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why am i still hung up on my ex?


peason77

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last August i broke with a man who has emotionally battered me on and off for 4 years. I was studying as a student nurse at the time to better myself for my daughter, and was under enormous amounts of stress. He tried to get me to talk about something i wasn't comfortable with (religion) and i said no. He didn't like that. I told him to leave- he didn't want to. Eventually he did. He told me it was up to me whether i continued the relationship- i chose not to (i'd been thinking of ending it for a while). I agreed he could continue to see my little girl (he said he missed her) on the understanding i was around. So this happened for a while, then one day in a mad moment of loneliness i asked him if he wanted to go for a meal- he said yes he'd love to. I told him i missed him - he told me he missed me etc but i then had a feeling he had met someone else (it had been 6 weeks since we split- rebound??). He reluctantly admitted it. He said that she understood we still saw each other and was ok with that (?) He said he was torn. Anyway, i knew it wasn't fair to this other woman,and deep down i knew he had chosen her. I knew then i had to terminate all contact- and i did (his last words to me were, call me when you need help with your studying). I went on to achieve a first class degree without him and remained single in order to grieve and concentrate on my girl. Anyway i met a guy recently (younger than me 28yrs- i'm 37)i've known him as a friend for atleast 10 years. He is mature for his age. We've been officially seeing each other for 2 months, but as more time elapses it is becoming increasingly apparent he is needy, moody and insecure, which as an independent woman is quite ugly to me. He doesn't get that i need space every now and again. Everyone is so happy for me but they don't realise i'm really quite unsure and unhappy- yet i've graduated, have a roof over my head- have a new career and most importantly my daughter is happy and healthy. I have since also started to have increasing thoughts of my ex- thoughts of him contacting me ( the pattern of our 4 yr relationship was- he dumps me, gets in contact with me 3 months later and i'm a mug and hook up again) however, he never has met another woman before- now he has, and i'm actually sad, because its been 6 months since we had contact and i now accept i probably will never hear from him again- and that makes me want him to contact me more!

 

My head is a mess- does the fact that i'm thinking of my ex indicate that i should end my current relationship as it isnt fair to him? I can't understand my head, and everyone is so happy for me that i can't talk to anyone about my thoughts- hence my post.

 

Can anyone direct me as to what i should do, and why am i thinking of my ex again?

 

your advice would be greatly welcome.

 

Thank you.

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Toxic relationships can have a very strong pull, in fact sometimes a stronger pull than a loving relationship because they hook into the brain's reward system... if he was abusive, you were in essence 'trained' and brainwashed to chase the carrot that if only you were good enough or loved him enough you would FINALLY get to a perfect place and a loving relationship. So you are chasing that reward, the humans are very strongly motivated to chase that brass ring. So you go back again and again and again hoping it will be different, and the more times you do this, the harder it is to let go because you've invested so much into getting to that goal and it is a bitter pill to give that up and recognize it was a waste and give up on that dream. Intermittent reinforcement is one of the most powerful behavior modification tools there is, and the intermittent rewards (little honeymoon periods) you have in the midst of abuse train you to keep coming back for more desperately craving those little honeymoons.

 

So he is familiar to you, and you are lonely, and you invested a lot of years in chasing that dream that he'd eventually love you 'correctly' but he never did. And he won't. He's a grown man and probably will never change, so you already know how this would go even if you did get back with him. You'll get back with him, and the cycle will start over (if he'd even have you, but more likely at this point he'd just keep you as a side piece and abuse you even more emotionally because you're stuck in that 'other woman' situation).

 

So you are thinking about your ex because it was a toxic relationship with a strong pull, and you need to fully understand that cycle. There are lots of good books on emotionally and physically abusive relationships, and you should get some and read them, and consider getting some counseling to help you learn how to let go of a toxic relationship and free yourself to love a normal man.

 

And if your current relationship isn't working out because he has too many issues, then go ahead and end that and get some counseling so you don't repeat the pattern of getting with inappropriate men. You probably also need a reasonable period of time on your own without a man to clear your head, without jumping from man to man because then your tendency is to grab the first man rather than the RIGHT man, and you need the RIGHT man not just ANY man because you don't know how to live alone comfortably, and you do need to learn to do that so you don't keep choosing the wrong men and can wait/take your time looking for the right one.

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This must he really hard for you and I really feel for you on this one. I went through a crappy relationship before which really left it's mark but I didn't have all the extra pressure in my life like you (being a parent for one!!) I think it sounds like you're a strong person just by what you've achieved and that you DID tell him to leave! You know deep down the answer I'm sure, there is no way that you're ex is the one for you and it would be like, 2 steps forward 700 hundred steps back(!!) Maybe this new guy isn't quite living up to your standards either and I would agree with the last post, it's so tough when you want someone, support , love etc but in the long term you could get a repeat of the past. Sometime I guess you just need validation that what you're feeling / doing is right and need a neutral opinion on the situation. Can't imagine anyone on this forum would recommend you 'give your ex another go'

Or anything like that so that should be your answer and help you realise that you did the right thing there with that one present situation may be a bit harder to see as you're still in the relationship now but from what you're saying sounds like you've kind of made your mind up there too but need courage to go through with it. Good luck x

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Sounds like it's time for a major relationship spring cleaning. Your ex was toxic and toxic relationships like that can be as powerfully addicting as a drug. Even when people get out, they'll struggle with withdrawal of sorts. That's pretty much what you are dealing with right now. As for your current bf, it doesn't even sound like you like him or respect him very much. Time to let all of them go, be single, focus on your new career, look into some hobbies, etc. Allow yourself to be happy without all the male drama in your life keeping you miserable.

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hello guys, sorry for the late reply. Many thanks for your advice. Update: On Thursday evening my partner came around to my house, drunk. I was immediately disgusted, not because he was drunk but because he had come around to my house in a state when my little daughter was present! But what really did it for me was the fact he had DRIVEN to mine in that state. When i questioned him as to why he did such an awful thing he said the typical 'i am fine' 'i can drive well' but neglected to see the danger he put every other person on the road or pavement. It was then i saw how immature and irresponsible he was, and that was extremely ugly. I knew then i had to finish it. I did- and i feel loads better! i feel free again. I do have my lonely moments but i don't care. I have continued to think of my ex, and that upsets me because i don't want to. It transpires my good friend is pals with his current partner (i think they're still together) she is atleast 8 years older than me so she clearly has less baggage than i- weird thing is i've probably crossed paths with her- she is a health care assistant (who apparently thinks she's a nurse)and works in the same hospital as I! . Sometimes i wonder whether it is actually him i want or just the opportunity to have the last say. I'm mad because i know he hates the strong woman i've become. I start my new job as surgical staff nurse on monday so i am going to concentrate on my career but most importantly my daughter. I'm going to take some much needed time out. I need to remain single for some time- i've even resigned myself to thinking it may be forever. So as i sit back this evening, i look at the things i've achieved; beautiful, well behaved, well mannered little girl. Lovely home, good career, good degree, health and wonderful family and friends. Thank God for everything. Here's to being single and remaining strong (and hoping i have the strength if ever any of my exes contact me). Being a nurse i see the sadness in life, so i am fully aware of my blessings. Bring on singledom! Many thanks for your support.

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