I've been in a long-term relationship for almost nine years, and everything was going great. I thought the relationship was very strong and I know we care about each other deeply. We were even engaged for a year and planning to get married, but my ex-fiancé decided to break up with me because he felt insecure about where his life is going. This was very tough on me, as I had decided to move back to Boston and start a new job. We stayed in contact for a couple of months until he decided to move back here too. We got back together for about six months, and then he decided to end things again.
In the conversations we've had, he always says that he loves me and wants to be with me again, but doesn't actually do anything to change that. As a couple, we've been through a lot of things – including my battle with a mental illness that developed when I was in my early 20s. I believe this was the most difficult thing for him to deal with, seeing me hospitalized several times and having to be strong on his own. I think this is the reason he's gotten cold feet from the beginning, and even though he loves me, he can't get himself to picture a future together. Is it wrong that I'm waiting for him and continuing to talk to him? I do believe he's the love of my life and just want us to be happy together. I want to be together but don't know if he can move past the mental illness to see that I've been stable now for the past few years. What should I do?
– Willing to fight but confused
After two breakups, you have to move on. No more waiting around. No more negotiating and hoping and putting yourself in the way of constant rejection. If he can't be the partner you need after nine years, you must drop him – for real.
You also have to undo everything you think about the cause of this breakup. You say, of your mental health history, "I think this is the reason he's gotten cold feet from the beginning, and even though he loves me, he can't get himself to picture a future together." That's a big assumption. You've decided that he won't commit because of your past, but that's not the reason he gave you for the breakup. He said he wanted to end things because he wasn't sure where his life was going. Let's take him at his word.
Readers? Should the LW end this for good? What's the cause of this breakup?