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Thread: Please help. Can we be together? When do I give up?

  1. #1
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    Please help. Can we be together? When do I give up?

    Hi all,

    Have read this forum a few times but first post, please go easy on me as I'm not doing great right now. I did try and post an advice request on reddit, but it wasn't helpful and was downright mean tbh.

    So, background:

    Met my now ex around a year ago through work. She had a boyfriend at the time but that was nearly over and it ended around a week after we met. Me and her hit it off straight away. We worked very closely in a job where we'd spend 65+ hours per week together for around 2 months and fell in love. We were both located in different parts of the country in school time due to being at different universities. Originally neither of us wanted long distance but we decided it was worth it to try. Things were great for a while, we'd see each other every weekend, and I fell in love with her hard. I told her I loved her before we were officially together, it hit me like a bus. I knew she was special, and we connected like we'd known each other a life time, it was that kind of situation. Fast forward a couple of months and I unfortunately get hit by a severe bout of depression. It changed who I was. My motivation lacked, I was irritable, and not that great to be around sometimes. I still made effort for her because she was just about the one thing I still felt love for going through that, but it took its toll on our relationship. We ended up having a nasty argument where I said some very regrettable things. It was totally out of character and I regret it and feel guilty about that argument to this day. I was blackout drunk, which I know is no excuse, and still not mentally healthy. That was a real wake up call for me. We ended up breaking up and it slumped me further into depression for a while, but then I really woke up and realised this was not okay. Now, I've had a tough time in the past too, and have always been very closed off, even with those closest to me, as a kind of defence mechanism I guess. I hated talking to anyone about my feelings or what I had going on, and had become so accustomed to putting on a strong face, it was second nature. That habit took a lot to break.

    I ended up going to see a doctor a number of times and wasn't too helpful, and so decided to arrange some counselling for myself through a charity. That really helped, and alongside that I did a LOT of research into getting out of depression and what I could do to help myself: mindfulness, apps, read books etc. I really took a step back and looked at what it had done to me, and decided enough was enough. I did get to a point where I felt a lot better, and was doing a lot better. All throughout this time, although broken up, I was in frequent contact with my ex. She had seen the change I made from a closed off to an open person, able to discuss things with her that were very private and that for years I would have kept wrapped up, and she saw me coming out of the depression. Around that time she had her own issues. She fell out with her group of friends and was subsequently shunned, bullied, and intimidated by some of the more horrible ones who started to show their true colours. I hated the effect it was having on her, and I love her, so naturally, I was there for her, even when broken up I would drop everything to go and see her to be there for her. She has struggled with anxiety and panic attacks, and the situation made it worse. All the time I would apologise profusely for my previous actions, and took full responsibility for hurting her and not being the boyfriend she deserved.

    Eventually, we started spending more and more time together, and we were as happy as we were in the early days, before my poor mental health took over and before I behaved like a less than best version of myself. She thanked me for fighting for our relationship and not giving up, and the way she looked at me was just like how it was before. It felt incredible. We were together, and happily. I swear seeing her look at me that way makes my heart grow 10 fold. Everything was going great. We did a trip abroad together, we started talking about the future again, we'd lie in bed and tell each other how much we loved each other for hours (sorry for soppy factor, just trying to paint the picture that this wasn't an all bad relationship), and it was amazing. Our love was growing each day.

    Since I came out of depression, I have what I call "residual anxiety". It kind of lingers on, keeps me up at night etc. Anyway, I had exams coming up which is a stressful time, and this residual anxiety got worse. It started playing tricks on me, and I would need reassurance from my girlfriend. We weren't able to see each other over this time and I really felt I needed her - I still maintain that she could have found a way to be there for me, but it seems less important now I've potentially lost her for good. The final cherry was me noticing she'd been interacting with her ex on social media (stupid, I know), but as they were together when we met it's always been an insecurity of mine, my anxiety hit the roof, and I didn't handle it well. I wasn't abusive, nor did I accuse her of anything, I just overreacted when I should have let go; how I wish I did. The anxiety over losing her, is what led to my behaviour that caused me to lose her, and it's a horrible self fulfilling prophecy.

    A few days later, after I sat my exams (one of which I failed because I couldn't concentrate on anything but the breakup), I arranged to go and see her to swap stuff and all of that. She asked me to come a day early as she was on her period and needed a "cuddle" - she's very tactile, loves to be close to me etc, and so I thought, good sign? Of course, I dropped everything, packed a bag of pain relief, heat pads, pamper stuff and chocolate and off I went to see her. I ended up staying a WEEK. The whole time we acted like we were a couple. Anyone seeing how we were would assume we were together. I cooked for her, cleaned, made her drinks, got her food etc because she was ill. In return, I got to be close to her, and she would act like she was my girlfriend still. I thought things were going great, and I asked her at the end of the week what this means for us, she said it's still over. I broke down, there and then, in front of her. It was uncontrollable, I wish I didn't, but tears, the lot. She comforted me and cuddled me through it. She said she'd think about it over the weekend and let me know, she didn't let me know. We stayed in contact but no mention of our relationship. On Friday, she got her dream job. A job that over the week I spent with her (whilst broken up), I greatly helped her prepare for etc. I was happy for her and asked if she wanted to do something to celebrate, and she said she'll let me know if she was free. It was Father's Day and her friend's birthday so that didn't happen, which is a shame.

    I messaged her and said I assume because she said nothing she wanted it to be over still. We had somewhat of an argument over it but nothing heated or nasty. She then said she's too scared to try again, she doesn't want to be in the cycle of breaking up and getting back together, doesn't think it will work, and doesn't want to try anymore. She also said she doesn't love me as much now, because she would have been willing to try before, but now she's not. My heart is absolutely broken. She was my girlfriend and my BEST friend. I've never been able to be so open and honest with someone, and the connection we share feels so special. It kills me getting the flashback memories of the way she looked at me, and how much she'd say she loved me, I feel like I've messed it up and lost the best thing that's ever happened to me. I really did see myself spending the rest of my days with her, marriage, a family etc. I feel so lost and I don't know what to do. I know we're both still young, but this doesn't feel right, it feels horrible. I've only felt pain like this before with a bereavement, and I'd do absolutely anything to have another chance.

    I really feel in my heart that I've got more to give, and I don't want to stop fighting for our relationship yet, our love is true. Please don't tell me to just move on - I can't see myself doing that now or anytime soon. If you are going to suggest moving on, please tell me how I can try. I want to know if anyone thinks there's anything I can do to salvage this relationship whilst she still loves me and have the love of my life and the most important girl back in my arms? I know it might be a tricky road, but I'm willing to try. It's worth mentioning no contact is not really an option. Next week we start the very same job where we fell in love again, for 2 months, together. We'll be back at the same places where we got to know each other and fell for each other, and I fear about how it will affect me having now lost that special love.

    What can I do to get my love back? And how long can I try before I know I have to give up?

    I'm really thankful for any responses, but again, please do be kind - I'm hurting enough as it is right now. Thank you :)

    TLDR: broken up with by my girlfriend/bestfriend, what can I do to get another chance, and how long do I keep on trying?

  2. #2
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    She gave you two chances. Both times you allowed your emotional instability to sabotage the relationship.

    If you learned so much in therapy, why weren't you able to apply what you learned during the second go round?

    Anyway, the way you move on is to choose to. Relationships are voluntary and currently she has decided not to volunteer for a third round. You accept she's an intelligent human capable of making her own decisions and accept that how she feels is not "wrong" even if you feel differently.

    Then work on getting a really good handle on your depression and anxiety. People don't exist to fix our emotional issues; we have to learn how to deal with them ourselves. We have to self soothe and not rely on someone who loves us.

    Give her the opportunity to miss you. Maybe if you give her space she will want to reconnect. Or maybe not. But live your life as though she isn't coming back. You may end up surprised at what the universe decides to send your way.

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    Thanks for the response, I appreciate it. You're right, I did let it get the better of me twice. I guess I wrongly expected her to be a little more willing to let the second time around go, as it's something she's experienced herself and something I have supported her through, as well as the fact that although I didn't handle it the best, it was miles apart from how I would have handled it months ago.

    I agree that no-one exists to fix our issues, this is something I have and am working on myself, it is nice however, to have that support network. It's hard to give space when she doesn't seem to want it, keeps reaching out, acts like we're together when we are physically together etc. And then there's the issue of us working closely together over the next 2 months. How do you suggest I go about that?

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    She can't miss you if you're always there. She doesn't need to actually be in a relationship with you in order to have all the benefits, does she? So why would she ever need to reconcile with you?

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  6. #5
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    I don't want to burst your bubble, but I can't help but feel that, somewhere in here, there is a gap between who she actually is and who you want to get back together with.

    When she was down you were happy to be her nurse, but when you were down she wasn't there as you needed. Sure, from what you've written I'd say that getting your mental health sturdier is the critical lesson of this experience, and really the only thing you should be putting energy into fixing right now, because the skill of self-reassurance is an important one to have. Like the most important—for the stress of school, of work, of love, of life. Without our own inner anchor we look to others to anchor us—and that, generally, is a time bomb waiting to go off, as you've learned. Twice.

    But it doesn't really sound like she was there for you the way you were there for her. Sounds like she was chatting with her ex on social media. Then she wants you as a cuddle nurse again after ending things? Not the cutest look. My mental health is pretty dang in check, but that would throw me around a bit.

    I don't mean all that to tear her apart. Hardly. I'm sure she's fantastic, and that you guys shared something special. Sucks when a void replaces all that, big time. Hugs. But I'm not sure she's got the juice you really want—and it might be worth allowing yourself to explore that a bit. Just as you have shown her that your mental wiring can get frayed fast, she has shown you that her approach to conflict is to kind implode, get distant, then ask for cuddles when the smoke clears a bit. Special moments alone do not a sustainable relationship make.

    If I were to get super shrinky here I'd pose the question of how much being in a relationship with her affected your mental health as opposed to how much your mental health affected your relationship with her. From these seats, it doesn't seem so cut and dry.

  7. #6
    Platinum Member reinventmyself's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by uzbyz9
    \
    I agree that no-one exists to fix our issues, this is something I have and am working on myself, it is nice however, to have that support network. It's hard to give space when she doesn't seem to want it, keeps reaching out, acts like we're together when we are physically together etc. And then there's the issue of us working closely together over the next 2 months. How do you suggest I go about that?
    You seem like a nice guy and she uses you for company and comfort, all the while she doesn't want the same relationship you do. I personally think it's rather selfish on her part because it gives you a mixed message and false hope.

    Next time she reaches out and wants to cuddle, tell her you are not able to continue on and essentially be demoted to her friend. You need space and distance to get your balance back.

    About working together? sheees, that's tough one, especially considering the timing. This will require you to have some great resolve. Can you do it?

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    Thank you for replying, really appreciated. I can't help but agree with you on the gap point. There have been times where she has given me so much love, and a lot of good, as I have her, and that's what I'm holding on to. The problem is I can still rationalise that at this point because I've seen it go and come back before. It's like 2 sides to the same girl. She's still a great person, but one of those sides means the end of the relationship. It's hard to let go after being in a cycle of break up/make up.

    There was a time when she would have been there for me how I have been for her, but cycling through loving me completely and loving me with reservation and holding back means this time it didn't happen, as my time of need didn't line up with her complete love phase. I have already considered these things, quite extensively. But I always end up back with wanting her back, and putting it down to nobody's perfect, put she's pretty damn close. That coupled with the way we always end up back together makes this situation hard.

    The question you pose is an interesting one. Again, something I've considered. It's hard to answer from my pov, maybe with time I will have the answer. I can see it from both sides, it's a chicken and egg scenario I guess.

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    Thank you for your reply and advice. I agree that on her part it is selfish. I brought this up to her after I spent a week nursing her, spending money on her, and pretty much doing whatever the hell she wanted me to, she cried and seemed appalled that I'd accuse her of such a thing. That confused me more. I hate to look back and feel like a doormat, it's shameful, but I couldn't predict what was coming based on her actions, and it would be justified if she were my girlfriend, which with her, acting how she did, didn't seem a million miles away.

    I'd like to think I'm a decent guy. I've got my flaws but who hasn't. I fear with space and distance she will move on, natural though right? It's hard to let go, and the thought of her moving on doesn't sit well obviously. I also have a tendency to take a mile when given an inch, but I'm not entirely at fault. She will give me breadcrumbs and lead me on, which only further spurs me to want to make it work and give her my time and effort. I know I shouldn't unless she's for real, but we've always gotten back together before and I don't want to miss my chance on the off chance she is genuinely wanting that again.

    In terms of working, I don't know if I can do it, specifically how I can do it. Being in those places where we met, our anniversary we will be together, spending it in the place we got together etc. But I need the money, I'm a student. And I love this job. It was my job first, I've been involved in the cause for years, and I was so looking forward to the summer after the rough year I've had, and to spend it with her in the same places we met. It sucks. But, I've lost my girlfriend, my best friend, failed an exam, am I really going to give up the job I look forward to every year and love too? It's a tough call. I've got about 2 days to decide.
    Last edited by uzbyz9; 06-17-2019 at 09:32 PM. Reason: forgotten info

  10. #9
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Focus on your health and particularly mental health and well being. Get a complete check up from a physician to rule out and/or address any physical/neurochemical issues that may be treatable with appropriate medication. Ask for a referral to a licensed qualified therapist for ongoing supportive care. Seek out local support groups for anxiety etc. This is not the time to be in an unhealthy on/off conflicted relationship. This is the time to reflect and find peace in your life before you pull someone else into it.

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    Thanks for all the replies. To those suggesting I access help to improve the quality of my mental health, I am doing that and have been for some time. I was originally someone who would brush it off but now have learnt the importance of getting help for those issues. I'm doing much better currently. Apart from the breakup, naturally. The thought of spending so much time with her for the next couple of months is very hard, knowing that she may never come back. Of course I don't want to force her to, but I hold the hope that she'd want to. I know that I'm young, but I truly have never come across a person like her before, the connection that exists/ed is really quite unique, and I'm really regretting how things have panned out. If only I could turn back time.

    As an update, we've spoken pretty much all day today, about life in general, work coming up etc. It was quite high quality, but I did mess up a little and try and instigate a meeting which made her shut down a little. Then she got a little angry with me about a situation that unfolded post break up, and tried to create some drama. I apologised for my part in making her feel upset, (I always take responsibility but in this case I didn't actually do anything wrong) and diffused the drama with a bit of humour and a level head. Again, her wanting to keep in contact seems strange to me, seeming really open and then suddenly closed off, she often blows hot and cold, and then bringing up old drama which really didn't need to be discussed? Why would a dumper act in this way? I want her back and love her so much, that at this stage it was hard for me to try and end that argument because at least it was some kind of contact.

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