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Ask TherapistMaryAnn Your Own Question
TherapistMaryAnn, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 5822
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
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My ex cant make his mind up After both of us left failed

Resolved Question:

My ex can't make his mind up

After both of us left failed marriages, my boyfriend and I had a very happy couple of years together. After this we began to argue about committment issues as he lives a long way from me and neither of us could move house for family reasons. It was impossible for us to live together and I felt rejected and he increasingly withdrew. For the last 6 months he has alternated by telling me he wants to try again - and telling me he need space to work out his future. he consistently tells me he will always love me and it is just geography keeping us apart.
On finding that he had been dating someone else, I saw red and cut contact. A month later he now wants to meet and says he is unhappy without me and wants to try again. My friends are fed up with the saga and want me to find someone else, but I can't seem to get him out of my system. I feel we should be together and if we can just get past this stage of unsettlement we could be very happy together. Am I being a fool?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  TherapistMaryAnn replied 5 years ago.

Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.


If you both feel strongly about each other, then you should stay together. But in order to do so, you need to work out the commitment issue. As long as you have the problem that broke you up still there, you cannot move forward.


A good test of your relationship and it's future would be to start working out the commitment problem. Staying committed to each other from a long distance is not easy. So finding ways to address this issue is primary. Also, you may want to consider working on a way you can eventually be together. Being apart is very stressful on a relationship and in order to know if you both can be together permanently as a couple, the distance part of your relationship needs resolved.


Here are some resources to help you. You can use them apart then come together to talk about them:


The Long-Distance Relationship Survival Guide by XXXXX XXXXX and Kate Brauer-Bell


The Long Distance Relationship Guidebook by Sylvia Shipp


He's Scared, She's Scared: Understanding the Hidden Fears That Sabotage Your Relationships by XXXXX XXXXX and Julia Sokol


Getting to Commitment: Overcoming the 8 Greatest Obstacles to Lasting Connection (And Finding the Courage to Love) by XXXXX XXXXX and Julia Sokol


You can find these books on or your local library may have them for you.


There is nothing wrong with trying again. You and your boyfriend have tried separate ways and feel that being together makes you happiest. It is worth a try.


I hope this has helped you,


Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thanks Kate, I am willing to try but worry becasue he seems terrified of making a decision in case it's the wrong one. He constantly says he doesn't know what he wants and only knows he loves me and misses me.

He had a very unhappy marriage which he blames himself for and he has said several times he is frightened of going round the same loop.


I just don't feel I can put my life on hold much longer (I'm 48) but don't feel I can give him an ultimatum


Expert:  TherapistMaryAnn replied 5 years ago.

It is difficult to make a decision when you are not sure of the outcome. And it sounds like your boyfriend feels if he was burned once, he will be again. It is common for people coming out of bad relationships to feel that way.


Suggest to your boyfriend that he consider counseling to help him get over his last relationship and begin to trust again. He cannot keep living in limbo (and neither can you!) and he needs some sort of resolution. Any way he can move forward on this will help.


On your part, you can give it a time limit. If you feel that your boyfriend is still in the same spot 6 months from now, for example, then decide which way you want to take this. Either be ok with his indecision or move on. It is never easy to move on and you need to allow time to mourn the relationship. But being stuck is costing you too much peace of mind to be worth it.



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