Have Relationship Questions? Ask a Counsellor for Answers ASAP
Welcome to my couples workshop, where people 18-80 of diverse cultures & orientations have come to explore their questions and find a path of heart.
I’m sure you feel homeless when you’re giving up your own digs to become dependent on his dwelling for your sense of safety and belonging. He might also be afraid of dealing with your emotions, as many youngish men are, so he’s dodged communication instead of sticking thru your upset responses until your minds are meeting again. That’s also good cause for some hesitation about moving in. Do you have a history of his withdrawing when you get upset about something in your interaction? I suggest you make some notes about that history, including both the times your pattern was just like it is this time and other times when there was less of an interruption in confidence and connection between you and more of a reliable pattern of removing obstacles and resuming your rapport.
I just lost a paragraph. You wrote that your BF is intensely focused on his work. So you will need to be BOTH PATIENT AND PERSISTENT if you are going to change his habits toward a more acceptable balance between your relationship and his work. If you respect his personality as it is now, you might need to reconsider whether you want to give up your own safe haven BEFORE you feel a better balance of power between your love relationship and his work. For it is normal to feel much more powerless than usual in love if you give up your own personal dwelling to move into his territory--and you'll need to carve out a section of his digs to call your own territory, even if he doesn't like the change. It might be wise to postpone moving in until you've planned out some "rules of engagement" that allow you more power in those places where you can get it--esp because you may well find out that you can't make any significant gains in the power to determine WHEN he prioritizes his work over your relationship any time in the near future.
So this glitch in your holidays may be a blessing in disguise, if it prompts you to do more careful work in maintaining your decision-making power in your relationship BEFORE you become more dependent on him for your sense of security and well-being. What COMMITMENTS would you like to have with/from him as proper conditions for you to accept the limitations that living in his environment are likely to impose on your personality and personal space. This is a very PIVOTAL moment in your relationship, so it is a good thing that this accident has forced you to pay intense attention to what it means. I'll await your response.
Our emotions always dictate what we think, which then turns out to justify what we are feeling before we're aware of it--this is even more common among men who prefer not to name their emotions than among women who live inside of their emotions and can achieve clear thought to revise their emotions--but we can't revise emotions until we have first admitted what they are. One problem with being around 50 is trying to "teach an old dog new tricks." If he's so work-focused (or perhaps has "spousified his work") at his age, do you think he'll change significantly for you? You mention he makes out You're totally selfish when he doesn't like your feeling-colored thoughts. And you do the same to him--you led off your question with that thought. People like both of you that have lived without a spouse for (perhaps the majority of) your adult life are more likely than those who've lived with second-guessing a partner's feelings and needs to experience self-focused feelings before finding your way to considering the other person's (equally self-focused) conditions and feelings. So I'd suggest you nominate an experienced couples counselor to act as explainer and mediator for your expression of feelings towards each other, because it's likely that you'll need considerable practice in learning how to consider the other person's feeling-colored-thoughts (which is also dignified with the label "empathy") with as much care and intelligence as you consider your own. Since you want to settle down in the near future, that would be a good dedication of some of your work-time (since it will cost you some of your work-money) and also serve as a way to elicit a serious commitment from your man-friend of 10 years toward a relationship that could be very costly if you enter into it without laying adequate infrastructure to sustain its inevitable increase in intimacy and emotional reactivity. The longer you wait to commit to settling down, the bigger the risk of not being able to make the needed adjustments may become, and hence the greater the need for professional assistance and training in developing the new habits as a couple for bridging the changes.