Boyfriend is overwhelmed with family and personal stress and shut me out. How do I show him I'm here for him without pushing him away?

Things with my now ex boyfriend were extremely great. We were stronger than any relationship I've had, and I've had a few serious ones. Two weeks ago, something happened at home. I live three hours away from him, so I couldn't be there to comfort him physically, but I did my best with the communication methods we have.
He wouldn't tell me the details of his stresses. He just said he was going through a lot and didn't want to talk about it. Over the next two weeks, he slowly shut me out more and more. The guy who two weeks earlier would send me cute texts every few hours was now going days without a word.
I went home for a few days to see family for Easter . He was busy with his own family stuff, but normally this wouldn't keep him from trying to see me. He didn't even make an effort. He said he was stressed and didn't want to see me like this.
Finally he said he couldn't do it anymore and broke it off. He said it wasn't fair to me and he couldn't be in a relationship right now. He said he felt lost and needed to find himself before he could move on.
This all makes me feel like the break up had nothing to do with me. That he still loves me but can't feel those emotions right now. And although I'm hurting I still have such a strong urge to be there for him. I don't know how to do that without making him feel weak, or without pushing him further away.
I guess I do hope that he'll get through this and want to start over. But I'm not sure what the chances of that are or how to approach the situation to make that happen.
Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.


Most Helpful Guy

  • When someone is stressed and has no time for you because they have too much on their plate, the best thing you can do is make it easier for them by helping out with the little stuff. Like packing them a lunch with a note saying something sweet in it or anything else small that they need to get done. It's not the time to plead for attention, because that's only adding more to their load. (Not that it sounds like you did that, but I'm giving general advice here.)

    Unfortunately, the three-hour gap is going to make it really hard for you to do any of the little casual things I'm talking about. Try sending him a message saying that you understand he has a lot to deal with, and that you'd like to meet up soon, whenever he is ready. You may have to bite the bullet and accept this breakup though, because it doesn't sound like his problems are that easily resolved. But a message like that is your best chance, and will make him feel better.

    Good luck.

    • Thanks so much. I'll send him a message like that after some more time has passed. I was thinking a week or so from when we last talked. Do you think that's too soon?

    • Yeah, that should be fine.

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