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Partner Has Pushed Me Away and I Don't Know What to Do

Community Member

My ex and I were together for a year before breaking up. Throughout this time, though he loved me would push me away with these comments usually during an argument. Once for example he said “well we are not that serious”. Never mind that he just dropped $1500 on my birthday and met each other’s families and he told me I was the One.

I knew on some level it was insecurity speaking (he has had depression, doesn’t talk to his mom, doesn’t feel adequate, feels like he’s not good enough) but I would in the moment get upset and we would argue. When I mentioned going to therapy, he said “what if it doesn’t work? Are you still going to be there for the long haul?” I assured him I was.

Post-breakup, he cried and told me he was just a loner and had to be alone. He told me he would love me forever, that he hates that he is such a loser, that he can’t stop crying, that he hates himself for hurting me, etc.

We talked a few weeks later and he mentioned that he felt like I could easily get rid of him for another man. I felt terrible and tried to reassure him that wasn’t the case, but he just stood his ground and said he’s a loner. But he also said he still loved me.

We both still care for each other and I would like to somehow make this work. I know I can’t change him but how do I get past his wall? How can I be there for someone who wants to keep me arms length? I feel like if I love him enough and show him I won’t go anywhere he will let me in, but I don’t know if that’s just a fantasy.

We are still on speaking terms. Any thoughts?

4 Replies 4

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi QueenElizabeth,

What a difficult and painful breakup that must have been. I sense your heartbreak, confusion and feelings of uncertainty...

It sounds like your relationship was filled with many mixed messages. Declaration of enormous love one minute then being pushed away the next. I would think that must have been very hurtful and draining at times, no matter how much you loved him...

I feel your ex has a lot of his own inner demons that he probably has never confronted, and based on your comments, he doesn’t sound ready to face them yet...

My first thought was suggesting couples therapy but then I remembered you mentioned how he might not be open to counselling...

I noticed you said this:

I know I can’t change him but how do I get past his wall? How can I be there for someone who wants to keep me arms length?

I think you have great insight for recognising that we can’t change another person. My personal thought is that you won’t be able to get past his wall until he is willing to let you in...

In my opinion, I feel all you can do at the moment is just let him know you’re there for him because I feel that wall can’t be forcibly removed. Plus I feel you know this anyway...

Sorry, I’m not sure if my post was helpful or way off the mark but I just wanted to lend my support. You’re most welcome to write any time here as there are many caring and compassionate forum members here willing and ready to listen.

Kindness and warmth,


Thanks for your response. You're probably right. I've read stuff like this


And then I'm like OK so I should be there?

Thanks for your insight. This what I think logically but then I read stuff like this:


And I think so I should be there? I mean I would if I knew how.

Hi QueenElizabeth,

It’s great to hear from you again. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and insight...

I think that I get what you mean...I agree with you that, logically, we can think one thing but then the doubt sets in for other reasons e.g. when we read about alternative viewpoints, etc, etc.

To be fair, yes, I agree that some people do push loved ones away “when they need them most.” I’m not sure if this is the case or not with your ex though...

At this point, I feel it’s a guessing game because no one really knows exactly what your ex is thinking. My gentle suggestion is maybe self reflect e.g. think about how much you’re willing to invest in this relationship (e.g. what if he continues pushing you away for another 5 years?), examine the impact he has on your mental health (e.g. is this ultimately a dynamic that is healthy or unhealthy for your wellbeing?), what your personal boundaries are, etc.

I suppose what I’m getting at is perhaps self reflecting to maybe find more personal clarity in terms of which direction you want to head with him. I’m not sure if my thoughts were helpful or not but I wanted to share them anyway to maybe give you some ideas...

kindness and warmth,