Lost, confused, clinging to hope

  • wjbd

    Posts: 6

    Apr 26, 2012 11:16 PM GMT
    Hi Everyone

    I have been lurking here for a little while now and the time has come where I need the advice of people who might be familiar with my situation.

    17 months ago I met a wonderful man. We met through grindr some months before that, after which we quickly moved to Skype. Nothing dirty, we just talked about everything. Our hobbies, our work, our lives and our families. At the time I was living with my siblings and he was sharing a house with his "ex" (it is complicated - they were together for 15 years and then, according to this guy, grew apart but didn't separate because of the investment in the home and a shared business).

    Anyway, for over a year we dated. We saw each other almost every second night of the week (we didn't sleep together until we had been dating 3 months - I am a bit of a prude about that and wanted to make sure he was serious first). It was a wonderul year - he was romantic, talked to me, spent time doing things with me and basically acted like he was in love with me. I fell head over heals. We took a holiday to Europe in February and it was wonderful - we were totally in love.

    When we got back he needed to move out of his place so we decided we would find somewhere together. We argued about where to live and what our requirements would be but eventually found somewhere that suited us both. At first it was OK - we had lots of unpacking to do and were fairly stressed. But the first trouble came after a few weeks where he confronted me and said he couldn't sleep in my bed because I snore terribly (for medical reasons which can't be permanently fixed unfortunately) and my mattress was too hard and gave him a sore back. I can't sleep in his bed because his mattress is too soft and I get a bad back. So we moved into separate rooms but the relationship seemed to survive.

    Gradually, over the last few months, he has grown increasingly withdrawn. He hardly speaks to me, he hardly touches me except for sex. He declines every invitation I make to involve him in social activities and he goes to see his (only) two friends without me and doesn't even invite me. I admit that I have begun drinking more at home as a "coping mechanism" but he got angry with me about me being drunk so I stopped drinking at all during the week at home. To make matters worse he hung a portrait of his "ex" in our living room on the excuse that it was "in the way" and "not permanent", however despite a few soft requests from me he hasn't removed it.

    I should say that I am 32 and he is 40. He is currently involved in legal proceedings separating from his ex which are complicated because of their business and investment assets.

    3 days ago he didn't speak to me for a whole day and the next morning I asked him if something was wrong. He said there was something wrong but that "it wasn't the time or place for that discussion". I pressed him to tell me what was on his mind and he said "he didn't want to have that discussion and would have it when he had considered his options and what he needed to do". I couldn't cope with the guilt and self-blame. Not knowing what I have done, or what I may have done to make him upset kills me. I love him so much and can't reach out to him. I rang my sister in tears and she told me to get out and come back to stay with her until he contacted me and was ready to talk.

    It's been 2 days now and I have received nothing from him. I am angry that he has made be hate myself and blame myself for being the reason he is upset without me knowing what to blame myself for. I am miserable because I love him so much and it is my instinct to call him and apologise for everything even if I don't know what I am apologising for. I am frightened because I am on the verge of losing the man I love and I don't know if he loves me enough to reach out to me and have an honest conversation about how to fix our relationship...which I think is worth fixing and keeping because it was wonderful...at one point.

    I don't know what to do - this is only my second relationship and I have only ever lived with family before. I would appreciate people's thoughts from an independent view.

    Thanks for reading.....

  • barriehomeboy

    Posts: 2475

    Apr 26, 2012 11:24 PM GMT
    I wouldn't treat a guy I loved the way he's treating you. It's over between you. I'm guessing he's bi and fucked up like most of them are. Who can explain them? It's like trying to explain Republicans.
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    Apr 26, 2012 11:31 PM GMT
    Sorry that you are going through this, man. Sounds to me like your guy is pretty emotionally manipulative if I am understanding things correctly.

    I think clearing out of there was the right thing to do for the moment. Adults should be able to share what's on their mind with people they are intimately involved with. This wall of silence is not fair to you.

    Sounds like you need to have a serious talk with this guy about the need for open communication. Life's too short to be walking on eggshells all the time, or trying to guess what has set him off at any one given time.

    Good luck. I hope things work out for you, man.
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    Apr 26, 2012 11:34 PM GMT
    wjbd said... (we didn't sleep together until we had been dating 3 months - I am a bit of a prude about that and wanted to make sure he was serious first).
    Let this part be a lesson. Lack of immediate sex does not guarantee a long relationship.

    The longest and best relationships I've been in (including my current one) were started with sex before even asking each others' names. Srsly.

    As for the rest of your situation, it sounds like it's been over for a while already. Start making plans to remove yourself from it and get on with your life.

    And, *hugs*. icon_biggrin.gif
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    Apr 26, 2012 11:34 PM GMT
    JPtheBITCH saidI don't think there's much for you to do. As Barriehomeboy said above, he sounds done with you. Is it your fault? No, not from the picture you've given us. But that doesn't much matter. If you call him up, weeping and apologizing, you won't achieve much but you'll have lost your self-respect.

    Don't do it.


    This is good advice. Heed it.
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    Apr 26, 2012 11:43 PM GMT
    He's just not that into you. Move on!
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    Apr 26, 2012 11:48 PM GMT
    You deserve so much better. Please don't take this the wrong way, but have you ever thought of seeking out some professional counselling for yourself. It's time you stop blaming yourself and start regaining your life back. No guy is worth the agony you are putting yourself through.

    I wish you the best that life can bring you :-) Be strong and know that you are one special guy that deserves a lot better.
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    Apr 26, 2012 11:50 PM GMT
    JPtheBITCH saidI don't think there's much for you to do. As Barriehomeboy said above, he sounds done with you. Is it your fault? No, not from the picture you've given us. But that doesn't much matter. If you call him up, weeping and apologizing, you won't achieve much but you'll have lost your self-respect.

    Don't do it.


    ha... wish i could've gotten this memo a little sooner
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    Apr 27, 2012 12:12 AM GMT
    JPtheBITCH said
    running11 said
    JPtheBITCH saidI don't think there's much for you to do. As Barriehomeboy said above, he sounds done with you. Is it your fault? No, not from the picture you've given us. But that doesn't much matter. If you call him up, weeping and apologizing, you won't achieve much but you'll have lost your self-respect.

    Don't do it.


    ha... wish i could've gotten this memo a little sooner

    Trouble in paradise already, sweetie?


    I'm hoping it's just in regards to past relationships. Fingers crossed...
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    Apr 27, 2012 12:16 AM GMT
    Dunno about your specific situation, but just to clarify... if he does not love you back, wouldnt you rather be with somebody who does?
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    Apr 27, 2012 12:17 AM GMT
    You dated for a year, took a trip to Europe, you get a place together, and THEN he discovers you snore? Plus you can get mattresses with 2 levels of firmness, especially those with dual air chambers inside, like ones aggressively marketed in the US.

    These sound like excuses, not reasons. I wonder if he began to have buyer's remorse once the reality of daily living with you set in? Or is the ex a bigger factor here than you realize?

    I did have something somewhat similar happen to me. I started dating this guy and I really fell for him, as he seemed for me. I knew he was just coming out of a long relationship with another guy, who had moved out of the house my BF owned just a few months before I met him.

    Well the ex reappeared with legal papers in hand, suing my BF for what he claimed was his share of the property, claiming that he had contributed to it financially, even though the deed wasn't in his name. The change in my BF was instantaneous & profound.

    He became withdrawn & distant, never angry at me or unpleasant, but all the spark went out of our relationship. I was new to gay dating, didn't know if I was part of the problem, or how I might be part of a solution, and help him. He told me he had to go back onto anti-depressants (never knew he'd been on them before), which made him kinda zombie-like.

    We finally agreed to part, with the possibility of trying it again when his legal crisis was over. Which ended with his ex losing the case. But in the meantime a rather unscrupulous guy (in my eyes) had insinuated himself into his life, moved in permanently, and literally took over his life.

    Could there be any parallels with your story? I dunno, but in my case I had to make myself believe that the fault wasn't mine, but that circumstances outside my control in my BF's life were to blame. Heartbreaking for me, and I felt so helpless, but I had to recognize a lost cause and move on, which I did.
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    Apr 27, 2012 12:36 AM GMT

    "I pressed him to tell me what was on his mind and he said "he didn't want to have that discussion and would have it when he had considered his options and what he needed to do"

    He shut you out. I had someone do this to me and decided (painfully and not easily) that it was not the kind of love I needed or wanted.

    So, are you staying with your sister now? (who I think is a great and caring gal)

    warmly,

    -Doug

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    Apr 27, 2012 12:36 AM GMT
    I'm genuinely sorry that this is happening to you. Its clearly over; don't get locked up about the whys and hows. If he wont talk to you about it, then he's being emotionally immature, and there is nothing you can do about that. Nothing hurts more (IMO) than not knowing the 'why' when a relationship ends, but most of the times you don't get to find out, and you just have to try and make peace with it.

    As an aside, how is it he only found out your snored when you moved in together? I suspect he was starting to realise that what he had signed up for was not what he wanted and was placing blame onto you for things. Don't fall for that.

  • Apr 27, 2012 1:08 AM GMT
    It is over, probably for good. Move on.
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    Apr 27, 2012 1:11 AM GMT
    meninlove said
    "I pressed him to tell me what was on his mind and he said "he didn't want to have that discussion and would have it when he had considered his options and what he needed to do"

    He shut you out. I had someone do this to me and decided (painfully and not easily) that it was not the kind of love I needed or wanted.

    So, are you staying with your sister now? (who I think is a great and caring gal)

    warmly,

    -Doug

    Offering a hug to Doug for how wise this post really is.
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    Apr 27, 2012 1:15 AM GMT
    wjbd saidHi Everyone

    (we didn't sleep together until we had been dating 3 months - I am a bit of a prude about that and wanted to make sure he was serious first).



    This fact is sexy.

    wjbd said
    I admit that I have begun drinking more at home as a "coping mechanism" but he got angry with me about me being drunk so I stopped drinking at all during the week at home.


    I will drink with you...and eat fatty foods too.

    Thanks for reading.....

    Obviously there is something wrong, he told it,and he needs to just say it and stop putting you through this torture, that's really messed up.


  • wjbd

    Posts: 6

    Apr 27, 2012 1:22 AM GMT
    Wow - thank you to everyone who is responding!

    I think we do need to have serious talk about things. And if he won't be the one to reach out to me by tomorrow then I will reach out to him and offer it. I need to know if he is willing to work this out one way or another. If he isn't then that is the end I suppose...any by work this out I don't mean me apologising for things all the time or being concerned with whether I have done something wrong. He needs to understand that he isn't meeting my needs at the moment either.

    Re the snoring - well he knew I snored occasionally...we didn't really spend the night at each other's places (difficult when I live with siblings) but on the holiday it was more something we laughed about and if he fell asleep first it didn't bother him.

    Art_Deco - WOW!! that is amazingly similar to my situation. Part of me thinks that perhaps he never thought he and the "ex" were ever actually going to really "end" it. The more I find out about the way the relationship ended the more it seems they simply slipped into an open and unhappy marriage state of affairs. The "ex" had been seeing other men (apparently) and yet it wasn't until a photo of me was found by the "ex" that all the shit hit the fan. I know he is feeling hurt and very depressed (he was on anti-depressants for a while but for some reason hasn't sought therapy or continued treatment) - as a psychiatrist's son I am fairly aware of the signs but I also know there is little or nothing I can do to help him through the process if he doesn't want to help himself. He needs to be happy with me if he is going to survive the closure of the past and a future together...which looks dismal at this bleak point.

    I am very luck to have a really supportive group of friends and family (admittedly all girls). They are amazingly supportive and the only reason I have come through some dark times myself in the past. In a way I think my partner needs a similar support network to help him through this (if he won't talk to me about it) but he has become a recluse and his only friends are much older women who knew him in his past relationship.

    I have thought of seeking counselling for my own issues of self doubt and lack of self-esteem...but I have always put it off as being something I can deal with myself if I recognise it and try to work on the issue. I must admit that my partner's current actions haven't exactly made me feel like I am the person I should be....but I remember how wonderful he made me feel up until a few months ago.

    It always surprises me that as the older man he seems to have very little emotional maturity. He tells me he doesn't like to get angry because he used to be a very nasty person and has learnt to just "get over things" now. I think that is unhealthy - my family are very verbal about our emotions. We yell and scream and stomp our feet but at the end of it all we have vented our bad emotions and feel closure (if not resolution). Everyone deals with their emotions differently and it has never been an issue between us until now where I feel locked out an blocked from making progress.

    I am thinking that I need to do something sooner rather than later if I am to address the issues before his current depressive self-destruction makes everything come to a halt. I will give him another day and then offer to meet on neutral ground to talk...one way or another I need to know where this is going (and if it comes to it, I will face my fear of being a 30-something single gay Australian male again).
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    Apr 27, 2012 1:33 AM GMT
    "I will face my fear of being a 30-something single gay Australian male again)."


    Have no fear; Bill I met in our thirties, and there are guys on here that met their sweethearts later than that!

    icon_wink.gif
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Apr 27, 2012 1:37 AM GMT
    Sounds to me like he really isn't over his ex. My suggestion is to try and approach it logically, back off a bit and give him a little space. Tallk to him in a grounded and reasonable manner and don't ask him to "explain it to you"... I'd try and figure it out on your own. It is a problem he is going through, not you. Keep it in mind when dealing with him.
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    Apr 27, 2012 1:51 AM GMT
    My heart goes out to you. I actually am experiencing a similar thing right now with my probably-soon-to-be-ex-boyfriend. We're on a break right now but it's headed in the direction of being permanent. There have been problems on and off for awhile. We never moved in together, but have been dating each other for a year and a half. He's 41 and I'm 30.

    It's obvious (and you probably already know) that communication breakdown is a big problem. In my own relationship problems, we never really communicated well from the beginning. I was the pleaser, he was the one who loved to be with me when he felt like it. Sex was usually fine, but there was an emotional connection that wasn't there.

    You seem like a very passionate guy, similar to me, and you seem genuinely in love with your boyfriend. But there comes a time when your own happiness and well-being become more important than the well-being of the relationship or your partner. This is something that I've learned (and am still learning) through my own experience. My (former) boyfriend didn't have issues stemming from a previous relationship, but instead suffers from what I am sure is depression. Mental illness played a big part with the problems here.

    It's not an easy situation---and I hear ya that it's very difficult because my guy was my second relationship as well. Just take care of yourself---and remember that at the end of it all your own happiness is most important.
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    Apr 27, 2012 2:00 AM GMT
    My heart goes out to you. Many of us know what it's like to fall in love with someone only to realize it's one-sided.

    There's nothing wrong with being a single man in his 30's. I'm 51. I met my partner when I was 31.

    From what you've written about your bf, I'm thinking he is regretting his decision to leave his wife and may be feeling guilt among other things. He may be grieving the loss of a "hetero" life with a wife and being "normal" (as if we're not . lol)

    I hope you can get this resolved so that you can either move on with him or without him.... but at least move on.

    Hugs!
  • DanOmatic

    Posts: 1155

    Apr 27, 2012 2:14 AM GMT
    It sounds like a double whammy of depression and emotional immaturity, with a little bit of never-got-over-the-ex sprinkled in there.

    Depression: inexplicable to those who don't suffer from it, but sometimes it leads to isolating behavior because the depressive doesn't feel worthy. He will either wittingly or unwittingly sabotage it so that YOU will be the one who breaks things off (which becomes proof of being unworthy).

    Emotional immaturity: instead of actually communicating, he stonewalls, leaving you guessing as to what's going on. He's avoiding conflict and shifting the blame on superficial nothings meant to make you feel guilty. In my mind, this is particularly cruel, and less excusable than depression.

    The not-so-distant ex: even if they were "over", bad exes and bad breakups with them can have a haunting effect on the next relationship. Maybe he never really got over the ex, and his time with you was a way to mask his pain. Maybe at times he convinced himself that he was in love with you, but usually it's just a way to fill the emotional hole. End result: you get used as an emotional prop.

    Unless he has a GREAT reason for treating you this badly (I can't imagine what that would be), you need to look out for number one (that's YOU) and start formulating a future without him.

    I'm sorry you're going through this. I've been through something similar before (the whole trifecta!), and it took a lot of resolve to get past. I know you can, too. Good luck!
  • XxXxXxAZNxXxX...

    Posts: 615

    Apr 27, 2012 2:14 AM GMT
    First I want to say that I'm really sorry about your situation. It sounds like you are an amazing BF that any guy would be lucky to have.

    Second I know that everyone has disagreements and fights and maybe this is one of them.

    In the unlikely event that it's not I wish I could give you words of advice, but unfortunately I haven't even had a BF for more than a few months (and we never lived together).

    All I can do is wish you the best of luck and hope that this guy realizes what an amazing guy you are icon_smile.gif
    <3 <3 <3
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    Apr 27, 2012 2:20 AM GMT
    far be it from me to dispense relationship advice to someone i don't know. but i think many of us know the heartache of broken relationships. sometimes people aren't sure of what they want or are capable of, until they start going through the motions. and from what you've described, it sounds like its definitely not working (for whatever reason).

    the one thing i have learned through the dissolution of my 4yr relationship is that it has to be a partnership; one person cannot do it all. you cannot be the one to fix this. he has to do at least 50% and he's not doing anything. you cannot "do" this for him, and it may not be related anything that you have done. you have to accept that not everything is within your personal control. so there is no point for you to call him to seek resolution, find out what's going on with him, or make ultimatums. its not going to help things, and may in fact ramp up your own expectations which could likely be crushed again. probably the most frustrating thing is that you may never truly "know" what went wrong (you can't step into someone else's head).

    walking away is not failure. its a vote of confidence for yourself. give yourself time to heal and then move on. you sound like a very smart guy, and i'm sure you won't lose the opportunity to learn from this experience. you indicated some early warning signs (the ex he was still involved with, a hasty moving in together, the not sleeping together, the alcoholism) and i guess i would encourage you to think about how, through the course of your dating, those were overlooked or rationalised, and why.

    good luck
  • DanOmatic

    Posts: 1155

    Apr 27, 2012 2:20 AM GMT
    Oh, drinking more won't help, by the way. icon_neutral.gif