Dear Miss Emily:

I have been seeing this guy for about 4 months (2 months ago he asked me to be his girlfriend) and things were great.  We had no issues-we were always in contact with each other. On Feb 12th, I was out with friends drinking and eating.  On the way home I sent this text "I wish we lived together" because I was in the mood to have some one-on-one time with him and was miles away.  The text was sent late so I didn’t expect a response and I was joking.  The next morning(2-13) we did our daily text good morning and he told me he wasn't feeling well, and he was gonna go home straight after work. This week was a long and stressful week for him in terms of his job and issues with his car. I thought nothing of it cus he said he would spend Valentine’s Day with me.  I said, ok, and I didn't hear from him the rest of the night. I called him in the morning (2-14) because I just found out that one of my students died and wanted to let him know what happened.  Basically, for the entireValentine’s Day, he made no effort to communicate with me (phone went fr. being on to off).  I have never had any red flags that he might be cheating.  I got scared thinking something happened to him because we have never not communicated w/ each other from the time we met.  I called his cousin and parents between Saturday(Valentine’s Day) and Sunday, to see where he was and of course no one knew.  Finally, I hear from him and he tells me he is all right but we need to talk cus he is going through a lot(text msg). I asked him what was he going through and he really wouldn't tell me.  I know he was having issues with his job in which he really messed up, car issues and paying for his masters by himself, but he never really made a big deal out of any of those issues. Every time I asked what exactly is going on and lets talk about it, he says he can't talk about it. He said he is not good with communication. Long story short, we meet up to talk (Wednesday) and says he is going thru a lot and that I just don’t understand he is going through a lot, and he needs time.  Meanwhile, not explicitly telling me what he is truly going thru, so I can offer some help or at least a listening ear.  He also says he feel like he is not doing enough for me and that he feels like he has to perform for me and he don't know if he can.  I didn't complain about the state of our relationship, because I thought things were fine.  I expressed to him that if he needs space then we shouldn’t talk at all, and he seemed to be truly bothered by that comment.  The problem is for two days (Valentine’s Day weekend) he did not call or text me at all, which is totally weird because he has never acted this way before.  I am bothered because I thought we were good in terms of communication and, besides, two days before Valentines he had sent flowers to my job and then he treats me so harshly on V-day weekend!  After V-day he resurfaced, and it is just weird. Now that we went out to talk(Wednesday), and he tells me that he is going through a lot and he needs space. He is now calling and texting me asking me how I'm doing and asking me what I'm doing.  He is acting as though what he did to me on Valentines Day weekend did not happen.  He did apologize for what he did though.  I’m so confused, because if he wants space why is he still communicating with me?   Because he is going through a lot I keep asking him to open up to me as to what is bothering him and he won't. I tell him that I care about him so please let me in so we can get through his rough time together.  Nothing makes sense- please help.  What do I do?

-------------------------Miss Emily’s advice---------------------

You are right – nothing makes sense.  It’s literally impossible to pinpoint exactly what might be going on with him, because he’s secretive.  My imagination runs wild when I read something like this: He’s done something illegal, and he’s waiting for the other shoe to drop. His financial situation is bordering on complete ruin, and his embarrassment over this is dictating his alienation from you.  There is a mystery woman who was the focus of his attention on Valentine’s Day.  Or, maybe, he’s just a deeply troubled man who is living a quiet life of desperation for myriad reasons.  But what he is doing to you is coercive and disrespectful, to say the least.  It’s really a good thing that you have not invested any more time with him, because the drama can only increase, and why would you want to be party to that?  I like your idea.  No contact with him until he can explain the reasons for his covert, and very odd behavior.  Unless he’s willing to do that, I’d consider myself fortunate that I got out before this whole relationship turns into an ugly, pitiful mess.  And please, if your comment about living together threw him into a complete dither, he has commitment phobia issues that only a shrink can decipher.  Cut yourself loose – at least until you have answers that make sense.