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Relationship Health Message Board


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I am really happy for you, Headstand. It sounds like things are going as well as could be expected and all along, I have been extremely impressed by your mature and level-headed perspective on this situation. You sound like a very smart, understanding, and patient person, and I hope you realize that your GF is incredibly lucky to have your support and loyalty. It makes me happy to know there are still some brave and strong men out there who will do anything in their power to help the women they love get through traumatic ordeals and stand by them whenever possible. Actually, it makes me sad too because up until six months ago, I was certain that I had found a remarkably courageous, committed man quite like you who I would spend my life loving. We'd met four years earlier and almost immediately fallen in love and moved in together, and our relationship was extremely close and sturdy, nearly trouble-free except for his meddling parents who wanted him to come home and live under their roof and unchallenged control. Then I had my wisdom teeth removed and ever since, I've suffered from debilitating chronic facial pain due to nerve damage from the surgery. Through it all my ex was my rock--I felt so incredibly fortunate to have his unconditional support and care, as I don't know how I would have made it through the first year especially, when I was constantly seeing new doctors and trying new procedures and experimental medicines with horrific, scary side effects. It was a nightmare, but I thought we could get through anything together, and we managed to overcome my chronic pain together just as we'd successfully overcome one challenging outside obstacle after another since we met. But I guess the constant pain of either experiencing or nervously anticipating the horrendous pain, being moody/sick/groggy/irritable etc. as a result of my medications and their side effects, being sad and worried about the effect this debilitating condition would have on the future we'd always planned together eventually wore us down and my ex eventually had to distance himself from the situation, then finally leave :confused:.

I had never been dumped in any of my previous relationships, and so in addition to suffering my first heartbreak (which is always extra painful) and having to face losing all of the dreams we shared while still living in our home and thinking of him constantly, I had to cope all alone with my pain, medical treatments, and the probable loss of most if not all of my personal and professional dreams and goals. It was truly devestating, terrifying, and very nearly soul-crushing to face the two most difficult, painful ordeals of my life at the same time alone--it was also bad timing because it was the only period of my life since I started dating during which I lacked a boyfriend for more than a month or two at a time. Anyway, I'm sorry for going on and on about my own past experiences, and for what it's worth, I am quite pleased and proud of myself for the progress I've made in healing from the breakup so far. By sharing all that, I guess I'm trying to let you know how awful, even impossible at times, it can be to struggle with something terrible which never leaves you alone (my pain and your GF's painful memories) without totally falling apart, let alone managing to act normally and sustain a healthy relationship while it's all you can do to just make it through each day. I don't mean to make this all about me, but I thought I would share my story so you might gain a better understanding of what it's like for her to be constantly overshadowed by and struggling against something horrible which she can not change, erase, or control. Because a guy like you loves her and because she's been able to to sustain a successful relationship despite the horrors of her past, your GF must be an unusually strong and resiliant woman, and since she clearly loves you and values your relationship, I have little doubt that she'll do everything she can to improve her behavior. Sometimes when people are struggling with so much within themselves, they don't even realize how hurtful their behavior can be to others. It sounds like your chat helped clue her in, and I think it would really help her continue to avoid treating you badly if you stay in frequent communication with her about how things are going from your perspective and give her as much support and positive feedback as you possibly can. I hope for both of your sakes that things get better and stay that way and that your relationship is strong enough to stand up to his obstacle...I always thought that if me and my ex could make it through my chronic pain problem, we could get through anything...but then again, considering that we'd already jointly overcome more unwanted but unavoidable obstacles than many couples face in decades together, I consider our relationship ultimately successful, as I'm sure you will consider yours no matter how it plays out in the end. Just like you and your GF seem to be, my ex and I were invaluable and devoted friends, partners, and lovers during a pivotal and difficult period of our lives, and so I feel incredibly blessed for the time we shared and for all the amazing love and support he provided while we were together. Regardless of whether you and your GF stay together in the long run, I know that she will always remember you with great fondness, tenderness, and gratitude for standing by her and helpingher through an incredibly painful ordeal, and I truly hope that your relationship is luckier and less plagued by external obstacles than mine proved to be. Good luck and take care!





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