my boyfriend and i have been together for 14 years but lately i feel that our relationship has become quite stale and that we don't spend enough time together. when we are together it feels more like
Sounds like a tough situation you have there, but it isn't insurmountable.
After a period of time in relationships things can become a little routine and the spark can seem to disappear. When we have to care for others also it can be an added burden on our energy reserves.
As for whether or not you should be his number one priority, of course we all feel that way in our relationships. Life however has a tendency to get in the way. We make life hard for ourselves when we look at things in a black and white way. When things are just one thing or another. Often there is a third way or even more.
It isn't possible to compete for time and attention with your boyfriends mother. That will create stress for both of you. Instead it is about finding a way that everyone gets something.
I suggest talking to your boyfriend about how you feel. Don't lay blame or accusations. Don't use phrases like, "You make me feel", instead using, " When this happens I feel". If you start to blame your boyfriend will become defensive and no longer hear what you have to say. Acknowledge how difficult it must be for him with his sick mother. Suggest that maybe you agree a day or night weekly (or monthly if you want to ease into it) where it is just the two of you.
What is important then is that you make it different to your normal routine. Go somewhere different, even if just for a walk. Prepare for it, like a date night at the beginning. Put on your nice clothes and make-up. Make yourself feel good.
We get caught up in the routine of relationships so easily. It is important to remember to date too.
This may not get expected results immediately. What often happens is the expectatuons are so high on the first night that it creates too much stress and ends up in fights and disappointment.
The first step is for you to just spend some time together that is different to the routine, and that you feel good about yourself going into it. Then build it up from there. You are trying to reconnect with what is already there, the reason you got together. Trust in the process and take your time. Just make sure you are doing something different to the normal routine. Talk about old times from the beginning of the relationship. Find things to talk about from your past that make you both laugh. This is a great way to reawaken that bond. You need to create this emotional intimacy again first before the physical intimacy will come.
Be kind and compassionate to yourself through this process too. Good luck with it :)
Hey Michelle, it seems by your message that maybe an aspect of you feels like the direction of the relationship is out of your hands, as though you are not in control of how the relationship progresses.
I'd suggest that you take sometime to use the things you are unhappy with in the relationships to give you deeper clarity on what you want from a relationship. If certain things in the relationship makes you feel a negative emotion, you can look into identifying what that emotion is.
For example, you could discover that the feeling of abandonment surfaces relative to certain aspects of the relationship. Looking at why you feel the way you do will almost give you instructions on how to heal a wound within yourself and the relationship.
you could look at communicating this feeling of abandonment to your partner and looking to ways you can deal with this together. You could also look at this abandonment within yourself, ask yourself how do you abandon yourself? Most times abandonment within ourselves occur when we ignore the way that we feel and ignore our emotional needs. We abandon our own version of reality when we choose other people over ourselves, when we assume we are being too demanding, when we shame ourselves into being wrong because we think we re not understanding enough.
Look at how you can begin to honour your feelings and trust in the direction you want your life to go and thus your relationship to go. Communicate those feelings with yourself and when you feel confident enough, communicate them to your partner. Honour your feelings. I hope this helps :)