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Why Would Someone End A Good Relationship While Grieving?

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It can take a long time to wrap your head around it because it seems like such an about face to everything we knew in our relationship before.  Sometimes there IS no understanding it, just learning to live with it.  It will be easier for you to begin healing once you cease contact.  Until you are at the point where you no longer hope for something more and accept it as it is, it won't be healthy for you to try to be friends.  It doesn't work when one is still wanting something more.  (I've seen people try to manipulate with guilt and that doesn't work.)  But most of all, I don't want you to put yourself through the emotional yo-yo, it's going to take a while to accept things as they are and for things to be clarified to you.

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Yeah. We have finally ceased contact. I'm thinking about maybe text him just to reassure him I'm still here... AFTER I can stop crying for a week or so, but I mean by that point, maybe I won't even want to. But yeah the emotional yo-yo is the worst and I know I can't do it if I still see hope. Hope feels dangerous. Because he still loves me, and I still love him, but as you said, it will probably never be. Very hard to understand. I appreciate this thread so much, if at least to know I'm not alone.

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My fiance broke up with me nine years ago by Fed Ex, he was caregiving his mom, she was dying although nothing specific or definitive diagnosis, I knew from experience she could go in a month, a couple of years, no way of knowing and he was literally exhausting himself with no respite.  His mom wouldn't allow me over (she'd refused to meet me) yet she allowed his XW over to help (even though she never liked her in the 30 years they were married).  It was very hard.  

We had no contact but his daughter let me know when she passed, and I made him a handmade sympathy card and sent it to him.  The next day he called and talked for 3 1/2 hours, as if catching me up on everything from the previous several months.  After that he'd call maybe every day or maybe wait a couple weeks, I never knew.  Sometimes hot, sometimes cold.  He was yanking me around emotionally.  One day I cried the 50 mile trip home from work.  I resolved never to cry over him again.  I put a wall around my heart to guard myself from anything he might say or not say.  After that, when he said he loved me, I realized he didn't know what he wanted and I couldn't go by what he said.  They were just words.  I hold myself to a higher standard than to settle for someone who doesn't want to be with me through thick and thin, I deserve that and so much more.  Had his actions showed something different, I might have considered that, but they didn't.  We reestablished as friends, and that was for the best.  He is a good friend, but would not be a good partner.  
BTW, he took in his XW when she was homeless and they've been roommates along with his other roommate for several years now...not a couple, but "family", roommates.  I don't think I'd want that in my marriage although it's fine for him to have as we're no longer coupled.  We've been good friends to each other, we can talk to each other, give a fresh perspective, offer advice, but no romantic relationship mixed in.  I realized he was mixed up and I offered him the needed space to be on his own as he needed to be...as I needed to be!

It does help to lay aside the "false hope" and receive clarity in it's place.  Protect yourself, put yourself in number one spot.

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On 5/30/2019 at 10:21 AM, kayc said:

After that, when he said he loved me, I realized he didn't know what he wanted and I couldn't go by what he said.  They were just words.  I hold myself to a higher standard than to settle for someone who doesn't want to be with me through thick and thin, I deserve that and so much more.  Had his actions showed something different, I might have considered that, but they didn't.  We reestablished as friends, and that was for the best.  He is a good friend, but would not be a good partner.

Yeah... That has been my experience. He is currently conversing with another female, who he had been semi close with, but now his family suspects that he is staying with her as they don't ever see him anymore (so much for taking care of his family). So at the end of the day, when the going got tough, he left. And it hurts because it was so pristinely perfect. Up until his brother died. His mom and dad are both very close to the end and I couldn't put myself through this again. I can't just be friends with him though. I invested everything. So at least I got a text, and then a call, and then he got his things in person. 

Though truly, I hope he comes through his grief to find clarity again because I know that this is what it is. It's the only explanation I can really accept. I want him to be happy again, and I thought I could help him with that, but right now he doesn't want anything to do with healing. Unfortunately he's hurting pretty much everyone close to him, except this girl and one of his other friends. 

I'm trying to believe that if it's meant to be he'll come back, but for now, he's not, and I have to deal with that. 

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I have been on the other side of this. Similar scenario where I was an only child and lost my mom after losing my dad. And I had to push my then bf away because he made everything about him and it just felt so selfish and absurd. Even him wanting to 'help' always circled back to his needs. His need to feel loved and adequate. It was just much more than I could handle in the amount of pain I was in. And reading your posts I'm gathering that is the mindset you are in. It's impossible to be there for another person when you are in such unbearable pain. And grief of that magnitude take time. It's been 2 years and I still have the occasional 'bad day'. Do both yourselves a favour : leave him alone and go find somebody who is emotionally available. Because emotional availability is not something this guy is able to offer you. Even if he wanted to.

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On 7/1/2019 at 6:19 PM, Jill_7 said:

And I had to push my then bf away because he made everything about him and it just felt so selfish and absurd. Even him wanting to 'help' always circled back to his needs. His need to feel loved and adequate.

Very good point!  Good post!  Also, with regards to them not being able to be with you but moving on to another relationship even though grieving, keep in mind that sometimes when one is grieving they feel guilty for having spent time with you instead of the person they lost and you're a reminder of that.  It can all be rather complicated, but it's important to realize that sometimes things change and a relationship can't be as it once was and this is one of those instances.

I wish I could highlight and frame your post, Jill, for all who are experiencing this because it really does explain a lot!

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Thank you kayc. I hope I was not too harsh. I was in a strange mental place when I wrote my post. Otherwise, I would not have been Googling keywords that led me here, right.

I feel I need to add that having needs for communication and love is absolutely valid. I just wanted to highlight that the grieving process can leave us absolutely empty, a shell of the person we were before. And when it happens we are just not able to show up in the ways our partner needs us to. When grief strikes hard, most days we cannot even make sense of the fact that we get to be alive while our loved one does not... working on our relationship is not even on our radar.

But I do realize that it is extremely unfair to our partners. Grief is a lot of things, but fair certainly isn't one of them. And break ups are tough no matter the circumstances.

Lots of love to the grievers and the jilted alike, may we all move on in due time.

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You were NOT too harsh, what you said was perfect and necessary for people to hear, it explains a lot.  I have saved your quote to share with future people coming here with their stories because it's a perspective they need to hear.  It helps them to know this isn't personal, even though it FEELS very personal.  When I went through it, I felt like our relationship had been a lie, I felt betrayed!  But it helps to understand that they had never had intention of breaking our hearts and could not have foreseen this.  Not everyone handles grief the same.  When I have gone through loss, I wanted people around but found they got gone!  Grief is uncomfortable to people.  They often view it as contagious and it reminds them of their own mortality or the fact that they could lose the person they love in an instant, that makes it uncomfortable, so they disappear from their friend/griever.  Grief often rewrites our address book.

But when you're in a relationship and you suffer loss, people often feel they can't do that relationship at that time because it gives implied pressure...you mention how unfair it is, yes, but it's unfair unilaterally, no one asks for loss/grief, yet it comes their way all the same, often without warning, bam!  

Life's not fair.  Period.  If people give themselves ample NC time and accept the situation as it is without hoping for something more, it aids their healing and allows you the backwards glance perspective of realizing the person was not malicious.  Maybe they didn't always handle it in the best way in their broken state, but they didn't intentionally cause the pain, they're just trying to get through their circumstance and it didn't come with a manual!  So important to forgive them and move forward with your life.

Forgiveness doesn't equal "like the situation" or "okay with how it was handled", but it doesn't hold it against them either, it releases everything.  It wishes the best for all around.

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Me and my boyfriend have been dating for almost 2 years. We where eachothers firsts love and first everything. His grampa passed away about 5 months ago and he had never lost someone so close to him like that before so I completely get how upset he is. He broke up with me about a month or so afterward his grampa passed away this was around spring time. And we took a two week break from the relationship all together. We then got back together after he told me that he new what he wanted and he wanted me and us and our future together and that he loved me and everything. So we started working on getting through our issues and rebuilding our relationship and dealing with his grampas death. We had been together for 4 more months since the first break up and now he broke up with me again and I'm finding it really hard to understand why. I completely get how grieving can be painful and hard. I've been doing my absolute best to help him through it and give him space If he needs. But he told me that he needed to be alone and couldn't manage the relationship right now because his feelings are bad right now about his grampas death. I'm just really hurting because when we got back together the first time we talked about how the break up shouldn't have happened because there are other ways to fix the problems and get through our issues. And we both knew that it shouldn't haven happened and wouldn't happen again. He had promised me and was showing me for the past 4 months that that bad stuff wouldn't happen again and that he loved me and that we could get through it all together no matter how bad. But he went back on everything we have ever talked about. And it really is putting a hole in my trust. I really want to work on the relationship and help him through his feelings I just don't know how and I don't know how to make progress with him. I'm not sure what else I can do. Like I said I get that grieving is hard and I talked to him about how I would always be by his side to help I still am trying to be by his side but I don't want to put pressure on him to get better fast because I know it takes time. I just want to be able to have love together to help get through the dark times but I'm not sure what to do at all. He is the love of my life and I want to be with him and help him get through the pain because I hate seeing him in pain. It just hurts that he keeps jumping to the break up conclusion instead of trying to work things out. I have even told him that I can give him space if he needs. I feel like the break up isn't causing more problems than we need.  I don't feel like we have to break up to get space if that's what he needs. And I've been trying my absolute best to put my needs on the side and not putting the relationship on the main focuse so he knew I was here to help his feelings and needs about his grampa but for some reason I don't think that's enough. And I want to helping him through everything but he says he doesn't want to hurt me but he's being so cold to me and that hurts. I feel like I'm really trying to give him what he needs and I don't get anything in return. 

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@Lexe  I am so sorry you are going through this, it feels more than cruel, I know.  I hope you will copy and paste this into a new thread of your own so we can help you through this (this is someone else's old thread).

I don't know absolutely why people respond like this...when I have grieved, I honestly appreciated those who were by my side through it all.  Sometimes they feel guilty for having spent time with you instead of the person that was dying/died.  Their focus is entirely on their loss/grief and they feel they have nothing left in them for a relationship.  I have seen them continue their friendships but not their relationship, because they feel their relationship requires something from them that they just don't have anymore.  The thing I want to put to you is, do you really want to spend your life with someone who responds this way when problems come along?  Because it's guaranteed that problems do come in life!  I would want someone who would go through thick and thin with me, not someone who could dump me at the drop of a hat!  This is out of your control, it is nothing to do with you, nothing you said or did, it's beyond you to help it.  That's giving a whole lot of power to someone else!  I would want someone who would be with me as long as I am doing my best in the relationship and I'm supportive, otherwise, how unfair is all this!

Of course you're bewildered!  And the truth is you'll likely never get an explanation that suffices because it doesn't make sense to you.  Sometimes we have to create our own closure.  Just knowing that this is not acceptable treatment is closure enough.  Now it's important for you to guard your heart, protect yourself.  Be your own best friend.  Be understanding and patient with yourself.  Spend time with family and friends.  Keep busy to help keep your mind off things.  You will still hurt for a good long while, but as long as you do the positive things for yourself that you need, the pain will begin to lessen, ever so gradually, and in due time, you will begin to see with more clarity.  And like me, you may just find that you are GLAD you did not end up together!  It'll take a while, it's a process.  

Meanwhile, I hope you will keep coming here.

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Hello everyone. I am aware this is an old post, but i have been reading through this every time I felt like like i needed a little peace of mind and some hope shall I say..... my experience is very similar to most and i wont go to much into it. My partner of a year lost someone very close to them unexpectedly (this was 8 weeks ago) it was a huge shock to everyone and my partner did not and is still not dealing with it very well, as of expected. Anyhow.. you don't hear many stories which bring a little bit hope to peoples situations. Most of these situations result in the griever leaving their partner as they cannot deal with the relationship on-top of the loss, or because they are not sure how they feel anymore regarding their relationship with their partner. In most cases, as read, that is the end of the relationship.

In my situation, my partner left me shortly after the funeral. MY partner was closing themselves off from me shortly after the death and I should have seen the breakup coming, however it was a massive shock. I felt abandoned, depressed, anxious, worthless and out of control of my emotions and life in general. There was no contact for 4 weeks. As days went on i felt worse and worse. My whole life changed within weeks and I was struggling to cope. However, this is where i am going to give readers like me who relied on these blogs a little bit hope.... after 4 weeks my partner reached out to me and asked to meet up (In which i have not decided to yet) to talk about feelings. They are still very much confused regarding feelings about the relationship, and is still at an early stage of grief. So i just wanted to let people know that things may not be over for you! There is still hope.... if it is meant to be, I believe it will be. And if not, then you are saved from the wrong relationship with the wrong person and in time you will find someone who will never leave you, no matter the circumstances... Please understand that I am not saying you and your partner might get back, but everything will work out as it should be. In the meantime, focus on yourself, self love and self care. Get your confidence back and become independent again, so that if/when they do come back.. you can support them as best as you can.

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I hate to see people count on false hope...I have read each and every post here and I'd say maybe 1% of them made it through with their relationship intact following breakup due to grief.  If it will be, it will be, meanwhile it's good to focus on yourself and let him do the same and see where it goes from there.  

17 hours ago, Lexy107 said:

if it is meant to be, I believe it will be. And if not, then you are saved from the wrong relationship with the wrong person and in time you will find someone who will never leave you, no matter the circumstances.

Yes, this.  Try to remember that the relationship if it does not survive, was not right for you and be at peace about it.  The early days of breakup are hard, stick it out, it will evolve and get better.

17 hours ago, Lexy107 said:

everything will work out as it should be. In the meantime, focus on yourself, self love and self care.

Yes.  But don't do it for them, do it for yourself.

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I found this forum from a google search, this is something I’ve never considered before the end of my most current relationship. This is all very fresh, we just broke up days ago and I just need somewhere to lay out my thoughts and if lucky, get some perspective

We weren’t together very long, just a few months but I’ve known him a long time and have been hopelessly in love with him. I’ve just been a total fool for him and in the beginning he was the same for me and we just had the best days together, some of the most happy days of my life. We were just so crazy about one another. 

Then about 2 months into this new relationship he learns his dad is dying and a week or so later he passes. It was a lot at once and I was there for him every step. I took time off work to be with him. I offered to go out of state with him to deal with the burial, etc so he didn’t have to do it alone. He was very sweet and was a trooper and at times seemed very calm although down and sad. I think he was very good at hiding his grief. 

I noticed that his communication became less, stopped planning things with me as much, was distant and I just got the general vibe that he was less interested. He’s always sweet and nice to me, though and tries to joke and be his silly self, but I know there is a lot of effort being put in. 

Finally we have the convo we’ve been putting off and he basically tells me that with the passing of his dad he is in pieces, and he doesn’t feel right being committed to me if he can’t be 100% himself and he is just not the person he was before. The death also put into perspective his station in life, made him realize the things he’s been putting off and how he hasn’t taken care of himself. I told him I wouldn’t mind being by his side while he worked on these things, but would respect if he needs time to do these things on his own without the pressure to be a good boyfriend on top of everything else. He didn’t give me a solid answer really, I think he was trying to avoid hurting my feelings and saying point blank the things that are hard to say and hear. But I understood and kinda helped connect the dots for him and we decided to end it. He says he doesn’t know how long it will take, and didn’t clearly say whether he intends to ever get back with me.

I’m devastated and trying to remain strong enough to push forward and give him the space he needs. It will be very hard, he wants to be friends with me which I love the idea of bc I’d rather be friends than nothing. I’m hoping that if I give him enough space and support and stick around he will come around and try to be in a relationship with me again. But I’m just afraid that maybe that’s not the case bc I am not interested in a friendship I think that would be too painful for me. Maybe he never intends to be with me again. And I know that’s probably impossible for him to determine and would possibly be unwise to make such promises when his feelings are so obviously jumbled. 

So now I’m here and I’m taking it day by day. Oh did I mention we WORK TOGETHER, on the same row in fact so that makes life a lot more difficult. So we take breaks together and I love being around him but it also breaks my heart that I can’t kiss him or be with him the way I want to be anymore. I’m pretty much destroyed over this and I needed to vent about it. Thank you if you read. 

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@NewButTrueHi, welcome here.  You're adding to someone else's old post, as did Lexy, so it may get confusing if both of you are writing and we're trying to respond.

Working together it's going to be in your face and doesn't allow you the space to heal like no contact would.  I hope you'll start looking for another job.  No contact not only allows you to heal but protects your feelings for each other. https://www.loveshack.org/forums/breaking-up-reconciliation-coping/second-chances/250552-reconciliation-list

I hope you understand that this has nothing to do with you, although it sure affects you!  It sounds like you have responded as wonderfully as one can.  BUT you need to do what is best for YOU and not just consider what's best for him.  That said, he has broken up with you.  You will need to move forward in accordance with that.

You have said you would not be able to be "just friends" with him, that it'd be too painful...that said, it'll be important for you to get another job and have a clean slate to start fresh with your life.  You deserve to have someone who is all in.

A certain number of grievers do not feel able to do a relationship at the same time they are grieving.  While grieving has a beginning point, it doesn't necessarily have an ending point.  We do gradually adjust to the fact of our loss, but continue loving/missing them so in that sense there is no ending.  We are all unique in our grief so there's not a set period of time in which he can be expected to be "over it" or "move on" from.  Not a year, not three years...

My dad died when I was 29, married, and expecting my first child.  To me it helped having my husband there to go through it with, he had developed a relationship with my dad and also missed him...I cannot imagine breaking up with him because my dad died.  But other people handle their grief differently.  Few break off with their married spouse, although I have heard of that happening.  I have wondered if the relationships broken off with over grief would have broken up eventually anyway, I don't know since that's not the scenario that happened.  I have had this happen to me with my fiance of a year.  It blindsided me, he didn't even give me the benefit of an in-person discussion...he sent me a note by Fed Ex, to my job no less!  To say it hurt is a huge understatement.  We had no contact for a few months and then resumed contact as friends.  He yanked me around emotionally, saying he loved me, then disappearing for a couple of weeks, until I realized he had not a clue about his mind's state, and I learned to let it all go in one ear and out the other, to give him the time/space to grieve.  We never could have made it as friends if I had not been willing to accept him as is in a friendship status, if one is secretly hoping for something more, it won't work because they would be trying to manipulate the other back into a relationship.  Nope, nada, can't work.  But it's been nine years and we're still friends, although he's busy with those that are more in his life now (we live 75 miles apart) AND his ex is living with him, not as a couple, but they're definitely "family", he took her in so she wouldn't be homeless.  He can say whatever he will but if he didn't want her there, she would not still be there.  I've accepted that she will (now) always be part of his life while I'm a "fringe friend."  When he had his CHF and was in the hospital it was me he wanted there with him his daughter said.  So I know it's strange and I know it's exceptional in this situation, but we've managed to work out as friends.  And Lord knows I wouldn't want it any other way.  I think what happened had to happen this way, it was for the best.  I could not see that at the time though, at the time it hurt like hades.

I hope you'll read through a number of these threads (I've read each and every post here) and you'll see a pattern.  Out of hundreds of such breakups, I remember only one that "made it" as a couple.  Keep that in mind...statistics speak a story, they don't lie.

I'm sorry you're going through this, not badmouthing him in the least, no one is at fault here, but you deserve someone who would go through thick and thin with you.  As do I.

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