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Hey guys. My boyfriend and I broke up yesterday, and while I'm not depressed, I am of course sad. Let me explain the situation and hear what y'all have to say. I'm not looking for ways to get him back, as I'll explain below. I mainly want to get some objective viewpoints on how it ended.


My boyfriend is 24 and I am 18. We dated for 8 months, and we were friends for a month before we dated. We did everything together; went on random road trips, he taught me how to hunt, went fourwheeling together, he taught me how to drive a trunk, he always cooked for me, and so on. He genuinely cared for me. For the first 6 months of our relationship, he had a job in the oil field, so we only saw each other every other weekend. He would send me candy baskets saying he misses me, and we'd talk everyday via phones. He told me the usual things, like he'd always love me, I'd always have a place in his heart, he'd always be mine as long as I'd have him, and so on.


Well, about 2 months ago, he quit his oilfield job and got a job at a nearby army ammunition depot. During the transition of getting the job there, we spent about 4 weeks straight together. We weren't used to that. I started to notice that he wasn't his happy-go-lucky self that I had once known, like he was a different person. He and I had the sort of relationship where we are completely honest with each other and that we confront our problems. So one night, I sat him down and I explained to him that he wasn't the same that I thought he was. He admitted to me that he was depressed and that for the past months we'd been dating, he'd put on a smile when we'd see each other on the weekends, and that I never picked up on it because we were only together for 2 days.


Now, he wasn't out, and I was. He knew that it was having its toll on me, having to hide in the closet after already coming out years ago. He had a really redneck family (we live in eastern Oklahoma) and they weren't 'tolerant' at all of LGBT people. He told his mom he was gay and she said she wanted nothing to do with that and that he was to act straight when he was around her. So, clearly that shot his confidence. Well, I noticed his depression getting worse, and I extended my hand to him but nothing I seemed to do or say made him happier. If it did, it was very temporary. He went and saw a counselor at the depot he works at, and she explained he needs more alone time. I didn't like that idea, because we barely saw each other as it was (I didn't mention it earlier, but with his new job, we still were only seeing each other every weekend).


He admitted that not being out and struggling with being gay was the source of his depression. Now, he's known he was gay since he was about 14, but he's always suppressed it, like many guys do. I gave him a 30-minute counseling about how it would be much less stressful for our relationship if we were crying over him being discriminated against as opposed to crying over him not being true to himself and stressing us both out. I explained I was tired of walking on eggshells, double checking that I wasn't acting "gay" in public or that I didn't slip up and tell the wrong person we were dating, lest they happen to know him.


Now, don't get me wrong; I completely understand that being gay isn't something you just wake up and accept. It's a gradual process. I went through it myself. But, I wasn't telling him that he either has to come out or I was leaving him. I told him that wasn't the case. I just wanted to know that he was working on learning to accept himself. I told him he couldn't completely love me if he doesn't even love himself. He responded that he realizes how much pain this puts me through, and that sometimes he thinks I'd be better off without him. Then, he admitted to me he had no intentions of coming out and that the stress of dating a guy was too much for him. He told me he was giving up on us.


Let me reiterate: we had a nearly flawless relationship with each other. We never raised our voices to each other, we both contributed financially to things like going out to eat, groceries, gifts, ect. We never found ourselves just sitting around bored; we always were able to find something to do together. We went on many vacations together, went hiking together often, went on frequent dates, and so on. But towards that last month, it was like he had just shut down. Then, hearing him say he was giving up on us made me realize.. a man who truly loved me would not throw in the towel. He would not sit there and say there was nothing he could do about it when he really could have. He would not simply stand and watch me pack my things (actually, he asked if I needed help. Genuine question, but not what I wanted to hear); he would do everything he could to make me stay.


It hurt me the most, because I gave him every chance to just reassure me he was working to make things better. I even lingered longer than necessary while getting my stuff hoping he'd have an epiphany and tell me he wanted me to stay. But, all he could do was apologize for the pain he had caused me. It angered me.. why was he apologizing? Why wasn't he making it right? Why did it seem like his focus lied elsewhere? Like he was waiting for me to leave? He hasn't contacted me since, but I know he texted my brother's wife and told her that "he was a * * * * up" and that "he let me leave" and that he wanted to know if I had made it home okay.


Am I wrong for thinking, okay, yes, he might have loved me.. but he didn't love me enough? I entered this relationship knowing he was closeted, and my main concern wasn't getting him to come out. But, he let it get so bad where it was affecting his emotional state, which was affecting our relationship, then he wasn't willing to rectify it. I don't want to point fingers, but was I wrong in leaving him? Even after he clearly stated he had given up on us?

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From what I can tell, you weren't in a relationship with him, but you were dating and trying to figure out if you were right for one another. That doesn't mean feeling and emotions can't be strong, in fact they very often are, but it doesn't usually take much for things to fall apart. Your ex has some major things to work out, and you are not the person to help him in this because you can't really be objective in this. I'm sorry things didn't work out.

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I don't think there was anything that you could have done differently that would've resulted in an outcome where the two of you would still be together today. The relationship didn't end because of you, it ended because of him. In a sense, he didn't love you enough... his love for you couldn't overcome his fear of being openly gay. Had his family been supportive of him and had the two of you lived in an area populated by more progressive-minded people, he may have been able to complete the journey leading to self-acceptance, and had that happened, you guys would likely still be together. He needs to do some deep soul-searching and figure out what is going to make him happiest in life. He may change for the better and come to accept who he is, and return to you one day, but my advice to you is not to wait. He may never be able to conquer his fear. In order for you to avoid being hurt like this again, you may want to take into consideration whether the next guy you enter into a relationship with is out or not, because dating a closeted guy is going to be harder than dating a guy that's out, and despite what's said about love conquering all, that's not always true. Good luck to you.

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