Menu

Struggling with post-miscarriage breakup

HomeForumsRelationshipsStruggling with post-miscarriage breakup

New Reply

This topic contains 18 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  anita 1 week, 3 days ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 19 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #309613

    Michael
    Participant

    I hope someone is able to offer some words of wisdom and/or healing. I am a 26 year old male and had been in a committed relationship with my girlfriend (also 26) for approximately 7 months, though we have known each other for over 7 years. It was the most loving relationship I’d ever been in, despite the short length; we’ve known each other so well over the years that we didn’t need to do much getting to know each other, and it just felt right from day one. We both felt that we had wound up in the place that we were meant to be. Our plans were to have a house

    together, build a family together, and to forge a life as loving partners – we were both on the same page.

    At the start of July we were returning from holiday when my girlfriend had a miscarriage on the plane. We had no idea that she was pregnant at the time, and she initially assumed that she had simply started a period at the wrong time due to the stress of flying. She had taken valium to help her through the flight as she hates flying so much – there was a lot of blood but the drugs eased her pain. Once we were settled back home (she really lived with her parents still, but would sometimes spend days or a week at my house) she mentioned that she believed it may have been a miscarriage but wasn’t sure – I asked how she felt and she seemed generally ok. She didn’t really want to discuss it very much and was simply grateful that I’d helped her to maintain some composure. I decided against pressing the issue very much, but just assured her that the fact that she was still with me and was well was my relief. She didn’t tell her family, because she said she was too embarrassed about having taken the drugs and then falling prey to this as an outcome.

    For a while after she explained that she felt like she needed some space to be by herself and focus on herself. I tried to tell her to take some time out, to relax and clear her thoughts, to do things that made her happy. She at one point explained that she felt like she needs an eternity to herself, but would always be dismissive of such thoughts the next day, passing it off as just an emotional night. She was struggling, that much was clear, and she admitted that to me. I didn’t mention the miscarriage much, but it was surely a factor. I suggested that she speak to her doctor, which she did. He gave her some new, mild antidepressant medication, and she seemed at least reasonably happy with that as an outcome. Afterwards she turned a little angry at times, but I didn’t get too upset about it. In the following two weeks we had a couple of arguments, which previously had been rare, but we moved on from then pretty quickly.

    Out of the blue one evening, before I returned from work but whilst she had been at the house, she texted me to say that she hates the way I put words in her mouth. This had never been mentioned even once previously, and it didn’t remind me of the type of relationship we had. I apologized if I’d ever said something that made me sound like I dismissed her, but she didn’t really elaborate. She then messaged me further to say that she wasn’t happy, that she had tried to tell me but didn’t know how, that she had picked up her things and she was sorry. And that was it, she was gone before I got back. I tried to ask her if we could speak about things, but she explained that she had made her mind up and that she was dreadfully sorry. She sent me a message late on that night to explain that she loves me, but that she’s in a different place now, and discovering who she really is, and that as much as she wants to, she cannot live in my life anymore. Following this she blocked my phone number and removed me from all social media. I am still in semi-regular contact with her family, which was necessary as she still had the house key and had left some bits at the house. Her mum still has a lot of time for me. Eventually I went to her house and her step-dad gave me the key, we had a beer and a chat for an hour or so and he explained that ‘sometimes there’s just no way to explain it’, something along those lines.

    She left on the 5th August, and by  the 27th August I decided to speak to her mum about collecting her things. My ex then unblocked my number and got in touch, angry that I was trying to contact her. I asked her what to do with her things and she confirmed that she would be calling to pick them up the next morning. When the morning came, she turned up at my front door and came inside. We had a coffee and a chat for about an hour. There was no aggression, no anger. She said that she was sorry, but the lack of contact was her way of processing things. I said that I hope we keep in touch, and she agreed. She needed some time to be alone is how she explained it, just as before. I told her that I still love her, and she said she loved me too, but still needed to be alone. We spoke about the miscarriage and she confirmed that she’d only just come on her period, so she was sure about what had happened. She miscarried on the 4th July, and hadn’t come on her period afterwards until the 28th August. She went upstairs after we spoke about it and came down looking a little bit upset, but not really visibly crying or anything. I didn’t want to press the issue much further. I suppose if she’s only just coming back into her cycle then her hormones and emotions are all in the process of resetting.

    I’m really not sure where to go from here. She did collect her things that day, but we had some long cuddles and gave each other a bit of support. We were very open and honest, as we always are. I’m wondering whether to blame the hormones and medication for her change in attitude, but at the same time that sounds like an unfair thing of me to say if it isn’t true. I still believe we’d make wonderful life partners, and whilst she may not, she has continually expressed that she still loves me. I am now grieving the loss of a child that I didn’t know I was due and also the loss of a committed and loving relationship. I’m trying to focus on myself and get on with some things, but it all feels so empty. Do you think there is any hope of a new relationship? Do you think the miscarriage is solely to blame, including its after-effects? I did send her a message to say thankyou for coming and that I hope to hear from her soon, but she hasn’t responded. I still love her and care about her; the emotional rollercoaster she has been on makes me worry slightly for her own peace of mind, but I don’t want to wind up being that guy who blames the breakdown of a relationship on the woman being emotional and troubled. It’s very hard for me to understand where her head is at – 2 weeks ago she didn’t want to know me, and now she’s explaining that she loves me and even suggested that we could meet up in potentially a month and discuss things further if it will help.

    It’s very difficult to know how to clear my thoughts right now. I can’t see a reason for the loss of the relationship other than emotional trauma following an unexpected tragedy, which is difficult enough to process in itself. Given that, this whole situation feels a little bit crazy. I know that she has been struggling, I know that as a woman she’s only just emerging back into ‘normality’ following this horrendous experience. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    #309631

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Michael:

    I didn’t understand this part: “she said she was too embarrassed about having taken the drugs and then falling prey to this as an outcome”- if you are referring the valium she took because of her anxiety regarding flying, I am not aware that valium can cause a miscarriage..?

    Also: did she not see a medical doctor after the flight???

    Otherwise, you read like a good thinker, a balanced thinker, considering different possibilities, not jumping to conclusions (and very cautious in the context of the relationship, to not pressure her in any way, to give her all the space that she needs).

    My thoughts:

    1. It is possible that she is blaming you for the pregnancy, the bleeding, the upset in her body, thinking something along the line: he didn’t have to experience any of this, he had sex with me and nothing happened to him!

    2. She held a lot in, thinking angry thoughts before she expressed those to you. What she told you was a small part of what she was thinking and feeling. When she finally ended the relationship she told you things but as is common to people who do the breaking up of a relationship, they are not very honest, often saying things like: I love you but... – to make it less painful to the other party. So I wouldn’t take what she told you while breaking up with you, and after, as the absolute truth.

    3. I figure not everything was perfect before the miscarriage. She was having thoughts and feelings that were not  congruent with the most wonderful relationship you thought it was. Maybe your caution with her prevented you from asking her questions early on about her family life, previous experiences in her past, but if you did ask her questions and if she answered them, you would have found out that there are problems brewing in her.

    – Do you know much about her family life/ relationships with her parents/ past love life?

    anita

    #309649

    Michael
    Participant

    Anita,

    No you’re right, there’s no concrete evidence regarding any relation between valium use and miscarriage, but there are certain sources that say it’s possible, simply because it’s shutting down bodily functions. In the airport she was almost catatonic to be honest, I had to negotiate with the airline to let her onto the plain. She was sick in the airport and just generally looked very unwell. It may be that the valium had no effect whatsoever, but I believe there was a part of her brain that was blaming herself for it all and it’s reasonable to assume that she would have found fault in taking it, even if that’s not the case. Without going into too much detail, she was also sexually abused as a child by the family doctor – since then she’s always had this deep-rooted feeling that what the doctor did may have ruined her chances of having children due to her never getting pregnant before despite unprotected sex, but because of the circumstances involved she’s never been to see a medical professional about it. When it comes to things like that, as I’m sure you can imagine, she finds it all very difficult. I had to sit in with her on a smear test a few months back and she visibly shook whilst I held her hand.

    I’ll answer your final question first – I know basically everything there is to know about her family life. I know that our relationship was not of a great length, but as I say we’ve known each other for around 7 years now and relied on each other (whether that was as friends or lovers) at some of the most important junctures in our lives. When I first moved into my own place, she was the first person to come and support me through it. When her brother committed suicide some years ago, I was the first person to give her comfort. We were only friends at the time, but we’ve been through an awful lot together. She has a poor relationship with her father and an overwhelmingly strong one with her mother. Previously she was engaged some years ago to a young man who cheated on her frequently and didn’t treat her particularly well – I remember going through some self-care stuff with her at one stage and the next time I aw her she had left him. She would tell me sometimes during our relationship that she didn’t feel worthy of all the wonderful things I have to give (that’s how she phrased it); however, it’s important to note that every single time I managed to convince her that she was worthy, that I had chosen to love her, and she was always grateful. She called it a ‘background noise’ that just rumbles every now and again, but in her more frequent better moments she knew it wasn’t true.

    1) Yes, I suppose that is possible. In fact that is the most frightening thing to me right now – for so long, even before being lovers, w associated each other with care, support, and love, and I am worried that she now may only come to associate me with the pain of what has happened. She has unblocked me of course and spoke to me the other day, I am hopeful that she keeps in touch going forward. She said that she wanted to, so for the moment I should trust that she wants to and that she will, right? I feel like the hope of being able to reconcile at least something between ourselves id better than consigning us to defeat in the face of tragedy.

    2) It’s very difficult though to gauge what the truth actually is. She was visibly troubled when we spoke briefly about the miscarriage post-breakup, but we held each other for a long time and assured each other that we do love each other. There would be no need for that if she didn’t feel it, would there? This is all post-breakup, when she came to the house to collect the last of her things. I appreciate there’s no easy way to learn the truth without her being involved in telling it. She did say that we can revisit some things in a month or two if necessary, talk and have a few drinks etc. At this point I believe that’s a fantastic idea, because at least it will give me the chance to seek whatever bits of clarity I need and also give us both a chance to express how we truly feel. Arranging a meetup though could be tricky to negotiate.

    3) On the contrary, she would tell me that she too felt everything was brilliant before the miscarriage. It was before we went on holiday that we discussed getting a house together at her suggestion. She told me that I was perfect for her in so many ways only days before the holiday, and that she knew that she could achieve anything with me by her side. I helped her to land a great job and everything seemed to be heading in the correct direction. I was never cautious with her pre-miscarriage, as we made a commitment to be honest and open. She did at times say that things felt a little bit intense, but would regularly assure me that it was only because she was working two jobs as she transitioned into her new work and was finding it difficult to find time and space. Post-miscarriage I was cautious, only because I could see that she was troubled but was also very aware that she wasn’t opening up too much about it. Previously she’d always been open with me about things that were troubling her and we found a way through it, together, but in this instance she closed up. I didn’t want to pry, in respect of that.

    So I guess the truth is that she definitely does have her issues, and her demons, as we all do. But that does not make her incapable of love – my belief in her as a human being has never once wavered. It’s almost impossible to accept that those feelings of love disappeared overnight. We didn’t fall out too badly, we didn’t spend any more/less time together, everything was pretty normal. The miscarriage was clearly still weighing heavily, and I can’t really see past it at this stage. All she has said to me is that she loves me, she believes that I will be able to love someone else, that she’s sorry and upset that it’s gone like this, and that she needs to be alone now. But all of those things were said whilst her hormones were still recovering from tragedy – it’s definitely possible that that has had an impact on her thought patterns isn’t it?

    I would really like to arrange the meetup with her at some point but I am unsure how to approach the subject. Do you think it’s a good idea? And how would you go about it? I am desperately worried that if she associates me with the loss and pain that she experienced, then she’ll be trying her absolute hardest to forget me, even though I feel there’s a part of her that still feels as strongly as I do. I fear that in her mind now will be only the last month of the relationship, from the miscarriage onwards, when it all got too rough. I want to see her so that we can calmly reflect on some of the fantastic moments we’ve spent together – I hope that makes her feel more positive in herself, and more positive about us as a team. She evidently does not hate me, so it’s hard for me to accept that it’ll all just amount to nothing. And of course I miss her, I miss her terribly. My life is okay, and I’m plodding along, but we enhanced each other to new levels. I’m not being arrogant, or living in denial – I am genuinely struggling to understand why this current mess persists. Maybe she needs time to overcome certain things – but is it right for me to hold onto the hope that we will again be a part of each others’ lives?

    #309659

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Michael:

    I read your second post, then re-read the first and again, read the second. These are my thoughts at this point:

    – I don’t know if she had a miscarriage. It might have been, but if I understand correctly, she didn’t see a gynecologist after the flight and perhaps other than the smear test you attended with her, she has never seen a gynecologist.

    She was visibly unwell before and during the flight, that pre-valium anxiety and great distress may have caused the bleeding, I don’t know. Emotional distress by itself has been known to cause great disruptions in women’s menstrual cycles.

    – She is living with a family where there is a lot of sickness, a sickness that may be what led her brother perhaps to suicide. The “overwhelmingly strong (relationship) with her mother” does not read to me like a healthy relationship. The sexual abuse she suffered in a doctor’s office is probably not the only abuse she suffered in childhood. Physical/ emotional abuse that does not involve a physical-sexual touching can be as damaging, or more.

    She has a poor relationship with her father, her bio father you mean, as she is living with a step father (?). Like I mentioned, I don’t think all is well there, in the home of her childhood where she still lives.

    – At one point on she perceived you as a threat, this is why she ended the relationship and blocked you. Then relieved somewhat that she was safer, she allowed some closeness with you while collecting her things.

    What was the threat, I ask myself- it could be that the threat was not at all what you think it is (the real or perceived miscarriage). It may be that the threat was in the very the plans she made with you-to get a house for the two of you and move permanently with you. The threat could have been the idea of moving out of her mother’s house, abandoning her mother to whom she is overly attached.

    In your original post you wrote: “the emotional rollercoaster she has been on makes me worry slightly for her own peace of mind”- as you proceed to wait for her, to wait for the time she meets with you again, as things proceed in the future- I am worried about the rollercoaster that you will be on, and what happens with your (lack of) peace of mind.

    Your thoughts?

    anita

    #309661

    Mark
    Participant

    Michael,

    A miscarriage is a loss of a child.  That is HUGE for a woman.  Don’t make this all about you and your relationship with her.  My understanding that there is deep grief when this happens.  Bearing a child (was it yours?) brings to focus on how you look at life.  She may feel that this is a wake up call to re-evaluate her life, the direction of her life, what she is doing with her life, who she wants to become and with who.

    Leave her alone.  Honor her desire to be without you for now. She knows you are there if she wants to reconnect.  Who knows if she wants to continue with you or not?  Best to move on with your own life.

    You ask if you should hold onto hope.  It’s probably best is not to focus on holding onto a hope to get back together (for that is selfish of you) but rather hoping that she will recover and find her way.  Make it about her and her healing.

    Mark

    #309665

    Michael
    Participant

    Anita,

    Thank you for taking the time to read and offering some insight. I agree that there’s no concrete proof of a miscarriage, but in a way that’s almost irrelevant at this point because she so firmly believes that that is the case. It’s been 2 months, and there would likely now be little opportunity to determine whether it was or wasn’t anyway, but as far as she is concerned that’s what happened, and so that is what she’s reacting to.

    You’re correct, it is not the only abuse that she suffered as a child. But I don’t want to give the wrong impression – she is scarred, but not broken. She has these demons but they do not prevent her from living a happy and healthy life MOST of the time. she is now living with mother and step-father, yes, though it is not in her childhood home – she is many miles away from bio father at this point, he lives in her birth town.

    And your perspective is interesting and probably has some justification in it. I still believe that the miscarriage, perceived or otherwise, had an impact due to her reaction when we brought it up. I think the intensity of the situation got to her too though for sure, especially given that she was already feeling upset and vulnerable. But again all of these things, like getting a house together, came at her suggestion – it was only post-miscarriage when there was ever a sense that it may have all been a bit much for her. Given her situation I was always aware that she needed be ready to take certain forward steps, and as soon as she was I would help her drive them forward.

    You are right too in that this roller coaster is not particularly helpful for me. I am struggling with the idea that she may no longer exist in my life as she is someone I have relied on and vice versa – my mother has a mental illness (much more severe) and that meant that this girl was usually the centre of my support network. That is selfish of me to say, I know, because right now she is struggling. But my hope is that we at least remain a part of each other’s lives so that we can be there for each other as we have been before. Is that going to be too difficult for me? I suppose there are two forms of closure – either the thing causing distress gets removed altogether, or the distress gets removed so that the thing becomes a source of positivity instead. I am looking forward to the latter, but I’m unsure how to achieve it. I do desperately want her to heal, and maybe I have to accept that right now the lack of my presence is easier than me being around too much.

     

    ______________________

     

    Mark,

    I appreciate what you’re saying, it is an absolutely massive emotional trauma. Even if as Anita suggested it wasn’t a miscarriage, in her memory now that will always be the case, that is always how she will see it. And if indeed it was, which it’s likely to have been, then the chemical imbalance in her body is going to be incredibly difficult to deal with. I am trying hard not to make this all about the relationship, but my thoughts are currently that this was a moment within our relationship, and so it involves both of us – I appreciate she may be finding it harder, but it’s trauma we’ve been through together and so it’s quite difficult to deal with it separately.

    You’re right, nobody knows if she does want that but herself. And I really like the way you phrased the last part. I hope it is not arrogant of me, but after all of my discussions with her I still believe that the parts of her life she spent with me were the happiest, and she would have assured me of that too pre-miscarriage. So I will hold onto the hope that she can reconnect with herself and determine that before reconnecting with me. It may be the case that she can’t.

    As I say, I am concerned that she will come to associate me with the pain and suffering of the miscarriage, rather than love and joy as it used to be. After all the years we’ve spent as close as we’ve been, I actually don’t think that would be particularly helpful for her. Could time heal that? I am interested in reminding her of her worth, and of the times she made me happy – I am less concerned with reminding her of the times that I made her happy, though that is a small factor. Mostly I would like to speak with her because I want to help her heal through this. I appreciate that may not be possible, but it’s where my mind is. When she came to collect her things we did share some laughs as well as deep discussions and it was nice to see her smile. I guess I am curious as to whether it would be irresponsible of me to get in touch in approximately a month’s time to see if she still wants to meet up, and to then have a decidedly more positive experience together. If I get my communication wrong, could that cause more hurt? I only want to help heal her pain – I am an empath, and as she suffers I too suffer.

    Even if the relationship does not rekindle, I am hopeful that we can again be a positive influence on each others’ lives. I am scared that if I wait too long she will only come to associate me with the pain, and by that point she’ll have a bit more darkness in her heart where we could have built light. Maybe I am getting it wrong, maybe it’s more likely that the time will heal than harm, but I hope it makes sense to see how my mind is approaching this.

     

    Thank you for your insights, it’s very helpful. I know the automatic response would be that  should not tie my own happiness to somebody else’s, and to an extent I don’t, but I cannot shake the feeling that the fact that she doesn’t feel good is upsetting. Her emotional state does not control mine, but it would be wrong to suggest that I don’t care, that I’m happy for her to suffer whilst I do some other things. I hope all of this is making sense, I appreciate that I may be engaging in a bit of rambling. I’m just trying to be as detailed as possible for the sake of coherence. Thanks again.

    #309679

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Michael:

    You are welcome. I wonder if either one of you attended psychotherapy/ counseling, independent and before the recent events. What if you suggested to her that the two of you attend couple (short term) therapy to discuss the recent events, the miscarriage and the breakup. Will she be open to that?

    If she will, then maybe (a nice thought)- she will soon enough associate you not with pain, but with healing…

    I understand that you want to work with her, as a couple, for the benefit of the two of you, making a win-win relationship, the two of you helping each other.

    If you can find a therapist who understands and promotes a win-win relationship and if she is interested in such, maybe you can meet together in-the-context of psychotherapy.

    Instead of running away, gently confronting what scares her, together with you, in the office of a professional- maybe that will work, f0r the two of you…?

    anita

    #310231

    Michael
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    I have an update, so I’ll go through some of that as I try to answer some of your queries. Thanks again for your help.

    Neither of us have attended counseling or long-term therapy, no. My ex partner did though speak to her doctor after my advice – it was after she had her medication changed during that meeting that she was finding everything a bit tough. But as (I think?) I’ve already said, her family are not particularly good with depression. They believe that a bacon sandwich and a shower can cure mental health, they have a kind of nonchalant attitude, so I’m almost positive she’s not dealing with it at the moment.

    I desperately hope that she can come to associate me with something positive. It’s very strange – when she came to collect her things the vibes were very positive, we had a nice time really. But now I have tried to reach out, only briefly, and the response has been incredibly muted. I have a job interview coming up mid-September, so I asked if she would like to meet at the end of September (I would point out that meeting up to re-talk about things was her suggestion, not mine). The only response I got was that she would probably be working. After I explained that I know she’s busy and I’m not too concerned about setting a date, and that I just would like to be sure she’s up for it, she said it’s just ‘too soon’ and I haven’t heard from her since. Meeting up at the end of September was her suggestion, it’s what she wanted and I agreed, now I’ve suggested it and suddenly it’s not a good idea. That’s a difficult thing to get to grips with, it makes me think that she’s just fooling me – I know that’s awful, and I still trust her and believe in her massively, but I guess it just makes me worried that my belief is misplaced. It’s as though she only said that to make everything smoother, but doesn’t really believe in it. Or she’s changed her mind. But either way she won’t tell me, despite the fact that we still haven’t fallen out.

    The thing is, I’m not sure that she will agree to the therapy, in fact I’m convinced that she won’t. She has struggled with anxiety and mild depression for years, but she’s only ever seen a General Practitioner Doctor, never a therapist. I don’t know that she’s even ready to accept that she might be struggling. Or maybe she isn’t, maybe it’s all just to make her feel less guilty about the real reasons behind the breakup. My mind is playing all sorts of tricks on me – I know that she got upset when we spoke briefly about the miscarriage a week ago, but it’s like it hasn’t mattered at all to her since. She may be blocking out the pain, which isn’t healthy.

    I broke down last night. It was the first time I had allowed myself to grieve for the baby. I’m hurting a lot, and because I trust and believe in her, I have decided to wait out the struggle because she said at some stage she would like to speak to me and air things out. A miscarriage is a massive deal for a woman, and I understand that, but it’s becoming pretty problematic for me too. I don’t want to have to see a doctor if there’s a chance I can see her first. I’m desperate to not put any pressure on her. All I know is that when she miscarried I maintained my strength so that I could support her, and helped her through the process. Now I’m struggling, because it’s been long enough that I’m allowing myself to struggle, and I don’t have her to rely on in any way like I had previously. I think I may try to get in touch today and explain to her that I’m struggling, and then see if she offers me any clarity on why exactly she won’t communicate with me. Would that be the right thing to do? She hasn’t told me to leave her alone, she has only told me that she would like to keep in touch, but on current evidence it would appear that it’s simply not true. The reasons why could be benign or malicious, but I still believe they’re benign. But she hasn’t really offered any clarity as to WHY she isn’t speaking, all I know is that she isn’t.

    I’m finding it very hard. I know it won’t make me feel better if all of my trust and belief has been misplaced, but I also know that the clarity will at least ease my weary head. I’m not sure how best to approach this at the moment.

    #310269

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Michael:

    Interesting: “her family are not particularly good with depression. They believe that a bacon sandwich and a shower can cure mental health, they have a kind of nonchalant attitude”- they hold on to this attitude after their depressed son committed suicide a few years ago (“her brother committed suicide some years ago”).

    While in a seven months relationship with you, your now ex girlfriend lived with her parents. You lived in your own place, still living there,  and she stayed with you at your place for days at a time, sometimes for a whole week.

    Two months ago, July this year, the two of you were on a plane together, returning from a holiday. On the plane back she bled, “there was a lot of blood”. She assumed her period started early. Later she told you that maybe the bleeding was a result of a miscarriage, but she “wasn’t sure”. She didn’t see a medical professional (doctor or nurse) regarding that bleeding.

    Instead, she did see her general practitioner doctor regarding her mental health. That doctor prescribed “mild antidepressant medication” for her. Less than a month later, August 5, she ended her relationship with you, blocked your phone number and removed  you from all social media. August 27 you contacted her mother regarding things she left in  your home, and she was angry at you for contacting her mother. She did arrive at your place though, to collect her things, August 28 or so.

    During that meeting, you had coffee and chatted, you told her that you love her, she told you that she loves you, the two of you cuddled but she told you that she “still needed to be alone”, but “suggested that we could meet up in potentially a month and discuss things further if it will help.. She did say that we can revisit some things in a month or two if necessary, talk and have a few drinks”.

    She suggested that the two of you meet “in potentially a month” or “in a month or two”. About six days later (or fewer), you contacted her and asked to meet with her at the end of September. She responded saying “she would probably be working” and that “it’s just ‘too soon'”. A very short while ago, you’ve been thinking that you “may try to get in touch today and explain to her that I’m struggling, and then see if she offers me any clarity on why exactly she won’t communicate with me. Would that be the right thing to do?.. I’m not sure how best to approach this at the moment”.

    This is my  current understanding of your situation and the state of this relationship:

    1. For some time and currently, you feel very needy for her; she does not feel needy for you. You want her in your life as soon as possible, impatiently. She does not want you  in her life, not now and not anytime soon.

    2. It is not a single reason that is responsible for her ending the relationship with you last month. The bleeding she experienced on the plane and retroactive suspicion that it may have been a miscarriage, and the hormonal happening as a result,  is not the one-and-only reason why she broke up with you and blocked you from her phone and social media.

    You have been focusing on this as The reason, the one and  only. But  it is not.

    3. I think that her breaking up with you has more to do with what you shared here: “She has struggled with anxiety and mild depression for years” and “When her brother committed suicide some years ago, I was the first person to give her comfort. We were only friends at the time.. She has a poor relationship with her father and an overwhelmingly strong one with her mother”-

    – Notice: even though she has “an overwhelmingly strong” relationship with her mother, it is you, a friend at a time, whom was “the first person to give her comfort”, not her mother.

    4. Regarding your mother: “my mother has a mental illness (much more severe) and that meant that this girl was usually the centre of my support network”-

    I think that what has happened and is still happening is that you are very needy of this woman, your now ex girlfriend. She has been the center of your life. You are desperate to have her back into your life. She expressed to you that she needs to be alone and suggested a meeting in a month or two, but she isn’t ready for that meeting now nor is she ready to set a meeting now.

    What you have to confront and  manage now is not her mental state but yours. You are in need of support that she is not capable or willing to give you.

    Please share your thoughts and feelings (and maybe.. share about your life outside this past seven month relationship?)

    anita

     

    #310381

    Michael
    Participant

    Anita,

    Yeah I appreciate what you’re saying to an extent. I’m under no illusion though – I don’t believe the assumed miscarriage was the one and only reason for the breakdown of the relationship. The only thing that I do really know is that, upon returning from holiday, she said that she had been mildly apprehensive about spending a full week in each other’s pockets but that she genuinely had the best time of her life. She said it was like a weight had been lifted, but as soon as she thought about the assumed miscarriage it was as though it was all back on top of her again. Prior to the holiday she had never once deemed the relationship too intense or overwhelming – I’ll explain more on how I know that to be the case in a second. But upon returning, and after the bleeding, she was suddenly finding everything a bit much. I know she had an argument one night with her mother after we returned whilst she was at home – apparently mum had told her that she had to get her life together and that she was a mess. Mum apologized the next day, seemed to be an outburst. Whilst she was telling me about that row though she did say that she had agreed to make some changes, e.g. seeing her doctor for support, and ideally giving up her medication. I advised that that was really between her and her medical professional, and she insisted that she did not believe she could have come as far as she did without me. She was so grateful for everything, and assured me that for the first time ever she felt like she could achieve anything in life with me at her side. I assured her that the feeling was mutual, ever-keen to ensure she knew that I wasn’t her carer but her lover. She appreciated that, and appreciated that I’d always be there for her. I should point out that this was all AFTER the bleeding/miscarriage ‘event’.

    On occasions where she said everything was a bit intense, I would tell her to take some time out and focus on herself, but she would insist the following day that she wasn’t being honest, that she’d either had a drink/had a mini-meltdown and that it was all fine now. This probably happened 4ish times post-bleeding. I would regularly try to tell her that I didn’t want to lose her, whether as a lover or as a human being, so if she needed to take some space then she should to avoid going down any dark path. She always assured me that whatever happens, I would never lose her, but that she was just finding a lot of things a struggle.

    1) Yes, you’re right. It’s a very difficult shift for my brain to process, given that a few days before leaving we were on the verge of a meeting at the bank to buy our first home together, and she would continue to insist that finally she felt like she had direction in life and that we could achieve anything together. The fact that she so suddenly decided she didn’t want that is, I guess, just weird. But I keep having to guess at the reasons why. And I am needy for her, although right now I’m not sure I’m needy for her love/romance, I’m more needy for her presence, if that makes sense.

    2) Like I say, I don’t think it’s the only reason, but given the timeline it’s the only real catalyst I can see. When she had messaged me the day she was leaving to say that she was leaving, I asked her if she would talk to me about it. She said that she was exhausted, and so tired of talking. So there may be something in that too.

    3) That may well be the case, but I cannot lose faith in her as a human being due to her depression. It’s hard to explain – if I admit that the problem is with her and not with me, which to be honest it kind of is, it’s like I’m accepting that she’s incapable of love, or joy, or longevity. I don’t believe that to be the case, I have a lot of belief in her. She is more than her issues and more than her troubles, I hope I have managed to instill that attitude in her over the years we’ve spent together if nothing else.

    I am desperate to have her back in my life, for sure. I know I’ve just spoken a lot about the support that I gave her, but she genuinely made me a better version of myself; at least at one stage, she believed that to be mutual, that I made her better too. She enabled me to tap into my emotions in a way I hadn’t experienced previously, and I allowed her to see the world for the clarity it offered rather than the confusion and darkness. I am trying, reasonably successfully, to leave her alone despite this desperation. But I firmly believe we are better when we’re together. I hope that’s not an arrogant thing to say, as I say I believe it goes both ways too. I understand that right now she is not capable, but she continues to insist that she will be at some stage. She speaks to me now, and is more open, there seems an understanding that we will get back to a good place at some stage. My brain has therefore decided that I can’t deal with anything much until that moment. I know that’s toxic. It’s a very weird state of mind – I understand what’s happening but I sort of can’t believe it. I hope that makes sense.

    Regarding my mother – she is hospitalized sometimes due to her mental state, she’s often not in a good way but she still has a heart of gold. My ex and my mother have always had a strong bond too, I could sometimes just sit and listen to them chatter away into the early hours. She has a good relationship with my whole family to be honest.

    Where I mentioned previously that I know at some stage she didn’t really feel overwhelmed, this is primarily why. In 2018 we had been on a few dates, but nothing too serious. It was around the Autumn time, I think. We have since admitted, as I say, that we feel we’ve loved each other since around 2013, but 2018 was almost the first opportunity where we were both prepared to admit it. So we went on some dates, knew that we had strong feelings for each other, but certainly in my case I was scared of going too fast as I was afraid I might ruin the best feeling I’d ever had. Back then we worked very different hours and I had just had a male friend move into my house – his mother had downsized and he needed a place to be, I had a spare bedroom so it seemed a no-brainer. I had arranged that with him prior to this girl and I dating, but it meant that sometimes we’d inevitably get home and there would be 3 of us, rather than just the 2 of us. We worked different hours at that time too and found it difficult to spend as much time as we would have liked with each other. We never really admitted how strongly we felt about each other. She messaged me one day to say that she wasn’t sure I was taking it seriously, that she needed something serious in her life. I simply told her that I thought it was serious, if awkward, and I’m sorry that she didn’t see it that way.

    We kept in touch to an extent, but within a week or so she had a new boyfriend and was raving about him for all the world to see. He was a fair bit older than her, around 35 I think (about a 10 year gap) – he has his own children to a previous partner, and she did admit afterwards that part of her thinking was that he already had a family ready to go, and in a burst of emotion she thought that it made her task of forging a ‘real’ life that much easier. She also mentioned after that their relationship was primarily physical – they had good sex, but there was no real emotional connection. She felt terrible about leaving him as she got to know his kids, but after 3 months of a relationship she turned up at my house at midnight one night. Crucially she drove to me, which means she hadn’t been drinking/wasn’t under any influence. She professed that she loved me, that she always had, and that she was sorry she didn’t have the strength to admit it previously. She explained she had left her partner around 3 weeks prior to turning up at my house, that she didn’t miss him. She wanted to pick up where we left off, which I resisted up to a point, saying that we need to make sure this is serious. It didn’t take long though, around 2 weeks, before she was moving things into the house and we were having the loving relationship that has since broken down. In many ways she was the instigator of the powerful emotions, with me being a bit more wary, but once I felt it was right I let my guard down and the relationship blossomed.

    The reason I feel that is important is because she basically admitted that she didn’t think it was serious back when we were dating, but she insisted that we make a proper go at life together, and I eventually agreed. She was the one craving something serious, I was simply craving loving her, and so we made it serious, hence the plan to get a house etc. becoming reality not long before she left. So her feeling that everything was too intense came about only after the ‘event’, as prior to that we were consciously driving intensity. Or maybe unconsciously, I guess that’s difficult to say.

    The final thing to note is that this previous partner of hers was becoming a pest, and would regularly message her with things like ‘You’ve left some things at my house… I’ll drop them off in hell so that you can collect them!’. He would swear and call her names, it wasn’t nice. She eventually decided to cut him out of her life completely, having no real connection to him and giving up on the ‘nice’ routine of hoping he might find some reconciliation. She blocked him etc. and didn’t speak to him for a long time. She felt he had hurt her, and was a negative influence. He recently moved into a house just a few streets away from hers, and once her and I parted she was back in contact with him. I’m not sure why, or if it means anything, but my brain has been trying to process this too. I am wondering whether she enjoys the emotional abuse in some weird and twisted fashion – it’s not unheard of.

    I spoke to her again briefly yesterday, just a nice back-and-forth about hoping we’re doing well. I asked her when she thinks will be a good time to try to speak about things, or if there ever will be, and her response was that she’s ‘playing it by ear’. She’s still struggling, but also trying to make herself feel better and using her support network, something I had always urged her to do more anyway. I explained that I’m struggling too, and she said she was sorry to hear that, but that it’s just not the right time. She did at least admit though that she was grateful that we’re in touch. I am still hopeful of more positive discussions in the future and a light at the end of this tunnel.

    My mental state is making me a bit weary. I am grieving for the baby, for the relationship, and at least in some way for the loss of a friend, however more hushed and temporary that particular loss may be.

    #310423

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Michael:

    You read like a very intelligent, reasonable and loving man and seems to me that this woman will be fortunate if she chose to have a life with you as her partner.

    Seems to me that The Problem is not that bleeding/ miscarriage; that The Problem is her relationship with her mother and the power that her mother has on her thinking, feeling and choosing.

    She is in her mid twenties living with her mother and step father. The one and only strong parental relationship she has is with her mother, “an overwhelmingly strong” relationship, your words.

    When her brother committed suicide you were “the first person to give her comfort”, not her mother. Why?

    “I know she had an argument one night with her mother after we returned.. apparently mum had told her that she had to get her life together and that she was a mess”.

    What if this is the voice that keeps playing in your now ex girlfriend’s brain, what if it kept playing in her brain all along and it was louder than the her voice when she told you all the good things about the relationship with you.

    “Mum apologized the next day, seemed to be an outburst”- you know the apology in no way takes back the words said, that her daughter is a mess.

    “Seemed to be an outburst”- how often does her mother have outbursts against her daughter…?

    Perhaps her ex, the abusive man she started seeing again, perhaps his abuse is not as bad as the abuse she has been receiving from her mother for many years. Maybe his mistreatment of her is a comfort of sorts for her because  it is a bit of an improvement over her experience at home, with her mother.

    She told you that “part of her thinking was that he already had a family ready to go, and in a burst of emotion she thought it made her task of forging a ‘real’ life that much easier”- she wanted a life that was easier than her life with her mother, so you see, this man’s mistreatment of her is an improvement.

    You were too much of an improvement, more than she was comfortable experiencing, too good to be true. He presents to her,  in her mind, a small but believable improvement.

    “I cannot lose faith in her as a human being”- I understand. But have faith in the power an abusive mother has  over her daughter, at any age. A mother is everything for a little girl, a mother is formed into her daughter’s brain during those Formative Years of childhood.

    anita

     

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 3 days ago by  anita.
    #310555

    Michael
    Participant

    Anita,

    That’s kind of you to say. The one thing I am sure of is that I always did 100% the best by her. Anytime she has been in pain, I helped her to ease it, and likewise with my pain. I do have friends, plenty of them, and they’re good people, but they don’t have  emotional intelligence that she and I do to be able to process these things. I told her when she came to visit on Wednesday (last week) that I still loved her and that I think we’d make fantastic life partners – she said that she loved me, but ignored the other bit.

    You’re hitting the nail on the head in some regards. On the night when she came to tell me that she loved me, at midnight, some of the first words out of her mouth were that her mother likes me. She explained that she had broke things off with her previous partner and cried to her mother, fearing that she may have to endure life alone. Her mother’s response at the time was party care and support, but the suggestion that ‘why don’t you get in touch with Mike? He’s always made you happy’. In her words, that flicked a switch that made her realise that not only was her love for me and bond with me strong, but that it was allowed. I guess at the time I didn’t read too much into it – I was too overcome with elation. But it was clearly a factor – not the ONLY factor, I think it’s fair to say – in her finally admitting her feelings.

    She is very aware that living with her mother and step-father at this stage of her life is not where she envisioned that she would be. She’s always been determined to make a success of things. I wonder whether in some ways she’s unsure of how to do that on her own. It would go some way to explaining her current behaviour, in the sense that she might be wanting to prove to herself that she’s capable. I believe she is, and so I never held her hand through life anyway; I only offered my support and listening ear when necessary. She has started her new job, which is the first ‘career’-type job she’s ever had. She actually started it formally around a week after leaving me. Maybe she is looking to build herself some freedom in life, to not have her life be as scrutinised as it inevitably is when one lives with parents. I moved out when I was 24, and I’m 26 now – I know that when I got to the end of my time at home I became relatively tired of the whole ‘how are you, where have you been, how did you get on’ etc. Parents are inevitably more involved in our lives than partners, and eventually it can feel a little suffocating – but that’s not a bad thing, it’s just a natural part of growing up and wanting some space.

    I think some of her mother’s influence has been negative, but I want to be very clear that not for a second do I ever believe it was intentional – all I know of her mother is that she’s loving and caring, but she approaches life in a very different way to the way that I do, and to the way my ex-partner does when she has the headspace to admit it. She would on occasion tell me about how mum was a very different person to her, but that she still loved her deeply; she’d tell me a silly story, for example, about how mum solved a particular problem and it seemed daft to her, but everything worked out in the end. That sort of thing. I don’t believe there’s ever been any emotional abuse or the like from her mother, she always seems to want what is best for her daughters (there are a few). She does have a very strong relationship with her mother, but they’re quite different people – we’d sometimes talk about their differences when it came to politics, or religion, emotions, motivations, values. But her mother has never imposed her values on her children or anything like that. Her mum does have a bit of ‘people should do it all themselves’ attitude, and I know that can rub off on my ex-partner from time to time, despite her preferring to surround herself with good people and feed off their energy, rather than just create her own.

    I was the first person to comfort her after her brother’s suicide *primarily* because she came to me. The first I heard about it was on the day. She got in touch and explained the situation, I went to meet her and did what I could. She said that the family was in a very dark place at that moment, she wanted the external support and she knew that she wanted to speak to me. But I never felt obligated, of course, as soon as she told me I actively wanted to help. I didn’t know much about her family at that time, so my main concern was helping her.

    The apology definitely doesn’t erase anything. It did seem to have an impact though – I can’t remember if I said, but it was after the row with her mum that she assured me about coming off medication and making changes in her own interest, but she phrased it in a way that made it definitely seem like she was doing it for me, too. She was promising me that she was coming off the medication, rather than simply telling me that it’s what she was going to do. I didn’t really need that promise, and I did suggest alternatives, but I’m not sure that she ever really needed to assure me about any of it. I trust her and believe in her, whatever decision she would make was worthy of my support.

    It’s difficult to say whether her mother’s voice was louder than hers. In some regards, I’m almost inclined to say the opposite might be more true, now that she’s doing the whole needing space thing. My only real evidence for that is that her mother had issued me, and not her daughter, with contact details of a mortgage advisor once we were talking about buying a house together. She had kind of entrusted me with things like that. I did speak to her mother briefly after the breakup – I wished her well and thanked her for nice times spent together, her only response was ‘I’m sorry Mike, but it seems like she has made her mind up and unfortunately for you both she says it hasn’t worked out’. I appreciate her mother might not be being entirely honest, but I am unsure about whether mum would, for example, talk me down to her daughter.

    Her mother has outbursts relatively infrequently, but they do occur. The abusive father in all of this was previously an abusive husband too, to perhaps a lesser extent, so they’ve all had a hard time with that for sure.

    Like I say, I don’t really think her mother is abusive, I think if anything she’s over-protective. Which is understandable, given the circumstances. And yes, on occasion she would say exactly that, that I was ‘too good to be true’, but it was never meant with any venom or ill-will. It was usually just during an average conversation, say after I had made her a coffee, and we’d laugh about it, but then she’d assure me that she really meant it, and she’s so grateful for having me.

    I guess I’m just concerned that if she IS trying to make herself happy right now, for herself, then I’m not sure having him back in her life would give her the freedom to achieve that. I have every faith that she can do it. It’s very strange at the minute, because I’m torn between two very different feelings. On the one hand, if she’s genuinely shutting me out because she needs her space and wants to be alone, as she says, then I’m hopeful that she gets what she needs. I still believe we can be happy together, but from what she’s telling me it’s like she wants to work out how to be happy on her own. I respect that, even if it breaks me. On the other hand, given that she has allowed this man back into her life and shut me out of it, that feels like quite a big betrayal. That sounds like an awful thing to say, and I’m trying very hard to not tap into my anger over this. But he is on her social media, communicating with her, even communicating with her family, whereas I have been deemed unfit for that. After all the wonderful times we had, and everything we’ve done for each other over all these years, never mind the past few months, that feels like a betrayal.

    I did try to speak to her again but she ignored me. It may be foolish, but I have simply left her with a message now explaining that I love her and miss her, and reminding her of some of the warm and nice things she’d said about our relationship and friendship. I am still hopeful that at some stage she will open up to me again. There is something holding her back from communicating with me – I am not sure what it is, but I know it’s unnecessary. Other than that last message, I have only ever tried to be light and easy-going when we’ve spoken, briefly, since. The only real time there was ever any intensity was when she came to the house to collect her things, but the intensity came from both of us. It’s also possible I suppose that she realised how great it felt to be in each other’s presence on that day, and for whatever reason she’s decided that she’s travelling a different path and so can’t bear to speak to me. A little honesty and clarity on that would go a long way though – I have no idea if she’s struggling or not, and that’s quite a painful cross to bear when it’s someone that you used to share everything with and support each other through everything.

    #310559

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Michael:

    “She would on occasion tell me about how mum was a very different person to her, but that she still loved her deeply”-

    – did you aske her and did she tell you what she meant by her mother being “a very different person to her”?

    anita

    #310709

    Michael
    Participant

    Anita,

    It was mainly about the things that I mentioned. My ex has a very different political viewpoint to her mother. My ex has never been very into politics, whereas I am, but she does know her own ideology and would frequently say that her instinct is to ‘always stick up for the little guy’, but her mother has a more hands-on approach to things, an attitude that kind of says the little guy doesn’t need protecting because he should be able to fight for himself. Her and mum share some beliefs, but not anything religious – her mother identifies as a Christian, whereas my ex is very comfortable admitting she’s agnostic, and also has a deep belief in a karmic universe that her mother doesn’t have much time for. They both have a belief in spirits though. According to my ex, her mum was able to communicate with the spirit world, and she’s often had experiences growing up where her mother would ‘tap into’ this ability. My ex believes she can ‘sense’ things, is only how she ever described it, but that she doesn’t believe she’s on a wavelength with her mother. I’m honestly not into all of that stuff, but I don’t scoff at it or whatever, to me it was just interesting to hear the tales of people who do believe.

    She often would say that her mum was strong, but she felt that she herself was weak. I don’t know that it’s worth reading too much into that though, I imagine most girls would say that their mother was the strongest person they know.

    #310739

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Michael:

    You wrote: “her mother has a more hands-on approach to things, an attitude that kind of says the little guy doesn’t need protecting because he should be able to fight for himself”.

    What about her own son, a “little guy” who clearly wasn’t able to protect himself and committed suicide? Maybe she should have helped that little guy, maybe she should have fought for him.

    And what about her little girl, her daughter? How is she doing emotionally?

    “all I know of her mother is that she’s loving and caring”- are you sure of it?

    No person is more powerful in a child’s life than her mother. This is the reason I bring her mother up.  Your ex brought her up, told you many things about her. The answers to many of your questions is in there.

    anita

     

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 19 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic. Please log in OR register.