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Rae1991

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About Rae1991

  • Rank
    Advanced Member

Profile Information

  • Your gender
    Female
  • Location (city, state)
    Chicago

Previous Fields

  • Your relationship to the individual who died
    NA
  • Date of Death
    2010,2011
  • Name/Location of Hospice if they were involved:
    NA

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  1. In your specific case, it seems legitimate, sorry I didn't clarify that. And absolutely, if they do it once, they'll probably do so again, especially if its to the same person. At least he recognizes that flaw in himself now and won't hurt anyone else again. It just sucks that his realization had to be at your expense, but at least you've regained your peace with it and understand you would not have lasted anyways. --Rae
  2. When someone says this to me, it makes me wonder these things: 1. Is he saying this to absolve himself of guilt or self-responsibility for treating you poorly? 2. Is he using this as an excuse to not commit, to lead you on, to manipulate, confuse, to break up with you or with other ill intent? 3. Does he actually feel this way or is he trying to make you feel bad for him? These are questions I'd ask myself and assess the situation based on his behavior, patterns, words and actions. I've had guys try that line with me because after a few weeks or dates, they're too cowardly to actually say they don't want to see me anymore or aren't interested. I also had one try it as a means to manipulate and "love bomb" me (a manipulator/narcissist tactic) into giving him what he wanted (ex. He asked for money and a key to my house after our second date. Stating "you're perfect, you'd make me a better man because I am not good enough for you. I want to take our relationship to the next level.") We were not in a relationship and had only met a few weeks before this. I blocked his number and ran for the hills. But unfortunately, some women (and men) fall for that ploy and end up financially supporting that person. Thankfully, I knew better and ran away. Be wary when people say things to you that sound so endearing, especially if they've behaved poorly, are untrustworthy or you don't know them very well.
  3. Thank you Kayc, for pointing this out as well. His refusal to acknowledge your feelings as a result of his actions shows that he is acting completely and utterly self-centered. That should be a clue to you that he doesn't feel you're allowed to be effected by his behaviour, and that he doesn't really care if you are or not, at least not at this point in time. Tim acted the exact same way, as if I wasn't allowed to feel hurt by how he acted because I wasn't the one grieving. Even though, I was grieving the loss of our relationship, he didn't perceive it as that because he was grieving a different loss, a feeling he didn't believe I understood. Even though the losses are different, the feelings are still the same. It is absolutely wrong of him to behave as though your feelings don't matter. They DO matter. If he cared for you and valued you the way he claimed, he'd be looking to you for support, even if just as a friend for the time being, but he wouldn't have left you as he did. When my bestfriend died, my boyfriend Joe understood that for the time being, I just needed support and shoulder to cry on, a friend. I didn't want to be intimate, I just needed support and for him to act as "normal" as possible. A good partner will reciprocate as well as look to you in their time of need. Grief is very personal and can make a person self-centered, but as I said before, after so long their behavior becomes a deliberate choice. I absolutely took advantage of Joe's love after a while because I thought that as my lover, he would put up with my behavior and that he was supposed to. I was wrong, and started being a terrible girlfriend to Joe because I was hurting. I actively stopped myself from working through my grief and the traumatic experience of finding my friend's body because I didn't want to admit I was lost, didn't know how and didn't want to learn. In behaving this way, I forced Joe to give me an ultimatum. Tim did the same, your boyfriend has, and so did I for a time. You have the choice to accept this behavior and wait for him to see if he'll come back, but then that shows him you're willing to put up with bad behavior, and he may take advantage of that. Tim did this. Don't do it by falling into this trap. I know it feels like you've been decieved. We all felt this way, and in a way, they did deceive us by being everything we could want, then abruptly running from us at the first sign of a problem. The death of a loved one has a weird way of making people rethink their lives, relationships and priorities because it makes them confront demons, secrets, insecurities and their own mortality. Not saying the way he behaves is acceptable, just that grief makes people think and behave as though they're walking through fog. He sounds like he needs some emotional work, has dysfunctional boundaries and has baggage he needs to work through, and that baggage is not yours to carry. If he truly acknowledged his flaws and issues and tried to work through them as he should, he wouldn't be running away from you when forced to confront them. Ask yourself why you'd want to be with a person who abandons you at the first sign of trouble and when things get hard? That shows serious immaturity and mental weakness on his part. His refusal to confront his own problems is not a reflection of you as a person or spouse; it is absolutely his own fault. Please do not get buried in the "abandoned woman" mindset, otherwise he will have thrust many of his problems unto you, and you will be buried in abandonment issues for months to come. Please consider talking to a counselor about your feelings. --Rae
  4. Then act cordial and professional about it. But do limit your interaction with him at work if possible. Do not "be his friend" at work if that makes you uncomfortable. Be a co-worker and nothing more. Again, he chose to behave this way and now there are consequences for it. Tim and I did not work together, but I had to act professional and all business with Tim both times I confronted him, he wouldn't respond to me otherwise. Showing them that you're waiting, pining, hurt and yearning for them will only make them think less of you. It sounds like a game, I know. But do your best to poker face your interactions with him, and save your emotions for your friends and counselors. Until he actually wants to have a conversation with you about this topic, consider it off limits. Any talk of it, emotional outbursts or even jokes may have the opposite effect you intend. I am sorry things have to be this way. It hurts, and it changes the way you date and who you trust. I often wonder if I was just a placeholder for Tim, because he behaved towards the end as though I was just a void filler, even though his behavior said the opposite the 1.5 years we were together. Everything started to seem as though it was nothing but lies, and in a way, they were.
  5. This sounds almost identical to what happened to me (minus the marriages and children). First and foremost I will say, don't feel guilty for having feelings. You were both in a relationship that he chose to end. His decision effected both of you greatly and you are absolutely allowed to be sad and angry over it. My ex-bf Tim didn't even tell me his father died, he acted fine for a few days and then just disappeared. A week later I finally tracked him down after showing up at his door. He told me the same thing yours did to you: That he loved me, he didn't want to break up, he's been in deep thought and needs to change his life because hes so unhappy (he never mentioned this in the 1.5 years we had already been together), he feels existential pressure that he can't get rid of, and that he just needs some space and time to deal with the funeral and his feelings. He never broke up with me. After that conversation he disappeared from my life. He resurfaced 3 months later to apologize and try to reconcile. But by then I already had so many doubts, I was deeply hurt, confused, mistrusting of him and angry. I made an attempt to reconcile with him, but after about 3 months, he disappeared again after ditching me on a dinner date. That very same morning he told me he loved me as we left his apartment to go to work, I never heard from him again and was left with no choice but to walk away from him and completely exit his life. This was 3 years ago. I made the mistake of keeping Tim as a friend on my Facebook and social media, something I should not have done and don't recommend you do. At this point in time, it effectively is over. He just is too much a coward to tell you. I mean no offense when I say this, however: You need to do what's best for yourself and create distance, go no contact and deal with your feelings, perhaps see a counselor. If this is how he wants to behave, then show him there are consequences and go dark on him. Don't believe it is your fault, it absolutely is not; IT IS HIM, NOT YOU. It is just what he believes he needs right now. He made this choice and left you to deal with the fallout, and that is not fair to you. The first time Tim left me I was in shock, confused, heartbroken and I cried for weeks. The final break up, I did the same for months, went from being absolutely inconsolable to raging angry. It took a couple months for the intense feelings to subside and about 4-5 months for the constant tears to stop. It was really hard because I grappled with beating myself up for believing his lies, being stupid and being so vulnerable that I let him do it twice. If he ever does come back to you, you need to reevaluate him and take into account how he behaved when something such as this, or another bad/traumatic experience may happen in the future. Will he behave this way again? Has he learned from his behavior and dealt with his problems in a manageable way? These are questions you need to ask yourself if he does try to reconcile, especially if this behavior lasts longer than a couple of weeks. I failed to do this and rushed right back into things and it did not go well. You can tell a lot about the character and true colors of a person by how they react and behave when faced with things like grief, debt, illness, job loss, etc. Easily. Feelings are mostly irrational and when in a hyper-emotional state, people tend to behave out of character. But be aware that behavior like this after a certain amount of time becomes a deliberate conscious choice. My grandfather died when I was 19 and I did not abandon my boyfriend or our relationship, if anything we grew closer. Nine months later, my best friend killed himself and it sent me spiraling. I dropped out of school, stopped going to work for a few weeks, became depressed and pretty much abandoned my relationship, but we still lived together. This went on for about 4 months. I was just angry/sad all the time, I would throw crying fits and tantrums, lash out at my boyfriend and neglected him physically and emotionally. After one particular instance he gave me an ultimatum and said that if I did not seek professional help, we were not going further with our engagement and he was moving out. He was absolutely right to do this as it was unhealthy for both of us and unfair to him. I resented him at first for making me do such a thing in my fragile state, but after about a month of weekly sessions, my raging feelings started to go away. As I said before, IF he does come back, don't just invite him in as though nothing happened. Do not make yourself and your relationship a revolving door of forgiveness he can walk through any time he chooses. Make him talk to you about why he behaved this way, tell him that his behavior hurt you and your trust in him, and evaluate whether or not he's dealing with this in a healthy way and whether or not you will be able to forgive him and work on rebuilding the trust together. While I asked Tim to talk to me about it, I didn't do enough and I failed to remember that he will not stay in a place he truly does not want to be. His actions made it clear he did not want to be with me, he was confused, hot n cold and would push when I pulled. It was exhausting, painful and only exacerbated the heartache I still hadn't recovered from because I could never shake the voice in my head saying he was going to disappear again. I was right, he did disappear again. Everyone here believed the same and wanted to be the exception. That's why we came here, to look for hope, answers and some sort of light at the end of this seemingly endless tunnel. You could be his dream woman, but he has chosen to work through this alone, and forcing yourself on him, even with the purest of intentions would only push him farther away. He could be falling into a hole, and even if you held out your hand, he still wouldn't take it. All you can do now is stop yourself from falling into the hole with him. He's got to learn to deal and live with this loss, and he has chosen to do so alone, at least for now. --Rae
  6. Rae1991

    Loss

    I think the only reason why I learned this is because I was given an ultimatum by my fiance and forced into therapy at 20 years old after multiple losses and years of grief, abuse and self-hatred that spiraled my life and mental health out of control. It's funny, something I've realized in recent years that I was never aware of growing up: We perceive our parents to be perfect, well-rounded and infallible beings because they are the first people to show us affection and teach us how to behave and who we are. Without realizing it, I put my parents on a pedestal and expected things of them that I couldn't do myself, neglecting the fact that they are human, life is hard, mistakes happen, and they can suffer in the same ways that I was. I never took into account that my grandfather was an alcoholic monster who robbed my mom and her siblings of a childhood, only to sober up before his grandchildren came around and dote on us with love, so we saw him differently than she did, or that her mother was an emotionally abusive enabler and how that affected her world view and self image as she aged. Or my fathers parents, who were both abusive alcoholics that beat and subsequently abandoned him and his siblings. Not saying these things excuse abuse or neglect, but it partially does explain their behavior as parents and adults. They were once just kids themselves who were forced to make decisions and behave like adults before ever experiencing life as young adult without the responsibilities of parenthood and marriage. I used to believe my parents behaved the way they did because they didn't love us, one another and were behaving the way they did intentionally. But most of the time, it was unintentional and they didn't even know they were behaving poorly because it was familiar and normal to them. Again, they were humans existing and behaving in ways they were never told were abnormal. Just like I did as a teenager and young adult before it was brought to my attention via loved ones and therapists that my thoughts and behavior were abnormal. As far as the age difference goes, better late than never. And better you learned at all when you're still able to live and enjoy life, rather than having this wisdom to spare only on your deathbed. --Rae
  7. Rae1991

    Loss

    I was absolutely codependent too. I also wanted to feel needed, and at first it worked and I felt good and validated, and so did these guys. Then a few weeks would go by and the reality would hit that these men were essentially children and I was playing the role of their absent mother, enabler and/or wife and it stopped feeling good almost instantly, hence the short "situationships." The codependency came from the absentee-ism from both parents. While it wasn't always intentional as they both worked hard and struggled, the insular behavior of our church and lack of friends, socialization or connection I felt growing up created a void that I started trying to fill by doing whatever I could to get attention, first from my parents, then as I aged from friends and the opposite sex. I played hockey, danced in ballet, got good grades, took up playing viola and still couldn't get my parents to come to my games, recitals or orchestra concerts, so I began to feel like they were just ignoring me and didn't love me. I just started to fester in the isolation and would spend all my spare time reading books. By the time I got to high school, we were no longer involved with the church, so now I was thrust into a world I knew very little of except from the books I had read, and I went kind of rogue with all my new found freedoms, but the void just kept getting bigger. It is absolutely essential to love, value and cherish yourself. Something I didn't learn how to do until well into college and adulthood. You are correct that there is a fine line between giving and enabling, and many times we walk that line out of love for another, but at some point you absolutely need to love you more and let that person off on their own to learn from their mistakes. We are taught, especially women, from a young age to receive our validation from being girlfriends/wives/mothers and that our end goal in life should be to be someone's wife and mother. While that's fine to have these goals, there is usually no nuanced views, boundaries, self-love or self-respect being taught with them and that in itself can be a huge issue. We are expected to be selfless, unconditional givers to men, our husbands and our children without the expectation of any reciprocity, and that is damaging. Self-love and awareness is essential, without it we will never grow or learn from our mistakes. --Rae
  8. Rae1991

    Loss

    I absolutely understand this. It is so, SO hard to deal with feeling okay and then see them tagged in a photo with mutual friends and the feelings of despair come back. I am going to suggest something that I had to do with both Joe and Tim. After Joe and I broke up I thought I was okay with having some of our mutual friends on Facebook or seeing them at the bar when I would go out, I was wrong. I either removed them from Facebook completely, or I removed their updates from my News Feed and stopped going to the places I knew they frequented. After Tim and I broke up, it was a little harder as his older brother Mark, his girlfriend and their small kids were all good friends of mine, Mark and I worked together and we saw one another regularly. Mark understood when I explained that I needed to create some distance from him until I felt better. He knew how Tim had behaved towards me, lied to me and played with me and used their dads death as an excuse, so he understood that it was really hard to deal with. Mark was angry with Tim for a while because he used their dads death as an excuse to treat me like I didn't matter and as if no one else felt grief towards the death. So, maybe take a break from Social Media or remove the mutual friends from your Facebook, even if just for a while. Your feelings, needs and healing should absolutely come before a connection on Facebook. If they're your good friends and want whats best for you, they'll understand. If not. then they're not great friends. --Rae
  9. Rae1991

    Loss

    Wow. That is a mountain of problems. He blew through all the money? Good lord! I could see his Asperger's being part of the problem, but also the way he was raised does factor in too. I went to college with some kids on the spectrum and they needed some accommodations and extra help, but they got through it like any normal student and are working too. Their parents raised them normally, but still gave them the extra support and guidance they needed, but didn't coddle them. For instance, the guy who works PT that had his expenses paid for and has always been privileged is arrogant, had no idea how to cook so the whole month we dated I cooked or we ate out or his mom would drive 3 hours with a weeks worth of meals she made for him, he played video games 24/7 when not in class, he had (and sounds like still has) terrible work ethic and barely ever went to class. He only ever received positive reinforcement growing up, so any kind of constructive criticism sends him spinning, but he has no problem criticizing others. His parents are clearly enabling his behavior. His head isn't in reality either, but that's his upbringing and his unwillingness to do better. Another guy I dated again for about 2 months was in a similar situation. He told me that he was living with his sick dad to take care of him. I dumped him because I found out he and his soon to be ex-wife (that he lied about ever having, and was not divorced from) had also been living there the entire duration of their marriage, his dad was not sick and his dad was paying all of the bills, including the ones his wife would run up. Mind you, his dad is a disabled veteran on SSI and Disability, and both he and his ex wife worked FT jobs. He was also brought up relatively spoiled being an only child, had never lived without one of his parents, didn't know how to read or pay even basic bills, and did not know how to survive on his own. He is now 33 and still living with his dad. I keep in contact with his dad only because he is a lovely guy, but is now in ailing health. His parents however, absolutely enable his behavior too. I do agree that things like mental/physical disorders, addictions and things of that nature can absolutely factor into the way people behave and cause them to not live in reality, but as you said, it's also their upbringing too. --Rae
  10. Rae1991

    Loss

    Yeah, there really isn't much hope for these kinds of people that can't even manage their own lives, but still go out searching for a mate/spouse. I (briefly) was hanging out with a guy who was 30 years old back in 2012 right after my fiance and I split up. He expressed interest in possibly dating so we went on a couple dates, only problem was he had 4 roommates and still "couldn't afford" his rent payments. Turns out he had a serious drinking problem and spent his income partying, he's 36 now and from what I understand not much has changed. Another guy I dumped after only a month of dating had his college expenses paid for by his parents, so he left school with no debt. He's 31 now, working part time and his parents still pay his rent. Yuck. I take social media breaks from time to time and don't post much of anything about my personal life anymore because there needs to be some privacy and separation between real life and social media. It's also not healthy to constantly be on the platforms. I also began removing people who do nothing but air their dirty laundry, argue and complain on Facebook all the time. It gets annoying, its childish and depressing to look at constantly. I also removed a few people who's lives absolutely revolved around their relationships, like, every single day they were posting about the "love of their life," talking about their private relations and tagging their SO in everything, to me that's just too much over exposure and insecurity that I do not want to know about nor do I want to be exposed to it myself. People unfortunately do take it seriously and it has consequences. --Rae
  11. Rae1991

    Loss

    I definitely know how it feels to have that sting of jealousy when you see others in happy, fulfilling relationships on social media. But I was reminded of this and still remind myself that Social Media posts/bragging/Facebook posts about relationships aren't always truthful and are a lot of times heavily embellished to make it appear perfect for affirmation and 'likes' from others. There are also studies that show the people who constantly embellish or brag about their relationship on social media are heavily insecure, both of themselves and the relationship. I know that from personal experience and because many times people forget that others know them in real life, and know they are lying about their lives/happiness on social media. Yes absolutely, staying busy helped me avoid getting back into the head space of rehashing the conversations and stopping myself from moving on. Once I moved I joined a new gym, went to IKEA and bought some nice furniture, started exploring the city and the parks/green spaces, hiking, joined some sports fan clubs of the teams I like and started finding ways to relieve myself of the stress and tears and stay active instead of sitting around in my house letting my mind get lost in sorrow. Of course I still had bad days where I'd watch an episode of a show or hear/see something that reminded me of Tim, but I didn't let that one single trigger ruin my entire week like I did when I was still living in our hometown. I was able to move forward without becoming jaded, but for a while especially during the first few months I was absolutely jaded, but that's mostly because I was trying to actively stop myself from loving him by reminding myself of all the crappy things he did. It didn't really work, but it stopped me from contacting him. Some 3 years later, no I am not jaded at all. I am however more cautious and observant of who I go on dates with, who I talk to and I don't hesitate to walk away or stop talking to someone if my gut says its not right or if I know they don't mean me well, are just looking for hook-ups or someone to take care of them. I also don't focus all my time on dating or searching for a partner anymore, I invest more time in friendships and my life, hobbies and happiness instead. It works for me. I am not saying you have to stop looking for a partner or relationship, just maybe look at it from a different perspective than needing to fill a void with a relationship like I once did, and that dating is an extra-curricular activity that you do when you have your priorities straight and can pay your bills, and not every relationship is meant to last or turn into a marriage. I go about it more practically these days as I used to just throw myself into situation/relationships without thought, they'd end poorly and I'd let it pick at my self-worth, but not learn and just repeat the cycle, it was not healthy and it was absolutely embarrassing. Oh good lord! He didn't pay his taxes?! You would have walked into a hail of financial ruin and possible tax audits. You absolutely do NOT need to be taking care of a grown person who can't even be responsible enough to do normal adult things, that is just unhealthy. You absolutely dodged a bullet. --Rae
  12. Rae1991

    Loss

    You will move on and with the time will come the clarity. As I've said before it took me nearly a year to fully move on from Joe: to stop hating him, stop being angry and stop letting his behavior and our past relationship occupy so much head space. I cried for months after we broke up, I annoyed my close friends with the constant need for reassurance that everything was going to be okay and that I would move on and find someone deserving of my affection. Fast forward 5, almost 6 years and now, he's nothing more than a guy I consider an acquaintance even though at one point I'd have followed him to the end of the Earth had he wanted me to. I didn't realize it at the time, but not long after that first year came and went, I didn't even realize it until a friend pointed out that I seemed better and like I had fully began moving forward. I also cried for months, both times Tim and I broke up. The pain, regret and rehashing conversations in my head seemed endless, but after about 5 months, I stopped crying and started taking stock of all the things that had happened and everything I had done since. By about 12 months post-breakup, I didn't even see him as this great, wonderful person I believed he was that I missed out on being with. I saw him for the cold, cruel, emotionally unavailable person he truly was. The events that transpired after we broke up with me suddenly getting a new job and moving away definitely helped, the distance from the city we both lived in, his family and our mutual friends helped as I didn't drive by the place where we first met or frequently went on dates, or where he lived. I now had a job with some disposable income and no longer had to neglect paying one bill to pay another, and moving away definitely helped me learn to fill the existential void I had always felt inside without needing a significant other to do so. It was weird at first and I was afraid so much happiness was not going to last, so I tried to search for negativity, bad things or things that could go wrong for a while and when I came up empty handed, I realized that I had spent so much time comfortable being hurt, abandoned, sad and traumatized that I was actually afraid of things going right and didn't know how to react when I no longer had reasons to be sad or felt hurt. At some point, YOU WILL have the moment of clarity you seek. But part of the reason why the clarity hasn't come to you is because you're chasing it and trying to will it to come. Just like with chasing a person and you "willing" yourself to love them, you cannot will yourself to have that moment of clarity. It will come randomly, but that does not mean you can give up working on moving forward with the rest of your life. --Rae
  13. Rae1991

    Loss

    Thanks, Vanush. It certainly took me a lot of time and therapy to get to the point I am at now, but it was definitely worth it. Even if the heartbreak didn't feel as such at the time. It very well could be that you felt such pressure because you weren't where you wanted to be in your life/career and didn't feel you could give yourself to her the way that she wanted, that's a common reason people cite for breaking up with a person, actually. While some times it is used as an excuse (for instance, my ex-fiance and his behavior), many times it is valid and a good reason to break up. But again as you've stated, the communication was poor, you didn't feel on the same page about anything and and your feelings came to a dead end. Don't scald yourself for being human, it happens. I did the exact same thing when Tim and I first broke up. I got stuck believing and fantasizing about superficial things like him looking so great on paper and IRL, him being kind and seemingly everything I could ever want in a partner. When the reality of the situation shattered my fantasy, I felt so stupid for acting as I did and regretting my own behavior because he made me feel as though I caused him to behave the way he did. To answer your statement: Yes. I am in a much better place than I was 3 years ago. Mentally, emotionally and physically, I've never felt better. I de-cluttered everything and instead of going towards drama, hanging around people who mean me no good, or actively seeking it out of boredom and loneliness; I notice it in others, take a step back and remove myself. I have accomplished many things that would've otherwise been put on hold. I started traveling again (15 countries in just over 2 years), finally found a job that I can use my degree for and left my small town. I also practice better mental health by going to therapy, talking about my feelings and learned to enjoy being alone instead of being afraid. The mentality of owing a debt to your family will come back to bite you in the long run. I used to think this way too and screwed myself out of opportunity due to fear, distance and the possibility of what could go wrong. Had I made better decisions, I would've chosen to leave for college instead of stay. This needing to be near and in contact with my family caused me more heartache than it was worth. Part of this was because I was afraid for my mom and younger brother due to my stepdads abuse. I left when I was 17, but I stayed around because my brother was only 13 and didn't have that choice. My oldest sister is a narcissist and does nothing but scorch earth every time she doesn't get her way. When I was in my teens and early 20s I didn't understand why she'd act like my best friend for a while, then steal from me, do/say horrible things and then get upset when my family confronted her. She still acts this way and she's 32, and now has a child and is imprinting this behavior and using her child to get her way. My dad enables her to no end for reasons I will never understand. Since moving away, I have removed myself from her access and taken back control over how she is allowed to engage with me. My grandmother is extremely religious and always used to tell me how college was a lie and I should be in church instead of school and a myriad of other hurtful things, again since creating physical distance from her, she doesn't get a reaction from me anymore and I just ignore it now. I am 100% in control of my feelings and who I allow to interact and be around me, I also created healthier boundaries and no longer discuss dating or my relationships with my family. Sometimes, distance can do you a favor and be good for you. Don't screw yourself out of opportunity just because it may be a few hours drive/plane ride back to your parents. I don't think they'd want you to put your life on hold for them either. --Rae
  14. Rae1991

    Loss

    Yeah, that is a whole mess of issues that would've been thrust unto you and your marriage. No one should ever want to carry around that much baggage, nor should they expect their SO to be okay with being burdened by issues that are not theirs. Glad you ducked out of that, you're better off. I asked myself why I settled for so little too, many many times. I just thought it was part of the human experience of young adulthood, I was only partially correct. As 95% was my own doing by way of low self esteem, self-sabotage, anger, the desperate want to be loved in ways I didn't know how to love myself, and the hard headed belief in those ridiculous cliche sayings about love conquering all. But I have also taken cues from my parents' relationships as well and realized that they made the poor relationship decisions they did because they were just like me. My dad doted on his 3rd wife like you wouldn't imagine and my mom asked why she wasn't deserving of that same love during their 16 years and 4 children. She understood my dad, but 16 years of cold, non-intimate connection, infidelity and disrespect was more than enough. My dad put on an act as well prior to marrying my mom, he even joined her family's church so my grandmother would approve of their dating. But once they got married, and my sister was on the way, the curtain fell and all my dad's trauma, bad habits and poor mental health began to manifest in his behavior. I've done my best to unload my baggage, not only does it become too heavy the more you heap onto it, but it also makes you vulnerable to con artists, abusers and users. And after reflection and reality checks, those were the only kinds of people I noticed were coming around because they could smell and see my desperation. Amen to that! I've learned to hold out for someone who treats me with the same respect, love and affection as I do them. My ex-fiance finally figured out what he gave up and that how he behaved hurts people.. only took him 5 years and a girl treating him the same way for him to care, and I deserve better. As far as Tim goes, I don't hold my breath hoping that he'll ever grow up and apologize or learn from his behavior, nor do I want an apology anymore, because it doesn't seem he was ever made accountable for anything in his life and if he hasn't learned by 30, he never will. I wish them well, but I closed and dead-bolted both doors long ago. --Rae
  15. Rae1991

    Loss

    Oh most definitely. Joe and I broke up due to his infidelity as well. He then left me for the girl he had been cheating with. The first year was rough, as we lived in a small town and I would see them together periodically at the gym, grocery store or photos of them with the few mutual friends we had on social media. After a few months I switched gyms, grocery stores and removed the mutual friends or their updates from my feeds. That hurt ran deep. The sting you get when you see them with their new partner treating them the way they should have treated you, it hurts. It is definitely something you do need to explore, perhaps bring this up to your counselor and describe the feelings you felt upon first glance. Especially if it's been longer than 6-12 months since the break-up. I repressed my feelings in the same way it seems you are and it took me over a year to fully move on from him because I was ashamed to admit I was still hurting. I say that because about 8 months after our break-up, I was talking about it to a close friend who knew us both and through our relationship. We'd had conversations about this topic multiple times before.....She stopped me after about 10 minutes and was like, "Rae, you need to stop talking about this like it happened yesterday. I understand you loved him and may still be reeling from the experience. But, the way you still talk makes it seem like you're stopping yourself from moving forward on purpose. You are obsessing and it is unhealthy. Are you still in contact with him? Do you believe that you deserved what he did? You sound like you're still in love with him and are holding on to the hope that you may get back together one day. It's okay to still not be completely out of love with him, but you need to face the reality that you are not getting back together. Ever. Why would you want him back anyway? He put a ring on your finger, then cheated on you, lied, blamed you for his behavior, and will probably propose to this girl, and do the exact same thing to her. You're only 22, you can't waste your life on people like this. He doesn't deserve it and neither do you. You have a degree to finish and a career to look forward to. You can't let this derail your entire life, and that's what you're doing." I started seeing a therapist again a few weeks later, and it helped a lot. Some 4.5 years later in 2017 he tried reconciling and apologizing for how he behaved (turns out she had left him for another guy after he had tried to propose), and I wanted no part of his pity party. The way I see it now, him cheating on me was probably the best thing he could've ever done for me. About 7 months after we had broken up and I had moved away in 2016, I was scrolling social media, a profile popped up on my "people you may know" list. The picture was of my ex-bf Tim and what I assumed was his girlfriend. Again the sting of hurt took over. This time around however, I just removed the profile from my list and got off social media for a few days. I then removed the couple of mutual profiles we had in common. I was already seeing a therapist at the time, so I brought it up and she asked how I felt. TBH, yeah it hurt a little bit as it seemed like he had moved on unscathed by how he treated me or what he did, but then the counselor told me to remind myself of all the hurt he had caused me, and look at what I have done with my life since then that I wouldn't have been able to do if we'd stayed together (left a crappy job, got my own apartment, started traveling again, moved alone to a new city, etc) and as I started to repeatedly remind myself of all that I've accomplished and will continue to, suddenly, the hurt started to fade and I stopped thinking about him as this great person I missed out on. Instead, he's just a guy I dated that used me to fill a void in his life because I had what he was lacking. He was a guy I didn't have a future with anyway because he didn't support my goals and only loved the idea of me, not me. Being honest and truthful about the reality of the situations I had been in did wonders for helping me to heal, move on and accept that I don't need and shouldn't want people in my life that only like the idea of me, not me as a person, who don't mean me well and don't support my goals. You will get to this point too, Vanush. But it does take work. And you are already doing the work by coming here and going to therapy. You want to heal, and you will. --Rae
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