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TherapistMaryAnn, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 5824
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
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My boyfriend of 11 years recently (one month ago) emailed me

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My boyfriend of 11 years recently (one month ago) emailed me that he wants to end the relationship. We had had an argument over something rather minor and, as usual, he got extremely angry and, a few days later, I got the dreaded email. In the past, he has gotten angry, not spoken for several weeks, and then we got back together. This is the first time he actually said he wants out. He claims that we are just not soul mates, and that he loves me, but is not in love with me. Although there are differences between us, particularly career wise, where I have a good job and he is in and out of jobs, barely making ends meet, I do think we have coped with this over the long haul. I really enjoy his companionship, his kids, and his extended family. I am devastated. I feel like a big chunk of my life has been wiped out. Furthermore, I am 62 years old and I have genital herpes, which I probably contracted from him. Neither one of us has been promiscuous. Me definitely not. I just got very unlucky. So now, I just feel so lost and hopeless. It's really difficult for me to look forward to a bright future without him in it. Furthermore, I just don't know what to do. Do I just accept that email at face value and move on? Move on to what?
Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

It is very difficult to deal with the ending of a relationship, especially when you get an email out of the blue after a minor argument. It leaves you feeling lost as to what the next step should be.

It sounds like your boyfriend has an issue with anger and has used that anger in the past to shut you out. That can be a way to control the relationship and make it hard for you to express your own thoughts, feelings and to resolve your issues. By shutting you out, he basically controls the communication until you both make up. So it does sound like he might have issues.

You have been together for a long time which means you both have been able to work through the challenging ups and downs of a relationship together. Therefore, it may be that the break up email was just an extension of his anger issues and another way for him to try to control you. Because of that possibility, it is worth trying to meet with him face to face to talk this out. Eleven years together deserves at least that much.

If he will not meet with you, try to let it go for a few weeks then try again. It may be that he is following his usual pattern of keeping his distance until he feels he has control again.

If after this time he still refuses to meet with you, then it may be time to consider moving on. Although that is hard to face and it does require a time of grieving, it may be a better situation for you in the long run. You deserve a relationship that makes you happy and is rewarding.

Here are some resources to help you if you do have to end the relationship:

Getting Past Your Breakup: How to Turn a Devastating Loss into the Best Thing That Ever Happened to You by Susan J. Elliott

Extreme Breakup Recovery by Jeanette Castelli

I hope this has helped you,

TherapistMaryAnn and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
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