Facebook share
LinkedIn share
Google plus share
Twitter plus share
Give Advice
Ask For Advice
Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: The one that got away

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Posts
    1

    The one that got away

    A few years ago, I was in a relationship that lasted for a total of five years. During the last two years of that relationship, my ex-boyfriend spiraled into a vicious cycle of abuse. He was possessive, verbally abusive, he became physically abusive, and it was just a really tough time for me because he wasn't like that at the start. This is mainly why I stuck around. I thought that it was some passing phase, at first. The abuse came on gradually and obviously snowballed into a huge issue as time went on. During this time, I forged a very strong platonic friendship with a man that I had met. My now ex-boyfriend would become erratic, abusive, and then he'd ignore me for weeks on end to punish me. So, like most human beings, I felt alone and I longed for friendship. My new friend and I spoke every day. I assure you, it truly was platonic at the time. And, in a way, it remained platonic towards the very end - at least on a physical level. After being friends for a year and a half, we both realized that we were in love with one another. I truly do not want to be judged for this. I never slept with him or did anything of that sort because I am the type of person who wants to be fully out of a relationship before I do those sort of things. My now ex-boyfriend got diagnosed with bipolar disorder, paranoid schizophrenia, and, he spiraled into alcoholism on top of it all. Leaving him was this delicate matter and I really had to tread lightly. He was un-diagnosed with his mood disorders for a long while, and, so much damage had been done to me and my psyche by his abuse. I set out to make a friend and my friend and I ended up falling in love with one another while I was in the midst of trying to get out of this extremely mentally abusive relationship, and, doing so was hard. I tried to leave my ex-boyfriend several times but it would just turn into the biggest fiasco and he really was the type who just wouldn't take no for an answer. He was the type who wanted me to stay with him at all costs, even if it meant costing me my sanity. So, to sort of escape that, I did forge a strong friendship with this other man. As soon as I realized I was in love with this other man, I immediately started hatching an escape plan out of my abusive relationship. It's not like "Oh! I'm going to mentally cheat on my partner while keeping him around so I can have both of them." - No. When dealing with people who are struggling with mental issues, anger issues, alcoholism, etc., you have to be sort of careful. I was trying to be careful about all of this. At this point, my ex-boyfriend honestly didn't come see me for several weeks because he often liked to just ignore me to punish me as soon as I'd do anything wrong. So, as you see, it was very easy to sort of fall in love with someone else.

    So, I fell in love with someone else and we spoke every day for hours. We'd go have coffee in the middle of the night and talk for hours. He'd write me hand written love letters and I'd take them home, put them in a drawer, and read them at night. We had a strong love, on both ends. We were so madly in love with one another but we never slept together just because I didn't want to go down that route. Plus, if I had slept with him and if my ex found out somehow, it would... it just would have ended badly for me, trust me. But the love between this other man and I was so real. Love letters, late night coffee runs, endless phone conversations, endless texting, endless being together and building this extremely strong bond which I've never had with anyone before, and, he says he's never had that before ever, either.

    However, when I finally did get the guts to try to leave my ex-boyfriend, things got very heated. I told him that he has been breaking my heart for two years now with his abuse and that I've wanted to leave for a long while now but he never really made me feel like I had the choice because he'd just guilt trip me into staying until it was just absolutely insufferable to continue to listen to him go on and on about how much I belonged to him, as though I was some plot of land. Anyway, I told him about the man I've been talking to and my ex sort of lost it. He hit me, he took my phone, and started texting the man from my phone (he saw a recent conversation we had. Plus, I had told him his name in the process of breaking up with him) and he texted him pretending to be me. He told him something along the lines of "This thing between us can't ever work. I don't want to be with you. It's over." and he took my phone, he smashed my laptop, and it was just... bad. I ended up reporting him and he spent some time in the psych ward, getting treatment. I wanted to leave my city for a while, so, I sort of put work on hiatus (I was working from home and doing freelance, anyway, at the time) and my friend in New York let me crash with them for a while. I was embarrassed and so incredibly ashamed of my ex ruining things between me and this other person that I had come to care so much for. It took me a lot of guts to think of reaching back out, explaining the whole situation, and trying to make things right. When I had the nerve to call, I found out that his number was disconnected. When I had the nerve to reach out on Facebook, I found that it had been deactivated. At this point, I moved 800 miles away from home because I didn't want to be in my city anymore for at least a few months. When I came back home, I learned from a mutual friend of ours that the man I loved had moved back several states away to go live with his parents for a bit, and, he apparently found a job around there while I was gone. He was rather nomadic and wasn't really meant to be in my city permanently. He had found work there, but, he wasn't from where I was from. So, I guess while I was gone, he moved back to be closer to family, found work there, and I sort of lost record of him for a while because his internet trail was dry for a while. He was off of Facebook and his number was disconnected, so, I had no earthly way of really contacting him. Eventually, I just felt ashamed and embarrassed of whatever my ex said to him that caused him to just shut everything down like that, so, I tried moving on. I really, really tried. I tried and I failed.

    Some time went by and I tried searching for him. Lo and behold, his Facebook is back up. And... I saw that he's been in a relationship with a new girl. For quite a while. It's been a while since I tried lurking on social media to try to find him. I never stopped loving him, though. I never stopped caring. Mostly, I just felt stupid for dating someone who went so far out of his way to try to wreck my life and what little happiness I did manage to find. It all felt destroyed and like it would never be the same ever again. I reached out to this man and he replied back. He wasn't even mad at me. He told me he still felt a deep connection with me, but, obviously now there's a girlfriend in the mix on his end. We kept things platonic, don't worry. We went back to talking a lot again, and, he gave me some hints that he still cared - at least in some way - by reminding me that he still cared, that we did have the strongest love connection of his life, that I was the love of his life, and all that. But obviously, he had formed a new connection with someone else. They had a very rocky and up and down relationship that was also becoming toxic. He'd reach out to me in the middle of the night being so unhappy with how toxic and mean his girlfriend was being to him. However, he said the relationship wasn't all bad. It seemed pretty 50/50. It would sometimes be excellent and it would sometimes be hell. I understood that. I also understood that maybe I clung to our bond and our love more than he has.

    However, one day, he had really had enough of his current girlfriend. She was being extremely toxic and cruel to him, and, he called me and cried. He told me: "I'm going to leave her this time. For sure! 100%" and I actually believed him. In that moment, he admitted that what he had with me doesn't really hold a candle to what he has with her. He told me that he's missed me over the years and that I never fully left his heart. However, he ended up working things out with his girlfriend and it did break my heart quite a bit. From then on, he'd come to me every now and then and cry about how unstable their relationship is, and how he sees so much potential in being with me, but, those two would work it out in the end. I eventually just got tired of it. I wrote him (and this might have been pathetic on my part) a long 2 page love letter. I poured out my heart and soul into it, but then, I blocked communication with him and essentially told him that he knows where to find me and how to get in touch if he ever wants to pursue the deep love that we once had, but, I told him that I didn't want to be friends. For one, his girlfriend found out that he was talking to me and she sort of forbid him from speaking to other women. She didn't know the nature of what we once were to one another, but, she's that jealous type that really wants her man to cut out other women. So, he'd message me rarely, and call me rarely, and even then, he'd be so paranoid about her finding out.

    It's been several months since I parted ways with him, and, I feel like I'm stupidly just waiting for him. I do love him very, very much. I thought that one of two things would happen. 1) I'd send him that love letter, he'd realize he wants to be with me, and we'd have been together by now. Or 2) That by now, I'd have gotten over him and moved on, but, I... haven't. Also, I am aware that the timeline of events may sound brief to some of you because I'm briefly explaining all of this, but, let me put it into perspective. I got with my abusive ex-boyfriend at age 18. We dated for five years. By age 21, he was abusive. By age 22, I realized I was in love with someone else and wanted out of my abusive relationship, desperately. A lot of things went down. I'm now 27 years old, so, I've been in love with this other man for 5 years, now. Five years of this torture.

    Am I foolish for waiting? Should I just move on? If so, how? I try to distract myself, I try to think of other things, but he's like this ghost that I just cannot get rid of.

    Also, I know that it was wrong to fall in love with someone else. Even if I was in an abusive relationship, it was still a relationship, nonetheless. As I said, I never slept with this man. I at least respected my abusive ex-boyfriend enough not to do that. I wasn't looking to fall in love with anyone else, also. It just happened. So please, don't lecture me on how I'm a terrible person for falling in love with someone else while my ex was putting me through absolute hell. It just sort of happened and I couldn't have stopped it from happening even if I tried.

    I guess I just want advice on what to do. On one hand, I think that I should move on with my life and try to forget this all. I think that what stops me is this devastatingly heartbreaking spark of hope that one day, he and I will be together. It makes me feel pathetic, and, I'm having a hard time letting go of this hope. I've cried over this more times than I wanted to admit. What do you guys think I should do? Let go? Hold on to the spark of hope that I do have? I'm feeling so lost and confused.

  2. #2
    Bronze Member Smoothie58's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Age
    31
    Posts
    113
    Gender
    Female
    Honestly, if he wanted to be with you, he would. If you were truly the love of his life and you meant so much to him, he wouldnít be going home to someone else every night.

    This is very common and a case of wanting his cake and eating it too. Itís not only an ego boost, but he is looking to have someone as a ďback upĒ Incase his current relationship doesnít work out. If his relationship is as miserable and toxic as he says, and he really wants to be with you, what exactly is stopping him?

    The truth is, he is dishonest and playing you both. Even if you were in a relationship with him, how could you have total trust in him, knowing he is capable of going behind a girlfriendís back and proclaiming love to someone else?

    Bottom line is he doesnít want to actually be with you (or he would be) so you should find someone who is single and available and wants the same things as you.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Somewhere Out There
    Age
    37
    Posts
    1,703
    Gender
    Female
    Aw, Iím sorry OP.
    Reading your story my heart broke for you, having to endure what you went through.

    What Iíve learned in life is if someone wants to be with you they will find a way, such as him leaving his girlfriend and being with you. It sounds like heís accepted his fate of the rocky relationship heís in.

    I just think if someone is meant to be with us they are meant to be.

    I donít know what will happen in the future, he may break up with her. Itís just in the present, here and now, is what you need to focus on. Donít wait for him, get yourself put back together by giving yourself more time to heal.

  4. #4
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Posts
    215
    You don't really have much of a choice in this situation. I think ending things the way you did was the right decision--on the note that you still care and if he wants to date you, he knows where to find you.

    It sounds like both of you may be emotionally unavailable to some extent because you both have become entangled in unsatisfactory, toxic relationships while cultivating outside love, yet didn't make the move to break free from the abuser. There is something unresolved about the fantasy, the push/pull, etc.

    Anyway, I can definitely relate to the heart break of loving someone for many, many years so know you're not the only person to go through that. Right now, though, you don't have a choice because he's still in a relationship. You can't exactly stalk or harass him into being with you (not saying you are, just saying what are your alternatives to your situation right now?), and being his friend is only going to keep you from any prayer of moving on because friendship isn't what you want--and you will also kind of act as his security blanket so he won't have any real motivation to leave her.

    So, the only logical choice is to do what you did. In the meantime, I would try to cultivate other aspects of your life or be open to the possibility of other men. It's not like you've fallen off the face of the earth, so this guy can grow up and put on his big boy pants if he wants to come and find you.

  5.  

  6. #5
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Age
    63
    Posts
    4,747
    Gender
    Male
    A lot of times emotional relationships, as you had, can be stronger than physical relationships. The problem is this guy is a waste of time. A lot of talk and no action.

    You didn't describe anything about this guy. Had he been in any real relationships? Did he date anyone in the 5 years you met with him? What is his deal? Was he content with just talking and listening to your problems? Was he shy? Or was he just lonely? Something strange was going on in his life. He seems emotionally immature.

    But I guess it doesn't matter. He claims his girlfriend is abusing him, but you don't really know. You should move on. Find someone who isn't emotionally immature and someone you can date and hold and be with. In a way, this guy has emotionally abused you too by giving you a hope you two could be together. And that probably hurts you more than your abusive real-life relationship.

  7. #6
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Posts
    8,742
    Originally Posted by Oceana
    For one, his girlfriend found out that he was talking to me and she sort of forbid him from speaking to other women. She didn't know the nature of what we once were to one another, but, she's that jealous type that really wants her man to cut out other women. So, he'd message me rarely, and call me rarely, and even then, he'd be so paranoid about her finding out.
    This is not just her being jealous, OP. That's an unfair assumption for you to make. This guy has an inappropriate friendship with you. She is right to not want him talking to you. Do you think she would feel better if she knew what you once had? You say that as though she owes him some leeway with you or something, because of your past with him. No, she discovered her boyfriend has loose boundaries with you and understandably is not comfortable with you hanging out in shadows, pining after her boyfriend. He is not being honest with her or you.

    In my mind, he is not the that got away. He was the impetus to finally leave your abusive relationship, yes, but I don't think it was actually going to develop into something serious. If he felt the way about you that he tells you he does, well, he would be with you. I think you need to realize this man is no prize. He evidently sees no issue getting close to women in relationships (you, when you were with your ex) nor does he see a problem with being a craptacular boyfriend now that he is the one in a relationship. He has shown you many characteristics that make him a poor relationship candidate. You need to take off them rose-colouored glasses and see this dude for who he really is.

    Don't wait around for him. His heart and mind aren't with you. Take time to really heal from your previous pain, and move on from him. He isn't the one you're meant to be with.

  8. #7
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    6,324
    Gender
    Female
    Hmmm... I guess I see things differently?

    When you broke up with your ex and your ex took your phone and basically ďbroke upĒ with your love interest for you... I mean... you accepted that. I understand feeling ashamed... but... how hard would it have been to explain the situation to your love, particularly since you were talking to him all along about the abusive nature of your relationship? Instead, you disappeared for at least 8 months (or more until you found his Facebook back up?) allowing the words ďI canít be with you anymoreĒ to be the last words between you (even if they were not your own).

    Your love (understandably) moved on with his life. As much as he cared, life goes on.

    When you resurfaced, Iím sure that he was very conflicted. I agree that his girlfriend was right to get him to cut contact with you. Itís not jealousy. She was right! You were a threat to their relationship! I mean... look! You just sent him a letter to try to steal her boyfriend!

    I agree that he was sending you mixed messages about possibly leaving her. But I donít think thatís a reflection of this character or anything. I think itís a reflection of his very conflicted emotions. I mean... I donít think itís fair of you at all to resurface and want him to drop everything to be with you.

    In the end, I think you did all that you could do. You are not his friend and canít handle being just a friend. You want more. So - itís good that you were finally honest about that for BOTH of your sakes. He canít give you what you want right now (nor should he). He needs to see this relationship with this girl through.

    Unfortunately, ďtimingĒ is a real thing when it comes to relationships. He might be a strong fit but the timing before wasnít right the first time and the timing now is also not right. The timing may never align.

    The only thing that you can do is move on (like he did). He could end up marrying this girl. You canít hinge your life on a hope. It could very well never happen.

    ... but I donít think itís fair to say this guy is a bad guy or that he just doesnít care... I think what you were asking was unreasonable...

    .., but yes, you will need to move on now. I know thatís not easy, but itís your only option.

  9. #8
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Cloud Nine
    Posts
    33,251
    Gender
    Male
    Excellent you got out of the abusive situation. This man helped you through a lot. However miles and months have passed and he apparently has a new gf and a new life that he does not want you to be part of.

    It would be best to get some therapy to help you navigate post abuse issues and when ready, start dating local single men and be very mindful of red flags for controlling and abusive relationships. Read up on it particularly "Cycle Of Violence".
    Originally Posted by Oceana
    I moved 800 miles away from home because I didn't want to be in my city anymore for at least a few months. When I came back home, I learned from a mutual friend of ours that the man I loved had moved back several states away. his Facebook is back up. And... I saw that he's been in a relationship with a new girl.

  10. #9
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Age
    57
    Posts
    5,929
    Gender
    Male
    It's simple. The ones that get away, are the ones not meant for you.


Give Advice
Ask For Advice

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •