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Thought I'd found something amazing but...

(18 Posts)
clairvair Fri 13-Nov-20 20:09:14

I’ve namechanged for this.

I’ve been seeing someone since the summer and I really need some advice.

Disclaimer: I’ve been single (apart from the odd fling) for almost ten years, and I really don’t know what I’m doing with relationships anymore. I guess I don’t trust my own judgement.

I met this guy through work. We talked on the phone for a few weeks (outside of work time!) and eventually arranged to meet. We met a couple of times for walks / coffee etc, then he invited me out for dinner. Afterwards we went back to his flat and at the end of the evening we kissed. A couple of days later he asked me to be his girlfriend.

So that’s the background.

He’s 12 years older. Both of us have been single for a long time – me because I’ve been focusing on work and I’ve had some serious health issues to deal with, him for the same reasons plus both his parents passed away in the last few years.

The good stuff: he’s interesting. I could (and do) talk to him for hours about all sorts of things. We have lots of (oddly specific) interests in common. He’s very attractive – to me at least. The sex is great and we’re very compatible in bed. When he’s relaxed, he’s very funny. He has the same goals as me and we want the same kind of things out of life: lots of books, animals, no kids. We’re in the same line of work and we’re both passionate about it. At first, things were genuinely amazing between us. I really thought this was it.

The less good stuff…

1. Even just in the 5 months I’ve known him, he’s had a period of what I would call depression. He doesn’t call it that, he just says things like ‘things are difficult at the moment’. His way of dealing with it is to retreat into himself and become very quiet, for 2-3 weeks at a time.

I had serious chronic depression for more than 20 years and I tried to be understanding and to give him space, etc. But I found it hard – because I haven’t known him for long, at first I didn’t know what was happening when he just went quiet.

I know this isn’t about me and of course he doesn’t owe me anything, but if he’d just said ‘I’m struggling at the moment and I need to be on my own for a bit’, that would have helped. When I tried to talk to him about it, he became passive-aggressive and said ‘well, maybe I should just go away and not see you at all then.’

When he’s like this, he doesn’t speak, doesn’t smile, he isn’t affectionate. I hug him and it’s like hugging a pillow. He won’t even talk about going to see his GP or a counsellor. Again, I know this isn’t about me, but I tried to explain how hard I was finding this – I hoped it might make him want to get help – but he shut me down.

2. He has a lot of anger in him about one of his exes. He wasn’t with her for long and it ended a long time ago, but when he talks about her he sounds furious. She had a miscarriage soon after they met and he’s said some horrible things about her and how selfish she was afterwards. I called him out on this and pointed out that while they both went through something terrible, she was the one who physically lost the baby and had to go through the pain and the hormonal upheaval etc – but he just told me that I wasn’t there. I’ve tried to talk to him about how he feels about the miscarriage, and he said he didn’t want to talk about it.

3. I don’t feel like he listens to me. He often interrupts me. We can’t see each other during this lockdown due to work (a long and complicated story!) – coming straight after his period of depression, this has been tough. So I’m unhappy, and I told him this – but he says he doesn’t think there’s a problem. So now I feel dismissed and ignored.

We’ve only been together five months and already I’m struggling. I don’t think it should be this hard this early. But at the same time, I realise that the last few months have been really, really shit for everyone. Things aren’t normal. Lots of people are struggling with their mental health.

We’re both off work for a week over Xmas and we’d planned to spend it together. Part of me is really looking forward to it; part of me…isn’t.

Do I hang on in there and hope things get better? Do I see how things are in the spring when the world might be a bit more normal? Do I cut my losses now?

I know I can break up with him and I don’t need a reason etc etc – but it’s been ten years since I met someone who seemed to get me the way he did at the beginning AND where there was mutual attraction. Would I be throwing away something with potential?

OP’s posts: |
Changeofseason Fri 13-Nov-20 20:13:32

The only potential is for you to lose yourself! He sounds horrible. Better be alone than someone like him. Let it go

NC866 Fri 13-Nov-20 20:16:39

He sounds very like someone I’ve had a relationship with before (on and off) and it was amazing in the beginning and then nothing but hard work and heartache later. I’ve come to the conclusion that he’s emotionally unavailable. Google it and do some reading and see if the description sounds familiar? The not listening to you and retreating and anger towards an ex all fit the bill though - emotionally unavailable men are inherently selfish and will not change. It might be worth giving it more time as you say things are good in other aspects but I think your gut is telling you that things aren’t right here and this won’t make you happy long term.

Justmuddlingalong Fri 13-Nov-20 20:19:41

He sounds opinionated, selfish and happy to belittle your thoughts and feelings. And after the shit year it's been, this Christmas, more than any, should be spent doing what and with people who make you truly happy. Is that him?

MrsGrindah Fri 13-Nov-20 20:23:40

I think you are being unreasonable about 1 ..that’s common with depression I’m afraid . But I don’t think you are being unreasonable about 2 . 3 - not sure . He’s entitled to see things differently but I can see how being constantly interrupted isn’t nice .

Sounds like the excitement has gone quickly . So whilst I don’t think either of you are in the wrong, I think on balance it’s probably best to go your separate ways.

Aquamarine1029 Fri 13-Nov-20 20:27:30

We’ve only been together five months and already I’m struggling. I don’t think it should be this hard this early.

And there it is. You know this isn't working. Stop trying to subvert your gut instincts. A person doesn't have to be horrible for you to end it.

Plussizejumpsuit Fri 13-Nov-20 20:34:45

He doesn't sound very emotionally intelligent or self aware. Him not being aware of what is going on with his moods /mental health. Being passive aggressive and angry when called out on things. Denying there's issues.

As I was reading this and you started with the depression I though it could be overcome. As sometimes people don't realise they're ill. I have depression too. But I don't think that's what this is here sorry.

XmasIsSoon Fri 13-Nov-20 20:44:39

I feel like 5 months is still the honeymoon phase and things should be fun and exciting. This sounds kind of miserable. I would cut my losses at this point.

TwentyViginti Fri 13-Nov-20 20:54:29

Ranting and frothing about a long distant ex to a current girlfriend is a huge red flag. Along with the moodiness, not listening to you and constant interruptions he sounds deeply unatractive.

Both of you liking books and animals is hardly a breath taking coincidence is it. Very common things to like.

Ditch this one. You know he's not amazing, just a bog standard all about meeeee man.

CormoranStrikesANoteofDoom Fri 13-Nov-20 20:57:51

He sounds too much hard work, with worrying anger and anti women issues and I think you should walk away - calmly, slowly and without angering him.

Regretsy Fri 13-Nov-20 21:02:49

There’s been a lot of threads on here about partners with depression which I usually chime in on as have had various forms since childhood. My advice is always if they recognise it and are trying to get help then it’s worth staying. It doesn’t sound like he is, plus it’s only my been five months. I feel for anyone being single and wanting a relationship during this pandemic, however it won’t last forever and there’ll be amazing guys out there for you. Trust me as someone who was single for a vvvv long time, don’t settle for anyone who doesn’t make you feel amazing.

RantyAnty Sat 14-Nov-20 01:34:39

You're now seeing the real him. Selfish, dismissive, wanker.

The guy at the beginning who seemed to get you doesn't exist. It was all lies to get you hooked.

Cut your losses. The guy you are seeing right now is how he really is.

Anordinarymum Sat 14-Nov-20 01:45:19

OP My thoughts on this are that initially he was lovely to you so he knows he has to be nice to even get a second date.

If he has issues then he should get them sorted. This will only degenerate into something awful, and he will be alone again like he was when you first met. I would be inclined to cut my losses and a lesson learned.

Whatsnewpussyhat Sat 14-Nov-20 01:45:59

You know it's not working so why would you stay

Destinysdaughter Sat 14-Nov-20 01:47:53

I agree that if He's not willing to get help for his depression it's a warning sign. It is treatable and if he doesn't get help you will be the one having to deal with the fallout from it, potentially at great cost to you.

I totally understand what it feels like to have been single for a long time and then to meet someone who seems to tick.lots of boxes, it's really exciting and hopeful but I feel you may be setting yourself up for a world of pain with this guy.

Destinysdaughter Sat 14-Nov-20 01:55:51

I don't know if this will help but I've found this very useful, it's written by a v experienced marriage therapist

www.gottman.com/blog/the-four-horsemen-recognizing-criticism-contempt-defensiveness-and-stonewalling/

famousforwrongreason Sat 14-Nov-20 03:35:12

It's not working.
I have thrown my self wholeheartedly into this kind of relationship. You will become his enabler while losing yourself.
It's so easy to see the good points and believe that if you are patient or persevere or make allowances, that he will change.
It's highly unlikely an adult at this age can change without intense professional support and productive introspection.
I know that I have had these kinds of relationship because I'm subconsciously trying to fix my parents who are the poster people for dysfunctional victim types.
Therapy is my friend here.
Look after you. Let him look after him.

Gizmo2020 Mon 16-Nov-20 01:44:01

This describes my ex completely. I miscarried soon after we met. It was horrendous both psychically and mentally. So much stuff going on in the back ground. Was the baby growing as it should or not combined with a sub chorionic haematoma so constant bleeding & miscarriage worry. Ended up in A & E with so much blood loss. Confirmed miscarriage but incomplete. Medical management which didn’t work so ended up with surgical management. 6 weeks of torture. He said I was a vile person with anger issues after. I wasn’t, I was devastated and grieving, the hormones took forever to leave. It was so sad and traumatic. He spent the next 2 years refusing to have sex with me. This year we had sex 4 times, 3 of which I fell pregnant and all 3 I miscarried early. He withheld sex/intimacy to control me & punish me. The miscarriage was his opening to turn into the narcissist he was and still is. The relationship was abusive. I managed to leave a couple of months ago. I have PTSD as a result of the way he treated me. I have zero self esteem and am still trauma bonded. I have weekly counselling & have done for 2 years - even whilst still with him! I’d never heard of this type of abuse before so didn’t have awareness of the red flags. Please go carefully, it shouldn’t be this hard so early on. Listen to your gut. And if his name begins with a ‘D’ then be doubly careful! I wish I’d listened to friends & family but the Love Bombing was like nothing I’d ever experienced. I know what to look out for in the future, if I ever feel confident enough to give it another go!

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