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Any advice on how to deal with breaking up with someone when you are both still in love?

(44 Posts)
KellyElly Thu 03-Dec-15 14:03:54

After one broken marriage to a nice man who was just not right for me, we were way too young, and a horribly EA relationship that left me broken and a single parent I finally met an amazing man. So caring, kind, respectful, gentle and absolutely beautiful to top it off. He is Spanish and I have been friends with him since we met at work in 2012 and together for a year since he came back from Spain. We planned a life together but looking back I suppose it was always going to be difficult, but I guess you put those practicalities aside when you are so in love.

He has to go back home. He has a family business over there which will be his to take over in a few years and a property, so his life is there. His dad has been suffereing with some ill health and needs him there to help out in the business and start learning the ropes in order to take over possibly earlier than planned. His heart is also there. He wouldn't want to live here for years, it's not an option. He's always said he only wanted to stay here for a couple of years max.

I have a six year old in school here and her father will drag me through the courts even if further down the line I wanted to move to Spain, which to be honest I'm not sure I do. I guess as much as his place is there, mine is here. I wouldn't be able to learn the language to the standard I would need to do the kind of job I do here and also, it's a massive leap of faith to uproot my child from her life here and her school and her family and friends.

He is going back for Xmas and then coming back on 30th until the 4th January and we have discussed a long distance relationship, but we both feel that would only work if there's some kind of end in sight. I think I would try, but that's because I'm hurting so much at the thought of losing him that it's better than nothing, but know in my head it would only be prolonging the enevitable. We are trying to enjoy the time we have left but it's just so hard to live in the moment and make the most of the time when you know what is going to happen.

I know we'll stay friends and keep in touch, but the thought of saying goodbye and that being the end is killing me as we are still in love and nothing has happened, noone has done anything wrong, feelings haven't changed, it's just circumstances, and I don't know how to get over this. I don't know if we should cut contact for a while when he goes back or try to switch to being friends. I have no idea how to handle this or to get over the pain at all.

molyholy Thu 03-Dec-15 14:06:30

Ahhh OP, I have no advice, but just wanted to send flowers. Its sounds hard.

KellyElly Thu 03-Dec-15 14:11:43

Thank you molyholy smile. It is so hard. I'm feeling the pain physically. I feel sick when I think about him leaving.

OhJustGetOnWithIt Thu 03-Dec-15 14:12:13

If you're absolutely sure that love isn't going to be enough to conquer all those difficulties, I'd end it now. Personally, I wouldn't even see his after Christmas as that would be incredibly distressing - our last evening out, our last kiss etc etc. Better to think you've already had the 'lasts' and move on. I don't know how the pain could possibly stop if you stay in touch and what happens when one of you meets someone else?

Clean break now. Put the photos away. Clear the house of memories and allow yourself 15 minutes a day when you can have thoughts about him. The rest of the time, when the thoughts pop up, tell yourself you'll come back to them in your next 15 minute spot and actively think about something else.

thanks - horrible situation to be in.

NewLife4Me Thu 03-Dec-15 14:13:54

Oh my love, I'm so sorry. I know how hard it is especially as there is your child to think of too.
FWIW, me and dh had similar when we first started out, but not as extreme as your case.
We found we couldn't live apart and moved heaven and earth to be together, but it was only this country/ but separate ends grin and no children involved, so obviously a lot easier.

It is such a shame you can't manage to move to Spain it would solve all your plans.
Does an ex really have the power to stop you pursuing a relationship in another country? that's awful.
What is your job? Could you not work somewhere different until you'd learn enough of the language for your present job?

Killairno Thu 03-Dec-15 14:18:12

Oh Kelly, that sounds so hard. I think your reasoning - that long distance only works if there is an end in sight - is very sensible and thoroughly agree with that.

It must be horribly painful. Although this will sound horrendous to you, I think that to get over it, cutting off contact, at least for a while, is probably the best way to be able to move forward but I am pretty sure I would not take that advice in your shoes.

Killairno Thu 03-Dec-15 14:18:43

Oh, I like OhJustGetOnWithIt's plan, that makes sense.

KellyElly Thu 03-Dec-15 14:27:22

OhJustGetOnWithIt I would do that for sure if something bad had happened, but he really has changed my life. I was a mess after my ex and so bitter and certainly didn't love myself. I also used alcohol as a crutch to get me through bad times. This relationship has helped me to heal and become stronger and more confident and to feel love. He's such a special person to me that I want him in my life even if we can't be together as he is my friend too. It would be awful to just cut him out. I guess if either of us meet someone else that is a bridge we have to cross, but I would like to make the transition to a friendship even though I know it's foolish to try to do that immediately and that space to heal is needed.

NewLife4Me My ex has parental responsibility and has told me in no uncertain terms he's do this. I know someone in a similar situation and the costs of going through the courts are astronomical and I wouldn't get legal aid. It's a monetary thing as much as anything, or a lack of money should I say! I work as an executive assistant, so my language spoken and written would need to be spot on, as well as an understanding of business terminology. It's not impossible, but I'm not a natural with languages and my Spanish is pretty basic at the moment. Your story is lovely and I suppose there is a big part of me that is hoping it will be the same for us, that we will find a way, but then I think I'm just living in a fantasy world. I guess you never really know what the future holds.

KellyElly Thu 03-Dec-15 14:36:33

OhJustGetOnWithIt You might think I'm mad, but I also want to spend new year together as we have had such an amazing journey it only seems fitting to see in the new year together and celebrate a beautiful relationship rather than both sitting alone in our respective countries feeling like total shit. Maybe I'm a masochist!

sadwidow28 Thu 03-Dec-15 16:34:59

I wouldn't make the decision to break up yet. You haven't tried a long distance relationship and, who knows, it might work. We don't know what is around the corner for any of us. (I didn't know I would be widowed suddenly at age 46yrs old and would choose not to re-marry because my DH was the absolute love of my life.) It sounds like you have found the one you want to be with in the future.

There are cheap flights between UK and Spain; you can facetime/Skype for free; you can enroll in Spanish-for-business lessons; you can enrol your DD in Spanish lessons so she can enjoy holiday time in Spain; your ex may change his mind about keeping DD in the UK if he also creates a 'new family'.

Your heart is breaking because of the circumstances, but your heart doesn't have to break. It needs to adjust to a new set of circumstances that may not bring daily fulfillment, but will be enough to sustain the circumstances that you are both facing.

Who knows - you may naturally grow apart and the pain will be lessened. Or you will both become absolutely certain that you need to be together and will find a way to bring that about.

Don't see this as 'the end', see it as 'different circumstances' and go with the flow. Enjoy every minute you both have together. And most of all, keep talking about what the future MIGHT look like to make sure you are on the same page at all times.

Good luck flowers

KellyElly Thu 03-Dec-15 18:41:13

sadwidow thank you for your kind and hopeful words. That was such a lovely post. Maybe we do need to sit down and talk again. Even if the decision we come to is to be friends maybe when we are apart we will realise that a long distance relationship is better than losing what we have. It is doable if we are both on the same page and feeling positive about trying to make things work.

I am so sorry for you loss thanks

Duckdeamon Thu 03-Dec-15 19:49:44

You need to stay where you are because presumably your daughter has a relationship with her father to maintain.

If your boyfriend valued your relationship enough he could choose to remain in the UK and not take on the family business. People often move jobs and locations for love. It's sad but fair enough that although he loves you he has prioritised his preferred location/business to live and work in.

NewLife4Me Thu 03-Dec-15 19:57:29

I really hope it works out for you and I really do know how you feel.
It's the unfairness of it all.
The heartache and feeling sick and dreading that moment coming.
I feel for you, I really do. thanks

Handywoman Thu 03-Dec-15 20:15:44

Oh OP it sounds very tough, but you come across as grounded and strong. Life is crap sometimes.

No advice but thanks for you.

KellyElly Thu 03-Dec-15 21:13:12

duckdemon no my DD doesn't have a relationship with her dad, she sees him once every couple of months if that. He can't come near me as he has a harassment order against him. My main concern with DD is her schooling and also uprooting her and things not working out further down the line and having to move back which would be very unsettling for her. I would need to be very sure of our future together and have some kind of commitment before uprooting to Spain is my thinking behind it. He would also take me to court and lose, but I don't have thousands to spend for the court to agree for us to move, which in out circumstances they undoubtably would.

KellyElly Thu 03-Dec-15 21:32:32

Thank you handywoman and newlife* smile

tb Thu 03-Dec-15 22:24:46

OP we moved to France 9 years ago when dd was just 9. She knew about 10 words of French, if that. After 3 months she was talking in her sleep in French, and 18 months later her French was miles ahead of mine. She's just 18 and has lost some of her English.

As for not managing to acquire the language, I think you will be able to. I've just acquired a Bac+2 qualification in payroll and French employment law/HR in 6 months - and I'm well over 50.

As for your x - stuff him! flowers

ThisOldFool Fri 04-Dec-15 08:39:07

Say nothing, just take DD and go to Spain. if you love this man and he loves you, that's where you belong. None of us know, for certain, what's round the corner. Grab what you know, now. Cross bridges when you get to them. You'll be strong enough to deal with whatever life throws at you. You've more than survived to date, found someone to love you - what more do you need.
GO FOR IT! A happy Christmas and a new life beckons. Good luck

KellyElly Fri 04-Dec-15 10:55:45

Thank you thisoldfool and tb. This thread has been really good and certainly given me a lot to think about.
I'm going to have a really honest talk with my partner on Saturday evening. I'm off work today, so have lots of time to think things through.

We3KingyOfOblomovAre Fri 04-Dec-15 11:19:42

See I'd be considering going to Spain. And if I didn't like it, the relationship didn't work out, we could come back. I know it would be hard on dd, and her dad, but people manage.

nagsandovalballs Fri 04-Dec-15 11:22:04

We have an apartment in the hills of southern Spain. We get flights for about £29.99. That's less than it costs me to go to Scotland! You could just go every holiday, for 4-6 weeks, with your partner coming and visiting once or twice each term.

Heck, I know a bloke who works in the city (London) who commutes from Barcelona every day 4 days per week! He lives in barca and works a condensed week. I thought he lived in London for those 4 days but nope, he actually gets a 6am flight in the am and flies home at 6.30pm! Terrible for the environment but just shows what can be done.

We3KingyOfOblomovAre Fri 04-Dec-15 11:28:00

Please don't give up on this. Love can conquer an awful lot. Children are do adaptable. Yes she'd struggle at first, but before long, she'd be away.
Sometimes in life, something seems really big. Move to Spain? You nutter. But look at what others manage/ achieve. People move, for jobs, all the time.
Is this such a huge deal? Once broken down into bits and stages, sometimes it turns out to be not that big.

And what's the ABSOLUTE worst that could happen? Doesn't work out and you need to return to the told-you-so's? So what!!

KellyElly Fri 04-Dec-15 13:23:37

Thank you so much for all your comments. Maybe I am overthinking things as I've been hurt so badly in the past that I'm worried to take that leap of faith and also so worried about unsettling DD. She was very young when me and her dad split but I had years of controlling behaviour and EA after the split and she saw too much. I just need to know we are both on the same page and invested in the relationship at the same level before I can make that move. So maybe for a year or so a distance relationship is the way forward and revisit things in a year and if things are
going well start to make a plan.

BoboChic Fri 04-Dec-15 13:35:44

As others have said, OP, there really is no need to give up on this relationship. Spain isn't far so you'll be able to visit your DP often and find out more about life where he is from and what you might be able to do work wise in Spain. Take time to formulate a sensible, workable plan. Your DD is still little enough to learn Spanish easily. There are lots of bilingual private schools in Spain that are desperate to recruit native English DC to enrich their student body!

KellyElly Fri 04-Dec-15 17:08:02

Really bobochick? Can you get subsidised places like in the UK or do they cost a bomb??

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