Relationship Blindsided by sudden end to relationship

Bayview

New Here
Hello all,

I'm after some advice as to what has recently happened with my relationship with my girlfriend of 19 months. We are both late 40's, she has 2 kids still at home and I have 1. We weren't living together however we had future plans to get a place together (instigated by her and I was very comfortable with the idea) but spent a lot of time sleeping over at each others houses and we thought that we displayed a loving, caring, respectful relationship to our respective children. We were holding hands at every opportunity, the mere sight of each other would bring a smile to each others face, sneeky little winks to each other across a room etc. Missing each other was a good feeling because we knew we would be together again soon. There was never an ill word spoken between us the entire time we were together and we supported each other with sound advice when life threw a curveball. We would speak to each other a couple of times a day on the phone when we weren't together and if anyone was to read the text messages we sent each other they would probably feel nauseous because they were so full of love. Our intimacy (including sex) was sensational. In short we were deeply in love with each other and she occasionally posted stuff on facebook saying how lucky she was and how much in love we were. Our respective children all got on well and so did our parents and family. Her friends liked me and mine liked her. I thought I had met my "forever" girl and was really looking forward to the future and we had discussed our future desires (such as OS travel). We were on the same page with everything.

In July 2018 she had a car accident and had her son in the car with her. The car was written off and although her son escaped with minor injuries she wasn't so lucky and in the following 12 months had to have 2 operations as a result of the accident. She posted on facebook a few days after the accident pictures of her smashed up car and a long dialogue of what happened. She was seeing a therapist every 3 weeks for the first six months while the cost was being covered by insurance and was diagnosed with PTSD. After that the therapist appointments become less frequent to point of non existent because of the expense. Even though I offered financial assistance she wouldn't accept it. She was unable to return to work. She loved her work as a nurse. She always had broken sleep but usually managed 7-9 hours per night. Sometimes she had nightmares but from what I could gather only occasionally. She had anxiety about even going out for a walk around her neighbourhood saying it wasn't safe (which is untrue). She had some anxiety around driving however if I was driving she was ok. I ride a motorbike sometimes too and she enjoyed touring on that. If she had to drive past the accident site which she needed to do to visit her mother she would slow right down and then would have other cars speeding past her or worse honking their horn which made matters worse. When she spoke about some issues she was having I was there to listen and always said to her " just keep talking to me when you need to". I realised that I couldn't fix what had happened but made it very clear that I wanted to be there holding her hand while she dealt with it.

Even with this we had a brilliant relationship and did a lot of great things together and with our kids. We both stepped up to the "step parent" role and we were a great blended family. Her PTSD didn't really impact on what we did. She never said that she couldn't do something out of fear.

12 months after the facebook post facebook brought it up as a "memory" and I think this was the trigger. In the following weeks she was getting less and less sleep to a point of 2-3 hours per night. She would wake me sometimes talking in her sleep or having nightmares and sometimes she would be a lather of sweat in the middle of the night.

Approximately 6 weeks after the facebook memory came up she said that she needed some space which came as a complete surprise to me. The night before we had sent text messages to each other the same as usual, overflowing with love and when I had stayed over 2 nights before we had been intimate. I had absolutely no idea this was coming.

I left her alone for a day and then made contact and we met and talked the following day. I offed to utilize my works assistance program psychologist and she agreed although this took a while to action and I don't think she has used it. Things returned to normal and then 2 weeks later it happened again, this time permanent. She is the most empathetic person I know however she seemed to have lost her empathy because she ended our relationship 2 weeks before my birthday, 6 weeks before her oldest childs wedding and 7 weeks before I was to go to court to fight for more time with my child in my care (she always said she would be there for me with regards to this) So I had a lonely birthday and wasn't in the right frame of mind for the court case although it worked out ok). I tried to stay in touch with her via text message every couple of days to make sure she was alright. Occasionally she would say she wasn't and Id ask if she wanted to talk but she didn't. She sent me a birthday message and it was still "honey" and had kisses which I found very confusing. I stopped trying to communicate with her about 10 days after my birthday. I asked her out for a motorbike ride and she said then "I just want to be on my own sorry, your a nice guy, Im sorry I've hurt you". Shortly afterwards she ended our relationship status on facebook and shortly afterwards that unfriended me. I needed to talk to her when I was at court and I rang her and she answered and we spoke as if we were still together (minus the lovey dovey stuff). 3 weeks later I went to her house to get some of my possessions and we spoke for about half an hour at a depth that was the same as if we were still together (about our parents, kids, my child custody court case results etc). Communication was open and not an ill word spoken. 3 weeks later I again had to pick something up from her house and again we spoke openly and at depth. I told her that I had to get my dog put down and she asked if I was ok and did I want to talk about it. She also said that her son had said that he missed my son. I drove a few blocks away from her house and then got out of the car and sat on the ground for about 20 minutes trying to work out what had gone on. It was as though we were still communicating in the same way as we did when we were together but we weren't. I sort some professional help for myself to try and understand what went on and that has helped a bit but still rather clinical in their approach.

My head was a mess - I really don't know what caused her to end our "perfect relationship". I cant pinpoint anything that I might have done or said. From my side of things there is no reason for it and that is taking a lot of dealing with although the professional help I was getting helped a little bit and I am slowly moving in the right direction. When I reflect back on our relationship I have nothing but fond memories up until the point of her ending it and then even after that she hasn't done anything malicious or nasty, just been "normal". We haven't communicated for about 5 weeks.

She is doing a 3 week residential pain management course (which includes physiotherapists, lectures on pain, tailored exercise programs and psychologists and is thought to have a pretty good success rate) early in the new year and I'm hopeful that this will be of big benefit to her regardless of if we have a future together or not. I just want to see her in a better place.

Rational me says that I need to get on with life and potentially meet someone else and if my ex and I meet up in the future when she is in a better place then all good.
Optimistic me says that I should wait it out, send her a message just before the resident course starts wishing her luck and then see how she comes out of it at the other end. Am I being a fool?

My friends say I should move on because there is always going to be the threat of this happening again but its hard letting go of a person who is so special.

She was subjected to domestic violence by her husband of 20 years (left him 8 years ago and therapist said there might be some residual PTSD from that which she didn't agree to) and her father passed away 4 years ago who she was very close to.

Sorry its so long, honestly it could have been a lot longer. If anyone has any real world advice I would appreciate it because I'm struggling to understand what happened. I'm struggling to deal with it myself (which is not normal for me. I'm very resilient normally) and potentially what the future holds.

Thanks
Bayview.
 

Freida

Sponsor
From the sufferer side......
Sounds like she got bitchslapped by ptsd, and when that happens for the first time? It takes over your world.
. She was seeing a therapist every 3 weeks for the first six months while the cost was being covered by insurance and was diagnosed with PTSD. After that the therapist appointments become less frequent to point of non existent because of the expense.
No therapy? Ya -- that's bad. She won't get better until she deals but she cant deal without therapy. The bad part is that therapy makes it worse - ---way way worse--- at the beginning
12 months after the facebook post facebook brought it up as a "memory" and I think this was the trigger.
Yep. That's how it can happen. You are going along all ladeda thinking you are fine and out of the blue something reminds you of what you are hiding from. Those memory things on facebook are really hard for several ptsd folks I know because they are so damn random you can't prepare for them.
She is the most empathetic person I know however she seemed to have lost her empathy
Yep. Well - not really. She hasn't lost it. It's been buried under the landslide that is ptsd.
I really don't know what caused her to end our "perfect relationship".
PTSD.
I don't mean that to sound snarky at all -- it's just that ptsd can take over your life quickly and completely. And then you are just living a nightmare that doesn't end. All your focus goes into just putting one foot in front of the other - there is no energy left for anyone else

She is doing a 3 week residential pain management course (which includes physiotherapists, lectures on pain, tailored exercise programs and psychologists and is thought to have a pretty good success rate)
ptsd and pain? double whammy
My friends say I should move on because there is always going to be the threat of this happening again but its hard letting go of a person who is so special.

ptsd is for life
The threat of this kind of stuff happening again and again and again is very real
I have good times and bad times
but it's always there.
Just waiting to pounce when I least expect it.

It's entirely possible you did nothing wrong and that yes - your relationship was solid.
PTSD is just so overwhelming that sometimes the only way to cope is to shut down.
I'm really sorry this is happening - to both of you.
 

Bayview

New Here
Freida, thanks for your input.

I'm sorry you are a sufferer however it was good to get some input from someone who has personal experience with PTSD. Although my therapist is good she is helping from her experience helping people with PTSD and not from her own personal experience. Your input gave me some clarity about the stuff she was trying to tell me. The therapist tried to explain to me that the love my partner (I should be using ex here buts its hard to write) had for me is still there but unfortunately we aren't dealing with the partner that I shared the love and good times with. We am now dealing with the PTSD partner who is different.

Hopefully the Pain Management Program she is undertaking early next year will bring her back to us all, the world was a better place with her in it.

It dawned on me why I have been struggling to deal with this which is out of character for me, normally I'm very resilient. I've been researching PTSD and all its ins and outs, what I might be able to do to help her from a distance and sort therapy for myself to try and better understand what went on and what she is going through. But the real reason I think I'm struggling with this is because I have lost my best friend. She isn't physically lost, I know where she is, but she isn't who she was. When your best friend is hurting the first thing you want to do is help them but I cant.

I think I'll run with "Optimistic me" for the time being. She has her pain program early next year and I have a lot to keep me busy in the meantime and we will see where things are at by the end of February. Our relationship was sensational and I hope that for both of us this can return.
 

lostforgottensoul

MyPTSD Pro
It sounds like her PTSD symptoms spiked (as @Freida said, got bitch slapped by PTSD) then tried to make it work. Maybe forcing herself to try but figured out that she just couldn't "relationship" anymore. The "I just wanna be on my own..." (aka, I can't "relationship" anymore "...you're a nice guy..." (probably a true statement) "...I'm sorry I've hurt you" (what many of us think and why we push people away. Because we don't want to hurt them anymore then we already have. Backed up by you being a nice guy. You don't deserve her. And/or you don't deserve the hurt she's caused. Or that maybe what she's thinking.
 

Bayview

New Here
Thanks for your thoughts Lostforgottensoul, it sort of makes sense now.

I would appreciate someone's thoughts on the below:

A few days after NYE I received a message (which surprised me) from her wishing me and my son a Happy New Year and hoped we had a great Christmas. It had been +/- 7 weeks since there had been any contact between us.

I replied wishing her and her kids the same. We then exchanged a few messages about what we had been doing through the holidays with the kids.

All innocent sort of stuff up to this point as it was fairly light.

She concluded a message asking "how's xxxxx" (my son) and that "We all miss him" (I guess she means her and her kids). And then "Say hi to him from us please"

I must admit it came as a bit of a surprise to me. She ended our great relationship and after 7 weeks of nothing she is now trying to engage re: Christmas and NY and asking me to remind my 8yo son of her and her kids.

I find this a bit weird.

I have had messages from her kids saying that they think that mum has made a mistake (they don't understand what she is dealing with ptsd wise) and that they miss me and my son. I appreciated hearing that from them and told them that we missed them also. But to hear it from the person who ended the relationship is taking a bit of working out.

Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.

Thanks
Bayview
 

Friday

Moderator
Ever heard the phrase? : We divorce parents, not kids.

To some people it’s really important that the kids know they’re loved, and missed, and amazing, and always welcome/a part of/belonging. Regardless of what the adults are doing, once they’re a part of? They’re always a part of. Whether it’s a marriage or not.

Doesn’t mean that’s her motivation, but it’s a common/frequent motivation. The most common one, I know.
 
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