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Can't see a way through this - need help!


Beardy

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Hi all... was with my girl for the last 5 1/2 years. It's never been completely easy, mainly because of external factors and the turbulent lives we've had. In March, I had to go overseas for two months for a research project. I was stuck in the middle of nowhere and with no communication except maybe twice a month I could walk 4 hours through the bush to use a phone that didn't always work.

 

Whilst I was out there, she sent me the most amazing letters, full of love and anticipation of my return. I was so excited to be coming home to her too. Then I land at the airport and she is there and almost immediately tells me it's over... because she "loves me, but is not in love with me anymore". SHe says she woke up one morning a few weeks ago with a certainty that things wont work out. She's from a broken home and I think she has major security issues and is looking for a type of certainty I think only very few people experience.

 

This hurts so much. We've spoken about kids and marriage and our whole lives have been built round eachother and eachother's families. I didn't handle it well at first, drank a lot, begged, cried, turned the rejection into anger, but calmed down after a few days and decided not to contact her and give her space.

 

But tomorrow I have to go get my belongings from our flat and she insists on being there to witness "the end of an era", as she put it. She seems so sure, but assures me she meant everything she wrote in the letters, something just clicked inside her. How do people's feelings change so quickly and drastically?

 

Can I hope? Do I initiate NC after tomorrow? Do I ask for one more chance tomorrow? Or is space for her the only way through this? I've changed a lot in the 5 1/2 years, and not neccessarily for the better. But my time overseas helped me put this relationship into context I knew we could make things better when I got back - not that it was that bad anyway!

 

The most important thing to me is have her back. The second most important is not to have any regrets about my conduct tomorrow, so please advise.

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Hmm shes not in love but loves you... There is no love in that statement at all. I Would recommend you get your stuff...leave quietly and cut her off . Let her think about it. If shes meant to come back she will. Otherwise please dont be upset because she may have someone lined up...

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I agree. Get your stuff and leave without giving her a chance to romanticize it into being 'the end of an era', thus belittling your grief. Dont give her any mileage to sentimentalize. She wanted to break up, so that's it, nothing to stay around for. Definitely don't try or hope for another chance. Take her at her word, or she will mess with your head. Don't fall for 'staying friends' either. I hope you get through it the best you can. all the best

offplanet

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I'm not sure asking for more chances or crowding her is the answer here. Hope is a funny thing. Exactly what are you hoping for? That she made a rash decision and now regrets it? That you can convince her you've changed and things will be different going forward?

 

I've been down this road many times. I know this hurts, but the truth often does. When couples break up as a result of a fight where emotions are often out of control, that's a rash decision. If someone has sat down and calmly thought through things, that's not a rash decision. If anything, it's become a rational decision, where they've put aside their emotions and feelings to assess the relationship. The harsh reality is that it's over when things get to that point.

 

I asked myself the same question when I was in your shoes. How did things change so quickly? How is it that we were making love one week and then not even talking to each other the next? It made absolutely no sense or so I thought. I knew the answer, but I was just too afraid to admit it. Her feelings about the relationship were never as intense as mine. Things didn't change quickly at all. The signs were there all along, but I simply refused to acknowledge them.

 

Every situation is different. Perhaps, I'm just jaded due to my own personal experiences. I just don't think anyone should need to convince their partners of anything. I did that for almost 3 years, and it was exhausting. People should feel right about being in a relationship. They should want to be in the relationship, because they cherish it. When it becomes a chore, and the burden is placed on one side to argue for it, it's just not sustainable. Eventually, you'll be consumed with distrust (is she going to call it quits again), anger (how can she not see all the sacrifices I'm making), and resentment (why do I have to do all the work).

 

You have some tough choices to make for your visit. Sadly, I think you'll wind up with some regret no matter what you do. You'll either regret having given up too easily or opening yourself up too much and being rejected further. Only you know what you'll be comfortable with. My only advice is don't do anything with the hope of changing her mind with words. It's out of your hands at this point. You have to let her feel her way through this. Good luck.

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'External factors' and 'turbulent lives'. You mentioned that she needs stability. It seems she really HAS thought this through and sees that your lives are not compataible with such stability.

 

Did you ever talk this through?

 

Is there any part of the external factors and/or turbulence that you can change or would want to?

 

If not, you have to accept her decision.

 

If so, you will still need to discuss this really thoroughly and carefully with her if there is any chance of moving on.

 

I have to say I'm sorry but it appears unlikely she will respond positively so prepared yourself and take care.

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Well, she's going to be here in 20 minutes so I can collect my stuff. I wish I could say I've abandoned hope, but at the very least I know breaking ties after today is the only way anything good is going to come out of what she has decided - whether that's her realising she's made a mistake and us working things out, or me simply being able to move on with my life.

 

I'm scared.

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It went as well as it could have done really. I went in being as indifferent but as polite as possible, choosing only to steer conversation around idle gossip and small talk about what we'd been up to.

 

Unfortunately, this seemed to anger her. She didn't like that I wasn't appearing more upset and moved the conversation onto the whys and wherefores of why we were breaking up. Thankfully, this has given me some form of closure. I didn't break down and beg, but I made it clear that I felt we had both failed eachother and what could have been a great relationship. I made it clear that I was happy this was happening now.

 

I've got my stuff back. Asked her politely to consider my feelings before attempting to contact me and that it was probably best for her to wait for me to be ready for friendship and initiate contact rather than the other way round.

 

We hugged, said no hard feelings and she drove off.

 

I'm devastated things got to this stage, but know the relationship had nowhere else to go. I can't help hoping that we'll end up together eventually, but at least I feel more able (not completely) to cope with reality.

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Great job!! Be proud of yourself. I think it always upsets us to see the other person "not being upset" even if you're the dumpER...

It makes no sense but that's the way it is and good for you for saying it was the right thing and you'll get in touch when you're ready!

Well done, man!!

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Good for you. If there was a textbook case on how to handle a situation like this, I think this is it. You said what you had to say, not because you wanted to hurt her or start a big fight. You simply wanted her to know how you feel and where things stood. I think this is a first step in you controlling your emotions rather than the other way around.

 

Stay strong. The next few weeks may be tough. If she was upset at you for not being upset enough, something tells me she may not be done with you yet. I wouldn't be surprised if she doesn't exactly respect your request for NC. For some, relationships are about control. She breaking up with you is her exercising the control she has over you. When you don't play along by begging for her to consider, you take away that control. When you walk away and cut off contact, her grip on that control is loosened even further.

 

I really like your comment: "..., but know the relationship had nowhere else to go." I only wish I had the clarity you have. Please keep us posted on how things go.

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wow beardy! you have no idea how much i wish i had done what you had done in my situation! Thats pretty much exactly how you should have acted and exactly what you should have said!

 

her lasting memory of you is one of a man with his dignity and poise still intact... exactly what her memory needs to possibly nurture reconciliation and exactly what you need to move on! Bravo dude... im jealous!

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Cheers guys. You're making me feel pretty good about myself! Couldn't have done it without the advice and empathy on this forum.

 

Right... now I have to stop picturing her with other men (self-defeating jealousy), stop hoping she's going to beg to have me back (self-defeating false hope) and stop drinking (yesterday was the first day in two weeks since the break up that I managed to stay sober - a reflection of the closure of the previous day perhaps?).

 

Six months of pain and anxiety is likely, but I can honestly say it's a fair trade for the good times I had with that woman over 5 1/2 years. Better to have loved and lost and all that...

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That's EXACTLY it Beardy! I always said to my ex that even if we split up tomorrow that I would always value the time we spent up until that point. Wow is that hard to live up to when it happens. But if you can do it you come away a whole lot healthier - well done

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thought I'd give a fortnightly update for those interested and to help me vent a bit!

 

Two weeks since any communication. She still has my car - I said she could use it until she sorts out one for herself. I don't need it at the moment, but will within a few weeks. I hope she gets her act together quickly so I'm not the one who has to initiate contact and nag her about it. Bit like a Sword of Damacles hanging over the whole break up.

 

I still miss her terribly, but this NC, throwing yourself into work, exercise and partying is super helpful. It hurts tremendously to think of her making a new life without me, even though I'm making a life without her - why is that?

 

Truthfully, I still cannot picture a more wonderful woman and I feel such a loser that she doesn't feel the same way about me anymore (if she ever did).

 

BUT, to all those at the forefront of a break up right now, even in just two weeks the pain (though still raw and terrible) is less and I'm beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel, I just know she wont be there waiting for me!

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Hey Beardy

 

Stay strong man! You're doing really well and remember the (very valid) reasons for you breaking up in the first place. She is not the right person for your future and vice versa. A 'more wonderful' woman is out there and will treat you with respect, kindness, caring and love.

 

The car - leave it up to her - she will be in touch, at what point you will be stronger, more dignified, accept the keys and wish her all the best for the future - no hugs, no kisses, just walk away.

 

Well done and take care x

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