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I think you need to get some legal advice, if you can’t afford it there are free community legal services that you could use. Best thing is to take things one step at a time, and put safety and support services in place for yourself. I think some external services and advice would really help you.
All the best
I’m no great source of wisdom, but I hope these two thoughts are of some assistance.
When I was much younger, I had a boyfriend who was still friends with his ex girlfriend. I really struggled with it because I knew he had really cared for her and had been very distressed when she had ended their relationship. I felt jealousy, and I hated feeling that way. But gradually just with the passage of time I came to realise that he wouldn’t be with me if he didn’t want to be, and whatever he had had with his ex girlfriend, it was different from what he had with me, and him spending time with her had nothing to do with our relationship. And over time they spent less and less time together, and our relationship grew. I just had to learn to trust him and trust in our relationship. Looking back, I think if I had continued to focus on his relationship with her, and that he was still spending time with her, all it would have done was damage our own relationship, which went on to become one of long standing. So trust in your boyfriend, and if you don’t, perhaps try and look at why.
My second thought is just this – it sounds like they had a fairly casual sexual relationship, and that neither of them wanted anything more. People regularly feel attracted to someone else in a casual way that has nothing to do with love or deeper feelings or connections. It seems to me that he has found that deeper connection with you, and no longer has a need for the casual relationship he had with her. That’s not to say he doesn’t still like her as a friend, and I think it is quite natural for you to have had some insecurity over this. But it seems to me you need to focus on what you and he have with each other right now, and turn your thoughts away from the past. It is his past, you also have a past, but what happened in his past is not a reflection of what he has now with you.
My only other advice is that perhaps seeing a little less of her, and not getting together with her, will minimise her place in his life and her importance in yours. Get out there with him and with other people, and let her gently and slowly fade from being such a feature in your present relationship.
All the best.
Thank you so much for that Tera, it really resonates with me, particularly that you “could finally breathe again”. It’s really helpful to hear that someone else made the difficult and painful choice to walk away but that it had a positive outcome. I’m in the very early stages of no contact at the moment and hope I remain strong enough to maintain it. Thanks again.
Thank you both for your replies, I do appreciate it. Susie Q, I haven’t ever directly told him how I feel. Very early on in the friendship we had an altercation, after which he sent me a note saying that he valued me deeply as a friend but felt I saw the friendship as something more. He then went on to tell me, which I hadn’t realised when we first became friends, that he had just come out of a “love of his life” 3 year relationship, and the last thing on his mind was another relationship. I denied that I saw it as anything more than a friendship, which wasn’t honest of me, I did it to protect myself I guess from what I saw as humiliating or embarrassing or rejecting. But here we still are, years and years later. We have had our ups and downs in the friendship – spats we call them – but we have always come back to each other and the friendship. I have wondered over the years, there have seemed times when I thought his feelings might have changed, but I guess I was resoundingly put off by what he told me way back, and like your friend, have not had the courage to express my feelings to him, for fear of losing what at times is a most beautiful friendship. I now feel like I just need to look after myself and my own feelings, and move on, I’m pretty certain he now just sees me as a long standing friend, and there are times when I think he sees the friendship as quite casual and not that close at all. I feel like I just need to occupy myself with other things and other people and not even try to go there with whether he may feel differently. I am trying to learn acceptance, which I should have done years ago, and although a part of me wishes I had walked away years ago, I don’t want to regret the good times I have had with him. I am trying now to learn how to find fulfillment from within and from doing other things and spending time with other people, and trying not to notice a gap where I would have preferred him to be. But you have been accurate in picking that I am not that good at expressing what I really feel…..