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Confused after breakup

Community Member

I recently came out of a six-month relationship following a year or so of loneliness and depression after my marriage break-up.

I met a wonderful lady in February this year and over time we became close and fell in love. She said I was the nicest person etc she had been with and she loved me more than I could know. But she and I live about an hour and a half away from each other (which I don't think is a problem) and she had concerns about the future. We discussed this several times, and I made a commitment to her that I would in time move to be with her and work my custody arrangements around that. She seemed to be OK with this for a while and the relationship continued at the same intensity. We began telling loved ones about it etc only a few months ago, about 5 months into the relationship.

My children and hers (2 each, similar ages under 6) are still struggling with our respective marriage splits (me nearly 2 years, her almost a year now - about 5 months when we met) and we had agreed not to say anything to them, which made seeing each other a casual type thing and I was dying to give her more, which she often said she wanted, but was too worried about telling her kids and ex. Anyway, long story short, after my most recent visit to her, now almost a month ago, she broke down in tears and said she couldn't do it anymore knowing that she could be the reason for me moving away from my kids and perhaps damaging them more.

She has told me as early as yesterday that she does love me the way she said she did, but can't be with me (because of the above) and she's sorry for me and for her, and that I am amazing and wonderful etc. and I should move on and give that love to somebody else.

I don't understand. I tried everything and always had the idea that if you loved somebody you try and do everything to be together. I'm really struggling now as to how I will find somebody remotely close to her and how I can move on from this and trust again to start a relationship. I also can't fathom how somebody could find the perfect person but give up.

11 Replies 11

Community Champion
Community Champion

hi. I guess you would have a lot of emotions going through you at the moment - hurt, shock, loss, sorrow?

And as you said you felt you had found the perfect person. I would think she would also be having similar thoughts - I dont think it would have been easy for her to tell you either having put hers and your kids in front? (Based on what you said. The feeling you have would be normal for anyone who cannot be with another person. Headspace also has resources you might find helpful...


if it helps you to write out your thought and feelings here I can respond and think other users might also. It is also important to consider that with time and support most people pull through relationship break-ups, and if you need help to get there, it is also OK to reach out to professional help.


Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi itsagamble,

You know, I think you may be reading too much into this break up. From my reading, nothing in the status of the love you feel for each other has changed - the determining factor is the part where you wish to move in.

This adds a layer of pressure to the very complex emotions of having one family, sharing another, and depriving one or the other from regular interaction with them. With the children still struggling, this could be a bridge too far - perhaps a little more patience and understanding will be better received (despite your best intentions to consolidate the relationship). I think it's the 'permanence' with so much still in a state of flux which is causing doubts... at the present moment.

Your restraint will also be seen as doing "everything to be together". Talk more and don't walk away so fast.



This is what I've been trying to do. But she has closed the door. That's the part that is hard. She says she will remember it forever and may regret it and the like but can't go on (with the relationship), and I can't understand why she wouldn't try because it may be OK. Others have survived through worse. She is trying to avoid further pain in the future by giving up and enduring certain pain / regret now. I know she isn't over it - we have communicated over the 3 weeks since she ended things and she is keeping tabs on me through social media (which I don't mind). I'm trying to be at peace with it, because I don't want to be alone or think what if forever (I just think of 'The Bridges of Maddison County) but I can't find peace in someone claing to love somebody so much and not making a go of it. Every time I say something along the lines of trying, she just says she can't and she's sorry but then she also tells me how sad she is and cries reading our previous messages or remembering things. I just don't get it. And its making me feel terrible because I can't do anything about it.

Also, it wasn't discussed me moving it. It was that I would be happy to relocate and move in down the track, not straight away. She was always missing me and needing that emotional support, upset when she or I would leave each others respective houses etc and I wanted to be their for her. Her past issues with ex etc prevented her from telling him and her kids (he was violent and has some anger issues- she was concerned about his reaction and kids adjusting as they are still upset constantly) even though she though they would love me etc. And she has no support network, she has given little information to her family and friends to help, as in she only told them about me a month or so back and that she had 'started dating somebody' not that we were in a serious relationship for 6 months. I hate to think she would go on and meet somebody else and think about me forever 'what if' scenarios etc., regret. I just don't understand. 

Hi itsagamble,

"Also, it wasn't discussed me moving in" Thanks for the clarification - I just connected the dots... but I think the inference is pretty clear.

Your wonderful lady is precisely that, and she is demonstrating selfless love in respecting the sacrifices you are prepared to make for yourself and family - you sound prepared to take this step. Did you feel the same way shortly after your marriage separation or were you hesitant to dive in to more commitments? The added stresses of domestic violence may be affecting her self esteem and confidence to sustain a significant relationship - ie not a reflection on her love or desire to have you in her life. It sounds like she is still processing many thoughts (evidenced by how long it took to 'formally' recognise you).

I realise you are in that place, but your prospective partner is still catching up - pressure will only have the opposite effect. You can still be there for her and spend quality time without the 'relationship' label - your caring and concern for her choices and mental well being should not be dampened by this perceived rejection. It may be a subliminal test for your long term support as a future partnership. Good things take time and these 'mini' separations are common in long term relationships.



Dear itsagamble

I can understand your confusion. One of the worst ways a relationship can end is when you are suddenly told you are no longer required, especially when you don’t see it coming.

I feel there is more to her story than she is telling you. She may be trying to protect you or doesn’t wish to hurt your feelings more than necessary. It’s her right to do this and there is little or nothing you can do about it.

My advice is to give her the space she is requesting. I doubt there is anything you can do or say that will change her mind. I know this is incredibly painful and the exasperation at not understanding her motives can be emotional agony. Remember, it takes two willing people to make a relationship work and no matter how much effort or hope you deliver, if she is not willing to meet you half way, you are left with nothing.

You have made it clear to her that you’re disappointed with her decision and you will there for her if she changes her mind. Now it may be time to tell her, you will respect her decision and hope she finds happiness. Sorry, I know it’s difficult.

Thank you.
I felt this was important to communicate to her as I had felt that way but only said things I thought might change her mind. I apologised, thanked her for being selfless and offered support if she needed it. She has seen the message but hasn’t replied. Maybe never will. But I feel better after telling her. I’m confident she won’t change her mind but at least she can feel better. I still don’t understand, but I guess it doesn’t matter because it’s the way she feels.

Hi itsagamble,

That must have been tough for you, but you have demonstrated an equal selflessness in so doing (and that's the 'better feeling' you noticed - the ambivalence of pain and joy). I can't know the inner workings of the mind, but I feel you have made a good impression regardless of the outcome. I truly hope this opens up a new closeness for you both in time.

Kind regards,


She replied. It didn’t work.
She just reiterated that it wouldn’t work and wished me well and told me to take care.
Its hopeless. I don’t know what to do.

Hi itsagamble,

Sorry to hear the finality of the tone. Be patient but don't put your life on hold, you can only wait to be contacted from here if that is to be. It's not hopeless, but you now have some closure at least.

Take care, grieve, and go easy on yourself.