Newly dating issues me/him
I have Anxiety around relationships due to past abusive experience and I had a bit of an anxiety attack a few weeks ago and he was absolutely amazing, I am really lucky to have met him.
Anyway my question is, we had plans this weekend, he didn’t turn up on Saturday or let me know he wasn’t coming and I was freaking out something bad had happened to him, he’s never done this before, I just rang once and asked what time he was coming but when I didn’t hear I just left it, he messaged me on Monday saying he had a really bad weekend and he had shut down. I am trying to be so understanding and said I understand but if he could just let me know so that I don’t worry that would help, I said it in a lovely understanding way and told him I’m here if he needs me. I haven’t heard since, I’m giving him space but it’s really hard as when I am upset I want people around but when he is having a hard time he pushes people away, I just don’t want him to think I don’t care or am not thinking of him but I also don’t want to bombard him and I want him to have space if needed to deal with this, is there anything I can/should be doing, this isn’t helping me own anxiety either as I had an ex who lied about doing stuff which I’m sure this guy isn’t doing but it’s bringing back bad memories which I’m trying to suppress.
I really appreciate any advice, thank you for helping x
hi and welcome to the forums
I can see how you would be concerned about a no-show. And set for some people, myself included, something happens where we might cancel at the last minute or in your case not turn up. I can also see how honest and caring you are from your response to his situation.
I am a bit old (fashioned) and not really into texting.... so I would defer to calling someone and ask how they are and chat with them that way. Of course they can not pick up. And I can then leave a message if necessary. Perhaps you could invite him out or a coffee and a chat?
And from there you could open up with your story and perhaps together find a way forward... whatever that looks like.You might remind him of that pact you both made about honesty.
I know there are a lot of perhaps in my message and the truth is that I cannot say what might happen. As a person with depression and anxiety, this is easy to say yet hard to believe, but it does not reflect on you as a person. You are still an honest and caring individual deserving of someone that treats you likewise.
finally, on those bad memories... is there any evidence your new partner is doing any of the things your ex did?
Listening to you, Tim
Thank you for your reply. I didn’t sleep well as I’ve been overthinking the situation and didn’t hear from him yesterday which is unusual as we’ve not not spoken every day apart from the weekend he didn’t turn up since we started dating and I’m finding it hard not to even get one message/phone call from him so I know he’s okay.
My ex and I met and married young and an abusive 20 year relationship was all I ever knew, he continually gaslighted, abused and cheated on me, I find it really hard to trust people because of this and this new guy knows this, I find it hard with lack of communication too which he also knows as in his message apologising he even stated, “I also apologise for not communicating well with you, I know that’s something you struggle with, I hope you can understand”
But then again, even though he said that, I’ve got nothing back again since my message about understanding and being here if he needs me.
It’s very hard for me not to default into the whole ‘He’s seeing someone else’ or what he’s telling me isn’t true, I don’t feel this is the case but being burnt so many times it’s very hard to pull myself out of thinking that way. When he first didn’t turn up I just assumed he had ghosted me because that seems to be the generation we live in now, even though I was confused as I didn’t perceive him to be ‘that type of person’ and from what we have spoken about we both have old time values and goals.
I’m worried if I call or text him it will look like I’m pushing too hard and he will retreat further into his shell and I will lose him, I don’t know really what he wants from me right now and I’m worried that this is going to be it and he wants to end things which is fine for him to make that decision if he does but surely he would have said that in his message or not messaged me at all after not turning up? It’s all very confusing which is why I’m big on communication which is obviously something he’s still working on.
I just want to see him really and give him a hug and talk but I know my way of dealing with things isn’t necessarily the way he does and I don’t want to push him if he’s still working through a depressive episode. I wasn’t sure how long to give it until I contact him again after giving him this space. He’s not showing any signs my ex did of cheating apart from the no contact thing and when we’ve spoken before he’s always assured me there is no one else.
It’s just all a big mess really 😞
Navigating mental health and relationships can be tricky. What you've been through (gaslighting etc) is traumatic, and learning to trust after this kind of treatment can be extremely difficult, but it appears you've recognised what you need to work on and that's all one can do. It certainly helps to believe that not everyone will do this to you, but it doesn't mean they won't and it doesn't mean its any easier for you - because you've expereinced it first hand.
As you know, everyone has a story. He may have a story that he is yet to deal with and it may be the trigger for his depression and why he reacts the way he does. But when someone shuts down on you, with the history you've had, well it can leave you questioning everything all over again. In other words, it's not good for your wellbeing.
I can tell you really care, and I'm sure he is a nice guy, but it comes back to looking after yourself. My advice is to offer him to lunch or coffee and have a chat. You've been a great support in telling him that you're there for him. You can always recommend BeyondBlue or Lifeline or recommend that he have a chat to his GP. I'm not sure how he might take this, but it's possible too that he's not getting the right help with his problem.
Take care, protect yourself.
Thank you, I appreciate the reply.
I know he’s on medication and sees his GP, I don’t know his triggers or what started his depression and I didn’t delve into that as thought he would tell me in time, I was surprised he told me about it so quickly tbh as he said he never talked to anyone about it, which made me feel quite honoured that he trusted me enough to tell me his personal issues that quickly. I’m very non judgemental but I’m also a ‘helper’ and I want to help and make things better but realise that may not be what he needs so trying to respect his space. I ultimately just want him to feel better.
I’m okay, I’ve been out with my friends and talked it out and I’m getting there, it’s the not knowing whether he is going to end things that is hurting me I think, but then I also think if he was going too, he probably would have on Monday, along with that message. I’m still working him out and how to love/care for him in a way that helps him and doesn’t cause him anymore stress and anguish when he’s going through this, I will give him a couple of days and then ask to meet at the weekend, he lives an hour away so it’s not as easy as just popping over (although I would drive to see him if he needed me in a heartbeat)
this might sound like a bit of a cop out ... what would you tell a friend who told you that story?
And perhaps until you do text or call him you don't really know what sort of reaction you will get. I guess that if you knew he wanted you to call ... you would. Conversely if he did not want you to call...you wouldnt? So the "not knowing" is painful - well it would certainly be for me, and I already have enough thing running around my head.
There are also a number of things you could ask yourself before making a call or texting such as (i) am I doing this to feel good about myself (ii) respecting what he said (iii) consequences?
I think it is fairly safe to say you care very much about this person and you both want to be honest with each other as well and would not be doing this to make yourself look good.
Or how would you feel if you never called him?
I am not trying to push you one way or the other. Sometimes I like a sound board to help me work out the answer to a problem.
I text him, I just said... Hey, I hope you’re okay, just letting you know I’m here if you need me
He replied within minutes, said he appreciated it and apologised for being MIA and said his week had been chaotic, he hadn’t had a chance to stop and he hopes I’m okay, I just replied and said I’m okay and I understand and I’m not going anywhere,
I was thinking about texting him and asking to see him, do you think this is a good/bad idea? I think it’s important we catch up to make sure we are still okay.
I can empathise completely with the anxiety you feel around your situation. It’s almost 2 weeks since my partner last spoke to me, and the third time in the space of a year that she’s just disengaged and stopped talking. Like you I have asked for a message just to say what she needs, but with no response.
It’s really hard when you have to keep your own emotions under control, especially when you’ve been hurt before. It’s also hard when you’ve opened up and shared this with someone, and they have seemingly forgotten all about the situation. In the depths of despair, humans often find it difficult to think of anyone other than themselves, and it seems that the further in the despair they are, the harder this is. You’ve acknowledged your differences in coping, which shows good insight. I’m like you and like to have people around when I’m struggling.
When the other person isn’t communicating, it’s really hard to know what to do. The last time that my partner stopped talking, I sought advice from a few people who work in mental health. Their responses were all the same. A brief message every couple of days is not considered overkill.
I hope you’ve also got some support and are finding ways to distract yourself. I do hope that with time, he’ll open up to you again and you’ll have the opportunity to express yourself.
Hi, that must be really hard, this guy and I are still so new there are so many variables I just don’t know anymore, I’m sorry she hasn’t been in touch for so long, that would be really hard.
I sent him a message saying I thought it was important we met up and he sent one back apologising again and said yes we should meet up, then I replied and asked when he was free and was met with radio silence again, I thought he would want to meet up this weekend, so I got upset up this morning and text again saying he needs to let me know what’s going on, I’m thinking he’s going to end things.
I’m still stressing he’s met someone else? I guess whatever will be, will be... I really care about him though and I didn’t think he would do this to me or was this type of person. If his depression is this bad I wish he had just said so that I can help or understand, I can’t understand what he won’t tell me.
I just don’t know anymore, I’m struggling myself with my anxiety but haven’t projected anything onto him but I really want him to talk to me and just let me know if it’s me that’s the problem and he just doesn’t want to see me anymore. I’m feeling pretty lost right now because I honestly think he’s a genuine guy and I care about him, the problem with me is I’m an Empath and I love everyone even people I’ve just met I will go out of my way to make them feel happy and loved and it never does me any good and then I end up feeling down and upset like I do now.
I don’t want to lose him from my life now I’ve found him, he’s the best guy I’ve had in my life ever I think xx