Let me begin by letting you know your advice is what I find myself scanning through the Bossip site to find. I like celebrity gossip, but I love your real talk.
Now, my dilemma is that I’ve been in a really great relationship for almost 4 years. He’s a great guy, Christian, educated AND employed, extra sexy, 3 years younger than me (a bonus), family oriented, no children and has many of the same interests as me. He has spent these years pleasing me in every way.
However, as of late I have felt that he’s pulling back. I feel it may have something to do with me explaining a year or so ago that I’d like to be married by 35. I’m 34 years old now. Around February he and I were on the phone chatting and marriage came up and his response really hurt my feelings. He rudely stated he’s not getting married in a year. Note, he adamantly denies saying it. While he didn’t say he’d never marry me, it felt really awkward and disheartening. It felt awkward because about two years ago, he was shouting praises of me being his wife and love of his life.
I also feel his emotional withdrawal may have something to do with my infertility issues too since he definitely wants children. I underwent a procedure and it was determined that both of my Fallopian tubes are blocked and any conception would be through IVF. I shared this information with him as I felt I should. This revelation came two years ago and I specifically asked if he wanted to break things off. His reply was no, we’ll get through it together. Because my infertility makes me feel worthless in some ways, I don’t mention it, ever.
After his recent remarks and actions I broke up with him. But, not before asking him to paint a picture of our future and explain our current relationship. He completely ignored those questions like a plague. He claims that he loves me and doesn’t want to break things off, but he has done nothing to “win” me back. I feel so lost and confused with my decision. Did I do the right thing by walking away? – Dazed & Confused
Dear Ms. Dazed & Confused,
Yup, you are dazed and confused. If you have this great guy who loves you, does everything for you, and he even shared that you and he would get through your infertility issues together, then why break up with him? Why end the relationship?
Oh, I get it, it’s because when you made the comment that you would like to be married by 35 years old, and your boyfriend stated that he’s not getting married in a year, and it made you feel worthless. Though, he didn’t specifically say he wasn’t going to marry you, but that he was not getting married, period.
Notice the pattern of feeling worthless. You named two incidents where you were made to feel worthless.
So, I wonder why didn’t you press the issue at the moment when he stated he wasn’t getting married? Why would you let it slide by, and not ask him to explain what he means by the statement? I find it odd and ironic that, like you said, he was shouting your praises of being his wife and the love his life just years prior. So, did something change? You mentioned that you asked him what your future looked like and he avoided the question, yet, he said he loves you and doesn’t want to break things off with you. Therefore, something happened, or either he is avoiding answering you because perhaps he doesn’t have a clear answer. Who knows.
Now, there is the elephant in the room regarding your infertility issues. This is devastating news, and a blow to who you are as a woman, knowing the possibilities of you having children may be rather slim. Therefore, you did the right thing in sharing this with him, and he did express his support and willingness to work through this with you. Yet, you were the one who shut down. You stated that the infertility makes you feel worthless, and you never mention it. Uhm, sweetie, that is not the way to handle things and deal with them. You should have sought out a therapist to help you deal with this issue, and to talk it out. You could have spoken with a specialist in the area on infertility and they could have referred you to counselor, group, or therapist to help you deal with the emotional and mental breakdown you are experiencing.
However, I want you to notice that you have a tendency to shut down. You internalize things and live with them in your head. You exacerbate the issues, and in your head they become bigger and bigger. You are trying to work them out alone, but it sends you into a tailspin of depression, regret, self-hatred, denial, and the feeling of worthlessness. Ultimately, you push those who love you away from you, because you don’t feel you are worthy or deserving of love (worthlessness). Seriously, pay attention and notice what you did with your news on infertility. You shut down. It is the same thing you did when you told your boyfriend that you wanted to be married by next year, and when you didn’t get the response you were hoping for you shut down, and never mentioned it again. Both of these incidents made you feel worthless.
Now, you broke up with him, and because he is not doing what you want him to do to win you back, you shut down, run, hide, and don’t say anything to him because you feel worthless. You say that he is emotionally withdrawn, but aren’t you also emotionally withdrawn from him. He is only reciprocating what you are doing to him, or, you are internalizing what you think and feel he is doing.
He obviously loves you. I do suggest you seek treatment and counseling for your issues regarding your infertility. You are not worthless, nor are you less of a woman. Therapy will help you rebuild yourself and your self-esteem. Also, share this with your boyfriend, and let him know how you feel and what’s going on. Share with him what you’re dealing with so that he can be more supportive, nurturing, and loving toward you. If you shut down, then he figures you are dealing with it personally, and you don’t want to talk about it, and that you are probably over it. If you don’t share with him and allow him to be your friend, your partner, and your lover then how do you plan to make this work in a marriage? Thus, I’m sure that’s why he doesn’t want to get married in a year. You and he have some work to do, and there are some issues that have not been addressed. Couples therapy, counseling, and support will help you work this out before you even consider marriage. Good luck. – Terrance Dean
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