Relationship Journal

BarryS1

Cro-Magnon Man
Cro-Magnon Man
Joined
Aug 9, 2013
Messages
449
Location
Northern California
Hi I wanted to start a new journal just about the relationship because I’ve been updating the social circle journal. That’s steered off in a completely new direction and I might revisit it sometime.

Purpose for journal:
-Putting down thoughts on the relationship so I don’t forget.
-Identifying issues and telling stories so it could help people as well.
-Identifying trends that may have escaped me.

About me:
Right now, I’m over the 2.5 yr mark of a monogamous relationship.

GC topics:
-Areas of management: Areas that I would like to get a better handle on or require more attention.
-Dynamics: How we treat each other.
-Sex: Type, quality.
-Goals: Short and long term relationship goals.
-Areas of improvement: Areas of relationship management I would like to improve.
-Future progressions: How the lifestyle will change.

Simpler topics:
-Cost: I track expenses on Mint.com, but I want to see how much money I am spending on our activities and on her.
-Danger: This is kinda a macho topic, a lot of people talk about getting into fights b/c of the girl they are with. I want to talk about my experiences with this area. I couldn’t leave it out.
-Lifestyle: Day-to-day schedule, social niche of friends/company spending time with, economic level.
 

BarryS1

Cro-Magnon Man
Cro-Magnon Man
Joined
Aug 9, 2013
Messages
449
Location
Northern California
1.5-2.0 Yr Mark

Topics:
Areas of management
Dynamics
Sex
Cost/Investment
Goals
Areas of improvement
Future progressions
Danger
Lifestyle

I wanted to update the journal because I’m going through a lot of juicy stuff that I want to document. Compared to the last journal entry, its not easy-going, I am facing a lot of real world relationship problems.

Intro:
The main theme of the 1.5 to 2 year is what I see a lot of people go through. Ever read articles about couples being annoyed and not having enough space? I went through that in this period. Currently, I am at the 2.5 to 3 year zone, but wanted to write down how it went.

Areas of management:
-Adrenal fatigue: I discovered that long night of staying up late, going out, having sex have added up around the 1.7 year mark. My energy levels dropped significantly and stayed there for awhile.

-Getting things done while being around her: The fatigue I experienced seemed to spread to her as well, it became norm in 2017 where we would stay home all the time instead of going out. She got comfortable sitting at my place, on her phone or watching TV. It was a fight to get space for getting things done like chores, certifications, or work.

-Walking on eggshells (I found out the cause): It wasn’t until I started researching anxiety that I understood why I was walking on eggshells for a year. Last journal update I stated I got a handle, but it came back in very different ways. I did get coaching on it from the site, but it took me awhile to go through a troubleshooting list to get here. Anxiety is similar to the depression article from Chase about neural habits bringing you down, except that it works you into a frenzy. I am going to post a list of stories on the next journal entry to demonstrate it.

Dynamics:
-Increased frequency of us seeing each other: It was around the 1.7 yr mark where she started staying over 5 nights/week. At first I liked it, so I didn’t have to keep dropping her off, but there’s a downside to convince (see below).

-Starting to feel annoyed: Since she is with me everyday around the 2yr mark, I’ve felt the urge of me not getting anything done. I felt like a frazzled middle manager some days, I come home, start making dinner, and get tons of issues get put on my plate. I felt like I was putting out fires and didn’t have time for myself.

-Me starting to give in and manage less: After a couple months of this, I couldn’t help the feeling except for giving in to avoid drama. Bad confession, but I admit it. I was caught up in emotions and was just hoping for change.

Sex:
-Progressive and going into new areas: Two main things, anal sex with her and she’s riming me. For the rim thing, I used to be very uncomfortable about her touching my butt. One day, I realized that she isn’t trying to “dominate” me, but its her way of moving things forward. She doesn’t know what to do. After I let her, she opened up as well and we started doing anal sex (she let me put it in). It only happened about 3 times in total, them she clammed up and said she didn’t want to do it until marriage. Haha

-Stopped my PE routine because of privacy: I was a customer of mecoach for online PE training. My volume grew so high, it took 1hr/day. I couldn’t get that much privacy, so I quit.
-Getting less frequent because of adrenal fatigue: Towards the end of the 2yr, I was too sleep deprived to do it past 12 anymore.

Cost/Investment:
-Less cost than previous months because mostly staying in.

Goals:
-Traveling
-Continue to go to gym together.

Areas of improvement:
I’ve been researching different areas to help my relationship than the social skill/relationship management. I found prepping to be really helpful for traveling, going out, and staying safe. Its a community on Youtube where people build kits for different areas. Its been great for:
-Handling fussiness: When traveling or even staying home, we done need to go out for “special trips” for last minute items. If I wasn’t prepared beforehand, it could create frustration and drama if not handled right.
-Decreasing indecisiveness: If prepared for many situations, I noticed she doesn’t have as many second thoughts about some places such as: is it safe? Where should we eat (she’s vegetarian)? Will it be too hot/cold?

Future progressions:
-Getting a place w/o a roommate. It’s getting to the point where its getting awkward b/c she’s over so much.

Danger:
-Areas danger would happen: I live in a great neighborhood. There aren’t people in street corners catcalling or trying to pick fights. So far, I’ve never been in a confrontational situation with her.
-Relationship danger: Is anyone trying to take my girl? We both don’t go to areas where people are meeting each other like clubs, bars, and parties. Plus I live in a tech neighborhood, our neighbors are over stressed techies with young children. Its definitely not a “meet market”.

Lifestyle:
-Activities: living like students. She’s in school and I’m working full time, but doing certifications all the time. I hardly have any free time for doing anything. We are both mostly staying in and studying.
-Social niche: For me, I haven’t had time to socialize in like a year ;/ I’m haulin ass! For her, friends are students but she hasn’t been socializing much lately either. We both spend most of our free time with family.
-Day to day schedule: Work/school, spending a lot of time cooking, gym life, and studying.

Overview:
So that’s it, its an interesting section where the relationship is at another level. I feel like a lot of people get to this stage and I want to document my POV too.
 

BarryS1

Cro-Magnon Man
Cro-Magnon Man
Joined
Aug 9, 2013
Messages
449
Location
Northern California
2.0-2.5 Yr Mark

Intro: I’m currently in the 3-3.5 yr mark with her, but wanted to document the 2-2.5. It’s during this period I started encountering serious relationship challenges.

Areas of management:
-Walking on eggshells: Had 8 large fights within a 6 month period.

-Breakups: We broke up with me one after one fight, but she changed her mind about an hour later.

-Family/friend judgement: Tension from my family about the living arrangement and the problems we’re having.


Dynamics:
-Living together: We officially moved in together at start of 2 year due to her living situation. Her little brother lived out of the country and moved in w/ her extended family on short notice. Her extended family kicked her out of the house since she spent so much time with me. I didn’t discuss with my roommate and was too embarrassed, but i bought more storage and she moved in. Our original plan was to move in together when she finishes school, but right now I’m paying 100% of living expenses, not a good situation.

-Feeling annoyed: It’s been difficult setting up boundaries when we’re living together. I felt annoyed about not be able to get on a routine. Living apart, at least I had 2-3 days a week to catch up on work.

-Being a caretaker: It didn’t know it at the time, but her depression started at this point. I couldn’t get her out of the apartment all summer without leaving her at home. She laid in bed all day on social media and watching movies/TV. Besides school, she was addicted to media. I found myself doing almost all the chores and cooking, not a good dynamic.

Sex:
-Sex quality tanked and decreased in frequency. Two factors: 1) my energy levels decreased because she only wanted to do it super late and 2) she mostly wanted to lay around and hug in bed.

Cost/investment:
-Huge investment since she’s not paying rent or living expenses. It could lead towards not being appreciated if I am not careful.

Goals:
-Past goals of gym, hiking, investing, ect.: all gone, she doesn’t like to work out together, go out, or work on our side business anymore. Only thing we have in common now is cooking and studying together.
-Finding a place together, the roommate situation is awkward because she’s around all the time and his family member moved in too.

Areas of improvement:
-Boundaries: trying to get time to myself for getting work done
-Find out better ways of communicating: I’m walking on eggshells because of communication problems and that she’s putting a lot of pressure on herself

Future progressions:
-Finding apartment w/o a roommate, even though I’ll be paying. I thought that was the least stressful method. It’s stressful b/c her family literally kicked her out of the house.

Danger:
-None, we stay inside and never go out so we’re not at risk.

Lifestyle:
-Mostly staying in and studying, not currently traveling and are saving money.

Story example about walking on eggshells:
-I have all the situations written down but wanted to share how confusing drama can be.

Late on Sunday afternoon, all of a sudden she said she wanted to go somewhere. I said calmly that I don’t have enough time because I need to make dinner/meal prep and work tonight. I did ask her earlier today and yesterday, but you just wanted to watch TV instead. She got all pissy and started having an emotional breakdown. She started gathering her stuff by the door and kept saying, “I don’t know why this keeps happening!” And “We go through this every weekend” And “I don’t think you are happy” I was trying to logically explain to her - we have a laundry list of things to work on, people who live together go through this all the time, we need to work on time management. I said we should read about a communication book because we have a lot of work to do. She still sulked around and was saying really harsh things to me, I dropped her off at her family’s place. She came by that night and hardly talked for the next couple days. After that, things popped back to normal by Wednesday.

Overview:
I never thought I would encounter challenges like this when moving in with a gf. I thought to myself a lot, why not leave? This is my first GC relationship and one of my purposes was support as well as experimentation. I am really interested in learning about relationship management and improving my skills. It takes emotional fitness to get through those situations. This was a rough six months and I have room for improvement on communication (even though there are clear signs of her depression - more on that later). In other words, I might be dealing with a degrading mental state in addition to usual relationship management.
 

BarryS1

Cro-Magnon Man
Cro-Magnon Man
Joined
Aug 9, 2013
Messages
449
Location
Northern California
2.5-3 yr

Intro:
I’m in the 2.5-3 yr mark now, at this point we’re starting to develop serious relationship issues. I’m still with her currently, but I saw how bad a relationship can get. Same dynamics and areas of management as last 6mo but got worse because I couldn’t change anything. During this period, I enlisted the help of a relationship counselor, started implementing stuff from a communication book, and signed up for a couples bootcamp. At this point, I’m convinced that it’s a skill-related issue on both our parts and we need to improve.

Areas of management:
-more walking on eggshells: Still getting drama in 3-4 week intervals.

-breakups: Couple dramatic periods where she split up with me 2x, but got back the next day.

-communication: Working on improving this between us to set expectations, problem solve, ect without turning into drama.

-entitlement/disrespect: During this period, I’m getting demands/whining about things I’m going out of my way to help her with (overinvestment).

Dynamics:
-caretaker: Our plan of moving in together was that she’d get a job right away after graduating. It’s not a good dynamic and hoping our plan will help her contribute. My family doesn’t approve of it, but I really think that investing in this person now will pay off.

-health: Sleep-deprived, constantly nauseous, out of shape from lifestyle factors from the relationship. Here’s how the relationship isn’t helping. Causing bad sleep b/c she only initiates late at night or talks to me b4 bed. Nausea from constantly watching TV/having it on all the time. Her distractions keeping me from working out consistently.

-being irritated: Constant boundary issues and getting annoyed with her.

-solving problems: failing at resolving the walking on eggshells problem and getting help (stated above).

Sex: Hasn’t improved after moving together to our own place. I thought more privacy would help, but the relationship problems decreased it by ½ compared to last year.


Cost/investment:
-paying rent, 90% of costs
-transportation: she lost her transportation, providing every evening + weekends (if I’m free)


Goals:
-Take the communication classes, implement strategies from relationship counselor.

Overview
Currently I’m at the 4yr mark and can’t believe how bad it got. Things improved slightly after this period, but I finally discovered the root cause later on. I’ll be posting the next 6mo period soon.
 

JacobPalmer

Tool-Bearing Hominid
Tool-Bearing Hominid
Joined
Jun 24, 2019
Messages
352
Barry,

You need to get out of this. I was in the exact same situation as you before and it sucks. Or, tell her exactly how you want this situation to be, because right now she's the one wearing the pants in this relationship. Just be calm and cool about it, but draw a very hard line about what is acceptable and what isn't.
 

BarryS1

Cro-Magnon Man
Cro-Magnon Man
Joined
Aug 9, 2013
Messages
449
Location
Northern California
Hey JacobPalmer, I'm actually setting up a meeting today to talk to her about this. Gonna do a realignment on expectations and boundaries. It's been a long time coming...

I'm gonna post up the next 6mo in the meantime too.
 

BarryS1

Cro-Magnon Man
Cro-Magnon Man
Joined
Aug 9, 2013
Messages
449
Location
Northern California
3-3.5yr

This represents the 3-3.5 yr mark and things are getting hairy.

Areas of management:
-boundaries: I added a daily schedule during weekdays + a new morning routine since I needed structure in my life to accomplish goals. I got the 3i time system from Wade Alters, who used to be RSDBrad, its been working great since that day.

-breakups: None, but went through 4 rough arguments. It involved against my new boundaries.

-communication: Completed 6 week couples communication bootcamp together. However, she wanted to put a hold on implementing it to focus on job search. I was down for that since that's what 90% of our problems were.

-entitlement/disrespect: She quit her job w/o discussing with me. Heavy resentment started affecting my overall life. She made a reckless decision, but I never talked to her about it.

Dynamics:
-Complaining: During this period she came to me 2-3x/week w/ breakdowns. I realized she started having signs of depression before, its full fledged now.

-health: my overall health increased since starting the new schedule. Not sleep deprived or nauseous anymore.

-being irritated: Irritation was high during first 3 months of the new plan, I had a set schedule during the weekday. She couldn’t come to me anytime for talking about her day or problems.

-solving problems: The communication bootcamp gave tools for finding issues, solving them, and setting up maintenance.

Sex:
-All time low: since implementing the new schedule I’m not doing it on her time anymore like late at night on weekdays. W/in 6mo period, we only did it 30 times, amazing to realize b/c we used to do it comfortably 3-4x/week during our “golden years” 1-2yr mark.

-When we do have sex, it’s never been better, we are still trying to implement new things + I bought a new vibrator.

Cost/investment:
-paying rent, 90% of costs
-transportation: still providing transportation

Goals:
-Going through 6 week couples communication bootcamp
-Help her w/ job search

Overview:
During this period, I started to realize her depression was the cause of the drama I was experiencing over the last 1.5 yrs (amazing to look back and see how long its been). A decline in mental state definitely would make someone on edge + w/ bad comm skills, its no wonder I went through that.

Also, my problem isn’t unique to me. Anyone googling “depressed girlfriend living with me” or “live in girlfriend not working” and you get the SAME story as mine. It’ll talk about a couple living together with girl loosing her job/still looking and going through a downward spiral of temp motivation and crashes. At that period, I was holding off on weekly syncs/communication, but at the same time being resentful.

Here’s some links below, crazy how life seems to repeat. It’s funny b/c I haven’t seen a post with a conclusion or update. I think the guy probably breaks up with the girlfriend every time.

https://www.reddit.com/r/relationship_advice/comments/3ybrbt/gf_25f_has_become_financially_dependent_on_me_22m/

https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20120618164937AARcffJ&guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly9kdWNrZHVja2dvLmNvbS8&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAHJ6ReBkXRkEyAyP4Qn19gtLAn9gIvy85C9TBW72viDJ1AuVN3oBNewug3x3BCWRhpRVRSOx3yGE0FPBuSzAIufQjx-1wrbgWZGTn5P7F24mzVsxWzSJHeScsnLkOC1aJCNuidKPl8u6HVj4c3XH_omhuDJK9JtMeE9yMiYXM-Zg
 

BarryS1

Cro-Magnon Man
Cro-Magnon Man
Joined
Aug 9, 2013
Messages
449
Location
Northern California
3.5-4yr

Intro:
This represents the 3.5-4 yr mark. This wasn’t the most heated period of the relationship, but it’s in the top 2. Most heated was the 2-2.5yr area. Overall, a disappointing area for me relationship management-wise, there was a great opportunity to implement practices but I went passive and did nothing or was too busy.

Areas of management:
-boundaries: Not a big area anymore, I have a schedule during the week and hitting goals. I was totally slammed during weekdays and pretty much worked 60+ hrs/week on combined work + chores.

-communication: Like the previous posts I linked to from Reddit and Yahoo answers, my gf is too sensitive to talk about these issues during the beg of this period. Bringing this up would cause a meltdown, so I didn’t suggest another relationship meeting after Dec.

-her self-sufficiency: Talking about relationship issues would cause her stress, but she approached/talked to me about career stuff many times. I set her up on a 2-3yr career path, but her motivation fizzled out after a couple weeks and I got sucked into my goals.

-entitlement/disrespect: Overall she was respectful during this period, but more sad.

Dynamics:
-Breakups: We broke up 2x during this period, she split w/ me once and I split up with her once (During Feb). She split w/ me b/c she felt bad about herself and didn’t feel fit enough for a relationship. However, after talking to her more, she changed her mind the next day.

I split up with her a few weeks later over money b/c she was being reckless and unfocused. She didn’t want to accept a job offer and was planning on going into debt to go on a vacation. I didn’t give her “the choice” from Chase’s breakup article and wanted to end things b/c of money. The next day she came back and dedicated herself to trying. However, she relapsed into being unmotivated (which brings us to the next post).

-Health: Health at a stable level now, getting good sleep for 6mo + consistent workout schedule from not being interrupted.

-Being irritated: Not as irritated as before

-Family involvement: At this point, all my family members are opposed to me being in this relationship. They aren’t directly opposing me at this point, but groan/offer condescending remarks when talking about her. She only saw my family once during this time, but her family really likes me.

Sex:
-Lowest amount of sex ever, only 20x in 6mo period.
-Went first time of 1mo w/o sex while living together

Cost/investment:
-paying rent, 90% of costs
-transportation: still providing transportation
-She’s stepped up and helping exclusively w/ food/laundry/cleaning

Goals:
-Implementing comm practices/schedules from couples bootcamp
-Get her job/transportation steady

Overview:
There was a lot of drama that catapulted us to take action, but in the end fizzled out for both of us. Is it my duty to “stay on the ball” and offer conditions/frequent talks to motivate her? A lot of ppl would say no, but I wouldn’t be satisfied ending things now. During this period I was feeling heavy resentment, but was urging myself to stay in it. I’m meeting with her today (7/7) for a re-alignment on expectations.

Timeline:
Month 1-2: constantly helping her
Month 3: breakups
Month 4-6: focused on myself instead
 

Lotus

Modern Human
Modern Human
Joined
Nov 12, 2014
Messages
616
Hey Barry,

How's it hanging! Sounds like your relationship is up and down like a dam rollercoaster, exactly like mine was for the past 6 months.

I feel like I'm uniquely qualified to help since I just got out of a 4 year relationship.

Two questions:
What is your goal with this relationship?

What value does she bring to your life?

Lotus
 
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