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First breakup, anxiety and loss

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  • This topic has 10 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 4 weeks ago by Noor.
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  • #360573
    Lisa
    Participant

    My now ex and I broke up because his family is planning his marriage (he’s Indian). He was my first boyfriend and only  serious relationship in my 20s. Before him I was so insecure with myself and hated myself also. I was depressed and taking each day as it comes. I used apps to distract myself and More than often I would fall into a cycle where I met a guy, developed feelings and he would manipulate and lie about feeling the same way or ghost. I became numb to dating.

    when I met (let’s call him Dave) it was strange because we spoke like we were friends forever. We hardly flirted At first but there was an attraction. He had ended a relationship that was over 5 years so already he was not as ready to begin again. We stoped speaking for 3 months and again I was used to being ghosted so I didn’t pay him no mind.  I randomly messaged him after those three months and we began messaging again. We were both in a healthier mind to begin our relationship which we did. A week later we met up for the first time (he lives in a different city in the U.K.). That first meeting was never awkward, it was so fun and peaceful. Our second meeting we took a weekend trip and again it was probably the best time of my life.

    At this point my black parents knew about him (otherwise I wouldn’t be allowed to take a weekend trip). He also expressed he loved me which took me by surprise because I didn’t think anyone even him could. It was early but with long distance, all we had was communication and we built a deep bond. Throughout our relationship we grew closer, began dealing with things I always ignored and with him also. We spoke everyday, disclosed so many intimate stories and feelings and pretty much knew what we had was special. His parents knew about me early on and I guess their first concern was that I was black. I slightly expected this but it didn’t ruin my view towards him.  They had mentioned at this point another girl but Dave  also refused and said he was with me.

    Fast forward we had now been together 10 months. During COVID lockdown we had small disagreements but after a day or two we would sort it out and carry on. I went to visit him last weekend and it was so good seeing him after so long. We had a great time , on the last day we hung out with two of his mates , played games and everything was perfect. Kissed him goodbye got on the train back to London. The following day (Monday) he was messaging and calling me telling me he loves and misses me already and I him.

    Then the next day he randomly messages me saying we should have a break because he is having family issues and it’s stressing him out.
    when I call him I find out his family and another family are beginning arrangements for his wedding. The girl has a liking towards Dave and comes from a wealthy background. He tells me he doesn’t want to lead me on because he knows this process will be hard and get worse even if he tries to fight it back. I was so shocked, crying and I couldn’t breathe. We cried so much during this call but agreed to have a break but I wanted to know where his head was at. His parents visited the girls family the next day and they loved her. I didn’t want to beg him to choose me but I was crying hoping he would. He’s an only child and his parents mean so much to him so I knew I was not going to win here. I love him and want to marry him but I have my plans too. I don’t want our families to sit down and decide when we will get married or I will have kids. It was all to much so next day (Thursday)  we finally decided it was best to break up.

    Now 2 day’s since,  I have people telling me that it was inevitable and I shouldn’t be surprised. I have always avoided relationships because I feared getting hurt by the other person. This pain is worse because he didn’t cause it, his culture and family is something he cannot dismiss. We decided to end it because it will only get worse but decided to remain friends. I don’t know how I will do this because I love him so much. I’ve been crying all week, speaking to friends and family who are trying their best but they’re waiting for me to get over it. It was only ten months but we were in such a great place, such a great great place. It hurts thinking what could have been. COVID messed up so many couples and yet already being long distance  we were strong and handled it well. I want to speak to him but I’m told it’s better to not call or text. How long does this pain last?

    #360577
    Noor
    Participant

    Dear Lisa,

    I can completely relate to your story and your emotions. I am experiencing my first break up, in my early twenties, after a year-long relationship with a guy who is also Indian, an only child and the reason we supposedly cannot be together now is that his family believes in arranged marriages. I have posted my full story on a separate form titled “claim he is not choosing his parents, rather he is losing me” if you are interested in reading my entire story.

    In my relationship what really hurt me the most was the dishonesty on his part for not telling me from the very beginning the expectations of his family. We both belong to the same culture and religion, so he would constantly reassure me it would never be a problem but was always afraid to tell his parents about me (again, my full story is already posted and it hurts to retype it), anyways fast forward, after he told his parents they had very extreme reactions and well eventually said they would not be accepting and primarily because they did not “choose” me. They didn’t even bother talking to me because his mother was just too stubborn in her own ways according to him. We have been going back and forth but the relationship has recently ended for good.

    I have been a mess as well, constantly going through emotions where I am fine, then sad, then angry, and then just feeling numb from all the hurting. It has been almost a week but the pain is still very sharp. I have surrounded myself with a strong support system of my family and friends which has been really helpful but of course, it is still taking time to heal. I am focusing on other things in my life that I use to enjoy doing, but the pain really stems from this first heartbreak which I truly believed to be “the one” for me. As time passes, I am realizing that our relationship was bound to end and maybe the sooner it happened the better. Such cultures and traditions are deeply rooted in many South Asian families (I speak from experience), and you can never truly free yourself from it, and it is the worst when you do marry into it. You are expected to compromise your life and revolve everything around theirs, although it does depend on the person, it is still the case for many individuals.

    I cannot give an exact estimate as to how long the pain will last since I am currently going through it, but I do find that it is slowly, slowly getting better. I started becoming obsessed with how I could have saved the relationship or why this all was happening but once you start to accept and focus on the healing process then it does get better. To be honest I am still learning and trying to relieve the pain so when I fully do then I would be happy to share more of my thoughts on the matter with you. For now, all I can suggest is to really focus on distracting yourself, meditating (I just started but I have read that it can do wonders for a person), and journaling. Do what you need to feel comfortable and my advice is to try not to call and text. I did call him a few times after the breakup and the same with him but the thing is no matter what the outcome will not change and talking just delays the healing process. However, when I did make the call it did feel better to get it out of my system so I am not sure if it was still the right thing to do but at the time I needed to and after I felt better, but for the future, I am going to try and avoid it. Just don’t be too harsh on yourself, it’s okay to go through these phases, I am learning it is all part of the process to feeling better.

     

    #360578
    Noor
    Participant

    Also, one thing I wanted to mention is that you stated that “before [you met him, you were] so insecure with [yourself] and hated [yourself].

    Lisa, I use to feel similar thoughts, and I thought being in a relationship would fix all of that. I am slowly learning that was probably not the best approach because I ended up attracting a person that was not the right fit for me (although he was kind and respectful, there were still many early red flags I could not recognize because of my thought process).

    Instead of solely relying on another person to make you feel happy about yourself, I think it is important to take time to find ways that you can appreciate, and value yourself on your own. I hope you are more kind to yourself.  Being comfortable in doing things for yourself and taking up new hobbies, meeting new people, and taking those steps to feel happy. I truly feel when we learn to be happy on our own then we can come to a place of serenity that no one can have the power to take away from us.

    I know all of this is much easier said than done since I am still learning myself but I do believe if we keep practicing such things every day then we can learn to love, instead of hating ourselves.

    #360581
    Lisa
    Participant

    Hi Noor,

    Thank you for taking the time to reply to me. I appreciate this and that I can speak to someone who understands. I read your story and I am sorry you are going through this also. I am here for you.

    I guess with me it was hard because I was hesitant at the start, I knew I would grow to love him and that freaked me out. I was sensitive to the idea that he would leave me or something like this would happen so I was very much independent. It did help that we were long distance so I had my masters and Job to concentrate on and he had his studies. Nevertheless I did become vulnerable and open up to him and allowed myself to love him openhearted.  I told my friends and family about him and even stated he was the one I wanted to marry when the time comes. I always told proclaimed that I don’t want to marry or have kids mainly due to the fact that I have not seen a successive relationship in my family. people have stayed together but there are secrets and struggles within those relationships. Now I am embarrassed that I worked hard to trust and open up now is taken away from me. I have to go back to the same people and say it didn’t work out.

    I’m not sure if it is my negative thoughts or reality but I too realise it was never meant to last. Everything was intense from the start, like he told me he loved me 2 weeks into the relationship and I  a few days later. We shared so many things to each other from childhood experiences, dark thoughts, everything.  I wonder if this is what I will miss most because yes the physical was great but our communication was much stronger. I struggle in the evenings because that is when he would call and now I know I can call him because he will pick up but I don’t want to torture myself. He is very much sure that we will continue being friends but even believing that scares me because it might get taken away by his family or wife telling him that he should cut it off.

    I should also mention that before I began speaking to him I was on antidepressants which I stopped because it was affecting our sex. After an argument we had I realised I still had issues with my past to deal with that I was projecting on him so I began therapy. This helped so much during this lock down period and is possibly why I was able to continue working on myself without implicating or straining our relationship. I am yet to have a session with my therapist but I hope that they will assist me through this period too.

    Right now I am slightly drained and have been. I have deadlines for my dissertation to meet which has been hell because I simply cannot think straight. I’ve been up for a few hours and I haven’t cried either so that’s a plus.  Yeah…

    #360694
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Lisa:

    You shared that you are in your 20s,  a black woman living in the U.K, having a Master degree and a job, currently having deadlines to meet for your dissertation.

    “I have not seen a successful relationship in my family”, you wrote. “People have stayed together but there are secrets and struggles within those relationships”. Therefore, you always “proclaimed that I don’t want to marry or have kids”, and you were “very much independent”. You were also insecure, hated yourself and you were depressed. You took antidepressants.

    You tried dating apps but had bad experiences where you “met a guy, developed feelings and he would manipulate and lie about feeling the same or ghost”. As a result of observing bad relationships in your family and having bad experiences with dating, you were “very much independent”.

    And then you met Dave, your first boyfriend, first relationship: an Indian man who lives in another city in the U.K, and who is a student . With him, you “did become vulnerable and opened up to him and allowed myself to love him openhearted”. You told your friends and family about him “and even stated he was the one I wanted to marry when the time comes”. “Everything was intense from the start, like he told me he loved me 2 weeks into the relationship and I, a few days later. We shared so many things to each other from childhood experiences, dark thoughts, everything”.

    You were so  invested in him that you got off your antidepressants so to improve the sexual part of your relationship, and following arguments with him, you realized you “still had issues with my past to deal with that I was projecting on him so I began therapy”.

    Following a ten month relationship, last weekend you visited him and the two of you had a great time. The visit ended and you took a train back to London Sunday (a week ago). Tuesday, he suggested a break up “because he is having family issues and it’s stressing him out”. Wednesday, you found out that a wedding is being arranged for Dave with a woman from a wealthy background, and Thursday, “we finally decided it was best to break up”.

    “This pain is worse because he didnt cause it, his culture and family is something he cannot dismiss… How long does this pain last?.. I am slightly drained.. I simply cannot think straight”-

    My input: it is admirable that you got off your antidepressants so to help your relationship and that you realized you had issues, which you were projecting into him and chose to have therapy. Admirable, because you took responsibility for your issues and you took action to correct those issues. You did all that you could for this relationship, you gave it your all.

    Sometimes we do  our best but our best is not good enough because there are factors in life greater than our individual selves, such as the culture of arranged marriages, prejudices, racism, and practiced injustices of all  kinds.

    I don’t think that the situation was that Dave had no idea that his parents will disapprove of you as a marriage candidate. He spent a lot of time with his parents before he met you, long enough to learn about their expectations for him in regard to his education, professional life and marriage. There is a hypocrisy that I observed in stories such as yours: the young man is attracted to a particular woman, falls in love with her, engages himself in a genuine intimate, loving relationship.. while knowing all along he knows that the relationship is time limited, but he keeps that piece of information in the back of his mind.. for later. The young man’s parents may know that their son is dating, or is in a relationship, but they allow him to have his good  time, as .. a gift to him before he has to marry who they say he must marry.

    It is convenient to think that the man believed the relationship can last but fell victim to his family’s culture; thinking of you and him as victims to a culture. This convenient thinking makes the heartache feel better at time, but it also prevents learning and becoming wiser so that you are able to evaluate men better in the future and move toward a healthy, loving relationship with another man, making it the first healthy, loving relationship in your family.

    I hope that you let me know your thoughts about what I wrote, when you are calm and clear thinking enough to consider what I wrote here to you.

    anita

    #360714
    Noor
    Participant

    Hi Lisa,

    Thank you for offering to be there for me…I really appreciate it. It is unfortunate that we are both dealing with similar situations but it is certainly a relief knowing that I am not alone. I agree with the points Anita has mentioned, you were indeed very admirable in this relationship and took actions on your part to ensure it could work in every way possible. I do not think Dave did, in fact, I truly believe he knew well before dating you, considering he also had a “five-year relationship” before you what his parent’s expectations were which I think should have clearly been communicated to you at the very start of your relationship. Again, I agree with Anita, there is indeed hypocrisy in your story.

    I also thought I would marry this person, I told my friends and family all about the life I imagined for us. As time passes though I again reflect back and think, would I want to marry a person with a family that is judging me about things that are not in my control, would I want a man that cannot be honest and sincere with me, do I want a man that cannot simply stand or keep up with the promise he gave me, because all of those things are what love is made of us? So in my opinion, although my boyfriend did tell me he loved me too, it was not the kind of love that I would want in my future marriage or long-term relationship. Even though Dave claims he loved you which I do not want to say he did or did not, I do think two-weeks is too little of time to truly love someone, and even if he did, he simply did not prioritize that love which is something you certainly deserve.

    Lisa, I grew up seeing horrible relationships around me especially the marriage of the closest people to me. I have seen countless divorces, betrayals, and subconsciously I started believing this was the outcome of all relations. But, when we think about it on an individual level, it is merely two incompatible people trying to save a marriage which makes it a disaster followed by other environmental factors. Just think had you married Dave there would have been a mountain of problems coming your way, resulting in a potential break-up.

    This is a lot to absorb and I don’t want to keep rambling, so for now, it is healthy to take the time and just feel the sadness and when you are ready to talk about it more, I would love to share. One thing I suggest that has helped me is writing a list of all the things that were wrong in this relationship and your expectation of a loving and caring relationship, including for me at least, a loving family-in-law life. I read that when I have the temptation to contact him because at that time I am only focused on the good memories, and re-reading my original forum post because Anita generously helped paint a more clear picture for me, also makes me feel better.

     

    #361434
    Lisa
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

     

    I read your post last week but decided to take time to collect my thoughts before I wrote back. It’s been over a week since we broke up and I feel slightly better to respond.

    At first Upon reading I was angry- not at you , the idea that I could possibly have been used. I put my heart out so openly and I know how hard that was for me considering a few factors in my history.

    I also spoke to him and this conversation was not good either. He had completely shut off his emotions and instead carried on keeping himself busy with work. This made me think perhaps he had mentally prepared himself previously and I reckon this is why he was easily able to do this. Knowing him he might be sad also and he’s putting up a front to act like he is ok but at that moment I wanted him to be open with me. He also mentioned having already spoken to the girl too and it being a good conversation. This made me mad knowing that because of the situation I was unable to work, think, eat or sleep but he was acting like everything was fine. I realised I could not even call him out or yell at him or anything because he was  no longer mine. I told him I didn’t think we could continue a friendship seeing that everything made me so hurt and knowing he was going through with the marriage broke me.

    Early on in the week I remained angry and could not shake that feeling off. Angry at him mainly and angry that it all ended and I couldn’t control situations in my favour. I also felt immense guilt thinking that I will one day get over these feelings and I will be with someone else and ‘Dave’ will be nothing more than a memory. I spoke to my therapist saying this frightened me and made me feel guilty for needing to move on because I know I have to but I don’t want to either.  He is very much important to me despite everything that has happened and truly feels like it is a loss having to move forward.

    since then it has been better, I haven’t been crying and I began eating more and more everyday. I met up with a friend and I continue to have job interviews lined up. Everything still reminds me of him which makes situations saddening at times. During the day I am perfectly distracted and when I catch myself thinking about him I first accept whatever the thought and feeling is in the moment then get back to work.

    Evenings before bed is the hardest because that’s when we would speak and fill each other in on our days, say our goodnights and I love you’s. For the past year this has been a routine we had  completed this everyday without fail. This makes me miss him most, and I miss him right now it hurts. I know I won’t contact him and I told him not to contact me until I process everything  and start to feel better.  I know it was right to do this but it has been so hard on me. I began taking cbd tablets before bed to help with the sadness, anxiety and general overwhelming feelings that come during the evening. I hope to reach a stage where I won’t need them.

    #361440
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Lisa:

    As I read your post I felt appreciation for how well you write, it is almost a pleasure to read from you. Almost a pleasure because you are sad, of course, suffering “anxiety and loss”, as the title of your thread indicates.

    Emotional attachment of the kind you have to this man is a powerful force. No wonder it takes time and self care to recover from the dissolution of such attachment. Good to read that you are feeling better. I hope you endure the sadness and know that you are okay and that you will be okay.

    I hope to read more from you, anytime you want to share your thoughts and feelings, please do.

    anita

    #361816
    Lisa
    Participant

    It has been exactly two weeks since this whole mess began and I’m in pain all over again. The same pain I felt when I heard the news that his family is in process of arranging his marriage. Everything I felt then I’m feeling now. I can’t stop crying and my heart is heavy.

    My friends seem to echo the same words “ it’s a process, you are healing, you will feel better with time etc…” .  I just want to speak to him, he always made me feel better no matter what the situation. I just feel so alone right now and I hate it.

    #361817
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Lisa:

    “he always made me feel better no matter what the situation”- this situation, he created it for you. I don’t think he is the one to be contacted so to help you feel better about a pain that he is much responsible for creating.

    Do express yourself here, more than you have. Share your thoughts, your feelings, anything that comes to mind and heart. Type it all away, tell it like it is. It may help you feel  much better.

    anita

    #361832
    Noor
    Participant

    Dear Lisa,

    You are doing great. You can do this and you are. I have been feeling some of these thoughts too again, but I am trying to focus on what Anita just mentioned. He is responsible for the situation and pain you are currently feeling, anyone who cares about you would never make you feel this way.

    Let your heart feel how it is feeling, but try to look at the practical side of what did happen. My good friend gave me advice the other day she said “life will throw many curves at you and you need a strong, caring partner who is willing to be there for you every step of the way” this was a curveball in the relationship one he did not put in effort fighting for and you do not deserve that.

    I am sending positive thoughts your way. Journaling and going on nature walks have helped me, find something even small in which you find comfort and joy, before this relationship, and surround yourself with that.

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