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so hard to move on from on and off relationship


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We have been together almost 2 years. Ive written a post in the past and feel too drained tonight to explain the whole relationship. We just got off the phone saying "goodbye" again for the 100th time. Every time he would leave and say it didn't feel right or he couldn't do a relationship my world would shatter and every day without him would be agony. He has done it so much that i just feel broken and depressed at this point. Here is the hard part to move on from.


Tonight he tried to explain that his marriage and divorce from 6 years ago still affects the way he feels about relationships. He says he gets anxiety when things are going well that I am trying to control him or he will lose himself. This is how he felt at the end of his 10 year marriage. He said he loves me and wants to be with me but something is wrong with him and he doesn't trust himself to keep breaking up with me. He doesn't want to lose me but knows he can't do a relationship right now. He hopes he can fix himself and get better and figure out what he wants in life and a relationship. He said he is just going to work on himself so much and he hopes that we can be together when he gets himself together.


Part of me feels manipulated by this man, but he tells me he isnt looking to date other people because he loves me and he has actively sought therapy and has always said he loved me from the beginning and made sure I knew. Whenever we break up he always comes running back but I know its not healthy and not a sign of love but I can't help to feel he is severely conflicted and perhaps bipolar or borderline from what he has described.


I think I know everyones response will be to run and move on and get over this guy and he will never change. I just wish I knew how to. Even with all the pain he has caused I have such an intense love for him I cannot cut him out of my mind. I can't imagine dating anyone else, and I have this hope he will get it together and our lives could somehow come together. It is absolutely devastating cutting him out of my life and every time I try to he runs back and says he loves me and misses me and then when it comes time to talk about a relationship he runs and says he can't do it. This has been so so painful. Its like neither of us can live with or without the other. We have tried blocking each other in every way and we find a way to reach out....The last time he came over we had sex and all he said the whole time we made love is how much he loved me and missed me. But then the next day complete confusion and cant do a relationship but wishes he could.


Im in so much pain and keep getting angry and sad and then understanding and hopeful and my head is spinning. I am hoping to hear back from a therapist and get my head back together as well. But I cant help but to want to wait in my head for him to get himself together and for it to really work, even if that is a pipe dream,..

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Regardless of what he does, you are in a situation with someone who's basically unavailable in any meaningful way - and waiting and hoping they'll change. It's far more likely his inability to connect affected his marriage, and then his divorce, rather than the other way round.


You may find this link helpful in explaining his behaviour - as he seems to need to keep a distance from you in order to feel 'safe' yet is unable to function without you. /


This isn't about you; healthy people welcome closeness in relationships and don't experience it as controlling or smothering. It would take an awful lot of therapy for him to move on from this. In the meantime, you need to work on yourself and heal from both the traumatic effects of the relationship and the characteristics within you which keep you there in the first place. If you can engage in therapy yourself, that would be very beneficial, but also look up online resources on healing from codependency. There are also support groups which could help you through these difficult times.


But please put your energy into healing yourself, rather than this horribly draining relationship.

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Sorry to hear this but it sounds like he just wants hookups, fwb, not a relationship. Often 'too damaged for, afraid of relationships, etc.' excuses as well as chronic on/off indicates that. If you want a stable healthy relationship you need to end this and cut all ties. Don't be the collateral damage after his bitter divorce.

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There is am intermittent reinforcement and attachment theory that might explain why you stay hooked with this guy.


Imagine gambling. Playing the slot machines and the high you get from a big win.

From that moment on you keep pulling the lever and the disappointment and lack of payoff keeps you hooked,

wanting to experience that high again. It's what keeps gamblers and drug addicts hooked. Chasing after that high.


The payoff isn't what it really seems to be but to go from disappointment and then the elation of having him, even if it's temporary, reinforces your attachment to him.


You need to treat this like and addiction and abstain. Stop holding out for the payoff.


This guy isn't ready and he has stated so. It's selfish of him to continue to take you back even though he knows he needs to be on his own for now.

But I wouldn't say he's manipulating you. You have taught him that you will tolerate this and take him back each time.


This isn't really love you are experiencing, it could be an intermittent attachment at work.

Google it. You will find studies regarding this theory.


It was helpful to me when I read up on it.

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