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Lyla2

Boyfriends mom died and he pushed me away

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This is the hardest thing I've ever had to go through in my life. So, I have been dating the same guy since we were 13 year old. We dated all throughout highschool and we were madly in love. We did everything together. We had what some people only dream of finding some day. We were best friends and were absolutely perfect for each other. We became a part of each other's families- spending holidays together and trips and what not. I can't even describe the kind of love we had, it was so solid and incredible and we were both so happy and excited for our future together. Neither of us doubted for a second that we would end up together forever. We are now both in college at two different places, but we both agreed to stay together through it because we just couldn't live without each other. Like I said, we are best friends. 
But a few months ago, his mom died of cancer and he was SUPER close to her, and I was pretty close to her as well. For a little while, he leaned on me. He expressed his sadness, wanted to be with me all the time. Even before she died, he wanted me to go to the hospital with him to see her. I felt so awful for him and did everything I could to be there for him. I gave him all of my love, I was patient when he got angry, I was understanding when he didn't feel like talking. I really did everything I could. But he slowly started to withdraw from me. Just me- not his family or friends or anyone else. He was on and off for a few weeks about wanting to be with me. One day, he would tell me he needs and wants to be with me forever, and the next day he would spit awful mean things at me for no reason at all. Until he eventually became extremely cold toward me and every time we talked he was terrible to me and said everything he could to hurt me.I couldn't understand it at all because he had always been an absolute sweetheart to me, never saying a mean word about me. He finally said he no longer wants to be with me at all, he said he wants to be alone forever. He doesn't want to marry me or anyone at all and he never wants to have children. Getting married and having kids was always something we were both so excited to do together some day. He told me when he broke up with me that he just doesn't care about me at all and doesn't think about me anymore.  He deleted all of our pictures together and hasn't talked to me in about 2 weeks. My heart is so broken. I have only ever been with him and our 5 year anniversary is coming up. I have no idea what to do because he is truly my best friend and I only have a few other not-super-close friends. So I feel totally alone. We were SO happy and perfect together. He was so in love with me and told me every day how amazing I was and how much he adored me. Now it feels like he hates me. And there's no way I can't talk to him because we are several hours apart. Does anyone have any thoughts on this? If I give him time to cope and grieve do you think he will come back? or are his feelings permanently changed? I have tried so hard to be everything for him but he just doesn't want anything to do with me. It hurts so badly. Any input would be appreciated.

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I am so sorry you are going through this...and that he is too.  I want you to know this is not personal.  It sure as hell FEELS personal...but it isn't.  It's grief.  It's not even him speaking, but grief inside of him.  

No one can answer your question, we can't predict what he will do, only time will tell.  I can only tell you it is important to respect his decision.  Right now he's feeling all torn up inside, he feels he can't do a relationship because all of him is devoted to his grieving.  He can go out with his friends because there is no expectation or demand on him with them.  I know, it doesn't make sense, but I've seen it enough times to recognize that it is a genuine grief response.  A certain number of people respond this way in grief.  I went through it, after being engaged to my SO for a year, he was care-giving his mom and she was dying (anticipatory grief) and he blindsided me, he broke up with me.  No discussion, no "break", just flat out broke off with me, all contact, gone.  This is my story: 

I want you to understand that you did nothing wrong, in fact, from what you tell me, you responded perfectly.  It's not you, it's him.  That probably doesn't make you feel any better but I don't want you adding guilt into the mix, you don't deserve it.  It really is him.

By the way, it's been 7 1/2 years since my SO broke up with me.  After a few months, we resumed contact as friends, but not more than that.  Some people say he must have been considering breaking up with me anyway...no, he wasn't.  We have talked about it in the years since and he says that had his mom not died, things would have turned out very different for us.  So why did he never try to get back with me?  I don't know.  The closest I can come to understanding is he told me he no longer trusts himself.  He think, "If I can break up with her when something goes wrong, and none of us are guaranteed a trouble-free future, all I know is, I don't want to put anyone through this again."  And he has not dated since.  I have not dated since.  I no longer trust.  But that's my issue and not altogether due to this, but my collective life experiences, my age factors in, etc.  I'm just not comfortable going through this again.  But most do, especially younger people.  Remember, not everyone responds this way.

We are good friends though, so I consider mine a success story.  When I had eye surgery last March, guess who came and stayed with me!  When he had his congestive heart failure, I was his first visitor in the hospital.  We're 75 miles apart, so it's not like we're in the same town, but we talk on the phone often and once in a while even get together.

Grief can be weird.  We all do it differently.  We're unique individuals with unique coping skills, and every relationship is unique.  So although there may be some commonalities in grief, we all go through it our own way too.  It is a long journey, there's not a point at which we're "over it", nor are we ever the same after experiencing it...grief changes us.

I can't say if your BF will ever get married or have children, or if that person will be you.  It could be that he acted meanly towards you to drive you away for your own good (in his mind).  Perhaps he recognizes that he won't ever be the same, but again, it is only speculation to try to figure out what is going on inside of him.

My best piece of advice to you is to focus on you right now.  Keep busy, spend time with friends, family, when you can, focus on your studies and keep active.  Work on being the best person you can be, and all will work out for the best for you.  I know it doesn't feel that way but feelings don't always give us the straight scoop or the whole story.  Right now you are grieving the loss of your relationship, your hopes and dreams...it will be important for you to focus on you, take care of you, to be patient and understanding with yourself as you would a best friend because at the end of the day, we ARE our own best friend!  No one is as vested in YOU as YOU are!  If you catch yourself crying, look upon yourself, see her there crying, and feel for her, really care, and be tender to her...because that her is you and she needs you to be ever so patient and understanding.  Eat healthy, get exercise, take time for solitude, meditate, do what you can to keep your life in balance, it will help your resilience, help you bounce back.  You DO have a future, it starts today...each moment is all any of us really know, this moment, right now.  Try to find some good in today, look for it, embrace it, it is yours, no matter how small.  Feel it, experience it, no one can rob you of it unless you let them.  

It's good to post here, to express yourself and know there are others listening and they understand and care.  You will get through this.  Oh, and don't forget to BREATHE.

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Thank you. I'm so very sorry you went through it as well. It's just so hard because myself and his mom are all he really had, he isn't super close with anyone else. So now he is totally alone, while I still have my mom to comfort me when I'm sad. So maybe that fact causes envy in him? I don't know. But he is so young and losing a parent when you're 18 has to be the worst thing that could happen. Especially since she was his everything. What really hurts is seeing his siblings lean on their significant others instead of driving them away. I'm the only one that got "kicked out" of the family. And I feel that I am a part of the family since I've been there for so long. His mom loved me and loved the two of us together. And she told him many months ago that his happiness was the most important thing to her. And she told me to make it my mission to keep making him happy. So I feel as though I'm letting her down by letting him wallow in his misery and push me away. But I also feel there's nothing more I can do? He said he wants to be alone forever, and he told me time and time again that he doesn't want a relationship ever again. But the situation is still so fresh- it's only been a couple months. So I will give him some time, but I worry that he will not get better if he is all alone and not trying to help himself. I don't know. The thought of me ending up with anyone but him makes me feel sick. I know I'm young but I've been certain for many years that I had already found my soulmate. And he said the same thing. I suppose I will not contact him for a while and wait to see if he will contact me. In the very least, I hope someday he will apologize for the cruel things he has said to me. I won't expect it but I will hope. Because I know he would not want to end a beautiful relationship is such a harsh way.

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42 minutes ago, Lyla2 said:

He said he wants to be alone forever, and he told me time and time again that he doesn't want a relationship ever again.

Lyla, my dear, I'm so sorry this has happened to you. All I can add to what Kay has said already is this: When his mother died, your young man  suddenly discovered the harsh reality of grief: that no matter how much we love and need and cherish someone, in death that person is gone forever ~ at least, the physical presence of that person is forever gone. And if he is unfamiliar with grief and this is his first experience with significant loss, it can plunge him into a pit of despair ~ along with the terrifying fear that by loving you and needing you and cherishing you too much, one day he could lose you, too, and he cannot imagine bearing this much pain again. The one sure way to protect himself from all that pain is to never allow himself to love anyone (most especially you) that deeply again. So, as irrational as it seems, to spare himself that pain, he pushes you away, and tries to make you angry enough to leave him and just get it over with. None of this is necessarily logical or even conscious on his part ~ He may be totally unaware of what he is doing to you and why. (And of course, as Kay wisely points out, we can only speculate what's really going on inside of him. Only he can unlock all of that. I am only guessing here.) But again, as Kay points out, all of this is still beyond your control, and the best thing you can do in this situation is to take good care of you. The only other thing I can suggest is that, if you have any contact with his siblings, you might ask them to encourage their brother to get some reliable information and professional support from someone who is qualified to offer grief counseling. Maybe his campus has a chapter of AMF, a grief support network for grieving college students, https://healgrief.org/actively-moving-forward/ But unless and until he reaches out to you, there is little else you can do, and for that I am so sorry  

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Thank you Marty. It is comforting to know that this is a somewhat common thing; that I am not the only one who has gone through this. However it is less comforting to find out how rare it is that the couple gets back together! I know that his feelings for me are strong and genuine and I know that they could not have gone away, but are rather just suppressed right now. I can't imagine the pain he is going through right now. This site has been helpful, because my friends mostly respond with "he's an asshole you need to move on" or "forget about him you don't deserve that". Of course I know I don't deserve this, but he didn't deserve to lose his mother. My friends (and myself) can't pretend to understand the pain he's in or what he is going through inside right now. But I feel so completely empty without him! He's been basically everything to me for 5 years, and now I don't even know how is he doing. I feel very strongly that we are meant to be together so if/when he is ever ready for a relationship again, I hope he comes to me. I just wish he could see what he is doing- because right now his mom is the only thing he thinks about. i have a text from him from a few months ago after a little fight we had that reads "there is absolutely nothing in this world worth losing you for. I will do whatever it takes to be with you forever" and now to this? It just completely baffles me.

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Lyla,

As I was reading your second post this morning, my initial thought was he is trying to protect himself from going through this again.  Of course he's losing you by breaking up with you, but grief doesn't always have to make sense.  When we're grieving it's hard to think clearly, we have what is called "grief fog", and it can take much time to get any clarity of mind back, the pain is all encompassing.

I know nothing makes sense, Jim also told me I was his forever, etc. but forever only lasted until he was losing his mom.  The only reason I'm friends with him is because I value him as a person, enjoy his great sense of humor, like that he's mellow (my family, including me, is intense), and we genuinely care about each other.  But it would not have worked had one of us been secretly hoping to get back together or change the other one's mind.  I had to accept his decision and have time to process those changes in my heart and mind, the break gave me time for that.  You guys have a longer history, so it might take you longer than it did me.  But I do hope you will take the time to focus on YOU for now.

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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? 

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Thank you Rae. I have decided to stay off social media for a while and not contact him. I'm going to try my best to focus on myself for now. I miss him SO much, so much it hurts. But I have accepted that if there is a chance that we will ever again be together, I have to leave him alone right now. The hard thing is, I actually don't have any friends in the area and I commute to school. I have applied for a job to try to stay busy, because I find myself coming home from classes and just crying for hours. Which I know is not helping me. But I greatly appreciate all of the advice I've been given on here, it's helped a lot.

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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.

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I agree with Rae 100%, it's best to focus on YOU and keep busy with your life and don't wait around.  You deserve so much better than how he's chosen to respond, and that's not knocking him down, I'm just saying, you deserve more than to be dumped, death or not.  I'd want someone who will stick by me through thick and thin, someone who goes through life together, not someone I have to worry something will happen and he'll throw me overboard again.  I'm glad you're trying to stay busy.

You will cry, the first four months is the toughest.  Try to look forward, not back, as much as you're able.

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Lyla,

I just posted my story and know almost exactly how you feel. Everything you have I said I can relate to completely. We want to be there when they’re somewhat healed, but don’t know if they will still want us. All of my friends and even his family have said it’s best to focus on myself and move on. I don’t want to and don’t know what to do. Anytime I’m alone for more than five minutes I just start crying thinking about the ending of everything we had. He too said very meaningful things to me about our future but that was before his mom passed. Now he acts like he has no connection to me and that what we had didn’t mean anything to him. I know grief can take over and people really aren’t themselves when it happens but I also said I would be there for him through this and he doesn’t want me to. He has two brothers and they both have SO’s that are helping them through this. I was very much a part of their family for the time we dated and sat with the family during the memorial service. Now that he’s done with the relationship, I’m left to grieve his mother and our relationship on my own. All this to say, you’re definitely not alone and I’m sorry you’re dealing with it. I know first hand how much it sucks. 

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On 10/02/2018 at 2:32 PM, Lyla2 said:

This is the hardest thing I've ever had to go through in my life. So, I have been dating the same guy since we were 13 year old. We dated all throughout highschool and we were madly in love. We did everything together. We had what some people only dream of finding some day. We were best friends and were absolutely perfect for each other. We became a part of each other's families- spending holidays together and trips and what not. I can't even describe the kind of love we had, it was so solid and incredible and we were both so happy and excited for our future together. Neither of us doubted for a second that we would end up together forever. We are now both in college at two different places, but we both agreed to stay together through it because we just couldn't live without each other. Like I said, we are best friends. 
But a few months ago, his mom died of cancer and he was SUPER close to her, and I was pretty close to her as well. For a little while, he leaned on me. He expressed his sadness, wanted to be with me all the time. Even before she died, he wanted me to go to the hospital with him to see her. I felt so awful for him and did everything I could to be there for him. I gave him all of my love, I was patient when he got angry, I was understanding when he didn't feel like talking. I really did everything I could. But he slowly started to withdraw from me. Just me- not his family or friends or anyone else. He was on and off for a few weeks about wanting to be with me. One day, he would tell me he needs and wants to be with me forever, and the next day he would spit awful mean things at me for no reason at all. Until he eventually became extremely cold toward me and every time we talked he was terrible to me and said everything he could to hurt me.I couldn't understand it at all because he had always been an absolute sweetheart to me, never saying a mean word about me. He finally said he no longer wants to be with me at all, he said he wants to be alone forever. He doesn't want to marry me or anyone at all and he never wants to have children. Getting married and having kids was always something we were both so excited to do together some day. He told me when he broke up with me that he just doesn't care about me at all and doesn't think about me anymore.  He deleted all of our pictures together and hasn't talked to me in about 2 weeks. My heart is so broken. I have only ever been with him and our 5 year anniversary is coming up. I have no idea what to do because he is truly my best friend and I only have a few other not-super-close friends. So I feel totally alone. We were SO happy and perfect together. He was so in love with me and told me every day how amazing I was and how much he adored me. Now it feels like he hates me. And there's no way I can't talk to him because we are several hours apart. Does anyone have any thoughts on this? If I give him time to cope and grieve do you think he will come back? or are his feelings permanently changed? I have tried so hard to be everything for him but he just doesn't want anything to do with me. It hurts so badly. Any input would be appreciated.

I’m currently going through a very similar experience, however as always there are slight differences to the tale. I honestly don’t know what to do or where I’ll end up, I suppose the main positives I have is that my ex says what she’s doing will give us the best chance in the future of continuing. She still says she loves me, but at the moment is so full of anger towards me especially, she’s bringing up all of the mistakes I’ve made in the 9 years we’ve been together. She says she needs time and space to work on herself. 

My only thing at the moment is that I can still make her smile, even when she doesn’t want to and she returns to the person I knew, even if it’s for a few minutes. It gives me hope. I’ve probably made the situation worse by constantly trying to push for answers the last few months and occasionally saying some things that weren’t nice and untrue. I wish I’d left her alone months ago, but I do feel like I had to fight for her to try prove it’s really inportant to me and everything I want. I can do nothing more to prove it to her anymore, she’s got to come back on her own accord. You’re not alone, it doesn’t make it any easier however. 

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On 3/7/2018 at 6:07 PM, Halle said:

All of my friends and even his family have said it’s best to focus on myself and move on.

And they are right.  Like I said to HardLove, read each and EVERY ONE of the posts in this section, every thread, you will see a pattern, you will see why we say not to wait on them, not to count on them returning.  I know you will do what you will do, most people don't heed the advice given and have to learn for themselves the long and painful way, but you would be skipping all that pain to cut off contact and hope and begin your healing even now.  I'm sorry, I speak from experience, and not only mine but the experience of each and every contributor here in Loss of Love section.

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To update everyone on this thread, he and I did decide to get back together about a month ago (his idea). No contact is 100% the way to go, for anyone out there who is going through a similar situation. There are still ups and downs, and days where he wants to be alone. There are days when he takes his anger out on me (verbally) and even some days when I wonder if we will ever be "solid" again. There are also some days, however, when I see him smiling again, laughing, and joking. Actually being himself. Things I haven't seen since his mom died. Those are the days that make me realize that it's worth it. Being there for him and being patient with him when he gets down is not easy. It's very very hard actually. But when we got back together he told me about his feelings and the reasons behind his actions and I had no choice but to forgive him, since I have never been in his lostion before and cannot  imagine his pain. He asked me desperately to stick with him for a while while he gets through this, and to not give up on him. So that's what I'm doing. And for now it is enough for us both and we are both happier together than we were apart. Thank you to everyone on this forum for your advice!

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I would be happy for you were he not taking his anger out on you.  That's more than a red flag, it's abuse and it's not okay.  I hope you'll get some help sorting this out with a professional that can help you know how to deal with this situation.  I've been there too, and no good comes from it, it escalates.

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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.

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