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I Was in an Emotionally Abusive Relationship, and I Didn't Even Realize It

You Asked: He's Completely Cutting Me Off

You Asked: He's Completely Cutting Me Off

Dear Sugar,

I am currently dating my daughter's father. We had a lot of new-couple issues at first, but just as soon as I was sure we had worked through the kinks, I found out that he is going to move overseas for a year. I wanted to spend as much time as possible with him before he left, but it seems like he doesn't have the same desire. He says that he is trying to mentally prepare himself to leave so he is breaking away now to avoid being homesick later. I don't know how to take it. He leaves in a couple of days and we haven't talked or seen each other in about a week. Help!

— Left Behind Leslie

To see DearSugar's answer,


Dear Left Behind Leslie,

Since I'm not sure whether you two are planning on continuing your relationship while he's away, it's difficult for me to understand the specifics of this situation. What I can tell you is that everyone handles feelings of sadness and loss differently, so it's very possible that your boyfriend is pulling away now so it will allow him to control the terms of his loss. He can decide when to be upset instead of having it forced upon him when he leaves. Still, I don't think this is a healthy approach nor do I think it's fair to you.

Break the rules: reach out to him via a phone call or email. Explain to him that while you understand his feelings, it's going to be hard either way and you'd rather enjoy the time you do have together. If you plan on trying to make your relationship work — it will be extremely challenging, but it is possible — then I think it's especially important you set the tone of communication now.

And finally, I don't know the age of you daughter, but the move of a parent can be difficult even at a very young age. It's important that, at the very least, you come together to discuss that aspect of your relationship. Best of luck to you.


Join The Conversation
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i agree with Dear in saying that since we don't know all the details, it's hard to really tell you what our thoughts are, but i think that for myself - when i know that there's going to be distance, i do choose to pull away kind of to prepare myself for what i'll be missing. i think that it's ok for you to email or call or what have you since it's important to have some type of communication, but i don't know what your plans are for that year that he's gone or for when he gets back. do you guys have plans for your daughter while he's gone? is she going to visit him or is it going to be the 2 of you until he gets back? that's something to consider since you'll want to be honest with her while he's not there. kids are really observant and there will probably be a lot of questions from her end on what's going on
girlA girlA 8 years
I agree with justanerd. But I also think you need to be upfront with him--get it out in the open before he leaves--I don't know how old your daughter is, but she should see a good example of how adults should work through issues so that she doesn't get the wrong idea about where you and her father are headed.
justanerd1975 justanerd1975 8 years
sorry but I think this is BS on his part-if he loved you he would want to spend as much time as possible with you before he left.
K-is-For-Kait K-is-For-Kait 8 years
The fact that you refer to your boyfriend as "my daughter's father" rather than saying "We've been dating for X years and have a daughter" says a lot to me. Are you two together because you love each other or staying together for the sake of your daughter? I hate to assume one way or the other, but it's hard to tell. You need to be completely upfront with your boyfriend. Figure out where the relationship is going, if he's distancing himself because he feels awful about leaving or because his feeling about you are changing. Make sure your feelings are taken into account too! If your daughter is young, a year without her father will be like an eternity. Make sure that no matter what happens between you and your boyfriend, there's plenty of ways for him to communicate with his little girl.
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