Relationship ptsd suffering girlfriend broke up with me

Lostnbroken

New Here
Hi, i am new here, and im going through a difficult time, could really use some perspective. I (M38) and her (F34) had been dating only 2 months, so maybe this isn't such a severe situation, but it still feels very painful because we moved fast and spent a lot of time together, and I fell in love with her.

She told me early on that she has adhd (takes meds for it, and is pretty well under control) as well as ptsd, but didn't go into detail about it. We were really comfortable and liked each other a lot right away, having 3-4 dates together per week, staying over many nights, etc. It was wonderful. she was very interested in me, would hint at long term things, like saying "if we ever move in together...",we were making trip plans, and she even said "you never know, I could be the one" as we were going to sleep one night.

Things got less comfortable after I triggered her. I have a tendency to be a bit needy, I admit, and the first triggering scenario was this (about 3 weeks in): I came over in the late evening and she was on the phone with a friend for 30min after I had arrived, and she was also doing some baking in the kitchen, which she continued after the call. this made me feel a bit like I was "third-wheel" to her own activities, and I said i need some air and went out for a 5minute walk. Came back and explained to her that I just felt ignored, but that it is my own issue I'm working on and I don't blame her. This made her worried, and this is when she told me more about her ptsd and past relationship, although still vague on details, and she cried briefly. but she explained that her previous partner was emotionally (possibly physically too) abusive, cheated on her, and would behave in a similar way. But after talking for a bit, we were seemingly back to normal.
2nd trigger was: she was away at a cottage for a week (something planned before we met, i couldn't go due to work) and I sent her a slightly needy text (wondering why she didn't reply for a while.) She phoned me and was what seemed to me overly angry about it. but we had dinner that night, and talked it out, and she even told me "i'm not going anywhere".
And then i (stupidly) sent a similar anxious text again a couple days later, in response to her growing distance. again, triggers for her from similar communication behaviour of a past abusive partner. We then had a talk 2 days later to discuss these issues, she was mad at me for acting that way but we ultimately agreed to slow things down, have better boundaries, and move forward. She had given me keys to her apartment before the cottage trip so I could water plants, etc., but she asked for the keys back that night. From this point she is noticeably more distant, didn't want to kiss or cuddle much.

2 days later on Saturday we spent the day biking around the city, she was friendly but remained distant, her demeanor towards me changed to almost a mild dislike at times, & some but minimal affection. That was the last time i saw her.

We spoke on the phone and texted for 4 more days, she delayed a dinner date we had for Wed (working late), to Friday. She texts me on Thu night that she "isn't feeling romantic feelings for me right now" and wants to slow down even more, to 'reset' things. And then Friday morning texts that she needs to step back and evaluate her feelings, and to give her space and time, and she would reach out when/if she is ready.

I was distraught by this, but I did what she asked, except I sent an email that evening trying to reason with her about how good we are, and we can work it out, etc.
She was silent. I read everything i could about ptsd, & adhd during this time. I sent another email, poring my heart out and being compassionate to what she's going through, about 9 days later.
Then, just today, after 12 days of silence, she texts and simply says she does not want to pursue a relationship with me, and not to contact her anymore.

I am really broken and confused.
I dont know how much of this is due to ptsd, or if she just didn't like me anymore. we had some other minor issues as any couple might, but none were worthy of this kind of reaction. She is passionate about social issues/feminism and because of her past seemingly has a distrust of men which felt like it put pressure on me. she would sometimes get angry at me in convos when i had a different perspective (emotional dysregulation?)... it felt like maybe she would feel less for me. I had to walk on eggshells to an extent. We also had some minor miscommunication in the bedroom, but again nothing we couldn't work out. In the first part of the relationship, she saw this as no problem and was compassionate and understanding, just something we will work on.

In our final phone convos, I remember she was saying things vaguely alluding to where this was going. Like she talked about a college friend that asked her out but she rejected, and then he was difficult afterwards, harassing her with several emails, which she says was traumatic. Although i think my emails are not the same at all as that (i was not an unwanted suitor for one), i wonder if they were triggering and made her more fearful. She also brought up that she felt our sexlife was not great, so changing her previous perspective on that to negative.

The way she broke up with me was so heartless, and without explanation. It makes me feel so worthless. It feels like she is stuck in a ptsd mindset and has cast me as an enemy. I wonder if there is any chance after more time and healing she might change her mind and come back to me?
thanks for any feedback, I really appreciate this community.
 

Survivor3

MyPTSD Pro
From what you've written she did explain herself very well. That doesn't even seem like problems with her ptsd but just normal relationship things. It sounds like you were definitely a bit needy and insecure about things and that wasn't attractive to her so after her backing off in steps it didn't get better so she ended it. Sorry for you though. 😣
 
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Lostnbroken

New Here
From what you've written she did explain herself very well. That doesn't even seem like problems with her ptsd but just normal relationship things. It sounds like you were definitely a bit needy and insecure about things and that wasn't attractive to her so after her backing off in steps it didn't get better so she ended it.

thank you for the feedback. to be clear I honestly stopped being needy after our talk about those issues, and she was optimistic at that time about continuing but going slower. I acted perfectly fine after that, but her distance just grew anyway. So i guess the damage was done.

I can understand that she was not attracted to the neediness. But it really seems like the ptsd inflated what should have been a small issue into a relationship killer. I mean she said herself i was triggering her ptsd.
honestly the texts i sent were pretty benign. And what about the way she broke up with me, a drawn out waiting period, then a break with no explanation? I've never had such a brutally insensitive breakup after a relationship with such highs.
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
What you are describing is not triggers, but disagreements in a relationship.

I can understand that she was not attracted to the neediness. But it really seems like the ptsd inflated what should have been a small issue into a relationship killer. I mean she said herself i was triggering her ptsd.
honestly the texts i sent were pretty benign. And what about the way she broke up with me, a drawn out waiting period, then a break with no explanation? I've never had such a brutally insensitive breakup after a relationship with such highs.
I can't see how this is to do with her PTSD? But instead two people with different personalities.

You might want to put it on to her PTSD to help the pain of the break up, but it sounds to me (a total stranger on the internet so take this with that in mind!), That you are just different people.

Break ups suck. But you'll be able to move on.

You recognise you are 'needy', so perhaps focus on that?

The first two months of a relationship should really be piles of fun. Sending lots of hope that your next one is.
 
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Lostnbroken

New Here
I can't see how this is to do with her PTSD? But instead two people with different personalities.
You might want to put it on to her PTSD to help the pain of the break up, but it sounds to me (a total stranger on the internet so take this with that in mind!), That you are just different people.
Break ups suck. But you'll be able to move on.

You recognise you are 'needy', so perhaps focus on that?

The first two months of a relationship should really be piles of fun. Sending lots of hope that your next one is.

Ok, thank you. Again, she told me herself that it was in fact triggering her ptsd. So ptsd must play a role here...

I mean obviously because of this, or in addition to this, she dislikes neediness, and that's fair and her right. I have to deal with that.
I am very much working on it too, this experience has pretty much scared whats left of my neediness out of me!

thank you for the hope :)
 

Lostnbroken

New Here
So far people are saying that this doesnt sound like ptsd, and I get where you are coming from. But I want to clarify that she told me specifically that she has ptsd, and that she was having triggers from my behaviour because of an association to previous trauma. We talked about it, and I felt so bad for doing it, and I was very careful from that point on to be mature and positive.

i know my behaviour was not good, i'm not trying to say ptsd is 100% to blame. Just that it feels like the severity of my actions was magnified by it.

So the thing that really hurts is how, after our talk, despite her voiced desire to keep going but slow down and build off a more solid foundation, she still withdrew completely.
She had strong feelings for me before. It really feels like she gradually allowed the fear to take hold of her. Maybe the damage was done and just had to sink in.

I know that at least part of it is probably her just coming to realize that I'm not the right person for her, because despite influence of ptsd, she has to decide in her mind what's best for herself. but this doesn't explain her drastic reactions, and how removed she became. She didn't just lose interest in me by the end, she had no sympathy for my pain or the slightest interest in talking to me at all. Really painful.

im not trying to make excuses to reassure myself, i just want to be clear about it all.
 

internal

Sponsor
Just that it feels like the severity of my actions was magnified by it.
this is not something that anyone here will be able to tell you, and it is unlikely to be something that you will ever know with certenty either.

the fact of the matter is that you were clingy in an unhealthy way and she decided she didn't want to deal with that. that is an acceptable relationship dealbreaker. it just is.

whether or not her ptsd made that worse is honestly not even relevant. maybe it did make it worse. but she is still entitled to her opinion.

She didn't just lose interest in me by the end, she had no sympathy for my pain or the slightest interest in talking to me at all. Really painful.
so you were dating for two months and you were both seriously crashing into each other (which already is not great-you guys didn't actually have any foundational relationship, you literally didn't know each other.

that kind of emotional intensity so quickly and the deep, intense intimacy and all of this-it is not a substitute for actually knowing someone over a long period of time.)

but also: she is not being cruel to you because she broke up with you. it is not her job to manage your emotions. she wanted to end the relationship and she ended it. it's your job to manage your feelings. she didn't want to talk to you-she wanted the opposite of that.

she wanted the relationship to stop happening. of course she's not going to keep talking to you.

honestly i've been in your shoes before so i feel like the emails and texts you were sending her were probably not great, but i have no evidence of that, just a feeling based on everything else you're saying and also because i used to do the same exact thing.

this is a lesson for the future. take it and keep going.
 

Lostnbroken

New Here
this is not something that anyone here will be able to tell you, and it is unlikely to be something that you will ever know with certenty either.

the fact of the matter is that you were clingy in an unhealthy way and she decided she didn't want to deal with that. that is an acceptable relationship dealbreaker. it just is.

whether or not her ptsd made that worse is honestly not even relevant. maybe it did make it worse. but she is still entitled to her opinion.


so you were dating for two months and you were both seriously crashing into each other (which already is not great-you guys didn't actually have any foundational relationship, you literally didn't know each other.

that kind of emotional intensity so quickly and the deep, intense intimacy and all of this-it is not a substitute for actually knowing someone over a long period of time.)
thank you for the advice. you are right, its fair for her to end it based on my behaviour, and i can see it being more of a dealbreaker being so early on. the intensity was certainly a factor, it made it seem like we were further ahead.

but also: she is not being cruel to you because she broke up with you. it is not her job to manage your emotions. she wanted to end the relationship and she ended it. it's your job to manage your feelings. she didn't want to talk to you-she wanted the opposite of that.

she wanted the relationship to stop happening. of course she's not going to keep talking to you.
Yes, of course.

Maybe i'm sentimental, but when I share an intensely intimate relationship with someone and then want to end it, I don't just do a 180 and cut them off like they are nothing. I speak to them and let them get some closure. (& I was fully open and trying to talk) People deserve a certain level of respect and decency. But true, she was not required to do so.

I did not act in a way deserving of hate or fear; she acted in the end as though I was. I mean isn't that textbook ptsd? that's all I'm saying. I'm not trying to blame her at all.

honestly i've been in your shoes before so i feel like the emails and texts you were sending her were probably not great, but i have no evidence of that, just a feeling based on everything else you're saying and also because i used to do the same exact thing.

this is a lesson for the future. take it and keep going.
The emails were compassionate, but probably bad simply because they were sent. its a lesson, alright. thank you for taking the time to respond.
 

joeylittle

Administrator
I'd like to try and walk you through this - it might help.
She texts me on Thu night that she "isn't feeling romantic feelings for me right now" and wants to slow down even more, to 'reset' things. And then Friday morning texts that she needs to step back and evaluate her feelings, and to give her space and time, and she would reach out when/if she is ready.
So, Thursday pm she isn't feeling romantic feelings for you.
Suggests slowing down to reset things (assuming, back to romantic)

But the next morning, she takes that further, and says that she wants to take a big step back, and figure out how she feels about you, altogether.

It's not great for you that you heard hope in he situation on Thursday night, and then were told the next morning that she wants to disconnect. But - people aren't perfect; relationships are moving targets. She decided to be very honest with you. That is actually a good thing, even though the honesty is painful.

I was distraught by this, but I did what she asked, except I sent an email that evening trying to reason with her about how good we are, and we can work it out, etc.
She was silent.

She said that she would reach out. Instead, later that same day, you wrote her and tried to explain why the relationship was worth saving.

I understand you feel like you did what she asked except for one small thing. But, that one small thing was actually the only thing she'd asked you not to do.

That doesn't mean you were wrong to write and express your feelings. You're in this relationship, too. But it'll help you understand what went wrong if you accept the chain of events.
Then, just today, after 12 days of silence, she texts and simply says she does not want to pursue a relationship with me, and not to contact her anymore.
And, that's the decision she made. It's definitely not the way you wanted it to go - but, it's the way it went.
The way she broke up with me was so heartless, and without explanation.
Heartless, possibly. Not without explanation, though.
I sent another email, poring my heart out and being compassionate to what she's going through, about 9 days later.
You emailed again. And again, I want to emphasize - that was absolutely your right, to speak as you wished. It also makes it clear that you weren't able or willing to give the space she asked for. So, from her point of view, you weren't listening. Again - this is just how the sequence of events went.
I dont know how much of this is due to ptsd, or if she just didn't like me anymore.
Honestly? It doesn't matter.

PTSD doesn't make someone into a different person. They are still them - just, them with the added challenge of: they're incapable of managing stress.

(That's oversimplified, but it's essentially correct)

So....if it was PTSD - what does that tell you? It tells you that you are stressful to her.
I wonder if there is any chance after more time and healing she might change her mind and come back to me?
Honestly, it doesn't sound like it. And there's no way for you to know how early she started doubting the relationship - two months isn't very long, and you were clearly very smitten by her. So you also need to acknowledge that you may not have been seeing the situation with clear eyes; she could have been less into you than you thought.

But I don't think it's helpful for you to be beating yourself up about it, or trying to work out an explanation beyond the one that is already there.

I did not act in a way deserving of hate or fear; she acted in the end as though I was. I mean isn't that textbook ptsd?
She didn't act as though she hated or feared you, though. She stopped liking you. You are experiencing this as a bigger rejection that it was, and that's also really normal, when you have intense feelings for someone.

I'm sorry you're hurting so much. And I think you'd likely benefit from doing some therapy work on your own, to maybe look at what is going on underneath your feelings of insecurity and unworthiness. I don't think it's helping you to call it "neediness" - because that's a very negative judgement to put on yourself, and it's not going to help you worth through it.
 

internal

Sponsor
when I share an intensely intimate relationship with someone and then want to end it, I don't just do a 180 and cut them off like they are nothing. I speak to them and let them get some closure.
that is a valid way of doing things, but given the context you've shared i would argue it is probably not necessary. especially as if you read through your post it is obvious she was leading up to this for a little bit beforehand-it wasn't out of nowhere.

you also severely doubled down on the behavior (emailing her to "convince" her of why you guys are good, etc.) after she told you it upset her. obviously this is variable-we've been together 9 years. if my husband broke up with me in a text message i'd think he had a brain tumor.

you were dating for 2 months. it's variable.

it could be ptsd, but no one here is going to be able to confirm that. we don't actually know what happened. and what was said and what was done. she could be completely out of line or you could have been a sycophantic nutbar. we don't know.

I did not act in a way deserving of hate or fear; she acted in the end as though I was. I mean isn't that textbook ptsd?
based on what you said (she texted you to break up with you) it doesn't sound like that's the case. it also sounds like she was already thinking of this beforehand, but you didn't indicate where she actually treated you with disdain. other than the fact that she broke up with you.
 
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Lostnbroken

New Here
I'd like to try and walk you through this - it might help.

So, Thursday pm she isn't feeling romantic feelings for you.
Suggests slowing down to reset things (assuming, back to romantic)

But the next morning, she takes that further, and says that she wants to take a big step back, and figure out how she feels about you, altogether.

It's not great for you that you heard hope in he situation on Thursday night, and then were told the next morning that she wants to disconnect. But - people aren't perfect; relationships are moving targets. She decided to be very honest with you. That is actually a good thing, even though the honesty is painful.



She said that she would reach out. Instead, later that same day, you wrote her and tried to explain why the relationship was worth saving.

I understand you feel like you did what she asked except for one small thing. But, that one small thing was actually the only thing she'd asked you not to do.

That doesn't mean you were wrong to write and express your feelings. You're in this relationship, too. But it'll help you understand what went wrong if you accept the chain of events.

And, that's the decision she made. It's definitely not the way you wanted it to go - but, it's the way it went.

Heartless, possibly. Not without explanation, though.

You emailed again. And again, I want to emphasize - that was absolutely your right, to speak as you wished. It also makes it clear that you weren't able or willing to give the space she asked for. So, from her point of view, you weren't listening. Again - this is just how the sequence of events went.

Honestly? It doesn't matter.
Fair enough. I guess I didn't realize i had to completely cut off all communication to meet her request. not sure it would have mattered if i did.
It seems so one-sided being told to stay silent while she decided the fate of the relationship, and incredibly hard to overcome the agony of waiting and the desire to talk it through together.
I guess it could be looked at as a test to see if I could respect her boundaries, which I failed. Maybe the boundaries she needs are too hard for me to give.

PTSD doesn't make someone into a different person. They are still them - just, them with the added challenge of: they're incapable of managing stress.

(That's oversimplified, but it's essentially correct)

So....if it was PTSD - what does that tell you? It tells you that you are stressful to her.
This is eye opening, thank you. So well put; I was stressful to her, and it doesn't matter what forces inside of her made that true.
Its so hard to deal with the fact that I stressed her out so much, that i hurt her. I held onto the idea that we could reason our way through it, but clearly that's not how it works.

thanks so much for this reply.
 
G

Grandma

Fair enough. I guess I didn't realize i had to completely cut off all communication to meet her request. not sure it would have mattered if i did.
It seems so one-sided being told to stay silent while she decided the fate of the relationship, and incredibly hard to overcome the agony of waiting and the desire to talk it through together.
I guess it could be looked at as a test to see if I could respect her boundaries, which I failed. Maybe the boundaries she needs are too hard for me to give.


This is eye opening, thank you. So well put; I was stressful to her, and it doesn't matter what forces inside of her made that true.
Its so hard to deal with the fact that I stressed her out so much, that i hurt her. I held onto the idea that we could reason our way through it, but clearly that's not how it works.

thanks so much for this reply.
Just a thought - what you or she calls "needy", as far as texts, some women are totally thrilled to have a man communicate on a regular basis with them. One person's "needy" is another person's "what I need in a relationship".

Don't blame yourself, you didn't really do anything except not be able to read her mind.
Kids these days sleep together as soon as they like each other but don't realize how much it psychologically and spiritually ties them together.
Then if it doesn't work out, it hurts so much more. Praying for you. There's a lot of people with PTSD out there who can function without making other people feel awful.
She's not the girl for you because she doesn't see your worth. There will be someone else you don't have to tiptoe around. Heal first.
 
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