Ghosted (cheating?) boyfriend moved on. Feeling incredible pain and struggling to cope, seeking advice.
Hi there everyone, I've posted about this relationship before but...sadly what has come to pass I never saw coming. My ex-boyfriend had depression, characterised by episodes of withdrawing and isolation. In our relationship he had 2 episodes like this, in the first he ended up communicating that he had felt lost in a dark place and was unable to cope, but had sought help and was in a better place emotionally.
Just over a month ago, his communication started to drop off and he echoed these thoughts (ie having a hard time, feeling trapped inside his thoughts etc) and I encouraged him to seek help, including referring him to here and his GP. He replied with how much he loved me, and wanted to get better so we could be together...And then nothing. I didn't hear from him for a month (I still haven't). During this time I had exams to focus on, so I just sent a few encouraging texts every few weeks or so, so as to not overwhelm him but just let him know I was there. It was very hard but I always remembered the good times, and used that to push me forward. I also figured it was because of his depression causing him to isolate. We had also made plans together that obviously fell apart.
Something in my gut told me yesterday (Valentine's Day) to search his social media, and I discovered he is now public with a new girlfriend. I quickly blocked him and I'm thinking of entirely deleting my social media for sometime. I just feel the most incredible deep and pervasive pain. I feel like I only ever treated him with honesty, support and care only to be completely discarded and ultimately betrayed in the most callous and cruel way. Even at this point, I haven't even so much received a "hey, this isn't working out" text or anything...at all. Our relationship had rocky points, but I never even suspected he was interested in seeing other people and I'm completely blindsided by this....even if he had broken up with me to be public so soon (1 month!!) with a new girl is just so hurtful. I just don't know how to cope with this pain because it all just feels so inconceivable and immense. I never knew he was capable of such cruelty and it seems so unlike him to do this.
To think the whole time I was so worried about him and reading about depression, doing the best I could to support him and he was moving on with someone else makes me sick to my stomach. I have so many questions...did he ever think of my feelings at all?
I would just really appreciate any input.
I'm so sorry that you had to go through this. It's completely unfair to you and an incredibly cruel thing for someone to leave without the courtesy of even telling you that he wanted to leave. He had many opportunities to tell you - even during the month when you sent him supportive messages, he could have replied and told you. But he didn't.
I can't find any excuses for him. Even being depressed isn't an excuse for his behaviour. If he had the capacity to find a new partner, he certainly had the capacity to be clear with you.
You did a kind and loving thing, to support him through his depression despite him isolating from you. That he moved on and did this cruel thing is no fault of yours. He is insensitive and selfish, so please put him in your past. You deserve so much more than him.
Thank you for such speedy replies Matchy and Emmen
I just feel completely unable to make any sense of it and find I just get randomly hit with a wave of raw pain anytime my entire focus is not levelled at something else. I think the worst part of it all, is that I loved (love) him so much, I mean I wouldn't have stuck around for so long if I didn't, and I just think of him with someone else...choosing someone else...it just kills me. I can't understand how he could throw away everything we had together, everything we were looking forward to doing.... not even a month ago things he promised to me. Was he so unhappy with me and I just couldn't see it? Was he just keeping me around until something better came along? I made so many sacrifices and tried so hard to be a good partner and friend to him, and I feel like I haven't been treated with even a shred of human decency.
In the past I had to ask him for space (to go through my own mental health challenges) and I said I had no interest in seeing other people, and he said he would never even think of it, which is why I am just so taken aback by this blatant and obvious (cheating? I'm not sure if it could be called that given the period of silence before) but decision to not hold onto our relationship. I guess any break up would have been hard on me given how much I wanted him but this is just....beyond...anything...I just can't even begin to explain it.
Do you have any suggestions on how I can process and let go of it all? I even felt badly about blocking him. I just want to believe it's not true and this is all some horrible dream and we're still together 😞
This is a really horrible thing to happen to you.
I'm really sorry. You didn't deserve this treatment, silence, then bam you find out that way.
It's a very upsetting time for you ofcourse, I'm so sorry. Hugs!
How weird of you to find out that way. I agree very much "not a shred of human decency".
This is very deceitful. I'll add he's a pure coward.
You DO need a break from SM and please don't be tempted to FB stalk him or anything.
IME many people are deceitful, it takes a really long time knowing someone, even sometimes we can think we know a person only to find out we had no idea who they were at all.
There's a book called "In Sheep's Clothing" which might fit the behaviours of such or similar ppl, certainly help you work some things out in your mind.
By the end of researching ppl like this, you'll know you dodged a bullet. YOu may even be GRATEFUL it's done now.
You wouldn't choose to have a person like this in your intimate life.
I think he was "keeping you on the backburner" just to play the field and see what else was out there.
I'm exceedingly proud of you that you went through with your exams during this time.
Grab hold of that incredible force you have to improve your future and use it!
Also I'd suggest surrounding yourself with friends and alot of plans with good friends.
Thank you for your reply again Matchy, and your reply Ecomama. I really appreciate everyone taking the time to listen to me and give me guidance, and thank you for all the virtual hugs!!
Yes, my whole take on the situation (outside of my emotions) was just how incredibly weird and unlike him it seemed to be, and also just very much devoid of emotion or consideration. I feel like I don't have anything to gain (except more insanity) from looking too much into it, and thinking about him, his new gf and everything so I think I will disconnect from social media for a little while, and try to limit my screen-time. After I posted on here I had a long good chat with a good friend and I feel like it helped me get out of my head, I will definitely try and make plans and talk to friends so I don't have too much free time to devolve into sadness.
I know I did everything I could've to be a good partner, and the relationship failing is on him, and maybe we just weren't a good fit for one another (though I wish it could have ended in less heart wrenching circumstances).
I do hope, like you have said, in time I'll be able to see him as he truly was (someone who didn't care enough about me, was immature and selfish, displayed commitment issues and treated me very poorly) and not the version I have in my head - of a good man who I loved very dearly whom I lost (one I recognise is gone now, if he ever existed at all) and be glad this all happened. I'm really going to try and put myself first through it all. I guess the sadness is proof that the love I had for him was real, and I guess he just never really loved me.
You sound like you have a very rational head on your shoulders and so sensible in the way you're dealing with all of this.
You know it's okay to cry (my Counsellor says it's fine to cry but not to get completely overwrought - hmmm)...
You are very articulate in how you're describing your emotions and this is really healthy.
I'm so glad you had a good IRL friend to share with.
Sounds like a sensible friend too!
It also sounds like you are intuitively putting "The 180 Strategy" in place, which shows the things we can do to pump ourselves UP in times like these. LOVE that you're going No Contact with SM lol.
The more solid YOUR life is moving forward, the less someone else can "rock the boat".
Keep sharing as much you wish.
We're always here.
Leaving social media is a wise decision. When you return to social media, please ensure you've unfriended him and blocked him because it's the worst when you're healing and suddenly you're confronted with more of his horrible behaviour.
You've tried your best in this relationship, and I hope you know that there was nothing else you could have done. He clearly wasn't as invested in the relationship as you, despite his words just a month before this. Whatever his reasons were for doing that, it wouldn't do you any good to ponder over it now. If these thoughts come to your mind, give yourself permission to cry, permission to feel hurt. But don't let this consume you.
Do chat with us anytime.