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Need an outside perspective


Eddyz

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Hi guys,

Firstly, thank you for any answers you can give me. I have been lurking here since my most recent breakup, and have got to the point where I would like some outside thoughts on my situation. I'll try and make this as quick as possible.

We got together almost 3 years ago and had a very good first year together, spending quality time together and were both very happy and in love. We moved in together about a year in to the relationship and started making plans for our future (children, buying a house,...). A couple of months before we moved in together I had a massive fight with my boss who then started to bully me by denigrating my work, complaining to colleagues about me and mocking me in front of them. I thought I was tough enough emotionally to ride this bad passage out but ended up leaving the company about a year later (end of November), the last 3 months were an absolute hell, I had a constant headache and neck pain, and would vomit when I left home in the morning. My girlfriend was very supportive through all of this, and encourged me to eventually leave.

We both thought that once I had left, I would feel better. I didn't, not immediately anyway. I was planning on taking a course in web design, in order to set my own business up and work from home, but my first attempt was turned down. Despite this set back I was starting to feel a bit better, we were planning on starting a family at the end of the year (2020). Then Covid and lockdown came, along with anxiety, mostly because my parents are in at-risk groups. We spent the 2 months of lockdown together at home, and all was well. Following the lockdown, my Dad was taken seriously ill (septic shock after an operation with another localised infection - at 78 I thought it was going to be the end of him) and spent a month in hospital, which had a huge effect on me. It as about this time that I started to become cynical and negative, picking stupid fights and making stupid remarks. I almost totally stopped going out and seeing friends during the summer, several people remarked that I seemed different, and my girlfriend started giving me hints that something was wrong in the relationship, once encouraging me to 'speak to someone'. Admittedly I knew that something was wrong, but couldn't understand what. I forced myself to go out for walks and to see more friends, but the arguments didn't stop, although they grew further apart and less intense. Until the last one, just over 2 months ago when she said that she couldn't do this any more, and left. A week later she moved all of her things out from our house. 

Due to the state I was in, I went straight to a therapist who came to the conclusion that I was depressed, and had been for some time, probably still also suffering from work related burn-out. 

2 and a half months later, I'm feel so much better; the depression has gone and I've worked out and lost over 18kg (40lbs).  I should also be starting my course soon.

Now, as you probably suspect, I want her back. We haven't seen eachother since the breakup but the contacts I have had with her since, dealing with bills etc over the phone, have been cordial, usually with hints of tears on her end. I have never initiated contact with her as I don't want to pressure her, rather hoping that giving her some time and space would allow her to process all of this, but I have always been upbeat and polite during any contact. After about 6 weeks I received a letter for her, and said that she was welcome to have a coffee with me when she came to collect it. She said to leave it outside somewhere as meeting me would be awkward and that she wouldn't know what to say.

Had this breakup been due to incompatabilty or a difference in core values, I would certainly be unfavourable towards a reconciliation, but, as far as I can see, the problems that I caused have been fixed.

If anyone has any advice, I would be truly grateful!

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Unfortunately, you feeling better and ready to reconcile doesn't mean she is. Her last experience with you was negative and she may not be able to simply set that aside. If she doesn't want to see you or talk to you right now there isn't anything you can do.

Maybe just send her a message saying you realize you were a poor partner over the past few months and apologize. Then say if she ever wants to meet for coffee to talk to let you know. Then back off and don't contact her anymore.

If you try to push while she still has a dim view of you,  you will not succeed in getting her to talk to you. Give her some time.

She may still not want to come back but at least she won't feel pressured to give you an answer immediately. 

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She gave you several months to see a therapist and you didn't care enough to immediately seek care. Too little too late for her. Sometimes the bitterness kills what love used to be there and even if you're better now, it's irrelevant to her. I know it happened to me in my first marriage, a much longer relationship.

I recommend what Bolt N Run said, and if she doesn't want to reconcile, your fate lies with someone else.

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I'm so sorry to hear this. Continue remaining respectful of each others' wishes. AND continue practicing lots of positive self-growth and self-love. 2.5 months isn't long. I wouldn't put too much pressure on yourself or her to try to get back together right now. After I separated, my partner wanted to reconcile within 3 months which made no sense to me at all and did a lot more damage in the long run. On top of bitterness there may be distrust, a lot of severed trust, in the process. Take it as a break up for now. I think this is the kindest thing you can do for yourself. 

You mentioned incompatibility or different core values but I'd try to go over this or reflect on this a bit more. I think how we choose to handle difficulties and conflict can reveal incompatibilities. You might not see it now but it'll reveal itself later as time goes on. It may be too painful right now.

Good for you for seeking help and treatment also. No matter what keep working on yourself. I think you are miles ahead of everyone else who opts to bury their head in the sand. Hats off to you for all that work. Don't lose faith in yourself. 

 

 

 

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22 hours ago, Andrina said:

She gave you several months to see a therapist and you didn't care enough to immediately seek care. Too little too late for her. Sometimes the bitterness kills what love used to be there and even if you're better now, it's irrelevant to her. I know it happened to me in my first marriage, a much longer relationship.

I recommend what Bolt N Run said, and if she doesn't want to reconcile, your fate lies with someone else.

Thank you all for your advice and some kind words. You have confirmed my thoughts, in that I am doing the right things, for me but also for her.

However, I would like to defend my self vis-à-vis Andrina's comment. Had my ex ever brought up the subject of depression directly to me, then I would agree that it would seem that I did not 'care enough' to seek help immediately. As it is, my ex only mentioned that talking to someone could do me good, nothing more. My impression was that our problems were mostly stemming from life (and world) events, although I realised that I wasn't normal, which I put it down to a poor self-image (overweight), hence the walking, and low self-esteem. It wasn't until I saw the therapist that I understood that I was infact depressed. I am convinced that I actually DID care enough to do something about it at the time.

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Life lessons are hard, and many of us have to go down broken roads before we find the right path, just like the song, "God Bless the Broken Road," by Rascal Flats. Read the lyrics if you don't already know the song. It's a song many couples relate to when they meet the keeper after one or more failed relationships. It is for my husband and I, who found each other right when we were supposed to in life. I'm sure it seems hard for you to imagine now, but one day you'll realize you're exactly where you want to be, and will be glad life worked out the way it did.

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Man, you remind me a lot of myself and what I'm going through.  I've lurked here for awhile but your post made me finally jump in.

My partner (gay, it if matters) of 4 years pulled the plug on us for pretty much the same reasons, and I am in the same boat as you as far as not even consciously realizing I was slipping into depression even as I know I was struggling with *something*.  I wasn't suicidal or crying all day, I just felt negative about everything.  My issues stemmed a lot from past relationship infidelity (which I unexcusably projected on to my partner), the euthanization of our dog (which we co-parented), and the death of my grandmother from COVID complications.  I became a bump on a log.  In hindsight, this past year of our relationship was just cooperative living with little passion, awkward/disconnected sex, and sometimes weekly conflict about my attitudes, laziness, and my partner feeling taken for granted.  I know I'm guilty of all those things, and when it ended I shouldered it all.  What hurts now is that we still had tons of fun but it felt more like two buddies hanging out than lovers.  He was/is my best guy/best friend and I love him very much.  

I never took his concerns about my mental health seriously because I was in denial.  I didn't act until it all collapsed on me the week we broke up.  I've been in therapy and doing a lot to work on myself and my issues, every week I feel better but I know there's still so much to work through.  I won't lie, I wish he could see me now, see that I'm getting the help I need, and take me back.  But it's not that simple.  It feels like I ruined everything.

I will remind you though not to be too hard on yourself.  A lot of times, the person who loved and left was mentally going down that road for awhile before ending things.  There may be other factors you didn't even see because you were in your own head for so long.  You don't have to take 100% of the blame.  She could have taken the time to help you more, could have tried to understand how to love you the way you needed to be loved while you went through this.  But I understand, depression spooks people.  They think it's just a bad attitude, something you can just will away.  It's not.

I hope you continue forward with more clarity as the days pass.  Keep working on you and if it's going to happen the right way, it will in time.  If it doesn't, you've/we've learned a valuable lesson for the next person.

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Ha, I must admit that there are quite a few similiarities in our stories! How long ago was the breakup? Depression is a strange and horrible thing, it can creep up slowly without you knowing it's there. Personally I was very negative, cynical about everything, not going out, put on a lot of weight, couldn't sleep at night and would sleep all day, yet never saw anything wrong in my head. Was that denial? 

21 hours ago, Bassackwards said:

I will remind you though not to be too hard on yourself.  A lot of times, the person who loved and left was mentally going down that road for awhile before ending things.  There may be other factors you didn't even see because you were in your own head for so long.  You don't have to take 100% of the blame.  She could have taken the time to help you more, could have tried to understand how to love you the way you needed to be loved while you went through this.  But I understand, depression spooks people.  They think it's just a bad attitude, something you can just will away.  It's not.

That advice goes for you too, friend 😉 I have come a sufficient way, in that I no longer place 100% of the blame upon myself. I have accepted that I was ill and that no matter what, until I realised that, nothing could change. From what I've gathered since, she hadn't been planning it, it was more of a knee-jerk reaction - she actually told my Mum that just yesterday, they were quite close. 

 

21 hours ago, Bassackwards said:

I won't lie, I wish he could see me now, see that I'm getting the help I need, and take me back.  But it's not that simple.  It feels like I ruined everything.

That's possibly the hardest bit, isn't it? Or at least the most frustrating... After a lot of hard work, what was broken is fixed, or in the process of being fixed, and you have no way of showing it.

Head down, keep going and hope for the best 😉 

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On 12/23/2020 at 10:51 AM, Eddyz said:

If anyone has any advice, I would be truly grateful!

Why don't you call her up, and tell her what you've posted here? Or, if you're afraid of getting tongue-tied (I might be), write it all down and send it to her. I think you make a good argument.

My last job turned to shit for a couple months before I left, and I know first hand how much of a toll that takes on someone's mental and physical health. Even when you know it's unfair, going in every day, thinking about it every night, hangs like a cloud over everything else in your life.

When you left that job, you stepped into a whole new world of unexpected stress.

I think what happened to you is understandable. Sometimes the weight on your shoulders increases so gradually that you don't notice until it breaks you.

It sounds like you've really turned yourself around after a terrible year.

I'd give it a try--contacting her--if I were you.

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People reconcile all the time.  I am not trying to get your hopes up.

I just wanted to add - the strength of a relationship is measured by how you both handle challenges.

It's all fun and games until life events happen.   . .and they will.   It's when the rubber meets the road you'll know what your relationship is made of.  If this is any indication, then what?

Never say never.  You don't have much lose by at least telling her.  At the very least you can move forward instead of wondering *what if?

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The breakup occured midway through this year but we lived together for 5 months afterwards.  In many ways it was the same as it ever was while we still cohabitated.  Which confused me. I moved out November 19.  In recent days I've pieced together he was meeting new people and I had no idea about it.  He was free to do this, we'd broken up, I just wish I'd known because it would've helped me move on faster.  We still text often, 2-3 convos a week, nothing too deep, he's always the initiator, but that's starting to dry up.  Nothing on Christmas. 

Yesterday was his birthday and he never responded to the card I sent.  I think that's all the confirmation I need that it's hopeless.  There's probably someone new in his life.  I can't help but feel erased but my idiot heart does feel happy for him.  What else can you do when you love someone.

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13 hours ago, Jibralta said:

Why don't you call her up, and tell her what you've posted here? Or, if you're afraid of getting tongue-tied (I might be), write it all down and send it to her. I think you make a good argument.

 

12 hours ago, reinventmyself said:

Never say never.  You don't have much lose by at least telling her.  At the very least you can move forward instead of wondering *what if?

Thanks for your replies, it's nice to hear someone who has been through the same thing at work. Few people seem to realise or appreciate just what it's like.

I actually did tell her what the therapist told me, about a week after the breakup, but I don't know if she took it onboard at the time. She went to see my Mum a couple of days ago (they were quite close) and they did talk about me. My Mum asked if she was aware that I had been depressed, to which she said yes, that she had tried to help me but that I hadn't been receptive, so when we had the last argument she just ran. She mentioned that I had invited her for coffee a few weeks ago and that she still wasn't ready to see me. Mum thought that she tried to say that she would be OK to meet sometime in the future (we live in France, ex is French and Mum doesn't speak excellent French, so there were some misunderstandings). Apparently she was close to tears when talking about me, and seems to harbor some annoyance (anger?) towards me.

All in all I think that the best course of action is to give her time, and get on with my life in the itnerim.

 

2 hours ago, Bassackwards said:

Yesterday was his birthday and he never responded to the card I sent.  I think that's all the confirmation I need that it's hopeless.  There's probably someone new in his life.  I can't help but feel erased but my idiot heart does feel happy for him.  What else can you do when you love someone.

You've had a hard time. The fact that you continued living together for 5 months has undoubtedly stopped you from healing more quickly. I think that you are in a similar problem to mine; if I were you I would stop the signs of affection, atleast until you are ready to be rejected without it setting you back in the healing process, otherwise you will forever be getting knocked back whenever he doesn't reply. That's not fair on you. You've made your position clear, and I'm sure that he will be able to find you, if ever he wants to.

Lets both get on with the healing process, as well as our lives.

What shall be, shall be. 🙂

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On 12/23/2020 at 10:51 AM, Eddyz said:

We moved in together about a year in to the relationship and started making plans for our future (children, buying a house,...).

So...year one went fine.  Then you two move in together come year 2? Speaking of starting a family... buying a home?

Then, within a year, things start falling apart- causing immense pressures due to your work and you fall apart :(.

ALL of this causes issue's with the gf. Your mood drops & fights start.  She leaves.

From my end, I see this as all MAYBE too much too fast.  (you had known her a year then ask her to move in with you to a new home & talk kids..).

Take a look at all of the BIG changes you two had to endure.. then the continous pressures.

She ran.. probably stressed with it all and on top of it, your negativity.

At this time, she is TRYING to figure it all out, as she is maybe confused.. and full of emotions. ( anger, hurt, etc)

For sure she needs her time.

You have seeked some help- good.  You have shown you are TRYING to work on yourself, but she is still unsure about everything. -

You cannot do anything more than you have at this point.  You've reached out to her again.  Now is all up to her on whether she feels she can go back. (as her experience through all of that was just too much)  And she left trying to deal with her own self- which is fine- This is something we NEED to do sometimes.

So, just lay low- wait to see IF she agree's to see you & talk again.. but it may take some more time.  Not, just because YOU are ready.

So, be ready to accept that she may not want to return to what she left. (when someone encounters a lot of negative- for their own well-being, they may not want to return to it).

We're human, we feel, we make mistakes.  So, try not to belittle yourself too much here.  Life is an experience, and sadly, doesn't always work out the way we want it  :/.

You said you will just carry on.. yes, do that.  Keep working on YOU.

Sorry that all has been such a mess 😞 .    One day at a time.

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