HomeMain PageRelationshipsMap of RelationshipsWhat to do when He/She Leaves?

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What to do when He/She Leaves? — 730 Comments

  1. I had a horrible breakup with a woman who I was seeing for more than 7 years. It was something sudden but rather a fading over 6 months that I tried very hard to avoid. Looking back on it, this was exactly the problem: My insecurities that I was doing something wrong that needed to be fixed.
    After the breakup, I tried very hard to contact her to try to get “closure” which is a laughable concept, because there is never any closure. The relationship just ran its course. But this is what is so hard for people to understand at that moment is that the absulte worst thing you can do is to try to get closure because that in fact pushes the other person ever farther away.
    So here I am three years later, feeling a bit embarrassed for what I did back then. Time does heal everything and I thank her for time and gift she gave me of getting to know myself better..
    If there is anything I can advice to people is that when she leaves, she has already made up her mind long time agon and there is no amount of bargaining, pleading or whatever that is going to change that. The best thing you can do is turn around, walk away and never look back, because it is not you but she who decided to end the relationship and you disagree with that decision.

  2. My husband of four years left two months ago. We come from broken homes and have our own issues. I thought we were working on them together. He feels he can’t trust me because I would lie smally out of fear and I feel he’s controlling. When we’re good we’re great but when we’re bad it’s hell. He stays at his mothers now yet everything is still here at our home, he doesn’t want anyone to know and tells me to show him I’ve changed but then tells me nothing will change his mind and then the next breath he wants nothing more than us to be a happy family again, raising our children and growing old together. I’m in therapy once a week and he swears he’s cured for all his issues. I try to be unavailable then he just shows up. Boundaries apparently don’t exist. In my gut I don’t feel we’re over. But I am painfully confused and don’t know how to go about this. I have been trying the four approaches above, am I doing this wrong?

    • It sounds, Meg, as if you are doing just right. Probably it’s just the beginning of your path of learning. Gotta rebuild trust, gotta learn how to deal with controlling, gotta learn how to deal with each person’s need for space within the relationship, gotta learn good Boundaries, etc. and all so that you can help those kids grow up well. I wouldn’t give up.

      Step one is the 4 steps you’re doing. Step two is that third step, work on yourself, and to learn those skills you didn’t learn before now. First thing I’d do next is read the Map of Relationships. Absorb it. It kinda lets you know where you are with him and helps you make better choices.

      Good luck and keep a going.

  3. If he doesn’t contact you, is there a good way to reach out to him without pressuring him?

    This is actually why we broke up. He never asks me to spend time with him. He says he needs me to ask him. He was always incredibly loving and affectionate when we were together, but he waited for me to suggest we meet every time. This made me feel insecure and we fought about it more and more. Then we had a big fight about it and he dumped me and he hasn’t spoken to me in two weeks. We have been talking to each other every day for 3 years, usually long and intimate conversations, so this is very painful.

    I scared him with my anger and he’s mad at me for not understanding that he is afraid to ask. I sent him an apology text the day after he dumped me, but he still hasn’t replied. If he doesn’t want to be with me, I will accept that, but I have to at least try and reach out. I just don’t know how to do that in a way that makes him feel safe and not pressured.

    • Ouch, Melanie, I hear your pain. Three years of good chatting. Well I’ve heard lots of relationships take about that long to get into the heavy lifting stuff.

      I sometimes think it takes that long to find the leading edge of what you don’t know and what you need to know. Well, my website is all about what people need to know.

      Read on, and ask questions as you go. It’s all about learning – and the painful stuff that forces you to learn.

      • Thank you, Al. I will do that. I see what you did there – validating and empathizing with my pain. Thank you, I appreciate it and it comforted me.

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