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Miri

Why Would Someone End A Good Relationship While Grieving?

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I echo what Tom said. This is exactly what happened to me and it's been almost a year now. I cried every day/night for months and couldn't sleep, even had to go to the doctor to get sleeping pills because I have a long commute and was worried I'd fall asleep at the wheel. Mostly I only used them on weekends though so I could catch up on sleep without being too tired the next day.

After this long I have adjusted to being alone and have accepted that he doesn't want "us". I no longer consider him marriage material and we have backed way up and are mostly just phone pals. It was hard to do at first because we'd been engaged and spent all our free time together. Getting used to the change in routine was hard. Seeing all the places we used to go together was hard. Mostly it just hurt cuz it was such a huge shock and I couldn't make sense of it. But sense or not, I had to accept it. I hate to say it, but I no longer consider him good enough for me. Someone who is good enough doesn't dump you with no explanation, loss or no loss...JMHO.

Hugs to you...

Kay

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It's hard to accept or understand why he needs that much distance now. I can't reach him at all, I have no access to him. It's like he died when his mother did. I never really got a chance to talk to him, because he asked me to step out of his life almost overnight. He'd always promised we would talk more, and I tried to give him time and space, but we never got to talk. And now just this rather terse email though I haven't done anything wrong. With his tone it seems as if he feels like I wronged him, rather than the other way around. It's so cold, not at all like the man I knew before.

Other things in my life are going well, but I still miss his companionship and miss just being able to talk to him about all the great and interesting things I've been experiencing lately.

I need to respond and ask for my things, but I don't know what tone I should take, and what else to say. There's so much I want to say to him but I don't know if it would just be counterproductive right now.

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Believe me when I say this is exactly what I experienced and it is the toughest thing in the world! My heart goes out to all of you here because I have experienced the same pain and bewilderment. I never learned any answers as to "why", only that I had to respect his wishes. In time he made contact with me again but our relationship is completely different and I had to back up and start over as a "friend" only, and a very casual one at that. He calls me most days now but we don't see each other or hang out, I do miss that but he's not the same person to me anymore. I have learned there is just me, alone, and I have to focus on that.

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Miri, dont ask for your things. Set a time (like October), wait it out (while living your life), and if nothing changes by then ...then you can use "asking for your things back" as your excuse.

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Personally, I think when one breaks up with someone that the "things" should be settled immediately, like a nice clean break, it's the only considerate thing to do. When Jim broke up with me I packed up all of his stuff and took dropped it off with his roommate the very next morning. It's a very visible reality to them that what they've decided bears consequences, like a reminder that you really are through. It can hit them like a ton of bricks just like with us. No longer can they be wishy washy or ride the fence. I didn't have anything at Jim's house so he didn't have anything to return. I think a text would be a good way to request your things back. Maybe you could ask him to pack them up and let you know when you can get them. I wouldn't let it go as an excuse to see him again, in a month you may not WANT to see him again after what he's done to you, and anyway, that's kind of a form of manipulation. You don't want to see him unless he truly WANTS to, otherwise, it wouldn't work anyway.

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I do want to ask to see him again, not because I think I can change his mind, but because I feel like I am owed at least that much effort, and deserve at least a conversation about this, so that I can get more proper closure. And because I am hoping that we can end on better terms than this. It is hard knowing that unlike my other exes, I can no longer count on him at all to be there for me, can't even call him to talk at all, even though I was always there for him when he needed me. I never imagined that he would just turn this cold towards me, and I know I didn't do anything to deserve being treated this way. It is just really strange - at first, even when we were first starting to break up, he felt it was important to be friends and he begged me to stay in his life because he cared deeply about me and I was important to him. He even said that he still loved me. I don't know why he seems to not want contact anymore, and can't even have a face to face conversation like a reasonable and decent person. And it is strange that he knew I was waiting for some news from him for all those months, and patiently trying to give him space but still reaching out now and then, but it still took him this long to write only such a short and terse email. After all this time he won't even give me the consideration of a talk, an apology, or an explanation for any of it. Sometimes when I step back I just really think this is ridiculous and crazy, and dysfunctional.

We were in a serious relationship and it deserved more respect than this. There is no reason for us to be on such bad terms. Things were going great and the only reason we broke up was because he couldn't be in a relationship while dealing with his mother's death, but that had nothing to do with me or how good our relationship was. Everyone who knew us knew that I was a great gf to him and that he should have felt so incredibly lucky to have me in his life. I was respectful, sent flowers and expressed condolences, sent kind text messages letting him know I was thinking of him, gave him plenty of space and never put pressure on him to deal with the relationship. Yet his behavior now makes it seem like I did all the wrong things or treated him badly, though I didn't do anything wrong, and he can't even bear to talk to me or have me in his life anymore. I don't know whether this reaction is because he is still grieving or whether he is just completely over it and doesn't care. It is very strangely callous of him. All our communication before this was warm, sweet, humorous. He used to tell me everything, send little affectionate notes and always wanted to let me know about his day, what was in his thoughts. He had so many plans he wanted for our future.

The change was also just so incredibly abrupt. I was blindsided and never thought that the night he came home would be the last night I'd ever be at his apartment, and after the last two times I saw him I might not ever see him again in a really long time, if ever. Each of those times he'd always said that we would talk more or he'd see me "soon," giving me the impression that we would try to work things out, so I just tried to be patient and give him space. So I feel like this short and cold email from him is really quite unfair.

I still haven't finished writing the email or letter to him. I spent two nights working on a draft, but it was too long and I got some advice that I was still not letting go of my anger and bitterness and that expressing that now would push him away further. I thought my tone wasn't angry, but apparently I was still looking for answers and talking about hurt and blame. If I can't let it go, even after all he has said that was hurtful, then perhaps I shouldn't write to him at all. I know that is true, but it's hard to continue to just be kind to him because I don't want to be a doormat. It would be easier to be compassionate if I knew he was still grieving and hurting badly inside, but I don't know since he won't talk to me about what he feels. His friends say he seems normal and back to business as usual, never talks about his mother or the past. Compassion is noble and loving, but I also feel like it's important for me to stand up for myself and ask for some respect. I never got to talk to him about our relationship at all because I was trying to give him space and respect his grief. Unlike many of the other stories here, there was almost no contact at all after the initial break-up. There is so much I never got to say. A friend suggested that I write it all now and send it, because I may never have another chance to tell him again, and that I need the catharsis. And I also do want to ask to see him again to talk and try to find closure on better terms, but I don't know what my chances of getting that are. Perhaps he just doesn't have any answers for what he's done.

I need to ask for my things back, I don't think it'll do any good to wait. But I'm just completely torn up about what else to say in my response.

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Miri,

My heart goes out to you,it was July 23-26, 2010 that was the last time Jim ever came to my house...I never expected it would be the last time. Everything you write is as if I wrote it a few months ago, exact same thing, same way, same story. I too was blindsided, totally. I think that is some of the hardest part, the shock they put us into, not understanding any of it, it so caught me off guard, we'd been engaged for a year!! I, like you, had treated him so well, didn't deserve this, didn't expect it, it seemed totally out of character with who I knew him to be! He was always stable, dependable, there for everyone, so why is it I was the only one who got dumped?! I mean he was there for his friends, neighbors, daughters, mom, church...but me, I got thrown away. It is the hardest thing in the world to understand. Maybe there IS no understanding it! We have to accept that it's about them,not us, we weren't deficient in any way, it's something THEY can't handle, this is THEIR way of dealing with what they're going through. I've been through death, no death could have shocked or hurt more than my losing my sweet soulmate, my dearest friend, my husband, June 19, 2005. Yet I never threw anyone away because of it, no, I wanted and reached for others, so I don't get it, I really don't. And it wasn't like Jim's mom was the greatest mom in the world either, she was abusive, she could be mean, she had problems. But in the end, I got thrown overboard for her and NOONE needed to be cast aside, that's what I don't get. I wasn't even allowed to bring him a meal or give him a hug! I wasn't allowed to talk to him or see him. Others were...just not me. ???

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At least you have the comfort of knowing he's still there in your life, and that he clearly values your friendship. It must be hard to understand why he no longer wants more, but at least he seems to want to talk to you frequently and you know he's there and he cares. He did not throw you away entirely - if that's any consolation at all.

In my case I really don't know anymore whether I'll ever hear from him again. I couldn't have imagined that things would end like this, that we could simply stop talking to each other for so long. I remember how happy we were after Valentine's Day when he took me on a romantic getaway across the country. I honestly thought this was going to be the best year of my life. And now he just won't even talk to me. I just wonder where I might have made a mistake, whether anything I did or said could have changed things. It seems like such irrational behavior, but he seems to be normal around everyone else and to think that this is the right thing to do.

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Oh but he did, for months. Our relationship has changed entirely. And I never got any explanations. I'm not sure if it's better or worse this way, I know that I'll never get over it, it's changed me completely.

I seriously doubt that you did anything to cause this, it's him Miri, not you.

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I wonder if he suddenly set up these boundaries like this because of what I did two months ago when I went to the airport and took that flight to try to help him. At the time, it just felt like the right thing to do, and many of my friends were supportive and thought it was awesome of me to go that far for him. It may have been a big gesture, but it was out of real love and something a good friend would have done for him, and not because I was some crazy clingy ex-gf who couldn't let go. And I did not insist on it when he started to get uncomfortable and sent me home. Yes, maybe it was a misstep, but my intentions were good and I gave him plenty of space before and after. But of course I wonder if that whole thing upset him so much that this is why he no longer even wants to talk or be friends...could it be that this is what really turned him off the possibility of getting back together, or even talking to me again? It doesn't seem justified, but could this be the case?

I just wish he would say something to me so that I could have some clarity and understanding. The lack of communication is what's made all this so difficult.

I have so many options for what to say or not say in my message to him, and I really don't know what's the best path to take!

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OK, Miri, I'll try to help.

It's sometimes difficult to offer advice to help people grow through adversity, because people get so completely stuck on a firm set of beliefs. We tend to think about stressful things in habitual ways, and breaking through habitual thinking can be difficult. At one time you thought your former male friend was just great! Now he's looking rather inconsiderate and a bit brutish. His own grief makes it complicated; it's hard to know what he thinks or feels. But at least you are actively trying to think your own way through the difficulty, and that is a real kind of progress.

For any of us to really change, our feelings need to co-evolve with our thinking. When a love-relationhip get severed, there is generally a whole rage of emotions that emerge from one or both individuals in the relationship. Few things in life are so brutal. The grief from all this can be overshelming; I too have had a love-relationship suddenly severed. Twice. It happens to a lot of people, so you are not unique in this. And just like we need to 'rethink' things, we need to rework on our feelings in similar ways. Instead of continually rehashing the same feelings of anger and abandonment, we do a lot better when can gather fresh feelings.

By reworking our thoughts and feelings, we can change and grow. Here are my specific suggestions.

First, the very best solution I know of for people who have been psychological traumatized is to get professional counseling. That will work vastly better than anything I have to say here, but do shop around for the right counselor if you choose this option. After my mother passed away, I waited 4 months before seeking counseling, and that was a mistake. Once I went in for counseling it took about 4 sesssions before my raging thoughts and feelings settled out, and then I was better able to navigate through the difficulty. I had a good counselor.

Other than counseling, the things that helped me most through grief, were physical exercise (!), support of family, and venting in this forum.

OK, here is my specific advice about your man-friend in 3 words: LET HIM GO.

And several hundred words as to why:

Let him go, because your feelings are trampled. Here is where the 'rethinking' comes in. You feel mistreated, because you think he has an obligation to treat you well, or at least kindly. Now I'm suggesting to you something pretty raw. Ditch that expectation that he has any obligation to you at all. I'm not saying it's ok for him to reject or cut off communication with you. I'm just saying it's reality that he has for the time being abandoned you, and you've got to face rejection squarely, as hard as that may be.

Let him go, because he has lost both parents now, and is probably swallowed whole by his own grief. Now he has to establish his own independence without being tethered in any way. He can't handle a relationship now, and it's a mistake to try to engage him if he is not able. The fact that he doesn't write or communicate, except to to write a dear-Jane letter, should clue you in. So, just leave him alone for now. If it helps, think of it like he gets 6 months time to recover from grief, before he comes back into normal circulation again.

Let him go, because he appears to be quite ambivalent about women. You mentioned he had a love-hate relationship with his mother, and now it looks like that scenario is being thrust upon you. Duck out of it! His issues with women are his problem, and not yours. You had mentioned that the guy was a loner before he met you, so that's his longer-term life pattern. The relationship he had with you was a fortunate exception for him. Months down the road he will come around to 'rethinking' what he had with you. So let him have those months to figure it out. If you pester him at all now, he's likely to continue to resent you just like he did his mother.

Let him go, because as an independent woman you will be stronger. If your need for acceptance depends upon him, you will be buried in abandonment issues for many months to come. To cling to a guy that continually rejects you is just too humiliating. If you make an active effort to move on, then you will gradually get unstuck, and grow into an independent woman who can choose her own relationhips. So learn about letting go and moving on in any way that you can. Find support though friends, counselors, and family. You will survive this and you know it. There are many caring and sensitive men in need of a kind and devoted woman like you. Date a few of them if you can; pull yourself out of the abandoned-woman mind-set.

I do have advice about answering his dear-Jane email and retrieving your belongings. I would write back very briefly and say: "Dear [name goes here], It's all ok with me, but I need to pick up my things in your apartment. Can we please arrange a time?" And, if you are able, go to his apartment and be very business-like. I would not engage him in conversation, and would only do so if he initiated it. I would not utter one word about relationship break-up issues at all. Don't try to be cold to him either. For your own dignity, you want to go through the experience with warmth and kindness in your heart if you can. Call it 'silent love' if you like. You may or may not be ready to collect your belongings from him, I don't know. If you can do it, go for it. That is what will bring to you some closure.

Remember, I'm just a ordinary guy posting to this grief forum. I am probably a very different person than you, and my solutions might not fit your problems at all. Take my advice only when it feels right, and ignore the rest.

Ron B.

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Ron, it seems like you have a very perceptive understanding of the situation, and I thank you so much for your advice. You seem to be spot-on in particular with picking up on this guy's issues with women. He obviously loved his mother and talked to her often, but would always complain that she was overly emotional and needy (she seemed to get upset and burst into tears at everything, though, so maybe it was just his way of shielding himself). When I look back in hindsight, there were other things which had raised small red flags (for example, his last really serious romantic relationship was about a decade ago), but our mutual friends who set us up assured me that he had a good character, so I thought that perhaps he just hadn't met the right woman yet. And for a while it really seemed like he thought I was the one, until the death of his mother apparently made all of his issues rear their ugly heads. He is not ready to be a good partner to anyone until he takes care of these issues, and I can't fix them for him.

I am concerned about him because he also has had episodes of serious depression since his father died. He told me he was unhappy before he met me. Soon after we started dating, he stopped taking antidepressants because he felt good, due to my presence in his life. He said I made him happy and gave him things to look forward to, so he felt he didn't need them. I knew he shouldn't have done this without consulting his doctor, but he said he felt fine. But now I do wonder and worry if this has everything to do with why he has shut down and withdrawn so abruptly, and just seems to want more distance as time goes by. I really wonder about how it could be possible that he doesn't miss me or want to see me, as I made him happy. There must be reminders of me all over his apartment because I got him some housewares, new bedding, etc. to make his bachelor pad a little more comfortable. I know depression and grief can make people irrational like this, but I just have to believe that at some point he will recover from it and realize that he is letting go of a good thing.

It's very sad, thinking about how bright the future seemed to be for us just four months ago before his mother died. Now everything is completely different. On top of everything, I heard that he may have just been laid off from his job and might have to move to another city for work, which he doesn't want to do. I feel so bad for him and the terrible things he's going through. In some ways I do love him unconditionally and don't want to just walk away. I want to be compassionate and let him know that I'm there to support him. But I can't keep extending myself and letting him hurt me if he doesn't want to accept my help and won't even talk to me. He has a lot to deal with and unfortunately didn't want to turn to me for support, for whatever reason. It seems like he will need a lot more time before he can address his feelings about me.

In the end, I think I just have to accept that his irrational and hurtful behavior is due to his issues. Everyone has been telling me that it's him, not me, and I just have to reach a place where I really believe that and stop questioning whether anything I did or didn't do was to blame for his actions or could have made a difference. I just hope that in time he'll come to realize his mistake and try to make amends.

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Miri,

You wrote:

"In some ways I do love him unconditionally and don't want to just walk away. I want to be compassionate and let him know that I'm there to support him. But I can't keep extending myself and letting him hurt me if he doesn't want to accept my help and won't even talk to me."

About loving unconditionally, there is no contradiction between that and walking away. You walk away, not just to avoid hurt, but because it's the right thing to do for him. Walking away is, in its own way, an act of love.

Ron B.

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Miri,

It sounds like you are summing up what I've been trying to say to you. Letting go doesn't equate to letting him down, it's quite the opposite, it's respecting his wishes and it's also placing a higher value on yourself...as you need to. You can't let yourself get lost in all this. It actually protects your feelings by giving them the space they need. It IS his issues, not yours, that's why he needs to work on them himself and needs the time to do so. None of us can or should try to predict the future but it sure helps us if we accept today as it is.

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I would like to say, this post is helping me tremendously.

My boyfriend has broken up with me a month ago to this date. See, his grandfather died, which was/is his father, because he raised him. He died in April, suddenly. My ex was fine, no crying, nothing. Then slowly but surely things went wrong. He pulled away from many things he enjoyed, including me. We got in an arugement and it took such a toll on him he said he had no room left for this pain. He finally admitted he was mourning his grandfathers death, three months later. NOTE: I never lost anyone close to me. In the process, he pushed me out, broke up with me, and said he neeeded to be alone and it wasn't my fault. His mother and grandmother were not very supportive and told me I had to leave him alone.

I didn't understand, why would you push me away? I apologized for the silly fight and he said he was fine with it, but then he turns around and breaks up with me? I begged him to let me in and help him but he said no. I kept asking him if this was it and he would say, "I don't know or I guess so". I was distraught, trying to find what I did wrong. I finally told him I was sorry for being the way I was and that we were friends. He said he was fine with that.

His grandmother told me he is going to consulting, and I wasn't suppose to know. I messaged him his first day to see how he was, I got no response. So I haven't heard from him in two weeks. I deleted him off of facebook, deleted his number, and am giving him what he wants....his space. I know if I keep those things I will not respect him and keep pestering him.

This post helped me the most because I feel I am not alone in this situation. That its not just me. I cry, every day, and pray every second to see a text from him, but I don't, nor do I think I ever will. If I do, okay, if not thats okay too. Its hard to admit it, but I will be okay. I just need time. I have been putting myself into everything; school, work, friends, family, you name it. It helps for the moment, but once I am alone I think about him. I cry, I write, and I post. I am seeing a therapist, because my family doesn't understand why I am upset and doesn't respect my feelings. My friends do, but I feel like a broken record.

My moto is, "How can you wash away a foot print he left in your life? You don't, because there are many foot prints you have or will have, you just got to find the right shoe."

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I Lost Him,

I am so sorry you are going through what we all have been. I want to say, it's been a year for me, and it's finally getting better. I can't say as I'm totally over him but for the most part the shock is over. I still don't trust though and am not sure I ever can again.

I also want to let you know that none of this is your fault. Perhaps in a way it's not his fault either, but rather circumstances that converged to overwhelm him. This would have happened with or without your "silly little fight". Perhaps that was the catalyst by which he blew, but regardless, some other little minor thing would have come along and done the same thing even if that hadn't occurred. I've had to wonder if my X hadn't used his mom's death as a platform on which to break up with me. We were engaged for a year and he totally blindsided me.

You did the right thing by "going dark" on him. It respects him by giving him his space, it gives him a chance to work through his issues, and it also gives him a chance to see if he misses you. It also protects you from constant "triggers" and aids your healing. And because you have no contact, you don't have to face continual rejection, which over time undermines your love for him. So this really is a protective thing. Jim and I had no contact for about 2 1/2 months, then we did for a couple of weeks, then nothing for a month, then he's contacted me on a regular basis since...but our relationship has changed, drastically. There is no love, emotion, nothing from him, just "casual friendship", he calls and talks to me on the phone, that's it. He's told me a couple of times he's thought about taking me here or there (like a date?) but he hasn't. He's alluded to having been sad or cried over us a couple of times but hasn't come right out and said so specifically. But for whatever reason, I wasn't what he wanted in his life and it occurred when he was taking care of his dying mother 24/7. You are not alone, this occurs way more than I ever realized! It almost seems like a common grief response, and like you, I clearly don't get it...although I have lost LOTS of people in my life (in chronological order)...my nephew, dad, mother-in-law, niece, husband, countless pets, and father-in-law. I never pushed anyone away in my grief. I know we're all different and don't have the same response, but still...I clearly don't get it.

It is what it is though.

You might want to start your own thread so people can respond to you directly, you can cut and paste this into a new thread or have a moderator move it and my response to a new one. That way we can walk through this with you. You are doing all of the right things, I'm proud of you, you are clearly level headed! I know it's hard...the temptation is strong to contact them but we have to do what is the right thing to do, not what we want to do.

Good luck to you!

Kay

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I wanted to thank everyone for their comments and their advice. I have pondered all your words and pored over your advice numerous times, hoping that the words will stick and help me to finally understand what I need to do.

There's been a new development in my story. A mutual friend told me that my ex was actually pretty unhappy about that airport incident, where I showed up unexpectedly to take a flight with him to help him pack up his mother's house (after he told on the phone about how his friends and relatives bailed on him, etc.) I came to help, but it made him uncomfortable and feel that I had done something inappropriate, even a little "creepy". Like I had crossed a line or boundary. I feel like I've made a terrible mistake, and perhaps what I did was what killed our relationship. It seems like that may have been the turning point, where he stopped talking to me and no longer considered it possible for us to get back together or even to be friends. But to me, it seems like his reaction of refusing to speak to me is totally disproportionate to anything I did. I never meant anything wrong by it, and he should understand that my intentions were good and came from love and sincerely caring about him, even if he was uncomfortable with having me there. I just wanted to be there for him.

I have a huge sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. I wish I had never done it. I knew it was a bold move, but many of my friends said that they admired my courage and that anyone ought to be touched by what I did. I also wonder if his strong negative reaction to it was still something that could be attributed to his grief, as it seems unfair of him. No matter what he felt about me, he should have been able to have an honest conversation about it, instead of keeping me in limbo for over two months and then only sending a terse email with no explanation about his feelings.

I want to write to him and explain things, but I don't know if that will push him away even further. I just feel like there's been so much left unsaid because I was always trying to give him space and not express my feelings. Is there any way to fix this, to try to get him to understand? Can he really think that what I did was so absolutely unforgivable, that he can't even talk to me? I just want to believe that he'll come to realize the goodness of my heart after more time has passed.

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#1, (excuse my french but...) what the heck? I cannot believe his level of insensitivity. As if it wasnt "creepy" for you!! To go out of your way and offer to randomly get on a plane and go pack his late mother's old things. He should be thanking Lord to have someone so caring. I cant believe he would go out and TALK ABOUT YOU TO OTHERS in that way?! After what you did? Without even atleast expressing it to you first!? Meanwhile you're sitting in the dark wondering what's going on still? THATS WHAT'S INAPPROPRIATE. This guy needs space to realize your value. And you need space to find someone else that's going to show him how to value you ;) ..........seriously. I'm so upset about this. And i'm not even you!

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Many people would see it that way. I just wanted to help. The idea was suggested to me by a friend. Perhaps it's different for us, as women, because we would have seen an act like that as one of gallantry and would have been moved by the intent behind the gesture, no matter who did it for us, even if it was an ex we had just parted ways from. But the fact was, at that point he had asked for a break (though he still was saying that he didn't know what he wanted, to give it some time, etc.) so he probably felt it was not my place to show up, without warning, to help him. In his head, maybe it was already completely over, so he probably saw it as an intrusion, as going too far, even though I believed that the closeness of our relationship justified my wanting to be there, even if only to be a friend. But I can't know what he feels, as he hasn't been willing to talk to me about it.

His friends seem to take his view - but they are probably just being supportive of him no matter what. It makes me feel awful to be judged so harshly by them though. They don't know the nature of our relationship and how close we were, or what words were exchanged before this incident, so they can't understand what compelled me to do that for him. And I also feel particularly annoyed that some of these people are the friends who made excuses not to be there to help him at this time, but now it's so easy for them to judge me.

I really think this incident is what made him stop talking to me entirely, but it seems like a very extreme and unfair reaction to what I did! Maybe the drama and shock of it really bothered him and that is why he wants to make sure to keep me at a distance. It is still so strange, that sudden distancing that has been common to all of our stories.

I also heard news that he actually did NOT get laid off, in fact he got promoted and is now going to be a partner at his firm. This is a huge deal, and it really breaks my heart so much that I can't celebrate with him and congratulate him. I can't even talk to him. If things were normal and our relationship had continued as it was before his mother suddenly died, we'd both be so happy right now because we both have massive career changes to celebrate and so many events to look forward to this summer and fall. I want to be happy for him but it feels incredibly bittersweet that we are no longer sharing these important milestones in our lives.

I don't know what to do, what to say. I know I should probably just get my belongings back and leave it at that, but there is so much more I want to say to him.

I know I have to let him go, but I desperately wish we could reconcile or make amends. I still find it unbelievable that all of this has changed so much and so abruptly. It's been so traumatizing, it really feels as if he had died. I don't understand how things between us went from incredibly happy to completely awful almost overnight, and whether it will ever be possible for us to return to being all right again.

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Miri,

I agree with Faith, I think what you did was kind and unselfish and it could be that his 'grieving' affected his thinking so that he's overreacting. In the same sense, what happened between me and Jim was similar in that he was taking care of his mom 24/7 with no relief and she would not allow me over or meet me, yet his ex wife was allowed over, and what the heck, how could our relationship survive if we never ever saw each other? As it was, she lasted another two months, but in MY experience in taking care of my MIL when she was bedridden with cancer, SHE lasted two years eight months! The point is, we don't know how long the situation will last and to think an engaged couple can survive all of that time NEVER seeing each other is ludicrous! I voiced my concerns to him about it and his answer was to not speak to me again (for months) and break up with me by Fed Ex. If he had a problem with my being concerned about the situation as it was it was something we should have been able to survive and get through. The fact that he wouldn't even work on it and didn't care to salvage it tells me he just didn't flat out want me or care enough about me. I only wanted to be there for him, the same as his neighbors and friends and even ex-wife, for that I am faulted?

No, the problem does not lay with you, it is with him. Frankly, IMHO, he isn't deserving of you. I'm sorry, I know you love him, but you are a really terrific GF and someday you'll meet someone that will APPRECIATE how wonderful you are!

You too, Faith! And all of us on here. Frankly, I'm sick of these people that break up with us and blame it on their parent's death. In my opinion, it's just hogwash and it sucks big time! JMO...

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I agree with Kayc, it is hogwash. We are supportive of them and get not what we expect in return. I don't understand what and how their actions make their life better but it does (in their eyes). It is what they need. If they need to be alone and not have someone nurture them or be there for them, or hand them a tissue when their face is a mess, then that is their choice. You, me, or joeshmoe down the street will NOT understand it, but we can't put our lives on hold and wait for a man that doesn't want us in their life. Its hard to believe it, but we can move on and be happy...together.

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I agree with the hogwash comment. I was respectful of his time to grieve, and was very patient about tolerating the bullsh*t that came. But at some point we all have to realize that enough is ENOUGH. They dont suddenly have the right to treat other people however they want, and say whatever they want -blaming it all on the death of a parent. Its manipuating and compassionless. We dont have to deal with this. We choose to because we love them. But we dont have to. And if they love us back ...they can put just as much work into consoling us from being hurt and mourning THIER "death"

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Our anniversary came and went. I was hoping the arrival of the date would give him reason to reminisce and reconsider, but it doesn't seem likely. I wonder if he gave it any thought at all. I'm out of town on a trip we had planned to go on together. It's beautiful here and I've been attending a lot of arts events and experiencing some amazing things but it pains me so much that he isn't here and isn't in my life anymore. I can't even call or talk to him to have the most basic conversation. And this changed overnight. A lot doesn't make sense and I'll never fully understand what happened. I know it's grief but that shouldn't cause someone to completely drop the person they were closest to, that they were supposed to love and care about, and just treat them like they never existed. He can talk to other people like normal.

I still wake up in the middle of the night thinking about him and feeling this enormous void. I don't understand why he would want to do this to me.

He kept saying to give it some time, but it seems like things between us have only gotten worse and more distant with more time.

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You need to get away from things that remind you of him, if you have anything of his put it away in a place that you won't see it or be tempted to go looking at it. When I felt it was right, I took down all the photo's of me and Fern and removed anything she ever brought me and placed it all into a box, that box hasn't been touched for two months and it's collecting dust under my bed. It's best for you to remove yourself from anything that will make you think of them but only when you feel you're strong enough to actually do it without it getting to you.

It's like, whenever I come onto this forum I can't help but think about Fern, but it's not like it used to be now, you need to let him go and get on with your life. I'm not too sure of your age and how you live etc. it might be so different to my way of life considering how far we're apart but if you're anything like me then go out with your friends as much as possible, the reason I say 'your' friends as well is because mutual friends are not too good to be around at times like these, it never helped me being around people who I would have been seeing when me and Fern was together so I stuck with my own friends that didn't really know Fern and that helped me detach myself from thinking of her.

I know you'll be fine but it takes time, gradually you will see yourself becoming stronger and happier as you take each step to recovery.

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Miri,

I agree with Tom...I hate seeing others going through what I know to be one of the worst pains there is, I've been there, felt exactly the same thing as what you're describing, exactly! I had the same questions, same confusion, same hurt.

The very day that Jim broke up with me, I packed up everything he had at my place and dropped it off at his place (his roommate was there, not him). Anything he gave to me I didn't return, I didn't want to sound ungrateful or vindictive, I wasn't sure what to do with it so I stuck it in a chest, out of sight. You can put things where you won't see them and deal with them at a later date when you're more emotionally ready to handle it. When my husband passed away, at first I had a shrine in my bedroom, pictures everywhere, etc. then I took them down, then I put them up...do whatever feels most comfortable for you. It is different losing someone to breakup than death though because with death you are still loved, you aren't rejected, and memories of them, while they can cause you painful reminders of missing them, they can also comfort you with the knowledge of the love you shared. When you lose someone to breakup and you run across a reminder, it pains the heart as you are struck by "how could they do this to you?" I find it best to protect myself from further pain.

It's natural to think of him and very hard going to places you feel you should be going to together. Christmas was really hard for me because in the past we were going to the Light Parade and church and everything together, and I had to spend my Christmas break alone whereas in the past he would be with me. The previous year we'd gotten our tree together and decorated...last year I was alone. But I did it, I had a neighbor bring me a tree (I didn't have a way to haul one) and I set it up and decorated it all by myself and enjoyed the music and decorations all by myself. It needn't be devastating, it's a huge adjustment and it doesn't feel the same, but I tell you, we are worth it all by ourselves, it's not a waste to do these things if we don't have someone to share them with, WE are reason enough to keep going and doing. :)

It will get better with time, I promise you, but you alone are the one to determine how long it will take to get over him...it takes concerted effort on our part to shut out the emotional stirrings and force ourselves to begin healing.

Good luck, we're rooting for you!

Kay

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