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10 years and we're done?!?!?!

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So, this is a super long and complicated story, so I will just try and keep it simple but there's a lot to it.

I have been with my boyfriend for about 10 years (since we were eighteen). We've been through some really tough times together, especially when we were younger (his mother was very sick almost his whole life with one illness or another and eventually passed away in our early 20s). So, we've been living together for a year and 1/2 (it's been great), and when we moved in together he said if things kept on being wonderful I'd have a ring by the end of our lease. I said that's wonderful, but it's you saying that not me (because I really don't like setting "deadlines" or ultimatums especially with him, I wouldn't want him feeling pressured into anything, I'd want him to do it on his own).

So, the past week we were supposed to move in with his dad to try and save money to buy something maybe in about a year (we had discussed getting married before buying). He was not happy with having to live with his dad, but two nights before we were moving when he was stressing about it, he held my hand and said "It's fine, I know it'll work out because we'll be together, and I love you so much." So the day before the move, I called his father just to check in and ask a few questions, and his dad claimed to have no clue we were coming!!! When I asked my boy about this when he got home, he claimed he had def told him and asked why I had called him in the first place, seemingly mad with me. I was surprised, because I'm very close with his family, and have called his dad many times before and it's never bothered him.

So I felt like something was up, and asked what was going on, and he said he was really really uncomfortable staying at his dads because his dad would want us to sleep in separate rooms, and was only letting us stay together to make us happy, and he thought maybe we should move to each of our own parents houses in the same town. I was especially upset that this was first brought up NOW, the day before moving, and then he blurts out "Everyone says we should be married by now, and I'm not ready and I don't know why but it's stupid that I'm not cuz I love you, why don't you MAKE ME marry you?" So I'm shocked and tell him it shouldn't matter what "everyone" thinks, just what I think, and I'm not hell bent on married, I just want to be with him, if I was super about being married, I would have already given him an ultimatum years ago, but it's him I love and want to be with, to which he responds "I think we should break up, because it's wrong that we've been together so long and I'm still not ready and I don't know when I'll ever be ready" So I just sighed and said fine, I think we should break up too because I am so tired of this flipflopping (he did the same thing 3 years ago, but came back after 3 months and really made me feel like it was worth giving him another chance).

We still had to move out, and it was fine, but when we were there the final day cleaning it was so sad to see the place so empty and I cried a bit, and when I said sorry for getting upset he told me it's ok, he was upset too and it was very sad and that he couldn't sleep the night before and cried about it (he NEVER cries). That made me absolutely lose it, because I don't understand WHY he would end it if he's just as upset about it as I am.


A few other notes, a very good friend of ours thinks that he still has doubts because he's never been with anyone else and I have (I had a serious boyfriend in high school before him, and dated a few people while we were broken up). He says for a guy, that's always going to eat at him that he's never been with someone else is I have.

Also, come to find out he was apparently thinking about this IN FEBRUARY when he had grad class, because one of the girls in his class sent him a facebook message asking if he was ok as she knew it was "Weighing on him as he shared with them in class". His response was "I'm doing ok, it was the right thing to do". BUT, when we visited a friend in NYC in March, he dragged me to every jewelry store in 5th avenue and had me try on rings!!!


AND a friend of mine is on link removed, and she called me yesterday (hadn't even told her we had broken up) and was like "why the hell is your man on link removed?" (apparently he had made a profile the day after we broke up).


SO...my dilemma is that he clearly isn't ready for whatever reason, but I love him and miss him and we had a great thing going. We have broken up twice in the past 10 years, like clockwork he does it about every 3 years around the same time of year, BUT then he comes back in about 3 months. I think this time I can't let him come back, as the pattern will probably just keep repeating itself and I'm not super young anymore. However, I love him dearly, and I really WANT it to work with him. I'm so heartbroken over the fact that he could walk away, especially when he's heartbroken too, and I just don't understand it at all.


What would any of you do? And any of the men out there, I would LOVE your input on this too!

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I really feel for you babe, I do. Ten years is a long time to finally decide to "X" a person out of your life and say that you're not ready. Have you ever tried asking him why he wasn't ready? Most men tend to think that we always need to have everything picture-perfect in our lives before we can get married: Finances have to be in tact, our jobs, our living situations and the love between ourself and significant other must also be there. Although, this makes a lot of sense, nothing else is as important than just simply being with the one you want. And that's the one thing that many of us don't get. Because I caught that throughout your thread; despite the hardships, setbacks, having to move in with parents, you didn't give a damn as long as you guys were together.


If he didn't feel ready after ten years, I'm sorry to say that he may not suddenly feel it, now. And the fact that just a day later he created a profile on link removed is very suspect. So I think you may have your answer right there as to why he's probably not ready to commit any longer. I think that is so screwed up to do a person like that after being together for ten years, ten years? Are you kidding me? Unfortunately, there's not much more that I can say other than I wish you the very best and hope that you find a way through this situation. Your willingness to be supportive and hangon throughout the hardships of a ten year relationship should be a testament to how ready YOU may be and hopefully when and then you date again that would be appreciated.

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Justice, thanks so much for your kind words. It had come up in previous discussions that he's not happy/settled yet with his career (he's got a year left of grad school) and that financially it bothered him that he wouldn't be the "provider" (not yet anyways, right now I'm done with school and hold two Masters degrees, so I am a bit ahead of him financially).


I think you are right too, the link removed thing is quite shady and apparently means he wants to explore other options. Whatever the reason, he isn't ready, I just am still so sad and confused because it was so sudden and things were going so well, and I wasn't pressuring him at all (it shouldn't matter what everyone else says, it should matter what I say). And HE was always the one bringing up marriage discussions and wanting to look at rings and houses (clearly I was happy and went right along with it when he did, but I rarely, if ever, initiated those sorts of things).


Anyways, it's sad no matter what, and I think moving on is the right thing for us to do. I am just scared I won't have the willpower to turn him away if he does what he has in the past and comes back in a few months a "new man". My head is thinking clearly, but my heart is going in the completely opposite direction.


Thanks again for your input, it was especially helpful to hear it (kindly) from a guy close to our age.

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