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Hi, I had written a few times previously about my boyfriend

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who has heart issues....
Hi, I had written a few times previously about my boyfriend who has heart issues. he is a lot younger than me. I spoke to him the other day and he is in NC helping his mom out and he saw a surgeon down there and they said he isn't in any immediate danger but will probably need surgery at some point. He won't see the surgeon again for another month and said he will probably opt to have surgery since he is sick of feeling lousy all the time. What I don't understand is "why can't he ever reach out and text or call me as he used to?" I am the one to always get in touch. I told him "I know you are going through a lot and I am here for you - if you don't want me to get in touch any more - just be honest" and he responded with "I know - everything is so messed up right now - it's crazy - I have no problem hearing from you." I am very confused. Does he still want me in his life? My friend told me that he seems to be the type of guy that can't close doors and wouldn't let me know if he didn't want me in his life. Back in December I asked him if he didn't want to see me any more would he tell me and he said "absolutely". I know he is very depressed with what is going on. I just don't know where I stand any more...
Thanks!
Submitted: 5 years ago.Category: Relationship
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Answered in 9 minutes by:
6/5/2012
Counselor: TherapistMaryAnn, Counselor replied 5 years ago
TherapistMaryAnn
TherapistMaryAnn, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 5,863
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
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Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

.

It sounds like your boyfriend might be distracted by his life right now. It does not necessarily sound like it is you that he is avoiding but rather he is not dealing with things that are not right in front of him, needing attention. And when someone does that, they are usually distracted or tired.

You mentioned that you boyfriend has a heart condition that makes him feel ill. He also is facing surgery. Under that kind of stress, people usually will do only what they have to do. They may stop communicating with others, even important people in their lives. They may become depressed and are not as aware of it because of the distraction of the illness. And it could be that he lacks the energy to maintain any relationship at all. Since he does not show signs of cheating and he tells you that he wants to talk with you, then it is most likely something having to do with him and the stress of the illness he suffers with.

What you can do is be there for him. He may need more time to cope with his situation, so continue to make contact and try to not expect him to reciprocate. He may not be able to until he feels better. Be supportive, offer help and most of all, try just letting him talk. He will appreciate the effort and will remember it when he does feel better. It is hard to be there for someone when you don't know how things will work out, but just by helping him you are making the relationship stronger.

I hope this has helped you,
Kate

TherapistMaryAnn
TherapistMaryAnn, Counselor
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Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
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Customer reply replied 5 years ago
Hi Kate,

Thank you for your quick response. Yes, he does have a heart condition - mitral valve prolapse and has been on beta blockers since December and they have put him on yet another one in January. He said he is still feeling lousy - now having chest pains every day - moving at a snail's pace and sometimes just wants to sleep all day. His 5 yr. old daughter just came down to visit with him and his mom. I don't know how he will handle taking care of her and his mom with all he has going on. I haven't seen him since January. Is this normal for someone like him - not wanting to see people and maybe he thinks he looks awful. He said the meds make him feel lousy and forgetful. Do you think someone as himself wouldn't get in touch with others either and would he tell me if he didn't want to hear from me or do you think my girlfriend is correct - he doesn't know how to close doors? I am there for him and he knows it but it would be nice to have him get in touch once in awhile. I'm wondering at times if I never got in touch would I ever hear from him? He is about 17 yrs. younger than me - he likes older women and was married to someone 11 yrs. his senior.
Thanks,
Carolyn
Counselor: TherapistMaryAnn, Counselor replied 5 years ago

Hi Carolyn,

.

It is very normal when you are as ill as your boyfriend is to not want to see anyone. He sounds like he has obligations with his mother and child so he must be there for them. And that alone can take a lot of his energy. It doesn't sound like he doesn't want to be there for them or you, he probably just doesn't have the energy to do more.

.

He may not be very good with relationships or closing doors as your friend said, but as he is now, there is no real way to tell what he is feeling because he is facing a serious illness. When someone is as ill as he is, their whole focus is on getting better and feeling better so it makes it difficult to judge their feelings about a relationship. If he was not ill, it would be easier to tell what he feels by the way he acts. But right now, all of his actions are tailored around his illness. So although your friend could be right, all you have to go on right now is your boyfriend's past actions, which may not tell you how he feels right now.

.

Kate

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Customer reply replied 5 years ago
Hi Kate,

I can understand what you are saying about how he is acting because of his illness. He was fine with me until the end of January since he got really ill. He cannot exercise, have sex, or drink - because he is on beta blockers - is this normal? He said he has chest pains just about every day and is moving at a snail's pace. He even missed his best friend's birthday back in January - he said he usually gets him a card and they go out and 3 days later the friend called wondering why he hadn't heard from him. He also didn't want to go hunting on the last day of hunting season - didn't even answer his friend's text. Do you think if he didn't want to bother with me any more he would answer my texts or calls?

Thanks,
Carolyn
Counselor: TherapistMaryAnn, Counselor replied 5 years ago

Hi Carolyn,

.

Beta Blockers can cause impotence, but that is unlikely to be the reason the doctor prescribed no sex or alcohol. It's more likely because of his heart condition.

.

He probably would tell you if he did not want to see you anymore. He is under a lot of stress right now and more than likely he would want to end any relationship he did not feel was important to him.

.

Kate

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Customer reply replied 5 years ago
HI Kate,

Yes, I heard that they can cause impotence. But the doctor said he couldn't drink, etc. and maybe it is because they haven't given him clearance since the meds are still making him feel lousy? Even in Feb. he could have gone to watch the Super Bowl and ended up taking the on call for work since he said he couldn't drink....

I think he would too and I don't think he would answer my calls either.

Thanks again!
Carolyn
Counselor: TherapistMaryAnn, Counselor replied 5 years ago

You're welcome Carolyn!

 

I'm not sure why the doctor would recommend no drinking except that he may be concerned about interacting with the medications or his heart condition, or both.

 

Take care!

Kate

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Customer reply replied 5 years ago

Hi Kate,

Thanks for responding - you really helped. Why do I feel that he isn't telling the truth about certain things? My mind thinks all kinds of things since I haven't seen him since January. Also, he never gets in touch with me and I had an injection in my back last week and heard nothing from him. I don't know if I should ask if he is seeing someone else or if he wants me in his life and if not to let me know or is his non-responsiveness, etc. from his depression and his heart condition. Maybe he is only thinking of his health? I just don't know any more!! I don't want to look like I'm too needy but yet it seems that I am the one continuing with conversations, etc. and if I did not, would I ever hear from him.

Sorry to ramble on.

Carolyn

Counselor: TherapistMaryAnn, Counselor replied 5 years ago

Hi Carolyn, it's nice to hear from you.

 

It may be helpful to contact him to clarify what he is feeling. But if he tells you that he is ok with your relationship, then it may be that he is not feeling well and that is why he is unable to contact you. I know it's hard when you go through something because you want your boyfriend to care, but if he is really ill, it may be hard for him to think of anything else at this point. But contacting him will at least give you an answer. Be honest with him and tell him you are not sure how to interpret his actions. That way, he knows what you are asking and he can tell you what he feels. That will give you the answer you need.

 

I hope this helps!

 

Kate

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Customer reply replied 5 years ago

Hi again Kate,

The thing is - he has never expressed feelings for me although I know he cares - he did say that he really likes me and would do anything for me -that was the end of last summer. I just wouldn't know what to say to him? Should I ask why he never gets in touch? A few weeks ago I texted him saying "I know you are going through a lot and I am here for you - if you don't want me to be in touch - just be honest" and he answered with "I know - everything is messed up right now, it's crazy - I have no problem hearing from you"....So what do you make of that comment?

Thanks,
Carolyn

Counselor: TherapistMaryAnn, Counselor replied 5 years ago
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Customer reply replied 5 years ago

Thanks Kate, but I don't really want to ask him where our relationship stands. I just think that will stress him out even more than he already is. Thank you for your help!

Carolyn

Counselor: TherapistMaryAnn, Counselor replied 5 years ago

You're welcome!

Kate

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