“My Niece Is Hurting”

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  • This topic has 13 replies, 4 voices, and was last updated 10 months ago by SM.
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    July 13, 2023 at 5:41 am #1123730

    From a LW:

    “I am an aunt to a niece who has been dating an Army solider stationed in El Paso Texas. She attends NMSU in Las Cruces. They have been together 7 months and have been inseparable and share common interests in everything they do. He was told he and other Soliders are being deployed overseas. And that day is today and yesterday before she was to see him. He told her he wants to break up and does not want her making no contact with him. This meaning NO phone calls, snapchat or FaceTime. She is devastated and with no explanation she is lost and confused. And all I hear is the crying in her voice. As an aunt i don’t pry in her relationship but she has always confided in me for advice. But this one I’m speechless about what just happened. Can you explain to me how his way of thinking is. Or is it done between them. Hopefully your advice will give me a better understanding to explain or talk to her about how to handle it. Concerned Aunt. “

    July 13, 2023 at 7:52 am #1123735

    He is a jerk? You don’t have to try and figure out why he’s doing this. This is not at all uncommon for army boys. I say that with a long line of admirable men in the forces, but a lot of young men will say whatever they need to to have a gf experience and comfort before they get shipped to the next area, next woman.

    She hasn’t known him very long, and has invested way too much of herself with him. How does someone become inseparable if they are in college and their bf isn’t? Where are her friends in this? Does she have them?

    You should encourage her to focus on her and her needs and wants and focus more on her life instead of getting so sidetracked by a guy who clearly didn’t share the same feelings. She should also have counseling available at school that would be really good for her.

    July 13, 2023 at 2:34 pm #1123739

    I’m not convinced he actually is a jerk from the little conveyed by OP. He has everything to gain and nothing to lose by going long distance. If he wants to date other women while he is overseas and is really as awful a soldier-type as Anonymous suggests he is, then he would keep Lw’s niece on the hook as a backup plan and just go ahead and date other women without telling her. It sounds like he would feel too guilty doing that, although contact with her almost certainly would be a comfort. He may be trying to do the kind thing by setting her free. Now is a better time for that than after he meets another woman. She has most of the summer to recover from the breakup and thrive in the social and academic scene of her university. She will evolve at university. She shouldn’t spend her college years pining for some guy overseas, who has no idea where his military career will send him. He may know that he isn’t good at long-distance relationships. Most people aren’t.

    July 14, 2023 at 4:19 am #1123740

    Another interpretation is that he’s become involved with someone else and can’t afford to have anyone FaceTiming or calling him. So ok, my HS bf joined the Air Force and was in Texas for basic and tech school. He was in dorms. At that time, he could have been dating other girls for all I knew, right? He could have gotten involved with a college student closer to him. But meanwhile he proposed to me and when he got stationed in Italy I was going to join him. Once we married, he could get off-base apartment housing. It could totally be something like this where the guy was cheating on a back-home gf or wife who’ll be joining him overseas. To my knowledge my ex was not doing anything like this, I’m just saying it tracks. Ron’s got the best possible interpretation that the guy was trying to be kind, but people who break up abruptly and say do not ever contact me are often trying to compartmentalize with another relationship.

    July 14, 2023 at 4:45 am #1123741

    Think about it though… I’m bad with geography but aren’t TX and NM not the same state and so your niece and this guy were using a lot of FaceTime and such. And that was okay when he was located in Texas but not when he’ll be located somewhere else, the most obvious explanation is someone is going to be with him.

    Ron’s explanation isn’t impossible but context matters. Did he do the breakup very kindly and say it’s best for both of us if we go no contact to avoid hurting each other? Is he a kind and considerate guy? Did this not come completely out of the blue?

    July 14, 2023 at 8:28 am #1123742

    Hey Ron, I didn’t say he was an awful army man.
    He broke up with no explanation after 7 months and won’t talk to her. I think we can say that’s jerkish behavior.

    I don’t know if you’ve ever been a young woman, but many of us dated army men, and we’ve read about 100 letters like this over the years. Men in the army are taught not to consider/carry baggage and emotional ties, yet they still pursue serious relationships with women. I always advise against it. I’m not some evil person labeling everyone. I’m trying to be helpful.

    This is her aunt writing in for advice. For them, I think it is easier to label this guy who broke up and wants zero contact with no explanation as a jerk for her to move on the quickest.


    July 14, 2023 at 8:50 am #1123745

    This story is not uncommon. Let’s give this young man the most positive benefit of the doubt spin possible: He’s cutting ties as a means of self-preservation. LDRs are hard and they’re really hard when you’re several time zones apart. And the worst possible option is that someone else is already lined up. Or worse still, she was unknowingly a side chick and he is putting a hard line down because he’s not deploying, his main person is either returning from deployment or he’s worried about getting found out.

    You’re a good Aunt but you have to encourage her to take a little time to grieve the relationship but move on. It’s over.

    July 14, 2023 at 9:09 am #1123746

    I agree for LisforLeslie. Does his reasoning really matter? We can guess. The LW can guess. The fact is, it’s over and he wants to cut contact. You don’t always get a clear reason of why someone wants to break up. Of course it hurts. Of course it feels like your world is ending, especially when you’re so young. The best thing to do is to be there for her. Listen. Support her. You can’t really fix it.

    I wouldn’t try to explain his reasoning to her because the fact is, we don’t know. If you go the nuclear option, a couple of things could happen. She could be super resentful and hate him. Fine. That might help her get over him faster. BUT… it could also make her weary of future relationships and have a hard time trusting people.

    I’m not a fan of stoking the fire, unless someone truly is an asshole, abusive, cheater, harmful, etc.

    Sometimes people do things that we don’t understand or like. We have to accept it and move on. We can’t control others actions. That’s probably the best lesson here.

    July 14, 2023 at 9:12 am #1123747

    I’ll amend my statement to say, sure, call him a jerk!! What he did was a jerky thing to do. But I still advise not trying to come up with an exact reason of “why”. Like, I wouldn’t suggest he was cheating. Or all that stuff. But yes, he handled it badly and that’s totally ok to vent about and call him an asshole!!

    July 14, 2023 at 9:58 am #1123748

    Agree that there’s no point in trying to figure out the reasons. This is a great time for some life lessons. 1. People are always the hero of their story. It’s great to believe and trust someone, but if their words and deeds don’t match up… that’s pretty sus. And if they claim that all their ex’s are crazy or all of their bosses are assholes – there’s only one common factor. 2. No one has ESP. So if someone needs you to know something, they have to use their words (and deeds) to communicate. 3. Sometimes it’s better to not know and just figure out how to let it go. What, if any, information is going to make your niece feel better about the situation? If the worst reasons are confirmed, is she going to feel better about being duped? If it’s just that he wants to deploy unencumbered, is that going to make her feel better? Sometimes the answer to “why” is worse.

    July 14, 2023 at 10:26 am #1123751

    I’m not saying tell your niece her bf is probably engaged to someone else. I’m just telling you that’s a likely scenario.

    She just needs to know that military is a tough life, this guy has decided it’s over for whatever reasons, and she should respect his request to cut contact.

    Take her shopping!

    July 14, 2023 at 12:41 pm #1123780

    Yes! Doing something fun with your niece would go a long way if you’re able. Plus, anytime I’ve experienced a break up, I liked to keep myself busy and surround myself with people I enjoy spending time with. Showing her how to handle the heartbreak would probably be super helpful. Like, “this is what worked for me” kind of thing.

    So for me, it was anything that wouldn’t let my mind wander for too long. Talking to friends. Venting. Being around people. Reading a suspense book. It may look different for someone else, but figuring out coping mechanisms will definitely help.

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“My Niece Is Hurting”

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