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Thread: He shuts down

  1. #11
    Gold Member thisisrichey's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by pettypink
    Thank you all - your advice puts a lot into perspective and I realize I can't push him into anything.
    While I do think maybe there are a few ways we are incompatible, I don't want to break up without having a conversation about this.

    We switched from FWB when he ended the FWB because I wanted more and was looking to date seriously. Again, while I was slightly hurt, I was still ready to move on.
    He then came back and asked me to be his girlfriend while promising me he would go to therapy (which he hasn't done).
    Thank you for being honest and open. That makes it more possible to help or atleast be more helpful for you.

    In this case, you can see how there has never actually been any real confirmation ON HIS SIDE that he wanted more than an fwb.. see? It became bf/gf at YOUR insistence and he played along (probably so he woudlnt' have to lose you.) And it's very possible he is now resenting you for it and it's coming back to bite you. This is why I have never advised anybody to ever PUSH or INSIST anythign on anybody to make things the way they want (when MANY people do advise that). If you have to push or force somebody to do something you wish - I just never think that's a good idea. if they aren't going to do ti on their own, that's a huge SIGN to you as to what they're about and where they stand with you.. see?

    I'm pretty sure that this has always been and been intended as an fwb for him (casual only). His actions and reactions have always been consistent with that.
    I'm pretty sure what's going on now is he unwillingly agreed to your deamnds to be more - and now it's coming back to bite you guys.

    So next question to you: can this only be a full bf/gf relationship for you or nothing? Or is a casual/fwb thing an acceptable outcome for you with him? You are going to hav to decide that and fast here. Maybe.. the best and least instrusive/messy course here is to realize hes' not going to be the one for you, and switch back to fwb mode while you seek out other options for LTR...

    Good luck.

  2. #12
    Platinum Member reinventmyself's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by pettypink
    I don't want to break up without having a conversation about this.

    We switched from FWB when he ended the FWB because I wanted more and was looking to date seriously. Again, while I was slightly hurt, I was still ready to move on.
    He then came back and asked me to be his girlfriend while promising me he would go to therapy (which he hasn't done).
    I don't know that talking about it - when he doesn't like to talk to begin with is going to be fruitful.

    Add in that this is someone who stepped up from FWB only when he realized it was ending. You in fact told him you were looking for more. By the looks of things a fwb is maybe all he's capable of or all he really wanted to begin with. He's just doing only just enough to keep you around. But in the end that's not working either.

    I don't know what's left to talk about it.

  3. #13
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    He got out of a 6 year relationship before he met me (she left him) and had a lot of baggage that he recognized he needed help for. Which is why he volunteered himself to go to therapy and then never did after I took him back.
    I think I am insecure about that aspect - you're right....its manifesting in different ways.

    Its unfortunate because he really did step up as a boyfriend the last 6 months, but there are so many things that aren't meeting my needs. I'm sad and not sure how to navigate this.

  4. #14
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Sorry to say but this sounds like a pretty classic—if classically unsustainable—dynamic.

    He was in the emotional wobbles post-breakup, flailing around. The FWB dynamic was perfect for that. It was, in a way, therapy without therapy. Made him feel better without, well, having to really dig into those feelings.

    You didn't like this, took a stand, and part of what made his circling around appealing was the promise of therapy. Yet he didn't go. Why? Because you're still his "therapy," still allowing those feelings to roil.

    I don't mean to imply that he's hung up on the ex, wanting to get back together. But unprocessed feelings are unprocessed feelings—they clog the pipes.

    And what are you frustrated with now? Clogged pipes.

    What makes a dynamic like this so frustrating (for you) is that what he likes best about being with you (allowing the pipes to stay clogged, feeling suppressed) is what makes it unworkable for you (wanting to talk, you know, feelings).

    Doesn't sound good. Your own needs aren't being met—not by his nature, not the dynamic. I'd imagine somewhere in there, past the affection, you're already feeling some resentments forming. There's no need for that, nothing good from that. I'd call this what it is and move on, for both your sakes.

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  6. #15
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    My ex was like that. He was devastated that things could not work out with his ex who he still loved, so he had me there as a bandaid. My attention made him feel a little better, though he never stopped loving his ex and always wanted to be with her.

    He never fell in love with me, BTW. And he remained hung up on the ex until he met another woman and fell in love with her.

    Again, he never fell in love with me. And I, the bandaid, got dumped for the new woman he met and fell in love with.

  7. #16
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    Originally Posted by pettypink
    He got out of a 6 year relationship before he met me (she left him) and had a lot of baggage that he recognized he needed help for. Which is why he volunteered himself to go to therapy and then never did after I took him back.
    I think I am insecure about that aspect - you're right....its manifesting in different ways..
    What sort of baggage are you referring to?

    I am trying to suss out whether this is about him not opening up emotionally, or him not wanting to commit any further.

  8. #17
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    Thank you all - I think you all have very valid points, as saddening as it is.
    He did reach out to me today and I think we will be talking tonight. I'm going to lay it out there and invite him to share his thoughts to see if there is any other option besides breaking up.

    Edit: the baggage was regarding her leaving him for someone else after their LTR.

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