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Sorry this is long!

My ex is 1 year younger than me and we dated for 2 years 8 months until Dec. We met when I was 17 and ended up going to the same university, and a great relationship for about 2 1/4 years until I got ill that made me emotionally vacant, unable to do certain things due to physical symptoms and lost my sex drive. I’m in my final year of university and so I couldn’t make as much time for him as he’d liked but he stood by my side through it all.


He however had been unhappy due to these factors and bottled it up until he couldn’t handle it anymore and broke up with me just before Christmas. He had a bad childhood that makes him uncomfortable with speaking up about his feelings, so he bottles it up and gets angry at himself. He had depressive periods that only got worse as our relationship worsened but he didn’t think he had a problem and I couldn’t do anything to get him help. He said he couldn’t tell me how he felt because he couldn’t blame me for being stressed and ill and didn’t want to make me feel worse.


Fast forward to April now, he’s realised our break up were caused by small issues, if he could learn to communicate better and said he wants to get back together. He rebounded with someone about a month and a half after our break up, which is fine, except he lied multiple times about it.


He is my first relationship and I’m his second, and we both chose to be friends after NC for 24 days. Since he was my first everything, I didn’t really know how to handle a breakup.


Lie #1: he lied about who he was with

I was lonely on Valentine’s Day and he came over. I begged for him back even though I knew I didn’t want to get back together at that point, he said no. He told me he did stuff with someone back home a month after the break up and would have gone all the way but didn’t have a condom. Then we had break up sex. I saw him whilst clubbing 2 days later grinding on a girl in a relationship, so I went to his house and talked about it as a friend and explained that I didn’t want him back.


He said that he lied and the girl he did stuff with was the girl in the relationship. I was surprised because I knew that wasn’t his character and I advised against it and he said he knew it was wrong but he had feelings for her, that he was going to back off and let the girl deal with her side, but he also still thought he had feelings for me and wanted to sleep with me as the last time and we did it. The next day he said that he didn’t have feelings for me anymore.


Lie #2: he lied about having sex with her

We had continued to sleep with each other throughout February and March. I didn’t want to get back together, I did it because I wanted it but didn’t like the prospect of sleeping with someone I didn’t know. He did it because he felt a connection with me each time he did it with me which made it better (though he didn’t know what it meant until he looks back at it now) and he claimed throughout that time that he and the girl didn’t do anything, even when I didn’t ask. I decided to try a one night stand in mid March and he was angry because it was a guy that smoked. I was really disappointed in my ex as he picked smoking up after we broke up and we fought about it because I cared and, again, knew it wasn’t his character.

He then told me that he lied, he and the girl slept together 3 times and did stuff 4 times, so 7 in total. I told him in February that if he has sex with her, I won’t sleep with him anymore. I was blindsided that he did it knowing I wouldn’t have done it if he told me. In total he slept with me 10 times after sleeping with her the first time, so 10 opportunities to tell me. He had sex with me 4 times in between the 3 times he had sex with her and twice doing stuff, which broke my trust and hurt me. However, there was only 1 time all the way and once doing stuff with her where we didn’t say it was the last time for us, so technically the other 4 times that he and the girl did whatever was none of my business. I acknowledge that I can’t be angry, but it’s the fact that he didn’t tell me and slept with me anyway that makes me feel betrayed.


Lie #3: he lied about having unprotected sex

After our fight about sleeping with other people, he told me that the previous night, the girl said she was going to try and make things work with her boyfriend (surprise), then she proceeded to do stuff to my ex(?) for the last time. He said woke up that morning and really felt like it wasn’t right and he started to realise that he had “f’ed everything up” and was “confused and muddled”, feeling a lot of regret with us. He said even after we put each other through hell, he still has these feelings for me he can’t explain and that that has to count for something, then proceeded to tell me he was giving her a week to make her mind up. I got angry and said how can you say all of this to tell me you’re still waiting for her to give you an answer? And he said he never said he definitely wanted to get back together and that he was just confused and had these feelings so I said we just need to not talk for a while. That made me realise I was not 100% over him.


5 days of NC later we were home for break. He told me he got diagnosed with depression and got put on medication. He said everything made sense now. He was running away from dealing with his problems and our break up by drinking and going out excessively and picked up smoking to cope with his emptiness, and latched on to the next girl. Every time he did stuff with the girl he knew it was wrong but his judgement was clouded and he always felt hollow after. He felt guilty for not telling me the truth but was so afraid that I’d hate him and that he’d lose me forever. He said he wanted to fix himself, clean up his mess, cut ties with the toxic friends (including the girl) that he made after we broke up when we go back to uni and win me back. We were starting to talk again and it’s like old times, we had great conversation, got along very well. It was the first time I saw him happy for the first time since before our break up. He was himself again. I said we shouldn’t get back together until he fixes his mess at uni and cuts ties, also so I have time to digest everything. He agreed and so we were just seeing each other occasionally and talking a lot. He booked therapy sessions in to uncover his problems that caused him to be so hesitant in communicating.

I decided that I’d like to take the next step and get the implant so we can have unprotected sex when properly we get back together. I haven’t done it before and it has always meant a lot to me to do it unprotected and he was excited because it would mean a lot. I went to the clinic to sign up and he came with me. I asked him if he had been tested before and he said he had only had it unprotected with his ex and she did a test and was clean so he was too. I assumed from that that he used a condom with the girl.

Yesterday, I went to get the implant fitted and was on the phone to him whilst walking to the clinic and asked him. He said he did once and I flipped my s***. I got the implant fitted anyway, called him back and I was so angry I shouted at him on the phone and called him horrible things and said you keep lying and hurting me and hiding things from me, every time I ask you it’s a new iteration. He broke down crying, took all of the verbal abuse and even agreed with me, apologised repeatedly and said he put the tip in, realised it was wrong and they didn’t do anything else and that was one of the 3 times. I asked him why he didn’t tell me because it’s the most crucial bit, and he said he doesn’t know why he couldn’t and kept apologising. I asked him if he got tested and he said he was going to wait until we got back to uni to do it but he’s booked an appointment to do it first thing the next day. I kept shouting at him saying he was going to do it with me before he got his results back and said he was dirty and ruined everything because that was always something I thought would mean a lot to him like it meant to me. He said he knows that and it does mean a lot but he was stupid and not in the right frame of mind. I asked him if he was going to hide that from me forever and he said he would have told me eventually but couldn’t have done it in March because he didn’t want to break my trust even more back then. I said if he did that back then it would have been the icing on the cake and now it’s a new cake and I have to take time to process this. He later said he thinks it’s because things were going so well that he didn’t want to ruin it and was going to keep it from

me until at least after the results came back, which would have been after I got the implant and could have done it unprotected at any moment!


Despite the way he was horrible to me and lied in many ways, I do still love him and knowing he loves me and wants me back and he’s making a huge effort to earn my trust back and make me smile makes it even harder to deal with. I told him that lying once was fine but 3 times it’s a pattern and he cried and cried and said it would be the last time. We both calmed down and he came over to talk and told me everything whilst crying, including small things that weren’t significant. He cried a lot and said he regrets everything he’s done from before our break up until now, and he hates himself for the breaking us, breaking me and breaking himself to the point that he is extremely motivated to change, that his lying today was the last straw and made him realise he hit rock bottom and needs to sort himself out. When I brought up how he treated me before the breakup, he broke down too, which shows he’s never reflected on the break up and accepted, learnt from it and moved on.

I said I can’t be with him until he can fully acknowledge and forgive himself for what he’s done, get to the bottom of why he couldn’t tell me things even after he started getting in the right frame of mind and not hate himself anymore. He can’t make me happy when he can’t make himself happy. I need time to digest it. We are going to do NC for a month and see how he has progressed. If he’s still not happy with himself, we will continue NC until he is. He agreed that that was the best way forward and wants to get back together when he is better.


The questions I have are:

Am I overreacting about this since this all happened whilst we are broken up?

How much of what he’s done can be credited to his mental health, our break up, and drinking, and how much of it is just immaturity and lack of respect for me?

Did I do the right thing?


I know that I can’t put myself on hold for him to mature and love himself, but I’d just like some opinions, suggestions or feedback in general about how I have dealt with this and what to do from now on.

Edited by novaaa
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A quick note on STI testing: They don't test for herpes unless there is an active outbreak or you push to get the test done. So most likely neither of you have been tested for it. Also there is no way to test for HPV in men. So he could be a carrier and his tests come back clear. I'm not saying this to scare you or make you feel bad... you should just know this stuff if you are having sex.


So about this guy. It's really clear he is no where ready for a relationship. And to be honest? It doesn't sound like you are either. I would suggest you leave and give yourself some time to get to know yourself before you start dating anyone. Whatever you do don't get back into a relationship with this guy. He doesn't know how to be ethical in a relationship. He was extremely disrespectful of you and this other woman and this other woman's relationship. He has a LOT of personal work to do before he'll make a good partner to anyone. And you two have such a messy past even when/if he grows up it'll most likely be with someone else.


Stop all contact, stop sleeping with him, stop quizzing him on his behavior... just break up with him already. Really, fully, break up.

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