• Hi. It’s great to see you. Welcome!

    Our forum members are people, maybe like yourself, who experience mental health difficulties or who have had them at some point in their life. Amongst our membership there is a wealth of expertise that has been developed through having to deal with mental health issues.

    We are an actively moderated forum with a team of experienced moderators. We also have a specialist safety team that works extra hard to keep the forum safe for visitors and members.

    Register now to access many more features and forums!

Relationship may be ending and struggling

S

sugarlips1980

New member
Joined
May 17, 2019
Messages
2
Location
London
Hi

I think my boyfriend of a year may be about to break up with me and I need a strategy to not have a complete melt down.

While I have a very calm rational side a lot of the time I think I have an anxious attachment and it's driving him away.

My background: I'm nearly 39, I have no family left and haven't had kids of my own and in a bit of a panic about time running out. Abandonment issues from my dad. My mum having had cancer from when I was 8 until she died when I was 18 makes me feel anything good can and will be taken away. Being brought up by my gran who was so enmeshing and codependent who I had a real struggle with to be allowed independence I feel has made me quick to temper.

I met a man I really really love. I tried to take things slow (ourwardly) but inside I was like oh my God he's the one. 5 months in, when we were so loved up, he dropped the bombshell hed slept with someone else eight weeks in (one night stand) and he'd given me an STI. I was devastated but didnt want to let him go. I'm not keen to hear comments please about "once a cheater always a cheater". Things are rarely that black and white. I thought about it a lot and assessed him, I wanted to be sure I wasn't being a walk over and overlooking being with a player because I felt in a lonely situation with no family. I genuinely feel he's a decent guy who made a mistake. He admits it's no excuse, but in the beginning I was warm but maybe kept him at arms length seeing him just once a week for a few months (I moved away for work too) and he clearly wanted a more full time partner. He said it threw him and made him insecure and he imagined I was seeing others (I wasn't).

So I gave him a hard time for a few months, he took it and reassured me through my many wobbles and things settled down and we moved in together at eight months. We've had some really great times.

But also some monumental fights. What should have been low level arguments that are normal between couples got blown up out of proportion. I played a big role in this, being anxiously attached, I had outwardly said I forgave his infidelity but I either threw it up in his face during an unrelated row or I just overracted to what was going on. I believe my anger over it would have passed eventually, but we've got stuck in a vicious cycle of attack and defence.

Things seemed to get a lot better and we talked about trying for a baby. I was hurt when things seemed to have really improved between us and despite my hints he didn't get me anything for our one year anniversary.

He grew up feeling attacked by his parents, his father especially so he's quite sensitive to feeling "got at". Gradually over time, he's displayed what I feel is rejecting behaviour. From trying to get away from me while were arguing (driving off while I'm begging him to come in and talk) to shouting at me how could be find me attractive and why would be want to be with me and in the last couple of months, I noticed him initiating sex less and last two weeks he lost his erection a couple of times with me (our sex life was so good). Yet we've managed to stay very affectionate and kissy and cuddly until just last couple of days.

For the last few months I did a lot of self help reading about anger management and really tried to de-escalate our fights, weve had many calm, rational chats about methods we could employ. But for the last couple of months he's instigated all of fights with me, he asks me stay quiet and listen and I do then when I talk he talks over me, then walks off. I've felt he's poking me with a stick to see me get heated then says oh look at you you're a mess. I've felt so frustrated I've really been trying to do what's best for our relationship (not perfectly but I've made leaps and bounds) but he's just triggered himself and not behaving fair. I've tried to calmy point out ways he's being difficult but it goes over his head and it's all my fault, he talks like I'm the only one who needs to improve.

My self esteem feels rock bottom. I left to go back to my house. He tells me he loves me but he wants space and he's ignoring my calls. I've had panic attacks and I've message him to tell him I'm struggling mentally and if he could just reach out and show me some warmth, and he tells me that's emotional abuse and manipulation. He says I leave and want him to chase me and he won't pander to me (I guess I do, I want him to just show me he cares).

The rejection is killing me. The cheating was painful because it made me feel I wasn't good enough. He tried very hard to make amends and I was slow for that to sink in but trying. Before I got to a place of real forgiveness he showed me rejection which kept setting me back. I desperately want to let my resentment go, I know it's no way to live and he doesnt deserve constant reminders and to be made to feel crap. But essentially each time I move forward I feel he does something that shows his resentment at my past anger and I feel resentment that he resents me for my resentment for his cheating and round we go!

I wish we could reach some place of genuine truce but I feel I'm losing him and his willingness to do his part. I know he still loves me, I feel if I could just keep calm and give him space we could turn it around. But my god I'm triggered- im clinging and begging one minute and when he doesn't respond attacking.

Any advice on how to hang on in there and gain some control here much appreciated!
 
OCDguy

OCDguy

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 13, 2016
Messages
819
Perhaps couples counselling could help if you both agree :)
 
C

cookoo

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 16, 2019
Messages
59
Location
London
if you really both need space and time away from each other to think breath and basically find yourselves again then tell him to block you from being able to contact him.
 
Top