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He Wants a Break, Should I End Relationship?

"He Wants a Break — Should I End It?"

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

I've been in my current relationship for nearly two years with a wonderful guy. We've been discussing marriage for a little over a year, with him just not ready. For the past few months it seems he has shut down in the relationship. Won't make decisions, rarely expresses emotion about spending time with me or talking to me, isn't excited about the prospect of marrying me, and has stopped sharing his views on things. I asked to take a step back a few months ago, back to dating. But he didn't want to and I ended up settling with an ultimatum, propose by our two-year anniversary in March or I would rethink the relationship, he agreed.

All we do is argue now, about stupid things, and I'm so irritated with him for not taking a stand on anything, and making me make the decisions on everything (ie: dinner, what to do, etc). Finally, I decided not to see him this weekend, and he agreed, for the first time ever. He now wants a break and some time to find himself again, he doesn't like who he's become and wants to figure out why he isn't acting like the man he thought he was. He still wants to stay exclusive but not see each other as often. I stated he wasn't being clear on exactly what this means, how long this will be, or what he wants so we decided to meet face to face tonight to discuss it. I am trying to be realistic and calm, but ultimately I'm afraid it would be best to end the relationship.


This is a hard decision, he is probably the best man I've ever known other than my grandfather. He has stuck by me through things an ordinary man would not have and I don't want to lose that. I believe that if we were going to move forward in our relationship he would have made that happen. And I am also angry that I have to be the one to end things, I think he should be the man and do it, but he doesn't want to lose me either. We do love each other, that's never been a problem. I just need a commitment to grow any further with him and he seems unwilling to do so. What do you think? Should I end things or give him his time?

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MysterieNicole MysterieNicole 5 years
I believe that you should wait and see what he SPECIFICALLY wants, if he wants the title of "exclusive" but doesn't want to spend time together like an exclusive couple then end it, you don't deserve an ultimatum, but at the same time neither does he, my best advice for your talk tonight is to THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK
dikke-kus dikke-kus 5 years
Wow. That sounds fun. He wants a commitment to have you hang in there, yet doesn't know if he's ready for marriage. Huh. It's not fair and it's been long enough. He should be able to make up his mind and let you know. Maybe he can find himself while you take a girls trip to vegas or Paris. Why wait at home? Even if life isn't where he thought it would be and he hasn't made his first million, you should be the one thing that does make his life happy. But if you can perceive it for what it means- he doesn't factor you as part of the answer for the questions in his mind. If he's not satisfied with his life, then how long is it going to be before he reinvents himself? He can switch careers, redo, undo things if he's married or not. I would get fed up with waiting. I don't blame you. I would tell him you hope he finds himself while you start dating again if it takes too long and the arguing continues.
Isse Isse 5 years
Life can be very stressful. I think he's just having a difficult time and it seems like all he's doing is trying to not take it all out on you. Give it some time, afterwards your decision will be more profound and a break could be a good thing for you as well.
cdelaney cdelaney 5 years
I don't think ultimatums are ever a good idea. It creates alot of pressure and expectations for all parties. Personally, I wouldn't want to feel like I gave someone a deadline. I wouldn't want something forced. It is nice to be wanted and pursued. How would you know if it is genuine and real? If it is something they truly wanted? Getting engaged and getting married are big life steps. They should be something that both parties want; not feel they have to do. I agree with the sentiment above about the length of the dating period. There is no perfect number, standard, formula or checklist--couples date for 5+ years and breakup; others date for 1 year and commit. It isn't something you should "make" happen. Getting married won't solve your current frustrations, it will only create more if not addressed. Good luck!
steph1234 steph1234 5 years
Why do you have to get married right away? I think it's kind of insensitive and a bit selfish of you to give him an ultimatum, especially if you love him. 2 years isn't the magic number to suddenly get married. With some it takes longer,no big deal..Why would you want to push him imto marriage if he's not ready? That will end in disaster. Let things progress naturally between the 2 of you. And if you want different things and he doesn't really see a future with you (marriage) then find someone who does. If he goes through with a marriage after your ultimatum, wouldn't you wonder if he did it because he truly wanted to or just because it was the only other 'option'.
Sherrilee Sherrilee 5 years
I think it's you who have to make a decision. If this man loves you so much, has stuck by you in situations others would not, and is as good as yous say, you have to make up your mind if you want marriage so much that you;ll end it or you'll stay in a realtionship with this man. You may have to stay and accept the fact that he is just not ready. Don't push it. He may come around when you least expect.
Aride89 Aride89 5 years
wow. I was reading this and I thought he was gonna sound like a douche....but if he says he wants to STAY exclusive but not see each other as much thats not bad....means he only wants you but needs a little space....I get current bf went through almost the same thing...1 year into ours...not really talked about marriage yet and Im okay with that...I wouldnt talk about it so much..marriage isnt something to rush on...and its not gonna make things better or worse. some people wait longer than 2 years...heck if he does propose I think waiting to actually get married would be fine too. Dont pressure him it might make things worse. itll be fine though.
RoaringSilence RoaringSilence 5 years
I think he sounds reasonable. Give it a try. This may be just what you both need. (Also, I have a huge crush on the stock photo lady now!)
Gabriela-Une-Vie-Saine Gabriela-Une-Vie-Saine 5 years
Ultimatums never really work, so I'm not surprised he's feeling overwhelmed and needs some space. I think that a lot of couples can suffocate each other when there's too much pressure, and if you really think there's a future with him, you should pull back. If he asks for an inch, you give him a mile- stop calling, stop texting, let HIM do all the work. If he misses you, he'll realize how cold he's been and want to give it another shot. If not, well, you deserve someone better than that anyway. I've been through something similar, and I know how hard it is- stay strong and good luck!!
kurniakasih kurniakasih 5 years
What you've described in your post is very similar to my last serious relationship I had before meeting my husband. The only difference is that we're not even talking marriage back then (I didn't want to get married at all at the time after breaking up with my ex-fiancee). My ex didn't want to break up but he didn't know what he wanted out of the relationship and me and he slowly became despondent and like your bf, we argued over silly stupid things, sadly, he was the one who always started those silly arguments, later on I found out after talking it out with him (this was after we finally broke up) that he was doing so to get a rise out of me, to get a reaction, and eventually he kept doing it to the point I decided to break it up (he wanted a 'break' but I always thought that a break = break up). It turned out that was the best decision I've ever made for the both of us :) We're happily married to other people and we're still good friends, it was an amicable break up despite the fact that it was tough, breaking up with your best friend and all. Maybe it's time to let go, dear.
mnp mnp 5 years
I was in a similar situation as well. The ex was wonderful but he was so slow to take the next step. And, while we were compatible and very happy with one another, I couldn't see him proposing and I don't think he saw that either. I did have a discussion with him that I don't need him to marry me now or soon but that I'd like him to figure out if I was even the one for him. I basically gave him the same ultimatum. He just disappeared a year after that convo. I just got a text, btw. (For the record, we dated for 2.5 years.) I think you should think long and hard if you want to give him that break. I agree with Pazuzu and try to have another discussion with him. If you still don't like what you hear, maybe it's time to let go.//
Pazuzu Pazuzu 5 years
Edit: just to expand on my post( I don't think I explained very well) My boyfriend and I have been together for almost three years, while I love him and have every intention of marrying him, if he proposed now id tell him to wait. I'm still in school while he already has his career, we're in two different parts of our lives right now and honestly I'm not emotionally ready for marraige. I don't know your situation so this might not apply to you, but there's so much that goes into marriage, its a life long commitment and shouldn't be taken lightly (again not saying you're taking lightly). He might be a jerk, but maybes hes making sure hes ready for this. There might be some miscommunicarion. I think the best thing to do is talk honestly and let him explain.
Pazuzu Pazuzu 5 years
I think people make marriage be about the length of the dating period. It should be about where you are in life, some people date for 5 years before getting married, you need to make sure your financially able to commit and in a stable part of your life. It shouldn't be about "we've been together this amount of time, he needs to propose". I think hes shut down because of the pressure, he might be handling it somewhat immaturely, but you've put a lot on him. Hes regressing because of this. Have an open and honest talk with him tonight get everything out in the open, listen to him and his concerns. Have this talk before you make your decision. Update us with new information, good luck.
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