First off I want to say a huge thank you to everyone that has written their story here. I discovered this blog last summer and it kept me going through many rough days and nights. It seems that we all feel better reading each other's stories, so I will share mine. It's long, but I'll summarize.
My daughter and her ex boyfriend became very good friends when they were in middle school. He became her best friend when she got tired of her clique of girlfriends. They were briefly together in 8th grade, but then started their real relationship in 9th grade.
I kept my distance, as that's my nature not to trust many people in my personal life and I never wanted to be a "helicopter" mom. He has a great family, but they spent most of their free time at our house. He wound up being a part of our family (vacations, holidays, birthdays, etc.) and she a part of his. They are both high achievers and were extremely busy and involved with high school. Their relationship was very much like a college or young adult type, and it was not only adorable but inspiring. When they weren't together, they were constantly texting, so I knew what he was doing every day (for nearly 5 years).
As we all know, the daughter's boyfriend becomes your child too. It's the grocery shopping (he's an athlete and eats a lot), having his clothes in the laundry, realizing that her room is now " their" room, the family group texts, the dog knowing the sound of his car, planning for college, etc. Thoughts of this guy swirl in your head along with the rest of the family ( I have 2 daughters - no sons) - year after year. He was at our home almost every Sunday and usually a couple of evenings during the week. They generally hung out with us and watched movies.
So, they always knew they would separate for college. He started stressing about it when they were only 16. By senior year the growing apart was starting to occur. He got annoyed when she chose a school event over him and she wasn't super fond of the group of guys he was hanging out with. But, they had a fairly adult discussion about it over the holidays, with him saying that she needs to tell him how she feels about stuff even if it hurts.
As time ticked on last winter, she continued to distance herself which caused him to get frustrated, distrustful and jump to anger more quickly. They seemed to be doing much better and back to normal. Then " the talk" occurred, which was instigated by him. Basically, they both decided they needed to start separating and see new people. But, the "deal" was that they would be together still and on college breaks, and not flaunt any new "hookups". He wants her to keep an "open mind" about the future and specifically after college.
The next morning he texts her before school to say that it doesnt feel right and he's changed his mind. She has not. He overreacts and is really upset and angry.
Over the next few weeks they talk some, in person and by text. She tries to be logical, and she cries some. He alternates between angry, hurt, bargaining, etc. She's already started seeing a new guy, but lies and says she isn't. He has jumped back into a " friends with benefits" thing with his ex from 8th grade that he lost his virginity to ( and hasn't talked to in 3 years/ has no respect for) . He keeps this as secret as possible -this girl and my daughter can't stand each other.
He says he'll always love my daughter, but he cant be a part of her life as just friends.
He texted me once at the beginning of their breakup. He was confused and hurt. He understood that she needed more experiences as he had been the only guy she had slept with. He ( in his 18 year old brain) felt that since she wasn't his only one, he knew the difference and didn't need to experience anymore. He was fine with her going out and getting more life experience, but he didn't want to know about it. He sees a future with her and is baffled as to why she doesn't . We get a little closure with him saying he'll miss us because he really does love us like family. I tell him he still is part of my family and he's always welcome.
After about two weeks he finds out about my daughter's rebound guy and is able to recover after a few weeks of fuming. I see him around and he looks really angry and sad. After a few months she gets dumped abruptly by new guy. I refused to meet him or let him in our house. She was angry at the time, but then realizes he was just an infatuation and she understands my anger about it all.
We are finally into summer. She and her ex boyfriend wind up texting intermittently up until he leaves for school in July. It alternates between him frustrated and angry, and then apologizing for his anger and saying he will always be there for her. One event was that while she was whacked out on pain medication from a suery, she insisted on calling her ex and asking him to come over. He knew she was medicated ( we had previously joked at how funny she would be like that) and kept asking her why she wanted him. He hung up when she wouldn't say why, just kept repeating for him to come over ( he was out of town). When I suggested that I thought he was fishing for " I love you", she replies, "Well, duh. Of course I love him". She texts him a few days later to tell him she will always love him and she wants to stay in contact throughout college. He says that what he felt the night they broke up is still how he feels. ( this is now 3 months post break up) He wants her to keep an " open mind" for the future. She tells him that she doesn't want a relationship right now. He wants to see her again and she says she can't come over. He gets ****** and says that he can't wait to not be in the same town as her and for her to stop contacting him. He will call if he needs something
She's bummed, but doesn't think he means it. The night he leaves town he calls me with a question related to my job (I do work full time) and he calls her best friend. He tells her best friend that he's sad, but he wants my daughter to be happy, and she wasn't with him. She gets agitated and wants to know what all he said when he called me.
About 3 weeks later, my daughter starts a Facebook account and friend requests her ex. He immediately texts her, asking why and reminding her not to contact him. He then calls her, but she lets it go to voicemail. He leaves the message that he's upset because she hasn't shown him any respect throughout all this. He declines her friend request but allows her to follow him. A few days later he texts her asking why she's going through the effort of following him but won't talk. She replies that she wants to see how his life unfolds. During this whole time they have been watching each other's snapchat stories which get posted every few days. After he sees one she posts while she's at college, he send one final text (late August) telling her to have fun at college, but to stay safe. He had always worried about her getting drugged or raped.
So, where we stand now : my daughter is doing well in school (she's at one of the most competitive and largest universities), partying a lot and living the " hookup" life. She uses the term loosely - she's not having sex, and says the guys are douchebags. Just fooling around with no expectations and no emotions. She let me know that her ex is now is in a relationship with a girl at his school ( knowledge courtesy of Facebook). His college is rural and 1/2 the size of their high school. She says the girl seems a good fit for him, but she thinks she's a better catch. However, she said "he still watches every single one of my snapchat stories. Hehehe". She thinks it's " interesting" that he's in a relationship and not exploring freedom. That said, this is the longest he's gone without a girlfriend since he was 12. Apparently he was " with" this new girl from the start of the school year. Didn't make it official until 4weeks ago. Oh - and he messed around somewhat with the " friends with benefits" ex at Christmas break.
Neither one of them is behaving like the people I knew when they were together.
We talked with his parents post breakup. They also felt like they had lost a daughter, felt that their son was a better person when they were together, and they hoped they would reconcile in the future. His mom sought my daughter out to make sure she knew they still loved her.
So, I have been through the first 4 months of anxiety ( no sleep, weight loss, irregular heart beats), unbelievable anger at my daughter and reconciliation. My husband threatened divorce, but we are back on track ( he loves the ex, too). I'm still grieving and depressed. I started therapy a few months ago, but my therapist doesn't really get it. She can't. My younger ( 17 yr) daughter has been great. She misses her "big brother", and she truly empathizes with my sad days. I still cry a lot. Sometimes I can go about a week, but then I'll cry multiple times every day for a few weeks.
It is an awful nightmare that I get through one day at a time. My best analogy is that (for me) it is as if I have a son that is MIA in a war. I will always hope he will come back home, but statistics and logic say he won't.
It's so true, no one can understand it unless they have lived it. People tend to want to think it's kind of weird. But, I think that the 'boundary' gets crossed once you think of them as your child. Especially if you watch them grow up from 13-19 years old. My first reaction was that I felt like I had two of my kids fighting and one moved out because of it.
Anyway, thanks for reading. I have hundreds of pages in my journal, but this is more cathartic.
In my situation, I think that I will always be waiting for that 4 year mark to see what happens. I try not to hope, but I can't help it. It's been nearly a year and it still just feels wrong.
Any and all feedback / empathy is appreciated:)