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Thread: Second guessing again

  1. #1
    Member SixOfOne's Avatar
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    Second guessing again

    As I said in some previous posts, my ex wanted to be friends but it was too painful for me because I'm still in love and she's not. So as advised by some of the good people on this site, I broke that off with her but said she should get in touch if she ever considers reconciliation. That was four days ago and I still have much grieving to do, but every day is a bit better. My question is: why was it a good idea to leave the door open for her? Why is it a good idea to allow her to think I'm hers for the taking if/when things don't work out for her in the dating world? My gut tells me it's the right thing to do, my heart hopes to hear from her again someday, but my brain says I'm a real dumba$$.

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    Your emotions are just overruling logic for you at the moment and that's normal and natural. With each passing day you will slowly come to terms with it and gradually you will move on. Its just a slow process.

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    Member SixOfOne's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ninjabib
    Its just a slow process.
    Indeed. Glacial, in fact.

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    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    I'll try to answer your core question first.

    Why was it a good idea? Well, it was your truth, best you could understand it, when you expressed it. And even at our most vulnerable, even when our truth is a thin, nearly hopeless hope, I think there is freedom—and ultimately strength—in expressing it.

    Personal story: When my ex and I broke up, around 2 years ago, I very much wanted to get back together. Different circumstances, as I was, at least technically, the one to end it. But that came after four very hard months in which every attempt to stop the downward spiral fell short. Knowing her, and the place we were in, it's not hard to imagine that corrosive dynamic extending another four months, if not years. But my threshold for that stuff—for losing my center—is only so high. I have a near immunity to losing myself in another person, could feel it happening, and pressed the red button.

    Still, I wanted back together. Probably I hoped that's what breaking up would trigger in her, something to cut through the fog and make her truth my truth. So, yeah, my hard truth was that I wanted back together. Mind you, if I'd been posting the circumstances of it all here everyone would be telling me my truth was a delusional, unhealthy truth. They'd be right—wisdom that would seep into me soon enough. But it was my truth at the time, so when she reached out to me in vague, confusing ways in the aftermath I let her know in no uncertain language: that the only conversation I was up for having was one of reconciliation, something I very much wanted and was there for.

    I can spin a me-as-dumba$$ narrative of that moment. Name a way a person can be disrespectful to another person and she'd done it over four months—a statement that would have held true before I learned there was two infidelities. And my own shortcomings in that union were pretty award-winning too. So, yeah, there I was, heart on sleeve, door opened to...that. But, hey, it was my truth. No shame in that.

    Time changed that truth—pretty quickly. Deep down, I think, I knew there was a greater truth: that we were over, for so many reasons, and I had to ride it out. I can't remember exactly when I knew it wouldn't matter if she called me up and said she wanted back together. Probably 5 months. Was still grieving then, but I wasn't holding on. Not even sure if I made the choice to let go. More like the truth just changed, fell more in sync with the big, deeper truth, if that makes sense.

    It's a process, a slow one, a hard one. Speaking for myself, it was also a needed one that I'm grateful to have had. Shattered some parts of me that needed shattering, so I could rebuild them with some different materials. There were occasional pokes from her along the way, but they didn't get under my skin too much and I think that's because I'd set a hard boundary—that heart-on-sleeve moment turned out to be a needed step, for me. I'd bite at one thing—a clear expression of wanting reconciliation—and only that thing. Never came, and I'm lucky for that, as even flirting with that path would have been a disaster.

    There's often a lot of talk about the gap between the heart and the head in these matters, but I think that's a misnomer. It's all head, really. It's the head spinning wild stories to soothe the heart, which is poetry for saying it's the ego. That doesn't negate the love and the hurt, the reality of it. Letting go of the ego just makes the hurt and the love the only story—a thing that worked, until it didn't, and will just suck until it doesn't.

    Long answer to your post, I know. Maybe I'm encouraging you to take the long view here. Four days is four seconds in the skewed thing that is heartache time, just like a few weeks of "change for the better" is an unconvincing blink. People do get back together, but not in the state you're in now. And people do recover from heartache, but not by staying tethered to the person causing the ache. Those two things are connected—even when the end result isn't reconciliation.

    I didn't get back together but I got exactly what I wanted when I expressed the desire: freedom, security, selfhood, and love. The love came from a totally different angle—from within, for myself, but as it did my life took on a new shape. Yours can to, and you're taking those steps right now, even if it feels like you're spinning in a pit.

    Not sure if any of that resonates. Wishing you the best.

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    Honestly OP, she isn't giving your words as much thought as you are.

    Yes, she knows the door is open. But I can nearly guarantee you she isn't analyzing it beyond that. She likely interpreted your words as a nice sentiment and that was that. To put it another way, you're beating yourself up over something that she probably hasn't given a second thought to.

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    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SixOfOne
    ... my ex wanted to be friends but it was too painful for me ... I broke that off with her but said she should get in touch if she ever considers reconciliation. ... My gut tells me it's the right thing to do, my heart hopes to hear from her again someday, but my brain says I'm a real dumba$$.
    Naaah, that wasn't dumb, it was smart. Leaving the door open to what you want instead of hovering around trying to play friendzies demo's self respect. What good would 'friends' do, when its not what you want, and it would position you badly?

    Leaving the door open doesn't imply 'forever,' but it gives her the opportunity to learn what her life will be like without you in it, and to reflect on you fondly. That's a better position for you, and far more dignified than hovering in the hope of manipulating her to come back. That IS painful, and worse, it's stagnation--while she moves on.

    Skip that. Focus on healing, and make it a private goal to surprise everyone, including yourself, with your resilience and ability to bounce back to create a fabulous future for yourself. If there's a shot in hell of ex returning, THAT would be the most fertile ground for it. It's your percentage play: either ex will respect your recovery and be curious about you in the future, or you'll have legitimately healed and she will become less and less relevant over time.

    That's a win/win, and the complete opposite of what hanging onto crumbs would buy you.

    Head high.

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    Originally Posted by bluecastle
    Why was it a good idea? Well, it was your truth, best you could understand it, when you expressed it. And even at our most vulnerable, even when our truth is a thin, nearly hopeless hope, I think there is freedom—and ultimately strength—in expressing it.
    This is so close to home it brought tears to my eyes. Even in my darkest second-guessing, I couldn't truly regret leaving that door open. Because it came from my heart, and I said it while I had the chance to say it, and ultimately it's unlikely to matter anyway. Yes it was a long post, bc, and I appreciate you taking the time to write it, because yes it does resonate. Every word. Thank you.

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    Originally Posted by catfeeder
    Focus on healing, and make it a private goal to surprise everyone, including yourself, with your resilience and ability to bounce back to create a fabulous future for yourself. If there's a shot in hell of ex returning, THAT would be the most fertile ground for it. It's your percentage play: either ex will respect your recovery and be curious about you in the future, or you'll have legitimately healed and she will become less and less relevant over time.
    This is exactly my goal and my intention, and one I'm actively pursuing. The breakup has been a months-long process, and I've had lots of time to explore methods and activities to improve myself as a man and as a human being. Admittedly I began this project long ago with the hopes of it making a difference for her and us, but now it's all about evolving physically and mentally and spiritually for the sake of my own betterment. Step one, step one..

    And yes it's occurred to me that if the improbable opportunity arises to try again, I doubt I'll be interested in her anymore. By then my attraction level will be more on a par with hers as it stands today, which is to say zero. Thanks so much for your insights.

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    ‘Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.’

    Søren Kierkegaard

  11. #10
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    Originally Posted by MissCanuck
    Honestly OP, she isn't giving your words as much thought as you are.
    Nothing could be truer. She's in Athens right now, soaking up the beautiful Greek sun. 🙂

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