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Feeling Trapped
#1
I've been with my partner for 12.5 years now and for the past few years, it seems like each day becomes more and more of a struggle for me. We met when I was 19 and he was 45 and within 3 weeks I moved in with him. Risky move, I know. But at that time, my parents and I were at each others' throats non-stop so I knew I had to get out of there.

The first few years were great. I met all of his friends and while I'm sure some of them thought I was only either a temporary fling or just looking for a sugar daddy...they were very nice to me. He helped me get my driver's license, buy my first car, and took me on vacations to some amazing places. Even though we had such a difference in our age, we still laughed at the same things and shared some common interests. I helped him get better at using the computer and he showed me how to do some common home and car repair tasks.

It wasn't until about maybe 5 or 6 years in the relationship that I noticed some controlling behavior, but I just brushed it off as him trying to prevent me from doing something irresponsible or dangerous. The first time I remember really feeling like something was wrong was when he was out of town on business and a few of my friends from work were going out for a few drinks. These were straight men and women and I know enough to call a cab if I feel like I've had too much. I told him that I was going to do this and he got so upset. He asked me why I was just bringing this up now (I was literally told about it as I was leaving work) and that he would have to meet these people before he would be OK with it. He also said that I should have asked him sooner. Wait a minute...."ask" him? I didn't realize that I was on house arrest here.

I've never met ANYONE that he works with and as far as they know, I don't even exist. Plus, why would I want to out myself at work? You know how people at work talk and I really didn't want anyone at work to know I was gay let alone in a relationship with a man old enough to be my father. So I bowed to his wishes and didn't go, but I was furious about it. When he came back, I let him know (calmly) that I wasn't happy with the way the situation was handled and his response was that if I didn't like it, I was welcome to move out. That's a card that he plays ALL the time.

It's gotten to the point where I can't go anywhere without him and if I do go anywhere by myself, I have to "check in" when I get there and when I'm leaving. I could understand if he had children and was stuck in that mindset, but I'm 32 years old for God's sake! I have thought about leaving several times, but of course...he holds the key to everything. This house is in his name, my car is in his name, the bank accounts and credit cards are in his name, and so on.

If we go a day without arguing, it's a miracle. The latest card he pulls is the fact that I take Klonopin for my anxiety. I have been on it for several years and sometimes it makes me forgetful or tired. So every time I accidentally forget something, all I hear is, "Well if you didn't walk around stoned all day..." I know that he thinks less of me because I see a psychiatrist for for my anxiety and constantly says that I'm wasting my time and that I'm just looking for pills. Even if I take a one hour nap after doing grocery shopping, cleaning, etc., all I hear is: "So you're just going to lay around all day?"

Holidays with his family are the worst. They're all very nice people but I have to sit there with this fake smile and act like everything is OK. And yes, I HAVE to spend everyday with his family. I visit my family on the holidays, but I have to make sure that I'm back when he's ready to leave.

Sex is non-existent. It's hard to get in the mood with someone that you secretly resent for all the jabs he's taken at you over the years and have kept bottled up. Every time I try to discuss our relationship, I'm told that I'm being dramatic and that we're fine. When he's gone on the road for a few days, I feel great but as soon as I hear him pull up in the driveway...I get a knot in my stomach. I feel like I've gone from a partner to a roommate/housekeeper.

I don't know what to do. I really want to make this work and I try to think about his good qualities but I also feel like a prisoner in "my" house. I'm looking for advice from anyone who's ever been in a situation like this. Thanks in advance!
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#2
My only advice is to tell him all this and be upfront with how you feel about it. I dated a guy awhile ago and he was very controlling as well and he always wanted to do things his way and he was a tad older than me but not by much. Well he had a better paying job so he thought he could buy my happiness with gifts and what not and to be totally honest sometimes it did work and other times I was just like WTF are you doing.

It got to the point when I was thinking about getting back into the Army National Guard to pick up some extra money and to continue my military career he was like no don't do that then we won't have weekends to do things and I told him that we would have three other weekends a month to do things and it just got to the point where we wre drifting apart cause he seemed like he never cared what I wanted to do or felt about something so we eventually broke up.

I mean he is a nice guy but you gotta do what is comfortable for you and make that choice. Do you want to keep living the way you are or do you want to find someone that makes you happier and so less controlling that your current boyfriend? I always thought it was funny when I was online in places like gay.com when it was actually cool to go there and it was interesting and younger guys that were between like 18 and 25 never wanted to be with older guys and would say if you are older than whatever age then don't bother messaging them, in my head I was like no problem there.

Well anyway good luck to you and I hope that everything works out for you in the end
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#3
That sounds awful; sorry. If you had to support yourself are you making enough money to do so? I understand it would not be easy to walk away, but it's important to know that -- if you had to -- you could. If not, it is something else he can hold over your head. Granted we're only hearing your side of this but it sounds like he treats you more like a dependent child or an employee than a boyfriend.
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#4
I would be able to rent an apartment and meet my basic needs but I will admit that I've become accustomed to the comfortable lifestyle that I have here. We're hardly the Rockefellers but we do have some nice amenities. I guess I have to decide whether my freedom and happiness are worth more than material possessions.

I realize now that my first post made him sound like an ogre. He really can be such a sweetheart when he wants to be. He has put up with me through thick and thin. I've done some things in the past that I'm not proud of. I've spent money foolishly on things I didn't need, I've had too much to drink at parties and maybe made a spectacle of myself. I've lied about things. But I've apologized for those things and have tried my best to be a better person. I have a laundry list of shortcomings that I'll gladly own up to, but I still feel that I don't deserve to be treated the way I've been.
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#5
Leave him.

Seriously. My first partner was like this.

You can't let him think that he owns or controls you.

If he plays the 'Move Out' card all the time it is clear that there is no actual love there at all anymore. Why would you stay?
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#6
^^ What Rareboy said.
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#7
Normally, couples combine their assets (cars, homes, bank accounts, etc.) and these items are jointly owned - with both your names showing ownership.

Unfortunately,, it sounds like you have allowed your partner to have control of just about everything in your life,,, and now that things are turning sour - you are left with nothing if you choose to leave the relationship.

You are a human being, he doesn't own you, and you cannot allow him to continue controlling & owning everything in your life.

There's no time better than the present to start changing the one-sided dynamics of this relationship.

1. Ask him to go with you to relationship counseling. His need to control you is way out of hand and he needs to recognize & admit this to himself and start making changes. If he refuses, then you need to make future plans to exit this relationship by:

a) Asking your partner about having a joint bank account.. If he refuses - then you go out and start a bank account in your name only.

b) Asking him to go to the DMV with you and have your car registration put in both names. If he refuses - then go out and buy yourself a car with only your name on the registration. You pay for what's in your name, and he pays for what's in his name.

Hopefully, your partner will realize that his possessive behavior is pushing you away,,, and he'll start behaving like a person in a relationship instead of an overbearing father figure.

Best wishes,
Jim
We Have Elvis !!
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#8
Do yourself a huge favor, pick your stuff and get the hell out of his tyranny. You can still work and live a modest life, on your own, healthy and happy. I'm myself not very far now from experiencing the price of freedom, so please go ahead and tell me how it feels like.

Mercutio Wrote:I guess I have to decide whether my freedom and happiness are worth more than material possessions.

Exactly. NOTHING is worth your happiness, except you...
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#9
You are in an awful situation that no matter the final decision, you will probably regret it, but I can assure you it would only be for a little while! after that you look back you, and only then you will be happy you did! good luck, and please don't be in a relationship because you've gotten use to either the person, or worse yet the material or financial comforts! that kind of expectations in the long run will due you more harm then good!
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#10
When he's gone on the road for a few days, I feel great but as soon as I hear him pull up in the driveway...I get a knot in my stomach

^^^This is NOT good^^^

I agree with the advice everyone has given you
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