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I've been with my current partner for nearly 6 years.
It's been mostly wonderful.
Lately, it's been bad.

His communication skills have disappeared along with his ability to listen.
He just does whatever he pleases.

I've attempted to discuss all of this with him to no avail.

It's been a few bad months.

How long would you try to salvage a relationship before you officially called it quits?

By Donotbelieve9
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76 comments

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0

How does he feel about being a father? Does he want to help raise his child?

mcgeo52 Level 8 Aug 28, 2018

If there is no relationship between us, I will determine his desires towards this issue.

The baby will still have two loving parents, even if they aren't in love with each other.

@Donotbelieve, you might want to discuss this with him. It may be part of the problem. It may also help open up communication and save the relationship.

@mcgeo52 I will.

8

Thank you so much for all of the responses. I will take time to read and consider them all.

Did I already say, "Thank you"?

7

Depends on how long you've been together. Six years is a pretty strong investment. OTOH, if you had just met him last week, then CYA. Certainly no one suddenly loses "communication skills" or ability to listen. Somthing has caused a road block that has brought out this characteristic in him that's always been there, but was not relevant to yr relationship. If you hope to save yr relationship, you need to figure out what that is, and more importantly, need to make him understand it.

godef Level 7 Aug 27, 2018
6

First off, really sorry that you're going through this. The end of a relationship
is always difficult.
And yes, I said "the end of a relationship".

Based on what you said (and I believe you, I think you're pretty level-headed, and not a drama queen, who makes up shit just to have something going on), he no longer communicates, you've tried talking to him, it's been going on for months,
it's over.
I don't believe in ultimatums. To me, giving someone an ultimatum is equivalent to emotional blackmail, and it hardly ever works. In most cases, even if the other person acquiesces, it's only temporary, and you're right back to where you were in fairly short order.
He's made his position clear. If he were interested in making the relationship work, he wouldn't be behaving as he is.

Make your own plans. Do not include him in those plans. Begin the execution of
your plans as quickly as possible.
If he's in your house, boot his ass out, with no remorse. No discussion, and no possibility of making you change your mind. Have people present for your own protection.
If you're in his house, make arrangements to move you and yours into another domicile as soon as financially feasible.
If you are both on a lease, find out what your legal obligations are. Take the necessary steps to extricate yourself.

Do not tell him your plans. He has no right to know what you're planning.
If you think there is any danger of violence, be prepared to file for a restraining order, and go FASTER.

I know there are some who will think that I am unnecessarily going straight to
Def-con 5, but I've been through this. I've seen this play out in multiple scenarios for myself, and others.
The ONLY thing that matters is protecting yourself, and any children who may be
effected. His feelings are irrelevant now. He has shown you that he no longer cares about the relationship, therefore, he no longer cares about about your feelings. I'm not saying to be ugly, vindictive, or confrontational in any way.
Actually, that is to be avoided as much as possible.

Don't make excuses for him. He's a grown-ass adult. If he doesn't know how to conduct himself within the context of a relationship, it's not your job to hang out and teach him. He may never learn, and you've got more important things to do.
Good luck going forward. I'm here for you if you need moral support.

KKGator Level 9 Aug 28, 2018

A huge thank you

I agree with you in principle but if a child is now involved I personally think it's worth a little more effort to at least get to the bottom of what is going on, even if it's not fixable. He's a permanent psychological fixture in the child's life going forward even if the relationship ends, so it's worth some effort to see if he can be prevented from becoming a completely absent / irresponsible father. So efforts at open communication and understanding are worth it for the child's sake, if it's at all possible.

@mordant I disagree 100%. As a child of parents who NEVER should have gotten married, let alone had children, I firmly believe that "staying together for the kids" is the worst thing any couple can do. It only makes it worse on the kids. Instead of making a clean break, and focusing on making it okay for the kids, the drama gets dragged out and that effects the kids in an even more profound manner. Breaking up isn't 'more' traumatic for kids than two people who should no longer be together, staying together in acrimony, under the guise of trying to work it out for the kids. Kids are resilient, they're also smart enough to know when their parents are unhappy.

@KKGator I actually agree. I'm not proposing "staying together for the kids", simply laying a better working basis for shared parenting. It is also possible on occasion that a happy outcome of that is resolution of issues in the relationship, but I would never count on it. My basic point is that fighting on the child's behalf for a better coparenting situation is more worthwhile (and arguably more ethically binding) than fighting for a dying relationship when the effort is not mutual.

My first wife never gave our kids the time of day after the divorce, largely because she was mentally / emotionally incapable of it. I saw how that effected my kids. My current wife's struggles with shared custody arrangements inform the rest. In that case it started out well and then her ex remarried to a child hating P.O.S. You can never be sure that's not going to be a source of drama but you can at least try not to front load it with difficulties. Children need their father, at least if he's making some kind of actual effort. Ending a relationship on a positive and cooperative note helps. The typical strategy of demonizing and demoralizing the father usually doesn't end well, for the child much less anyone else.

@mordant I can agree with your basic point. Although, I have no idea if that's even a consideration in this particular situation. She didn't mention it, and I wouldn't dream of assuming.

@KKGator Yeah I've been careful to say "if that's true", it's none of my beeswax. If there's no children in the mix (including any children from prior relationships who have affection for the S.O.) then things get a LOT simpler and less painful. But even there, one has to do what's right for oneself, and staying in a loveless unfulfilling relationship ultimately doesn't work.

5

i would address him and say either we sit down and talk now or I will be leaving soon.If he isn't ready to talk the time to leave is now.

Marine Level 8 Aug 28, 2018

I have. I will do it once more. He deserves that much.

@Donotbelieve Why does he "deserve that much"???
If you've already tried to talk to him, already delivered an ultimatum, you already have your answer.
What do you think you "deserve"? Do you think you deserve someone who hears you when you talk to him?
Darlin', I think you already have your answer. You also used the word "salvage" in your original post. That words indicates to me that something is already broken. Do you deserve to remain in a relationship that is already broken?

@KKGator If you have delivered the ultimatum and you are still with him he has control over you and you need to break that. I would move on immediately.

5

The 7 year itch is a real thing. It's the point in the relationship when your partner feels trapped, that he is missing out on things he'd be able to pursue if not for you, and his resentment grows each day. Sometimes it blows over, and your relationship recovers to be stronger than ever. When is it beyond salvaging? When you find yourself unable to swallow any more of his crap. Everyone has a different point of no return. Taking the step to separate yourself from the drama isn't easy, especially if there are children involved, but the old saying here applies, if you think you have a problem, you probably do. That's all I got. See a counselor by yourself, if he won't join you. My ex decided to move out just about 10 years ago, after 28 years of marriage. I let her go without a fight, best move I've ever made. Good luck, DNB.

zeuser Level 8 Aug 28, 2018
4

I'm sorry you are going through this. =[

A number of people have mentioned pregnancy in this comment thread but I see nothing in your post to suggest that. If he has had such a major attitude shift in a relatively short period of time my guess is that something is wrong (yeah, I know, stating the obvious). If you have tried to pin him down on what's bothering him or what "issues" he may have in the relationship in the spirit of trying to fix things and he is not responding to you, it could be he has already checked out.

If that's the case you may not be able to change it, and probably shouldn't want to. Why fight for someone who doesn't want to be with you? If he really is done, it would be nice for you to at least know what his deal is.

IAMGROOT Level 7 Aug 28, 2018
4

What you're describing sounds like a loss of interest in putting effort into the relationship. That could reflect anything from an actual loss of interest in you, to depression, physical issues, mid life crisis, etc.

There's nothing in your post about being pregnant but a couple of people have mentioned that. If that's the case, it's particularly concerning that this is developing at a time when a couple should be drawn together in anticipating making a stable home for the child. Maybe he's freaked out for some reason about being a father and this is his way of avoiding "dealing" with it. But until he opens up about it you can only guess. If pregnancy is in the mix then my money would be on some kind of approach avoidance going on around that ... but ethically, he has to work it out. If you have to issue ultimatums to make that happen, then so be it.

Sorry you are going through this. smile003.gif

mordant Level 8 Aug 27, 2018

Astute observations.

He and I will simply have to discuss all of these possibilities and our next move.

Thank you

@donotbelieve : @Mordant comment is similar to my thought. My husband did the very same thing when I was pregnant with our first. He refused to have sex, he stayed out drinking at night, just withdrew. He wouldn't answer when I asked why. Baby was born and husband seemed ok then. Two years later I was pregnant again and husband did the same thing. After that baby he told me it was the pregnancy that made him unable to have sex, plus he was frightened to bring a children into the world because he thought he didn't make enough money to support them. He still had his own student loans to pay.It was too much stress on him. He had a depressive pessimist personality and never wanted children in the first place. Actually he wasn't mature enough to accept the responsibility. The reason was that he was his parents 11th child and they lived in extreme poverty. After 8 years of marriage we divorced. It wasn't the life he could be happy with.

4

He is not interested in his relationship with you . Sounds like , he's found someone who he thinks makes him feel better about himself . He has no intention of making you feel good about your relationship with him . Prepare to stand on your own two feet .

Cast1es Level 8 Aug 27, 2018

There is no one else involved, but I am always prepared to stand alone.
That's just how I roll.

4

If you are miserable, and have made many attempts to discuss it, maybe he has no desire to work on your relationship. That may be the time to reevaluate what you want out of your relationship. You could try couples counciling, if he is willing to go, but, eventually, if nothing improves, you will have to decide if this is how you want to live. No one can tell you what to do. Only you can make that decision.

4

Not much longer. If 3 month and open discussion hasn't helped, it might be time to ask him if he's trying to drive you away.

4

I can't offer any great advice. I hope things start to work out better for you!

LEPeff Level 8 Aug 27, 2018

Thank you

3

An abrupt personality change can mean anything from cheating to mental or physical illness. I would have what my grandma would have called a "come to Jesus meeting," meaning a pull-out-all-the-stops confrontation. I wish I had done that before actually catching my husband in the act. By then it was too late.

Deb57 Level 8 Aug 29, 2018

He's not cheating.

I think he's just on a funk.
We will have a discussion.

3

I hung in there too long for the first two long terms...well it seems like it was too long, but I think that we are in it until the time is right for it to end. The 3rd (and last one so far!), I didn't wait so long, once the red flags were popping up all over the place! I have learned to not tolerate being disrespected in any way. After trying to communicate openly about the issues, if they are not willing to own their actions, not willing to work on the issues, it's time to kick em to the curb. Stand your ground, you deserve to be treated with kindness and love and RESPECT.

DeeWoman Level 7 Aug 29, 2018

Thank you

3

Sit him down and have one more talk to him. Make it as obvious as what you are saying to us here. If he doesn't respond, you know how long you have to take.

In fact, you already know, or you'd not be asking. My real advice here is to make sure your partner KNOWS before you move forward.

Gnarloc Level 7 Aug 29, 2018

This is my plan.

@Donotbelieve Just for the record, and I don't think YOU need to hear this but I don't like getting caught in assumptions: my relationship survived good times and bad times... and some of the bad times lasted a LONG time. WE worked at it and we muscled through. Fortunately, when I was down, she was my rock. When she was struggling, I was hers. We both helped nudge, push, pull each other when necessary. That said, at times each partner may well feel like they are carrying all of the weight. The key is that it shifts. My only real regret is that I didn't acknowledge this with her enough. I didn't thank her enough. I guess I am saying that I intend to make sure to make it obvious that I am thankful when next I get a chance to share my life.

@Gnarloc That is good to hear.
Appreciating a person and a relationship is important and I agree with you.

I try my hardest to vocalize and demonstrate through actions my appreciation towards those that I love.

@Gnarloc I envy you that marriage. I was raised to believe that's how marriage was supposed to be. My huge flaw was in the choosing of the partner. As my dear dad explained it, "She can't tell the difference between a prince and a pile of poop!"

@Deb57 Thank you for that laugh. smile001.gif

3

What significant changes have occurred in your life, his life and your shared life in the past few months? This could give you a clue as to what has happened that has caused this change in your relationship, rarely does change occur in a vacuum so look at yourself as well as him, then maybe you can sort things out with him. It sounds like it needs to be addressed and the sooner the better.

3

A few months doesn't seem long compared to almost 6 years of good. I would find a nice quiet relaxed time to try to get to the bottom of it. And, perhaps acknowledge that he might not be ready to talk, but ask that he does soon.

Good advice. Thank you.

3

Most people are bad liars and don't suffer in silence. Has he said what is bothering him? Often times, the person has and the other person isn't hearing it. It can be that we don't understand, think that it couldn't be true, or whatever. I've been on both sides of that situation in the past. If he suddenly isn't communicating after 6 years, I'd venture a guess that he doesn't feel like he has been heard and is unplugging. That isn't good behavior on his part if I'm right - it's destructive and cruel. Still, people get frustrated and then get righteous. It's a crappy yet common pattern.

Keep trying to communicate. If he is unplugged, then he might be just working up the courage to walk. There are other details I'd want to ask to give you advice, but I don't want to pry. I'll say this much with confidence: If communication breaks down and one person is not trying to rebuild it, then there is no relationship.

Best of luck.

3

I tried for years with kind of the same situation. All my attempts to discuss issues and/or to find out what they thought the problem was were met with a stone wall, "I don't want to talk about it."

Given that history, I'm not willing to let things go nearly that long again with no improvement, even though it's with someone else. Being devoted to the person you're married to doesn't fix anything by itself. So, take that into account when considering my advice.

I view ultimatums as a very likely short path to the end of a relationship, so I don't take their use lightly. If you're reached the point where you're asking mostly-strangers on the Internet for advice about whether or not to quit the relationship, then it's probably time to break out an ultimatum.

Sit down with him and explain that his behavior in the relationship has changed in a way that you really don't like, you've tried talking to him about it and you don't feel it has improved anything. So you want to make it clear to him that if he isn't willing to take this concern of yours seriously, and make a good-faith effort to work on it, you don't think you can keep going with it.

That tells him there's clearly a problem, that you feel it's very serious, and you require his help to work on it. He will know that refusing to address it will likely end the relationship, and with no ambiguity there to let him later claim you sucker-punched him. If there haven't been any changes/improvements within two weeks of that discussion, his actions have told you what he might not be willing or able to put into words - possibly that he doesn't want the relationship anymore and doesn't know how to go about ending it.

3

I didn't know about the pregnancy, with that information I would change my answer. Don't give up just yet, consider other ways to communicate. Ask him if he would write down what's bothering him if he won't talk about it. Request he attend couple's counseling with you. Maybe give him a few more months to adjust to the changes before giving up on him.

I intentionally left the pregnancy out of the post.

If the relationship between he and I isn't beneficial to us, equally, then it's simply over.

The baby will still have two loving parents, even if they aren't in love with each other.

I don't stay for the sake of anyone else, somewhere where I am unhappy. That just makes an unhappy mother.

@Donotbelieve I am definitely not suggesting staying longterm in an unhappy relationship, just maybe giving him a little more time to adjust.

@JenBeberstein Oh, absolutely. I agree. Sorry, I stayed far too long in my marriage, for my kids.
It was a huge mistake.

I understand you now.

3

I would ask him directly if he wishes to recover the previous quality of the relationship. If he answers yes, ask for a joint commitment to go into counseling to get help. If the answer to either question is "no", then it is time to start taking action to dissolve the relationship.

wordywalt Level 8 Aug 27, 2018
3

That’s not an easy question to answer. Have you tried to tell him how fed up you are and that he’s getting close to losing you? Maybe he’s freaked out about the baby and doesn’t know how to communicate that to you or maybe even to himself. Maybe he’ll snap out of it once the baby arrives.

Hermit Level 7 Aug 27, 2018

There's a baby involved? Man I was the worst husband ever when we were expecting. I was freaking out inside about my ability to be a good dad, if we're have the time and money. In my attempt to be supportive I pushed all these fears way inside and as a result made all of us miserable. I don't have an answer for you, just some perspective.

I will ask him this in a sensitive and kind way. There are always two sides.

3

That sounds like a drastic personality shift. Make him see a doctor, maybe?

2

Perhaps he's ill? Seriously....how long since he's seen a doctor? You don't mention his age but he could have hormone issues or something worse. Just a thought. GOOD LUCK TO YOU!

2

Could he be unwell? If it’s a sudden change and not his usual self?

Livia Level 6 Aug 28, 2018
2

I’d suggest couples therapy, even if just for yourself so you can get good, specific info.

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