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Is commitmentphobia fatal????? TC66...
September 9, 2005
12:55 pm
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I've been reluctant to post about my situation because I feel like I KNOW all of the answers to my questions and I feel like I know what all of the RIGHT things are to do, but I can't seem to take my own advice!!! So, I'm reaching out to you guys!

BF and I broke up about 6 months ago. We've been in contact (off and on)pretty consistently the entire time we have been "broken up". I have refused to have a physical relationship with him without a commitment, so that has not been the issue. It's the emotional ties that we have with each other.

He is a textbook commitmentphobe! He is terrified of commitment and everything that it entails. I have no doubt about that. BUT, he seems to believe that he is going to get past that (he's just not ready "right now"... why? I dunno. I can only assume that he is in a relationship with someone else at the moment. I don't really want to know honestly). Anyway, he tells me that he loves me...that we WILL be together in the future, etc. but he refuses to make it happen NOW.

He says he wants to be SURE, that when we get back together, it will be for the rest of his life. He is 42, never married, no kids. I am 39, divorced with 2 children... so, when he commits to ME, he commits to all THREE of us! It is frightening to him. I don't think he's sure he can fill the shoes of a husband and step-father. I think he is insecure and worried about himself falling short of my expectations of him...

I love this man. I have been unable to move forward with anyone else because of the love I KNOW he has for me... When I start to pull away, he panics. He has had so many disappointments in his life, that I wanted to be the ONE TRUE THING! The ONE thing that would be consistent, honest and pure.

So, I'm torn between being totally honesty and playing "the game"... you know... be aloof, ignore him, make him think I don't care, so that he'll come running back!

Unfortunately, I am HORRIBLE at playing the game!!! I can't do it. It doesn't come natural to me, so I've been fluctuating back and forth between "the game" and "the truth"... so much so that I'm sure I appear MANIC!!! Sometimes he just laughs at me because he knows I'm PLAYING and he thinks it's cute. Ugh!!!!

I guess my question is this: Can a commitmentphobe EVER commit???

I know that I should not be worrying about that... I should be taking care of myself and focusing on my emotional well-being, but it is very difficult when I feel like I am in limbo... waiting for the "rest of my life" to begin...because it could be over before it even begins. Life is short.

Help!

September 9, 2005
1:21 pm
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Anonymous
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leopard doesn't change his spots.

instead of doing something constructive to learn to get over his commitment fear, he is running from it. that shows me he isn't gonna change.

he wants to - but actions speak louder than words unfortunately.

when we have "failures" or weaknesses, we should look to strengthen them or fix them - has he done anything to try and deal with his insecurity? or does he keep promising tha the just needs time to adjust? has he spoken of WHY he is insecure or do you do the thinking for him?

in the end - we can't love a man for their potential - what we see is probably all we will ever get - unless they show they are actively working on improving their life and their issues (like WE are).

good luck to you!

I know it's hard when we KNOW the right thing to do, and can give the good advice to everyone else, but can't follow it ourselves.

they say we teach best what we need to learn most!

September 9, 2005
1:30 pm
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TC - Your dilemna is a tough one. I can relate to it somewhat because as you know that "commitmentphobia" cost me a relationship too.

Without really knowing your b/f, It's really hard to comment on how you should proceed....but, I will give you my "gut" feeling. I strongly believe that if he is telling you that he loves you, but he wants to be "sure" if it will lasts forever...he's playing on your emotions. Honey, there is no "sure thing" in this life. And how will he ever get close to being "sure" unless he commits to you fully now? It doesn't make sense to me. He can "commit" to you in the sense that you and he become exclusive, and see where that takes you both. But, if he's not willing to even consider dating you exclusively....he's probably playing games with you because he knows he can.

Sorry to be so blunt, but that's my take on it. I just don't want you to hurt as long as I did....it's not worth it.

September 9, 2005
1:39 pm
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kathygy
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I have never known a committmentphobic that changed no matter how much they loved me. Its not going to happen and the I think the best thing for you to do is to accept that fact. You need a man who is ready NOW not in some very unlikely future. It doesn't matter how much he loves you. His fear is greater than his love. I think it is in your best interest to break ties with this man so you can free up your heart strings for a man who is avilable now. I am not suggesting that you play games, that you break ties so he will come running after you even if he did it would not change his lack of committment. I am suggesting you break ties for yourself. You don't owe this man anything. He is offering you nothing. If you think that by always being there to love him he will love you and committ to you you are wrong. That is a huge fantasy and is not going to happen. Take care of yourself now and break ties. I know it can be hard but the more you face the truth the easier it will be. You deserve so much more.

love,
kathy

September 9, 2005
1:41 pm
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Ouch!!!! I know, I know!

These responses are pretty much what I expected....

Thanks for taking the time to answer Ali and HSB!

September 9, 2005
1:47 pm
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Hurts_so_bad
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{{{{{{{{{{GIANT HUG TC}}}}}}}}}}}}

I know you didn't want to hear any of this....but we're here for you...always.

I know it hurts...but if you do decide to walk away from this....know that things WILL be better for you....I'm living proof of that 🙂

September 9, 2005
1:52 pm
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Kathy,

As always, I appreciate your input. You are very wise. I know that I need to move on and I will...

It's just so hard to give up on the "fantasy". The love will conquer all mentality is the downfall of so many of us women, I think!

Speaking for myself, I've always believed that "You get what you give" (or you reap what you sow, what goes around comes around, etc. There's several ways of saying it). Anyway, I believed that if I gave all of myself, that I'd get EVERYTHING in return. Not so... I've actually found just the opposite to be true, I've given soooo much of myself to another person that there is nothing left for me.

It's not just about this man... It's the way I approach everything in my life. The rose colored glasses make everything look so pretty...

September 9, 2005
2:20 pm
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Hi tc,

Whatever happens with this man--and anything COULD happen, it would be good to put some space between you and him. As the old adage goes: one day at a time--sometimes one minute at a time.

One thing that I have found is that if I feel pressured by someone to make an emotional decision, I freeze up. I am learning that I was probably as reluctant to commit to marriage with my ex as he was. As Kathy said, my fear was greater than my love...and I really, really loved him.

There is something great to be said about being optimistic, and hopeful. There certainly could be more of it in this world! So don't go changin' the way you approach life.

You might discover during this "breathing space" that it was the best thing that could have ever happened to you...

Lots of love to you tc--2b

September 9, 2005
2:30 pm
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2bstrong
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Ah...another thing tc,

You will reap what you sow! Don't doubt it for one second. Don't let fear of losing something cause you to doubt that you will ever get what you want. Thing is, it may not come exactly when you want it, and it may not be in the exact shape and size that you want it.

Be open, and see what happens. If you set your mind on one thing, and one thing only--you may miss other opportunities and experiences that are waiting for you.

That is what happened to me. One night I wrote in my journal about all of the guys that I gave the thumbs down because I was with ex. One guy in particular, Andy, was a wonderful person. We had so much fun together, and he fell in love with me.

He joined intelligence in the airforce and would write me the most beautiful letters. I told him that I was dating someone because ex and I had decided to give it another go. He met someone int he airforce and eventually married her and now they have two gorgeous children. I am happy for him, but I can't help but think about what I could have had if I had had the courage to let go of ex.

September 9, 2005
3:47 pm
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classof77
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I thought maybe it might help you understand if I maybe offer the thoughts of a committment phobic person. Don't about your bf but I am one. I kind of inheritted it from a bad marriage. I guess I don't feel the condition is fatal. And just because he is not with you don't automatically assume he is with someone else (again I don't know him, only myself). But that is really the point of the phobia, losing your own space your own control so when we pull away it is not to find some one else it is for space from some one. We phobics really mean what we say when we talk about love and all that. Part of us thinks it would be so easy just to relax and let it come, the other part says but what if and I find out the what if to late. I can't go back on my promise if that happens so it is best that I just don't promise. Somewhere deep down you think if it is truly right, someday you will know and you won't have to wonder. If the "right" comes along they will understand and ride it out for you and that may be one of the reasons you will know. Now did that make sense? Just one phobic's point of view from the other side.

September 9, 2005
4:16 pm
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taj64
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I think one way to look at it, is that your fantasy is that. You have never really been to point of commitment with this person. The reality is going to be very different. He is sending you signals and up to you to listen to them. He is telling you "I can't do it". He is going back and forth with indecision, this is insecure person, giving you insecurity. Having a man who knows for sure, cares and supports you, is better for you. And even if he does commit, can you honestly believe he will stay committed or get scared off running only to leave you hurt all over again? He is selfish to string you. And he plays the game because you let him. It has been 6 months, that is long time to be waiting. That is half a year of your life that could have been spent on waiting for someone else who is availale. If you broke up, take time to heal from that and not time to hope. Amazing oportunities can be presented. Sorry to be blunt. Still here for you though.

September 9, 2005
4:54 pm
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Thanks for the feedback everyone.

Taj, you asked if he had ever been committed to me? Yes... for a year of our relationship, he was completely committed... talked about a future with me and the kids'. He tried to get closer to them but felt that I was not allowing him to be a part of their lives. It was not true, I was just nervous because it was the first relationship I had Post-divorce and the first man I was involved with that the children had ever met so I wanted things to go PERFECTLY, so I'll admit I was completely controlling and overbearing. I didn't really let him in. He said he felt like an outsider with us so he started backing away... I know that the kids' are a huge issue for him. He has never had to worry about anybody but himself so the responsibility of a "family" terrifies him.

Classof77, I can't even tell you how much I appreciate your input!! It is so nice to hear from "the other side". He actually told me that he needed time "alone" to think, sort things out... that ours was not a "casual" relationship... if he chose to be with me, it needed to be for real and forever! Honestly, it wasn't ME putting the pressure on him to get married... it was HIM. He knows that if we stayed together, that would be the next step and he had to be sure, 100% that it was the right thing for all of us. When he said he needed "space"... I took that as code for "someone else". He insisted that it was not about anyone else, it was him and that's the way he deals with things, but I didn't really believe him and when I did... my friends would tell me I was a fool to believe him, so I was very confused over that. So, are you saying that it IS possible for a phobic to commit in time, or are you saying that the fear that makes them run away will never go away?????

I am committed right now to "No Contact". I know that I need to step away and let things happen naturally. I have not closed my mind to the possibility of meeting someone new. I guess the right person has not come along... 2B... I will keep my eyes open for MY Andy! I won't let him get away if I do find him! Promise!

I don't want you all to think that I am moping around 24 hours a day, pining for this man... I love him, yes and he is always in the back of my mind and in my heart but I am living my life. I am not giving up hope completely, yet I am not aggressively doing anything to be with him now either. Does that make sense? I just want to understand him. That's all.

September 9, 2005
5:10 pm
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TC: Sounds to me like he's just not that into you. Your situation sounds a lot like mine. I'm 39 divorced with two children and my current bf is 44, single never been married.

He goes back and forth between wanting to marry me, to wanting to move in, to never getting married, to he's not the marrying type, to we are going to date forever, to I've never felt love like this and I'm scare...... yada yada yada.

I think he's talking out of his ass and sometimes just says what he thinks I want to hear.

Bottom line is my bf has been single all his life and he likes it that way. He has no intention on marrying me or moving in.

Maybe that's the case with your bf. I think maybe he loves you but he's not "in love" with you. If he were, commitment phobia or not, he would have no problem taking that step.

The reason he freaks when he thinks he's going to lose you is because he truly does love you and doesn't want to lose what he has with you. Nothing more, nothing less.

I went through the same thing with my ex husband. He had me confused as hell and thinking he was messing with my head. In the end he admitted he didn't even have it all figured out in his own head till he realized he loved me but he wasn't "in love" with me and he didn't want to lose my friendship.

September 9, 2005
5:14 pm
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Shy,

So, what's the status with your current BF? Is the "dating forever" thing good for you? You know that he'll never commit...and that's o.k.? Are you "that into him"???

Just curious...

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