Ok, here we go. Grab some popcorn or other snack item...
THIS FIRST PART IS OUR HISTORY ACCORDING TO ME...YOU CAN SKIP TO OUR CURRENT STATE OF AFFAIRS...
Our history: My fiance was diagnosed with ADD as a child; when we met 8 years ago, he was taking Adderall regularly. He has not taken it regularly since 2010 - 2011. My fiance and I were friends prior to initiating a romantic relationship. I always viewed this positively: we were our own individuals with different interests and we both acknowledged that we had lives prior to our dating. This made me feel extremely comfortable talking and being with him; we shared aspirations, past fears, and silly musings, both reveling in our similarities with each other and how different we thought we were from our colleagues and peers (at age 25). Our first date happened accidentally; we were only meant to do some platonic shopping together and ended up at a dinner, where he told the wait staff we had just become engaged, using a family heirloom on my right hand, in an effort to get free food/drink. We had such an amazing time and similar antics pervaded our intense romance, from arguing with rental car companies to free flight upgrades; I must also mention that his background is EXTREMELY white-collar while my collar remains blue, and often, I would become embarrassed by his entitled behavior, but at the same time, I felt like I would be looking a gift horse in the mouth if I made my embarrassment known and it was fun to watch someone "fight" for me.
At the time our relationship commenced, it had been 4 years since I had lost my father to liver cancer (I was 21 at the time); it would be an understatement to say I was a "daddy's girl". My fiance had encouraged me to talk about my father; I was not one to always explore my emotions and tended (and still do) to keep my emotions at bay so that I am not distracted from completing my academic and professional duties. My fiance had always comforted me, even saying we were meant to be together, so he could watch out for me like my father had, because he was a good man, like my father had been. He told me he had never felt this way about any other woman; this was corroborated by family statements. He constantly doled out A++ compliments, texted me all the time, and verbalized wanting to spend every waking moment with me. After less than a month of "official" dating, one Sunday morning, he pried my eyelids open, asking me to run down with him to the courthouse to get married. Once he realized I was arousing from slumber, he tried to call the number, while I was tiredly stating the fact that it was Sunday and they probably weren't receiving people at this time.
Also at this time point, he lived with his family in a detached apartment, away from the "authority" figures; I lived in a 2BR with my best friend. His only exposure to living on his own was in college, where, he divulged, his last relationship had ended due to his video game addiction and his ex's "infidelities", always referring to her as "crazy". Prior to that relationship's demise, he and his GF had been sexually and physically assaulted and held hostage at a friend's nearby abode. He told me that he had no desire to go out in that particular city after that incident; he eventually fled more than 2,000 miles after graduation to our current corner of the globe, where we were introduced.
After 2-3 months of dating, he started to "groom" me; we would go out to gala events or ski in Aspen (a life-long snowboarder, I had to learn how to ski as snowboarders were seen as less than; there I was on the bunny slopes instead of riding double diamonds with him). I also had to be "tested" by his aunt; she was a business woman of prominence and therefore her assessment would be valid. She did this by trying to bait me; albeit my fiance had said I was the only one to meet his family, the year before, a girl with the same name, had apparently also made an appetizer for the same gathering I was attending this year; his aunt compared our dishes. By bringing this up, she ruined our first New Year's Eve: I forgave him for lying, and we continued on our merry way (although I had a Daddy meltdown after our night out once we got home, typical of my holidays). In summation, he would offer me things he knew I wouldn't feel prudent doing or spending money on; he said it was to show me how great of a guy he was, but perhaps it was more to remind me of where I stood socio-economically. He would always reiterate how "down-home" he really was.
In Feb-March 2010, he had convinced me that where I was living was not convenient for us, and I should move to a location 6 blocks away from where he was staying (you could look out of his windows and see my building). He knew the owner of the building I had moved into---he even set me up with a friends and family discount paying a ridiculously cheap rent for that area. Up to this point, I was spending my nights on the floor next to his twin bed; he wasn't comfortable snuggling all night, he would get too hot or just too aggravated. I was also taking expensive cabs home each night during the week, at $12-15/ride, if I was told to go home because he needed quality sleep (he made his own schedule and I worked 7am-10pm most days as a medical intern and employed part-time). We only used my apartment if his family (think authority figures) was going to be around; it's hard to have a late-20's romance with your aunt and uncle only yards away. Also, he broke his own aunt's rules for me: he would sneak me out in the morning if I had stayed overnight due to inclement weather or too many drinks. By April, I ended up trading a spacious apartment in a bad section of town for a shoebox in more affluent area. On the day I was moving the bulk of my things, he was playing golf with friends.
Almost immediately upon moving in, my fiance told me that it might be a good idea to see a little less of each other. Since he was the one who had originally been so adamant about our relationship, this seemed sudden and faintly cruel: why ask me to move closer to you, only to request I spend less time with you? He asked that we no longer visit Mondays- Wednesdays, so he could focus on his career. Perhaps more pissed at myself for not putting myself first like that, I slightly resented it but acquiesced without any additional stipulations of my own.
I lived there for less than a year---we decided to move in together in March 2011. I believe we began a co-dependent relationship; he stopped going out with friends (we had actually lost our group of mutual friends---his best friend had had a crush on me for years, and although he reported asking this friend for his permission to pursue me, things still ended badly between them---the final straw happened when he called his friend's mother to make good on $800 his friend had owed him for a vacation they had taken together). While I also stopped seeing my friends as much, I would still go out to concerts with my best friend - a hobby we had enjoyed together since high school. These outings were planned months in advance (as you have to buy tickets months in advance); I would tell my fiance about them; however, when I would come home he would be angry, claiming that he either didn't know because I hadn't told him or that I was only at these concerts to meet other men. He would express disgust or disdain for the music or for fans of the music, disparaging my interest at every chance.
AND NOW...We have now lived together for 3 years; in these three years, we have drifted apart dramatically. I am a doctoral student and work part time; he does not believe that this warrants my frequent expressions of overwhelming pressure; in fact he expects me to do all the chores and other mundane day-to-day tasks. He complains I talk too much or need too much from him and our sex life is virtually non-existent. He essentially became emotionally unavailable; he didn't want to listen to my stories, positive or negative, and I started to feel like a pathetic burden. Whenever we fought (topics tended to focus on: some guy I was supposedly cheating with, my nagging, my lack of detail when accomplishing household chores, or a romantic event from my past that had occurred prior to our relationship), I would be the one left angry and screaming like an irrational person; I looked like the drama queen while he would sit there stonewalling me, appearing as sane as judge, albeit his paranoia had induced this emotional state.
This past March, my brother (who had been ill for years; an MVA left him with epilepsy, which led to a stroke in 2006---his health simply deteriorated) was diagnosed with lung cancer, possibly r/t metastatic brain cancer due to brain damage resulting from numerous and frequent grande mal seizures. My sister told me the news while I was walking home from my commute; I hurried home to find my fiance sitting in his corner of the couch. I sat down and stared at him long enough to tempt his eyes away from the television:
Him (sarcastically): "Can I help you?"
Me: "Um, well, I just spoke with B-----t; P-----k has terminal cancer." I started sobbing, feeling so badly for my brother and the cards he had been dealt. I also couldn't help but feel sorry for myself; here I was losing another male who had been instrumental in my development, a male who loved me unconditionally.
My fiance had no response; his gaze returned to the TV as I sat there physically only a foot and a half away, yet emotionally, I might as well have been perched atop Mt. Everest, cold and alone. I scoffed in disbelief, and immersed myself in my academics. I modified my schedule; my brother was given only months to survive, thus, I traveled 3 hours each way twice a week to spend as much time as I could with him for about 10 weeks. My research, school and finances were all on hold. My fiance accompanied me to visit my brother once during this time period and intentionally or not, he was soon unable to accompany me: in an effort to cheer me up, he bought two puppies. He also proposed during this time (something he had been telling me he was going to do for YEARS). My brother died in May, right after I told him about my engagement news. I felt like I had the ultimate proposal story: my brother, who had not uttered a dicepherable word for three weeks, stated clear as bell: "You're getting married? Aw, sweetheart! When's the wedding?" upon my presentation of my ring on a bright May Monday, only to die 4 days later. Again, I went up alone to bury my brother, but now felt like my romantic relationship was making progress.
We have had several heated discussions about how this went down---he thinks I'm overreacting; I conclude this episode to be the culmination of one's emotional unavailability. He claims not to know how to be emotionally available for someone who requires so much attention. I would also like to add that a year before this, I had one suicide attempt due to my perceptions of his emotional unavailability, something we never talked about ever again. In summation, we moved in together and after the first year, he pulled away in a manner I didn't think possible. I couldn't talk to him for a determined amount of time upon his arrival home from work, both the puppies and I get pushed away when we try to engage in physical contact, and his language is belittling and rude. Since we had moments or sustained moments of true happiness; I chalked it all up to his adjusting to adulthood, or the pressure of his career, and thought to myself that this was a passing phase. If it wasn't, we'd address the issue together, through counseling or through communication. However, the animosity and number of rules I had to follow only increased.
For the last few months, I have been helping out a homeless friend. We originally met the night I attempted suicide. I don't remember this, but I left my house and went walking to the nearest subway station, presumably to throw myself onto the tracks, after some serious wrist cutting, and this friend talked me out of it and sent me home. Perhaps this is the reason why my fiance does not like this person. A few weekends over the past two months, I had this person stop by to take a shower and get some reprieve from life on the streets. Fiance is either glued to the couch or not around; lately it's more of the latter. One day, I told fiance that homeless guy and I were meeting for coffee; fiance replied by going through my phone finding early AM texts between me and my friend discussing a previous outing with our dogs and subsequent invitation to clean up and get something to eat at my place. Now I am being asked to leave our apartment for a "trial" separation. He has claimed he has been unhappy for 2 years and now loves nothing, is feeling suffocated and needs some space to figure out if he loves me, since I lied to his face about having this person over. He thinks our being friends prior to being romantically involved caused him to "overlook some characteristics"...what the hell does that mean? I have apologized, honestly claiming my fidelity, yet he won't listen. He tells me that I have "daddy issues" and I need to learn how to deal with them myself. I have asked for some guidelines for this trial separation with or without professional assistance and he refuses. He thinks we both need to establish our own routines; earlier in our relationship I tried to have a serious discussion about schedules, chores, etc. complete with note-taking, but he laughs me off. He won't listen to my feelings; he does not believe that he is emotionally unavailable and "if I'm such an asshole, why are you with me?" or "you're too dependent" is the general response I receive from him. He disappears, not telling me where he's going, only to come home and ask if I have found a new place yet. I know I'm not assertive, and while I did look for a place, I am not doing that any longer. I have paid my fair share to live here; I do all the work for this apartment as well. In addition, I am finishing work on my second dissertation study, teaching college courses, and finishing doctoral level courses myself; how the hell do I have time to MOVE? He also knows I do not have the money to move and refuses to help me with it. I worry about our puppies; if I can't afford a big enough place, I know they won't be taken care of well staying here with him. He lost interest in these dogs within a matter of months. We have had 4 other major fights like this (usually about a romance I had prior to our relationship; he'll ask for details from our friends and then sets me up for the kill...did you ever kiss so and so in 2003, etc., to which I reply "I don't know" and then I'm a liar the likes Nixon could only aspire to), but this is the first time I have been told to beat it so bluntly. When I was looking for a place, he accused me of "waiting" this fight out...and added something about how I always just hope things will go away, and I never take responsibility for anything. I really don't feel like he's being fair.
He asked me to move out three weeks ago---sometimes it seems like he forgets when he comes home. I have been voluntarily sleeping on the couch---when I do choose to get into bed while he is sleeping, he grabs me to hold---a weird notable occurrence, since even before this fight, he would just turn to face the other way.
How do I break this stonewalling? How do I make him understand that his actions seem inappropriate to me? How do I improve our communication skills? Am I losing my mind? Did I do something that awful? Could it be just the ADHD or something else?
Also, I'm not 100% opposed to this separation; I think it's only fair that we establish some parameters. Any advice would be greatly appreciated...