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Needs some tough love


hopetoheal

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Hi,

 

My ex boyfriend (of a year) and I broke up a few months ago. He is divorced with children and wasn't ready to incorporate me into that part of his life (meeting the kids). We care for each other a lot, but not being able to meet his kids was making me feel really bad.

 

I just spoke to him yesterday after a month and half of not speaking (he texted me happy birthday and it took off from there). It was a really nice, easy conversation and reminded me what I loved about him. I was happy to hear that he missed me, but the flip-side of that is thinking, "we like each other, so what's the problem?" It wasn't a horrible, demoralizing break up, so I'm remembering the good things and playing down the bad in my mind (and there were some bad things).

 

Somehow I need to remember that I deserve more than half of a relationship. I'm 41 and I feel like it's hard for me to meet someone I really like, so I'm just feeling confused and pessimistic. Any words of encouragement?

 

Thanks!

HTH

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I understand the feeling: "we like each other, so what's the problem?" I get it everytime we talk, which is why NC is my goal for now. I am 51, we have been together 30 years, but he worked all the time and long distance and didn' want to change any of that. You are right, you deserve more than half of a relationship. It is easy to feel confused and pessimistic in this position, but know that you are loving and lovable and have a long list of excellent qualities and abilities. Write down that list and look at it every now and then.

 

Someone here mentioned an exercise that I find helpful, I'll see if I can post a link.

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I can't find it,..

 

But this might help you feel more upbeat:

 

When you have a memory of your relationship, imagine you are taking a snapshot of it. Then imagine it like a polaroid picture, but in reverse, with this variation: The image of you remains strong, even becoming more vivid and vital and vibrant, and the rest of the picture fades, loosing details and becoming insignificant.

 

You are great!

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Hi,

 

.. but not being able to meet his kids was making me feel really bad.

 

 

That alone should have made you realise that he does not take you seriously as a SO.

As painful as it is at the time, walking away and taking your hurt with you, is the only solution to someone who is "compartmentalizing" their life like he did.

He had you in a pigeon hole.

I bet that he also was fairly reluctant to integrate you into his family and social network too.

Did you ever feel like you were orbiting?

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Actually, he was fine with me meeting his parents and friends. It was just the kids. I guess this sent a mixed message to me, as did talking on the phone 3 times a day, going away together, getting each other nice presents, asking me where we should retire to, etc.

 

But, yes, with the kids, I always felt like he was hiding me away. They knew of my existence, but god forbid we should see each other face to face.

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