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I feel like i ruined my girlfriends life

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This topic contains 87 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  anita 3 days, 2 hours ago.

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  • #284405

    Valora
    Participant

    Mark, I just simply plan on telling her that i don’t think we are compatible.  Not as families or lovers.  That the amount that we fight and disagree and have issues with our children and our children having issues with each other is too much.  That in fact it is reversed.  What i mean by that is that for the amount of time we fight or have problems is the amount of time that we should be happy and all getting along and vise versa.  I’m going to tell her that I’m just not happy like I should be and my girls are not happy either.  That we need to be on our own.  That I need significant time to also rebuild my relationship with my girls.  That I just can’t do this anymore.  Feeling guilty and responsible for her happiness and wellbeing.

    Just jumping in to say that this sounds good. Solid reasons.

    Also, I know you’re feeling guilty, but guiltiness implies a responsibility for a specific wrongdoing, and you are not the only person at fault for the downfall of this relationship or for her feeling hurt. You both contributed in your own ways. Although it’s totally understandable to feel sad or down, try to reframe it in your mind so that you know you aren’t the “guilty” party, she is not the victim, and that blame is shared quite equally in this case. People feeling hurt is a natural byproduct of situations like this and no one is technically at fault for that either. You both have hurt each other so no one is specifically to blame. It’s both of you. It might help you with your resolve to actually go through with the breakup this weekend if you’re able to get over that guilty feeling a bit.

    #285435

    John
    Participant

    update:

    Well, Last weekend I was going to talk to her Friday night, but when she got home her mom asked if we could have dinner with them and her sister.  So i wasn’t going to ruin that.  Then saturday rolled around and Then it was sunday.  So  Monday came around.  I had my daughters stay with their mom Monday night.   I told her that my daughters are unhappy and my oldest doesn’t even want to come over anymore.  I said we are all unhappy.  I mean everyone.  and that because of things i have done(talking to my ex repeatedly behind her back) that I don’t think i can ever show her the love she needs and I don’t think she will ever not have some doubt and insecurity with me.  I pretty much said that I don’t think we are compatible as a family and such.   Well, she was hurt and all, but then in denial again.  It’s been two days and she’s still thinking we are going to be together forever.  She even said that my daughter is just using this for attention!  She did say it feels like pins and needles now around the house.  Which is very true.  I’ve just been in the shop overnight working on my car all night.  only saying a minimum.  She did say something about her needing to find a place to live, but I think she just says that to try to get me to tell her no, stay here.  I didn’t though.  I was just quite.  I think I’m going to take my girls  riding this weekend, just them and me and leave her and her kids home.  Then come next week, I’m going to have to write her a letter.  Something I can get out in words saying everything that needs to be said.  I have decided that I need her gone.  I do love her very much.  I know this because it does hurt.  But at the same time, it’s too much.  She is getting so clingy and needy.

    on a side note, It’s freakin amazing how much this situation has really made me think about my ex.  How if she was having any doubts in her mind about us in the last month or two.  How I was just like my girlfriend is now.  Just kept pestering her, basically being a little whiny insecure person looking for her attention, doing whatever she needed and wanted with no backbone.  I know this because now, my girlfriend is texting me all the time over nothing, when I need to be left alone to think.  That is exactly what I did with my ex.  The more she texts and bothers me the more irritated and tired I get of her.  The world is a cruel and ironic place that is for sure.  classic saying”  If i would have known then what I know now…”  I would of know to leave my ex completely alone, when she first showed signs, I should of just walked away, swallowed my pride and hurt and just left.  To be completely honest, that is what she needed.  I think If I would of done that, stood up for myself instead of just taking the rejection and constantly badgering her with being weak and insecure, then she would have thought twice and came back.  But instead I was in her face constantly.  This is just crazy and it hurts to see how I really was with her.

    So back to my girlfriend.  As I was saying, I’m going to work on a letter for her and probably send an email.  I know that sounds tacking and bad, but I am bad at confrontation.  I stumble with words and don’t say everything I need to.  I do think this weekend or maybe monday i will do that.  Since I don’t have my girls next week.  I will do my  best and being nice, but yet telling her that it is over and I can’t do this anymore.  That i really need to focus on myself and my girls.  That I will help her in any way that I can, but we do need to find somewhere for her to go, that even trying to be roommates would make for a worse situation.

    This has got to be one of the worst times in my life.  Because i’m breaking the hearts of her and her kids, feeling guilty cause she is in no place to start a new alone, just all in general, and of coarse because this whole thing has really made me understand what went wrong with my last relationship and how I caused the end because of how I acted and behaved.

    I have to go.  been busy work week.  I will keep you posted.

    #285437

    Mark
    Participant

    John,

    You being bad at confrontation (which I can fully relate to) is understandable.  I would suggest you switch roles and ask how you would feel if you got the email?  Would you have found it more respectful getting the news via face-to-face?  Here’s a suggestion: Write out what you want to say and read it to her in person.  I also suggest being explicit, i.e. “you need to move out by X date” rather than leaving it vague.  Keep this concise and don’t make it into a long speech.

    Good luck,

    Mark

    #285447

    Valora
    Participant

    I very much agree with what Mark said. You might feel like you’re bad at confrontation, but writing something in an email and leaving it at that is just going to give her a whole bunch of questions that you won’t be there to answer. If it’s that you stumble and don’t say everything, then Mark’s solution is perfect for that. Write a very clear, concise letter and read it to her, then answer her questions and give her closer. Make it concrete and final. Breaking up through email or any text is a coward’s way to end things, so please don’t do that to her.

    I told her that my daughters are unhappy and my oldest doesn’t even want to come over anymore.  I said we are all unhappy.  I mean everyone.  and that because of things i have done(talking to my ex repeatedly behind her back) that I don’t think i can ever show her the love she needs and I don’t think she will ever not have some doubt and insecurity with me.  I pretty much said that I don’t think we are compatible as a family and such.   Well, she was hurt and all, but then in denial again.  It’s been two days and she’s still thinking we are going to be together forever.

    When you talked to her and said all of those things, did you come out and flat-out say “I think we should break up” ? If you didn’t, I don’t even know if you really need a letter because it sounds like you said it all there aside from the most important words that finalize it… you just need to be firm and concrete with your wording…. “I have decided that we aren’t good together in a romantic relationship and I want to break up.”  That leaves little room for doubt or denial.

    And when she says things about finding a place or that she should probably move out, just to hopefully get you to tell her to stay… instead of staying quiet… AGREE with her. Vocally agree that, yes, she should find a place. She will get how you feel that way but staying quiet leaves room for interpretation.

     The world is a cruel and ironic place that is for sure.  classic saying”  If i would have known then what I know now…”  I would of know to leave my ex completely alone, when she first showed signs, I should of just walked away, swallowed my pride and hurt and just left.  To be completely honest, that is what she needed.

    That’s the thing about relationships… they teach us lessons. This was a good one for you to learn, and I’m sure you won’t make that mistake again, right? So it wasn’t all for nothing at least. It’s just preparing you for the BEST relationship.

    of coarse because this whole thing has really made me understand what went wrong with my last relationship and how I caused the end because of how I acted and behaved.

    You also can’t know that you caused the end because of how you acted and behaved. That’s technically a thought error called “mind reading.” You truly have no way of knowing what your ex was thinking or feeling or whether or not your relationship would’ve been saved if you’d done anything differently. She might’ve had a foot out the door and would’ve left no matter what you did. There’s no way of knowing… but honestly she probably did because it was the feeling of her pulling away that caused you to act like that, right?

    But, yes, the lesson you learned is still a good one and it’s better to not do the things you did, BUT that doesn’t mean those things had any actual influence on the breakup…. just like your girlfriend’s actions now aren’t really the cause of you wanting to break up with her. You’ve been thinking of ending things since at least October. 

    #285459

    Mark
    Participant

    Valora said it perfectly.

    Leave no doubt that you are breaking up with her and be specific on when you want her out.

    Make it short. You already discussed the reasons before.

    Don’t make it contingent on when/if she finds another place.

    Mark

    • This reply was modified 2 months ago by  Mark.
    #285525

    John
    Participant

    Mark. I can’t just kick her out on her ass. If she didn’t have kids to take care of it would be a lot easier. I am going to talk to her again this Friday. I will tell her that I don’t feel like we are meant to be and that we should go seperate ways. I will suggest her mom and siblings as possible places for her to go. But I’m also going to tell her I will help her with the transition any way that I can. I’m thinking give her a month to be out?

    This whole thing sucks and I brought it on myself. I really wish I would of listened to people including people on this forum almost a year ago when I was struggling with starting this relationship. I really do feel like I’m going to destroy this woman and her kids.

    #285541

    Valora
    Participant

    I really do feel like I’m going to destroy this woman and her kids.

    This line of thinking is not helping you in any way, John. This is you trying to take 100% of the responsibility when no one and I mean NO ONE forced her to move in with you. SHE chose to move in with you and stay in this relationship, even though she’s known for most of the relationship that she has been coming in second to your ex. She is the one who is responsible for the position she’s in because she put herself there.  You know what I mean?  If she gets destroyed, it’s due to her own choices… just like your feelings are due to yours.

    Aside from that, the only thing that blaming yourself is doing is making you drag this on because you feel bad (and your mind is likely coming up with every excuse that it can to try and avoid or put off the conversation because it’s going to be uncomfortable, right?), but dragging this out is likely to make things worse in the long run, especially if there is a window of opportunity right now where she may be able to move back into her old place with her brother now that he’s single again.  She needs to be able to see if she can do that before that window of opportunity closes.  Then hopefully that will lead to her just getting that place back for herself at some point.

    #285549

    Mark
    Participant

    John,

    I did not say “kick her out on her ass.”  Of course help her make the transition. I am suggesting giving a timeframe or else the date and circumstances will be too nebulous and this will drag on.

    I agree with Valora.  Your guilt is making this decision to have her move out is not only doing her a disservice in the long run but also your children.

    We all make mistakes.  Continued guilt and blame will do no good for anyone.  It’s about learning from it and applying those lessons.

    Mark

     

    #285805

    Mark
    Participant

    John,

    I wish you and your girlfriend well in resolving this dilemma.  It may be painful now but I would think that in the long run, it will be best for all concerned.

    Mark

    #286887

    John
    Participant

    update:

    well we’ve talked and talked.  She is in total denial, then it was Tuesday night.  I had to go get a part for my truck after work.  She texted and said the her son was staying at his older sisters that night.  I asked her if I could stop and get a beer on my way home from the wrecking yard.  She said sure, then she said that her daughter is going to stay there too.  So I invited her down.  We were both having a  decent time.  Then she wanted to talk about her counseling appt.  She thought it was a good one.  She said that her counselor said that the order of making people happy is that you are #1, your partner is #2, then the kids.  The kids were almost the same level as the partner.  AS soon as she said that I got quite.  It really hit me.  I’ve always been trying to make everyone else happy.  all the time.  Never myself.

    Well by the time we got home, we were in another fight.  In this fight she asked if I was in love with her.  I stumbled on my answer, pretty much meaning no.  then she asked me if i can see my life without her.  I said yes.  That destroyed her.

    I’ll just say this, by the end of the night, i felt like a piece of shit.

    So the next day rolls around.  Now we are back where we were again??  Now we are  “working on it” again.  I don’t understand this.

    I know she will do absolutely anything to make me happy and to be with me.  That kills me.  This is what i’ve always wanted.  Someone to give them self to me like this.  This is exactly how I felt about my ex.  I would have done anything within my power that she asked of me.

    I wish i could feel the same about my girlfriend.

    Sooooo back to the fight night.  She said she will not be pulling her kids out of school early and transferring until the end of the school year…  That’s in June!  So I don’t know what to do.  Especially now that things are back again the way they were.  back to us trying to make it work.

    I think i really need to write a letter.  Every time we talk and fight, it comes to the point of us being done, then before you know it we are “working on it”.

    Oh!  to top things off.  Last week, her son asked if he could call me dad.  FML.  I feel like i’m just ruining lives all over the place.  I did say no though.

    I’m sorry that i am all over the place with this post…  I am going to write a letter.  I need to have something that she can see and go back to and re-read over and over.  I really think it would help.  I am going to tell her that I was in love with her, but everything has killed that feeling.  That I do love her still, and that is why I keep giving in and telling her we will try.  That I’ve been thinking more and more about me needing to make myself happy.  And that this relationship and situation isn’t doing it for me.  I need to think about myself now, not in 10 years from now when the kids are moved on.  I’m going to tell her that she can stay her thru the end of the school year, but I need her to find a place to live by then, whether it be at her mom’s or sisters, or brothers or whatever.  That I will help her and her kids in any way possible.  I think i’m also going to see about just getting my kids every other weekend until she is gone to help there be less stress around the house.  I’m going to call their mother today and see what she says.  I’m going to list all the things in this letter that make me upset or unhappy and tell her these things aren’t fixable, these are things that are characteristics of her and her kids and her life.  That this isn’t something that she should change for me.  That she needs to be the person she is.  Just like I need to be the person that I am  and that we just don’t mesh well.  We did in the beginning, but that was before we combined family and started living together.  That as much as I want this, I don’t see a future here.  I just see me trying to keep everyone else happy and me being miserable inside.  That I have been having mixed feelings for a while now.  And that the feelings my daughters have been having is just another added reason for this.  I will tell her that I wish things were different, but they aren’t.  That it’s not what I want, it’s what I need.

    (side note: that is what my ex told me after we broke up, I never understood it until now.  This whole thing has shedd sooooo much light on my last relationship, it’s ridiculous!  I really wish though that her and I would have gotten into fights like this, I wouldn’t of been so blind sighted.  With her, it was all good on thursday, then all bad on friday.  No warning signs, nothing, just done.— I’ll get back to my letter now 🙂

    That I need to feel happy coming home, being home, being able to do the things I want without feeling guilt because she can’t.  Or just be free.  That I’m just not happy anymore and haven’t been for awhile.  That no matter how hard we could try to fix this, i just don’t see it happening.  Period.

    This sucks.  Why is my heart so freaking big?  I would seriously rather be miserable than hurt her anymore.  Well wish me luck.  I will keep in touch.  Later…

    #286921

    Valora
    Participant

    I’m glad it finally hit you that you haven’t really been taking care of your own needs. That’s what I’ve been saying with the self-care. People don’t seem to get how important that is until all of the needs they’ve been neglecting finally blow up.

    So the next day rolls around.  Now we are back where we were again??  Now we are  “working on it” again.  I don’t understand this.

    I think you should really think about how you got back to where you are and you might be able to understand it a little better. If you weren’t firm with her, specifically saying that the relationship is over and that you do NOT want to work on things, then that’s how you got back where you are again. Were you firm and concrete during that conversation or did you bend and agree to work on it because you let your “big heart” get in the way?

    I know she will do absolutely anything to make me happy and to be with me.  That kills me.  This is what i’ve always wanted.  Someone to give them self to me like this.  This is exactly how I felt about my ex.  I would have done anything within my power that she asked of me.

    I wish i could feel the same about my girlfriend.

    Think about this for a second though…. it’s a nice thought, but it’s codependence. You were likely codependent with your ex, too. Codependence isn’t healthy for the exact reasons that her therapist told her… you put your partner’s needs above your own and your entire life tends to revolve around your partner. If you get some time, read up on codependency. There are lots of blogs, especially on Psychology Today’s website and Talkspace. My ex and I DID feel the same about each other and it still blew up in our faces because it isn’t a healthy way to be.

    Are you still seeking counseling, too? I really think you should both because of your views on and desire for codependence and because your “big heart” is NOT at all an asset to you right now, and I think it’s actually causing you to be avoidant and to make maladaptive decisions, so if you’re going to therapy, that’s definitely something you’ll want to talk to them about and work on. I had to do it for the same reasons, and I’m much better for it. This whole thing could’ve been done and over with 5 months ago and you wouldn’t have the added pain of now her son wanting to call you dad. If you wait any longer, it’s just going to keep getting harder for everyone involved.

    So yes, definitely write the letter, but maybe keep it more simple than you’re planning. If you feel like you need to list things, instead of saying they make you upset or unhappy, just say these are the things that are incompatible with your needs and are unfixable between the two of you.

    I am going to tell her that I was in love with her, but everything has killed that feeling.  That I do love her still, and that is why I keep giving in and telling her we will try.

    I would leave that part out, though. It gives her something to latch onto and makes it seem like the relationship is fixable because the love is still there. Just leave the word love out of breakups entirely.  Your wish to say that probably stems from your desire to make it less painful, right? But thinking someone loves you and still wants to leave you makes things more painful, in my opinion… and also makes the love seem a bit like a lie.  If she specifically asks you if you still do after she reads the letter, then you can say you do but I’d say not romantically, but other than that, just don’t even bring that up.

    I will tell her that I wish things were different, but they aren’t.  That it’s not what I want, it’s what I need.

    (side note: that is what my ex told me after we broke up, I never understood it until now.)

    I’d also leave out the “it’s not what I want, it’s what I need.” My ex said that to me too and it’s SUPER frustrating and also patronizing. How did you feel when your ex said that to you?  They likely both said it just to lesson their own guilt and to make the breakup sound better, but it doesn’t, really, does it? Even if you understand it later? In the moment, it doesn’t help, so I’d just leave that out.

    I would also hand write the letter and hand it to her directly, have her read it in front of you. Be FIRM, CONCRETE. Leave no doubt. If she seems in denial, just keep reaffirming to her that things are over, no matter how bad that makes you feel. If she begs you to work on it, simply say no. You do not want to work on it.

     

    I have a few questions….

    If she stays with you, is there room for you two to sleep separately?

    How are your kids going to feel about you seeing them less because of this? Wouldn’t letting your girlfriend stay and seeing your kids less in the meantime be putting your girlfriend’s needs over your kids? I suppose it’d be fine if your kids don’t care either way, but it’s possible they’ll feel slighted by it, and they should be your priority. So definitely something to think about.

    #288475

    Mark
    Participant

    John

    I’m curious if you and your live in girlfriend agreed on a move out date.

    Mark

    #290159

    John
    Participant

    well, i have an update.  Nothing much to update.

    Valora, If we do separate, i would stay in my daughters room when she isn’t there and on the couch when she is.  My kids have been coming over and we have all been getting along better.

    Mark,

    We have gotten into a couple fights and ended up in conversations about her leaving.  But then again the next day rolls around and I feel guilty and responsible and cave in.  I wish i could tell her just to leave, but I can’t.  this guilt is killing me.  I feel like I owe it to her to keep trying.  I know that’s not the answer, but I can’t help it.  She starts crying and i give in.  She’s also in a real bad situation.  This new job has pretty much broke her financially.  In fact i’ve had to give her money this month for gas and stupid expenses because she has had none.   She has no money until the end of this month, which wont’ be a lot.  maybe $600-$800 for the month after bills/food/ect.  And she only gets paid once a month now.  So she won’t get paid until the end of may after this check.

    When we did talk last about this she said something about staying here until the school year was over.  I think that is good for the kids, but would be devastating and a very uncomfortable month and a half for her, I, and our kids.  This is really F%$#ed up.  Unless her parents are willing to take her in for a while until she can get situated and save some money.  A while meaning a few months at least.  There is literally no where for her to go.  Her sister ended up having their son move back in and her brother and his girlfriend are “working on it” so that isn’t an option either.  I feel like i’m stuck between a rock and a hard place.  This is so difficult.  Having kids involved on both of our sides it really troublesome and heartbreaking to deal with.  I want to talk to her again so very bad, but I can’t see her hurt.  She cried all night and all day the next day last time we talked.  And if i wouldn’t of agreed to try again, she would probably still be crying.

    I know what i need to do, but i can’t.  I seriously feel  like because of me she lost everything she had worked for.  Now i’m just kicking her out on her ass(that’s what it feels like).

    I really do feel helpless and lost now.  I know I need to be alone to be happy,  I need to tell her that.  I just can’t see her face or hear her tears when i do.  I know exactly how she feels about me, about us.  She would do anything in the world that it would take for me and for us.  I just don’t feel the same.  I wish I did so much.  I wish I felt the way I did with my ex about her. But I don’t.  In fact I still have those feelings inside for my ex.  I really am hating myself.  I feel like there is something terribly wrong with me.  I really wish I would have never started dating again after my divorce.  I  understand now why people say they are happier being alone.

    #290169

    Mark
    Participant

    John

    To put it bluntly, both of you are being victims.

    You beating yourself up about past mistakes but not changing anything. She manipulating you to keep the status quo.

    It sounds that you two are well matched in that way.

    The children are collateral damage.

    There are always options even if they are not pleasant ones.

    Mark

    #290199

    Valora
    Participant

    I definitely agree with Mark. Have you started any counseling yet?

    You may feel guilty, but, again, she is just as much at fault in this situation as you are, and I still think you’re doing a disservice to her by keeping this going, especially when you know it’s eventually going to have to end because you aren’t going to want to do this for the rest of your life.  The longer this takes you, the more she’s going to cry…. rather than just crying through her feelings of the breakup until she gets over it, she’ll cry every time you guys fight and then end up crying through her feelings of the breakup anyway when you’ve finally had enough. What you are doing now is just prolonging both of your suffering, so if you haven’t started counseling yet, I’d really, really suggest you do so and work on developing the strength to do what you know you need to do.

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