February 24, 2020 at 5:22 pm #339690
Hi anita and all,
I’m starting a new thread following a previous discussion post where I was struggling with taking a break in my first LDR (link : https://tinybuddha.com/topic/taking-a-break-in-a-ldr/)
So all in all, in the end, my partner decided to break up with me (around 2 weeks back). He said that he had expressed that he needed time to sort out his issues pertaining to his family, and that he expressed we could have gotten back together after he was done and that he needed time and space to work things out (which, in part due to my own struggles, I did not give him the time and space and was very frustrated, angry and sad about not being able to stay in contact). Then he said that we were over.
Then he said that he was sorry and it was not what he wanted to do but what was required of him at the time. Following which he said there was one thing I should take with me when it comes to relationships; “No one owes anyone anything in a relationship. One person can leave the other for any reason or none at all”
For me, this break up essentially created a more solid mental barrier especially whenever I felt the need to vent. I was better able to keep my own emotions and frustrations to myself instead of immediately sharing them with him. By reasoning that he was not my partner anymore so it would be uncalled for to share my problems with him and neither did he have an obligation to look after me since we broke up.
Following the break up we did speak on occasion (maybe 0nce a week or so) and since I made a decision to take better care of myself, I was feeling better and I expressed to him that I was okay and working to improve my life and take better care of myself and that I was sorry that he was on the receiving end of my frustrations. I mentioned maybe things may not have gotten so bad if I have immediately diverted my energy into taking care of myself and working on my goals instead of focusing on the relationship and stressing about him needed time and space to follow through with his tasks.
He said he was glad I’m doing better and that it meant the world to him.
A few days after that, I sent a short video to say hello and express that I hope things were going okay and that I hope he was eating well and getting enough rest and staying healthy as much as he could. I said I was really glad to hear that the last time we spoke that things were improving now on his side and that I was doing okay so far myself. And that he was right that I might have gone a little overboard by focusing completely on the struggles of our relationship instead of letting things be for a while and concentrating on and putting energy into the other more pressing things in my life (my masters degree research and my job where I’m closing in on a promotion)
He mentioned that it was really sweet of me, thanked me and asked how I was doing. He mentioned he was glad things are going my way and that I deserved that, following which I asked him how he was and he responded that things were tedious and he was applying to jobs and that he was drained. He shared that he couldn’t wait to start his own university program as well. He’s passionate about becoming a civilian doctor following his experience while in the military. I expressed my faith in him and that I was sure he’d make an amazing doctor.
So following all this, I had a few days that I really struggled with my emotions and I chose to try take things one day at a time and focus on doing the little things that made me feel better. Since this was my first real relationship and first break-up, I am a little confused on if I should be dealing with the situation a different way. I am also a little confused as I’m aware after breaking up, a lot of couples may chose to do “no contact” which isn’t the way we seem to have gone with our communication.
I feel like I’m also in a dangerous place where I still have hope that maybe once we sort our ends out and get past the next two months, we may be able to build our relationship back again with a better understanding of each other and how to handle stressful situations. However, I have no idea what might be going through his mind since he has not spoken or made any allusions to any sort of reconciliation in our relationship. While it makes me sad that despite everything we experienced and built, he may chose to not pursue a relationship with me again and may chose to find a more accessible woman who can actually be around him, I feel that I can somehow reconcile myself by wishing him happiness with another person if he does not wish to be with me.
However as I mentioned before, I have no idea what he may be thinking. Would you have any advice for me in terms of how to handle this situation better and any pointers in terms of how men may react in a break up like this?
I am quite inexperienced quite confused at this point, and I would hate to jump to making decisions based on assumptions especially without giving things the time they may need to settle down. I don’t even know if my partner may come around at all but I do wonder if I should leave things be for now and focus on other things and my own goals and see how things turn out in time with respect to our situation.
MonaDFebruary 24, 2020 at 7:21 pm #339844
I am looking forward to read and reply to you first thing tomorrow morning, in about 10 or 11 hours from now.
anitaFebruary 25, 2020 at 8:06 am #339920
“I have no idea what he may be thinking”-
A summary from your previous thread: you’ve been with him long distance for a year. “Our communication is generally very open and regular”- it has been very open and regular in the context of long distance communication while he was not confronted with his brother’s crisis, and in the context of the very rare and short periods of time you spent together in-person (a week in June 2019 was the last time spent physically together).
Once his brother needed his help in the family business in another country, and you requested that he sends you short messages regularly (“a few minutes during the day”) while in that country, his response was: “he requested that we take a break as he was not able to be the person I needed.. He said he doesn’t have the emotional energy” for you.
You wrote: “I recently apologized for being so emotional”- in contrast to you, he is not emotional, so there is an incompatibility right there. I figure that throughout the year you’ve known him, mostly long distance, you imagined that his polite, skilled communication and words of love meant that he was more emotional than he really is, that he cared for you more than he really did.
“I feel colder towards him”- fitting his coldness/ lack of emotionality toward you.
“I feel like my trust in him has broken”- you trusted that he cared for you a lot, that he had strong emotions for you, but you found out that he doesn’t.
And because you found that out, you felt “wanting to hurt him just as much as he has hurt me.. I was quite blunt and cruel in saying that I didn’t want to speak with him much”. Anger follows the perceived breaking of trust.
He didn’t break your trust by lying to you (ex., saying he was leaving for his country to help his brother while going there to meet a woman), or by verbally mistreating you, calling you names or whatnot (he has been the exact opposite: polite, courteous). The betrayal was that you believed that he was emotional enough to care for you deeply, interpreting his past communication to mean that he indeed cared for you deeply, but recently, you found out that he doesn’t.
“If everything works out on my end, I’ll be back… when everything is done and the feelings are still there we can pick up from where we left off. Until then I will be focusing on the more pressing things in my life… I m putting us on hold while I help him out… It’s between my brother and I… take a break, so I could focus on him.. without having to worry about what you’re doing. So I can put my attention where it is needed… No one owes anyone anything in a relationship. One person can leave the other for any reason or none at all“-
– the last sentence, more than any other sentence is evidence of his non-emotional nature. This last sentence doesn’t have his brother in it. I am assuming that he doesn’t believe that a parent doesn’t owe his minor age children anything. Seems to me that he feels that he owes his brother a whole lot. So I figure he means it in the context of romantic relationships, maybe friendships as well.
Changing his sentence to the first person, it reads: I don’t owe you anything. I can leave you for any reason or none at all.
In summary: I think that he unknowingly betrayed your trust because he doesn’t realize how non-emotional he is. He doesn’t realize that being polite, gracious, skillful at communicating, being honest.. that all these wonderful features don’t make up for his lack of emotion. He doesn’t realize that when a man loves a woman and she loves him back, and the two talked about a future together.. that he does owe the woman something. He owes her continuity of communication, he owes her to not break up with her when it is convenient for him.
I think that he thinks that the problem is yours for wanting something more from him. He doesn’t understand that he is polite, honest, skillful and unloving.
Notice this: in his mind, it is okay for him to leave you for any reason.. as long as he does it politely, as long as he doesn’t lie to you about the reason (or lack of reason), as long as he communicates to you that he is leaving you and he does it.. respectfully.
* At this point, the question is what is it that you want. If you want this man no matter what, no matter who he is, if his politeness, communication skills, honesty.. if these are enough for you, then to get back together with him, do what it takes: need him less, communicate with him when he is available and to the extent that is convenient for him. And be ready for him to take a break from the relationship when he sees fit, understanding that he doesn’t see anything wrong with taking a temporary or permanent break from you.
If you want a man who owes you something more than politeness etc., someone who owes you a continuity of relationship, and if you want a man who cares for you deeply, then he is not your man.
anitaFebruary 25, 2020 at 9:07 am #339928
Thank you kindly for your response, you were able to very succinctly put into words the concept I had been struggling with to wrap my head around.
I think you are right, I still feel very jarred when I read that particular sentence “No one owes anyone anything in a relationship. One person can leave the other for any reason or none at all”
It got me thinking “Does one not owe their partner loyalty, honesty and communication once they are in a relationship? I wouldn’t be able to classify any bond that didn’t require two people to maintain at least those three things as a relationship at all”
It really bothered me and still does. I knew immediately that the cold, emotionless vibe that that statement brought with it was what shook me. I didn’t expect it at all.
As a person, I have experienced him being emotional, both over our digital communication and in person. I had come to know him as quite an affectionate person. In fact I was more distant than him at the start of the relationship. It took me quite a while to even begin opening up to him and throughout that period, he was very supportive, affectionate and kind to me and made time for me despite his busy schedule. There have been many times in our relationship when I have had to be more logical to help him figure out his emotions/ navigate a situation. Sometimes, when certain situations get too intense, we both understand the need to take some space. We do however usually communicate within a day. At those times he needed space to calm down/process his emotions and think, I am happy to give him the required space he needs. I hope i have been quite understanding that way.
I personally feel that the emotional and mental stress he may have been under while with his brother definitely contributed to his anger and frustration that did peak in finalizing his decision to break up with me. I have to give it to him that he communicated that he was frustrated with the state of things there and also getting angry more frequently. He mentioned this days before breaking up in an effort to get me to stop adding fuel (in terms of my venting my frustrations) to his fire.
However, as I said, that final sentence came across as jarringly cold to me. It seemed to me like he was able to switch off his own emotions to do what he needed to do. And as a result of that logical path of thinking, he decided to discard the relationship as it was hindering his ability to get the work done. In hindsight, I have caught myself thinking that if he had ignored me, maybe I would have come around eventually. I don’t know for sure though. What’s done is done after all.
It seems I do have some decision making of my own to do. What are your thoughts?
February 25, 2020 at 9:54 am #339938
- This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by MonaD.
If he had a difficult childhood (and so many of us do), and he is now living with his parents or he is in a regular contact with his parents in-person, being physically there, it may be that since he is living with them his childhood emotional torture has been activated and he regressed from the affectionate, sensible person that he was when living away from them, to the cold, selfish person he’s been with you living with them.
Do you know anything about his childhood/ his past and present relationships with his parents?
anitaFebruary 25, 2020 at 11:22 am #339956
From what he has told me, yes he has. We both had parents who weren’t the greatest role models. Fortunately, I still have my mother, who despite her own struggles, has pulled it all out of the hat and has never left my family as my father did. He unfortunately, wasn’t so lucky.
He is not currently living with his parents, but I do believe he is finding it a bit challenging to suddenly adjust to the change into civilian lifestyle from his time in the military.
He keeps in touch with his parents on occasion and speaks affectionately of them from time to time. He also speaks matter-of -factly about is experiences growing up and appreciates that he has grown and changes over the years as a result of his experiences growing up and in the military.
I had a chance to speak with him again and shared the thoughts discussed earlier:
“No one owes anyone anything in a relationship. One person can leave the other for any reason or none at all“. Translate that to first person and essentially it is: “I don’t owe you anything. I can leave you for any reason or none at allI believe that when a man loves a woman and she loves him back, and the two talked about a future together.. they do owe each other. At that stage, they owe each other loyalty, honesty and continuity of communication, and they owe each other to not break up whenever they feel the relationship is an inconvenience.”
to which he replied,
“You see, this is why I can’t imagine getting back together at this time or even respond most times. You translate my actions and words into this intensely negative thing because it doesn’t fit your belief. I don’t know why you’re trying to guilt me over a decision I made to help my family.
I said what I said because it’s true. In no relationship does any one person owe the other anything. You have to remember that. If you ever try to enter another relationship and it turns out to be bad or it keeps you from doing what you need to, than you have to realize that you can end it.”
Thoughts?February 25, 2020 at 12:07 pm #339970
So if I understand correctly, his parents don’t live in the same area where his brother lives, and therefore he is not currently in daily or frequent contact with them.
Regarding the rest of your post, his original statement was: “No one owes anyone anything in a relationship. One person can leave the other for any reason or none at all”. More recently he told you: “In no relationship does any one person owe the other anything. You have to remember that”.
He didn’t state or suggest that a person should be able to leave a relationship when it is a bad relationship. Instead, he stated that anyone can leave any relationship “for any reason or none at all“-
He suggests then, that it is okay, or ethical, for a person to leave any relationship for any reason or no reason at all.
So, in this man’s mind and heart, a parent doesn’t owe a minor child anything (food, shelter, affection) and can leave the child anytime, for any reason, or for no reason at all. A husband doesn’t owe his wife anything (help with the rent, groceries, affection), and can leave at any time. (Why are you leaving me?? a wife asks, No reason, he answers and walks out the door), an employer doesn’t owe his employee a paycheck, a landlord doesn’t owe his tenant running water, a doctor doesn’t owe his patient any treatment, and so on and on.
He then told you: “If you ever try to enter another relationship and it turns out to be bad or it keeps you from doing what you need to, then you have to realize you can end it”-
– to be consistent with what he said right before, his latter statement should read like this: if you ever try to enter another relationship .. end it anytime. You don’t need a reason.
— if you have a record of his previous writing to you where he was that affectionate, decent, open and loving person you say he was, you are welcome to copy and paste parts of it here, if you want my input on the discrepancy between who you thought he was and who he is.
Otherwise, my goodness! What could possibly motivate you to waste any more time and energy on this … cold, heartless man?
anitaFebruary 25, 2020 at 1:21 pm #339986
I feel uncomfortable about having made the comment about this man being “cold, heartless”. First, he is not cold and heartless regarding his brother, I figure, because he is working so hard to help his brother. I suppose he wasn’t cold and heartless toward you during the year long, mostly long distance relationship. What I am thinking as a possibility is the following:
Maybe it was very easy for him to be affectionate toward you during the past year because it was almost entirely long-distance. Nothing really was required of him and it was very easy for him, and satisfying, to communicate with such a polite, accommodating, undemanding, pleasant person as yourself who didn’t ask him for anything.
It is possible that you didn’t get to know him well until recently because to know a person well, you have to know him in various contexts and circumstances. The current circumstance gave you the opportunity to learn about him what you didn’t know before, and that is, perhaps, that when he is inconvenienced he withdraws from a romantic relationship, if not in a different kind of relationship. He doesn’t only withdraw but blames the woman (you) for translating his words wrong, for trying to guilt trip him, etc.
I think that you got to know him in a new context, new circumstance.