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In a dilemma about boyfriend - please advise

(38 Posts)
OhWesternWind Tue 05-Mar-13 10:52:36

I've been posting about this situation on the dating thread, and have had some brilliant support and advice on there. But I feel really torn about what to do, and I'd really appreciate any views or advice.

The background is that I've been seeing a man since last September. He's generally really lovely, we get on very very well and he said at new year that he loved me, I met his family and he met mine, children all got on really well, all was looking really good.

The downside is that he suffers from depression and has had a lot going on health-wise (apart from the depression) and with his family. He is also starting up his own business, due to open this week, and that has caused him a huge amount of stress. He doesn't deal with stress very well and tends to retreat and push me away when he is feeling low. But I have spent a lot of time and energy supporting him and listening to him about what he's had going on. He will not take ADs or go back to his counsellor.

I have also been feeling unsure recently about his feelings for me as he was quite reticent about telling me he loves me, but when I asked him about it towards the end of January and again at the end of last month he said he does love me, even though I gave him the opportunity to say he doesn't, iyswim. But he is very bad at expressing his feelings, giving compliments, being romantic and those things do matter to me even though they are a bit superficial.

We have recently had a problem when I was going through a difficult time and I asked him to come over to give me some support. He was lovely, said he would, arranged a time and then just didn't show, no phone call or anything. It turned out that he had had a crisis to do with his business and had not felt up to coming over to see me. I texted him to say I was really unhappy about this, wouldn't put up with being treated this way, and all I got back was "You are right in what you say". Anyway, after this I saw him on Sunday night and we had a good time out, talking and laughing. I told him again that his behaviour wasn't on but didn't go on and on about it. At the end of the night though he drove me home and wouldn't come in, didn't give me a kiss either which has never happened before.

We were texting last night and it felt like he was being a bit short with me, so I said I was going, but then I thought, no, I'll speak to him about this and ask him what is going on. So I phoned him up and we had a conversation where he was saying basically that he is fucked up, he is hard work, everything in his life is going wrong, he feels horribly guilty about how he's treated me but he doesn't have space in his head to deal with it, and so on.

I said to him that I am not looking for a lifelong commitment from him, all I want is to have a good time with him and know I'm wanted and loved. I have a horror of foisting myself on people when I'm not wanted and I don't want to get into that situation here. But I just don't know what's going on or what to do. I am supposed to meet him on Wednesday - I said I wasn't going to meet him but then changed my mind.

I am hoping that once his business is open then he will be less stressed and things will get better. He's coming to the end of a long series of difficult events - operations, family bereavements etc, and once the business is open I really hope that he can start to get back on an even keel. I don't know if this is just wishful thinking or if it's worth hanging on for another couple of weeks to see what happens. It's not a long time in the grand scheme of things.

But otherwise I am pretty much coming to the end of my patience with the constant drama and upset. It makes me feel very anxious and insecure which I hate. I never feel like I know where I am with him. I just want something straightforward and good and this does seem very much like hard work a lot of the time. However, I do think I love this man and we have a very, very good time when we are together.

What do you think I should do?

EggyFucker Mon 25-Mar-13 11:48:20

smile

OhWesternWind Mon 25-Mar-13 11:43:41

I'm feeling much better about myself now that it's done with. There's actually quite a bit of relief but also some sadness and I am a bit pissed off with myself for being taken in by it all. Still, I am not going to settle for the crumbs of someone's table ever again - have learned some important lessons, had a lot of fun and got back some confidence about various things.

EggyFucker Mon 25-Mar-13 11:31:04

Good luck x

Thanks for the update.
Good decision. You can move onwards and upwards!
Good luck!

OhWesternWind Mon 25-Mar-13 11:19:53

Just to let you know I've finished things with him. On to better things now smile

SueFawley Tue 05-Mar-13 16:09:27

Let us know how the talk goes.

Of course, once you've had the talk you need to focus on paying much more attention to his actions than to his words. Look for his behaviour being consistent with what he says to you. Otherwise all the talking in the world won't help because it's just words. This is something I've only recently learned, well at least in the last 5 or 6 years shock

And yes lubey my experience too, people do tell you who they are and often it happens quite early in the relationship. We just need to be able to hear it.

OneMoreGo Tue 05-Mar-13 16:04:23

Ohh, I am an expert in this type of bloke! <rubs hands> This is exactly the sort I used to go for. Trust me when I say that there will ALWAYS be a reason why he is acting like a bit of a selfish thoughtless git, and your insistence on giving him the benefit of the doubt says everything about you (nice, overly trusting, think all people are like you, willing to see the good in others, blah blah blah) and nothing about him and whether he actually possesses any special merit. He doesn't, probably. He just sounds hard work and misery-creating.
Life is short! Agree with everyone else ditch him and move on. And then do the thinking and reflecting alone, on why you were prepared to put up with this kind of shoddy treatment for soooo much longer than most others would have.

lubeybooby Tue 05-Mar-13 15:45:37

The OP isn't desperate, and I'm sure he does care. There are issues that need addressing one way or another though and I agree with the 'people tell you who they are' thing.

I've experienced that quite a lot and it's always bang on. I had forgotten that til reading it here. Not good, OWW.

OhWesternWind Tue 05-Mar-13 15:43:36

Thanks Sue. The talking is going to be done tomorrow, thinking today and tomorrow and what comes out of that will help me decide what to do. I am going to be very clear about what I want and will, I hope, be able to have an open and honest talk with him about where we both think things are going.

I am not going to hang on forever wasting time, but I do want to make sure that I am happy and comfortable with whichever decision I make. I can't see that there is a huge need to rush, a few days or even a couple of weeks won't make a big difference. I'm not planning on waiting around for months/years with this.

SueFawley Tue 05-Mar-13 15:34:06

OP, I for one don't think you're desperate or anything like that. I think you're simply in a very common situation. That is, we as outsiders can all see that you're not being treated as well as you deserve, plus the man is telling over and over who he is, and what you can expect in the future (nowt much) but you're not really hearing it like that because you're too close to see.

I rarely see a thread on MN where so many posters are in agreement as they have been on your thread. That says a lot.

Sounds as if you're not ready to leave, although I thought you were very close when I read your OP. Please get some support strategies in place for yourself for the next few months because him setting up this business is going to be hugely stressful for him, as I said earlier.

OhWesternWind Tue 05-Mar-13 14:57:48

No, I'm not the poster you're thinking of!

I did give mine chances - many chances - but take it from me - the cycle goes on and on and you have to get off at some point. May as well be now!

ApplyYourself Tue 05-Mar-13 14:48:47

Have you posted about this man loads of times before?

kallima Tue 05-Mar-13 14:37:02

OP, that anxiety you are experiencing? That is your body's way of telling you that something isn't right for you in this relationship. Listen to it. Don't try and get rid of it by trying harder or being extra understanding. It won't work and you will lose respect for yourself in the process.

I'm speaking from experience here.

DIYapprentice Tue 05-Mar-13 14:29:03

More talking and more thinking for me on this one.

Why? What's the point? He's told you who he is.

He can't handle stress yet he's started his own business? That's just a ludicrous thing to do - owning your own business is ALWAYS stressful.

So you can have a good laugh with him when he's in a good mood. Well, that's the basis of a friendship, not of a relationship.

Let him go. For his sake as well as yours.

OhWesternWind Tue 05-Mar-13 14:15:53

Thank you all for your replies.

Kirsty I am very reluctant to write what I am feeling on this thread in the light of all the replies! However, the relationship I'm in doesn't really feel like the one most replies have written about, but I think I am just going to come across as defensive or as in denial.

The problem with writing a post like this is that it's arisen due to a particular situation happening, which has been a negative one. But before (and after) that, there have been many, many good things happening, which I've not talked about in a lot of detail but which have been the largest part of the relationship. I do feel that there is a lot of good in our relationship, a lot of values shared and I also believe that he does have feelings for me.

Neither do I think I am just desperate to have "a partner" so I will put up with anything. That's definitely not the case, but maybe I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt where other people wouldn't. Why? I don't know. I'd do it with most people, though, not just someone I was in a relationship with.

More talking and more thinking for me on this one.

KirstyWirsty Tue 05-Mar-13 13:56:50

OWW do you feel any differently now ?

lubeybooby Tue 05-Mar-13 13:38:58

"He doesn't deal with stress very well ...He will not take ADs or go back to his counsellor."

This is the dealbreaker for me.

I am massively supportive if someone is trying to get help

Especially for depression which is so treatable with a little patience, possibly meds, possibly counsellor, etc. If someone has a tough time for example finding the right medication or counsellor then that's different and my support would be unfailing.

Refusing help though, is to actively choose to live with it

Not a choice I could ever support.

TheUndesireable Tue 05-Mar-13 13:19:13

Love that analogy Annie

Anniegetyourgun Tue 05-Mar-13 13:09:10

I'm sure I've said before (could it have even been to the same poster?) that feeling you can't walk away from a relationship you've invested time and money in is like standing in front of a slot machine, posting in one coin after another, feeling sure that eventually you must hit the jackpot because all that money has gone in, right? However, as anyone who doesn't have a gambling addiction will tell you, these machines are designed to pay out less than is put in. It is in their nature, and all the logic and hope in the world isn't going to change that.

People aren't machines, and they can over-ride their programming (up to a point); but only if they want to and are prepared to work very hard on themselves. Yon emotional vampire has made it quite clear he is not interested in working on himself (no ADs, no counsellor). Instead you're supposed to do the running around while he, basically, stays the same.

In short, this relationship is pretty much a perfect illustration of the saying "flogging a dead horse". But you've flogged it for hours, surely it's going to get up soon? Er, no. It really isn't.

(Ooh look, I got two metaphors in that post. Go me!)

dippymother Tue 05-Mar-13 12:49:03

Ditto everything said here. Like Hellsbellsmelons, I've been there and done that. Life was a rollercoaster with him and he's now repeating that behaviour with the next gf.

Dallasty Tue 05-Mar-13 12:30:48

..i'm a guy, and TBH this chap sounds like a selfish idiiot kid. "Me me me" springs to mind....ditch him and then see his attitude temporarily change.

cestlavielife Tue 05-Mar-13 12:12:18

"He doesn't deal with stress very well ...He will not take ADs or go back to his counsellor."

his problem then!
dont take it on.

mmmuffins Tue 05-Mar-13 12:04:25

From what you've written OP, I think this is a pretty clear case of "he's just not that into you."

Time to move on.

I couldn't agree more with everyone else.
I've been here and done this and it gets better for a while, then worse, then better, etc.... and it's a cycle that happens again and again.
I've wasted a good couple of years of my life on someone like this. Time to let go!
Cut and run now and find someone else.

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