Is my RL a dead horse or does he deserve this chance?
December 29, 2012 8:51 AM Subscribe
Another question about my LTR: how much should I try to give another chance to my potentially EUM partner?
posted by hungry hippo to Human Relations (35 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I'm at a loss for how to proceed. My relationship has given me more grief than I expected. I guess maybe that's my answer but I'm the sort to want to exhaust all interventions before I give up on a RL. (Maybe I'm a little codependent.) I'm trying to determine whether I'm being too optimistic and this is a dead horse or whether he is really trying and I should cut him some slack while tapping my foot. Emotionally, I have one foot out the door and he senses it.
Previously, my problem has been that he turns back into a bit of an *** after he gets back on my good side (meaning he gets a little complacent or selfish or lazy), until I am exasperated and then he tries again.... and that cycle is a bit toxic so I'd like to just have a RL where he's doing these things without the threat of losing me. I don't know exactly how to make that happen. It's like he can't be bothered unless he's afraid.
We're coming on eight months together. I see him in a group several times a week, and sometimes we get lunch (usually at my suggestion). I told him I feel like there is something wrong with the RL because he only wants us to stay the night together once a week. His response: "I'm very introverted and with X hobby in the week I don't get much time to recharge." I ask if this level of contact issue has come up in other relationships and he says it has. He is introverted, and passive, but I feel like those are excuses.
Combine this with my recent communication about making plans - namely, I don't care if he's passive, if he wants to date me he has to make plans more because I'm not going to carry that burden anymore. Him not making the effort to see me has made me feel bad about myself at times, and made me doubt he has any genuine interest, and I'm the kind of girl who needs regular reassurance built into a relationship (doesn't have to be grand or direct or even verbal but I need consistent proof of being appreciated). I almost feel pathetic because I've had to tell him more than once that I need to see proof that he cares and wants to be dating me. Part of me thinks I should have left a long time ago because of that.
There was a big fight around six months and I lost some of my feelings due to how he reacted to me. I've told him this... thinking he'd fight for me somehow. He tried a little but not nearly what I expected.
So that's all the stuff that puts it in the "why am I still doing this" category. However. He seems to have gotten the message. He's planning things a LOT more, and far more in advance. He's trying to see me more. In the past he'd make an effort to act on feedback but it was kind of formulaic as in "I'm not really feeling this but you want it so here." Kind of a plug and play vibe. This time is different - it seems more genuine like he really gets it. And he's trying to do more to show the world that we have this bond that others can't enter.
I mean, if I cry over something he has done, he ends up crying too. This last time he tried to hide the crying. I'd like to think that means something, for a hyper-masculine person to be like that with me, but idk.
I don't know if I'm being too understanding and lacking in self-respect to even allow him this chance to fix things, or what. I'm confused about the relationship. I (think I) want it IF he can straighten up and treat me the way I deserve to be treated (without prompting from me... I mean is it even possible that he cares for me if I have to remind him that I don't see it consistently wth). I want it if he can show more emotional honesty. I want it if he can somehow behave in ways that will make up for how my feelings changed after that big fight.
I've been very unhappy with it lately but when I'm physically with him I'm usually happy. Or frustrated but he makes me laugh. And since my latest talking to him I'm happy more often. But my friends and family act funny when he comes up in conversation ... probably because they know I haven't been treated well. I just can't bring myself to let it go until I'm absolutely sure he's just totally wrong for me, because our opposites attract stuff does make for good chemistry.
How do you decide when you're done with a relationship? How can I encourage him to behave in a desirable way even if he's not threatened with me walking away? Am I just putting myself through a longer process of hurt by allowing him a chance to fix things?
Another question: to me if you care for someone and they express a problem you try hard to fix it and it's fairly easy to remember their concern. He does try to fix things but it's like if he doesn't see me for a while, when he sees me again he forgot the issue. I've heard from others this is a common "male" thing, and is why women talk about "training" their men to get them reoriented to the desired behavior. So is it true that any initial effort means he cares even if he seems ultimately forgetful? I feel like if he cared he wouldn't forget my love language is different, for example. But he has to get reminded. Am I unrealistic on that stuff?
TL; DR Am I deluding myself in giving this man a chance anymore? Do you have any idea how I could know for sure?