially if he so wanted me to. Hell, I even took Tuesdays off from my volunteer work at a museum because that's the day when I felt (because he doesn't have work and only one class) that the chances of seeing him were a bit more. But I just don't see any of my effort being reciprocated. Sometimes, I feel like this relationship wouldn't even exist if not for me.
By the way, we broke up a few months back and those three weeks that him and I were broken up were probably the worst weeks of my life. I was eating nothing, I had no energy, I collapsed outside of a class, I collapsed inside my house, I broke down between class lectures and exams and I broke down while standing at the bus stops. As to what led to the breakup is a long-ass story and I don't wish to get there, I feel what happened back then is mostly irrelevant to the situation I am in right now (as the problems back then were very different) but the reason I bring this up is because I wanted everyone to see why I don't see a breakup being a solution here at all. I know what that did to me before and I don't wish to go through any of that again. He came back, he was sincerely sorry for his mistakes, he (just like me) did feel like a part of him was missing and he was pretty fucked by the breakup as well. And I felt like us getting back together when chances of that happening felt like zero to me was a start of a new chapter altogether. But what is going on right now and what he said on the phone and how easily he can tell me he puts career above me --- all of that really fucking hurts, it stings actually. It's like he has given me some heads up, some warning so when it happens, I don't complain.
But I don't want to leave him either, I love him too much and I fear crippling loneliness and I fear that emotional state I went through when we broke up the last time. And this relationship is pretty much all that is able to make me happy. And all those awesome memories. And just having had in life for four years (first as best friends then as a lover). All the investment I have done, it makes it so hard to let go. I feel like I can let go only if and when it kills me completely. This whole thing. I feel like I have invested too much and he has merely cruised along - I sometimes even doubt he actually loves me. Because is this how limited love is? I don't think so. And I guess I am just holding on to the last loose threads waiting for something to change - waiting for some proof, some validation that I am wrong about it all, wrong about us, about him. And it's crippling me so much, all of this. It isn't even that there are no good sides to this relationship - that it is completely bad. It has its ups. But these things still hurt no matter how good anything else is.
Please don't tell me I am suffering from stockholm syndrome, please don't tell me to break up, please don't judge me and tell me I am one stupid gal who is suffering from low self esteem. Just understand. Just really understand, and give me all the understanding and wisdom you possibly can. And be honest, too. I need honesty and empathy and understand but no judgments.