May 23, 2019 at 7:30 am #295257
Hi Tinybuddha Community,
The posts on this forum have always brought me solace whenever I feel low. But right now, I am in a very weird place emotionally and I really need your advice on what to do.
My boyfriend (now ex) of more than a year moved to a different country due to work during the beginning of our relationship. He comes back every 2 months and we overall had a very happy and fun relationship. The usual cute couple stuff, skype dates, fights, gifts, constant communication, excitement to see each other etc etc.
Recently, immediately after he went to his work country, it’s like he became a completely different person. He wouldn’t text or talk to me, wouldn’t reply to the memes I sent him, kept ignoring my calls and kept saying he doesn’t want to have any social interaction with anyone. I was going through a very tough time at work and really needed his support, however he become emotionally absent in the relationship. I had no experience of dealing with something like this withdrawal before and lashed out at him(something I regret right now! I wish I had handled this differently) . In the end, things became so bad, both of us decided to end the relationship.
We were not in contact with each other for more than 15 days after that. However, I reached out to him recently because I was worried about him. Once on a call, when we were discussing how both of us were handling the separation, his voice was so pained, I had to make up an excuse and cut the call to cry. I couldn’t handle how much pain he seemed to be in and how much he had emotionally withdrawn. I also realized my emotions are too dependent on his emotions and I have to mindfully learn how to detach myself when talking to him, so I can help him and still take care of my emotions. I’ve been trying to do that for the past 15 days.
We now text once or twice a day, all initiated by me and he would just send a one line response. I see him online on social media though, but that doesn’t bother me. I think any social interaction would be good for him right now. I try to call him at least once a week and hear his voice to see if he is feeling a little bit better. Once on a call, after a little more probing he said he doesn’t love himself right now, so he cannot even think of loving me. He said its a phase and he’ll deal with it himself, saying I wouldn’t be happy with him when he’s like this. I tried persuading him to try and seek help from a professional and to which he has reluctantly agreed to. I don’t think he would go though. But I think him just agreeing to think about help, is progress. Although he has not yet come out and called it “depression”.
I don’t know how else to deal with this situation. I cannot completely cut him off because he was also my best friend and it hurts knowing he is going through something like this. I want to help him but I also know its him that can help himself more than anyone else. It feels like my life has been turned upside down because we had plans to get married by next year and I had never thought we would go through something like this.
Do you think I should stop texting/calling and completely give him space to heal or I should continue texting him once/twice a day. Maybe he might feel better. I am going to see him again in July, 2019.
How else can I help him while also taking care of my emotional well being? I still love him very much and I know deep down he does too. Relationship or no relationship, I just want him to be okay.
– Tatertots123May 23, 2019 at 9:04 am #295307
“How else can I help him while also taking care of my emotional well being?… Relationship or no relationship, I just want him to be okay”-
– first thing to do when you aim at helping someone is to not hurt them, to do-no-harm to them. Therefore, don’t lash out at him again and no more fights. You wrote about the relationship with him that it included “skype dates, fights, gifts, constant communication, excitement”- see to it that fights is not part of what is happening between you and him. See to it that the excitement you mentioned is not about fighting and then making up.
The gifts you mentioned, right after the word fights, these don’t neutralize the fights, that is, damage from fighting is not made right with gifts that follow.
If you want to share, what is it that pains him so much?
anitaMay 23, 2019 at 10:22 am #295333
I know what you are going through.
Many years ago, my first boyfriend broke up with me out of nowhere. I spent six months in a very dark place inside myself. But I got better, and I learned, and I lived so many beautiful things after that! After some months, my ex-boyfriend contacted me. He wanted to go back together. He was sorry and he said he was depressed. He sent me flowers, wrote a letter, recorded a cd (it was a long time ago, cd’s were a thing). And he begged and begged me to go back. I was still very found of him, and I felt very touched by his pain.
But I KNEW deep down that we were no good for each other anymore. I said no, he suffered terribly, but eventually he got over it and moved on with his life. I met him at parties years after that and he seemed the same happy guy as before.
This experience taught me a lot. What helped me to get over him, and him get over me was distance and time. We stopped communicating with each other, and eventually we met new people, found new interests, and life moved on.
And your ex WILL move on, but only if you both allow him to. In my honest (and raw) opinion, trying to make your ex feel better after the breakup is not your job. Not only because his emotions are not your responsibility and never will be, but because I imagine that talking to the one we lost is really painful. Is very lovely of you to be worried about him. But you are not responsible for him. Let him go.
I know it seems we will never get over it, and he’s in a very bad shape. It’s been 2 weeks since your break-up, and that’s how you’re supposed to feel after a breakup. I was in a very dark place too, and it seemed to have no end, like I was lost forever in a dark and scary forest not knowing where to go. But guess what? It did end. The dark forest (I love analogies) was just some place that I needed to cross to get to the other side.
So my advice for you is this: give him and you time to heal. Talk to him for the last time, give your best advice, and try not to contact him anymore. I know he was your best friend and a very dear person. But you and him will still meet so much lovely people in your lives! I can guarantee you.
Let him go. And allow him to let you go to. It’s really, really painful, but is the only way forward.