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Bubble

Did I jump the gun and end it or would it of ended anyway?

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So grateful I found this website as I have been reading through a lot of posts, however I haven't seen too much about being the 'dumper' after a loss.

We have known each other for over 3 years and have been in a relationship on/off. We always seem to come back together for whatever reason, and when we are together it's amazing. The chemistry we have is incredible and each time we see each other the feelings get stronger and stronger. We were seeing each other again and decided to make a real go of it this time. The future was spoken about and how we both have grown and wanted this time to be it- no going back kind of talk. However, his closest and oldest friend passed away suddenly and as per the other posts on here, the distancing started to happen. We were messaging and did the occasional phone call (nothing like before) however there was no plans to meet again. The romance literally died between us and I went from feeling on cloud 9 to down in the dumps. The major part other than the grieving is he does suffer depression, so I understood his loss would have impacted his mental health severely. However surprisingly, he was still very much carrying on his life as normal but was never involving me. I would find he would be visiting his friends for hours, going out to his job or online chatting away. Yet when I messaged or called him he would avoid responding or not even read my messages for hours on end even though being active. I was trying to be really supportive and gave him the space he needed and told him I'm always there when and if he needed to talk. He was thankful but understandably I was last on the priority list right now, but I also found it frustrating that others around him got his attention throughout the day but me.

Weeks passed and because I wasn't hearing anything from him (yet he's still being fairly active day to day and on social media) I did ask the question whether it was worth me holding on for now and whether his feelings towards me have changed? I personally wanted to know this for my own sanity, as sitting in limbo waiting for some sign or response was driving me crazy. He said that he felt the same as before about me but since the loss felt empty and needed time. He has always been very open about his feelings but after that conversation nothing changed (they actually got worse) and all I wanted was some reassurance to stick around. If he could see his friends and carry on as normal like he was, why would he not see me? Looking back I do feel now I was being quite selfish but I also felt my own mind and feelings were affecting my day to day life and started feeling very down. I truly missed him and still do, but honestly felt like he was avoiding me and purposely pushing me away, so after a long phone call I decided to end whatever we had. I did ask him if this is what he wanted and he said no but agreed to end it without much hesitation. I did feel as though he was waiting for me to pull the plug as much as he 'didn't want it' - but he's one of those people who doesn't like to disappoint so allowed me to do the ending for him. I left the conversation leaving the ball in his court as though I was leaving that window of hope open to contact me again when ready. After reading this site I feel like that wont ever happen?

Did I jump the gun and end it or would it of ended anyway? I do have trust issues when it comes to men from previous experiences but the thought of another women taking his interest also popped into my mind as to why he avoided me. Was it just the grieving and depression or was it more? Has anyone else felt this way and thought of other reasons behind it other than the obvious?

We still have all ties in place, nothing as changed in regards to that and left things quite friendly, but everyday is a battle of what if... should I of just waited?

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His message was loud and clear to you, I would not call you the dumper and him the dumpee!  He changed due to his grief, and it was only natural you saw that and decided to move on from being in limbo so long.  He did all but call it.

We can never know 100% for sure, but I'd chalk it up to his grief response.

I have no idea if you have trust issues, only you can answer that.

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I think his loss precipitated something that may have happened anyway.  Maintaining friendships isn't like maintaining a love relationship, and when push came to shove, he just didn't have anything to give at this point. Maybe better now than five year from now, you're legally committed to one another, and he emotionally bails out of the relationship.

Your trust issues are yours to work out. What you're describing though, is not that. If what you described is accurate, I don't think you were being selfish at all.  In some ways, the why doesn't matter so much. He has emotionally withdrawn. The two of you are in different places. You are ready, willing and able (it sounds like!) to make a life with someone. He's not.

 

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On 5/13/2020 at 7:55 PM, ipswitch said:

I think his loss precipitated something that may have happened anyway.  Maintaining friendships isn't like maintaining a love relationship, and when push came to shove, he just didn't have anything to give at this point. Maybe better now than five year from now, you're legally committed to one another, and he emotionally bails out of the relationship.

Your trust issues are yours to work out. What you're describing though, is not that. If what you described is accurate, I don't think you were being selfish at all.  In some ways, the why doesn't matter so much. He has emotionally withdrawn. The two of you are in different places. You are ready, willing and able (it sounds like!) to make a life with someone. He's not.

 

This is incredibly true and insightful, and something I've learned from my own experience which is quite similar to Bubble's. I do think that grief can become a barrier, but I think it can also be a catalyst that brings about a reaction to underlying issues that lay dormant. 

Whatever the reason, the fact remains that if he's not ready and willing to give to a relationship for any reason, and you are, then it's clear you're in two different places. It's okay to ask for some clarity as to what you're being patient for when you're partner is grieving and asking for space. I believe that if they love you, they'll be able to tell you that your efforts won't be in vain. If that question cannot be answered, then perhaps it's best to let them go.

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On 5/13/2020 at 6:55 PM, ipswitch said:

I think his loss precipitated something that may have happened anyway.  Maintaining friendships isn't like maintaining a love relationship, and when push came to shove, he just didn't have anything to give at this point. Maybe better now than five year from now, you're legally committed to one another, and he emotionally bails out of the relationship.

Your trust issues are yours to work out. What you're describing though, is not that. If what you described is accurate, I don't think you were being selfish at all.  In some ways, the why doesn't matter so much. He has emotionally withdrawn. The two of you are in different places. You are ready, willing and able (it sounds like!) to make a life with someone. He's not.

 

This is absolutely true. As with both my two previous committed/long-term relationships, one where I was the griever (though we didn't break up, my behavior damaged our relationship), and then later the dumpee of a griever. These emotional, trust and self-esteem problems were long-standing, only buried and brought to the surface when the hardship of grief exposed them.

1 hour ago, CygnusX1 said:

This is incredibly true and insightful, and something I've learned from my own experience which is quite similar to Bubble's. I do think that grief can become a barrier, but I think it can also be a catalyst that brings about a reaction to underlying issues that lay dormant. 

Whatever the reason, the fact remains that if he's not ready and willing to give to a relationship for any reason, and you are, then it's clear you're in two different places. It's okay to ask for some clarity as to what you're being patient for when you're partner is grieving and asking for space. I believe that if they love you, they'll be able to tell you that your efforts won't be in vain. If that question cannot be answered, then perhaps it's best to let them go.

It was absolutely a barrier, and definitely becomes one when one party emotionally checks out and/or can only go so far in a relationship before their pattern of previous behaviors, such as emotional unavailability or fear of abandonment become apparent and the relationship comes to a halt. Often, grief is simply a way of exposing problems that would have surfaced eventually, even without the addition of grief. My ex Tim told me that if his dad hadn't passed away, we would have stayed together, but looking back in the months after our breakup, that was untrue. His grief and reaction to it simply expedited the breakup in a relationship that already had an expiration date.

:) Rae

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I agree with the other posters.  While no two situations are alike, my experience with a griever who distanced taught me that the stress of the grief brought out the underlying truth of the relationship. I think the stress of grieving makes it much harder for the griever to pretend and that are probably too raw and exhausted to hurt our feelings because they actually do care about us. So they retreat. But the retreat shows us the truth about their feelings, it could even be a truth that they had been hiding from themselves.

Like the others said, the gift to us is discovering their truth now rather than having them bail on the relationship farther down the line when you are even more invested

 

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17 hours ago, Chlor said:

I think the stress of grieving makes it much harder for the griever to pretend

That never occurred to me!  Good point.

17 hours ago, Chlor said:

But the retreat shows us the truth about their feelings, it could even be a truth that they had been hiding from themselves.

Yep, this!

I hadn't notice Rae's lost post, but this strikes me...

On 7/20/2020 at 7:47 AM, Rae1991 said:

Often, grief is simply a way of exposing problems that would have surfaced eventually

 

On 7/20/2020 at 7:47 AM, Rae1991 said:

My ex Tim told me that if his dad hadn't passed away, we would have stayed together, but looking back in the months after our breakup, that was untrue. His grief and reaction to it simply expedited the breakup in a relationship that already had an expiration date.

Jim told me that too, but I think Rae's summation is more likely!

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