I’ve had quite a traumatic year in that my father died just one year ago I’ve managed to cope by revolving my life around my mother who is particularly grief sticken. I’ve blocked out how I feel so much so that I seemed to have created a very hard shell which closes of anyone who gets close to me. For the past 4 months I have been seeing a wonderful guy, but having made him feel rejected he couldn’t take anymore and has split up with me. He said I never needed him and he felt as though I had used him as a dalliance and that I never really had time for him.The sad truth is that I fell in love with him along the way but never realised how much I truly cared for him until he broke up with me. In fact this break up has made me realise with the support of friends, how closed off I had been to everyone. I felt so overwhelmed by my mothers grief that I never really took care of my wants and needs.After he broke up with me I sent a letter explaining how I truly feel, then I phoned him to tell him how I really do care but I just had great difficulty opening up to someone and becoming vulnerable. He doesn’t seem to believe me and thinks I’m only saying these things because he’s finished with me, and seems very hurt and resentful.But how do I get through to him without pressuring him. I tried a week after the split to meet up with him but it never happened, I guess he just wasn’t ready. It’s only been 3 weeks but feels an eternity to me. He’s someone important to me as I see a future with him, I’ve never met anyone like him.How do I get through to him that I do truly care about him and want him to give me second chance?? Please help. I’ve had time to really think and put things into perspective. I’ve supported my mother so much that I have blocked off those who truly care about such as my friends, I never realised what I was doing until this split and some long talks with my friends. I have felt so numb for a long time since dad died and having looked after my mother I just felt as though I had nothing more to give.This guy is the best thing that has ever happened to me, but my mother made me feel guilty, she said that ‘now that you have someone in your life you won’t bother with me anymore’, this truly hurt me and I felt as though I wasn’t been loyal to my mother though I visit her every other weekend, take her away on holidays and call her three times a day. Now I think to myself when will I be happy? How can I make this kind sincere and caring guy put away his hurt and resentment and see the real me who wants to give so much back to him. Help?Thank you for any support you can give.
You are in a bind.While you took care of your mother, your boyfriend felt neglected. His hurt has turned to anger and his heart has turned as hard as a stone.At this point, all you can do is tell him that you completely understand his hurt and anger over your detachment. And, because of your track record, tell him, you don’t ask him to trust you. All you ask is for another chance to prove your love to him.If he agrees to try again with you, tell him you expect him to keep up his guard until you have proven yourself to him over time. You might also point out that you’ve learned something important about yourself–that your mother can manipulate you into taking care of her, and that you didn’t even realize that you were putting her ahead of yourself, and by consequence, ahead of him.Encourage him to not interpret your actions as directed against him or to interpret your behavior as a sign that you never cared. Try to help him to see that there is another way to look at what happened. That he received the fallout of your inability to assert yourself and set limits with your mother. In other words, what you did was not a reflection of how you felt about him, but rather a reflection of your own lack of assertiveness.After explaining the above, I would tell him that you are now aware of the problem and want to heal it. You might also tell him that you realized that you were too terrified to admit to yourself how much you love him. What if he died too? You can tell him that in a sick sort of way your detachment indicated how much you care but were terrified to admit it to yourself–for fear of loving and losing again.That’s the best I can offer. Own your issues, accept his feelings, don’t try to break down his wall, accept it and ask him to maintain it while giving you another chance. And, try to get him to reinterpret your behaviors in a way that will be less hurtful to him.Good luck. Let me know how you succeed.