Forum Replies Created
I hope you’ve had a good week – wherever you are and if you celebrated the holiday or not. I am thankful for your care in wanting to talk to me and for this forum.
“This entry on social isolation makes me understand myself better and it helps me understand you (and other people) better. I now understand your intense and prolonged sensitivity to rejection by him, why- as the title of your thread indicates- the breakup has been so “Extremely painful“.” — I am sorry you’ve had to face bullying and feeling that sense of isolation from others too. I know it’s definitely made me vulnerable to clinging to people easily as soon as they “choose” me. And yes, it feels so painful and also it’s just so insulting… a personal betrayal that he chose me because I was special (he voiced why I meant so much to him and why I was different than other girls he had dated frequently) to then dump me like I was nothing to him all along. And to admit to “wandering eyes” for other girls. Ugh.
“– you lived your whole life with your family, being in daily contact and interacting with family members.. but these interactions were not caring-enough for you: not enough to fulfil your unfulfilled fundamental human need for love and belongingness.” — Yes, and as we’ve discussed here, the emotional and supportive inconsistency is really hard to deal with. Especially since I’ve been experiencing the same pattern with my friends as well. It’s really hard to not believe I’m the problem when every single source is giving me the same feedback.
“…Without this team, you are back to being all alone, back to your prolonged and consistent experience of social isolation. …I now understand why every word he said, every emotion he expressed.. matters to you so much. From one point on, in your mind, he was the only person in the whole wide world who (you felt) satisfied that “need for love and belongingness“ ..No wonder you are still so emotionally attached to him, why you don’t let him go.” — Thank you for understanding. I know that focusing on him and replaying all of the good and bad memories so much keeps my brain trained to keep him most important, but the pain is too much to ignore. It feels unnatural and makes me physically sick to try to just ignore my grief and move on. I keep reading about how if you are just constantly crying and not forging new thought processes, then you’re just re-traumatizing yourself with every breakdown. I can’t help it. I miss him as a person so much, everything reminds me of him. Yesterday marked officially 3 months since he left me. I’m gonna be 32 in less than a month, I’ve been hurt over men before, I’ve been cheated on and lied to, yet I’ve never been this heartbroken before. It’s seriously scaring me as to how bad it is, I don’t even know what to do with all of this. The feelings of belonging and genuine adoration for the real me is something I have never had before.
“Question is: can you have this fundamental human motivation directed elsewhere..?” — I requested a consultation/appointment with the internship counseling program I mentioned before and I am waiting to hear back. However, I worry that I’m too thick in grief to “hear” and listen to a counselor. I’m still stuck in denial and wishing for him to give me another chance, yet also wanting to tell him off for lying to me. That’s not remotely at a place that’s ready to change or move on. I genuinely believe that my accusatory pressure over time, mixed with him still being in love with his ex made him panic and run. I beat myself up about this constantly – I feel I deserve this because everyone in my life has expressed to me how difficult I can be. I don’t know what I could do to direct myself and my fundamental human motivations elsewhere. I thought that working these two jobs and just trying to focus on myself that way would help, but no. I thought that having some days off finally for Thanksgiving for me to rest would help, but no. I thought that getting a new hairstyle would help, no. I do feel like I’m boiling over with this crazy need to express this grief in some way, though. I am an artistic and emotional person but I have no way to channel it. Drawing and painting just frustrates me, so does poetry. I can feel that I NEED to express/channel this some way, but I also feel exhausted and have no drive.
*I meant to say that he had told me he blocked her on everything and had told her he didn’t want her in his life anymore in a message that originally was the scathing and long message he decided not to send because she didn’t care.
“If it was his genuine experience that he felt worthy of love because of you.. he’d still be in a relationship with you.” — that is what has been hurting me so much this whole time. If he loved me like he said he did, I don’t think he would have even thought of wanting to end us, and this breakup would be heartbreaking to him. Knowing that everything he said to me at the breakup and after was all an act of appeasement just keeps me sick to my stomach daily. It feels like a cinderblock on my heart.
“He claimed they never made anything official but that she…”- what he claimed was not necessarily true.” – Yes, speaking of his ex, something hit me the other night and I’m confused as to why I’ve not yet put this together. Our third weekend together/date was on October 8th of last year. We planned to hang out again the next weekend after that but he had to cancel on me. I only know this because I documented this in my period tracker app… of all things. I was looking through that app the other night and saw all of this. I documented on Thursday and Friday leading up to that next planned weekend in October that he seemed to be a little “distant with me and in a bad mood.” Then that Friday, he cancelled on me. I don’t know why he did, I don’t even remember this now. Anyway, that following Monday as I was getting ready for work, he texted me THE text… the stuff I’ve mentioned here about him being worried about his problems from his ex affecting our relationship. He told me that he had blocked her on everything, and that he didn’t want her in his life anymore. I’m assuming now in retrospect that he literally meant he had JUST messaged her this that weekend… and that this wasn’t something he was referencing happening months prior to meeting me. I think now that they were STILL in contact when we were already dating and he felt bad about it, and was bothered with her being still wishy washy with him, so he finally shut it down. I think he cancelled on me the few days before this because they were still arguing and perhaps he didn’t want me there to physically see this play out, however it did. Not only that, but I then got even more curious and started digging through our old messages from around when we first started talking. The first week of us talking, he said, “last weekend I was heartbroken and depressed. Now I feel amazing and all I think about is what cheesy line I can say to you next to make you smile.” — This further supports my new notion that he lied to me about when things officially ended with his ex. He told me it had been two months before we met. Yet here, he claimed LAST WEEKEND (as in the weekend prior to us meeting) he was heartbroken??? At the time, I just assumed he was still going through pain from two months ago. He tried to move on with me, it didn’t work. The distraction was nice for awhile and once he realized he wasn’t actually in love with me caught up with him, guilt consumed him and he bounced the moment he got his chance. I think this is why the night he broke up with me, he said, “I know I SHOULD be happy, but I’m just not. I’ve been so frustrated with myself, I hate myself for it!” He hates that he still can’t get over someone who cheated on him with someone who would never.
It has been killing me because it proves he didn’t love me. It shows to me that he had REAL feelings for this girl, they DID have a relationship, she cheated, and she wouldn’t make up her mind about him so he had to end it and it kept him hung up on her. I don’t sense one part of him being remotely in turmoil or “heartbroken” over ME.
I absolutely resonate with the baby elephant imagery you gave me. Also the part where you said that I look at his social media and see him going about his life wishing he had taken me with him – I think I really appreciated being chosen by him because he was the type of guy who didn’t go for the conventional types. I respect when a guy isn’t attracted to those types because I have never identified that way. I always knew I was the outcast with alternative quirks based on my upbringing and I pretty much had to reject some things and carve out my own unique interests and personality to make myself feel special and protect myself from bullies. I liked that he not only saw this as special in me, he resonated with it too and it made us feel like a team, us against the world. For him to inevitably choose and have “wandering eyes” for other women just crushed me.
I think we all default to thinking we pushed the other person away when they dump us. I know I have this fear too. My ex saw my concerns but then ended it completely on the spot! Without any chance or talking through any possible ways we could work on it together. I don’t think you pushed your ex away, you were trying to talk through it, from what I read.
It’s a dysfunctional dynamic when someone goes into a relationship feeling entitled to and demanding access to your privacy from the start. Trust is earned. She didn’t even give you the chance to earn her trust. If she didn’t like what she saw, fine. If that were so, she could have respectfully bowed out and said, “No hard feelings, this just isn’t for me” especially since it was just a few weeks in.
“I think that this was a false belief on your part, and that in reality he was not capable of meeting your needs, not from the get go, and not at any time during the relationship (or after).” — Perhaps the trials we didn’t actually get the chance to experience together were already piling up in his mind, but he should have told me, just as he told me at the beginning of our relationship that he was still struggling with the drama from his ex. I really appreciated that transparency and expected him to keep being emotionally open and checking in with me like this, but he stopped. After he stopped bringing things to me, I assumed he was content.
“…whatever changed in his mind, in reality, is not the difference between your needs being met AND your needs not being met.” — I have read this sentence over and over today, at work and at home. I don’t know how to believe it because when two people are emotionally invested, it motivates them to want to work together. I wish I had met him at a more healed stage. I’m bitter that he told me after the breakup that he was “eternally grateful for me for showing him he is worthy of love.” My emotional mind wants to say, “Great! Glad I could be your ego boost for a year while you have no desire in how this will affect me moving forward.” It’s also insulting to learn that somewhere along the line, he just decided to himself that our relationship would inevitably end at a certain point so he stopped future planning with me in mind. It’s just that something in me doesn’t get it.
“I didn’t know there was such a thing as cheating in the situationship or hookup that he had with this particular woman you refer to as his ex.” — That’s a good point. He claimed they never made anything official but that she was hooking up with someone who wouldn’t date her, so she was using my ex as a rebound and to make this other guy jealous. I found it confusing and a little worrisome that my ex referred to it as a situationship, yet also seemed like they were in a commitment. I still feel like he might have used me as a rebound to get back at her in his mind, even unknowingly.(I know, I’m doing it again. I think I make a lot of fatalistic conclusions so as to try to gain control).
Also, in reference to the part where you said he didn’t seem to fight for her either, I was more so referring to the fact that he even HAD the energy and fire in him to keep going with her in conversation, to “prove” his point to her. It shows he cared. When he dumped me, he had nothing else to explain and was done – he tried to wrap it up poetically by quoting our first Hinge conversation, hoping it would appease me. If there is one thing I wish I would have said that night, it’s that THAT is such a hurtful and ridiculous way to end a relationship with someone.
The Emily Dickinson poem was very nice, thank you. I haven’t read much of her work since high school, I should start again. The visuals remind me of the 2007 Sweeney Todd film with the character of Johanna being locked in her bedroom, singing to a bird in a cage and looking wistfully outside her window seeing people going about their lives below. She sings through her pain and it gives her hope, even if it’s all she has. I always really resonated with the idea of being JUST out of reach for what you long for and feeling powerless to your surroundings.
You are welcome, Nick. I feel for you. Breakups are the worst.
When I got upset at my ex for the social media stuff, he dumped me on the spot. There was no chance or hope for me to convince him we could work on things. It seems like you were trying to have patience with your ex and work on things even after she showed a severe lack of trust in you and disrespected you. I think you tried to be understanding here and did all you could do.
Good to hear from you too!
“In regard to “(I) agree with what you said about no man/person being able to help me“- what I said was that no man “could have possibly given me what I needed… There was simply TOO MUCH that I was missing: a sense of self-esteem”, “… you need more than any man can give you, but you believe that he was able, if he chose to, to give you what you need, and that he is still able to.” — Yes, I didn’t feel too much for him. I saw he was capable and willing to meet my needs and expectations from the get-go until something changed his mind about us. Knowing SOMETHING changed feels personal as he was super into us before. And this is why I do feel I was too much for him. So you’re saying that even if I finally got with someone who was a healthy fit for me, it still wouldn’t work out until I became securely attached in myself?
I keep getting reminded lately of when he admitted to me early on that he was struggling about his ex and that when they had broken up, he written her a long and scathing good riddance paragraph, how she was a cruel person with no regard for anyone’s feelings, and that he realized it was pointless so he just deleted the paragraph instead and blocked her. He said he felt anger and shame for being cheated on – as I’ve mentioned here before, and he told me he was struggling with getting over those feelings and he was worried about it affecting us. I know that anger is just unaddressed pain and sadness. Yet when he broke up with ME, he was indifferent and wouldn’t even allow me to fight for us. There was no fight for us or passion or pain in losing me that night and since then in him. I see he’s capable of feeling pain and loss for people as he showed me with his ex. Does this mean he actually didn’t feel strongly towards me in the first place like he did her as I feared all along? Maybe. It’s been really bothering me and making me feel jealous though. I’m bitter that I wasn’t fought for but someone he didn’t even get to date over the span of two months who cheated on him can cause him so much distress. It’s insulting that our year together didn’t seem to mean anything to him. I think now that he was so eager to stay friends when I asked him so that he could feel less guilt and shame for hurting me. Actions since then have shown he does not want to be friends either.
“And this is why, post breakup, you still follow him on social media, and why you’ve been reading about his attachment style, trying to understand him better, so to .. somehow bring him back to your life and give you what you need.” — I think it’s also just an attempt to try to separate any issues from me and hoping that maybe it wasn’t that I was too much for him or anything I did to cause him to bail, but that he really isn’t equipped or willing to show up for anyone. I hear often that an avoidant and an anxiously attached couple are essentially doomed because they trigger each other and they require thorough and thoughtful understanding of themselves and each other in order for it to work.
– “It’s not that I feel safe, it’s that I feel more courage than I ever did before.” — That makes sense. Also, thank you for this poem, it’s very nice. I do hope to find power in my heart and the power to carry on because every single day is such a struggle to have any hope. I appreciate your encouragement.
I read your thread and wanted to chime in because I feel your breakup has some relevance to mine. I got dumped about 3 months ago because I became suspicious of my ex and found some things on his social media I was not happy with. He acknowledged hurting me and took accountability for it, but also said I manifested this because I was always looking for evidence to prove what I allegedly already thought of him – that he was an untrustworthy guy. He had a point. In my previous relationships, I have been cheated on and lied to and have had a few very painful social media related issues with men. I told my ex before I ever saw anything negative from him that I had a really sensitive wound with that subject and asked him to please not ever do what my exes did to me. I’m still struggling with understanding if he even did anything wrong or not… but regardless, my jealousy and trust issues were there either way.
The behavior you experienced was toxic and I acknowledge it in myself too. I think your ex didn’t even give you a chance from the get go, though. She seems to have brick walls up around her and she’s gonna continue to not trust men until or unless something massively changes her fear. I have this horrible fear too and I feel for her because I don’t think anyone can help this in us. I still feel at fault for overreacting. Losing my ex absolutely wasn’t worth it for me in retrospect. I can’t speak for your ex but trust issues from our past are no joke and we bleed them out onto everyone. I’m sure a little part of her is frustrated with herself. I wish I had some advice but I hope that maybe seeing it from someone with a similar relationship trigger helps a little.
I’ll first address your latest message and I appreciate you for following up with me after I went MIA. I have been working 6-7 days a week lately to try to make up for the almost $800 car repair bill I just had to pay. So to address your question, yes I did get my car back a few days ago and it is driving okay so far. I don’t want to speak too soon. Also, my appointment with the ENT that I scheduled about the lump in my neck is for December 7th so I’m still in the dark there. I’ll keep you posted. My eating problem has been really flaring up badly lately and tonight it was terrible. I still feel physically sick from how anxious it made me. I feel this every day and it’s really hard to be hopeful that one day I will conquer any pent up trauma stored in my body if I just keep re-doing this daily. Kind of like what we talked about a month or two ago… how the body can only handle so many cortisol spikes. I know I say it every post update but my pain and grief about this has only been increasing with time because I see he actually just said a lot of things to make me feel better and didn’t mean them as a way to make things easier for himself. I know a lot of people will do this without realizing it to manipulate others and whatever those motivations are tells you about what kind of person they are. I know my crying throughout the day isn’t helping my throat and swallowing issue.
I follow a lot of avoidant attachment content trying to understand things from a more objective level to stop taking it so personally. I’ve stayed no contact since he ghosted me. However, I saw a video stating that avoidantly attached people rarely even care or notice you’ve gone not contact with them. I don’t know how to unfollow or block him. I think I keep waiting for it to click with me and feel right. I hate him thinking I hate him but he also is okay with just never talking to me again after stating he wanted to, apparently.
“I entered adulthood as a very needy child in a young woman’s body (thin, not womanly). I needed so much. No young man could have possibly given me what I needed even if he was very serious abut me and saw a future with me and cared a lot… There was simply TOO MUCH that I was missing: a sense of self-esteem, a sense of any amount of confidence in my ability to function independently and effectively in the world.. There was too much SHAME in me.. and GUILT. Too much unfinished business from a bad childhood.” — This is exactly true for me as well. I read somewhere the other day that when an anxiously attached person puts someone on a pedestal, they literally make them “perfect” and so they create unrealistic and harsh expectations on that person. So when this person disappoints us, we are overly critical over them and it pushes them away. I already kind of knew this but just being reminded… it makes me sick to my stomach. In my toxic relationship of 4 years that ended in 2019, I spent that entire relationship holding in my feelings until it completely destroyed me and I had to leave. I’ve done that my whole life and after therapy, I was determined to finally speak EVERY SINGLE feeling and concern after sitting with the emotions and trying not to be reactive. I feel with my current ex that I then did this too often and as much as he is at fault for not being honest with himself and me, I am at fault for being too critical of him. I can understand why he felt immense pressure to meet my concerns and needs over time. He told me it stopped being “fun.” The real Stacy showed up with REAL needs like you said. All this breakup has shown me was that speaking my needs gets me dumped. I understand that relationships are sometimes only meant to be for a season and that speaking boundaries filters out those not meant for us but at what point are our boundaries literally too much? I feel I am too much and agree with what you said about no man/person being able to help me. I think it’s really admirable that you have finally gotten to a place where you have that balance now and feel safe with yourself and choices.
Yes, it’s true that we never actually did anything about our future instead of talking about how things could be. I thought our pacing was always appropriate and I was so sure about how serious he was about me that I didn’t push future plan talk, and really didn’t want to anyway yet because I wasn’t ready to do anything too soon either. I was hoping to get on my own feet before including him in anything financial or contractual. Perhaps I should have pressed him harder when he’d joke about our future together so we could have had a chance to have those conversations and I could have had the truth sooner. It would be nice to know if he ever saw a future with me or not as he claimed he didn’t after the breakup. The closure I want will not ever happen, I know.
Also, thank you for your patience and understanding while I work through all of this. I can see from an objective point of view that the Talk vs. Action Factor makes sense, but my emotions haven’t caught up to that yet. I appreciate you validating that I am needing a lot of time to process my feelings, no matter what anyone thinks. I still just stare off into space daily trying to understand and accept that this person didn’t care about me as much as they seemed to. And even if they did care, my absence gives them more peace than any desire for reconciliation. He’s entitled to that and to change his mind, but I sure wish he had been more connected to himself to let me know sooner.
I hope that you keep your stress level as low as possible and that you are physically okay. — Thank you, I am trying. There’s nothing I can do about the lump in my neck aside from just wait and try not to worry about what I can’t control in the meantime with that situation.
“I think you have a lot of people in your life who fall on the opposite end of the spectrum. This has created a lot of shame for you in sharing your emotional needs.” — Yes, so much so that I am convinced that a consistent connection isn’t real, as everyone has their limits and you can’t put so much onto one person. I know that me making my ex my lifeline probably made him lose some attraction to me. That’s understandable and I have to work on that even more than I already worried about. I hope to someday run across a friend or significant other who can handle me more consistently, but I also hope to be able to be more self-regulated for them as well.
“It is honestly disgusting that your partner told you that he was no longer attracted to you and continued to sleep with you.” — I mean, he didn’t blatantly tell me he was no longer attracted to me, I should have said that, but he admitted to wandering eyes and falling for thirst traps. He said he missed how things used to be with us, when things were “fun,” how he knew he SHOULD be happy but that he just wasn’t, not to mention the few times towards the end where he said the honeymoon stage for us was over. These were all indicators to me that he lost attraction and interest in me, or else he would have had at least SOME desire to fight for us, I’d think. So yes, even though he didn’t come right out and say that, I know it’s what he meant. I don’t see how someone can be so intimate with you whilst simultaneously being bored. I’m already incredibly insecure about my body and he reassured me so much about how attracted he was to me all of the time. I don’t believe any of it anymore.
Also, you make a good point about his lack of care and interest in wanting to call me too. He always dropped what he was doing and made time for me when I needed to vent. But it irked me that he never felt the need for the same connection from me. I chalked it up to him just having different temperance, ADHD, and attachment needs.
“I think that it’s a good thing that you were persistent in confronting him about issues that you were concerned about. It made things very clear that you were not going to accept the behaviour.” — Thank you. I do wish I had been more open-minded about his sexual preferences and fantasies, but they made me feel insecure as they were the polar opposite of me and he was seeming to be less passionate about me towards the end. And to be honest, I think I was and am a lot more sheltered than I thought I was. The Tik Tok coworker he’s been spending a lot of time with is into covered face latex suits and Shibari… makes me wonder if this kind of appetite interests him too as he seemed to take to them very quickly. To each their own, no judgment but that kind of stuff is way too involved and heavy for me. I know I shouldn’t have to change myself for someone, but I do wish I had been less serious about things when we’d discuss them. Sex is just not a priority for me. I’m constantly stuck in survival mode – my main objective and concern in a relationship is if this person is making me feel safe, seen, loved, and entertaining me/adding joy to my life. Sex is trivial to me, that kind of connection comes after the other stuff is very established. I understand sex is priority for some people and that’s okay too, and maybe I should care more about what it means for me as well, I’m not sure. But if he just dumped me over his sexual appetite not aligning with me, it does feel a bit shallow and disappointing.
“Because of the abuse and difficulties in life you cannot imagine better. But it exists and you deserve it. You deserve to be treat with the same kindness that you show other people.” — Thank you. I have trouble believing I deserve better when I’m told I’m being unreasonable and unfair. He seemed willing to compromise until things got very real. I feel bad about making him feel bad about his life choices but I don’t think he’s over there feeling bad about how he made me feel either. He doesn’t even know how I feel – I’ve not spoken to him in over a month and even then, we didn’t discuss our breakup except for the two days right after it when I apologized to him.
“I think you understand what happened in the relationship. But you also experienced gaslighting.” — It’s funny because he often joked about gaslighting me. He’d constantly do these little “bits” to be ironic and make fun of misogynistic men and “mansplaining.” It’s hard to imagine what I mean but it just felt like with so much awareness to all of this and how toxic it all was, that he was immune to ever actually being this way towards me. Kind of like how when a man is comfortable with his masculinity, he can joke about the subject. Exactly like what you were saying with the “pretending to be healthy” thing.
Yes, it’s hard to see that he may be settling with his life considering how much we talked about wanting to have our own spaces. We even joked about getting excited over buying our own dish cloths someday. I’ve been crying so much again over him lately that I think I am going to just have to accept that the pain is here to stay until further notice. That’s all I can do, just let myself hurt without making myself feel bad about it, no matter what anyone else has to say about my process. I just hope something eventually clicks for me and the pain will lessen someday. Letting myself just imagine not crying over him and hurting so much constantly would be a win for me. And like you said, proving to myself that my life has value to keep going.
I got a car update today. The repair bill stands at $700 so far, which will take just about all of my upcoming paycheck. Also, a few months ago I noticed a small pea-sized like “ball” in the right side of my neck. I tried to tell myself it was just a swollen lymph node. Well, now it’s at least twice that size as I just noticed it again today at work. I’m getting really concerned it could be something serious so I called an ENT and have an appointment scheduled for December – the earliest they could see me. My consultation alone is going to be $220. It’s impossible to save money like this, but I hope they don’t find anything serious. I don’t know why I’m sharing this here, I just am really worried about it on top of this other stuff.
Helcat – I will respond to you soon! My night got away from me and I have to force myself to sleep. I hope you are doing well and I appreciate your responses!
I hope you have been well since we last talked. This morning when my mom was taking me to work, we got into road construction and she became very frazzled very quickly and my stomach just immediately went in knots and I had to help her understand where to go even though I was figuring it out on the spot too. It’s this same feeling I’ve always had with my mom, she stresses so much and I have to take over and make things less stressful for her in that moment. I can’t relax, I miss having my ex being able to handle stressful moments like this and knowing I could sit there and RELAX while he handled it calmly.
“… and then, because of the breakup, your objective circumstances deteriorated (you had to move back home with your family, couldn’t get enough sleep, lost the better paying job, etc.), then the breakup would have been a huge loss objectively.” — That’s true. That’s why I actually only ever wanted to just move closer to him and have my own place. At least for the next several years. I was afraid of moving in with him, I’ve seen too many times how that mistake can crumble a person. But yes, even if I got my own place anywhere else, there is always the possibility of having to come back home.
“There were two instances early on into our relationship about possible hurdles for us and he genuinely was worried about me dumping him over them. We talked them out and I know he cared a lot, I saw it and felt it through his actions“- what actions?” — When we first discussed possibly lifestyle incompatibility over his weed usage, he said he was willing to do whatever he could to accommodate me and make it work. He then always kept it away from me, and never once made me feel pressured to smoke weed with him, or resentful that I wasn’t. I even told him I felt bad if he felt that he had to hide parts of himself from me. He said it was fine after checking in with him a few times. The only issue (that I’m aware of) came up with the wedding in July, and I was understanding to that because it was someone else’s celebration. The other time was when he brought up the worry over him not being completely healed from being cheated on from his ex before me, he showed a lot of concern for how that could possibly affect us and gave me consistent care and affection for months after that. I guess you could argue that was still around the first 3 month period where most people are putting on their best face.
“All through the relationship, he lived with his parents because he couldn’t afford a place of his own (“we are both stuck living back home with family in bad financial positions“), and he spent a lot of time- not looking for a better-paying job- but on gaming and liking photos online.. again, not promising.” — I always found it hard to understand why he hadn’t moved out by now, even to just a tiny apartment outside of the small, utopian retirement town he lived in because he made decent money compared to his expenses and had his weekend side hustle with house/dogsitting. He claimed he didn’t make good money and couldn’t afford anything but he made $17.50/hr. which is good in our area, especially without a degree. I never questioned him because I felt it was extremely hypocritical of me considering I was in the same boat, and we weren’t engaged or anything so I felt that his finances were none of my business. Near the end of our relationship, he revealed he wasn’t even working completely full time at his main job anymore and was actually making more money housesitting on the weekends. I found that odd and wondered why he had chosen less hours. I say all that to say that perhaps he really was not in a place to actually want to move any time soon, even if he felt like he wanted to in theory. On the night of our breakup when he was trying to argue that I didn’t want to leave my family, town, or job (completely untrue), I was trying to tell him I could work towards moving to his town and that I was always looking at places to rent. He snapped back quickly and said, “THAT YOU CAN’T AFFORD!”
“To feel like I had ANY part in messing up what was meant for me/us just really is hard to shake off”- meant by whom? — Sorry, I’m not sure what you meant here but I was just saying that I worry I possibly had a hand in ruining a quality relationship that was meant to be for us. And yes, I definitely can’t imagine being someone not filled with shame or guilt or crippling insecurities that I project onto others. I don’t even want to ever date again solely because of my social media jealousy hang ups…
Thank you for organizing my thoughts so neatly, I will definitely take these notes to a therapist when I can. I already re-read my thread a lot too because I feel like this place is sort of my new way of journaling, with the added benefit of getting feedback from others. These thorough responses have been so comforting to receive.
“I believe that you’ve been ruminating about him so heavily since the breakup because.. you still feel that he is your hope for safety.” …” You feel a huge loss: subjectively (the way you feel), it is a huge loss, but objectively (reality is), there is no loss: he’s just a guy with his own problems, living at home with his parents, not making much money; a guy who talked a good game, telling you exactly the words you desperately needed to hear. But even if he meant those words (I assume he did) these are still only WORDS. It takes so much more to.. be a mensch (a person of integrity and honor).” — I can see that I have him placed way above me in my head, absolutely. I can see he has avoidance and communication issues. I can see he has had a lot of things catered to him in his life and so he’s not as “on guard” in general as I am about having to get my basic needs met. But, it still feels like a huge loss as well because I’ve never been so passionate about someone and have that same passion reciprocated for me.
“Even if you didn’t seek his reassurance, even if you acted perfectly at all times (an impossibility for any human), he’d still be who he is and what you would have gotten from him would’ve been more words. Even if he had the right emotion to go with his words, what you need is real-life action that’s congruent with.. integrity and honor.” — There were two instances early on into our relationship about possible hurdles for us and he genuinely was worried about me dumping him over them. We talked them out and I know he cared a lot, I saw it and felt it through his actions there. Talk about REALLY making my inner child feel seen – someone I really liked actually feared losing me for once and was trying to compromise with me in a healthy way. So you think he never wanted long-term commitment with anyone anyway, at least not for now? I guess it’s an issue with my insecurities to think that he was open to a future with me until something changed about me for him. As you’ve said, maybe he thought he wanted something but his actions couldn’t match his words when truly tested over time. I have to accept that he’s not doing anything about it now and had no problem completely cutting me off after telling me he wanted us to work through this breakup together.
I cried tonight because I saw a video of a girl talking about how when you mourn the loss of a relationship, you’re mourning a version of a person you loved who no longer and will no longer exist to you ever again. It will never be the same because now there is hurt and history. Not only that, but you are mourning YOURSELF and who you were before it ended, and how you will never get that version of yourself back again. This made me burst out into tears. I do miss that version of me with him. I felt as though all these years of TRYING to at least be self-aware and work through my triggers and anxious attachment/codependency issues had finally paid off and I was being met with a healthy and securely attached person. I tried to self-regulate and self-care throughout this whole relationship when I felt neglected or triggered. But I know I was very reactive the night of the breakup. To feel like I had ANY part in messing up what was meant for me/us just really is hard to shake off. I really, really hope you are right when you say that my issues alone weren’t enough for him to tip the boat and leave.