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Struggling to forgive and move on

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  • #384664
    AK
    Participant

    Hello people, LONG POST ALERT!!

    I am a 33 years old female who was in a long-distance relationship with someone who was younger than me. It started without any warning in Dec 2017, like we both didn’t know when did we fall in love and became a couple. He was very clingy to me, where he would always be scared that I will leave him. Knowing his past traumas I never complained but I did communicate from time to time that he needs to let go a bit. When we met he was just a student looking to find a job. I helped him find one in the same field as mine since he said he would love to work in the same field. I did a lot of research on his behalf to find him an internship and since he is talented he did get it. He was struggling in his new life I helped him navigate and we were strong as a couple. He made me feel beautiful, special and loved. It was wonderful for someone who has always been told that she is not the attractive one in the relationship. After his internship, in 2018 I talked to some friends and found him a job posting. It was nice but he struggled a lot in that war-torn country, leading to him latching on to me for all the support. I did everything I could but after 8 months when we met he said I look like a dead person. He said and I quote ” I am sorry that I have drained all your energy and now you have nothing left in you”. It was really a time I felt nothing. He would be sad that I would go out or enjoy so I stopped doing much. We were in love so I was feeling sad that he is struggling so much. Meanwhile, my work was quite demotivating so I was starting to go into low-key depression. We both were struggling at the places we were in our lives so we decided we will quit and look for a new job and whoever finds a new one will follow the other one. We both found jobs we loved in different places, interviewed on the same day but he got his result before I did. I was sure I was gonna get that job. So when he asked me to move with him I said No. I told him I want to take this job and if he wants his we can continue long-distance (I know I didn’t follow what we decided on). I felt really guilty when I didn’t get the job and he said No too. I tried to talk to him about it so many times but he said he doesn’t care and it doesn’t matter. He said he had forgiven me. In August 2019, we both came to see each other’s families and unfortunately this time when I met him. I asked him about his intentions and commitments. Since the family was involved, my parents didn’t hesitate to ask him if he would marry me. Since that day he became quite reticent. It was anxiety-inducing. I wanted a commitment and he didn’t want to give it to me since I asked. He said he wants to marry me too but when he asks me not when I tell him to.

    Anyway, cut to October 2019 I found a job in Berlin and we both moved there It was such a hassle finding a place that we were moving around from one Airbnb to another with our heavy luggage after every 4 days. I was still quite excited about starting this new life with him. Unfortunately, he was not quite happy. He looked distracted and detached. I thought maybe he is worried about finding a job. So I asked him to talk to his old boss if she knows of something. I didn’t want to be the reason for his resentment. Luckily, he did find a short term opportunity in the Middle East. And within 20 days of moving to Berlin, he left. It was the most devastating thing ever but he promised he will take short term opportunities and he will keep berlin his home base. I agreed but then he started keeping away from him since I was angry. I was angry that he left me alone in a place that was supposed to be home. He wasn’t there to house hunt, to shop, to decorate nothing, neither was he ready to make it official. For someone who constantly kept talking about wanting to have a family with me, he was very hesitant about getting engaged. He left and then started the fights. The fights about what is our future, where are we heading, who long will we do this. I know I sound like a lunatic here but I was struggling with the push and pull btw my heart and mind. He used to come to visit me every 1.5 months for 5 days, in the house I set up for us and he would be enamoured by it saying that he loves that we have a home. I know he loved me but I needed for him to say that we have a future. I wanted to know the dates he would move back and stay with me. he had no answers. He wanted the job and the money, which is fair. That December (2019) when we met at his family’s house on Christmas. I was so sad that he wasn’t addressing the issue I am struggling with that I left his friend’s party. It was the worst fight we ever had. He was very upset and so was I. We didn’t even have sex during that trip which is a big need for my ex.

    I was getting depressed in my office job and living alone in that big house in Berlin. So I chose to go back to the fieldwork too. He was sad that he won’t have a house to come back to but he said maybe it will help us find a duty station together if we are in the same field.  He wanted me to build a home for him. Anyway, with hope and love, I move to a new country in Asia in Feb 2020. And then the pandemic happened. My ex was freaking out and struggling a lot he was constantly telling me he is alone and needs me. It was getting unbearable not being able to see each other for 3 months and suddenly one day his behaviour started changing. He wasn’t the clingy person I knew who would constantly want to be smothered with love. He started enjoying his new life and of course distancing himself from me. He started getting absent and detached. Of course, it’s not a catastrophe for anyone reading this but someone whose day starts with calling you and ends with that, if that person suddenly vanishes for 2 days and doesn’t reply that’s an alarm.  I was so much in pain that I said I think we should end this. Being an anxious person in a relationship, I had done that a few times but he never takes that seriously. He knew it’s a call for attention but this time he said please let’s take a break. I freaked out. I started getting worried about losing him so I tried to reach out more and that led to him pulling away more. I was scared to talk to him, his voice had no love, no spark when picking up my phone. He would talk about his female colleagues all the time. I even sent out presents to him which is difficult to manage in that country and he said ” So you want everyone to know that I am in a relationship” and never said anything about if he liked it or not. I tried to talk and he yelled asked me to back off. He said things I never knew he could ever say to me. “You look sexier on your two legs not walking on all fours. You are like a fucking Koala, hanging through my neck. Back off and learn to stand up for yourself. Being needy is not sexy”. For someone who has build her life around never taking help from anyone, these words hurt like a dagger. I wished him good luck and messaged him I will leave him alone. I wrote a thoughtful message but he did not reply for 3 days. I finally called and he said, “Its over”. And then went to a party.

    I tried so much after that to talk to him. He did not entertain. Asked me to take time to heal before we talk.. When we did talk after I asking a few times he accused me of being perfect on paper but he didn’t feel calm around me. He kept accusing me of things I never did. I knew it was his way of projecting his guilt on me. I heard everything and responded too for which he said “Can we try without knowing the final outcome”. I agreed. But that lead to me being so weak. Always waiting for his reply, always waiting for him to be nice to me. He talked a lot about sex and his want to do it with others. He would ask my permission and it would hurt but I said fine since we are not together anymore. He didn’t sleep with anyone else but it was so hard. He was so confused he would come close and then pull back so hard. I was in therapy by that time. After 8 months I took a break and went on vacation (Dec 2020) and he contacted me. Telling me that he feels pressure that I am still waiting for him. It was hurtful so I told him how I have been meeting people and I like a few guys and I am not stuck on him. He freaked out and did not stop talking to me for 4 days. He said he is serious about this all and he wants me. It might take some time due to pandemic but he wants to be with me at every point in his life. I wasted my vacation days in the Maldives talking to him. But I was happy. I finally felt he is coming back. But as soon as I was back from vacation talking to him, he pulled back again. I gave up in April 2021 and said I cant do this after he yelled at me for a silly thing. Mind you I am bringing the yelling since he hates yelling and being yelled at. So him yelling at me is an indication of frustration. I said I need a break and he said I should not cut him from my life since it’s not human. I should just forgive and move on but I chose myself and decided to stop this torture. Now after 3 months of not contacting him at all he reached out once asking for some financial issue. He spelled my name wrong (He loves my name). It triggered me so much but I didn’t react. After two days I thought I can tell him that I felt bad so I reached out and I find out he is the happiest he has ever been. He started sharing about his wonderful life, fun job and good health.

    The person I have known used to be perenially depressed and sick. He has been the same all his life but I felt was it with me he was sad. I have been struggling so much to give up on thinking about him. It’s hard to accept that he doesn’t care for me or love me anymore. I never opened up to anyone like this. He used to tell me I am not expressive and when I started doing that he abandoned me. I know he is not a fault, people can change, their feelings can change but I had endured so much blame that I feel angry now. I feel angry for not being able to see things clearly. I am angry with myself for still being in love with him. I feel annoyed that I still want to get information about him. It hurts to even think that he might be with someone else. I feel like all my good years have gone by. I am 33. I just quit and I don’t know where am I heading. Is it fair? I worked so hard, I loved so hard only to be left alone. I am currently surrounded by strong beautiful women all of whom have the same story. I wonder if I am attracting people like those but I am worried I will never be able to love and trust anymore. I want to be happy with myself. An I am. I have worked a lot in these last 1.5 years but I would love to share my love with someone. I want to forget the ex also forgive him and me but with each passing day I feel like a veil is being lifted and I get a bit angry at myself for not knowing better. I have researched and worked so much on this that I know all the advice I would give someone like me but I am still unable to move on. I still sometimes hope that we will end up together and I want to stop that though. I have a good life, great parents and friends. I even have money that I have saved but all seems futile since I still feel all alone.

    Time heals all and I hope I am able to heal this trauma 🙂 Thanks for reading if you were able to follow <3

    #384760
    anita
    Participant

    Dear AK:

    I read most of your story, will re-read in about 14 hours from now and reply further. For now, my comment is that this man has been extremely disrespectful to you. Even if you didn’t help him as much as you did, his disrespect is inexcusable. I felt anger at him as I read what he said to you, his choice of words, how rude!

    anita

    #384763
    AK
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

     

    Thank you very much for taking the time to read it. I await your comments. I was quite sad since he left Berlin and was constantly asking him about what is our future. The more I asked the more he would not respond. I agree it was getting hard for him but then his choice of words crushed me. I never felt so humiliated in my life. It was also hard to digest coz he values words and is very sensitive about what people say. If he was feeling pressured he should have talked to me about it.

    Hugs,

    Akansha

    #384770
    TeaK
    Participant

    Dear Akansha,

    My impression is that saw you a little bit like a mother figure, not only because you were older but also because you arranged things for him, you were more independent and resourceful than him, you took care of him. He might have seen you as superior, perhaps idolized you too. He made you feel “beautiful, special and loved”.

    But he also told you offensive things, such as that you look like a dead person, and “I am sorry that I have drained all your energy and now you have nothing left in you.” You don’t say that to the person you love, after you haven’t seen them for 8 months. It shows that on one hand he idolized you, but on the other he resented you – perhaps because he depended so much on you? Like, he needed you, but he hated that he needed you.

    Then you refused to follow him when he got his dream job, even though you promised. He probably felt betrayed and perhaps took it as a sign that you don’t love him enough.

    I felt really guilty when I didn’t get the job and he said No too.

    I didn’t understand this: did he say No to you moving with him to his new location once you didn’t get the job you wanted?

    I tried to talk to him about it so many times but he said he doesn’t care and it doesn’t matter. He said he had forgiven me

    I don’t think he has forgiven you, and it has shown in his reluctance to talk about marriage and your future together. Also, he reluctantly followed you to Berlin, only to leave 20 days after you’ve arrived.

    It was the most devastating thing ever but he promised he will take short term opportunities and he will keep berlin his home base. I agreed but then he started keeping away from him since I was angry. I was angry that he left me alone in a place that was supposed to be home.

    Here you sort of “betrayed” him again, because you agreed for him to take short-term jobs abroad, but then you felt angry at him. But I guess you were angry not because he left, but because he wouldn’t make any commitments regarding your future. You felt his hesitancy and it hurt you: For someone who constantly kept talking about wanting to have a family with me, he was very hesitant about getting engaged.

    He used to come to visit me every 1.5 months for 5 days, in the house I set up for us and he would be enamoured by it saying that he loves that we have a home.

    He wanted me to build a home for him.

    It’s like he saw you as the strong, capable mother, who’ll build a nice home for him. He appreciated the house in Berlin, but he still resented you. I think it shows that he saw you primarily as his care-taker and provider, and not as an equal partner. He loved that he has a home base, from where he can go out into the world and explore. You were a safety net for him, not an equal partner. And he didn’t want to get married to you, I suppose, because he resented you all along for being dependent on you so much.

    Then the pandemic happened:

    My ex was freaking out and struggling a lot he was constantly telling me he is alone and needs me. It was getting unbearable not being able to see each other for 3 months and suddenly one day his behaviour started changing. He wasn’t the clingy person I knew who would constantly want to be smothered with love. He started enjoying his new life and of course distancing himself from me. He started getting absent and detached.

    I can only assume he found another woman to mother him. He found a replacement for you, and that’s why he stopped being clingy and got absent and detached:

    This time he said please let’s take a break..  his voice had no love, no spark when picking up my phone. He would talk about his female colleagues all the time.

    I suppose one of his female colleagues became his new mother figure…

    I freaked out. I started getting worried about losing him so I tried to reach out more and that led to him pulling away more. I even sent out presents to him which is difficult to manage in that country… I tried to talk and he yelled asked me to back off.

    You turned desperate and clingy – the same as he behaved in the beginning – and now he started feeling contempt for you:

    You look sexier on your two legs not walking on all fours. You are like a fucking Koala, hanging through my neck. Back off and learn to stand up for yourself. Being needy is not sexy

    The same way he idolized you in the beginning, he now despised you and saw only faults in you. Now he was able to fully express his resentment, which he had never expressed fully before, because he was afraid of losing you, losing the mother figure.

    What happened next is that probably none of his female colleagues were a good enough mother for him, so he started resorting back to you:

    I told him how I have been meeting people and I like a few guys and I am not stuck on him. He freaked out and did not stop talking to me for 4 days. He said he is serious about this all and he wants me. It might take some time due to pandemic but he wants to be with me at every point in his life.

    But it was fear that led him to say that, not true love. That’s why his commitment to you didn’t last long: But as soon as I was back from vacation talking to him, he pulled back again.

    It appears that he’s found another mother figure lately, and he is very happy:

    I find out he is the happiest he has ever been. He started sharing about his wonderful life, fun job and good health.

    He doesn’t need you, for the time being. But don’t be surprised if he pops up again, if he hits a lot point again.

    To sum up about him, I believe he is an immature, needy and selfish person, and was only using you to mother him. He never truly loved you. At first he glorified you (maybe even was flattering you), then he turned 180 degrees and started despising you and projecting things on you.

    As for you, these sentences stand out:

    “Learn to stand up for yourself. Being needy is not sexy”. For someone who has build her life around never taking help from anyone, these words hurt like a dagger.

    I have been struggling so much to give up on thinking about him. It’s hard to accept that he doesn’t care for me or love me anymore. I never opened up to anyone like this…. I am angry with myself for still being in love with him. I feel annoyed that I still want to get information about him. It hurts to even think that he might be with someone else.

    I wonder if I am attracting people like those but I am worried I will never be able to love and trust anymore. I want to be happy with myself.

    It could be that you, as a strong, capable woman, are attracted to weaker men, whom you are trying to save? You perhaps see your worth in being a care-taker. Now that he used you and abandoned you, you might feel unlovable and unworthy?

    Is it fair? I worked so hard, I loved so hard only to be left alone.

    No, it’s not fair. Your anger and disappointment are justified. He didn’t really love you, he used you. But you can learn from this experience. You can learn to heal, so you don’t attract such men any more…

     

    • This reply was modified 3 months, 2 weeks ago by TeaK.
    #384777
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Akansha:

    I am back from yesterday. First, my summary of your story:

    At first, while in a long-distance relationship,  he (a student looking for a job, living in a war-torn country) “was very clingy”, scared that you will leave him, and once in a while you communicated to him that he “needs to let go a bit”. You helped him find him an internship and later, a job. Eight months into the LDR, you met and he apologized for having drained all your energy, “and now you have nothing left in you”, he said.

    Next, back to the LDR status, the two of you in your respective countries quit your jobs and found new, better jobs. He found his new job first, and wanted you to move to his location, but you refused (even though you previously agreed that when one finds a new job, the other will move to that location).

    Next, two years ago, in August 2019, you met each other’s family, and you “asked him about his intentions and commitments”. He said that he wanted to marry you, but that he will ask you to marry him when he wants to, not when you tell him. You were very anxious about his lack of commitment to marry you.

    Two months later, you found a job in Berlin and you both moved there, living in one Airbnb after another. and you were very excited about starting a life with him! But 20 days after he moved to Berlin, he left to the Middle East for a short term job opportunity. You were devastated and angry with him for leaving you alone in Berlin, there were fights about his hesitance to get engaged and start a family with you.

    He said that he wants to keep Berlin as a home base, being that his job in the Middle East was temporary. You found a house, decorated it, and he visited you in Berlin every month and a half, for five days per visit, staying in the house you set up for the two of you, and which he enjoyed. You wanted to know when he will permanently move in with you and “he had no answers”. In Dec 2019, the two of you had “the worst fight” because when you met his family for Christmas, he did not make a commitment to you.

    Next, following being depressed and alone in Berlin, you moved to an Asian country, “back to the fieldwork” in Feb 2020. Next, “the pandemic happened”, he was “freaking out and struggling a lot”, telling you that he was alone and needed you. Next, he started “getting absent and detached”. You were so upset, that trying to get his attention, you repeatedly told him that you think you should end the relationship. Eventually, “he said please let’s take a break”.

    You freaked out, chased him and he pulled away from you even more, yelling at you at one point “Back off and learn to stand up for yourself. Being needy is not sexy”, etc. Next, you wished him good luck and messaged him that you will leave him alone. He didn’t reply for three days, you called and he said, “Its over”.

    You then chased him again and were in contact with him, but not in a relationship, “Always waiting for his reply, always waiting for him to be nice to me” . He talked to you about having sex with other women, you later told him that you were meeting men and liked a few guys, he then freaked out and talked to you a lot for four days, saying that he is serious about you, and you “finally felt he is coming back” (Dec 2020).

    Next, “he pulled back again”. Next, he yelled at you in April 2021 and you told him that you need a break, he said that you shouldn’t cut him from your life, but you did and it has been 3 months of no contact (April-July 2021) until “he reached out once asking for some financial issue”, and you found out that the man who “used to be.. depressed and sick”, is now  “the happiest he has ever been… wonderful life, fun job and good health”.

    And now, the second part of my post, my input: you wrote toward the end of your original post: “I feel angry for not being able to see things clearly. I am angry with myself for still being in love with him… Is it fair? I worked so hard, I loved so hard only to be left alone“.

    You wrote that you “loved so hard“, and my first thought is: what’s love got to do with it? (lyrics from a song by Tina Turner). I mean, having read your very long post, this is not a love story.

    Don’t get me wrong: there was/is love involved, but primarily it is a story about a woman who did things for a man, then chased him to marry her, pressured him to marry her, fought with him so that he will marry her, tried to trick him to marry her (threaten to end the relationship while not intending to), chased him some more.. and it didn’t work.

    A woman should never be a beggar any more than a man should be. None of us should ever beg another person to be with us, presenting ourselves as less-than the other, begging for his/ her mercy.

    Clingy behavior does not equal love. He was clingy at first and here and there over time. You were clingy a lot of the time and.. it never meant love.

    Going back in the timeline of your story, the trouble started in August 2019, when you met each other’s family, and you “asked him about his intentions and commitments”. He answered that he wanted to marry you, but that he will ask you to marry him when he wants to, not when you tell him. That’s when the chase started.

    If you answered his statement, back in Aug 2019 (that he wants to ask you to marry him but when he wants to, not when you tell him) with: okay, I will not tell you when to ask me to marry you. You are welcome to ask me to marry you when you are ready. You know my email, send me a message.

    – that would have been a good idea, wouldn’t it.. Coming to think about it, maybe you did tell him something like what I suggested above (maybe repeatedly), but when he called you and messaged you not for the purpose of asking you to marry him- you replied to him anyway, chasing him again .. ?

    anita

     

    #384780
    AK
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    Thank you for taking the time to read this long story. You are right about the part that we were both clingy at times. He did tell me (when he asked me to back off) that I helped him when he was sad and depressed but he can’t do it for me. I agree with you it would have been a good idea to have a boundary and not try to convince him to be with me. I don’t know but I never knew what anxiety was before this relationship. His change in behaviour triggered the clingy response in me. I think for the last 1.5 years I did try to do everything to keep us together, which is not the right thing to do. To convince someone that I am good for you. That is why I feel angry at myself. I did not know I was on autopilot. He projected a lot of his fears on me and accused me of things that I never did. When I gave my explanation he also accepted that he is just confused. He flip-flopped a lot in the last 1.5 years and I tried to endure all that.

    I  did not force him to marry me. His parents talked about having kids and he freaked out. When my parents asked him do we want to get married he freaked out. I was definitely worried about falling apart since there was no deadline on the long distance. I saw two of my friends breaking up their 9 years long relationship and that scared me a lot. So I projected that fear.

    It was his idea to move to Berlin together since he wanted to start a life with me. Even before the breakup, he had messaged me that he wants to come to live with me and learn music and buy a house together etc. We were saving up for a house. That is enough commitment for me but these were just talks. It never materialised. He only loved me when I was self-dependent as I should be but as a human being, I am allowed my moments of depression. I mean I think it’s kind of useless to dig into every detail but you are right that love is not clingy. After the breakup, I got too hung up on the fact that he still messaged me and said that he wants to be with me. When he was constantly being disrespectful, always postponed the visits. He said he is proud of the progress I made as a human being and that he is not with me but he is climbing the ladder with me. he wants to meet me at the top. He left me alone since he didn’t want to be the one I rely on to get out of my depression. He wanted me to do that independently.

    There are so many contradictory messages I have received that it even makes me anxious to write about it. Tbh, I didn’t even know why was I writing all this. I needed an outlet and I am quite happy to read your input. I believe this relationship was meant to teach me a big lesson on self-love. I struggle some days but I am much better since June 2020. I know about my traumas and my triggers and have better boundaries but there are days when things he said haunts me. I struggle to accept that someone who was so sensitive and vulnerable suddenly became rude and closed. I do have a role in that but I surely did not deserve the disrespect and back and forth.

    Thanks 🙂

    Akansha

    #384781
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Akansha:

    You are welcome. And I hope that you recover from this long ordeal and learn all you can from what happened.

    I struggle to accept that someone who was so sensitive and vulnerable suddenly became rude and closed. I do have a role in that but I surely did not deserve the disrespect and back and forth“-

    – Of course you did not deserve his disrespect and back and forth!

    – What comes to my mind as I read your description of him as “so sensitive and vulnerable” is that maybe you confused his (at times) clingy behavior with sensitive and loving behavior:

    When he was anxious and desperate-  he reached out to you in ways that appeared sensitive and loving. When he was calm and content, he no longer appeared sensitive and loving. He was rude and closed.

    In other words, he has not been a loving man to you overall: he appeared loving when he needed  you/ when he was anxious and desperate. If he really loved you, he would have been sensitive and loving to you when he was anxious and desperate and when he was calm and content.

    What do you think?

    anita

    #384783
    AK
    Participant

    Dear @TeaK,

    Thank you for your detailed input. I highly appreciate that.

    Actually, I think he did find me like his mother but he has a lot of trauma attached to her. She had a brain injury when he was 13 and since then she is totally dependent on his father. She struggles with short term memory and gets annoyed when people don’t entertain her. His family struggles a lot because of that and all the kids are truly traumatised. So that explains his annoyance when I was weak and needy, maybe it triggered him.

    He did tell me last year Nov (5 months after the breakup) that he thinks there is no one as kind, forgiving and wonderful as me. He said he thinks I am close to Jesus as a spiritual being and I am the most important person in his life. To be fair, he also had just asked me if I would allow him to have phone sex with a girl he met on Facebook. It was quite confusing. I felt like I am being tested. I said I have no right to say yes or no coz we aren’t together but he did not let go till I replied to him. I know he would not have been able to be calm if I was seeing someone (he accepted that) but he was quite jealous since the beginning. So I didn’t question that behaviour.

    I will go through the questions you asked now.

     

    “I felt really guilty when I didn’t get the job and he said No too.”

    I didn’t understand this: did he say No to you moving with him to his new location once you didn’t get the job you wanted?

    He said he did not mind me saying no to moving with him since I was caught in the moment. I was about to get a job I was dreaming of for a long time. He did feel unimportant but he would ask me to shut up every time I will apologise. That is the reason I told him to accept the job in the Middle East coz I was guilty of doing that to him.

     

    “I tried to talk to him about it so many times but he said he doesn’t care and it doesn’t matter. He said he had forgiven me”

    I don’t think he has forgiven you, and it has shown in his reluctance to talk about marriage and your future together. Also, he reluctantly followed you to Berlin, only to leave 20 days after you’ve arrived.

    Berlin was his plan. When he was about to come to visit me in my home country he made me write on a sheet that we will move to Berlin and we will have a wonderful life and pay my gratitude for that. But you are right, maybe he was reluctant and angry with me. I asked him so many times. I even asked him if we should see a couple’s therapist so that he could talk but he refused it. I was worried he might resent me but he didn’t want to talk about it.

     

    “It was the most devastating thing ever but he promised he will take short term opportunities and he will keep berlin his home base. I agreed but then he started keeping away from him since I was angry. I was angry that he left me alone in a place that was supposed to be home.”

    Here you sort of “betrayed” him again, because you agreed for him to take short-term jobs abroad, but then you felt angry at him. But I guess you were angry not because he left, but because he wouldn’t make any commitments regarding your future. You felt his hesitancy and it hurt you: ‘For someone who constantly kept talking about wanting to have a family with me, he was very hesitant about getting engaged.’

    I am sorry I made a mistake. He started ignoring me since he thought I would spoil his joy and that made me angry. I was mostly annoyed that he did not want to discuss our future. He wouldn’t even talk about how long did he want to work abroad. I would have appreciated it if he said I am going to be there for 2 years but he never had an answer. He would say is this not enough that I say I am committed. Tbh it is but then he made promises for starting a farm in Italy or work on a farm. Now I guess I was supposed to do it alone and he would come there for vacations. That was not what I signed up for. So yes it hurt me. You are spot on.

     

    “He used to come to visit me every 1.5 months for 5 days, in the house I set up for us and he would be enamoured by it saying that he loves that we have a home.

    He wanted me to build a home for him.”

    It’s like he saw you as the strong, capable mother, who’ll build a nice home for him. He appreciated the house in Berlin, but he still resented you. I think it shows that he saw you primarily as his care-taker and provider, and not as an equal partner. He loved that he has a home base, from where he can go out into the world and explore. You were a safety net for him, not an equal partner. And he didn’t want to get married to you, I suppose, because he resented you all along for being dependent on you so much.

    I don’t know if he resented me for being so dependent on me. He resented me when I would not like to do things his way. He always wanted to do everything together. He wanted me to be part of everything he did. Go to places he goes to, listen to songs he listens to, watch what he is watching. I explained to him a lot that it’s not bad that I do not enjoy doing everything with him but he was very stubborn about that. So I am still unsure about why did he resent me but you could be right. When he started pulling away his first statement was ” I don’t need you” to my statement I love you, need you and want you. I didn’t mean the word ‘need’ the same way he did but I was shocked at his response. Two weeks before this happened he was writing to me about how he is very lonely and wants to talk to me, while I was busy with my sister’s wedding.

     

    You are on point with the rest of the points. It brought a smile to my face. I guess it is the truth, I didn’t want to accept that he was expressing everything he resented me for. I am normally attracted to guys who are reserved. My ex was not that, he was different. He approached me when normally I am the one who would approach the guy. He was so sensitive and vulnerable it was refreshing. He would also tell me I am quite beautiful. In my past dating history, the guys would tell me I have a charming personality but they only fell in love with me once I started talking :). I do tend to put them on a pedestal and take the caretaker role. This one is a lesson too. I have only learned more about me after every relationship but I am also exhausted now. I mean will this self-improvement through relationship project ever stop. Anyway, I know it’s silly to say so. We keep growing and evolving as human beings but I tend to always look for my forever person and fail miserably. I need to let go of this idea and start to get out of this scarcity mentality.

    Only recently, I came to the conclusion that my ex did not love me. The breakup made me feel rejected. There was also a lot of gaslighting and that makes you question your existence when you are vulnerable. I feel I have better boundaries now and I would be able to make better choices.

    Thank you so much for taking the time to read my long post. You made my day with this honest breakdown.

    Hugs,

    Akansha

     

    #384786
    AK
    Participant

    Dear @anita ,

    You are absolutely right. I think one of my biggest lessons from this is that consistency is my love language. People are allowed to grow and feel different but there are ways to navigate through that. Thank you once again for this wonderful community. I have been trying to write on this forum for the past 1 year but I wasn’t even clear in my head about the different aspects of this relationship. You are a blessing to many people like me.

    Have a great week.

    Hugs,

    Akansha

     

    #384789
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Akansha:

    You are welcome, and thank you for your kind words. I like the idea of Consistency as a love language. I don’t think that there can be love without consistency. I am glad you posted and please feel free to post again anytime, be it in this thread, or in a new thread, on any topic that comes up for you.

    anita

    #384796
    TeaK
    Participant

    Dear Akansha,

    you are very welcome. Thanks for sharing some more and clarifying… Well, probably he described himself and his motives best when he said “I don’t need you”, when he first started pulling away from you. It is need that motivated him to be with you, not love.

    You said he wanted to do everything together with you (He wanted me to be part of everything he did. Go to places he goes to, listen to songs he listens to, watch what he is watching) – it’s like a child who wants his mother to be near him while he is having a good time. It could be related to the fact that his mother suffered brain injury and suddenly became unavailable to him when he was 13. Although he was entering puberty, probably he still needed his mother a lot, and she wasn’t there for him any more.

    So you might have replaced his missing mother, he used you to help him get from his boyhood into his adulthood. Perhaps he did grow up and become more independent during the course of your relationship (so my theory about him finding another mother figure who replaced you might not be true). If so, his resentment towards you would be like that of a teenager who still needs his mother when he’s in trouble, but who also wants her to back off and let him live his life as he pleases.

    Perhaps that’s why he told you that he does want to marry you, but not when you tell him, but when he chooses. It’s like he felt you are taking away his autonomy when you force him to do things against his will. Again, it could be the teenage boy rebelling against his mother bossing him around.

    Also, it’s peculiar that he would ask your permission to have phone sex with another woman, 5 months after your breakup. But then again, if he saw you as his mother, perhaps he felt the need to confide in you and ask for your opinion (like, do you think it’s okay to have phone sex with this girl whom I just met on facebook?)

    He said he is proud of the progress I made as a human being and that he is not with me but he is climbing the ladder with me. he wants to meet me at the top

    This would suggest that now he feels like a grown-up and better than you, and he doesn’t need you anymore. He finished his transition from a teenage boy to a grown man, and he feels good about himself and is enjoying his life.

    But he hasn’t grown up emotionally. When he told you those hurtful things – that you are pathetic and needy – it shows he has no empathy and no respect for you. He used you as a crutch while he was growing up and becoming independent, and now that he doesn’t need you any more, he can discard you like an old cloth.

    He did tell me last year Nov (5 months after the breakup) that he thinks there is no one as kind, forgiving and wonderful as me. He said he thinks I am close to Jesus as a spiritual being and I am the most important person in his life.

    It sounds like flattery – perhaps he was feeling a little down, perhaps something was bothering him at the moment, and he quickly called you to make him feel better, like he would call his mother? But since he knew he offended you quite a bit earlier, he needed to soften you with some sweet talk…  Do you think this might have been his motivation?

     

    #384836
    AK
    Participant

    Dear @TeaK,

    Thank you again for digging deeper with me. I hope you believe me when I say that it has really helped me. I definitely never saw that I was being the mother figure since taking care of people has been my thing. When I was younger, I used to forget to take care of myself, I wanted to be liked by everyone. It was a horrible time but I am much better at choosing myself now.

    My ex was quite level headed, I mean I was always stunned by how mature he was but tbh I was comparing his maturity to my maturity at my age. That is a skewed vision altogether. I was impressed by the fact that even after being 6 years younger than me he was so reflective and sensitive, come to look at it now I think it was because of his traumas. He was always a melancholic person who thought too much about things and was sensitive to everyone’s emotions. He would get anxious with sounds or music. He would brood too much about what someone said. I was able to help him with those (I thought I did). He was very happy one time I told him how to talk to his boss so that she listens to him. It worked so well that he became her fav intern 😀 Therefore, he used to be very thankful for my outlook on life. I was always cheerful and excited. Meanwhile, he was a Debbie Downer (I did not have a problem with that) he was different from me and I appreciated that. He was practical, I was kind. He could make good decisions about spending money, I was good with planning trips, household chores etc. For me, it felt like we complement each other and are a strong team.

    But as you said I think he did grow in this relationship and maybe he didn’t need my support anymore. So clearly, it was not ‘love’ but a need. No wonder he was so confused and could never decide what our future should be. He called once after our breakup after a dinner with his family that he misses having me on the table and that he would love to have a family with me. But then after a week, he will tell me how he wants to have sex with other women and if I feel the same way with other men. I guess he was feeling guilty that his feelings have changed since he didn’t need me and he was unable to understand for himself. He did not want to lose me after the breakup knowing that I was such an important part of his life (his words) but he also didn’t like me anymore as he did when he needed me. He would reach out when he was anxious, or sad or was stuck in a dilemma and since I was seeking connection I will give everything from my cup.

     

    Answering your question regarding the points below:

    Also, it’s peculiar that he would ask your permission to have phone sex with another woman, 5 months after your breakup. But then again, if he saw you as his mother, perhaps he felt the need to confide in you and ask for your opinion (like, do you think it’s okay to have phone sex with this girl whom I just met on facebook?)

    He is a very physical person. Since we hadn’t seen each other since Jan 2020 he was clearly horny so he was seeking the physical connection. He was also hanging out with people who were sleeping around with random women and he was clearly influenced. He tends to get influenced by his group. As I understood, the only reason he was asking for permission from me is coz he wanted me to tell him if I was seeing someone else. It was like he wanted to have his cake and eat it too. He did accept this. He also confessed it would drive him mad to think that I might start seeing someone else but he also kept forcing me to not wait for him. He was hanging out with girls, dancing, went on a date, flirted and would tell me all about it. He would then ask me if I have these encounters and I was like No. It was a pandemic I was stuck at home I wasn’t seeing anyone. I was also traumatised so there was no way I was thinking about anyone else. And then again he would ask me why is he confused.

    Btw every time he talked about having sex with other women, or if he would complain about how little sex we had during Christmas, we’d end up having phone sex ourselves. I honestly have no clue how did I agree to that. My only explanation is that since I was like a parched dog in a desert seeking a source to fulfil my need. Any connection made me feel like I am getting closer to him. One time he even rejected me after asking me to come on skype for a session. When I complained he was like please deal with your anxieties it’s not my responsibility to help you with that. He is right but this is from a person who would not stop calling messaging me every time he had any anxious feeling 🙂 I don’t want to establish that he is a bad person. He is not but yes I did not see the red flags.

     

    He did tell me last year Nov (5 months after the breakup) that he thinks there is no one as kind, forgiving and wonderful as me. He said he thinks I am close to Jesus as a spiritual being and I am the most important person in his life.

    It sounds like flattery – perhaps he was feeling a little down, perhaps something was bothering him at the moment, and he quickly called you to make him feel better, like he would call his mother? But since he knew he offended you quite a bit earlier, he needed to soften you with some sweet talk…  Do you think this might have been his motivation?

    No, this talk was right after he asked me if I give him permission to have phone sex with this girl on Facebook. We were having a normal conversation when that topic of “him giving me the right” to tell him if he should have phone sex with this girl from Facebook or not. Apparently, they were flirting for some time. I was so shocked that I said I don’t think I can talk about this and that’s when he said how I am the only person he knows who is spiritually as close to Jesus. (Btw I do not follow any religion. He believes in Jesus but is not religious(whatever that means)). And then again when I said I am not going to tell you if you should have sex or not. I made him understand how hurtful it is for him to ask me for this but his response to that was so will you do that? He said this girl is just someone he is having sex with he doesn’t care about her. But the things he wants to do might be considered disrespectful for me. He was a weird relationship with sex. He used to be scared of sex. He had been cheated on several times. He was so scared that I would cheat on him too. And that’s how I was never bothered by his jealousy. I knew the source and I tackled it well. According to him, he only ever enjoyed sex with me and I know he was genuine when he said that. But then there were complaints about how we didn’t have enough sex since someone questioned him that it’s not enough sex in an LDR (for reference we would meet after every 1 month for 5 days and none of us had the energy to be at it all the time)

    I feel so weird since it might look like he is a crazy person. He isn’t. He is just a human being who has a lot of pain bodies and traumas and doesn’t know how to deal with them. I do not want this post to be about him being a horrible human being but about me being blind at that time and not taking my self-respect into account. I would not do a disservice to my old self since I just did what I felt was right at that time. I know better now!

    Thanks,

    Akansha

     

    #384847
    TeaK
    Participant

    Dear Akansha,

    you are very welcome, I am glad this conversation and digging deeper is helping you.

    I definitely never saw that I was being the mother figure since taking care of people has been my thing. When I was younger, I used to forget to take care of myself, I wanted to be liked by everyone.

    It’s good you see the tendency now, and if you wish, we can talk about it more… since probably the core of this care-taking reflex stems from your childhood.

    He did not want to lose me after the breakup knowing that I was such an important part of his life (his words) but he also didn’t like me anymore as he did when he needed me. He would reach out when he was anxious, or sad or was stuck in a dilemma and since I was seeking connection I will give everything from my cup.

    What you wrote here is a pretty good summary of his relationship to you: You were indeed an important part of his growing up (which I guess included becoming more independent, assertive and less of a Debbie Downer), but after a certain point he didn’t need you any more. Actually, he needed you still when he was anxious or had issues – like he would need a mother figure to console him and advise him – but he didn’t feel attracted to you to be his romantic partner. You on the other hand craved connection and didn’t want to reject him when he would approach you. You were always there for him, and he was using you when in need (even for phone sex, to relieve his urge).

    He called once after our breakup after a dinner with his family that he misses having me on the table and that he would love to have a family with me. But then after a week, he will tell me how he wants to have sex with other women

    It could be that his family liked you and missed you at the dinner table, and so he took it on for a brief while. But he quickly lost the sentiment and started going into the opposite direction…

    One time he even rejected me after asking me to come on skype for a session. When I complained he was like please deal with your anxieties it’s not my responsibility to help you with that. He is right but this is from a person who would not stop calling messaging me every time he had any anxious feeling

    Yes, there was no reciprocity there: he used you for whatever he needed, but he refused to give you anything beyond what suits him. He was a taker, you were a giver.

    I feel so weird since it might look like he is a crazy person. He isn’t. He is just a human being who has a lot of pain bodies and traumas and doesn’t know how to deal with them. I do not want this post to be about him being a horrible human being but about me being blind at that time and not taking my self-respect into account.

    He doesn’t seem crazy but self-centered and emotionally immature, which can be the result of his trauma. But still, it’s no reason to excuse his behavior, because what he is doing is basically exploiting you: he is using you for phone sex, he is telling you about wanting to have sex with other women, he is inquiring about your own sex life, saying he would be upset if you found another guy. All that after you’ve broken up long ago. On top of it all, he is telling you you are like Jesus because you are so kind to him and in fact, tolerating his abuse. Because that’s emotional abuse, or at least harassment, what he is doing. I don’t know if you’re still communicating with him and responding to him, but if you are, you’d need to stop, because it’s not good for your emotional  health.

    At the same time, you can work on your own issues and your susceptibility to such manipulation. So you don’t need to blame him, but still you’d need to put a stop on it – if he is still using you in this way.

     

    #384849
    TeaK
    Participant

    Dear Akansha,

    I’ve realized in the meanwhile that he probably hasn’t been manipulating/using you for his needs in the last 3 months.  You said you’ve cut contact with him, and he only reached out once for some financial issue recently. That’s when he told you he is very happy with his life. But I guess he didn’t try to get you involved into one of his push-pull behaviors, or talk about sex etc?

    If so, please disregard what I said at the end of my last post (that you should put a stop on this behavior of his) – because you already did put a stop on it. But still, I just wanted to say, in case you had any doubt, that I believe his behavior was inexcusable and that he was using you all along. And when he told you that you are like Jesus, that too was manipulative because he wanted to get you to answer his dilemma – whether to have sex with that girl or not. He didn’t care if that question was inappropriate, even though you told him so (I made him understand how hurtful it is for him to ask me for this but his response to that was so will you do that?). He was only interested in himself and what he needed at the moment.

     

    • This reply was modified 3 months, 2 weeks ago by TeaK.
    #384855
    AK
    Participant

    Dear @TeaK,

    You are right I asked him that I do not want to be in touch with him and it has been three months now. I did not doubt my decision but I did think he might reach out but he never did. Even when I told him I want to stop communication he told me about how one of his exes also stopped communication with him. I felt annoyed as to why is that important at this time. Plus that story was over a long time ago. They were friends after that and hanging out every time he’d go back home. I met her too. Why was she cutting contact now? He was like I think it’s not fair to do that to people but if there is a wound he would be respectful about it. Anyway, it was not my business anymore. I told him I am sorry you feel sad but I need to focus on myself. I think you have moved on and I need to do that too.

    The only reason I started this thread was that I started checking his FB(he never posts anything) but I wanted to get some information about him since he said he is happy. I felt sad about this behaviour of mine and thought it might be better if I sought some help. You and @anita have been quite helpful and kind.

    I would come back on in case I struggle again.

    I hope you are doing well and taking care of yourself too. Hugs!

    Thanks a ton,

    Akansha

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