Post # 1
My boyfriend of a year and a half broke up with me almost 2 weeks ago….I’m obviously crushed and heartbroken right now. The break up stemmed from some bickering over the past few months with a big fight back in October and the final big fight when he decided to end things. I guess I am just confused and a little frustrated right now because despite the bickering, we got along really great and even the night before we broke up he was telling me how happy he was and that I was his best friend and his everything. It didn’t make sense to me at all! Of course we had our bad days…we both worked night shift and would feel tired and stressed a lot. I think we would take those frustrations out on one another. But we always made up, we laughed a lot and we really were best friends who wanted a future together. The break up actually came as a huge surprise to me….and I think to him as well…because it almost seemed as if he had to talk himself into the decision.
Let me bring a little more clarity to our “issues”. When we started dating we both fell HARD. One of those types of relationships where you want to spend ALL of your time together. We would go on dates, watch tv, talk on the phone, text all day, and run errands together just because we enjoyed each other’s company. We moved in together after only 6 months of dating into his small 1 bedroom apartment (plus my 2 dogs moved in too!). It was so much fun at first…shacking up with your best friend and boyfriend is exciting and we both talked about how happy we were with the decision. A few months after moving in together we looked at engagement rings and started seriously talking about our future together. We even talked about moving to another state to start a family. Then something changed…I didn’t quite notice at first but somewhere shortly after we looked at rings (maybe a month or two) he started slowly pulling away from our relationship a little. Suddenly he wanted to hang out with friends more and would feel really guilty for turning them down whereas in the past he wouldn’t even tell me they invited him to do something…he said he just wanted to hang out with me so he told them we had plans. Now, his friends would give me hell because “I wouldn’t let him do anything” and he even threw out the comment in fights that he was losing friendships because of me. By him needing this extra space I think I started to panic a little…we had never needed space before and I felt like maybe he was losing interest in me. I definitely didn’t feel I had kept him away from his friends..he just never asked really so I didn’t push the issue.
I think this is what really caused me to hold on tighter to the relationship. Instead of giving enough space I almost fought it…trying to keep things exciting and fun for us. We had quite a bit of arguments (nothing major…more like disagreements) and looking back now, I can tell he was feeling smothered by me. He said he felt like he was losing his interests and independence and that he had compromised all those things for me and our relationship……well that stung a lot. I guess for me, there is always a transition when you date seriously…you can still have interests and hobbies and what not, but you primarily create new interests with the person you love. He wanted to go work out a lot or go have guys nights…I wanted to do things with couples or do more fun date-type things. I had my friends and I saw them a fair amount…but I guess we differed in opinions on the amount of time we should spend apart. The fight in October was basically him giving me an ultimatum…either he gets more space for just HIM or he is going to have to walk away. It freaked me out bees. He left the apartment for 3 days and I thought for sure it was over. He did end up coming back and saying he wanted to work on things. I made promises to give him space, give him freedom, etc because I was desperate and didn’t want to lose him. The next 3 months I really tried…he had guy nights and I didn’t argue with him when he would spend 3 hours at the gym on our only night off together. I tried to just let things be. I still struggled and I told him it would take awhile for me to get used to the time apart because all I had ever known in our relationship was spending our time together as much as possible. We both seemed happier with the space..he said we found something that “works” for us so I could finally stop holding my breath and relax back into the relationship.
The fight that broke us up was me being controlling again with our time together 🙁 I am selfish bees…I don’t want to be and I want him to enjoy time apart but I think somewhere along the line I felt like by us focusing on HIS independce so much, we had lost sight of me and my wants and needs. I still wanted US time..I still wanted dates and laughter and fun. I felt like if I fought for time or asked for his time, it was being controlling and not giving him freedom. So when he mentioned a vacation with a friend I think I snapped. I wanted him to go on vacation with me and he never had the money to go. It hurt me so bad because I felt like I wasn’t his first choice anymore. Anyway..the fight started and we hashed it out. He threw out breaking up (he has a few times before when mad) and I let it roll off my shoulders and we continued to fight then talk as the argument ended. But he seemed confused and frustrated and said he still thinks we should break up…he just doesn’t know what else to do. So here we are broken up. He stands beside his choice but he has went back and forth on feelings of confusion, saying he knows he will regret it, and he hopes we get back together once we have matured. I was hoping after a break and time to think we could work it out…I don’t want to break up at all.
I know I have issues…I am too controlling and I am selfish. I feel those are things I have worked on and improved in. I know complete change won’t occur overnight. I also know he has issues…he has issues communicating and in his mind, couples shouldn’t fight and if they do have yelling arguments, they probably aren’t compatible. I disagree..I think love is an intense emotion and can cause intense fights. If you can both argue, not get physical, and then move forward…that is what is important. I think it is unrealistic to think we will spend 70+ years NEVER having big fights.
I’m just looking to vent and for advice bees. I don’t want to lose this guy. He really is my best friend and I want to marry him. I suggested counseling and he stated he felt that was for older couples with children…not people who are dating. It bothers me to have these types of issues early in…but I think they are all fixable things. We have compromised before and found what “works” for us…I only wish he would try now instead of walking away. What do you all think? Is it worth trying? I know we are going to break up…unless he suddenly has a huge change of heart…but what about the future? If we were able to spend some time apart do you think it is worth revisiting the relationship one day in the future after we have grown? I am thinking of doing counseling alone and working on me….I don’t want my controlling issues to hurt my future relationships. I am just beat down and lost….I want it work so much 🙁
Post # 3
First, let me say I am sorry for all this trouble you are going through. You sound like a quality relationship girl — someone who is best suited to being in a stable marriage.
You both sounds like you are kind of young, under 25 perhaps? I think the fact that he wants to hang out with single guys (at least I guess they are single), and go on a vacation with someone else is a sign he isn’t ready for marriage.
Everything he is saying about wanting space seems to be where he is at now. I would let him go to fly where he needs to. I don’t think you need counseling, I think you just need a guy who wants to commit to you, and he isn’t that person.
What you say about the future, about whether you should be together again, maybe it will happen. But just from reading what you wrote, I think you could use some space of your own away from him.
I hope I don’t sounds like a jerk. It sounds like you had some great times together for sure, but it sounds like more work and heartache than you deserve.
Post # 4
If you know that you have controlling issues then I think it’s absolutely a great idea to go to counseling on your own. The first part in improving yourself is recognizing what you’re doing wrong.
It sounds like he needs some space. He’s obviously felt suffocated. The relationship is not going to work if you 2 are not on the same page, which it seems like you’re not.
I know it hurts. I’ve been there; heck, I’m sure most of the Bees have been there before. The best thing you can do is to let him go. One day if it’s meant to be, maybe you can start talking again. Don’t hang onto hope that you will get back together. Be good to yourself first and foremost.
Post # 5
@laurenelizaberry: Loosen your grasp. He is his own person and you are as well. If you insist on being with someone who doesn’t mind not having “me” time then you should find someone who is more like you. Honestly though I think you have to spend some time alone. From the sounds of it you were very very wrapped up in this relationship.
Post # 6
@laurenelizaberry: I’m sorry, it sounds like he’s not ready for something so serious. Some people just like their space. This doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with either of you. Just you each may be better suited for someone who wants a similar amount of together time. I know it hurts now, but it’s going to get better, I promise. Hugs.
DH is always going to do things like you describe: gym, drinks with coworkers, football with the guys etc. But he always kinda clears things with me, not asks, but lets me know what he’s up to so that I can plan accordingly. Then we coordinate a few nights a week where we’re both home and at least one that’s a “date night”. I like this because I have lots of time to myself (which I love) and I still feel like I’m his most important person.
I think the problem you ran into after you guys had more space was that he wasn’t really prioritizing you along with the other things… The vacation thing? Ouch. Also, threatening the relationship itself multiple times is mean. Of course that made you feel insecure about things! Don’t worry, the right guy will be able to balance this better. Yes, it’s always a good idea to be critical of your own contributions to the breakup too. Take some time, work on yourself and feel better.
Post # 7
I think moving in together so soon created this mess. You, not wrongly, were still in the honeymoon phase and wanted to spend every free minute together. Which is fine when you have separate lives, homes, friends, etc. But when you live with someone and want to spend every free minute together that can become suffocating very quickly to someone who needs some time apart.
Perhaps in time, when he “recovers” from the suffocation and starts missing the things about you that drew him to you in the first place, you two can be together peacefully. I agree with him that a good relationship doesn’t have yelling and fighting. Disagreements, sure, but not fights.
Leave him alone for now and let him reapproach you when/if he wants to. That’s the only way it will work. Good luck. And yes, we’ve all been there.
Post # 8
@laurenelizaberry: first off, I have to say… You deserve to have your needs met as well. It’s not ok that you or him label “couple time” as you being selfish. The other half of the couple needs to want couple time too! You may be needier than others but your willingness to compromise means you are not selfish. Let him be, as hard as it may be. If he comes back, or you date in the future you can still strive for balance while not giving up what you want.
I consider myself a needy person but I only expect from others things I would be willing to do in a heartbeat for them. If my fiancé asked me to make plans with him on the only night we have off together, then I’d be there But I would also expect the same in return. he is not willing to meet you half way and that’s not what you need to make you happy either. So maybe there is a guy you are meant to be with who will not mind making you his number one.
Disclaimer: everyone likes alone time and it should be given without drama to keep your partner and yourself happy but it doesn’t sound like HE is taking your needs ( even if he thinks you’re needy)in to consideration.
Post # 9
@laurenelizaberry: +1 bunny_the_bride.
Its one of those things where Yes, he should get space to pursue his interests and hobbies, but yes, your feelings matter too. It can be hard to strike a balance but in the end if you are feeling more “in it” than him, then those feelings are probably accurate. Let him fly and if he returns you will likely feel less like the one always “in it” and him always walking out the door, bc you will know that when he went out on his own– he came back, which may give you deeper security in his feelings about you. Doing the hard thing now will be painful — but you will either get through it and find the right guy for you, or you will get back together with him and it will make your relationship much stronger and your insecurities will be resolved bc you will have been out of your comfort zone/out of being in control and you will have learned from it and feel better (and he will see that) should you get back together.
Post # 10
Thank you all for the replies…I kind of want to elaborate more on the situation…we are both 25 years old..before this guy I was with a guy for 4 years and we lived together for about 2 of those. He, on the other hand, has told me his longest relationship was about a year and half or so. He also said he has never even THOUGHT about marrying a girl or living with them or anything…ever. Let alone go look at engagement rings or discuss moving. The fact that we moved in together (his idea) spoke volumes to me about his feelings. I also thought it said a lot about his willingness to commit but maybe I was wrong about that. He’s a great guy but I think he may not be ready to commit 100%. His best guy friend is 28 or 29 and is single (the friend he was wanting to go on vacation with)…I think that has had a lot of influence on his behavior because he feels like he’s missing out or something.
I don’t want to bash this guy…he really did try. For awhile he would say things like “do you care if me and so and so do this tonight?” or “did we have any plans for tuesday?”…and even at the end he still TRIED to balance it some. But iI think he was just frustrated or maybe just cared less because he would start to say things like “I’m going to the gym at such-and-such time” or “me and so and so are going to dinner”…he spent less time and attention trying to do things with me and more time trying to do things apart. For example, I just got a new job requiring me to work 7am-3pm Monday through Friday…we both preoviously worked night shift and that schedule allowed us to spend really late nights together watching tv or just hanging out. We even did grocery shopping at 3am sometimes. My new schedule was going to change a lot of things because I would have to go to bed early while he was going to be staying up all night. Before I interviewed I wanted to discuss this and make sure we were okay with the change if I were offered the job. It was important to me that we talked about it before I even considered taking the job. The first thing he said about the job and his only issue with it was that he was worried it would interfere with his time with friends. Not time with me….friends. He was afraid if I was home every evening instead of working 3 nights a week that he wouldn’t be able to go to dinner or have as many guy nights. He felt like I would be less flexible and would want him to stay at home. My main fear was that our late nights hanging out were over…that he would wake up at 5pm and I would go to bed by 10pm and we still had to fit a life (plus time apart) in that small window. To me, that showed where out heads and hearts were. I was worried about US and he was worried about his independence. It hurt me a lot.
I don’t know if I drove him to this point of needing so much space or if he always needed it but didn’t think he could voice it or if maybe we just aren’t compatible in that area. But I see so many couples (and have read about it on here) that don’t necessarily agree on the amount of time spent together/apart but they compromise to 2-3 times a week or they both have 1 or 2 nights a week they do things seperately. I also know that TONS of couples work different schedules…I almost thought the schedule change could help us by letting us have some differences in our schedule and how we spend our time. I feel like it COULD have worked if we agreed to work on it…we broke up before I even started the job so I guess it doesn’t matter anyway. I feel like I am just talking myself in circles. I am in the process of looking for a new place…it’s been a rough few weeks 🙁 Thanks for listening bees.
Post # 11
@laurenelizaberry: 🙁 sending you hugs. I know it feels like you’re meant to be together, but maybe there is a lovely man ready for what you’re ready for just waiting for you to find him? It sounds like you’ll be much happier in a more equal relationship. I know it doesn’t make it feel any better, so look after you for a while. The love of your life will find you
Post # 12
- Wedding: November 2009 - New York, NY
@laurenelizaberry: Sorry you’re going through this, as a PP stated you seem like someone that seeks stability and quality in a relationship. I think two things got mixed here: him not being ready for commitment right now and your tendency to control. I would suggest that you get counseling for yourself and let him go. Let time pass and see where you are a while from now. As PP stated, you both need to be in the same page for a long term relationship to work. It might be with him, might be with someone different, but you want to be in the right place when it happens. Good luck!
Post # 13
His longest relationship was a year and a half, and so was his relationship with you – that seems to be his limit at this time in his life.
Honestly you’re better off finding someone more suited to your lifestyle and your needs – the clinginess alone is your sign that you weren’t really ready to get serious in this relationship. It wasn’t a healthy relationship, and since yo’re still in that “honeymoon” phase, it’s hard for you to see it.
I’d say counseling, but just for and by yourself. I think you have a lot of “growing up” to do (not to be mean – I am serious) and having someone else to help you would be huge.
Post # 14
It sounds like he may not be ready for the same kind of commitment that you are and one of two things can happen now that you guys have decided to take some time apart. 1- He will realize that he really does love you and is willing to give up some time with the guys to spend mroe time with you OR 2- you will meet someone who is wiling to give you the same sort of attention that you are willing to give them.
Relationships are all about balance and compromise and it doesn’t seem like he wants to really budge on giving up any time with his friends and, to be honest, it doesn’t really seem like you are willing to even give him a little time. Everyone needs to have a life outside of their relationship/marriage.
Post # 15
I just wanted to say, wanting to spend time together =/= being selfish or needy. From the information you provided, it doesn’t sound like you were either of those things. What it sounds like is that you and your boyfriend are in different places and want different things, even though it initially seemed like everything was hunky dory. He doesn’t sound ready for marriage, or at the very least, it doesn’t seem like he prioritized your relationship in the same way you did. I’m sorry, OP, that you wound up in this situation because it really sucks. But please don’t accept 100% of the blame, because it wasn’t all you from the looks of it.
And for what it’s worth, I’m an extremely independent person who loves her alone time, but the way your boyfriend was acting would have gotten on my nerves big time. Guys nights and going out with friends is all fine and dandy, but he forgot about scheduling some time with a very important person in his life–you. You should not feel guilty or that you were “controlling” for wanting that.
Post # 16
@laurenelizaberry: first off I’m so sorry! Breaking up is the worst- but it will get better.
Now for the tough love: you need to read The Rules- it’s a bit outdated and should be taken with a grain of salt…. But you broke…. All of them. And because of it you’re dealing with the premature end of your relationship. Learn to give distance, keep independence, mystery, and to an extent the chase alive and he would still be pining for you vs wanting to break free.
i don’t say this to give you regrets- it’s a learning experience and clearly he wasn’t the right guy for you. But don’t jump off the deep end again- learn from this before you have another go at it. Get too serious too fast and youre more likely to crash and burn. Read the book! Really, read it.
In the mean time try to get busy forgetting about him. Better days ahead bee.