Surrender while keeping faith?

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    Hi Anita,

    Thanks for sharing with me the “Wow” that your brain exhaled! I felt happy to hear that which is an affirmation of my growth after speaking to you 🙂

    My brain exhaled “Phew!!” after speaking to you. For a long time, I felt like I was just walking in circles and ruminating over the same point… unable to get a breakthrough.. right until you pointed out a different path to me and many other paths started opening too. And that was really a changing point for me which I am so thankful for. I feel you have this gift for picking out the salient points and then addressing them so gently. I always imagine you to be this wise lady at the top of the mountain (a mountain with very good wifi connection!) and thank you for sharing your gift and attending to the many people on this forum!

    Today, I was cycling at the park and I thought I saw a figure that looked like my ex-bf with another person. I considered whether to turn back to see if it is really him. Ordinarily I would have, but I stopped myself and reminded myself it would not matter whether it is him or not. And I cycled on 🙂 Felt quite happy to have that moment there whereby I was able to move ahead and not be affected by the sighting. Thought to share this with you as you are significant in this shift!

    And again a big takeaway for me is the key point about their needs OR my needs. I did not realise that I have been thinking of needs in this manner with the OR word being very key. I guess that is where the guilt came from that if I fulfil my needs, means that others are not fulfilling theirs but in reality, like you said it is about creating a win-win situation where everyone’s needs can be fulfilled. I will start being mindful of the OR word being present when I am fulfilling my needs 🙂 And then practise and insert corrected thinking.


    Dear lost_star:

    Thank you for your appreciation, again. I do like the imagery of the wise woman at the top of a mountain, with a good Wi-Fi connection- you are kind and funny, what a delightful combination.

    Thank you for sharing your cycling in the park experience. This experience is significant, each counting in the making of this shift.

    Regarding the Win-Win concept and reality: our very communication here is a Win-Win communication. And so, it is right for me and right for you. For as long as it is a Win for you, post anytime.




    Hi Anita,

    Thanks for letting me know that our communication here is a win-win communication 🙂 I have gained a lot from my interaction with you and now I shall go down the mountain and put into practice the insights from our interactions.

    I am glad to know I have a wise woman at the top of the mountain to seek insights from anytime.

    Wishing you well and do take care of yourself too!


    Dear lost_star:

    You are welcome. Because you think of me as a wise woman, you may find it valuable that I think of you as very intelligent as well as articulate, capable and wise. Till your next post, take good care of yourself.



    You still love him,right?Why don’t try to connect with him? Good luck!


    Hi Marie,

    Thanks for taking time to read what I wrote and writing me a reply! Yes I still love him deeply but I think I have come to the conclusion that it is not in the best interest of him or me to connect with him at this point in time. So I decided to surrender and see what will unfolds next 🙂

    Thanks for your well wishes! Wishing your kind soul well too Marie.




    Hi Anita,

    Wow, just realised it has been almost a month since I last wrote to you and I think it has been mostly a month of peace and focusing on myself which I am thankful for 🙂 Thanks for your last post of affirmations – I found your comments very valuable indeed!

    Some updates so far.. It was his birthday a while ago and I did send him a birthday text wishing him well and we did some catching up and I got to know how he is doing. I was a little apprehensive before messaging him as I was worried whether I was able to handle talking to him again and would I be subjected to rollercoaster emotions again when he takes a long time to reply. Cos I reached out to him late last year to see how he is doing and when he took a long time to reply me, I became anxious and checked if he saw my message and things like that.

    Good news is I am much better than that time and I am able to handle when he takes a long time to reply. I am not anxious when he does not reply and I just go on my daily life and doing the things I love 🙂

    So updates from him is that he is as busy as ever… even more so as 90% of his time is committed to work, part time studies and completing internship for his studies.

    And it was a sign to myself that it is not wise to even think about resuming a relationship with him if his schedule is still so hectic, i.e. no capacity to be in a relationship (reminded myself of what you said earlier in our communication) and thus, I told myself not to even entertain that thought. I guess that helped me to stay grounded as I saw our catch ups as purely catching up as friends without any other intentions.

    Hearing his updates that he has been so busy made me relieved in a sense too that:

    1) It affirmed what he told me when we broke up that he has no capacity for a relationship and it still remains true. I guess a part of me always has this fear as many people have told me that it can be an excuse. But I trust him and believe his words back then. And hearing that he is as busy as ever (or even busier than before) tells me that my trust is not misplaced in him.

    2) That he would not have the capacity to be in a relationship with anyone else. I guess another part of me fears that he would find another person to be in a relationship as I would see that as a betrayal. Betrayal because when we broke up, he told me that he would definitely think of me if he has the capacity to be in a relationship again. So I thought that if he had the capacity to be in one and he found someone else, then he did not keep his words. I am not asking that he gets back with me immediately when he has the capacity but just to explore that option I guess. I would feel hurt if he skips the process of exploring that option with me.

    Although I know rationally it has been a while since we broke up and things do change. And even if he gets together with someone new, I would feel hurt for a while but it is not as if I would not confront him or ask him why he did not keep his words. I will feel the betrayal but end of the day, I will still wish him well if he finds someone that can give him some relief.

    I spoke to my therapist about the second point and she said I was being “naive” for still holding him to something he said so long ago. She said that he does not owe me anything and whatever he said then may not hold true now. I guess to her, it is something he said in passing and it is in the past. I should not be bringing the past into the present.

    But to me, it was something of importance and I trust him and he has been a trustworthy man in the time that I have known him.

    I wonder if I am being silly here?


    Dear lost_star:

    Glad you posted again on your thread.

    I re-read your posts in this two page thread (not my replies) and then read your last post. Your last post reads very reasonable to me. Regarding trusting him, reads to me that he is trustworthy and therefore your trust in his is realistic.

    It doesn’t seem to me that your ex boyfriend says things “in passing” that are true one day but not the next, not things of importance- it is your experience that he has been consistent in what he told you and in his actions throughout time. There is another reason I think what he says, he means and takes seriously and that is his strong guilt/ sense of responsibility for his parents. A person who feels so guilty and who tries so hard as he does, to benefit his parents, is not likely to say things in passing.

    Referring to what I re-read: he gave money to his sister so his parents will not be deprived of their money by giving it to the sister. He is taking care of his parents. He first tried to talk to them into not giving their money to their daughter, his sister (for her legal battles), but when they refused and turned on him, his reaction was to give his own money so to prevent his parents from spending their own. This is heavy-duty guilt.

    When he told you “something along the lines of he knows I will be happier without him in the long run and thus he rather let me go rather than for me to suffer with him” (August 21 post)- he was correct.

    If you were in a relationship with him again, if you married him, you will probably see your money spent on his parents. This will be done to relieve his guilt. But his guilt will not be relieved and soon enough it will require another giving. This will cause you resentment, just as he resents it himself. Part of him, I believe, resents his parents and is angry about the sacrifices he is making. It is that part that pushed him to spend money on his gaming, as if saying: I want to have fun too! When is my turn to enjoy my money?

    Your choice in regard to a possible relationship with him, as I see it, is to suffer with him or … no, there is no choice. If you are in a relationship with him, you will suffer. His guilt allows nothing but suffering.

    Best you can do is to continue to focus on your well-being- you can reduce suffering in the world, your own. Your suffering is not less important, not less worthy of being alleviated, than any other person’s. By alleviating your own, by not suffering yourself, somehow, you make life better for others. It works that way. By suffering as well, you make life worse for others. That is how it is, really.



    Hi Anita,

    Thanks for providing this safe space for me to air my thoughts and to seek clarity 🙂 I appreciate the welcome from you and for the time you take to read through what I posted again in order to help me seek my clarity too.

    It meant a lot to me when you validated his good character (in that he is trustworthy and he is someone who tries as hard as he does) and also that my trust in him is reasonable! I guess I have this nagging concern if I am looking at things through my rose-tinted glasses and being too idealistic in my thinking.

    And he really gave me no reasons to doubt him and it just tires and frustrates me when people hint otherwise at my “gullibility” or question what he said then. One of my wishes is probably to preserve that period of time I had with him without other people tainting it with their own judgement.

    You know, reading through your latest post, I wish and I wish that I could show him your analysis of the situation because it is so true. I am not even sure if he has this clarity for himself (I highly doubt so) as he is too caught up in his situation. If only he can have this insight to his own issues, that may provide him some food for thought that may help him break away from his situation.

    You are right that he has very heavy duty guilt which is super difficult to break away – unless he seeks therapy (which like you said he probably doesnt cos of the money involved which would be given to his parents/sister and given his heavy schedule, time would be a constraint too) or unless a miracle happens somewhat (haha).

    And I also had the same guess that he probably overspend on games “as if saying: I want to have fun too! When is my turn to enjoy my money?” I also believe he has that resentment towards his parents but he feels it is wrong to have that resentment and thus he channels it to his sister instead. In his world, it is wrong to be resentful towards his parents and he is angry but that anger is turned inwards towards himself.

    I also imagined that if we do get married, my money would be spent on his parents too. I was reading one of the recent posts by one of the forum posters who lent money to her inlaws and it became a frustrating situation. It really struck me that wow, that is a likely scenario I would land myself in if I married him when his situation remains.

    Thanks for this reality check – “your choice in regard to a possible relationship with him, as I see it, is to suffer with him or … no, there is no choice. If you are in a relationship with him, you will suffer. His guilt allows nothing but suffering.”

    You see that I would suffer with him, he also sees that I would suffer with him. And thus he let me go so I would not suffer with him. And I imagine me being in a relationship with him now would only add on to his guilt – that he is dragging someone along.

    And I do not want to add on to his guilt.

    Thus, us not being in a relationship is a win-win situation for both of us.

    And what amazes me sometimes is really how well he knows me. He knows that I would gladly stay on in a relationship with him even if I am suffering. He knows I would be by his side and he knows I would make sacrifices to be with him. And he does not want me to do that. So he pushed me away in the hope that I would find my own happiness.

    And I will Anita. I will find my own happiness.  Alleviating my own suffering is my way of carrying on his gift for me – his gift to let me not suffer with him.

    At the same time, I wish for his suffering to be alleviated too. But I know I am not the person to alleviate his suffering. Once again, I felt the pain for him that he is going through this but like we have said earlier too, this injustice exist and we have to sit with it.

    I find it such a pity that he is such a good man and we fit so well together and have good chemistry. He cares for me, he loves me and he has my interests at heart. I feel the same way for him too.

    But yet, we cannot be together.

    It just feels so tragic.


    Dear lost_star:

    I like your clarity of thinking and I agree with your analysis and understanding, for example, your understanding that he is channeling his anger to his sister because he believes it is wrong for him to feel anger at his parents.

    You wrote that you wish he had this understanding but that “he is too caught up in his situation”- basically, I think, he is caught up still in his childhood need to feel safe being his parents’ child. If he was to see his situation clearly, he would have to … clearly see that his parents were dishonest with him, self serving, manipulating him to serve their interest, to his detriment.

    A child needs to believe that his parents are interested in his (the child’s) best interest, not in their own to the child’s detriment. To believe otherwise is too distressing.

    I know the thread you are referring to, and yes, you are preventing suffering in your life when you don’t get involved in a situation like this. Some suffering is unpreventable. Better prevent what is possible to prevent.



    Hi Anita,

    Thanks for the time taken as usual to help me out here!

    When I read this bit

    “If he was to see his situation clearly, he would have to … clearly see that his parents were dishonest with him, self serving, manipulating him to serve their interest, to his detriment.”

    I felt the ouch from this statement and I can imagine that my ex would not take to this very well as he holds his parents in very high regard. It reminds me that I did mention this bit to him before about how his parents are not taking into account his needs.. that why are they sacrificing his needs for his sister? Are his needs any less important? Why are they expecting and allowing one child’s needs to be fulfilled at the expense of another? And he just shrugged his shoulders when I highlighted this to him.

    Maybe that is why it is so much easier for him to continue in his misery than to even accept this fact. Too distressing like you said. It would crush his idea of his parents.. crush his world and all the beliefs he had.

    Thinking about this, I realise I do not have a lot of details of how his growing years were and perhaps there were more of such instances from when he was younger. Alot of damage to be undone. sigh.

    Rationally, I can understand, accept and agree with this point that “[I am] preventing suffering in [my] life when [I] don’t get involved in a situation like this.” and I will not want to get involved at this point in time.

    But there is this part of me that wonders.. about the other aspect of loving someone which is wanting to be with them through thick and thin. And it kind of feels like a very practical decision to run while I still can (“better prevent what is possible to prevent”) which I am trying to reconcile with the bit about loving someone. It feels a little wrong to me somehow.

    I mean if he was abusive, or there was something fundamentally wrong with our relationship, then yes I have zero doubts about running while I still can. Like my previous relationships when it ended, I have zero qualms about shutting the door tight and not wanting to ever be with them again. Just that in this instance, I felt there was nothing fundamentally wrong with us.

    So I guess right now, I can accept the current situation in that it is not right for us to be together now. I am moving along with my life, making plans for myself and I am cautious about not “overly investing time and energy waiting for people to change”. I reread your replies earlier and this part stood out for me again. That I have to be mindful of this trap not to overly invest time in waiting for him and I will not put my life on hold for him.

    But I still have some hope in me.. that one day things will work out for us. Sometimes I envision that maybe one day, maybe a few years down the road.. I will return to this thread and tell you Anita, we have worked things out, he has overcome his issues and we are getting married kind of thing.

    And I wonder. .is it all that bad to have this hope? I thought as long as it does not impair my functioning and I am open to other experiences and possibilities, not putting my life on hold.. it is alright?


    Dear lost_soul:

    You are very welcome.

    I think we all need hope so I think it is okay for you too to have hope, hope for a loving, functioning relationship. You hope it will be with him because, compared to past relationships, he is a better candidate for such hope, and a recent one, to whom you are still emotionally attached and for whom you feel a lot of empathy.

    You wrote about him: “if he was abusive, or there was something fundamentally wrong with our relationship, then yes I have zero doubts about running while I still can”- but he is abusive, to himself. It is not easy to watch day in and day out (if you were to have a lifetime with him) a loved one abusing himself, being tormented by unjustified guilt. It will wear you down, distress you… and so, it will harm you.

    Regarding “loving someone which is wanting to be with them through thick and thin. And it kind of feels like a very practical decision to run… feels a little wrong to me somehow”-

    Similar perhaps to him feeling it would be wrong for him to run away from his family, his need to be with them “through thick and thin”.

    I understand that it feels wrong somehow, that is because you feel strong empathy for him and you want to help him, to be there for him, to comfort him. This is all natural. I suppose it is wrong to not try to help someone you love and who needs help. That is the valid message in that wrong-feeling. But add to that valid message that you can not help him, and you come up with something like this: I would have helped him if it was possible. I wish I could help him. But I can’t.

    Being with a troubled person who is not in the process of healing “through thick and thin” doesn’t make them thicker, so to speak, that is, healthier. Instead, it makes you thinner, that is, sicker.

    You made a good point in your post before last, and I realized it after I was away from the computer yesterday, on my walk: “I imagine me being in a relationship with him now would only add on to his guilt – that he is dragging someone along.” If you had a lifetime with him, suffering with him, you would increase his suffering by adding more guilt to his experience.





    Hi Anita,

    Your last post helped me to untie a lot of the knots that I felt in my heart and answers to the various questions I have been mulling over 🙂

    Okay, thanks for validating that it is alright to have a hope and I guess you are right in saying that as of now, he is the “face” of what I envision in a loving, functioning relationship. He was the one who gave me the first experience/glimpse of what a loving, functioning relationship is like and thus it is strongly attached to the image of him.

    Ahh, it is so true that he is abusive to himself and it would not be easy to watch him do that to himself and overtime it will be draining to me as well. I did also experience that in the time I was with him when I saw how he put himself through the family situation. And that was an interesting point that I am “similar perhaps to him feeling it would be wrong for him to run away from his family“. As much as I want him to step away from his situation, I should be saying the same to myself too.

    I would certainly supplement my thoughts with “I would have helped him if it was possible. I wish I could help him. But I can’t.I would have helped him if it was possible. I wish I could help him. But I can’t.” And I know I would have helped him if it was possible. But I can only be there for someone who wants me to be there for him. So it is not like I am walking away from someone who needs my help. He pushed me away and it was not my choice to not be there for him.

    Thanks for still thinking of our situations while you are away from the computer!

    So yes, I think I just have to remember that it is not possible for me and him to have another chance to build a loving, functioning, win-win relationship, unless he has worked through his unjustified guilt. 

    And what is in bold and italics is the crux.

    It has to happen before anything else can happen.


    Dear lost_star:

    It is my understanding that he pushed you away because he is busy earning his salvation, which to him, is the approval of his parents. His well-being, according to his belief, is in his parents approving of him. His mission in life is to win their approval and he will do anything and everything for that aim.

    When you, or anyone, tries to divert his attention from his mission, it feels to him like you are preventing him from reaching his salvation, and so, he will push that person away. If you presented this argument to him, what we discussed here, to him, it will be like you trying to block him from the only way for him to reach his salvation. He will shrug his shoulders at best (you said he did), push you away (he did) and otherwise deny, negate, insist what you presented to him is not true.

    If you, lost_star, insisted on saving him, and if he let you back into his life, then it would be you seeing his healing as your own salvation. And so, the two of you will be trudging along life, day in and day out, trying to … reach the impossible dream.



    Hi Anita,

    I got a little confused by your last post and am asking for some clarifications.

    I have zero intentions of helping him with his impossible mission of getting his parents’ approval. And he did not ask for my views on his situation so I will not interfere either by offering unsolicited views on what he is doing through with his family. I only wish that he could see the situation for himself and I know I am not the person to help him see it. I agree that he would see any views or persuansion of him to not help his parents as obstruction to his goals of obtaining approval. He is the only one who needs to want to make a change and then get a neutral third party (ideally a competent therapist) to help him work it through.

    So I only think about giving it a second chance if and only if he has already gotten the insights of his impossible mission and has abandoned it and he has become an individual on his own without the unjustified guilt.

    So I am not sure if you misunderstood my intentions cos I never wanted to save him now.

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