As we head into this fall, coupled and singled, I want to know what's happening. Send your own relationship questions straight to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Recently my boyfriend broke up with me. The problem was me not being able to speak about my feelings or thoughts right then and there. We talked in November about how I should get a therapist, but it wasn't brought up again after that. We had great months together, don't get me wrong. But during our last argument, he brought up the therapist. He claimed he had been waiting for me to take action and trusted me to do so. I was not aware of his expectations – he never mentioned them after November.
Also, last December, things got difficult for him. He lost motivation in general, and his feelings for me were also being affected. I stood by him and supported him. He even told me to leave him, but I refused. He got better after some time and I did suffer a lot while being there for him. I tried to stay positive but I just wanted to cry at times. We did overcome his lack of motivation, and maybe, in the progress, I forgot about the therapist.
During the breakup, he brought up last year and the therapist, and I couldn’t help but wonder why did he not say something before. I wonder if his parents' divorce influenced him. He claims that if you don't talk about the problem right in moment, it will only affect you later, and the emotions just stay bottled up. Maybe there is truth to that, but I can't open up as fast as he expects me to. I need time to process and think about it.
The things I wonder most: why didn't he say anything after November, and why was he not able to support me like I did him? He says his trust was broken and that my words about wanting to change no longer mean anything.
– How do you get closure?
"I can't open up as fast as he expects me to."
I don't like the idea that a person must talk about important things/conflicts right as they happen. Everyone has their own pace. As long as the feelings get out and you don't avoid talking about a problem for an extended period of time, it should be OK. Some people prefer to take a long walk before important conversations. Others process better in writing, over email.
That's one question I had while reading this letter. How do you like to talk about relationship issues? When were you ready to have these conversations? These are good things to understand about yourself before your next relationship.
You ask if this is about his parents' divorce and why he couldn't be supportive when you needed it. My only answer is that you were not a good match – your needs and communication styles were way too different. This partnership has not been easy, despite the good times.
This is where I tell you to seek out therapy. But hear me out – I want you to do it for you, not because you promised someone else you would. I don't think therapy will change you into someone else, nor should it. I hope it helps you figure out what you learned, and what you want next. From my experience, individual (as opposed to couples) therapy is best when you're there with yourself in mind. This is a great time to go at your own pace and make it about you. It might feel like closure.
Readers? Has a partner asked you to get therapy? Did that change your perspective of the therapy, in general? Just curious.