He's Shutting Me Out

Visitor's Question from a 41-50 year old Female
My boyfriend and I have been having some...issues...Yes, there is some 'abuse' occurring, but I currently see his fits as little short-circuits rather than big angry explosive and dangerous attempts at assaulting me.

When things do get 'loud', he becomes sullen and animated, and lays out more questions than I can even retain much less answer. He barrages me angrily, much of what I say is taken and twisted by him into some very different accounting that takes a mastermind in twisted and creative paraphrasiology.

I feel hopeless and beat down, and I feel alone.

Much of why things 'get loud' boils down to him being upset with me for 'accusing' him of cheating. I don't accuse, though. I make a statement of observation: "You didn't come home until almost 7 a.m., and your job is only a three hour gig and you left for work at 9 p.m., so what happened?" Or..."You know, 'un-named person(mutual acquaintance known for acting out sexually with other people's mates)' hasn't been coming around anymore (ever since an evening where she appeared at one of his jobs on an evening I didn't go along to help him}, and un-named boyfriend of un-named person (her 'sortof' boyfriend) who used to visit us a few times a week at least doesn't come over or call or even return calls made to him. It seems pretty odd, the abruptness of it all...did she perhaps make a pass at you?"

These comments are what he calls accusations.

We hardly ever get 'intimate' anymore.

I keep trying to swallow it all down, the late nights, the deleting of his cell phone history upon arriving back home while sitting next to me on the couch, the renewed interest in bathing and brushing and cologne when he's heading out to 'work', the acting like I'm interrupting him when I try to engage him at times, his protective and secretive nature as it pertains to his vehicle--always locked, even at home. He doesn't get out until I've gotten out, grudgingly he'll let me use the keys to quickly get something out that I might've left or he'll possibly let me hold the keys to get the collected cleaning towels from his work out so that I can launder them. I've even been left standing outside freezing my buns off waiting for him to finish closing up a building after we've cleaned it rather than him letting me sit in the vehicle.

He also secrets things away at home, as well. I've asked it perhaps 'un-named' person is stopping by just to lend a hand with his cleaning jobs, because I cannot get it out of my head that she's been with him, and I'm trying to trust him. I've even noticed some of the secondary tools I use to help at his work have been placed differently, smaller vacuum wrapped differently nights I'm not there. These are items he doesn't use, as he has his own set of chemicals and tools. Cigarette butts squished down in the ashtray in a way I do not ever leave them (he doesn't smoke cigarettes). Extra pop cans, water cups...I recently purchased a device I'll be putting to use soon, as I now feel like the only way to have an honest conversation about the issue is by taking steps to keep opened eyes open. I desperately hope to find out I'm just being paranoid and jealous for no reason. I would WELCOME the knowledge that I'm just a madly paranoid controller-woman bent on keeping my fella painfully squished under my thumb...but I'm a person that tries to see all sides, and I don't tend to make snap decisions. I even argue with my DEEP DOWN GUT on this matter, and I also know how it feels to ACTUALLY get accused of cheating when you aren't, as I've had jealous boyfriends in the past. It's a terrible feeling that I wouldn't wish on anyone, so I take extra pains to deal with this circumstance in a way that I don't accuse or speak aggressively or threaten. I'm an up front and honest person, so even writing this feels underhanded to me. I want to just blink my eyes and take my fella and me back to before everything started getting weird...back to when he loved me and I could FEEL that he loved me.
What would you do if you were faced with lots of signs and symptoms, but were not allowed to talk it out and were instead attacked verbally and mentally with many angry threats, judgments, and characterizations even a slug would feel degraded by?

I'm not a naturally jealous or suspicious person, this is NOT something I'm used to dealing with.

I feel like I've misplaced my best friend some blocks back in my life-travels, and I'm feeling very alone in this.

Thank you for at least taking the time to read this. I have no one to talk to about it.

RomanceClass.com Advice
If my boyfriend ended work at midnight and didn't get home until 7am, I absolutely would be upset and worried about him. And absolutely he would call me at midnight if he wasn't coming home, to let me know where he would be. If your boyfriend doesn't have enough care and respect for you to do that, no matter WHAT he is doing with his time, something is wrong. For him to be loud and upset about your concern indicates very clearly that what he is doing, he is hiding from you.

For him not to let you in his car makes NO SENSE AT ALL. Partners share cars all the time.

People change over time, for all sorts of reasons. We don't have time machines. We can't undo the changes. I understand completely the desire to "go back" to a previous version of the relationship. We've all been there. But life doesn't work like that. You have what you have now. Which, apparently, is a boyfriend who you can't trust.

Again it doesn't matter just what he's up to. Maybe it's drugs. Maybe it's cheating. Maybe it's gambling. The end result is that he can no longer be trusted by you, and he no longer trusts you. I definitely recommend you find local co-workers, friends, family, ministers, whoever you can. Build a support network. And then either this guy goes to therapy / talks / SOMETHING with you to explain fully what is going on, or you find another living situation. You can't be with someone you can't depend on. There are too many crisis situations that come up in life. What if you have to go to the emergency room when he's off on one of his "secret gallivants"? *Whatever* he is doing, he's unreachable.

If he's unwilling to share all his life with you, in one sense that's fine. That's his choice. But you need someone in YOUR life who is capable of making that mature commitment.

Good luck.

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

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