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How to handle smothering boyfriend?

My bf moved 5000 miles to be with me, leaving his two grown children and dog behind, I found him an apartment in the town where I live, that one turned out bad so I found him another apartment and moved his few belongings there, he's been living there for 6 months now. Recently my bf has landed himself a good job, but he complains it is ruining our relationship, that he wants to find ways to spend more time with me, that he doesn't sleep well at his place alone, we only live a few blocks away from each other. I don't have a problem with how much time we spend together, I'm quite independent and I do not need to spend everyday or every night with my man, basically it seems the opposite of him. Today he messaged me from his work saying he wanted to spend tonight at my place until he goes to work tomorrow morning, he gets up at 5:00 am, Cook's breakfast, makes coffee. I do not sleep well if there is any noise, plus I am tired of cleaning up after another person in my kitchen, so I said no to his idea, but I know another idea is coming my way. I find him smothering, it causes me great anxiety to deal with this constantly, what would people here do in this situation? Many thanks in advance.
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134578 tn?1614729226
It sounds like his level of desire to be together in your space is about a 9 on a scale of 10, and your level of interest in having him there is about a 3. I'd suggest to him that this mismatch is worth discussing together with a relationship counselor. What kind of long-term plans did you two have when he moved to be with you? Obviously someone doesn't come 5,000 miles for nothing. Were you discussing marriage or thinking of living together?
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1 Comments
Hi AnnieBrooke, if I suggested counselling he'd get really upset, his anxiety would fly off the charts, I've seen it before, it ain't pretty, plus he works all day everyday except the weekend, no counsellor here works weekends, nice suggestion though, I do appreciate your ideas, thank you so much. The long-term plans were discussed; I'm buying a house soon, he wanted to move in to save $$ and get married (eventually) I said no, I enjoy my alone time too much, he heard me but has still mentioned it several times since coming here, I have told him if he thinks he'll wear me down it won't happen, I have guns & I stick to those guns. If the future does not go as he likes then he will have a decision to make.
973741 tn?1342342773
COMMUNITY LEADER
Yes, I agree. This doesn't sound like an ideal match up.  Needy people get exhausting!  And you seem pretty content being on your own letting this grow at a slower pace.  He's clingy and I agree that can be annoying. Your only hope is to lovingly set a boundary and be able to say "no, not tonight" and stick to it.  He will likely react childishly as he sounds highly dependent on people.  He also may try to guilt you as he moved a distance giving up things to be with you with the expectation you'd be there for him as much as he likes. And some women ARE into that and want that much contact too.  He's not wrong for how he feels or what he wants.  It's just different than what you want and before this goes much further, you need to evaluate if it is due to your moving slower but ultimately will get to the same point or if you really don't think you want him around all that much EVER!

True story---  I didn't live with my husband before marriage and had had many years living on my own prior to our wedding and his moving into my house.  I was like a trapped animal at first.  His stuff was there!  He was there!  All the time!!  lol.  I would hang out in the bathroom because it was the only place he wouldn't find me and even then he'd stand on the other side of the door and talk to me.  Eventually I got used to it because I love him and we were building a life together that I very much wanted.  Now, he's comfy to have there.  (ha, 20 years later).  I still relish my alone time which I don't get a whole lot of with husband and two kids but it's a happy time when I do.  

You have to look at relationships for compatibility.  And if he is too dependent and you are too independent, you all will always be at odds.  good luck
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Avatar universal
Hi specialmom, yes I get the guilt trip on a regular basis, but it does not work on me. You're right, we will always be at odds. Thank you for your reply.
Helpful - 0
1 Comments
Ya, if you are at odds, is this worth it?  You can try to set a boundary to see if you can let him know your expectations but if it is just delaying the inevitable, you may want to prepare for this to be over.  And he may be angry.  He moved a long way.  But it was his choice to do so.  So, you have to do what is best for you at this point as you are not yet committed to him.  
134578 tn?1614729226
The kind of language you are using doesn't sound like he is a smothering person. "Smothering" behavior from a man to a woman is when the man controls the woman's life, like, he won't let her friends come over and he tells her what to wear and he flies off the handle at small transgressions on her part. What you're describing is a needy person. You say he's afraid to be alone at his apartment (that you found for him, presumably because he wasn't good at finding a place to live on his own), and that he moved a long distance just to be with you even though you two didn't even really have a commitment. He sounds like he's grasping at straws. On the other hand, you don't really sound that interested in the relationship any more.  Maybe before he moved, you didn't know he was someone who so desperately wanted someone to take care of him? But he thought your stand-offishness was a signal of you being just the kind of person who would want to take care of him?

Anyway, you say things like "I am tired of cleaning up after another person in my kitchen" about the fact that he gets up and makes coffee (unless he has come over and cooked major meals before and that is when you got stuck with cleanup), when other women would be delighted to have a boyfriend who makes coffee in the morning. And you say and "if he thinks he'll wear me down it won't happen, I have guns & I stick to those guns," in a belligerent way, and "I get the guilt trip on a regular basis, but it does not work on me," as though you see this as a  fight, not a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship. And you don't want to live with him, and it doesn't sound like you want to marry him.

In your shoes, I'd tell him as kindly as possible that while it was sweet of him to make the move, now that you two are in the same town, it's clear to you that you are just not compatible, and that it's time to stop thinking of yourselves as a couple. Because, frankly, it doesn't sound like this relationship, with this man, is what you want at all.

Here would be my only suggestions so he doesn't freak out. When you talk to him, in your mind give him a bye, some mental points for being a good person. He is not bad, other women would like what you're getting here. The problem is only that you're so mismatched on the independent/dependent scale.  Some women would have had him living with them in a heartbeat -- (a boyfriend who makes coffee in the morning and wants to get married? Are you kidding?) Though he's not for you, if you make general remarks to him about his character, it's going to cut way more deeply than he probably deserves. (And, likely, escalate the pain of the breakup way unnecessarily.) Even if he has annoyingly needy habits and you're mad at him about it or think he's trying to sponge off you, nobody deserves to feel unlovable from cruel remarks made in a breakup.

The other thing is, you say you think he is making you anxious. But you sound like the problem is that his needy style is tiresome or makes you annoyed, not that it prompts anxiety in you. (Why would it make you anxious when you're the dominant one in the relationship?) Women get anxious when some guy is controlling them and bossing them around and they are afraid he will hit them if they talk to your girlfriends on the phone or wear a low-necked shirt. That's not what you're describing. My suggestion is to own that you find him tiresome, and also own any possible guilt (especially if you were active in encouraging him to move 5,000 miles) but if you have anxiety I'd stop blaming it on him. You're clearly in the driver's seat, if you do have anxiety that has to be coming from something else.
Helpful - 0
2 Comments
My anxiety comes from his smothering behavior, he does have plenty of controlling behaviours but that is not what I was discussing here. I did not ever tell him to move here, nor did I encourage him to do so, and he does sponge off me, I kept him here and fed him three seperate times for a total of five weeks, if he knows I cook he invites himself and won't leave . I know this guy much better than you do, he does not listen to my requests for alone time ever, he does snarl if guys even look at me in the grocery store, if I go for a walk without him I get at least two messages and two phonecalls questioning my whereabouts, that is not normal behavior. My anxiety comes from this relationship,  not something else, thanks alot for your reply.
So, tell again why he is still your boyfriend?
973741 tn?1342342773
COMMUNITY LEADER
Hey supernova, I just wanted to add that I really feel for you.  You sound like a very together woman to me and that you didn't realize this could go South when this man moved there.  This is the worry of long distance relationships.  Thankfully, he doesn't live with you.  Back him off and if he will not allow you to do so, go ahead and free yourself of him. He sounds troubled to me.  good luck
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