Another Round of Fun

It's been a while, but I recently had another cry about my break-up with S.  The wave of sadness came on unexpectedly, as they often do; this one while re-reading our most recent email exchange.  

We had not communicated since I had emailed him post-Christmas, after receiving his email confirming he had spent the holiday with his ex and that his romantic feelings for us had been fading - according to him, of their own accord, not due to anyone else taking that focus.  I said that I doubted his ability to be truthful and did not want to be friends at this point, but may want to talk in the future.  

Then, a couple weeks ago I felt strong enough to talk further about our relationship and insights I had discovered.  So, I wrote him an email explaining the emotional pain in which I wrote the last email, but that I was now feeling the need for more closure and understanding.  I asked if he was willing to have a conversation, and this is the core of the reply I received:

"We did have something special. I'm left confused by our breakup. However, I feel deeply convinced that it's the right thing for me. 

I'm not up to, nor up for, discussing it with anyone yet, and probably least of all with you. I think I did a few things that would have been very hard on any relationship, and I think some of your ways of reacting and interacting were particularly hard on me (vs. some imaginary "average" man who's a bit less sensitive, especially to particular constructions of words). 

I have a lot to unpick on my side before I'll be more emotionally resilient, and ready to not require of a partner that they be extraordinarily resilient, just to withstand my being what seems like myself. I do still think this will need expert help. 

As we saw, the hard way, I also have strong connections to two of my exes, and I have to figure out just what I'm willing to give and take on those before I try a relationship again."

Is it just me, or is his tone excessively formal?  Actually, knowing him, I can say that he tends to write on the formal side but this is extremely formal, even for him.

He also said he's not ready to talk about our relationship as a whole and asked for space.  No specific timeframe but indicated several months.  Btw, he didn't say anything I hadn't already heard, content-wise, in the email.  Some of the things he says point out our differences in preference for direct and indirect communication.  I thought the way he framed the situation with his exes was particularly gentle on himself, to put it mildly.

After reading this email from him, I felt disappointed, angry, and hurt (also some yuckiness).  Because of the formality and refusal to engage with me, I guess.  Is his response fair?  What is going on with him?  Feeling guilty?  Or just emotionally overwhelmed and unable to deal with talking to me?  

It feels like he's holding onto control and not considering my feelings in the equation, which is resonant with how he's behaved as a whole during our breakup.  

I did write back an immediate response, which I don't regret, and which says some of the things I've wanted to say.  But it's far from comprehensive.  Here is an excerpt:

"I have a couple initial thoughts I'd like to share.  I want to be clear I was in not asking you to get back together.  I was asking for what I consider an extremely reasonable thing: to have a conversation about our relationship post-breakup.  That you will not have this with me is deeply confusing and hurtful to me.  Do you not feel some sense of responsibility, or, if not that, caring for my needs around this?  I don't understand what is so scary or threatening about talking to me.  Part of what I wanted to share with you has to do with my own revelations about myself and some of the choices I made; stuff I imagine you would want to hear."

I then expressed some strongly-worded feelings about how his choices at the end of our relationship sucked and diminished my view of us and our relationship. . .

". . .That said, I recognize my own role in our issues, including checking out sometimes and not being present to what was actually happening, taking you and your communication for granted at times (or not respecting and caring for your feelings at times around communication).  And there was lots of stuff with our chemistry, on both sides.  I just wanted it to get better but was not admitting that it was not getting better and was in fact getting worse.  I don't completely understand, because the emotional/mental is so interconnected with the physical, but there were problems and I don't think I faced them directly at the end."

Ah breakups, how fun you are.  Not.

I'm really doing okay overall and healing well.  But we shared so much, and he and our relationship meant a lot to me.  I want to understand as much as I can about what happened.  And I do want more closure.  I suppose I may have to find more closure for myself at this time, as so many people have had to do before me when their partner refused to process with them.  

Admittedly, when I transport myself back through the reality of our relationship, I remember how so many times I did not want to get close to him in circumstances that I think in a "healthy enough" relationship you should want to get close to someone.  As I said to him, I don't fully understand how the emotional/mental connects to the physical.  On some level, did I sense that he was not being completely transparent with me about his exes and therefore feel unsafe and less attracted/sexual with him?  I don't know.  He had lapses in his feelings of hotness for me too that may have fed into my feelings.  

Overall though, I don't think the hotness factor was high enough for what I want and need in a long-term relationship.  SO many wonderful companion qualities were present.  And at the beginning, he was so into me that it fueled my passion for him.  Does anyone else experience this phenomenon of feeling more attracted to someone if they are totally into you?  Anyway, this pattern seemed to subside far too quickly, within a couple months of us committing to each other.  

Another factor that fueled our attraction/connection was trying to get pregnant.  Something both of us really wanted.  And it was exciting that we both were so fully on board with this goal and working toward it together, going through the process each month as a team.  I can tell you, after trying for many cycles over the years as a single woman, it was really nice to have someone else next to me on the roller coaster sharing mutual support.  But month after month of failure. . . and then we took a month off from trying. . . and our already deflating passion seemed to deflate further.  

Thanks for listening to my ongoing analysis.  Your support and comments through this breakup has really meant a lot to me and helped me through the dark times.  

Part of me would like to write a second email to him saying, "F you," to take some control (and if I'm honest, hurt him like he hurt me).  But that would be shooting myself in the foot considering we are part of the same community and will have to deal with each other in the future.  

Also, emotionally, I would like to end on a healthy note, ideally even a loving note, but time will tell if that is possible.  For now, I will just keep healing my own heart and writing my feelings, as needed, on my own.  And if I get to the place where I want to send him a more comprehensive final letter, I can do that too.


  1. It doesn't really sound extremely formal to me. It just sounds like how you write, too. I'm not used to all this meta talk, all this self-analysis, I guess. I'm certainly not used to seeing a man write like that!

    Can you just say to yourself, this guy treated me like shit, I deserve better, fuck him, and then try to ignore him? I guess I'm not seeing what communicating further with him will win you.

    Break-ups are hard. And you were trying for a baby with him. That's a big fucking deal. I'm sorry.

  2. I think it sounds a bit formal, especially when you consider that you had a romantic relationship. Maybe he was being formal in an attempt to avoid dealing with all the emotions he was actually feeling. In the long run, I think you are better off....clearly he admits to still having some feelings for his exes. Wishing break ups could be easier. :(

  3. It does seem formal, but I'm also the type to write formally, even in the midst of very intense emotions. Writing the words out allows me to stay calm in a way that speaking face-to-face doesn't. For me, it's a form of self protection, but I can't say if that's what's going on with him.

    I understand your need for closure and I hope that you'll be able to find it soon, with or without him.