Trying to deal with anxiety and loss after relationship break up

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    Hi Sammy,

    Sorry I’ve been delayed in responding, my new job is kicking the formidable out of me! I barely get time to eat a sandwich at lunch!

    How are you doing, still taking it day by day? I hope so, because I am well aware you are capable of it.

    As for your ex, there is no judgement. I felt that overwhelming need to see my ex and did so several times, despite putting it off, the need remained within me and I knew it would eventually happen.

    In some ways at that time, yes it did set me back, but I feel it was setbacks that were necessary for me. I would have constantly thought about contacting him anyway, even if I had not chosen to do it, so I felt, oh well…it’ll be a trainwreck, but I might aswell do it now and stop eating myself up with indecision for the next couple of months!

    Evidently I needed to contact my ex several times before I could move on. Others on here might argue that I would have moved on quicker had I not made contact, but this was my path. I obviously needed to reconcile three times, to reach my limit.

    Don’t worry if you decide to get in contact, but bear in mind that even the suggestion of it has brought up all kinds of big emotions in you. Your sobriety and survival is the most important thing, so think about how a meeting or contact with the ex might effect that and as always, no judgement here – whatever you choose. x


    Take care and thanks for all you input. Kind generous person. x

    @kkasxo – HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!! I’m so sorry I’m late, it’s been a hectic couple of months – how did you find it? Do you have any exciting news or developments in your life? I’d love to hear from you x


    Hi @Shelbyville

    No lunch? That doesn’t sound healthy. I’m cranky without food and so unproductive. How do you do it? What is your job do you have to stay online or something? Since WFH I have so much snacking going on!!

    Evenings must be nice though now you’re practically moved in, does your BF treat you to dinner or cook?

    Day 8 – still sober :). I was thinking so much it, I decided to just stop and so I just text him 5 mins ago. No going back!

    Ahh I hope I haven’t done something stupid! If i’m feeling like this, I feel like it must be a mistake!


    Hi Sammy,


    Yeah I’m signed in online all day and just a lot to get done so didn’t really have the time to leave my computer! Not healthy indeed so I need to work on that!

    Evenings are really lovely actually, just spending time together, maybe cooking or ordering in or going for a walk – it’s been very…..easy and I feel content.

    However he threw a curveball this morning in that he feels he will be moved back to his previous job now that the latest project he was working on has been cancelled. That basically means he will be working night shifts and 12 hours shifts and basically always at weekends.

    So I’m thrown. That literally leaves no physical way for us to see each other especially when I move back to the city and stop working from home. I feel like running away now. He’s working from home today too and I feel like I want to leave and just run back to my Dad’s house and cry by myself! What am I like?!

    Well done you on staying sober, every day….another achievement. And hey, it’s okay that you texted him. Did you receive a response?



    Hi @Shelbyville,

    I hate it when I have back to back vid conf and they always seem to run over, I just sometimes stick a bit of blue tack on webcam “claim tech issues” and enjoy some food! Not been caught yet!

    No, don’t run away! He committed to being your BF and introduced you to his parents. That is big so early on. It shows it was your anxiety if you feel so content now in his presence. Spending time in each other’s company is what builds a relationship, so if you feel at ease when you are around him and he is making you smile and happy then give it a shot as long as he is meeting you in the middle. Talk to him about it, see if he is bringing you up in his future, see if you can reach a compromise. People who want each other make time. It is about priorities. Are you feeling him as the guy you want for LTR ?

    No more crying Shelbyville! You are strong, and this is just a blip. Think of it as a test, if he comes up with solutions and fights for you that means you’re onto a winner. If he doesn’t then take his actions to be a reflection of his character not of you! You can’t carry the whole relationship.

    I so badly want to reach for a bottle today because I sent him this “How are you? Heard you’ve been asking about me, maybe you should ask me instead?” he replied saying; “Busy, want to catch up Sun?” He took a whole day to respond?! I don’t know, I don’t think I thought this through!! Does he want to talk on Sun in person, on-call or what? Why take so long to reply? WTF is wrong with me, he makes me suddenly go into analysis mode!



    He just text me again to confirm to meet around midday tomorrow! Ahh, I’m a ball of nerves! Longest we’ve been apart, what do I do to calm myself? I think I’ll need you after the meeting, I hope you are able to respond. I haven’t told a soul I’m meeting him. My bestie alone would kill me! I hope you have a good weekend and you feel better about your bf x


    @Shelbyville I hope you can give me a view but Ahh where do I begin? It’s long……..

    I don’t know what I expected, but it wasn’t this for sure. I asked him to come to mine, I thought it would be the safest option. I’d have control and could ask him to leave without anyone publicly witnessing any drama if things got emotional. I’m sure my curtain-twitching neighbour spotted him though!

    He came on time, knocked on the apartment door using the secret knock we had for whenever he used to lock himself out which made me grin. I opened the door and there he was 204 days (yes I kept count) since he walked away through the very same door. He looked good and happened to be wearing a sweater I had brought him, I thought was he trying to impress me?

    He turned up with chocolates and a bottle of Hendrick’s, my favourite. Why?! I looked on stunned at the fact he brought something (he was notoriously bad at spontaneous gestures and remembering special dates) yet he remembered my favourite gin. All I could think was how to explain my sobriety he’d probably want some himself. Don’t judge me, I lied, at this point, I didn’t want to give him the satisfaction of knowing I had been drinking myself into oblivion as a result of the breakup, so I said thanks but I’m not drinking, it’s in aid of charity. I know, I should have spoken the truth or said something else and I feel bad but I will donate to ease my conscience, it is all I could think of on the spot!

    Then the moment I feared, hit me like a tonne of bricks. I started to feel the chemistry flood back as we joked around on the doorstep about how he had forgotten the cucumber for the gin and some naughty innuendos around that and whether I was going to invite him in.

    When we first met, we hit it off, there was an instant connection, as that night wore on I remember because he made me feel so at ease I had wanted to take it slow, not ruin it, but he couldn’t keep his hands off me, our chemistry had always been great. He was gentleman enough to wait until we became exclusive. Seeing him again after so long took me right back to that night, and today I still had that same feeling like we had known each other forever, never been away and this time I wanted to touch him all over.

    The fluttery feelings soon gave way when I reminded myself of the cold truth of how he left me feeling after things ended and brought me back to reality. I had cooked lunch, so I offered him some. We sat with the TV on and exchanged talk about our families and work. How he had found lockdown etc. It just felt so normal.

    Then as I went to put the dishes in the sink, he came up behind and pressed against me from behind when washing his hands, in honesty, I think it was just habitual and he quickly apologised and backed off. For a second, I just wanted him to stay in that position and hold me, bury his head into my shoulder like he used to. I’d missed it. Ugh! But something just made me snap – you’re just here to get laid aren’t you

    He said that’s not true or fair and that’s not why he came over and it was me who had suggested a non-public setting not him. I retorted, well it wasn’t for that! He said he cared about me. I said how can you? Then he just walked off sighed and clutched his head whilst he sat on the couch. He always had difficulty communicating his feelings transparently.

    I told him I had wanted answers. He chose to walk away after saying his piece, it was immature and for months there was radio silence causing questions to swirl in my head and his sudden interest in my health felt like a mere facade when throughout the relationship he had let me down when I needed support.

    There was a prolonged silence but his face was full of dismay. He then said maybe I should go. I said you’re not going anywhere. We may not be in a relationship so you have no obligation or responsibility to me anymore, I may mean nothing to you now but as a human, the very least you can do is give me a truthful response.

    He mumbled you don’t understand. I just felt like screaming have the fucking balls then, to speak your truth! I restrained myself and uttered then explain.

    He said his family had been devastated, his sister wanted me as a bridesmaid and had been in his ear. Everyone including his best mate had commented to make amends.

    I cut him off here as I got pissed and I asked him so he was here selfishly to fulfill his own needs and to look like a decent person in front of his family and friends, that was what prompted him rather than actual concern for me? He became exasperated at this point and said if I didn’t care would I even bother coming? He got up to leave.

    I got upset and said, typical stonewalling (I know you’re probably thinking I was being impatient but after showing him patience for so long, I wanted to be heard) there’s the door, walk away just like you always do without confronting the issue and any regard to the impact of your behaviour. I tried to hold my tears back but they just fell. He sighed and held my hands and said I don’t want to hurt you anymore. I said then give me the answers to help heal some of the pain you caused.

    I spewed out a dozen questions. Why he left the way he did? Was there someone else when we were together? Some stupid ones like am I unattractive? Etc

    He said he never cheated on me at all in the time we were together. He had been following the news and knowing we were heading into lockdown in March, the idea of being in quarantine together without any space from each other made him feel suffocated and trapped and he immediately knew something wasn’t right. He said knowing he couldn’t escape by going to the pub with his mates or gym for his space made him panic. So he decided to call time.

    He said he now saw that he took me for granted over the years, I always did so much for him. Everyone had told him he was lucky but something had made him question it all, something made him feel smothered (prob my neediness when I felt him being inattentive). He felt we didn’t match up and it caused friction and recognised he didn’t appreciate all I did, in the way I deserved. He said it made him feel resentful and angry when I would then question his lack of commitment and attention, and ask him to return what wasn’t coming naturally to him but he saw it differently now.

    He said he knew I was nothing but super supportive, kind, blah blah. He said whilst I was encouraging him to be better, he felt he had not done the same for me because he was questioning certain traits I had in his head and nitpicking.

    I pushed him to reveal what specific traits but he said you don’t understand that’s not the point, it did not matter. It’s the fact he was doing it. He didn’t answer if he meant physical or personality traits.

    He said he didn’t know at the time if he needed to experience more or whether he had some maturing to do. It was his only serious relationship and we were still young. Everyone around him he discussed it with said him walking away was something he would really regret.  (I felt pissed he discussed it with everyone so transparently except me!)

    He said maybe we met at the wrong time and if he had been in a different headspace back then he would have treated me better. But he knew he couldn’t do “that” to me anymore until he knew what he wanted because he saw me losing myself from the person I was when he first met me. I asked him what he meant by he couldn’t do “that” he just furrowed his brows like I’d asked him whats 4567890 x 4678. I pushed him to answer was I unattractive to him, he sternly said Sammy this is not like you, what’s wrong with you? (My self-esteem you shattered that’s what but even I found myself thinking why did I ask him this ?!) he then went on to say you’re beautiful, he was always initially attracted by whatever appealed to his sight, that all men are physical and wouldn’t date you if they are not physically attracted in the first place. I said I wasn’t concerned about other men. I wanted to know if he found me attractive. He paused and then said the ongoing issues had destroyed some of that attraction for him. I asked him in what way physically or what. I desperately wanted validation clearly to ask persistently? He didn’t answer kind of looked bemused.

    To be honest, this is more I got out of him than all the time we were together. He then said I do care about you and I realise I do love you. He said he always did that’s why he went cold turkey to move on. I don’t get it??

    I just cut him off at this point and said stop. All I heard was he had lost attraction and it hit a wound, he never once told me this when we were together, it something we could have worked on. I said he didn’t know what love was.

    I scoffed it wasn’t your heart it was your dick that supposedly loved me. You wanted the warm body etc and you knew I loved you with all my heart and wanted it to work so much that I had become incapable of walking away from you because of that love. You took advantage of that, you just manipulated my emotions, used me, and discarded me every time you were bored or got FOMO. If you loved me wholly you should have stepped up, I gave you ample time.

    I said I was so blinded by my love for him that I accepted all his flaws although he was far from perfect.  Meanwhile, I neglected to see he had been hen picking away in his mind about my flaws, making a catalogue of them whilst still taking advantage of my body, my emotional support, and whatever else he found useful.

    I said when I met him I was such a confident woman and by the end he was right he had worn me down. I said you led me on making me believe we had a future. Discussing kids, marriage, etc when all along you were hen picking in your head and fucking my head up too with your own confusion. You dehumanised me, invalidated my feelings, and only thought about how things affected you alone.

    I told him he should have left me a long time ago if he felt something wasn’t enough, I told him he dragged it out for too long with lies and breadcrumbs.

    I could have been with a man worthy of me who loved me completely but he was selfish and he had left scars so deep in my soul that I don’t think I’ll ever want a relationship. I said he didn’t have the emotional maturity to be in a real adult relationship. All he wanted was passion and desire, sparks. But love was an action, a choice.

    He never actually reflected on the consequences of his selfish behaviour on me. He only chose to walk away once he had completely drained me mentally. I told him I let him do it so I hurt myself too but at least I never inflicted hurt on him as he did to me. He only thought about himself and removed me so easily from his life like I never existed and I bet since has jumped into the next bed!

    At this point, rage engulfed me I had never wanted to reveal this to him but it poured out. I told him the days after he left and just went radio silent. I felt suicidal because I knew I had been a fool in love.  My best friend had to step in watch me around the clock for days whilst my family was unaware. I had become addicted to alcohol to numb those feelings because of the way he had made me feel about myself.

    So whilst he thought I would forgive and forget because I was so good to him and move on. I was actually suffering in silence, tortured by the thoughts.

    All he had to do was have had the decency to contact me and offer the truth, help me heal instead of being ravaged by the thoughts, once the initial dust had settled and given me proper closure, been man enough to take accountability for his actions. Not made me feel like it was all my fault. I would have done that for him if the situation was reversed. I hated how he showed such disrespect to me during our relationship. Did I deserve that?

    Instead, he thought good old Sammy with the ginormous heart and Christian spirit would be cool. He could just ignore addressing the implications of his actions and I would be forgiving, accept it and to a degree, I did forgive him but that didn’t diminish the pain. I told him he couldn’t heal me. I had to do that for myself. I had to look inwards and love myself but at least I could look him in the eye and say I was good to you. I loved you with an honest heart. I tried. I just wish you could have been honest enough to admit the truth sooner and saved us both so much pain.

    Then he just broke down. I’ve never seen him cry and that rage in me just halted. I didn’t know what to do. I felt like a bitch but at the same time, we both knew it was my truth. I couldn’t see him like that so I just automatically held him and told him it’s ok.

    I just couldn’t see him hurting even if I was myself. I told him everything had been festering inside of me for so long, numbed by alcohol and I had just needed him to hear it in person and I was sorry for exploding in the manner I had. I felt so awful for him but I was also kind of relieved to see him embracing his emotions and releasing them in a healthy manner for once. Not being afraid to be vulnerable and worry about how he looked.

    He continued to cry and my heart couldn’t take it, I felt responsible. He said he was so sorry and he had actually realised already he did me wrong, it was why he came and was dealing with the skeletons in his closet. He said the weight of it had become a tiring ordeal and he was so sad it took so much time to see the damage he did to me and grow from it. He said he knew it was all too late and if he could go back he would do it all so differently. For the first time in a long time, I felt he was accepting his culpability with sincerity.

    He said a lot of sweet personal things, told me he did love me in his own way, and cared. He was sorry he never matched the love I showed him, he was sorry for taking me for granted and I deserved so much better. I almost got a sense he had insecurities and didn’t voice them in our relationship. This was the most vulnerable he had ever been with me.

    After the tears dried up. we just held each other it was almost like the 4.5 years together flashed in front of me, I didn’t want to let go but I knew any longer my heart may betray me and we would end up with breakup sex. We had done it before, I wanted to believe it was because we loved each other that much when really it was just the chemistry we always had but overall the relationship was broken irreconcilably because we didn’t fit as we were.

    I broke the embrace and thanked him for coming and talking it through with me, allowing me to process my feelings and him accepting his responsibility for his actions in person. I told him it wasn’t all bad, I had learned so much from him about love and I would always love him, we just couldn’t fit and work the way we were back then. It was now time to fully heal. He looked sad and asked if we could remain in contact and that his family also wanted to keep ties. I told him I’d have to think about it but right now I needed space to get myself back on track.

    He laughed that the one time he thought to make a random sweet gesture and be thoughtful he only went and got me something so distasteful. He apologised and I told him it was OK he wasn’t to know, I appreciated that he remembered it was my favorite and maybe I could make use of it. He said no I’m taking it back, I joked I wouldn’t let him take the chocolates. He said he wanted me to be strong again, like the Sammy he first met and asked if there was anything else I needed and any other help with the alcohol, I told him I don’t think I’ll be needing it anymore. Today you freed me.

    He gave me a kiss on the forehead and said thank you for teaching me to never hide my emotions, who I am, and the truth is better said than avoided. Thank you for being a wonderful human and always continuing to love me despite what little I provided. He said will you truly forgive me? I told him I was no angel and I wasn’t going to sit here and act like I was a saint in our relationship; I knew I had flaws. I knew it must’ve been hard for him to deal with someone who needed more, the overthinking, the persistence, some of the neediness. I said no more, we had hurt each other enough, it was now water under the bridge. I said it was time to say goodbye and I never thought I’d ever ask him to take his leave.

    My heart and mind for the first time in a long time feel aligned. I realised my need to see him in person was more to be given full emotional closure.

    As I shut the door, I slumped to the ground and sobbed. I felt overwhelmed it was an intense day he came at 1 pm left at 11pmish, I haven’t eaten and need to sleep. Some things hurt to hear, it’s so much to take in, I have written what I can recall so far, and writing it out has helped but I feel like I don’t know how to explain it, I feel like a tsunami is about to hit but right now the emotions have quietened down, I have some peace.

    I don’t know what to make of it? I feel some things raised helped others have thrown up questions. I can’t tell another soul yet they would judge me and that’s not what I need right now 🙁




    How are you doing? What an ordeal? Wow. To be honest, it’s so similar to previous experiences I’ve had, a lot of what happened and what was said resonated with me. I don’t know if he even knew what he was doing by meeting up with you, I don’t think he knows where or what he is at.

    I am so proud of you for asking him to leave, for stating that you realise you don’t fit together now. That’s incredible. I could never have done that. In fact, three times, I didn’t! I just absorbed the breadcrumbs in those kinds of conversations and ignored the glaring dialogue which revealed we didn’t belong together. So kudos to you.

    There was a lot of anger there for you that you obviously needed to express. I hope you feel better now, that you feel like it was worth it. There is a lot to process now, do you think you will be able to move on?


    Hi @Shelbyville

    Thank you so much for replying. I have a huge headache today, I suspect it was from all the crying, can’t even focus on my work so I’m taking a day for myself, putting myself first for once.

    If I’m feeling something I have always expressed it, with him because he avoided being transparent or any conflict, I had to kind of swallow it, it ended up festering inside of me. It just proves real honest communication can relieve so many problems. It was cathartic to release it all.

    Tim was right that feelings do change and any meeting would throw up new ones. I will need to label these new emotions, dissect them, and confront them head on to fully heal. On the whole, meeting him was the best thing I could have done, it confirmed at least I had accepted we did not fit, I had just needed him, to be honest, and take real accountability for his actions. That can only be genuinely given in person when there is no phone to hide behind. I think this will heal some of the deep wounds and everyone deserves this in relationships so baggage can be left behind.

    You’re right he had no clue but I think the meeting enlightened him. He genuinely took responsibility. In the end, it appeared he wanted to make amends I don’t know if that’s guilt after hearing about my post-break upstate or if he really feels if we tried again it would be better.

    However, I’m done, if it was our first breakup I would give it a chance but too much has been said and done and I want to move on from this chapter in my life. I feel like he has a lot of maturing to do, we are roughly the same age but it’s true most men don’t learn or grow up until they reach their 30s. I hope he learns the lessons from this. During our relationship he was so confused that instead of having the balls to leave, he became a mindfuck and played with my emotions, led me on, leaving me confused and demoralised. He didn’t realise the power of loyalty and loving someone with an honest heart. I know I stayed, I didn’t have that self-worth anymore because he wore it down and I didn’t have the strength to leave for myself back then. I’m proud I mustered some strength yesterday to not hop back on the “merry” go round.

    Even now, I know I shouldn’t but the pain of being used troubles me, he mentioned attraction and nitpicking. The idea I saw beyond his flaws while he was tearing me apart in his head saddens me, how could I have read him so wrong?

    I know it’s something I need to work on to heal within myself and build my own self worth but I find myself asking what he meant by the attraction part? What do you think? What do people mean by attraction, you mentioned it with your friend did you mean physical or romantic as in love. How do you define attraction?

    Was he not physically attracted if so he still continued to enjoy all the perks, which makes me feel sick. I want sex with someone who loves me, I’ve always needed that emotional connection. If it was a loss of romantic attraction then why didn’t he say? We could have worked on it, I know you’ll probably be thinking she doesn’t need to consider this anymore, I’m seeking validation, but the way I work I have to dissect every feeling and reach a point of being at peace which is why I like to discuss.

    He also said something about because he loved me he had to go cold turkey to move on, if that’s normal then why does he want contact now?

    Also Shelby how are you? Did you have a good weekend, how are things with your bf? Discussing you alongside me helps, it makes me feel useful and balances the focus of thoughts inside my head too and not make me obsess. Thank you for replying x


    @Shelbyville free to correspond this week?


    Hi Sammy,

    wow, well done on seeing the wood from the trees. You are no longer seeking a relationship with him, what progress!

    As for the attraction and nitpicking – i definitely feel that you’re honing in too much on that minute element of everything he said. We usually do that when it hits an old wound. It definitely wasn’t what you might be imagining in your head that he was totally repulsed and tearing you apart in his head. I think it was more just that, resentment can make people be less attractive. It’s nothing to do with how they look or what they do exactly from one minute to the next. It’s just that if we have low self worth and place the responsibility of loving us solely on someone else’s shoulders and need their validation constantly, resentment will inevitably set it. It did for me and my ex despite us having insane chemistry. But no-one can shoulder that much responsibility and resentment kinda sets in and then the mind creates outlets for that resentment by nitpicking etc.

    It is no reflection on how you look or if you banged the bathroom door or always spilled tea in bed, it’s just – if something is not right – and you can’t figure out what it is – nitpicking will start to give you an out that the brain can process.

    anyway, that’s just one view. But I definitely feel like you are zoning in too much on that part – I could see it even from your first account of what happened when he called over, you seemed to skim over much of what he said but kept pushing him about the attraction etc. From an objective point of view, that wasn’t that integral to the whole story, it was merely a sort of eventuality based on the way things were playing out at the time. Again, no reflection on you, unless you want to view it as a starting point for self love.

    I’ll fill you in again on my life, I’m just so swamped with work at the moment, I just don’t have a free minute to catch you up, but wanted to get back to you at the very least about your EPIC progress! Well done you!


    Hi @Shelbyville

    Thank you so so much for replying, I know your job is very demanding so I appreciate you corresponding ever so much. I haven’t told a soul which makes it hard to work through by myself.

    You’re so kind and generous with your time, I hope it is not at the detriment of yourself. Are you able to be healthier by not working non-stop and taking your legal breaks?

    You are 100% right I need to work on my self-love, it’s something I have been aware of for a while. The thing is I was never a person who suffered from low self-esteem but the toxicity of this relationship caused my self-esteem to be eroded.

    It’s difficult when you really care and love about someone, you naturally end up putting them first. Then when that very person is the one that ends up hurting you, you end up believing that’s all you’re worth. Causing you to lose your self-respect, the self-confidence to voice what you need. Deep down I knew something was amiss but I could never walk away from him because I’d lost all the confidence in myself.

    I’m honing in because it’s the thing that will need resolving for me to let go and completely forgive him. I’m quite spiritual, not the best but my morals mean I only ever sleep with someone I love, I need an emotional bond. I’ve never done casual flings, I believe you should only be in a relationship with a person you see yourself marrying. Otherwise, it is a recipe for heartbreak.

    Over the course of the relationship, he continued to sleep with me and as a person who loved every part, warts and all, to give my body to someone is significant, sex equates love to me, and then to get confirmation he was happy to do “that”(use me) whilst also feeling FOMO, nitpicking and loss of attraction hurt me to my core. The pain it is giving me I can’t describe. He never addressed this in our relationship if he had maybe I would have had the self-respect to walk away from someone so disrespectful. I see it now so clearly when he wasn’t horny he didn’t treat me very well.

    He had reduced me down to just that, a sex object. He had stopped remembering the special dates, taking me out, he never spoiled me after we reconciled the 1st time. It was now looking back a purely physical relationship for him and that’s fine for some as long as both people are honest and there is no pretense that something greater is in the works. However, with him, he led me on by a promising marriage, etc.

    Very angry at myself, but trying to be kind and remember at least I can see clearly now. I’ve learned so much. He was my first serious long term relationship. I’m more mature than him, he realised finally he was immature and what he did. I’m no longer going back to that.

    I love how you framed it, that it was no reflection on how I looked but the nitpicking was an outlet by the brain to justify why he couldn’t be with me. I just think if that’s the case you find yourself doing that, be kind enough to inform the other person. So many people are afraid the “truth” will hurt but a lie is worse. The first time he felt that I may have been less invested and walked away with less pain. He lied and used me for his own advantage.

    You know if I ever go back out there, I will never do this to someone. I will be straightforward. People do not realise their own confusion causes a mindfuck to someone else. I’ve been so scarred by his immaturity or reluctance to be forthright. I know he recognises it now, but it’s too late.

    That brings me onto; contact. He has respected my request for space right now, his family are lovely, I just don’t know what to do. Do I keep in contact with them all incl. him now that I’m 100% sure I want nothing more?

    I don’t think we can ever be friends and hang. However I can’t help caring about the idiot, so shall I maintain contact for the special holidays? Xmas, NY?

    His birthday is 1st Nov, I message everyone and anyone on their birthday. I made a vow after mine was once forgotten to never ignore a birthday I know of, it’s one special day when you can make someone’s day by a simple message. The least you can do as humans. Will he get the wrong idea?

    What do you think? Fors and against for contact with an ex?

    I look forward to catching up with you, are the tablets helping you? I hope our relationship situation is better. x


    <p style=”text-align: left;”>Hi Sammy,</p>
    Things in work are still intense, but I ate today- so that’s good! I feel some days like I’m getting the hang of the new job & other times, like I’m back to square one. I’ll persevere though, now is not the time to give up an income!

    The tablets have definitely helped me not spiral beyond what I can manage. I still get anxious, but a ‘normal’ level – if that makes sense?! Not like a month ago where I was teetering on the edge of sanity! So I manage now, albeit with a bit more of a struggle this week due to hormones.

    I can understand what you mean about the physical side of relationships and its importance and what it means to you. I do get the sense though that whatever behaviour your ex displayed was somewhat not conscious. I don’t think he realised at the time, I don’t think he had the self awareness or maturity to realise. However, it seems now he is willing to face up to some stuff and that will be his journey.
    Yours is learning and growth. You have learned so much already and grown.

    I don’t know if there is much point staying in contact, but whatever you choose will be right for you. I was so ensconced in my ex’s family/circle, I thought the world had nearly ended when we split as I cared about all of them too and wouldn’t see them again. Time moved on, my life has moved ever further away from those contacts who were so close to me before. But things have drifted, I don’t have the same attachment to them that I once did. We don’t stay in contact now and that’s ok. There’s no ill will or awkwardness, it’s just that part of my life was then and this is now and him and his family are not part of my now, so that’s my rationale.

    But everyone is different & you do what sits best in your gut.

    Relationship is good. But it’s a bubble at the moment (with working from (his) home & Covid) . So who knows what will happen down the road. Things will eventually change I guess



    You know what Shelby, you’re right. I’ll never know if he had conscious knowledge of what he was doing to me. However, he actually confronted his mistakes and apologised in person. You reap what you sow, when you hurt someone who was good to you or anyone for that matter, a sincere apology is always made in person, not just via a call or text. That’s how you make real amends by taking accountability by looking at the person you’ve wronged in the eye and being humbled. Anything less as a human is just insincere and cowardly.

    He stepped up even if it was 7 months too late, I will always care about him because that’s part of my nature and as immature as he was, I now need to put my ego aside and forgive him completely as he apologised in person. He asked me if I’d truly forgive him and at this very moment, I do. Tim did probably the equivalent and used the ladies he encountered but by taking culpability directly in person he was able to get atonement and most likely it allowed the ladies like me to let go of any pain they were hanging onto. Hence why Tim is a well-balanced individual now and getting good karma. So I hope my ex can become that too.

    The meeting gave me the opportunity to answer the swirling questions and tie up loose threads in my head, it confirmed beyond the chemistry, I was over him and wanted better for myself, that is huge progress for me. If he had been selfish and not made attempts of contact via his sister, I do wonder how long it would continue to consume me.

    The alcohol would probably have lured me whenever the thoughts became too much but now I have peace, I’m getting to a place of self-control and even if I decide to socially drink, I don’t think it will ever be to this extent. I’m quite happy being sober for now though, I’ve dropped a few pounds too. Thanks, Shelby,  you’ve helped me to let go of that last bit by forgiving him.

    One of the major takeaways from this has been that if I ever dare to take a leap back into finding love. I will not settle for anyone. I will be willing to walk away from someone who doesn’t show through his actions he is crazy about me, willing to spoil me and be extra. I want a confident man who knows what he wants and understands my needs equally. I want what I give. No more breadcrumbs.

    I will make a conscious choice to not allow myself to instinctively be attracted by the stereotypical “bad boy” who always just wants passion and nothing deeper. A confident mature man who is looking for a mutual deeper connection, not a narcissist or immature boy who feels he needs to play these mind games.

    No more games. The ones who are extra used to make me squirm but that’s because I’m understanding now it’s more to do with how I feel about myself, now I know these are the good ones who might be extra initially but through the duration of the relationship when the honeymoon phase wears off will be loyal and balance out. Whereas the wishy-washy/hot and cold sort is just a mind fuck.

    Although I did everything in my being to make that relationship work,  I can’t blame him for ME not having the self-worth and confidence to call it myself and walk away. I need to accept that as my problem and learn to not repeat the mistake in the future.

    Wow. I feel so so much better and lighter! You are such a good sounding board. I really don’t understand how you let Martha overpower you, you’re intelligent, non-judgemental, kind, loyal great work ethic, self-aware (maybe too much!) Those are the few things I’ve picked up from our correspondence in person you must be even better, any guy should be lucky to have you!

    It’s good you’re taking the legally entitled breaks. You got the job because they saw potential. You got the job because you passed rigorous assessments so start to feel the confidence in your ability more. If you did it yesterday. You can do it again. You can’t doubt yourself because these corps will show ruthlessness and replace you. The job market is too unsteady to make rash decisions to quit even though I’m a big advocate for being happy in the job you do, it takes up a huge amount of hours of your life. Think smart. At least you’re not silly and thinking of throwing in the towel solely for a partner like someone did! Cough Tim cough, he gave up his job and moved for his ex :p. I miss your wise words @Tim. Could have done with a male perspective to add to Shelbys sterling advice..but I hope you are OK!!

    It’s good the tablets have calmed things down for you. You sound much better. The way things are headed I think the company I work for has approved us to WFH until next year possibly up to spring. I hate that! I love being around and bouncing off others in the office. I had a new colleague join us who was amazing and she really made me feel better. A ray of sunshine, so rare! Being at home can get lonely on top of that the Covid restrictions!!

    Enjoy it, most likely this bubble will be there for some time yet so that means you have months to be together, get to know each other deeply, and can WFhis, that’s good as your relationship will be past its infantile stage and much more serious. So by then, I think if things do change you’ll feel more confident. Also spending this much time together daily is a lot and hasn’t caused issues, so that’s great! Is he spoiling you and bringing you chocolate and a hot water bottle for your hormones! I hope he spoils you and treats you special. Tell me more about him now that your anxiety is not making you doubt him.

    Has lockdown affected you much from seeing family and friends?

    Contact with my ex is a hard one, I know being pals is not an option. I’m clear I don’t want anything but I care about him and I just don’t get how people cut out people so easily, naturally with time comms would decline, going cold turkey without wishing HNY or HB is weird to me as for me to be with someone or have them in my life means I value them. How did you keep friends with your other exes? Was it because they never were serious as the ex you started the thread about? x

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 3 days ago by Sammy.

    Hello all,

    @Sammy your progression by yourself is remarkable. You should be very proud and I believe forgiveness is key. I couldn’t forgive my mom entirely until we met in person and I conveyed the damage and was heard. A sincere apology is always in person. Now you were able to really express what had been eating away on the inside and given an acknowledgement. This will be a turning point in your journey. Continue to stay away from the alcohol and your inner self will go from strength to strength. Good luck.

    @Shelbyville it is a great sight to read you have found stability, if anyone deserves it, it’s you. I hope this relationship is the right one and gives you everything you need and more. You are very special so don’t settle for less. I think reading your advice to Sammy indicates how far you’ve come on your original journey – the ex. It took a lot of ups and downs but you got there, again you should be proud for fighting through.

    I’m in a better phase than I was, since building bridges, I have more support. I came online to ask @Kkasxo or @Shelbyville if with panic attacks or ptsd, you ever experienced intense nausea. When I’m faced with it now I feel sick and almost have to force myself to throw up to settle the feeling. Any advice?


    @Lucie thank you so much! That’s so sweet of you. Forgiveness will not change my past but I really believe it will change my future. Part of love is learning to forgive and I had a lot of love for him. He was brave to apologise in person and I was strong to forgive. Now to forget to become happier.

    I’m equivalently pleased to read you are getting to a stable place. I hope things keep improving for you, you deserve every bit of happiness. I, unfortunately, don’t have any experience in PTSD or suffering regular panic attacks so I hope @Kkasxo or @Shelbyville can get back to you. @Tim had to take time away 🙁 . @Shelbyville is usually inactive on weekends. I doubt you are as impatient as me in waiting for replies, but I wanted to reply so you knew you’re not alone.

    Ginger biscuits are good for nausea in pregnancy? x

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