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Alright, for the first time in a while, I need help!

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Hey everyone,


I need some advice.


I am also going to try and be as unbiased and balanced from both sides about this as possible to get fair advice.


It came out last week, and in discussions last night my boyfriend has been feeling distant emotionally & physically for a while. This was due to him feeling taken for granted.


I absolutely admit I have been very busy, and while I knew he was down, I truly assumed it was due to his work where he has been having disatisfaction and difficulties for the last few months. When I asked him, he would tell me it was work. It was also me it turns out.


After my mum's diagnosis last year, I got quite down, and stressed, and rather than go with him out I would opt to stay home and encourage him to go, I put of doing little simple things around the house he really wanted done. We both miscommunicated about a few things...we communicated, but not about the right things! When I went back to school in the fall it was even worse as I was working, going to school, studying and had a high courseload...I was exhausted and did not put as much time into us I know I should have, and felt a lot of guilt for that too.


Right now, as of now, we are in a bit of limbo. He is not sure he can come back from where he is; and I totally know where I went wrong, and have a huge hole in my heart for making him feel that way. He means the world to me, I love him absolutely. He loves me too and he cares for me greatly, but he is worried about going from here because he is unsure he can give it a fair chance when he feels this way. He feels maybe he will be anticipating something to go wrong. I don't think this is the case. I know he loves me, I know we have fun together, and I know we both like being together.I also know that now I KNOW what is going on, I am fully committed to reconnecting again. It has been hard the last few months to take time out for one another. I want to do that. I want to have fun together. I know we can, we still do, but I really don't know what to say, or do. We are both very sensitive people; and both have a hard time getting past hurts and resentments.


One of his friends has basically told him to poop or get off the pot, and I feel he is operating under that too. He seems to vascillate, between seeming to want to be there, to wanting to run. I feel instead of seeing a way to rebuild, he either feels he needs to drop it all and run away or stay and that he won't be able to get over this. I know if we can work through this, he wants to be here and be with me. He said so himself. But I know he also has to make the decision to be willing to try. I really believe this is something we can heal from and be stronger for; that we were both stubborn for letting this get as far as it did; we both made mistakes and know that.


I am not sure what I am looking for right now really for advice. I know it is really in his hands now to make the choice. He is out right now, and I suspect he will talk to his friend about this too. So, I am waiting to find out. I have to say, I truly believe in us, and in him, and in me. The problem as he said last night is he is not sure he believes in himself to get back accross the emotional and physical blocks that he has put up.


Any wise advice would be greatly appreciated right now. I really am sorry for hurting him, because I love him with my whole heart. I never intended too, and really want to have the chance to show him that.

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I may be missing something here but you seem to be a tad passive in all of this as if this is a choice he has to make all by himself. I am not sure that a relationship should work like that.


You seem very aware of your part in the relationship moving on to shaky ground and that is a good thing. You are also willing to do what is necessary to move it to a better place.


But the hurdle that he may be facing is to know what both of you, but you in particular, need to do to achieve that.


You know the symptoms and you know that a cure is needed. I think you need to find what the cure is together not separately.


If he can see that you both have a specific goal in mind for the relationship and an 'action plan' as to how to achieve it, it may bring more clarity to his thinking - and to yours.

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I have made a plan, I suggested that for the next 2-3 months, we take the time to date again, regularly. To have fun again, to work on our communication together by talking about things as soon as they come up, and really listening to one another.


That I commit to showing him through the little things he needs, not just the big things, that I am a team member. This past week I have re-organized the basement he wanted done, and cleared it out, cleaned the house thoroughly, decluttered....all those little things he wanted. While it is usually his thing to do the dishes, I have been doing them regularly anyway. Making sure it is clean and uncluttered as I know that is stuff that stresses him out.


Believe me, I was not passive! We stayed up all night talking about this....and I did present what I could promise to him, based on what he had asked for. I think he is worried about how to know it is "real"; and I told him that first, he would know if it was not as he can see right through me. And two, that I really mean it. He means that much to me.

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Hi there,


Tough one - because when someone you love has cancer, it has a knock on effect through all your life, and you can't pretend that's not happening. But as you say, it does mean that your boyfriend has kind of disconnected. You're living together, right?


One way forward - if you can afford the time and expense - might be to organise a holiday together ASAP. That would kind of being a way of breaking the cycle that you've got in, and allowing yourselves to reconnect, spend time together and focus on each other. And have lots of fantastic sex! And that could help you to make a fresh start together, having been able to talk about things and allowed it to just be the two of you. Sort of like drawing a line and moving forwards. Even a weekend break might be the way to do that.


And then, as you say, allowing yourselves to cherish each other, have fun, go on dates, be spontaneous. It's hard, but you need that sense of excitement and good times in a relationship, not being all about the routine and letting things overwhelm you. And hopefully his friends will stay out of the advice giving!


Good luck.

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Sounds like you are doing all the right things.


There is something that I try to bear in mind when directing a play. Time is measured by people not so much by a clock as by interest. If someone is interested in what they see on stage then time is of little importance.


I think much the same thing applies to relationships. The thing that keeps them alive is interest. So if one person feels that they are not interesting to their partner they feel diminished. And lose interest themselves because the enjoyment is missing.


So it is not so much the time put into a relationship that is important but that we can see the other is making an effort to make the time together interesting and enjoyable - it demonstrates where we stand on each other's priority list.

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Thanks Honey,


Yeah, that is how I felt. Knocked off my feet. I felt guilt if I was not around for her, like if I went away for the weekend, as we did not know if she was going to make it through the year.


Well, I don't mind his friend giving advice, I come here for help right now too....and I know his friend would not say anything negative about me. But yes it does make things scarier too! I told him I just have bad experiences with that!


Unfortunately, we won't be able to get away for a vacation...I am in school, but I certainly do want a weekend break. I just need the chance to have it!


I know I see the fact all this came out as the chance to make a fresh start, now that we know where we really are coming from and what is REALLY going on. I feel for him though he feels maybe it has built too long.

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Thanks DN. I totally agree; and that is absolutely what I want to be able to do, and to make him feel loved and alive again. And needed.


There were other things I did this week too, more emotionally based things to show him. Made him a memory book of pictures of us having fun, with messages on why I love him. Gave him a long nice massage, candles and music and all.


But now I feel like I am trying to patch a sinking boat! Too much, too late maybe.

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Hi RayKay... I am sorry to hear about your rough patch, but life and commitments do get in the way of romance sometimes.


I hope you are not taking this as something that is all your fault... there are going to be plenty of times when other people and things take precedence, and he had the responsibility to speak up about his needs all along, as well as to understand and be patient that you had an ill mother who needed you, and emotions to contend with over this. if you do marry and have children, he will have to learn that he will not be center stage when it comes to them either, but to share and work with you to keep your romance and connection alive.


he needs to accept responsbility for letting it go so long, and if he does love you, to try to work past this... i hope you work this out, but please don't blame yourself for being a responsible daughter and dealing with that as best you can. if he really doesn't want to try to rejuvenate your relationship now, then i'd say he is a bit to self centered and selfish to be a long term partner, because life does get in the way, and couples need to negotiate how to get through the rough times together, not to bail every time there is some pressure from outside the relationship such as an ill family member.

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Two things came to me off the top of my head - in this order.


First, run don't walk to find a good relationship counselor (even if it is a religious-based counselor).


Second, and this comes from not having it all in context - what jumped out at me - and this is NOT placing blame on either of you! - is that life has these types of crises and situations - parents who become elderly/ill, hefty school commitments like you have, and similar situations. Not that it is "ordinary" and not that this hasn't been a chaotic hodge podge of several things going on at once - but, isn't this the classic test of closeness? On his end, yes, he needed to cut you slack, and yes, on your end, you needed not to completely forget about connecting, keeping the bond going. But - on his end (ok maybe this is where I place a little teensy blame) - shouldn't he have said something earlier (or did he and you weren't listening?) and/or is he truly cutting you enough slack?


I didn't mean to present more questions than answers, or to ramble - hopefully my first suggestion, while not original, was helpful. Maybe the rambling gave a little food for thought too.


all the best, raykay - PM me if you need anything.

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Hi RayKay,


I know we've talked about this a bit already. Sounds like things are still kind of in limbo and that's a hard place to be. I've told you this already, but you need to forgive yourself for the past. You can't go back and change that. And beating yourself up for that will not help anything. You've got to go forward and use what you've learned from the past mistakes to change how you approach things.


Keep trying. Make the changes you said you would make. Show him how different it is. Sometimes we have to actually see the changes rather than just be promised they will come. And keep talking to him about things. Set your priorities straight so he can see that he's important.


With all that said, he will have to take some responsibility for making a decision eventually. He can sulk for a little while, but eventually he'll either come around or he won't. At that point then you'll have to make some decisions about things. But I don't think you are quite at that point yet.


Remember what I told you before - patience. It is really really hard I realize, but it's pretty important right now.

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I agree with BeStrongBeHappy. I don't think that you should take all the responsibility in where you both are today because he could have spoken his concerns and feelings previously. He may have felt guilty for bringing anything up when you have had a lot going on with your mother and other things in life. You may have done things differently in the past and he may have also. But what matters now, is going forward and the dedication you both have to the relationship.


It seems as though there is alot of love between both of you, but there was a big communication gap. If you are both meant to be, you'll get through this and be stronger in the end.

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awwwww raykay I am so sorry to hear this! you guys seem like a couple that really cares for one another and I really hope it works out. i agree, try go get to a counselor. And definitely recommitt yourself to making things work. I think a weekend away would be great, try to find a way to swing it. i know you and your bf have so many shared interests, it would be great if you two could reconnect for the weekend.


(((HUGS))) I don't know - I'm not in a long-term relationship so maybe my advice is off, but yeah, I hope you two can work things out!

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Hey RayKay,


You had a lot of changes in the last 12 months or so- your mom whom you love dearly was diagnosed with cancer and went through some challenging medical treatments AND you went from full time work to a full time student in a professional program. Change is always stressful and it seems like you've had some MAJOR life changes in a relatively short time. Not only do you go to school and do lots of reading/studying (I would imagine) but you exercise regularly and spend time on ENA helping other people. I know you love your boyfriend, but he wants you to start home projects? That seems like an awful lot to have to deal with----and even someone with the best time management skills would have difficulty balancing all the demands that you have right now!


The most important question to ask yourself is this


So where does all of this leave anytime for RayKay?


How can you be there for someone (i.e. boyfriend) when you're not there for yourself first?

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I would suspect that the home-projects issue is more a symptom than a cause.


When we get a bad feeling about a relationship we look for reasons for that bad feeling. Someone who fears a partner might be cheating will look for clues to that - and sometimes something innocuous will seem suspicious.


Similarly, if we are feeling neglected we will look for concrete reasons for this, especially if we are asked for examples of neglect by the partner.


The important thing is not the reality of issues so much as the perception. If you can make someone believe they are a major priority in your life and not secondary to other things then the battle is largely one. Things like not being involved enough with home improvements may still be an irritant but it is much less likely to mean an end to the relationship.

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i`m sorry to hear about your relationship. To me, it seems that maybe your boyfriend didn`t have the knowhow to cope with you being under all that pressure, maybe due to communication problems on his part, and a bit of selfishness??




So I agree with Bestrongbehappy. I had a relationship with a sensitive guy, and I still love him so much, but he couldn`t support me and avoided talking about how he felt, which led to him being hurt without me realising what the problem was. He asked for time alone to figure out his feelings, and that being around me would bring up feelings of hurt and interrupt trying to heal. But me, feeling quite alarmed and guilty, I spent more time with him adn did nice things - and the rift just got bigger.

So he`s asking for space, maybe now is the time to give it to him. Even if he`s thinking `all or nothing` right now, I wouldn`t be surprised if that changes. If you`re living together, maybe even consider one person temporarily living elsewhere?

Also, I (tentatively...) wonder if right now you are acting more out of guilt and a bit of emotional dependence - I mean, it`s perfectly understandable, but if you really love him then after listening to him and understand his needs from his point of view right now, you should be able to let him do what he says he needs to do? I don`t think he was able to do this wholeheartedly for you when you needed it most...so maybe you could take that time off to think about where you stand in his eyes too.

And yeah, if that`s not really something you want to consider, maybe a relationship counselor is the next port of call - at least then, at the very least a third party can actually see what was/is happening objectively.

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Hey RayKay. I'm sorry that you're going through this.


I think everyone has given you really great advice. I just wanted to add that I feel that you should make sure this reconnection is not all one sided. It sounds like you're doing a lot now to reconnect with him and that's great. But make sure that he's actively involved in this also. I don't mean necessarily doing the things you do, but at least being responsive to your bids for connection. Even when one person is hurt, it still takes two to be in the relationship.

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I think Hoss is on to something here. My best male friend of 28 years is going to school full time, was at the time a tri-athlete trying to qualify for Kona and works 24 hours a week in an athletic store. Imagine, how did his girlfriend feel about being at the bottom of all these activities?


He had the same issue that you have and had to decide; the life he has or a life with her. Well, he decided a life with her since she's the best woman he's ever met (knowing him she's his soulmate). He had to quit his Kona dream that freed up 20 hours a week and focused only on school, her and work. He wanted to invest a lot of quality time into her and after a few months it's emotionally paid off with the return of her admiration, respect and love in the relationship.


Like anything else in life you get what you put into it. thereforeeee, even though there are many other issues in life, specially your mother's needs, I believe you can make this work if anyone can on ENA. Your heart is in the right place so go get back what you deserve. Good luck and God bless. I'll pray for your success.

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Hey thanks all


You are all tremendous people, it is why I love it here so much!


And you all have wonderful advice.


As avman pointed out (and he knows me well!) I am not the most patient of people overall....when my heart hurts I want it fixed NOW!


Anyway, when my boyfriend came home yesterday I was having a nap (since we had not slept at all the night before!); but he came in seeming relatively normal and "lighthearted". He had been at his friends for five hours, and I would guess they had a good talk too.


When he was starting to make some dinner, we were just in the kitchen being silly and talking. His brother called and asked if we wanted to go out for sushi with them, and J asked me if I was interested, so of course I said yes.


My sister also had a martini party last night, and when I had asked him yesterday morning if he was going to go to it, he said "I guess it depends on what happens...". And when I asked him last night after agreeing to go for dinner if he was going to come to the sushi party, he said yes.


So, we had a good night. We talked and remained quite lighthearted generally in conversation, he made a couple playful jokes later as he tends to do and we had a good night. He was a bit resistant to physical closeness, like not initiative of holding my hand or anything, but I would just hold it, or rub his back a bit. I know this is largely as he feels that distance, and I am not sure how to bring it back, but if he can emotionally feel closer, I know that will come again.


I just have to be able to show that love, and care for him, and his opinions, and hope that it does show him I do care, and love him, and make him feel that way again...without being needy and pushing him away.


I don't want people to get it wrong; he has been a tremendous support for me with my mum, and school, and not only to me but he has a good relationship with my mum too. He has been very encouraging of me to go back to school, knowing I needed too for me. I think he just started to feel it was all about me, and he felt a bit unsupported himself in what he was trying to accomplish. I have been supportive and encouraging of him with work and all, but I think he felt I was taking him for granted and this is largely due to the time factor and stress factor for me, but it is still not fair to him.


We both made mistakes in not addressing it earlier, and I know we both did try to bring things up, I think we both made mistakes in not listening to what the other was REALLY saying. We are both guilty of internalizing things and letting them feed and grow...


I don't want it to seem all one sided though either; because we did both make mistakes. I know he cares, and he does show me he cares. I also know that if he was not trying he would not still be here, I think we just need to take some little steps right now to find our way back and right now.

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I think it looks pretty good from here. If he were going to leave you I think he would have by now.


You seem to be handling it well by demonstrating your closeness to him without suffocating him and the longer you can do that the more things will improve.


In that sense - time is on your side.

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Hi RayKay. I am sorry I am late on this thread but I just wanted to let you know that I think you are taking the right steps to address this situation.


As for the clutter in the house, as DN stated it is a symptom of a bigger problem- but as someone who get annoyed by clutter- I can tell you that I do sometimes take it personally if my husband leaves messes around. It can make a person feel "taken for granted" in that regard....and add to the problem. For example, if we are going through a rough patch- for some reason seeing his shoes scattered in the middle of the living room would drive me far more crazy than it would on days when everything is great between us. Many times relationship conflicts will manifest themselves in the physical environment of your home.


So I think it's great that you took initiative to help clean up because it will deal with the immediate environment and allow you both a more relaxing place to deal with the underlying issues (emotional clutter) that may be causing this period of conflict.


With patience and understanding I think you will get through this. And remember if it becomes too much to resolve on your own, couples counseling is definitely a good idea (if he is open to it).





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Thanks Bella,


Don't get me wrong, I like a clean house too, but when I get busy, it is just not the top priority at the time! But, I can CERTAINLY see why it is a nuisance/irritation. It is like anything else really...when things are fine these little things are not such a bother, but when you are frustrated everything seems magnified.


I am certainly making the effort to show I am true to my word, about doing those little things - if I say I will do something, I do, or I will just do them because....of course I still am stressed and worried about it being enough, and being able to break down those little barriers he sets up in himself....but I am really REALLY trying to think positive and just show him...and hope the rest follows!


I think what it comes down too as that he felt I was not valuing him, his opinions or his side.....and while this is not the case at all as I DO very much value him and everything about him....I know how my actions were not demonstrating that all the time. So, I know and respect he is hurting, and I just REALLY hope he will be open to healing as well....

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