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StormGirl 11-20-2004 09:06 PM

No choice but to let go?
Hello, I have been reading this forum for some time, but this is my first post. I have been with my boyfriend for over 6 years now, but have known him for many more. He was my first love. I fell in love with him as soon as I laid eyes on him at school, before I even knew him. But that was a long time ago and we got together just over 6 years ago now, and I was content in the knowledge that I had found the love of my life. Our relationship has never been perfect, but we have always stuck together. Our lives this year ran into alot of chaos and many unhappy things have happened. To both of us yes, but more so to him. I guess because I knew this I have tried very hard to compensate and ease the pressure off him, even though it was taking a toll on me. The last few months have been the worst though, and I suppose you could say now that I did not realise how much it had all affected him. I have been trying to do the right thing to keep the relationship going, but it just seems to aggravate him more. Maybe to him it really does sound like nagging, but I was just so determined to not give up on him, or us. I just wanted to try to support him as best I could through this tough time. But sadly I don't think I have done a good job. He said he needs time to sort himself out without me, then he will decide if he wants to be with me.

I guess I can understand the need for space to figure it all out, but it hurts more than words can say that he has pushed me away. I feel like perhaps I am to blame and that instead of trying to do the right thing, I have been doing the wrong thing. But I just didn't realise, I have been carrying such a huge burden myself. I always felt that even though we were not married, we were in essence. So I assumed that when things got tough for him, he would tell me about how he felt and we would work through it together, as a team, and I would support him until it all worked out. Maybe I have just watched too many movies, and am naive to the reality of life?

So I have agreed to let him have his space, although it pains me indescribably. I am just afraid that he will push me away too far and say too many hurtful things, and if he decides that he wants to be with me, then there will be nothing left in me to keep on going. Sometimes there is just too much hurt. I guess I knew that this day was coming for some time, and I have been fighting off the inevitable, but it is hard to watch the love of your life push you away. And it is even harder to admit that you have no choice but to let him go.... :(

I am just really sad and confused at the moment, and thought that writing in this forum might make me feel a little better. I know that when I have been down and read these forums it has always given me a little more courage and hope, and made me feel not so alone. I believe that everything happens for a reason, and just hope that it will all work out... for everyone.

Any advice, thoughts etc are welcome....

Thank you for taking the time to read this. :wave:

veggie girl 11-20-2004 09:24 PM

Re: No choice but to let go?
Hello Stormgirl

I'm terribly sorry for your pain. I imagine you don't feel so good right now.

When someone we're with wants "time alone" or a break, theres nothing we can do but allow that to them.

You did nothing wrong in trying to make the relationship work - thats what people do when they want to repair relationship damage. We can't ever really know what the 'right' course of action is as it changes in every situation and with ever person - its all just a crapshot really. We do what we do with good intentions and lots of thought and hope for the best.

Give your guy his space and use all the will power you have to allow him that time. He'll return when he works his problems through and gains a clearer mind.

Good luck.

StormGirl 11-20-2004 09:35 PM

Re: No choice but to let go?
Thank you for your kind words veggie girl... I just hope that he does return to me eventually... And I am mustering all the courage I have to let him have his space and respect his wishes. I just wish that I knew what was going on in his head... mens minds work very differently to a womans. When I am in trouble I go to him for support, when the same happens for him he closes up and pushes me away. It is just really disappointing I guess that after 6 years together he needs time to figure out if he wants to be with me or not... I didn't think that anyone would need to ponder over that... Isn't it just something that you just know?? Whether you want to be with someone after so long or not??

Ruth6:11 11-21-2004 05:05 AM

Re: No choice but to let go?
[QUOTE]Isn't it just something that you just know?? Whether you want to be with someone after so long or not??
Sadly enough sometimes, it may depend on where those 6 yrs fall.
If you start out dating in your teens sometimes people need to explore who they are alone, or explore different relationships as they mature.
If you start out after your teens/very early 20's personally I think any woman would be wise to NOT wait 6 yrs for something like an engagement or marriage. A guy should probably should know - long before 2 years if he's going to make a committment to you that goes anywhere permanent.

The pain you are feeling is very real - and that's the part that you need to watch, and come here for support with.
But your question about whether someone should know if they want to be with someone after so long deserved an answer (not that there aren't exceptions..).

It's very easy to want to blame yourself, or put yourself under a 300 watt bulb for self-examination. The truth is that there are very few situations that are all one person's "fault". Sometimes accepting that can lead to less panful goodbye's...

SophiaM 11-21-2004 07:37 PM

Re: No choice but to let go?
You never mentioned how old you both were and it does play some part in the advice. In general, I agree with Ruth that it should take less than six years for people to decide if they want to be together or not. But there are exceptions, when the couple met and started dating at a very young age, for example, where it can still work out, even after a break. You can never predict what's going to happen in life. A couple who used to be my neighbors growing up got divorced and now, after about 13 years since their divorce, they got back together and remarried again. Life is crazy and unpredictable. Give this guy the space he's asking for, but if he doesn't come around after a reasonable period of time (say, a couple of months), you will need to continue with your life and do what's best for you. Whatever is meant to happen will happen. I hope he will realize he cannot live without you. Good luck!

eightball61 11-21-2004 08:22 PM

Re: No choice but to let go?
Hey Storm :wave:

I am glad you posted this and welcome to the boards. You both are going through a rought time and it may only get worse before it get better. You have beendoing the right thing in the sense to try to keep the relationship going. There is only so much you can do though. :rolleyes:

As humans we are all different and in relationships some communicate and some don't....some try and some don't. You both have been together for 6 years and there should be a better idea on where things are goings. You are not going to stay his GF forever!!!!I am sure you want to get married and ect.

Only time will tell on what will happen here but I do thinks its best you just tell him you want to see other people. Give some space to think and also maybe play the field of other options. Its up to you though and I do wish you luck.

Soulcatcher 11-21-2004 08:46 PM

Re: No choice but to let go?
Do you think maybe you were too pushy? Maybe too nagging? If you werre that over bearing I could see where he needs some time to think about it. Men don't like to feel "cornered". You said that your relationship has never been perfect, was it hanging by a thread? Was it just comfortable or habit? You also said lots of things happend to the both of you. Time may be on your side and maybe you need a break too. People change after a while, you may need to take this time and re-evalutate yourself. Maybe you do need work. You in a round about way said that so in your own mind you do need to work on yourself. Let him see that you can be patient and no pushy. Good luck to you and if it's what you both want I hope it works out.

StormGirl 11-21-2004 11:25 PM

Re: No choice but to let go?
To answer many questions... here goes!!! I am in my mid 20's and he is in his late 20's. Yes I agree that 6 years is a long time to wait for marriage etc, but we always spoke about it as if it was something that was definitely going to happen, so I was never too concerned. I don't think he is commitment-phobic or anything. To Soulcatcher, I am never one to shirk from my own responsibilities, and have tried to examine myself and think where I went wrong, but it's hard when there has been no communication as to what his motives are. I mean, he has been very down and depressed lately, I know this. I guess I tried to do everything I could to ease his suffering, but maybe I wasn't doing the right thing? But it did start to impact on our relationship and I sometimes tried to tell him how it was making me feel, and try to encourage/help him to pull himself out of this before his hurtful ways and comments pushed me to the point where he would lose our relationship as well. He said this was nagging, and maybe it was, but to me I was just trying to be honest and save our relationship, because he really does mean the world to me. I wish I could help him but I don't seem to be able to. I just thought that as a couple for so long if there was something really upsetting him he could tell me about it and we could work it out together. And it doesn't help that he won't communicate at all. He has always been a very insecure person, so I don't think that suggesting to see other people will do very much, it may hurt and pull him down further, but thank you for the suggestion. I tried to call last night to see if he was okay but he didn't even answer. Although it's difficult to let go and let him have space I try, but I also do not want him to think that I do not care... but I guess I just can't win. And it really hurts like hell... I just want to hide away from the world, but can't as I have responsibilities. What makes it worse is that because I have always been the strong/responsible type, no one really ever worries about me, but it is just a facade. Inside I am heartbroken as I adore him. I want to cry but am afraid that if I do, I may never stop, and then I may have to admit that maybe he isn't coming back, so I hold it all in.
Sorry for another long post, but I would like to say how appreciative I am for your kind words/encouragement, and yes even constructive criticism. It makes me cry to think that you would all try to help me out. You are all very good people. :angel:

StormGirl 11-21-2004 11:33 PM

Re: No choice but to let go?
Please let me also note that our situation has nothing to do with me pushing to get married etc, I am not that type, I figure if he wants to do it he will, and I would rather him do it of his own accord.... It stemmed from him feeling very down about his life, and he said that he wants to sort himself out before he decides if he wants to be with me. But that's the part that I didn't see coming.... sort yourself out - No problems with that.... but cut out your GF who has been there for you for the past 6 years... I don't understand that. I feel that he either blames me for how his life has gone awry, or he just doesn't love me anymore and wants to re-evaluate his whole life, including me. I just thought that if you loved someone though, you didn't really have to think too hard about that.... but maybe that's the problem?

Wowwwweeee 11-22-2004 05:24 AM

Re: No choice but to let go?
Depression can make people do things that they normally wouldn't do if they were coping better. You make some observations in your posts that your boyfriend told you that he needed some distance to figure out some things for himself. If your boyfriend is truly dealing with personal struggles that are causing him to feel depressed, he may be feeling overwhelmed and a little out of control. He may know he needs to make some changes, but he may not be sure what exactly he needs to change or how to go about doing it - so he maybe starting with the conscious stressors that he is aware of, and being in a committed relationship may be one of these stressors. It doesn't necessarily mean you are a bad or tedious girlfriend, or that he is being a dog by wanting some space (for examples). He may be trying to simplify his life to get a better handle on the things that are causing him internal pressure, and the less things he keeps on his plate, the easier he may find it to deal and cope with the things he needs or has to.

Unfortunately, no matter how long you date (or know) someone, you never always know what that person is thinking or feeling. And, depending on circumstances and situations, a person's feeling about someone or something can change, even if things are going good.

If a partner is asking for space and time, it really isn't productive to try to get them to stay or see things your way so they don't leave (examples). As difficult as it is, sometimes all you can do is wish them well and let them know that they are welcome to call/visit/touch base when they are ready.

It's hard to just let someone walk out of your life and from the current way things are/were. But you have no control over another person; you only have control over yourself and how you handle yourself if your partner needs to take some space.

You state that after this long together, your boyfriend does not open up and confide to you. Maybe you can take this time apart to determine if that's the kind of life partner you want. Communication is a big factor when it comes to maintaining relationships. In later years, sometimes communication may be all two people have to work through personal/marital struggles during times of hardship. Just a thought.

In the meantime, your boyfriend has asked for a break after six years of dating. For whatever reason, he feels that he cannot resolve his struggle with you by his side. Again, he may be feeling a little out of control with whatever is going on in his life, but maybe his feelings have changed about the relationship.

Give him some time to sort things out by himself. Don't call him or make attempts to see him right now. Give him his space. Maybe around the week of Christmas, give him a call or drop him a Holiday card and see if he would be interested in meeting for lunch or dinner. If he is not openly receptive, you may want to consider not waiting around on him for a long time - he may need to move on for whatever reason, and then you may want to think about doing the same.

I also read in your posts that you are feeling like a lot of this is your fault. Don't. People's feeling can change sometimes seemingly overnight, and it's always the tendency for the person left behind to self-blame. Looking back, there are always regrets on both sides when a relationship ends. There will always be "should have's" and "could have's". In your relationships, if you're an honest and kind person, that will less room for doubts on your part.

eightball61 11-22-2004 06:01 AM

Re: No choice but to let go?
After 6 years it is difficult to let go but if he isn't putting any effort to get ahold of you then why should you do all the dity work? I know you just want to be that nice person but there is no point to add the effort if you are the only one doing it. I didn't think once that you were just after the marriage but 6 years is a while but you both have talked about it. I am 22 and I am waiting till I am like 30 to get married which means me and my GF would be together for about 8 years at that time. I talk to her about it and we work on what we think is best...not what I think is best. At this point though it is all up to you on how much more you want to put into things but remember you cant do all the dirty work.

StormGirl 11-23-2004 10:40 PM

Re: No choice but to let go?
Well my boyfriend called me yesterday and asked for his car back as he wants to sell it (I have been driving it for a couple of years now). So all day I thought of things to say and prepared myself... there were things that I thought I needed to say to him, even if he didn't respond, that would at least make me feel better for having said them. But what did I do? I froze up. Couldn't say a word. I just gave him his keys, and asked if he would like to talk, as I thought there was no point even trying if he was not going to listen anyway. He said no, that he would call later (which I knew he wouldn't) and at this point I was barely holding back the tears - I guess it felt like a bit of a final blow for me. I wanted to at least maintain some dignity, and just managed to shut the front door before bursting into tears. I really do not want to appear to be the hopeless girlfriend, but I guess I can't help how I feel. I saw his parents and they too are concerned. No one knows what to do.

But I fully agree with everything that Wowwwweeee said. I guess in my heart I know it's all true, but it's hard to admit it to yourself. Thank you for telling me what I needed to hear. It also made me see things from another perspective which was very helpful. It has perhaps helped me to find a little peace in a difficult circumstance. And it's true that no one can really understand a very depressed person, and I can never even begin to understand if he doesn't want to share it with me. But I do know what it is like to wake up every morning and know that I have to let go of the most important thing of my life, and it is terrible. I miss him very much.

So I guess that i will just have to let him go.... yes, it hurts like hell and I have some very weak moments where I want to give in and try to help him or speak to him or tell him I love him, but I try to remember then that it will not achieve anything and I will only end up more hurt. It's hard to rationalise when you don't understand why, and I would like to think that if he was doing this just because he didn't want to be with me anymore that he would at least tell me. I guess I am afraid mostly because my first long term relationship of 5 years ended when my bf at the time told me he needed space, but kept me hanging around until I found out 8 months later that he had been seeing another girl the whole time. I just don't understand why people have to be like that. I would like to think that my boyfriend would not do that to me, but I feel like I was wrong about so many other things, that I could be this time too. Once bitten, twice shy I suppose.

Thanks again everyone.

sunshineahead 11-23-2004 11:37 PM

Re: No choice but to let go?
I apologize in advance but I just read your original post so I am responding to that. I'm sorry to hear about this. You've been together a long time so of course this would be hard. But when someone wants space, there is nothing you can do but give it to them. Maybe if you agree though he will find his way back to you. All you can do is wait and see. In the meantime, though, take some time to yourself to love yourself! It sounds like you have been pouring so much into him that you've neglected your own needs. I would stay away from getting involved with anyone else for awhile. Just be kind to yourself! I wish you the best! :wave:

StormGirl 11-23-2004 11:52 PM

Re: No choice but to let go?
Thank you Sunshine!!! Yes it's true, I will just have to wait and see how it all goes. I guess everyone wishes they had a crystal ball and could see what the future holds so as to know the best course of action, but life doesn't work like that. And I have put so much effort into the last 6 years, that at times it has really taken it's toll on me. I am not even remotely interested in seeing other guys, and can't imagine I will for some time yet. I have been in 2 long term relationships since my mid teens and have not ever really been on my own for long. But I am not going to give up on him, especially while he is down; but I will also take some time for myself to put things into perspective, and maybe do some undetected background work to help ensure he gets the support he needs. I guess that I can't even say how I will feel in a few weeks time, so trying to predict how things will pan out would be impossible!!!

StormGirl 11-24-2004 12:23 AM

Re: No choice but to let go?
Oh but I so want him to come back.... I miss him dearly. I hate this feeling more than anything, and I am so afraid that he won't come back. :(

vintagegirl 11-24-2004 05:38 AM

Re: No choice but to let go?
Hi Storm girl~I would not drop him a card the week of Christmas. Otherwise you will be waiting for his answer at that time, and you should be enjoying the holidays. I guess my only advice to you (from experience) is: do not put yourself in the position of "waiting" for anything from anyone... a call, an email, a drop by, a ring, an I love you. The longer you wait, the longer your pain is prolonged. It's better to get on with life and then, if my chance, that call, email, drop by, ring, or I love you--shows up--it will be a pleasant surprise. You may even find by that time that you were so used to NOT waiting for it, that you won't care one way or the other. I hope he comes to his senses, but please, don't wait for it. It sounds as if you have done all of the waiting within the relationship as it is. Think about yourself now.

eightball61 11-24-2004 06:45 AM

Re: No choice but to let go?
[QUOTE=StormGirl] I guess everyone wishes they had a crystal ball and could see what the future holds so as to know the best course of action, but life doesn't work like that. !!![/QUOTE]

I wish I had a crystal ball and new the directions to the fountain of youth :p All we can do though is wish for things to happen. Thats impossible though because life has many unexpected obstacles and you have to face them as they come. You know what you deserve and the decision is based within you. If you need a little hint then I will say you deserve a lot and deserve a guy that you can love and charish....Sure we all have problems but again its life.

elatedgiraffe 11-24-2004 07:21 AM

Re: No choice but to let go?
Hey, I'm so sorry to hear what you are going through. My situation that I am going through is so similar to yours that its freaky. I think there is some weird funk in the air. Anyways, long story short my boyfriend after 2 1/2 years also said he needed space and that he "doesn't know whats going on with him. At a very low point and even may see a dr." I too was very concerned and a little hurt because I wanted to help him through this. He said hes cut everyone off, not just me. Well it went from needing space to we are broke up to he wants me in his life to now well..he wants nothing to do with me. I hope this isn't true in your case. I am not shocked anymore that the relationship ended..even though we were very serious and planning to be engaged by Christmas but I'm shocked that he pulled this "I'm depressed" crap instead of telling me what is or was really going on. He too would say he'd call and then no call. This was so unlike him and nobody can beleive that he just woke up and "cut me out of his life". At first I really thought he had some mental issues going on but now after a month I think he was just a coward.

I too wanted a crystal ball to tell me what was going on. Heres my advice since I'm a month ahead of what you are going through. First off this is going to be hard, really hard. I know those urges to call him and I'm glad that you have convinced yourself that contacting him will only hurt you more because you know hes not going to tell you anything you want to hear. Altough he very well maybe depressed don't ignore that instinct that is telling you he maybe trying to let you go "easily". You don't know if he'll call tomorrow or if this is the end. You have to focus on today. Today you two are on a break and you have to take care of you. I couldn't sleep or eat for weeks. Even now I feel cheated that I never got a real explaination of what happened other than "I don't know whats wrong with me right now". This time is about you. Hes taking care of himself so whos taking care of you? I'm sorry you are going through this because this is really hard and painful. With the holidays its going to be even harder. Do for you right now. Let and go and let it all happen naturally. You certainly don't want to force him to be with you or anything. You have to try and accept the situation for what it is. Most of all, please take care of you. This is going to be difficult and vent here on the boards as much as you need to.

Snails 11-24-2004 04:28 PM

Re: No choice but to let go?
Hi Stormgirl,

I too am really sorry that you're going through such a hard time and feeling so hurt. You seem like a really smart girl, very together, and I can tell that things will work out well for you in the long run. Unfortunately, sometimes you have to go through a lot of pain before you find the right person. Only time will tell if you and your BF are meant to be--it's probably hard to accept that the outcome pretty much out of your control, but things happen for a reason and whatever happens, you'll be strong enough to pull through. All couples get along well when things are going well, but the really tough times are the true test of whether a relationship will last. It's probably a good thing that you're not married yet if things don't work out, and if you do reunite, you'll know that you can make it through difficult obstacles together. My SO and I have been through one stressful ordeal after another over the last year, and while it's been tough, I'm relieved that we pulled through everything together because I know it will make us strong enough to overcome whatever tests the future holds. I really hope everything works out for the best--it sounds to me like this guy should feel really lucky to have your love and support, but if he's not 100% sure that you're the woman for him, you're better off with someone who truly appreciates you.

Good luck :) ,

StormGirl 11-24-2004 11:07 PM

Re: No choice but to let go?
Thank you to all that have posted, your wonderful support is quite overwhelming. It is a very tough time and I am trying my best to hold it all together. I think however that I am hiding away from the real pain though, and I know it's hiding right around the corner waiting for me, but I have tried to stay busy with work etc so have pushed it all into a deep place. I guess because I haven't had that final closure I am not ready to admit to myself that it's over. I must say that after Wowwwweeee's post, I spoke to a few friends who had experienced a deep depression, and they have helped me to understand a little (if it is really what has happened). And whilst I don't understand why he has been so hostile to me, I know that it is not just me that he is doing it to, and unless he tried to share it with me, I never will. To elatedgiraffe, I am sorry to hear how things turned out for you, and thank you for sharing your situation. Much of it sounds very similar, and while I do have that doubt that perhaps he too is just a coward, I just can't accept it at the moment... although it stays there. I don't know, there are so many confusing things going around in my head that I do not know what to think. To Snails, the support is appreciated. I know that if things turn out for the worst that yes, I will struggle through like last time. I too believe that the personal struggles that we face together as a couple make us stronger, which you and your partner have accomplished together. That is probably something that scares me because I wonder that if we do stay together, get married etc... what will happen in the future when life doesn't run smoothly? Will he tuck tail and run and leave me to deal with it all alone? Again it's a very confusing time...

A couple of people that I have spoken to have suggested that I send him a message saying that while I wish him well and hope that he sorts himself out, I can not put my life on hold, but I am here for him for support... and if he needs anything or wants to talk that he can. To perhaps give him a jolt and put the ball in his court. And a male friend suggested that I put down the bottom that I love him also. What do you all think? Good idea/bad idea/or let it sit for a while? I do not want to push him too far if he is really depressed, and i want him to know that I haven't given up on him. But on the other hand, I do not want him to think that I will sit around waiting for him to decide about my life if he is not really depressed. What do you think, or does anyone have any better suggestions?

Thank you all again for your wonderful help!!

PS. eightball, if you find those directions to the fountain of youth, do me a favour and pass them on over here..... I may need them!!!

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