Don't understand our breakup
Looking for some advice (obviously). Sorry this is long.
My background info: I was married to the only man I ever had a serious relationship to right out of college for over 20 years, however, the last 6 were a joke - I found out he was gay. We stayed together only for the children who are now young adults. My divorce was finalized 3 months ago.
My boyfriends background: He married his college sweetheart, found out she had drug/alcohol issues, stayed with her for over 20 years for the children. Divorce was finalized last month.
So we're both older (and supposedly more mature, although I have all the uncertainties of a teenager at this point).
We met on an online dating service while the divorces were in progress. We hit it off immensely. We clicked on every level - emotionally, physically, mentally. Our family histories were similar - both parents still married. Our kids went to the same school and are only a couple years apart. Our relationship seemed so effortless - like we've always known each other. Belly laughs, toe curling sex, we talked about every topic under the sun. We agreed to disagree on "hot topics" like politics. We both agreed commitment was out the picture for now until the dust settled. We saw each other regularly for the last 6 months. Being a girl, and having very few relationships under my belt, I of course fell for him hook, line, and sinker. I've also never felt this connected to anyone in my life.
So after another wonderful Friday nite out and literally, a beautiful walk in the park that weekend (absolutely no clue that nothing's wrong), he stops answering my texts. Then on Thursday after leaving a message about what's up, he calls me and says he doesn't see this relationship progressing any further. That couldn't have shocked me any more than if he hit me in the head with a 2x4. I literally didn't know what to say. Either I'm the most naive person on the planet or he's the world's best actor. Next day I left him a message saying that I need to hear this face-to-face. After not hearing from him for a week, heartbroken, I decided to hit the gym to burn off my pain.
I never nagged him. We never fought. I complimented him, supported him, tried to be there for him the whole time.
Then out of the blue he calls and says he'd like to discuss this. So we met in a neutral place and talked. I refused to let him off the hook until I got some sort of a reason. I never got mad or emotional, in fact, we joked a lot and the waitress thought we were on a date. But I did push him for answers, which he seemed unable or unwilling to supply. He squirmed a lot - literally. All he'd give me is that he "just got a divorce". Well, duh, so did I, but we both know in our minds we were "mentally divorced" longer than that. I asked if he wanted to see other people and he said he didn't know, that maybe he should. He said there wasn't another girl, he'd never do that to me. He did say he thought I was more into this relationship than him, but I told him, I wasn't looking for marriage and of course I care for him. I told him we can slow this down if that would make him more comfortable, but I didn't want to lose the connection we had. He kept saying he didn't want to hurt me - well too late for that, buddy. He did finally agree that rather than burn the bridge altogether, we could "play it by ear". Whatever that means. Probably just because he was so uncomfortable that I didn't blow up or agree with him to end things. I agreed to give him space and time. I get that this is, for both of us, our first relationship after a very long marriage and a divorce. We've been out of the dating scene a very long time. So I guess I expect some nervousness about jumping from the frying pan into the fire. He agreed that we could contact each other at some point. He gave me a kiss before we parted.
It's only been a week, but it's killing me inside because I still feel like I didn't really get a valid reason and I just don't understand how you can go from having the best time of your life to this.
Now, through a friend of a friend, I was told that he's afraid. I can only guess it's because jumping into a new relationship is scary. And he wants to keep the door open. I was also told that his buddies were telling him that he should stop playing in only "one puddle". Guy lingo? I guess that makes me the puddle.
So my question is, do I keep the hope alive that he'll come around (I do plan on texting him in a couple of weeks just to see where we are at, if anywhere, which terrifies me to some degree), or do I just give up on him and try to move on? Frankly, I've never been in this position, so I feel totally lost. My therapist pointed out that I'm more upset about this happening than the failure of my marriage.
I'm tired of hitting the gym daily, but it seems to be the only way I can forget about him for a couple of hours. (Lost 7 pounds so far, small bonus).
Thanks for letting me tell my tale and looking forward to replies.
It's certainly a strange dichotomy. There is no clear indication you did anything wrong, from your perceptions and descriptions. You may have done something wrong he didn't mention, that's something that can happen and the person never mentions it, cause they're scared. However that is based entirely on conjecture.
All I really think of is that it's the volatility of love at work. One day someone can lose feelings just like that. Either that or something has clicked in his mind, some kind of change in perspective or he just wants to be more independent, some people want that. That's a legitimate reason why some people break-up.
Whatever the reason he can't put it into words or doesn't want to say it. I can't see any reason to see one way or the other. You'll have to make your own judgement as to whether he was hiding something or unable to put it into words, from comparison of his trust.
"Play it by ear" Is an idiom tending to mean, seeing how an event will naturally take place. In other words, he'll see where it ends up, if his feelings return the relationship may come back, if not it won't. Anything could happen.
As he said "Play it by ear" Not all hope is lost, it could still come around. But it's always best to prepare for the worst. So don't have the major expectation it'll end in all sunshine and rainbows, but you can keep the opportunity open by talking to him as a friend if you can handle that.
What I can say though is that you're very dependent on this person right now. You need to try and be more independent to that. It helps overall in coping in these situations.
In summation I think there's still hope, as to whether he lied or was unable to articulate is feelings is up to you based on your past experiences, be more independent and that's it pretty much.
Good luck with your relationship and have a wonderful day
Apparently he didn't feel that this relationship was as special as you did. He has been honest with you and it probably moved too fast for him.
Hey - he was your "transition" man (and you were his transition woman) That first relationship is often like this after a long marriage or death of a spouse.
Now you know about the middle-age single life can bring you: it can be fun and you can feel love again. Be grateful for that.
Then move on, wiser now.
Thanks for the advice everyone.
So I have another question then.
You guys say I was too invested in this relationship. Since I dated him for 6 months and we really hit it off and were intimate, am I supposed to feel NOTHING for him? Is that the way the dating world is now? Everyone is just using each other? When is it all right to finally feel and care for another person? I'm not sure I can pretend to feel indifferent when I've been with someone that long. That just seems so cold and heartless. I'm not wired that way.
And I never controlled him. I never told him what to do. I considered us friends as well as lovers. So I simply expected honest answers and some consideration for everything we had been for each other, especially since we never had any problems or disagreements before. Sorry, guess I'm old school.
When you get intimate like that with a person its very hard to not have some kind of emotion towards them. Your giving a bit of yourself that is reserved for a special person and maybe he felt uncomfortable with that. Now I have no idea why he decided to break things off it could have been as simple as I just needed you for sexy time or maybe he's uncomfortable or even feeling guilt about having sex for the first time after a marriage and with a person that was not his original spouse. But whatever the reason Is I would move on and just respect his final decision because it takes two to tango. Life is more important than just dating. I would say find yourself and your purpose in this life. if it is to be, you may or may not find an other boy friend or husband! goodluck
You were ready for something he was not.
I bet if you looked at the relationship REALLY hard, you would see that he was not authentically ready to settle down.
Stop trying to figure this out. It will drive you crazy. He hurt you - that's the way he is. It would have come sooner or later anyway.
Personaly I think you have every right to be feeling the way you do. At no point have you come across as controlling. And I think it is wrong to say this would have come sooner or later.
If I were you, I would just sit back and let him contact you. He has already stated you are more into him than he is into you so I would just give him his space. Yes you have every right to feel used and rejected and yes you do deserve an explanation but sometimes you just need to sit back and wait for those answers. Sometimes you may never get them at all.
If he doesnt contact you (I think he will if you dont run after him) see it as he came into your life to teach you something and that something was to show you that you can love again. It may not have worked out this time but eventually it will.
Ah you are quiet vulnerable here you were going through a huge transition in your life....
You found someone who mirrored that experience .....which is WHY you had a connection and were in tune with each other... and helped each other through.
I think it is beautiful and you are both lucky to have met......
Loss is heartbreaking ......
I understand that you let go mentally from your last relationship before you left..... it can take a long time to completely let go...... of who you once were, what you once believed to be true, and from what you discovered about your husband.... I gather an important part of it being missing. You must have got a shock, what happens to a person after that news? I am guessing that the online guy, completed that missing piece?
You now know what it is meant to feel like and understandable you fear it's loss....
You both helped heal each other .....
It is possible that he is done,and he is truly ready to be by himself and grab what is left of his life for him .
I think you have a bit more to go.......
In life we meet amazing people that immediately go straight into your heart you will never forget how safe and alive it made you feel to share who you are with them......
I don't like the term "too invested" I don't think there is any such thing being too invested into a relationship really, unless it goes over to being clingy or something major of that nature. But putting effort in is fine and trying to make it work best without causing more problems is fine. The problem I was eluding to was too high of expectations.
Being this person was a sole source of happiness for you, that you depending on being there for an incredibly long time. As such when that expectation is broken upon any point it shatters you. As it would when that happens.
Of course you're not meant to feel nothing for him, that wasn't the message I was trying to get across at least. It's right to feel and care for the person at the beginning of become bf and gf. But depending on the person their views can be different to this, some are using each other. Such as people that want FWB (Friends with Benefits). You're right acting that way would be cold.
Your expectations were heavily reasonable. He just didn't comply. It could have been for a number of different reasons as I stated before, he may have lied, if he has some sort of history with lying, but you never stated anything of the sort so one assumes not, which makes this scenario unlikely if he doesn't have a lying history. Which means it falls upon the latter being he couldn't put it into words, or he didn't wanna tell you to avoid hurting you. I think it could have been either one of those.
The fact that you never had any disagreements can be seen as sort of a bad thing. Relationships where there is no bumps in the road seems quite strange, it can be an indication of lack of communication, of course there could be no problems, or the problems could be hid away to make you feel happy. The person doesn't want to make you said, so in their perspective they just want to see you happy. Maybe he secretly had problems with this relationship but never told you, as he deemed the problems to be integral to who you are and didn't wanna change that.
It was one of these two scenarios, having hidden problems or he can't express those problems in words to you. As we do get those feelings we just cannot explain with words, such as the feeling of being in love or that there is a change in someone or something.
You know the saying, "It's better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all."
It sounds like you are really hurt and that's understandable. The guy's actions seem pretty illogical but still, he made a decision. You have to respect it.
Keep with the gym. It's a great stress reliever and maybe you'll meet someone there. There are more fish in the sea.