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Advice please - DP gone AWOL due to ex partner’s tragedy

(308 Posts)
Arrivaycida Mon 14-Oct-19 19:45:37

I’ve been dating a man (DP) since April. Everything was going really well. We were exclusive and have mutual friends, so I thought everything was above board.

About 3 weeks ago one of our mutual friends told me that my DP’s ex-partner of 10 years (who I knew about) had suddenly lost her teenage daughter in a freak accident in the UK and was coming to the UK to deal with funeral stuff and admin and the body. Obviously I was very empathetic - as much as you can be for somebody you have never met. Mutual friend also told me that DP’s ex had always suffered from poor mental health and she believed that this event might actually now tip her over the edge.

I mentioned it to DP who seemed extremely affected by it. His ex had already called him. Everything then happened so quickly. DP and I were not living together but had been seeing each other and staying over at my house once or twice a week and at weekends. He has continued to see and speak to me everyday, kept in regular touch, called me most evenings, but as far as I know he has spent every night that she has been in the UK, with her, at her house (which she has here but doesn’t live in.)

According to him and mutual friends, they are not having sex or back in a relationship, they are just spending time together and she is crying and on the verge of suicide, and he is helping her through it. He also knew her daughter well, was a surrogate father to her, and so this is profoundly affecting him as well. Apparently when she returns abroad (she is going back and forth) she has a partner who she has been with since they split.

I’ve tried to be really empathetic and understanding about this while at the same time withdrawing myself. He has now not stayed over at my house or slept with me for three weeks. Every time I ask questions about what’s going on and what he’s doing, I get a defensive response - as in I “should know exactly what he is doing” - “pulling her back from the brink of suicide.” Even our mutual friends have the same attitude.

As a result, last week, I politely ended things with him, stopped answering his calls and texts and asked him to give me space. The result was him haranguing me, apparently heartbroken, that I had finished things at such a “difficult time” in his life and saying that he is confused as to why I have done this and I need to explain why, we need to work it out and and that I am being unreasonable for not respecting his need to take time out and ending things with him so abruptly.

We have gone back and forth over this now for a week. Every night we exhaust the conversation and end up at odds. He does not see why him “helping out a dear friend and ex partner” should impact me so strongly that I finish our relationship. I can’t believe that he is so ignorant as to not see the affect this would have on me and our relationship.

He talks in gory detail about the death and all his ex-P’s feelings and suicide threats as if they should shock me into realising why he is doing what he is doing. I presume the result he wants is that I feel guilty for even suggesting there is anything else going on. As much as I empathise, I don’t feel it is right for him to be spending most nights at her house. What are they even doing? Why does he need to stay over? He says he is on suicide watch - but that is not his responsibility.

He makes the point that he and I are still speaking daily and seeing each other, that he has not been unavailable, that the only part of our relationship that is “temporarily” on hold is the sleeping together / sex. Then he reduces it to things like “why are you saying sex is more important than me attending to my close friend? If you love me and care about me, you will understand my need to prioritise.” Or “if I have to choose between sex and helping out my close friend - I choose helping her out.” It’s like a way of making me look like i’m being unreasonable.

Late at night on Friday after i’d gone to sleep I found he’d sent me a few sex texts - presumably to keep me roped in or to prove that he still sees us in a romantic relationship. But he was probably at her house?

When he doesn’t hear from me he calls and texts me incessantly about how unfair I am being for giving up on him because of this. Mutual friends who I have spoken to are agreeing with him saying it is only a temporary thing and she will soon return, after everything is dealt with, back abroad again.

Apparently their split was mutual and happened four years ago.

What the hell is going on?

Pieceofpurplesky Mon 14-Oct-19 19:49:05

He's helping a friend?

Jennifer2r Mon 14-Oct-19 19:50:26

That's really tough. Please reiterate to yourself and to him that anyone can end a relationship at any time because they want to. It's a good enough reason and you're not a bad person. For what it's worth I think you've done the right thing. I feel for you.

JasonPollack Mon 14-Oct-19 19:52:22

How long ago did this happen? It seems a very recent tragic loss for you to be ending your relationship. Although I don't think it would be awful if you to ask him to take one evening off i think you are behaving very selfishly in finishing with him.

flowerstar19 Mon 14-Oct-19 19:52:35

What a tragic situation OP, but to my mind your DP is just a good man helping his ex and grieving for a young girl he helped bring up. If you love him why not wait a few weeks and see how things are?

category12 Mon 14-Oct-19 19:53:32

He was the step-father of the girl who died for 10 years. He's grieving with the mother.

Have you got children? I'm not sure why you're not understanding.

abbey44 Mon 14-Oct-19 19:54:19

Wow, are you for real? I don't think you're feeling any empathy at all for what your DP and his ex are going through at the moment. Give him a break. This really isn't about you at all. Give him some space to support his ex, and you know, just let him do what he has to. Be there for him if he needs you, don't make demands. Not for the moment.

Redglitter Mon 14-Oct-19 19:58:18

I think you're being totally unfair to him. His ex and her daughter were part of his life for 10 years. You say yourself he was like a father to her. Hes doing something any decent person would do and helping someone thorough the most horrific time of her life.

So you can see him for a bit. Big deal. You're being incredibly selfish

Nottalotta Mon 14-Oct-19 19:58:29

I think you have not dealt with this well. I say that as someone who is inclined to be jealous/not trusting. He has a relationship for 10 years with the woman and her daughter. It sounds to me like he's being a good friend to her.

saraclara Mon 14-Oct-19 19:58:31

Of course he's shattered about the girl he saw as a surrogate daughter, and feels obligated and worried sick about the ex. He sounds a really good man.

I can't believe you dumped him because he 'neglected' you at such a traumatic time - and you think he's the one being unreasonable. What a horrible extra thing to put him through.

saraclara Mon 14-Oct-19 20:00:39

Or “if I have to choose between sex and helping out my close friend - I choose helping her out.” It’s like a way of making me look like i’m being unreasonable.

But you are. You're being spectacularly unreasonable. And of course he'd make that choice in this situation if he's remotely a decent person.

GlitchStitch Mon 14-Oct-19 20:00:46

He hasn't gone AWOL, you know where he is and he is still in touch. He is grieving for a child he helped raise and supporting her mother who must be in complete despair. I'm sure he could do without your selfish dramatics. Although maybe this will show him who you really are and he will have a lucky escape.

hormonesorDHbeingadick Mon 14-Oct-19 20:02:13

Essentially his child has died, I even begin to imagine the pain he is in.

PlugUgly1980 Mon 14-Oct-19 20:02:39

My ex-DH suffered mental health issues and was suicidal. Even after we had divorced I supported him through rough patches, because after 10 years together I was one of the few people that he truly opened up to. I sat for hours with him on an evening on suicide watch, I took him food when he couldn't bare to leave the house, and I helped him get to medical appointments. Our marriage was long gone, but I cared dearly about him as a friend. I was open with my new partner throughout. For me I was doing what any friend would do for another. I had no desire to rekindle our marriage.

Thingsdogetbetter Mon 14-Oct-19 20:02:46

Would you feel differently if he was the biological father? He has lost his substitute child; she has lost her child. I can see the comfort they would find in each other. She's suicidal and he's a friend with close links to her child. If i was his new gf i'd be disgusted if he wasn't focusing on her and wanted to come round for a shag with me.

I think you are being unreasonable too. You want proof he is still 'yours' and that to you is sex and being prioritised. It's been 3 weeks. Not even a month. No one who has lost a child (even if not bio) is going to be interested in sex and romance while grieving.

Whose responsibility do you think she should be? Should he wash his hands of her to make you feel secure? Come round your house and sit there worrying that she's overdosing?

AnyFucker Mon 14-Oct-19 20:07:03

Wow. Such self absorption is rare to see. Sickening.

MsAnnThropic Mon 14-Oct-19 20:14:33

I think it sounds like he's had a lucky escape! What a sickening lack of thought or empathy. Have you ever seen a parent who's lost a child? I can't even imagine the pain they must both be in.

Aminuts23 Mon 14-Oct-19 20:14:53

This is horrible OP! You are making this absolute tragedy all about you. It’s sickening! The young girl has died, I can’t imagine what her mother must be going through. You are being completely unreasonable and if I were him I’d tell you to sling your hook

Interestedwoman Mon 14-Oct-19 20:16:09

I can get how you wouldn't want this long term of course.

It must be an annoying situation, but there's not much you can do. You can see how you both feel about things once she's left. Hugs xxx

Livelovelearn1 Mon 14-Oct-19 20:17:01

Im sorry all this must have caught very much by surprise and it's affected your life a great deal. At the same time.... thia is a pretty tough situation! Your partner a child he raised for 10 years! (Even if he is not the bio dad) and that woman he spent a decade with. He is mourning and concerned for that woman. Give the poor man some time. Life sometimes takes the focus off you, it's ok... if he was gonna be a rat...youll find out anyways. I think this is too serious for u to be so heartless. This is not about you or your reletionship. This is about someones death. A dear persons death. A childs death (even if she was grown).

onalongsabbatical Mon 14-Oct-19 20:18:31

A child he was close to has died and he's trying to support the mother and stop her from going under. Of course he can't see what your problem is.
Neither can I, sorry. Would you like him to pry himself away to spend time with you and for her to kill herself? She's in crisis now, not every other day or at the weekends but all the time. I can see that his absence could be hard on you, but for you not to comprehend what he's doing; well, maybe you're not suited and he's better off without you.

isitfridayyet1 Mon 14-Oct-19 20:18:42

I think you've done him a favour by finishing with him as obviously you lack empathy.

user1493413286 Mon 14-Oct-19 20:20:45

He’s grieving and trying to help someone he was very close to. I’m not really sure why you don’t understand that and wouldn’t give him the space to do that.
If you don’t feel able to then that’s your decision but you can’t criticise him for what he’s doing.

Redglitter Mon 14-Oct-19 20:21:31

As a result, last week, I politely ended things with him, stopped answering his calls and texts

Hes had a lucky escape quite honestly. He deserves better than someone who's so selfish & self obsessed when hes trying to deal with such a tragedy

ExcitedForFuture Mon 14-Oct-19 20:21:51

Wow you have shown your true colours to him!! He has lost someone whom he saw as a surrogate daughter and all you can bleat on about is poor you and the fact you haven't had sex for 3 weeks!!! Are you actually for real here!

He hasn't gone AWOL, he has been in constant touch. He hasn't lied. You know exactly where he is. Helping a grief stricken mother on the verge of suicide. Have you had a complete empathy bypass or what. WTAF.

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