Ex with ROCD
I think I am here to vent more than anything. I feel as though I am in a situation I can do nothing about. So what advice can anyone possibly give? Maybe just some empathy.
I ended a relationship 5 months ago with a man that had became extremely distant after what was a very loving courtship. He is 42, never married. He called constantly, we saw each other a few times a week but talked everyday. Got along well. He was about to take a trip home to visit family and I was certain he was going to come back and tell me he was in love with me. He had went on about how happy he was and seemed to be thinking of me non-stop. I am usually never wrong about such things. When he returned he seemed different and distant. I couldn't imagine what could have caused such a change, thought maybe an ex came into the picture. I asked many times and was given no answers. Finally after three weeks I was told that he was in a funk. He said he had not felt feelings of love for anyone in 15 years. That he hasn't had the kinds of feelings that makes him want to give up "his things" to spend time with someone else. He had been cutting back on his studying, overworking, etc to spend time with me. His schedule is the busiest schedule I have ever seen of anyone in my life. He is a workaholic and extremely athletic. I was floored. How could I have been wrong. He said we were "just lust."
We lay in bed that night and he said "it bothers me that I can't say the words to you." He was bothered that he couldn't tell me he loves me. I couldn't understand what was going on. If you don't love me, you shouldn't have to analyze it. I continued to date him for another two months but he was very distant and cold. When we spent time together, he usually stared at me strangely. I was later told he was looking at me like that because he was "unsure." It was very uncomfortable to be around. After two months of this, I broke up with him. He was spending less and less time with me and what else could I conclude other than he had lost interest. But he didn't make sense. He insisted that he liked spending time with me and looked forward to seeing me. He said he "wasn't feeling the feelings he should be feeling." I wondered what the h* that meant. During the last two months he became very critical with black-and-white criticisms that mostly weren't true. Some of these really hurt and were stupid. "You don't really like milk. I never see you drink it." "You never cook." "You are never happy." "You don't read the news and we have nothing to talk about." (WHAT?) I probably read more than him. I actually drank a milk a lot, not that it matters. Sometimes I actually do cook. I am the giddy and happy jokester type.
Fast forward 3 months later, I get a job offer many states away that was a great opportunity. I decided to take it, afterall, I have no choice but to move on with life. He kept trying to contact me and be friends. During this time I cut off contact because I don't want to tell him I'm leaving. Mostly because I do not want to meet up with him and see that "unsure" look on his face. I also assume that he would not care anyway. When I blocked him from IM's and off a social networking site, he started freaking out and trying to contact me in other ways. I continued to ignore him.
After moving, he calls me and is upset. Said that he had been depressed since we broke up and left my pajamas on the floor in the spot I left them at his house for three months. I'm angry. It's a little late for this and why call now anyway? We talk for a while but most of it is me being angry and telling him that he has given the perception of not caring at all and that I don't believe him. He keeps saying, "What is it going to take? I'll let you bash me all you want. I hope you can forgive me...." I don't understand why he is even saying these things. Why does it matter? He tells me that he pulled away 3 months ago because when he went home, he discovered that his parents got engaged after three months of dating and that we weren't going to work out because he didn't feel that way about me. He says nothing about wanting to be together. I am assuming he still wants my friendship. I don't really know what is going on.
I can't remember how I found info on ROCD but everything fits him to a T and when I was with him I knew something was up. He watches nothing but romantic movies and romantic reality shows, constantly focused on what "being in love is." He seems to think that those are what love is like. I've told him many times those shows are fake or fiction and he doesn't seem to get it. I can't believe that there are other people doing the exact same things I saw him doing. On top of these ROCD traits, he told me he used to have violent graphic thoughts he couldn't control. And with the workaholic part, I'd bet everything I have he has OCD. There are too many details to type, but from reading so many ROCD stories on here, there is no doubt in my mind that he has it.
Since then he continues to find reasons to contact me or talk to me in some way. About nothing important. No deep conversations. Almost like he just wants to make sure he can keep me talking? I don't understand why. It breaks my heart. I would work things out with him but I can't put myself out there anymore. I had asked him a few times to see a counselor and for whatever reason he wouldn't.
What else can I possibly say or do? He knows something is wrong and sits around analyzing himself trying to understand why he does the things he does. I think he really wants answers and is unhappy. I just don't know that hearing it from me will be the most heard. I care about him a lot, I just don't think i can put myself out there again. I can't tell him that I care about him so much and beg him to go to therapy when he seems so convinced that his issues are caused by something else. What can I possibly do?