Dont' know how to answer him!

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Dont' know how to answer him!

Postby Trevaskiss » Mon Jan 12, 2015 4:01 pm

I’m not sure where to start with this, but here goes.

I’ve been with my partner now for 8 months, he’s 46 and I’m 40. Prior to him, I’d never had a serious relationship – I’d been single for 5 years but had always had a very flirty nature – regardless if I fancied someone or not. My partner and I were having a long distance relationship, but he has moved to me now.

Our relationship has been extremely loving and affectionate from the very beginning, and I pretty much fell in love with him straight away.

Anyway, about a month into our relationship, he was out of action one evening and I was worried about him. I knew where he was and I knew that he would be in touch again later that evening to let me know he was alright.

I was also on Facebook that evening as I was home along and it resulted in me having a bit of flirty banter with a friends husband. It was nothing real major, but obviously at the time I felt that it was inappropriate enough that I didn’t want it upsetting my partner as he is a very sensitive man, so I deleted it. However, the next day he made a comment on another status update which referred to our PM’s the night before. Of course I’d deleted all the PM’s and the comments on the previous status update, but completely forgot to get rid of that comment he made.

My friend was also away that weekend, however, she knows that it is only harmless banter we have.

My partner and I had a huge argument quite a while after that and he just suddenly bought it up and told me that he’d seen the comment about the PM and asked what was being said. I’m one of these people who has a really bad memory and while I had a vague idea what it was about, I genuinely, honestly, cannot remember what the whole thing was about.

Anyway, he eventually calmed down and came round, however, he keeps on bringing it up – time and time again. He keeps on asking “Why” I did it? Why I felt the need to do it? And was he not good enough for me that I felt the need to get attention elsewhere. Everytime we have an argument about things, he will bring it up and I dread it now.

I realise that what I did was wrong, and more to the point – deleting it. I know that and I totally understand that. To add insult to injury, he was out of action and not able to say/do anything. He’s already told me it was unforgivable and I realise that. I just cannot answer his questions as I don’t remember too much about that evening anyway.

This morning, he woke up in a not too good mood and just out of the blue said “I’m fed up with feeling like this, only you can resolve this, you caused it and you just won’t give me the answers I want”. I’m trying to tell him that it’s not that I won’t give him the answers, I just can’t as I can’t remember. He thinks that I’m choosing to forget and that there was more with this other guy than the flirting. And to be honest, I don’t fancy him at all – not in a million years would I go there. He said that I can’t have loved him if I acted that way. You don’t act that way when you love someone.

Serious relationships are a very new thing to me and I think part of me still saw the ‘single’ girl side for a while at the start. I’ve also since deleted my FB account and started a new one with family and close friends only as other comments others were making from my past were also offensive in my partners eyes.

My partner and I have become very serious and are saving like crazy so that we can get a bigger house together. I really do believe I have found the love of my life here, I’m just worried that my screw up at the beginning of our relationship is going to affect us till the end of days.

I don’t know how I can ever answer his questions, and I know due to his sensitive nature, I have to be very very careful what I say.

Please help!
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Re: Dont' know how to answer him!

Postby Thedogsmother » Mon Jan 12, 2015 7:03 pm

This sounds like a tricky situation. All you can really do is hold your hands up and admit that it wasn't appropriate and apologise, which it sounds like you've already done. He needs to try and draw a line under it really as it sounds like you have learnt from it and moved forward so he needs to do the same. If you've been together for 8 months and it happened 1 month in, maybe the dynamic was different between you two at that time and maybe your bond wasn't as strong as it is now. So obviously things happened then that would not happen now. If it had happened last week I could understand him stressing about it in a big way, but maybe he just needs reassurance from you and you need to ask him to try and move forward and not bring it up all the time. It is feasible that you wouldn't remember the ins and outs of a conversation from 7 months ago any way. I know I have trouble remembering what I said last week! :)
However things pan out I wish you all the best and hope you two can get past it. I'm sure you can.
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Re: Dont' know how to answer him!

Postby Trevaskiss » Tue Jan 13, 2015 9:44 am

I've held my hands up on so many occasions, and apologised and asked him to move on, but he won't.

He insists that there is something going on with me and this other guy, and worse still - he thinks there is also something going on between me and my friend (the guys wife). I'm trying to tell him that it is all 100% innocent, but he isn't having it and thinks I'm lying.

He's said that if I don't give him answers by lunch time today he's leaving me and moving out. I don't think we stopped arguing until 2am and I'm absolutely shattered today, I really am.

I just feel so low about this as when he's happy, he's the loveliest guy ever, but when he's upset about something he can be quite horrible with it.
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Re: Dont' know how to answer him!

Postby snail » Tue Jan 13, 2015 10:09 am

Trevaskiss wrote:He insists that there is something going on with me and this other guy, and worse still - he thinks there is also something going on between me and my friend (the guys wife). I'm trying to tell him that it is all 100% innocent, but he isn't having it and thinks I'm lying.


I think his initial reaction was understandable and reasonable. However, to be perfectly honest, if he is still like this now, then I think that he has some kind of a problem. That may be why he was single at 46 in the first place. There may not be anything that you can do. The only thing I can think of is to suggest relationship counselling, so that he can sort through some of the issues he has with jealously and insecurity.
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Re: Dont' know how to answer him!

Postby Trevaskiss » Tue Jan 13, 2015 10:15 am

snail wrote:
Trevaskiss wrote:He insists that there is something going on with me and this other guy, and worse still - he thinks there is also something going on between me and my friend (the guys wife). I'm trying to tell him that it is all 100% innocent, but he isn't having it and thinks I'm lying.


I think his initial reaction was understandable and reasonable. However, to be perfectly honest, if he is still like this now, then I think that he has some kind of a problem. That may be why he was single at 46 in the first place. There may not be anything that you can do. The only thing I can think of is to suggest relationship counselling, so that he can sort through some of the issues he has with jealously and insecurity.


Hi Snail,

He had come out of a 20 year marriage when we first met, no issues there at all - they just fell out of love.

I've suggested counselling to him, but he isn't having any of it.
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Re: Dont' know how to answer him!

Postby Thedogsmother » Tue Jan 13, 2015 1:16 pm

I agree with Snail. I think it is strange for him to still be stewing about something that happened 7 months ago. What if you said to him that you can't recall the details of the conversation after this length of time, you're sorry that it ever happened but it did happen and you can't change it. It won't happen again. You could tell him you love him and are committed to him, but that for the issue still to be lingering after 7 months is very stressful and in all honesty you can't continue as you are now, with it causing arguments and dividing you both. Try putting the ball in his court a little instead of the onus being constantly on you to be the one to 'fix' it. Try saying that you can't provide him with the answers he wants and ask him - given that this is the case how do you see us moving forward? Afterall you can only do what is in your power and he needs to take ownership of his feelings and work towards fighting off these pangs of insecurity. Especially if you haven't dome anything to make him doubt you since that incident. Good luck! Arguing is so stressful isn't it, and it takes such a lot out of you.
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Re: Dont' know how to answer him!

Postby snail » Tue Jan 13, 2015 1:18 pm

It seems odd that he would be behaving like this without any underlying problem. Perhaps this all happened too fast for him, given that he had just left a 20-year marriage, and now his fears about commitment are coming out in this way? I don't know what else you can say to him. If you are having regular arguments (even leaving this particular problem aside) so early on in the relationship then that also doesn't sound good :( Let us know what happens, if you can.
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Re: Dont' know how to answer him!

Postby Trevaskiss » Tue Jan 13, 2015 3:46 pm

Well, I met him for lunch and he's told me he's packed everything up now except for his computer.

We went to the bank as he wanted half his money back, but when I went to walk in there he said "Do you really want to do this". I told him no becuase I love him and want to try and find a way to sort this out so he doesn't constantly feel like he does. I told him I loved him and that I was totally 100% commited to him and he just said "But I don't want to be with you any more" yet on Sunday we had a glorious day out, he told me he loved me all day and all was good with the world.

I suggested getting outside help and he said that he didn't need it and that getting as far away from me as possible is the best therapy he could have. He also said he didn't have a problem and that my past keeps coming back to bite him on the bum and that's where the problem is.

I know when we first got together, I said far far too much to him about my past (I sometimes don't know when to engage brain before mouth), and he said that it's imprinted in his mind now and how can I ever resolve things when I put them there.

The other guy in question had jokingly suggested a little extra with his wife too - which I just found funny and shrugged off as there was no way on earth I would do that. I slipped up and told my partner and now he seems to think that I've had them both on the go!

I really can't win this one, I do truly believe I've lost him and I'm so so gutted right now. If I wasn't at work I think I'd just find a corner and cry.
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Re: Dont' know how to answer him!

Postby Tarantula » Tue Jan 13, 2015 4:12 pm

Whoa now. Back up! He said what?!

There's a saying that goes... if you keep apologising, they'll find more for you to apologise for.

Actually I just made that up, it isn't a saying. I just said it. But it's true.

Yes you messed up in the beginning. I'm usually very scathing of those kinds of mess up but even I believe that you're genuinely sorry and wouldn't do anything else like it again.

Whatever you told him in the beginning that's 'imprinted on his mind' - HE SHOULD HAVE REACHED THAT CONCLUSION IN THE FIRST PLACE!!! Not drag you along for seven months whilst he secretly has second thoughts.

F his 'sensitive nature'. F having to 'be careful what you say'. If anything, YOU deserve to be the one taking umbrage at HIS behaviour! He's treated you really badly, the whole time playing the wounded lamb and I bet you've been dancing to his tune the whole way.

You deserve to be sorry for the initial mistake, but beyond that, you're not liable for nothin'. It's not your responsibility that he has clear and deeply-embedded trust issues.

I think that from here, the more you say sorry, the more he's gonna walk all over you. You've said sorry, you've tried to make things better. Now he still trampling over you, whilst dangling the carrot of it being in YOUR court, when HE'S the one making the decision to leave?! To heck with that plan! Here's a new plan for you:

1. Stop apologising. It's been done. If he don't wanna accept it that's up to him, but stop apologising. Every time you apologise, you're effectively saying 'it's ok to keep treating me like the guilty party.' There is such a thing as being too sorry.

2. Let him go. Seriously! Let him walk out that door, and don't fall to pieces either. Stiff upper lip, as we Brits say. Just tell him 'I'm not happy about your decision, but I understand you would only leave if you felt it was truly for the best, so goodbye.' Wow! That'll shock him. Why? Because it communicates two important messages:

- I am releasing myself of personal responsibility for this breakup and
- I can accept that it's over.

All of a sudden he isn't standing over you with all the power and threat of the impending breakup. You're no longer clinging to his knee going 'please don't.' What you resist persists, so stop resisting his decision. He's told you flat out that he doesn't wanna be with you! The following 'rule' should be so universal that they put it in the next version of the Bible: 'if someone tells you plainly that they don't want to be with you anymore, there is but ONE reply you must give - 'okay'.

It's not about pretending to be fine when you're falling apart inside. It's about not rubbing his face in how much you don't want this to happen. He is not stupid. He knows you don't want to break up. You've made it clear and he's somewhat taken it for granted that he can go on and on with the threats and the packing and unpacking (wait for it) and the talking and the accusing, and you'll still fight and fight and fight. No. No more. Let him go, let him do his thing. Ironically if you just release and give up the fight, he's more likely to reconsider and realise that he's making a huge mistake, which it sounds like it is.

If he was so sure about it himself, he wouldn't have asked 'do you want to do this' at the bank; he just wants to dangle you over the pit of fire, in the hope that you'll say something to convince him so that HE can feel more secure in this relationship. The best you can do is step back and let him burn himself out. This also demonstrates value and self esteem, which is always attractive in any situation.

3. If he goes through with it and leaves - tell us and I'll tell you what to do next to have him scrambling back in a week or two or, if not, to have YOU moving on with as much self worth intact as possible.


...

Most important thing: LET HIM GO. I reckon if you can truly detach just long enough, he'll suddenly have an inexplicable change of heart. Don't be catty about it; just be neutral, civil, calm. 'I understand you would only leave if you felt it was truly for the best, so goodbye and thank you.'
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Re: Dont' know how to answer him!

Postby David020549 » Tue Jan 13, 2015 8:00 pm

Most of us do silly things, and then regret it but after 7 months it should be done and dusted long ago, Tarantula is right let him go you have done far too much apologizing.
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Re: Dont' know how to answer him!

Postby Trevaskiss » Wed Jan 14, 2015 3:17 pm

Thank you all for your replies.

Yesterday was awful... he was still at home when I got back from work and after a while the arguments started again.

I told him that if it would make him feel better, then leave. I obviously didn't want him to leave as I want us to sort this out once and for all, but I told him bluntly that if that's what he wanted to do, he knew where the door was and didn't need my permission to go.

Then after more arguing (bearing in mind, if he did go - the only place he'd be able to go was back to his ex wifes house), I crumbled as I didn't like the idea of him going there, so all the apologies came back out again and I was back to square one *slaps self on head*

This morning, he started unpacking the wardrobe and I really did think that he was going to go - but before I went to work, he got quite narky with me and said "If you loved me, you wouldn't be stood in the kitchen making a cup of coffee, you'd be here trying to sort it out with me". I told him that if he loved me he wouldn't be so narrow minded about things, and he would actually try to work things out and try to believe me rather than constantly telling me I was lying.

Anyway, I've just now met him for lunch and we have decided to talk tonight, sit down with a cup of tea and talk like adults as we've both been acting pretty childish. We've decided that we'll set the boundaries and the limits and stick to them. Respecting each other (which we haven't been doing at all) and being totally honest with each other. He thinks that if we can stick with it all, then we have a future together, but if we can't - he will walk away and no turning back.

I'm also going to add my pennies worth tonight and tell him how it makes me feel too - and that I also have boundaries and limits etc.

So, fingers crossed all goes ok tonight. I actually saw a look in his eyes today that I've not seen for almost a week, so it has given me hope.
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Re: Dont' know how to answer him!

Postby Tarantula » Wed Jan 14, 2015 7:53 pm

Good.

I have to be honest about something. Your fella's behaviour reminds me a lot of my own. I've stared incredulously as a partner as they go about their day, wondering 'how can you be doing that when we're in such dire straits?!' I've piled on the pressure, I've dangled them over that pit of fire, and it's all because I wanted to feel better about the relationship, and I wanted them to enable me to do that.

I feel like I really understand why your fella is behaving the way he is, but I don't condone it. It is childish. It is based on fear and trying to manipulate the other person into saying what we just want them to say, and we push them so far into a corner. He risks suffocating you completely.

Whatever you do, do NOT be catty. Even telling him 'you know where the door is' - although justified, it doesn't serve you at all. You need to be calm, neutral and in control of the situation, hard as it sounds. Tell him that on the one hand you care for him very much and don't want this to be the end... but on the other he needs to understand that you're not hiding anything, as it simply won't work without trust.

Don't say too much. Just broad, simple statements.

I care about you. I CARE about you.
I need to look after myself, too.
I don't want you to go. But if you want to go, I won't try to stop you.
Only you know if you can move on from this and we can move on as a couple. If not, go. Is so, stay. But I need you to make a decision.
I've apologised 1000 times, I'm not going to do it anymore. You know where I stand.

... This is all about boundaries and it's extremely important that you can assert yours, without being catty, as that only inflames the situation.

It is an all or nothing situation. You need to tell him to either drop it, for good, or walk away. Those are his options. Make a decision.
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Re: Dont' know how to answer him!

Postby Tarantula » Wed Jan 14, 2015 7:57 pm

Oh, I have a song for you that's spot on and you need to make it your mantra. Seriously, listen to this song right now. It captures exactly how you need to behave to establish boundaries and make him think twice!!

Two Can Play That Game by Bobbi Brown, a 90's classic! :D

'Stay with me but if you want to leave
Take your things, forget all about me.
Tell me why you fail to realise
That you might not ever get another try..!'

BOOM
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Re: Dont' know how to answer him!

Postby Trevaskiss » Fri Jan 16, 2015 9:48 am

Morning all,

Well, Wednesday night was one huge success. He told me that in order for us to move forward in this relationship, he needed me to be perfectly honest with him, and I told me that in order for us to move forward in our relationship he needed to believe me and start trusting me again.

He has a lot of issues with my past, he's only had 3 long term relationships, where I've never had one but did a lot of dating. I am quite uncomfortable talking about my past as I know his views on certain things, but I just answered all his questions as honestly as I could.

I've had a reasonably colourful past, but that should not affect the future and I told him that. I told him that I have changed and for the first time in my life I am ready to settle down and be with someone permanently.

We also agreed about the moving house as that will make things much better. I've lived in my flat for 12 years and yes, there are ghosts there (not literal ghosts, but my past) which makes him feel uneasy and uncomfortable. I can understand that as I certainly wouldn't want to move in to the house he shared with his ex wife.

So, we had a long discussion, set our boundaries, told each other what upset the other etc, and I did explain that I think I've apologised enough for what I've done, and that I will help to try and mend the hurt, but I am not going to apologise for it again. I also explained that for me, having never been in a 'serious' relationship before, this is a massive learning curve for me and I've learned a lot of valuable lessons from it and I'm glad he's stuck with it and let me show that I can do it.

And it's really honestly like a weight has been lifted off our shoulders, we're back to being totally in love again - looking forward to our future and however long of saving up to rent a house elsewhere, so we can lose these ghosts and forget about my past.

So, thank you for all your help and advice folks, it really has been appreciated. It's helped me be stronger when having the chat with him.
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Re: Dont' know how to answer him!

Postby snail » Fri Jan 16, 2015 10:38 am

Excellent news :D I'm really pleased for you.

He has behaved in a phenomenally childish way though - just because this is your first serious relationship, don't let him tell you that this problem is all of your making. It's mostly of his making. He's also been unreliable and unnecessarily hurtful. Your past may indeed be difficult for him to accept and he may be annoyed that you couldn't be the person he wanted without any of the things he didn't want, but that struggle is his issue to deal with, not yours. Be wary of making a commitment that involves money, houses, etc with this man until you've had enough time to know for sure that the relationship will be alright.
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