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Partner withdraws, how do I support him?

Hi, my partner has schizotypal personality disorder and I’m getting to know the pastiche of his “moods”. He’ll withdraw often and I find this tricky to deal with and find myself wanting to withdraw in response or seek sanctuary elsewhere. It’s a new relationship and if anyone has any insight - particularly if you have the same condition, it would be great to get some insight and knowledge of how to respond in a supportive way. Thanks x


Re: Partner withdraws, how do I support him?

Hi @stpd I'm sorry to hear that it's been so tough managing your partners withdrawal, it must be really difficult to manage. It sounds like his withdrawal makes you want to withdraw emotionally from the relationship as well - this is a normal impulse to have towards a partner who is not able to be present emotionally. I'm wondering what you do to support yourself during these times when he withdraws?

There are a few threads on the forum which might be helpful in terms of discussing this issue with other members including this one here


Re: Partner withdraws, how do I support him?

Thank you @Mango Smiley Happy
A friend told me about an app called MoodKit, which has been helpful during the times I find confronting. It’s mostly a CBT app, but has loads of other things in it to promote positive behaviours and habits. I talk with counsellors too, but mostly - even though it’s really hard to to feel like it’s personal - I am calm and patient and just let him know how I feel, briefly. I’m finding once I do this and not rely so much on him to give me what I want emotionally (instead I go to the gym or do some other activity to focus on me and get out of my own head), I find he comes back to me with attention and affection. It’s a very interesting relationship in that tricky things end up being spoken about and I feel heard, even if it takes a little while. I’ll look up the link you provided - thanks so much <3

Re: Partner withdraws, how do I support him?

Hi @Mango @Shaz51 @Determined @Former-Member @Smc @outlander @Faith-and-Hope @PeppiPatty @Appleblossom @Darcy @Adge @Jupiter @Former-Member


...a wierd night. Things were going well with me and my guy, then it all got a bit odd. He started asking me if I thought he was “this or that” and then not long after I answered, it was like the vibe between us got very strange: I didn’t feel like we were on the same page any more, I started to feel anxious and a little destabilised. Thoughts going through my head are he’s processing something in his consciousness to do with his ex, he has feelings for me, but he feels vulberable. It’s like I’m the target of a wish-fulfilling prophecy where I’ll go away, or he wants me to go away but can’t say so. I’m confused: is it me being paranoid - I have a pretty level mind and my own anxieties for sure but this is strange. Feels like I’m being pushed away and shut out and muddled. My initial reaction was to run away, get space. I’ll just sit with things and focus on me today. If he wants to talk with me, I’ll be there for him, but I think he’ll just close me off. Times like these I feel like being with someone who can emotionally nurture me. 


Re: Partner withdraws, how do I support him?

Ooooh that must feel so awkward @stpd.  I have had that happen with a friend before, and it was so uncomfortable ..... and she chose to avoid me after that .... but that doesn’t mean that is what is happening for you right now.


Maybe try not to overthink it. You have said that he is swinging around a lot, so this might just be part of the swings and roundabouts.


I have swings and roundabouts all over the place in my situation, and I find it helps to try to stay in the moment and consider that everything may have shifted to a new page tomorrow, so there is no sense in worrying about it today.


Hugs Hon.  It’s still sucky in the moment.

Re: Partner withdraws, how do I support him?

Thanks @Faith-and-Hope 🧡🧡

it’s a good reminder to hear that and yes, usually things settle down the next day. I did work very hard to keep my stuff together and not let it spill out and let my guy know that I’m here if he wants to talk. I think we’re both incredibly vulnerable in getting closer with ech other and my instinct was to run away, far away!!  

Thanks for your comfort and wisdom 🌈🌈☺️

Re: Partner withdraws, how do I support him?

You’re very welcome @stpd.  I receive so much comfort and wisdom from other wise ones here ......


Re: Partner withdraws, how do I support him?

It is good if he is processing an old dynamic.


I am not sure what a registered health professional might say, but I am wondering if there is a prpblem re binaries in the situation where he is asking you for "definitions" of himself.  It often happens that we grow closer or define ourselves against the presence of another.

@stpd  Good on you for being clear about your self.  

Thought: is there a way to have a neutral-positive thing between you and not submit to direct questions of what he "is".  Relationship are dynamic in their essence.


Go gently with your self as well as him.

Re: Partner withdraws, how do I support him?

that must feel so awkward @stpd, sending you knowing tender hugs my friend HeartHeart

try not to overthink it. @stpd, I used too , and I would end up in the bathroom crying and then in the afternoon he would be different again

there is no sense in worrying about it today as it changes all the time

Re: Partner withdraws, how do I support him?

@Appleblossom, thank you ❤️🌷


A very interesting response: he was processing annold dynanic between him and his ex. He asked if he was two-faced, to which I replied that I didn’t experience that from him and that as long as a person acts with integrity and considers others’ feelings and uses their maturity/experience as a way of judging how to act, then they are good guidelines.


It was so difficult keeping my feelings in check, feeling highly vulnerable and then paranoid: I can get sucked into that abstract vortex so easily.


After I asked, he said he felt vulnerable too, that I may leave him. It’s like he’s trapped inside himself: but it’s ultimately up to him to work through that: beyond love and as much patience as I can give when I’m feeling on fire with insecurity, I can’t fix it for him 😔

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