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Should I end this?

(35 Posts)
Patheticfallacy Sun 28-Aug-16 08:39:00

It's taken a bit of courage to post this, because I'm afraid of the answers. I've been with my boyfriend 16 months. He's always been a practical person rather than particularly emotional, but he told me he loved me after six months. For a while we had something really very special. He gradually has become more distant. He stopped saying I love you. Stopped contacting me as much. No more passionate kisses. Sex life still ok, but not as frequent. He went through a rough time where he was worried about access arrangements with his son and he became very withdrawn and possibly a bit depressed. I asked him about his feelings and he said he thinks he loves me. He's changed and isn't the emotional person he was before. But he doesn't know he loves me.
What confuses me further is that this man has gone out every night after work this week, driving around picking up furniture he's found for me. He spent all day yesterday doing DIY for me. He is redesigning my dds room so that each girl has their own space. So I don't know what to do. He acts like he loves me in practical ways, but emotionally he is closed and distant.

orangeistheonlyfruit Sun 28-Aug-16 08:45:02

My immediate thought is that he wants to finish it with you but feels very guilty about it. Maybe this bedroom project is one he wants to finish first. Some men think if they do something really nice first the blow is easier to take.

On the other hand you have been together a while, do you think he's expecting things to move on and they haven't? Do you share the same future plans together? Do you have fun together?

Patheticfallacy Sun 28-Aug-16 08:48:24

We've talked about it and he's said he's been as honest as he can be and he wants to try. I think I'm going to suggest that perhaps he does this stuff as my friend rather than my boyfriend so he doesn't feel trapped.
We did have a long term plan to move in together but obviously I don't know how he feels about that now. We do still have fun but it has changed. I'm just very sad.

TheSparrowhawk Sun 28-Aug-16 08:56:25

If you stay with him you're going to have to put up with this sort of uncertainty all the time. Keeping you guessing gives him power.

Tell him to make a decision now about what he wants and to stop fucking you around.

ButteredToastAndStrawberryJam Sun 28-Aug-16 08:56:55

It's horrible this type of thing, you just don't know where you are do you. Do you think he might be doing the practical stuff to ease his guilt, unfortunately maybe he wants to end it but hasn't got the balls to do it.
You could try having a break from each other for a while. Better to do this than the half and half crap, the wondering, not knowing. Might make him realise one way or another. Will give you time to think too, whether he is really worth the bother basically.

Patheticfallacy Sun 28-Aug-16 08:57:11

I will. I've asked him to ring me.

Hotwaterbottle1 Sun 28-Aug-16 08:58:18

You really need to sit down and speak to him I think. Very mixed signals.

Patheticfallacy Sun 28-Aug-16 09:00:41

Yes it's very confusing. This week he's picked up a room divider for me, two single beds, light shades, a clothes rail etc etc. He's talking about knocking out cupboards in my kitchen and is putting up shelves etc etc. I'm bewildered really.

Livelovebehappy Sun 28-Aug-16 09:10:13

Men's behaviour is reflected in other stresses present in their life. Maybe the issues with access arrangements etc with his ex is causing him to be emotionally detached from you at the moment, as he is focusing his energy on that. I find that if my DP has something on his mind that he is distant and detached, Ie; work related, but then snaps out of it once sorted. Maybe you just need to arrange a night out somewhere where you can have his undivided attention, then talk to him about whether there is anything going on which you need to be aware of, and why he appears to have cooled off.

Patheticfallacy Sun 28-Aug-16 09:16:14

I'm quite surprised really. I thought it'd be a unanimous end it. He did start to detach when the issues with his ex cropped up, so I did think it might be that. He's become very very protective of his time with his son as well. His boy gets back off holiday today, so my boyfriend left my house at midnight to make sure that as soon as his son woke up, he'd be there. He didn't want me there either as he wanted just to be on his own with his son.

ButteredToastAndStrawberryJam Sun 28-Aug-16 09:22:59

Yeah, sounds like he needs the space to sort things and get everything settled with his son, so I'd give him credit for that. Still doesn't excuse messing you about though. I hope things work out for the best, only time will tell I suppose.

Patheticfallacy Sun 28-Aug-16 09:36:14

I don't think he's deliberately messing me about but it is very hard.

Patheticfallacy Sun 28-Aug-16 09:53:47

Interested to hear any more views

AnvilAnnie Sun 28-Aug-16 09:55:12

There was a thread on here a while ago about bf having gone off sex and what could she do to get him back into it. A man posted basically saying "I know what's going on here.I've done it myself. He's no longer interested in you but because he likes/cares for you on some level he can't face doing the Break UP Deed himself - so is pulling back".

I'll have a look to see if I can find the thread - but your descriptions sounds very similar to that thread and what this man wrote. You should have a look at it.

ElspethFlashman Sun 28-Aug-16 09:56:21

I think it'll limp on for another 6 months.....and just evaporate, tbh.

He sounds obliging and considerate. But he definitely doesn't sound in love.

Patheticfallacy Sun 28-Aug-16 09:59:18

It won't limp on for another six months. I'm going to end it now

Livelovebehappy Sun 28-Aug-16 09:59:22

Men, unfortunately, don't have the capacity to deal with multiple issues at the same time, especially stressful ones. He might not even be fully aware he is acting that much differently with you. I guess it will become an issue though if you start to put too much pressure on him, as he might then feel he can't cope with the issues between you as well as other things going on with his son/ex. It all depends on whether you can just muddle on with the situation as it now is until things settle with his son. Hearing the brief bits you say about him on here, he doesn't sound like a bad person, just someone with baggage who is struggling a bit at the moment.

ButteredToastAndStrawberryJam Sun 28-Aug-16 10:42:20

I've been in this situation OP, it's just so shitty, I think you're doing the right thing.

Zaphodsotherhead Sun 28-Aug-16 10:55:40

It may be that he did all the 'emotional' stuff at the beginning because he thought that was what you wanted/needed, and now his true personality is exerting itself - showing caring through practicality.

There have been a few threads on here (and I'm living one myself), of men who pull out all the stops at the beginning and then lose any attempt at emotional intimacy when they think they have a girlfriend. If you want a man who shows his love for you in ways other than painting and decorating (or, in my case, mowing the lawn and checking the tyres), then it looks like 'out' is the best thing for both of you.

0dfod Sun 28-Aug-16 11:08:53

Op I also think that you are doing the right thing, it doesn't make it hurt any less though sad

You can't go through life with issues such as these hanging over you, especially as you have dcs.

Please take time to look after yourself, spend some time cuddled up to your dcs. Make sure that you eat and keep your strength up. You are facing a berevement, a loss of companionship and dreams.

ButteredToastAndStrawberryJam Sun 28-Aug-16 11:23:36

You are facing a berevement, a loss of companionship and dreams. I agree with that, some times I feel it's worse than a death, because a death there's no going back, it can't be changed. But with this kind of thing, they're still alive, it just doesn't seem to make sense sometimes.

SandyY2K Sun 28-Aug-16 11:29:49

I wouldn't say to end it outright. His actions are of a decent man who cares for you. Some people can't get a husband of many years to pick up furniture and do bedroom projects like that.

His actions to me aren't that of someone who wants to end it either. He seems genuinely confused about things.

Perhaps taking a break would be useful to give you both space and revaluate the relationship.

TheNaze73 Sun 28-Aug-16 11:34:09

The best thing you can do for him, is giving space. There was a thread on here yesterday about declaring love & I think many of his actions are worth way much more than those 3 words. He's going through a rough time

goose1964 Sun 28-Aug-16 11:37:11

I've been with DH for 29 years - he no longer often tells me he loves me but I know he does by the things he does. I think it's common for thing to become less lovey dovey as time goes on but you need to ask youself whether he's demonstrating love in other ways if not you may need to rethink, I spent 2 years with a man (before DH) who never said he loved me & looking back he never demonstrated it either

Tarttlet Sun 28-Aug-16 11:39:55

"he became very withdrawn and possibly a bit depressed. I asked him about his feelings and he said he thinks he loves me. He's changed and isn't the emotional person he was before. But he doesn't know he loves me."

Depression can alter feelings of love - if he genuinely has been/is depressed, then that might be the cause.

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