I don't even know how to characterize my present relationship but it has been anything but easy. We started off rocky, got better, became rocky again and so on. The last really rocky spell, my BF came up with a 3-page document outlining how we could work on things to make things better and different solutions to some of our problems. Nothing wacky in the least, most of it was very thoughtful and sound.
One of the things he finds extremely important is communication. Often asking me to tell him how I feel or what I am thinking. A lot of the time I can't seem to grasp what to say in the moment and feel like I'm saying the wrong thing. He doesn't seem to get the way I communicate but I try very hard to make things clear. Part of his wanting to have very open and constant communication is him being very adamant that if something is wrong, we need to discuss it. We shouldn't do the silent treatment. Well, last night, I gave him the silent treatment and it has sent him over the edge.
The situations is this: I said that I wouldn't behave like that and then went back on my word. I apologized profusely but did put some of the blame on him which he says I always turn things around to blame him. I don't think I always do but I understand in this case why he was angry.
He won't see me today but we have talked on the phone. I have a kidney infection which started on Thursday evening and saw the doctor. Doctor put me on some ineffective antibiotics so the infection has not gone away. I had to go to the emergency room. as I was in excruciating pain. BF was still so angry with me that he didn't want to talk earlier and he did not take my call. I begged him to help me out and sent text messages but he just didn't make himself available until later tonight. Then, with me in pain, he wanted to talk about all this stuff. He is so angry with me. He said that I don't act rational when I'm sick that I take stuff out on him. I've not been sick that much since we started dating so I was a bit shocked. He says I just don't recognize things like that.
That withstanding, I'm not here to say "I'm right, he's wrong" but I am going through a huge period of self-discovery right now (much of it thanks to him). He said he couldn't have this stress in his life and he didn't know what to do when school starts (he works and is taking an extremely heavy load in the fall). I said that if he wanted we could be friends only. He asked if I just said that because I thought is what he wanted to hear. I don't know why I said it because I don't understand why him going to school should preclude our dating. I DO understand that I will not have a lot of time with him because of his studies -- I understand that well (I even understand that his classes and getting his life on track is extremely important).
He texted me later saying, "I guess we should be friends because of my classes." I don't know what to say about it. I made the suggestion but I guess what I meant was that we didn't need to be "hot and heavy" during his school. I don't want to date anyone else and I think I will be very unhappy if he starts dating (though, presumably he will be working on his classes with little time to date).
Question is, after long explanation, is it okay for me to say to him (after we have been exclusive for 3 months), that I understand him not wanting to be ensconced in a relationship now but I would like to stay BF and GF. That is, we see each other when it isn't impeding on his goals (classes, studying, etc.). Is it right for me to say, "I understand but I'd like for us to be 'exclusive' during this period"? I don't want to date anyone else. I certainly don't want him to date anyone else but...I don't know if that is fair of me if we are just "friends."
I'm crushed. My feelings for him have been snowballing. He even has been talking about us in the long-term. So I wonder if that is out the window or if we are really doing the "space" thing so that he can conquer his goals. I just wish he would let me be supportive while he goes to school with me understanding that our relationship is on the back burner. I just wonder if he is suggesting that our relationship is off the stove top completely. I really want to be with him, despite our communication problems, things are pretty great. Though, if you can't communicate well, then what chance do you really have?
Of course you are once again doing exactly the things he is complaining about. You wonder if you should tell him the truth about how you are feeling. This seems to be very important to him. (You should be glad you have a BF who is this way....most women on here complain of the opposite). WHY do you feel that you can't tell him how you feel? It seems to me that he had laid himself open to you telling him and something is holding you back. I really think you should work on your communication with him and maybe starting right now by telling him everything you have told us. He wants honesty, give it to him and see what happens. I believe he may just be seeing how you are going to deal with this.....you suggested that you just be "friends" while he is studying...??? Why would you do that if that isn't how you really felt?
This guy seems to be on the up and up with you. Make an effort to be the same with him. Don't play games like not speaking to him, and don't suggest things that you really don't mean. You didn't mean that you only wanted to be "friends"......and I think he knows that. Come clean with him.....you cannot have a healthy relationship without good communication. I think this man is trying very hard to do that with you and you aren't working on that with him. You have a chance at the kind of relationship most women would kill for, now go the extra mile for this...I hope it isn't too late, and you can make the effort he needs to get back to where you both need to be in your relationship.
Last edited by moderator2; 08-17-2008 at 09:04 PM.
First off, Communication is a work in progress. Married for Seven years and still workin' on it. The "f- word" isn't as bad as it seems. I was the one in college, with working full time and taking a grueling class schedule routine. In my situation I was 4 hours away from my bf (or "friend"). The exclusivety of it just happened. Sometimes Friends are in more of a difficult postion than the ever dreaded label bf or gf. A friend puts up with the late night studying... the long hours on the phone complaining about classes, assingnments, work... whatever it is, friends stick by each other. I'm not saying a bf or gf doesn't do the same... but friends are a little different. When the lable of bf/gf arises it adds more of a comitment from that person. His schedule, like mine, sounds like he doesn't have the time to give. I think that it is very insightful on your part to take the stand and bring up the "f-word". But if you really want to be his friend, I hope that you are willing to do the hard work it is gonna take to be a friend. You may just find that being his "friend" is more rewarding than having the gf title. You might also find that the communication thing improves. Being "only friends" isn't as bad as it seems. It might be just what it takes for the both of you to figure out just exactly what it is that you mean to the other.
Last edited by moderator2; 08-17-2008 at 09:04 PM.
I think perhaps you were trying to use a little "reverse psychology" on him, i.e., you suggested being "just friends" because you hoped he'd respond by saying "I don't want to be just friends, I want to stay together". And you didn't get that, he agreed with your suggestion, so it backfired. And doing the silent treatment when he specifically asked you not to? What are you doing? Seriously, you are going against everything he has been asking from you and of course it causes problems. And you can't really get mad at him for agreeing to be just friends when you were the one who suggested it. Now you want to go back on it and don't be surprised if he responds by getting angry and frustrated.
I know many women want that guy who will fight tooth and nail for them, but that's not reality. You need to be straight with this guy and let him know exactly how you feel without any kind of games. We women hate it when men play games with us, so we need to not do it to them either.
I always have said that the best and easiest way to get what you want is to ask for it. No hinting, pouting, reverse psychology, silent treatment, etc. Simply ask. It's amazing how well that works.
You are still playing your mind games even though they are costing you your relationship. By offering the "friends" option, you were clearly putting the onus on him to take responsibility for both of you. As a previous poster says, just tell him how you feel! If he is putting you on the spot at times, wanting to know your thoughts, tell him that you are right now uncomfortable being asked. Never blame or assign feelings to him, be honest and upfront always. Even if it is only to say "I am just feeling blah at the moment". Express yourself in ways that you can deal with. Non-verbal communication is very important too. He sounds as if he may be coming on a little bit strong with his communication thing. It is hard to be put on the spot. On the other hand, he may be driven to it if you never do open up. Be responsible for yourself, and speak honestly and be upfront about what is going on with you. Read som good books on communication and games. Change your language - instead of "you make me....", say "When you........., I feel............and I would like it if you...............and so on. Takes practice, sure, but life is so much easier. Your BF has obviously realised this. Sera
With all due respect........ I've been following many of your threads about this guy and your relationship, and seriously, I thought this was over a few threads ago. I think I remember you finally came to the conclusion that he was a narcissist. I was inclined to agree then, and I still do. I don't know if you even realize this, but you are constantly making excuses for his behavior. I'd have to look back at old threads, but I don't recall a time when he's ever apologized to you for anything. Or if he did, he then blamed you for making him behave that way.
I keep reading things like "He won't see me today" or "He isn't returning my calls" or "He won't let me be supportive". I think in every thread you've posted about him, he has for some reason, been "sent over the edge". Why is it that his needs and his desires and his schedule are all that seem to ever be discussed between the two of you. He has to get his life back on track. He can't handle the stress of a relationship and school. Are you starting to see a pattern here? I know I am.
I know it takes two people to make a relationship work or to hinder it, and I'm not saying that there might be some situations that you could have handled better, but this guy is the most high maintainance guy I have ever heard of. And I think he is starting to actually convince you that you are the problem. Don't let him do that to you Mouse. I think you should just let him go. You know what is going to happen next, right? Just like before, he will suddenly call you up, out of the blue, and tell you he can't go on without you, and you're the only one who "gets" him. Or maybe he'll start talking about the "future". He's done this before, hasn't he? It's obviously your decision, but I know I couldn't keep doing this dance with any guy. You really deserve better.
Whatever you decide, I wish you the best. Please try to take care of you, OK? It really isn't all about him. CMP
After reading through all of your past stuff about this guy, I'm inclined to say that he's not worth the trouble. He's really got problems and you're not going to be able to fix that for him. I think you're better off just staying friends and finding a guy who won't be such a headcase. I can't believe he is telling you that you are the one lacking communication skills when he is much worse with that particular ability than you are.
You must see that this is all too much trouble? I don't understand why you're so interested in him. He really honestly sounds like way too much of a hassle all the way around. For him to get mad at you when you're sick and in the hospital, to me that is just a dealbreaker. If he really cared about you he'd be by your side holding your hand at the hospital. But his reaction to that situation alone just makes me mad. I wouldn't let this continue. I hope you'll come to your senses and realize you deserve better than to be treated like this.
Thanks for your responses everyone. After I wrote that, I decided I would write him an e-mail. I said what I felt. I basically said that I understand that getting focused on his school to get his life on track was the most important thing. He said to me last evening on the phone that, in fact, it was more important to him than our relationship. That stung a bit but truth is, if I am causing him stress then I understand where he is coming from. I'm happy that he has goals and takes them very seriously and while I do not want to break-up, I equally do not want to be a stressful element in his life (which is why I brought up the "friends" thing). Maybe he was only testing the waters I do not know but I did say that I'm not going to date anyone else and that I would hope that he wasn't going to either and that I understood what "friends only" means despite that.
I am actually a very good communicator. I don't know why he has decided I am not. In fact, friends and family that I have told this to are surprised that someone would think that about me. I'm the kind of person that always has a lot to say and will say it very thoughtfully. My therapist even has commented on how well I communicate and how it makes her job so easy.
I have sunk down to childish behaviors when I am uncomfortable (re: the silent treatment). However, I was just so angered at something he did prior to that and couldn't understand why he didn't get it. I know this is a case where communication would have been key. I messed up but I was afraid I was going to say angry words and I just wanted to sleep on it. I told him I was incredibly sorry that I didn't discuss things with him. When I did tell him what was bothering me Saturday night, the thing that made me all silent, he said that I was always blaming him for things. So it is a double-edge sword. He was just so angry, he couldn't hear me I guess (when I say angry, he's not shouting or anything but actually saying, "I am so angry at you right now...").
He isn't the narcissist that I was dating. This guy is the Bipolar I, recovering alcoholic/drug addict. He's been sober for more than a year and a half. He struggles with it every day. He does quite well going to therapy appointments and support groups. I don't drink or do drugs, so I haven't led him into any temptation or hindered his progress in that way (I have gone to an open AA meeting with him once and said that I would again whenever he wanted me to). He's an extremely sensitive person and generally a very fun and loving person. He can be affectionate and is so more often than not. It is hard to paint a picture of someone on this board without making it sound like I am either making excuses for his troubling behavior or for my own -- it isn't that black or white.
If I felt like he was really not a good guy, I wouldn't even bother. Unfortunately, I believe a lot of what is going on with him is that he is a rapid cycler BPI. It makes for a very trying relationship. His happy and sad come in quick succession. I "put up" with it because when he is doing well, I can tell that he's a really good person. He's a Buddhist as well and he sometimes has a way of reaching to that philosophy and bringing things into perspective. I have questioned whether or not that I am the right person for him since I deal with BPII (I am a very high-functioning individual with my disease in check).
He has pressured me on the communication issues. It is hard to be put on the spot. He does get easily frustrated with me. He does recognize that he has a mental illness and has even asked me recently what did I think about him having a mental illness. I replied that I don't think it makes him worse or better than anyone but it is in some ways is a gift in that he is very open about things (and this is a contrast to the person who dumped me last summer) but also because he is very intuitive about things.
He is so intuitive about things that he often can interpret my feelings or thoughts very accurately. Even when I push my feelings down, he seems to have a way of opening me up and talking them through (most people would never even realize that anything is going on but it is like he has some kind of radar). It is hard to explain but he seems to read me like nobody else ever has. He has also brought to surface issues that I have not been dealing with. He has forced me into a self-exploration that I am actually thankful for. In fact, he really does more for me than my therapist in that regard. It is simultaneously exhilarating and eerie to have someone around me that "gets me" (though I often feel like I'm under a microscope).
There are elements to the relationship that most people would think were very good. But the mental illness issue makes this relationship something I have to work at very hard. I have to decide if I want to go on walking on egg-shells in some instances, and then being very open and vulnerable in other instances. His mood swings are difficult. I worry that he said he loved me too early. I worry that I'm not being honest with myself about things. I want him in my life but, because of the hardships, question whether I want him to be my significant other. I love so much about him but recognize that our "issues" are not like any I have ever faced in a relationship before. Perhaps I am not the right type of personality for these issues. Perhaps he is not really in a position to be putting himself in a relationship.
I'm a co-dependent and this may be detrimental to us both. I have very strong and real feelings for him. I have issues of my own that I should work on. I really think he and I mesh well on many levels, I just don't know if I have what it takes to be in a relationship with him. Why do I stay? I have actively worked at it. Things did seem to be heading in the right direction. I really enjoy that we both have music as our main passion in our lives and have even been collaborating on original material and play in a band together (we have two gigs this weekend in fact). I have a lot of questions now about what is good for me, what is good for him, etc. Are we good together? Can a relationship this young handle this many problems? Maybe we are the right two people for each other that met at the wrong time? Questions...questions, questions.