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Advice on dealing with a breakup? Developed Anxiety after breakup



New member
Jan 20, 2019
Currently going through what I feel is the worst time of my life (24M).
If you want the TL: DR of each section - just look for the parts in bold.
Part 1: Overview of relationship
Here's the overview. My girlfriend of almost 2 years (19F) I met through work. We hit it off and started dating. I was always very mindful of every stage of the relationship, even waiting until the 2nd/3rd date to even kiss her. She asked me why and I explained that I wanted to make sure I really liked her going into this and wasn't just lusting for her. So we start off as a normal couple, meeting up now and again throughout the week. I see her almost every day at work, and I used to move her car closer to the exit as I left, and linger around to spend time with her for about an hour every day. Very smitten at first.
Fast forward just under a year in. So she basically stays at my place every day, but 'denies' moving in as she still lives out of a bag. Bear in mind, she did not put towards any bills while at my place and was never asked too.
Keynote here: at this point, she had started a tattoo apprenticeship, so had to travel a lot from work, to the studio, to my place. UK here so basically she didn't have enough mileage on her car insurance to keep this up, and eventually started forking out something like £300-£400 a month to keep on adding miles to her insurance. She couldn't afford initially the extra miles when first getting her insurance anyway. I see this is upsetting her and is obviously a ridiculous amount of money so I tell her that she shouldn't feel like she HAS to stay here to be with me (although I mentioned how I loved how she did but also that I am not putting weight on the fact I may not see her every day at the cost of her financial and emotional wellbeing) so I would be fine with that, and we would stay at her parents place more to make it easier. (which kind of happened, but still stayed at my place more).
After a few months, my friend (who I had been planning on moving in with for YEARS, had just got a job that would allow him to do so) messaged me about looking for houses, so I entertained the thought. My girlfriend (which I kind of get) took this as that I didn't want to move in with her and obviously don't see a future with us. I explained we'd been planning this for years and it never fell through and that I probably was not going to do it anyway (as I am currently saving for a deposit for my own house).
This sparked her to start looking for apartments to rent nearby. I explained to her that I really didn't want to move out regardless of who with, because I had been saving for a few years now. I also explained that if that's what she wants to do I will back her 100% and still appreciate that it's what she wants to do and support her throughout. So she goes ahead with it. With it being renting, she needed a guarantor for her bills, none of her family could commit to that. So I stepped in, and signed up as her guarantor. (A few people told me that this was a stupid idea, but I knew in my head this was me still showing my commitment to all of this.)
When she moves in, I help her move everything in, build furniture for her etc. My parents then tell me this house of hers is going to make or break the relationship. I shrug it off, looking at it rationally and thinking, I'm not going to let it, as I've told her I'll still support her and appreciate her decision, so she should appreciate mine right?
Fast forward a few more months, I stay at hers regularly, roughly 3-4 nights a week, live out of a bag, take all my laundry home to wash etc. She then asks me to put towards bills, and tells me she has been talking to her boss and family members who all agree I'm being out of order and living there for a free ride. Confused at the fact why EVERYONE else had heard this before me, I explain that I told her beforehand I didn't want to pay towards the bills etc because of my house goal, and made it VERY clear beforehand. But still, approaching everything in the relationship as an open book (I told her very early on I want ALL cards on the table, never be afraid to speak your mind etc). I understood where she came from, and offered to pay towards the food I would use, considering in the UK anyway, I would not affect her bills (heating, water, electric etc) by any more than £10-£15. So I begin to pay her £120 a month to help towards food. This again causes a few arguments as this is not deemed enough.
I explain to her that I know how much food cost is, and I will definitely not be eating £120 of food in the time I'm there and this should be more than enough. I'll just add here that she did the food shops and would come home with tons of snacks and random crap that I didn't eat. During one of the arguements, she got one of the receipts and said 'I don't eat any of this stuff it's all yours and the shop alone came to £90.) I then proceeded to take said receipt off her and highlight almost everything on the receipt I DIDN'T want or ask for and that she cannot blame me for buying this. Argument after argument I eventually caved and thought, this is upsetting us both, let's meet in the middle and took ownership. She said she wants me to pay £120, and every single food shop too. I said I'll pay £120, and then pay 50% of all shopping too whatever it would add too. She haggles me to £150 and 50% of food shops, so I agree as I'm sick of the arguments.
TL: DR - Girlfriend hated the fact I didn't move in with her, and hated the fact I wasn't going to pay half of her bills.
Part 2: The real issue
So again a few months in, she has a steady customer base, I think great, support her, buy her some stuff to help her on the way etc. All of a sudden, a customer pops up (Bear in mind she gets her customers through Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat so I'm aware she is on her phone a lot of the time). We will call him X. X almost immediately says to her during one of their chats about tattoos 'Let's run away together'. She very quickly tells and shows me the message along with her reply saying 'No thanks I have a boyfriend'. The guy plays it off cool, I immediately tell her I don't like the guy. This guy then proceeds to come in for tattoos every other week.
A few more weeks in, at this point she talks to X almost every day, sometimes till late in the evening, and I begin looking at her phone when she's on it to check if it's him, and it is probably 80% of the time. I now start to get uncomfortable and develop a bit of paranoia (knowing already I am a jealous person, I try to calm myself down.) She then begins catching me looked at her phone when she's on it and confronts me. I tell her that she talks to him too much and I don't like it, she says he is just a customer and a friend and that they only talk about tattoos, because of the frequency he's in he's always asking about a new tattoo. I tell her cool, but I still don't like it, and she drops me with the old 'Am I not allowed to have friends then?' to which I reply, 'Didn't say you can't be friends, your just making me uncomfortable with how much you talk to the guy' turns into another small argument, we both move on.
He goes in for another tattoo, and while I'm messaging her, I get a snapshot from her. I open it, and it's a selfie he took on her phone in the studio. I instantly get angry and confront her that night. I approach it again, open-minded. I tell her I didn't appreciate getting a selfie from her phone from the guy I don't like and because of his intentions. She shrugs it off and says she hasn't done anything wrong and then apologises on his behalf 'she guesses'. I accept this as the only apology I'm going to get.
Days pass, she is still messaging him frequently, and all of a sudden the guy sends me a friend request on Facebook. I immediately start arguing with her and kicking off and ask the question if he knows I don't like him and why, she says Yeah he knows. I begin to shout and argue about why he has sent the friend request then only to receive a smirk and a reply 'I don't know I'm not him it's just a friend request' and I explain if he knows I don't like him and why, he's doing it to antagonise me.
At this point, I know something has been off with her for a few months (roughly before she actually started talking to him).
We argue and she accuses me of thinking she's cheating on me, and I even say that that is not what I think but that she's not taking my side with something that's upsetting me. She replies that there is no sides and that it's a friend request.
We argue, and go to bed. Later that week, he goes in for another tattoo. I'm at work, and get a message from her saying 'Finished at work and see you at home' approximately 20 minutes later, I get another friend request. Immediately print screen it and send it to her and start arguing again, asking her why has he done it again and if she mentioned it at work. She said they mentioned it for about 20 seconds. I demand a talk later that night about it as at this point it is sending me insane. I enter the house and ask her why she looks like she is in a mood, She replies saying 'I'm not, you wanted to talk?' and I ask her 'Then why do you look like you're ready to argue..'. We sit down and talk.
I tell her how what she is doing is hurting my feelings and that I'm trying to control it myself but she keeps making it worse, and we begin arguing again. I tell her I don't think she's cheating but there is something she isn't telling me, and she agrees.
She opens up and tells me she hasn't been happy for a while, and that we don't talk and laugh and play etc. I immediately explain that this is normal two years in and that she's comparing our relationship with all of her newer friendships where she doesn't know the ins and outs of their life, she disagrees and says we have grown apart. She then asks me to leave for a few days, so I do. I immediately go to a relative of hers who she admitted to speaking too before we had the chat, and ask for advice on what to do. The relative, after hearing the full story, says that my girlfriend had not said it in this much detail and that it does sound kinda bad and she agrees with me, but ultimately if she's not happy she's not happy.
After a few days apart, she asks to meet. I ask if she's going to break up with me and she skirts the question for the entire conversation, and after about 20 minutes I tell her to just get my stuff ready to make it less awkward (sidenote: I eventually find out she told her relative she asked me to talk and I simply replied with 'pack my bags'. I showed said relative the full conversation and even she then felt like she had been lied too).
We meet up, and we end up breaking up. I go home and I'm half upset, half relieved as I saw this coming, as we had been arguing for a while now.
About 6 days later, in one of my low moods, I actually write out a note saying 'I'm sorry I couldn't make you happy' and decide to drop it off at her house early hours in the morning on a way back from my friends. I pull up to the house, only to find X's car there. Immediately I panic and post the note and sit in my car. I couldn't leave this, so I knock on the door. (bear in mind they are in bed as it's 1 am and all the lights are out.) I call, no answer, knock again, no answer. I throw a few pebbles at the window as I can't leave this.
She rings me and says why are you calling? I immediately ask if that is his car and she admits it, and says she isn't going to lie to me yeah it is his. I ask why and how she could tell me he was just a friend etc, and she says 'nothing was ever going on while we were together' and continue to ask if everything you said was true why was he there. She replied by saying 'What do you want me to say'?
The next day consists of me barraging her with texts arguing with her and asking why, and she continuously says to me that she has never lied to me and that nothing was going on, and that even with him there, regardless of what's going on, they are still just friends and nothing more, and that she doesn't see it further than that.
At this point, I have slept a total of 5 hours in three days as I physically can't sleep, I wake up to horrible nightmares of her doing things with the guy or even random people, I wake up sweating or it feels like I'm wide awake isntantly. Are these panic attacks? I was given Diazapan but it hasn't helped. I haven't eaten a single meal in this time and keep throwing up. Later in the week, we arrange to meet as I said to her 'I've been left in the absolute dark on everything and need answers'. We meet up and it's kind of awkward. I proceed to ask questions. Q&A below.
  • How long were you unhappy?
    • A while, about 6 months (roughly when she moved into her place)
  • She mentions her parents ALSO said this house would make or break us, and she early on realised it would break us.
  • Did you ever lie to me, you have nothing to lose, was there ever a plan to leave me for him or a conversation about you two?
    • Nothing like that, why we have split up literally has nothing to do with him as I was unhappy for a while
  • Why and when was he there?
    • Because he makes her feel better and she wanted him there, and he was there the night before I found them, that night, and the night after
  • Have you done anything with him?
    • That's none of your business now, regardless.
  • How did you move on so quickly?
    • I haven't moved on, I do still love you, but I just wasn't happy with us.
  • If you haven't moved on why is he there and why are you doing stuff with him?
    • Because I can, and regardless we are still just friends, we are not doing this to develop a relationship or anything like that
  • Why didn't you take my side when all those things upset me?
    • Because at that point I just didn't care enough, and in my head, I had broken up with you a month previous.
  • Why were you always arguing?
    • Because I was unhappy but could never bring myself to admit it.
  • Do you want to still talk after this?
    • Yeah I would like to stay friends
TL: DR - Girlfriend dumps me as was unhappy for months, I then catch the guy at her place, and she acts like it's fine and doesn't see the issue with it.
So here's the end.
It's now been approx 2 weeks since this happened, I've only just started eating (after losing almost a stone, 10lbs in a week) and now frequently drive past him on my commute to work, meaning the route his taking means he is coming from her place.
I still keep feeling waves of sadness and anger. I can't sleep, and keep waking to nightmares of her doing things with him, or even on some occasions even more people. I wake up sweating and feeling like I'm wide awake even after being fast asleep. Everyone is telling me time will heal, but I can't help but keep going back to the thoughts of betrayal, and constantly over analysing everything she said, finding the smallest plot holes in her story, dwelling on them.
I occasionally come to terms with the fact we are not together anymore, or that he's there, but it's the actual act of feeling that I still feel like an absolute tool and idiot for pretty much letting this happen, meanwhile I'm sat here having the worst time of my life, and in my head she is sat enjoying her time doing whatever the F she wants with this guy. A few girls I mentioned this too said she is probably going through the same just using him to ease the pain.
What do I even do at this point? I do get I will get over it, I do get I will move on. I now feel like I will overreact to any future relation who is on their phone, I feel like no matter how it looks or how I am with someone, it turns out I can't actually trust them apparently. Everyone is telling me to just leave her to it and move and that it's her decision to do what she's done and no one can change that, I agree, but why is everyone okay with this? Why is everyone okay with what she has done? Will she actually feel as bad as me? Are people just sparing my feelings? I also can't help constantly checking her social media, as I get I was used to knowing the absolute ins and outs of her life and know that I'm essentially getting the 'withdrawal' from that. She messaged me the other day and I told her flat out im removing her from everything as I can't do it.