Susie in Ireland writes:
We were together for 4 years, I always thought we were soulmates from day 1 even though we had lots of crazy ups and downs. We broke up and after nearly 4 years of not even seeing each other, he called me 6 months ago. I had not met anyone special and he was always in my heart. We met again and shared everything that happened in our lives since. He broke down to me, that he had always loved me and I said the same. I always knew he had issues but never imagined how serious until he shared it all. He said I was the only person he could tell. He is quite damaged and he does realise he needs help. After a few weeks of crying, laughing, talking etc., we decided to give us another go. Though I had suffered with depression in the past, we thought with our love and my support in his healing, we could work things out. He works overseas in off-beat locations and after a great holiday together 6 weeks ago, things seemed to be progressing.
But then he seemed distant 2 weeks ago and because of the holiday I lost sight a bit of the bigger issues. I asked for more texts, calls, attention and I think I prodded and poked too much. All he keeps saying by text is, “I’m sorry for hurting you,” and that his head is messed up. I more or less guessed he wanted to end it. Any questions I asked went unanswered and I ended up angry with him. I am concerned for him and really hope he gets his life sorted out as I love him so much, but being human I am hurt also by his change of heart.
I thought that the fact he showed up again meant we were being given a second chance. Now he is gone again. We shared so much that we hadn’t before, I thought that maybe we were two souls who could heal together and grow spiritually. I know sometimes I have used a tough love attitude without realising. Are we just not meant to share our lives or did I push too hard? He did say one thing that I found weird “You were never truly happy with me.” He didn’t elaborate when I told him it wasn’t true etc. Is this the crux of the whole thing? Does he think he is doing me a favor by ending things and pretending it’s what “he” wants?
Your boyfriend does have a lot of things to work out, and that is a big part of the problem. As he struggles with himself, his personal dramas spill out into the way he interacts with you. So, even though there are challenges ahead for him, for you and for this relationship — it’s not over.
This man of yours needs time, and he would greatly benefit from getting some help. Even though he can admit he needs a bit of therapy, he hasn’t yet begun seriously putting effort in that direction. To him, it’s a bit more complicated than just simply finding someone to work with. He’ll get there, though.
Don’t blame yourself for your “tough love” attitude. Sometimes, it is warranted. He understands that. His belief that you were never happy with him comes from a deeper place. He believes that you can do better, deserve better, and want more from him than he believes he can provide. His self esteem issues color his opinions. He thinks that you are looking for perfection, and that you see him as flawed.
His withdrawal is more out of fear of hurting you and being hurt than it is about him not wanting to be with you. He just doesn’t feel good enough about himself, or anything really, to be involved in a more serious relationship. Things were moving a bit too fast for him, and along with all his other stresses, it became overwhelming.
Give him a little time to work through his stuff, and he will find his way back to you once again. It’s okay if you drop him a line or two periodically, just to let him know that you are still thinking of him. As long as you keep your messages light, he will respond before the end of the year. When you two reconnect, I see you talking about taking things slow. So, even though being in an undefined relationship can be challenging, the lack of definition removes the sense of expectation and obligation, and gives both of you room to grow.
As your man works through his issues, he will grow stronger as a person, and a partner. Even though your relationship with him is a cycle of broken patterns, it is a relationship that will eventually come together. The love that you two have for one another is real, and even with all of the ups and downs, it is a love that will endure. Soulmate relationships are seldom easy, but that is part of what makes them so strong.