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Thread: Am I really just a consolation prize after gf’s broken engagement

  1. #11
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    In a word, as you know, this is insecurity. Yours to deal with, not to fling around too much.

    When I'm feeling insecure, I like to get comfortable with the thing that makes me uncomfortable. So, in your case, it goes like this: Yes, of course she wishes it had been different with the other guy. Can you fault her for that? No human on the planet writes a wish list that says "get engaged, get cheated on, try and fail to stay together."

    But, alas, that happened. That's life: the land where all wishes don't come true, and some get shattered in awful ways that leave a little scar. And it sounds like she's dealt with life and moved forward gracefully, which is a lovely quality, something to admire.

    The other thing I can't help but pick up on here—another strand of insecurity—is the sense that you need to be "better" than anything that came before. Why? Why not just be different because you are you? No one can touch that. That is hard fact, something to derive confidence from. Confidence, in the long run, is a much more satisfying state than cockiness.

  2. #12
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    Originally Posted by bluecastle
    Yes, of course she wishes it had been different with the other guy. Can you fault her for that? No human on the planet writes a wish list that says "get engaged, get cheated on, try and fail to stay together."
    Yeah but is that no basically saying I have to accept she maybe wishes it had worked out between them? I had a 10 year relationship that fell apart quite horribly and I’m glad it worked out like it did because it led me to a woman who I genuinely feel is a better match.

    Thanks for all the suggestions and I’ll definitely take them on board, try to get comfortable with it and be confident in being different. I guess the desire to be the best is an ego thing.

  3. #13
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Badmamajama
    Yeah but is that no basically saying I have to accept she maybe wishes it had worked out between them?
    No. It's basically saying that the above story is not fact but something your hungry ego is writing. That is the ultimate show of respect—respect for yourself, and your more fragile corners, in order to respect her, a woman who is committed to you and whose commitment to you is predicated, in part, on her processing her past.

    Nothing you are offering us gives even a hint that she wishes it worked out. Odds are her story is similar to yours, to many: a nasty chapter that paved the way for a better match.

  4. #14
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    Originally Posted by bluecastle
    No. It's basically saying that the above story is not fact but something your hungry ego is writing. That is the ultimate show of respect—respect for yourself, and your more fragile corners, in order to respect her, a woman who is committed to you and whose commitment to you is predicated, in part, on her processing her past.

    Nothing you are offering us gives even a hint that she wishes it worked out. Odds are her story is similar to yours, to many: a nasty chapter that paved the way for a better match.
    That makes sense and is the kind of harsh but true approach I need to hear. I know I keep arguing back but I’m genuinely grateful for the input! Thanks.

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  6. #15
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    OK, you've been with each other 1.5 years so you need to be clear on your intentions.
    Originally Posted by Badmamajama
    We’ve only just moved in. I will admit that a wedding is a stressful thought, even though I’d love to be married to her.

  7. #16
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Badmamajama
    That makes sense and is the kind of harsh but true approach I need to hear. I know I keep arguing back but I’m genuinely grateful for the input! Thanks.
    It's not harsh, at least not how I intended it. More like fact.

    "Ego" is a nasty word, thanks to the likes of the Kardashians, but it's a thing we all have. It's not some cancerous part of ourselves, but the self-protective part of our brains that tries to fill in the things we don't know, and can't ever quite know, through telling stories. Not all of those stories are true, and we just need to be aware of that. With that awareness, we can nudge the ego to write different stories.

    What is the simpler, truer story here, after all? It's that you love this woman and want a future with her. What that future looks like you can't quite know—that's the tricky part, the beautiful part, the scary part. But no need to soften that fear by telling stories that sabotage that future; much better to find ones that allow for you both to build it, together.

    People come with pasts. It's part of what's intriguing and compelling about them—as well, as times, intimidating. It's okay to be a little panicked. Just try not to weaponize the panic—that's the ego getting too hungry—because we all know what happens when we play with guns. People shoot themselves in the feet.

  8. #17
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    Originally Posted by Badmamajama
    Yeah but is that no basically saying I have to accept she maybe wishes it had worked out between them? I had a 10 year relationship that fell apart quite horribly and I’m glad it worked out like it did because it led me to a woman who I genuinely feel is a better match.

    Thanks for all the suggestions and I’ll definitely take them on board, try to get comfortable with it and be confident in being different. I guess the desire to be the best is an ego thing.
    You could look back to high school where a girl you dated humilated you at prom and say "i wish it had worked out better than it did." Does that mean you spend every day pining for her? nope.

    Heck, i am with the love of my life now. With my ex, i wish it turned out differently than it did. i wish it didn't end so abusively. I wish it ended more amicably if it were to end, but looking back, i wish i had made better choices and not spent that much time with him. You can regret how things went and still not want to be with that person. If SHE broke up with HIM, would you feel differently? When someone cheats or its just a bad relationship, sometimes its arbitrary who breaks up with who. He already "broke up" with her by cheating and she just made it official.

  9. #18
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    Originally Posted by abitbroken
    You could look back to high school where a girl you dated humilated you at prom and say "i wish it had worked out better than it did." Does that mean you spend every day pining for her? nope.

    Heck, i am with the love of my life now. With my ex, i wish it turned out differently than it did. i wish it didn't end so abusively. I wish it ended more amicably if it were to end, but looking back, i wish i had made better choices and not spent that much time with him. You can regret how things went and still not want to be with that person. If SHE broke up with HIM, would you feel differently? When someone cheats or its just a bad relationship, sometimes its arbitrary who breaks up with who. He already "broke up" with her by cheating and she just made it official.
    Yeah I think I’d maybe feel different had she ended it. Knowing she hadn’t wanted it at the time would have been reassuring but I know in reality it doesn’t matter much.

    I guess again it’s the discord between how she says she felt at the time and the fairly middling opinion she suggests she had of him even during the engagement. It doesn’t quite add up, but then it’s a 7 year old story that’s obviously going to have some details glossed over in order to make it palatable, so it shouldn’t even matter.

  10. #19
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    Originally Posted by bluecastle
    It's not harsh, at least not how I intended it. More like fact.

    "Ego" is a nasty word, thanks to the likes of the Kardashians, but it's a thing we all have. It's not some cancerous part of ourselves, but the self-protective part of our brains that tries to fill in the things we don't know, and can't ever quite know, through telling stories. Not all of those stories are true, and we just need to be aware of that. With that awareness, we can nudge the ego to write different stories.

    What is the simpler, truer story here, after all? It's that you love this woman and want a future with her. What that future looks like you can't quite know—that's the tricky part, the beautiful part, the scary part. But no need to soften that fear by telling stories that sabotage that future; much better to find ones that allow for you both to build it, together.

    People come with pasts. It's part of what's intriguing and compelling about them—as well, as times, intimidating. It's okay to be a little panicked. Just try not to weaponize the panic—that's the ego getting too hungry—because we all know what happens when we play with guns. People shoot themselves in the feet.
    Yeah and I do fear shooting muself in the foot and undoing all the good work of the past year. I’ll do my best not to mention it to her and think about what you’ve suggested. Thanks.

  11. #20
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    Originally Posted by Badmamajama
    Yeah I think I’d maybe feel different had she ended it. Knowing she hadn’t wanted it at the time would have been reassuring but I know in reality it doesn’t matter much.

    I guess again it’s the discord between how she says she felt at the time and the fairly middling opinion she suggests she had of him even during the engagement. It doesn’t quite add up, but then it’s a 7 year old story that’s obviously going to have some details glossed over in order to make it palatable, so it shouldn’t even matter.
    Its sad that it matters who broke up with who. Honestly, my first boyfriend i broke up with because he actually was pushing me a way and doing so many things because he really wanted to breakup but didn't want to be the bad guy - so he made it so bad that i had no choice but to end it. Ever consider that?

    I think you can't handle the fact that she loved anyone else prior in her life to meeting you. That's what it boils down to. She healed from her past relationship.

    You know what, i would be concerned if she DIDN'T love him at all at the time. I would be concerned if someone got engaged to someone they didn't love. It was a different part of her life. Its the past. its over. I am sure there are women you loved, and time past and you grew and changed and later wondered what you were thinking, but at the TIME you loved them.

    Honestly, this woman deserves to be with someone who can accept that he was not the first man for her to have ever dated.

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