You might want to have a serious think about this one... It sounds like you DID need to be told, because you’re still making a child’s birthday about YOU, and what you want(ed), and how you wanted to focus on your bond, etc.. Rather than innately understanding that birthdays are likely to be difficult for a child who has lost a parent, and that very possibly the best thing for her would be to meet up on a different day for something special. Ditto, that a day that’s difficult for your child, is also going to be a difficult day for your own self, so her mom was likely to be going through a rough time. So, instead of automatically doing whatever it would take to make a hard thing easier on the girls? You got your feelings hurt, and made an already difficult situation even more difficult.
Was that your intent? Sure as hell doesn’t sound like it. It sounds like you very much wanted to be supportive, but in this -like so many other examples- you’re thrashing out? How you wanted to be supportive, and how your ex wanted to BE supported? Were diametrically opposed.
That’s one of those things that ends relationships, and is usually found out in the first 6-12mo. Regardless of whether or not someone has PTSD, it’s a personality thing, where the rubber meets the road. 2 people can talk until the cows come home about supporting each other through this or that, but until situations arise where that’s actually the case? There’s really no way to know how that’s going to shake out. Time and time again in your new relationship? It shook out badly.
So, from experience? That’s what I would look at. Rather than her past, and how things might/could/should have been different if her past wasn’t her past? Both of your presents. As, when I take the focus off the imaginary place where everything is different? And look at the present reality, where the things that make me, me? And the things that make her, her? Just weren’t working. In a lot of different ways.
Some of that was personality, others just bad timing (like the recent bereavement, and yes, 2 years is still recent. Especially when the wound is reopened time and again by also supporting a grieving child, and being eyeballs deep in a financial clusterf*ck). A 5 year relationship can sometimes absorb losing 6 months here and there as one partner struggles with grief (and that’s not an exorbitant amount of time, but very common for a single event to evoke 1/3/6 months worth of f*cked sideways), although 10 & 20 year relationships often still struggle ...but a 5 month relationship hasn’t even been around as long as one of those dips take. There just isn’t the foundation there to even know what they’re like when they’re not grieving vs when they are.
I talk periodically about my Uncle... who had a thing for “broken winged birds”. He was the peeeeeerfect guy for certain kinds of women going through a certain kind of hard time. But once they got better? He wasn’t the partner for them, anymore. They all (but 1) stayed friends... there was a monthly ex-wives dinner at his home I attended more than a few times, that was a rollicking good time. My family does that sort of thing, once you’re a part of the family? You’re always a part of it... although he’s the only one who was married and divorced more times than I can count. He had A LOT of ex wives. Great women. He had excellent taste. Both when he married them, and after. But they were very different women. Because, who a person is? Is often dependent on their circumstances. and people often take years and years to pass from one stage of their life, to the next. I don’t think any of my uncles marriages lasted less than 5 years? <<< My aunties were/are all amazing women, both when they were a hot mess and the best version of themselves. But it gave me a very first hand account of how people change. The person who’s attracted to me when I’m a hot mess? And the person attracted to me when I’m on fire, the world at my feet? Are unlikely to be the same person.
You had a few amazing months with your ex. But you also had problems, up to your eyeballs, almost from the gate (inside the first few months). Learning to recognise those? And give them he weight they deserve? Instead of overweighting what I wish/wanted/of things were different? Is one of the most useful skills I know. PTSD or no.
Yes that was not my intent but understand how was perceived that way.