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Thread: my usually lovely boyfriend is now distancing me and I don't know what to do

  1. #1
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    my usually lovely boyfriend is now distancing me and I don't know what to do

    My boyfriend and started dating 4 months ago. 3 months ago we became official. We are both in our 20s.

    It is a really nice and unexpected relationship, the only time I have done "dating" properly. We spent every date talking and building an amazing connection, he was respectful and interesting and we listened to each other for hours talking about values and childhood bla bla bla. I fell pretty hard for him. He lived an hour away from me, so we would spend at least one day at the weekend (but usually the whole weekend) together.

    It just happened so fairytale (the only way I can describe it), we waited to have sex for 4 weeks and it was amazing. We were compatible in every way. We went on holiday, he told me I was "The One". I met his family and his friends. His mum told me she had never seen him so happy. He told me his friends had said he was a different person since he met me because he was so happy. We did the whole "i cant believe someone like you exists" thing.

    I am his second girlfriend, but he has told me I am his first "adult" relationship. His ex-gf was a college girlfriend who cheated on him and the relationship was shorted-lived. I assume they went out when he was around 19?

    Three weeks ago (so 3 1/2 months into knowing him) we had our first "argument". I say "argument" because it really needn't have been. It was raining and I asked him if he could pick me up from the train station as I had been getting his shopping delivery for him. It usually takes him 20 minutes. After an hour I just sent a message, which word for word was "Hey, any idea when you will be here? Shall I go back in and wait? See you soon, thanks again can't wait to see you ! xx" He hit the roof. Calling me selfish, saying I was guilt tripping him, saying that I was never thinking of him and he always put me first and I never put him first. The reason why he was so late is because he had stopped for a coffee with his friend. I just said hey I don't mind you went for coffee! You should have said and I would have walked (takes 1 hr 30 to walk) or got the bus (1 hr); but he didn't listen. I was crying and apologising because he was shouting. He told me he was taking me home and didn't speak a word for the car ride home. He then proceeded to break up with me, completely emotionless. He blanked me pretty much for 5 days.

    After 5 days he rang me asking to meet. He apologised for overreacting and said he didn't mean it. He said he assumed I was asking him to chose his best friend or me. I was confused. We agreed to put it behind us.

    Sometime after this, I asked him why he had liked a picture of a pornstar on instagram (which, I will admit, didn't really need to be mentioned). He had told me that he didn't like following celebrities/crushes because it's his business instagram. I explained it made me feel uncomfortable, but I realise that was MY issue not his; but I had to let him know I didn't like it, rather than sulk etc.

    This resulted in him blanking me for 3 days. I messaged twice basically pleading to talk, not understanding why he was ignoring me. Eventually he said that I was "guilt tripping" him, that we ALWAYS argue when we are not together. That I was accusing him and that he constantly worried about his own behaviour when he shouldn't have to change a single thing about him. I pointed out that we had argued twice, and the first time he admitted he overreacted, and the second time was a stupid insecurity of mine. He said things hadn't been the same since we argued. I agreed, and said it's hard to have your first argument in a new relationship, but we had to make time for each other again and communicate how we used to.He told me he doesn't know how we will get back to how we were - I said by communicating and avoiding the silent treatment.

    This was on Monday. He said he would speak to me again on Monday evening but I have had a family bereavement this week and couldn't face a heavy conversation. I asked to speak on Sunday, and he said whenever I was ready and hoping I was okay.

    He is under a lot of stress recently with a promotion at work meaning he works the weekend (time we usually spend together) and a move to a new house which includes a lot of construction work which he is actively involved in. He was also voiced concerns to me that he is struggling with money slightly. His family expect a lot of running around from him and monetary favours, as well as emotional support.

    I also suspect he has depression. In the past he has voiced to me that he has "black months" where he pushes everyone away. 3 days before our first argument he said to me "I am just scared I am going to push you away because that's what I do when I am sad". A week ago he said to me "I hate being on my own, I've made a mistake living on my own, it's too much". He had a terrible (abusive) childhood and he has shared a lot of this with me. This is why I understand why smaller issues like those above, which can be perceived as criticism, are so hard-hitting for him. I am ready to be more aware of how I come across in discusssions we have about issues because of this, and I have told him this is a learning curve for me. He has also started crying in front of me silently and out of the blue. I try and comfort him and he lets me usually, but now I have been totally frozen out.

    He text me on Wednesday thanking me a gift I had ordered for him before our argument that had arrived that day. I replied last night basically saying I hated us arguing and I wanted us to go back to normal, hated that I had upset him and telling him I care about him so much and I am always here to talk, and asking if we are still meeting Sunday, and that this is the longest time we had apart and I missed him.

    He read this morning I presume before he left for work but hasn't replied yet.

    I am utterly and completely bemused. I honestly feel like this is such a good relationship; I still get butterflies when I am with him! The past three weeks have been stressful with my family's illness and his move/promotion, especially as our weekend date time has been disrupted - but it is so obvious to me that it is external stress!

    I feel like he's about to break things off and I am heartbroken. I love him so much.


    Please, has anyone got any advice or similar experiences with a stressed out/depressed boyfriend who is usually lovely turning cold on them? What happened?

  2. #2
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    I think unfortunately it's one of those crash and burn situations. To me 4 weeks is actually a short time to wait before having sex and it sounds like both of you kind of wanted this insta-relationship with all the dramatic highs of "I can't believe I've found someone like you!!" but after 3 months you start to get to know the real person - and what you got to know was the gritty reality that he let you down when it was raining and you were getting his delivery -because he chose to be unreliable in favor of meeting a friend for coffee. Not thoughtful to keep you waiting in that situation. That's what you have to get to know - you watch the feet -the actions -not the lips -just the words, over a much longer period of time than 4 weeks or 3 months - many of us over a period of time get new jobs/hate our jobs/have some financial situation/get a terrible cold/etc - you can't see much of that at all in 4 weeks - and many people can behave perfectly fine for 4 weeks.

    There will always be stresses in normal life and sometimes unfortunately atypically hard stresses. That's when relationships are put to the test. Not when you just feel butterflies and have known someone a shorter time than you've known most of your pairs of socks.

    I'm really sorry you're feeling so in love and worried. Yes I've been in that situation because I used to be attracted to (and attract) people who had depression, for example. Yes, I had the turn cold situation and then warm, then cold etc and a few times cold and then radio silence. I'm sorry.

  3. #3
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    What I am seeing as I read this is someone who is testing your boundaries and your strength. Some people like to see what they can get away with once they think they have you. You sound like you reacted normally to an abnormal problem, a person who starts doing this continues to pull you in and then find ways of pushing you away from them, in a way- asserting dominance and keeping you off balance. Always blaming yourself.
    That isn't the basis for a healthy relationship.
    If you bend yourself into a pretzel person to find ways of making him stay or be happy you'll probably be the unhappy one, and never getting your needs met.
    There are people who aren't like that, and the time you'll save not being with someone who will leave you with emotional scars will leave you open for being with someone who will be good to you.
    It's just a process getting over someone who presented themselves as something they really aren't.
    You'll be ok give yourself time and space and try not to fall for getting sucked back in.
    Also, try researching narcissistic personality disorder. This sounds very similar.

  4. #4
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    I agree with Batya so much on this!

    You’re starting to see how he handles conflict in your guy’s relationship. To me sounds like he doesn’t handle it very well, to me that’s a major red flag. If he can’t handle simple problems, what’s going to happen when major life hurdles come your way? I doubt he’ll be there.

    I’m sorry you fell hard for him but this relationship has turned toxic In a short period of time. Hold off on continuing a long term relationship with him. You need someone who doesn’t just say “Goodbye” when times get tough. You need “ We’ve hit a rough patch, how do we work through it?”

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  6. #5
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    Originally Posted by limichelle
    I agree with Batya so much on this!

    You’re starting to see how he handles conflict in your guy’s relationship. To me sounds like he doesn’t handle it very well, to me that’s a major red flag. If he can’t handle simple problems, what’s going to happen when major life hurdles come your way? I doubt he’ll be there.

    I’m sorry you fell hard for him but this relationship has turned toxic In a short period of time. Hold off on continuing a long term relationship with him. You need someone who doesn’t just say “Goodbye” when times get tough. You need “ We’ve hit a rough patch, how do we work through it?”
    He also, unfortunately, might have been looking for an excuse to end things.

  7. #6
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Sorry about all this.

    I don't think anyone but him can tell you what's going on, and I'm not even sure he can. But something is, and in your shoes what I'd be focusing on how that something is making you feel. He has shown you, very clearly, the type of person he is: unreliable and unkind the moment he is at all stressed out. Take note of that, and know there is more to come. Life is stressful, and this is how he handles conflict: terribly.

    You can make "understanding" that a personal project, or you can ask yourself if that's the kind of person you want share your life with. I would say that strength is in asking that hard question, while focusing on understanding him is a recipe for a lot of discomfort and for feeling, bit by bit, like you're losing yourself.

    I'm not sure if it's purely a coincidence that you're seeing this side of him basically the moment after things become "official." Prior to that the stakes were low, everything is a fantasy, and you're both kind lost in the sauce of seeing if that fantasy can be realized. Then it becomes "real" and—boom—his baggage came spilling out of the closet like an avalanche. This is not uncommon—I've been in your shoes—and from what I've seen and experienced it doesn't really stop. Some people—and this isn't a conscious thing, which is what makes it scary—like to turn partners into punching bags, targets, storage containers for their pain and unprocessed baggage.

    Is he such person? Certainly sounds like it. It isn't really about you, all that, but about him.

    My heart broke a few times reading this, because you seem to be wondering what you've done, open to accepting blame or, at least, accepting his behavior as extensions of various stresses—tough childhood, money stress, and so on. I really encourage you to try to not think about it like that. I've got some real movie-of-the-week stuff in my childhood, and I'm responding to you in part to avoid looking at three other windows on my computer involving mortgages, taxes, and all sorts of adult insanity that's a touch more ragged around the edges than I thought. But if I treated my girlfriend later the way he has treated you? I'm about certain that would be the end of our relationship. I'm also certain there is no chance of me being a monster to her just because I'm overwhelmed.

    You sound great: smart, caring, able to handle conflict with grace. Is this man great for you, a genuinely great custodian of what makes you great? I think that is the most important question to be asking, since you have no control over him. I get that you're probably not going to end this tomorrow, but as you stay in it keep that question front and center as you observe. If you find yourself continuing to feel off-kilter, confused, and longing to "go back" to "how things were"—well, I'd say that's when you need to accept that this romance has run its course.

    It's been 4 months. I know it feels like a long time—and that everything you feel is big and real—but remember that it's only 16 weeks of your life. The first few months—the first year or so—of a relationship should be pretty fun, pretty easy. If it hits the skids hard and fast—as many do around the 3-4 month mark—it's often best to call it a bad match rather than suffering a lot of whiplash.

  8. #7
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    Mr Amazing is not so amazing. What the heck were you apologizing for! You were not rude and you were also doing something for HIM! He treated you terribly. You should not allow people to disrespect you like this. He is very manipulative, emotionally abusive and unstable. You cannot have a relationship with someone like this.

    He was looking for an excuse to break up with you.

    Be done with him! You are too good for him! You sound like a nice girl. I will repeat, do not allow people that treat you like this and do not apologize when you have done nothing wrong.

  9. #8
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    He seems a bit moody and unpredictable. Leave him a wide berth for awhile while you collect your thoughts. Your heart seems to be in one place and your brain somewhere else. I'd distance yourself from this person while you collect your thoughts and while you reconcile your misgivings and the previous fights and the stonewalling.

    You'll need to make peace that this is the type of person he is and wait to see what he does next or move on by yourself.

  10. #9
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    I do have to wonder how your approach to the relationship was. Bringing him deliveries (on the train, when he has a car!), buying him gifts. Did he bring you deliveries or buy you gifts? Did he travel to you or did you always have to travel to him? If he could drive you home, why couldn't he drive to pick you up?

    This seems to me like it was awfully one sided.

  11. #10
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    Originally Posted by boltnrun
    I do have to wonder how your approach to the relationship was. Bringing him deliveries (on the train, when he has a car!), buying him gifts. Did he bring you deliveries or buy you gifts? Did he travel to you or did you always have to travel to him? If he could drive you home, why couldn't he drive to pick you up?

    This seems to me like it was awfully one sided.
    Good questions!

    OP, why were you picking up his stuff?

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