When the anger turns to sadness

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Shell92127

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Re: When the anger turns to sadness
« Reply #15 on: September 13, 2017, 05:09:31 PM »
"This is known as 'The Silent Treatment'...which he does all the time, whenever he is upset with me. Childish, you ask?"

yes Cenzi - it's childish and dismissive. He is distancing himself.  My ex narc would do this too. Claim he was too busy to talk. Or he would call and say "I didn't call to talk..".
 :-\
It's a way of devaluing you-making you unimportant. Well I finally had enough of it and I hope one day soon you'll get your fill of this abusive crap too!

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mdana

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Re: When the anger turns to sadness
« Reply #16 on: September 13, 2017, 07:02:13 PM »
Cenzi.....

So many people in big careers don't have much maturity or relational skills! 

So, from what I have learned ... most people don't have solid relational skills. We all develop them as we go along, usually by trial and error. PD's, are stuck because they don't believe they have any flaws, so there's nothing to fix. There is something wrong with all of us, it's just a matter of degree AND can we grow/change?. So, from what you describe, it's difficult to know if this is an issue of relational skills, or rigidity r/t PD, but it seems that is what you are trying to figure out. I have read your post (but, not sure I have read all of them, so maybe I am missing pieces of information). Nevertheless, you can find out for sure, if you can give it a test to two. 

Meeting half way is a form of 'stretching'.  Can HE stretch for you... can YOU stretch for him? There is no perfect relationship, so often we are tasked with deciding how much we can stretch (meet the other person) in order to make it work. It's a two way street.  You will know pretty quick if he is able (or even willing).

Your examples were good. Meeting someone 1/2 (or part of the way) begins w/ understanding the other person.  Where are they coming from? What was their childhood and life like (someone that has spent very little time in a family unit, may not feel comfortable being in a family unit)? What are their strengths and weaknesses? And in your case, Why does he feel this way towards your children?  We can assume it's because he is selfish and doesn't want anyone in your life but himself, and maybe you already know this.

But, if you are unsure, there's are a few ways to find out.

So your part can include asking him why?  It seems he is uncomfortable showing affection when your daughter is around..?  AND, that he prefers private, alone time w/ you? That doesn't seem too unreasonable, the question is ... is that all? What is underneath the discomfort? AND, is he willing to meet half way?

Understanding his discomfort and seeing if certain solutions can work, is the next step.  So, perhaps agree to share time together in your home when your daughter is not there (initially). Maybe you can go to his place for a bit? In return, you could ask him to get to know your daughter on NEUTRAL ground ...and slowly?  Neutral ground is the best ground to build a relationship if there is fear or animosity. See if he is willing to get to know your children, if you are willing to spend time at his place (or he come to your place when your daughter is not there)? You mentioned he doesn't have a solid family background, which tells me he may not have any idea how to function as part of a family unit.  He may feel uncomfortable in a family setting, afraid. That's all ok...if he is willing to work at it (with you).

AND, when your daughter mentioned missing your other partner, explore that w/ him too (if he is even willing).  Let him tell you how it felt and why he believes it was intentional?  Just listen.  Notice what he says...his expressions.  Don't defend, judge or say anything. Listen with curiosity.  Later on, you can process what you think about it, but often when we become defensive or reply too quickly, we don't get to see the 'real' situation.  Then, we walk away unsure what really happened because we interjected too soon.

Yes, I would think accepting that he is potentially your life partner (acknowledging that w/ him if it is appropriate) and giving him priority (in some areas of your life) is a good way to help solidify the relationship (if you decide that is what you want).  If he needs that reassurance and he is willing to give you some space related to your kids, that may work.  Boundaries are important, and they work on both ends.  See if he can learn to respect your boundaries related to your family, and see if you are willing to accommodate some of his.

I dated a wonderful man whose kids called him ALL THE TIME!!  We lived in different parts of the state, so our time together was limited to 1 weekend/month. Both of us had kids. Between the two of us, 4 were in their mid-20's, 2- teens 14 & 17 years old.  We spent time together only when both our kids were w/ the other parent (ex's).  It began to bother me that his kids would call several times a day, during our weekend together.  SO, I mentioned that given our limited time, I had asked my kids to only call me if it was important or urgent because I valued our time alone together. I asked if he would do the same. I often sat at dinner (or breakfast) watching him chat on the phone w/ either of his kids for no less than 30 minutes at a time (sometimes over an hour). It was never urgent or anything that could not wait a day or two.  Our relationship was not a priority (I was not a priority) in my mind.  We discussed it and the conclusion was (he never said it in these exact words) that after his divorce, he felt so much guilt that he failed his children, that he was trying to make up for it by being there now. His daughter at the time was 24, his son 17.  That didn't work for me. Boundaries are important (with kids too...). My children understood the boundary and waited until Sunday evening to tell me about their weekend. They wanted me to find a life partner ... and gave me that space.

I don't know if this is helpful to you or not.  If not...disregard it! You won't hurt my feelings one bit! Every situation is different, so keep that in mine. 

XOXOXO
M


Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive. The Dalai Lama

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Cenzi

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Re: When the anger turns to sadness
« Reply #17 on: September 13, 2017, 08:40:20 PM »
So, I appreciate your sincere response mdana.  you did say that you hadn't read all the posts, so there is a piece that is important . He has very often stayed at my house for the weekend. My Son was in Boston and my daughter had her own apartment for 3 years. We were very used to being here alone. I probably spend more weekends at his home. I do think there's an underlying fear that he isn't loved and in the end will be less important than my kids. I don't see it quite that way as though it were a competition. I do believe it is more about respecting boundaries and doing it with love, and not begrudge them, because we know it benefits the relationship. Honestly, my children don't interfere. When she is here she chats a bit with me after work, then spends time in her room and talking to friends, to her fiancé, making wedding plans, etc
I do wonder what is beneath the discomfort of being around her. Also, I don' think he feels my daughter mentioning my ex was was intentional . He has told me because I asked..that he felt compared to him and that she should have known better than to talk about him in front of him. I tried to explain to him that my daughter was well aware that he knew I still saw my ex, who is chronically i'll with interstitial lung disease..and was fine with it. I see my ex occasionally to get him out of the house...it's quite a chore with the oxygen tanks, and trying to pick up a wheelchair to put into the trunk   and being responsible for him when he's out. I do this because most of his friends and our common friends have distanced themselves a bit because he was in CA for 2 years, having been close to death and in a coma for 3 months....and now that he is back here in the east, it is too difficult for most of them to do mange this sort of thing with all the medical equipment and responsibility. We are in our 60's. My partner understands I do it to help improve the quality of his life so he he isn't lying in a recliner or bed for weeks at a time. My partner thinks it is a kindness. So, my daughter knew this and likely didn't think it was much out of line to simply mention she was excited to see him after him being away for 2 years.
So there must be something underneath of it. I guess I will just ask him.. When we got back together in April, I had dinner with my two kids and told them he felt a bit of an outsider and how he perceived the two events that happened. They felt badly and asked what they could do to help make him feel more accepted.. They have been very nice to him since then, but he doesn't engage them. I feel like he can't let it go and holds a grudge over something that was done not out of malice, but innocence and in my son's case perhaps awkwardness, perhaps not knowing how to respond to someone who goes on and on and on with a story until it is so distant from the original conversation, that they lose interest.. He does that with me . We've probably all have had that experience and been on both ends of the discomfort. You just shrug it off and know not to do it again when you're with that particular person., or don't engage someone like that too often.
The other issue is that we often have difficulty exchanging information when we have a disagreement because it turns into blaming and raising of voices..and we never get anywhere..it becomes circular.
This bothers me a great deal. As one responder said..a BPD often thinks they have no flaws so there is nothing to fix. I do think he has this attitude. He once said to me that he doesn't do anything wrong.
He' an intense type of person, but I've had the opportunity to get to know his softer side. He is kind to me and thoughtful most of the time. He says he treats me like gold...but I think it depends on your definition...because I think treating someone like gold includes emotional support, respect for their feelings and attempting to find solutions in a disagreement rather than blaming and yelling. I have to say I am also guilty of the same at times...like we do this dance. Funny, how that happens with certain people.... like my ex-wife and my oldest son...they're the only two,people that can push my buttons...and of course my present partner.  not so,with my other kids or other relationships.
I,almost just want to give up because it's too damn hard sometimes dealing with things like his silent treatment and the effort to make it work... maybe it's more telling than I want to hear.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2017, 09:10:11 PM by Cenzi »
Cenzi

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Shell92127

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Re: When the anger turns to sadness
« Reply #18 on: September 14, 2017, 07:57:46 AM »

 insensitive behavior of the PD people actually robs us of our
loving feelings because we non pd's are loving and caring and we like feeling loving and caring, when they
mistreat us it robs us of our ability to always be loving and caring!

Erik Fromm wrote 'The Art of Loving' many years ago -  he explains the importance of :

(1) Knowledge.

The couple gives knowledge of themselves to each other, e.g., communicates, and, thus, builds intimacy and avoids misunderstandings.

(2) Caring.

They really care about each other. Since, really, they are sharing so much of their lives, they really are 'partners' in life whether they thought they wanted to be or not. So, they are in a small canoe crossing rough waters and, each, if only for their own sake, very much needs to care about the health, effectiveness, loyalty, devotion, etc. of their partner.

(3) Respect.

This means no contempt, destructive competition, silent treatment, sarcasm, sabotage, etc. permitted.

(4) Responsiveness.

They need to respond to each other. Each needs to feel needed and that their partner will have their back.

In a good relationship, really, there is no substitute for the couple needing each other and really knowing that.

lately i have been reading about the new studies on
attachment & bonding.
a basic secure connection with someone else is a BOND.
and through this bond, partners become emotionally
dependent on each other for nurturing, soothing and protection.
we have a wired in need for emotional contact and responsiveness from
significant others..it's a survival response..the need for secure attachment never disappears.
being attached to someone provides our greatest sense of security and safety. it means depending
on a partner to respond when you call or reach out, to know that you matter to him and that
you are cherished and that he will respond to your emotional needs.
emotional isolation is traumatizing for humans -  the brain actually
codes it as danger. i know how traumatized and devastated i was when my beloved husband of over 30 years
suddenly became ill and died in 2014.
 he was my MAIN long time basic secure connection.
friends, siblings, children & grandchildren all can help but NOTHING replaces that primary BOND we
once had with our long time partners for widows and widowers who had great relationships. google dr sue johnson and look at her videos on youtube. her books are
LOVE SENSE and HOLD ME TIGHT. People over age 50 are especially in need of secure attachment bonds.

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Cenzi

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Re: When the anger turns to sadness
« Reply #19 on: September 14, 2017, 09:18:24 AM »
Reading this makes me feel like I've failed with him...I do want to be there for him, I do care about making him feel secure, that I will be there...but does that mean I neeed to support some of what I consider unreasonable needs?...like to be first before my children? I can't alienate my kids or abandon them...I don't see how letting her stay with me for 5 months takes anything away from out relationship...as posted earlier, since we see each other on weekends, we have plenty of opportunity on a weekend for privacy and intimacy when at my house...and we stay at his house many weekends.  If my daughter happens to come home from work at 10PM one night while we're at my place and there until 11AM the next morning...I can't see how delaying any further need for privacy...for a handful of hours..when there are other opportunities...creates a hardship.

I want those things too..support, affectionate, respect...a partner in life.. I'm so confused...do you think I let him down by having my daughter stay with me temporarily? are you saying I should have made him first? and told my daughter she can't move in?
Cenzi

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mdana

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Re: When the anger turns to sadness
« Reply #20 on: September 14, 2017, 11:21:24 AM »
Cenzi

Sorry if I confused you. At one time you asked what meeting half way could look like, so that's what the examples were about on my end.  But, they didn't imply you had not already tried to make it work, nor that you should.

What really matters, is what feels right to you at this time. We don't really need a reason to end a relationship, other than "its not working for me".  And, what works for 1 person doesn't for another.

When I struggle to make a decision I do a couple of things. First, I sit quietly, picturing myself in the situation I'm debating about. I then notice what feelings come up. I try to avoid thinking with words and just stay focused on the feelings. Are they pleasant? Angry? Tumultuous?   I have come to a place in my  life where I don't want to have more stress, pain or problems. They will come anyway, but I am more conscious of my decisions that play a role.

I also ask myself : Will being in this relationship make my life better, or worse?  Better (for me) means: less complicated, more happiness, enhanced. Worse (for me) means more complicated, stressed, expending too much energy.

My apologies if my post confused you in any way...

❤️





Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive. The Dalai Lama

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Cenzi

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Re: When the anger turns to sadness
« Reply #21 on: September 14, 2017, 11:52:23 AM »
No, I was responding to the previous post which left me a bit more confused by the posting siting the studies on attachment and bonding and the need for emotional support...

I appreciate all responses..It's difficult finding your way, especially after being in a relationship for  16 years which was mostly a satisfying relationship. I feel like a lost kid...trying to make my way, so all the responses are informative and gives me information to sort out. He still has not called me and today especially I am thinking more about whether he will or not, whether I should call him...it's wearing on me.
Cenzi

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Shell92127

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Re: When the anger turns to sadness
« Reply #22 on: September 14, 2017, 12:17:49 PM »
No, I was responding to the previous post which left me a bit more confused by the posting siting the studies on attachment and bonding and the need for emotional support...

I appreciate all responses..It's difficult finding your way, especially after being in a relationship for  16 years which was mostly a satisfying relationship. I feel like a lost kid...trying to make my way, so all the responses are informative and gives me information to sort out. He still has not called me and today especially I am thinking more about whether he will or not, whether I should call him...it's wearing on me.

Cenzi-no way was I implying YOU were not being supportive enough of HIM. I was saying that MY ex narc robbed me of my loving feelings towards HIM by his insensitive behavior. I bent over backwards trying to help him, be there for him in every possible way. Sometimes he was sweet and caring but many times he was horrible, nasty and abusive towards me. He could have had something great with me but he could not control his rage and became a source of fear for me. I had had a lot of pain and grief from my husband's death 2 year prior to meeting my ex narc and my narc's behavior actually registered in my brain as PAIN-physical pain! I am saying perhaps that is what is happening to YOU. I was not saying you were causing pain for your "partner". He was dismissive of you-you posted he told you he was too busy to talk to you and he'd let you know when he had time for you. That is heartless and cruel on HIS PART. Not YOURS!
I like what mdana says:

"What really matters, is what feels right to you at this time. We don't really need a reason to end a relationship, other than "its not working for me".  And, what works for 1 person doesn't for another.

When I struggle to make a decision I do a couple of things. First, I sit quietly, picturing myself in the situation I'm debating about. I then notice what feelings come up. I try to avoid thinking with words and just stay focused on the feelings. Are they pleasant? Angry? Tumultuous?   I have come to a place in my  life where I don't want to have more stress, pain or problems. They will come anyway, but I am more conscious of my decisions that play a role.

I also ask myself : Will being in this relationship make my life better, or worse?  Better (for me) means: less complicated, more happiness, enhanced. Worse (for me) means more complicated, stressed, expending too much energy...."

Think about what you are actually getting from this "relationship" with your "partner". Seems to me you are getting mostly PAIN. 

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Cenzi

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Re: When the anger turns to sadness
« Reply #23 on: September 14, 2017, 02:17:53 PM »
I think you are right about the devaluing. This is his way of saying you're not so important. It is gnawing at me. I wanted to try to discuss this...he agreed, said it was a good idea to let the weekend pass, since we were both still a bit upset...and then when I contact him he says he is too busy...Maybe I am just spending too much time being concenred about this relationship and need to move on...it's hard to do after 2 years. We practicaly lived together from October thru January as I was recuperating from foot surgery and he came to my house from Thursday thru Monday...every week for about 10 weeks...I'm attached...but it's not easy
Cenzi

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Shell92127

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Re: When the anger turns to sadness
« Reply #24 on: September 14, 2017, 03:39:36 PM »
Cenzi - love and value YOURSELF enough to quit putting up with nasty behavior. A partner is supposed to
add to your life in positive ways and make your life BETTER! Not worse. Whatever you tolerate  is what you will get more of. If I love someone I want to know all about that person and I will always make time to talk and listen. I want that in return. Don't you want that for yourself too ? You were posting about this "partner" of yours when i fist got on this board last spring and he was upsetting you then and he still is. You were ready to move on back then as I recall. When is enough enough?

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Cenzi

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Re: When the anger turns to sadness
« Reply #25 on: September 14, 2017, 03:59:36 PM »
Youre right...he was upsetting me then...and I wanted to take a break...and he cut it off. We started seeing each other in April after long discussions..wanting to do it right and not make too many demands...and things have gone well. We get along well and enjoy each others company, unless there is a big disagreement...then it all goes to hell and is quite disturbing. We had a great Spring and Summer; the big problem started when I said it was OK for my daughter to move in. I know he harbored these feeling towards my kids and wasn't entirley comfortable around them because he thought they owed him an apology and they didn't apologize...They weren't around...my daughter had her apartment and my son was in Boston. Now my son has moved back into the are into his own place in downtown Philadelphia and my daughter is with me. He resented that I let her move in, despite his objections about it...so, now , yes he is upsetting me once again.

Today I am having a tough time, because I want to call him to gat this straightened out and see if we can possibly do anything about it so that we are both satisfied...but I hesitate to call him for fear of being sucked into a blaming, yelling, talking over one another...interaction..and probably getting steamrolled by him. That's not my thing....but he's a pro at it. I keep asking myself what the attraction is. I honestly think woman can stand to be alone better than men. I don't like it. I have a lot of energy for 65 and I want to get up and go most of the time...can't stand being at home alone for too long.I enjoyed his company and we have a lot in common...but seem to have strong differing views about certain things. Maybe I think he's going to change...which is probably wishful thinking...so I hang in there...thinking he'll see the folly of his ways...

I think I have a fear that I won't be able to find anyone else...in the gay world, I do think there are a disproportionate number of alcoholics and unstable men, either financially or mentally. Actually I think there have been studies and its true for the entire LGBTQ community. Likely due to being repressed for so long. So, when you find someone who is loyal, honest, has good values, is financially stable, handsome...and your attracted to one another ...well what can I say? I guess it comes down to what a person is willing to live with...and right now I just don't know...I don't want this sort of thing going on in my 'golden' years...it will wear me out. he's 7 years younger than I am.
Cenzi

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mdana

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Re: When the anger turns to sadness
« Reply #26 on: September 14, 2017, 05:32:29 PM »
You seem torn between the good and the bad of the relationship. If the bad was greater than the good, the answer seems strait forward.

But, is it worth it for you to consider doing nothing for a while?

Just wait and see what happens? See if he reaches out. If he does, establish some rules and boundaries for how you will communicate and stick to it. Like, "I'll meet and talk, but here are my boundaries ...No yelling, no accusing or... we stop the conversation, and if you cancel or don't show, we're done"

Maybe consider deciding on a certain amount of "wait and see" time that feels right for you.  During that time you can shift the focus for a bit onto YOU. Pick up a hobby, read a good book, do some soul searching?

Just an idea... if you have already decided to leave it, disregard this!
Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive. The Dalai Lama

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Cenzi

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Re: When the anger turns to sadness
« Reply #27 on: September 14, 2017, 07:58:59 PM »
when we connected last Thursday, I suggested we let the weekend pass and perhaps talk this week Mon or We'd without arguing, or talking over one another, or yelling...just tell each other what was going on inside. He said Ok, in fact he said he thought it was a good idea. I said I would contact him on Monday to check in. When I texted him on Monday and said I could call Mon eve or come to speak in person, his response was
'I'm busy tonight so we can talk another night, I rather not have you come here'...when I questioned that, saying he had agreed to discuss, he responded with 'I'm busy with plans the next few days, I'll let u know when I'm free to talk '... Haven't hard from him.
One responder said this is his 'de-valuing' me, to say that I'm not important. I think he is hurt because I told him he holds grudges( for 9 months in the case of my son and daughter) and that he can't let things go. I know he felt criticized and can't handle criticism. I really do think he has a problem with that....what most people would shrug off..he has fixated on for nine months and now views my kids as mean and disrespectful...when really it was not out of malice, but innocence and an awkwardness. This is his silent treatment of me. I really do want to discuss with him, but hesitate to call, because I think he will be unable to talk without arguing and blaming and he will get angry again and very likely say he's done and bring up all my past 'transgressions' as proof of it being too difficult.. Honestly , I feel like I'm the more reasonable one and he feels like he never does anything wrong or has any flaws...always pins it on me
Cenzi

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Cenzi

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Re: When the anger turns to sadness
« Reply #28 on: September 14, 2017, 08:39:03 PM »
So, I decided to email him and express that I do think we need to discuss, without the yelling , blaming and talking over one another, so we can find out hat each of us was feeling that caused us to act out of anger...what is it we each felt we were 't getting. They say when we act out of anger we are acting out of a wounded place... I f we care deeply for one another, I think it's important that we find out where that place is in each other. So, we will see if he responds. I trave Il this weekend for work, but back Saturday evening. I wanted to let him know my intention without asking why he hasn't contacted me, or making him feel like he is doing something to me by not contacting me.
It seems reasonable to me. I honestly don't know which way it will go.
Thank you everyone for your interest and support and suggestions...It's so good to have others understand you and offer help or their own stories of similar difficulty... At least I know I'm not crazy...I think mdana, you are correct when you say that many adults don't have good relationship skills. I'm one of hose people...but I am trying. At least I'm aware and that is the first step. I never bought into the idea that ignorance is bliss...and still don't
Cenzi

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mdana

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Re: When the anger turns to sadness
« Reply #29 on: September 14, 2017, 09:03:17 PM »
I agree that you are the more reasonable one Cenzi ...

It's reasonable, to want to talk things through when there is discord or conflict.  Some people, though ... can't.  They can't sit at the table and talk things through, negotiate, admit they are 'hurt', or even wrong.  They run ...when they can't deal with conflict, pain or unpleasant emotions. Regardless of the reasons though, they are not available. 

He is not available to you.  It's a different story, if he were to say "I'm not ready to talk yet, I need more time" (that would be a mature response). But, to say he is busy and let it hang .... is immature and childish ---it's what a small child (think toddler) does when he/she feels hurt. Some people are clueless about anyone else needs but their own. I tend to see it as dismissive.  Dismissive of your needs and requests (providing you made them clear, which it seems you did). 

So... the ball is in your court ... You are seeing some of his character flaws.  You are seeing how he handles and copes with hurt, conflict, problems ... disagreement...
You get to decide if that works for you or not.  How you feel about it?  Does the good outweighs the bad?  It does take 2 to be in a relationship, so right now there is only 1 of you ...

XOXOXO

M


Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive. The Dalai Lama