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Thread: Boyfriend has deprioritised me

  1. #1
    glitterfingers
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    Boyfriend has deprioritised me

    Encountered a few bumps in my LDR recently. My boyfriend and I are both 26 and have been officially dating since the start of the year. We finally (after many months of changed plans) managed to meet and spend time together as a couple recently for the first time. It felt so easy and natural and everything worked when we were together.

    Prior to my trip he had threatened a break up during an argument and then later mentioned that it had been seriously weighing on his mind because he was about to enter a very stressful and time consuming full-time job for his family while also being a single father to a toddler (and he goes to the gym 2 hours a day). He was already rather stressed and unhappy with his living circumstances - difficult family members, four adults in the house including his sister who has a toddler also and she is constantly in and out of mental hospitals. Because there's so many of them and a high stress situation, they get ill and there are arguments/issues frequently. He virtually never brings this into the dynamics between us but I guess it was a matter of time before this started affecting our relationship

    We had agreed to move forward with the visit and continue being together, but he said he will need more support and space for a few months. I literally forgot this in the midst of my own hectic lifestyle and after I got home from seeing him I was feeling very in love and wanting to plan my next visit. A few miscommunications led to a fight and he ended up raising his voice at me on the phone for being pushy with him when he had told me what he will need moving forward.

    We didn't speak for nearly a week, and since then he has been very scant with his communication. He has gone from texting 20 times a day to a few messages every few days (though there was an incremental decrease over time to this point). I thought he was breaking up with me and got seriously depressed, but he called the other night and I repeatedly asked him if he wanted to leave. I asked him why he hadn't broken up with me yet and he said he thought things would get easier but they have just gotten harder. He told me that he cares deeply for me but not enough that he can deprioritise his other responsibilities for now.

    So basically I've been deprioritised. This really stung at first but I'm gradually becoming more okay with it because I like having a bit of extra mental space to do my own thing too. However I am worrying a lot. Half of me wants to read into this situation, and the other half of me trusts him implicitly that he has told me exactly how it is, no less and no more. I am worrying that I'm only contributing to his issues and making it harder for him to engage/communicate with me by continually asking what he wants from the relationship and asking him to communicate with me more - it's really dampened the spark between us and yet he hasn't run for the hills.

    I'm sure some will say something along the lines of "you can do better" or "you should leave if he's not making you a priority!". But I'm not proud enough to think that I should always come first and if I don't then I should leave. I'm also not in that headspace right now, he's my person and I want/need to be there for him. People deal with husbands/partners who are deployed or overseas for periods of time and manage to pull through, so I haven't lost hope.

    I simply don't know how to act right now to be supportive and undemanding of him so that this relationship is a safe space rather than just another concern/chore that he has to attend to because I'm upset. It's hard because we are moving forward without a guarantee of when he'll have time but just that he'll try and find time.

    So I guess I have two questions.

    1. Would you do this for someone you love? Continue a relationship with considerably reduced communication for a while with the view that it will improve?
    2. How do I communicate with him so that communication isn't strained and I'm not adding to his problems? It's taken me a month or so to adjust to the reduced presence from him (and I visited for a week in that time, so there was that). Honestly, I've kicked and screamed about it because I assumed the worst. I am surprised he hasn't left me yet

  2. #2
    indea08
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    Quote Originally Posted by glitterfingers [Register to see the link]
    So I guess I have two questions.

    1. Would you do this for someone you love? Continue a relationship with considerably reduced communication for a while with the view that it will improve?
    2. How do I communicate with him so that communication isn't strained and I'm not adding to his problems? It's taken me a month or so to adjust to the reduced presence from him (and I visited for a week in that time, so there was that). Honestly, I've kicked and screamed about it because I assumed the worst. I am surprised he hasn't left me yet
    1. Yes, absolutely I would do this for someone I love. That's what relationships are! It's all just give and take and being there when they need you (or maybe NOT being there when they need you less)! He's got a lot going on. His home life sounds stressful, and he's already warned you that this new job will take a lot. Tell him you're proud of him for working so hard. Send him a text every few days..."Hope you're having a great day today. Keep working hard, it will pay off! So proud of you!" and learn to be happy independently in the mean time. Eventually, your relationship will be stronger for it.

    2. Quit asking if we are okay, why we haven't broken up yet, etc. Easing your insecurities is now another chore on his "to do" list. Just remind him occasionally that you're thinking of him and are free to chat when he has some free time. Make your interactions positive. Remember, he's chosen to be in a relationship with you. He likes you. You are LUCKY to have him (the same as he is lucky to have you!) so be happy that even amidst his crazy busy life, he's chosen to spend his free time with you.

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  4. #3
    DanZee
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    From what you described, I would guess that the relationship is over and you don't want to admit it to yourself. You're making excuses for him, and it seems like you're so desperate for love that you will put up with anything, which is not a good basis for a relationship.

    A lot of these Internet relationships (it's not an LDR) go off the rails when the two people finally meet each other. I've only been on ENA only for two months, but I think I've read at least five accounts like yours, that when the two people finally meet, and they usually have sex, then it's all over. As long as it's on the Internet, it's as if the relationship is a beautiful fantasy. But when it becomes real, the fantasy crumbles. That's why it's so important to meet people in real life and date people in your area. I just read that 55% of communication is non verbal, and you're missing that entire communications channel by not being there in person.

    Another aspect of these relationships is that one or both of the folks are usually stressed and they don't really have time for a real relationship. 20 texts a day? That's 20 minutes here and there. A real relationship requires hours a day.

    So I believe you're asking the wrong questions. The question you should be asking is, is he breaking up with me? And I think the answer is yes.

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    Knight2001
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    hi,
    this sounds like a nightmare. i would cut my losses now and get out. move on and find happiness elsewhere. i can see this going nowhere.
    good luck.

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  8. #5
    DancingFool
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    What you had was essentially an online fantasy. He already tried to end that before you came, but you came anyway. Now that you've finally met face to face, he is slowly dropping off the radar. If you are honest, what you are missing the most is the constant ping of the text's, aka perceived attention, which can be as addicting as drugs. As for not being a burden to his time.....I mean you aren't even in the same city....not like you are asking for dates, you already aren't there and only "maintenance" he needs to do is the 30 seconds it takes to send a few messages. You couldn't impose less on his time if you tried.

    Personally, I think he enjoys the idea of having someone out there somewhere......without the actual work actual dating would require because he is not at a point in life where he can sustain dating, let alone a real relationship. This quasi-fantasy works for him at this time and the distance is perfect because you aren't actually around. If/when his life situation improves, I do think he'll drop you like a hot rock and find someone to date locally. So in your shoes, sure you may wish to carry on, but don't call this a relationship and never ever again consider yourself to be in a relationship with someone you've never even met before. You can keep this guy in the back pocket, but expand your search locally and start going out on actual dates.

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    pippy longstocking
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    it's really dampened the spark between us and yet he hasn't run for the hills.
    He doesn't need to run for the hills because he is already there ....he doesn't see you because it is LD , he has made it clear he needs space for all his other stuff and he has backed right off ...there is nothing holding this together my darling but your dreams .

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  11. #7
    boltnrun
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    How many times have you two met in person?

    How much time have you/do you spend physically together?

  12. #8
    abitbroken
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    I don't think you are really in a relationship with him to begin with. i would cut contact and find someone to date who is local.

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  14. #9
    thorough
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    Quote Originally Posted by DanZee [Register to see the link]
    From what you described, I would guess that the relationship is over and you don't want to admit it to yourself. You're making excuses for him, and it seems like you're so desperate for love that you will put up with anything, which is not a good basis for a relationship.

    A lot of these Internet relationships (it's not an LDR) go off the rails when the two people finally meet each other. I've only been on ENA only for two months, but I think I've read at least five accounts like yours, that when the two people finally meet, and they usually have sex, then it's all over. As long as it's on the Internet, it's as if the relationship is a beautiful fantasy. But when it becomes real, the fantasy crumbles. That's why it's so important to meet people in real life and date people in your area. I just read that 55% of communication is non verbal, and you're missing that entire communications channel by not being there in person.

    Another aspect of these relationships is that one or both of the folks are usually stressed and they don't really have time for a real relationship. 20 texts a day? That's 20 minutes here and there. A real relationship requires hours a day.

    So I believe you're asking the wrong questions. The question you should be asking is, is he breaking up with me? And I think the answer is yes.
    I second this and I'm someone who experienced the same type of thing. After my experience, I would not continue this relationship, just not worth the hurt. My LDR ex was actually not busy and the communication sucked, when we were together (met up 3 times), everything was like a normal relationship. I was very lonely in the relationship and that wasn't just the distance. You do deserve WAY better and when you find someone who does prioritize you, that will feel amazing. No matter how busy someone is, if they want to, they will make time for you. I met my current bf about 6 months later and not only is he close, I have a real relationship w/him. We text everyday quite a bit and he makes time for me despite his busy schedule. Things will prob not improve, usually they get worse. I talked to my ex several times and he promised to do better, he never did. If you stay, this relationship will drain you.

    Sadly you seem more into the relationship then he is. I know how hurtful that can be, if I had showed a little patience when everything started I have a feeling that I would have never gone down to see the guy.

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  16. #10
    catfeeder
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    Quote Originally Posted by glitterfingers [Register to see the link]
    My boyfriend and I are both 26 and have been officially dating since the start of the year. We finally (after many months of changed plans) managed to meet [...].
    No, you were not dating, you were fantasy-building with a digital stranger.

    Quote Originally Posted by glitterfingers [Register to see the link]
    Honestly, I've kicked and screamed about it because I assumed the worst. I am surprised he hasn't left me yet
    He doesn't need to leave, he's already gone. You're the only one who's invested, and you're wasting your time.

    Sure, it's hard to break up with a fantasy because real life can't compete with the stuff we can create with the mind, but unless you want to live only in your own head, step away from the keypad and grasp that this has been like reading a good book--but it's not living.

    Head high, write more if it helps, but your best bet is to stop deluding yourself.

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