He Broke Up over Stupid Reasons

Visitor's Question from a 21-30 year old Female
I was with my ex-boyfriend for 6 months. We really cared for each other and got on great. Even two days before we split up from each other he told me that I was really pretty, that he was lucky to have me and that we got on really well together.

Then the day before we broke up I went to a barbecue with him. I made a comment that he did not like. I said "Me and your brother have gained weight and we better not eat too much steak tonight". Also I made a comment about a friend of his "Why is your friend staying in a camping site when his apartment is just down the road?". His friend is a hippie.

The following day he arrived at my apartment and was furious. He said that he didn't want to be with me any more and that I annoyed him. He said that sometimes I talk too loudly, that I criticize him when he drives too fast (he is always speeding and smoking grass at the same time), and that I did not watch him cook when he showed me how to cook a Portuguese meal (we had invited friends for dinner and I was trying to chat with them and talk to him at the same time). Anyway, after the break up his friends said to me that he is just way too touchy and has dumped all of his girlfriends for ridiculous reasons in the past. Do you think the comments I made were really bad? Do you think I deserved to be dumped?

Also a week after we broke up I called him to say that at least we could stay friends as we used to get on well together. He was very cold on the phone but said o.k.

Two weeks after that he called me to say hello. He was much more friendly. We had a long conversation. At the end of the conversation he said that the only reason he called was that he thought he left his watch at my apartment. He had not left it at my place. Do you think it was just an excuse to call me.

Last week I sent him a small gift for his birthday. He called me to thank me and invited me to a rally he was participating in. He had a huge smile on his face when he saw me and we got on very well together. However, at the end of the evening he did not ask me for another date. He just thanked me for coming and said goodbye.

Do you think he wants to get back with me but is too proud to say so or do you think he just wants to be friends?

RomanceClass.com Advice
Neither of those comments are unreasonable at all! It really seems like he was just unhappy with the relationship in general but instead of talking about the things that bothered him and dealing with them, he let it all store up and then just sort of exploded at the one final 'straw' so to speak.

It's not about those comments or about the Portuguese meal or any other individual thing. He's saying that he was generally *unhappy* and those are just examples. You can't nit-pick at what someone says when they are breaking up because it's never about those one or two things. It's about a general feeling that has been building up for a while. The real issue is that he was feeling this way for probably months and months but never told you. He just told you things were great. So you thought everything was fine, he kept getting upset at all the things he felt were wrong, and it was natural for things to explode.

If you got back together now, without talking about it, the exact same thing would happen again. Because you haven't changed, he hasn't changed, and the exact same situations would occur.

So I would read through the 'how to have a talk' info -


and I would sit down and have a long talk with him. Say you just want closure if you want, tho in many ways this might clear the way to a much better, healthier relationship between you two. Ask him not what picky little things he can think of that he didn't LIKE about the relationship, but ask him, when he felt BADLY during your time together, what were the bad feelings he got? Was it that you treated him like a child, always trying to "mother" him and tell him how to drive? Is it that he felt neglected, that you two were as a couple supposedly entertaining guests, but that while he worked and slaved in the kitchen you chatted it up, abandoning him? Was it that when you two were in public, he wanted you two to be a "happy couple" that supported each other - but he felt instead that you were using that public time to put him down and make others think you two didn't respect each other?

It's those underlying FEELINGS that are the problem, not your individual actions. He had an ideal in his mind about how you two as a couple should be. Naturally, none of us are perfect and you did things, to him, that betrayed that ideal. But instead of talking to you about it and finding a compromise or being more accepting of what you were doing, he let it build up inside him until he just broke itoff.

If you can really let him know you will LISTEN to what he says without interrupting, and will THINK about his concerns without just arguing back or trying to defend yourself, I bet he'll open up and start sharing those feelings. And if you really think about them for a day or two, you can then go back and offer compromises to him that he will accept. And the fact that he was able to tell you things without you yelling or getting upset or trying to prove him wrong will encourage him to tell you things in the future before they become huge, which will be the huge difference that lets you stay together.

-- from Jenn
One of Your Friendly Advisors at RomanceClass.com

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