Hi. I was in a relationship with my ex for 9 years. I ended up breaking up with her about a year ago after having long standing feelings that I could not fully commit to her. There was no cheating, no abuse, no major arguments or anything like that. It was just a gut feeling based on some concerns that I had that I could not shake. I brought my feelings up with her half way through our relationship and we eventually separated after 9 years
It's been about a year since the breakup and I have since moved to another country. Now that I am single again I miss the times we had together, her personality, I can see how much she meant to me and that I was lucky to have her in my life. In a way I can't ever imagine finding someone else that has the same qualities as my ex. My problem is I'm not sure whether these feelings are due to the grieving process of splitting up and the downsides of me being single again or whether they mean something else and perhaps I made the wrong decision to break up with her in the first place. How do I know which is the right feeling?
We got on great during our relationship. Personality wise she is genuinely a good person and fun to be around, always positive, humble, easy going and not materialistic. Never starting arguments and rarely ever in a bad mood. She has a great sense of humor and a sweet endearing outlook on life. From my point of view our relationship felt like we were best friends and companions rather than lovers and I always felt I could be myself around her. I felt reassured in life having her by my side. Every single day her personality put a smile on my face.
However certain red flags played on my mind throughout our relationship, preventing me from fully committing and which lead me to initiate the break up. Despite being emotionally attached and loving her in one way I felt that I was no longer emotionally attracted to her. Despite continuing to enjoy each others company until the end this also affected the physical aspects of our relationship.
Throughout our relationship she was always really bad with her own money. Taking out overdrafts and exhausting them, taking out loans, then taking out loans to pay off other loans and eventually taking out payday loans from multiple lenders to live month by month . It was something I realised she was doing early on, the letters coming through the post etc. I always said I'd rather she be open and honest about her situation and perhaps I could help her out but she simply did not want to talk about it saying it was under control and that it was none of my business. What concerned me more was this seemed to be a pattern of behaviour over many years rather than a situation she needed to get out of. If I had paid all her debts off I wander whether she would end up back in the same situation in a year or two. What concerned me was also her attitude to the situation, just ripping up the letters and throwing them in the bin rather than dealing with the situation intelligently.
Job wise and for her age she also earnt much less than I thought she could have earnt. She has some great qualities, is well organised, great interpersonal skills and always put the hours in but I always felt that she underplayed herself and lacked confidence or ambition. From my working experience I can honestly say she was worth double what she was paid. Despite offering to help her step up the ladder she seemed to be happy with where she was. This in itself isn't a major problem but being paid so little was part of the reason she was so much in debt. I couldn't figure out why she wouldn't want to better her situation.
She smoked cigarettes everyday of our relationship. In itself not great for a partner who doesn't smoke but she had more reasons than most smokers to quit. Before we met she recovered from an illness and had a second shot at life. Part of me expected her to get real and be more serious about life, her health and quit smoking. Not only was the physical aspect of smoking a turn off for me but I considered her decision to not appreciate and take advantage of her recovery by continuing to smoke as more of a turn off.
She always avoided discussing or dealing with difficult situations preferring to just ignore them. In the early days I always felt I was open to help her with anything as long as we could talk about it and be honest. Whether it be a relationship issue, her debt or any issue that we may have had together. But anything too difficult or sensitive to talk about or overcome she would rather pretend it was not an issue and just carry on as normal. This meant that we never really talked about the important stuff eg. each others needs, wants, how each other felt in the relationship.
She had very few interests, hobbies or activities. Despite having a fantastic personality she didn't do a great deal in her spare time. She rarely exercised and as a result was out of shape for most of our relationship.
Her family are from a different background to my family. I don't know whether this played a part but in my opinion her family seemed to have different priorities in life than mine.
I was basically in a situation where I was no longer emotionally attracted to my partner. I felt that she made poor life decisions (money, career and health) and was not willing to discuss these issues or change. Would these red flags give most people cause for concern? Did I make the wrong decision in splitting up?
I miss her so much but even now if we got back together I still don't know how i would feel. It's as if over time I love and have become emotionally attached to someone who doesn't share the same outlook in life as me. Bottom line is nothing was changing and if I was going to commit to her I would have wanted her to change. When in reality I have no right to expect anyone to change.
Part of me feels sad because I miss her. I wander how will I ever meet someone with the same kindness, good heart and easy connection that we had again. Even after 1 year apart I still don't feel motivated to date again and think of my ex most days. On the other hand despite being together for so long I do wander whether we were just incompatible as romantic partners.
Just interested in some opinions please and how I can make sense to move forward. Before anyone replies by saying I did her a favor, she's better off without me and deserves to be with someone who is completely committed, there's no need to make me feel bad, I know all this. Every conceivable guilty thought, viewpoint or scenario has been through my head a million times.