Relationship with a negative person

by JJ
(Stafford, VA)

I've been dating my bf for a little over a yr and a half. We met online and preceded to have a long distance relationship for a couple of months before we were in love and then he moved to a different state to be with me. Rather than him finding a job here like I'd hoped, he decided to work for himself and then moved in with me.

I believed we got to know each other at what I considered a "deeper level" except I did not realize how negative he really was. My bf is the academic nerd type, he majored in philosophy, is very aloof and usually lost in thought. This was something that attracted me to him initially, but when I realized that this also made him neglect me, dismiss what I said and cause to not address or remember the things that I stated as important to me, I started to dislike him. I don't think he really warned me or displayed this until we started living together.

His negativity is rooted in an abusive childhood, isolation and being deeply misunderstood by most people. He has a tendency to fixate on a problem and can't seem to let go of it. He usually tries to imagine the worst, because in his mind that will prepare him for anything that happens. In my opinion it's pretty bad, it sometimes does feel like a black hole absorbing my energy.

Initially I think that I was a lot more idealistic, optimistic and patient with him, but as time progressed I've felt pretty worn out with my own problems and with him sucking my remaining energy on top of that. We had some intense arguments where I just had enough because it sunk in how unfair this was, and I suppose I saw myself as a victim and refused sometimes to budge and stood my ground, as did he, which only made the arguments bigger. He realizes he has problems, who doesn't, but his are deeply rooted on resentment, fear and low self esteem. Anyhow, he has started to see a therapist and for some reason this also angered me a little. I guess the idea of having to spend money and resort for someone else to point out what I see as obvious or have been getting through tho him bothered me...however, I have tried to disarm this because in the end, our relationship is benefiting from this as well as himself.

I guess where I need the advice is at focusing on how I can stop being so stressed out, frustrated, and allowing any leftover energy I have to be drained by him or his tantrums. I work a full time job (8hrs), commute to work (1.5-2hrs daily), when I come home I usually prepare dinner (1+hrs) and by the end of the day I feel pretty drained. I am a landlord to a townhome and I have type 2 diabetes. I recently joined a gym hoping that this will also give me an extra boost of energy as well as help with my diabetes. I think I'm often seeing myself as the victim lately, like I've gotten caught up in this mess of a relationship and even though I sometimes want out, I can't also help but care and love him and want to help him. Things have been gradually improving with therapy (it's been about 2 months now), except since I feel my patience has been worn thin, I sometimes get frustrated or disappointed at slow progress or lack of results. I would like to find it within myself to make myself happy and hopefully also be helpful and supportive of him. I'm still unsure that this is the best scenario/situation for me, as there are other men out there w/far less issues...but this is the one I fell in love with and would like to offer a fair chance and time to try to work on myself, our relationship while he works on himself through therapy. I need to find the strength and resilience within somehow.

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