By - rustytrust
I feel for you so much. I didn't really know about attachment theory until about a month ago; i'm 3 months post blindsided break up. The kicker is my ex is a psychologist.
For context- we dated for 4 years, he put me on his cell phone plan 3 weeks before the break up, he let me throw him a birthday party 2 weeks before, he and I spent the weekend with his family 5 days before (he did seem stressed so I asked if he wanted to go look at jewelry while we were at the mall with his family; I had pressed about getting married but I wasn't forcing him at all and checked in with him twice that day to make sure he didn't feel any pressure). I quit my job 3 days before he broke up with me. He broke up with me in 30 minutes and legit ran out of our apartment. All of his friends and family were shocked/disappointed; his mom even called to tell me how sorry she was. He did it 2 weeks before he got his doctorate. It killed me to see him graduate and actively choose to not have me be there, and see all of these people I've never met or heard of congratulate him on social media and him to say "thanks for the support" when I literally mentally, emotionally, and indirectly financially supported him throughout his entire doctorate. And it's like I was punished and not allowed to celebrate him.
In that time, I've learned I'm an anxious attachment and he is extremely avoidant. I've seen little patterns here and there over our relationship, and even put the timeline together of his past relationship. The thing about avoidants is that even though they are protecting themselves, they can be utterly cruel in how they do it. In his case, he didn't even seem to look at it as a huge setback. The hardest part in all of it is knowing that I would have fought to the end of the earth for him and he knew that, but got afraid and never even spoke about how he was feeling. Or that something was off. The weird thing is though, after extreme self assessment (I'm still working through that this isn't my fault), I realized my anxiety has decreased tremendously not being in a relationship with him. It's almost like my body knew before my brain did. I hope when you do find your peace, you can assess how you felt vs. how you're feeling now; I guarantee there are some changes for the positive, even though it fucking sucks.
Just to say that I resonate w your last paragraph SO MUCH. I had a strong DA best friend and I was so anxious during our friendship and I never could figure out why I had so much anxiety. I ended the friendship in January and even though I have been seriously grieving since then, my anxiety levels plummeted to near zero once he was out of my life. My body was reacting strongly to something that my brain hadn't consciously picked up on. I still don't know exactly what it was about him that made me SO anxiety ridden, but even though I miss him terribly I can't and won't go back into a dynamic that caused me to be so anxious all the time.
Sorry to hear that, that's really hurtful.. Really though I've had a lot of time to think, and I'm not better off without her or anything of the sort. Time made me realize something I've known since the day we met; I care so much about her and always will. I don't blame her for any of it, aside from her keeping it to herself because she thought she could get through it alone. That's all I blame her for, giving up on everything we were because she was afraid of getting hurt. I don't blame her for that fear, as our separate issues weren't compatible at the time. Someone who's suicidal with an avoidant with a fear of abandonment? Those two just don't go hand in hand, and so I understand. I just wish she would've fought for it, and for us. We were to happy together for so long, and I wish she didn't run the second things got hard, because I know to this day what we had was real, and special, and we'd both never felt for anyone the way we did for one another.
The anxiety decreasing is so relatable. I am still hurting but I feel more at peace. I'm not trying to figure out what's wrong, why she is growing distant, what I can do to fix things (alone). I have so much more energy and it feels like a weight has been lifted off me. I broke up with her but I didn't see much of a choice since she basically stopped talking to me or putting in any effort.
Learning that my ex found someone else within 30 days of us breaking up (we were together for 14 months) was like a dagger to the heart. She didn't have time for me anymore but she had time for someone new apparently. I decided to go no contact. I hope that therapy (she started going after we broke up) helps her work through her issues.
I can't believe I've been actually able to admit it out loud. It's hit me in the past week or two. Your point about fixing things alone really resonates.
2 weeks post break up, I actually made the mistake of going on the dating app we met on to see if I could look at the first message we sent (no judgement) and saw my ex on there. His stuff was still in our apartment. I cannot comprehend how he could move on so quickly after 4 years. I still get a chest pain when I think about it(although i don't know if he's already in another relationship or not).
My fear is that everything he wasn't with me he will be with someone else. And that he'll use everything I did teach him on the next relationship.
I think that people who are looking that soon after a breakup (for a relationship that lasted for more than a year) are probably trying to use new relationship energy to get over the pain of the breakup. They have not taken time to heal or work on themselves, their issues will likely show themselves again in the new relationship. It's probably more likely that he'll put the new woman through the same thing (honeymoon, then conflict/or getting too close for comfort, then discarding, then looking for someone else).
It hurt but I deleted all old messages from my ex. I kept missing her and looking at old messages, it was keeping me in the past.
This thing, about anxiety during the relationship with an avoidant rings true for me. I am securely attached, but with him I always sensed something was off, since day one. He would only text and then it would take him hours to reply to my texts (he did this with everyone.) I asked him if he thought that not replying sooner was rude (he is at the computer 16 hours per day) and he said he was watching YouTube videos and would reply later, so what was the fuss about ? I was feeling as if I was dating a computer. As you said, my body knew before I had had the real experience to see how fucked up things would get.
I have anxious preoccupied attachment so i really understand how hard it is. My ex was very hard to communicate and emotionally unavailable. We just could'nt continue without dealing with our issues seperately!
We both loved eachother but staying together wasnt working. We ended it with me telling him i need him!
It hurts but hope our attachment issue will get better!
Oh believe me, I am nowhere near at peace. I am riddled every day, every hour even with what I could have done differently, or better, not as much. I am getting to the point that I'm exhausting my brain from trying to find the patterns of reason. My ex, and even his mom when she called to tell me how heartbroken she was both said "not everything has to do with you."
One quote I keep repeating to myself over, and over, and over again is: "people rarely do things TO you, they do things FOR themselves, and sometimes we are the collateral damage in it." Break-up tik tok and reddit usually help too. :)
Yes, this, all of this. Get help. Stop leaving a trail of broken hearts. Fuck.
It really isn't their fault sometimes, unfortunately. I don't blame my EX no matter how hurtful being blindsided is. I don't blame her for the fear she felt when I told her I was suicidal, but rather for not telling me about it, when I always told her what was on my mind.
I dunno, man. Mental illness is not their fault, but it is their responsibility. Hope we both find peace.
I’m sorry you’re going through this man. I’m right there with you, just two months out from a similar experience of my own.
I pity avoidants, but I can’t empathize. I was extremely fortunate enough to be raised by loving parents and I have amazing friends that are always there for me. Growing up with those things teaches you how to love and how to fight for it.
It’s sad because avoidants obviously didn’t choose to endure trauma and I believe in the case of my ex, she really did want to love me, but she couldn’t bring herself to due to her own issues.
Let me know if you ever want to chat. Always happy to listen.
Thank you, and same for my EX. We really were so deeply in love but she always held onto that fear of getting hurt, she just couldn't let go.
Not meaning to trash Avoidants but, please repeat after me everybody:
It's alright, most Avoidants won't see this as most Avoidants are the ones just leaving people like that, making them question everything and have ZERO REFLECTION on their behaviour, while all the victims are Secure or Anxious peeps on this Reddit. Hope you all heal!
It is interesting that the experience you had was identical to mine but mine was a shorter situationship and we didnt know each other before hand. A small part of me though well maybe if we knew each other for a while it wouldnt have triggered them so hard into a shut down. Now I know it wouldnt have mattered.
I think the biggest problem that unless youre in that situation in terms of empathy is that it is nowhere near the same experience as a normal secure or even most insecure people have. When they fully deactivate like that there is no conscience decision making, there is only pure terror/fear/severe anxiety that is like paralysis to the body which leads to emotional shut down. (Hence the cold/distance/loss of feelings).
Im not sure I would have anyway to even remotely relate to that on any level. And because they already have no ability to communicate and have spent their whole lives trying to deal with it on their own it becomes a case of their kryptonite also being their way of healing.
I think that is why therapy is the only way because then they can hit those triggers with someone that isnt a loss of a relationship in order for them to start understanding them and fighting through them. There is just far too much on the line/pressure for them inside of the relationship to be able to navigate it pre-therapy.
There are so many variables in play that I just dont think any of them have any sort of clue what they are up against until its far too late. Most of them just end up sliding it under the (i guess they just were not the one/how could i not listen to my gut instinct telling me to run it must be correct!) on loop forever never really realizing it is them that is the problem.
>When they fully deactivate like that there is no conscience decision making, there is only pure terror/fear/severe anxiety that is like paralysis to the body which leads to emotional shut down.
Completely agree. She admitted it, that she let fear control her and take over the relationship. It was night and day really. Though I don't blame her, as she had every right to be afraid with me being suicidal and all. Just wish she would've talked to me about it instead of keeping it to herself. Or that she wasn't an avoidant and didn't have those trust and abandonment issues obviously haha, but I don't blame her for it
especially dating an avoidant… i was so willing to make things work and they gave up on me…
Totally on point. My ex broke up with me, because he was emotionally unavailable, came back. Only to end it again. And it really hurts, I feel played around with, I know he is avoidant and just keeps in this constant hot and cold patterns.
He says he will work on it, or so he told me in our last conversation. However, something tells me in a month he will be on tinder or bumble and another girl will go through this… I just know it
I feel this, I wasted a year of my life and am still destroyed afterwards, longer than the relationship even went on. He’s barely treating the new girl better, I wonder if he’s just gonna string her along as well but worse bc he got closer to her and has been with her longer
Your story is very close to mine, I feel for you :)
That's just horrible. I feel for you. I've been going through a similar thing, only we've decided to try working through it. It's difficult, we've vacillated too. I understand why you'd warn others. The human heart is fragile.
I hope you can work through it :)
Well two persons grappling with post trauma makes a rather unusual trial of things. But I don't feel ready to give up at all and hope he doesn't.
Go for it.
Thank you. That's really encouraging. : )
Hey, just curious. How did you get an avoidant to even consider working through it with you?
I'm not actually with an avoidant. The person I'm with, and I both have trust issues, and abandonment issues. What I like most about the person I'm with is he isn't avoidant like the other men I had long term relationships with were. Being with an avoidant is impossible for me.
My ex is the one who actually got me to go to therapy myself. So I really hope she actually talks about what happened in her therapy session.
She was also super aware of her own commitment issues and her avoidance. I made sure to avoid labels for a while, but by the time things were clearly at a point where the label existed she took a 180 and just started pushing away.
Same here. My ex knew of all her issues and so did I, just like she knew mine. Yet we were such close friends for 2 years before we started dating, and really, we were always something more. Really thought it would be different with us, because we really did love one another more than we've ever loved anyone before. And yet, one event, which was partly on me for sure with me being suicidal and all, sent her running for the hills and avoiding a pain that would never happen (me leaving her) and changed what we were for over 2 years. Guess it was wishful thinking
Wow...if as if this post was written for me.
My situationship has abandonment issues and all I said was I think we should stop sleeping together bc I was really falling for him and if he wanted he could get to know me more. He took it as a “you don’t want me” and ghosted me it’s almost been 21 days I’m absolutely heartbroken and I tried fixing it but he made all these excuses that he’s been left before and he can’t be friends with someone he was once fond of
7 years 3 times
my ex --> total abandonment issues
I have trust and abandonment issues and my ex (before we broke up) came to see me while I was at trade school in Cali. I felt the vibe was off and I asked her if anything was up and that I never want to see her walk out the door. Well the next day after that conversation I got dumped. I’ve been mentally fucked ever since.
I have those issues but I’m willing to work on them if someone is there to support me.
Wish my ex would have read this.
Currently in the same boat except I’m the anxious one with the trust issues. 😞
I know how hard it is, which is why I don't blame my Ex anymore. Wish she could've handled it better and fought through it but I understand. Hope you can find a way to not repeat the same mistakes :/
Instead of psychoanalyzing her issues, focus on what you did.
Clearly you didn't read the post. I said multiple times I don't blame her and my depression/suicidal thoughts definitely played a role in the fear of abandonment she felt.