My boyfriend (35M) of ~1 year broke up with me (26M) about 3 weeks ago after cheating on me and still being unsure about what he wants. Deep down, I know he's not good for me because he has a lot of issues to work through himself and hasn't treated me well. But I can't stop thinking about him and wanting him back.
Here's the longer story:
We met a year ago, and it was an instant connection. This is was my first relationship, and I had never met anyone with the same level of wit, charm, and similar sense of humor and we were both immediately enraptured. We quickly fell into a relationship, and it was very passionate, very intense, and very fun. He had been in 5-6 previous serious relationships but felt this way only really only for one other guy (his first bf). On the other hand, we had constant fights, about once a month. The reasons included:
Pressuring him into the relationship: I gave him an ultimatum to date exclusively when he wasn't ready, because I was so scared of losing him
Trust issues: 1 week after exclusively dating, he kissed another guy at a club while high on molly and I became paranoid about him cheating, especially drugs. I started to worry whenever he would use substances or go out without me.
Anxious - avoidant cycles: When we would fight, he would ask for space instead of talking through our problems. This made me worried that he didn't care about me or would leave me, and I started getting horrible panic attacks.
Losing myself in the relationship: I stopped hanging out with my friends as often, and only went out with his friends as he is much more social. Started to become much more dependent on him for happiness, which only fed the anxious - avoidant cycles.
Sex: I had some hangups about the top / bottom dynamic given our races and age gaps, but I got over it and this got mostly resolved after a few months of fighting. He felt like he was compromising on some things as well, like open relationships.
Extroversion / introversion: he is MUCH more extroverted than me, and wanted me to go out with him constantly. I could meet him halfway, but ended up not trying as much as I could towards the end of the relationship, especially if I was dealing with stress myself.
Again, for all the problems I described, it was incredible 90% of the time. We supported each other through stressful times, and really understood each other on such a deep level. We truly were each other's best friends. I describe him as someone that can appreciate every part of my personality -- the driven professional, the silly boy, the creative artist, etc. Never before did I feel that from a single person.
It started going bad when he fell into a deep depression / mid-life crisis. He has always been a deeply insecure person, mostly about his professional life / how successful he is. I personally think this drives some very narcissistic behaviors, like loving attention and parties and boys. It all came to a head when he started hating his current job + started feeling trapped physically due to COVID. Many of his friends have gotten married, bought houses, and had kids and he feels like he's behind in life. I couldnt pull him out of his depression, despite me listening to him, physically being with him, trying to help him apply to jobs, prepping for interviews with him, etc.
Over the holidays, we went on vacation and I found out my dad may be dying from cancer, and so I flew back home while he stayed. He ended up staying for another month and growing more distant, while I was stressed trying to support my family. My dad ended up not actually having cancer, but I became so resentful that my bf was not supporting me. This went on for a month until I asked if he had slept with others while on vacation and he said yes. He had sex with 4 other men -- my worst fears come to life.
Cue lots of crying and emotions, and we both sort of agreed to end things, or at least take a break. After about a week, we both went home and started talking again and seeing each other. I realized I was okay with the cheating and wanted to try again, but he was still unsure about what he actually wanted in a relationship. Last weekend, I proposed taking a weekend trip to show I could change and compromise and give him what he said was missing in the relationship (being more social, more adventurous, etc.). It was a great weekend, and he said he felt better about the relationship but not 100% there. When I asked him to not date other people while we figure things out, he became very defensive and said I was pressuring him into the relationship again. I felt very hurt, as I kept imagining us hanging out and then him suddenly telling me he was going on a date with someone else.
Overall, he is unsure if he wants to be in a relationship with me, given all our "differences" and doesn't think we can change. He's also not sure what he wants or needs in a relationship at all, and is also trying to sort out other parts of his life he's not happy with, eg. his job. He says he needs some space to figure these things out.
We're back to no contact, and I haven't contacted him in a week. I know I am in too deep, and he has not treated me right. I know his insecurities and instability as a person probably will cause more problems in the future. But I miss him so much and want to try again. I'm going to give it a few months before contacting him again, but there's a part of me that hopes we can get back together after a break. Any advice would be amazing.