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 1lab4me
Joined: 7/15/2009
Msg: 1
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The art of shutting emotions offPage 1 of 3    (1, 2, 3)
Hi all - I have a weird guy situation that happened to me a while back, and it still bothers me. I finally decided to ask others opinion.

I dated a guy who split from his wife of 28 years. He has 3 adult kids (1 son). I've known this man my entire life (not kidding - since I was a toddler). Our families overlap in friendships and business going back generations. I was hesitant to get involved with him, but followed my heart. He has an incredible amount of integrity, but did something I don't understand. Plus, I think I may be partially at fault.

After months of dating, "I Love You's", and being included in all of his family functions, I quit hearing from him. The "good morning, doll" texts stopped, I heard his voice once in 3 weeks, and when asked what he was doing for the holidays, he said he and his son were going to his sisters. Plus, he would not sleep at my house, for fear of his 24 year old son being upset. I ended up getting a text that he needed to "get his shit straight", and then didn't hear from him for 5 days. Nor did he respond to an "are you OK?" text message. I blew a gasket and broke up with him via e-mail, since we were obviously never going to have the chance to speak.

This is my question: do you think he really had an issue, or do you think he was trying to get me to dump him? I'm wondering if I acted prematurely, or if I did the exact opposite of what he needed me to do. I'm just curious of how others would have reacted in this situation.
 attitude17
Joined: 10/8/2011
Msg: 2
The art of shutting emotions off
Posted: 11/15/2011 4:27:17 AM
This has to be very confusing.

His children are all grown-ups. The kid thing just does not apply.

I wouldn't text or get in touch again. He either did not feel the same way or he isn't ready to be in a serious relationship (unfortunately, that means with you).

I probably would have done the same thing.
 IgorFrankensteen
Joined: 6/29/2009
Msg: 3
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The art of shutting emotions off
Posted: 11/15/2011 4:30:57 AM
Obviously he had SOME sort of issue, though since you got no communication form him, there's no way to know what.

There are lots of common possible psychological and other "time of life" explanations possible. Basically, SOMETHING happened that he didn't want to talk about. Absolutely anything is possible.

1. He found out he had a disease, tumor, child out of wedlock, etc.

2. Something happened that caused him to rethink his life from top to bottom.(relative dying, suddenly realized how old he was, etc).

3. He thinks he found something out about YOU, that freaked him out. (that you freak out about things, and he has no patience with that, etc).

The list could go on and on.

You DID act prematurely, since you cut him off out of anger at his not communicating, and thus prevented yourself from getting the answer you are asking for now.
 TerrieLynnC
Joined: 5/31/2011
Msg: 4
The art of shutting emotions off
Posted: 11/15/2011 4:56:15 AM
What reason do you have to not talk to this man IN PERSON instead of texting/emailing and just ask him what is going on? Sorry, but his kids are adults and are not an excuse in this particular situation.
 ro1970
Joined: 10/23/2011
Msg: 5
The art of shutting emotions off
Posted: 11/15/2011 5:00:30 AM
well....blowing up via email really wasn't the answer.....nothing wrong with getting your thoughts on paper and NOT sending it......especially in the "heat of the moment". You probably should have "slept on it" and reflected a bit before firing off the missive.

As far as his kids go...they ARE adults and need to deal with the fact their father is out dating and/or in relationships, so that excuse doesn't even apply.

That being said, him not responding to any texts or phone calls for a week is pretty chicken sh*t. But then again deciding not to decide or not deal with things is pretty much par for men as a whole. By not communicating, he probably thought you would just fade into the woodwork and the relationship would just die on the vine.

Since he left you hanging in the wind, my guess is he probably found someone else to screw over. Don't give him another thought and move on with your life......and if he DOES have the audacity to contact you much later on down the road, DON'T respond to any phone calls, email, snail mails or texts. Just delete, block, and move on.

And yes, men DO shut of their emotions and feelings like a light switch.

It never ceases to amaze me how men can go from 60 miles an hour to zero in a half a second.
 scurvy_little_spider
Joined: 11/7/2011
Msg: 6
The art of shutting emotions off
Posted: 11/15/2011 5:20:03 AM
It might be at least partially the great divide.

Females seem to me to tend to put more emphasis on special days, and so might take it harder to be excluded from holidays, and if they'd been previously included, receive it as a deliberate snub. It's possible for males to be oblivious to this -- but -- a long-married man, I highly doubt it.

He withdrew without letting you know what was going on -- that is all on him.
You broke it off without finding out what was going on -- that part is on you.

Your communicaton styles may be too similar for a good fit.
Or, consider, there are men with complete integrity in business dealings who act like a shit to their women.
 motown cowgirl
Joined: 6/30/2010
Msg: 7
The art of shutting emotions off
Posted: 11/15/2011 5:47:04 AM
there are some details left out of your story that -- if i knew what they were -- would probably change the way i would answer specifically.

i'll give a more general answer which is to say, i don't think this is as much about "shutting emotions off" as it is about editing your expression thereof between the time they assert themselves and the time it takes to fire off a gasket-blowing email. but i can understand why you felt the way you did.



This is my question: do you think he really had an issue, or do you think he was trying to get me to dump him? I'm wondering if I acted prematurely, or if I did the exact opposite of what he needed me to do. I'm just curious of how others would have reacted in this situation.

people who start withdrawing for no discernable reason ALWAYS have an issue, and they withdraw because they believe a stealth retreat is the easiest way to avoid having a confrontation with you about an issue that they've probably already made a decision about, or that they think is past the point of fixing.... especially by telling you they fully intend to solve the problem by going away.

i don't know whether you acted prematurely or not. but i would say yes..... just based on the fact that you have known this guy for so long. personally, i think i'd be royally pissed to see someone i thought i knew well withdraw in the way you described, with no real explanation, but i might be more willing to extend the benefit of the doubt before scorching his eyeballs with my scathing message, just based on past history. you can always save being pissed off for later, but once the cat's out of the bag.... oh well.
 pirateheaven
Joined: 5/11/2008
Msg: 8
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The art of shutting emotions off
Posted: 11/15/2011 5:53:38 AM
The real question is how do you feel about it now. If you think you did the right thing, then why worry? If you miss the guy and think you were hasty then contact him.

Sometimes people have a crisis and the energy required to deal with it depletes them.
 Arteest1650
Joined: 11/8/2011
Msg: 9
The art of shutting emotions off
Posted: 11/15/2011 5:57:11 AM
That art is an evolutionary trait that goes back Millions of years... and probably wont vanish anytime soon. Right along with the fight or flight response...
 TimeFlies24
Joined: 10/9/2011
Msg: 10
The art of shutting emotions off
Posted: 11/15/2011 6:47:33 AM
Well.. How long ago did he split up with his wife? Alot of people are saying that his kids are grown-blah blah blah. But, my parents have been married for 40 years. Even at my age, if my parents were to split today, I would be very upset about it. Then, if i found out that my dad was seeing some other woman a few months down the line, I would be very upset with him and it's no way I would allow that woman to be around me, my future kids, etc. You are talking about 28 years of marriage with your guy. Tht's a very long time. You have to understand that at this point in his life, although they are grown, his kids come first. It will take time for his children to accept seeing their dad with another woman. Now if they have been apart for a few years, then that's a different story. But, if it's a recent breakup, if he desires a future relationship with his kids, then he better show respect for their mom and keep you away.
 Blue-Eyes-Shine
Joined: 11/26/2008
Msg: 11
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The art of shutting emotions off
Posted: 11/15/2011 6:54:30 AM
No matter what is going on with him, he obviously lacks communication skills and it was a lack of respect for not responding. You did the right thing by breaking up with him. You don't want a man in your life that can't communicate or has to go into hiding because he has some little issue he is dealing with.
 Pingshooter
Joined: 3/15/2009
Msg: 12
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The art of shutting emotions off
Posted: 11/15/2011 6:57:51 AM
I am not going to say that you reacted wrongly, as you dealt with what stimuli you had and that is over.

Here are my thoughts/concerns;

*If he is a man of integrity, why doesn't he sit down and talk to you, about whatever is bothering him?

*I can understand him not wanting to stay the night, if he has an ongoing conflict with his son, over his marriage breakup. Perhaps he is trying to mend/forgo a conflict, I don't know. However, see first bullet.

*Him not contacting you, smacks of him not wanting to tell you something that is going to be painful for the both of you. That again, smacks of not living up to his reputation of having integrity.

I don't know what you put in your email to him, and again, I am not saying you are right or wrong, as you did what you had to do, given the circumstances you were dealing with at the time you authored the email, and given the fact he was not responding to your texts.

All I can say..is that only he can explain his actions to you, none of us can. I'm sorry.
 shakeitupbaby2012
Joined: 8/12/2010
Msg: 13
The art of shutting emotions off
Posted: 11/15/2011 7:01:42 AM
To me, this is what dating is about. You find someone of interest and when you become exclusive, you see how compatible you are- whether it's looking or not.

Communication is a huge cornerstone(s) in a relationship. If someone cuts it off or shows signs of altering it, I don't follow that mindset and I would be glad to know that they pull away when issues crop up---of their own accord.
 carptopus
Joined: 11/9/2011
Msg: 14
The art of shutting emotions off
Posted: 11/15/2011 7:01:51 AM

or do you think he was trying to get me to dump him?

I think he was setting you up for a win win situation for him at your expense that pressured you into taking responsibility for the "relationship" and to an extent him.


I'm wondering if I acted prematurely, or if I did the exact opposite of what he needed me to do.

You basically had 2 realistic options since you say

. I was hesitant to get involved with him, but followed my heart.

That basically says "I didn't really want to date him, so I was at a distance on some level and kept him there. So I followed my self image of a 'good' person and gave it a shot rather than chased what I wanted."
So you could have chased him down, gotten all dramatic, and basically put him on a pedestal, or you could have done what you did which is live up to your hesitation.

Chase him, validate him, gratify him, shower him with external value, or prove his self image, stereotypes and beliefs,correct by living down to his expectations of what was going to happen.

The other options like getting other people involved, ignoring it and pretending nothing was happening or changing, focusing on his kid(s), having an intervention, camping out on his front lawn, manipulating, attempting, and/or forcing adult communication, etc. and/or some combination, simply weren't options for you because of who you are.
He knew this much about you from your interaction even if it wasn't on a conscious level and this wasn't a specifically chosen and mapped out plan.

With dating and relationships people start learning about who you are from the moment you say "hello."
They "know" you possibly more than you know yourself in a very short time.
They just don't realize what they know so most of it is simply indirect behavior and following emotional impulses. The point and important thing (IMO) is figuring out all that stuff on the conscious level. Most people don't and prefer the shortcut of "chemistry" and other lazy shortcut terms because they don't really want to think or work, just take it easy and feel good. But I digress.


I'm wondering if I acted prematurely

You acted in ways he already expected you would.


I'm just curious of how others would have reacted in this situation.

Differently or the same, it depends on their reactions and interactions with the guy.
This specific behavior is based on his interaction with you.
It only seems easy and common on the surface.
 A_Gent
Joined: 8/18/2011
Msg: 15
The art of shutting emotions off
Posted: 11/15/2011 8:17:51 AM
Could have been the "Three month bump."

It takes about three months or so for the infatuation to wear off.

...... What may have started with the best of intentions will often run its course. The feelings dissipate. There is no logic to it... it just is.

It also takes considerable effort to keep up best behaviour.

......and by about three months it takes too much energy to keep up the facade and the real person or their real feelings or their real agenda starts to show through.

Being involved in a new relationship churns up the emotions may have caused some unresolved things to come to the surface....He may be working hard to resolve them ... or push them back down.
 Highflyingadored
Joined: 3/18/2006
Msg: 16
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The art of shutting emotions off
Posted: 11/15/2011 8:22:59 AM
I think he had a guilty conscience and had someone else as well as you. Sorry to be so blunt but this mirrors something that happened to me a while back and you will probably never know the truth. If you get back together (i wouldn't personally) he will still never tell you what happened.

I had the darling, sweetheart, love e-mails, the telephone calls, the missing you badly messages and he was cheating which i eventually found out quite by chance.

Sorry but reading between the lines i think this is suspicious behaviour. Hope i am proved to be wrong.
 Aries_328
Joined: 10/16/2011
Msg: 17
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The art of shutting emotions off
Posted: 11/15/2011 8:31:05 AM

This is my question: do you think he really had an issue, or do you think he was trying to get me to dump him? I'm wondering if I acted prematurely, or if I did the exact opposite of what he needed me to do. I'm just curious of how others would have reacted in this situation.


I believe he definitely has issues. Although we will never know what they were I bet at some point in the near future you will find out what it really was.

You did not act prematurely. It doesn't matter what he needed. He ended the relationship but neglected to tell you so you closed the door.

Be careful though. At some point he will come back with a full explanation that may even make sense. All I would have to say is that it would likely happen again. Whatever justification he gave himself this time will happen again.
 Maleman999
Joined: 2/14/2010
Msg: 18
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The art of shutting emotions off
Posted: 11/15/2011 8:33:05 AM

OP: I was hesitant to get involved with him, but followed my heart.


This is a contradictory statement. If your heart was into him, there would be no hesitation to be involved with him. The way I interpret the statement is: "I was desperate and he was available, so I decided to give it a go and see what happens." Maybe the guy sensed this and decided to cool it because he doesn't want to be the savior of your desperation.

You say in your profile that you have two very small children. His offspring are adults. You never mentioned if this was a problem for him. Most people who have grown kids don't want to go backwards in time and repeat the child raising shtick, especially if it involves other people's kids. He is free to do whatever he wants, and maybe doesn't like the idea of being tied down again and have his life revolve around kids, but doesn't want to insult you by saying he's not into your kids.

As for the silent treatment, I think he's not really into you, and wants to avoid confrontation that could happen if he was to tell you in person. If you were a regular post reader here, there is a steady stream of whines from people who say: "We were in contact every day by text messages and now he/she won't send any replies to my texts. I don't understand." It's called being dumped by avoidance. It's very common. And because you became irate and " blew a gasket" and sent him an "I'm dumping you" e-mail (who knows what you put in it while you were in raging bull mode), you gave him the opportunity to say YOU dumped HIM and put all of the blame on you for ending the relationship.
 Funlovingoptimist
Joined: 11/4/2011
Msg: 19
The art of shutting emotions off
Posted: 11/15/2011 8:39:46 AM
He was getting you to dump him. When I was much younger and immature I used same technique often, that said that was over 20 yrs. ago. You are the real grown up here and your gift of intamacy was not respected. 24 yr. old upset lol he needs to get a real life! Best of luck to you! You are too kind!
 carolann0308
Joined: 12/9/2006
Msg: 20
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The art of shutting emotions off
Posted: 11/15/2011 8:56:24 AM
The ending of a 28 year marriage affects far more people than just the couple involved. My guess is that many people in the family had not come to terms with it including him and perhaps he jumped the gun a bit by starting to date you.
Sometimes a complete stranger will be accepted into a family fold faster than an old friend who is suddenly dating Dad.
I cannot speak for all families, but I know there would be a few people in mine that would be speculating whether the new relationship started prior to the divorce. He may not have wanted that level of scrutiny. No one wants to believe that Dad may have had the hots for you for years. It makes his relationship with Mom seem even worse.
 Landra2
Joined: 6/4/2009
Msg: 21
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The art of shutting emotions off
Posted: 11/15/2011 9:22:40 AM
If 3 weeks passed and I'd only heard from him once, my question wouldn't be what he was doing for the holidays, it would be what's going on with him and our relationship!

He backed off for reasons he didn't feel comfortable discussing with you (your propensity to blow your gasket, I'd imagine), told you he needed time ...and then you dumped him by email because a mere 5 days passed?? What was your rush to judgement?

In my opinion, when you "love" someone, you're there for them. And even if they can't be there for you, or even if they do something that upsets your applecart, or even if they aren't always able to tell you how they feel at the moment you want to know, you treat them lovingly, and try to offer understanding, patience, acceptance. That's how I would have reacted.

As for your post subject "The art of shutting emotions off"-- you're talking about how you did that to him, right?
 4everRadiant
Joined: 1/16/2011
Msg: 22
The art of shutting emotions off
Posted: 11/15/2011 9:26:34 AM
"...do you think he really had an issue, or do you think he was trying to get me to dump him?"
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Yes and yes.

Sometimes if a person doesn't "have the heart" to end a relationship, s/he will "behave badly" so you end it instead.

Something was obviously not right, and unfortunately he didn't choose to communicate what the exact problem was, or end things with you directly since that's what he seemed to want.

Sorry for how this turned out. It must be difficult, particularly given the length of time you've know one another.

Did you act prematurely? I can understand why you broke it off. Whatever is going on, when you asked "are you ok?" I think he could have at least answered something to the effect of "I'm not able to talk about things right now. Give me some time and I'll be in touch as soon as I can. Promise."

If he honestly didn't want things to permanently end, I believe he would have at least said that, even if via an email. Fortunately or unfortunately, you did his bidding.

All the best to you.

Edit: I just saw the "I blew a gasket" statement. While you might not have acted prematurely per se, responding with intense anger probably didn't serve either one of you well. Maybe you needed the relationship to end too??
 OyVay...
Joined: 7/15/2011
Msg: 23
The art of shutting emotions off
Posted: 11/15/2011 9:28:42 AM
Hmmmm..I loved some of the comments. Kinda fell along the usual gender lines. I often wonder about the females posting answers. When you leave so much out, aside from givin you an atta girl, how they arrive at what they think!

"dated a guy who split from his wife of 28 years."

Yeah OK, that can bring on a lot of issues. New to single life, a renew to dating in a changed society. What happened that caused him to split. What was his marriage like at the end(last 3 years). Finally how LONG ago was the split? If it was less than a year, maybe some issues there.

"Our families overlap"

Now you don't think that brings in some shit? Who's tellin him not to, who's tellin him he ought to, who's tellin him what this could do to the group dynamic if it fails.

"for fear of his 24 year old son"

HTH do you know what the son thinks? Kids(especially older ones late teens early 20's) have their own opinion of what is right or wrong. He(son) may think this would be a betrayal of a friendship with his mom. You MAY get to be his GF, or second mrs, HE will always be his son. Coming out of 28 years, who knows, what his kids, his friends or just his own views are or are telling him.

"get his shit straight"

Sounds like he's getting what he wants straight in his mind. Maybe it wasn't before. Maybe you were easy(no not sex stupid) just an easy fit or transition(in his mind) some one he knew and trusted, felt comfortable with. The thought of dating was not a hard one.

"I blew a gasket"

Yeah I'll bet that helped a lot! Confused, maybe being pulled in different directions by emotions, family and whatever else. You decided on the premptive strike because he didn't act according to your schedule. NICE!!!!

"do you think he really had an issue?"

Who cares? It's over, you ended it, move on. Maybe he was going to dump you, maybe he met another woman, maybe he was confused, maybe it will rain on thursday!

What's the diff? Look just read the answers from the ladies, explaining his son is a grown up, that you did nothing wrong, and feel better about yourself. That's what this is all about, right?

When you REALLY want input, ask BEFORE you act. Anything else is justification bullsh1t!
 Capn_America
Joined: 10/6/2011
Msg: 24
The art of shutting emotions off
Posted: 11/15/2011 9:32:38 AM

You DID act prematurely, since you cut him off out of anger at his not communicating, and thus prevented yourself from getting the answer you are asking for now.


WTF? I think anger's justified when you don't hear from someone you think you might be in love with in a whole friggin month...
I wouldve given him a week, then talked to him, OP, to find out what's going on. Granted, email is probably the WORST way tohandle a relationship gone sour, but then again so is texting when its going good. But passing. I think your justified in your blowing up in his face. WHATEVER the reasons he might or might not have (more likely he found another gal and was screwing her without telling you), he should have manned up and confronted you, just talk to you, break it off in your face. Your job was to get that confrontation, that 'closure' to happen when he didnt do it.

My advice, whatever you feel now, stay away from him. Anyone can act that way is bound to do it again. You won't go anywere. I'll add on a personnal note, that guy's a stupid moron.
As for you, learn to deal with your emotions by facing the person. You'll find out a lot more about who they really are than by texting or email. Nothing like a good shouting match to get the blood pumping LOL

 Capn_America
Joined: 10/6/2011
Msg: 25
The art of shutting emotions off
Posted: 11/15/2011 9:38:32 AM


Yeah I'll bet that helped a lot! Confused, maybe being pulled in different directions by emotions, family and whatever else. You decided on the premptive strike because he didn't act according to your schedule. NICE!!!!


What the HELL....
Are you nuts? Let me get this straight, your dating a lady for several weeks or months, and then she disapears for 3-4 weeks, and you stay all calm and dandy and tell yourself "poor her, she's in so much trouble' ?
No, you'd DUMP her ass for wasting your time! Which is exactly what should be done, whatever his so called reasons. 5 minute phone call never killed anyone. Its what everyone would do in fact, and I see no exception in this case. If he was ready for a serious relationship, he would have acted like a human being. If he got 'cancer' or whatever the hell other stupid reason that got invented, then there areWAYS to TALK about it. You dont vanish for 1 month and come back................ Jesus!

Good ridance.
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