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Miri

Why Would Someone End A Good Relationship While Grieving?

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This must be normal, because reading your story is SERIOUSLY like reading my own. We were so close right after the loss, then it turned into a break where we chose to "give eachother space to breath for 4 days" ...and it has been six months of this on & off "I miss you's" but never acting upon it, due to the fear that I may think we're suddenly "BACK IN A RELATIONSHIP THAT HE CANT HANDLE RIGHT NOW"....................... It is frustrating. And I am learning with you.

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Your situation is very similar to mine and Fern's as well. It's so normal for people to react in this way, yet I would have never have thought it before. They can be fine with friends because they don't have to be with them, they don't have to put any effort into being friends with people, but a relationship is different, they need to try, they are emotionally involved with you. Fern said the same to me, that she couldn't be with anyone right now, it was nothing to do me, we would talk about things etc She even kissed me and told me that she loved me after saying all this and that she was so upset that she had to break up with me. We still haven't spoke about it, nearly 3 months later.

I feel a lot differently about things now, I'd seriously have to consider letting her back into my life if she wanted that. We would have to talk about it all because 3 months is a long time to just pick things back up from.

Miri out of interest what do you do with your spare time? Time that you would have talked or been together? Right now, focus on you! Only you. No one is important apart from you. Spend money on you, make you happy, you're number one. I'm not saying don't care about him, more, look after yourself for now and maybe in time things will become better.

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Yes, Tom, you are so right, and I knew these things you are saying, but it is still helpful to be reminded again.

When I step back sometimes it is still so hard to believe that this has happened, when I look back at the way we used to be and the way he is treating me now - it seems so abnormal and doesn't make any sense. But then I read the messages of support here, it helps me understand it somewhat better. Earlier this week I really had a couple of moments of frustration and had to hold myself back from texting him questions or messages about wanting to get my things back. In a "normal" relationship breakup, things make more sense when they don't work out - either you have a falling out or things are just not working due to conflicts, but this is different because there wasn't anything wrong between us before this happened. I have to remember not to take it personally, that it is not really anything to do with me or what I did - it really is just something he is going through. Even though the way he is treating me is awful, I have to see it as something he can't help right now because he is an emotional mess. And it is exactly because his feelings for me are or were so strong that he has difficulty even talking to me - if he felt less for me, then he could be more civil to me or treat me as a friend.

To hear that so many of us here are experiencing the same exact thing is somewhat reassuring, if only to know that we are not alone and that this is a pattern of behavior that can happen with a deep loss, and not through any fault or failing of our own.

Tom, to answer your question, at first I just threw myself into work, 80 hours a week, weekends and long nights. It gave me something productive to do. Sometimes when I had a day off I wouldn't know what to do. I spent some time with friends, but they can only be there so much for you, it wasn't like being in a relationship. I am usually pretty independent and busy but I found myself at a loss. Everything I did with friends was a painful reminder of his absence because it was strange he wasn't there. I used to listen to a lot of music but have a hard time with it now because whenever I hear something beautiful, it hurts that I can't share it with him. I've recently taken up photography as a new hobby, bought a nice camera and signed up for a class with a friend - will see how far I get with that.

I'm going to think some more about that birthday card, I don't have to mail it until tomorrow. It just seems like there shouldn't be any harm in sending it, since if I keep it simple and light it shouldn't be intruding on his need for space? On the other hand, I have no idea what his moods are like now with regard to me, and I don't want him to over-react. But it could also be a bad thing if I ignore his birthday and he'll feel like I didn't even care - especially now with no mother to call him on his birthday, no father alive either, and no siblings who will speak to him.

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I found work to be the best place for me. I work with one of my closest friends and the group is all quite close so it's an enjoyable place to work. Really took my mind away from things when I was at my worse. I'm currently on a 2 week break so I've been thinking about Fern a little more than normal, it's not upsetting me or anything, just she's in the back of my mind, which I think she always will be, apparently you never forget your first love and it's not like we ended on bad terms either.

It's good to see you doing things and starting up new things that will take your mind away from everything. I joined the gym not long after me and Fern broke up which is something I can do alone, and I can block everything out if I do feel upset or angry.

Either send the card or send a text. Fern texted me on my birthday, so I texted her on hers. I'll also make sure I send a message on her Dad's birthday as that's soon and no doubt it will be a really tough time for her.

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Tom, the same thing happened with me too. Which makes it even more difficult.. where he kissed me and told me he loved me the last time we had seen each other. We spent the night talking until 7 in the morning. I still live with my mother, and come from a rather strict family, so she was not happy with me coming home so late. But I felt like it was worth having gotten the chance to talk him through what he was feeling. It was such an emotional evening which I haven’t yet put out of my mind. It has been one month since that evening and I somehow have to control my feelings now because they don’t match up to what his focuses are at the moment. With the whole “not being able to rely on him” thing that is a part of my current situation, I may think of things differently now and believe it would be harder to reconsider reconciling, should the opportunity come around.

I have done what the both of you are doing in terms of throwing myself into my job. I work almost 60 hours a week, and manage to throw myself into being at the gym when I am not at work. Being with friends can help sometimes, but often it is not the same. I don’t feel that my problems are enough of theirs (nor should it be), but they just don’t understand sometimes. It is often that friends will listen to you, but expect to be advised on whatever is going on with their boyfriends/girlfriends as well, and it’s probably selfish, but I am not in the position to help them through anything right now, and therefore find myself distancing myself from them until I am “well” –so to speak.

Being in this position is rather isolating and lonely and I really hope to be out of it soon. Miri, it must hurt you to hear that I have been going through this for the past six months, and Tom the past three… and even this much time later we have not progressed far from where you are. Being in this situation is really testing of your patience, as I wake up every day wondering if “today is the day”. And I have found myself not appreciating what I have as much as I should. I have a great job, and house, and amazing friends, and its summer out there! Great weather!! So much to do!!! …but here I am sitting in front of a computer screen dwelling. It upsets me even more to know that. Really, just hoping and praying for this all to be over soon. My deepest desire is for the sun to come shining through these grey clouds that stand above us all.

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I'm finding it all so odd...

It's been 11 months since Jim broke up with me and he's never given ANY indication of wanting to get back together but there's been times he's made reference that "the dumper cries and feels bad too" and he's also inquired if I "have a man friend" (meaning something more than friendship) yet. I left it open for him to come back at first when we resumed contact but have not in the last several months because I just do not trust him or anyone anymore and find him lacking in what I need and want and am not even remotely interested in being involved with anyone again. But I do care about him and value and enjoy his company. He's indicated that he thinks of me because he does most of the calling and he's mentioned a couple of times that he thought of taking me out here or there (but he didn't). It's all just too much for me, I don't want my heartstrings yanked around.

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I sent the card, with only a very brief birthday greeting. My friend said it shouldn't do any harm, one should appreciate being thought of. But also not to expect any response from it.

I went out to dinner with a big group of friends last night, we talked for hours and it was fun. But as everyone was leaving, one of my friends mentioned she'd be going to the coast today to have a barbecue/picnic with another set of friends - she didn't mention this but I know it is a group that would very likely include my bf, if he felt like going. I didn't have the heart to ask if he was going to be there. I know it's none of my business now and knowing that he's there, doing activities that he normally would have been doing with me, is only going to hurt me. I used to be part of that circle, and now I can no longer be invited to these things. I also remember going to that place once with just him - we watched whales migrating from the shore, saw the sun setting on the beach, everything was beautiful then. It's hard for me to think of him going there and having a good time without me.

On top of it all it's the weekend of his birthday and I can't participate, can't even call or talk to him. I hate this feeling of being turned into an outsider so abruptly. We were happy and nothing was wrong between us. Things shouldn't be this way.

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This is so strange how our situations are so similar! Fern's back from Greece and is celebrating her birthday back home this weekend too. I would have been there for this event the past two years, not anymore. I was invited out the other night to a pub quiz night with the group of friends that me and Fern would usually be with. They're more Fern's friends than mine but I went along anyway as Fern wasn't there. I doubt I'll be invited along to much more now that Fern's back. She can't even reply back saying thank you to a happy birthday text, yet she managed to text me on mine and I responded saying thank you.

I agree though, things shouldn't be like this, just remember, which is hard sometimes, but we haven't done anything wrong.

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Well, it's his birthday today, and I'm just sad thinking about him probably being alone today. I know that he said his birthday last year was depressing, because his friends don't really make a big deal out of it (nor does he expect them to). It would have been different this year with me I think. I had wanted to take him out to a really special dinner and celebrate it properly, but that can't happen under the circumstances. I'm sure he's very sad today, thinking about his mother and father, and how they aren't around anymore. I wonder what he's doing - last I heard, there weren't any plans for his friends to get together or anything, and maybe that's what he prefers this year because he is grieving.

This may be a trivial thing but I see that no one has even posted on his Facebook wall to wish him a happy birthday and that seems very strange to me. (He doesn't have wall posts disabled or his birthdate hidden, at least for me.) I know he isn't a big Facebook user, but it is odd. I kind of want to post something there, but I decided before I would just send him a card and that was enough - no call, no text, etc. nothing too much. But I can't help but feel sorry for him. I hope he doesn't think that my not posting there means that I don't care, because of course that is not the case at all, but it looks bad. Then again, he asked for a break so it's hard to know what the appropriate level of contact is. I hope the card was the right thing to do.

I listened to an old voicemail recording of a message he left for me on my birthday - he sang a couple of snippets of songs - he was so affectionate and happy and sweet! I can't believe that that person is gone, and there is no knowing when he will ever be back. I just wish I could call him, because there shouldn't be any ill will between us, but I don't understand why he doesn't seem to want to talk to me at all. I know he must be hurting so much, and I wish he would let me comfort him and make him feel better as I used to be able to.

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I hate this feeling so much, that it hurts me to even see that there are others going through the same thing. I hope it is all over, and we are all smiling again soon.

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In spite of telling myself I wouldn't, I tried calling him last night, no answer, so I sent him a text just wishing him a happy birthday. No response, as expected. I tried calling again this morning when I saw that he was up, and same thing. It's starting to really bother me that he doesn't even have the basic decency to pick up the phone or return calls after this long. I'm getting tired of this crap and don't know whether this is really because he is grieving or if he's just being a jerk towards me at this point, though there should be no reason for him to treat me like this. Normal, reasonable adults don't behave like this towards people they were close to and who have been good to them. It is so different from the person he was before. A friend I talked to last night said that it's been two months of no contact, it's not grief but lack of interest, but I don't know if he's right. It's hard to believe that, honestly. He's always said that he cared deeply about me and wanted me to stay in his life, but it seems like he's not able to treat me with this basic respect that he can show to any of his friends. Maybe it's time to move on and I should just ask for my things back, but I don't know. I don't want to give up hope but I can't know how he feels if he won't talk.

A lot of people have said to give him space and more time, wait until he's ready to talk, but I don't know if that's just turning this into a long, slow death. Other people have said I should take action because it's been long enough and that closure is better for my own emotional health. I really don't know what to do.

I have reasons to believe that he thinks about me but maybe just isn't ready to talk yet. But how much longer can this last?

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Miri, every time you contact him you are extending the date of his return. It is so important for you to take a step back and find something else to do with your life so that you are not so focused on this. I am in the same boat as you, so I do know how it feels. It was a month and a half ago when I last saw him, and it was very intimate. He has not had a proper conversation with me since. How do you suppose that feels to a girl? Devastating. Desperate. All of those feelings. Then remember last week he asked if I wanted to join him and the friend for dinner and I did not end up going? Do you know how much I wish now that I would have? Even though it’s probably better off that I didn’t. But just to see him again, how good it would feel. Then remember after that invitation to dinner, he ended up going with one of his guy friends who told him all about how he thinks I like him now…… (AS IF!! HE WISHES!!!) but last week when I first heard this from him and tried defending myself, he didn’t even want to hear it. Do you know how awful it feels to be accused of something like that, when it is nowhere close to true?? Its gut wrenching.

And I am so sorry to say, that after all this mess there are still times when I am sitting in my car alone and I still think of him. I wonder if he’s thinking about me too. But I would not be the first to call!! That is a mistake. After trying so hard (you sending him a card, calling, texting everything…..) he knows you’re interested. If he wants to respond to that, he will. You can’t force it on him. Imagine if the roles were reversed. Wouldn’t you be sick of some guy who was making himself so available? You have to understand that if you step away, he will have gotten so used to your calling, texting etc… that he will wonder where you have gone, and actually make the effort to find out. Just give it time. And who knows! In that time, you might find someone who’s actually well worth your efforts! (although that is a thought so unimaginable right now, because all you want is HIM –believe me, in time it gets better.)

This past two weekends I have been going out to get my mind off of everything. I went hiking up in the mountains last week, then horseback riding this week and next week I want to get out to the island and go skydiving!  It is really distracting to do while you’re “waiting”…and if you take pictures as you go along on all of these adventures, and post them on facebook, he will eventually see them and see how exciting of a life you are living without him! Don’t post any pictures with other guys to make him jealous. That does not work, it just pushes him farther away. Just make it known how happy you are, just living your life and SMILING! It will make him miss you, and want you in his life to make him smiling too.

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I've learned that you can bring closure without contact. I agree with Faith, let him go and if it's meant to be, it'll happen someday way down the road. But it's not good for you to wait around and hold on for something that may never happen. Focus on yourself.

Somewhere in another thread I posted a thread written by Don Ho and it gave some really good advice.

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I don't think it is that simple - things should not just be left as they are. I still have property at his apartment, much of it is valuable and/or has a lot of sentimental value and can't be replaced. We didn't live together but I spent more time there than at my own place, so I feel like my life was left there too. Everything happened so abruptly that I never expected to have to leave, and that night he just said that I didn't have to move my things out, and to give it some time. So it felt like I would be back soon. Now I don't know. He should not hold my things hostage for this long if he doesn't want me to come back, and he has not asked for anything of his back yet either. I don't have the heart yet to just write to him saying I want to come to get my stuff and walk out of his life. Though I do need it back, I don't need it immediately, but I feel like this is very wrong of him to do.

And all of it, in general, has been really awful. I thought he was a good guy, but this is not the way decent people treat each other. I have always been there for him, treated him with care and kindness, supported him when he needed me. I can't understand why he would be upset with me to the point where he can't even talk to me after two months of no contact, and over three months since his mother died. It is so crazy and I'm starting to feel like it's ridiculous. While I know that every attempt to contact him now may just push him away further, I think I have given him plenty of space already. At this point it shouldn't about playing hard-to-get or trying to seem busy or unavailable - he should be able to talk to me at least as a friend.

This situation cannot continue. No matter how bad things get, I never did anything wrong to him and I should not be treated with this lack of respect and consideration. He is functioning seemingly fine with regard to all other aspects in his life, he's posting stuff online to share with friends, socializing, even going on trips and holding barbecues at his apartment (where I used to be the hostess). So he should be able to drop me a @#*% line!!! I'm about to reach the bursting point like Tom did, but I know that being angry probably won't be productive. I just don't know how much more of this I can bear.

I'm not asking for him to get back into a relationship. I just want to know how he is doing, to know that he is still there. We shared a life together, I had an important place in his life, and that connection meant something to him. I was a really good thing in his life, possibly one of the best things that ever happened to him. He distanced himself only because of his mother's death, something that had nothing to do with me or us. Why is it so hard for him to even talk to me now?

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Because it is alot of pressure. All those people he is walking around seemingly fine with, it is because he has no obligation to them. No questions to answer, no way that he has to act in order to hold their respect. He is simply trying to find himself a way back to feeling normal again before he can get into being that way with you again. It didnt work out for Tom when he "snapped", it didnt work out for me when I had done it in the past. You will push him away even farther and make yourself feel even worse, as well as prolonge the process. Please listen to me even though I know it is easier said than done. GIVE IT TIME.

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Thank you for helping me try to be patient. I still think this should not be acceptable behavior and find it hard to understand, but I will try to blame it on him probably being emotionally unstable right now, though of course I can't really know what is going on in his head and heart.

It feels so wrong that someone could treat me this way, especially somebody who was closer to me than anyone, and who had always led me to believe that I could count on him. Even in the hardest of times, friends and those we care about are owed some consideration and respect, and until this happened I could not have believed that he would ever treat anyone like this, even someone who was far less dear to him. It doesn't make any sense for him to shut me so completely out of his life when he is going through such a difficult time and reaching out to everyone else who matters to him.

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I have gone back to reading some older posts about other people's experiences again, and found it very helpful, especially this one:

http://hovforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=5585

This is just about the only thing that makes me feel better these days. I guess what I don't know is whether my bf is really still in so much pain from his grief, or if he's already decided to move on and simply doesn't want to tell me, hoping I will eventually give up and go away. It doesn't seem possible that this could be the case, but then again, I never thought he could just drop me almost overnight and not contact me for two months either. It is still a tremendous shock to me.

Some friends have said that after this long, his inability to talk to me isn't grief, it's just over, but from this forum I have learned how powerful grief can be. With my guy, I still don't know what is going on, but I am reminding myself to be patient and compassionate.

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You have a life as well, I don't think they expect us to wait around for them anyway so don't feel like you should, the only thing that waiting will do is hurt you more. Without sounding too harsh, if there's been no signs of them actually trying to get in touch now then there might not be much chance of it happening in the future either.

I'm learning to live without Fern, she was my life for the last two years, we did everything together but it's over now. I was fine without her before we met, I'll be fine without her now she's gone. No one is responsible for your own happiness except from you. I'm young, I'm 20, I have a lot to look forward to and a lot of people to meet out there. Right now, I don't want anyone else, I wouldn't feel right with it, I just want time to myself, to enjoy being young and single, to focus on my lifestyle and my career.

I have a degree to finish, and I want to be able to make something of myself in my current job, it's easier to move through the ranks now you're young instead of waiting until later in life, I'm a more exciting prospect for management at my age now as they can develop me in their own way instead of say if I was 40, I'd have my own ways of doing things.

Wait as long as you think is healthy, but don't wait for ever, no one is worth waiting forever for as no one can give time back.

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I think your attitude is healthy, and I'm glad you are doing what feels best for yourself. It sounds like you are reaching acceptance.

A lot of people have been telling me lately that I should move on, for sake of my own well-being. But I feel like those are the people who didn't know me or my bf really well, and they are being a bit cynical. I can't bring myself to ask for my things back yet (and I do need them eventually). Maybe with time I will care less and it will be easier to do that. Until then, I have to believe that he will get in touch eventually. My friend who lost her mother a few years ago said that she just wanted to be alone and pushed everyone close to her away because it was too hard for her to be close to anybody. She said no one could make her feel better and no one could really understand what she was going through, so it was easier for her to be around people with whom she could interact on a more superficial level. She pushed her husband away, but spent more time talking to strangers or people she had just met. She did not tell me to wait, she told me to focus on myself now, but also said that three months is nothing to a grieving person. It isn't because he doesn't care about me, it's just that he doesn't have the ability to take care of my needs right now. He is lost and is trying to find himself again.

It is probably especially true because he already lost his father a few years ago, and his mother's death is reactivating that grief as well. His half-siblings are dysfunctional and won't talk to him, so he has no immediate family left. It must feel like he just lost his whole family and his childhood, and that his whole world has been turned upside down. He is entirely alone now - I cannot imagine how devastating that must feel.

Next week I start a really great new job - it is actually a pretty big career move, and I wish I could be happy and just be positive. I will try my best. But right now, everything still hurts so much. I can't enjoy any of the things I used to, because all I feel is how wrong it is that my bf and I are not doing those things together anymore. I know he must be hurting even more, and isn't really just going out and enjoying himself. He was a bit of a loner before he met me, and I imagine he is probably spending even more time in solitude now because that's what he feels he needs to do in order to heal. But he shouldn't stay that way forever because he was unhappy being alone before he met me. I made his life a lot better, he always said that I was the one who made him happy. I know he can't think about our relationship right now but I hope that with time, he will remember what we shared and realize that it was a good thing that he should return to.

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I've been thinking some more, and I wonder if I really messed up. There's a detail I hadn't mentioned here. Two months ago, and about a month after my bf's mother died, my bf was going to go back to her house to pack her things up. We had talked over the phone a few days before that, and he told me that he felt like a basket case and that his friends and relatives who were supposed to help him with this had bailed on him.

I decided that I was going to take a leap of faith. At the time it just felt like the right thing to do. I booked a plane ticket to try to help him with the move. I knew how terrible the ordeal would be for him - when he had been at her house the first week after she died, he couldn't even bear to go into her bedroom. He was surprised to see me at the airport, but didn't seem upset. He even put his arm around me for a bit, just as he always used to, before he pulled it away. I told him I knew he could use my help and that I was there to help him as a friend, with no expectations or pressure. And he seemed to accept it - said it was really sweet of me and that he was touched that I would do this. He smiled a bit and made a silly joke at one point. Because he seemed to accept it, I boarded the plane with him, and it seemed like things were going to be fine.

But halfway through the flight, while I was trying to sleep, he started acting very agitated and anxious. Then he said, "You're such a sweetheart, but this isn't right." When we landed, he said I had to go home and he bought me a return ticket right at the gate for the next flight back. He said, "There's too much tension, everything's too emotional, it feels too raw...I feel too much for you to act like we're friends. We need to figure out what we are, and what we're going to be." He gave me a hug, and said that he'd see me soon after he got back - he repeated this a couple of times, as if making a promise.

That was the last time I ever saw or talked to him. During that whole encounter, I was really strong, didn't act emotional, just tried to be supportive and calm and gentle, and I never tried to argue with him. He seemed stressed but not upset or angry at me.

I tried to give him space after that, and let him feel calmer before getting in touch, but it's been over two months now. I don't know if what I did was a mistake and that's what's caused him to shut me out so much, but I don't think what I did was awful? Surely he should know my intentions were good, and would appreciate the courage it took for me to do that for him?

It was a risk, but I just wanted to help him through a very difficult time, when the other people in his life failed him. I thought either he'd realize how much I cared about him, or else he would tell me it was over and I would have closure. But in the end, I was still left in limbo, with him saying again that we'll talk and figure things out - but we still haven't.

I just don't know what to think - I am so confused by his behavior. I don't know if I did the right thing or not - some friends said it was an amazing gesture of love and he should have understood it as such. Even friends who understand that he needs space said that this was okay, it just let him know that I was there for him. But I worry that what I did made everything worse. Is it likely that he's angry at me now because of what I did?

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No. What you did was not wrong, nor was it a mistake. It was a kind thought, and the only reasoning for having done something like that was simply because you love him. That is it. There is no argument or further justification or thought on how or why you could have done such a thing. You love him, and that answer should be enough for you to fall asleep at night with. You should be proud of yourself for having the compassion and courage to be so willing to go to that great length for him.

Again, I know how you feel when it comes to the last meeting have been so emotional. The last time I saw my guy, it became so far into the "I love you so much and never want to let you go" stage, that we ended up spending the night together (if you know what I mean), and once we both parted ways to go to work in the morning, I haven't seen him since. That was over a month ago now, and we haven't spoken in almost 2 weeks. Ofcourse, as a girl, this kills me. .....I wonder if I may have pushed it too soon, should I have done more listening and talking instead of allowing it to (go back to the way it was) ...or should I have never let it get to that point, because now it is too much pressure for him to even think of coming back? ...I don't know. But you can't drive yourself crazy with all the "what if"s. You really just need to remember that he is HUMAN. Although he is a guy, and we don't understand their gender most of the time, you need to know that he really is just like you. If you're missing him and wondering what he's doing or thinking about how you haven't spoken to him since the airport scene ..just remember, that he too has thoughts and emotions and may very well be thinking about it too. Maybe its just not time yet, and he is not ready to "feel happy" yet. My guy would say the same thing to me ....when we came together he would call me his "saving grace". Do you know how badly that makes me (even moreso) want to save him now? After all ...I am ther saving grace right? No. You can't save anyone that doesn't want to be saved. Give him time and he will come find you. Stop pressuring him. Don't text, call or make your statuses on facebook have anything to do with anything that relates to him.

This weekend I have decided to help me find a way to feel free from all of these negative emotions that have had be shackled to the bottom of a well (as so it feels) ...and so, I am going skydiving!!! I'm really nervous and scared, but believe that if I can get through that, I can do anything!!! ...and when I post pictures like that on facebook, of myself going out, and living my life, and being happy.. And free ...it will be an attraction rather than a persuation for him to miss me and want to know what's going on in MY fun, healthy, exciting, free.. life. You only have one. Don't waste it on someone who may not appreciate your efforts in the end.

As far as I'm concerned, you getting on an airplane, then him forcing you to go back? You've done enough. Its really reached a point where if he wants your help, he can come out and ask for it, just as he asked you to take it back.

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You had the best of intentions when you went to help him out and you couldn't possibly have known he'd react like he did. This is perhaps even more puzzling to me because I've lived grief so much...I lost my nephew, my niece, my dad, my mother-in-law, my husband, my father-in-law...I know what grief is. I have never pushed anyone away in my grief, in fact, quite the opposite, I've had friends disappear when I needed them in my darkest hour. So this is all a puzzlement to me. But I do know that we don't all respond the same to a situation, and perhaps there are some people that just can't handle an intimate relationship while grieving. Perhaps they're putting a wall up so they don't get hurt (from loss) again, or perhaps they're so busy with their grief that they just don't have it in them to put anything into a relationship, even a positive wonderful one that has been intact for a long time. Perhaps...anything. It's all surmising on our part, we don't know what's going through their heads because they don't tell us.

The one thing I do know is when they've asked for space, when they do NOT WANT TO BE AROUND US we have to respect their wishes and grant them that. That is perhaps the biggest gift we can give them. It's not about us, right now, it's about them. However, we have to survive and the best way to do that is to not continually expose ourselves to their rejection. If you don't call, you don't have to be hit with their not picking up the phone. If you don't write, you don't have to know they won't respond. And they won't. If they wanted to be with us, they would, it's as pure and simple as that. And they don't. Maybe it'll change, maybe it won't, but it wreaks havoc on us to hope for them to change, to hope for them to want us. They haven't given us any glimmer of hope so we should take none. Protect yourself. Keep busy. Focus on YOU! Don't take me wrong, this doesn't mean you have to totally give up on them...perhaps somewhere down the road your friendship will resume. Perhaps you will be able to rebuild a relationship out of the ashes that are left from today...but don't presume to count on that. Focus on career, friends, family, activities and interests. I know that's hard because a broken heart leaves you depressed and immobilizes you. It's hard to think of anything else. But you have to force yourself. If you have to, go to a doctor and see if you need any help with depression or sleep. This is a very difficult time for you so be very kind and understanding of yourself. Above all, do not question everything you've ever said or done in the past with your ex because you are not responsible in the least for what has happened. It is something with THEM, not with us.

And Faith was so right when she said that every time you contact him, you are prolonging resumption of even friendship. You are not respecting his desires and that does not make him want or miss you, it has the opposite affect. I would go a step further and venture to say that you are writing a death warrant on your relationship with each attempted contact. He knows you care about him, but it's having an opposite affect on him for some reason, perhaps making him feel smothered or pressured or guilty. Leave him alone and give him a chance to miss you and make contact. And be prepared, it could be a few months or even a year or more...or never. Please focus on yourself and let him handle his grief the way he seems to need to.

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I got an email from him today - the first since his mother died. He basically just said, "There's not a possibility of us getting back together." And that we should not talk for a long time. No guarantees even of that being likely in the future. No explanation at all. And I can't even talk to him about it so that I can try to understand why he made this decision.

This is so awful. I'm exhausted but I can't sleep. His emails before this were always so affectionate. We were so close, used to spend nearly every day together or at least talked every day. I was the most important person in his life during the last year. I didn't do anything to him to deserve this. I don't know why his feelings kept changing in this direction. How can he be sure of his decision? Before his mother died, he was sure that we'd be together in the future. If his feelings changed so much in four months, how can he possibly know how he will feel in another four months, or six months, or a year? Is this his grief talking?

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I'm sorry about what you're going through Miri but believe me it will get better in time. At least he's finally turned around to you and told you, that's all I ever wanted from Fern, purely because then I can move on and focus on myself. Since when I had a go at her, 13 days ago, I've gone and lost 4kg or 8.8 pounds in weight! I feel so much better already, although I've still got to lose another couple of stone before I reach my ideal weight!

Make sure you hang out with friends, spend extra time with family, go to work, take up offers of doing things with people that you may not spend loads of time with. Hey, I even sit on Call Of Duty on my Xbox playing with people from all over the world, I don't know them, they don't know me, but we talk and it's good fun and it's what I want to do!

If in a few months he comes back, then great! But you might not even want him then. Things will get better though, I rarely think of Fern these days, what's done is done, she left me, so I move on. She'll always be in my thoughts and I'll never forget the times we shared with each other.

You will be okay, I promise. I know this might not mean much, considering I'm a stranger on the Internet who lives on a different continent to you but hopefully you'll listen and move on with your life and be happy doing what you want!

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