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Should I meet my ex for closure coz I broke up over phone?

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Hi all,


I have actually wanted to break up with my ex-fiance many times, but each time I tried, either I couldn't do go through with it because he kept me emotionally and mentally hostage by threatening harm to himself, or he would beg and cry and I would soften my heart and take him back, hoping that he remains true to his word and change. Thus far, I have given him countless chances to change but it is always back to square one after a period of hope and potential.


So I flew to another country for my PhD and also, to reevaluate my life. I know I have always been the coward in relationship- everytime we fight, I wouldn't stand up for myself because he would just pressure me down with insults and vulgarities, or just aggressive/overly assertive talk. However, he would be all apologetic and sweet after and I would feel that I made him angry. We don't quarrel everyday but I would say we have such arguments at least once a week. Also, he cheated on me three times with the same girl, I even spotted him kissing her in public. I should have ended it there and then but he had an exam which was important for his MBA the next day and I didn't want to risk him failing so when he begged me, I took him back.


I am now in another country and eight months ago, I plucked the courage to call him up and broke up with him over the phone. I know we should have done it face to face but it was so hard and I really thought I could still make the relationship work because we had six years together and we were getting married. I did truly him. One day, I woke up and realize it wasn't going to work. I had no trust in him and I just heard news that he was seen with the SAME girl behaving like a couple in public again. Also, we had mild fights over the phone for things that I truly felt were beyond anyone's control but he took them out on me.


It has been 8 months since and yet, he wouldn't stop pursuing me. He said he would be forever miserable and in agony as long as I am happy. He might not have realize it but it made me guilty- like I am being happy because he exchanged his happiness (he needs me to be happy) for mine. At the same time, I am flying home soon so I thought I would meet up with him and have some face to face closure with him. Now, I wonder if it's the right move because I am so afraid I would just be sucked right back into the hellhole. In fact, although I feel that everyone around me will think that I would have done the right thing to have met up with him, my close friends and my gut instincts are telling me that it is a very bad idea because my situation is different as my relationship is not the healthy sort and I probably need therapy to regain my confidence. I honestly can attribute my lack of confidence to him.


Hence, I am in such a quandary. All over the internet, everyone says it's rude to break up over the phone. I am also wrought with guilt that I did not give my 6 years with him the due respect and dignity. Nonetheless, I felt that if I hadn't done it, I would have been married to him now and be truly miserable because I just don't know how to stand up to him when we meet face to face. He said he had changed but in the past, he had threatened harm to himself and he also threatened to ruin other girls' lives just as I had ruined his when I broke up with him the first time, about two years ago. I thought that was mean and insensitive of him, and though he changed, that fear- that threat he terrorized me with before always remained at the back of my mind, especially when my mom committed suicide herself after she wasn't able to handle her divorce with my dad.


To cut this long story short, I don't know if I should meet him face to face when I go back. Would I be so wrong and mean hearted if I don't? I know he needs closure but I also need a peace of mind. Moreover, he just emailed me saying he wish me all the best etc. etc... but he'll be miserable and in agony without me... etc. It sounds like a closure letter. Should i just give him time and not contact at all?


Thanks for all your help thus far. I send you all good thoughts.



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HI Kylie_1980


This is coming from a guy who's ex broke up with him over the phone. It hurt more than I could imagine and it's hard to move on. The difference between your ex and me is that I treated my ex like a princess. She's just finishing her last year of Pharmacy at the University of Alberta and I completely supported her however she needed me. I felt cheated that she left me the way she did (she told me that she doesn't have the time for me and probably won't ever again... Good bye).


However... in your case, I think you did the right thing, especially since he was taking you "emotionally and mentally hostage". Your life is your life. You deserve someone who doesn't criticize you constantly. I get the feeling that if you did give him what he wants and break up with him face to face that he would do his best to suck you back into an unhealthy relationship and from what you said, you might end up doing it. My advice, for what it's worth, is to initiate NC immediately. If he's calling you, get a new number, if he's e-mailing you, get a new e-mail addess, etc. YOU ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR HIS HAPPINESS. HE IS. If he loved you and needed you so much then why did he feel the need to cheat on you. Actually, since he did cheat on you and you gave him the chance to make up for it, then does it again, I feel that he got what he deserved.


So try to move on and try not to feel guilty. You didn't do anything wrong, he did (cheating, threats to hurt himself, etc). He's trying to manipulate you into coming back so he can continue to use you. He will, in time, come to accept the breakup. Who knows? Maybe by doing this he'll get the hint at what an abusive person he is and seek help.

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I actually discussed this in the thread, getting back together. He told me that he realize how much he had hurt me and that he would never treat me the same way again. I choose to not believe him because these promises happen again and again. At the same time, I wnat to give him a fair trial. In boards and to my friends, I know I have been weeping and moaning. However, when he was nice, generous, passionate and sweet to me, he really was, until I did something to piss him off (not picking up the phone within 3 rings, not calling him if I'm going to be ten minutes late, not putting cups on the right side of the table and being defensive each time he tried to point out my mistakes etc.) I mean, those were stuff I have done to piss him off so in a way, I think that maybe he was right in being angry, or that he was right to say that if I hadn't done anything wrong, then he wouldn't be angry and pissed. I know it sounds silly and rationally, I know that he overreacted but at the same time, I also know that my weak and grovelling nature allowed him to climb all over him.


If he has changed, fine. but I have made up my mind not to go back to him. When I return, I think I'll just drop the wedding ring and a closure letter in his mailbox and then fly back to my safe haven. I can't believe how screwed up I am now and how even my sister thinks I'm wrong in breaking up with him because, in her own words, "Being scolded may be a good thing." I have a new boyfriend now and we almost had an argument, or rather, in the same situation, my ex-fiance would have, undoubtedly, being very angry at me. My current squeeze and me just had such a wonderful, open and respectful discussion without anger marring the situation. At the same time, I was so afraid that he would burst in anger or threaten to leave me like my ex sometimes do that I burst out crying in the end. I don't know, I just feel like such a mess right now that I can't meet my ex-fiance to give him the face to face closure and in a way, I feel extremely selfish, nasty and insensitive.

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I can't imagine what you're going through. I do think that your ex is more than a little over critical of you. It almost sounds like he was trying to change you into a "Stepford Wife" and would get mad when you didn't meet those expectations. Maybe I'm wrong, but I do think he was trying to change you into the woman that he wanted. It is OK to make mistakes from time to time. The things that you described are really little things that I truly believe that he was over-reacting to. Some people might get a little upset if they have to wait an extra ten minutes and you don't call, but it really isn't a big deal. Your sister is sorta right, sometimes it is OK to be scolded a little, but nothing to the extent that it seems he was doing to you. Nobody's perfect. Besides, who wants perfect. Perfect's boring.


I think dropping off the ring with a letter is the best thing to do for everyone involved. He gets the ring and letter so he knows without a doubt it's over and can get his closure. My ex-fiance did the extact same thing to me that you're planning on doing (not my recent ex, but she broke up over the phone with me too). I had a hard time accepting it was over until I saw that ring in my palm, it gave me the closure I needed. I know now that she couldn't have faced me in person and I don't blame her. I wasn't a very nice guy back then. Actually, your description of your ex reminds me of how I used to be. It gave me the wake up call to change myself for the better. It didn't happen over night (more like 5 years) but I am a better person for it and I'm now grateful she did it the way she did. If not, I might still be that guy.


Also this way, you don't have to stress out anymore than is neccesary. That way you can start to move on and heal. It sounds like you've had your self-esteem shattered. Things will get better as time goes on. In the meantime try to enjoy yourself with your new guy and trust that not all men turn out to be like your ex.


I hope everything works out.

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Thank you so much for your help. You have no idea how your comforting replies really touched my heart today. I received that email from my ex-fiance just as a part of my thesis was due tomorrow. Somehow, reading your replies gave me some sort of anchor that stablizes my emotions and get me to work on the important things.


I do wish you all the best too. It's really hard- you find condemnation directed at dumpers on the message boards, articles etc. all the time that for people like me, support seems wanting. Only my dad and close friends are by my side, and even then, some of them still mutter the occasional "why do you want to throw away all those six years? He's already 29, you are ruining his life." or something like that. They do not understand the verbal abuse or think that I'm over-reacting to his temper that even I am convince that I am over-reacting until other close friends and relatives, plus my counsellor, assures me otherwise.


But the whole cycle of self-doubt starts all over again very soon and I become very horrible to those who cares for me because of what my ex used to do to me- I feel that I am not only sinking further into mud, I am also propagating the verbal violence, (I have a bad temper myself too but it really exacerberted the situation and I was never bad tempered with my ex because I truly fear him). I guess leaving him is really the first step for me to heal from all those scars. I just wish I have done it sooner.


My apologies for the whining... Feeling rather down today. I may come back tomorrow and look back in embarrassment at how pathetic I sound.

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No problem,


Sometimes all it takes is someone outside looking in to truly see what is happening. I understand that some people think you are making a mistake. Well to that I say, why don't they try living with him and see how much they like it. From what you said earlier, your ex had the ability to be real charming and sweet when he wanted to be. I would hazzard a guess that he was nice like this whenever someone else was around? I'm sure he was nice when he was alone with you too, but he probably didn't show his dark side too much to others besides you. I know I was that way with my ex-fiance. It was mostly like that because I was severely insecure and my ex would always back off and allow me to walk all over her. Although she did let me walk all over her, ultimately the fault was 100% mine.


And don't worry, you aren't ruining his life. He may be 29 but it looks like he has some growing up to do, not everything has to be his way and the only way. A relationship is about understanding, work, communication, and love. Not critizing, abuse, arguing, and control. You're probably doing him a favor. If he's anything like me he needs to learn that first and foremost, his action have concenquences. You can't treat someone badly and expect them to love you for it.


Things will work out and get better. You might feel bad about yourself and guilty for awhile, but not forever. You've saved yourself from a damaging relationship that would probably only get worse over time. I'm sure he wasn't so bad when you first started going out right? It probably got worse as time went on. Left as they were, they would most likely only have gotten worse. Sometimes you have to get away anyway you can. I admire that you had the courage to do so. It couldn't have been easy, considering the control he had over you.


In the meantime, I'll give you a little free advice that I always tell myself when I want to snap at someone (I have a temper too) I care about, be it a girlfriend, friend, family, whatever. "If they were to die tomorrow, would I really want what I said to them to be the last words they heard from me and could I live with myself?" It works for me, maybe it will work for you.


And don't worry about feeling down. It happens to everyone. Sometimes it's best to get the words out so you can start to heal.

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