I'm trying to break free from the pain of the past

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    I’ve struggled with bitterness & hatred for almost 4 years now. It started when my ex girlfriend (of only 4 months) contacted me a few months after we split up to tell me she was pregnant.

    To cut a very long story short, the reasons I’m bitter are because she excluded me from everything to do with the pregnancy, was having sex with other men whilst pregnant with my child, I missed scans, I missed the birth, I missed feeling my child kicking in the belly, his picture was all over facebook 10 hours before I was told, I never met him for 6 weeks after he was born during which time she got him christened without me, I never had a say in his name, I’m not on the birth certificate, I don’t have parental responsibility, in his first 18 months I saw him about 10 times if even.

    All of the above are amongst the worst things, particularly having sex whilst pregnant with my child. I despise her immensely for that. This is absolutely undoable.

    I moved 50 miles away for a new life because I was so distraught at all I had experienced, that & the fact that the mother of my child was with another man. I couldn’t live there no more as I’d became an emotional & a nervous wreck, completely unsure of what was going to happen next – I was on the edge & may have done something quite drastic.

    Things could have been better in regards to seeing my child & at times it has been tough. I’ve been in & out of the contact centre. There have been long periods where I haven’t seen him. I see him now as regular as I can & I have been offered more time but the fact remains that it took me moving away for me to get more time.

    I’m bitter about all the stuff that I got denied back in 2011, all the stuff listed above. It was my first time becoming a father & it was completely ruined, I don’t have a single good memory of any of it. No matter what I do or if I have more kids I will never ever get to experience all the precious moments I should have with my first time becoming a dad. If I have another kid with a decent lady who wouldn’t abuse my emotions I imagine that I’ll be holding my new baby & reminded of what I lost out on the first time round.

    I have hated with biblical proportions, & wanted to castrate or kill the guys she was involved with whilst pregnant. But I moved away in order to avoid this.

    I tried & tried & tried to forgive over the years, failing every time. Then at Xmas past I decided enough was enough & attempted to grant her true forgiveness. It was going well until the other day when she pulled up at the contact centre in another ex bfs car (one who did his best to split me & her up, I hate him) & all the old feelings of hate came back.

    I hate other men having more time with my son. I hate it. I have thought about the future & the possibility of her maybe getting married or permanently living together & my son spending more time with the other man/men than me. I know I’ll always be his daddy but it’s a bitter pill to swallow. I have imagined scenarios & there are none where I am shaking hands with a step-dad to my son with sincerity & gratitude, but hate & envy in my eyes & heart, & that’s if I even did shake his hand.

    I do still sometimes feel I still want revenge on her somehow, by punishing the ex bf who shared her bed with her & my son, by punishing any man who spend more time with my son than me, or by punishing any new boyfriends..because me hurting them will hurt her.

    Since the other day I’m struggling again with my internal pain, but I am trying my very best not to allow this dark cloud back into my life. I really wish I was free from this burden that has poisoned my soul for nearly 4 years. I believe I am repelling any chance of true happiness with another woman by holding hate & bitterness.

    However, it’s one thing to say “I forgive you & I no longer hold on to the past, I let it go” & really wanting to be free. But why doesn’t it happen? It still creeps back every now & then & then I start thinking to the point my blood boils for days on end & I find myself browsing the Internet reading stuff about bitterness & hatred & forgiveness, which can be good but bad too. It’s good because you see how hurt you really have been & you see how it is affecting your life & that you must get past it, but then it also brings it all back how deeply you were wronged & it all escalates in your mind until it comes back. Obviously the thing to do here is to stop looking on the Internet, but what else to do?

    Are there any more practical tips to help my healing? In fact I don’t just mean tips, I would like a be all & end all, solution of permanence. Recently the word lobotomy has been on my radar.

    There is something called the emotional freedom technique where you tap,on various body parts while repeating affirmations or something like that. It sounds like something definitely worth trying as it is focused on freeing you permanently from emotional pains. Anyone know of it?

    Note : I have things going on in my life like the degree I’m studying, I train boxing (which releases frustration), I started breakdance & from next month I’ll be doing it 6 hours a week, I read, I walk. Basically I do have things to keep me occupied. But I’m always hurting inside.



    I have just become a father as well, and I am not in a good relationship with the mother yet we are forced to live together and I am supporting her 100%. We argue daily, she blames me and I blame her. She has never done things that your ex did that is very heartless and will come back to haunt her someday in someway. Having a child is life changing as you know and a lot of guys in your shoes would be gone. There is not equal rights when it comes to children it is the coldest of truths. If a man slept around on his pregnent ex he would probably never get an opportuntity to see it as a baby. Truth be told your main concern should be your child and whether her behavior affects your child. Someday your child is going to be older with the abilities to think and act on their own behalf, they will make their own decisions about relationships and they won’t remember what happened as a baby. They might see pictures of events minus you, but in their maturity they should be able to see that it that from the time they can remember you have always been their father who puts them before all else where as the mother can not say that. It is a shame you missed that stuff and the way she is being and you and her are always going to be connected so you need to make her realize that. I believe you can get a DNA test to prove you are the father in order to get rights, (or maybe you aren’t even the father) but that won’t change mom’s behavior. I really can not believe she was able to do so much with a newborn baby as they need constant care. I am not an expert but I would say you should talk to a lawyer as soon as you can, if her situation changes she may come after you for back child support + support from there forwardwhich will exceed what it would have cost had she included you. As for the bitterness, the only thing you can do unfortunately is chalk it up to a bad situation and try to make it right by the child that is be there, and realize the mother is who she is, she sounds rotten but as long as her behaviors don’t affect your child then let her go.



    Sorry if it is a bit hard to read my response, I did it on my phone. One last thing continue being strong and doing what you think you need to do in order from getting yourself in a bad situation (jail)



    Thanks Mike. Your situation sounds like it could kick off at any minute, like a volcano ready to erupt. It’s unhealthy & maybe you both need to have a sit down for a deep heart to heart to find out if you can both work together to fix things between you.

    Firstly I’ll point out that she is actually a great mother to my son & I am not nor have I ever been worried about my sons safety & I am able to praise her for this, which I have done many times. I can sleep easy at night knowing he is ok. Second there is no issues with paternity. We never done DNA or anything like that but in many cases it is simply not necessary in the slightest which it isn’t in our case as me & my son are like identical twins.

    I had court stuff happening a year ago all I was doing it for was to have my name on the birth certificate & parental responsibility, basically I just wanted official recognition, not more access or anything like that because it wasn’t the issue. However, I compassionately withdrew the court stuff because the more days my ex missed at work then the more money she missed out on as well as legal fees, & that means my son becomes affected too. So I withdrew it & told her I give up & that I leave it to her whatever happens from now on.

    I pay for my child & always have done. Legally I’m not even obliged to since legally I’m not even a parent, but I do it anyway because I want to. I’ve always dragged up the past s*it she did as a reminder of what she done to me (which is my problem, the past stuff she done) & she obviously hates me bringing it up. But I always felt that because I’m hurting she needs to be reminded of the fact she caused it. I’ve been in the victim role too long now though & I want out.

    I get what you’re saying about my son noticing me being missing from a lot of things when he grows up. I’ve thought about that & well it’s simply not my fault so that’s her problem. But I’ll always be around as long as I’m alive. One thing I will not have taken from me is me being daddy & nobody else – what I mean is that even if she got married & technically my son has a step-dad, the step-dad will be getting called by his name & nothing else. I’m imagining future pain possibilities such as this.

    I had a choice to either leave town or do something that resulted in a large jail sentence. Thankfully I took the right path & to be honest there have been many, many positive things that happened in my life as a result of all this. All things I made happen myself in reaction to my hurt. However the fact all that the positives came from a place of pain makes it bittersweet.

    I tried the emotional freedom technique a while ago following tutorials on YouTube & I will do it every day. I think it’s quite possibly the thing I’ve been searching for this whole time since meditation alone has not took my pain away.

    I will get there 🙂



    I found myself crying a lot last night. I don’t often physically cry about it it’s usually just the constant gutting feeling inside, but last night I cried a lot.

    I’d just been sat contemplating how much pain I’ve felt over the past three & a half years at the loss & betrayal, & things my ex done that can’t be undone, & the moments & time with my son that I’ll never get back or experience. It hit me how much I’ve been hurting & for how long – I’ve spent almost all the second half of my 20s hurt, angry & bitter.

    I’ve never saw him on his birthday or Christmas & I’ve no idea when I will. That’s an example of future possible pains. I believe that’s probably part of the reasons why it’s been so hard to let go of the past – because I’m going to suffer more stuff I don’t like or agree with, adding to & prolonging the pain.



    This Saturday I’m going out to see my son at his own house, my ex’s house (where they live with her mum). It will be the first time I’ve ever been there.

    I’m cool with it. I’m not worried or bothered or anything. My ex said she won’t be there but her mum will. I think she doesn’t want to be there at the beginning & that maybe after a while when we see how the visits go she’ll start staying there as I’m visiting.

    The only thing I’m expecting is to see my son for a few hours in his own little territory & have fun with him. I’m having a slide delivered for him next month that me & him will build together on a Saturday I visit.

    She said her dad usually visits on Saturday so he may turn up (I’ve never met him but I don’t give a crap about him. Not that there will be any animosity). The only thing that would bother me, which I’m sure she knows, is if someone who was in the role of her boyfriend ever turned up, or even any exes. I would be boiling inside & wouldn’t want to be civil to them. I haven’t brought this up to her, I’ve thought about it but I didn’t yet. I’m not sure she even has a boyfriend I’m just picturing the scenario if it were to happen.

    Let’s see how it goes.

    NOTE: I’ve done really well with the forgiving of her. Up until the turn of the year it was a regular boiling rage inside & now it is not so much. In fact only very briefly I think about it for a minute or 2 then forget about it again. Deep down it’ll probably always be there but I’m doing well in not allowing it to control my emotions any more.



    OK, so, it sounds like you’re on the right track, but the stuff you’ve been writing is really quite worrying. I think you should talk to a therapist if that’s at all possible, or maybe a religious leader or just someone who can give you some perspective. I think the way you view some of this stuff is not very healthy.

    I hope you’ll keep working on the bitterness and anger. Stop feeding it. Don’t let your mind go down those well-trodden tracks. And the only reason you need to let go of that stuff is your son. I mean, you’re upset about all this because you care for him, right? Because you wanted to be there when he was born, wanted to love him as he came into this world.

    So don’t bring anger and conflict into his life as he grows up. Don’t be nasty to the other adults in his life. Do you know how confusing that is to a young child? Don’t say you don’t care about his grandfather. That’s his family. Whatever kind of man he is, to that little boy he’s going to be immensely important. Try to make an effort to get along with the people who are important to your son. For his sake, let go of your anger.

    This is the key right here:

    I’ve always dragged up the past s*it she did as a reminder of what she done to me (which is my problem, the past stuff she done) & she obviously hates me bringing it up. But I always felt that because I’m hurting she needs to be reminded of the fact she caused it. I’ve been in the victim role too long now though & I want out.

    What you’re saying here is, she made me hurt so I’m going to make you hurt. But how will that help anyone? How will that affect your son? She’s his mother, you hurt her, you hurt him. It’s that simple. Yes, you’ve been in the victim role for too long, so just give it up. The past is the past. Your job is now to provide a harmonious world for your son to grow up in. And if some of that has to be a bit of a facade sometimes because you don’t actually like these people, then fake it as best you can.

    Love your son. Everything else will flow from there.



    Yeah most of it is because I wanted to be there for my son when he came into the world & had it all taken away from me. I’ll not be able to get that back, ever. It’s just not possible.

    But it’s also not possible to undo the stuff she done when she was pregnant & screwing around, & that’s the biggest killer to me. Her being single & free to do what she wants gives me no comfort, or in her words “can f*ck who she wants when she wants”

    Deep down, it’s there. I’m doing amazingly well with progress in regards to letting go of the anger at this, but the facts are facts, & all the stuff happened, & it’s still there. You can’t totally eradicate harmful memories from your mind, although that would be amazing if you could.

    I did talk to a counsellor last year for 6 sessions & I don’t think it done much good at the time. I mean, how does getting all the stuff in your head out vocally make any difference? It just made me leave the building angry because all the memories I’d just resurfaced & were again fresh in my head.

    I was considering more counselling but decided it was best if I didn’t. And that was before I decided on trying to give my ex true forgiveness for Xmas.

    Today I was texting my ex & she said something that peeved me off a little & in times gone by it would have escalated, but I just stopped replying & kept my cool. Just a few months ago I would have replied by digging up past stuff & then we would have been fully arguing & fall out for weeks or months. But I kept my cool & didn’t bother doing so.

    However, I thought to myself something along the lines of “I’ll save it for another time” which is why I say that it is still there in me on some level since I’m obviously hanging on to some things if I plan to bring them up again some day. It was a picture of one of her ex boyfriends who was always sniffing around while I was with the girl & wouldn’t leave us alone, he’s holding my boy when he was a baby, this picture was from Facebook in the weeks after my son was born, meaning this ex boyfriend met my son before I did. To say this disappoints me is an understatement. It’s likely he was involved in other aspects of my son coming into the world. Not good in my book.

    That one example of things I could bring up. Or maybe hanging onto these kind of issues with those intentions just brings me some kind of comfort? Like an ace up my sleeve or something?

    Having said all that, I am doing incredibly well.



    There shouldn’t be any problems with me & her family. We should all get along fine unless I am being undermined or taken for something I’m not.

    The issue would be any of her past boyfriends current boyfriends or future boyfriends. I do not mean this in a control freak way (I don’t have any control over my situation anyways, never had) I mean I wouldn’t be able to truly embrace any of these people. The idea of another man in that role being in my child’s life more than me is just not something I like or agree with, & probably won’t accept.

    If my ex got married for example, my son will be calling the other guy by his name. There will be no deviation from this. I’m daddy, & nobody else.



    “If my ex got married for example, my son will be calling the other guy by his name. There will be no deviation from this. I’m daddy, & nobody else.”

    Or what? Or you’ll do what?

    You say you’re not a control freak but you do assume control over all kinds of issues you just don’t have a say over. Or you think you should have control over these things, and get very upset when it turns out you don’t. But you don’t get a say over who your ex sleeps with after you break up. That’s just not how it works. You seem to believe that you should have had a say. Or that she wronged you somehow by having other relationships after you guys broke up. She did nothing wrong. If you’re upset it’s for you to deal with that, you don’t get to harass her about it. Deal with your own bad feelings, she’s got nothing to do with it.

    And you also don’t get a say in what your son will call his stepfather (if any). You say you won’t accept anyone else taking the role of daddy, but what are you planning to do about it? Answer that question, and then ask yourself this: how is that going to affect your son? Will that make his life easier or more complicated? Will that fill him with the deep-seated belief that the adults in his life can be trusted and have his best interests at heart, or will it fill him with confusion and doubt?

    And, finally, whose feelings should be given the most consideration here? Whose feelings should be tiptoed around and coddled? Yours, or those of the little boy?

    You’re a victim only of your overblown pride. It is burning you up, and it will continue to consume you unless you work to get a handle on it. I’m sorry you couldn’t be there when your son was born. That hurts like hell, I get that. But life hurts sometimes. The pain you’re in right now is all self-inflicted. You’re holding on to stuff that’s only hurting you. Please just let go.

    It sounds like you’re working towards that already, and that’s good. Keep letting go. Don’t bring it up now, and don’t hold on to it for later. It still won’t do you any good later. It will only keep hurting you.

    Good luck. I hope you find peace with this.



    I’ll just be ensuring my boy only calls me daddy. I expect his mum to make sure of this too. I am his one & only daddy & unless I’m dead I’m the only one who gets called daddy. Because he only has one daddy just the same way he only has one mummy.

    Her having sex after we broke up isn’t the problem. Her having sex whilst pregnant with my child, is the problem. It’s undoable. It affected me so much that I had to move 50 miles away. I view the men she had sex with whilst carrying my child as fateful enemies & wish they be held accountable for their actions. If I hadn’t moved away I would most likely have administered punishment myself. Poetic justice would be for them to experience exactly what I did. For the woman carrying their child to screw around whilst pregnant. I do hope this to happen to all or any of them.

    I’m gunna persevere with my healing regardless. I like doing the EFT & meditation I believe it really is helping my inner peace.

    Another thing I haven’t mentioned but relates to “holding on to it for later” is the messages my ex sent me when she was pregnant. I have kept the phone with the message thread where she told me she was going to “f*ck who she wants when she wants & it’s none of my business” … Initially i told her I was keeping it to show her son when he is older & show him what a sl*g she was etc. I said this obviously to try & hurt her back at the time when I was desperate & she was severely hurting me.

    Since then I’ve long a go came to my senses & I know it wouldn’t be fair in my boy to show him those messages in 15 years. But why am I holding on to the phones then? I think I’ve been holding them as “insurance” or something so if & when my ex ever tries anything I can refer back to the phones & remind her of what I could do to her in 10 years.

    Yeah I know my sons feelings & welfare is most important. But that doesn’t mean I should simply roll over & accept the way I’ve been treated. I know it’s all past but it still happened & it’s always going to be in my head on some level. I’ll always remember what she did & the way in which she did it. I’ll always miss those moments & times I got denied with my son that I can never get back.

    Gunna persevere as I’ve said. I may hate her forever, especially since there are future possible scenarios that I’m anticipating. But I’ll persevere.

    Thanks. I have to win my true happiness & freedom.



    “Her having sex after we broke up isn’t the problem. Her having sex whilst pregnant with my child, is the problem. It’s undoable.”

    I don’t understand what you mean by ‘undoable’. Do you mean she shouldn’t have done it? Or that it can’t be undone? What? What’s the problem with it?

    “It affected me so much that I had to move 50 miles away. I view the men she had sex with whilst carrying my child as fateful enemies & wish they be held accountable for their actions.”

    But those dudes did nothing wrong. Accountable for what actions? Having sex with someone who wanted to have sex with them?

    “If I hadn’t moved away I would most likely have administered punishment myself. Poetic justice would be for them to experience exactly what I did. For the woman carrying their child to screw around whilst pregnant. I do hope this to happen to all or any of them.”

    Why would you assume those guys would even be upset by that? You act as if there is some kind of universally understood rule that you can’t have sex with a woman who is pregnant with a baby from somebody else, but there isn’t. Seriously. A lot of guys wouldn’t even care, even if they cared about the kid.

    As for “rolling over” and accepting the facts of reality, I’ll leave you with this from the dhammapada (first chapter):

    3. “He abused me, he struck me, he overpowered me, he robbed me.” Those who harbor such thoughts do not still their hatred.

    4. “He abused me, he struck me, he overpowered me, he robbed me.” Those who do not harbor such thoughts still their hatred.

    5. Hatred is never appeased by hatred in this world. By non-hatred alone is hatred appeased. This is a law eternal.

    6. There are those who do not realize that one day we all must die. But those who do realize this settle their quarrels.



    Undoable meaning it is actions that can’t be undone. It happened & there is no way to rectify it. It can’t be fixed not even with a sincere apology, because even if she were to sincerely apologise, it still happened & I will always remember. I know you can say she has nothing to apologise for but I see it differently – she did something that I had wished my whole life would not happen to me; the woman who bore my child having sex with other men whilst pregnant with my child… Yes, she shouldn’t have done it. It is a problem because as I said above it was important to me that this did not happen, yet it happened. I lost this lifelong wish & belief & I had held close to my heart.

    Those “dudes” did something wrong, to me. Did I have sex with the woman carrying THEIR child? No I didn’t. And if I did I would understand if they were angry with me. They knew they were having sex with a woman who was carrying another mans child. That is a fateful error in my book. Again it comes back to me wishing this wouldn’t happen to me my whole life, and the disrespect to both myself & my unborn son by these men & my ex.

    I don’t care if most men in the world wouldn’t care about the woman carrying their child having sex with other men whilst pregnant with their child, it mattered to ME. I don’t care if the men involved here wouldn’t care, to me I would see it as us being even. The only thing better would be if I got to do it myself.

    I get the quotes I really do. However its not quite as simple as saying “ok I let this go”. I mean, i’ve just said it right now, I have said it many times, I listen to ‘let it go’ by Demi Lovato every day, yet the mind still holds on to it. It is always going to be in my memory, so what else can I do about it?

    The mediation & EFT helps. But, I imagine I am going to have to do this forever in order to try & gain then maintain inner peace. It just seems there will be no escape from the painful memories of what she did, & those important moments & the time that I lost with my son.

    The pain gets less as time goes on. But deep down it is there, ready to show its ugly head at any moment.



    Hey, I just discovered your other thread. I see Matt had some good advice for you. Seems like you have come a ways. Keep walking.

    I really don’t know what else to tell you. As long as you keep framing this pain as something other people did to you, you will not be free of it. As long as you think the only way to be free of pain would be to change the past, you will continue to hurt.

    Good luck, man, I got nothing more to say.


    Martina Weiss

    Hey Dan,

    I’m really sorry for what you have been through. It sounds terrifying, all of it, even though I don’t have a child yet.
    I also see where Will comes from. If you want to move on, you have to stop trying to control what you can’t control. I understand you are hurt by what she has done. I understand you are hurt by her ex-boyfriends she had after you. But as long as you hold on to this pain and blame them for whatever they’ve done, you wont be able to move on. You cannot control what she is doing. You cannot change the way she is seeing things. But what you can do is to learn to deal with YOUR pain. YOUR mistakes you might have made.

    Understand this: Every person is trying to behave the best he/she can in any moment with the resources available.

    Even if it was her intention to hurt you by her actions (which I doubt in most of the cases you described) she did it because she didn’t know how else to behave. In your perspective she has done a lot of mistakes, but how do things look like from her perspective? How does your interpretation and meaning you gave to certain situations differ from hers?

    I wish that all of the people involved, especially you and your boy, will find peace internally and externally.

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