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When is it better to leave and when is there still hope?

Hello 🙂

I am a 23 year old (24 in a month) woman who is in a relationship with a man 10 years + older than me. We have been together for four years, and we have a child together.

In the beginning it all went very fast. We were in love and in a lot of ways he is a good partner, very helpful, faithful, affectionate, supportive and we have fun together, do things together. But there was also a lot of issues, he would say I was moody (in my opinion out of the blue and I saw him as the one being moody), then verbally put me down, then we both would avoid each other for some days until we would make up again, back then it was usually me leaving him alone. Which at first led me to believe there was something wrong with him for being so cold towards me, narcissism is a buzzword these days, but I don't think that anymore and I think he does love me. But at that time I told him that I was done, it became too much for me and we moved apart.

But we kept ending back up together.

Until now, we don't live together, but we are always together and we will work on this and he apologized and so did I. He doesn't put me down anymore as he did before when we fight. But in the heat of the moment he still sounds like as it just me being too emotional and too sensitive, and that it is all my fault, and it is not his concern. Before I never used to cry in front of him, but sometimes when we fight now I can't hold it in as it feels like it hurts more now. Sometimes he is nice and hugs me, other times he leaves me alone, now when we fight sometimes he says he will leave for good and that he is too old for all this drama.

The weirdest thing for me now is that some days we can be really good, affectionate and do things together, and then other days out of nowhere it is not because we are fighting or have any issues but he seems so extremely avoidant of me, which causes me to be really anxious I can't control my thoughts and I just goes he hates me, he doesn't want to be around me, he is leaving me, please hold me, I really need him to hold me. I don't say these things or pursue him, so I just avoid him as well, I do so because I am so scared of getting rejected, scared that he is gonna leave, scared it is gonna be a fight, and while I want him to come and be with me when he pulls away like this it makes me remember all of our old issues so I really feel he doesn't care about me or love me and that he is really cold and I feel like it is only me who becomes affected from this, so I become angry and think it is him who should reach out to me first. Which he most times does, but it can go on like this for a week and it is killing me. We are eating together, sleeping next to each other, but it is like he isn't there and it is lonely.

I don't know if there is any hope. If I am overreacting and forgetting he probably has his own fears as well as I have mine. Or if it is better to be alone. But I am scared to be alone, I am not getting younger, I am not getting more beautiful, I have a child, I am tired to do all this again.

I may be wrong so take this with a pinch of salt.

This sounds like an avoidant-anxious relationship:

Anxious-Avoidant Relationship: Analysis & Fixes (W/ Examples)

How open-minded would you say your partner is?
Lucio recommends in the article to let him read the above article.
It could be potentially eye-opening.
This would allow both of you to understand the dynamics and the underlying causes of the issue.

Why I Make This Educated Guess?

You mention that you are anxious.
And your partner is avoiding you.
He gives mixed signals sometimes.

There is a high chance that he is afraid of intimacy on some level.
Or he values independence above intimacy.

Relevant Articles

Anxious-Avoidant Relationship: Analysis & Fixes (W/ Examples)
Anxious Attachment Style: Overview, Examples & Solutions
Avoidant Attachment: The Definitive Guide (W/ Video Examples)
9 Easy Signs of Avoidant Attachment
Do Girls Like Assholes? No, They Like Avoidants

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