Jump to content

The issue of "Space"


uncomfynumb

Recommended Posts

It seems a lot of breakups are a result of people needing space, "a break" or not being in touch with their emotions enough at the time of the breakup to know how they truly feel about their partner any longer.

 

I'd like to open a discussion the advantages and disadvantages of reconciling with an ex in this type of situation and personal thoughts and experiences on the subject.

 

Thanks in advance for your contributions!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

He left me once for no reason, as far as I could tell, saying he wasn't in love. I don't know what was in his head. All I know is that it hurt so badly that for two weeks, if I wasn't at work I was curled up in bed not wanting to get out of it and face the day. I didn't want to eat; I didn't want to sleep--just staring at my phone with red eyes hoping it would ring. Jumping every time a car drove by thinking maybe it was him.

 

It's been two months; I am not in that horrible place any more. I don't feel like somebody ripped my guts out any more--but it still hurts.

 

At this point, I don't care what his reasons were for leaving, and I don't care if we could have a great relationship in the future. All I know is it hurt and that people tend not to change. I could not bring myself to put myself in the same position with the same person again given that I did it once and ended up hurting this much. I think it was Einstein who said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

 

I am not capable of dealing with this sort of hurt on a routine basis. Sometimes it happens, and you can't help it, but I would not go and seek it out...fortunately I have more brain cells than a moth so that once burned, I do not feel much desire to fly straight back into the flame that did it. I love him still and miss him still but I cannot allow him a second chance to make me suffer this much again; I owe that much to myself. I'd rather start fresh with someone else, someday, and try my best to choose a man who will not bolt this time around.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fluff,

 

I agree with you that people don't tend to change but do you think it may take longer for some people to realize their feelings, especially men when faced with the idea of a commitment?

 

Honestly, I'm not sure how I feel about it completely or if I would take someone back in this instance now. I have in the past and it didn't work out however the circumstances were much different.

 

I think the biggest issue I have is trust. It's not whether they actually will leave again, it whether I believe that they will or not.

 

I don't want to be in a relationship where I feel the least bit insecure, that much is certain.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with you that people don't tend to change but do you think it may take longer for some people to realize their feelings, especially men when faced with the idea of a commitment?

 

I suppose it is possible. I'd like to believe it is. It may very well be, in your case--I have definitely been stressed out and there were times when I wanted a short break from a relationship and people generally, so I see what he said about not being ready right now but maybe in the future.

 

But I suspect that is the exception, and the general scenario is not as nice. More often it's not that they aren't ready to commit, but rather that they don't want to commit to you, or in rarer circumstances, they just don't want to commit to anyone at all.

 

Other people may have had happier experiences. But I have reconciled or explored reconciliation twice and neither time did it work well, because the exact same issues were still there--in the second case, a full year later, it was almost eerie how little either of us had changed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Other people may have had happier experiences. But I have reconciled or explored reconciliation twice and neither time did it work well, because the exact same issues were still there--in the second case, a full year later, it was almost eerie how little either of us had changed.

 

At what point do you give an ex the benefit of the doubt or atleast hear them out?

 

In your case, you haven't contacted your ex. But what if he had a ring or was genuine in his wanting to reconcile and commit to the relationship?

 

I guess I'm trying to put together somewhat of a list of when it is probably ok to reconcile and when it is definitely not ok. What has to happen or not happen for their to be renewed faith and trust in the ex and the relationship?

 

I think I know for myself but I'm hoping someone else will post something that I or others have not considered.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In your case, you haven't contacted your ex. But what if he had a ring or was genuine in his wanting to reconcile and commit to the relationship?

 

The time when I would be willing to hear him out would be only when it no longer cost me anything or hurt to speak to him, which could be a very long time from now. Namely, when I thought I could evaluate things with my head and not just with my heart.

 

But honestly I think no matter what he said, I still would not trust him or be able to love him again. I can imagine no circumstance under which I would reconcile.

 

He had a lot of problems; I would not call him a catch by any means. But I took his love for me and his commitment to me as kind of a blanket that covered whatever wasn't perfect--because of that commitment I was willing to accept his flaws and all the other little hurts of everyday life that happen when two different people rub up against each other.

 

But when he said he no longer loved me or saw a future with me, he tore the blanket off. And with it off I suddenly saw all of his flaws (some very large) and remembered all the old little hurts.

 

The problem is that now even if he took that blanket and put it back, now I have clearly seen what is under it, and I don't want to tie my life to that any more.

 

Also with him gone, I decided that I was free--I didn't want to live in a very rural place forever, and that I didn't like my job that much. So I think without the constraints of having to accommodate him, I changed in ways that made us not a practical fit any more, whereas we were two months ago. It was sort of like he'd popped a balloon and let all the air out...hard to reverse that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fluff,

 

You are the perfect example of someone finding the silver lining in the dark cloud of a break up. I wish my ex had more flaws however the longer that we are apart, the more problems I see that we had in our relationship though I don't think the problems that we had were huge by any measure. But I do wonder now if the problems we had were clearer or bigger to him than they were to me...

 

 

 

In relationships, I guess things seem to work in reverse; they look better upclose and worse from a distance!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was very influenced by SuperDave's posts in this regard.

 

He says when your SO tells you they want space, give them all the space they want and then some. And don't put your life on hold.

 

These thoughts are totally biased, but take them as you will. This may not be the reconciliation story you are looking for, but this works for me, and perhaps it will help. I'm typing it out as much for my own benefit as anyone else's.

 

I don't believe in breaks. The person asking for it either 1. wants to break up and is trying to let you down easy, or 2. they might want to break up, but are not sure and are wondering if they can find out without actually having to break up.

 

I have done #1 and have had #2 done to me. In scenario #1, I saw how the person totally trusted me and this doubled the hurt, and I hated myself for putting him through that. It made me not want to see him because it was a reminder of what I terrible, cowardly thing I did. I would never do that to anyone again.

 

In scenario #2, I realized afterwards it was just an excuse to date other people (under the circumstances I considered it cheating) and of pushing me into ending the relationship.

 

I would consider getting back together with #1 in theory (not that it will ever happen because we live in different places and I have no idea who he is anymore) but I never want to hear from #2 again. (BTW neither are my latest ex)

 

There were times before my breakup when my latest Ex suggested taking a break. I told him I consider a break a breakup. When we did break up, it was harsh but there was no ambiguity about it. I asked once if he wanted to try to make it through the holidays but he didn't want to so I accepted that.

 

It's very freeing in a way. When you are respecting their request for space, you're not working so hard to save a lost cause. It tore me up inside at first, but I worked through it and I'm in a good place now. The hardest thing was to take all the steps needed to physically unentangle our lives. I had to be the one to give back his stuff that was at my house. I should have done it sooner because it was cluttering up my mind and emotions. I disconnected from the social networking sites that were bugging me, but not all.

 

I followed some of the NC dogma but not all of it. We always had light contact, 90% initiated by him. There were a number of helpful ENA posts about LC, about being friendly, but not friends. I believe in that approach.

 

The space has been just as helpful for me as for him.

 

From time and distance, I started to accept that many of the issues he complained of on my end of were worth examining and changing. And I'm also able to see more clearly the things he does that are legitimate problems, and tell him in a calm way what he can do to fix it. And he has.

 

We're in pretty regular contact now. I have said clearly I don't consider us friends because I think of him as more. That combined with me not initiating contact but responding to his, I think is what works for me. I don't ask him out, but he's asked me out. I make him ask me, I don't jump all over the slightest hint.

 

I do believe people change. I hope so, because there are some things I want to do better. I've made myself get better habits. I don't look at the phone all the time. I go to the gym and go out with friends.

 

So it's not reconciliation but if that was in the cards, I don't think I've done anything to obstruct it. The contact we have is only positive. Yes I have issues I vent about on ENA from time to time but I keep it on my side of the street. It is not preventing me from meeting others. A couple guys have asked me out, but I could tell they were Mr. Wrongs and I didn't waste time with them. There is one guy I could get interested in, so we really will see.

 

Getting back to your point, if the ex is the one who asked for space, you give it to them. Because you care, not because you don't. And you have to make it very clear to them that because they are the ones who wanted space or a breakup, they have to be the one making efforts at closing the gap.

 

Hope that helps.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fluff,

In relationships, I guess things seem to work in reverse; they look better upclose and worse from a distance!

 

Ha--that last part is true! I think though that the reverse happens for the dumper. Two months ago I read a thread on here saying the dumpers' feelings toward the dumpee become more positive in time, whereas after a while the dumpee has very negative feelings toward the dumper. I said to myself "how is that possible? I think I will just miss Joe more and more, and he will want less and less to be with me." Now I see the truth in that thread.

 

Joe told me he had dumped a very sweet girl in the same way he dumped me, and a year later got to missing her and regretting. So then he called her up and cheerfully (he was never the most subtle person) said "Hi, this is Joe!" To which she replied "you a______," hung up on him, married a rich dude somewhere and never spoke to him again.

 

I was so confused when he told me that and naively thought "oh...if a good guy came back to me, I'd take him back in an instant, or at least I wouldn't be angry." Now I understand. I wouldn't swear at him, but I don't want to talk to him either.

 

The thing is, this is what NC does--some time later, often the dumper thinks "hey, s/he wasn't so bad after all" and starts to miss the dumpee. The problem is that meanwhile the dumpee has spent months thinking uncharitable thoughts about the dumper in order to detach herself. Both are in NC so neither knows how the other feels.

 

As to Joe, I think I said this on some other thread somewhere, but dating him, I felt kind of like I'd bought a used car with some problems. But since it was my car, I got used to the quirks and was kind of fond of them, and I just knew not to turn on the air conditioning or the car would stop in the middle of the road, and to cover the weird stain on the passenger's seat with a cushion.

 

I maintained the car regularly and fussed over it and put a lot of love into it. But then one day I was on the freeway, and the brakes failed, and I ran into a tree and hurt my neck. I hadn't counted on *that*. Did I love my car? Yeah. But was it worth spending half the cost of the car to fix, and risk my neck again? Probably not. Better to to junk it and move on.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From what I've read, emotional space is a basic human need and one that often pushes people out of relationships. In fact, I'd say one of the big challenges of a long term relationship is balancing the need for togetherness with the need for independence and space. When one person expresses their need for space (by withdrawing, in many cases) the other person usually clings and pursues. This pushes the first person to withdraw even more and pretty soon the whole thing unravels. This is a completely fixable problem, IMO.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like this thread. Emotional space is very necessary, and actually very healing. It definitely clears your mind, so you can put things in perspective. And I like the car analogy. You might love it, but it's totaled and there's no point in wasting your resources salvaging what can't work again.

 

One thing that's interesting: I've been NC for ten days, after a month of drama and LC. I finally cut the cord a week and a half ago when I pulled a crazy move by showing up at his place and getting rejected. It sucked, but I felt liberated. I had tried my best, he didn't want me. Decided it was time to move on.

 

Since... I've actually started running more. It's INSANE how much better you feel after you get that runner's high... pretty similar to how you feel post-sex. I've decided to run a half-marathon this year, which gives me a goal to work towards - not only is it something I can control, but it's a much more achievable goal than salvaging a broken relationship.

 

Says me, the anti-athlete.

 

I miss him, and wish he'd miss me (ego's bruised) but I have no desire to go crawling back ever again. And I feel like this after a relatively short period of time. It's crazy how spot-on the advice on this forum is... if only the heartbroken would take it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I've been talking to some "grown-ups" (for example my uncle and aunt who are in their 60's) and they said something the other day that really got me: people tend to put there very best foot forward while dating, but when you get married and have kids and a crazy schedule, those masks come off and you need to know the other person isn't going to bail. Maybe people who ask for space will eventually decide that they still want to make things work with you, but I think I'd rather have someone who's willing to fight for the relationship in the first place.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i reconciled with my bf after we broke up for 2 months because he "needed time for himself" and "space." One year later...he did the same thing and needs "space" AGAIN.

 

i am mad at myself for going back the first time. but we all learn from our mistakes and move on!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One thing that's interesting: I've been NC for ten days, after a month of drama and LC. I finally cut the cord a week and a half ago when I pulled a crazy move by showing up at his place and getting rejected.

 

I read that thread...what you did wasn't crazy; it was sweet. It didn't work, but you opened your heart and tried your best, and you will never have any regrets that you didn't give it your all.

 

I miss him, and wish he'd miss me (ego's bruised) but I have no desire to go crawling back ever again. And I feel like this after a relatively short period of time. It's crazy how spot-on the advice on this forum is... if only the heartbroken would take it.

 

I guess some advice only makes sense after the fact and you've lived through it all yourself?

 

Like all the things people said about NC (like that eventually he would miss me, and that eventually I would *not* miss him) sounded implausible until they started happening.

 

Even though I have been through all of this pain before *myself*, so I know firsthand in my head that NC is the way to go, and although I know in my head that the advice on this board is the collective wisdom of hundreds of folks who have been there, done that, and got the T-shirt, some days (especially after he called) I still have a hard time convincing myself NC is the right thing to do. Advice is weird that way.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I've been talking to some "grown-ups" (for example my uncle and aunt who are in their 60's) and they said something the other day that really got me: people tend to put there very best foot forward while dating, but when you get married and have kids and a crazy schedule, those masks come off and you need to know the other person isn't going to bail. Maybe people who ask for space will eventually decide that they still want to make things work with you, but I think I'd rather have someone who's willing to fight for the relationship in the first place.

 

What a great post. Yeah, one lesson I have learned the hard way is that people tell us through their actions, over and over again, who they are. We can save ourselves a lot of pain if we to listen to them the first time they tell us, rather than hearing whatever it is we want to hear instead.

 

It's hard to see how that applies to a specific situation. But in most of our cases, I think it means this: Someone who bails on you when the going gets tough is telling you through his actions that he is sort of person who, well, bails on you when the going gets tough. And life is tough; it's full of stresses and strains and rough edges. So someone who bails is not the sort of person you want to tie your life to.

 

Listen to what someone does, not what that person says.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Pluto is indeed very far away, not part of the solar system anymore!

 

Just some background info to educate while healing

 

Pluto was considered the Solar System's ninth planet.. On August 24, 2006, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) defined the term "planet" for the first time. This definition excluded Pluto as a planet, and added it as a member of the new category "dwarf planet".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...