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Breakup after Boyfriend starts dealing with trauma and burnout and now feels numb
My boyfriend of 2 years broke up with me suddenly in March. He said he wasn’t coping and because he wasn’t coping he wasn’t giving me the time or treating me as well as I deserved and so he felt just guilt all the time plus he was pushing me away.
I gave him the space he needed and told him I still loved him and would support him. Fast forward 8 months and it’s been an emotional roller coaster for both of us as he try’s to get help and learn healthy coping mechanisms.
There were Good periods where it seemed like there was hope for our relationship but they were only brief. The last time he said he wanted to make it work lasted two weeks until he stopped being affectionate, wouldn’t touch me and was distant again. He has now told me that he feels emotionally numb. That all that excitement and love he used to feel for me and when I was there is gone and he doesn’t think it will come back.
I understand that people can fall out of love with each other but I feel like this numbness is a symptom of what he is going through and has been going through. But after the last 8 months roller coaster of emotions I don’t think it’s good for either of us to continue trying to make the relationship work.
I am struggling to let this relationship go as I thought he was the one I would spend my life with. I still love him very deeply and I know he cares about me and did love me not long ago! I think this emotional numbness he describes is a coping mechanism on its own.
does anyone have an experience with partners going through these kinds of things and maybe breaking up short term while each of you work on your own stuff?
Hello Kato11 Thankyou for your post and welcome,
Im so sorry to hear what your going through that sounds like you have gone through a lot
It is common to push someone away when your not coping, good that you gave him some space
It is very difficult to help someone who is going through something like this as there is no way to know what will help. I hope you understand that it wasn't your fault, he is simply numb with his own issues.
I understand how u are feeling, you love him very much and would stick by him through anything, he is emotionally unavailable in the state he is in.
I definitely do understand what u are going through and have experienced becoming emotionally unavailable before, in the situation with my partner it was not similar but quite different'
We separated for 6 months and found our way back to each other
I wouldn't say things are perfect and we both have to put in a lot of effort and its hard work but there was definitely some improvement to our relationship from taking 6 months apart and working on ourselves.
I hope this helps
I'd like to join HappyHelper88 in welcoming you here to the forum.
Your account reminds me very much when I was becoming extremely depressed. As things got worse I wanted to be by myself, was disconnected from myself and did not know who I loved, or in fact if I was capable of loving at all.
This got worse but not evenly, sometimes better then worse than before. I can't say I ever broke up or thought of 'working on my self', I was more of a passenger. I did try to improve without help, but htat did not work. Eventually things got so bad I had to have medical assistance.
During al this itme my partner had been htere for me, but most often this not really seem as it should and I became very difficult to live with
I'm now in a vastly different place, love and am loved, and understand what had been happening. This improvement has come about partly due to my partner's understanding, and partly medical treatment. At the time I did feel guilt, but also htat I was an unfair drag on anyone, partner included.
So may I ask if your boyfriend has been to see a doctor and talked things over in a long consultation. While I don't know if you bf has hte same as me seeing a docgtor might be a good start anyway.
One thing my partner had was support. She had her mum who helped her pratically and emotionally al hte way though. Can I ask if you have nayone there for you, family or a freind perhaps.
Sorry the message posted itself before I finished (which accounts for the typos) - dunno why.
Anyway to finish off ...
Trying to face such uncertainty and worry on your own is very hard, and leads one open to self-doubt and wondering why. So if you have someone to talk with that's pretty comforting and lends perspective too. They do not have to fix anything, just let you know they care.
We would like to know what you think and how you are going
Thankyou for your response.
He has been to a doctor and a psychologist this year to help but has not continued beyond a few sessions. He has been in the past few years on and off as he learns more about his trauma. He is also trying to do more day to day things to manage his mental health better too.
I am lucky, I have a strong support network around me and have sought help myself.
i am feeling lonely and devastated that the relationship has ended when I still feel such strong love for him. But if he is unable to feel anything towards me then I don’t know what else I can do
Of course you feel this way, it is a terrible thing when the one you love says they feel nothing for you. I guess the hardest thing is to sort out if it is a symptom, as it was in my case, or the relationship has actually ended. Unfortunatly the world is full of doubts.
Feeling one is a burden and that it is unfair to inflict oneself on another is a very real emotion - even when misguided, and the more one feels for a person the stronger that conviction can be.
Similarly feeling emotionally numb is not a natural state, it is - or was in my case -a product of my illness.
It is a real pity he does not continue on with therapy but breaks off after a few sessions. It often happens and it can be hard to persuade someone to stick with it, especially if they are either starting to feel better, or the reverse, that they are getting nowhere.
Do you feel is really is an ending, or are you thinking of waiting to see what happens? Do you think it would be good for you if you got back together as before?
Please bear in mind that even if you do get back together the road could be a pretty rocky one and not having a partner you can absolutely rely upon makes big difference. I'm not saying to try or not to try, just trying to give you a complete picture. It took a long time before my partner was able to rely upon me.
Do you happen to know if he has broken off relationships with others under similar circumstances? Does it also apply to his friends and family, withdrawing from them too?
I'm very glad you have strong support, it most certainly helps.
I hope you return and we talk some more
It's strange to read your description of your situation as it is nearly identical to what is happening with my wife. Things had always been great between us, then, after 8 years together, suddenly she lost her feeling of connection to me (probably largely due to COVID stress, lockdown, etc.). I still love her every bit as much as the day we got married, so I certainly feel your pain.
What you say makes a lot of sense to me. In that being emotionally numb is not a natural state. He seems to be withdrawn with others. He never discusses these things with his friends. His sister seems to be the only one who he speaks to about it.
As for our relationship. He has started messaging me every day again. From what he has told me I don’t understand why he would want to keep that contact. I’m very torn between letting this continue and seeing what happens, and asking him for space to let go and heal. So much of me doesn’t want it to be the end, but I’m not sure he had made any changes or progress after 4 weeks
It might be worth taking a bit of time not so much for his sake but for your own. I've been thinking about this in my own situation as well. I've come to think of my relationship with my wife as being over (or at least I'm working on that), but being open to beginning again from a stronger position if that's where things lead.
I know there are many areas where I could have been better for her, so I know that I need to work on myself and better understand what kind of relationship I want to be in. I'm still completely in love with her and I know I wouldn't be able to make myself believe that I'm not even if I wanted to, but that's why I need to take some time to work on myself.
Don't know if that resonates with you, but I'm certainly here to listen if you need to talk.