Do FAs ever "force through" deactivation in order to appease Nov 6, 2019 13:29:32 GMT bohemianraspberry likes this
Post by kittygirl on Nov 6, 2019 13:29:32 GMT
Hello to all again. I regularly pour over the posts in this forum as a reference to help me deal with issues as they pop up. If I am experiencing something that has been talked about a lot I don't tend to post as I feel like it's been tackled already. But I am currently going through something and I am really wanting some insights from all of the wonderful people here who vary in their experiences with having current or ex FA partners to currently struggling with FA attachment or earned secure from FA.
The TL;DR Version:
In your varying degrees of experience, do FAs (or DAs for that matter) ever "muscle through" their deactivation phases in order to placate a romantic partner? In other words, do they ever force interaction or even closeness when they DON'T want it in order to [fill in the blank-not hurt someone, keep someone around, not anger people, etc?]? If you want more details, read below
So my FA partner and I are long distance. For me, this is perfect because I just got out of a long relationship (as did he) and I think of a long distance relationship as sort of a "Relationship Lite (TM)". We are not so far that the drive is prohibitively long, but we are also far enough that the expectations about the relationship are pretty firm (we obviously aren't going to be hanging out every day or moving in together). My FA partner and I have the same issues that others on here do, but one thing that is truly remarkable about him, is that WHEN he is feeling like he might be able to open up to me a little, he has shared a lot (and very articulately) about how much PAIN his attachment issues cause him-particularly in the realm of not being able to trust people. Because he's been willing to open up about this stuff, is has allowed a pretty significant amount of communication between us about trust, closeness and loneliness. He is trying so damn hard (but I know that sometimes trying isn't enough to save a relationship), but is still in so much pain. This is why my default position with him is rarely (never, actually) anger even though he may cause me a ton of frustration and confusion (but that's another post for another day!)
Last week he and I were close via our communication. Lots of affection, sexting, dirty pics and videos, and all that good stuff (sorry if that's TMI ha). He had a particularly hard day at work one day and I wrote him a supportive text. He responded a few hours later with "You make me so happy [name]. I'm never happy to this is huge". I read that, and my stomach sort of dropped. "Oh shit" I thought "...he's going to start pulling away now" and sure enough, like clockwork he stops with the affection, starts talking to me like a buddy, and the communication frequency drops. Truth be told, this doesn't bother me too much as I know it's par for the course and typically when he is like this, I will just pop him a few texts (verrrrrry light and breezy-pics of cute animals or stuff i'm doing at work etc) and I remind him regularly that he doesn't need to respond (ironically, he has NEVER not responded when I have said this to him...only goes silent when he feels there is pressure TO respond. Interesting how that works). So for a couple days we did "Communication Light (TM)" (here I go with that again!) and then over the weekend I left him alone completely. We didn't talk and again that was fine. Now Monday hits and there is a problem----we have had plans to meet up this upcoming weekend that we made weeks ago and even though he's going through some funny stuff, I can't ignore these plans just because I perceive he needs space. Afterall, the MOST important thing for me in all my relationships is that I always remain my authentic self no matter what. And that I behave in a way that I see as sustainable long term. I would never ignore plans to see someone out of fear of freaking them out, yet I know this is a HUGE trigger for him even on a good day! (he has cancelled on me before and I know how hard it is for him to take a huge step towards closeness). So I pop him off a text just to test out the waters-hey maybe he's feeling great again today and we're good to go. But hmmmm no such luck. He's almost MORE terse now. Ok ok so you see my dilemma-bring up the WORST possible trigger for him and risk a full on sprint away from me OR stay quiet about it, wait for the weekend to roll around and stew. I decide to ruminate on this for one day. Yesterday comes and the decision is inescapable- "Look, you simply CAN'T behave in a way that compromises who you are. You are excited about this trip and you would bring it up to ANY partner you had in the past so you have do what's right by you FIRST. If he runs then at least you have no regrets with how you treated yourself". So I am all ready for a panic on his part. I also decide to make a few things clear when I bring this up to him---that as a reminder he is NOT trapped in this relationship. He can walk at any time and I am STILL going to be his friend forever (and before anyone comments on this-I am friends with virtually all my exes. It's worked out great for the 38 years Ive been on this Earth. I'm not a jealous or angry person so it doesn't bother me to see them move on and in fact I can often offer them support from a unique perspective). I reassure him that he's not a bad person, a broken person or a selfish person is he can't do it, BUT remember how we had plans this weekend? It's 3 days away now and I feel like we should at least address it (there was a lot more to the text-we often joke about how long my stupid texts are). I am fully prepared for a multitude of responses (from silence to anger to who knows)---when I do get one back that is ODD to say the least-it addresses the trip "Can I call you? I can't do Friday but I can do Saturday and Sunday". He calls and it's brief and not super enthusiastic but he wants to do this trip and wants to meet me half way.
Ok so i know what you guys are all thinking "Damn it this woman just wasted all my time slogging through this when I don't see what the problem is" and that's fair but there IS a problem-here's the problem---I KNOW him and I can tell he is not mentally present with this. It's like we are 2 coworkers discussing a business trip. This is just odd to me and so I now wonder if he is almost FORCING himself (through this deactivation) to interact and meet up even though he doesn't want to (and by the way I shouldn't call it "deactivation" as I don't know what's going on in his head. "Pulling away" is a more objective way of describing it). He is SUCH a people pleaser and will steamroll his own needs in order to placate those around him (working on his boundaries has been a HUGE thing he and I have been working on). So my question is-have any of you experienced this before? A seeminlgy real effort to be close on one hand while the brain doesn't seem in it? Did any of your partners FORCE these kinds of interactions even when they didn't want it? I made it clear we can reschedule the trip, no hard feelings, etc etc but no he wants to do it now. I am just soooooo prepared to go and have it be a shit show after (it's been tough following all of our trips as he gets close and then panics). Could he not be wanting to do this but forcing it anyway EVEN WITH all the outs I've given him?
Thanks for reading loves. I DON'T KNOW what I would do without the support and insights offered in this forum. TRULY invaluable