I want to move forward with my life. What is the best way to deal with this situation?

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My boyfriend is a caregiver for his grandmother. She is very ill but still chooses to add to her illness by continuing and to smoke so my empathy is diminishing quickly.

In the beginning I was very very very understanding being that my grandmother was sick with the same thing and I was very close with her so it was easy to put myself in his shoes. Lately I feel like he is not nourishing our relationship as much as he should be. I do essentially everything and if I stopped putting in effort I feel like our relationship would completely fall apart.

I have already pumped the brakes and stopped doing what I used too by about 85%. She is very nasty and I was not going to continue to help if I was going to be talked down too. After all, she is not my family and we are not married so I do not need to tolerate that. She makes backhanded comments about how he should "take care of me" that he takes care of her enough and to put into assisted living. I know that she does not truly feel this way she just wants the reaction out of us.

I cannot help but to think is this really my life? Our life is completely on hold from moving forward (an apparent pattern I have read from many forums) I would be totally down to help and as supportive as I used to be but he doesn't do anything for me to make me feel special or appreciated. I drive there and when we go out (which is very few and far between) I drive and pay for whatever we do. It's one thing after another.

A part of me feels like he has nothing left to give because he has to take care of himself and also make sure his grandmother is taken care of and I am always put on the back burner.

My question is how do I approach this without sounding selfish? I want to move forward with my life. Have fun like we should be. We are both in our late 20's and we essentially have no social life because she doesn't like to him to leave to the house so she isn't alone. I never heard her say this but I do believe in my heart this is a huge contributing factor as to why we don't ever leave the house often.

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This young man is not ready for marriage - I'd keep looking.
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Like all the responses. Tell him you feel ur relationship is one sided. That you need more than he can seem to give at this time. He knows how to get hold of you. Dating is so you can find someone who meets ur needs and Visa versa.
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The grandmother has said she's ready for Assisted Living. The boyfriend doesn't leave the house because grandmother doesn't like to be left alone, but you've never heard her say this, so presumably it's he who says it. He makes no effort in the relationship in spite of promptings - you call these backhanded, but what should the poor lady say, then? What would make you accept her sincerity?

I don't think the grandmother is the problem. And anyway, why shouldn't you be "selfish"? I wouldn't call it selfish, I'd call it self-respecting.

Next time you see your boyfriend, talk to him about where he sees your relationship headed in three to five years. Listen carefully to what he says, but use your head. Because unless he shows any substantial interest in the question, I think you should move on on your own with no hard feelings.
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You do not sound selfish. You sound like a normal person in a relationship in which you have concerns. It also sounds like you're in a one-way relationship where everything is coming from you and going to him and nothing is coming back the other way. Relationships are supposed to be two way streets if they're healthy. This relationship does not sound healthy. Unless it changes soon I believe I just go on with my life.
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All this, and you get to pay his way?
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reliefsearch1, may I ask where are Grandmother's own child(ren)? If some are around, it should be them making the decisions to either care for their own Mom or hiring help.... not putting the responsible onto the Grandchildren. I think it is totally unfair. Do you know who is Grandmother's medical Power of Attorney and her financial Power of Attorney? If she doesn't have these legal documents, time for her to get them, along with a current Will or Living Will.

When Grandmother said "how he should 'take care of me' that he takes care of her enough and to put into assisted living." Bravo for Grandmother, a very wise person. She knows that her Grandson shouldn't have to be taking care of her, and she rather be in Assisted Living.

If Grandmother can budget it, Assisted Living would be very nice. Grandmother would be around a lot of people of her own generation, thus she can make new BFF's, enjoy the activities, while housekeeping and linen service takes care of her apartment :)

Food for thought.
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Your boyfriend sounds like a great grandson. I can't imagine taking care of an elderly person while in my 20s. I'd encourage him to get some help with his grandmother's care so he can spend some time as a young adult and not a 24/7 caregiver. Care giving can put a strain on any relationship as oftentimes the person being cared for may require so much the care giver doesn't have much left for others.
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