The guilt of breaking up with someone you love
Hello, I was dating my ex girlfriend now for approx 4 years in that time we broke up 4 times. Our 3rd break up was around 1 1/2 years ago. We had NC for around 8 months, I then became seriously ill and contacted her, she was amazing jumped straight in and supported me through the 1st surgery and treatment, then things came up from previous breakup and broke up with me when I was feeling better. 2 months after I was due to have my next surgery, we got in contact again and she got back with me and again supported me through my next surgery and treatment, 6 months on and after 2 major surgeries and 6 months of treatment, which was before Christmas last year her mum got sick and other family issues on her side came up which I found it hard to support her as I was still dealing with depression and anxiety due to my illness.
In November last year I got good news that scans looked clear and I was happy for a short while, but then I started to feel really depressed and worried about the future, if the illness came back and I started getting angry a lot and started arguing with her on a weekly basis. Things came to the crunch when her mum got sick, and through bad communication I didnt pick her up from the station as she said that she organised another lift, which I found out later she caught the bus, because she didnt want to hassle me as I get anxious.
The day after we had a chat and she told me about catching the bus, I couldnt understand why she caught the bus. Then she said she wanted my support in a coming family event but as her ex was going to be there, I didnt want to go as this made me very anxious, she continued to preassure me and I snapped and said thats it lets be friends Ive had enough, I said a few bad things putting her down which I feel really bad about now and left.
Its over a month now, and I have had news that I need more scans so the journey continues with my health issues. I have since sent her 2 emails, a couple of txt msgs to apologise and explained how sorry I was and maybe she would be better off finding someone who can truly love her and support her. Theres been no reply which I guess its good, but my problem is that I would still like to be friends, and now the guilt is killing me. I have stated counseling and the advise is that with everything I have been through and still going through I being too hard on myself and should be kind to myself, but Im struggling everyday with this choice I have made.
Hi and welcome Human 03;
You've got quite a lot on your plate my friend haven't you? There are a few issues that seem to intertwine, and this must be feeding the anxiety and depression. Do you have good support with therapy, medication and GP? This is very important to combat situational stress and lack of sleep etc.
Ill health and surgery are two very complicated and worrysome issues that must create ongoing stress and concern. It sounds as if things were travelling ok, so are these scans to review or look for further complications?
The past 4 yrs with your girlfriend has been really up and down. It was good of her to support you thru the trials with surgery. Might I ask if this is why you want to stay friends? I don't want to interfere ok? I know having that support is like a soft place to land when unsure. But when the need isn't there anymore, that's when asking youself if she's the 'one' could be a better time.
While ever you 'need' her, desire and love become 2nd best. No partner wants a needy person clinging to them when it suits.
Moving on with your relationship life is scary; no doubt about this. But you and her might just find Mr or Mrs 'right' in the coming months, you never know. Staying together as friends comes with some freedom, but it has its downside with an ex...familiararity breeds contempt.
I wish you well with decisions and your health. I hope all goes well with scans etc.
Hello, Thanks for your reply it does help. Yes I do have support from Physocologist and social workers. However everyone is on holidays and today is just not a good day. The scans were clear but the surgeon saw a couple of things and he wants to be 100% thats why extra scans.
I want to stay friends because even though I know we are just no good at a relationship we are good together at other things. I have had issues trying to except her kids and baggage which has really impacted our relationship, and she has been my rock trough my health crisis, but I cannot be her rock as I have to focus on myself. In the past couple of months I have felt really insecure as when we argue I feel shes going to break up again, I even said once are you going to break up with me? and she said let nature take its course. I do still love her.
I guess Im really feeling guilty because I was the one that pulled the plug and I couldnt support her. And I feel like I broke her heart. But she even said that she was waiting until I got better when I broke up with her, so she might have been planning on ending the relationship at a later stage.
I guess I just miss her now.
Dear human03. Having medical issues, needing scans etc means your life has been up and down. quite a scary time for you. Like Just Sara says, here's hoping for a good result from the scans. I really hope all is well for you now. Your gf has been, as you say, your rock and we all need someone we can turn to when things seem to go from one problem to another. Your gf wants a full-on relationship which you can't commit to. You just want a friendship as that's all you can do. You are not on the same page as her, neither of you want the same thing. Without upsetting you, which is something I don't want to do, can I ask what she gets out of this friendship you're proposing. It's quite emotionally draining for her propping you up and not being able to ask you for any sort of commitment. You say you love her, love means being there for the 'long haul'. Perhaps you miss the companionship she offered rather than her. If she is content to just be friends, that's great, but maybe you could ask her what she wants. I really hope she is happy to continue supporting you emotionally, but it is hard to stay 'on top'. She has family to consider and children can be draining too.
Our relationship has always been complicated due to other factors in her life, divorce, ex, etc. When I broke up with her it was not planned, things just didnt go well, not picking her up from station after she visited her mum while she was really sick due to stupid txt messages which you are never sure what they read. The day after when we talked and she told me why couldnt I pick her up, which I said I thought you organised another lift just started the argument, and then hitting me about me going to the family event which I said a week before I couldnt go as I wasnt feeling right just tipped me over the edge.
Prior to me saying bad things and putting her down in the heat of the argument and being angry which I really didnt mean, we both agreed to be friends as we both wanted to stay in each others lives somehow.
What I find difficult is just that I upset her and thats what killing me at the moment. However she has also broken my heart when shes broken up with me back in March and last year. Is it possible she might just need space and she might contact me further down the track to see how I am?
Hi human03. You both appear to be running around in circles with mixed signals, messages not being fully understood etc. Maybe 'time out' is something you both need to consider, you with health concerns, her with family commitments etc. You've upset each other so much that you're now walking on eggshells, trying to avoid saying or doing anything that could be misconstrued or misunderstood. I suggest you carefully and slowly write to her either email or 'snail mail', tell her exactly how you feel, apologize for any and all misunderstandings on your part. Don't apologize for her wrongdoing. If she has done wrong, explain where you feel she has made the error or wrong decision. She needs to accept where she went wrong, don't rub it in, though. Don't text, you said yourself these type of messages frequently are misunderstood. Let her know what you want from her, whether it be full-on relationship, or friendship, whatever. Ask her to consider her options and get back to you in her own time. If what you feel is not any sort of love, but a deep friendship, make sure she is totally aware, so there can be no misunderstanding.
Dear human. She's either really hurt 'nursing wounds' or she's decided to move on. There's not a lot more you can do. Maybe just leave her to figure out what she wants. If she contacts, or if she doesn't, you need to get on with your life. It could be she has decided she wants more than you can give. If she does think that, then contacting you really won't get her what she is wanting.
Can I ask if you've asked her specific questions relating to who she is instead of what you want or think? I don't want this to sound 'thingy', but women tend to relate to men on their terms, and end up putting their own feelings aside. This can create resentment even though it's normally a miscommunication or a Venus and Mars situation.
If you begin sentences with; 'You must be feeling...' or 'God knows it's been hard for you.' or 'Would sharing how you feel help me (or you) to...?' or 'How can I encourage better communication between us?'
The focus is still on topic, it's just giving her the ball and opening up dialog. If in doubt, ask a question that gives them the opportunity to speak. Please not; 'Why don't you understand?' or 'Why do we end up always doing this?' or 'It's ok if you don't want to talk'.
Why's are danger ridden...too many variables and can come across as defeatest. The word 'always' denotes 'ALWAYS' no change can occur. "...if you don't want to" means you're giving her permission not to engage and isn't productive.
I hope these help. Communication is the foundation for all else.
Hello Sara, my emails were basically about how I was feeling and why I couldn't support her and how I was suffering from anxiety and depression, my focus was on my health issues and how I couldn't attend the family function due to my anxiety . And I apologised. I did not ask her any questions about WHYs.
This is how I finished the email: Why am I writing to you, because I do care about you even
though I’m not capable of giving you the care and support you truly need. I
hope one day your heart will soften and forgive me and I know it will take
time, but I still really want to be friends somehow.
So the ball is on her side of the court I think.