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Break vs. Breakup

Group Therapy: Break or Breakup?

This question is from a Group Therapy post in our TrèsSugar Community. Add your advice in the comments!

My boyfriend and I have been going out for about two years now. We have had a rough patch recently in which I had some trust issues with him. I confronted him about this and the conversation ended up being that things have been going downhill recently and he has doubts about us. And with everything going on in his life, he feels like he needs to sort things out. He says he has been feeling stressed from work and he just doesn't have any interest in doing anything anymore.

I asked him if there was someone else and he said no. He told me he loves me, but when I ask him how long this will be he said he doesn't know. Basically he didn't have any answers for me besides the fact that a) we are still in a relationship b) we are not seeing other people. I asked him if he thinks we will work everything out and he says he hopes so.


I don't know what to make of it. He did text me last night to say good night and today is the second day. I have an urge to call him and ask him to clarify things further — like what his doubts are about us and that I need to know a straight yes or no answer. But on the other hand, I want to give him some space.

What should I do?

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ChrissyLee ChrissyLee 5 years
Let him go! There should be no back and forth in a relationship. This is a manipulative situation and you have to make it stop. My mom always said "The one who has the control in the relationship is the one who cares the least." He's controlling you and you have to stand up for yourself. Tell him to make a choice or move on, and then let him think about it without calling or seeing him. Don't wait forever for someone who isn't sure.
karlotta karlotta 5 years
I think these things happen, especially with younger men who have trouble handling several issues at the same time (sorry for making a generalization here, but it's sort of true!) When my boyfriend and I hit a rough patch at the 6-months mark, we took a break. I was very immature and emotional, so I kept pushing for an explanation. Instead of giving him the space he needed to breathe and clear his thoughts, I drove him away even more (okay, I was acting a little *dramatic*...!) and we ended up breaking up. It took four months after that episode for him to get over the drama and call me back, and I had been so hurt that it took much effort on his part to convince me he was in it for good - but hey, six years later, here we are. He has told me since that if I'd only calmly accepted his request for space, we'd probably have been apart a couple of weeks, not 4 months. I know it hurts and you want to know, but the fact of the matter is, he needs that space probably because HE doesn't know himself and needs to figure it out. Another cliché, that's kind of true : men are not as in tune with their emotional lives as we are. Especially if there are other problems, like work, clouding their minds. If I were you, I would gnaw on my hands for a couple of weeks and not push. He's told you he loves you and that there is no one else. So this isn't about that. Get busy, take care of yourself, and don't call him, except maybe to say you understand he needs a bit of time to clear his head and you're there if/when he needs to talk. Real relationships are not about always being in tune and in love. They're also about understanding what the other is going through, weathering tough storms, and sometimes sacrificing a little bit of yourself to allow the other to find himself. We're only human, they're only human, nobody and nothing is perfect, and it's okay to accept that without insane expectations for non-stop happiness and balance.
bplane bplane 5 years
are you 12? to quote oprah: love doesn't hurt. if he doesnt have time for you, you have better things to do with your time.
katialoves katialoves 5 years
can't hurt to give him a week or so without demanding answers. i would take some time to think over what you want and talk to him calmly in a week or two
bluejay17 bluejay17 5 years
The same thing happened to me six months ago. My bf told me he needed to thinks things over and he wanted to be alone for a while, eventhough he loved me. He said we needed a break. So, we broke up but I just needed to know.. so I kept calling him. Then one day, I decided I wasn't gonna call him anymore and waited for him to do it.. He did, a week later. We spent two months without seeing each other but texting and talking constantly. Right now, I dont know where we are. We go out, we kiss, but we are not officially back. He says nothing about the subject and neither do I. And I dont want to spend my days wondering if we´ll ever be back together. I guess the point I'm trying to make is, I shoud have broken up completely with him six months ago. Give ourselves the real space.. I would be over it by now or maybe we would be back together already but in a different way, sure about each other. Try and do the opposite of what I did, give him his space.. If he comes back, great, If not it will be better to get over it sooner than later.
hibiscus96818 hibiscus96818 5 years
You're still a couple and not seeing other people, but he needs time apart from you to work out what he's going through? Been there, done that and I hate to say it, but it never ended well. I mean, how much time does he want, how much time are you willing to give, and if he truly wants a future with you, why can't you all work together on what's troubling him right now? You can't walk away from your significant other when times get rough and expect the relationship to survive. You have to work together to make things better.
pax4pax pax4pax 5 years
Leaving an open door in a relationship invites participants to walk out. If he is not committed enough to you to lay his life down for you and not ask to take advantage of the easy exit your relationship permits, then you do not have a relationship, you have a mutual use-ship. If the relationship cannot survive tough times, then it has no certain future. If you can't maintain the "us" in trying times, then it won't last because, as you may know, trying times are always coming. You may make the "break" in this trial, but what about the next? Real relationships say, "lean on me, when you're not strong." Not, "I don't trust you anymore."
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