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You Asked: He Wants a Break and I Don't

You Asked: He Wants a Break and I Don't

Dear Sugar--

I've been with my boyfriend for 3 years. He says he wants a break as he is going through some heavy therapy may be having a mid-life crisis - he even asked me to join him in a therapy session. He says he needs the break to get his head together however he says the break is not about us. I can't get over the fact that if he wanted to be with me, then he wouldn't be wanting this break. In my opinion, loved ones help each other out and get through the tough times TOGETHER.

He is still calling me and having casual conversations as if nothing has happened, but this time apart is killing me. I don't know what I should do. Walk away? Wait for him? Be in this limbo and be miserable, or cut all contact until he gives me a definite answer about our future?

--Not Wanting a Break Bianca

To see DEARSUGAR's answer

Dear Not Wanting a Break Bianca--

It's very sweet of you to want to support your boyfriend while he's going through a rough time. I see your point about how some couples can stay together and help each other while they're in need, but maybe he's embarrassed and doesn't want you to have to play that role. He might just want to take time on his own, get through this rough patch, and then get back to being the strong man you know.

Even though it was his idea to have a break, you get to decide what your relationship will be like from now on. If you are happy remaining friends and chatting every few days, then you can be there for him in that way. If it's too painful to "just be friends," I would insist he not call you or see you until he has figured everything out. After all, this break was his idea, so he'll have to deal with the consequences.

The hardest part about this situation is that he can't tell you when he'll be ready to commit again. It could be 1 month, 6 months or 2 years. You can't just sit around and wait for him to be ready -- it's unfair and unhealthy -- so I suggest you move on and date other people. I know it'll be hard to move on at first, but just have faith that if it's meant to work out between you two, it will. Good luck Bianca.


Join The Conversation
emmyanne emmyanne 9 years
Im just going to lay this out there... Your in your 20's and dating a guy going into his 50's? MAYBE... the age difference is a factor, im surprised that wasnt mentioned before. Hes feeling insecure because hes OLD and shes still very much young... Do you really want to have KIDS with a man that old, when your kids turn 20, their father will be 70!!!! I think YOU need to take a break and realize this relationship will not work, unless your just a trophy wife-abe, then go for it and wait around. And i really do think that most of these "breaks" mean they want to break up, but dont have the guts.
AZ-Mary-Mary AZ-Mary-Mary 9 years
I'm going through the same thing so I'm so sorry that you are too because it's horrible. My mistake I'm making right now is that I still talk to him daily and I think that makes me a weenie but I can't seem to help it. I don't think the "break" think makes sense either, wish it was more cut and dry. I'll keep my fingers crossed for all of us and maybe that way I can keep them off my damn phone!
sass317 sass317 9 years
I dont understand the "taking a break" thing. Whenever I told a guy I wanted to take a break I actually wanted to break up and was just trying to ease into it bc I was young and being wussy about just being honest. Im married now and I never for a single second wanted to take a break from my husband. We are partners, we have been since we started dating- we are there for each other when things are bad and we are each other's biggest cheerleader when things are good. I wouldnt want to be without that support. If either one of us had ever wanted a break that would tell me that we werent meant to be together.
MiyabiNa MiyabiNa 9 years
I really don't have much advice for you on this, but I wanted to wish you good luck with everything. Your heart will know what to do and when to do it! I sorta had a similar experience like this but it was much less serious and I was much younger, but it taught me something. I had a bf for almost a year who decided he wanted to "take a break" so he could "get his life (esp finanaces) straight". So we put our relationship on hold and I did my own thing waiting around for him, not talking too him too much... A couple weeks later I was at the mall with my girlfriend, and I came across him in a store....buying clothes for his on-again-off-again ex/gf who was in the changing room. I walked up to him, stared down at him with those pissed girl eyes (he was sitting), shook my head and walked away. He looked TOTALLY shocked, he didn't even know what to say. Now I know we were "on a break" n'all....but he LIED and said he needed to get his life straight, "ESPECAILLY his finanaces" cuz he apparently had no money and was embarassed he couldn't take me out properly n'stuff blah blah (which I didn't care about money!)...and then I find him buying a wardrobe for his ex. Uh yeah, I was pissed. And I was done with him. He's been trying ever since to get me's been like...5 years since I was with him...and I've been in a serious relationship with one of his best friends for the last 2.5 must KILL him seeing us so happy together...and I actually relish it, because he lost a good thing. He hasn't had any serious girlfriends since either. Well, sorry for the rambling, it really has nothing to do with your situation cuz I don't suspect your bf is going to go off and do taht to you. You seem to wanna help him a lot and he just has to realize himself that he needs your support. I suppose if you love him that much, stick around and silently support someone said, if it's meant to be, it'll happen.
Clarishi Clarishi 9 years
Hi Bianca! The same thing happened to me... my now ex-bf was going through tough times and he said he needed a break, not from me, but from himself. He said that he was going down and taking me with him, and he wanted to change. Of course, he never said how long it would take... A couple of months passed, and I could see he was doing NOTHING to improve his life... he was even going lower. Every other day he would send me an SMS, or call me to see how I was doing. One day I got sick of it and told him that it was over. I could see he was doing nothing for him, nothing to make me stay, and I would no longer continue. That shook him up and one hour later he appeared at my front door saying he was sorry. He sorta go back together, then 2 months later I travelled to the States and when I came back nothing was the same... we were definetly going into different directions. We broke up 3 weeks later, and he said that, if I hadn´t told him to decide, he would´ve continued with the "break time". That was when, of course, I decided I couldn´t be with someone who was not really willing to do something with his life while putting me on hold... In your case it´s slightly different, because you can see he really wants to change. But if at any point you feel you can no longer hold your feelings, you have the right to say it or to act, even if your boyfriend is undergoing such bad times. Don´t let guilt or something like that prevent you from taking care of yourself, too
hitz4evr15 hitz4evr15 9 years
I'm in the EXACT same position as you right now and that's why I completely understand what you are doing through. Me and my now ex-boyfriend were together for 3.5 years and he decided he wanted to go out and see other ppl to reassure himself that I'm "the one" was very very difficult for me but I broke up with him so that I won't be left dragged along while he's figuring things out. I'm still having trouble letting go right now because we are practically best friends too! I am right there with you Bianca!
bellanatella bellanatella 9 years
This exact thing happened to me, and I feel so greatful that I'm able to help. Hopefully, you'll read this and not forget you even posted. Haha. But, here's what happened to me. We took a break for him to go to therapy and adjust his life. He was going through a very tough time - just got diagnosed with bipolar disorder, etc. Anyway, I REALLY wanted to help him, but I guess it was his therapist's idea or something? So, we took a break, and I had the most depressing few months of my life, even though we were still on speaking terms. BUT, we did end up getting back together (and breaking up, but then getting back together again for good) and here we are now, a happy couple and doing fabulous. Everything has gone back to normal because I unknowingly did the right thing. I tried my very hardest not to talk to him too much, and eventually he realized that it takes two. I'm not too religious, but I will pray for you, sweetie, because I've been through it too, and it's tough. I'm so sorry.
Marci Marci 9 years
My sympathies go out to you Bianca AND you too, CT23. This is such a hard position to be in because there isn't anything you can do. Your boyfriend has expressed what he wants, and basically that's it. I don't think Dear could have offered you any other words. It takes time to get over someone, and you do have to move on. I'm sorry you're (both) going through this.
CT23 CT23 9 years
Hey Bianca, I was about to ask a very similar question when I read this post. My boyfriend may be older then you - he'll be 49 next month. Anyway, we've been dating for 3 and a half years and right from the beginning it was love at first sight. Everything clicked immediately and we were each other's "soul mates". We had plans to get married and have 2 kids, and so much more (but I don't want this to be too long). I loved him because he made me feel so special and needed, like he once said he'd rather do nothing with me, than anything with anyone else, and I felt (and still feel the same). Recently in the past few months things have changed. Mostly because he had to have all his top row of teeth removed and a denture put it. He says he's never felt more embarrassed and ugly, and old. He says it just topped off everything he's been feeling lately. He keeps saying that he's "hit a wall" and that I couldn't understand (I'm in my twenties). I try over and over to tell him my feelings are the same and that I still love him more every day. How I want to help because that's what couples are supposed to do. The worse thing is, as time goes by (its been like this since March), he gets more and more indifferent. Like at first he'd get angry or sad, now it's like he's thinking, "okay, okay, I'll call you, you win". He says he can't just doesn't want to be around ANYONE, and it makes me sad because I used to be the ONE that was different. The one that could make him happy despite everything else going on. I'm guessing Dear Sugar's answer isn't going to help you because it isn't helping me. I really feel like I'm not going to get over him -EVER.
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