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I was seeing a man who I loved dearly but who wasn’t what I needed as a partner. He is the sweetest and most loyal man I have ever met, made me feel so safe in his company and had a great sense of humour. I miss these parts of him so much.
We were a neuro-diverse couple (he has diagnosed ADHD, ASD and childhood related trauma, and I have diagnosed depression, anxiety and psych evaluated ASD traits). Needless to say we had many challenges, including understanding each other and communicating, but stayed together for 3 and a half years. The most strenuous part of our relationship (and eventually the breaking point) was his ignorance. While I recognised my personal challenges and sought help, he did not, and chose to ignore the things that were hurting him. He would agree to do things and constantly forget, he would make promises and not keep them, and when I said that I needed more from him he said he would change. We had this same fight over our entire relationship, had many estranged periods and a few temporary separations. Many times I felt lonely because my needs were not being met, I did not feel like an equal (in fact I felt a bit like his mum, pushing him and reminding him to do the most basic tasks). He was unreliable, but he loved me with his whole heart, and I believed him when he said he could do better.
Things slowly improved over our time together, but truly at a snail’s pace (it took him a year to learn to arrive to events on time). He finally agreed to see a therapist, but by that point I had drifted too far. While he adored me, he would not share his difficult emotions with me, his worries, his stressors, unless I probed or he’d had something to drink. I would work hard to understand myself and him, asked him if I was setting realistic goals for us, if I could do more to support his diagnoses, and he loved me more because of it. He kept asking me to marry him, and I alway thought one day I would say yes.
It killed me to break it off. There’s so much more I wanted for us, but he didn’t even fight for us. Just accepted we were done. I’m feeling it all; anger, depression, some days I’m still in denial and it takes everything not to call him and bargain. I miss his touch, his smile, his laugh, his ‘how was your day’ texts, and his safety. I mourn what could have been, and what never was. If he could have just been honest with me, communicated in real time what was possible for him and what he needed support, patience and distance from I would have respected his needs. Maybe we would have made it. I’m so lost.
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