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What Do I Do?


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Here is my situation:

It’s been over 2 months since my ex of 7 years broke up with me, and she moved out over a month ago.

She's been very kind and friendly about the breakup, and I have as well out of respect for her. All she told me for the breakup is this:

  • She doesn’t love me
  • She loves me as a friend
  • If I can’t accept that and it hurts too much to see her, then I should not see her (she invites me over on the weekends)
  • “none of this is your fault”

she is not seeing anyone, she just lost her job and couldn’t find a job in the city we live in, so she moved 2 hours away back home with her parents, and found a job there. she's having (almost too much) fun bonding with her mom. this might just be a phase.

i’m in such pain, but i cannot let her go. even just to show her “what she’ll miss”.

i don’t know what to do. i don’t want to not visit, but it was made very clear by both her AND her mom that if i can’t visit “As a friend”, then i should take time off to ‘forget about her.’

i told my ex that i’m never going to be a “friend” in that way, so she knows this.

any help or insight is greatly appreciated.

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Do for you. Do only for you. Do not consider her, nor her feelings in the equation. Do not go out of your way to be respectful. It's an act. In truth, you'd like to ring her neck. You have the polite, false pretenses going on here which means that it all comes off as disingenuine. She sees you as a doormat right now.


When you throw yourself at her feet then she knows it's too be walked on. Stand up for yourself. That means completely moving on with your life. I know it's hard, I know it hurts, but you need to do that to get your self-respect back. Cut her off.

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I still think that you should just accept what she says. If you accept friendship, you'll either a) have a good friend or b) she will realise your worth and change her mind. If you make her feel it's all or nothing, and put pressure on her, you'll push her away completely.

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god, i'm so confused because i do agree with lana0120. f&%k!!!!

i have lots of self respect and i am my own person. i am just very aware that i love my ex deeply. i am choosing to use my strength to live with this and hope for the best instead of acting out and telling her off in that way. i already told her that i am not doing well at all up here on my own and that i'm very angry at her. she still is in contact with me and this past weekend went extremely well.

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I am going to go a little against the grain here, evr.


After one of my relationships ended (3.5 years and I thought maybe a lifetime) by the hand of my ex, some of these similar things were said to me. It was devastating, and I felt he was someone I really wanted in my life, but the pain of losing him as a bf was so bad (and he had even quickly found a new gf!) that I felt trapped: on one hand, cutting off contact with him was like cutting off my nose to spite my face because he TRULY CARED about me and valued me as a person and wanted to be a loyal friend, (which is, in itself, a rare thing in this life you don't just squander) and on the other hand, I couldn't bear the heartache and jealousy, and all the grief of talking to or seeing him. I was in a bind.


I don't know how I made it through that phase -- it took about 2 years and a brand new crush to finally pull out of it -- but I did not go NC. Some would think I was a masochist (in fact, one of my best women friends at the time dumped me, too, as though one dumping wasn't bad enough [!] because she thought I was being a "doormat" and lost respect for me!), but when I felt I could manage to show some good will and take something positive from my encounters with him, I allowed myself to be in his company and to just let the bittersweet and mixed feelings come and go. I know this is VERY hard advice and not for everyone, and not the way I'd conduct myself in all situations, but it was governed by 2 facts: 1) I really did see the long view, and could imagine us some day being even better friends than lovers, I could see myself on the other side of this someday, even if my heart wasn't there yet and 2) I knew that he didn't disrespect me nor was he just using me as a plaything, he really valued me, too. This last point was critical, because even though I questioned my dignity a few times, I realized that it was my perception of being "weak" since I was the dumpee, not the way he actually regarded me, that was causing me to feel so bad as "the one down."


As I'm saying, I would not recommend this to everyone!


AND, I did put distance between us; it wasn't like we had the same contact. I did avoid his calls some times, I did take time out for me and our interactions dwindled while I did my healing work and he got preoccupied with his relationship. So we were apart in many ways, but still in contact. When we did have occasion to see eachother, my strategy was to take the best out of the experience as I could. Putting on a "brave face" alone isn't enough, and would classify as disingenuous. But I honestly tried to take what I could from it, and cry later if need be. Yes, it was confusing, yes it was messy, but it seemed the lesser of two evils, the greater being losing him altogether in my life. Of course I could have decided to go NC and then reached out again, that is another way of doing it. But the care and concern he was showing me was just as painful for me to reject as to accept.


Now, we are best of friends. I think we always will be. It is the strongest friendship I have ever had with any man. Our loyalty carried us through that transition. Now, we can talk openly about our relationship woes and dating questions, almost like cousins. I hadn't miscalculated!


So here is what you have to ask yourself: what would be the MOST painful thing for you of all the scenarios? Would it be MORE painful for you to stop going over there and "enjoying" weekends with them? You say it went extremely well, which makes this trickier than if you just said "It was like having someone crucify me". That would be an open-and-shut case of GO NC! But since you feel these visits are providing you with some benefit and her friendship is an item of value in your life that has a higher pupose and meaning than just what you had as bf/gf, then it is a harder call to make. So ask yourself which would be the MOST painful route to take, and don't take that one. If it is more painful to be there even though you get something out of it, retreat from doing that. If it is more painful to sit at home on the weekends or go out with other friends even, and you wish you were in her company instead with all that goes with that, emotionally, then do that. You may not want to do it every weekend, and generously distribute your energy with other friends so she is not the only and sole social support you have. Give yourself a lot of social "cushion" from her if you are going to go there with the intention of enjoying some of it.


It is a really tough call but your guide is as I said, how you are feeling -- follow the clues of what makes you feel better or worse, and listen very closely to those. Listen to how you feel in your gut and heart as you makes choices to spend time with her or not, and let those serve as guides as to how much to pull back or allow yourself to be connected with the mixture of feelings.


One other thing, though -- my ex was respectful and kind towards me and didn't take me for granted. You have to be sure that your ex VALUES YOU and isn't just wanting you around as a "filler" or for her in-between stage. I find it a little off-putting that part of her "bonding" with her mom is for her mom to be imposing standards for your relationship. That seems a little invasive to me, that she is involved in handing down commands about how you "should" be presenting yourself as. That is my one big concern here, is that she (and your ex) are trying to almost dictate what your thoughts and feelings should be. If you go as a friend there, that's all fine and well, and is appropriate, but you have a right to still feel feelings. No one has a right to demand that you shut down your feelings for your ex and to come as though you had never been her bf. I don't like the butting in of her mom and I rather don't like the ultimatum-quality of what they are saying. So if your ex is in any way selfishly guarding her own agenda and not at all sensitive to your process and feelings, then that would be a caveat to my above statements as a good reason to go NC. You need a certain amount of latitude to still be you -- not being patronized, not being pitied, not being asked to feel what they want you to feel -- and still be respected and treated as important and appreciated. If you for one minute sense you are really not appreciated, that is the time to re-evaluate this "compromise" of hanging with her.


I hope that's not clear as mud!

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tired of vampires,

thank you very much for your thoughtful response. i appreciate it very much.

i typed up a post earlier and i erased it by mistake, so bear in mind i type this one feeling a bit drained. and i apologize, because you deserve a worthy response.

i do have the same philosophy: what would be the most painful? and i do act on the "lesser of two evils" as you say. we honestly all have such an amazing time together. they even say it, not just me.

you hit home on many points, if not all. i am in a very similar position as you were.

the thing about her mom was unintentional and the mom herself said she didn't want to come between us. it happened on a night when i broke down in their house. it was very emotional for me because it was my birthday weekend and my ex bought me a very expensive gift and took me out for dinner and dessert with her mom. it was time for me to go home and the thought of driving 2 hours at night to a cold, empty apartment alone was killing me.

i am looking out for myself and if she shows any disrespect i will act on it, although i did let a few things slide.

it's all very confusing and i hope to figure this out. i hope i'm not "filler" or have been used all these years.

i hope things stay good with your ex. again, i appreciate your wonderful response. thank you

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