Everyone I’ve had a serious relationship with has held me back in some way.
I was a willing participant in most of them, like the relationship where mine was the fall-back income while he struck out on a dream. We never actually needed to fall back, but the obligation was there. I was happy to invest in our future.
As it turned out it, was only his future I was investing in and I came away with nothing to show for the months of stress, the expertise I’d invested in his success, and the travel I hadn’t done because he thought you could just read a book instead.
Another was just a sweet, dull man. I pretended I wasn’t that much smarter than him for so long that it is still a habit I slip back into.
The last one was arrested for child sexual abuse and went to prison.
For years after that one, I was ill and often house-bound with no one to take care of me except for far away parents who paid some bills when I asked. Mostly I took care of myself by going into debt.
But I’ve been able to focus on just me again. I tried a relationship again recently, of course on the highest difficulty setting I could. But I’m back to just me now. I clearly have a terrible idea of what I need in partners.