Boyfriend fell out of love and is moving onto other girls
Two weeks ago my boyfriend and I decided to break up as a couple. We’d been having a few issues for probably three months before the breakup but he was the one to call it off. We had a really good discussion about it and decided that considering we’d been dating for three and a half years it was time for us to experience the single life and to get ourselves back on track. Just to focus on us really. We decided we would give it some time before telling people.
So two days after we broke things off we went out with the mutual friends to a pub/nightclub (more of a pub with a dance floor). I later found out that the entire night he had been dancing with girls, after we’d had a respectful conversation about not doing just that.
When I brought it up with him he claimed he had no idea about the girls or who they were and that people were just making up stories. Then half an hour later a message popped up on his phone from one of the girls, which prompted an argument.
Now, two weeks later, I’m still so paranoid about the fact that he is talking to other girls so soon after a breakup. I understand that people heal and move on in different ways, but two weeks after a three and a half year relationship? I just feel so used and worthless, like he’s going around talking bad things about me behind my back. He’s changed into a completely different person in the span of two weeks. I don’t know him anymore but I can’t move on just yet. My heart is still so devoted to him and I find myself constantly thinking about him and trying to find ways for us to work things out, but he is so bad for me. For about the last 8 months of our relationship I was always scared to tell him certain things or felt like I was treading on eggshells around him due to being scared of how he’d react to what I had to say. I can’t just switch off my feelings for him the same way he has done for me.
Does anyone have any advice on this or how to move on?
We discussed ‘terms’ I suppose, on our breakup, things like we will still support each other and won’t make it awkward when we hang out with mutual friends, and we won’t hit up other people just yet for the sake of focussing on ourselves (his suggestion). But yet he is doing the completely opposites of all of these. I feel so disrespected. I don’t know how to handle this anymore. We still talk but it’s not the same. We have conversations but they’re very blunt on his side and they usually ending up with him getting angry at me.
Thanks for posting your story, it must be really tough to have someone you've been with for so long, behave in such a way so quickly after you've split.
I'm not sure what age you guys are, but from all the breakups I saw between 18 and 29, there were not very many men who handled it very well! There seems to be some thrill of freedom which rushes over us when we break that commitment, that for some reason feels empowering and amazing, as if we're no longer beholden to anyone. Now, that absolutely doesn't mean that we didn't enjoy being beholden to someone, a partner we loved and shared our lives with, but the change from having 'rules' (as with any commitment), to having no rules, can have a funny effect. I know multiple men who quickly went out and started chatting to girls in pubs, then after a few weeks just stopped, the thrill of freedom was gone, and they now needed time to process the end of their relationship.
By no means do I mean to side with, or excuse any behaviour of, your ex-boyfriend, only to present an idea that sometimes this behaviour isn't a sign that they weren't happy in their relationship, just that they don't know how to handle freedom.
Either way, transitioning from a long partnership like you guys have had, to a friendship, can be a weird and tricky transition, and there'll no doubt be some kinks which will need ironing out as things progress. It's great that you posted on here though, there are lots of people who've felt this way (numerous friends of mine included!), and it's good to chat about things in tough times.
Feel free to keep the conversation going,
My husband of 12 years left me 3 days ago. He said he fell out of love and has been hiding his feelings for 7 years. I’m heartbroken, we have 2 kids together 8 and 5 yo. He wants to remain friends, I know we have to be civil for the kids but he really has broken my trust and my family (as I don’t have my family it’s been him and his family).
How can I move forward and not be angry at him. I quit my job so he could focus on his job and I looked after everything and now he has taken everything away except for the house and car, but it’s all in his name so I have nothing when we finalised the divorce when ever that will be.
He was never there for the kids when he lived with us but now he wants to call them every morning and see them after his work to do homework.
This made me angry and so upset that he couldn’t do before.
I’m so lost and hurt and worried about the future
This must be a huge change for you, as if the ground is moving beneath your feet. It sounds as though everything is changing, and it's all a bit uncertain how this is going to work out.
Firstly, I think it's totally normal to feel angry towards him. It has only been a few days, and there will be a flurry of different feelings and emotions that run through your mind, at all times of the day and night. The best advice I can give in the short term is to try to take it day by day, and not try to blow past this quickly. I know it can be difficult as you're caring for two little ones, but giving yourself a chance each day just to think about where things are at and how you're feeling can help you process such a huge change at a good pace. Don't be hard on yourself, you will have times of anger and sadness, but just try to ride them out, and don't introduce any of that unnecessary nastiness like guilt or shame! You're not to blame, and don't let anyone convince you that you are. You've done your best to be a loving partner and mother, sometimes these things just don't go how we think they will.
In the medium to long-term, sometimes these things can work out better than we think. You mentioned that your husband is getting more involved with the kids, well it might be that with time, he becomes happier as he finds his way, and can be a better father and partner in parenting than before, because he's taking care of his own needs. So I know right now it hurts, and it's healthy to feel hurt, and we are here to listen and be there for you, but there may be a time in the future where the hurt has faded, and new positives start to blossom out of what seemed like a dead situation.
So try to take care of yourself, make time (if you can) to acknowledge it all, and just move slowly, your heart needs your head at the moment.
It might be helpful to chat to someone like a psychologist too if you feel like it. I've always used psychologists to help process big things, and they can just lend a caring, non-judgmental ear when you're in need and want to just talk and let it out.
Feel free to keep chatting here, everything will be ok 🙂
thank you for your kind words and advice.
I’m trying to take it day at a time. I’ve been struggling the last few days, the kids have started to act out and not listening to me and fighting each other more. Which makes it so hard to deal with.
I did reach out to him and said the kids are upset I need you to call them, and he did and tried to get the kids to listen to me it just didn’t work as they are upset and don’t understand which is understandable as I am the same. Doesn’t help when he says to the kids that he loves them and me but he can’t live with us he wishes it could be different, I believe that’s confusing them.
But on a positive I have not cried for about 6hours which has been the longest since it all happened, I’m feeling a bit stronger.
I hope one day I will wake up and be happier and better off. I just know in the future he will date and it will break my heart again. But I can’t stop or control that. But at the same time it’s so hard to think that when you thought you would be together forever.
I might go back to drs to see a physiologist but I have no money at the moment so I can’t see one for a while and the one I seen before is too expensive.
I think from the sounds of it you're coping quite well, this is a really difficult time but I think you're doing an amazing job. It can be confusing to the kids, and there might be some good resources online on how to help children understand parent separation. He're a gov website which I just got from google, but I bet there are plenty more:
On the dating front, while it may be hard when that time comes, it will be easier then than it seems now, because you will have progressed in your acceptance of the separation, and it will be less of a shock. I know imagining that stuff is painful, but it won't hurt as much down the line 🙂
You're doing such a great job, just try to keep taking it hour by hour, and soon it will be day by day. You sound like a loving mother and a kind person, so try to just go easy on yourself and move slowly.
Hang in there,
thank you for the link.
we talked a bit more last night which made me feel more heartbroken that he informs me he hasn’t been drinking (one of the problems in our marriage) and eating healthy. Why couldn’t he do that when he was here. Makes me feel like it was all my fault and he was so miserable with instead of talking to me he just drank every night to make it bearable to be with me. 😢
I’m trying to deal with it all but it’s so hard and I feel even more lonely now.
I see my GP tomorrow I don’t know if she can do anything for me. And with my depression and anxiety he thinks I’m not coping and it’s like he is just waiting to take the kids off me.
Make sure your GP knows what you need. It might be good to ask for a mental health care plan to see a psychologist, you will get 6 sessions with medicare rebates, and your GP might be able to refer you to a cheaper one so there isn't much out of pocket if times are tough.
I think taking responsibility for someone else's feelings is a murky and unnecessary path. If I try to be a loving and caring husband, but tomorrow my wife feels down, is that a reflection on my behaviour or just something within her? All I can do is be myself, and sometimes that's loving and caring, and sometimes I get a bit lazy or distracted and I'm less attentive. Either way, I can't do any better than my best and I'm not perfect, so if my wife isn't happy, I can't do anything to control how she feels.
It is the same with your husband. You couldn't have done anything differently, because some of this is just written in the stars. It is hard that he wanted to separate, but it's not a reflection on you, or your life, just that he wanted it, and that's all we can know. So try not to think about what could have kept him, because if he sets himself up, he could be a better father, and even partner in life, once he has that space.
With the drinking, it might just be that he wasn't where he wanted to be. I know that part is hard to accept, and it's no reflection on you or your children, but he wanted to make his own way, and perhaps he was having trouble without it.
If you'd like to talk to someone in the meantime, you can chat to someone at Beyondblue, or any of the other help-lines, like Griefline, which will just lend a listening, loving ear, and you can have someone to talk to about it without judgment.
There are so many in your position, and you're absolutely not alone, and I've really enjoyed chatting with you 🙂
Feel free to chat some more if you need, but hang in there and take care of yourself, it's a tough phase, but it will pass, and I know it's hard to see it, but it will work out better in the end.