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My ex is in so much pain - what do I do?


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So a little advice needed from this lovely community...


So about 6 weeks ago I broke up with this girl we had been going out for 7 months after meeting on a dating app. She is 30 I am 34. I met her when we she moved to London from Newcastle. Originally was due to be here for 4 month research but that extended to 15 months. She broke it off and whilst it was not completely out of the blue, I was not fully expecting to happen. I was heartbroken when I did. The relationship was very intense and we made the mistake of seeing each other almost daily (due to working near each other).


Since the breakup I have tried to work on myself and I do think I have changed a lot in a relatively small space of time, I'm stronger, and I am happy in who I am. I've learnt a lot from the relationship/ breakup such as facing difficult questions, listening, giving space, going at different speeds, communication, and because of this I know I would be a better partner in whatever relationships follow in my life.


Since we have broken up her life has been a nightmare - her first nephew was born, and spent 3 weeks on life support. On monday we met to exchange belongings, for me this was the thing that had to be done for us to move on. When I saw her I gave a big hug, she cried a lot, and we spent the afternoon together in the park. It was lovely, we smiled, we joked, we kissed and she asked me if I wanted to give it another go. We both said it felt natural to be together. I said that I thought that the best thing to do was to give it some time with no contact and meet again on Thursday.


Last night we met and spent a few hours talking over our relationship and our lives. A lot of the reasons why we broke up, we both recognised and said we could work on, but what became clear and painful to see was what an awful place she was in. The thing with the nephew hit her really hard, her friends in Newcastle have not been supportive of her at all and she is questioning those friendships, she is dropping out of a phd she doesn't want to do and has no idea what she wants to do in life, she told me that she feels so incredibly lost and alone, that she is having terrible nightmares every night. It is heartbreaking to see.


She was really worried that the reason she came back to me was because I was the only person she could turn to in London, and that the guilt that might be case could push her over the edge. The way we left it last night was that she was going to speak to friends over the weekend (she is going to a wedding - and having to give a reading, the last thing she needs now) and we would pick it up Sunday when she would come around mine to pick up her stuff (again).


I contacted her this morning (friday) after a fair bit of thought and said that the best way I can love her, and perhaps show her how I am a different person and a better listener is to tell her that we should not be together whatever comes from her thinking over the next couple of days and speaking to her friends over the weekend. That she needs to find herself as I did, to heal from all the awfulness that has happened to her and to do that without me as her boyfriend.


I also told her that I want her in my life, but I seek nothing more than friendship from her, and I will not expect anything more from her than that. I'm not sure how truthful that is, but all I can see is someone I love more than anything in such incredibly pain. I am not being over dramatic when I say a less stronger person than her might have done something silly.


I also said if there is something between us, it will find a way, that it won't die or disappear, that there is not a time limit to love, but it won’t happen between the people we are now, and it would be for the wrong reasons if it did. I said also I am here for her to speak to, and support her, to have a giggle with, like I would any of my friends, and that I can’t turn off caring for her.


She replied saying she thinks I am totally right when I say that if something were to happen now it wouldn't be for the right reasons. And right in recognising that she needs to work on herself by herself. She is going to try to find some time this weekend to try to figure herself out and what she needs to do to look after herself and she feels like she might come out of this harder and a bit more distant. And shes not sure either of us are going to like that person as much.


When I met her on Monday I had prepared myself for it being the last time I see her, in the week leading up to it I had gone on a couple of dates, and I was preparing to move on. I did not expect any of this to happen. It is so painful to see someone I love like this, and I don't know what to do.


Should I cut all contact and never see her again? Should I try and be her friend? Should I give her some space and contact her in the future? Should I continue dating, moving on, and try to forget what happened on monday?


Deep down I truly feel that there is something between us that could be an incredible relationship. I saw it when we were together, and I saw it when I first met her this week.

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You're both being mature about it and that's a good thing, but I'm not so sure that you have to remain friends. You can be her boyfriend and be there for her if you lover her that much.


Unless you really think that she'll break up with you again when things get tough and is just using you for emotional support.


It really isn't good advice, because I'm a firm believer in love. Maybe other people can say you're in the right.


Anyway, it seems you're in a good place yourself, so keep that going.

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I'm sorry I have very strong opinions on this post.


So you say you love her more than anything and you want to be there for her, but not as her boyfriend? Why is that? The expression "if you can't handle them at their worst you don't deserve them at their best" comes to mind....


Secondly... you say a less strong person would do something silly, she has said she is close to the edge.... you tell her that you are there for her to support her as a friend and for her to talk to... then you are asking us if after Monday you should cut all contact? That seems brutal and possibly life threatening to me...


Although it may seem as though she is using you emotionally a little bit right now, if she has clearly stated that you are one of the only people she can talk to and she is close to the edge, don't you dare cut contact with her. I'm sorry but if you love her as much as you say you do you wouldn't even consider it.


To me, she is screaming out for support and love, but she is desperately afraid of not being able to give you what you want, so she is pre-emptively pushing you away to avoid the possibility of hurting someone she cares deeply about.

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