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Will She Come Back?


Scott R
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My ex (27f) (me-33m) is diagnosed with moderate/severe OCD, anxiety, depression which has really controlled both of our lives for almost our entire 6.5 year relationship.  Even through the lows we have always remained very close.  She is my best friend, I went above and beyond to support her, I never criticized her compulsions, she called me her cheerleader.  I’ll admit it was probably a co-dependent relationship.

(Important facet:  she has lived with me at my parents house for 90% of our relationship).

6-8 months ago, we were house sitting my parents house.  Out of nowhere she says, “I’ve been feeling isolated and lonely being alone with you in this house, it makes me afraid of our future and living together alone.”  She also says she has been feeling like I’m, “more of an uncle/father figure/family member, rather than a boyfriend.”  She also admitted that she was on tinder at some point in the past few months, “for human contact.”  Because I was away 4 days a week at law school while she slept at her parents house. 

We broke up for 12 hours with her coming back the next day saying, “you’re the love of my life, I just needed to live through the breakup to realize it’s not what I wanted.”

About a month or so later, she says she’s still feeling the odd feels towards me when we are alone in the house.  She also says something new which is, “I kind of want to date other people and see what else is out there.”  We fell asleep in bed that night, I cried.  We woke up and she said, “I think it was just my fight or flight thought process, I don’t want to leave you, I love you.”

A couple of months later we go on a week long vacation in May, it seemed fine.  We get back from vacation.  I start studying for the bar exam and around June she breaks up again with me for similar reasons, “having doubts and anxiety about the relationship.”  She goes home and the next day she is crying and says she made yet another mistake.  I accept her back again but this time I tell her I can’t keep doing this.

We make it all the way to October.  She starts a masters degree program.  The first few weeks she returns home saying, “it’s so good to see you, no one talks to me at school, I love you for loving me.”  I’m thinking her school is really going to bring us closer.  

Then, just a month after starting school, she starts saying she cannot have sex with me because her intrusive thoughts during it are too intense.  I was understanding and said I can wait as long as you need to talk to your therapist.  She would reply “I don’t know how long I can be celibate though.” Which raised a red flag in my mind, like maybe she wants to see if sex with someone else would be easier.

So, for two weeks we worried about whether or not therapy would get us out of this hole of no intimacy.  She would continuously say, “I’m worried for our relationship.” And then moments later say, “I’m optimistic, let’s not give up hope.”

Then one day she just said, “I want to break up.”  During the first week of the breakup she admitted she was talking to her therapists for weeks about thinking she wanted to leave me.  She said her reason for leaving me was that, “the flame died out.”  And she thinks the intrusive thoughts during sex were because I was like a, “caretaker/father figure to her.”

I suspect she may have been on tinder the entire 6-8 months and had a few dates lined up ready to go.  She admitted while we were dating that is exactly what she did to her previous ex many years ago.  I figured I was so much better to her then he was that she wouldn’t do that to me.

Anyways.  Could this be grass is greener syndrome making her think “the flame died out, I feel like a father figure, and lonely and isolated when we were house sitting (we house sat twice in 6 months at my house and her parents house and both times she felt this way) ”?  

I also wonder if it’s grass is greener syndrome after being with her from her ages of 20-27.  

I just want her to reach out to me and tell me she misses me.  I could even accept if she attempted sex with someone else to see if she mentally could handle it.  

My gut tells me it’s ROCD coupled with grass is greener mentality because of the “flame died out” comment.  The honeymoon stage may have died down 3-4 years ago but we were still as close as ever.  I cooked all our meals because I’m a good cook.  We talked deeply.  I was there for her anxiety.  We snuggled and kissed and hugged every day/night.  

Our sex was down to once a week and it was harder the last 1-2 years because of her intrusive thoughts and general anxiety.  She was never in the mood and I would need to nicely ask her multiple times before it would happen.

Will she realize that she still loves me again?  She asked me to refrain from reaching out because it was making her emotional and she couldn’t concentrate on her school work.  So I have respected her wishes.

 

(update after breaking no contact):

I broke no contact after 6 weeks. I believe it’s a case of grass is greener syndrome.

I (m-33) texted my ex (f-27) (6.5 year relationship) after 6 weeks of no contact (7 weeks post breakup).  She was very receptive (in a platonic way).  I asked if I could call her to be able to talk more freely and she agreed.

I always asked too much and she always tells me because she had no other friends.  So she confessed that she hooked up with multiple guys/went on multiple dates immediately post break up.  They all ghosted her/blocked her/were horrible so she ghosted them.  She said they were all arrogant, no personality, and couldn’t hold conversation.  

She said shortly after this “***ing everything in site” period she had a major depressive moment.  She felt dirty and she felt her mental health decline.

So now, she’s doing the responsible thing…. She is 2 dates in with some guy from her small town who she went to high school with.  She said she’s taking it slowly with this guy, they haven’t hooked up yet… you know… responsible.  

She said this guy is also horrible at conversation and that everyone she’s encountered in general has been boring and that the dating scene sucks.

She openly told me she misses our conversations and our way of interacting.  She said this is her new life now.  That the lack of meaningful interactions are good for her “they’re real life”.  That she’ll probably end up with an *** because she has OCD, anxiety, and depression and no one will put up with her (hence the ghosting by the hook ups who picked up on her awkwardness).

She reiterated again (as she did 6 weeks ago - the last time we spoke after the breakup) that she fell out of love with me.  That it was probably her OCD which made me into a caregiver, and which made her feel like my child.  She said she “needs that passion in her relationship, and that we just lost that passion.”

With all her complaints and discontent with her new dating life and the fact that she’s settling to potentially date a guy who she attended high school with (a high school which she has ptsd from due to bullying), this all makes me think she’s in extreme grass is greener mode.  

It sounds like she’s equating limerence (the honey moon stage) to true long lasting love and ignoring the strong dependable 6.5 year relationship we had together.  It appears she’s chasing limerence wherever she can find it and is hoping to achieve ever lasting happiness with this townie she met off Facebook from her high school.  

Our relationship was emotionally sound.  Laughing, talking, I was her only and best friend.  

She lives with her parents now (they adored me).  She refuses to discuss the break up with them.  She also refuses to discuss it with her aunts who also loved me.  Why would she refuse to discuss the breakup with her family?  Is it because she’s ashamed that she left a guy that everyone knew was great to her?  Left him for tinder and townies?

When we were talking last night I mentioned how I went to some of our favorite spots and put mementos there.  She said to please stop saying that because it was making her emotional.  She also said she doesn’t think she can ever visit the grocery stores or the outdoor spots we frequented ever again because of emotional reasons.  She even said she got an emotional response while talking to me on the phone because she was in a clothes store I would often be with her at.  It seems she still holds a lot of nostalgia for me for being out of love for a year.

Finally, I texted her later after the phone call to ask if she wanted to talk again and she said “no, probably not because it was making her too emotional.”

She reiterated again that she’d like to remain friends on some level “once we are both healed and moved on.”

Does this sound like a 27 year old woman who has been disconnected and falling out of love for the last year or more (as she claims)?

Am I wrong here or does this sound like the ultimate case of grass is greener syndrome?  And that she still has love for me but is distracted by the lull in our comfortable long term relationship?

 

Thanks for any insight.

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1 minute ago, Scott R said:

She also admitted that she was on tinder at some point in the past few months, “for human contact.”  

She also says something new which is, “I kind of want to date other people and see what else is out there.”

she starts saying she cannot have sex with me because her intrusive thoughts during it are too intense.

Then one day she just said, “I want to break up.” She said her reason for leaving me was that, “the flame died out.” 

I suspect she may have been on tinder the entire 6-8 months and had a few dates lined up ready to go.

Sorry this is happening. Regardless of her list of diagnoses, she treats you as disposable.

You're wasting your life on someone who is simply selfish. She may have this, that and the other but that's the main problem.

 Delete and block her and all her people from all your social media and messaging apps. You can do much better than a cheater and iceberg.

 Don't buy into people who manipulate and use their various diagnoses as an excuse to be cheaters, liars and treat people poorly. Plenty of people have mental health issues. It's not a license to be a witch.

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You are so deep in denial, you are drowning in it.

No it's not grass is greener. She has been so blunt and direct with you that the relationship is dying, that she no longer finds you sexually attractive, she stopped sleeping with you for that reason, she also started cheating on you and ultimately dumped you outright and moved on with other guys. Dude.....she couldn't be more clear that it's over and she is totally done and checked out if she planted a dozen flashing neon signs in your yard telling you it's over.

What she is doing now is friendzoning you. She is treating you exactly how she says she feels about you - totally platonic pal. So yes, she chats about her dating adventures, complains about bad dates, which is what we women do with each other. However, she is not looking to be saved or to come back to you, she is treating you like a girl friend. Her actions match her words - she is focused on another guy and building a relationship with him after sowing some wild oats. What she does or doesn't discuss with her family is none of your business and not relevant to what happened between you and her.

On a side note, she left you exactly as she left her previous ex because that's who she is, that is her character. Please get rid of this notion that relationships are some kind of a competition where if you give enough, do enough, be better than other men that it will somehow ensure loyalty. Loyalty is a matter of core character and has NOTHING to do with what you give or provide to a partner.

Anyway, short answer is time for you to get the message, let go, move on, heal. That means go no contact until you are over her - don't be a doormat girl friend in pants, don't track what she is doing and with who, etc. Complete break.

 

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1 hour ago, Scott R said:

Does this sound like a 27 year old woman who has been disconnected and falling out of love for the last year or more (as she claims)?

Yes, it definitely does. 

She has outgrown your relationship and was so disrespectful to you she was on Tinder while she was with you. This is not a woman who is in love with you any longer. She was shopping around for your replacement. It's not the "ultimate grass is greener" - it's simply a woman who has lost interest in you and moved on. 

Sorry Scott, but this is really over. It hurts a lot to accept, but it's very clear that she has been checked out for a long time. She is moving on, and you need to cut ties with her so that you can, too.

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I want to address the mentions of all the caretaking you have done for her.  The references to a parent/child relationship may have very well affected how she viewed you.  We don't want to date our parents.

I will agree with what others have said.  That she hasn't been forthcoming and is playing with your emotions.  At the same time there is a lesson here.  Sometimes people choose little birds with broken wings so they won't fly away.  Or people with disabilities in need of caretaking and parenting.  But children almost always grow up and leave.  Broken wings heal.  The dynamic between you two may have very well changed the way she felt about you.

Now, you continue to be her therapist and dating advisor.   As much as she relies on the fact you are within reach, she will ultimately lose respect for you and further see you as not much more than a friend.

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Agree with the others and please don't indulge yourself in playing therapist/parent/analyst. She is not that into you anymore -and hasn't been for a long time.  That is why she wanted to date others and not date you.  If my long ago ex contacted me today I'd have an emotional response.  And I wouldn't want to be with him. There's no GIGS "syndrome" -it's short hand for "I want to see what else is out there so I don't want to be exclusive with you" -and that's true even if the person misses you or regrets the decision, etc.  

MY best friend in high school almost ended things with her almost fiancee because she realized she was attracted to the son of a family friend.  Her boyfriend let her go free- told her to do what she needed to do.  She then realized she didn't want to be with the other guy(no she never hooked up with him as far as I know) and two days later begged her boyfriend to take her back, that she'd made a big mistake.  She was 20.  He was 21.  She'd really never had any other serious boyfriend.  He did take her back. 

They've been happily married since the late 80s.  But her conviction was 100% -she realized she was alllll in and she had had a momentary fleeting lapse.  She took a risk that he'd say "see ya" but they loved each other and survived it beautifully.  But once you have someone who's actually cheated behind your back and then goes back and forth -it's over and done with.  Save the analysis for if you ever become a therapist.  Waste of time, I'm sorry.

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2 hours ago, Scott R said:

I just want her to reach out to me and tell me she misses me.  I could even accept if she attempted sex with someone else to see if she mentally could handle it.  

My gut tells me it’s ROCD coupled with grass is greener mentality because of the “flame died out” comment.  

Even if she does miss you, does not mean she is interested in getting involved with you again.

Is normal to miss an ex, especially if long term, but if things have fizzled out, nothing more you can do really.

 

2 hours ago, Scott R said:

She said this guy is also horrible at conversation and that everyone she’s encountered in general has been boring and that the dating scene sucks.

Yeah, and I am pretty sure SHE is not mentally & emotionally 'able' to fully step into another relationship at this time of her life.. As she is dealing with a LOT of mental challenges and you both are still trying to deal with your BU.

Is best for her own self to not be involved, but more focus on her own well being. Remain single for a good while. ( her choice- but she will affect other's with her issues).

 

2 hours ago, Scott R said:

It sounds like she’s equating limerence (the honey moon stage) to true long lasting love and ignoring the strong dependable 6.5 year relationship we had together.

Key word "had".  Sadly, it is no longer a real stable relationship.  Things have fallen apart ( her seeing you as not an actual real 'partner', more a caregiver).  And her pulling away numerous times.  Is all unhealthy 😕 .

 

2 hours ago, Scott R said:

Am I wrong here or does this sound like the ultimate case of grass is greener syndrome?  And that she still has love for me but is distracted by the lull in our comfortable long term relationship?

No, but you are in denial at this stage.

And as she mentioned it is best you two remain at a distance so you can both work on accepting this, healing and moving on.. So, you respect her wish and go No Contact.

Self control & respect.

It all takes time, but the worst thing to do is keep chasing. Don't do this anymore and fight this urge to keep reaching out.  Inner strength and work on YOU now. ( Journal all you want to say , is a good release, get active, keep busy)

Less you know the better and work on healing & accepting... One day at a time.

 

Edited by SooSad33
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My only question is why would you ever want to go through that emotional roller coaster ever again? Being deceived that much, and having to the father figure during sex thing tossed in my face; while it's difficult to see while you're in the moment I would have a difficult time letting someone like that back into my life.

I think you need to do some soul searching, a friend of mine lost his marriage after his wife started changing/growing. In the end they worked hard at making themselves incompatible, they both have taken years to move on but luckily did.

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