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10 Weeks post-breakup, doing surprisingly well.


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Thought I'd write a post about my breakup recovery, partially to internalize some things in my head and make sense of things, partially to maybe give people some hope that it does get better, and partially because I wonder whether it's still going to get worse before it truly gets perfectly ok? Sorry if it's all a bit stream-of-mind, but somebody might find it an interesting read or have an opinion

We were together for three years, the last two of them we lived together. I had never been as completely in love with anybody before, I thought I had met the girl I'd spend the rest of my life with. I'm 26, she's 22.

 

My ex broke up with me a bit over 10 weeks ago (I was initially tracking the weeks, now I had to actually count back). The first 2-3 weeks of this were a 'break' or temporary break-up with the intention of trying things again, she was to be out of town staying with friends for a month. I tried to deal with the 'break' as best I could but I'm sure I partially sabotaged things by texting her too much and not giving her the space she wanted.

 

The original reason for the breakup was basically that I had trouble trusting her, was anxious and insecure in the relationship, always thinking she was going to dump me or cheat on me. I lost my grip on reality a bit, became anxious and depressed. She was struggling with her own depression. Her and a mutual friend of ours convinced me to see a doctor and then a counselor. I was convinced I was mentally ill, that everything was my fault, that I needed to fix myself so she would love me again.

 

But after three weeks, she told me that this wasn't going to work and that we're gonna have to break up for good and said that maybe one day down the line when we're both better we might try things again. At this moment something odd happened. I was still grieving and horribly unhappy at the situation, but it was like a huge weight was lifted off my chest. I was sad, but I felt free and less anxious. I was free to move on, and finally felt like it was possible.

 

Over the past 10 weeks I've had many ups and downs, first when I found out that she was attending fetish parties (she was always into that sort of thing but had never actually participated), then when I saw her posting looking for casual sex on a dating site, then when I heard through a friend that she'd slept with a bunch of different guys, then when I found out she was back in town and attending the same party as me. Each of these events were associated with a pretty bad low for me that eventually went away. I quickly learned that every one of these felt horrible but went away, and I learned to trust that they would.

 

I have realized that I don't have depression or anxiety anymore, this was all caused by the relationship. I'm not putting the blame squarely on her, more the situation. She was emotionally and sexually unavailable, flirted with my friends, when drunk she would do things that would border on cheating. Rather than being angry at this behaviour and either ending it or giving some sort of ultimatum, I blamed myself.

 

I ended up seeing her at the party. We didn't talk, we didn't even really look at each other. I felt nothing but extreme awkwardness. Sure I still think she is beautiful, and I was sad that we weren't together anymore, but I dealt with it better than expected. I ended up taking a complete stranger home from the party that night, and it was good.

 

The contact over this whole time was quite limited, the first few weeks we called almost every day, after that this was reduced to texting once or twice a week, until recently when we stopped talking to each other at all. When I now think about the idea of talking to her I find it more tedious than depressing, more annoying than scary.

 

I gradually got this feeling that I don't care for a relationship with her at all anymore, but knowing that she has severe depression, I became concerned for her in the most genuine sense, I just wanted to know that she was alive and doing ok, I felt like I almost hoped she'd met somebody else that could look after her. Yesterday I initiated the first proper conversation with her via text. We exchanged a few texts, she's not great but she's ok. She's moved out of town for another couple of months, living with some family in a different city as an extended holiday to get her mental health back on track. The conversation didn't put me in a low like previous ones had, I just felt happy for her that she's taking steps towards recovery.

 

So things are looking up. I think it will still be a long time before I can actually sit down and talk to her face-to-face without being unsure how I will react, but I don't feel that I need her anymore, it would take a huge amount of effort on her part for me to even consider going back to her. It's not that I hate her, just that I realize that we weren't right for each other. I need somebody who is affectionate. I'm shy, but I love being around people, she's an introvert who needs a huge amount of alone time, in addition to her mental issues. I'm a positive person who always tries to see the best in people, she's cynical and judgemental. It just wasn't going to work.

 

Oh, and maybe it's a bit too early, but I've met a wonderful new girl. I've been on three dates with her but it's pretty clear we both really like each other. I'm taking things slowly and trying not to invest too much emotion into her yet, but I feel no regret about this, I don't feel like I need to wait for my ex or that I'll hurt her, I feel like I just really like this new person for who they are. I haven't felt like this with somebody for a long time now.

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I agree. The fact that you are on here posting about your ex says you still think of her. You can only go into a new relationship and be fully available once over the last. Maybe you are? Only you know that. I hope it works out for you and you are over her

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I guess the reason I posted on here about the breakup is because it dawned on me yesterday that I had completely stopped thinking about the breakup or feeling hurt by it a while ago now, and that thought surprised me because I expected it to take longer to get to this point, not because I'm still constantly thinking about her.

 

And yeah I understand you guys being concerned about me still talking to my ex while contemplating being with somebody new. I would probably add the explanation that I've always tried to be friends with all my exes, I've always felt that even though the romantic parts of the relationships had died away, these people were still genuinely great people for me to have spent so long with them. I'm still good friends (in the most platonic sense possible) with my exes from my first two relationships and this last ex was ok with this once she saw that there wasn't anything to worry about. Of course if a new person doesn't like this, and I really like them, I will stop being in touch with the exes, but while it doesn't hurt anybody I feel like remaining friends is a good thing. And I have little choice but to try remain at least on good terms with my most recent ex because she is within the same close group of friends as me.

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