Post # 1
I have posted on this message board off and on for about a year and a half, during those times it was as a waiting bee since I was told repeatedly by him that’s where we are heading. It has been up and down and you can see my previous posts that marriage has been a bone of contention in our relationship, he kept saying he wanted it but wasn’t taking any action, it kept getting put off and put off.
Long story longer, we had agreed to take getting engaged off the table for a little while and just focus on being a couple. I was honestly okay with this, the burning desire to get married had begun to fade and just being with him was fine and it made me happy, especially as I was watching several friend’s marriages crumble and the idea of “forever” via marriage wasn’t the end all be all. He had very recently moved into my house, this was a huge step for him and I thought everything was going okay until yesterday when everything came to a head. He had still not notified his previous landlord of the desire to end his current lease, it was like he had one foot out the door just in case and yesterday he took what he had here and went back.
He is dealing with a lot of changes at his company, they are being bought out and he has been in charge of getting together a lot of the details but I noticed he had been super anxious and depressed in the past week or so, he suffers from both but usually seems “okay”. He told me that the relationship and moving in were adding to his anxiety and that he wasn’t feeling the excitement he thought he should feel. He has been seeing a therapist and everything seemed to be going well, we would talk after his sessions but it was getting pushed back on his schedule with all of this new workload and he missed this week’s appointment entirely. After our argument he (of course) decided to go back to his place and we decided to take some time apart and he felt that would be an indicator of whether this increased depression and anxiety was because of us or just within himself. He said last night he was terrified of losing me but also has the same intense fears of living together and moving forward. I am tired of being in limbo.
So, today is the first day of this break and I’m not doing too well. Part of me wants to talk through it but the other half is saying to give him this space and begin moving on with my life which is the side I am leaning towards. I have a lot to keep me busy, my own business, and I have been fostering some pets from a local county kill shelter (for a week or two at a time until a rescue takes them in). I am also making more plans with friends and the obligatory chop my hair off haircut is scheduled for tomorrow (I have had short hair before so it won’t be too shocking for me but a definite change from how he has seen me, I have pretty long hair right now).
I’m not really sure what I’m asking here, I’m heartbroken but also feel some sense of relief about not having to deal with the stress of his anxiety being put on me and the back and forth of his actions, he will tell me he wants to do something regarding our future and then go back on it, I never know what to believe and that is the worst part. This man is 36 years old and we have been dating for almost three years. I would like to hear from any other bees who took a break and what the ultimate outcome was, did you realize you were happier apart or did it make you realize what you had was worth saving? The ball is mostly in his court but I am also doing some soul searching of my own during this time.
Thanks for reading.
Post # 3
@KatertotATL: First of all, I’m sorry to hear about your situation. My heart goes out to you, as it sounds like he is not sure what he wants.
I would say to avoid talking to him and give him his space. You said you had other things to focus on and good for you! I think that it’s important to realize that there are two people in this relationship, and maybe you should start thinking about what you want as well.
For example, do you want to be with someone who’s not excited to be with you?
I’ve taken a break in two of my past relationships. The first one was a 4 month break, date for 4 more months, then break up. The last one was a break I initiated, because I didn’t know how to break up with my ex and thought it would help soften the blow. I’m not proud, but he was VERY aggressive and unpredictable, so a break was the way for me to get out.
Good Luck. We are here for you!
Post # 4
@KatertotATL: So sorry you are going through this. My question to you is: do you want to hook your star to someone who obviously doesnt handle stress very well? How will he handle kids (and the lack of sleep), illness, job loss, etc?
That being said. I’ve been in relationships that a break was just pre-breakup. And one relationship that a break really was just that, a break. DH broke up with me at the 5-ish month mark for 1 month. I was just getting too intense for him.
But at the 3 year mark and at 36, I dont know if a break is a good sign or not. But I will give you advice that I followed with DH (taken from the book “Getting to I Do”.
Give this break 8 weeks. If he is not back in 8 weeks, cut him out of your life forever. A man in love, will be back in 8 weeks. During that time, you want him to miss you. So change your voice mail so it’s not your voice (dont want him to get a hit off of it when he is feeling weak). Do not answer the phone when he calls. Call him back the next day and only talk for 20 min or less. When you do talk keep it light (remember you are happy and secure without him. Your life is just fine. it would be great if he was in your life, but no big deal if he isnt. Then you call your girlfriends and cry).
Dont see him very often. And when you do, no touching and def no kissing or sex. He has to realize how much better his life is with you in it. Only way he will realize this is if you are missing from his life during the break. Go on a trip to visit friends. Stay busy.
Quit asking yourself, “Why doesnt he want me??” and ask yourself, “Do I really want him?”
Post # 5
I think its a hop skip and a week from a break up.
You should be with someone who is excited to be with you. Maybe I’m missing something, but I’ve never heard of any ‘breaks’ that end up with the couple working things out. If someone wanted a break from me, they can have a permanent one.
Post # 6
Think if he called you in a week and said, “Yeah, my increased depression was because we were together” how much worse than would feel than just accepting now that it is a breakup and move on or talking to him and just breaking up now. He sounds like he has created a lot on his plate, and if his therapy keeps getting pushed back how long are you supposed to wait?
I’m not sasying this couldn’t work, because it could, but I just think it wouldn’t work right now and taking a break is going to force you to waste a big chunk of your time waiting for him to get his poop in a group and figure out what it is he’s so afraid of.
Maybe somewhere down the road you will meet up again, but perhaps right now it would be in your best interest to explore your options, take care of your foster pets, and focus on your business.
Post # 7
I just broke it off after a second try with a guy that just never showed he was excited to get married. I mean I deserve some enthusiasm! I’m a great catch! I wish you the best but understand if it was really working like it’s supposed to it shouldn’t be this difficult. No sense in beating your head against a wall trying to get a man to change.
p.s. I’m about to be 36 and he is 40. We dated for 2 difficult years and then took a year off. We came back together for about 9 months and it was nice for a little while then all our old problems came back. We are not compatable.
Post # 8
If he’s 36 years old…he’s old enough to know what he wants by 3 years of dating.
Do you want to be with someone who’s not thrilled and excited to marry you? Because you can find one who is!
Sometimes a longer break might work if it’s a young couple in college who need space to develop on their own for awhile…but at 36, no.
Sorry, I don’t think you’re going to get what you want here. He’s old enough to know what he wants and he’s making it pretty clear he’s not that interested. How many years do you want to waste on him?
I would concentrate on yourself, go out, do your own thing. Don’t be at his beck and call. Don’t answer the phone, call him back later.
I did take a break with someone once. I initiated it (I was 20 I think) and it was because I really wanted to break up but thought it might go easier on him if we “took a break” first.
Post # 9
@KatertotATL: This is all because he couldnt go to therapy one week? He doesnt seem strong enough to deal with all the life things you will deal with over time. Maybe best to walk away…
Post # 10
@KatertotATL: at this stage in a man’s life, he should know what he wants. if he hasn’t really shown that yet, he is simply leading you on.
if it was meant to be, it shouldn’t be this difficult. i had a relationship that was challenging like this and we were together in limbo for 8-9 years. he did propose to me but we did nothing in terms of planning a wedding. trust me, it’s not worth it.
move on with your life and focus on yourself. that’s what i did and i felt such a sense of relief. fyi, i met my now dh shortly afterwards and have a relationship that i always dreamed of. please, don’t give up hope.
Post # 11
The last break I took ended the relationship – and, truthfully, as heartbroken as I was about the break in the beginning, by the time we regrouped to talk a month or whatever it was later, I was still sad of course, but doing pretty ok overall.
Post # 12
If its broken enough that you need to step away… time isn’t going to fix the issue without work. And if you are on a break you aren’t actively working on it. Personally I think you should move on. This whole thing screams breach of trust to me. He halfway moved in with you but had a contingency plan the whole time. Sometimes things don’t work out when people live together and then they figure out separate living arrangements. They don’t keep another apartment on the side.
I took a break with my Ex and he is forever going to be my ex. Maybe my perspective isn’t right for you though. My ex asked for a break, it lasted about a week (while I was crashing at a friend’s house because we lived together at the time), then we got back together for about a month. I broke up with him the day before he planned to propose (which was explained to me during the break up conversation). The break hadn’t helped us and getting married wouldn’t have fixed it either. I’m glad things ended the way they did.
Post # 13
@KatertotATL: Is there an option for you go with him to one of his therapy appointments?
Post # 14
Thanks to everyone who has responded. Going on day four of this break and I feel a little better, crying a little bit less. I actually had a pretty fun weekend with friends and feel better although not fantastic about the prospect of being single again. We texted a little bit on Saturday morning, I gave in to the urge of contacting him. It was a pleasant chat and he agreed that he needed to see a doctor about getting on a better medication for his condition and said he asked for a referral from his counselor. I still don’t know where that leaves me but I have been emotionally treating this like a break up, I even gathered his things and put them in the garage if breaking up becomes the reality. It also helps me to clear my head with not having his things around. We have not chatted since Sat morning, it’s been tough but getting a little easier. I have been keeping myself busy, mercifully I have a lot of single friends even being in my mid thirties so I am really grateful for that. We are supposed to be talking on Wednesday, part of me has thought about pushing this back for another week and taking a little more time to sort my thoughts, I feel like I have gotten past that initial wave of desperation and grief and thinking a little more clearly. I still miss him but I want to figure this out in my time as well, it will probably throw him a little if I want the talk date pushed back, might not be a bad thing.
Post # 15
@KatertotATL: You’re being so strong!! Remember, this isn’t only about what he wants, but what you want as well. Hang in there!!! You’re doing great!
Post # 16
I had a serious relationship that ended because he was unable to committ or settle down. Now that I am in an amazing relationship, I’ve realized what the other one was missing:
I want someone to be desperate to see me, talk to me, miss me when I am not with him, etc. I want someone to be excited about me, being with me, living with me, etc. I don’t want to feel like I am just there, I want to feel appreciated. I want someone who is so excited to be married to me that he can’t wait beyond a reasonable time. I am amazing, and I want someone who knows I am amazing. Someone who knows that by losing me, they would be letting an awesome girl slip away. If a short break doesn’t make him want to do anything to get you back in his life, he may not be worth it.
You deserve to be someone’s great love, the one they can’t live without. You deserve someone who needs you, wants you, loves you and wants to shout it to the world. You are worth it, and you are amazing, and you want someone who knows that.