I really appreciate your perspective and self disclosures. I feel like such a phony saying this, but I am really sorry you went through being in Sarah's position.
I think you are right about the loss, and the need to be on my own and be ok with it. Not surprisingly, having them take a step back has brought up all kinds of hurt from my other breakup that I thought I had already gotten over. My past relationship was honest. We lived together for 7 years, and we had so many good times together. I broke up with him after trying to reignite the spark for two years. He is still in his PhD program. It became his main focus. He never mistreated me persay, but certainly took me for granted. I moved away for grad school. We would see one another one or two times ever couple of weeks. Sometimes he wouldn't even get up from his computer to say hello and give me a kiss. I felt soooo neglected emotionally and sexually. When Sarah and Paul came around they were so available, attentive, expressive and loving. They filled that void, I guess. I got used to it. I let me guard down.
Now that they have stepped back I think I am reliving some of the feelings of neglect and loss that I felt when my fiance started to be so unavailable. I never made this connection so clearly until now. Thank you for being so helpful! My crazy emotions are making a whole lot more sense now.