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So many utterly ridiculous problems with communication and trust. Very long and rambling but I'd really appreciate some advice.

(32 Posts)
starsareshining Thu 22-Jul-10 20:43:08

There have been many, many problems. We've only been together for about a year but he was my best friend for seven years before that. Absolutely incredible person, unlike anybody else I've ever met. Had some doubts about it before we got together because he was only 21 and still a student whereas I was a young single parent. He obviously thought that he'd be able to cope with this so we got together. It's also a long distance relationship as he has been unable to find work (had nearly always been a long distance friendship anyway), which does make everything more difficult.

I suppose we'd sort of been having a 'relationship' for quite some time anyway. We were definietly very close and he'd liked me for a long time but there'd always been something else going on and neither of us were brave enough to just come out and say something. He finally did, but then it all went very wrong. He made a huge, terrible mistake which is very complicated and difficult to explain but if I was going to loosely describe it then I'd say he cheated on me.

I suppose I'll need to focus on one problem at a time here but it's all so confusing and messed up that I don't know how to concentrate on one thing without involving another. Basically, I'd say that mentally, over the past four years or so, I haven't been too great but am definitely feeling a lot better these days. This meant that I wasn't able to deal with it all properly and swung from sobbing/screaming/ignoring/joking about it. We both have various other 'issues' and it's all just been a bit of a mess.

I don't think that he's ever intentionally hurt me but a lot of the things he's done have been awful. And now I'm struggling with talking to him or sorting anything out. When we were just friends he respected me, cared about what I had to say and seemed to be bothered by things which were upsetting me. Now it's gotten to the point where I feel like I'm talking to a brick wall and I know that he hasn't always been like this but I think he's become immune to me talking about 'feelings', 'our relationship' or 'communication'. I really don't know how to sort out these problems. I'm sick of the sound of these words too. They seem to gush out of my mouth all too frequently.

Two things have happened today so, instead of going through our whole history, I'll describe them to you.

Firstly, a few days ago we made an agreement to not use our laptops during the day when my son is awake as it is boring for him and can get out of hand with us spending too long on there. (He comes to see us some weekends so it's either a phone relationship or full on every hour of the day thing which I really don't like. No normality.) He agreed with me, but today I walked into the living room to find my son in front of the tv and my partner on the laptop. He clearly wasn't interested in discussing this with me. (Has told me that he feels forced into these discussions I have but I know that if it was up to him he'd never ever talk about anything and just brush it all under the carpet. There would never be a right time for him to discuss things. He thinks it mad that I do this and is convinced that it doesn't happen in other relaionships). I think I probably was a bit over the top since he'd hardly used the laptop since he got here but I kept pushing it and telling him that I thought it was out of order for him to agree to it and then change his mind the next day. As always, he was very obstructive and would not focus on what I was saying. He told me that I'd been on the laptop a lot (which I hadn't) and then told me that I'd been on the mom forum and asked how many threads I'd read, how many pages I'd read of the thread and then refused to believe what I told him. He's very smug when he's doing this too. Just going on and on and avoiding what I was saying which was really very simple. He told me that I didn't have a leg to stand on. I was really annoyed at the way he was speaking to me and just refusing to listen to anything I said and completely lost my temper and told him to leave my house. Completely failed discussion.

He ended up not leaving. So, later on my son threw up. I ran off to get something to clean him up with and asked him to pick him up and sort him out. He said no because he wanted to phone an office before it closed (is worried about not having a job and was very stressed as the office was about to close) and then, reluctantly, moved him away from the sick but left him crying on the floor. I was absolutely disgusted at this and sorted it all out myself. At one point, I needed him to go and give his hands and face a wash and he sighed and stormed off to do it. When I told him that I was really not happy about it he said 'Do we have to do this now?'. I left it for a while and brought it up again. It was like talking to a robot. It's often like talking to a robot these days. He didn't volunteer any information about how he felt about it or whether he was sorry. It turned out that he did feel bad about it and saw that it was a terrible thing to do, but he only told me that because I specifically asked him those questions. He will answer direct questions but other than that doesn't see the point in talking about it. I have to ask him whether he's going to apologise and whether he regrets doing it. It's not a one-off, any time I mention how I'm feeling about our relationship he just says 'Right....' or 'Ok then' and that's it. He doesn't respond. Just acknowledges that I've spoken. I then have to ask questions such as 'Do you have anything to say about that?' to get anything out of him. It's like he's completely detatched from what's going on and sees it in an entirely clinical way. I don't think that's really an appropriate way to react when your girlfriend is telling you that something you're doing it upsetting her. He also refuses to discuss anything more than once, even if I still don't feel comfortable with it. And I just think it's not difficult to understand that every now and then your girlfriend may still want reassurance after you've cheated on her, even if you've done it before.

When I tried to tell him this today he looked mildly amused and then told me that I was bizarre, that he'd never come across anybody who thought like me and that it wasn't normal. How can it be abnormal to want a bit of reassurance or explanation or concern instead of having to probe someone for information?? He's not being nasty, he really believes that he's right and I don't understand it. He wasn't like this before but since all of the crap that's happened it's as though he can't connect with what I'm saying and can't be emotional about it or even act as though he's involved in it. I get so frustrated with all of this that I just end up crying everytime I'm in this sort of situation (which is frequently) and I get so angry at myself because I can't think/talk clearly and he sees me as a silly, hysterical woman. I sometimes feel like I'm an elderly patient of his, someone who needs to be treated with a bit of care and just humoured. I hate it. It makes it difficult to believe anything he says because i'm having to put words into his mouth or ask him whether he wants to apologise to me. I used to be quite a strong person and I feel like a pathetic, weak woman. He hasn't exactly created that but I know that he sees me in a different way now. Being weak and pathetic isn't exactly attractive, is it?

I don't really know what I'm asking. There's a lot more to all of this but I know that this message is now ridiculously long, so I'm sorry if I've left things out or have to clear things up in another message. Please, please help me because I feel as though I'm going mad.

buttonmoon78 Thu 22-Jul-10 20:53:51

Phew. I made it - that's one hell of a long post! I know that often there's a lot of negatives when you write stuff like this down. The positives seem to get a bit forgotten! But it seems like this man you describe as your best friend seems to be behaving like a bit of a git to me.

ChequeredFlag Thu 22-Jul-10 20:54:28

It sounds like you are treating him a bit like a child, and not giving him much respect or much of a chance to make his own decisions and choices. It may be that he is facilitating this because of the way he acts, but could you try backing off from him and not demanding rules/discussions/heavy talks and try to go back to enjoying each others' company the way you presumably used to when you were just friends? I would think it is very hard for you to recover from the cheating, and so want to improve the relationship by over-analysing it. Do you think you have forgiven him for it?

starsareshining Thu 22-Jul-10 20:59:36

It is very long... and there's still so much more I haven't mentioned. Argh. I suppose it does sound as though he's acting like a git. He is very intelligent and very good at debating things but I think it's unfair to talk in that way when I'm talking about something important. It's not a chance to exercise his brain. So he does often talk about things in a detatched way. But then he can be very passionate at times. I don't know. It's all a huge mess and I don't think he takes me very seriously anymore.

I told him last week that with how uncomfortable I'm feeling about certain things, I really couldn't see myself moving in with him or getting married or any of the things he talks about. He laughed and said 'Oh, so you'd really refuse to move in with me if I bought a house in your area?' and just did not take it seriously. That's another thing he does too. Asks a question and will refuse to continue the discussion til I've answered it, even though it's entirely irrelevant.

starsareshining Thu 22-Jul-10 21:08:17

ChequeredFlag I have attempted to back off a bit and enjoy his company but then I can never feel entirely at ease with these things at the back of my mind. I also seem to apologise for things to keep the peace. I'm willing to accept that I've made a mistake and apologise but he won't do the same.

I definitely do over-analyse things but if I hadn't done it in the past then I wouldn't have found out a lot of the things I have. I am now reluctant to tell him the silly things that enter my mind and my ridiculous, paranoid thoughts I have because I know he'll use it against me and tell me that I'm being mad again. He laughs and tells me that he's flattered that I think he could be so devious but he does constantly bring up things from a year ago to back up things he's saying now.

I think I have forgiven him for cheating on me but I haven't forgiven him for lying to me or refusing to talk about it because it makes him feel bad. It's not as though I think about him with her or think that she's a threat, but I still find it difficult to believe things he tells me. I am angry that he thought the fact that I'd looked through his laptop was more of an issue than him cheating on me. It resulted in me crying and begging him not to leave and apologising for looking through his things, promising not to do it again. Ridiculous. I actually cannot believe I did those things. It's more the way he acted afterwards and defended his actions rather than the actual cheating.

starsareshining Thu 22-Jul-10 21:09:50

The sentences in my last post are a bit jumbled. I apologise if I'm being unclear. I suppose i'm just typing out things which are popping into my head and seem relevant at the time.

ChequeredFlag Thu 22-Jul-10 21:15:34

Hmmm. Yes, he sounds like a git. Given that you don't live with him, and don't have children with him, could you tell him that things aren't working out as a couple, and give him the reasons why (not going into lots of detail and allowing yourself to be sidetracked or allowing him to 'exercise his brain' to talk you round), then take some time out from the realtionship?

ChequeredFlag Thu 22-Jul-10 21:16:00

*relationship (sp)

starsareshining Thu 22-Jul-10 21:33:47

The thing is, I don't think he would try to talk me around. He'd just say 'Ok then, if that's what you want' and leave. He wouldn't attempt to contact me again because that's what I wanted. Then he gets to look like a reasonable person and because he's just complying with what I said. To be honest, I really don't want to leave him. I'm just hoping that I can work things out and get back to where we were. And I sort of know why he acts the way he does some of the time. For a period last year, I was quite depressed (but refused to believe it or see a doctor) and couldn't talk about anything without sobbing, would spend my days crying and couldn't bring myself to leave the house because I thought that other people would be annoyed by my presence.

It really is such a mess now and although, on the surface, we do enjoy spending time together, I still just want to get it all sorted out and move on. I don't know how to go about doing that. I should probably mention that he doesn't believe that there are any 'problems'. He thinks that the only problems that exist are the ones I'm creating by going on and on about things.

I'd love to do some counselling but I can't afford it and it wouldn't be possible since we don't live near each other. I'd hate to give up on it all and lose the best person I've ever had in my life. I'd be throwing away all of those years of friendship.

msboogie Thu 22-Jul-10 21:48:14

hmmm.. he sounds like a git but you sound very neurotic and like quite hard work to be honest. It's hard to judge without knowing more.

you don't seem to have let go of his cheating episode at all. When you decided not to end the relationship over it you should have found a way to deal with it for your own sake and the sake of the relationship. You shouldn't have to ask for reassurance all the time. It is very unattractive.

If you don't trust him then split with him.

starsareshining Thu 22-Jul-10 21:59:36

Ugh, I do think I'm very hard work at times. But then at times I feel great and full of confidence and I know I'm back to my old self. I think a lot of the things have been magnified by my own problems (not that I have any serious mental illnesses or anything, but he's certainly helped me to realise that a lot of the things I think aren't normal or OK). I've attempted to sort this out and I have made quite a lot of progress. I've been told that I'm paranoid or neurotic quite a few times and I can really see that in my previous posts. Argh.

I have improved a lot but I just need to know how to communicate properly with him. I get so frustrated with these conversations where it's either a question and answer session or we just go round and round and round.

fluffles Thu 22-Jul-10 22:04:34

what is actually stopping you enjoying spending time together?

you seem focussed on 'problems' but i'm not sure what these are.

if my DP and i agree no computers or whatever and he goes back on it then i tell him i'm hurt/dissappointed/angry (whichever i am) and he usually apologises and that's that... it doesn't mean 'we have problems' it's just life..

IME long distance relationships are like this, too intense, you can't just 'be' normal..

sorry if that's not what you want to hear.. if he doesn't have a job is there any talk of him moving closer to you? and if not, why not?

RumourOfAHurricane Thu 22-Jul-10 22:09:34

Message withdrawn

TheButterflyEffect Thu 22-Jul-10 22:19:56

Message withdrawn

Dione Thu 22-Jul-10 22:32:30

You say that you suffered from depression a while ago, I think that it is possible that you still are. You used to be strong and now you see yourself as "weak and pathetic", whether or not that is down to this relationship (which is clearly not working for you yet you are clinging on for dear life and he knows it)it is something that you need to address. For this reason I would suggest that you go to your GP and ask to be referred to a counsellor. This would help you to work out your own issues and may help you change or leave this relationship with a man who is showing you, your child and your home no respect.

CoinOperatedGirl Thu 22-Jul-10 22:47:52

Tbh it all sounds very complicated, I had a long distance relationship, which is now close distance. It is very like yours tbh. Although we now have 3 children and are tied together forever more.

I would leave it really, it's too hard to disentangle all of the various threads. If he is not willing to listen to your point of view, without twisting it and making it all about you then go. I wish I had followed my own advice.

You end up not knowing up from down.

msboogie Thu 22-Jul-10 23:18:32

the other thing is blokes don't generally like taking about their feelings or the dynamics of their relationships or any of that.

Eurostar Thu 22-Jul-10 23:32:34

on the other hand, sounds like he might be messing with your mind too, if it's true for instance you weren't on the laptop but he insists that you were.

One thing that seems to come out is that he has no desire to be super Dad.

starsareshining Thu 22-Jul-10 23:54:54

fluffles I think I do focus on problems too much. I can't even pin down exactly what these problems are but then it all hits me and I just feel so down about it all. I would have expected him to apologise for the computer use too, but he didn't. He just said 'Well, I'm using it' and that was that. I just had to accept that he was going to ignore what we'd both agreed. He was on a course near me which was hopefully going to turn into a job near me but he left the course and had to move back home.

He's not 21 or 28, we're both 22 but met as teenagers. He is very different to most 22 year olds I've met. I can't really describe it.. he's always been mature for his age to the point where I thought he was a bit of a square when we were younger.

I don't really think he's being disrespectful to any of us. I suppose his reactions today weren't at all typical. It was a very bad day and probably not a good idea for me to come on here and moan about him. I feel quite guilty about it now.

msboogie he's not really very 'blokey' at all. He gets on very well with women and is excellent at giving advice on their relationships and things. I just think he doesn't like my nagging. He sees it as nagging but I don't know how else to get him to talk about/do anything.

I'm actually feeling a bit guilty for coming on here and making him sound like a monster now I've moaned about him and then disagreed with the things you've all said confused. Sorry about that! Do you really think it would be worth seeing my GP? I've often thought about it but chickened out because I am feeling so much better now and I feel a bit like I'd be wasting his time. I really wouldn't know what to say.

Dinkytinky Thu 22-Jul-10 23:56:30

I think you need to put all this between you aside (him ignoring you/you getting angry aside) because one thing that jumped out at me is that he doesn't seem to care about your son much or listen to your rules regarding your son. To me that would be an absolute deal breaker. I'm not saying you should be single forever, but this bloke doesn't seem to cut it.

Dione Fri 23-Jul-10 00:00:29

I really do think that it would be worth a visit to your GP. Although you have good times, it sounds as though you are experiencing some very low times and you can get help for this. You would not be wasting his time, or yours. In fact I think that it would be very beneficial to you, your DC and your BF if you could learn understand and control your thoughts at these low times.

colditz Fri 23-Jul-10 00:05:49

he doesn't want to be a father to your child. that's why he isn't jumping to it when you are asking for help with your child. - he doesn't want to.

he's cheated on you.

YOU are sure that if you told him to go, he would simply go and not bother to find out why you wanted him to go .

...

so

tell us why you think he wants to be with you?

starsareshining Fri 23-Jul-10 00:11:05

I feel like I have to defend him after coming on here and moaning about him... He doesn't usually act like this. They're very attached to each other since he's been in my son's life from an early age. He does do a lot for him and I believe that he really does care about him. They often talk about how they love each other. And really, he's done a lot more for him than his dad. He knows that the way he acted today was out of order. I just wish he'd tell me that so I don't have to worry that he thinks that sort of behaviour is normal.

starsareshining Fri 23-Jul-10 00:18:34

It does sound awful when you phrase it like that colditz. He's usually very good with my son. There are things which concern me but it isn't that he doesn't care for him, more that he struggles with being fun for a toddler some of the time. He does try and I don't think it's really something I would leave him over. The cheating was right at the very beginning and I know it's something he really regrets. I'm just unhappy with the way it was dealt with afterwards.

The bit about going if i told him to is because he would believe it was the best thing to do. If I told him to leave then he would believe that that was what I wanted and that by staying and trying to change my mind, he would only make things worse. If him leaving would make me happy then he would do it. That's just the way he thinks about things.

walkingboots Fri 23-Jul-10 07:57:35

I think possibly the reason you find it so hard to articulate why the circular conversations you have with him are upsetting -- or even describe them in a way that others can understand -- is that this is actually a form of verbal abuse.

I say possibly because it is hard to tell based on what you are saying. But what sends up a red flag for me are several things:

1) He agrees to a guideline, immediately flouts it, then rather than discuss that, accuses you of doing something you haven't done. You are not allowed to discuss his cheating. In other words he controls what you can and can't discuss.

2) He forces you to define (and define and define) the terms with which you can discuss the situation. The arguments become about the definition (of whatever) rather than the issue itself. (Does this sound like what is going on?)

3) He is using his "intelligence" to score points against you rather than work with you to solve a problem.

If this sounds accurate I would recommend Patricia Evans' "The Verbally Abusive Relationship."

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