Why does my boyfriend keep breaking up with me?

Dear Edahn,

I think I have a great relationship. My boyfriend and I have been together for many years, we enjoy each others' company tremendously, we "get" each other, and we've been able to help one another through major hurdles in life with a great sense of humor and understanding. We're the couple that everyone wants to be around, and I have never been more understood and at ease with anyone more than I am with him. 

The only problem is, every once in a while, he'll do this thing where some kind of switch will go off in his head, he'll get overwhelmed with life (usually money related stress), and out of nowhere, he'll break up with me. This has happened 3 times over the last 7 years, and usually, I'll either try to talk him off the ledge, or we'll stay together because of economic reasons, and everything will be back to normal again as if nothing ever happened. His reasons for breaking up are usually vague. As you can probably imagine, when he does these mini breakups, it takes a huge toll on me emotionally. Is the happiness and kinship I have with him worth the occasional freak outs, or is this a sign that we are truly doomed, and that my time is better spent finding someone who can stick with me?

IT SOUNDS TO ME like something is fundamentally missing in your relationship. It's like a house that looks beautiful on the surface, but has something seriously wrong with the foundation. As nice as it looks to you, to him, or to others, it's inherently fragile and unstable and I think it'll continue that way forever. Why? Because what's missing is that he doesn't see himself ending up with you. 

I say that because if he did see himself ending up with you, he wouldn't do the things you've described. His thinking and behavior would veer away form that decision every time. The fact that you have fun together and understand each other doesn't contradict what I'm saying. You can still have fun together and people can still enjoy your company. 

There are lots of things you can work on in a relationship, but unfortunately, I don't think that's one of them. Let's be clear, I said you can't "work on" it. It's possible he'll change his mind down the line, but that has to be his own choice. That said, if you continue this way, he'll always have doubts and you'll never really feel safe.

I think you should find something more stable. You'll both be happier in the end.

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