Hello, I am Rafael. Thanks for asking your question - I'm here to support you. (Information posted here is not private or confidential but public).
I am very sorry to know about this overwhelming situation.
Form your story I see this has been very shocking news for you, since you were not aware of any serious problems in your relationship, regardless of how long you have been together as a couple.
It's very concerning since while you have felt confident everything was just fine between you, she is telling you she has been struggling trying to make it work for her but found herself unable to experience , what it takes to truly feel emotionally and physically connected to you, really committed, passionate nd hopeful about a future together.
It's very sad and frustrating the fact that she was not able to be honest with you before and tell you what she was experiencing for both of you to work on it, to make necessary changes and see if what was missing or not working for her started to develop leading to a truly mutually fulfilling relationship.
I can see why you may feel shocked by knowing that she is not willing to consider any chance for you to work on it as a couple nor to get professional support. One thing that I use to share with people and clients is that for healthy and mutually fulfilling to develop and grow with time, both partners need to truly share the same level of affection, passion, caring and commitment , otherwise no matter how hard one of them may try, it would not work, and pushing her would only create further distance and reluctance to be open, and to even keep a healthy friendship between you.
Now you need to reflect on what you can, need, expect and are willing to share or not under these concrete circumstances. If this is something you can afford for a while to see if with time the situation changes allowing you to have a new chance or not, or if you just cannot or do not want to cope with the obvious challenges and limitations to stay close to her exclusively as a friend would require. You need then to assess the pros and cons of your concrete options and choose the one could help you the most to take good care of yourself and life.
Some people in your shoes feel there is nothing else to expect and that they do not want to stay close to the other person since it would be too painful and frustrating to live under those terms, that they need and want a fully committed relationship, and that of the other person does not want nor feel the same, they have to move on. away from her in order not to suffer even more and to rebuild their lives.
Other people would stay for a couple of months or more to see if anything changes, and some could stay for longer until the other person moves away or starts dating other people, with all the pain witnessing that process brings. This is why you need to be totally truthful with yourself to decide what you really want to afford from now on, respecting her decision and boundaries., and taking good care of yourself.
Individual psychotherapy could be necessary and significantly help yo to work on coping with this tough situation, to heal and grow from it, regardless of what happens in the long run, since you would be working on taking good care of yourself anyway taking full control of what depends on you.
Does it make sense?
The core issue here is that she is directly and clearly telling you that she does not want to even discuss about it, less to receive any professional support since she just do not want to be in a relationship with you any longer, then pushing her to get back to you would not lead to what you expect but to push her away even more.
Counseling and psychotherapy are helpless if both persons are not truly willing and want to work on the relationship, on making changes, healing and growing together.
Do you live together and is she expecting you to keep close to her doing everything just as when you were together but not as partners but as friends?
This is not common nor healthy most of the time, since while she could feel totally fine with that status of things, it is obvious it would not work for you, but unhappily pushing her would not make anything better.
That's why I said you need to come to terms with the fact that she has decided to totally end the relationship and not to work on it at all. Thus now you need to work on what you want to do about it, if yo stay under her conditions as a friend only, or if you need and want to set boundaries and focus on healing and rebuilding your life. To wait for a while to see if she changes her mind or not.
I see, then it would make sense for you to think you could have chances to work on it but need time for her to work on her personal-family issues, for her to be able to feel more comfortable and willing to share with you in the relationship.
Then it would be a matter of you working on coping with obvious limitations and challenges this new situation presents and to see for how long you can wait and feel comfortable and satisfied with it, hoping that she would change her mind and allow you back in her life.
Do you know if you really can and want to afford a change like this, taking into account all these problems, limitations and challenges; and for how long are you willing to wait for her?
Sure I do think that her behavior seems to show she is disregarding or neglecting other aspects f her life because of her son. That it is obviously necessary for her to take good care of him, to support him, but only in healthy ways and not to fuel any excessive dependency-attachment that could be counterproductive too. On of my biggest concerns here is that her decision towards your relationship could be justified in this very same way for several years, and the point here is if and for how long you are willing to wait for that. Again that is something only you can respond. Your options as I described before could go from fully accepting her conditions and staying as only friends, or to stay as friend but not sharing that much that close in case you do not feel ready and willing to wait for years o see if she changes and wants you back, or to move on with your life if you do not feel you can nor want to wait that long and prefer to rebuild your life. What you choose depends on what you feel, think, want and expect about it, just be fully truthful with yourself, take full responsibility for your decision and take consistent actions from there. Then time would show you how well or not it works for you from experience, then you would have to make necessary adjustment to make it work for you.
You should also take into account the possibility that with time she could get new and further demands from her son and not necessarily less, Thus you need to be very realistic and objective when assessing your options here to choose what truly matched what you can and are willing to afford.
I understand your situation and it is obvious to me that you really care about her, otherwise you would not feel this concerned and looking for support...
Counseling could help you for sure, but only as much as your willingness to work on yourselves allow.
I agree with you, that's why it could be worthy to try your best and see what time shows you, and then adjust your decisions to what you find out in the process.
Your support system and psychotherapy more than counseling could be the best tow sources of support for you to work on effectively coping and taking god care of yourself in a tough situation like this.
If you feel it is this worthy because of your affection for this person and because you truly believe it is reciprocal but limited because her current personal-family issues/circumstances, then set a time frame and learn from your experience about how well it works for you, if you feel the same 6-12 months from now, if she changes at all and shows this reciprocal caring and affection or not, then you would make necessary changes, based on what you see and feel, and not on expectations and hopes only.
Do you have any further questions that I may help you with?
It has been more than 40 minutes since your last input. I need to leave the chat now, but please feel free to contact me if you have any further questions and to follow up, since I am here willing to support you as possible.
Thank you for your trust. Take gentle care and consistent action.
I think you should try this short terms if you truly feel it is worthy because of what you feel and what you have experienced these past years, but if you do so, please be very mindful and realistic leaning from the experience, that way it would be a time for you to get more aware of reality and of how to better take care of yourself whether she happens to join you or not.