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Thread: Monkey branching and likelihood of reconciliation vs rebound

  1. #61
    Platinum Member LaHermes's Avatar
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    Indeed.

    The aftermath of a break-up has been described as a "bereavement not related to death". One must grieve, although I often see that the grieving person is grieving for him/herself and/or for the time wasted, and/or for the perceived "unfinished business." That elusive explanation they are never going to get.

    The difficulty arises when severe ordinary grief (so understandable) becomes chronic or complicated grief, which is a debilitating mental condition that worsens over time rather than gets better. An awful twilight zone, out of which the sufferer needs help to escape.

    There is a history of an emotionally dependent relationship on the "other". Complicated grievers remember the past and imagine the future through a distressed yearning for the "other". No matter that the relationship was at best dysfunctional, at worst abusive.

    The hurt is dreadful when has (dysfunctionally) invested great time and effort in someone who is a chronic "taker".

  2. #62
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    Originally Posted by Carus
    Oh dear, that’s rough :-/

    Firstly, and this might be a redundant question and I don’t want to detract too much from your story here, but how is he coping?

    Also, do you know what his religious/ spiritual beliefs are?

    C*
    Hey Carus!

    Yes, it is awful. When I asked my colleague how he was doing in an elevator, he broke down and cried and told me on our ride up. I was in shock. He started to cry as he left the elevator. I was devastated for him!

    He's coping with heavy antidepressants, drinking, speaking with friends and family and going to a therapist. He said he's had a very calm life for the most part, so this rocked his entire world.

    I told him he can come and visit my office when he's feeling overwhelmed with emotion - I am the living example of being strong for everyone else but myself. I'm known as a pitbull at work and someone who will stand up for those who have no voice.
    I don't know what his spiritual affiliation is. I could ask him.

    Thanks for your genuine concern. You are an asset to this site!

  3. #63
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    Originally Posted by LaHermes
    Indeed.

    The aftermath of a break-up has been described as a "bereavement not related to death". One must grieve, although I often see that the grieving person is grieving for him/herself and/or for the time wasted, and/or for the perceived "unfinished business." That elusive explanation they are never going to get.

    The difficulty arises when severe ordinary grief (so understandable) becomes chronic or complicated grief, which is a debilitating mental condition that worsens over time rather than gets better. An awful twilight zone, out of which the sufferer needs help to escape.

    There is a history of an emotionally dependent relationship on the "other". Complicated grievers remember the past and imagine the future through a distressed yearning for the "other". No matter that the relationship was at best dysfunctional, at worst abusive.

    The hurt is dreadful when has (dysfunctionally) invested great time and effort in someone who is a chronic "taker".
    Wow! What a great post!
    I had to re-read it to let your words sink in. I appreciate hearing these types of thoughts from someone who has a stable mind - like yourself.

    Do you have any books/authors/podcasts you recommend people like myself read through?

    Thanks again for your wonderful and extremely helpful posts. Little nuggets of wisdom like yours is why this site is fantastic!

  4. #64
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    Originally Posted by LaHermes
    What Pippy said:


    "All these guru's are full of sh1t .......no contact is not a tool to get someone back ...basically every now and again there will someone who ends a relationship who isn't sure if they did the right thing ...when the dumped then just get on with their life and make no contact , it gives the dumpee time and space to think about their actions and if they did the right thing ..but this is one in a million tee honestly ."

    It is cruel, inconsiderate and ultimately dishonest to give someone false hopes and nebulous illusions. People in pain will grab at any straw. Giving false hope only clouds the unfortunate sufferer's mind further.

    Certainly no one says "Oh just move on". That type of advice must be tempered with empathy and kindness, but ultimately a new life is what it is about.
    Yah, thanks to the responses in this thread, I realize that I just have to let go of the hope that I'll ever speak to this human being again. I am just going to focus on becoming such an incredible person that one day, if this person hears about me, it'll be through a news medium or something for my accomplishments But, I know, it's really for my own happiness too

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  6. #65
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    Originally Posted by Carus
    Mmm....I certainly got that....

    Other gems I got were "Just snap out of it"..."Just forget about her"....etc etc....I know people mean well but it just doesn't work like that, unless you're an emotionless, programmable robot....

    I agree that moving on is what is needed, and will eventually happen anyway....But patience is also an important ingredient....

    If we could wake up the next day and go "Right I'm not going to think about them anymore or ask any more of those 'Why" questions".....I'm sure we all would*

    :) xo
    Carus, that's exactly it!
    That video you linked in one of your posts says exactly this point! I often got the 'just snap out of it' - but there's so much going on with regards to why I can't snap out of it immediately that doesn't even have anything to do with my relationship with my ex.

    You know, there has been one thing that has helped to counter my thoughts about idealizing my partner - my therapist explained how a loving, healthy and stable person would address a problem in a relationship. Rather than trying to control and berate the other person, he role played the loving partner.
    I laughed at first and asked him - surely no one talks like this. His response was - no, there are loads of ppl who know how to talk in a loving, tempered and non-controlling manner.

    When I thought about this fact - it helped me see my ex in a less than favourable light as he had a hard time saying 'I'm sorry' or 'I was wrong'. In fact, he refused to say 'I love you' for 2 years but insisted that I keep saying it to him. Those things make me pause and realize, no, there is another way to be spoken to that shows love and care.

    Thanks Carus for adding heart and soul to this thread, along with everyone else. Your sensitivity definitely comes through in your communication. It's actually pretty cool to detect it.

  7. #66
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    Originally Posted by Wiseman2
    Hopefully you are trolling because it makes no sense why you are doing stuff like this? The husband you're not divorced from, "abusive ex" you hope to get back, and now another male friend you're consoling? Are several people using this account/username?
    No, definitely not trolling Wiseman. This is all real stuff. Just a rough life with a less than stellar mindset. It's folks like you that people like me that help people like me find their backbone again. Especially with so many relationship gurus out there giving advice like monkey branching issues. We need folks like you to keep things real - even if it hurts.

    Thanks for all that you do, Wiseman.

  8. #67
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    Originally Posted by boltnrun
    "Tragic" and "heartbreaking" are pretty strong words. I wouldn't use those words.

    What works? Staying away from toxic people. Not romanticizing the story but clearly seeing it for what it is. I used poor judgment and paid the price. I am angry at myself for how low my self esteem was for thinking he was who I wanted. THAT is what's tragic...seeing toxicity and not thinking highly enough of myself to walk away instead of running full speed toward a garbage human who I should have avoided like the plague.

    He's tried a few times when he and his "monkey branch" girlfriend fought. Nope, not for me. I found my missing self esteem. I don't need him or any man to make me feel good about myself. I can be "alone" and not feel like I'm less of a human.
    Ah yes, sorry for attaching those words to your situation. I should be more careful to temper my observations based on trigger words. Thanks for giving me your honest perspective on how you healed. I'm thinking about your words right now as I try not to continue to put my ex on a pedestal.
    I'm feeling okay being alone at this point. I'm happy just doing my thing and progressing in my own way :)

  9. #68
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    Originally Posted by figureitout23
    I hear you.

    But as taboo as it sometimes seems to say, the opposite can be just as harmful.

    Stating ‘just get over it’ doesn’t help, neither does going down the rabbit hole of hope, nor does pretending it’s perfectly normal to still be hung up years later.

    No one is immune to heart break, absolutely no one

    Where we all differ is how we react to it.

    An inability to cope and move forward shouldn’t be ignored, a drive to latch onto toxicity or codependency shouldn’t be patted on the head.

    That’s just as if not more, in my humble opinion, harmful than telling someone ‘get over it’

    But the saying goes misery loves company. Not saying you or anyone want others to be miserable, what I’m saying is if I myself can not cope properly, well it may make me feel better to see others not coping either.

    And it does help, but not in the long run, in the long run again it does more harm than good. You create a cocoon telling yourself everything’s ok when it’s not, I often rant about another site where it’s a circle jerk of people all coddling each other all calling their exes narcissists. You think they’re healing? Of course not, they’ve fully taken on their pain and tattooed their baggage on their bodies, they’re lost causes, it’s down right sad to see.

    Remaining stuck in grief is a detriment, it’s not politically correct to say because it’s considered cold, I get that, but I stand by it.
    Figureitout: I see what you're saying. I think because some of us are rather fragile right now - the softness can be helpful - but still with the right messaging to go along with it (like what you're saying).

    I have been very cautious about labeling my ex anything problematic. He's got a lot of qualities that are indicative of a narcissist and a sociopath - but then again, I can't be sure about placing a label on his behaviour.

    How have you dealt with breakups as a dumpee? Where did you get the strength to move on? You sound like a strong person - I enjoy learning from others.

  10. #69
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    So I've been hanging on the periphery of this thread. Lots of good stuff being said, from different angles. Here's another—starting with some generalities, to get to you, your head and heart:

    I'd say we're living in a time, thanks in large part to social media and the internet, regardless of how one personally uses these things, where the critical adult skill of "letting go" is being replaced by the more childish instinct to "hold on." We have, in our human brains, an enormous amount of emotional data; we "hold on" to more than we used to, and get validated for doing so. There are pluses to this, like how I've been watching my far-flung childhood friend and his wife through pregnancy—all while my girlfriend makes some coffee! There are real negatives, like when heartbreak strikes.

    Instead of 4 photos in a drawer you've got 4,000 on your phone, and videos. You've got a portal into that person's life via Facebook etc.—and, thanks to Google, a portal into some snake oil salesman who have an airtight plan to sell you about how to "get them back." You've got wonderful portals like this site, but it can be used for much the same purpose. And so the end result is that the most universal of human feelings that date back to cave dwellers—wanting to get back with someone when we are hurt, lonely, scared, our egos hit with a sniper—is injected with enough drugs to stay high on for a very, very long time.

    Oof.

    What to do about it, in the shoes you presently seem to be wearing? Since there is no fairy dust I can sprinkle to say "stop feeling this," what I'll say is that you should remind yourself of another universal fact: people high on drugs make for awful partners. Because they are like children: clingy, reactive, frightened. That's you, right now. That's okay because that's life. Still, that's you, as it's been me and everyone else. Which means that the longer you "hold on" to the get-back-together pipe and keep hitting it, and the longer you "hold on" to the guru's wisdom and so on—well, the further you position yourself from the thing you think you want.

    That's the irony: You freeze yourself in a state of emotional intoxication that makes you undateable, so whether the next thing to come around is the person you want back or someone else—doesn't matter. You lost before you could win.

    I say see all of that before it sees you. I say try to see this present moment in a bigger way. It's life telling you that the lesson of "letting go" has arrived. It is hard. It hurts. It means learning to sit in a void for a moment, rather than "monkey branching," either with an actual man or fantasies of a man-monkey-boomerang swooping back your way after a few years of sampling other bananas. It's like a child sitting in the dark: it's petrifying, it's scary, it's awful, but then...it's just dark. Not that bad. Even kind of cool. That child just grew up, a bit, got stronger, more aware of herself and the world. "Letting go" is the adult version, one of many. Like paying taxes.

    Used to be a bit easier. If this was 1985 you wouldn't have this window on your computer, the guru one next to it, the iPhoto montage of relationships past in another, the post from his friend's close friend of a duck in sunglasses on IG that might mean something. Yeah, you could still do some stupid stuff to dodge the void, but it was so obviously stupid most people didn't do it for that long. They grew out of it because the nameless guy at the hair metal show was gross, and the landlord kicked them out for those holes punched in the wall. Then they sat with some silence and hurt. And grew stronger for it. And loved bigger, in the future, for getting stronger. They didn't even need the woo-woo language to learn that the only way to get whatever is coming for you is to let go of what came before.

    Lots of words, I know. Cash and spend them as you see fit.

  11. #70
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    Originally Posted by bluecastle
    So I've been hanging on the periphery of this thread. Lots of good stuff being said, from different angles. Here's another—starting with some generalities, to get to you, your head and heart:

    I'd say we're living in a time, thanks in large part to social media and the internet, regardless of how one personally uses these things, where the critical adult skill of "letting go" is being replaced by the more childish instinct to "hold on." We have, in our human brains, an enormous amount of emotional data; we "hold on" to more than we used to, and get validated for doing so. There are pluses to this, like how I've been watching my far-flung childhood friend and his wife through pregnancy—all while my girlfriend makes some coffee! There are real negatives, like when heartbreak strikes.

    Instead of 4 photos in a drawer you've got 4,000 on your phone, and videos. You've got a portal into that person's life via Facebook etc.—and, thanks to Google, a portal into some snake oil salesman who have an airtight plan to sell you about how to "get them back." You've got wonderful portals like this site, but it can be used for much the same purpose. And so the end result is that the most universal of human feelings that date back to cave dwellers—wanting to get back with someone when we are hurt, lonely, scared, our egos hit with a sniper—is injected with enough drugs to stay high on for a very, very long time.

    Oof.

    What to do about it, in the shoes you presently seem to be wearing? Since there is no fairy dust I can sprinkle to say "stop feeling this," what I'll say is that you should remind yourself of another universal fact: people high on drugs make for awful partners. Because they are like children: clingy, reactive, frightened. That's you, right now. That's okay because that's life. Still, that's you, as it's been me and everyone else. Which means that the longer you "hold on" to the get-back-together pipe and keep hitting it, and the longer you "hold on" to the guru's wisdom and so on—well, the further you position yourself from the thing you think you want.

    That's the irony: You freeze yourself in a state of emotional intoxication that makes you undateable, so whether the next thing to come around is the person you want back or someone else—doesn't matter. You lost before you could win.

    I say see all of that before it sees you. I say try to see this present moment in a bigger way. It's life telling you that the lesson of "letting go" has arrived. It is hard. It hurts. It means learning to sit in a void for a moment, rather than "monkey branching," either with an actual man or fantasies of a man-monkey-boomerang swooping back your way after a few years of sampling other bananas. It's like a child sitting in the dark: it's petrifying, it's scary, it's awful, but then...it's just dark. Not that bad. Even kind of cool. That child just grew up, a bit, got stronger, more aware of herself and the world. "Letting go" is the adult version, one of many. Like paying taxes.

    Used to be a bit easier. If this was 1985 you wouldn't have this window on your computer, the guru one next to it, the iPhoto montage of relationships past in another, the post from his friend's close friend of a duck in sunglasses on IG that might mean something. Yeah, you could still do some stupid stuff to dodge the void, but it was so obviously stupid most people didn't do it for that long. They grew out of it because the nameless guy at the hair metal show was gross, and the landlord kicked them out for those holes punched in the wall. Then they sat with some silence and hurt. And grew stronger for it. And loved bigger, in the future, for getting stronger. They didn't even need the woo-woo language to learn that the only way to get whatever is coming for you is to let go of what came before.

    Lots of words, I know. Cash and spend them as you see fit.
    I will come back to give your answer the proper reflection it deserves.

    As for right now as I sit in my bed trying to fall asleep (and stay asleep) due to this crazy and random insomnia that has taken hold of me for over a month now since the breakup - I will definitely cash in this advice. I'm going to try and spend it on my mental health and sanity. The more I read people's advice about ignoring the monkey branching hopeism and try to move on - the closer I am coming to this realization.

    You folks are truly saviours for the heartbroken in some ways. I can't thank everyone enough for their fantastic suggestions, reflections and ideas.

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