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I've been with my boyfriend for close to a year now. We've had a good relationship overall, minus a few bumps here and there but nothing too serious. We both thought this is it for us, we're going to be together, we talked about the future many times--when to buy a house, when/how to get married, when to have children, how many, what our goals are, what we want out of life. He always said I made him question everything he ever though he wanted. To be a bachelor and live the good life. He had a daughter when he was very young and she is now 8 and he never thought he wanted any more children. Now that he's met me, that's changed.

Fast forward to the last few months and things have started to go down hill. His job has been very time consuming and challenging lately. He travelled a lot, worked long hours and whatever little time he's had left I've had to share him with his daughter, his friends and his family. On top of all this, he's had some issues with his daughter and his ex as well as having to look for a new place to live. All in all a very stressful past few months for him.

Having so little time with him has been very hard on me so there were times when I would get mad or moody at him but I always felt loved and secure in our relationship because I knew it was out of his hands. He wanted to be with me but just couldn't always find the time. Regardless, I always felt like we'd get through it.

Over the last few weeks, things have gotten progressively worse between us. I've gotten mad at him on a few occasions and he's the type of person who cannot handle conflict. The more mad and moody I get, the more distant he becomes. He used to call me every day, sometimes twice a day. First thing he would do in the morning would be to email me from his blackberry to say hello. He almost always called me to say goodnight, even if it was 1 or 2 in the morning. It was those sweet little gestures that made me feel happy and secure in the relationship and that made me fall in love with him. Lately, the phone calls have gone down to almost nothing. Sometimes I feel like he avoids my calls when I call him. He ALWAYS has the phone with him and is constantly taking work calls so obviously when he sees my number on the display he likely doesn't pick up. He still emails me during the day but I usually initiate the first email. We see each other approximately 2 or 3 times a week but he's not as affectionate as he used to be. He tells me he loves everything about me but he hates that fact that we've been fighting so much lately. BUT I think the fighting for me comes from the fact that I feel he's changed. The more we fight, the more distant he becomes. The more distant he becomes, the more angry I and upset I get and the more we fight. It's a vicious cycle. I can't even call it fighting though. He refuses to fight. It's more like me bitching and him listening and trying to get off the phone as quickly as possible.

Last weekend I got mad at him for getting so drunk the night before (for his birthday with his buddies) that he was so hung over the next day he missed a dinner with my family. I was so angry I really let him have it. We were supposed to meet with friends of mine later that evening and he had to call me back by 5 to let me know whether he'll feel up to it. He never called and when I called him, he ignored my phone calls all night. The next day was Easter and again, in the morning he wouldn't pick up the phone. He just sent me a quick email that night saying "Ana, you deserve better than me. I'm sorry." I had no idea what he was trying to say by that but I later found out that he meant he's confused about us, doesn't know if he's ready for a relationship. He did end up coming over for my family's Easter that day but he was a few hours late. It seemed like we were making up but the next day when he invited me over, he was completely wraped up in work and hardly spent any time with me. I got mad again, and he got distant again.

I'm at a loss as to what to do. If he could only go back to the way he used to be, I wouldn't be mad and we'd never fight. I think he still cares about me but it doesn't seem like he's willing to make the effort to give me what I need out of a relationship. In the past he would listen to my feelings and try to give me what I wanted. Lately, it seems like he just doesn't care.

Should I just give up on this relationship? It's hard because I believe with so much conviction that we were meant to be together. I know it hasn't been that long of a relationship but everything seemed so right. How do we get back on the right track? I don't want to make him sound like a jerk because he really is a nice, sweet guy. It could just be that he's completely overwhelmed with everything going on in his life. I'm trying to be less moody and more understanding but I refuse to be the only one making an effort. I've spoken to him about the diminishing phone calls, the lack of affection and his response was that I just want things to be the way they were in the first 6 months and that things change. You're not going to have that new relationship high all the time. I agree to a certain extent but I just feel like it changed too suddenly.





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