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My Boyfriend is going through an identity crises

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This topic contains 159 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Ladybug 2 weeks, 6 days ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 61 through 75 (of 160 total)
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  • #214407

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Ladybug:

    You love him very much and you are very interested in his well being. You are trying your best to help him and you are doing a great job in presenting ideas to him but giving him the space to consider your ideas, not pressuring him. Excellent.

    At the same time that you are trying so hard to help him remember that you need help too, and let him know that if and when his coldness and distance extends beyond what you can endure. Let him know, not in a desperate way like before but in mature, calm way. Using your word, an evolved way.

    The relationship will work long term  only if both of your individual well being is considered equal important and is attended to.

    anita

    #214511

    Ladybug
    Participant

    Thank you, You are quite right. I tend to lighten my emotional burden off him because im afraid it will scare him off. But i have told him that he needs to eventually come to a decision so that i can figure out how to move on with my life. He obviously feels that being in a relationship limits his opportunities in life because love causes him to be consumed in our world instead of working on his dreams and achieving a better life. He had a vision for what our future would look like and it seems that we got side tracked by love and day to day living instead of striving for greater success. He believes we still do things like we in a relationship but we arent officially back together which frightens me at times because im not sure whos he texting or connecting with when im not around. I cant tell if he craves the single life and validation from other women or if he loves me and doesnt want to lose me. Like i said he is protective of me and said that he would humiliate his brother if he tries to hit on me again.  He doesnt seem to enjoy the idea of other guys getting my attention yet hes indecisive about our relationship.

    #214513

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Ladybug:

    You are welcome. I am looking at this sentence in your recent post: “love causes him to be consumed in our world instead of working on his dreams and achieving a better life”.

    For him, then, it is a full relationship with you or his dreams, love or a better life.

    It means that there are three options for him:

    1. He gives up his dreams and hopes for a better life to have a full relationship with you.

    2. He first fulfills his dreams and have a better life, and then have a full relationship with you.

    3. He gets to an understanding that a full relationship with you is helpful for him in his pursuit to fulfil his dreams and have a better life.

    What you have been doing since the break is to encourage his dreams and hopes for a better life (#1), encourage his efforts to fulfill his dreams and have a better life in practice (#2) and you have been and are doing your best to show him that a full relationship with him will help him in his pursuit (#3).

    Regarding #2, maybe his dreams and hopes will materialize but it may take a long time. Longer if when he achieves this or that, he feels that it is not enough and there needs to be more. And then more.

    Regarding #3, if he does progress in fulfilling his dreams and hopes in practical, material ways while on this break… will he not conclude that the break is the right way to go, because he succeeded because of the break?

    Meaning, if all goes well for him during a break (the relationship as is), what would motivate him to change the relationship?

    (I am fascinated by my own question, right above. It didn’t occur to me before)

    anita

     

    #214523

    Ladybug
    Participant

    That has been my concern as well, i truly want him to get everything his heart desires and even if that means giving him space at times but i also need to be loved and cherished and i feel i am giving so much of myself during this break. its a heavy burden to carry on my heart day to day while he pretends nothings wrong. Im afraid to bring up a conversation about our relationship because it might make him anxious and push me away. That weekend while he was away but still texted me he said “we still do everything like we in a relationship” and thats when i told him he needs to make a decision and he just agreed that it is tough and thanked me for being patient while he figures his crap out. He then video called me and continued to text me that weekend. when he got back he brought me little gifts that he knows i would admire. And he looked happy to see me although i acted very neutral and unfazed. He wants the drastic change but everything in his life is dependent on his home and the teamwork between the 2 of us. He is now obviously associated with other women and although its business relationships. I know there will be attraction. Which also emotionally abuses me and leaves me insecure. I noticed that he cleared his texts with his massage therapist, and although the recent back and forth conversation seems to be pretty neutral and professional i couldn’t understand why he would remove the texts because he never clears his texts. I never go through his phone, this is just what i saw when he was texting her regarding his knee injury and scheduling a physio appointment. The only reason i have suspicion around her is because while i was at the gym, he went for a massage in the other room and the whole time i could hear thier conversation and them laughing and giggling, the tone of their voices also made me feel very uneasy but i never told him that because we are on a break. As for the Brand Building lady that he has now partnered with, she always stared at him and wanted to make conversation, we came home one day and he felt he wanted to share his business with her to me but i really felt so uneasy i didnt want to hear about these other women but i didnt want to show signs of jealousy so i let him tell me and then afterwards he started making fun of her eyes and i told him im not interested in hearing about her eyes but he continued to laugh and talk about it, i brushed it off like talking about her eyes arent beneficial to me. I need to at some point stand up for myself and tell him that i cant keep taking care of him like a girlfriend if he wants to continues this break.

    #214527

    Ladybug
    Participant

    It’s difficult to give him this break when I don’t even know what he is trying to achieve, he continues to act like we are in a relationship and randomly discuss future ideas on how we can make more money. He gets protective when other guys are around, he always notices when I’m withdrawn, we gym together, I tag along when he trains, he likes my company when he’s busy in the kitchen, he asks for my opinion. All these signs that display a relationship yet we still on this stupid “break”. At times he’s more closed off and private and then at times he’s completely open and wanting to be close and to bond with me. I know it isn’t easy for him to have up and down moods cause he needs to be motivated for his training. Dealing with emotional stress and confusion within himself can’t be easy because life goes on and he has to carry out day to day things and land up shoving the issues he has to the side and not having the time to deal with it.

    #214529

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Ladybug:

    “I feel I am giving so much of myself during this break. It’s a heavy burden to carry on my heart day to day while he pretends nothing’s wrong. I’m afraid to bring up a conversation about our relationship… I acted very neutral and unfazed… Which also emotionally abuses me and leaves me insecure…I have suspicion around her… but I never told him that because we are on a break… I really felt so uneasy… I need to at some point stand up for myself and tell him that I can’t keep taking care of him like a girlfriend if he wants to continue this break”.

    I have a new understanding and a position regarding your relationship this morning, following our communication so far. Up to one point, it was of some benefit to you to be in this break-relationship with him. You learned how to not be in a relationship, to not be desperate, to not overwhelm the man with your distress, to give him space, to attend to yourself away from him. All these are good things.

    From one point on, this break-relationship has not and is not working for your benefit. You are beginning to be damaged by it.

    The way I see it, you are in a no-win situation: if this break-relationship does work for  him (and it has been benefiting him so far), and he does achieve his dreams and hopes while being in this type relationship, what would motivate him to change it-

    if this break-relationship doesn’t benefit him in the future and he doesn’t achieve his hopes and dreams, what would motivate him to extend the relationship into a full-relationship-

    So, no win for you.

    My new position at this point is that you let him know that he has one week to talk you out of ending this break-relationship with him and do what you need to do to move out (or have him move out), so the two of you live separately and no longer in any kind of a relationship.

    anita

     

    #214667

    Ladybug
    Participant

    Yes i do feel that this break is going on much longer than necessary, especially when he still calls me his girlfriend. Seeks affection and does things for me like my boyfriend. He very much wants to make improvements and he needed to make a massive change. We have been having conversations about things that allow me to see a bit of what is going on in his head and i feel he is slowly getting his duck in a row. He does care about me but he needs to improve as a person, he is very lazy and struggles to stay motivated. being in a relationship and living with me as opened his eyes to how much he lacks as a man. He sucks and picking up after himself and cleaning, he is at times ill disciplined and skips training or cancels on plans. He use to be this spontaneous unique individual and he eventually became an average lazy guy that cant take responsibility for his crap. So him being a little tougher and emotionally distant at times is necessary for his growth and keeps him disciplined. He is a very caring guy but his fight persona is of a ruthless rebel nature and he is aware that if he doesnt give it his all he will never be a success and reach his dreams and goals, he loves me and his training is so hard and difficult for him to stay motivated and focused, loving me made him crave a normal life and made him not see all the pain and training worth it anymore, which is bad and so now he is day by day figuring out a balance between caring for me as his girlfriend and also remain focused and tunnel vision for success. As his woman i need to either rise to the occasion and support him in finding himself or i give up on him and find someone else. He pushed me away in the beginning because he hates seeing me hurt or disappointed in him and he knew if he gave in he would change his mind about making this life change. As stressful as loving him is,  i feel it is worth the wait because i know the good hearted guy that he is, his own parents abandoned him and i want to show him that thats not real love and i will never do that to him. But i do plan on speaking to him when the time is right to call off the break.

    #214673

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Ladybug:

    Why not take the sex out of it then? Why not be with him but no sex during this break, staying in separate rooms (bedroom/ living room)?

    anita

    #214699

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Ladybug:

    Continuing my point above, you wrote last month on your other thread: “we even have sex (we try to keep it purely physical)… the daily intimate kisses, hugs and eye contact has stopped”.

    When the intimate kisses, hugs and eye contact resume, then have sex with him, I am thinking. Is it not humiliating otherwise, for you?

    anita

    #215059

    Ladybug
    Participant

    Yes it did break my heart and it hurt to see a void in our once very loving and devoted relationship. But there has been improvements, The eye contact is improving, he said that i could hold his hand at an event we went to, he put his arm around me and couldnt stops smelling my fresh clean hair he even plays with my hair or brushes my hair out my face and curls it behind my ear. So there has been a change, he isnt as cold and hes more considerate and asks for my opinion on things. Hes not as secretive anymore. His friends told him im a mini version of him and he took great pride in hearing that, his friends encouraging and positive behavior towards me tells me that he hasnt been speaking too negatively about our relationship or given them the idea that he wants to end things with me. So things are looking positively good, the only thing that still puts me on edge is that hes eyes wonder and he looks at other girls, we are on a break so i cant hold it against him but its seriously annoying, but the moment i complement another guy or a guy shows interest in me he becomes tense but tries hes best to act like its not bothering him. I also heard him dropping a hint over the weekend. He mentioned that he loves that hes sister and her boyfriend are different because they both have their own thing going on and they dont rely on each other for happiness and arent in each others faces all the time. And that just confirmed that my clingy behavior in the past made him feel trapped and overwhelmed, we did every single thing together and all i did was work and come home and spend time with him, i stopped hanging out with my friends and doing things that i enjoyed and spent most of my time focusing on him. Now that i have become more independent and less reliant on him for happiness he has been more drawn to me. He still inst fully in just yet and i think its because he wants to see more progress from me and see how consistent i am, he doesn’t want me to fall back into my clingy ways of giving all my time and energy to him and having less time for myself. Creating a completely separate life from him that i enjoy is going to be healthy and good for me so that regardless of what he decides i will still have my own happiness to fall on, not only that but me having a good life beyond him will draw his love for me closer and leaves a much healthier attraction and admiration for each other.

    #215071

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Ladybug:

    I read your recent post attentively.

    Realizing that your “clingy behavior in the past made him feel trapped and overwhelmed” and becoming “more independent and less reliant on him for happiness” is the positive that came out of this (unusual) break.

    You wrote that you think “He still isn’t fully in just yet.. because he wants to see more progress from me”. I think it may be so but it is not the only reason he is in this break. I think that his experience with his mother as a child is a very significant experience in his life, one that played into his relationship with you before this break and will in the future as well.

    “his eyes wonder and he looks at other girls, we are on a break so I can’t hold it against him”- do his eyes wonder more during this break than before? I wonder if this kind of wondering-eyes is something almost all men do regardless of how committed they are in a relationship, not something out of the ordinary, is it?

    anita

     

     

    #215083

    Ladybug
    Participant

    i do believe his mom issue isnt something that is going to go away, and yes i do think part of our break has something to do with his childhood.

    His eyes didnt wonder as much before the break, he would do anything to avoid making me uncomfortable or question his loyalty, he practically trained himself to be disciplined in that way. As he also taught me what IOI’s (indicators of interest) are which i didnt know before him and i unknowingly would give off IOI’s around certain men but only my boyfriend would notice it. He use to get very hurt and angry when he’d see me make these mistakes and eventually i learned how to control the indicators of attraction towards other guys and he did the same towards women. But now during the break he doesnt really care anymore and he speaks to women and makes eye contact which was a huge change for me because he would have been furious in the past if i had done what he is doing now which is opening a line of communication that could lead to attraction.

    But it seems as time goes by and the more he sees guys drawn to me and looking to get my attention, the more it bothers him and he tells me whats going on in the guys head or attempts to belittle them so that i wont be interested in them, so the more he sees this the more he wants to win me over in a sense and he also stopped being as secretive when he noticed other guys want me. When he felt safe in doing what he wants to do he was secretive and probably connecting with other females but now that men are getting closer to me he suddenly changes his behavior and doesnt want me to sense any unfaithful behavior from him cause he knows we on a break and he will have no power if i meet a guy that makes me happier than he does. I have no desire to connect with other guys although i do see their attraction for me, but i also dont want my boyfriend to think he can keep this up and he will never lose me.

    Everyone still thinks we dating and we keep that image out there, him and i practically continue our day to day life with the elephant in the room and allow our natural connection to flow. We are naturally drawn to each other, so we cuddle, we play, we chat and laugh endlessly and we have sex when the mood strikes( our sex life has always been amazing, as we always look for new ways to please each other) so everything usually goes well but when he seems emotionally absent i usually give him his space and do my own thing, but when i seem distant or quiet he becomes concerned and if i refuse to open up or pretend nothing wrong he usually gives me space and waits for me to come to him.

    #215087

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Ladybug:

    I understand your concern, since the two of you had the IOIs spelled out, one of which is to not make eye contact with members of the opposite sex, if I understood correctly.

    Reads to me at this point, that this is not really a break. This has not been a break from but a change in the relationship. My understanding is that there is no relationship to go back to, but a new one that is in the process of being determined.

    In the new relationship each one of you has his/her own space, not clingy, more self contained. Maybe it is time to talk about this current new relationship, which it is just that, a new relationship. A negotiation needs to take place which will include the IOI part, how each one of you behaves with the opposite sex to both of your satisfaction.

    anita

     

    • This reply was modified 4 months, 2 weeks ago by  anita.
    #215101

    Ladybug
    Participant

    I agree, It definitely feels like a new relationship. He went through an entire identity crises where he questioned every aspect of himself and it was tough to watch as he completely pushed me away. When i was in pain and heartache, it was killing him cause we never said a word to eachother everyday for 2 weeks, He didnt know what to tell me or how to speak to me knowing the pain he was putting me through but he needed to make a change because he was miserable within himself and everything became too much. its been 2 months of this break now and im happy to say he is coming around, he doesn’t want to force anything and he doesnt want to rush. He is simply taking it one day at a time and seeing how things progress as he also has a fight coming up so he doesnt want any conflict. He is very proud of our relationship despite how messy things got, he has faith that i can grow and he always said we will always push each other to grow and that eventually stopped happening when we got too comfortable and stopped growing. We both had dreams and we had dreams of our future together so everything about him and i was a match and we thrived together. I think he wants us to get back to that point but he doesn’t want to force it or rush it. He believes time and our love will bring us back to that point again. He firmly believes nothing worth it will be easy so our relationship going through all these difficulties and changes proves to us we are capable of overcoming any challenges life throws at us.

    #215105

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Ladybug:

    Things are moving along to your satisfaction then, considering how things were before. You and him, reads like, have hopes and a motivation to have a healthy relationship where the two of you help each other with your individual goals, a win-win type relationship.

    I will be away from the computer soon and back in two days, July 4. Take good care of yourself.

    anita

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