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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » Relationship update: break up make up?

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Author Topic: Relationship update: break up make up?
Shelmerdine
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Member # 109796

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Hullo Scarleteen buddies,

Back in March, I posted this question on the board, and received some great help re: improving communication in my relationship.

I'm checking back in with an update and hoping for more of your rad advice. ^^

TLDR: I decided to break up with my partner on Friday (it's now Sunday), and I'm regretting my decision. For more background info, see the link above.

My partner was away for nearly two weeks in April. I used that time to think about our relationship and, once he returned, I broke it off. We've been friends for seven years and partners for over three.

I've been giving him space since then, and giving myself time to think more. He asked and asked for another chance for us to work through our problems.

Over this weekend I've drawn up a two-page pros & cons list for myself. There's a bucket of cons, but I struggle to let those outweigh how much love and support we've given each other over the years.

Now that he understands how serious I am, perhaps it's fair to return and open a dialogue about how we could go forward. I don't expect to turn up on his doorstep and have a Hollywood moment. There'd be a great deal of hard work to do, but with space and time perhaps we can come up with a plan (I have my half of the plan here) and find a way to make it work.

Or perhaps I'm kidding myself and there's nothing to salvage, and I'd only hurt him more by dredging it up. I know love can't conquer everything. But perhaps between the two of us and a relationship counsellor we could come up with something. I don't want to lose him in my life.

Thank you for your help,

Shelmerdine

[ 04-20-2014, 03:12 AM: Message edited by: Shelmerdine ]

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Molias
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I honestly think that even if a couple eventually gets back together again after a breakup, it's often going to work out better if there's some space in between where both people can take time to really think about what they want from the relationship, see how it feels to not be dating the other person. etc. Having a significant chunk of time pass before starting things up again can make it a lot easier to sit down and talk about what did and didn't work before, and how you want to approach things differently the next time around.

If you want to give him another chance to work things out, great! But I think that saying "hey, let's do our own thing until [x set time a few months from now] and see how we feel then" might be a good idea. YOU had good reasons for ending things. It might help for you to be in that space for a bit and see how it feels vs. being in the relationship.

This article has some good content about managing staying friends after a breakup or getting back together again that might be worth a read-through and a good pondering: Getting Through a Breakup Without Actually Breaking

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Shelmerdine
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Thanks for your thoughts and suggestions, Molias. Good advice.

It's been a week and, with great effort, I've managed not to contact him. But at some point soon I'd like to reach out to at least broach a conversation about what went wrong and whether we could repair it.

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Redskies
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Hi, Shelmerdine.

I do understand the feeling of wanting to talk and try to sort things out, and how hard this must feel. I'm not sure if having a conversation like that would really help either of you, at least in the near future, though.

I realise there may be other things you haven't written about. From what you wrote, though, the basics of what went wrong seem pretty clear. Your description of him is of someone with mental health difficulties that affect his daily life, and which he is currently unwilling or unable to face. Some level of clean and safe environment, and possibilities for communication, are pretty basic needs for anyone, so I think anyone in your position would be finding it tough. As it steps on your own anxieties, it seems clear that his current life situation is in direct conflict with some of your basic needs. You can't change your needs, and he is unwilling or unable to change his situation.

That's always very sad and painful when it happens between people who care about each other and who get on well otherwise, but it does happen.

It sounds like you're already the one who's tried to adjust to his situation and who's tried to find ways to resolve the conflict, and who's hung on for quite a long time while you're unhappy and stressed. I'd be concerned that any attempt the two of you might make at this point to resolve things would be likely to involve you continuing to compromise on your needs without getting a similar commitment back.

It's obvious he's ended up in quite a hole at the moment. Getting out takes time, and a big commitment to doing it for its own sake and not someone else's. I'm not sure how likely it would be for someone to follow through on this after months of being very resistant to it. When he was asking for another chance, did he address or bring up the things he would need to do to meet your needs? Has he taken any steps to manage any of the parts of his situation that are hard for you? If not, I think it's unlikely he would start doing those things if you both tried again, and he's demonstrated no change from his previous position. You have your half of the plan, but he would need to do his stuff too, and that's clearly been the part that's missing so far.

It's mostly not a good idea to go back to a relationship in anticipation of change. If something hasn't changed for a long time, there's a reason; until that reason is truly dealt with, there's not really an expectation of change.

--------------------
The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

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Shelmerdine
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Thank you for your post, Redskies. [Smile]

I guess the trouble is that, having not spoken with him since, I don't know if he'd like to talk about making changes on his end. I know he won't contact me; he'll be waiting to hear from me.

So I don't mean that I'd automatically go back to the relationship in anticipation of change; I'd want to talk about how to resolve/what needs resolving, and find out whether there's anything to salvage.

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Karybu
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The only way you're going to find out if he's open to talking about making changes is to ask (obviously). And I don't think it would hurt to contact him to see if he's willing to sit down and discuss it.

--------------------
"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." -Arundhati Roy

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Shelmerdine
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Indeed. And that's what I did today, after making sure I gave it enough time to know what I want and what I'd want to say.

He's not ready to see me yet but is open to it after more time has passed.

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