I have been struggling to understand this situation for a while now and I was just wondering if anyone had any insight. And I also just need to vent because this whole thing is honestly heartbreaking and confusing.
My boyfriend broke up with me a month ago which was completely out of the blue for me. I had just moved to a new city to study and although we had both discussed that we were going to have difficulty with long distance when we discussed it he said he didn't want to break up because of it and that it would be difficult for him because he is big on physical affection and proximity but he still wanted to make it work. 6 days in he breaks up with me on a video call, which was going completely normally until he made a face, I asked him what was wrong, he didn't want to talk about it then but I pushed him to (my mistake) and then next thing I know he is sobbing his eyes out telling me that he's being having thoughts that 'he can't do this' and because he feels that that is dishonest to me 'that's why I'm doing this' (breaking up with me.) He said that he loves me, that I'm the most beautiful girl in the world and that he will never love anyone like he loves me and that he still wants to be friends and visit me. He said that at the moment he doesn't have the emotional space to be in a relationship, that he needs to learn to put himself first and love himself before he can love anyone else. I asked him why we couldn't continue the relationship but just change some things and have me support him and he said 'I don't want to- no I can't'. At a certain point this got too upsetting for me and I hung up and said bye to him.
Then the next morning he messaged me and said he has been in CBT therapy for a month (which I knew) and that his trauma has been very much alive (which I didn't know.) He was sexually abused by his father and separated from his mother at a young age and later when he lived with his mum who has PTSD she had a stroke and he became a carer for her when he was a teenager and his family didn't help him at all. I think he has CPTSD (he isn't diagnosed but has every single symptom i.e. emotional flashbacks, anxiety, difficulty trusting etc.) He messaged me that he felt he needed to break up with me because we both needed to 'grow' and that he doesn't want to drag me down with him and that he is at the worst time of his life which has come after the best year of his life. When we spoke on the phone he told me that he is reliving old memories and new ones that he doesn't know how to deal with. He said he is having flashbacks and body memories and that he feels emotionally numb. He said that if we had sex he wouldn't 'feel anything.' When I asked him if he saw a future for us he said he didn't even see a future for himself. I think me pushing him made him even more determined in the breakup as he told me that he hadn't been sure before but now he was more sure and wanted us to 'go our separate ways.' He also has addiction issues (weed) that he only admitted to me then for the first time.
The reason I am confused is because he seems to be acting erratically. His mum said that he has left all of his group chats with his friends and is calling them all losers that aren't doing anything in their lives (this isn't true) and has a particular problem with one of his friends (who in all the time I've known him has been very good to him.) The last few months of our relationship were difficult, but overall good in my perception. I also come from a traumatic background and I had about 5 major stressful events happen in my life and because of that I was extremely triggered and difficult to be around for a while. However, as much as we had our downs we had mostly ups, we had a lovely summer and did a lot of things together and had a lot of discussions about our relationship and by the time I'd left for uni I thought that we had resolved our issues and our relationship was stronger.
For a week or two after the breakup I blamed myself and thought that I had put too much pressure on him with my own issues. Whilst I do think this had an impact, more and more I am unconvinced that this breakup was due to our relationship. Apparently he told his mum that one of the reasons he broke up with me was that I had asked him to change one of his song lyrics, which to me seems absurd. He seems to be coming out with so many reasons but none of them really make sense to me. In the weeks before we broke up he was constantly telling me that he loved me, our conversations were very normal and loving, even the days before and on the breakup he was telling me that he wanted to be with me, that he missed me and planned to come and visit me. Even in the last week he was telling me that he can't wait to live with me and build our lives together. This is so confusing to me, why would he say these things and then suddenly break up with me?
I could be wrong and a part of me tells me that I am but I really feel that the CBT he has been doing has been the last nail in the coffin for him in terms of stress and he has essentially gone into survival mode. On the day he broke up with me he had to move house back into his grandparents house (which he has difficulty living in because he doesn't get on with his brother) and he hadn't packed anything, in addition he hasn't set up anything for his university course. I have been reading a lot about the PTSD 'stress cup' and I really feel that the impact of his trauma being dredged up in therapy in addition to these things has put him in crisis. I can't over emphasise how intimate and loving our relationship was, we could talk about anything, enjoyed doing a lot of stuff together and I never once felt he wasn't in love with me.
However, I know this is a common occurrence - a mental health crisis happens and a partner disappears. I have a lot of hope for reconciliation but at the same time I know not to get my hopes up. The only thing I can really do is give him is space and time. However, I do worry about him a lot, what he is going through sounds awful and I wish I was closer by as I partially feel that if I was, this wouldn't have happened. I just hope he hasn't completely written us off because that would be a shame. At the same time, I know that if we ever got back together I would have to insist that he was sober and in therapy/ managing his mental health. I don't know at the end of the day, I am hoping that I am not being lied to even though I don't really think I am.
I am hoping that once he finishes his CBT therapy his mind will settle a bit and we can have a talk when I return home for the holidays.