ASK REAL GUYS
Why Does He Act This Way?
Dear ASK REAL GUYS: After my divorce, I met my “soul mate.” We have always had so much fun together, and we love to do the same things. We met online, and spent a few months just chatting to get to know each other. He knew everything about me before we met. And, I felt like I had known him my whole life. He seemed so accepting (until now.) Little by little, I have been losing myself. I noticed early on how controlling he could be, but decided to let some of it go for his wonderfulness – he is awesome with my kids, and he spoils me.
I let my guy friends go because he was uncomfortable with it. He, on the other hand, has kept his female friends and continues to speak to his ex (double standard city). I don’t look at strangers, because he gets the wrong idea. I don’t go to the gym alone, to avoid being accused of wanting to look single. I dress a little more conservatively and professionally to avoid his crude remarks. I have changed some of my child-rearing tecniques to suit his liking. He complains if I am spending too much time with them because he wants time with me. I try to be compliant in order to make him happy, but it’s becoming a challenge.
Now, we have been together for three years. We live together, and I moved myself and my three kids to another state with him so that he could accept a promotion with his job. His job is stressful, his three kids treat him like crap, his mother was not a good one, and he has been cheated on by both of his previous wives.
I am not a cheater; I am loyal to the end. I try to be good to him, but I can be reactive sometimes. I go to work, I take care of my kids, I cook dinner every night. I do not go out, I do not hang out with friends, and outside of grocery shopping I am never in a situation that would cause him to think I could be cheating on him. Ever since I moved with him he has come up with one reason after another to fight with me almost every other day – and it’s only been seven months since we moved! We are two days on, five days off, three days on, and then another four days off. He slams doors, refuses to talk to me, sometimes he even sleeps in another bedroom.
He checks up on my through my phone bill, calls my work to see if I am there, and accuses me of crazy things all of the time! If I can’t answer my phone at work, I hear about it. In fact, he accuses me of cheating every other day. And, I have given him NO reason to think that I would do this. Also, he is the only one who has ever threatened cheating, or threatened leaving, or threatened being done with the relationship. He has even called off the engagement – just to be out shopping for a diamond ring two days later. Talk about mixed messages!
His sister says, “Well, look what happened to him. You can’t blame him.” I would love nothing else then to know how to handle him or at the very least, how to make any of this change. He has just become a different person since we moved. And, sometimes I swear he is just coming up with reasons for us not to be together (of course he denies this). He says that I am the one who is always wronging him.
And, just let me mention that besides the jealousy and confidence issues, he would be the perfect mate for me! Everything else about him is great. I have a feeling I’m going to get blasted with negativity here, but I just wanted another man’s opinion. Thanks!
Steven: Let me make sure I understand you. He doesn’t trust you, he checks up on you, you got rid of all of your guy friends and he kept his female friends, you live in fear of constant arguments and now he is threatening the relationship but yet you say he is PERFECT for you? Maybe the truth is this is what you believe you can only get. But what I do think is one of the saddest things about what you wrote is that he gets upset when you spend too much time with your kids. I can’t even imagine what this situation is like for your kids.
Unfortunately, in the face of all these signs, you have moved your entire family to make this happen so you have a lot invested in it. I would say immediately get help, therapy in some form — and ask him to join you. True his past may be causing this, but that doesn’t make your life and your kids’ lives any easier. You have essentially trained and conditioned him that this behavior and how he treats you is OK. He might be a great man down deep and may have a lot of potential, but the way you are handling this by not taking a stand for yourself and your kids is not going to get you the relationship you really want with him. Stand up, love him and make it clear what you will and will not put up with … and get help for both of you.