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Death and breakup?

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Hello everyone,

I'm posting here to seek advice and insight regarding a recent misunderstanding I experienced with my girlfriend. We were in a relationship for two years, and unfortunately, her 32-year-old brother passed away recently on April 25th. It has been an incredibly challenging time for her and her family

Since his passing, I tried my best to support her. I visited her house on the day of his passing, and a couple of days later, I also brought a beautiful wall frame with her brother's picture as a comforting memento. However, I thought it was important to give her some space and not be pushy or overwhelming. I would send her a message every two days or so, but she didn't respond as much.

Lately, she has expressed her desire to take care of everything for her family, as her father lives abroad due to employment. She is considering moving to her father's place with her family, and I wanted to be supportive of her decision. However, what worried me was that she didn't respond when I expressed my love and missed her. I thought it must be part of the grieving process, so I was just trying to be there for her in any way I could.

But there has been a recent shift in our relationship dynamics that has left me confused. She hasn't been initiating chats or calls, and when I expressed my love with "I love you," she responded with a simple "hmmm." My gut feeling was telling me that something was wrong here.

On the 12th of May, she sent me a text saying "Hello sweetie." On that particular day, I had food poisoning/fever and was bedridden the entire day. I replied to her the day after. I think, ever since then, she hasn't been the same, and that was the last time she called me "sweetie."

Her birthday was approaching on June 6th, and I had prepared some meaningful and supportive gifts for her. However, on her birthday, she didn't even let me hug her. In the midst of my panic, I asked her if she would like to marry me. I understand this was possibly not the best time to bring up such a topic, but she said she would think about it.

So, the next day, I decided to have a conversation and called her. She expressed that she wanted us to remain only friends now. It came as a surprise to me, as I believed everything was going well between us. I struggled to understand why she came to this conclusion. Don't you keep your loved ones closer after the occurrence of a death in a family?

During our conversation, she mentioned that she believed I lacked interest in marriage based on previous discussions about our future plans if she were to go abroad. I often responded by saying, "we'll discuss it when the time is near," as there was no immediate urgency, and I believed we had enough time to discuss it. I thought we had at least 15-18 months because she recently got into a new job that she said she is going to keep for at least a year. I never denied the possibility of marrying her, and I always included her in my private family gatherings. I was also trying to save money and get better at finances. It felt unclear to me why she thought I didn't want to marry her, and I wasn't sure if there were other factors contributing to her change in feelings.

She also complained that I didn't call her with a "wifey" nickname, claiming that it's something boys usually do, and not using it is a red flag. But I have always referred to her with sweet nicknames like "Sweetheart" and "Beloved." etc.

I genuinely believed everything was fine between us, and we have never had any fights or unresolved conflicts. This sudden change in her feelings has caught me off guard.

Even when her brother was admitted to the hospital, I did everything I could. She would send me his lab reports, and I would forward them to my family doctors for cross-checking and second opinions. I did this every day. I even donated blood for the first time, despite going through hypothyroidism at that time.

Is it the lack of emotional intelligence or is she just manipulating me? I suddenly feel guilty every day and constantly have "could have" conversations in my head. Was I not good enough?

I attempted to address the situation by sending her an email reminding her of the little things I had done and questioning how she could come to the conclusion that I didn't want to marry her. This was on June-16 and she hasn't yet responded to my email yet.

It feels like she stabbed me in the heart, and I have been having trouble sleeping ever since. I find it difficult to focus on things, and my heart feels heavy.

The last time we ever talked was on Thursday, June 22nd, and we talked for an hour. She started off in a jolly mood, but then the conversation shifted to her brother. She began discussing him, crying, and expressing how much she doesn't want to take her family for granted. I listened attentively and tried my best to console her over the phone. We both ended the call with 'Take care.' As much as I wanted to say 'I love you,' I held back this time. I was also holding back tears; it hurts. The realization that I now have to talk to her as a friend. I didn't want to appear insensitive. But at the same time, it is hurting me too. I don't know what kind of complicated emotional situation I find myself in.

I have sent all of this via DM to KayC, and she has been a great help to me. I just wanted to know if any of you have gone through a similar experience?

I would appreciate any advice, insights, or support you could offer regarding this situation.

Thank you.

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You can go through and read these threads if it'd help, it might as you'd see similarities in all these stories.

10 hours ago, Mickz said:

Is it the lack of emotional intelligence or is she just manipulating me? I suddenly feel guilty every day and constantly have "could have" conversations in my head. Was I not good enough?

It really has nothing to do with you, it unfortunately affects you though. You could have been the most perfect guy in the world, she still would have broken up.  It's about HER and her grief and how it's affecting her.  I have seen this happen time and again, it did to me. It has to everyone in this section. Even the couple that looked like they made it...didn't. (I learned through messaging).  And usually they are so steeped in grief they don't understand what they're going through, no not manipulation, not aware enough for that.  You are totally good enough, it just isn't for her.  Because of what SHE is going through.  Personally, I wouldn't wait for her to come to her senses because that doesn't happen, but you likely will, I just wish I could save you the trouble and have you get a head start on healing.  It seems it's always the good ones that get left hurting, I don't get that, I only see what happens, time and again.

Wishing you the best.

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And seriously, no one breaks up with someone for not calling them wifey.

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Grief Process

This is not a one-size-fits-all, what strikes us one day will be different a few months/years from now, so please save/print this for reference!

I want to share an article I wrote of the things I've found helpful over the years, in the hopes something will be of help to you either now or on down the road.


There's no way to sum up how to go on in a simple easy answer, but I encourage you to read the other threads here, little by little you will learn how to make your way through this.  I do want to give you some pointers though, of some things I've learned on my journey.

  • Take one day at a time.  The Bible says each day has enough trouble of its own, I've found that to be true, so don't bite off more than you can chew.  It can be challenging enough just to tackle today.  I tell myself, I only have to get through today.  Then I get up tomorrow and do it all over again.  To think about the "rest of my life" invites anxiety.
  • Don't be afraid, grief may not end but it evolves.  The intensity lessens eventually.
  • Visit your doctor.  Tell them about your loss, any troubles sleeping, suicidal thoughts, anxiety attacks.  They need to know these things in order to help you through it...this is all part of grief.
  • Suicidal thoughts are common in early grief.  If they're reoccurring, call a suicide hotline.  I felt that way early on, but then realized it wasn't that I wanted to die so much as I didn't want to go through what I'd have to face if I lived.  Back to taking a day at a time.  Suicide Hotline - Call 1-800-273-8255 or www.crisis textline.org or US and Canada: text 741741 UK: text 85258 | Ireland: text 50808
  • Give yourself permission to smile.  It is not our grief that binds us to them, but our love, and that continues still.
  • Try not to isolate too much.  
  • There's a balance to reach between taking time to process our grief, and avoiding it...it's good to find that balance for yourself.  We can't keep so busy as to avoid our grief, it has a way of haunting us, finding us, and demanding we pay attention to it!  Some people set aside time every day to grieve.  I didn't have to, it searched and found me!
  • Self-care is extremely important, more so than ever.  That person that would have cared for you is gone, now you're it...learn to be your own best friend, your own advocate, practice self-care.  You'll need it more than ever.
  • Recognize that your doctor isn't trained in grief, find a professional grief counselor that is.  We need help finding ourselves through this maze of grief, knowing where to start, etc.  They have not only the knowledge, but the resources.
  • In time, consider a grief support group.  If your friends have not been through it themselves, they may not understand what you're going through, it helps to find someone somewhere who DOES "get it". 
  • Be patient, give yourself time.  There's no hurry or timetable about cleaning out belongings, etc.  They can wait, you can take a year, ten years, or never deal with it.  It's okay, it's what YOU are comfortable with that matters.  
  • Know that what we are comfortable with may change from time to time.  That first couple of years I put his pictures up, took them down, up, down, depending on whether it made me feel better or worse.  Finally, they were up to stay.
  • Consider a pet.  Not everyone is a pet fan, but I've found that my dog helps immensely.  It's someone to love, someone to come home to, someone happy to see me, someone that gives me a purpose...I have to come home and feed him.  Besides, they're known to relieve stress.  Well maybe not in the puppy stage when they're chewing up everything, but there's older ones to adopt if you don't relish that stage.
  • Make yourself get out now and then.  You may not feel interest in anything, things that interested you before seem to feel flat now.  That's normal.  Push yourself out of your comfort zone just a wee bit now and then.  Eating out alone, going to a movie alone or church alone, all of these things are hard to do at first.  You may feel you flunked at it, cried throughout, that's okay, you did it, you tried, and eventually you get a little better at it.  If I waited until I had someone to do things with I'd be stuck at home a lot.
  • Keep coming here.  We've been through it and we're all going through this together.
  • Look for joy in every day.  It will be hard to find at first, but in practicing this, it will change your focus so you can embrace what IS rather than merely focusing on what ISN'T.  It teaches you to live in the present and appreciate fully.  You have lost your big joy in life, and all other small joys may seem insignificant in comparison, but rather than compare what used to be to what is, learn the ability to appreciate each and every small thing that comes your way...a rainbow, a phone call from a friend, unexpected money, a stranger smiling at you, whatever the small joy, embrace it.  It's an art that takes practice and is life changing if you continue it.
  • Eventually consider volunteering.  It helps us when we're outward focused, it's a win/win.

(((hugs)))  Praying for you today.


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