Relationship Dating combat vet who ghosted

Every time I post something about ENDING this relationship with integrity and kindness, it's taken that I'm hanging in there or being a doormat. I must somehow be miscommunicating! I know we're done. Yes, ghosting is a form of emotional abuse and i'm not prepared to spend my life like this. I definitely deserve better. But I also know that the dynamic in every relationship is different. In our case, he's a frontline paramedic who's obviously greatly stressed and distressed by the pandemic. No, I'm not hanging in there, waiting for him to return. I wouldn't trust him now if he did. I want more than he can give. But I also don't want to stop offering kindness to him at this horribly grim time. It's a small thing to do when I know he's really suffering.

But you're 100% right about growing and moving on. I'm well on the way now. It is very hard, you're right there too, but you can't love someone who is unable to love either themself or you.

I hope you're ok now and found your way forward. I hope to be there soon myself.
Actually my response is for everyone.
To take or leave as they wish.
 
I didn't mean to sound stroppy. Apologies if that's how it sounded. This whole thing is tough on everyone. I'm pleased you found your way out.
No need to apologize. This is meant to be a safe place to vent and to share. To support and be supported. Everyone here has their own unique story. I have learnt a lot from the sufferers and the supporters here.

Peace
 

mumstheword

MyPTSD Pro
As a sufferer reading these posts, I can't help thinking about my own ghosting behaviour. Not so much, with partners, although I did it with my first bf, when I was a teen, more with friends. It's horrible, but, I don't know how to come back from there once I've gotten that scared/triggered with people.

I'm so sorry to you all, who've been on the other side of it. I guess in this case, the term "hurt people hurt people" is really applicable.

It's like, once our brains are overwhelmed, with whatever we've got going on, there is no capacity left for the ones we leave behind, and the shame and fear just compounds, the more time passes. That's my experience of it, anyway.

I know it's too much to ask, that unconditional love and acceptance be a thing, especially in intimate relationships, that just can't work, but, I can't help thinking there must be a way to help us move past this maladaptive coping behaviour, after all, generally, our trauma is from behaviour from other people, so it stands to reason that people can help us repair, as well.
And not just paid professionals, because if that's all we have, just people who are paid to care, as our only options, we haven't got much, at all.
I'm not criticising or judging anyone here, I, honestly, just feel compassion and sadness that so much hurt is caused by our horrible ghosting treatment. Just thinking aloud, really.
I don't really know how to go back, to the friends I've ghosted, and I wish it wasn't so. I wish it were different.

I did get a call from one, the other day. Nearly 10 years had past. I didn't know who was calling. I was so happy to hear from her, and she was sorry for the behaviour that caused me to run away. Which had never happened to me before and I found it very healing.

I am going to go and see her and do some work for her (we are musicians and so I will be putting some tracks down on some recordings, for her). She had realised why I cut contact with her, so I felt that I am able to trust her again.
 
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Lotsoflove

Sponsor
It's happening to me at the moment too. It's been 2.5 months now. Not blocked. Reads the messages I send but no replies. It's hard to be on the receiving end of ghosting but sadly it is what it is. I refuse to be bitter about it. I wish him nothing but love and hope. If my occasional messages give him that, then it's worth sending them. I want to get through this ending with integrity and kindness.
You are better than I am. I want to rip his head off and shove it up his arse. I guess I should consider myself lucky mine is pretending to care. We had a good run until the holidays and some outside stressors. First there was the lack of empathy. I called him on it. Then there was “I can’t do this” “ I need space”. “I can’t have expectations”. Then there was “I’m making new boundaries. I just want to have friendship and casual sex. I understand if that doesn’t work for you. I don’t want to get your hopes up anymore. You should meet someone who gives you what you want. I said no to friendship and casual sex. And don’t text me until you realize how foolish that is. No women want sex with no strings attached. He responded OK I understand. Like No big deal. Gee.. thx. No go eff yourself
 

Friday

Moderator
just want to have friendship and casual sex. I understand if that doesn’t work for you. I don’t want to get your hopes up anymore. You should meet someone who gives you what you want. I said no to friendship and casual sex. And don’t text me until you realize how foolish that is. No women want sex with no strings attached. He responded OK I understand. Like No big deal.
I don’t know if it helps or not... but that’s a super common paradigm in the military. Where you’re friends, real friends who really care about each other, who have sex wih each other AND with other people. All above board. The same way you or they might go jogging with different people, or play different sports with different people, with no expectations or hurt feelings.

It’s called being “f*ckbuddies”.

It’s a very different thing from f*cking around (also a thing, where friendship isn’t a part of it, although it can become a part of it), or dating / trying to date (it’s not against the rules to TRY and shift gears from being f*ckbuddies to dating, although it’s a kindness if one person has caught feelings to honor that the way that person needs... meaning if they say they’re okay still having sex, no worries, but if they’re not, to just be friends without sex to give them time to shake those feelings off / find someone else/ etc. Because you’re friends, first. And you don’t hurt your friends, not on purpose. So they call the shots on what they need/want/can or cannot handle, and you respect that they know their self, and will be honest with you about what they need/want. And the same in reverse. You tell them what you want, and they tell you what they want, if that lines up? Awesome. If not? You respect it, &/or come to an agreement,ent to try it the other persons way for a time to see if it MIGHT work. But if it doesn’t? No hard feelings.). It’s also -probably very evident by now- a wildly different thing than the civilian concept of ‘friends with benefits’. In soooooo many different ways.

I’m sure there are prooooooobably? some civilians who can handle being f*ckbuddies??? Who grok the levels of honesty & real feelings & allowances required. But I’ve never met one. Male or female. It may just be one of those things that you have to live in the culture to understand, much less want in your life.

(Rough estimate? Maybe 2/3s of the single people I knew in the military do the f*ckbuddy thing. The other third are split roughly between “the marrying kind” -committed relationships only- and the opposite, they are ONLY interested in f*cking around. They don’t want friendship, just sex. In time that group usually sticks to prostitutes only. Because you don’t pay hookers for sex, you pay them to go away afterward. Although in the early days they usually have a few dozen angry civvie-chicks chasing them down... it’s rare that they serve more than a tour without twigging to he prodtitute solution. If they’re especially stupid, because everyone who serves with them is sick and tired of all the crazy-angry psychobitches bringing drama. Dude. Wise up, or get beat down.)

So OFFERING sex&friendship, but respecting your wishes for either/neither? Is a cultural thing. And a respect thing. As the person whose caught feelings or still has feelings, what YOU say is the final word. You wanna be friends and not have sex? Okay. You wanna not have sex or be friends? Okay. Because? Respect.
 
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Lotsoflove

Sponsor
I don’t know if it helps or not... but that’s a super common paradigm in the military. Where you’re friends, real friends who really care about each other, who have sex wih each other AND with other people. All above board. The same way you or they might go jogging with different people, or play different sports with different people, with no expectations or hurt feelings.

It’s called being “f*ckbuddies”.

It’s a very different thing from f*cking around (also a thing, where friendship isn’t a part of it, although it can become a part of it), or dating / trying to date (it’s not against the rules to TRY and shift gears from being f*ckbuddies to dating, although it’s a kindness if one person has caught feelings to honor that the way that person needs... meaning if they say they’re okay still having sex, no worries, but if they’re not, to just be friends without sex to give them time to shake those feelings off / find someone else/ etc. Because you’re friends, first. And you don’t hurt your friends, not on purpose. So they call the shots on what they need/want/can or cannot handle, and you respect that they know their self, and will be honest with you about what they need/want. And the same in reverse. You tell them what you want, and they tell you what they want, if that lines up? Awesome. If not? You respect it, &/or come to an agreement,ent to try it the other persons way for a time to see if it MIGHT work. But if it doesn’t? No hard feelings.). It’s also -probably very evident by now- a wildly different thing than the civilian concept of ‘friends with benefits’. In soooooo many different ways.

I’m sure there are prooooooobably? some civilians who can handle being f*ckbuddies??? Who grok the levels of honesty & real feelings & allowances required. But I’ve never met one. Male or female. It may just be one of those things that you have to live in the culture to understand, much less want in your life.

(Rough estimate? Maybe 2/3s of the single people I knew in the military do the f*ckbuddy thing. The other third are split roughly between “the marrying kind” -committed relationships only- and the opposite, they are ONLY interested in f*cking around. They don’t want friendship, just sex. In time that group usually sticks to prostitutes only. Because you don’t pay hookers for sex, you pay them to go away afterward. Although in the early days they usually have a few dozen angry civvie-chicks chasing them down... it’s rare that they serve more than a tour without twigging to he prodtitute solution. If they’re especially stupid, because everyone who serves with them is sick and tired of all the crazy-angry psychobitches bringing drama. Dude. Wise up, or get beat down.)

So OFFERING sex&friendship, but respecting your wishes for either/neither? Is a cultural thing. And a respect thing. As the person whose caught feelings or still has feelings, what YOU say is the final word. You wanna be friends and not have sex? Okay. You wanna not have sex or be friends? Okay. Because? Respect.
Well the military was 20+ yrs ago.
He’s had long term relationships. And ours started with us saying we r looking for ltr. Then the ptsd was sprung on me a few months later after I already caught feelings. He says he has feelings but he uses him having sex with others as a weapon to hurt me and also his right to do so if he pleases. He hasn’t been with anyone except me for a yr. before that was honest about a couple indiscretions that I didn’t mind because I knew he wanted to be with me and I knew he was deep in therapy at this point and effed in head hyper sexual thoughts. And I felt he was testing me bc it was like he has to tell me.
 

Lotsoflove

Sponsor
You are better than I am. I want to rip his head off and shove it up his arse. I guess I should consider myself lucky mine is pretending to care. We had a good run until the holidays and some outside stressors. First there was the lack of empathy. I called him on it. Then there was “I can’t do this” “ I need space”. “I can’t have expectations”. Then there was “I’m making new boundaries. I just want to have friendship and casual sex. I understand if that doesn’t work for you. I don’t want to get your hopes up anymore. You should meet someone who gives you what you want. I said no to friendship and casual sex. And don’t text me until you realize how foolish that is. No women want sex with no strings attached. He responded OK I understand. Like No big deal. Gee.. thx. No go eff yourself
I’m having dejavu I feel like this all happened before. Maybe it’s cyclical behavior. Oh God, I chose to be apart of this. He was pushing away so he wasn’t hurtful while he was hurting. And this is him being hurtful. Ignorance is bliss. Why can’t I be ignorant
 
I

IdkWhatToThink

This is uncannnny to what I’ve just been dealing with.
Met a guy from out of town, he’s currently enlisted and he is suffering with PTSD/depression. We talked DAILY for over three months. He would almost always initiate conversation, super sweet, can’t wait to see you again, can’t wait to sleep next to you etc etc. Right before my visit he starts acting a little distant but nothing alarming, says it’s work stress blah blah. First day of visit goes great, second day he has to go in to work for a couple hours and when he comes back he’s in a horrrrrible mood, his body language has changed, hard to engage with but still affectionate when I am. On my way home we texted, up until 2 days after I got home. Third day I go all day without hearing from him, I send him a text saying I know you miss me and he responds immediately and says he does... next day crickets, day after that crickets so I text him that night and he responds again immediately but the conversation falls flat and it just seems weird/disconnected so the next day I ask him if I did something to upset him or if he isn’t feeling it anymore and he says I didn’t do anything at all and he’s feeling down. I ask if he’s ok and if he wants to talk and he says I’m not ok but I also don’t feel comfortable talking about it.
He mentioned a few times that he is going to get therapy and needs to get on medication. He’s afraid of losing his position. I haven’t contacted him other than the last message to let him know I hate it for him and I’m here. I haven’t heard anything. It’s confusing because he’s still receptive but not really engaging so it brings up my own insecurities, I have anxiety and depression but I am medicated. I wonder if it’s his mental issues or if he just wasn’t as into me as he thought he was. I don’t want to chase him off by contacting him but I do want him to know I care.
 

Livinginhope

Confident
Hi there. I'm sorry you're going through this right now. I know firsthand how it feels. Being a supporter to someone with PTSD is very confusing and at times, painful, and it's possible that you'll never know for sure what's going on with him right now. The one thing that everyone said to me (and which was very difficult to actually believe at the time) was this isn't about you. It's not personal. The trouble is that when you're on the receiving end of it, it feels very personal and it hurts. The reality is that is most likely all about PTSD and nothing to do with you or the relationship between you two.

The relationship with my sufferer (although he's no longer mine) came to a very abrupt halt almost five months ago when he walked away. Before that we had almost a year of getting to know each other with a few spells of him isolating. By the time he ghosted me, we were the closest emotionally we had been, and although I truly don't think I was the cause of him leaving, I do believe that our closeness played a huge part in it. It made him feel extremely vulnerable and that was something he just couldn't handle. It was easier to cut me out than let me in. And that hurt like hell, I can tell you. But it still wasn't about me. It was about him, and his PTSD, and his own mental health.

All you can do is take a step back, let him know that you're there for him if he needs you, and try to put yourself first. I know that isn't easy. And I'll be honest, I was rubbish at doing that at the beginning. But you can't change how he feels, or fix him. He is responsible for taking care of himself. That might take a lot of time and space. And you need to take care of yourself. There's nothing wrong with letting him know that you support him though, but you might need to brace yourself for little (and possibly no) response for a while. He clearly has feelings for you, but feelings in the end aren't enough if they aren't backed up with actions and trust. He might trust you, but not himself.

I'd be lying if I said there aren't still days when I miss him terribly. There are. But finally accepting that there's absolutely nothing more I can do to support him has helped me heal. All you can do, all any of us can do, is our best. It sounds like you are.

Good luck with everything. I hope it works out for you both.
 

Lotsoflove

Sponsor
Actually my response is for everyone.
To take or leave as they wish.
I for one get so tired if the push and pull dynamic. Like don’t the sufferers get sick of it too? It’s been 2 yrs for me. It’s the most bizarre relationship I’ve ever had in my life. I have my own illnesses so I’m not sure I’m capable of having this continue or have a “normal relationship “. It’s all very frustrating. My guy thinks that his much needed breaks from me are why it works with us. Meaning he isn’t sick of me yet. I for one can’t stand that he wants space from me. He isn’t alone. He’s like a Gypsy staying with friends and with his mom during turbulent times. I don’t think it will ever change. It’s a cycle.
 

Lotsoflove

Sponsor
This is uncannnny to what I’ve just been dealing with.
Met a guy from out of town, he’s currently enlisted and he is suffering with PTSD/depression. We talked DAILY for over three months. He would almost always initiate conversation, super sweet, can’t wait to see you again, can’t wait to sleep next to you etc etc. Right before my visit he starts acting a little distant but nothing alarming, says it’s work stress blah blah. First day of visit goes great, second day he has to go in to work for a couple hours and when he comes back he’s in a horrrrrible mood, his body language has changed, hard to engage with but still affectionate when I am. On my way home we texted, up until 2 days after I got home. Third day I go all day without hearing from him, I send him a text saying I know you miss me and he responds immediately and says he does... next day crickets, day after that crickets so I text him that night and he responds again immediately but the conversation falls flat and it just seems weird/disconnected so the next day I ask him if I did something to upset him or if he isn’t feeling it anymore and he says I didn’t do anything at all and he’s feeling down. I ask if he’s ok and if he wants to talk and he says I’m not ok but I also don’t feel comfortable talking about it.
He mentioned a few times that he is going to get therapy and needs to get on medication. He’s afraid of losing his position. I haven’t contacted him other than the last message to let him know I hate it for him and I’m here. I haven’t heard anything. It’s confusing because he’s still receptive but not really engaging so it brings up my own insecurities, I have anxiety and depression but I am medicated. I wonder if it’s his mental issues or if he just wasn’t as into me as he thought he was. I don’t want to chase him off by contacting him but I do want him to know I care.
It really isn’t normal times. I think everyone is suffering now, like sadly it was every man for themselves at one point. This is the loneliest Me and my child have ever been. I just can’t imagine what ppl who were already at their peak of suffering or on the verge of rehabilitating then a pandemic happens. I guess we all just gotta do the best we can to be unscathed by the fear and seclusion that has been forced upon us.
same shit happening to me. And I feel I’m pretty confident. But the pushing away while I’m already down is something that can put me right over the edge of crazy town. Like before this pandemic he probably had his reasons related to ptsd and mental illness and I would be like ok it’s ptsd. But now I’ve definitely had way more insecurities. He’s had way more stress. I’ve had way more stress. And when tested I may lose my shit and act a fool. So there’s times when I wouldn’t respond to me either. Lol. It’s stressful times. When someone ignores you for being supportive it’s like getting rewarded with bad behavior. When you are vibing with someone and they all of a sudden step back and ignore all communication with no warning it’s hey, who turned the lights out. And like it’s so easy to send a text like 5 texts later of banter can turn into this girl is nuts leave me alone. If you aren’t in the mood. So what I’ve learned is not communicating is communicating.
 
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