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Commitmentphobe or adult attachment disorder


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I'll try to keep this a short as possible but I'd be so grateful to anybody who can offer advice/thoughts.


In October 2013 I met a guy online. We chatted for about a month before we met The first date was a quick coffee & chat. We were very attracted to each other immediately & arranged to meet the following weekend. We started seeing each other & after 6 weeks together he nervously told me he loved me. Two weeks later I realised I felt the same way & told him. 4 months into our relationship I discovered that he'd been seeing another woman when he met me & that he'd ended things with her by cutting all contact with her. I asked him about it & he told me they were over & he wanted to be with me. I believed him. We agreed to be exclusive. Then a month later I found out he'd signed up to a couple of dating sites. We talked it through after I threatened to end our relationship & he told me he was sorry & had very low self esteem which is why he did it. He promised me he wouldn't do it again and wanted to be with me. After 7 months we moved in together & things were great. He proposed to me 9 months after that & then 2 months after that we were over the moon to discover we were pregnant - we'd been trying for a few months. Sadly we lost the baby at 9 weeks. I was heartbroken but he didn't show his emotions at the time. I lost my job because I was having a hard time dealing with the loss, so things were tense financially, although it helped to be able to try and conceive again. A month later I discovered he'd signed up to another dating site. This time I told him it was his very last chance & it was me or the dating sites. He chose me. And things were good. Until 2 months later... when out of the blue he told me he missed his children (18 & 14 year old girls from his marriage who lived with their mother in Canada). He told me he was going back to the children. A week later he left, and sent me an email saying sorry for how it ended, & sent me some money for rent/bills. I was in bits. I told him I'd go with him but he wasn't interested. I didn't deal with it well. Despite everything I loved him more than any man I'd ever loved & vowed to get him back. 3 months later I emailed him & we chatted & he told me he wanted to come back to me & needed me. So I took him back. The first 6 weeks after he came back were good. He had no job so I was paying the rent/bills etc & things were a bit of a struggle but we did okay. Then one night as I walked into the lounge unexpectedly he almost dropped his phone. I guessed he might be up to his old tricks so I stayed vigilant. I noticed he would sneakily be on his phone at around 2am every night when he thought I was sleeping. He had a 2nd phone that he would never let out of his sight. He'd hide the screen from me. I started to drop hints about how he was looking guilty. He denied it! 3 months after he came back I woke up in the early hours & he was fully dressed taking the rubbish out (I later realisedhe was hiding his rucksack outside). I jumped out of bed because I thought he was leaving without telling me. He hugged me & said he couldnt sleep. I went back to bed but laid awake for hours after he came back to bed. The next day he got up, got dressed & started applying for jobs on the laptop. After he was done he said he was going for a walk, kissed me & said when he got back we needed to talk. I waited 2 hours but he didnt come back & when I checked all his clothes were gone. I never heard from him again. I since found out that the first time he left me, not only did he go back to his wife, but he was also having an affair with another woman at the same time! . Ironically when he left me the second time, he went back to the same woman he had an affair with & he's now living with her. When he came back to me he left his wife & kids without telling them. He left a note! I have just found out that after being with this woman for 7 weeks he had signed up to adult dating sites.


A bit of background: as a child he was sent to live with various relatives/friends from an early age as his younger brother was born with learning difficulties & some physical disabilities. My ex was sent to boarding school at age 11. He married age 20. He started to 'roam' when his wife was pregnant with their youngest. And it's been a pattern ever since. From what I know now, other than his marriage my relationship with him is the longest he's had. Since he left me, each of his relationships have lasted happily for 6 weeks before he started looking for new women! He was back with his wife for 6 weeks before he met the woman he's gone back to. He was with her for 6 weeks before he came back to me & it was around 6 weeks before he contacted that woman again while he was with me. And now 7 weeks after going back to her he's looking again! He's not a good communicator & won't talk about enotional issues.


So after that ridiculously long post I guess what I really want to know is...is this guy a commitment-phobe, is it an adult attachment disorder (he seems very insecure & even when we moved in together he was looking at ways to track me in case I cheated on him (Oh the irony!!) or is it something else entirely? He also hated me shutting him out when I was angry or upset.


I do have valid reasons for asking all of this and I really do hope someone can help.


Thanks for taking the time to read this!

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Regardless of what possible mental disorders he may have (AAD etc) he's a low life. Totally agree with RainyCoast.

This guy won't change. He will do this to every single woman he can sink his claws into. I would say cut your losses and chalk it up to some hard life lessons. You're much better off now that he's gone.

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My most recent ex behaved similarly. He's cheated on every girl he's ever been with, has had lots of quick flings, recycles exes, jumps on dating sites the second a fling or relationship ends, has been very on/off with his longer-term relationships (including ours, for 2 years). I've never been through anything so completely devastating. I spent the past 2+ years trying to figure it out, and read everything I could get my hands on. I think you're probably correct that yours is a commitment-phobe with an avoidant attachment style, like mine. These guys will emotionally destroy you. The book "Men Who Can't Love" explains it perfectly. You should read it, if you haven't already. It helped me understand what was going on, and therefore I blamed myself a little less (although it's hard not to feel like something must be wrong with you when they constantly play these push/pull games with you). There are also several books on avoidant attachment that may help you understand and cope. I got very little explanation from my guy, but he did admit to having commitment issues. And he said when someone gets attached, he can't handle it (maybe why your guy breaks things off around the 6-week mark). And he said loving someone scares the s h * t out of him, so I imagine he can't handle his own self getting attached, either. I tried everything I could possibly try, and nothing worked. He would get really close, but he couldn't sustain it over a long period of time. I've read that they won't change without therapy for their deep issues. It's all very confusing and heart-breaking, and like I said, it will destroy you.


Having said all that, I also have to agree with the above posters that he's simply a user and serial cheater. These guys are selfish, often narcissitic, and they don't care who they hurt. They want what they want when they want it, and the rest of the time you don't exist to them. They're horrible people.

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4 months into our relationship I discovered that he'd been seeing another woman when he met me & that he'd ended things with her by cutting all contact with her. I asked him about it & he told me they were over & he wanted to be with me. I believed him. We agreed to be exclusive. Then a month later I found out he'd signed up to a couple of dating sites. We talked it through after I threatened to end our relationship & he told me he was sorry & had very low self esteem which is why he did it. He promised me he wouldn't do it again and wanted to be with me.


I'm less interested in his childhood and more interested in yours. Four months in you had a pretty big warning sign. Five months in, you should have been gone and saved yourself a bunch of heartaches.


Red flags were everywhere. Don't avoid them in the future as you try to "win" a guy.

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Does it really matter what label you put on this? Don't you understand this is a guy who isn't relationship material at all and doesn't want to be, no matter what lies he's telling you.


He cheats, because that's what gets him off and he has no desire to change. You need to drop the whole 'I can change them, really I can," and just run when you see red flags. This one couldn't even make it a year and fake the honeymoon period for six months before he was off cheating on you.


Call it whatever you like, it'll still drive you to the point of insanity not to mention risking your health and life from what he might just "share" with you. And your self-esteem and respect? Yeah, you can pretty much just toss those while you're at it if you choose to stay with someone like this.


Tell him to go get some therapy and maybe you should too to find out why the sorts of red flags that make other people head for the door didn't with you. I'm not even meaning that to be harsh, but wow this guy wasn't even subtle about his manipulations. All I can tell you is to treat this as a learning experience and next time run a mile.


P.S. No matter what label you want to hang on someone if they're toxic and cause problems for people and choose to ignore, you know, all the help in the world which we now have in an abundance like never before no label is going to fix or excuse their actions. A scorpion is still a scorpion if it's stinging you and making you sick. And if you keep picking it up after awhile surely you have to say, "Okay, I'm done being stung now, the venom is starting to seriously poison me here."


TDLR: Drop the scorpion dear, he's making you very sick.

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Oh, here we go with the disorders. Ugh!


The guy is a cheating, lying a$$hole! But, you knew this from the start. You have no one else to blame but yourself, as he showed you who he was.


I would not be concerned about that creep's problems, but try to understand why you would allow someone like this into your life. I cannot believe you took him back, time and time again!


Get therapy!!!!

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I'm with Holly - enough with people trying to ascribe disorders and mental illnesses to partners who have done them wrong. Stop trying to absolve them of blame or to make it hurt less by trying hard to believe it wasn't their choice to dump you/cheat/fill in the blank.


This post was hard to read. I can't believe what a train-wreck your relationship was.

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^^ lol


Lets list everything he could be:

Borderline personality disordered.


Sex addicted

A Dirty Rotten Scoundrel

And able to put his hooks quickly into the naïve and vulnerable.


Commitmentphobe with adult attachment disorder are the last "isms" I'd choose if I were choosing.


Be glad he's gone and do consider seeing someone to help you to figure out why you would take him back when he kept going back online when you had already told him that it was the site(s) or you once.

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