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Don't know how to respond to my ex


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My ex is back in my life, as of about a week ago and i dont know how to handle it.

 

I posted a thread on here last week about how he got in touch again and initiated meeting up. We met up and he was acting as if he is still my boyfriend - being affectionate and loving, not mentioning a thing about the break up, as if nothing had happened.

 

He eventually did admit to having been on a couple of dates with another woman, and hooked up with another one also when he was drunk, this is all during our time apart. He said it was a mistake to pursue the curiosity of dating these women and that he prefers me and that he had missed me a lot.

 

We got intimate with each other on that day, but i dont know how to go on from here. He was hoping to reconcile, but a large amount of trust and faith i had in him has gone and my feelings therefore aren't as strong because i am too afraid to be close to him.

 

He's been calling and messaging me a bit in the week, not about anything in particular. Yesterday he called me and invited me over. I said I have a few domestic errands and not coming over. He then started sounding down and upset, saying he wished i could be there. He was being extremely persistent and persuasive, to the point where i had to be blunt and say 'look i just don't want to keep running over to you at the click of your fingers and then you can decide that our relationship ends, also at the click of your fingers, this is why i am not coming over'.

 

I don't know if this was the right or wrong thing to say, maybe i was too confrontational. Because it felt awkward and the conversation felt generally awkward afterwards. He kept apologizing, and saying 'you're right' and that it's 'not healthy' and 'I get it, i understand and I'm sorry' and 'i should figure out what I want from all of this', and 'i didn't mean to mess with your feelings'.

 

The reason i felt like crap afterwards is because it still feels as if he has the control. The response I was looking for was 'you're right and i'm sorry - next time I will actually book you in advance and treat you with the respect you deserve because I love you.'

 

Instead, I got 'you're right, I should be by myself'.

 

Maybe last weekend him wanting to reconcile was complete BS after all.

 

I feel very confused and i don't know if it's worth having a chat with him about it to find out what is going on but i dont want to make things messy. So part of me wants to just stay back and go with the flow, and let things happen naturally if they are supposed to.

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First don't beat yourself up or get upset at what you said to him. That needed to be said and he needed to hear it okay, and so do you. It is the giant elephant in the room after all and not talking about it will only let it continue to fester and hurt and grow. So no, you didn't lose power, you gained it. If his feelings are hurt then that's fine, it's karma after all for suddenly dumping you to go off and pursue what he thought would be more exciting than having a relationship with you after all. So stop feeling guilty, stop feeling remorseful and above all do not apologize to him for saying the truth.

 

Now on to the rest of it. Has he actually asked for you back, told you he wants to reconcile and wants a relationship again? Or is it all just how sorry he is, how it didn't work out and he wants you around, but he hasn't said those words? Or worse, a let's see where this is going with no real open blunt "I want you back, can we try again?" There's a huge difference between the two. The first is him genuinely wanting a second chance and he will say the words. The second is him just wanting you around as a stopgap while he feels bad and until he feels emotionally strong and sure of himself again. At which point yes he is likely to just walk away again. So look very carefully at what he has told you, whether it's just been all abut how him or whether it's him wanting you back and saying he wants you back.

 

In short is it all about him or is it all about you? Or you and him together.

 

Also I think it's time you sit him down and you tell him the terms of the relationship that you want. You actually do have the power right now, he has no clue how you're feeling so don't show it to him. Just confront him gently and ask what is it he wants, really. You also need to toss the whole "I don't want to make things messy and confront him" and "I think I'll just tiptoe around this and hope for the best" into the corner, because all that will get you is him walking away again and you confused, because yes you have no idea what's going on. And he wants it that way. So it's time to throw your shoulders back and face him and tell him and ask him really what does he want. And to tell him, "This is what I want and I won't settle for anything less," whatever that may be.

 

And if he says I don't know or I just want to give it some time and see or I don't want to get back with you then you tell him, "Great, thank you for your honesty." Then you get up and walk out the door and go back to NC for good since he's just shown you the type of person he really is. OR if he says he wants you back, wants a full-on relationship then you say, "Great, if you want that then lets work on the relationship and do it together. Only one word of warning, you change your mind and it is over between us for the rest of the our lives, even friendship. Understood?"

 

I know those are harsh words and harsh measures, but if you always bow to what he wants and try to be nice and not offend anyone you will get walked on for the rest of your life. He had no problem telling you what he wanted and walking away and now you need to take a page out of his book and be more like a guy in stating openly what you want, what you're feeling and you start calling some of the shots here too. You have plenty of power on your own, you just need to use it. And if you decide you don't want the hassle and you also want to explore what's out in the world then you are equally free to tell him he's had his chance, it's over, you are going to see other people and he should too.

 

The choice is really up to you.

 

P.S. Stop hoping he'll act one way or another or say one thing or another. Deal with the person in front of you, not the fantasy version in your head. I don't mean to be harsh on that, but alot of relationship mistakes get made by both men and women for doing that myself included in the past. You'll be much happier, much more confident and not confused if you just deal with the person sitting in front of you and how they are acting and what they are saying at that moment. In other words accept people for who they are, not who you hope they are or will be some day.

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First you have to decide what it is you want. (That's the hard part)

Then you have to present it to him.

Then you have to wait for him to decide if what you want is what he wants as well and is willing to do his best to deliver.

Then you make a decision on whether or not to go back with him based on whether or not you're both on the same page

If you're not, then you stop talking to him altogether and you get on with truly healing from him through zero contact and accepting that he's not the man you'll be spending the rest of your life with.

 

You are the master of your own destiny. Don't let him direct your life anymore. He is motivated to give YOU what YOU want or he goes away for good. Nothing more, nothing less for you this time.

 

Should he be prepared to give you what you need, then You be prepared to leave HIM and not wait until he leaves you if he reverts back to showing you that you're not valued. Pay attention to his actions.

 

Whatever you do, don't continue on having a sexual relationship with him if he's not willing to commit to you in the way you want. That will just whittle away at your self-esteem one session at a time and it will stagnate you from finding a good man that wants you in all ways.

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I would suggest reading up on some of the threads on GIGS and Push-Pull, they will help you to understand the dynamics at play and also point you in the right direction of how to counter it. Be willing to tell him "This isn't working for me" and be willing to walk away if necessary. If you have clearly defined what you want from him and he still isn't willing or even able to do that, then you really must be prepared to walk. The strongest position of negotiation is always being willing to walk away and actually know that you deserve better no matter how much it may hurt to do so. A lot of what happens during a breakup makes us feel the need to cling to the dumper when in reality the best way to save a relationship (if it can be saved) is to do the opposite no matter counter intuitive it feels.

 

If you allow the dynamic of him choosing if/when he will be with you, then you are in effect saying by your actions that you don't value your own wants and needs and beliefs. Right now it sounds as if he's wanting to explore if the grass is truly greener over there and also keep you in reserve if it isn't. You deserve someone who knows they want to be with you, without doubt. If he has doubts then release him to figure things out for himself b/c you can't make him feel anything but you can demand that he treats you with the same respect and dignity that you are offering him.

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He kept apologizing, and saying 'you're right' and that it's 'not healthy' and 'I get it, i understand and I'm sorry' and 'i should figure out what I want from all of this', and 'i didn't mean to mess with your feelings'.

 

I think you need to pay careful attention to this. It seems like you kind of got back together, assuming that he now knows what he wants, but never really discussed it clearly. There were no terms on what needs to happen IF you decide to get back together, you just let him coast and slide back in. You were right to say what you did to him. It was a good thing. Now you have to decide for yourself what you want, make that clear to him and let him decide if he is truly on the same page or not. If not, you need to call it quits on this permanently.

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I think you feel like he has all the power because of how you handled the meet up. Instead of withholding from him and defining what is you expected from the relationship and getting a clear understanding of his motives, you slept with him. I assume you are more angry with yourself than with him. It happens just try to learn from it. Remember, we TEACH people how they can treat us.

 

Best of luck,

LNL

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​Hi everyone, thank you all for your advice.

 

ParisPaullette, thank you for your long and thought out reply. I really appreciate it. ​ ​You're right about dealing with the person in front of me rather than the fantasy.

 

I think the issue is with him being inconsistent, which is why it's hard to get an answer out of him that I can rely on.

 

he said last week (when i saw him for the first time after our long break) that he wants to be with me- his words were 'i want us to start seeing each other again as i realized i need you in my life'.

 

last night i saw him for the second time. I sat him down in a restaurant and i tried to have a serious conversation about us with him. he kept making jokes and skirting around the issues. It was really, really annoying me. I told him to stop it and he apologised and said that he just can't think about this with everything else he has on his plate, he cant give me a straight answer. And i said look, all i am asking you is what you want, and what you expect to happen between us. And he said "but why? I want to keep seeing you, i like what we're doing. why do we have to question it" and i said "because look what happened last time ?!!! I don't want to get ---- over again because of you changing your mind." and he said "can't we just wait to see what happens?"

 

Essentially one thing I couldn't argue with was the fact that he said a relationship in a "proper" sense (his words) isn't a priority for him until he sorts his finances and gets on top of his job, which i said i understand, which is why i'm not asking him to be a 'provider' as such (because that's what he finds difficult as it challenges his 'manhood'). So i said fine, that i can deal with , but are we exclusive ? And then he said he's not seeing other people . but that 'exclusive' is the same as a relationship. i said no it is not and we argued over that a bit. he asked me not to have expectations from him and i said he's being dumb because expectations emerge from a sexual relationship whether he likes it or not.

 

After this meeting i had to rush off because i had other stuff planned so we didn't come to a resolution really. i am thinking of sending him a message tonight saying i found his reaction rude to the conversation (ie the jokes and the banter and avoiding serious problems) and that i don't want to continue seeing him in an intimate way if he carries on not being able to be more clear about what is happening between us and what he wants.

 

It's hard because i do not want to pressure this man (or ANY man) into having an exclusive relationship with me by providing an ultimatum. But at the same time, i dont want to be a doormat.

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It sounds to me like he's very clear about what he wants. It's just not the same as what YOU want.

 

From what you've posted he says he wants to see you casually with no commitments, no promise of exclusivity, and just see where it goes. He only gets evasive when you try to get him to agree to your terms.

 

I agree it's not a great place to be. Wouldn't you rather be with someone who WANTS to be your boyfriend? It sounds like you want different things and that you're much more invested in a relationship than he is.

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Oh and i should also add, he clarified something which i previously didn't know . He said that him dating the other woman while we were broken up wasn't the reason we broke up. He said he met her a good couple of weeks post break-up. Not that he left me to pursue someone else. And he was pretty adamant and forceful about this point and was shocked that i thought otherwise, so i do believe him on this point.

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It sounds to me like he's very clear about what he wants. It's just not the same as what YOU want.

 

From what you've posted he says he wants to see you casually with no commitments, no promise of exclusivity, and just see where it goes. He only gets evasive when you try to get him to agree to your terms.

 

I agree it's not a great place to be. Wouldn't you rather be with someone who WANTS to be your boyfriend? It sounds like you want different things and that you're much more invested in a relationship than he is.

 

In some respects im not invested, because after we broke up a lot of acceptance and detachment came with the process. My fear is becoming invested again, and too affected emotionally by what goes on. My conversation with him was really to have that avoided in the future.

 

i just think he doesn't understand that expectations and attachment comes from regularly dating/being physically intimate and it annoys me that he avoids this. not just for my sake but for both of us. When i hooked up with someone else while we were on a 'break' last summer he was so hurt by it.

 

Do you think its worth me clarifiyng this in a message rather than putting him on the spot in a conversation ?that's what im hoping to do tonight. And express my terms more clearly.

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