September 19, 2013 at 12:57 pm #42466
Hello, this is my first post. I’ve been on this site now for a few weeks and I’ve read many posts and I’ve read and personally experienced many of your stories. I have learned so much already from all the wonderful replies and advice people have shared. Thank you for sharing. I would like to share mine and hopefully receive some good advice.
To make a long story short, mine is about a breakup. I fell in love with a woman 3 years ago and we had lived together for about 2.5 years. About 2 months ago we broke up and she moved out. There are 2 reasons for our breakup. The first one is because she has been struggling with school. She has failed a class twice and she blames our relationship and my wanting to spend time with her as the reason. She can literally spend all day until midnight doing her homework M-F and sometimes weekends. She is very smart but this one class has been difficult for her. The second reason for our breakup was because I made huge financial decision without discussing it with her. I bought a very luxurious car. In my defence, she supported my decision but in reality this was the ending blow to our relationship. She has a daughter, and when I bought the car it was a red flag for her that I was not ready to be the man she was looking for. I know what she means but she never revealed how she really felt about it. Had I known it would end our relationship I would have never gone through with it. But of course, there is the possibility that I would resent her for not allowing me to have it. So I can understand where she is coming from. This is the root of my situation.
When she first moved out, she said it was because she needed to focus on school and that we would move back in together after 6 months when she graduates. But after getting my car, everything started to shift around that. I have expressed to her that this car means nothing to me and that she means the world to me. I am willing to sell this car to prove it and that I can change my priorities to be the man she wants me to be. I’ve wrote her emails explaining that I know what I did wrong and that I am willing to change to keep our relationship alive. But our relationship has only gotten worse. We keep flip flopping between working things out and breaking up for good. And then not talking about our feelings and how to move forward. She keeps dodging me when I want to discuss our relationship and how we should talk about it. She is cold and distant most times. But when we find time to be alone she allows me to kiss her and hold her. She never pushes me away or tells me to stop, but I sense her hesitation. Sometimes when I am sweet to her, she does kiss me back. Those are the moments that I hang on to that tell me she doesn’t want to move on either.
In all honesty, I have become quite bothersome for her. Not to the point of being a stalker but I try to setup dates or outings so we can be together 1-3 times a week. I know she has to study but it feels like she is avoiding me at times. She will even lie and make things up just to avoid me. We are at the point where she can’t even text or email me. She says she is busy, but I know she texts her friends all the time. She is a kind person. She does not have any malice in her heart. I’m so very confused. What I have revealed here is only the tip of the iceberg. I’ve made mistakes by not giving her the space she asked for. But I can’t help it, I love this girl.
I’m afraid if I don’t try everything I will lose her. She is the type of women that won’t initiate anything. It has always been that way in our relationship. The only time she initiated anything was our first kiss. I feel like she is waiting for me to prove it to her but at the same time she has so much on her plate. At times I do feel she is trying to make time for me and other times she’s just not sure. I know I should give her space and do the no contact thing. But it’s just so hard. She knows that I haven’t given up and she hasn’t told me to move on either so we’re sort of left in limbo.
I am working on being compassionate about her needs. These past few weeks I have been trying to meditate and shift my focus to live in the present but it’s so hard. Literally every moment of every day I’m thinking about her, our relationship, what I did, and what I can do to fix it. There are rare times where I do find clarity and I feel centered. When I am in that state we seem to get along. I try to prolong them as much as I can but it never lasts. What I want is to be able to give her the space she needs but I want to be able to stay clear in my thoughts and be in the present. But if I don’t see her once or twice a week I feel so empty and my thoughts overwhelm me. I know I’m being selfish and I don’t want to be. I wish I could just let her go and maybe she’ll realize we do belong together.September 19, 2013 at 2:10 pm #42475ladybugParticipant
I was in a very similar situation with my ex-partner but I played her role so hopefully I can provide some insight. Reading your story was a tad heart-wrenching because it reminds me of why my relationship broke down. We were together for 5 years, on and off at times, and the ultimate reason I could not stay with him although it was like losing my best friend and brother and everything all at once, was that no matter how much he said he would be there, that I could rely on him and that we would have a secure future together, his actions did not reflect this. He never did anything cruel or untrustworthy but his actions with money were so carefree and inconsiderate that it caused major rifts. In short, telling her you would sell the car to be with her means nothing. Every time I heard promises like that it only drove me further away. If you mean it don’t say it DO IT. You need to act like the man she needs not just say the right things. Fair enough on her part she has a child that has to come first and she has to know you will make the right decisions in the future. Focusing so much on her education makes me think she must be similar to me- wanting nothing more than independence and not to need any one. She has probably been let down in her past. The reaction to the car seems a bit over the top at first but if she has been seriously let down in the past, she probably reacted this way as she had begun to let those defensive, independent walls down with you and now their right back up stronger than ever. It hurts to let those walls down and be stung and you feel stupid.
I hope you get some clarification, promises and words instead of action will just further antagonize her. Especially with a child involved.
Good luck LilySeptember 19, 2013 at 3:29 pm #42478MattParticipant
I’m sorry for your difficulties and mental spinning that you’re experiencing. I know how painful it can be to sit with the unknown. Consider that she is asking for space, and you’re not giving it to her. If she pointed at the car as the source of her wanting distance, I doubt it is anything more than a symbol to her (we sometimes have roaming concrete reasons, such as failing, then the car etc), but without knowing her, it is only conjecture.
In contrast to lily’s suggestion of getting rid of the car, which seems well intentioned but misdirecting, consider that your missing her has become obsessive, and is collapsing the space she has asked for. When you sense her pulling back, you dive forward again and again, which pushes her further back. At this point, she could be either confused about what she wants, or doesn’t like you anymore. Its a toughy to repair, but if it can be salvaged, there will be a few key steps involved.
First, you have needs for love, attention, and affection, and she is not a good source for you. Its sometimes called codependency, depending on the specific conditions, but basically the obsessive need that arises is perhaps because you do not spend enough time self nurturing. Start a meditation practice (especially metta), take a bath, write… some activities that are kind and gentle to yourself. Over time this will nourish your self love, which will make you a source of love, rather than a cup in need of filling. Said differently, Lois Lane did not even see Clark Kent, who scrambled after her like a bumbling fool. She had love at first sight for Superman, who was busy giving and sharing his gift with others.
Secondly, stop invading her space. Let her go to be who she is trying to be, and try to be supportive of her on her journey. Let your creativity open up and become giving, instead of your wanting coming at her. Perhaps some flowers for her desk, so as she is studying her space is a little more beautiful? Maybe she has a favorite food or dessert or something that brings a smile to her heart, and either make it or drop it off. No expectations, not even wanting to see her. Just anything that might make her journey better, with or without you. Things that might make her space brighter for her, without expectation or desire for it to produce closeness… but rather wanting her to be happy even though she needs the space. Use your creativity and heart, and try to find ways of being genuinely supportive.
That being said, sometimes hearts just close to someone and never reopen in a romantic way. If the trust has been bruised deeply enough, all of your attempting will do little or nothing, in terms of reignition of passion. However, if all is lost with her, than getting into patterns of self nurturing and being supportive (even when its difficult) will help you in your next intimacy. They are qualities that are needed, like light and water for a plant. If the current one is withered beyond growth depends on her roots, her heart.
MattSeptember 19, 2013 at 4:13 pm #42479
Thank you for that. I have gained some insight from your response. I’m sorry about your past experience with your ex. And despite how my story made you feel you were kind enough to share your thoughts. In a way, I feel like your ex. So far it has been mostly promises and no actions. You hit it right on the head, she has said that she wants to be independent. And she has been let down in the past and she told me that my actions have reminded her of that. But when we do spend time together I feel like she feels the same way I do, only more cautious. And she’s admitted to me that she has never been happier in her life then when she was with me. Only to retreat again the next day. I have decided to follow through on everything I have told her. I’ll sell my car and fight tooth and nail to give her the space she needs. And then I guess I’ll wait and see how things go.September 19, 2013 at 7:27 pm #42484JohnParticipant
I have to echo Matt’s sentiments. Don’t let her insecurities becomes yours.
I realize she’s been let down in the past, but does that mean you have to walk on egg shells for the rest of your life ensuring that you don’t accidentally trigger a past hurt?
I’ve been down that road before and from your description it’s very much a case of co-dependency. You wanting to be the knight in shining armor who will do anything and everything to keep her, take care of her, even if it means sacrificing yourself, your needs, your wants. Becoming subservient, less than, because she’s the one who has struggled all her life and you want to make everything better. I can hear so much berating yourself, “I’m not good enough..”, “I can do better…”
There is a better way to love and live. There are women out there who have overcome their past pains and insecurities, who are independent and wouldn’t care how you spend your money because they don’t need you to support or take care of them – they want to be with you for just because of who you are and how you make them feel. They don’t scrutinize your every move or word, constant checking for validation and proof of your love, waiting for you to slip up so they can prove their own theory, “There! I knew it! You’re just like every other man. If you loved me, you wouldn’t….”
A relationship shouldn’t have to be a powerful struggle – one person having the upper hand in a situation. You come in together as equals, you love as equals, you argue as equals, you resolve conflicts as equals, and you make up as equals. No groveling. Not being made to feel ashamed or guilty. No mind games or ploys. Just open and honest direct communication stemming from a heart and mind that are stable.
Trust me, there is a better way.September 19, 2013 at 7:30 pm #42485
Thank you Matt. You basically said everything I have been wracking around in my head. I’m not afraid to admit it, I am guilty of much of what you have just said. I know I need to give her space, I’ve always known. I was just too selfish and I made everything about me and my feelings and so I acted them out. Never fully realizing how full her plate already is and how my actions would affect her. I know it will be difficult but I need to give her space.
I never thought to nurture myself because I always felt like I do love myself (not in a coincided or narcissistic way). But when you said I was codependent on her, it struck a chord in me. It hurt my ego, and that’s how I knew you were right. I’ll give your suggestions a try. I actually started metta meditation at my desk this morning. So far it has worked wonderfully for me. This is the longest I have been able to control my thoughts. When I did think of her I was able to let it go and shift my attention back to the present. I hope I can keep this up. If I can, I can start to give her what she needs without obsessing over her as you put it.
That’s a brilliant idea with the flowers to make her desk more beautiful. I think she would really appreciate that along with one of her favorite snacks. I think I will do that. I’ll use this moment of clarity to promise myself to begin my journey to healing. I like the idea of making her journey better and brighter with or without me. I’ll try to be creative in my ways to be genuinely supportive. Thanks again Matt, you have truly helped.September 20, 2013 at 8:28 am #42504
Thank you for you sharing your thoughts. I think I may have misrepresented her in my post. She is a strong and gentle person but like all of us she is not without her insecurities. And sometimes they do get the better of her. I know it has only been a day since I posted this. But I am learning to accept the unknown. I promised myself that I would give my best effort to reconcile with this woman. Suggestions such as yours have calmed my emotions and mind, which I fall victim to quite often. I thought I could always trust myself and allow my actions guide my life because I was secure in myself. It turns out, I am quite selfish.
You are right, relationships should feel like equal grounds. Things should be said in honesty with hearts open if the relationship is genuine. We were there once but we lost our way. I’ve accepted the fact that we both need our space to find ourselves. But I’m not quite ready to exit her life just yet. If things don’t work out for us I now have a better vision of what a relationship should be like. Thanks John.