Man with no personality
July 27, 2009 5:50 AM   Subscribe

Boyfriend's Strange Personality-What Could it Be?

I've been seeing'John' for five years. He has strong body language which I can decipher but I can't figure out the rest. He claims to be 'shy' and would prefer to be a 'wallflower' and not even let people know he is there, however when he drinks (beer-every evening) in a bar setting, he becomes very outgoing and loud. On a normal day, he gets angry if you ask him personal questions, even belligerent and defensive. It took me three years to make sure he was not married, he keeps in very close contact with his ex wife and she is his best friend. He has a home in another state and is contracting here-300 miles away, and when I ask to go to his home he gets angry and deflects, like he doesn't want me in his other life, but can't live without me here. It's like he is married, but claims he isn't. His affect is neutral, doesn't really look me in the eye, unaffectionate and even cold. He has little emotion, no empathy, no love, just anger when I push his buttons. I know how to get him pissed off and do so just to get some emotion out of him. I HAVE seem him cry, when I broke it off with him because he would not make a long term commitment with me, yet he keeps coming back in synch with our sick co-dependency ever present. He will NOT say he loves me, either he cannot do so or really doesn't, he sends mixed messages. He is meticulous with his automobiles, they are never dirty, and is a creature of habit. His sister is a spinster and his mother are the same, nothing is out of place in the home. He will not let me meet his mother. I've never met anyone that is as closed as he, yet he tells me that I am the only person that knows as much about him then anyone in the world. Am I a fool number one, and number two, what is his type of personality called?? It's driving me nuts.
Example: I was in a horrific motorcycle accident, and now have PTSD and my own hell to deal with. I wanted to talk to him about it but he turned the radio up in the car to shut me out, and told me to accept what happened and move on,"It is what it is". He had an easy childhood and told me once that "His ex wife is his best friend, number one in his life, she is the mother of his children, his mother was number two, and I'd be lucky if I ever made number three" in anger. That is the only emotion I get out of him, even when we make love. No personality, yet the man cannot sleep at night or show any affection at all.
posted by ~Sushma~ to Human Relations (66 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
In re. number one: yes. Two: jerk.
posted by kmennie at 5:53 AM on July 27, 2009 [7 favorites]

Listen to what the guy's telling you, and listen to what you're saying.
posted by box at 5:54 AM on July 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

I'm not usually in the DTMFA crowd, but I think you'd be better off not trying to figure out what's going on with this guy's personality, and better just getting out of this relationship.

Spending five years of your life for a guy whose affect is neutral, doesn't really look me in the eye, unaffectionate and even cold. He has little emotion, no empathy, no love, just anger when I push his buttons.

A relationship with someone whose only emotion towards you is anger is not healthy, and not worth your time.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 5:59 AM on July 27, 2009 [5 favorites]

It doesn't matter what his personality type is, because it's obviously terrible for you. Why are you still in a relationship with someone you know is so bad for you? Because he "tells me that I am the only person that knows as much about him then anyone in the world"? Come on. You're not fifteen anymore.

He doesn't want you in the other parts of his life and he seems to barely want you in this one. So get out of it. It's unhealthy for you. Why do you think you deserve to be in a relationship with someone whose only expressible emotion for you is anger?

Get out, get therapy.
posted by rtha at 5:59 AM on July 27, 2009 [15 favorites]

Best answer: Yes, you are a fool. His personality is best described as "Major Asshole"

This defines a situation of DTMFA. You deserve better.
posted by Saydur at 6:03 AM on July 27, 2009 [3 favorites]

I'm sorry you're going thru this, but you're better off alone.
Run, the guy is a dick.
posted by bunny hugger at 6:05 AM on July 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

Why on earth would you torture yourself like this?

This is not a rhetorical question.
posted by the bricabrac man at 6:08 AM on July 27, 2009 [7 favorites]

Am I a fool number one, and number two, what is his type of personality called?? It's driving me nuts.

His 'type of personality' is the least important thing here. What really matters is that you are desperately looking for the attention of a man who clearly has a lot of issues and will not accept you into his life. 'John' clearly has other priorities: his drinks, his cars, his wife?

I was in a similar situation before and that will eventually wreck your self-esteem in a way that may be potentially irreversible. I was glad that I eventually realised that I would never be able to change the person I was with and he would never be able to meet my emotional needs. Today, I am with someone who has completely welcomed me into his world and helps me fight the demons from my past. You deserve a lot better. If you love yourself, even if it is just a little bit, leave him. And don't look back.
posted by heartofglass at 6:09 AM on July 27, 2009 [2 favorites]

I've been seeing'John' for five years. ... It took me three years to make sure he was not married ... He will NOT say he loves me ... He will not let me meet his mother ...

Why are you asking what his personality type is? Shouldn't you be asking whether it's a good relationship? The above facts alone make it pretty clear that this isn't a good relationship and isn't likely to change. Leave the personality types to psychologists and start focusing on what you want. You don't seem to want to be in this relationship.
posted by Jaltcoh at 6:16 AM on July 27, 2009

Best answer: You've just described the guy I wasted five years of my own life with.

Do yourself a favor and get the hell out. Whatever personality he has is irrelevent -- it is clearly not meshing with YOUR personality, and that is reason enough to leave.

That bullshit he's feeding you about how you know him better than anyone in the world is a) probably bullshit designed to manipulate you into staying, and b) his own problem, which you are not supposed to be dealing with.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:19 AM on July 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

Why do you even care for this guy? and 5 years, - you know you will never get those back right? Serious.

He just doesn't sound like the sort of guy i'd even want to know for a month or so.
posted by mary8nne at 6:21 AM on July 27, 2009

You ask what his personality could be, so I'm wondering, are you looking for some sort of label that will help you understand his hurtful and baffling behaviour? The DSM-IV doesn't include ''Dick'' as a personality disorder unfortunately, but from your description it seems like that is pretty much the case here.

He *might* have bigger/deeper problems that do have an offical medical-soundin' label, but I think when someone treats you this poorly, the first question you need to ask, and answer is ''How do I get out of here?'' You can do the mulling over and trying to work out what the hell was/is wrong with him a lot better from a position of safety and security away from him.
posted by t0astie at 6:22 AM on July 27, 2009 [2 favorites]

What do you get out of the relationship, if he's so closed off and/or abusive to you?
posted by xingcat at 6:22 AM on July 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

Also, just looking back through your question history, it seems as though you've had a terribly rough time in recent years. I'm so sorry things are hard. You deserve someone who will support you and care for you, rather than adding to your troubles. This man does not appear to be that person, regardless of how his personality might be defined/explained/labelled.
posted by t0astie at 6:27 AM on July 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

I would contact his ex-wife and ask her.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 6:29 AM on July 27, 2009

"No personality" is NOT the problem here.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 6:45 AM on July 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

So, the only positive thing about him is that he keeps his car clean? Why do you even care to label his personality? Would a label make it easier for you to justify staying with him? Because you shouldn't stay with him.
posted by Houstonian at 6:46 AM on July 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

Get hold of yourself. DTMFA.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 6:47 AM on July 27, 2009

why bother?
posted by Postroad at 6:57 AM on July 27, 2009

Oh, honey. You deserve so much better than this jerk. Figuring out his "personality" will not help anything.

Trust me on this.
posted by corey flood at 7:00 AM on July 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

OK, the judgmentalism and name-calling isn't as helpful as one might hope.

It sounds like your life is difficult -- maybe it's lonely -- but other than that, you haven't given any reason why you'd want to be with this lad. He seems fairly unhappy - is it compassion on your part? If so, please be sure you aren't in a relationship that will drain and destroy you, because, if you want to help others, you've got to be able to do so - you need to make sure you are in good condition, emotionally. If this relationship is as sad as it sounds, then you won't be. It actually sounds like you'd be better off with a couple of friends than with this guy.

I know it's difficult to make friends; I don't mean to make any kind of change sound trivial. But it's something to think about.

As for your question in the title: I don't know what your boyfriend's personality is, but it sounds like he has serious problems, not just a different personality. It doesn't sound like he could be happy - no one can make him happy. I get the impression that he would not agree to therapy, but really, he sounds pretty seriously messed up.

Be careful, and make sure you are taking care of yourself. Good luck.
posted by amtho at 7:08 AM on July 27, 2009 [2 favorites]

You ask (hopefully in jest) whether you are a fool. The answer is a resounding NO.Your posting history shows you are a beautiful, intelligent, compassionate and strong-- emotionally and physically-- woman. The kind of woman I'd be proud to call a friend. You have so much offer a loving man to let it go to waste on Mr. Weirdo Dickface.

Mr. W.D. doesn't deserve the time of your day. It can be hard accepting the truth after having invested five years with him. Five years is a long time. but you're only human and humans make mistakes. Your words suggests that, apart from the comfort of routine, you wouldn't be giving up much, if anything at all.

All the while, Regardless what his problems might be, they aren't yours.

In every way your personal qualities seem to overshadow what Mr Weirdo Dickface offers. You've gotten all you'll ever get from him along the lines of empathy and concern for your well-being. so it's time to hit the road. I rarely post to tell people to DTMFA, but I'm doing it now.
posted by vincele at 7:15 AM on July 27, 2009 [13 favorites]

I understand trying to figure out a personality type so you can try something new that might work to get this guy to be bearable. But I doubt you will get anyone who tells you anything other than the equivalent of DTMFA. This guy sounds HORRIBLE, regardless of his "personality type". On the plus side he is cold and withholding. On the down side, he is cruel and abusive.

Seriously, get rid of this guy before he destroys you completely. And I am so sorry you have had to experience this torture.
posted by murrey at 7:22 AM on July 27, 2009

...I broke it off with him because he would not make a long term commitment with me, yet he keeps coming back in synch with our sick co-dependency ever present.

I'm not sure what you mean by this, but it sounds important. You broke it off, and what exactly happened? This sounds like he's manipulating you - if you left him and he refused to accept it, that's a problem, and a huge warning sign. I don't know much about your situation, but are you really co-dependent on him? You are your own person, and not only are you able to depend on yourself (or you can learn to), but there are many people out there who you can actually depend on (this guys doesn't sound like one of them in his current condition).

I wanted to talk to him about it but he turned the radio up in the car to shut me out

This is shocking and totally unacceptable. Anyone who does this is not even close to being ready to be in a relationship, and trying to be in a relationship with him regardless isn't helping him (or you for goodness sake)! Physically cutting off communication like that is virtually unforgivable in my book.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 7:27 AM on July 27, 2009 [2 favorites]

Unless you are never going to meet another man again... actually, fuck that, why would you even bother with this dude? Seriously. Run lady, run.
posted by chunking express at 7:28 AM on July 27, 2009 [2 favorites]

Am I a fool number one, and number two, what is his type of personality called?? It's driving me nuts.

Based on your description of the relationship, I'd say that yes, you're being a fool. It doesn't sound fun, enjoyable or satisfying. Are you happy with the way things stand? Are there some elements of either him or the relationship that you like? Or are

As to the second question, I don't know what his personality type is and I wonder why you're asking. The various symptoms you describe sound some sort of clinical definition could be established, but to what point? I wonder if you're not looking for a name so you can better understand why he is the way he is and perhaps also understand you've put up with it for five years.

I think the real question here is "Are you happy with this relationship?" If you are, great. If not, then what can you do to change that, realizing that you can't change other people?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:33 AM on July 27, 2009

life is too short to be involved with people who aren't nice to you.
posted by rmd1023 at 7:35 AM on July 27, 2009 [3 favorites]

Stop this. Life is short. We have a limited amount of time to be happy. Don't dick around with it.

Go be happy. If you don't know how to do that, or what it means, you need to explore a little.

But I will tell you that I am certain that sitting around with this guy in a car, in a restaurant, at home--anywhere--cannot possibly be fun. Stop this. Life is short. We have a limited amount of time to be happy. Don't dick around with it.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 7:35 AM on July 27, 2009 [2 favorites]

You've been going out with him for five years. Not five minutes. This is long enough.

Like the poster above says - don't let him dick around with you, and don't dick around with your life.
posted by mippy at 7:43 AM on July 27, 2009

Imagine if someone else were asking you for advice & they told you all of that, what would you say? Same thing, right? Yes, you need to end this relationship, immediately. And when you have doubts about what you're doing, please get back on the green and just re-read your question. Run for your life!

Also (yeah I'm going there) you should get yourself a great therapist to figure out why you've found yourself attracted to such an asshole.
posted by ohyouknow at 7:44 AM on July 27, 2009

Wow, does he have any good points at all? From the way you describe him, it seems that he has none. You haven't given us any reason why you think he is special to you. So why are you still with him??!! It seems like you're asking Metafilter to give you permission to break up with him.

Break up with him.
posted by moiraine at 7:52 AM on July 27, 2009

Best answer: I see your question from January and it gives me an opinion... it's very easy to comment on other people's lives, which are always so much more rich and complex than can be expressed in a paragraph and judged in a comment on a post, but for what it's worth this is what I see:
You're in a terrible, cold, unending grey nightmare of a relationship. You dream of nursing a baby, and losing it.
Armchair psychologist says you're holding onto this infantile relationship because you fear it is your last chance. You'll hold onto it for the minimum of human contact it gives you in hopes that it might grow into something more mature.

It won't. Whether he's autistic, damaged, controlling, psychotic, is no matter: look to yourself, and why you are willing to give yourself so little... maybe you don't feel you deserve more (as many of us do), maybe you feel you are too old (as many of us do), or too damaged (as many of us do.
You are none of those things. New love is found by young and old, healthy and well, and most of all by all of us who feel we don't deserve it.

Free yourself from the winter of this man. Spring will come for you.
posted by Billegible at 7:58 AM on July 27, 2009 [11 favorites]

Whatever the underlying causes of his cruel, unfeeling, disrespectful behavior might be, the fact is that you're in a relationship with someone who is cruel, unfeeling, and disrespectful to you.

That's not going to change, unless you change it by ending the relationship.
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:02 AM on July 27, 2009 [2 favorites]

You think you can't live without this guy but once you finally make the leap and break it off, you are going to feel so much better.
posted by i_love_squirrels at 8:07 AM on July 27, 2009

"...and number two, what is his type of personality called?? It's driving me nuts."

Dear Sushma,

I think what you are asking the hive for is a little clarity. Like, if you could just define what he is, it might demystify his behavior and the strangely powerful control it has over you.

This is so annoying because I totally totally know the answer (technical term) to your question and I completely can't remember it right now. Damn!

I read all the answers above was hoping one of the 20+ folks that posted before me might name what he is... but so far, nothing:(

I think one colloquialism for the situation generally might be "Tar Baby." As in, something that sticks to you the more you pick it up or try to put it down. In that sense, even trying to figure out what this guy is is only prolonging your agony. This is a point well made many times above in other answers.

--I just took a break to research your direct question (what is he?) and damned if I still can't find an answer! Narcissistic Personality? Borderline Sociopath?? Arghh. --

I know there is something significant about the hot/cold thing he does, the secrecy, the manipulation, etc. wherein lies the answer to your question.

I hope someone else on the list can digest your description and offer you an answer. With that answer in hand, I hope you can then break the spell (t)his behavior has over you.

posted by jbenben at 8:26 AM on July 27, 2009

Bipolar prehaps?
posted by wheelieman at 8:34 AM on July 27, 2009

I am wondering what attracted you to him in the first place, and whether those qualities are still there. It can be terribly difficult to leave an unhealthy relationship, but when all you are experiencing is anger and disappointment, it is time to walk away. I think the litmus test for any relationship is whether it makes you happy more often than it makes you unhappy. It sounds like this guy is bringing a lot of unhappiness into your life right now. I do not see any indication that he's bringing you *any* happiness right now, and unfortunately, I don't think that's a fixable dynamic. Frankly, I don't know how you have lived with it for this long.

Do you want to label his personality type because it would make a difference in how you relate to each other? Would it make it easier or harder to walk away? He could be anything: a narcissist, obsessive compulsive, depressed, a sociopath, but even if you could correlate his behavior to mental health classifications it would not change the fact that he does not treat you well. Just because someone has a mental illness (and I'm not necessarily saying he does), doesn't mean they can't also be an asshole.

It's really easy for us to say DTMFA, but sometimes it is incredibly hard to actually do so. I don't know what keeps you engaged in this relationship, but I hope you can separate yourself from it. You can't control how he behaves or how he treats you, but you can control how you react to him and how you choose to live your life. Please take care of yourself and choose happiness. You deserve some joy, and I promise, you can find it without this guy in your life.
posted by katemcd at 8:38 AM on July 27, 2009

jbenben, is the term you're looking for autistic/aspergers? From the description he certainly is displaying many autistic traits but that doesn't mean is isn't also an asshole.

~Sushma~ it doesn't matter what his 'personality type' is or whether there's a clinical diagnosis for the way he behaves, no-one deserves to be treated the way he treats you. DTMFA. (and don't let him come crawling back)
posted by missmagenta at 8:38 AM on July 27, 2009

I believe the right term is "dickhead". Or possibly "asshole." Why on earth are you dating him??? The sex had better be really, really good.
posted by kestrel251 at 8:43 AM on July 27, 2009 [2 favorites]

I Am Not A Psychologist but it sounds like he could have some kind of personality disorder, maybe Dissocial Personality Disorder (which is a more clinical way of saying "psychopath")

Personality disorders (especially of the psychopathic variety) are very difficult if not impossible to treat. Therapy might help a little but most of them are so deeply bogged down by the disorder that they don't think anything is wrong with them...the personality is such a fundamental part of Who You Are that it's a major task to "reboot" and fix it. So don't hold your breath and wait for him to get therapy; he won't. There is nothing you can do about his personality and it will not get better.

Disorder or not, he's poison either way, and it sounds like you know this. He'll never seek treatment, but you can. Dump Mr. Cyanide and go talk to a counselor to figure out why you remained in a soul-crushing relationship for so long, and to fix it so it won't happen again. Don't let five years become six years become seven...THAT would make you a fool. Let him find someone else to "know more about him than anyone else in the world," I personally would not want to be that person, as he doesn't sound like a nice man to know.
posted by castlebravo at 9:03 AM on July 27, 2009

missmagenta - Thanks, but I def was not thinking it was aspergers or autism. I thought Sushma's description was of someone who was willfully being awful and manipulative.

Did I read too much into things?

From the description it seemed like the bf (if you can call him that) keeps the relationship one-sided because he is exceptionally needy and probably enjoys being cruel on some level. Throw in a woman like Sushma who is both vulnerable to his "charms" and living in the city where he contracts, Perfect Storm.

I inferred all this from the details regarding his ex-wife (he's close to her and/or tells Sushma this fact specifically to create a feeling of competition in Sushma that keeps her hooked into him ) that he doesn't allow Sushma into his other (real?) life (probably because he's been lying a lot over the years and perhaps he has plenty to hide??) and the description of the co-dependent break-up/reunion scenarios. I assume he "can't live without" Sushma especially during those times he is contracted to be working in her city. I assume when he is back in his home state, Sushma has a very difficult time reaching him by phone or email.

So far we have:

Clever Manipulation, Drinking (self-medicating?), Lying, Emotional Withholding and yet extrovert when drinking, he's adept at a range of mindfuck techniques (I love the car radio trick to avoid conversation where he might have to show empathy/love/support - nice touch, that. I bet he has a full range of techniques he deploys in all sorts of situations to cover his true thoughts and actions) and some hint at a Dysfunctional Family history .... surely someone out there can name this for us!

I fully understand Sushma's burning desire to name this thing that she has been caught up in for five years? What was it? Why was it so seductive, etc?

I am truly touched by how difficult it must have been for her to post this question and sign her name to it.

If you have any insight, I think that would be awesome. The best I can do is tease some details from between the lines - and I might be wrong about much of what I guessed.

posted by jbenben at 9:14 AM on July 27, 2009

Yes, you are a fool. You're lucky if you ever make it to #3 in his life?? Who the fuck does he think he is? If after 5 years you not #1, you'll never be. If after 5 years (or even after 5 months) he gets mad at the thought of you seeing the rest of his life, he'll never let you into his life. You're wasting your time with this guy. If you think that by somehow diagnosing his personality you'll be able to change it, you're wrong, and don't even think of using it as an excuse for his behaviour towards you. Even if he has some kind of disorder, he's still an asshole. People can have a disorder and still be nice, and those people are worth sticking around for. This guy isn't.
posted by KateHasQuestions at 9:14 AM on July 27, 2009 [2 favorites]

His personality type: emotionally abusive.
He's definitely getting off on shutting you out. And he keeps coming back for the high of making you miserable. Make your own decisions, but dumping him - and possibly filing a restraining order - is your best bet.
posted by medea42 at 9:37 AM on July 27, 2009 [2 favorites]

jbenben, Is the term you're looking for "emotional vampire"?
posted by MsMolly at 9:48 AM on July 27, 2009

We can't diagnose him, sorry.

Take care of yourself, focus on yourself, help yourself.
posted by kathrineg at 11:00 AM on July 27, 2009

Wait, it took you three years to even figure out whether or not he was marriage? Jesus Christ on a stick, this is about as unhealthy a relationship as I've ever heard of short of violence. This is way beyond DTMFA.
posted by paultopia at 11:01 AM on July 27, 2009

Three years to find out if he's married??? Doesn't want to talk to you about your mental health???

If ever there was a call for a DTMFA, this is it. DTMFA ASAP.
posted by Lutoslawski at 11:02 AM on July 27, 2009

And, as a side note--I wouldn't be distracted by psychological psuedodiagnoses. I'm not sure if that's what you're looking for

There are many things that clinical psychologists with years of experience and world-class educations can't define, diagnose and/or treat, even with access to a patient who wants help.

I think the question you might be asking here is, why is he like this? Why do people like this exist? Why is he treating me so poorly? You might find more guidance in a spiritual or religious context than in a psychological one.
posted by kathrineg at 11:08 AM on July 27, 2009

He… told me once that "His ex wife is his best friend, number one in his life, she is the mother of his children, his mother was number two, and I'd be lucky if I ever made number three"

Believe what he tells you about himself. You and your happiness are not important to him and will not be important to him. He is unlikely to change. If you stay with him, you will continue to be on the receiving end of emotionally withholding and (I would say) abusive behavior.

My mother used to say, "You deserve someone who makes your heart sing when you look at them. And you deserve to know that their heart sings when they look at you."

You deserve better than this. And given that the only emotion he shows you is anger, and his active distancing and hostility (the radio thing is way, way out of line with reasonable behavior towards a partner), being alone would be better than this.
posted by Lexica at 11:21 AM on July 27, 2009 [3 favorites]

I don't think you need to diagnose whether or not you're a fool (answer: you're not) to figure out whether this relationship is right for you. You're already furiously kicking yourself for letting yourself get into this mess over and over again, I think piling on the self-loathing is going to dig you deeper into the hole of "I can't get out of this no matter how hard I try; it'll always be like this no matter what I do."

You have a good intellectual encapsulation of all the ways this man is wrong for you. Is there a reason why your conscious understanding hasn't caught up with your logic? You mentioned your "sick co-dependency", you're clearly aware of that, now what concrete steps can you take to force that real understanding on yourself?

Dealbreaker: This man wasn't even supportive of you after your horrific motorbike accident. I think that's all you really need to know.

Please also see this answer:
I've done this; it was both the hardest thing I've ever done, and the easiest. That song "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover"? It's just like that. You have to just go.

Prepare: Have a place to go to, and make sure your financial situation is clear

Grab your stuff: Pack up your essential things when she's out. Maybe you can get the rest later, maybe the price of freedom will cost you the rest. If so, it's worth it.

Leave: leave.
posted by twins named Lugubrious and Salubrious at 11:33 AM on July 27, 2009 [4 favorites]

It's not just that you should break up this profoundly unsatisfying relationship, but how. What are your goals for your life? You clearly want a committed relationship, he clearly really does not. He has not, and probably will not, make room for you in his life. He's not going to change. You do deserve better. End it.
posted by theora55 at 11:37 AM on July 27, 2009

I think AskMe can sometimes be a little trigger-happy with DTMFA advice, but I agree it's warranted here. To answer your first question, I don't think you're a fool. Your own description of the relationship is "sick co-dependency." I'm thinking you probably already know what you need to do, and just needed to hear some confirmation.

It doesn't sound like you're getting much of this relationship, and it doesn't sound like that's liable to change, 'cause it doesn't sound like this guy has much to offer. You could be #1 for someone who values your emotional well-being... why would you want to be in the running for this guy's #3?

Get out, and look into getting yourself some therapy -- you'll be wanting to learn some different mental and emotional habits to make sure you don't go down this road again.
posted by Zed at 11:39 AM on July 27, 2009

Best advice anyone ever gave me:

"Remove the toxic from your life."

posted by whimsicalnymph at 1:07 PM on July 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

Sushma, do you know how rare it is for all AskMe responses to be unanimous? Take it as a message that not one person has said:
- Give him another chance...
- Well, from his point of view maybe this is ok...
- Work on it, see a counselor, communicate more...
- We don't know enough to give advice...

A few people have tried to guess where in the personality disorder clusters he falls, but we are all sure of one thing: You gotta end it with this guy.
posted by Houstonian at 1:41 PM on July 27, 2009

What the hell? Run, don't walk, to the nearest exit.
posted by chairface at 2:40 PM on July 27, 2009

Randomly select any answer from above and follow it to the letter.

You'll be in better shape than you are now.

This seems less about what is wrong with you boyfriend and more like a travelogue of your self abuse. It's like a peep show inside a suicide club or something.

For your own good, stranger, just read your question and ask yourself "What kind of person have I chosen, why did I choose him, why did he choose me, and why do I keep choosing to let this continue?" It does not paint a very pretty picture of you, though it does help show the rest of us how screwed up some people's lives can be.

Save yourself.
posted by FauxScot at 5:22 PM on July 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Billelgible, thank you for taking the time to research my past posts, that was thoughtful.

I am, frankly astonished with the resounding replies of support! Why is it so hard for me to leave him? I reviewed the answers here and it goes back to a lifetime of abuse I guess. My mother starved us, denied us water and then I married an abusive man for 24 years, my business was embezzled, I was 'engaged' to two married men who lied to me....everybody has walked on me and I realized after reading these posts that I am afraid of what he might do if I really left the relationship. I am afraid of rejection and the anger.

I went to counseling after my terminal cancer diagnosis, and I thought nobody would want a damaged woman, who could love such a person? I guess I just took whoever would have me in this condition.

All I want to do is live the rest of my life with dignity and maybe a little fun while I'm not bedbound. I am thinking that I really have no dignity with this man, but is what I deserve.

posted by ~Sushma~ at 5:58 PM on July 27, 2009

Response by poster: I left out you, Vincele, your thoughtfulness is appreciated.

posted by ~Sushma~ at 6:00 PM on July 27, 2009

You do deserve better, Sushma. I know it's hard to feel it and believe it, but you do. Even being alone right now will be a flood of sunshine for you.... practice living life for yourself for a while. Learn to luxuriate in your own skin without another's touch.
posted by Billegible at 6:24 PM on July 27, 2009

I'm sure "John" has his own troubles as well -- he's obviously carrying a large burden somewhere, or is deeply afraid of something. But so are you, apparently. And since you're the one here, I will give you the same advice as everyone else -- leave him. Not only do you obviously need someone who cares more about you, but your boyfriend also needs a wake up call.

Relationships go two ways. Two people build it together, not one. It's not a relationship if he just wants you to stick around and make him comfortable. His job is to take care of you too, and he's not doing that.

It's sad, but since he refuses to open up to you, you can't do anything to help him or your relationship. It's not your fault at all -- this is not in your control. You've made it clear before that you want to understand him better and he shot you down. The ball is in his field now, and he didn't choose to take it. You already did all you could, it's time to move on now. For both of your sakes.
posted by formaltide at 6:46 PM on July 27, 2009

Response by poster: Excellent answer, but how do I get away? I've ingrained him into my life-although we do not see each other every day, nor do we live together. It's a small town, and we both ride Harley's in the same club. How do I act when I see him? What do I say to him. he keeps trying to bring me back into his web and it works every time.
posted by ~Sushma~ at 8:49 PM on July 27, 2009

Excellent answer, but how do I get away? I've ingrained him into my life-although we do not see each other every day, nor do we live together. It's a small town, and we both ride Harley's in the same club. How do I act when I see him? What do I say to him. he keeps trying to bring me back into his web and it works every time.

The most definite way is to leave the town you're in. If you work in that town, move to the next town over, so you only have to visit the town he's in for work. Join another Harley club, so you don't have to see him at all. That way you won't be confronted with him at all, and what to do and how to act when you see him will be moot.

If that's too scary a step for you -- well, you've already figured out how to make it without seeing him every day. Just make the stretches longer in between.

Personally, I WAS living with the guy I was seeing. I just took a deep breath and told him he had to move out. However, this was New York, where he had more places to go and there was less chance of us seeing each other. still took some doing, so I know that this won't be easy.

But it's possible. I promise.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:10 PM on July 27, 2009

Sushma, it's easy enough to end a relationship -- easier than keeping this one going. You know how to do it, you just need to want to do it enough.

You sound pretty beaten down. Where's your anger? Where's your indignation? Usually anger and indignation are bad (I think), but in this case you can use it to put you in a better place. You should be thoroughly indignant at the way he's treated you.

You just say to him, "It's over; we are through. I'm not going to change my mind." You don't have to move, or quit your hobbies. Just don't do anything with him. Don't talk to him, don't have a coffee with him, don't ask him for a favor, don't do him favors, don't be available to him, and for goodness sakes don't sleep with him. And don't change your mind.

If "he keeps trying to bring me back into his web," know that this also means you keep going back into his web. Just stop. Decide that you've had enough!

If you are afraid of being alone, consider this: You are already alone. Alone does not have to mean lonely.
posted by Houstonian at 3:50 AM on July 28, 2009 [3 favorites]

Sushma, it sounds like this is a pattern that keeps repeating itself. I would advocate speaking to a counsellor, a priest, or whoever professional you feel would best help you that you deserve better than what you have had before. Because you do.
posted by mippy at 7:03 AM on July 28, 2009

Excellent answer, but how do I get away? I've ingrained him into my life-although we do not see each other every day, nor do we live together. It's a small town, and we both ride Harley's in the same club. How do I act when I see him? What do I say to him. he keeps trying to bring me back into his web and it works every time.

Two key approaches to do simultaneously:
#1 add new good stuff to your life, ones that give you hope and excitement about the future
#2 protect yourself from him, because he's eroding that hope and life energy, and this erosion could make it harder to do #1

It won't happen all at once, but you can kickstart a cycle where you see him less (and not let him get to you when you do see him), and use the extra energy you have to find other, better things.
posted by ruff at 12:32 PM on July 29, 2009

You're describing a lot of the symptoms of Asperger's Syndrome, but that doesn't preclude someone from being a jerk.
posted by commander_cool at 6:41 PM on August 21, 2009

« Older Monsoon fashion drama!   |   "On Demand"? Well, I'm DEMANDING already! Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.