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Boyfriend going through a separation broke up with me

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So...for those of you who followed my last thread...you were right. We have had to end it.


I have been seeing a wonderful man for the past 8 months who separated from his ex wife about 18 months before we first met.


For the last couple of months we have been talking a lot about needing to slow things down as he deals with the pain from his ex leaving him. We really really wanted to make it work. But ultimately, he’s just not ready. He is over her, but he’s not over the pain of the break up.


He wasn’t looking for a relationship when we met but we just ‘worked’ and he has always thought that I could be the perfect person for him in the long term. But not enough time has passed and he just can’t heal properly whilst I’m in his life. He can’t give me everything I deserve at this moment in time.


It’s the hardest decision we have had to make, but we’ve decided to break up for now. Neither of us want this to happen, but we know that it’s what he needs at this moment in time.


I am broken. I absolutely adore him. He is a wonderful man. I am still in the stage where I am hoping that we can come back together once he has worked through this. I think he wanted a break, not a break up, but he knew that wasn’t fair on me because who knows how long it will take?


I know I can’t hold onto that which is why it has hit me so hard. I’ve been through my fair share of ty relationships and he was exactly what I was looking for in a man. Genuine, kind, honest. I really don’t want to let him go.


Kind words would be appreciated. I’m feeling pretty vulnerable and low right now.

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hey marshmallow, am not sure if you like what i say but the best thing to do now is stop contacting him, it is tough as am also going through it.

divorce, separation can really mess up heart and mind, there is financial pressures, society etc that also need to be faced, so he is not in the right situation to think about relationships, its some pain that you need to get over with, prolongs as long as the situation goes on. His close friends will be there to support, otherwise sometimes therapy also works to an extent but he needs to sort out the issues and then look at dating again.


The time is best to not look for love, be patient and let the person involved work through his issues, close it out completely.


Once his heart moves on he should be ready for new relationships it takes long time, are you willing to wait? yes, your heart says so but you shouldn't ,its hard believe me am going through it but am the guy here.


being friends is also not an option here, in my situation i tried andfelt used like whatever they couldn't get from their partner or ex they were looking that missing thing from you. It sucks, just don't feel like moving out cause you care you love you adore them.


Try not to focus on him, stop contacting over whatsapp, facebook messages etc slowly it will feel better but depends on how much you were involved and close.

Its very hard but believe me it gets better.


Hugs and stay strong!!!

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I echo what Spawn says.


You should close this out. You should move on. You shouldn't wait.


He isn't fully out of his marriage and he is rebounding.


It would be easier if he was a jerk, right? LOL, I get it.


Unfortunately, whether he is a jerk or not doesn't change the situation or what you must do.

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He's not over his wife.


Getting over a marriage is not like dating. Marriage is far more on so many levels. He made vows with her, he thought he would grow old with her. He shared a life with her.

It's a huge deal. A person doesn't get over that just in a few months. For most, it takes years.


I do sincerely feel badly for you. You're now on the receiving end of something that was never going to work. And it's not a good place to be.

The best you can do is to stop talking to him. You and he can't force feelings and force him to not mourn or feel massive loss.


I'm not saying he didn't care for you. But you two met at a bad time and who knows, different place and time it might have worked.

But for now, he is still grieving his wife and it's not going to work.


You need to protect your heart too and to let go.

I hope you will and I hope that you too will heal.


Maybe in the future too, you will know more now and not get involved with anyone who has only been out of a marriage a short time.

For future reference, if they are only separated, don't get involved, and secondly, if they have only been divorced 2 years or less...don't get involved.

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I know all of this. I was always very cautious from the start. I think he thought he was ready. And we both thought we could make it work because, long term, we could see a future together. I never doubted it would be a rocky ride but I truly believed that in the long run, we would be okay.


Both of our friends have always said we are perfect for each other. My friends are devastated for me because they’ve genuinely never seen me as happy with anyone else as I was with him. They say it was obvious how much he seemed to adore me. They are all truly shocked because, even though they knew the circumstances, they just could see how wonderful we were together. Some of his friends have contacted saying how sorry they are because they knew how happy I seemed to make him too. It sounds like he’s really struggling with this too because I know he really wants to let his guard down and give me everything. But something is just stopping him.


It’s just so frustrating because I know if I had met him a year later...he would have been perfect for me. He is exactly what I’ve been looking for in relationship and he treated me so well.


But I know I need to let him go. And I will. I guess there’s just some hope that one day he might come back and be ready. Does that ever happen?


Sorry I’m rambling now...

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What it basically was, is him trying to throw a bandaid over a wound. It might work for a while but it won't disappear and it will come back out.


He wasn't ready, he needed far more time to heal. He met you, thought being with you would speed up the healing process, maybe even make it go away, but he was only fooling himself as were you.


It's not possible to have an instant fix on losing a marriage. Losing a marriage for most, is devastating and it takes a very long time to process it. Years.


Can it work out in the future? Honestly, it would be like trying to put the toothpaste back after it's already been squeezed out.

You guys met at a bad time. Hard to undo now what didn't work.


You don't need to take my advice, but honestly, if they are seperated, no...if they have only been divorced for less than 2 years, no.

It is a good guide to follow.


I really do hope you heal and find a way to accept and let go. I know it's so tough. I am sorry you're going through this.

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Tough love here: Never date a separated man again. I know you know this, but all you were to him was a life raft, someone for him to hold on to while he was subconsciously processing his divorce. This was no great "love story", we were so meant to be, if only we met at a different time, and all that. This was plain & simple a very selfish way for him to bond with someone so as not to have to worry about what was going on in his divorce.


I've been there. My biggest heartbreak mirrors this, with a guy who was still going through his divorce. I so badly wish someone had smacked me upside the head in the early days of that relationship. In my case, he's now married to someone extremely different from me. She even speaks a different native language. Turns out, it wasn't this great love story, I was just this nice girl for him to hang out with during a tumultuous time.


There used to be a radio psychologist, Dr. Joy Browne (passed away), and her rule was 1 year after the divorce was final. I used to think she was nuts. Now I think 1 year is the minimum.


Also: I'm not trying to be harsh here. It took me one full year to get over that relationship, and even after that, I'd cry out of nowhere. I'm telling you the hard truth that your well-meaning friends & family won't. Mine all said, oh, it was just bad timing, oh I know he really loved you, oh, you were so perfect together, if only......but once I went into a group counseling, where this one guy said to me "You were his life raft", it clicked.

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I say two, for good measure. I've heard of many many relationships that have failed with the person only being out of the marriage one year.


People start missing their spouse, they start feeling sad, they haven't processed. So much stuff.


Sorry you went through this too, LHgirl. It's a real tough one.

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Here's an excellent article about your situation:


If My Partner Isn’t Ready for a Serious Relationship, Do I Wait?



Relationships are all about timing. It’s not uncommon to find yourself in a position where you want to take your relationship to the next level, but your partner isn’t yet ready. Your partner may have strong feelings for you, care about you deeply, and potentially see a future with you, but it’s possible that he or she isn’t yet able to provide you with the type of serious commitment that you desire. Is it worth waiting to see if your partner will inevitably be able to provide you with the type of commitment you’re seeking?



If not, it may be time to explore moving on from the relationship.



When looking more closely at whether or not you should wait for your partner to be ready for a serious relationship, it’s important to consider these five key points before making your decision.


Waiting Enables Your Partner to See Just How Much You Care


By giving your partner ample time to make a decision about being in a serious relationship, you’re not only respecting his or her wishes and time frame, but you’re also showing your partner that he or she is worth waiting for. And by standing by your partner through his or her decision-making process, he or she can see just how much you honor and care about his or her needs, and this can help to solidify your partner’s decision to want to be with you.



Waiting Allows Your Partner to Connect with You in a Deeper Way


When you give your partner more time in order for him or her to be ready for a serious commitment, you’re actually laying the groundwork to build a stronger and more meaningful connection with one another. In fact, rather than rushing into a major commitment, you can help to strengthen the bond that the two of you share by putting in the time it takes to really get to know each other before jumping into something serious.


Waiting Can Be Emotionally Draining


On the flip side, if you’re wondering if you should wait until your partner is ready for a serious commitment, it’s important to keep your emotional health and well-being in mind as well. For example, you may feel stressed, anxious and/or sad that your partner isn’t yet able to commit to you in the way that you want him or her to, and you may be setting yourself up for heartache and heartbreak in the future by waiting around for a decision in the present.


Waiting Can Make You Unavailable to Others


It’s also important to consider the fact that waiting for your partner may prevent you from pursuing other people who may be able to provide you with the type of serious commitment and emotional support that you’re seeking. And by waiting around for your partner to decide one way or the other, you’re completely closing yourself off from the possibility of finding a deep, meaningful and committed relationship with someone else.


Waiting May Last Indefinitely


If your partner isn’t yet ready for a serious commitment, it’s time to face the fact that this kind of indecision can last indefinitely. And while you may think that your partner may only need a short amount of time to make a final decision, it’s possible that months and months may go by without any sort of answer from him or her about where you stand.


Should You Wait for Your Partner?


Once you’ve considered these five key points when it comes to waiting for your partner to be ready for a serious relationship, it’s time to look internally in order to make a final choice. Are you able to wait for this person to make a decision even if it means living in a constant state of limbo? If you can’t possibly imagine a future without this person, then it’s worth sticking around a bit longer. However, instead of simply waiting for him or her to give you an answer one day, you should clue your partner in as to your own timetable, since your happiness matters, too.


And if your partner isn’t able to be respectful of your needs and time frame in return, then he or she isn’t worth your time at all.

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I say two, for good measure. I've heard of many many relationships that have failed with the person only being out of the marriage one year.


People start missing their spouse, they start feeling sad, they haven't processed. So much stuff.



Agree with the bolded, very much. These days, in early conversations with a guy, I bring it up and work into the conversation when the marriage ended (at my age, most have been married), and how many years since the actual divorce. I do this in a conversational way, rather than interrogating, as I tell them my story as well. I do work my way out of the situation if it's under a couple of years.


I had one guy last year that I really liked, who was fully divorced for a year, but he seemed to bring up his ex a lot. I didn't think there were any feelings there, but it was obvious, when I just let him talk, that there were still feelings of some sort, not feelings of love, but just.....feelings.


So after a few dates of this, I told him that it wasn't the right time for us, and I backed away.

He texted me the answer that I had been looking for all along: He said that he was hoping that, since he thought I was so pretty, that he could make his ex jealous. Yep, he said that. I thanked him for his honesty, and I never spoke to him again.

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but once I went into a group counseling, where this one guy said to me "You were his life raft", it clicked.


I think that's a great analogy: life raft.


It perfectly explains away the intensity of his affections for you.


Who wouldn't absolutely love to see a life raft while treading water in the middle of a lonely ocean?


Who wouldn't LOVE to be with the a life raft and hold on for... well.... dear life?


Would you ever let go of your life raft when you were floating aimlessly in the middle of the ocean? No way!!


But oh, I think I see land up ahead.....

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Actually, the Life Raft analogy came from a guy who was going through divorce himself.


The group I had joined was a "Divorce Support" group. Even though mine was "just" a relationship breakup, not a marriage one, they accepted me.


So everyone in the group was going through divorce (except me), and this guy said that people so often try to springboard into a new relationship, helping them forget what they're going through. He looked at me, while I was crying, and said, "You're his life raft", and I went.....ding ding ding.....


OP, I know you're thinking....but this isn't us! None of this applies, we were perfect together. I think in time, you'll see. Hopefully, you'll save your Enotalone account, and you'll come back to this thread in a year and re-read it. It helps me to read my old threads, as I now see them the way the responders did.

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Sorry about that.


What you have described is a man on the rebound, and you were the rebound woman. People can be on the rebound for years.

I guess there’s just some hope that one day he might come back and be ready. Does that ever happen?


- I know you don't want to hear this, but usually not - only in the movies. In real life, you normally get one chance per person at love. Once the love dies it's gone forever. And he just was not a candidate when you got involved. You were just a nice diversion for his pain.


Get involved with your life and dating and with time, this pain will pass. Take care.

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Sorry you're going through this, marshmallow.


I don't share the same hard rules as some here when it comes to the feasibility of building something longterm with someone who is separated, though I agree with the sentiment as it applies to your story. At the end of the day I think the first six months of any relationship is incredibly fragile, no matter how strong it feels. Hot can turn to cold, warm to chilly, with little warning because (a) you're very much still learning who a person is and (b) very much still learning if you two genuinely work well together. That is the forever risk in these matters. To walk those steps with someone who is separated—well, it is just a riskier walk than most.


One very hard thing to try to accept as you process this: that the very qualities that have made this unsustainable are also the qualities that made it possible. In other words, the story that he may return when he's "ready," or even that this didn't work because he isn't "ready," is a dangerous story to tell. Soothing, yes, but less accurate than the story that you two "worked," for as long as you did, precisely because he was not "ready."


He was ready, after all—for something that lasted a few months, and could only go so deep. Separated, divorced, single for a decade, whatever—when someone tells you on day one that they weren't looking for a relationship it means they are someone who is not looking for a relationship. That would be my takeaway, in your shoes, not a new subscription to the school of only dating divorcees who are a year out from signing on the dotted line.


Because whatever they may add to that "no looking" qualifier ("But then I met you...." etc.) does not negate that, or very rarely does. So I'd say the risky path walked was not directly connected to someone still separated, but to someone who explicitly mentioned not wanting to be in a relationship. I've been on both sides of that equation, with my deepest heartache coming in your shoes, and it certainly has made me less tuned into the caveats than the hard truths that people present to us early.


Anyhow, I remember your last post, which is to say I remember your sharp mind and warm heart. This moment doesn't change those things, painful as it is. I think you've made the right choice, and I hope you can keep stepping forward—into a new chapter, and away form this one, while feeling everything you need to feel about this one.

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Hi marshmallow107, Chin up lady.


I'm sorry you're broken. As hard as it is to hear, he's not over his ex and won't be for a long time. You were just someone to tide him over. He's still an emotional basket case, ruminating over his marriage, how / why it went awry and his very stressful divorce. Unfortunately, his head and heart aren't with you; it's still with his ex.


He has a lot of baggage; mental baggage, that is.


I doubt he is for you because he's still very mentally unstable and shaky.


You deserve a man who doesn't have strings to his past. Focus on a wonderful man who isn't divorced, very single and can give more than 100% to your heart and soul.

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