Post # 1
I posted a few weeks ago about the relationship struggles with my boyfriend, here it is for the backstory ( http://boards.weddingbee.com/topic/surviving-the-rough-patch/ )
I sincerely appreciated all of the honest responses and I’ve taken this time to honestly look at myself and change for the better. I’m still trying to find a good therapist for my anxiey, turns out that’s harder than usual in the summer.
Anyway, our relationship is not really getting better. We don’t argue or fight, but it’s just nowhere near the loving and safe relationship it was 2 months ago and we both completely recognize it. There has been zero affection from him for about 3 weeks now, and when I said “I love you” last week he didn’t to say it back but says he “feels the same but it’s hard right now.” I’ve been patient and haven’t brought it up at all so that he get’s his space and time to think like he’s been wanting. Things got slightly better in the sense that we aren’t awkward around each and we’re having fun together and laughing again, so I took that as a sign to keep trying to move forward. We haven’t had a night to ourselves in over a month so I thought maybe getting a hotel room for the night would help. He liked the idea but said it wasn’t the solution to all our problems and he didn’t want me to be hurt if things weren’t totally back to normal the next day. I appreciated the concerns but thought that it was worth a shot. It was actually a really fun night, of course we had sex that was great and made me miss him even more, but he didn’t cuddle with me or kiss me once outside of the sex. Didn’t even kiss me goodbye when I dropped him off back at the fire station. Despite his warning, this hurt me so much because of course I got my hopes up and thought maybe this would remind him that he wants to be with me, and I felt a little taken advantage of. I didn’t make it into a big deal at all, and told him that I knew we still had some things to figure out so we can talk whenever he’s ready. He repeatedly told me that he still see’s himself with me long term, but he just can’t seem to get over what happened and move forward. He says part of him thinks we need a break to reassess things but part of him knows he doesn’t want to lose me, yet we both know this isn’t working right now.
I still see a future with this man, and I can’t stop thinking about how much things have changed over the past two months and how much I wish we could go back. There’s no simple “fix” like I thought there’d be. Of course we’d need to discuss what a “break” would entail and be on the same page.
What should I do?
Post # 2
Part of me thinks that he feels like this relationship is over but is having a hard time being upfront about it. I’d stop having sex with him, sometimes it can bring a false sense of closeness and if it’s not working out it will just hurt more. It sounds like he needs a break, but is that what you want? I’m sorry bee.
Post # 3
- Wedding: October 2016 - Lola's Trailer Park
It’s over. The best thing you can do is try to move on and stop contacting him.
Post # 4
Sex is such a huge part of a relationship. It doesn’t surprise me that the two of you are having issues at the same time you haven’t been able to be intimate. It’s not the most important part, but it shouldn’t be dismissed.
But maybe a break wouldn’t be a bad idea? Agree to take some space for a couple of weeks (but not see other people) and then make plans to have dinner somewhere? That might help get some clarity.
Post # 5
You both sound young and immature. Relationships shouldn’t be this hard. And neither of you should be awkward around the other-you’ve been together for a year!!!
Definitely cut your losses and walk away from this.
Post # 6
hallynn : huh. I went back to read your other post that you said provided the backstory and I’m not exactly impressed by your SO either. I mean yes, I see why PPs told you to work on your anxiety (I’m glad you’re doing it!) and all that jazz but I think that BOTH of you showed your scars and ‘ugly’ parts during that time. It seems, however, like only YoURS are being highlighted now. It’s like you hit a rough patch and the uglies came out and afterwards only you’re at fault.
You’re not. He has now withdrawn ALL affection and there’s something punitive about going places with you (the hotel, hike, etc) and not responding to your bids/offerings for/of affection at all, then highlighting how IF only you’d been ‘better’ before he wouldn’t be acting this way. Just as you weren’t really taking responsibility for your anxiety in your first thread, he’s not taking responsibility for his cruelty now. You may have dealt the first blow but he keeps hitting back and telling you it’s just reactive to what you did before. Nuh uh Bee.
This is what I’d do in your shoes. I’d sit him down and tell him that you’ve already apologized for your shortcomings, have offered to make amends and have offered several reparative actions. You’re already taking charge of the personal issues that were painfully brought to the surface by the rough patch. However, his in/actions now are hurting the relationship JUST AS MUCH now. His indifference and withdrawal of affection is downright cruel. And so, you’ve realized that the only way that you could be with him is if he actually wants to be with you too working as a team, not adversaries, to overcome this. If he pulled the victim card out again I’d leave.
Post # 7
anthonyswife : Right. It’s the combination of a lot of stress and ZERO alone time/intimacy, which is situational and we never had these issues when he had his own place. We’ve always been really good at communicating and always worked through our issues and were able to “make up.” That’s why I don’t want to completely give up on it because it was SO good for the majority of the time :/ That’s why I’m also leaning towards a break, while making sure I’m prepared for it to go either way.
Wow. I’ve never seen it this way! I’ve been so busy thinking it’s my fault and up to me to “fix,” but what you said is extremely true. It’s not like I cheated or lied or broke his trust, and I get that he has issues from his childhood but I can’t be punished for that or pushed away anymore. THANK YOU!
Post # 8
hallynn : Ok, so it was great before, but now it’s not and there is significant stress on the relationship. You can’t ignore that. The issues you describe are not something that you can solve by going into therapy, or that a break would help you get clarity from. It doesn’t matter that his living situation changed or that work is stressful…hun, that’s real life. He is showing you his true colors right now. Significant others show their true colors when they are at their worst. In life stressors come at you from all directions. It doesn’t matter if you’re 23 or 53, there will be things that challenge any relationship. Job loss. Job stress. Health issues. Financial issues. Family issues.
I think you are grasping at straws for what this relationship was and you want it to go back to what it was. Yet, it’s not that easy. Him not saying “I love you” back because it’s “just hard right now”???? Screw that. That is honestly really low. When life gets hard that’s when you need to lean on your SO most and when you need to hear those “I love yous” most. He’s PURPOSELY withdrawing from you, not just the I love yous but also the lack of affection.
I highly doubt a break would give either of you what you’re looking for. Frankly it would just prolong the inevitable. He already has one foot out the door. It sounds like he isn’t even trying. I don’t flipping care if he’s stressed out, if he genuinely cared about you and loved you, his current living situation/job situation. wouldn’t get in the way.
I know you don’t want to let this relationship go but there’s really only so much **you** can do. It sounds like he isn’t even trying.
Post # 9
I don’t think you need to listen to people who just say that “it’s over” and “just leave” because “it’s not working.” If you two were married, I suspect they wouldn’t be so quick to disregard your relationship on your behalf. A bit hasty of them, I’d say.
Hey, maybe you won’t get through this; so it goes. But throwing in the towel immediately is probably unnecessary. Give it some time, and try to curb your anxiety about it. You’re not going to win him over by being anxious. But I do NOT agree that you just walk away. Just chill for a bit.
Post # 10
At this point, I think you’re holding on to the memories and the comfort zone more so than the man in front of you. It sounds like he is currently not doing things to bring you happiness, but you are living in the past with all of the things he used to do that made you happy. As others have said, you will both face so many struggles and stressful moments in life, we all will! If he is becoming distant during this struggle, he will become distan during the next.
I hate giving an opinion that I know you’ll hate, but I agree with the bees above, it may be the best to walk away now. I’m so sorry xx
Post # 11
In my personal opinion, you haven’t really been together long enough to ‘go back’ to the way things were. The first few months of every relationship are a special time–even for couples who make it in the long run. I’m in a really happy long-term relationship, but it doesn’t function like the beginning anymore—thankfully, or the rest of our life would have collapsed around us.
In the beginning we chat/texted all day, couldn’t focus on work. Years later, we call each other 1-5x a day for quick 5min conversation, but don’t really chat/text otherwise. In the beginning, we’d stay up super late talking and were exhausted at work the next days. Years later, we go to bed on time and show up to work refreshed. etc. etc.
In the beginning, you can’t get enough of each other. Then most couples hit a point where you have to figure out how to build a joyful life together, or you don’t. But neither couple ever gets back to the first few months.
Post # 12
DeniseSecunda : So him withdrawing and not saying I love you and not cuddling her or hugging her or kissing her for almost a month is a sign that this is just a phase? I beg to differ.
Post # 13
This is still relatively early in the relationship, and things shouldn’t be this hard. If you have to make this much of a concerted effort to be around each other, let alone “together”, then I think you ought to move on. If you take a break, it will more than likely lead to a break up.
Post # 14
hallynn : no problem Bee. I was also once very much in love with a man whose reaction when hurt was to ‘punish’ me and to withdraw all affection. I hope this article helps you understand more clearly why his reaction is really a terrible one for any relationship:
Post # 15
ljm308 : I didn’t use the word “phase” at all, nor did I suggest anything of the sort. I said that leaving immediately is hasty. Rather than summing up someone’s words in order to easily disregard them (a logical fallacy, in fact), read for comprehension.