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Not Sure What The Future Holds


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Hello,

Things changed for me this morning, my girlfriend of 2-3 years text me this morning asking for a chat. I knew something was coming, a punch in my stomach it felt like. She asked for a "break" (whatever that means) and didn't want to talk for at least 2 months. Telling me that right now she needs to focus on herself and get through the waves of euphoria of being in a new place and the lows of grief. She wants to just be alone and that she is seeking counselling through her new job. She also mentioned that she can't fulfil the needs and requirements to uphold her part of the relationship and doesn't want to feel any pressure. (Very similar to the other stories on here). 

I can imagine that I'm also that anchor which is drawing her back into some of that grief and in some ways she associates some feelings towards me with the death of her mum. As I've been there through it all. 

Now before I go any further, its probably best to give you a background of our relationship and the last six months.

We went to the same secondary school together and through university kept in contact, however with each of us travelling independently, we never got together. After university things changed and we got together, going travelling together, holidays etc. With a lot of our old school friends being the same it was easy and it has been easy ever since we got together. About six months ago, things changed in our relationship.

My girlfriends mum shortly passed away after New Year, no warning, no cancer, nothing. The results came back inconclusive, bad luck and just a random stopping of the heart. Her mum was fit and well and exercised daily.

I was the one to break the news to my girlfriend that her mum had passed, she was at work at the time and her dad had no way of reaching her, so I did my best. To make things worse I was also the one to let her brother know, who lives abroad. This was six months ago, and over the last six months, I've tried my best to do everything I can. From being there, to giving her space, to just listening. I'm no means a counsellor or have any idea of what grief does to people (other than what I read in books), but I tried my best. It's been a struggle for my girlfriend, she was very close to her mum and over the last six months has clung to her large support network to get her through these tough times. By no means do I think she is over the grief and if anything I think it's only just beginning.

Now about a month ago my girlfriend moved to a different country, with a large time difference between our countries the communication has slowed down a bit (especially in the last week, as she has got settled) and I also wanted to give her space to get settled and enjoy her new surroundings/job etc. It was always our plan for me to move out there to join her after finishing some contract work up here.

Obviously things drastically changed this morning. I know space is exactly what she needs and she needs to figure these things out on her own. So I'm giving her the space and as upsetting as it maybe this could be the end of our relationship. I think being away and in a different country is almost a bit of an escapism, the closing of one chapter and the starting of a new. Maybe I'm that last line of the page.

Am I afraid that she'll find someone else? I guess so, like I said I think she associates some of me with her grief and there are no pre connotations with anyone else she meets.

I plan to work on myself for the next 2 months, start new hobbies, reach out to old friends and in two months see where we are. Whether or not I'll still move out there who knows. I can't waste the next months of my life holding out for any crumbs that come my way or live my life in limbo. I still love her dearly and probably always will.

What I'm feeling now is I'm sure only a fraction of what she's been going through for the last 6 months.

For now I'm taking things one day at a time. I'm just a 25 year old wondering through life trying to make sense of it all.

If anyone has any words of wisdom, encouragement or advice. I'm all ears.

Thanks for reading and have a great day!

 

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Giving space is one thing.  Taking a break in a relationship means you're broken up, you've been let down easy but like you said you can't wait around for crumbs to fall.  You are tackling it right, staying busy, getting involved in things.  So hard, I know, been there.

Grief can be complicated, it has a beginning, but no ending, but it does evolve, little by little.  I hope she gets grief counseling but that's up to her.

One day at a time is the best...it's about all we can handle anyway.

Right now you're grieving a relationship and all of your feelings are valid, even when at odds with each other.  They pretty much run the gamut.

So sorry you find yourself in this situation.

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Thanks for your reply @kayc. Yeah Im coming to terms with it being over. There is still parts of me that doesn't think it is, but I'm only hours in.

Who knows what the future holds. Who would have though a 3 year relationship is over via the phone.

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Mine ended via Fed Ex at my office no less, although I don't think there is a good way to do it, there are certainly bad ways.

You're not very far out from it, it takes time to process.  You seem to understand what you need to do so at least you're ahead of many of us there.

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Hey Ralph,

You sound like you're aware of how you are feeling and your next course of action regarding how to go forward. As Kayc said, grief is complicated. It does odd things to people. My ex ghosted me twice after his dad died suddenly 3.5 years ago, we had been dating almost 2 years by then. I was your age at the time, I am 27 now. At first he said he didn't want to break up, then went silent on me for 3 months before trying to reconcile. It was confusing, heartbreaking and hurtful.

You are going about this appropriately, with being on a "break," now is the time to focus on yourself and try to move forward with your life regardless of her presence (not move on, just forward). It is really hard at first, but will settle with time and you will gain clarity as time goes on.

Read the post by Vandal, he is/was in the same head space as you as far as being aware of his feelings and what he needs to do after his ex broke up with him.

--Rae :)

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Thanks for your support  @kayc @Rae1991

 

Thought I would update you guys. After a week of no contact she reached out. Mainly just to clarify things with me.

She needs space, time and professional help to work through what she's going through. I can't imagine what shes going through and I hope she finds some inner calmness and can move past this.

We ended things on very amicable terms and the break up wasn't out of loss of love or anything bad. Simply put she can't be with anyone right now. She needs to learn to love herself before she can love someone else. I can't argue with that and in the long run I know its the best for us both.

Her time away seems to be helping her and I'm glad for that.

Time to keep moving forward, and focus on myself. Who knows what the future holds. Being from the same home town, I'm sure our paths will cross here or abroad when I move in 2 months. I have the freedom to choose my own destiny.

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Ralph,

I wish you only the best.  You have a good head on your shoulders, and I've no doubt it will take you far...wishing you an amazing future.  

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  • 1 month later...

@kayc

Thought I would give you an update. I still haven't spoken to her. She seems to have pushed away a lot of people from back home and a lot of our mutual friends and her friends haven't heard from her in weeks.

However, she has reached out to my mum a couple times and asked how my family is doing.

She seems happy from her Instagram posts, although I know that this is just a front and social media is just a highlight real of our lives. I'm heading out to the same country as my ex in about a month. 

I've still got her stuff to return to her dad.

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I wish you well with it...I returned Jim's things to his roommate the following morning, it'd be a little harder to see family.  Hang in there!

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  • 2 months later...

So I'm back. From all the stories I read on here, most of the time you don't get a final update, so I thought I would come back and document it for others and also myself.

About 6 weeks ago I moved to the same country as my ex. I was moving on and had been casually been dating, but nothing serious. About a week after arriving my ex reached out and asked how I was. We ended up arranging to meet up.

We went for a couple drinks and everything felt the same, we flirted, that chemistry was still there. We even ended up kissing. We arranged to meetup later that week.

Couple days later we met up again, however my ex wanted to have a chat as she wasn't sure how she felt about us hanging out again. Again a lot of flirting, banter and it was easy to see how we could just jump back into things. We had a chat and she let me know shed been seeing someone sooner after we broke up and that at the moment she just wanted to be friends. I guess in a way replacing me with someone who doesnt have this connection to her mum.

I told her that being friends wouldnt work as we had to much chemistry and history to just be friends. Everything that i alluded to from the breakup was true, that she wanted to re-invent herself in this new country and she didn't have any reminders of her mum and she said that I brought back a lot of memories and the day after we saw each other she was very upset.

Now personally, I think just avoiding the grief isnt the best way to deal with things, but I'm not in her position.

I dropped her off and I thought that would be it, but we ended up seeing each other again twice. Again kissing a lot when we were together and even saw each other naked. It's obvious to me that she is super confused with her feelings and she hasnt really taken many steps to move along with this grief. She even said herself that she was mentally screwed up.

I saw her about a 10 days ago, just before she went on holiday and we again restated our boundaries but we still kissed. Since then shes messaged me a couple times, asking for favours and other things. Its very much become a case of her wanting things from me and the things that I can provide for her, I guess it a way she feels comfortable around me.

Its obvious she wants me in her life but without the commitment. Unfortunately for me to fully move on, I cant have her in my life and I cant run around after her. I hope down the line we can be friends.

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I went through a degree of that also with my ex...after his mom died, we'd reconnected after a few months no contact.  He was also confused, didn't seem to know his own mind, all over the place.  I learned not to put any stock by what he said (I love you, etc), he'd not contact me for a couple of weeks and then act like it used to be.  I put a wall around my heart to protect myself and we developed friendship.  After nine years it's beginning to wane as we live 75 miles apart so naturally we both have other friends closer in proximity.
Good luck with it, pay attention to your own needs...I'm glad you realize what is going on and don't fall prey to her confusion and weak moments.

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@kayc appreciate your valuable insight, seems like our experiences have gone down a similar path. I've learnt that as much as I'd love to "fix" her there is no easy answer or solution and that internal change has to come from within her.

In a way I almost felt guilty in rejecting her friendship as I can tell how much value she puts on having me around to help her with things. However, I also can't wait around for her to "fix" herself and even then she might not be the person she once was. There are many things I'd still love to say to her, but that wont change her or help her in anyway.

I hope one day she regains the spark that I fell in love with, as from meeting up with her, she appears the same on surface level but deep down shes still struggling with grief and trying to come to terms with her loss. I think in time she'll realise she lost two people that loved her in the same year, but by then it maybe to late.

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Personally, I think you might need more time before you could consider friendship.  There's good reason for the "no contact" period.  In my situation it's been over nine years since the break up and we had been engaged for a year prior...I am actually thankful we did NOT marry...in the years since he took in his ex wife (married 30 years) as she would have been homeless.  I think she needs to learn to stand on her own two feet instead of being rescued and taken care of like a child, his daughter recently said the same thing to her mom.  BUT none of that is my business, just glad I'm not married to him and having to live with his ex!  :D  He is a good person and I value our friendship but have to put what is best for me ahead and am glad I've learned that and not trying to fix him...I have long since learned you can't fix people, like you said, it has to come from within themselves.  I'm supportive of the positive changes he's made for himself over the years but he still has a long ways to go (things like about to lose his house because he buried his head in the sand and didn't pay his property taxes for five years.  He's been bailed out of his problems before but didn't learn from them...people seldom do when someone else bails them out.  When we were engaged, I remember telling him if we married I would handle the finances, keeping him appraised, of course. ;)  Sometimes it's nice just to have yourself to worry about!

Best of luck to you!

 

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