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  1. Fresh Newbie
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    Broken

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    I've never done this before so bear with me. My boyfriend and I were in a serious relationship for about a year until about a few weeks ago when he decided to call it quits. After some discussion, he told me that he's felt lost since he came home from active duty about a year and a half ago. He said that he's felt like he has no purpose here and has decided to go back to active duty. His contract was to be up next year and we were beginning to make plans about our future together. We've known each other for years and he's been one of my best friends for a very long time.

    I don't have many friends. Being an army brat and an only child never really allowed me develop long lasting friendships like most people. I'm not in the military myself but come from 12 generations of military families. I've had to live through 26 different deployments between family and friends. Just last year I lost my best friend in Afghanistan. I am also accustomed to living with people with PTSD. Needless to say, I am no stranger to the military lifestyle. So, when I decided to get into a relationship with my boyfriend (we'll call him Paul), I knew and was prepared for what I was getting myself into.

    What I wasn't prepared for was how and why Paul ended things. He said that he didn't want to put me through his time back in active duty. He said he doesn't want to put me through the hurt and worry in case he gets deployed again and he especially didn't want me to have to accept a flag on his behalf. He insisted that I deserved better and should move on and love someone who can be there for me. He said he still wants to be with me, but that he can't have me this way.

    I am trying my very best to be supportive. Afterall, I know he's just trying to look out for me. But quite honestly, I have no other way of explaining how I feel except broken. I knew he was struggling, but as far as I was concerned, we were working through things. I thought we were happy. He never even mentioned thinking of going back active. All of this was new information and took me all by surprise. I thought that of all people, he would have known better. I would have waited for him as long as it took if going back meant he found some peace. I'm trying to stay positive about all of this, but ever since we broke up I've been a wreck. I can't eat or sleep. I force a smile everyday but behind closed doors I can't help but break down in tears. Paul made me really happy - the happiest I'd ever been. He was my best friend, confidant and strength. He and I went through so much over the years - we understood each other. He was the reason I got up in the morning and looked forward to what life had to offer. I feel like when he broke things off, he also broke me. I tried so hard to change his mind but he won't give in. So, I'm trying to respect his decision. But I'm terrified. I'm terrified of the possibilities - of losing him out there, of watching him find and love someone else, that I've lost my best friend, that I will never get back the part of me that he took with him.

    I know he's not ok and I want so badly to help him. I want to understand why felt he had to end things and why now. I want to know what role I'm supposed to play now. How do I fix this?
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    #2
    You fix it by fixing the only part of it you can. Yourself. You can't control him, or his actions. You can only look and see that this man gave up on you. That's not a relationship worth saving, as much as it hurts. Work on healing, and moving forward. A good place to start might be generating true and lasting friendships of your own so that future SOs are not your only close friends. Develop hobbies and habits (like volunteering or learning new things) which make you whole and complete in and of yourself, rather than just as part of a couple.

    Also, I am curious about what country you or your family come from. Twelve generations is about 250 years, which predates the signing of the declaration of Independence, which mean a family history serving with other country's militaries. That's very interesting and I'd love to read more about it!
    Science always wins over bullshit. ~Dick Rutkowski
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    #3
    Quote Originally Posted by HollyV View Post
    I've never done this before so bear with me. My boyfriend and I were in a serious relationship for about a year until about a few weeks ago when he decided to call it quits. After some discussion, he told me that he's felt lost since he came home from active duty about a year and a half ago. He said that he's felt like he has no purpose here and has decided to go back to active duty. His contract was to be up next year and we were beginning to make plans about our future together. We've known each other for years and he's been one of my best friends for a very long time.

    I don't have many friends. Being an army brat and an only child never really allowed me develop long lasting friendships like most people. I'm not in the military myself but come from 12 generations of military families. I've had to live through 26 different deployments between family and friends. Just last year I lost my best friend in Afghanistan. I am also accustomed to living with people with PTSD. Needless to say, I am no stranger to the military lifestyle. So, when I decided to get into a relationship with my boyfriend (we'll call him Paul), I knew and was prepared for what I was getting myself into.

    What I wasn't prepared for was how and why Paul ended things. He said that he didn't want to put me through his time back in active duty. He said he doesn't want to put me through the hurt and worry in case he gets deployed again and he especially didn't want me to have to accept a flag on his behalf. He insisted that I deserved better and should move on and love someone who can be there for me. He said he still wants to be with me, but that he can't have me this way.

    I am trying my very best to be supportive. Afterall, I know he's just trying to look out for me. But quite honestly, I have no other way of explaining how I feel except broken. I knew he was struggling, but as far as I was concerned, we were working through things. I thought we were happy. He never even mentioned thinking of going back active. All of this was new information and took me all by surprise. I thought that of all people, he would have known better. I would have waited for him as long as it took if going back meant he found some peace. I'm trying to stay positive about all of this, but ever since we broke up I've been a wreck. I can't eat or sleep. I force a smile everyday but behind closed doors I can't help but break down in tears. Paul made me really happy - the happiest I'd ever been. He was my best friend, confidant and strength. He and I went through so much over the years - we understood each other. He was the reason I got up in the morning and looked forward to what life had to offer. I feel like when he broke things off, he also broke me. I tried so hard to change his mind but he won't give in. So, I'm trying to respect his decision. But I'm terrified. I'm terrified of the possibilities - of losing him out there, of watching him find and love someone else, that I've lost my best friend, that I will never get back the part of me that he took with him.

    I know he's not ok and I want so badly to help him. I want to understand why felt he had to end things and why now. I want to know what role I'm supposed to play now. How do I fix this?
    It is possible he used deployments and the danger that goes along with them as an excuse to end things because HE is not ready or because this is isn't what HE wants. Sometimes people say, "I'm doing this for you..." in order to make it easier on themselves.


    ETA: and, now that it has been pointed out, I'm also curious about the 12 generations of military in your family.




  4. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
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    #4
    I agree with PP, all of that kind of sounds like to me that he's checked out of the relationship (to put it bluntly, not that into you anymore) and he's using other things as excuses. Lots of people do that because it's easier to blame circumstances or be like "oh this is for you!" instead of just being straight up and saying "I don't want to be in a relationship with you anymore."

    And villanelle is right, as much as it sucks for a relationship to end, it is a great opportunity to work on yourself so that your happiness and friendships aren't tied up into one single person. You've tried to change his mind, but his mind is made up. I think the best thing to do is focus on yourself and your own healing.


    Maybe 12 generations of military family means 6 on each side? Like both sides of the family have military legacies going back a long way?
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    #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Tojai View Post
    I agree with PP, all of that kind of sounds like to me that he's checked out of the relationship (to put it bluntly, not that into you anymore) and he's using other things as excuses. Lots of people do that because it's easier to blame circumstances or be like "oh this is for you!" instead of just being straight up and saying "I don't want to be in a relationship with you anymore."

    And villanelle is right, as much as it sucks for a relationship to end, it is a great opportunity to work on yourself so that your happiness and friendships aren't tied up into one single person. You've tried to change his mind, but his mind is made up. I think the best thing to do is focus on yourself and your own healing.


    Maybe 12 generations of military family means 6 on each side? Like both sides of the family have military legacies going back a long way?
    Maybe. That's not what the word actually means though. A generation is basically parent to child. Of course it doesn't need to be that direct. A child, his uncle (not father) and grandfather would still be three generations. But child, dad and uncle (dad or mom's brother) is still only 2 generations. So if it was truly 12 generations, thats a great great great great great great great great great great grandfather (or granduncle). Or one less great if a brother or cousin is included.
    Science always wins over bullshit. ~Dick Rutkowski

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