Page 1 of 1

Am I taking him for granted?

Posted: Mon Dec 25, 2017 3:44 am
by just18someone
I've been in a relationship with this guy I met on Tinder for a little over a year. Lately we've been arguing a little more than usual and I've been feeling a little distant.

Back story: He comes from a broken family. His dad cheated on his mother and left the family/ got kicked out, although he does support the family financially as much as possible. My parents on the other hand have been quite stable, although dad works in another country, he still contacts us regularly and visits us as often as he can.

Recently, I brought up having a family of my own sometime in the distant future(10 years or so), and maybe if all goes well it could be with him. He firmly shut down the idea saying that he doesn't like to talk about the future and that he doesn't want a family cause he might mess it up like his parents did. I told him that he doesn't have to be a reflection of his father and all of this is hypothetical, there's no need to be so pessimistic about it, since he's not his father and I'm not his mother.
Regardless, he told me he would think about what I said and that I need to stop thinking about the future so much. I agreed to it, but the conversation just left me a little empty. It has been one of my many dreams to be a mother and have a family and having him knock it off so easily just didn't sit right with me. But, after consulting some of my friends, I decided that other than this problem which wouldn't affect me until much later, I still love him and want to be with him, so it's filed away for another day.
But today he comes up to me and says I take him for granted because I insisted he drop me home and he claims that I accused him of not giving me enough(this totally came out of no where). He now earns for himself and a portion of his salary goes to his mother, so he isn't well off, while my parents still support me financially. I admit I am naturally inclined to what he may perceive as slightly expensive places, but when he says he can't afford it I modify the plans to suit both of us. But if we have to spend time with each other it will cost some money, no matter how much we budget it. Travelling alone takes up a considerable amount since he lives an hour away from me and we live in a city with crappy public transport, and I don't have a private vehicle of my own. An Uber is too expensive on my student budget, especially since we meet once a week.
I don't really know how I am taking him for granted, and it's difficult to solve this because when I do talk to him about it we both get caught up in whatever emotions we feel at that time, that we don't really solve the issue. More like we dump the problem out and leave it there. Either that or we're brutally honest to the point that some one gets hurt, and the emotions take over again.
Any ideas on what we could do?

Re: Am I taking him for granted?

Posted: Mon Dec 25, 2017 11:16 am
by Sam W
Hi just18someone,

It sounds like this situation is pretty stressful for both of you, so to start out with I think it would be helpful to talk about ways the two of you could develop your communication skills. Part of why I say that is because he's the only one who can tell you why he feels like you're taking him for granted, so in order to understand that issue the two of you need to be able to communicate effectively.

With that in mind, the two of you might want to take a look at this article. It gives a lot of good advice on how to talk about touchy or difficult topics: How to Clash With Love: Some Conflict Resolution Basics . Of course, even with the tools in that article this conversation is likely to be difficult, but the more you practice your communication and conflict resolution as partners, the easier it will get over time.

The feeling of being taken for granted can, sometimes, come from feeling like one person is putting more energy into the relationship or assuming that their partner will do things without checking with them first (this may be where your boyfriend is coming from, but again the only way to know that is to talk to him). Thinking about you and your boyfriend, how do you feel about the balance of effort or energy in your relationship? Does it feel pretty equal?

Re: Am I taking him for granted?

Posted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 9:24 am
by just18someone
I spoke to him about it and he says he said it in the heat of the moment because of what I said. He says he didn't mean it but according to me when you say things in the moment it generally stems from some truth. I also told him if there was anyway to make it up to him or change anything about the way I behave to make it better, but he insisted that he didn't mean it and that I didn't need to think about it so much.
Personally, I don't feel either of us take each other for granted because we're both quite frank with each other with what we want or don't want. He puts in more effort in places where he can, like the travelling part, and I cover for him financially when I can. Of course there are times where other things become priority like work or school, but those are short term shifts because of a deadline or just too much work, and we generally understand each other's absence or the inability to put in an equal amount of effort into something.
That's why him telling me that I take him for granted came as quite a shock, and kind of boggled my mind. In my head everything has been generally balanced and other than the whole 'lets probably get married or not get married in the distant future' disagreement we are on the same page.

Re: Am I taking him for granted?

Posted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 9:36 am
by Sam W
I'm glad to hear you were able to talk to him about it, although it sounds like he wasn't interested in pursuing the conversation in any sort of deep way. You've offered some details about the balance of energy and effort in the relationship, and it does sound like you both are trying to make it work. Have you and he also discussed ways in which the two of you could try adjusting how you manage conflicts within the relationship? You mentioned the way you currently fight often leaves you feeling as though nothing gets resolved.