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I feel as if I have lost everything.


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My boyfriend and I have lived together for over a year. We spent every single day together and we both wanted to get married, have kids, the whole package. The only issues we ever had were due to him being a bit immature and a lack of emotional maturity. Despite that I still loved him and wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. Everything was almost perfect with us. He had a dog, I had a guinea pig. He bought me two more guinea pigs, and I got a dog of my own so we could go on walks together in the future. My three guinea pigs multiplied to 12 a few months later and it felt as if we were growing our own unique family already. He’s always had issues with his leg (a clotting issue that he was born with). He finally had the surgery to remove the extra vein in his leg and I was so over joyed at the thought that we’d finally be able to go on walks and live life to the fullest! Post surgery he was obviously in a lot of pain. He couldn’t bend his leg or get in the bed we shared. He was also very frightened of accidentally hitting it. We ended up sleeping on separate rooms while he recovered. When I look back on that, I think that is why we started to drift apart. I stayed home and cared for him, but there were no cuddles. No hearing the sound of him breathing as I fell asleep. No waking up to tickles and hugs. We began to have disagreements a couple of weeks afterwards. Then his father ended up in the hospital. His pancreas has failed and my boyfriend has been staying at the hospital all day everyday and only coming home at night to go to sleep. He hardly spoke to me anymore and I began to grow jealous because he would still laugh and joke around while playing call of duty online with his brother, but his mood would completely change if he even saw me. Between the small issues we were beginning to have, his father being in the hospital and his ability to be warm and social with everyone except me, I had a moment of selfish weakness and wrote him a letter. In it I told him I understood what he was going through (I lost my mother when I was 19) and that I wanted to be there for him but that I was in pain too. I was at the point in our relationship that I needed confirmation. I left the letter in his room and went to stay the night at my previous home with my roommates. I was growing depressed and I couldn’t even talk to him about it because he was never home and he had enough stress in his life as it is, but I needed him to know how I felt and that instilled loved him. He texted me later that day saying that he wanted to “break up at least for now”. He said he couldn’t focus on me and the animals while his dad was in the condition he’s in and that this might go on for years.  I tried to reason with him by saying that this was the time for us to pull together and that our relationship would grow stronger because of it. He replied by saying that his feelings for me had changed and that although he still loved me, it wasn’t the same love he had for me before. My feelings had changed as well. I began to have doubts but the love conquers all mentality grew inside of me and I had grown to love him even more over time. Now I’m still staying at his house trying to figure out where I can rehome all of my animals without having to surrender them to a shelter. I couldn’t bare giving them to someone who would hurt or euthanize them. I also can’t take them with me because my roommates chain smoke cigarettes... inside. The more I looked online, the more dread I began to feel. His father seems to be doing better. I have cried everyday since he broke up with me. I find myself getting angry at the thought that he’d just throw me away instead of at least trying. I didn’t need him to try right away either. I told him that I would be as patient as he needed me to be but that I just wanted this drifting apart to stop. The way he’s acted since has caused me so much pain and stress that I can hardly go on. I keep wondering how can a man who loves me turn on me so quickly. He even said it wasn’t my fault when we broke up. He said it was hard for him not to take his frustration out on me. I kept wondering what I’d done to make him fell the need to avoid me and push me away. His reasoning was that he didn’t feel excited to do things with me anymore since we had the one fight during his recovery post surgery. He has obviously made a conscious decision to try and convince me that he doesn’t care anymore. It’s his house and all I can do is be thankful that he’s at least giving me time to rehome all the pets but I really want him to just “come to his senses” and realize that love isn’t something you throw away after just one small argument. If it were just me being affected, I would just leave and give him all the space he needed. However the thought of having to give up the animals I swore to myself to protect and provide for makes me feel as though I’d never be able to forgive him. I wouldn’t even be able to forgive myself. So now I’m stuck between mourning the loss of everything I held dear and thinking there has to be some way I can fix this before it’s too late. All of this happened within two weeks. There’s no way this damage could be irreversible. Maybe I’m in denial but there just has to be something I can do. 

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Love is a choice.  It doesn't dissolve because things get tough, if anything it should carry you through it.  That he's pulled back shows this is his way of coping and his coping style obviously is not compatible with yours.  I am so sorry you are going through this!  You were there for him, and now he is causing YOU grief!  It's unfair.  Life sure isn't "fair" sometimes!  You can't "make" someone love you, can't "make" them grow up, can't "make" them change their mind!  If there was some abracadabra method for doing so, none of us would have cause to post in this section!  I am so sorry for your pain, it is hard, it hurts, I know, been there!  

All of this is a process.  It is so abhorrent to us that it's hard to assimilate, let alone process!  Little by little it will begin to sink in to you that this is done, over, kaput, I know that is hard, but I'm not going to give you false hope.  I have read each and every post in here, when it's done, it's done.  There's a certain percentage of people that respond to their grief that way and the trigger for him may well have been his dad's condition, it's similar to my story here, ten years ago.  I want you to know you WILL be okay, but it's a painful process....we have no way to circumvent it but to go straight through it, pain and all, but you will come through it with clarity and strength, I promise you, if you but let it..

Here I Go Again

 

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Thank you for saying that Kayc. I’ve in a way come to acceptance of our break up. After spending hours and hours online reading forums, articles, and other posts on this site, I realize that he’s too emotionally mature to be in a serious relationship. I turned a blind eye to all of the signs even though I knew for a fact that too many red flags had been waved. I told myself over and over again that he’d “grow up” one day. The fact that I still haven’t been able to find a safe home for my animals makes things more difficult. I can’t just abandon them here. I’ve noticed that when I leave, my now ex stays gone most of the day. Oddly he stays home more when I’m here. He recently asked me to watch his dog while he goes out of the country to visit his sister. I screamed “why should I do anything for you!?” In my head, but then I weakly said yes. Even though he shattered my heart, I still find myself trying to be helpful and clinging on to that false hope. If time travel were possible, I know my past and future self would take turns slapping me. I know I won’t be able to start healing or eating again until I leave this house for good. I’ll try to hold on until I can rehome everyone. Another part of me will die when I lose then but I’m willing to take on more pain and suffering if it heightens my chances of finding them forever homes instead of being placed somewhere they could be completely separated or euthanized. In the mean time I’ll tell myself over and over until it sinks in. This relationship is over, I can’t keep clinging on to false hope, and I must stop subconsciously reinforcing his behavior. Easier said than done but it’s the only thing I can do for now. 

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19 hours ago, Moona said:

I turned a blind eye to all of the signs even though I knew for a fact that too many red flags had been waved.

That's common in early love...in time those red flags become more and more impossible to ignore but we're so besotted with our beloved we don't see anything but our feelings!

I hope you soon find homes for them, so that you can begin to adjust, this must surely be torture!  I was in a 23 year marriage with someone cold and controlling, he never showed love to me, made me sleep on the couch the last 15 years since our son was born, he was abusive, not physically but in every other way, and I filed divorce, he forced his way back and forced me to cancel my filing or lose custody of my kids (again, controlling how everything went down), that last year of living with him was incredibly hard, tense, hard on the kids!  Then HE filed, cleaned out our bank accounts, took my paycheck and left me the bills and kids.  I had no $ then and no way to get a lawyer, was lucky the electric company didn't turn off the electricity as he hadn't paid the bill the last couple of months.  But I'll never forget how hard that last year was of being with someone long past when you needed some peace...my daughter had to do that for FOUR years, extremely hard.  It prolongs our healing.  We're kept in that agitated state that it's not good to be in, by agitated I don't mean angry but stirred up, stressful!  Clean breaks allow healing, but constantly having everything right there in front of you...THAT is hard!
Is there a rescue who could rehome them for you?  They have the benefit of someone coming looking for a pet to adopt and being available every day, advertising, etc.

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I’m struggling with the idea of just telling him to find homes for everyone. I’m sure it’s a self preservation instinct. I can’t fight for a relationship if he won’t even step into the ring so I can only try to fly away. Then I kick myself at the thought of being so selfish. I thought after a few days I’d become numb to these feelings. It’s not the healthiest way to deal, but at least it’s a good cover up. Fake it till you make it. I’ve lost 8lbs in only 6 days. So I try to make myself eat. Yet I only manage to eat a few bites of ice cream or half a chocolate bar or abandon that and grab a bottle. My eyes are getting too used to being puffy, red and dry. Even my hair feels dry. I’ve always been told I was beautiful. Now all I see in the mirror is a zombie who’s doing a crappy job of trying to look like everything’s all right. I try to practice smiling but I look like I’m insane and on the verge of crying. I end up locking myself in my room for fear of being seen like this. Trying to find humor in it helps. I think “yay at least I’m getting closer to my weight goals!” Or feel some measure of excitement when I see my abs just barely peeking through. Now I’m trying to exercise all of my pain away but not having an appetite makes it impossible to display any stamina or enthusiasm. My will is slipping away although I’ve always loved myself despite my fair share of hardships in life with no blood relatives here aside from a sister (who’s always in and out of prison) to help me push through. I find I’m stuck right in between wanting to live and not minding if I die. My support system of my two roommates and you are all I have right now and I know that without you guys, there’s no way I’d be able to go on. So I’m thankful for that and I want to try and smile about what I had/have instead of crying about what I’ve lost. At the end of the day I know that I have to feel this pain. Let it sink in and run free like an overflowing bathtub. Then I can begin to heal. Only it feels more like an overflowing lake and I don’t even know how to swim. I hope I can take the patience I was willing to have for him and switch it over to myself. 

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Hi Moona, 

I don't have much to say, or really any advice to give, but I am reading, and I am very sorry for what you are going through right now; and I'm so sorry to hear of the situation about your animals. 

While I can't fully understand the situation you have been put in, I can understand some of what you are experiencing. I know how awful it feels when it seems like your whole world seems to be collapsing around you--its a very dark place. I also understand what it's like to try and maintain a relationship all by yourself--it's impossible and incredibly draining. Please try to take care of yourself through this, even if it seems hard. 

While it's hard to see any hope or light right now, I can say from someone who went through some of it, that I am happy again, and I see a lot of hope. As you said about emotions, I've heard you have to go through the tornado to finally get out the other side--otherwise you just go round and round. I made it through the tornado, and I am confident that you will too! We're here for you and you arnt alone in this. Even if I don't manage to reply all the time, ill still be reading. I'm hoping for the best for you. 

Take care. 

 

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16 hours ago, Moona said:

Then I kick myself at the thought of being so selfish.

Selfish?  Self preservation is more like it.  Sometimes it's important to put your needs first and this is one situation I think merits just that.  There are others who could step in and find them a home, that's what rescues are established for!

 

16 hours ago, Moona said:

I find I’m stuck right in between wanting to live and not minding if I die.

Hang in there until you can FIND the will to live!  There are things to live for, it's a matter of discovering them, and that can take some effort on our part, I know, just when we least feel like it, but your feelings will change, it's just important to get in a healthier environment for you asap.  :wub:

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I believe I’ll have a relationship therapist on standby if I can ever bring myself to get back in the relationship business. My previous ex of 8 years caused a fair bit of damage, but our break up was mutual. It took almost two years before I felt that I was ready to move on. Then I went on dates with different kinds of men but there was always a strong feeling I had that these men weren’t right for me. I failed to find any romantic interest in anyone for another two years. Then I met him at work. I was instantly overtaken by interest. You’d think I’d have raced up to him to introduce myself but I did the exact opposite. I was actually a bit rude and curt whenever he approached me. This highly social walking ball of sunshine (who somehow reminded me of a Christmas elf) just blasted through my introverted/reserved self and shook me till I was upside down! I even went as far as to change my shift so I wouldn’t see him as often. Yet somehow we ended up working together anyway. I still managed to avoid him for the most part but I always found myself secretly watching him. Particularly when he was focused on tasks. I became content with that routine until one of my off days. I tend to not answer calls if I don’t recognize the number. I figure if it’s important, they’ll leave a voice message. This caller did so I opened my voicemail app and listened. It was him. This confident man who always approached everyone with a huge goofy smile was on my phone, stuttering as he asked me to come in and help out. I was filled with joy at the sound of hearing his voice but also concerned. Why was he stuttering? Had someone told him that I get angry when I’m called in on one of my rare off days? Or had I come off as a bit too cold? Why’d he use his cellphone instead of the company phone? Maybe I’d have answered if he did! Eventually I decided to make an effort to be nicer to him. Everyone else adored him while I’d made it my mission to show him nothing but tolerance. I became a bit helpful, I’d wave goodbye with a grin and/or text him wishing he’d enjoy his brief freedom before he had to come back (literally none of the employees liked working there). One day I texted him goodbye and we ended up texting the whole day, and the next. It was right around Christmas. We spent all Christmas morning talking about random nonsense. He eventually asked me if I’d like to hang out sometime. I declined because I knew he liked to have large groups of coworkers over to play video games and drink and that just wasn’t my scene. The next day was my birthday. My roommates forcefully dragged me out to eat at a restaurant which is my least favorite place to go. We ended up texting and making jokes about my torture. He asked what I’d rather be doing and I told him that my ideal birthday would be just to laze around eating junk food and watching horror movies. He came and picked me up that night, drove me back to his place, and we did just that. I remember wondering why he still seemed nervous around me. I started to see him as a potentially great friend who I also happened to think was handsome. A few weeks later however, I became aware that we were dating. It took WEEKS of seeing this man outside of work almost everyday before I realized that. Had I given up on love without realizing it? What also bothered me was our company’s dating policy. They’re fine with married couples working together but not people who are dating. Plus he was a manager and I’d made it a point to turn down every promotion they’d offer me (I didn’t want to find myself years into the future still working there). I wouldn’t abandon a relationship that I happened to view as a miracle, but working together was torturous. Keeping things professional while randomly having staring contests was torture! A while later, another store had fired one of their few managers and asked our boss to send them a replacement. He was the newest manager there so they picked him. Our store had a going away party early in the morning. I came maybe 20 minutes before he was about to leave. Just in time for a group picture while my face hadn’t quite woken up yet. I went to stand near a table then he came up and stood right next to me. After a few moments we were squished in between coworkers trying to make sure they were in the shot. Later that day he sent me the picture with the caption ‘our first pic as a couple”. My heart melted. I’d already agreed to be his girlfriend but that ugly picture of us made things feel more real somehow. I realized that I’d been holding on to reservations about our relationship because we worked together. However now he was gone. Now we were free. Today I’ve been reminiscing on the amazing memories I have of him. It brings me bittersweet joy instead of all the sorrow I’ve been feeling recently. When we become stressed or depressed, our brains will prioritize our focus on just that situation until it’s either fixed or we are far away enough from it to feel that it no longer concerns us as much. Since I seemingly can’t fix anything or get far away at the moment, I’ve time traveled in my mind to relive the great memories we made together. While thinking about everything, I’ve developed a theory using my limited knowledge of psychology and the knowledge I gained in the past when I went as far as to ask him what went wrong in his past relationships. Kayc and BaxterBurg, I don’t know if you agree on the belief that love has stages, but I do. I think what happened was that our euphoric or ‘honeymoon’ phase ended after about a year. I believe my dopamine levels returned to normal sooner than his. Once that happened, I went to the next stage of being comfortable and still attached. I was ready to take on any crisis we had and get through it. A crisis in a relationship is one of the best ways to grow stronger and dive into true love. However he doesn’t see beyond the euphoric stage and therefore can’t move past it. To him, once the butterflies are gone, he takes that as a sign that the relationship is doomed to fail. I’m aware that he’s had some insecurities in the past. Particularly because his first girlfriend who he loved cheated on him and then married the guy. I’m guessing this happened after her euphoria wore off with him. They were still young but the damage was done regardless. So he says he still loves me, but it isn’t the same as I was before and that he doesn’t feel as excited to do things with me anymore.... In the end, I feel bad because he doesn’t know any better but I’m nowhere near skilled enough to help him. I dropped out of college shortly after I lost my mother. I’d been studying psychology (and taking an interest in bioscience) at the time. Maybe my new reason to live will be to go back and finish. Then I’ll be able to help other people. I wish I could help him and guide him but I know that’s no longer my place. I felt awkward this morning when he had to help me remove a bandage that somehow glued itself to my leg 😞

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Most relationships do start with that euphoric stage where endorphins are released...not usually sustainable for the long haul so nothing to gauge anything off of.  Another reason not to develop too quickly, so you can still see straight when the quirks begin to emerge.

With my husband and I, I can't say as it ever wore off, we still felt butterflies with each other, very in love, nothing like I'd ever experienced before or since, showed respect to each other, got each other, it was wonderful!  Then he died.  Suddenly/unexpectedly.  Shows my kind of luck!  (I married four times although #1 & #4 were hardly what I'd call husbands, engaged twice besides, I was great to them all but ended up getting my heart broke each time...totally different people/types but same endings.  I've been told I'm too strong/intimidating for guys to approach, ha!  I'm not changing who I am.  George loved me as I am!  We could finish each other's thoughts and sentences!  

It sounds like what you have described is a fair/accurate assessment.  Maybe this IS meant to channel you back to school!  And who knows what the future holds.  He can't know he misses you unless you're apart, so being together right now is dooming either way.  You need to have space to heal, to think straight!  And he clearly needs it in order to see what he had and threw away, how else will he learn anything?

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Moona, you've gotten great feedback so far, but one thing that jumped out at me: you might want to be sure you are hydrating yourself, i.e. drink plenty of water.  When we're grieving, it's easy to lose touch with body signals, and if you're crying a lot, you'd need to replenish those fluids, anyway.  So please try to do that as often as possible.  😊

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On 5/5/2021 at 8:31 AM, kayc said:

Love is a choice.  It doesn't dissolve because things get tough, if anything it should carry you through it.  That he's pulled back shows this is his way of coping and his coping style obviously is not compatible with yours.  I am so sorry you are going through this!  You were there for him, and now he is causing YOU grief!  It's unfair.  Life sure isn't "fair" sometimes!  You can't "make" someone love you, can't "make" them grow up, can't "make" them change their mind!  If there was some abracadabra method for doing so, none of us would have cause to post in this section!  I am so sorry for your pain, it is hard, it hurts, I know, been there!  

All of this is a process.  It is so abhorrent to us that it's hard to assimilate, let alone process!  Little by little it will begin to sink in to you that this is done, over, kaput, I know that is hard, but I'm not going to give you false hope.  I have read each and every post in here, when it's done, it's done.  There's a certain percentage of people that respond to their grief that way and the trigger for him may well have been his dad's condition, it's similar to my story here, ten years ago.  I want you to know you WILL be okay, but it's a painful process....we have no way to circumvent it but to go straight through it, pain and all, but you will come through it with clarity and strength, I promise you, if you but let it..

Here I Go Again

 

I agree completely with Kayc, as I recently experienced my now ex saying something similar to yours, that his feelings have changed, but for different reasons. Love is a choice, and it doesn't dissolve when things get hard.

On 5/6/2021 at 4:15 PM, Moona said:

I’m sure it’s a self preservation instinct. I can’t fight for a relationship if he won’t even step into the ring so I can only try to fly away. Then I kick myself at the thought of being so selfish. 

You are not being selfish when it comes to protecting yourself first, that's what he's currently doing: Protecting himself. You are right here, you cannot fight alone if the other person won't even get into the ring. My now ex, the same thing happened when he felt a tinge of discomfort, he ran away and broke the relationship. The reasons he dumped me were fixable and we could've worked through them, the problem was HE did not want to fight because he doesn't know how to even fight for himself, and has a mountain of personal issues he's not working on that are stopping him, and truthfully, I don't think he knows what love truly is, feels like or looks like because he's never felt or seen it. I know what love is, so I knew better than to waste my time with him any longer.

You are not being selfish for expecting your partner to treat you with respect and common decency. You are not selfish for performing self-preservation when you are faced with deep hurt, disrespect and mistreatment. Those should be standard.

Yes, maybe this means it is your chance to go back to school and finish, then pursue a new life path with your career. Psychology was my minor, and I loved Biopsych, my professor was a hoot.

Hydrate, shower, eat something, even if that's all you can do right now, it's okay. This won't last forever.

--Rae

 

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Hi guys! I’ve been digging deep within these last few days. I’ve been trying to find my will. My mother was a strong woman and I asked her to lend me strength. As time passes without those rose colored glasses on, I’ve had realization after realization that I’ve always known this relationship would end this way. Its been two weeks since the break up and I could not find a place to re home my animals. Truth be told, I couldn’t handle the thought of selling them off and I couldn’t bring myself to try anymore. It was my choice to give them up but it wasn’t. If my roommates didn’t smoke so much, I’d have taken everyone. I ended up asking him if he’d find them good homes without separating them completely. I then told him I’d be leaving Friday. While I gathered my belongings, I spent my final moments with everyone and sobbed harder than I ever did these last two weeks. I’d been crying silently since I didn’t want him to hear me but today, I couldn’t do that. He hadn’t said a word to me since I told him I was leaving and I didn’t expect him to as I cried and I just let it out. When it was finally time to leave, I didn’t want to say goodbye to him. I just wanted to leave quietly as I didn’t want to get emotional or yell at him. I’ve never yelled at him before but I’ve been feeling so angry lately that I feared I would. In my mind I keep shouting things like ‘why are you so stupid/immature/selfish/weak!?’. What Rae1991 said about her ex fits his description to a T. I feel so much anger mixed with sorrow right now. I know they’re all stages, but it feels weird being so angry at him. Thanks to his dog, he noticed I was leaving. He paced back and forth from the hallway to the kitchen. Once I was done loading up everything, I went back to say goodbye to everyone one more time. This may sound odd but my dog got her first period today and I felt like a proud mother, but also a terrible mother. Leaving her there with him when she’s been especially affectionate lately. Knowing that the only things he’ll do is feed her and let her outside. I believe she knows that I was leaving for good. She’d never barked so loudly before when I left. I went to say goodbye to the guinea pigs and feed them for the last time. After I pet my eldest (4 1/2 years) I started to cry again. At that point I wanted to rush outside but as I turned around, he was standing in the doorway. I cannot describe the flood of emotions that ran through me at that moment. He walked over to me and hugged me. All I could manage was to put one arm up to hug him back, then push past him and leave without a word. My body convulsed as I walked to the door. Several times, I almost dropped a glass candle warmer I was holding. I tried so hard to keep my composure but I failed. I collapsed into a crying heap in the car. Then I left to go to my old/new home. I’ve had to set timers to remind myself to eat and hydrate. I don’t always make myself eat, but I try. I know that now that I am finally away from him, I can start to heal. I’ll admit that I miss him very much right now.

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I think you did the right thing for yourself, but oh how hard it must have been!  I've never had guinea pigs but I know I couldn't leave my puppy.  I'm sure she'll be fine, this is just so hard for YOU!  I literally escaped from the monster I was married to the first time, he was very abusive, had to leave my dog with him and flee for my life!  The dog was very valuable, and the only thing I asked for in the divorce, even so he sold him out from under me!  The guy never cared about legalities.  I ended up giving the new owners the papers as they clearly doted on him but it sure made me angry that he did that!

My heart goes out to you as you try to process this and adjust, I know it's hard, but you will get through this.

Hug can say.jpg

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I know it is hard, but I am glad you did what was best for yourself. Remember, you did nothing wrong here. It is HIM, not you. I have been doing a lot of research on attachment styles as of late because my now exes behavior was just astounding to me. I stumbled upon some Reddit threads about attachment and found hundreds of stories similar to mine. My ex is a Fearful Avoidant, and it explains everything about who he is/how he behaves. He has not done any work on himself to correct this, though in therapy you can work through these avoidant attachment styles. It seems many of our now exes are a mix of the anxious, dismissive and fearful attachment styles.

I know you shouldn't psychoanalyze people, but for me knowing this about him has helped me realize his breaking up with me was not about me, it is about his inability to understand or deal with his emotions, pain, intimacy and he lacks the ability to self-soothe/regulate. It has also helped me move forward and maintain my boundary that he will never have friendship or any sort of relationship with me in the future.

I know your situation is quite different from mine, but you will get through this and come out a stronger, wiser and more self-aware person. You deserve more than someone who will abandon you when life gets tough for either of you.

--Rae

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14 hours ago, Rae1991 said:

his breaking up with me was not about me

It was about his (fill in the blank)...and it doesn't really even matter WHAT the blank is, what matters is we know it's not about us personally.  That we are valuable.  That we are whole people with/without a relationship.  I want my value to reflect what my Creator feels/thinks about me, not what a man does. ;)

14 hours ago, Rae1991 said:

you will get through this and come out a stronger, wiser and more self-aware person. You deserve more than someone who will abandon you when life gets tough for either of you.

AMEN!!!

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