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Confused - Can anyone help me get my head together?(53 Posts)
I don't know where to begin typing but I just can't seem to get my shit together and wanted some advice. I am making myself miserable.
I have been seeing someone for a couple of months, dancing around starting the courtship for 3 or 4 months before that.
Pros Fancy the pants off him, he is kind, he is so funny that he can make me laugh anytime, he is loving, affectionate, great sex, great conversation, he loves my kids and vice versa, he's a great dad to his own kids, he is the person I want to wake up to and tell stuff to and I know he feels the same. I know he'd never cheat, I feel I can trust him 100%, I can imagine growing old with him and never getting bored and I know he feels all of this and more for me. I love talking to him, love being with him, love everything about him!
The problem He comes and goes!!! This is so hard to put into words, but I think the best way to say it is that he is just not always there. I'm not clingy or needy or expecting someone to be there 24/7 and I love having my own space but this is different....it is a bit like he , but he sort of drifts back and forth a bit and outs me completely out of his head. It's not at all unusual for him to not phone or text me once in the week because he works a lot and if I phone him on the days he's busy, he just doesn't answer. He will reply to texts, but it's hard to explain...it is like I can tell I am sort of bothering him.
The thing is that it makes me feel bad every time he doesn't call me or keep in touch, and yes, I have told him this and no, he does not bend or change at all and i know he has had the exact same problem with past relationships and he's not going to change. He was also not like this until we had been together a few weeks so he gave the impression when we were courting the idea of being a couple that I could expect him to meet my contact needs, and he has changed.
I can't get my head together to decide what I think or feel. I want to be with him by I swing between thinking I am just being silly and should take him as he is and not try and fit a round peg in a square hole and other times I feel so angry that he cannot make a simple fucking daily phonecall to keep our bond going because when he doesn't I feel like he does not give a shit. I do know he has behaved like this in all past relationships and that is why the last one ended. She said he was like a part time partner.
Can anyone give me differing perspectives?
In the long run the talk is of us living together, retiring together, our kids are almost grown and he is a self confessed workaholic but he is also a fantastic guy who clearly idolises me and would be devastated to lose me but in the short run, I feel like I am only part time in his head.
I felt at first when he did this that I was being dumped or ghosted because it was so big a change, but over time saw it is just his way. He goes off for a few days of silence, then drifts back like nothing happened and makes it abundantly clear he has missed me and was thinking about me.
In my mind I am equating consistency, daily contact, daily calls, always being his first priority with how much he cares for me or likes me and I am wondering if I have this all wrong and that none of that means he does not care for me.
Being honest, what is really worrying me is that perhaps this behaviour is proof that I love / like him more because if he felt the same as me he would never want to wake up in the morning or to to bed without speaking to me.
I am torn because I know I hate this, I know it makes me feel bad but the other parts of him make me feel so good and he is so fantastic when he is with me that I do not know what to do.
I am also saddened by the fact he can't just listen to my needs. It makes me feel unloved and uncared for that he does not hear what I am saying and respond to it and it makes me feel like maybe long term he would be a bad husband / selfish partner.
Please can anyone advise? He's the first person I have felt I have loved for so, so, so, so long and I am just gutted that this problem is there and it is ripping me apart.
I feel like I am in a cycle where whether or not I am happy or sad depends on whether he speaks to me that day and this is a mad way to live!
Watch out for a possible narcissist drawing you into his web of crazy mind games, toying with your head and your emotions for his amusement and power trip. The hot and cold treatment is controlling - reeling you out to make you feel confused and anxious, and then reeling you in with wit, charm and great sex when it suits him.
During the 'cold' periods he is likely pursuing other opportunities with the same patter. Look up 'future faking'. Listen to your gut instincts - they won't let you down.
Funny smells, have you considered dishing out a version of his own treatment, ie little contact for a few days? Just don't call, don't text if he doesn't and wait fkr him to make contact. If he then brings it up that it was unusual that you didn't contact him, you can then say "how did it feel to you that I didn't contact you?" and a discussion might then ensue where you can identity your needs for contact to him. I suggest you make it specific;. Ie, "I need you to reply to me when I text you".
If, however, he doesn't bring it up when you change your contact behaviour, you might then assume that it hasn't bothered him and you need to have a different conversation with him about your contact needs.
Personally, this drifting off behaviour does not seem consistent with his evident positive relationship with you. But it needs addressing and he needs to see how serious you are about this. Don't push it away or minimise it; state your case assertively and ask him if he knows why he behaves this way. Maybe in his eyes it seems OK but you need to understand what's going on as you're clearly hurting as a result.
I couldn't be doing with this. You have to know where you are! And I wouldn't let a man like this have a relationship with my children, either. It's very unhealthy. Think how they would feel if they were rebuffed.
Nah, I'd give this one a miss, OP. I think it will lead to tears.
If I don't contact him for 2 - 3 days he initiates and misses me. If he texts me or calls me and I don't respond immediately he goes into an immediate panic.
The first time he did it was about 4 weeks into us seeing each other and he didn't contact me for three days and after 3 months of hearing from him every day I genuinely thought he was dead / ghosted me or something.
I forgave him that time, and since then he has been doing it constantly. I may or may not hear from him - depends on his mood.
I can't live like this, it is making me miserable but I don't know how to get hi to listen and understand.
I was thinking of ending the relationship now (before he completely drives the love out of me) and then maybe he would have a chance to evaluate and change if he realised he did not want to lose me?
I hate the idea of forcing my own boyfriend to contact me but I do genuinely believe he is mad about me - so obvious he is in so many ways. I have asked him about it, he has said that as we have become closer it has aroused some fears of intimacy in him, and that he wants a close, committed relationship but has a fear of losing me.
I am not sure if I believe that or not. He seems oblivious like he walks into a tardis and loses all track of time and space.
* If he texts me or calls me and I don't respond immediately he goes into an immediate panic. *
I would take this as a red flag. It's OK for him but not for you?
No, it's not normal behaviour. Ignoring behaviour is almost always to do with control ime. I've come across narcs before and he sounds a lot like one I encountered who would be on the phone to me every day and then suddenly not even text for about a week citing work as the excuse.
I think that one of the best ways to tell if someone is dodgy is to look at their past relationship history. Many of them will have struggled to hold down a relationship for any length of time.
Sorry you've been together two months and you need a daily phone call? Why? If you're so convinced he's devoted to you, why do you need daily reassurance?
You need to be honest with yourself.
Tough love coming up but - he idolises you? "Idolises"? Really
No he doesn't.
Because even you think it's OK for a couple not to speak every day (and that's fine for some people) he cannot be bothered to make one short call when you have told him that is what you want.
He wants you when he wants you, on his terms. His doesn't care enough about you to respond to your needs. And your needs are really not that great.
Busy job thing is nonsense. When he was trying to get you in the first place, he had time. I have a busy job. When I was with someone I didn't care about, I was too busy to reply to him. Funnily enough, now I'm with someone I love, there is ALWAYS time at the very least for "aargh - it's going to be s busy one, think I'll be quiet today - love you!". That took me all of 5 seconds to write. FIVE SECONDS. Who is so busy they can't spare 5 seconds to make their girlfriend happy?
I'm interesting in what this "dancing around for 3-4 months" bit means. IME, good relationships usually start easily. Have you been pissed about since day one?
And what's this crap about him loving your kids?
You've been dating him for two months.
He does not love your kids.
At the very best, he's someone who likes kids and is good with kids.
Don't put something on the pros list that isn't there!
I agree with PPs, I suspect he has commitment issues- they may be unconscious. But unless he is willing to change in order to accommodate your needs, then I think it won't work for you in the longer term. It will get worse.
Can I just ask, do the majority of posters believe that the Op's needs of daily contact with someone shes been seeing 8 weeks or so are reasonable? I know its each to their own but I find that stifling and excessive. In two months you're expected to answer to (because that's effectively what it is if you're ok with not doing the daily contact) the person you're seeing every day?
It sounds to me like he could have an avoidant attachment style. This will have arisen as a result of difficulties in his early relationships, probably his mother/significant caregiver. It is extremely difficult to change without therapy, and it sounds like he is probably not bothered enough about changing it - he allowed his ex to finish the relationship, rather than address his issues and change.
I think it will be incredibly difficult for you to deal with on an ongoing basis; that kind of blowing hot and cold, and failure to address the partner's needs for consistent communication/attention can be very wearing. Do you want to continue like this and put up with the regular going off the radar, in return for the good times?
Lesis I don't see acknowledging texts as 'answering to' somebody, I see it as common courtesy. I would always respond to anybody's texts within 24 hours, let alone somebody I was seeing. In my experience, on this kind of situation, such behaviour is either deliberate game-playing (treat 'em mean, keep 'em keen) or avoidant attachment. Just my experience, though.
But if he doesn't like that frequency of texting then the Op isn't listening to his preferences either is she? It works both ways I'm afraid.
But les, he wasn't like that at first, and he is getting worried if he doesn't hear back from OP immediately after he sends a text
I'm a high contact person - in the majority of my relationships I have been the one doing the calling and I like to check in with them quite frequently. It's just how I am.
I realised somewhere along the way, after similar angst that you're describing OP, that it's who I am and (a) it's not reasonable for me to expect them to be the same as me, so if I need to hear from them I call (two-way conversation) not text or similar (one-way conversation), (b) it is reasonable for me to expect respect for this personality aspect - if they don't like it they can leave but they can't expect me to change as I've always been like this.
I guess you just have to assess whether your needs are being met OP. You can't make him call or text you, but you can decide if you're happy and whether it's enough for you. With DH, for example, he could happily go months with no contact, and does with some of his friends then picks up where he left off, but he doesn't mind me spamming him with texts. And crucially I know it's not indicative of a commitment issue because he's just lazy about communication and always has been. So it works for us. But don't torture yourself over it, life is too short.
Stop chasing him OP then see what happens; you say you feel you are bothering him so stop it, personally I'd not be arsed with someone so rude as him.
After 2 months of dating?
Fuck that shit.
Oh and he doesn't love your kids. Not at all.
My take on this, is that you've jumped right in and are hopelessly in love with him. I'm not sure he feels the same about you though, you really are kidding yourself if you think he loves your children and making plans for retirement ?, it's all too much too soon. The only thing I can relate to, is the great sex, it usually is when you first meet someone, but this has a novelty value. I'd back off and put some space between you both, so that you can get your head today.
I think he realises you've had a dry spell and are a bit too 'grateful'. He's got you where he wants you - dancing to his tune.
Maybe he sees the problem with his past relationships were that the women were not equally independent as he is?
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