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Trying to deal with anxiety and loss after relationship break up

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This topic contains 1,401 replies, has 44 voices, and was last updated by  Adelaide1 14 hours, 47 minutes ago.

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  • #332263

    Michelle
    Participant

    Hey both.

    @genie.  Awesome news on the running – I did exactly that, including the chanting funnily enough. I also used to end the run being grateful at achieving another one and visualising positive energy filling me & any negative energy leaving. As you can tell, I’m very much a two feet on the ground kinda person but something about the routine and mental practice of this used to leave me feeling much calmer and more hopeful – it sounds like it’s helping you too which is great.

    It’s interesting what you say about wasting so much time going back. It’s one of the hardest things to learn I think, is when to let go of something. And still hard to do even when you know you want to. Partly I think the whole sunk cost fallacy thing in particular makes us especially prone to this with emotional situations. E.g. say you start a new book & about 30 mins in, you are hating it. The writing is rubbish, the plot is obvious etc etc. Do you stop? No, we go on….hoping against experience it will get better… 2 hrs later (it’s a long book!) it’s still rubbish and we’re regretting our choice to continue, thinking of all the other things we could have used those two hours for. But do we stop now? No way! We’re halfway through now and we stop we’ll have to admit we wasted that time! So we plough on to the bitter end…….wasting yet more time whilst still hoping against hope it miraculously changes and improves…..at the end of the book you realise it’s part of a longer series, so perhaps the next book will be better… after all, we’ve come this far now….  You get the idea. It seems obvious you should just stop after learning enough to be able to judge that it isn’t the right book for you.  But it feels like you are ‘quitting’ and ‘giving up’ , instead of the reality which is being honest and brave enough to stop and go do something with your time that does actually benefit you.

    The exact same goes for emotional investment, it’s just harder to see.  It’s hard to “give up” all those years of investment and hope in the relationship. Moving on means accepting those years are gone. It means giving up on that tiny hope that he may yet change – despite all the evidence to the contrary you have.  You actually sound like you have come a long way already since your first post – being able to accept and recognise he isn’t the right person for you is a big step. If it helps,  I don’t think of my experience as years wasted now – rather as lessons I had to go through to become the person I am today. It sounds like you are already making great strides towards doing the same, well done.  You are 100% correct, this is about you, not him. And the really good news is, “you” is something you can do something about, like it sounds like you are doing so already and on your way. This new guy also sounds like someone who is willing to work with you and help you grow as a person – that is always something awesome to find in life. I hope it goes well. Here as/when I can help more.

    @ Shelby.  Funnily enough, a lot of that advice for Genie goes for you too – but you know that already 😉  Especially on the letting go part. Am I too surprised to hear your ex has been vaguely sniffing around, honestly, not really. But do I think it means what I know you hope it means, sorry, no…  You’ve changed the usual pattern of your break-ups and haven’t gone back to him. He’s probably curious about this Shelby who’s managed to go travel and quit her job. And judging by what you’ve said of him – it’s about his usual time to wonder if you’d be up for another round, especially since you guys clearly have a strong physical connection.  But that’s the point of all this self-awareness and self-esteem building work. Just because he may decide he’s ready to have you back in his life for another short period – doesn’t mean it’s the right thing for you. Would you really want to go around that loop again??? A temporary high followed by another huge low and the pain of him telling you again that he’s still the same person, doesn’t do commitment and doesn’t do relationships. He was always happy with the casual thing you guys had going.  If you were in a stronger place and just wanted the physical relationship – also no judgement if you both know what expect and want.  But you know you want commitment and you know you want a real relationship. Neither of you is right or wrong, you just want different things.  And, like the book example above,  everything you’ve learnt about your ex means you know he is not going to be able to give you what you want, even if he wanted to.

    I actually think it’s great this new guy has turned into such a good friend. The people we need have a habit of appearing in our lives when we need them, even if they aren’t what we want. I’m glad to hear you say you are aware enough of not becoming reliant on him. Absolutely right.  It’s totally human and natural to want comfort but there’s a huge difference between needing it and just enjoying it when offered. Take him at his word and enjoy the friendship – you are being absolutely honest with him about your feelings and he’s dealing with it remarkably well, so he sounds like a good influence in your life.

    Take care both – and you Kkasxo – now back to the manic planning for me!

    #332355

    Kkasxo
    Participant

    Evening all and a very happy new year to you!!
    Gosh I sure hope this one is better, it has to be right?!!

    I’ve spent this evening pondering on how far I’ve come in this whole journey. I had a lovely conversation with a friend who seems to be on a journey himself and it made me realise just how far I have come and how it really is a blessing that I am still here. And actually @shelbyville, having read through your last in-depth post with the lovely words you gave to Genie, I really don’t think you give yourself enough credit because YOU have truly come a loooooooong way!!! Goodness me! You have done so much since your split in May. You have lived, you have thrived, you survived each and every single day. Even the way you speak of your ex now, albeit the heart wants what it wants yes, but the wisdom in your words, the whole aura is just different. Honestly, I am incredibly proud and pleased for you because you have come such a long way.

    One of the major things I am working on is trying really really hard to remain in the present and to not discourage myself on a bad day, a set back does not mean I am at square one, it doesn’t mean that all the internal work has gone to waste and I have to start again. It’s harder than it seems, but it’s the truth. Shelbs, when we first got in touch back in 2018, we were so so so broken, or at least I was. Now it’s not to say that some parts of me aren’t shattered now, I think some will be deep wounds for the rest of my days, but can I say I am struggling as much as I was then? I’d like to think not… I think we both need to work on recognising this as an accomplishment. Also, remaining in the present, not very good at that one to be honest! The past seems to take me either to a nostalgic place, missing the innocent and gullible girl who believe the world was all good prior to my trauma, or to the darkness that took over my life during/after my trauma, reinforcing every negative thought in my mind. The future? Well that’s no good either because I am soooooo afraid of failing. I’m afraid the kind of future I want is out of reach for me, that I’ll run out of time, or I’m making the wrong choices and it just won’t happen to me – it’s a mess. But being in the here and now, we’ll right now in this present moment I am okay. I am healthy, I am warm and cosy in my bed about to watch a Netflix series, I’ve enjoyed a nice dinner, my mind isn’t running in overdrive, I really am okay.

    Ive received a job offer which I am supposed to be stating on Monday. It isn’t my dream job at all, and they are offering longer working hours and less money BUT having been searching since October I will take anything I can get right now.

    How is your job search going now in 2020? And how are you? Like really, how are you?

    #332657

    Shelbyville
    Participant

    Michelle,

    Thanks for your advice, I completely understand your analogy for genie – it’s a good one. The only thing I would say is that the book wasn’t all horrendous and rubbish and i just reading it because I couldn’t give up on the horrendousness of it. The main character in most chapters was endearing and there were honestly some very good chapters. I’m not disagreeing that the book wasn’t for me, but it just wasn’t so black and white, good and bad elements.

    I guess you’re probably right about the recent contact. I’d be mildly curious too if I was in his position with the different turn of events this time round. I deleted his birthday message and NYE message on my phone and I’ve stopped posting on the social media platform he had been viewing. So I’m taking small steps, I know it’s not the full amount of steps needed but it’s what I ca do right now.

    I’m a little frightened of getting attached/reliant on new guy. I’ve been trying to maintain a little distance but fail miserably and just end up wanting to talk to him the whole time. Having said that, I also don’t have a life plan or direction going forward currently so my mind is a little bored and that may make me prone to constant contact and stimulation.

    I truly believe that my ex would in no shape, way or form entertain the idea of a 4th reunion, he barely wanted the 3rd and indicated his regret about the 3rd reunion when he was ending it the last time. To be honest, the physical connection is an important element for me. I didn’t realise that before I met him that it’s an important factor in my life. I never had that kind of connection with anyone before or anyone since. So whilst I’m trying to become so self loving and self aware that I’d accept being happy on my own…..it’s like a deeper part of me thinks ‘lolz, good luck girl if you think you can survive with a immense physical connection to someone’! I considered the idea of just a physical relationship with my ex (not really a possibility on his part) but nevertheless, I don’t think my subconscious will let me shut down thee niggle of having a couple of bay-making years left. Even though I have current desire nor prospects to have kids, but I have a feeling it would rear its head again if I had any sort of relationship with my ex. Again, not a possibility but this is more to do with the wishful thinking in my head, Anyway, it is what it is, I just have to put up with the sort of…longing. I try not to think about it, but again, stupid lack of direction means I give to thinking about my ex a lot.

    Speaking about the work front, I have taken on a short term contract for a project with someone. It’s only 4-5 weeks work and not massively well paid, but it’s interesting and could create further opportunities for me or give me a chance to network. So the busyness of that has started which is great because it gives me a purpose and distracts me enough at times from thoughts of my ex relationship.

    @kkasxo – Happy New Year….can you believe we ‘met’ in 2018 and it’s not 2020. And you are totally correct, I was broken as you that year. It’s been a tough old road. I agree, I have come far from those days I first began writing, 15 days after my second breakup. So for anyone reading, YES….the initial searing pain does abate…I promise. So that’s something I guess. The longer term stuff takes a bit of work I guess.

    You ask me how I’m doing…..really! You’re so funny and I feel you get me so well! Really…..I’m okay. Not terrible, but not great. i actually don’t really know who I am. What do I stand for, what’s my purpose, what do I really care about? I’ve experimented a lot over the past few months, but it’s hard to fathom at times. I know I’m not where I want to be. I would love to be looking at my ex relationship in the same way I look at exes from a million years ago, but it’s not happening that way. Very different circumstances I guess. I’m sad that I’m not over him I suppose. Also sad that we’re not together in a healthy and fulfilling way, but that’s something I’m trying to work on- things I have no control over and trying to accept that.

    Well done on securing work, it’s tough out there right now. But you kept on grafting and I’m sure the future prospect of an income- albeit less than you had hoped for – will allay some anxiety. You’ve been through so much, but it’s not what defines you. It’s part of your story, it’s not all of your story. Hope you can remember that. You have been through some dark and struggling times and these days you’re watching Netflix, cosy in bed and preparing for a new job. No matter which way you look at that, it’s a win for you and your mental health, so I am indeed proud of you and could only hope to have half the resilience and common sense that you do.

    I ABSOLUTELY hope 2020 is better to us and will set about making as good as I can myself. Looks like you’re already getting off to a good start x

    #332665

    Genie
    Participant

    @michelle the book analogy is spot on. I agree with you @shelbyville the book was not all bad there were destined some great times but the ending is always the same. So why keep re reading it? Michelle I was really making movements until I sprained my ankle and now I’m in a bit of self pitying mood. But I’m going to keep going the desire to stop feeling like crap is over riding and have a relationship again is winning at the moment. Thank you for your advice if I feel crap I’ll definitely pop back on to ask again for a healthy dose of reality which you provide, if you don’t mind.

     

    @shelbyville I agree with Michelle you are denying yourself a good influence at the very least in your life by pushing him away. If you didn’t feel anything you wouldn’t be trying to create distance so it sounds like fear. I know this because I was doing the exact same. This guy may just be what you need to create a new book? What I would say is if you feel no sexual chemistry between you at all and feel like you are using him then probably best to cut ties. I had to assess this myself as I was unsure if it was self sabatoge or just someone in my life filling a hole. But then I started to miss him on Christmas day, I missed his hugs and i got jealous at social media pics with girls so I knew for myself I did want more but was scared to get attached and have my heartbroken. I told him this straight and we are now taking it slower and he has stuck by me despite me pushing him away which shows his character. At least that’s how I see my rship with new guy and I’m setting goals to help me make a better person and when we take the next step I can offer something back to him. Like I said my mum has always said some of the best relationships start off as friendships.just my 2 cents as I feel our situations are similar. I must also say I get the physical connection but if you hold yourself back from giving yourself  to a relationship the other person will sense it and not want to be vulnerable in that way so the connection will not form. So maybe that’s why you’ve never had that connect again?

     

     

    #332829

    ML
    Participant

    Hi I am new to this forum I was looking for advice I was in a relationship for 6 years and we were about to look at houses and the day after my 30th birthday my bf split up with me out of the blue, I was in total shock as I didnt realise anything was wrong and was a broken mess. It’s now been 3 months and I am doing better but it is the toughest thing I have had to go through in my life. But the past few days I have been so upset over it and I really miss him. We havent spoken in a few weeks now but I feel I want to message him but what good will that do? Do you think cutting off contact is the best way to be? Its just tough knowing that someone you thought you would spend the rest of your life with is now a stranger to you.

    #333059

    Michelle
    Participant

    Hey all,

    @ Genie. Ah, tough luck on the ankle. Take it easy & you can at least get out for a walk once it’s healed up some .Even if not a run, it still helps. And yup, no worries – just let me know when I can help. It was so encouraging to read about how you opened up to your new guy – that takes guts to do and it’s awesome he’s responded the way he has. Slow and steady, no need to rush, just find out how you fit together. Being able to talk honestly to each other is a huge part of a good long term relationship but I know first-hand how scary it is to open up so kudos to you.

    @kkasxo. Cool to hear from you again and huge congrats on the new job. Yeah it may not be your ideal but it’s always easier to find a new job whilst employed as it’s so easy to lose confidence in yourself when not in work. Who knows what it’ll lead to and at least it helps your financial pressure too eh, which has to help.  It is tough to stay in the present moment, especially when you’re the kind of person you are.  Glad to hear you are still working on it – absolutely, all small steps count – in fact, it’s the only way real change happens.

    @shelby.  Good news on the project – it does really help to have something you have to do, life is definitely a balance and neither too much or too little self-awareness/thinking is good for anyone!  It’s funny to hear you say you are directionless since you’ve been pretty clear on here about what you’d like.  You’ve talked about setting up your own beauty business, sorting out your finances so you can travel more, finding a man to have a good relationship with and possibly kids too. That’s three big aims right there!!  So I think it’s more you just don’t know what steps to take to progress with each of them. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from my journey to get where I am today – like with Kkasxo, it’s not the big steps that make it happen – it’s all of the tiny steps you take that make those dreams happen. So when you find your mind wandering to it’s well-worn groove of thinking about your ex, perhaps try and devote some of that time to thinking about what actions you can take towards those goals.

    I understand the fear of becoming reliant on the new guy and it’s good you are aware of it. I think a few pages back we talked about how eventually you need to be able to soothe yourself instead of always looking to others, be it a guy, your therapist, friends, whoever. It’s good to have a helping hand absolutely, we all need those but there’s a difference between need and want.  Perhaps you could make sure when you talk with this guy it isn’t all about you, your feelings etc, going over the same old ground. Listen to him too, do the give/take thing so it’s an equal relationship, not a new dependency for you.  Talk to him about your dreams and brain storm ideas to progress them together – that’s powerful positive stuff.

    ML – yes, all of us here understand that pain far too well. I too was totally blind-sided and in a very similar situation. Honestly, contact does not help pretty much anyone. I know some people can be friends with ex’s but I don’t believe that can happen until you are both emotionally separate people again. I.e. you can imagine having a conversation with him about his new girlfriend without feeling terrible. Three months for me was still way too raw for anything like that but everyone is different. Concentrate on you, on the boring but oh so helpful stuff like healthy eating, exercise, friends, family. It takes time to accept what has happened and how much your world has changed – but it does come.

    As ever, hope it helps all. I shall be leaving for Asia on Friday – bring on the sun!! Will reply as when I can as ever.

    #333071

    ML
    Participant

    Thank you I am just heartbroken as we were about to get a house etc and he surprised me with a trip away on my birthday then done it the next day. Also his reasons for splitting up were quite hurtful. He told me he would rather be out doing other things than spend time with me and after 6 years to hear that hurts so much. It has just knocked my confidence so much but I am trying to get through it by just keeping busy and back at gym  I know no contact deep down is the best thing because what is the point in texting?

    #333073

    ML
    Participant

    Thank you I am just heartbroken as we were about to get a house etc and he surprised me with a trip away on my birthday then done it the next day. Also his reasons for splitting up were quite hurtful. He told me he would rather be out doing other things than spend time with me and after 6 years to hear that hurts so much. It has just knocked my confidence so much but I am trying to get through it by just keeping busy and back at gym  I know no contact deep down is the best thing because what is the point in texting?

    #333545

    Adelaide1
    Participant

    Hi fellow heartbroken peeps

    I found this forum when I was having one of those desperate nights we all have. Read the first 10 or so pages and then skipped to the end which was very interesting!

    My story will be familiar in parts to a lot of you. Basically, just trying to get over my first heartbreak.

    I dated a girl (for context, I am also a woman) for almost 5 months and she broke up with me 2.5 months ago. I feel silly for being so cut up about something that wasn’t long, but here we are.

    It was my first proper relationship, and actually first kiss, first everything. She was also what prompted me to come out as queer… which added a whole other level of complexity!

    For context,  never really saw a relationship happening for me- I have major self-confidence issues due to using a wheelchair – I had been on dates, but nothing really went anywhere and no one really expressed any real interest in me except a close childhood friend of mine (who is still a close friend but we decided it was nothing more).

    so when this happened I really couldn’t believe my luck. I never knew what people meant about ‘sparks flying’ or ‘butterflies’ til I met her. We had our work cut out for us from the start in that she had chronic health conditions herself and it meant that she had to cancel dates a lot due to being sick. To make things worse, I couldn’t go and see her at her house because it wasn’t accessible. This led to a lot of anxiety on my part – expecting her to cancel all the time, feeling so frustrated at the logistics etc.

    Still, I truly thought I had finally found my person, had just met her parents and she was supposed to meet mine. She helped me through a lot emotionally and encouraged me to get counselling after many years of struggling with anxiety. Over the course of a few short months she became one of the most important people in my life.

    But long story short she cut things off because she said she realised she did not have strong feelings for me. Deep down, I think I knew this but I was also anxious a lot of the time so didn’t trust my judgement. Still, I felt really blindsided and hurt- for me, things were only just beginning. I was supposed to go up to her parents’ place after Christmas, for example. She also claimed I was the ‘perfect’ person for her yet could not give me the connection I wanted. For some reason this has been really hurtful. She said she still wanted me in her life and that I was a ‘one of her favourite people’ But also that she’s pretty content on being solitary.

    Since then I have experienced the pain of heartbreak. All the things you all know so well. I just feel so annoyed because before this happened I was actually fairly content with being single. By all accounts I have many good friends and am not short on people who care for me. But now it feels like a box has been opened and I can’t shut it. She is always on my mind and I hate that I am giving someone so much of my headspace when they made the conscious choice to not be with me.

    I tried to keep up contact with her for the first couple of weeks after the breakup but then forced myself to have almost a month of no contact because it felt like torture. Now we are back in contact again and I am perplexed as to why my mind and brain is so intent on trying to be friends with her when rationally I know I am not over her and contacting and seeing he won’t make me feel better. We have seen each other a few times and each time afterwards I have felt upset that we aren’t together anymore. Yet we are meeting again tomorrow for lunch – at my suggestion!! I also seem to be anxious about her not keeping me in her life – but I’m unsure why I care so much. After all, if she is content on being solitary, nothing I do is going to change that.I know rationally to heal I need to let go of the idea of her, of us, of being in each others’ lives, but my heart and brain is not ready it seems….

    Anyway, I feel like this might be a good place to hold myself to account and connect with others going through the same pain, as endless as it feels. Thanks again for sharing your stories here. It has made me feel so much less insane and alone.

    x

    #333815

    Michelle
    Participant

    Hey Adelaide1.  Yes, we’ve all been there unfortunately. And as you will have read from my story at least, so long as you work through it all, life can be even better after the experience.  It just takes time and acceptance, as it is very easy to get stuck and I have seen many good friends do so. Can I say huge kudos for being brave enough to be open to the relationship in the first place – I can only imagine how much courage it took to both come out and overcome your anxieties enough to try at the relationship.  It’s no wonder it’s going to be hard to accept it has ended. Personally I’ve never been good at the ex’s as friends thing, though I know some people can. I understand why you want to keep her in your life but it will be some time before it won’t hurt, so try and be gentle on yourself and do what’s best for you. Take care.

    #333927

    Shelbyville
    Participant

    Hi all

     

    @ ML… I’m sorry you’re hurting so much right now, the shock alone must cause some serious reverberations for you. What you are facing is the loss and comfort of the person in your life coupled with the loss and comfort of the future you had planned out in your head. I don’t know why your ex ended it, if it’s something that tears you up and it was done quite abruptly and you don’t understand why, maybe that’s something you could have direct conversation about, in order to move on and grieve. I don’t know how feasible that is. After that, Michelle is right. No contact, albeit extremely difficult is the best way to move forward and try to create a life without that person. It’s not always easy and we’re human, sometimes we’ll end up making contact, but best to at least try anyway and then you’ll at least feel like you’re doing something to help and look after yourself. Grief now. It was 6 years….that’s a long time to be creating the hypothetical future you thought you were going to have and has now changed. Just keep on keeping on until you’re a little bit stronger to actually move forward with completely different plans. That is hard to do in the midst of devastation so just keeping doing little things every day for yourself to keep your head above water.

     

    @adelaide… well done you. Congratulations. Might sound funny to say congrats for your heartbreak, but you were brave. You opened up your heart and that makes you an amazing person. I berate myself all the time for feeling so strongly about my ex and ‘not getting over him’ quick enough etc but I still sometimes say to myself “Shelby…at least you loved. At least you opened your heart” and I’d rather die knowing that I opened up my heart to love (even if it didn’t work) than die having never felt an open heart.

    There is some work for you to do now I think in terms of self worth. You definitely became attached to her and made her an important element of your life, but if she doesn’t feel the same as you, then she can’t help how she feels. Everyone is entitled to how they feel even though it hurts, even though it’s heartbreaking and you want it to be different. It just means she’s not your person. A little time and distance will help a lot to overcome the anxiety and the pain of separation. It is so extremely hard to do, but in my experience you’ll never truly get over someone if you try to remain friends, because let’s face it, you’re not trying to remain friends, you just want to stay close to them and in the far back of your mind the hope will always be there and you could end up just getting hurt again and again when that hope isn’t realised.

    You should be incredibly proud of yourself for opening up – I am of myself (sometimes!)- and just try to take it day by day until you’re a little stronger and a little further from the heartbreak.

    @michelle….oooph….there hits a trigger! I might aswell admit it. Completely rational and well meaning advice as usual but I have this thing that I always slate myself over…not being able to soothe myself and it’s the message I get from others a lot throughout my life too. I don’t want to be so dependent on other people, I admire self sufficient people so much, but time and time again I see how much I need people. I get ‘scared’ sometimes, I’ve tried in therapy to figure it out but it doesn’t seem to be changing much. I’m insanely busy with short term work projects at the moment and whilst working late the other night in a busy hot environment, I felt extremely feint and ill and I got scared and literally only wanted my ex there to come and protect me or take care of me. I don’t know. It is what it is, but it always makes me feel ‘less than’ to not be able to look after myself, to always need someone to mind me or save me. It makes me sad and feel inadequate like everyone else in the world is a grown-up but i must never have drank the grown up juice.

    Anyway changing the subject, have a wonderful trip to Asia, safe travelling, I can’t wait to hear all about it.

     

    @kkasxo – how is the new job working out? Are things looking up a little for you? x

    #333987

    Adelaide1
    Participant

    Thank you so much for your replies Michelle and Shelby. I really appreciate your kind but honest words. I have a feeling I will be looking back on them for comfort when things feel hard in days to come. You are so right Shelby about it being an amazing feat to love. In my good moments I marvel at the fact that I experienced such a strong connection to another person and am encouraged by the insights the experience has given me into what kind of partner I am and what kind of partner I want. And then I go back to despairing but it is good to have those moments of clarity however brief!

    The lunch we had together yesterday was lovely. I suppose that is the problem. I had a bit of a realisation afterwards that part of the reason why it hurts so much is that my love for her is built on an emotional connection, rather than a physical one (she really struggled with physical intimacy for reasons much bigger than me and I internalised that, but that’s another issue..). I think this makes it easy for me to slip back into that space when I see her because we just connect so well on an intellectual and emotional level, and I think she would agree. She said herself that it was ‘sooo good to see me’ when we said goodbye. And I believe her. I said similar to a good friend when I caught up with her last weekend and I meant it but the difference is I do not have the same ‘pull’ because I don’t have romantic feelings for her. This is useful for me to keep in mind because it helps me understand how my ex must feel, and I think that is useful as hurtful as it is.

    I think I have also made progress in that I resisted the urge to message her afterwards and reiterate that it was nice to see her. I have learned the only thing more anxiety inducing than not hearing from her is reaching out and waiting for a reply. This was the case when we were together too – she didn’t really like communicating via text and I used to end up in a huge anxiety spiral about not hearing from her. This is something I am trying to work through in counselling because I can see it happening again in future relationships.

    My birthday is in 3 weeks and I am going to try and assume that I will not hear from her before then, and importantly, not contact her either. But I also need to try and work through the possibility of not hearing from her on my birthday even though if I’m honest, I will be extremely hurt if I don’t… as you say, one day at a time!

    Thank you again for taking the time to both comfort me while also giving me a gentle reality check. 🙂

    And I don’t know if it helps, Shelby, but you are certainly not alone in feeling like you are not self sufficient enough / too dependable on others. But I think it actually takes a lot of courage to open yourself up to depending on other people knowing they may not come through. I may have  a different perspective than most given I have no choice to depend on others in my every day life to some extent due to my disability, but I certainly see it as a strength to both be ok with asking for and receiving help from others. Showing such vulnerability is very grown up indeed I would suggest!

    I hope you all have a wonderful weekend despite all of life’s hard stuff. X

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 1 day ago by  Adelaide1.
    #334029

    Shelbyville
    Participant

    Adelaide,

    Well done on so much self awareness and at least trying to grow and process. It’s hard, I know. Be careful about the pull. So….I am pretty confident that if I met my ex for coffee tomorrow, the unbelievable pull would still be there……it always has been, Even for him most of the time, but nevertheless, it doesn’t mean we are meant to be together. We have/had a connection…the pull makes sense. But the pull can’t make him feel what he doesn’t either and despite how great a connection I felt we had, he still doesn’t want to be in a relationship with me…..so if we were to meet up, the pull would end up hurting me again.

    Let me frame it from your ex’s point of view. The new guy, who is a beautiful soul, who i tried a romantic relationship with but chose not to go further with is now one of my closest friends. I explained the perils of such a relationship and being the understanding and persuasive person he is, he convinced me friendship could work. It sounded like a great deal to me as the characteristics that I always liked about him (no-romantic) were still there and I do have a connection to him and enjoy his company immensely but not in a romantic way. It’s been great and I felt, isn’t this so mature…..I don’t get to lose him out of my life and we are good for each other. Today I met him for coffee and afterwards he messaged to say how beautiful I looked today. Sweet. But a problem. I loved receiving such a compliment but then the anchor dropped and I felt uncomfortable. He’s not completely over me I would say and happy to just be a platonic relationship. So things may get awkward if we continue this way and he may get hurt……yet again. I didn’t want this to happen, but I’m a adult, I take responsibility for the decision I made by being friends with him.

    You will always feel like you have a connection to your ex whilst she’s still in your life and it’s unrequited. I definitely don’t want to see you get hurt down the line again. Distance is the only thing to create a little bit of perspective…but BELIEVE ME….i understand how difficult that is. I get it. But remember, she didn’t choose to be with you and whilst it might be a nice comfort blanket for both of you to avoid the pain of separation…..it could end up being the pain of future hurt again otherwise.

    Keep going though on your focus on self awareness and counselling and really working on growing. You’re probable miles ahead of where I was at your stage. Try looking into the attachment styles and why they might apply, for example anxious attachment.

    We’re all in similar boats on this forum and I’ve found the online support very enlightening. Best of luck x

    #334061

    Genie
    Participant

    <p style=”text-align: left;”>@shelbyville its nice to see you are accepting your situation of your ex relationship being wrong. I too wasted 5 years back and forth.  Once that acceptance starts to come the next steps become easier that was the hardest part for me. I would say if you know you are never going to have a romantic relationship with a new guy you will do damage or more hurt to him by being friends. So you should  cut ties. You know from our own situation that any time of hope is the worst thing to have.</p>
     

    @adelaide you are the reason I had to reply. Your courage and strength is so admirable to have opened up you heart to love despite the adversities you face. I had come on to have a whine as I was unable to run which was helping my thoughts remain positive but reading your responses was inspiring. So you have helped me inadvertently xxx

    #334073

    Rob
    Participant

    After being together for 20 years and married for just over 16 years my wife gave me the talk that she didn’t love me anymore. She used a Seinfeld reference, “It’s not you, it’s me”. She thought it was best for us to spend time apart and maybe I could move in to the basement. Instead it took me several weeks for find a suitable place to live. At first I didn’t want to believe that 16+ years of marriage could be over just like that. I started an email, to myself, a personal diary to get my feelings and daily activities on paper. I tried to text my wife to keep the lines of communications open, I felt that the longer we were apart and not talking, the less likely we were to get back together. I wanted to be in that 20% of separated couples that would get back together. I think that my texts were sounding desperate, which was a mistake. Please don’t do that. If you have to text, send the occasional text asking about their day or work. There were many many nights of crying myself to sleep at night, when I was able to sleep. We met for coffee about two weeks after I was out of the house and it was very emotional for me. I asked some questions about what led up to that day and asked my wife if there was someone else. She said no, but if she did meet someone that she would tell me. She did say that she was going out with some of the guys from work to watch NFL Football on Sundays and Mondays. I knew then that she would meet someone else. I asked her if there was any chance of us getting back together and she said, “not right now”. Well there was less sleep and more crying again. I have no family left and realized that I would be spending my first Christmas by myself. There was some occasional contact, we stopped at Costco for shopping and a hotdog and it seemed like there was progress. There was even a text saying that she was in a better place and that our meetings were good. I did nice things for my wife buying her chocolate, shoveling snow and leaving hand written love notes. Then, I was invited to the in-laws for Christmas supper, but I did not want to go. I eventually asked my wife if she was okay with me over for supper and not just to have me out there to make her parents happy. It was nice evening and then I got a text after New Year saying that she was officially dating someone and was in love with him. More waterworks and more sleepless nights. I did confront my wife why she was okay with me being over for Christmas supper when she already had designs on another man. Her response was that she didn’t want me to be alone at Christmas. I don’t think she realized that hurt more than it helped, especially when less then a week later she was dating someone. I have only a very few friends to talk to so that made this time even harder. After that text it was decided to split the marital assets, because there was no hope of reconciliation.  We are at that point and the divorce papers are being drawn up, I am just a cheap kite twisting in the wind and am just an observer. I have good days and then there is the occasional  bad day which sets me back, more crying and emotion again. There are many many triggers that set me back emotionally and I end up crying again, that won’t stop. Make sure that you have to endure this you get professional help and talk to as many friends as possible. I know this is easy to say, hard to do, but it is important. I only know two things in life for certain: I know that I still love my wife dearly and I know when her memory of our time together fades, I will still feel exactly the same as I did when I first told my wife that I loved her.

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