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Hello, I am currently in a 1...

Asked by Female, 34, Single
Hello, I am currently in a 10 year old relationship with a guy whom I can call my only best friend. I am grateful to my parents too, who have agreed for our marriage. His family is so good & have given green flag too. Our relationship evolved from being good friends to close friends to best friends & now we have decided to be together forever. The guy is so good that he takes care of me just like my parents, he has always been the first to say sorry in our fights & pamper me like anything. You might think now that what is the issue here. Well, it will now be 3 years in a row since none of our marriage plans working out. Both the families are so bothered & concerned about us. I will try to iterate the issue in best way possible as text can not depict my concern to the very best. I have been noticing about certain behavioral issue in my friend(the guy in context) from past 2 years. The primary reason I noticed was the heavy work load in office. He stopped picking calls, responding to them or even replying to any messages as well. He would not call or even update about his work & daily schedules. He would then suddenly message a night about how frustrated he is about work & promised to visit in a day or two. However, that never really happened. Even after knowing that I'll be so angry at him he wouldn't care(I felt that). The worst part being that we both are in same cities(we stayed quite far from each other in those days due to his job) & didn't meet for months sometimes. I used to get so angry as for me I can't run behind him all the time for his attention. Then one day he would come to meet me without informing & apologize & demand any punishment. Looking at his work load & tough schedules I would forgive him always & move on with a smile. But then all what I explained above would happen again in repeat mode. I myself started feeling frustrated but would never talk about any emotional pain with my mum/family as I never do that ever. I try to be strong & positive always. But then there is nothing else that I hide from my family. I even used to update his family of whatever little whereabouts I knew about him as they used to call me often as he hardly picked their calls as well. He one day promised me that he would quit his job & he did so. He decided to find another job where he could maintain balance as I told him that I can't settle with a person who behaves so inconsistent. I sat with him one day for hours to explain that he needs counselling & he has behavioral issues. He had no answer when I asked him why did you ignore my calls & switch of your cell. He said he just doesn't know(I know that he his not good at expressing but this answer worried me). He did not fight with me while I briefed him about his shortcomings & irresponsible nature. He agreed to change & appealed not to break this relation. From past many months he's behaving well, however, his old behavior comes up occasionally & this irks me in a terrible way. What I can't fathom is how well he treats me when he's around like no one could & suddenly he would disappear(reason could be interviews etc.) & not update or even receive calls. How can one person behave so differently & the change is drastic here. I freak out the moment I know in my heart that he is again out of hands. My family has agreed to whatever decision I take & that they would support me though my mum would keep iterating that I must get settled as am in my 30s, but trust me that doesn't affect me. My main concern is that I can't settle with him till he behaves properly & not abscond suddenly. What if he does that after marriage? I don't even have much of his friend's contacts & they too cannot entertain me always. I feel ashamed disturbing them again & again! Right now when am typing this, he has again stopped calling & it has been 3 days now. Though he's updated me twice via text but why didn't he pick my call or for that matter called back? Yes he did show this change after many days but.... Currently we stay close to each other & hang out almost whole day together. He would sometimes stay at his old place with his friends(which is quite far) when he's busy in interviews in that area of city & would sleep there as travel late night becomes hectic. But then he doesn't leave that place for many days. I always tell him that it is ok if you stay there BUT ALWAYS UPDATE ME OF YOUR WHEREABOUTS. He just doesn't bother once he's gone. I am now stuck in a frustrating loop that I fear will not end. He loves me I know that. He is a wonderful guy but this one bad nature of him camouflages all his good deeds. I don't wish to leave him ever, but how long can I sustain this? Am always told by people around me that am a strong person but I feel I can take no more. One more thing, he did drink in the past(been few months now) but since I don't like it & have warned him he has promised he won't until I say yes or when am with him to watch over. He's not an addict as I have seen him not drinking for months. But I have caught him many times drinking with his friends in the past which he has regretted too. I even used to point at him if he hides that he drinks with his friends when he is away. And that sometimes, did hurt him. What do you suggest I should do? Thanks in advance. P.S. - Sorry for the long write up :)
Answer
Thumb sneha jayagopal
Sneha
Psychotherapist

Dear writer, thank you for writing in. This is absolutely the space to write as much as you need. I understand your concern and that it upsets you when your boyfriend disconnects from you. From what you have written I can gather what your expectations are from your partner and his shortcomings as well. I understand you don't tolerate drinking and have let him know about it. Since you are more comfortable with expressing yourself, you have shared all your issues with him.
Your boyfriend on the other hand is not very good at expressing himself but maybe his actions might be his way of trying to tell you something. Do you find that whenever you ask him not do something that you don't approve of, he does it anyway even though he regrets it? Perhaps this is his way of disagreeing with you? Sometimes in a relationship when we are upset about our expectations and demands not being met, it is easy to get caught up with what we are feeling and lose sight of what our partner wants and feels.
Although your boyfriend's initial disconnection might have been work induced, it's definitely not the case anymore. It would certainly help your situation if he were to talk to you about what his problem with you might be. It's possible that his disappearing act is him literally taking a break from the demands and needs of the relationship and maybe unwind and do things his way. I don't doubt that he loves you but I think you might have to help him talk about what's bothering him and if it has anything to do with you. Putting the focus on his feelings rather than his faults might help him open up. I know you have tried talking to him but maybe changing tactics can help? Maybe you could try listing out his strengths and what you like about him instead. Don't be quick to panic. You have plenty of strength and love left in you yet. Please do message back to continue our discussion. Regards

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