August 29, 2022 at 11:38 am #406310
I want to re-read all your posts and put all that you shared together before I comment further: your long-distance boyfriend of almost 3 years “has always been kind and loving” to you until May this year (3-4 months ago). Since May, he’s been depressed and struggling in regard to his personal life (work, children), and his behavior with you: “distant and pulling away“. He “asked for some space and said he wanted to work on things“. He’s gone on a few trips with his guy friends and disappeared from your life for days at a time.
Recently, you booked a trip to see him on his birthday weekend. He told you that “he was going away for the weekend with his friends” and texted you flight details of his trip to Spain, so you adjusted your trip schedule so to see him after his trip. During his birthday weekend, he told you all about his trip to Spain. Next thing, you found out that there was no trip, that he lied to you for days regarding planning and executing a trip that did not exist. (And I imagine that you didn’t travel to see him?) Next, “he says he wants space and his feelings for me have changed (but he’s not really ready to breakup)“.
“When I asked him about (lying) he said he didn’t know why he did it… I tried to ask him about (another woman being in his life) and he shut down… I asked him if he’d been with someone else and he said no”.
And now, my understanding: he has “always been kind and loving” toward you until he wasn’t. This is how most love relationships end: they are loving until.. they are not.
It is possible that ever since May he’s been involved with another woman in one way or another, but he won’t tell you about it, and because he lied about his weekend trip, you know that it will not be out of character for him to lie about other things, such as about being involved with another woman.
At first he told you that he needed space “to work on things”, but he proceeded to work (or not work) on things without you. He did not try to work on things with you.
What is certain is that since May, for 3-4 long months, he preferred to have less contact with you: he preferred to not communicate with you for days at a time during trips with his guy friends, and he preferred to not be with you during his birthday weekend. Most recently, “he says he wants space and his feelings for me have changed (but he’s not really ready to breakup)”, which certainly means that he prefers to have less- or no- contact with you.
“I’m struggling to understand what’s happened to our relationship and also wondering if there are other lies… I have more questions than answers… I don’t understand why he asked me for space if he’s seeing someone else… So I don’t know what to do now…I think I have to end this now… I need to move on but I’m so sad and shocked“-
-it is shocking to be betrayed by a person you trusted. He betrayed you, if not by cheating on you, then by not answering your valid questions (questions you have the right to ask and to be answered) and by lying to you. He betrayed you by omission (not telling you what you had the right to know) and by commission (lying).
Epictetus, a Greek philosopher who lived a very long time ago, wrote: “Circumstances don’t make the man, they only reveal him“. The changing circumstances of your boyfriend’s life, his struggle at work etc. (if indeed these were the reasons for his withdrawal from you) didn’t make him withdraw and lie to you; his changing circumstances revealed him: when difficult circumstances arise- he withdraws and he lies (and not just for a day or two, but for 3-4 month). So, now you know.
It means that, let’s say his work situation improves a lot, next time a different, difficult circumstance arises, it is not unlikely that he will withdraw from you again and lie again. If his circumstances improve… it doesn’t mean that his character improved, he is still the same person.
Epictetus also wrote: “Only the educated are free“- you are now educated about your boyfriend, having been given the opportunity to learn more about who he is. This education should free you from confusion.
“First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do“- if you would you like to be a strong (or stronger) woman, one who faces reality and reacts appropriately, showing respect to the truth and to yourself, then you know what you have to do…
anitaAugust 29, 2022 at 6:54 pm #406323
It’s official – I found out today that he’s been seeing someone else since early May. Yet he carried on visits / intimacy with me and we traveled together at least twice since then and he stayed with me two weeks ago. He’s been cheating on my and his new woman. I didn’t see this coming and now I know why he needs space.August 29, 2022 at 7:01 pm #406324
I don’t think well of him, reading this new information… How are you feeling about it: shocked or somewhat relieved, because now you know and you don’t have to guess anymore?
anitaAugust 29, 2022 at 7:46 pm #406325
I am sorry about your heart ache. I hope that you have someone to talk to in-person. You are welcome to post here. and to talk to me anytime I am on the computer (It is getting close to 8 pm where I live, so I’ll be going to bed in the next 1-2 hours).
A fast walk outside, or soft music and a hot bath almost always makes me feel better. I hope that you mindfully do what makes you feel better. This shock/ hurt will pass and you will feel better and better before you know it..
anitaAugust 30, 2022 at 9:56 am #406338HelcatParticipant
I’m truly sorry that happened. I can only imagine what you must be feeling. It’s awful that he treat you this way. What a cruel cowardly man he is. I can only imagine what you must be feeling. You are right, he does need to work on himself to figure out how to be a better person.
What is most shocking to me is that for long distance you were seeing each other fairly regularly.
Please do your best to take care of yourself through this terrible time. I hope that every day your pain gets a smaller. 🙏September 2, 2022 at 1:56 pm #406557
How are you, Tricia???
anitaSeptember 8, 2022 at 2:00 pm #406739
Hi Anita – thanks for checking in on me. I’m struggling a bit to accept what’s happened. My relationship is over and the man I thought I knew isn’t the same person to me now. I want him to explain this all to me but I know I need to be careful what I ask for because knowing the whole story might not help. He’s texted a few times and I am trying not to contact him as it’s just too hard.September 8, 2022 at 2:18 pm #406741
You are welcome. Good to read back from you! Be gentle with yourself these days as you adjust to the new reality you find yourself in.
You wrote: “knowing the whole story might not help”- do you mean that knowing the whole story will hurt, like it would be too painful for you, emotionally?
anitaSeptember 11, 2022 at 9:36 am #406872
I’ve decided that knowing all the details won’t help me now. I have enough information. He lied and he cheated so the details would only make things worse for me. He emailed me yesterday which I had hoped would help but it did not. I don’t understand why this happened and he really won’t talk about it with me. He can’t face me. I know I need to let go of the idea that I will ever understand what happened and start to move on with my life. But I’m finding that hard. I’m trying to take care of myself and see my friends but he is often in my thoughts. I have to see him in person next month at a work conference and I am completely dreading that and hope I am in a better place by then.
TriciaSeptember 11, 2022 at 10:10 am #406873
“He lied and he cheated so the details would only make things worse for me“- I imagine that yes, knowing the details of his cheating will hurt, better not know those details.
“I don’t understand why this happened and he really won’t talk about it with me“- normally, a man cheats because another woman gets his attention: she is willing, he is willing and he goes for it, as simple as that. It happens that women view a cheating situation as more complicated than it is.
“I know I need to let go of the idea that I will ever understand what happened“- what if the above is basically what happened, and as it happened he hid it from you and lied to you because he didn’t want you to know. If he is especially averse to conflicts and confrontations (is he?), it is likely that he hid information and lied for no other reason but to avoid a conflict and a confrontation with you.
What do you think?
anitaSeptember 14, 2022 at 2:52 pm #406965
I think you’re right that he lied to avoid conflict and confrontation with me. He sent me a rather cold email the other day which said he was sorry for hurting me but he did not admit what he had done. I think that’s probably all I am going to get from him. I have to see him next month at a work function as I mentioned above and I am very stressed about that at the moment. I’m trying to take care of myself and am sad one moment, mad the next and really having a hard time accepting that it’s over and what he did.September 14, 2022 at 3:07 pm #406969
“I think that’s probably all I am going t get from him“- reads like you are right, that’s all you’ll get from him because people avoid what’s difficult and choose what’s easy. I hope that it’s going to get easier for you and that you will accept that he did what he did and that the trust and the relationship is over. It’s the trust being broken that is the most difficult thing to accept, is it…?
anitaSeptember 14, 2022 at 11:31 pm #406987TeeParticipant
I am sorry you were betrayed like that by your long-term boyfriend. You say you don’t understand why it happened and he won’t talk to you. What I find curious is that he (supposedly) booked a trip with his friends for his birthday to travel to Spain, and you weren’t disturbed by it. I mean, if my boyfriend would rather travel abroad with his friends for his birthday than with me, this would disturb me and would make me question how much he actually cares about me. For you, it wasn’t a big deal. (That was no big deal at all. I just adjusted my trip to see him when he got back.)
Perhaps you didn’t ask much from him because you didn’t value yourself enough? You said he was kind and loving up until May, but maybe you didn’t really see his selfishness or lack of care for you because it was normal for you to always adapt to him and not ask much for yourself?
This is just a theory, I am not claiming I know what happened between the two of you. But you say you want to understand, and for that, I think it would make sense to dig a little deeper and take a look at the dynamic between the two. Because it might turn out that he wasn’t as kind and loving as you thought him to be? I think that understanding what happened could also help you face him (and stay strong) when you meet him next month.