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Ex left after 5 years... any hope of reconciliation?


anon1212

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It's been 2 weeks now since my ex broke up with me, saying that he wasn't happy anymore due to the fact that we had been fighting, and that led to him falling out of love. He did say that if we hadn't been fighting lately, he would still be in love with me and wouldn't have a doubt about this. We spent 5 years together (all of college + 1 year post grad) and we were each other's first everything. We often talked about our future... where we'd live, how many kids we'd have, etc. Every so often, we would go through patches of fighting over stupid things, but we always got through it and said it would make us stronger. The day before he broke up with me, he told me how excited he was to have a future with me and how he couldn't wait to see where we were in 30 years. I questioned him about this after the breakup, and he said that he does want a future with me and does want to be with me, he just doesn't know if that's possible considering how things have been lately.

 

We have talked (more than we should have) during the past two weeks. Initially he was very confused about his decision and tried to keep me updated, but decided that he felt this was the right choice. Last week we talked for a few hours about what went wrong... really focused on what the issues were and how we could fix them. Ultimately, he said that he was glad he knew that the issues were fixable if he wanted to try again, but that as of now he didn't want to fix them. I did ask him many times for a second chance, and he stayed firm in his decision. However, when we broke up, he told me that if he missed me and couldn't stop thinking about me in a few weeks, we could talk about fixing it. I asked if that were still the case when I spoke to him a few days ago and he said that it is still true.

 

Since that conversation, I have been doing no contact. Part of me feels like since neither one of us has had space for longer than 4 days, that we haven't really let the emotions settle yet. Neither one of us will feel any differently, in either direction, until that happens. I'm wondering if maybe once he takes a step back, he'll consider reconciliation and giving it a second chance. I know that all he can do is tell me how he feels at this point and that he can't tell me how he'll feel in a week or a month. But I do wonder if he's still speaking from frustration (due to the fact that this is what happened to our relationship as well as the fact that I keep asking him to change his mind) when he says that this is the right decision and that he doesn't think we can be happy together. I know that he had to put a lot of thought into it to end a 5 year relationship. He did say that it was something he was still thinking and praying about, and that if he were to change his mind, he didn't want it to be because someone told him to. He said he needed to reach that decision on his own. When I asked him how he was doing, he said that he felt very weird without me and that he wasn't happy, but didn't say anything about wanting to change his mind. His sister told me that asking him if he feels differently is pointless because he hasn't had the time/space to see if the bad feelings stay, so now I really am trying to stick to NC.

 

In the mean time, I have been/will be using this time to reflect on my half of the relationship.. what I did wrong and how I can improve myself in general and also to be better in a relationship. I've made a lot of progress realizing the root of my insecurities/etc that put stress on our relationship and now I'm trying to come to terms and resolve those. I also think that this is a good time for both of us to regain who we are as individuals. We spent 5 of our most transitional years together, making decisions together/with the other one in mind. I've been trying to spend lots of time with friends, not letting our breakup stop me from doing things that I would normally do with him, focusing on moving forward in my career, etc. And I know that he's also doing the same, as we have mutual friends after such a long relationship.

 

I just find myself thinking that maybe we just need some time apart, and that it'll allow us to come back to the relationship as two happy individuals that can complement each other, rather than just being a couple. He's been very honest with me about his feelings throughout all of this, and I feel like he is sincere when he says that he does still love and care about me. Just not sure if there's any chance of him wanting to try to be happy, since we were for 4 and a half of the 5 years and he's focused on the past 5 months rather than the rest of the relationship.

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Hello.

 

To be entirely honest with you I'm going through the exact same thing right now. Relationship of five years, its currently two weeks after the breakup, my girlfriend left me.

 

She broke up with me because the passion in our relationship was fading.

 

Since then I've attempted no contact but she texts me all the time that she misses me, but has made it perfectly clear that reconciliation is not something that is going to happen immediately, if at all.

 

Its pretty twisted, she invited me over to see her at her apartment this upcoming weekend. I think she misses me dearly but in her heart she knows she needs a break from us. This whole situation has been ripping me apart as many people on this forum could tell you. I agreed to the meetup but right now I'm starting to second guess things.

 

Listen, both of our ex's left us. As someone told me on this forum, when a person leaves you its means they are willing to risk losing you forever. Maybe this will change down the line, but maybe not.

 

Its incredibly hard but I truly believe that putting our past relationships behind us and moving forward without any expectations for reconciliation is the only way to make us heal. And maybe learning to be on our own is the only way we can fix the problems that existed in our relationships. Maybe if we ever got back together with our lovers, we would only be ready after we licked our wounds and moved on.

 

Not to mention, I was thinking about this earlier. Both of our ex's wake up every morning knowing we are still there. We wake up every morning knowing that they aren't. Not only is it not fair, but neither of our ex's have experienced what it would be like when we are completely, totally absent from their lives. We haven't been yet.

 

People have told me time and time again to go no contact. You know what? Its actually the best idea for more than one reason. I've realized the past two weeks that its easier said than done. Not gonna be easy, but we have to do it.

 

As for me, if your interested, everyday that passes my logical side is urging me to cut off this meetup with my ex. I have a gut instinct that I'm going to show up and leave empty handed (not to mention, potential post breakup-ex-sex might really mess with me). My heart is telling me that seeing her face to face might change things.

 

I seriously doubt it would. Like I said, easier said than done though.

 

I tell myself that no matter what happens, the great moments we shared together will be worth this heartbreak in the end.

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I agree with you, that we experience what it's like to be without them and they don't experience what it's like to be without us. But as you said, part of you feels that seeing each other face to face would change things. Part of me feels the same way. I'm stuck on the idea that if my ex and I spend some time apart, if we see each other after a month, maybe we'll both feel something when we see each other in person. Silly? Maybe. No contact is definitely easier said than done. The longest I've ever gone without talking to my ex while we were dating was 5 days when he went on vacation with no service. The longest I've gone since we broke up has been 4 days. Every 4 days I break and call him, he answers, and we talk for hours in circles. My ex won't initiate contact or say that he misses me. He'll say that he still loves me when I ask, and that he feels very strange without me, but that's it. I know he's partially doing it to make it easier on me, which I appreciate in a way. I wish I could talk to him about how things would be different, but I know me reaching out to him is a clear display that things aren't different.

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It sounds like you are begging him to come back, by asking if he still loves you,etc.?

Every 4 days I break and call him, he answers, and we talk for hours in circles. My ex won't initiate contact or say that he misses me. He'll say that he still loves me when I ask.
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Even if you don't have the outcome you are hoping for, trust that no matter what the break was for the right reasons.

 

You'll either find your way back to each other and with a new improved outlook on how things should move forward or the break will show you that you two may have ultimately outgrown each other.

 

You don't want to be tied someone who has doubts.

Resist pursuing him.

 

Use this time wisely and be prepared.

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I had asked him the week following the breakup to change his mind numerous times and did ask if he still loves me, to which he said yes. I apologize for making it sound like its something I ask him consistently, but it has been a week since the last conversation like that

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Let it rest. Go no contact for yourself. He can't miss you or even reflect knowing you are hovering and pining. Grovelling for his affection, love and reconciliation is unattractive.

I had asked him the week following the breakup to change his mind numerous times and did ask if he still loves me
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Even if you don't have the outcome you are hoping for, trust that no matter what the break was for the right reasons.

 

You'll either find your way back to each other and with a new improved outlook on how things should move forward or the break will show you that you two may have ultimately outgrown each other.

 

You don't want to be tied someone who has doubts.

Resist pursuing him.

 

Use this time wisely and be prepared.

 

Thank you, you're right. I understand why he has doubts, because we really got comfortable and started slacking on communication and that should've never happened. I'm just hoping that it's something he'll realize doesn't have to be a permanent thing. We weren't always that way, we don't have to always be that way. But I guess for now, I can't do anything but wait.

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Thank you, you're right. I understand why he has doubts, because we really got comfortable and started slacking on communication and that should've never happened. I'm just hoping that it's something he'll realize doesn't have to be a permanent thing. We weren't always that way, we don't have to always be that way. But I guess for now, I can't do anything but wait.

 

Hang in there!

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It 150% easier said than done. I feel better knowing I'm not the only one going through this.

 

I suppose in a way things are easier on me. I get the face-to-face meetup in a few days time. I could potentially see what happens and then begin to move on if it doesn't end in reconciliation, knowing that I gave it that face-to-face effort. We broke up over the phone (she was out-of-state for awhile), which makes me feel I need that in-person encounter for closure.

 

Moving forward...

 

Right now, your situation is one with no end in sight. Maybe in a month he'd be willing to meet. Maybe not.

 

It may be fairly hypocritical for me to say (despite the fact that our situations are different) but I really feel that you need to attempt no contact and try to move on as a single individual. Once you get your emotions in check and let him miss you a little bit with no-contact, maybe thats the time that is not only the best chance at reconciliation; but also the best chance of you being able to actually maintain the relationship if it re-initiates. Self healing is important. I think we need to be at the point that we are indifferent about our ex's being absent from our lives before we have truly recovered.

 

If self-healing isn't enough of a motivation for going no-contact, then surely the argument that it is the best way to win him back should be. Granted, I don't think a person should go no-contact as a method for winning back a partner. You'll be sitting there waiting for the phone call and wondering if it will happen for weeks, maybe months. It should be for you and you alone.

 

Truthfully, there is a contradictory I've noticed between dating experts. Some preach no-contact as it is the best and only way. Some talk about maintaining contact as a method of re-attraction- but this is under the stipulation that you can keep your cool. You can't be the one initiating contact, you have to let them do it. You have to seem like you've moved on and your happy within your single life. You need to make them feel happy when they call you, not sad while rehashing a past relationship. Definitely a bad idea to be getting emotional over the phone or in-person. You need to be a fresh and revamped version of yourself. However, in our cases, this is probably only possible after a period of no-contact since we are both clearly not thinking straight at the moment.

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Let it rest. Go no contact for yourself. He can't miss you or even reflect knowing you are hovering and pining. Grovelling for his affection, love and reconciliation is unattractive.

 

Correct. I've definitely learned that he won't know if the feelings stay the same if he doesn't have the time/space to process them and see. On the other hand, going from seeing/talking to someone every day for 5 years to absolutely no communication at all cold turkey is much easier said than done. Slowly but surely finding my way.

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I have to say, I don't think the face-to-face encounter makes it any easier... My ex and I met 3 times to break up/discuss/get closure and it definitely got harder each time. Seeing him upset made me angry because I was frustrated that he was still doing it, regardless of how upset he was. Plus we both wanted to comfort each other, which just made it even harder.

 

I don't think he would say no to meeting. Any time I've reached out to him, he's been more than willing to meet/call and talk. Would he meet with the intention or possibility of reconciliation, though? Not a clue. Definitely not right now. Maybe once things settle and he's had some space.

 

I agree that no contact is definitely the way to go. It's just a matter of taking that thought and actually executing it. As I'm getting started in my career, I'm excited, obviously. But then I think about how that's something I'd normally share with him and how excited he'd be too. That's definitely part of it that I struggle with. (Also not on topic, but I read your post and saw that you're an engineer, and so is my ex. Scary how similar our situations are in a way....) But I do agree. No contact will both give me a chance to heal and give him an opportunity to miss me. True recovery is not something that I see plausible for a long time. I know that I'll be okay without him and that I can be happy on my own. I do, however, still want him to come back. I'm not sure how long it would ever take me to be indifferent about whether or not he did, but who knows what a month of not communicating could do?

 

I've also noticed the differences in advice between no contact and maintaining contact, and I constantly struggle between the two. I think that like you said earlier, we know what it's like to be without them. They don't know what it's like to be without us, and they won't know that feeling unless we stop contact. Will that be a wake up call for either one of them? Maybe. Maybe not. But they don't have the chance to miss us if we don't give them the time and space to miss us.

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Stay no contact. You need the time to pull back and fully get clear and have some distance and clarity as to what went wrong.

 

But let's be clear about one thing. He didn't fall out of love with you, because you were fighting. Something was already wrong or you both would not have been fighting to begin with, so clearly there were problems long before he claims he fell out of love with you over fighting.

 

Time and distance apart will help you sort all of that out. And I'm sorry, but you need that time apart. From there things will likely get very clear for you and him and either you will find your way back or you will each realize breaking up was the right thing and you'll both heal and move forward.

 

But there was something else there before the fighting ever began, fighting constantly is a symptom the relationship is already in trouble, it's not the sole cause of a relationship ending. It's just for him it's the only explanation he can come up with at the moment or for him he simply needs time to cool off, so I wouldn't take his words totally to heart. He was after all, fighting too so no a breakup isn't usually always just one person's fault only.

 

Stay NC, focus on your own healing, it will get clearer and you begin to come out of the fog. I promise.

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Anon, I wish you the best of luck moving forward. I more than likely will proceed with the meetup because I haven't had that opportunity yet. The last time I saw my ex we were dating and hugged/kissed goodbye. As you have pointed out, in addition to many others, meeting her will probably end in heartbreak but I believe that its the slap in the face I need to finally begin moving on with no-contact.

 

My ex is visiting her old apartment to finish packing up her stuff. Given its fathers day weekend, who knows? Maybe she'll reschedule. If that happens I'll be calling her on the phone to give her my message. I can't afford to wait any longer in limbo.

 

As difficult as it may be, no-contact is the best way for us.

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Anon, I wish you the best of luck moving forward. I more than likely will proceed with the meetup because I haven't had that opportunity yet. The last time I saw my ex we were dating and hugged/kissed goodbye. As you have pointed out, in addition to many others, meeting her will probably end in heartbreak but I believe that its the slap in the face I need to finally begin moving on with no-contact.

 

My ex is visiting her old apartment to finish packing up her stuff. Given its fathers day weekend, who knows? Maybe she'll reschedule. If that happens I'll be calling her on the phone to give her my message. I can't afford to wait any longer in limbo.

 

As difficult as it may be, no-contact is the best way for us.

 

I wish you luck as well! I hope that everyone is wrong and that it does go well for you! I just didn't want you to get your hopes up and think that an in person conversation makes it easier if her decision is still the same.

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Stay no contact. You need the time to pull back and fully get clear and have some distance and clarity as to what went wrong.

 

But let's be clear about one thing. He didn't fall out of love with you, because you were fighting. Something was already wrong or you both would not have been fighting to begin with, so clearly there were problems long before he claims he fell out of love with you over fighting.

 

Time and distance apart will help you sort all of that out. And I'm sorry, but you need that time apart. From there things will likely get very clear for you and him and either you will find your way back or you will each realize breaking up was the right thing and you'll both heal and move forward.

 

But there was something else there before the fighting ever began, fighting constantly is a symptom the relationship is already in trouble, it's not the sole cause of a relationship ending. It's just for him it's the only explanation he can come up with at the moment or for him he simply needs time to cool off, so I wouldn't take his words totally to heart. He was after all, fighting too so no a breakup isn't usually always just one person's fault only.

 

Stay NC, focus on your own healing, it will get clearer and you begin to come out of the fog. I promise.

 

Thank you. From the way I'm looking at it now, I think that we both got too comfortable/started to take each other for granted and began to not communicate as effectively, and that's what led to us fighting. But time will tell if he meant it permanently or not.

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I wish you luck as well! I hope that everyone is wrong and that it does go well for you! I just didn't want you to get your hopes up and think that an in person conversation makes it easier if her decision is still the same.

 

If her decision is the same, it's the same. I don't expect it to be easier, I just hope acceptance will come easier. It's hard to break up over the phone. Sometimes I feel like I need her to look me in the eye and hear her say it's over.

 

Maybe reconciliation is in my future and her constant texts and phone calls saying "I love you, I miss you, let's meet up and make plans this summer" are indicators that she is on the verge of changing her decision. Maybe she is just emotional and doesn't plan on reconciliation. I'm going to find out in person and move forward from there. If I don't leave with her I'm leaving with a firm no contact policy which I refuse to break.

 

Honestly I expect it to end in a breakup after all, and I don't expect for it to suddenly become "easy" after the meetup. However I do expect to be able to finally face the reality that my heart has more than likely been concealing.

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Thank you. From the way I'm looking at it now, I think that we both got too comfortable/started to take each other for granted and began to not communicate as effectively, and that's what led to us fighting. But time will tell if he meant it permanently or not.

 

Hi there. I'm sorry you're hurting. I'm also 2 weeks out from a break-up after almost 5 years together...and our break-up also came out of an argument/fight. I know exactly how you feel. It hurts, it sucks, you feel blindsided, and you feel responsible for losing the most important relationship in your entire life. "What if we just hadn't had that fight?!"

 

As other posters have said, this break-up was likely coming. I think in these situations our dumpers often don't know exactly WHEN they will do it, but they've been having a feeling for some time that things just aren't right, and I think an argument often gives a convenient moment to say "I can't do this anymore," without seeming like it has come out of nowhere.

 

A lot of people talk about the "getting too comfortable/taking each other for granted" reason for break-ups...and I guess I don't really buy it. Relationships naturally have ups and downs, and the whole point of an LTR is you're supposed to be able to get comfortable! I think that often, a relationship has just run its course for a person. It's not about going back and rekindling what you originally had. It's about one person in the relationship having their wants or needs change, and no longer seeing those needs or that future in the person they are with. Emotions are irrational, and people will stay with someone who is treating them terribly as long as they see/want that future with them. Unfortunately, our exes are willing to lose us forever rather than stick around and work through things together, and I think that is what we should focus on (unfortunately). Odds are, they don't even know why things changed. They just did.

 

I do think NC is best, as is trying not to dwell on the potential for reconiliation. There are no odds or %s you can look to, and its unfortunately totally outside of any of our control.

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Relationships naturally have ups and downs, and the whole point of an LTR is you're supposed to be able to get comfortable! I think that often, a relationship has just run its course for a person.

 

Hey, I agree with what you're saying. We didn't have an argument and then BAM, he wanted to break up, though. He just said that we had been arguing a lot recently and that he wasn't happy anymore because of it. I don't mean that we got too comfortable like it was bad that we were ourselves. But I think you can be TOO comfortable, think that the other will always be there, and kind of slack on the dating part. And I think that's what happened for us. We stopped changing things up, fell into a routine and at times, we both felt like the other was taking each other for granted. We fought because of it. I don't necessarily think the relationship has run its course, especially because he was still saying all those things about wanting to have a future together, just not knowing if it was possible. I understand, if he really wanted a future together, we'd be together. But I think that maybe he's not entirely sure what to do because what he wants/ed and what he was experiencing were conflicting, and he's going with how he presently feels. Either way, I'm giving him his time and space to see if he does feel differently/is open to talking in a few weeks and that'll give me time to get my emotions under control and focus on me.

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If her decision is the same, it's the same. I don't expect it to be easier, I just hope acceptance will come easier. It's hard to break up over the phone. Sometimes I feel like I need her to look me in the eye and hear her say it's over.

 

Maybe reconciliation is in my future and her constant texts and phone calls saying "I love you, I miss you, let's meet up and make plans this summer" are indicators that she is on the verge of changing her decision. Maybe she is just emotional and doesn't plan on reconciliation. I'm going to find out in person and move forward from there. If I don't leave with her I'm leaving with a firm no contact policy which I refuse to break.

 

Honestly I expect it to end in a breakup after all, and I don't expect for it to suddenly become "easy" after the meetup. However I do expect to be able to finally face the reality that my heart has more than likely been concealing.

 

I definitely understand, and wish you the best of luck!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Okay so it's been about a month now. We haven't spoken in a week. When we broke up, he told me that if he still missed me/was still thinking about me in the weeks after the emotions settled, he'd reach out and we could talk about potentially reconciling. When we spoke last week, he said that he missed me a constant amount since we broke up, it wasn't like he went from not missing me to an overwhelming feeling of missing me or vice versa. But also the fact that we were still communicating every 3-4 days didn't help either one of us see how we'd feel with the other absent. So now we're at a week of not talking, and I'm hoping this whole process of not contacting each other will help both of us see if we actually miss the other or if it's just missing having someone there. I know even if he does decide that he misses me, it doesn't mean he'll want to get back together, but I trust him that he meant what he said about having the conversation if he does. I'm sure it's normal to miss someone 3 and a half weeks out of a 5 year relationship. Just somewhat hoping he'll say that it's me as a person he misses, not just someone to stick by him.

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Unfortunately, it sounds like he's letting you down easy or stringing you along. Do you need to miss each other to like each other?

he told me that if he still missed me/was still thinking about me in the weeks after the emotions settled, he'd reach out and we could talk about potentially reconciling. I know even if he does decide that he misses me, it doesn't mean he'll want to get back together.
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I'm not sure if he's trying to string me along or if he's just confused. He said several times that he didn't want to break up and did want to have a future together, but he felt like it wasn't working lately and that breaking up was the right thing. I'm speculating but from how I understand it, I think he said the part about seeing if he misses me to see once things settle down if he was just frustrated with where we were at/felt like he had tried all other options, or if he actually is happier without us being together.

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