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Break up of 5 year LTR, any chance?


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Right, I’ve read a couple of threads and I hope I’m putting this in the right place.


My boyfriend of over 5 yrs (living together 4yrs with 1 flatmate who was away most wkends & then the past 6 months just us) broke up with me pretty much out of the blue. He is 26 and I am 27.


He had been a little withdrawn but I thought it was because I have been having to commute (2 hrs each way so that I can live with him: leaving whilst he is still in bed and getting back tired between 7.30 and 10pm & so tbh not much good for anything bar dinner (which he cooks) & a tv show). He alternated between saying he’d been thinking about it a while and saying he only decided in the last 4 days. Up until now he referred to me as his ‘partner’ saying that I was more than his gf and that he believed that I was essentially his common law wife (even though such a thing does not exist in law here) and when we decided to move house back in July we had a proper conversation about where things were going: he said he knew the next year would be difficult, but that he thought we’d have many years ahead, for him living apart was not an option, one of us would do the commuting and the other would support.


He has also been under a lot of pressure in his post doc + has been too anxious to drive progressively for the past 4 yrs and will probably be dealing with 2 close family deaths early in the new year. I think he may also be struggling with a couple of self-esteem issues (weight and feeling like he is not good enough to get to the top of his field). From my perspective, the break up occurred the week after I was done with my lab work and would have been able to work from home, I have commuted for the past 2 and a half years and have been working especially hard inc. wkends to get to the point that I no-longer had to as soon as possible.. In my opinion this has happened because recently we haven’t been able to give eachother the attention we deserve.


He recently (May) completed his PhD, which I supported him for the duration of, (dinners, constant stream of tea etc. whilst trying to get on with my own work) so he should understand the stress levels that I have been under to get my lab work done, I am currently a PhD student (I haven’t said an angry word about how difficult I have found the commuting which became more and more draining with the longer hours, but I did nothing to conceal how miserable it made me. I was unhappy but could disassociate it from ‘us’.


Initially he would only say he was ‘unhappy with us’ though he wasn’t unhappy all the time & that he was ‘comfortable but not happy’ and just wanted ‘to live on his own’ he was due to go away for a conference in another country so we agreed to talk when he got back. I sent him a message before he left to say that our relationship deserved more time than one week under the stresses of the presentation he had to give and said that I knew I may recently have been neglecting the relationship. To this he sent a message thanking me for writing everything down, saying he found it helpful that he still loved me and that he hoped the week or so apart wouldn’t be too awful.


However he didn’t give the extra week and said that he still wants to be on his own and that he just doesn’t ‘love me like he used to’ I pointed out that after 3-4 years going out with someone else he will probably reach that point with them too. During the break-up I didn’t say anything in anger, but I was obviously hurt. I have tried to communicate as little as possible and give him an easy time moving out, I haven’t ambushed him and have let him move out in peace but it really hurts. I love him and want to support him and he knows this.


I feel devastated and confused, up until now he has always made me feel secure and loved in our relationship, we have always been faithful. In my opinion we get on really well, we are compatible have loads of common interests (baking, food, tv shows, science etc.), get on really well with each other’s friends and no difference in life goals that I knew of, no arguments. We were always intimate until 5 days beforehand and he never said anything to lead me to believe that he was having thoughts about ending our relationship, if he had I would have dropped everything else.


He has said he has no problems seeing me and has phoned/texted me over unimportant flat/dividing stuff issues , however, each time he does I feel completely heart broken again. As I know he is stubborn and unlikely to change his mind until everything he currently wants has come to pass I have asked him not to contact me unless it is absolutely necessary for the time being, however NC is difficult because we have the joint flat + bills to sort. It hurts too much to hear from him at the moment but I don’t want not speaking to him to damage any future reconciliation?


Basically is there any hope for the future?


I would really appreciate any thoughts and L if you come accross this please understand that I am hurt and confused and I need to talk to someone.

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He's been thinking about this longer than you know....


As long as a year.......


We dumpees get hit outta the blue.....he had a long time to prepare, we get none......



Let it go....I invested 25 years with ex-wife, and the 5 with my now ex-gf, but I just let go....


She eventually wanted back in, but the ambivalence was still there like an ugly herpetic sore, so I cut it off and have not looked back.....


She emails me, I just ignore it......


I'll never take anyone back again, you dump me....I'm gone in a cloud of dust of non-regret....

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We only moved in there in July though and for him then living separately was not an option? He was willing to commute and so was I


I love him though and I know he still cares for me, at the moment I think he just has a lot going on and I want to do what is best for this to work out in the future. I don't want to do any harm to any chance we may have, he is a fantastic guy and this just seems out of character. Two days before we broke up he made pasties from scratch because at the weekend we'd walked past a shop selling them and I’d mentioned how we should have them soon as it was cold and hence pasty season.


I just want to know how to handle this so that it may best work in the future

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He has a lot on his plate and a relationship isn't a priority for him right now.


He wants "space"....give it to him. And get on with your life. There is nothing else to be done or said.


I have asked him not to contact me as I don't find it helpful (it really hurts), he has now moved all his stuff out of our flat, though he managed to forget a fair few items. I don't want him to think I am childish in not contacting him but I found it too hard when he phoned and I had to react immediately to everything he said and then after when I asked him to only email if absolutly necessary he waited a few days and then I got a message that agreed saying:


'I do understand that keeping communication to a minimum could be helpful and of course I can respect that. I think that it is only necessary to be in contact a few more times, depending on how you want to do things'


but then followed a long email but about things that I consider unimportant 'who bought the mocha maker?', 'do you want wither the goblets or the beakers or neither?', 'do you mind if I have the spare duvet in the garage?' etc.

(we were having to sort out flat stuff). Then he just ended it with ' I hope you are okay.'


I was really upset when I got the message as he hadn't put a title on the email so I didn't know what it would contain when I opened it, so I just told him that 'I really don’t care about all this small stuff, it is unimportant' then I said 'if you really want me to decide though...' and I answered his questions (he doesn't like indicisiveness) and ended saying 'Please could you leave me alone, this is not helpful for me'


I haven't heard from him since, though he did start appearing on and off on skype, fluctuating between being offline, online and away (in fact he has just appeared again now...he hadn't used skype prior to me suggesting we use it to have a conversation about the flat so we didn't have to meet in person (I use it to talk to my sister in Oz) But there is still flat stuff we need to sort for when I move out in Feb (deposits, final bills, internet transfer etc.)


I know that our relationship won't work out now, as much as I want it to, but I just wondered about the future?


If someone had told me a month ago that this was about to happen I would not have believed them, is it possible that he only felt/decided what he did because of the transient stresses of life?


Should I wish him happy christmas?


Also we had been planning to go away for a new years holiday with all my school friends, paid the deposit etc. but I obviously cancelled this. We have joint friends who live nearby who invited us to theirs before this happened (they are his work colleagues for the most part and are a 5 min walk from me in our old flat). He has said that he doesn't mind me going there for new years as he is going back home but I don't know whether it would be the appropriate thing to do. It took him a few weeks to speak to his friends about us but they now know and I know I'd be welcome but...is it the right thing to do?


Gah, he is still on skype and I know he doesn't have any other contacts.


I love him but at the moment I think he is not in the right place emotionally for this to work : ( I would do anything...


I think I just need reassurance that no contact is giving this the best chance for the future, I think for short term it is best for me as whenever I hear from him in any form it is like the ground has dissapeared and I feel so broken and drained afterwards. I haven't begged to have him back yet which is what I'm afraid I'd do eventually if we kept up contact and to be honest I don't think I could handle being around when/if he got a new partner : (

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You are panicking right now because it just happened. deep breath, relax, make a tea. it doesn't help with his skype online/offline. I know how you feel, I've been there. Don't worry about the future, just focus on not pushing him away right now. You are very emotional so don't do anything which will you will regret later. Keep on posting here if it helps you. You don't know what future hold, it is a 50/50 so relax and take care of yourself.

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No contact isn't about giving it the best chance for the future. It is about helping you get distance from the situation and heal.


All I can say is that he thought about this for a long time. Read the book "Uncoupling ..." By Dianne Vaughn (spelling?). It will help you understand the long process of the dumper before the actual dumping.

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  • 8 months later...

Turns out he met a girl at a party 3 to 4 weeks before he broke up with me. Sounds like they messaged each other for a while, and I now remember the couple of days he travelled into London the weeks beforehand, in fact the Saturday 5 days before we broke up. He says he didn't cheat on me and that they started dating 10 days to 2 weeks after we broke up. So they were together before Christmas, whilst we were both still jointly renting a flat. When we broke up it didn't cross my mind to ask if there was anyone else, I trusted him implicitly.


I let him move out so easily, because I thought it was all stress and basically a sort of 'quarter-life' crisis as a lot of friends had started getting engaged and married + he was having a lot to deal with. Turns out I was wrong. I can see how I wouldn't have been much fun for him for that point in his life. He had finished doing his PhD, finally a bit more free, probably didn't want to stick around for me when I had 6+ more months of drudgery left, saw something shiny, fun and new, that could distract him from all his problems. They have probably been seeing each other 8 odd months now. It is quite galling to think that end of January when someone tried to kiss me I pulled back because it felt like I was being unfaithful and he would already have been in a relationship for a while then.


I wish he had had the guts to tell me this earlier, that he basically had someone 'waiting in the wings' so to speak. It was only last month I found out he was seeing someone full stop, this was when he got round to telling one of his closest friends that there was someone else- who decided to tell me, definitely without my asking as I tried to dodge the subject of my ex a couple of times, making it clear I didn't want to talk about it. Apparently she is very different to me: 'not very academic', it doesn't sound like they are suited, but who am I to judge, he obviously prefers her. I spent so long hoping he was ok, that his family were doing ok, forwarding mail. I kept my distance, I didn't phone him up crying begging for him to come back at any point no matter how much I wanted to, even just to hear his voice. I feel like I never knew him, after 5 years of living together, seeing eachother each day, that he could have kept this a secret from me. It would have helped me move on, to know what kind of a person he was: one that rather than work on a relationship where he professed to love and care about me, when unhappy instead of communicating and trying to work at things would rather leave and immediately go to someone else.

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I am sorry to hear this. But one thing that is missing from you post is "How are you?".


We are all spending our time and thoughts on someone who isn't doing the same. You should only be friends with someone who is actually friend worthy.


I am only Day 3 NC and it hurts to hell, I am obsessively online searching for answers... but with hindsight from a fair few painful past breakups (last time I suffered months of severe depression that involved therapy and drugs!), this time I am trying so hard to focus more on answers on how to heal me, than understand him.


It doesn't matter why you broke up, it matters that you have broke up. You are not the problem, you didn't do anything wrong and try not to procrastinate about 'if only I had did this'. Love you, heal you and be happy

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