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We broke up... feeling lost


LonelyMoondancer

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Basically, we broke up, and it was mutual (I think). He suggested it, and we discussed what the problem is and both agreed to end it. I think I went along with it because I felt like maybe it's for the best, but I still feel bad and it's hard to talk about it with my parents and friends, as supportive as they are. So here I am.

 

I'm not sure how I feel really. Definitely sad, but also relieved. And definitely caught off guard, yet not surprised. I don't know if I regret that it's over or not, I don't know if I wish we weren't done. I don't even know what he thinks- he says he is "confused". Yesterday, he picked a stupid fight with me (he often does this) and was withdrawing from me, even though we went out to have fun after not having seen each other in almost a month. It was something he had no right to be upset with me about, I'm embarrassed to even specifically say what this was about. But basically he often gets upset with me and then I have to wait for him to come around so we can be okay again. I feel like I couldn't admit it before, or that maybe it was my own fault, but I think he was emotionally manipulative and I was always tiptoeing around him, hoping we could avoid fights. Yesterday I told him off, more directly and less sugar-coated than in the past. Not angrily, no yelling or put-downs, but I said that I don't appreciate these instances of him getting mad at me for not doing what he wants/giving him his way. I said that it's one thing to disagree and communicate with each other, but it's not okay for him to be taking me out for what I think is a nice date night, and then telling me that I did something wrong to upset him. Especially if I seriously didn't do anything bad, let alone anything that's any of his business. He kept repeating himself and why he thinks it's okay to tell me what to do in some instances, and I kept disagreeing. It got to the point where I said that while I love him, I can't let him control me. So he denied that he tries to control me, until he eventually admitted that he can't help but wish I would do things his way sometimes. And that he can't help getting upset. That he knows he's hard to get along with, and that maybe I can do better than him because he's not good at being in a relationship and making me happy. That he's tired of hurting me and that we should just end it.

 

What else could I say? I said let's end it, and we continued dinner, talked about how we've had good times and think highly of each other, blah blah. Cold and civil. Then we took a walk, and we didn't hold hands. And I was honestly fine until he dropped me home, and it hit me and I ended up bursting into tears. We left on good terms, and he said we can still talk, so I just accepted that and went inside.

 

Today he called me saying he needs to talk. I asked what was up, and he's confused and unsure if we did the right thing. That he's not even sure why we broke up. Um... is he that stupid? We didn't just have a stupid fight and end it, we discussed it, and he sounded very sure that we're better off not being together. How can he just confuse me like this? He asked me not to tell my parents (I live with them) just yet, because he's not sure. I said I can't do that, because I need support and I don't intend to keep it to myself just because he's confused. How can I move on if he keeps me in a limbo? And how can he be confused when he's the one who wanted to break up? It's been less than a day, and while I'm still obviously upset, I don't really feel like talking to him. He kept saying he loves and misses me and my voice on the phone, and using his nickname for me, and I feel like he doesn't deserve to keep doing that with me. I need to know that we're either done for good, or giving it another shot (which I would only do if he agreed to work out his own issues... maybe). I'm just very down and confused and could use some thoughts or opinions, or anything. Thanks.

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Awww. I'm sorry. It is ad and hard to break up, even when you know it's the right thing. It's also confusing, too. I think you talked it out and agreed. He is just feeling the loss, so it makes him want to get rid of that pain. I know what you meant when you said you couldn't take the tip-toeing around him. I was in a long relation with a man that did that, too. It was so draining and you know, looking back, I really settled in some situations because I just didn't want to deal with him ruining an otherwise good time over something stupid. Yes, most of the time they were stupid things but that's still not right. I know you know what I mean.

 

I think it's natural to question it, especially when he called you and said he was questioning it, too. I think the best thing to do is to stop and listen to yourself. Ask him to leave you be while you think about it. It takes some time to do this. You will be going through a lot of emotions for awhile. Sometimes they will be overwhelming at times. That's why you need time to really hear yourself and not just the panic driven roller coaster thoughts of a break up. I think the time frame is different for everybody, so I think you'll know when you know.

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Thanks. Maybe it's too soon to know how I feel, but I could swear I'm mostly grateful to be out and free to start over someday with someone else. I can't think of any great reasons to try again, even if he wanted to. I mean yes we had good times and he was a great friend... but surely there are other guys out there who would also love me and be more mature to boot? I feel ready to move forward to be honest. Not sure when or if he'll call me again, or if he's still "confused", but somehow I don't feel as broken as last night when it was all fresh. I think whether he feels regretful or confused, that's his own problem now. I tried very hard to make things work and it wasn't enough, so now that I'm out, I don't feel obligated to try again. It's kind of scary to admit- I thought I love him. But it's not worth it to me, to feel bullied or whatever was going on with us.

 

I just don't know how to feel decent. Knowing that I'll be okay and that this was for the best isn't all that helpful right now. I feel lonely and hurt still. I don't feel like being around my friends even though they're such great people who want to come see me. I thought I wanted to go hang out with a girlfriend tonight and have her company but now I feel like hiding in bed. I also have stupid worries that should be less concerning than they are- I'm embarrassed to think of how everyone we know is going to find out, and how our mutual friends will feel awkward. I'm upset that I bought expensive plane tickets to travel with this guy and can't get a refund now. I'm worried about dating again in the future- how I'll know when I'm ready and how I'll meet people. And I'm just embarrassed that I painted such a cheery picture for everyone about this relationship. I cringe at my previous posts, all the defensive sugar-coating and the desperation at wanting to make it work with the wrong idea. All the picking and choosing what to tell people about us. All the ignoring of all the warning signs that this relationship wasn't as great as I wanted to believe. And finally, I'm just weirded out at losing him as a companion. I'm disappointed that he seems to love me so much and yet not think it worthwhile to work on our relationship. What a mess.

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LonelyMoon,

 

I'd like to commend you on how strong you're being. I know that may sound contradictory but you really are handling this well and I thought you needed to hear that above all else. Now I'll talk about the situation specifically. I was in a similar situation with my ex gf a couple of years ago. In our case, we both had a similiar problem to what you mention your ex-bf having. We'd both keep things inside and then get upset, we could both be a bit stubborn and want the other to do things our way etc. The way in which she really hurt me though was doing what your ex is doing... by being vague and saying she's "confused" and saying we were "over" in the clearest, most logical way possible, and then saying how much she missed me etc. etc.

 

I'm not denying that he actually misses you and feels the things he says, but that doesn't make it worth another shot with him unless there's more than that. You both need to take a break from each other, because take it from me, if you keep answering each other on every change of emotion you have (and you've been very good with this from what I read, you don't overreact and tell him one thing or another, it seems to be only him doing this) you may end up back together just as soon as you broke up, and then you'll be breaking up again... This girl and I broke up 3 times, each time more painful than the last and the third time we got back together she ALSO wanted me to keep it a secret from my parents because she "wasn't sure".

 

Its not always a red flag and I hate to set expectations for someone I don't know, but it just sounds like a bad idea to re-explore the idea of being with him. Maybe after a month or so, if it still makes sense to you and him, then you could think about it, but not at this point. Stay strong, LonelyMoon, you're doing great, seriously.

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You all are the best. I really don't deserve the kind words though, I'm not all that strong as I thought. I caved to his phone call even though I was so positive I didn't want to "fix it". My parents said they supported me whatever happens, and yet they nagged me to at least hear him out if he called. He did call, and I decided to let him say anything he felt he didn't say to me before, and let him know that we couldn't talk anymore because we're not a couple. We ended up talking for an hour... recalling good times, and he said he wasn't sure we did the right thing by breaking up. I said that there was some truth to the things we said when we broke up, and that I meant what I said when I claimed to be tired of being controlled. I said that I do love him and I did value our relationship, but that I would only be willing to try it again if he agreed to work harder and not make me feel like I'm always trying to fix things. The night we broke up, he said he wasn't sure he could change, and that's why I agreed to ending it. During the phone call, he said he's willing to try, and that this time around, we would both be meeting each other half way. Maybe I'm crazy, but I agreed to give it a shot.

 

I do love this guy and want it to work out, and I had a feeling he might regret it the next day and apologize... but I was very aware of the possibility that we might have to leave this in the past. I was honest in this thread about being prepared to move on, as crappy as it felt. Is it stupid to try again already? He feels we broke up without even seeing it coming, and said he felt he was making me unhappy as my boyfriend and unable to change. Now he says that if we're both working at it, we have a better shot as opposed to before when I would always baby his mini tantrums and give in. I told him that this time around, things need to be different. That there are somethings I cannot do as long as we're together, and that I will be the one to end things for good if I feel like he's not trying. I just really want to give this a shot now that I've finally made him aware of my limits, and now that he's agreed to be more aware. It's possible we really aren't meant to be together in the long run, but I'm wondering if it's a bad idea to give it another go.

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There is something not right to me about being able to calmly end it in person and yet wanting to work it out when he's alone on the phone. My spidey senses tell me this is "I miss being in a relationship and I am scared to be alone" and that things are indeed broken. In my experience, this doesn't end well. But I think so long as you know that this is really just squeezing out the last vestiges of a relationship that was not right to begin with, I think you'll forgive yourself if/when it doesn't work out.

 

But, like I said to Lambert, sometimes you just have to try again so you know you tried.

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Yep... forgiving him the next day was possibly the stupidest and most pathetic thing I could have done. I'm just full of resentment and anxiety. We aren't able to see each other until next weekend, but even talking on the phone each night, it's just not the same. He is being sweet like before and I just feel cold and empty, wondering if I'm wasting my time and missing out on meeting someone better for me. I don't know how to explain or if this even makes sense, but my willingness to try feels dead right now. I'm just as hurt as I was the night he broke up with me, only now I feel pathetic too.

 

Know what's really sad? I let my parents' nagging to answer his phone call get to me, and I picked up the phone and got sucked in. Maybe this is a whole other issue, but it's like my parents think I can't do any better. This guy looks great on paper I suppose (I have cultural/traditional parents) but I just have a feeling I could be happier with someone else. It hurts that they're rooting for this so badly knowing what it's been like. Also, I think a big part of their hope is from having spent a thousand dollars on a plane ticket for a trip we've yet to go on. It's a non-refundable ticket and I think that concerns them more than my happiness. I just feel like this is so messy and I have no support, and I'm too pathetic to do the right thing.

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