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I left, and now feel major regret

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This topic contains 25 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Jim 3 weeks, 1 day ago.

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  • #323351

    Jim
    Participant

    The title says it all but i will give a detailed outline here, because i sure dont get any constructive feedback from the ones that surround me. Lately, ive just kept everything to myself because of the type of person i am, most of my friends dont think i should be upset or feel this type or emotion, as if i can just shut down and move on without facing my issues.

    This dates back to the end of august when this situation came to an end initially, as i had been seeing a girl for roughly 4 months. Met online, but she was local to me. The conversation and meeting went very smooth and it flowed into every day conversation. I kept up with it, but im not typically good at texting throughout the entire day, as im a believer that this takes from the in person conversation to be had later in the day. I really enjoyed the first few weeks of this new connection. I also had a handful of other women contacting me but it was held to conversation only and no meet ups to be fair to the current girl. Im 33, no kids. This girl was very easy to get along with. As time went on, we shared details about our lives, and as i held back on most of mine, she was very open about hers. I felt like she put a lot out there all in a short time. These things being a domestic abuse in her last relationship due to cheating, a poor relationship with a few family members, a few years of drug addiction from 10 years prior, not knowing her dad due to sperm donation, bipolar disorder that was medicated and counseled. Ive honestly never dealt with anyone that came from any of these types of situations. In knowing this i started to slowly back away and “profile” this person. Although she displayed a very good understanding of her past and current, i was in denial that this wouldnt lead to many long term issues. I did a lot of thinking and came to the conclusion that, although i really liked her company, i needed to move on, being my age and hoping to have a family, i dont have a great deal of time to let go by without continuing my search. So at the end of august, i ended our relationship and at that point she was not happy, but gave me the break up i asked for. She said she thought we could have gotten serious in time, and was hoping for that, but wasnt going to fight me for it when im saying otherwise.

    i felt relieved initially, went on about 4 dates within 3 weeks but nothing i really enjoyed. I then started to feel regret when comparing my dates to what i had with her. It was comfortable and easy going. So i reached out about 5 weeks later and expressed my regret, which she replied that “she wished i realized sooner, she was talking with someone, if that doesnt work then maybe things can be different”, i did not argue this point but then saw her reactivate her online dating profile we met on 2 weeks later and even made changes again 2 additional weeks following. In my mind i thought there was no way se was still involved with anyone so i reached out again and she said “it was best for me to leave it be, she has moved on, decided it wasnt what she wanted, and maybe that could be different in time, but isnt right now”

    that hurt pretty bad, thinking, she decided that this wasnt for her, but was all in up until i ended it, so of course i passed the blame to myself. Deep down i know i had to get the time alone to find out how i felt about her, and if i never missed her, i could be solid in my decision to leave, but the opposite happened. At this point, i know not to reach out at all. I feel like i sabotage my relationships sometimes. The rest of the things in my life are very good. Job, friends and family, values and morals. I really want to have a family one day but only in a situation that feels promising. I see things much better in hindsight, as we all seem to look at former relationships through rose colored glasses once they are over, and only seeing the positives.

    my problem is, i focus on flaws, and let those things cloud my judgement. I tend to think i am settling in most cases, but need to realize that im just a flawed as the next person, they are just more forgiving than i am.

    how do i forgive myself for sabotaging my love life to this point, and now losing another person i care about? If there were something i could do to patch these former relationships, i would give them another shot, but it just seems as if ive blown those from going so cold and distant when my opportunities were present, then always thinking i can backtrack and make up for lost ground. I wish i were able to live more in the moment and not so much in my own head.

     

    any feedback is greatly appreciated.

    #323433

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Jim:

    You are 33, dated a woman for about four months, about May-August this year. About the woman: she was “very easy to get along with” and “very open about her (life)”. She told you that she was the product of sperm donation, that she suffers from a “bipolar disorder that was medicated and counseled”, that ten years before she was addicted to drugs, that her last relationship with a man involved cheating and domestic abuse, and that there is poor communication between herself and a few family members.

    As a result of what she shared with you, you backed away, figuring that her issues are likely to “lead to many long term issues”, and that you should continue your search for a more promising partner in life. You broke up with her and she accepted it well. You felt relief but soon regretted your decision to break up  with her, and you reached out to her about early October. She told you that she was no longer available (“she was talking with someone”). You reached out to her again this month and she was more definite about being unavailable (“she has moved on”).

    You wrote: “my problem is, I focus on flaws, and let those things cloud my judgment. I tend to think I am settling in most cases, but need to realize that I’m just as flawed as the next person, they are just more forgiving than I am”-

    – having read your reply on another thread, reads tome  that in your previous relationship of six years ago, you were not focused on the flaws of  that woman, and you were forgiving of her flaws: She “suffered from many ups and downs…  depression.. did (not) do anything to help herself such as exercise..” then she broke up with you, started seeing a man who previously “left her hanging out to dry”, later she reached  out to you, “admitted her faults” and you took her back, “bought a house” with her and she broke up with you a second time “for someone else who got her pregnant”. The second breakup ended up “costing me years and a lot of money tied up in a mortgage”.

    Well, you weren’t judgmental with your ex girlfriend, and you were very forgiving- you forgave her all the way to losing lots of time, money and you suffered a lot.

    No  wonder you were cautious this time around, with this woman. Your decision to break up  with her was rational and reasonable. Like you wrote in your reply: “History tends to repeat and most people do  not change their ways”.

    Her medicated bipolar- medications often stop working, need to be adjusted, sometimes people stop taking needed medications. You want to have children in the near future: how does pregnancy affect a bipolar woman? I don’t know, but it would be the responsible thing for a man to figure out when choosing a mother for his children. What about that cheating in her last relationship, who did the cheating, is something I would want to know if I was in your place.

    The fact that she was very open and you felt comfortable with her, that reminds me of having visited long ago AA and other 12 step programs for drug addicts- many people there sharing their stories were very easy going,  very personable, seeming comfortable and likeable, but that doesn’t mean they were no longer using drugs. The openness was.. part of the program.

    I think that your caution was warranted. The regret may be about you not having a better candidate right now, for a wife. I recommend that you do keep the rational approach to finding the right woman for yourself and “live more in the moment and not so much in my own head” with a more promising candidate.

    anita

    #323461

    Jim
    Participant

    thank you for the response. Although i will feel this regret going forward, more rational feedback feels much more productive than the feedback i have gotten from the ones close to me that have told me in anger to “stop being depressed” or “are you pouting again today”

    yes, this is partly about feeling like ive lost someone i connect with, but it is also about being in my current age range, and not having what i want when it comes to building a great relationship and family.

    like i stated before, the hardest part for me, is that ive been content in all other aspects of life, and feel welcoming to the phase of building a family, it just doesnt seem to happen the way id imagine.

    i know the girl i dated last had many issues that we discussed above, but in some sort of way, couldnt overcoming or “seeming to overcome” those at such an early age demonstrate character and strength in a potential partner? Again, we didnt spend full days, let alone every day together, so i did not get to see the behavior other than what she wanted me to see.

    i do believe that a lot of my issue comes to the fact of being alone currently and not finding the partner that i seek, but why do i still feel regret after two months of leaving this person? She stated that she took me for my word when i ended it, as in that i did not see it going forward so she moved on based off of that idea, and that she thinks i hold regret only because i thought i could circle back around if i felt the need.

    granted, she stated numerous times that “maybe another time things can be different”, but thats not something i think anyone should grasp snd hold on to. Im a firm believer that people do things they want to do, and seek out situations they want to be in. In some situations, people can hold grudges and be spiteful with stubbornness, but overall, forgiveness would take place if the person truly wanted me in their life.

    i contemplated that, she “decided this wasnt for her” statement after she said so. She was fully wanting to move ahead with the relationship when we were still together, so basically the fact that i changed the terms and left cannot be forgotten?

    these last two relationships i have been involved in have sent me on a very in depth search of self help and in major attempts to grow personally. I am human and have made many mistakes along the way, but have been refraining from the use of alcohol as much as possible to not cause any further depressing thoughts while i feel this way, been doing my best to help others in time of need, and looking for ways to keep busy. Ive been resisting the desire to have a quick hook up in order to feel better because that never makes me feel better. Im just very impatient to find the relationship i desire in order to achieve the family goal.

    #323469

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Jim:

    You are welcome. You are 33, you are still in an okay age to “achieve the family goal”. Key is to not get too desperate, to not want it so much that your rational thinking gets compromised. You made mistakes, I am sure, but so  did the women you were involved with. Examine your mistakes so to make better choices and proceed rationally with your objective to get married and have a family.

    The “stop being depressed” and “are you pouting again today”- who are those “ones close to me” that have told you these things in anger? (These kinds of responses promote and encourage the very things these people are complaining about: you being depressed and perhaps pouting).

    You wrote regarding the woman you dated recently: “couldn’t overcoming or ‘seeming to overcome’ those at such an early age demonstrate character and strength in a potential partner?”- depends if the person really did overcome or just seems to have overcome. Lots and lots of people seem to have overcome and believe that they did,  before they collapse when the next rock bottom hits, or the next crisis. I’ve seen it/ witnessed it many times.

    “why do I still feel regret two  months of leaving this person?”- I would guess that your regret has little to do with this woman and much more to do with a deeper, earlier regret that has been escalated because you are older now, fearing that you will never accomplish your goal of marriage and children.

    What could that deeper, earlier regret be, I don’t know, but if you grew up as a child with those people who lack empathy for you (the comments you mentioned they make to you), there nature of the regret is probably connected to your early history with these people. Maybe the regret is connected to you feeling that you made a mistake and there is no  fixing that mistake, that you are unforgiven. Maybe this is an activated childhood experience: making mistakes and not being given the opportunity to correct them, your mistakes unforgotten and unforgiven. Could this be it?

    anita

     

    • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 5 days ago by  anita.
    #323483

    Brandy
    Participant

    Hi Jim,

    She was fully wanting to move ahead with the relationship when we were still together, so basically the fact that i changed the terms and left cannot be forgotten?

    It’s possible that you aren’t the first person who distanced himself from her once she spoke her truth. You don’t explain the reason you gave her for breaking up but I’m guessing she accurately interpreted what was happening. For most on the receiving end of that, it may be more complicated than simply forgiving and forgetting. But as anita said, no wonder you did what you did. Your actions make perfect sense in light of what occurred in your earlier relationship.

    I like the last paragraph of anita’s first reply to you. Try to be patient. Don’t allow your impatience to sell you on an idea that your gut told you wasn’t right. I know it isn’t easy when everyone else seems to be settling down and starting their families, but you have plenty of time.

    B

    #323491

    Jim
    Participant

    Anita,

    those close to me are family and friends. I know why my family gets frustrated, they are not used to seeing me upset and eventually feel like its out of their control, and they wish they could help, but cant. I havent taken a problem to them since the previous relationship ended in winter 2017. The friend that said this to me had bouts of drug and alcoholism, was sober for 10 years and relapsed post divorce, and is now clean again for a year. He has always had a woman in his life so he doesnt know what its like to be alone and not wanting to settle for “just a warm body”

    As ive grown older, i have not shown my family as much affection as i once did as a kid and i feel the same toward my partners as an adult. I feel like i show my love through my loyalty and being devoted to the but i could do much better at expressing this. I dont wear my emotions on my sleeve and bottle them up.

    ive done some research on bipolar and pregnancy and it does not sound promising. Im sure every case is different, but the general knowledge is that 90% of the marriages fail and the rock bottom phases of the bipolar stages are revisited, even when they havent been experienced for quite some time.

    i struggle with regret for many reasons. I dont like to be told “no” or rejected. Im not one to give up (when actively pursuing something i desire). I do give up when i feel something isnt for me, like i have in some relationships. My grandmother told me that once as a child, i was attempting to ride my bike without training wheels and kept falling off. Each time i fell off, i would pick the bike up over my head and slam it in the ground, then make my next attempt to ride the bike, and repeat the process. In turn, i “feel” like i want this second opportunity, so i have a desire for it at this moment (although im refraining from reaching out because i know from experience that is best at this point), thats why i am trying to talk myself through it now.

     

    Brandy,

    i was torn on whether i wanted to continue with her or not for a few weeks before i ended it. In that time, i distanced myself from seeing her but we continued to communicate. She came on stronger at that time, and, as i previously stated, there was interest from other women coming my way as well. I did not go out with any of these other girls, until after her and i talked about our situation. Once i came to my conclusion, i told her “i did not see us working out long term, that i have a hard time keeping up with the constant communication all day long and enjoy some independent time, as sometimes that type of treatment can feel overwhelming to me. Im not ready to be exclusive, and thats the way you make it feel right at this moment, i still really like you, but this is just the way i feel right now”

    she went on and told me she felt that we could have been serious, but if im saying no, then she isnt going to continue to push it. She feels that i gave her some false signs of it being a relationship by the way that i acted, then completely changed prior to the break up. She stated that she thinks im scared to open up, snd that she still really liked me, but that really didnt matter since i was cutting it off. Then followed the regret after some failed dates, thinking the next best thing was lying ahead. Thats when i reached out with regret and she continued to state that “things might be different another time, but right now they cannot work” since she moved on.

    i really wish the relationship prior to this one didnt have anything to do with me being nervous to jump into deep feelings. I know it hurt pretty bad after that previous break up left me just short of my goal to be married with a family, but i am almost 3 years removed from that and felt great previous to meeting this most recent girl. Maybe my expectations are unrealistic? Thats what most people tell me.

    #323493

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Jim:

    I will be able to read your recent post (and anything you may add to it) and reply when I am back to the computer tomorrow morning, in about 16 hours from now.

    anita

    • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 5 days ago by  anita.
    #323557

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Jim:

    You shared that your grandmother told you the story of you riding your bike as a child, without the training wheels: “Each time I fell off, I  would pick the bike up over my head and slam it in the ground, then make my next attempt to ride the bike, and repeat the process”- this is not a calm child falling from his bike, getting up, picking up the  bike and getting back on it, persistent but calm. This is an angry persistent boy. The anger is visible in the picking up the bike over your head and slamming it in the ground.

    Why was the boy Jim angry?

    “I know why my family gets frustrated, they are not used to seeing me upset and eventually feel like its out of their control, and they wish they could help, but can’t”-

    – your grandmother was used to seeing you upset. I figure your parents did too, they saw you upset many times but  they didn’t help you. Instead, they criticized you, pointing to your flaws. At 33, they still don’t help you and they still criticize you: “I sure don’t get any constructive feedback from the ones that surround me… the feedback I have gotten from the ones close to me that have told me in anger to ‘stop being depressed’ or ‘are you pouting again today'”.

    The reason you “haven’t taken a problem to them since the previous relationship ended in winter 2017”, I figure, is that you are used to not getting any help from them. Instead, you are used to getting criticized by  them.

    “I’ve just kept everything to myself because of the type of person I am… I don’t wear my emotions on my sleeve and bottle them up”- the type of person any child is, is the type that is open and shares everything. The child stops sharing when receiving criticism instead of empathy and help. The child turns from  open to closed, from wearing his emotions on his sleeve- to bottling them up.

    Regarding the women you dated: “my problem is, I focus on flaws… I tend to think I am settling in most cases, but need to realize that I’m just as flawed as the next person, they are just more forgiving than I am…  I wish I were able to live more in the moment and not so much in my own head.. sabotaging my love life to this point…not wanting to settle for ‘just a warm body’.. Maybe my expectations are unrealistic? That’s what most people tell me”<span style=”font-family: Arial,"Helvetica Neue",Helvetica,sans-serif;”>.</span>

    – I think that what has been happening is that you focus on the women’s flaws because your parents focused on your flaws. Sometimes you focus on your own flaws, but you ..sort of prefer to focus on the flaws of the women you date, feeling too-good for the flawed women you are with,  thinking there is a less flawed woman for you out there.

    You broke up with the recent woman and dated a few others. Better ones, you were  hoping, less flawed, but then you missed her openness and the relative comfort you felt with her (“The conversation and meeting went very smooth and it flowed..  This girl was very easy to get along with.. she was open… It was comfortable and easy going”). I think that this woman didn’t at all criticize you and listed her flaws, not yours. This is a good part of the comfort you felt with her, that she didn’t criticize you.

    “I have not shown my family as much affection as I once did as a kid and I feel the same toward my partners as an adult”, “I feel like I show my love through my loyalty and being devoted ..  but I could do much better at expressing this”-

    – you stopped showing affection for your parents because they criticized you and didn’t help you when you needed help. That naturally angered you. Fast forward, you are still angry, you focus on the women’s faults and like you said, you sabotage your relationships.

    This recent woman, may have been a bad choice for you. I think what you liked about her is that she didn’t criticize you and that felt comfortable. I believe that a good idea for you is to attend quality psychotherapy so to become more aware of your childhood experience with parental criticism and rejection. Process the hurt and anger from that time, hurt and anger that is in your way now,  in the context of romantic relationships.

    anita

     

    #323563

    Jim
    Participant

    Anita,

    i have realized that a big problem of mine is that i need to feel comfortable with the fact that, if the woman i date is someone im comfortable with then everyone else around me needs to be as accepting as well, and i cannot fear what they think of this person.

    the problem being, i never realize any of these things until its hindsight. Its such an easy way to assess situations, once i know the outcome, but i still cant help but to place the blame on the person most responsible, which is me. I am in control of my own life decisions, and with each decision made, there are consequences. As much as i dislike that fact, its the truth.

    the only thing i can do is plan to and build from all of these situations and learn. If i dont learn this time, im not going to make progress and just continue down the same path.

    yes, the comfort with this woman was good, and she never criticized me. She was very forgiving and there were no disagreements when it came to the time we spent together. I just know that if i stayed with her, i would have felt regret not following my initial instinct and would have always questioned why i didnt go that direction, causing me to be in this same scenario later on down the road. I also know that i wouldnt know how much i think i miss this person if i stayed. I had to go, and see how it felt afterward. There are major consequences both ways, im just now dealing with them from the decision that i made.

    #323583

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Jim:

    I think that it is a good idea to separate the issues here, that will help clarity and hopefully take away your “major regret”:

    1. About this woman you dated- reads like an honest woman. It is honest, responsible and commendable that she gave you all the information she had about herself, and sooner than later, so that you were able to  make an informed decision regarding continuing the relationship or not.

    Depending on the history and severity of her personal expressions of the bi-polar disorder she was diagnosed with, if you were to continue the relationship with her, you would be exposing your future children to a mentally ill woman who may at times not function well as a mother, as well as to a likely divorce (you mentioned a 90% chance of divorce you read about).

    This woman’s honesty and the fact that she  didn’t criticize you are big pluses, huge, as well as her being “very forgiving” and not argumentative.  But these things need to be observed over a longer period of time and they are not all that need to be considered. But do keep these things in mind as huge pluses in your future relationship and marriage. You  do want an honest woman who will not criticize you or your children, who will be forgiving and not hostile/ argumentative.

    2. About you: “if the woman I date is someone I’m comfortable with then.. I cannot fear what they think of (her)”- you are afraid of other people criticizing your choice of a woman. I suppose when you date a woman you see her faults through other people’s eyes, maybe parents’ eyes.. what will they say of her. When you spot a fault, you may feel shame, as if her fault indicates your bad choosing, or that you can’t do better than this woman. Is this the case?

    anita

    • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 4 days ago by  anita.
    #323603

    Jim
    Participant

    Anita,

    all of the points that you do touch on about the honesty and open communication from this woman make the regret occur. In turn, the things that i learned in a short period of time made me leave. This is the constant battle that i am experiencing at the moment.

    yes, i have always wondered whether others would approve of my choices. I dont like the fact, but its the truth. I need to be more accepting of the decisions that i make for myself, and that be the only thing that matters.

    in the end, i hope to find a compatible partner, but i also believe in second chances and forgiveness. Ive given a couple of girls second chances in my dating life, and the result was the same as the first round but who knows. Like we discussed, i dont know the severity of the bipolar and the future of that, and it would be a major risk to go blind into. There could be major issue at the end if that presented, but we never know. All we know is what the statistics prove and make our decisions based on how we feel.

    #323611

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Jim:

    “about the honesty and open communication from this woman”- this is something you can relearn to do yourself, to communicate honestly and openly instead of bottling your emotions up and keeping them inside. This is why I suggested psychotherapy where you can learn to do just that.

    anita

     

     

    #323639

    Brandy
    Participant

    Hi Jim,

    When you say she had domestic abuse issues in her last relationship due to cheating, who was the abuser and who was the cheater?

    Everyone has skeletons. Some have addiction issues, some mental health issues, some infidelity issues, some abuse issues, some family of origin issues, etc. I consider myself a nonjudgmental person who believes in second chances but the person you are describing has all of the issues I listed. A deal-breaker for me would be if 1) the person had ever been emotionally or physically abusive to another person or 2) the person cheated.

    But that’s just me.

    So you have to examine what it is you’re talking yourself into here. Don’t overlook big red flags because you’re frustrated that your life isn’t where your think it should be at age 33. If you do, you run the risk of finding yourself in a situation of meeting the woman of your dreams say 5 years from now when you are married to someone you settled for, with one kid in diapers and another on the way.

    B

    #323667

    Jim
    Participant

    Brandy,

    this information was volunteered to me as i didnt ask about the prior relationship but she felt the need to talk about it, so i listened. She said that she caught her ex bf on dating apps, talking to other girls, she grabbed his phone, and went through it and at that point he choked her. This happened more than one time. She said this was the very end to their relationship after that happened. She also stated that she was always the one who was cheated on in relationships. When i left her, she said she wasnt surprised and could see it coming because “i changed and this wasnt her first rodeo, as she has become an expert on this”.

    Im not naive and i know there are two sides to every story. For example, she told me that she “hated dating apps” due to the problems it caused before. Coincidentally,  we met on a dating app. Also, i have seen her on two dating apps since i left her. Im aware that its her life and i cut her loose, so its really none of my business who she dates or how she meets them. But i do sit back and examine the fact that for someone who had issues with dating apps, she seems very open to them now. So i will never know the other side of the story in her past, but i was somewhat surprised to see her so open to using them. Esp. as she claimed to be “talking with someone else” currently.

    i agree, i feel very alone. One point i continue to hammer to myself is, i remember telling a friend of mine that “i like this girl, just dont see it long term, and im having trouble deciding which way i want to go with it because we do get along well. I just know that im getting older and if i want to find what i desire, i can no longer waste my own time and its not fair for me to drag her along. If i wait years to end it, then i will have set myself back years, and i cant do that, as if im in my early to mid 20s”.

    as you can tell, im very much in my own head, sometimes it gets me in trouble but it has seemed to keep me out of harmful situations for the most part. Sure, im single again at 33, have two failed relationships both spanning 4 years a piece in my 20s, but on a positive note, i didnt get married to a woman i dont love and have kids while i was too young and very immature.

    #323907

    Brandy
    Participant

    Hi Jim,

    I’ve been thinking about your situation.

    She understands why you ended it. Your “I have a hard time keeping up with the constant communication all day long and enjoy some independent time, as sometimes that type of treatment can feel overwhelming to me” translated to her as “a relationship with a former bi-polar addict who’s a victim of domestic abuse and has poor relationships with family members isn’t exactly what I’m looking for.” So the risk she took by telling you her history failed. She’s hurt, feels judged, and this isn’t the first time this has happened to her. So she wants to move on, wants to find someone who is more accepting of her.

    At age 33, you’re ready to settle down and start a family. You’re done wasting time with women you don’t see as wife material — that’s why you ended things with her. But you’re lonely. You miss the connection you had with her, how she made you feel, so you’ve decided you’ve made a big mistake and want her to forgive you for hurting and judging her, give you a second chance. You want to resume the relationship.

    Do you now see her as potential wife material?

    B

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