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Break up during lockdown - feeling alone

(18 Posts)
riderwaitedeck Wed 01-Apr-20 03:59:32

It's 3.30am and I feel alone, lost and couldn't sleep and thought maybe someone could given me explanations, advice or a pep talk as I feel like I'm not losing the plot.

I've been in an LTR for two years. It's a relationship that has made me very happy, but has also been problematic since quite early on. He has some intimacy issues, and over time there's been a lot of normal, every day things most people probably take for granted that he's been completely unwilling to give to me.

It would be easier to walk away if the relationship wasn't so great in other ways. We're best friends, he's reliable like clockwork, we have great sex, he's very kind to me and everyone, he is affectionate and is always touching me, he's always trying to help me and do things for me without being asked, we laugh all the time, he plans great dates and things to do, he looks after me when I need it, he supports me in everything, he says he wants to spend the rest of his life with me, he makes an effort with my friends and family and being with him just feels right like I am with the right person.

Examples of what the problems have been: He has to keep an absolute firm line between me and his family (he's with mine every week, his don't even know I exist!), he won't add me on social media (seriously, after two years!), he makes life choices that make intimacy difficult (eg: taking jobs a distance away or obsessive hobbies), he changes the subject if I bring up marriage (but if pushes says he will marry me if required), he has never said "I love you".

We both have teenage kids, so the biological clock isn't an issue but at the same time I am early 40s and really do want to get married, which might sound like I am being a total saddo, but I want to get married and he's always known that.

In the first six months of dating, I got red flags over some of this stuff and went to see a therapist for advice. She said it was obvious he loved me from his actions, so why did I need to hear it? And I felt silly and decided to try not to obsess over the things he wasn't comfortable with. But so much time has passed now, and I expected he'd feel safe with me after enough time and things would get better but they haven't.

If I ask him why he won't tell his family about me, he says he has a weird relationship with them. If I ask him why he won't add me on social media he says he doesn't really use it for anything other than following work groups. If I tell him I love him, he kisses the top of my head and tells me I'm his favourite person. If tell him how much it hurts me when he won't talk about marriage and the future, he says he has some issues and will have to "get over them" because he wants to spend the rest of his life with me.

We have split up probably 5 times over this, and each time I say I have had enough and need him to stop placing these ridiculous limits on our lives together because they are hurting me, and he is devastated each time and promises it will change and then 4 or 5 months later we are right back where we began arguing about the same thing. All he ever does is says he is so sorry for making me feel bad. Nothing ever changes.

A few months ago, he took a work posting a long way from home with the idea being it was temporary, good for his career, great financially and he'd be home for weekends. It then changed to him being home monthly due to weekend shifts. I supported him, but told him if he wanted me to stay committed to the relationship then he had to introduce me to his family.

He promised he would.

He didn't.

I know I have myself only to blame for not walking away, but I felt like a bit more patience would pay off.

It didn't.

He doesn't seem to even like this job but he immerses himself in his life there by taking up every possible hobby you can think of. He's in a cricket club, he plays golf, he's joined community action groups and so on. It's like trying to get 5 minutes with him is like being granted audience with the Pope. He's always exhausted, and at times I feel immensely lonely.

He's like clockwork with messages he doesn't make a lot of time for romance or to make me feel actually connected emotionally. His idea of a long-distance date night is him showing up exhausted from a run and having to dash somewhere ten minutes later. He does call and text for hours and hours and he's filled his flat up there with photos of me and I know for sure he'd never be interested in anyone else, but it still feels like I am only getting crumbs emotionally and there is this wall up that I can never penetrate.

Over time, I have become very unhappy. I have tried to talk ti him about it so many times, and he always promises me he will make these small changes I am talking about (eg: a weekly date night) but it never materialises.

When the virus came, I asked him to come home before lockdown. He insisted he had to stay where he is as he was needed (he's a key worker involved heavily in the planning for coronovirus) and so I understood, but now it means obviously we can't see each other at all for possibly months. He's working insane hours and we have barely spoken for weeks.

During that time, like everyone else I have been through all the fears and difficulties of all this and on top of that been very ill - we think with corona - and was obviously as worried and isolated as everyone else. I really needed him, and he wasn't there. I don't mean physically, I mean it's like he just distanced himself from me when I needed him the most.

The last straw was on Mother's day. We had a family zoom meeting and all my siblings showed up with their husbands and wives and mine apparently "forgot". I understand he has work stress but while every other person is pulling in closer to their loved ones, he pulls further away.

After 9 days spend coughing up a lung with a fever, he'd not even called me. Not once in all that time. And I'd had enough, so I broke it off with him with a long, ranty text message about how I couldn't live with it all anymore. I was upset, and felt just totally abandoned. To be honest I was quite scared I was going to die and he wasn't even available to talk to me much less tell me he loved me.

He barely even replied to be dumping him, other than to say "okay" and to apologise for not being the person I needed. Since then he's texted to check in every day to see if I was better but that's it. After all this time, he has seemingly picked a global pandemic, lockdown when I am ill and at my complete lowest to finally admit he's never going to introduce me to his family, or tell me he loves me or add me on FB.

His only reason is, he is "broken".

Like I said, I don't want to feel sorry for myself when I know people are in truly dire circumstances right now, but I just feel so confused over why now, when everyone else is really treasuring their loved ones, that mine decided to act like he couldn't care less. And possibly it's messing with my head because after so long of being sad, lonely and confused I am now facing lockdown feeling like everything's all fallen apart at once.

I think for all this time of him being unable to say he loved me or propose to me or introduce me to his kids I always thought "ah yes, but he really DOES love you and if the chips were down he would be there". And he wasn't. My sister tells me he just can't love me the way I need to be loved. I know that's true, but I don't know why I feel as badly as I do.

I look around me and see everyone together with their loved ones and leaning on each other for support and feel so utterly alone.

OP’s posts: |
Franwith2and1 Wed 01-Apr-20 04:11:43

Sorry we are both up at this hour!

Reading your post it strikes me he is single and likes it that way. I think it’s a commitment issue rather than intimacy. I couldn’t be in a relationship where somewhere can’t say they love me 2 years in. It also sounds like he is using this lockdown to pull right away as he’s made no effort at all. I would ignore his daily pathetic messages and shut him down now. He’s a messer. The sort who makes an effort when you finally get fed up just to pull you back in again. People don’t change unfortunately and he’s never going to get married.
You are well rid
Now get better because if you have got this virus then shame on him for not bothering.
He’s an arse!

Timmytoo Wed 01-Apr-20 04:12:58

Hi Rider I'm so sorry to hear this. It must be so stressful especially under these circumstances.

It really sounds like he is married. That would be the reason for keeping you a secret and only spending 10 minutes with you instead of more. It also explains why he couldn't see you on mothers day.

Just speculating here, but I honestly think that could be the most plausible reason for his behavior.

IndieTara Wed 01-Apr-20 04:20:14

I thought it sounded like he was married or already in a relationship too

CCID Wed 01-Apr-20 04:20:19

I'm so sorry you are going through this but I 100% think you have made the right decision.

It seems like he has had his own way for a very long time, being there when he wants to be, then disappearing when he wants to. He doesnt have the right to just drop you and pick you up whenever he feels like.

I know it's easy to look at the good things he does and excuse the bad (I've done it myself) but when the bad starts out weighing the good it's time to leave.

Him saying hes 'broken' is a massive cop out and implies that there is nothing he can do to change his behaviour, but that's not true.

I would ask him to stop texting you, you need a clean break and I know it will be hard being on your own but trust me when I tell you that staying in a relationship hoping things will change is harder because you will look back and think of the years you wasted when you knew you weren't happy.

Spend time with family and call your friends, surround yourself with people who love you and you will get through this.


Cwenthryth Wed 01-Apr-20 04:40:10

Apologies in advance if some of this sounds blunt and harsh, it’s meant with kindness. Don’t waste your time armchair analysing him, trying to work what his issues are or how/whether he is ‘broken’, fabricating excuses for him being a shit partner - it is just not your problem. But from what you’ve said he hasn’t ‘chosen now’ to act like he couldn’t care less. It sounds like he’s never cared that much, just the current situation has made it more difficult to gloss over. Your therapist was an idiot, btw, who minimised your feelings. Six months in and seeking therapy about a relationship should have been reason enough to end it. There are massive red flags here, honestly it sounds like you may have been an affair or something. You’re not best friends - you’re (ex)lovers who frequently argued and broke up, he won’t publicly admit to your relationship and pays lip service to your needs. Bin him, there’s nothing here worth salvaging.

Block his number - you don’t need to do any further final messages or telling him you are doing that or anything - just block, disengage, and make a clean break of it. Concentrate on yourself & your children. Take control - you can’t change him, you can’t make him do anything, you can only change your response and reclaim your own life.

So sorry that you’ve been through this - but you’re never going to be able to find the relationship you want whilst you waste time with this loser. Look on the up side. There’ll be a LOT more single people once we’re all allowed back out to play again when this has all calmed down. Everyone stuck in bad relationships are realising it now there’s no hiding from it. Perhaps your future husband is also about to break up with his current incompatible partner, and then when you meet him in a year or so’s time you’ll both be in a much better position to have a proper relationship :-)

LorenzoStDubois Wed 01-Apr-20 04:47:37

Sounds like he's married.
Very much so.

Neveranynamesleft Wed 01-Apr-20 04:53:42

I would have gotten the ick with this guy ages ago. As someone said earlier, please don't take this harshly but I feel like I want to give you a shake and say ' wake up ' . So many red flags but you are obviously smitten so cannot see what is obvious to many others , he is a player with secrets. You are better off without this loser and worth so much much more. In time you will realise this. Sorry if this comes across as hard but you posted on here for help and advice and that's mine.

SmokedGlass Wed 01-Apr-20 05:07:01

I’m sorry he can’t be the man you want him to be, but all the signs are there, he’s married and has led you on

riderwaitedeck Wed 01-Apr-20 05:21:07

Thanks everybody for the responses. It's important to say though that he's definitely not married. He was here with me for over a year before he moved job. Never not with me or on the phone to me. I've been to his work / flat etc. and he's most definitely not married. If he's seeing someone else, then it would have started recently since he moved. I honesty don't think he's seeing someone else at all, although I understand it would appear that way as the behaviour is so crazy making. It would be a lot easier if he was to be honest sad

OP’s posts: |
LemonSock Wed 01-Apr-20 05:28:10

What @Cwenthryth said.

Also, OP, I have a friend your post reminded me of — I tell you as a cautionary tale to make you congratulate yourself on leaving him. My friend had been in a LTR for eight years, reluctant to make any commitment or even changes in his routine, and eventually his girlfriend cracked and proposed because she knew he wouldn’t . For some reason (guilt, weakness, passivity?) he said yes, but then refused to live with her until after the wedding, citing his parents — who lived in another country! At this point, he’s verging on 40.

They marry, start ttc, have IVF and eventually two children, he starts to more or less live at work and lives in his study at home at weekends, while his wife does all childcare and housework while also working FT. He doesn’t need to — he’s just an ineffective worker. He simply doesn’t engage in family life at all — he never takes the children out of the house, spends the time he’s downstairs gaming or watching tv. After 15 years, he tells her he no longer wants to be married, and leaves. This was last autumn. He’s supposed to have the children 50/50 but has never yet had them overnight.

The fact is, he just prefers sitting gaming in his pants to literally anything else in the world, and he’s caused huge misery by flirting with doing anything else. You’re well out of it, OP.

LemonSock Wed 01-Apr-20 05:35:05

Sorry, LDR!

Sparticuscaticus Wed 01-Apr-20 05:48:18


You made your decision, following great angst, so block him on your mobile and from your life. Stop giving him more thought in one day than he gives you for months on end.

He really doesn't care about you at all. He's not broken, he's a self centred arsehole, who gives you attention when you are in front of him, but "out of sight out of mind" to him.

You were ill in a pandemic that kills people and he wasn't bothered? He didn't contact and comfort you? That's not love. It wasn't even inconvenient for him to call you (or to send you things before lockdown started) He just prefers his hobbies or whatever takes his fancy at that time. He throws you a bone only when you're leaving. He can't keep his word to even introduce you to his family. AFTER TWO YEARS!!!

The first two years should be wonderful honeymoon period type stuff.. It shouldn't make you feel like shit half the time.

Life & the future would never be fun nor safe with him, it'd be a whole heap of miserable endless moments vying for him to remember you or anything important once he's walked out of the door. He does how he pleases, how dare you get out of your box that he last saw you/left you in, "you're a toy not a real boy"!

You are well rid.

Cwenthryth Wed 01-Apr-20 05:51:05

It's important to say though that he's definitely not married.

Two things lovely

1 - people can be horrendously manipulative, capable of keeping whopping secrets and lead double lives - sadly I don’t think you can say anything for definite, there’s clearly a lot of his life you are not part of. Sorry.

2 - actually, it’s not important to say this at all. You don’t have to defend him, so stop it. It doesn’t matter to you any more. He’s not your problem. Whether he is married/a bigamist/your relationship was an affair is no longer your problem. The important thing to do now is not to defend him against allegations of adultery on an anonymous forum. The important thing is to cut him out of your life and focus on you. You deserve so much better, you owe him nothing.

Bexster0602 Sat 11-Apr-20 16:25:26

This is my first ever post and I just wanted to write as I have been where you are and with someone for a very long time who can’t commingled. He couldnt tell me he loved me and/or Make any plans for the future. With regards to lockdown he said he hadn’t realised it was coming ! Being with someone like that Can be very painful at times and a confusing situation. not knowing the reason for this behaviour when everything else seems so good etc... I have been reading about what psychologists call the 4 attachment styles in relationships. It seems my bf has a strong dismissive avoidant attachment. It sounds very similar to your scenario. Unfortunately He won’t change. Not unless he acknowledges this is a problem and does a lot of hard work and perhaps therapy. You are caught up in the cycle and may have anxiety attachment where you keep going back in the hope to fix him but you won’t be able to. Due to this I made the tough decision during lockdown to end it. However I think it’s also a bit of a blessing as having time to think and take care of yourself will be a very good thing. Hope it works out for you, you need to look after number 1 xxx

LolaGeorgia Wed 22-Apr-20 16:46:15

Hi Rider, I cant begin to tell you how similar this sounds to my story. we have been dating for 10 months, and he is never open to talk about it in public, or make any type of long term plans.
when I hinted or mentioned any such plans , or even thoughts of it, he immediately changed topic. it almost felt like he is allergic to it. Overtime he developed new strategies of dealing with it - " oh you bring this up again", other distraction methods, fighting about a issue from months earlier etc. bottomline is he did everything to skip the point. we broke up quite few times in the last few months, i should have understood that its a red flag. i broke up everytime he started acting this way, but then he will do something and swipe me off my feet..and i would fall for him again. but last few weeks, i put an ultimatum..and he just said - He is broken and cannot commit...apparently he loves me but cannot say "I love you". His therapist has also told him not to be in any relationship.

I dont know how much of it all is true and how much is made up. But one thing i can tell you is that he was an amazing boyfriend rest of the time. its always the topic of commitment that threw him off. only other red flag was he was hugely jealous...he got pissed when i got afoot massage from a male therapist!!!....but in all else he was really nice....we live in two different continents. He is in California and I live in Asia. We recently met for a 2 week trip early march and had an amazing time. Infact everytime we have met and spend time, we truly have had an amazing time.
i was very angry, broken, hurt and shattered at first, when this relationship fell apart. but from what i have realized is that , he and your boyfriend, and other people like him - they truly are broken, they are incapable of relationships and taking up the sense of responsibility that comes with it.
As much as it hurts to admit, they really cant give us, what they don't have the capacity to give us. That being said, the best thing we can do for us is to get away from them. its better to be alone and keep that space next to you empty for the next right person, than to make the wrong person take it. I really hope i have been able to give you some perspective. we can talk more on DM if you wish.

Aly92 Wed 22-Apr-20 18:26:35

The social media one should have been the biggest red flag. Clearly he doesn’t want family or anyone else to know your together. He has someone else or he’s living a double life

robbiJ60 Mon 27-Apr-20 22:37:40

I came across your post by chance, and wish I could have seen into the future when I was in the exact same position as you are now. Your situation sounds identical to mine. I am now 60 and on my own during lockdown as my husband, yes I married him, left to isolate with his 'family'. I only wish I had the advice I am going to give you now, and that is, no matter how affectionate, great sex or whatever else that he portrays, he never will put your needs before his own. Don't for one minute think you can change a man who likes the single life, but wants all the benefits of being married. I saw every red flag when I met my husband, and my gut feeling told me to run a mile, but I was addicted to the affection, and could not give it up, and being a lot younger and naïve, thought it would all change once we were married. Please dont waste yourself on this waster of a man, otherwise you will be in the position I am in now. I gave up a great life for him, lost all my friends, put everything into the relationship, but he still despite us being married, put HIS life, family and friends before me, and still is. He has given me a life of continual upset and worry. He has decided to isolate with his adult children and left me totally on my own. I know exactly what I have got to do once this lockdown is over and it is going to cause me terrible stress, but I will not end my life with this selfish person. Please take advice from all the ladies here, and me too when I say, run a mile and don't look back. There is not a man on earth who is worth all this heartache. Read a book called What smart women know. I wish I had read it when I was younger, it would have saved me a lot of heartache. Don't go back with him, or you will really regret it. Trust me.

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