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Jean
Jean, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 433
Experience:  Licensed Clinical Social Worker with 20 plus years of experience in the field.
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Hes acting like I dont even exist anymore :(

Resolved Question:

We had been dating for almost 5 months. We don't technically live in the same town, but I am lucky enough to have a residence in his town, and while we were together I was there almost 50% of my time. He helped me through a really tough time, and the feelings were certainly intensifying. We had very few disagreements, but they were usually because there was a real lack of true communication. I would do things that made him mad, and in my defense I had no idea what his expected boundaries were, so I screwed up a few times. Mostly it was about me putting others first. I could tell by the way he would do things for me and how his kisses grew more passionate that his feelings were growing for me also. I didn't want to push the issue to change the dynamic of our relationship because he seemed skittish of his own feelings, and I was okay with taking things as slowly as he needed. Then, on our last night he told me he loved me, but he said it into his pillow. I asked him to repeat, and nothing. The next morning he was upset that I hadn't slept next to him. I hadn't slept at all and spent the night chatting with my friends (severe case of insomnia). There were other times when he couldn't sleep and would move to the couch or whatever. I just thought rather than keeping him awake with me tossing, turning or texting it was just best to go downstairs. He took off the next morning without a word. Then, no contact for 5 days. I ended up writing a long message to him about how I think our main problem was lack of communication. His response to my lengthy FB message was, "This was honestly the best thing I've ever read. I love your face." Imagine my glee! But then, nothing. I asked for another response (at this point all texts had ceased, this was all messaging on FB). I finally typed another message, saying how I really need him to give me just a minute of his time or I was going to have to bow out for self-respect. I had spent the whole weekend crying over him. Then, nothing, again. I went up there (spent my time busy with other friends, but hoping to see and hear from him). His only communication was that I could grab my house key from his car while he was in work, preventing any contact. I told him that I wasn't going to bow out without him having to look into my eyes and tell me what is going on. Still, nothing. His one text said, “I don’t know what you want me to say, and I don’t want to say anything.” WTF? Why did he flip so quick? What can I do to find out? I’m not crazy in thinking that he cared. His actions spoke for that up until that point. What can I do about this? I still think about him way too much :( Any advice is appreciated. more info: We are both in our late 30s, he has been a bachelor his whole life. I am a single mom to 2 boys with whom he tried hard to foster a relationship with by giving gifts and taking them snowboarding. Even my dog loves him, he would walk her often for me, just because he said he liked her. Please ask if you need any further details.

Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Jean replied 11 months ago.

20pluscounts :

Hello, I am available to assist you. Welcome!

20pluscounts :

This man sounds freaked out with fear, the fight, flight or flee response.

20pluscounts :

It's understandable that you would be completely confused by this, especially when you are left to figure this out with little information from him.

20pluscounts :

He helped you through a really tough time, you said, does he no longer feel "needed" by you.

20pluscounts :

It sounds like he was especially reactive to you pulling away from him, such as not sleeping near him, going downstairs, stating you may need to bow out.... He may have an extreme fear of loss and abandonment. What we fear most we tend to create.

20pluscounts :

It is quite evident he has strong feelings for you- those don't simply change overnight.

20pluscounts :

"skittish" of his own feelings- again, fear, apprehension. When we fear we tend to focus on those things that resemble what we fear- such as you separating from him- even if it's going downstairs to sleep. He's reacting to something that isn't there- but operates as if there is "something"- feeling some sense of rejection.

20pluscounts :

Sometimes people are so convinced- maybe subconsciously, that things will turn out badly in a relationship -they sabotage and make it happen.

20pluscounts :

Him telling you he loved you into his pillow- and that you heard him may have "freaked' him out.

20pluscounts :

If this man is not willing to be honest, even if it's to tell you he's confused, and does not have a clue, you are left "filling in the blanks", guessing, speculating. YIKES- and what you put together to make sense out of this may be way off.

20pluscounts :

Such mixed messages- nice compliments- to quickly pulling away again. It sounds especially hurtful that he entered into the life of your children- even the dog loved him :) He does sound like a very sweet man, and has a kind and loving heart. Both good and bad- sensitive- but sensitive to the point that he may be misinterpreting things, hurt deeply by, who knows what.

20pluscounts :

This sound like it's a whole lot more about him than anything you have done. I can imagine you are evaluating and going over and over in your head what went "wrong". What you describe in your post makes little sense- such a sudden flip without any information.

20pluscounts :

The question you may be asking yourself is, even if this man does love you- funny ways of showing it- is he "available" and open for someone to enter his life? A bachelor all of his life- that's not typical- and maybe there's more to this man than what he's sharing. I wonder about a significant loss or trauma in his life- but again all speculation, guesses... The only way you will truly know is if he tells you.

20pluscounts :

You've had an impact on him, maybe touched his heart that has been closed off. However, as quickly as he opened that heart, he may have slammed it shut just as quickly. What you describe sounds like "hypersensitivity" on his part.

20pluscounts :

The comment you made that he would get mad when you "putting others first", points to insecurity, and hypersensitivity. It sounds like his flight began when he told you he loved you.

20pluscounts :

He told you he loved you followed by you sleeping downstairs may have equaled major rejection for him, reinforcing those original fears.

20pluscounts :

"I don't know what you want me to say, and I don't want to say anything"- what they hey is that!? All you are asking is for him to tell you what the freak is going on- not what he thinks you want to hear.

20pluscounts :

He not only took flight but now he is in a deep freeze.

20pluscounts :

What you describe, anyone in a similar situation would feel the same way. You are absolutely not "crazy" in thinking he cared. He cared and loved- but is now cold and distant. You are not crazy- this situation is "crazy making". One can not make sense out of something insidious- not likely to make sense out of a situation that feels insane.

20pluscounts :

Please add any comments or questions you may have. I will be notified when you post again and I will join you for a live chat if possible.

Customer:

My intuition has been telling me a lot of the things you're speaking of. Some of my lasts texts to him stated that I thought he was running away because he was afraid and that life is too short to not tell somebody that you love them if you do. I have expressed how much I care for him, both in the past and then before he disappeared, so he is aware of exactly how I feel. I'm going to post what I sent to him on facebook and his responses:

Customer:



  • Valerie Perez-Edmonds




    I’m not even sure where to begin. Having been alone with my thoughts for a few days now, I was hoping to have a better grasp on what I want to say. The greatest conclusion that I have reached was just that, poor communication. We’ve spent the last 4 ½ months speaking via text, or through intoxicated minds for 80% of the time. Speaking in ways that are so subjective to the other party, so open for interpretation filtered through our own egos that I truly believe that was our downfall. It feels like you and I should be the poster children of how not to communicate effectively, how to leave the other one confused, hurt, and in my case even more broken. And I am fully aware that I, even though I can talk for hours, can cover every most superficial topic as to avoid that true communication between two souls.


    Without said communication, I really have no idea what you are thinking. I’m no mind reader and neither are you. So, in fact we are both walking around thinking that we know what the other one is thinking when in fact we have no idea. My interpretation of what has been happening, is that neither of us, being as damaged from our pasts as we are, can handle the aspects of what we are feeling. I feel very deeply about you, yet I have always stood there too afraid to let you know. Having done so would have made me more vulnerable, which is something I protect myself against all of the time. Truth be told though, I was and still am vulnerable, because simply not telling you my feelings didn't shield me from the vulnerability. It only made my actions less interpretable to you as you never knew what I was thinking, and vice versa.


    We could chalk it up to that we just aren’t compatible. That would be the easy way to get free from this, but I don’t really think that is true. I believe that we are compatible in many ways, some ways may need to be worked on, but that seems really minor. I think the key here is the word ‘work.’ When two people desire to be involved with each other, it takes work. It takes effort on both sides and that is not always an easy task. The intensity of feelings that I have for you naturally calls for progression of the relationship. Neither of us has let that happen. We continue to act in this casual manner, but yet our emotions grow, and the way we treat each other doesn’t. We obviously have needs and things that we need from one another, yet we never communicated those things. The parts of my personality or actions that drove you away, that drove you crazy, were never verbalized; therefore I was completely unable to make the changes that you needed. I had my interpretation of what you expect from me, but yet never really knew what you needed from me. Part of a healthy relationship is making some changes to suit the other, and doing so just because you adore the other person. We never set up any boundaries. We expected them from each other, but never communicated them to make them clear.


    These are some of my thoughts about the demise of what we had going. But again, without a dialogue there really is no way to tell. I’ve assumed so many things along our path, and probably wrong assumptions at that, but here I am again, assuming. Now you have closed this book, and walked away. Your silence is deafening. I want to ask for some talk before I go. I guess I’m just hoping that we learn something from all of this.


    I will leave you with these words though: I did fall for you, heavily. I do love you, and I missed my chance to ever say it in a venue of our relationship where it would have had an impact. I didn’t know how to and I was terrified of admitting it. Now I am, and it is too late. It is so cliché to say so, but love sometimes is not enough. We never added the effort, the big one, the communication effort to our dynamic. It is truly sad, almost tragic that adults of our age still have no idea on how to work an interpersonal relationship. Maybe I am just naïve in believing that you felt the same way about me. Maybe so, but deep down I am a hopeless romantic, okay, sometimes just hopeless, but romantic nonetheless. I know we had our times, our times when things seemed really bad, but it never was that bad. I have seen people overcome much larger hurdles in making things work, but again, we never communicated and just left things unsaid, and in the end it killed us. I certainly feel like I love you enough to have tried, but it seems that it was not reciprocated.


    I really hope that one day you find the girl of your dreams and I'm sorry I wasn't her. Good luck. Stay golden.


    I love you,


    Valerie.


    p.s. A response, even should it be, “f**k off and die,” would be nice. We could at least communicate in the end.









  • August 3






  • Nate Dogwithfourg's




    Honestly this was the best and most amazing context letter I've ever read. I am a bit drunk now to respond. But. Be calm I'll drop some shit on you tomorrow. I do miss. A hug. I'm not on q mission. But have. A thought o. How to get there.. I'll message you a bit more sober tomorrow. Love your face. Be well.










  • August 4






  • Valerie Perez-Edmonds




    I was hoping to hear from you ... I'm also hoping that you didn't just think such things because of alcohol. xo















  • Nate Dogwithfourg's




    I'm sorry. Have some $$ in town. I tru to quit the drink but get sucked in. You are amazing. Give me a moment. I'll give ya a valid response.










  • August 5






  • Valerie Perez-Edmonds




    Okay, let me put it this way. I have waited fairly patiently for you to respond, for you to do that one thing that we’ve been lacking, communicate. Apparently binging is more important than lending me a few minutes of your day. And with that, I have my answer that I was looking for. It’s not the answer I was hoping for, but at this point I have given up on having any expectations. Well, that’s not true, at this point I’m only expecting the least amount of effort on your part.


    I was waiting for a little interchange between the two of us, as I had wanted to extend an invitation to you. I am now on the first night of my seven-day stent without any kids. That’s a ton of time for me, as you know. I’ve left my calendar open in the hopes that maybe we could spend a bit of time. Yet, here I sit like the foolish girl I can be, waiting on you to give me just a little. You love my face? I’m amazing? Certainly doesn’t seem like you really believe your own words. Maybe you just want to keep me hanging on for whatever selfish reasons you may have.


    I purposely have not replied to several invitations on where and with whom to spend my free time. I did that in the hopes that I would be where I truly want to be, and that is next to you. I feel though at this point that I am left with no other choice but to accept and enjoy my other options. I am too proud of a woman, and this rare free time is too precious to spend wasting on waiting for someone who doesn’t see how special it is.


    Picture this: alone on my beautiful property, not a sound to be heard but the rustling of trees, the hoots of an owl family and maybe the occasional coyote. A meadow, so magical, that two eagles have made the tallest tree their home for years as it is the safest, calmest place in the area; so many stars, so bright, that it’s hard to even catch your breath. It was here that I was envisioning you and I, quiet on a blanket, a couple of bottles of wine, good tunes, and sweet, lingering kisses. It was here that in my mind we were finally opening up, able to express those things that we have found so difficult thus far. It was in this place that I was hoping to get to know those sides of you that you keep so well-protected. It would have been well worth the trek, I promise you …


    Unfortunately, I came in second to Jameson and doubt. Unfortunately you have chosen to numb your feelings rather than face what although feels uncomfortable at first, but what would have done wonders for your soul. It is with a heavy heart, and enough tears to fill these wine glasses that I have realized that I mistakenly had hoped for too much. Silly girl. Why hold out for something as simple as love? I saw so much potential, not only in us, but in what I felt was the awakening of my love that I believed had been deadened by pain from the past. Who was I kidding? Apparently myself.


    There are no hard feelings. I love you too much to hold any sort of negativity towards you. At this juncture though, I am going to show myself love and respect. Life is way too short for me to be so sad over you, and I will keep telling myself such things until the tears dry up. Be well, do well for yourself. I hope if you are ever given another blessed opportunity that you take it. It really is a shame to waste such a gorgeous man, both inside and out, on empty nights at the bar. And to this I will bid adieu again, wishing you the best …










Customer:

I know that my last message to him told him that I was leaving the situation. :( I regret that. He then texted me (drunk again) with a pointless question as to could a friend of mine use my house up there for the night. I got angry and told him that he knew why he had a key and from past discussions he knew that I would be opposed to it. He then said, "Well I really do miss you."

Customer:

Since then, there has been nothing but the text about retrieving my key. I just want to know what I should do. I miss him so much. I'm willing to be patient for him to work through his issues about love, but he won't even let me back in. My second FB message, I was just so frustrated after shedding so many tears over him. I know that he's been drinking a lot lately, something that he does to escape. Should I just give up? I'm so tired of being rejected, and I don't want to appear desperate, but the fact is I am. I rarely open myself up either, so I get where he is at, but I did and now I feel like he took a chunk of my heart when he left. My little boys keep asking about him. In fact, my 10 year old has some of Nate's fishing gear he wants to return.

Customer:

He happens to manage a restaurant directly across the street from my place in that town. I'm afraid he will just instruct my son and I to put his belongings in the car.

Customer:

I know this is a lot. I can pay you more for your time if you need.

20pluscounts :

Hello, give me a second to read what you just posted

20pluscounts :

WOW!! I do see what you mean- I'm am sorry you've been so hurt. You opened your heart after a previous hurt and wam- this is the last thing you needed- you deserve better.

Customer:

I was just so excited when he responded that he loved my face. I thought that I had a chance to get him to open up. I know I will be running into him as we run in a pretty small social circle. I hate to ask friends to pick his brain. The town that he lives in is a ski resort, and most of his life he's spent just being single. The only relationship he ever spoke of was a girl who took his dog when they broke up. There seems to be no indication that that was a long relationship either, because it was within the time that I've known him (acquaintances for a couple of years) and I had never seen her around. Do you think I should continue to try to talk to him?? I'm bound to run into him. I can avoid the town until it snows, and then my boys and I are there almost every weekend. I'm afraid when I see him I'll just burst into tears. I have no idea on how to get back in his field of vision. I do know that if I was to look him in the eye, he would see me, it's worked before. My friends up there kept me from doing so that last visit. They thought it was best that I just walk away. I also fear that if I wait too long that he will only drift further away and numb himself even more.

Customer:

I'm so worried about him. I know from other people that he's spent his last two nights off, yesterday and the day before hanging out in town at the bars, like the last few weeks. Normally he would be rafting or fishing or camping, anything else that makes himself feel good. He's not doing any of those things, and that tells me that he's not okay.

20pluscounts :

Because your last message to him was goodbye, him thinking you have shut the door, may have caused him to run further- shut down even more. That's not your fault though- you shared very openly and candidly with this man. The man drinks to numb his emotions. Likely numbing the emotions he feels for you- drowning them out of his head.

Customer:

I just couldn't wait anymore for a simple reply. I know his schedule, and as a single mom that works full time, I know you can carve a few minutes out of ones day for communication. I'm not finding ways to get over him. I've been keeping myself busy, so busy, but at night I lay down and I just sob. Like I said, I don't usually let guys in myself. I invested so much and I just don't want to give up, especially because I can't seem to get past this at all. I've even made a point to go on a trip next week with a friend. I've been socializing in every other town but his, but all I ever really think about is him. This is the worst breakup ever. Being treated like I don't even exist is so painful.

Customer:

Thank you so much for your help. It helps to get this all off my chest. My friends are tired of hearing about him, and my closest ones just want me to move on. My bff wants me to write all of the negatives down about him and focus on those, but I'm just not that type of person. I like to see the best in everyone. I'm trying to avoid him and because I keep getting rejected I missed an opportunity last weekend. A friend stopped to say hi to me right outside his restaurant. When I glanced back, I saw him staring, but instead of taking that chance, I only positioned myself behind a lamp post so that he could no longer watch me. Now, I really wish I would have had the guts to just have smiled and waved. This is such a one way street. I guess that's my answer. :'(

20pluscounts :

It's sad to see when someone allows fear to control them- debilitating, unable to form an honest sentence about where he's at. Yes- it's so painful- to feel so loved, and then so completely hurt without an explanation. Time is the only true healer of this kind of hurt. The best you can do is seek out your friends, support, keeping busy- but it still will hurt no matter what you do. Your feelings are to be expected- anyone in this situation would feel just as much hurt. You opened up and were vulnerable to him- trusted- only to be hurt. Trust plus hurt is not a good mix like oil and water- they are such polar opposites- that's where all that confusion and hurt comes from. Worst break up ever cuz you didn't see it coming!! Your energy may be best channeled into healing. Allowing yourself to feel the grief- feels like a death huh? Painful in a more complicated way- with a death you know the outcome- something like this they just keep popping up- that lack of closure, especially.

20pluscounts :

With grief and loss it's natural for you to wonder and think of the "what ifs, the only if..." All in an effort to make sense out of something "crazy". I'm glad I could help a bit! Time like this it's good to reach out- process- talk, and talk some more- work it through and out.

20pluscounts :

The hurt does ease with time- does not feel that way now- of course.

Customer:

Thank you.

Jean, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 433
Experience: Licensed Clinical Social Worker with 20 plus years of experience in the field.
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