“Every time I try to get closer to him, he pushes me away”

I lay there beside him, pain welling within my chest. My muscles tight, and shaking slightly. It was an anxiety attack, nothing new. I have been dealing with them for years, but, lately, they had begun getting worse. At times, they would last for hours, sometimes they lasted for days. I used to be able to control it. I would go for walks, listen to music, or play with the cat. Anything to distract myself. Those things didn’t work anymore, not since I met him.

Well, reunited would be a better word than met. I’ve known him off and on for years. He is damaged, like I am. Though, he isn’t weak, like I am. He’s been through so much; horrid relationships, psychotic friends, major depression, suicide attempts, drug addictions, overly judgmental family, and a sick, mentally abusive mother. All of that, and he still came out on top, He still fights to enjoy every second of life. His strength is one of the main things I love about him. I am drawn to it, like a moth to a bug light. One of those electric bug lights, because the closer I get to him, the more it hurts. 

You see, while I lay here gripped with fear, all I want is for him to hold me. A touch from him is all it takes to make me feel safe. Every time I try to get closer to him, to put my body against his, he pushes me away. He has no idea the affect he has on me, but yet, he does. He is my best friend, and the only person in this world who truly understands me. He knows how deeply I feel about him, and yet, he doesn’t love me back.

It’s not like I covet something I cannot have. I mean, it’s really his own fault. In the past, we would start talking again. He would be sweet, and romantic, and act like he had an interest in me. It was always a lie though. Every time I would open up to him, he would immediately shut down. He would say that he wasn’t ready for a relationship, and wanted to be just friends, but, that one day, he wanted to be with me. After a while, I would get tired of it, and cut him out of my life. The last time this happened, we had had a major fight. I broke a promise to him, and his anger hurt my feelings. So I lashed out, and used my anger at him to keep him out of my life for two years. It was childish, I know, but that anger fueled me to be a better person.

A bit ago, he resurfaced, wanting to talk. Against my better judgment, I gave in. he was so sweet, and told me he cared for me so deeply, and missed me. As the saying goes, history repeats itself. I had thought it would be different this time, because he said it would. He says that he always felt that way about me, but the timing was always off. And now, it is apparently off again? It’s not that I don’t understand. He is going through a lot. Lots of stress, his mother is dying, etc, etc. But, the pain is unbearable. With him in my life, I am blinded. I’m stuck, not quite in the friend zone, but somewhere in between that, and a relationship. He says he wants to wait until he can give me 100%, and he just can’t do that right now.

I want to believe him so much, but this nagging feeling won’t go away. I have no confidence in myself, and little trust in others. I feel like I’m just here as his backup plan, but I want to believe that he actually loves me. If you truly loved someone though, would you reach out to them in their time of need? Wouldn’t you wipe their tears away, and hold them till they were better? I’m lost. And this time, I don’t think I can get away. I love him too much to give up this dream that one day he will be my knight in shining armor. He just keeps telling me to be patient, but it’s so hard.

Please, someone tell me what to do.

2 thoughts on ““Every time I try to get closer to him, he pushes me away”

  1. R says:

    I know this isn’t what you want to hear but you need to burn that bridge.

    Burn it to the ground.

    You need to do what is best for you and your life. And I know it sucks and I know you want him to be a part of it but thats just not going happen.

    I had a friend like that once. We were best friends. We acted like an already married couple a lot of the time. People treated us as a package deal. He “needed” me, he said. Over and over. Just not to date. He would date other women, sleep with them— and inevitably treat them like booty calls because he no longer knew how to have a relationship. His emotional needs were being met by me. He “loved me” but “not in the same way”. And I was always there when he needed me. I could not say the same about him. We would fight. I would cut him off for a bit, he’d crawl back, he needed me he’d say, we’d make amends. I wanted him in my life too badly to hold anything against him for too long. Rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat until I felt like I was going mad.

    This is a TOXIC relationship. And Im not saying he’s toxic, or you’re toxic. You’re just people, I don’t like referring to people as “toxic” because thats not fair. People are people, there is good and bad in everyone…. but the bond you two have is bad for both of you.

    You’re letting him have emotional stability and love for scraps in return. With everything he’s been through that may be all you’ll ever get from him unless he were to seek professional help for the skeletons in his closet. And he’s not going to do that as long as he has you as a safety net. And the more you invest in him the harder it will be for you to detach. But you need to. He is strong, like you said, he can handle it. He will survive, don’t worry about him.

    I loved my best friend very very much. But after years of putting myself through an emotional rollercoaster I had to get off. And its not that I don’t care about him anymore— its just that I care about myself more and honestly were both better off now. I think he’s engaged? I don’t know Ive actually finally stopped checking his Facebook (2 years later). I know letting go really sucks, but every day I get a little more stable on my own two feet. And a little closer to meeting someone thats better for me.

    Let the anger fuel you if you need to. Fuel that fire, throw logs on it. Rage. Someday you’ll have enough distance to forgive him without getting sucked back in. And forgive yourself for letting him back in over and over again.

    Im sorry for being so blunt. But I feel your pain I really do and I assure you— you really will be ok with out him. Eventually.

  2. B says:

    I agree with the above comment. Burn that bridge. Burn it and walk away. Whatever you have to do to completely sever ties. I was in a relationship with someone like that. I say relationship because we did indeed date each other and I believed him when he said he loved me. We were engaged even. But he could never open up to me or let me in. He with held affection when it suited him. Cheated on me. Even at one point told me that we were seeing each other but that he didn’t want to actually be with me but that he would one day. He would flip back and forth for years with me hanging on. Hoping it would get better and that he would love me the way I loved him. It’s damaging. He is getting all that he feels he needs or can handle without any of the commitment to you and without giving you what it is you want and need. And because he is being honest with you he feels he is not in the wrong because you know where he stands so it’s you’re own choice to still be in this relationship with him. It’s going to eat you alive and may even cause trust issues and anxiety that can carry over into future relationships if you don’t end it now. Good luck.

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