My boyfriend and I were together for seven years, and it was so much fun. We were together all the time, and best friends. He taught me a lot and I taught him a lot. Even though we loved eachother very much, from the beginning I knew that there were some differences that we would have to work out - he said he never wanted kids, and never thought he could be married. Eventually it seemed that his mind on the marriage issue changed a little and he said a few years ago that it was a nice romantic idea and we should do it some day. We both moved from a place we loved, to a big city that we do not love, and does not afford us much time/opportunity to get outside and do the things we used to do. On top of that our jobs became very stressful. But we have still been very much in love, and best friends to eachother. I would wake up next to him thinking how lucky I was that I would always have him with me. It was so comforting.
But in the last year, he and I have grown a little distant from eachother. At first, and to a certain extent I still feel a lot of this has to do with both of our insecurity at work, and insecurity about getting into our 30s, and feeling out of place where we are living. We started bickering a little and having less sex, and not spending a lot of time together. So I brought that up at the same time as the marriage issue, because it bothers me that we haven't talked about these things and we need to figure out what our lives are going to be like. Seemed pretty natural to me. He freaked out. Said he didn't want the things other people wanted, and I should leave him while he figures out what he wants in life. I did not, because I love him so much and he still loves me and we are friends to eachother. Friends help eachother through hard times. We limped along for a few months and right as I was feeling better about what we were trying and how we were getting along he broke up with me. I feel really devastated, and hurt. He says he still loves me very much but doesn't know what to do but separate until he can figure out what he wants in life. He doesn't think its fair to waste my time, and he doesn't want to put effort into it. But he doesn't want me to give up on him either, and he thinks his problems are not my fault but he needs to work on his happiness.
I have many questions, such as, why would he not want to work on things? We were together for a long time and he says they were the best years of his life...why? Why would he kick me out if he's not sure what is wrong with him? What should I do - he doesn't want to talk or get counseling or work on things, and he is depressed. I can't seem to feel better either and it's been almost 2 months. I usually am quite able to help myself through things and get myself together but I seem to have no defenses this time. I just cry and cry. I don't know whether to give up and move on, or wait for him to sort it out and see what happens. It's so sad.
If your bf is still young, late twenties or early thirties, I can understand why the change of heart. Alot of males seems to want to re- evaluate their lives once they hit their thirties, my hubby did and also 3 of 4 brothers did.
I think this is more about guys need to re-think and set more age appropriate goals than it is about the ones they love.
It would be interesting to get a guy's perspective on this.
Your guy probably just needs to space to figure this out for himself.
You need to decide if you want to give him that space or throw in the towel.
Thank you for your replies. I'm perfectly willing to give him space to examine his life, and I don't really have any other choice really, it's just hard waiting. I'd like to spend this time investing in myself, but I'm so hurt and depressed that I can't seem to motivate right now.
As far as what I want, if the choice was put to me that I could have a lifetime of love with him (without marriage and kids) and he would really commit, I would do it. The problem is that he isn't sure he can be with one person his whole life anymore, and so he's not really giving me that choice. There is nothing I can do but wait at this time, and it's driving me insane.
I agree with draconis, give yourself a time line. You can still give him space without allowing him to walk all over you. Make sure you let him know that you won't be a door mat for him if/or when he decides that he wants to be with you.
In the mean time try to figure out who you are? What do you want out of your life? What do you enjoy doing? Make this time a self discovery time for yourself. Try new things, and enjoy yourself.
There must be things that you have always wanted to do but never got around to.
I know this is a difficult time for you, but try to put one foot in front of the other and move forward. Baby steps are still steps.
When I was younger, late teens early twenties, and between boyfriends or after a traumatic event, I would escape through reading novels. I was absolutely devour them, sometimes for weeks, afterward I would move on. For me the break from reality for awhile was very rejuvenating.
Thank you. Deep down I know that's what I have to do. Patience is hard to find these days, and I'm stuck in a city where I have few true friends. I do plan to better myself once I feel up to it. But I think the hardest part is letting go of the feeling I had that we would never part. The dreams die hard.
I certainly can sympathize with your situation as mine is very similiar. My husband also seemed happy for the last 10 years. He is 35, and as one other reply stated....he need to re-evaluate his life. He never gave me any indication that he wasn't happy.
I also wanted him to go to counseling (I am), but he refused. Does not want to work on our relationship. I find it most difficult to accept that this person I loved for 15 years would "give up" so easily.
I also gave him time to "figure things out" even though I felt it was over. I kept having hope. Instead of starting to move on, I was waiting for him to decide my fate. Then when I realized he wasn't coming back, I basically had to start the grief process all over again.
As one therapist told me, prepare a seperation plan, get rid of his belongings....try to start to heal yourself. At the beginning I just tried to focus on getting through the next hour...now I focus on getting through one day at a time. I find I get overwhelmed if I think about the future.
It's difficult accepting that your dreams have been shattered. I never knew if I should continue to tell him that I love him and would be willing to work on our realtionship or just keep quiet.
Maybe some other readers who have been the "leavers" could help us with that question.
So are you going to leave him? If he doesn't know what he wants after 7 years, he's not going to know with a little more time. Only if you make a decision, set a time limit, and then stick to it will you have a prayer of being happy. If not, this could go on and on and on forever.
It seems to me that when a man wants to marry a woman, and wants to commit to her, he does it. He does it with everything in his being. Don't you deserve that from someone?
If he were to marry you tomorrow, don't you think that at every sign of a problem, you'd wonder if he married you to maintain his comfort level instead of because he truly wanted to be with you? I would. I'd worry that I forced the marriage and he went along with it because there werent' any better options at the moment.
Establish your own life. Become independent. Decide what you want and then go for it, with or without him. Don't waste your life on a guy who has from the start, told you that what he wants isn't compatible with what you want.