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Feeling second best......
Dating / 12:39 PM - Saturday July 03, 2010

Feeling second best......

I know not everyone has the same story, but I need the advice of someone who has "been there." I've been in a relationship with my boyfriend for 4.5 years. We are both 28. He bought a house 2 years ago and will be going back to school in August. I'm in school right now and will be graduating next year. Overall, we have had our ups and downs like every other relationship, but as of late, I feel like I'm being taken for granted.

I'm not looking for the "well then break up" advice but for people who have actually gone through something like this and worked through it with their partner.

On Thursday, my boyfriend said he wanted to spend his day off with me since he had off Friday. I spent the night at his house and on Friday and we got up, we had coffee, and he went to run some errands. I called him at 3p and asked if he was still going with me and he said he was going to go "riding" with his friends because this guy that they knew had a professional track at his house (and riding is his passion). Well at 730p I called and asked him if he was planning on eating dinner with me. He then proceeds to tell me that he was eating at this guys house because the guy was grilling some food for him and his friend. He says he will come over afterward. He comes to my house close to 10p.

Needless to say, I was not happy, and I told him that I didn't appreciate him saying that he wanted to spend his day off with me and then go and spend his day elsewhere. His response was that we didn't have "legitimate" plans (as in a movie, dinner, date, party to attend etc.). I told him that when you tell someone you want to spend your day off with them that it wouldn't matter if we were just running errands and that I didn't realize we needed "legitimate" plans for him to follow through.

Basically, he said that if he has an opportunity to ride on a great track that he is going to do that because errands can wait. How that translated to me was, if he tells me we are going to spend time together and something better like riding comes along, unless it is legitimate in his eyes that he can change his mind at any point and I'll be put on the back burner.

It just makes me mad and I feel like pulling back from him. What I mean by pulling back is this: he wants me to spend the night at his house all of the time. When I'm there I cook, I clean, I do the dishes every night, I do our laundry together, I make him lunch for work. Right now, I'm not working because I'm unemployed and I'm in school, so I have the time to do these things, but on the other hand I feel like I'm being taken for granted because he knows I will always be there for him.

He always sends me texts throughout his workday saying "love you" "miss you" but when it came down to actually spending his day off with me, he goes and "rides" instead. Granted all we were going to do was running errands, but still it shouldn't have mattered what we were doing, he said he wanted to spend his day off with me.

Granted when we were arguing about it, I said, "There are plenty of people who would like to spend time with me just to spend time with me and that don't need "legitimate" reasons to do so." After he said he was sorry, I said, "well you have done this to me before, and I want you to take note of what happened tonight because if it ever happens again I'm done".

I was upset and I don't want things to be done, but I really do feel like second best with him sometimes and it's more hurtful than anything.

I was thinking that maybe I should start staying at my place more often and not do all of the aforementioned when I do visit him at his house. Just go to visit him, not be the "maid" or "mother".

I feel upset that I need to pull back to have him understand how he is taking me for granted. I don't feel like I should have to do that in a relationship.

What would you do in my position, now that him and I have already talked about it?

I just need advice from people who have been there. I'm sure married people have experienced this so any insight would be helpful.

Don't give me "break up" advice.

- Asked by Female, 29-35

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Although I haven't ''been there'', I can try to help..
Even the closest person to you can be maddening at times but I really don't think he's taking you for granted although I do understand it from your point of view and I sympathise. We all have maddening things about us that affect our partners, I think that's a given.
Its hard when it comes to a passion.. a passion is just that, a passion and as you know he is passionate about riding, hopefully you can understand, not nice from your point of view, I know.. its hard but if you could extend your understanding? Just a bit? It'd be very different if say, he was going to spend the evening drinking or whatever with his friend, wouldn't it, but he probably hoped you would understand.. I know he will make it up to you as he no doubt is feeling guilty.. he DOES love you and I really don't feel he is taking you for granted, its just a bit maddening, maybe infuriating's a better word!

As much as we love our partners, no one is perfect but it doesn't stop us from loving them, or them, us ;)

- Response by heatherjune123, A Thinker, Female, 56-65, London, Who Cares?

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I must agree with you, that you don't need legitimate plans to still do something with you. If you don't have actual plans and are just going to run errands, do it together. This way you spend the day together, you can chit-chat and maybe have a good time. Who knows, you might drive by a movie theater and decide to go, or maybe you will go to a restaurant. Either way you are together, and if his buddy calls while doing this and stays that he wants to go riding, you can go as well, or at least have the chance to say yes or no to it right then and there.
However, I do think you should attempt to back off a little, maybe just go over to his place 1-3 times a week if even that often. Try to get him over you place. Stop doing the dishes and cooking. If you cook, then he does the dishes and vice versa. I understand that he might no be able to cook, and thats ok, if you don't mind cooking keep doing it, but he does the dishes after all it is his house. Clean up after yourself, not after him. Basically if it seems like a chore, then don't do it as your dont live there. If you move in together then feel free to split the chores.

As for going over to his place or your place all the time and not the other, I think it is only natural for couples to start to hang out at one place as your relationship moves on. People just tend to start to leave things after awhile and before you know it you are practically living together. Just remember that just because you are there all the time, you don't live there and have a place of your own that you need to keep clean.

For now I would back off a bit and see what happens. It wont be easy, but let him know you aren't coming over tonight, but he is welcome at your place. This way if he really wants to see you he can go there instead. Eventually you will know what you want to do, break up go move forward. The next step is to move in together and right now its sounds like you two are not ready for that. By no means do I suggest saying no to him when it comes to hanging out, as I know how that feels. Just make him do the work instead of you. Make him come over and make him do the dishes. Also make sure he cleans up after himself.

I hope this helps, and I am sorry for repeating myself in there, I just go with each train of thought as I get it.

- Response by zackpencil64, A Mr. Nice Guy, Male, 29-35

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I don't think he's taking you for granted,maybe you should spend more time at your place,so then he'll realize his mistake.

- Response by le_gem735713, A Thinker, Female, 29-35, Miami, Who Cares?

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Riding is his passion and he spent his one day off doing what he is passionate about and spending it with other people that share that passion. If you are at his house almost every night of the week then it sounds like you are trying to book all of this time, asking him to give up his personal interests whether you have plans or not. Perhaps it is not as extreme as all of his time but the dynamic is probably still there.

Give him an opportunity to miss you. Go out and develop some interests of your own. Stop cleaning his house or doing his laundry (if you think back he probably never even asked you to do those things). I suspect this is mostly you being clingy and you doing things he never asked you to that make you feel like a martyr.

- Response by A Guy Critical, Male, 46-55, Technical

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