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He's stringing me on after breaking up bc of my traditional family

Community Member
I'm not sure how many similar threads there are but here's what's happening in my life. I've been with a guy now for 8 months but even before then we went on dates and we used to talk. Before we got into a relationship I made it very clear that I have strict traditional parents. He was willing to take that risk. However, recently he's said that it's just too much, that he can't handle the negativity from my family, that they are bringing him down. My family won't accept him because he doesn't go to church while my family is very traditional. I used to see him without telling my family because on the odd occasion that they knew what was happening they would explode. Mum would be hysterical telling me how much of a sin it is to marry a non believer, she'd get migraines and worry to the point where she would be physically sick. He broke up with me because he didn't want to be destroying my life at home, but also because he wanted to have a relationship where the other family would appreciate and respect him. I'm angry that it took him 8 moths to realise the extent of tradition in my family but at the same time I need to understand that a person can only handle so much. What bothers me most is that he still talks to me. After breaking up he still says that he loves me and that he can't stand the idea of anyone else even touching me. If his feelings towards me are so strong why did he leave? He's giving me false hope. He says it feels right to be apart right now even though he misses me but that one day he would even consider to marry me??? He still wants to talk once a week. It really hurts, I know that every break up does but I can't move on. If it's over it should be over for good but he still talks to me. I'm hoping that he will come back to me even though he's said he's made the right decision. He's sending me mixed messages. He doesn't want to say that we've broken up, he says we're just 'two lovers who can't be together'. I am so confused. I know that my family has been a negative in his life but at the same time I can't help but feel that he's putting too much blame on them. Before we were together he'd tell me how hollow and empty he feels. I think those feeling are coming back, that he is looking for something to blame. I know other people who despite religion/tradition are still together. He can't keep on telling me how much I mean to him if he broke up with me. I'm scared that if I completely cut him off then he'll be hurt.
12 Replies 12

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Mermaid and a warm welcome to the forums.

You are in a sticky, painful situation right now. Dealing with someone who keeps sending mixed signals is confusing and frustrating. Being under such pressure from your family makes taking charge of your personal life even more difficult. A choice must be made.

Your post tells me that you are caring, mindful of your family's and ex BF's feelings. You are also stronger, less confused than he seems to be, so it will be up to you to take the lead. He is obviously not up to a long-term relationship with you but doesn't want to let go. He wants to have his cake and eat it.

Your priority is yourself. I think you deserve way better than what he has to offer. He can't give you the strong commitment you need. If this situation is allowed to drag on, it could end up tearing you both apart. Time must be allowed to heal the wound. This cannot happen if it keeps being picked at. Time to run for the hills and move on.

I understand your concerns about your ex's feelings. However, although immature he is an adult. All you can do is take responsibility for your own decisions and well-being. But that's where it stops. His actions and reactions are his responsibility. He will probably try to put you under pressure, making you feel that he cannot cope with your decision to cut him off and blaming you for future consequences. This selfish attitude disregards the harm it does to YOU. His concerns are entirely self-centered.

You have already made a brave decision by joining these forums. They're a safe way to connect with people who are/have been in situations similar to yours. We're here to offer understanding and support through difficult times.

Great to have you on board.

Community Member
Dear Mermaid,

Welcome to Beyond Blue and thank you for providing your post.

I hope I’m not too blunt here, but I may as well come straight out and say it: “This guy has got to stop contacting you”. Stop. No more.

He broke up with you and so now he has to deal with that. He’s got to move on, and if he’s continually tugging at your own heart strings this is not good – for both of you, as you’re realising.

You’re the absolute important one here and can’t be being dragged down continually by this guy – you need your own space and your own time to heal and move on.

It might be called tough love, but that’s what’s needed. I hope it doesn’t get to the point where you need to change your number or the easier thing would be to just not answer.

Again, I’ll say that I hope this wasn’t too blunt.

Please do write back though; would love to hear from you again.


Community Member

The advise is all rational and it makes sense but it's easier said than done. It sounds kinda silly considering that he broke up with me but I feel like if I cut him off I'll be letting him down. It sill doesn't make sense to me why he would break up with me if he 'loved me'. The most troubling thing is that I don't want to cut him off... I'm so clingy that right now I'd take even even little pieces of him. But those little pieces aren't enough.

I don't understand why he won't cut me off since he's the one who's initiated the break up.

I can't even concentrate on anything else. I have so many assignments due but I'm not focused enough. He is a distraction even when he's not there.

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni
dear Mermaid, well this puts you in a difficult situation, or rather a catch-22 position, and whether or not he is hoping that you will run away from home and to join him so that he won't have to listen to your parents criticism for not going to church, but if you do this then your parents aren't going to be pleased with you.
You say that if you leave him that you will 'be letting him down', but he has left you already and is just teasing you by what he is saying.
If he wants to be with you then he should be there, irrespective of what your parents say, but if he can't handle what they say then it will never work, so you now have to decide whether a life with him means more than a life without your parents.
You realise that this can not continue on the way it is, so for your best interests you have to decide. Geoff. x

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Dear Mermaid,

i feel very bad about the way you feel. You are in a really bad situation. A situation where you you want to hang on to him as well as let it go and move forward. Looking at it rationally, i agree with what everyone has said, but with my personal experience it is a lot harder than that. I have been in a similar position only that his parents were the traditional one and he didn't want to hurt his parents. He wanted to still be with me, he didn't tell me that he couldn't marry me, I honestly believed he would and had accepted him fully and at the very last minute he backs out saying he just can't. All I would say at this point is it is difficult, but you have to tell him to back off, if need be give him an ultimatum to choose from and when he chooses let him deal with the consequences, I know you don't want to let him down but if you don't do this today, you will forever be entangles in it, you won't be able to move on in life. If this man really loves you, he would do just anything to be with you. If he can't do that, then believe that there is somebody else out there for you.

Im sorry if I sound offensive, but love is not an easy journey. I still never found the same love again. I still think of him even after ten years. If you need to talk you can always count on all of us.

i wish you all the best and remember you are not alone.

It's not offensive, it's what I need to hear. It's just scary because blocking him, deleting him or just cutting all contact won't even fix it. I'm the one who needs to forget and move on. It just sucks that between us everything seemed 'perfect,' he never lied, cheated or anything of the sort. He always took care of me and made sure that I was okay. Its like I don't even have a reason to move on, he hasn't done anything wrong. My family is just too much for him, I guess that should be reason enough though. I wish he would have made it a 'clean break up' since he can't be with me. For him to stop talking to me but I guess that's up to me now.

Thank you for taking the time to write to me

Community Member

Hi Mermaid. I'm actually going to try and say something different to everybody else's comments. My first question is: do you love him? If you do and he loves you, you're going to have to make the decision based on what's right for you, not your parents. I know you love your family and attend church with them, but at the same time, it's your life, not theirs. There are many people in my church who have non-believers in their families. As long as he treats you well and is respectful to your parents, that's better than someone who is rude and makes offensive remarks concerning their beliefs. You've only been together 8 months, maybe a neutral meeting place (accidentally) where your parents could get to know him properly might help. My feelings are that people who are strict church goers (no offense meant here), but have no tolerance for non-church goers, are quite often wrong in their views. Just because someone doesn't attend church regularly doesn't make them bad, it makes them honest. I would rather have honesty than someone attending for the wrong reasons. As long as he is polite. If he doesn't wish to talk religion, he can always say, I'm sorry, I don't wish to discuss something I have no knowledge of. I attend church regularly, but I would never push my views down somebody else's throat. I am not a disciple. I prefer honesty.

That's just my view. The decision has to be up to you.


Elizabeth CP
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Years ago I was going out with someone of a different religion. He was a lovely person but I knew I couldn't marry him because the religious differences would have made it too difficult long term & neither of us were prepared to change. Eventually he spoke to me explaining how much he loved me but his concern re the religious differences. He told me he wanted us both to be happy & didn't think it fair for either to change our views. He told me he would no longer go out with me because the alternative risked us getting married and then regretting it due to the conflict over religion. I was disappointed but knew it was for the best. His honesty & the way he explained it took the sting out of the break up because I knew he cared enough not to want me to be hurt. I was able to move on & meet someone else. I have fond memories of him & hope he was able to find someone who was right for him.

I shared this to show how if you decide you need to stop seeing him if you approach it in the right way with respect & honesty you can allow him to move on without hurting him. This will then make it easier for you.

He's the one who's backed out now because he's uncertain of what future we could have together, he knows it's possible to make it work but he's afraid we won't be happy long term. That kinda bothers me because we were happy up until now despite our differences. No major event or anything even happened, he just decided for himself that it wouldn't work. I'd even be willing to give it a go regardless of religion or even my family. My family has always been putting so many restrictions on me thinking its best but they're chocking me even though it's out of love. My problem now is that he's told me that he's made the right decision by splitting up but still contacts me and says he loves me. If I let myself be open to him, he might just continue saying how much I mean to him until one day he might just say that he's moved on while I've been clinging on to every word of his. I can't be loving someone who's not next to me? It's almost like he wants to keep me on the sidelines in case things at home change but they're not going to. I even told him that I was willing to move out so that I could see him freely. I wouldn't be moving in with him, I'd just find my own place but he didn't want me to leave my family. It's strange because it's almost like I need to break up with the person who left me?

Perhaps he has just lost interest in me and is using family/religion as an excuse to leave but THEN WHY DOES HE STILL CONTACT ME. It's so frustrating. Whenever I make up my mind to fully cut him off and even block his number I get a text.