June 25, 2023 at 9:46 am #420455
I’m just posted here because I’m going through a really difficult time after a break up, I’m feeling a lot of guilt and anger towards myself and blaming myself for everything so it’s really affecting my mental health.
I left my girlfriend last august (we were together 7 years) with what I thought were valid reasons around kids and marriage. We had an on off thing for months after and we couldn’t leave each other alone. One of us would always break contact and we’d see each other, text and slept together on multiple occasions. During this time I was reading and looking a lot into relationship anxiety and self sabotage which I think has been a major part of everything that happened.
All the way through the mess I knew I loved her, missed her and that ultimately I hoped we would reconnect for good, I convinced myself we just needed a good portion of space apart to process our own thought and emotions and then we could get together on common ground to move forward. Through the off and on obviously I kept pushing my ex away and wasn’t really explaining my reasons for doing so all too clear but she knew I loved her and missed her. Anxiety was getting the better of me and a avoidant attachment style so I kept pulling away. She kept saying how much she loved me and that she couldn’t see herself with anyone else, so stupidly I thought I had time to get myself together and improve for when we got back together.
I saw her at the start of May where we had a good laugh together, cried together said we still loved each other and slept together. She sent me a massive message a couple of days later saying she didn’t think we would ever get over each other, she didn’t want to date other people and she didn’t think she would meet anyone with a connection like ours. Being my own worst enemy I told her I still had to deal with my anxiety which again pushed her away. We didn’t speak for about 4 weeks, then I reached out hoping to talk where she eventually said she had met someone and she owed it to him to give it a try.
Obviously this has left me feeling angry at myself for not going back when I had the chance, blaming myself for everything that happened and hurt that I have lost her. I’m also really confused how she can have such a quick turnaround herself after saying what she said to me then meeting someone so quickly and wanting to give it a go with him. I know I kinda deserve it I guess but I still don’t understand how she could turn off her feeling like that. Even through everything I never wanted to look at anyone else and I still don’t, could it be a rebound and maybe I need give her some time, I don’t know. I want her back and I’ve tried reaching out but I think it’s just pushing her further away, but I feel like doing nothing means she is gone for good, and she already might be.
Sorry just needed somewhere to vent, none of that probably makes any sense.June 25, 2023 at 12:01 pm #420460RobertaParticipant
Your girlfriend had waited patiently for 7 years for you to work thru your stuff and commit to a loving & committed relationship. I hope that the person she is now seeing is kind and gentle as she is still very vulnerable. You both deserve to be in relationships where the important things like children & marriage are something that you agree on especially since women’s window of fertility is much narrower than mens.June 25, 2023 at 1:59 pm #420464
I’m sorry to hear that you’re having a difficult time processing the break up and your ex dating someone else.
I’ve been in a similar situation myself and honestly I just got tired of being pushed away all the time. The on again off again is a very unhealthy relationship dynamic. At some point you do take no for an answer. She had likely been at that point for a while before she ever met someone new.
Do you honestly want to be with this person permanently? You had 7 years to figure it out and it sounds like largely what was in your mind while you were dating was that you weren’t interested in commitment. Which is fine if you aren’t a commitment kind of person. But a lot of people are and when one person wants commitment and the other doesn’t, the relationship doesn’t work out.June 25, 2023 at 2:37 pm #420466
Thanks for the replies, I am not trying to hide or not say that I have not contributed to the breakup, we were happy for 7 years I wasn’t anxious in that time and I was committed to her and the relationship. The cracks started when I raised issues several times throughout the relationship and the topics were either brushed over or I was made to feel bad for bringing it up. I have always done my best to support and be there for her and I tried to get her to open up about certain things but never got full answers. I love her so always gave her the benefit of the doubt and thought if I was patient or made her feel safe in talking she would. Certain topics were going unanswered especially around kids, which led to the break up, the anxiety came after the break up, which I think stemmed from me loving and wanting be with her but feeling like the issues were not being resolved. This is why I thought a bit of space between us would help us both get our heads straight then we could talk everything over without the anxiety or the messiness of the on off behaviour. I always wanted to be with her, I always wanted to work things out, I know I could have handled things better and that’s the beauty of hindsight.June 25, 2023 at 4:05 pm #420467
Thanks for clarifying that you were together for 7 years and then the on again off again element of the relationship started. Apologies for the misunderstanding, it is difficult to understand the context without further context. It does sound like a different situation to what I experienced.
It sounds like you broke up for a reason. You mentioned communication issues in the relationship and the final break up with her choosing to date someone else after telling you that she loved you 4 weeks prior does sound like another communication issue. I can understand why that hurts.
Do you regret your decision of breaking up and wish that you had instead stayed together? You might not want to go into details. Or if you wish to please feel welcome. But surely you made that decision for a valid reason?
Wishing you all the best! 🙏June 25, 2023 at 5:33 pm #420468
I do regret my decision, I left originally because we had got engaged but she was cagey around debt she had, and although never denied having debt was reluctant to go into details, but I thought we should have all cards on the table money wise. The other bigger issue was I always wanted kids, my ex came around to wanting a kid with me during the course of our relationship. She has a daughter who is 15 now but she has lived with my partners parents since she was two. When we first met my ex said this was just till she had her career on track then her daughter would move in with her (her daughter was 8 when we met). The living arrangements never changed during the course of our relationship even when we moved in together her daughter never stayed over or even visited unless my exes parents came around. They never had a mother daughter relationship and when I tried to get her to open up to the reasons for this and why she never seemed to want to improve the relationship with her daughter she closed off or got upset. This bothered me because I felt there was more to the story and wondered if she did really want a child with me when she didn’t seem to want to improve the relationship with the daughter she had. I tried many times over the course of our relationship to get her to open up, when we first started seeing each other I invited her daughter to come out places with us to get to know her, which she did a few times but then it stopped, my ex said it was because her daughter didn’t want to go or that my exes parents wouldn’t let her, again adding to my confusion around the dynamics.
I love her and miss her incredibly and I know she is a good person, I have never judged her on her past but I just felt there was unanswered questions especially around her daughter that she didn’t want to talk to me about. I only ever wanted to understand so I could either support her or help her navigate the situation.
since the split all the focus was on my actions and behaviour like pushing her away and the on off, and I am not condoning some of my actions and I do regret hurting her, in my head everything I was doing was for the greater good and bigger picture but because we didn’t leave each other alone, neither of us were dealing with or processing the things we needed to work on to move forward. I should have communicated better, said from the get go I need a few weeks or a couple of months no contact to get my head sorted and she could do the same but we didn’t, we were always drawn back to each other.
I always thought we would end up together because we had problems to sort but we loved each other and had an amazing connection. It hurts that she said she would never find that connection again a few weeks ago but has suddenly met someone who has made her forget all about it.June 26, 2023 at 12:42 am #420475RobertaParticipant
Thank you for clarifying things. I have been in a similar situation a man I was involved with, his daughter was being brought up by his ex wife’s granparents ( his ex wife had issues around alcohol). It maybe that your ex may have suffered from postnatal depression. Like you I tried to initiate a relationship with the daughter and foster a better relationship between child and parent. My then partner did have issues and would sometimes talk about them, but he refused to follow the guidance given by his doctors even with my encouragement & support. I brought a house with my parents and moved in with my 2 children, part of the difficulty was that my mother’s mother died when I was about 4 and I think my mum did not know how to be a grandmother only a mother, so there were some control issues.
It appears that your ex is unwilling or unable to address the whys & wherefores of her families dynamics etc and therefore any relationship she has will have a shadow over it.
I hope that you find someone to make a kind & loving family with.June 26, 2023 at 11:41 am #420489
good to hear from you again, although I am sorry you’re still suffering 🙁
It seems to me there is an internal conflict in you: on one hand you’re aware that there were issues with your ex, due to which you were very anxious to proceed to marry her, even though you had a great compatibility in many areas and enjoyed each other and the relationship.
The main issue you had with her was her unwillingness to open up about her (almost non-existing) relationship with her daughter. It was a legitimate concern, and your rational part was ringing an alarm bell, because you doubted that she could be a good and caring mother to your future child if she treats her daughter like that. You still have that same concern, and I want to reiterate that it’s a valid concern.
There is also another part of you, who feels guilty for “abandoning” her, even though you haven’t actually abandoned her, but rather you stopped abandoning yourself. You stopped brushing aside your need for honest answers and clarity in this super important issue.
One of the reasons you’re now blaming yourself is your supposed lacked of openness about what’s bothering you:
Through the off and on obviously I kept pushing my ex away and wasn’t really explaining my reasons for doing so all too clear but she knew I loved her and missed her.
However, I got the impression that you actually did explain what was bothering you. This is what you said on your previous thread:
About 6 months later I started feeling like there were issues in the relationship that needed addressing, mainly to do with money and having children. We talked stuff out and said we would work on things but a few days later we argued about things and I left.
It seems to me she knew what were your biggest pain points, but refused to address them. You said she would accuse you of being insensitive when you brought up the topic of her daughter. She even tried to blame you for her lack of contact with her daughter – even thought it was you who tried to initiate contact on a few occasions, and she was the one who let things fizzle out.
So unfortunately you’re blaming yourself for something you’re absolutely not guilty of. That’s the second part of your personality: the self-blaming part. One is the rational part, which sees the truth. And the other is the irrational, who believes he is guilty for driving her away.
And it seems the guilty party is winning at the moment…
Because you can’t let her go, even though she wasn’t going to change her stance and open up about her daughter. When you got together in May and she told you she couldn’t love anyone else – did she actually open up about her daughter? Did she show any signs of change, or she kept brushing away the issue?
Being my own worst enemy I told her I still had to deal with my anxiety which again pushed her away.
You told her you need to deal with your anxiety, because indeed, you still can’t (rightfully) accept to marry her without those important issues being addressed. Your anxiety is caused not by your irrationality or weakness, but actually it is a legitimate fear for your future. It is caused by her unwillingness to address the issues that are important to you.
Can you see that? Your anxiety in this case is a self-protective reaction. It’s not something you should get rid of and suppress, but something you should listen to. It’s a signal.
And no wonder it pushed her away, because it told her that you still can’t drop the issue. That you still can’t just bury your head in the sand and pretend like it’s not there. So she knows she is back to square 1 with you – cannot hope you would just drop it.
And that’s why I think it was so easy for her to let you go, finally. Maybe she met someone who is willing to keep a blind eye, or isn’t interested in having children and doesn’t make an issue out of it. Someone who won’t demand her to open that black box she is keeping so tightly closed…
maybe I need give her some time, I don’t know
Dear Freddie, I wish you wouldn’t pine for her anymore, since she isn’t going to change. And I guess you wouldn’t want to end up with someone who is keeping such important secrets from you and whom you can’t trust to be a good, loving mother to your child? Can you see how it is actually self-destructive for you to chase her and want to get together? How it is absolutely not in your best interest?June 26, 2023 at 2:57 pm #420490
I believe you when you say she was a good person and love and miss her. But you did have valid concerns when it came to debt and her child. When you want to marry someone it makes sense to talk these things through deeply it is important to know these things about a life partner. It’s concerning that you had been together for 7 years and she was unwilling to speak about such things for all that time.
I once broke up with someone I loved and was ready to marry because they were unwilling to have difficult conversations. It’s not a way to live.
It’s sad to hear that when you were in the on again off again phase once again she refused to address your concerns and instead it became about how you hurt her by leaving.
I think that if she had just talked to you and been willing to share you would have stayed and this would never have happened.
I doubt she could replace the connection that you both had so easily. What she has now is something different and new. It doesn’t compare.June 26, 2023 at 3:00 pm #420491
thanks for the reply and what you say does make sense and I know I need to let her go and move on. I think I’m struggling because I naturally blame myself for anything that goes wrong in my life and because my ex and her friends, one of which I spoke to a week ago have put everything on me and the breakup was a result of my issues. Obviously I miss her and I still love her and I think the whole thing has been made harder by her meeting someone and almost forgetting about me and what she said she felt about me overnight, and obviously at the moment I have on a pedestal and keep remembering the good stuff.
The whole thing just got me to a really dark place where I’m just angry at myself and beating myself up whilst hurting and feeling lonely. I’m starting some cbt counselling which will hopefully help and I’m going the doctors to let him know where my head is and hopefully I can get some medication to help with my mood and mindset as well.June 27, 2023 at 12:39 am #420499
I am glad you realize that it would be best to let her go and move on. Because even though there were great times, even idyllic times in your relationship, it was only until you were willing to keep a blind eye on the important issues. Whenever you “poked” her to open up, it wasn’t fun and idyllic anymore. She would become defensive, start blaming you and you would back off to keep the peace.
That was the dynamic. So keep that in mind whenever you start missing the good times and how much fun you had together. It was all conditional on you not asking important questions.
I naturally blame myself for anything that goes wrong in my life and because my ex and her friends, one of which I spoke to a week ago have put everything on me and the breakup was a result of my issues.
Yes, we talked about your propensity to blame yourself on your previous thread. And her remarks fell on fertile ground because you accepted the blame. You took it on yourself. And then her friends just confirmed her position, because obviously they don’t know everything what was happening behind close doors. She told them her version and they trusted her.
In fact, let me ask you: how good do those friends of hers know you? Have you talked to them about what’s troubling you? Do they know your side of the story?
I think the whole thing has been made harder by her meeting someone and almost forgetting about me and what she said she felt about me overnight,
I think when you got together in May, she was hoping you’d dropped the issue by then and would stop “buggering” her. I guess in her mind, you were perfect – if you wouldn’t bugger her with those difficult questions. She probably loved this tame, silent you, who wouldn’t ask uncomfortable questions. She was hoping she would get him back.
But when you said you still have to work on your anxiety, she realized you can’t drop the issue. She realized nothing really changed – neither you want to change to accommodate her, nor she wants to change to accommodate you. And that’s it. That’s why it was probably easy for her to let go of you when someone else came along.
The whole thing just got me to a really dark place where I’m just angry at myself and beating myself up whilst hurting and feeling lonely.
I am really sorry, Freddie. You were made to believe it was all your fault – that’s why you are angry at yourself. You also believe it’s a great loss, because you focus on the good times. But try to see the whole picture: which was that good times lasted only as long as you didn’t bring up uncomfortable questions. As long as you pretended that everything was fine.
I understand you’re feeling lonely, because it felt good to be close to her. But again, you couldn’t be yourself around her – you needed to suppress certain parts so she wouldn’t be upset. It wasn’t true intimacy, but a conditional one. And I think you want someone with whom you can be completely honest and not have taboo topics and lies.
I’m starting some cbt counselling which will hopefully help and I’m going the doctors to let him know where my head is and hopefully I can get some medication to help with my mood and mindset as well.
Good to hear you’re going to therapy. I hope you can get to the root of your guilt. We’ve talked a little about it on your previous thread, but didn’t get to any conclusions. If you want to talk some more about what you believe caused this deep guilt, you are very welcome.June 27, 2023 at 1:20 pm #420519
thanks again for the big reply and trying to get me see the bigger picture. I’m trying to accept it’s done although I’m still in the ‘maybe there is still a chance’ way of thinking which I know is quite sad. Just beating myself up a lot and I’m so angry at myself cos I feel I should have done more to save us and that I sabotaged something good. I know I’m probably looking at her through rose tinted glasses at the moment, and it is heart breaking that she has already found a connection with someone else after telling me she didn’t want to date and wouldn’t find a connection like ours in May. I still can’t think about being with someone else. I had a date last night and she was a pleasant enough girl but I knew I was only there because I knew my ex was with someone and I was comparing the poor girl to my ex all date. I know I need get my head straight before starting anything serious, I just keep thinking my ex found someone better than me already.
I appreciate all the words of wisdom and if you are willing to chat more about my issues I would greatly appreciate it.June 28, 2023 at 12:13 am #420531
you are very welcome, and I hope you can keep in mind the big picture, even if right now your emotions prevail and you want her back, regardless of the big picture.
Just beating myself up a lot and I’m so angry at myself cos I feel I should have done more to save us and that I sabotaged something good. I know I’m probably looking at her through rose tinted glasses at the moment
Yes, you are, you are focusing on the good parts and forgetting the bad parts of the relationship. You were hooked by what she told you in May:
She kept saying how much she loved me and that she couldn’t see herself with anyone else, so stupidly I thought I had time to get myself together and improve for when we got back together.
And then broken when she quickly found someone else:
I’m also really confused how she can have such a quick turnaround herself after saying what she said to me then meeting someone so quickly and wanting to give it a go with him. … I still don’t understand how she could turn off her feeling like that.
It seems that her finding someone else triggered the “I am not good enough” wound. And all you can think about at the moment is to show her that you are good enough. And that’s why you want her to give you another chance. At least that’s how it seems to me.
In addition, she was putting all the blame on you, she accused you of the breakup. Not only that but even her friends accuse you of the breakup. So that too is a huge pressure on you, because you are quick to blame yourself. And now you want to prove both to her and to the world that you are NOT this terrible person that she is accusing you to be. That too I think is a reason why you want to go back and have another chance.
So it’s like you want to prove that you are a good person and not a terrible person. And you want to prove it to her. Does this ring true?
Whereas the solution would be to heal this wound and to finally realize that you are a good person and that you have the right to happiness and to your needs being met. That you are not a horrible person for wanting good things for yourself. That you have the right to protect yourself from bad things. That this doesn’t make you a bad person.
So, instead of going to her to prove that you are a good person, you’d need to work with yourself (including your inner child) to heal the wound.
At least that’s what I see as a way to true healing…June 28, 2023 at 1:09 pm #420550
yeah I think you are partly right about wanting to prove I’m not a bad person and that if she could give me another chance maybe id prove my worth or be able show I could fix things. I’m trying work on myself it’s hard to know where start, have no clue how to heal my inner child.
i know I’m depressed at the moment, I know I’m lonely and missing her or at least the thought of her. I naturally dwell on stuff so just keep replaying past encounters with her picking apart what I did wrong, but I’ve always been like that. Keep picturing her with this new guy and all the things they could be doing which is driving me crazy. The critical voice in my head is trying it’s best convince me I won’t meet anyone like her again and I’ll die alone, gotta love that self talk.
im getting back in the gym, I’m starting to draw again which fell to sidelines the last couple of years. Got a cbt session booked but not till august and the doc has prescribed me some anti depressants so maybe they will help. I just feel lost, hurt and broken at the moment which kinda sucks.June 28, 2023 at 3:45 pm #420555Sarah Jeanne BrowneParticipant
I think the anxiety told you it was time to go. She wasn’t being clear on children and there’s the debt thing. I think that you may have wanted different things and she didn’t want to communicate in a healthy manner. You let her go a lot and she got mixed signals but it seems like a mutually beneficial thing that you two ended it. After 7 years you should be on the same page. Don’t blame yourself!