Hi there I have just stumbled upon your sight and I think it could be a lifesaver. I have been in a relationship with an only child for the past 3 years we life separately but have been taking about marriage and kids for the past year. Everything was perfect I felt that we really wanted the same things and understood each other. My mother is a widow as is his and as both my siblings live abroad I have all the responsibility of taking care of her travelling over 2 hours each weekend to see her. Because he has the same thing to deal with I was overjoyed that I found someone that understood. I have met his mum and I love her to bits. He turned 39 last week, we had a perfect night out and kept discussing our years plans going so far as booking a weekend away in April.
Last Thursday night he called over and said he can’t be with me anymore because I deserve someone 100% in love with me and he doesn’t think he is. He said it is his mind.
Obviously this being so out of the blue I am devastated, all my friends and family say it is cold feet but reading your site I have realised I have been putting pressure on him to commit, I want him to be happy and if it is not with me that is fine but I want to talk to him about what he has done. Please help me everything you have written is like you are describing him, we have never fought as he just goes silent I want him to know that the fear he is feeling is normal and that he doesn’t have to be on his own. Please please help, I miss him so much I have lost my best friend not just my lover. D.
I am sorry you have had such an out of the blue reaction from your partner. It does sound as if commitment could be the root of the difficulty. Putting pressure on a potential partner can lead to the same kind of withdrawal, only child or not. Having a conversation together is the best way forward, to see what the real problem is, as I do no believe any of us can be 100% in love. It strikes me as a huge expectation he is putting on himself. However it may be that it is difficult for him to commit to anther woman whilst he is involved with the care of his mother.
You mention the ‘fear that he is feeling’ are they his words or your own? And he ‘doesn’t have to be on his own’? Perhaps this seems easier if he is feeling pressure (perhaps from his mother as much as you) and hence divided loyalties. You say you love his mother to bits but is it reciprocal?
I can only really suggest you find out more what his worries are – as the 100% in-love he believes he needs to give you could be his way of saying you are needing too much from him.
I do not get any sense of what he is actually thinking. He is coming up to 40 which is a significant age for most of us and he may be re-thinking how he wants to move his life forward. I wonder what it is you want him to commit to, and whilst you say you have been talking about marriage and kids, has he been as keen on this conversation as you?
We cannot change our partners but we can change what we expect from them.
It could be that he is wanting something slightly different from you and feels he has not been heard. I can only suggest you talk some more with an inquiring ear to see if there is something you have missed because he is not good at articulating his needs. Ending the relationship may be easier than having to challenge you on the question of marriage or children. Often these things resolve themselves with time – I do hope so.