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Concerns about lack of closure


Coping Learning to deal with one's emotions and loss.

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Old 9th August 2017, 12:57 AM   #1
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Concerns about lack of closure

A few weeks have passed since I ended a 14.5 year long relationship (I posted on all of that before). I have had a couple of encounters with the ex that were heart wrenching to say the least and I am looking for some insight. Essentially, he is saying this came out of nowhere and that he is completely blindsided by everything. He accuses me of pulling the trigger too soon and says we didn't do enough to respect the 14.5 years we have. I am really fretting over this and am now second guessing how things went down and whether or not I should let it lie or do more. It is consuming me because I have never seen him in such bad shape, and I am entirely responsible for it.

When I ended it, I didn't go into details. I literally had a moment of clarity after a purge of emotion one day and just knew it was what had to be done and that I had known it for months, but was trying to make an honest effort to reach a different decision. I told him this happened and he responded by saying I needed help (implying having an emotional episode necessitated more mental health than once a week counseling). Then he said he couldn't say anything, asked me to cancel our therapy session we had scheduled the next day, and that was it. I assumed, based on this reaction, that he knew it was coming. Things had been noticeably bad for six months before I made the decision (and I had moved into my parents six weeks prior to the breakup), and slowly dwindling a couple of years before. During the six month period, we had several talks. I pointed out issues I had with him that had been persistent for years. I talked about how I changed and how it was causing me to have different feelings towards the relationship and him. I told him the spark was gone. I told him I felt like I lost myself in the relationship because I subjugated myself so much (enabled bad behavior for years, didn't pick fights when I should have, gave up goals to make him happy, etc.). During our last conversation before it ended, he told me to just tell him if I wanted to split up so he knew what he was dealing with, rather than just say I want to be alone, which is the nice person's version of saying the same thing without wanting to hurt anyone's feelings. So, when I finally did it, I did not want to rehash everything given that most everything had been on the table for so many months, and I had been living out of the house for six weeks.

When I saw him last week, he told me he was "dying" because his whole life was for me and now he had nothing. A part of my brain got upset because I had literally been taking care of him for a long time, and he still hasn't left my house that I am paying for and I never felt his actions quite matched his words. On the other hand, I fell apart. After all this time, I didn't want it to end like this. What if he is telling the truth and somehow has no clue about why I did what I did? Ultimately, I realize that I made the decision for myself because I really was unhappy and really had lost sight of who I am in this relationship. My life finally started to improve and instead of being happy, I was overcome with guilt and grief because his situation seemed to suffer as a result of my finding what I always needed, and I realized I needed more than just him to be happy. I realized that I couldn't let myself have happiness if he was suffering, which led me to realize that almost every decision I have made the last 14.5 years revolved around his feelings and making sure he was happy. It just didn't feel healthy anymore. It felt to me like the only solution to my dilemma was to get out of the relationship that held me captive to those unhealthy feelings (and where I wasn't feeling appreciated anyway) and live my life freely. I even gave the decision six months because I wanted to see if he would take any steps to make positive changes for my sake (stop drinking after a DUI, get counseling for depression, help clean the house, give me any money towards house expenses!), just in case that was playing a bigger role in my feelings. None of that happened and he in fact became defensive whenever I asked him to get help. And I had made it very clear back in January that I was on the edge of the cliff, ready to jump.

When we last talked, I froze up. He accused me of being insensitive. He accused me of not trying. He asked me if he did something to me. I froze up because I was overwhelmed and felt like nothing I said would be right. I just told him I had said a lot over six months and if nothing else, he could just blame me for becoming a different person. He sobbed. He cried. It was terrible. Then I left my house and went back to my parents. It has left me in a state of guilt. I debated writing a letter to him to outline everything. I debated setting up a counseling session to say it all in one conversation through a mediator. And then I contemplated just doing nothing. Let him get through the grieving process so when he comes out of it he can hopefully see and remember everything that was discussed and develop some insight into his own contributions to this. I believe that is the right thing to do, but I fear my worst fear will come true - that his heart will forever be destroyed because I just up and left for no reason after so many years. He may not get it - or want to get it.

I am sure many have experienced something similar in a breakup. Any advice on how to get through these difficult feelings? Anyone experience his side of the equation and have some insight into the grieving process and what could follow for him?
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Old 9th August 2017, 1:30 AM   #2
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Whoa. I haven't even been dating for 14.5 years, but I think you need to take a deep breath and smile that you are out of this mess, kind of. Don't you feel any relief? Did anything people wrote in your other thread about NOT feeling guilty resonate?

Somehow it seems he stalled a long time ago and isn't really attached to normal behavior, normal social structures, or reality. He is in bad shape because HE let himself get blindsided. I don't know how much softer of a breakup than a few years detachment, 6 months of ultimatums, and 6 weeks separated you could do. With therapy intermixed. Therefore, you are NOT responsible for him being in bad shape and you should remind yourself he has had ample time and opportunity to contribute but did not.

I somehow doubt he will move on anytime soon, but it really isn't your problem. If he wants to call you unstable and emotional, so be it. Let him weap alone elsewhere. You have over-invested in him and the relationship.

Good luck kicking him out of the house. I would say go no contact and get an intermediary to check on the house and him. If he is at risk of hurting himself, you may need to get serious and ask several of his friends and family to come scrape him off your property. Give him written notice to vacate by end of August and stop contacting him yourself!! He needs to know you're serious. Maintain self-respect at this stage or you'll continue enabling him to mope in the fog thinking you'll come back.
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Old 9th August 2017, 11:33 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by bummer View Post
Whoa. I haven't even been dating for 14.5 years, but I think you need to take a deep breath and smile that you are out of this mess, kind of. Don't you feel any relief? Did anything people wrote in your other thread about NOT feeling guilty resonate?

Somehow it seems he stalled a long time ago and isn't really attached to normal behavior, normal social structures, or reality. He is in bad shape because HE let himself get blindsided. I don't know how much softer of a breakup than a few years detachment, 6 months of ultimatums, and 6 weeks separated you could do. With therapy intermixed. Therefore, you are NOT responsible for him being in bad shape and you should remind yourself he has had ample time and opportunity to contribute but did not.

I somehow doubt he will move on anytime soon, but it really isn't your problem. If he wants to call you unstable and emotional, so be it. Let him weap alone elsewhere. You have over-invested in him and the relationship.

Good luck kicking him out of the house. I would say go no contact and get an intermediary to check on the house and him. If he is at risk of hurting himself, you may need to get serious and ask several of his friends and family to come scrape him off your property. Give him written notice to vacate by end of August and stop contacting him yourself!! He needs to know you're serious. Maintain self-respect at this stage or you'll continue enabling him to mope in the fog thinking you'll come back.
All of this ^^

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Originally Posted by Joan621 View Post
It is consuming me because I have never seen him in such bad shape, and I am entirely responsible for it.
His 'shape' is the shape he wants to be in. You are not responsible for it at all. You are only responsible for the shape you are in. Likewise he is master of his own destiny.

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Originally Posted by Joan621 View Post
I told him I felt like I lost myself in the relationship because I subjugated myself so much (enabled bad behavior for years, didn't pick fights when I should have, gave up goals to make him happy, etc.).
You have given a lot and he has taken without giving back. You have made an informed decision based on the facts. Once he is out of your life and off your radar you can heal and begin to breathe easier. You wanted a partner and he wanted a vassal he could control with his emotional blackmail. He should seek professional help, but that is not your problem.

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Originally Posted by Joan621 View Post
I did not want to rehash everything given that most everything had been on the table for so many months, and I had been living out of the house for six weeks.
You have done all you could to give him the chance of redeeming himself. Any more would be a waste of your resources. He can't see the wood for the trees, and probably never will.

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Originally Posted by Joan621 View Post
When I saw him last week, he told me he was "dying" because his whole life was for me and now he had nothing.
What a horrible deluded individual, his whole life is and should be for him, that's not selfish it is healthy. Him trying to live his life through [and on the back of] you is very unhealthy.

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Originally Posted by Joan621 View Post
I made the decision for myself because I really was unhappy and really had lost sight of who I am in this relationship.
There you go, move him out of your property, let him do what he sees fit with his own life. Take steps, legally if necessary, to keep him away from you, he's toxic.

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Originally Posted by Joan621 View Post
I realized that I couldn't let myself have happiness if he was suffering, which led me to realize that almost every decision I have made the last 14.5 years revolved around his feelings and making sure he was happy. It just didn't feel healthy anymore.
That's some Jedi mind trick he was playing on you. You're right, it was very unhealthy.

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Originally Posted by Joan621 View Post
I even gave the decision six months because I wanted to see if he would take any steps to make positive changes for my sake (stop drinking after a DUI, get counseling for depression, help clean the house, give me any money towards house expenses!), just in case that was playing a bigger role in my feelings. None of that happened.
He was more a parasite living off you than being a friend to you. You did more than you should have to give him time to do the right thing. You have made a valid decision now.

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Originally Posted by Joan621 View Post
I fear my worst fear will come true - that his heart will forever be destroyed because I just up and left for no reason after so many years.
That Jedi mind trick he plays has got you good. Why care a jot about him, it does not concern you, get him gone and move on.

You need to breath, you need to live.
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Old 9th August 2017, 12:41 PM   #4
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Let me help you with this...

Let me help you with this...

First, I guess you understand that you were in a codependent relationship with him, right? And you also probably understand that you are in fact a codependent person. If you don't understand that Google it and do some reading about it. It may help you understand some of the things that you are feeling.

But let me say this as I have been in a situation like yours in many respects.

First rule is, YOU CANNOT CHANGE OTHER PEOPLE, EVER.

Second rule is, YOU CANNOT CONTROL OTHER PEOPLE.

Third rule is, ONLY YOU ARE IN CONROL OF YOUR HAPPINESS.

Here is the deal, you loved him and were with him for a long time. You still care for him but you were unhappy with his behavior and the choices that he makes in his life and how they affect you.

The only thing that you can do about that is GET OUT OF THE SITUATION.

From what you are saying, you stayed too long as it is now. You have to realize that you have the right to be happy in your life, we all do.

You spoke to him, you told him how you felt, you gave him the opportunity to change and he chose not too. So whose fault is that, not yours??

My STBXW was just a nightmare, but I loved her. She did many things to hurt me but the worst was her drug addiction that she kept hidden from me for 20 years.

I did not leave her because she was just too "Sick" to take care of herself. I lived a nightmare of drama, and never could understand what was going on with her, until I had a stroke from all of the stress and pressure that I was under.

Only when I was lying in the hospital bed did I finally start to understand what was going on with her and what she had done to our family all of those years.

Had I known, I would have divorced her years ago.

You have to understand the you cannot change him, and he has to learn to take care of hisself and be an adult. And by the way, what is the deal with you supporting him and him not helping with the bills???

Did you ever think that was something to be worried about?

You just have to keep moving forward with your life. You will have some sad days because you will miss someone that you have been with that long no matter what.

But look to the future, imagine after you get through this how great life can be. I am here to tell you that it really can be great.

Hang in there...
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Old 9th August 2017, 12:57 PM   #5
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Old 9th August 2017, 7:24 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by BluesPower View Post
Let me help you with this...

First, I guess you understand that you were in a codependent relationship with him, right? And you also probably understand that you are in fact a codependent person. If you don't understand that Google it and do some reading about it. It may help you understand some of the things that you are feeling.
You are absolutely right. This is something I was in denial of for a long time because I prided myself on independence. I started going to counseling when this started to go south in January and through that process, I started to realize this is exactly what was going on with us. It is likely what contributed to me staying for so long too. You are also right that there is nothing I can do to change him. I enabled for so long under this belief that he would grow out of certain behaviors...and then he never did. It is probably why I am feeling the way I am now. I am relieved nonetheless that I have been able to stand by my decision and not cave to the guilt.
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Old 9th August 2017, 7:37 PM   #7
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I think you are thinking clearly. This is what happens when you let boundaries get crossed over and over. The person thinks you're fine with them and it's likely they couldn't change anyway. It would be mostly lip service after this long and resentment. I think it sounds like you've already told him in the last six months the things that bothered you and that what bothered you most was realizing you weren't feeling free to voice yourself. I think he's just going to have to deal with it. I mean, unless you feel you haven't explained something, then what's left to say? You were honest. You changed. You finally stood up for yourself.

Say all you think you have to say and then try to make a clean break and move on with your life and let him learn to move on with his. Maybe he'll mature a little.
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Old 10th August 2017, 3:15 PM   #8
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Just a quick note to say that I think you can be proud of yourself that you did a lot to improve this relationship. It sounds like you put up with many things that were unsatisfactory.

I wish my own GF had given this much effort to addressing our lack of spark. Our relationship was pretty amazing by all accounts, and she still lost feelings and refused to tell me, then I had to be the one to split us up.
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Old 10th August 2017, 3:29 PM   #9
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Isn't that the truth...

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Originally Posted by IDB_2017 View Post
Just a quick note to say that I think you can be proud of yourself that you did a lot to improve this relationship. It sounds like you put up with many things that were unsatisfactory.

I wish my own GF had given this much effort to addressing our lack of spark. Our relationship was pretty amazing by all accounts, and she still lost feelings and refused to tell me, then I had to be the one to split us up.
And what is up with that? My last GF just completely screwed me over and still she pushed and pushed to where I had to be the one to end it.

I mean if you are not all in just say so and we are all good. But Noooo, she pushed until I had to break up with a girl that I was in love with but knew I could not be with.

That is just F***** up. I guess she did not want to be the bad guy.

The more I learn about women the less I understand...
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Old 24th September 2017, 8:17 PM   #10
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I have mixed feeling on this..

Why?

Because what you did is exactly what I've seen a lot of women do.

Date the guy who is rough around the edges and finally bail around 30ish or 40ish because said guy doesn't change.

but the real reason you left this man was because you told him you didn't want kids and now you want kids. So you have to break-up with him to get what you want. That was the trigger.. right?

this guy didn't hold you captive or enslaved you. It was your decision to stay and for him there was no reason to change because you stayed. He is who he is.

Just as you had some underling issues, fortunately you are on a path way to correct those issues with the help of therapy, yet its obvious he will need help as well and it is only him who can seek that help.

Quote:
he pushed me to move back home for a job because I hadn't been happy for ten years in the city we relocated to. I got a great job and went home and for the first time was passionate about my work and was finally making friends of my own. It took him a year to come out. He was very supportive at first.
Quote:
We moved for me to go to school and I didn't want to stay in the city after graduation because I couldn't find meaningful work there
Quote:
When he did, it was a struggle for him to find a good job.
Quote:
He tried starting a career in real estate. It was rocky at first, started to go good, then went bad when he impulsively switched agencies. In the meantime, I have paid for almost everything *for over a year and am feeling stressed
Quote:
Over the last year, I have become increasingly annoyed at him not helping with the house
I would assume any man at the age of 40 who doesn't have a stable job and was confronted with having kids would have a surge of emotions him self. My question is did he not support you the many years you were in the other city or has it always been you helping him. In no way im saying he is a great guy... but it seems like once you leveled up and got new friends and he was now struggling he became really annoying to you.

again I have a mixed opinion on the whole thing..
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Old 8th October 2017, 10:13 PM   #11
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I can see why you would have mixed feelings.

The real reason is not because I wanted kids. I broached the topic to discuss, but not because I had made a firm decision that it is what I wanted. I went from not wanting kids to being undecided. I chose not to tell for some time because he was having such a tough time with work and I knew something like this would cause a surge in emotion. He made a derogatory remark to me one night about getting me past child rearing age to my family friends and it upset me so much that I decided to tell him that night. My issue with his response to it was not that he was very emotional - he resorted to drinking one night and going out and getting a DUI at 2 AM after calling me to tell me he was going to California to clear his head.

I should also clarify that I did not make him move with me for school. I told him I was moving when we started dating and he asked if he could go with because he wanted to leave town. I decided it was OK because I figured he would be the type who would be OK in a new city if things didn't work out with us. I was very clear about wanting to do public interest work and he was very clear he would not want to be with me if I became a corporate lawyer. There were NO job opportunities for me there after graduating and he almost left me because he refused to move, even though we never agreed to stay there after school. I get offered the corporate job and suddenly he is OK with it because he gets to keep me and stay. I stayed for seven extra years because I did not want to take him away from a city I thought he loved more than me.

I see your point about women reaching a certain age and then expecting change. I can't speak for other women, but I can for myself. When you get into a relationship in your early 20's, you are a very different person from when you are in your late 30's. I was very weak with him and did not stand up for myself because arguing with him was a nightmare. He was always right and talked at me. So while I mentioned issues with drinking and him being irresponsible with money and decisions with things like houses, he always had an explanation for why he was right and I ended up feeling like the bad guy at the end. He did not support me in this city. In fact, he was in a position to make us more financially sound together but decided he would rather hang out and do other projects than invest time and work in an investment that would have saved us both a lot of money in the long run. I paid more in house expenses and generally paid for food, even though I was making less money towards the end.

God knows I feel terrible - just terrible - that I was too weak to communicate enough for most of the relationship about how I felt hurt and how I did not think he considered my feelings. I put so much stock in him moving back home for me that even when cracks were showing a couple of years ago, I refused to see them because I decided that the move made up for everything.

Did I just decide I was annoyed because I made new friends?? Absolutely not. In fact, my friends love him and hang out with him still. What really happened was that living without him for a year opened my eyes to a lot of issues we had, and we were very ill equipped to deal with them because I had never been able to communicate with him. This all inevitably caused my feelings to change. Is it right then to stay just because I had stayed for so long already and failed to stand up for myself? Just deal with it because I already had for so many years so it's not fair to change? How does that benefit him in the long run?
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Old 9th October 2017, 1:14 PM   #12
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The thing about closure - some words do not actually have to be spoken. Sometimes actions speak louder than words. If you just look at all the actions you both have taken in the recent years that led to the break-up, I think you can both have your closure. People always think that if you sit down, hash it through, you'll come to some good terms about a break-up - rarely that happens. Most of the time, more hurt. No one really agrees, so just go through actions - those always speak louder than any words. We may even mean words sometimes, but look at the actions - those are subconsciously acting and what we really feel about the person.
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