After 7 Years, She Split Without Warning

Visitor's Question from a 21-30 year old Male
Hi, right now me and my girlfriend have been broken up for a month. We have been together for 7 years (since we were 15). We were both aware of the odds that we couldn't make it since we got together so young, but we managed to survive everything that came our way, including thoughts of freedom. We were a great couple, "I love you's" were said multiple times everyday with hugs and kisses as well. We did things the right way all along and we only stayed together for one reason: because we loved each other and wanted to be with each other. No one else could ever make us feel the way the other did. We had plans to one day be married and have kids and we talked about it off and on for years. About 2 weeks before we broke up, we were both looking at houses together (she was as excited and as intersted as I was.) You see, she was graduating from college this summer and once she had her job, we could finally move out and live in our own home, which we both wanted to do so badly (we had lived together once before, but had to move back home due to our apartment being flooded during a hurricane. We lived together for about 4 months and even though that was a short time, we were both very happy being together and we survived on our own happily and smoothly).

The break up wasn't out of nowhere, she had mentioned a few months ago that she felt like this was her last summer to be a kid and that maybe we might be better off apart. I panicked, but I took it in stride and calmly told her that if she truly wants to leave, I wouldn't stop her. But I also told her I loved her very much, was very happy with her and really wanted to be with her the rest of my life. I reminded her of everything we had together and how well we got along. I also said that its normal to feel unsure from time to time and that I had felt the same way before, but always found a way to fall in love with her all over again. So I reassured her of who we were and what we had. I was very careful not to make her feel guilty for wanting to leave. So she said she really felt better after we talked and she committed herself to finding a way to get past it. So everything went back to normal for the summer, up until a month ago.

We had gotten back from a great, week long vacation at the beach that I planned and paid for. We were both excited to go. (it was half a present for graduation and half an attempt to repair us). So the day we got home, she left and I figured it was just going to be temporary space for a few days. But she ended up breaking up with me (through email!!) 2 days after we returned from the beach. She refuses to voluntarily see me or talk to me or read my emails. I did go to her house the night I read the breakup email and tried to talk to her but she did not budge one bit from her decision. Working things out was not an option and she "wanted to be done." In fact, she told me she would come to my house the next day and get all her stuff she had there and she would give me back all of mine.

Needless to say, my world is shattered. She gets meaner by the day and I only have stayed away from her as much as I have because I can't take anymore of hearing her say "move on" and "get over it." I have not seen or spoken to her in almost 3 weeks. We have never been apart for longer then 10 days, which was while she went to france 6 years ago, but even then we talked on the phone everyday.

I am 99.9% sure there is no one else. I highly doubt this anything to do with wanting other guys. She has mentioned that she wants to be "free" to hang out with friends whenever she wants and to be able to come and go as she pleased without having to worry about me. I never stopped her from going out so I think its just her wanting to know she can be out anytime and as late as she wants without having anyone worrying about her. "Independance" I guess.

I also think that maybe because she has graduated and we are closer to settling down, that she has cold feet because for the first time in our relationship, our dreams are very close to becoming a reality and maybe she feels like she isn't as ready for it as she thought she was.

I'm hurting terribly and really want her back. I know I did a good enough job that she has every reason in the world to come back and can never forget me, its just hard to keep faith in it considering all thats happened. I don't want our relationship to end without both of us exhausting all possibilities of saving it. We were too good together to give up so quickly.

Please help!! Advice
Wow, it definitely feels like as the "reality" set in she started to panic and think "Jeez look at MTV - I should be dating tons of guys! I need to get out and PARTY!!" There is a classic symptom of the 7 year itch, where married couples who have been together for 7 years start to get bored and want a new, exciting life. So it sounds very much like this is what she's going through. Not only that, but she knows she's doing this for very selfish reasons - she wants to party, not that you've in any way been mean to her - so she refuses to talk to you because that would only make her feel guilty.

But part of being in a relationship is being MATURE enough to deal with it!! And that DEFINITELY means telling someone how you feel when you start to feel things are wrong, instead of just storing it inside, springing it on the person and saying "Ha Ha see ya later sucker". She is being incredibly immature by running off, telling you to get lost after all those years and not even doing it to your face. That is about the ultimate in selfish.

Definitely being partners is about having independent friends, going out without each other, all of that. None of that is what she would be losing. What she would be losing is the ability to choose someone else. And the whole POINT of dating is to FIND someone so in essence what she's saying is that maybe someone else out there is better and she wants to go look for him. But if she had an issue with you, she should have told you long ago, and worked on it with you.

In life, nobody is perfect. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. And part of life is learning to work with and adjust with who we are with and build that connection over years. If she's going out searching for the Perfect Guy, she's going to be disappointed. If she just wants to party it up, what happens in a year or two as she gets bored of the singles scene and wants to settle down? Now she has to start all again from scratch, with some guy who hardly knows her, because she threw away the guy that was great for her. Most women would be THRILLED to find a guy that suited them well. Here she has one and she wants to go "have fun". She is going to realize in a few years that her 2 years of fun was a miserable trade vs decades of being with a soulmate.

Anyway, I don't know what to say. You can never change a person. My best bet would be to say to tell her that breaking up over email is unreasonable after 7 years. That you want to talk to a counsellor to get you through this and you feel it would be VERY helpful if she were there too because of her years with you. That at least if she is going to desert you, she would just go to one session with you to help you get yourself settled with what she has done to you. And hopefully if you get her INTO a session with a therapist with you, the therapist can start to point some of this out to her and you can then go a few times, and hearing it from a 3rd party, your girlfriend will start to get her head on straight. If not, at least you gave it your very best shot and know that, if she really was this anti-permanance, that you found out before you were married, had 2 kids, and she ran off on you then. Which I know isn't much consolation now, but if you do stay broken up and find a wonderful woman who DOES stay with you, you will look back on your ex and realize how valuable that honesty and loyalty is.

-- from Jenn
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