Grieving - End of a relationship (long & mundane)

Hi Zoe, thanks for the response.

I do not know if she is getting that counseling or not. I don’t know if she followed through or when push came to shove decided to avoid it. I believe she was sincere about pursuing it at the time but really - it could have just been a placating comment to me.

It is funny, in a kind of painful way, when she told me a big part of her issue was a fear of being financially and emotionally dependent upon someone else. I pointed out to her two things…

1.) Financially - I make very good money. She also makes very good money, not quite as much but much more than the average. We did not live together and we did not have any reason to co-mingle finances. I certainly was not going to be in need of a loan from her nor require her financial assistance and she knew that. :smiley: Granted, we also never talked about marriage or moving in together and if those conversations would have occurred how to manage finances would have been a part of that discussion. Kind of normal relationshp stuff, huh? :wink:

2.) Emotionally - What attracted her to me was that she was an independent woman whose happiness was not dependent upon a relationship or a “man”. In fact if it was otherwise, I would probably not have continued to date her as that is a big no-no for me. Likewise, I have my own life and interests and I enjoyed sharing those with her.

So anyway, that was part of the bitter-sweet about finally finding out some of the issues behind her actions when it was to late to really talk about them and address them within our relationship.


Omegaman - Thanks, and I do recall your advice in a previous thread. You were right, things needed to come to a point and that meant I had to make a decision. I was resting to long on what was comfortable and on what I hoped would be instead of what was.

As for being mean… don’t tell anyone, I’m just a normal guy like the rest of us. The MeanJoe thing is in honor of my favorite childhood Steeler - Mean Joe Greene.

Um… I meant to say “HELL YEA I’M MEAN! Mean as a junk-yard dog, ya’ all so don’t touch my stuff!”


Rascal’s Mom - Thank you, this is a great suggestion. Not sure I want to start that list just yet but it is something I am aware about myself. Well, something that was pointed out by my ex-wife - I have a tendancy to romanticize a relationship when it ends and not stay focused on why it was bad to begin with.

So… Rascal’s Mom and my ex-wife both hit me with a zinger that points out a behavior I wasn’t entirely aware of doing. You women, so smart and insightful. grumble :smiley:

No, honey, don’t start that list yet. You aren’t ready. You will know when you are.

Isn’t the Dope just chock full of wisdom? Gotta love us!

You can quote me on this: “Perspective is a great thing.”



That list doesn’t have to be resentful. Just honest and :smack:

And this: Life will be good again. It will be. Trust me on this.

Done. Literally! :wink:

Seriously, thanks for the advice!


More advice from someone who only knows about this from what you’re posting here - it seems to me when you are ready to break up with someone over Issue X, and you sit down and talk with them and find out that Issue X isn’t an issue after all, people who are deeply committed to keeping a relationship are happy and eager to continue the relationship at that point, not end it anyway.

In at least some cases, they’re not really moving on effortlessly, it just looks that way to the casual observer. They might be putting on an act in the hope that it will make themselves or others feel better, or they might just be someone whose emotions just don’t show as much. What’s more, their situation might not resemble yours other than superficially (they broke up with a SO, but the situation was very different from yours in a lot of other ways).

What I’m trying to say here is that you can’t meaningfully compare how long it’s taking you to get over a breakup with how long it takes someone else to get over a breakup. You can only see what shows or what they tell you of their feelings, but you get to see all of what you’re feeling. And even if you were a telepath and could tell all of what they were feeling, not all breakups are created equal.


I’m not quite sure what you are trying to say here.

In case my quoted comment was not clear, the actual “issue” she told me about was not disclosed until after I ended the relationship. I feel that if she had disclosed it in one of our earlier conversations, I would like to hope that through talking about it she would have seen it wasn’t really an issue. Unfortunately, she never told me this during the course of the time we were together.

Feel free to PM me instead if you would rather.

Anne - A good point and reminder. I am definitely more of an emotions-on-the-sleeve type person and you can easily identify my mood. Perhaps a better wish is that I was more able to control my outward display of emotions.



I’ve tried to respond to each of you in this thread to thank you for your support. This thread has definitely helped the last few days and helped reconnect me to the commonality of our experience and remind me I’m not alone feeling this way. So thanks again, everyone who has posted in-thread and those who have reached out via PM.

No substantial updates really to give. I had a very hard time late this afternoon, again that overwhelming sense of loss caught me and hit me like a rock. The temptation to email her was really strong - to ask how she was doing, to find out if she started to talk to a professional about her “issue”, to let her know I still think about her regularly and miss her very much. To be honest, at the heart of it is a hope that she missed me too and would tell me that… Yes, pathetic I know.

I didn’t do it, I managed to keep some small amount of discipline until after work when I could go to the gym and do a total body fitness class. Nothing like a hard sweat and muscle fatigue to clear the mind. Tomorrow will be another fight with myself on this front I’m sure.


I was just trying to say that even after you break up, when you find out that the reasons for breaking up aren’t real reasons at all, it is possible for people to annul the breakup at that point. I’ll do some role play to hopefully clear up what I’m getting at here:

You - We need to break up. I love you, and you don’t love me back.
Her - I can’t love anyone - my parents’ divorce crippled me emotionally. I need to be independent financially and emotionally from my significant other.
You - But that’s good! We both make good money, and I have no interest in you becoming dependent on me, and I love that you’re emotionally independent!
Her - I guess it’s too late, even though we actually are compatible after all.

I guess what I’m not getting is the part where it has to be over, after you have discovered that your big differences weren’t differences at all.

Ah, okay that is a little more clear. The last comment in the dialog isn’t exactly accurate to how it ended. A couple points to clarify:

1.) She said that the reasons why she thinks she held back have to do with her parent’s divorce but maybe it just wasn’t “right” for some reason too.

2.) She said she is really confused emotionally about the two possibilities and couldn’t sort out between the two above to say *definitively]/i] why. For example: Was it because of the fears of being emotionally/financially dependent? Was it just not “right”? Were the fears so strong that it kept her from feeling that it was “right”?

3.) She said she knows she has to work that out and get past her fears of being emotionally/financially dependent to be in a relationship completely with someone. To do that, she needs time to work it out. She said she thought she knew herself better but she is going to speak with a therapist to try and understand and hopefully get past this stuff with her parent’s divorce.

4.) She said that taking that time to work it out scared her because she is afraid she’ll work it out and it will be “too late”. At the same time, she also said she cannot ask me to wait around for her to figure things out as that would not be fair to me. She also did not want to just try again right now even though these things were in the open because of her confusion and in her words “what if I can’t get over these things and we’re back in the same place in two months. I don’t want to hurt either of us more.”

So hopefully that clarifies what I said earlier - I think the point is that it was “over” because I couldn’t stay with someone who was not returning to me the same feelings, etc. Later, in our communications she told me the above items. So it remains “over” because she felt she needs to work these things out to understand why she really held back.


This isn’t pathetic. I can assure you that unless she’s a cyborg or a true ice queen, she’s probably thinking of you just as much as you’re thinking of her. Breaking up is never easy for anyone, much less for a two year relationship.

I think the dangerous part of contact is that it’ll only regress the healing that’s already occurred for you, make you think about her even more (even if you don’t think that’s possible, heh), and keep you from moving on in a healthy manner. Everyone’s bound to have set-backs, but sometimes it might just end up hurting you more because it waves false glimmer of hope in front of you.

But it sounds like there was not any great animosity between you. Perhaps in some indeterminable time in the future you two can talk again and be friends, but until then it’s probably best to try to do everything in your power to regain yourself without an other, as life can offer you so much even while standing alone!

One other story to address what I think is a logical question: Was it really her issues around her parent’s divorce, just not “right”, or was it just trying to cushion the blow in a “It’s not you, it’s me…” way.

Cast of Characters (cause this could get confusing)

C - A friend of mine for 7+ years, female.

M - A very close friend of my ex-girlfriend for 5+ years, female. I came to genuinely like M, she is an awesome person and incredibly sweet. Of all of my ex-girlfriend’s friends, she was by far my favorite and I enjoyed when we’d all hang out together.

S - Ex-girlfriend.

I play volleyball and C, M, and S all played on the team with me. When S and I ended it, she (S) offered to remove herself from the volleyball team as she knew it would be difficult for both of us. M agreed to play the rest of the session and playoffs. As a team, we decided not to play the following session together.

So the 2nd week after we ended things were the playoffs. During our warm-up, M asked me how I was doing. M was not at the 1st game after we ended things due to a business trip so this was the 1st time I saw her since the break-up. I told her it was hard but I was doing the best I could. M said that “if it is an consolation, this is really hard on S too”. Nothing further was said between us about it.

After the game and before our next game that night, M and C ran out to pick up and bring back something to eat. The night ended later, no other discussion about me and S with either C or M.

So I was talking to C this past Friday at Happy Hour. She brought up her trip with M to pick up food the night of the playoffs and related the following in their conversation. M had asked C how I was really doing. C said she really had not had much of a chance to talk to me about it but I am obviously hurt. M told C that S really has strong issues around her parent’s divorce and she has a really hard time opening up and letting herself be vulnerable. *(Keep in mind, this is before S told me about this issue.) *

I probably made a snide comment at this point in the story about M. Fear not good people, it was an off-hand and not-serious comment. C countered my comment about M by saying that her feel in the conversation was that M was VERY MUCH on my side (not that it matters, there are not real sides here) and felt S messed up a really good thing with these “issues” and was making a mistake.

So. Like how I start a bunch of sentences with “So”? Haha. So this little story, as related to me, tends to lend credenence in my mind that it was more probable that the reason she held back in our relationship was due to her issues from her parent’s divorce and that it is indeed a real issue and not a “It’s not you, it’s me…” excuse. Of course I don’t know this for certain, it just seems probable.


Time Stranger - You are dead on about the regression. I do think it will make it harder for me to move on and it will make me think of her more. I’m also trying to beat down that glimmer of hope that also drives me to want to talk to her.

As for the last part, of course you are right there. I’m working on that - by forcing myself to get out with friends, exercising, working on my house, etc. and hopefully as I get past the grieving process in the end I’ll be back to being myself and content without her.


Well, if it’s any consolation, and after reading all of this (and I think understanding it better now), I think breaking up was probably the right call. It might sound a little heartless, but honestly, relationships don’t have to be this hard. If S can’t accept and appreciate your offer of genuine love and affection, you need to find someone less damaged who can, because you’ll both bask in it when you do find her.

She sounded like a sweet lady, MeanJoe, but no offense meant, she also sounded a bit selfish. If she’s got hang-ups about her parents’ divorce, she needs to be up-front with you. I’m willing to bet that she knew it was troubling you but tried to sweep it under the rug and pretend everything was A-OK. That’s not to say that she had no feelings for you – I’m sure she did – but she regulated those feelings and never talked to you about it. Not fair.

Whatever happened to that lady a few weeks ago when you pitted your neighbors for cockblocking you?

She told me she has a boyfriend. Honestly, it is for the best because now with more time I do realize I’m not ready to even consider starting to date. If something falls into my lap (literally would be nice! Ha!) then I’ll evaluate it at that time. For now though, I don’t need to be pursuing anything or anyone - just take care of myself for awhile.

That’s going to be a bit of a lonely and difficult road for awhile but that’s okay.


Oh, right! I forgot that you had mentioned that. :smack:

Good luck to you, bud. As a fellow man who’s attempting to wade through the psychodramatic quagmire that is dating, I feel for you.