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JCath20

Boyfriend broke up with me shortly before his father died

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Hello all, I have been reading this forum for a few weeks now and have finally plucked up the courage to reach out in hope for some support and advice. The backstory is that my now ex-boyfriend and I have just finished our first year at university, we had been together since the beginning and have practically lived together all year. We had the most wonderful relationship, and although we are both still young, we truly both believed and wanted to have a future together. He had told me from the start that his dad had motor neurone disease and was not expected to live long. He and is family live in abroad but he came to university in the UK to pursue a professional career in cricket. His dad was always his hero and best friend and backed his son to do well in his studies and cricket, and my boyfriend wanted to do him proud seeing as he moved thousands of miles away from his family for this. His family were very aware of our relationship, and although I never met them in person, they were extremely happy for us both and I felt very loved and accepted by them.

His dad unfortunately passed away at the end of May. About a week before this happened (three weeks ago from now) my boyfriend broke up with me. For the last month or so of our relationship I could see a significant change in his mood, he was very depressed and cold towards me and others. This was due to his dad’s rapidly declining health, and he said he hated that he was so far away from him and is family, but he knew they would call him home when they thought his dad would pass.

For the most part of our relationship, my boyfriend was such a happy person, he said I was the best thing that ever happened to him and that he was so happy with me he wouldn’t want to do anything to destroy our relationship. As his dad’s conditioned worsened, my boyfriend would come to me and accept comfort, but then started distancing himself. We started to argue quite a lot as he would be so cold and snappy, and I would end up crying and he’d apologise. I would always say that I wasn’t going to leave him, and that it inevitably hurts me to see the person I love in pain and I want to do everything I can to try help him. We eventually decided to go on a break as the arguing was getting worse, and these were the exact words he used: “it honestly breaks my heart to know that I’m hurting you and I honestly don’t want this to happen. I truly think I’ve found the one and I don’t want to destroy something good. I love you so much.” This was only a couple weeks before he broke up with me. When we broke up he seemed like a completely different person, like a switch had flicked inside him. He said he still loved and cared for me but didn’t feel as though he was in love with me anymore. He said that none of it is my fault and to not think it was because of the recent arguing, he just needs to be alone and can’t be in a relationship. He also said he didn’t want to lead me on and say that we will definitely get back together because he can’t guarantee that, he doesn’t know how he will feel once everything transpires, but he wasn’t ruling it out. Over that next week before his dad died, I was dealing with some difficult news of my own, I do not wish to get into too much detail, but someone in my family betrayed us in a very horrible way, was violent, and physically harmed my mum. I turned to my ex BF as he knew and had met my family, he was there for me as I broke down and was kissing and hugging me, calling me by our nicknames for each other, which was so painful, but I was glad that he was there for me. I wish I could do the same for him. My ex said that he was here for me if I ever needed him, and I tried turning to him again a few days later but he said he couldn’t as it was too soon to be friends. It absolutely crushed me. A day or so later he suddenly flew home, I assumed it was to do with his dad, so I texted him saying take care and sending best wishes to him and his family. He acknowledged it with a thank you, and the following day he announced that his dad had died. I sent him a message expressing how sorry I was and passing on my deepest condolences to him and his family. He responded saying he appreciated the message. I asked if there was anything practical I could do to help him, like go to his flat and start packing his things up, but he said he had already arranged for some friends to do it. I felt completely hopeless as I couldn’t do anything to help him. I knew I couldn’t emotionally, he clearly is not one to turn to those close to him in grief and I didn’t know where our relationship stood and so didn’t want to step over any boundaries. I decided to give him space as I felt that was the only thing I could do but said I was still here when/and if he’s ready to speak to me. I didn’t expect to hear from him but the next day he messaged me asking me to give his friend (who was helping pack away his things) one of his jumpers back that he had given me months ago. It was one of his cricket jumpers. I had been holding it at night for comfort and to feel a bit closer to him because I knew it was so special to him. I told him I would return it because, as difficult as it was, if that was the only thing I could do for him I would without a doubt do it.

I have not spoken to him since, it’s now been a week, and I am feeling such a mixture of emotions – feeling so awful for him and his family, missing him, being so confused as to how his feelings changed towards me so quickly, sometimes feeling hopeful for our future relationship, and other times doubtful and miserable. I feel so selfish for thinking about our relationship when he is going through all of his own pain, and he himself probably doesn’t know where his head is at. I just feel like I am being somewhat punished; how am I supposed to just accept that it wasn’t my fault, but our wonderful relationship is over? I loved him unconditionally, and still do, tried to support him, and I feel I have been completely dismissed and disposed of. I know it isn’t definitive, I have been trying to distract myself by doing things I enjoy, spending times with friends, being there for my own family and mum, but there is always that constant ache and pain and moments where I can’t stop myself from crying.

I am sorry this is so long and if I've approached this in the wrong way! I could really do with some support and advice, it would be much appreciated. Thank you.

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I am so sorry you're having to go through this....your story breaks my heart as it's almost a carbon copy of mine. Please do all that you can to nurture yourself and your heart in these very trying times. xo

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In reading your story, I remember my ex telling me way later after he broke off with me that he'd felt guilty for the time he'd spent with me (instead of his mom), even though there's no way he could have known she was going to take a turn for the worse and end up dying.  She didn't have a diagnosis (like cancer or something) that would lead him to believe she would die, until the day he got a call she was in the hospital.  From that moment on, he quit his job and took care of her 24/7 for a few months until she died.

I do think that could have contributed to our demise, but also, he felt he couldn't do a relationship at the same time as caretaking her, and I'm sure the whole thing was an overload for him.  It's hard to understand a decision we didn't make but in retrospect I can see more than I did at that time...at the time I was totally blindsided.  We'd been engaged a year.

As Nettieboop said, it's important to take care of yourself.  Try not to worry about him so much as yourself...he will see to him.  I know it's easier said than done and our feelings don't just change for them overnight just because they broke up with us, but it is important to look after yourself as who else will do it!

This might be a good time to connect with family/friends, pursue interests, keep busy as little by little you heal from this.

It will be important for you to realize that regardless of feelings for each other, he does not know his own mind right now and you will need to protect yourself from his stringing you along.  You are not, right now, a couple.  I don't say that to hurt you, quite the opposite, it's easy to cave in to wishful thinking and tell yourself "maybe, just maybe" but maybe isn't, reality is.  Try not to put too much hope in a future with him because nothing is guaranteed and more than likely it won't happen.  I say that because I've read each and every thread and post in this section and only remember one out of over 100 couples here that made it through a breakup due to parental death.

My ex and I are friends today, this all happened in 2010, but over the years he has never tried to get me back.  I don't know what light switch flips for them but it sure seems to.  It's important to note, also, that it doesn't work to be friends while one is secretly hoping for something more, it's important to accept things as they are.

It is good for your own well being to have at least a few months break from seeing/talking to him.  This protects your feelings for him but more importantly, it protects you from continual hurt and helps you heal.  I strongly encourage you to break ties with him on Facebook, email, etc.  I realize you may not heed my advice, I know how hard it is to do that emotionally, but I say what I feel will help you in the long run.  

When he said this isn't anything you've done, believe him.  This is about HIM, not you.  Personally, I've concluded I would not want to be married to someone who could break off with me when things come along in life.  I realize it's tough losing his parent, but aren't you supposed to face life's hardships together as a couple?  

Hang in there, emotions will eventually settle into something more bearable.  Looking back on everything I went through I feel very differently than I did in the raw beginning.

4 hours ago, JCath20 said:

I have been trying to distract myself by doing things I enjoy, spending times with friends, being there for my own family and mum

Good for you!

 

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Thank you for your responses and support. Sometimes I feel okay and other times, like now, I get this overwhelming feeling of hurt and I am unable to do anything to lift myself from that mood. I am trying so hard to be realistic and treat this as a permanent break up in order to protect myself in the long run if things do not work out, and then I can be pleasantly surprised if he does want to rekindle anything... however, it's so difficult to let go and move forward. Part of me wants to hold onto our relationship because the person I knew before he fell into a deep depression would have done anything for me and our relationship, I almost want to protect and savour it in case he does want to come back. I don't care how much it hurts now because it may all be worth it in the end. I probably sound so silly because he may not be that same person anymore, and I don't know if he'll ever come back or grow into someone similar again, or at least have the same feelings for me. It breaks my heart to think he may never want me again - where did the person who loved me and shared all these wonderful memories with over the past year go? I'm scared he will forget me, I'm scared that he will never contact me, I'm scared that he will turn around and say that nothing will ever happen again. I'd rather we naturally fall into a place together, be it a friendly or romantic relationship, than him making another rash decision. I do not feel I could be able to cope with another rejection. I know I can avoid that by treating this now as a final break up, but deep down I know I just don't want to let go. I'd be kidding myself into believing I did. I know it's all still early days and nothing is clear, I just hate all of this uncertainty when we used to be so certain we were going to be together and have a future. I don't know if it's my intuition talking and we are 'meant to be', or if I am crazily in denial and refuse to accept what is. 

I intend to try continue to distract myself, maybe pick up some old hobbies, but should I wait to let him be the first to make contact? Or should I maybe say something in a month or two? I feel that if I let him contact me first I know it is because he genuinely wants to speak to me and is ready to... but what if he never does? I want to believe he will because of the person I knew him to be but also that person wouldn't have broken up with me. He feels like a stranger now. 

 

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5 hours ago, kayc said:

Personally, I've concluded I would not want to be married to someone who could break off with me when things come along in life.  I realize it's tough losing his parent, but aren't you supposed to face life's hardships together as a couple?  

My dear, as much as it hurts, I wish you would paste this statement onto your bathroom or vanity mirror where you will see it at least once a day, and I pray that you will take it to heart. Life is difficult, and this is not the first and only time this person will be faced with some sort of hardship or disaster or catastrophe. How he is handling this crisis is a fairly good indication of how he is likely to deal with crises in the future. Think hard about what you will need, what you deserve, and what you can expect from the person you choose to stand beside you and to be there for you through thick and thin ("for better and for worse, in sickness and in health, etc.") as you head into your own future.

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12 hours ago, JCath20 said:

I almost want to protect and savour it in case he does want to come back.

One of the things I learned is that going "no contact" preserves your feelings.  Not going "no contact", bitterness and resentment can creep in as you see him continue his friendships and even go out and have fun, without you; in fact, it can actually increase your inner pain.  However, as time goes by, I've noticed another side effect of going "no contact"...the air begins to clear and you begin to see from a fresh perspective.  Maybe things weren't as perfect as you'd told yourself, perhaps there's things you glossed over because of being in love, or just plain being a person of grace and extending a sprinkling too much of it.  I'm not saying this is the case with you, only that it happens, I think it did in my case.  I'm very tenacious and I wonder if I didn't try to fit a square into a round hole because I wanted it so much.  That doesn't mean he isn't a wonderful man with some great qualities, but maybe that we wouldn't have worked as a team as well as I'd first hoped.  Obviously, he is a great guy or I wouldn't have made the decision to keep him in my life as a friend.  He's great as a friend...not so much marriage material.  Not what I'd want and need in a partner.  In our case it was easier to keep him as a friend (after a few months no contact, after I'd realized I needed to guard my heart and that we were not going to be "together") because we live 75 miles apart.  Had he been closer where we could run to each other's houses any time we wanted, it probably wouldn't have worked as such.

You are worried he will forget you.  That won't happen.  I remember each and every guy I ever dated and I'm 65 now.  (Some of them I might not remember their names or faces but anyone I was in a relationship with I not only remember them, but their birthdays).  But your concern is that he might move on from you.  And he might.  Is that someone you'd really want to be pining over the rest of your life?  Is that someone you would really want for a partner, to count on, through thick and thin?

Focus on YOU, spend time with your family and friends, take a trip, join a gym, enroll in a class, keep busy!  Your pain will lessen until one day you wake up and realize it's all okay!

 

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Wow Kayc and MartyT, I couldn't agree more...and this is something that made more sense to me after all the grieving.  My heart aches for you as I know how you are feeling in this moment. ❤️

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Hi JCath,

I am sorry you find yourself here too. I echo everything that KayC, Marty and Nettie have already said.

18 hours ago, kayc said:

Personally, I've concluded I would not want to be married to someone who could break off with me when things come along in life.  I realize it's tough losing his parent, but aren't you supposed to face life's hardships together as a couple?  

Hang in there, emotions will eventually settle into something more bearable.  Looking back on everything I went through I feel very differently than I did in the raw beginning.

Good for you!

13 hours ago, MartyT said:

My dear, as much as it hurts, I wish you would paste this statement onto your bathroom or vanity mirror where you will see it at least once a day, and I pray that you will take it to heart. Life is difficult, and this is not the first and only time this person will be faced with some sort of hardship or disaster or catastrophe. How he is handling this crisis is a fairly good indication of how he is likely to deal with crises in the future. Think hard about what you will need, what you deserve, and what you can expect from the person you choose to stand beside you and to be there for you through thick and thin ("for better and for worse, in sickness and in health, etc.") as you head into your own future.

Both of these statements perfectly sum up everything I would have told you because I've gained these insights from my personal experience with grief and the loss of romantic relationship as a result of it. I too was once the confused, lost griever (though we didn't break up. I just treated him very poorly and we almost broke up) and then 3 years later, the dumpee of a grieving person. I have learned some profound lessons from my hardships, but that doesn't make wading through them less difficult when they do occur. Take heed of the advice given here, and please do not hesitate to share your feelings.

--Rae

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I feel your broken heart from here.  I'm so sorry that this is your journey for now!  I'm 54 and have experienced several broken hearts.  My first love deeply wounded me and I was caught off guard.  My next did the same and the one after that. Relationships have more so to do with getting to know the person, over time as well as their family interactions, and sharing the good and the bad together.  We can (unfortunately) have two different perceptions of how we love and (assume) that we're loving one another in the exact same way!  That is impossible.  We have so much stuff from our past and have no idea that we bring {it} to every single relationship until it is 100% confronted and dealt with.  That outcome is what will sustain a relationship.  I'm sorry the passing of his dad took him in the opposite direction of "your relationship" and yes, he could have handled it quite differently.  BUT he is for now, showing you that he's wanting something different.  Maybe hardships causes him to flee and or shut people out!  Putting your life on hold for him would lead to resentment and also cause you to miss the "blessings" that GOD has for you in the now in being completely present.  We oftentimes think we know people and "unfortunate" circumstances reveal who we really are and how we handle the "tough" seasons in life.  My ex husband whom I adored, eft me saying he was no longer happy.  I'm grateful that you had a year in and can hopefully reflect and see how you may have missed some signs.  Looking back, I see where we (my ex and I were not in agreement and how I saw some flags, but because of LOVE, I overlooked them).  He too told me that he's never leaving me and how truly happy he was. Maybe this time is where God wants you to focus on your studies and look at how your identity may have unknowingly been too attached to him.  YOU are going to be loved again and you are going to be free from the fear of losing it.  I'm sorry for his loss and the (unspoken thing) that happened in your family.  God restores brokenness and longs to be the ONE we ultimately place our faith in.  You will be in my prayers beloved.

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4 minutes ago, Barnabas17 said:

We have so much stuff from our past and have no idea that we bring {it} to every single relationship until it is 100% confronted and dealt with.  That outcome is what will sustain a relationship.

So so true. In my case abandonment by both parents at different times in his childhood. So well said Barnabas17 ❤️

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1 hour ago, Barnabas17 said:

My first love deeply wounded me and I was caught off guard.  My next did the same and the one after that. Relationships have more so to do with getting to know the person, over time as well as their family interactions, and sharing the good and the bad together.  We can (unfortunately) have two different perceptions of how we love and (assume) that we're loving one another in the exact same way!  That is impossible.  We have so much stuff from our past and have no idea that we bring {it} to every single relationship until it is 100% confronted and dealt with.  That outcome is what will sustain a relationship.  I'm sorry the passing of his dad took him in the opposite direction of "your relationship" and yes, he could have handled it quite differently.  BUT he is for now, showing you that he's wanting something different.  Maybe hardships causes him to flee and or shut people out!  Putting your life on hold for him would lead to resentment and also cause you to miss the "blessings" that GOD has for you in the now in being completely present.  We oftentimes think we know people and "unfortunate" circumstances reveal who we really are and how we handle the "tough" seasons in life.  My ex husband whom I adored, eft me saying he was no longer happy.  I'm grateful that you had a year in and can hopefully reflect and see how you may have missed some signs.  Looking back, I see where we (my ex and I were not in agreement and how I saw some flags, but because of LOVE, I overlooked them).  He too told me that he's never leaving me and how truly happy he was. Maybe this time is where God wants you to focus on your studies and look at how your identity may have unknowingly been too attached to him.  YOU are going to be loved again and you are going to be free from the fear of losing it.  I'm sorry for his loss and the (unspoken thing) that happened in your family.  God restores brokenness and longs to be the ONE we ultimately place our faith in.  You will be in my prayers beloved.

Barnabas, YES YES YES! Everything you have said here, along with the other posters is absolutely true. I have only been "in love" with two men I've dated, Tim and Joe, and both of those relationships ending were devastating for me, but I have learned more about myself, needs and how to stand on my own two feet and resolve my issues on my own as a result of such deep seated heartbreak and sadness. You are absolutely correct in that whatever we don't resolve, we carry over into other aspects of our lives until we do resolve them; and that circumstances such as these truly do reveal who people are, both the good and the bad parts.

--Rae :)

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18 hours ago, Barnabas17 said:

BUT he is for now, showing you that he's wanting something different.

That's a very accurate statement!

 

18 hours ago, Barnabas17 said:

I saw some flags, but because of LOVE, I overlooked them

This is pretty much what I surmised as well, tenacious critter that I am!

17 hours ago, Rae1991 said:

those relationships ending were devastating for me, but I have learned more about myself, needs and how to stand on my own two feet and resolve my issues on my own

Me too!

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I would like to thank you all for taking your time to read my post and for responding so supportively and thoughtfully, I would certainly feel very lost not knowing there are people who have experienced very similar situations and have/are getting through them. These past couple of days I have tried to have a social media cleanse to focus on myself in the real world and avoid looking at my ex's activity. I have had a lot of fun spending time with my mum and friends, it is comforting to know that I can still be happy and have a good time regardless of my relationship with my ex. I know and feel positive that I can enjoy summer vacation before I return to university again in September. I will most likely see my ex back at university as we share a lot of mutual friends and may inadvertently cross paths. I am trying not to focus on that and instead focus on the here and now. I have a few months before I may see him, and by then I hope to be in a different headspace which he may also be in, too. Time will tell but, taking on all your advice, I will try not to hope or expect anything from him or our future relationship. It is very unfortunate and painful that our relationship ended in this way. If this had not happened I know it may have ended for other reasons, or it may not have... Uncertainty and time are two things I have difficulty dealing with as an impatient person, and someone who can't even read a book without knowing the ending. Although I may not feel like it now, I know I will learn a lot from this experience. I couldn't have loved him harder, I gave so much of my emotional strength and energy - although this is painful that it wasn't enough to preserve our relationship, I know and keeping telling myself it is about HIM and not me. I hope through this process my heart will gradually and surely catch up with my head. I hope now that when I do have those days and moments where I breakdown crying and feel so lonely, disposed of, hurt... the list could go on... that I can more easily find the strength to pick myself back up again and keep going. 

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JCath,

Everything you wrote is so right on.  I wish you well and think this summer will give you the better headspace you hope for.  It is impossible to know for sure what would have happened had he not lost his parent.  My ex thinks it would have gone very differently...me, I'm not so sure.  But all that is a moot point, it went the way it went and I'm okay with how it went now.  You are so right about it takes the heart time to catch up with the head!

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I love that you are beginning to see "clearly" and that you have your family's love and support.  I love that you have been laughing and enjoying life (in spite) of this break up.  There's a BEAUTIFUL life ahead for you and this is a fraction of your journey!  YOU have the potential so SOAR!  I was a caterpillar and through all of my brokenness, God turned me into a Monarch!  You will be one too....soaring with strength, courage and true identity!  Remember that you are fearfully and wonderfully made!

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JCath...you are so much further ahead than I was at this stage...you are doing all the right things and have such a beautiful spirit and attitude. Chances are, your boyfriend would have done this at some point or another, this is what they know, and this is what they do. They're not bad people, they're just broken in some fashion and this is how they cope. My breakup (I had 2 - my husband abandoned me 2012 - just up and left out of the blue after he'd been caught with another woman. Shortly thereafter met whom I thought was THE man of my dreams. We'd both been through so much. He left me after 1 year,  2 weeks after his dad died...completely shut down.) This has taught me SO much about myself, has made me a better me, has kept me away from people who are incapable of truly reciprocating in a relationship. I had no idea until after both splits how much of a 'pleaser' and 'fixer' I am/was. This was part of the pattern I need to change for myself, as it kept drawing the broken ones. I made a pact with myself (my choice in men got worse for a while - the worse they treated me the better it seemed) that I would NEVER give any myself to anyone like that again. I was saving myself for someone who would cherish and protect my heart. Not have narcissist tendencies, history of abandonment, untreated mental health issues, etc. Not to say that people with baggage can't have healthy successful relationships, but this combo was lethal for me. It never ended well. You have this. The ONE THING that saved me was finding a group like this one...finding support from people who were in the EXACT situations that I was in. They stories were identical...same same same. It blew my mind. It was that much more validation that I needed. I have found lifelong friends through my support group and it helped me become who I am today. 

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I would love to say I am feeling as positive as I was the other day when I last posted, but unfortunately I have felt completely broken today. I know this is expected, it's still early days. I have felt very down about my ex although I have it more engraved in my mind that I need to move on now, rather than feeling down about our future relationship being uncertain. I never thought that he would hurt me in this way, and that he would completely dispose of me. It pains me that I have been treated this way again after my previous ex, but even more so because I never thought he would do that to me or was even capable of it. I feel a lot more comfortable and open sharing parts of my life now, everyone has been so wonderful and supportive, it is very uplifting and cathartic communicating with you all.

My last relationship before my most recent one was not nice or healthy. (To avoid confusion, I will refer to my most recent ex as 'M' and my previous one as 'S'). S and I met about 6/7 years ago when we were about 14 years old, our relationship started as more of a childish crush but matured as we grew up together.  He always seemed to be in serious relationships that lasted at least a year, even though we were young, but he would always remain contact with me and flirt with me. I think this is a lot to do with my age and maturity at the time, but I was so flattered by him I became very dependent on him to validate my self worth. There was something about having grown up with him, and knowing so much about each other, that I rated his opinion so highly. Although I dated a few guys here and there during high school, S and me always were drawn back to each other. When we were 17, we finally got into a relationship. I was so happy because I felt comfortable with him and it felt right. He made feel wonderful and confident in myself continuously for 7 months, until he went on holiday with friends and cheated on me by sleeping with another girl. I can't even remember feeling that surprised considering when he was in his other relationships he would still talk and flirt with me, so goodness knows who else he was being inappropriate with. All I can remember was feeling utterly worthless, so much in fact that I took him back despite him never properly apologising and showing little remorse. Looking back, it pains me to think I ever lacked that much self respect and felt so low that I would continue to be in a relationship with someone like that. We stayed together for about 6 months after, initially he made gestures to try make it up to me, stupidly I fell for them all. Our relationship completely deteriorated from then on; when he acted suspicious I would call him out on it, terrified that he was being unfaithful again. He would always say things like "I can't believe you don't trust me", "I've learnt my lesson, I'm not going to destroy what we have", and "you're the one ruining our relationship by bringing up the past". He made me feel so terrible, I hated myself for something he did to me, and I would always try to fix things by putting the blame on myself. He started becoming very unresponsive in the last month or two of our relationship and I started trying to get his attention in the only way I knew he'd be interested, which was in a sexual manner. I feel sick thinking about it now, I cannot believe I had so little self respect. I did get his attention but after each time I would feel even worse about myself. I eventually reached my breaking point and tried to end things with him, which I thank God every day that I still had enough strength to. However, S refused to meet up with me... he refused to even have a phone call, he said if I wanted to say it out loud then I should leave him a voicemail... I ended up breaking up with him over text, he did not seem bothered one bit. I was trying to be respectful and civil as I knew he would give me nothing if I got emotional or blamed him in any way. He had meant so much to me, he built me up and then completely demolished me. I felt liberated after the break up but it was a long, hard process rebuilding myself, and only relying on myself to do that. I got rid of any other toxicity I had in my life too, or so I thought... It took me a long time, a lot of further heartache that I had only set myself up for, until I reached a place I was truly happy in. I say I set myself up for more heartache as I still remained in contact with S and we ending up sleeping together a few more times, even though he had a new girlfriend. It was very emotionless on his end, therefore crushing any hope I still held on to. I seemed to wake up one morning after crying all night realising my behaviour was also very toxic and unhealthy, and only I could do something about it. Everything seemed to snap into place after that. I completely got rid of S out my life - I let go of resentment and revengeful thoughts of telling his current girlfriend he had been unfaithful to her with me, I have not seen him for almost a year, blocked him on social media, completely dismissed him when he tried to contact me over the Christmas break just gone... I spent time fully investing in myself, I became very happy and confident, and it was all my doing. It reflected massively onto my friendships, my studies etc. I was in a good place. 

I have recently found a quote which I wish I had listened to back then, and should listen to now - "Beware of destination addiction: The idea that happiness is in the next place, the next job, or even with the next partner. Until you give up the idea that happiness is somewhere else, it will never be where you are." 

When I started university, it was intimidating moving away from home and meeting a whole new bunch of people however, I knew I would settle and find friends. I didn't want to undo all the hard work I'd put into myself, so I vowed to stay true to myself and have made some wonderful, genuine friends. This is also where I met M, my most recent ex. The relationship felt incredible because I didn't feel like I had to compromise who I was to be with him, we were both ourselves around each other and loved the other for that. I finally felt 'yes, this is what a healthy relationship is, this is what I deserve to feel and be treated like', he couldn't have loved me better, but unfortunately that all crumbled when he was losing and lost his dad. 

I have gotten over S who I never thought I could, so surely I can do the same with M? However, with S it was so different. He is simply not a nice person to be in a relationship with, he is a serial cheater and one of the least empathetic people I know. I know I could say 'well M and me did have a wonderful relationship that was full of love and trust but he dumped me when facing hardship, I did not deserve to be treated in that way'. My problem is that I have not yet experienced a break up of a healthy, significant relationship. Things became very black and white with S - he was horrible. Good riddance. With M I feel like I am forcing myself to be convinced that things are black and white when my heart is saying otherwise. I have had good days since our break up, I do not feel like I have completely lost my identity as I never fully relied on M the same way I did with S; it is the loss of our future together and all those beautiful moments we shared and our relationship that I am grieving. I never reached the point in my relationship with M, like I did with S, that I couldn't do it anymore. This may seem like an odd analogy but I don't know how else to put it... Imagine baking a cake. You mix all the ingredients together, like getting to know someone, and then put it in the oven to bake as your relationship progresses. I feel with S, the cake was left in the oven far too long (I prolonged the break up) and let it burn to a black, charcoal mess before I realised and took it out the oven. With M, it feels as though he took the cake out the oven before it was even cooked, and I simply must accept that it is what it is for whatever reason I cannot fully comprehend.  

I feel as though I am in a stronger, healthier place with myself post my breakup with M, as compared with S, although I am still struggling with my head and heart, and the unspoken situation in my family (which I am debating to share - it is not a death, but is a loss of someone very significant in my life in another way). Sometimes I can be present in the moment and be happy and still feel like myself, other times I am present but I just hurt. When I am not feeling any of those, I feel as though I am simply drifting, never fully engaging, I am letting time pass because it is too painful to deal with reality. When does this end? It is exhausting.  

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I hope you realize your self worth does not depend on anyone else, just you.  You are a valuable person and someday you're going to find the right one for you, and when you do, he will treat you like the valuable person you are because he will realize it and be happy to have you in his life.  I'm so glad you saw through S and cut him out of your life.  But M too, you deserve better than what you've gotten.

I'm not sure it has an ending but rather we take these valuable lessons with us, they are a part of us, our past, what we've learned, who we are.  But the pain will lessen as you heal.

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So my ex (M) texted me yesterday... I didn't think he would contact me so soon after everything, it's been just over two weeks since his dad passed away and it's not even been a month since he broke up with me. I thought he wouldn't contact me at all over summer vacation. He started by saying that he hoped I was well and everything was okay with my family, and he then added that he hoped there was no hard feelings between us. I responded saying I hope him and his family were doing well, too, and that there were no hard feelings... I had to think about that. On the one hand, he hurt me very badly by disposing of me the way he did but the other part of me, although not fully understanding why, sympathises that his head was all over the place. He had been watching his dad, his best friend and hero, deteriorating for two years, and as he got worse and closer to death it must have been beyond painful to see. I know that isn't an excuse for the way he treated me but I know he is not a bad person, I do not resent him - I just don't understand and am hurt. It was mostly small talk, he said he was back in the UK now and playing cricket all summer, and I said I wish him luck and will probably see him around during second year of university. He then said he would come see me over summer when he was in my area for a cricket game? I looked up the fixtures list for his sports club but couldn't see anywhere that he had a game where I live. I'm not sure if he was simply mistaken but I was shocked he even told me this and said he wanted to see me. I said I might go watch him play and support him if he was, and he was happy with that idea. He ended the conversation saying he was out busy doing something but would chat soon... then said he was glad to have heard back from me. 

I'm all kinds of confused. I know I shouldn't read into it at all but I cant help it. He said when he broke up with me that he didn't want to lead me on in case nothing ever came of our relationship again, but surely he can't be that silly to think, in less than a month, I was over him and would think nothing of him contacting me again so soon? Unless something will come of our relationship, I am not ready to be in contact with him - I cannot face another rejection. I would be surprised if he knew where his mind was at right now, he has recently just faced a major loss, but then again his behaviour was confusing and unpredictable then. 

 

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Try to remember that they say all kinds of things to us because they are confused, they have mixed feelings, don't know what they want BUT, they broke up with us!  Do NOT get your hopes up or read anything into it.  You have some history together, he's used to being with you, they miss that, BUT, they broke up with us!  You have to keep that in mind.  

Right now I feel what he did was unkind.  It was for HIM, not for you.  Because it left him feeling better about what he did and left you mixed up and all over the place.  Grr to him for doing that!  No contact gives you a chance to heal, stirring the pot every now and then mixes you up and leaves your emotions in an upheaval.

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I agree with kayc...boundaries are so essential. Actions speak louder than words, and yes, he is all over the place emotionally. I agree 100% with the no contact at this point to protect yourself and not get your hopes up. He will need all sorts of work on himself to get to firmer ground first of all, but also normal people don't just break up in a crisis and repel their loved one(s)...he has issues...and these issues need to be addressed. He is almost 100% likely to continue this cycle again, whether that person is you, or someone else. Protect yourself. Set a boundary. He can't just pop in whenever and wherever after he broke with you, that's not right. He has some healing to do and some serious work to do on himself, for himself. This is a good time for you to process, reflect, and ultimately decide what you want out of a relationship. Your ex jumped ship when the goings got tough...when things get tough is a time to draw your support/loves in closer...not push them away.  I gained so much strength and perspective from being on my own for a while...it really helped. It helped me overcome feeling lonely when by myself, I really started enjoying having my space. Once I got to that point, I put myself out there again and I really paid attention to all red flags...I was worth more than that...and sure enough, a good one came along with strong family values, someone who values commitment, and understands that when the goings get tough, you stick together and figure it out, and work through it. A very good communicator. All of these things lacked in my former relationships. ❤️

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22 hours ago, kayc said:

Try to remember that they say all kinds of things to us because they are confused, they have mixed feelings, don't know what they want BUT, they broke up with us!  Do NOT get your hopes up or read anything into it.  You have some history together, he's used to being with you, they miss that, BUT, they broke up with us!  You have to keep that in mind.  

Right now I feel what he did was unkind.  It was for HIM, not for you.  Because it left him feeling better about what he did and left you mixed up and all over the place.  Grr to him for doing that!  No contact gives you a chance to heal, stirring the pot every now and then mixes you up and leaves your emotions in an upheaval.

I second this sentiment here. Always remember that HE BROKE UP WITH YOU. My ex did the exact same thing as yours now has and it isn't going to end well for you. He does not deserve to be in contact with you after what he has done. He has no right to bring you into his confusion, that's not fair. Misery loves company, and so does confusion. Please do not read too far into what he has said, as he may say something completely different the next time he contacts you, IF there is a next time. What he's doing seems like an attempt to absolve himself of guilt for what he's done (as KayC stated above) by trying to remain in contact and keep you on the hook just in case he does decide he feels like coming back. Please, do not let him do that to you, you deserve better.

21 hours ago, nettieboop said:

I agree with kayc...boundaries are so essential. Actions speak louder than words, and yes, he is all over the place emotionally. I agree 100% with the no contact at this point to protect yourself and not get your hopes up. He will need all sorts of work on himself to get to firmer ground first of all, but also normal people don't just break up in a crisis and repel their loved one(s)...he has issues...and these issues need to be addressed. He is almost 100% likely to continue this cycle again, whether that person is you, or someone else. Protect yourself. Set a boundary. He can't just pop in whenever and wherever after he broke with you, that's not right. He has some healing to do and some serious work to do on himself, for himself. This is a good time for you to process, reflect, and ultimately decide what you want out of a relationship. Your ex jumped ship when the goings got tough...when things get tough is a time to draw your support/loves in closer...not push them away.  I gained so much strength and perspective from being on my own for a while...it really helped. It helped me overcome feeling lonely when by myself, I really started enjoying having my space. Once I got to that point, I put myself out there again and I really paid attention to all red flags...I was worth more than that...and sure enough, a good one came along with strong family values, someone who values commitment, and understands that when the goings get tough, you stick together and figure it out, and work through it. A very good communicator. All of these things lacked in my former relationships. ❤️

Boundaries are absolutely essential! Coming from a person who used to have very few of them, I can attest to this statement as 100% correct. My ex needed all sorts of work too, he had issues that ran far deeper than anything I could've ever imagined. I have not dated in the 2.5 years since we broke up, but its been the happiest 2.5 years I have experienced in over a decade. Full of self-work, self-reflection, travel, gaining new hobbies, etc. I feel this is absolutely essential too, you need to be single (everyone does) at least for a while, to figure out how to construct those boundaries and stick to them and to notice red flags in people and understand the role you played in how your relationships ended and work to improve things about yourself. Your self worth should never be dependent on your relationship status or the thoughts of the person you love, and if they truly cared for you, they wouldn't allow you to pin your self-worth into them. As Nettie said, all the things stated above lacked in my former relationships too (especially between Tim and I), I didn't see it then, but do now.

“You know, it's funny; when you look at someone through rose-colored glasses, all the red flags just look like flags.” ― Wanda from Bojack Horseman

--Rae :)

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2 hours ago, Rae1991 said:

I feel this is absolutely essential too, you need to be single (everyone does) at least for a while, to figure out how to construct those boundaries and stick to them and to notice red flags in people and understand the role you played in how your relationships ended and work to improve things about yourself. Your self worth should never be dependent on your relationship status or the thoughts of the person you love, and if they truly cared for you, they wouldn't allow you to pin your self-worth into them.

2 hours ago, Rae1991 said:

 

Amen to that...it's the best place to be. ❤️

 

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On 6/15/2018 at 5:18 AM, Rae1991 said:

He has no right to bring you into his confusion, that's not fair.

Agreed!

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