Post # 1
My FH told me today that he wants us to take a “break” and see if we can work individually and together to repair our relationship. Everything was great until recently when we got back from an amazing vacation and we was acting cold and distant, even leaving to his parent’s house for a few days. I gave him space until I couldn’t take it and pushed for an explanation of what was wrong, and he blew up and starting listing a variety of issues that I didn’t realize were issues, or certainly not to the extent that he finally expressed. Mostly communication issues that I was aware of and working on, and had thought that they’d been much better lately. It’s been pretty rough since that blowout, and lots of arguing for the past two weeks. I’m exhausted and want to be left alone, mostly, and I’m unsure if I want to continue the relationship. I love him deeply and am devastated at the thought of losing what I thought my life was going to look like. We also live together and have pets together. But he said some things that I don’t know if I can move past, and this “break” idea seems like a way of dancing around what might be inevitable. I think honestly that he is scared of losing me after he said last night that it was “decided” and that he was “done” which is why he doubled back and suggested this break.
Considering even if we broke up now we’d have to live together until one or both of us finds a new place, should I try the break and see what happens? Or cut my losses and start to move on? I never thought I’d be in this position and I’m massively embarrassed at the thought of breaking off an engagement and scared to lose my best friend. But I don’t want to be someone who stays way longer than they should out of desperation and fear…I got a lot of harsh truth last time I posted here and maybe I need that again to make a decision.
Post # 2
I don’t do breaks. Either you are with me or the relationship is over. If you want to continue in the relationship I would be suggesting counseling to work through your issues together.
But it’s a 100% no to breaks for me. So I’d tell him his options are to stay with me and go to counseling or to break up.
Post # 3
If you do a break, make sure you’re both on the same page about what “break” means. Are you allowed to go on dates with other people? Are you allowed to sleep with them?
I am ok with cool off periods. It could be a way to see things more clearly, just don’t let this break go on forever.
Post # 4
I wouldn’t be able to stay with someone I was engaged with that suggested we take a break. For me personally, I would always have insecurities throughout our marriage IF we ended up going through with the wedding.
Post # 5
- Wedding: April 2017 - City, State
If you cannot work through these problems together while engaged without taking a break, what are your expectations for conflict resolution once you’re married? A break doesn’t actually solve issues, it just kicks them down the road. If you two actually want to work on your problems, you need to actively work on them together.
If he really needs a break, I would reconsider the entire relationship.
Post # 6
shockedbee : Nope nope nope, I don’t think so. I’d be wondering if he had alterior motives for this “break” IE: a woman he’s interested in. If there are issues he wants to address in the relationship then suggest couples therapy. A “break” won’t solve anything. If he says no to the therapy suggestion then I would permanently break-up with this man.
Post # 7
I would feel blindsided like where is this coming from specially since you just got back from a vacation you described as amazing. I would question his motives and would feel betrayed. It’s one thing to calmly point out issues and say let’s work on them before the wedding, completely another to blindside you and say we need a break if you thought everything was ok
Post # 8
I agree with PP: There are no “breaks” in marriage; if you can’t figure out how now to work through your problems while you’re together, how are you going to do it when this phantom “break” isn’t an option? And what’s the actual purpose of the break? Spending less time together? What does that accomplish? (I’m not saying that accomplishes nothing; I’m saying that we should actually identify its purpose and benefit if there is one.) People can spend alone time by going for a drive or whatever. You don’t really need a break from the entire relationship to have time for your own thoughts.
Ultimately, people who are a team don’t reach solutions to team problems individually.
Post # 9
A break means it’s broken in a fundamental way. I’m never optimistic when someone in a relationship, particularly an an engagement, wants to take a break. It’s like they want to break up but can’t find the strength to do it, so they half-ass it.
I’m sorry OP.
Post # 10
shockedbee :my ex and I weren’t ‘engaged’ but he broke up with me 3 times in total…let me tell you that once this happens you’ll be sat around wondering when or if there’s going to be another ‘break’. And also…remember that whilst you might he giving up a life you imagined/dreamt of…there’s also the life you haven’t imagined with someone better that doesn’t want a break from you ever…no matter what.
Post # 11
I’m not opposed to the concept of a break, provided there is a clear plan – how long, who moves out, exactly how are you going to resolve the issues- therapy, pre-marital counseling, etc. Because a “break” without a plan is just the coward’s way of trying to avoid being the bad guy or make an actual decision.
So without more information as to the specific issues and how he proposes this break resolves them, then I would make it a permanent break, particularly since that seemed to be where it was headed and he backtracked at the last minute. A broken engagement is far less embarrassing and less expensive than a divorce, particularly when you ignored all the warning signs and plowed ahead because you were afraid of the embarrassment.
Post # 12
shockedbee : A break means your relationship is broken. You can’t fix something that’s not even there. I would personally just cut my losses and go. If having an adult conversation isn’t the first step then why waste your breath on counseling?
Post # 13
You know what happens when you marry the guy who threatens that “it’s over” or he wants “a break?” If you end up together at all, you end up with a husband who threatens divorce or walks out the door every time he’s stressed or unhappy.
It’s not supposed to be this hard at this point.
Post # 14
Thanks everyone. I think you’re all probably right. I think I would always be wondering when the next time he’d threaten to leave would be…
obviousanonymous : “Ultimately, people who are a team don’t reach solutions to team problems individually.”
I needed to hear that, thank you.
Post # 15
I think it’s black-and-white thinking to unilaterally declare that a break means your relationship is broken beyong repair. Sometimes something worth having requires work. And I totally don’t buy the whole “it should never be this hard” line, sorry. Sometimes shit gets hard. If you feel that putting in the work will be worth the effort, by all means do it.
However, a break that requires severing all communication and being dead to each other will not be productive as a means to resolving communication issues. That’s just plain illogical. I second what one PP said regarding a break with conditions, wherein you keep trying to solve the problem (with help) but maybe don’t live together while you do it. DO NOT use it as an excuse to sleep with other people or hide from the problem. Sometimes proximity puts pressure on a volatile situation and can obscure a clear way out.