I am feeling quite lost at this point and growing further from my fiance every day, so as a last ditch effort wanted to post here in case anyone has been through anything similar. After 3 weeks of virtually no contact from his end, he told me he wanted a break where I would not speak to him, and he did not know for how long.
Before he went to medical school, we were best friends and did everything together. Granted we could have done more to lead our own separate lives, but on the whole, I think we had a very healthy relationship with typical arguments. As backstory, my fiance had a serious drinking problem when we first met. I had doubts but loved him, and stuck it out, and he went from drinking excessively at a low-level job he hated to quitting alcohol (sober 3 years) and me spending day in, day out, helping him write his statements of interest – and ultimately his acceptance to medical school. We have two dogs together we love spending time with, and he proposed to me just over a year ago. Everyone in our family/friends knows us as a solid couple and would be very surprised to hear if we ever broke up. The day I left him at medical school to go home he cried more than he ever had and told me how much he would miss me, that he felt we were soulmates, etc. Not in a dramatic way, just acknowledging how much our lives have grown together and that it would be hard.
Cut to 1 month out – after having sent him lighthearted photo updates of our two dogs that he loves, and encouraging him to go out and meet new people, and generally speaking 2-3 times a week the first week (I was NOT blowing up his phone, I would send a singular good morning message or video message in the morning), it gradually descended into less and less responses from him, to not answering my good morning text at all for the entire day and that becoming a habit, to ‘Don’t send me pictures of our dogs anymore, I don’t want to see them because it just makes me miss them’ and ‘You just need to accept I can’t be emotionally invested’, to telling me last week (the night before I had an exam) that he ‘is enjoying his freedom and his new life without me as much as that is selfish to say, he likes not having me around needing things from him’, that he ‘doesn’t know if he wants a relationship’, and when I asked about what would happen to the dogs, he said ‘when I am finally done in 4 years (she) is going to be almost dead anyway’ and started crying.
I had hope when he was emotional, because I thought that meant that he was facing immense stress (he has never done anything like this before or moved out of the country, whereas I have completed the stress of professional school, albeit while single) and just doesn’t know how to cope. I thought he was compartmentalizing *because* he feels a lot for us. But he has completely shut me out, and on my end despite being a strong woman with a career I go to every day, I have to admit I am completely heartbroken. I have been going to the gym and on hikes with our two dogs to get some air, advancing my career, and spending time with girlfriends, but the further this ‘break’ goes, the more I need to protect myself, and on some level, the cynic in me wonders if I’m a fool and he used me to build his confidence and life to this point, and now I don’t want to see that he really is just cutting me off once he’s arrived (and making me break up with him so that it doesn’t look like what he knows it will look like to our family and friends).
It is getting harder and harder to keep my heart open. I vacillate. On one hand, I reflected a lot on our relationship, and want to take responsibility for any perceived role I have in this situation: I think in some ways I loved him so much and was so afraid of losing him that I held on too tightly, and am worried that in some ways like redecorating the house the way I wanted to without seeking his input, or putting up engagement photos on Facebook when I knew he is private and wasn’t comfortable with it. I know I could have done a better job ‘seeing’ him and making him feel acknowledged instead of insisting everything be perfect. He asked me in August to send a care package about 3 times, which I didn’t do because I was so swamped with catching up on work when I got home, but am thinking of sending his favourite snacks for studying, a Muhammad Ali poster I gave him when he was about to give up studying for the MCAT and is a fond memory, and some pictures I took of our favourite haunts in the city we lived in.
On the other hand, I am appalled that, after everything that we have been through together and all the ways I have supported him the past 5 years, that he would go from what we were to just cutting things off like this. When I think about sending him a care package and showing him that I am here and believe in him through this stressful time, then I think I am just opening the wound and playing into this dynamic…. during the break, we had a family emergency and my grandmother is passing away, and I had to call from work yesterday to say my goodbyes – normally he would support me through this (I moved away from my family) but he doesn’t even know, and on one hand, I am angry at him for doing this to me after all the ways I have supported him. I just don’t know how to play this.
We have been through hell and back together. His mom has been very supportive and wanted me to come for Thanksgiving this weekend, and I don’t think anyone really understands what is going on. If it’s any insight, when I asked on the phone if he wanted to break up, he said no, and when I asked if he wanted to see other people, he said no, but said if I wanted that to be happy it was up to me. He made a big deal on the phone about ‘I need to accept that he moved away for years and was not coming back’ and ‘he is unhappy and doesn’t want to make me unhappy’ (while crying). This made me think he was getting his bearings in the stress of school and depressed about being unable to see the light at the end of the tunnel beyond first semester – he has dealt with depression before and can be quite cynical. I have a feeling on some level he is doing that and pushing me away so he can just be an automaton and focus on medical school. When I told him I know him and how he copes with things and that I felt he should make his own choices but that he would regret this, that seemed to register. However, he also said he ‘wasn’t sure about the relationship and didn’t want to wait and tell me the same thing in a few months or years’.
So… I am totally heartbroken, and have no idea what to do. I know this whole song and dance as well as any other woman and am drinking warm tea, going on hikes with my dogs, pursuing business ideas I finally have the chance to, and taking care of my physical/emotional health – but underneath the broken heart is there and I would love to hear any guidance anyone could provide in this situation. Thank you so much.
P.S. While I know this is an online forum and we don’t owe each other anything, I would ask that you please be gentle.