On Again, Off Again, and Here We Go Again
So things got better with the Lovely Man, but only for about a day. We started talking again, but he’s decided that it’s perfectly OK to randomly shut me out at his whim, regardless of whether or not he was angry. This is not friendship. This is not how friends treat each other, at least this is not how any of my friends have ever treated me in my entire life. I don’t understand why he thinks it is OK, but I’m not going to continue to expend energy trying to understand this behavior.
Today’s fight is leading me to believe that his paranoia is getting the best of him. He’s been very paranoid around me for about three weeks. Every nice thing I did for him was seen as some sort of romantic overture, and that is most likely what led to him disrespecting me and throwing his dating life in my face again to engineer the end of our friendship. I’ve never been rewarded for being nice to someone with blatant and total disrespect, but it happened, and it’s over, and I thought we got past it.
Yesterday one of my oldest friends came to town on business on short notice. I asked the Lovely Man if he would be interested in meeting my friend on this trip, and he said no, so I left it at that. I mentioned that my friend might want to go see a hockey game tonight, because his team is playing locally. I told the Lovely Man, and he said that he was going with his father to the same game. Mind you, I didn’t tell him that I had any official plans to go with my friend, but he assumed that I had made plans to go to the game. The Lovely Man freaked out this morning and asked a bunch of paranoid questions about whether or not I was going to the game, and asked me if I was planning to try to meet up with him at the game. At this point, I still hadn’t confirmed that I was going to the game at all with my friend. The Lovely Man told me he assumed I was going because of how I “announced” my plans about the game. I went back through our chat log and called him on it, telling him that I mentioned the game before I knew he was going. He replied “Whatever,” and decided to shut me out on chat.
When I pursued the conversation to find out what was going on via text, he told me that I didn’t know how to let him cool off when he was angry. There was no indication in ANY of our conversations today that he was angry. I pointed out that he made a faulty assumption about my plans, and he stormed off. Somehow this was enough to make him mad enough to shut me out again, and he’s basically told me not to message him again.
I don’t understand where this paranoia comes from, but I’m well acquainted with the anger. I feel like I am taking the brunt of his anger not just at me, but at other women in his life that he’s angry with. He brought up his ex (the one I helped him recover from) again yesterday, and he’s been having an ongoing fight with his mother, which he’s talked to me about. Almost every time he brings up his ex or has a fight with his mother, he ends up taking it out on me, either just by being cold and curt, or by actually starting a fight, much like the one this morning. You could almost set your watch to it. I can’t help it if I remind him of people in his life that he has anger towards, and I shouldn’t be subjected to the misdirected anger.
The whole time I’ve known him, he’s only really mentioned two good friends, one in NY, and the other lives locally. He doesn’t seem to invest much time or energy in either friendship, and it seems that it is mutual (in fact he constantly complains about the local friend). When he got his new job, which was a big deal, he didn’t mention that either of his best friends did anything special to congratulate him. Maybe this is what he expects out of friends, and maybe this is perfectly normal for him, but it’s not for me.
I would like to have a friendship with the Lovely Man, but at this point I feel like a victim of emotional abuse. When I messaged him after our previous big fight, I told him I wanted to be his friend without any carrot-dangling, but here he is dangling the carrot again. It appears that if your expectations of what friendship is don’t completely conform to his idea of what friendship is, he cannot be your friend.
The problem is that all of this anger, resentment, and paranoia came out after he stopped seeing his therapist. When we met and he was seeing his therapist, he was a completely different person, even when we took some time off and weren’t dating. These wild mood swings and bouts of paranoia weren’t part of the equation. He has become increasingly paranoid over the past four months, and it is sad to watch him push everyone away. I think it is time for him to go back to therapy before he does irreparable damage to relationships with friends and family, which it seems he’s on the edge of doing right now. But either way, I don’t have high hopes that we’ll ever figure out how to be friends unless he seeks help.