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commitmentphobe still wants me around


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After a three years of serious dating etc, my boyfriend broke up with me. An admitted commitment-phobe, he sought therapy for his issues. He finally broke up with me 2 months ago, after finding that he just wasn't capable of being in a relationship, even after spending a long time working with a therapist. He is working through some serious issues stemming from his childhood. I wanted to help him through it, he wants to work on it alone. Monogamy and trust were never issues.


I have been pretty resolute about following the NC rule for two months. That hasn't been too difficult for me. He doesn't want to date me, but he doesn't want me to disappear from his life either. I emailed him once out of necessity, and, more or less, responded that he thinks about me all the time and would like to hear from me more.


I am conflicted. I still hold out hope that he will be able to work through his issues someday and will want to reconnect. I know I cannot wait. But, I keep feeling as if this NC rule isn't moving me any closer towards a reconciliation with him. The thought of dating another guy sickens me, and I know he isn't dating anyone else either. Should I use this as an invitation to initiate more contact, perhaps ask if he'd like to get together as friends? I am afraid that if I disappear completely (which I mostly have), the less likely there will ever be an opportunity to get back together if I am not around?


Anyone experience anything similar? Thanks.

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As someone who just recently broke up with a guy who had commitment & emotional intimacy issues - I feel your pain.


I'm sure you'll hear this often on ENA - but the NC rule isn't intended as a means of getting your ex back. NC is a means of you healing, getting some much needed space, and eventually the ability to look at things through a clearer perspective w/the ex out of the picture.


I give your ex lots of credit for recognizing he has issues and going into therapy to try to fix them. (My ex is content to be on his own forever). But his issues are his alone. And if you want to wait it out - you could be waiting a very very long time. You deserve someone who is capable of being in a full blown relationship with you.


I understand that you miss him and you don't want anyone else, but by being friends, esp so soon, you really don't have him do you? Not in the way that you honestly want. And he gets the benefit of having you around in a way that's perfectly acceptable to him.



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Thank you mcgirl. You are right. I have been so consumed with his issues, I lost sight of the fact that the NC rule is supposed to be about my healing, not his. I guess I saw the purpose of NC as two-fold: 1) to heal yourself and 2) to give him time to see what life without you is really like.


I know the odds are stacked against me, but is there a successful way to repair this? I know each relationship is unique, but I have heard just as many success stories as I have heard disaster stories about reuniting with a commitment-phobe.


Why would he keep our break-up a secret from everyone in his life, while at the same time want me to still be in contact with him? Guilt OR Second-thoughts? I am not sure.

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I think he's trying to be fair to you by letting you go, but is also trying to appease himself by keeping you around. I personally think he did the right thing by cutting you loose so he could work on his personal issues, but until he HAS worked through those issues, reconciliation will only serve to hurt both of you even more.


I would tell him that once he's confident in his own personal healing that you'd be happy to hear from him. Until that time, I think its best for you to maintain NC. Good luck.

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Thank you guitargirl. I know we couldn't be together unless he worked through all those issues. I am new here, and I am just confused. I thought therapy was supposed to help? I have never heard of anyone feeling worse about their underlying issues, AFTER seeking treatment? Anyhow, I know I need to focus on myself. It is just difficult when I miss him very much.


At the risk of sounding even more desperate, do you think transitioning from NC to LC would help matters? I know he is taking his issues seriously, and he is not out looking for a new girlfriend or anything.

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NC is always incredibly difficult. LC is often times used just to try and lessen the blow of the reality that NC means NO contact (which is a tough pill to swallow).


Can you honestly go LC without maintaining hope that his next e-mail will say, "I'm ready to get back together"? If not, then NC is really the only way to go. That way, he knows you'll be there if and when he's completely worked through his issues, but you're not there as a crutch for him to fall on in the meantime. He's busy working on his healing so you need to start putting yourself first and work on yours. NC is the only way to do that (for now).


Good luck.

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