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Boyfriend shutting me out

Community Member

 I’m really really struggling currently with my boyfriend of 4 years. I love him more then anything and I have ALWAYS been here for him and he knows that, but he’s shutting me out currently and the stress is killing me. 
rewind to about 12 weeks ago everything was like normal. Then slowly he started to reply a bit less but I didn’t think anything of it. Around this time he started a new position at work as acting manager whilst the boss is away for 3 months. He ended up messaging me to say sorry he’s not been himself and he’s just depressed and sick of his job and how much he loves and appreciates me. I felt awful for him and I’ve told him time and time again I’m there for him and how much I love him and please don’t shut me out because it scares me. I’ve seen him once a week IF that for since he started this position. His hours are longer and he is tired so I can understand that. But I just feel as if it’s mean to not message me. It’s like most days he will just say he loves me lots and reply to two small things. Whereas usually we message a lot, just silly things. 

i saw him 5 days ago and he was GREAT. I could tell he was a bit tired and he had a god awful day at work, but was great. I had no doubts about our relationship. Now ever since then he’s been even colder and just says he loves me and that’s it. I think what hurts more is that he had the last 4 days off and the entire time I hardly heard anything.. he ignored my message when I said I wanted to come say hi and he ignored my phone call. 

this all might sound silly, but I have my reasons for being so worried. This time exactly 2 years ago he was like this and dumped me via text. He said I can do better and he didn’t want to be in a relationship anymore. The way he treated me afterwards was not nice. He just ignored me completely until a month later he regretted it big time and completely lost it. We got back together and he said it was the biggest mistake he’d made. I was skeptical at first but every since then he’s changed for the best and we’ve been better then ever, until now.. 

i get really worried when he’s in this headspace because he’s just not himself and he shuts me out. 

he told me last week that his boss was meant to be back in 3 weeks, but now it’ll be another 6-8 weeks unless he decides to not come back.. 


im at the point where I’m depressed and just cry about him. I’ve even told him he’s stressing me out. I wait for a message all day from him and if I don’t hear I feel physically sick. 
mum really worried about how much longer this will go on for. I miss my boyfriend so much.. 

3 Replies 3

Community Champion
Community Champion

hello and welcome.


Firstly, I am sorry that it is had taken this long for anyone to reply to you.


It really tough when you partner becomes non-responsive.  It maybe that he is feeling under pressure with the new position and the responsibilities it brings? 


It's understandable that you're feeling worried and stressed about the current situation. I am guessing you have communicated your feelings to your boyfriend and let him know the impact this is having on you? Encourage open and honest conversations about what both of you are going through, and maybe work out some way forward.


Something else you could do is to focus on activities that bring you joy and provide emotional support, whether it's talking to friends or engaging in self-care practices.


All relationships go through tough periods. It's important to address the challenges together. Give your boyfriend the space he needs, but also express your need for communication and reassurance. You deserve a healthy relationship 

Community Member


I have only joined this forum today and was looking to see if someone was experiencing this very thing. I am currently going through a situation like this, and it is truly heartbreaking. I love my boyfriend and we are always open and honest with eachother, but when he is in this headspace he completely shuts me out and asks me to give him his space. We don't live together and I'm lucky if I see him once or twice a week. We have a great relationship and always have a good time together. All I want to do is be there for him, and I find it very hard to heat that he wants to be left alone. I respect his wishes and keep contact to a minimum, but it causes me a lot of stress and really hurts.


Hoping your situation has improved, would love some advice on how you get through these times.

I try to keep myself busy and do things I enjoy on my own, but knowing he is in such a hard place makes it hard to be happy.

Community Champion
Community Champion



I can feel your pain in your words. Thank you for finding the strength to post here, you've come to the right place.


I'm very much like you where frequent communication over text brings me reassurance and validation, and when it becomes less frequent, I get anxious or sad, particularly if this person used to be a frequent communicator. I've also learnt the communication styles of each of my friends, because some of them are more active online than others. With partners that I've had, I like communicating every day, especially if I can't see them on certain days. 


My ex was very much like this, where I would assume he was becoming distant if he stopped communicating as frequently. I know what you mean. It's confusing, it's upsetting, and it leaves you questioning where you went wrong, even if you feel like nothing's changed. It's not a nice feeling. 


You said that you've tried talking with your boyfriend, right? It sounds like it's something that's still quite heavy on your mind, so if you can, I'd try having another chat with him in person. As well as addressing how you're feeling and what you would need from him in terms of online communication, I would also ask how he's feeling and the frequency of communication that he is able to offer too. Let him know how important it is for you and what his checking in with you through text means to you. Perhaps you may be able to come to a compromise where you feel respected and reassured and he can meet the needs of his job whilst also communicating with you at a frequency that is realistic for him. 


I don't believe this is a relationship-ending matter, this may just be a lull or low point in the relationship. Where I would take it a step further would be if he cannot see your perspective, or if this becomes a recurring issue that quickly turns hostile, then it may be cause for more re-evaluation. Otherwise, it sounds to me like a miscommunication of sorts.


As smallwolf has said, it's also important to surround yourself with others who make you happy and fulfill you as well. Social support is so important, particularly if you feel that your relationship (or even another friendship or connection with a loved one) is causing you distress.


I'm wishing you all the best, and please continue chatting with us. We'd love to help if we can.