Relationship Fearful avoidant w cptsd help

J

Jbomb

I dated a fearful avoidant for 7 months which started casual and became a situationship. He never wanted a relationship obviously due to his past and how his past relationships ended but it progressed between us and we began to be together daily and I even met his children. Our connection was undeniable and strong. He became my best friend. I never pressured him for more and always allowed him to be be him.
At the 6 month mark, a few times I’d show up (more quietly than usual) and try to communicate with him (I was quiet to process and communicate properly) which he’d say triggered his ptsd and he’d pull back and hold a grudge & tell me not to do it again. He warned me if it continued he’d leave. The last time, we experienced a threesome where I was a bit distant & quiet (I just wasn’t into it) and he got triggered again and bailed on our situation. I have since reached out a couple times (in a month) and sent him a anonymous gift on vday (which he placed to me and got very angry and told me to stop contacting him) where he has said he’s not angry, but wants nothing to do with me ever again (feels hostile to me) and that I don’t get it, but I trigger his ptsd and to leave him be. I never quite knew what triggered it and how I was showing up that triggered him so I didn’t quite know what to change or how to approach him. I think it was just a change in my demeanor that somehow reminded him of his past abuse (violent abusive father and very young codependent mother). He was also a cop which I think aided and further fueled his ptsd.
I guess I just wonder is this it? Will his disassociation and fight or flight calm someday? Will he ever see I’m not to villain nor intended to hurt him? Or maybe he will but be resolute in his decision that I’m no good for him. He definitely has some symptoms of bpd (believe he idealized me - even called me a unicorn- then devalued me and his demonizing me feels very bpd like) and can see clearly his somatic and avoidant reactions to the stress he felt. He smokes a lot of pot and has lots of casual relationships w women but don’t think he expected to meet someone he liked like me . He said he used to have more tolerance for this kind of behavior or stress (assuming from past girlfriends) but has since decided that he doesn’t want that in his life. I get that.
I do see he keeps in touch w exes so I have hope there that someday he will return. I just didn’t really do anything wrong. I just didn’t get it and his failure to communicate specifics caused it to happen again. I know that he is triggered and I did not cause it. Some of my last response to him were a bit more firm and even one not so happy but others I have told him I’m understand and love him and I’m always here.
Does anyone have experience w this behavior of his and do you just move on and cut contact or do you return when you see I’m not the devil and did everything I could to be there for him? How long does the trigger and anger last? I feel like I’d been split by him (like a bpd would do) currently. I’m just this devil even tho he says he’s not mad. Will he ever miss me or just repress my memory w weed and women and doesn’t even have any good thoughts about me and never will again? I’m just confused and sad and want to reach out and tell him I get it now. As I do get it more than I did. And I’m here. But he has asked for no contact so I know I must respect that.
I’m just be wildered and while I’m working on me wonder if there is any hope of reconciliation, if even just as friends.
 
People with PTSD often can't handle the stress. Yes, stress. A relationship is stress.

People without PTSD find relationships stressful at times, both good and bad. The problem with PTSD, is that the bad can quickly outweigh the good. Take a look at the PTSD Cup in the articles section. This is why those with PTSD can quickly cut-off others, especially those close to them.
Thanks Anthony. That’s helpful. Maybe someday when his cup lowers and he’s taking better care of himself he will return. I do want what’s best for him and don’t want to cause him anymore of that kinda stress. Hard to know you’re causing it when one can’t communicate or tell you specfically what that stressor was other than showing up w an “attitude” which i never did. I was always kind and calm and used the right tone and warm facial expressions and touch. But heck, I take responsibility for whatever I did wrong in his eyes. I suppose my resentment lies in the fact that he persistently pursued me and this relationship, not the other way around. He’s the one who got jealous. He’s the one who created expectations in my devotion to him. He’s the one who progressed things. I never asked or demanded a thing but did place healthy boundaries and “commanded” respect. I showed him as best I could that I loved him, even without a label or commitment. I get he wanted things to be stress free, but after 7 months of dating, it’s realistic to think that someone might not show up on their perfect pedestal they were placed on every time. Not sure his thoughts are grounded in reality and I sure was pretty damn perfect for the first 6 of 7 months. Even great for the last one. It’s realistic to consider that after a certain period of time, both parties are going to catch feelings and bond & be human and maybe not to pursue such relationships w those kinds of unrealistic expectations. I’m not a unicorn but damn near close!!! Maybe date for a couple months and call it quits. But such is my dismay and resentment to handle and resolve and I will thankfully to my sobriety.
I hope he fills his cup w positive stressors and takes good care of himself. And one could suffice to say that his time as a cop did indeed prepare him to better handle such stress. But when it comes to relationships and his attachment style, this is where all his internal conflict and stress lies. I hope someday he calms his sweet heart and see im not the demon and I never meant to cause him any stress. Maybe I just wore the face of his mother too much?!. Maybe, just maybe, he caused some of it himself w his mixed messages and treatment of me like a girlfriend. But perhaps that’s pipe dreams. And I take full responsibility for my end of things. Just hope someday he empties his cup enough to feel happy and say hi and perhaps we can be in each others lives again. But I won’t hold my breath. 50/50 shot and I do know it’s his loss even tho I feel it now. I hope if it really was as strong a connection as I think it was, then it will be & he will return (albeit to something fresh and new and a perhaps whole lot more instability and issues for him to endure haha ). I hope that in the months to come that day comes. I’m not a demon and I didn’t do very much wrong. My heart is as pure and good as it gets. I’m just perfectly flawed like the rest of us. So I let go. Thank you. Thank you.
 
That is about all you can do. Own what you own. Place all his crap at his feet, not your baggage. People with PTSD can be like everyone else, they can be mildly annoying due to PTSD, they can be outright nightmarish due to PTSD. Its a spectrum for sure, and all are not created equally. Some are high functioning in many areas of their life, they may just suffer in one area. Some suffer in all areas of functioning (work, relationships, socialising, etc).

When I was super seriously ill with PTSD, and never even knew it. I can see things now I couldn't then, like a pattern of dating until it got serious, at which point I bailed. It was easier to be in a new relationship with someone who didn't really know me or care about me too much at that stage, than to commit into anything serious. I didn't know that then, but I know now because I can see that pattern I had formed.

It really is only because of my now wife that I broke that pattern, and that is a combination of her approaching me and me not wanting to actually be without her in my life. I changed for the most part, not her. Nothing she did could change me, I had to change me. I didn't want to change me in all prior relationships, of which all failed... but this one, for me, was different. She got me. I get her. I've never been so much about a partner as I am about my wife. What I know now vs the past.

If someone wants to be with you, I mean, really be with you, they will move heaven and earth to make it happen. I made shit happen for one person in my history of relationships, my now wife. Everyone else... I was passing time with, not really knowing that consciously, but it was there, certainly in my actions. My actions spoke volumes for what I felt, but could not express.

Don't take it personally what he has done. You seem to be a fairly healthy minded person looking for understanding, and I hope some of what you have gained has helped. Unfortunately, you will never really know why from him, because he unlikely knows himself at this stage and his actions are speaking volumes over any words he could provide you. Interpret as you need, as you are the person who knows the answers best.
 
Honestly sweetie you’re hung up on this guy and it’s not good for you. Even if he somehow realized he overreacted, and he came back around, his emotional issues would still be there. Things like this would happen again. He clearly told you he didn’t want to date, now he showed you as much.

When a troubled person says he/she doesn’t want to date, and the other person thinks it’s a good idea anyway… I’ve never seen it end well. This is how it ends.

Take it as a lesson learned, and move on to something more productive. I know this isn’t what you want to hear, but it’s the best advice we have.
 
I dated a fearful avoidant for 7 months which started casual and became a situationship. He never wanted a relationship obviously due to his past and how his past relationships ended but it progressed between us and we began to be together daily and I even met his children. Our connection was undeniable and strong. He became my best friend. I never pressured him for more and always allowed him to be be him.
At the 6 month mark, a few times I’d show up (more quietly than usual) and try to communicate with him (I was quiet to process and communicate properly) which he’d say triggered his ptsd and he’d pull back and hold a grudge & tell me not to do it again. He warned me if it continued he’d leave. The last time, we experienced a threesome where I was a bit distant & quiet (I just wasn’t into it) and he got triggered again and bailed on our situation. I have since reached out a couple times (in a month) and sent him a anonymous gift on vday (which he placed to me and got very angry and told me to stop contacting him) where he has said he’s not angry, but wants nothing to do with me ever again (feels hostile to me) and that I don’t get it, but I trigger his ptsd and to leave him be. I never quite knew what triggered it and how I was showing up that triggered him so I didn’t quite know what to change or how to approach him. I think it was just a change in my demeanor that somehow reminded him of his past abuse (violent abusive father and very young codependent mother). He was also a cop which I think aided and further fueled his ptsd.
I guess I just wonder is this it? Will his disassociation and fight or flight calm someday? Will he ever see I’m not to villain nor intended to hurt him? Or maybe he will but be resolute in his decision that I’m no good for him. He definitely has some symptoms of bpd (believe he idealized me - even called me a unicorn- then devalued me and his demonizing me feels very bpd like) and can see clearly his somatic and avoidant reactions to the stress he felt. He smokes a lot of pot and has lots of casual relationships w women but don’t think he expected to meet someone he liked like me . He said he used to have more tolerance for this kind of behavior or stress (assuming from past girlfriends) but has since decided that he doesn’t want that in his life. I get that.
I do see he keeps in touch w exes so I have hope there that someday he will return. I just didn’t really do anything wrong. I just didn’t get it and his failure to communicate specifics caused it to happen again. I know that he is triggered and I did not cause it. Some of my last response to him were a bit more firm and even one not so happy but others I have told him I’m understand and love him and I’m always here.
Does anyone have experience w this behavior of his and do you just move on and cut contact or do you return when you see I’m not the devil and did everything I could to be there for him? How long does the trigger and anger last? I feel like I’d been split by him (like a bpd would do) currently. I’m just this devil even tho he says he’s not mad. Will he ever miss me or just repress my memory w weed and women and doesn’t even have any good thoughts about me and never will again? I’m just confused and sad and want to reach out and tell him I get it now. As I do get it more than I did. And I’m here. But he has asked for no contact so I know I must respect that.
I’m just be wildered and while I’m working on me wonder if there is any hope of reconciliation, if even just as friends.
Hi, was very interested to read your post, it was almost as though I'd written it about myself and my own situation. Interesting also you mention bpd as I was beginning to suspect my ptsd boyfriend of having this disorder. This is now March and he came off his medication in November last year saying he 'just wanted to be normal'. After being seemingly ok for a couple of weeks he started to say odd things which were mildly hurtful, not in an angry way but just slipped into a conversation. I read that if PTSD is not treated it can result in a bipolar disorder. He made a 'joking' comment about dumping me as soon as he'd got all.his stuff out of his last place and into his new place - I drive and he doesn't, so I made about six to and fro journeys with my car packed with his stuff. As soon as I'd done all the to and fro-ing he went quiet, no explanations, just 'I need space to sort my head out and I get anxious and worried if I think about anything else'. So I don't hear from him, or see him for over 3 weeks. The change in him is hard to understand, from loving, affectionate and attentive he is now curt and matter of fact, there is no affection whatsoever. I wonder if he is becoming bipolar and he has no medication and refuses to seek therapy (which he says doesn't work anyway). Like you I am curious if he will ever return to the person he was, perhaps if he re-started medication, what would his thoughts be on how he left me and what he gave up. I don't think being 'friends' would ever be possible, how can you 'act' like a friend when you miss that touch which is now forbidden. Don't be bewildered, like the moderator said, be hurt, cry, let loose your feelings - but move on when yours tears dry. Leave him alone with his thoughts, if you have done nothing wrong there is nothing he can pick on to justify his actions. Maybe one day he was regret how he treated you but hopefully by that time you will have met someone who is not going to ghost you and break your heart. Good luck my friend, we are both in the same boat - high and dry but life goes on and who knows what lies round the corner.
 
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