Originally Posted by LoveBunny
That sucks. I hate when people backtrack in relationships, and I have been in a similar situation where I was heartbroken over someone and my spouse didn't want to hear it. Also sucks. When it got really bad and I really needed my spouse's support, he gave it to me, though I knew he found it uncomfortable. I'm sure your wife would help you if really feel bad. Otherwise, you can talk to us for a support system.
Thank you (all) so much. It helps, as I hoped it would, to read of others who've been through this, and even to have some of my emotional blindspots pointed out to me.
"Backtracking" is a good enough word, I guess, for what I feel is going on with him, though it's also (as others have pointed out) perhaps a less-deliberate, more "natural" fading of NRE--happening sooner and to a greater extent on his part than on mine. Ah, if only all relationships were perfectly synchronous, right? :-)
He's got good reasons: much busier in his professional life than he was when we met, also now casually dating someone else so less one-directional focus of erotic energy to me only, has (I suspect) scratched the itch of some things we've tried that were firsts for him (and for me--which he enjoyed--we both did--but know he knows, so the urgency to find out is lessened, as is the fantasy value), and has had some things going on in his lives with friends and family that have taken more of his emotional time and attention. Had this all started happening after a more gradual diminution of our level of contact, I think I would have been much more sanguine about it--but from my perspective it felt, and feels, more abrupt than I'm comfortable with.
I've asked him point blank, in person, as recently as our last get-together, to "end things cleanly whenever they stop working for him for whatever reason," and he agreed, and I trust him. He's a decent person. We've both talked in the past about the mistakes people make, how much worse things get, when trying "let someone down easy/slowly."
But I think I also need, now, to be even clearer in what I'm expecting of him: if he merely wants to take our relationship into a different mode, I need him to be really explicitly clear about that, too. As is always the case in such situations of vulnerability, it's the not knowing, and thinking the worst, that is the hardest part to deal with.
My wife and I had much better conversations about all of this last night than we had previously, so there's some improvement/support for me there, as well.