Help me understand his side...

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My discussion topic is a bit unordinary. I am writing as an ex girlfriend who’s ex boyfriend let her go because he needed to simplify his life. His mom has dementia and has taken a turn for the worse in the time we were together (8 months). Her husband had to quit his job 6 months ago to care for her full time. My ex in recent months committed to helping 2 days a week, in addition to being a part time dad to 2 girls, and a psyche nurse at a mental hospital full time. He would often express how stressful and depressing it is to help care for his mom. We had little time for us, and to make our relationship grow and be fun again like before he had all this when we first got together. His words were “my life needs less right now”. He needed to simplify so he could focus on his mom and girls and himself. 3 weeks prior to the break up his mom had an aggressive episode where it put him, his girls and mom in tears and her husband almost put her in a home. He told me the thought of putting her in a home really shook him up. I am absolutely heartbroken over our break up as we were so good together. I’m just looking for others to better help ME understand what he is going through... I appreciate it in advance.

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So, JB, did you have fun with this thread, and with leading us on?
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And with that, I’m gonna close out this post. I appreciate all that have helped.
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JoAnn is on to something. Your ex probably talks all day! That’s basically what nurses do especially psych nurses. Then he goes home and talks to his parents and family and then his two daughters. Give him a break. Don’t burden him with any more words.

So then, after all our posts you say at the end “well thanks y’all, but you aren’t intimately involved”!

You are being the same way to us as you are with him.

You have all the comeback phrases but will do what you want anyway.

Sort of how you treat him. You go to his mother’s birthday party. You have trinkets for his kids. You began to discuss a possible future with a guy you don’t even know for one year. Complaining about being a part time girlfriend to a guy that just needs to chill when he goes out, whether it be a date or out to do another errand. Talk to his sister about him. Geez. Can you see where you are wrong? 

He was probably married before or had some sort of relationship with another woman as they have two kids. I wouldn’t ask to take his daughters anywhere as you probably have to get permission from their mother. That will open another can of worms. He may not even want to go there and bring another woman around his daughters. Mail the souvenirs. Can’t you see how awkward that can be for him? 

You want drama and commitment, he just wants peace and quiet.

You are prolonging the inevitable and continuing this behavior will only break your heart more.

Let him go.

If he loves you he will come back. It’s true that if you love somebody, set them free.

8 months! That’s baby steps in a relationship. Give it up or you’ll only get more heartbreak. 

I bet you are thinking that tomorrow the four of you will end up going out together & then he can see what he’s missing. 

Don’t let him humiliate you. Don’t humiliate yourself. 
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Thank you Joann. Perhaps my intentions here have been mistaken. What you said has been my intention all along. I never meant to make this about me, but to change my perspective on how this break up felt it was about me. I have been trying to express that I want to be here for him and not just bail on someone who is important to me. Never once have I said I’m going to bombard him with calls and texts. Up until this past Monday, he has initiated our contact as I’m giving him space. He has asked to be friends! I have zero plans to text and call and say hey let’s go kayaking. All I was saying is that I have debated, NOW, expressing to him that I am not mad and I am still here. Because other than being cordial, I have NOT told him anything about where I am at, and his sister has told me over and over he worries about me and hates that he hurt me. My debate has been to specifically tell him I am ok, and to alleviate his guilt, or just drop it and let him come to me. That’s it! I have a life, and incredible life. A successful career and never once dropped my friends or extra activities even in our relationship. As I have reflected the end of this relationship, I started to realize maybe I put some undue pressure on him and feel like a jerk. That was the moment I realized I need to not be selfish and understand what he was going through.
Thank you to everyone who has responded and your advice and words. Messaging makes it incredibly hard to understand context added to the fact that no one knows the situation intimately. Regardless, thanks again.
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Lots of responses but just want to say...

I have a daughter, RN, who worked in rehab/Daycare facilities for 20nyrs. The medical field is a very demanding, stressful job and then...you have to deal with it when you come home. Caregiving is stressful enough without having a full-time job doing the same thing. Then throw on top of that the care of 2 children. OVERWHELMING! He probably doesn't know if he is coming or going. He may have thought about you and felt it was not fair to bring you into the situation. A relationship between two people is hard enough without all the baggage he has at this time. Eight months may be long to you but it is not really long enough to really know someone. Oh yes, fall head over heals for, but not really know. I see no problem in being a friend. An occasional "how are things going" can't hurt. Maybe even asking if you can take the girls out for a day. But make him aware that u understand what he is going thru but you would love to at least be a friend. But, Don't sit by the phone waiting. Date, go out wit friends. If he turns down your help, then just stand back. Patience is the key word here. I really think if it's meant to be, it will be. I am happy with my marriage and life but I have looked back and thought, if I had been a little more patient where would that relationship gone.
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JB, one of the posters here has volunteered at a hospice facility. I'm thinking that if you began volunteering at some kind of facility, you'll see how the pace changes: slow for hours, and sometimes a crisis. But you'll also get a sense of how patients need attention, how difficult it is to schedule because of changing needs and more.

If you put yourself in his shoes, literally and physically, and get involved in volunteering, you can better understand how your relationship is just not a top priority for him right now.

BTW, do you work? Do you have any outside commitments of your own? If you can lift and haul a kayak, you could easily kayak alone. It would be a peaceful activity.


I still want you to consider what I wrote above, but I confess that as I read through your repeated posts, focused on YOU and how YOU want to support him, etc., it occurred to me that you don't seem to have a life of your own.

Then I read CM's and FF's last posts on this page, with which I completely agree, and felt that I'm not the only one who sees that this issue is becoming a "quicksand post". We're caught in a trap of answering; it's time we stopped b/c our advice isn't getting through.

So I'm writing this very bluntly, because I don't think our advice is seriously being considered; you always have a comeback, a repeat of how you want to support him.

Did it ever occur to you that maybe this is his chance to break it off entirely? That perhaps he's tired of someone who seems to make him the center of her life?

I honestly don't think you're interested in advice but rather consolation FOR YOU, for your perceived loss.

This seems to be all about YOU. Do you actually have a life of your own? Don't you have other friends? Don't you work?

Give it up and let this man be who he needs to be w/o constant pressure from you to LET you be his support. I think you're only aggravating his stress.

MOVE ON.
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The last time you'll ever see or hear from him...

Lordy, girl, get a grip. Life is long. Time passes. Neither of you has done anything to cause the other to shun him or her forever and a day.

His situation is very sad. You have been hurt, and taken unawares by a situation that, if I were going to be harsh, I would have said he ought not to have led you into in the first place. But seriously, for you there is no tragedy here - no irretrievable damage, no blood, no bodies. You've had a nice time with a nice man, you haven't had your faith in mankind trashed or been left unable ever to trust again.

You are going to be fine. So, I hope, will he be in the end - but that is not your business. Enjoy your visit tomorrow, part as friends, and the next day do something completely, completely different.
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JB, you are NOT LISTENING TO US. Re-read all of your postings, you are in total denial about the situation. You are smothering this young man, big time.

I would cancel seeing him tomorrow, the last thing your ex wants to have is reminders of that you had the time and energy to go on a vacation. That would bring on a lot of resentment that your young man is too polite to show.

Friends give other friends time to adjust to their new situation. Your young man's Mom is younger than I am. This isn't the retirement that his Dad and Mom had planned, and that is what makes it very rough on the family. The Dad is going to lose the love of his life down the road, and your young man and his sister will lose a Mom way too early.
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It sad and heartbreaking to hear but I understand.
I am seeing him and his girls tomorrow as I have a few souvenirs I promised them from my vacation. I honestly don’t know if that’s the last time I’ll ever see or hear from him after that. Although his sister has told me he definitely wants to be friends and he’s looking forward to being friends when it’s not so fresh.
I realize there is nothing I can do. I imagine much of how I am feeling is what he is feeling but amplified. Sadness, exhausted, grieving, and lack of energy or interest. He’s just feeling it over his situation. Grief is universal
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JBH, with the greatest and most affectionate respect, you cannot support this man through this experience. He does need support, but not from you. For all sorts of reasons. E.g.

You have no idea what you're doing.
You don't know what he's talking about.
You can't possibly understand what is and is not going to help.
He doesn't want to do that to you. He doesn't want you to be a person who has gone through this ordeal. Any more than he would want you to empathise with his broken leg by getting someone to kick you very hard.

And DO NOT tell him you are there for him. You bloody well ought NOT to be there. You are supposed to be going your own way, having stored this pleasant relationship in your treasury of good memories, and getting on with your life.

You may genuinely not realise this but what you are actually doing is holding your breath and hoping that there will be a role for you.

STOP IT.
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