My girlfriend left me because I never met her father before he died

My girlfriend and I were together for almost five years. She had a rough childhood, full of physical and emotional abuse by her father, and was very low-contact with him for many years.

She didn’t want me to meet him, and although I found it unusual at first, I eventually accepted it. She told me the terrible, monstrous things he’d done to her and her mother, and I started hating him. I thought he was a bad person who didn’t deserve to have a family.

Around two years ago, her father reached out to her. He had a ‘come-to-Jesus’ moment and admitted all his wrongdoings in the past and wanted to try to have some sort of relationship with his daughter.

She wouldn’t even hear him out at first, but after a drunken night of talking, she decided to at least try to give it a shot.

They started talking every once in a while, and their relationship seemed to be improving. It seemed as if he truly changed.

My girlfriend was very cautious, and there were times she’d come to me in tears, but overall, he was a lot different. It was as if his personality did a 180-degree turn; he was a lot calmer, more patient, more supportive, and understanding.

They rarely had arguments, and he would often talk about his regrets in raising her, how sorry he was, and how proud of her he was.

However, she was still unsure about introducing me to him because she was afraid he’d try to ruin it. I still hated him, as I didn’t believe people ever truly change, so I didn’t really mind that much.

Around a year ago, her father was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor. It was a very confusing and overwhelming period for my girlfriend, and she would often wonder if the tumor was the reason for his sudden personality change.

There were lots of tears, empathy, and sadness, and she took it very badly. It was a total switch, considering that only a year before, she didn’t care if he lived or died.

This is when she started bringing up the idea of introducing me to him. She said he often asked about me and wanted to meet me, and she knew that I hated him, but it would mean a lot to her if I met him before he passed. He was in treatment, and it was very hard on him; he was so weak.

She said she’d let me know when the right time came. I said I’d be happy to, but when the day came, I was honestly too freaked out and uncomfortable with the idea. I backed out and honestly told her that I’m just not ready.

She wasn’t angry; she said she understood and that it was fine. She said she wouldn’t ask me again and that I should let her know when I’m ready, and that was that. She never asked me again.

The months passed, and his condition was getting worse. She would update me on how he was doing, and I could see how hard she was taking it. She often talked about how she finally had her dad, and now he was being taken away from her.

They knew the end was near when he started getting confused and wouldn’t recognize anyone. He passed away shortly after. My girlfriend was unusually calm when she called me.

When I asked for funeral details, she just said, ‘You didn’t bother to meet him when he was alive. Why bother now?’ She wouldn’t give me the details and said she didn’t want me there. So I didn’t go.

She was becoming distant in the following weeks, but I expected it; she was grieving. What I didn’t expect was for her to break up with me. Her reasons were that I never made an effort to meet her father before he died.

She said that in the year that he was dying, not once did I even try. She asked me several times, and I said I’d do it, and once he was finally sane enough from all the treatment to meet me, I chickened out.

She hoped I’d do it on my own terms, and I never did. And she knows that no matter what, she can never, ever forgive me for that. So she’s leaving me.

I don’t know what my excuse is. I know she said she wouldn’t ask again, and I know she was waiting for me to be ready for it. But I guess I was still waiting for her to ask. Had she asked just once after that, I swear on my life I would have done it.

I just felt awkward and stupid to initiate it myself. And I admit it’s my fault. I’m not trying to find a way to fix this because I know that I can’t. I’m just so sorry. So sorry.

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