Is it really over?

Hi, Meredith,

I've written before, but not about this man. I met "C" six months ago online. We fell very much in love. He embodies everything I want in another human being: he is loving, supportive of my career, talented, intelligent, and so attractive to me. He also has young kids from a previous marriage that ended a few years ago.

I met his ex-wife, who is very involved with the children. Though he no longer loves her and feels they were always poorly matched, C and his ex have a close relationship that they hope to maintain for the children. None of this bothers me. What bothers me is that he does not want to have more kids. C was fairly up front about this, but not necessarily about why, and I have always been tentative to pry. I have never been definitive about having my own children, but the possibility of losing the opportunity to make the choice for myself has made me truly question what I want. The two of us have talked several times about it, always arriving at a dead end.

Last week, for reasons not associated with children, we decided to be broken up. He and I had several talks leading up to this, in which he just completely shut down. He admitted that he's always had a problem being emotionally open with partners and that he was starting therapy again to address this. I completely respect and love him for the decision, but it leaves me in a sort of limbo. Neither of us wants to be broken up, but to allow him the space he needs to learn about himself, we decided it's best. However, we're not completely cutting the cord, as we've decided to talk once weekly; all other communication has been cut off. Since this decision, I've been worried that I'm calling us "over" externally, while still hoping in my heart that we're not. And I have no idea if that will be the outcome of all of this. I want to support him in this decision, because I think it's absolutely the right one. I just don't know what that means for me in the meantime...

– Standing Still


Before the big breakup, your relationship had one problem – the kid thing. But now there are two big problems – the kid thing and his emotional shutdown. That should make this breakup easier. It's not as though the two of you would be living your dream life if only he wanted more children. It sounds like he would have hit a wall no matter what.

The best thing to do right now is to stop with the weekly phone calls, because you're not his pal or his supportive girlfriend. You're just an ex who’s hoping he'll turn it around. Those phone calls are only going to confuse you and make you sad.

You must set some boundaries and start letting go. Because you do know the outcome of all of this, don't you? Even if he learns to cope with intimacy, that other problem is still pretty big.

Readers? Should she cut him off? Is it possible he’ll change his mind about all of this?

– Meredith