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finding out about the ex having someone new

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I haven't been on ENA for ages, and certainly not in this forum. I haven't been here because, first of all, I found I didn't need it anymore, and second of all, I blocked the site to only 10 mins per day on my computer because it was seriously getting in the way of me getting any work done.


Now I have unblocked it because I need it again. You can find old threads of mine reaching back to early 2011, from the first break-up with my long-term ex of 5.5 years. You can read the whole sorry story of me trying to get over it, him coming back after 5 months, me being deliriously happy again, the difficulties of that second attempt to make things work, and his sudden ending of things again about 16 months ago.


I've been doing pretty well, feeling happy again and even interested in other men, finally. I've had only extremely limited contact with my ex over all this time and have been very careful not to find out anything about his life. I always have really dreaded finding out he was seeing someone else. I know that MANY of you have had to deal with this very thing, and I really really did not want to have to face it. Even now. I knew that would throw me for a loop and I just didn't want to know.


Well, I got an email from him yesterday saying that he was worried I might have seen a photo on facebook from a mutual friend's recent wedding of him with his (now ex) girlfriend. He was concerned I might have been upset by it and gotten the wrong idea about where he is at in his life. I had not seen said photo because I have all mutual friends hidden from my facebook feed to mitigate against this very sort of thing happening, so this was the first I had heard of any kind of girlfriend. He then felt the need to unburden himself of more information, including telling me that he was seeing her for A YEAR and that it was not much fun and has now ended badly. Basically he seemed to be anxious that I not think he is happier or more moved-on than he is - I don't know.


I am angry and upset. I can't believe he has been in a year-long relationship since us and I have still not so much as kissed anybody else yet. All that time I was trying to get over him, and crying and pining, he was with someone else. I am SO GLAD I have been in blissful ignorance the whole time and wish I still didn't know. I think he is feeling very sorry for himself right now and miserable about the latest breakup and, seeing as he is unlikely to have done any processing of our breakup, some of this old stuff is probably coming up for him now too.


I couldn't sleep last night and am back to having zero appetite and crying all the time since finding out. I hope that this is an important release of the feelings that are still there, and that it gives me the kick in the pants I need to stop holding a candle to this man. I hope I get over this latest setback soon. I can't stop thinking about it. I'm allowing myself a day of wallowing.

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The bottom line is it was incredibly selfish and hurtful of him to unburden himself like that on you, but the fact remains that he was not with you at the time. All you can do at this point is go full NC and block him from every avenue of your life--i.e. email, facebook etc. OR you could just email him back an "I don't care" message, which in this case might do a ton more towards keeping him away from you. It does hurt sometimes when they pop back up, but you have to keep in mind this is a temporary setback that has as much to do with a response to his selfishness and carelessness in contacting you as it does to his having been with someone else. I think you will find after a day or so that these old feelings blow off and settle out and in time they will lessen more and more.


Keep going out, keep living your life, leave him in the past where he belongs and you'll be fine.

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Take a look at this from another perspective: Sure he had a new partner while you had none...but he seems to actually be worse off than you for that experience. He was unhappy in the relationship, it ended badly, he is very lonely and miserable to the point where he felt the need to call you with the lame excuse that he had to explain himself. You seem to be much better adjusted and at peace than he is. So all that time with a new woman did not make him a very happy and content man.

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Thank you both for your kind and wise words, both of which gave me some food for thought.


ParisPaulette, I am particularly cheered by your comment "I think you will find after a day or so that these old feelings blow off and settle out and in time they will lessen more and more."


I think you are right - I had a much better sleep last night and am already eating more normally again (though I am finding myself worrying over it all in my brain constantly, and thinking about our relationship a lot, which I have not been doing very much of late). I am trying not to let my mind go down the inevitable routes it wants to go down when you find out something like this.


CAD, I like this perspective, thank you, and find it very helpful. A friend texted this to me after I told her what had happened: "Some people leap into things without thinking or processing anything and then it all goes to ****. You, on the other hand, have had a hard year of grieving and trying to work through your emotions and even if you don't feel like you are 'there' yet you're a hell of lot closer than he is."

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At this point seeing your ex with someone else is still shocking because you still wanted the relationship that he shut down, and you're still healing from that loss. But at the same time, things seem to be clearer and completely final for you, where as your ex seems to be confused and is thinking that there is some reason he needs to explain away random picture on fb (aka: lame excuse for reaching out now that he's feeling alone) ...as though he's prepping you for his upcoming reappearance. You've also had all that time for becoming and staying strong on your own, and now that you've come this far, there's probably no way you'll back slide into being involved with 'Mr. OnagainOffagain'. Right?


You've done the right things for your self over the past year (staying NC for your own good), and I agree with your friend that said "...even if you don't feel like you are 'there' yet you're a hell of lot closer than he is." I also agree that after a few days of trudging through the swamps of feelings and emotions, you'll come to the relization much more quickly that there is no point to it, and you'll see just how far you have come and how strong you have become when you continue to let the ex go on his way. He may try to entice you to become his emotional tampon, but what's in it for you? Another visit to Heartbreak Hotel?

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Thanks, FreeFall.


Good to see your wise and familiar self again! Though not, of course, good to see that you are still trudging through the pain of your own breakup. I saw on a thread of yours something that resonated with me about how you have tried so many things to let go, but you just can't seem to. Me too. Sometimes I wonder if I will ever be truly over this. It has gotten SO much better and I am proud of how far I have come. But I still have a long way to go. I really just want to not care about him anymore.


I think I may have come accross as more over it and accepting of the "completely final" than I am. I really don't think 'Mr Onagain/Offagain' (like the name!) will try to reappear now - it would be pretty out of character. I hope he doesn't, because it would all be fairly distressing for me.

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It all sounds like a pretty lame excuse to get in touch. If he has been with his girlfriend for a year then I would imagine that there would be many more photos on facebook than this one photo of them at a wedding. It sounds to me that he is just using a very flimsy excuse of a random photo to get in touch with you because of his recent breakup and the fact that he is having a hard time dealing with it. Sounds to me like he wants you to run to his rescue and soothe his hurting heart thats broken over this other girl. Boo hoo to him. It sounds like the perfect way to get sucked back into a relationship thats taken you 3 years to get over. To be honest I would try not to give his email much thought. Stay no contact, you don't owe him any reply. By emailing you he has shown he doesn't care about your feelings, it is a very selfish email that seems to be all about him and his feelings. Use this as a chance to see him for what he is, would someone that cared about you send you an email like that? Delete and block so he cannot email you again. You dont want to waste another 3 years of your life grieving over this man do you?

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Likewise Grace, nice to see you around, but sorry that you need to be!


I know so well that desire to just be over it all so you can get back to living your life. Even though you want to, it's like you just can't drop it. The end of a serious relationship is one of the most challenging things you can go through in life, so it makes total sense the aftershocks would continue to reverberate for quite a while after the fact. And when you see the person you're still hurting over just pick up and move on so easily it compounds things because it makes you feel like the relationship meant nothing to them, and/or that there's something wrong with you for not being able to do the same. Their indifference makes you want to grab them and say "Don't you remember me? I'm the person you used to promise your life to!". Our healing becomes entangled with their modus operandi in weird "the faster they run the more it hurts" sort of way. But the cold hard truth is that our healing has zero to do with the way they left or their ability to leap from one relationship to the next. This is truly our very own unique healing journey.


Some people can dump and move on without missing a beat. They are literally wired differently. Others of us are affected much much more deeply by the end of a love relationship, and believe it or not, that is a virtue. Since my breakup I made a female friend who's ex husband found another partner in the first month, while she took 3 years before she dated again - and the divorce was a mutual agreement! Talking with her really helped me realize that some of us are made in ways that are so different that it can be incomprehensible for us to understand each others actions sometimes.


The challenge is to separate your personal contentment, right now, from the story of your breakup, which is done and over (believe me, I know that isn't easy). To somehow truly understand that what happened was out of your control, and to become so tired of your own story that you can't even bare to hear it run through your head again. The desire to be done with it becomes so strong that it starts to force you to push those old thoughts out of mind. That's where I am at, anyway!

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