Wedding Woes

What was he like before living together and the pandemic?

Dear Prudence,

After a year and a half of dating, my boyfriend and I moved to a new city together in the middle of the pandemic (we’d planned the move beforehand). It was difficult to suddenly adjust to working from home together in a one-bedroom apartment, but despite some rough patches, we made it work. But lately he’s been getting more controlling, and I’m not sure if I can keep chalking it up to pandemic-related anxiety. We’re in Canada, and our city has gradually lifted some restrictions since we have almost no new COVID cases. I’ve been hoping to meet some friends outdoors for a socially distanced drink, but my boyfriend basically forbade it (even if it was just the two of us, and it was otherwise empty). He’s also freaked out when I want to go on a bike ride or to take a walk on the beach by myself, or even gets mad or pouts when I haven’t made dinner yet. I’m 28, and he’s 38, and we’re both men, so I don’t think it’s a gendered thing. He says he’s scared about the virus, but I wear a mask, stay away from others, and wash my hands thoroughly.

One night we took a walk together, and he wanted to turn back and play video games—then said he’d break up with me if I didn’t accompany him right away. I told him the next day that was unacceptable and planned to leave for my parents’ house to cool off. But he said we’d planned to see his mother in a few weeks, and that she wouldn’t let him see her if she knew I had “broken the bubble” by seeing other people within the last two weeks. I know he and his mom are scared, but it’s frustrating because I think their fear goes beyond reasonable medical advice. I can’t help but think that him threatening to break up with me is a red flag. Am I being selfish by wanting to take modest risks in a relatively safe city?

—Trapped Together

Re: What was he like before living together and the pandemic?

  • Can you help talk to him and listen to his concerns but present medical advice? 

    There's so much going on right now you need to see if this is how he deals with fear in general or THIS fear. 
  • You do not need his permission to leave your home and see your family. Go see your friends. Go for walks and bike rides. Don’t ask him for permission. If he doesn’t like it he can go live with his mother and you can make plans to separate your lives. 
    charlotte989875
  • CharmedPamCharmedPam Chicagoburbs member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    I need to know if his threatening to leave is a common thing for him. Or a once off?  Either way, super weird.  If I don’t get my own way, we’re through? And he’s the OLDER of the two?

  • Even if this is medical/coronavirus fear, it’s still a red flag that he’s this controlling over safe activities (biking, walking, etc.). Go to your parents and take some time. Figure out if the signs were there before moving in and the pandemic. 

    But this is not something to ignore; he’s trying to manipulate and control you into acting how he wants you to, which is never okay. 
    MyNameIsNotshort+sassyei34
  • downtondivadowntondiva member
    Sixth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited July 30
    I can't help thinking that this boyfriend is using the pandemic as an excuse to exert control over LW and that this is just the beginning of the abuse. Notice that not everything she mentions has something to do with COVID.
    image
  • I see the LW's dilemma.  I was also just chalking it up to someone being extra cautious, which I really can't blame them on!

    Pouting about the LW not making dinner?  I'd need more detail on what their household chore arrangements are.  But not sounding good.

    However threatening to break-up because the LW wouldn't immediately turn around with him, halfway through their walk, and follow him home like a puppy?  OOOHHHH  NOOO!  That is a huge red flag.
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    VarunaTTei34
  • I can't help thinking that this boyfriend is using the pandemic as an excuse to exert control over LW and that this is just the beginning of the abuse. Notice that not everything she mentions has something to do with COVID.
    two men FYI 
  • downtondivadowntondiva member
    Sixth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited July 31
    I can't help thinking that this boyfriend is using the pandemic as an excuse to exert control over LW and that this is just the beginning of the abuse. Notice that not everything she mentions has something to do with COVID.
    two men FYI 
    Sorry, missed that while reading. But I stand by the rest of what I said. This is going way beyond being overly paranoid about COVID.
    image
  • That's Red Flag GTFO on so many levels!!!
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