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Is your boyfriend suspicous and ignoring you?

Elvis Elvis

I have been with my boyfriend for over 2 1/2 years and in the past 3 months we have been having serious trouble. First he said I lied to him, which I never have, about being with my daughter one night – and my daughter, who is 24, had to call him to tell him I was with her. After that he wouldn’t talk to me for about 2 weeks and I went through a bad depression over it. Then a month later he came back from a bachelor party in Las Vegas and told me he did not trust me with all of the hate in his face and voice…later I found out he had a stripper sitting on his lap that weekend…huh?

I have done nothing to make him doubt that I am a untrustworthy person to him or our relationship. All I get from him is “I don’t know if I want to work things out,” and he goes off for the weekends without me – with his buddy and other people. This past week he has been like his old self, but I am starting to not trust his behavior, like ‘when is he going to start acting weird again,’ and I have resentment that he put me and this relationship through all of this stress for nothing.

I have been seriously depressed for the past 3 months and I don’t think he has any idea what he has done to me nor would he care if he really knew. I am not sure if I should just move on and think this is a rut we have gone through or move on to later find someone that doesn’t still deal with the baggage from his past ( we all have baggage ) and really wants to be with me.

K. B.

Dear K. B.,

I’m sorry for your emotional pain. I know what it’s like to know I haven’t done anything wrong and still have suspicion hanging over me – and you’re right, it can send you to a very dark place emotionally.

First of all, I want you to know that your health and happiness is worth far more than your boyfriend’s suspicions or satisfaction. What’s more, you absolutely deserve a boyfriend who really wants to be with you, and no, they don’t all have the kind of baggage you’re describing. He is being unfair and hateful to you, and that is the opposite of the kind of relationship you deserve and need.

Is your boyfriend suspicous and ignoring you?

It sounds like your relationship is one-way: he gets freedom to go out with his friends and do whatever he wants, he gets your complete loyalty and trust, and he gets to dump his emotional baggage on you… but if you spend time with your family or if he gets the idea that you might be treating him the way he treats you, he can be as hateful and disrespectful as he wants. When you say “he’s been like his old self,” is that because you’ve been bending over backward to not provoke him? Are you tiptoeing around him and doing everything you can to please him so that he can’t find fault with you? Are you unable to relax in his company?

If so, that’s a dangerous place for you. Sooner or later, you’ll “slip up” and not be able to keep up this unreasonable amount of pleasing him about everything. And when you do, he may have gotten so used to trampling all over you that when you finally stand up and take a break from being a doormat, he may explode in anger and hate. The longer you’re a doormat, the worse it will be.

My advice to you is for you to take a deep breath and tell yourself that you are a woman, you are a strong woman, and you are a strong woman who deserves to be truly happy. If you can’t see yourself being truly happy with your current boyfriend (and that means as he is, not him without a temper or with a better attitude) you should leave him.

However, there is a tiny loophole that might save your relationship if you both really want to put a whole lot of work into it. If you truly believe that his recent behavior was completely uncharacteristic, with no early warnings whatsoever, and you can think of recent events (major tragedies such as death in the family, serious injuries or losing a home or job – not things like disappointments or unpleasant surprises) that may have triggered suspicion of everyone in his life, then it’s possible that with professional counseling and advice you could rebuild your relationship.

I say this only because there is one personality type (INTJ) in the Myers-Briggs personality test that reacts to severe, recent stress with the attitude that everyone is out to get him, and that when the stress subsides, so does the paranoia. It takes a lot of stress to get to this point – the case I know of had 3 deaths in his family within 4 months, plus was living in a house he was trying to renovate, while working full-time swing shifts. Even then, he was more passive-aggressive than argumentative. Even if your boyfriend turns out to be a severely stressed INTJ type, this is not an easy personality type to live with, and your type may clash with his. If you can find a counselor that uses the Myers-Briggs test, you will gain a lot of information on how your personalities interact and how that may be causing some conflicts.

In addition to understanding how each other’s personalities may be complicating matters, he would need to take steps to rebuild your trust in him – by no means should you just excuse his behavior and trust him again until he’s shown you some proof, over several months, that he is worthy of your trust. From what you’ve told me, you don’t have anything to prove – so don’t let him try to tell you “I will if you will” when he’s the one with the problem. At the very least, a decent man would have apologized by now and offered some kind of explanation (one that doesn’t involve blaming you).

It’s also possible he has sustained brain damage and is now incapable of seeing you for the strong and trustworthy woman you are – though if he is in fact incapable of having a good relationship with you, you should leave him and give him pity from afar.

In any case, if he doesn’t know, care, or try to make up for the pain he has caused you, you aren’t in a relationship – you’re feeding an emotional vampire, and you should leave him while you still have the energy.