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Rae1991

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About Rae1991

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    Chicago

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  1. I am glad you guys have chosen to reconcile. However, I agree with KayC, what he's doing is emotionally abusive and it is not good for either of you. Might I suggest you consider asking him to go to grief therapy, and you attend some therapy sessions yourself. Not because I am being judgmental, but so you both can get a neutral perspective, have someone to talk to, and gain some clarity for yourselves, and as a couple. If you're still wondering whether or not you will be "solid" again, that is a sign that he is emotionally wavering, confused and no good comes from that. If it goes unchecked, as KayC said, it will only escalate. Misery loves company, so does confusion. Take it from a person who was in the exact same position you are now. It was also Tim's idea to get back together after he too apologized, told me his reasons for why he did what he did, and I forgave him because I loved him, empathized and know what it feels like to be lost in the thick of grief. I stuck it out because as you stated, I saw days where he was smiling, happy and loving just as he was before his dad died, and days where he wanted to be alone, he was angry, depressed, confused etc and would take it out on me too, and I found it extremely hard to stick by him for that 6 months. But I did because I loved him, that's what you do for your partner, and saw hope and some semblance of normality on his "good" days. But, I too had that feeling and thought in my head that things were still off and wondered if we were ever going to get back on track. I knew our relationship would not go back to being the same as it was, but how he acted had an effect on my self-confidence, self esteem and emotional health because there were many days I felt I had to walk on eggshells with him and was confused because he wasn't too forthcoming with his needs, even though I expected him to at least voice them, and mostly, he did. But even when I knew and was sympathetic and tried my best to give him what he asked for, he would still burst out in anger or give me the cold shoulder/silent treatment. I understand that you want what's best for him, and your relationship. He was being selfish in pushing you away/dumping you to care for himself during his initial wave and shock of grief, and I understand that you love him and can forgive him for that. It is okay to put your needs on the back burner temporarily, take a break from the relationship and to reassess things as they are, but it can't be this way forever. It is unfair of him to expect that of you, and unhealthy for you to do that to yourself. You cannot be in this state of uncertainty forever. If he made the choice to resume the relationship, he should be willing to address your needs/feelings as well as his in order to move forward. But, you need to remember to take care of yourself, too. You cannot pour from an empty cup.
  2. You're welcome! I actually didn't realize my dad was EU until I went to therapy after my grandfather and best friend died 7 years ago when I was 19. Connecting all those dots from my childhood/upbringing, my parents' weirdly volatile marriage and then my moms second marriage to an abusive alcoholic made sense because I was an emotional mess and had spent years just ignoring myself, my feelings and traumas and as a result I was a miserable, sad and deeply confused person. I just didn't realized how messed up I really was (nor did I want to confront it) until I absolutely had to after my best friend John committed suicide in 2011. And after my LTR and engagement ended I had no self esteem and was just careless, young and naive to adulthood, dating and life in general so I entertained men who were the same because I thought it was normal. Meeting Tim made me think that I was finally matured and was ready for life because in all honesty, had you told me Tim was EU during our relationship, I would've laughed at you because he seemed the opposite throughout the 14 months prior to his dads death. But I guess part of that was just because I didn't know what an EU person actually was and I thought it'd be more obvious like my dad's issues were. I also loved him deeply and love can make a fool out of even the most intelligent of people. I was just about 23 when Tim and I began dating so I was still a bit naive to the mind games people play and again because I wasn't EU I figured that people had the same genuine intentions as I did (I was Naive as they come LOL). But it's all a lesson now. I believe that Tim had/has no idea he was/is deeply EU, and that he had genuine intentions with our relationship but he was/is severely lacking emotional intelligence and was never taught how to deal with his emotions and just buried his trauma instead (toxic masculinity I feel plays a major part in a lot of guys's lack of emotional intelligence). Though I am not excusing Tim's behavior in any way, no one deserves to be put through the crap our exes have done, grief aside. It shows glaring character flaws when you are unable to discern how to treat people properly based on your inability to deal with your feelings. That's not the same as a quirk, that is a genuine character flaw and a huge red flag. Your ex is seems is aware of his EU tendencies and that he is just blatantly using the "this is just how I am" card to excuse himself from wrong doing because he refuses to acknowledge his crappy behavior. He definitely took advantage of your need for comfort and a shoulder to cry on due to your grief, providing it to you gave him an ego boost and a sense of good feelings, I think. But when it was his turn to express the same feelings that you had for him and put into action the words he had said about "being around forever," he took off because to him they're just words and a means to get the satisfaction he sought because you believed what he said. I don't mean to overstep but, I hope in your course of therapy, you examine why you are attracted to/entertain EU types and take a look at how your upbringing and past relationships have played a role in that. I returned to therapy for a few sessions after Tim and I split up because I saw myself going down that same path of sorrow and deep confusion because I had actually begun to feel bad about myself for expecting him to have treated me better, almost as if I was questioning whether or not I deserved to be treated better. I haven't dated since because I realized that I wasn't living the life I wanted and I wasn't living for myself; I was living for relationships and my friends and was just droning through the days, I didn't truly know who I was (I had an idea, but no real concrete knowledge of myself), and I was chasing what I believed was happiness instead of pursuing my passions, hobbies, my career and letting happiness find me. You know that saying: "If you have to chase something, it isn't meant to be yours." I believe that same sentiment applies to happiness. Chasing things gets exhausting quickly Also, I heard a new saying that I LOVE. "You are not what you attract, you are what you entertain." I think that is spot on, especially when it comes to dating. Yes, you will attract an eclectic mix of weirdos, but if you don't give them your time, it doesn't matter. It doesn't mean there's something wrong with you unless you actively pursue/entertain them. When I was young I didn't know better, but thought that I didn't need to change, grow or look at things from a different POV, until I repeatedly found myself in nothing but misery, loneliness, crappy friends/relationships and with too many bad habits. Misery loves company. And, until you do the necessary work on yourself that allows you to grow continuously, learn from your mistakes and hardships, and accept who you are; it seems that you will only find yourself in the same situation with different faces. https://youtu.be/RiM5a-vaNkg This is another TED talk by Andrew Solomon, one of the people who inspire me to do better. He talks about forging meaning and building ourselves a new identity out of our hardships we face. That is what I have done thus far, and will continue to do with my life I droned on again, sorry haha. But I am grateful I learned these things while I still had the time to apply them to my life fully and live how I want. It's never too late to start over. --Rae
  3. This is a TED talk I stumbled upon a few months after Tim and I separated for good. It is about the problems that exist with dating when we try to "escape ourselves" via relationships. And I feel it relates greatly to both of our situations. https://youtu.be/jmUayKnHWWM --Rae
  4. @xmcll Hi, I am so sorry for you! I hope you are doing better, you seem to be present and aware of your feelings and that is awesome for you. I can tell you from experience that yeah, that guy was definitely emotionally unavailable (EU) and was only looking for a surface level, generic time-filler disguised as a relationship. I hate to be so brash with my words but that is the truth. You deserve far better than this and I am glad you are making the necessary moves to rid yourself of all his negativity and do better going forward. My ex Tim was/is emotionally unavailable. And like you, I didn't realize it until after our relationship was over, twice. If you had delved deeper or spoken with people who knew your ex, you'd have probably found a string of fragmented, short and purely surface level romantic relationships and strained familial ones, most likely stemming from childhood trauma/abuse/abandonment/neglect and/or one or two romantic relationships where he was left by the woman and deeply wounded but refused to allow himself to heal. You are correct in that he is probably using relationships as a crutch, even though non-EU people are guilty of this too, it is a telling sign of those who are EU. Though, they are certainly capable of love and being in love, it manifests itself in strange ways and it is not necessarily healthy for either person long-term. Regardless of what caused his issues, they are his. And it is wrong of him to reel you in, then throw you back and play mind games with you because HE won't acknowledge his poor behavior and obviously severe, deep seated traumas/feelings. He will do the same thing to the girl hes now seeing, its only a matter of time. People are "void fillers, toys, caretakers etc" to EU types. People like our exes are great at appearing charming, caring, affectionate, loving and to be what seems like everything you could ever want in a partner. The problem is this: If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. And that is exactly what Emotionally Unavailable people are and what they do. It's learned behavior and a coping mechanism. Be glad you dodged this bullet. As much as I loved and cared for Tim and it seemed as though he did love me too, his issues ran far deeper than anything I could've imagined and the fact that he refused to confront his past until his dads death inevitably brought to light many family secrets and feelings he didn't want to confront; which then led to his disappearance, ghosting, emotional wavering and mind games at my expense. However, I had come to find via his siblings that he had a string of failed short term relationships since he was a teenager and with nearly every one, he just ghosted them or ran away when things got hard, serious, feelings were developed and/or when he didn't understand something that related to his romantic relationship. I also was made aware that his father was an abusive alcoholic and his mother was herself emotionally abusive. Tim never told me about any of this, nor did he tell me how or why his past relationships ended in any detail. He also never gave me closure, twice, I had to create it for myself because I wasn't given a choice. And I had to come to terms with the fact that even if his father hadn't passed, our relationship was still doomed because of this pattern of behavior, I just wouldn't have known it yet. At the time I was devastated because of his blindsiding me with silence, confusion and undeserved contempt and mind games. But looking back, I too realized that I also dodged a bullet. On top of that, over the years after finding out the truth behind my parents' intense hatred toward one another did I begin to understand why my mother resented my father so much, for he too was emotionally unavailable due to his traumatic childhood and refused to acknowledge it or seek professional help. And he led my mother down a 16 year spiral of infidelity, random disappearances at all hours of the day, refusal to finish anything he started, selfishness that knew no bounds, emotional distance/punishment when confrontation struck, and a need to constantly have/buy "new, better" stuff. My father is now on his 3rd divorce since divorcing my mother 18 years ago, and has been engaged 3 other times. So again, as you said your ex-guy probably does, my father also uses relationships as a crutch. However, this is not to say that Emotional unavailability is a bad thing or that one who is EU cannot change and adopt healthier means of dealing with their feelings. In cases like ours however, this is being EU to an extreme and knowingly/carelessly causing harm to others because of it. It is natural to be a degree of EU after a traumatic experience like a break-up or death, but where the problem lies is when they refuse to confront those feelings and rectify themselves, which then sends them down the "EU spiral" as I call it. Its all too easy for those who are not EU to get sucked into their game because its what they feed on, as being chronically EU is about satisfying the needs of ones pride and ego to feel good about themselves through casual relationships, friendships and various encounters to ease their own insecurities that they have buried inside as a result of their traumas. As a result of my experience with Tim, I have not been in a relationship in over 2 years, and I guess you could say I am slightly EU myself right now, but only for the purposes of protecting my interests/feelings and my active choice not to pursue dating or relationships in favor of traveling, other hobbies and my career, because I recognized that I still had a lot of self work that needed to be done after what had happened and that dating again would've just done more harm than good. Sorry I droned on a bit, but again I am glad you have recognized the signs and are doing what is necessary to rectify the damage he has done to you as well as your grief from losing your mother. Take his behavior as a lesson and in time you will see the silver lining within his poor treatment of you. You deserve far better than him, even if it means giving better to yourself. Focus on healing yourself and doing better for yourself moving forward so you can live your best life.
  5. @Marianne I am so sorry for you! How awful. Who plans a breakup like that? He 'planned' to break up with you, told you of his plans and then had the audacity to call YOU crazy for simply reacting to him "pre-maturely breaking up with you before May." Okay, WHAT?! You dodged a bullet. I am so sorry your heart hurts and that you have the task of moving forward after such a callous, heartless happening. He was going to break up with you regardless, so as you and KayC said, I too think he was just using your reaction as an excuse by inflating it in his own head to validate his reasoning to break up. Anyone who is being broken up with is going to react in some way. So his calling you crazy is nothing short of childish. How rude. It may be his grief talking, but that does not excuse his behavior toward you whatsoever. But, consider his "plan" to throw you away a silver lining in that you realized who he was and how he reacts to bad happenings before you got too deep in and any further along. Grief has a funny way of exposing people's true colors/selves. When someone shows you who they truly are, don't just believe them, act accordingly and show them the door. It will hurt for a while, the first few months will be the hardest. You will get through this and come out on the other side, whether or not you choose to reconnect in the future if it ever becomes an option is your choice alone, however, do re-evaluate how he ended things and how he treated you this time around. I made that mistake in my last relationship of forgiving behavior I shouldn't have and ended up experiencing the same heartbreak twice in a matter of months.
  6. You are welcome, HardLove. I would quote KayC but she pretty much summed up everything I would say in response to those exact quotes. It really, REALLY sucks having to walk away from something that you've invested so much time in, especially when in all three of our cases, our significant others were giving us "breadcrumbs" and pieces of themselves as they wavered in and out through their grief. I do hope it can be salvaged for you and that she does come around eventually, but again, do not wait for it. As you said, just go your own way and if she comes back and is ready to re-commit, then you can move forward together, but until then it is best you preserve the relationship as is and move forward. As KayC said, "as a couple you weather these things together." And that couldn't be more true from my situation with Joe. However, ended up being the opposite with Tim, even though I did what I could, as you have too.
  7. Hi HardLove, I am so sorry this has happened to you too. But as KayC and Marty stated, it seems there is definitely a pattern in the way our ex-significant others have reacted to these tragedies and it may be a telling sign of how they react to things in the future as well. When I was 19 I lost my grandfather to cancer, and 9 months after my best friend John committed suicide. At the time I was in a Long-Term 5 year relationship with my then fiance and we were living together. I reacted in a very similar way as your ex has, though I did not actually break up with him, I essentially abandoned our relationship, dropped out of school for the semester, quit going to work and stopped caring about most things because I couldn't understand why I felt as I did and I was quite angry (and had been for years due to other underlying personal issues). About 4 months after John died, I experienced a sort of mental break and at that point Joe told me that we could no longer be together if I refused to seek professional help because it was not good for either of us and I was treating him terribly. Joe was in a very similar situation as you are in that he explained to me after I began to seek therapy that the only reason he didn't leave me immediately was because he saw glimpses of who he knew that I was and hoped that with time I would return. And I did return, kind of, because I had learned that grief does not truly ever leave us, we just learn to live with it and reform our lives with this new, different piece of us. Kind of like a puzzle piece, we just find a place to fit it in with time. We did eventually part ways a little over 2 years later because our lives had taken different courses and we did not want the same things anymore. Your situation is unique in that she is still communicating with you, but as KayC said it may be because she is keeping you dangling and giving you false hope as to a relationship that will never be. You also stated that she is afraid you will move one, that may be one of her motivations for still keeping in contact as well. Not assuming malicious intent on her part, but I have noticed that people try and keep those they've left and/or pushed away around for "support" and/or to stop them (the dumpee) from moving forward because they (the dumper in this case) don't want to be left behind. My most recent ex Tim did the same to me. We dated for 14 months before his dad died suddenly. At first, he disappeared without a trace and didn't even tell me his dad passed. A week later, he said he didn't want to break up, but that he just needed time and space for himself. He did not break up with me but then disappeared at random for 3 months without contact. I had concluded my relationship had just ended because he never said otherwise and began to do my best to move on. He then reappeared after those months and wanted to reconcile, I reluctantly agreed because I still loved him, though I was extremely confused and made my concerns/feelings known to him. When I asked why he did this he said it was because he had grown extremely agitated, angry and was lashing out at his family/friends, but that he didn't want to do it to me because I hadn't done anything wrong (neither did they, but they have a different meaning in his life and knew they wouldn't take it personally). I asked why he didn't just tell me that, he said it was because he was embarrassed of how he felt, wasn't sure I would stay with him, and that he was too overwhelmed to put any effort into us, so he just "shelved" us. While I was happy he was honest, I was upset that he felt he couldn't just say that to me. I did take it personally at first because he didn't say anything, he just disappeared. Our relationship was not the same as I didn't expect it to be, but we agreed to work on things and continue and he communicated his needs to me more openly. 3 more months went by and things were fine, until one day I stopped hearing from him again. We were to meet for dinner after work and he never showed. Just that previous evening he had told me how much he loved me, and what I meant to him. That very day we kissed/told each other we loved one another before departing to work and had texted throughout the day. I did not hear from him again for another month when I asked for my things back. By then I had made the painful choice to force myself to walk away because I knew that all the things I had read here that KayC and Marty had said were true and that his "I love you's" meant nothing and that he was confused, unwilling to communicate and didn't know what he wanted and was just playing with my feelings to stop me from moving forward with my life because his was stalled. He attempted to tell me how sorry he was again, and reluctantly agreed to give me my things back, though he never actually did. Tim never once said he didn't love me, care for me, respect or value me. However his patterns of behavior, not just his actions told a different story. Now, this may not be exact the case for you, but it has similarities and her pattern of behavior again shows that she may react this way to something again in the future. What I think KayC is saying to you is that she is essentially trying to save you from what happened to both her and I along with many others here.: From falling down into the grief hole/fog with her and waiting for something that may not come. I am glad that you agree and have recognized that she may be setting you up for failure because she is being ambiguous with her words, passing burdens unto you that are not yours, and confusing you in the same way that she currently is with the promise of a reconciliation that may never happen. It is best that you make the choice to regain your control and go no contact with her and do what you can to move on. As KayC said, being in limbo is absolute torture, and it is extremely unfair to you to be left waiting idly on nothing but potentially empty promises. It is painful, I know but it will save you in the long run whether or not she does return. Both times Tim went NC I cried and was upset for weeks, and especially the last time, I knew I couldn't let him do this anymore because it was damaging me and ruining any and all love/respect I still had for him. I was 24 when this happened, I am 26 now and I still haven't heard from him (nor do I still want/hope to). I am not trying to compare your situation to mine, just pointing out the similarities between things that were said/done and the potential results.
  8. Hi Halle, I am sorry this has happened to you too, but as KayC said it is common. Again, it is nothing you did to make him act this way and even though you mentioned his siblings didn't eave their spouses, that is because they reacted differently than he has. When my ex ghosted me twice after his father passed, none of his 4 siblings left their partners either, it was only him. It is just how he, even unknowingly reacted to tragedy. It is not age, gender, relationship length or situation specific, it just happens. However as it seems, there are always commonalities among our stories. There are red flags, secrets and behavior we have missed or overlook and misconstrued as something else (though it is not our fault necessarily as we all have flaws and it is only human to see the best in someone we love and easy to explain away their behavior, even when its less than appropriate). I echo everything that KayC has already said, be patient with yourself as you move forward and understand that it is okay and normal to cry and be upset. My ex too did not know what he wanted after his dad passed, which made me wonder if he ever truly was the person he led me to believe he was and the person I fell in love with when I began to find out from his siblings about their abusive parents and his habit of ghosting women and avoiding any sort of proper communication/confrontation and his apparent deep seated struggles with emotional availability and health. Mind you, these were things I would've laughed over had I been told he acted as such prior to his dad's death as he seemed to be the opposite of a person who'd act in such a way. My ex and I dated for 14 months before his dad's death and then took an unannounced "break" when he failed to even tell me his father passed, he just disappeared and I had to track him down and force him to tell me what happened. He then said he didn't want to break up, but at random went no contact for 3 months before attempting to reconcile, where we then lasted another 3 months or so before he ghosted me again and I had to force myself to walk away. That was a very hard 6 months for me, even after he came back because I was always fearing he'd do it again....and he did. I was left heartbroken, confused and devastated not once, but twice by the same person who said he'd never do anything to compromise us. We had an amazing connection, chemistry and love, but even that couldn't save us from the problems he refused to confront about his own life and feelings. I cried for months afterward, as KayC did and many others here have too. All I can say is, do not wait for him to come back, because the truth is he may not. Do not make it known to him that you are waiting, pining or hoping he will return to you as that may have the opposite effect you desire. I was 24 when my now ex dumped me and I am 26, almost 27 now. I have not heard from him since the day I asked for my stuff back at the beginning of 2016. Take the time to grieve and give yourself the space to remove your memories at your own pace if you cannot do it all right now. Forge meaning, learn from this experience and once you are a year or so removed from this situation you will come to see it as a lesson for yourself and way to form a new identity and rebuild a stronger heart for yourself. When someone shows you who they truly are, don't just believe them, act accordingly and show them the door. Also, Please ask yourself: Why would you want to be with someone who so willingly and easily throws you away when life gets hard? You deserve better than that. You will come out of this in the end a better person. Don't focus on getting over him, just focus on being a better you for the future.
  9. That's definitely a great start to healing. When my most recent ex Tim and I broke up, I did the same for weeks afterward the second time Tim had randomly left me after attempting to reconcile, because I knew at that point I had to walk away. I'd come home after work and just cry because I was devastated, confused and heartbroken. It is a great idea for you to go No Contact and take a Facebook hiatus. I did the same when he ghosted me the last time, I removed him from my FB, our photos and my phone, and put anything of his I had into a box in my closet as to avoid constant reminders of him that would make me angry, sad or prompt me to contact him. If you don't feel you're up to removing all that so suddenly, wait until you are and then do so gradually. A job will surely assist you in keeping busy, and even introduce you to some new people that you could form friendships with, so that's a great idea. I'm sure your campus has counseling services for students, so it wouldn't hurt to talk to someone there just so you don't feel so alone all the time. A quote I read in a thread on here by a girl named Miri was posted in a reply by a user named Ron, it said: "You said you love him unconditionally. Walking away does not equate to letting him down. You walk away not only to spare yourself anymore hurt, but because it's the right thing to do for him. Walking away is in itself an act of love." That quote stuck with me immensely and has helped me realize that in situations like ours, the only way to show your love for them and for you is to walk away. And it helped me stop the intense feelings of guilt I had after forcing myself to walk away and realize I needed to act in my best interests because not only had he willingly abandon me, I had allowed him to abandon me twice, made excuses for his bad treatment of me, and hurt me so deeply that I felt guilty for expecting him to treat me better, and was going down an unhealthy path. Allow yourself to feel the range of emotions that you are, but do not get stuck in that spiral of thinking. You deserve better than that, Even if it means giving it to yourself.
  10. Lyla, I read your story and I am so sorry this has happened to you, too. As Kay and Marty have both said, he is indeed in a "grief fog," and even though you still love him, you have to do what's best for you at this point in time. But it is okay and normal to experience the emptiness and grief that comes with his random break-up, as well as your own grief from your relationship with his mother. Your feelings are valid, and they do matter. But he has chosen to navigate the grief fog alone and left you in the lurch. I echo the sentiment that it is not you, or anything you did that caused him to do this. It is just how he reacted to such an awful tragedy. You did what you could and were there for him as any supportive significant other should be. My only advice to you is, do not wait for him to come back, because the reality is, he may not. You are young like I am (20 when my best friend died, 21 when my boyfriend of nearly 7.5 years and I split, 24 when my now ex dumped me due to his grief, 26 and a college graduate now). It will be difficult for a while, and don't give it a timeline of when you should be "over it," and do not ignore your feelings, but do focus and take stock in all the positives in your life. Hang out with friends, go back to your hobbies, pick up new ones, and since you're in college like I was, take an elective psych, philosophy, art or language class (I did and now speak fluent Italian and have been to Italy), join a club, volunteer at an animal shelter or charity event; go back to participating in things and try new stuff. Set goals, focus on your schoolwork, etc. Move forward with your life, do not make it known to him, or make it seem that you are waiting idly for him to return to you because that may actually have the opposite effect that you desire. You need to protect yourself first, as he has chosen to do for himself. If he does come back, that's wonderful. However, you may not even want him anymore by the time he does (it could be months, and possibly years before he comes back, if he does at all). He will not be the same person as he was before his mother died, and if he does come back, your relationship will be different as well. You would also need to evaluate whether or not it's a good idea to re-engage him and whether or not he has grown and learned to deal with his loss and feelings, as grief does not truly go away, it just becomes a part of who you are. For me personally, my exes refusal to even tell me his dad died and subsequent disappearance from my life was a major violation of trust, as he too said many times that he saw a future with me and that he wouldn't put himself in a position to lose what we had. I was there myself 7 years ago after losing my best friend to suicide, and although my boyfriend at the time did not leave me, nor I him (we had been together over 5 years at that point and through high school), I treated him in a very similar way as your boyfriend has done to you. I went through a grief related break-up 2 years ago when my boyfriend of 14 months lost his dad suddenly too. He initially said he did not want to break up, but at random went No Contact with me for 3 months before attempting to resume our relationship. He then wavered and jerked me about emotionally for almost 3 months before he finally severed all contact randomly one day and I have not heard from him since. At the time, I too wanted to wait for him, and admittedly, I did for a while; but realized that I would be giving my time and power away to a guy that now twice had randomly left me because he was going through a rough time. Please ask yourself, as I had to then, why do you want to be with someone who leaves you in the dust when life gets hard?
  11. Rae1991

    I Don't Know Where I Would Be.

    I heard something interesting the other day that I heard in a YouTube video that is an extension of something I said in my original post. "When someone shows you who they are, don't JUST believe them, act accordingly and show them the door." I agree with that sentiment 100%. As I think just believing them is only the first step, but one too many times we fail to do the second step: Showing them the door. Until it's too late or they've done the same thing a second, or even third time. ☺
  12. Rae1991

    I Don't Know Where I Would Be.

    Thank you, Marty for your reply and encouragement. There's someone out there I'm sure, but for now I'm focusing on traveling and advancing my career. If I meet him along the way, great! If not, I've still got plenty of life to live, people to meet and places to see. In the past year, I've been to 5 countries and am planning on traveling more this coming year before school starts in 2019. Kayc, thank you for highlighting some things about my story. It means a lot as I've heard I'm "too young" to give advice. I read your story about Jim and it broke my heart, but I'm glad you were able to regain your clarity, peace, and establish a friendship with him later on. I am only friends with my ex Joe because it took me a long time to forgive both him and myself for the failures that contributed to the demise of our engagement and accept that we were both just too young and hard headed for it to have lasted anyway. Unfortunately, neither of our exes, Jim or Tim had the frame of mind to admit they didn't know what they wanted and caused us even more hurt. I agree that being with an Asperger's person would have made it extremely difficult to maintain a healthy relationship, let alone a marriage whether or not grief was involved. But I'm glad that was recognized prior to the marriage and you were able to remove yourself from the emotional roller coaster he had you on. Your situation resonated heavily with me after Tim's dad died as Tim acted the exact same way, so I took cues from your posts on how to deal with it. Though, as you posted, it took serious effort to pull myself away from it and understand that his "I love you's" no longer meant anything, even though I desperately wanted to believe they did. It was a difficult pill to swallow. And after finding out from Tim's siblings that his father was abusive, his mother was emotionally and verbally abusive, and he had a pattern of yo-yoing the women he'd dated; it made me realize that his issues ran far deeper than anything I could've known and, that maybe he was never truly the person I fell in love with. I don't see a friendship with Tim being able to happen because even though I have forgiven him for my own sake, I get the inkling that he still has a lot of anger and resentment towards me for reasons I will never get the answer to. I do hope however that one day I will be able to find love like you and George had. It seemed like a fairytale and gives me hope knowing that love still exists in a generation of people my age terrified of themselves, commitment, relationships, hurt and love. While I was devastated by my break ups with both Joe and Tim, I am grateful for Joe showing me what love looks like and Tim for making me realize I still had a lot of self work to do and that I was selling myself short in relationships, love, my goals and life. When I asked Joe why he stayed with me through my terrible treatment of him and myself, what he said to me has always been in the back of my mind. "I stayed because I missed you. I missed my best friend. Even if it meant that I had to leave you for refusing therapy, I wanted you to remember who I know you are, with or without me. It would have wrong of me to abandon you because life got in the way. I didn't want to throw away 5 years of us and our future marriage because you forgot who you were for a minute."
  13. Wow. What an awful scenario to find oneself in. But I do agree with Carolyn in that she is not to blame for his problems that would cause him to do such a thing. And that he is not all people, but an outlier. Excellent article.
  14. First off, I want to thank KayC, Marty and all those who have offered their advice to people who found this site in their search for answers. Though my experience with losing a romantic relationship due to grief began 2 years ago, I found this site at the time and even though I was unable to post then, it has helped me immensely in piecing my life back together, gaining closure and moving on afterward. As I have been on both sides of the spectrum, both the lost, confused griever and the dumpee of a grieving person, I thought I would share my experiences. I changed their names for privacy reasons. Where to begin.... In 2010 I lost my grandfather to cancer. At the time I was a 19 year old college freshman in a 5 year romantic relationship. I am now 26 and a college graduate. My grandpa was one of my best friends and he helped my parents raise my siblings and I. He spent 6 months in hospice before eventually dying from liver failure and cancer caused by decades worth of alcoholism though he was sober for many years before he died, something I did not know until after he had passed. 9 months later in 2011, my best friend of 12 years, John committed suicide, I found his body. In the days following John's death I fell into a state of severe depression, confusion and sadness. I dropped out of school for the semester and nearly quit my job. In the next few weeks, I began to neglect myself, my relationship and my boyfriend, Joe. While Joe was fully understanding and attempted to be supportive, I wasn't allowing him to be nor was I appreciating any efforts he made to comfort me or assist me with funeral arrangements and other things that needed to be done. (It was the opposite of how I acted after my grandfather died). I was extremely hurtful and neglectful, in words and actions towards him because I was hurting, angry and unsure of what to do, but that does not excuse how I acted towards Joe. About 4 months after John's death, I experienced a sort of "mental break" and Joe finally said that he couldn't take it anymore and that I needed to go to counseling if we were to continue our relationship and our plans to wed. At the time, I was resentful of Joe for doing such a thing, but after going to therapy for a few months and being able to understand why I reacted with such intense feelings and the root causes of those feelings, I was grateful to him and thankful he stuck by my side. I learned in therapy that because of my upbringing with emotionally unavailable, extremely religious parents who both had their own issues, and abuse I had suffered as a teenager at the hands of my mother's alcoholic second husband, that many of my feelings and reactions to things such as grief, sadness and anger stemmed from my unwillingness and inability to understand, control and confront my own feelings and issues. As a result, my life as a whole suffered because of it once I became an adult. I essentially spent my teenage/early adult years hiding and running from my feelings and being angry, until my grandfather's death sent me to the edge of the cliff, and John's death pushed me off it. Joe and I eventually split in 2012 after 7 years together after he admitted to cheating on me and then left me for another girl. We have since reconciled and are distant friends now, but I will always be thankful that he encouraged me to seek help and didn't abandon me. Fast forward 2 years to 2014, I am now nearing 23 and my last semester in college. I had become great friends with a coworker, Alex, and had been since I began working at my job in 2012. I had met and become great friends with Alex's girlfriend Kayla, their kids and one of his other siblings, Sarah. One night after we'd all gone out to dinner, Alex and Sarah suggested that I meet their youngest brother, Tim, because we were both single, the same age and shared a lot of common interests (weight lifting/health, books we liked, movies, tv shows, etc). I was skeptical, but agreed. Alex gave Tim my phone number and we chatted then arranged a date. After 3 dates, and a few weeks of conversation, we began a relationship. We had a lot of fun together, communicated well, talked about our ambitions, goals and shared so many interests that it seemed we never ran out of things to talk about. 14 months into Tim and I's relationship, in September of 2015 Alex and Tim's dad suddenly died of a heart attack. Tim did not even tell me his dad died. The day after, Alex texted me asking how Tim was doing and I had no idea what he was talking about, so Alex informed me. My heart sank and I started to cry. I called Tim and asked him to call me back, he never did. Four days went by and I was worried about him so I stopped over at his house. (During these few days was when I came across this Group and began reading the threads and advice). Tim wasn't home so I left the box of his favorite cookies and a note I had written for him expressing my condolences on his doorstep. A few days later I stopped by his house again after not hearing from him for over a week, he was home this time. He let me in and simply said that he was sorry for not returning my calls/texts and thanked me for the note. I told him that it was a little scary because I grew worried that something had happened to him, but that I understood if he just needed some time to himself. All I asked of him was that he tell me what he would like to do going forward so I can respect his needs. He told me he did need some time to himself. I let him know that if he, Alex, Kayla or Sarah needed help or assistance that I would gladly help them. I had told Alex and Kayla this same thing days earlier. We hugged each other, told each other "I Love You" and that was the last I heard from him until the end in November 2015. Those 3 months were quite hard for me to accept that my relationship had basically ended even though we never actually broke up. We remained friends on FB though I removed his posts from my feed, I didn't delete our photos/texts because at the time it was just too painful. Alex and Sarah both encouraged me to come to the funeral service but I explained to them that out of respect for Tim's wishes, I only sent flowers to his mother (even though his parents are divorced) as I did not want my presence to been misconstrued as an attempt to make Tim change his mind. Because of what I had begun reading and learning from this Group, I realized the chances of us reconciling were slim to none, despite hoping that maybe we'd be the exception (as all of us here once did). I was still very much in love with him, but after reading Tom, KayC and Miri's amongst others' threads intensively and repeatedly for weeks, I realized that despite our connection, chemistry and love we shared, there were red flags that I failed to notice or overlooked. Something that a user named Ron had said to Miri a few years back that struck me deeply and has stuck with me since, "Walking away doesn't equate to letting them down. You walk away to spare yourself anymore hurt and because it's the right thing to do for them. Walking away is in itself an act of love." One day in November 2015, Tim texted me explaining how sorry he was for hurting me and that he'd like to get together and talk things out. I had extremely mixed feelings by this time because I wasn't sure if it was just loneliness compelling him to do this or that he did truly miss me. I consulted with my friends who knew of our situation and I talked to Alex about this as well before agreeing to meet him. In the back of my mind I was still optimistic, even though I tried not to let my feelings get the best of me. We met over dinner, talked and engaged each other like we always did. I told him that how he acted hurt me deeply and that it has affected my trust in him. Tim asked if I would consider working things out. I said yes on the condition that we slowly work at gaining the trust back and that he communicates with me about how he is feeling as I did not expect our relationship to be normal like it was before his dad's death. Alex, Sarah and Kayla were really happy that we agreed to work things out as over the time we were together, I grew close with his family and siblings. About 2 months after we started working things out, Tim began to grow distant again in waves. I let him sort himself out, gave him space when he asked and kept an open line of communication whilst I kept on with my life, hobbies and work while still being a support for him. One night, we were having a conversation about a book I had read that I thought he'd like so I suggested he read it and he then became angry and wouldn't tell me why. He went to bed and I followed not long after. We woke up the next morning as normal and I asked him if he was okay and what happened last night. Tim said he had a "flashback" and that he'd explain after work. So things went about as usual, though he never explained what that meant. Two weeks later, we were at his apartment, we kissed before we left for work, said we loved each other and that we were to meet up for dinner later on. I arrived first and got our table, so I waited for him to arrive. I grew worried after an hour went by thinking he got held up at work, he didn't answer my call or text. Two hours had gone by so I gave up the table and left while I called him again. He never returned my calls or texts. So I called Alex and Sarah the next day to see if they knew where Tim was or if something had happened to him. They had both said they had just talked to him yesterday and that he seemed fine. I didn't hear from Tim again until 4 weeks later when I asked to come and get the few things I had left at his apartment. He coldly texted me saying he would leave them in a box at his front door. When I went to retrieve them, they were not there. I never did get my things back and though they were trivial and replaceable, it seemed like a much bigger ordeal at the time. When I informed Alex, Sarah and Kayla of what had been happening, they were shocked, upset and apologetic to me for his random, callous behaviour. At that point the saying from Ron I had read in this Group months earlier about walking away, the wonderful advice of KayC and Marty, and the quote, "when someone shows you who they are, believe them" were spiraling in my head in a nearly mocking fashion. I felt so embarrassed, heartbroken and ashamed of myself for allowing him to do that and ignoring my instincts and the advice I had read here. I did however learn valuable lessons from all of this. I shouldn't have been embarrassed because love can make a fool out of even the most intelligent people, no one is immune to that. It wasn't me, it was him. And nothing I could have done or said would have changed the outcome. I had to create my own closure because I wasn't given a choice. It has been nearly two years since I have seen or heard from Tim. Even though at the time I was still in love with him, I blocked him on FB, deleted and blocked his number and removed any photo of us I had. Not because I was mad, but simply because I came to realize that he wasn't the person I fell in love with, after talking with Alex and Sarah it became clear that he had a pattern of this kind of behavior since he was a teenager and that it'd be easier for me to move on without reminders of him everywhere I looked. I also had to take a hiatus from my friendship with Alex and Sarah because they are his siblings, though Kayla and Alex are also no longer together I have remained good friends with both of them, too. I moved away 6 months after all of this because I got a new job and it helped me immensely improve my life, future career and gain my happiness back. I am also about to move again to start Medical School and I honestly don't think I would have made the choice to go back if Tim and I had stayed together. I am no longer heartbroken or still in love with him, nor do I wish him harm, but that experience definitely changed the way I approach dating, who I trust, how I judge potential dates/relationships and how I approach relationships and deal with the conflicts they inevitably come with as well as those I face alone. I was in a very brief relationship of 3 months this past year (2017) in my new city/state with a man named Jay, his grandmother died 9 weeks into our dating. Jay reacted almost the exact same way as Tim did. But this time I had the wherewithal to step back from the situation and assess it accordingly. Jay too asked to reconcile after I made the decision to end the relationship because he was treating me poorly. I declined and have not spoken to Jay since. If you've read this much, thank you. I know it is a lot of detail. All I have to say is if you find yourself in this situation and come here seeking solace; take the advice of those in this Group by reading their stories and experiences and understand that this is not a unique situation. KayC and Marty offer wonderful advice. If this happens to you, understand that IT IS NOT YOU, IT'S THEM. Yes, you will take it personally to some degree as you experience the grief of losing your relationship, but their grief does not excuse them from treating you like you don't matter. If they were falling into a hole and you reached out your hand, they still wouldn't take it. You have to let them work through it alone if that is what they choose, no matter how much you want to help. All you can do is stop yourself from falling down the hole with them. You need to do what's best for you because if they leave you in a lurch such as this one, it's a clear indication they are already doing what they feel is best for themselves without consideration of how it makes you feel. I know it hurts, but please ask yourself why you would want to be with a person who so willingly and easily throws you away when life gets hard. Thank You, Rae
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