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Please help old poster with emotions triggered by relationship ending- again.(10 Posts)
Namechanged, not posted for ages. Old StatelyHome-r .I have done so much work on myself after many EA relationships.
I have 5 DC ,4 teens and a 5yoDD.I work ft and am strong and more sorted than ever before.I like to think.
But here I am, abandonment stuff massively triggered, and very sad because BF has ended 9m relationship. It hurts so much. I am late 40's and worn out by disappointment and regret at past decisions and choices I made, which led to pain and hardship for all of us.
My DC are doing well, and the older ones were happy to see me involved in what looked like a fun and developing relationship.
I guess it will appear that I chose an unavailable man, and that this is for the best. But because I am hurting and had hope, I need some hand holding, and hopefully some stories of similar experiences and how others have survived.
Met a man last April, through work - although another area, so no continued connection there. He was recently separated, after a 20y marriage. Mutually. he said they had been planning separation over past 5 years, and that loss of a close relative had put things on hold for a couple of years. I was cautious and doubtful about starting anything, but ,after checking out details - met some friends and family members -we agreed to go slow , and be friends.
I have no wish for anything involving my DC , or with long term plans at present. Due to his circumstances, it seemed a good balance. We have had some lovely times together, and got very close. We started out saying we would be light and not get serious. We both acknowledged that this was changing, but agreed to go with it and carry on taking it slow.
He was at times, sad and anxious about how his DC were coping , and would talk to me about his sense of failure at the marriage failing , and having been so difficult. Because of my own history - some of which I shared, although in an edited ,light way - I was understanding, supportive, and felt encouraged that he was self aware and sensitive. I do believe this.
He had counselling during the summer. In November, we had a couple of weekends away together, and discussed introducing our DC. He said he had begun to feel that we were in a relationship, rather than just friends, and that he was happy and optimistic about the future. I remained cautious, but began to be hopeful that this could become something. I began to acknowledge to myself that I was developing feelings. This was difficult for me, as I have in the past chosen men I felt knew I would not become attached to due to not being attracted to them physically, or to emotionally unavailable ,EA men.
We agreed to go for it , and things felt lovely.His XW and I introduced one another on FB ,although without becoming friends, and we planned to introduce DC in New Year.
Over Christmas, he spent time with his DC separately , and with ExW. He spoke about how strange it felt to be playing their new roles, but how it was right, and the way forward. No doubts. Talked about forging a new connections as individuals; a new friendship with his ExW.
I spent Christmas with my DC. We got together for NY. I had a sense he was distant, and asked him about this. He initially brushed it off, but then, on 1st Jan,he brought up my comment , and said he had considered how unfair he had begun to feel he was being to me , to be with me , yet still dealing with the break up , and his feelings about starting again.
He said his counsellor had expressed concern that he was jumping into a new relationship too soon, and that some friends had said the same thing, and had expressed concern for me. He had brushed this aside, and focussed on how good things were when we were together. But now - with the anniversary of the loss of family member imminent - he feels full of thoughts and feelings about the past , and wants to allow himself time to get his thoughts together , and to create and establish himself as a separate individual.
He says it is not about me. He cried and said he has deep feelings for me. But because he respects and values me, he feels he has to let me go , because ultimately , he has decided he is not ready to be part of a couple again. Our discussions and plans had made him realise that he has not allowed himself time to be himself and to reflect on the past.
So, there's nothing I can do but accept that. I did say I would be willing to go back to being friends. But , unfortunately, I also told him I thought I was falling in love with him. So he has said he cannot continue to see me - much as he wants to - because it would not be fair , as he really cannot say how, where his thoughts or feelings will develop in future, and that he needs to be alone in order to learn this for himself.
So, he's the grown up one. I'm foolish for choosing another unavailable man. And it hurts like hell. I am being dignified and have gone NC. I intend to maintain this. But I feel like crying and begging and wailing and pleading. That is my abandonment stuff, I know. I won't act on it. I also have romantic and idealistic stuff in my head about how he's the only one i've ever felt like this about etc. And I cannot imagine wanting to date again - which is good, because in the past, I could have done so within weeks without a thought.
I feel like shit, and my thoughts are consumed with him.
I am hoping he'll change his mind. I have to be happy and cheerful for work and the children. It's so, so hard.
I'm so sorry OP. It sounds like it came pretty much out of the blue, which is always a shock to deal with.
Could your older teens cope with looking after your youngest for a few hours this week so you could go round to a friend's and have a couple of glasses of wine and a bloody good rant/cry? I think at times like this some people (me included) try to just keep the brave face on ALL the time, which is fine, but you do need to be able to let it out somewhere/sometimes.
Thank you pocketsaviour . That is what I am doing. I don't have
any many local friends I can lean on. I have lots online,though.
I think I am dealing with things that I have heard and read about many times, but never experienced, due to having been in drama-laden EA situations, and always reacting without rational thought.
Now, I am heartbroken at the thought we will never do things together again/go to the places we have been. Missing his smell, and remembering stuff we talked about , and hopes and dreams I had.
I know this is supposed to hurt.
I guess I am a bit lost without my old emotional damage driven coping strategies - which were largely thoughts about blame,shame and angry actions.
Sad is appropriate. I am struggling to accept that, and what it means.
My love, you have travelled so far, and you have demonstrated this so clearly by being able to develop a relationship with a man who was decent and open and honest, rather than being drawn to the drama and dysfunction of before.
He is right - this is about him and his timings. He has thrown himself into a new situation without having done any of the 'alone' stuff, it has bolstered and eased his move into being separated, and I am sure that the connection with you is genuine, but it shouldn't have happened, he shouldnt have even been open to a close friendship where he was aware he was attracted, because he hadnt let himself do a fraction of the work that you have done.
I think many people do throw themselves in at the deep end again to avoid having to face the hardship of being alone, and to keep from looking in the mirror and doing the work. That work needs doing and I fear that had you carried on it may have burst out at a later point when it would be far harder to walk away. He has done the right and honest thing. Its a huge shame, but if the timing wasnt right then whats happened now is for the best, although heartbreaking for you.
You are recognising the schema that is being triggered. Again, a huge achievement, but no less upsetting or helpful in the moment. The positives you have had probably are not evident right now to you, but they are many. The feelings you are going through are perfectly valid and perfectly normal.
Congratulations on a brave and very insightful post, PM. I'm so sorry for your disappointment and loss
It must be very strange, feeling the desolate sense of loss that is normal and no less painful, without recourse to your old extreme behaviour patterns (not too much at least, I hope & trust!) I have a lifelong recurring dream where I'm alone on an infinite plain of white. The 'ground' is fog - as such, unstable - and there's no guidance apart from some pre-knowledge that I've got to proceed. Of course I don't imagine you have my dreams! But I wonder if you feel a little like this? Knowing it's possible to proceed, but feeling lost and insecure.
I'm in a completely unrelated but similarly taxing situation at the moment, and must focus on that for the next few days. I hope you'll still be posting and receiving helpful feedback when I can contribute more.
Oh OP, you sound very sad. Be kind to yourself and try to give yourself the love, care and attention you deserve and are feeling the loss of at the moment.
Try to remain calm and let yourself feel your feelings without needing to react iyswim. This too shall pass.
Thank you .
I have had so much sadness and loss in my life. I have many, many things to be grateful for, and I am. I do count my many blessings, and I am grateful.
I have worked so hard on so much toxic stuff ; in myself as well as what i have experienced.
Garlic , I totally identify with your dream. I have constantly got up and carried on. I will keep on , of course, and of course, I know I can.
It just feels unfair. And of course, I know that fair has nothing to do with anything.
Acceptance is all we can ever do with loss.
I know my past losses and hurts have been triggered, and that this is what makes the sadness so deep and painful.
I wasn't looking for a man, or a relationship to fix me , and repair the hurts.
But this friendship, the connection with this person; felt special and different. It was different to any other. But I guess with my history , as you say Nettle was in itself an achievement.and you right in everything you say.
I know I tend to be critical and take blame on myself, but I can't help wishing I hadn't let my feelings for him show - I actually told him I loved him. I can't help wishing I hadn't done so. I wish I had made more effort to be light and to enjoy the fun without any expectations. I guess I was hoping that if I held on, he would eventually decide that he wanted a relationship with me.
He did tell me he had decided and that his feelings had grown and he was happy and hopeful. That was when i began to relax, and we spent more time together. Then he panicked, and now I have to get over the happy feelings i experienced. and miss his company.
We chatted online in the evenings a lot - about so many interesting things. I have no one to share those things with now. And I know the challenge for me , is to find other people, other ways to experience and share those interests and to express those things.
But right now, I can only feel deep sadness that I cannot share these parts of myself with him. I felt we had a connection and an understanding. we did. He said he felt the same, he told me only yesterday how sad he feels and how wonderful he thinks I am. How, if timings were different, he would be able to feel happy and hopeful about building something with me. That I am the kind of woman he had always wanted.
He doesn't want anyone else. He said the problem is , that he doesn't want anyone.
Notnow ,I am holding the feelings ,and allowing them to be. I haven't slept well. I have a demanding job, and of course a little dd and 4 big ones, all of whom need lots and lots of me.
It was so , so lovely to have someone for me. Private, intimate time. To look forward to and treasure.
I feel guilty and sad for my dc that I life now seems gray and dull.
And whereas in the past, a relationship was a source of drama , pain and confusion; this was gentle and fulfilling and a source of peace and enjoyment.
I guess I have learnt how things can be. But just that I can't have these things. Not with him. And he is the person i want most.
He texted me yesterday to ask how I am. I said I am sad, but ok , and for him not to ask any more,because seeing his name flash up, hurts so much. his last message was to say sorry and how he wished he could help, and make me feel better, but knows there is nothing he can do, and that he is the wrong person to be offering . We agreed NC.
But I keep checking and hoping. I will have to practice turning my mind away and keeping busy. It is so hard.
Oh Sweetheart, I don't think I can put it better than NettleTea has. All I can add is that your responses are right and natural, and not at all what would normally be expected of someone who has been through what you have. The work you have done on yourself means that yes, you feel pain and sadness, but you also have the strength to resist what you crave, which is further contact, knowing that you need to protect yourself.
I am sorry it has come to this and knowing you as I do, feel pretty sure that even at this painful point you can acknowledge what a achievement this was. I hope you can see that you are not, in fact, foolish for choosing an unavailable man. You chose a good man who had not done as much work on himself as you have, and started to realise that you were not in the same place.
It is the right thing to do, and you know it. It is also ok to want to scream and cry and bawl how unfair it is. Because it is.
Much love to you. You know where to find me. x
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