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Feeling guilty about loving someone new

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  • #103554
    victoire3
    Participant

    I ended a 7 year relationship with my first boyfriend a year ago. The relationship had become codependent, and we had both stopped growing as individuals (he was 26 at the time, for years he had resisted the idea of getting a job until he found his passion and found the perfect opportunity; he was on welfare at a time. Meanwhile, I was doing my masters degree and then got a job in my field). I know that he loved me dearly, and I loved him as well, but it go to the point that we had limited our social contact to ourselves (neither one of us had any friends), we were fighting often, we had tried to mend things on more than one occassion, but it was a recurring cycle of things not changing. I realised at 25 that I couldn’t see myself being with him in the long run, so I ended it. I know I hurt him (he’s told me, he’s told my best friend) and I’ve kicked myself in the head multiple times since because of that.

    I’ve since been dating a new guy for three months, and I’ve been slowly falling for him. I feel comfortable and safe with him, and happy. He told me he’s in love with me last weekend and at the moment I replied in kind, as it felt right. Though I know that we have a long way to go and this is still very much the honeymoon phase, there is something about this guy that feels right.

    Over the last few days (this new relationship is long distance), I’ve had all these feelings of guilt creeping up on me. I feel very guilty that I am in a better place in my life (career, friends, love life, creative) and that it’s all come since I broke up with my ex. I know he’s doing better too (saw him once after the break up and a friend saw him too, he got a job in the field he’s interested in and is pursuing his creative passions on the side). At times I even feel angry towards my ex, thinking that if we could’ve resolved the main practical issues, we could’ve been moving onwards with our lives together.

    Though I’m very comfortable with my new boyfriend, I haven’t spoken much about my ex and have not voiced any of these thoughts to him (I haven’t seen him since he said he’s in love with me because of the long distance), but I also don’t think I want him to know that I’m feeling like this. I’m not second guessing my feelings for my current boyfriend, just not sure how to adjust to having them towards a new person and forgiving myself and my ex for the fact that we didn’t work out. How do I reconcile my guilt for having hurt him with feling happy saying those three words to someone else?

    #103555
    anita
    Participant

    Dear victoire3:

    When you watch a young child, you will see, if the child is not traumatized yet, that the child loves anyone who shows love to the child, no restrictions, no exclusiveness. Someone is loving to the child, automatically the child loves back.

    We are born, I strongly believe, with a loving nature and all we want is to love and be loved. The rules of exclusivity were not absorbed yet.

    It is natural for you to love our new boyfriend, especially when he expressed love for you. It is natural and okay for you to feel love for your new boyfriend and at the same time, to remember the love you felt for your 7 year long ex boyfriend. It is natural to still feel that love for the ex and to regret the relationship ended. After all, you had hopes and dreams that it would last a lifetime, I am supposing.

    It is natural for your current boyfriend to still feel a residue of love to any of his ex girlfriends.

    Maybe we wish we had exclusive ownership of someone’s emotions, but we don’t. We can’t control what they feel and neither can they. It is the behavior we can expect to be the subject of one’s self control, not the emotions. Emotions are involuntary, automatic, unchosen mental events.

    And so, I hope you contemplate this and come to some conviction in your mind, that whatever you feel is okay and acceptable. Nothing to be alarmed by, nothing to confess to the boyfriend, nothing to apologize for.

    What do you think?

    anita

    #103561
    sandstorm
    Participant

    reality check its over with ur ex . don’t confuse yourself as well confuse him . I know its hard since you were really long together .
    but now its an new beginning ,help to build that into strong one . every time the relationship will be tested .nothing is permanent in this world not success nor failure .u have to convince yourself with one decision and no matter what stick with that . it will be hard . but now thats how it is .

    #103644
    Anne
    Participant

    <hugs> If you guys could’ve fixed it, you would’ve. Allow yourself to believe that you each did the best you could, with the knowledge and skills you had at the time. It’s okay to move on and love someone else. I’m very happy for you 🙂

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