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Was breaking up with her a huge mistake?


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Welcome to the thread Jellybean! Thanks for sharing your story.

 

Even so I find myself constantly swinging between feeling like it might have been for the best one minute and then the next minute still clinging to some kind of hope that he might change his mind.

 

This is totally natural as the dumpee OR the dumper -- there's a good chance he's having similar thoughts and asking himself similar questions. Hopefully you and he will both gain clarity over time... and I'm confident you will regardless just based on how level-headed and well-reasoned you've expressed your thoughts here.

 

My issue now is that I am due to spend the day with him tomorrow at something which was planned before we broke up and we agreed at the time to still go to. We exchanged a few texts about it yesterday and I know we are both feeling uncertain about it. I am determined that I do not want to discus our relationship or break up and just want him to see how well I am. But I am also scared that the smallest thing could still set me off. Any advice on how to handle this?

 

I don't really have any great advice for you here other than to go with your gut. It sounds like you've generally felt since the breakup that it's better for you to stay mostly out of contact with him, and I think it's wise of you to realize that about yourself and a good strategy for most people in similar situations. But life -- and previously made plans -- can sometimes make doing so difficult.

 

Either going or not going is totally reasonable, and I'm sure your ex and whatever friends or family are involved in these plans would understand whatever you decide to do. I wouldn't worry about what he or anyone else will think and focus totally on yourself and your own best interest at this point. Whatever you decide, make that decision based on what you think is best for YOU!

 

Keep us posted! Best wishes.

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It's great that this is still going on!

 

It's been almost a month since my breakup, and I guess it's true that things get easier with time. I'll share a couple thoughts for posterity sake. I've begun (with the help of therapy) to focus more clearly on the reasons I was apprehensive about the future rather than dwelling on the "great life" I threw away. It is still sad—oh, boy, am I sad—but occasionally I will stop and appreciate that the anxiety I felt when we were together is mostly gone. Instead, there is a constant, dull sadness, like a quiet stream of lingering melancholy—but I much prefer that to the often raging torrent of doubt and anxiety and fear that caused me to finally let her go.

 

The toughest things, for me:

 

* We work together, so every day I'm reminded of her existence. We still talk occasionally, and one day I'd like to be friends, but any interaction with her is painful. I still love her, even though I know a future with her was not something I wanted at this time.

* She got a puppy last weekend. This puppy was one of the things that triggered the breakup; I guess it represented the commitment of starting a family with her, which scared me. It's funny—when we had planned to get the puppy together, it scared me, but knowing she was getting without me made me really sad. What's more, I saw a photo on Instagram of her girlfriends holding the puppy with the caption, "[Ex] is living her best life," and that phrase depressed me for hours.

 

But... we are both trying to live our best lives. That's the point of this breakup. For now, she deserves to be living a life for herself. Mine will come eventually.

 

Oh, and I've been working out a lot, something I haven't ever done. It feels good.

 

Hang in there, everyone.

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Well I went...and we had a really nice day. I managed to hold myself completely together and we even went for dinner together afterwards (his suggestion). I'd like to think I've given him something to think about but I'm pretty sure he's just thinking of me as a friend right now - well he was back on an online dating site minutes after arriving home after dropping me off. I know - I shouldn't even check!

 

I wish I knew what was going through his mind sometimes. As nice a day as it was it has reminded me of everything I loved about him and all those "negatives" I'd been focussing on for the last month are forgotten again. I'm also back to wondering what on earth it is that caused him to break up with me / what it is about me that isn't enough for him. I think I definitely need some more time.

 

Still glad I went...now for the next few weeks.

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Knuxo, I was in a very similar place a month into my most recent breakup, right down to working out regularly for the first time in my life. (FTR I'm still working out daily 8-9 months later, and I feel so committed to it now and so much healthier, physically and mentally; it's a great way to re-channel your energy. Good for you!) It sounds like you're making a ton of progress in terms of gaining clarity on your emotions and your decision to end your relationship. I know first hand how slow that progress can feel at first, but I'm confident you'll be coming to even more realizations and making even more progress as time goes by.

 

Jellybean, I'm glad to hear you were able to have a nice day with your ex! It sounds like you handled everything really admirably. I'd try to resist those temptations to check up on his dating site profile as much as possible, and just generally keep as much distance as you can while you focus on yourself and moving on to the next exciting phase in your life!

 

To both of you, best wishes and please keep us posted!

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I've been there before.. The constant wonderings about why their feelings changed. The worst part is we blame ourselves, we don't feel good enough. A blow to the self esteem is an understatement. To this day I still don't know why my ex changed and what was missing for him/why he was so unhappy. He didn't know himself, and we spoke 4 months after the break up and he admitted he still didn't know or understand why.

 

The problem is sometimes people focus too much on what they think they should be feeling rather than just relaxing and letting things fall into place. My ex had the tendency to overthink things and throughout our whole rship I was walking on eggshells because I always wondered when the next accusation or "niggle" that he had.

 

I never got any real reason or explanation and whenever I wanted to talk about the issue he'd tell me we couldn't. So our communication was awful when it was crucial. Also, my ex stopped making the effort. He wanted to watch TV all day whenever we spent time together rather than going out. I knew eventually this would kill our spark which is why I was always suggesting going to new places and doing new things.

 

People have different views on relationships. My ex wanted to feel high and passionate about me all the time but I know that that's unrealistic and once the initial honeymoon fumes wear off that's when the work comes in. That's my idea of commitment. It's easy to have a relationship during the first few months-year because we're so infatuated that everything else comes naturally.

 

I've finally realised that it was none of my fault and that it's his problem that he chose to throw away our future over some feeling that he couldn't explain. I won't lose sleep because I knew I put my heart and soul into us even when he was treating me terribly. He even admitted that he thought this may happen with other girlfriends in the future so, it's not anything I did. Last time we spoke he told me he does nothing every night (I didn't ask btw) , whereas my life has become quite fulfilling and I've achieved a lot since we split so... I'm cool with that and not having anything on my conscience either. I actually know I can and do deserve so much better than he was to me. I think my ego jus took a hit

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I can definitely relate to a lot of what you say here - almost all of it in fact. I also go through moments of clarity where I think it's my ego which has taken the biggest hit. I'm also out enjoying myself and from experience he'll be at home in front of the TV, so I like to think he's the one who's lost out. I'm a good person who treated him incredibly well but it just wasn't enough for him and I'm not sure I'll ever know why. After reading all the posts on this thread I'm sure he doesn't really know himself.

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Our exes sound similar.

 

Without sounding big headed, I don't feel like it's my loss at all. Sure I lost a relationship that I was once happy in but the way he treated me sometimes makes me feel relieved. I have no regrets whatsoever. The only thing I do regret was letting him get away with so much and not standing up for myself but, he made me believe I was a bad person so I started to hate myself. I do see it as his loss, he lost someone who put up with his controlling posessive ways and someone who, in spite of all that, completely loved him. He may see it or he may not, and same with your ex. But they had the problem, they made the decision, they can live with the consequences whilst we move on to people who DO see how good we are and don't jeopardise that

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You're absolutely right, though my ex never treated me badly in any way. Even when we broke up, I have to give him credit that he did it to my face, didn't string me along (I think) and seemed to be really upset to have hurt me. Before that there really wasn't any indication that there was a problem except for perhaps the week before so I don't think he'd been stewing over it for too long. But like you, and without being big-headed either, I do feel like he's lost more than I have. Don't get me wrong, he is a really good, kind and generous guy, but also pretty shy, finds it difficult to get to know people and financially fairly insecure so think he will find it difficult to find someone else like me. But hey ho, that's his choice! And damn it I still keep thinking I want him back even though I am trying to focus on moving on.

 

I have to say it helps so much reading other people's experiences on here and having a place to put my feelings down rather than contact him.

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An update on my situation: today, I had to retrieve my TV and a few other things from my ex's house (formerly our house), and while I was there, she told me she was in "the anger phase" of her process. I said that I was feeling sad, and she said she was sad that I'm sad, but mostly she's angry.

 

Me: Some day, I'll want to know what you are angry about, but not right now.

Her: (nodding) It would sound very mean.

 

So, she is angry at me, and the thing is... she has every right to be. I'm realizing that now: the mistake wasn't breaking up with her. The mistake was moving in. To her, that meant committing to a future. To me, it was simply a next step. I knew I might have some doubts when I moved in with her—and that right there was wildly immature. I'd been reckless with her heart. I'd let her dream about a future together while nursing my own uncertainties. I can't imagine how hurt she must have felt in the weeks leading up to our breakup.

 

If I were to guess what "mean" thing she would have said to me, I think it would either be "You're a coward" or "You're an a**hole." The former for being afraid of a future with her; the latter for not admitting it sooner.

 

As it stands, this realization feels like a big step in my process. After feeling a little better these past couple weeks, I am overcome with shame and regret right now. She's mad at me, but I'm mad at myself. Some day, I hope we can both forgive me.

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Knuxo I went through the anger stage for a while. It was like this horrible bubbling anger inside and I hated it because I'm not naturally an angry person and I hate any sort of conflict. It used to upset me a lot the way I was feeling. I think it was a mixture of feeling angry with myself for putting up with him for so long and staying by his side whilst he had 4 months of doubts and was treating me terribly during this time. I was also angry that he didn't have the courage to end it and chose to stay with me when he knew how much he was hurting me. And also, the anger because he couldn't give me a reason for his doubts and had dragged it out for so long.

 

The anger has slowly but surely subsided now. There are times where I feel a hint of frustration but not to the point where it has me in tears like it once did. And also I've finally realised my own worth so it helps to know that I do deserve better.

 

I'd imagine in your case your exes anger is based on hurt and that's only natural. It will subside in time, I'm guessing she knows you regret leaving her? In that case she may leave the angry phase sooner.

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I'll update to my story, as it's been 8 days since I was last here. My ex moved out this weekend while I was camping with friends, she was very productive about it, and took almost everything she owned. It was a shocker to walk in to walls that were half bare and furniture that is missing. Flower and plants are gone, as well as most of the colour (that was her thing, I didn't even realize it).

 

As the dumper, this is still very hard, so if you're a dumpee, don't think it is a walk in the park. I still doubt my decision, but less and less every day. I love her, but I realize that were just aren't right for each other. A lesson of 4 years....

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I finally did it.

Anonymous82, if you recall i had been talking about breaking up. And I finally did it.

 

Quick background: I'm 29, she is 30. We have been together for 2.5 years

First time i broke up about 6 months ago, and we were broken up for maybe 10 days before we got back together, because i thought I had made a mistake.

 

I said i wanted to get serious and moved in. Simultaneously I was figuring out my religious beliefs as I realized that after 27 years of following a faith, I was leaving it. So I had a lot on my plate in terms of identity issues. These past 6 months navigating through an identity criss, family expectations, and balancing a relationship just became too much for me.

 

I actually think her and I were making good progress in some ways but in other ways all of it was literally giving me anxiety everyday and my health was literally going to . I was gaining weight, and my body was breaking down.

 

I just needed to end it. But again... i feel like i made a mistake. This time the feeling isnt nearly as strong though. I'm more melancholy.

 

I want to give my self time, 2 weeks, a month, 2 months and see how i feel and see if i want to reconcile (and if she is even willing to, who knows at this point). However im not going to make any drastic moves like I did last time. We still have a lot of love for each other and yearn for each other. Today is a sad day.

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Just my opinion, but if you felt a lot of anxiety and questioned it constantly once you got back together, it sounds to me like you did the right thing by ending it.

 

Giving yourself time (and distance from her) to figure it out seems like a wise idea. Again JMO, but in my experience, two weeks may not be enough... I'd recommend at least a month to try to gain some clarity and sort through your thoughts and feelings before you make a decision you could end up regretting.

 

Best wishes. Sounds like you've got a lot to figure out but are putting yourself in a great position to do so. Keep us posted!

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The process continues. I thought I would mention something that feels like an important discovery, since it might be helpful to people going through these things, too.

 

I had sex with someone over the weekend, about 5 weeks after the breakup. I thought I could handle it, but it made me feel absolutely awful. After the deed, I just wanted to be cuddling with my ex — I missed all the moments of being together that comes with having sex with someone you love.

 

I think I realized that I still need a little more time before sleeping with people is going to make me feel better rather than worse. A little over a month was way too soon. But of course, that's just me — maybe it would be different for you. But casual sex just made me miss my ex more, made me even more confused and sad and lonely, made me wonder when I'll ever make it out of this thing feeling happy.

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Thanks for sharing.

 

Don't get too down about it... You had an experience, and the resulting feelings taught you something about your state of mind and what you want right now.

 

It's natural to feel that way after an experience like that, particularly so closely removed from a serious relationship. Chalk this up to learning something about yourself and what you are and are not open to going forward.

 

You're far from the first person to become newly single, sleep with someone, and feel a bit uncomfortable about it afterward. I say this from experience.

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Jessie, we broke up because... we'd been dating for 3 1/2 years, living together for 1, and most of the time we were together I harbored a few doubts about whether she was the right one for me, mostly because I kept thinking about what else I was missing out on. There was also the factor that our goals for the future don't quite align —I'm pursuing a creative career, which involves a lot of time and wide-open future plans, and she just wants to live a good life with good friends, a family, dinner parties, etc.

 

When she wanted to get a puppy together, it forced me to make a choice. I decided to let her go, since I felt trapped and she deserves better. (This was after a few weeks/months of emotionally neglecting her and generally being a lazy partner/roommate, which I sorely regret.)

 

So now I'm striking out on my own, she's raising a puppy by herself, and life goes on. Right now, around six weeks in, it sure feels like I let my imagination get the best of me, but there's no way I'll really know until I give it some time. So yes, I'm sad and filled with regret, but I have to have faith that I made the right decision.

 

In the meantime, sleeping around is a bad idea.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I signed up just to say thanks to Anonymous82 for such an awesome thread. I broke up with my GF of 3yrs a few weeks ago, and as expected it's been horrible (first time for me on this particular side of the court; and difficult to truly decide which side is worse).

 

I'm really not sure what I would have done or how I would be without having read all of the heartfelt posts and helpful, logical advice. Today was particularly bad, and so I came back here to re-read some.

 

Anyway, Anonymous82, I hope you are able to realize that you are an absolute hero, and I can't even imagine how many people (20,000?) you have helped that may not have had time to tell you. Thank you, from myself and anyone else reading this whilst going through hell. I just wish that our loved ones had some way of finding this without it being prescribed by us!

 

THANK YOU

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WOW... Thank you so much for the incredibly generous post!! It means a lot. I had absolutely no idea when I started this thread 7+ years ago what it would ultimately become, but I know the other users here were so helpful to me when I was going through an intense breakup, and I guess staying involved is sort of my way of giving back. Plus, so many of the stories here are relatable in at least some aspect, and I know first hand how helpful it can be to hear from others who've been there.

 

Thanks again!

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  • 3 months later...

I've read the whole thread and it gives a lot of perspective to the ones who were left due to changed feelings. I see that this often happens when relationships are at 2.5 years....funny enough mine went downhill at 2 years and 8 months. I wish I found this thread right after my BU, it took me 2 months to conclude that the real reason my ex left me was because we didn't quite ''get'' each other in a deep level to sustain a long-term relationship...although he could see himself marrying me - and even said so after the break-up. When we broke up, he wasn't able to express himself properly, perhaps because he didn't want to hurt me (as I've read in the thread) or he was as confused with his feelings.

 

Although it was the worst time of my life, I know we made the right decision to break up. Who knows maybe with time apart we'll mature and be different people and cross paths again? but I don't want to hold my breathe on that.

 

I hope with time I'll be less scared to love again- but the other part of me is optimistic, since relationships seem to be more fulfilling as we grow up and experience.

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