So, first I want to say a heartfelt thanks to the wonderful people here who wrote words of support and encouragement in the aftermath of my break-up yesterday. It really helped a lot. The ex called me last night and we had an epic nearly three hour long conversation in which I feel like both of us came to terms with the relationship ending. It really made me feel better and less hurt.
He very plainly told me that he never meant to imply that I was to blame for his ED and acknowledged how hurt I was by some things he had said. So that was very good to hear. But in the end, there were some irreconcilable differences between us - things I had noticed and questioned myself, but being the accommodating person with poor boundary-setting skills that I am, sort of suppressed. I really do think he has some serious anxiety and OCD issues he needs to work on and he started to take more responsibility for that through this conversation, admitting that he thinks he was having trouble with me intimately because as soon as he started obsessively questioning our compatibility, he couldn't stay present and sex just "didn't work." It wasn't because I was failing to be an adequate partner, but he acknowledged how I could have interpreted his actions as such. Ultimately, I did have concerns about some aspects of his personality - the neuroses and anxiety, but also this tendency to be really black-and-white in his thinking and very intolerant of difference and unwilling to compromise or be flexible. Things that, when I really think about it, would have caused problems for us down the line in terms of big life stuff, like where to live or how to raise a family. Whether that's just a personality thing or a symptom of his OCD or a maladaptive coping mechanism, I don't know. But that is where he is at, and it has clearly impacted his ability to be intimate with another person. I understand wanting to have an emotional investment with the person you're sleeping with, but I question whether it's healthy to be so precoccupied and worried about compatibility that it literally makes you physically incapable of being intimate. I don't know and I suppose it's not really my problem anymore. But the whole conversation did leave me feeling less hurt, although I'm obviously still sad and disappointed. We did connect so well in other ways and we both had such high hopes for this relationship when we first met. He sent me a message in the middle of the night saying he couldn't sleep and was feeling very sad, but was glad we talked and understood each other better now. I responded in the morning to tell him that I hope we can remain on good terms and to thank him for taking the time to talk with me. We're making a clean break, but left the possibility of meeting up for coffee or something in the future open. I don't think we're going to be best friends, but I would actually like the chance to stay on good terms with an ex for once.
So that's that. I just felt like updating you guys, since you took so much time to respond thoughtfully and in such a caring way yesterday. It means a lot to have this forum where I can share stuff like this.