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Hey everybody. I'm a long time lurker and first time poster here and wanted to get your opinion on my situation. Everyone's situation seems to be different, but all the helpful advice that's been given on the board has been great, and hopefully it can apply for my situation as well.


My girlfriend and I had been together for over a year, and we broke up in October. We had been fighting a lot, and she said that I had a problem with anger. I never physically threatened her or anything, but it was moreso my sarcasm -- I tend to get bitingly sarcastic during our fights in order to protect myself I guess, and she had enough.


Over the next few weeks we tried to make it work, but it ended up coming to a crashing halt again after another fight. She still called and texted me, told me that she missed me and loved me, etc., but that she was having a hard time forgetting about the fights and didn't know if she could be with me again. I told her that was fine, but really struggled, especially when she asked for a month off to clear her head. We got to about two weeks (this was over the Thanksgiving holiday) before I cracked and texted her. The next day I went over to her place, and she read me a list of things that she would think of randomly that hurt her while we were together. I've started seeing a psychologist in order to deal with my anger, because I don't ever want to hurt someone like I've hurt her again. I'm also reading a ton of self-help books on the subject and listening to audiobooks about not allowing negative feelings to overtake my relationships.


Last weekend she texted me that she missed me (she was out of town) and we talked on the phone Monday, and it again became clear that she loved me and still had feelings but that she still wasn't sure if she could forgive and forget all that had gone wrong our first go round. The next day, when she was back in town, she came by with a Christmas present for me, and I had one for her so we swapped. After she left, I felt absolutely terrible, and told her that I wanted her to be happy, and I wanted her to be able to forgive but also make that decision on her own, without me looking over her shoulder. I told her while she took the time to make the decision of whether or not she could forgive and forget, she shouldn't contact me, because it left me feeling like a puddle every time she left.


So here I am on Day 2 of NC, and really struggling. In the past months, when we were talking, she always let me know that there was hope, and that she really wanted things to work out between us, but that she needed the time to get back to being herself and not hurting about our fights. Now, I feel like I put the final nail in the coffin of our relationship, and I'm hurting real bad. I love her and really want to get better for her, so that I don't hurt her like I did -- but I also understand that I may have blew my shot. NC is the right decision for me, but I want to still have hope that seemed to be there while we were talking, and I want to remind her that I am still in fact here for her and want us to work out.


That's pretty much it. I'm hurting, and I don't want to hang onto hope that isn't there but I don't want to let go of hope if it IS there. Again, it's Day 2, and I'm having a real struggle. Any input on what's going on here would be great to read and think about. Thanks so much in advance.

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Well, it sounds like you are on the right path.


She stopped by and visited, which was a good sign. You are working on yourself, which is all you really can do. When you talk to her, tell her what you have learned and share how you think that can avoid problems in the future.


I am sure you will be talking to her again before Christmas, so just hang in there and try not to worry.


All you can do is be patient.

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I'm sorry you're having to deal with this man. I know it hurts. My ex and I had a similar problem with arguing. Regarding the arguing, I believe this is caused primarily by a few things:


1) You are spending too much time together

2) You both care too much about being right

3) You have a bad habit of being passive-aggressive (aka sarcasm).

4) You are not validating each other's feelings


Many people will say that the arguing is a sign of incompatibility. I respectfully disagree. I personally believe that noone is tailor-made for anyone else and that we are all somewhat incompatible. More than likely, since you were together for a year, you guys just were spending way too much time together and getting on each other's nerves. This is why having time apart and activities you do without the other is so important.


I also bet that you both care too much about being right. My advice to you regarding this is: What is more important to you: winning an argument, or showing her that you love her? Think about that next time you want to argue with her. Focus on where she is right. She is likely talking to you about things to try and gauge areas of common beliefs, interests, and values.


I also have a bad habit of being sarcastic when I get angry. Do one or both of your parents use sarcasm when they are angry? I know my mom really does, and I probably learned it from her. Instead of sarcasm, start using direct statements that begin with "I feel _________." Talk about your feelings. Don't accuse.


If she comes to you with a problem, don't problem solve or play devil's advocate. You're a guy, and guys are notorious for doing this. Instead of sitting there thinking of what you are going to say next, LISTEN TO HER. Also, practice saying this phrase and meaning it, "I can completely understand why you feel the way you do. You have every reason to be (mad/upset/confused/etc).


Just my opinion. I more or less just listed some of my major problems with my ex, although I realized them too little too late. Perhaps you have some time to remedy your behavior.

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Thanks for the advice guys.


I don't want to give up hope, and she hasn't given me reason to -- yet I still feel like I should be viewing it as over.


She's basically taking her time to get over our fights. She has told me that she had hope for us but just didn't know if she could be with me with all the stuff that happened before.


I know NC is the right move, but I don't want to let go of hope if there's still some, and I don't want her to forget me...



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