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I would rather be hurt than wonder "What if?"

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I definitely understand. My ex was controlling, angry, depressed, wouldn't let me vent, all of these horrible things... but we had a lot of amazing times. I could keep myself with him because of those things. I need someone like him - but someone that will let me open up, will open up to me and will make me feel like he really wants me in his life.


I miss the old him and dislike the new him too. I miss the him that made me feel like nothing could go wrong. I hate the old him for just betraying me, depressing me, not caring about what was going on in my life and not wanting to support me basically.


That's right mister, you think about happy things and just smile. I find that lots of people like my smile and I try to use it as often as I can. She is just a stupid person that will eventually end up alone again if she keeps it up. You however will just eventually move on to someone that will know you and treat you like she could - but better.

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Just as a little aside on this thread, Benjyh --


Just for the record, my ex and I were in an LDR. From the word 'go' I think we both had some trepidation of what that implied for the future, big decisions and so forth...but in the end, I had full faith in him and us (for a while, until it started to crumble), and I had eyes for no one else, they could have been 2 doors down and single and a hunk and it would not have mattered because the spirit and brilliance and love and passion of the man I was getting to know and love more each day meant that the miles just became one of those obstacles that couples face, and all relationships have some obstacles. We were 2500+ miles apart and it made no difference. LOVE IS NOT A MATTER OF CONVENIENCE. Maybe it is my age, maybe that I have had my heart broken enough, that I know someone for me would have to be an extraordinary person in so many ways and wouldn't just grow on trees...all these things, knowing it is a needle in a haystack gives me the constancy to know that if the right fire was lit (and it was), the miles just were irrelevant to me. So just so you know, your gf wanting something closer was an issue with the feebleness of her heart, it had NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU. You could not keep her because she could not set her priorities straight. When you are in this long enough, you know when you have a good thing and don't let it go. Maybe I am different from some, but for the right man? I would do it all over again. I'd just have to be sure that we were on the same page from the get-go, and I think that when he told me in his first letter to me, "Normally, I wouldn't be interested in someone this far away, but you are the best thing I've seen near or far," that should have been more of a clue. It in fact dictated much more than I ever imagined it would in terms of his ability to withstand the separations. You deserved someone to stay because they loved you, and you "do it for them". It never made sense to me that someone would say to me, "You are everything I ever wanted, but since we are far apart, I will find someone else just like you but closer." I mean it makes sense, but there are people who don't think like this. I am one. So there are others. It wasn't YOU. Trust me on that.

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Desi, I'm sorry I am late to this thread! I hope you are feeling a bit lifted up after yesterday! I have been quite beset myself, as you know. But I have finally had a chance to read this thread through and have lots of thoughts...


First of all, I think your revelations are not just idealistic and based on being young and not yet "toughened" -- as just ME said, loving and giving 100% of yourself each and every time can be a way of life if you choose -- and I commend you for choosing this for your life at a young age. I hope you never lose that! And believe me, it WILL be tested. Since you are quite young, and our dating world is very complex and uncertain, it is quite possible that you will have more lessons to learn along the way with new bfs, which also involve heartbreak. I am not saying this to put a cloud of doom over you, just to realistically say that from my experience, each man became a "new, improved" version of my knowing myself, and in fact, myself. I wish I could say that the upwards trend also was in the kind of man I was picking, but unfortunately, as has been pointed out, sometimes the red flags are not only subtle, or take a long time to fully manifest, but in fact they switch from person to person. I often have recounted to friends the very strange phenomenon that in each successive relationship, I took away insight and a sense of "what I am now looking for" in the next person -- often, some very fundamental trait, like "being more self-sufficient and less dependent on me" or "more of a romantic", and oddly, as if tapped by a fairy godmother, I was granted my wish in the next one (the things we tend to want to seek out in the next person are why we are so attracted to them: they represent all the things lacking in the ex), and found that they had some other red flags I didn't notice or character or personality traits that then became troublesome. So the next time I would again say, "I am going to ask for something other than THIS" and again, I would seek out someone with qualities I had come to value more than ever, and -- lo and behold. There was a fly in the ointment on the flip side (for instance, with my best relationship, I had asked for a man who was very independent and self-sufficient, after being with one who was clinging and insecure, and this new man [who now makes a great best friend] was unable to put a serious future into us, he was so concerned about his career, which your relationship is ringing a lot of bells about [though he got with someone else in 2 weeks, so what happened to "I'm just not ready for ANYone now"?] Tangent.) What I am getting at, is certainly not to say that you will be visited by these same issues and same serial heartbreaks, but that you must remember that learning what it is you need is going to be a process of evolution, not a one-time deal, and what that means in terms of trusting and giving 100% is that you cannot let this relationship outcome or ANY OTHER allow you to become jaded -- otherwise, instead of climbing higher, you are just moving horizontally along. "Learning" to be wary is only good in the very limited sense that you use all our powrs of discernment when you are starting to know someone -- but once you feel a connection is made, and you love this person, you must give them every thing you gave this early one, early in your life, as though it is the first.


This is the only way to love truly.


And I feel a very strong sense about your inner self reading your posts. I was a very self-aware girl for my age, too, at your age, but I was significantly more clouded with tremendous self-doubt and low self-esteem. I had serious depressive issues because of the way I grew up, and that manifested in the need to please a man at all costs, I would definitely "lose myself" in a relationship, if I felt I was losing his attention, his affection or love. I would do a LOT to keep the plates spinning for him, even at the expense of my own needs. I somehow always felt that he must be right. In my distorted thinking, I believed what you said -- that reasoning that goes, "If something is that valuable, you don't let go of it, so I must thereforeeee not be that valuable." It is a simple mathematical axiom, it would seem. But as blender says, the faulty thinking here is that the other person does not determine your worth by rejecting you. It would sure seem that way, and powerful logic would seem to be very convincing about this. Like, if you look at a dress in a store and find all these flaws with it after initially picking it up and thinking you'd like to buy it, and then you put it on the rack after all -- isn't it the dress with the problem? Actually, someone else will pick up that same dress and think it's just PERFECT for them. And some people will even see a little thread undone and say, "I can touch this up with a little TLC on my sewing machine, because otherwise, I've never seen such amazing fabric, and these buttons! They are a rare piece, they don't make those much anymore!" So even the little undone thread, the imperfection, will be worth it and this person will be just so grateful to have such a thing at such a bargain. So what one person cannot appreciate, and see the value in, or beauty, another will.


So something you have that warms my heart as a woman is seeing that you actually know the difference between loving "100%" and giving your all, loving what the other loves, being enthusiastic and accomodating and all the things that loving behavior is about, but that at the same time, you have your own self-respect and dignity enough not to throw pearls at swine and sell your soul. Something I am still prone to, as I found out in my last relationship. I have some great vulnerabilties (one of which is a health condition) and he promised he wanted to take care of me and help share the burden for a lifetime because he saw me as a "whole person" and a vibrant woman who was completely well. THESE WERE THE MAGIC WORDS I needed to hear. I could see myself before the alter with him, after a lifetime of disappointments and pulling myself back up to try again. I thought it was my last train stop. Eight months later, he was calling me "a princess on the pea" and "a special needs girl," and many other things putting down my "weaknesses." This story is all besides the point, how he betrayed my dreams, but what I did get out of this was seeing just how far I could try to bend to accommodate someone who I loved, with the dream intact. I lost him, but not the dream. And now I know from swinging so far to give to that relationship all he needed (though he felt I'd failed him, and I felt like a failure when he broke it up with me), I know that I am so very capable. I know I can give, and to what extent. I know now where I will be drawing some lines in the sand in the future, but there is something oddly satisfying to know I did EVERYTHING even past the point of ridiculousness and full-on allegiance to something that was becoming untenable, because that is the kind of loyalty and stick-to-itness I have. I will not be throwing those pearls in front of swine anymore, so to speak (I hope -- so you better hold me to it, lol! ), recognizing early on when symptoms are arising, but through this process I learned the extent of my own ability, which IS a good thing. I know they are pearls, it's as posters say here so much, how you save them for the right people.


And then, you cast them all over the place, just toss them skyhigh!


Which means that you will have to be "vulnerable" again. Though you said you hate being that way, I also know that in wanting a man to open up to you and let you be open, to share the way you need to be with someone in a reciprocal relationship -- vulnerability is key to your intimacy with this person. So I would caution you not to let that one go, either. Many men have told me that my allure is my vulnerability. This has to be tempered again with self-protection, but not the kind of protection that keeps some armour on your heart when you are forging serious intimacy. I'm glad for you that at a young age, you have seen the malady of someone who could not let you be emotionally yourself and vulnerable, and who could not really do this himself, and to see what a GRAVE LOSS that is to a relationship. So as much as you have to take care of yourself, this is more about trusting your gut and feelings as they arise, rather than dismissing them when you are being pushed aside my someone, rather than becoming invulnerable. As a trait, that should stand. I am a big believer in being emotional creatures as we are MEANT to be before we are scarred and damaged, and then let the chips fall where they may. Some may call this reckless -- I call this LIVING as opposed to SURVIVING.


I think you've hit the nail on the head -- this really ripens when there is RECIPROCITY. That is so crucial. Both people have to be on the same page about this. Which sounds like in theory it shouldn't be so hard at all, since we are people who seek this -- why can't we just find another? Well, it's hard because everyone you really feel kindred to during the honeymoon stage can seem reciprocal if they are even remotely attuned to your wavenlength -- to get past the honeymoon stage and still have these qualities takes more, and is why I think so many failures result. Which makes a lot of people too scared to try again. You can't again try just out of loneliness, but I believe one should because it is one of life's hardest and I believe (IMHO), greatest endeavors.


And finally, for the things he did to hurt your feelings at the end, honey: I know exactly how you feel. My ex did the same -- the least he could have done was admit to there being misunderstandings and a lack on his part. Many men cannot do this, it is a function of much higher levels of self-awareness. (edit: to his credit, he did do so at humbling moments along the way, which is how I hung in there, but it was inconstant and unreliable, and not maintained -- as you say, a lot hinging on his moods). (Sorry guys, I could certainly apply this to women, but I'm speaking as a woman myself observing the opposite sex.) It is very hard for people to recognize, let alone admit, their own mistakes and lacks, limitations and shortfalls. It is very painful to do so, and he sounds like he's in survival mode, which is a self-absorbed selfish place to be. The men I was with who were in this place were in no condition to self-criticize and self-reflect. And my last ex, who was supposed to be "spiritually seeking", which I why I fell in love with him (he is in a 12-step program which says you have to do "a fearless and searching moral inventory" of your "character defect" to heal), even he became a defensive adversary at the end, unwilling to even listen to me, shouting, "I don't wanna hear it! I'm done with you and your excuses! No, there IS not reason you can give me for this or that, some day YOU will realize exactly what YOU did here!!!" He was just coming out swinging, I had become invisible. The hardest part to deal with is that way of things ending, feeling that you were mistreated and they didn't even have the courage or honor to see into that. To take the burden off of you.


Believe me, that is part of why he can't be with someone, he is unable to see himself, to look in the mirror. You are so lucky that you have a chance to work through and past someone who is so blind. If he had not been so blind, he may have seen just what he was missing here. But instead, he has liberated you, as painful as that is, to find someone who doesn't want to live like that. You seem like such an amazing young woman, far ahead of many both in heart and emotional smarts AND self-respect. Don't let a clod who treated you as less-than EVER make you feel you are less than. H was not up to the challenge of goodness. It will take him a long time in his life likely, to be able to take the blindfolds off so he can see what he is missing out on, but that would mean being able to see himself more too, and that would be a quantum leap.


I again applaud your OP, and if it makes any difference, even in my late 30's, I still feel as you do. I don't think that's going to change, otherwise, why bother? Your epiphany is just golden, my dear!


Whew, hope you don't mind I crammed all that into one post! There is so much always more to say...

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Oh my GOSH, ToV you went all out! I LOVE that you did that and now it's time to shovel through everything - it's like an adventure, hooray!


First of all, the rep that you gave me was so thoughtful and sweet - I will always be there for people that need advice, help, or just someone to listen to. And because of that I'm a Bronze Member now woooo! It's just exciting to see something there besides "member" and little things like that are important to me.


And today did start off as a bad day (and it's still raining here, gosh darn it) but I had a great time at work today and then I come home to this wonderfully long post by you. I'm leaving to go out in a few minutes and as I feel this glorious train of thought deserves a proper reply, I will save it for later. But just in case you come online I wanted you let you know that it means so much to me that you would take the time to just type out something so wonderful. I mean like I'm crying because I just keep meeting people on here that are so thoughtful and caring and it's just really moving for me. So I promise, promise, promise I will give you a proper reply when I get home later. *super hug of doom*

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To be honest I didn't read the whole thing but the subject of your first post made me think, so if I'm a bit off the general topic here I apologize. I always said the same thing "I would rather get hurt again than wonder what if" ... I always told my ex that too. There's this quote that goes smth like "which one is better, say something and regret it or say nothing and wonder what could've been" ... BUT ... just the fact that I preferred not to wonder what if kept me in a 4 years relationship that wasn't really healthy. I always said "I'd rather try again and be sure it wouldn't work and I did everything I could", but the truth is you always find another excuse to work on it, so "everything" never ends. Sure, there were amazing times and I will remember each one of them, but he also dragged me down and made me really unhappy. It's been 3 weeks of NC, and that is the question I'm asking myself. Maybe the best thing is just let the "what if" go, and not get hurt anymore?

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Oh my GOSH, ToV you went all out! I LOVE that you did that and now it's time to shovel through everything - it's like an adventure, hooray!


Yeah, hee hee...well, "going all out" is sorta what I tend to do.


It feels so good to be appreciated!! (I love big fat juicy letters and posts to myself, so even though I know a lot of posters will skim over it, if it helps the OP at all, that is all I care when it's for the sake of feeling better!)


No worries, dear! Whenever you feel like it. Sometimes after a long thread I am pretty saturated, so I know how it feels, so no pressure, sweets! Thank you for your little note, though. It has been so healing for me here to retrace so many of my life's steps and to see that by gum, they MATTER for something, even the hardest things of all.


I wish I could give you a little of the dazzling sun we have here today. Here's some sunrays for you, there!


Yay, congratulations on your bronze membership!! I know I felt SO good when I got mine! You see, you have a lot to contribute, just by BEING YOU. It's a great feeling. I am building up to platinum s l o w l y, so I can savor feeling I earned it. One day silver just sneaks up on you, lemme tell ya!


BTW, I love your new signature (I also loved the old one, but this speaks volumes to me, wow) and also your username -- I love that little gem, "Desiderata" -- is that how you named yourself? It is a book that should be required reading material here on ENA!


I do think that sweetjt has added a couple of really terrific points -- yes, it's hard to know where "everything" stops. You could keep going and going and going and always feel that you are just about to break through with a relationship, and that you haven't given it your all until...the NEXT bit of effort. My answer to this is that if you are feeling martyred in the process, and that again, the project not reciprocal, and that it is more a battle of wills than a common goal together to make it better -- these are death rattle signs. I think that's part of maturity, knowing where that "everything" has its limit and when to stop pushing. Thanks for that caveat, sweetjt.


I think with my other thread and that situation with my "what if's" I'm at that painful point of having to relinquish whatever little carrots still seem to be elusively dangling, even when I thought it was through or think it is (and find my mind still swatting at things.) I just hate it! There comes a point.


"Super hug of doom"??? LOL!!! I'll take it!! All the same for you, girl!

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Okay, as promised - the super duper reply, here goes:


It's scary to think about how I want things to be for the rest of my life, but I feel like if I truly give 100% with everything then I can never fail myself and that is the most important thing. I've had to deal with so many things in my life so far and the only way I've gotten through things is to keep believing in myself and know that each person I'm friends with or a girlfriend to is unique - but that everyone deserves the utmost respect and caring from me; I mean if they are friends with me or if they are my SO I obviously care about them and everyone needs at least one person that is always there for them. With each obstacle in my life I have been pushed down or hurt and it just makes me stronger and more determined. I hope that no matter who I'm with I just continue to give my all and hope that gradually it will be supported and not taken for granted. What I really mean is that I will be - to the best of my ability - someone that loves unconditionally and supports the person that I am with. I can only hope that they feel the same and support me in my decisions.


The fairy godmother analogy is very interesting. I feel like I'm such a girly-girl sometimes so I've made up a list or had a conversation with friends to the extent of "My perfect guy would be..." and then you just list traits and things like that. I did have this picture of this superficial guy and then my ex was nothing like that and I was happy. But of course there are things you only find out when you are really deep into a relationship with someone and those things can either hurt me or keep me guarded if in fact things do end.


My ex is just crazy, I really feel like that. I mean it's like Moto trying to tell me about his ex - I don't even know the half of it and I already think this chick is crazy. (And if you are in fact reading this, Moto, I am sorry for mentioning that just in case you take offense.) But I could just not tell how he would be from moment to moment. And he's all "I need to focus on me and what I want in my life and I can't be in a serious relationship" and I really hope that I can still trust him enough to know that. If he moves on to someone else then it's like yeah, okay. I'll be hurt but just be like you liar, don't even think that you can do that and I won't be hurt or that you won't think of me still... I'm getting carried away but you get it. He's crazy, the end.


This relationship and it's aftermath has just made me feel so horrible about myself and then so wonderful about myself. I mean I did give my 100%, I did feel like I could be everything to him and then *poof* I suppose not. That's just him though - he didn't want someone there for him, he didn't want someone always around him, but that leads me to wonder why he was with me in the first place then. It's just a vicious cycle of wondering, but it comes down to me just knowing that he thinks I'm not right for him - okay, I guess he knows himself so well then. That was kind of sarcastic, but I think I know myself better now that I'm not with him than I did when I was. I will most certainly continue to be cautious in the sense that I can meet a person, get to know them, but know in some sense right away whether I am interested or not. The 100% can only come when I really know that this person is worth it - that I can give them all that I am and not have to worry about being hurt. I felt this way with my ex, but I know better now to just believe that things can change. To not be pessimistic and know they will, but to just keep and open mind and consistently worry about myself just as much as I am worrying about the relationship - to think for myself and dig deep down and realize whether I am happy or not - minus the love or how great things are, etc. I have been hurt by my first love, but if I could give this much love to him, then I believe I will most certainly be able to give as much to someone in the future that deserves it. But of course still worry about me and just think clearly and know whether or not this is for me - he is for me - and just how comfortable I feel.


I'm very flattered that you can feel like I'm in contact with my inner self and that I present that in my posts. I've grown up in a house that just never seems to stop fighting - my parents are always at each other's throats about something. There's been a lot of issues over the past few years and I understand those things, but my mom never quits no matter how okay things are. She constantly complains about everything and it's like she wants me to agree, but I never want to take sides. Since I don't she automatically assumes that I'm on my dad's side but that's not true - I don't feel like I have to take a side. I used to go to my ex for comfort and I guess that got to be too much for him. It's just hard being here and I have to just support myself most of the time if I can't be out with friends. I did sacrifice a lot in my relationship that I probably shouldn't have, but I was so scared of losing him that I compromised what I would normally have done in any given situation. I just couldn't see that it was making me unhappy and now I know better in looking back at what happened.


You're just very good with analogies and metaphors because you and blender are definitely right - just because he did not want all that I am does not mean that someone else won't either. He doesn't need anyone right now and he doesn't need me - so that's him and I feel like it's his loss because he seemed happy. But for me, I will be happy with someone that actually wants me and feels like I am worth staying with.


You just keep making me so happy with the things that you say! I think that giving 100% in a relationship means that it's all up to me in how I do it - I can have my reservations and protect myself in certain ways as to not get hurt. I mean I gave in to his depression and his anger only because I wanted to be there for him. But I feel like even with doing everything I did I still remained my own person, as much as it seemed like I was just giving in to his power over me. I did let my love for him consume me, but after all of this if I can still think these things and want to do this for other people than I must have done something right. I know that I let him emotionally abuse me too much, but that I could dish it right back out and I did sometimes. I just, I don't know, I really just know that I can still be optimistic all of the time and that's something he could never do. That outlook made me believe things would get better but they did not. Now, it's just me trying to stay positive and accept how things are and how I hope that they will be in the future.


I too know of these "magic words", though. I know things like "You are the most beautiful woman ever and I don't want to be with anyone else but you" or "I can see myself being with you forever" or things like that. Things that I just sapped up and clung to for dear life. I feel the same - like I know my capacity to love and to accept now. I know what I can deal with - though I shouldn't have let myself deal with those things - but I know how far is too far. I know that the things I hear can be sincere but I also know that if words are sincere they will have displays that will show me they are real. I still wanted to help him even as he pushed me away and screamed at me - I thought he was just irrational and misunderstood. I did so many things for someone and that allowed me to get hurt, but it also let me know that if I can love someone that much that hurts me, I can do the same for someone that loves me and receive the same thing back. So I really did lose some of my dignity, but I'm getting it back by not giving in to temptation now and not contacting him. I did send him a tiny message through Facebook a few hours ago, but I reminded him that I have no intentions of full on communicating with him till I'm healed. He knows that and I don't expect anything from me right now except to heal - if we eventually talk then we do, but right now I'm worrying about now.


Vulnerability is something else that I happen to wear openly and that can be seen as either good or bad. Feeling vulnerable truly means that I am just being open and honest with that person - I've given them so much of me already and I'm trusting them with part of me, in a true and thoughtful sense. I believe that in some ways it is the only way to know how much someone cares about you - if they can support you and be vulnerable with you, if they can just lift you up when you are down and keep you from being vulnerable to others then that is true commitment. I felt suffocated - like I had family problems and I would talk about them and he would not want to hear it. He started off supporting me and then grew to eventually "give me advice" which was harsh, but was what he called "tough love". There is a difference between showing tough love and being hurtful to someone that is already hurting. He said it was because "I kept coming to him with problems and the comforting did not make them go away".. umm, yeah they aren't going to go away just because you comfort me. He had such trouble opening up to me also - he said he tried to do that with people but it never worked, so he doesn't. He was that stubborn and it upset me a whole lot. I trusted my feelings, I held on to him and things would not get better. But this experience is just one of those things that make me realize what I need - someone open, because to me that is an ultimate form of trust.


This post is getting super long and as I like posting after I post, I will just make it two posts. More fun for everyone hooray! Plus I keep coping it so I don't lose it and if I make two then I won't have to worry.

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Here we go, Part 2:


Reciprocity is so important, most definitely. It's hard to find such a balance but I think it just involves truly understanding a person and what they need and accepting that without compromising yourself. Like my ex couldn't open up - okay, that's him but I am a person that loves to give advice and loves helping people (as you can tell, of course) so I would have felt so left out if he needed to be alone every time there was a problem with him just because he couldn't tell me what was wrong. Finding that balance is essential and when you can have that with someone it must feel wonderful - just knowing that you can compromise and accept each other and be happy with just being with them and who they are for you and for themselves - for everything in the relationship as a whole.


In the end he only admitted that it was just as much about him as about me when I asked him. He wouldn't outright say that there were problems with him too unless I said something first. He admits that it's his anger, his depression and other things. But he just made it seem like I was pushing him backwards and just burdening his life and those things alone are just so hurtful and made me feel like the love was all gone. It's always interesting to think about things like that - knowing he cared so he must be hurting in some ways. In the end I was like "I will do this, I can change" etc. just so he wouldn't leave and that was definitely a low moment for me. But I loved him - I put up with so many things and I just ask him to be there for me and let me vent like I should be able to and that combined with other things makes him not want to continue our relationship. I was definitely mistreated and he can say he is sorry all he wants for forever but I held on because there was promise of "I will try" or "I love you so I will never leave you" and then this. Promises are just those unless they are shown, as I mentioned. I shouldn't feel like that but I do - I need the displays to know that words are true and not just empty and being spoken for the sound of it or the reaction.


I know that he has a long road to go in finding out who he truly is - he needs to take care of himself, learn how to live on his own and just find out why he acts in certain ways and fix them. It hurts that he had to break up with me to really figure out what he wants in life, but I know where I am going and what I want, at least as much as I can right now. I love him, I do and that's a powerful thing to feel but I just understand why he did what he did. But I can also be hurting because I cared and because he can actually say things like he did - if anything to just soften his pain.


Believe me, that is part of why he can't be with someone, he is unable to see himself, to look in the mirror. You are so lucky that you have a chance to work through and past someone who is so blind. If he had not been so blind, he may have seen just what he was missing here. But instead, he has liberated you, as painful as that is, to find someone who doesn't want to live like that.


I cannot live with someone that is closed off, pessimistic, cannot fend for himself if he's home alone, and just cannot see his potential in life because he is so lazy - those among other things, but for the sake of examples I chose those. I can only say right now what I know I do not want in a person only because I am open, I do need support, I know what I need and thereforeeee I need someone that can provide me with those things.


You seem like such an amazing young woman, far ahead of many both in heart and emotional smarts AND self-respect. Don't let a clod who treated you as less-than EVER make you feel you are less than. H was not up to the challenge of goodness. It will take him a long time in his life likely, to be able to take the blindfolds off so he can see what he is missing out on, but that would mean being able to see himself more too, and that would be a quantum leap.


I cried the first time I read that. I would have the second time, but it's so late and my brain is such mush that I didn't but I did tear up. I wish I could have an explanation as to why I am how you say I am but I do not. It's just so wonderful to hear something like that from you, to just compliment me in such a way that makes me feel like it must be true if you say it is! If he cannot see himself for what he is then he does not deserve me and in a way that is what he said to me. I mean he said that he cannot handle a relationship and that "I am a wonderful person and someday I will make someone very happy because they are many, many things to love about me" so he realizes that. I guess it hurts to have him leave and still say those things, but he can say those and still not want to be with me. He certainly wanted to stay friends, but I just cannot do that right now with the amount of pain I'm in. He just has a lot to learn about himself and I care about him, but I care more about myself right now.


This epiphany and everyone's responses have been so great and have made me overwhelmingly hopeful and emotional. ToV, you have touched me so much - you cannot even know. Typing as much as you did and just being there for me makes me endlessly grateful to you. It's like I have my own little online family here now and that sounds a bit ridiculous, but I feel like it's true.


sweetjg, you commented and I will respond to you - again I promise to respond and I will also respond to your last post ToV. It's just almost 4:00 am here and I wanted to make sure I replied to something.


I am exhausted but as always happy to just talk and give advice and be helpful and hopefully inspirational.

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Hey Desi, I don't have time to read through that mammoth post at the moment!! lol but I will when I come on next, just wanted to say, that from the shorter ones I read, I think you're going great guns. I hope things are gettting easier day by day, and just remember that you're great. You're special, a wonderful caring person, and you deserve someone who can give you their 100%. And you will get it

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My affliction , for having to go to work does not allow me to read your post right now either... But from what I skimmed through, you truly are on the right path Desi. I hope everything is getting easier for you, as it sounds like it is, and that you can truly just start moving forward one step at a time, you'll be just fine.

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I would rather be hurt than wonder "What if?"


we are all a composite of what came before us in our lives... we all learn from past mistakes and hurts and also the happiness that came before... if you speak to someone who has been hurt terribly in a past relationship, then they will give their opinion based on that... the same goes for someone who has had wonderful relationships... they will be giving optimistic views...


i can truly say that if i had to go back and do it again, i would turn and walk away... run maybe... i even told him that... "its not your fault steven... you didnt do anything wrong... its my fault for being so STUPID in believing in you"...


now i realize that i was the strong one who trusted... he was the weak one for not trying...


again to reiterate... if i knew what i know now, i would have walked away... the pain was way too much for me... it destroyed me... never again will i let that happen...


i wish you all the best in your love relationships... i truly do... i pray you all find that one person that you "click" with and trust and trusts you back... its a wonderful thing to be in love...


we all dont go into our relationships thinking they will end... we go into them with open hearts and open minds, like children... i wish this for all of you... but for me, ive given up... and knowing how i feel, i will not give my opinions on here based on MY hurt... i look at each and every persons posts and respond objectively... i dont want to see people in pain...


God bless... beebee

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Every word of this thread has resonated with me. Desi, your story could be mine. There was such love and friendship between us yet when the going got hard, he bailed. He couldn't control his anger, lashing out at me, being hurtful when he felt he wasn't getting his space. And partially I think his anger came from his disappointment that the relationship wasn't going as well as he'd hoped, because I do know he did want it to work. Perhaps it's immaturity, or perhaps he just didn't care enough.


I know I alone kept the faith, and in spite of everything I still love him and can't bear to cut him out of my life. Idiotic yes, but holding on to that last bit of warmth makes it that much easier to pick up my life and carry on.

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I just plowed through this whole thread and all I can say is, "Doesn't anyone sleep anymore?" Well, that and the points mentioned on here are poignant

I still love my EX and very much, and the one thing NC and time has taught me is that I love myself a heck of a lot more then to dwell on the past. But truth be told, aren't all memories usually good?

Desi, you're doing fine and I can see a mischievous smirk in your avatar so at least you're seeing the upside to things. Keep what up what your doing and its true what they (whoever "they" are) say that time does heal all wounds.



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Yeay!!!!!!!!! I LOVE, LOVE LOVE that you wrote such a mammoth post!!! And there are two parts, too!?? FINALLY, someone who actually topped me, that is not possible, Desi!! But ya did! And I will be so happy to be able to savor your thoughts over the day. It's going to take a while, because I am a slow reader, and also have a bunch of business to take care of as well (I'm going on a trip soon -- couple of weeks, to my ex's city no less [no, not contacting him], yikes! and am ill-prepared right now, so have to get my butt in gear!), but I am for SURE going to be reading this and taking my time with it over the day. Hope I'll get a response on the way tomorrow, be patient with me, but just know that I am so enthralled about how you poured out your heart (I also feel less alone now, too, with that!) I do feel that this site is like interactive journaling, in a way. A lot of people apologize for their "long posts" (me included), but the fact remains that this is for YOUR healing -- and ours, too, because unlike a journal or private diary, everyone can get the benefit of eachother's insights. Work calls, duty calls, our lives call, but the recesses of our hearts and mind deserve the loving care you've given yours to express themselves here.


Thank you, sweets, for this great return! XOX....I'll be back for a response later, just know that I can't wait to sink my teeth into this.



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I just plowed through this whole thread and all I can say is, "Doesn't anyone sleep anymore?" Well, that and the points mentioned on here are poignant



LOL!!! Sleep? What the heck is that?




You are such a gem, and a real trooper. While you are waaaay more succinct that me, you are so attentive and full of care, WS. Thank you for being as involved as we are! I really do feel that there is so much richness in what other people have illuminated in their words...


You are always a force of forward-looking, not backward, and I always need that. I don't think I could ever stop loving my ex EVER, in a very deep soul way, even if we never meet or talk again, and I have to learn from you how to have that and still put it behind me.


And yes, Desi DOES have a very impish, mischievous smile, doesn't she? It's great to see.

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You mention "need" when it comes to your ex, as if he "didn't need you right now" well "need" is not what authentic love is about....


we don't love someone because we need them, that is an "unhealthy love" but in an authentically healthy love we feel a need for them in our lives because we love who we are free to be when we are with them...and that healthy love is then SHARED. There is a huge difference..


and the most important thing to try to learn is that you can not fully love another in an authentically healthy way unless you love yourself first. Not in a selfish way, but in a healthy self respecting way.


Loving yourself enough to take care of yourself, be honest with yourself, respect yourself, and then you can SHARE this love with another.. you can NOT ATTAIN it from each other..


So take time to be on your own, find your own goals, find your independence and love those family and friends close to you in a repsectful way, have gratitude for the all the wonderful people you do have in your life, and choose behavior that makes you feel proud of yourself, then you will attract a healthy love into your life.

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My gosh guys... I type my giant response and thread EXPLODES. This is crazy, now I need to start doing replies to people. I have super news, but that can wait till after, because I haven't been on all day and now I need to catch up!


sweetjg - Yes, I'm finally replying to what you typed! It's very true that the wondering and the giving in never ends - eventually there needs to be a point where you just let go or you give up or you realize what is going wrong. But I was just always hoping things would get better so I never realized what I was getting myself into. Definitely just keep to yourself and let the "what ifs" go - it's not worth it to think about what could have been because you will just end up hurting yourself even more than he already has.


ToV - Yes, things definitely matter - even the hard things that seem impossible to get through. It was actually sunny out today and it's supposed to be gorgeous this weekend, so it's like as I'm getting better the weather is getting better too! My Bronze membership makes me endlessly happy - it's like wow, I posted that much in just 20 days and that many people thought that my posts were helpful. Silver sounds a million times better, but I'm content right now.


As for my new sig, I love love love Minus the Bear (I'm going to see the in concert again in October!) and those lyrics from their new album are just so beautiful and kind of demanding to me, it's fabulous. My freshman year of high school my creative writing teacher had that poem on her wall and she let me keep the poster because she was retiring. I just love it so much, and it really should be required reading for everyone - it just covers everything that I hope to someday accomplish for myself even if it's not all at once.


sweetjg definitely had some good thoughts going there - it's definitely supposed to feel somewhat even more so than one person just pulling the relationship along and doing things to kind of betray who they really are. And I too find myself just wondering about little things everyday... until today, but more on that later, as I mentioned.


Yes, super hug of DOOM. It's the best hug in the world.


Jess... - I totally understand, because I got so carried away with my response. Thank you so much my darling for complimenting me so eloquently - you are wonderful and fabulous as well.


Moto - I definitely feel like I'm on the right path and - haha I keep saying this - but at the end of my post I will finally update everyone on what happened today, because it's very exciting. I know that you posted a new thread yourself, so I will have to pop over there and make an appearance.


Okay, everyone else - there is a second post I'm making below this one - I feel like two short ones is better than one long one, yay!

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Okay cool kids, here's the rest of my responses:


beebee - You make some very powerful points and I love that. It really is true that we are people that just believed in our SOs so much that it seems foolish now. We should have to put forth twice as much effort to make a relationship work. I will never again let someone just walk all over me like that and not appreciate what I was doing even if he didn't accept it.


And if we did not go into things with open minds then we would be wasting precious time. It's just so beautiful to hear you say something like that though - it's true with anything and if things go bad then at least there were those hopeful times at the beginning and throughout the relationship or any other situation. The fact that you can go into each person's situation with an open mind is very thoughtful of you, but I do hope that others have done the same for you in your situation. Those that give help so willingly like you do deserve to receive the same thing from others in tough times.


And you're from NJ wooooo! I love it here too, I don't care what anyone else says about it, it's wonderful to live here.


pinkcandy - I'm so sorry yet happy to hear that we have been in the same type of situation. It's horrible that anyone could do this to us, but also comforting to know that someone else is coping with the same things that I've had to deal with. My ex would walk away from problems, he would push me away, and he would just get angry and not want to spend time with me - this happened fairly often. If the relationship was not going as well as he hoped then maybe it was because of things he was doing wrong or wasn't doing. If he wasn't happy then I'm sure he had opportunities to say something - but him not being happy should not be a reflection on you. If he had these expectations for a relationship and they were not "met" if he truly cared deep down then things might have been able to work out. It's just so sad that we can both be put through so much for them and then they are the ones that aren't happy, go figure.


Cutting people out of your life that you love is so hard to do, NC was hard for me the first few weeks. You do whatever you need to do for you - if it means holding on still then go for it, if it means letting go then that's the way to go. You are the person that believed in the relationship so much even when things were hard and that is something that you should hold on to and never lose - someone one day will appreciate that and deserve it wholeheartedly.


Wandering_Sword - Andy... I like it. Yet another name I know woohoo! It's not like I'm collecting them or anything, but I feel a little more open with people then, so that's very good. The first thing you said made me laugh though - I definitely sleep, but probably not as much as I really should, it's bad, lol. I still love my ex also and the memories that I hold on to are so wonderful. They remind me of a time when we were both happy, when the anger wasn't getting in the way and he wasn't depressed - we were just in love and happy with each other.


I think I'm moving along at a pace that is comfortable for me. And that picture was actually taken a few... years ago? Haha it's a really nice pic of me though and I feel like I've been smirking/smiling like that a LOT lately, so it's a good thing. I will never get tired of hearing "Time heals all wounds" because it truly, truly does.


Haha your "they" comment reminded me of something I used to talk about with a friend in high school. We would always talk about who "they" were, like you mentioned like "They say that *blah blah blah*" and it's like umm... I want to see this expert panel of judges that know everything, because they know me? They know everything? It's just crazy.


Oh ToV...another two posts, you silly. And I'm okay with you taking a day, a few days to read that - I know I went crazy but it felt SO good so I'm okay with it. Impish?! I hope that that's good, I just like that picture so much - my hair looks pretty and that smile is just telling people "I've got a secret" or something like that, very mischevious.


blender - Totally, totally true. If love is all about need then it doesn't really work, it's something that you feel as a couple or even as an individual and use to better yourself in so many ways. If I cannot love myself then I cannot truly love someone else. I love myself but now I'm picking up the pieces.


As for my ex... well here's the thing - the thing I've been talking about through both posts - I went up to school today to get my books early so I could make sure to get nice copies or used copies if possible. I visited with his mom and I was crying at first since I missed her so much. She was like "I wish I could punch him in the face for what he did" and I agreed, obviously. But she just went on to talk about how he's not really doing anything with himself, he gets angry more often, he doesn't get out of the house a lot and she's just unhappy with him. Basically he's just being a big lump of nothing and I'm much better off - that's what she said. I take some comfort in knowing that he's not doing much of anything, but it just makes me feel like "I would have been wrapped up in all of that had I still been with him" so him doing that to me was more of a blessing than I could have imagined.


So it was a good day.

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Good stuff Desi.


I finally read the whole blurb, and i stand by my short post before work. I cannot offer anything that has not been said already haha!


I think that it's great that his mother even is supporting you, my ex's mom loves us both dearly, she told me, and is keeping her opinions to herself about both of us. She told me that she hopes I stay around, and that their door is never closed to me, and we've left it at that. I see her everyday as I work with her but we never really talk about the relationship, and i think that's the best thing.

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Moto - I'm very happy that you took the time to read the whole thing - I never expected anyone to actually go through it (as I realize it truly is a giant sized post) but it seems to have helped me so much. I think after reading that I would just feel tired and the amount of information and advice I've gotten already has been so great.


It really is good that your ex's mom is keeping things subjective - I assume it's hard to avoid her, but talking about the relationship would probably be a bad road to go down. Even talking about her daughter's reckless behavior lately seemed like a touchy subject just because that's something that involves an opinion or response of some sort. I just think it's so nice to know that our respective relationships were with their children, but that their parents have taken such a liking to each of us. His mom loves me, she wants me to continue to e-mail her and come see her on campus. I care about her so much and I know I will continue to do that because she's a wonderful person.


This tag between posts is so funny sometimes. I post this, then post in your thread, then you post in mine, then back and forth = craziness, but I love it.


just M.E. - The object - love interest, does not need to be worthy of it - as in receptive, supportive, etc. - because in our eyes he will always be. They are not unworthy though... I adore that, it's very thought provoking. I give my 100% to a person because I care about them so much so thereforeeee I just care about them even if they are not deserving of it - because what have they done for me? But they are not unworthy because they are receiving this. So there is this grey area between "worthy" and "unworthy" and in order to determine that is hard. "Worthy" is really our decision because we are giving the love - but what is worthy? Just someone we love but does not posess qualities that people should love? It's different for every person or couple then.


But unworthy would be someone not worthy of love and everyone is worthy of being loved, so no one is ever unworthy - there are just people that we deem worthy that receive the love but throw it away or do not want it. And they do not deem our love "unworthy" just not what they want.


I think that was a rollercoaster of a response but I get it. I hope that you do too.

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I think that it is true that they are WORTHY of being loved, but not worthy of all of our love if they do not know how to take it properly, and return it with the same respect.


This is what makes someone unworthy of YOUR personal love, in a romantic sense, loving a friend is different, and they can be unworthy , but it doesn't change the amount you care for them.


Aye, my ex's mom is actually my "boss", but not really, as I have a very independent position, and also act as the assistant manager to her, she handles the office work, I look after the shop, so to speak.


We put together cabin packages, and ship them to all over the world, because BC red cedar is one of the nicest exterior woods you can get. I do almost all of the wood work for the entire company, from framing walls, to niche furniture, etc. and my ex's mom got me into it, surprisingly, and i love it, and i love the people i work with. Funny to come out of college with a networking certifications and ending up as a carpenter. hah!

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Your response is much shorter than mine - I think I just ventured off somewhere for a day trip and ending up taking a week long vacation... so to speak, haha. All people are worthy of being loved, but not all are worthy of our love if they do not reciprocate... true story. A friend can most certainly be unworthy of love, but you can care about a friend and not love them in a serious sense or in a romantic sense.


You are just like super carpenter manager man... person. It's just fascinating to hear about the things that people end up doing - like I want to teach but I'll have my degree in English and Education and you can do so much with an English degree. It will just open up the possibilities for me and that will be an interesting road to follow. *sigh* Oh life, how you amuse me sometimes.

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But unworthy would be someone not worthy of love and everyone is worthy of being loved, so no one is ever unworthy - there are just people that we deem worthy that receive the love but throw it away or do not want it. And they do not deem our love "unworthy" just not what they want.


Unworthy would be someone who selfishly abuses love, or pathologically lies and abuses or is totally incapable of returning any love. I don't seem them as unworthy of love but they become unworthy of love if they do not give anything back.

Conversly, an unworthy could grow and become worthy. ... Kind of a made up concept. I like Moto's views also.

I think it is in our nature to believe that true love has a redemptive value.

I'm not sure if there is a high percentage that really happens that way, but I like to believe it.

Maybe that is why we have a hard time letting go.

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Exactly. Everyone is worthy of receiving love, thereforeeee no one is unworthy of it. But we deem people worthy in our eyes because we want them to have our love and if they do not want it it does not make them unworthy - they just do not want our love.


I think that being worthy just means that you have the ability to give the same back to someone - since love is almost always reciprocal it's just natural to say that "worthy" is equal to being given it and also giving it. So everyone is worthy of receiving love, but those unworthy of receiving love and giving love are those that abuse it, lie, and are incapable of returning it? I think I agree - like if you are worthy of being shown love you can still be unworthy because you cannot return it or you do not wish to show those kinds of emotions.


I think that we can believe everyone is worthy and those kind of people are unworthy because people do believe that true love is great enough that it can survive many things and be redemptive. Like we can all have a hard time letting go because our ex's were worthy of our love and worthy of giving it, but now we see them as unworthy because they hurt us and they may not be worthy again. But in our sorrow parts of us wish that we could be together again and they would be worthy as long as they show they are worthy of giving it.


This is a really great discussion we have hear, it's so mind blowing in some ways but just a really interesting thing to come up with. You're so smart.


Also, for anyone still reading this - I hope anyone that's not registered but is one of those 710 viewers has taken something from this. You've got five pages of advice and comments my friends, it's more that I expected and a great resource for about eight hundred different things... maybe not that many, but I've lost count.

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