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Moving on........it is about time!

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I am going to say goodbye to ENA for a while. I need to focus on myself. I have recently suffered a setback and as much as ENA has helped me, at this point, I need to let it all go.


My ex and I broke up 2 years ago after an incredible friendship for 6 mos and an intense relationship for 6 mos. We both worked in the same place and had to keep our relationship under wraps. The constraints that the secret relationship were more than either of us could handle or negotiate with success. I lost my job there 11 mos ago. Back in April, he finally returned my things. Back at the end of September, he finally communicated with me (a response to a benign email I had sent) and indicated that he was thinking of me and wanted to get back in touch. Mid-October I contacted him to see if he was free to get together for the drink he offered. We had a wonderful night catching up and yes, we were intimate (BIG BIG mistake). He and I both stated how wonderful it was to see each other and what a great time we had. But then, I never heard from him. Last Friday, he texted me to call him. I did. We spoke for 5 hours. He is seeing someone else.


What did I learn? A lot. While it was the most confusing and contradictory conversation I have ever had with a man in my entire life, I know that I cannot do this any more. I have to love him without being with him. I have to do everything that I can to move forward and not to reflect on the relationship and not allow myself to miss him or the relationship any more. He too has missed me and thought of me every single day for the past two years. The irony is while this man could not tell me that he loved me when we were together (he did but distanced himself immediately and it eventually lead to us breaking up), he must have told me about 20x when we spoke. Kept saying that he loves me. He told me that I was the most important person in his life. That I made him a better person. That I was his best friend. He wants my friendship and support for seeing this new girl as he is trying to move on from me and us as he has been unable to do so for the past 2 years - same as me. He wants to stay in touch, talk, get together once in a while, etc.... all while he is exploring this relationship. He wants to move on from me and even admitted that any new woman in his life has incredibly huge shoes to fill that I left behind. He doesn't know if he can accept less. He enjoyed seeing me a month ago and it was one of the best nights we spent with each other. But, he doesn't feel the "magic." When I asked him what he meant by "magic" he had trouble answering. It was a feeling was the best he could describe. When I told him what magic meant to me, I told him that it was when two people share a bond and a connection that no one can break, where you are both comfortable with each other and just being together feels natural. He agreed. And then he told me that he is so comfortable talking to me and being with me and he doesn't feel that with his new girlfriend and doesn't know if it is going to work out. What?????? (inside voice)


The few times that I tried to put an end to the conversation, he didn't want to end it as he was having a great time talking to me and didn't want it to end. Thankfully, at 230am, his phone died and neither of us tried to reconnect. The gist of the conversation was that he was sorry for being disrespectful to me for two years where I was keeping in touch with him here and there and he was ignoring me. He admitted he was being a jerk. He told me that he realizes that he loves me and he can't imagine not having me in his life. He misses our friendship and wants his best friend back. He started to tell me things about what he and his girlfriend were doing and I told him that I couldn't handle it, couldn't "witness" it even if through conversation, it was too hard as these were things that I had been looking forward to sharing with him when we didn't have to be a secret any more. He said he understood. I asked him if I was to phone him up and tell him I was going to be in the area with my new boyfriend and if we could stop by, if he would be ok with that? He said "absolutely not!"


He wants me to be his friend and someone that he can talk to because I am important to him and he enjoys our conversations and my friendship very much. The other reason he feels we can't be together, besides the lack of "magic" that he put it (and then contradicted himself on) is that I was the first relationship after his divorce and that makes me the rebound and those don't work (we started up 1.5 years after his divorce). He wants to move on from me and wants my support and friendship while he does this. He encouraged me to find someone that treats me right and that can give me what I want (being in love with me).


After a day of thinking about the whole conversation in a state of numbness, I tested him and told him that as much as I was grateful for our conversation the other night, I wanted him to be happy. I told him that I thought it was foolish that we wouldn't harm the friendship we have if we tried to build on it now when we obviously are not at a place where we are indifferent to the other's status with someone else in their life. I told him I cannot be in his life right now and who knows, maybe in a few years when none of this matters. I told him I could no longer be in his life as it would compromise me and I was done with doing that as I have done too much of that in my life until now. I wished him well and that he finds the happiness that he could not find or enjoy with me.


I am done. I have deleted his pictures and contact info. I am taking everything and anything having to do with him and I am locking it up forever in a box that I might run accross some years down the road when they would be happy memories and not painful ones. While I am not ready to get myself out there again (I have dated a few people in the past few years and I am just not there yet and it wasn't right with them) I will hope to do so sometime in the near future - maybe spring? But staying on ENA, initiating contact with him to stay in touch, seeing him a month ago, all of it - it all has to come to a final and abrupt end. Even if the connection with him was so strong and so great, he is not in a place where he wants to maintain it with me while committed to each other. I cannot offer him friendship. If I hadn't seen him a month ago and it wasn't such a wonderful night together, perhaps in the near future this would have been possible. But it stirred up way too much for me and while I am not nearly as tortured as I was in the beginning - it still hurts. However, thanks to ENA and the healing and work I have done for myself, I have strength today that I didn't have before. But I need to take the next step and leave here as well. I need to only focus on me and nothing to do with relationships. I need to plant my two feet firmly on the ground. I need to fully enjoy happiness alone.


I will miss a lot of you. There have been a lot of people that have helped me. I hope that I have also helped some as well. The message remains the same.....focus on yourself. Don't give into breadcrumbs as hard as it is, it will only set you back. Keep soldiering forward and find yourself and you will find your life.


Best to all. Thanks for listening. Had to get it all off my chest and "out there" before I signed off. Who knows, I might be back one day. For now, I need the separation for my healing and to really let go for good.



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Bye Learning to Relax, I remebered you in my posts and must say you help me thru alot of difficulties., iam deeply sorry for your anguish and pain... you seem to be a wonderful person , thats why the ex does not want to lose you as a friend.. you proved to him you have pride , keep going forward !! dont look back , forgive your mistakes ... and his... I wish you all the best !

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Thank you all so very much for your support and words of encouragement. I do wish the best for all of you.......it takes all the strength that you can muster but remember that you are doing it for you and no one else. That is the best thing you can do for you - do for yourself and not for them. You deserve your efforts more than anyone else. Everyone else comes next.

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Sorry for your setback. However as the saying goes, it is always darkest before the dawn. You are making the right decision and the sun will shine brightly for you again.


Remaining friends will only keep you in a state of "Ground Hog Day" where you never really move forward. You have made the decision to move forward and all the best to you.

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Good luck moving forward. You're making the right move. Our situations are very similar. I also saw her recently and everything came back in an amazing night. Love, hope the whole deal. Some declarations of a desire to change followed, and now an admission that she's happy with someone else.


It's tremendously painful. I know these boards are here to help, but in a lot of ways I think they're a disaster. It's just an extension of the obsession over this person. Keep your head up. I've found with focusing on this undefined relationship has kept me distracted from the other areas of my life that need work. Maybe that's the case with you. Maybe not but I do think you're saying all the right things. Good luck.

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I've always found your posts very helpful during the last year! Thanks a lot for your help and support!


I hope soon you are going to find the happiness and love you deserve and that it will make you forget all the pain and sorrow your ex put you trough! You seem to be an awesome person and I am certain, love is going to find you again!! Wishing you all the best! We will miss you here!!

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All the best to you LTR. You will be missed here. I'm sure you are going to be alright in time. To be honest with you, when I read your post about what you have recently been through, I wish there was a way I could reach out into space and slap the silly guy. I too hope we will hear from you to see how you are going - and I'm sure you are going to go well. Thanks for sharing your story, experiences and wisdom.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

L2R I'm glad that you decided to take serious action in your life regarding healing and moving forward in general.


You're definitely in a better place than you were before and it's obvious that you're going to go a long way.


I have faith in your healing and your future decisions - I'm happy for your achievements.




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  • 5 weeks later...

Well, I never thought I would be where I am so quickly after this post. I am amazed at myself actually. And to share how it feels - freeing, happy, wonderful, etc......


So not even 3 months out from this last post where I just wanted to zap my brain of the memories with my ex (think Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) and I have to share that I am doing amazing today in comparison to then. Wow, it really stinks when you are in that place and can't see the light at the end of the tunnel. And any mirage of a light you realize is a train coming at you, mowing you down again.


I have been hovering on ENA every once in a while. Mostly to see how others are doing. I occasionally replied to a thread when I felt compelled to contribute. But otherwise, I have been away and getting on with my life and doing things to move myself forward.


I think it is easier for men to go out and get moving when hurting. I think men, for the most part, are just more active and better at getting out or exercising and doing things to help distract them to move through the time faster. Speaking for myself, as a women, it was the last thing I could do. I was like cement. I was stuck. I couldn't move and was hardly motivated to do so. I wanted to. I thought about it a lot. I couldn't do it. Well, I worked on that straight away. And yes, it took baby steps. Some days, I stunk at it. Some days, I rocked at it. Some days, it was just enough to both move through the day, keep my thoughts in the present and sometimes even ENJOY myself! The most important thing that I learned through trying to find my motivation was that on the days that I gave into laziness and reminiscing, I would recall how much better I felt at the end of a day or after a period of time where I was up and physically doing something (out of the house). It then helped to limit my paralysis. At first, I would be out and about for a day, feeling rather good about it. The next day, paralyzed and giving into it (easy to do). But the thoughts on how I felt after the "busy" day motivated me to start planning "busy" days in advance to help get me out of the door. Then it got better to the point where if in the morning I felt paralyzed, a strength from deep inside pulled me up from my boot straps and got me going after a few hours of the paralysis nonsense that I was allowing to "own" me. And here I am now, only staying in bed longer than usual on a weekend day because I am exhausted and catching up from a day or weekend of non-stop go, go, go! How nice! I am no longer unmotivated. I am no longer thinking of how to be motivated or stay motivated. Why? Because I AM motivated. It is a state of being. I can't tell you how wonderful it is to have this back. It was horrible to lose it. I hope I never fall that far again. It was like being paralyzed where I wanted to but wasn't physically able. And the worst part is that I KNEW it was all MENTAL. There was nothing physically stopping me but my choice to allow the mental mind games inside my head to own me.


I have signed up with a personal trainer from Jan to May and love it! Sometimes, due to my busy schedule (I am a single mom after all and work full time) I can only get there 2x a week. But I start every week with the mindset of trying to make it 5x and then don't beat myself up when it is only 2x. I accept that 2x is the min and where a week is chock full and that if I can make it over 2x, BONUS! I have already lost about 10 lbs and feel great. Not to mention ALL the benefits that everyone talks about on here about "going to the gym." I remember thinking when reading those entries: "yeah, yeah, yeah.....if only I could...." Well now I am and they are right but I don't beat myself up for where I was because it is behind me, I can't change it, and I learned a TON from it and they were invaluable lessons that I might not otherwise have learned.


I am doing more with my son and our relationship has improved. Logical. I feel guilt from time to time about how he must have suffered while I was so "checked out" but instead of swimming in guilt, I just use the guilt to immediately motivate me to make up for it now in the present and near future. We are having fun and communicating so much better than we have in a while and he told me it is nice to have me happy. And I agree with him! I was only present physically before. I have apologized to him for that. It was selfish of me. But we are moving on from that and it is good.


I can't even believe that I am going to say this next part......I am seeing someone. It is a very new relationship. Only a couple weeks in. We are both kind of old fashioned in that we can only date one at a time. Doesn't feel right otherwise and spend more time in our heads about how wrong it feels when we try vs. just enjoying. So we are both only dating each other and will see how it goes. We are getting to know each other and I have to say, wow! This is fun! I am very thankful that I did this when I was ready. Not in an attempt to get over someone. I can fully enjoy the experience this way. So we will see.....time will tell and if it doesn't work out, it was fun while it lasted.


I want to thank my ENA friends for the love, support, criticism (yes, even though I might have not enjoyed it at the time it did make me think or consider different perspectives than what I wanted to hear) and the lessons. I appreciate those that were kind enough to answer in my posts. I am thankful for those courageous enough to share their stories for us to learn from. I am thankful for having this community to turn to to help me understand that I was in good company with people that had similar experiences and learn from the various ways people viewed and dealt with them. It was good (and necessary) to take a break vs. the hours I used to put into ENA in order to truly help get myself up off my back end and moving forward. But it is now like an old friend to visit now and again and pop in on to say hi. I only hope that I have been as valuable to others with my contributions as others have been to me with theirs.


It is SOOOOOOO nice to be back to me. A little different than before the whole BU experience, but better and stronger and healthier! Happy Tuesday!

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Wow! What a fantastic update L2R. I'm sure your words reflect what a lot of us here are feeling, in regards to the feelings of paralysis and lack of motivation. It's such a struggle. But usually, when you (I/We) actually do take action in our own lives and do the hard work that we know we need to do, it does make us feel better (even if for only a minute). Time is the only thing we can rely on with certainty, to heal our wounds. But it's up to us to fill that time constructively so when we finally heal, we can look back and say "I've done a lot for myself" and will hopefully have a foundation for a "new" life in the works. The hard part imagining that new life, without the ex (plans for the future were dashed on the rocks due to the BU). But if we remember that the ex is most likely neck deep in their new life, not worrying about us anymore, that's motivation for us to get on with our own.


As far as feeling guilty for being "checked out" with your son during your grieving, I wouldn't worry about it too much. Sounds like you are well aware of it and are making sure he knows you're present for him now. I remember when I was much younger (13 yrs old), and my mother was going through a nasty divorce. I really felt sorry for her. It was clear that she was overwhelmed, but she still had to just deal, for the sake of of me and my brother. She worked two jobs and never rested. There was a lot of emotion and she was clearly miserable. It's hard to see your mom go through that. I remember understanding that I needed to give ol' mom a break and do what I could to help. I never resented her for being checked out. In fact, I still appreciate what she did during that time.


Thank you so much for your encouraging post L2R. I needed this one today! ...still a very long way to go for me though....

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Thank you so very much for the kind words. Trust me, it wasn't easy and I held on much longer than I should have. Working closely with the ex for a year post breakup didn't help at all! Leaving there helped.


More importantly, when I spoke to him back in November and he told me that he was seeing someone else (after he saw me 4 weeks before and we spent the night together and had a wonderful time - talk about mess with your head) really helped too. Even though it ripped my heart in two to hear that, it was really what I needed to let go and truly move on with my life. At first it was a bit debilitating and I felt like I was back at square one, but surprisingly it didn't take me long to gain enough strength to start focusing on moving on for myself and sanity. So as much as I didn't want to hear that news, I needed to hear it. Even though he wanted to re-establish our long lost friendship and professed his love for me where he couldn't when we were together, my values took over. I could not settle for being in his back pocket while he was giving it a go in a new relationship. For my self respect, and to be respectful to the new woman in his life. It wasn't fair to anyone (selfishly him maybe) and I wouldn't want that if I was in her shoes, knowingly or unknowingly. So I bid him adieu, mourned a bit and then started to take one step at a time in my direction.


The other big difference for me is that while I have been able to maintain friendships with all the other ex's in my life (not many of them) I have no desire to with him. I love him. I care for him. But those feelings have morphed. Maybe it is still too soon and the memories of his selfishness and the hurt it inflicted on my heart are still to fresh, but I don't think I am open to it like I believe I was with others in the past. Don't know....we'll see I guess. Again, time, time, time will only tell.


The other thing that I have already learned in this new relationship is that even though I thought the beginning was so great with my ex, this one so far is blowing him out of the water with respect to initiating, expressing interest, contact, communication and respect. Very attractive traits! It has already taught me how much I was willing to settle when there was any kind of chemistry or connection with the other men in my past. I have been treated so well out of the gate - it is eye opening and refreshing. Now we will just see if he can keep it up!!!


I never could see this place from where I was when I was hurting and desperate. I could help with other people and their situations (hope they thought it was help - LOL) but I couldn't see the forest through the trees when it came to myself and my own circumstances. No matter how hard I tried, I was too close to be sane and rational. I think that just speaks volumes to the theory about living in the present. The past is something that you cannot change. The future, you can't predict. What you have control over is yourself right now - in the present. By focusing on the here and now - you make choices as you go along (aka baby steps) and eventually you get to where you are going. Focusing on the pain and hurt and not having faith and confidence that it will change only projects yourself in that direction. You really aren't doing the best you can do for you, right now.


As sad as it was and as much as it hurt, I am grateful for what I have learned from all of this. I don't see it as a guarantee that I will avoid hurt and heartache in the future. There are no guarantees. However, I have learned what I need to focus on to deal and move forward. I also have more faith in myself and ability to get through it and actually be better for it. Having that faith, not losing that will be most important for me to call up on if I happen upon similar circumstances in the future.


One day at a time. You will get there too! I know you will!

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