8 Signs You Are With An Emotionally Unavailable Man

A while back I asked this question on my Facebook wall:

 

Women: I’m curious how you “spot” an emotionally unavailable guy. What are the most common signs in your experience?

 

I got some great responses, and I asked a similar question to women in my private community.

 

I geek out on this subject because I was a very emotionally unavailable man for over a decade. And it caused me a TON of pain and failures in my relationships.

 

So I know the “emotionally unavailable guy” pretty well.

 

Anyone who’s dated a guy like this can probably understand how frustrating and confusing it can be. So, here’s a quick guide on the 8 signs he’s emotionally unavailable:

 

  1. Self-denial: He’s in constant denial about his feelings by saying, “I’m fine.” This is a classic statement of incongruency that breeds mistrust in you. You don’t trust him and know there’s more going on because there is more going on. Most often his denying behavior looks like defensiveness. For example, if you tell him he seems shut down or is emotionally unavailable he will declare that he isn’t. He may insist that there is no problem, that they have a great relationship, or that she’s making “mountains out of molehills.

 

I often said I was “fine” when I wasn’t. I also denied that I had any issues that needed to be worked on. I never took responsibility and most often blamed my girlfriends for the way I was feeling.

 

  1. Incongruence: When he’s incongruent, it triggers mistrust in you. He says one thing, then contradicts that later in his actions or words. So, in a new relationship, maybe he says he wants to be friends, then flirts for more, but later holds the boundary line of “just friends” when you flirt back. Later, this can show up as him insisting on arrangements that are one-sided. For example, he clearly states he wants intimacy and reassurance, like touching base mornings and evenings, or spending much free time together, but he is uninterested in sharing feelings, validating you, or being there for you when you’re emotionally in a tough spot and reaching out for support.

 

  1. Inconsistent and ambivalent: A bit like incongruence, but here he constantly changes what he wants and what he will offer. Perhaps he shows up big at first, then pulls away after a few months or years. He may be hot for her one week, only to have little interest a few days later. He’s very hot and cold, push and pull. It’s normal to experience changes in what we want or need, but he regularly gives just enough to hook you before pulling away. He is keenly interested in one kind of intimacy, but avoids another. This means he can be physically affectionate and want sex (especially on his terms) but stops short at expressing his emotions or his attachment. He can also talk a big game and declare his undying love and devotion, but then avoid physical intimacy.

 

I did this one with every woman I dated. I’d say I was into them and I was pretty convincing, but a day later, I’d be annoyed and irritable and just want to be alone or with guy friends because I thought they were “easier.”

 

Deep down, men like this are very ambivalent about being close with a woman for a long period of time. The older a man gets, the more he hates this about himself, and he often stays stuck by staying in the relationship, but giving very little.

 

  1. Disconnection: At a certain point in the relationship, often early on, he begins to distance. For him, distancing is a habit. It feels like his primary relationship is with his phone or his computer, not you. He pulls away or shuts down. He can’t look you in the eyes. He is slow to return texts. He says “I’m busy” or “I’m tired” and vacantly smiles and nods when you shares your feelings or important news, but pretty much stays silent. His disconnection can also manifest in lots of habitual or even compulsive “checking out” behavior, like TV, alcohol, porn, screen time, his phone, etc.

 

When I used to get triggered by the women I dated, I didn’t know how to be with myself or my feelings so I would simply disconnect or check out. It’s what most normal people do who don’t know how to deal with their internal upset.

 

  1. Disengages from relationship: After disconnecting, this is where he disengages from the relationship. He no longer puts his resources (time, energy, money) into nurturing the relationship. Here he stops initiating calls, emails, texts, sex, and conversations about deeper things. Here he is on his way out and becomes “checked out.” This begins to show up as him always putting himself and his other relationships first. Another clue can be voluntary changes in routine and habits that result in less connection. For example, consistently making plans with others on his normal date night with you, without setting an alternative time with you.

You’ll also notice that he’s not interested in topics important to you. Not only the relationship and your feelings, but your life, work, family, aspirations, etc. He shows little interest in your life together, from household issues to vacation or weekend plans. This can also manifest as constant “forgetting”.

 

For me, the moment my relationships got hard, I’d have a very hard time showing my genuine interest, so I put on a fake smile and said things were fine. But inside I was truly losing interest mostly because I didn’t know how to deal with the relationship challenges. And it showed.

 

  1. Dismissive: Here he indirectly or directly labels you as “too much,” “too sensitive,” “too serious,” “too dramatic,” “crazy,” or neurotic for sharing your feelings and wanting to talk about the relationship and deeper subjects. When you share your upset and difficult feelings, he makes you wrong for “making such a big deal out it.” He’s consistently unwilling (or unable) to see your point of view as a valid possibility, and thus, won’t validate your feelings.

 

Whenever my girlfriends would tell me their upset, I’d become the coach or helper trying to fix them or make them feel better, which often resulted in them feeling dismissed.

 

  1. Blame & avoiding responsibility: He really doesn’t see his part and avoids taking responsibility for any of his relationship challenges—his fear, his wall, and his guarded heart. He doesn’t try to see his own contribution to relationship problems, even after you have owned up to your side. His default setting is defensiveness and he makes the relationship challenges about you, then you end up being overly responsible for how the relationship turns out.

 

He might even avoid responsibility for ending the relationship, long after he has lost interest, saying things like “you deserve better than me” and trying to get you to make the decision.

 

The only thing I ever owned was that I didn’t want to call her my girlfriend. I didn’t want to say “I love you” because that was reserved for when I met The One. Imagine how the women I dated felt. Yikes.

 

  1. Dishonesty: Here he flat out lies and not only withholds his love from his partners like you, but he literally doesn’t share certain things at all. Inside his head he justifies this as “If I tell her this she’s just going to freak out and it’s not that big of a deal, so there’s no need to tell her.” But deep down he’s simply scared of your reaction and the conflict he’ll have to deal with (that he doesn’t know how to deal with) when you get upset. He may also tell someone that he’s happily married but be leaking or running sexual energy with other women. He doesn’t want to end his marriage or give you a chance to pull out. He wants to keep what he’s doing a secret until it runs its course. In general terms, he’s majorly dishonest with himself and other intimate people in his life, mainly you.

 

Here I wouldn’t tell women that I was beginning to be interested in someone else. I was too scared and freaked out to let her know for fear of creating more drama I didn’t want.

 

So, now we have a portrait of this guy.

 

But remember, this guy isn’t wrong, and it’s not necessarily his fault. If he’s a normal male, he was conditioned into this through his upbringing and doesn’t even know it’s going on with him. Thus, underneath all of these behaviors lie unconscious motives that serve to keep him safe in his comfort zone.

 

So, if you can relate to this and are with a man like this, he needs your help, starting with a gentle kick in the ass.

 

41 Comments

  • Sara

    Reply Reply March 10, 2016

    I would like to know if a guy already checked out and wanted to end the relationship due to his emotional unavailability, is there any possible way to get him back? He told me that it is all his fault and never blame anything on me. But I think he does not know that there is such a thing called emotional unavailability, so he does not know how to do the breakthrough. I know that he is not happy with who he is, and he deeply wants to be a better man. He just recently told me that he cannot be good and he just hates himself very much. What can I do to make him realize that there is a way, if there is a will?

    • Jayson

      Reply Reply March 12, 2016

      Yes. there is. he’s a guy that needs help. and, if you have fallen for him, try to help him first before you bail. if he stays stuck leave. click the link at the bottom of the post and I can show you how.

    • Claire D.

      Reply Reply August 20, 2016

      This is my husband almost word for word..we’ve been married for twenty years. He loves me I believe, but like you said he’s almost sixty and he’s comfortable in His ambivalence . I think he really does want to be closer, but I’ve gotten use to the room mate mentality bc I’m tired of constant rejection whenever I ask for what I need. I am a Christian and God definitely gives me grace and love for him but I do feel lonely and that we could be.happier. I feel bad bc I don’t trust him . He has done things to cause a lack of trust and I do believe he’s too afraid to admit things that he struggles with even though I’ve been extremely reassuring and for giving in the past. Any advice to help move him toward trusting me would help.He used to tell me he felt he could tell me anything, then when we got married everything changed quickly.it feels like he’s holding out an invisible arm. Strangely he opens up most when we are with other people and can be very open and positive and affirmative about me. When we’re home it’s all about tv and sleeping on the couc

    • Seattle

      Reply Reply February 27, 2017

      It has been painful to love someone who was charming one minute and devoid of the ability to empathize or act in a relational manner the next. He had female friends whose attention he loved and exs he loved to help and all the while he insisted he cared for me too. But unless it’s a mutuel friendship with all involved I think they level of self-indulgence and selfishness has irreparable damage over extended periods of time. I’m still trying to recover .

  • natasha newlin

    Reply Reply March 15, 2016

    What do you do if you realize, as a woman, that you are the emotionally unavailable “man” from this blog? This is me in every relationship except for the one I’m currently in, and that’s probably only because he’s a little emotionally unavailable which keeps me interested. However, as he stays to show a connection with me, I go right back to assuming my original behavior/attitude. Hot and cold and then eventually really cold. Help!

    • Jan

      Reply Reply July 5, 2016

      Yes. What is ur master plan for emotionally unavailable women, Jayson? Would u advise the man in her life the same way u advised women who date unavailable men? And what percentage of the male population is willing to put in the effort it takes to b with an unavailable woman?

  • Michele

    Reply Reply March 15, 2016

    Pretty sure I was with this person! We were friends for a year and a half and have been together as a couple for 2 1/2 years. He has bailed 3x- usually when life throws too many challenges at him. He then runs back to mom/dad and claims he needs his “friends and family”. The last 2 times he left, we were living together. He fits in just about every category except #6 and #8. He still complies with his share of rent etc, still wants to see me, says he loves me, has used the exact words “You deserve better”, but won’t commit to 4 sessions of couples therapy and avoids any type of deep conversations. He has admitted to feeling like he isn’t where he needs to be in life, or “on the right path” and says he isn’t sure he can be what I need him to be. Sidenote- he lost a family member very close to him a couple of weeks before he moved out, and it was the day of the services that he decided he was leaving. I understand how hard death is, and how hard life can get…but it does NOT give you a reason to just jump ship.

    It is incredibly frustrating. I don’t want to throw everything away so easily but I am exhausted from being patient and trying to love him through HIS issues. I have two girls ages 13 and 10 and he is amazing with them, they love him too. I didn’t go into this lightly, because of them, which makes it even harder. However, I am their example of what a healthy relationship should look like. And it doesn’t look like bailing when things get hard. It takes two people willing to own up, share the burdens, and WORK at it. Hard as it is, I am ready to move on.

  • Cam

    Reply Reply March 17, 2016

    This article was very helpfully and explained a lot of puzzling behaviors I have encounter. I couldn’t help but think though, how would I be able to distinguish these behaviors from someone who is simply a “jerk” and playing games? Maybe they display the same signs.

    • Stephanie

      Reply Reply April 8, 2016

      I have had the exact same situation happen to me.. He shuts me down when I just want to talk it out.. He told me he wanted to work on himself, he needed to be better before we could get back together even though he’s the one who begged me to stay and was completely emotionally intimate with me and then went right into another relationship with someone else saying she would allow him to spend time with his “girl” friends without wondering if more was going on when this very girl is exactly what happened and why I was so concerned about female friends.. And all I wanted was what she’s getting a commitment and to be a priority.. And also I think if we are supposed to be working it out I shouldn’t not know where he was at 2-4 am when he’s drunk.. Yeah single girlfriends that if they knew I existed or he was trying to work things out with me wouldn’t be friends with him.. And etc etc including I had to terminate our lease becaus he got me so far into debt I no longer could make my rent without his help so I gave notice and all of a sudden he’s dating someone else who can take care of him.. Because I’m not going to anymore..

  • Arlyn

    Reply Reply March 28, 2016

    Is man really inlove with a woman even if he have a child to his previous girfriend ?
    How would a woman know ?

  • Deanne

    Reply Reply April 12, 2016

    Jayson,
    Thanks for posting this. It explains a LOT! I dated a guy EXACTLY as you have described who was unwilling to shed any light on his thoughts, feelings and/or behavior. He was perfectly happy letting me feel like I had failed him and our relationship. It took me months to move forward. Hell, I’m still trying to get over him. Intuitively I knew he was a broken man with emotional baggage and demons too numerous to count. He refused to EVER open up and was physically uncomfortable when I would make any attempt at trying to discuss anything remotely related to emotions or deeper subjects. Such a shame that men like you won’t drop your shields and discover that allowing yourself to feel a deep emotional connection with a woman will satisfy that hole in your souls MUCH more than the next piece of ass you think you need to conquer. Just food for thought….

  • Gina Austin

    Reply Reply April 28, 2016

    I was with a man like this for over 3.5yrs. I loved him terribly but he could never show his feelings. Everytime I would start to walk he would show just enough affection to give me hope and change my mind. Just ended again and can’t do it again. I feel so sorry for him because underneath it all I think there is a loving,caring man but as he is he will always be alone 🙁
    No woman will deal with lack of affection and temper tantrums at 54yrs old. Wish I could have broken through the wall and seen it but hurts way to bad to be the only one trying and the other one cares a less unless it suits him.

  • Lynne

    Reply Reply April 30, 2016

    Well! Well! Well!A ton of information from one who used to be one..who could better describe!!!Thanks for the tips, am sure the ladies out there would benefit from this!

  • Patricia

    Reply Reply May 9, 2016

    Jayson, Thank you for your articulate and insightful summary. I am healing from a relationship that ended six months ago that had many of the hallmarks you mention.
    Why the labels? Isn’t “emotionally unavailable” a label as well? I think we use labels to communicate our understandings with each other about the complexities of being an imperfect human being. I personally have used them inappropriately to blame my partner so that I didn’t have to face up to my own issues. And I kept missing the wakeup call of my own anger in response to some of our dysfunctional patterns. The flip side of anger is fear, and rather than face my fears and look within myself, I found it much easier to engage in magical thinking—if only he would change (and I could teach him to do that, of course), all would be perfect. Never works.

    Have you listened to Dan Pallotta’s latest TED talk, “The Dream We Haven’t Dared to Dream?” You exemplify to me what Pallotta speaks of when he refers to “audacious authenticity” in doing the work that helps us to “cross the abyss that separates us from ourselves.” Thank you very much.

  • Dawn d

    Reply Reply May 10, 2016

    My ex fiancé and I bought a house together 2 years ago. He packed up in middle of the night one day and left me with no words. My mistake is I dated him off and on for past two years since he had left. I truly love him . He seems to be like a drug and I can’t let go. Because I know he is never coming back to me. He always tells me that nothing will ever change and we will be always seeing each other even if or when he gets married . Ugh! Help ! I need to be out of this situation, how can I emotionally get thru on letting him go ?

  • SurvivorV

    Reply Reply May 23, 2016

    Wondering what the difference is between “emotionally unavailable” and “Narcissistic” is?

    • Karen

      Reply Reply June 15, 2016

      Read “The Emotionally Abusive Relationship” by Beverly Engel. My ex has NPD, according to many sources. Only I couldn’t “see the forest, for the trees”, and stayed married for almost 40 years.

  • Heidi O

    Reply Reply May 30, 2016

    Change IS possible. As women, we must accept that we are wired differently than men, & vice versa. But, everyone can change. Yes, some people will choose, conciously or subconsciously NOT to change; but, everyone has the capacity to change. My Dad was often emotionally distant & I found myself choosing to be involved with emotionally distant men over the years. However, I saw my Dad change over time. I also married a less than emotionally available man, but have seen him change, too. It takes time & maturity.
    It’s true that you have to find a good fit in your spouse/significant other & that can be difficult. We don’t have the power to change someone else, but we do have the power to change ourselves. By changing ourselves, accepting our own limitations & the limitations in our partners, we free ourselves from unrealistic expectations & our own disappointment when they’re not met. We also free our partners to grow & change in their own way & time.
    It’s important to explore, learn about, & understand yourself & your own feelings FIRST before you can try to understand your man’s. Ladies, in general, we are the emotionally exressive ones in a relationship. That doesn’t mean men are not or cannot be emotionally expressive, but they do so differently. Understanding that is very important.
    If the man isn’t ready to change, he won’t & there’s not much you can do about it. The same is true about women. People only change when they’re ready to change. That’s human nature. First, figure out what you need to cange & change yourself, for YOU & not for someone else. Once you have insight into what you feel, why you feel it & how you can best handle your own feelings, then you’ll be better equipped to deal with your man’s feelings, or lack thereof.
    Of course, DO NOT STAY IN AN EMOTIONALLY ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP no matter how much you love him. Emotional abuse & emotional unavailability are two different things. Be sure you know the difference & leave if there is abuse. Abuse is NOT love.
    Also, rely on God & your faith. This will help you as you go through the peaks & valleys of your relationship. No relationship is perfectly happy all the time. No spouse/significant other is perfect. No one person will meet all of your needs, all of the time & it’s unrealistic to expect that.
    Jayson Gaddis – thank you for your insight & suggestions. You make very valid points about identifying & dealing with an emotionally unavailable man.

    • Joanna

      Reply Reply November 15, 2016

      Great thinking. Thank you!

  • Deborah

    Reply Reply July 10, 2016

    Are you involved with someone? Currently married? I’d like to hear about that.

    • Jayson

      Reply Reply July 21, 2016

      yes. all day long. 8 years. 2 kids. i talk about it everywhere on my podcast and blog

  • zahra

    Reply Reply July 16, 2016

    hello mr jason
    thank you for good article
    please help me
    i love such a man you have explained.
    how can i get him to open up to me and want me forever?
    thank you so much for your help.

  • Daria

    Reply Reply September 13, 2016

    I met someone that seems to be following the lion’s share of what you’ve described. Responded to his interest in me, and now, of all things, he’s ANGRY ABOUT IT!!! I still like him, care about him, now what do I do??

  • Bonnie Eisiminger

    Reply Reply September 16, 2016

    Great article. I’ve been in this position and I’m currently letting go of an emotionally unavailable man. I’ve been trying with him on and off for 5 years. For every step forward we make, there are two steps back. I’m tired and I have reached my limit. One thing I discovered after 40+ years and therapy. I’m either with an EO man or I’m in another relationship where I am the EO girl. When I am in a relationship where I am the EO girl, the man is generally being open, honest, vulnerable…. all the things necessary in a good relationship. I turn cold, distant, emotionally closed up. My theory is if a person is with an EO in either direction, it’s because of low self esteem and fear of letting someone love them. I’m finally working on myself and I’m not settling for any less than both of us all in.

  • Felicia

    Reply Reply September 27, 2016

    I have been seeing a man I love so deeply on and off for 20 years. We are both 44. We had both put eachother through some changes in our younger years. The thing is every time we get close after being apart he starts to get scared of settling down because I talk about it alot. He then pulls and runs. My issue is that I need to feel he is in it and wants the same thing.
    We recently just got back together and parted but I believe I became scared of it actually working out that I began to use the settle down talk again. Even after he told me just to relax we will make it. Well I pushed too hard maybe because we haven’t really spoken for about a month. He did ask me to leave him alone for a while and he would call me when he was ready. Well I didn’t, I tried but I just wanted to talk to him, so I woukd text,fb and use other numbers to reach him. I have never chased him like this in our 20 year on/off relationship. In the past when he would pull away I would just move on and date someone else, and lie about it. This was the 1st time that I felt the love for him in the pit of my gut. I always knew I had love for him but wouldnt open complete because i was always the one who was hurt becauae was never emotionally ready. Now that love feels so deep I can’t even express. I feel scared, ost and just broken that he is gone. I have come to terms with myself that when someone asks for space and it is not given that I am showing selfish behavior. I would always tell him that a garden needs water to grown meaning I wanted him to do what I wanted, a garden does need water ro grow but a garden doesn’t grown overnight. It has been about 2 days since I have made any effort to contact him or just devote my energy on him. I hope this was not the end of our journey but I know I can’t continue to live feeling broken so I have to put my energy on things that make me happy.
    I wanted to know if there was a chance to mend this relationship and have him stop running

  • Sol

    Reply Reply October 13, 2016

    Thank you for this article. I am currently in a relationship like that. It reached a point where I don’t care if he contacts me again or not. It is pure torture and this article is very validating as he denies it all or switches versions.

  • Sol

    Reply Reply October 13, 2016

    Just read the article again and thought to myself that – “disconnected”and “disengaged” are exactly the second and the third stage – “devalue”and “discard” in an emotionally abusive relationship.

  • carolinevesey

    Reply Reply November 11, 2016

    Gosh, thank you Jayson. Your detailed, candid description illustrates every man I’ve dated, and explains every failed relationship I’ve experienced, over the past twenty plus years. I was googling yet again in my desperation to understand why it is that I am constantly attracted to, and them to me, this type of man.

    The emotional fall out I have to deal with in the aftermath of his ambulance towards me is oftentimes longer than the time spent with the man in person, dating. But I am the common denominator and it’s imperative I figure this part out for myself…obviously. For each time it happens, I get caught up in the “storyline” that I perceive, hang on to the threads of hope, not having a clue what to do, and too attached to move on – thereby stuck in my own ambivalence. And it’s not chosen, not consciously – no one in their “right” mind would do that to themselves. I also see my part in the “set-up” and need to know what and how once and for all – I’ve undergone every therapy and workshop…

    Yet still, here I am again – confused by a man I recently dated and began to feel great potential, after getting closer, not completely sexual – oh no, this time I didn’t go quite that far, I encouraged him to pursue, chase me, which he enjoyed, clearly, until “wham….?” WTF!! Shut Down!!!

    This guy lives close by in the same town – we run into each other. He stopped all phone contact, has withdrawn, but I’m not angry – I’ve gone through my own crazy roller coaster of feelings – in private – I know intuitively he’s in pain. He’s a good man. I wish I could help him. Yet not at the expense of myself. We dated only about 6 weeks, then the last 8 weeks of pull back. When I see him, I’m friendly as is he. I texted him after 4 weeks casually saying it would be nice to see him – he said “he was unsure, just unsure….” I’m happy to give him the space – as if I have choice….LOL!!

    Sure, I’d love to continue to get to know him…..if that were possible, and din’t ultimately end in acute heartache. Or meet another man. Either way – I want connection, intimacy, a real relationship that has opportunity, willingness….to last.

    We’re in our mid-late 40’s…..what can I do…..?

  • carolinevesey

    Reply Reply November 11, 2016

    Oh….just wanted to add:

    Re: The man I mentioned above, who lives in the same town. As serendipity would have it, and I still can’t believe this happened – I was feeling pretty good with myself, after about 6 weeks into his “shut down” – and was walking out of a store, opposite his house – when another man came after me, struck up a conversation, proceeded to ask me out, and whipping out our cell phones, we exchanged numbers. Knowing that this was like something in the movies, in view of the “shut down” man’s house…low and behold, “shut down” man appeared, and walked by us, walking his dog…..so surely saw us…..was he making a “statement”….?

    (by the way, just re-read – the word “ambulance” was supposed to read: “ambivalence” !!)

  • Joanna

    Reply Reply November 15, 2016

    I am in the process of painful extraction from a man I deeply love who has shown all these signs after luring me with wonderful two way connection for the first 18months. 2.5 years on, I am burnt out, exhausted and hurt by efforts to work at what actually turned out to be the potential he portrayed so convincingly to keep me hooked versus the reality. It took counselling, anti-depressants and iron will to start contact withdrawal from such an addictive situation. A work in progress. Only week 2, but getting there!

  • teetee

    Reply Reply December 7, 2016

    I had a long
    distance relationship with a guy for a few months and in the beginning it was lovely. We opened up to each other about our lives and said we both wanted something real at that point. Got to the point where we both expressed we were “falling” for the other. Then, out of the blue, he starts texting back hours later and stopped calling as often. He got upset and called me a stalker when I told him that I found his fb page, and asked him about 2 girls who were arguing over him on there a few months before we started talking.. He later said everything was fine between us BUT was showing less intrest by not getting telling me about his day to day life or really anything in general.. We’ve never met in person but planned to move in together bc he’s planning to move to my city bc he has family here. Im confused and hurt bc my feelings were real. He just checked out as you say.. I broke it off yesterday.. But eondering did I do the wrong thing.. Was it me?? Help.

    • Macy

      Reply Reply April 10, 2017

      How are you doing now? It’s been six months out of a relationship like this for me and I’m still missing him so much and feeling like I could have done more to help him before just giving up and leaving..I still regret breaking it off because maybe he just needed me to be more patient with him?

  • Vee

    Reply Reply December 27, 2016

    Wow the first time ten years the second time a little over a year I’m 52 he’s 55 n what an asswhole I will not sacrifice one more hour on this narcissistic immature little old boyman I’m done he’s sick I’m out thank you all for the post

  • Stayontheground

    Reply Reply January 11, 2017

    It seems to me that nobody cares about the person on the receiving end of this behaviour. I have been in this situation for 26 years and I would call it narcissism or sociopathy, I’m not sure which. These men don’t have any empathy for their partners, mine certainly hasn’t shown me any.
    One year of this you start to question your own mind, five years on you will definitely believe you are a bad person. These men have help by the way, family members, the family who abuse together stay together.
    If you have a child to a man like this, your child will grow up feeling inadequate no matter what you do to try and change things.
    Yes it seems exciting at first, the thrill of never truly knowing what he will do next, that fades with time, especially when you try to communicate and he packs his things, stalks out if the door, leaving you with a baby alone, feeling like nothing you do is right.
    Let me warn you that it will continue until you become emotionally shut down, suffering with PTSD. You will most probably have attempted suicide quite a few times too, ten years will result in not knowing who you are anymore, 15 years, dead inside, 20+ nothing, just nothing. People casually say leave him but you remain trapped by your own empathy, you feel sorry for him! I should add to that as the years pass, your physical health will decline, all that stress, constantly on edge, constantly in flight mode, it will destroy your health, your career, your self esteem, anything that was one YOU! But the worst thing if all, the worst thing, is that nobody believes you because he’s such a wonderful man, if your own mother doesn’t believe you who will, regardless of the bruises that pop up out of nowhere. Superficial, fake? This man can go from screaming in your face to answering the phone in a happy jolly amiable persona. You will start to hate him. If you try to leave you find out that the ground has been already set, the dirty work of alienating you from everybody has been done. so you have no choice but to come back, all your money is tied up in your home, but it’s not your home because he’s become financially dominant and you end up in debt. That debt will increase as you try to grasp the concept of pleasure, something that has become null and void, you will develop some type of addiction just to fee the tiniest thing, just something to remind you that you’re still alive.
    You stop leaving the house, you’ve been told for so long that this is what ‘everybody’ thinks, that you become truly paranoid, not just told that you are. Just opening the front door becomes a challenge, you feel unworthy, ugly. You constantly lie to cover up your true feelings, you become ’emotionally unavailable’ but in a different way. Sometimes you’ll behave like a caged animal, biting it’s master whenever it gets the chance.
    Leaving won’t solve anything for you now, you’ve become the walking dead, the sheer thought of being with another man after this fills you with revulsion. You’re well and truly damaged, not only damaged, broken, but some broken pieces have rolled away and escaped the sweep up and glue botch job, they’ve gone and can never be replaced, a broken vase will never hold water again.
    So, my advice to you is to get as far away as possible, let him sort out his own problems, if you try to help him it will lead to your demise. Listen to that niggling little voice you have, telling you this isn’t right, or your gut feeling, anything, it will be there. Why should you have to suffer because you’ve had a happy well adjusted childhood, it’s not your fault he hasn’t. Happiness will become a memory if you go down this path.

  • sunet

    Reply Reply February 9, 2017

    At the age of 57 i went through it for 5 years….i still dating him but i am a different person. the constant ignoring the blaming the cheating it took a severe toll on me and still does. nothing that i did WOWed him he said. never did he discuss any problems i was told to leave and then ignored for months. problem is i have now met someone so decent a real man and now i am afraid. i am actually afraid of commitment can you believe it. because the first bf took away my self esteem and trust. i mean how could he over those years told me to move in then retracted it forcing me to move up and down non stop all the promises he made nothing was followed through he actually now after i havent seen him for 6 months told me to be patient with him so now he only sees me like an hour in a MONTH. its ridiculous. so i decided to date another it really helped me to understand that there ARE good men out there thing is i am still sort of in love the the bf but the new guy is so patient and good to me and much older and wants to settle and knows what he wants. i am still a bit lost but i wish i could find the courage to tell the past bf to move on as i do not thing he would even care as i feel he has been playing me for over 5 years it was mean.

  • esperanza

    Reply Reply February 19, 2017

    ive been with a man just like this for 6years hot and cold ignored for months whenever there was the slightest disagreement. the nights all of of sudden be thrown out in the streets gates get locked etc it was extreme rollercoaster ride and i am 58. It took me by surprise. I mean he actually came back each time ive lost count. False promises is in their nature. Blame games. Its unreal. Then says its a man thing. Its about immature narc men i think who destroys our selfworth and I allowed this as I kept going back. The only way i realised what was going on was when one of the girls he cheated me with told me. Its been six months now, ive sort of met someone else and the difference is massive. I think we as women should not allow this behavior at all at the very first sight of them pulling the ignore fase we should stop all. As grown mature people this emotional unavailable men is unacceptable as it really destroys the partner involved. I will probably not recover from this experience as it knocked me hard. But I learned and I learned a hard lesson. As nothing that is true will ever come out of their mouths ever

  • Kristy

    Reply Reply March 16, 2017

    Can a 54 yr old man who has been alone over 15 years and seems to enjoy hanging out with his guy friends more, ever be capable of marriage with me and live with me and two children?
    We’ve been dating a year and still he’s so guarded with his time. We see each other 1-2 x’s a week for short periods, or spend night after evening together, but then he’ll leave at 5 or 6 am. He’s kind, loving, and has so many manly qualities I admire. He does seem to slowly be opening up, but his life is still so compartmentalized. Can this change? I love him and don’t want to pressure him. I know he loves me very much. I get why he is the way he is, but I did make it clear I needed to be in a r/s that is moving forward. When I try to picture him living with me and my two young children, I see it totally stressing him out and it scares me. My kids love him but don’t see him much. sometimes our lives seem so seperate, but I don’t want to be needy. I like some alone time, too, and stay pretty busy, but eventually want us to get married, and just want to protect my heart if he can’t deal with that.

  • Falguni Mehta

    Reply Reply March 23, 2017

    My boyfriend does not work, and spends most of his time at home online talking to friends (both males and females). He has withdrawn from me, and he barely texts me anymore. He has completely stopped calling me also; and whenever I call him, he doesn’t answer his phone anymore, or return my calls like he used to. I am sure he is having an emotional affair with an online friend, due to the fact that he doesn’t have any female friends in our city. Only online female friends…. and A LOT of them!!
    What should I supposed to do now?

  • Parson

    Reply Reply April 16, 2017

    Jayson:

    You can’t give American women advice about relationships that entails their having to do some work.

    The prevalent narrative is that they have magical emotional intelligence because of their lady parts and you are incapable of understanding their intuitive proclivity for emotional soothsaying, even in the face of logic and reasoning to the contrary.

  • Diane

    Reply Reply April 21, 2017

    I agree that emotionally unavailable men need help but they first have to acknowledge they have a problem and decide if they want to work on changing it. If they don’t, they have deeper problems to work out and have no business being in a relationship. And that goes for both men and women.

    I also understand that saying he needs help is a sales tactic as well so I take the ‘help’ statement with a grain of salt.

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