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LDR break-up about to be in the same city


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Okay, I'll make this...as brief as it can be.

 

My ex and I broke up 5 weeks ago. He was in my country visiting family/travelling. We had a whirlwind romance for three glorious months, at the end of which we decided neither of us were prepared to say goodbye, and we decided on a LDR. He begged me to come stay with his family, and promised me adventure and freedom, and love. Two and a half months later I travelled to his country, and we spent 2 and a half months together. It wasn't always easy (I didn't speak the language and he didn't have any money so the adventures weren't as far fetched as we'd hoped and he did't have any other friends in town), but it was loving, and even when my mental illness started acting up he was supportive, and told me he was going to come back to my country to study. It hadn't been 'perfect', and I made some compromises on expectations, but I saw so much potential in him that I was happy. I was only meant to stay a month but we decided I should stay longer, and I did, even borrowing money from his family at his behest. When I left it was hard on us both.

 

By myself, my illness continued to decline and I have to admit...I was not fun to be around. Something about the combination of the LDR and new meds made me irritable and needy, and I am ashamed of the way I behaved. Despite that, he bought a plane ticket and enrolled in university here, and we made plans to move to a new city together (at least until we got on our feet). He seemed so excited and had me take time off work, promising me all he wanted when he arrived was to eat pizza in bed with me and have me back in his arms. Three weeks later...we got into an argument. The time diff meant we had limited time to talk to each other and I was upset he had missed another call, and we lashed out at one another. Two days of silence later, he sends me an instant message telling me that he can't handle it anymore, that my illness is too much for him. He went on (with some pressing) to say that he always had doubts, that we didn't want the same things (not true), felt that way for a while, didn't feel passionate and that he didn't think I could fulfill him, didn't feel like himself, and that he 'loved me but was not in love with me' but told me that he HAD been in love with me. He also told me that he was sure this is what he wanted and that even though "he might come crawling back realising what he'd lost" maybe we'd be happier apart. He was meant to arrive in three weeks time but has now moved his flight.

 

I was devastated. I AM devastated. This happened five weeks ago and he's still the first thought on my mind in the morning. Here's my problem: when we finally got to skype (a week later when he 'found time') I asked for some *very* personal items back, and reluctantly, he agreed, and I told him I couldn't speak to him for (at least) a month (which he seemed vaguely unhappy about). However, a month has passed and my items haven't arrived. Our relationship announcement is still the first thing you see on his facebook. Aaaaand we're both due to start at the same university in two month's time. We agreed to see each other when he arrives, but I told him it'd be hard for me to not try to be showing myself to be someone he could be with and he seemed okay with that.

 

I've been trying really hard to cut all the little things out and make myself more level. All his pictures are gone, all the jewellery, all the texts, the messages. I'm at a psychiatrist again, I've been going to the gym - I'm just not ready to cut him off totally so we're still FB friends, but I don't check it. It just sucks that there are all these little ties that I can't get rid of. I want him back - but not what we had back, if that makes sense. I understand that it was a bad time, and a bad space (literally and mentally), but I can't shake that the right time really seemed like it was about to start. New city we were both in, independence from each other, goals. By his own admission we were 'good together' and had 'chemistry' and my gut says that what we had is worth it. It seemed like a little self sabotage on his part, psyching himself out and whatnot (I've put off break ups before but never spent thousands of dollars to move if I was unsure), but I'm not trying to convince him he feels differently. I believe him; we were in a tough situation with high stakes. He was afraid of the commitment, and seems to have made up a bunch of stuff about what I want, which aren't true...like settling down in one place and not meeting new people. What I can't shake is the idea that he won't have seen me for half a year when I do see him...how can he be sure if we haven't spent any time together? How can I stop myself from having hope I don't want? Is it salvageable? If not, how the hell do I move on, if we're both strangers in a new city who only really know each other? Why hasn't he sent me my stuff, why am I still his girl on facebook? I'm just worn down, and a mess right now. Thanks for any advice or similar stories.

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Why are you two meeting up when he moves?

 

I wouldn't plan on that, just so that you don't get your hopes up. It may or may not actually happen.

 

What type of mental illness do you suffer from? How does it manifest, and how did it specifically affect your relationship?

 

It's good that you're back in treatment. But I don't think it's fair to describe him breaking up with you as self-sabotage. Dating someone who suffers from a mental illness, particularly if they were untreated, can be extremely emotionally draining. I speak from experience, having been in your ex's position. Thus, a break-up can sometimes be a self-preservation mechanism. It doesn't mean he didn't care about you, but it also doesn't mean he sees that you two are a viable match at this time. Dealing with that when the relationship is so young is a tall order, and he saw that he's not cut out for it.

 

I suspect there are other reasons he ended it, as well. If he wasn't making time to talk to you, he had probably already started losing interest. That might not have been your doing; sometimes a whirlwind romance dies out just as quickly as it ignites.

 

You move on by continuing to work on you, and developing a new social network in your new city. Are you currently working or studying? Fellow students and colleagues can be great ways to socialize. Join meet-ups and other community activities. You've taken some great steps so far - keep it up!

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Personally, I don't know if I need that closure of someone looking into my eyes and telling me it's done. We're very likely to run into each other on campus (same university, same faculty), and getting that awful surprise without having proved to myself I can see him without having a heart attack is too much for me to compute atm. He told me very specifically that he wanted to see me, and I know I should or could protect myself but right now I don't have that kind of fortitude. Also, the things I want back are very personal, and since he hasn't sent them yet (which is both giving me hope and making me feel awful, neither thing I want), I might feel more comfortable getting them by hand.

 

I have GAD and depression. For clarification, I had been handling it really well, even taking steps to make sure it wouldn't be a major disruption prior to leaving to be with him, like undertaking counselling and trying to have some (nasty) medication I was on changed. Problem is, my medication ran out when I extended my stay, and isn't approved in his country, and I went through a severe withdrawal that messed me up and made it hard to want to go back on them. I take full responsibility for it, but I had repeatedly asked him to have a serious discussion about what it meant and how to tell if I was getting worse etc. He said he wanted to talk about it when we were in person, which seemed reasonable as he always got very upset when I did get sick, and found it hard with the distance. It made me withdraw, and get needy, and sometimes antagonistic, but the worst bit was that so much of our communication was over text. It makes it hard for me to understand some things when I'm down, but when we spoke on video it was never, ever as bad or intense because I could instantly read the emotion etc. I'm just struggling right now because I'm already seeing massive improvements after a month on my new meds. I also feel like if we'd had the talk, maybe he'd feel like it was less of a burden.

 

I'm also not trying to suggest he self sabotaged by leaving me with my illness. I know how draining it can be, and it's my worst nightmare come to life. It's one of the reasons I don't dispute how he feels. I just know from experience that he tends to curl away from stuff that requires him to take a risk, and lets a small negative thought turn into a huge self doubt, like talking about my problems, or going to uncomfortable meetings or committing to a university course. It's something I struggled with in the past and let it ruin a good relationship. He told me was only coming to my country for me, and I know if I hadn't encouraged him, and given him a reason, he would have sat at home doing nothing instead.

 

I also understand about the losing interest thing. Due to time difference, and his work and my work, we really only had about three hours a day where we were both awake and not working, and he assumed that every video chat had to for a whole two hours (not my expectation), but we still talked very regularly and had a good time. He was always seeking my opinion and wanted to share stuff with me, and honestly, I think the interest thing is more about how I behaved. I know it's hard to feel passionate about people who can't love themselves, but it's just impossible for me to get over the idea of "right people at the wrong time". It's something he said to me and I just feel kind of cheated (by the universe, not him) that the right time was about to start.

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