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NC and stages of grief

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Hi all, it's my first time posting here. Just to tell you a bit of my story and would like to hear what you say about grieving stages.


My ex broke up with me after 2.5 years, 1 yr of which was LD because I had to move to another country. Towards the end it was hell for me since he kept emotionally withdrawing himself. Whenever I asked him to explain his behavior he always went like, "I don't know". And last year in December I said to him that if he would treat me coldly then I rather not visit him but he said he still wanted to see me. I went, and the second day when I was there he broke up with me! It hurt, but I held my head up high and kept myself busy by going out. During that time he decided that he wanted a break instead of a full blown break up. I accepted without a doubt and then went back to my country. There I suffered from depression while waiting for him to decide if he wanted to be with me. Couldn't help but called him again just to talk, and he said he didn't want to let me go ever again.... and THEN two months later he broke up with me again just days before when he was supposed to visit me.


It really hurts. I was angry, disappointed and hurt, needless to say. He said he still cared about me but he couldn't do the LD thing any longer and he needed time to figure himself out. I wanted closure by seeing him in person or even just on webcam, but he didn't let me have mine. I thought it was unfair since he had me to fly all the way there the break up with me and now I just want a little closure and he wouldn't let me.... Anyway, I thought, heck, I will just create my own closure so I started the NC after two e-mails just to let him know how much I had cared for him and I still wished him well and all that.


Few weeks later, got an e-mail from him asking how I was. I ignored him.


Two months later, another e-mail from him asking how I was and also told me how he was. Nothing too personal just work stuff. It took me a whole week before deciding if I wanted to break the NC and answer him. During that week I felt so stressed that I vomited twice over-thinking the situation. Eventually I decided to reply to him, and be civil and polite without being either warm or cold. Then he e-mailed back about how he wanted to move to somewhere else. I felt that, NOW you want to move, but I don't want to know where since you decided not to move to where I am now. So I stopped replying. That was the only time when the NC was broken but we didn't exchange anything personal at all in those e-mails.


Anyway, the 6 months of NC have done me good. My perspective has changed and I realized that he wasn't strong enough for me. I kept myself active and have accomplished a few things work-wise. I started to feel happy and content being on my own without having to deal with his immaturity.


HOWEVER, after 6 months of getting better, lately I have relapsed big time. Throughout these months, I never denied that I missed him. I employed Buddhist techniques and didn't try to fight it but only "observed" it. It seemed to work. It's just now that, perhaps triggered by some emotional situations in the family, I find myself missing him like no end now and it's really hurting. I cry so much now everyday (although have to admit that it's partly because of what's happening in the family... there's some major arguments) and it's still hard for me to accept that I have to be strangers permanently with someone who I had considered my best friend. I have no intention in contacting him though. It would only hurt more, but I feel somewhat hopeless about how I will progress. I have already done everything: NC, talk to friends, spend time with family, write things down in a diary, sports, work, etc. But it still seems like there's no end and I am sinking into a new low.


Any advices/stories to share about relapses before being fully healed?

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I couldn't get through all of your post, but here's my response to what I got from skimming.


6 months is apparently a crucial point in NC. Having heard that when I was at 3-4 months is helping me now. I'm at an absolute low, but plodding on (7 months 6 days) trusting that if I keep going things will get better.


It sounds as though you haven't broken the NC - so it's not a behavioral or attitude relapse, right?


I'd be interested in hearing more about the "6-month low" if anyone has further info on it. The woman from whom I heard it is really not a positive contact for me, so I don't want to ask where she got her information.


One thing is that I'm now being faced with issues I'd had before the relationship, that got shoved under in the stress of dealing with life with him. Family stuff came up very early in NC, and at that time, various arguments etc felt like milestones in that they were things I previously would have immediately called him about, and I didn't. If something came up now, I'd be even more a wreck than I am ... so I really feel for you on that point!

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No, I haven't broken the NC except for that one time when i replied to his e-mail since NOT replying to him did me emotional harm (see previous post). I have been proud of myself. I know I don't need him and I am contemplating a career move that would not be possible if we didn't end it.


It's just that when things were obviously getting so much better, I seem to be back to stage one. I've gone through a lot during the NC: adjusting to moving to a new city, going through a career change, being emotionally supportive of my mom (my father has been emotionally/physically violent recently), etc... now it seems like I've drained all my energy and my heart says how much I yearn to talk to him. It's so painful and sad that he's no longer there for me.


I just wonder if anyone know about the emotional cycles of grieving, especially the 6-month low that Abadabbadoo mentioned and other stages that I need to be aware of.

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Personally I'm at 3 months, and I'm definitely in a 'push-pull' stage where I cycle between remembering the good times, when we shared our most tender moments, and then remembering the lies and deceit at the end that just fill me with anger.


I'm guessing that after a couple months of this, at about the 6 month point, I'll be emotionally exhausted, and completely numbed. I would say that's the point you've reached now, where you're just plain tired and worn out.


Hopefully this is the low point in the healing process, and the last hill to conquer, before the memories really start to fade.


I think abadabbadoo is on this path, and I think you are too. Try to focus on any positives and squeeze out another 1-2 months of NC. I would bet that you'll start feeling better and better now that you're climbing out of this 'valley'.

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I am at the 6 month mark as well, and relate very much to your experience...The first month was really really difficult, but gradually I have began to heal and even make new fiends, go out, etc...and I think in the process found some acceptance and even gratitude that it ended.. Now however, I am also feeling so down about the loss- I am not sure if it is the loss of him, or the dream of 'us' (we were together 4 years). Difficulty getting out of bed, just feeling so down about it all. I guess one thing I have learned is that "this too shall pass", and that healing/grieving is not a linear process. Also, just because we miss them does not mean we have to act on it and make contact.. I think it will pass and this is just part of the process- at least I hope so...!


Hang in there!

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"Difficulty getting out of bed, just feeling so down about it all."

I hear ya. I am doing the same, which is funny since I'm always a can-do person.

Thanks for all your comments. Now at least I know I am not alone and my experience is probably fairly common. I'll let this experience transform me into someone that I've never been before....


Don't know if I'm the cruel one here, but even though I miss him terribly and still think of him fondly most of the time, I have made up my mind not to see him for the rest of my life. I don't need any "friendship" with anyone who reminds me of a broken relationship...


Thanks again!

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