Difficult situation, difficult to find a way out…

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    Hi all,

    Apologies, this may be a little long, but I feel I need good (and sane!) advice and reading articles and forum posts on this site has given me the courage to share my story with you all.

    I am nearly 30, haven’t had much of a social life, been bullied and felt like an outcast most of my life. At school I was always told how ugly I was, how no one would want me and that I would never amount to anything. At college, girls took advantage of my giving nature before disowning me and making me out to be the bad guy. When I told a girl I liked her, it signalled the end of a friendship. I got continuously ignored. I had no romantic relationship with a girl until I was 28. And it hardly lasted 8 months. In fact, it ended in horrible circumstances and is still haunting me to this day – 6 months on.

    We met at college, and instantly hit it off, started talking a lot online, then on skype, and we then started talking pretty much every night. Sometimes until the wee small hours. We got closer, and I started to like her a lot, which, inevitably, she declined. However, we stayed in touch, talking, and I took her out to London for her birthday and surprised her by taking her to see a gig she’d really want to see. Things changed and she wanted to go out with me – at a time when my insecurities had hit. I was worrying she would leave like all the others. A few months later, I decided to go for it and make her my first girlfriend.

    She celebrated her 21st birthday in London with me, and I spoilt her every way I could. We had a wonderful weekend. Things seemed to be going well and I really believed my life was taking an upward turn. At long last, I had something to be positive about.
    However, when my birthday came along, she wanted to do something similar, asked me to book things for her, and promised to pay me back. She never did. She bought me a lovely pair of shoes that sadly didn’t fit and weren’t in a smaller size. She said she would replace them – but never did. On valentine’s day, I took her out to a top restaurant, bought her a dress and roses – but she didn’t get me anything, saying “it wasn’t right so I had to return it”. I have since learnt this gift was a shirt – she showed it to me, but is now refusing to give it to me.

    I kept paying out for everything we ever did and everywhere we ever went. Dinners, drinks, concerts, nights out. She promised and at times, insisted that she would pay, but never did. I was spending way beyond my means and had to take a lot out of my savings to cover costs. I tried to talk to her about the money issue, but she would angrily shake it off and refused to talk about it. I became, perhaps, a little distant as this started to worry me – I have always been careful with money as I do not want to get into debt. But she kept saying I was ‘obsessed with money’ and ‘financially driven’. Yet I was spending a fortune on being with her – and only had a part time job!

    Things took a turn for the worse when she went out with friends to a club. She ended up having a little too much to drink and kissing another guy. She told me about this and said she’d taken the guy outside to tell him that she was with someone but it hit me hard. Soon after, she went out with another guy to a place that we loved – and paid for herself. I took exception to this as it seemed she was using me for my money. She got angrier at my stance on money and things got a little awkward.
    She wanted me to come up and see her often and help her out with college work, but I decided to refuse saying I couldn’t afford it and I had been warned not to give out special treatment to students. (For the record, I am part student, part staff) She got very angry at that. She had to pay her mum, and pay for college travel. But she kept promising to pay, only to go back on her word.

    It built to a bad night out – our only bad night, I should add – when I went up to see her in London. She said she didn’t want to see me. I went and bought myself a little something to cheer me up, and when I did meet her before the concert (which I paid for), I got told it was ‘cheap’ that I was spending out on myself and not my girlfriend. She didn’t say much to me all night, and I felt we were all but over. I texted her wondering if we were, and she stormed back onto my train and proceeded to have a go at me all the way back. I felt humiliated.

    We didn’t speak after, and I felt she hated me. She posted on facebook that she had had another wonderful weekend with this other guy (a friend only), so I really felt she didn’t want to know me. I felt I had to remove her as a friend. I hated doing it, but it was hurting me so much. Still no contact from her. When I finally decided to phone her, and we got back in touch, I got the most devastating and crushing blow ever. She had had unprotected sex – twice – and been intimate a further two times with a guy. This turned out to be someone I thought was my friend and much older than her. I have never been angrier. I am not an angry person at all – I really shy away from confrontation and I don’t like anger… but I really felt rage.

    She stayed in contact, one minute needing me, the next not wanting to talk. But I tried to get over it, and whenever she needed me, I was there. Phone calls in the morning, afternoon, night or even 2:30am, I answered and talked. It seemed she was going through so much and was so sorry. We met up more, talked and things were up – and sometimes down. She told me her head was messed up and she acted in ways she didn’t like and was sorry, but felt we were over and had no chance of getting back together again… only to say she missed me a few days later.

    I bought her a beautiful coat for her birthday which she loved, but was a bit big, so I exchanged it. However, since then, she has told me that she no longer wants to be with me and will never be with me. She is refusing to give me that shirt that she got me for valentine’s day as I am considering returning the coat. After all, why would I spend out so much money on someone who doesn’t want to be with me?

    She has still not paid anything she said she would, and has branded me a ‘money obsessed, financially driven’ person, who doesn’t know how to be in a relationship because I’ve never had one. She wants it to be a learning curve for me and that I shouldn’t act the way I did and tells me how badly I have acted.

    The last time I met her, she unexpectedly decided to take me to this guy’s house. Needless to say it was the hardest thing I have done. I was branded ‘bitter’, ‘pathetic’, and ‘weird’ by him (and other words) and was made to feel like I was a nasty, unpleasant person. He told me he didn’t use protection because it was ‘better’ and made me feel like my relationship meant absolutely nothing. He told me she left messages on his fridge describing his ‘sexual prowess’. I stood up for my beliefs telling him it is inherantly wrong to take advantage of a girl like that. In my belief, as a man you should show her some damn respect. It is her body, not yours. She has more to risk and more to worry about and I had to hear my ex go through all that because of his selfish pleasure. I could have hit him, but I didn’t. I walked away.

    I believed she was sorry for her actions, and she has told me she is getting counselling for depression. She tells me she doesn’t want to be with me because I happened to be her boyfriend at this time – and it would bring all those nasty memories back. She has said she won’t be with anyone for a long time… but I have a sense she is seeing someone else, again, much older.

    She wants to be friends and is getting irritated that I want to talk to her to explain why I acted the way I did. She doesn’t want to know and insists I am still money obsessed. This really hurts as it feels like all the other people I have met who judge and form false opinions.
    I try to be a really nice, kind, caring and giving guy who loves with all his heart. But it feels like I am a monster, a useless idiot who cares more about money than people and I hate that. I hate myself for who I am.
    Was I being silly worrying about money? Did it really mean that much?

    I don’t know what to do or how to be. Whether I can be friends and see her with someone else, whether I can love her even though she will never love me again and still be happy, or whether I have to do what I always have had to do – and leave her. But I waited so long to find a beautiful girl who loved me, and I really felt that from her prior to last year. It seems such a waste yet she was such a wonderful person. So many people were happy for us

    I’m truly fed up of always being the loser, but I get the feeling that is what life intended for me…

    Huge apologies this is soooo long, but I really appreciate anyone who sticks with it!
    Hope everyone is well.


    Hey Simon,
    I really feel for you, this sounds like a really tough and draining relationship and series of events you have been through in many ways. Though I also hear there have been some special times too, making it all the more difficult to move on as you have tried to save a relationship with a person precious to you who you invested so much of your heart and time in. It is heartbreaking and all the more difficult when you feel bad about yourself to begin with as you described in your background. I am sorry its been so hard for you, and I do relate by the way, I have a similar experience…anyhow, if its any use, I recommend a book called Necessary Endings by Cloud and Townsend. It has really helped me with a situation different to yours yet so similar in that I had someone use me and run me around with all sorts of complicated actions, pulling me into an intense love relationship and then rejecting me again and again and again…a little what it sounds like here, it has been so hard and the effect was I felt so terrible about myself many years afterwards – I truly relate to what you’re saying there. For me it has been three years since this man first proved himself unworthy of my trust by cheating on me, and I kept going back and trying to resolve things, only to be betrayed again and again by lies and more. My advice to you is that you cannot be friends with this person and that you really need to go and make friends with yourself and focus on learning to love yourself. Let yourself have fun and learn to be happy, get some counselling and allow yourself the self-care and love of only – and I mean ONLY – being around and engaging in activities that nurture your self-esteem and belief in love and life again. You were not intended to be a loser. You are worthy of love, respect, happiness and every good thing. But this person is getting in the way of that. Perhaps she has only mirrored your own beliefs about yourself to you…. My opinion based on my experience is – cut her off and take a good long hard look at yourself with her out of the picture. Find where you are self-loathing and get some help to get free of these destructive beliefs. You can be happy and you can find love with someone who will value you, treat you with respect and it won’t try to put a smoke screen in front of your face blaming and accusing you about being money-driven etc. Sounds like a distraction technique to get the attention off of herself to avoid having to change and to make the problem all your fault. Be kind to yourself and don’t stick around someone who makes you feel insecure and bad about yourself any longer. Love and peace to you.


    I’m 25 and never had a relationship so I know how you feel, your story almost sounds like something I could go through if I’m not careful.

    But I am careful, I have standards and you do too, you shouldn’t forget them.

    What happened in your life was tough, sure enough, but regardless what you need to work on is your own self-respect and you need to be able to see that in other people and avoid the ones that don’t have it.

    You shouldn’t need to A) shower somebody with gifts to get their attention B) do everything for them while getting nothing in return C) allow yourself to be used just because you want something, no matter how badly. I know some part of you already knows all this, don’t be gullible because a girl “finally” took an “interest” in you. Do you really want a girl that takes everything from you just to return a little compassion? Face it, she’s not your type and you should have told her that the moment you thought something was off, trust your instincts.

    You also need to realise there are a lot of nice people around, this girl and whomever she hangs out with are obviously NOT THOSE PEOPLE.

    I think the problem is that after your bad social experiences, which I can relate to wholeheartedly, you just really badly wanted to be like the people that, let’s be frank; screwed you over. Have what they have, hang out with the people they hang out with, the girls they like. That’s not the right way to go about this, there are so many other types of people in the world.

    I was lucky enough to have found a decent bunch of them and that really helped me pick myself up off the ground and I strongly suggest you go looking for the type of people YOU would want to hang around with, the same kind of nice, kind and easy going as yourself. The same kind of girls as well, the ones that have more going on, that are more emotionally mature, the ones that wouldn’t take advantage of somebody.

    If you tell a girl that you like her and she ends the friendship there was hardly any friendship there to begin with, start with finding better people to be friends with and grow yourself as a person, figure out exactly what you will and will not tolerate from other people and stick to your principles.

    You are already a fine human being, you know what pain really is which makes you a lot kinda and gentler than most, don’t sell yourself short and don’t bother with people who’s heart is a tiny black spot, in the end they’re only hurting themselves by lacking compassion.

    Go find good people and the goodness within them and grow yourself as the person you are, not somebody else.


    Thanks for your replies – I do appreciate them!
    Eliza – yes, that’s exactly how it feels! Seems like you have been through a horrible experience too. It shakes you and makes you wonder if you can ever trust another person again. But you are right, it seems I must cut her from my life, which is very difficult but with everything that has happened, I guess I have no choice. It feels like she didn’t like what happened to her, but she wants to blame me for something rather than take all the responsibility and associates me with all the ‘mistakes’ she made at a time when she was not herself… it’s like I have to ‘take the fall’ so to speak. I’ll have a look for that book though – thanks for the recommendation!

    Memm – You are right, I do have standards, and when I feel something isn’t right, I do stand up – even if I’m made to feel like it is wrong. However, the odd thing is that we have known one another since late 2010, didn’t actually date until mid 2011, and made things official in mid 2012! So we’d known one another for a long time before making the commitment. Pre-relationship, she did do nice things for me, paid for things she said she would, and was very sweet, kind, caring and considerate – all values I admire. But when we made it official, that sort of changed. She wanted to ‘treat’ me to a long weekend in London for my birthday and assured me she had the money… but I ended up having to pay for almost everything. I didn’t think that was right. I still don’t. But I’m being made to feel I was ‘uncaring’ and that I didn’t understand.

    She had a lot of values I admire – I know for a fact I would not have dated her if I was unsure in any way. I’m sure you feel the same way when I say that when you are 25+ and have yet to have any kind of a relationship, you can go one of two ways. Get into bad relationships by dating anyone who shows you attention – or value yourself and think that the first girl you have a relationship with will be someone spectacular. I believed in the latter.
    Looking back, I fear she was a little naive – she had a lot of attention and, I think, gave guys false opinions she was interested in them. This ‘Guy’ who I thought was my friend was obsessed with her in my opinion. She just didn’t show herself any care and let him have his way… and didn’t think about me. And I know that says a lot about her ‘love’ for me.

    I’d love to find people who are like me, but I live in the middle of nowhere in a place where I feel nobody really gets me or likes what I like. She did – which was a pleasant surprise – but so many others just seem to want to go out and get drunk and I have absolutely no interest in doing that to my body.
    I guess you could say I feel a bit “stuck”.


    Yeah I’m not into drinking either, I’m not sure where this middle of nowhere of yours is but there are always people around that you can share things in common with. Also the people that you don’t have things in common with can sometimes be a lot more interesting. You don’t really need to be into drinking, I don’t feel anybody really cares about what you’re drinking while you chat with them. It also helps to look past “similar interests” and try to go more towards similar personalities, values etc… the basic core of the human being, cause I don’t think that really ever changes, while interests and other things are just on the surface. So when I say “like you” I mean a similar core, not just what you see on the surface, which means being a little more open minded, trusting your instincts and taking some chances.

    The only downside to really sticking to principles and standards is that it’s easy to fall into the trap of being or coming across as arrogant, people hate that, it’s something to watch out for. So if anybody does for example make a comment about your lack of alcohol consumption just let them know you’re fine with alcohol in general you just don’t feel like it and I doubt anybody would pursue it any further.

    And finally, when you think you finally have something amazing it’s easy to misjudge or look past faults, to the point where we really start blinding ourselves. It’s not always this way but it does happen and we have to look at things objectively from time to time or even specifically look for faults just to remind ourselves that nothing and nobody is perfect, that way we can make the best decisions.

    It’s also obvious this girl has her own problems, unfortunately every one of us has to deal with our internal issues internally. You can only control yourself, not what other people do and in your case I think leaving the whole matter and concentrating on your own issues rather than hers would be a lot better. You did all you could now it’s time for her to deal with her own problems, in her own time. That doesn’t mean you give up your happiness, if you’re not happy you won’t make anyone else happy either.


    You sound like a very kind and caring person Simon, and you will deffinitely meet another person again soon when you are ready. It sounds like you have learned a lot from this relationship about boundaries and about what your wants and needs are. Lessons i struggle with too ( i am currently in a relationship in which i struggle with our differing values etc and it is very challenging ) So i guess you will deffinitely bring these lessons with you now. It will be hard as you had lots of feelings for this girl, but as cliched as it is – time is a healer, and getting involved in your interests will really help too. Maybe there are things you can do in your area , even if its small etc. Personally sometimes i get stuck in a rut and isolate myself, but this isnt good for us. You will see a brighter outlook soon 🙂 it just takes a bit of time and then suddenly u will find you arent thinking and obsessing and you will feel lighter, it will just be easier suddenly. I remember that feeling when i split up with my ex a few years ago – you suddenly realise the pain is less and less, and then u will feel yourself again. You do deserve happiness and you had such a hard time in school etc that you deserve to be proud of yourself for getting through all that. Sending good wishes, and hoping you will feel lots better soon. Metta meditation is great, and be kind to yourself 🙂


    Dear Simon,

    Life intended for you to be many things, but certainly not a “loser.” Being a loser means that you have already lost, but clearly you are still fighting. Relevant Cliche: You may have lost some battles, but you have not lost the war. Think long term here.

    You seem to be a strong, gentle-hearted person that is fighting to have a decent life, yet you are constantly being ridiculed for being nice, being used for selflessly spending your money, and being downsized for caring. True friends do not treat one another they way your friends have treated you. It’s time to have perspective on your situation and realize that your on-off girlfriend is toxic to your life. TIme to move on.


    Thanks for all your responses – I have learnt a lot and it’s nice to hear your positive comments. I have taken the brave step and told her I will have to move on without her. It hurts, and it’s hard as I really want to show love and care, but it’s hard when you don’t get it in return. I am also seriously considering quitting my job (I still work at the college she went to – and will return to at some stage, and that other guy is still around) and moving out into London. It’s something I have wanted to do for years and years, but have never had the courage to just go for it.
    As a musician, it is always a risk as there are no guaranteed jobs out there, you have to keep searching for the ‘next job’ and hope you can pay the rent at the end of the week – as well as survive!

    But I am nearly 30… so… well, if I don’t take the risk, I will never know whether I can do it or not. Fingers crossed.

    Time to move on from everything… yikes! =)

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