My partner of ten years’ abruptly left the city where we both lived (separately) and moved to a different province during the early pandemic waves.
I was shocked that he sold his home because we’d also planned to consider the move when we could travel freely again.
I was devastated, living alone with no family here.
I asked him not to leave me but he told mutual friends I’d refused to quarantine for 14 days. (Wrong. Moving to an unknown province during Covid-19 was too high-risk for me as a renter, had it not worked out).
We’d lived separately throughout our relationship. His mood swings and reactivity were a concern. I left him for a year, then we re-connected for 18 months.
We saw a counsellor and agreed to try living here together first. But he stalled on leasing property, made it conditional on us moving to this remote province in under a year.
I said to follow his dream and if it worked out, I could join him later. But he insisted he was doing this to find a more affordable home for us both (without my full support).
The isolated province he chose has poor job opportunities, health care prospects and higher taxes. None of our friends or family live there.
He’d ask me every month whether I’d handed in notice on my lease, amid lockdowns and border closures. But I was too uncertain it would work for me.
For two years he’s been insisting that living with him is more important than my needs for a job, decent healthcare and community. Shockingly, he bought a house in under two weeks, against my advice, and where I’d never want to live.
Now he’s become sick from disease-carrying ticks in that area, and is talking about moving back here. But I’m emotionally drained, distrusting his commitment to us.
He insists on our Skyping nightly to vent on his problems. I feel tethered to a self-absorbed narcissist whom I strongly doubt has my back.
My close friends and family think I should cut this tie but I’m still wanting it to work. Equally, I don’t want to settle for something that’s bad for me.
I feel he uses me for a reprieve to his hermetic tendencies and for physical comfort but then he switches off into his solitary head space.
He recently said he has a life-long viral disease. This could be true or a lie. My sister thinks he’s a loser with issues and that I deserve someone who acts with love, kindness and respect. My friends think he’s emotionally abusive. What would you advise?
Look in the mirror, not at him. Any strong ties together are gone. You’ve become a captive listener to his personal dissatisfactions and new health fears. And you’ve compromised your own comfort levels and determination to care of your own health, housing, work support issues during the pandemic.
Return to counselling on your own. With professional guidance, re-frame your relationship with this man and his long-time self-centered dreams.
Are you equal, respected partners in a future that you still seek together? Can you trust that your needs will be as important as his, with each of you finding compromise solutions?
You know the answer. He’s self-absorbed, not given to changing his mind, and fearing his own health situation.
Meanwhile, you’re unrealistically hoping for a brighter future together.
Move on. Your own best interest is within your reach, so long as you stop expecting and needing this man to change for you.
FEEDBACK Regarding the older brother who blames the younger one for his daughter's estrangement from her parents (Nov. 14):
“The grandfather should encourage his granddaughter to seek therapy. Suggesting therapy for her parents as well will help determine if they’re narcissists or enablers.
“Refusal of therapy is common for narcissists because they believe there’s nothing wrong with them even when they’re clearly wrong.
“The grandfather should consider possible red flags from the older son and his wife, if they regularly blame others.
“If the granddaughter moved out directly into her uncle's home or got support from him, she may’ve been kicked out at 18 which the grandfather didn’t know, or she left to escape abuse.”
Ellie - Too much guessing here and arbitrary labelling without seeking professional information and guidance. The young woman needs loving support from her grandparents, and a safe plan for where she’s living.
Tip of the day:
Plans made during an earlier romantic period don’t always last through time. Be prepared to adjust or change course.