Ask a counsellor: 'Why did my boyfriend leave when he said he loved me?'

31st Jul 18 | Lifestyle

Columnist and trained counsellor Fiona Caine offers her advice to a woman who has been left hurt and confused by her boyfriend's actions.

The problem…

“For the past two years I’ve been having a relationship with a man who, although not divorced, has separated from his wife. He lives in a flat near me and we have spent a lot of time together, often staying at each other’s homes.

“He has always maintained that he has no feelings for his wife, which I believed, because he seemed to spend such little time with her; he only ever visited her place a couple of times a month so he could see his children.

“However, a couple of weeks ago, he told me he felt things were becoming too serious between us and that he needed some space to think about what to do for the best. I’ll admit he had always said he wasn’t ready to love again but, despite this, he had said recently that he was falling in love with me.

“Anyway, I gave him a week to think things over and started to call him several times a day to find out how he was feeling, but he’s not taken any of my calls and didn’t answer the door when I called to see him last night – even though I could see that he was in. He’s also changed his social media page to show that he is no longer seeing anyone.

“I feel so hurt and confused. How can he cut me off like this having said that he loves me?”

Fiona says…

“It’s possible that he’s just as confused about this as you are; his feelings for you may have started to grow and the prospect of having a serious relationship again frightened him.

“Or perhaps he never had any intention of permanently leaving his wife and he was only ever after a casual relationship. It’s also possible that he and his wife may be trying to rescue their marriage.

“Whatever his reasons, he has made his intentions clear by not responding to any of your approaches and changing his social media page status. Sadly, it looks like it’s over. This is likely to be painful for you to accept and I’m sure you will be upset and angry for some time. However, you need to find a way to move on and you won’t be able to do this if you continue to follow him.

“As a first step, I suggest you sever all social media links and don’t be tempted to revisit them, because whatever is there will only ever act as a reminder to you of what might have been.

Insomnia conceptual illustration
Checking his social media pages will only make you feel worse, says Fiona (Thinkstock/PA)

“For the same reason, you may find it painful to continue to see some of your joint friends, so I suggest you take a break from them until you feel that you are on the mend. Instead, look to meet new people and create friendships that will not remind you of him. If you feel you need support to get you through this, please contact counselling service Relate (relate.org.uk). A Relate counsellor could also advise you how best to avoid finding yourself in this position again.

“That being said, please don’t spend too long trying to analyse why it all went wrong. It’s better, I think, to concentrate on the new things in your life. In time, this memory will fade, and from then on it will start to get easier.”

If you have a problem you need help with, email Fiona by writing to help@askfiona.net for advice. 

© Press Association 2018

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