Hi everyone! This is something that is definitely new for me to be doing but I stumbled across this website and was astonished to see how many forums discuss relationships with cancer men. I’m going to tell my story in the best way I can so bear with me as it will most likely be very long.
My cancer man and I were together for a little over 4 years. It’s safe to assume that many years in we were pretty serious about things. I feel like I should also mention now that I am a cancer as well. For some background, I am a full-time college student and he works full-time as the leader of a maintenance team for a growing, local property management company.
At the start of the pandemic (March 2020) we broke up for 4 months. It wasn’t by my choice and it came out of absolutely nowhere considering we were so stable and truly didn’t have any problems between us and he turned cold within a day and everything was over. He stated that he needed to work on himself and needed space to do it. I was confused but obliged. I spent the next 4 months healing but missing him greatly. We got back together that summer after I found out about something he did that I felt was very disrespectful to me and the relationship we had prior. In the heat of the moment after having barely any positive contact during those months I sent him a humongous, angry text, and completely ripped into him telling him about how disrespectful he was to me after our breakup when we had such an amazing relationship together before. We met up to talk in person the next day and I found of the truth of why he broke up with me was because he was struggling mentally really badly due to his relationship with his father who he lived with at the time and he felt like he had to run and hide, pushing me away, so that I wouldn’t be dragged down by him. I assured him that I wanted to be there to support him and that it was unfair that he made that decision in the way he did. He admitted he still loved me and we got back together right then and there. Moving forward, he began to see a therapist, got a new job, and things were really looking up.
Over the last 6 months we decided that we were finally stable enough and ready to start our next journey which would be moving into an apartment together. This was something we both wanted a lot for us and our two pet guinea pigs that we refer to as our children(one of which we got before our first breakup mentioned above). His family was in support as well as mine and we had been applying to all sorts of places within the last few months and even started purchasing things we would need for the apartment. Ever since getting back together we went back to our normal, stable selves and we loved each other hard, supported each other mentally and really dedicated a lot of ourselves to each other. We would never fight, just bicker over dumb things as most couples would. Overall we’d always have fun together, everyday was a new adventure for us and we loved doing everything together.
One thing that developed for me after getting back together that I struggled with a lot was intense insecurity and fear in regards to the idea of him impulsively leaving me again. I needed a lot of reassurance and it was very on and off for me with when I needed it. This was something I was actively working on and he knew that and did what he could to help me not feel that way. He would get upset over me feeling like that but not necessarily at me. Instead he would get really upset with himself and even said multiple times that he hates himself for doing what he did and would work everyday for the rest of our lives to make sure I never had to worry about it again.
We showed a lot of empathy between each other. When one of us was struggling the other would feel their pain and want nothing more but to help. This caused issues but not necessarily bad ones just kind of like oh we love each other and care for each other so we felt bad when we didn’t feel like we were helping each other enough. In other words, we each put too many expectations on ourselves in regards to helping the other person. I blame us both being cancers for this as these intense emotions we felt between each other definitely ruled us and our moods at times. It never came from a bad or negative place, it was only ever out of love.
We were each others best friends and it’s something I wouldn’t of traded for the world. He made me unconditionally happy and I felt so loved by this man. We were mirrors of each other.
As the fall ended we hadn’t had much luck getting an apartment… The ones we applied for kept not getting back to us and it was really hard to deal with. He even verbalized to me how awful he felt and that he thought he was failing me by not being able to get me out of my house yet(I don’t have the best living situation with my parents). I always tried to assure him that it’s ok and I always tried to be positive and tell him that’ll it’ll work out how it’s meant to be and that usually helped him when he started feeling bad about it. He even mentioned wanting to buy a small starter home with me if we couldn’t find an apartment… Within this time he also was given more responsibility at work, basically having to take charge at times and it was really a lot for him to handle. He would take his work days home with him and be mentally and physically exhausted by it daily, frustrated over his lack of help, and in general overworked as every x amount of weeks he had to be on call which usually meant him working 70+ hours a week.
I could see it becoming a lot really fast and I felt helpless but I still did what I felt like I could. I even was able to talk to him about reaching out to his therapist again for the extra help which he decided was a good idea.
Thanksgiving came and I was supposed to go out of state to meet part of his family who I haven’t been able to meet yet. Plans changed last minute and I was unable to because of my own family requirements and school conflicts that came up. He was sad about this but understood why I couldn’t go and we made the plan that once summer came we would take a trip to visit them all.
He came back from that trip and I was so excited to see him again. It was like any normal Tuesday night hangout for us. He came to my house after another stressful day at work, we hopped in the car and rushed to the store to get some supplies for our guinea pigs before they closed for the night. Then we decided to get some groceries fast before heading home. Due to being a full time college student and my at-home situation mentioned above, he helped me every week with groceries. He bought my groceries for me that night and everything was completely normal but somewhere deep down I felt this weird anxiety. We went out to the car to go home and I asked him if everything was ok. Turns out, it wasn’t?
He broke up with me right then and there in the car in the parking lot. Here’s what went down:
He told me that he needed space and to work on himself. That he doesn’t know who he is anymore. He felt like we regressed back to where we were before he started his therapy journey and that he couldn’t see the future we wanted with where we were currently. Gave me a list of things I did that contributed(all things I was unaware of and were unintentional that could easily be fixed) He told me he didn’t see this coming and that it wasn’t something he planned on doing or even necessarily wanted to do but he said that he felt like it was what he needed. Then in the midst of all that he was telling me how amazing I was, and how he loves me more than anything and would love for me to work on myself as well because he knows I’m capable of x, y, z and that I need to tap into certain parts of myself again. He kept saying he loves me and claiming that this time isn’t him running away and that he really needs to work on himself.
I was clearly distraught in this moment because it was like he listed all of these things we need to work on but also said how much he loves me, all while dumping me and our future? Well that was that, I told him I respected it but I wasn’t happy with it.
He initially wanted no contact at all but quickly during our conversation decided that because we love each other so much still and care for each other that he would like to stay friends.
He then, asked if I wanted ice cream and then bought me ice cream and dinner and I sat in the car sobbing while we ate. After that, he brought me home, walked me inside, unpacked my grocers for me and stood with me in my kitchen. He stood their holding me, hugging me, kissing my forehead and crying himself. He said goodbye to our guinea pigs and he left my house crying after one last hug.
He texted me the next day to check in on me as well as a few other times that week. That next weekend we met up to exchange stuff we had of each others and I took that as an chance to bring some stuff up to him that I had time to reflect on over the week. I felt like his approach was unfair as he told me these things that he thought went “wrong” but took it upon himself to never bring them up and I mentioned how they were all fixable things. I mentioned how I didn’t want to breakup and how I’d rather figure out something else to make this work. He told me he needed time to think about things but would be considering just taking a break instead but he was concerned that we would just not work on ourselves and fall back into the cycle. I assured him that we are capable of doing whatever is needed to fix us and he didn’t disagree but just said although he feels like a breakup is what is needed that he wants to and will consider the break he just needs to think about things first. He even mentioned how he’d still like to hangout when he’s ready and even specifically mentioned going out to dinner or the movies… sounds like dates to me? But also assured me saying “I know your brain is going to make you think this but there is nobody else, I don’t want anyone else and I really just need this space to focus on myself.”
It’s now been weeks and we are still in communication but it’s definitely really sporadic. I’m giving him as much space as I can while still maintaining some sort of friendship with him. I know he’s been working and it’s not like he’s going out with friends or anything because I know I really am his only friend(he dropped his only remaining friends over the summer because they were really awful/toxic to him). Part of me is still confused and I’m definitely hurt as I was completely blindsided by this.
I feel really confident that we are going to reconcile soon but part of me feels like the reasonings he gave for the breakup might have a different meaning like our initial breakup had. I could just be looking too far into things but idk. Any advice would be greatly appreciated or any ideas on how to navigate this situation or understand as he is a cancer man…. for now I’ve just been really focusing on myself and doing what I need to do to get through the holiday season. Thank you.