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Weird non-communication issue(51 Posts)
I've read through a lot of the relationships posts, but haven't seen anyone with the same issue as me, really. Sorry, this'll be long I think!
Backstory: DP and I have been together for 2.5 years. Living together for just over a year (rented). He's 40, I'm 39. He has 2 young DC that stay one day a week, and I get on fine with them. I have none (but 2 cats). He was with ex for 14 years, he cheated on her a lot, they split 18 months before he met me (she's now very happy with her new DP and baby). I was single for the majority of my adult life, but previous partner of 3 years (on and off) was EA.
Anyway. Our relationship has mostly been good. We like the same things, usually very comfortable together. Had a good sex life (more on that later). A few ups and downs - I know this is only my side of the story so it's biased, but mostly the downs are his fault! About 6 months in, I snooped (I'm not perfect by any means, I'll be the first to admit I have trust issues. I've told him as much) and found out he was sexting an ex (who he'd had a long term affair with whilst married and she then told his wife, that's when wife finally dumped him). That stopped. Then a few months later he shared a bed with his female friend when I'd specifically asked him not to. I knew she was staying with him and that they had previously shared a bed (but no sex, I do believe they're just friends because I've met her), but told him quite clearly that it's inappropriate to be sharing a bed with another woman when you have a girlfriend. He said he'd sleep on the sofa. The only reason I found out is because she left her hairband in the bed (on purpose?! She does thrive on drama) and confronted him. I let it go. We moved in together - a new place for both of us, but he relocated to move to an area that I love.
Then a biggie - my estranged toxic mum (can't call her DM) died after a year long battle with cancer. We got the call whilst the rest of the family were at my Uncle's funeral, who had died suddenly 10 days previously (yeah, that was an AWESOME week :-|). It seemed like he was being supportive, but then the day of the funeral, I found out that he chose to work instead of coming with me. This would out me if I knew anyone on here, but I'm a very transparent person anyway, so I don't really care :-) He's a wedding photographer, during the week whilst my elder sister and I were discussing funeral arrangements, he'd made a point of saying that he can't go if it's Friday, because he can't exactly ask wedding couple to postpone their wedding, there's a contract etc. That's fine, I was a bit upset that he wouldn't be there, but understood - wouldn't want the couple to have to worry about getting a new photographer a week before their wedding. He kept bringing it up during the week "I wish I could be there for you" etc until I actually snapped a bit and said "Well you're not, so stop going on about it". Morning of the funeral, his colleague (and close friend) posted on facebook and I realised that for this particular job, DP was actually a 'second shooter'. Not the main photographer. Couple doesn't know him, he's just there to support the main photographer. Minimal money. No contract. Very easy to replace. They have an agreement that if a better paid job comes up that clashes, I'm pretty sure DP hadn't even mentioned the funeral. I've met the guy he was shooting for, and there's no way he would have told DP that he had to honour the job if he knew it was stopping him going to my mum's funeral with me. He maintains that the only reason he didn't come is because I didn't specifically ask him to. Because I'd asked him to go to my Uncle's funeral.
Anyway, this is where our issue really starts to come up. Because he WILL NOT have a conversation that has negativity in it. Especially in person, but also not easily in text, which is the only way I've been able to get anything at all out of him in the past, and then I really have to push it. That sounds really weird, and it's hard to explain, but that's the only way I can describe it. I mean, he's fine slating a movie or another photographer or whatever, but if it's about him, or our relationship, he won't talk. If I nag him about his mess, he'll just make a joke about it and change the subject (and will tidy the mess for a couple of weeks then slide back into slob mode). In two and a half years, we've literally never had an argument. When I've bought up the things above - the sexting, sharing a bed, etc, all he does is say "sorry babe, i won't do it again" (didn't even point out that I shouldn't have been snooping on his iPad!) and it gets swept under the carpet. In the early days I tried to pin him down into a conversation. WHY were you sexting her? "I don't know, sorry babe"... and changes the subject. He's not passive agressive, he's just passive. He's never criticised me, he's never told me to stop doing something, he's never even snapped back when I've snapped at him. I know that sounds like it should mean the perfect relationship, but it really doesn't. It makes it feel like it's not real. I KNOW I must annoy him sometimes, but he just won't say anything.
After the funeral, I didn't speak to him for a few days as my family were here. He was mostly out working anyway. The day they left, he texted me as if nothing had happened. I laid into him (still via text). He came home, said "sorry babe, I didn't know, you didn't ask me to go", gave me a cuddle, and expected everything to be fine again. For the next couple of months we pretended everything was fine. In retrospect, I know I was grieving. I've read a lot about toxic parents and grief since then. I didn't bother bringing it up again for ages, because I knew he'd just brush it off again. I was seriously considering leaving him, I withdrew a lot, but eventually we had another "sorry babe" conversation and I decided to move past it rather than stay unhappy.
The reason I'm writing this now is because in the last month or so, things have got weird with the not talking. And a lack of sex. We'd gotten into a rut with the sex since moving in together (I think because we used to live about 40 minutes apart and only saw each other 3 nights a week or so, more anticipation maybe?). Once a week after the pub (never wasted, just merry) or the next morning. And it was rubbish. Don't know how it got so crap, but the last few months he'd gotten into the habit of making it 100% about him. 30 seconds of foreplay if I was lucky, then a minute or so (slowly) till he came. It became a chore for me. Even went I went on top, he'd still only last a minute or so. If I ever bought it up, he'd joke about not lasting and change the subject. So anyway, it was really frustrating, and last month I waited for him to finish, then kinda blurted out that it was crap and had been for months. He just goes "sorry babe, what can I do". I tell him, y'know - have a wank beforehand, some foreplay, maybe don't flop your whole weight on top of me so I can't breathe. He went to sleep then, and we've not had sex since. It'll be 6 weeks on Friday. I realise I went about it the wrong way, I know men are touchy about their prowess being criticised, but I TRIED telling him nicely! I've told him what I like, and I'm not hard work or anything! And I know I could bring it up myself, and he would say "sorry babe" and make an excuse (we've both been dieting since that night - it was our last junk food blow-out - and he's on a VLCD diet, so he'd probably say he's not had the energy or something). We'd have sex, he'd probably make a bit of an effort, but we'd never actually discuss anything.
The other thing that's just come up is that he's hiding his weight from me. Like seriously. He bought some new bathroom scales and they display the last weight they measured. Presumably so you know how much you've lost since last time. Weird feature because it's not like a whole family has their own set of scales each! But anyway, what he does, for some unknown reason, is after he weighs himself, he'll stand one leg on or something, so it shows a random weight, not his. It's so WEIRD! He's not obese, he's only got a few stone to lose and has already lost nearly 2. And he tells me every day how many grams he's lost or put on anyway. I've asked him about it (I'll admit after the third day I called him a neurotic teenage girl!), but he just laughs it off and changes the subject. And does it again the next morning. I mean, WTAF does it matter if I know the actual digits of his weight?! I'm not going to turn around and call him a fat bastard just because I know how many kilos he is, when I see him with my eyes all the time anyway! I don't even CARE about the number, it's just the hiding it. WHY?!
I don't know what I want from posting this really (and sorry it's so long!). Does anyone else have a DP that won't have a serious discussion, but not in an EA way?! Anyone have suggestions how we can improve our relationship whilst seemingly not being able to talk about it? :-| My sister suggested we go to Relate, because they'd MAKE him talk, but that just sounds so embarassing when we've only been together 2.5 years. Surely it shouldn't be so awkward after so short a time? I don't know how to get the zing back in our relationship. I don't want to throw it all away without working on it first, I just don't know how to go about it.
Many people will probably disagree, but my view is that you have done enough and this can't be fixed. He sounds completely unwilling on a number of fronts. I feel sad that he is treating you this way. You deserve much much better.
I'm really sorry to say this as it is not directly what you are asking, but to me the issue is much bigger than his non-communication. Sharing a bed with a female friend? That's terrible and not fair on you. From what you have said i.e. that he cheated on his ExW, I do not trust this guy one bit. Even if you were to focus on that issue alone, it must be almost impossible to have a relationship with somebody who refuses to communicate. That isn't a relationship. I'm sorry you're in this situation
oh and one more thing... he is passive, and that is his character. You can't change this. It's what he is like. If you cannot deal with it (and I agree that it must be ENORMOUSLY frustrating and at times is deeply unfair partic. when talking about sexting other women (wtf?!)) then you must move on.
"He was with ex for 14 years, he cheated on her a lot"
This line caught my eye. What are his good points again?
He's a serial cheat, a liar, he won't communicate and the sex is shit.
Do what you should have done 6 months in to your relationship when you caught him sexting another woman - dump him.
It all sounds like too much work to be honest.
2.5 years in you should still be in the honeymoon phase really.
I've done that trying-to-get-a-stone-wall-to-talk thing and it's demoralising, exhausting and ultimately fruitless.
He doesn't sound much fun really. Do you still find him attractive? I can't see any attractive traits in your description of him.
Don't minimise the sexting etc. it sounds like his silence has encouraged both of you to sweep it under the carpet until it feels like it didn't really happen. It's a big deal. React now if you didn't then.
Give it up. Find someone fun.
I'll be honest, the cheating on his ex does make him sound bad, and maybe I shouldn't have mentioned it, in order to get objective opinions, but the fact that the woman he was sexting was the affair that ended his marriage seemed relevant.
Yes, it does make him sound bad.
That's because it's a bad thing to do.
Me too. This cannot be fixed. This is who he is. You deserve so much more.
"Sorry babe I won't do it again"
Wouldn't be good enough for me and I doubt it is for you.
He's 40 not 14.
Boundaries have been crossed and maybe his moral compass is set on a slightly different heading to yours.
Relate....fair enough if instigated by him ....but as far as he seems concerned he hasn't really done anything wrong.
Except being caught perhaps.
Sorry all the signs are there of what life will be like....I don't think he's a keeper IMO.
Sorry, posted too early before!
He's never cheated on me. We've never had a conversation about him cheating on his wife, although he knows I know (from the snooping!). Because obviously that's a negative conversation and a half! I think a lot of the reason I'm particularly worried now is because of the lack of sex. I suspect that lack of communication during hard times in his marriage is probably what made it easier for him to cheat. In his head, that is, I'm not making excuses for him. I do get paranoid though and can see him doing the same thing to me :-| Though that would be the ONLY time because I'm not his poor forgiving ex wife and he'd be out the door instantly!
What I want is to fix things so that we CAN communicate and we don't end up in that situation.
I do love him, and yes I still find him attractive (most of the time - he does have his non attractive moments, as I'm sure I do!). He does have good features to his personality too. We get on really well 90 percent of the time, even now when there's no sex, there's still affection.
The sexting and sharing a bed were early on in the relationship, btw, not a recent thing. It hurt, yes, but I put it down to him keeping his options open. He's never contacted her since (sextee, that is. He still sees his female friend but she comes here so I know where she's sleeping!)
With all due respect, why do you think a serial cheater isn't going to cheat on you? Why?
I only read to the bit where he didn't go to your Mums funeral and I say where is the joy in being with this
turd man? LTB
'I do love him...'
Why? Really, why?
He's a cheat, a liar, manipulative, and he gets away with being all this by having an utterly dishonest persona in every possible way - any possible scenario where he may have to face, defend or acknowledge that he is a lying rubbish flake of a man is deflected, instantly and repeatedly. 'Sorry babe'. He is asolutely the definition of 'nothing worth having.'
When you need him, he's not there. And will lie and manipulate to get out of being there. 'Sorry babe you didn't ask me.' How crap is that?
When he falls short, he deflects, makes a joke, dismisses your fears or worries. eg the sex.
Aaaaand he's a serial cheat.
He won't change. He has a little alternative reality in his head, and in there he's a decent, laid back, helpful, friendly chap. Babe this and babe that. Lovely.
Peel that off, as he will do ANYTHING to avoid a conversation where that happens, and you'll see what is underneath. A steaming turd.
Don't stay with this guy because 'you do love him.' You'll soon regret that the instant something REALLY important happens and you realise that he loves only himself. And yes, he will cheat on you!
'What I want is to fix things so that we CAN communicate and we don't end up in that situation.'
-No, you are misunderstanding. You won't 'fix' this and start 'communicating' - this is deliberate on his part, and is designed by him to keep your communication the way HE wants it - smoke and mirrors. He doesn't want to face his inadequacies - because he'd have to do something about them. This is what 'manipulative' means. It probably worked on his wife for a long time - 'Sorry for cheating babe, I won't do it again' - until she got sick of trying to get him to tell her WHY, too - and chucked him.
So chuck him now and save yourself the bother, and find someone who isn't as inherently bent as a four-pound note.
You're never going to resolve your issues if he is incapable (unwilling) to have an honest conversation which includes negativity. If he's got to the age of 40 and still can't face difficult conversations I don't much fancy your chances.
I guess inevitably I do think he'll cheat on me. But then, I could be going out with a bloke who'd never cheated before (that rare breed) and I'd still think it. In fact, I could meet the perfect guy, he could tell me he'd never cheated, and I wouldn't believe him. Trust is not something I have in spades. For better or worse, I ended up with this one. He's better than the last one in every way, and I think he's worth giving a chance. His infidelity is not the issue here, it's his lack of communication. Surely that's something that can be worked on?!
Jesus Christ, why are you with him?
Better than the last one is not good enough
You say 'I ended up with this one' as if you have no choice in the matter. Why do you think you don't deserve any better than this?
And no, you cannot fix this. This is not a communication problem requiring some little fix. You would need to completely change who he is as a person, which is never going to happen.
What does this guy have going for him? Please get rid of him. You are worth so much more than this.
No, it's not fixable.
This is him. It's been him for 40 years. It's been him all through a marriage and divorce.
You need to work on your self esteem.
You're making the classic mistake of thinking that if you can just find the right words he will suddenly understand and change. No. You can't fix him, you can't change him. This is who he is. No words will make him become a reflective, honest, open person because he's blinkered, dishonest and deceitful to the core.
You think people who don't cheat are rare? Sad for you. No they aren't. Most people have a skeleton or two in the cupboard but that's completely different to being a serial cheat. You think he hasn't cheated on you? Why? You've never discussed his past cheating, you don't discuss your current relationship. Why wouldn't he be cheating? It's what he does.
Honey, wake up and realise who you are with. You accept him as he is, or you move on. There is no fixing him.
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