Relationship

Have Relationship Questions? Ask a Counselor for Answers ASAP

Ask an Expert,
Get an Answer ASAP!

Relationship

Taking a break in a relationship

Customer Question
My beau and I have...
My beau and I have been dating for a little over a year. He is healing from a divorce caused by the wife's infidelity. We met only a year after they separated. The divorce was final in December. Now they've been apart 2 years. He has two children with whom I am also involved. I love them, and they reciprocate. Last week, he told me that he needed to take a break from our relationship. I've been devastated ever since. He says he needs some space to really figure out what he wants: says he is not ready for the level of commitment we've developed; says that his heart is not 100% available to give to me & that's not fair to me; also says that he loves me (said that for the 1st time during this conversation); he wants me in his life, & he doesn't want to lose me. He just feels "lost" because of the divorce and the pain. We are still texting & calling but not daily. I'm lost about how to handle this. I'd like some Christian advice.
Submitted: 8 years ago.Category: Relationship
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Relationship Question
Answered in 1 hour by:
6/12/2009
Counselor: Cher, Relationship Enthusiast replied 8 years ago
Cher
Cher, Relationship Enthusiast
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 21,520
Experience: Extensive experience as Educator/Teacher, M.A., Counselor, Spouse, Parent, Psychic Advisor
Verified
HelloCustomer and thank you for your question.

I'm sorry to hear you find yourself in this upsetting situation; I know you're hurting and would like to help.

It would help me to know a few more details before sending you a complete answer:

Did his request to take a break from your relationship just come completely out of the blue; had he not hinted about this or said anything in the recent past that could have implied he was leading up to this?

How often were you seeing each other before, and were you communicating daily with texting, calling, email, etc.?

Had you discussed advancing your level of commitment re: engagement or marriage, before he told you this, or was the 'level of commitment' he referred to, related to your dating schedule and feelings for each other?

Does he give any indication he might be interested in someone else, and that's why he's asking you to take a break at this time? Has he dated you exclusively since his separation/divorce?

Has he had contact with his ex-wife since the divorce became final in December?

Do he and his ex-wife share custody of the children? If not, what is the custody arrangement?

Thanks for all your additional detail.

Cher

Ask Your Own Relationship Question
Customer reply replied 8 years ago
Cher,

Thanks for your response. Here are the answers to the questions:

Did his request to take a break from your relationship just come completely out of the blue; had he not hinted about this or said anything in the recent past that could have implied he was leading up to this? It was not a complete surprise. Over the last 5 months, he's talked to me about the intensity of our relationship and how he preferred to not feel obligated to spend so much of our free time together, to not feel so obligated to call every night, etc. We've discussed this in the past, although the first four months of our relationship he was eager and consistently desiring time together.

How often were you seeing each other before, and were you communicating daily with texting, calling, email, etc.? We generally saw each other at least once/week, sometimes twice a week. We communicated daily via texts and phone calls.

Had you discussed advancing your level of commitment re: engagement or marriage, before he told you this, or was the 'level of commitment' he referred to, related to your dating schedule and feelings for each other? We had discussed just being boyfriend/girlfriend. No "I love you" had been exchanged until the night we had the "take a break" conversation. He then confessed that he'd been wanting to tell me he loved me for quite a while, but that he was trying to be reserved as his heart hasn't healed from the divorce. Before we parted, he told me that he loved me, didn't want to lose me, wanted to keep me in his life, but just needed some space to find himself and figure out what he really wants. Says he feels lost in his life and that every day is a struggle. We had not discussed engagement or marriage.

Does he give any indication he might be interested in someone else, and that's why he's asking you to take a break at this time? Has he dated you exclusively since his separation/divorce? I asked him if he was doing this, but he swears "that's not what this is about." I asked him if he was trying to reconcile with his ex-wife, and he said absolutely not. He explained several reasons why that would never be. I asked him about dating during the break, and he said that he had no plans to do that. We promised each other that if that variable changed, that we would tell the other. Not sure that I totally trust that, but that's all I have to go on.

Has he had contact with his ex-wife since the divorce became final in December? He and his ex-wife are in daily contact. They still live in the same gated community and exchange the kids or information about the kids daily. It's a hot/cold relationship. They have horrible fights and periods of great harmony. She has a great deal of control over his moods, and he gets furious if her boyfriend is at her house when he drops the kids. I feel it's a very unhealthy relationship they maintain, and I know there are instances where she's toyed with him about being sorry about her infidelity and wishing she was with them on family vacations, etc. She's called him crying about me int he past, etc. He says that he wishes he could "carve" her out of his life, but she still has much control.

Do he and his ex-wife share custody of the children? If not, what is the custody arrangement? Custody is shared. One week on, one week off, with Tuesdays alternating. He gets the kids every afternoon from the bus/babysitter regardless, and they get dropped/picked up accordingly.

Thanks for you help. I'm just not sure how much contact to maintain. How long I should wait. IF I should wait. If there's hope. I'm devastated and I miss the kids terribly. Right now, we are just "playing it by ear" regarding communication. He sent me a doz. roses for my birthday with a "love" note. He and the kids each mailed a birthday card with LOVE, so I had three card. He called and they all sang to my on speaker phone, etc. We are still texting every other day or so and talking via phone every few days. I'm very, very confused. Help?
Counselor: Cher, Relationship Enthusiast replied 8 years ago
Hi again, and thanks for your detailed and helpful reply.

Initially, after reading your question, and before receiving your reply, I had thought I would advise you to forget about this relationship, move on with your life and start seeing other people.

After reading your responses, I think you should give him a chance to sort out whatever is bothering him and/or causing him to come to this decision of a 'break', but put a time limit on it.

His actions and words do sound like he is sincere, and cares for you deeply. The fact that the kids love you and you all get along so well, is wonderful. Very often in divorce situations, the children will resent the father's girlfriend/mother's boyfriend, become sullen, difficult, and shout things like 'you're not my mother', etc., when discipline is warranted, or an argument occurs. They also usually play one end against the other, getting 'extra' perks from each parent, due to the divorce situation. It's just so nice to hear that the kids and you get along so well.

I believe, for now, you would do well to keep up the contact via phone, text, email and continue to play it by ear, but as I mentioned above, set a time limit for yourself; perhaps a month, if you feel that is fair. The break will give him time to figure out what he wants, or if he wants to continue his relationship with you, and it will give you the same chance, with time apart, even though you miss him, to decide what you feel will be best for you.

If after a month, he doesn't tell you anything has changed, and doesn't ask you to be part of his life, again, you may want to start seeing other people. A relationship involves two people, two personalities, two sets of feelings; his request for a 'break' was not done in a malicious manner, he obviously cares about you and you said you sort of saw it coming. That's HIS decision. Compromise is key in a relationship, so you're granting him what he so nicely requested, after he explained to you why he felt you should take a break at this time, and that was very good of you. You don't want to lose sight of what YOU want and need, and if the break he wants, expands to months, you might feel you want to see other people and be in another relationship.

If you agree that about a month is a good amount of time to be fair to him, and allow him to sort out what he needs to do, then stick to that timeline. Don't tell him that, just make it a timeline in your own mind, and see how things go.

Continue communicating, and maybe if he sees you less, he'll 'talk' more, and share some of his concerns with you, so you better understand his need for the 'break' and/or his feelings for you. If you've been with him for this long, and he does sound like a decent, caring guy, give him 4 weeks and then make a decision about where you'd like to be in YOUR life at that time, and present it to him. Let him know how you feel, but don't hang your heart on your sleeve, as that is not necessary while you're apart.

I hope things work out the way you want them to, and please let me know if you would like to discuss this further.

Cher
Cher
Cher, Relationship Enthusiast
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 21,520
Experience: Extensive experience as Educator/Teacher, M.A., Counselor, Spouse, Parent, Psychic Advisor
Verified
Cher and 87 other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now
Ask Cher Your Own Question
Cher
Cher
Cher, Relationship Enthusiast
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 21,520
21,520 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Extensive experience as Educator/Teacher, M.A., Counselor, Spouse, Parent, Psychic Advisor

Cher is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help.

Mary C.Freshfield, Liverpool, UK

This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!!

AlexLos Angeles, CA

Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult.

GPHesperia, CA

I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion.

JustinKernersville, NC

Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around.

EstherWoodstock, NY

Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know.

RobinElkton, Maryland

He answered my question promptly and gave me accurate, detailed information. If all of your experts are half as good, you have a great thing going here.

DianeDallas, TX

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

TherapistMaryAnn

TherapistMaryAnn

Counselor

1,720 satisfied customers

Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues

Ms Chase

Ms Chase

Life Coach

853 satisfied customers

Over 20 yrs experience with Relationships, Sexuality, Friendship, and Family Issues

Alicia_MSW

Alicia_MSW

Psychotherapist

468 satisfied customers

Specializing in relationship/family counseling

Dr. Norman Brown

Dr. Norman Brown

Marriage Therapist

427 satisfied customers

Family Therapist & teacher 35+ yrs; PhD research in couples

Dr. L

Dr. L

Psychologist

366 satisfied customers

Licensed as a Psychologist and Marriage & Family Therapist.

Suzanne

Suzanne

Therapist, LCSW

338 satisfied customers

Experienced in treating trauma, relationship issues, co-dependency

DrJackiePhD

DrJackiePhD

Doctor

338 satisfied customers

I have been doing research in relational/interpersonal communication since 1998. My Ph.D. is in interpersonal communication.

< Previous | Next >

Related Relationship Questions
I started talking to a girl on a dating website about three
Hi. I started talking to a girl on a dating website about three weeks ago, and we've been on 2 dates so far. I REALLY like her - she's sweet, cute, fun...but last week, after our second date, I went t… read more
TherapistJen
TherapistJen
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Master\u0027s Degree
953 satisfied customers
I was only conceived for the mental health of my elder
I was only conceived for the mental health of my elder sister who was a mistake. Is this a reasonably normal background please?… read more
JohnMichaels,MS,LPC
JohnMichaels,MS,LPC
Counselor
Master\u0027s Degree
170 satisfied customers
I went though my girlfriends phone and she was watching me
I went though my girlfriends phone and she was watching me to see what I was going through and looking at and was wondering if that's a red flag .She said she just wanted to see what I was looking at … read more
S. August Abbott
S. August Abbott
Etiquette consultant
Doctoral Degree
260 satisfied customers
For expert: today I am arriving at his city and stay for two
For expert Martin: Hi today I am arriving at his city and stay for two weeks. I haven't contacted him since that grumpy message probably because I m not happy that he was avoiding me. Now can you give… read more
Martin
Martin
Electrical engineer
Bachelor's Degree
486 satisfied customers
I am looking for some unbiased help on my relationship. She
i am looking for some unbiased help on my relationship … read more
TherapistJen
TherapistJen
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Master\u0027s Degree
953 satisfied customers
My wife and I have been married 40 years. In sorting photos
My wife and I have been married 40 years. In sorting photos I noticed while organizing our old photos that she kept a number of photos (7 or 8) of an old boy friend. She dated him off and on for about… read more
Dr.G.
Dr.G.
Counseling Psychologist
Doctoral Degree
446 satisfied customers
I am a 38-year-old male and work full-time in
Hello I am a 38-year-old male and work full-time in law-enforcement. Over five years ago I met a woman through my work and her daughter was 11 at the time. She was with somebody then so I thought noth… read more
TherapistJen
TherapistJen
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Master\u0027s Degree
953 satisfied customers
My girlfriend and I were dating for around a year and we
my girlfriend and I were dating for around a year and we attend the same church . We had both been out of long term relationships and healed each other before forming our own relationship. We were going great and madly Inlove .her behavior was amazing towards me with no signs of changing for the worse up until November 2017 we were having these tiny but annoying arguments mostly caused by me and my trust issues I will admit . So I called her one morning to make up for an argument we had the night before and she suddenly tells me she doesn't love me anymore and she does not want the relationship anymore . I freeze but go about the usual desperate plead and beg route which made her even more upset . We attend church that Sunday and when she sees me she feels the love again and we speak normal for 2 weeks not officially together yet but making moves she evens sends me a detailed email telling me how impressed she is and it will help us going forward . I push to hard the next day of this email and upset her all over again. That weekend before Christmas 2017 she goes totally cold towards me and destroys me in a phone call and tells me I am obsessed with her etc. she drops me a further bombshell the week of Christmas by telling me she is going to meet her ex for breakfast and I need to be mature about it . I decide then and there I am done with this and I cut off all contact with her . No calls or texts and emails . So about 2 weeks go by and she sends me a text ‘hey you have just crossed my mind hope you are well' I respond 5 hours later with ‘I am well . Hope you well,take care' the next week she sends me a pointless text to which I just respond with thank you and this week she sends me a long detailed apology email informing me that she is sorry for pain she had caused me and I am truly a great guy and she doesn't understand why she had so much built up anger toward me and till this day she can't seem to know why she got so upset with me and she doesn't deserve me etc . I responded with a simple thanks for the apology and she said she does not know why she took so long to apologize something just held her back . I don't hate her at all it not in my nature to hold grudges but this girl ruined my holidays and told me really hurtful stuff while she was out having a blast . And now suddenly she feels apologetic. Please advise … read more
JohnMichaels,MS,LPC
JohnMichaels,MS,LPC
Counselor
Master\u0027s Degree
170 satisfied customers
Whenever I'm talking to a girl, I get incredibly jealous
Whenever I'm talking to a girl, I get incredibly jealous when they mention or are with hanging other guys. (I'm a 20 year old guy) I don't know why though, I don't like getting jealous but I can't hel… read more
JohnMichaels,MS,LPC
JohnMichaels,MS,LPC
Counselor
Master\u0027s Degree
170 satisfied customers
If he doesnt want to be in a relationship with me, why
If he doesnt want to be in a relationship with me, why doesnt he leave instead of giving me false hope?… read more
JohnMichaels,MS,LPC
JohnMichaels,MS,LPC
Counselor
Master\u0027s Degree
170 satisfied customers
My boyfriend has depression, sleeps most of the time, is
My boyfriend has depression, sleeps most of the time, is awake when I'm not with him, doesn't want to sleep in the same bed because he wants to stretch out, be alone, and most recently tells me that I… read more
JohnMichaels,MS,LPC
JohnMichaels,MS,LPC
Counselor
Master\u0027s Degree
170 satisfied customers
If you are there I would like to describe the situation,
Jen, if you are there I would like to describe the situation, which I asked you about yesterday, in more detail as I would value your opinion.… read more
TherapistJen
TherapistJen
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Master\u0027s Degree
953 satisfied customers
A few weeks ago I received a message from a guy that I dated
second opinion] Hi. A few weeks ago I received a message from a guy that I dated very casually before he moved about 1 ½ years ago to California from Ohio & since then we really didn't stay in touch. … read more
Therapist Leslie
Therapist Leslie
Masters, Professional Psychology
5 satisfied customers
Before I was officially dating my boyfriend I was flirting
Before I was officially dating my boyfriend I was flirting with another guy while I was talking to my current boyfriend. I never told him and tried to hide it. Now he knows and is questioning my trust… read more
JohnMichaels,MS,LPC
JohnMichaels,MS,LPC
Counselor
Master\u0027s Degree
170 satisfied customers
Is my gf avoidant attachment type or secure... or a little
Is my gf avoidant attachment type or secure... or a little of each? Im an insecure anxious attachment type for sure.... i always need reassurance and stuff from my gf... my gf in the beginning was alr… read more
JohnMichaels,MS,LPC
JohnMichaels,MS,LPC
Counselor
Master\u0027s Degree
170 satisfied customers
We are not dating but I've known him for 15 years, we met at
We are not dating but I've known him for 15 years, we met at work I thought he was good looking we hit it off as friends. He had me staying over his place a lot, then I found out he was gay/bi I start… read more
TherapistJen
TherapistJen
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Master\u0027s Degree
953 satisfied customers
My question is about a possible beginning to a relationship.
Hello this is Brian, my question is about a possible beginning to a relationship … read more
Therapist Leslie
Therapist Leslie
Masters, Professional Psychology
5 satisfied customers
Is it normal for your boyfriend to constantly have his ex
Is it normal for your boyfriend to constantly have his ex girlfriend come over to visit even though you tell him to it really bothers you… read more
JohnMichaels,MS,LPC
JohnMichaels,MS,LPC
Counselor
Master\u0027s Degree
170 satisfied customers
Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x