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He lost his mum & said he would contact me again when ready?


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Hi, I was wondering if anyone would be able to offer me some advice. The story is long so thank you for taking the time to read if you do.

I’ve been with a guy for about a year   now and previously on and off before this throughout the years. We’ve been friends for 8 years. Things were going fine until 5 weeks ago when his mother passed away we knew she had cancer but it all happened so quickly. I tried my hardest to be as supportive as I could. For the first 3 weeks before the funeral we were in contact everyday and we seen each other a number of times. He was also openly talking about his feelings and missing his mum. He lost his dad when he was 15 he is now 37.

Unfortunately I was unable to attend his mums funeral as I caught covid a few days before. The night before the funeral he called me and asked me to go over even though he knew I had covid. We agreed it would not be a good idea as I could barely speak not to mention the risk of passing it on. The guilt of not being able to see him still keeps me up at night.

Since the funeral which was two weeks ago although I have continued the contact I’ve only got two replies understandably. I then cut down the contact at the risk of being overbearing. I tried to call twice and got no answer and got this message last week Thursday “Sorry just not really up for talkin or seeing no one just dealing with everything” I replied to say no problem and said I’m here for you and I care about you. Again no reply which I’m completely fine with. I did however when cleaning up last Saturday send a photo of his Christmas present that I still have waiting for him and just said hope you’re doing okay. I left it at that and did not contact him again all week.

I then get a call from him Friday night. I ask him how he is and said I was worried about him he said he is sorting out his life and sorting out his mums house. He said “I’ve not been ignoring you, I’ve just been doing me” He said he has only seen one of his friends, hasn’t really spoken to anyone else and just been spending time with family. (He says this but is constantly online on whatsapp throughout the day and night so surely he must be?!) I told him he didn’t have to explain himself to me and I understand he needs time but that I just wanted to make sure he was okay that was all. He continued with the “just doing me” and said things have been crap. He then said he would contact me when he felt ready. I said that was fine and just that he knows where I am if he needs me. 

I now feel very confused I care and feel for him I really do but I’m not sure I have it in me to just wait around until he calls and is ready. I know grief has no timeline and what if its months from now and what if he never calls?! Am I supposed to just put my life on hold in the hope that he calls one day but at the same time I feel terrible even writing this as I know how much his Mum meant to him and that this is his greatest loss. At the same time I just don’t understand this sudden distance going from talking everyday on the phone and texting to nothing at all?!

I had relocated to another country in 2019 but came home in 2021 and stayed because everything was going well. I feel selfish for even saying this but if things don’t work out then I will be leaving again. But how long do I stay & hold on to hope for? And if I do leave if he hasn’t contacted me do I just leave without saying anything? 

Please could I get some advice on how long others have previously waited and if its worked out? Its exactly 5 weeks today that his mother passed away and just over 2 weeks that the contact has been non existent so still very early days.

Any advice is much appreciated. Thank you!

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  • Olivia19 changed the title to He lost his mum & said he would contact me again when ready?
15 hours ago, Olivia19 said:

The guilt of not being able to see him still keeps me up at night.

NOT your fault!  Please don't lay blame to yourself, no more your fault than his!  I'm so sorry.  My husband died the weekend I went on my sisters' reunion.  We were never apart but one weekend a year, and wouldn't you know, that was it.  Was it my fault?  No!  I had no idea this would happen!  I made it back before he died but he was in the hospital and alas they controlled whether I could be with him or not...and they tossed me out and locked the door when he was having his last and fatal heart attack.  It grieved me to no end, yet in no way could I control it.  My heart is with him and always will be.

I'm afraid you'll have to listen to your heart on this one.  It's unfair to you to leave you hanging indefinitely, we aren't made that way.  While it's noble to give him time, you alone can decide how much time you will give, what is reasonable, have you talked this over with your friends/family?  You may want to get counseling on this as they may be able to better advise you that people who have not been through this.  

In my case my fiance of a year broke up with me by Fed Ex when his mom was dying.  No discussion.  Clean break.  He continued seeing friends/family, just not me.  It was very hard but gave me the space/time to begin to process and heal from it.  Months later we resumed contact as friends only.  That was 11 1/2 years ago.  Today he lives with an XW and we're still friends.  Weird perhaps but we could only do that if neither of us was secretly hoping for something more than the other was.  That can lead to manipulation and would not be healthy.

It's very important to respect his wishes.  It seems as if he has broken off with you but hasn't bothered to let YOU know that, which is understandable as he may not be aware of his feelings himself entirely!  Grief is all encompassing and can be overwhelming.  And this is his last parent, as it was with my Jim.  

Very seldom does anyone go back together after this.  There can be a myriad of reasons for this, perhaps he feels guilty for having spent time with you instead of his mom when he could have...irrational perhaps but common.  Grief need not make sense.  It just is.  I consider BOTH a casualty of grief, not laying blame to either, but rather we get the fallout of it.

I am so sorry, I wish there was some abracadabra method you could follow where this would have a happy outcome, but if there is such a formula, I have not run across it.

You are grieving right now...the loss of your relationship as you knew it, hopes/dreams/future.  And that is hard.  I wrote this years after the loss of my husband and hope SOMETHING in it will be of help to you...keep us posted and abreast of what is going on.  Adding you to my prayers, and him also.:wub:
Tips to Make Your Way through Grief

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I am sorry you have found yourself here.

The best advice I can give you is: DO NOT put your life on hold or wait around until "he is ready" to contact you. He is not thinking about you or your relationship at all, he is only thinking of himself to expect that you will readily answer his call in 3 weeks, or 3 months, or a year from now. He has effectively broken up with you and is trying to keep you on the hook so when he needs comfort, you'll be there waiting to comfort him. I understand you love him, but what about you and what you want? Cut the line, start the grieving process and start moving forward with you life, without him in it. A person who truly wanted to be with you would not dump you just because life got hard. Aren't you angry he disrespected and discarded you so swiftly? I am angry for you at such blatant disrespect. A partner should turn to their spouse in times like this, not run away from them. You deserve better than to be his convenience "when he is ready." Let him "feel like crap" on his own, as that is what he has chosen in his decision to leave you. He is no longer entitled to your time, love, comfort or compassion because you are no longer his girlfriend. He made this decision, now he has to live with the consequences, one of which is not having you in his life.

Delete his socials from yours, his messages and number too, and when you are ready, put all the stuff he gave you into a box and out of sight and after a while get rid of it. Go back to your life/friends/hobbies or find new ones, as he has effectively done the same in telling you he doesn't want to speak with you. "When he's ready" doesn't mean anything, he straight up told you he isn't interested in continuing contact at all. I hate to say it, but it's what is best for you and not speaking to him will help you move forward. You said yourself you are not sure you have what it takes to wait around for him, that's your gut telling you you deserve better than how he treated you; listen to it. Do not wait around for him to contact you, in time, you will understand and realize that HE needs to be the one to work to get you back, if he's not going to do that, he has no reason to contact you and does not deserve to have you in his life. Who knows, in 6 months you may not even want him anymore. Please do not give him the impression that you are waiting by the phone, as he knows you're still on his hook and may use that to manipulate you into doing what he wants, as both my exes that I wrote about on the forum tried to do.

In the mean time I would suggest going to a support group if you can find one, or a local therapist to help you work through all the confusion and feelings you have about this situation. Find books to read, or a language you want to learn, a new hobby you want to try, if you're in school focus on that, volunteer if you want, find things to do that you enjoy and keep yourself busy, as you will be prone to overthinking and ruminating for a while. It may take a few weeks or months, but the thoughts will subside in time. You will get through this, and whether or not he comes back around shouldn't stop you from living your life.

I just hope you understand that you did nothing to cause this, it is not your fault, and you have no reason to feel guilty for expecting him to treat you better. He has chosen to disrespect and break up with you, you have no reason to feel guilty for not waiting around for him. He shouldn't expect you to and it is unfair of him to hold you to that expectation while keeping you on the hook with empty promises and maybes.

-- Rae

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Thank you all for your replies. I really do appreciate it! I know what I ultimately need to do although it doesn’t make it any easier. Luckily I have a lot of self control so I know for a fact I will not contact him. 
 

I just can’t believe how he just switched. If anything I thought we were closer than ever in those first 3 weeks. We were friends before anything else and I would never treat him let alone one of my friends like this. None of it makes sense but I’m not about to stick around.

Like I said in my post I’ll be moving back to another country again. The more I think about this situation and in fact everything the more I realise I deserve better and this is just not it.
 

Just need to get over this initial sad stage..

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6 hours ago, Olivia19 said:

Thank you all for your replies. I really do appreciate it! I know what I ultimately need to do although it doesn’t make it any easier. Luckily I have a lot of self control so I know for a fact I will not contact him. 
 

I just can’t believe how he just switched. If anything I thought we were closer than ever in those first 3 weeks. We were friends before anything else and I would never treat him let alone one of my friends like this. None of it makes sense but I’m not about to stick around.

Like I said in my post I’ll be moving back to another country again. The more I think about this situation and in fact everything the more I realise I deserve better and this is just not it.
 

Just need to get over this initial sad stage..

I am glad you are coming to this realization, even though the breakup hurts regardless. I hate to say it but it's the truth: People who behave like this and expect nothing but kindness, love and empathy from others, don't deserve it from us. You can empathize with them while not allowing them to continuously hurt you with their crap behavior. My ex, the one I wrote about a few months ago, tried using his kid, tears and lying to garner sympathy from me so I wouldn't leave him, as we were friends and had known one another a few years before dating. Who he portrayed himself to be as a friend and how he acted as a partner were two entirely separate people. It was like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

While grief, trauma and hurt may cause people to do strange things, it does not mean we have to sit there and collect bullets from them every time they choose to lash out, ignore us, or say things they know hurt us. Stop allowing yourself to be a target for his poor behaviors. It really sucks knowing that they would treat you so horribly for no reason, but expect you to just put up with it and still treat them with kindness and love. It's selfish, it's manipulative, and it is not acceptable.

When the pandemic is over I will more than likely be moving countries again as well. I always remember a quote by a guy named Ron B on this forum in Miri's thread from a few years ago: "Walking away is in it's own way an act of love. You walk away not just to spare yourself from anymore hurt, but because it's the right thing to do for them." He had a few posts in that thread that were wonderful, and I reference them whenever I am going through a situation like this.

You DO deserve better than this. You are not selfish for doing what you want and what is best for YOU. He has already done so for himself, and been selfish in expecting you to wait for him. It's not selfish, it is basic self-care in not allowing yourself to be a convenience for him. Never let him or anyone else tell you different. Do not put yourself on clearance or layaway for love or a relationship. If he isn't going to be present, show up and love you as you deserve to be NOW, he doesn't get the privilege of remaining in your life.

--Rae

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4 hours ago, Olivia19 said:

The more I think about this situation and in fact everything the more I realise I deserve better and this is just not it.

Good for you!  And you are so right.  I'm glad you realize that.  There is nothing you could have done to have averted this.  A certain number of grievers do this, not all or even the majority, but enough to call it a classic grief response.  It's not anyone's fault.  HOWEVER, I would prefer to have someone who would go through thick and thin WITH me than to shut me out.  That said, I really wish you well going forward.  I know the getting over them time is hard and painful but it gradually gets better until we reach the point we can be glad we averted something potentially worse.

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