Boyfriend is acting strange and getting cold feet

I have been with my boyfriend for 4 years. Couple of months ago, we planned an engagement and we were very happy about it. However, there were some conflicts between his family and I so we had to postpone the engagement.

Since, he hasn’t been the same person that I know. Whenever, I bring up an issue that bothers me, he would think that I am complaining. We fight constantly every single week, and each time he would say mean things and blame me saying that it was my fault that I always put words in his mouth.

Recently, I have paid more attention to his behavior around other people. And I have noticed the way he looks at one of his roommates. The way they look at each other is suspicious. But they also share the house with my family members, so if something is going on my relatives would have told me.

We had a fight recently, and I asked him if we still have the same plan about the engagement. He said that half of him wants to half doesn’t. So I told him just to say yes or no, and he said no. I was devastated to hear that, and I guess he sensed my disappointment and told me that he wants us to get married next year.

I am just wondering if he’s lying about the wedding next year and whether or not he’s cheating on me.

Response:

From what you have said, it sounds like your finance has had a change of heart or at least he has some doubts about getting married.

Typically when people want to end a relationship they do it one of two ways: A “sudden death” strategy or a “slowly passing away” (see Duck).

In the first case, people announce their departure from the relationship and they are gone—leaving partners shocked and surprised (see my girlfriend suddenly left me).

In the second case, people slowly let the relationship die by picking fights, being noncommittal, acting inconsiderate, and so on. When using a “slow passing away” strategy people gradually up the costs of being together while decreasing the rewards. Essentially, people make life more and more miserable for their partners until there is nothing left. Put bluntly, people suck the life out of a relationship a little each day until their partners reach their breaking point.

In both cases, often a new romance (third party) is somehow involved.

It is impossible to tell from just an e-mail if your boyfriend is simply having doubts the proposed marriage or if he is looking for a way out or if he has started a new romance. And asking him directly probably won’t get you much closer to the truth.

So it might be best to spend some time thinking about what you need to know and how you are going to get at the truth (see get others to be more honest).

Good luck.

 constant fighting | end of relationship | hostility

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