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Thread: Should I wait on him?

  1. #1

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    Should I wait on him?

    Hi there! Looking for a little insight.
    My long term bf of 2& 1/2 years (we are both 22) has recently broken up with me saying he is dealing with childhood trauma, depressed, and unsure in life. He said Iím still the love of his life and wants to end up together but in order for that to happen- this time of self improvement and discovery needs to. Basically wants me to wait on him but said he knew it was unfair to ask. That he just wants to be able to call me when he feels better and resume and work things out. He has a history of being extremely avoidant of love/close relationships, and has some bipolar tendencies. Last time he visited he said he felt as if something was wrong with him and he has days he feels nothing and like a shell of himself but to always remember how much he genuinely feels towards me. When I mentioned this he said its not just him avoiding its him being lost and depressed and not wanting to drag me through it, and doesnít think he will be able to actually focus on healing while together.
    I of course asked him if there was someone else or if he was just trying to soften the blow and he was very upset by that and saying ď you must not know me if you think those things bc they arenít true, and Iím not going to lie to make this easier. I still love you and believe your my personĒ and so on about how itís a him issue. He agreed to let me know if anything changed, said he has no intentions of dating anyone new as the whole point is working out his depression & figuring out his own interest again, as nothing makes him feel anything anymore. He then said he has no clue how long it will take for him to feel normal again, and made a comment of ďwell if it takes a year we have to be realistic about casual thingsĒ and how itís different than loving and wanting to marry someone. Agree but also annoyed.
    He asked me not to contact him during the next few months but he would let me know if anything changes. I also said I would like to know if a time ever comes where he doesnít want to reconnect and he promised to keep me in the loop. The other day I gave in with texts and calls and have been completely ignored. I feel horribly stupid and like his ability to blow me off is a reflection of how he feels and that Iím being ghosted. Do I even try to wait and continue this relationship? Am I the bad guy for contacting him? He had told me for the new couple of months he wouldnít answer unless it was an emergency as he needed space to heal.

    As much as I want to write him off as being a jerk.. heís been depressed for the past month. The break up was spoken about for a couple weeks as when he first brought it up and I gave him space he came back saying how he is still head over heels for me and was literally crying on the phone saying he knows heís going to need space to work himself out but doesnít want to lose me. And if he doesnít do this now heís afraid it will get back to the point of him wanting to be dead daily and that he wonít be able to come back from it ( referencing a time in his life when he felt this way and lost himself prior to knowing him).Just being 100% vulnerable and emotional.
    Our relationship has included this cycle of him fleeing the scene and being an avoidant, and Iím just questioning if he will ever be reliable and someone I can trust not to abandon me. We have broken up once before for a month and a half due to issues stemming from his anxious avoidant ways & when we got back together I thought he had actually figured it all out. It lasted for 4 months before he was in a numb state & kinda having a quarter life crisis. He is brutally honest so I know deep down he really is a mess right now.
    What do you guys think? I know itís a lot. I donít want to end up unhappy forever, but I also know he has potential.

    Would you wait on him? Would you cut all contact?

    Also: we have been long distance for a few months and I was planning on moving out to his city regardless for work. But now Iím not so sure.

  2. #2
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    Originally Posted by sm88
    He then said he has no clue how long it will take for him to feel normal again, and made a comment of ďwell if it takes a year we have to be realistic about casual thingsĒ and how itís different than loving and wanting to marry someone. Agree but also annoyed.
    What did he mean by this? Casual dating with other people? Did you two have a conversation about that?

    I think he's struggling but part of that may be a hesitation to really settle down and commit to you. You're both pretty young and have been together a while, in relative terms. It could be that he wants to explore a bit more. He might not have anyone specific in mind but it appear he's open to mingling, so to speak.

    You also mention that you've broken up once before, and it sounds like it was due to similar issues. Two break-ups are the sign that for whatever number of reasons, a couple doesn't work together. Whether it's because of mental health issues or fading feelings on his part doesn't make much difference to the bottom line. It's unlikely that a third attempt would work out too well. Usually there are just too many issues to overcome by that point. I realize he's told you he still wants to get back together someday and get married, but that's just not a very realistic prospect when you've broken up with someone twice. I'm not sure if he's telling you these things because he naively believes them, or if it's just meant to keep you around in case he decides he wants to come back. Either way, the damage done by rupturing the relationship like this would make a future together very difficult..

    I'm curious to hear what his plan of attack is, in terms of getting his mental health looked after? Has he booked an appointment with a doctor or counselor?

  3. #3
    Gold Member Skeptic76's Avatar
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    Sounds like a difficult situation. Iím just summarizing here, tell me if Iím off?

    ďIím mentally and emotionally unavailable right now, so Iím cutting you off. I donít want you to be with anyone else, but it is realistic for you to expect that I have Ďa casual thing.í You canít be mad though, because thatís different than love, and I love you so much that I have to completely stonewall you (this might take around one year) in order to really show you my love after I decide when that completely shut off time is over.Ē

    Is that about right?

  4. #4

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    He kept saying he had no intentions of actually being in a relationship with someone. Sorry if Iím being confusing.. casual thing meaning sex. Which even that he seemed to only consider in the extreme case we are separated for an extended period of time. He also was saying he knew I would probably do the same if we were broken up for a year or more before he was sorted out.
    Heís not a super sexual person nor requires much attention.. heís very avoidant and doesnít like getting close to people so I feel like he was more so saying that as a ď no clue how long this will takeĒ. Also agreed to let me know if it came up. Hook ups donít bother me too much as I get theyíre not the same as a committed relationship. Iím more worried about the avoidant behavior and back and forth ways than anything.
    Also worried about the compatibility as you mentioned. The only thing I can think is maybe that itís due to us both being so young and also having gone through a lot together ( my mom passing).

    But he does have narcissistic and Bipolar tenancies as well as avoidant which really, really concern be.

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  6. #5

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    Sorry if Iím being confusing! He did say he just wanted a couple months or so of space. The year was an exaggeration of him saying the only way I would even hook up with someone is if we took a year or more off from the relationship and it would just be a hook up, not a relationship with someone I love/want to marry.

    The stonewalling thing bothers me. He has always done it. Itís typical of avoidant people and also people that are bipolar. His therapist suggested he may be bipolar.. which would make a lot of sense.
    Iíve had some say itís a little narcissistic but he seems genuinely to be struggling and numbed out to the world. Iím not sure what to think.

  7. #6

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    Also- hope my first reply went under your response- but in terms of mental health he been speaking of getting back into therapy when the quarantine is lifted.

  8. #7

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    I may be acting a little too empathic but heís always struggled mental health wise and always been this way so Iím just lost/confused

  9. #8
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    Originally Posted by sm88
    But he does have narcissistic and Bipolar tenancies as well as avoidant which really, really concern be.
    As they should, OP.

    I know you want to be sympathetic and that you love him. You sound like a very caring person with great intentions. The problem is that he's showing you he isn't committed at the same level you are. Yes, he needs to sort himself out. And it might indeed be the healthiest choice for him to do that on his own rather than continuing a relationship he simply cannot sustain. He knows he can't give you what you would like out of a relationship and doesn't want to hurt you when he does what comes naturally to him by shutting you out.

    I would not wait for him, if I'm being honest. Having been around this block a couple times, I can tell you that at your respective ages and with two break-ups now, relationships like this rarely work out well. Repeated breaks are too damaging, and trying to caretake someone with emotional issues comes at a hefty price for you. You don't want to fall into the habit of justifying or rationalizing unhealthy habits, which I'm already seeing shades of in your post, even though I know you mean well. It will eventually be too much to keep stuffing down your own needs and you will one day wake up and realize how unhappy and unfulfilled you are in a relationship that is all about tending to the other's avoidant and depressive behaviour. It can't feel too good to have a boyfriend who backs away all the time and needs time away from you to get himself sorted. That just isn't sustainable and will deplete your own self-worth.

  10. #9

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    Youíre very right about all of that.. I am an empath and have a hard time reading my own boundaries yet try to over sympathize with otherís (even if theyíre unreasonable- such as implying he would like me to wait with no communication). I do think this may be whatís best for him, but it does put me in a position of feeling absolutely horrible and isnít whatís best for me. His ways of shutting me out bring up a lot of abandonment issues for me and leave me feeling defeated. Itís also hard to go from him wanting to name our future kids one week, to a break up for an indefinite amount of time the next week.
    When you say youíve seen this behavior before- how did you deal with it? What worked for you or others to heal and understand the situation better? I have been reflecting on his inconsistency the past few weeks and I donít think I could trust him again after this.. whatís to say he wonít just up and leave again? I know itís not necessarily his fault- but itís also not mine :(
    I appreciate the replies so much.

  11. #10
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    His ways of shutting me out bring up a lot of abandonment issues for me and leave me feeling defeated. Itís also hard to go from him wanting to name our future kids one week, to a break up for an indefinite amount of time the next week.
    Of course. It would be hard for anyone. It's very damaging to a relationship and renders anything healthy and long-lasting nearly impossible. This isn't the sort of thing you can build on.

    When you say youíve seen this behavior before- how did you deal with it? What worked for you or others to heal and understand the situation better?
    Honestly, ending the relationship for good. I could see it left me compromising too many of my own needs and too much of my own well-being. It was pretty craptastic to feel like I couldn't rely on this person, not knowing when he'd retreat again. The inconsistency was too much and I was drained and getting resentful. I finally ended it and went No Contact. It's been years since I've seen or spoken to him, and I have no regrets. I moved on and am much happier for it. Last I heard (randomly through a mutual acquaintance), this man is now married but his behaviour hasn't really changed much. I wish him no ill will, I'm so glad it's no longer my problem. When you've had real time and space away from your ex, I suspect you will feel the same way. That will be particularly true when the day comes that you meet a guy who doesn't come with so many caveats and shows up for you - consistently - without so much strain on you.

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