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Break Up After 1 Year Of Ex-Boyfriend's Father's Passing

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Hi everyone,

I am new here and recently found this site doing a basic search. None of my family or friends have much to say about my situation or relate to me. I was surprised many people have gone through what I have been going through. I have read through most of the posts and I feel for all going through the same. I can't believe I am not alone.

My ex-boyfriend's father died last year. We were together until June of this year. I thought he was coping well with the death of his father as after his father died he continued to act normal and continue with his daily activities. He was 22 at the time of his father's death and his father died days before his college graduation. It was hard and I did everything I believe I could have done to be supportive. Months after his father's death he did start to change. We split in January of this year (my choice) as I felt he wasn't caring enough to me. I understand now that I was being selfish. We got back together for a short period and he eventually broke up with me. He said it wasn't that he didn't love me, but that he doesn't feel things anymore and that his father's death changed him. He feels that because of what he is going through that he can't be a good boyfriend and that he would be leading me on. I accepted this. I didn't go back to him. I felt like I was ready to move on. I knew right after his father's death that our relationship could not last, but I hoped it would. However he still wanted to be friends and I didn't. I was doing well. I started moving on...

And then he kept popping back into my life. He randomly shows up to my house saying he happened to be in the area with his laptop and asked to use my internet. This upset me as I didn't want him there and found this so odd. He never ever showed up unannounced at my place. Days later his mother comes over and eventually talked about her husband's death and how they have no family. We were together for about 6 years when his father died. My family is pretty much the closest they have to an extended family. But now I find it hard to deal with as we are no longer together. His mother hopes that we will eventually get back together.

After his mother's visit, I called him to tell him I am never looking back to the past and I wanted to move on from him. After the breakup he continued to call me. I told him never to contact me again or show up to my house. He was really upset at this. I couldn't understand why, as he broke up with my in the first place. Then his father's birthday came up in early August. His mother asked if we could come over to visit his parents house (which is 2 hours away from me) during that weekend but we didn't go. I had a change of heart and contacted my exboyfriend apologizing for cutting him off.

I understand I made so many mistakes and that I have been selfish and not understanding. I know I can't understand what he is going through. Here is what I would like advice for. I still have feelings for him and I think he has some for me. I am going through a stressful time as I feel like I am stuck. I was ready to move on at some point but I can't turn my back on the person I did love. I realize he is still going through the grieving process. Yet he doesn't want a relationship with me and I don't want to be just friends. It is hard. I want to be there for him if I am his girlfriend but I kind of don't if I am not. I don't want a friendship. What can I do for him? It hurts me hanging out with him, talking, and being his friend. Will being his friend help him and eventually want a relationship with me again? Or am I wasting my time? How can I be supportive, while taking care of my own emotions/well-being?

Thank you all


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I'm sorry you find yourself here in these circumstances. Please understand that it's not your fault and there's nothing you could have done to have prevented this. You weren't selfish, it is normal to need reciprocal love/caring, and he just wasn't in a place to give it anymore. Many of us have been through the same thing, the circumstances may vary a little in details, but the story line is the same. BF's parent died, relationship disintegrates/break up occurs. It does seem to change some people, I still don't get that, but it's like they don't have it in them to give any more, maybe it's depression, I don't know.

I would say you need a period of time, months, maybe even a year or two, to get fully over him before you can be friends. I just had a few months after my fiance broke up with me, without him in my life, before we reconnected as "just friends". Some can do it, some can't. But although we were engaged for a year, you and your XBF were together SIX YEARS! That is a very long time, you share a lot of history together, as his mother's behavior attests.

Personally, I would tell him that although I would love to be there for him, I can't at this time as I need ample time to get over him, without which I can't respect his wishes for being "just friends"...I'm not able to be there yet. I would talk to his mom and tell her that "we are split up now and as much as I care about both of you, I need the time and space to heal and their coming in and out of my life makes it difficult for me to do that." I would request that both of them respect YOUR wishes to be left alone to heal and if you ever feel you have healed and want to make contact just for friendship or old times' sake, then YOU can contact them. The thing is, by that time, all of you may have moved on by then so it may not work.

My XBF is now giving me mixed signals that confuse me and I find I just don't need that, I don't need his baggage, and he needs to go figure out him and I need to continue with my life as it is. What we had is over. And it's been two years Aug. 10th since he broke up with me. I still care about him, I still enjoy his company, but we are no longer an item. And you're right, sometimes it IS just plain old hard to be "just friends" after you've meant so much more to each other.

What it would take to make it after breaking up would be for them to acknowledge what they did to us, to recognize what we need, to build back trust so we could have faith in them not to dump us again, work on their issues, etc., and frankly, I don't see that happening. I have yet to receive a true apology, let alone requests to come back and restore what we had, and he certainly hasn't worked on whatever he's going through so I feel even a consideration of getting back together is a way moot point!


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Hi Kay,

Thank you for your post! I was hoping to hear from you as I have read your previous posts. As bad as I feel my about situation is I feel for you too.

I agree that it would take a lot of trust back if we were to get back together. I am experiencing the same as you with me ex as he is giving me mixed signals. He says he wants to meet up with me then cancels. Yes 6 years is a long time which is why I believed we could get through this. However after reading several stories, I agree with you that when there is a death of a parent, no matter what age the relationship degrades. It is so sad. If only there was a way to have eased the situation so it wouldn't have ended in a break up.


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Not everyone responds the same in a given situation and I think the stories we're reading here, while common enough, are more the exception than the rule. Most people do not push those closest away when they lose a parent, most value the support they have. My X is phlegmatic in personality and as such, always tries to go along with things and not voice himself rather than dealing with issues and confronting when need be. As a result, he stuffs things and I think he did lead me on and didn't speak his mind, I think he was too hasty when he asked me to marry him and then got cold feet and instead of telling me, went along with things until stress hit and he suddenly couldn't deal with everything.

Your BF was very long term though so his situation may be different. I just know I would have appreciated honesty. All of this revealed to me my X' character and I am glad I found out before marrying him because similar situations would have arisen and there would have been problems if this is how he deals with things.

I think the mixed messages I'm getting come from his missing me and realizing what he threw away, yet still having commitment phobia and not willing to give. There's a book called "Buyers, Renters, and Freeloaders" that describes him. I prefer to have someone who is mature enough to commit as much as me, or noone at all.

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