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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 2
    • PeacefulWaters
    • By PeacefulWaters 10th Oct 17, 2:33 PM
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    PeacefulWaters
    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
    Originally posted by gonzo127
    Sweet thought. Don't do it. Be missed.
    • Helen2k8
    • By Helen2k8 10th Oct 17, 2:44 PM
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    Helen2k8
    The weekend before you get the kids sounds like a good point to send ONE message of some kind, saying you are thinking of her and won't contact her again during kids' week. Then you've got your "I'm still here" without the implication that you know best about what level of communication she needs.

    If I were in her shoes, and I got flowers, I'd be more annoyed that I hadn't been listened to, and then I'd be waiting for the next message, the next call, the next demand for attention.
    If I got a week no contact, then one message with actual boundaries (the "I won't contact you again for x amount of time") then that would tell me that I am being heard but not abandoned.
    • lillie421
    • By lillie421 10th Oct 17, 2:52 PM
    • 44 Posts
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    lillie421
    I am the same as you and like to talk problems through and like reassurance. It sounds to me like she does really love you and that she doesn't feel bad about your relationship but just herself. Maybe she needs time alone just to have space and when she is ready to talk, she will come back to you. Sometimes, space is good but don't let it go on for too long or you will eventually drift away. I think she has maybe had a hard time with illness and therapy and just needs time alone to find herself again.
    I hope everything works out for you both.
    • gonzo127
    • By gonzo127 10th Oct 17, 2:54 PM
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    gonzo127
    The weekend before you get the kids sounds like a good point to send ONE message of some kind, saying you are thinking of her and won't contact her again during kids' week. Then you've got your "I'm still here" without the implication that you know best about what level of communication she needs.

    If I were in her shoes, and I got flowers, I'd be more annoyed that I hadn't been listened to, and then I'd be waiting for the next message, the next call, the next demand for attention.
    If I got a week no contact, then one message with actual boundaries (the "I won't contact you again for x amount of time") then that would tell me that I am being heard but not abandoned.
    Originally posted by Helen2k8
    thank you for wording it like that, that makes a lot of sense. i will not do that.

    next dilemma - i know she has a job interview, and her eldest is getting their 11+ results both on Thursday, do you think a message to say good luck in the interview and hope X gets the results you are after. would be too much?

    it just feels wrong to by pass a couple of big events that i know about, without at least acknowledging them.
    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)
    • Judi
    • By Judi 10th Oct 17, 3:01 PM
    • 15,172 Posts
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    Judi
    She asked you to back off. I'd back off. She will contact you if and when she is ready.
    'Holy crap on a cracker!'
    • Fireflyaway
    • By Fireflyaway 10th Oct 17, 3:02 PM
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    Fireflyaway
    Firstly, do you plan for your relationship to always be a week non week off and never live together? I know its practical but is that what you want long term? Maybe this is a crossroads? It doesn't seem like a sustainable thing long term. Maybe that's dawned on her?
    Either way its unfair to leave you hanging. You appear to have been patient and understanding but you can't just sit and wait for her to call the shots as and when she feels like it.
    In this circumstance I'd write a letter. Explain you care, but need to know what the future holds because you can't live in limbo. Don't text or call just wait for a reply.
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 10th Oct 17, 3:05 PM
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    Comms69
    thank you for wording it like that, that makes a lot of sense. i will not do that.

    next dilemma - i know she has a job interview, and her eldest is getting their 11+ results both on Thursday, do you think a message to say good luck in the interview and hope X gets the results you are after. would be too much?

    it just feels wrong to by pass a couple of big events that i know about, without at least acknowledging them.
    Originally posted by gonzo127


    I would put something like this, if there's a decent reason (e.g. the job interview or the 11+)


    "Hi __, totally respect what you asked me to do, but I know you've had a lot on today, just wanted to let you know I was rooting for you today and hope the interview went well. Also hope A & B got the results they wanted and you can all celebrate some good news. Let me know if you want to have a catch up after the 'kids week' (whatever you refer to it as)" - then leave it at that.


    The ball is in her court firmly, but you have opened up a bit and shown support.
    • Helen2k8
    • By Helen2k8 10th Oct 17, 3:05 PM
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    Helen2k8
    thank you for wording it like that, that makes a lot of sense. i will not do that.

    next dilemma - i know she has a job interview, and her eldest is getting their 11+ results both on Thursday, do you think a message to say good luck in the interview and hope X gets the results you are after. would be too much?

    it just feels wrong to by pass a couple of big events that i know about, without at least acknowledging them.
    Originally posted by gonzo127
    Perhaps make that your message-with-boundaries, keep it to the point, and make it clear that you won't message again until a certain point.
    • gonzo127
    • By gonzo127 10th Oct 17, 3:20 PM
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    gonzo127
    Firstly, do you plan for your relationship to always be a week non week off and never live together? I know its practical but is that what you want long term? Maybe this is a crossroads? It doesn't seem like a sustainable thing long term. Maybe that's dawned on her?
    Either way its unfair to leave you hanging. You appear to have been patient and understanding but you can't just sit and wait for her to call the shots as and when she feels like it.
    In this circumstance I'd write a letter. Explain you care, but need to know what the future holds because you can't live in limbo. Don't text or call just wait for a reply.
    Originally posted by Fireflyaway
    i would not expect the situation to be like it forever and ever. but as they say, if its not broken dont fix it!

    it works, and we have not discussed the long term, because a lot will depend on the kids, and where they end up going to secondary school, and which parent they all decide they want to live with most once they are teenagers etc etc.

    and your guess is as good as any other on what has pushed this change, especially as she wont talk to me about it.
    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)
    • gonzo127
    • By gonzo127 11th Oct 17, 10:53 AM
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    gonzo127
    just want to say thanks to everyone who has posted, probably stopped me doing something stupid like driving around to hers last night, which had been on my mind since i will be unable to see her to sort this out now we have our kids with us, and i want to sort this. but realised that doing something like that would probably have made her finish things.

    anyways another day, feel a little better in myself, not going as crazy with my own mind and starting to get on with my own stuff, plenty of things to do this weekend with my daughter so should hopefully keep me busy and distracted.

    i will be sending her a good luck message tomorrow morning (if she hasnt been in contact before then - although not expecting anything) but going to keep it short and simple.

    otherwise thinking on the line in the sand idea for how long I will leave things and i think i will do this.
    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)
    • svain
    • By svain 11th Oct 17, 7:36 PM
    • 158 Posts
    • 299 Thanks
    svain
    The problem with situations like this is if you just roll over and let her call all the shots, it is likely she will do it again in the future in other ways. Sometimes people are just complicated and not worth the drama ... personally i would walk away without any further contact instigated by you ... with your dignity. If she wants/cares/loves you she will contact you ... however i would be very cautious about returning too quickly
    • jimbo747
    • By jimbo747 11th Oct 17, 8:15 PM
    • 239 Posts
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    jimbo747
    Agree with above. She's probably expecting you to be all home alone and miserable. Arrange a night out with the lads, a poker night, go to a footy match with kids or something. If she's on Facebook then post the obligatory picture showing how much fun you're having. Will probably prompt a text message.

    If that fails, start planning to move on and get in first with the 'lets call it a day' phone call.
    • gonzo127
    • By gonzo127 11th Oct 17, 11:40 PM
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    gonzo127
    Well I have been out for a cuppa with one of my friends from work today. I have also organised to meet up with one of my friends a week on Friday (next Friday without my daughter) and going to contact another one of my friends to see if she wants to go ice skating on monday. so have already started to organise my life again

    I have also chosen my line in the sand day today so I think im doing well
    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)
    • gonzo127
    • By gonzo127 13th Oct 17, 11:46 AM
    • 4,307 Posts
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    gonzo127
    just a short update,

    we exchanged a couple of messaged yesterday about the interview (she got the job) anyways, that didnt actually make me feel better as i expected, on top of this my daughter came home and told me one of the boys in her class had been hitting her on the arm all day and it was hurting, and then to cap it off had 'stabbed' her with the white board marker, like WTF?!?!?!

    so after all that i found it very difficult to sleep last night, finally fell asleep at about 1 ish. and woke up at 3:30 from a very 'angry' dream, was so worked up i didnt manage to get back to sleep oh well i guess it is Friday the 13th so hey what can you expect.

    so i am struggling a little today as i am very tired, everything is feeling much worse than it is, but i have spoken to my daughter teacher about yesterday and i have got myself a free 3 day trial at a local gym so i have decided i am going to go next week and see if i can get into it and so join (only £20 a month on a rolling 30 day contract so not too bad),

    kind of realised i have now organised something every day next week haha, ice skating Monday, gym Tuesday, daughter Wednesday, gym Thursday and then going out with a mate drinking on Friday oh and hung over Saturday im sure.

    once again thanks to everyone who has posted, i have re-read all the comments multiple times just so i can keep myself grounded
    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 13th Oct 17, 12:01 PM
    • 467 Posts
    • 335 Thanks
    Comms69
    just a short update,

    we exchanged a couple of messaged yesterday about the interview (she got the job) anyways, that didnt actually make me feel better as i expected, on top of this my daughter came home and told me one of the boys in her class had been hitting her on the arm all day and it was hurting, and then to cap it off had 'stabbed' her with the white board marker, like WTF?!?!?!

    so after all that i found it very difficult to sleep last night, finally fell asleep at about 1 ish. and woke up at 3:30 from a very 'angry' dream, was so worked up i didnt manage to get back to sleep oh well i guess it is Friday the 13th so hey what can you expect.

    so i am struggling a little today as i am very tired, everything is feeling much worse than it is, but i have spoken to my daughter teacher about yesterday and i have got myself a free 3 day trial at a local gym so i have decided i am going to go next week and see if i can get into it and so join (only £20 a month on a rolling 30 day contract so not too bad),

    kind of realised i have now organised something every day next week haha, ice skating Monday, gym Tuesday, daughter Wednesday, gym Thursday and then going out with a mate drinking on Friday oh and hung over Saturday im sure.

    once again thanks to everyone who has posted, i have re-read all the comments multiple times just so i can keep myself grounded
    Originally posted by gonzo127
    I know it's clich!d but try not to reply straight away
    • seven-day-weekend
    • By seven-day-weekend 13th Oct 17, 12:06 PM
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    seven-day-weekend
    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.
    Originally posted by oystercatcher
    I'm glad this worked for you, but actually was just going to say exactly the opposite.

    I think the OP should say that he considers himself not in a relationship at the moment (tell her why, that the uncertainty is too hard to bear), but that he is always at the end of the phone to discuss things should she wish to talk about it at some point.

    Having said that, I married the man I love when I was 21, I am now nearly 68 and am still married to him, so what do I know, probably am talking through my backside
    To love someone is to learn the song in their heart and to sing it to them when they have forgotten it
    'I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen. Not only because I see it, but because I see everything by it': C.S. Lewis
    St. Augustine — 'In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.'
    • bagpussbear
    • By bagpussbear 13th Oct 17, 4:03 PM
    • 758 Posts
    • 2,539 Thanks
    bagpussbear
    I just wanted to offer you a hug. I think you are handling this situation well at a time when you will be hurting.

    The counselling will have brought up issues for her, and she may well be questioning who she is and what she wants out of life.

    This could go one way or another, but at some point she has to talk to you. There are two of you in this relationship, and she needs to realise that at some point, its not all about what she wants and your patience will run out.

    It's great you are seeing friends and keeping busy. If, sadly, your relationship ends, then you have friends to lean on.

    In your shoes, I wouldn't actually send the next 'first' text.

    I like the idea another poster on here said about maybe a photo on Facebook of you having a nice night out. It might give her a thought that she might lose you, which in this situation might not be a bad thing.

    You sound a nice chap, and I hope this all works out for the best for you.
    • gonzo127
    • By gonzo127 13th Oct 17, 8:37 PM
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    gonzo127
    I just wanted to offer you a hug. I think you are handling this situation well at a time when you will be hurting.

    The counselling will have brought up issues for her, and she may well be questioning who she is and what she wants out of life.

    This could go one way or another, but at some point she has to talk to you. There are two of you in this relationship, and she needs to realise that at some point, its not all about what she wants and your patience will run out.

    It's great you are seeing friends and keeping busy. If, sadly, your relationship ends, then you have friends to lean on.

    In your shoes, I wouldn't actually send the next 'first' text.

    I like the idea another poster on here said about maybe a photo on Facebook of you having a nice night out. It might give her a thought that she might lose you, which in this situation might not be a bad thing.

    You sound a nice chap, and I hope this all works out for the best for you.
    Originally posted by bagpussbear
    thanks.

    I am trying. but you are right it hurts like hell. made worse by only having 2 hours sleep last night I'm sure Well that and a couple of big things have happened which I really want to tell her about. but can't. like rar!!!!!

    such as the organisation I work for. and she works with (in a different organisation) has just told us that it is going to be having a massive reorganisation and will be merging with 2 others. so this will effect her new job. and that my daughter and step daughter (the daughter of my ex wife who as far as I am concerned is my daughter as well and who I see as often as I can since she is 20 lol) have both told me that my ex wife is looking to sell the matrimonial house. so I should get the money from my divorce to allow me to finally buy my own house instead of renting!

    just wish my friends lived closer. my best friend is like 4 hours drive away, but she has been video calling me every day which has helped. all my other friends are from work and live between 30 mins to an hours drive away. so not easy to just pop over for a cuppa and a catch up.

    overall I have to say I really do not have a good opinion of therapists and counsellors as first I went to the marriage counsellor and consequently my marriage ended within 6 months. now my girlfriend has been seeing a therapist and seems like my relationship will have ended in 6 months like wtf is there something wrong with me?!?!
    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)
    • Primrose
    • By Primrose 14th Oct 17, 2:12 PM
    • 7,675 Posts
    • 25,812 Thanks
    Primrose
    It sounds as if there's a lot about to be happening in your own life going forward that will impact on you, quite apart from your romantic relationship.
    However hard it is, I would keep this information to yourself although previously you would have naturally wanted to share it. Regard them as your focus points going forward so that you have other issues (including hopefully some positive ones) to look forward to. For the moment and in the current circumstances, they are YOUR issues now, not shared ones.


    If your girlfriend/partner decides she wants to break up, these issues will play no part for her (although the job re-structuring might). However, if she has asked for no contact, being out of this information loop is part of the deal she currently wants and shouldn't be used as any kind of incentive to perhaps persuade her to stay in the relationship.

    If there's this little bit of you which is self-protecting, that is all to the good and will help you move on more quickly if things finally break up between you. It's good you're keeping in daily touch with a friend. This will help anchor you too. We often neglect our friends when everything is going well for us so keeping these ties intact will also help you move forward without feeling totally in isolation.


    It well be that your girlfriend has also heard rumours about the job changes. Whether she chooses to break silence and flag them up to you or not may also be an indication of how she may be feeling about any shared future.
    • tgroom57
    • By tgroom57 14th Oct 17, 5:46 PM
    • 1,272 Posts
    • 12,556 Thanks
    tgroom57
    and i decided i needed to just raise it so we could talk about what the problem was.
    ^^ this

    From your description of your lovely weekend away, this isn't what I was expecting you to write next.
    Can you stop asking - "Are we there yet ?"
    - and instead just enjoy the journey? ie some pleasant time together.
    I'm in a long distant relationship and for me once or twice a day (calling) is enough, but sometimes in the past that hasn't been enough for him.
    Also, her treatments you mention in the first post would have been both unsettling and stressful at a biological level (especially chemo), so anything you can think of to improve how you both manage stress is a big help.
    Good luck.

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