My Boyfriend Is Withdrawn And Ignoring Me After His Divorce – How Do I Save Us?!

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    cat dancing

    Hi, Jen. I am grateful for your response and for your input and clarification.

    I apologize if I made sweeping generalities about your relationship based on my own experiences. As for the triangulation thing, I can only speak of how it resonated with me in the situation I was in, which was a six year ordeal. When I first met the man, whom I refer to as the destroyer, he was married but separated. His wife was in another state and I was assured that they were on the way to divorce. I told him that I could not engage with a married man, and that I was not interested in a roll in the hay with a married man, much less anyone, and that didn’t bug him. He assured me that by a certain date, he would be divorced. In the meantime, he also treated me very well and did not pressure me for sex. He waited six months (yes, for me this was a ‘test’ because I did not want to have any regrets about having sex with someone who would soon disappear) and by then I was in love. The target divorce date came and went. And so did another year. And then another. And another. In the interim, we were together very often, he was constantly calling, texting, etc. etc. and convincing me that I was his “soulmate” and all of that. I believed him. Even when he blew me off time and again because he had to deal with “the crazy ex” who he also asserted was a narcissist. Turns out, he was PROJECTING. He is the disordered one. I now understand why she was “so crazy…” and regret that I believed him over her…anyhow, when they finally did get divorced, it was as if HE FELL APART! I couldn’t believe it! We were finally free to be out in the open (what you describe above, Jen, is not out in the open if you’re hiding from his wife, from social media, hiding HIS TRUTH from the world). I did that too for over four years, so when we could be open, it was foreign to him or something. He folded, for lack of better word, and began to pursue other women insisting they were “friends” (sound familiar with what your ex’s brother is telling you)…I was exceedingly insecure. He spewed all sorts of “pretty words” at me (he was the king of pretty words in FOUR LANGUAGES to boot), but finally I discovered that pretty words are a dime a dozen, it’s the ACTIONS that tell you what’s going on and his actions, i.e. NOT BEING AVAILABLE told me the truth no matter what was spewing from his mouth. I became someone I hardly recognized (snooping, following, semi-stalking) because there was a HUGE QUESTIONMARK in my gut but I didn’t want to believe the truth so I plodded along. In fact, I amped it up so to speak. I tried even “harder” to “keep him” UGH (I cringe today thinking of this). As it turns out, he ditched me big time anyway. He was telling me all along by his actions but I refused to believe…it was easier for me to be in denial. He ended up vanishing. Changing his phone number and leaving the area. Poof. Gone. How’s that for a “soulmate” of six years?

    Turns out he gave me a gift. I am almost four years out of that hell and my life is ten zillion times better than I ever thought it would be after he ditched me (and I was NOT a young woman) and way, way better than it’s ever been. Why? Because I began to heal myself inside. The entire ordeal (that I was willing to settle for a married, unavailable man) FORCED me to finally deal with the deep-seated childhood issues of not being “good enough” that I had dodged and stuffed my whole life. It was not easy work but way, way worth it. I have since had the blessing of finding an authentic, true, fun and believe it or not hot guy (even at my age) whom I have known now for more than two years who LIFTS ME UP rather than knocks me down and keeps me on eggshells, off kilter, uncertain, afraid…

    This is just a glimpse of my story. I learned it later in life and was preyed upon by the destroyer at a vulnerable time. Like the person you describe, he had no intention of following through on anything…he just wanted to see how far I’d go…it was a semi-game to him. It was MY LIFE, to me. Tough lesson to learn in the fifth decade. But valuable beyond measure.

    do what is in your heart, dear Jen. Remember that you have value, that you are unique and a gem, that you deserve to be treated well and valued! That you have a lot to offer and you are empathetic and understanding to a T. Remember that LOVE DOES NOT EQUAL PAIN and that a loving relationship LIFTS YOU UP, not brings you to your knees. Remember that you DESERVE a man who is available 100 percent…and that asking for that is NOT DEMANDING, it’s REALISTIC.

    I apologize for being all over the map here. I do not like to see suffering at the hands of someone who may have never had the intention of following through on anything, of taking the “easy road” because he could…I hope there is some nugget of help here. I send you a huge hug. Do what’s in your heart. Listen to that little voice. Remember you don’t have to do anything at the moment…be still and listen to your gut and your heart. Remember to HONOR YOURSELF FIRST.

    cat dancing

    Jen A.

    @catdancing Wow I’m so sorry you had to go through that for so long. That sounds so incredibly painful and I’m very happy to know you came out of it a survivor and are in a better place! Fantastic!

    Looking back, what do you believe is the real reason your ex or “the destroyer” got involved with you during his separation? Do you believe it was real love at some point or simply because he enjoyed “triangulation”? (still trying to fully understand this concept) – Also, why do you think, or what reasons did your ex give you for falling apart after the divorce?

    In my case, I pushed and pushed and pushed my man to hurry up and get the divorce, earlier than he had planned to (he wanted to take a year and wait until his wife was completely over him and not in an emotional state for the sake of their son as she’s irrational and irate when she’s emotional and scary to deal with) – He ended up getting the divorce 6 months into our relationship, after 1 week of A LOT of pushing on my part (because after seeing signs, I was extremely worried she was plotting to take their son away from him and saw a need for him to not wait until she was unemotional at this point)

    I feel now, he did it to make me happy and relieve my worries and I think I got him panicked too that she was plotting, but the truth is, I knew all along he wanted to make it an amicable divorce and wanted to wait til she moved on and wasn’t emotional………. I know now that he really wasn’t ready or prepared the wrath of her and the aftermath, including the unexpected grieving and feelings of failure which he’s still currently dealing with and it ultimately caused a storm of emotions when she signed, not only inside of him but because she was furious and completely cut him off, which tore him apart because she refused to ever see him again, even for the sake of their son and he ultimately couldn’t believe he allowed it to end like that and his son became very affected by his parents no longer having a friendship…… (a month later she started coming around again of course but only because she tried to get him back again…….. but has now accepted it’s over)

    Wondering if your ex went through a grieving stage as well or if you believe he was really just a manipulative, psychopathic type described in the triangulation articles I’ve read and did it for pure pleasure? (Its so hard to believe people do that!)

    Thanks again for sharing all your wisdom based on your real life story – it is all so valuable to me. Bless your heart.

    Jen A.

    Latest update:
    So I found out the truth of why he withdrew……. and has since broken it off. The fight that we had and weeks leading up to it made him feel I was needy and pushy (pushing him to get the divorce) and when we fought I said some mean things to him that his now ex-wife said, that ultimately made him draw parallel to her and question our relationship and further himself as a man. He built up anger and resentment towards me and was no longer feeling attracted to me as a person and numb to the relationship at that time…….. so he just wanted out. Especially because he was grieving the divorce and I hit him with putting pressure on him and fighting with him, making him feel he wasn’t man enough, at the lowest point in his life.
    So that was the real reason he wanted out….. though he still deeply loves me (so I’m being continually told by those close to him) he fell out of love with me and it was replaced by anger and resentment and he’s now needing to build himself up again and trying to get attention from other girls it seems……
    However – since my apology letter to him (and his reply back) he has seemingly been reaching out in really small ways…… first by sending me a link to our fave movie, and it’s new trailer to the series…… second he’s been liking my photos on facebook (which he never did before and I used to jokingly bug him about it)…… it seems he likes photos immediately after guy friends write on my wall….almost as if he’s being territorial? (I don’t know…….. I don’t understand male behavior or males at all at this point lol) He also seems to be posting stuff to get my attention……not to make me jealous but just to get me to reach out, such as selfies of him being sick (I used to always worry about him when he was sick and want to take care of him) – his recent posts are out of character and friends believe he’s trying to get my attention.
    Anyways – I think these are all good signs of him coming around, but I just don’t know what to do at this point? Do I keep waiting for him to come to me and actually send a real text……. do I start reaching out to see how he’s doing? Do I go on dates and make him feel like he’s losing me just a little (maybe a little jealousy is a good thing?)
    I don’t understand the male withdrawing pattern when they are hurt….. but I get now more than ever it’s how men deal……. but can anybody tell me what may be going on with him at this point based on his recent behavioral change?
    Thanks everyone for your continued support! xo<3

    • This reply was modified 6 years, 3 months ago by Jen A..

    Jen.A – I have just read your entire thread and some parts of this feel like I could have written it. Please, tell me, how did your situation turn out??


    hi Jen A. Reading your thread here, i am very sorry that this happened to you and i am surprised at how common this type of situation is and i am one who is in the grieving stage myself. i would appreciate if you have the opportunity to make an update of your situation by now?


    I felt compelled to add to this thread, even though it is quite old now. Jen I hope you find your self in a much more peaceful place now. I am writing as the separated wife, I have separated from my husband, I drove the marriage towards it’s separation as this is where I know I need to be, We have 15 years of history and children. Over night he found someone new who he is saying is the love of his life, he has only known her since March, and she lives in a different county. We still have very intertwined lives, as separation at this level will take time. I hear so much and read so much from the other women, about the ‘ice Queen’ crazy stalker ex wife, during your thread Jen I didn’t hear how long he was married and whether he had children. Even though I chose to end my marriage I still very much loved my husband, even if I didn’t there is so much history to untangle it takes time. Separating was hard enough, to then find out he had hopped to another woman so incredibly soon was the worst heartbreak I have ever felt, it is like having your heart ripped to shreds and then stamped upon very cruelly, even if I do know his behaviour was about him not me. You find yourself doing crazy things you never thought you were capable of doing. I really can’t understand how people can do this and then call it love, unless they are incapable of truly loving, other wise it really has to be a rebound. Even if you have emotionally checked out of a marraige a long time before, you still lived together a shared a life. I am thinking due to my husbands trauma he doesn’t connect emotionally and his own needs come first always even though he is fantastic at dressing it up to blame others or make it all look rational.
    I’m sorry you went through the pain you did, I guess I just wanted to write a little of my story, the other side too these stories, from the crazy stalker estranged wife who was for many years very in love with her husband.

    Li C

    Hey Jen, just wondering how’s everything with you and ur bf. Hope that everything is going well.

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