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Thread: Why is my boyfriend so selfish after 4 years?

  1. #1

    Why is my boyfriend so selfish after 4 years?

    My boyfriend and I have been together for 4 years. Never had any issues and always been happy. We go out, have sex, our familyís love each other, we have a cat together, and most recently moved in together six months ago. He has never complained about anything in the relationship to me thatís seriously concerning. He has been sweet and caring and selfless to me always.

    About a month ago he approached me saying he was depressed. Explained that he doesnít feel any emotion at all therefore has no feelings for me. I was heartbroken but determined to stick through this and help him get better. For the next month he began to act strange. He went out more with friends, started to drink more, and was being shady. I approached him and asked to go out with him and his friends one night to meet them and he said no. He said he didnít like his personal life interfearing with work.

    I brushed it off but still kept insisting I go eventually. He began to cut out all interpersonal relationships except those with his coworkers. All our old friends from high school and even newer friends. He explained to me that he just wants to be alone. No friends, no relationship, just utterly alone so he can work on himself and not be depressed. I told him that wasnít the answer and urged him to speak with a therapist.

    I myself see a therapist once a week just to keep my life on track and it helps me immensely. However he is concerned with the stigma surrounding depression and how people will see him. He is also afraid of being put on medication for it.

    Within the past month he has expressed to me that he wants to be alone and needed space. I started to back off the texting and calling, keeping it minimum and sweet. I took him out to do his favorite things and bought him stuff to make him happy. This just made him angry because he thought I was trying to save him.

    On top of his personal issues of struggling with not feeling proud of himself or fufilled, he has a ton of credit card debt. I have paid for most of our rent and bills for two months now. I have no issue with it but still see it as unfair. He does not mooch off of me or ask for anything at all. In fact thatís the issue that he doesnít ever ask for help.

    After deciding to move out of the apartment due to his financial issues, he became happier. He knew he would soon be able to contain his debt and pay it off. I was even happy with moving since it would give us well needed space.

    During this last month, he began to go out even more. 3-4 nights a week he was out with coworkers drinking. Sometimes he would come home and others no word at all. I approached him and said be careful and let me know if you will staying at a friends after you drink. He immediately responded with ďI shouldnít have toĒ. Here is where it all begins.

    His coworkers are all older by 3-5 years than him, single, and party people. He has never been one to club or drink or flirt. But now that these coworkers are boosting his ego and taking him out. He feels like hot sh*t and acts like heís single. I asked him a million times if he is seeing someone else and he always tells me he has no emotionally capacity to.
    I also know him well enough that he wouldnít cheat on me because he knows Iíd never speak to him again and his family wouldnít either.

    Despite all of this, he was still fine most of the weeks. We still hung out and went out, he kissed me and was sweet. 5 days ago I decided that we both needed some space to clear our heads. I told him Iíd be staying with my parents for a week and that we could meet up on Sunday and see how we feel. He was so thankful and apologized for hurting me.

    The next day when I reached out to contact him about something regarding our cat, he told me to ďf*ck offĒ. It was like a different person was talking to me. I didnít do anything wrong I know. But he immediately was so cold to me. I figured heíd needed space and ignored him.

    In the past few days, it has gotten worse. His parents offered to pay off his debt if he stops his partying and lies, and can be a decent person again. Either this or continue with his current lifestyle and be cut off completely, leaving him homeless. He has yet to decide what he wants.

    After spending 4 nights at my parents, I decided to move back to apartment since my boyfriend was staying at his parents. I figured that since I pay for the place why not go back. Since I wasnít talking to him I never told him I went back to apartment. Today I was out with family and got an alarm trigger on my security cameras at my apartment (he didnít break in) and a call from my bf. I was in shock to see him call me but I didnít answer. I watched on the cameras as he packed all his belongings from our place and left. All the while he was texting me asking where I was and why I wonít answer him and spewing insults for no reason. I let him cool off for an hour and called him. He sounded so upset and miserable and was nice over the phone. Not anything like how heís been in text. I felt like for the first time in a month, I saw the old him.

    I believe his parents are finally pushing him to decide on what he wants and he was humbled today by moving his stuff. Maybe he felt sad or hurt to see me ignore him and sound happy on the phone.

    I know this break has turned into a break up. But he wonít flat out say that to me. He leaves me in this limbo of not knowing where we are. He doesnít tell people weíre broken up, he says weíre having issues. But yet he goes out and parties with older girls, is rude to me, and selfish. He told me and his parents that he is confused with how he feels. On one hand he feels like heís missing out on the single life he could have partying with his coworkers, the other hand is a stable healthy relationship with someone who adores him. His feelings for me are so clouded by his issues that he canít figure them out.

    Iím hurt because one second heís so sweet and caring, then heís the biggest ass in the world. I just want an answer but he wonít give me one. He just tells me how he needs to be selfish for the first time in his life. That heís gonna get whatever he wants and I canít do anything about it.

    My solution is give him more time. If I ignore him more he may feel so sad and change. Or I just give in and end it like he wants me too. Heís so immature and canít man up to say what he wants. I canít be the one to end this when I donít want to. Anyone please help me. Iím having a horrible time coping with not seeing him for a week and being conflicted with how bipolar he is acting.

    He was fine the morning of the day I started the break. But something has changed. Itís so odd and hurtful. He is pushing me away until I feel like I canít do it anymore. He has started to say our cat together doesnít matter and he wants nothing to do with it. This behavior is childish and he told me and believes that his parents will just clean up his mess so he is able to just walk out of our life together. I have since moved out of the apartment too due to it being so painful to see all his stuff gone so fast. But we both have to work this out before we can fully move out of there on good terms. How do I get him to talk!!!!??? Please help!

  2. #2
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Cloud Nine
    Sorry to hear this. It sounds like moving in together wasn't working. You can't fix him. He wants to party and drink and be single. You need to accept the breakup and go no contact. You keep acting as if you didn't break up, trying to talk and communicate and use phrases such as "our" (your) cat, etc..Try to let go. He's gone.
    Originally Posted by Lillianmmay
    My boyfriend and I have been together for 4 years.
    -recently moved in together six months ago.
    -He went out more with friends, started to drink more, and was being shady.
    -I approached him and asked to go out with him and his friends one night to meet them and he said no.
    -Within the past month he has expressed to me that he wants to be alone and needed space.
    -After deciding to move out of the apartment due to his financial issues, he became happier.

    -The next day when I reached out to contact him about something regarding our cat, he told me to ďf*ck offĒ.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member Andrina's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    central Florida
    Who is on the lease? Where'd the poor cat go? How about that a guy who goes out to bars 3 to 4 nights a week isn't what you wanted for a lifetime partner? How about expecting a lifetime partner to be financially stable, having the maturity and smarts to budget? Despite moments where he is sweet, the two negatives about him, alone, should be dealbreakers for you. The third is that he's unwilling to seek help for his depression, although are you even sure he's just not using this excuse since he's decided he's not ready for long term monogamy yet? If he is actually depressed and won't get help, take it from someone whose 1st husband suffered from depression. Get out now because it's only going to get worse.

    You're young and are only now getting some good life experience to know what you do and don't want in a relationship. Please take the advice of people who have lived a really long time on the planet. Love isn't enough. Free yourself to eventually find a man who meets ALL of your main needs. When you get some distance from this train wreck, you will shake your head at how long it took you to leave.

  4. #4
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Yep! Agree with these fine folk! What about YOU?!

    I spent seven years with the most SWEET and CARING man who went out of his way to be lovely to me every day...but about once every two years he turned into this awful, unrecognisable person, claiming to be 'depressed' and who 'needed space'. I'd, as they say, 'help him pack' and cut off ALL contact immediately (it is WITHOUT DOUBT the least painful thing to do and will get you out of this purgatory you are in now) and eventually he would beg to get back into my life, like really beg, all the dramatic romantic gestures, river cruises, helicopter flights, proposals. I would fall for it but I KNEW it wasn't right, and that he'd really ruined it the very first time he was er...'depressed'. One time he got so 'depressed' he had to leave me on Valentine's Day and - during weeks where I didn't contact him AT ALL he sent me gifts, stuff for my cats, champagne, flowers...eventually he sent me a full weekly shop (with toilet paper and all!) How 'caring' is that?!!! Eventually, all of those people who were so much fun to him (who sound very much like the ones your fellow is partying with...) got really boring and he missed the stability of someone who cared for him, no matter what he did to them.

    Anyway - of course all I did was give him the green light to do it again and again...and he did! Like you I was 'but why is he like this?' 'What does it mean?' What I should have been asking is 'Why am I like this?!!! Why is my self-worth so low that I am trying to shape myself round this unreasonable and - yes, abusive - behaviour?'

    I'd talk to my useless bloke about this dreadful, unrecognisable person that he was during those dark times. Now, of course, I can see that that person is just as much a part of him as the one that cares so much. Cut him off, now. You'll be strong before you know it (I always coped much better than he did...at which point he would waltz back in with his wrecking ball again). Make the break, you'll be so glad you did - even though it feels like the hardest thing to do just now. (Also I want to give your cat a big cuddle, what a vile thing to say!)


  6. #5
    Platinum Member
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    Mar 2002
    I think it was too hard for him to act like the decent man you wanted him to be. He is not in the right space to be that person for you.

    Time to move on.

    I'm sorry.

  7. #6
    Platinum Member DancingFool's Avatar
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    Nov 2013
    Wilds of Texas
    I'm sorry OP, but looking in from the outside it's painfully obvious that he categorically wants out of this relationship. The only problem is that the way he is going about ending things is passive aggressive, round about, and cowardly.

    If he is going out and partying and feeling full of himself with his new found friends while dropping old ones, then he isn't depressed OP, he is only putting on that act for you. He doesn't want you around his new life because he is enjoying himself, probably presenting himself as single and available and he doesn't want you crashing his party. He is quite literally moving on to a different life and you are watching it happen.

    He got angry at you for being good to him and treating him well because that makes it hard for him to detach from you, which he has already been doing for awhile. Anger in this case is a defense mechanism and he is genuinely angry that you are making the break up and detachment difficult for him. He'd rather you just go away or start acting like a jerk to him so he can alleviate any guilt and doubts he is feeling and justify the break up in his mind.

    The final thing is that he came to get his things from the apartment while he knew you wouldn't be there.

    OP, it's over. Please accept it, stop trying to tell yourself that he is just this or that. He isn't confused. His actions are telling you loud and clear that your relationship is over. He has actually told you so himself that he wants to be alone, aka single.

    Accept it, heal, move on. There are better guys out there for you. This one wasn't it. Btw, what family thinks or says, doesn't matter. They'll love the next girl too and the next and so on. Keep away from what family thinks because the only thing that matters is what he thinks. Between you and his parents, it's obvious he feels suffocated and trapped and he will continue to rebel. What his new friends represent to him is freedom. This also means that he is very far away from being ready to settle down. He is very much unsettled and who knows when or if he'll ever be ready for the kind of stable life that you want for yourself. Even if he does want it, it likely will never be with you. Go seek someone who is on the same page as you, who has played around, sowed his oats and now is ready for a stable relationship, house, kids, etc.

  8. #7
    Platinum Member reinventmyself's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Often times someone behaves badly so the other person will leave. That's what I see going on here. He's hoping you'll be the one to call it, that way he can continue to act out and in turn have you take the blame for the failure.

    Give each of you the gift of ending it. After everything you described, I don't see you two coming back from this. I am sorry. You shouldn't want him anyway. The bf of 4 years is gone. Grieve that loss and move on.

    You didn't mention how old you were but I've raised two sons there are certain things they need to get out of their system before they are ready to settle down.

    It sounds like a combination of things got to him and seeing things took a hard turn 6 months after living together may indicate that he just wasn't quite ready.

  9. #8
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    A variation on the theme, could be a narcissistic discard.

    Whatever the reason, it doesn't matter. Do you really want to keep someone who's conflict resolution toolkit includes telling you to off when you ask logistical questions? (I could make a laundry list of other should be deal breakers from what you've written but that stuck out in particular)

    I am sorry the person you love turned out to not be the person you thought they were, and that the real them does not reciprocate and hasn't got it in them to be kind.

  10. #9
    Platinum Member Jibralta's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    I think he wants out of the relationship.

    He literally self destructed right in your apartment and only got happier when he moved out.

    And now he says he doesn't owe you any kind of explanation as to where he's going or where he's been? Yeah, he wants out. A man who values his relationship doesn't act that way.

    Come on, you deserve better than this. Don't you?

    I also think he may be cheating on you.

    I think it's a bunch of garbage when he says you can't meet his mysterious coworkers.

    I think "coworkers" is code for "a new love interest."

    It doesn't matter that your families love each other or that you have a cat together, or that people will be angry with him if he cheats.

    Believe me people are ALWAYS angry with cheaters. It doesn't stop them from cheating.

    Seriously, do you know ONE person who wouldn't be angry with a cheater (besides the other man/woman)?

    I know this is difficult. He got the jump on you, and now you're left in an understandably painful confusing situation. It's very unfair.

    Personally, I think you should pull the trigger on this. Don't wait for him to do it.

    If it was a two month thing, I'd say wait it out. But you've been together for FOUR years and you KNOW he knows better than this.

    I really think betrayal is a part of what is going on.

    Good luck.

  11. #10
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    I have to echo the others, OP - he does not want to be with you anymore.

    He has gone about it in a terribly insensitive and immature way, and I am sure there's a heck of a lot you don't know about him and his new lifestyle. The truth would probably hurt you badly. His jerk attitude is his (likely) subconscious way of deflecting and distracting you from whatever is really going on with him.

    It's sad but don't hold your breath for you and he walking away from this on good terms.

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