Commitment-Phobic?

By Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP


I’ve been with my boyfriend for 7 months…One month of which was when he broke up with me in late March and we got back together in late April.
When I first met him, he said something along the lines of “Girls are LUCKY if they ever meet my friends and family.” I didn’t give much thought to it, because I thought, well, maybe he’s just saying that.
When we broke up in March, he dumped me saying I had too many demands and he couldn’t provide the love that I needed. When we got back together in late April, it turned out that he said he did a lot of thinking and couldn’t let me go because he “saw me in his future.” Still in love with him, I got back together with him.
Well, one day, I was cleaning his room (which I HAVE NEVER done for another man in my life ever before–I wanted to show him how special he is) and I noticed two hairpins on his end table that were not mine. I also noticed that the condoms he said “he ran out and bought because he was afraid of getting me pregnant while I started the birth control pills” were suddenly gone from the windowsill where they were a week ago…..I hate to say it, but 2 months into our relationship, we weren’t using condoms, and we still aren’t. (I got tested last week and am clear…but now I’m rethinking the non condom thing…stupid..I know).
So, my suspicions started. The next week, alone in his room (He lets me stay alone and sleep in in his apartment when we go out sun night, or a week night while he works–I have a weird not-too-typical schedule). So, I snooped. Yes. I did:( And, in a suitcase he uses as extra storage for his clothes, I found the clinic condoms that had been taken from the windowsill along with a box of Trojans (a ten count box) with only 4 condoms left. There was also an empty Trojan wrapper in with the rest of the condoms. Along with that, were my earrings and panties I had left a week before. Keep in mind, we have not used a condom since March, and before we got back together in April he moved from one apartment to a new one. Next, yes, snooped again:(, I checked his wallet (He didn’t bring it to work with him–just cash in his pocket). In his wallet was a condom and a card to an escort in the area he lives.
The following week when he got up to use the bathroom, I looked back in the wallet, and I noticed an additional condom put into the wallet (one was missing from the pocket in the suitcase) and the escort card was gone. I confronted him about all the condoms, and the wrapper, but I never mentioned the escort card–I still don’t know why I didn’t.
His explanations were: “Those were old clinic condoms I put back in there that we were gonna use.” Then he said the box was old and he just found it recently. When I pressed him about the condom wrapper, he said it was old. I said “Then why is the lube wet in it?” He finally said, in April, before we got back together, that he slept with a one night stand from a bar, and that must be the wrapper from the one night stand. He said silicone lube can stay wet if enclosed in a dark suitcase. True. I called the condom company, and they confirmed it can happen if its in a dark place:( yes, I know, already, sounds like I don’t trust him. When I asked about the wallet, he said that he carries condoms in his wallet because his brother who suffers from schizophrenia (paranoid type) checks his wallet to see if he has condoms every time he visits him to make sure that he is protected during sex because if he doesn’t he’ll tell the mother and the mother will get angry because he already got a girl pregnant. (I also know about his son and his sons mom–he visits every Friday, sometimes fri and sat). I said, “well doesn’t your brother know we do it at your place, and you’re with me?” He said, “He doesn’t believe things he cannot see.”
Okay, so that’s that part of it. Now, he won’t introduce me to his family because he says that it has to be over a year until I meet them. he says he won’t introduce me to his friends because, well, before we got back together in April, he said I needed “tweaking” I told him to accept me like I am or not, and then he stopped saying that when we got back together. Then he said his friends are busy all the time, and now he says I can’t meet them, because his friends are “stupid.” Okay, so we go on dates, but since we’ve been arguing about these issues, he rarely initiates calling me/texting me–unless I ask repeatedly. He says its because, every time I have seen him in the past two months, we have had a disagreement.
When I have confronted him, he says he does this with every girlfriend he has been with–it takes a while to meet ppl he knows.
I feel confused. The not calling, texting, and the random circumstantial evidence in his room–is it cheating? Or is it just typical guy forgetfulness sloppiness and distance from fighting too much?
And not introducing….does he really do this with everyone, or is it just with me? because I’m embarrassing, or a dirty little secret on the side? Please help! My last long term relationship was highly physically abusive (he knows this) and I just want a loving fulfilled one. Although, I still have extreme anxiety–I’m not perfect at all, either.

A: Hmmm – Let’s review: Hairpins that are not yours, condoms you aren’t using are missing, new condoms have been used and the wrapper for one is there, he is with his ex every Friday when he visits his son, and keeps a rubber in his wallet to keep his brother happy. Won’t introduce you to his friends or family and rarely calls or texts you.

What is it you love about this guy?

The bottom line is you just want a loving, fulfilled relationship. Without assuming he will change one bit — can you tolerate everything the way it is? If not, it is time to give him his walking papers.

But if you can tolerate it, a couples counselor may be necessary to help with the issues. The find help tab at the top of this page can help you find one in your area.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 23 Jul 2012

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2012). Commitment-Phobic?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 23, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2012/07/23/commitment-phobic/

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