Helping him through a breakup.
Hello, Im a 24 year old female who has been involved with an absolutely amazing man for almost a year now. We live in different states, but manage to spend about a weekend a month together. I've always adored his partner without being very close with her. Right before a recent visit last weekend, they ended their nearly two year relationship. It's a really nasty breakup (he had to kick her out and get a restraining order) and I was glad to be there to give him emotional support. But the context of our relationship has always been that him and I were lovers and best friends, not partners. Now that he is out of his primary relationship, its clear to both of us that that context may be changing. We both want him to heal from this breakup in a healthy way, and want to give him the space to deal with it on his own without having me fall into a rebound-default-girlfriend mode, but are struggling to figure out how to set those boundaries. Has anyone ever been through this and have advice for how to help him through this and keep our relationship healthy?
And how about reading the stages of grief together? Keep tabs on his processing through them?
And him spreading the burden around so it is not all on your shoulders? Talk to other family, friends for support during his break up grief? It is fine to share some with you, but share with others so the intensity or volume knob isn't ALL broadcast in your direction.
Could also give a time limit -- "We are not getting serious or talking about getting serious or building a future together until a year from now to create the space needed for grief" -- then when the year's up you can check in. Grief may or may not be done in a year. But in the meanwhile you have a measurable limit -- "Year's not up yet. Let's honor the agreement." When you check in if more time is needed can always make a new agreement.
Just some ideas.
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