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Men keep falling out of love with me - what am I doing wrong?(25 Posts)
As pathetic as it sounds that's been the story of my life for the past 10+ years. The only men that ever loved me long term were my highschool sweetheart (didn't end up together as he moved to another country) and a guy I met while at uni (I had to end it with him, he was having a myriad of problems ranging from immigration issues, extensive alcohol/weed consumption, unable to hold a job etc.)
After these two men I was ready to settle down and find Mr Right - I was about 23 when I already thought that. It was never my intention to go through gazzilion relationships but that's how my life turned out!
It's always the same - I met someone, they really like me and do everything for me, fast forward a few months and they start getting a bit cold. Sometimes they warm up a bit for a period of time and then go cold again. Colder and colder and more distant, less and less compassionate until I feel like they really don't even much like me. Then I start having anxiety and try talking to them about it, which only seems to further the damage. This also goes on for a while until one day I completely break down a few times, we have some massive fights and that's it. Then because of the fights I'm left with a sense of guilt that all of this was my fault - something that the men never really explicitly deny. If only I wasn't so anxious and "clingy"
I chalked up some of this to making crappy choices in men however my most recent partner started off great, really great. Remained like this for 1.5 years. In that time we got engaged, it was all really great. I thought this time I have chosen well - but hey - now the same thing is happening with him and I'm just desperately sad because I know where this is heading. At least this time I decided this time to just end it without all the anxious fighting so I'm not blamed and called a "psycho" or what not. However it is making me desperately sad and I just don't know what is wrong with me...
Timing. We have no control over it. And as humans who tend to have control over our own environment we find it hard to compute that we cant control timing and the movement of others. None of these when were right for you, nor you them. Its not personal, please dont go down that route. There is no golden relationships, there is compromise with the right person.
If you've finished the relationship with your latest DP, how did he take the news. You've given your side but is that really what he wanted? Did you have the chance to have a proper conversation about what went wrong.
Otherwise it feels like "unfinished business"
If you are having the same issues with everyone then there is a chance there is something you are doing which is self destructive in a relationship. Not saying it's your fault and to blame yourself. Just that maybe you can look into going to Relate by yourself so you don't keep falling into the same trap.
Agree with pp. Or to put it another way, you're meeting Mr Right Now instead of Mr Right.
How old are you, op? Mid twenties/early thirties?
What's the longest you've ever been single for?
I would recommend staying single for at least a year. Find out who you really are, what makes you tick, and learn to be truly self sufficient.
Then start dating again.
I'd also agree if it's the same pattern, then possibly you are doing something to cause it, I'm sorry.
Ok, so relationships evolve, the first flush of love drops off, you settle into a more settled pattern, you love each other rather than be in love. It sounds like maybe when this happens you push the self destruct pattern, you become upset and come across as needy and clingy as you want your partner to continue to shower you with attention as they did in the early days.
I'd maybe look to see if you can find some therapy, someone to talk it through with. It could just be you have shite taste in men, but if it is something you're doing then it's worth checking that out.
when you say they go cold, what do you mean? can you describe some examples?
What you're describing is most people's normal life: you kiss a lot of frogs.
As I read through I was going to say, the issue is maybe that you're not listening to your feelings and letting things drift on too long. (Pretty common!) And possibly when the men start going cold your standards are too low - you're too scared to rock the boat and say "no, I want to be dating someone who listens to me, sees me regularly" etc.
I'm late 40s. I've had about 20 relationships - we're including going cold after 3 dates here, and 3 living together including 1 marriage. They've all ended. Everyone has more relationships that end, than that last!
If there is an issue to work on, it's why you get so anxious when you feel a relationship waning - why is it particularly hard for you to deal with that? Of course it's upsetting, but I'd say it's a bit more than average to have full on anxiety culminating in fights.
I'd probably consider counselling on that - it does come across like you're desperate to try to make any relationship "the one" (and of course at heart we all probably want that!) but I think you're struggling to understand that when it's not the one, it's not because you're an unlovable person - it's just the mix isn't right.
When I was OLD, I used to say in messages before a first meet "you know, I have male friends who on paper are perfect for me: same interests and values, I respect them, trust them, love their company. Good looking too. But: nada. It's about a spark". You can be an awesome person and not have met the ones you click with yet.
What has happened with your current partner?
Have partners called you needy?
I agree with staying single for a while and trying to figure out what makes you happy.
Do you know attachment theory? It's the basis on how we react in relationships.One style is anxious which can appear needy to partners.
do everything for me.... this is what stands out from your post for me. Why? I've been with Dh for 43yrs and I wouldn't dream of having him do " everything" for me.
The rest of your post could be put down to " they just don't get you".
I don't know you, & we can only form an opinion on what you write, but I had an ex friend who couldn't ever settle in a relationship. She was married 3 times, engaged long term x2 & various other dead-end relationships. She was a narcissist. I had to end our friendship because she began to display the same pattern of behaviour towards me as she did towards all her partners. One broke her jaw. Another pulled her scalp off. I'm not condoning Dv here, no way. In arguments she'd turn psycho & attack them. Even her oldest daughter retaliated physically on several occasions. She never ever saw herself as contributing negatively with her behaviour.
You OP are at least reaching out which is positive. How far do you want to go in self-examination?
How did your last partner react to you ending it ?
Are you calling yourself needy and psycho or is this what you've been called?
If you are 'needy' then you need to work on yourself. Build a life that you're happy with without needing a partner. I know it sounds like a cliche but find yourself and do what you enjoy.
Achieve things and build up your confidence.
If that's not the case, then it's probably just down to timing and that you just haven't met the person that you can be involved long term with.
Your posts seem to suggest that you are living your life through your partners, rather than enjoying the relationship in addition to the rest of your life.
Are you pinning too much responsibility on them for your happiness? is a question you should ask yourself.
It's hard to explain but I'm normally cautious in the beginning of my relationships but it's as if once I start really caring something pathetic switches on in me which makes my partners bored/tired/disgusted in me. Even my current partner - I have to say I didn't much care about the relationship (was really down after the previous failed encounter and tried to protect myself) for over a year and he was crazy about me. It took a lot of self encouragement to decide he was the right man for me to trust because of his kindness, morals and how much he loved me. Now of course he's going all cold, never even touches me anymore and I'm the only person stimulating our convos.
I've never been called "clingy" or "psycho" explicitly but it was heavily hinted / implied in the way partners would act towards me. The last few failed relationships I never got any black and white reasons for why they didn't work but again it was implied it was my anxiety and arguments.
It's true I've never been on my own "properly" since I was 17. There was a period of a few years where technically I was but was browsing dating sites / going on random dates all the time (not sexual though) and same time my uni ex was constantly in the background as a friend/stalker (ex. I moved to London so 300 miles south he somehow found out my work address and turned up on the doorstep - similar things happened many times with him.)
I'm willing to explore anything - if I'm a narcissist I can take that on and work on myself. If it's down to insecurity I'd also want to know.
Oh and also it's never really me leaving my relationships - I cry, plead, sometimes (ashamed to admit) insult them out of the feelings of hurt and abandonment but I always want to work on things, want to keep trying (which I'm sure only makes me more pathetic) - I might make a few empty threats along the way about leaving etc but really it's always them who leave in the end. It's usually either said in anger / argument and just confirmed by them the next day once calm, or a calm conversation when they just say something along the lines "we can both agree this ain't working"
Again, I ask, have you actually spoken with your latest DP about the split? everything is from your point of view. What did he tell you.
I hope this doesn't sound too harsh, but you seem to be locked in your own inside thoughts and feelings and these people you are describing seem like cardboard cut outs not real humans with emotions and feelings.
You need to balance your own perceptions and needs with the other person in the relationship. By knowing from them where things have gone wrong, it might start to answer your questions.
if I'm a narcissist I can take that on and work on myself
You probably aren't, narcissists won't recognise any responsibility for a failed relationship.
That said, its rarely black and white, it isn't all about you or all about them IME
I'm willing to explore anything
I've never been on my own "properly" since I was 17
Feminism. Try that.
Until you really believe that you don't need a man (any old man) to 'complete' you, you will never be happy.
IT sounds to me that at the beginning of your relationships, you remain fairly independent of your partner but then change into someone who becomes more dependent on them? Ie more 'needy' and that's what seems to be affecting yoyr relationships?
Yes, I agree with LiveLifeWithAPassion
It sounds as if when you meet someone you are fairly independent and getting on with your own life. Then, once you are with someone you submerge your own life into theirs.
Do you start spending all your time and energy on the people you date? Do you abandon hobbies and friendships and routine?
I would stop dating, work out my life, my friendships, interests and ambitions.
I can't remember what the book is called but look up the theory of attachment styles in relationships and life.
I found it really insightful.
Anxious attachment people (maybe you) and avoidant attachment people (sounds like your partner) go through this cycle where the avoidant chases the anxious at the beginning when they're not revealing their anxious nature then when it's revealed it triggers the avoidant to retreat.
Not explaining it well but look it up
>>do everything for me.... this is what stands out from your post for me.<<
This stood out to me too. Made me raise an eye brow. I doubt you're a narcissist but I do suspect you're insecure and once you start to care you need a partner to act a certain overly attentive way and you are unable to maintain independenance and perspective.
I'd suspect insecurity is potentially an issue.
Your last post does suggest anxious attachment style.The fear of abandonment causes you to act in a way that drives the partner further away, it makes your more anxious until it's a destructive cycle.
Read up on it and if you lol on for counselling find one who can help in this area.Also books on healing the inner child.
I've a colleague very like you OP. She's great at her job, single, attractive, divorced with no kids, good salary and a really nice person who should have met the man of her dreams by now (she's late forties).
She gets the dates and she gets the short term relationships but they always end in tears because she morphs from being a single, confident, assertive woman into a quivering wreck when she's in a romantic relationship.
She obsesses about the latest squeeze every time: cooks for him, fits in with his plans, never argues, never complains and can't understand why they then turn cold on her after a few months, or a year or so most recently. Every time...
I've tried telling her to stop behaving like a doormat but she just thinks I don't know what I'm talking about.
But I do.
Seen it so many times over the years.
Generally speaking, men end up bored with women like that; women who can't function unless there's a man on their arm.
You need to practise being single, independent and carefree. Get a copy of Why Men loves Bitches off Amazon, it explains what I'm getting at here.
You may need to get some counselling for your attachment issues if self help doesn't move things forward and I'd suggest that would be really worth pursuing for you.
And lastly, you need to be kind to yourself. You are an individual in your own right you know. Learn to love yourself first.
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