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Grieving 6 Year Relationship - Loss Not Death


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I'm just looking for some support and sharing of similar experiences so I don't feel alone :/ Does anyone have suggestions as to how to deal with this and how to deal with my emotions right now? Thanks! It feels good just typing this out...

My situation doesn't have to do with death - but I guess I know it's the death of my 6-year long relationship with my FI. He asked me to marry him last September - it's been about a year now. All was well until he proposed. My FI started questioning things I do and asking me if I'd "always do that" etc. He would sometimes get quarrelsome or say that he thought of the two of us, I'd leave him at the alter. Around that time I was a bit nervous about the commitment, but that was because I was wrapping my mind around marriage and preparing myself for it. Anyway, it turned out he had some doubts because one day I sent him a frustrated text since he was visiting one of his friends and I wanted him to see me too that weekend since it was on the way to where I was. He sent me an angry text that he wouldn't come see me and he was having doubts. He declared right then and there no communication for the entire weekend. I actually got in my car and drove to his friend's house to talk to him and he was furious. We talked for ten minutes and he had transformed into a young man I never knew existed...full of anger, withdrawal, and pain that I did not cause. I went home, and he visited me the next Monday. Instead of having a conversation, he came over and told me every thing he disliked about me. Talk about difficult to endure...then he left and wouldn't listen to me. He declared two more weeks of no contact and it hurt so much I thought I was going to die. He was my best friend and closest confident - I was closer to him than anyone else, and I was shocked and brutally hurt that he, of all people, could be so rash, uncaring, and selfish. It turns out he had had doubts before as well once in a while starting junior year of college - why on Earth didn't he tell me about them? Maybe we could have saved ourselves years and more pain?!

After the two weeks, he came over to break up with me. However, I was very logical with him, and talked with him about what we could do to improve our relationship. He left with out breaking up with me, and then came back that Thursday to tell me he was sorry and had made a big mistake. I of course was so happy to have him that I accepted him with open arms. After two weeks of bliss though, I found a Facebook message on his Facebook account he had left open by accident. It turns out there was more involved with the coworker he had told me he talked to to figure out if he should make it work with me. In the message, my FI had flirted with her as he use to with me, and told her she was his type. He then proceeded to tell her he was interested in her if he and I broke up. In the conversation, she denied that she was interested in him and told him he should try to make it work with me. And he did - that's why he came over that Thursday,I think. A part of me believes him that he went to her only for advice because his guy friends don't talk about that kind of stuff. But, why would he seek out a female he was attracted to? Even if he originally intended to only get advice, it turned into flirting and went emotionally too far in my opinion. They had met two or three times to play tennis, one time for ice cream, and once to talk at a restaurant. When I found this out, I was livid, and met with him to talk it out. In my mind I would think "danger!" and not try to get advice from someone I thought of as a potential romantic interest! Did he think one second about me? He said he wasn't looking for attraction but it happened - again, he has his own mind, right? He must not have cared enough about me to prevent getting too close to her.

After we talked, we both shared that we wanted to make it work. I'm a forgiving person who gives people the benefit of the doubt. So, the next two months were great although I had occasional panic attacks when I'd ask him if he still had feelings for her, etc. He denied any feelings for her, but there had to be something if he was flirting and said he was interested in her. I started religiously checking his phone and computer search history when he wasn't looking - he had said he wouldn't contact her unless for work. He was true to his word, although I disliked that she texted him with silly stuff that happened at work once in a while. Anyway, I hated that I was so suspicious. I hated every moment of checking his phone and computer - feeling like a villain, but also feeling that I could no longer trust him. Once you feel betrayed, it's extremely hard to let it go. I couldn't help but wonder if he still was interested in her and if he wished she wanted to date him - would that mean he'd dump me then? It just didn't seem like I was the priority. I don't think I've ever truly been his priority except for the first few months we dated.

After those two months, we finally moved in together as we had originally planned although I told him he might want to get his own place first since he had never had his own place before. We moved in, and right around that time, he started distancing himself from me. He'd play computer games when I was at home, and only would hang out a small amount of time with me each day. He didn't want to be physical at all because he said he felt awkward. It was horrible living with someone who obviously didn't want to be in the same living space. Before I could break it off out of frustration, we talked, and I suggested he move to his parents' until he could get his own place. He did, with no complaint. Now, I have time to myself because I requested a month of doing our own thing to see if he could figure his stuff out. He has called me once a week because that was our deal, and we are to meet next weekend to talk about things. I know his feelings haven't changed. He feels like he isn't ready to settle down and he needs to live the single life for a while to figure stuff out. We've both been hanging on, hoping he would come around but he's not. When we meet, I will tell him we need to take a break and both be single for a while. I can't deal with this anymore. I previously thought we could do an in-between thing and go on dates once a week or something, but that's ludicrous - I deserve a boyfriend at least who will play the part of a boyfriend. I know I have to let him go for now. I don't know if he will come back, but even if he does, I don't know if I will be open to starting new again. Over this month, I've become stronger every day. I still have my rough spots, but I've been rediscovering myself and what I want in life and love. It also hurts to know he isn't trying to hurt me and he still says he loves me - I just don't think his love is the kind of love I feel for him.

Really when I think about it, my FI hasn't been that great of a boyfriend. I don't think he loves me for me and I am not his priority when in my case, he was my priority and I loved him for him. He has broken promises and shrugged them off. He should have been fighting for me all along and making me feel loved beyond a doubt. Anyway, he is not emotional at all. He has a hard time showing emotion in public, and even pushed my hand away a few times when I tried to hold his hand. That emotionally hurts - a lot. We used to hold hands all the time. I need a guy who can show me emotion and love on a consistent basis. It makes me wonder if he ever really felt in love like I did - he claims he loves me but "not enough". I guess I should believe him. We've been dating for six years and he has been my only true boyfriend. I really don't have much dating experience at all; I also know deep down I still want him - but I think it's my ideal of him I want, not him how he is now. I think that's because I learned what completely loving someone is like and I'm terrified I won't find that connection and love again...but these are the kinds of things I know are false. I really don't need him anymore and I can love again. There's someone great out there who will treat me wonderfully and want to make me happy over everything else. My brain can now tell me these things and I know they are true - my logic is sometimes still at war with my heart.

It just hurts so much to think of him with anyone else in the future - it's disgusting really. We've been through so much together - all of undergraduate school - and we physically only know one another. As I said, I'm still in the grieving process because I've been letting go - I know I have to break up with him. I try so hard not to think about our memories, but they are so well-etched in my mind throughout our undergrad experience. Real life got in the way and he had a sudden "oh wow" moment...now he's questioning everything including me. It's just so sad and disappointing. We've been planning our lives together for about three years - getting jobs near each other etc. I think there's a little hope left that it might work out, but I keep trying to be realistic. I can't let that hope ruin me and prevent me from moving on right now. Sure, he might come back but I don't know if he will. Maybe it would be bad if he came back and I'd go through this type of experience again. As I said before, I might not want him back by then - after all, he could have treated me much better, even during undergrad. I want to be treated like gold.

I've been thinking about dating again - it's been a process trying to get used to the idea because I'm the type of person who decides what I want and goes for it. I don't want to mourn too long - for that other special someone is waiting to meet me...it's just still so conflicting. Maybe I will feel more comfortable once I take a break from my FI officially. I don't want to waste any second of my precious life. Through this experience I have learned not to take crap from guys, not to be too nice, that I know what it is to love and lose, that I won't take anything for granted, that I am number one, and that I am ready for marriage and a family once I find the right guy.

This pain has been going on since last April - I'm protecting myself now and feel proud of it.

-Pink08

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It sounds like it was fine as long as it was casual dating and friendship, but once the permanent element entered in, he questioned everything. He is NOT convinced "you are the one". It's as if he is conjuring up reasons why NOT to continue this relationship rather than wanting to do what it takes to make it work. There is a book, "Buyers, Renters, and Freeloaders" (available on Amazon), and I highly recommend it. EXCELLENT book!

He has been having what is called an emotional affair with his coworker. He would not admit it, you may choose to deny it, you may settle for whatever he tells you, but it is there all the same no matter what you call it by...it is a type of infidelity. It is turning to someone else when he should be turning to you. It is giving them the spot he should be reserving for you. And it is not healthy and will have toxic effects on your relationship. Usually, when that happens, your partner will find fault with you, as if to justify what they're doing, to give reason to their actions and choices. It leaves you feeling confused as they continue to gaslight you and make you feel like you're crazy. You aren't crazy. Your intuition is telling you all you need to know. But you don't' want to believe it, so you continue listening to him and wondering if you're losing your mind. This is common...all too common.

Again, I highly recommend this book as it will clarify everything for you. It doesn't mean your BF is a bad person, but he is not ready for commitment. You have already figured out you can't change him. No amount of reason will affect anything. You need to do what is best for YOU.

Good luck! Once you get through the pain and the tears, it will be okay...and then will come a day you will wonder why you expended so much effort trying to make something work which wasn't meant to.

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Hi, Kay -

It's strange since he has always been the one to bring up marriage and getting a place together. I guess it really became reality when we became engaged. Once we got a place together, he shut down, and couldn't bear living in the same area. Now I'm a true believer in living together before marriage; I used to be nervous and more conservative in that respect. Now, I think it really indicates whether or not the other person wants to or can live with you. I'm so glad we did...or at least tried. Because he was trying to escape, I realize he's not the one for me. Apparently guys need a reality check...the sooner the better!

It makes me wonder though, if he will ever regret pulling away and not going forward with this. He is apathetic by nature; he isn't a hard worker at all; life kinda just happens to him although he has a nice job and graduated with his doctorate. Being intelligent has caused his apathy I think because he didn't have to try. Now since he knows he'd have to work to make us work, it seems he doesn't have the motivation...I think he loves me but not enough. I will check out that book.

Yeah, I think an emotional affair is fitting to what happened. It really worries me because I trusted him more than anyone else in my life. If we would have married next June as was our original plan, I'd be scared that he may do something like it again. I really don't think he wants to hurt me. He's a "good guy", but he's made poor decisions. I really need someone who will be there for me no matter what - and let me know it constantly. I want my happiness to make him happy...that's how I felt about him. He felt horrible for pursuing the coworker, but that really erodes trust, and he's not really fighting for me right now. I don't want to date someone who will not stick up for me or be my "man". During his times hanging out with her to talk about us - which I didn't appreciate of course - he came over once, the Monday I refer to, and told me everything he disliked about me. He realized later he was just trying to blame me for his insecurities, but I felt so wounded and shocked that he would ever talk to me or treat me that way.

Luckily now after all this time, I'm finally coming to my senses. I'm actually grateful that we didn't go through with getting married next June because I'm sure our relationship would be shaky and tainted. It tells me a lot too that I had to find his messages to have him tell me the truth. Before, he had only said he talked to a female coworker about it because he didn't have anyone else to talk to...that may be the case but there's so much more than that.

I think he's confused and doesn't understand himself at all right now. He started flirting with another girl, running away from me, breaking multiple promises to me, etc. How can I ever learn to trust him again if he does come back after I end things officially this weekend? I'm terrified I will break down - I need to be strong and stand up for myself. It's just that my heart still flutters after so many years being near him or hearing his voice. However, I know that he doesn't feel the same way - not now, maybe he never will again. Maybe he never reaaaally loved me as I love him.

I believe you - I think next year I will reflext on this and feel happy it happened. Hopefully, I'm dating a great guy by then who blows my fiance/boyfriend/ex out of the water!

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I don't judge whether people should or shouldn't live together before marriage, I have a daughter who did and a son who didn't and both seem to have done well. But the statistics are not kind to those who live together before marriage; personally I think that's because they aren't committed in the same way and respond differently.

My ex-fiance is the one that pushed for us to see each other exclusively, the one who asked me to marry him, the one that tried to rush things, so it made no sense to me that he should break up so suddenly and without warning. However, just because they made decisions to marry doesn't mean they are mature and have the sense God gave them, hence the fallout later on.

I purchased Christian Carter's Dating and Relationship CDs (Interviews with Experts) and it helped me a lot...one in particular, the expert's name was Paul and he said we need to look with the observing eye, like getting out of ourselves and looking in. It helps to remove yourself from the emotion of the situation and really see what is going on. Emotions are unreliable and never meant to be a barometer of anything, it's important to remember that, to not allow emotion to suck you in and toss you around hither and tither. Know what you want and keep that goal in mind and everything you do or say, do it with that goal uppermost. THAT will be your guiding light.

My XF also is confused within himself, but we must leave them to figure out their own selves; we are not responsible for them or their messes. That is something only they can deal with. We must attend to ourselves and do what is best for ourselves.

I am glad to hear you speaking with courage, continue and grow in that and do not let him pull you back in. If you do not feel strong enough to see or talk to him again without waivering, then don't. Send him a note if you must. But be strong in doing what you know in your heart is best for you.

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Hi KayC,

Yup, my fiance did the same thing as I may have said in my original message. He was the one who wanted to date, said "I love you" first, instigated the first kiss, asked to marry me, and wanted to move in together. I always thought that meant he cared more than I because it took more time before I reached each of those points. It seems actions speak louder than words. Although he said these things, his lack of motivation to make our relationship strong should have told me something. I felt like I was the one doing most of the work, and I made excuses to myself and told myself that's what a realationship is like (he's my first official boyfriend)... some of it was probably ignorance. I think about everything I do, and mean every promise I make or emotion that I show. Apparently saying those things first or acting that way first doesn't mean he's ready. That's actually been one thing on my mind I keep asking - how could he seem so ready, but now not be ready? I think he was jumping into things during our whole relationship, hoping things would fall into place. Yup, marriage is real, and so is moving in together - it goes further than regular, even serious dating. Right - the fallout - I feel that if this reality check didn't happen now, it would happen later during marriage with possibly a house and kids to divy up and sort out which would make this a hundred times worse.

I'm definately trying to look at the situation through my parents' and friends' eyes. My family, I think, thought he wasn't putting his all into our relationship - which he wasn't. My friends have tended to be more forgiving with stuff he's done since our engagement - but even they now are telling me this situation is just not good at all. They care about me and worry about me. I made a list today of stuff that I don't like about him - that he's done, how he's treated me, and some things he has said. I also made a list of "must haves" for my SI no matter who he is. I thought my fiance checked off almost everything...but this craziness since spring has made me realize he now doesn't check most of the boxes. I just wonder if what I'm seeing now is really him or a phase that's a reality check for him? Maybe it doesn't even matter because if he acts this way whenever there's uncertainty or a problem, I can't deal with it.

Maybe I will take the list of what I want with me when I see him and talk about each part, and how he has succeeded in unchecking many of the boxes these past few months. I don't know. Pray it all works out okay and we part peacefully for now. The only way I'd consider otherwise is if he suddenly knows he wants me because he misses who I am and how I fulfill his life - this is probably 99.9% unlikely :(

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You sound like me...I too mean what I say and back it up and I naively trusted him to mean what he said. He went overboard trying to prove I could trust him when we first got together,which made me feel I could throw caution to the wind. Now I can't trust at all.

Instead of telling him where he fell down, I would leave him with a roadmap back to you, if that's something you would consider. Give him a written list of what you would require in order to consider going back with him. (ie "no opposite sex friendships", complete transparency, spend weekends together, etc." I'm not saying that should be your list, just giving examples, you'll have to come up with a list you could live with. It's hard to get someone else to understand that they need to show more initiative, invest more, etc. I already know my ex-fiance would never go through the hoops I would require so I haven't bothered. It's been over two years and he's never once said, "I'm so sorry I hurt you, what can I do to get us back together?"

Good luck, it's all a learning experience, isn't it?

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Hi KayC,

Yes, it definately is a learning experience. I just met with him yesterday after our month break. He said he really missed me and he almost cried. He is frustrated at himself for having doubts and wishes he could look forward to our wedding right now. He said "What's wrong with me?" and apologized for the mess we're in. We had a really great discussion. He thinks his doubts do not have to do with me, but with the sudden reality check of real life and all the responsibilities included. He said he feels the way he did when he wanted to get back with me last time...don't worry, I didn't just take him back. He did admit his emotions are still a bit up and down, but through the course of a month, he started missing me for me more and more. I discussed with him that if we'd get back together, he'd have to be all in. That means we'd be seriously dating and he'd eventually propose again when he felt it was right. We'd have a lot to work on - and I specified what those things would be by sharing with him my list of what I want in a future husband. I also would want us to go to couples therapy. We decided to do another month break because he's moving into his new place in a couple weeks - which would give him time to settle into his new place and surroundings. This time, he will only contact me twice during the month. He will not date others because he's trying to deal with his own issues right now, while I may casually date others if I choose to do so. We will both work on ourselves this month. After the month is over, we'll either start our relationship again by building up a strong foundation, or break up if he still feels unsure. If he ends up wanting to get back together after that, it could possibly happen, but it's hard to know.

I will see how this month progresses, and see how our next meeting goes as well. I may update you then. I think another month will help him see if he really does want to totally go for it. He knows if the doubts creep up again, we're done.

-Pink08

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Pink,

You're being smart about this, please let us know how it goes, okay? I wish you well.

I'll post my latest in my own thread...

Kay

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi KayC,

My SO called me as was expected at the two week mark during our second month of "space". He says he wants to get back together, but again, he's afraid he could get nervous again and hurt both of us. He said his fears are about him being ready to settle down and get married because he knows marriage means being together constantly and loss of some freedom. He is very much aware that we can't just jump back into things - last time that just made things worse. He said he will call me this Friday to let me know for sure if he's all in or not to work on us. I think part of his fear was that he assumed he would basically have to propose right away after getting back together. I informed him that if we decide to get back together,I'm not comfortable being "engaged" right away no matter what other people think. I feel that we'd have to start slow and get to know each other again and see how it goes. I also want us to see a psychologist to help with the process, and he is aware of my list of "must haves" and wants to work towards them.

The thing is, it's just really difficult for me to put myself out there with the knowledge that I might be hurt, again. I'm scared that I will let my guard down, feel convinced I can trust him completely, and it just might not work out. My family and friends have seen my pain and don't think I should give him another chance. However, deep inside, I feel like I want it to work. I feel that during this space, I've been trying to convince myself that I can find someone else that will love me and never doubt settling down. But whenever my SO and I talk whether its on the phone or in person, both of us feel that we want to make it work. We've talked about whether getting together is just comfortable, but neither of us thinks that's the case. I'm also worried slightly about judgements from our family and friends, but who knows, maybe it will work now if we slowly get to know each other again?

It's so easy to "badmouth" him when I think we're done, but yet so easy to see his positives too and want to make things work. I'm just really scared. Part of me also doesn't want to go through any emotinoal variation this might cause. At the same time, I feel that giving up is the easy way out. Neither of us is willing to "give up" the other yet.

Do you or anyone else have advice? It's hard because I know each situation is different. I've been praying like crazy about this as well as being an individual and living my own life...which I will not stop doing though anyway no matter what happens. Shall I let God guide my sail? If he's bringing my SO back to me, do we have a chance? I know full well that if I allow us to go for it, I may be crushed again, posting my distress on this site. Isn't it true too, that if we don't put ourselves out there, we won't know what can happen? Bah. If only I knew how I'd feel a year from now so I'd know whether to drop this now or try again...

If we end up trying again, does anyone have advice on how to slowly rebuild a relationship? Does anyone have a positive experience with this sort of thing working out?

-Pink08

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I have heard of people making it after having broken up. I've seen recovered marriages on marriagebuilders.com, after facing much worse...cheating or addictions. But it is hard and takes a great deal of effort...some make it and some don't, and I don't think anyone can predict which will and which won't. Yes, it is very individual, and only you and he can decide if you want to or not. I think you are wise to back up and go slow. I also think it's wise to have your list to refer to...that's like a guard against a runaway heart that can lead you astray.

I can totally relate to what you're feeling...my fears of being hurt keep me from wanting to try again...with anyone.

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Sounds like your boyfriend definitely has trouble with commitment, and from everything you've written--I truly hope that his heart is in this and he's not stringing you along b/c he hasn't found a replacement yet. The issue with the co-worker is a huge issue, b/c he was looking for someone else--she simply rejected him. If she had not, then where would you be right now? Now, that doesn't mean he doesn't love you--that just means he's selfish and when you two were having trouble, he went looking for greener grass rather than watering his own plot. This shows weakness and lack of dedication. However, we all have our flaws right? I'm usually the first to give a person the benefit of the doubt.

However, I'm going to tell you how to keep this guy if YOU want him--not if he wants YOU. This is not easy, and it is a matter of controlling your own mind and emotions--difficult but doable. First, you must forget the insecurity he has caused. Just forget it, let it go. You are better than that and you know it deep down, which is why it makes you angry under the surface that he even treats you this way. His uneasiness and fear of commitment is about HIM, not about you! Don't check up on him, phone, email, or FB--when you are looking for something suspicious, you will find it I promise--plus you will drive yourself crazy in the process. You are right, once those seeds of doubt and suspicion are planted---well that ugly snowball just keeps getting bigger, at the least in your mind.

But this all comes down to choices b/c you can't sacrifice your emotional stability for this man. So choose to trust him or not, but don't choose to trust him while you are still checking up on him b/c that will only make YOU crazy and HIM think you are crazy. I had to break the habit myself of checking on my boyfriend's phone calls & FB every morning---force yourself to let that go in your mind. If he is being shady, that choice is his and the truth will come out in the end. Don't feel like you are being a fool to not pry and dig b/c you know you may have reason to, b/c in the end, if he is crossing the line speaking with some female and say you bust him b/c you've been doing your 'research'--well he'll only justify it in his mind when you break up 'b/c she was a crazy jealous girl anyway.' Are you following my reasoning here? My whole point is, this checking up on him & not trusting him is only hurting you and your relationship, so you must choose what you want to do, and those choices do not include continuing the relationship with a lack of trust b/c if you start building on poop, well.....

So, if it's possible, wipe the board clean. Today is a new day, and it's your day to do with what you want. Go look in the mirror and list off every good quality you have. Build yourself back up b/c this whole process has been nothing but tearing you down. Don't be afraid to be alone. Love yourself and find things that make you happy. Man are afraid of commitment b/c they are scared of being tied down, controlled, losing their freedom etc. Therefore the best way to reel in a guy who is afraid of settling down would be to prove that is not who you are (providing that is not who you are lol). If he wants time, give him time--and take your own time--don't use that time to wallow in where he's going or what he's doing. You go have yourself some fun, and laugh to yourself at what he's missing.

I know this probably sounds wacky, but girl you can put that ball back in your side of the court, you just have to reach out and grab it. You are too available for this guy. He thinks he can pick you up and put you back down according to his own emotional roller coaster, and you shouldn't be available for that....not when the terms involve not being committed to you. Focus on making yourself happy, and when you are truly content, it will be evident to everyone around you--and honestly it will bug the crap out of him that you are so happy and okay without his influence. Right now, he thinks you need him, he thinks your happiness is dependent on his return. You shake that solid ground that his brazen confidence is settled on and he'll be running back to try to win you over again.

You talked about how he said all those things at the beginning of a relationship about being in love with you and wanting to get married etc. I read somewhere a long time ago that when men do that, it's not b/c that is how they feel but b/c they want to gauge how you feel. If it's been a month and they are professing their undying love, and you gush back that you love them so much, then they know they've got you hooked. However, if you look at them a little taken aback, and say you care about them a lot or something....then they know they have more work to do to 'win' you. For men, it's about earning a good woman, and they don't want anything that comes too easily. Now I'm not saying play hard to get or anything like that, I'm just saying when you are needy, he perceives it and runs from it.

Stand on your own grand as a strong, glorious, happy woman, and he will be begging to be in your favor. Might sound crazy, but just try it. I learned this from a relationship expert who taught a dating course--and I was highly doubtful myself--but when I employ the tactic, I am always amazed how men will eat out of the palm of my hand. And no this is not some childish game, but that's the whole point--this is NOT a game--this is about you and your happiness. Quit worrying about how you aren't good enough for him, and start thinking of how he needs to be to keep you happy. Men are very smart, just so as women--but when it comes to relationships, they are kind of dumb. YOU set the bar and they will rise to the occasion--it's born into them. So if you have low expectations, that is what you will get, and you will always be left wanting and wondering why you aren't getting more. If you set the bar high, again, you are taking charge of your own happiness and not letting someone else have that control. Take the control away from him and you will win back your own life and mental peace, and probably him as well, or whatever guy that is deserving of you.

PS I've been head over head over head over heels, and I know feeling like he's the only one....but no matter what....remember there are lots of fish in the sea, and with time you will love again regardless of the outcome. So don't worry about the outcome, focus on the right now and what you need to be happy in this moment, with or without him. Hope this helps.

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However, I'm not sure I agree with this philosophy. The way to rebuild trust is with openness and once the two of you check on each other as much as you want and no black marks are found, it can be rebuilt. Once trust has been broken to this extent, you can't just "forget" it happened...nor should you. We must learn to listen to our inner intuition, not discount it. It's not true that if you are looking you will find something...only if the other person is breaching trust. In that case, you want to know so you can do something about it, namely, move on. We don't deserve a lifetime of having to live with that. We should be with someone who truly has our best interests at heart. I am not talking about an insane jealousy with no basis, I am talking about when trust has been violated and you want to rebuild the relationship anyway, it takes a great deal of effort on both of your part...merely sweeping under the rug won't do it. Getting to WHY it happened is a start, complete openness and honesty is also a very big part of recovery. An unwillingness to do anything less demonstrates to me that the other person is not vested in salvaging the relationship and it's time to move on for my own health and peace of mind.

And yes, Marty, that is so accurate...if you are truly broken up, you shouldn't be surveiling one another or stalking, you have to go through the withdrawal in order to heal.

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Yeah, that's going to help, talk it to death, and swirl in the misery over his attraction to another woman. There is no reasoning behind it, people do dumb things, that's the reason. Do you think any reason he could throw out there would make her feel better about it? "She was hotter than you." "She seemed less crazy than you." "I was tired of you." ?????? Seriously, there isn't a good reason and it's preposterous to sit around and try to make sense of something that has a senseless base which encompasses all cheating and infidelity ever. That's why you either trust each other and move forward or decide that your trust has been betrayed to the point that you need to move on with someone else. You can't stay in a relationship with suspicion, and yes you will find something if you are looking for it. A casual friendly chat with a female might look awfully suspicious on FB if he's a flirty friendly man--even if the entire conversation is completely innocent. Texting to a female looks suspicious if you are looking at #'s on a phone bill, but you don't know what was said, you don't know if it's something to worry with. And you can't babysit your man, it demasculates him, which will ruin the relationship anyway b/c no woman wants to be with a leashed man and no man wants to be the man on a leash!! Telling a woman to go to her man and talk out the reasoning behind his dumb behavior---seriously he's going to run for the hills and never look back b/c he knows it's obvious she'll never let it go. Sometimes it is best to just leave well enough alone, let sleeping dogs lie--this is for her mental peace and whatever possibility is left for a relationship.

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I don't want to leave this poster with such a brash hopeless response such as this. I have been studying marriagebuilders for several years and I think their response to this situation would be:

1) Read "Buyers, Renters, and Freeloaders" to be able to recognize who is marriage material and who is not

2) If someone is cheating before marriage, cut them loose because although you may be able to salvage the relationship, why would you want to go to that much effort when you don't have to

3) If you have invested so much in the relationship and think it can be recovered, read the vast amount of information on their site...however, it was created to save marriages, not dating relationships. They have a PLAN for recovering marriages, it involves Plan A, Plan B, The Carrot and the Stick, studying up on "His Needs, Her Needs", avoiding Lovebusters, and so much more. I don't want to elaborate because their website is vast and covers it better than a small condensation here would, and I don't want to violate copyrights. It's not recommended to try with serial cheaters and where there are active addictions present.

4) Rushing into a relationship is cautioned against. If a person goes into a relationship too deep too fast, they can expect these kinds of problems (been there, done that!)

Talk is cheap, and actions are what counts; however, communication is one of the first places you have to start. He will have to bear the brunt of the work, if you are putting in all of the effort, that says a lot right there.

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Hello, let me ask a question. If he wants to get back together because he loves me, thinks we can work, and wants to get married someday to me, but is afraid to for fear that he will have doubts again about being ready to settle down, which of these two options is best?:

1. Break up - maybe get together later if/when he feels ready to settle down or knows I'm "the one"

2. Try again - start slowly with a councelor and try our best to make things work by getting to know each other again as if starting a new relationship without he pressure yet of being engaged until we/he feels ready and if it doesn't work break up

Which one has the best chance for long-term success?

-Pink08

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Seriously, get the book and read it. Most marriage counselors don't save marriages; when it hasn't even made it that far it has even less of a chance. It takes commitment to make a relationship work and if someone has commitment phobia, it rarely makes it. I'm sorry, it's not the answer I'd like to give you. My XF still loves me and there was no reason we didn't make it, we got along well, but he also seems to have some commitment phobia. Fortunately now we are both aware of it so we just stay friends.

I would not trap myself in a relationship with someone I was in love with but they wouldn't commit, it's a heck of a spot to be in, always hoping for something more than they can give. It's not good for them either, always feeling the pressure or feeling like a heel because they can't come through for you. I would part as friends. If he ever has a change of heart, he knows where you are. However, he takes the chance of losing you for good, that's just the consequences that go with the action of being non-committal.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Pink08, similar to you, my ex-boyfriend was my first boyfriend and he has been the only person that I've been in a relationship with. We were each other's first love, and each other's first for everything. I can finally say that I am in a much better place emotionally. It really was hard when he broke up with me, when we'd sort of get back together and then he'd re-break up with me, and when I found out he flirted it was horrible! Especially because I never imagined that he'd disrespect me the way he did...funny thing is, I'm tearing up right now as I write this and yet I said that I was in a better place emotionally earlier lol But I am. I just haven't thought about that stuff in a while. But from my personal experience and from reading your original post, I'd definitely, definitely recommend just letting go. It's not worth the trouble you're going through and will go through if you choose to go back with him. Someone like him is not worth your time, and I'm pretty sure you've become aware of this on your own :) And don't even think about dating yet if you're not very comfortable with it at the moment. Give yourself time to heal, things will work out somehow for the better. It's been almost a year and a half since he broke up with me and I've still yet to go on a date with someone new, and I'm fine with that. However, it's been a few months since I've really decided to let go and accepted the fact that things are not going to be the same anymore, therefore there is no way that we will get back together. What's really helped me get better was focusing on myself, on school and my future goals, and deleting him from facebook. I don't really talk to him so often either, or see him, I haven't seen him in a month. Our relationship is better now though. The last time I talked to him on the phone was this Tuesday and Wednesday. I called him because on Tuesday I was having a bad day, I missed two of my classes, one which attendance is graded and the other one where I had to turn in homework, and I cancelled a dentist's appointment that I had that day. I had been experiencing irrational anxiety since the morning, I felt overwhelmed, misunderstood, and upset so I called him in the afternoon. I told him about how I was having a bad day, how I wish I was a "normal" person (I suffer from agoraphobia), and I cried and he was simply supportive and comforting. He said just enough to make me feel validated. And then I called him on Wednesday to talk to him about my dentist appointment, being able to successfully attend one was pretty important to me so I just felt like sharing that accomplishment with him since I had emailed him earlier in the day to wish me luck. But for the most part, our short conversations have revolved around joking around about our celebrity crushes and shopping for new clothes. Since I always thought he had a good sense of style, I went shopping recently and I emailed him asking him to help me decide what to get, and then he also forwarded me a 30% off coupon, which was very cool lol. Basically, what I am trying to say is, I am beginning to treat him more like a good friend, specifically more like a girlfriend at times, and I am okay with that. And ultimately, this is perhaps the best relationship you can have with someone that you used to love so greatly, and perhaps still do but with time it becomes a different kind of love, and I think that it has to become a different kind of love in order for your relationship with this person remain healthy, and happy. And although I do confide some things with him, I try to keep those very minimal and confide mostly with my best friend, who is also my roommate. For the moment, I am still working on completely letting go, I feel like I've done good progress though :D

I am sorry I wrote so much! But I hope that this helped a little bit, and the main thing that I want you to take away from my experience is to definitely choose to let him go, work on taking care of yourself, and with time, hopefully the two of you can remain good friends. Take care and I hope to hear from you soon! :D

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  • 6 months later...

I believe that the biggest problem in a break up is that at some point you don't want to forget. You say that I want only to be him and noone else because it is difficult to imagine yourself with somene else. And there is the big problem in my opinion. If you accept this, you will see that you will actually feel better. Well, I am not the one to talk, because I always used to forget the ones that they hurt me really easily, and it is the first time that I cannot, since the problem is related to grief and to nothing else, and since my relationship had just started.
But I don't know, I actually have managed to keep contact with 2 of my previous boyfriends in really friendly terms and also I usually fully forget how it was when I was with another person. I don't know, maybe this is not natural, but I can do it very easily, and even my previous 7 year relationship manage to forget it in one month. I think I accept the facts very easily.

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