August 18, 2013 at 8:46 pm #40739
I am new to this forum and could really use some support/help. I have been living overseas for 5 years where I met my now ex. We were together for 4 years and lived together for 2. We visited my family in North America each year for Christmas and talked in length about getting married and having children. He is almost 30 and I am 28. 4 months ago he had a panic attack while trying to buy the ring and said he wasn’t sure he could commit to me for the long term. I knew of his issues around marriage/divorce for a while but thought we were so great together, in love and best friends that he would overcome this. I am devastated and to be honest thought he would have come back by now. He is still confused by the little communication we have had. I guess I realise I can’t just keep waiting for the chance he may come back. So now I am faced with staying in Australia or making the move back to Canada. I don’t have any family here really but do have a good job. I am nervous to leave here but most important to me is putting roots down and starting a family. So I know I need to get into the headspace where I would be open to meeting someone again. Has anyone ever quit their job to relocate and it all worked out? I know this sounds ridiculous but I am from a much smaller city then where I am living now and it’s known for uni students and retirees. I think about whether I will even be able to meet someone there when I am ready. My ex was my first love and I really thought we would spend our lives together. This is horrible and I don’t know how to feel better, stop wishing him back and when to know to pack up and leave. I don’t know what that gut feeling actually feels like. Appreciate your insight:) Thanks.August 19, 2013 at 7:02 am #40747
Hello and welcome to the community. Your story confused me a little. You said that everything was friendly and loving between you and your ex, he panicked at the ring buying stage, then you two broke up? What happened between the ring and the breakup? Did he realize he didn’t love you or like you? Did you give an ultimatum? I’m trying to untangle the plot holes. 🙂
In terms of moving or staying, it depends on what you are looking for. If you take romance and meeting another man out of the picture (men live everywhere, and with the internet it is simpler than ever to meet others) then what feels like the right move? Do you like your work and place where you live? If you’re considering moving home because you’re lonely, perhaps you could embrace one of your hobbies and meet some people where you live. If you really wish to move home back where your roots are, then do it, because fear of not meeting another romantic partner is just fear. We do better to follow our heart than abandon its calling because of fear.
MattAugust 19, 2013 at 3:02 pm #40771
Thanks so much for your response. In terms of what happened? Well I had been ready for marriage for a couple years but he had worries based on his own parent’s divorce, we were busy with renovating a house and what he thought we could work on – having more balance in terms of spending time with friends and together. Obviously me being from another country and meeting him soon after arriving, he became my major support system, plus being my best friend I genuinely loved spending time with him! He saw a counsellor for a while and was feeling really positive. In fact a month before the breakup he said he had embraced the fear and was ready to take the next step and to expect a surprise. When we broke up (based on somehwat mutual pain with waiting and hoping he would come around) he said he couldn’t imagine being less scared with anyone else and that he questioned whether he would ever marry. The confusing part is that he wants kids, but doesn’t want them unless he is married. I don’t know how to make sense of it!! I really thought he might come back by now. When I talked to him last he said he still loves me, misses me but still can’t make his mind up to marry me or not. It’s horrible. Maybe I think the physical distance might be somewhat helpful. In my heart I think I want to be nearer family. His family was a support to me and now I have lost them as well. Everyone keeps telling me to be practical though and consider employment and the weather of all things. I really appreciate your wisdom and its helpful as I am really second guessing myslef at the moment.
ThanksAugust 19, 2013 at 3:26 pm #40773
Implied in that story was “if doesn’t want to marry me, I want to move on.” Is that correct? I guess you’re spending so much time looking at it and describing it from his side that your side isn’t clear… at least to me. Perhaps it is also not clear to you either?
Said differently, what if he wants to be with you and doesn’t want to be married or have kids? That’s a deal breaker for you? You already waited long enough for him and have decided it was time to poop or get off the pot? Perhaps you unintentionally brought a conflict between his love for you and his fear? The reason I’m digging a little here is because there might be something helpful for you on your side.
For the move, it still seems cloudy. Consider the following exercise:
Imagine yourself in 3 years, in love and happy with someone. Good friends, nice job, stable inner peace and happiness. When you picture that, would you rather that garden be there or back near your family? Consider that either place has the potential to become a place where you feel safe and happy. So it really is whatever environment you wish to blossom within, do it!
MattAugust 19, 2013 at 4:04 pm #40774
Interesting part about looking at it namely from his side – I do that a lot. For me personally, settling down and starting a family, being in a meaningful partnership is most important to me. After 4 years I realised I had been waiting for a commitment that seems so natural for me personally, I couldn’t imagine spending my life with anyone else. So how could the decision be so hard for him? When he first was struggling with it (he had tried to buy a ring before) I thought to myself there are things we can work on, I can support him. I really thought he would get there and so did he. But then when he told me he tried to buy a ring again and panicked and couldn’t put a finger on why I thought what more can I do? I said is this about marriage, we could be together as long term partners without the marriage and have children. That’s when he said he didn’t want kids without marriage; you can see how it is confusing. When I said do you want to spend the rest of your life waking up to me he said I don’t know. That was his response to most questions. When I said you want me to go and potentially meet someone else, marry someone else he said he didn’t like to think about it like that. He’s a procrastinator and always thinks there is endless time for everything. I wonder if he thinks similarly with this, i.e. no need to rush to make a decision, I will always be there in the background? I have laid it all out on the line and said the only reason I am looking at work in Canada is because we are not together. He said he thought that breaking up would help him feel clearer about the whole thing but that that hasn’t happened. I know that not contacting him anymore is important for my healing but I often think will I ever hear from him again? It’s so hard to think of loving someone like that again. We were best friends, laughed so much, living together was easy and we had a lot in common. But his uncertainty about our future definitely wore at my sense of security. I started to not feel so safe with him. I would think I committed my life in Australia to be with him, away from my family and he didn’t want to show me that he chose me for the long haul.
I like your exercise, thanks. When I think about it, if I could be in love and happy with someone again it would be great to have that near my family and friends!
Thanks so much.August 19, 2013 at 4:44 pm #40775
“When I said do you want to spend the rest of your life waking up to me he said I don’t know”
This must have been tough to hear. Read this again to yourself. Imagine if your girl friend told you that her boyfriend said this. What advice would you give her?
What often happens is we hear what we want to hear. You wanted to believe so badly that he wanted to marry you and settle down that you refused to believe differently. Right now, you have left the ball in his court. You are waiting for him to contact you and make HIS decision. You need to empower yourself and tell him what YOU have decided. Whatever feels right to you. Maybe that means telling him that you are moving on. But also keep this in mind: if he DOES contact you and says he will marry you, would you feel secure then? I imagine your answer would be No. How can you believe a guy really wants you when it seems so hard for him to decide?
As for moving, of course it is possible. I just did it myself! It’s stressful and can be very challenging at times but I knew for sure that this is what I wanted. I had no doubt in my mind that it was time for a change. Moving to another country is a huge decision and you certainly want to make it from a place of peace and clarity, not fear, as Matt said. Right now, your head is still caught up in your ex. give yourself some time to heal and regain your sense of security and self-esteem. Then decide whether or not you want to make the big move.