July 10, 2013 at 6:35 am #38332Amanda MParticipant
I am writing because I am in a tough situation and am lost on what to do. I will try and be brief on the history. I just graduated college, during my last semester I was in love with my boyfriend from home, over time it ended. While I was doing my student teaching I befriended another student teacher Pat, since I was dating Matt most of the time then dealing with the loss of our love I wasn’t looking for another relationship. Weeks before graduation Pat and I became closer. After graduation I stayed up at school for 2 weeks we hung out every day but were not intimate. He was leaving for Thailand for a month, I was moving back to Chicago and he was taking a job in Arizona come August where I was moving to Florida. He said before he left for Thailand that he considered us dating but not exclusive and if anything happened in Chicago he didn’t want to know about it. When I returned home we talked every day, but I still had no idea where the relationship was going to go.
Of course I liked him but I went off of what he said that we weren’t exclusive. I liked him but he was hard to read and didn’t wanna commit to me. One night in Chicago I did spent a night with a old friend. As time passed, Pat and I continued to talk every day and our relationship was growing but I still had no idea what was going to happen. We did spent the whole semester teaching together every day so it wasn’t that shocking that we talked every day and I assumed he wasn’t exclusive as well. Time passed, he returned back to the states and I went to his cottage, we spent time together and he said how he couldn’t be with someone when he moved to Arizona. I didn’t feel the same but I said I wanted to be with him and lets just see how things go. Time passed, we grew closer to each other, he asked me to be his girlfriend. I learned more about him and that he was someone I wanted to commit to. I learned also that his parents split up over cheating and that he didn’t really date girls or bring them around.
He wouldn’t come visit me in my home town but asked me to spend the holiday with his family. I struggled with this but learned over time that all of this was new to him and that his actions spoke louder about his feelings for me than his words. After the holiday weekend I realized I was falling in love with him and I believed he was too. This was like no other relationship I had been in before. He added happiness and support to my life. When we were driving home together I was saying how our anniversary was coming up and he seemed confused. He said that nothing has changed in our relationship from the beginning and that even though we weren’t exclusive before our relationship was the same. He always felt like I was his girlfriend. I didn’t feel the same and was taken off guard. I considered us dating and not exclusive when he said that before he left for Thailand, I assumed he meant what he said. When I realized our relationship was taking the next step, I started feeling guilty about my one night stand in Chicago. Looking back I wish I would have waited a bit longer to see if I should tell him because he did say if anything happens I don’t want to know so I could have justified it to myself. But I didn’t I felt guilty and called him later that day and spilled the beans.
He reacted very unexpectedly, angry and felt like I cheated on him. I knew he would probably be upset but I didn’t think it would have resulted in a 4 hour fight. He said many things, he said he realized I didn’t cheat on him but he felt betrayed and didn’t know if he could trust me. I argued that we weren’t exclusive and how was I to know he didn’t mean that. I said it didn’t mean anything and was a big mistake. He also told me that he was in love with me and this was his first time and he didn’t know what to do. He hung up on me and called me back the next day, 12 hours later, and ended things.
Now I have no idea what to do. We had a whole vacation planned starting Friday, he said he is still going but without me. I asked if he would reconsider and just to wait until we see each other. He went back and forth on wanting to see me. I am hurt and extremely angry at myself. I have no idea if I should go visit him, a part of me wants to and to pick up my things from his place but then I think he has already made his choice why am I going to spend 4 hours driving for a argument and hurtful feelings. I want to fight for him, I feel like we have something special but it just seems like one big mess. He seems things one way and I do another and he kept saying that I used the fact that we said we were not exclusive as a excuse and that he waited for me to say I am sorry and regret it and I never said what he wanted to hear.
I have been in break ups before but never like this. Our relationship was different and I felt like he could possibly be someone I wanted to spend my life with. It kills me to hear him ask me things like when did it happen? what did I do that wasn’t good enough? How could you not realize what you had and that I cared for you so much? I know he is hurt but those responses seem to be from a committed relationship and we weren’t at that stage yet- I definitely wasn’t. The cards were working against us and we were in two different places, I am very present minded and he is futuristic so I played it day by day. I had no idea it would grow into this strong love.
Any advice, insight and/or guidance would be greatly appreciated. I have never experienced something like this. I am not sure if I should see him or not, it seems like one big mess and I don’t know how to untangle it.July 10, 2013 at 7:14 am #38338MattParticipant
Isn’t it amazing how love can be so fulfilling and so confusing at the same time? On one hand, our heart shines powerfully but on the other we have no idea what to do with it! I’m sympathetic to your troubles, and a few things arose in my heart while I read your words.
Intimacy is a matter of trust, and yours was hurt in two ways. First, when he left for Thailand, he was deceptive about his expectations and told you to be free when he really wanted your devotion. Then, because of that misrepresentation, you acted in a way that hurt the intimacy by sleeping with another. If both of you feel the potency of the intimacy is stronger than the disruption, it is workable. If either one of you does not, then the intimacy will fade.
It would not be helpful or appropriate to point you in a specific direction, that is between you and your heart. However, I do know that hurt feelings are more likely to be mollified when we address them directly rather than getting swept into the actions that inspired them. For instance “I’m sorry I slept with him.” is perhaps not as direct as “I’m so sorry you feel hurt.” Or “As I look at what we’ve become, if you had done the same in Thailand I would feel the same.”
From my view, you did nothing dishonorable. He gave you the wrong information, and so you acted from a place of false understanding. It seems to me that a solution to the dissonance in the intimacy could be addressed as:
“You were scared of telling me where you really were before going to Thailand, and I was scared that we weren’t as close as I thought. We both erred, but I believe in us. As we get closer and closer, and know each other more deeply, we have better information to work with, and can express our love in more appropriate ways. I will never cheat on you, and my heart breaks to see you in so much pain. We can’t go back and change either your words or my actions, but we can overcome this, I love you far too much to give up from this. Do you see me? Are you here with me? Can you feel my love and dedication to you? You have it. I don’t always have the words, but I do have the love.” This is just a for instance, where you accept the truth of where you’ve been together, and your side of where you are now. Invite him to join you in openness and honesty, and he may or may not have the courage or warmth to jump. That’s between him and his heart.
MattJuly 10, 2013 at 10:49 am #38353ananyaParticipant
You have not done anything wrong. And you were honest enought to tell him about your one night stand. Kudos girl!!
Let me give you a practical advice…just send this link to him….requesting him to read it once. This way he will read all your views about your love for him. He will read Matt’s views as well…which too will give him some insight into things.
Amanda, a life long companionship is a big thing….one needs to have an attitude of forgetting and forgiving. More so when it was a period you guys were not even seriously considering a life long commitment…
You have done nothing wrong at all…..
AnanyaJuly 16, 2013 at 3:51 pm #38772Amanda MParticipant
Dear Matt & Ananya.
Thank you both for your voices and beauitful insightful messages. Ananya I took your advice and sent Pat the link. Little did I know that before I sent that link, Pat was already having regrets, When I met with him this weekend he approached me with open arms and apologies. We spoke about differnt issues in our relationship and seem to be back in a place of love. I was shocked at the realizations he spoke about, and relieved to hear him say that this has made us stronger and he knows how much he loves me through this experience. We have both put it behind us and are moving forward.