- Subscribe to RSS Feed
- Mark Topic as New
- Mark Topic as Read
- Pin this Topic for Current User
- Printer Friendly Page
My breakup happened almost a year ago. It was sudden, unexpected and not initiated by me. I was in shock for about four months and then fairly depressed for a good five months. I have been struggling with the feelings that come with being rejected. There was a bit of back and forth - mostly respectful and civilised - from both of us. I have processed all of this and while still sad about my loss, I was feeling a bit better. I haven’t talked to anyone about the situation or about how I have been feeling and can’t actually.
Then she recently started texting me, my birthday and so on. She is trying to be kind I think as she knows how badly I was affected and there is no chance of a reconciliation as she left me for someone else who she is still happily with. I don’t want that either. We had been friends for many years before we became involved.
My problem is that her texts are upsetting me for days afterwards and I’m trying to decide whether to ‘block’ her, and if I do, whether I should tell her that’s what I’m doing and why I’m doing it.
I would really like some advice on what to do about this.
Hi WaterFront, and welcome to the forums
While I don't have experience with this kind of situation personally, I thought I could offer some insight into what I would do. If you would really like to keep communication open with your ex-partner, is there something you can do to help you cope better with the texts? I know you said you couldn't talk to someone about it, but a professional may be able to help if you're comfortable with that, or you might be able to do some work yourself on identifying why you're feeling the way you are and how to manage it. If you think it's better to not have that communication with your ex-partner (which is a totally fine decision to make - you need to look out for yourself), I would explain how you're feeling to them and let them know that you'd prefer to not to have any contact for the time being. Hopefully they'd understand and would no longer reach out, but if they don't you can block them. At least if you explain, it prevents them wondering why it's happened, or creating their own reason which could damage how they think of you. It also allows there to be the opportunity for you to remain cordial in the future if you reach a point where you would be comfortable with that.
Wishing you all the best with this, and feel free to keep us updated.
I'd like to join Willow Jude in welcoming you here to the Forum. When you are unsure about things then coming here can be a very good idea.
I'm afraid there is no timescale on the grief that comes about when a relationship ends, particularly if it was unexpected and your faith has been broken. The hurt can continue for a long time, and reminders in the way of texts or other contact can simply re-open the feelings.
I'd agree with Willow Jude on both points, first asking you ex to stop - explaining why may well be enough. She may have felt that enough time has passed for you to be "over it" and a normal friendship as before could be resumed. If that does not work then I guess blocking is the next answer.
This is of course only half the problem, the other half is for you to resume a normal social life not dominated by the past - more quickly, something that will be good for you.
To reach that state I'd suggest starting by looking at a very good website - it does have councilors if you felt like using them, otherwise just see what tools and explanations are available there.
Please let us know how you go
Dear Willow Jade and Croix,
Thank you so much for your advice. It has helped greatly and made me shift my thinking. Calmed me down I guess.
I think the texts upset me because they open up the wounds. The rejection and loss, the idea that she is with someone else, that she stopped loving me. They make me ruminate and I go over everything in my mind. When we are not communicating, it's more low-level and sitting in the background and I can more easily (though not totally) distract myself. Work helps with that.
I'm not a social person, not a 'talker', very private, so I find councillors/talking to professionals/resuming social life suggestions really difficult to consider or follow through on. I will check out the suggested website though. Thank you.
'Blocking' is rather drastic, I know. I have decided not to 'block' or suggest 'no contact' for the moment after thinking about what you have both suggested and giving it some more of my own thought. I'm just going to let it lie for a bit and if she does text, try not to get consumed by it. If I do get consumed, I'll reconsider.
I'm very sure we will never go back to being the friends we were before we got involved in a relationship, trust is gone. Not just the breakup but also some of her actions and comments afterwards. I suppose I'm still hanging on to the possibility even if it is by a thread though I know ultimately I couldn't or wouldn't accept her friendship again even if it was offered.
Just talking about it here has made me feel a bit better - getting it said and being heard.
Hello WaterFront, welcome also to the site.
Whether she feels sightly sorry that this breakup has happened, it has, and she's with someone else, but the possibility of not being together again, and if you don't text her for her birthday, then she will wake up and know that you don't want to be texted by her anymore and there may be other occasions that you once enjoyed when together, that no communication between either of you has happened.
This again will indicate to her not to contact you, she can't necessarily have a partner and still contact her last one, especially in these circumstances is not appropriate.
If you do have the courage to see a counsellor, then perhaps write down the main points on some paper, then you can hand this over to them, this helps you to overcome being nervous.
It was kind of complicated.
We were friends for 15 years and then exclusively more than friends for a further 5 years. 20 years is a long time to be really close to someone. We never lived together. I think now that in her mind we were ‘friends with benefits’ and in mine we were ‘in a relationship’. A classic case of lack of communication - I wish she had told me this sooner as then maybe I would not have gotten so invested.
When I think about all of this now, I think I was who she was with while she was waiting for a ‘real’ person/relationship. When she told me via phone that she had met someone else, she couldn’t understand why this might be difficult for me and just expected me to go back to being her friend. Literally instantly. So, not only do I feel rejected, I also feel invalidated. This somehow makes it worse.
Honestly, I think she is emotionally obtuse and just doesn’t get it. Anyway, I am feeling a bit better today and resolving to move forward from this. I will continue to not contact her (I’ve managed nine weeks so far) and respond politely when/if she contacts me. You are right, she will get the message. Even though the idea of never talking to her again makes me feel very sad, I know it is for the best - I’ve just got to put in the time/work to get over it.
Thank you for listening.
I do not think it was a case of miss-communication, I suspect it was more the case of two completely different types of people. For her 'friends with benefits' might be an acceptable and normal way to behave, without any deep commitment undertaken or implied.
For you however the 'benefits' had a lot more meaning and as a result it was heart-breaking when you found that all along your love and affection was not returned to the same degree, you were a shallower part of her life.
I'm not saying this as a criticism of anyone, there is room in the world for all people, its just unfortunate such instances will inevitably occur.
While I would have to agree if you feel blocking is going too far then you are the person on the spot and the best judge of your reactions, however I would suggest thinking about it, after all each new contact does cause you considerable grief and most possibley puts off your entering more fully into social life.
Trust of this sort once broken highlights the differences between you and even if you go back together you might well always have a feeling things could go wrong again - not a good path to wholehearted commitment.
Thank you Croix,
Since I have not spoken to anybody about this situation I'm in, I'm sure I have become fixed in my thinking. It has been very helpful to me to look at it from other people's perspectives. Seeing it from different angles which is helping me to understand what has happened.
I had a bit of an emotional spiral today but managed to pull myself out of it. I have found the 'serenity prayer' really effective - what I can control and what I can't control and knowing the difference. I expect the 'ups and downs' will continue for a while yet.
It has helped me a lot to just be able to talk about it here and get some support.
Hello WaterFront, thanks for getting back to us.
Losing a friend after 20 years is definitely a long time and I certainly, understand your disappointment, unfortunately, friendship's can change over the years and we can never predict what will happen tomorrow or how someone is feeling, and all of a sudden what you think may or may not happen can be totally off guard, that's something we didn't want to happen.
The connection between the two of you will slowly disappear as she develops relationships, whether it's with this current person or another one as she attaches herself to them, this will help you to be able to move on with your own life.
I'm glad we have been able to give you some perspective other than your own. Trying to cope in isolation is very hard, and one can easily make assumptions and be locked into a way of thinking.
The Serenity Prayer contains a lot of wisdom, as on other unrelated occasions does the Desiderata, both of which I have on my kitchen wall.
Of curse there will be ups and downs, however if you can bring yourself to be more active socially, and as new events take place in you life, those downs will be less as other things occupy your mind.
Understanding and reacting to that prayer reveals you have wisdom and your grief shows you loving nature, golden assets another will treasure.