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Healing after a painful breakup (Long read so get yourself a cuppa 😅)

RS_3FocusRS_3Focus Posts: 3 Newbie
edited August 9 in Sex & Relationships
So the thought buzzing around my mind atm is one between myself and my Ex. The relationship ended about just over 4 months ago end of march, (she broke up with me). I feel I'm getting mixed signals atm and unsure on where to go. She meant world to me and i could say i never saw her unhappy with me compared to time id known her as a whole until the last 2 week or so before she broke up with me. We had so much planned, what we were going to do and exactly how to do so even if it was years to come, we even started to make some of the plans.


Short dive into that (I hope😅) , one day out of blue she texted whilst i was at work and said not ready for a relationship was having mental health problems (been together about 8 months at this point), wouldn't tell me why these were, she knew i have been and was always there for her especially in times like these and would help her in anyway but needed to know what these reason were to even start, even if it was me, but still refused to say, which naturally just made me believe it was me.

I respected she needed her space and i was more than happy to do so as i wanted more than nothing for us to work through this or any hurdle, our normal routine would be to get dinner together one night after going to do some shopping, not doing that and instead being at home i asked if i could nip up to take our dog at the the time for a walk, i wasn't busy, she couldn't get out and i knew he needed it. I asked the question early in the day and she said yes, however on my way up she texted and i didn't see until i got there, but she'd said do it another day and i saw why, the ex was up there, after telling me in the text she wanted time to sort herself out alone etc. He never used to come up in the house to play with him, she just didn't want me to see him up there as she thought it would piss me off. I wasn't bothered if he was there to see him, i was bothered she just couldn't have been honest with me.

I fucked up as for me this relationship was everything id ever wanted, everyday i'd have a smile on my face going to work knowing id get to come back to her, i could just be myself around her and loved seeing her smile, laugh all of the things anyone would want. I had been screwed over in the past and did become a bit needy for reassurance and overthink possible bad outcomes etc. Even though i was open with her about it as i tried to be with a lot of things as i wanted this to work and for a long time i could tell she did as well, even her parents said it was nice to see someone like me compared to what they'd seen before she told me one day.

Anyway with this, i still wanted to know she was happy and i was doing all i could if i could do better etc. We both had each others passwords for phone and id been on hers to see if shed spoken to anyone about anything she may have not said about etc. As i got the feelings sometimes she may have held back and i only ever wanted the best for her and us to be happy, her ex still being around in the picture as her son saw him as a dad as he was around early on after the biological father jumped ship early on, he'd see him couple times in the week, pick him up take him out etc. Which was a change from when they were together, this was one of the factors discussed when we got together, even when a group of us were coming round to watch a movie etc. if he was still up he'd want me to sit down play with him etc. i always would because he did remind me of being a kid, he had toy cars as i did laying them all out etc. I never had any issue doing so i enjoyed it almost as much as he did, he always remembered it when i came round.

I was mates with them for a long time, in the time together it seemed like it was always on and off one week things were ok and the next they weren't, all our friend group saw it and me and couple others always guided them to figure things out etc. After so many times, some got bored of it and gave up just joked about it whenever we all planned to do something etc. Still i among a couple others would still sit down with them talk to them about it, despite some of the situations as some of the reactions when others found out and were either full of rage or disbelief that some things like that were going on, being said to each other etc. still I'd make them see it for what it is, go round in this cycle that keeps happening but going back so there must be something there or make the hard decision neither could seem to come to.

It wasn't until after a friends holiday, a first for all of us which ended up being me and her pretty much planning as everyone else sort of just agreed to ideas and worked with it, if they minded driving, doing this that and the other etc. On the holiday the only time everyone truly got on was following a massive argument half way thru the week between them as there was still an issue and we all went back to the place we were staying and had some drinks at our local, day after it was like last night never happened. We got back off holiday and they broke up.

Couple weeks later i was on holiday with family and i come back she asked me to come round that evening, everyone else had gone out for a night out. Well as u can imagine things sort of started to grow from there, it wasn't a quick jump in, getting to grips with this idea, let alone the reality of it, we both got upset at the time as we know what it would/could mean and if we would be prepared to deal with that, a friend had similar so his advice helped. She just felt more comfort in being able to talk about things to me that she only spoke to couple others about in time that she felt comfortable to do so, and some people around that had more of an impact in our lives supported us both, knowing the whole situation. In the end we did get together but we saw something positive within it for both of us and from my eyes it showed in the time we had together. The things we did, the places we went and the laughs and smiles we had every time and just the feeling i had made me feel so much better than i had done with others, she was the one, despite the rocky start.

Unfortunately someone else told him before we did so it made it worse than hoped. He spoke to her shortly after in terms of wanting to have more time with her lad and wanted him to be part of his life and over the time i was glad he was making more of an effort towards him but also angry/disappointed it took this for that to happen, now i was there with him most days when i was with her, doing all i could for the both of them.

After me and her had come apart, he added me on snapchat whilst he was out one evening and had too much to drink, it wasn't until i asked him if there was a reason he did so, he didn't realize he'd done so which seemed odd to me as it meant he'd had gone through the effort to find my name to unblock me in order to add me, I asked to apologize in person id attempted to do so when id seen him during my time with her, He wanted to hear it but any attempt to make contact he would disregard so i wasn't going to pester even tho he wanted it and i wanted to do so, i ofc understand why. Whilst i did have him in conversation i asked but he refused, i didn't see a text being meaningful. i wanted to get it off my back so i apologized over message and left it at that.

Life isn't easy people come and go and i always see people as having another chance if they want it as bad as i do, but he wasn't the person i once knew, even before me and her got together some of the habits, reactions etc weren't who he was and any attempt to talk about it just came across as 'nagging' and looked to be the arsehole of the group.


The last 4 months have been far from easy, without a doubt some of worst for me, some days far far worse than others, other relationships that weren't as serious bothered me for a while after but this one has felt like an eternity. She blocked me on socials after breaking up with me, left me with a message on text along lines of if i ever need to talk i could, didn't want it to end the way it did (got a bit messy in terms of who kept the dog, a plan for the future we had made, big argument and lot of unnecessary actions, one of reasons i was recommended here, nothing serious but it wasn't nice), she could never forget me and id always be of the best people she ever spent time with and hold a place in her heart.

I could barely put words into a sentence at this time, i couldn't fathom the amount of pain and love losing the person and future who had become it all to me and the people telling me plenty of fish in the sea etc. Didn't see every moment we had together and what it truly meant. I had to do what i could, plenty of depressing but also motivational TikTok's talks with work mates/family etc later i knew i would hold this for a long time and still do but i had to prove myself and others i can keep going, i would say i have made a start and a good one that im happy with.

Over the time we have been apart i became a lot more active in the gym and being active in general of which id say has started to show, eating healthier and although not looking 100% where id want to be yet, the feeling better alone has kept going despite some days feeling down and drained etc. its a start and something to work towards, getting back into some of my old hobbies, going to more car shows and even browsing with my dad about buying a car that me and him can build up together and have as a project, something i always wanted to do as he got me into cars, the car i own atm makes me happy as i worked hard for it, it gets plenty of compliments which puts a smile on my face and it always been noticed by the people I've had sat with me in the car at times which made it feel better when she for example pointed it out, but it never took away the pride i had for working hard and i wanted to do more. Holidays with family and one important one for me time to work on those insecurities i had. I got started on my tattoo sleeve something i always wanted and am so far very happy with.

About a month after breaking up i realized she hadn't removed me off Instagram and this was the only social she hadn't blocked and i noticed a lot more posts etc a story going out on a night out with the people that all turned on us the time we were together but now i was out the picture he must have convinced them to be ok with it, it made me laugh whilst also being slightly pissed off but also gave me more motivation knowing they had an issue with me. This wasn't a reoccurring theme going out posting tho etc. It moved more onto post of herself and more often than not stories of what was our dog so i could see he was still doing well etc which ofc i was happy to see but i couldn't just message and say he's looking well etc.

Cut to about late June so about 3 month after our break up and pretty much no contact, the last i had outside of the text at the time of breakup was asking how the dog was a fortnight or so after which a small talk about how he was went but after i had no response. I was going down after work to get a haircut and she and a mate drove past and stopped in traffic from picking up her lad from the local nursery, they saw me and were playing music she was singing that's how i recognized her and looked up and it was her whilst i was paying for parking. Come out from my haircut i see she's added me on SnapChat, same for my old mate i wasn't going to deny contact, but i had no direct message etc. Just multiple stories of all the things we once would do on that evening, go make her favorite drink then go over to one of our big shops we would get dinner and come back to cook.

However i didn't bite into to this, which i thought after even now if i should have, like i said i know i fucked up looking on her phone which she thought meant i assumed she was cheating i could never even bring myself to say the word, i purely wanted to know she was happy and if she was so with me, i didn't want to drag her along, after seeing all she'd been through i would be the last person to do that to her.

So nothing from that, the following week on the Monday i see another story where it seemed me not responding only pissed her off where she said along lines of find it funny how its expected she make all the effort to which i thought this was me not replying to the story etc to possibly get things back on track start a conversation etc. but she broke up with me i never did with her. It bugged me a bit so i finished work went home got my gym time in then went on a drive to blow off steam, i drove past her and her mate going into local shop, they waved so naturally i waved back. I stayed talking to a mate i hadn't seen for a while and they dipped in and out all night which everyone noticed. At the time she'd fell out with a mate who i knew at the time we were together and a little bit before, they added me that night and explained to me they were sorry they blanked/removed me etc. they felt under pressure at the time and stuck with her and all the others, i had no issue with that, she'd known them longer than me even though she said she'd seen for what it is now and was sorry. Asked how i was but the same when i saw her with another mate who stopped and spoke to me, i really gave nothing away about how i was feeling just that i was doing well had plenty keeping me busy etc.

After that her mate must have been saying things as my ex messaged later that week asking why one person was saying xyz etc. to which i had no idea of it was just a mate i was catching up with had asked what happened as he didn't know we'd broken up, i said nothing negative about her, but falling out with her mate at the time i expected words may have been twisted which she soon realized should have been obvious, she knew the type of person i was and that was something i wouldn't do especially to her. Even now if people bring it up in a conversation i'd still defend her if the person is talking out their other end, i imagine they're trying to make me feel better about myself but i couldn't just standby and let them talk unnecessary crap.

Since then there is the odd post on a story where i can she she's feeling down and previously id jump in an instant if she wanted to talk needed anything etc. I just can't do it like that anymore... As i said id become more active i started walking my family dogs more almost every evening if i could (providing british weather), i was in a good mood one night walking them and id started posting more recently at my car shows etc. so i had a good picture walking round and posted that, to my surprise i then saw she had turned up at the other end of the park walking what was now her dog. This caught me off as she never managed to do so before but now it just made things a bit of a well what now i guess.

Regardless i carried on and walked them round my local park every night, one dog being of age where she is deaf going somewhere where her nose can go into overdrive where other dogs have been is great for her. She also turned up walking the dog round the same park every night i thought was this in the hopes of bumping into me, i always walked a much longer route, but one night more recently a mate came with her, that same time she'd parked in the same car park that i do and they left as i was at half way point where the cars were parked and i started walking the other half, to which reaching the other car park they were sat there. It was out of the way in terms of going home, but they were sat there having supposed car issues, previously whenever she had these me and my dad would sort them no problem rather than her having to go to a garage and get overcharged etc.

My two dogs saw the other dog and they could recognize him instantly from playing with him before, but the mate didn't let him near and i couldn't stop to see if there was really an issue and maybe a conversation came of it which maybe we both wanted, a few days later she broke down at the shop. Again i couldn't just jump back in and help her like i would even tho i wanted to do nothing but that. I tried to be supportive as i can given her the space she wanted, she recently got a job again which some may say it was a mistake but, i congratulated her for it, seeing her make that change did put a smile on my face as if i was in the room again with her and she'd come and told me, i knew she was trying to find something that suited even during the time we were together so i was happy that she had done so, she didn't reply with anything i wasn't about to ask where it is what is was etc. I was just glad she had done something i know she was working towards and had bothered her for a while.

Since then it has been a lot quieter again not as many posts etc until recently when she posted a picture of a quote along lines of talking about cutting people off even though we didn't want to even with all the grief but had to do it for own well being and reposting TikToks saying really struggling etc. Again the part of me not just as the friend before but who she became to me just wants to tell her its all going to work out tomorrow will be better etc. Maybe we are both being as stubborn as one another and neither one of us wants to be the first to say anything, maybe like me she's got no idea what to say or let alone even start with.

We both saw such a positive future and made amazing plans to think it just has to be disregarded i can never just see her as a stranger and would still wake up look to the side of my bed she'd sleep on and its just empty. People give me grief for the fact i still have the stuffed dog she gave me on valentines day in my car, but i never had someone to spend that day with before and couldn't have asked for any better and the reaction of her opening her present would always be priceless to me.

Although it ended not the best from what most saw, the time i had can never be done again the same and i wished i could have done many more, although its not the longest time it felt like it was forever. If i had the second chance yes id take it if she wanted it as much as i do but i can never know if ill really know for sure. Maybe its still too soon both still need time to heal more etc maybe something will push to go again, its her bday at the end of this week and i can imagine if i say something id still get no reply but at the same time it would bug me if i still said nothing.

I felt what we had was real it may have not been perfect but it was real enough that it was worth all the effort put in. I lost them all not just her, and to know they're just a phonecall or a short walk away from me makes it so much worse.


If you made it this far again im sorry for the rant but thank you if you read it all, this could end up like one of my other posts where i just save to drafts and forget about it but maybe it'll be different this time, i could go on for so much more being how much it means and what im hoping for but still working to deal with if its not meant be. I suppose its part of just being able to get it out and say it, i forgot to mention not long after i started writing down in a notebook things happening and how they were panning out etc. Which helped. I just think its meant to be, she came from out of no where and i believed it from all the talks we had but the time just drives me up the wall and i don't know if we'd ever get the chance to show, regardless of what happens ill always feel the same about her. I've still made it to now and can say ive been able to work harder which will hopefully with what's happening soon pay off, look better to the point i feel a lot better about myself and meet some people with the confidence I'm rebuilding within the communities I'm becoming more involved in. Ive lost a lot but ive got so much more i can gain and until then the grind can never stop :)

Mod edit: added line breaks for readability, edited title for clarity
Post edited by JustV on


  • JustVJustV Community Manager Posts: 4,936 The Mix Elder
    Firstly welcome to the community @RS_3Focus. :) It's good to see you posting, and I hope getting all this off your chest helped. This is a lot to be carrying around with you.

    I read your post and added some line breaks to make it easier for other members to read, and I edited your title to more accurately reflect the post (hope that's okay).

    To the point, though... it sounds like you've been through it. Breakups are one of the most intense things you can experience, and emotionally they're very similar to grief. Your relationship with someone ends and you need to spend time mourning. You mourn the relationship, what it meant to you, the hopes you had for your future, and the memories you're no longer able to make.

    Add to this the other things you must be feeling - betrayal with the ex showing up, the complications of breaking up as part of a friendship circle, the kid. It's a lot to process, so be kind to yourself through it and give yourself the time you need.

    You can also be invested in relationships in different ways. I think we can get more deeply hurt by breakups when that person represents more to us than just a relationship. They might be a part of our identity, they might represent something in our lives that we didn't think we were capable of achieving (feeling valued, feeling successful, feeling loved).
    We both saw such a positive future and made amazing plans to think it just has to be disregarded i can never just see her as a stranger and would still wake up look to the side of my bed she'd sleep on and its just empty. People give me grief for the fact i still have the stuffed dog she gave me on valentines day in my car, but i never had someone to spend that day with before and couldn't have asked for any better and the reaction of her opening her present would always be priceless to me.
    Cards on the table - I nearly cried when I read this. People talk about relationships like we need to get over that person, or we need to stop loving them. There's pressure to cut ties and throw away things that connect us to someone we've broken up with. I don't think that's helpful.

    It's okay to hold on to the memories, the stuffed dog, and most importantly - it's okay to keep loving them. I'm in a happy relationship today that I wouldn't dream of leaving, but I still feel love for people I used to be with. I still have mementos, I still think about them sometimes, and me and my current partner openly talk about our romantic history in a positive way.

    Relationships are a big part of our lives, so of course you want to keep a hold of what you had with your ex. You should keep that stuffed dog for as long as you want to (if, over time, it starts becoming a source of pain or prevents you from moving on, that might be different).
    I felt what we had was real it may have not been perfect but it was real enough that it was worth all the effort put in. I lost them all not just her, and to know they're just a phonecall or a short walk away from me makes it so much worse.
    On a practical note: is there a way you can get some space? Maybe travel away somewhere? A new physical space can help if you need to emotionally process something.

    Overall I guess (without meaning to go on too much!), regardless of what happens next I would encourage you to see this as a successful relationship that came to an end rather than an unsuccessful one that failed. Like you said, what you guys had sounds real and it clearly means a huge amount to you. It sounds like an experience worth having.

    Keep us posted with how you're doing, and it's good to hear you're finding time to reconnect with the things you enjoy - working out, your hobbies, etc. :)
    All behaviour is a need trying to be met.
  • RS_3FocusRS_3Focus Posts: 3 Newbie
    Thank you for the reply @JustV, yeah i had no clue on how to title it as u can imagine writing all this out my heads all over the place, if i didn't already mention it yes regardless of what happens in the future ill always feel the same about her and everyone else that went along the way. I haven't really done much solo travelling but that's one of the reasons I'm really invested in my cars etc. The fact i can just jump in and go where i please, even if its just one evening for a drive about somewhere some music in the background, especially on these summer evenings.

    I suppose i am just on that part of the rollercoaster atm that I'm in a stage of reminiscing and questioning if the chance is still there and if i did nothing and it slipped away id regret it. I've learnt from that time with her not just my fault, in what could be described as a poor example of communication, but also what situations I'm getting myself into which i should know the outcome of. I got the feeling id just rather have us both have worked through the issues than start all over again with someone else when it just felt the way it did.

    My other worry is obviously parent approval, i for one know my parents fully saw what it did to me, they didn't get to know her near as much as i did or what they wanted to. I know they've said they'll always support me in my decisions but after what happened here. I don't know for sure, the same could go for her family i only got to know some of them a bit, some more than others and that's one of the other factors.

    I know its what people go through their most recent breakup they want to go back etc. This one to me just felt different to all the others, as i said it came out of nowhere, what we overcame at the start of the relationship so many people against us but we prevailed, the drive its giving me even tho we aren't communicating how we once were, as we said it just felt more real than anything else ive had or seen.

    Regardless of if i were be the one to end up making a comment whether it be this week, month or at some point in the future or she does, given we've both felt happy in the time we've had to work. I think I've become accustom to how I'm doing things now on my own, focusing all on me, she may have moved on already, i don't know, i haven't been asking or checking in that way etc. If we talked figured things out and were happy in the changes we'd seen in each other, whilst the qualities we fell for in one another were still there maybe things would work out still how we imagined just slowed down compared to how we did before. Yet if it didn't i can say to anyone that would ask i still love her even if she didn't me the same way we did anymore and to the point id let it all take its course, whilst wishing her all the best. I could only make myself even better, given i know that season of my life is over, to know I can only push to be even happier with myself for if someone else may turn up given i am ready to invest myself into them, i wouldn't want to let them down either and hope someone would do the same for her, because i know deep down she deserves it. From day one of knowing her, to being in a relationship with her and for every time i think about it seeing just what i saw her go through and the things she'd talked to me about, showed me etc. That was my goal, to make her happy beyond the point that whatever happened in the past every moment from then could be better and we could do it together. Shit's going to happen and we've only got one go round so lets work through all hard times but make the absolute most of all the good times. Achieve our goals, build a family, make our families proud and happy, support each other through thick and thin and do the things we love and say we did it, we smashed it. That's why i always disagree with people who say relationships based on the time you are together, my 8 months could have easily to me been years.
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