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On a break with a boyfriend of 4 years


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1 week ago I told my boyfriend of 4 years that I needed a break. I was feeling overwhelmed and suffocated in the relationship. I was feeling this way because for 3 years we have lived together, eat together, sleep together, both work from home, share a car and hangout together. We have no time to miss each other, value each other, or appreciate each other. When we hangout, we are bored with each other. We also have not been intimate in a year.. We rarely fight in our relationship. He does not communicate his feelings at all. 

Throughout this week I have been very distraught and devastated. I began missing him in ways that I never have before. I called him after the week to see how was feeling. Instead of feeling sad or upset, he stated that he has been happier without me and that a lot of stress was lifted off his shoulders. This obviously crushed me and left me even more devastated. He told me that he still loves me and hasn't completely given up on our relationship  but he needs the break to last longer so he can see if he is happier without me. He also stated he was not afraid to lose me. I agreed to another week but I am feeling so frustrated as I believe he should be feeling like me if he truly loved me. 

As this next week progresses I am becoming more  anxious and torn. I am willing to give the relationship a chance if he agrees to actively try to improve it with me, but based off his responses on the phone call he is sounding unbothered by this break and it is really hurtful.

Is there anyone in this forum that has dealt with a similar situation ? I know what I deserve in a relationship and I am willing to heartbreakingly walk away if I need to.  I just dont want to end a relationship over something I believe that can be repaired. I do love him and we undeniably have a special bond. We have been really never been separated.

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Breaks are rarely a good idea, and usually only serve to further fracture a relationship. 

What were your goals and expectations for this break, exactly? What did you hope it would accomplish, and how?

I get the sense that you were hoping to light a fire under him by asking for a break, but it's backfiring. He might be trying to stick it to you and gain the upper-hand by claiming that he feels great without you- or maybe this is the push you both needed to realize that your relationship actually does need to end and that you don't feel the same way about each other anymore. 

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42 minutes ago, Brittany said:

Throughout this week I have been very distraught and devastated. I began missing him in ways that I never have before. I called him after the week to see how was feeling. Instead of feeling sad or upset, he stated that he has been happier without me and that a lot of stress was lifted off his shoulders.

Sorry this is happening. Where did you move to or did he move out? Are all the details of moving out sorted?

Agree that 24/7 plus the pandemic can feel suffocating. Perhaps it was a good idea on your part to end things. ]

It sounds like he was just coasting along complacently playing house rather than in with both feet.

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I was in a situation that was very similar to this one, in your role. Four years, felt suffocated, time didn't feel special, physical intimacy collapsed, and then needed to step back. When we were apart, even though I was the instigator just like you, I also felt afraid and deeply upset. We met for a discussion once, when she indicated that she now felt that the relationship was over. When she said that I felt like you do now. Although my girlfriend and I are working on your relationship again, it's still not fixed. The whole thing is awful. I feel for you. I'd be happy to discuss more anytime.

At this point, it sounds like you need to wait a bit because the ball is in his court. Sometimes that's the hardest thing to do.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Brittany said:

We have no time to miss each other, value each other, or appreciate each other.

But if you have two people who have fun, fulfilling lives then the dance of intimacy is just a normal part of interacting -meaning both people enjoy being together and have enough going on in their lives that they have time apart and when they are together again they have stories to share about their time apart.  Everyone has "time " to miss each other and value and appreciate each other - it's a choice.  What else do you do in your life other than hang out with him? What about him? If you needed space you didn't need to break up! Or take a break.  It's called "hey - on Thursday night I'm meeting some friends for dinner/doing a volunteer activity//going to the gym/going to a chick flick by myself.  For example. 

My husband and I live in a two bedroom apartment with our son -we telework and he does virtual school.  Talk about togetherness.  But every morning I leave for about 45 minutes at sunrise and work out.  He works out later in the day (all outside now -covid, etc).  I love to read, I listen to podcasts when I clean, I talk on the phone with friends, as does he.  We both keep up with what's going on in the world and chat about it and sometimes have heated discussions!  

This is on you - the work of a relationship is fostering the spark - you do that in part by having a fulfilling life that has activities, interests, friends that have nothing or very little to do with your partner.  There is always time.  i'm sorry you're distraught.  By leaving you took the risk that he would realize he was happier without you.  You showed him you were going to bail instead of taking the far less drastic step of taking space while staying together.  Why didn't you?

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I agree ^^ .. Maybe you should have just 'discussed' things better than acting out like you did? ( try other ways to fix it..).

You DO need your own life... like get out there- on your own.. Take a walk... have coffee w/ a friend, get a hobby/crafts etc.. or yes, you will drive each other crazy 😞 .

Maybe, by his reaction, he was feeling much the same.. and now you have given him that breath of fresh air.

But, will see in the next week when you speak again... and maybe have a real 'heart to heart' talk about all of this.

Give him some time to miss you.. see if he wants to try & work this all out.

 

 

Edited by SooSad33
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