AVOIDANCE From a Complicated Longterm Partner


Hey Everyone,

This is a longwinded story and I will keep it as short/simple as possible.

I've been in a relationship for 8 yrs. We lived together for 5 yrs. Have LIVED APART for 1 yr after a breakup. He moved back to NY where we previously met and lived together. I stayed in LA where I was pursuing my MFA.

After a month or so of being apart, he started to call me and tell me he wanted to work things out. I was so vulnerable and really wanted it to work. I agreed to working things out. He needed some time. I don't know. I gave it to him. He visited me. I visited him. He said he didn't want this to go on. A few days later, he tells me he wants to work things out. Again, I was so vulnerable and really wanted it to work. I said yes. He kept his full-time job in NYC and visited in February. It went nicely except for one big argument that we got over.

He was supposed to move here in March, but the job (he loves) sent him to India. He always said he'd be here before graduation (according to him even though I said March.) I wanted to keep him and so I said fine. I felt bad about having him quit his job but I wanted to work in entertainment and just finished school for it, so I felt like it was best for me to try really hard at being here for three more years and then reassess the situation to see what was next.

I graduated last week and he was here, but he flew here and flew right back. He quit his job for me and bought a car. The car was cheap. He tried to get it repaired but couldn't in time to drive it here. Partly out of procrastination and partly b/c the mechanic was booked for three days in a row.

He avoided me for five days before flying out here. I asked him not too because it hurt too much but he did anyway.

Now, he's been back in NY for five days and I just found out from his Dad that he went camping for the weekend. He hasn't tried to get his car fixed and promised to be out here in a couple of weeks. 

I've asked him directly if I have anything to worry about but he said no. He's basically said that he's going to avoid me for a little while b/c he's still upset about quitting his job. He makes it sound like I forced him but he never offered an alternative. He never asked me to move back to NY for him.

I think the earliest I'll hear back from him is Monday and I don't know what to do.

Advice? What would you do or say if you were me? I've called, texted and emailed (minus Wednesday) but have tried hard not to badger. I love him but he's been hurting me a lot lately. I hurt him earlier in the relationship and so I felt like I deserved it to a certain extent but have been actively working on myself ever since. Therapy, education and just looking within myself to see who I really am and what I can offer.

I feel frustrated and without control since he won't answer my calls, etc. 
Jun 21, 2013 @ 11:00 pm

11 Replies


Devil's Advocate

I'm just gonna play the Devil's advocate here so maybe you can see where he's coming from. Because I feel like he just wants a mini break to wind down from quitting a job he really loved, and he deserves that. If I were him and I had just left my career for my partner (a career that I loved and that I moved across the world for) I would maybe want a few days to myself with my buddies to relax and let the dust settle. That's a huge life event, which is going to be followed by another - moving in with the person I love, in a completely new city.

He just needs some time to unwind. He's probably frustrated too right now. And you know how when you're trying to get over something and someone keeps bugging you to talk about it when you don't want to? I think you constantly sending messages might be a little much. Just send him a "I'll see you when you get here, safe travels, call/text/email me whenever you want i'm here for you" message and let him take the reigns for a while.

He seems to be respecting your career choices, which is awesome, and he's moving his life to accommodate you into it. That sounds like a pretty great guy to me!

The only thing I'd be worried about is if you notice that his frustration about quitting his job turns into resentment. If he feels you forced him to give up what he loved in order to be with you, then he'll hold it against you forever. Like I said, give him some time to relax and let everything settle down, but if you notice his avoidance continues and he keeps making excuses to not come, give him a call and say you want to discuss it. Maybe it'll turn into a fight, but then you can both get it out of your system and see each other's side of it. The you can move on.

So send him a calm and understanding "I know this is huge, take your time at home to unwind, and I can't wait until you're here and we can start our lives together" msg, and let him have the ball. Guys like to know they're in control, and this man just gave up everything for you. He probably feels migthy vulnerable right now as well!

Best of luck to you guys :)
Jun 25, 2013 @ 10:25 am


Hey Lissa,

Thanks for your perspective. I like it because you're right, he has shown a certain amount of sacrifice and commitment to his word.

I tried my best to stay calm and understanding. I gave him his space for a few days but it is now Tuesday, day 8. This is possibly the longest we haven't spoken since we've met. It doesn't only make me upset but it also makes me really insecure about the status of things.

As stated above, this is the third time he's putting off the move. I just don't have a whole lot of calm or understanding left. If he has changed his mind, he should let me know. If he just needs a few days of recoup, he should explain that to me. If he needs time to think....whatever it is, he should have the decency to let me know and not keep me waiting around the phone.

When he doesn't have huge transitions/decisions to make, he is a really great/smart/modern guy and I love him very much, but his behavior lately is really disappointing and immature.

I don't know what to expect at this point because he won't talk to me.

I've decided that I am going to try my best not to contact him anymore. I didn't over the weekend, because I knew he was going camping, but I tried to contact him yesterday and today. I basically just left him a text saying that I wasn't going to try to contact him but wait for him to reach out and that I really don't appreciate how he's treating me.

Anyway, thanks for the advice and well wishes!
Jun 25, 2013 @ 01:37 pm
Ali de Bold


I think LissaG hit the nail on the head. It's a huge change he's making and he needs some time to deal with it. He's probably nervous about making a huge mistake (which is what anyone who makes a major life change considers). I'd give him space and be really kind to him. I know you want security but right now he is making some major sacrifices and probably needs some extra time to deal with it.

Still, he shouldn't make you feel bad about it. He ultimately made the decision to quit and move so this should never be held over your head.
Jun 25, 2013 @ 04:57 pm


Thanks for the interpretations, you guys.

I cautiously hope you're right....
Jun 26, 2013 @ 12:18 pm

Not Encouraging

Just for the sake of using my horrific situation as a cautionary tale: our relationship is over.

I just found out that he's going to a wedding this weekend. I've known about it for months. Around two months ago, he said we were going. Around a month ago, he said we weren't going.

He went by himself.

I'm going to call his office tomorrow to find out if he really quit his job. I know that sounds stalker-ish but I just want to know.

I'm NOT going to do anything crazy like jeopardize his job if he still indeed works there. I just want to know if he's freaking out or if he's an insane narcissist. It doesn't make much of a difference at this point.

Life is full of changes and I can't deal with this sort of drama whenever an adult like feat appears....

I'm pretty out of it. I just don't get why he couldn't just let me go last summer.

This whole situation is baffling and I'm literally sick, emotionally drained and just stunned.
Jun 26, 2013 @ 11:12 pm


Have you talked to him at all yet??

I feel that maybe you should talk to him before you call his work. Because if he did quit his job and you're calling around asking after him he's going to take that as a kind of stalker-ish sign (like you said) and if he didn't quit his job then things are over between you anyway, and it's going to make you look desperate.

I think that him going to the wedding alone isn't the end of the world, especially since you guys are in very different cities, and it would have been hard for you to attend.

But regardless, you are right that he should have had the decency to send at least one text back saying "I need some space" or something along those lines. The silent treatment is very immature!

Again, I'd wait until you talked to him before you do anything drastic, and at that point tell him you want to lay everything out on the table. If he says he doesn't want to quit his job and move, and you can't make it work long distance, then tell him it's over. Be honest with each other about how you really feel, because if you don't you're going to regret it later on with a whole bunch of what-ifs.

If it is actually over then I'm sorry, but at least try and get some closure from him. Then you can start to re-build. Breakups are NEVER easy, especially from a long and complicated relationship. But keep your head high and just know that, unfortunately, life is messy sometimes.

Keep smiling! xo
Jun 27, 2013 @ 02:46 pm

He's A Liar

Hi Lissa,

The wedding is in Michigan. It isn't a convenient locale for him to attend either. We had planned to go together for over a month.

I did call his work. He didn't quit his job. I just wanted to know the truth. I made it seem like a professional call and so it doesn't reflect on his job at all. I'm not trying to play any crazy games. I just wanted to know the truth and I wasn't getting it from him.

He's been lying to me for over a month. I don't care if I seemed stalker ish. I just don't deserve how he's been treating me.

It's over. I can't trust him anymore. He's lied to my face several times and maybe out of denial or vulnerability, I believed him.

I just can't be with someone I can't trust.

It makes me wonder about all the other things he's lied about.
Jun 27, 2013 @ 02:53 pm


And no, I haven't spoken with him.

I sent some angry texts, which I have mixed feelings about. I usually try to keep it constructive but I just can't believe how he's been treating me.

He came to my graduation, which is sweet...I guess. He didn't want to ruin my day. However, he should have told me the truth before he left. I'd feel less betrayed.
Jun 27, 2013 @ 02:57 pm

I agree with you.

I think it's super childish that he hasn't said one word to you.

The fact that he blatantly lied to your face means he doesn't care about you...especially about something so huge as quitting his job and relocating for you.

I still think that you should have a conversation with him just so you can express your disappointment, but if he refuses to return your contact there's nothing you can really do.

It bites the big one, but looks like your relationship is over. Probably for the best though, since I now deem this guy the ultimate douche. I would say focus on yourself for a while. That's an extremely long relationship to get out of, so trying to be just YOU for a while might take some getting used to. Think of it this way: you're in a new town, just starting your career life, and it's where you want to be. Start building a new life for yourself without him in it, and things will start falling back into place.

My only advice is this: don't resent him for it. I know with him being so immature about the whole situation it's hard not to, but as the ancient quote goes, "Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die."

Again, I think if you're able to talk to him it will help you get closure and move on from this, but you've done your part to reach out to him, so the ball's in his court. Maybe send one more message saying "Listen, I know it's over between us and I'm accepting that. I've done my part to reach out to you for explanations, but you really don't seem to want to talk, and that's fine. If and when you ever want to apologize or explain your side of things I will gladly listen, but as of right now I'm done with trying to contact you." Keep it mature and straightforward: let him know that YOU know it's over and that you're moving on. Don't give him the satisfaction of getting continual texts/messages from you, it will only let him know he has power over you. He might have the ball, but if you put your racket down and leave the court he's the idiot playing alone.

Stay strong girl! xo
Jun 28, 2013 @ 10:33 am
Ali de Bold


There is no excuse for his behaviour at all. Why would you lie to someone about quitting your job/moving? Who does that?? It sounds like you made the right decision to end things. He's clearly not ready to give you the level of commitment you need. This is not the behaviour of an adult.
Jun 28, 2013 @ 01:18 pm

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