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Neuro-diverse break up

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  • #25621
    elle
    Participant

    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.

    • This topic was modified 9 months, 3 weeks ago by elle.
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  • #25625
    VM-grace653833
    Participant

    Hi @elle,

    I am so sorry to hear about the ending of your relationship. It sounds like leaving your partner was a difficult decision for you and has come with a lot of conflicting emotions. This is a common experience as people grieve the end of a romantic relationship, and many people experience waves of feeling lost, being in denial, and a yearning for the good times had together. Here is a link to one of Griefline’s resources on relationship loss; I wonder if it will be helpful for you to have a read through – https://griefline.org.au/resources/relationship-loss/

    I think it takes a lot of courage to make relationship decisions that align with our needs and desires, and sometimes these decisions are really hard to live with, even if we are the ones making them. It is evident in your words that you care deeply about each other and it must be so tough to have parted ways. It makes complete sense that you miss the safety of your partnership – three and a half years is a long time to share your life with somebody.

    It sounds like you are doing a great job of allowing the entirety of your experience to move through you on a day-to-day basis. I admire your honesty and self-awareness. Have you found anything in particular to be helpful as you move through these big emotions?

    We are here for you and I encourage you to keep reaching out as you feel you need it.
    You can also utilise the Griefline helpline if you want to explore what’s going on for you in real time with one of the helpline volunteers. The helpline number is 1300 845 745 and is available for you between 8am and 8pm from Monday-Friday.

    Take care.

    #25644
    vmpercy
    Participant

    Hey @elle,

    I can’t help but be moved by the depth of your words. The love you still carry for this man despite the challenges you faced together, and the self-awareness in recognising what was missing for you in the relationship are truly admirable. In our lives, we often come across these bittersweet situations where love alone isn’t enough and the frustration that comes with this realisation is immensely difficult.

    You’ve been so strong in navigating these emotions and doing what felt right for you, despite how hard it was. I’m curious, during these difficult times, have you found any activities or practices that bring you a little comfort?

    Remember, your feelings and experiences are valid and you’re not alone in this journey. Every post you share here helps build your network of support, and we all gain from your insights. It’s a courageous thing to express your emotions as openly as you have and we’re here for you.

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