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I want to save my relationship

Hello everyone,

Apologies in advance because this might be a long post. I just really feel like I need some advice, or at least to write my feelings down.

My partner has recently told me he no longer feels any love for me.

We've been in a relationship for over a year, and I guess you could describe it as an "on-off relationship". Both of us had mental health problems and issues with past relationships, he'd been cheated on loads and I'd been in an abusive relationship for roughly 4 years. 

An argument would start over the smallest of things, and due to a lack of communication I think, they'd last for days. It always seemed like he was unwilling to move past it, he's very stubborn, usually he'd ignore me for a while but then always we managed to come to a resolution and work things out. Always, we agreed we'd not been arguing over anything major, and the problem was the distance between us. But we never, ever argued when we were together in person - it always happened over text or facebook messenger.

We live roughly 70 miles away and it does make things difficult. I have a stressful life at home and when it becomes hard to cope for me, it puts pressure on our relationship. I know it's difficult for him being apart, he's always told me he needs someone close.

I really, truly do love him - and I genuinely find it difficult to believe he no longer feels any love for me whatsoever. I can believe he can't find it in himself right now, but I don't think it's gone away completely.

When we are together, things work excellently between us. They always have done - even if issues crop up, they're swiftly dealt with. Every minute I spend with him, I love. We have loads of great memories together. 

He always talked before about our future together, about him really wishing that one day we might live together. He'd always tell me to have hope for our future, to have faith. He told me his love for me was stronger than anything else in this world, that he'd fight for me, and never give up on me. He told me he would always love me, even though he couldn't show it at times. I find it hard now, to disbelieve all those things he told me - especially because he has very recently said, they were all true at the time.

He would treat me very well, too. Most of the time I think we both tried our best to treat the other well.

The gut feeling I get when I'm by his side, is that I'm home. That I've found the person I want to be with forever.

I was never somebody looking for a relationship or to fall in love. But I fell so deeply in love with this man, I made a commitment to him, and I have loyalty to him. 

Recently, we had an argument. I was the "cause" of this one - I never like blaming anyone for arguments, but usually they start because of something he said to me. This time it was because I said something wrong to him (I made a comment that was dismissive and patronising.) I apologised but things sort of spiralled out of control. Neither of us handled it greatly, usually I think I'm quite good at trying to come to a resolution, but this time my patience failed me.

After the argument I feel like he was being really cold towards me. I felt like I was receiving the "silent treatment" (something I've often felt before) and I started to over-think everything and become over-emotional. I have other pressures too that were adding to the emotional burden I was under. At the time, I think I wished he'd be more understanding.

Anyway, I think I ended up having a nervous breakdown, and I was suicidal. I had an emotional outburst to him, upset thinking he no longer cared. It wasn't fair on him. I felt better after expressing my emotions, but I did it in a truly awful way, and it wasn't fair on him.

He's told me he's been exhausted recently, and even questioned whether that's the reason he wasn't feeling anything. He told me I wasn't the only person he's being cold towards, he told me he's being cold towards his family too. (He mentioned a comment someone made about him getting friendly with a female co-worker so naturally that made me worry that he was only being cold towards me.)

Earlier in the year we had a rough patch that we'd been working through, we had some fantastic times together since then, we were both making an effort in the relationship. I feel bad that he's not putting in the effort - it's hard for me to put in the effort when he's not. He's told me he's using all his efforts to "keep his head above the water" as he put it, and told me he is prioritising his work, getting a motorbike, and getting a place of his own to live. He tells me that the good times don't justify the bad.

If it wasn't for a few things, despite my loyalty to him and love for him, I'd be trying to forget about him. 

He gave me his hoodie once, and it's become very symbolic within our relationship. It means a lot because when he gets it back, it signifies our relationship is over (it has this symbolism for both of us.) I haven't returned it yet, and he hasn't asked for it back. 

Even since the trouble we had, he's told me not to give up hope.

The last time I saw him, things weren't perfect, but not long after I arrived at his, I'd just stood up. He told me to wait where I was, and he came over and hugged me. We spent the night together, just sleeping next to each other. In the morning I had to leave for work, but he tried to get me to stay longer.

It's really difficult because I'm trying to asses whether the relationship will ever be suitable, and no matter what "pros" and "cons" I come up with, what it comes down to is that I'm madly in love with him and I still want a future with this man.

I mentioned earlier we live far apart. I'm a student, he's recently started a new job. Over the past month or so I've been considering all the ways I could move my life closer to him so we could be together more, how to ensure I could spend time with him even though I'm at uni, or if my upcoming exams don't go well (and I've had a lot of difficulty studying with everything that's been going on) how I can move so I'm closer to him. So this has all been hard.

He's an ex-soldier. He has things in his past that trouble him to this day. He doesn't talk to me about it, nor do I expect him to (I've told him he can talk to me if he needs to or ever wants to, but I won't ever pressure him into talking about that.) The exact same time of year last year, we had problems, he became very cold. I believe something happened around this time of year that relates to his time in service. I asked him, what happened at this time of year? I can't remember his exact words but basically there are some things he can't talk about, can't let himself think about. I think there's something troubling him now, but he can't talk to me about it, so it's just a gut feeling.

If anyone has made it reading this far, thank you - I've wrote a lot today.

I don't know what to do now.

Do I give up? Do I accept he doesn't love me and try and forget about him, forget about the future I'd hoped for? Give up on my hopes and dreams?

Or do I stick by him, even though he's being cold towards me? Do I persevere even though it's the hardest option? Do I remain loyal and stick by the man whom I love, despite what he's recently told me?

He hasn't asked for his hoodie back yet. To me that means I've still got a chance. But what can I do?

If anyone does have any advice I would appreciate it, but thank you for making it so far and reading everything I've had to say.

Love isn't easy.

Comments

  • LaineLaine Llama Mama Posts: 1,336 Fanatical Poster
    Hi bluebell :)
    This surgery rises sound difficult and I'm sorry you have to go through this, it may feel like a mess right but things can improve. 

    You mention that he's not only cold to you but also family?  Which is a possible good sign that it may not because he no longer loves you. 

    I can feel from the post there is a lot of love from your side but also that he does care too. 

    I know what a loveless relationship is and while they fell out of love with me it was clear to tell they could no longer love or care and finished things pretty easily.
    If he's holding on there is hope. 

    Love is always difficult especially if you're both struggling with something but the potential is still there to save one in the rough if you both try hard enough.

    I believe he may pushing you away for one of many reasons, he's not sure how he feels, he knows he's being rather cold to people and doesn't want you to get hurt,  or most often people push you away when they're really saying please don't give up on me. 

    I think if you're really love him and you're willing to go in for the hardest option then you should try and make it work.

    I would talk to him about it and ask him honestly if he sees this having the potential to survive and what his feelings are. Does he want your support?  Why does he feel this way? 
    Love requires a lot of trust and honesty so see if he's willing to confide in you. 

    I hope this ramble makes at least a little sense and I'm happy to give any more advice you may feel helpful.

    Best wishes x

    🌈Positive thoughts🌈 

    "Maybe it's not my weekend,  but it's gonna be my year" ~ All Time Low

    "No one else is dealing with your demons, meaning maybe defeating them could be the beginning of your meaning friend" ~ TOP

    "What's gonna be left of the world if you're not in it?" ~ Bastille
  • PuffinEthicsPuffinEthics Posts: 74 Moderator
    Hi @Bluebells

    Thanks for sharing your situation with us, it does really sound difficult and I can relate to a few things in there having had a long distance long term relationship myself. 

    You've explained it really eloquently and I hope its helped to get some of it off your chest? 
    Perhaps it could even have helped you understand better how you feel? 

    Obviously, hearing your partner say they don't love you is really hard to take, and really difficult to deal with, having a period to cool off from the situation may be good, what do you think? 

    Trying to second guess what someone else is thinking and feeling is very difficult, and impossible really. If he's going through some issues, and isn't able to let you in, that's unfortunately not something you can control. Like you mentioned, you trying to work out what your partner was thinking when he wasn't communicating had negative impacts for your mental health, and its important to make sure your safe, healthy and not putting yourself through that stress. What ideally would you like to happen? Do you feel like he's pushing you away because he can't deal with what he's going through? Or are you just unsure about his feelings?

    Long term relationships are difficult, they have different strains. The time you have together is precious so when it isn't perfect there's pressure to make it perfect, then when you aren't together you feel like you should talk often, or that you shouldn't be doing certain things without them. There's always pressure.  Do you think time to reflect would help you work out what you want to do? 

    Thank you for sharing with us, let us know how your getting on,
    We're listening, 

    -PuffinEthics



  • BluebellsBluebells Posts: 8 Newbie
    Thanks for your replies, it can be useful to know what other people think.

    Since my post, he's asked for his hoodie back (basically saying he wants to end things.)

    I visited him. There were a few times when he displayed affection towards me but he made it quite clear things were over. Most of the time I was okay and we had a good time but then there were times I started questioning things and getting sad. He did try and comfort me when I was sad at first but in the end I think he grew tired of it. I could tell he was growing tired of my company, so I asked if I should go, and he said he wanted to be left alone. We parted ways in a friendly enough manner, I told him I had no hard feelings, it was all water under the bridge, he said no more promises.

    I still felt so in love with him, still felt good lying in his arms. But he has no love left for me. I asked him to look me in the eyes and tell me he didn't love me (I guess I wanted to make sure, I wanted him to do something so I could give up too) but he couldn't do that, I asked him if I should give up hope and he said yes. I asked what it was I'd done, how he'd fallen out of love with me, and he just said he'd grown tired.

    I think it was all too soon for me, the relationship I had with him, I just wish I'd been able to love him better. He loved me so much but he pushed me away a lot at the start of the relationship, towards the end I found it difficult to show all the love I had. He saw more of the bad parts of me than the good, and I was a burden to him, took him for granted.

    I just feel a bit empty now. There's very little sadness or anxiety left in me (or hope) just a hollow feeling in my chest.

    For now, I need to look after myself, I know that. It's hard to think what to do sometimes, but I know I need to look after myself. I know I shouldn't contact him for quite a while.

    The thing is, I don't want to lose him completely. I don't want to give up on him even though he's told me very clearly that he no longer has feelings for me and to give up hope. It's probably a mad fantasy but I do wish that in a few months, or years, we can rekindle what we had. I really wish that'll be possible.
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