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    Old 11-05-2008, 09:42 AM   #1
    Erin942
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    Afraid to Lose Him, He's Pulling Away

    I've posted before and can use some advice. I am 29, my boyfriend is 33. We've been together for 8 months. We fell quickly and have gotten very close, spending every weekend together, usually once a week, and have met each others' families, taken vacations, done the wedding circuit. Early on, by his lead, we got into the future discussions, talking about marriage, kids, our goals. About five months in (three months ago), he had a freakout and almost ended things out of being scared and unsure about the future, putting so much pressure on himself and thinking we were doomed when a small issue arose. We talked it over and stayed together. It went back to normal and we had stopped the heavy future talks and just enjoyed each other. Things had been great since then.

    Like all couples, we each have some history. He is three years divorced and had a pretty tumultuous marriage. He is afraid of repeating mistakes, hence getting scared at little disagreements and sometimes, in my mind, blowing small blips into bigger problems. I think he may think that if things aren't 100%perfect, that it is broken and won't work out. I try to show him that all couples have ups and downs and you have to weather them and work together to make it through it. I think he still has a hard time getting that.

    Last Thursday we got together and were both tired, stressed from work. A small argument came out of something relatively insignificant, and he shut down. We did talk before bed about the deeper issue of communicating better and not taking one another for granted, and went to sleep. The next day we had separate plans but spoke by phone. That Saturday was the same, separate plans. Sunday we had a family event for his family. He was pretty short with me during it and didn't give a lot of attention. Halfway through we went outside to talk and I asked him if he wanted me to stay or leave. He said he was sorry if he had been short, that he had wanted me there, but he did need to think about our future and didn't want to discuss it then. I stayed and at the end of the night he walked me to my car and we said goodbye. I told him neither of was perfect, relationships needed work and we were worth it to work through things. I said I was afraid of losing him and he said just to give him time. We decided to get together Tuesday night.

    Monday we spoke briefly and yesterday he called and had to cancel plans due to work. We decided to get together tomorrow night (Thurs). We spoke again briefly last night, after I caved and phoned him (had let him reach out since the weekend each time). We haven't discussed anything heavy this week, just usual check in stuff about our days. Surface.

    I am hopeful that he just needs some space and time this week, to be home and not out of a suitcase (he travels a lot and is at my place a lot), and just be alone. I am hopeful that he wants to figure out how to work it out. But I am also scared he is just going to give up. That he simply can't do a relationship, that he is damaged from the divorce so much that he thinks that any small issue or disagreement means doom, that he won't be willing to try.

    I know it is naive to think that love conquers all, but part of me thinks if you love someone you work on it, you try. Except for a handul of small disagreements, we have no real issues or problems. We get along really well, we're close to each others' families. We have the same goals and interests. And we are good to each other -- affectionate, supportive, loving. It's normally really incredible.

    I guess I am posting because this in-between unknowing time is really hard. I am trying to just give it space and time, but I am scared and a wreck waiting to figure out how things will go. I love him so much and I want this to work. I am willing to do anything to work it through and I accept him as he is. I am just really afraid he is going to give up and I will lose him.

     
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    Old 11-05-2008, 09:49 AM   #2
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    Re: Afraid to Lose Him, He's Pulling Away

    The best thing you can do is to let him have all the space and time he wants.

    There is so much advice I could give you but instead of typing out a novel here I will tell you where I got this great advice from. There is a really good book I think you should read. It is about how men and women communicate and how to sort out problems. I think every person should read it. Teaches you about the differences between the sexes and it is a real eye opener.
    Its called Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus.

    Also, there is a good book called Why Men Marry *******. Teaches you a lot on how to deal with a man going through what yours is going through.

    I recommend you get a copy of each book and you can easily read one each day. It is easy reading. These would be great investments into not only this relationship but any future relationships too!

    Goodluck!

     
    Old 11-05-2008, 10:24 AM   #3
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    Re: Afraid to Lose Him, He's Pulling Away

    Wow--You so sound like me just 1 month ago. I am 29 and he is 32, divorced as well. We had the same issues. Its like any fight would make him shut down, but not at the time of the fight, just days later. I said the same things to him..that couples fight, that couples go through bad times, etc. I also thought that love conquers all and when I read your post it almost brought tears to my eyes cause you sound JUST LIKE ME and what I have been going through. Anyway, he kept pulling away, shutting me off and not really telling me what was going on.....we are done now. I lost him. And I know where you are at...the more he pulls away the more you want to hang on. Its torture. I know the anxiety. My guy I think wanted space but did not want to tell me that so for weeks I pathetically pretended everything was okay; because he told me it was....but in my gut, I knew. He was slowly pulling away and there was nothing I could do about it. IF I could go back I would have stopped calling and emailing and let him come around. SPACE SPACE and SPACE. But then there comes a point that you have to sit back and figure out what you want. No, you don't want to loose him, but do you want to do this everytime you have a disagreement??? Do you want to feel the anxiety that anytime there is a problem that he may walk???? I know you blame his past relationship, I did the same thing. But take a different approach. Maybe he was like this with her too, hence why hes divorced?? Just something to think about. I know EXACTLY what you are going through. But it also takes 2 people to work at a relationship and its not fair to yourself to constantly be the one playing "social worker" and talk him through the relationship. It is very draining on the emotions and the spirit and I KNOW you know what I'm talking about. So take this time to give him space and take the time to figure out if this is something you want to deal with. I know you think love is unconditional and conquers all and that you will do anything to be with this man; but the question arises; do you think hes on the same page?? Maybe you need to find a man that values relationships the same way you do (through better or worse). I'm tired of men who run like cowards when times get hard. You don't need that. And as one poster told me I don't need it either. I need a man to be my rock, not run like a coward and hide. Check my post "nagging and when men shut off". I wish you the best of luck and really think deep on what you're really getting into. Relationships these days are hard enough. Relationships with serious communication/baggage issues are about impossible. Look out for yourself. By the way he told me I was not going to loose him, that hes aggravated, but couples fight but I felt him pull away and I was right. And I did loose him, but I don't look at it like that: He lost me.

    Last edited by elatedgiraffe; 11-05-2008 at 10:28 AM.

     
    Old 11-05-2008, 01:57 PM   #4
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    Re: Afraid to Lose Him, He's Pulling Away

    Thanks for your posts. I have read some of the John Gray stuff. Elated, I am sorry you had to go through something similar and it did not work out.

    I hate this not knowing. On one hand, I am naively "comforted" and I use that extremely loosely that if he was sure he didn't want this he would have seen me to end it by now. I am hoping that he just needs some space to sort things out and I can hope with everything that he sees the great union we have and wants to work through it.

    I just want to see him. I miss him and I want him with me. I don't want to be fearful at every disagreement that he will end it. Definitely not. But I hope that it is something we can work on together -- to have better communication, learn to be even more supportive and understanding. Figure out how to handle each other's differences. Because we are so great with one another. I am so in love and want him in my life. I can barely concentrate on anything this week and I have a cold so am not really myself anyway. I just feel weak and defeated. And all I want is him. To sit and talk and get on track. But I am so afraid he is closing down and is going to just let it go because of his fears.

     
    Old 11-05-2008, 09:40 PM   #5
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    Re: Afraid to Lose Him, He's Pulling Away

    Fear or no fear you simply deserve a man that feels the same about you. Not saying he does not; but he needs to work on this as hard as you do. And I understand you want him to see what a beautiful thing you both share but some people, especially men with baggage simply don't see it. It is important that he values you when he has you, not when he doesn't. He needs to realize what you both have before its too late, and I hope that he does. Everyone is different and maybe I just had a bad one, but the similarities are very much the same. I wish you the best and hope he sees you as the wonderful woman you are and appreciates you in the now. I hope he does.

     
    Old 11-10-2008, 06:50 AM   #6
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    Re: Afraid to Lose Him, He's Pulling Away

    Unfortunately, I am back on the board, posting as a follow up to the one this past week, still up on this page. I was hopeful the issues with my boyfriend would work out, but I think we are almost at the end of the relationship. I'm pretty low and upset, and could use some input and advice.

    As a summary, we've been together 8 months. I'm 29 and he is 33. We're not always in synch and have had some minor tiffs and normal bumps in the road, along with a big freakout on his behalf over the summer when we almost broke up because he was overwhelmed and afraid. Otherwise, we've had a great time together -- fell in love deeply and quickly, spend time with each others' families, have a lot of laughs and a lot in common. About ten days ago we got in a small tiff that blew out of proportion and took a couple days apart, due to individual plans. I knew he was stressed with work (he travels 50% of the time) and was just off, just needed some space and time at his own place and by himself. We met up last Sunday at a family event and had a strained day ending in him saying he needed some time to think about our future. It was a rough week: we spoke each day but it was off, we were off. We got together this past Thursday and had an innocuous night. Dinner and some TV, bed early. We were affectionate, but did'nt discuss anything, just kept the talk neutral. We both knew we needed to talk things over more. He had dinner with me and my parents Friday as they were in town from another state. Saturday we talked and today he had plans to come over to hang out and stay overnight.

    He came over and said we needed to talk, and we just sat and did so for 2.5 hours. Basically, he is not sure he wants to be with me. He said he cares about me deeply and I am perfect for him in every way. We got along well, we are true friends and care about each other, we have physical connection that is great, we share the same values and goals and we respect and are good to each other. He said it is 99% perfect and he loves being with me. He said there is 1% that just isn't there. He said he has felt off the last few weeks and has been trying to get himself back into things but he just isn't into it right now. He said his feelings have changed and he is not passionately in love with me like he used to be. He said he doesn't know why feelings changed or when it went sour or why, just that the last few weeks he hasn't felt into it. He said he is 75% there and not putting enough in and he hates that, but knows he is doing it. He said he doesn't understand why he feels like this -- he is attracted to me still and loves who I am and how we get along and are together but something is missing and he doesn't know if it can get back. I told him I felt all couples have ups and downs and periods of uncertainty. That everyone is not always in tune to the other, that we're not perfect and relationships aren't, that sometimes you have to work and really put effort in. That it is normal for feelings and emotions and hormones to wane at times, that things may not always be awesome, that in the beginning we were in the throes of infatuation, but it fades a bit in every relationship and you learn to handle the reality of the other person and how they work and how you work together.He said he understood but he just was afraid this was it and he wouldn't get the feelings back. I told him it could be a phase, a lull or a slump in a relationship, that it happens, especially when stress and finances and living situations (all on his mind also now) factor in and impact everything else in your life. He just said he didn't know what to do and that he was afraid it was done. He said on the drive over he wasn't sure whether he should bring it up and he goes back and forth thinking that if something isn't right to just end it and also thinking he is getting carried away and that we are great together and he just needs to work it out. He said he maybe he just needed to get it all off his chest and out in the open, that that'd make him feel better, that he was overthinking and overanalyzing, that work stress and the upcoming holidays just overwhelmed him. He didn't know. I just said if he was 100% sure he didn't want to be with me and didn't want to try then I would understand. But if he had any uncertainty or confusion for himself he needed to think it through with the time he needed. He knows that if he decides to walk away that there is no coming back; I've told him that we'd sever all connections and that would be it, that I can't do it any other way.

    He decided to think it through and take some time apart, a break. Neither of us has done a break and are both wary. I told him I was worth it, that we were worth trying for, but I couldn't talk him into it, I couldn't show him I was good enough to fight for and that we were good enough. He said he would try, he promised me he would try to work it out and make us work, that he respected me too much and if he didn't he'd just be out the door. He said he wanted to stay with me for the night but didn't think it was right. That he wanted nothing more than to stay and be with me but if he needed space to sort himself out, staying wouldn't be a good way to start it off. I understand, but it was horrible saying goodbye. We just held each other as I cried and he tried to comfort me. He is out of town through next Sunday across the country. He said he'd call me Wednesday and then see me to talk Sunday when he gets home.

    I am just a mess. I feel like he has a lot on his shoulders and maybe the past few weeks have been rougher. I think it is normal for people to have different hormones and emotions, to feel out of synch, even out of love. I hate that he feels that way, that he doesn't feel in love with me right now. But I can't do anything about it except hope he can clear his mind and want to work to get back to that level. I am really hurt and upset. I know that this union has taken work and partof me thinks it is normal, but another side, my gut, feels like you shouldn't have to work this hard for something that should be simple. I love him, I want to be with him, I am willing to work through it and I accept him wholly as he is.I guess the hardest thing is having someone tell you you are perfect and everything they could ever want and that they love every second with you and who you are, but it still isn't right. That I have a really hard time understanding.

     
    Old 11-10-2008, 07:34 AM   #7
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    Re: Afraid to Lose Him, He's Pulling Away

    Is this your first break-up? If so, I can easily understand your feelings. I know it hurts, but at least it is a lot better to break up a relationship before it gets more serious, isn't it? I don't know why, but somehow I sensed there is another girl/woman that he possibly got interested in. I don't think it is for you to work through this relationship. It was him who first raised a doubt, so it's up to him to work through it. I might be wrong, but even if he comes back to you, it may be your turn not to feel sure any more of your own feelings for him. You may think he came back just out of pity for you or because he was too weak to make a decision. What I mean to say is that possibly this relationship has been damaged for good. Look up, you haven't done anything wrong or worthless, but don't keep begging for his love. He is not the last man on earth, and you certainly need a man who is more mature and able to keep his word.

    Last edited by pendulum; 11-10-2008 at 08:59 AM.

     
    Old 11-10-2008, 10:58 AM   #8
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    Re: Afraid to Lose Him, He's Pulling Away

    Erin--Sorry to hear the bad news. I know exactly where you are at. I want you to think about some things however. Although this "break" is more for him, take the time to make it for you as well. I know you don't have any doubts about this man, want to be with him, and are just hoping he will realize he wants you 100% during this time apart. But, you need to really figure out deep deep down what you want. Even if this man comes back around, can you trust him now? This is the second time he has had fears about the relationship. How do you not know that he won't come back around and in 4 months do this to you again? I think that uncertainty would drive me insane. You sound like an awesome woman, with a good heart, and alot to offer: You deserve the same in return. You deserve a man that loves you and wants you as much as you do him. Its only fair, and its not fun being with someone who does not (as you are now experiencing). I just don't think its healthy for this break to be for him; I think you really need to figure out what you want from a life partner. Yes, relationships are hard, but it should not be a duty for you to convince the other person why they should stay, or why they have doubts. If they are having doubts; let them go. I know from my experince that when the man starts having doubts then I start having doubts, because I figure if he is the right guy hes not going to have these doubts. Could it be that he liked the comfort of you since his divorce and he was so used to having a relationship that he jumped into this too quick and now realizes this is not for him? Let him be. I am proud that you told him that you will have to cut off all ties if need be. I don't blame you there. I hope things work out. Chin up. Try and figure out if this back and forth relationship is worth it to you, cause if it works out now there are high chances he'll keep pulling this again and again. I hate to see you go through this. Try and be patient, let it go, and do whats best for you. Put that energy you have been putting into the relationship back into yourself. Keep us updated and I hope things work out the way you want them to.

     
    Old 11-11-2008, 07:06 AM   #9
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    Update: Afraid to Lose Him, He's Pulling Away

    This morning he called and asked to stop by before I left for work and that he wanted to see me before he left for his business trip. I agreed and started to just mentally prepare that it'd be the final discussion as he drove over. I figured he knew he didnt want this and just wanted to end it before he left for the week. I was ready for a decision, too. The last few days have just been horrible. I'd taken his photos down and just tried to work out how to steel myself so I could get through it all.

    So he came over and came in and apologized. He said that he got scared and freaked out and pushed me away. That he hated his behaviors and actions this weekend and missed me. That the past few days he thought about me all the time, couldn't get me out of his head and knew he had overreacted. He told me he wants this and wants to be with me, that he wants to make it work and doesn't want it to end. I told him that he needed to still take this week to be alone and think about everything and really think about what he wants in life. That he'd said on Sunday that maybe he didn't want to get married again, which was a surprise to me, and that even if he wasn't totally sure about his future, he really needed to concentrate to work out what it is he wants in his life because I am impacted by it. I told him I can't convince him it is worth it, that he has to know and want to fight for us. That I can't solve his problems for him and I can't do anything to work it out for him. He needs to want this and he needs to try. He said he knows he wants to be married and have kids. He just has phases where he thinks he wants something else, a carefree lifestyle. But it's a fantasty, it's not really what he truly desires, it's not him to be like that or want those things. I told him he has to figure out how to control it. That if he gets in a funk or goes through a lull, he needs to recognize the problems and sort them out. By taking a break or some time alone or talking through it. Because he can't tweak out every month and dump me when he gets overwhelmed. That I cannot be in a relationship like that and I cannot have those types of ups and downs. He said he knew, that he'd normally just kept everything inside to fester, that he knew he needed to be honest with himself and with me and to talk when he needs to because it's always just been him to handle things and now I was implicated in his life and it impacted me. I just said he needed to deal with the issues he has by himself and if we could together. Because I couldn't go through this again, couldn't deal with him pushing me away when the going got tough for him.

    He is leaving for the week and said he will take time to be alone and think about everything. He just knew he didn't want to lose me and he wants us to work. And he knows it is on his shoulders right now. He told me he is going to write down the things he wants and needs and to figure out what he needs to work on, and he wants to sit down with me next weekend to discuss it together.

    He drove me to work and we had some quiet talk, but I was visibly withdrawn and he knew it. He asked if I was ok and I just told him I was run down and a little defeated and that I had had a really hard few days. He said he knew and was sorry and he said he promised he would try.

    So he is away for the week and we will see each other next Sunday night. I am a little relieved because I thought he could just be scared and freaked out, but I am very wary because things are so shaky. I am also very fearful because I see this happening again and I know I can't do anything about it and also if and when it does, that I will very well have to say goodbye to him. I am starting therapy this Friday, which I think will be good.

    I am glad we will be apart this week because I am still very wounded and need time myself to process and heal.

     
    Old 11-11-2008, 09:28 AM   #10
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    Re: Afraid to Lose Him, He's Pulling Away

    Erin--well this is good news right??? But I understand the exhaustion that comes with it all. I think it is a fabulous idea you are starting therapy Friday. Please be good to yourself this week and try and get back to you.

     
    Old 11-28-2008, 01:39 PM   #11
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    Re: Afraid to Lose Him, He's Pulling Away

    OMG what you have both said sounds so scarily familiar to me!

    I hope you don't mind me asking for a little advice on your thread?

    I am 27 and my boyfriend is 23, we have officially been going out just two months but we seem to have hit a wall. Well I say we when I actually mean him. We have just been to the USA for a holiday and to see my sister for ten days and we got on fine while we were away but since we got back he is like a different person!

    As soon as we got back to mine he was up and off home, fair enough we both had to unpack etc so I didnt expect to see him again that day but then he didnt come down the next day or the day after either. His texts have been fewer and different to normal, no calling me hun or babe or anything, he does add kisses but the whole language seems different.

    He said he was feeling low and everything he had to do was getting on top of him and he needed to catch up with things and it was nothing I had done it was just him making mountains out of molehills. So I have tried to get him to talk to me and to let him know I will be as supportive as I can and try and help him through his problems.

    Before we went away we saw each other practically every day and since we've come home I have seen him twice in a week and he hasn't stayed over then I saw him yesterday as some mutual friends asked us to go xmas shopping.

    He is quite polite and nice enough to me but no where near as affectionate. He usually holds hands and kisses me all the time but we didnt hold hands at all whilst out shopping, infact the only contact we had was when I took his arm. In the car he was a little better, putting his hand on my leg a couple of times and when I asked him if everything was ok he said he was fine.

    I have tried to get him to open up and talk to me a few times and he just says everythings fine. Then he informs me his ex girlfriend has asked him to have the dog while shes away and he won't be down too early tonight as he has to go pick it up (10 mins from his house) reckon he gave hinself a good two hours as he's not here yet!

    My friend just keeps reassuring me that its good that he told me where he was going but he didn't say anything more about it than he'll be late as he has to pick the dog up, no explanation of why or that theres nothing to worry about etc

    I just know something is wrong and i think he is having second thoughts and wants to get back with his ex and by pushing me away he thinks Ill finish it!

    He has been so wonderful to me and he has changed just like that, don't know what to do other than to just let him text me when he wants and not ask too much from him.

    HELP!!!!! I don't want to lose him...

     
    Old 11-28-2008, 04:46 PM   #12
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    Re: Afraid to Lose Him, He's Pulling Away

    Greysky, I would make your own thread out of this post. More people will respond to you that way and you won't be hijacking Erin's thread. The thought crossed my mind that maybe he is still into his ex unfortunately, otherwise why is he still talking to her and doing favors for her? Have you asked him straight up what's going on there?

    Erin, what happened with you and your man, are you guys still together?

     
    Old 11-28-2008, 04:52 PM   #13
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    Re: Afraid to Lose Him, He's Pulling Away

    Yeah good idea, sorry guys!

    Last edited by greysky; 11-28-2008 at 04:55 PM. Reason: spelling

     
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