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a bittersweet breakup story

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I'm being lurking in this forum recently and have read some inspirational stories, and feeling that I am not alone I would like to share mine.


Background :

I am 38, and my ex (33) of 6 months broke up with me about a month ago, in an emotionally harrowing scene. It's been a month since I last saw her. I was in the middle of a series of incredibly stressful job interviews when she broke up with me -- the breakup was not planned as things just spiraled our of control in an argument. So I was totally numbed when it happened and put it out of my head to finish my interviews (I got a great job at the end But by that time, she has already defriended me on FB, and implemented NC. So finally able to deal with this, I went to her apartment, but she would not let me in explaining that emotions are still charged. I stood out there in the rain for hours, but eventually a bulb light up in my head, and I walked home realizing that I was stalking her, and started to pick up the pieces of my life.


A week later, I got a written letter and card of apology of her, explaining her reasons for breakup (that she could not deal with her emotional issues with intimacy -- it was with me that she realized that and she entered therapy to try to make our relationship work), and saying that she didn't intend to breakup with my that night but felt she couldn't provide me with what I needed (i.e. emotional intimacy). She said her feelings for me were genuine (I don't doubt her sincerity one bit as our relationship has full open communication), but she wanted our relationship to work so badly that she ignored her emotions that was overwhelming her. She said she couldn't see me "anytime soon" because the emotions are too charged.


While we were together, she is the most incredibly sweet person I ever been with. I also empathize with where her intimacy issues come from : she has a heavily traumatized childhood.


I responded with a letter a few days later, apologizing for my mistakes and my own issues, but say that we both wanted this relationship to work and we did try our best. And said that meeting her has made me a better person and allowed me to realized some issues of my own.


That's 2 weeks ago. Yesterday, she finally took down our pictures from her website, and then deleted me from her email contact list so we no longer appear on each other's gchat. There have been NC since my letter.


So, I understand her reasons for the breakup. But like most breakups, there is no "your fault" or "my fault". Sometimes, we may be the right for each other, but just met at a wrong time. Our relationship have been whirlwind and wonderful, and the end was sudden when her emotion distancing behaviour (and mine not-so-perfect response to it) overwhelmed her.


At this moment, I am ready to move on.


(1) Allowing myself time to reflect and review : We were happy together, and we both wanted it to work. She has issues, but so did I. I can't help her with her issues now, but I can work with mine. Reviewing what happened in our relationship (thankfully I kept a journal) is incredibly therapeutic -- finding ways to make things better for the next relationship keeps me from falling into self-pity mode. And allow myself to feel that I am still in control of my own future.


(2) Allowing myself to grief : Yes, cry. The relationship was important to me and she was important to me. Loss should be grieved. Sometimes it can feel incredibly overwhelming, but I knew if I can get through it, the next time it hits me it'll be a little bit easier.


(3) Allowing myself to get angry at her : I empathize with her reasons, and I am not bitter. But that does not mean I can't get angry at her -- she left me in the middle of stressful period. She then take a few days to defriend me (after sending me cutesy texts a day after the breakup -- probably she was in denial too), and then a few more days to take my pictures down, and then a few weeks to remove me from contact list. It is like being dumped over again. I understand she must be going through pretty rough time right now, but it was her choice to end the relationship. I sympathize with her childhood trauma haunting her even now (not her fault here), but I don't have to bear her pain for her.


(4) No Contact -- but also be a human being so set your rules. When she broke my NC by sending me the letter, I mulled about not responding. But it was an honest letter from her, and it did made me feel better to read her reaffirmation that our relationship was real. As a human being, I think both that I deserve my chance to reaffirm the same, apologize and wish her well, and she deserves this peace of mind from me. After the letter, I don't respond to her taking off our pictures (only FB pictures till tagged left -- see later), blocking of chat etc. It hurts to be hit in this fashion, but it'll be OK. If you care about yourself : give yourself space. If you care about her too : give her space.


(5) Be dignified -- I am doing this for myself. Which means I don't go stalk, in real life or online (this is especially hard). And no throwing out of her stuff, either back at her or out. Take a box, put them in and keep it away. Things like "untagging FB photos" that she put up for us -- this is some what akin to throwing her stuff back at her. Just hang tight.


(6) Get help -- Friends, family and even help chat lines (especially for those who are night owls and have no room-mates). Don't be ashamed -- breakup is one of the worse thing that can happen to a person emotionally, it's tough.


(7) Finally, realize that the hurt gets you in touch with a lot of feelings and innerself that you may not have realize. Take this chance, to reflect, and understand where some of this pain come from. One of the most empowering thing I realized form this is that some of my pain I am going through from this breakup is actually not because the relationship is over -- but they have a source in my own childhood trauma. By separating this, and understanding it, not only I am able to grief properly, but also take steps to address these trauma issues which i have thought I have dealt with.


Anyway, I am going to take a 3 weeks holiday to visit my family who lived in another country -- this is bittersweet as this trip was planned with her and she has bought tickets and tried to learn some of my native language in preparation (as I said, I never doubted her sincerity). It will be hard for both of us that this trip will never be the same -- but on the other hand, I am pretty sure I'll make it through it. And be better at the end.


Finally, as a way to grief, I wrote a poem. My ex and I has spent many nights thinking about baby names (yes we were that serious, since we are both not "young" anymore), and we wanted to name our imaginary daughter Amelia. So I wrote this as a way to accept that Amelia will never be, and as a tribute to our relationship :



Goodbye Amelia



rub your eyes, it is daddy.

Mommy's here, let her sleep.


Your mommy's gray hair,

your daddy's black eyes.

We named you, when mommy and daddy

were lying in her bed dreaming.


We conjured in our minds,

of you laying between us,

at night, in the bosom of our whispers,

when we retreat to the safety of just us.



close your eyes, we are here.

Sleep now, and dream of dreams,

of hearing soft words

between mommy and daddy,

dreaming of you.



(I don't intend to send this to my ex.)


Thanks for listening.

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I'm being lurking in this forum recently and have read some inspirational stories, and feeling that I am not alone I would like to share mine.


Thanks for listening.


Thank YOU for sharing your thought and story,

As you titled it, it does sound like a bittersweet breakup.

Although your hearts seem to yearn for each other, but may be the times to be together wasn't quite right.

In my view and based on what I've read, you handled the breakup nicely and nothing more could have been done to ease out the heartbreak.

That was a lovely poem, maybe some days later… later down the track, you would still be able to pass it on to her, and hear how appreciate she is for it.


Good luck! And keep moving on!

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