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2 months and having a hard time letting go. Should we ever be friends?

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Hi. Please excuse the long-windedness of this - I feel I am literally going crazy turning all this over and over in my head. And I would hugely appreciate any thoughts or advice anyone can offer.


My ex boyfriend and I broke up in September after 21 months. Our relationship was good, apart from the final 5 months. I am relieved in many ways we are now apart, but I did hope we could leave the possibility of distant friendship open much later maybe in a year or so. We live 300 miles apart, and do not share the same friends so there is no danger of us bumping into each other. We met on a post grad course 10 years ago, and I have liked that we have had this experience in common. At the start of the year I confessed I look through his mobile phone 4-5 times. I did not find anything to 'worry' about, I suppose I looked because after 12 months he seemed to be making no indications he wanted us to move to the next level, he'd been something of a player in the past and I was warey and I suspected he was still emotionally connected to his ex girlfriend. I believe this relationship was well and truly over, but I think he may have enjoyed her attention/felt guilty for leaving her 15 months before. I decided to tell him because I felt guilty and didn't want secrets between us. I know it was wrong, and not usual behaviour for me.


He took it badly and his behaviour totally changed. He started to go out alot more, and became snappy and less interested in me. Almost bullying if I asked anything reasonable. I believe he began flirting with girls alot - keeping his options open? I also believe he met a girl, pretty and 10 years younger than the both of us in his local city through colleagues. I think they met up a few times, and in the summer he went to Hong Kong where she is studying for a few days. 2 weeks travelling in china, a few free days in Hong Kong and a week in Thailand. So 3 and a half weeks total without me in the summer. I did not know of her existence until I found her name, phone no and email address written in a woman's hand in a small Chinese guide book that he said he'd been given by a colleague (who I now know is her best friend). He said he had no idea who the girl was - but his immediate denial and slightly smirking manner made me suspicious. He also said bluntly 'why, do think I f****d her or something?' Later I looked at his phone in secret again, having not done so for several months since I confessed to the previous time. Her phone number was stored on it. It has haunted me since.


He and I have not spoken for a month, and we did not break up too badly all things considered. 3 days ago I sent him a text to tell him I believe she and he met up, and would like him to admit it and apologise as I will find it difficult to be on friendly terms in the future if I am not able to say how upset this makes me feel now. He was aggressive, denied again that he even knew her - as usual he seemed to try to catch me out with questions, 'have you lost the plot?' 'are you schizophrenic?', refused to offer any details. Said he was '100% faithful while we were together' twice. It reminds me of how our relationship was, so on one hand I am glad not to be in it anymore. However, when I think of them meeting up, and her not knowing about me, and him lying to me at the same time it makes me feel sick. And I keep returning to that. Picturing them exploring, flirting and talking. The fact he travelled so far and at such expense - flattering her in the process. I've been thinking of sending her an anonymous 'warning' about him. Which I know is unhealthy, and I probably won't do. I also regret the way I texted him, directly accusing him.


I've had a miserable, preoccupied few months while he's had fun and adventures. I started smoking in the summer to cope with the stress, which I hate, and now feel hooked. To me he has been unfaithful, so my question is, should I be friends with him based on our 10 year friendship that I miss? And how can I stop thinking about her/them so much?


I's be very grateful for any help, advice or ideas.

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Which do you think is worse - not having him in your life and not constantly being reminded of your feelings, or constantly being reminded of these feelings?


Instead of thinking about them going out and doing things, and the "adventures" you think he's having, why don't YOU go out and do something new? Join a yoga class, or take an art class - volunteer at a food shelter, or go visit some place you've never been and always wanted to go.


Distracting yourself from what "they" might be doing is a tremendous help during the first few months. In time, you find yourself going hours, then days, then weeks without thinking about it, and you are on the road to recovery. Those distractions help that transition and fill up what was once your time spent with this person.


Work on yourself, establish some new goals, and embrace the life you have ahead of you. You don't know how he's feeling, really - and you don't need to. Healing comes from within you - it's a hard pill to swallow, but it does. It has to come from you.

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I know how you feel. I have been turning every aspect of my late relationship over in my head for four months now, and it has done me no good. Repeatedly reviewing the what if's and letting your imagination run away with what the ex is theoretically up to does nothing but lead to torment and prevents you from living your life. Of course, for me to say this is for the pot to call the kettle black. I do this all the time. I will tell myself "She's out on the town going on a date with some moron, living it up and glad to be rid of me while I'm sitting at home being upset and still finding pieces of her presence." Of course, the reality is she could very well be at home moping about our breakup too for all I know, but after a breakup, it seems that the mind becomes a bit obsessive and the imagination overactive. One comes up with scenarios tailor made to cause pain. I do it all the time. "She's probably bedding some guy right now" I'll think. Does that help me? No. Do I think it? Yes. Why? I don't know, it just happens. I don't think you did yourself any favors by bringing up the faithfulness issue nearly two months post breakup. The unfortunate reality is that you'll never get all the answers you're looking for and there will always be things left unsaid. Whether or not he hooked up with her, he's going to stick to this line, and all you're doing by bringing it up at this point is tearing the wound open and hurting yourself, giving him power over you. Your trust in him has eroded.


Was your relationship with him always long distance? I will never do a long distance relationship again for many reasons, and trust erosion is one of them. I know that in the long distance final phase of my relationship, my trust began to erode after a while. At one point, she started a new job and got a group of new friends who were about ten years her junior. I think she began to feel younger, like she was one of the cool kids again. At that point, she started going out drinking from happy hour to last call on Fridays (we had never gone out for drinks when we lived together, not that I hadn't suggested it), started working out (which she had never done; yet she went right to some extreme workout), started growing out her hair (which had been short for all the time I had known her). She also briefly talked about a male coworker, but then mention of him ceased abruptly. On her Friday nights out, she would go out of her way to call me on the way home after last call. I began to feel like she was trying too hard to convince me that nothing was amiss. Now given all the changes, I couldn't help but wonder who these changes were for. My gut tells me she was either preparing to live the single life, or was actually living it. I didn't begrudge her living her life, but I think my eroding trust is understandable since I had never seen how she is when she's drunk, and I knew that while she was occasionally designated driver, she would often get drunk when she went out. I became more skeptical because when I would go to visit her, we would have mellow dates or would stay at home watching movies. She never really took me out on the town to all the hangouts she mentioned. I begin to wonder if those were the places where she was known as being "single." I'll never know, and I honestly don't believe she cheated on me, but I think she wasn't acting like she was spoken for, either. The reality is, I'll never now, but my trust was undermined nonetheless.


As far as friendship goes, if issues go unresolved, it's my belief that friendship is essentially a non-starter. If he never takes the time to respect your concerns and give you an answer without belittling your concerns, then you will always carry this anger and resentment and true friendship will not be possible. Once again, this is a situation I find myself in. I have apologized in so many words for my part in the breakup, for things I might have done to contribute to our drifting apart. She has never truly apologized. As long as she fails to apologize for having an active role in the demise of our relationship, I will never be able to truly forgive her, and certainly will never be able to be friends with her, because those issues will always be boiling beneath the surface.


Occupying your mind with thoughts of what he might or might not be doing is destructive. As hard as it is, you have to work towards letting it go. The friendship will occur if it is meant to be and will fade if it is not. Treat yourself well, and the pain will eventually fade. At least that's what I've heard (though have yet to experience).

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Thank you for these replies. It's so valuable to get fresh perspectives. I really wish I'd found out about this site earlier. Liraele, thank you for your suggestions - it's a coincidence, but yoga, art and even the food shelter are all things I've considered doing! Plus one or two extra things. I'm hoping to join a week's residential meditation retreat in the New Year, close to where I live. A week's quiet/silent time, gardening, cooking, eating well, meditating, reading, walking in a small community; I need to re-connect with who I am. I compromised so much toward the end of the relationship it's like I feel distorted inside. Because I'm a bit depleted in energy at the moment and have a demanding full-time job, I feel it's little-and-gently acitivities in the short-term. Both of your ideas about the 'quality' of a possible resumed friendship are very useful and I hadn't really thought about it that way. I would be always be aware of his behaviour and the distress he caused, even when the anger fades. And do I really want that negativity and sadness in my life?

Thanks again.

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You just need to keep talking to lots of different people about your anger/sadness/frustartions etc this will help you in your healing. Try and I stress TRY to find really positve ways to get him out of your mind. It will take a while (im 5 weeks into my BU) but you'll eventually start to feel better. Try to keep eating healthy, if you havent before, as you know eating becomes something you cant be bothered with in these times. I would suggest you try an cut out the smoking, for obvious reasons. And obviously use this forum as another way to vent on a healthy level

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