I have been dating an amazing guy for about a year. We are both recently divorced, and he fights constantly with his ex-wife about their kids, money, etc. It's ugly, and it totally consumes him. I try to be supportive of him while staying out of it and letting them work out their crisis of the moment. I check in on him daily, do nice things for him, and always listen and be a shoulder to cry on, because I love him and want to be there for him. I know it's hard for him and that he's not at his best emotionally, given that he and his ex still have such awful fights and their kids are stuck in the middle of it.
However, when I have a problem of my own, no matter how small, he can't handle it. He gets irritated, or he simply ignores me and lets me work it out alone. It's really hard, and I feel he's insensitive. He tells me I'm too sensitive and need to toughen up or that he just can't deal with it/me. This has been going on for more than a year, and I'm at my wits end.
Here's an example: He recently said to me that it if wasn't for his kids, he'd pack up and leave the town we both live in, find someone like me, and live a happy life. My eyes immediately welled up, not only at the thought of him leaving me and our families behind and finding someone else, but also at the thought of him feeling like the only think keeping him around the town where we both live (which is a great place) is his kids. I felt, at that moment, like I meant absolutely nothing to him and never would. He became really irritated, told me I was overreacting, and then told me that he's only known me for a year. Like that's supposed to make me feel better! Then, he told me that he's "always in trouble" with me and he can't handle it. End of discussion.
I've learned not to cry around him, which is scary. It's also something that I do a lot, unfortunately. I am an emotional person, and up to this point in my life, I've never been ashamed of that. I wear my heart on my sleeve.
Am I a too-sensitive whiner that needs to grow up emotionally and not take things so personally, or is he just an insensitive prick? Based on the example I just gave, which is pretty typical, which do you think it is? I feel like I have my love blinders on and can't see clearly, so any advice is appreciated. Should I stay in this relationship and wait it out, hoping that he'll have the emotional space for me someday, or is this example a red flag that I shouldn't ignore? Thanks.
You need to understand that your BF isn't over his marriage even though he's divorced. None of us can successfully be with someone else before we get over our last relationship totally. Your BF's actions are telling you that he's still in it up to his neck if it totally consumes him. That being the case, you can't do him any good and you're not doing yourself any favours hanging around with him while he lashes out left, right and centre because he's still dealing with the fallout of his failed marriage.
Yeah, it's all OK for you to do things for him but if he doesn't appreciate it, or can't appreciate it, given his circumstances, then you need to cut your losses and stay away from him if that's possible. Who cares if you carry your heart on your sleeve, that's who you are and anybody close to you needs to accept that. if they can't, then they have no business being around you or with you.
Your BF may an insensitive prick because of his issues or he may be an amazing man in normal circumstances, but at the moment he's no good for himself, let alone someone like you who loves him. Sure, you can wait it out if you like, but don't be surprised if it takes him years to sort it, and then eventually appreciate you for who you are. In the meantime, you'll end up just as miserable as he is.
You deserve as much support as you give him, given your circumstances, but first and foremost, you need to get over your divorce well and truly, just as he does.
Thank you, Manalone. That's solid advice and rings true all around.