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Girlfriend mother died of cancer, and ended our relationship!

Tagged as: Breaking up, Family<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (11 September 2018) 3 Answers - (Newest, 14 September 2018)
A male Australia age 36-40, anonymous writes:

My girlfriend and I had been together for a year. A few months ago, her mother passed away from cancer (her dad died when she was young too). I stayed by her and supported her during that time. I knew it wasn't going to be an easy ride. Since then, we've never had time to ourselves, always with family and friend groups. Now, last weekend, she broke-up with me, saying she's not in a place to give more!

I understand, I know it's rough for her first and foremost and I just went along for the ride by comparison. But truthfully, I have to admit in private, I'm struggling. I know she was the heaviest hit by her mothers death, but I sort of feel betrayed, that all that time I gave was for nothing. I also feel irrational anger at her mother for dying and ruining things that were going so well(which is crazy I know). And I've loved my (now ex) girlfriend more than any other woman I've met and was certain she was the one. Now just to feel my journey with her was all a waste of time and a cruel trick of fate! I don't even feel like living right now. I feel emotionally drained.

I'm sorry for the story. But has anyone been through anything similar? And if so, how did you cope?

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (14 September 2018):

Grief is crushing. Losing a parent is one of the most difficult losses you ever have to experience. It can be so emotionally devastating; that you're not sure how long it will take to bare the grief. You've got to come to terms with the finality; and it sucks the very life and strength out of you. As if you died yourself. I've lost both parents, three sisters, and my partner of 28 years. I know what grief and sorrow feel like. I lost a third sister in May. Lupus, and she was quite young!

Dealing with her through grief is noble; but your style and performance may not have conveyed the comfort she needed. When dealing with bereavement, you're highly sensitive to emotion; and she could feel the struggle within you dealing with her raw emotions, and the constant intrusions from her family. You felt she was being pulled-away from you. Women are naturally intuitive to our emotions. No matter how well we try to hide them.

You mean well, but good-intentions sometimes aren't enough. You stuck by her; but she's drained of feeling right-now. If you were her husband; your marital-commitment would be a more established-bond that she couldn't so casually dismiss. You're a boyfriend; so for right-now, you're just dead-weight. Sorry to use such terms, but that's how it feels.

She may need to seek bereavement-counseling. You most certainly do need immediate intervention; if you're contemplating suicide.

If you're given to dramatics and melancholy; that is precisely her reasoning to pull-away to deal with her own grief and loss. Dealing with high-anxiety on both sides of a relationship takes its toll! It's exhausting!

Suicidal-thoughts don't just come over you if you have a healthy mind. They're a culmination and manifestation of repeated traumatic-events and internalized-pain. Maybe she recognized some alarming signs in your personality that gave her reason to separate. She needs the space. Not only were you dealing with her issues; she was dealing with yours. Maybe they were more than too much for her to handle; and she is now overwhelmed by her grief.

Seek help. Immediately!!!

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A female reader, lensen United States +, writes (13 September 2018):

Although cruel this is a common thing. Any of the four reasons might be at work:

1.She thinks that she could have been close to her mom if she wasn’t spending time with you. And in that situation, her head is seeing an enemy in you. That’s what I get from her use of “not in a place to give more!”

2.She probably is suffering from PTSD. When it hits, people tend to avoid places and people connected to the traumatic event.

3.She wanted to break up long time ago. She found an excuse in her mom’s death.

4.You said she had to be with friends and family. It is possible that she found something else in one of those groups.

5.She expected you to mourn with her, but you started treating her normally. Please do not think you did anything wrong. Probably, in her head, she is translating your words in a different way. One example would be, “how can you be so normal when I am suffering here?” or "look, I am too sad to play your girlfriend right now".

I guess you should shut the door on her to date a new person. Start mingling. It will keep you aware from the depression of your breakup.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (11 September 2018):

Honeypie agony auntIf you feel suicidal, you should try and call a hotline and talk to someone. It's anonymous.

I know it doesn't feel well to have worked hard to support her in her grief to only have her end it. I know when my mother died I wasn't worth a pot to pee in for my family. I just didn't want to interact, I felt empty, drained and overwhelmed by the sadness and guilt. So I DO understand your GF's side too.

If I didn't have 3 kids I would have wanted to just dig a hole, crawl into it and ignore the world. However, I have 3 kids, I have a husband, I have pets, I have family ALL who needed me too, as I needed them.

My heart goes out to both you and your GF. You BOTH now suffered a huge loss.

My advice? Take each day as it comes. Stick to your routines, like go to work, eat, sleep and if you can manage get some exercise in there too. If you don't feel like being social, then don't. But don't isolate yourself.

One of my best friends lost his dad to suicide. And he was mad, angry at his dad for ages. Then guilt set in, doubt, sadness... the whole gamut of emotions. It was hard to watch him go through that. It seemed so senseless. Same with cancer.

I get your anger at her mom, but that won't help you more forward. She didn't get cancer to spite you or hurt you. She didn't have a choice. So find a way to let that anger go, it's not healthy nor logical.

As for the time spend dating your GF, it wasn't WASTED. You learned (I hope) something from it. Most of all that YOU are capable of finding ONE woman who "ticked" all your boxes - which means... in time you can find another good match.

You say you feel emotionally drained, then think about how SHE felt/feels?

You are both grieving. She for her mother & the relationship, and you for the relationship you had such high hopes for.

Accept the grief. Move through it.

My guess is that she also felt she SHE didn't deserve to be happy while her mom is gone.

As cliche as it sounds, in time you will get through this.

Take time for selfcare, OP.

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