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Desperate for help, my insides are so heavy

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hello all. i'm new.

I was on craigslist with this problem and the basically chewed me up and spit me out. It was quite painful, since i am usually in despiration by the time i post for help.


I try to keep things short, so let me give you the quick-n-dirty.


I am 34 he is 38. met on link removed, he's mexican, kinda european-like & i'm as american as apple pie. we were so amazing in so many ways. i thought he had a fair amount of serious ltr before me & i know i've had many. I felt like we had all the things a mature, healthy realtionship should have. Yes it was only 6 mo's, but we fell hard and close, fast. I consider myself to have amazing integrity, and he is the same. Our biggest opposites are he's private and i'm an open book.


His reason for breaking up was "after finding the woman of his life(me), and started building a foundation for our future, he realized it wasn't the woman that he was searching for, it was his "readiness". " He wants to have a family one day and new he had to be honest to the both of us and it had to end. I guess like damage control? He is a very deep thinker.


Long story short, I've come to realize he is a commitment phobe. I asked him if he looked at me more like a friend, if he lost a bit of the chemistry, nothing. It was actually not me, it was all him. He said his hesitations had nothing to do with me, and started to kill the warm-fuzzies which lead him down a road he had been down before of mess, and thought he had fixed, but apparently not.


After thinking long and hard, researching, obsessing over all of this, I realized fear and love cannot exist together. (i am not an obsessive person)


What I am having trouble with is I felt we were very close to being a perfect match/couple. Whatever perfect is, we were pretty darn close. He is exactly what I was looking for.

We broke up end of April. Didn't talk most of May. We started contact thru email sometime the beginning of June. I forgot how it started, but I eventually wanted him to know that I agreed that there wasn't a way to grow (for the long term) if we were to stay together at that time. I acknowledge that with him pulling away little by little and us moving a little too fast, it threw us out of balance & was a recipe for disaster. (I was only out of my previous relationship for a month before we met for our first date.)


Then we sent jokes back and forth and laughed back and forth for about a week until he called and invited me to join in a paintball afternoon. I explained that talking over the phone and emailing is one thing, but seeing him would be a whole other difficult thing. And I didn't want to show up and "put on an act".

I scheduled a talk with him and explained i don't understand why he is a commitment phobe, i wear my heart on my sleeve and live with no regets, so we are at opposite ends of the spectrum on this. BUT if he were to look at us as a team instead of commitment as a big scary thing to FACE, that maybe it wouldn't be so scary. I also told him the things i was learning from him and if he realized the give & take, and growth being the goal, that maybe it would be easier to swallow. We ended with agreeing that the friendly communication is not making it easy for me to move on. It was last thursday since we talked.

I am having a REALLY hard time. When he first broke it off I asked him why not just take a break? He said well, i kindof feel its either on or its off. So the last time we talked I asked. I referred to what he said and then asked him, then if it's off, then its off? He said I always say "never say never' but that doesn't help you move on. I asked him to say something negative to make it easier to move on. He said he couldn't do that.


First question: As I was reading other posts I noticed other women mentioning certain actions they wished they'd done and perhaps would have ended up back together with the man they kept in contact with. Have I ruined that opportunity?

Second: I noticed NC mentioned a lot. Eventually I figured out it means no contact. I like that this is highlighted and I guess the goal here. Can you help me with this?


I'm sorry this was so long Thank you for reading!

I'm going to bed and will read your reply in the morning.


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Sounds like both of you are mature people. I'd give him, and yourself, some time and space and see how you feel in a month. I'm not a fan of NC as it doesn't provide long term growth and perspective. But as a temporary tool NC can be useful.



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Oh gosh...I just came out of a relationship with a man that sounds very similar to yours. Private, fear driven, commitmentphobic.


Now, you have two possibilities here, the way I see it. He is really a commitmentphobe. That means you are flogging a dead horse. Or, he isn't actually a commitmentphobe, but doesn't want to commit to you right at the moment. That also means you are flogging a dead horse.


You can contact him one last time and say, I want to be with you, if you change your mind down the track and are really sincere about it, we can try again. But right now lets have space. No contact.


You CAN do this, BUT, I don't recommend it. Why? Because if he is really a commitmentphobe, that means he can't commit to being with you, or being without you. That means whilever you remain open to a relationship with him, he is going to yank your chain....without ever actually giving you what you really want (a relationship).

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Don't blame and beat yourself up about what went wrong with this relationship. If he has commitment phobia he most likely has hurt many other women in a similar way by not giving them a good reason for why things went wrong. I've been a similar situation before where I was strung along like a yo-yo with this girl because I thought there was a chance at getting back together. However, she acted cold after we split because she had that commitment problem. The only way I was able to get over it was by forcing myself to maintain NC...


I would do your best to get him out of your mind because the more you try to talk to him, the more hurt and confused you will feel. If he truly misses you and wants to give the relationship another shot, he will come back to you.

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There really was no opportunity for you to ruin. He was chatting with you and inviting you out to paintball as if you two were friends, not partners. That would only have led to frustration for you. You had to let him know that you can't have this kind of interaction...it is either a relationship or nothing. Some people are just more private but being private doesn't have to mean not wanting to commit. Not everyone is an open book and not everyone shows love in the same way. I think NC is your best bet at this point..some time completely apart so that you can move on and also give both of you time to think.

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Oh integritygal, yours sounds exactly like mine! Personalities and all...


Its hard for me to tell you how to deal you with it as every situation is unique.


Perhaps my story can help you get an idea of what you want to do next.


I broke up with him because out of the blue when we were happy and everything was going fine (so I thought)he starterd giving me the Relationship-downgrading-speech. I then detouched immediately. I remained polite whenever he made contact, until he asked me out for dinner. I then told him it was not a good idea and suggested we go NC (I realised that constant contact was not helping me heal). A month later we met at a common facility we use. He told me he missed me and asked whether we could not open the lines of communication. I agreed as I felt I did my grieving and was not feeling hurt any more. We started talking more and it progressed to speding time together, then to spending more time together, as friend. I then realised again that this was not going to help me move on and I suggested we go back to strict NC (By this time he was aware that I was going out on dates with other man). He reluctantly agreed.


He told me that he was not seeing anyone and was not looking either.


I also mentioned that he might be commitmentphobic and that he should consider seeing someone professional for his future relationships. Few days later he called, wanting to get back together, acknowledging that he might have a problem and promised to work on it. We have been together for three months now after making up. We are back to our old happy selves. The difference is that I keep less contact now and reducing the time we spend together. The result has been, he's chasing me now! Perhaps that's what he needed. Phew! Relationships can be darn complecated!


PS. I have also encouraged him to talk about his feelings when he feels suffocated and have told him that he should never feel trapped and is free to go whenever he feels he no longer wants to be in the relationship.

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I wanted to respond to each of you seperatly, but I'm not sure how this works.


Thank you all. This is very encouraging. I have never been thru anything like this before. I keep writing lists and drafting emails(saving them and not sending them). It is consuming me! I have never loved any one so much in my life. I am REALLY not used to loving someone so much after NC either. Usually I need some kind of connection to keep it going. I respect, adore, admire, appreciate this man, he treated me wonderfully. I know that staying away is the right thing to do, but it doesn't FEEL like the right thing to do. After 15 years of different respectful ltr's I am used to a little bit of arguing and then it fades out & we break it off before the arguing gets unhealthy. Admirable and civil. I'm friends with all of my ex's. I have been struggling with not talking to him since Wednesday. I am on my 5th day of struggle. So I am on the 11th day of NC.


He is a double, triple thinker, and then some, so i can pretty much bet he thinks of me every day. My goal to leave everything on a good note was so I could 1)remind him how much he laughs when we talk. 2) Thru adversity, I was still level headed and able to talk to him. All good things to encourage him to want to come back once his figures everything out. He did acknowledge he felt like we were friends that care about each other and he appreciates that he can trust me enough to "talk" to me (this was email) acknowledging that it is important now-a-days to be able to trust someone. I'm thinking of course! I believe he should be impressed with how well I have treated him after hurting me. And I am hoping he realizes he's NOT happier skydiving and some more skydiving as much as he used too. I would never want him to change any of this and i was not pressuring him for ANYTHING (especially at 6mo's). BUT @ 5 years ago he went thru this with a girlfriend of 3 years (they moved here from Mexico together) and his hesitations ruined everything. I guess the drama became so bad, he doens't want to history to repeat and pulled out of what we had before it got bad? I believe that he is this mature and insiteful, but still. We are older then he was back then. I am not a ga-zillion miles away from my family like she was. I want to quit drinking, she became an alcoholic. So he has thought hard enough to realize that he wants to be ready before he ruined what we had. It's like UGGGHHHHH!!! I feel like, oh, you've met your future husband, but you have to wait until he's ready. But we're not sure when if ever he'll be ready. To me, it's just too right to not be meant-to-be.

Thank you kevinm for being able to observe the maturity/respect level.

badhabits - i kinda did the call one last time thing. and i explained all of the things that i think us as a team is right. he said he would think about it. maybe he's not a commitment phobe, and he's just having a mid-life crisis and readiness issue. Crazy about dogs: I love this quote: "Love is an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired."

metaphisics: The last time we did some deep talking (last thurs) I left him w/ a few things to scratch his head about. One being that all of his sports are non-team sports... Skydiving, scuba, snowboard. He was shocked when i pointed it out. He thought i made a good pointe. I really hope the NC brings him back. He travels a lot for work and I think the only time he misses having someone is when he's home. He was home all last week, so I know he got some good thinking in.

This is the hardest thing I have ever had to do. Usually those gain the most; I just don't trust my will-power.

Question: I am new into making jewelry,.... I want to make him a bracelet and send it with a note that says handmade for you from Cindy. AND THAT'S ALL... is this weird? Is this not a smart thing to do? (He's the only one that lives here in the U.S. his friends are all his co-workers or skydivers, I know it would be nice to receive something other then junk mail or bills)

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Oh! Trust me u do need a lot of will power to stick to NC. I remember that during my month of NC, I felt like someone was pulling my insides out, but refused to make any contact!(But then again I'm notorious for being too proud


In a nutshell I do believe NC is worth it, for everyday you manage not to contact him, you feel good about yourself and it eases the pain.


About sending him a bracelet... I'm not voting for it. They say the only way for an ex to miss you is not to enjoy any of the benefits he did when he was with you and I believe it! Besides, depending on his charecter, he might feel guilty receiving something from you after hurting you.


Your call and all the best!

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Hi IntegrityGal


You sound like a deep thinker as well and you sound completely infatuated with this guy. I'm gonna play devil's advocate here: Even if you believe he's the ONE, or however much you admire him you should remember it is not up to us to CONVINCE a guy how happy he's gonna be with us, that we are the ONE. He should know that, he's spent enough time with you to see how special you are. And for whatever reason he cannot continue. That reason, if it is commitment phobia, is not your responsibility it's his, particularly if he's old enough. I would highly suggest you stop thinking that it's all about him, his issues, his past relationships. What about you? You want him to aknowledge how well you've done I understand that. You wanna send him a bracelet?? Why? He's HURT you and he should be after you, not you.


I know people are complicated and he sounds it but still it feels awfull making excuses for someone, I've been there. No need to be so soft on him.


I understand you are hurting and how desperately you must be wanting the connection, but honestly IntegrityGal don't contact him, that might actually be the only way for him to come back..he has to understand how special you are, he has to want to be in the relationship through his own choice otherwise long term this might make you insecure.

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Yeah, i am infatuated. i feel obsessed! i hate it!

I did feel a little uncomfortable about the idea of sending him a gift. But i wanted to shake the idea if it wasn't a good idea.

I felt like the psycho stalker girls you see in movies or something.


I appreciate the devils advocate because i usually do that to help my friends.


i didn't convince him in our last conversation that i'm the one, i tried to share a new perspective on getting to marriage(which is his ultimate goal).


Are you ready for what analogy I used? Hehehe. I said, you are freaking out about the Superbowl and we weren't even out of playoffs yet. and you don't get there alone, we work as a team, contribute and learn from each other to grow. I said, you get injuries along the way, you can't step back and think about how the season will play out. He said he would think about all the things i said. He's smart, its happened before, and he's right, it would be a lot worse if we were still together, it would KILL me if he was pulling away, i'd be so insecure and question his geniunity and it would just snowball.


I know i need to work on me and get him out of my head and focus on NC, I'm just having a hard time doing it.


I need to enroll in school. (I'm 34) I'm going to college to get my associates degree in the fall. i want to loose 20lbs. i have great friends. i'm quitting drinking. i have an amazing family. i just have a hard time feeling inspired/motivated to move forward with these things. struggling!!!

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