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Communication - what to do?(23 Posts)
Sorry, this might be a long'un. I'm 23 and have been with DP for five years. The last two years of our relationship have been long-distance, and have been difficult to say the least, mainly because of DP's reluctance to communicate with me, or with anybody actually. At the beginning of the LDR (we'd already been together three years by this point, so I ought to have know what I was getting into), he refused to use a smartphone so that he could contact me while I was abroad, and said that he'd email me instead.
After a few months of this, I got fed up and bought him a smartphone and paid for its texts/minutes - writing this down makes me feel like I was a pushover, but I was desperate to have some kind of contact with DP. He used that sparingly for the rest of the time I was abroad.
Now I am back in the UK, but we are still in an LDR. DP wants me to move in with him in the summer, but the situation wrt communicating hasn't changed. He still has the smartphone but will turn it off for about 21 hours a day, only turning it on when he feels like talking to me, or calling out of the blue when I'm busy and then wondering why I don't answer. Everything seems to be done on his terms.
Nobody else can contact him either, if they don't see him every day - during the last two days, his friend and his grandmother have both contacted me to pass on messages to him as they've not been able to get in touch with him. I know this isn't AIBU, but AIBU not to want to be his secretary, and also not to want to move in with him, given that he doesn't want to put any effort into speaking to me?
I've spoken to him about this so many times before, and he always says 'I can't do any more'. What should I do?
Only you can make that decision. Every relationship is different. That wouldn't bother me in the slightest, yet it sounds like a deal clincher to you. If your gut, is saying it's wrong, it'll normally be right
I disagree, I think you are way too young to shackle yourself to someone who is like this. You need to be with someone who is on the same wave length as you. Being in contact is normal, if you love each other you should be speaking, not emailing or texting, at least once a day. If he doesn't want to communicate with you now, or his family, then why on earth would you want to live with him. I would cut your losses, and go and have some fun!
Everything seems to be done on his terms
If you move in with him you can expect more of the same. Do you want to live your life
to suit and please him on his terms or would you rather conserve your energies until you meet a man who enhances your life as much as you do his?
If you're expected to pass on messages from his relatives it seems that he lives his life exactly how he wants and everyone else has no option but to dance to his tune. His family members may be willing to make the effort but I can't imagine many others would bother.
Does he work and does he have many friends?
Thank you all for the replies.
Yes, Goddess, he does work and is very popular - in person, he is lovely, and people seem to have no qualms about going via me to contact him. He works in another town so doesn't see his university friends much any more.
His family seem to accept it as 'just what he's like', and so do mine, to an extent. When my grandad died, I couldn't get hold of DP for nearly 24 hours to tell him, as he'd turned off his phone. I could have done with some support.
I do feel like he is the one making decisions about other things too, like where we should live, for example (his work town, not my university town), and spending time seeing his family and friends, not mine.
Posting this is making me realise how shit it all is, really.
When my grandad died, I couldn't get hold of DP for nearly 24 hours to tell him This man will only support you on his terms when it suits him to do so.
He's exercising an extreme form of control which will inevitably manifest in many other areas if you were to live with him.
The writing's on the wall, isn't it? Do you want to be back here in a few months' time regretting that you didn't pay heed to warnings, or in a few years' time wondering how you can get out from under a man who has reduced you to a shadow of your former self?
FGS don't have children with him!
Thanks, goddess. It's really difficult to tell when you're 'in' it whether you're overreacting or seeing things that aren't really there. But I do feel like this is a huge form of control, whether DP means it to be or not.
So I've tried calling him twice today, although I knew his phone would be off both times - once at lunchtime and once after work. I've just got a text from him saying 'Just got in.'
Didn't ask why I called, or say that he'd speak to me later, or even ask how I am.
Still, it's not as bad as the time I got a text just saying 'Yo.'
Sorry to be blunt Little Red, but he has his phone turned off because he doesn't want to speak to you, he prefers a long distance relationship because he doesn't actually want to be with you, and he doesn't ask how you are because he isn't actually interested in you or your wellbeing.
Please see these red flags for what they are and don't waste any more time on this "lovely" (supremely selfish) guy.
You deserve better x
Thanks for the replies, everyone. Sorry for resuscitating my own thread, but we're having more problems and it's getting me down.
DP wants me to live with him next year. Originally it had to be in his (tiny, boring) town, rather than the city where I live and study now, but now he is compromising by saying we can live on a new estate near the city.
After all the disagreements we have had this past year, I don't think we should live together. But he is distraught and says that, if I don't live with him, we'll break up.
We've been together five years, and the prospect of breaking up seems so scary, even if things aren't going well. I'm so worried scared that, if I decide not to move in with him, in a few months' time I will realise that I have made the wrong decision and I won't be able to have him back.
What do I do?
Don't let him emotionally blackmail you about living together. I'd ask him on what basis he's formed the opinion that you'll split up?? If he wants you enough, he'll need to compromise
I'd run like the wind from this one. So many red flags and seems like too much hard work and control.
Thanks Naze and SuperFlyHigh.
I don't want to him to change my mind by threatening to break up with me if I don't live with him - if anything, him threatening that makes me not want to live with him anyway!
I told him this evening that I thought I would be somehow selling myself short by moving to a tiny commuter town at 23 before I've been anywhere or done anything, but now I feel that I was wrong to say that. I feel like I've been cruel to him. He said that he feels that he has been the one trying to keep us together while I do everything I can to make it not work.
Argh, I hate this! We were happy living together before, but maybe too much has changed since we have been LDR?
A lot has changed. You have realised that he is a controlling, emotionally abusive person.
Run like the wind.
You are absolutely right that you are too young to settle down in a tiny dead end commuter town.
Let him go... you should be excited about living together, not being blackmailed into it!
Cancel that smartphone contract you got for him and go and have some fun.
You are not his PA...
You're right, ittooshallpass. I should be excited about it, but I'm not. It's been a bone of contention for months. There's other stuff too, I'm writing it all out to myself now so that I can get it out of my head.
I worry that I've made it up, though - that I've somehow misunderstood it all and I'm the one in the wrong. Is that possible or normal? I don't know what to think.
Am I allowed to bump the thread? Just had a horrible phone call with him in which he said that all he wants in his life is me and I have hurt him beyond words because that isn't what I want.
He is making me out to be the bad guy, but then I suppose that I have done exactly the same thing to him on this thread? How do I know that I am not making a terrible mistake?
If you're all he wants, how does he justify only bring available to you for a couple of hours a day, when he feels like it?
By saying that he is at work, MairzyDoats, which is true. But who doesn't give their phone a quick check at lunchtime or something like that?
It all hurts so much, and I don't think that I am in the right frame of mind to be making decisions like this.
You are all he wants? - Not really though because he also wants to live in a particular place, communicate in a certain way.......
You are being manipulated Little red, classic abusive trait to make you out as the bad guy, get you doubting yourself. It is a good idea to write it all down for yourself, factually. Seeing it in black and white can make it clearer . Breaking up might be scary, but better to get out now than end up trapped in a draining emotionally manipulative relationship with this guy,isolated and stuck in the back of beyond with no friends or family for support.
Listen to your heart and get out.
does he think that him answering the phone when you call is you controlling him? His behaviour is very far from the norm on answering the phone , are there other examples of out of the norm responses? He is not the only man you will have a relationship with,op. His emotional blackmail to force you to be with him is a huge red flag. step back and be careful making one of the biggest decisions in your life.
HE has manipulated you from the very beginning. you met him when you were 18 and thus has no life experience behind you. YOu were actively targeted by him, btw did you meet him when you were in a low place yourself?
This is Not a good relationship for you to be in at all. It is purely on his terms and he is not above using manipulation on you to get his own way.
it is only when you are fully out of it will you perhaps realise the whole extent of his power and control over you. He is only pretending to be distraught to bring you further back in.
Breaking up with him will likely be the making of you.
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