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Thread: Reconnected with old flame. 8 years apart. Long distance. Healing past pain?

  1. #1
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    Reconnected with old flame. 8 years apart. Long distance. Healing past pain?

    I'm male and 28 and she's also 28.

    I have recently reconnected with an old flame. There is a lot of history between us so I will give the jist of it. We were in a long distance relationship about 8 years ago. We were young , I was 19 and she was 20 when we met. The love was genuine we both agree and I guess that can be kind of proven seen as we've made our way back to eachother after all this time.

    Back then I had quite high morals(or at least was not that experienced with life), not been with many partners, never did drugs, etc. She on the other hand had quite a few partners when we met, did do drugs and liked a sort of party lifestyle. This did affect our relationship for obvious reasons. We did care for each other deeply but things really got rocky as I found out she had nights out of doing drugs that I didn't know about. She kept it from me/lied as to not worry/hurt me.

    As I found this out we were on and off at times. As much as I was hurt I still loved her and I believe she did too. I eventually fully ended it.

    Shortly after the end I found out that 1 or 2 weeks after the break up she had went home with my boss after a night out. We both worked in the same restaurant, this is how we met. She didn't work there anymore but there were frequent nights out within that industry. I wasn't there that night.

    When I learned about this I confronted her about it. Before I get into I feel I can already hear what you might say while reading.."It wasn't cheating because yous were broke up..or..it was so long ago..or..yous were young" etc. I would just like to say how it made me feel.

    It cut really deep.. pretty much for the last 8 years there haven't been many days where I haven't thought about it. The reason it hurt me so much was that we were in love, we did a long distance relationship for a year, he was my current boss which I would have to see everyday at work. I guess I just felt with all that that there should have been some level of respect or something..as to not do something like that..maybe? Like if that's okay to do then is there any love/loyalty/respect in the world at all or once you're a free agent you can do what you like..I dunno, it's just hard..

    When I confronted her about it and what she told me what happened back then is the truth and the same truth that I have now spoken with her for hours about recently. We both are back together now (long distance) and are trying to work on our past.

    What happened the night she went home with him is that in the morning they cuddled, kissed and he went down on her. For whatever reason he was dressed afterwards in the morning, had to go work or somewhere and said to her you need to leave. She did and that was it. One time and was completely random and came from a drunken night out. I asked loads of questions such as why more didn't happen. She finds it hard to remember all the way back then but said that her mind back then would have assumed going back to his place would have led to sex and everything but it didn't. When they got home, were tired, slept, woke, that happened and she left. Never even spoke again to him.

    Now, I know whoever is reading this probably has a load of different scenarios going through their head and thoughts/opinions..so I thought I would just write below some of the things I have already thought of and things that I anticipate might be wrote back to me:

    1. It wasn't cheating because yous were broken up
    2. It was so long ago / You's were so young
    3. More happened that night and other nights that she isn't being truthful about
    4. She sounds like a person who did / most likely would have cheated on you.

    I guess it's really hard to get across through text that we were crazy about each other and genuinely in love.

    Part of the reason I'm back with her or trying again with her is that I do realize in all technicalities she didn't cheat on me. Most importantly that I could have and probably / would have done the same as her if the opportunity presented itself. Back then it hurt so much and I wasn't that experienced that I felt I wouldn't have. But living life over the last 8 years I've seen everything and anything that goes on. I've been with loads of people, experienced so many different things that it's kind of made me realise that the world isn't as black and white as it seemed to me all the way back then.

    It doesn't stop my pain though. I do think about it every day. Them being together and what happened. I don't want to and the reason I am writing on this is that I do want to try for a life with her. I want to work on my issues whatever I have to do. I want to be able to trust her. Were amazing together and we were amazing all the way back then. It was honestly magical and wonderful as we both feel. We just met at a time in our lives where we shouldn't have..maybe..and maybe now is the right time.

    She doesn't do drugs anymore. Has matured so much, we are on the same level on so many things now and I am also not as black and white as I used to be. I have the opportunity to have an amazing life with this girl and I am willing to put in the effort.

    She feels terrible about the past, what she did to me, the lies, pain she has caused me for more reasons than just that night. She really wants this to work and is willing to do anything and for however long it takes to gain my trust back.

    In conclusion I guess I am asking for advice on how I can move on, move forward and not wake up every single day, during the day and at night thinking about them together.

    Would any therepy / CBT help me?
    Would couple counselling help us?
    Do any of you have advise for me or maybe have been in similar situations?

    When I lay it out I realise there are many people who have been and are currently in much harder and more painful situations. Like have actually been cheated on.. maybe if you have and you got over it it could help me..

    Thank you so much for reading and I look forward to chatting to you if you feel you might be able to help in anyway.

  2. #2
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Yes, going to a doctor and therapist would help you, but it will not fix a toxic relationship.. You are long distance? The relationship was always incompatible and toxic so if you want to be healthy, let go. Stop trying to make it work, you are harboring way too much hurt and baggage. Get therapy for yourself so you can find a local healthy compatible gf.
    Originally Posted by Anything2016
    Would any therepy / CBT help me?
    Would couple counselling help us?

  3. #3
    Platinum Member Andrina's Avatar
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    Whenever two people choose the most difficult type of relationship, long distance, it means subconsciously, neither of them are really ready to be in a relationship.

    It cut really deep.. pretty much for the last 8 years there haven't been many days where I haven't thought about it.

    This statement is clear proof that you hang on to extreme emotions far longer than the average person. I know I've stopped thinking about an ex daily after 4 to 6 months, tops.

    Have you not had a fulfilling life since then, so that your mind would be occupied with another romance and enjoyable hobbies and a satisfying career?

    With your emotional state, I think individual therapy would be in order and for at least a good year before you should even think about entering a relationship.

    There are so many cons to LDR. It's more expensive. It takes far longer to see how the other person operates in their own lives, and takes a lot longer to see if skeletons come out of the closet, if there are any. It's not the normal pace of dating, whereas you spend long periods being pen pals, and long periods when you get together, which can be too much, too soon, and suffocating. And then when you close the distance, one person has to uproot from all of their friends, family and job--a whole new set of psychological problems.

    So my advice is to stay single and find a psychologist for individual therapy, and to find happiness solo until you're ready to be a good bf. You will hate this advice, but I've been on the planet far longer, experienced a lot, and observed a lot. When a person is not happy in their present, it's common to look to the past to find it there, but there is a saying that goes: When the past comes calling, don't answer. It has nothing new to say.

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    Thank you for your advice, really appreciate it. I should have mentioned that we will finally get a chance this summer(corona and the state of the world depending) to be together. She will come to my country for the summer. So this is kind of our real test to see if there is something there. If not then I'll know.

    I guess my post is really about how what happened in the past so long ago I can put to rest and move on, with her ideally

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    Thank you for the detail you went into. I understand all of your points and I know in a way you're trying to look out for me.

    I have moved on over the last hugely with other women, university, successful careers and eventually owing my own business.

    I know it sounds bad about the length of time it's been on my mind but I guess for the most of that more like a niggling thought. I realise I do need help with how I address my emotions.

    I should have stated that our test will come summer when we can actually try make this work when she will live in my country for 3 months. Then I guess I will know if it's in or not.

    My post is really about how or the best way I can let go of the past, deal with it and move on if that makes sense.

    It's hard to know every detail but everyone around us who knows us in detail (family, friends etc) think it's wonderful we've reconnected.. 😬

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    Do you suffer from anxiety in general, OP? Or a tendency towards obsessive thinking?

    I ask those as sincere questions, by the way. It seems that this hurtful event has haunted you and probably blurred your vision a bit. You say this relationship was magical and amazing, but at the same time, that she hid a lot from you and lied to you. I get that she was younger and less mature then, and likely had no malicious intentions, but you seem to be retrospectively idealizing something that did indeed have its problems.

    Likewise goes for the issue of trust. She says she wants to gain your trust back. I would take issue with the notion that she broke your trust by hooking up with this guy, because as you said, this didn't happen when you were together. She didn't cheat. I understand that it hurt a lot, to be clear. But she has nothing to make up for there in terms of regaining trust. If anything, the trust she did break was lying to you about her partying or drug use back then. If you have forgiven her for lying about those things while you were actually together, why do you not extend the same forgiveness for something she did when you weren't together?

    Whatever you do, you need to stop asking questions about this random encounter. It's not your business, and to be honest, I can't remember sexual encounters in great detail from 8 years ago either. Certain moments, sure, but the order of events and whether we did this or that and how? Not really. Knowing the details is not important, and frankly, I think it was a mistake for her to even divulge that much because it's just feeding your fixated thinking.

    To answer your other question - yes, therapy may help you with this. But be aware that if you approach a therapist with this one specific issue, they're likely going to explore whether it's the symptom of a bigger problem (in terms of insecurity, anxiety, and so on) If you're prepared to invest the time and money, it could be a great experience. Just be prepared to have the greater context of this looped thinking examined as well.

  8. #7
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Are you hoping that reconnecting will lead to a summer fling?
    Originally Posted by Anything2016
    I should have stated that our test will come summer when we can actually try make this work when she will live in my country for 3 months.

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    Absolutely not. We've been back talking online for a year. She visited me for 2 days over Christmas and that's when things changed. I visited her for 10 days and that was the best step. Things went great. Next she will visit for the summer to really test things.

    If I just wanted a fling I wouldn't be choosing her I'm sure I could find someone else. The feelings for her are a lot different

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    I do and have worked on it and it has been improved significantly. As for the obsessive thinking I still believe that's quite a bad problem I have.

    I do feel therepy will be good for me and I don't mind taking on others issues outside of what went on in my previous relationship. Thank you for your advice.

    It also makes sense you saying that trust wasn't broken when she did get with him. As we weren't together. It was just so close to home and after she had lied previously to me it all became one.

    I am happy now to know she doesn't use anymore..and I do trust her..

    It's just I guess it doesn't stop the hurt.

    I want to work on it and I am committed to.

    Hopefully after Corona I can look into therapy or maybe online.

    Thank you again

  11. #10
    Platinum Member boltnrun's Avatar
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    You're hoping that restarting the relationship will erase your pain and will stop the ruminating. It's likely to actually do the opposite.

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