(Closed) Taking time apart/going on a break

posted 8 years ago in Relationships
Post # 3
18637 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

Oh hun I’m sorry.  I think that you both need a little bit of time apart to think about your relationship and what you both want from it.  I used to have severe anxiety like that about not talking to my husband and thinking that he was hurt and I can tell you that it really stresses a guy out.  I know it sounds dumb but it takes away some of the mystery and makes him feel like he has a chain on him.  Have you considered counseling?

I can’t really say whether or not your relationship is over or will be fine but I think that the two of you need to work on the on-again off-again nature of your relationship.  Good luck with whatever happens.

Post # 4
365 posts
Helper bee

Oh sweets. Sounds tough. But it does sound like you’re smothering him!!

I know you try not to. You should see someone to try and help you with anxiety. Otherwise you’re driving him away. And it’s happening already.

This can be fixed 🙂 ((hugs))

Post # 5
68 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: January 2011

I’m sorry you’re having to go through this! I know it can be difficult, but it sounds like you have a good grasp of the situation and what specific problems need to be fixed.

I’m about to finish up my doctorate in psychology, so let me offer you a bit of advice I think may help (of course, i cannot say these are doctor’s orders yet, lol):

If you are not already, I would suggest you talk to someone about your anxiety problems and the issues you are having with not hearing back from your Boyfriend or Best Friend. It could be specific to this situation, or it could come from somewhere that you don’t even realize. It’s important to fully understand the problem before you can figure out how to deal with it. If you’d rather not sit down with a psychologist, try talking to your medical doctor. They can be very helpful in determining what course to pursue. If that’s still daunting, go to your local bookstore and get an anxiety workbook. That would really help you in working through the issue.

Next, understand that ALL relationships go through ups and downs. Don’t put yourself down because it isn’t “perfect” – no one’s is. It sounds like your Boyfriend or Best Friend really cares about you and wants things to work, but he just needs a breather. Let him know that you “get” that and that you are there for him, but don’t want to push him away. It sounds like you 2 are both at really stressful points in your lives, and that is a major factor in why things are going awry. Anytime 1 person is going through something stressful it will put a damper on a relationship, and with you both at that point (his grad school and your new job) it’s like a double-whammy. It isn’t your faults, you both just have to learn to manage it more effectively. 

I think the most important thing you should do together is learn to communicate. You could see a counselor together and get some great strategies made specific to your situation, or you could go get some books in the self-help section and pick some strategies that you think will work. If they don’t after a week or two, reevaluate and choose a different one. Obviously his holding things in and your over-emailing/texting isn’t working for you guys, so trying something more 50/50 may help. Communication is key!

Good luck with everything! I hope it all works out in the end and you both are very happy for a long long time!

Post # 6
1641 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

We went through this, too. My advice to you is, do NOT sit and pine for him. Go out, have fun, get a hobby, whatever. Men don’t like it when we build our lives around them. Become your own person with your own “things to do”, and you will be more attractive to him. And if he doesn’t come back to you, you will find the one while out there in the world enjoying your life.


Post # 7
2459 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2010

Hun for your own self worth I think you need to pull back, let him be the next to make contact. It sounds like you overwhelm him slightly, relationships are generally not that much work. I have been with my husband for 10 years and have never been on a break.

If he is interested in continuing your rel, I definately think you should get councelling. I know this all sounds a bit harsh but you both can’t live like this for ever. Someone will snap, and it seems that your bf just has.

Post # 8
391 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

@simpleandchic: I’d like to say I agree with you. But I’m not sure if it is because OP is being overwhelming to her SO, or ex-SO.

Regardless…to OP I’d like to say this: Working on yourself is the best thing you can do right now. Be selfish. Do things that make you happy (that has nothing to do with the guy) and focus on the fulfillment of being an individual again. I know it might suck or hurt a lot at first, but when you come out I guess it’s something akin to coming out of a refreshing massage. It’s all about you right now!

Because…heaven forbid. If the relationship continues, you’re an improved version for him. If it doesn’t, you’re still ahead of where you left off. ^_^

Post # 9
4546 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I agree with the other posters when they say working on yourself should be your #1 priority right now. I, too, suffered from anxiety and while my husband is a great source of support to me, it is something I take steps to deal with (counseling is very helpful). Bottom line, you need to be in a healthy place in order for your relationship to be healthy. If your SO feels smothered/nervous/anxious because of your anxiety, then that’s going to be a big stain on your relationship.

Post # 10
2493 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

I’m so sorry you’re going through this, sweetheart.. but, I can commiserate, as I’m in the same position, right now, unfortunately.

Back in May, my (now) ex-FI ended our relationship/engagement out of nowhere–we were planning our wedding, and house-hunting one day, and the next, he just combusted (for the lack of a better word). It’s now been almost 8-months since we split, but we’re slowly working on things, and trying to figure out if we can really make ‘us’ work, again.

As hard as it is, sometimes, I know that this break is for the best.. it’s giving us time to really think about what we both want, and need out of the relationship, and out of life in general. We had been together for 9½ years, so we really grew up together, and really never had any teen ‘dating’ experiences. We’re not dating other people, right now, either, but, like I said this break is for the best, so we can work on ourselves. As a matter of fact, since the split, I’ve become totally independent, starting out with nothing (I was a Stay-At-Home Mom to our daughter), and securing a job, a home, and new everything.. I also got healthy(er, lol), and lost 60lbs! I still have other things I need to work on, but with all of this, ex-FI has expressed how proud of me he is, and I think by bettering myself, it’s opening his eyes as to what he had.. and, could have again, possibly.

I agree with the other posters–work on you, and just let him figure out what he wants/needs.

All the best!

Post # 11
105 posts
Blushing bee

@brighteyedgirl:  Your story is so great, albeit difficult and sad too.  It’s really showing that you are putting YOU (and your daughter) first.  I am in a similar boat, as I called off my engagement and really sorting out what I want and what I need after a long time together, and like you, he was one of my first relationships and really all I’ve known.  I’m just at a place where I taking some ME time.

Ultimately, that’s what you need to do in order to make a relationship its best: YOU need to be happy with you (not unhappy, anxious, judgemental, critical, etc).  OP, give your man the break he wants.  Just do the very best to take care of yourself and the rest is out of your hands.

Good luck!

Post # 12
289 posts
Helper bee

When my SO and I moved in together, I thought the biggest hurdle we would face would be finding a happy meduim between my OCD cleaning habits and his lack thereof. I was wrong. SO and I deal with stress in very different ways. He usually clams up and does everything in his power to avoid the issues that are causing him discomfort, while I usually raise hell and act like the world is crashing down around me. Learning to respect one anothers’ stress styles, and encouraging the other to incorporate better coping tactics has been difficult. Talking, rather than fighting, is tough but so necessary.

Now, I can totally relate to the stress of teaching, and understand the anxiety you feel about making sure your SO is safe. I can be very paranoid about SO’s safety sometimes (he commutes to work over one of the most dangerous highways in CA, and plays a very intense sport that has caused many injuries), but I’ve had to learn to let it go and just have faith that he’s alright. I think it’s good that you’re seeking assistance on working through your anxiety.

It sounds like your SO is overwhelmed. When presented with an undesirable issue, some people crave confrontation (me), while others want to avoid it at all costs (my SO). It sounds like your SO falls into the latter category as well.

My advice is to keep it simple for yourself. Give each other the space you both probably need right now. I’ve taken “breaks” with exes in the past and the outcome was different each time. It really depends on the issues at hand. Perhaps you should sit down and write out (and edit – first drafts always sound a little nuts, haha) a letter to him. Map out your feelings, offer recognition for his, and make a plan how, if you two decide to reconcile, you two will work towards a healthier relationship.

Good Luck and ((hugs))!

Post # 13
141 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2012


I am so so sorry that you are experiencing this. I know how it feels to be incredibly anxious in relationships. It’s horrible and can be debilitating. For me it was the worst in long distance relationships. I dated a boy in college who lived 6 hours away (not to mention had no car and overbearing parents who made it our relationship extra difficult) and he was terrible about calling, emailing, IMing and even visiting when he said he would. I would freak out and call him over and over again until he answered. I couldn’t control myself.

Fortunately, he was very kind about it, but I know it was driving him nuts. Ultimately I realized that he wasn’t the right match for me in the long run. But I also needed to work with a counselor to get a handle on my anxiety. For me, it was about getting professional help and simultaneously taking some time to figure out exactly what I need in a partner. I’m not trying to say that your SO isn’t right for you, because I don’t know your relationship but I do know that figuring out what you need out of a partner is key, because then you can communicate that and make sure you are happy and healthy.

So my advice is to take a few deep breaths and find a counselor, or continue to work with one if you currently are. A counselor will be able to help you develop tools that can manage your anxiety as well as help you to work through why you feel anxiety in the first place.

Good luck! Feel free to PM me if you want to talk. I feel for you, girl.

Post # 15
7689 posts
Bumble Beekeeper


I just wanted to say making changes is tough!  Expect to back slide a little bit-even when you are making progress.  It’s okay.  It’s good that you are going to therapy and are making progress.  I’m sorry things are not working out for your timeframe. Hang in there!  Do something nice for yourself today.

Post # 16
177 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

I’m sorry you’re going through this. I have really bad anxiety, and I go through bouts where it gets really bad. It’s a really difficult thing to work through, but if you can try taking baby steps away, it really does wonders for your relationship. If he’s anything like my boyfriend, he feels more like your caretaker than your partner, and that’s a lot of stress on him. Maybe if you seek counseling, you could share some things that you are learning, like tools that you both can use to help lighten the load.

Good luck, and don’t give up hope! It is definitely fixable, and you have a ton of support here on the ‘bee!

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