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He says he doesnt know whether he wants to be with me anymore

(109 Posts)

And it feels like everything has just been ripped from me.
He says he still loves me and was trying to comfort me but insists that he "doesn't know where his head's at" and his "head is really messed up right now" and that he doesn't know what he wants.
There was a week of feeling very distanced preceding this but before that everything was fine.
We were the strongest couple I knew and he is my best friend. All I want is him to comfort me but obviously that's not going to happen.
We've been living together for 3 years and share everything including a dog.
Our whole future is planned together, everything, so I feel so completely lost and empty. Everything I think of has changed because our lives so completely revolved around one another.
I just want to curl up and die because there is nothing left.
If he did leave me I would die because I can't see how it could be any worse than this

2cats2many Tue 08-Jan-13 08:24:12

Sorry to say this, but do you think there's someone else? There often is in these situations.

I genuinely think that he's displacing his study stress (DL Open uni), money stress, job dissatisfaction, turning 26 (which he's been really funny about), etc onto our relationship as its what he can control.
He hung out with his old mates on NYE that he hadn't seen in ages and they are much younger and he viewed them as being "free" I think.

There isn't someone else. I know him well enough for that one. He wouldn't do that

maleview70 Tue 08-Jan-13 08:32:59

Unfortunately there will be plenty of women who have said the same.

Often a man saying he doesn't know where his head is at is often the man saying "someone else has turned my head and now I don't know where my head it at"

Don't rule it out.... Espeicially if you could not see this coming.

melika Tue 08-Jan-13 08:35:57

Ask him outright, what happened NYE.
Because I get the feeling something did.

Unless he's been skipping days off work to see his fancy woman then I can't see it. He works in an all-male warehouse and comes straight home.
Trust me - no OW

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 08-Jan-13 08:39:16

"If he did leave me I would die because I can't see how it could be any worse than this "

Him staying with a 'messed up head' etc is actually worse than him leaving. I'm sorry you've had a shock but you have to wake up to how cruel this selfish man is being. Telling someone you don't know if you love them any more ... but continuing to stick around tormenting them... is quite the most nasty thing anyone can do to someone else. The emotional equivalent of 'don't call us, we'll call you'. As for there being someone else.... We all think we know our partners well ... right up to the point where we find out we don't know them at all.

I doubt you'll do this but I'll say it anyway. Tell him to get out and sort out his 'messed up head' on someone else's time. You are not some dog waiting for their master to give them the whistle.... you are a vaulable human being and you do not deserve this treatment. Good luck

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 08-Jan-13 08:40:39

"He works in an all-male warehouse and comes straight home."

There are more ways to carry on an affair than in the sack. Internet and texting means people can pursue affairs and withdraw from relationships without meeting the other person at all.

melika Tue 08-Jan-13 08:41:59

No I don't mean OW, maybe he feels hemmed in by his settled life and feels he wants to be single with his mates again. I'd start a contingency plan now and see how he feels to be rejected.

I have asked him, before this happened on NYD. I think his shock in me not trusting him has bought this on. Made him start thinking.
Stupid of me really to put myself in the firing line of his dissatisfaction after being with his friends by being all jealous. Ironically, I wasn't being jealous because of that (I know he never would cheat) but because I was jealous of him going out when I had to work

He has always been the clingy, commitment one... This kind of thing doesn't happen surely?

melika Tue 08-Jan-13 08:43:51

Ps, don't make excuses for him in your head.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 08-Jan-13 08:49:06

Now you're blaming yourself for simply asking a reasonable question? hmm If his connection to you is so weak that being asked 'did anything happen on NYE?' gets his back up, puts him on the defensive and he withdraws affection..... then there's not much to it.

I worry about your self-esteem that you are so willing to accept this is all your fault, or it's the fault of money/job/turning 26, or it's the fault of his friends for being young and single...... all the time not entertaining that this is his responsibility at all. Keep making excuses for someone like that and, sadly, that's the way to get yourself manipulated and exploited.

Sugarice Tue 08-Jan-13 08:49:57

Don't start to imagine you're at fault.

I'm sorry you're in this position. sad

I'm trying not to make excuses for him.
I just want to understand.
We were the envy of other couples, he is so supportive, so loving, I could tell him anything and we had the same goals in life.
He is genuinely the kindest man i know.
People don't just change after 3 years - there must be something I can do to help him - I know he didn't mean to hurt me. He is not exactly feeling great himself, I think he just needs support?

He tells me he's certain he loves me but just that he's unsure of what he wants for the future - in everything. All that he's said smacks of someone who's having a bit of a mid-twenties crisis

Read that over and didn't mean it to sound so pathetic, sorry. I mean it though

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 08-Jan-13 09:04:44

"People don't just change after 3 years - there must be something I can do to help him - I know he didn't mean to hurt me. He is not exactly feeling great himself, I think he just needs support?"

You don't want him to change, you want to be able to help him, you don't want him to delberately hurt you.... that's what you need to understand. Sadly, people (especially young men between the ages of 20 and 30) do change and they don't always become hurtful and nasty because they are having personal problems or a 'crisis'. Sometimes you have to take them entirely on face value whether you like it or not.

And then what about your need for support? Aren't you entitled to be given some respect, consideration and the truth? Or are you just some non-entity that should stand there like an Aunt Sally while he throws insults at you like not knowing if he loves you or not?

You are sounding pathetic, I'm sorry. This is a critical point in your relationship and you can't afford to take a weak position.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Tue 08-Jan-13 09:09:10

It may well be a mid-twenties crisis, but that doesn't mean that he will 'get better' and decide to recommit to you. People change a lot in their twenties, especially men - women as a rule of thumb tend to have done more emotional growing up sooner and be more sure of who they are and what they want. In general.

Believe what he is telling you, and start thinking about your future without him. You must be young too?

But I completely agree with Cogito. Get some self-respect here. Don't just hang around waiting for him to decide your future. I would ask him to leave for a couple of days and get some space, and then you might be able to think more clearly.

Thank you so much for your advice and I really appreciate it. Please don't think I'm not taking it in because I am - I'm just saying what I'm thinking.

If this is a crisis for him, it's surely not going to fix our relationship by running away?

I'm not arguing, I'm trying to figure out what to do. Sorry.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Tue 08-Jan-13 09:18:25

But you have to accept that it might not be fixable - or that maybe from his perspective it doesn't need fixing.

There could be an OW, people fit in affairs all over the place.

His mates could have been ribbing him about being 'settled' and 'under the thumb' and he isn't mature enough to tell them to wind their necks in and has been influenced and decided he wants to be free and single.

Maybe you have just grown up differently over the time you have been together but you haven't realised yet and he didn't realise until now.

He is under no obligation to stay with you - I don't mean to be harsh in saying that, but it is true.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 08-Jan-13 09:23:15

Running away? Who's running away? Sending someone away is saying 'I am valuable, worthwhile and secure enough in myself as an individual that I reject someone who does not find me equally valuable'.

You're currently in a very weak position because you think this is your fault, you don't seem to see that he's being cruel/fickle/immature and you can't imagine life solo. Sending him away, even if it is temporary, puts you in a stronger position and, whether you subsequently stay together or split up, you will always benefit from having defended your self-respect.

badinage Tue 08-Jan-13 09:23:21

So what's the timescale for all this?

Are you saying that he was distant in the week before NYE and then pulled the 'I don't know what I want' stunt the day after (i.e New Years Day)?

Or that he went out NYE and was distant for the past week and has only just come out with this?

You're right. People don't just suddenly change after 3 years, or 10, 20 or 30.

Unless they've met someone else.

Then, you'd be amazed at how swift a transformation can be.

If you're a regular on this site, you'll also know that despite the smoking gun and only one suspect holding it, shock and disbelief makes people look for every implausible alternative explanation rather than the most obvious one.

His 'being 26' crisis is yours.

Cherchez la femme.

izzyizin Tue 08-Jan-13 09:42:23

Is there a particular reason why you didn't spend NYE together?

Cutting loose with his mates may have made him long for the freedom he had before he settled down with you, or he may have had his head turned by an ow that night or on some earlier occasion.

Either way, you can't make anyone stay with you if they want to be elsewhere, honey, and all you can do is let him go. Don't plead with him to return and don't sit around pining - get out there and have some fun yourself.

Btw, unless you do something incredibly stupid, you're not going to die if he doesn't come back and you'll soon come to realise that a man who doesn't make good on promises and plans you've made together isn't worth having.

It occurs to me there's something familiar about your OP. Have you posted about him before?

Not posted on Relationships before.

Was pig-headed and ridiculous enough to think that I'd never need to.

I've been working away all week since NYE, came back to this yesterday evening. He has been distant (as distant as someone can be over the phone) for about 4 days and said this pretty much because I forced him to by coming back and asking whether he wanted me back because he was being so strange.

baremadness Tue 08-Jan-13 09:48:46

You need to back off and start planning a GOOD life without him. He may well be having a crisis and if he is he will come running back. Just dont hang around waiting for it to happen. if it is meant to be it will, but you cant make it.

baremadness Tue 08-Jan-13 09:50:59

HIS issues are not your fault. The distancing makes it clear that he had these feelings. You asking the question may have made him say something now rather than drag it out but it didnt make the feelings appear.

badinage Tue 08-Jan-13 09:56:40

If all this started on New Years Eve and he seemed perfectly ok over Christmas and before, it's stark staringly obvious that something happened that night and possibly since.

When you say your whole life revolves around him, how literally do you mean?

Have you lost contact with friends, or put other aspects of your life on hold because of this relationship?

Assuming you're also around the 26-mark, one of the best life lessons you'll learn from this is not to invest your whole life's purpose in one individual.

I would plan a new life also without him in it in any shape or form. You should not remain friends post separation.

His issues are his alone, do not take ownership of them. I would think also that someone else has caught his eye.

I'm so sorry. Please don't blame yourself or make any excuses for him. I honestly don't believe people break up happy relationships because they are stressed out about other things. What's more likely is that he has had some frustration with your relationship -- and probably not even with you personally, just with the commitments that living with someone entails -- and because he is so stressed with other things he can't deal with it anymore.

When I have broken up serious relationships in the past, it must have seemed quite sudden to them. This is because I would have lingering worries or doubts or frustrations, but things would be generally good so I would try to ignore them and be happy. But then something would happen, even something minor, and I would just feel I couldn't do it anymore.

You have to start to accept that you will probably never understand why he's doing this, because no matter what he says, it's probably not the real real reason.

I know it's hard but you need to try to shift from 'why?' to 'what now?' Start getting your head around sorting out a new life for yourself. I totally understand that feeling of just wanting to die but believe me, it will go away and you will be happy again. But in the meantime, try to be kind to yourself, stop torturing yourself with trying to understand something that you never will, and lean on friends for support. It will get better.

I guess I've lost contact with a few friends but that's never really bothered me since I was never that sociable. I stopped going out completely about a year ago and don't drink at all anymore which I don't miss.
We share the same goals and I took on a lot of extra work so we could put away more money towards our future. That's one of the reasons I stopped doing things outside the house too so we can save money to do everything we want to.
I switched from FT uni to distance learning so i can work more so I've probably been very tired and stressed (same as he is) which isn't helping.

shine0ncrazydiamond Tue 08-Jan-13 10:04:53

Sorry to read this but he IS allowed to end a relationship you know! I cannot see where he is tormenting the OP.. he is trying to be 'nice' isn't he? And when you share a house etc, you can't just up sticks and leave in the space of ten minutes can you?

OP, he has told you something loud and clear here. he no longer wants to be with you. now, you can blame this on his mid life crisis < err at 26? > or his studying or whatever... or you could try and accept that he is done with the relationship but it is not your fault. People end relationships every day for lots of reasons. It's a normal thing.

It's also a painful thing and i know the agonies only too well, what with being practically in my dotage now. It never gets easier.

Your best bet now is to sort out how you will move forward re the house and dog and then concentrate on healing and NOT seeing him. Which only prolongs the agony.

Thank you, dreamingbohemian. You make a lot of sense.

My other, much smaller at the moment, concern is how I'll ever be able to find a relationship like we had. Not just because of him but I have huge trust issues with men daddy issues and he is the only man I have ever completely trusted

badinage Tue 08-Jan-13 10:06:32

Friends are worth their weight in gold and you don't need to be sociable to hang onto them. Never lose your friends honey.....that's a big mistake.

Can you re-connect with any of them or do you still have someone who'll lend a listening ear?

shine0ncrazydiamond Tue 08-Jan-13 10:06:33

And trust me, death is not preferable to a life without this man. You need to get a sense of perspective in relation to that comment.

Sugarice Tue 08-Jan-13 10:06:50

The money you have saved by working so hard is in an account in your name I hope.

Viviennemary Tue 08-Jan-13 10:07:19

I'm sorry this has happened to you. It's really difficult for anyone to say what his reasons are for wanting to break up. Another woman can never be entirely ruled out. That's my opinion. But you absolutely don't think it is. Then fine. I do think that severe stress can be a reason for somebody wanting a temporary break in a relationship. Because even though a relationship might be a good one people still go through bad times.

I agree that you should start building up your life and seeing friends without him although this will be very difficult. I think you will have to deal with this day by day making plans as you go along. And not worry too much about if you will be friends in six months time. Get all the support you can from friends and family.

Also, it may not have been another woman who caught his eye, just the whole carefree single lifestyle he revisited on new year's.

A big reason I broke up with my ex-fiance is that I felt suffocated, I was still young and wanted to be a bit crazy and I just wasn't ready to settle down yet.

He was only 23 when you moved in together, he's 26 now. It's really very common for those first serious relationships in your 20s to fall apart.

All texting me all apologies ATM

"I'm so sorry, I've really fucked up sad"

Just received that.

I think you're right about building a bit more of a separate life though. Regardless of what happens, this is the shock I needed to realise how much I centred him in my life.

Never put myself down as one of those women

Sorry * he's* texting me all apologies

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 08-Jan-13 10:14:05

"how I'll ever be able to find a relationship like we had."

Most people's love-lives are a learning process. You put your faith in someone and it's either returned, if you're lucky, or it's rejected if you're not. It's hurtful at times, rewarding at others, and after each experience you emerge older, wiser, warier and knowing a little bit better what you don't want in a relationship just as much what you do want. Just keep hold of that self-respect throughout and don't let anyone treat you anything other than wonderfully well.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 08-Jan-13 10:17:29

Be cool about the apologies.... He brought you about as low as you can possibly get and you shouldn't be too quick to forgive. You need to think about how you handle this very carefully.

Very good idea to develop more of a life for yourself that doesn't involve him (or any future partner). I find people respect independence but exploit reliance.

specialsubject Tue 08-Jan-13 10:18:41

sorry for you - it always feels like the end of the world when relationships end. You will not die without him.

this is the old 'if you love something, let it go - if it doesn't come back, it was never yours'. I don't understand all the angst but it does sound like game over. Fortunately you are independent financially, there are no kids and there is plenty of time for more. He is NOT the only man in the world, plenty of nice guys out there.

find out where you stand and make plans for a separation if that is what is happening. And have some self-respect.

good luck.


You're welcome smile

I do really feel for you, I remember the agony all too well! Try not to worry about the future though. I also had big-time issues re men, which made each relationship feel like a miracle, and each breakup feel like the end of the world. But I did get my happy ending eventually, I'm married now to a man who is a million times better than all those guys I sobbed over. I'm sure the same will happen for you too someday!

For now, focus on survival mode, getting through each day and re-sorting your life. But when you are a bit more settled, know that you will find happiness in life by getting out there and living -- reconnect with friends, make new plans, do fun things. badinage is right, the silver lining here is that you are learning at a young age not to get too wrapped up in one guy and one future -- there's so much more to enjoy in life.

It really will be okay. One day at a time, you will get there.

amillionyears Tue 08-Jan-13 10:19:11

I is possible that he is having an emotional affair with someone.
He may, he may not be.

When situations like yours happen, I always think it is better to give the other person some space.
If he is saying he is all mixed up, he needs space and time to sort it through.
Tough on you I know.

badinage Tue 08-Jan-13 10:23:33

I think when you're young and loved up it's easy to get cocooned and think that you don't need anyone else.

But never put all your eggs in one basket. What ever happens with m'laddo, make romance just one aspect of your life.

How do you interpret the texts? That ending the relationship was his fuck-up or that he's fucked-up the relationship by some dastardly deed?

It sounds obvious but it's so difficult because I don't want to! I don't want a life that's separate. There has been no build up and no cause, I just want my life back!!!

Can I go all Ms Haversham and sit in bed in a wedding dress?

He thinks he fucked up by suggesting the end of the relationship prematurely.

olgaga Tue 08-Jan-13 10:25:09

I would urge you to make sure your finances are properly organised in preparation for a split.

I hate to say this, but the texts sound to me as though he's keeping his options open.

Sugarice Tue 08-Jan-13 10:26:10

I wondered about how to chose to interpret the texts.

I've fucked up? hmm

Ach, x-post again!

I agree to be wary of the apologies.

Maybe he just had a wobble, and everything really is fine.

Or maybe he was just momentarily brave enough to say what he really feels and is now panicking and backtracking, but his doubts are still there.

You need to have a big talk. I would go into it with the approach of: okay, this is our chance to really be honest and share all our problems and concerns, to be brutally honest, and then at the end see whether we can make it work.

Don't let him get away with just 'I'm sorry, I didn't mean it.' Something made him feel that way. Maybe he's frustrated that you don't go out anymore, that you are both too stressed out with things, who knows? But if you are going to get past this, you need to really address what's going on.

And while it's great that you're realising you need to make some changes if you stay together, don't put it all on yourself -- he will need to make some changes too, learn how to communicate better, manage stress better, so he is never this cruel to you again.

Our finances are pretty straight forward. Seperate accounts plus a joint that we pay weekly amounts into for shared bills.

mumat39 Tue 08-Jan-13 10:29:46

This comes to mind

"If you love something, set it free. If it comes back it was always yours, if it doesn't, it never was."

A bit sad but very true.

If you have lost contact with friends and aren't very sociable, he could be feeling the pressure of being your everything, if that makes sense. Then he goes out on NYE, on his own and then you get jealous about it, even though you had to work.

Maybe, he just needs to feel that he can go out without worrying that it might upset you. I'm speaking from experience, and DP used to feel like that when I had lost touch with people and hardly went out.

I think the best thing you can do is make contact with friends again or even arrangements with some work colleagues and go out and enjoy yourself without him. I think I used to be quite suffocating without meaning to be. I had massive insecurity issues and was always very clingy but didn't actually realise this unil DP and I talked. He then old me that it worried him that I was so reliant on him. I've always been very independent but had o admit that he was right.

I love my DP very much, but he is no longer my be all and end all, if tha makes sense.

If you can, let him have some head space while he decides what he wants. In the meantime, get out and start getting our friends back as they really are important. And show him that you're having fun without him. I don't have any fiends for lots of reasons to do with things that happened before I met DP, and I think that was the root of my problem. It made me focus more on him than was healthy I think. I didn't really start to feel better or recognise this until I started taking antidepressants as I was really not happy within myself, if that makes sense.

Sorry if this is a rambling post. Some of what you said reminded you of me a few years ago.

Take care and remember, whatever happens will be for the best. xxx

mumat39 Tue 08-Jan-13 10:31:53

Sorry, reminded me of you.

We had a big talk last night where we both spoke about how we had slipped into an "essentials routine" where we just did what needed to be done. We both agreed that we should make effort to enjoy our twenties more and he was the one that immediately said " I still want to save for our future" (you can see why I'm confused over everything)
We established that we're not so much as moving too quickly but moving too... Boringly I guess you could say.

Mumat I'm only two paragraphs in to your post but want to say that you've hit the nail on the head! That's EXACTLY whats going on - me not going out made him feel guilty about enjoying something I didn't (we spoke about that too)
[blushes] will read rest of post now

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 08-Jan-13 10:35:15

"He thinks he fucked up by suggesting the end of the relationship prematurely."

Damn right he did. He's gone from 'love' to 'not sure I want to be with you' to 'love' in the space of a few days... and is expecting everything to be just peachy and carry on as if nothing happened. You just don't do that to people and blithely hope there are zero consequences.

Cogito - don't we all have that? I do. I just don't make the mistake of verbalising it

PileOfSheet Tue 08-Jan-13 10:38:07

I'd suggest you add more depth to your life than just this man. Regardless of how the relationship plays out, it's important that other things also define who you are, e.g. hobbies, friends. It'll make you more independent and as such, more desirable. By making him the sole purpose for your being, you are giving him all the power which is never healthy within a relationship. And this is from the POV of another 'quarter-life crisis male :P.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 08-Jan-13 10:39:46

No. In a solid relationship based on mutual love and respect you can always tell each other that something has annoyed or upset or offended you. You can say you don't like the action..... what's utterly wrong is to say you've stopped loving the person themselves. You only cross that bridge when you don't want to come back....

ErikNorseman Tue 08-Jan-13 10:41:13

What are you saving for? Is it adventure, or house in the suburbs? I'm all for forward planning but at 26 you can have more going on than work, study and saving money. Perhaps it's not you he is fed up with, but your somewhat narrow lifestyle? It could be that he has felt resentful about your lack of social life for a while, and NYE was a catalyst. You need a lot of openness and talking. And get a life outside your boyfriend!

izzyizin Tue 08-Jan-13 10:43:17

If you want to do a Miss Havisham I've got some cobwebs that would be the envy of the Beeb's props department I can let you have grin

Cognito - he never said he doesn't love me, he made a point of saying that he really does. He says that he doesn't know what he wants in life anymore.

ErikNorseman - saving for us to buy land and build our own house. And I think that you are right, thats the conclusion we both came to (not so eloquently) and that my mother (who knows us back to front) did. We do live a very narrow lifestyle and I think that it has reached the make or break point

and wasn't going to say it before because it will no doubt open a whole new can of worms but he if he is "only" 26 then I'm sure my being 21 is going to affect people's opinions

Issyizin fantastic! When can you send them? (do you also have a CD of violin music, preferably played by an unnaturally small instrument, that I can borrow?)

AlwaysDreaming Tue 08-Jan-13 10:49:56

I'm sorry to say this , but i think something happened on new years eve with someone .

melika Tue 08-Jan-13 10:51:57

I was living with my DH from age 22, got a dog etc. never has he doubted whether he wanted a life with me. If anything, he is more clingy now than then (ha, when I was more attractive!) Believe me I think he could replace me at any time, he is quite resilient in that way. I don't think you should forget this episode but maybe forgive him, and like others said, get an outside life in what ever form it may take.

DrinkFeckArseGirls Tue 08-Jan-13 10:52:33

You sound very naive. Sorry. I giess that's the shock. He doesn't even feel the need to excuse himself, it's all you doing it.

Thanks, Melika.

DrinkFeckArseGirls - probably true

OP you are right that the fact that you are 21 will affect people's opinions. Because you are so young and just as dramatic about relationships as 21 year olds can be sometimes That means, like it or not, that you are changing and will continue to change (probably) a lot over the next few years. It may well be that this relationship isn't your 'forever' relationship. You could end up being the one who walks away from it, and could look back and be really glad you did! Or it may work out fine. But you are so young that to hold onto any relationship for grim death is just not right.

But I was just the same when I was your age - and I wouldn't have listened to anyone saying otherwise blush

The only that changes for me, knowing you are 21, is that I would urge you even more strongly to get out there and live!

It's very admirable that you're mature enough to work hard and save money for the future, but this really is the time to enjoy your freedom, make friends, experience the world, explore all your options in life.

I wonder if your trust issues are in some way spurring you to settle down at a young age. You've found a guy, you don't think you will ever find anyone else like him, so you are focused on building your life with him, settling down, etc.

Don't let your fears and trust issues keep you from exploring life more fully. If he is the right guy for you, he will be there whether you buy a house or not, whether you have savings or not.

You have sooooooo many years ahead of you. Don't put all your eggs in one basket just yet!

Alibabaandthe40nappies Tue 08-Jan-13 11:19:20

You are 21 and you gave up full-time Uni to live with this guy? You have lost contact with friends and no longer go out AT ALL so that you can save money?

Bloody hell. You need to get out there and live your life. You are so, so young.

No wonder you feel like your whole life revolves around him, he has been your whole adult life.

Go away and have a holiday without him. Broaden your view and see a bit of the world. Then when you come back, reassess your narrow life and relationship.

HappyNewHissy Tue 08-Jan-13 11:21:03

If you are only 21, I think it's HIM that ought to worry that YOU'LL wake up one day and take a cold hard look at your life and feel the need for more fun in it.

AlexanderS Tue 08-Jan-13 11:24:50

I read somewhere that men are much more likely to settle down after they turn 28 or so, because they experience a considerable drop in testosterone round about this age (an astrologer would say it's because they've been through their first Saturn Return, but hey (Saturn returns to the position it was in when you were born every 28 years, and supposedly, leads to tumult and confusion (and, ultimately, growth). Could be why all these rock stars kill themselves with drug overdoses aged round about that age)). He has been with you from the age of 23 to the age of 26. He is almost certainly feeling the urge to go sow his wild oats a bit more. There is nothing you can do about that. He is being cruel by leaving you dangling. Take back the initiative and end it.

I think it's really sweet that you think you can't carry on without him, but it's not true (been there).

AlexanderS Tue 08-Jan-13 11:27:21

Was your age too, and had been with him for three and a half years.

AlexanderS Tue 08-Jan-13 11:29:23

Sorry, and, supposedly, leads to tumult...

badinage Tue 08-Jan-13 11:33:30

Doesn't matter if you're 21, 31, 41 or 51, honey.

Don't make one relationship your everything.

Unless he's said more than you've disclosed, I think he meant that he 'fucked up' his relationship while you were away; i.e by sabotage.

Maybe that hasn't worked out or it's still pending and he doesn't want to lose his fallback position.

I'd crack on with making a life befitting of a 21 year old, hardworking woman and tell him that you've got no toleration for flakiness.

mumat39 Tue 08-Jan-13 11:50:06

Cogito, I u deer stand what you're saying, but aren't some men still unable to communicate feelings? My dP is exactly like that and he's 42. He grew up in a family with three brothers. He was sent to boarding school from a young age and his mum is lovely but sometimes seems a bit un cuddly if that makes sense.

So he didn't ever really learn to express his feelings. He will never complain about anything. I on the other hand have no problem with getting things off my chest. He sometimes has an outburst about something silly like I left something in the way. I might not have done it for ages, but the fact that the same thing happened a few months previously and he didn't just say that it annoyed him, he'll get all dramatic with 'you're ALWAYS leaving things lying around'. That's obviously a silly example but hopefully it makes some sense.

Men are just not like women. They don't do feelings. Women do. Each sex expects the other to always see things the way they do, but we don't and probably never will.

TheSeventh, I'm so pleased you spoke about things. Like I said you reminded me of me. In an ideal world your DP would have just said 'I feel a by bad for going out without you' but he built I up in his own head and then had an outburst which was the conversation. Often that happens and then the real issue comes out and then ou can move on. Maybe he is selfish, but really, nt many men can just talk. It's almost like they have to create a bi of a drama before being able to talk about it. It's silly but it is true. My dad was the same with my mum.

Also, men like to feel wanted rather than needed, or at least that's my opinion. Start doing things for yourself and prove to him that you don't need him, in a good way. Sorry for the long post again.

Hope everything's alright with you and you can put this behind you. Xxx

mumat39 Tue 08-Jan-13 11:51:02

And what Badinage said.

ErikNorseman Tue 08-Jan-13 11:54:41

'Men don't do feelings'

Oh Fgs.

Just this from Badinage: "one of the best life lessons you'll learn from this is not to invest your whole life's purpose in one individual"

Hope it works out for you.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Tue 08-Jan-13 12:00:37

mumat - of course men do feelings. Just because you have the misfortune to be in a relationship with an emotionally stunted, incommunicative man doesn't mean that they are all like that.

baremadness Tue 08-Jan-13 12:04:36

I spent most of my 20s thinking i couldnt have children and that the longer we waited the less change we would have (met dh at 20). We concieved our daughter first go when I was 28. It was the right time for us and I have no regrets about having her. I do regret wasting my early 20s about worrying and planning for what might or might not happen.

The future is for the future. I am not saying dont save or plan or get a pension. I am saying give it only as much emphasis on the future as you have on now. Dont look back and regret wasted time.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 08-Jan-13 12:09:44

"Cogito, I u deer stand what you're saying, but aren't some men still unable to communicate feelings?"

I'm sure there are. What I don't agree with is the argument that if someone is unhappy as a result they must accept 'that's just how he is'.... and get over it. Because that is saying that someone cannot learn how to communicate, can't change and... more importantly... won't even try for the sake of their partner's happiness. That is very, very wrong and I think too many women make those kinds of excuses already.

mumat39 Tue 08-Jan-13 12:10:18

Ok. Fair point. DP is actually really lovely and in lots of ways he does lots of things right. With him though the biggest issue I have is that he doesn't express his feelings very well but not all the time, just when something's bugging him. Like I said, he thinks he's complaining and doesn't want to make a fuss.

I was wrong to generalise. And it's reassuring to know that not all men are like that. Hmm. Maybe I should trade him in, for one with the emotional chip in place.

HappyNewHissy Tue 08-Jan-13 12:12:19

Just keep talking to him Mumat39, it'll reboot sort him eventually. grin

Re your earlier comment below:-

"Not just because of him but I have huge trust issues with men daddy issues (those two words were crossed out) and he is the only man I have ever completely trusted".

May be wide of the mark here but it sounds like your Dad let you down and disappointed you big time. What did you learn about relationships when growing up?. You do not have to answer that but it is a question that is seriously worth considering.

Before you embark on another relationship also may I suggest you tackle your trust issues re men and your Dad head on and properly this time through counselling if needs be.

Do not make any one man the sole centre of your world and or being.

I would also suggest you read "Women who love too much" written by Robin Norwood.

mumat39 Tue 08-Jan-13 12:22:18

Cogito, I see where you're coming from and of course you're right. DP is better at expssing himself now, but it has been a learning curve for him, but he has learned. The thing is this sort of thing happened in our earlier relationship. I didn't passively accept it. I do get annoyed and am better in an argument than he is so do get my point across. Looking back, I'm glad I didn't just dump him, as we were both learning about each other. At the time I probably did think I could do without this, but warts an all, for both of us, we are still together, happily unmarked 11 years down the line with 2 lovely kids.

Also looking back and with anti depressants in my system helping me see things for what they were rather than me being a victim, most of the time, his reactions like that we're because I was so insecure in our relationship due to baggage and trust issues I'd brought to the relationship from my earlier failed marriage. I used to want him to not go out, even though he hardly did. I wanted to know every detail about his day and I would look for warning signs that he was upto what my ex had been up to. I don't really think I made it easy for him, but we stuck at it and am so so glad we did.

With respect to my failed marriage, I stuck at that for over 10 years, but in that case, you're right, I should have just said enough is enough and taken my leave. I wish I had known about mumsnet then as I'm sure I could have left a lot sooner with the support on here.

Apologies for upsetting anyone.

mumat39 Tue 08-Jan-13 12:22:54

Happened early in our relationship. Sorry.

mumat39 Tue 08-Jan-13 12:24:07

Happily un married, not unmarked.

"Ive fucked up"

He fucked somebody on New Years Eve. Sorry. He is texting you because he feels guilty.

Let him go, and move on.

mumat39 Tue 08-Jan-13 12:36:48

I've just re-read what I wrote and I should have said 'some men don't deal with their feelings in the same ways as women'

Also, don't stay with him because you have planned a future together. Stay for the moment, as baremadness says, the future is the future and you have no idea what it will bring. I stayed in my marriage because we had planned a future together even though I wasn't sure of it from pretty much the moment we got to married. THat was a lot of wasted years.

That's so true Mumat -- don't stay just because you have this future all planned. The future you want at 21 might not be the same one you want some years from now.

Skyebluesapphire Tue 08-Jan-13 13:39:49

Hi there. I hope that things work out for you and that there isn't somebody else involved. You need to talk honestly with each other. As others have said, you also need to start building your own life as well, meet friends etc, so that if you do break up at any point, that you have a life that doesn't revolve around him.

I really hope that there isn't OW, but I thought the same as you, my XH was NOT the type to get involved with somebody else, never ever would he do that. Sadly he developed an emotional affair with his mates wife which existed of contact mainly through text, email and facebook, so even if he has no spare time, anything is possible.

I just want you to keep an open mind that's all.

Not every blip in a relationship has to be because of OW, but quite often they are :-(

"May be wide of the mark here but it sounds like your Dad let you down and disappointed you big time. What did you learn about relationships when growing up?. You do not have to answer that but it is a question that is seriously worth considering."

Attila I recently (Oct 2011) became estanged from my father, who is divorced from my mother, after having the self-respect and objectivity to realise that I don't need to put up with his malipulative meaness anymore. He was never there for me when I was a child, never turned up when he was meant to have me for the weekend, when he did have me just fit me around his life and constantly verbally abused my mother whenever he got the chance. He treated me like he owned me (he's very rich and that's his mindset) and made me think that everything I did was a mistake.
So you're not wide of the mark at all!

I genuinely don't think there is an OW. I just don't. After 3 years of living with him I would just know. I am naive on many things but I can respect our relationship enough to know that there wasn't, and isn't, an extra person to consider here.

(except the dog!)

Have talked it through with Mum and Best Friend (who know him and our relationship well, and think I have resolved many of my own issues with the situation) at the moment I'm just fighting off the horrendous hurt and confusion that comes with such a sudden state of affairs.

ItsOkayItsJustMyBreath Tue 08-Jan-13 16:14:37

Oh dear OP, I really feel for you, I do know that feeling of wanting to be with someone that you love so much that you ignore what's really happening.

Imagine things were reversed; what would prompt you to say the things he has said and send the texts he has sent? Is he really treating you in a way that you would find acceptable to treat him?

FWIW, my X had emotional affairs (never physical) and his behaviour was changing before me but I wouldn't accept it. It was due to the fantastic advice I received on this board that I had the courage to tell him to leave. Do you know what? It did feel like the world was ending for about 2 weeks but then I started to feel lighter, it still hurts but it's still early days (2 months ago) and I do have to see him regularly as we have a dc. HOWEVER, he has now realised just how badly he has behaved and wants me back so much that he's willing to do just about anything. I, on the other hand, am so much stronger and have no plans to reconcile things yet, the ball is in my court now and it is so empowering.

Good luck and put yourself first.

freeandhappy Tue 08-Jan-13 19:22:30

Why don't you listen to him. He told you he fucked up but you won't hear that. Give him the space to tell you what happened on nye. It's so obvious he feels terrible about something but you are using your innocence to ward off him telling you. You do NOT know. and maybe keep your mum out of it

freeandhappy Tue 08-Jan-13 19:32:49

Also think its grossly unfair to say you'd die without him and I hope you are not putting that pressure on him. I must say that if it were my son and he got himself involved with someone who made him the centre of her world by dropping out of college and making your whole lives completely entwined including the dog and the dream that you will die if it doesn't happen I would be freaked out and strongly advising him to back up. 21 and so needy and dependent. Not right I'm afraid.

when did i say that I had a dream that I would die?

I am not needy or dependant. But thanks for your support and making me feel so much more secure confused

freeandhappy Tue 08-Jan-13 19:48:09

Sorry I meant your dream of the land and building the house and your lives together all mapped out at 21. Are you just messing saying you want to die then? I don't mean to be harsh but I've known some real emotional blackmailers in my time and I'm very wary of it. Refusing to accept that there might be more to someone than fits your ideal of them eg he would never be with someone else suggests to me that you are not able to really honour his difference from you. You sound quite controlling. Back off and calm down with mapping out the next 60 years! Sounds totally over the top to me and like you are trying to bind yoursel to him with the dog and everything. Can you see that might be claustrophobic. Is he scared of breaking up with you do you think?

I have deliberately kept away from him the severity of my feelings but understand that I also suffer from depression and wanting to die isn't just restricted to this circumstance.
I have always been the one pulling away from him - he's the one that has set up this life plan and I've gone with it. It was me, 6 months ago, that was considering breaking off because I was feeling smothered.
I have never restricted him from what he wants to do.
I understand where you're coming from here but the reason this has been such a shock is that its always been the other way round! It's taken this for me to really realise how I feel. Which is another huge surprise! I knew I would be upset but I didn't expect to feel so strongly about it!

DrinkFeckArseGirls Tue 08-Jan-13 20:45:53

I promise you:
1) you won't die without him
2) one day you'll be grateful you met someone else and will see this one wasn't right for you.

I know it hurts like hell and it took me a long time to get over my ex so I get it. This isn't to say it will take a ling time wink.

ImperialBlether Sat 12-Jan-13 15:48:27

OP, sorry to carry on with asking about the OW. You say he works in an all male environment then comes straight. Yet you're not at home a lot of the time, are you? You're working away.

I remember sitting in a pub with my friend, fifty miles away from home (I was on a course and living away three nights a week) and saying "It's as though he's having an affair, but how can he be? We're always together!" My friend said she almost had her head in her hands at the time.

One of the lovely things about being young is that you don't look for disaster, you haven't the experience of finding out what people can do to each other and you think you do know someone, when perhaps an older woman might realise you can never completely know someone.

Anniegetyourgun Sat 12-Jan-13 15:53:41

Meanwhile, on AIBU, OP has been offered the chance to work away either all week or all weekend, and her OH said he prefers her to work at weekends so he can see his mates instead of spending time with her. The plot thickens. Or more accurately, proceeds with depressing predictability. (How very much easier it is to see the wood when you're not standing in the middle of all those trees.)

ipdipdog Sat 12-Jan-13 16:00:41

My feeling is that this will not end well. Sorry.

dequoisagitil Sat 12-Jan-13 16:14:49

Oh dear, Annie sad.

Wanksock Sat 12-Jan-13 17:49:24

I think there could be someone else, I am sorry!! I was with my ex for 4 years when he began cheating on me, when I found out (age 20) it was a massive shock - I did not see it coming, thought we were happy and he had always been the one 'more into me' etc etc. In fact, everyone found it hard to believe. In hindsight he had been going out with a different group of friends more than with our mutual friends.

Hopefully I am wrong and the same isn't happening to you!! Although after I finally left the bastard (!), I started going out with my now DH.

I could have probably posted most of that at 21 too.

Never, EVER, make one man such a prime focus of your life. If you learn anything from your heartbreak learn that. There is so so much more to come. You think there isn't but you've only just dipped your toe in. I was with the 'love of my life' for three years too. Sobbed myself to sleep for months and months when he dumped me.

25 years on do you know how many times i think of him? Maybe once a year if that and only to realise what i didn't then - it was never going to work.

You need to start building on a new life, work, hobbies, new friends.
Be young!!

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