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Letting Go of the Past?


Kj4757

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I'm sorry but this is my first time doing something like this, so please bear with me. I'm simply looking for someone to talk to

 

I've been with my boyfriend for a year now, but I've been acting in a destructive way to our relationship because of negative feelings I just can't seem to let go of. It's a rather long and complicated story as well, so not for the faint of heart

 

My boyfriend harbored very strong feelings for my best friend before we started dating--well, he loved her. She didn't feel the same way, but the whole situation fell apart into a type of mess which I won't go too far into detail of. I had feelings for him then, so it was very difficult for me to remain unbiased when both of them would come to me for advice. But somehow, I managed. This went on for a little less than a year, excuriatingly for all involved unfortunately. Quite surprisingly, he asked me to our first date (which I accepted of course) and we began officially dating since there. (He later told me--much later--that a part of him wanted to get over the aforementioned friend's rejection of him.) We were very happh together and he fell in love with me quite quickly (he's a romantic).

However, after 9 months, he admitted to me that he still harbored feelings for my friend (which just about killed me). He was very upset and affirmed that he only wanted to be with me. I couldn't help but feel very betrayed...We talked it out and things went back to normal... But I had a hard time trusting him after that. Not due to infidelity, but just because he is so intense with his emotions--I honestly believe he (or anybody else) can't consciously decide to fall in love with a particular person nor ignore who he doesn't fall in love with either.

A couple months after that incident, he had another "relapse". This is where I almost ended it, not out of anger, but just...I don't know, I suppose it's pretty self explanatory. But I didn't, even though I made it clear that if it happens for a third time, it would be pretty clear who he loves.

After these two incidents, I found myself worrying a lot and becoming jealous and self conscious. Honestly, I know them both very well and he would have loved my friend so much if she would've let him. I just want him to be happy and be with the right person, which sometimes I think is my friend instead of me. She is incredibly nice and adorable--she just didn't handle the previous situation well. This would gnaw at me until I would implode in a sad, teary mess. We didn't have as much fun as we used to and I would express my feelings toward him. He doesn't understand why I just can't forget and let it go. I don't either. He wishes that we could go back to when I was happier so things would be easier... I don't purposely think of this all the time...it just bothers me constantly. It's definitely not something I would want to do with my time.

It's gotten to the point where I'm annoying him (which I totally understand. It's honestly the only problem in our relationship) I do not want to be the reason why our relationship ends--we both love each other and will do anything to make it work. I just have no one else to talk to because my friend has kind of blocked the whole ordeal away and if I happen to bring it up, she becomes upset.

Also, before I started dating him, when I would feelboverwhelmed, I would hit myself with a hairbrush or some other object until my arm got bruised. I know it's not the ideal way to handle emotions, but the pain clears my head and allows me to think rationally. I stopped when we started dating, but recently I've begun again (much to my shame). The pain stops me from obsessing and honestly makes me feel better and helps to "forget" more, but I know it's wrong. There has to be a better way to handle this...I just don't know how.

 

If anyone has any advice for letting go of the past, their input would be greatly appreiciated!

I'm really sorry about the length of this, but it feels SO GOOD to express myself!

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Instead of beating yourself with a hairbrush, you need to just open up a blank Word document and pour your head and heart into that to get it off your chest and out of your head.

 

I think that the one thing that you need to face is the fact that he never had the chance to resolve his unrequited feelings for your best friend before stepping to you. It sounds like he became involved with you quite quickly, hence his backsliding twice. I don't think he's been honest with himself about his feelings and I would certainly hate to feel as if I'm the consolation prize because he couldn't make a go with my bestie.

 

I think that the one place where you did yourself and your interests the biggest disservice was when you didn't speak up for yourself when they both were coming to you about their mess before you started dating him. I also would have been miffed at knowing that he was only dating me because he wanted to get over my friend--not because he really wanted to be with me.

 

It's a bit unrealistic for him to now want to go back to when times were happier when he's the one that has slammed and nailed shut that door with him twice telling you he still had feelings for your friend. That's a chasm in the road that's not going to make any trip back to a happier time possible. He's pretty much seen to that by saying what he did.

 

I also don't blame your friend for not wanting to hear about it because you complaining to her is basically telling her that she's at fault for being the true object of his affection. She never wanted him, but now, his presence poses the greatest harm to your friendship and that's unfair to her. Quite frankly, she's taking the tack that you should have taken with the both of them.

 

I think the first step in letting go of the past is to forgive the both of them. That will release you from this place of darkness you're in where you obsess about what can't be changed--the past--and it will get you to the point where you can move on. You also need to get an understanding with your boyfriend with regards to whether or not he really wants to be with you or if he is still secretly harboring hope that your bestie changes her mind. If all he is doing is biding his time and pining for something that will never happen, then your relationship with him will never stand a chance. He needs to be clear in his head who he truly wants to be with and then stick to that course.

 

In the meantime, open up a Word document and start pouring your head and heart into it. It's for your eyes only, so come clean with yourself.

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First of all, thank you for taking the time to read and respond--it was very kind of you to help me You were very insightful.

I defintely don't blame my friend or my boyfriend at all; I know the situation was just kind of bad luck for them and I did make it worse, even if I was just trying to do the right thing (@ least in long term). The only reason I said that she didn't want to talk about it was that my boyfriend wanted to talk to her about their dealio to get some closure during the first "relaspse". When I asked her, she got mad at him and never gave him a yes or no answer whether she would...which, again, is exactly what you said haha. I just need to stop being the middleman to them, right? I'm too involved for it to be fair for me to be the "owl" or the "helper", even if I can remain unbiased (both now and back then). They should do their dirty work and I should do mine

And even if I don't blame them, practicing a little forgiveness would never hurt. I think that sometimes I feel "victimized" because I thought I did what was right during the time, got burned, and now everyone else who might've not handled the situation is fine--or at least that's what it feels like sometimes in my head haha. Sometimes it's hard not to have a pity party for myself and that is wrong because I don't feel like that is me at all. A little forgiveness for my friend, my boyfriend, myself, and even the situation would go far, so thank you

 

I hope I interpreted everything from your post correctly Thank you again for giving me your insight and your time!

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I also just want to point out that these are GOOD people involved. There, at any time, were never evil intentions on anyone's part. This whole situation was just a mistake and a mishandling and I'm sure everyone involved learned something valuable

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You don't need help letting go of the past. You need help letting go of a man you know deep inside does not really love you. I think he just transferred feelings.

 

Your gut won't let you ignore the truth. Personally if a man dated me for nine months and said he still has feelings for someone else I would have ended it.

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I also just want to point out that these are GOOD people involved. There, at any time, were never evil intentions on anyone's part. This whole situation was just a mistake and a mishandling and I'm sure everyone involved learned something valuable

 

Oh, no doubt they're good people. But good people can still do some effed up things when they're not being truthful with themselves--meaning your boyfriend and him transferring his emotion from your friend to you. The way I would have seen this was that it was his way of using me to be close to my bestie and try to influence her into changing her mind.

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