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Ex Leaving Other Man


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Without going into too much detail, my ex and I still own a house together. We were together six years. We have not been under the same roof for over two months, but have started staying together since last Friday. Now that a week has passed she has decided that she will cut things off with the other person that she cheated with.


There are a few catches. First, she says she doesn't want to cut it off, but understands she has to in order for us to even attempt to move forward. I personally think she will not follow through. She currently says that she is attempting to work things out between us, but really has made minimal effort except providing company. Everytime we are together things are great, but it appears to go sour when our time together ends and we go about our individual business (i.e. work, spending time with other friends). She also is very cold and shuts down often during conversations anytime they turn to the relationship.


She has provided very little security for me. Throughout our break-up many lies were revealed. She has lost my trust and realizes that she must make amends. My request is that she make this call to the other guy with me present in the room. I only want the security of knowing that she in fact tells him that there will be no more contact. Other than that I want her to have the freedom to say whatever she likes (and I know that might include hurtful things as she does have emotional ties to him apparently). She says she is uncomfortable with it, that she will be resentful if she were to follow through with my request, and that I am trying to be controlling. I think this is very harsh considering what I have been through and how supportive, patient, and understanding I have been to this point. I am frustrated that she would turn this around on me when she was the one to create the situation in the first place.


Is the request reasonable?

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Don't look at her words, look at her body, its moving away from you and spends little time and attention, thats a red flag, a sign that she is not interested in you. Maby your a friend but your not someone who she wants to spend her life with ,regardless of what she says, i can't believe you would still want to be with her after what she did to you. If you had any self respect you'd pick up your bags and leave her out of your life.


You need to be like a castle gate closing yourself to bad people/things/events, and open yourself up to good people/things/events, if you let the enemy into your castle they will only end up destroying it(even if its family), and leaving you crying over the ruins.From there you can keep on crying, or rebuild your life, i advice you to rebuild your life.

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i think you are trying to have a relationship with someone who has shown herself to not be trustworthy, nor committed to you or your relationship.


i hate to say this, but you can probably do a million different things to try to make this work, and it won't because she is who she is, and not interested in committing herself to you or anything that doesn't please her at the moment.


calling him with you in the room won't ensure that she stays faithful to you... she can hang up the phone, then go meet him later and tell him you 'made' her do that and she was wrong to do so.


the only possible thing to help here might be counseling to try to work thru your trust issues (and her cheating issues). but it could fall into the category of trying to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear, just not possible.

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In order for a full reconciliation to occur, she has to WANT to cut things off with the other man. She has to be FULLY COMMITTED TO YOU, the other man is history not simply just in body, but her mind as well. As long as she harbours any feelings for this other man, there is no chance of a real solid relationship between you and her. It has to be TOTALLY OVER (body, heart and soul) with this other man. It is clear she is still emotionally tangled up with him. Another key in any reconciliation is OWNING UP TO HER CHEATING...calling YOU controllling because of what you are asking of her is basically her NOT OWNING UP TO HER ACTIONS.


I think you should totally walk away from this. If at some point she comes to her senses, it will have to be a whole new ballgame...there will have to be some real honest remorse from her, as well as empathy for what she put you through.

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Thank you for the helpful responses.


As an update, the ex did flake out as I suspected. When I got off work Friday afternoon, instead of following through with the phone call she had been intending to make all week, she instead said that she didn't think she could do "us" anymore.


We talked more, I expressed my disappointment and after some time alone we went to dinner to begin discussing our housing situation. Once we arrived at the restaurant she asked me to go inside. When she came in 10 minutes later she said that she had made the call to the other man and that she had said her "goodbyes" to him. I believed her and for the first time in a while I actually felt she was making genuine efforts.


I still felt uneasy about the situation, so just in order to get a bite regarding her demeanor I asked if she still wanted to talk about the house. Unfortunately, she did. We discussed the situation and before coming to a conclusion I stepped in and stated that we should wait until tomorrow since she had already digested alot this evening and there was no need to knock down all the pins at once.


As the weekend progressed, she told friends that we may be getting back together, sent in a wedding invite with me as the "guest," and discussed improvements we may want to make to the house. In the end though, she revisited her intial thought on Friday and had a public blow-up outside a concert theater. She said she was done and that she didn't want to do it anymore and that she needed a break from the relationship. That was followed up with another apology late that evening after I had gone to bed. She apologized for her words and said they may have been premature.


Finally, on Sunday I wanted to give her some time alone, so I went to brunch with a friend. We (the ex and I) planned on going tubing for the afternoon. When I got back she was gone. I called to see when she was coming home and she said she was not. I asked her to come back and she would not. I then went into the bedroom and saw a sticky note that stated that she really felt what she said the night before and that she needed a break from us. She once again apologized for the hurt that this caused me and "us."


So, the door was open for a full eight days only to be shut again for an unknown reason. She did as I had asked, finally cutting off ties and providing me some security, and less than a day and half later took it all away. Admittedly, I question whether the first call to the other man, was followed up with an apology to him. She says we could still be together someday, but she sure is doing a good job putting up as many roadblocks as possible in her quest to live "alone."

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How messy! Do you feel like you can accept this as it is now and move on?


Her heart is just not in this, that much is clear. Her endless vacillating is deeply unfair on you and she is hardly doing the right thing by herself either.


Just say she comes back again, today, tomorrow, next week. Will you be able to trust her again in the way you might want to?


It sounds to me like she has done a good job ruining your current and future trust. I tend to agree with the others that you gave it a red hot go, and good for you, but now would seem the time to take her actions seriously and do what you can to move on, without her.

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For over three months I was hoping for the opportunity we had for the last eight days. We were under the same roof again. She had finally showed an effort and her actions in regard to us finally rang true when she claimed to have broken things off with the other man. Yet, then no more than 48 hours later she followed through by doing the same to us.


I kept (keep) wanting to hear what a therapist, my friends, and her family had to saying regarding us still having a chance. They pointed to the love we still shared, the ability to enjoy each others company, the shared interests and desires, the unique bond we had, the ability to still talk about things, and the responsibility I had taken for my role in the situation (she never fulfilled this on her part as we both obviously got us to the breaking up point, and although her infidelity occurred during the relationship, it was only uncovered after the fact). Instead of just calling things off when all these things were still present (the ex still acknowledges all these positives exist) I thought we'd actually get a chance. Now we'll likely move to separate places, putting our place on the market, and making the divide even greater.


As soon as we get too close though, she runs. As soon as it gets real or things continue to improve, poof. So while it does appear her heart is not in it, I continue to question how the feelings she does have towards us just come and go. I don't think feelings appear/disappear as such, but her defenses do.


Still, if we are to ever have a chance, we can't continue to live as we are. She is destroying (and has destroyed) trust and who knows if it can be repaired. I'd like to think I have to power to forgive, but I think now would be a premature time to know for sure.


She wants to still maintain contact and possibly date. She says that she has no plans to date anyone else if we are to move apart (but won't agree not to as she doesn't want to limit her freedom). Still how can we rebuild the trust if we don't have that contact on a day to day basis. How can I date her if I'm not sure she is seeing someone else every other day of the week? Usually time can cure old wounds and bring couples back together, but I wonder if that logic can apply to trust issues as well?

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I think that trust issues can be resolved, for example check our Shirley Glass's "Not Just Friends" book for how couples can heal from infidelity. However, both people's hearts need to be in it, and there needs to be active work together to protect the boundaries of the relationship. There may be vestiges of love and feeling there, but it does sound like it's been contaminated, or it's not enough to make the difference to the relationship in a positive light.


I have had exes where there was still love and compassion after it ended, where people wanted to go back sometimes, but that did not make it the right relationship for either of us. I know several people who have been through this "I do want to give it a chance....no I don't....yes I do....I'm confused...no I'm not" and I have to say that I have not seen things get better. It's heartbreaking I know, because you keep getting glimpses of what you thought you had before, there's this tantalising view of what was and what still could be, but I have to say, it sounds like an illusion.


I'm sorry, I know this is hard. From my perspective this looks like she is not the woman you thought her to be, she is not the woman she needs to be for you. She is not likely to change unless a lot of time has passed or some major, life-changing event happens and she has some epiphany. I would suggest that holding out now for her change of heart (one that sticks, one you can trust) would be excessively optimistic.

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  • 2 months later...

After being in limbo for months, the ex said "goodbye" to the other man approx. 1 month ago. I was told they talked once since, but we started spending more time together ourselves. As we spent more time together, I saw that she began to focus more on us.


Still, she said she would talk to this other man (and see him if she desired) if the mood struck --- but she insisted that she kept that window open as a means of demonstrating her own independence, not as a way to construct a relationship. Since we are technically still apart, it is not my business. Yet, we still are still rebuilding in hopes that there may be a time in which we can try again.


It helped quite a bit that the other man took a job halfway accross the country. What didn't help was that job was about 1 1/2 hrs from my ex's familys home.


So when she went to visit her family these past few weeks, I was told that she would not see him. Obviously trust was at a premium, and this was essential in the rebuilding process. I did not talk to her while she was gone...I wanted her to enjoy her time away without the stress of our situation.


Well, upon her returning she called. I found out within five minutes of the conversation that she had seen him. Says that she spent the afternoon with him and then they had dinner. I was shocked. Essentially she chose an evening with this man over me and any possibility of our future.


I feel that I have been left without a choice. I walk away and throw away over five months of bringing us back together, or I allow her this misstep and believe it was a harmless transaction. If I do the former any future between us would be greatly diminished, while if I go with the latter she will feel she can do/get away with anything without repercussions.


I'm at a loss despite knowing what it looks like from the outside.

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It's obvious she prefers the other guy but you are her fallback guy in case she doesn't negotiate well enough to be with the other man as more than a random fling to him.


I suggest you either offer to buy her out of the shared house, offer to let her buy you out, or just put the home up for sale and be done with any ties to her.


She sees you as security linked to the house, not as her mate.


Stop getting jerked around. Be rid of her one way or another.

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I went through a similar situation before my separation and now divorce where my ex said I had my "chance" for a week. During that week though she didnt really break contact with the OM and I think the whole week was a farce and not really a "chance" for us. It was heartbreaking and gut-wrenching for me as we have 3 children in the picture and 13 years of marriage that she just threw away.


The power of infidelity is so extreme and deadly to relationships, after living in it the past few months I can appreciate its appetite for destruction as it distorts the mind and twists the conscience.

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Man, my heart goes out to you. You must have the patience of a saint to put up with this after all your efforts and forgiveness. It looks like it's time to say goodbye to this one and find better quality. There are two sides to every story, but her actions described in the thread are just atrocious. Good riddance and best wishes.

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This is a horrible situation to be in and I'm sorry you have to put up with this. It's truly a shame when someone's love can be used either as a weapon against them. My friend, it's time to go, at this point she knows that she can use you as the 'fall back' guy as someone stated. You are willing to put up with unaccepatble treatment due to the fact that you love her. It's easy to say but much harder to do, but it's something that you must. Time to let sleeping dogs lie and let her go. Who knows, maybe when you show her that you are willing to move on then she will realize what she has lost and then come back. Then the shoe will be on the other foot. She should be trying to appease you, not the other way around.


Take care.

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Thanks for the responses all,


Since I last posted we talked twice more. The first time on Tuesday. We had a brief conversation (for our standards) of thirty minutes and things seemed well. It was productive and left open ended.


I didn't call or initiate any conversation. She did call three times and I let it go. It felt odd not to want to answer her calls. I don't want to feel that way...I guess I just knew nothing good would come of it.


Anyhow, this weekend we both volunteered for an event in town. She attempted to make small talk. I told her after lying again and contacting this other guy we couldn't just go back talking as if nothing had occurred. Either she had something of substance to express or we had nothing to talk about.


At the end of our shift, she mentioned she wanted to make amends. I asked how, and she said she wanted to hang out and make positive advances with each outing. I failed to see what it was she was offering exactly. She also mentioned she had talked to him twice more in the past week...after seeing again how it effected me and our situation.


As the conversation went on she once again stated that she had feelings for this guy...she wouldn't quantify how much in relation to me. She did say though that she didn't feel the passion for me that I did her and that she still didn't know what she wanted. She always says our situations were different. I asked how so? Her response: she missed me and was sad about our current situation while with him she wondered "What if?"


Well, at the end of the conversation, when all she wanted to do was get off the phone instead of answer any pressing questions (its been six months after all, I can't continue to accept the "I don't knows" or silence), I told her that I still loved her, that I would still try to forgive her for all the harm that she has done, but that I couldn't talk with her anymore. I told her that she knows where to find me should she ever decide. I wished her luck at work and said goodnight.


I felt terrible afterwards. I'd fought for this for almost six months. I felt maybe I should wait to see what living on her own will bring (since she still hasn't set up her own place and since her sublet is short-term, i.e. in case she decides to come back to our house). It's upsetting that the other man can wait it out and just be friends, but I'm guessing he doesn't have invested what I do after these six years. I felt like her actions, which haven't changed for months, gave me no choice for the time being. That's the worst part.

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[ My request is that she make this call to the other guy with me present in the room. I only want the security of knowing that she in fact tells him that there will be no more contact. /QUOTE]


Trust me this will do nothing. Yeah, she will make that call while you are in the room, but when you are gone she will call back and say she only did that cause you were in the room. Don't play the fool again.

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Still, she said she would talk to this other man (and see him if she desired) if the mood struck --- but she insisted that she kept that window open as a means of demonstrating her own independence, not as a way to construct a relationship.



If she really wanted your relationship to work, she wouldn't use the other man as an excuse to assert her independence. That is a pack of lies...as you already found out when she said that she still has feelings for him. As difficult as this is, I think it is time to deal with the house issue (sell it, buy her out whatever) and let her have this guy she is pining for. Maybe once she no longer has you as fallback and the reality of having a relationship with this other man, might make her realize just what she threw away. Take back control over your heart and don't let her trounce on it anymore.

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It's upsetting that the other man can wait it out and just be friends, but I'm guessing he doesn't have invested what I do after these six years. I felt like her actions, which haven't changed for months, gave me no choice for the time being. That's the worst part.



The OM always seems so laid back, cool, and relaxed because, as you said, they don't have anything to lose really. They are taking a gamble trying to get someone who is taken, if they don't get them, oh well, but in some ways it is about the "game" to them. My ex thought I was "so uptight" in the end, especially when compared to her new boyfriend. They were also in the honeymoon period, so it was "okay" when he got upset, but if I did, then I was being possessive and uptight.


I did the same thing, I just let go of my ex. I was tired of the back and forth, "I love you, go away" attitude I was getting, so I let her have her "what if" and lose everything she had worked for in our relationship. Someday, the "what if's" will be looking back my way, and she'll have a load of regrets on her hands.


You did the right thing for your life, and your sanity. She needs counseling if she wants to get this figured out. If she doesn't want to do counseling, then she doesn't want to figure it out. It's that simple. I begged my ex just to take some time to herself to think about what she was doing, and she wouldn't even do that, because every time she did, she would cry and cry over what she was about to lose. She didn't like the pain, but now she is living it!!!

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  • 2 months later...

I had left this forum for a few months. My ex, who cheated, was still leaving the door open for us. I am willing to forgive. I have fought for this. I have worked on me, in hopes of an us. I have been happy to respond to her initial requests...I was just glad she was able to put some of her feelings to words. Our situation was a bit different from a traditional break-up. We had to talk and work through some of the reasons for her infidelity. We had a number of couples counseling sessions. There were weeks we went NC, but for the most part we remained in LC, regarding us, the pets, and the shared house. We had lived together for 5 years...it was a marriage without the license.


Last week I opened up the door of communications again with the ex. We had only seen each other once since she moved out in late September. We have talked occasionally (maybe once every other week over the phone).

In the week leading up to Thanksgiving we talked for four out of five days. It went well. We saw each other in person two days in a row. We had productive conversations about us...as well has some arguments. I assume the latter to be natural. We were also physically together (short of sex) for the first time in months. I saw her new apartment and our shared cat who lives with her. I laid in her lap...felt safe for even that brief time. I noticed her apartment was a mess. Most of her things still weren't unpacked after two months. She still didn't have a mattress (she was sleeping on a futon that doubles as a couch). This is a very intelligent, beautiful, professional women living as though she was a bachleor. I asked if she was thinking of returning to our house...she said she had thought about it.


She left promising that we'd meet up for dinner/drinks and continue to work towards finding out where we were at.

She also called on Thanksgiving and we had a genuinely good conversation.




I returned home yesterday. We talked and she agreed to stop by. She said she had a card. I knew that wasn't good. It was in fact a "Dear John" type letter. She stated she knows that we still have many good things between us, but that she wasn't going to work on us. She stated that she was not going to return home. She stated that she could not and would not open her heart again to me. All this after she is the one who cheated...she is the one that has created this divide. There has been 9 months of limbo...this seems very definitive. We talked for a while and then she "had to go." I tried to get her to stay, she wouldn't I went over to her place...she wouldn't talk. She later called very late in the evening. I was of course up...devestated...unable to sleep.


We proceed to have an hour long conversation. I tell her I want her to make things right...that I still envision her in my future, as my wife, as the mother of my children. She is home, she is family, she is what brings me the most happiness. She hears me, she acknowledges that we still have a chance, but that it's 'unrealistic.' She is still talking to the affair partner who is halfway accross the country now. They started off in an affair, they'd now have to begin a relationship long distance, and we live less than 5 miles apart. It makes no sense that our situation is the one without hope.


I talk about the fog that those who are in affairs are often caught in. I talk about the likelihood that she is recreating our history...that she is making me and our relationship out to be something that it is not. Everytime we spend time together we get closer...she goes away (to Thanksgiving with her sisters in this instance) and things go sour. It is the opposite of everything I read...that when you disappear, go NC, that they can recognize what they miss. For us, she recognizes it when we are together...we come closer and closer and then she gets scared and runs away.


It's happenend again. This time she seems to really be drawing the line. I want to break through. I believe in her and us. This has drained me...9 months of cake eating, fence sitting and rejection. Where to go...can the fog still lift?

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She has drawn the line, the question is, what will you do now? She is confused, this is a human quality to do so. However, now you have to make a choice about all of this. Re-read what you have just posted, she has been waffling since the beginning and now she has 'made a choice' and the sad part is that you're not it in.


At this point, as much as you feel for her (which is considerable, that is coming out loud and clear in your posts) it is now time to close this chapter in your life and open a new one. Maybe counselling would be a good idea to assist you in getting over this. NC is the only way that YOU will heal. You have to stop thinking about any "US" and now focus on Y-O-U!!!


This is much easier said than done, but it doesn't change what you have to do. At the very least this woman has let her confusion of what she wants get in between you and her and has hurt you in a very serious way. Time to focus on getting yourself right, this woman is part of your past, and to be honest, it's probably better that way.

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I did the same thing, I just let go of my ex. I was tired of the back and forth, "I love you, go away" attitude I was getting, so I let her have her "what if" and lose everything she had worked for in our relationship. Someday, the "what if's" will be looking back my way, and she'll have a load of regrets on her hands.


My father has always said that one bird in hand is worth two in the bush. I think a lot of people don't comprehend how permanent an affair can be at times. Nothing quite like looking back accross a chasm where your past life was and knowing that you can't go back because YOU blew the bridge up!!

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Sounds pretty horrendous and heartbreaking.

She undoubtedly has feelings for you both - but is unable to make a decision.

Make the decision for her, leave. You will feel better for ending this on your terms.


Oh ya - and make sure you get everything in writing when it comes to the house....

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mr. max and pappers...I truly appreciate your response. I know if I was on the outside looking in the writing would be on the wall. I have taken on alot for this relationship and have been bailing water for quite some time now.


The reality is that I want to still hold on to 'us.' There was a time, years ago, when she held strong for us when I was in the midst of graduate school. I often didn't get to put the time into the relationship that was needed. I understand from talking with other people that such a situation is natural, but I still feel a desire/duty to now do the same. The truth though is that her transgressions and lack of respect for our relationship have been both consistent and conscious and without regard to my needs and feelings. I've taken many shots which have floored me...I continue to get back up. I do it because I believe what we still have is still worth it. I just see it less and less. I want to believe one of these times that she will help me up and tend to all the damage that's been done.


I, along with all of us (I'm not unique in this), have experienced all sorts of disappointments and set-backs in life. The current situation though has been the most difficult, damaging, and painful (physical, emotional, and phychological) series of events to ever come my way. Its very scary and sad to think that she and I (both individually and as a couple) will never be the same.

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Because, as you already know, it can lead to quite a bit of pain. This isn't a shot at you ore anything, but you must realize, this isn't a movie or a love story where she may come back to you in the end and then the credits roll. This is real life, yours and while your pining for her, you may miss someone truly special who will deserve your unconditional love in the future. I understand that she was strong for both of you while you where in school, and that is commendable. That time however, was spent bettering yourself so you could in turn better the family. She, however, is only thinking of herself, every post that you share with us just seems to prove that more and more.


The situation is that you are looking at the past and in hoping that you may be able to get it back. Once again, commendable, but there has to be a time to face facts. That was the PAST, she was the one who closed the door, not you. She is the one who has decided to move on, I suggest you do the same. If you hang on to the past in the rare hopes that you may be able to get it back, you may get what you want (it is possible) ir you may become depressed and resentful of life in general.


I would strongly advise you not to throw away your future for a chance at the past. If she comes back to you and is willing to meet your demands (and I hope you have some and not just accept her at face value) then consider it. But she's doing everything to push you out of her life, why just sit there and wait and hope she may come back.


Move on with you life, take it one step at a time, but the key is to MOVE ON. You still want to hold on to what you had, I would suggest that there may be ways to do so without sacrificing the rest of your life in the process.


Take care.

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Max - your words make complete sense. It's the lack of desire on my part to put those words to action that is very frustrating. I can't shake the off chance she sees the light after the affair dies a natural death.


As an update, she took the "Dear John" letter one step further yesterday. She said she no longer wanted to talk. It is the ultimate irony...for months I have been advocating NC with the other man in order to help her clear her mind and come to a resolution one way or another regarding us...instead she chooses to go NC with me, the betrayed partner, in order to 'move on with her life.'


Nine months. An opportunity for forgiveness. Offering time and space and unconditional support. In the end, I was the one betrayed...still I gave everything...and got exactly nothing in return. I can only hope I have more to add to this story in time.

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I've since learned that frustration is a good thing. It means that your mind is trying to come up with a solution in the face of he data that is has currently collected. Here's question, what have you done to move on? Are you trying to fill your time? Taking a class (I've heard one of the best ways to get over a break up is martial arts!!) going out with your friends? Talking to you family?

At the very least you need to pretend that you are getting over things. Go through the motions, 'fake it, until you make it', know what I mean? Don't just sit there and stew in it, get moving DO SOMETHING, don't just ponder your lost love, yeah?


If you do it enough, guess what, you may just begin to come around. If you want to keep the door open for her while you attempt to get over things and move on, that's one thing, however I can't advocate leaving the door open and just sitting their patiently with your life on hold as if one day she is going to walk through it, well....have you ever read Great Expectations? Miss Havisham didn't fare too well with that approach!!


Here is the deal; I know it's easier said than done, but this doesn't change the fact that it's necessary; hope that she comes back, pray that she comes back, but don't WAIT for her to come back, got it? Your love life may be in a holding pattern, but your life is not, get me? There is light at the end of the tunnel, you know have to face the fact that she may not be, yeah?


Good Luck and God Bless

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