He's Overwhelmed but He Takes Me for Granted

Visitor's Question from a 21-30 year old Female
I donít even know where to begin. I have been dating a man for 8 months. He is divorced and has 2 small kids (3 & 5). The 5 yr old is to his ex-wife and they have a good relationship. The 3 yr old is to his ex-girlfriend and she causes a lot of problems. I have met the kids and he has them for 1 week every other week. He and I live about an hour and a 1/2, however from Thursday-Monday morning I live there with or without the kids there. We have been intimate, we have talked about a future. He says he loves me.

Recently things have been very intense. He has a lot to deal with with his ex-girlfriend and the child they have together and there are just issues I donít even have the time or energy to go through right now. He has NO relationship with his family. I recently helped him financially with a car and he broke down and said "no one in my life ever thought to do anything like that for me. I love you and I know you are the person I want to spend the rest of my life with" However, recently if I kiss him he isnít focused on me. He doesnít initiate affection or saying I love you. If I say anything about being unhappy or anything he says "thats not true and you make a big deal about everything" He has also said "if you are unhappy are reconsidering being in this relationship?" Then he asked "why are you with me you are young and smart and here I am with 2 kids, 2 mothers and drama" I told him "because I love you"

Last night we had a discussion and he said with everything going on in his life he is "mentally tired" and he just cant handle my nagging or me making a big deal about everything. He said "I am not saying I am tired of you but I have so much in my head then you want attention and 1/2 the time I am not even listening to you". Then he said "dont take this all personally cause it has nothing to do with you but I just cant take your attitude about things" This is a stubborn man and I admit I do some wrong things but I feel very shut out and I feel like he has me around for just when he needs or wants me and my thoughts and feelings dont matter.

What do I do? I love him and I think he loves me but I am just not sure and I feel sad all the time. I dont want to force anyone to love me. If I ask him if he loves me he says "you should know that I do". He has told me I demand attention and he feels like I am testing his love. He says "you should know I love you I dont have to prove anything".

I think that I am the most upset at myself for falling into this trap. I am typically, up to this point, strong and independent. If a relationship wasnt working I would walk. But for some unknown reason to me I cant walk from this man. He is in a sense emotionally abusive and I know in my heart of hearts that he not only will never change he doesnt believe he has to. As he says is a "grown man" and he is "independent" and so forth basically saying I dont need anyone. So I must say to myself...why do I stay? He obviously doesnt need or want me there. I just dont know how to walk away. And a part of me struggles with the fact that I am never heard. It is like my stubborness gets in the way because he is manipulative. I can say "you hurt my feelings and I am sad" and I could be crying and he will say "thats not true" he has never in 8 months ever said "I am sorry" And I struggle with how can I be so hurt and obviouslly hurt and upset and he just doesnt care. I know I need to walk but I dont know how. I just really dont know how. The relationship was not like this in the beginning. I know everyone says that but it is true he did not show his true signs until like 2 months ago. The other night at dinner he shook his glass at me cause he wanted more. So I asked if he believed in the old fashion thing of the man is taken care of by the woman. I wasnt upset he just does that kind of stuff a lot and I was curious if that was how he viewed a relationship. He said why are you asking me that I was joking around. I said you werent joking and he said " I asked you so what" That made me so mad that he said so what. Cause he is so cavalier at times. But he doesnt see it that way.

So right now as we speak he is so pissed off about this incident. Because he says " I am so indepedent and you make a big damn deal about every little thing" It is just so ridicualous. I just want to scream right now. He doesnt call me anymore. Always waits for me to call him and if I dont call him then we dont talk that day. Just 10 minutes ago I called him and we were just talking and I dont even know how it came up but we were talking about me crying he said "you make yourself cry I dont do anything to you" Then he said let me go put the kids down for a nap and I will call you back" I said "you dont have to" he said "ok I wont"
Please help me ...thank you

RomanceClass.com Advice
All relationships involve give and take on both sides. It's important to remember that.

This guy is under a lot of strain and has said so many times. Yet when he doesn't behave perfectly you get upset with him. You say he's not paying attention to you - and he ADMITS he's not paying attention to you because he's so wrapped up in stuff. You want him to change, even though he's telling you that he can't do that right now.

Asking if someone loves you seems a bit odd to me. Love is something that people feel for each other and express based on their personalities. Some people say it a lot and don't feel it strongly. Some people hardly ever say it but feel it very intensely. To press someone to say it out loud just seems odd. If you want to have him show his love more frequently by doing X or Y then it's important to ask for that in particular, not to try to pressure him into saying it on demand.

I'm not saying everything he does is justified. Certainly it isn't. But I'm saying that he's under a lot of stress and he admits that - and that you are trying to get him to be a perfect boyfriend anyway. I would spend less time with him for a while. Give him the space and time to deal with his issues. You can certainly stay in a relationship with him, but find other things to do with your time too - go out with family and friends, get a hobby or two. Maybe once you reduce your time load on the relationship and find a better balance, his own personal life can sort out better and also your time with him can get less stressful.

-- from Lisa
One of Your Friendly Advisors at RomanceClass.com

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