Direct Answers – Slip Sliding Away

Slip Sliding Away

My ex-boyfriend ended our relationship six months ago. We were together for a year. He is 27, me 31. He ended things because he felt he was invested in our relationship and I was not.

I was not completely blindsided. We discussed my inability to be more accepting of his love on two separate occasions. Needless to say I was still shocked and devastated by his decision. From his display of physical emotions at the time, it appeared he also was devastated.

He is the most amazing person I was ever with, but I silently struggled to connect mentally. I've suffered from depression and anxiety most of my life. Two months before our breakup I started seeing a therapist. I wanted help determining where my doubts came from. Was it depression and anxiety, or was he just not the one for me?

I did not tell him I was in therapy because I was ashamed. I felt bad I was not giving him the relationship he deserved, though I did tell him about my therapy when we broke up.

We were equally in communication the month after our breakup, and I let him know my desire to work things out. Then, in an attempt to give us both space, I did not contact him for 40 days before reaching out and asking to meet.

He asked if everything was okay. I said yes, but he never responded after that. The next day he blocked me on all outlets, which I understand is called "ghosting." I was surprised as this was not the kindhearted person I knew.

It's been four months. I have not attempted to contact him. I've made progress in therapy and started on a medication which is really helping, but not a day goes by that I don't think of him.

My feelings for him are clear now and the irony is not lost on me. I'm not above making a fool of myself. I would go to the ends of the earth if I thought it would help, but I feel blocking me speaks volumes.

How was he able to cut me so easily out of his life if he loved me?

~ Heather

Heather, imagine love as a teeter-totter in perfect balance. That feeling of perfect balance is what people hope for when they begin dating.

But that's not what your boyfriend experienced. He felt he was way up there on the seesaw while you were way down here. Twice in a year he told you how he felt. When he told you the first time, he was not up as high as he had been. When he told you the second time, he was even closer to the ground.

There is a reciprocal nature to love. It depends on getting something back. He didn't turn off a love machine. He didn't walk up to the dial and put it in the off position. He felt you turned it off.

Concealing that you were in therapy may have been the final event that ended his plans with you. We understand you were embarrassed, but to him it was a betrayal. It showed a lack of trust in him.

A year is enough time for one to realize another person doesn't love you in a way which matches what you need. We believe he is a good person. When you reached out, he responded. But when it was apparent you wanted to rehash the relationship, he decided there was no point.

He ghosted you out of pain. "She's not going to let me move on. I have to ghost her. I can't let her do this to me again."

We are pleased you are getting help for your illness. But "I'm all better now" doesn't vacate his experience. He has a right to move on.

We can't change the past. We can only learn from it.

~ Wayne & Tamara

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Direct Answers from Wayne and Tamara – Column for the week of December 26, 2016

1 Response

  1. She needs to find someone who understands anxiety and depression. You cannot keep a relationship with somebody who does not understand these struggles and expects you to just “Buck up” and be happy and loving each and every day. That’s what he wanted from her, even after he found out she was in therapy for these things. Plus, he was 27 and immature. Most 27 yr old men only care about having their needs met. Most men don’t even mature enough to have a real relatinship where they are able to have empathy for others, especially children, until at least ages 35-40. I have a family member who recently decided to abandon his partner and their two children for someone who was younger and “more fun”. He chose her because she had no strings attached and could go out and have fun all the time, with no responsibilities. He was 31. This is what you get with young men. They want all fun and no responsibilities and if you demand they buckle down and be a part of the family many of them will fight you, ignore you or run off. this family member finally took her children out of state after a nasty breakup in which she was threatened, had to beg others for help and could not even get enough money for shoes for her kids, and is with a man who values family and is very happy to spend time with her children. My family member is starting to realize what a mistake he has made.

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