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My partner’s tooth infection led to him behaving differently and is now causing conflict in our relationship.

So, everything began during Christmas in 2022, and boy, these past 6 months have been quite a ride. I’ll try to provide all the important details without bias or ranting, so here’s my attempt to be concise.

I’ve been in a relationship with my partner for nearly 4 years now. We moved in together 3 years ago. Initially, I had a fairly decent relationship with my partner’s parents. We used to spend holidays and birthdays together, and while I didn’t particularly like them, we all got along well.

But let’s fast forward to Christmas 2022. Things might get a bit confusing, but bear with me. It’s crucial to note that we have a cat who I trust only with my partner and my mom. We had planned our Christmas activities accordingly: on Christmas morning, we would leave our house with our cat to visit my mom, spend the morning and afternoon there, and in the evening, my partner would travel to his parents’ place with our cat. I would stay at my mom’s overnight and catch my flight the next day. Meanwhile, my partner would stay at his parents’ with the cat and return home on Boxing Day evening.

We agreed on these plans because I strongly dislike taking our cat out of the house for long periods. However, while I was 35,000 feet up on a plane, I discovered that my partner hadn’t taken the cat home despite repeatedly assuring me that he would. As someone with ADHD, I became overwhelmed because I had no control over the situation. I was angry and worried about our cat’s well-being, fearing the stress she would experience being away from her familiar surroundings. I also felt upset that my partner hadn’t stuck to our plans. In my frustration, I accused his parents of manipulating him into staying an extra night. To be fair, they had a history of such behavior. Unfortunately, his mother read our messages and started texting me from my partner’s phone, telling me that I was no longer welcome in their home and using inappropriate language. Throughout my time abroad, we barely spoke, and we had another argument on New Year’s when he left our cat alone at home to go to his parents’ place while fireworks were going off. He wanted to take the cat, but I didn’t want her to endure more stress, so I said no. However, he left anyway.

Upon returning to the country, my partner and I managed to reconcile. I discovered that he had been suffering from a tooth infection, causing him a lot of pain, which explained his behavior. Though it remains a sensitive topic, we’ve moved past it and our relationship is stronger than ever (except for this issue, of course).

Over the past 6 months, I’ve made several attempts to apologize to his parents and asked to meet them in order to mend things and move forward. His father doesn’t seem to care much, but his mother has refused any contact with me. Even when my partner asked her to talk to me, she refused. While I can handle that, she has gone further and accused me of stealing my partner’s money, controlling him, and even being the cause of his mental health issues. Despite my partner being diagnosed with BPD years before we met, his mother refuses to acknowledge his preexisting condition. There have been other incidents that make me believe she played a role in me losing my job (my ex-manager happens to be my partner’s uncle), but without evidence, I won’t delve into that. It merely demonstrates the depth of her animosity towards me.

This morning, tensions escalated further. It’s my partner’s father’s birthday today, and he made a remark about not calling him while he’s with his parents. The last time I called my partner while he was with them (I was in my car, having had a difficult therapy session and crying), his mother accused me of ruining their day. That comment didn’t sit right with me. I’ve apologized and made numerous attempts to mend things, yet they refuse to reconcile. Why am I being told I can’t call my boyfriend because his parents will get upset when they’re the ones refusing to make amends?

I had to leave the house this morning and cry in my car for 20 minutes. It hit me that I can no longer handle their toxic behavior. Over the past 6 months, they’ve made me cry and break down multiple times. I love my partner, and I want to marry him, but I can’t be in a relationship where his parents hate me and accuse me of terrible things. My partner doesn’t want to cut them off or establish boundaries, even though he defends me when he’s with them. But this situation shouldn’t be happening in the first place.

I’m at a loss for what to do. My partner is currently out with his parents while I’m in bed binge-watching “Bones.” Before he left, he came to kiss me goodbye and told me he loves me. I know he feels guilty about everything that’s going on, and he’s genuinely angry with his parents. Is there any way to navigate this situation without ending the relationship?

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