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Is this a normal “cooling off” period or silent treatment/emotional abuse?

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  • Is this a normal “cooling off” period or silent treatment/emotional abuse?

    I have been dating a man for just over a year. We broke up at one point for three months because he got cold feet about the relationship. (He’s been divorced for a number of years and hasn’t had a committed relationship in that time, only dated minimally. He said what he had with me "seemed too good to be true.") He came back to me, wanting to get back together, and I accepted. He wanted to be in an exclusive relationship and see each other every weekend, which we had been doing before, and I agreed. By the way, I’m in my late 30s, and he’s a little over 20 years older.

    Here’s our dating schedule: we go out Friday night, usually a movie and/or dinner, occasionally attend an event or go out of town for something. Then I spend the night at his house. On Saturday we just do fun things, watch TV, etc. Sometimes we go out Saturday nights; sometimes we stay in. Sundays, he makes me breakfast, and then I usually leave around 2 p.m. He’s a self-employed lawyer, and he has a routine where he likes to go into his office Sunday afternoons and work. Sometimes on Sunday evenings, he has to look over files because he has court Mondays or watch cop videos. I’ve kind of gotten used to his routine. We rarely see each other during the week unless he invites me to go to an event or sometimes out to dinner.

    I am involved in community theater, and we both enjoy going to plays every few weeks. This past Sunday night, we tried something new at the theater: a cabaret where local patrons could sign up to sing, read, do a performance based on a theme. It’s just a new idea we’re trying to garner interest in what the theater has to offer. It was set up a month ago, and I invited my boyfriend to come. He questioned why it was scheduled on a Sunday night. I told him the director set it up. I assumed he would come because 1) I had invited him a month ahead (plenty of notice) and 2) he would figure it was important to me. Hell, I've watched several football games with him--something I wouldn't do on my own, but I enjoy doing it with him--because it's with him.

    So Sunday as I was getting ready to leave his house around 2 p.m., I asked if he were coming after he worked in his office. He said probably not, and he thought the idea of the cabaret was "kinda lame," which hurt my feelings. I didn’t know what to say. Again, I guess I assumed he knew it was important to me. I told him I was going to read some poetry I had written (I have two graduate degrees in writing, and I teach.) He urged me to have fun.

    I was so hurt I didn’t know what to do. I texted him about half an hour later and told him the event was important to me and I was sorry he thought it was “kinda lame.”

    He texted back and said, “I’m sorry. I didn’t know how you felt about it.” Then half an hour later, he texted again, “I’ll come by if you would like, but it’s not a good day for me.”

    I didn’t respond because I was still hurt. Later, I sent him another message, right before the event: “If I hadn’t wanted you to come, I wouldn’t have invited you a month ago. I was hoping you’d want to come. So much for that.”

    He responded a little while later, after the event, “If I had understood this event was important to you, I would have to have rearranged my activities on Saturday.” We had spent Saturday at his house as normal, just watching TV.

    Today, Tuesday, after we didn’t communicate all day yesterday, I sent him a message in the afternoon: “I don’t think this silence is doing either of us—or our relationship any good.”

    He replied a couple of hours later, “I’ve been kinda ill about the events of Sunday, and felt like I needed some time to cool off before we talked further.”

    Tonight, I texted him over an hour ago: “Can we just talk and get this over with?” I was hoping he’d call me, and we could discuss the matter and get it behind us. No response as of yet.

    First, was I wrong to be hurt about him not going with me? I’m asking because, obviously, I’m very close to the issue. Second, is this a normal “cooling off” period or silent treatment/emotional abuse/manipulation? It's now been two days, and the absence of communication hurts immensely.

  • The emotional side of me says he was being a jerk. He shouldn't have said what you do is "kinda lame".

    The logical side of me says: why didn't you help him rearrange Saturday so he could get his work done then and be able to spend time with you Sunday? He is representing his clients. That is how he makes money. By reading up on cases the night before court, he is ready on Monday. If it was some other profession that worked on a Sunday afternoon, would you insist he take time off to see you?
    I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience.
    ...
    Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?

    From a speech by Patrick Henry on March 23, 1775 at St. John's Church, Richmond, Virginia

    Comment


    • Ok. Just got a text reply. He said, "Let's talk tomorrow. I've had a long night and I was still a little agitated. Didn't want to talk while I was still ****ed."

      Comment


      • In my opinion..

        He has alot of baggage, he has always worked loves work, work is his life and that is the reason for his marriage breakdown.. But with you there is laughter, fun and relaxation.. He can work because you only see him certain times of the week allowing him to be him, doing his "work". He is a workaholic and lives for his work.

        He is what in his 50's so older than you.. Over the moon that he has a 30 + year old in his life but he is settled, can't change his pattern.

        His comment of lame is rude.. He is stating that he lives in his world and you must live in his.

        This is not correct, people live on each others life and I feel you have spent too long living in his, accomodating to his, which he likes but you are important and good for you for finally standing your ground.

        I doubt that he will come to the party.. He will view it as someone again interfering in what he wants in life. He is a selfish person in that regard.. He loves his work as a marriage not a woman.

        Best wishes sweet.

        CW
        PUT A LITTLE 'LIKE' IN MY SOUL!

        Comment


        • This reminds me of an episode of Tool Time (the sit com). Tim's wife tells him about an opera. She put its on the family calendar and tells him she is picking up his tux from the cleaners. However, she never says "Tim, you HAVE to come to the opera with me on XXX date." Therefore he doesn't realize he is supposed to come. They get into a big arguement pretty much ending up like you guys. Sometimes you really have to be blunt. You need to say "the show is XXX date. This thing is very important to me. Please make sure you can come. BTW, its a Sunday night."

          Now that being said, his reaction of calling it "lame" was very immature, especially at his age and being a lawyer, who knows how words have to be chosen carefully. His follow-up reaction is also very immature. I agree with CW that he has become very comfortable with you accommodating his schedule. The first time he needed to accommodate to your schedule, he true nature came out.
          Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose - Kris Kristofferson and Fred Foster (sung by Janis Joplin)

          Comment


          • He must be over being “****ed” now because I see about half an hour ago he sent me a text asking me if I was familiar with some poet who used to do regular commentary on NPR and which he enjoyed. NPR and literature are both common interests of ours.

            Comment


            • He has came out of his man cave.
              I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience.
              ...
              Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?

              From a speech by Patrick Henry on March 23, 1775 at St. John's Church, Richmond, Virginia

              Comment


              • Originally posted by jns View Post
                He has came out of his man cave.
                Yeah, but I'm still waiting on him to make contact, to call me, as he said, "Let's talk tomorrow" about the disagreement. It's after 9 p.m. and no phone call.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by femmefatale View Post
                  Yeah, but I'm still waiting on him to make contact, to call me, as he said, "Let's talk tomorrow" about the disagreement. It's after 9 p.m. and no phone call.
                  Ok, he called and apologized and reiterated that he didn't realize it was that important to go to. He thought I was required to go because I'm on the board of directors. I apologized for the miscommunication on my part and the assumption.

                  Comment


                  • Things are looking up.
                    I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience.
                    ...
                    Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?

                    From a speech by Patrick Henry on March 23, 1775 at St. John's Church, Richmond, Virginia

                    Comment


                    • I don't believe when a guy says he wants a cool off period. He is just being polite not to tell you directly that he is not into you anymore.

                      Comment

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