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I am really trying to get some advice with a bad problem with

my relationship with my boyfriend...
I am really trying to get some advice with a bad problem with my relationship with my boyfriend. We've been together for 6 years (we're both 50 yrs old). Our relationship has been excellent until a few weeks ago. Prior to that, for 6 years, we have either spoke or texted each other several times a day, not missing ONE day. We had always been able to speak openly with each other, had no secrets, and did have an excellent relationship (intimacy included). Just prior to problem, & many times over the yrs, he said he believed we have a much better relationship than most married couples, his love for me grows every day, and he's thrilled that, at our age, and after 6 years, we still make each other feel like love struck teenagers. Just a few weeks later, we both noticed that our relationship has hit a rut. I know all relationships have ups and downs, & was waiting for this rut to pass. Out of nowhere, he tells me he is depressed with life, knows he & I have been "off", and is thinking our relationship may be coming to an end. We've had no fights, arguments, etc, so I can not understand how we canbe so extatic for 6 years, go from "I love you and he's amazed we can make each other feel so extatic after all this time", to NOTHING, practically overnight. I try to discuss with him where he is coming from and what happened to cause this all of a sudden (this is nothing that cannot be fixed by simple communication), but he will not answer my question. We don't speak like we use to (but he sends me flowers on Thanksgiving). He'll text me when he wants to talk about a problem when he can't deal with it himself, then, the next day, he treats me as though I am a casual aquaintensnce. I am SO beyond confused, upset, and this hurts more than I've ever been hurt before. I have no clue what is going on, or how to handle this. He asks for me not to give up on him and let time straighten things out. However, how can anything be straightened out if we cant talk it over? Something is bothering him, and it's like he is deciding our future for the both of us, when he told me about 2 months ago that if I ever have any issues with him, I need to tell him immediately so we can discuss and fix things before they fester and get bad. Now he is doing that exact thing to me. I do love this man with all my heart and I know he loves me. I know in my gut that our relationship does not have to end over some lack of communication, after we have been so close and so happy. This has happened overnight. (there is no other woman in this picture. That is not his nature. He believes in fidelity (divorced a wife who cheated on him), and has already said that if our relationship ever ended, he would not get into another one. I am really in need of advice here. One day I am fine and am willing to give him the space he feels he needs (and we chat almost like normal). Then, the next day I get so angry I can't see straight...I think he is being very unfair to me by not giving me any clue as to what is happening with him...I do think I deserve an explanation and it's driving me crazy. If I tell him just how much I am hurting, he will become much more depressed than he is, and he'll withdrawal totally away from me and into himself (he can't handle knowing that he is hurting me). PLEASE HELP ME TO UNDERSTAND WHAT IS HAPPENING????
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Answered in 14 minutes by:
12/9/2012
jadt65
jadt65, Multisystemic Therapy
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 119
Experience: Provided relationship counseling for more than 20 years for people in every stage of life.
Verified

I am really sorry you are going through such a rough patch with your boyfriend. The situation does sound confusing and I can understand your feelings of hurt and sadness.

I am wondering if he is running into diffculty with work or perhaps with his children, if he has any. Sometimes it is diffcult for men to discuss issues relating to health, work, and family with their significant others.

From what you said, he has said he needs some space and time. You seem to be willing to give that to him, but you are frustrated with not knowing the reason. It seems like it really does not have anything to do with your relationship per se.

Based on what you wrote, he mentioned feeling depressed and pulling away from loved ones is common with people suffering from depression. Has he sought counseling or talked to his doctor about this...that might be a starting point for him.

He does seem like he is reaching out for you in the sense that he does not want you to give up on the relationship.

In my opinion, the most powerful and supportive thing to do is to "be" for him. Be there is he wants to talk or just be willing to be a silent support. Your instincts are correct in that if you push the issue, it is likely that you will push him away.

Please let me know if I can provide any more insight into the situation. If not, please remember to accept and rate the answer.

Best,

Julie

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Customer reply replied 4 years ago
Yes, you are correct. His parents are elderly, and his father has been battling cancer for 3 years. His mother requires his help every weekend (most if which is because she s just looking for someone to complain about her problems to so she creates chores for him to do...I understand that behavior from her, but it does take up a LOT of his time...I can't tell him this, of course). He also as two children's, the youngest being 16 year old boy who he sees starting to go down a bad path. Their mother (his ex wife) was murdered by a boyfriend back in 2006. My boyfriend refuses any and all counseling because he doesn't believe in it (he thinks he should be able to solve his own problems). I've begged him over the years to at least get the kids some counseling as I thought they really needed it. He refused. Now he sees his son starting to go down a bad path. Pls, he works for his brother and the business has been so busy that he brings a few hours of work home every night. Between all that, he feels as though he has no time for himself. This has been going on for a while, and he always thanked God for Saturday nights (our only time together), so we could spend time together and he could forget all problems and have some enjoyment in life, if only for 24 hours. All of a sudden that has changed. He doesn't look forward to our time together, and I've started to notice him not "initiating" sex for about 3 weeks. Last time we were together I refused to initiate, and then he did finally initiate. But our relationship has been feeling "off". I've wanted to discuss this with him and clear the air, but before I ad a chance to, he suddenly shut down and thinks we may need "a breather". I can understand that he may not be wanting sex, and that is fine...we've had an extatic sexual relationship up until right before this started (we have not been "festering" for any length of time). I cn not understand why he stopped talking to me though. He was ALWAYS able to tell me anything...when he's sad, depressed, fearful, about to break down, etc.....It's just so hard for me to deal with, when we have been so involved in each other's lives, and have not gone a day without some communication for 6 years, to now having days with no communication at all.

It sounds as if he has a lot of difficult situations in his life right now.

If he is refusing counseling...I would not push it because in most circumstances. a person who is forced into therapy is not going to Let enough in" to really get anything out of it. in those situations, I recommend that family members and/or loved ones seek counseling because if one person in a relationship makes a change, the other will have to change (usually) to adapt to new behavior, attitudes, or ways of interaction.

An option might to arrange a date in a public place like a park or museum or the like. It will take the pressure off of him to talk, which many men hate to do when they are trying to work things out for themselves. That way the two of you can enjoy time with each other, without the pressure of sex, and perhaps get back to roots for what is good with your relationship.

Let me know if I can be of anymore assistance.

jadt65
jadt65, Multisystemic Therapy
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 119
Experience: Provided relationship counseling for more than 20 years for people in every stage of life.
Verified
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago
Thank you for your help. I have been trying to do just that...to at least meet for Coffee, or just go out for a few hours like we usually did on the weekends. He is not comfortable even looking at me yet. He knows he's hurting me (though I try and act as happy and normal as I usually am) and he can't be around me yet.

Thank you for accepting my answer. What can you do to take good care of you during this rough time so you do not feel as hurt by his actions?

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Customer reply replied 4 years ago
I don't know the answer to that question, unfortunately.

Would it work to have a night out with friends or perhaps try starting a new hobby? I am not sure what to suggest since I do not know your interests, ect.

Sometimes when we do some good things for oursleves to help heal and grow, it can have a positve effect on the way others interact with us.

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Customer reply replied 4 years ago

Yes. I have interests and hobbies that i am involved in as much as possible, (I do have some health issues and am disabled....disabled but NOT handicapped in ANY way), plus spending time with my own children (daughter 19yrs old and Son 16 years old). I have always maintained some life separate from being the other half of my boyfriend. Always thought that was necessary.

That is great that you have that balance that you can use as a resource during this tough time. Now might be a good time to take on a new project or take a day trip on the weekend with your children.

I would also suggest taking some time to pamper yourself while your boyfriend is sorting through his issues. It will help you feel more settled.

jadt65
jadt65, Multisystemic Therapy
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 119
Experience: Provided relationship counseling for more than 20 years for people in every stage of life.
Verified
jadt65 and 87 other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now
Customer reply replied 4 years ago

Thank you for your assistance. You have been helpful Smile

I am glad I could be of assistance.

Best, '

Julie

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Customer reply replied 4 years ago


I dont know how this works. I do have a subscription for unlimited questions. I notice that some experts have actual live chat sessions. How does that work? and is it possible to perhaps schedule a chat session with you? Cannot have this chat at this moment, but wondering if it is possible to schedule one for a future time?

Hi,

Sure, just post a question with my name it (jadt65) and I will get an email about the question. I am near a comuter most of the time, so I should be able to get right to you. If you have a day and time, I will make sure that I am available.

Best,

Julie

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Customer reply replied 4 years ago

THANK YOU!!! My situation is pretty complicated, and I think I really do need a chat session. Hopefully, we will be able to schedule one shortly.


 


Thanks for your help.


Andie

You are welcome. As long as you give me about 1-2 hours head up, I should be available.

Best,

Julie

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jadt65
jadt65, Multisystemic Therapy
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 119
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Experience: Provided relationship counseling for more than 20 years for people in every stage of life.

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