July 13, 2012 at 8:53 pm #33659
Like so many other readers lately, I am writing because my boyfriend of 3 years and I just broke up. I am having so many mixed emotions about it and I’m still trying to process everything. The one immediate good thing that has come of this is that I’ve actually posted here on this site. I’ve seen so many members get strength and support from this community, and have regretted not immersing myself in it until now. I’ve been reading Wendy since the Frisky and had always meant to create a profile and make an intro post but always backed out before doing it. I probably tried to make one dozens of times but was hesitant for… I don’t know why. I was so disappointed when the introductions forum was deleted because I felt like I missed my chance. Leave it to me to be nervous to post anonymously on an advice website! Related to that, though, is part of the reason why this break up is so difficult for me. It’s always been really hard for me to make friends and to feel accepted by people; I have a constant fear of being judged and so it’s really hard for me to get to know anyone on anything other than a surface level friendship. I have one “best” friend and a handful of other friends that I talk to and hang out with rarely, but I’ve never been the type of person that has a host of friends to confide in or to hang out with on a regular basis. I’m in my mid-20s and have had a few long-ish term relationships, but they were never as “right” feeling as this one was. So, when I met my now-ex, I finally felt safe and right and complete. We’ve had our share of struggles and our communication skills weren’t always the best, but I really thought we were going to make it. He had been seeing a therapist for his own issues, and we began going together in March to try to improve our communication. Unfortunately, almost immediately after we began attending sessions together, a series of terrible things started happening. His dad passed away unexpectedly from a heart attack, and now just this week his 16 year old golden retriever passed away. It was so difficult for both of us to try to navigate our relationship issues while he was going through these awful things, and it finally hit the breaking point this week. He decided that he couldn’t work on the things he needed to work on, including getting over his dad’s death, and work on our relationship at the same time. I wasn’t shocked when he gave me the news today; in fact, I actually expected it based on our conversations this week. I know he has a lot on his plate and that he is struggling, and I have been trying so hard to help him but it wasn’t enough. I’m torn between worrying about him and what he’s going through and being devastated at my own loss in this relationship and coming to grips with the fact that he doesn’t see me as someone that can (try to) help him through this. I keep trying to remind myself of all the reasons that it’s for the best, that we had a lot of issues that maybe never would have gotten better, that it doesn’t matter how much I want this to work if he doesn’t want to be here any more… but it just sucks. I’m also embarrassed because we were supposed to talk tonight about this but he called me at work this afternoon to make a plan about where to meet to talk and when. I could tell by his voice that he was going to break up with me, and he confirmed it at that time. So basically, I was broken up with over the phone while I was at work and had to lock myself in my office for an hour until I composed myself and could leave for the day. My coworker and boss both tried to come check on me to make sure I was ok and I’m sure I caused a total scene by crying and asking them not to come in my office – probably not the wisest thing to do, but they knew why I was upset and the only thing I could think of at the moment is that I didn’t want them to see me crying hysterically. So basically, I’m so heartbroken over the end of my relationship and so embarrassed that I made a scene at work. More than anything, I’m terrified for my boyfriend … ex-boyfriend – ugh … because I know he is struggling so much and I am so worried that he isn’t going to be OK. He’s already been so knocked down over so many other things that aren’t as intense as losing a parent as suddenly as he did, and I am so worried that he is going to sink into his shell and not confront his demons and get through it. I don’t understand why he doesn’t want me to be a part of helping him, but I can’t make him let me help, and I can’t make him be in a relationship with me if he doesn’t want to be. I am just at a loss as to what to do and how to handle my worry about him. He hinted at wanting to be friends or at least friendly, but I definitely cannot handle that right now. The only thing I can see doing is separating myself completely from him – I can’t picture him being anything else but my boyfriend who I was supposed to spend the rest of my life with. At the same time, I just want him to be OK and I want to help him but I can’t. Sorry for this incredibly long essay, clearly my mind is rushing with thoughts and feelings since I haven’t stopped once while typing this. I don’t know if I’m asking for advice or just venting, but I appreciate having the venue to do so.July 13, 2012 at 9:05 pm #33660
Hi, Wassie. I’m really sorry you’re going through this. I’m highly unqualified for giving relationship advice, so question everything I say. … but, you mentioned “we had a lot of issues that maybe never would have gotten better” – maybe now you should focus on those things. Why your relationship was not going to work out, why this guy was not the right guy for you, because you want X, Y, and Z out of life and this guy was not able to give that to you. … Focus on that. Right, guys? Isn’t that what you focus on right now?July 13, 2012 at 9:20 pm #33661
First off I am so sorry that this is something you are going through, its always painful. But you have a lot to process since it’s so fresh, and it seems like you did everything you could like a good partner to try to make it work, but sometimes the other person realizes its not fair to you. Please don’t beat yourself up over it, ok? Mine just ended a few days ago too, and I felt the same about him as you did. It hurts, but you have to realize that it takes two people to make it work, and its not your fault. Don’t be afraid to lean on your support system, have a good cry if you need to, and just focus on healing yourself. *HUGS*July 13, 2012 at 10:44 pm #33664
Hi Wassie, nice to meet you. Sorry you´re going through this.
At this time I only want to comment on the issue of your ex losing his father – I lost both my parents while in a LDR and while it helped to have someone, people can and will deal with something like that alone. Don´t worry about your ex because of that. My ex wasn´t physically there (most of the time) and even emotionally I mostly dealt with it alone. It´s very difficult to handle, but your ex has to figure out things for himself first. He might want you back once he´s sorted everything out, but the thing is; Are you even open to the idea of eventually getting back together?
For now, I´d advise your to care about yourself first. You can´t help him, you can´t heal him, you can´t lighten his load. It´s also not your job anymore. Concentrate about getting back on your feet. He´ll be fine, eventually.
*hugs*July 14, 2012 at 2:46 am #33671
Hi Wassie. I’m glad you spoke up and sorry to hear what you’re going through. I went through a rough breakup 3 months ago so I completely understand. The support of the DW community really helped me get through it.
I agree with Cara and that’s exactly what I was thinking as I read your letter. I know you are concerned about your ex because you love him but this breakup was devastating for you as well. Take some time just for yourself and do everything and anything that could possibly make you happy. Be selfish. Take off your pants, drink the wine straight from the bottle, and watch all of your guilty pleasure TV shows. Eat an ice cream sundae for dinner. Start a new project or two, like redecorating your home or growing plants. This time needs to be about you and your healing. It’s not about him anymore.
It makes me angry that he broke up with you over the phone while you were at work. WTF?! Who does that? On the day my relationship ended, I had to call off work because I just couldn’t hold it together. That’s just a dick move and he could have negatively impacted your career by doing that to you.
Hang in there and come on here to talk whenever you need to! *hugs*July 14, 2012 at 2:49 am #33672
BTW…all of the things I listed are totally things I did during my recovery time! Obviously choose your own guilty/selfish pleasures but those things really helped me! My plants should be ready to dry out and smoke in about a month or so.July 14, 2012 at 11:20 am #33674
It’s a good thing you posted to DW, Wassie — had I been a more active member of these forums when I was going through my breakup from my first serious relationship at this time last year, I think I’d have handled the whole thing a LOT better; instead, I acted completely destructively (not to mention embarrassingly) because I felt so incredibly alone and so, SO incredibly hurt/rejected. So, YAY DW!
That said, I completely understand what you’re going through as my relationship ended similarly (stressful life events piling on top of a relationship that already had problems of its own led to a really sad, messy split). I agree with what everyone has said about how now is the time to focus on you and you alone, but with one caveat. Another poster mentioned something about entertaining the idea of getting back together once he has sorted through his issues, and I don’t think that’s something you should be thinking about now or for a very, VERY long time, if ever again. Maybe I’m projecting here, but that mindset really set me back in terms of healing when I was going through the same emotions last year. I kept trying to reach out to my ex in attempts to help him with his own life (awk-ward! embarrassing! DON’T DO IT!), and ultimately, it was a horrible choice. I think you need to focus on YOU, without entertaining ANY thoughts as to what your ex is doing, or how he is healing and dealing, in the hopes that you might get back together, because you’d be gypping yourself otherwise. It took me a long time to realize just how much I was setting myself up for prolonged heartache by trying to be the girl my ex (who CHOSE to end things with me, who CHOSE to fall out of love with me, etc.) could depend on even if we weren’t romantically involved anymore. It’s VERY hard to let go, I know, but I think it’s necessary and the only way you’ll ever be able to (one day) evaluate the relationship without seeing it through rose-colored lenses. Do what makes YOU happy, and don’t worry about him — he made the choice that he no longer wants your support, so let him deal with his issues alone.
Also, maybe this will help you (it really helped me): I had to get into the mindset of, “Do I really want to be with a guy who completely bails on the relationship when life gets too sad, or really stressful? If we got married, what would our relationship be like when something bad happens like one of us losing our jobs or financial troubles?” Maybe this was me being TOO negative, but life will ALWAYS have its incredibly, unfortunately sad, stressful, trying times. I realized that it’s important for me to find someone who wouldn’t just shrug, throw his arms up in the air, and choose to let the relationship die, even when life takes a hot, steaming crap on him.
Also, I agree with Anna that breaking up over the phone was a dick move. I got dumped on Facebook chat after over 2 years, and I thought it said a lot about my ex. (He did meet up with me the next day to talk a bit more, but he still dumped me on Facebook chat like a loser.)July 14, 2012 at 11:38 am #33675
Oh, and as far as the friendship thing goes — please don’t be his friend. Not now, not for a LONG time, maybe not ever. I’d hate to think that this guy is trying to have his cake and eat it to (your friendship/compassion, without any sort of meaningful relationship). I completely understand how weird it is to not be able to truly wrap your mind around the idea of having someone in your life as anything OTHER than “that guy I’m supposed to marry,” which I think is a big, fat sign that you canNOT have any sort of relationship, even just a friendly one, for now, even though I think one of the hardest parts of losing your relationship is losing your confidante/best friend/that person who you talk to all the time about everything and anything. Truth be told, a year later, that feeling of missing my ex hasn’t completely gone away, but it’s safe to say that I’ve reached a point where the only thing weirder than the idea of never speaking to my ex again (very likely) is the idea of actually having to speak to him again. Haha. So, just know, I think those feelings/your “emotional diarrhea” are normal.July 14, 2012 at 12:28 pm #33678
Thanks, everyone, for your messages of support. It’s been quite a 24 hours! I agree with everyone that I need to try to focus on myself, so I’m trying to do that now. I also know that, as a part of focusing on myself, I cannot and don’t want to be friends/friendly with him. I just can’t do it. He wanted to meet up last night to talk everything through and I just don’t have the energy for it – what’s done is done and discussing it over and over again isn’t going to change the situation. And I also know that he didn’t mean to break up with me over the phone, he had called to set up a time to talk that night, but I knew right away what he was going to say and it all just kind of came out at that time. I don’t think he thought through the ramifications of calling me at work and that I would immediately know what was up. I don’t think he did it purposefully. Luckily my boss and coworkers are awesome and understanding- we work in a really supportive environment and so while it was embarrassing, I don’t foresee it jeopardizing my job or having them think less of me.
Now I’m dreading when he has to come over to bring me my stuff and to collect his. I don’t know when that will be, but I feel like I would rather never see him again then to see him and have all these feelings come up again with him in front of me. At the same time all I want is a hug and for him to tell me it is going to be ok.
We haven’t seen each other since last weekend, he had taken this week to sit back after his dog died… meanwhile my own dog just wonders the house and looks out the windows and sits at the door crying; I guess she’s looking for him. I’ve never seen her act like this, every time I come home she greets me for a second but then sits on the arm of the couch where she usually waits to greet him, and he’s never there. It breaks my heart all over again each time. I just wish I could flash forward through this, having to tell people when they ask why he isn’t attending XYZ event with me, and overall just feeling so alone and lost.
Thanks again for all of the kind words.July 14, 2012 at 12:36 pm #33679
and copacabanut – I feel like you are reading my mind! That’s what I keep telling myself – I won’t be happy in a relationship with someone who crumbles whenever a setback (even if it is a huuuge setback like the loss of his dad) happens. A lot of our “other” issues that have been around since before all of this happened is that he doesn’t talk about his feelings at all. That is, until it blows up in a huge mess. So if I did something that hurt his feelings, made him mad or anything, he wouldn’t tell me and just let it build up until I would hear about 6 months of things that were bothering him that I never knew about! It was so hard to understand because I was so vocal with him about my feelings and fears and everything, good and bad, that was on my mind and he always put a positive spin on everything related to me, tried to make me see the bright side if I was discouraged, etc. I don’t understand how he can’t or won’t do that for himself.July 14, 2012 at 1:03 pm #33681
Glad to hear you’re being about as level-headed as can be when under so much emotional stress.
While every relationship has its breaking point (and some couples are just plain horrible matches for one another), I think there’s a lot to be said about someone who in a SERIOUS, basically-married-but-not-in-a-legally-binding-way relationship who throws in the towel over a stressful situation. My ex and I had seriously talked about marriage enough that I truly believed we were in it for the long haul, good times and bad, so I felt really betrayed when our relationship fell apart. I could not handle the fact that I had been so patient with him and made the choice to love and support him during the times that he needed love the most, and that he was unable to do so for me when I needed him the most. Absolutely heartbreaking. But, at the very least, you won’t have the same regrets that he may (or may not) end up with. You were willing to do what it would take to make the relationship work (or at least give it a fighting chance), so you can walk away with the clear conscience that knowing you did all you could provides.July 14, 2012 at 1:08 pm #33682
Also, sorry for projecting so much! I feel like it looks like I’m trying to take the attention off your breakup and focus on mine because I keep yapping so much about what happened to ME — but I saw a lot of similarities between your relationship’s end and my own (even though the things in my ex’s life that were straining our relationship weren’t even comparable to the death of a parent), so it struck a chord with me because I know how helpless you probably feel right now.July 14, 2012 at 1:12 pm #33683
Wassie – I’m normally like you in a break up. When I make up my mind to be over it I want to be over it and everyone around me to be over it too. I recommend telling a close personal friend about it so that they can sort of spread the word so you’re not telling 247 people individually. I hated after a break up the sad looks. I just wanted to move on and get on with my life. I kind of go into robot mode for a while. Which I’m not sure if that is healthy but it’s always how I deal with it and it seems to work. From a purely logical stand point. He didn’t want me so I am moving on. End of discussion.
I’m not going to lie I would be most upset about my dog too. This might be a good time to get both of you into a new routine. Like maybe everyday when you get home from work and she greets you just immediately put a leash on her and talk her and yourself on a walk. Then when you get home she will be happy because she’ll start associating that time of day with going on a walk. Dogs are creatures of habit which I’m sure is why she’s so bummed right now – so you just have to get her into a new habit. It’s a great time of year for that anyway. It will get both of you out of the habit of waiting for them. Plus being outside always makes me feel more positive in general. About the world around me, about myself, about where I’m headed. Plus you can get some endorphin’s while you’re at it.July 14, 2012 at 2:29 pm #33685
copacabanut – you may think you’re projecting, but it’s really helpful for me to hear that right now. I am truly grateful.
Thanks for all those other suggestions too. I will start taking the dog out as soon as I get home, get her on a new routine. One other question I guess– any tips for what to do when I want to contact him to yell/cry/beg him to change his mind? It runs through my mind every other minute. I would usually leave the house, go on a walk or bike or something, but I really don’t have the energy to do it today. I’m trying to fill my mind with other things but it isn’t really working out too well.July 14, 2012 at 5:09 pm #33689
My suggestion for not calling him is to go out with/call up a patient friend, or even just continue venting on this thread. Delete his number from anywhere you might have it stored. I, unfortunately, learned this the hard way because, as I mentioned, I tried super hard to be that wonderful ex-girlfriend in the hopes that he’d miss me, which made me NOT get over him, which made me that psycho ex who screamed at him a couple times months after-the-fact (though I have to admit as dumb as that was, I’m glad he heard some of the things I had to say). I’m essentially the poster child for how NOT to handle a breakup, so maybe everyone else will have better advice. It pretty much took me 6 months to realize that my ex was a terrible person for treating me the way he had for the last year of our relationship only to excuse it as a byproduct of his quarter-life crisis, and it was only then that I could finally stop trying to be his unhinged, emotionally unstable friend. I recommend NOT doing any of what I did. Haha. Maybe write out a list of all the things you won’t miss about him? I started doing that once it finally hit me how much I’d grown to resent my ex. I also started exercising and letting myself get really, REALLY emotional on the elliptical, which made for awesome, productive workouts but maybe caused heads to turn if they noticed I was welling up on the gym equipment. Haha. But, like I said, I wasn’t an active member of this community yet and my girlfriends weren’t the best at giving me support since the few I have nearby have never dated anyone let alone experience a bad breakup from a long, serious relationship. (OK, so I’m just trying to excuse my bad behavior when there is no excuse for it. Live and learn, I guess.)
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
by wassie84 on · in