National Eating Disorders Association

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Robmacall
heart broken and feel so guilty

Hello there,

Recently because of unstable mood lately I have been lurking on this website looking for answers to complex questions of my relationship. We broke up months ago but the romance that we shared still haunts me. No matter how much I try to forget, those thoughts I have of us still visits me.

This may in fact be a very long post, so brace yourselves.

So I met this girl whilst I was out with the boys. You know how it is. Sometimes you hang out with friends, dancing, drinking then all of the sudden your eyes meet another girls eyes and that feeling hits you in the tummy. Men know all too well that feeling of the butterfly within his stomach. So we dance a bit and exchange numbers. Who would think that you can meet the someone that would have such an impact on your life, in a bar? of all places. If someone had prophesied this to me I would have told them their were liars.

Anyway we began texting and calling each other and our romance began to grow. As someone who has had a nightmare with a previous relationship before, i thought to myself this was just Karma giving me the relationship I deserved. She was perfect. Everything I could ask for in a lover and we weren’t even intimate yet. There was no words to express how intelligent she was, how caring, how loving. I should have known because it was too good to be true. I have initial worries about our age different because I am nearly a decade older, but things seemed very good.

So after a while I had to travel for a month to another country on a business trip and I tell her that when I come back I would love to continue this relationship. So I travel many miles away to a foreign land on business. We chat the whole time messaging each other. I think we must have texted almost everyday. Well the business trip lasted a whole month with me becoming more and more anxious to meet my lady. When you have these feelings days feel like months. Finally the business trip is over and I can get back to my lady. Spent another many hours on the plane I can't wait to be home.

The next day I call her to arrange a meeting. I bought her a present and can't wait to give it to her. I am waiting nervously at this cafe to see her. About 10 mins later she arrives at the venue, however something is wrong. She has lost some much weight. I mean so bad I can see her body changes right away. It is funny how you can often overlook certain traits when you have feelings for someone. Obvious signals of problems can seem like no big deal. We hug and kiss, talk a bunch about what happened since I was away etc. After catching up we part ways but keep contact on the phone. I do mention to her that I am concerned about her physical state and that I think she should try and stop the weight loss. Also I politely as her to stop seeing the crazy dietitian because there is nothing else to lose.. I mean I was only gone a month, how can you drop weight that quickly? (Looking back I should have not said this)

So we continue the relationship and things just seem like a dream. It was like Vanilla Skies and we were very close. I felt like I won the lottery. We were both happy nothing was wrong. I become Mr Romance, sending flowers and candy. I even began to walk differently. More confident because I had the girl of my dreams. One time she came over to mine and we went out and had an excellent time. However after the lovely date she starts behaving in a very strange way. She keeps going to the bathroom. Constantly. (I should have clocked on to this also because I consider myself a fairly astute guy but I had rosy colored glasses on)

It all began to fall apart about a few months later. She writes me how happy she is that things are going well and that she tells me one her dark secrets from her past. How she once indulged in a form of self bodily harm through a form of cutting. She claims at the time she was a teenager and that it was only once (again another red flag that my rosy colored glasses should have picked up). As usual I tell her that it was in the past and this is today. We are together and we can both fix anything.

After about a week or so later she tells me that she wants to come over. So I meet her at my place, and everything is still cool, that was until we had to go to sleep. I try to touch her and she freaks out. I calm her down and ask her what is wrong. She tells me she has been seeing a psychologist about some issues she was having. I manage to calm her down and put her to sleep. The next morning I make us breakfast but she seems out of sort and wanted to go home quickly. I get drive her home and assure her that nothing about this changes how i feel about her.

The next day I call her and reassure her that I am there for her and whatever problems she is facing is not impossible and that we can over them together. I offer to take time off work and go with her to her counseling sessions and whatever she needs I will support her. So we both agree to go together to and she offers to go with me on a certain date. So that date comes and I leave the office early because I am planning to go with her. I call her phone she doesn’t answer. Then I send a message to which she replies that she was in the shower and just came out. She tells me that she will be on her way to the therapist. So I ask her where to go so i can meet her. She behaves as if I have no idea what I am talking about and that she prefer to go alone. So I happily oblige.

Things begin to go from bad to worse from this point. Petty arguments become bigger and bigger and the girl that I saw, so many ago, is hardly recognizable both in physical and mental form. We can't do anything because she hates the idea and feels anxiety about the whole thing. Things get so bad that I consider leaving the relationship all together but I think to myself things will get better. Except there is that part of my brain saying you can get leave this relationship before it goes south. Except you are going to be the jerk that leaves a girl when she is in critical condition and needs your help. So I decide to stay and try and work things out. But the arguments get worse to the point that I am beginning to not recognize myself. Her mood changes from hot to cold. She is always too busy to meet. I am constantly apologizing for things I didn’t do wrong just so that I can stay with her. I just can't get anything right. I feel like I am walking on a string and my relationship is on the edge of a pin. One slight move the wrong way and it is all over.

Well the final nail in the coffin came mid December just before Christmas. My then GF collapses and has to go to the hospital. I get the message from her and rush down stairs like a bat out of hell. The office staff must have thought I lost my mind. Just before I start the ignition i get a call from her saying she is ok and that the doctors have diagnosed her with anorexia. I feel horrible and offer to come see her after work but she declines and tells me she will call me at night. When I get home I call one of her relatives and seek advice on how I can help her because I am really worried. The relative informs me of some shocking news. Not only is one of her parents in hospital over a serious illness but she herself has issues and that there is little I can do except support her anyway that I can. Her problems stem from things that happened in her teen years and that they thought I should break up with her and try and remain friends instead. How absurd and idea, I thought to myself. You want me to break her heart? No way, I thought to myself we will fight this thing.

The next day I call to see how she is and she tells me she is with one of her relatives in the hospital. I tell her I know about everything and that I am staying to fight beside her in regards to her issue and that I was aware of the illness of one of her parents because I spoke to one of her relatives the day before. Nothing was going to tear me away. This was the final nail in the coffin and if I had known it was going to end this way, I would have kept my mouth shut. She literally flips out. I mean she goes crazy. I am sure at this point had I been in from of her she would have hit me. It get so bad she hangs up. In 10 mins I receive a message informing me that our relationship is over. I call back trying to patch things up but she is not accepting any kind of apology. I may as well go and jump off a bridge, for all she cares. I think let me give her space and call her later. So I call her later after everything has calmed down and try to plead with her not to act rash and that I had her best interest at heart. She tells me she is still mad and that the best I can hope for is friendship right now and that she can’t be in a relationship right now. Devastated doesn’t even begin to cover how i feel. I felt like the world around me was crashing around me.

I decide to give her some space and didn’t contact her for a while until new years eve where I sent her and her relatives a new years message. I received replies from all of them even her. And she asked if we can remain friends to which I wrote a lengthy email explaining why I can’t be her friend because of the feeling. So we don’t speak for a few months and at this point I got very good at staring at walls for hours on end. I don’t hear anything until a 2 months later where she contacts a relative of mine and she impresses upon them that therapy was great and that she still wants a friendship with me. I was going to call and accept the offer with the hopes that I can resurrect our relationship, but on the advice of a certain friend of mine she tells the fact that she is doing this is very suspicious and that I should stay put and not respond. She hardly knows this particular relative and how of the blue she sends a message after a long time.

So at this point she removes me off social media. I didn’t like it but I accepted it. I decide to stay put but about a month later a friend informs be she has a new love and has plastered photos of them all over social media. I didn’t need this at this point. I was at the point of forgetting about her (or so i thought) and this guy tells me this, at this point. I felt really bad, I mean I felt a mix of emotions and I began to feel guilty about the situation. I can only imagine how things would have turned out if I took the “lets remain friends option. I began blaming myself for what happened. If only I did this, If only I did that, If only I didn’t do that. My brain began to run in a needless circle. I constantly review old messages and texts trying to find out where i failed.

I still feel horrible and guilty and I not sure why. I didn’t do anything wrong (at least I think I didn't) but try to love her the best I can. She broke our relationship like it meant nothing and moved on without a second thought. Why do I feel so guilty?

I apologize for the long text. I even feel horrible expressing my problems on a website.

Thanks for any help on the matter...

BobJ48
Rob

Rob,

Oh brother, what a story ! Hearing about how well things went in the beginning, and then how things fell apart, I have a pretty good idea of how mysterious and increasingly unsettling that must have felt. I'm sorry you had to go though all of that, but much of what you describe often is how it goes with EDs. Things seem fine in the beginning, but simply the fact that they are in a relationship with someone can cause ED to rear it's ugly head, and bring along many of the things you mention. Particularly the "pushing away" part.

"..I can only imagine how things would have turned out if I took the “lets remain friends" option. I began blaming myself for what happened. If only I did this, If only I did that, If only I didn’t do that. My brain began to run in a needless circle. I constantly review old messages and texts trying to find out where i failed…"

One thing to keep in mind though. In any relationship, by definition only 50% of it is ours. We can do a 100% job good with our half, and even then there's still 50% that will always be beyond our control. So keep in mind the fact that you may not have failed at all. Unless caring and being concerned counts as a failure, that is...

I was surprised to hear that she's hooked up with someone new though. The first thought that came to mind is I wonder how much she's told him about her situation, and how likely it is that this new fellow will find himself going through exactly what you have gone though.

Because I doubt that she moved on without a second thought. If I had to guess, she may feel that starting over with someone who *doesn't know* all of the things that you know… she may think that somehow that's going to be a factor in her getting better.

Like somehow you are no longer safe to be with, because you *do* know those things, and you *are* concerned about her situation. The fact that you do know and care…that may be a reason why she want's to keep her distance.

Of course people don't get better simply by surrounding themselves with people who don't know about their issues, but a part of their minds may believe that that that's what it's going to take.

And really, I hope you won't feel bad for posting. This stuff can really take a lot out of a person, and leave them worn out and feeling confused. I know that's how it was for me with my friend.

It kind of comes with the territory, it seems.

Bob J.

Robmacall
Thanks for the kind words

Thanks for the kind words BobJ48

Should I try to remain her friend? I really want the relationship but it would be really hard to see her with someone else....She seems to have recovered because she has put on a bit of weight. But I don't know for sure.

Is there a chance we could repatch things....

Will she even remember who I tried to help?

BobJ48
Remaining friends.

Rob,

I'm the sort of person who likes to remain friends with people who have been important in my life. But the question of ongoing friendship seems to hinge on not so much our caring desire to remain friends, but whether they will allow it.

I had a GF once who I really liked. Things were going along fine. I knew that she had some issues ( that were much like the perfectionism issues that people with EDs have) but I was accepting of that, and then out of the blue it was suddenly revealed (to everyone, not just me) that she had lied and deceived me about a whole lot of *very* important information.

Once that came out (her imperfection was revealed) it was she who withdrew from me, rather than the other way around.

That was years ago now, and she lives far away. It was my hope that she and I could remain friends, but that's not really happened. Not because I don't care about her (I was more concerned for her than angry when I leaned about her deceptions) but because now I'm the person who knows all these things about her that... she'd rather not have be true.

So she keeps her distance.

I'm not sure if this would be the case with your friend or not, but it might be. A couple of times a year I'll send my friend an e-mail to let her know that I'm thinking of her, and I do get responses most times. But it's pretty clear that she's still wary of the things that I know about her, even though she knows I've moved on.

Bob J.

Robmacall
This is just the thing. If I

This is just the thing. If I did remain friends it would be with the hope of getting back together. Deep down I think this is the truth.would it be for the wrong reasons?.....I wonder

Adage
Listen to your gut Robmacall.

Listen to your gut Robmacall. Putting yourself into the friendzone on purpose will only hurt you in the long run. Its a slow painful death. I advise you to consider moving on. She clearly has from you, even though that might be hard to come to terms with. You seem like a solid dude, you know you deserve better.

Quietrock
Robmacall

Your post really got to me Rob as I've been in a very similar situation in the past with a girl without an ED and fear this is where things could go with my current girlfriend who has an ED. As for the former, remaining friends for ten years sucked every piece of life out of me as I continued to love the girl and hope for some kind of rekindling of what we once had. This was a massive mistake. It's hard to hear though at the time when you would do or suffer anything for that person but walking away while the hardest thing in the world sometimes you have to do for yourself or it could have horrible consequences for you down the road which won't be worth it believe me.

The best thing I think you can do is write her a very long and complete email of how you still feel about her. Just everything you ever want to say to her still that you haven't been able to or still want to and then leave it in her hands. That way you'll have some kind of closure and even though it could take a very long time to get over from here it won't be half as long as if you keep her in your life even in some small way which will mean a lot to you but may potentially be almost utterly insignificant to her. If you mean what you deserve to mean to somebody to her she will be the one to contact you to try again. If she doesn't you can't control that but at least you can know you've done and said everything you could. It seems like an ignoble thing to do to walk away sometimes with such a rare kind of great love still lingering in your heart and it can be the very hardest and saddest thing to do but sometimes it's painfully necessary so YOU can survive. All the best mate. Keep it together.

Robmacall
Quietrock

Oh no,

I sincerely hope that you don't go through what I went through and that you can recover your G. In my case it was an unusual experience and I felt as if I was continuously going down the rabbit hole.

Like I said in my text it was like I was walking on a egg shells. One step too fast and it could go over, one step too soon and you don't quite make it. And I could almost sense that it was coming to an abrupt end. It was just how it ended that surprised me. I was completely blind sided.

Do what you can to support her and I wish you luck.

Robmacall
Quietrock

Oh no,

I sincerely hope that you don't go through what I went through and that you can recover your GF. In my case it was an unusual experience and I felt as if I was continuously going down the rabbit hole.

Like I said in my text it was like I was walking on a egg shells. One step too fast and it could go over, one step too soon and you don't quite make it. And I could almost sense that it was coming to an abrupt end. It was just how it ended that surprised me. I was completely blind sided.

Do what you can to support her and I wish you luck. I hope get over this because it is so painful.

BobJ48
Remaining "Friends with Intentions"

Rob,

"If I did remain friends it would be with the hope of getting back together. Deep down I think this is the truth. Would it be for the wrong reasons?"

Really, how many times do you hear about things like this actually working out ? People getting back together in ways that actually work out ? Granted, we may hear about it sometimes, but I think we hear about it not because it's common, but rather because it's the exception to the rule.

I've had these same urges it's true, but when you mentioned "reasons", if I'm honest with myself, my reasons may have involved a certain affection for the person, but they have also usually involved trying to prove something to myself. Like that things really should have worked out differently, and I'm going to try and prove that they should have. Which…may not be the best reason to keep pursuing things.

Again, this is not to say we should not try and be friends, but I'd only take that approach if friendship actually was my only motivation. In my experience, any expectations we have on top of that are likely to send us off into territory that's ultimately unrewarding.

Bob J.

Robmacall
NEW DEVELOPMENT

New development - One of her parents just passed.

Should I send some kind of condolence...

BobJ48
Sending condolences

Rob,

Sorry to be late getting back to you - busy times recently.

But I hope you did choose to send a condolence. Mental health issues need to be considered it's true, but my feeling is that we should not let them get in the way of the sorts of common courtesies that go to make up normal life and relationships.

With all good wishes,

AT

Savedbygrace
How have things been going?

It seems to be a while since hearing from you last. Any new updates?

Robmacall
Hello Savedbygrace

Well thus far I am beginning to recover after torturing myself by constantly checking out my now ex gf social media account and watching as her and her new bf seem so happy together. I have since deleted all my social media accounts and focus on myself. Strangely now that I don't have social media I feel much smarter. It is strange how much time we spend on social media. I really began to feel very stupid.

I did send a condolence note and another message of support, which was read but I didn't get a reply. I think it is time to forget about her. I should have expected she wouldn't reply. I have since decided to move on. I did my best and gave my all only for my relationship to be ended by a text message. It is really cold considering I tried to be near you and support you. But this is not the girl I met in the beginning this is someone completely different.

I don't have any hate for her. Strangely after all this i miss her even more but I need to heal....

BobJ48
Hey Rob...

Good that you were able to cool it with the social media part. As I suspect you found out, that sort of stuff just keeps us involved in ways that aren't heathy for us. Plus who wants to feel like a stalker, you know ?

It sounds like you've gained some perspective I mean. Which can be difficult when we're still in the thick of it.

Who knows how things are with her and this fellow. I suspect that she's keeping him in the dark for as long as she can, and that if this same stuff comes up between them, the outcome might be the same for him too. If he tries to care about her like you did I mean.

I know what you mean about not hating them though, and it's probably not wrong to still be concerned. But sometimes it's better for us, once the matter is out of our hands.

Here's one way to look at it : We did the best that we could, but the situation was such that that was still not enough. Which is probably the healthiest way to leave things.