How to deal when he is emotionally distant

Discussion in 'Sex and Relationships' started by Firecracker, Sep 21, 2008.

  1. Firecracker

    Firecracker New Member

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    My boyfriend and I have been living together for a couple of months now. That continues to be an adjustment. When he gets stressed he retreats emotionally for a while. He does eventually come back though. He will talk about things when he's ready. He's really busy with his studies which I understand and respect that he needs to focus a lot on that.

    We don't always have as much fun together that we should. There are things we can do that don't cost money since our finances aren't the best. He sleeps a lot more when he's distant. I've heard that a lot of men are like that when it comes to stress.

    I talk to people online and his sister once in a while. Besides that I don't really have many others to talk to outside the relationship. All I can do I guess is to be there for him and to support him. It's just hard when he shuts me out. I feel like I can't reach him. Like he's hurting and there's nothing I can do to change it.

    How do you deal when he is emotionally distant?
     
  2. rugbylad82

    rugbylad82 New Member

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    To be honest, in my opinion it sounds like he is depressed and needs help, sleeping more when you are down is a spiral which just gets things worse not better. If there are other symptoms of depression i would suggest he sees a doctor.
     
  3. Trixi

    Trixi New Member

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    I was married to my first husband for 10 years. He was the moody type. I never knew actually why he was moody. It wasn't me and it wasn't my problem - it was his. His moody, distant spells lasted usually about 3 days and then he would return to normal. I just got used to it and learned to leave him be when he was like that. It wasn't often. He was a sweetheart otherwise. I'd still be married to him today if he hadn't died and I sometimes wonder if his illness was the cause of his moodiness. He could never explain it though.
     
  4. FlirtyChick

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    Well, sleeping more can be a sign of depression, but stress can make the body tired, and the conditions are not one and the same. I am one of those people who withdraws and gets distant when I have things on my mind. Then I kind of go nuts on myself, and get through it, and I am ok. The best thing you can do for him is love him, support him, and be there for him. If you think he is depressed, talk to him about getting help. If you think he just does not handle stress well, support him. Tell him you are going to be there for him, then back off until he bounces back. Don't take it personally. That will just alienate the two of you.

    Hugs!
     
  5. Rose

    Rose Resident Sexy Grandma
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    As long as his retreats are short-lived, it's probably just his way of dealing with stress. You, on the other hand, probably have the personality that always looks for ways to help.... so his reaction to stress makes you feel helpless and even unloved.

    And adjusting to sharing "personal space" is always a challenge, as well. It's said that the first 5 years of a marriage (or co-habitation) is the hardest, as you learn each other's private idiosyncracies.

    So don't fret! You've only got 4 years and 10 months to go!! ;)
     
  6. BassDude

    BassDude New Member

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    Yup, sure sounds like it. I know this feeling well. The only thing you can do is put the other person first and NOT make it about you, let them know that you are there for anything they need, and let them work it out. Some of us turn outward and seek people to talk to when we are troubled...some folks simply turn inward when they are troubled. It's all ok, just accept that it's the way he is, and give him what he needs from you, which may be to just be left alone and for you to pick up any responsibilities he's ignoring while he works it out. The last thing a stressed person needs is someone or something else tugging at them, ya know?

    BD
     
  7. Firecracker

    Firecracker New Member

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    I agree BD and Rose. I am the type of person who looks for a way to help when the best way I can help is by giving him space. He came back out of the room and apologized. And we have since reconnected. Thanks for all your help and encouragement everyone! :)
     
  8. HardRocker

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    Could his mood have anything to do with your ongoing contact with your abusive ex? Is the ex completely out of the picture now, or are you still letting him contact you via email since you gave him the invitation to do so?
    I know if my girl continued reacting to the manipulation of a clingy ex, I would have a hard time being in a good mood.
     
  9. rugbylad82

    rugbylad82 New Member

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    that is a very good point, although it does sound as though he does just get moody very easily
     
  10. BassDude

    BassDude New Member

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    I'll 2nd HR here FC#2...I wonder if the manipulative ex-BF has anything to do with the current BF's stress and/or moods? You should consider that if your current BF is already under a lot of stress, he probably doesn't need a bunch of drama and additional stress from the ex-BF loser. It sounds more and more to me like you need to just cut the ex-BF loser loose. Sometimes you have to eliminate things that don't matter to focus on things that do.

    BD
     
  11. HardRocker

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    Soooo, what do you think about that Firecracker?
     
  12. Wckd_Beauty

    Wckd_Beauty New Member

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    I kind of have the same problem and I don't know if it should be in a separate thread only because he's just not open with his emotions completely. He says that it's because he'd rather deal with things bothering him on his own, which is understandable but it just makes me feel like im not doing my part as a girlfriend when he won't at least open up to me.

    I don't mean/want you to think im invading your post but I thought it's very similar to what you're going through as well and I don't have an answer because i'm basically in the same position. =/
     
  13. Firecracker

    Firecracker New Member

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    I cut ties with my ex-boyfriend. His moods have to do with his not being able to deal with stress and other emotions. And no worries Wckd_beauty. It's the same thing. I hate not being to help him with some things. Stepping back does seem to help some of the time.
     
  14. FlirtyChick

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    Cutting ties is a good thing in most cases. It is not your job to help him anymore. I have learned one thing in all my years of living: If a relationship makes you more sad than glad cut it off....... If you see the same patterns that did not work in old relationships in your current relationship then see the signs for what they are and move on. Life is too short to spend it struggling.....
     
  15. rugbylad82

    rugbylad82 New Member

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    Once more great advice. I would still advise you to watch for warning cycles of his moods spiralling.
     
  16. marcuz29

    marcuz29 New Member

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    Yup. That is correct. It is a sign of depression and it really can make the body tired, unhealthy and prone to sickness.
     
  17. AnonymousOne

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    Just remember that even though you're a couple you're both individuals, even individuals in a relationship can require a bit of space at times.

    The amount of space depends on the person.

    Just talk to him and let him know that he can share anything on his mind at any time and you'll be willing to listen and help him.
     
  18. Firecracker

    Firecracker New Member

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    He knows he can share everything with me but he still holds some back because he's worried about hurting my feelings. I've told him that it's best to talk about things in order to get them out in the open before they snowball. Little annoyances left unsaid have a way of spiraling out of control.

    He's been depressed lately because of stress over money, the future and his school work. He's going to talk to a counselor which I hope will help. He thinks he needs "happy pills", but I told him that there is no magic fix with anti-depressants. I was on them in the past and all they did was make me a little more mellow but didn't fix the problems. Also when I went off of them gradually, I was psychotic for a while with thoughts of hurting myself that seemed perfectly reasonable. I think that coping mechanisms, etc..
     
  19. FlirtyChick

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    Come on, R, thoughts of hurting yourself are NOT reasonable, hun! There is nothing wrong with happy pills. They elevate mood, fix chemical levels in the brain that are off kilter, and allow you to work things out when you are thinking clearly instead of being depressed and unable to see the bright side! All his stress is normal stress that almost everone goes through. You know it is not your fault, as does he, but if he is taking it out on you all the time, there is something more to fix, and that is his attitude, and the fact that you are not his scapegoat. Just tonight, I blasted my husband for selfish, petty reasons. It is normal for two people who live together to clash and take things out on each other from time to time. It is not normal for him to continually do this and for you to continually excuse it. Let him fix himself his way, and you fix yourself your way. TTYL, when we can connect!!
     
  20. rugbylad82

    rugbylad82 New Member

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    I know i have said this before but the longer this thread goes on the more i think your BF has serious emotional and pyschological issues and needs professional help very soon, because it sounds like he is getting worse.

    FC is right everyone has these issues at some point, but i take a slightly different view on what this observation means. Example; i remember being at uni and being forced to live off £3 a week for a while while studying for my final exams, but not all of us become depressed by this and tose people who do (some of my friends did) never come back out of it as the initial causes of the stress (money, study etc) were really just an excuse to hide a predisposition to depression.

    Please make him go and see someone, it cannot possibly make things worse, but it could make them better.