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Rissalin

Mom passed, wanting to end relationship

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This is my first post, I am not really sure where it fits exactly, so I'll give it a whirl here.  I lost my mom in late August, she had a heart attack unexpectedly, three days before I was supposed to move back up to my college and begin my senior year, I am 21 years old.  The whole situation was incredibly traumatic for me as I was the only one home with her (after visiting my boyfriend in Florida for two weeks, it literally happened 4 hours after she picked me up from the airport).  I do not want to go into much details about how it happened, but both my Dad and brothers were at work while it happened, so I had to call 91, perform chest compressions and all of that jazz that the dispatcher walked me through completely alone.  I've had a hard time dealing with this.  

I have been with my boyfriend nearly two years, it has been a long distance relationship for our whole relationship, he attends school in Florida, I go to school in New York, and we never really had any problems with it.  We never really argued, if we did it was more about us being upset because we were too busy and our schedules weren't matching up, but nothing ever too serious. Both of us have always been realistic with our relationship, and obviously wanted and saw a future together, but we were not naive about that.  It's just that ever since my mom passed away, I just do not have the desire to be in a relationship any more.  I have a hard time wrapping my head around the thought of having a future with him and I feel like if I do not even have hope for a future with someone, whats the point of continuing the relationship?  I do not know if it is because it's long distant, and we both live very busy lives, but I am not getting the attention, I want or need from him during this time, when I feel like I need it most, but I also just do not feel like putting effort into it any more.  I tried explaining this to him, that I felt like a relationship was too much while I was trying to process everything, but it was a few days after the one month mark of my moms passing so he took it as me just trying to push him away.  This was the first time throughout our relationship we actually came close to breaking up, and he told me that he would work on things and try and be more attentive and make more time with me, but I just do not feel like an effort really has been made.  This past month since we had that talk, I've been trying really hard to find happiness and handle everything while being with him, but here we are a month later and I still feel the same way I did then.  I don't know how to explain this to him without hurting him, or make it realize that I don't think anything he does, or anyone does can change that.

 I just feel like I'm not myself anymore, I'm not the person he fell in love with anymore, the relationship is no longer fulfilling my needs (I also think he is unhappy, but does not want to admit it to himself, or me), overall I just need to be focusing on myself and I can't because I'm worrying about how I need to figure out how to make our schedules work, it just feels like a chore rather than something to bring me happiness.  I just feel horrible for feeling this way, because it's not like he's done anything wrong, but I'm afraid that I'm going to start resenting him and I do not want that to happen.  Is this a normal reaction for people who are grieving?  Does it seem like I'm just pushing him away?  Should I keep trying to make it work, or just end it and take the time for myself?  Any thoughts or opinions, or people who experienced something similar would be greatly appreciated.  Also my apologies if my thoughts are all over the place!

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Wow, it's really hard for me to respond because I was on the other side of the coin.  My fiance and I were engaged for a year, we lived 75 miles apart but spent every weekend together and talked on the phone at least a couple times a day.

His mom was dying and he quit his job to take care of her 24/7.  We had no idea how long it'd be because she didn't have a definitive diagnosis, she just started having failure to thrive but was going downhill quickly.  I knew it could be a couple of months...or a couple of years.  His mom had refused to meet me and would not allow me to visit him around her, which I thought was weird, because I'd never met her.  The few times she called my house to talk to him, I was very nice to her, so it was just something with her, not me.  I wasn't allowed to bring him a meal or anything, yet his ex-wife could!  Anyway, long story short, he broke up with me, by Fed Ex, I got the note at my job at 9:30 am and had to try and make it through the day at work.  They finally asked me to leave because I was crying.  It blindsided me!  No discussion, nothing.  He went completely no contact. About 2 1/2 months later, I found out she'd died, so I sent him a sympathy card.  The next day he called me and talked to me for 3 1/2 hours.  In the weeks that ensued, it was like a roller coaster, his giving me mixed messages.  I finally realized he didn't know what he wanted and was a mess and I couldn't put stock on anything he said.  I walled up my heart so I wouldn't continue getting hurt, and was able to listen to him objectively without being being jerked around emotionally, and we talked anywhere from every day to every couple of weeks, I let him decide the pace.  It took him about a year to settle the estate and work through his emotions, not that it's ever done, it's not.  Grief is a journey that continues throughout our lives, but it evolves and we learn to deal with it and adjust as much as we can to this new "life without".  

I have been through grief, yet I have never pushed away my loved ones in my grief.  It's hard for me to understand this grief response, but it happens often enough that I'd say it's a normal response, although not as common as those who do not push people away.  What's important to understand is that there is no right or wrong way to grieve.  All ways are understandable.  We make our way through our grief journey as best as we can and it's important to listen to your inner self that tells you what you need.  This is the time in life you need to focus on yourself, not others.  This IS about you, what you are going through, what you have need of, what you are feeling.

Jim and I never became "a couple" again, but we are very good friends.  It's been over six years and I'm glad we're still in each other's lives.  It went better for us way back when I decided to ditch the hope of getting back together again, and focus on being a friend to him.  Unless a person can do that, they have no hope of making it as friends, because if one person is always hoping for what will not be or trying to bring that about, it will kill the friendship.  You really have to let go of what was and build what is.  A lot of people cannot do that, and their best option is continued no contact.

I can't tell you what to do, but I think you know deep inside what needs to be.  It's not working.  Let him know it's not him, it's you, what you're going through.  He will have questions you cannot answer, he will have to work that out himself.  He will possibly grieve for you, for hopes and dreams he had, but he will make it through that, we all do.

I hope this helps.  It's never easy to hurt someone, but sometimes allowing things to continue on the path they're going can bring even more hurt.

Good luck to you, I am very sorry for your loss, I know how hard it is.  I've lost my husband, my parents, friends, pets, and so many others, I am no stranger to grief.

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12 hours ago, Rissalin said:

 I just feel like I'm not myself anymore, I'm not the person he fell in love with anymore, the relationship is no longer fulfilling my needs (I also think he is unhappy, but does not want to admit it to himself, or me), overall I just need to be focusing on myself and I can't because I'm worrying about how I need to figure out how to make our schedules work, it just feels like a chore rather than something to bring me happiness.  I just feel horrible for feeling this way, because it's not like he's done anything wrong, but I'm afraid that I'm going to start resenting him and I do not want that to happen.

My dear, I'm so sorry this is happening to you, but I applaud you for your honesty. I think you need to listen to your own heart and pay attention to what it's telling you. Love should never feel like a chore. It should be effortless, fulfilling and wonderful. It should be something you can count on, something that sustains you through both good times and bad ones. You say that yours has always been a long-distance relationship. It may be that this is the first time for the two of you that the strength of your relationship has been really tested. This death of your mother is a profoundly significant event in your young life, and it's not surprising that it is causing you to take a hard look at where you are in your life and what really matters to you. Perhaps you are seeing your relationship in a completely different, more realistic light. In any event, as you say, you need to focus on yourself right now, and you have grief work to do. It sounds as if the circumstances of your mother's death were quite traumatic for you, and I'm wondering what, if any, grief support you've had available to you these last three months. This is an awful lot for you to sort through all by yourself, and you might consider a few sessions with a grief counselor who can support and guide you. Does your campus have a student counseling center where you could see someone or ask for a referral to someone who specializes in loss and grief?

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It sounds like you need time to grieve for the loss of your mother as well as come to terms with the traumatic life changing experience of being the sole person involved in her heart attack. The feelings you describe regarding your boyfriend sounds like you are shutting down and possibly becoming depressed.  Having a successful long distance relationship takes more energy on the part of both of you than when you are close in proximity.  I would be truthful and let him know that you don’t have the energy right now and need a break as you suggested in your post. Thinking of him now as a friend as someone else suggested in their response to your post.  Are you back in school?  If so, it has to be difficult right now to keep up with school responsibilities.  How are you handling that?  Do you need to reduce your class load this semester?  For sure connect with a counselor regarding this difficult time you are experiencing. My prayers go out to you.

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I am feel compelled to answer this and I will preface my response by saying I am the recent dumpee of someone who lost family. I am a bit bitter, and will probably receive some negative feedback for this response but it has to be said and hopefully someone in my position. My thoughts may not agree with what is said up above.

First off. 

I am truly sorry for your loss. It is tragic and traumatic.

Also - I fully agree with all posters above that you have every right to feel what you feel and to you have every right to grieve and heal in what ever manner you need. 

I am going to pick a few lines from your post out of context

On 11/7/2016 at 11:39 PM, Rissalin said:

 It's just that ever since my mom passed away, I just do not have the desire to be in a relationship any more.  I have a hard time wrapping my head around the thought of having a future with him and I feel like if I do not even have hope for a future with someone, whats the point of continuing the relationship?  I do not know if it is because it's long distant, and we both live very busy lives, but I am not getting the attention, I want or need from him during this time, when I feel like I need it most, but I also just do not feel like putting effort into it any more.  

First thing separate your relationship from your grief. Your grief is understandable. It is a powerful traumatic emotional event. But your relationship is done and it was done before the loss you just didn't know it at the time..

Both you and your boyfriend have done something wrong. I am also guilty of the same thing. You have held onto a relationship that isn't a real supportive relationship. Think back to before your loss. You admit that the relationship is not meeting your needs now, but did it ever truly meet your needs before or were you just in the relationship because it was comfortable, familiar and you didn't want to end?

After having lived through this myself, and after having read all the stories on here my conclusion is no mater what people are telling themselves about how strong their relationship is or might have been it was an illusion and lies to themselves. I lied to myself. 

So you are both wrong in continuing this and only dragging it out and hurting yourselves more. But when you end the relationship don't blame it on the grief. Your grief and loss is not the reason you are suddenly feeling this way. Your grief is only revealing to you fundamental weaknesses that existed in the relationship to begin with. If your relationship was truly supportive, strong and meeting your needs you would be able to lean on the relationship for strength. 

Another comment

On 11/7/2016 at 11:39 PM, Rissalin said:

I just feel like I'm not myself anymore, I'm not the person he fell in love with anymore, 

This is both true and not true at the same time. The core of who you are is the same. But a loss will create a new scar. That new scar needs to be assimilated and added to who you are. Within any long lasting relationship that lasts a very long while changes like this are inevitable. If you are feeling this, and your relationship cannot survive the change, then it is another indicator, that regardless of what you told yourself or believed about your relationship, It was not going to survive a loss. 

When you have the conversation to end the relationship focus on the relationship not the grief. Make sure that your future ex to be understands that it is not because you lost your mother but because the relationship does not meet your needs. It will hurt. It will suck. But in the long run you are both better off for it.

For anyone who has found this because they are in the position of Dumpee take a step back and look and look real hard at this view point from the other side. 

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I Don't Believe This,

Very insightful!  It IS hard answering this post as a dumpee, I found it hard too because of the emotion it brings up, so I tried to be objective and consider the things I've learned with regards to this subject in the years since.  I also tried to consider the situation the griever is in.  

No relationship is perfect, they all take effort, and therein sometimes lies the problem...when you're grieving, sometimes you don't have it in you to put forth the effort relationships can require.  Sometimes you just feel depleted.  If the relationship is truly worth saving, I would think one would want to do that, even if it means putting it on hold or taking a break while you process your grief.  But if there are some major flaws or it's not meeting your needs, you might want to let it fall by the way.  In my case he denied there were any problems in the relationship, so that confused me.  But I had to accept that it wasn't meant to be as such and move on.  The worst thing a person can do is try to make a relationship work that truly is not meant to be.  Perhaps they were meant for a time but things changed, needs changed, that happens sometimes.  In my heart of hearts I know my George (my deceased husband) never would have thrown in the towel on our relationship...it was a relationship that was "perfect for us" even though we're imperfect people.  I wouldn't want to settle for any less, I would hope no one here would want to either.  It doesn't work to keep trying to fit a square peg in a round hole!  And that holds all the more true for someone who is consumed with grief.

2 hours ago, I Don't Believe This said:

Your grief is only revealing to you fundamental weaknesses that existed in the relationship to begin with. If your relationship was truly supportive, strong and meeting your needs you would be able to lean on the relationship for strength. 

That's what I think too!

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