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Old 08-27-2005, 12:20 PM   #1
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Cindy11 HB User
Exclamation Breakup Help

I would love to hear your opinion on how men handle breakups vs. women. Most women are absolutely devestated by the breakup. They go through so much ... crying, anger, depression, etc. and most men occupy themselves with work, friends, etc. so they can't think about it. Why do men realize that they made a mistake a week, 2 weeks, or so later and decide they want to make the relationship work.

I guess you can say my boyfriend and I recently broke up. This would have been the 3rd time. The last two times, about a week after the breakup, he decides that he wants to make the relationship work. He called me over and over and over (at first, I didn't take any of the calls) he left messages saying that he can't live without me, he needs me, etc. So I went back.

I miss him so much and I'm so devestated. I feel like I'm dying slowly. When we broke up, I told him not to call me, email me, send me flowers and he said he wouldn't do any of those things. It's been four days and I keep hoping that he will call me. Will he or won't he? Any advice you can give, I truly appreciate it. I want to make the relationship work but I feel like I'm the only one that's giving it all. I just don't know what he's thinking. I am so numb. I don't want to do anything. All I want to do is sleep so that I could forget about it but when I wake up, I feel like crap!

Thanks for reading this.


 
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Old 08-27-2005, 12:44 PM   #2
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Hiya HB User
Re: Breakup Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cindy11
I would love to hear your opinion on how men handle breakups vs. women. Most women are absolutely devestated by the breakup. They go through so much ... crying, anger, depression, etc. and most men occupy themselves with work, friends, etc. so they can't think about it. Why do men realize that they made a mistake a week, 2 weeks, or so later and decide they want to make the relationship work.
First Cindy, welcome to the boards, and I'm so sorry to hear how bad you're hurting. Yes, there is scientific study after study to prove that women just take break ups much harder than men do. After I had a bad break up I saw a counselor who told me the same thing, that women just take it harder. Personally, I think because women just love more deeply than men do. Like that Steve Wariner song says "A woman loves beyond her reasons, dreams beyond her doubts, her heart will lead and she will follow even when there's no way out. Her eyes refuse to see the danger as she walks right through the fire. A man may give himself to passion and desire, but a woman loves." Women stay with the men they love through infidelity, abuse, alcoholism, sickness, all sorts of things that few men would stay with a woman through. We're the ones who are supposed to be rock solid, strong, supportive and available and free of any neurosis or psychosis that would make us unlovable in our man's eyes. That's just how it is.

As to your question about why do men realize they made a mistake, I think because they get scared and lonely. I read this great book called "He's Just Not That Into You" which I highly recommend. The author advices to never, ever go back to someone who has already rejected you. I agree wtih this whole-heartedly. I went back three times to a man I loved who I thought loved me, but the only reason he kept wanting me back was because he was lazy and scared to go out and look for what he really wanted. I ended up lied to, used and so heartbroken I never recovered. A man never leaves a woman he really, really loves and wants. I mean, when you stop to think about it, why would he? It doesn't make sense. If he left you once, he'll do it again and again until he finally gets it right and leaves for good.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Cindy11
I miss him so much and I'm so devestated. I feel like I'm dying slowly. When we broke up, I told him not to call me, email me, send me flowers and he said he wouldn't do any of those things. It's been four days and I keep hoping that he will call me. Will he or won't he? Any advice you can give, I truly appreciate it. I want to make the relationship work but I feel like I'm the only one that's giving it all. I just don't know what he's thinking. I am so numb. I don't want to do anything. All I want to do is sleep so that I could forget about it but when I wake up, I feel like crap!

Thanks for reading this.

Well, you told him not to contact you at all, and he said he'd respect your wishes, so he probably will not contact you. I know how much it hurts, but he keeps breaking up with you for a reason, and chances are you will never be able to "fix" that reason, even if he came out and told you the whole, total, unabashed truth about why he doesn't want to be with you. It doesn't really matter what the reasons are anyway. The best thing you can do now is not waste any time. Get dolled up, go out with your best girlfriends and hit the town and have a great time. Keep yourself busy with your favorite hobbies, or new ones you've always wanted to try, and get busy building a happy, full, successful life that doesn't include him. Some say time will heal your wounds, but personally, I'm not a very big fan of just waiting for time to heal you. Sometimes it can have the opposite effect. Time spent just sitting around pining for him can make those wounds deeper and the scars so thick they may never go away. Get right back up on that horse. Check in here also to vent or to let us know how you're doing. God bless.

 
Old 08-27-2005, 05:06 PM   #3
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Re: Breakup Help

Hiya,
I have to disagree. From a book called "How to Make Anyone Fall in Love With You"
Studies have shown that men fall in love faster, are more idealistic about love, love ther lovers more, and suffer more from a breakup.
"The men felt lonelier, more depressed, unloved, and least free after a split. The men reported that they found it extremely hard to accept that they were no longer loved and that she had really gone."
"In fact, three times as many men commit suicide after a disastrous love affair as women do."
Hope it helps a little to know he's probably utterly miserable as well.
Hang in there.

Last edited by whitehorse; 08-27-2005 at 05:12 PM.

 
Old 08-28-2005, 02:08 AM   #4
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Cindy11 HB User
Re: Breakup Help

Thanks so much for your replies. Well, I went for a run today. It was so hard to get motivated to do anything. I pushed myself into walking out the front door. It was hard but I did it. Then I took a nap and got ready to go out for the evening with a very dear friend of mine. We had a great time.

I really do appreciate your responses and look forward to additional responses. Thanks again and I will keep you posted.

 
Old 08-28-2005, 05:16 AM   #5
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eaglesgirl37 HB User
Re: Breakup Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by whitehorse
Hiya,
I have to disagree. From a book called "How to Make Anyone Fall in Love With You"
Studies have shown that men fall in love faster, are more idealistic about love, love ther lovers more, and suffer more from a breakup.
"The men felt lonelier, more depressed, unloved, and least free after a split. The men reported that they found it extremely hard to accept that they were no longer loved and that she had really gone."
"In fact, three times as many men commit suicide after a disastrous love affair as women do."
Hope it helps a little to know he's probably utterly miserable as well.
Hang in there.
I agree with this too...I certainly don't feel like what you said, Hiya, about women in relationships applies to me at all. I think it depends a lot on the individual and how much they cared about the relationship in question from the beginning...there are plenty of cases where women love their boyfriends more, but also lots of instances in which the men are the ones who care more and are more attached. I do think I'm a bit unusual as far as women go in that whenever I hear any generalizations about women and men, I never identify with the conclusions drawn about women as a whole. So it just depends a lot on the individual...some women fit into the typical stereotypes about how women feel and act while others couldn't be less similar to the way women as a group are categorized. The same is true with men...some are just like men are typically described while others have a lot more in common with the stereotypical emotional, sensitive women. I have never seen a generalization about how all women or all men are that holds true in all or even most examples I can think of--you just can't fit 3 billion people into any neat little categories. For instance, I've never felt that I have much of anything in common with other women, while I know men who come really close to embodying the conventional descriptions of how women generally are supposed to be.

I know that these generalizations of gender roles have held true in your case, Hiya, and that you certainly don't think men are superior to women in any way, but there are just as many cases in which these conventional roles are reversed and we see men much more devestated by breakups than women who seem to move on with little difficulty. Just look at all the posts here from men crushed by losing women who seem to leave relationships without much sadness or regret. Now, I know this isn't at all what you meant and certainly include you with people who embrace such ideas to advance their hateful sexist agendas, but I did want to chime in and dispute the idea that genders can be neatly grouped into these two categories. I actually really hate those stereotypes not just because they aren't at all true for me or the people I know, but also because I think any generalizations that emphasize the "natural" or "innate" differences between genders are fodder for backwards thinking, sexist jerks who insist that there is a good reason that women have always been treated as inferior to men and repressed accordingly...these bigoted idiots use these "traditional" so-called gender differences to support their arguments that our long history of sexist oppression was fully justified and should continue. I just hate people who think like that, especially the pitiful and insecure men who are terrified and threatened of women having any rights, knowing they won't want to be with them unless forced by circumstances into not having another choice...but in some ways, I despise even more the self-loathing women who advocate such stereotypes as desirable and think women should happily acquiesce to being second-class, inferior citizens with no rights or power in relationships and society.

Last edited by eaglesgirl37; 08-28-2005 at 05:24 AM.

 
Old 08-28-2005, 06:43 AM   #6
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greeneyes100 HB User
Re: Breakup Help

If this man has broken up with you three times, then I definitely think you should move on. Don't waste anymore of your time with him. He's confused and doesn't really know what he wants at this point. I do think that he may be afraid of getting out there and meeting someone new, so he may want to keep you as a "fill-in" until something better comes along.

Now, I could see getting back together the very first time, if the man had waited a while after the break-up, say 3 to 6 months, had thought about what he had with you, and had realized he made a serious mistake in breaking up. But only one time would I do this and only if I was really into the man myself. If he kept repeating the same pattern, I would not go back a second time.

Some men who are afraid of emotional intimacy get scared and pull away, but after a leave of absence from the relationship, they start moving in again if they are really in love.

I don't think in your case this is true. If I were you, I would forget him and move on. I know it's not easy, but I think it's really the best decision. Good luck!

 
Old 08-28-2005, 01:04 PM   #7
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Cindy11 HB User
Unhappy Re: Breakup Help

My ex has 2 daughters and 1 son. I knew he was going to New Orleans this weekend with one of his daughters to help her move into her apartment (she's enrolled at Tulane University) and he was going to be back on Monday. With what's been happening in New Orleans, Hurricane Katrina, everyone is evacuating. The airport is closed so I don't think he can get a flight out. But then again, he is a planner so I also think he probably left knowing this but I don't know. What should I do? Should I call to see if he's ok or ignore it? Should I have a friend call him instead? Would he see this as an excuse for my contacting him? What do you think?

 
Old 08-28-2005, 02:29 PM   #8
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Re: Breakup Help

Greeneyes is right that you should never give a man more than one (maybe, in extremely rare cases, two) chances to break your heart by leaving you. Honestly, what good would contacting him do? It would only delay the inevitable process of moving on that you will have to go through at some point, and the longer you hang to hope of being with him, the longer and more difficult that process will be. Think about it, if you truly loved someone, thought they were the one you wanted to be with in the long run, would you dump them? If you were dumb enough to make the mistake of leaving the person you believed was "the one" once, would you ever even consider dumping them again? I'm sorry to say this, but it's clear from this man's behavior that he does not view you as the woman he wants to spend his life loving. One of the saddest things about love is that no matter how much we cherish someone and want them to love us just as much in return, there is absolutely nothing we can do to make them love us more than they do or convince them to be with us when that's not what they want. There's really no logic to love, so no matter how good you are for him or how much you adore him or how well you treat him, if he doesn't love you enough to want to make it work, there is absolutely nothing you can do to change his mind. The simple truth of the matter is that if he wanted to be with you, he wouldn't have left you even once.

I'm really sorry things didn't work out, but from everything I've seen and experienced, you have to accept that and move on with your life. You could refuse to admit that this relationship is over and hang around hoping against hope that it could somehow work out, but then you would be left lonely and sad and disappointed until eventually you managed to put this in the past and move on with your life. Why not skip all that misery and instead do your best to put this behind you now? Earlier this year a man I truly believed was the love of my life left after three years, and it was absolutely heartbreaking...but with the help of everyone here, I realized that I had to accept what I could not change, and I am thankful every day that I did not waste any time banging my head against the wall hoping that things would be different. The best and smartest decision I made was to immediately resign myself to the fact that he had left and wasn't coming back (and even if he wanted to, I immediately resolved that I had too much respect to take him back after he had left me once). It's so important to admit that it's over for good and take action, doing everything in your power to put this relationship in the past where it belongs and focus on the future rather than dwelling on what is over.

If you want to move on as quickly and painlessly as possible and happily embrace your future, here is the plan that worked wonders for me:
Collect all his stuff, along with everything in your house that reminds you of him, and stuff it into a box at the back of your closet. Focus on all the positive aspects of being single, remind yourself of all the advantages of being free, and refuse to allow yourself to torment yourself by dwelling on your ex. Don't call him, don't write, and don't stop yourself from grieving, just make sure you also keep busy and stay positive whenever possible. I found it really helpful to vent here, to keep busy socializing with family and friends, and to start online dating. Even if you're not ready to go out and meet new men just yet, getting complimentary responses and communicating with interested men by email will greatly flatter and boost your ego and make you feel desirable again, not to mention make you focus on the good things about being single. The main thing is to remember not to fight against things that aren't within your control, to accept his decision, and make the best of your current situation. Instead focus your attention and energy on the things you can change and affect--put your effort into staying optimistic, keeping busy, having lots of fun, embracing the future, and try not to look back anymore than necessary. It's okay to cry and mourn rather than hold your feelings inside, but try to keep it in check and dial it down as time goes by. Most of all, put the past in the past where it belongs, and cut yourself off completely from your ex and anything that reminds you of him. You have the choice whether to allow yourself to obsess and long after your ex indefinitely, which essentially relegates you to a future of loneliness and misery, or you can take control of your life and force yourself to focus on embracing all the opportunities your future offers with a positive, optimistic outlook. I made the latter choice and am thankful every day that I did, even though it wasn't easy and there were many times when I wanted to submit to the first approach. But you have to keep living either way, and life is a lot more happy and rewarding if you control your grief rather than letting it control you. Hang in there, stay strong, and please don't hesitate to lean on us here whenever you need to vent or want some support and encouragement!

Best wishes, Stacy

 
Old 08-28-2005, 05:13 PM   #9
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Hiya HB User
Re: Breakup Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by eaglesgirl37
I
I know that these generalizations of gender roles have held true in your case, Hiya, and that you certainly don't think men are superior to women in any way,
Well, I think you could find a study that says just about anything, and I know there are exceptions to every rule, I'm just saying what my counselor told me, and based on what I personally have observed. I think the one who was more in love is the one that ends up hurt the most, and more often than not, that's the woman, not always, but more often than not, so I stick by what I said. I also wanted to mention that yes, men succeed at suicide after a break up because they use methods more reliable, like gunshots and jumping from high buildings, but the fact is more women attempt suicide, but don't succeed as often because they use pills or other methods where they are found and revived.

Cindy, I will also reiterate what *I* first said, that you shouldn't give a man this many chances to break your heart. He'll only keep breaking up with you until he gets it right. I hope you're feeling better about things today.

 
Old 08-28-2005, 05:24 PM   #10
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ibeeshell HB User
Re: Breakup Help

Cindy,

You parted ways and you asked him NOT to bother you, yet now you want him to?

If you you were serious when you said this and he was bothering you with phone calls every day, flowers, cards etc. we would all call this STALKING!

Sending mixed messages to someone is not ok. If you wish to reconcile, why can't you just act like an adult and pick up your telephone? Give him a call and appologize to get the ball rolling.

 
Old 08-28-2005, 08:51 PM   #11
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Cindy11 HB User
Re: Breakup Help

I'm still very sad and confused. As of now, I have decided not to contact him. I gotta ask myself, if I contacted him, then what? What if he rejects me, what if he says he misses me and nothing else. I want more of him but I know it's not possible. He's a very successful man with 3 children (that have had a hard time seeing their father moving on, lives in to states and travels quite a bit). I, on the other hand, I have no baggage (kids, divorce, etc.) and I, too, am very successful. I know I deserve better but it's still very hard. I miss him so much. I want to hug him so bad that it hurts.

I can't help but to keep thinking that I hope he misses me like I miss him. I hope he's hurting like I am hurting.

I just hope this gets better because I don't think I can take going through anymore pain. It's killing me slowly.

 
Old 08-28-2005, 09:00 PM   #12
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Hiya HB User
Re: Breakup Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cindy11
I'm still very sad and confused. As of now, I have decided not to contact him. I gotta ask myself, if I contacted him, then what? What if he rejects me, what if he says he misses me and nothing else. I want more of him but I know it's not possible. He's a very successful man with 3 children (that have had a hard time seeing their father moving on, lives in to states and travels quite a bit). I, on the other hand, I have no baggage (kids, divorce, etc.) and I, too, am very successful. I know I deserve better but it's still very hard. I miss him so much. I want to hug him so bad that it hurts.

I can't help but to keep thinking that I hope he misses me like I miss him. I hope he's hurting like I am hurting.

I just hope this gets better because I don't think I can take going through anymore pain. It's killing me slowly.

Hang in there Cindy, and know we're all here pulling for you. These things just unfold in their own way in their own time. There are certain things we can do that will hopefully speed up the recovery process or make it easier, but it just sort of has to run its course. I wish you all the luck in the world and hope you're feeling so much better tomorrow.

 
Old 08-29-2005, 06:37 AM   #13
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eaglesgirl37 HB User
Re: Breakup Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hiya
Cindy, I will also reiterate what *I* first said, that you shouldn't give a man this many chances to break your heart. He'll only keep breaking up with you until he gets it right. I hope you're feeling better about things today.
Hiya, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to not give you the credit you deserved for this statement or imply that it was someone else's idea when you had been the one to state it first. This was just an unintentional oversight on my part, and I apologize fpr it. I was actually thinking about mentioning your situation as one of the most clearcut and eye-openin examples that I've come across of how devestating it can be to allow someone to leave you and break your heart repeatedly, but wasn't sure if it would be my place or appropriate for me to discuss your personal experiences rather than letting you share your story in your own words. Cindy, I think you've made a wise decision to cut off contact with him and find a man who cherishes you and appreciates you way too much to ever even consider letting you go. Hiya has an excellent cautionary experience about the damage it can do when a kind, sensitive, and forgiving woman allows a guy who is clearly unworthy of her consistent love and devotion to repeatedly crawl back into her life. There are other such examples here, but none I can think of more poignant than Hiya's, nor as eloquently and movingly described as her prose inevitably is.

 
Old 08-29-2005, 09:00 AM   #14
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Re: Breakup Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by eaglesgirl37
Hiya, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to not give you the credit you deserved for this statement or imply that it was someone else's idea when you had been the one to state it first. This was just an unintentional oversight on my part, and I apologize fpr it. I was actually thinking about mentioning your situation as one of the most clearcut and eye-openin examples that I've come across of how devestating it can be to allow someone to leave you and break your heart repeatedly, but wasn't sure if it would be my place or appropriate for me to discuss your personal experiences rather than letting you share your story in your own words. Cindy, I think you've made a wise decision to cut off contact with him and find a man who cherishes you and appreciates you way too much to ever even consider letting you go. Hiya has an excellent cautionary experience about the damage it can do when a kind, sensitive, and forgiving woman allows a guy who is clearly unworthy of her consistent love and devotion to repeatedly crawl back into her life. There are other such examples here, but none I can think of more poignant than Hiya's, nor as eloquently and movingly described as her prose inevitably is.
Thanks EG, I didn't mean to be snotty, just didn't want to be passed up!

Cindy, hope you're feeling better today. It just takes a little time, though I've said to other women in your position not to let too much time pass. What's important now is how you USE your time in dealing with this break up. Time will only heal your wounds if you use it productively. Call on friends and family to rally around you and let them know you could use a little extra support right now until you get back up on your feet, don't be afraid to let them know you need them. That's what friends and family are for!

Get back to the business of you. Put yourself first and concentrate on hobbies, or finding a new hobby, work, enjoying the last waning days of summer, get back to enjoying your own company as well. The sooner you fill your life up and rebuild a life that is full and busy and that doesn't include him, the easier this transition will be for you, I think. Good luck to you, and feel free to check in with us whenever you need to vent.

 
Old 08-29-2005, 09:24 AM   #15
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Re: Breakup Help

Ditto. SO true, just went thru it. Thought it would never get better and I saw no light at the end of the tunnel. Thought I would pine away forever. Now, it's been almost 2 months, I'm moving on and over it for sure. Even saw him Friday night and he did nothing for me except turn me off b/c he's such an emotionally unavailable drunk. EEWWW!! Is all I thought. I am so much better than that.

He even looked like he was going to kill the guys I was talking to--how freaking immature is that?? This guy who didn't even give me a phone break up and says he's "confused" about what he wants---to be alone or to be with me. Weirdo!!

You WILL get thru this, it just sucks right now. Listen to the prevous posters--it does work, it's just slow sometimes. Good luck.

 
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