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Boyfriends dad died and he left me and moved back home without any notice


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My now ex-boyfriend of 1.5 years broke up with me last week, packed all his things up from our house and decided to move to another state. I'm feeling really blindsided and confused at the moment. Both my ex and I are 30 years old if that matters. Story below, sorry it's a long one!

I met my now ex (I'm going to refer to him as Nick, not his real name) in March of 2019 and we started taking very soon after meeting (my good friend dates his friend so we were set up on a date). At the time of meeting him I just gotten out of an 8 year relationship 6 months prior. My breakup with my ex of 8 years was brutal and I was having a hard time moving on. It was a very up and down relationship that turned toxic and involved cheating (on his end) and eventual verbal and emotional abuse. I met Nick* 6 months after my ex and I broke up and 2 weeks after I finally blocked my ex on phone and e-mail. Needless to say I may not have been in the best mindset to date again and was only looking for something casual. We ended up hitting it off, moved in together 6 months later and lived together for a year.

Overall, I thought my realtionship with Nick was really good. He was very patient with me in the beginning knowing I wasn't long out of a tough breakup. He was kind, easy to talk to, very open and trustworthy. He made me feel secure in our relationship and I could rely on him in a way my ex never did. If I'm honest, I think the fact that we didn't "play games" and I could trust him were huge draws. Maybe even more so than if I was really head over heels in love with him as a person.

Nick comes from a background with some pretty heavy trauma from his childhood. His birth mom died of a drug overdose when he was 4 and he was the one to find her body. His dad remarried about a year later to his stepmom who adopted and raised Nick and his brother. His stepmom was horribly physically, emotionally and mentally abusive to Nick. I've noticed how this abuse has affected him as adult in terms of how he deals with his anger, stressful situations and has some self esteem and insecurity issues. I've witnessed him punch a hole through a way and punch himself in the face on more than one occasion when he is very angry and upset. This was obviously very alarming behavior to witness but it was never directed at me and he always treated me well. As time went on I tried to get him to look into therapy for anxiety/depression but he never really followed through. After some research we think he may have Borderline Personalty Disorder which would explain a lot of his behavior. This is purely based off of internet research and he has never been formally diagnosed.

All that aside, day to day or relationship was really nice. We lived together great, enjoyed a lot of the same hobbies and rarely had big fights or issues (a big departure from my previous relationship). In the past few months we've been talking about moving to the East Coast where I am from and possibly getting married. He had seemed very on board with this but about a month and a half ago, his dad got sick with cancer. His dad was 78 and had cancer in the past and hadn't been in great health. Unfortunately the cancer diagnosis was sudden and he passed 4 week later, but his death wasn't a huge shock. Nick had been mentally preparing for his dads death due to his older age and bad health for awhile. We flew out together when we heard his dad was sick and he was able to spend a few nice weeks with him. His abusive stepmom was still married to his dad at the time of this death so unfortunately we had to see a lot of her. She acts very sweet now and never acknowledges the abuse she put Nick through. The day after his dad died she changed the locks on their house so Nick and his siblings wouldn't be able to go to the house any more.

Over the last few weeks he had started talking more and more about moving home for awhile to spend time with his family and heal. I made it pretty clear I didn't want to do that but I could start heading East and he could join me when he was ready but that this may lead to us deciding our lives were going in directions and this could lead to a breakup. He got very upset and angry when I brought up the potential of a break up. I brought it up again this past Monday after he had gotten home because our lease is up in a month and we need to give our landlord notice. He was pretty annoyed I brought it up on a Monday morning but basically admitted he decided he doesn't want to move to East coast and he needs to be back with his family indefinitely. Seems like he had made up his mind and was moving back and decided not to even factor me into his plan or have the conversation with me.

I was very surprised considering about 3 weeks ago he was begging me to pick a date when I thought I might be able to come back to where his dad lived for a few months and when I wouldn't make a plane he got pretty on edge asking if I still loved him and that I was "emotionally distant". It seems like such an extreme 180 from a few weeks ago when he got mad that I brought up the potential of a breakup and we were trying to make a plan together. We went back and forth for awhile and it ended in him packing all his things from our house, loading his truck and driving 8 states away back to where his family is. He said he needed to be alone to figure things out and can't be in a relationship right now. Said he's very lost, confused, having suicidal thoughts and doesn't know what he needs.

We talked a few times on the phone while he drove and last Wednesday he texted me basically saying "I love you. I've said somethings I haven't fully though through and I'm sorry. Give me a few days to think and write and see where my head is at". I didn't respond, trying to respect his wishes of needing time and have only heard from him once in a week when he texted two days ago saying "How are you doing?". Again, I didn't respond to that because I think I'm owed a little more than that.

I'm not sure if I should reach out or just let him be and hope he gets the help he needs. He's knows for making emotional, impulsive decisions but I'm shocked he hasn't even called in a week. I know his grieving and lost right now and his dads death has brought up a lot of the trauma from his stepmom but I feel totally cut out and thrown away like I never mattered.

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Quick follow up to this: I had my doubts about if this was the right person and considered ending things so I'm not crushed that he's not in my life although I do miss him.  I think I'm just so shocked at the abrupt and almost cruel way he went about it. Goes against everything I thought I knew about him and makes me question if he ever really loved or cared the way he claimed if it was so easy to pack up his life and leave. Now I'm left to deal with selling our things and packing up our house in the next two weeks.

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You're so right, my fiance of a year suddenly broke up with me when his mom was dying...I got my "notification" to my office (yes in front of my coworkers) via FedEx!  

I'm sorry you're going through this...you may have noticed this is a common grief response, they don't feel able to handle a relationship at the same time as grieving.  He may feel guilty about what he did to you so he's avoiding you?  I'm just so sorry.  And then to leave you with all the work of moving, it's very wrong.

I told myself I wouldn't want someone as a partner that didn't want to go through thick and thin together...this was ten years ago, I haven't dated since.  

I'm just so sorry!  Come here, vent, we're here, listening and caring.  You deserve better than this.  His decision had to do with what's going on with him, nothing to do with you, but it AFFECTS you, and can sure hurt for a while!  :wub:

Spend time with supportive people, family, friends.  Keeping busy helps and you'll have no lack of that for a while!  

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Hi @kayc thank you so much for your reply, it's very helpful. I'm so sorry your ex did that over FedEx! That is cruel. How long ago was this? How are you now?

It's such a hard thing to understand. The 2 days before he left things were great. He had finally gotten home from his dad's on Saturday and I picked him up at the airport. We had a great day on Sunday and he told me how much he loved and appreciated me and how happy he was to be home.Very hard to understand how someones mind flips so quickly and easily. Just a few weeks ago he was asking me to move with him and was making plans for us to go on a trip over the weekend then bam he's gone. Have not heard from him since the  "How are you doing?" text. I'm half tempted to reach out and say "so I assume I shouldn't wait for you to call me since you've had enough time to gather your thoughts". I don't think I will. He wanted to come back out this weekend or next to talk face to face and help me move some of our stuff. I told him I wasn't sure if I wanted that but now it hasn't been brought up again.

I want to assume that when enough time has passed he will reach out again and explain himself better and/or apologize for how he went about things. I can respect and understand his sudden need to be alone to process things and feeling like he can't contribute to a relationship right now. In fact, I think I agree that it makes the most sense. However, I can't respect or understand how he's acting like everything is good between us and we'll make a plan together and then turn around and basically throw me away like a piece of trash. Makes me questions if he ever really cared or loved for me or is using what he's going through as a good excuse to run away instead of talking to me.
 

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I also wonder if he has some abandonment issues. Since I brought up the possibility of breaking up twice over the last month maybe got scared and left before he could be left. He did a similar thing to his ex and regretted it and was torn up over that breakup.

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On 10/8/2020 at 8:40 AM, KateriB said:

How long ago was this? How are you now?

It was ten years two months ago today.  After she passed I sent him a handmade sympathy card, he called and talked to me 3 1/2 hours, as if catching me up!  In the ensuing days he told me he loved me, then he'd disappear for a couple of weeks, I was getting mixed messages and it was yanking me around emotionally so I put a wall up around my heart and learned not to take to heart whatever he said or expect anything.  We were able to reestablish as friends, but nothing beyond that in the years since.  I was wise to guard my heart.  About three years ago he let his XW move in so she wouldn't be homeless, I've accepted she'll be there the rest of their lives.  We talk occasionally but even the friendship has dwindled although I do care about him, but that's it.  Most cannot make it as friends after having been in a relationship or getting hurt so bad but I've accepted that he always had true intentions.  To his credit, he has Asperger's, has a hard time with conflict/hard conversations, so while I understand how he operates, it's only helped me realize all the more that he isn't "my person" so to speak.  I'd want someone through thick and thin, not someone who runs or breaks up when difficult things comes along because if there's one guarantee in life, it's that they will.  I am doing fine, still on my own after all these years.  I don't look for someone in my life (I'm 68), my late husband was perfect for me and I figure if God wants me with someone, He's perfectly capable of bringing him into my life.

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  • 1 month later...

I've been reading your post and the words coming to my head rather consistently were, "Wait, what?"

Stepmom adopts children, abuses them, and - he has to go back and be near family?

I'd be interested in what Stepmom says about the abuse. I know it certainly happens, and I've also  known a couple people who've been convinced by victim advocates that what they experienced was abuse, even when others wouldn't describe it as such. (My colleague remembered getting some ice cream for himself, and sitting down next to Mum while she graded papers. Mum asked him to get her a bowl of ice cream, too. He described that as "My mother demanding I fulfill her needs." In most houses, that would be, "You don't fix yourself a treat without asking others if they'd like some, too").

I didn't have a key to my parents' house after I moved out. Should you ever become widowed, I can tell you that relatives can be pretty quick to help themselves to things of sentimental value. A friend of mine has absolutely nothing from her own father. The children from his first marriage came to the house after the funeral and helped themselves to his belongings.

It's hard to say what's going on, though my gut says you dodged a bullet. This family sounds like a piece of work.

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