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PB1234

Boyfriend broke up with me after mother died

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I was with my boyfriend for nearly 2 years and things were awesome, we basically lived together, hung out every day but also had our own lives as to not by co-dependent on each other.  On our 3rd date he told me his mom had cancer, and this was the third time.  As our relationship grew, I spent time with his mom and got to know her but he never really talked about how he was feeling about it, but I guess that is probably because he was used to the feeling.  A year into our relationship he broke up with me because he said he didn't know if he could see himself marrying me. It lasted about 24 hours before we were back together as he knew he made a huge mistake. After that, things were even better than before.

 
About a month ago, he had to go down to where his family lives on my birthday because she wasn't doing well.  Those few weeks after that he was distant, we still hung out every single day, but things were different.  Two weeks ago, things started to get really bad with her and I went down there to be with him as she died. For the first few days after he was very reliant on me and told me infinite times how happy I was there for him. 
 
Then, this weekend he abruptly broke up with me. He told me I am his best friend, he has never been happier than with me, I make him a better person, but his gut tells him I am not the right person for him. He kept saying he didn't want to break up with me but felt like has had to due to this "gut feeling". He told me that on paper he should marry me because we are so happy and perfect together. 
 
He never once mentioned his mom's death being a part of this decision but I am wondering if it is as we were so happy before. Trying to decide if I should reach out or not...

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This is almost a CARBON COPY of my situation with my ex only his father passed away. UGH. I still am left with questions which I'm sure can never and will never be answered. My ex went into a pretty deep depression after his dad passed, he also became more and more distant, until finally he seemed completely vacant and gone. He broke up with me abruptly and told me all the very same things. I'm so sorry you're going through this...it's just awful. Feel free to message me anytime! Hugs.

Jeannette

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Hi PB, 

I am so sorry you're going through this too. It sounds like so many of the stories you will read on here, and I recommend that you do read them as they may help you gain insight about why this happens. This sounds very similar to my situation as well, only, his dad died suddenly and he acted in a almost a carbon copy way as nettieboop, KayC and many others here. It sounds like a classic grief response. Just be aware IT IS NOT YOU, IT'S HIM. The grief is clouding his judgement, and he may be lost, confused, angry, etc and believe that what he is doing is good for the both of you, even if you disagree. My best advice: DO NOT reach out to him. Even though it is from a place of well-meaning and love, he may not see it that way and misconstrue your attempt to contact him as pressure and that may make him withdraw from you further. The only exception to this is you mentioned the two of you were basically living together? If that is the case and you need to retrieve things from his house, or return his stuff to him, keep the conversation about that, do not talk of your relationship or feelings, as again it may cause him to withdraw or become resentful and make him feel you're attempting to change his mind about his decision. Otherwise, If he wanted to contact you, he would. He knows where to find you, let him come to you if he chooses, but do not wait for him. It is best to focus on putting your life back together and focusing on yourself: go back to your hobbies, join a gym, go see your family/friends etc.

19 hours ago, PB1234 said:

Then, this weekend he abruptly broke up with me. He told me I am his best friend, he has never been happier than with me, I make him a better person, but his gut tells him I am not the right person for him. He kept saying he didn't want to break up with me but felt like has had to due to this "gut feeling". He told me that on paper he should marry me because we are so happy and perfect together. 

 
He never once mentioned his mom's death being a part of this decision but I am wondering if it is as we were so happy before. Trying to decide if I should reach out or not...

As far as his words, I understand that you love him and that you want to believe what he said to be true, and it probably was/is, but as it stands, they were just words and he ended the relationship. You have to take that at face value. My ex said similar things through the duration of our 20 months together, even after his father passed, and he still abruptly ended our relationship a second time via ghosting with no explanation. That same day, just hours earlier he told me he loved me and that he'd see me that night after work for dinner, he never showed and I haven't heard from him since. I had no choice but to walk away after that because what he was doing to my self-worth and confidence was killing my soul.

I understand that he is hurting, but that does not excuse him treating you as though your feelings don't matter/aren't valid, because they certainly are valid and you have every right to be hurt and confused by what he did. "He told me that on paper he should marry me..." That, in my eyes means something different than what he probably intended it to be. "On paper" is not the same as real life. On paper my ex was charming, had a good job, was ambitious, had a car and a small, modest apartment. So for a 24 year old, he was doing well. In real life however, he was working for a family member who owned the business and gave him a job for free, he had spent the majority of his adult life living with her as well until just before I met him, and was given that car for free by his mother. He also had never been in a relationship longer than a few months, was emotionally stunted and unavailable, was not ambitious and gave up easily,  did not know how to communicate properly and had other serious issues he never dealt with until his father's passing forced him to confront them, (none of which I knew until after he ghosted me the first time, and then I found out more after the second time). So while "on paper" someone/something is perfect, it is best to focus on the reality of that person/thing. And even after all that, I still loved him and wanted to forgive him, but knew I couldn't anymore because he'd just do it again. It was really, REALLY hard for me to accept that the person I thought he was, the person I loved, did not exist. Who I fell in love with was merely a representative of him, not his true self.

Please, try your best not to reach out to him until he does first.You need to take what he said at face value and leave it as is. I understand it is hard, you're confused, upset and you have every right to be, what he did is not fair to you, but please do not take it personally.

--Rae 

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The thing is, I totally believe everything he said. He was so sad and kept telling me he didn't want to break up with me but just felt like he had to. There were some texts exchanged the evening after we broke up saying he didn't like this but I didn't respond. I don't want him to take that as I'm over it, I just think I need to give it some time.  Everyone that knows us is telling me he will come back.

 
It is hard because we were such independent people that I still made time for everything I love, friends, working out, family, volunteering, etc.
 
It is weird, I am not even that upset, probably because in my heart of hearts I know he will come back, I just don't want to sound stupid for saying that but also not going to wait around for him.
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It's not weird at all. Natural when you love someone, we've all been there. Then just give it time and let him come back to you. And its a great thing that you're aware you're not going to wait around for him and during the relationship you still maintained yourself. Seems like you're in a great head space, just let things be and let him come to you. I have changed the way I date since my ex and I ended 2.5 years ago. I also gained a lot of perspective and see it as a lesson now and learned from it. So it's great that you still have things/people you can lean on, many people don't and I've watched some friends abandon everything in their lives for a relationship and when it ended they had nothing and no one to turn to for help, and I vehemently advise against that. But be aware that it could be months, and sometimes years before he comes back, if he does at all. I'm glad you understand that and aren't gonna wait. 

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I'm sorry you find yourself going through this also.  I went through it eight years ago, we were engaged and his mom started having problems, no definitive diagnosis, just dying as it turned out.  He broke up with me abruptly by Fed Ex.  I mean I didn't even get the benefit of a face to face conversation!  I was shocked, totally blindsided.  We had no contact in the months to come but when I found out she passed, I made him a card and sent it to him.  When he got it he called and talked for 3 1/2 hours!  In the weeks that followed, he might talk to me every day or he might skip a couple of weeks.  He might say he loved me or he might treat me like a friend.  It was very confusing and the yoyoing was yanking me around emotionally.  I finally realized he didn't know what he wanted or was going through and not to count on anything he said, to let it go in one ear and out the other so it wouldn't do me in emotionally.  That was the wise choice.  We've remained friends all these years since.  I don't think one can do that or SHOULD do that if one is secretly hoping for things to be different, in other words you have to be on the same page with it or it won't work.  I can honestly say with all that I know now that we were better off as friends, he still doesn't know what he wants.  A couple of years ago he took in his ex-wife who would have been homeless otherwise and now they're doing things together like a couple does, only they aren't in love, aren't a couple, but definitely family.  Can you imagine how weird that would have been if I was engaged to him or more!

I do want to say that it's him, not you.  You've done nothing wrong.  He needs his space to figure out his feelings and his life.  It's unfair, it may not make sense sometimes, but it is what it is.

One piece of advice, and it sounds like you've already figured that out, focus on YOU, keep busy, spend time with your family and friends, do not put your life on hold for him.

There's no guarantee of anything working out with him but as long as you focus on YOU, you will be okay no matter what the future holds.  

Wishing you peace and a wonderful future with the best...

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I have a close friend that is going through something similar. Different scenarios, but the same abrupt break up with a very similar dialogue exchange. There isn't a lot that can be said here that would provide comfort, because ultimately, there's a huge "why" question that only he can answer. Yet, on the same hand, you also have to prepare yourself for never receiving a satisfying justification. I've realized that the lack of reasoning is sometimes more beneficial than knowing...the heartbreak is the same no matter how you spin it and what needs to happen now is healing. This is a long road, so be patient with yourself. When you think you're going to spend the rest of your life with someone and it doesn't turn out that way, you lose a piece of yourself. Mourning is required for the loss. This is the risk part and I'm so sorry you're experiencing it in such a painful way. If you feel like reaching out once to state your position and your thoughts...to make known your desire for closure...that's okay, but you'll have to leave it in his court after you do so. Again, I'm so sorry you're walking through this. Find someone you trust to process this with--don't do it alone. This is an ugly side of our flawed natures and a fallen world, but surround yourself with those that love you. Allow them to help carry you. 

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It can drive you nuts asking "why"...it helps to have resolution but in cases where there IS no resolution, we have to find our own closure.  it's hard.  I had a fiance break up with me 40+ years ago with no explanation, I was deeply in love with him and it broke my heart.  It took me years to get fully over him but when I did, I was fully done.  Years later we ran into each other and resumed friendship but nothing more.  Off and on he's tried to get me to try for more, but nope!  I haven't forgotten and I'm fully over him.  He's had to accept friendship or nothing at all.  BTW, I never did get satisfactory explanation.

You are so right, we mourn our losses, grieve the loss of the future we thought we'd have.  Grieve what we thought we had with the person.  

On 5/7/2018 at 9:58 AM, ToGoFruit said:

surround yourself with those that love you. Allow them to help carry you. 

Spot on!

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I tried to take everyones advice and I did for the most part. Then on Monday morning he reached out and we have been chatting via text ever since.  I still was trying to give him space and when I wouldn't respond he would double text or change the subject to keep the conversation going.  We never talked about our relationship, just chatted about things we normally would talk about.  We stopped talking last night and now I am even more confused.

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Hi PB,

4 hours ago, PB1234 said:

I tried to take everyones advice and I did for the most part. Then on Monday morning he reached out and we have been chatting via text ever since.  I still was trying to give him space and when I wouldn't respond he would double text or change the subject to keep the conversation going.  We never talked about our relationship, just chatted about things we normally would talk about.  We stopped talking last night and now I am even more confused.

I'd tread carefully here. It sounds like he's trying to soften the blow by maintaining a form of "friendship." He probably feels a mixture of guilt, loneliness, boredom, confusion and fear considering after he broke up with you, you just let things be. He got the hint that you weren't gonna come running back and beg for him to stay so he reached out to tug on one of your heart strings just to see if he could still have you if he needed you, and that is nothing more than him trying to soothe his own ego and absolve himself of any guilt he feels for dumping you. Be careful with this as it seems like he just "pulled away" but is now toying with the idea of keeping you around, but its not because he misses you, its because he doesn't want to be alone in his confusion and loneliness. Remember: Misery loves company and so does confusion. You even said after talking to him, he left you in a state of confusion. If his intent were to get back together with you, he'd have said or done so immediately. He is an adult, and if he cannot come out and say that, that's his problem, not yours. Until he actually pulls the trigger and initiates the conversation of "I messed up, I miss you, lets work on this and see if we can salvage our relationship" or something to that effect, do not confuse this contact as him wanting to resume your relationship. You guys were in the routine of regular contact for 2 years, he's probably having a problem adjusting to not talking to you on a daily basis, but that means nothing until he proves he actually wants to get back together, and he may never do that. It is not fair to you that he is leaving you in a state of limbo and emotional confusion every time he contacts you. That is a game you don't want to find yourself playing. My ex did that with me and nothing I could've done/said would have made the game end any differently. It was a game I was never going to win, and he knew that.

Maybe I am overthinking it, and if that's the case, so be it. But it happened to KayC and multiple others here too. Tread carefully and don't carelessly give yourself back to him, even if he does ask. If he truly does want to get back together, he needs to say that and then work to prove it.

 

--Rae 

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On 5/9/2018 at 7:15 AM, PB1234 said:

I tried to take everyones advice and I did for the most part. Then on Monday morning he reached out and we have been chatting via text ever since.  I still was trying to give him space and when I wouldn't respond he would double text or change the subject to keep the conversation going.  We never talked about our relationship, just chatted about things we normally would talk about.  We stopped talking last night and now I am even more confused.

I went through this.  Once we resumed contact, he'd call every day and then not at all for two weeks!  It confused me!  He'd say "I love you" then disappear.  It was weird.  I finally figured out that he didn't know his own mind and HE was confused!  I needed to protect my heart from this emotional tug-of-war.  I learned not to count on the "I love yous" and not to put too much stock by what he said, realizing he felt that way in the moment but it wasn't anything I could count on.  We've been friends ever since, close friends but nothing more.  He gives mild flirtation now and then, I know the allure is still there for him but it'll never be any more that than.  I'm glad I realized all this early on and protected my heart.  The last two years his ex-wife is living with him because he didn't want her to be homeless.  His 42 year old daughter is also living with him, with all her drama.  I'm glad things turned out as they did for us, can you imagine dealing with all that in a relationship!  

He did tell me a while back that things would have turned out very different for us had his mom not died.  Perhaps.  I have no regrets.  

We could not have made a go of it as friends had one of us been secretly hoping for something more.  I'm glad I realized that.  BTW, he's never tried to get me back.  I'm glad we're friends, I value him as a person, love his sense of humor and we can talk to each other about anything, understand each other.  But he has issues I don't need to deal with.

Please tread softly!

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