I’m so very sorry that you are hurting. Breaking up with someone we love is one of the hardest things to do. But please take this man at his word. He is doing his best to let you down without devastating you. He is clearly not willing or able to pursue the kind of relationship you want. Ironically, it would be easier on you if he wasn’t so supportive of you. His kind words give you hope.
I wonder if you are holding on because you are still dealing with anxiety about where you are living and the things you said were happening. The relationship probably helped you cope. Now you are called upon to not lean on him but to figure out how to manage on your own.
You are not at all alone in your anxiety. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting about 40 million adults. The good news is that it is treatable. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has been found to be a very effective form of talk therapy. Often this is supplemented by some medication and coaching in some kind of mindfulness technique.
At this point, it’s a mistake to try to get the guy to change his mind. You need to focus on changing your response to difficulty. If you could do that on your own, I think you would have done so already. For that reason, I encourage you to find a therapist who can provide you with the support and unconditional acceptance that your former boyfriend can’t.
I wish you well,