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What Happened?

Question:

My ex boyfriend and I had just reached the seven month mark. We initially met in college and dated briefly. We reconnected sixteen years later through Facebook and it seemed like fate. In the ensuing years he had married and had two children. Four years ago he discovered his wife had been cheating on him for years with their tenant, who had been a trusted mutual friend. After that they had separated and he’d moved back in with his parents but they had never officially divorced.

During our relationship I spent time with his entire family whom all liked me a lot. A month before things ended he’d even been including me during his Saturday visitation with his kids. Due to the fact I lived two hours away, I usually drove up and stayed the weekend, renting a hotel room. Often, he’d bring his kids to the hotel to swim. I make a lot more money than he does and it was not out of the ordinary for me to pay for treats for the kids, pizza, etc…or for me to lend him money when he was short.

The weekend of our break up I had rented a more expensive hotel room than usual to celebrate our seven month milestone. He arrived at the hotel and everything seemed fine. He’d even texted his (ex) wife to inform her that he was bringing the kids to the hotel the next day to swim. We went into the public hot tub and spent an hour in there, just talking normally. We covered various topics, including our ongoing debate of me moving to his area versus him moving to mine, just hypothetical plans for our future. He was talking about being hungry and wanting to get out for a bite to eat in a minute.

Suddenly, his mood changed abruptly. He said he wasn’t happy in his life. That ever since he caught his wife cheating on him he hadn’t been able to move on and that he felt nothing for anyone, not his parents, not his sister, and not “a girlfriend,” meaning me. Then he told me he didn’t love me and that he felt nothing for me at all and that after seven months he should feel something for me. He said he wasn’t the one for me, that he shouldn’t be with anyone and that he wasn’t going to give me what I wanted out of life. He also said he wanted to be free and not obligated to anyone. He said that, if I wanted, we could still be friends and “have a good time,” which I declined. Then he asked me why I didn’t see this coming? I grew quite upset and ordered him out of the hotel. After he left I called him telling him to return my personal belongings that he had in his house because I wasn’t coming back for them.

He returned to me an E-Reader that I had lent him. The other day, when I was downloading a new book onto it, I saw that he’d been in the midst of reading a book. That makes it seem like he wasn’t planning the break up as he’d planned. Other than a brief exchange concerning him owing me money, (he claims he’ll send me payments each month), we have not spoken in the two weeks since the break up. I still don’t know what to think. Looking over his texts from the past couple of weeks it didn’t seem like he was thinking of breaking up with me and it certainly didn’t seem like he felt nothing for me. In fact, we were in frequent daily contact.

I just don’t get it. If he felt nothing for me why get me involved with his kids and his parents and even his cousins? My mood swings from sadness to anger. I didn’t just lose my relationship with him, I had also grown very fond of his family. Sometimes I want to cry my eyes out, other times I am so angry. I know it’s best that we don’t have contact right now because my emotions are so raw. I just don’t understand why this happened or why I deserved to be treated like this? I am so hurt.

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Answer:

It is often said that, romantic relationships that develop as a result of a “rebound” from an ex lover or spouse, are bound for failure. It seems that this is what happened to you.

As he implied, your boyfriend was still in the midst of mourning his failed marriage. He vacillates between depression and anger over his ex wife’s infidelity. In other words, from the very start, his head and heart were not invested in the two of you. Please understand that I do not believe that he pursued a relationship with you knowing that he was not in love. Rather, I believe he did not know his own feelings. Once those clarified in his mind, he severed his relationship with you.

You have every right to feel both angry and sad, much like he does in relationship to his wife. You stated that “it is best that you not have contact with him right now.” That statement implies that you hope for some kind of relationship in the future. In my opinion, that is not a good idea for you. It seems to me that it is best for you to sever your ties and move on with your life. I understand that you feel the loss of his family. I just want to point out that this is what happens when people divorce. The break up of your relationship with him is much like a divorce. You will get over losing his family. What you need to do is take control of your life, start dating and head in the best and healthiest direction for you.

It is awful that this happened to you but, learn from it and move on so that you can find the right man for you and live a happy and fulfilled life.

Best of Luck

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