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Boyfriend's ex-wife died - he wants to break-up


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Hi everyone,


I'm also in an unfortunate situation, I have been dating my boyfriend for about 2 or 3 months and the Tuesday just gone his ex wife died after hanging herself, following a week long coma. They were together for 7 years, and she left him a couple of years ago for someone else, so he did not have any closure. He thought that all of those feelings were dealt with, but this has dredged up past feelings for her. He was not even able to tell me that it happened, and I was left extremely confused as he would only say that something horrible had happened that turned his life upside down.


Unfortunately he decided it would be best if we break up, due to to the fact he is a total mess and needs time to sort himself out. While this absolutely breaks my heart, I realise it is probably best for both of us right now.


We still talk online, but we do not have any other contact right now. I just don't know what to do, it hurts so much knowing he is in a lot of pain right now and that I can't do a damn thing about it. We also have a strong physical attraction towards each other so we are finding it difficult to move these feelings aside while all this is happening. I know it would be extremely unwise for both of us right now and would only end up messing with our heads further.


I've repeatedly told him that he knows where I am should he ever need to get in contact with me, so I guess that's about all I can do. Her funeral is not until this Friday. I'm thinking that if we are meant to be together that we will, given time for all of this to settle a bit. It's just actually doing that is not so easy

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dreamer, that's very tragic.


I'm sure he really is a mess, to lose someone even if she was his ex, there must be so much that's going on in his mind and heart right now. It's not your fault nor his. Be there for him, it'll take time for him to heal. I'm very sorry that you're also in pain. Hang in there.

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Dreamer, I'm so sorry. And I think you are absolutely right. It may be that her death has brought up all kinds of thoughts for him along the lines of how much he did love her at one time, and it's doubtful he can feel okay about a new relationship right now. He may even be remembering threats she made along the lines of killing herself years ago, and be feeling guilty for not getting her help. Unfortunately, whilst suicide is dreadfully tragic, sometimes it is partly done to 'get back' at other people and who knows, maybe she has, deliberately or otherwise, opened some can of emotional worms for him. It is better if you are not around to see it.


He sounds as though he has a legitimate need of the dreaded 'Space'.


There is no reason that one day you will not be able to get back together but for now I think I would assume you won't, and move along as best you can.


If he never had closure, this will be very hard fro him to get past and it may be that as a friend you suggest he gets some counselling. And watch him - if he is very damaged by this, I'm afraid it means that he wasn't - and may never be - the 'right man' for you.


Fill your life as though this is a break up. Assume it is. Oh - and let other people support him, otherwise you will forever be associated with this death in his mind.

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This is very tragic. Even though they have been split for a long time, death is shocking and final, particularly the way she died. He needs to deal with the conflicting emotions right now and it is best that he take time out from relationships to sort this out. It is actually better for you that he chose to end things rather than continue with you but his mind be somewhere else. I think it might be best for you to have very limited contact with him..just enough to show your support but not enough to get tied in with physical temptations and being his emotional crutch. You have not been dating him very long so it is best that you fade out and let him deal with things.

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Considering the incredibly traumatic nature of her death, and the reaction she had with him...


I can imagine he is blaming himself. Who wouldn't tell themselves they should have been better to the ex?


Who wouldn't suffer regrets or guilt, or even shame?


What a horrible thing to go through.


I believe in human respect, kindness, and love.


Even if you weren't to have a relationship, how about other types of support? Can you bring him dinner?


Just talk about other things other than your now stressful relationship status?


Is there some support you can give to help "hold him up" at a difficult time despite the relationship outcome concerning you?

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This is really tragic. I can totally understand why he had to withdraw from you at this time, he has a lot to deal with and it's not something which will just disappear in a couple of weeks. This is going to take some time.


I would have limited contact. He knows where you are if he needs to talk to someone, but for now I think it's best to withdraw and give him as much space as he needs.

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Yeah, he needs some space and you need to break it off from him. He's very unlikely to recover from the suicide of his ex-wife. The guilt of being with you will constantly remind him that if only he could have called her the night before she died just to talk, she wouldn't have died now.


The grieving process of the (ex)spouse due to suicide is much, much worse than normal death. Because the suicide will contribute to "I am the one to be blamed".


He needs help from a shrink. Not from you. You can't help him in this situation. Let him go.



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Thanks to all who have replied, your support is very much appreciated.


Just an update on the situation: when we do talk online, he seems to act like we have not broken up. He continues to flirt and make sexual comments. It is confusing me a lot. I actually did decide to email him today, and he seemed very responsive and I was glad to hear when he said he is getting a little bit better. I've also said multiple times that he knows where I am if he wants to see me, and knows he can get in contact with me day or night. Yesterday when speaking to him online he said that he wasn't aware of that... once again, confusing.


I honestly think that he really just doesn't know what to do, and that he never wanted to break up with me in the first place but just wanted to set me free from all of this. He lives with his Mum and she isn't even aware of my existence as far as I know (neither are his friends, as we were only early in our relationship), so bringing him dinner is not really an option right now, I am choosing to stand back and letting his family and friends support him, even though I so want to be with him supporting him as well.


He did not actually have a lot of contact with his ex, however he did say they spoke on the phone a couple of months ago when he became aware she was having a hard time, offered his support, but she rejected it.


I'm hoping and praying he finally does take my offer and come over, all I really want to do right now is just hold him in my arms. However that will have to be totally his choice. I am trying the best I can to get on with my own life, but at the same time I really do feel his pain.

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  • 5 weeks later...

My heart is with you and your ex. I am so sorry, and you must gather the strength to leave him at peace while he grieves the lost of someone so significant in his life. Perhaps you can tell him that you will always be there for him if he needs you. HUGS!!!

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Yeah it's hard, real hard. Last Wednesday I finally decided to end contact with him unless he contacted me, and only text messaged him last Friday to say that I know it was a month since his ex wife died and that I was thinking of him. He then emailed me to which I sent a short reply and have only heard from him since when he commented on a Facebook status I posted. And then, a couple of days ago without warning he took me off his Facebook list and I think MSN as well. Obviously, I was upset, angry and quite hurt at the time and did break my "non contact" rule by sending him a text message and offline MSN message. But then I realised after calming down a bit he had probably done me a favour and have not contacted him since, and intend on sticking to it. No point on me chasing him and driving him further away. He has said he has feelings for me, and I have said the same but unfortunately this whole situation has driven a wedge between us. And now, I just have to step back and wait and see what happens. It hurts so much but I know it is the best for both of us right now.

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