Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

How to cope? Is this an unreasonable bargain with the devil? What to do?

(19 Posts)
Halfapintofshandy Wed 11-May-16 23:31:16

I'm very much in love (possibly limerent) with a difficult man. I have been seeing him on and off for years. He has a lot of amazing qualities and I find him very exciting in all ways - emotionally,sexually and intellectually.

I too am difficult in my own way and I think he is a good fit for me in a personality sense. I feel like he is the other half of my jigsaw piece emotionally.

The problem is that he is hugely intimacy avoidant and doesn't love me. I'm not sure if he has that emotional function. He does like me and is very attracted to me. We have sexual chemistry in mountains. It's on/off because he isn't interested in a long term commitment with anyone.

Most of the time I can cope with his behaviour but from time to time I get overwhelmed with a desire to be with someone who feels about me the way I feel about them. I see "cuddly" couples - tiny gestures of intimacy that mean nothing to most people - like a man putting his arm round his partners shoulders or tucking a strand of hair behind her ear - and long for that myself. Deep down though I know that what I want isn't compatbile with that.

I've tried - PROPERLY tried meeting others - but can't find anyone else who interests me as much or at all.

I know it's not good for me (it is breaking my self esteem down feeling so much love for a man who doesn't care in return) but I know I don't wnat anyone else but him. I'm resigned to this fact and actually the plus side is I get to see someone who makes me feel like I'm flying.

How can I cope with this? ( I know the advice would be cut contact with him but I know I can't do that). How can I learn to tolerate his lack of intimacy without losing myself in the process?

It's a deal with the devil I know (trading true/love reciprocal intimacy for contact with someone who inspires me) but in years and years I've not met someone who makes me feel like this and I don't want to give that up. This may make little sense to people who have never felt that kind of limerent "high".

Room101isWhereIUsedToLive Wed 11-May-16 23:39:11

I have recently stopped being involved with a man who sounds a lot like the one you describe.
I got bored with the will he/won't be there if i need him (answer was of course, no).
Look at him objectively. Not through the love/lust tinted glasses.
Do you deserve to be picked up and put down as the whim takes him?
Answer is again no!
Think about his bad points, really focus on them.
Think about the fact that this is never going to be a reciprocal situation. Is that really what you want?
Stop looking for others until you have cleared him from your system. If you are comparing others to him, while you are still infatuated then they are not going to make the (artificial/fantasy based) grade.

Room101isWhereIUsedToLive Wed 11-May-16 23:40:24

And finally, are the 'highs' really worth the lows?

RosaRosaRose Wed 11-May-16 23:42:26

Well of course he likes you. As long as you keep gobbling up the crumbs from his table he will continue. Are you the only one, or one of a few? Can't tell you how to cope because you shouldn't. Of course you should cut contact if he is damaging your self esteem.

phoolani Wed 11-May-16 23:45:47

Accept him for how he is; he's shown you clearly enough who he is, believe him. Then: is that acceptable to you? Or not?

TinklyLittleLaugh Wed 11-May-16 23:47:22

When you finish it, it will hurt like hell. And years later you will wake up in the night distraught that you will never see him again.

But you will be proud as hell of yourself that you did it. And you won't be sorry.

pinkyredrose Wed 11-May-16 23:51:58

Instead of fannying around trying to work him out and talking about bargaining with the devil, can you try to accept that you're into him but he isn't that into you? You're being rather over dramatic, ultimately this guy isn't what you need.

LellyMcKelly Wed 11-May-16 23:52:29

If you can't, prepare for a difficult, unfulfilling life. He is not the other half of your jigsaw. The other half of your jigsaw would make you feel whole, not offer you intermittent glimpses of it. You're addicted to this man. He is not going to offer you what you want in the longer term. But you know all this, as does he. He knows you'll stay with him for the 'high' and that's why he can get away with not treating you very well. If your self esteem can cope with this half life then continue to do what you're doing. He's treating you badly, and you're letting him. He's not going to change.

Halfapintofshandy Wed 11-May-16 23:57:29

And finally, are the 'highs' really worth the lows?

A very perceptive question! And the root of the problem because my answer to this is yes. But just because the lows are SO painful.

Are you the only one, or one of a few?

Not the only one. I think he likes newness. I think I am the only one who is as long term but that's probably because I'm the only one who has been willing to tolerate his behaviour. I can't pretend it doesn't hurt and I can't pretend that it is a big effort not to turn into a crying needy heap of a love blob and confess to him how much I love him. I've never even told him I love him because I think he'd disappear. But I do love him so much. I'd do anything for him.

Halfapintofshandy Thu 12-May-16 00:01:54

Stop looking for others until you have cleared him from your system

I dont think I can clear him from my system. I have properly tried. This has been too long. i think my feelings for him are forever - which is the basis of my OP and request for advice.

LellyMcKelly Thu 12-May-16 00:07:10

No feelings are forever unless you want them to be. Knowing that he isn't going to settle down and marry you, where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years? Still, hanging on for the crumbs he throws you? Or off having a fulfilled life? You know he doesn't (and probably won't ever after all this time), so why put yourself through this torture?

DrMorbius Thu 12-May-16 00:14:08

Your post is full of inconsistances. On one hand you say He has a lot of amazing qualities and I find him very exciting in all ways - emotionally,sexually and intellectually then you say The problem is that he is hugely intimacy avoidant and doesn't love me. I'm not sure if he has that emotional function
So is he emotionally amazing or not?

you go on he is a good fit for me in a personality sense. I feel like he is the other half of my jigsaw piece emotionally then you say Most of the time I can cope with his behaviour that sounds like a long way from a perfect fit. I could go on....

He has told you who he is. He doesn't want a relationship with you, he just wants sex. That's the jigsaw part you are to him.

goddessofsmallthings Thu 12-May-16 00:17:12

The devil never makes a reasonable bargain and, in return for giving up your soul for a man who doesn't love you, you're condeming yourself to spending the best years of your life in a state of uncertainty, followed by an eternity of regret that you didn't make the most of the opportunities that are currently open to you to find love with a guy who adores you because you were too blind to see the writing on the wall..

Whether this man is capable of loving anyone except himself is academic. The fact is that he doesn't love you and, sooner or later, you'll lose whatever appeal you have for him and he'll turn his attention elsewhere.

The irony is that in lonely old age you'll realise that he wasn't worth wasting your life for and the hours you'll spend wishing you could do it over will be a far more painful torture than any that Satan's imps could visit on you.

leftearburning Thu 12-May-16 00:22:11

I could have written your post two years ago. I had waited around for over 10 years with a man exactly the same. I finally got some self-esteem and ended the benefit bit of our FWB arrangement and stayed just friends. It was the hardest thing I have ever done.

A year later he met a woman he calls his soulmate and they are now engaged - I stopped the friendship as I couldn't take seeing them together.

I know its hard but my advice is to get out of this situation now.

DistanceCall Thu 12-May-16 00:24:26

My own point of view is that you can't love someone who doesn't love you back, not really. Love - in the sense of a deep, serious relationship between two adults - is a two-way street.

You may be devoted, or infatuated, or abject, or whatever you want to call it. But it isn't love. And you deserve to know what real love is in this life.

DistanceCall Thu 12-May-16 00:31:39

And I've been there. He ended it, not me - because he got paranoid because he saw me walking on his street and thought I was stalking him. He lived abroad and I would visit every other month for a couple of days - I used to go a hotel, god forbid staying at his home. And still I happened to walk down his street coming back from somewhere else and suddenly I was a bunny boiler.

I held on to hope for a very miserable half a year. And then he called me and said something which made me realise how little I meant to him - he wouldn't thank me for something which I had done for him. And I realised that he couldn't even have the graciousness to just say "Thanks", and wasn't really the man I thought I had loved.

Very, very happy now with someone who actually treats me well. Much happier and much more in love and more fulfilled than ever I was with that git.

goddessofsmallthings Thu 12-May-16 00:34:18

It's on/off because he isn't interested in a long term commitment with anyone

As you've demonstrated that you're prepared to beg for crumbs from his table forego commitment for the dubious pleasure of having him in your bed, it begs the question of what he gets up to during the "off" periods and I very much doubt that celibacy features on his agenda during those times when he's not screwing you.

This is the type of man who's capable of keeping a number of desperate fair maidens dangling on his string until he meets the woman of his dreams, at which time he'll cut them loose and marry her in almost indecent haste.

MagicMoonstone Thu 12-May-16 06:51:58

Imagine carrying it on and picture yourself still in this situation in 3 years time.

Would that be torture? 3 more years of feeling like this?

Walk away. Life is too short.

AnyFucker Thu 12-May-16 07:00:43

One day he will meet a woman that he falls in love with and you will be history. Just like that.

Because he shows no signs of being emotionally connected to you doesn't mean he never will with someone else

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now