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Handling E-Mails from Ex Boyfriend After He Broke Up With Me

Published on August 14, 2012 by scarletred

My ex-boyfriend of several months sent me a break up e-mail 4 weeks ago suddenly and without explanation. It was totally out of the blue and unexpected. He emailed me one day about our plans for getting together and 24 hours later he sent me the breakup e-mail! The email was 2 paragraphs long, expressing regret but providing no explanation. He just said things like it was nothing I had done and that he'd miss me. I went into "no contact" mode and deleted him and his contact information from my computer, phone, etc. Neither of us contacted the other for 4 weeks. Some of our plans were for my birthday last Saturday (4 weeks after the breakup email). So on my birthday, last Saturday, out of the blue, he sent me a Happy Birthday e-mail. The first paragraph extended warm birthday wishes as if nothing had happened. The second paragraph explained that the reason he broke up with me was because his doctor convinced him that he had a terrible disease and he knew I wouldn't be interested in sick guy. However, his tests have now come back negative, so it looks like he's going to live. He said he was just explaining the reason for the "sudden change." I didn't respond. The next day, yesterday, he sent another e-mail asking how I'm doing and framing a political topic in a flirty manner. He then said he'd reserve his opinion on the subject until he hears "what I have to say (or write) - or both " I haven't responded. I don't know whether I'd want to reconcile or not, but I'd certainly like to know more than he's telling me. Should I respond? If so, how and when? If I am to respond, I'd like to do so before he quits contacting me. What should I do or not do? What should I say or not say? Thanks!


Let's assume for the moment that you buy his explanation (as improbable as it seems). Do you really want to be in a relationship with someone who a) makes major decisions on his own based on assumptions about you that may or may not be accurate, b) breaks up with you via email, and c) offers no indication that he understands and accepts responsibility for the way his actions impacted you? None of those items indicate someone who understands the benefits of open and honest communication and how to be in a relationship.

That being said, your curiosity to know more is totally understandable. Before you decide if/when/how to reply to him, make sure you have a good handle on how it might impact you. Are you open to rekindling the romance? If so, what do you need to know/hear from him to feel ok about it? Do you trust him? If not, what would he need to do to regain your trust? How will you protect yourself from getting hurt again?

If you aren't open to reconciling, can you exchange emails and maintain your emotional distance?

If you aren't sure about any of these questions, you can always reply with a brief message letting him know that you are glad he's ok, but that you aren't quite sure what to make of things, that his abrupt ending of the relationship was extremely hurtful, and you aren't yet sure if you want to let him back into your life yet (or something along those lines).

One final observation - your fear that you need to respond before he quits contacting you seems to put all the control in his court. He waited 4 weeks to contact you again. You are certainly entitled to wait as long as you need. I'd check in, though, about where that fear is coming from and what exactly it is you are afraid of.

Best of luck!

if I responded it would be to say that "while I appreciate your feelings, I have moved on". Sounds cold, but really do you want someone in your life who is going to dump you on a whim only to jerk your heart around later. If he really wants you back and is willing to work to regain your trust thats different.