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Hi all,

 

Hoping you can give me some advice and guidance as I’m so crushed right now.

 

My ex and I were together just over 5 years. The relationship started brilliantly and grew from a friendship that was originally based on attraction. We got serious over the years and started talking marriage. We both wanted to get married but dating isn’t the cultural norm for us so there was always the issue of talking to our parents. He was willing to do this but I had family issues to take into account which made me more hesitant. In the meantime his family was pressuring him about marriage and when we spoke about it, it turned into an argument because while I reassured him that he’s the one, I had to think about my parent’s feelings. I told him to trust me and I will work on it but he kept saying I wasn’t doing anything fast enough. We just ignored the subject from then on and would just carry on having a laugh and joke as usual.

 

Fast forward to the last couple of months and he started withdrawing a lot. We had become long distance over the last 2 years (about an hour away) and started seeing each other less and less. When I asked if he missed me, I would get some non committal response. He’s going through a lot of stress at the moment but wasn’t openly sharing this with me. I didn’t know or understand the full extent of his stress until I accused him of not caring anymore. He then told me his personal problems and that he felt the relationship is too much stress right now. He said he was confused and didn’t know what he wanted so I broke up with him. This was mid July time.

 

A couple of days later, I initiated contact as I felt it was all done in the heat of the moment. I apologised and we ended the call saying we both wanted to make things work. We were texting a few days later but he wasn’t showing signs of wanting to make an effort. We had agreed to meet up in 2 weeks so I told him we shouldn’t speak until then and let our heads clear.

 

When we met up in early August, he started the whole I’m confused and don’t know what I want want. He had irrational concerns about how we might not be happy , we fight too much, etc. He talked about how hard the last two weeks were for him and how there were reminders of me everywhere. He also said he wanted our old relationship back before the marriage issue became the elephant in the room but when I suggested how we work things through, go counselling etc, he wanted none of it. He didn’t actually say he was breaking up with me, it was just about his decision so his option was to stay and talk it out or leave so he just got up, asked for a hug and left. There was no goodbye or words to clarify it was over but the action of him leaving was the enough. He even joked about who broke up with who if he walks out and then later admitted how he wanted to kiss me.

 

A few days later I realised what had gone wrong. He no longer wanted to make effort because it felt like a waste of time since the marriage issue wasn’t progressing. I looked back and reflected on my own faults during this but also appreciate that we were both wrong at times because we didn’t communicate properly. It got to the point where his pressure was so immense that he couldn’t understand my own problems - we were both hearing but not listening. I called him up to talk about this and he agreed that I was right, there was a resentment issue bubbling under the surface for a while where he felt like he was taken for granted or not good enough. We agreed to take certain steps such as I would meet his family, etc.

 

My parents are since aware and would like me to marry him. When I told him this, he simply said it’s too late and maybe he doesn’t want to make things work anymore. He was angry that he wanted for so long and now all of a sudden, I want to marry him. He was hurt but being stubborn too. Everything he agreed to previously such as meeting each other’s family went out the window as he said there was no point. He felt like my apology and self reflection was all too sudden and convenient. I asked if he could move on from this so we can try and fix things and he wasn’t sure he could let go of his resentment (i took that as he doesn’t want to bother because it’s easier to just break up and move on than deal with emotions!). He then accused me of not giving him space to think. We were talking on the phone and the first half of the call was fuelled by his anger towards me, he kept saying it’s over, too late, he’s single. The tone then switched and he calmed down and we spoke about random things like when we were together. He asked if we could still be friends and that he would still text me the next day, send me funny photos, text on my birthday, etc. He then asked whether I had to give my parents an answer straight away to their suggestion that we get married. I said I could tell them he’s moved on so they drop hope or that I could say we’re still dating. He didn’t like either option as one closed the door for good but the other gave my parents false hope. He then said the relationship is now tainted for him so he couldn’t see how it could work again. I was so confused with these mixed signals!

 

We spoke for hours into early morning and he said he didn’t want to end the call. The next day we text but it felt awkward. I finally said I couldn’t do the friend thing as it was too painful. He said he understood and it felt awkward but not at the same time. We parted ways on good terms, I told him to take care and get in touch if he needed to talk and he said likewise.

 

Again, a few days later I text him to let him know I’m going to be in his city in a few weeks for some job interviews as I had applied a few months ago to move back for him (he had asked me months ago to move back and he knew I’d applied for one role but I hadn’t heard back from it so I didn’t tell him about the others in case it all fell through). I mentioned this in a slightly bitter way and ended it saying oh well, it doesn’t matter, you carry on resenting me bc I’m so awful apparently. He replied saying good luck with the interviews.

 

About a week later I text him again, this time asking how the friend thing would work and who would reach out first. I told him I didn’t want to reach out too soon as he was angry and hurtful when we spoke on the phone. He replied saying he didn’t mean to be angry, he just explodes. He then said he didn’t know how or when the friend thing kicks in. I replied a day later to say I didn’t know what he wanted me to say or what I should say so I’d leave him to it. I’m no longer texting him and appreciate I should have done NC from day one!

 

We’re both in our 30s and overall had a brilliant relationship. Of course, there was the marriage issue which then led him to feel like he couldn’t talk to about things without us fighting which ultimately lead to the confusion/break up.

 

I just feel like there’s so much love and good times to throw it all away so sudden like this. I’m hoping he realises this too but what do you all think? Basically having a bit of a vent here but it would be good to get thoughts and advice. I’m trying to move on and just be the better version of myself I can be but I can’t help but hope one day he says he wants to give it another go. It just seems quite petty that it’s all ended because he wanted to marry me for 3 years and now that I want to marry him, he’s flipped a switch off in his heart! I should also mention that I still don’t fully know why he left me because he’s just piggy backed off my thought process rather than explain things from his perspective. Every time we’ve spoken he’s given me different signs, sometimes saying yes we should meet each other’s family and then saying there’s no point. This level of confusion is crazy. He’s also really busy at work and just distracts himself so he doesn’t have to deal with his emotions about all of this whereas I have had time to think a lot faster.

 

Thanks so much and so sorry this is really long!

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Forgot to mention that when we agreed to meet each other’s families, I also suggested we meet up in about a weeks time to talk things through about moving forward. He agreed but then when I started asking him what day he’s free, he was being cold again. He then said he didn’t want to see me. I feel like he knows he can be cold over text and the phone but if he saw me, the feelings would be stronger.

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This relationship is too far damaged to work. Here is the problem from his side:

1. you broke up with him initially (so you were the one that jumped on a whim first).

2. you continue to judge and illegitimized every single one of his feelings.. anything he does not to your satisfaction is him being "irrational" or "carrying resentment for you". But you never self-criticize in the same fashion.

3. you only suddenly "worked it out" when he decided to leave you - yes.. "how convenient.."

 

You have put him thru the roller coaster ringer and so there is zero trust anymore. And when you've lost trust, you've lost the relationship. That's where this is now.

It's time to self-reflect YOUR contribution to the damaging of this relationship - not his. You have been the instigator of 90% of it (yes he pushed marriage sooner.. but since that's what you want that's a minor offense).

 

As I read this - AND THIS IS FROM YOUR PERSECTIVE EVEN, NOT HIS - it's still clear that you have put him thru the ringer - yet you clearly criticize him for it all. You only see it from your side and what your needs are - not his.

 

This one is lost. Sorry. Learn from it. Assess it. Realize YOUR contribution to it so you can improve and not make the same mistakes in a future relationship.

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This relationship is too far damaged to work. Here is the problem from his side:

1. you broke up with him initially (so you were the one that jumped on a whim first).

2. you continue to judge and illegitimized every single one of his feelings.. anything he does not to your satisfaction is him being "irrational" or "carrying resentment for you". But you never self-criticize in the same fashion.

3. you only suddenly "worked it out" when he decided to leave you - yes.. "how convenient.."

 

You have put him thru the roller coaster ringer and so there is zero trust anymore. And when you've lost trust, you've lost the relationship. That's where this is now.

It's time to self-reflect YOUR contribution to the damaging of this relationship - not his. You have been the instigator of 90% of it (yes he pushed marriage sooner.. but since that's what you want that's a minor offense).

 

As I read this - AND THIS IS FROM YOUR PERSECTIVE EVEN, NOT HIS - it's still clear that you have put him thru the ringer - yet you clearly criticize him for it all. You only see it from your side and what your needs are - not his.

 

This one is lost. Sorry. Learn from it. Assess it. Realize YOUR contribution to it so you can improve and not make the same mistakes in a future relationship.

 

Thanks for the the advice, very true even though it’s not what I wanted to hear!

 

I 100% agree that I need to look at my contribution and I appreciate my post doesn’t focus on that aspect. I’ve told him exactly what mistakes I made and haven’t once blamed him or pointed the finger at him. I feel that to an extent both of us got caught up in our own conflicting pressures and avoidance seemed the easier option at the time. I’ve forgiven him for much worse and to be honest, I expected the same. I’ve told him where it went wrong, what I’ve realised I did and how I can move forward to not make the mistakes again.

 

I’m hoping NC works but the last time I contacted him he said he was happy to hear from me (before he got angry) so I feel like he might be waiting for me to make the first move. I’m still not convinced it’s over but I am respecting his wishes for time and space and we’ll see where it goes from here.

 

Just to add, this is his only relationship and my first serious one. Neither of us like the idea of dating around so I’m hoping there is enough good history here to remind him of better times because at the moment everything seems negative.

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How come you flip flopped on the being friends thing? Do you think staying in contact as friends will make him want you back?

 

As his friend, would it hurt if he told you he was involved with someone else? After all, friends discuss those things and are happy for one another.

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He didn’t like either option as one closed the door for good but the other gave my parents false hope. He then said the relationship is now tainted for him so he couldn’t see how it could work again.
Then he has been kind enough to close the door so that the two of you can move on and find partners where the 'threat' of marriage won't cause either of you to be skittish.

 

I was so confused with these mixed signals!
There were NO mixed signals. He has told you clearly that he is done. The confusion comes because you kept trying and he didn't know how to let you down easily so finally he just came out with it cold.

 

This man was not the man you were meant to spend your life with. If he was, you wouldn't have stalled on the marriage thing and you would likely be celebrating your wedding day by now, or at the least have set a date. Stop hoping and accept. You are delaying getting yourself to the stage of indifference to him. Being at that stage is when you will be ready in heart and mind to find the man you WERE meant to spend your life with.

 

Adding:

so I feel like he might be waiting for me to make the first move.
You've ALWAYS been the one to make the first move. Leave him alone now so you both can get on rehabbing from being in one another's lives.
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How come you flip flopped on the being friends thing? Do you think staying in contact as friends will make him want you back?

 

As his friend, would it hurt if he told you he was involved with someone else? After all, friends discuss those things and are happy for one another.

 

Yeh at first I thought I couldn’t be friends but then it seemed like if I could get him to remember his feelings from before he would decide to work on things.

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I'm sorry, Sasha. The whole thing seems very immature (neither of you more than the other). The back and forth breaking up and patching up, the long distance and miscommunications about how invested both of you were, the introducing of your parents into the picture and legitimizing a marriage and then him bailing.

 

All of it wasn't planned very well and I think both of you, while genuine in your love for each other, just weren't organized enough or mature enough to bring your lives together in a way where both feel validated or like you both have enough to go on. I don't think this was a brilliant relationship at all - the opposite, rather. I'm not saying this to be rude to you or harsh but perhaps it's time to take off the rose-coloured lenses and see it for what it is. You both are good at surface level conversations but not ok with dealing with misunderstandings or able to validate or hear each other when push comes to shove. That's the real work and the real backbone/test of whether a relationship will last.

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Thanks everyone. Just a random one, in this scenario, was I the dumpee or the dumper? Doing NC and trying to figure out who should be the one to try and initiate contact at some point. I know I ended things first but the final decision was his to make and he walked out then...

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Thanks everyone. Just a random one, in this scenario, was I the dumpee or the dumper? Doing NC and trying to figure out who should be the one to try and initiate contact at some point. I know I ended things first but the final decision was his to make and he walked out then...

 

Are you "doing NC" as a way to try to get him to come back to you?

 

You do know that's not what NC is meant for, right?

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Are you "doing NC" as a way to try to get him to come back to you?

 

You do know that's not what NC is meant for, right?

 

Originally that was my reason but now, not for reconciliation but just to communicate generally as he’s going through personal things that I would like to ask about due to genuine concern. I just want him to calm down his anger before I get in touch because he has said some hurtful things without realising where he has hurt me too in the past.

 

I can accept it if he moves on as it just wasn’t meant to be so I’m not trying to win him back. That would be great, not going to lie but I think there’s no chance unless both of us recognise where things went wrong and make an effort to improve. I have done that on my end but the impression so far from him is that he doesn’t want to improve himself so there would be little point in getting back together.

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