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Rafael M.T.Therapist
Rafael M.T.Therapist, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 3038
Experience:  MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
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Is my separated boyfriend making progress?

Resolved Question:

So I'm still together with my separated guy who has no kids. We've been together for about 4 months now. Three weeks ago we had our last (recurring) disagreement on why he's not divorced yet. I asked him if he thought that within the next 6 months to a year if he would be ready to finally file for the divorce and he said yes, he would be more than ready, in fact, he said that a year was too much time to let pass and in far less time than that, he feels that he would expect to have gotten major headway into paperwork and be about done with the divorce by then. However, a few days after we talked, he seemed to be a bit withdrawn and was not as affectionate as his usual self. While I felt that after our long discussions my mind had been cleared and was now ready to reconnect emotionally and physically, I found that his energy level in the relationship declined and he also stopped touching me and I would only get short 1-2 second kisses goodbye. This weekend I confronted him about his behavior and he told me that he was feeling detached and knows he was not feeling like himself. He has told me that I am a good person and he does not want to hurt me so he thinks that he needs time and space to work some issues out on his own. He said that he knows that right now he doesn't have much to offer me because of his lack of security in terms of income, no car and no place of his own...he wants to purchase his own bed, tv and other appliances within the next 2 to 3 months. He said he knows that he had a lot of things on his mind for a little while and he hadn't been fair to me in the last few weeks and until after he can get those things done on his own he thinks he will be better able to give of himself to me both emotionally and financially. I told him that I understand and that is what I wanted him to do for himself also, along with initiating his divorce. He admitted to me he wants to move out and rent an apartment but his job doesn't pay much and he wants to push for a raise for himself and he also wants to re-structure the way he operates his small business so that his customers pay upfront for orders and will make a profit instead of breaking even every month. He says that when he left his wife, he didn't have a plan for himself and that he was just 'going with the flow', living at his aunt's place more-or-less for free and he realizes now that it was not getting him anywhere. Because unlike his ex-wife whom he supported and helped to finish both her Bachelor's and Master's degree, he hadn't gotten the chance to get himself together to finish his own Bachelor's degree education, and his life has become stagnated and he knows that if he wants to attain his goals he will have to start getting to point A first and then progress to B and C until he can finally get where he wants to be. He stated that he actually wants to plan what he wants for himself in the next year. He has finally talked to his boss about a promotion last week. He says between the potential promotion and his small business profits, he will be able to put aside to save for getting an apartment sometime soon. I am really happy that his thinking has progressed since my last talk with him, however, things still seem to be stagnant with regards XXXXX XXXXX filing for the divorce. And while he says he wants space and time to sort out things on his own, I feel that he is contradicting because he says that he still wants to see me, but not everyday like we used to...but only a few times during the work week, and he wants to go out on occasional dates once his finances permit, like once or twice a month. He has mentioned to me about 2 months ago that he wanted to save so we have already slowed things down since the last month or so....so I'm a little confused about what he really wants in terms of the status of our relationship. He says that he doesn't want to define us because that's not his nature but he knows that I am a planner and he understands that I would want clarity on things like that. He also says that he doesn't want to date anyone else and he is not looking. He appreciates that I have been a really good person to him and he wants me in his life and does not want to loose me. However, if we do decide to take a clean break, I know that he may want me back after he gets his things in order (not sure how long that will be though...it can be anywhere from 3 to 6 months to a year or more!).....and, I haven't told him this, but I don't think I can wait for him... I feel that I would need to date other persons because I think it might be like waiting on something that you don't know for sure will happen...given his past history of indecision, and my aspirations for a stable marriage in the future with some kids. I told him that while I still really like him a lot and I will be there for him if we do stay together, I don't think I would want to be in a relationship where he is not totally available to me emotionally. Do you think that this is the time to still support him in a relationship, or as friends, or should we just take a clean break once and for all until...? He has asked me to let him know if I prefer a clean break or to continue as we are. It will be really hard for me not to talk to him anytime I want as I usually do. When we were on the brink of a break up for a few days after the last argument few weeks ago, I was still able to call him to ask him a favor and he was so selfless....so I still feel like I want to be friends with him if we really do breakup this time because he has been so good to me and he has helped me not only as a good boyfriend, but also as a really great best friend too. What do you think about his progress and which of the options I outlined do you think can be feasible for us as a couple, as friends, or none?

Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Rafael M.T.Therapist replied 12 months ago.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Hello, I am Rafael. Thanks for asking your question - I'm here to support you. (Information posted here is not private or confidential but public).

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I am very sorry to know about this frustrating situation.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

You have had a young relationship, only four months, but you have had these "recurring disagreements" about his marital status and lack of consistency about filing for divorce.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

It's obvious it is very important for you knowing he is truly working on taking good care of his divorce process for your relationship to evolve, but what you described just happened when you finally asked him, once more about it, shows he does have personal issues and different expectations about your relationship

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

His reaction, the dramatic changes after that last discussion, shows not only he's having a tough time because of personal problems, but that he does not feel comfortable, confident neither willing to work with you on making it grow and develop as a healthier and more fulfilling one.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Everything he said about his need to take good care of his finances, housing, career plans, job and more, make perfect sense, but his actions show he does not want to stay in the relationship, to work on it, and it is essential for you to acknowledge this reality, and as you said, to be very clear about your core needs and expectation, in order to take good care of yourself and know what you want and can afford or not in this relationship. His actions are already showing you his choices, now everything else depends on what you want about it.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

What I suggest you to do is to continue being totally truthful with yourself honest and open towards him.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

If you feel you can handle a friendship, keeping clear boundaries in order to take good care of yourself, and he does feel the same and shows capacity to make a mature friendship work, then it could be a very good option for you. Otherwise, I would not suggest anybody to keep close after ending a relationship, since most times people do tend to fuel further attachment, expectations and get more confused instead of working on themselves and on what each have decided to do about their personal lives and around the relationship they had.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Does it make sense?

Customer:

Yes, it makes sense. He is and can be a good friend. And I suppose that I will have to be honest and also tell him that I will want to see other people if we do decide to end things between us.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Absolutely

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Without full honesty and openness it is impossible to build or take good care of any type of healthy relationship

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I hope your situation gets clearer and better. Thanks for your trust. Please feel free to contact me for any further support. Bye for now.

Rafael M.T.Therapist, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 3038
Experience: MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
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