August 29, 2023 at 12:35 pm #421678AndreaParticipant
Hi I am reaching out for advice on this forum!
I had been with my gf for about 1.5 years. We fell in love and had a really open and supportive loving relationship. Good communication, talking and planning about the future and good physical intimacy.
Around a year into the relationship she changed her antidepressants and found sexual arousal difficult. I assured her we will take it at her pace. Between then and present she started to blow up at me (angry, resentful, disconnecting and ignoring me citing anxiety as the cause and potentially loneliness). This would often coincide with stressful points ie work stress. First she would disconnect then blow up, and i would have to talk her back from a metaphorical ledge. Our physical intimacy also suffered but i assured her it was on her terms and i loved her and her well being was more important. She would also blow up and get upset whenever we discussed moving together (we live far apart), and although i never force her to move to me it would always come up. I was open to moving to her. She would regularly slow me she loved me and spoke to be lovingly inbetween these blow outs. Just a few weeks ago she was so desperate to see me and arranged a trip for us. She was even willing to come see me even though my house had been undergoing a refurb i didnt even have beds and she said she didnt care as long as she saw me. Anyway, during the trip she shared she couldnt understand what love was and what kind of love we had. She said the love we had made her feel safe like family love. To note everytime i tried to emotionally connect with her and have deeper conversations around us/her feelings she would shut me down “this is too much, i cant deal with this right now.” Sometimes she would even hang up on me if it was from distance, then call back to apologise citing she was overwhelmed.
We just returned from our trip and she startwd a new job and clearly its stressful. In the first few days she started to disengage and disconnect from me. On the weekend she break up with me because she “doesnt have romantic feelings for me anymore, theres no passion, it feels like family love.” I asked her why she didnt want to talk about it and get some help as clearly she did love me at some point. But she doesnt believe therapy will work and had shut me out. I asked her if there was a problem or she wanted to gain closeness all she needed to do was talk to me openly and we could figure it out.
I feel devastated as i think what I am seeing is an avoidant attachment style. A push and pull. I find it maddening as she was at one point so excited and willing to build a life with me but now wont even try to make things work.
what is going on? What should i do…?August 30, 2023 at 1:39 am #421694HelcatParticipant
I’m so sorry to hear about your break up. How are you coping with it?
It sounds like she’s been struggling with her depression for the past 6 months. That’s difficult because it’s not something that you can change.
Are you and your gf fairly young? I’m asking because she had a lot of questions about love. That’s something that I had questions about when I was younger. It wasn’t until I was older that I was actually in a healthy relationship and truly experienced love for the first time.
My husband does feel like family to me. After a while of dating feelings do settle down and become calmer.
I think you identified an issue that lead to pushed her over the edge. The stress of her new job, on top of her struggles with depression recently.
I had one experience of falling out of love with my husband briefly after a period of arguing. He was struggling with his depression too. Feeling like he didn’t want to be with me and that shut things down for me. It was a shock because I thought of our love as unconditional. I came to learn that love is a choice and something that we worked together to nurture every day.
Anyway, those are my thoughts on love.
Do you still want to keep in contact with your now ex-gf and check on how she’s doing? All you can really do is wait and see how she reacts.
Wishing you all the best! 🙏August 30, 2023 at 7:09 am #421697AndreaParticipant
Thank you for replying and your kindness. I am feeling…emotional whiplash.
In answer to your questions we are both in our 30s but for her I am the most stable person (emotionally, financially, mentally etc) that she has ever dated. I read this thing about how love manifests in our bodies, and if you think about love (with someone who shows it unconditionally ie normally a parent such as a mother) you just feel a bit of warmth but nothing big. But when you think of love with someone who is unstable it shows up with ‘butterflies’ such which is usually anxiety in the body. I kind of feel like…maybe when she thinks of me she ‘feels nothing’ just like she would with someone stable but cant connect the dots that this is a good thing.
I saw this video yesterday may i ask if you have some time, do you think it makes sense in your relationship?
There are so many themes this woman talks about, like feeling like best friends, not crazy passion scary feelings, calm-ness etc. It sounds like everything my ex kind of talked about.August 30, 2023 at 11:35 pm #421714HelcatParticipant
Feeling emotional whiplash makes sense. I’m sorry that you’re going through this experience. I can see that you care! ❤️
Your ex-gf’s confusion about love and passion makes sense given that you are the most stable person she’s ever dated.
That was a great video you found.
Yes, because I experienced trauma, in the past I was attracted to people that re-activated my trauma. It took a lot of therapy for me to make decisions to actively choose to be with someone who treat me well.
My understanding of love now is that mutual respect is an essential component. In my mind, people can experience passion, infatuation and any number of exciting feelings with partners. But unless both parties are treating each other well I don’t class it as love.
A concern for me is your ex’s depression which can adversely affect emotions. Emotional numbness and lack of interest in things you previously enjoyed are common symptoms. This jumps out at me as a possibility because for a year things were going well. Then suddenly her medication and her feelings change. At the same time she starts struggling with her depression.
What happened is unfortunate, you did nothing wrong. You did your best to support and reassure her. It sounds like your ex is struggling with her own demons.
Wishing you all the best! 🙏September 6, 2023 at 7:59 am #421854StacyParticipant
Hi, Andrea. I worry I’m going through something similar with where you mentioned the butterfly feeling vs. stable love confusion. My boyfriend just broke up with me two weeks ago, we were also long distance, I was also his first relationship ever and I’ve been in several, we were both in our 30’s and almost right at the year mark as of this week. Another similarity: he has severe ADHD and depression and is medicated for both and struggles A LOT with his libido. His emotions are completely haywire off his meds. When he broke up with me, he mentioned feeling like he misses the “fun of how things were with us in the beginning”… even though the honeymoon stage really shouldn’t have ended for us this quickly. I told him that because it disappointed me he seemed to already be losing excitement for me/us. He joked he’d spice things up for us even though I wasn’t the one with that concern, and then dumped me the next day over a completely unrelated issue. Or maybe it wasn’t. He also told me on numerous occasions how grateful he was to have found me because I was the first person in his life to truly appreciate and care and love him. I have no words of wisdom but I do feel for you. If I knew my ex was just confusing our stable love/his first real love as “boring” after the newness wore off, then that’s just really sad. I feel like he either truly fell out of love with me or perhaps he’s clueless as to what a real connection is supposed to morph into after the initial butterflies.