Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Commitment Phobes: Revisited..

I have received another comment from a reader of mine. This one is quite touchy. It's actually a comment that was made on my "Commitment Phobes: Exposed" article that I did a while back. Here it goes...

Dear N.

Great post. Do you have anymore insight? Five months ago my commitmentphobic ex broke up with me after a year. I'm still devastated. I have read hundreds of books and articles on this fear, gone to therapy and doing my best to pick myself up. I miss him terribly and I am still depressed. I am his longest relationship.He has a poor dating history, verrry short relationships ( a few months) and we have had a long history of attraction toward each other. I'm 31 and he's 37. We dated once when I was 22. Something keeps bringing us back together. I finally thought our timing was right to stay together. Although I never brought up marriage or kids, he sabotaged the relationship and checked out. Now especially at my age (and his), my dreams of marriage and kids with him are shattered. I feel like he is a complete stranger now. We aren't even friends. Any advice that I haven't heard before? Seriously I've spent 5 months reading every article and forum just trying to understand his psyche. - Anonymous

Dear Anonymous,

First of all, I'm not a commitment phobe expert. What I do know though is that everyone has a reason for being a commitment phobe. Whether it be a past relationship, an experience that the person lived through or a traumatic experience, each person has a reason for having this phobia. Like any phobia or any psychological issue, there is a root somewhere. Daddy issues, mommy issues, really, reasons are endless. Maybe he is the one that should do therapy to figure out why he can't commit. I do not know your man, hence I can't really know why he can't commit and why he feels this pressure. 
I think someone can be a commitment phobe at any age, and yes I do think it's sad that this didn't work out the way it should. What I also know, is that you are not the one to blame. You think, but what is wrong with me that I can't get him hooked?! As stupid as this might sound, it's not you, it's him. Now, if you have read tons of articles and tons of info on this subject, you probably know all this by know. But this is the best insight I can give you. 

Now I open this up to my readers, some of which are commitment phobes, and I'm wondering if you can help me and help my reader with this issue. I know most of you are pretty smart people who have all been through their fair share of relationship issues, so maybe you can add something that I don't know about. 

Please include your comments below, because you know, we all want to get down to the bottom of the Whys? and Hows?.



Anonymous said...

You should forget to try to figure out his psyche, and move on. And, I'm saying this in a kind way. He/it is not worth your time, effort and worry.
Maybe you can try to be grateful that he broke it up, particularly if he has some unresolved (like the commitment thing) issues.You should also feel good that you have had the longest relationship with him.
You will be miserable with a guy like that forever, he will drain you, and put his needs first. It could be worse...he may have fled after you had kids together.
You are still young. It is a large sea out there! Try to find a physical activity, hobby or something else to immerse yourself in, and work on getting a great social life. Be happy & distract yourself.
Good luck

Anonymous said...

Ok. My phone deleted my LONG reply so I hope I can remember everything I wrote. GRR! (my laptop is dead btw) Here goes: Thanks for revisiting this thread and for the comments. Very kind of u. Commitmentphobia def applies to both sexes. You're right. I'm def expending too much energy trying to understand his psyche. What hurts is that it is HE who admits to the cause of his internal issues: commitmentphobia, social anxiety (fear of being judged). rejection, low self-worth,parental divorce, paternal abandonment, maternal death, depression, his bros pathetic marriage and his HUGE group of friends that won't grow up and don't have "healthy" relationships. Again, he's 37 and has been hanging at the same bar since their early 20s. No wonder he doesn't have a good outlook on love. I have read all of his "dark" poetry in which deals w/ suffering but really wanting love.Unfortunately I fell for a wonderful man who came with many internal demons. It hurts that HE brought up going to therapy, but when I asked him about it recently, he said its "on the list". ug.Meanwhile I saw he went on (perfect place for C-phobes) and continues to avoid his issues by partying n drinking. It also hurts that he said that i taught him how to love. (bittersweet...but gimme my damn tools back! wtf!) True love takes work and acceptance. He was too naive and resistant to even give it a try. I guess not trying is what hurts....and its hard to shake off the rejection. I'm doing great regaining my self-confidence back by being very social, allowing myself to have these feelings, playing on several sports teams, etc...I just still miss the man I connected with the most on so many levels. (and I have had several long relationships). You're right, better now than before we ever had kids like his dad did after 17 yrs. I guess my needs really weren't met bc he kept me at a distance. I need to stop fantasizing that he was "the one". I thought it was reciprocated but I was a fool to believe. Thanks again and thx for sayin I'm young!

Anonymous said...


FS said...

HI there, I have recently discovered that I am a "Commitment Phobe"- CP. I am working on my fears and trawling the net for somewhere that I can get together with others and discuss it/help each other. I am in my mid 40's and wish I had known years ago as I have been very lonely for decades. I am working on my self esteem and my partner is hoping that I can sort it.

I dont know if it will help anyone to hear it from my side or not... Everytime my partner tries to do things that help me, it usually doesn't!! Extra trying to be whatever they think I want, tends to increase the pressure on me and therefore the terror. The best thing is to give me more space, whilst being there for my repeated "issues/negative thoughts/fears/wanting to end it" etc, and at the same time not back off too much (my partner cannot find an in between place!)

I am scared of being trapped, or being dumped (happened loads cos most of my relationships have been with other cp's. I had no idea why I was attracting CP's until I realised I was one. I had no idea I was one because I long for intimacy so much (and am not scared of that as such)). I am also scared of losing myself. Eg when a partner wants me to be a certain way, it is easy for me to do this (so easy I can lose myself and so I get scared)so I fight it or want to run off with someone else. There is nothing a partner can do except decide if they want to hang in there. If so they need to know it isn't going to change anytime soon and the CP needs to be COMPLETELY DEDICATED in my opinion, to sorting the problem. It is my no. 1 thing in my life. The worst thing for my partner is that they see someone who doesn't appear to care quite often, and at other times they seem to see someone who does: very very painful for them.

If anyone wants to discuss this more, in a open friendly way (I have a preference for your abuse to go to someone else, as I am trying to do my best for everyone)please get in touch. And if anyone knows of any other sites or resources that are free and will help a CP, please let me know!


FS said...

PS Also I am scared of not being able to leave if I am not happy and that I am with the wrong person and if I committ I will then miss the "right" person (even though at a conscious level I know that there isn't any right and wrong, just more and less compatible)

With all these fears, it is no wonder I find it hard.