Woman Asks For Advice On Breaking Up With Her Non-Committal Boyfriend After He Refuses To Attend Her Sister's Wedding With Yearlong Notice

"He had a year. A YEAR."

Woman Asks For Advice On Breaking Up With Her Non-Committal Boyfriend After He Refuses To Attend Her Sister's Wedding With Yearlong Notice

How do you leave someone you love?

Breaking up seems almost easier when that love has abandoned the relationship. It's easier when you loathe the person/partner in question. It's easier if you've both come to terms on the partnership having run its course and split amicably. Anything else must be like sawing off your own arm, slowly, with a weighted saw, as evidenced by the Reddit story below:

I [27/f] love my BF [36/m] of 4 years, but he won't come to my sister's wedding, and I need to work up the courage to end our relationship


My (36/m) BF is a wonderful, remarkable person - never married, no kids, no real serious relationships before me. I love him with everything I am, and I would do anything to spend my life with him, but I think I've just reached my limit and I need advice on how to leave someone you love.

I met N four years ago and we've had this insane chemistry since the first time we spoke. He is a wonderful friend to his friends, a wonderful son to his parents, uncle to his niece, brother to his sister, but he is admittedly limited in his ability to be a functional romantic partner.

N has a severe dismissive-avoidant attachment style (diagnosed) which was exacerbated by an extremely serious injury at age 27 that resulted in the loss of a limb. I truly, truly believe that he loves me (although he has never been able to outright say it) and he tries to show me in the only ways he knows how - gifts, concerts, introducing me friends and family at events and holidays, and showing me how he feels physically. He is seeing someone about this and he is really trying to communicate better with me, and be present, and be supportive. After years of dating, he agreed to meet my sister when she was in town last - the only family member of mine he's ever agreed to meet. It's not that he doesn't want to meet them but a fear of commitment on his end. I've met his whole family, by the way. I was excited that he was able to take this step, and we celebrated it, but I'm starting to get exhausted. After 4 years, it shouldn't feel like pulling teeth to get him to participate.

However, I have always known that I cannot count on him to be there for me when I am upset. He wants to be, and tells me that I should tell him when I need him, but it always makes him skittish and squirrelly to deal with my emotions, so I try to limit his exposure to them, relying heavily on platonic friends and family to play that role in his stead. We do not live together because it gives him anxiety to share his space - and he needs a lot of space. We will have an intimate encounter and it will make him back off, and downplay it or pull away for weeks at a time.

I have been extremely patient and met many of my emotional support needs elsewhere, because I wanted so badly to believe he was worth it. I have pushed my needs back and down inside me to be compassionate and understanding about his fear of commitment.


My sister is getting married next month, and I want him to be my date. I told him I would be understanding if he told me he couldn't work up the nerve to come. I told him a year ahead of time so that he could have time to process the request. This is the only thing I have ever asked him to do for me in four years, and he recognized that it was important to me and said he would try.

But he's not coming. I know I told him before it would be okay, but I'm honestly just exhausted. I'm extremely upset that he's not coming, but I don't want to make him feel bad about it.

I'm just realizing that I'm tired of him not being able to show up. It's not that he doesn't want to, it's that he can't. I'm tired of not being able to count on him, and I need to end it, but I love him and I don't know how to follow through.

I want desperately for him to change, to be able to support me, but he can't. I feel like it's petty to end a four year relationship over not wanting to come to a wedding.

To be with him, I had accepted that we would never have kids, and that we would never get married, and that it would probably be years before he was ready to live together - so to leave him after making all those huge decisions to make it work seems small and ridiculous. I keep coming back to the fact that this is the only thing I've ever asked from him, and he wasn't able to follow through - but is that fair to act like it's a nothing request? It's a high pressure situation, with my whole family, when he's only met one family member before. I should say - it's not as if he has social anxiety because he ABSOLUTELY does not, he loves people and he's extremely extroverted and charismatic - for him the anxiety is about what attending a family wedding with me as a date means. It changes nothing for me, but it means something to him, he says.

I feel like I will regret ending it. I don't know how to break up with him when I don't really want to, I just cognitively know I need to.

How do I break up with a person that I love, but who can't meet my needs because of his own limitations. How do I make it stick?TL;DR: My BF is dismissive-avoidant, unreliable, and I realized I should want more for myself when he couldn't work up the courage to come to my sister's wedding. How do you break up with someone you love?

The Relief Will Come Fast

I used to date a guy who never fully let me in. The final straw for me was also a wedding. It wasn't even one that was super important to me, like a sibling's wedding. But after he bailed on countless other social situations where I really wanted him with me (including getting dinner with my family on my own birthday) I just was done. I was a bridesmaid but I only knew the bride and groom, who of course were busy the whole time, so I spent the night sitting alone with no one to talk to. The worst part was when I got dragged out to the floor for the bouquet toss. I tried to tell people that I wasn't single but no one actually believed me.

I broke up with him a few weeks later. It hurt at the time but almost immediately I felt relief. You will too. After all, being alone really isn't that lonely. But feeling alone while in a relationship? That's a loneliness that'll really get to you.


You'd Be Surprised With How You Feel After

I feel like I will regret ending it. I don't know how to break up with him when I don't really want to, I just cognitively know I need to.

I think you might be surprised by how you feel after you break up with him. You will feel sad and bad about it, but at the same time I think you might find yourself feeling relieved. You've been living for a long time repressing your feelings, putting up a barrier to protect yourself from disappointment and living on false hope that it might get better. I really think it's going to feel good to let go of all of that and just be real.

I think it will help if you get some therapy and look into why you settled for so little for yourself for such a long time. You've done an incredible amount of sacrifice here and put your own needs on the back burner with very little reward. I think you need to look into why you fell into that pattern, so that you can hopefully avoid it again in future.

Please spend the next few months treating yourself better.


Say "I Need Someone Who Can Meet My Simple Expectations"

This sounds exhausting, honestly. I'm surprised you've lasted 4 years in a relationship like this. It is clear that your needs are not being met, especially the needs that matter most to you. I don't think it's unreasonable for you to be feeling this way. You need someone that will meet your simple expectations - because they are honestly simple, normal expectations.

You are not asking him to become an astronaut to prove his love to you. He can't even say he loves you after 4 years. Your BF needs therapy, not someone who bends at his every anxious whim. I do think you would be much happier when you're not feeling responsible and being held accountable for someone else's happiness and emotions.

Be kind to yourself!


Write Out How It's Not The Relationship You Want

you list like 12 things that you want and gave up for him.

this is not the relationship that you want.

you can have loving feelings for a person and have them still not be able to provide a relationship that you want. this is not the relationship that you want (and what you want is normal and better than what he wants anyway, stop settling).


How Much Have You Given Up?

So he's got a girlfriend a decade younger than him who's given up her desire to have a partner who loves her, get married and have kids to be with him. What's he given up for you again?

I dunno, call me insensitive, but medicalising the fact he's emotionally very self absorbed and selfish is giving him far, far too much credit.

You're getting to the age now where you're just starting to recognise [sic] the smell of the immense pile of bullsh-t you've been shovelling [sic].


They've Become A Black Hole Of Emotion

I hate to be blunt, but you don't have a boyfriend.

You don't have a relationship.

You don't have a partner.

You have an albatross.

You have an emotional vampire.

You have a black hole. It takes and takes and takes and gives NOTHING back.

I feel like I will regret ending it.

Everyone experiences some loneliness after a breakup. Even after a breakup they chose.

But getting through that single period is so worth it to set yourself free to find a happy, rewarding relationship with an emotionally healthy human who is capable of being your partner and sharing a life with you.

You might have some lonely moments in the early days after the breakup.

But think how deeply you will KNOW it was the right decision when you are in a real relationship with someone capable of loving you.

You only get one life, as far as we know.

Don't waste it on someone who doesn't appreciate you and will never make you happy.


Remind Yourself, It's Just One More Nail...

Well, I wouldn't make this only about the wedding, but I would say that it's the final nail in the coffin and that you are too young to continue to live that way. I mean, let's be honest, as much as he pulls away from you, is he even going to care? At least in a sick way you know he can take care of himself because he will just pull out like he always does. You already live apart, you already don't talk for weeks at a time, so just be honest, and move on with your life.


Ask Yourself: What's The Point?

We do not live together because it gives him anxiety to share his space - and he needs a lot of space. We will have an intimate encounter and it will make him back off, and downplay it or pull away for weeks at a time.

That right here would be a dealbreaker for most people. How can you imagine a future with someone like that ?

Also in a relationship we always have to make compromises. I do things for my gf and she does things for me. Whats the point of being in a relationship if you can't support your SO ?


Just Remember, You Have Time...

You keep saying "its not that he doesn't want to, its that he can't"

but he can. With his parents, sister, friends, niece... ect.

He just doesn't with you. Relationships aren't all about being comfortable all the time. Its about compromise and caring enough about the other person to want to make them happy. You have mentioned tons of sacrifices for him and the relationship and you haven't mentioned one that he has made.

Seems to me he knows you'll just go along with everything.

You are only 27 years old. You dont have to give up kids and a marriage and a fun fulfilling relationship for someone who doesn't even want to meet your family.


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