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Breakup after Boyfriend starts dealing with trauma and burnout and now feels numb

Kato11
Community Member

My boyfriend of 2 years broke up with me suddenly in March. He said he wasn’t coping and because he wasn’t coping he wasn’t giving me the time or treating me as well as I deserved and so he felt just guilt all the time plus he was pushing me away.

I gave him the space he needed and told him I still loved him and would support him. Fast forward 8 months and it’s been an emotional roller coaster for both of us as he try’s to get help and learn healthy coping mechanisms.

There were Good periods where it seemed like there was hope for our relationship but they were only brief. The last time he said he wanted to make it work lasted two weeks until he stopped being affectionate, wouldn’t touch me and was distant again. He has now told me that he feels emotionally numb. That all that excitement and love he used to feel for me and when I was there is gone and he doesn’t think it will come back.

I understand that people can fall out of love with each other but I feel like this numbness is a symptom of what he is going through and has been going through. But after the last 8 months roller coaster of emotions I don’t think it’s good for either of us to continue trying to make the relationship work.

I am struggling to let this relationship go as I thought he was the one I would spend my life with. I still love him very deeply and I know he cares about me and did love me not long ago! I think this emotional numbness he describes is a coping mechanism on its own.

does anyone have an experience with partners going through these kinds of things and maybe breaking up short term while each of you work on your own stuff?

14 Replies 14

Kato11
Community Member
That’s a really good way to look at it, Thankyou. I think something similar is what I will aim for. The part I think both he and I will struggle with is no contact while we work on ourselves

Croix
Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Kato11~

As you would know the reason I asked abut the friends and relations is if it was simply a matter of a relationship coming to an end or a general malaise. I dropped all contacts and that was a symptom of my depression, I'd make a guess (and it is just that, a guess) and wonder if depression might be something to do with it here.

I suppose that is both good and bad if true. You might know the reason -it is not you or anything about you- but are hoping for a relationship with someone who is ill and not seeking regular treatment. I could never 'fix' myself by myself and needed professional help, which eventually brought me back to a state where I could love and be reliable.

Others many not be as lucky.

I can sort of understand texting. Being face to face with a person takes a fair bit of mental activity, and if the brain is already full of the thoughts generated by the illness then one instinctively seeks to minimize contacts. However if one still needs somone then texting is a less demanding way of keeping in touch.

Again a guess based on my own individual experience

While I can well understand you being torn between hope and doubt that improvement will come any time soon maybe it is question of standing back and thinking which alternative is the most likely.

Perish talking with those you mentioned give you support will help gain perspective

Please let us know how things get on

Croix

Kato11
Community Member

Hi all,

it’s been two months since the final ‘break up’ with my partner. We went two weeks with no contact before he started messaging again. But the messaging is not everyday and never anything serious. It feels as though he is trying to retain a friendship or perhaps not ready to let me go either, even though he has described being numb and no longer loving me.

I Am struggling at the moment with confusion on why he is messaging, and why he sometimes suggests or hints he wants to see me. Then stops messaging for a few days. I feel that I am holding on hope for something that will never happen. But I can’t stop responding because of how deeply I love him still. Christmas is obviously a hard time as lst year with him was very happy.

We have seen each other once in the past two months and spent the whole time talking and catching up about our lives and the people in it. Again, this has confused me

Croix
Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Kato11~

On again, off again, sometimes intense talks, other times fragmented and virtually meaningless. No wonder you feel all at sea.

I know you love him, but this seems to me looking in from the outside a rather one-sided relationship.

After all in a god relationship most things are divided up equally. I don't mean who does hte washing up and who takes hte garbage bins out. I mean that each cares for the other and most importantly can rely on the other.

Croix
Community Champion
Community Champion

Sorry -the internet posted my message before I'd finished. It does that sometimes. -sigh

Anyway to continue...

It looks like you are doing all the emotional heavy lifting. You wait on his appearance or calls and hope that you will get back together. He does not seem constant, or to take yur feelings of hurt in account when blowing hot or cold.

May I suggest that you step back for a moment and see what your heart would like and what you actually have.

Croix