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First of all I am sorry for all of your losses.

I want you to know that you are helping others. I am sure there are thousands who read your stories without your knowing.
The vast majority of those of you who share stories are women so I guess more stories from men would be welcome.

I am close to 50 and had been together with my 5 year older ex for a year. We had a wonderful and passionate time together but
halfway through our relationship her already old and sick dad got diagnosed with cancer. It took about 4-5 months before he passed.
Foolishly I thought a person would prepare for this. How wrong was I. 5 days before he died I sensed she was started to shut me out. 
She went out of town and stayed with her father on his deathbed during this period and we would only communicate via texts.
Afraid to disturb her and the family I didn't call but I followed up all the time and made it clear several times that I was there for her
and that I loved her. Normally we communicated every single day on Messenger but she switched over to texts when shutting me out.
When she asked me to meet up for a coffee a week after his passing I knew trouble was coming, especially since I had not been given
any information about the funeral. 

Let me make this clear: her reason for breaking up was not her but me. I was not working enough, not finishing some minor work in 
my(!) appartment after the renovation and not hitting the gym like I used to. For the record: we did not live together. Good work ethics
was the most important thing she had been taught by her father and she couldn't understand how I could choose to live my life the way
that I did...In all honesty, I have had a few bad months not succeeding finding a new business, getting a light depression from smoke
quitting and seeing my father hospitalized with a brain trauma. But I do have a supercar in the garage and money in the bank so I am not
exactly a deadbeat. She is a machine when it comes to work and chores. Not one sick day, not one broken appointment. Therefore I helped
out with what I could and also suggested that she should slow down on a couple of things. I helped her moving back to her house, making
dinner, servicing and detailing her car and repairing windows in her house etc. I had the time to do this and it also made me happy to help.
But sitting down with her that day made me feel like the worst person in the world. Like so many of you already have told - it came with no
warnings at all. Prior to the day she started pulling away from me it was all hugs, I love yous etc. Not once have we sat down to discuss
problems in our relationship because there haven't been any major concerns. I told her that doing it this way was not fair and that I had
been given no chance whatsoever to potensially fix things. Her reply was that she at "least needed to get away from this".
At that point I was so dizzy and felt so sick from depression and anxiety I just said goodbye, hugged her and left. I was so shocked from 
this behaviour that I was not sure if this was real or not. I felt like observing myself and the situation from the outside. I know her as 0%
superficial, down to earth and one of the most just, fair, sweet and caring human beings I have ever met.

This was Friday the 20th of September. On Monday I drove by her office and dropped off the birthday present I had bought a long time 
ago to the receptionist. Didn't hear a thing from her. A couple of days later I saw online that the funeral(to which I was never invited) was
to be held Friday, the 27th. I thought the decent thing to do was to send my formal condolences so I sent a straight forward card&flowers
to her home address on the 30th. She thanked me by text the same evening, hoped I was doing fine and wishing my dad well. I answered
with a heart.
Those are the only occasions I have contacted her. No calls, no texts, no messages on Facebook. No nothing. And this is the hardest 
part because there was nothing more would have wanted than to reach out and do whatever I took to help her. If cutting off a finger would
have taken away her pain at that moment I would have done it. The same week I fixed my appartment and then some in order not to go
insane. Spent 4 hours just cleaning the tiles in a small bathroom. I have cried, screamed, despaired and gone through the whole spectre
of emotions. Then feeling guilty of grieving when I know that her pain is much greater. It's close to a miracle that I did not knock anyone 
out during this period because I have been without a fuse and a complete mess for a couple of weeks. I cried in front of her once in August
when I was convinced my dad was going to live the remainder of his life as half vegetable. Maybe she saw me as weak after seing me
deteriorate a bit. It seems like many people confuse crying with weakness. How wrong are they.

In the words of the wise Hunter S. Thompson - when the going gets tough the weird turn pro...

The fighter in me responded. I started going for long walks. There is nothing better than long walks for clearing the mind. Then I hit the
gym. Hard. 6 times a week. In the morning. Boxing and lifting weights. Still going for long walks in the evenings. 7 days a week. 
But most important of all - I discovered all of your stories.  In my eagerness to find answers to this absurd situation I was put in I stumbled
upon this forum. It has been of tremendous help to me knowing that I am not the only one experiencing this and that there is nothing more
that I could have done to prevent the breakup. I could have handled this period better but I did the best that I could at the time.
Every day I wake up I feel stronger and better. It's been 5 weeks since she broke up with me and the hurt is already different. I cried when
typing this post because I truly love her. But the sorrow is not so much from missing her or wondering how she is coping with life, it's more
from hope fading. October the 10th she sends me a text thanking me for the gift saying she thought the package was business related...she
hoped I was doing well and was wishing my dad a speedy recovery. After a couple of hours I responded politely that I was glad she liked the
present and hoped she and her family was doing well. I wrote I was doing fine and that my father is going to be close to the man he used to
be. No answer, end of conversation. 2 days later on a late Saturday night I get a text from her. Directly translated: "I am very happy to hear
that your father is doing so well." Say what? 2 weeks later I still don't know what to answer. I don't even know if this was a single message
or a part of the conversation 2 days earlier.

Anyway, no contact is the way I chose and I did it because of you guys sharing your experiences. I haven't had a good night's sleep in 7-8
weeks but last night I slept for almost 9 hours. Feels absolutely fantastic. At least now I am going to become the best possible version of
myself, hopefully smarter and more humble. Hard work is key to many things in life but it's not enough. We also have got to work smart in
order to maintain or improve.  Already now I can tell that my ex probably learned to work instead of addressing and resolving certain issues.
Her communcation with me was not the way I would expect my adult partner to behave in this situation and I felt more like one of her kids
who had greatly disappointed her. This leads me to my final questions - how is she going to react when her mother dies? Or one of her 
brothers? Or what about the day one of my parents die? I have absolutely no idea how I am going to react when that happens other than
being totally shattered but I am going to do my best to explain what is going on to my surroundings. I am a lonely child and I don't have any
kids so I am prepared to be alone when going through this. One thing is for sure - out of a thousand times I would one thousand times
choose to face that sorrow on my own rather than being together with a partner I can't count on. 

 

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3 hours ago, HighwayStar said:

One thing is for sure - out of a thousand times I would one thousand times
choose to face that sorrow on my own rather than being together with a partner I can't count on. 

Amen to that, my friend. You sound like a man with a good head on your shoulders. It's good to know that you found this forum so helpful in your time of need, and I thank you for sharing your story with all of us. ❤️

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4 hours ago, MartyT said:

Amen to that, my friend. You sound like a man with a good head on your shoulders. It's good to know that you found this forum so helpful in your time of need, and I thank you for sharing your story with all of us. ❤️

Thank you for your kind words, I hope to improve a lot more before I go. :) Hopefully my story can be part of helping those who will follow. I will make sure to update if and when something happens but I am stubborn and won't be breaking no contact. I feel like a coward saving myself this way but I can't see any other solution. All the best.

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I am so sorry you find yourself in this predicament...the place we never asked for but too many of us have seemed to find.  It is a learning experience.

There is a lot of medium ground between deadbeat and workhorse and none of it wrong, only each person's area of comfort.  Culture, teaching, personality, all plays into it.

 You are fine, and CONGRATULATIONS! on quitting smoking!  That is a huge feat not easily attained.  I'm sorry about what your father has been through as well, not easy.  

On 10/24/2019 at 7:12 AM, HighwayStar said:

Her reply was that she at "least needed to get away from this"

That sounds like a grief response if I ever heard one!  Many people have zero tolerance when grieving, all they can handle is their grief.  And she sounds like an all or nothing person.

 

On 10/24/2019 at 7:12 AM, HighwayStar said:

The same week I fixed my appartment and then some in order not to go
insane. Spent 4 hours just cleaning the tiles in a small bathroom.

When my fiance broke up with me (grief also), my house got VERY clean!  

 

On 10/24/2019 at 7:12 AM, HighwayStar said:

At least now I am going to become the best possible version of
myself

The walks, focus on yourself is very healthy.  No contact does allow our heads to clear without being fogged up by emotion, which can be distorting.

 

On 10/24/2019 at 7:12 AM, HighwayStar said:

One thing is for sure - out of a thousand times I would one thousand times
choose to face that sorrow on my own rather than being together with a partner I can't count on. 

You have learned much through your experience and that is great...the silver lining in all of this.  I'm glad to hear your dad is going to make it and you are doing well!

I am a numbers person, I find statistics interesting, which is really nothing more than a mathematical pattern...and when you read all of these threads in this section, you definitely see a pattern.  You see what you're responsible for and what you have no control over.  You see what helps and what hurts.  We can't control the other person but we do have a degree of control over our outcome with our own choices.  We're learning...kuddos to you!

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On 10/24/2019 at 9:12 AM, HighwayStar said:

 One thing is for sure - out of a thousand times I would one thousand times choose to face that sorrow on my own rather than being together with a partner I can't count on. 

Print this out, frame it and hang it everywhere!

You're learning from your experiences and that of others, and that's a great thing. It took me probably 6 months to be able to get where you are, but my apartment got really clean and my workout routine definitely increased, too!

On 10/24/2019 at 4:26 PM, HighwayStar said:

I feel like a coward saving myself this way but I can't see any other solution.

Don't feel like a coward, it wasn't you, it was her and you need to do what you feel is best for yourself. If anything, it's a test of one's strength to stop yourself from giving into the temptation of contact, that feeling and rush it gives you is alluring because the one thing you desire is on the other side, but in the end, just fills you with sadness when they don't reply. They're so close, yet just out of reach, and that's the hardest part to let go of. 

Thank you for sharing, I am sure someone will find your story helpful, too.

 Rae 😊

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Quick update:

Posted a pic on my Facebook story Saturday and also a new status on Sunday bragging about my 3 month mark staying away from nicotine+working out like a dog for a 1 month. She liked them so at least I know she is alive and watching my steps. I don't get carried away by these things and instead I decided to go off the grid for a few weeks. No peeking, posting, liking or whatever on social media. No looking at pictures or reading old messages. If she has something to say she can message or call me, I'm busy cleaning my brain.

Yesterday I had a discussion with my extremely stubborn and hospitalized dad. After that phone call I got fed up and said to myself: enough worrying about him, my ex and others, it's time to worry about myself! At that moment I felt like my old self from 6-7 months ago which was like a revelation to me. It was at that moment I realized my depression was gone. Working out every morning and walking 8-10 kilometers in the evening have obviously done wonders. There is no better way to clean your brain than to walk out in the nature, in the park etc. I'm getting in super shape both physically and mentally now, sleeping better and feeling stronger. So now I'm starting to think that if she comes back then I will be strong enough to be there for her. If she doesn't then I will handle that as well. Again, thanks for your support I will keep you updated.

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16 hours ago, HighwayStar said:

There is no better way to clean your brain than to walk out in the nature, in the park etc

For sure!  I find that true as well.

Let go of the hope of getting back together...whether you do or don't...that is future, today live in today and be truly free of encumbrances.

It is not cowardice to be as you are, it is being true to yourself and bringing out the best in who you are!

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So, after my post on Facebook I went radio silent. Two days ago I'm almost home from my evening walk and out of the blue I get a text from her. Immediately I started laughing as I was thinking "do women have a radar installed sensing when men are starting to feel better"? She wrote: hope your father is getting even better and that you are doing fine. Quitting smoking for 3 months is a great acchievement! Thinking of you...

After a while I answered back, honestly and lighthearted(which I was feeling): Thanks! All is well here and I'm taking him out for a daytrip on Friday. Thinking of you too. ;)
An hour later I get another text saying: Great! To everything... Glad to hear you are thinking of me too(with a relieved smiley). 

I didn't text back. On Monday I felt happy that she reached out to me but reading it now I'm thinking this is just a person feeling guilty for the breakup. I'm going through the whole range of emotions here. If this was a normal breakup then I would respond with "great to hear from you, when can we meet for a coffee and catch up". Then we could have met or I could have just classified this as breadcrumbs, forgot about it and moved on. Am I wrong for feeling that she has to take the first initiative to talk or to meet up? I don't like being a passive person but do I have any choice?

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She broke up with you.  That can't be ignored or forgotten.  Why she'd initiate contact after breaking your heart I don't know, why add salt to a wound?  What good can come from contact?  So she can hurt you again?  It hasn't been long enough for the feelings to die down so you can truly be friends and in many cases friendship doesn't exist where once love was.  I know it's tempting to want more or to text back but not sure that's a good idea under the circumstances.  Sometimes I think they don't know what they want and as a result they make us their casualty...if we let them.

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