Is it really over this time?

Visitor's Question from a 21-30 year old Female
My ex and I have been off and on for 6.5 years. This time we lasted 2.5 before breaking up for the 3rd or 4th time. He broke it off because things had gotten "too stressful." We'd been having a rough year with finances, he doesn't have a car and wants to get back in school, and I'm in my last year of college. He said that he felt like I had gotten increasingly negative and felt like I was mad at him all the time. I had no idea that he felt this way and I know I've been a little out of control and I've started seeing a therapist. But at the same time I'm wondering why he didn't say anything to me about it until it was too late?

The breakup came pretty suddenly because it happened after we received notice to vacate the apartment we had been living in for the last year (landlord wants to move into the apartment). We were given 30 days to move and broke up on the 2nd day. I thought for sure that he would move his things out as soon as possible but we both weren't completely moved out of the apartment until the very last day! Also, during that time we were able to have good conversations with each other when we weren't going in circles about the relationship and even went to lunch once.

Our last conversation about the relationship was almost a week ago. I may have made a mistake by bringing it up again but I just feel like I NEED to understand. I told him that I wasn't trying to beat it to death and he said that he didn't think I was but he thought I was ignoring the fact that he thought it was best if we were apart and he thinks he made the right decision. He asked me if I thought we needed time apart and I said how I can see it being a good thing because we both have things we need to work on, but is it time apart to get over it and move on or time apart to think about what happened and work on it and get back together? I asked him if it's really over for good this time and I keep getting the same answers I've always gotten "I can't predict the future. Don't worry about if we do or don't get back together. Whatever happens, happens." But then I hear from one of his friends that he said he didn't think we'd get back together. Even then I wouldn't know what to believe because I've heard it all before.

The last time we broke up he started dating someone else within 2 weeks and they were together for 6 months. We tried to remain friends but it hurt like hell and I can't bare to think of having to see that happen again. After they broke up we went back and forth for a few months before I got sick of it and told him I was through. I started seeing someone but it didn't last long and ended badly and I called him up and told him that all I wanted was for him to apologize. Turns out he'd been thinking about me and we were together again within a month after a year of not being together. He later told me that he dated the other girl because he wanted to try something different. This proves that ANYTHING can happen.

I feel like I have to talk about the ex because it caused a lot of stress in our relationship. It wasn't that I thought he was going to cheat on me or anything, but I felt like she was trying to make herself an issue. At the beginning it was obvious that she didn't want us to be together and even got drunk at a party and tried to make out with him. He told her no and she tried the whole "I feel so guilty. If you don't tell her I will." He told me but I wasn't upset because he told her no. She eventually told him that she just wanted to be friends and hardly remembered they even dated but she would always ask him to do weird things like fix her car, vacuum cleaner, lend her money, go out for coffee on nights that I "just happened" to have class. I brought the situation to his attention every now and then but the last time we talked about it I really SPELLED IT OUT for him and told him that I wanted him to talk to her about it. He didn't understand because he says they're just friends, but he said he would. I never heard about it so I assumed that he didn't and I was upset because I thought my feelings weren't important. The night that we're breaking up she comes up in conversation and I find out that he did talk to her. But why didn't he tell me about it? The whole thing would have been cool if he'd just told me! Then we talk about it a few weeks after the breakup and he tells me that sometimes he does think that she still has feelings for him but he doesn't want to acknowledge it because she's a good friend but doesn't want to date her again. WTF?! Why isn't he telling me these things? The whole time he told me I had nothing to worry about and I wound up feeling like I was crazy and making everything up. If I could have done it differently, I would have talked to her myself because my issue was with her and not with him. I know I'm going to run into her in the near future and I plan on telling her (in an adult manner) that I have been feeling resentful towards her and that whether or not she was trying to manipulate the situation, I made a mistake by not bringing it up sooner.

I know our main problem is a lack of communication about our feelings (mostly on his part) and I really want to fix it but he seems so confused and I don't want to interfere and make it worse. I think I'm just going to give him some time and space but I don't know what to think anymore, I haven't seen/spoken to him in almost a week, and I'm worried that it might be over for good this time. What do I do? Advice
Sorry you are in this situation.

You've been off and on for six and a half years now and are still confused about what to do. He, on the other hand, is taking the "whatever will be will be" approach.

My sense is that this relationship has potential (since it has been 6.5 years since it started.) It could go either way, however. And, you have more or less put a lot of energy into what could be only a memory. You may have gotten yourself into a habit with him. Consider the possibility that you could spend the rest of your life in an off on situation-- even if you were married.

Think hard about the future and what you want. Then act accordingly. I don't get the sense that you really know what you want.

Hope this was of some help! George

-- from George
One of Your Friendly Advisors at

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