But process too follows patterns. You and your partner each have your own ways of dealing with tension and conflict. Your overall way of handling stress and emotions – withdrawal, anger, passive accommodation – invariably and consistently triggers the M.O. of the other person, which in turn fuels yours. Quickly you both get into a negative loop that becomes your combined standard way of dealing with conflict and tension: anger/withdraw, withdraw/withdraw, anger/anger, etc. Your goal again is to break the pattern.
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Hi Appollonia thank you for the article I thought it was great. I started dating a guy back in June 2018, it was like a whirl wind romance we were seeing each other at least 3/4 times a week, he asked me to meet his mum after about a week i said no its to soon, then within a month I had met his mum, best friend, sister, female friends, Aunty, cousins. He was bringing me to family events, buying me shoes, cooking for me, spontaneously turning up with flowers and breakfast, coming to my family events, staying with me for a whole week. For 2 months I spoke to him every single day. Then after 2 months he bought us tickets for a festival and at the event we had an argument whereby I had apparently reprimanded like a child. From that point everything changed, he became distant and we were constantly arguing. So I broke up with him in September, but he came back saying he wanted to reconcile. In October we talked and got back together, but he continued to be distant and make little effort, not returning my calls and messages for 24/48, telling me we're meeting up but never making a plan to do so. Always saying he's busy working as an excuse as to why we are not meeting. In December I broke it off again. We were at the same event in January and again he said he wanted to try again, saying we should go away for the weekend and spend quality time rebuilding our relationship this of course never materialised and 3 weeks later I blocked him on phone calls, whats app, and social media. It's now been 2 months since I blocked him and he hasn't tried to contact me by other means. I still love him and want him, but I have been working on myself and will not settle for less than I deserve. However I still don't understand why he changed and why we he became all talk and no action.
I spent 6 years with my ex. We were young when we got together and we weren’t good at resolving conflict. But I truly believe we loved each other and that he is the right person for me. We both had a habit of ‘pulling away’. Push, pull, if it wasn’t him, it was me. By the end of it, it was dramatic. It was traumatic for me and him too because we didn’t know how to work it out. Since then we’ve both tried seeing other people. But somehow after 9 months we ended up back spending time together. Getting to know each other again. We started to get close… I never pressured him to be with me but I do love him. I’ve tried to be a lot more understanding of his space. Even his friends have said – ‘this is the best you guys have ever been’… But then shortly after he told me his friend had commented on our ‘changed friendship’ and how close we were getting, he attacked me saying I was getting too comfortable. I was so confused because he had been asking me to stay over and he said he was enjoying his time hanging out. That’s what we established it was. We’ve never put a label on anything and have been free to live our separate lives because of what we have been through there was no use rushing anything even a friendship. I was happy with that and I thought he was too.

It’s imperative that you give your ex room to breathe in order to not make things worse than they already are. This is why I think it’s important to stress that after a breakup, of course you must act – but don’t immediately go running back to your ex, literally. You must take the adequate amount of time needed for you following a break up, to ensure that you rebuild yourself on a personal level and to overcome your heartache. The first step to getting back with your ex begins with a good look in the mirror and an enormous effort on your part!
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It takes a lot of courage and strength for your loved one to confess about something that they feel may be bad or hurtful. When you judge your partner, you make them feel worse, and you also psychologically affect them and make them shut themselves up. And once your partner feels uncomfortable sharing their dark secrets with you, they’d prefer to hide their secrets or talk to another friend rather than tell you what they really feel. And that’s never going to help your relationship. In fact, it could be one of the worst things that can happen to your relationship.
I didn’t realize it then, but I don’t think I should’ve jumped back into the relationship so quickly. Because very soon afterwards, I started to fall into another slump after I lost two jobs within two months. I was stressed again, and started to feel depressed without realizing how much I put on his shoulders. He never complained. He was there for me. I feel like I took it for granted a little bit.
In addition to the pulling away he is very cruel when he drinks. Calling me horrible names and tries to make me feel beneath him. I know this is huge red flags but love makes us do crazy things. We’re both sexually open minded but he tells me I’m a liar about talking about having another woman intimately. I feel him and I aren’t ready for this. At least I’m not ready. It’s a unhealthy dysfunctional relationship and while he has his faults I know I push him to the limits. (Blowing up how phone etc)
My boyfriend for 4 months started calling and texting less as of the second week of January. It is true that he had some successive things happening one after the other which also prevented us for meeting since the new years eve. But despite that I let him know that I wasn’t happy with his careless behaviour. By the third week of January the date of his thesis submission approached and it just got worse. As I got bady ill for 4 days and he didn’t even get briefed because he did not ask how I was although he kept the conversation, I exploded on him and told him aaaalll I felt and went through and how he was absent when I needed him. My message just stayed unread on purpose till the morning and he tried to start a new normal conversation as usual like nothing happened. I was pissed off so I answered short, late, and tough. He stopped talking and by the time I cooled down he was already shut off. I ended up keeping the conversation somehow as he stopped initiating. By the following weekend I was near his area and we were talking so I asked if he feels like going out having some air. He made an excuse and I just headed home. We talked less and less through the following week, by thursday night we had a light chat and I asked how he was, he said that he was very tired and unhappy. As I asked why, is it going bad at work, my message just stayed unread till the morning. It was Friday 9 Feb. And he was quite responsive through the day, so I asked to meet and as he kept making excuses related to work, I just pushed more. So he just stopped responding to my messages and calls. Yes I know I did aaaall kinds of the things to avoid in these situations but I could not help but to see and understand what was happening to him that he had to express his unhappiness. After this incident I just disappeared too until valentine’s day at around 10 pm. I sent a brief apology message for my harsh words and putting the blame on him (when I exploded on him) while he was already having a hard time by himself. I wished him good luck with his upcoming thesis presentation (16 Feb) and wished him that he would never tell anybody again that he is tired and unhappy as he said to me the week before. I got an answer for this message that I was a wonderful girl and very understanding and I have nothing to apologise for and thanks for the good wishes and that I deserve the best and he hopes I will find what I deserve.
Your articles always leave me teary-eyed, Renee. They are full of brilliant and compassionate insights. You speak of being authentic, you speak of trusting in the infinite perfection of the universe to give back what we put in. You speak of having a pure open hearted connection and leaving our fears at the door. This article made me cry. And I think it’s because it rang so true. We all want to be admired and trusted. I feel like whenever a man fell in love with me, it was after he revealed something shameful to me and I just accepted… Read more »
I found this article one of the best in a very long search I had been doing. Hope it will be helpful for me to help repair my relation with someone whom I extremely care about but made her angry with a useless conversation. I never intended to hurt her but I did. I am hurt too but cant let her remain angry. This post might get helpful in getting me rid of this state.

Hi Sherry, 2 months does not feel right. You’ve been very patient and kind, but 2 months is a very long time. Yes, there ARE some men who can still be committed even though they’ve been absent for 2 months (maybe he’s meditating in a cave or experiencing deep trauma, or dying) – but this is rare. just because he knows what it’s like to be abandoned by his exes too, doesn’t mean he shares the same visceral fear and pain of being abandoned by you as you do with him. I recommend that you read this post, because in… Read more »


Often we women come across much more crutical than we realize. We are so socialized to being critiqued we just take it and deal. Men cant. They cant absorb it, it just sits on them and weighs them down. Always phrase any critiques positively? Sandwich it between two affirmations of good things he does or positive qualities. State you understand him. A man will “man up” when he knows his woman believes him to be a good man.

Typically, men love to see their woman as a prize that they need to work for. They see the woman that they choose to be with as an accomplishment and as someone that took work to earn. It might sound a little silly but it’s true. Men love to know a woman has a mind of her own, is confident, and isn’t easy to get. So, men pull away when women get too clingy. Do not start canceling all your plans to be available to him every day all day.

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