I've been going out with my boyfriend for four years. Little bit of back ground, we met in our first year of uni and been dating ever since. We moved back home got jobs and saved hard to rent somewhere together. A couple of months ago, we moved into an apartment and things seemed fine. He's always been really thoughtful and in the past has done lots of lovely surprises for me. He is a generally nice, laid back person, and my friends and family have always commented on what a nice guy he is.
recently there has been a change in his behaviour. I would say the starting point was when we attended a family wedding abroad in Latvia, 2 weeks ago. All my family went and he seemed a bit off before we left leaving his packing to the last minute when he's normally organised and just made it seem like he really could be bothered to go, like it was a chore. In hindsight I should of pointed it out to him then but didn't want a potential atmosphere right before going away. I assumed it was hidden nerves because we were going to spend five days with all my family.
Throughout our trip, different family members kept coming up to us a saying the usual comments like, 'when are your guys going to get married' or 'you'll be next!' And encouraging my boyfriend to 'get a move on', the look on his face was quite moody/sour and he didn't really respond. At one point we were standing in a group with my mum, sister, aunt and uncle and my mum and aunt talking about making my wedding dress and my boyfriend walked away from the group without excusing himself.
Since we've been back the last couple of weeks have been tense between us. We don't usually fight but we had one bad argument on the way back from the pub, where he accused me of being anti social, but I wasn't feeling well. He went a slept in the spare room and the next morning he went out didn't come home till late afternoon, then when he came back refused to talk about our fight with me. Since we've been arguing over really stupid things. Hes also been spending less time at home hes a secondary school teacher and normally comes home at 4.30 but recently he's been going to the gym or to the pub with friends or at least that's what he tell me.
My mum aslso picked up on his behaviour in Latvia and asked me if he minded family members commenting on us getting married one day. I wanted to open up to her about what's going on at home but couldn't. I haven't been able to sleep recently just from worrying about us I really do love him and I really hope he hasn't gone off me.
I can't help but feel suspicious when he says he's at the gym or at the pub yet I wouldn't put him down as the cheating type. I know I need to talk to him but I'm really scared he'll end our relationship and I can bear the hought of how much it will hurt. How do I tackle this so it doesn't into another argument? He seems so argumentative at the moment.
Can some one put this into prespective for me please? Or any ideas what's going on with him?
You need to reassure him that there's no pressure on him from you and that your family was just caught up in the moment and got overly excited about the wedding. You can say you thought it all to be amusing.
But more important is HOW he reacted to all this. Instead of expressing his feelings and working this out, he pulls away and blocks the discussion.
That's a red flag for the future! Will he handle himself that way when other situations come up?
Perhaps couple counseling will help. You don't want to spend your life with a guy who runs away when things get uncomfortable for him.
I would like to begin by asking some qualifying questions about your relationship. In reflection, did you notice his personality change after the two of you began cohabitating? Was there any hesitation on his part prior to moving in together? Is this cohabitation for financial reasons or romantic reasons? Was there any discussion between the two of you regarding marriage prior to your travels? Have you done the difficult and objectively tried to identify any personal changes in you since you moved in together? Are you both seeing a side of the other that hasn’t been exposed before (pun intended)?
Commitment can be scary and threatening and may take a while to get use to. Perhaps there is someone else that at the very least intrigues him and has him asking himself questions of obligation and steadfastness with you. I believe that can be a very healthy reflection for both of you prior to marriage. When the “romance” gradually loses some luster, what qualities and characteristics in both of you will keep your relationship strong, interesting, and permanent?
Communication is critical in helping you put this in “perspective”. Being non judgmental, sincere, and other centered will open up this communication with him.
Please let us know what comes from this communication.
I suggest telling your mother not to bring this subject up anymore in his presence.
From what you have written it does not seem like he is ready for that next step (marriage) and you should not take this as he doesn't love you enough...There could be endless reasons for him not to feel ready such as financial instability or maybe his parents are divorced and therefore he is just scared that marrying you may ruin the relationship you have now...I advise to talk to him about this and find out what his thoughts, feelings and intentions are about the future of your relationship. Discuss and share your thoughts so that you may both understand each other better and have less doubts.
Thanks for the replies, will try to respond to all comments.
I did sit down with him talked to him . His reason for acting different are because he's not sure if he wants to get married, to him it's just a piece of paper. With talking to me he assumed I would want to get married, and therefore he couldn't make me happy worried about loosing me, to it explains his behaviour clearly. At moment I don't know if it is a deal breaker, as I thought him proposing after a year or so might of been the next step. I do know I want children, however my mum and her side of the family would not be that supportive if this was done out of wedlock, for religious, traditional value reasons but that's them not us.
Maian: you mentioned this could be to do with divorce, I should of put two and two together, that's what 4 days of working night shifts does to your brain! You're Correct, both our parents are divorced, big difference being mine are still friends, most of time, I was only small, where as his are not friends, they still talk negatively about one another, yet haven't seen each other in years. His parents ended up in court both fighting for custody of him and his brother when my boyfriend was around 10. His mother won, and then he hardly ever saw his dad till his late teens. He's told me about it but I can't quite comprehend what it must of been like for him when I had more of a positive experience. So, agree big factor and he may think history will repeat its self.
He is normally good at handling situations but agree it's a red flag and something to look out for.
Squirrel: you could be right maybe we do need to try and do more things together, so I will think about that.
8twenty8, in our last year at uni and then after whilst living back at home, we had always talked about moving in together. In the processs of looking, choosing and moving in, he didn't show signs of not wanting to go ahead with the move. He shows his emotion pretty well and I would like to think I would of picked up on it. He put as much research in as I did, we viewed places together and we were both really excited when we got our apartment becausr it was prefect, location wise for our jobs. Unless he hid it very well, I don't think there was any doubt in his mind so I would like to think it was for to,an ethic reason, it certainly was for me! I noticed behaviour changes about a week before going away, I had to nag at him to pack, like I said he's normally organised. During the time away he seemed mostly fine until a family member said something - by the end of the holiday even I was finding it annoying but it's what family say and do is it not? We hadn't talked about getting married. (yes we have spoken before regarding my last about dads gf? - update on that, if you any one else interested , is that it's still far from perfect he is still with her, but he and I sre talking and I'm now allowed to go round his house when she's not there. Did we discuss about forgiving her? Or was that with someone else I had that conversation with?).
He has applogised for acting differently, and we have talked about the silly fights we've been having, I still don't like we've completely sorted every thing. I don't know if I can change his mind about marriage, if it's what I want, however that feels quite far down the line considering we're in our early twenties. Do we really need to think about this now? He's been thinking about it so do I? As it will only come up again in the future. Is the main question that runs in my mind .
Thank for reading
Now, back to your boyfriend. Good recognition on your part regarding his family experiences and commitment issues. Of course this is critical in a commitment of marriage. How do you think these same issues affect cohabitation? Does living together also take an emotional and spiritual bond? Is there a bond without commitment? Think about this. What happens when the level of vulnerability (distrust, resentment, “silly fights”, etc) exceeds the level of commitment? Bye! This is not intended to be a lecture on morality as I have my own issues. But if it is a long term relationship you seek, ask yourself these questions. Better yet, have a continued dialogue with your boyfriend. Yes, continue to “sort everything out” and yes, “you do need to think about this now”. Specifically, how honest are you about sensitive issues? How much of your soul do you share? How emotionally significant are your times together? To what degree have you promised to stay together as a couple (with or without paper)? Do you know what gives the other pleasure apart from physical intimacy?
To know all this is to “become one flesh”, and this too, takes spiritual strength. Keep in touch. I enjoy hearing about your journey.
It feels unfair, I feel like I've been forced to think about this and do something about this, all because of this wedding, my family members silly comments and his reactions, it's confusing.
Couple of things i do remember; it took him a while to say if he'd come to this wedding and getting him to sit down with me and book the flights was a bit of a mission to say the least. Like I said before I'm unsure if this was hidden neves because all my family were going and also something to do with his parents divorce. Or had he actusllly been dreading this whole event for a year which would explain his unusual lack of organisation preparation for our trip away?
AND he wasn't very affectionate during our time away, mainly when comments were made by relatives and he reacted in a moody teenager sort of way, he wouldn't hold my hand or be intermate so I don't know what he was thinking at the time, if he was doubting us?
Our relationship from my prospective was that things were good before, we were close, sex was good and regular and we shared a lot of things, so emotionally and physical intermacy were good. I work really long odd hours but we got round that by making sure we did something. When things were not so good with by dad and his gf he believed completely and never doubted me no matter what accusations she made and he stuck up for me.
With his parent I do understand why he doesn't want history to repeats it self and I get it. It's a lot tougher on him then he lets on he doesnt talk about it a lot but the things I do know are pretty awful. When he sees either of his parents, it's a huge reminder as they are still both very bitter. For his mum it's an obsession, she needs to know when bf last saw his dad, what he's up to etc, and if he doesn't tell her she's all shirty with him and will continue to say nasty thing. His dad is very angry he missed out on him and his brother growing up as teenagers and blames his mum. Each time he's comes away stressed and it takes him a good few days to get over just one day of visiting them. He's had discussions with them where he's asked them to stop and he's left their houses if they choose to continue. So can you imagine them at a wedding together in one room? I can, they won't be civil they're not those kind of people, they are both selfish, so I don't blame him.
I don't know if I'm being fobbed off by him or not? And how much he doubt us? There is more talking to be done and more questions to be asked.
My dads gf
I cant find my other post about my dads gf but in response to you, yes I can see that it would take so much strength to forgive someone like my dad gf. Its all still exstreamly unfair, I had to wait well over a month for my dad to get in contact with me, without me making any contact what so ever. Emotionally, that was hard for me because he's never stopped talking to me before but when he did come to me, I forgave him because he's my dad and I want to maintain a good relationship with hiim. His gf on the other hand can't even be civil. I know this because go round my dad every Saturday at one o'clock when she takes her self off for beauty treatments, I'm not talking getting her nail painted, I mean like lying in hydro pool for an hour for 100 quid, then other treatments on top of that. More fool him. Back to my point, I saw her outside my dads house and I had my younger half sister with me. I decided to set a good example to my sister, gave my dads gf a brief smile and was about to say hello, nothing else, until she opened her mouth and accused me of being too early, then demanded to know why I brought my sister with me. Seems like she has an issue with my dad having a good relationship my sister. She then called my dad to the front door telling him to have words with me. I was on time, and I pointed this out to her and the only thing she could thing of to come back with was that I shouldn't turn up on time because she might be running late to her appointments. I really do find her ways of thinking and talking quite amusing, lol. How can you even forgive someone who is that unreasonable and nuts?
I wonder if you do forgive and clear your head of those issues, if you can focus on any decision(s) regarding your relationship with your boyfriend. You may be right about this relationship. Perhaps you are over thinking this. You can’t make him love you. But you can influence his choice to love you. Please refer to my previous questions for you and him to discuss and share.
It is always good to hear from you.
Discussion closed - why not create your own thread?