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Is this normal?


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

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Old 12th January 2018, 10:58 AM   #1
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Is this normal?

Every time my young adult sons break up with their girlfriends, I feel the girls’ pain almost as if it were mine. My sons are in college and are very caring, mature, and honorable. The breakups were due to them falling out of love or just knowing the girl wasn’t “the one.” They were for good reasons...and after all, they are young. But each time (it’s been 3 times between the 2 of them), the girl was very broken-hearted. The last girlfriend of 1 1/2 years was just broken up with last night. My son called me to tell me. He’s very sad himself because he knows how much he hurt her and feels guilty. We talked at length and I in no way disagree with his decision. But I can’t help feeling her grief. I didn’t spend a lot of time with her, but she was a sweet girl who really loved my son. I am on the verge of crying at work today thinking of her.

What is wrong with me? Has anyone else felt this way?
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Old 12th January 2018, 11:23 AM   #2
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It's empathy and it's normal. Especially if can you relate to them because of similar experiences.

I don't have children but I remember when one of my close friends ended up breaking it off with his girlfriend becaues he wanted to explore his options. In fact he didn't seem like he was into the relationship all that much a year prior to actually ending it but it took him a year to come to terms with what I already knew was coming. She was a polite, kind girl. Very respectful. She had been through a lot in life as I had been as well. And because I was in relationships with females who weren't really all that committed and I too was lead on in similar ways, I really felt for his ex. Knew how she must have been feeling. I felt annoyed with him and sad for her although I never expressed this and remained neutral and calm for him.
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Old 12th January 2018, 11:25 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by hippychick3 View Post
What is wrong with me? Has anyone else felt this way?
I sympathize but I don't have any kids so that's as far as I can go
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Old 12th January 2018, 11:33 AM   #4
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I agree that you're just a very empathetic individual.

I appreciate that you don't belittle your sons decisions and that you are simply being a mother and lending an ear.
I had a situation with a girl friend (note the space) back in school that my mother really liked and suspected she liked me. She was always trying to play matchmaker and told me to give the girl a chance for 2yrs straight. It was annoying and actually drove me away from maintaining the friendship.

Continue being a caring mother! Not a meddling one.
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Old 12th January 2018, 12:52 PM   #5
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Empathy and normal. When I separated from my ex-wife and divorced, my mother was the most critical of my decisions. Supportive for the most part, but the most objective about the break-up.

Let's be frank, as parents, we should be supportive of our children, but sometimes, they do not make the right call for the right reasons. I hope to be a parent who is capable of supporting my own children, but also be honest enough not to sugar coat things.

As per not budding into my children's lives, well, if people's lives, emotions are involved, I am going to do my best to share my wisdom.

hippychick3. Most of us do our best to raise 'good' kids. We can only hope that our guidance has made them sensitive enough to make decisions that are sound, sensitive.
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Old 12th January 2018, 1:06 PM   #6
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Donít get me wrong... I believe it was the right decision for him to make. I actually am proud of him for having the strength to sit down with her and end it when he felt it wasnít going anywhere. I donít question his feelings or choices. I just know she is hurting, and my heart aches for her.
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Old 12th January 2018, 1:11 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by hippychick3 View Post
Donít get me wrong... I believe it was the right decision for him to make. I actually am proud of him for having the strength to sit down with her and end it when he felt it wasnít going anywhere. I donít question his feelings or choices. I just know she is hurting, and my heart aches for her.
Absolutely! It is heart-breaking when relationships do not work out. When one is really hurting. This is especially true when you can directly relate to her sorrow....empathy.

You're a good mom!
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Old 14th January 2018, 5:56 PM   #8
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Normal for someone caring

Hello and yes, at least from my view point, I think it's normal for anyone who's caring and empathic to feel as you do. And I agree with simpleNfit & Frostedflake, you seem to have the right balance as a non-meddling, respectful and caring mom.

My son broke up with a young lady after about three years of dating, and it bothered me for a little while, even though I wasn't ready for him to get serious. I think we care so because we remember what it's like to be hurt even if the pain is justified and a part of grown-up and going through relationships.

And it's great too that you've raised wise, young men who don't continue on in relationships just to please someone or not hurt the person when they know inside they should move on.

God bless you and here's praying you too get over the pain of loss, because we build relationships with our children's significant others too, so it may also be a part of our loss the we feel this way.
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Old 14th January 2018, 6:00 PM   #9
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Hello and yes, at least from my view point, I think it's normal for anyone who's caring and empathic to feel as you do. And I agree with simpleNfit & Frostedflake, you seem to have the right balance as a non-meddling, respectful and caring mom.

My son broke up with a young lady after about three years of dating, and it bothered me for a little while, even though I wasn't ready for him to get serious. I think we care so because we remember what it's like to be hurt even if the pain is justified and a part of grown-up and going through relationships.

And it's great too that you've raised wise, young men who don't continue on in relationships just to please someone or not hurt the person when they know inside they should move on.

God bless you and here's praying you too get over the pain of loss, because we build relationships with our children's significant others too, so it may also be a part of our loss the we feel this way.
That was beautiful. Thank you.
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Old 14th January 2018, 6:48 PM   #10
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That was beautiful. Thank you.
you're so thoughtful hippychick3
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Old 8th February 2018, 7:12 PM   #11
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Wink You're most welcome!

As another poster said, you're thoughtful and I hope things are better since your son's breakup with the young lady.
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Old 8th February 2018, 11:09 PM   #12
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oh god yes i think this is very normal.

while i don't have children, i feel this way often for the people my friends break up with. i ALWAYS feel for the dumpee, having been there way too many times!
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