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  • FIRST POST
    • gonzo127
    • By gonzo127 10th Oct 17, 11:13 AM
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    gonzo127
    can 'space' really help?
    • #1
    • 10th Oct 17, 11:13 AM
    can 'space' really help? 10th Oct 17 at 11:13 AM
    so i will put a little bit of background so the question will hopefully be in more context.

    so i have been with my girlfriend for roughly 2 1/2 years, we do not live together as we both have children with our ex's and the children go to different schools so we live closer to where our children go to school to make the school run easier when our respective children stay with each of us. so we end up seeing each other week on, week off, around the children, we do have some joint family things we do together, but overall, our time with the kids, is our time with the kids.

    anyways around 1 year ago, she got diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, had to go on very strong steroids and a dose of chemo, this combination of treatments, has made her put on weight, in the region of 2 stone, this made her feel very conscious of her body and so our sex life suffered, although has never stopped, just reduced from what it was, personally i still think she is the most gorgeous sexy woman i have ever met, and do tell her, even though she rolls her eyes at me when i do.

    on top of the above she started seeing a therapist about 6 months ago to try and work out why she has been so down about things, such as not getting to see her kids all the time because of them going to stay at their dads, would put her into a massive depression where she wouldnt even get out of bed at the weekend sometimes, or other times qould go into a fit of rage in which everything made her angry and she shouted at everything.

    over the last month she has been getting more and more distant with me, with the conversation being strained a lot of the time, i can not pin point one specific moment when it changed although i think it was after one particular therapy session when she came home and wouldn't talk to me. i did not approach her about it as her therapy is private and we agreed when she started that i would not ask, but if she wanted to talk to me about it i would listen.

    so this has got worse over the last month with less messages being exchanged each day, her not asking about me and my day and when i asked her about her it was all very clinical as in 'this happened, that happened' but nothing about how she was feeling.

    so it has all come to a head this weekend, as we went out with friends had a lovely time, stayed away in a hotel, conversation flowed (even though we ignored the elephant in the room for a while) when we got home things where still good, so we had dinner and i decided i needed to just raise it so we could talk about what the problem was. so i asked 'are we ok' to which she responded no, not really. she wouldnt go into much detail as she said she really didnt know what was up, just that she wasnt missing me as much as she should when we are apart, and that me contacting her a few times a day felt like i was smothering her.

    she ended it by asking to have some time in which we did not contact each other, no email, texts, whatsapp etc etc. so that she could get her mind together, she didnt give a day when she would contact me again, or that i could contact her. she did leave saying she loved me.

    so now we come to the question, as i am going out of my mind as i have no idea what to think, what has gone wrong, or even if this is actually the end of my relationship. personally i am someone who believes in talking problems through. and feel and think that time apart with no contact, will not actually fix what is wrong as we are not addressing it. but i wondered if anyone has had time apart like this and it having actually worked to fix a problem?

    or should i just prepare myself for her ending the relationship with this just being a attempt to lessen the blow by giving us both some time on our own?
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Page 1
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 10th Oct 17, 11:22 AM
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    Comms69
    • #2
    • 10th Oct 17, 11:22 AM
    • #2
    • 10th Oct 17, 11:22 AM
    Tell you what - I'm the same as you, want to talk it all through.


    In fact in a very similar boat to you, as we live apart at the minute too.


    From my experience time apart does help, it wont solve all the problems though. I'd respect her wishes, not contact her for a while, then maybe at the weekend give her a call or pop over and try to talk things through
    • gonzo127
    • By gonzo127 10th Oct 17, 11:29 AM
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    gonzo127
    • #3
    • 10th Oct 17, 11:29 AM
    • #3
    • 10th Oct 17, 11:29 AM
    Tell you what - I'm the same as you, want to talk it all through.


    In fact in a very similar boat to you, as we live apart at the minute too.


    From my experience time apart does help, it wont solve all the problems though. I'd respect her wishes, not contact her for a while, then maybe at the weekend give her a call or pop over and try to talk things through
    Originally posted by Comms69
    thank, the issue is, this coming weekend is our time with the kids, so we will not really have the ability to talk to each other till next weekend. or at least not be able to have such a important discussion till then.

    personally i am worried that this is going to distract me from enjoying my time with my daughter. i know it shouldnt but not knowing is what i am struggling most with and my mind keeps on going over everything.
    Drop a brand challenge
    on a £100 shop you might on average get 70 items save
    10p per product = £7 a week ~ £28 a month
    20p per product = £14 a week ~ £56 a month
    30p per product = £21 a week ~ £84 a month (or in other words one weeks shoping at the new price)
    • shiny76
    • By shiny76 10th Oct 17, 11:31 AM
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    shiny76
    • #4
    • 10th Oct 17, 11:31 AM
    • #4
    • 10th Oct 17, 11:31 AM
    she ended it by asking to have some time in which we did not contact each other, no email, texts, whatsapp etc etc. so that she could get her mind together, she didnt give a day when she would contact me again, or that i could contact her. she did leave saying she loved me.

    ...
    ...
    ...
    i wondered if anyone has had time apart like this and it having actually worked to fix a problem?

    or should i just prepare myself for her ending the relationship with this just being a attempt to lessen the blow by giving us both some time on our own?
    Originally posted by gonzo127
    I think you'll have to respect her wishes. Let her contact you if/when when is ready.

    But also be prepared to just accept it's over and you may not get any explanation or 'chance to put things right'.

    If I was in a similar position (again) I'd be walking away.
    • gonzo127
    • By gonzo127 10th Oct 17, 11:35 AM
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    gonzo127
    • #5
    • 10th Oct 17, 11:35 AM
    • #5
    • 10th Oct 17, 11:35 AM
    I think you'll have to respect her wishes. Let her contact you if/when when is ready.

    But also be prepared to just accept it's over and you may not get any explanation or 'chance to put things right'.

    If I was in a similar position (again) I'd be walking away.
    Originally posted by shiny76
    so you don't think i should be 'fighting for her' by trying to remind her what we have got/had?
    Drop a brand challenge
    on a £100 shop you might on average get 70 items save
    10p per product = £7 a week ~ £28 a month
    20p per product = £14 a week ~ £56 a month
    30p per product = £21 a week ~ £84 a month (or in other words one weeks shoping at the new price)
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 10th Oct 17, 11:41 AM
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    Comms69
    • #6
    • 10th Oct 17, 11:41 AM
    • #6
    • 10th Oct 17, 11:41 AM
    so you don't think i should be 'fighting for her' by trying to remind her what we have got/had?
    Originally posted by gonzo127

    No.


    My ex has similar 'issues', very independent, doesn't like talking, wants to do it all herself - has something to prove I guess.


    I made the same mistakes you did, trying to prove something, remind her of things, whatever. She felt smothered (the same word you used) and pushed into something.


    I still want to sort things out, but I'm giving her space, I'm round quite often as we live nearby and have kids. But I try to avoid topics of relationships.


    Not a generalisation, but in my experience with a similar partner. They juggle too much and then struggle to keep on top of things. In the end when you try to add to that, it makes it worse.


    Just a bit of time, it does help
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 10th Oct 17, 11:45 AM
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    Mojisola
    • #7
    • 10th Oct 17, 11:45 AM
    • #7
    • 10th Oct 17, 11:45 AM
    on top of the above she started seeing a therapist about 6 months ago

    i think it was after one particular therapy session when she came home and wouldn't talk to me.

    i asked 'are we ok' to which she responded no, not really. she wouldnt go into much detail as she said she really didnt know what was up, just that she wasnt missing me as much as she should when we are apart, and that me contacting her a few times a day felt like i was smothering her.

    she ended it by asking to have some time in which we did not contact each other, no email, texts, whatsapp etc etc. so that she could get her mind together
    Originally posted by gonzo127
    It sounds as if stuff is being raised in the therapy which is making it hard for her to deal with an on-going relationship but it's not fair of her to expect you to wait in the background for an unspecified length of time until she gets herself together.
    • gonzo127
    • By gonzo127 10th Oct 17, 11:54 AM
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    gonzo127
    • #8
    • 10th Oct 17, 11:54 AM
    • #8
    • 10th Oct 17, 11:54 AM
    It sounds as if stuff is being raised in the therapy which is making it hard for her to deal with an on-going relationship but it's not fair of her to expect you to wait in the background for an unspecified length of time until she gets herself together.
    Originally posted by Mojisola
    i would be happy to wait for her, as before she pushed me away we had such an amazing relationship (well at least in my mind) i also feel the week on week off worked nicely as we wasnt constantly in each others hair.

    but i am struggling with the lack of any certainty, i do not want to lose her, but in some sick sort of way, i would prefer to know its over, so i can morn it and start to rebuild my life. instead of being left dangling not knowing what is happening, or what has happened.
    Drop a brand challenge
    on a £100 shop you might on average get 70 items save
    10p per product = £7 a week ~ £28 a month
    20p per product = £14 a week ~ £56 a month
    30p per product = £21 a week ~ £84 a month (or in other words one weeks shoping at the new price)
    • shiny76
    • By shiny76 10th Oct 17, 11:57 AM
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    shiny76
    • #9
    • 10th Oct 17, 11:57 AM
    • #9
    • 10th Oct 17, 11:57 AM
    so you don't think i should be 'fighting for her' by trying to remind her what we have got/had?
    Originally posted by gonzo127
    As Mojisola says, it's unfair for her to expect you to wait an unspecified amount of time for her to resolve any issues (she may not know how long she needs but that doesn't help you).

    I spent FAR to long 'fighting' for a relationship in the past. It was a waste of effort/emotion/time. But that was my experience, only you can decided what you are willing to put up with (or sacrifice)
    • gonzo127
    • By gonzo127 10th Oct 17, 11:59 AM
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    gonzo127
    No.


    My ex has similar 'issues', very independent, doesn't like talking, wants to do it all herself - has something to prove I guess.


    I made the same mistakes you did, trying to prove something, remind her of things, whatever. She felt smothered (the same word you used) and pushed into something.


    I still want to sort things out, but I'm giving her space, I'm round quite often as we live nearby and have kids. But I try to avoid topics of relationships.


    Not a generalisation, but in my experience with a similar partner. They juggle too much and then struggle to keep on top of things. In the end when you try to add to that, it makes it worse.


    Just a bit of time, it does help
    Originally posted by Comms69
    just worried she is going to think i am not trying, or wont fight for her or anything like that, basically some of the things she has said about her ex husband was that he never tried to keep her.

    so i am feeling as if i am between a rock and a hard place, since she has previously said she wanted her ex husband to fight for her, but also the fact i need to respect her wishes and not smother her.
    Drop a brand challenge
    on a £100 shop you might on average get 70 items save
    10p per product = £7 a week ~ £28 a month
    20p per product = £14 a week ~ £56 a month
    30p per product = £21 a week ~ £84 a month (or in other words one weeks shoping at the new price)
    • oystercatcher
    • By oystercatcher 10th Oct 17, 12:06 PM
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    oystercatcher
    When I met my hubby I probably wasn't ready for a relationship after divorce and I was feeling very up and down and not sure about so many things. I was feeling very stressed with demands from children, home and work and sometimes a relationship seemed like just more 'work' to do !

    One of the things that really helped was his determined "I'm not going anywhere, I'm not going to lose you" comments, he was totally prepared for me to work through everything while he waited and the fact that he wanted me whatever really boosted my self esteem when I wasn't feeling good about myself. We have been married for 13 years now.

    So, if you value this relationship, I would suggest you do as asked and give space but try and make supportive, positive comments when you do have contact. Hopefully she will realise how much she is missing you, if not then there's probably not much else you can do.
    • copperclock
    • By copperclock 10th Oct 17, 12:17 PM
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    copperclock
    just worried she is going to think i am not trying, or wont fight for her or anything like that, basically some of the things she has said about her ex husband was that he never tried to keep her.

    so i am feeling as if i am between a rock and a hard place, since she has previously said she wanted her ex husband to fight for her, but also the fact i need to respect her wishes and not smother her.
    Originally posted by gonzo127
    I'm getting the impression that she is the kind of person who finds it difficult to talk about her feelings and what she really thinks/means. If somebody else left her without 'fighting' that implies that, actually, she wanted to talk but she (for whatever reason) didn't communicate that.

    The fact that she's going to counselling, though, means that on some level she does find talking to be helpful.

    What happens when the two of you talk? Do you think you make her feel listened to? Do you ask questions? Are your questions too big/vague? When she talks do you actually listen, or do you wait to jump in? When/if she puts herself down are you eager to 'correct' her or do you hear what she has to say? What is your tone of voice like?

    Is there anything you can do to make her feel truly listened to? When she says 'smothered' she might mean 'unable to formulate my thoughts and feelings'.
    • gonzo127
    • By gonzo127 10th Oct 17, 12:25 PM
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    gonzo127
    I'm getting the impression that she is the kind of person who finds it difficult to talk about her feelings and what she really thinks/means. If somebody else left her without 'fighting' that implies that, actually, she wanted to talk but she (for whatever reason) didn't communicate that.

    The fact that she's going to counselling, though, means that on some level she does find talking to be helpful.

    What happens when the two of you talk? Do you think you make her feel listened to? Do you ask questions? Are your questions too big/vague? When she talks do you actually listen, or do you wait to jump in? When/if she puts herself down are you eager to 'correct' her or do you hear what she has to say? What is your tone of voice like?

    Is there anything you can do to make her feel truly listened to? When she says 'smothered' she might mean 'unable to formulate my thoughts and feelings'.
    Originally posted by copperclock
    I truly do not know the answer to those questions. I at least like to think I listen and take in what she says. and have changed how I listen to her as the relationship has progressed since I did used to jump in and try to make a conversation about things instead of letting g her talk. however now I listen and let her talk. and finish. before I might try to say something. if I have anything to say about it at all. if not I will just leave it be and not try to say something just for the sake of saying something.

    but I will think on what you have said so thank you.

    just one correction. she left her husband.

    personally I worry that she left her husband for me. and now she feels guilty about splitting her family up for her own desires but although we talked (we worked together but got friendly) whilst she was married we did not do anything until she had separated from her husband and also after I had separated from my ex wife

    - actually that sounds seedy and planned, from my perspective it was not planned, me and my wife was in counselling before my 'now' girlfriend even started working at the same office, granted there was instant chemistry between us, we kept things professional, even if we chatted as friends as well. i even left that job after about 4 months and started somewhere new, which is when my marriage finally broke down, and it was after this point that we chatted more - and thats when i found out her marriage had broken down as well
    Last edited by gonzo127; 10-10-2017 at 12:39 PM.
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    • PeacefulWaters
    • By PeacefulWaters 10th Oct 17, 12:49 PM
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    PeacefulWaters
    Wait a few days for her to contact you.

    Be missed.
    • gonzo127
    • By gonzo127 10th Oct 17, 12:52 PM
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    gonzo127
    Wait a few days for her to contact you.

    Be missed.
    Originally posted by PeacefulWaters
    i am doing, as i have not had any contact with her since Sunday, i just worry she will not miss me since i know she has had a very busy week planned, basically she has got something planned for every day this next week, so probably wont give her time to miss me yes i am being a little down on myself at the moment
    Drop a brand challenge
    on a £100 shop you might on average get 70 items save
    10p per product = £7 a week ~ £28 a month
    20p per product = £14 a week ~ £56 a month
    30p per product = £21 a week ~ £84 a month (or in other words one weeks shoping at the new price)
    • peachyprice
    • By peachyprice 10th Oct 17, 12:56 PM
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    peachyprice
    just worried she is going to think i am not trying, or wont fight for her or anything like that, basically some of the things she has said about her ex husband was that he never tried to keep her.

    so i am feeling as if i am between a rock and a hard place, since she has previously said she wanted her ex husband to fight for her, but also the fact i need to respect her wishes and not smother her.
    Originally posted by gonzo127
    How about writing to her, the old fashioned way.

    Send her a nice card, with a short simple message, just to let her know you're thinking of her. It's then up to her choose when/if she's ready to open it.

    Texts, phone calls and emails can put a lot of pressure on her to respond instantly, when may be she isn't ready, letters just don't have the same urgency and are really quite romantic. You'd at least know you'd reached out to her and she'd know you'd not just let her to get on with it.
    Accept your past without regret, handle your present with confidence and face your future without fear
    • gonzo127
    • By gonzo127 10th Oct 17, 1:12 PM
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    gonzo127
    How about writing to her, the old fashioned way.

    Send her a nice card, with a short simple message, just to let her know you're thinking of her. It's then up to her choose when/if she's ready to open it.

    Texts, phone calls and emails can put a lot of pressure on her to respond instantly, when may be she isn't ready, letters just don't have the same urgency and are really quite romantic. You'd at least know you'd reached out to her and she'd know you'd not just let her to get on with it.
    Originally posted by peachyprice
    i have actually thought about getting some flowers delivered with a similar idea that it doesnt require a response from her, but lets her know i am thinking about her
    Drop a brand challenge
    on a £100 shop you might on average get 70 items save
    10p per product = £7 a week ~ £28 a month
    20p per product = £14 a week ~ £56 a month
    30p per product = £21 a week ~ £84 a month (or in other words one weeks shoping at the new price)
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 10th Oct 17, 1:12 PM
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    Mojisola
    As Mojisola says, it's unfair for her to expect you to wait an unspecified amount of time for her to resolve any issues (she may not know how long she needs but that doesn't help you).

    I spent FAR to long 'fighting' for a relationship in the past. It was a waste of effort/emotion/time. But that was my experience, only you can decided what you are willing to put up with (or sacrifice)
    Originally posted by shiny76
    just worried she is going to think i am not trying, or wont fight for her or anything like that, basically some of the things she has said about her ex husband was that he never tried to keep her.
    Originally posted by gonzo127
    As shiny76 says, it's the unspecified time frame that's not fair on you.

    When you add to that her wish that you 'don't contact her' but also 'fight for her', she's putting you in an impossible position.

    The idea of a card is a good one - perhaps with the message that you won't contact her again for a month but you will be there for her if she wants to reach out to you.

    If that hasn't happened during the month, contact her again and ask how she is and whether she sees a future for the two of you.
    • pogofish
    • By pogofish 10th Oct 17, 1:39 PM
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    pogofish
    She's moving-on IMO. By the time she tells you this ,she will have likely resolved/reconciled any emotional issues on her side, leaving you to deal with yours entirely alone.

    Get yourself ready.

    Sorry.
    • Izadora
    • By Izadora 10th Oct 17, 2:21 PM
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    Izadora
    Sorry Gonzo, it sounds like you've got a lot to deal with at the moment!!

    i am struggling with the lack of any certainty, i do not want to lose her, but in some sick sort of way, i would prefer to know its over, so i can morn it and start to rebuild my life. instead of being left dangling not knowing what is happening, or what has happened.
    Originally posted by gonzo127
    I think that's the part that I would find hardest and I know that she's dealing with a lot of issues, which will take time, but leaving you dangling with no idea of a timescale (even if it's just "we'll talk about this again on ...") is unfair.


    i am doing, as i have not had any contact with her since Sunday
    Originally posted by gonzo127
    I know that with everything that's running through your head that must feel like an eternity but it is only two days.

    Counselling can throw up a lot of emotions and she's probably going through a process of re-evaluating her whole life. Trying to make sense of your thoughts and feelings can be a lot easier when you've got space to focus on nobody but yourself. Yes, it's kind of selfish to push you away but she may feel that she can't see the wood for the trees, as it were, while you're around.

    Nobody can know whether unraveling her issues is going to lead to realising that what you've got together is fantastic or thinking that she'd be better on her own so all you can do is live your life as best you can in the meantime and let her know that you'll be there when she's ready to talk.

    I think that giving her the space she's asked for is a good idea but also work out how long you think is an acceptable time to wait for an answer - don't tell her what you've decided as she's likely to think you're pressuring her even if it's a ridiculously long time - and try to remember that it's only x more days/weeks/months to slog through until you can call it quits and try to move on.
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