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It's not you, it's me

Community Member

I finally mustered the strength to start dating again & was seeing this guy for about 5 months. We have so much in common, would spend hours talking most nights of the week, couldn't wait to see each other & he said that I was the first person that he'd met who was able to make all the stress in his life melt away; just by being in my presence. He suffers from chronic insomnia due to his stress & depression & claimed that when we spend nights together, were the best sleep he's had in years. Things looked like they were shaping up great!

Last Saturday he ends up telling me that he has WAY too much going on in his life between his kids, ex wife, mum & other family issues that he feels like he doesn't have the time to spare to give me the attention & treatment that I deserve. We end up talking about it for ages & he also admits that he doesn't feel worthy of being loved (hasn't his entire life) & doesn't know who he is outside of being a dad; he can't remember who he was before he became a dad either.

So in order to protect me, he needs to be alone for a while (don't know how long) so he can figure out his identity & sort out his family issues. I asked why we couldn't work through this together & he said that he doesn't want anyone's help or guidance otherwise "How will I know if that's truly me or just a version of me influenced by someone else?" Apparently he was influenced 2 years ago by a girl he was seeing & he was convinced that that was part of his identity, but a month after we started dating he changed his mind & decided that that part of his life actually wasn't important after all; so now he's questioning everything about himself.

He says that he still wants me in his life because he believes he's going to regret losing me, but he still needs to work through this alone. I'm worried about him because he has no support network & doesn't believe in therapy.

I don't want to make him feel like I'm ignoring him if I pull back a little, but I also don't want to smother him. All I know is that now we aren't together, I worry about him more since we don't talk as much, we're not allowed to see each other or spend night's together & this has caused my anxiety to go through the roof!

3 Replies 3

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear MadameCholet~

Welcome to the Forum. This so one of those situations where once can feel hopeless and lost. All going great and suddenly the brakes are on. A shock.

It may well be that things are going so great he has just realized how deep he is in, and that frightens him. Of course that does not necessarily mean he does not have affection for you.

Worrying about who one is happens, unfortunately there is no real answer, we all respond to circumstances, whether another person, or a job, or any significant thing. Who we are changes.

I guess after 5 months there needs to be mutual care. By breaking off from you he is causing you considerable pain and worry, something he would seem to be overlooking.

"not allowed" is not really a phrase I'd use in a partnership, it does sound rather as if your BF is considering his own needs first.

It is true anxiety and depression do affect relationships, at one stage depression make me incapable of knowing who I loved, or if I was even capable of it. I still did of course, but was too isolated from myself to realize.

Do you think it is worth trying to get him to see a therapist, maybe starting with a visit to his GP? That was the only way I improved.

Also do you think discussing how this is affecting you might help?


Hi Croix,

Thank you so much for responding, reading your words has given me some comfort where there was none.

I've been confused all day because we spoke this morning like we used to & he said that he missed me terribly. Waking up next to me, holding me but then his comments started heading in a more sexual direction.

I explained that that confused me because he broke up with me on Saturday & that he was the one pushing for no physical meetings, which would mean nothing sexual; but I was happy to be corrected! He did not respond. I then asked if he wanted me to post a shirt of his that was still at my house & he said to come by sometime, so I mentioned again that he said I was "not allowed" to see him but I could check on him via calls or texts. He believes that he agreed to have me check on him once a week by visiting him or him visiting me ... I didn't push the subject at this point.

We intermittently spoke via text throughout the day & again he started talking suggestively in a sexual way, so I asked again if that was allowed since we weren't together anymore because he needed to be alone ... again no response!

I have no idea what's going on, it feels like nothing's really changed but it has? I told him how his decision has made me feel & how he's actually guaranteed me hurt & pain by breaking up with me. If we'd tried to work through it together, it would then be my choice to stay or step back IF I felt hurt or in pain, he doesn't seem to understand & is insisting that he do this alone.

Since he doesn't believe in therapy, I've tried giving him website links & phone numbers to help him, but whether or not he will? I can't be sure.

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear MadameCholet~

I don't blame you for being confused, he sounds all over the place, plus if you have explained how it is affecting you and do not get a response one has to wonder.

It also seems he is hazy about what he said and intended, or else is finding the consequences of his actions.

This is a vert hard time for you, wondering what is going to happen, and being very hurt. It might not be quite as bad if you were faced with consistency, sadly you are not. What support do you have? Family or friends you can talk frankly with and not try to face this all on you own? It does make a difference

What are your plans now?



I guess you have been reasonable and thoughtful in providing those links, I can't think of anything else you can do - can you?