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Struggling to cope with relationship breakdown

Community Member

My partner of 9 months dropped a bombshell on me 6 weeks ago when he told me that "I'm his best friend, the only one he trusts in the world, that he cares about me deeply, but he doesn't believe in love and therefore isn't in love with me".

I left a marriage of 14 years with three small children 7 years ago, and have never been as down and struggling to cope as I am now.

Everything about our relationship was fantastic. We had an immediate connection, he was even the one who drove it to a great extent, calling me a few times a day. He had a busy life anyway, but always found time to drive up to me for a night during the week, every weekend we would spend together. We'd talk on the phone for hours. He was great with my kids, everything he did and said showed me that he loved me. He was talking hypothetically about a future together.

Then about 5 months in I dropped the "L" word, and he started checking out on me. I don't think he was even aware that was what he was doing, but the hand holding dropped off, the little things fell away bit by bit. He told me that he'd managed to "Ruin every relationship he'd ever had and didn't want to screw this up" But that's exactly what he ended up doing anyway.

He has always had self-esteem issues (why I don't know because he has a great job, although he's not super happy, he is a good guy) and he does suffer from the odd bout of depression.

I have this deep conviction that he does love me but he is just afraid to admit it, afraid of the responsibility of it perhaps, and afraid that he would mess it up if he stayed in it. By ending it now, in his head at least, he get's to keep me as a friend rather than run the risk of losing even that later if he did something to the relationship.

It is because of this conviction that I am struggling to get through or let go. I haven't stopped crying for 6 weeks, but I have stopped eating. I can't face the thought of food. Combined with the prospect of major surgery this coming week, I can't see the light at the end of the tunnel. I am trying to handle the "friends" thing, and he is proving to be a trusted and loyal friend, and has promised to be with me every step of the way.

I will be immobile for 6 weeks so I can't start anything in the way of exercise, hobbies or anything right now as I will have no way of continuing for at least that time.

I'm lost and I need some tips for coping. I would appreciate all the advice/opinions you have to offer.

Thank you.

4 Replies 4

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Ava

First of all welcome to our forums and I hope you find us all supportive and helpful.

I am so sorry to hear about your relationship. Sounds to me that you are very perceptive and have read the situation - that he is scared of the responsibility or scared that he will hurt you like he has possibly hurt others? Some people have a mental block when it comes to relationships and this can be because of a number of reasons.

Saying that, it doesn't make things easier! I too have been blindsided by the end of a relationship and it really broke my heart. I struggled for a long time. He too suffered from depression which makes things more complicated.

Maybe this is temporary? He could just be figuring things out and once he is clear in his mind things might work out.

Are you guys in contact?

I think the best approach at this stage is to focus on your operation and your recovery. Make sure you have lots of reading and other things to keep your mind occupied eg crosswords, puzzles and maybe start on a home project that you have been meaning to do for a long time. Can your kids spend some time with you? Who else can you spend time with during your recovery?

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Blue Jane.


Yes, we are still in contact although that is getting harder because I know he has started dating again. Whilst I have been trying to remain friends- he tells me I'm his best friend - it is constantly hurting me. I want him in my life but I don't know if I can handle watching him with other people.

I can only hope time will change things, but I'm not doing myself any favours waiting for that. I know I need to move on but I am just finding it so difficult. I saw a future with this man and I've never felt this strongly about anyone - even the man I married.

Thank you for your suggestions. I'll definitely take them onboard.


Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni
hello Ava, quite a difficult and upsetting situation for you, with surgery approaching, however there is a good chance that he does love you, but doesn't want to commit, maybe he always believes that he ruins r/ship, when in fact it might not be because of what he does, but that's how he sees it.
The word love means that you are both in a r/ship, but perhaps he only wants to take it slowly and not rush into making a final decision.
I'm sure that knowing he is seeing someone else may appear not to be good for you, but perhaps this could cement your r/ship, simply because he may not get on with other person and realise you are the one he wants to be with.
The involvement in this new r/ship is unknown at the moment, so try not to imagine the worst.
I think you will eventually decide once you have had the operation and see when and how many times he comes to help you and what assistance he offers.
Good luck for the operation. Geoff.

Community Member

Thank you Geoff.

What you are saying actually reflects what I'm hoping for. Just don't know how long I can keep it together waiting for something that might just be in my head.

I do hope you are right though.