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Persiflager
(((Angie)))

Good luck! That is a really hard situation.

It took me three years to finally reach the decision to break up with my ex. Not that I'd been thinking about it all that time, but, looking back, that marked the point at which I should have realised that it wasn't working. The last year I kept fantasising how great it would be if we could skip the 'breaking up' part and get straight to not being in a relationship any more. I just couldn't comprehend going through with it.

I regretted it for about a week, then my ex showed up to ask me to take him back. I was just so....annoyed to see him there! And I realised that I hadn't really welcomed his company for a while. That made it easier to be firm. The next morning I woke up with the most amazing sense of relief.

Break-ups are always sad, even when you're 100% sure (which hardly anyone ever is).

Quote from Breakup Girl (you might find it useful to browse the archive of advice letters for people with similar situations to you):

"Breaking up does suck, you guys. Thatís why Iím here. But trust me, feeling sad and yucky is better than feeling confused and stuck. The latter destroys brain cells, permanently. The former ó unpleasant though it may be ó is the first step of the heartís healing process. But the longer you wait once you realize you need to do the deed, the longer that process is going to take."
angie_21
Thank you Persi. I know you are right about a lot of things. I have been wishing that he would find someone else while I was away, someone who is more attracted to him and will be there for him in a way I can't be when I'm so far away. It does hurt my brain, I feel like I'm at war with myself every time I try to think this through. Sometimes it gives me an actual headache. I can't work past the guilt of knowing that by wanting to be in school more than I want to be with him, I am taking away a lot of the possibility for us to work through this.

I feel like I need to express that our relationship is more than just boyfriend/girlfriend. We aren't married, but really the only difference is the piece of paper. We've had a commitment to spend our lives together the whole time we've been dating (I think that's why this is all so scary,this is the first time in 5 years I've even considered the possibility of not being together). would everything I wrote before sound different if it was worded differently, if I called him my husband and said instead that I am concerned about "bringing back the spark" and intimacy and all those other words that those annoying marriage-building self-help books are full of? I am wondering it I should invest in a few but I don't trust them, I've always thought they were full of platitudes and over-generalizations. And yet here I am not knowing where to begin, something must be better than nothing.
delibelly
I'll butt in if you don't mind. You can take my advice for whatever it's worth.

I have been married for 12 years and I could have written your letter 7 years ago. My husband is good looking, fit, has a good job, is faithful. Other women would push me over and step on my head to be with him. I know some have tried. However, in my case the "spark" has not rekindled, regardless of the advice of the books and experts. I don't expect it ever will. I don't know whether this is what happens in all long term relationships, or if I am just not cut out for monogamy, but I made a promise when I married and I stick to it.

I think we all expect to win the relationship lottery: true love, soulmates, libido that never wanes. But a lottery is a lottery because the majority of people don't win it. The majority of my married friends do not have a satisfying sex life for one reason or another. But, you know, I am not miserable. I love my husband enormously. He is my greatest friend, and we have a happy life together with two great kids. Still, I know that I have absolutely compromised my sex life for the sake of this happiness, and I'm sad that the sexiest years of my life are wasted.

So, if I had to travel back in time, to a place where I did not have two kids and a mortgage to think of, what would I tell myself? I would say that if you can't reconcile yourself to an otherwise satisfying lifetime of mediocre sex with someone you don't particularly fancy, then don't stay.

That being said, opinions are like arseholes. Everyone has one...
angie_21
Wow. I was hoping someone out there would have a success story for me. I mean, so many people do stay together, you would hope that it would usually be for good reasons.

delibelly, I feel sometimes like I am already in that situation. We do have a mortgage, I love his family, we don't have kids but we do have a cat. Right now I am covered by his health insurance, we file our taxes together. I can't even comprehend where we would begin to sort things out if we broke up. I was brought up in a family where the view on relationships was that you can't just up and leave when you're a bit unhappy. But would you really tell your past self to leave? There were reasons why you stayed, and there are reasons you're choosing to stay now even though you're not as happy as you know you could be. I mean, why not let one of those other women have their chance to make him happy? Maybe like me, you can't justify ending something that's really actually pretty good, and are settling for good enough because it's better than nothing, and better than hurting someone?

Ideally, I think I would love to continue as the great life team we are, but both of us be able to have sex with other people. Not an option. I know he wants all or nothing. and its not fair that right now I'm not giving him either of those options. but at the same time, this problem with sex is a huge stumbling block for me. It's not something I can get past. If I felt we could fix it, this would all be different. But its the thing I really don't want to try, I mean how do you tell yourself to try to be more attracted to someone when you just aren't anymore? When you don't really even want them to touch you? I could get past everything else, I love him so much, I don't want to lose my best friend, but if I'm not in love, I don't know.

Right now we are just coasting on routine. We can't make ourselves talk about this. I am thinking of suggesting a week of not calling or emailing eachother. It's like being away from home has been a trial separation,and unfortunately I liked it, even though I had never thought anything was all that wrong until it happened. He's going through a stressful time though, his grandma is sick, our cat is sick, he's applying to go back to school. We're writing a paper together to submit for publication. What if he ends up needing something and I'm not there?
stargazer
(((delibelly))) and (((angie_21)))

QUOTE(angie_21 @ Jan 30 2011, 05:31 PM) *
Maybe like me, you can't justify ending something that's really actually pretty good, and are settling for good enough because it's better than nothing, and better than hurting someone?


QUOTE
I could get past everything else, I love him so much, I don't want to lose my best friend, but if I'm not in love, I don't know.


Yikes. Are you feeling that it is better to know you have someone than experiencing being alone, angie_21? I've encountered men who are, like your SO, to be generally good guys. However, mid-life crisises of their wives lead to infidelities on their wives part. The main problem, these women were not happy in their relationships, really they were not happy with themselves. Instead of letting their SO know things were not well for them, they created a situation to make an easy exit. In the end, their former spouses unwillingness to admit their own unhappiness lead them to placing their happiness (or rather, the lackthereof) onto the former spouses. Basically, they assigned their baggage onto someone else.

And I figure, that these stories resonate for me 'cause I often think about if things would've ended the same way for me if I didn't leave a relationship which was unfulfilling for me in my 20s. While I've still questioned myself in the past 7 years, I like to believe that these situations were presented to me to let me know where I may have ended up. Also, in the end, that trite saying is right, "You can't love someone else until you love yourself." Hence, my journey to learning what I want for me and what makes me happy for the past 7 years.

Sometimes, loving someone means knowing when to let go. Letting go of your illusion/fantasy of what your relationship is like (that you are ok with how things are), letting go of your expectations of what things will be like (that you just have to be strong like your family), and paying attention to your own needs in the relationship. Is what you "love" is the comfort of not having to deal any repercussions of even talking about your feelings with your ex? I'm not sure if you've already mentioned in this thread whether or not you've spoken with him about all of this. I do not think it is too much to at least let him know where you are at emotionally with the relationship. If you want any resolution with these uncomfortable feelings, then I think you owe it to him to let him know how you are feeling?

I hope it doesn't sound harsh or anything. Again, I think it is good that you are posting here to figure things out. I hope any of what I posted was helpful.

**On a total aside, I've been annoyed when I've spoke with a couple of women about wives who have had infidelities in their relationships. The response has been, "Oh, the man must've done something for her to go outside the relationship." Uh, what? So, only men have primal urges for other sexual experiences? Women only have sex outside of their relationship 'cause they are provoked? I see this view as reflective of a patriarchal system in which all women want relationships, marriage, children...those things are our only desires...we desire nothing else for ourselves.
Persiflager
Oof. The obstacles you mention - the mortgage, the cat, the paper - sound to me more like 'reasons your break-up will especially suck' than 'reasons not to break up'.

I think the week's break is a very good idea. Tell him that he can still call you if he needs anything, but that you need some time alone to think about your relationship.

And angie, I know it sound unimaginably hard, but breaking up really is an option. People divorce all the time, and many of them manage to divide houses, cats and even children with respect and civility. It does suck, but it's do-able.
delibelly
"But would you really tell your past self to leave?" (angie_21)

I'm not trying to give anyone advice. I don't feel qualified. Look carefully, I said "If....blah blah, Then..." I'm just trying to give you details of how things may work out depending on the decision that you do make. Honestly, being in receipt of all the details, I don't know what my past self would do. Make no mistake. My life is very happy and I love my husband enormously. My sex life just sucks, for exactly the same reasons you outline.

"Basically, they assigned their baggage onto someone else." (stargazer)

Exactly. And my baggage is watching my mother be mistreated by every man she dated, and having shitty male role models growing up. I don't underestimate the value of a good man, and maybe that's why I'm willing to sublimate my sexuality to stay with one. But that is not your baggage (angie) necessarily, so you have to make the decision that is right for you.

"even though you're not as happy as you know you could be" (angie_21)

But I don't know that. That's not my life experience (see above) or even what I see around me now that most of my friends are married couples. Again, you may have different experiences and the relationship you believe you can attain, what you need from a relationship may be different from me. As I see it, you can only make one of three decisions:

1) You decide to stay but don't put any work into your sex life and it stays the same. Years from now you are either reconciled to it, or still unhappy.
2) You stay, put some work into your sex life and maybe it gets better and maybe it doesn't, but at least you can say you tried.
3) You decide to leave and start again. Results may vary.

What is unlikely is that the sex fairy will swoop in and make things better again if you just wait long enough and ignore it. (I say lovingly, because I have been there.)
dj-bizmonkey
hello ladies! i would like to break into the conversation and pick your brains regarding my relationship. i haven't really posted in here very much because i haven't been in a serious relationship since 2008.

here is the basic breakdown. i met my current boyfriend here in Central America (he is a native) and we have been together since the beginning of October. not a super long time, i know, but it was kind of instantaneously serious. after years of dating emotionally withdrawn, non-communicative North American men being with a latino is a complete break in what i'm used to. we've exchanged 'i love you' and i am certain that the both of us are sincere. i was definitely more reluctant in the beginning and wanting to put on the brakes. now i've let go of my reservations completely and just tried to follow my heart. i'm crazy about him and prepared to do everything in my power to make the relationship work because i literally haven't felt this away about anyone before. the only thing that came close was my first love waaaaaay back in my teenage years.

beyond the logistical obstacles we face (i.e. the U.S. State Department) there are constant cultural conflicts and misunderstandings. he doesn't speak English very well though my Spanish is sufficiently advanced (though not fluent) for us to communicate adequately. still, we often misunderstand each other and i struggle not to be patronizing or an ethno-centrist. it is also a new relationship, so we are still figuring each other out and getting to know what is at the core. i vacillate between emotional diarrhea and "cool girl syndrome" whereby you hold every nag and concern in for fear of being viewed as over emotional or crazy.

this brings me to my issue. he had a past "relationship" with another American girl. i put that in quotations because for her it was 6 weeks of getting wasted and fooling around. he had very strong feelings for her and she lead him on the entire time. she oscillated between saying she cared about him romantically and saying she just wanted to be friends. she manipulated him whenever she needed something from him and then pushed him away when he became inconvenient or clingy. i have all of this on good authority from a mutual friend who witnessed the entire exchange. she left the country, promising that she loved him and would come back for him. then he didn't hear from her again until about a month ago when she announced she was coming back for a visit (not specifically him, just a general re-tour of the area). they hung out one night, exchanged pleasantries and that was it. i never had to meet her, thank goodness, but she has tainted the relationship for me. i'm not normally a jealous person, but this girl makes me insane. it wouldn't be such a issue if it weren't for fucking facebook. stupid electronic age. i have to see her posts on his wall, her flirtations, her vying for his attention. she doesn't care about him in any real way, but she loves the attention she can cull out of him.

he and i recently discussed this whole issue and i asked him to delete her from his facebook friends. i told him if she really was such a good friend then they could communicate in some form where i wouldn't have to bear witness. she could call him or they could send emails. i completely trust him and he is sooooo not the type to cheat (despite the obvious stereotypes about latinos). it is her that i don't trust. i also don't think she deserves to be part of his life after she did him so wrong. the way she emotionally fucked him makes him not trust me as much as he should. he's always throwing disclaimers out about our relationship like if when i go back to the USA and find someone else he'll understand etc. that is the furthest thing from my mind. i only want to be with him and i'll go toe to toe with the government to make it happen.

a-n-y-way. so far he has only deleted a wall post that sent me over the edge and nothing else. she remains in his list of friends and stupid facebook keeps offering her up as a potential friend to me as in 'you might know this person.' i really want her erased. i know in my heart that if she doesn't have that easy access she likely won't maintain communication because it isn't worth it to her. so here's my question, after all this preamble. how long do i wait before i say something to him again? when we talked about it the first time he agreed with me that she didn't care about him, but he also said according to his principles it wasn't right to turn your back on someone, even if they hurt you and did you wrong. Still, he told me he would do it for me and he told me that he would erase her completely.

i feel like a crazy person. sorry for the novella.
stargazer
QUOTE(dj-bizmonkey @ Feb 2 2011, 01:14 PM) *
when we talked about it the first time he agreed with me that she didn't care about him, but he also said according to his principles it wasn't right to turn your back on someone, even if they hurt you and did you wrong. Still, he told me he would do it for me and he told me that he would erase her completely.


Well, it sounds like he was willing to defriend/discontinue communication with her for you. At the same time, you cannot expect some people to defriend or stop being friends with an ex. I agree with him that you don't have to turn your back on someone. Shit, I helped my ex (whom I'm still friends with) deal with a bad breakup. It sounds like you are having trouble trusting him.
dj-bizmonkey
yeah, i hear your stargazer, and i realize it is MY problem and not his. i'm friends with some of my ex's too, but not the ones who broke my heart. it honestly is just stupid facebook, totally an out of sight, out of mind kind of thing. if i didn't have to face it electronically, it wouldn't bother me and i wouldn't think about it, because i DO trust him and it isn't my style to go through phone records or hack into his email account. i just wish it was something i didn't have to see on a daily basis.

i've never asked a boyfriend to do this before in my life. i've never really been the jealous type. i think it's that i know way too much of her side of the story (from our mutual friend) and what her intentions are/were and the kind of person she is. it isn't the kind of friendship where they would help each other through tough times. she left for the U.S. and they didn't communicate at all for an entire year, despite the fact that he tried to contact her. he hasn't done anything inappropriate and i sincerely believe that he wouldn't. however she continues to post flirtatious messages and innuendos that i have to see. it's her behavior that i take issue with and not his. but obviously i don't have any control over that and neither does he. i guess i don't feel like it is an unreasonable request to remove someone from your facebook friends. i never asked him to cut her out of his life completely.
Synergy
Wow angie_21. I feel for you and your situation.
A lot has already been said here. I broke up with my man about 1 year ago. We were tohether for 3 years, only he deserved it. But it wasn't simple because of all the emotions involved. I moved in with him, so breaking up would mean i was leaving with nothing.

The one thing i learned is that i want to be happy and i wasn't happy in the relationship. But happyness is something to figure out for yourself, dellibelly's situation is a perfect example in my opinion. Although not perfect it is the situation she is happy in.

What helped for me, or what i should have done sooner is write things down. I talked a lot about the relationship while still being in it, mostly with my sister. We still talk about it and now that i've gained the emotional distance because of breaking up, i can see tings more clearly. I also remember things i 'forgot', those are things i didn't want to remember i guess because i was so buisy with trying to see the good things in him and wanting to make it work. So the next time i would be in a situation like this i would write it down so i can't forget. This can also mean writing down the good stuff.
And if you want a clear picture, try to write the stuff down in a good column and a bad one. That will give you an overview to see if the good things weigh up against the bad ones.


Dj_bizmonkey, i don't understand how you can say 'i trust him but i don't trust her'. Trusting him is the only thing you can and have to do right?
dj-bizmonkey
QUOTE(Synergy @ Feb 3 2011, 06:41 AM) *
Dj_bizmonkey, i don't understand how you can say 'i trust him but i don't trust her'. Trusting him is the only thing you can and have to do right?


you are absolutely right, all of this just seems to be confirming that i AM acting crazy....
Persiflager
Dj_bizmonkey, are you two 'in a relationship' on Facebook?

Maybe you could put up lots of joint cute photos, and ask your boyfriend to post a fews statuses like 'BF thinks his girlfriend DJ_bizmonkey is the most awesome girl ever!'. She might not realise that you two are so serious.

Is there a way on Facebook to block her posts from your newsfeed?

Don't feel bad, she'd piss me off too! Staying friends with exes is fine, but flirting with exes who now have girlfriends is not so cool.

If he's not responding, do you think she'll get bored soon and stop?

angie_21
I just tested my facebook and it looks like you can only block seeing posts from people you are friended with. Darn. that would have been an easy solution. I like Persi's suggestions. I think one good thing is that he isn't hiding his interactions with her from you. That would be a reason to start not trusting him. If they're out in the open, at least you know what's going on. I understand how you feel, her behavior is pretty rude and downright mean if she is trying to keep him hanging on just for the attention. But why is he still friends with someone who treated him so horribly? It would drive me absolutely up the wall.

Delibelly, I projected my own issues onto your relationship. Sorry for misunderstanding your comments. I have decided to give things more time. Partly because he just found out a few days ago his grandmother has terminal aggressive cancer with a few months left to live, and we find out next week whether our cat may be dying of kidney failure. Yay. This is not the right time for us to deal with the relationship without a lot of outside emotions being involved, and I doubt things would go well. I don't want anger or bitterness to be any stronger than they have to be. We are going to visit eachother a few times this semester, and give things a chance to work themselves out. If they don't I think a break while I am in the field will be in order, but we will take this as it comes. It might be dragging things out, but there will be three weeks at the end of the semester to deal with this properly and not over long distance.

My baggage is seeing my mom and dad's relationship, they stayed together, and they are happy, but my mom was so very much held back in her life by staying with my dad. They love eachother, but it was a lot of work for them to stay together and my dad is very selfish and my mom is always working so hard to keep everyone in the family happy. She doesn't do anything for herself, ever. No matter how hard I try I always end up following her example, and end up unhappy in my relationships because of it. It's not my boyfriend's fault I never ask for anything from him, and let myself become resentful anyways.

I was sitting in my office crying over the whole situation a few days ago (so embarassing, I am letting this affect me professionally) when my office mate came in. We ended up going for lunch to talk about it and she is in the middle of a very similar relationship crisis. We both loved the independence of going to school and having our own lives, and aren't as happy in our relationships anymore because of it. We feel a bit held back by our old lives, and we feel we are also holding back our significant others by making them wait on us. But we don't want to end a lifetime relationship because of a few years at grad school. I never had any idea how many other women go through this kind of thing. I let myself believe my relationship was perfect and special, some kind of exception to the rule, and so when things started getting difficult, I let myself believe my problems were special too. How stupid is that? Ha.

And yeah, I'm afraid of leaving and being in a small town in a foreign country with nothing. It's not true, I've made great friends here, and have my family back home, but it's still scary to lose so much emotional and financial support while I'm away at school.
dj-bizmonkey
QUOTE(angie_21 @ Feb 4 2011, 09:57 AM) *
I just tested my facebook and it looks like you can only block seeing posts from people you are friended with. Darn. that would have been an easy solution. I like Persi's suggestions. I think one good thing is that he isn't hiding his interactions with her from you. That would be a reason to start not trusting him. If they're out in the open, at least you know what's going on. I understand how you feel, her behavior is pretty rude and downright mean if she is trying to keep him hanging on just for the attention. But why is he still friends with someone who treated him so horribly? It would drive me absolutely up the wall.


thank you so much Persi and angie! i think i also just needed to hear that this would be annoying to anyone, and not just me. angie, that is my exact same question! if someone treats you like dirt why do you persist in being their friend? honestly i think it comes down to his spiritual principles of turning the other cheek and forgiveness. i have a lot of respect for them, but i don't agree with them. it isn't just my jealousy, it's also my protective nature. i know he loves me and that he'd never leave me to be with her, but i know how much pain she caused him and i don't want her to be able to continue to do it. we are 'in a relationship' on facebook, and he just recently changed his profile picture to one of us together. he also writes things like 'te quiero preciosa,' on my wall very often. it's obvious to the facebook world, including she who must not be named, that we are in a relationship and wild about each other. i've decided i'm not going to say anything. if he wants to erase her, fine, if not, fine. i can't let this person who has no stake or care in my life whatsoever affect my well being. at the end of the day, i know he loves me and i love him. no flaky, directionless ex-whatever can come in between. honestly, i just needed to put it all out there and i feel MUCH better now. thanks for listening and replying.

QUOTE(angie_21 @ Feb 4 2011, 09:57 AM) *
I never had any idea how many other women go through this kind of thing. I let myself believe my relationship was perfect and special, some kind of exception to the rule, and so when things started getting difficult, I let myself believe my problems were special too. How stupid is that? Ha.


i totally know what you are talking about here. what's funny is ALL people, regardless of culture or upbringing want the same basic things in life. from a partner we want to know that we are valued and appreciated. all relationships are WORK, whether they are familial, platonic, or romantic. i think we all forget that, especially when we are inundated with unrealistic portrayals of romantic love and relationships from movies and television.

it sounds like this would be a bad time for you to break up, angie, just remember that it is never 'a good time.' don't get trapped in that cycle. if you are able to work things out when his life is not so turned upside down, more power to you, but always allow yourself the out. you get one shot at this life (maybe more but you won't be consciously aware of them) so you have to make it count. good luck and thanks again!

p.s. on a random note, have any of y'all seen the PBS program 'This Emotional Life,' ? it is pretty amazing. the first installment is all about positive emotions, family friends and lovers, the third is about happiness and why we look for it in the wrong places. you can stream it on Netflix instant.
anarch
dj, I'd be annoyed too.

And I'm so glad to see you around these parts again! *dance of joy*
angie_21
Well I did it. I suggested taking a break but it very quickly changed into being it, he knew that if I wanted a break its because I didn't want us anymore. And the conversation ended with him asking me to think about it more, and I promised I would. And he said he wouldn't call, he would wait for me to call him. So it's not 100% final, but for a 5 year relationship, it's pretty big. That rates up there with the worst experiences of my life, ever. I think there's been worse but I have no idea what they were. I hope so much that he is going to be OK, I am so worried about him now I can't sleep. I'm terrified I made the wrong decision, that I'll regret it. I feel like I won't, I feel like I did the right thing, but I don't know if trusting my emotions is really possible right now.
sybarite
(((((Angie))))) Trust yourself, and come back in here as much as you need. FWIW, I think you did the right thing from what you've said, but it can be hard to keep seeing that. You are strong and wise and are also being straight with him, which is important to remember.
dj-bizmonkey
wow angie, after reading everything you had written i did not expect you to move this quickly, but good for you to stand by what you really feel. breaking up is never easy, even if you are doing it for the right reasons. if someone cheats on you or does something else reprehensible you can just cut them out of your life. you can write them off and say, that person was a jerk and i am better off without him/her. but when the loves is gone, or when things just don't feel 'right' i think it is sooooo much more difficult. i think the hardest part will be the next few days or weeks for you. you will probably have a lot of second thoughts, doubt, guessing. however, always remember to listen to your heart. listen to that inner voice because it will never steer you wrong. sit quietly, clear your mind of all the anxious questions and really listen to that voice and i think you will find it agrees with your decision. in a battle between your logical mind and your unconscious, the unconscious wins out in the end every single time. you can talk yourself into anything for a spell, but that will wear off eventually and you are left with what you felt originally. of course i can't tell you that you made the right decision because i'm not in your shoes exactly. but i can tell you that all the pieces fit, and if you stay strong and keep the separation up you will feel better sooner than you might think. the tough part is making a clean break for an adequate amount of time so you don't end up getting back together out of guilt or fear. it sounds like he is a really understanding guy and is willing to respect your boundaries. i had a friend who was in a similar situation but the guy didn't respect her space. he kept calling her and showing up unannounced. she ended up getting back together with him, getting engaged, only to leave him a week before the wedding. stay strong and remember you have a great support network in the flesh and on the interwebs. good luck!

hi anarch!! *waves ecstatically* long time no see, really missed this place and it is great to be back!
Persiflager
(((angie)))

Try to take care of yourself as much as you can for the next few weeks, while your heart sorts through everything. Make sure you eat, take naps if you need them, get some fresh air if you can. You're going through a bereavement, and it's SO hard.

ketto
(((angie))) It sounds like this was coming for a while - I'm not entirely surprised that it moved quickly into a discussion about ending things. I've been in the position of hurting someone I cared for and it always surprised me how hard it was on my end. I can see now that I selfishly I played around with his emotions because I didn't want to have to feel guilty or to hurt anymore. The pain is unavoidable from both sides but it sounds like you're feeling pretty confident in your decision.

I think everyone who commented is right; you're in a grieving period now and the end (or ending) of a long relationship is a big loss. Make sure you're taking care of yourself right now and have lots of positive supports around you - you know you've always got the lounge too.
stargazer
(((angie_21)))
angie_21
((busties))

Thank you so much everyone, you are all so wonderful. I'm just so worried about him, I want to call just to make sure he's OK but I know that's a bad idea, and I know that's he's not so what can I do anyways? I've spent the entire afternoon in complete doubt of myself and terrified of what I've done and what will happen in the near future. I was so scared of hurting him I didn't stop to think how much ending this would hurt me too. I know I am going to lose him as a friend and as part of my life and it makes me feel sick. Maybe it's not worth it.

But then I read what I wrote before and it is still true, I'm not in love, I don't miss him or love him the way he misses me, and I was so unhappy with the life we had made together. I haven't been respectful of his feelings while I've been away and he deserves more than I can give him. My last relationship I dragged out for over a year after I first came to the realization that it probably wasn't going to work, and it was such a huge mistake. I didn't want to act so quickly on this, I don't know if I was ready, but the conversation started, he was worried and said that I didn't seem to care about him anymore. I knew it was the right time, and the longer I've waited to act, the more sad and hurt he was getting at my inability to show the same feelings I used to have.

I'm going to school and trying my best to do everything as normal. It's hard being away from all my closest friends at a time like this, i'm more alone than I would otherwise be. I'm glad you're all here smile.gif
buttercups
I don't have much to add, because everyone else put things so perfectly, but just want to offer my support too angie. What you did takes so much strength and I really admire you for that. I know it's so hard, but you did what you had to do and I think you will feel so much better for it in the end. Hang in there and know that we are all here for you no matter what happens. <3
Persiflager
(((angie)))

The only ex I've stayed friends with was the one who broke up with me as soon as he realised it wasn't working. It was horrible at the time, but even then I was grateful for the fact that he was honest and hadn't dragged things out. And honestly? I think it was harder for him, becasue he had to deal with all the guilt and doubt.

anarch
(((angie)))
Synergy
(((angie)))

That was a huge step for you. Hope you're doing all right.
futura
(((((Angie))))))
angie_21
Hey girls. I wanted to say thank you for everything. I really haven't been doing alright. Last weekend we talked again and made the breakup more final and I fell into this horrible depression, I completely lost my sense of who I am and what I'm doing with my life. I've never, ever felt that way before. It was terrifying. I've cried every night, not specifically over him, just out of this sense of complete despair that feels like its coming from inside me. I know that sounds ridiculously dramatic but its the only way to say it. I'm not usually an emotional person and I'm completely at a loss for how to understand this.

We had bought a plane ticket for him to visit me this weekend and I told him he could decide if he wanted to come visit me or not. Last night he called, just for a minute, to tell me he would still like to come, even if it's just to say goodbye face to face. I was really happy to hear that he is coming. I still am. Just hearing his voice made me feel better and kind of brought back a bit of my sense of self. I don't know what that means, if it means I'm just in the worst stage of the breakup and missing him, or if I really do need him in my life. It feels like I've lost a part of who I am. He was always the first person I would turn to in any situation, for anything at all, and to not be able to turn to him now when this feels like one of the hardest things I've ever done, it's so hard. But then I talked to one of my friends here and she asked how do I think it's going to feel if I were to try to kiss him when he gets here, and I'm still not really very excited by that idea.

I don't know what I'm going to do tomorrow. I've missed him so much this week, even though it's the first time in months that I've missed him at all. With things actually being real, this is so different than what I expected.
Persiflager
(((((angie)))))

Just be honest with him. Giving him false hope at this stage would be the cruellest thing you could do.

There's every chance that you'll have him back in your life as a friend, once you've both had a chance to heal.

I'm really glad that you've got friends with you to help you through this.
stargazer
(((angie_21))) This may be premature to say this, but, you will get through this. Just allow your self the emotional space to grieve the loss of the relationship. It is tough for us academics who are used to powering through things from a rational perspective to let go and be emotional without judgment. Keep in contact with your friends who are supportive and keep posting here. I was in a similar space a long time ago and you do heal...part of the healing involves grieving too.

(((angie_21)))
ketto
Angie, this part is the part that I found the hardest. I think you put it perfectly when you said that he's the person you would normally turn to but you can't do that anymore. Talking about a breakup in the abstract is really easy until you realize how much of your identity was made up of that relationship. I think this time is also so hard because it's really easy to second guess yourself. I kept a journal during a breakup and I'm really glad I did because I could read back to the weeks before I ended things and see that all the reasons I wanted to end things were still there, even if I did miss him terribly.

You've still always got lots of support here and like star said, you're grieving now and grief is hard and long and it fucking sucks but you'll push through. (((angie)))
epinephrine
(((Angie)))

It may not feel like it now, but you've been very strong. I really admire your honesty and integrity in making such a difficult decision. As someone who's been on both sides of this kind of breakup, I can tell you that I think you're handling it very well. In both cases, for me, the breakup ended up dragging on because we were both too scared to let go, and it was horrible. You'll both be ok. Just keep being honest with yourself and always follow your gut.
angie_21
Thank you girls. He gets here in a matter of minutes. I will be sure to let you know how this weekend goes. I am not feeling very strong - it is hard not to think about how nice it would be not to be alone in my bed tonight, and to have breakfast together tomorrow like we used to. I have to keep reminding myself how long it's been since we had a real conversation I was interested in during our breakfasts and dinners together. I do want us to have a nice weekend together and get a lot of things sorted out... I just don't want to fall into the trap of familiarity and comfort. I want to stand strong. This weekend will be a real test. It's weird having to fight off uncertainty about it now, now that I've actually made the decision and gone through the biggest step. I guess I have to think of it as just a first step. Thank you for letting me ramble on about it all this time. It has been almost like having a journal, and I've gone back to what I wrote here two weeks ago to remind myself of why I was so certain before, and why I have to stand strong even though I am still afraid it is a mistake.

((busties))
buttercups
Angie hang in there, I know you're not feeling very strong but you are! You can and will get through this. We are all here rooting for you. I know it's going to be hard to see him, but maybe it will actually make you feel more sure of your decision when you see him and realize even more that the spark is not there. Keep us posted, we are here for you. ** hug**
anarch
(((angie)))
angie_21
Hey girls. It didn't really go quite how I expected but it was alright, I guess. We ended up talking a lot about my life here, and with the stress of this and school I've been really depressed and kind of messed up. I actually vowed to myself this weekend to stop drinking until the end of the semester because apparently I don't like myself very much right now, enough that after just a couple drinks I get kind of out of control. I finally got in to see a counselor at school this week too, and I am going to keep talking to them until the end of the semester.

I ended up promising not to make any final decisions until I've got my life here sorted out a bit more. It's nice to have the pressure off for a while, and to be able to focus on school finally. I am hoping that the counseling will help me to figure it out. Right now it's a lot of emotions I have no explanations for, and I don't trust myself to make such a big decision when I can't actually answer my boyfriends questions about why I feel the way I feel. I don't know. I am not in a happy place right now.
epinephrine
(((((angie)))))
buttercups
* hugs * Angie I'm so sorry to hear that you're not in the best place right now, but I give you a lot of credit for going to see a counselor and trying to work through this with the help of an outside perspective. I think it's also good that you took the pressure off for awhile, sounds like more pressure might be the last thing you need right now. It seems like your bf is being patient too rather than just giving you an ultimatum or something, and I think that is really good because maybe you do just need time to really figure this all out before you make a full decision. Getting through this will teach you a lot more about your relationship and yourself, and I think you're going to come out of this feeling a lot better about things, so hang in there!
anarch
2nding buttercups.

Sounds like you got some room to breathe anyway. That's always a good thing.

(((angie)))
angie_21
Two of my friends here just got engaged yesterday. I'm really happy for them but using it as a great excuse to wallow in self-pity.
Persiflager
(((angie)))

Good news about the counselor!

I don't think anyone's ever able to explain why they feel the way they feel when it comes to break-ups. I mean, you can sometimes come up with some ok rationalisations, but ultimately it comes down to just not wanting to be in the relationship any more. And it really, really sucks to be the one left wondering 'Why? What changed?', but there's never any satisfactory explanation.

stargazer
(((angie_21)))
strongirl
(((angie)))

I don't usually post in this thread but I popped in and couldn't help but feel a rush of empathy for what you're going through, Angie. Sounds like a pretty tough time and I'm glad you're lining up support, both in here and with a counselor.

Sometimes there just aren't clear answers and that can make it really hard to know how to proceed. I think you're being very wise to reduce pressure and give yourself some time and space to sort things out. It can be helpful to take a "zen" approach and just observe your feelings without judgment or action. I've found that many of my negative feelings - about myself, my relationships with others, my work, the world in general - are totally understandable and legitimate emotions in the moment...but not things I would want to act on or use to set policy in my life. Anger, resentment, frustration, despair - those are all valid and reasonable feelings that I have from time to time. But if I were to always voice them or act on them, I'd be inflicting damage and pain on myself and others unnecessarily. I'm not recommending that you suppress them or fake a positive outlook, but rather to be open to observing and honoring your negative emotions, listen to what they're really trying to tell you, without letting them rule. Sometimes in doing that, I can eventually see the cause and make adjustments that improve things, whereas if I'd acted sooner on the negative emotions, I might have completely missed the actual problem and destroyed something valuable that was not the real source of my distress.

KeraBear
Maybe this belongs in a different thread, but I was wondering ... when a guy uses the line, "It's not you, it's me" is it ever really as simple as that? Or is there something more to it that is not being said? My only ever BF said that when he broke up with me recently (therefore my first ever breakup sad.gif Yeah, I don't exactly have a a lot of experience here) and he said that, but I can't help but keep thinking about it... like there HAD to be something about me that led to it, you know? Like I could have said or done something different... help? Thanks.
anarch
QUOTE(KeraBear @ Mar 18 2011, 05:01 PM) *
when a guy uses the line, "It's not you, it's me" is it ever really as simple as that?


(((KeraBear)))

In my experience, often it really is that simple. I'm sure someone else will come along with more wisdom than I have about this soon. In the meantime, your question reminds me...my spouse says his first serious relationship, when he was like 18 or something, was with a girl who was supercool ("Kind of like you," he said to me). But he broke up with her because "I wanted to date other people. She was really worth committing to, but I didn't, because I was young and stupid." So in that case anyway, it really wasn't her, it was him.

I know you'll come out the other end of this stronger and more awesome than ever, Kera.
auralpoison
QUOTE(KeraBear @ Mar 18 2011, 09:01 PM) *
when a guy uses the line, "It's not you, it's me" is it ever really as simple as that? Or is there something more to it that is not being said? . . . like there HAD to be something about me that led to it, you know? Like I could have said or done something different... help? Thanks.

::raises hand:: Um, yeah. It is usually just that simple. And not just when delivered by men. I've used it & meant it every single time.

I'ma drop a bit of science here that will save you some time/heartbreak if you take it seriously (And for the love of Mike, I WISH somebody had been kind enough to have given it to me way back when!), Kera: The best thing a body can do when told it's not them is accept that it's not them & get the fuck on with their lives. I know this is easier said than done. I DO. But it IS the best path to follow.

Now, I know that as women, we have a tendency to rehash shit over & over looking for the "Why did he break up with me?", the "What did I do wrong?", the "How could I have done it differently?" (It makes us insane. Seriously. INSANE. B-A-N-A-N-A-S!) . We have to have the reasons, good or bad & more often than not, they are completely unsatisfactory. NO answer is ever gonna be good enough. Ever. EVER. In fact, it will likely be completely fucking retarded, "You are a great girlfriend, but I am a total tool & want to explore the avenues of my tooldom & cannot do that with a great girlfriend. Sorry." It is the truth, but that does not make us feel any better.

In short, you are young yet & more than likely will hear this statement again, so the sooner you adopt this relationship doctrine, Kera, the better. Seriously. Don't sweat it it. It wasn't you, it was him.
enfermera
wow, good post, ap. i think i might share this with a friend of mine who's going through a similar situation.
zoya
QUOTE(auralpoison @ Mar 20 2011, 05:55 PM) *
::raises hand:: Um, yeah. It is usually just that simple. And not just when delivered by men. I've used it & meant it every single time.



((Kera)) I wholeheartedly agree with AP. Some of the best advice I ever have been given is: "if a man tells you something, take it at face value and believe it." a few people said this to me over the years, a couple of them were even men - one of them who actualy added "and don't think you can change his mind, because you can't."

I fought that idea for years, and caused myself a whole lot more grief than necessary. Then one day, after having enough shit in my life and feeling completely broken, I decided to do just that. I figured I couldn't feel any worse when it came to men, so I might as well do what was counterintuitive and listen to that advice. And goddamn, if my life didn't get a whole lot simpler when it came to men after that. Now, if I hang out with a guy for awhile and they can't give me what I want, I move on.

Men are simple creatures. They pretty much always mean what they say at face value, and won't come around unless THEY want to. So IMO, it's just better to figure out what the hell you want, not settle for less, and not beat your head against the wall trying to figure out the ones who can't/won't give it to you. Cause someone out there IS capable of giving you what you want, and WILL. You just won't meet him if you're wasting your time trying to bring around the ones who can't, or beat your head against the wall wondering what *you* could have done "better." I'd gotten to the point where I figured there may not be ANY good ones out there, but at least I wasn't gonna feel like shit, and I'll be damned if one didn't just drop in my lap out of left field who not only can give me what I want, he DOES, without me even trying. nuts.

Then again, I suppose I wouldn't know that he was a good one, if I hadn't wasted all that time putting up with crappy ones. (or had actually listened to advice about 10 years earlier...but I'm a stubborn bastard..ha!)
zoya
along the lines of the last few posts, I heard a quote today that I'm sure everyone has heard, but I'd never heard it before...

"never allow someone to be your priority when you're just their option."

smile.gif

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