We are at an Impass… Feeling much sadness.

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    Hi guys, this is my first time beginning a thread. I am grateful already for all that I have gained from reading other posts. Ok so….

    5 month ago my BF of 5 years declared that we are broken up. It feels confusing though because for this entire time I have continued, up until this week, referring to him as my BF. We have lived together 4 yrs, and both have a child from a previous marriage, so our relationship has been very much like a marriage to me.

    We had been attending couples counseling for several of these years as we both have some earlier traumas that were affecting our relationship. When he “broke up” the counselor shared with me that BF love and care for me is great and he needed to find a way back to me. During this period we both continued the therapy individually, not together. For months I had been confronting the counselor with the idea of me moving on and getting closure. During that period the counselor continued to encourage me to support BF and connect with him and to appreciate the relationship we have without worrying about defining it. I think his point was for us to appreciate healing and supporting one another and if it leads to us reconnecting then he thought that we are very good for one another and that would be a good thing, but to also know that separating may happen too, but just be ok seeing what happens without forcing it either way. Also, during that time, while BF words said he wanted space, his actions spoke the opposite: that he was afraid and holding back but truly is still in love with me.

    I have to say that I was not at all wanting the distance between us. I feel it was because of BF, I will call him “M,” is going through some difficult things and doesn’t know how to handle himself and was confused thinking that our relationship was the source of his difficulties. The reality is his difficulties are causing him to be triggered by past trauma and he is misdirecting the stress at me. I have spent these months being patient and hoping that he could find a way to heal.

    So M and I have since had a disagreement that caused him to state that he wanted to separate sooner, sooner than us waiting out our lease. But again he has taken no actions to do so.

    So now, life is going on and the end of the lease will approach in April. Neither of us has taken a move in our own direction. I feel like he is purposely wanting me to come home and say that I found an apartment, or found another man, or to get frustrated and say I want out. So that he will not have to be burdened by facing things and can escape with less guilt. I have been loving and patient during this time. I know that he is struggling with huge things that are impairing him greatly and impairing his emotions and thoughts. I did not want to make it easy for him to direct his anger at me and use that as a distraction from his troubles, so I have been patient, and I love him and wanted to be loving. Well, whatever his reason is, I also do not want to begin the steps of building my life without him because it is painful. Because I know we could have been great together. Because I feel that I can clearly see a path and how we are great.

    I know I cannot make him see anything he cannot.
    I feel that I may have to start making independent steps and look for a place.

    I feel a bit frozen. What is difficult is that I know we both love and want one another. I know he wants it to work too, but is dealing with these big issues that he cannot bear.

    I’m upset and wishing to send a final letter to him, or do something of the sort, as a last effort to share my view in case he can hear. I feel like I need a sense of closure towards him in some way before I can make a step or two away into my own solo direction.

    Making that shift to separate….feels wrong.


    Hello Sunflower
    I just kind of fell into this site by chance today. At random I entered a few words in Google and in the list of choices was this Tiny Buddah site. Clicked it, read a bit and became a member in the forums. I don’t do this kind of thing, ever actually.
    This isn’t to say I don’t have my share of personal tragedies. I have had several which include the love of my life dying suddenly and leaving me and our 2 small children, to recently this past year losing my second wife of 5 years, this time due to not healing from my first loss.
    That being said, I know what loss, despair and anger are. I felt a lot of the things and still to this day feel the things you are afraid of, the fear.
    Maybe the fact that your post is the first I have read here is what compelled me to comment. Every random coincidence happens for a perfectly good reason I always say. Maybe something I say can help, maybe not.
    Because I don’t know you, or know your circumstances I think the best way to relate is by comparing yours fears to the same that I had, and still have. I hope I don’t ramble on about myself, I’ll try not to.

    I feel a bit frozen. What is difficult is that I know we both love and want one another. I know he wants it to work too, but is dealing with these big issues that he cannot bear.
    I have said the same thing, and I have actually believed it, but what does this mean ? We both love each other but….why is there a “but” always in these statements? What is stronger than ones love for another person? What “but” has overridden love? Maybe. – like I have realized, he/ she does love you, just not enough to overcome these “buts”.
    Of course this is what I tell myself, and it makes perfectly good sense, even though it really sucks.

    <Because I feel that I can clearly see a path and how we are great
    Yes same here, we are great together and we could have been awesome if only…. if only we would have done things differently in the past.
    Why doesn’t he/ she see this like I do ? How can they not get it. Don’t they remember the happy amazing times we have had? Don’t they know every day could be this way if we just stop, take a deep breath and start fresh? We can learn from our mistakes.
    I wish it worked, but I feel like it won’t, for the same reason they gave up originally. They don’t have it in them to want it as much as we do. Not with us, probably not with anyone who they get to this level with. They can’t.

    The night before my divorce after a year long separation with “V” she called me crying about what was about to happen the next morning at the courthouse downtown. It was actually a video call. She played songs which she said were ours and cried from one to the next. This, after not communicating for 8 months.
    The next morning we got divorced like nothing ever happened.
    Yes that was love, she loved me very very much. Just not enough to overcome her own fears. And there was nothing I could do.
    My best advice to you is to put yourself first. You sound like a very good caring person and you deserve to find true happiness and share it with someone who can accept it and in turn share theirs with you. He is out there, he’s waiting for you to find him.

    I hope a word or two has made you feel better or realized something that maybe you didn’t. I hope the best for you.



    so i’m in a similar situation but on the opposite side of the glass.

    I’m 30 years old live in Manhattan with my gf who i have been dating on and off since college for about 10 years now.
    Following a break up of 9 months, we got back together and after another 2 years of dating, we decided to moved back in with each other on (11/27/14) with the intention to determine (finally) if we can build our lives together: get married and have a family.

    Still after a couple months I’m not sure we’ve made progress and I can’t figure out if i want to marry her now and be with her forever.

    My eyes wander and I need advice. PLEASE HELP.

    When I think about committing to her, I tend to focus more on our differences; what i’m giving up vs. what i’m gaining. People have said to me the grass is always greener on the otherside, and I understand that yet it still doesn’t help me understand my feelings. A large part of me says you’re too young to “settle” even though I KNOW this is a GREAT GIRL and if i don’t propose to her in the next 6 months, I will loose her forever. There will be no more breakup/makeups after this (we’ve been through this too many times) and I fear i will be throwing something special away for the unknown perhaps because I am too stupid, immature, and selfish to appreciate who great she is.

    A large part of me wants and sees myself enjoying having fun/going out in the city being selfish without it really interfering with my life goals… I remind myself we’re living longer now, in five years I’ll be 35; more mature, wealthier, better looking? I don’t have a biological clock…what’s the hurry? 35 for guys is still young and i’ll be older and there will still be many women/options… perhaps i’ll even know myself better then. With this perspective then maybe she ISN’T the right girl for me if i’m thinking this way. If i want to do these things and am not willing to give them up for her what does that say about me or our relationship? Again, maybe its just shortsided, immature and stupid like i said above. A fear I have is wanting to play and then when I am ready i’ve passed up so many good girls that I just can’t find a good connection with anyone and then I settle THEN for something less! oy VEY!

    Can any guys comment on what are the pro/cons of Settling down now vs later? Giving up something great for the unknown?

    Another point with perhaps more substance is: without the “need to settle” maybe there is a more “right” girl for me in the future… with same religion/culture/socio-economic status…with less complications, more similarities, and perhaps allows for deeper connections. Its always been sad for me to think about not sharing holidays with her family (i’m a pretty spiritual jew) and its especially lonely when she doesn’t make these important religious things a priority. I question, Maybe I should just wait and find someone more like me to build a family around as I’m young and have time? While She is making an effort to do an orthodox conversion (no small commitment) a part of me questions her motivations and how genuine that is. I question if her committment to judiasim will endure through the years. With this being the #1 most important thing to me, i will be really dependent on her to transmit the traditions, which are not first nature, to the children. Also, on a more superficial note i don’t really relate to her friends and family because they aren’t of the same culture and socio-economic background, it augments the religious differences as well. Yes It’s shallow yet its hard to find commonality and interest. Maybe I need someone more like where i come from?

    On the positive side, We’ve been together for 10 years now. She knows me best. SHE IS A PHENOMENAL GIRL – SAINT status. Beautiful. Caring, genuine, smart. a real catch. MAYBE I’M JUST A GREEDY SELFISH IDIOT.

    A big part of me feels a responsibility and loyalty to marry her because of how much effort and time she’s invested in me over the past 10 years. I’ve put her through so much and she has supported and stayed by me for all these times and the idea of not being with her or maybe never finding anyone as great as her is depressing. I don’t want her to feel like she waisted her time and crush her. She loves me so much despite the pain, selfishness, and anxiety i cause her. Though from all of the emotional scars from the past, due to unpredictability, not having a “partner”, etc etc. I think it may have taken a toll on her and its hard to determine if this is only effecting our relationship now (because of our state of ambiguity) or if that will last later into the relationship. I question also if then maybe its better to just start FRESH with someone else now that i’ve grown/matured significantly in the past 10 years. Maybe i’m just not a good partner and i need to tell her this because she deserves better…

    Probably least important is that All her friends are married and despite being the best girl of the bunch – she’s the only one not married because of me, and i worry about her starting over after a ten year relationship . I care about her and I want to provide her with a great life but maybe i’m not the right guy!? Is 30 an old maid in nyc? Did I make her an old maid? I wouldn’t want to do that to her…

    In summary. Its complex and I am confused. Evidently I am not ready to propose this minute and i’m trying to figure out if I should cut the rope and put this wonderful girl out of her misery or how/do I get my act together, screw my head on straight, man up, become confident with my decision, and get myself into a state of mind where I can propose and be excited about our future…

    What do you think?
    Thanks in advance for your help.

    Maggie Black

    (This Post is to ThankYou.) The following explains why I didn’t see the original post.
    THe Tiny Buddha site has not been working right for me lately and I only saw THank you’s response. I just want to let the original poster know that I am not ignoring their question but I had responded to Thank you’s post in another place but it wasn’t shown so since I had remembered to copy it before I submitted I still had it. (thanks sunflower)

    I love your candor. This has got to hurt…
    SO many questions and all of them good. Good that you are thinking of them NOW.

    Let me ask you just one question:

    How would it feel to you right now, if your GF were to come to you and say that she is having second thoughts about your relationship and she needs some time alone to figure it out?

    Immediate feeling is probably your TRUE answer to all of these questions.

    We are not meant to SETTLE with a wonderful person no matter how great a “catch” they are. It’s not a great catch, if you aren’t mind- blowingly in love.

    You will always wonder what you missed out on if you don’t take time now to see.
    You might even feel smothered and feel contempt for her.

    Another thing I hear that I want you to look at is how you are taking responsibility for her feelings. It is good to want to make another person happy and do right by them. But for you to worry that you have taken up her time and used up her “good” biological clock days is not your problem and I will tell you why.
    She has chosen to BE with you these last 10 years.
    We make choices and then we have to live with them.
    And live with them we shall!

    SO if you aren’t 100% sure you want to spend your life with her, don’t marry yet.
    I wish you could show her this post and let her see how you feel and let her have some input in this.
    If a man felt this way about me, I wouldn’t want to marry him.
    It is hard for me to think she doesn’t know, though because women are so attuned to this in their men.
    If she knows and doesn’t care then something is wrong.

    I wish you well.

    Maggie Black

    OK Sunflower, now I see this is your new thread.
    For some reason the site isn’t working well for me and I didn’t see it. I only saw the response by ThankYou.

    Sunflower, what are some of OR the main issues that is BIG that he cannot bear?

    You wrote:
    I have to say that I was not at all wanting the distance between us. I feel it was because of BF, I will call him “M,” is going through some difficult things and doesn’t know how to handle himself and was confused thinking that our relationship was the source of his difficulties. The reality is his difficulties are causing him to be triggered by past trauma and he is misdirecting the stress at me. I have spent these months being patient and hoping that he could find a way to heal.

    It sounds like you are having to do all of the work. That is ok for a while.
    I told you this in the other place we talked about this, and I still feel that giving him some space will help give him room to see how he feels.
    You said he needs to feel love from you, and I understand that, but he also needs to feel how it feels to NOT have your emotional support so he can see if that is what he wants.
    Sometimes women make it too easy for men.
    I know he is hurting and so are you. Take care of yourself.


    Hi redline,

    I’m sorry for your loss redline.

    That phone call certainly is odd.

    “Yes that was love, she loved me very very much. Just not enough to overcome her own fears. And there was nothing I could do.” This is where there is so much struggle for me. I need to let go of the idea that I have the power to fix it. I only have the power to change me, my thoughts. I will have to think about this in myself much more, thank you.

    Thank you for all of your words! I too am new to posting. I just signed up this week to cope with this situation. Getting a voice and pondering my situation and pondering others situations from different angles and perspectives has been so helpful. The warmth and advice here has been amazing.


    Thankyou, I have responded to your words in post in the thread that you began.


    Hi Maggie,

    Yes, thinking of the “BIG” issue I left out is overwhelming and intentional. I was worried that it would take over the focus of my words, of our relationship and love, just as it has in our real lives. I was hoping for feedback without consideration of The Big Issue.

    Yes, I am in charge of much of the relationship work, he has worked hard too over the years. He has spent much time in therapy with me and really does give it his best. I feel that we all have strengths and weaknesses and mine is insight and awareness in our relationship, therefore I’m ok with that role. He over contributes in other areas that I lack. I think the point though is am I more invested and am I the only person of us both that really wants this or do I just want it more than him? The answer is that I do believe he loves and wants us to be together as much as I want it but he has intentionally sabotaged things because of The Big Issue.

    I have given him much space these months. Recently he has taken up a separate bedroom. It doesn’t matter because he is stuck on and consumed by The Big Issue. Ugh!! The relationship is running its course and going to naturally end. It just feels so wrong as I know we both want to be together.

    So The Big Issue: His teenage daughter has expressed that she does not want to visit him anymore and has said that she would like to kill us. There is so much more to it, so much that has happened. Anyway, I do not doubt her desire and ability to hurt us. I have found proof of her deception and desire and smaller things she has done to spite us. It is not simply typical teen anger and confusion, but she also lacks sufficient empathy and remorse. I have felt the need to set more boundaries to protect us all and I have insisted that she can no longer come to the house for visitations but that they need to be done elsewhere. The biggest fight was that he wanted her here for Christmas but this frightened me because even if I left and gave them the house, she could possibly tamper the food that I come back to or something else. M has taken my words as a personal attack against him and his daughter. That is not the case, I have loved her for years, she is troubled and I feel that her anger towards us is in part due to him wanting to force visitations without regard to her wants. I do not think it is wise of him the way he is dealing with her and it is not good for her.

    So the result is that M is in terrible pain and taking all his frustrations out on me. It is his ex wife that alienated him from her, not me, but he responds to me in a hypersensitive manner as though I am plotting against him. He has PTSD from the trauma of their marriage, divorce, alienation of his child and now his teen girl has actually began being emotionally abusive to him as well the past two years. So he is freaking out, sees my requests as a source of stress and he is continuing to regress from all the work we have done in therapy the past years. (Therapist agrees too that he is on a downward spiral of regressions but was hoping we could heal together)

    I know now anyone would tell me to run. Which is why I avoided this part. We are both loving people, I know we both wish things between us could be wonderful. It just seems like this challenge added would be insurmountable to any couple…. I almost wish I met him 5 years from now when he is done with this part of his life, and some other girl had to live through this period with him. (Not that I wish it on another soul)

    Idk, something about parting ways, when we both love and want one another seems wrong to me. I am listening to this discontent I’m having and it is what has me stuck.

    Maggie Black

    I understand why you didn’t want to tell the “big issue” and I honestly had no idea it was anything like this and I am not going to focus on it because you are right… it is a part of things but not the end all. That can be worked out and dealt with.

    What I am not understanding is this:

    You say over and over (and that shows me how importance this is) that it would be just wrong for you two to part ways because you both want to be together.
    Yet he is taking things out on you and now he feels he cannot continue the relationship if I am hearing you correctly.
    If he is spiraling downward into a a bad place then he may be feeling like he cannot hold on to you in the way he knows he should.
    Maybe he doesn’t want to hurt you.
    I believe in prayer and in situations like this one, it is the only way to peace.

    I hope you two can stay together. It sounds like you have a lot of good as well as bad.


    I am confused with the site. The activity log shows user “thankyou” as giving the most recent response but it is not here.


    Thank you for patience Maggie, I hope it does not seem like I am going in circles here. I am just truly trying to make sense of things.

    Yes, parting ways feels wrong to me, in my heart, and I feel that he feels this way too which is why neither of us is out looking for another apartment even though there may be a waiting list to be on one. (So ultimately one of us will have to make a move)

    Yes, he is taking things out on me. Yes, he does not want to hurt me.

    I am trying to apply some Buddhism ways of thinking to my situation and this is the best I am coming up with…

    I may do well to focus more on loving myself.

    I may do well to stop clinging onto my desires for the relationship that I wish we would be.

    I wish I could expand on those two or add more to that thinking.

    Also, I have never parted ways with a man that I thought was right for me and me for him and he felt the same. This is what seems wrong to me. How does that happen? Maybe I need to start a new post with that being the topic?

    Thank you again for listening and sharing!


    “so our relationship has been very much like a marriage to me.” If you’re committed, don’t let him go.

    If you’re scared of his daughter make sure he knows YOU are scared for you. You said you are setting the boundaries to protect you all but I think you should just focus on protecting yourself and let him deal with her in his own way. It sounds like the kid needs intensive therapy but if he’s insisting on having her visit he obviously doesn’t have the same fears you do. He’s afraid of losing her.

    In five years if this is over there will be something else you have to work through. There always is. Maybe, hopefully, not this Big or intense, but it will be something. Love yourself more if you need to. As far as the relationship you wish you had any little step you can take to make it happen is in your power.


    Thank you Peace.

    Yes, I agree, I have switched focus to protecting me and my son and have backed out of any involvement with his daughter and his ex in order to protect me and also to give him the space he needs to deal with his situation on his own terms. I guess I am not protecting “us all” but rather felt that the decision I made was one that in fact did benefit him and her too. But I can see that is no longer my responsibility and no need for me to take credit for that.

    “In five years if this is over there will be something else you have to work through.” You make a good point, thank you.

    “As far as the relationship you wish you had any little step you can take to make it happen is in your power.” Words to consider.


    (She has been in therapy for years, inpatient as well. There are some issues though that are only exacerbated by treatment and I believe that is what she is dealing with. Her therapist admitted to us he was shocked by her manipulative ways. It is a difficult situation and I feel for him and his pain in this, however, he copes mostly by “forgetting” what has happened and blankets himself in denial.)

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