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  1. I'm so sorry to hear about this Raul and I'm glad you've found this place where a lot of us have shared our versions where grief split our relationships out of the blue. It's been 1.5 years since my ex-girlfriend's granddad passed away and about 4 months since she told me she couldn't do this anymore and we broke up (her disconnectedness from me began around a year ago when she visited her widowed grandmother overseas). As of now we still talk on the phone once every week/2 weeks but I ensure that it's she who calls, and not me intruding into her space (although emotionally it's super hard to do given how much I care and worry about her). Her grief is still apparent when there are triggers (death in TV shows etc.) and she calls me to share those feelings and I do my best to cheer her up and encourage her. Other than that I've not brought up anything about us getting back together or anything. I'm just being there for her when she needs me and in the mean time I'm focusing on improving myself, and showing affection to my family members and reconnecting with friends who I may not have previously spent as much time with. This early period after the breakup (which you are going through now) is still etched in my mind. Those were days when my mind was just occupied thinking about her, I could get little to no work done and the only relieving moment would be at night going to bed. For some reason I turned into an early sleeper and early riser for the first few weeks (not typical of my sleep pattern) and there was this constant dull ache in my chest that almost seemed to reflect my mood during those early days. My advice for you would be to do your best and resist contacting her. Let her do it if anything. I know it's easier said than done but just think of it as the best option long-term. And before you do anything impulsive always ask yourself what outcome you're hoping to achieve by doing that (It's likely not going to change or potentially only push her away even more, so that'll get you back in the right frame of mind). Try and exercise and engage in self-improvement activities (learning something etc.). Another issue you'd have to deal with is the self-doubt/self-blame about what you did wrong. Believe me this is neither your partner's nor your fault although it initially (and even sometimes for me at this point) feels that way. I still sometimes can't help but run through scenarios and wonder if something I did differently could have salvaged my relationship. But eventually I realise I did my best and I know I did everything with loving intention. All in all don't neglect your mental health and grief during this period too Raul.
  2. Exactly! Yes Tisu I have indeed read your post and almost all posts on this website that have similar stories. I do find myself coming back to reading the stories on days when I'm feeling down about my love life. Perhaps it's human nature to feel better when knowing you're not alone going through something so difficult. Just to give a bit of an update, my girlfriend and I are in this 'grey zone' like you mentioned as well. I don't try and message/call her on my own initiative (as tempting as it may be at times) but when she contacts me (it's been about once every 2 weeks or so), I don't deliberately ignore it. Reason being is she's been my best friend for at least a year or 2 before we got together and she's away from family just like me (we're overseas students), and if there's anything important or if she's in trouble I can't just ignore it and let her be. We check up on each other during these calls and she still asks me if I miss her and says she does too. She even accidentally called me 'honey' yesterday, but of course I'm not thinking too much of it. I've realised the best thing to do is to focus on other interests/work and hang out with friends but also be nice to her like a friend if she contacts me. I've found this to be my happy medium since we've not completely drifted apart but at the same time since you're not contacting your SO on your own accord, it gives you the confidence that you don't absolutely NEED someone to function normally (having them can and should make your life better/beautiful yes, but not having them shouldn't permanently make you feel you can't function). Of course I have my bad days too (the memories, the pain of missing her and temptation to just ring her up), but on those days I have my coping mechanisms like coming to this forum, listening to my favourite music, working out etc. etc. I don't think grievers need to be repeatedly reminded that we love them and that we are happy to have them back. I'm sure they already know that (especially if you both had a beautiful relationship prior to all this), and the problem is they're incapable of feeling connected or feeling of being in love with you. If she wants this, she will come on her own. I know at least for the time being I'm not keen on looking for love elsewhere since I'm emotionally worn out and still in love with her, so that option wouldn't feel right. If anyone else reading this is having trouble not contacting your SO or wanting to keep telling them how bad you feel or begging them to take you back, here's something that really helps me. I always think if the actions I'm about to do are going to change the chances of my desired outcome. For example, repeatedly telling them how miserable you feel or talking to them in a bitter/guilt-inducing way is in almost no way increasing your chances of getting back with them. It just increases their guilt and may not give room for them to think of the good times you both had and miss those instead. It is said that a person's memory of an event and how they feel about it is affected by two main things (the peak/best parts of an event and the end of an event). Before the breakup between my girlfriend and I, just knowing that I'm there hoping for a normal relationship with her was stressful for her. So considering that, I avoid talking even about possibly getting back together with her now. I just show care and concern and am nice to her when she reaches out (just as a good friend would), nothing more. I think the best chance I have to get back with her at some point would be to give this relationship up for now, stop bringing up the topic of a shared future with her, but at the same time let her contact me when she absolutely needs to and be nice to her as a good friend would. If she wants a relationship with me at some point, let her do it on her own accord (not out of me guilt-tripping her or playing the victim card). If she chooses to move on with someone else, perhaps that would be a painful yet good final closure for me, since I'd know almost nothing else I could have done would have changed the outcome of our relationship 🙂 Ultimately the only person's actions you control is yours. So let's do that well.
  3. It's quite a large chunk so I've broken it up with bolded headers to hopefully make it more readable My girlfriend of nearly 2 years (she's 23 I'm 25 and we're both studying overseas from our home countries) just broke up with me several days back. Her granddad (who she's very close to and sees him as her own father) has had deteriorating health for the past 2-3 years due to heart problems. When we got together I was definitely aware of this and was her source of comfort and shoulder to cry on when he had some repeated episodes of hospital admissions. He made it through all of those and my girlfriend and I would go on as per normal. We were extremely close and compatible and were more or less in a live-in relationship (I had my own place but most of the time we'd stay tgt at either one of our places). We were both certain about getting engaged and married and have always had deep loving chats and dreams about the details of the future we would have with each other after we're married. We have never gone a day without texting/calling. She's an extremely affectionate, empathetic, loyal (relationship wise and otherwise), and overall means well for people even for people who have not treated her the best. In the end of last year, her granddad had another admission to hospital. He was getting treated and was expected to get better soon. Then we heard the unexpected news that he collapsed due to a cardiac arrest in the hospital ward. They did not manage to revive him and was pronounced dead. Post-death of grandpa and her asking for space/time alone I was with my girlfriend throughout this episode where she had to fly out of the country for her granddad's funeral etc. When she came back things were still fine, although obviously she was very upset and missed her granddad dearly. Our relationship was still as robust as ever. A couple of months later during the Christmas break, she and her family went back to her grandparents' house to spend time with her widowed grandmother. We texted and called as per normal and showed each other lots of affection & love verbally. She did mention it was not as pleasant being in her grandparents' place since it amplified the loss she felt. When she got back I asked her how she was. She texted saying that she wants to come over to my place and talk in detail. Later that day she mentioned that she's feeling disconnected from people including me and asked me if we could stop staying over at each other's places at least for awhile, because she felt she needed some space. She was extremely upset even saying this but I readily agreed since I knew this was something to do with her grief and wanted to provide anything she felt would let her get better. She almost teared up saying "what did I do to deserve a love like yours". This space went on for roughly 6-7 months with several meetups at her house here and there. We texted and called every day however. She always checked up on how I was and usually felt apologetic because she thought it was not fair to me that she couldn't be as intimate with me as we had been before the Christmas break. I always reassured her that this was just a tough phase in our relationship that should be crossed and told her not to worry about me and that I'm handling university work fine and keeping busy with other interests. She still mentioned that she just felt very disconnected and emotionally drained (her family was going through some financial trouble which was causing her some anxiety). I helped her financially throughout that period taking on things like her living expenses etc. which she was definitely grateful about. She always called me her 'angel' and mentioned that she feels so guilty and upset she wasn't able to put in as much into this relationship as I was. Her asking for a break but yet continuing to contact and check up on me daily During the 7th month, due to our differing university schedules, she was just about to go home for a 3 month holiday while I still had classes. Before she flew back, we met and she told me that she was very worried why things weren't getting better and why her feelings of disconnectedness were not going away despite several months passing by. I assured her saying that we should not rush it or put a deadline to things. She understood but then asked if I would be okay with taking a break during these 3 months she was back at home with parents. I was of course upset since it seemed like a downward progression from where we began, but I eventually said okay because I wanna do what's best for her. I told her I wouldn't text/call her on my own during the 3 months. She insisted that she still wanted to call/text me though and not do a complete no-contact. I agreed. Through these 3 months she checked up with me daily through texts, called me once every 3-4 days and updated me on how she was spending time with her family while she was back home including sending videos/photos. She also asked if I could start texting her daily when I reached home safe (she said not knowing if I was safe was causing her some anxiety). Her saying we should break up Now at the time when I'm posting this, the 3 months is almost up and she's about to fly back to where we study again. Just 4 days ago, during a call (what I thought would have been a normal call), she told me that during the 3 months she felt the bond with her family, has learnt to better cope with her grief over her grandad and her stress about family finances etc. have been more manageable but she realised that the thought of having to maintain our relationship has been causing the same stress and pressure. She says she's been feeling very guilty (about having me wait for her, and her not being a good partner to me for these several months) and has been trying very hard to revive the immense love she had for me, but a sense of guilt and feeling of being 'trapped' comes over her. She was in tears even saying all this and she said it's best if we had a break up because she wants me to be with someone who'll make me happy. She kept asking me not to hate her, but of course I told her 'how could I ever? You gave me the best 2 years of my entire life'. I agreed to the break up since I wanted her to be happy too and not continue being stressed/pressured at the awareness of me waiting for her and expecting our relationship to go back to normal. We also talked about meeting up in roughly 2 weeks' time at her place to talk about this in person after she's back here. Post-breakup For the 2 days that followed, she continued texting me calling me 'honey' etc. and checking up on how I'm feeling and checking up on how I'm doing as per usual, although she did mention she considers us broken up. On the 3rd day, when she called me on the phone, after checking up on each other and talking about each other's day, I told her that I felt it's good if we stopped texting or calling each other for some time because I need time to think and process. I didn't quite expect it but her voice suddenly sank and she said 'so that's us broken up huh' and here and there she mentioned that 'maybe I'm right' (although I could tell she was very disappointed). She said something like 'if I choose to do anything with another woman now, she'd forgive me'. She also (in a sweet way) told me never to revive/re-enact some of our inside jokes we had during our relationship when I get into a relationship with another woman that's not her. I also consoled her that even though we're letting go now it does not mean we won't ever be back together. 'If we're meant to be, we'll be back together at some point in the future'. She did not raise any objections about that and it did seem to make her feel better too. The next day I get a call from her in the evening, while I'm at a friend's place for dinner. I'm about to attend the call and it gets cut after several seconds. She then texts apologising that she accidentally called and then asks me if I'm fine and if possible text her the next day when I safely reach this new nearby city I'm heading to (I had special classes scheduled in a different city for 2 weeks). I agree and I tell her 'don't worry, you're not the only one who's finding this hard, but I think I need this time and space and I think it's good for you to reflect and think too'. She proceeds to message how much she misses me (with lots of tearful emojis etc.etc.) but she agrees to give me the space I requested. She also says she could never go back to calling me my actual name and still calls me 'honey' or this cute (according to her) nickname she created for me when we were together (little embarrassing to reveal the name here). Advice I'm just looking for advice on what might be good to do/look out for at this stage. I'm planning to keep up the no-contact for the next 2 weeks until we meet in person when she flies here. I might continue the no-contact after that too but haven't thought too much yet. I have to see how the in-person meetup goes. I know I have to accept there's a chance this relationship (as beautiful as it was) may not work. But contrary to lots of break ups due to grief, she continued fighting for the relationship and kept in contact/checked up for many many months despite her emotional disconnect (she's always been one heck of a loyal/emotionally strong woman, even before this episode). She clearly still misses me and has lots of affection for me. If at this point everything else in her life including the grief seem to have become manageable, I'm wondering if it was simply the guilt that was hindering her to rediscover the immense love she had for me. Perhaps trying to force it out and at the same time feeling the guilt that I'm not getting enough affection from her is the root cause of all this. I'm just wondering if maybe this breakup is the key to relieve that guilt (since she knows I'm free to find someone else), and perhaps let her start feeling that she wants to be with me and take care of me because of her own decision/love and not just the guilt of knowing I'm waiting patiently for her and her innate need to never let anybody down.
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