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Thread: What Happened? Is it me?

  1. #1

    What Happened? Is it me?

    Hey guys, so, I don't know where to start really so I'll go back to the beginning...

    I was with my ex for over 5 years and it just wasn't going anywhere, I didn't feel the same any more and I'm pretty sure she didn't either, I didn't see a future with her, I felt that way for a good 6 months but didn't have the courage to actually break up. I then met someone who turned my whole world upside down, I quickly ended it with my ex so I could see where things went. We got on like a house on fire, everything was so easy and natural, nothing was forced. The relationship progressed quite quickly, she moved in after just a few weeks and we've only spent 3 nights apart since the relationship started (when I was away on a business trip) she would do anything to spend the night with me, even when she finished at 1am at her bar job and I needed to be up for 6am. I introduced her to my daughter who lives in a different country (I don't get to see regularly), they got on so well, my daughter absolutely idolizes her. The relationship continued to develop, we talked so much, I used to count down the hours until I finished work so I could get home and have a conversation with her. We'd talked about kids recently and had planned to try in the next few months. Everything was great, we laughed, had fun together, communicated well, worked well together. I'm currently struggling with an episode of social anxiety, I'm okay, but if we go round and see her family etc I go within myself and quiet and then am very frustrated with myself afterwards, her family are great, I get on with them really well, I've just always suffered with low self esteem. So over the past week or so this has been getting me down and I guess I haven't been myself, this seems to be effecting her and making her seem off with me which is causing a bit of a downward spiral and me to feel worse. I feel like I need some re-assurance and attention I guess, but instead she's gone really cold with me, barely talking and not making any conversation, and when I try I only get 1 word answers. Yesterday I had a really bad day, I was on my own at work as my co-worker is on annual leave, so I spent the day over-thinking. I got myself into a bit of a state, I felt shakey and on edge, to the point where I actually built up the courage to call and self-refer to my local mental health service to try and get some help. I tried to speak with my girlfriend all day, asking how she was and how her day was, I even told her I'd asked for help and self referred which she has said I should do for a while. But I got nothing back, not once did she ask how I was or how my day was going. I got home after work and was visibly distressed, to begin with she was comforting, but became increasingly frustrated as she found out I hadn't eaten any lunch (I called the mental health clinic during my lunch break so I didn't have time to eat as well). I decided to open up to her, tell her exactly how I felt and how lonely I'd felt all day especially as she hadn't asked how I was or how my day was going. She told me I shouldn't need her to ask me how I am to feel ok, and I shouldn't be relying on her to give me comfort. She said shes starting to feel how she used to feel when she's suffered depression in the past. She said she can't be around me with how I am and wants to go and stay with her mum for a few days, she also said she's had a U turn on having kids and we shouldn't be thinking about that at the moment. I asked her if she doesn't want to be with me any more and she said she does and just because she doesn't want to be around me doesn't mean she doesn't want to be with me, but my low self-esteem and overthinking is telling me otherwise. I said we're a team and can cope with anything together, but she said she doesn't feel like we're much of a team at the moment. Of course I told her she needs to do what she needs to do, and if spending a few days with he mum will make her feel better then that's what she needs to do. But inside I'm thinking that's going to put me in a really bad place.

    I'm so confused.

    I'm in a position where I really need her to help with my problems, and she knows this, but instead of wanting to help she wants to get away from me. Her opinion about the future has changed. And I'm overthinking like crazy. Am I being selfish?

    We have a big trip to the USA coming up in just 2 weeks (we live in England) and I was planning on proposing to her, I've got the ring, I've booked a helicopter tour which has a landing and champagne toast in the middle. It's taken a lot of planning and time to arrange, when it was planned everything was fine, now I feel like we're on the brink of a break up and I don't know what to do.

  2. #2
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    I decided to open up to her, tell her exactly how I felt and how lonely I'd felt all day especially as she hadn't asked how I was or how my day was going. She told me I shouldn't need her to ask me how I am to feel ok, and I shouldn't be relying on her to give me comfort.
    It’s obvious you were feeling down so naturally you would want your girlfriend to exhibit some compassion. Is this a habit for her, that anytime you show vulnerability, she minimizes it?

    Of course your partner isn’t responsible for your own happiness nor can they fix the other's problems, but you need a supportive partner who you know has your back, not one who turns their back on you when you’re feeling down.

    Don’t you want a partner who is empathetic and supportive of you when you’re going through tough times?

    I think this must be addressed first before you consider a lifelong commitment with this person. I hope it works out because you sound like a genuine, caring person and deserve the same in return!

  3. #3
    Silver Member JamesDE's Avatar
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    This may be your honeymoon period ending and the relationship starting to level off now, which is part of any relationship. Your text appears as though you haven't been together for a lomg time yet. Maybe I'm wrong. But the intensity of what it was may still has you in the clouds a little.

    I would also want a girlfriend to be there for me, but you want to make sure you aren't becomming dependent on her for your happiness. If she isn't asking, then she either doesn't really know what is going on, or she is pre-occupied with something else, or she may not want to know about it then. Could be anything, but you need to look at her behavior and ask yourself if you are forcing your issues on her? Tell her everything, but if she isn't reciprocating on it, I wouldn't allow it to affect you and start challenging her about it to the point you push her away. If she isn't concerned for you, it's a red flag, but maybe she just needs space to breath.

    Just try to look at all sides of it. Good luck with you, however. You need to take care of yourself before anything else.

  4. #4
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    How long have you two actually been together now, OP?

    Have there been other issues between you two? I find it hard to imagine this is all down to you being introverted around her family. There is something more going on here.

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  6. #5
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    You jumped way too soon into an instant relationship during the infatuation stage without REALLY knowing one another. Now you two are getting to know the real people you truly are.

    You may be finding out now that the hormones are settling down, you aren't actually compatible.

    Good for you for asking for professional help.

  7. #6
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear this. It's great you decided to address the mental health distress. This whirlwind situation may have been a way to jump-start the inertia and depression that dogged your last relationship.

    Keep in mind, a good check up, appropriate medical and mental health treatment works a lot better than hoping new women, fast relationships, thrills/chills, etc get your issues under control.

    The thrill and novelty just mask the issues with a shot of adrenaline. This latest gf is correct, that "I shouldn't be relying on her to give me comfort". She's not a doctor.

    Forget the wild proposal thing. She is already freaking out about the maniacal pace and manner of this whole thing.
    Originally Posted by Surfer2019
    she moved in after just a few weeks

    She said shes starting to feel how she used to feel when she's suffered depression in the past. She said she can't be around me with how I am and wants to go and stay with her mum for a few days

    I was planning on proposing to her, I've got the ring, I've booked a helicopter tour which has a landing and champagne toast in the middle.

  8. #7
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Curious: How long have you guys been together total?

    I ask because I can't help but get the sense that this relationship, at least early, was something of a "cure" for you. Aside from giving you an out from your last, unsatisfying relationship, it also provided a landing pad of pure joy: big sparks turned into a big fire in just a matter of weeks, when you found yourself moving in with an insta-girlfriend you hardly knew and who hardly knew you. I'd imagine the self-esteem stuff was dormant when you guys were full-throttle on the love drug, going from 0-100, so in ways the relationship was also a "cure" for that stuff.

    Until it stopped being that, since no relationship can be that, and instead became a trigger the ills you hoped it would cure. At some point, it seems, your low self-esteem started to surface, which made her edgy. She started wondering where the confident guy she committed to went—and suggested you get some help because, understandably, she didn't want to play nurse. You, meanwhile, saw sharper, more self-protective side of her—the part that really, really doesn't want to play nurse. While I get she's been a bit coarse in expressing that, I can't say I blame her. This isn't what she signed up for, and by the sounds of it she signed on the dotted line some five minutes ago.

    Generally speaking, this is why people move a little slower—so they have time to observe the full spectrum of another person, to assess compatibility, not just chemistry. You guys skipped that, and are paying the price. Can things level out? Maybe. The best thing about your post is that you've sought some help—great. Sounds like you need it, for you, regardless of what happens to her. Right now I'd be leaning into that, and finding some comfort in that, rather than leaning into her to give you a hit of something she's made clear she doesn't have to give.

    The good news here is that the guy she doesn't want to be around right now is not a guy you want to be. You're taking steps to not be guided by the swirl of insecurity that's biting at your ankles right now. With more confidence and inner security maybe you find you're happy with her again—or, well, maybe you find yourself confident enough to admit that she's not quite who you thought she was, and can part ways with grace. Both of those are wins, if one sweet and the other sour. Staying rooted in a dynamic in which your emotional health is dependent on someone else, or being with someone, is purely sour.

  9. #8
    Thanks for your replies and kind words everyone.

    Apologies I should have said in my first post, we've been together since February this year so around 7 months. I guess it has been a pretty intense relationship, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. During that time we've been on several trips away and done lots together as a couple, including a 2 week holiday in Cyprus which was lovely.

    I'm no newbie to relationships, I'm a divorcee, I've had 4 relationships all exceeding 3 years duration as well as some time in between as a single guy, so I know how things work and the patterns that people tend to fall into. But what I'm not familiar with is the sudden lack of apathy, it's just so hard for me to understand. Everything seems to have changed, from how she is when she's around me (I feel like I'm the one making the effort when it comes to conversations and affection) to what she does around the house (she always used to make sure I had lunch made for work, I always told her she didn't need to and always thanked her every day, but now she doesn't even mention it) to her tone in text messages. I feel like I'm treading on eggshells now and I guess over compensating for the way I'm feeling which is probably just pushing her away more.

    I get the whole honeymoon period thing, but this is different, she's completely changed with me, I brought this up in the conversation we had and she acknowledged she hasn't been like normal but she said it was a reflection of my mood. We haven't been arguing or disagreeing on things, so it's not like we're sick of being around each other.

    I just don't know the best way to proceed without pushing her away more, she really means a lot to me.

  10. #9
    Wow.

    This post has brought a tear to my eye.

    Thank you so much for sharing this with me, it's allowed me to see this from a whole different perspective.

    Originally Posted by bluecastle
    Curious: How long have you guys been together total?

    I ask because I can't help but get the sense that this relationship, at least early, was something of a "cure" for you. Aside from giving you an out from your last, unsatisfying relationship, it also provided a landing pad of pure joy: big sparks turned into a big fire in just a matter of weeks, when you found yourself moving in with an insta-girlfriend you hardly knew and who hardly knew you. I'd imagine the self-esteem stuff was dormant when you guys were full-throttle on the love drug, going from 0-100, so in ways the relationship was also a "cure" for that stuff.

    Until it stopped being that, since no relationship can be that, and instead became a trigger the ills you hoped it would cure. At some point, it seems, your low self-esteem started to surface, which made her edgy. She started wondering where the confident guy she committed to went—and suggested you get some help because, understandably, she didn't want to play nurse. You, meanwhile, saw sharper, more self-protective side of her—the part that really, really doesn't want to play nurse. While I get she's been a bit coarse in expressing that, I can't say I blame her. This isn't what she signed up for, and by the sounds of it she signed on the dotted line some five minutes ago.

    Generally speaking, this is why people move a little slower—so they have time to observe the full spectrum of another person, to assess compatibility, not just chemistry. You guys skipped that, and are paying the price. Can things level out? Maybe. The best thing about your post is that you've sought some help—great. Sounds like you need it, for you, regardless of what happens to her. Right now I'd be leaning into that, and finding some comfort in that, rather than leaning into her to give you a hit of something she's made clear she doesn't have to give.

    The good news here is that the guy she doesn't want to be around right now is not a guy you want to be. You're taking steps to not be guided by the swirl of insecurity that's biting at your ankles right now. With more confidence and inner security maybe you find you're happy with her again—or, well, maybe you find yourself confident enough to admit that she's not quite who you thought she was, and can part ways with grace. Both of those are wins, if one sweet and the other sour. Staying rooted in a dynamic in which your emotional health is dependent on someone else, or being with someone, is purely sour.

  11. #10
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    Proposing won't make the issues magically go away.

    I urge you to postpone the elaborate proposal and give yourself some time to get the help you need.

    And 7 months with lots of distracting trips is not the real world. It was just a bit longer than usual honeymoon phase.

    Please go forward with getting the professional help. It can only benefit you.

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