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Ex girlfriend with anxiety broke up with me to find herself/be alone

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This topic contains 11 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Jim 3 weeks, 5 days ago.

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  • #322709

    Jake
    Participant

    Hello All,

    Some context…my ex gf and I were together for over 3 years. Our relationship was amazing during the first two or so years, but then I started noticing some difficulties and we were not being physical.  Despite this we still loved each other and were best friends like we always were.  We were fighting more over things that did not seem to matter, but our love and respect for each other remained. This past year has both been insanely busy and hectic for both of us career wise and with university.

    About 6-8 months ago, I noticed my ex was really struggling with school, work, life, and never seemed happy, even when I wasn’t with her.  She also is struggling to find what she wants to do in life after university, and became more snappy at me for what seemed to be absolutely nothing, causing me to feel despised.  She would simply explode out of nowhere.  Eventually she began getting panic attacks and sought out therapy and professional help (was put on anti-depressants) , which I was extremely happy about because I hoped it would help her with stress and herself.

    Fast forward to more recently where she is extremely anxious now and stressed with work/university, she has broken up with me abruptly and wants to be alone, and with no one right now.  She also told me that she has kind of “Fallen out of love” with me and she does not know why and that she wishes she felt how I do about her.  She says she loves me and that it is nothing that I did at all, it is her. She also says that she does not feel like she knows herself anymore and is desperate to feel happy again. This of course was devastating to me but I told her I support her, love her, and want her to feel better. I have also told her that when she is ready I hope we can continue our relationship and work on it.

    I just do not understand why her feelings for me changed out of nowhere.  The first two years we were beyond happy and we did everything like traveling the world and other things that bring people closer. I did everything I could to make her happy, was loyal, and always showed her love and affection despite my crazy work schedule.  I question if all the past year of us arguing over nonsense and her shortness/abrupt anger out of nowhere with me was undiagnosed anxiety (GAD) and depression.  Over this time she has also been distant with everyone in her life and has not been wanting to go out or do much.  She simply lacks the same drive she used to have. I also wonder if her anxiety is what caused her sudden loss of sex-drive and her feeling that she does not know herself anymore.

    Right now we are not talking and I am giving her space to figure herself out and to be happy with herself again like she was the first two years of our relationship. She has also told me she does not want me to wait because she doesn’t know if she will want to be with me when she finds herself. She simply seems lost. It kills me to not see or hear from her, but I know it is for the best especially since I want to be with her the rest of my life.

    Has anyone experienced anything like this, or have any advice? Could the root of our breakup be her anxiety disorder and simply her desperation to feel herself again?

    Thank you

     

     

     

    #322801

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Jake:

    Amazing relationship for the first two years or so, after which a year that was “insanely busy and hectic for both of us career wise and with university” followed, as well as the following: “we were not being physical.. We were fighting more…(she) never seemed happy.. became more snappy at me for what seemed to be absolutely nothing, causing me to feel despised. She would explode out of nowhere.. put on anti depressants” and most recently she broke up with you abruptly, saying she “wants to be alone, and with no  one right now.. she has kind of ‘Falling out of love’ with me and that she wishes she felt how I do about her.. it is nothing that I did.. it is her”.

    You told her that you “support her, love her, and want her to feel better.. when she is ready I hope we can continue our relationship and work  on it”.

    “I just do not understand why her feelings for me changed out of nowhere… I did everything I could to make her happy, was loyal, and always showed her love and affection despite my crazy schedule”.

    My understanding at this point: I don’t think that her feelings for you changed “out of nowhere”, but that her feelings changed in the last year, long before she broke up with you. I imagine she wanted to break up with you way before she did. I imagine she felt conflicted and guilty and struggled for a long time before she finally broke up with you.

    You do read like having been a loving, loyal boyfriend to her. Maybe this was on her mind as she put off breaking up with you in the last year or so.

    Because she waited so long to break up with you, because she was in distressed with this conflict, she is less likely to come back  to you than if she expressed herself honestly to you earlier. Because of the length of time that she was distressed over the relationship, her losing feelings for you may be permanent.

    It is possible that she will feel again and seek you out, wanting to resume the relationship, but I wouldn’t entertain much hope for this to happen. If I was you, I’d focus  on my career and university as if your life depended on it, because it does, this is what you have now that she is not in your life.

    When she told you to not wait for her, that means that she doesn’t see herself returning to you, that this is not a temporary break, in her mind.

    Her GAD and depression- yes, these do kill loving feelings. Problem is that her loving feelings for you are dead and it doesn’t matter what killed them, now that they are no longer there. And again, problem is that she struggled for too long without expressing her conflict to you, so the struggle cemented in her mind and is likely to keep the loving feelings outside her experience.

    I am not a fortune teller, and I don’t believe in such. I can’t tell the future. What I consider is probabilities. What do you think about what I wrote here?

    anita

     

    • This reply was modified 1 month ago by  anita.
    #322845

    Valora
    Participant

    I can tell you that a very similar thing happened with my ex and I. He sort of blindsided me with a breakup, but it was during a year of intense struggle with physical and emotional pain and stress. He’d been diagnosed with PTSD, depression, and anxiety long before we ever dated and it was still a struggle for him.

    The difference might be that he didn’t tell me he lost feelings for me and he’d said he still loved me deeply, but that he felt insecure when he compared himself to me (I was more financially secure, own my own home, etc., things he was struggling with)…. that he wasn’t happy and he needed to be alone to figure out how to be happy and to focus on doing whatever he could to get his life headed in the right direction… basically, he was looking for happiness outside of himself and felt the need to change everything in his life, and when people start feeling that way, the relationship is often one of the first things to go, even if it’s been a good one with a supportive partner. Throwing the baby out with the bathwater, so to speak.

    My ex ended up dating someone else shortly after we broke up (I’m guessing being alone with his feelings wasn’t working well for him and he needed a distraction but didn’t want to come back to me because I was still part of the problems of his old life in his mind), but he still contacted me off and on throughout the first year after our breakup, really short conversations (wished me Happy Thanksgiving last year, for example), which said to me that he was still struggling with his feelings a bit because I think he started to realize that breaking up with me and pulling away from a bunch of his friends didn’t solve everything and he was still struggling. He ended up being diagnosed with a different disorder that he realized was causing some of his issues and apologized for not going to the doctor and figuring out what was wrong with him sooner. But he still continued to date the girl he was dating after me rather than coming back.

    We have been broken up for a little over 2 years now, and we are still apart. I’m not sure whether he’s still with the other girl or not because I make it a point NOT to keep tabs on him. So while it’s possible (and probably likely) that your ex’s depression and anxiety are what caused her to ultimately break up with you, you can’t count on her coming back either. So I would begin the process of detaching from her and letting the relationship go, and if she does come back at some point, then get to know each other again and see how it goes, but make sure she’s worked through her issues or she will just do it again the next time she goes through a stressful situation (and adult life is FULL of those).

    #322885

    Jake
    Participant

    Hello Anita,

    Thank you for your insightful response.  That is definitely a huge fear of mine, that being she has been wanting to break up for a long time.  I just simply cannot understand why her feelings changed.  Not to say I am perfect by any means, but everything was there.  Her current state of seeming completely lost kills me inside and I find it impossible to have an interest in another woman.

    Thank you so much.

    #322887

    Jake
    Participant

    Hello Valora,

     

    Thank you for your reply.  Your situation sounds extremely difficult and hard, I am sorry.  I know it sounds selfish of me, but I hope my ex realizes that our relationship had grounded her and benefited her life, and did not create more anxiety on top of what she is experiencing.  I just wish I could know what will happen in the future.  All I know is I want her in my life…

     

    #322897

    Valora
    Participant

    Hello Valora,

    Thank you for your reply.  Your situation sounds extremely difficult and hard, I am sorry.  I know it sounds selfish of me, but I hope my ex realizes that our relationship had grounded her and benefited her life, and did not create more anxiety on top of what she is experiencing.  I just wish I could know what will happen in the future.  All I know is I want her in my life…

    Thank you, time and distance definitely made it easier, but it took a long time for me to feel okay. I think there did come a point where my ex realized that I wasn’t creating the anxiety or stress in his life, and he had improved a lot of things during our relationship that he struggled with before he’d met me, so I’m sure there will come a point where your ex realizes that as well… just be prepared for her to realize that and still not come back. On the other hand, plenty of couples break up for months or even sometimes several years and get back together after they’ve both done some growing, so you never know. Those couples that grew and changed during their separation reported a much better relationship the 2nd time around.

    #322901

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Jake:

    You are very welcome. If you’d like to add any information that may  be relevant to her state of mind, perhaps something about her relationships with her parents/ family, please do. If you add information, or if I have more thoughts, I will  read from you/ reply to you when I am back to the computer in about 14 hours from now.

    I hope you feel better soon.

    anita

    #322965

    Inky
    Participant

    Hi Jake,

    I know this is driving you crazy, but the best thing is to let her go. There might be a small percent chance she comes back. But would you really want that? You are boyfriend material, not a mental health professional. And consider: even the best university relationships oftentimes fall apart after graduation. I know this is bad news. It’s time to look out for YOU!

    Best,

    Inky

    #322993

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Jake:

    In your second post you wrote: “I just simply cannot understand why her feelings changed”.

    It is possible that because she was distressed on many fronts, “school, work, life”, she was like (this is an image I have, I am making up the titles of a few of the rocks:) a person carrying five heavy rocks: one title school demands, a second,  student loans, a third, career plans, a fourth perhaps,  troubled relationship with a parent, and a fifth, relationship with Jake.

    Walking around with this heavy load, something had to give, she had to drop at least one rock. So she dropped you. This way she feels a bit lighter and more able to carry the other four rocks. It is often less scary to drop a romantic relationship than one with a parent, less guilt involved. And student loans, well that is way more difficult to drop than a relationship, almost impossible.

    It is possible that she dropped you not because you were a heavy rock (a big problem), but because it was too  difficult or impossible to drop any of the other four rocks (big problems).

    anita

    • This reply was modified 1 month ago by  anita.
    #323115

    Valora
    Participant

    Anita, I LOVE that analogy. It’s a great visual, and it really is true for a lot of people who feel overwhelmed. With that kind of analogy, you can see why relationships are often the first thing to go in those cases, because often they’re the easiest thing to let go of compared to the other “rocks.”

    #323127

    anita
    Participant

    * Thank you for the note, Valora. I suppose, as a partner in a relationship with the carrier of rocks, the partner needs to make the relationship-rock as light as can be for a while, so that his partner is not burdened with that rock. Maybe help her carry some of her other rocks from time to time. Maybe Jake did these things for his partner. (Did you Jake?)

    anita

    #323357

    Jim
    Participant

    Jake,

     

    i do have some experience with this. 6 years ago i had a great relationship with someone who suffered from many ups and downs when it came to moods. She did suffer from depression and was not medicated at the time, nor did she do anything to help herself such as exercise, or hobby wise. She started down hill and our relationship went with it. I did nothing to cause this. She ended the relationship and returned all of my stuff, told me it was her and not me, then disappeared and i was shocked. I had no leads and was so hurt. I spent the next three months constantly looking for answers and begging. It caused my misery to heighten and i struggled to say the least. She blocked me, which came with a reason, which was that she started seeing a guy she had been with from her past that had previously left her hanging out to dry. When i found this out, i gave up the contact even though i was still hurting so bad. 3 weeks after i discontinued the contact, she started reaching out to me, and did so on three separate occasions. On the third try i took her back and we talked, as she admitted her faults and wanted me back. I took her back and we spent the next 3 years together, bought a house and looked to get married and have kids. Eventually the relationship started to decline, as she needed more attention than i could give, and coincidentally, she left again for someone else who got her pregnant, and i never spoke to her again.

    my advice is, if someone voluntarily leaves you, do not reach out by any means. If they want you back, they will call. There is nothing you can do to change their mind. They need to do so on their own. The only thing you will do is push this person away. As much as it hurts, i wish i followed this advice back when this happened to me. As you could see, when i stopped contact, she came back.

    but tread lightly with this, as my situation ended even worse the second time around, costing me years and a lot of money tied up in a mortgage. History tends to repeat and most people do not change their ways. We all dont think on our toes while happy in a relationship like we do when we are experiencing heartache. We resort back to taking things for granted, and its very human to make mistakes. Just trust your instinct. Most women do not enjoy being alone, so if she decides she truly needs you, she will call, and then you can then decide what you think at that point.

    feel free to ask any questions you have, ive learned a great deal from my particular situation.

    hope you get what you want out of this, and know i feel your pain, ive been there.

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