It’s not that he hadn’t told me before. It’s that he’s willing to accept all the damage I’m doing to him. And I’m kind having a hard time with that. I don’t think anyone should accept to be treated that way. So in a way I really admire you for staying true to yourself, Ellie. It might be hard and difficult…
I highlighted this passage because it sounds exactly like Bryan’s point of view. He’s not a bad guy; he wasn’t treating me this way because he’s a jerk or anything. He simply told me that he couldn’t help it, and told me exactly what you wrote here: that he felt bad knowing that I was willing to accept being treated this way, because no one should be treated that way.
We’d also talked about it before too; we’ve had this issue before we were even doing long distance, and a lot of times when he came down to visit he was still emotionally distant. We kind of fell into this loop: him treating me this way, me accepting it, me eventually feeling bad and telling him, him saying he’s not able to change it, but we stayed together, so he treated me that way, and i accepted it, and then I eventually felt bad so I told him, and then he said he wasn’t able to change it, but we stayed together, so he kept treating me that way…. the only way to end the loop was to just see myself out and cut it at “we stayed together.” And what motivated me to make that change was finding out the sweet and thoughtful things he was doing for his friends, because it meant he is indeed capable of being like that for other people, just not for me. That’s what pushed me over the edge.
I’m glad you know yourself well enough to identify the issue, and I can’t tell you or your boyfriend what to do, but I do suggest you make sure he really, truly is okay with it.