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It's not you, it's me...(61 Posts)
I've name changed for this as I don't think I could be completely frank about things otherwise?
A couple of years ago I decided to give internet dating a go. After a few mismatched dates I met someone whom I hit it off with so well and was so on my wavelength, it felt like I'd known him all my life There was instant chemistry, shared interests and brilliant banter and we fell in love very quickly. He was the sweetest, kindest man I had ever met and I couldn't believe my luck.
Fast forward a year and my world crashed down when DP ended our relationship. He said still loved me, but that he "couldn't cope" with my reactions to things - by his own admission he is incredibly sensitive and despite the fact I was never abusive and aggressive towards him, I could get very stressed about things and just didn't realise how much it was affecting him. My ex had been flighty and argumentative and I'd had to shout to be heard and this had created aftershocks with DP.
I was devastated - I'd had several serious relationships in the past lasting many years each, but this break up hit me the hardest of all. In the past I'd been able to move on because it was clear that the relationship had run its course, but if I was the love of DPs life like he was mine, why wasn't he willing to give us another chance? He said he was scared of hurting me even more if it didn't work out again.
After a month of feeling so wretched that I could barely get out of bed (it actually terrified me that the split had hit me so hard, I was inconsolable), something happened that I'd never banked on - DP wanted to give our relationship another try. He said our time apart had made him realise that he loved and missed me too much to let me go and that he hated himself for being so much of a coward. We agreed to try again.
Bearing in mind what went wrong with DP the first time round, I made a huge effort to deal with stress in a calmer way (in fairness DP never asked me to change, it was me who wanted this for myself and for us). In turn he said he would make an effort to be honest if things were bothering him, rather than him concealing concerns for fear of rocking the boat. The deep love we had for each other hadn't diminished one bit and I was finally able to make sense of the pain I?d felt during our split ? it hadn't been for nothing, it had brought us both to realisations that had made us stronger.
Anyway, I've now been back with DP for as long as we were together the first time and we haven?t clashed once - in his words I?m the most loving, giving and loyal person he has ever met. We agreed to take the relationship to the next stage and move into together at Christmas, but a couple of weeks ago when I asked him if he?d had any doubts about us since we?d go back together he completely blindsided me by saying that a few months ago he'd considered breaking up with me again but hadn't said anything to me or anyone else because it was his problem not mine, that I'd been the "perfect girlfriend" and that he was a "wimp" who had since dealt with it. When I pressed him further he admitted that he was struggling with the concept of being "someone's everything". Despite us both being 33, our relationship is by far the longest and most serious he's ever had (and not because he's a player either, he was actually celibate for years, due to lack of confidence) I'm financially independent, own my own house, have plenty of interests and hobbies, etc, so it's not exactly like I'm reliant on him to be my "everything" in that sense - however in my mind, having someone to be your rock and your emotional support is the best thing about being in a relationship, and surely what most people ultimately want? He assured me that it WAS what he wanted and he definitely wants a future with me, he just needed to get his head around this after so many years of being alone.
The problem is that I am now constantly on edge and keep expecting for DP to break up with me any minute. I keep a diary have and find myself constantly rereading the happy times we shared during that month he said he was having doubts, looking for clues and finding none whatsoever, instead recalling conversations where he said he hoped to marry me one day and be with me for the rest of our lives! When we got back together, I told DP that it was crucial to our relationship for him to tell me immediately if something was wrong, as opposed to keeping it bottled up like last time. He KNEW how important this was to me, yet he still kept this from me for months. He's apologised and said he didn't want to worry me because it was his problem (it's not you, it's me!) but through not being straight with me he's made it worse
All I want is to feel secure and but how can I feel like that now? I've always been one to wear my heart on my sleeve, but now the defence barrier's going up. I find myself wondering all this time whether I put DP on a pedestal. Since his admission I've been looking at him in a "warts and all" light, his messiness and scatty nature exasperating me far more than before, for example, although the chemistry and the companionship are still there as much as ever.
So, what am I asking? Has anyone else been in the situation with a man who was afraid to commit and was able to work through it? (and this is NOTHING to do with him being unfaithful / wanting other women - this is purely to do with him worrying he is not "man enough" to be everything I need and he is fearful of letting me down. I should stress that he is NOT a man-child - he can cook, will help round the house, doesn't sulk, rely on mummy or anything like that. He is however a big worrier.)
In your experiences can relationships work a second time around or do they break up first time for a reason?
If this relationship ended it would turn my world upside. I adore DP more than I thought I'd ever thought it was humanly possible to love anyone, but since his revelation I'm worried sick and find myself second guessing him all the time. Is this a normal response to his revelation or am I overeacting?
Sorry for the long post, I really needed to get this off my chest.
And sorry for weird typos, I cut any pasted this from Word and it's gone a bit wobbly (like my head right now)
Bit of a manipulator isn't he OP. He got you change yourself and now you're totally lost
I don't know, what I do know is he would be mortified at the suggestion he was a manipulator.
I'm sure he would OP.
And yes OP you do put him on a pedestal, very unhealthy balance of power here.
He doesn't allow you the same "warts and all" grace does he OP. You've turned yourself inside out for him and it's still not good enough?
Yet in the next breath he claims he's "punching well above his weight" with me. So confused.
OP he blows hot and cold a lot doesn't he?
Keeps you on the hook nicely with 'compliments' like that, doesn't he? I'd walk away. You will always be on tenterhooks, waiting for him to end it - and eventually he will. From what you've posted, he doesn't sound into this relationship at all - and if he is, it will NEVER be equal, you will always be dancing to his tune.
It's weird because all his friends have told me they've never seen him this besotted with anyone (?!) He is very caring and tender, takes an interest in everything I have to say, supports me in my ambitions, etc - he worries a lot about his own perceived inadequacies, however, and can't seem to get his head around the fact that I adore him. It's almost like he doesn't think he'd deserving of love, so is shying away from it.
Sorry OP but I'd say he's sucking you in.
I read the OP as yes, him being a bit hot and cold, but the overwhelming impression I get is that you are very needy OP, and well, maybe over analysing things a touch? That is meant kindly by the way, I'm not trying to bash you. All the talk of him being your everything, your rock, adoring him etc, is it perhaps a bit much?
That's ok Phoenix, I posted on here to get objective opinions
Just because he's insecure and lacking in confidence doesn't mean he's a nice person. He might not be deliberately and consciously manipulating you but he is doing it. Making you feel insecure makes him feel more secure. You should get emotional support from people other than your DP though. You do sound a bit unhealthily reliant on him in that way. But that's not what's making you feel insecure - he's doing that - it's just something you might want to think about for yourself anyway.
Sounds a little NPD to me. Not healthy at all.
So you put a massive effort into improving yourself to meet his standards yet he is still not happy. I think he throws the 'break up' threat around every so often to keep you on your toes. I bet if you called his bluff he would soon backtrack though as it sounds like you are good to him.
Peppermint, I know you're not trying to bash me. Security in a relationship is so important to me - perhaps there is a thin line between this and being needy that I should be careful not to cross?
With regards to things being "a bit much", DP was the who said he loved me / adored me / that I was his rock, etc first - I reciprocated, glad I'd found a man who seemingly embraced that...
Moodychops - yes, I am VERY good to him!
Sioda - I agree, he is not deliberately or consciously manipulating me, but it is still having that affect.
What happened contact wise during the month you were apart OP?
During the first two weeks we were in contact pretty much every day and met up about four times in public places, me apologising and trying to convince him to give it another go, him saying he still loved me and it felt completely natural to be with me, but that he was scared and daren't take the gamble. Then his best friend died suddenly and I think it put everything into perspective, life's too short, etc. He went from saying it was definitely over to there could be a chance for us, but he needed some space to ensure it wasn't just the grief talking. He went abroad for the funeral and I didn't contact him for a fortnight - being in limbo during that time was the hardest thing I've ever had to do, but I knew if I didn't respect his wishes then what hope did we have? I hadn't dared to get my hopes up, but two weeks to the day that he'd asked me for a fortnight's space, he made contact, came round to my house and said he definitely wanted to give it another go - we reconciled on 1st May after splitting 1st April (April fool's day, yeah I know...)
I dunno, it could be the old (burned once) cynic in me, but that does read awfully like a technique to keep you keen. Maybe the previous girlfriends failed the test (or passed, depending on your point of view)...
Op I had almost the same relationship with a guy shortly after my husband left me for ow. It was amazing at first then he dumped me out of the blue and I was devastated. Then a pattern of dumping then getting back together began and like you I was a nervous wreck neve knew if I was coming or going. He wouldn't make plans and was also very controlling. I did everything to keep him happy and with me. Compromising my normally outgoing confident personality.
One day I said to a friend "this relationship makes me anxious" she then told me that if that was the case it had become abusive.
He dumped me again and this time I told him not to come back and when he did I was strong and said no.
I quickly realised that I was far less anxious without him and to this day I regret wasting my time and emotions in him. I'm angry that he took up two years of time I could have spent being happy instead of obsessing about him.
I personally wouldn't want to be with someone who changes their mind like the wind, like you it would drive me nuts.
I'd stop asking him for any type of affirmations and start getting out and about a bit with friends. Stop making him the be all and end all.
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