The breakup took five minutes

Hi Meredith,

I was with someone for almost 9 years. He broke up with me three months ago. The past two years had been hard for both of us because we both had a parent diagnosed with cancer. My parent recovered, but his passed away. We moved in with his family after that to save money.

I wanted to know if he wanted to have kids down the line – whether we would ever move out of his family's house – but he would never answer my questions ... and then we began to bicker. It all ended this simmer. He said, "We aren't where we should be, I don't think we should be together, I need to work on myself, it's not you it's me," etc. I said, "I thought we were going to grow old together," and he said he had thought that too – but then he walked out the room.

I didn't beg; I just ran out. The breakup took five minutes. I came back the next day and moved everything by myself. I haven't tried talking to him since. It was the the third time he had broken up with me, and feels like the worst. I miss him and I just don't know what to do. I am a wreck. I lost many of our mutual friends, but have kept in touch with one. He seems happier without me, based on what I hear. I want to make him see how our family problems affected our relationship. What should I do?

– Wrecked

Your last (and only) question suggests that you think that you can mend this relationship. But from what you've told us, it's over, and the third time was the charm. All you can do is grieve, make plans for yourself, and move on.

You can start by concentrating less on that mutual friend. That person is a connection to all the things you shouldn't know at the moment. Protect yourself by spending time with other people – maybe some new faces – who can keep your mind off your past.

You should also be getting get help, if you aren't already. You mention the trauma you faced as a couple, but you're still dealing with all of it on your own. It's worth seeing a therapist to talk about your parent's illnesses and the breakup, and how you can move on to the next phase of your life.

You say you want to make him understand how the family problems affected the relationship, but you also say that this was the third time he let you go. You didn't tell us the timing of those breakups, but it's clear he didn't end this on a whim. He was willing to risk losing you over and over and over again. If you accept that, it might help you take those next steps.

– Meredith

Readers? What happens now?