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Why couldn’t he understand that I needed his emotional support that day?

Tagged as: Breaking up, Long distance, Troubled relationships<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (12 July 2018) 11 Answers - (Newest, 13 July 2018)
A female United States age 26-29, anonymous writes:

Monday was a sad day for me. I lost my job and broke up with my boyfriend of 4 yrs.

Although I'm not too worried about being able to find another job, it still is not a happy event to be let go... I called my boyfriend and he sounded shocked and worried. I had to comfort him telling him not to worry, I'll just take a couple of weeks break while I find another job. My boyfriend and I are currently in a long distance relationship. We are making plans to live together with either him relocating and finding a new job where I live, or I will relocate and find a new job where he lives. He came to a couple of job interviews in my hometown, but did not receive any offers. He was planning on coming again next month for another interview. But guess that's not happening because we broke up.

I was not happy and wanted some attention and TLC from him. I wanted maybe an hour or so where he can sit quietly to talk to me, spend some quality alone time. But he said he had errands to run, things to buy, things to do and would talk to me while he was driving... which we can barely talk because of road noise and wind noise. I kept asking for a little time and every time I called him, he was busy.. either driving or in his garage re-arranging things and banging things around and can't even sit quietly to talk to me. I got upset and started an argument asking why can't he just put aside his things for an hour or so to spend with me. We both agree that he doesn't need to clean his garage THAT DAY. But he just kept getting upset and saying to wait til he was done... I waited 15 hours after being so upset until he finally told me at midnight that he was available to chat for a few minutes. That got me even more mad... why 'A FEW MINUTES' why always put a time limit to the time he can spend with me? Why can't he understand I'm having a bad day and need him to be there for me? So we argued.

The next day he ignored my calls, texted me to tell me we were done, and disconnected his phone.

OK that's fine... I will get over this relationship.. I don't want someone who cannot give me just one hour of his time anyway. But life just sucks at the moment.

Thanks for listening!

View related questions: broke up, long distance, text

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A female reader, 02DuszJ United Kingdom +, writes (13 July 2018):

02DuszJ agony auntHonestly.. seems like he was taking you for granted and taking a lot more than he was giving; he KNOWS you have to get up at 6:30 but he still expected you to sacrifice sleep just to serve his needs??

And ending a four year relationship *just like that* a quick line and then nothing, erasing you from his life like throwing a crisp packet away is just so cold, uncaring and pretty shitty tbh. Again it shows a lack of care and consideration for YOU.

In conclusion you dodged a bullet.. he sounds like a fickle SELFISH person that was happy to use you for as long as you LET him. Not to say he didn't care somewhat for you, but selfish people can often not give their partners the love they deserve (depending on how selfish they are) - real love is selfless. You think about someone you really loved, you would give your right kidney just to see them smile etc. (figure of speech!) but you understand the feeling. Selfish people don't have that capacity to put others BEFORE themselves. So don't take his cruel behaviour personally.

You are however partly responsible for the disservice he's done to you- you ALLOWED it for four years.. seems like 4 years LDR is just settling for whatever tiny crumb he threw you, yes you planned to move in but you still put up with his crap for four years. It makes me think that maybe you were just too needy and emotionally dependent on him, which indicates low self esteem.. so I think now you need to reclaim, or even discover for the first time your sense of self love! Because you deserve a LOT more than the crumbs this guy was throwing you!

Try mindfulness classes.. it basically teaches you to become aware of your own body, your own mind and spirit. It goes right back to basics.. and I'm no hippy it just really helps me with my anxiety.

You are still so young, so throw yourself into something new that you're really INTERESTED in. Some sort of creative outlet maybe- I like to paint and when you express yourself AND achieve a nice piece of artwork it lifts your spirits.. Or just go to the library and READ something in depth.. expand your mind beyond negative, pointless thoughts..

Now you've got the time I strongly advise volunteering- when I was unemployed for almost a year I began volunteering as a support worker. These people just need love and guidance and a lot didn't have families to fall upon. I discovered so many lovely entertaining people and helped them get out of their shell, it is such a rewarding job I fell in love with. You can encourage them to pursue their hobbies/ interests into different opportunities and some will make you laugh till you die.. You can also get free theatre shows/ events when you accompany them! After three months they told me there was a paid vacancy and I snapped that right up! So not only can you get a job out of it, it will also fill in the gap on your CV. Believe me. A job that helps others is such a great thing to do and will take you out of yourself.

Lastly I think you should be careful and remember that he hasn't given you much closure in the abrupt way he ended it, so after the pain and shock wears off I think you're going to feel pretty angry and want to lash out at him.. he WILL at some point contact you again because he's wanting an ego stroke/ bored/ reminiscent but REMEMBER any reason he contacts you will be to serve his OWN needs and does not mean he's thinking about your feelings (regardless of what he says!) This is where you have to wise up, be strong and tell him to eff off. I would say write down your feelings of anger in a letter to get it out. And when he contacts you tell him your feelings and then block him right back.

Understand though that I'm not saying wait around for him to contact you, it could be years. You need to get on with your life NOW, but do write down your feelings it will help you release some of that negativity.

I wish you well. Time to start putting YOURSELF first.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (13 July 2018):

Anonymous 123

I don't think he has a side chick. I just saw him a couple of weeks ago. Spent a week with him and he was with me all the time, we attended a wedding together. Nothing fishy.

To be honest, I stopped giving as much as I used to. He gets off work late, as in 3am, and likes to call me during his drive home to keep him company and keep him awake. I used to accompany him all the time, but in recent months, because I've been so upset he can't give me his time, I stopped answering the phone when he calls late at night. I stopped putting in the effort as well. Also, I wake up at 6:30am to go to work, so it does take a toll on me, but when he was putting effort into our relationship, I was willing and happy to be there at 3am for him too.

I saw us going downhill, that's why I was pushing so hard for us to start spending time and doing things we used to do together to maintain the LDR.

But it's OK.. he decided he wants out and to block me out of his life, that is fine. He has never disconnected his phone and has never not called or messaged me back the next day after an argument.

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A female reader, Anonymous 123 Italy + , writes (13 July 2018):

Anonymous 123 agony auntWell there you have it then. He's not made any effort to give you what you want the most... His time. And guess what, it woudn't have changed in the future either because he doesn't see it as a problem and doesn't even want to understand why it bothers you so much.

LDRs are difficult under the best of circumstances and you're each handling it from your perspective. You want him to have a meal with you on webcam while he probably thinks that's just silly and a waste of time. You want him to talk more while he thinks you already talk enough.

Is it likely that he was seeing someone else or maybe interested in someone else? Because the way he broke off with you looks like he didn't even make an effort and was just looking for a way out

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (13 July 2018):

Thank you uncles and aunties for your advice.

My boyfriend and I do have our differences which some we have worked out and some we've learnt to accept and compromise on. My outstanding and continuous issue with him is time. I need him to allot time for me and us alone. I need him to sit his bum down and quietly undisturbly spend an hour or so with me. We can simple just be on the phone, or on web cam, or have a meal together. I need that quality alone time... at least once a week. I honestly do not believe that is too much to ask, but he always has a hard time committing to it. For the past six months, every time we have an argument it's because of this same exact reason. In the past six months he has only ONCE spent an hour with me on web cam sharing a meal. It's not that he doesn't call me, he calls me quite often. Only, he calls me when he's driving, but I can't hear him when he's driving, we can't really have a conversation while there's road noise and wind noise.

He is upset at me because I'm always upset at him and always start arguments. I asked him what are the main topic of ALL my arguments? They all are about the sane thing - time. But he said even if he gave me time, I'll still argue about something else, I said why don't you try giving me time and see if I still argue with you!

He talks big.. about how much he loves me and I am his 'the one' and how we've been through so much why can't I see that he is really into me etc etc etc. All that is talk and talk is cheap if not backed up with actions. I ask of only one thing which he struggles to give me - time. That speaks volumes!

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (13 July 2018):

Thank you uncles and aunties for your advice.

My boyfriend and I do have our differences which some we have worked out and some we've learnt to accept and compromise on. My outstanding and continuous issue with him is time. I need him to allot time for me and us alone. I need him to sit his bum down and quietly undisturbly spend an hour or so with me. We can simple just be on the phone, or on web cam, or have a meal together. I need that quality alone time... at least once a week. I honestly do not believe that is too much to ask, but he always has a hard time committing to it. For the past six months, every time we have an argument it's because of this same exact reason. In the past six months he has only ONCE spent an hour with me on web cam sharing a meal. It's not that he doesn't call me, he calls me quite often. Only, he calls me when he's driving, but I can't hear him when he's driving, we can't really have a conversation while there's road noise and wind noise.

He is upset at me because I'm always upset at him and always start arguments. I asked him what are the main topic of ALL my arguments? They all are about the sane thing - time. But he said even if he gave me time, I'll still argue about something else, I said why don't you try giving me time and see if I still argue with you!

He talks big.. about how much he loves me and I am his 'the one' and how we've been through so much why can't I see that he is really into me etc etc etc. All that is talk and talk is cheap if not backed up with actions. I ask of only one thing which he struggles to give me - time. That speaks volumes!

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (13 July 2018):

The test of endurance and durability of a relationship is how it bears up under stress; and how many challenges you can overcome together, and yet remain intact.

The love grows and evolves; and you begin to understand each other more. You become a fine-tuned machine, a team. One knows when to step-in and catch the other; when he or she is falling.

Better you know now, than after uprooting your life and moving in. He was pretty much over the LDR; and the calls were becoming a chore. Sorry to say; but it's understandable. You can't conduct a loving-relationship entirely between devices.

He really didn't seem to care about your misfortune; and showed absolutely no empathy. That was the moment of truth.

The first-time you informed him must have been total theatrics, with getting all upset. Perhaps he decided this was a good time to bail-out; it didn't take much for him to give-up on you.

I guess since you lost your job he wasn't that enthusiastic about moving your way. He probably wasn't looking for work near you as hard as he may have lead you to believe. Maybe he was also afraid you'd suggest moving-in with him until you found a job!!!

I'd say 4 years in an LDR is way too long!!!

Try to concentrate on finding yourself a job right where you are. Maybe things turned-out for the better; now that you see how apathetic he was when he knew you had lost your job. That's a big deal! All you wanted was a little time to talk; his comfort, and that would have given you some peace and encouragement. When people bailout on you in your time of need, that's how you learn where you stand with them.

You were obviously not a priority; if you had to be fitted into his busy schedule of shuffling around his garage. He had a few minutes to kill, so fire-away!

Seriously?!!

Date local, sweetheart. No more LDR's! You deserve better.

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A male reader, TylerSage United States + , writes (13 July 2018):

TylerSage agony auntI think you just got caught up in your emotions. You were having a bad day and just needed some love and attention, someone to talk to, someone to comfort you, someone to vent with you, someone to tell you that everything is going to be OK.

Your boyfriend on the other hand does seem to care about you. He was dedicated to move closer to you plus you mentioned that he did seem worried and shocked when you first broke the news. I understand you wanting comfort but the reality is he leads a life of his own. For all you know he could have been having a bad day too but you weren't aware.

I don't believe people just end a relationship over one argument unless of course the argument acts as a trigger for other underlying issues. My guess is the fact that you two have a long distance relationship (and everyone knows the struggle there), the misinterpretations that always happens over text messages and phone calls, wondering if your spouse is being faithful or not, the angst of being alone and not having your sexual needs met and having to refuse people who could make good partners, the possibility that you may just get a call out of the blue from your spouse wanting to break up because of the stain of it all.

Does he usually not give you attention when you need it? Are you there for him when he needs your attention? Do you two have good rapport? If the answer is yes for all of these questions then don't give up on him, it's not too late to get him back but if the relationship was ailing for a while now then its a good time to start anew.

You need to know when to fight for what you have or when to let go of it.

All the best.

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A female reader, aunt honesty Ireland + , writes (12 July 2018):

aunt honesty agony auntSorry about loosing your job, I understand how frustrating that can be. Hopefully with luck you will find a much better job soon, just keep applying and keep your spirits up.

Now on to your ex relationship. Well if after four years he cannot give you one hour to talk then that says something about the relationship that you both had. Yes he could have been busy and maybe didn't know what to say to you. Maybe it could have been forgiven if he made more off an effort the following day but he didn't he broke up with you. It is clear the relationship wasn't working for him and it sounds like he used this argument as an excuse to end things. Yeah it is hard after four years, but it is best you find out now he cannot support you than if you moved to be with him or vice versa. Four years is a long time and yes it will be hard but you will get through this. Give yourself time, distract yourself by job hunting and spending time with friends.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (12 July 2018):

I am sorry to hear that you lost your job and your BF. Honestly, seems like you have dodged a bullet. I mean he disconnected his phone. That is madness. He clearly did not consider trying to mend your relationship. It may seem like the end of the world, but you will overcome. I pray you get a job soon.

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A female reader, Anonymous 123 Italy + , writes (12 July 2018):

Anonymous 123 agony auntWhatever happens is for the best OP.

You'll find a much better job and in this moment of adversity, you saw the true face of your ex boyfriend. "A friend in need is a friend indeed" is something that we were taught as kids and you can see for yourself that this man couldn't spare a single hour for you when you needed him. You cannot be somebody's partner unless you're their friend first and unless you support them when they need it the most.

The silver lining in this whole scenario was that you saw your ex for who is really was and now you can move on in both aspects of your life, both personally and professionally.

I say it's a win-win situation for you! Yes, life sucks right now but it's darkest before dawn so remember, never give up. Keep applying for new jobs and just enjoy being single for now.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (12 July 2018):

Honeypie agony auntSorry about the job thing, OP

I hope you find a MUCH better job next.

As for your BF or rather ex-Bf - maybe... breaking up was for the best? in the long run? If he can't SUPPORT you and FIND an hour, sit down and TALK to you, when he otherwise doesn't get to see you much what is the point of that relationship?

Sure, there were PLANS to find a new job and move and make it work... but that wouldn't change the fact that he either didn't CARE that you needed support from him that day or he didn't WANT to deal with your predicament. He might have felt that having to talk to you would mean you would WANT him to fix the issue, not just listen.

What you got was the "pat on the shoulder, there there and then everything is fixed!"

Doesn't sound like a great partner.

Sometimes we don't see the full picture of a partner until shit hits the fan. Now you know. And maybe THAT knowledge can help you move forward without him.

He let you hang for 15 hours, for HIM to do HIS stuff and then offered a "few minutes" because that was the amount of time he felt he could offer. I would have been pissed too.

Was this a reoccurring theme in your relationship? Him not really having time for you? Or do you think perhaps he was looking for a way out of the relationship and thus just didn't want to deal with it, hoping YOU would pull of the band-aid and end it or start a fight?

4 years seem (to me at least) WAY to long to be LRD's.

Anyways, focus on the job hunt - getting a new job is more important that him right now. After you find a job and have time and energy for it, then work through your emotions and lessons from this last relationship. Maybe.. consider NOT dating LDR anymore.

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