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Trying to figure things out


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So I never quite thought I'd end up posting on the internet looking for advice, but right now I think I need it and not sure if there's anyone I can really talk to. This is a long post, but, I may as well get it all out.


I'm a 30 year old guy and been with this 25 year old girl for almost a year now. Let me tell you a little about myself first however.


I'm a thinker, a worrier and an analytical person. When it comes to work, business, other people, anything than myself I am a confident and optomistic person. I can organise, I can plan, I can fix, I get results, and I don't give up until I achieve my goals. When it comes to me on a personal level, I crumble. I doubt, I think, I worry, I'm not good enough, I'm always doing wrong etc etc. Same old self-loathing story, sure you've all heard it before.


She and I are quite similar, both a little insecure, both had mostly bad relationships. This one has already ended once, but we couldn't stay away from each other and were back together within a fortnight.


I like to think of myself as a nice guy, and I was raised with the simple belief of treating others as you'd like to be treated yourself. If there's something I know she wants to see in another town (she doesn't drive), I will offer to take her. If I'm going food shopping, I'll ask if she wants a lift and come too and so on. I see no problem in doing these things for the person I love. These actions make her uncomfortable, or at least used to. She was raised by a single mother who brought her up to believe all men will eventually cheat on a woman and can't be trusted, and accepting anything from them is a sign of weakness. It's taken her until very recently to realise on a small level that this might not be true, and that I'm not doing these things with an ulterior motive.


She also told me just last week how she's now feeling completely safe with me, and isn't in a panic every day about losing me through doing something wrong (we're both like this) and can finally just relax and enjoy our time together. I unfortunately have not reached this point, but I'm trying. She also told me last week that she wants a family with me, very directly and seriously.


You could read all this and wonder why I'm here asking for advice. Well, here's where I start being unsure.


Since the very beginning we've always been a very close and intimate couple. There's always tactile contact, hugs, hand holding, cuddling, kissing and no shortage of sex. She's recently finished University and during the last month her sex-drive died, she thinks through stress (I did the same course she did, and I know it's tough). I accept this, and didn't find it worrying, we all go through tough times and it effects us in different ways. Sex to me is also not the be all and end all of a relationship. It's the littler things I value the most, the other intimacies, cuddling together on the sofa watching TV, a kiss goodnight and falling asleep together etc, which we've always had.


Since finishing Uni the situation hasn't improved or "gone back to normal", which she said she hoped it would. If anything it's gotten worse. Going to sleep involves her turning away from me and getting annoyed if I try and get close to her. If I try and kiss her she will sometimes back away or very clearly limit it to a quick peck. If we're watching TV she'll get cranky if I try and sit with her, but then get doubly annoyed if I sit in a different chair. I can't seem to put a foot right. As I said above, it's not about the sex, we seem to have completely lost any kind of physical contact and romance/intimacy.


She's moving home in two weeks time, although only 30 minutes drive up the road. We'll still have weekends together, so this isn't an issue to me. In 3 months time she's moving 90 minutes away to do a Masters degree for a year. I've tried to reassure her this isn't a problem for me either. Even if our time together gets heavily limited, it's just a year, I love her and accept it's temporary and we'll manage however we can.


She seems to be closing off though, and all of the above changes combined with the moving only tells me she's getting ready for things to end. I don't think she's actively seeking to leave me, but she seems to have a "it probably won't work" attitude and is half expecting it to end.


She then throws me a curveball now and then though, like last night on the phone she started talking about us going away together for Christmas this year, meaning she's looking/hoping to the future, so she can't be planning for it to end at least, maybe?


I guess I just can't figure things at the moment. I feel like I'm in a no-mans land, with a lot of "we'll be okay after X" barriers popping up. First it was finishing University, then things got worse and it was then moving home, I'm wondering what it'll be next. I know she's got a lot on her plate, like moving town, having to find a job in her home town to be able to get the money for her post-grad, then moving again and so on, so if she switches off when she gets stressed like she says then maybe she's just as or more stressed than she was recently anyway.


In a way I'm hoping someone wiser will read all this and say "relax son, she's just in a tough place, it sounds fine, but be patient". My decision so far has to just keep being me, keep being nice and doing nice things and being supportive and then if things do go wrong, I can at least know that I tried, right?

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I don't want to make you anymore nervous than you already are, but one time I was broken up by someone who had told me - a week earlier - what she had been planning to get me for the next Valentine's Day, and where we should go on winter break together.


To be honest, this sounds bad. I'd prepare for the worst. She's exhibiting all of the classic signs of the cowardly breakup. Sometimes when women get it in their heads to leave someone, they stew with it for about as long as they can stand it and then, poof, out of the blue you're gone -and then you're posting in the "break up section."


However, it may not be all that bad. Have you spoken with her about her distance and lack of intimacy? I would definitely bring this up and try to get to the bottom of it.

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Pursuing someone who's backing off usually has the opposite effect you'd intend. It's a push, and that's likely to push her away even more.


I'd pull back, instead. I'd give her distance and time to figure out where she stands and how much she values you. I'd remove all pressure from that cooker and start cultivating my life beyond my relationship. She might not appear to miss you for a while, but in time she might appreciate you instead of take you for granted.

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Hey guys,


Thanks for the replies.


banal -


I sort of have already been preparing myself for the possibility she's just letting things fizzle out, has very much crossed my mind.


We have also discussed on some level the changes in our relationship lately. She herself brought up her lack of sex drive a couple of times in the last month. Once while she was still finishing University, she just explained her libido dies out while stressed. Another time recently she got quite frustrated saying that her mind was wanting and willing but the body didn't want to cooperate, got a little annoyed at herself and apologetic over it.


She has also tried explaining the cuddles and stuff a little too. She's had a very bad right shoulder/neck since I've known her (forgot to mention this earlier) which ended up leading to a recent (end of April) injury to her left shoulder, tearing her rotator cuff. She's in pain pretty much most of the time and very inflexible/tender, and also explained that as it wears on her patience grows thinner and her tetchiness/crankiness grows stronger, and that it's in part related to that, just feeling irritable a lot of the time.


catfeeder -


As I said I decided that the best thing I could do was to just keep being me, but have realised just this evening that this contradicts the giving her space aspect. I like doing things for people, surprising them, days out, cooking a romantic dinner etc, so if it's space she's wanting then I'm not doing myself any favours actually. Guess I need to go against my nature a little on this one and just let the dust settle in her life.





Today we had the "family meeting", my parents came with me to meet her father and her sister and we all had dinner together. My girl had told me it was her sisters idea when planning it, but during dinner it came out from her dad and sister that it was my girlfriends idea and she looked a bit shy and coy when I gave her a questioning (but smiling) look. I know women are fickle things, but something is trying to tell me she wouldn't have arranged this if she was planning to ditch me when she moves in a fortnight?


EDIT - one thing that did get to me a bit was as we were leaving I tried to give her a kiss goodbye, leaning towards her and all. She leaned up too as usual, but at the last moment she turned and just gave me a peck on the cheek. This is something she's never done before, in any context. She's not a fan of PDA, but she's never been afraid of a quick kiss on the lips with either of our families around before.


Give her space, check. Be patient, check. Be prepared just in case it does go * * * * up, also check.


Does any of this make a difference or change what I might be fearing?

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Just been on the phone to her (she had texted asking if I got home okay, I left it as I wasn't in the mood to think about it, she ended up ringing saying she was worried about me).


Turns out today was her sisters idea afterall, not hers, maybe not a big thing. I straight up asked her about the kiss, said I'd rather look silly and ask than guess, guess wrong and look more a fool. She explained she was just uncomfortable doing anything close with both our families nearby and that everything was fine. Meh, we'll see I guess, she's never done that before but who knows.


Getting a little tired of not knowing where I stand, but I don't know if that's a situation of my creating by making mountains out of molehills, or if there's really something not working.

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Your insecurity is warranted, I think, if not because of your girlfriend then because of the way people handle breakups. They're just dishonest about them.


"I feel like you've been distant lately. Why?"

"No I haven't."

"Yes you have."

"Well, my back hurts. Sorry."


You'll just have to wait and see. There's nothing to be done if you've already brought this up to her. Take her answer at face value and prepare for the worst. I don't mean to be cynical; it's just that I've been in this spot before, as I'm sure you have. My last girlfriend told me on a Friday that everything was "fine" when I had commented on her distance. She was busy with work and she just had a lot on her plate. She's the one who was telling me about her V-Day gift. Anyway, she stayed over Friday, we had good sex, and then we spent the day together on Saturday and had a wonderful time together. She smiled practically the whole day. Then that Tuesday she asked if I could meet her after work. Nothing unusual, we did that all of the time. And when I get there she's crying and broke up with me totally out of nowhere, airing grievances that I didn't even realize she had had.

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That's more or less the same situation me and this girl had when we separated a few months ago. We'd been in a few rough spots and had decided to try and have a nice evening out together, dinner, movie and so on. Great sex before we even left the place (she pretty much jumped me when I arrived to pick her up), having a laugh and a joke on the way down town, but when we were parking up she started talking about her ex again (she used to a fair bit) and I commented that she'd been talking about him a bit more than usual recently.


Within 30 minutes we'd broken up. When I say we, I mean she had broken up with me, I was mostly confused, and stayed that way for a week or two. It took longer to get to those same grievances that I also didn't realise she had. We ended up back together after 3-4 weeks as we couldn't stay away or out of contact with each other, and it's been a lot better this time but these days I'm trying to balance whether there's something actually WRONG (in the "it's all going to end" sense), or whether it's just a bad time for her and us and I'm stressing too much based on past history (I AM a drama queen unfortunately, I panic about all things emotional).


Wait and see it is. I just found out that during dinner yesterday my dad offered her a job (my family and I run a business together) which she took, so starting tomorrow she's going to be working with me for the next couple of weeks. Could be interesting!


Patience Ben, patience...

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Just thought I'd post a quick update.


Last night I picked her up from the station and had planned what turned out to be a world class evening for her. Kept it all a surprise, long candle-lit massage, bath (even went out and got the hand-made salts she likes), new dress for after the bath (I dressed up smart in a shirt & tie), cooked a candle-lit dinner, got her favourite movie and a bottle of wine for afterwards and so on.


Evening started better than I could have hoped, we felt closer than we had been in a while now, able to just talk and be open and enjoy each others company on every level (made love several times during the evening). Talked over a lot of whats been going on recently, she apologised for being the way she had been, we both admitted we were more nervous about her moving away than we had been willing to admit, and she talked more about how she realised she hadn't been good to me lately and was very apologetic and open about it. I asked/suggested if she wanted some more space during this tough time, to which she said not really, just asked me to try and relax a little and not think everything is a doomsday issue (as I often do). Massive weight off both of our shoulders, felt young again.


Later in the evening she got a text from her housemate (who she doesnt get on with at all) and she got very cranky very quickly, closed up and pulled away while arguing with this girl then started snapping at me. I didn't get defensive, just pointed out that she was biting at me because this other girl had annoyed her, and it's not something I should be on the receiving end of. I'm all for being a sounding board, but not a punch bag. Rather than being defensive herself (which I expected her to) she was very receptive to this realising how she was deflecting her anger onto me and calmed down very shortly afterward.


We both slept very soundly, also a first for quite a while, just wanted to stay in bed this morning and not go to work. She's invited me over to hers tonight (I had not been expecting to not see her this week as she'll be busy packing) and it was a very close & personal departure like we used to have.


All in all a very good turn of events, feeling very relaxed about it all having talked things out between us and got things back on track.

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Well things got interesting today, and by interesting I mean unpleasant.


It's been a great week, really has. For the firat time in nearly a year together I finally relaxed and wasn't afraid of things ending every five seconds. We've had mostly good days, but a disagreement or two without major drama, which was new.


Today was different. She has no real friends, no other way to put it. She made one friend during the closing months of Uni and they got on great together, but since finishing she hasnt really kept in touch with her.


I convicted my girl to go surprise her at lunch and make the effort as she was getuing quite afraid of losing her.


During the final month of uni, the bad times, I got jealous of this guy that knew her friend, and hearing how much he makes them laugh and so on. She'd often no reply when with them or at all afterwards. I let it slide. Told myself I was just being paranoid.


He was there at the lunch today, and sure enough she ignores my text asking if the lunch went well, just rings me a few hiurs later asking for a lift home. when I ask about lunch I just get 'it was fine'.


Later in the evening she's all short and odd acting, but tellsme I'm acting weird too. We talk, it gets unpleasant even though I'm trying to assure her I'm fine. Call ends, I say I love you as I often do before hanging up, she just says bye.

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Long post was about to crash my phone.


So I didn't like it. Last time that happened she was dumping me two weeks later. I get in my car and drive to hers.


She's not happy about me showing up. I explai. that is rather clear the air, didn't like how it went. she says I'm making her doubt whether I can handle the distance when she moves.


Starts talking about how I'm passive aggressive controlling her and so on. She says I tried to force her into saying she loved me, so she didn't on principle. Then goes into an attack about how you can't expect to hear it back all the time, but I know she vets upset if I don't say it back.


Things cool off a bit after some silence, then she starts talking about this guys, seems he likes her friend and she spent the afternoon testing with him to help set something up, yet she has no time to just tell me how lunch went?


I'm not happy with how I behaved today, I got in a big panic over a little thing, but I've been cheated on before and I've learned there's no smoke without fire. Or am I seeing what isn't there?


she asked me to stay the night in the end, had dinner together and she's asleep next to me as I type.


there's more to what happened today, but its a pain typing this much on a phone. will write more tomorrow.

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First off here's an edited repost of the above with corrected errors that were made due to my phones small screen:




Long post was about to crash my phone.


So I didn't like it. Last time that happened she was dumping me two weeks later. I get in my car and drive to hers.


She's not happy about me showing up. I explain that I'd rather clear the air, didn't like how it went. She says I'm making her doubt whether I can handle the distance when she moves. This makes me realise I've probably just taken two steps forward, five steps back.


She starts talking about how I'm passive aggressive controlling her and so on. She says I tried to force her into saying she loved me, so she didn't on principle. Then goes into an attack about how you can't expect to hear it back all the time, but I know she vets upset if I don't say it back. I tried to explain that it was my attempt at an assurance, not a "fix all" as she called it. She didn't seem to listen.


Things cool off a bit after some silence, then she starts talking about this guy, seems he likes her friend and she spent the afternoon texting with him to help set something up, yet she has no time to just tell me how lunch went?


I'm not happy with how I behaved today, I got in a big panic over a little thing, but I've been cheated on before and I've learned there's no smoke without fire. Or am I seeing what isn't there?


She asked me to stay the night in the end, had dinner together and she's asleep next to me as I type.


There's more to what happened today, but its a pain typing this much on a phone. Will write more tomorrow.



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Okay, so I'm physically shaking right now, in a bit of a state and not sure what to do. I also know it's partially my own fault.


So after the other night I'm unsure about things again.


I ended up staying the night on Friday at her request, we went out late shopping, had dinner together and after watching a film curled up asleep together. Well, she slept, I didn't, so much stuff running through my head. Didn't get to sleep until 3-4am and then woke up at 6/7am.


Saturday was moving day, so it was going to be tough. I was prepared to be as thick skinned as I could and not let things get to me. The day in itself was long and hard, but went well. Of course we had a tiff or two over the best ways to do things, but was to expected on a hot and heated day.


Wasn't a full moving day per se, we were transporting things to her mums place and C herself will be moving next weekend once her old flat is empty (she's renting it right now). She's asked if she can stay with me for the coming week so she can keep working for my dad, and simply has nowhere else to go. Saturday ended with us moving a good amount of stuff here as well, food/kitchen stuff that will be handy in the week, and clothes aplenty for her to get by. She commented at one point that it felt like she was moving in and it felt weird, albeit was said with a smile on her face.


Later in the evening as she's telling me more about this guy and her friend M, I decided to bite the bullet and open up to her a little. The mood was good and light so I just said to her that I'd got a little jealous of him, but she said she'd pretty much figured that already. Only reason she hadn't got annoyed was that I hadn't tried to say or do anything (like have a go or tell her she can't see him etc, that's not my thing). She commented that it could have gotten awkward with him potentially getting involved with M, but I took this the wrong way and things got heated into an argument fairly quick. After a while of silence we talked, she explained, I realised I had misunderstood and apologised.


During the argument she said "this is going the same way as it did earlier in the year with you making me feel bad for something I've not done". That got to me.


Still, in this case I was in the wrong. We talked over a few other things, I pointed out to her that her comments about me being too sensitive weren't a one way issue, as just earlier that day she got REALLY upset when I jokingly called her stupid, still not sure if this registered with her or not that she's just the same as me.


This morning she wakes up ill, and has gone back to bed since.


This is where I've been stupid, stupid stupid stupid.


I checked her phone while she was sleeping.


Yes, I know, bad move.


First off are some texts to her friend M about how we'd had a fight on Friday afternoon (which I didn't even realise we did), and how she can't wait to move towns and just be away from it all. This got me terrified, and raging in fact. I'm being kept around to help her move, while convenient, and she can't wait to move so I won't be around anymore. Then I realised that I shouldn't take it as gospel, because I know I've said to my friends when angry about C in the past that I've reached my limit and don't want to be near her etc. Still, it shook me. A lot.


Second though, is this other guy. Even in the texts to M, my girl says that he texted and she replied and gave him M's number and so on. So she says outright they've been texting, and she even told me this herself openly. Why am I unhappy here?


There's not a single message in her phone, to him, or from him, anywhere. She deletes everything to do with him. Facebook, texts, BB messages, whatever. Anything to and from him, she's deleted.


Smoke, fire. Why would she do that if she didn't have something to hide? I've never snooped or checked anything of hers before, so I don't know. Plus if she thought I was checking, would she leave messages to M that are ranting and * * * * * ing about me in anger too?


When I told her I was jealous of him the night before, she said she was fine, but she in fact got very rapidly defensive. The words were saying one thing, the gestures and tone were saying another.


Combine the two, and I'm in a dark place right now.

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Just decided to go and check on her, see if she needed anything. I'm still who I am, despite anything else, and I'm not going to feed anger out of spite over things I shouldn't know about.


She's all cuddly, and close, won't let me leave when I try and let her get back to sleep, you name it. As I do eventually leave she sleepily whispers "I love you", which sends a wave of warmth through me.


I can ignore the angry text to her friend, as I said I've said the same kind of thing myself before.


I can't ignore why she'd delete everything from this guy though. Every text, old or new (and him liking her friend is only a recent thing, they'd been texting on and off for Uni work for 6 weeks before that). The texts to her friend do talk about this guy liking the friend, nothing else, so no I don't think she's cheated. I DO think she may have become attracted, swayed a little, but no I don't think she cheated (as I'm not sure M would want sloppy seconds anyway, she'd have known about it if it did happen). But why hide everything from him?


Part of me thinks I'm being taken for a ride. I'm going to help her move, we're going to go to these concerts next week, then somewhere after that I'm just going to get a dear john.


Part of me thinks I just need to stop biting, be the bigger man and just get on with being me, remind her what I am, who I am, and if she decides that isn't enough, well... it's her loss.



I'm just so confused.

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You're confusing yourself, and you're acting like a creep. You're spinning yourself into a pressure cooker that pops at the slightest breath she takes, and you're feeding that monster with dishonest, intrusive and disrespectful behavior.


Relationships are risks. Period. If you're not up for that, then what are you doing in one? Either you trust the girl you've chosen, or you don't--and if you don't, then what are you doing with her?


We all get hurt if we've loved enough, but if it's worth it to us, we use better discretion in who we select to love again--and we love again. Either you trust your choice, or you don't--but stop making her pay for your own decisions to spin everything she says or does into a plot against you. If you keep behaving this way, she'll dump you just because you're acting like a creep, not for anything else.


Enjoy the person in front of you while she's in front of you. Stop behaving in ways that only cause you shame and insecurity--which compounds the behavior--which compounds the feelings. You're in a bad spiral, and it's up to you to check that. Immediately.

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Yeah, came back to read that again this morning.


I feel like Ive opened pandoras box, by checking up on her I've exposed myself to the possibility she has something to hide.


My dad always said to me you should never go turning over stones looking for dirt, because you will always find something that will loosely fit what you want to find, and thats what I've done.


Feel like screaming at myself.

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Managed to stay stable for yesterday and today. In a reverse of Sunday I ended up quite ill myself yesterday and she ended up looking after me (she was ill and bed-ridden/vomiting all day and evening Sunday, and was surprised when I stayed with her and looked after her). Explained that in her family and in her previous relationships noone has ever looked after her the way I do, and still isn't used to it.


It's tetchy at the moment though, she's getting restless waiting for results and having no home, and most of the tetchiness seems to be pointed in my direction. I do know though it's not personal, and trying to stay upbeat and supportive for her.


She'll be moving home properly this weekend and she's already invited me to stay for the weekend with her. I'm doing my damndest to avoid entering the spiral catfeeder described (and is right about), as I keep fearing she's just keeping me around for convenience (I've given her a job, given her a place to stay, moving all her stuff so she doesn't have to rent a van etc). I guess I'll know in a week or three.


I'm not expecting it to end, but I'm trying to ignore that feeling that it's coming. One slip-up/mishap once she's home and doesn't need me anymore and I can see me getting the elbow. Guess it's up to me to stay stable and not to let it be my cause at least.

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Patience reducing...


So a week or so ago she tells me she finds it VERY annoying that I'd gotten nervous talking about sex and had stopped trying to be intimate and It made her feel unwanted etcetc


We've had a close week physically, and I've just gotten comfortable being open amd being daring again. Today, while at work, she's getting frisky, feelijg me up in the office, telling me she can't wait to get me home and jump my bones.


She left work early, I got home, cooked dinner, were sitting together and theres nothing on tv so I playfully suggest an early night with a cheeky smile.


This results in me getting an aggressive talking to about being sex centric, over demanding of her and making her feel like she's not satisfying my needs and I'm pushing her etc.


She can undo my trousers in the office, whisper sweet nothings (bearing in mind she is very anti-PDA when I try), but I merely suggest an early night and I'm unreasonable?

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