I love my girlfriend but my need for alone time to focus on my interests exceeds most individuals. We moved in together about 18 months ago (she moved across the country with me when I had a job opportunity so she does not have many friends in the area) and the first six months or so were fine but it quickly began to feel suffocating with her being there all the time (she works from home so I get almost no time to myself).
I have hobbies like painting and reading that my girlfriend scolds me for; she wants things that we can do together only. We do many things together, it's just that she expects us to do something every day which is difficult for me while also maintaining my other hobbies. I understand this on some level because she moved across the country with me when I moved for a job and has not made many friends here since she works from home.
About eight months ago, I secretly rented a second apartment in the same city and pretended I needed to travel for work two days a week for an extended period of time. Everything was going great until one of her friends saw me entering this apartment when I was "out of town".
Now my girlfriend thinks I'm cheating on her and I don't know what to do. I fear she'll leave me but I just want to find a good way to explain to her my need for alone time without hurting her feelings.
To put a cap on it:
She does not yet know the apartment is mine. I told her I had a hard deadline at work and was at a corporate apartment in the city for this week to focus, but that was an aberration and I am usually traveling (to clarify I am not).
What I would like to accomplish:
- Tell her that I am not cheating on her and would never remain in a relationship if I had desires for other women.
- Tell her about the second apartment and admit I was wrong for not telling her about it in the first place.
Ideally I would like to keep the apartment and the two days a week apart but would give it up in order to stay with her.
Is there any way this might be possible at this stage?