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18 months on and still cant shake the feelings

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Hi guys,


Well just decided to post as for some reason im having a bad few days where I cant seem to shake the memories. Some will know my story.. its been going on for 18 months now! I've been doing pretty good since the start of the year and a few months ago set up my own company with a few guys which is going well. My life has completely changed since the break up but i still have this permanent feeling of loss and emptiness that no matter what I do, whether it be dating, work, travel etc I just cant seem to shake.


As some may know, my ex still keeps in regular contact with the miss you's, occasional love you;s etc etc even though she is still with the guy she left for. I've never understood this. As I set up the company i moved back to the city where we used to live - all my friends are here and whilst working away helped it was just time to come back home for career and personally. My ex learned of this from some old mutual friends and sent me an email last week saying how she dreaded bumping into me, how she didnt have the same life she had when we were together and she wanted to move away... as I say, i've never understood it.. she's with someone but sends me this kind of thing. I generally reply but i never get into the "us" and am basically just civil to her.


Anyway i guess im just venting as today has been one of those days.. its her birthday this weekend so im thinking that is playing on my mind.. has anyone felt like this after so long? As usual your comments really appreciated

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I know what you mean when you mentioned having feelings close to a significant date, such as a birthday.


Yesterday was an anniversary for me and my ex. And the past few days I've felt so crap, not because I miss/love him, I am reminded of all the hurt the relationship caused me. For now I have no idea who to talk to abt this, I tried reaching out to my ex to see if there's anything to close up between us.


It's annoying how everyone tells us that it is a learning experience. It is, but sometimes the memories or feelings just poison our lives, making us feel empty and sad all the time.


I have no idea what to do when you are hit with these feelings when you should be over someone especially after a year or more.

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She sounds BPD to me... trying to keep you as a backup - hanging on.


Yep your probably not wrong.. foolish as i was i guess, i left the door open for her for a long time as she's been saying these kind of things from about 2 months on from the break up.. at some point i just let it go as i know nothing will ever change, nor do i think I want it anymore... just some days like today i cant shake the memories ](*,)

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For what it's worth I'm officially broken up for close to eighteen months now and, like you, she has tried to keep in touch whilst with someone else and I too can't understand why. There is an argument that it's about ego or backup but I can't help thinking this can't be the only reason especially with everthing that has been said and done.


Regret is a hard thing to live with and repressed (or in your case) expressed feelings make it hard to move on. Like you I have moved away and am staying away in order for me to heal and emotionally be the person I was before I met her (i.e. strong, vibrant and confident) but the whole process has changed me.


How someone can have feelings for someone else and still be with another person beats the life out of me but I and you are not them. I wish I really and truly knew why this happens but I don't.


I do know this, from personal experience, I left a girlfriend in my early 20s partly because I listened to other people who said 'you can do better' and I always knew I could get her back. I didn't realise I loved her until I was gone and I didn't realise how much I still cared until I found out she was pregant by someone else and had moved in with him. It then hit me like a ton of bricks. We got back together five years later - and she would try again now but my heart still belongs to another at this moment but the window when things will work and damage is not done is fleeting.


Like you, my life is getting better, but I also have this feeling I can't shake. I have never done anything to make her hate me but with all the (mixed) messages that have flowed between us I could be angry towards her but this is a destructive impulse I will not give into.


It could also be this. I don't know the details of your situation but everyone around my ex believes she has made the biggest mistake of her life and they could also see what it was doing to me. I think her friends and her family all had my best interests at heart and the guy she's with is a liar, unemployed, a control freak and 62! I couldn't be more opposite and I think she has developed a siege mentality where she is trying to make this fit (whilst keeping me in her life - a fact her BF is unaware of).


Last time I saw her in early Feb she looked ill, had lost about a stone in weight and did not look happy. If your ex is happy with someone else why try and keep you hanging on? Egocentric, selfish and cruel maybe but also something else? I wish I could say for certain...truth is I don't know and am getting to the point where I care less day by day.

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Hi Leveller,


Many thanks for your reply.. our situations are very similar. Most people say its for ego or back up but as you say, in our cases I just dont believe its purely that. I think for sure there is a lot of regret on her part now, maybe that grass that was looking so green 18 months ago is not so green after all.


I always left the door open for her to come and talk but she never has and I just wont keep going down the same path any longer. How can she be with someone else but still profess all these feelings still is beyond me and im sure her new guy must surely pick up that all is not what is should be. They are moving away to a different country soon apparently and like you i'm just starting to care less and less...which is a sad way to think about someone who was a part of your life for 8 years.

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Its been like 13 months since my ex fiance left and I still think of her. My life has changed dramatically both positively and negatively. I have seen her twice in the last 13 months both times were under work related circumstances. I was civil but distant the first time she was also civil but distant and the second time she was cold and rude.


Their lives go on with out us. I keep telling myself that while I spent months suffering over her leaving she was out having fun, dating, and living her life. For her I am just a passing memory a stage in her life.


That life I had with her is long gone and at times I long for it but life goes on. Keep going man tomorow is another day.

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jaylh25, and Leveller, I'm in the same position and a similar timeframe. It's been 15 months since the first break-up (8 year relationship) and 5 months or so since the second (I took him back but found out he was still seeing the OW behind my back!). Just like in your cases, my ex still contacts me occasionally with 'I miss you' and 'I hope you're doing ok' and 'I want to put things right' but all the while, he's with her!!! It's a total head **** it really is. I haven't answered his calls in a very long time and haven't responded to a single email. I've been tempted at times but I promised myself no more. I deserve better. So what I did was I gathered some of the photos of the two of them (the ones I discovered when he assured me they weren't seeing each other) and I put them on my desktop. Now I've looked at these photos everyday and it seems to be the one thing that's helped me detach emotionally from him. The more I look at them, the more I think, 'go ahead and call, I don't give a damn anymore'. So yes in answer to your question, I have felt that bad after that length of time but it's eased up sooo much over recent months. It may be worth your while blocking your ex if this continues though. Otherwise this kind of 'I miss you but I want him' behaviour could go on indefinitely'.


It's very sad to think someone I loved and cherished could hold me in such low regard but I'll just have to come to terms with that.

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Jaylh25, SurfNSki and Saffron.


The longer I live the less I understand. For the longest time I thought I must be the only on going through this. Certainly, I have never experienced a situation like this and it is beyond my comprehension. Personally I'm either in a relationship or I'm not. Again, for me personally, I can't see how you can be in a relationship when you have feelings for another person. Feelings do lessen over time, something we all seem to be attesting to, but do they ever completely go away? Perhaps this is down to the individual. It's like they've got one foot in and one foot out of their relationship though.


I remember two things - and I don't know whether this helps or brings perspective - but she said to me on more than one occasion '[the way I'm going] I'm going to end up alone'. Secondly I said to her about a year ago 'Your going to end up hurting three people'. Her reply was 'I won't get hurt'. All I know is that for a year now it has always been me who stops speaking to her. Twice I have got back in touch but I won't do it again. She had lost most of the respect she once had for me and this is primarily my doing and my words and actions didn't marry. She was also happier with me in her life for whatever reason.


It does help somewhat to know my situation is not unique and there are others who have experienced this pain. It has hurt more deeply and had a more lasting negative impact than any other relationship I have had. I *think* I have been around long enough and seen enough to understand that this is not as simple as ego boost or insecurity. My feeling is that whatever positives I/we represent and makes me/us who I/we am she/he will not find in someone else whether it's their current BF/GF (presuming they are still together) or the next. My ex's family and friends described me as 10,000 times better than anyone she has ever gone out with. As I've said, regret is a difficult thing to live with.


A row of dominoes hit me at the end of 2008 and into 2009. I didn't fall and I did very little wrong except offer someone my unconditional love. What more can we do? Their regret, not ours perhaps?

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Guys, thanks for all the posts..it does help to know I am not unique in my situation or the feelings i experience after this length of time..


Leveller so much of what you said is pretty much exactly how I feel.. Ive had break ups in the past but never anything like this. I think the main problem is after a long term relationship you have to spend time on your own to grieve and get over it before your ready to date again.. with my ex as she left for someone else she never properly got over it and it seems once that initial novelty of something new worn out, she has then started to reflect on just what she left behind.. and as you say regret is a difficult thing to deal with. I'm not sure, but also i think the fact that she hears im doing ok with my life and my career it somehow heightens it... its the only rationale i can put on things..


SurfNski & Saffron, yep i too adopted that sort of mentality at the start of the year and certainly her telling me she was moving away was the final bit for me to just say ive had enough of dealing with this crap. I wished her the best, told her she had to focus on her relationship and let go of whatever it is she was holding of the past.. for me mentally, ive got stronger although i do have my down days like today but im not gonna be a bit part player in anyones life again.

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I very much agree, and empathise with, what your saying. I've highlighted this sentance above because this is how I feel also. We were central and we allowed ourselves to become marginalised. I remember, again from abut a year ago, that not only did she believe she had total control of the situation but that myself and her few friends were essentially becoming a supporting cast to what had become a very self-centred and selfish world view. She felt that she had all the power and this is a key dynamic of relationships. By moving on with our lives, and making ourselves the best we can be without stepping on or over others to do this, IMO this heightens the chances that regret will creep in by shifting the power balance back to a healthy state (and hopefully in our favour). Whatever happens down the line there is no substitute for doing all it is that we set out to do and with it reclaim our power.


Like you, I struggle sometimes (maybe a lot) with trying to unerstand her actions and reactions...they were all over the place as mine were. This is what happens when you are emotionally attached IMO. For me this is as recent as Jan-March this year (the last point at which she contacted me after telling me she had deleted my number after I had said 'No more of this when your with someone else' - or words to that effect). I haven't cried much (once or twice maybe) and I feel I might be suppressing my feelings but I don't want to let what she (and I) did to get the better of me. Of late I have really felt like crying. I think in part because I moved on finally with the thought that this time around I might not see or hear from her again. I don't know how this plays out on the recieving end but I always think of her as happy with her life and happy with him and the choices she's made. My intellect and gut feeling tell me this is not how it is playing out but I have no way of knowing. NC is an information vaccuum on both sides of the coin.


I do not find out how she is doing and I could and I do not let any negative information leak out of my end if she should ask after me. Again, a memory from last summer. She texted me to say something along the lines of 'People are asking how you are and if you've found a job yet, don't know what to say. U should stay in touch'. Does any of this sound familiar?

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Hi jaylh25


First of all congratulations on starting your own company with friends! It's great news, something I also wanna do and I wish for you to thrive my friend


Now regarding the ex and maybe the other posters' exes too. I think it has to do with some sort of addiction, at least that's how it seems to be in my case. The other person (ex) possesed something that seems crucial to you and maybe the same goes for them. It's all rooted on fear, even the slight idealism of it all that goes on in their mind and yours. It's a habbit, a familiarity and a way of stopping them to fully take responsibility for their lifes. It is also about insecurity from both sides. It's the giving you a bit just to keep the addiction going. I struggle with this BIG DEAL. I am ok, strong, keep moving then he contacts me and I get a glimpse of the dream again, he sounds so genuine, before I understand it I hurt again. He as well contacts me, wanting all these things, promising love and as soon as it gets to the crunch he backs off and hurts too. It is simply an addiction..one that they start. We pull away because we have identified the weakness but they have to do too.


I did something some months ago that helped a bit. I wrote down a list of all the things I missed about my ex, what was I getting from him that I felt paralysed without it? When I had it written down I was able to look at ways of getting it elsewhere.




a sense of belonging-finding like minded people that I am comfortable with

understanding and loving my quirky side-find other quirky people

being desired-take care of myself and sex up so I am desired again


Once you put things down in a more realistic, down to earth way a lot of the drama is lost. Look at the facts of today and work with that and that alone. Words here and there mean crap really.

Still mentioning these I feel deep disillusion about what has gone on, like everyone else this has changed me both ways, positive and negative. As I write my ex has sent me yet another little something through the post, said he wants to come and visit, I am beautiful and sexy yet I still think he's not inlove with me..I think he loves me as a person but he's not inlove with me as a woman. He's scared to completely break away from me. Maybe the same is happening with others' exes here. And I think we all deserve someone who's inlove with us wholeheartedly. Somebody who dreams of our smile and our hug, how we look in the morning, that meal together and our legs close under the table. The other day I went on a date with someone and things felt very different. We sat at a bench by a big church and we had ice cream, it was a warm summer night with a light breeze. He at some point put his head on my lap and he would be close to me at any opportunity. His eyes were warm and I had no confusion as to whether he likes me. Regardless of what happens through him I saw a possibility of how it can be.


I am a romantic at heart and I think that love does conquer all and any little thing our exes do is just that; a little thing. Sad as I am to admit this I think they wouln't be somewhere else if they really wanted this badly. At least that's the only way I can rationalise it.

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hey quirky good to hear off you.. hope your doing well yep i think your last sentence summed everything up with our exes. At the end of the day they can say they miss u, even love u etc etc but words are just cheap and if they did have those feelings and did want it badly they wouldnt be where they are. it really is as simple as that. I've often said that to my ex, how can you say these things to me and yet be living and sharing a bed with someone else.. i just dont get it and never will.


For me when she emailed and told me she had regrets, i didnt feel any kind of validation more just anger that she walked away from us with a blink of an eye, never talked to me about what was going on in her mind..just upped and left one day and left a note.. and for what?


And so i guess we just carry on moving on and that was a great story Quirky of your date.. i hope i get to feel that again someday..

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Its been going on for 18 months now!


I've been doing pretty good since the start of the year and a few months ago set up my own company with a few guys which is going well.


My life has completely changed since the break up but i still have this permanent feeling of loss and emptiness that no matter what I do, whether it be dating, work, travel etc I just cant seem to shake.


.....even though she is still with the guy she left for. I've never understood this.


Has anyone felt like this after so long?

Wow! Its like looking in a mirror! lol


15 or 16 months for me if I count it, and yes still hurting a bit...


New company is going really well too so cheers to you and me Jay*


I guess I'm lucky coz my ex actually doesnt contact me anymore although she used to....I never got 'I miss you' but I did get 'He's just not you. Noone will ever replace you. We dont communicate as well....etc etc blah blah"


I've seen them out togther twice this week but I think its just the Universe testing me and pouring on the challenges as I push for the finish line in this amazing healing journey*


Once again ENA has done a great thing by providing a place where you can really discover that you are indeed, not alone*

So long as we are moving our lives forward and not letting life pass us by, then we will all heal in time at our own pace*


Ever Forward


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Hey guys,


Its about 16 months for me and for the most part I am moving on well...I still do have a kinda empty spot inside as I haven't met anyone who 'fits' me quite as well and I can relax with in the way I did with my ex...but I have filled my life with so many other activities, friends and distractions and am happier in myself than when we were together...the longest we were ever out of touch has been three weeks and I think really if I had been strong enough to cut all ties I would not have these lingering nostalgic feelings from time to time. I am casually seeing a lovely guy who makes me feel like a princess when we are together but I still think of my ex at times and do comparisons - how screwed is that???


Ex has always said it would be a shame not to stay friends, but when we become too friendly pulls away. He has never said he misses me but has told my teen daughter lots of fond things he remembers about me, has said it would be really cool to meet up (then backs out) etc etc SO two weeks ago I took the step to move away finally from him and have blocked him on everything. I know some folk can do the 'friends' thing but this weirdness we had since the breakup has held me back.


Nice to know I am not the only one who still has mixed feelings after so long - thing we mostly, but not all, seem to have in common is that we have maintained contact in some shape or form with the other person. Takes a lot of strength to just close that door and walk away completely, am hoping I can keep it up as this time I am feeling much more relaxed and happy with my life now he is no longer in the background...

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Yeppers, I'm 12months out now. (the old timers thread =p ) I still think about her. Had wicked dreams the last 3 nights, all very happy happy but somehow I was randomly abandoned at the end of each. Symbolism anyone?! Anyhoo, my life is totally different now - for better and worse. I spent a long time mourning things but not so much anymore. I miss what was. It doesn't consume me but it is still there. An emptiness, loneliness, a sense of not quite right. Unlike you folks I'm ~10months NC. So perhaps it's not contact but depth of feelings. Either that or we are all utterly insane. =p hehe

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