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Thread: Need advice and a different perspective

  1. #1
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    Need advice and a different perspective

    My ex (28M) and I (25M) dated for two interesting years. I sense there was always some kind of instability in his life since he quit his job, lived abroad for a few months, was unemployed, then started working 3 jobs up until the end of our relationship. I tried my best to support him during all these phases, but there was always some type of uncertainty as to what our future would look like, pretty much because I felt like I wasn't included in it. I started resenting him because of this. Having said that, there are other things that happened which made me feel much more insecure:

    -He was still in contact with his ex at the start of our relationship and kept doing favors for her. I communicated that this made me a little uncomfortable but then he explained that he always tried helping people out, no matter who it was.

    -Before becoming official, he dated around, which is completely acceptable, but 6 months in our relationship - he received a call from one of them at 10:30 pm on a Saturday night while we were hanging out with friends. He panicked and tried to hide his phone quickly. From this point on, I started feeling insecure as I felt he was hiding things from me.

    -We had other ups and downs in the relationship due to stress (he wasn't happy with one of his jobs) and we basically just strained our relationship and our partner with negativity.

    I do have to admit that what eats me up inside are the times that I didn't treat him nicely and pushed him away at times. He says I became so suspicious of him that it was quite difficult for him to open up emotionally and share things with me because he didn't know how I'd react. He felt he couldn't trust me.

    The last straw was him going to his best friend's bachelor's party. They hired strippers/escorts, which I was not okay with because the groom had cheated on his fiancee in the past. I said I wasn't going to be that naggy girlfriend and just let him go. The next day, the bride called me crying and devastated saying that the groom admitted to have slept with one of the strippers, and told me that everyone that was at that party did too. I was livid. I confronted my ex and asked him, to which he denied everything. A few days later the bride messaged me telling me to ask my ex where the party was held and who was there. I did.

    He confessed that the party was held at his ex's apartment building and that she was there. This tore me apart, not because she was there, but because he didn't consider my feelings and our relationship when he chose not to tell me that the party was going to be held there. Now, I'm thinking to myself what else did he hide from me.

    He said he didn't tell me about the party being held there because he knew I was going to make such a big deal over something insignificant to him. He didn't trust that I was going to take it well.

    He said our relationship would not work because there is no emotional connection between us and that if there was, none of this would have ever happened. He also said that he felt as if he 'lost' himself in this relationship and that he wants to feel free to do whatever he likes, with whoever he wants whenever he wants. He says he wants to find himself again. He says he feels empty and alone.

    Now I'm left feeling guilty for not being more understanding of him. I'm feeling mad at myself for falling in love with this man. I'm mad for seeing the good in him even though I was broken one too many times. At the same time, I feel as if though this could be fixed with better communication. There were obviously amazing experiences we had together as well. I gave so much to this relationship emotionally and was committed to making it work. Now I'm just a mess.

    I just need some advice and perspective.

  2. #2
    Platinum Member Keyman's Avatar
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    I found during my 20's my relationships were very much learning experiences and I feel that this is the approach you should be taking too. It was only two years, and you learned a lot about men and about yourself during that time, both for the good and bad. Sure, you could have done things better, you always can, but that doesn't mean it was a bad experience, just one that has not turned out.

    He is not interested in being with you in a relationship, so it is time to walk away and find yourself again. Take some time for youself, and when you are ready, step out there again. But, next time, you will step with a better understanding of what you want, and will not put up with.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    So very sorry to hear about all this, and the emotional turbulence you're now reckoning with.

    My gut reaction, reading your post, is that this has been the type of relationship many of us have, especially when we're young, which is to say an important one in helping you understand what you don't want from a man, from romance, from romantic partnership. Things you weathered with him for two years? Moving forward, or so it is my hope, they will be qualities that you'll now be able to spot within days and weeks, months at the longest, and, when spotting them, you'll know it just means it's time to step away, rather than further in.

    Bottom line here, best I can tell, is that right from the start your gut was screaming at you that, for all his positive qualities, he is a shady guy who is not prepared for the sort of sustained, committed, future-moving romance that you want. As time went on, those gut instincts were confirmed, repeatedly: stuff with exes, with other women, with job instability. Those are not things to try to "support," or to grit through as if they're some endurance test. No, they are things to gauge whether someone has sorted them out on their own, before meeting you, so your relationship is not built around some idea that once you help someone sort out their baggage then you can actually enjoy the kind of relationship you want.

    That's what dating potential looks like, when in fact we are only ever dating one thing: who someone actually is. And who this guy was, all along, was a guy you couldn't be secure with romantically.

    The contact with an ex? People have different views on this stuff, but all in all? I think what's important there—what you wanted and didn't get—is that he didn't really hear your concerns or try to understand them, but instead put you in the position of having to understand him. Um, no. Hence the guilt you feel now: at not being able to be just a bit more understanding, a bit more accommodating. That's just exhaust fumes from a toxic dynamic, from a relationship that existed only as long as it did because of your own efforts to understand and accommodate a man who did not try to understand or accommodate you in return.

    You've framed this bachelor party as the "last straw" in that it led him to end things, but, my golly, I hope you can also come to see it as the last straw for you. It's just uncool on so many levels, I don't know where to begin. If you were a close friend of mine I would be taking you out for champagne to celebrate this connection being over, so you can reconnect with your own awesomeness and, after some healing and mourning, connect with a man worthy of all that awesome. This guy? He's not that, and I don't think he ever was.

    Everything you feel right now? The guilt, the shame, the self-directed anger at falling for him, even the sense that it could all have been fixed with just a little more x and a little less y? That is normal, human, understandable. Been there, as have many before you and me. Try, hard as it is, it see it like that: perfectly normal responses to pain, to discomfort, and as such just things to feel more than to react to. They are not permanent those feelings, and when they fade? They will leave you feeling both stronger and more free than you feel now, and felt with him.

    Again, I'm really sorry for all this, though with some time—less than you think, I suspect—you'll see this ending as the beginning of a great chapter in your life.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member DancingFool's Avatar
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    If you want to know who the man really is, look at this friends and the company he keeps. This guy's friends are cheaters. That's all you really need to know to walk away for good.

    Not only the above, but he has always been shady. In fact your entire relationship is based on this shadiness, something not quite right, lots of things hidden. The lesson here for you is that when you see this, run for the exit instead of playing wifey. The point of dating is to get to know who the person is, their character, their values and yes, judging if these things match up to yours. If not, you call it a day and walk away because you are not compatible. What you don't do is invest in the drama and making it work and being supportive of his bs. That's a false investment. You wouldn't keep investing into a bankrupt company, so don't keep investing your heart into a bankrupt relationship.

    As for the guilt....honestly, he really did gaslight you and did an awful lot of blameshifting onto you. Well....you are not supposed to trust a person who is being shady and untrustworthy. Your reaction to his behavior was normal. There was nothing wrong with your communication. You communicated your discomfort, he dismissed your feelings - that's not a communication issue, that's a he doesn't care about you issue. The only truth he ever told is that he wants to be single and do whatever he wants with whoever he wants - he has already been living that anyway.

    In the future, do not tolerate this kind of treatment. Having some fun times does not outweigh the bad things. There are plenty of people out there you can have a lot of fun with and without all the shadiness. There is no reason to stick by someone like this guy.

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  6. #5
    Platinum Member gsxr104's Avatar
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    I know this is not what you want to read but from where I'm sitting, I don't see any desire on his part to make this work. It doesn't sound like you did anything wrong so don't blame yourself for things turning out the way that they have. For whatever the reason your relationship is where it's at. There isn't any amount of communication or anything that you could've done different that would've brought you to a successful result. You were suspicious because he gave you a reason to be suspicious and you're unhappy because he gave you a reason to be that way as well. You mentioned that you were uncomfortable from the beginning, and that alone is not any kind of a deal breaker but as time went on it sounds like it went from bad to worse.

    I know it's hard to walk away but as time goes by and you take a look back at this you'll see other flags that you may have missed. You have a lifetime ahead of you. Don't waste your precious time on someone that doesn't take you into consideration.

  7. #6
    Platinum Member Lambert's Avatar
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    Please don't listen to his comments that, when read between the lines, blame you for the lack of emotional connection or any of that other crap he said and beat yourself up.

    He has shown through a track record of actions with exes, other women, jobs, etc that he doesnt know what he wants. He flip flops, hangs with garbage. Its a total cliche and a nightmare that a groom would sleep with a stripper at his bachelor party... Who would ever commit to a guy with that in his background, idk, but that's another post.

    My point being, ew! this guy and his circle including the ex girlfriend, ew! not anyone worth a damn.

    And you gotta love trash people, acting like they are the moral high ground, "he lost himself, if there were an emotional connection, none of this would have happened" Well isn't that convenient for his little story.... lies. all lies.

    Go be with your friends and family. Rise above this situation and heal yourself. It will be ok. You definitely find better....

  8. #7
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Sorry this is happening. he is too flighty and unstable to have the type of relationship you want. Let him go. Don't try fix anyone or mold yourself too much around them to fit in. It's great you can get off this roller-coaster and reflect on what you want. When ready, consider a dating again but with a clearer picture of red flags and deal breakers.
    Originally Posted by chicadeagua
    My ex (28M) and I (25M) dated for two interesting years.

  9. #8
    Platinum Member Cherylyn's Avatar
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    There are so many insurmountable problems about your ex and the relationship was doomed for failure.

    He's financially unstable, he quit his job and waffling aimlessly in life. This type of staggered, insecure lifestyle just continues to go down the drain.

    He hasn't severed ties with his ex yet, hides his phone chats with a previous date while with you and has a roller coaster, volatile relationship with you all the while. This is abnormal.

    You have every right to be suspicious because he's sneaky.

    I agree with others. "You are the company you keep." "When the character of a man is not clear to you, look at his friends." He hangs around immoral men, has no qualms to join in ogling and leering at strippers / escorts at his friend's bachelor's party and associates with cheaters.

    He has poor discretion because he was at his ex's apartment and she was there. You should be glad and relieved to ditch this loser.

    It's just as well that he was ready to exit the relationship. He's actually right. It wouldn't have worked, there is definitely no emotional connection whatsoever and since he wants his freedom, by all means, give it to him! Let him "find himself," do what he wants, when he wants with whom he wants. Good riddance and don't let the door hit his backside on his way out!

    Don't feel guilty. You have nothing to feel guilty about. I'm sorry you feel as if you wasted your time and energy on him.

    It was not all in vain. You've since learned valuable lessons from this bad relationship. Bad relationships leave a bad taste in your mouth for a reason because these are harsh lessons which you will NEVER forget.

    I too feel bitter and resentful of a previous relationship which went awry and there were times when I wistfully reminisced all the fun times and memories we had shared. In my case it was a dear cousin from a close childhood. Even our husbands shared some good memories as well.

    Then there's the wake up call which gives me such a harsh reality check. Deceit, betrayal, lies, gaslighting, sociopath strategies and the whole ugly lot gives me pause to think that I did the right thing to end the relationship with estrangement because estrangement is equated with peace. We no longer have issues with one another because we no longer bother each other. Peace sweet peace was the result.

    My perspective is this: Remember all the negatives about your ex's character, how he disrespected you, how he mistreated you, how he had total disregard for your feelings, his lack of empathy, what he said and what he wrote. Then you will be reminded why he was the wrong guy for you and how miserable he made you feel. Thinking of negative memories is a grim reminder that you were right to have him permanently exit your life in order for your life to improve and give you mental well being.

    You won't be a mess anymore once you change the way you think. Then you will feel steadfast, unwavering and absolute regarding what's right for your life, your feelings and sanity. Be tough. You will become a stronger, wiser lady.

  10. #9
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    I think you have probably buried your own feelings far too long, and tried to overlook far too much bad behaviour from him. The truth hurts, I realize, but you need to see this guy for who he really is: someone is not transparent, likely because he is hiding several things from you. He is not committed to the same relationship goals you are.

    He knows you are on to him and he doesn't like it. He doesn't want to be answerable to anyone, which is his prerogative - as a single man. Cut him loose. It's sounds like he's largely been living as a single man for some time anyway, but you were not totally ready to see it yet.

  11. #10
    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    Now I'm left feeling guilty for not being more understanding of him.
    Does it make any sense to you that someone who has proven that he's un-trust-worthy gets hostile and deflects blame onto you, and so YOU decide to feel guilty?

    I'd rethink that.

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