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Thread: The ex popped up again

  1. #1
    Silver Member DaniArizona's Avatar
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    The ex popped up again

    Several years ago I first came to this site because of a devastating break up. Here is the very first post Iíve made on here:

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    Now, almost 10 years later, this ex has come back into my life after years of growth, self reflection and self positivity. Iíve moved on. Iím in what is probably the most healthy relationship Iíve ever been in... but, well, I guess Iíll just copy/ paste what I had posted on a different advice site... of course for a complete history of my complete heart break when X and I first broke up you can view my first post for a clearer picture (not to confuse things but I referred to my ex as ďCĒ in my first post on here. The below refers to him as ďXĒ and my current bf as ďCĒ - for current:

    I wonít go into the agonizing long story that was me and my ex but long story short, we met when I was 23 and recently out of an abusive relationship. He was 33 and showed me what it was like to be treated with love and respect from an SO. We got engaged. Our relationship moved fast and passionately. Both of us lost a parent in that time, he was still going through the motions of divorce, child visitation, etc and after almost 2 years we broke up very suddenly due to both our faults, outside circumstances and a lot of stress. The day after we broke up he moved back to his home state. We spoke off and on for about 6 months after, but it was toxic for us to do so and we dropped contact for about 5 years.

    In those 5 years, I never got over him. Every relationship I compared to the one I had with him, ultimately sabotaging any prospect for a fulfilling future with that person.

    One day, when I was living with my most recent ex (Iíll call R), he sent me a friend request on social media. I accepted. We kept it pleasant with ďhi, how are youĒís and kept it basically at that. I felt like at this point I was strong enough to move past my feelings for him and concentrate on the relationship I was in. Ex fiancť (who I will call X) had a girlfriend, which didnít send me into any sort of crazy fits of jealousy like I thought it would so I figured I really did move on.

    3 years ago I got out of the relationship I was in at that time (completely unrelated to X) and soon after met C (current boyfriend). I had never had such strong feelings for another person since X until I met C. C and I are great partners. We tackle issues head on, but sometimes I would notice myself wishing our relationship was as passionate as it was with X. Donít get me wrong, despite many ups and downs C and I have had, we always work things out, even when we reached what we thought was a point of no return at one point in our relationship - I wonít go into detail, mostly just lack of communication that escalated over time.

    Over the course of the 5 years X and I have been fb friends, itís obvious he is just looking to make enough money to pay bills and have fun. Him and the gf eventually broke up, he is still living a lifestyle that would be acceptable for someone in their 20ís, but maybe not a 43 year old father of 3 (although now his kids are adults).

    Before I got with C, I confided in my best friends that I did believe X and I would end up back together when I was 40 and he was 50 when we were in better places with our lives. I had also confessed this to X during a drunken conversation we had while I was getting over my breakup with R, before meeting C.

    Last week was my birthday and I went to visit my family in a different state. X messaged me to wish me a happy birthday and to tell my family he said hello. From there, he texted daily to tell me how much he misses me, how much he thinks about me and always had. I told him I am happy in my current relationship and I did not feel that he (X) was in a place in his life that I could consider being relationship potential. He agreed and reminded me that I had said I see us getting together in our next decade of life. He said ďI have less then ten years to get my life together and now I have motivation. Maybe I can get it done in 5!Ē

    Now let me preface my next sentence by saying that I would never cheat on C. I would never leave C for anyone else. But... the feeling of happiness and warmth I felt from X saying those things a couple of days ago is so strong and I feel so guilty. Iím back home with C now and just going over the conversation with X in my head keeps tearing me apart. Not because I fueled that conversation, but because it made me happy to hear that from ďthe one that got awayĒ. I thought I was over him but now Iím second guessing.

    I need advise.... what should I do? I donít want to block X because he is still someone who was there during one of the hardest times of my life, and someone who showed me that itís okay to have standards for myself in a relationship. But I also feel like Iím completely disrespecting C by remaining friendly with X.

  2. #2
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by DaniArizona
    But I also feel like Iím completely disrespecting C by remaining friendly with X.
    This, really, is all that matters. Would you want C to do anything that he felt was completely disrespectful of you? Do you think him making a conscious choice to do something he felt was completely disrespectful would be good for your relationship? If the answer to those questions is "no" then I think you know what you need to do, which is to stop engaging with X. Whether that means blocking him, not responding for a bit, or respectfully letting him know you're backing away to continue exploring Cówell, that's up to you.

    It's all hard, I get it. A lot of us have an X or two in our lives: a fiery, formative connection that didn't quite work but that we break our brains in blowing up into a story of how one day, some day the stars might align. That story becomes a kind of salve to our loss, though the risk of making it the salve is that we struggle to fully let go and move on. There are a lot of books and movies out there that make such stories soothing to tell, when, odds are, they're often pretty destructive, preventing us from living fully in the present because we've got one toe stuck in an idealized past and another in an idealized future.

    Much as you say you're over X, I think you've been playing with fire, in an understandably human way, since you reconnected on social media. He was still kind of your North Star in romance at that pointóthe place your mind wandered when you were a bit lost and lonesome, the one that coulda, shoulda been, etc.óand reengaging kind of enhanced that story just as it was fading. Sure, you were cordial, not jealous and emotional, but you enjoyed the contact in a manner that wasn't purely platonic. You turned to that spark for some warmth during cold stretches, you could say. Today that spark is starting to burn a bit, as happens when we play with fire.

    I can't help but get the feeling that you're not getting quite enough of what you want from romance with your romance with C. That's okay, that's human. But the thing to do is to use this moment as a sign from the universe that your relationship needs some attention, so whether it ultimately works or doesn't you know you're making that decision based on reality, not fantasies about another, and that you made it while being respectfulóof C, of yourself, and of reality.

    Because X? He really sounds like a fantasy at this point: a guy you connected with at 23 who didn't really work for you then and who, per your own description, isn't exactly partnership material today. The power he has over you is generated far more by a story in your head than it is by any kind of connection, since you haven't really been connected in over a decade. And, hey, should those cinematic stars end up aligning, odds are you're not going to want the foundation of that chapter to be formed in the shade, you know?
    Last edited by bluecastle; 08-26-2019 at 07:51 PM.

  3. #3
    Silver Member DaniArizona's Avatar
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    Wow... this is by far the most eye opening, enlightening and REALEST response I could have ever hoped for.

    Thank you so much. That just put so many of my jumbled thoughts into actual words...

    If you ever get into the business of becoming a therapist keep me in mind.

    Seriously though, thank you.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member Andrina's Avatar
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    I told him I am happy in my current relationship and I did not feel that he (X) was in a place in his life that I could consider being relationship potential. He agreed and reminded me that I had said I see us getting together in our next decade of life. He said ďI have less then ten years to get my life together and now I have motivation. Maybe I can get it done in 5!Ē

    When an ex can't be a fan of your present relationship, and is discussing romantic things between you two, then yes, you are totally crossing relationship boundaries. How would you like it if your bf was speaking to an ex with topics like this?

    You are fooling yourself that you should keep your ex in your life because he was there for you during tough times in the past. That's BS. You're also being selfish, wanting the excitement of someone you had chemistry with paying attention to you.

    What does an emotionally mature faithful person do? She tells an ex it's not good for her present relationship to be communicating, so that will have to stop, immediately. And then she would pour her emotional energy and time into keeping a spark with her bf. If all of that failed, she would break that relationship off before starting a new one.

    Sometimes we have to do difficult things in life because it's the right thing to do. Otherwise, it's called being self-centered, having an emotional affair, and being selfish.

    His saying he has 10 years to get his life together means he doesn't think he's worthy of being a good partner at this time. If it hasn't happened by this stage of his life, what makes you think he'll make a major change now? And do you really think a decent man speaks to a "taken" woman like this?

    It seems you two are a lot alike in this area, thinking frivolous, shallow, fun flirtations done in secret are what a person should value in life instead of a mature, longterm, loving relationship where people are faithful and make their partner the sole recipient of their romantic interactions.

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  6. #5
    Silver Member DaniArizona's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Andrina
    I told him I am happy in my current relationship and I did not feel that he (X) was in a place in his life that I could consider being relationship potential. He agreed and reminded me that I had said I see us getting together in our next decade of life. He said ďI have less then ten years to get my life together and now I have motivation. Maybe I can get it done in 5!Ē

    When an ex can't be a fan of your present relationship, and is discussing romantic things between you two, then yes, you are totally crossing relationship boundaries. How would you like it if your bf was speaking to an ex with topics like this?

    You are fooling yourself that you should keep your ex in your life because he was there for you during tough times in the past. That's BS. You're also being selfish, wanting the excitement of someone you had chemistry with paying attention to you.

    What does an emotionally mature faithful person do? She tells an ex it's not good for her present relationship to be communicating, so that will have to stop, immediately. And then she would pour her emotional energy and time into keeping a spark with her bf. If all of that failed, she would break that relationship off before starting a new one.

    Sometimes we have to do difficult things in life because it's the right thing to do. Otherwise, it's called being self-centered, having an emotional affair, and being selfish.

    His saying he has 10 years to get his life together means he doesn't think he's worthy of being a good partner at this time. If it hasn't happened by this stage of his life, what makes you think he'll make a major change now? And do you really think a decent man speaks to a "taken" woman like this?

    It seems you two are a lot alike in this area, thinking frivolous, shallow, fun flirtations done in secret are what a person should value in life instead of a mature, longterm, loving relationship where people are faithful and make their partner the sole recipient of their romantic interactions.
    Harsh... and needed. Thank you. I didnít look at it as emotional cheating but I suppose thatís exactly what it is. I feel really gross now for allowing that.

  7. #6
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    To add: I just read your initial post about him. Whoa.

    This guy is a wreck of a man who cheated on his wife with you, who cheated on you with a friend of yours, and up and left you in the dust in a pretty scalding manner. He's handsome, charming, the sex was astounding, the bond of grieving together while drinking too much is powerful, and it was all kind of crazy and perfectly complimented you during a very crazy period in your own journeyóI get it. But I think you're still struggling to see the whole thing clearlyówanting that chapter, and by extension X, to mean more than it did.

    I've gotten twisted around by some destructive types, and I've twisted some people around during destructive times in my own life. I know that heat very well. Still, it's important to own those chapters for what they are, and in the process de-mythologize them, rather than building them up into myths that make living in the present challenging and keep you susceptible for mistaking a certain set of emotional sensations (lust, self-annihilation, guilt, etc.) for others (passion, connection, love, and so forth).

    Bottom line: X showed you at 23, in stark terms, that he has nothing positive to offer you. Social media has shown you that he has done little evolution since then. His flirty, whimsical notes to you are further evidence that he is a man with no respect for romantic boundaries, who puts his own pleasure first at the expense of others.

    And you're struggling to block him why, exactly?

  8. #7
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    I read your 2011 thread and this post here. You're trying to have your cake and eat it too and it'll cause more issues for you in the long run. Your conscience is already not at peace. If you are always this confused about your relationships, being single might not be a bad idea. This may also be an indicator that C (2019 thread C) might not be as good of a fit for you as you might have first thought.

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    I actually feel like often we pine for our ex because they're unattainable and we hadn't been with them for a long time, so we've forgotten their flaws and what didn't work in the relationship in the first place. I actually tend to do this as well where I stay friends with some ex's or FWB's (not many) and when I see them I start feeling like I have a crush on them again and they're so great blah, blah, blah. I'm engaged so I think some of it is that excitement to feel a crush because I can't have them and they can't have me.

    Also naturally we stop seeing ex's much/stop talking to them much so whatever faults or issues they had are not as evident anymore. They probably seem "perfect" because we're having minimal contact with them and only seeing them from a distance.

    I think that relationships don't work out for a reason. Sure some people can get back together with an ex, but in your case it's actually been ten years. I'm sure a lot has changed and you've grown as a person from the age of 23 to 33. Your ex has probably changed in some ways too. Even if you got back together you may find that it's not the same. He also could just be chasing you because he's alone now and you're the one that's unattainable.

    Not to mention of course you are already in a serious relationship. I would recommend cutting down the contact with your ex to a minimum or not interacting with him all together because it's interfering with your feelings and the relationship you're already in.

  10. #9
    Platinum Member smackie9's Avatar
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    I wouldn't feel too guilty. You know what X is all about...not relationship material. I think this experience just made you realize how much you appreciate what you have with C, and even an ex like X won't change that. Clear your head, and move on from X, make him a memory.

  11. #10
    Gold Member thisisrichey's Avatar
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    Of course the X popped up again - you keep giving him reason to. He'll keep popping up until you give him no reason to.
    He knows how to push your buttons and you LET HIM do it - so it'll continue as long as you both are willing to play this game.

    So.. cut him off. You and X are going nowhere - that's why you're ex's and have remained it.
    it's so easy to get greedy and "look a gift horse in the mouth" - but it's foolish to.

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