This is what I would consider the end of an era that was my first love. At least, I think it's the end.
We have been together on and off for three years now, and even lived together for a period of time. This has not been an easy road. With a slew of mental health issues on my partner's end, he has broken up with me close to five times before, and as of last week a sixth. Always for the same reasons. He's not ready for commitment, it's never going to work, etc.
But every time we break up, he shows up in my life again a few months later, and we're back together. Each time he makes the same empty promises that he loves me, wants a future with me, that he doesn't plan on hurting me again. And then when it's time to break up, he tells me that he never really felt those things and has just been in denial the whole time. I will not deny this relationship has had a myriad of problems over its multiple attempts. He has a problem with
cheating, lying, substance abuse, etc. And I have found myself trying to fix him and being left with major trust issues.
For a while, I thought these problems were improving. But then after we had to go long-distance again, it's like he fell back into old habits. Stopped communicating, started being shady, told me he just didn't have the energy to speak to me. As usual, it all went downhill so fast. He ultimately broke up with me over FaceTime and ended up basically ghosting me. I recognize this is an unhealthy situation and I should be getting over it, but the problem is I can't. I haven't learned how to move on once in these past years because I'm now so expectant of him coming back. I just want to feel free of his grip but don’t know how to move on with my life. I know there is better out there for me, the problem is until I can let go, I don't know that I'm ever going to allow myself to find it.
It's very possible he'll come back, maybe even a few more times. That's his routine and he'll probably stick to it.
You can't control what he does, but you can make new decisions for yourself. If you choose to end the relationship – regardless of what he wants – it stops there. You don't have to let him in.
So how do you let go for real this time around? That's a complicated question – because there's no easy way to get over someone. To start, you should think about what you're missing and when, and how you can shift your attention to something new when you need to. Would it help to block him so you can't see his messages? (Hint: It often does.) Can you separate yourself from your phone when you're feeling low? (I highly recommend less phone time.) You might also want to restructure your day so there isn't as much free time to think about what happened. Start texting others when you would have texted him. Find some new activities. I really believe that making new memories is the best way to move on.
A big part of this process is about changing your internal storyline so you can picture a future that doesn't have him in it. Therapy might help with that, so please consider it. You might get a lot out of talking to a professional about this cycle and how you want it to stop. Don't be afraid to ask for help.
Readers? How can the LW make this breakup stick?