Menu

My Boyfriend is going through an identity crises

HomeForumsRelationshipsMy Boyfriend is going through an identity crises

New Reply

This topic contains 141 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  anita 1 week ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 142 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #210831

    Ladybug
    Participant

    So i previously posted about my 2.5 year relationship regarding my boyfriend asking for a break. So since then i have gotten out of my own depression about the situation and we still live together. We still do daily things together. he fetches and drops me at work. We do household shopping together. We still sleep in the same bed and cuddle. And he still behaves like my boyfriend to a certain extent. When he asked for a break none of his reasons made sense. he is a very goal driven guy and fears a life of mediocrity. We very much still care and support each other but he isnt ready for a relationship right now. he has recently opened up about having an identity crises and he admits that every time he faces a great failure it makes him question everything about his life and he isn' very financially stable right now nor is he any closer to hes goals and i can see how much that is worrying him. He said that he need to figure himself out and that he doesnt know how long the break will be or if he will get back together with me but so far he still carries a day to day life with me and seeks to be close to me. when i asked him where we stand he put up a cold front and said we still on a break and that if cuddling and being intimate is too much for me he'll back off. i use to be quite insecure and i didnt give him much time to himself but during this break we have been reading, growing and communicating much healthier. We have agreed not to fool around with anyone else during this break but i have suspected him of lieing to me one time and it was regarding a night he stayed over at a friends place, instead of admitting they went out for drinks he said they just hung out. and i know he probably just did that so that i dont suspect the worse or feel insecure but it was a big slap in the face especially when honesty is a big factor to me. So far his actions contradict what he says regarding our situation and our break is still a secret so our families and mutual acquaintances. He and i share bills so neither of us can move out. We still have very good chemistry and with all the expectations and drama out of the way theres no more problems. i have been working on becoming the independent woman he first met and to show him i can be there for him  and not be an emotional baggage but because of his identity crises he has crazy expectations of himself and wants to becomes the invincible guy he once was. Im very confused as to what i should do… i still love him very much.

    #210849

    Inky
    Participant

    Hi Ladybug,

    MOVE OUT. Yes. Yes, you can.

    He is on a break, you agree not to see other people (yet he could be), the family and friends think you are still together (so no drama) and he gets to cuddle when he wants.

    He's getting all of the perks of being in a relationship without being in a relationship!

    Tell him you are seeing other people. DO see other people! Suddenly his priorities will shift as reality will smack him square in the face. You are not one to be taken for granted!

    Best,

    Inky

    #210863

    Ladybug
    Participant

    Thank you. I am definitely considering this approach because right now he has full control due to knowing i am still inlove with him. he wants to go see a movie, he takes me places with him and he checks up on me when he senses some distance. all this caring behavior yet he says we still on a break. while im at work he doesnt text me if he does its very blunt and emotionless. but as soon as he fetches me he seems happy to see me and wants to have bubbly conversations he even speaks in hes gentle loving voice. I have made changes to my approach and mind in hopes to get a reaction out of him and so far its drawn him closer. he was very cold and emotionless towards me when i was going through my depression. i have to take responsibility for being needy during our relationship and also not following my dreams, but when i asked him to give me a chance to change and to improve our relationship he was dealing with his own inner crises and didnt have the patients and strength to endure back and forth relationship emotional negotiations. he says he has to focus on himself and his career and he doesn't care what sacrifices it takes. so at this point hes not mentally ready to be won over by a relationship, we are so very close and this is the guy who said he wants to love me forever and he was looking at sharing a future with me but things got very complicated and we started clashing heads alot after his last failure(his an MMA fighter) about 2 months ago. he wasnt being the man i know him to be and that caused me to become overbearing and at times needed to mother him cause his lack of initiative and motivation. He may have been going through a depression without me knowing and i may have come across as a horrible woman at a time he felt vulnerable. so now hes put up so much walls regarding our relationship and i feel that i just need to give it time and slowly prove to him that this break has grown me into a different woman and im in a much better and mature headspace. Our relationship has been a great responsibility for him and he did everything to keep me happy but that in the end costed him his happiness and freedom which i feel wasnt fair and i want to desperately show him i trust him and want to do whatever it takes to bring him happiness as he did for me. Time is the only thing that can heal him at this point, he turns to me for any kind of support and to share his progress with. Hes talking about jobs that he can bring in extra money and buying a car as we current move around on a scooter. So as messed up as it seems theres so many signs that he isnt ready to completely let go, he just feels alot of pressure as a man and girlfriend emotional responsibilities are alot to take on during this battle his facing. He wants me to be independent and strong so thats what im striving for. He openly shares his attraction for me and he opens up about his vulnerable side that nobody else sees so my female mind is in distress because of the title not being clear but i feel if i just take into account his actions, he very much still wants to be with me, he just needs more evidence of  a healthier, happier and more independent woman. If i suspect anymore dishonest behavior i will simply call him out and break up with him. I dont care if we still live together, he is very affected by my cold treatment and it pains him but i will then focus on myself completely and not nurture his feelings and ego any longer.

    #210895

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Ladybug:

    You wrote: “if I just take into account his actions, he very much still wants to be with me, he just needs more evidence of a healthier, happier and more independent woman”.

    I can see the truth in the first part of the sentence, that he does want to be with you and that is the reason that he is. I can see that he does have loving feelings for you and that is why he cuddles with you, wants your company and displays affection toward you when he does.

    Regarding the second part of your sentence, no woman can be totally emotionally independent when in  a relationship. If you love a man, you can't help but be hurt when he withdraws from you. So showing him that you are independent of him while you love him is same as pretending, presenting something that cannot be true.

    Best you are doing is to make him comfortable having the relationship he is having with you, kind of showing him you are okay with it.

    anita

    • This reply was modified 3 months, 2 weeks ago by  anita.
    #211995

    Ladybug
    Participant

    Thank you Anita.

     

    I have taken your advice on making him feel im okay with the “relationship” that he is having with me.

    Its difficult to see him have mixed feelings about being in a relationship with me. i have been looking out for both positive and negative signs and so far he is undoubtedly conflicted inside. He has a major obsession with being one of the best MMA fighters. He doesnt allow himself to be too absorbed into his feelings for me so he distracts himself.

    We went out with my male friends the other night ( he said that im always hanging out with him and hes friends so its only fair that he come out with me and my friends) that statement alone gave me a positive sign. So the whole night he seemed to be quite protective of me when my male friend tried to get close or connect with me too much. For the first time i felt overwhelmed with his clingy behavior when my friend was dancing too close. That night when we got home he had a lot to say about my friend being pathetic and that hes going to try get along with him. He keeps talking about what he'd like us to do together, like go to dance classes and he even said we should dance more around the house cause it creates good vibes. But even with hes jealousy, he still has this mixed feelings. he sometimes seems emotionally disconnected and then at times he says hes a baby and wants me to hold him and play with his hair. He seems to be very lost in the emotions department ( which he usually has a control on). I just would like to know what would be the best thing for me to do to win his heart and mind over.

    #212011

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Ladybug:

    Maybe he wants you to be, figuratively, a good, strong mother to him, one he doesn't have to worry about, doesn't have to attend to (like he did with his mother), and be your baby, worry free?

    Meaning, he worried about his mother whom he referred to as a narcissist. Had to compromise himself terribly so to win any kind of affection from her. He doesn't want to compromise himself that way, losing himself that way, understandably.

    He wants a strong mother type (not unusual .. by the way, for a man to look for a better mother in a romantic partner), do you think this is the case?

    (I can attend to your last line of your recent post once I understand this, therefore I ask)

    anita

     

    • This reply was modified 3 months, 1 week ago by  anita.
    #212041

    Ladybug
    Participant

    He might have a tendency to want to be cared for and nurtured at times, so that leads me to believe he does seek a motherly type of care from his girlfriend. He also is a ruthless MMA fighter who shows no mercy nor weakness so him being vulnerable with me scares me because im afraid due to his current quarter life crisis he will push me away due to the vulnerability he feels with me. He has a crazy need to be invincible and limitless and he feels that a relationship can restrict him and enable him to reach his full potential. He obviously felt he wasnt succeeding in our relationship before the break and he also wasnt succeeding in his career… he literally struggled to motivate himself on a daily bases. Since we've been on a break i have given him space and have not made him feel like he has to answer to me, So with this freedom he has managed to get himself out of the gutter and find his passion and drive for his career again. But he still is battling with financial problems and i am the only one who has a steady income. Money has never been a problem in our relationship because i fell inlove with him and never pressured him into providing for me. Still today i never make it his responsibility to provide, he is chasing his dreams and i fully support him win or lose. We have such a great support system and foundation to our life.. i have been his number one fan and an amazing girlfriend (The perfect girlfriend) he would say. He says we got stuck in a pattern and thats why we began to argue and butt heads. We dont talk about the break or our relationship… we just chat, laugh, play, cook and go about our business with the elephant in the room. I want to wait till he is ready to speak about us. i indirectly drop hints to show him ive matured and am in a much happier place. He may start to get comfortable with this idea of no commitment but getting all the best parts of having a girlfriend which i want to avoid. I feel that he is slowly getting attached to me again and i need him to really remember how amazing our relationship can be before i raise the steaks of losing me. He needs to remember that we have a irreplaceable bond and love. Im waiting for the right time where he will try behave territorial over me and i want to make it clear that he has requested a break and he doesnt have the right to take ownership of me… hoping that will encourage him to commit. Is that a good approach? or what should i do?

    #212047

    Ladybug
    Participant

    Another thing that i have picked up is when im quiet and just doing my own thing, whether its reading or busy on my phone at night he pesters me and asks what im doing, and when i ask him what he wants he just says ” i dont know… i just want to talk to you” but when i ask him what he wants to talk about he doesnt seem to know what he wants to talk about and then he just says ” fine.. okay” and leaves me to do what i was doing. I wonder whether he deeply desires talking about the elephant in room but not sure if its a good time. He has moments of  loving nature but then he also has these cold moments where his blunt and disconnected so its very difficult to read how he truly feels about me.

    #212051

    anita
    Participant

    Der Ladybug:

    I think that your approach is a mix good reasoning and not so good reasoning.

    The not so good reasoning first:

    -You wrote, “I indirectly drop hints to show him I've matured”- as if he is mature and is able to evaluate your maturity correctly. He is not more mature than you are, so he is not in the position to see if you mature.

    -Your plan that he will slowly get attached to you again and then “raise the steaks of losing (you)”- he is already attached to you. The issue is not that he is not attached to you enough, the issue is his conflict. Raising the steaks of losing you later reads to me like a (dishonest) manipulation that will not work for you as you cannot see, predict or control all the factors involved.

    Some of the good reasoning: “he does seek a motherly type of care from his girlfriend. He also is a ruthless MMA fighter who shows no mercy nor weakness so him being vulnerable with me scares him.” “He has a crazy need to be invincible and limitless and he feels that a relationship can restrict him”-

    This is the conflict: his perceived weakness vs strength, vulnerability vs ruthlessness, restriction vs limitlessness.

    To maintain your relationship with him and do what you can to bring it to a better and better place, I am thinking best for you to be and remain honest with yourself and with him, no pretending, no raising steaks, no calculated manipulations. Instead, avoid (as you have done) any heavy conversations about emotions and insight. Keep it light. Give him space. Not so that he can see that you mature (he is not there to see that), but so to not to mirror him the weakness and vulnerability that he fears and is conflicted about. See it but don't state it. See it but don't use it against him.

    anita

     

    #212129

    Ladybug
    Participant

    Thank you.

     

    I will definitely take that advice. I did have this worry that he may be keeping his options open. He has recently decided to work with a mutual acquaintance who is going to help him build up his career(market related) and help him get sponsorship etc. This woman attends our gym and she has shown major signs of attraction for my boyfriend, shes a beautiful bubble woman. Its very upsetting to see him out of the blue seek her expertise. I try my best to act as though im not concerned or insecure about their new business arrangements but it does bother me alot. He shares alot with me so he keeps me up to date on what they are busy with and last night he was filling me in on what took place during their meeting and he then told me she has very weird eyes and he gave me many examples of how she looks a little retarded when she laughs… I was already cringing inside because the fact hes even speaking about her but then he started making fun of her, not sure if he did that so that i dont feel insecure about her or if he is making fun of her to hide his interest in her. I just brushed the conversation off and changed the subject. My boyfriend use to be a huge player and hes friends are still very big players, one currently has a girlfriend but is fooling around with an older woman. My boyfriend completely changed when he met me, he became extremely protective and we created a very trusting relationship. Im so afraid that he may try seek out that old life of his and do what hes friend is doing to his girlfriend. My boyfriend and i have grown and changed so much since we met that its unreal to even imagine him cheating on me.

    I guess i cant stop him from cheating or whatever he decides to do. I can only be the best girlfriend i can be. I know he also has fears of me meeting someone else.

     

    Hes level of affection seems to be growing, hes slowly opening up and dropping his walls but im also guarding myself of disappointment because ive seen how his best friend manages to cheat on his girlfriend and pretends to be very loving and the poor girl tells me how much she trusts him.

     

     

    #212131

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Ladybug:

    In my last post to you I mentioned “all the factors involved”, the factors you cannot control (“Raising the steaks…manipulation that will not work for you as you cannot see, predict or control all the factors involved”).  In your recent post you mentioned three of those factors: the woman at the gym who is attracted to him, his friends who are big players, his own past as a big player.

    You cannot control, of course, what happens next, what the woman does, what your boyfriend thinks and feels at any one time, what conversations he has with the particular friend who cheats on his girlfriend, and so on. And then, to complicate matters, there are factors you are not aware of: other women at the gym or.. at the grocery store (wherever he goes), a person he didn't meet yet who will suggest to him a career move that involves moving to a different city or country… and so on.

    This is why I suggested that any kind of dishonest manipulation (figuring you will do X only for the purpose that he responds with Y) is not a good idea. There are too many factors involved that you cannot control.

    Reads to me that your boyfriend (and he is that, your boyfriend) is very much attached to you and interested that you stay in his life. The communication you described between him and the woman at the gym doesn't read disturbing to me, not so far.

    I understand that you are worried. But notice: you are not like the girlfriend of his friend, who trusts her boyfriend who is cheating on her. You do not blindly trust your boyfriend. You are aware and you keep your eyes open.

    I suggest you continue to keep your eyes open, be aware of what is going on, but not too alert, not anxious (best you can). Focus on what you can do, not what is out of your control. Your boyfriend is physically attractive and is involved in a sport that shows his body. I suppose there will always be women attracted to him. While you focus on this one woman, you are probably missing other women who are currently attracted to him. Thinking of all the factors you cannot control will be crazy making for you, won't it?

    Like I wrote to you before, it seems to me that he needs to feel strong and in control, this is his primary need. Some elements in the relationship with you made him feel weak. Not that you did anything wrong… it is that he feels weak in certain situations and contexts.

    anita

     

    #212321

    Ladybug
    Participant

    Thank you Anita.

     

    I definitely worry a lot when it comes to the possibility of him cheating. Im an extremely faithful girlfriend and i stick by his side through everything. I have no idea how long this break is going to last. I work all day so he stays at home and currently has a knee injury. He really beats himself up when he does nothing for the entire day, last night we went to go see a movie which was really nice although hes mood is always neutral, i stay happy and positive. Back when we started this break and i completely broke down for 2 weeks crying non stop. He had told me that he needs change and that he doesnt know how long this break is going to be nor did he know whether he will get back together with me. He said he cant give that much of himself right now and that he needed to give his heart, mind and time to his career. This break came after i had sent him a long text of how unhappy and insecure i was feeling. I at the time felt responsible for his low motivation, low drive, and lack of passion for life. I thought he didn't love me as much, and resulted in me overbearing him with all my needs and demands. He was clearly battling so much feeling of failure and i only added my happiness to that list which made him feel even more incompetent as a man. Since that horrible period, i have taken full responsibility for my happiness and although he still struggles daily to be positive and motivated, i keep my happy, nurturing, loving energy around the house. Although his struggle is hard to watch and makes me feel helpless. i have realized  that i cant take responsibility for his happiness. Everyday i keep a positive mindset, i allow him to be affectionate and playful when hes in the mood. But we still keep boundaries due to the break, we dont hold hands or kiss.. Only time we kiss is when we have sex and since its that lady time of the month he has been taking care of himself. I give him time and opportunity to come to me instead of overwhelming him. He is so useto me being talkative non stop and now im more quiet and in my own world reading or on my phone, at times he even has to ask me why im ignoring him because hes in the mood to chat( its never anything important, he just wants to talk to me about random topics) He kinda treats me like a best friend/girlfriend and im happy to be there for him but im a woman and i also have needs of emotional connection and passionate love. I have experienced his passionate, devoted love before  and this is a step back in our relationship. And i only hope this break makes our love even better.

    #212335

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Ladybug:

    It's not easy to figure out personal responsibility for another's state of mind. It reads like you were “overbearing him with all (your) needs and demands” before this…unusual break. On the other hand, he was already distressed and he tends to beat himself up, so his tolerance for another's distress is low. If it is so low that a girlfriend cannot display any sadness so to not distress him, that is not reasonable, it is way too low of a tolerance and it is his responsibility to manage.

    You wrote: “I keep my happy, nurturing, loving energy around the house”- maybe you are going to an extreme. It will be hard to maintain such an energy day after day, and if the relationship turns lifetime, it will be impossible to maintain it.

    Back to my first paragraph point: if he is that sensitive, that reactive that he cannot endure any sadness on your part, that is not realistic and it is not fair to you. Therefore better not try to accommodate such sensitivity by never appearing sad.

    What do you think about this point?

    anita

     

     

    #212395

    Ladybug
    Participant

    I do think that this is just a faze, i do see gradual improvements but not enough to feel secure in our relationship. He still seems to be a little bit heavy in his energy. I can tell because i am very motivated and happy within myself, i try and be as optimistic about everything and he still lets the small stuff get to him. He was always the positive one when i was pessimistic. Today is our anniversary and obviously we are on a break and im feeling quite sad because im still in love with him and i just want things to get better between us. I play motivational videos around him, we watch movies that display good love stories. He still brings me to his family gatherings. When we are watching movies or something and i try sit close to him and be affectionate and he seems to be unresponsive or neutral but the moment i give him space by sitting away from him or sit somewhere else to go do something he calls me back and asks why i dont want to watch the movie with him or want to sit with him and he looks at me with these puppy eyes, This is all very confusing, but i know i cant just tell him to snap out of it or pressure him into being in a relationship with me again so i have no choice but to sit and wait. He knows he wont lose me and that i feel he is taking for granted in which hes taking his time. Its not fair on me to put my needs on hold for a man who doesnt know whether he wants to be with me or not. This may just be a hickup for us to grow as individuals in our long life together, Its hard to know what hes looking for within himself or me and thats why i am just growing in all aspects and its been amazing because despite this break i have been quite happy and feeling good within myself.

    #212399

    Ladybug
    Participant

    We  both use to be very social beings, we loved exploring and over the past 2 years we just strayed from everyone else and got caught up in our love bubble, we got comfortable and set in a day to day pattern that didnt help us grow as young adults. My boyfriend is all about living to the fullest and experiencing lifes adventures so another reason his questioning our relationship is that its getting so serious, we started arguing about stupid things and we weren't being youthful and adventures anymore. I want us to incorporate that adventuress side back into our relationship, we felt like a boring married couple and i want us to be that spontaneous vibrant people we once were when we met. I obviously cant ask him for this.. i will have to just initiate spontaneous adventures and surprise him for a bit.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 142 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic. Please log in OR register.