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General Dating Questions/Broke up with my boyfriend, but feel like it was a mistake

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QUESTION: Hi Dennis,  I would really appreciate your help because i'm so distraught at the moment,

I was with my boyfriend for 2 years, but in total we've known each other for 5 years.

He and I have differences, he likes to sleep in, I like to get up early. He loves sports and I dont, he's religious and I'm not. But despite this differences for some reason we managed to get along 98% of the time for the last 2 years. We learnt to accept the differences and not see them as bad things but ways to learn more about the world.

The only troubles we ever had were the times he would go backwards towards the depression he'd had in the past. He would be angry, aggressive and binge eat/drink himself into a mess.

This persona he had scared me. He never physically or emotionally abused me in anyway. He stayed well away from me if he was feeling lke that.  

But just a few days ago when he was back home for Christmas I called him just to have our daily chat. He was clearly drunk, slurring his speech, swearing his head off, saying very vile things. I couldn't believe this guy i was talking to was my boyfriend. I hung up immeditaley. But it was Christmas and I just didn't know what to do.

Unfortunately I called the next day and I let loose... I told him i thought he was a jerk and that he wasn't the man i thought he was. I can't even remember half the stuff I said but it was pretty awful and mean. The next thing I know i was telling him it wasn't going to work out. It felt like an out of body experience. I never get angry or upset. I'm very gentle and kind.

He started crying over the phone. He told me I deserve to be free and meet someone new. He told me all the traits of a guy i would meet who would sweep me off my feet. He said he was so sad because I hated him, but he deserves it because he hates himself.

I DONT hate him at all. I wish i could take back that awful conversation. I love him to pieces and was so looking forward to the future with him. I was set that he was the one for me. We were going to have a good 2013 and work on bettering ourselves individually and as a couple.

I emailed him with the reasons why i LOVE him, not hate him. He's still back home so I don't want to call because he's surrounded by people who are very nosey and will most likely butt in with their 2 cents worth.

I want him back as my boyfriend but he was so set that we're over and I need to find someone new.  What on earth do I do? I don't want to play games like 'give him the cold shoulder for a month' etc. I just want to tell it like it is. Is that a bad thing to just come out and just talk? He's so down on himself and I know he sees himself as unworthy, so I feel like i have to approach him.

Please help me understand what to do Dennis. Everything I see in the future is with him..

ANSWER: Hello Rachel!

First of all, having differences like these is no big deal - as long as you respect the choices of the other person. The time when it becomes a problem is when you lose respect for them - and the other person at the same time.

No! You absolutely must NOT play any games like that with him! If you do, you will absolutely lose him - likely forever. That's lousy advice and I have no idea where you got it, but don't do it.

The old saying, "Behind every good man is a good woman" is absolutely true. Us guys look for the women that have our backs; that believe in us even when sometimes we don't believe in ourselves. We look for the girl that understands our up's and down's and sees past them.

You haven't told me how long it's going to be back home or how far away that is. If he's coming back soon (and I hope he is for your sake) you need to go to him and put things right. You can't let him fall into this state and be ready to bolt on him. If you do that, you'll never "have his back" - or at least, he'll never believe that you do.

Don't wait on this. Don't negotiate with him either. For instance, don't call him up and ask if you can come over to talk. Just go do it instead. He's vulnerable right now and he's not going to expose himself yet again for more abuse.

When you see him, be that kind, loving girl he knows you are. Apologize for what you said. Don't make excuses like "Well, but YOU said..." or "It's not MY fault because..." just accept responsibility for your actions (not for his) and let him do the same for his (not for yours) - without judgment.

Then, explain that you feel badly you weren't there for him but that you're there now. See if he's willing to talk about it. Where did it come from? What happened? What was he thinking/feeling? How will you know if it's about to happen again and what does he need from you if it does?

If he is willing to talk be the supportive, understanding, caring beauty you can be. If he's not be the supportive, understanding, caring beauty anyway.

Then, move on together. This wasn't the end of the road at all. It's a bump. Look down that long road to the next year and figure out how you're going to work together - as the team you want to be - if or when this happens again.

Best regards...

Dr. Dennis W. Neder
CEO/Executive Producer
~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.
BAM! Productions
Remington Publications
818.334.8826
http://beingaman.com
Producers: "BAM! TV" and “Love and Sex”
Publishers: "Being a Man in a Woman's World I, II & III”


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Oh dear Dennis.. I called him to find out when he was coming back to town (i know he has work in 2 days but he may come back sooner).  It rang out but he texted back to say he really can't talk or see me at the moment.

I wish I could just talk to him.. I feel like any time we've had a fight before and he's made the first move to communicate I've always answered him. I never ignored him or told him to leave me alone, i was really just glad to hear his voice again. But I can't believe he doesn't even want to talk to me or check that i'm ok.

I'm so tempted to pop over to his house tomorrow and if he's home talk to him as you suggested. The only problem is that he lives in a unit complex that you can't get into unless buzzed in so it may backfire.

Gosh, i really feel like this may be over and I still can't even remember half the stuff i yelled at him about. Any furthur suggestions that won't seem stalkerish?

ANSWER: Hello again Rachel!

I'm not surprised he acted this way. He was down - way down - and you kicked him even further.

Yes, I think you need to go over there and hang out a few minutes to see if someone comes in or goes out of the complex. Then, you can walk right in. If; after a few minutes, nobody is coming or going, you might just have to buzz him to let you in.

You absolutely do NOT want to hold any of this conversation via phone, email or text. It needs to be in person. Again, take responsibility for what you remember you did, accept responsibility for not being there when he needed you and tell him how you see moving past all of this.

Stalkerish? Come on here Rachel. Who cares how it looks? This isn't exactly the time to be posturing. You need to work this out and if something you do seems more aggressive I think that's a good thing.

Best regards...

Dr. Dennis W. Neder
CEO/Executive Producer
~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.
BAM! Productions
Remington Publications
818.334.8826
http://beingaman.com
Producers: "BAM! TV" and “Love and Sex”
Publishers: "Being a Man in a Woman's World I, II & III”


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hi Dennis,

Some recent developments in my attempt to win back my boyfriend (still can't even bring myself to say the word Ex):

- I went over to his house as planned and he suprisingly let me in straight away and said he was going to see me later in the day anyway to check in. I apologised profuslely about my behaviour towards him and told him it was very uncalled for and undeserved. I told him how much i loved him and would love to be there to support him, to experience the ups and downs of life with him.

- He held my hand and eventually pulled me to sit on his lap as he responded with why he thinks the break up is necessary.  He has been over and over the various things in his life he feels lost on including his career. He wants to investigate career moves that HE wants because they will make him happy. He does not want to be influenced by anyone - family, friends or partner into this decision as everyones input so far has only made the situation more confusing.

- He said the breakup was only fair to me as he does not know what the future holds for him.  I'm so settled in my career and future plans and he does not want to hold me back.

We left things be at this point because i could see all this talk was stressing him out. The last thing i want is to push him away completely. So i mentioned i have a few things planned for the next few days, so to enjoy being back home with friends, relax and we'll talk later.

Some things to note apart from him sitting me on his lap were - he said he's struggling to decide whether 'this' is what he really wants (i asked what 'this' was, he said 'the breakup').
- He called me 'babe' during this conversation which he had abruptly stopped doing during that fight/breakup when he kept calling me Rachel. He's only ever called me babe for the last 2 years so it was very obvious he was pulling away during the fight by calling me Rachel.
- On the way out we had a long hug which included him twice reaching for a slap on the bum - he refused to even touch me during the break up. (Don't know if any of these things mean anything, but thought i'd mention them in case they shed any light).

Dennis, what is my next move? He mentioned he was really appreciative of the apology. But i just feel like this is out of my hands now? That he really does need to work through this mess of a worklife and sort himself out on his own terms. But how do i show him i would love to be there when he comes out of this mess? That i will do anything to have him back with me?

(Thank you SO much for your input Dennis. I truly appreciate your help and i've let that be known in your feedback).

Answer
Hey Rachel!

You've made the overture and left things in his hands. At this point you should start moving on with your life and see if he gets his head together over the next week or two.

I hope he's not just trying to punish you with this. He may sincerely need to have his own direction at this point. Having the comfort of a solid, loving relationship seems like it'd be far more a benefit than a hindrance but it's obviously up to him.

I'd say you give him a week. If he contacts you just the check in I suggest you ask him not too until he's made a decision. Explain that you've done your part and are moving on. If he can't come to some decision here it's not your fault, it's his. When he has a decision, you're ready to listen but you're not going to wait.

Best regards...

Dr. Dennis W. Neder
CEO/Executive Producer
~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.
BAM! Productions
Remington Publications
818.334.8826
http://beingaman.com
Producers: "BAM! TV" and “Love and Sex”
Publishers: "Being a Man in a Woman's World I, II & III”

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Dr. Dennis W. Neder

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I'm able to answer any sort of question related to the approach, meeting people, dating, sex, relationships, break-ups, non-legal marriage and divorce questions, and anything in between. I've helped over 30,000 people with their individual issues. IMPORTANT: Please, PLEASE don't ask me, "what was he thinking..." or "why did he say..." types of questions! I DO NOT READ MINDS! There are 1,001 reasons why someone does what they do, says what they say or thinks what they think. If you *REALLY* want to know what they were thinking, saying or why they were acting that way - go ask them! Be sure to check out my FAQ's on my website at: http://beingaman.com. You can email me directly at: dwneder@beingaman.com.

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I am the author of the books "Being a Man in a Woman`s World I & II" and "1001 Places and Techniques to Meet Great Women" and 11 others. I`ve spent the last 20 years studying the art and science of every aspect of relationships, and have answered over 30,000 letters from readers all over the world. My main focus is men`s relationships with women, but I also have many female readers and answer questions for them regularly as well.

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Doctor of Philosophy

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