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Thread: WHY am I still in love with my toxic ex :(

  1. #1
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    WHY am I still in love with my toxic ex :(

    I hardly ever make my own posts here, but I'm feeling so horrible and mainly I'd just like to get some things off my chest. I am really hurting.

    I was with my ex "M" for two years. We lived together for one year and were engaged. He is now nearly 30 and I'm 35. Six months ago (September), I ended the engagement due to my ex's bad mental health issues and severe drug addiction. The problem is that logically I know that I did the right thing. But I was, and am so madly in love with him that it's been really hard to move on. Now he's in a relationship with someone else and it actually hurts a lot more than I thought it would.

    When I first met M, straight away I felt a very big attraction and connection there. That feeling was just there so effortlessly. We began dating and initially he seemed pretty nice and like he had his life together. He had been working as a software developer for one company for four years interstate. Then he moved to my city and had been working at another software company for four years also. He showed me around his work office and I'd met his colleagues a few times. He was also building his own house and had a mortgage on the house approved. And he was renting a place on his own also. He seemed like an independent person who was mature. We also really got along so well, felt that big click and had exactly the same sense of humour.

    There were some red flags probably that I should have paid good attention to from the start. He was pushy about rushing our relationship. After only hanging out three times and sleeping together once, he asked me if I wanted to be his girlfriend. I tried saying let's take it slower, but he said he's very monogamous. Then he started pushing to put "in a relationship" on Facebook after two weeks of dating. I said let's wait. After one month he persuaded me to put "in a relationship" on social media. He at that time was also pushing me to come with him to his home state to his friend's wedding and meet all his friends and family. I actually thought that meeting all of them might be a good idea because they were all not in my city and I did want to get to know them.

    After one month of dating he told me he loved me. I actually very much did feel the same, so I said I loved him too. He was acting really crazy about me and he treated me well in the sense that he gave me a lot of attention and contact. We did have fun going on lots of nice dates. We had very good sexual chemistry also. He mentioned to me that he has depression and anxiety. And that he takes medications for it. I was actually fine with it because a lot of people struggle with depression and anxiety. And I've been a mental health and disability support worker for many years. So I'm an understanding and compassionate person. M did say he had "anger issues" but I hadn't seen anything at that point. So I thought maybe he just meant he gets irritable sometimes, as we all do.

    After three months together we went to his home state and attended his friend's wedding. All his friends and family were nice. He had actually proposed to me but I declined due to that being too soon. However, this is where it became evident that my partner had a lot of emotional issues. He was acting extremely irritable, snappy for seemingly no reason and was getting really stressed about everything. He acted angry a number of times about random things and snapped at me. I felt exhausted with him on that trip and thought his behaviour was really bad. So I said I wanted to stop dating him and I wanted to get on an earlier flight back to my city.

    I was devastated about this though because by that point I was so in love with him. I missed him so much and after two weeks we got back together. We continued the relationship and he did seem to struggle with depression really bad. He sometimes slept a lot and didn't go to work. Long story but buying the house fell through for him. He did get into those snappy moods sometimes too for no reason. I'd also found out that he'd smashed a keyboard in anger at work. And that he was not allowed to work as a team with other people and had to work alone. Oh, and I forgot to mention that his mother had committed suicide. And his father had abandoned him for ten years. So he had a lot of anger about all that. And he felt suicidal sometimes but he didn't try anything at any point.

    Anyway so to fast forward all along I was crazy about him and continued to ignore these things and act super supportive to him regardless. After one year together he moved into my apartment. We were living together and he proposed again after one year. I accepted and started wearing the ring. We booked the wedding and all that.

    2-3 months after us getting engaged, M began using drugs. He got into them from a friend's party. He began to order nitrous oxide gas online (street name nangs/whippets). You could buy it because you could inhale it straight from a whipped cream canister and it's not illegal here in Australia. This drug addiction was escalating really fast and M's behaviour was becoming abhorrent. M would do them all the time, mainly behind my back and hide it and lie. He was completely off his face on those things, his speech didn't make sense and he was very inconsiderate. He'd stay up all night blasting the TV and laughing into early hours, keeping me awake. All my begging, trying to take the things away or throw them in the bin, just resulting in him pulling the things out of my arms and also bin diving to get them back. He was also covered in these really gross ice burns from the gas on his hands and arms.

    So this went on for seven months and he caused me immense stress and hurt from this drug addiction. I pleaded for him to get help but he didn't. He did go into the psychiatric hospital ward once to try to get help. So I was forced in the end to break up with him and cancel the wedding too. He was really devastated and begged for me not to break up. I was soo stressed that I asked him to move out. At that time he had also told me that he had spent literally all his money on drugs and he had no money for our wedding.

    So the last six months I'd only kept in touch as friends and occasionally spoke and hung out. I did love M the whole time still and he had been showing signs of feeling the same. But he had not given up the drugs and though he mentioned getting back together once, I said not if he does drugs.

    Anyway so I've been literally stuck at home in COVID-19 quarantine for five weeks. My job is cancelled, I live alone with no pets and I have been lonely as all hell. Then M tells me that he has found another girlfriend and he is really happy with her. Though he told me she is an ice addict, she has threatened people and ended up in the psychiatric ward. And he saw her have a seizure from a drug overdose. And that she has a three year old son and doesn't have custody of him, except fortnightly visits. But he said he really likes her and she's so supportive to him and understands about drug addiction. I did admit then that I still loved him and he said he didn't realise that and has moved on. And that he 's choosing the other girl.

    The thing is logically I actually know that I'd made the right decision and I am much better than the ice addict woman too. I didn't expect that I would still be so in love with him and it would hurt so much. I guess maybe deep down I kept hoping that if he got off the drugs, I could give him one more chance. But he didn't and looks like he actually rather prefers to be with someone else who is also a drug addict. I feel like I made some really bad mistakes in allowing myself to love him so much and to hope that I can have happiness and marriage with this person :( I feel so stupid and like I really should have known better. But I fell in love and before that had been single for three years and never felt that way about anyone. Getting Ready for a First Date

  2. #2
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    You need to cut all contact with him now, OP.

    Drugs are also very clearly not the only problem here, either. He had underlying issues that you saw early on, even before he started using. Thus, him getting off drugs would not mean a potential relationship would necessarily work. There were plenty of other red-flag behaviours which would make a stable relationship with him very difficult, much less a marriage.

    I think you fell in love with parts of him, yes, and the potential you saw in him. But the man you hoped he was and the man he actually is are two different things. Once you start to take real distance from him (ie. no more chatting or hanging out) you will have an easier time seeing that you dodged a bullet.

  3. #3
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    Simply put you aren’t in love with him.
    Just the person you wanted him to be. That person is still out there.

    Delete and block him. It is clearly doing you no good and only doing harm.

    Best of luck!!

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    Originally Posted by MissCanuck
    You need to cut all contact with him now, OP.

    Drugs are also very clearly not the only problem here, either. He had underlying issues that you saw early on, even before he started using. Thus, him getting off drugs would not mean a potential relationship would necessarily work. There were plenty of other red-flag behaviours which would make a stable relationship with him very difficult, much less a marriage.

    I think you fell in love with parts of him, yes, and the potential you saw in him. But the man you hoped he was and the man he actually is are two different things. Once you start to take real distance from him (ie. no more chatting or hanging out) you will have an easier time seeing that you dodged a bullet.
    Thank you very much for fast reply. Yes actually I did say to him now that I don't want to be friends and that I'm going to block him. Which I have done. I think I also need to do some therapy because prior to him, a number of years ago, I was so in love and obsessed with this guy with narcissistic personality disorder. That guy manipulated me and strung me along a lot. And I was really fixated with him and mad about him. I have actually thought at times that maybe I'm doing this because of my father. I know that's very Freudian but my father has at times been emotionally abusive to me and physically one time only. Other than that he has always been quite cold to me and never took any interest in me really. My whole life I'd wished that my Dad would love me and accept me. I'm not sure if this may be the cause or something else....I want to do therapy and I do have a counsellor but everything is closed due to coronavirus. I've been locked up at home now for five weeks. I talk to all my friends and my Mum (I'm close with her) on video chat, but other than that I'm entirely alone 24/7. My job was cancelled nearly a month ago and I don't know when I can go back to work. I don't usually write my own posts here but I am just struggling so much right now.

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  6. #5
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    Originally Posted by Billie28
    Simply put you aren’t in love with him.
    Just the person you wanted him to be. That person is still out there.

    Delete and block him. It is clearly doing you no good and only doing harm.

    Best of luck!!
    Yes I've actually blocked him now on all platforms. I just still have a lot of his stuff because we lived together. And he moved into a super tiny studio apartment and I've been holding onto it. Yeah I shouldn't have been holding onto it :( I want to return it all to him but there is a lot of stuff. I need to drive it over to him (he has no car). But we're not allowed to drive out of our own area right now due to stage 3 quarantine. You get a $1600 fine if you do that.

  7. #6
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    I think this Coronavirus and all the difficult restrictions, emotions, isolation, etc is wreaking havoc with a lot of people in relationships, just out of relationships or trying to find a relationship. It's bringing up a tsunami of emotions for people, particular the lonely/isolation effect. Hang in there.

  8. #7
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    So sorry about all this, Tiny. I remember the thread about the laughing gas—remember you kind of ducking out of it, if I recall—and from time to time I've wondered how it all went down. I know you're hurting right now, which is human, but all that hurt is connected to you being a healthy woman who loves herself. Do give yourself some time, in the strange solitude of quarantine, to celebrate that love from time to time. It's real.

    Thumbnail assessment of some of what I see here? This was a troubling dynamic long before the drugs, as you outlined. He played the gas pedal, you played the brake pedal. I'd give some real thought about why that appealed. I was in a similar relationship, for whatever it's worth, and my own personal takeaway went something like this: I was seeking two contradictory rewards, being able to affirm my sense that I was wise and mature ("Let's take this slow...") while also feeding off the immaturity of another and indulging my own (since it was never genuinely slow).

    Had I been truly as wise and mature as I liked to think? Well, no way I'd have have been interested in someone who was all throttle out of the gates. Needed that chapter, I guess, and the incendiary dramatics it led to after three years, to really grow up. At least a few critical inches.

    I know it hurts that he's with someone else, and so quickly. But you are clearly so smart—genuinely wise and mature, human wrinkles aside—and hopefully you can come to see that as irrefutable proof of who this guy truly is, and has always been. Sounds, honestly, like he is now in a relationship of equals, not a relationship where equality is aspirational, as yours and his was. The mature, independent guy you once believed him to be? He was never that, as such a guy wouldn't be trying to lock you down after 72 hours. You were his laughing gas back then, and right from the start you were trying to temper his cravings. Sadly, a drug cannot do that.

    This is such a hard moment, globally. Hang in there and have faith that, if you can ride these waves of uncomfortable feelings, you'll move through all this: stronger, wiser, more mature, more in touch with what you really want and need—and, eventually, genuinely open to finding it.

  9. #8
    Platinum Member Lambert's Avatar
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    Hi Tiny

    Lots of good advice here and you sound like you know the right things to do and are doing them. So at least appreciate yourself for that much!

    The real struggle is the pain. And oh don't forget the global pandemic! I am like you, alone 24/7, for 5 weeks... maybe 6. Who knows at this point! So lonely at times, its palpable...

    Have you been looking into anything like mediation or yoga?

    Its helped me learn to detach from people and experiences. Its more than just quieting the mind. It's about accepting that others are on their own journey and you are on yours. And when they don't jive... they just don't.

    Your ex is definitely on his own journey and you can't continue that path... You know it just has to be that way...

    Its bigger than you and any love you feel. It effects your loved ones, any future children, and who knows what his drugs and mental issues will cause.

    You are in the present and presently, you are saving yourself..... Any mistakes or things you blame yourself for (from the past) can't be changed.

    But you can commit to keeping your focus on the present moment.. knowing this too will pass.

    And thats where meditation can help, focusing on your breath, in the moment, limiting that inner chatter, bringing that voice in your head into alignment with you. So there's not two voices inside you, there's only one.... the true you. That's the key to finding peace. but you have to keep working on it.



    Its like bathing, you must do it regularly for it to be effective.

  10. #9
    Platinum Member reinventmyself's Avatar
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    It's that struggle with what goes on in your head that isn't quite in alignment with you heart.
    You're a smart lady and you know the difference, but no matter what we do sometimes still love people that are toxic for us. Accept it for what it is. You can still love him at the same time recognize that you chose not to be with him. For very good reason, I might add.

    If in this very moment you could have him back, would you? I think not.

    When we learn they've moved on the someone new, we hurt ourselves wondering if they will get the better version of them. But he is who he is and his new choice of partner reflects that. He's chosen someone who has a mixed bag of issues as well. So, don't fool yourself needlessly that they'll have a better life together. Now she gets to deal with the messy ugly stuff. You're better than that. Don't forget it.

    Ride this out. It's probably the isolation that's fueling it.
    You don't want him. Remember that.
    I hope writing all this out helped.

    by the way. . you've been here long enough to know that when someone fast tracks you into a relationship, it's because they want to hook you when you are still high on infatuation. Because had he allow this to take it's time and you two to really get to know each other. . you would have never signed up for his addictions and mental health issues. He likely hooked the next girl the same way. And seeing she's got her own issues, her bar is probably set a great deal lower than yours.
    Don't let this rock you. Block him.

  11. #10
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    Originally Posted by reinventmyself
    It's that struggle with what goes on in your head that isn't quite in alignment with you heart.
    You're a smart lady and you know the difference, but no matter what we do sometimes still love people that are toxic for us. Accept it for what it is. You can still love him at the same time recognize that you chose not to be with him. For very good reason, I might add.

    If in this very moment you could have him back, would you? I think not.

    When we learn they've moved on the someone new, we hurt ourselves wondering if they will get the better version of them. But he is who he is and his new choice of partner reflects that. He's chosen someone who has a mixed bag of issues as well. So, don't fool yourself needlessly that they'll have a better life together. Now she gets to deal with the messy ugly stuff. You're better than that. Don't forget it.

    Ride this out. It's probably the isolation that's fueling it.
    You don't want him. Remember that.
    I hope writing all this out helped.

    by the way. . you've been here long enough to know that when someone fast tracks you into a relationship, it's because they want to hook you when you are still high on infatuation. Because had he allow this to take it's time and you two to really get to know each other. . you would have never signed up for his addictions and mental health issues. He likely hooked the next girl the same way. And seeing she's got her own issues, her bar is probably set a great deal lower than yours.
    Don't let this rock you. Block him.
    I agree but really just wanted to lend support and tell you I too am sorry you are going through this especially now. I wish for you for brighter days ahead.

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