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Feeling guilty and sad for my ex after we broke up


Rockchick26
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You are stepping into the rescuer role in this relationship, but you know that it's not going to work out long-term. As much as you'd like to give him the whole closure speech, that will do nothing for him, as he doesn't need it and is moving on the best way that he knows how. I understand how that can be, that's what my ex did to me a few months ago--block, delete on EVERYTHING within the hour. He told me he does this in order to move on, he even burns and trashes photos, etc.

 

I guess that's the way it usually goes in relationships, the one doing the leaving is open to staying friends and communicating but the one who got left just reacts by shutting down and removing all memories of that person. My relationships have all ended mostly mutually and we all talked afterwards so that is why this one is so different for me, I've never been cut off like this from someone who loved me a few minutes before. I just can't fathom going from one extreme to the other. I think if you love someone you should be able to talk to them and talk through anything together, although I should have known from his inability to have serious conversations that he would be like this in a breakup. It's just sad because I do care about him a lot and am hurting a lot right now and I want so badly for this to be more tolerable for both of us.

 

Similarly, he loved watching MMA, horror films, heavy metal music, video games, etc. basically everything that frazzles me that I can't pretend to sit through. I think these situations can work as long as you find a balance and keep those hobbies separate (I don't see why women and men have to like and do all the same things, but I do think it's good to establish a few new hobbies together) or only occasionally partake with your partner if it doesn't appeal to the other, and while he didn't force me into anything, he was upset because he wanted to do that in place of dates since he saw it as killing two birds with one stone. It sounds like this guy was the same way.

 

Our guys sounded pretty similar! Yeah we had limited time to spend together since he works so much and I have hobbies that involve being out of town for 2-3 days, the same days he was off work. We literally had no hobbies we both liked, unless you count that we liked some of the same movies and tv shows but like I told him I can't spend all my free time doing that, that stuff is like a rainy day activity or during the winter.

 

But really, it's not your responsibility whether this man finds happiness with a woman. I feel like it's bringing out your mothering side. Sometimes people need to be forced into a situation where they have to evaluate what they are doing that is contributing to their life situation rather than blaming everything else. He is not taking responsibility for his disease with his poor diet, he's holed himself into his room in a depressive state with few friends, he seems self-centered from what you've detailed here, hasn't established himself in a proper career, etc. I'm glad he at least is under the care of a therapist, presumably. The last thing he needs is a woman to bail him out. He needs to realize that the way he is approaching life isn't working for him and this isn't anything that you can learn on his behalf. He's not in the best place to have a relationship with anyone, much less with you. Your words would be wasted on him, anyway, as he's not in the place to hear it. Your closure talk would probably feel pointless and patronizing to him.

 

So true!! Maybe that's why he avoided my closure talk because I noticed anytime I ever talked about something I knew about (more than he knew), he didn't know how to react so he would either disagree with me or not say anything at all. Overall I just got the vibe from him that he wanted to be the know it all in the relationship, and that just isn't right that he felt uncomfortable and awkward when I told him things he didnt know about.

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I think it's worth taking a look at the level of obsessing you're doing over what was less a romantic relationship than a kind of maternal friendship.

 

You are very clearly missing some kind of feedback loop you were getting from him, even though he showed very little interest in your life, which is to say I think your ego misses being the wise, stable figure to his brokenness. He was less a person to you, I think, than a project, one you weren't satisfied with romantically or intellectually, but that fulfilled a kind of maternal instinct to fix and soothe, one you're now exercising here in this forum.

 

I very much understand those urges. My ex is 12 years younger than me (I'm 38) and in the wake of that relationship I had to do a lot of searching about what got me into the dynamic. At the end of the day, it may reward the ego but it's draining and unsustainable, as you've known from the beginning. Maybe instead of focusing on his problems, turn the lens toward you and figure out why you're so invested in this.

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I think it's worth taking a look at the level of obsessing you're doing over what was less a romantic relationship than a kind of maternal friendship.

 

You are very clearly missing some kind of feedback loop you were getting from him, even though he showed very little interest in your life, which is to say I think your ego misses being the wise, stable figure to his brokenness. He was less a person to you, I think, than a project, one you weren't satisfied with romantically or intellectually, but that fulfilled a kind of maternal instinct to fix and soothe, one you're now exercising here in this forum.

 

I very much understand those urges. My ex is 12 years younger than me (I'm 38) and in the wake of that relationship I had to do a lot of searching about what got me into the dynamic. At the end of the day, it may reward the ego but it's draining and unsustainable, as you've known from the beginning. Maybe instead of focusing on his problems, turn the lens toward you and figure out why you're so invested in this.

 

I only feel drawn to broken men so that I can help them feel loved, but once I am in the relationship their issues become obvious that no woman can help them, and that's when I lose interest. So I think you have pegged me as the opposite, because I DONT want to deal with someone's issues. That is why I was unhappy in the first place. If I was the mothering type, I should have been happy with him since every day it was a new problem he needed help with. He came to me complaining about the pain when he broke a nail and he needed a band aid. He called me at home to have me bring him eye drops to work cuz he hit his eye with his safety glasses and his eye was swollen and red, then when i saw him the next day I couldn't even tell which eye it was! He called me while I was out with my friends about to ask me to bring him food because (again) he got something in his eyes and they were swollen so much he "couldn't see". I didn't do it though because I was in another town. But these things all wore on me and I hated how helpless he was. He complained about something new every day and that also led to me losing interest. So I think if I was the mothering type that thrived off this kind of relationship, I wouldn't have been sick of his complaining and neediness.

 

I feel relieved to be free of all these bad things about him, I dont think I am "obsessed" with anything because its normal to feel all these feelings right after a breakup. I just wanted things to end amicably, really, that is all. I don't like when people aren't talking to each other.

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I think you are better off single at this point in your life or with someone who has had a vasectomy.

 

lol or maybe someone who is able to make a deep serious connection with someone.

 

Be glad your both clear of one another and stop obsessing about your ex and the semi-relationship you were in with him.

 

I'm not obsessing, i'm processing, it just happened yesterday!! And it was a relationship, just not one of quality.

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I agree with Thatwasthen that it was inappropriate for you to post publicly what you did. And I’m not surprised someone showed it to him. I say that as a cautionary tale for the future. Who cares if it’s “the norm” to basically gossip about someone else on social media (because of course you didn’t need to mention him by name - it was obvious who you were referring to). Think about your own values - you claim to be such a caring person- and before you write such hurtful and potentially damaging words about someone in your life think about the potential impact and what it says about you that you would spread that kind of personal and negative criticism of someone else so publicly. Think about how sick to your stomach you would feel if they was down to you by someone who claimed to care about you. Just asking to give some thought.

 

You seem to make much of how he chased you sounds like that was flattering and that it gave you a pass to “accept” his attentions even though you knew it likely wasn’t going to be a healthy relationship. Do you want that sort of thing again where someone “chases” you for that long until you catch him? Why the focus on that - what need do you have to express how you were chased? Do you think that justifies you letting someone you have little in common with you get attached to you - that somehow you’re a passive participant? That’s what I would think about for future relationships. And yes I agree you should leave him alone.

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I feel relieved to be free of all these bad things about him, I dont think I am "obsessed" with a. I just wanted things to end amicably, really, that is all. I don't like when people aren't talking to each other.

 

 

You wanting to end things amicably is all about you. YOU ended the relationship and HE has every right to block and not communicate with you, especially considering the comment on Facebook. That would have hurt him. He’s doing what he needs to for his healing and that needs to be respected.

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I agree with Thatwasthen that it was inappropriate for you to post publicly what you did. And I’m not surprised someone showed it to him. I say that as a cautionary tale for the future. Who cares if it’s “the norm” to basically gossip about someone else on social media (because of course you didn’t need to mention him by name - it was obvious who you were referring to). Think about your own values - you claim to be such a caring person- and before you write such hurtful and potentially damaging words about someone in your life think about the potential impact and what it says about you that you would spread that kind of personal and negative criticism of someone else so publicly. Think about how sick to your stomach you would feel if they was down to you by someone who claimed to care about you. Just asking to give some thought.

 

I didnt say anything negative or hurtful! I said that I care about someone and dont want to hurt them! I dont know why people think that is so bad. If I found that on the internet written by a boyfriend i would go to him and talk about it like adults and not just complain about them and not listen to their response and break it off and block them right away. That is how a child acts, they throw a tantrum and give the silent treatment. I would never do that to anyone even if I saw them posting stuff online about their feelings about our relationship. And besides, we had the talk 2 weeks ago about this so he should have understood I wasn't happy. When I told him this isn't working out, he didn't listen and chose to ignore it.

 

You seem to make much of how he chased you sounds like that was flattering and that it gave you a pass to “accept” his attentions even though you knew it likely wasn’t going to be a healthy relationship. Do you want that sort of thing again where someone “chases” you for that long until you catch him? Why the focus on that - what need do you have to express how you were chased? Do you think that justifies you letting someone you have little in common with you get attached to you - that somehow you’re a passive participant? That’s what I would think about for future relationships. And yes I agree you should leave him alone.

 

I am not saying him chasing me was a pass to accept a relationship, I am bringing up the chasing part to show what an extreme he went from, he was practically in love with me before we even dated (he did tell me he liked me from the minute he saw me, which shows me he only goes by looks, I dont believe in love at first sight). So i'm just using it to show how much he fought for me in the beginning but is now playing a childish game of the silent treatment instead of talking like adults.

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You wanting to end things amicably is all about you.

 

I think my comment about not wanting to hurt him shows that I am not all about me. I knew he would be crushed by a breakup, what I wanted was for him to realize this so I was letting nature take its course so he could see we were not a good match so we could have had a mutual breakup, like my other ones were. They went so much smoother than this, for both parties. It just makes sense, why would anyone want to cause more pain to anyone than necessary?

 

YOU ended the relationship and HE has every right to block and not communicate with you, especially considering the comment on Facebook. That would have hurt him. He’s doing what he needs to for his healing and that needs to be respected.

 

I am respecting his need for not communicating. That is why I didnt force him to talk to me today, I just left his stuff on the doorstep in a bag and had my door open so he knew he could knock and talk if he wanted but he didnt and now i'm not going to contact him again.

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I only feel drawn to broken men so that I can help them feel loved, but once I am in the relationship their issues become obvious that no woman can help them, and that's when I lose interest.

This is very telling indeed. Says more about you than them. Have you ever considered therapy to help you figure out why and where all of this is coming from? Getting drawn to broken men is not a recipe for a good, stable and healthy relationship. What is broken in YOU that makes you seek out broken men?

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I think my comment about not wanting to hurt him shows that I am not all about me. I knew he would be crushed by a breakup, what I wanted was for him to realize this so I was letting nature take its course so he could see we were not a good match so we could have had a mutual breakup, like my other ones were. They went so much smoother than this, for both parties. It just makes sense, why would anyone want to cause more pain to anyone than necessary?

 

All you wanted was for him to realise... This comes across as being quite selfish. He doesn’t need or have to realise anything nor does a break up have to be mutual, and most of the time they’re not mutual. I’m not trying to be harsh, but it does come across like you’re putting your own wants and needs before his. Maybe it would cause him more pain to talk about it and smooth it over?

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I only feel drawn to broken men so that I can help them feel loved, but once I am in the relationship their issues become obvious that no woman can help them, and that's when I lose interest. 1

 

Maybe you've got some learning to do as well? Sounds like a really unhealthy pattern and yet at 46 years of age you keep repeating it.

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This is very telling indeed. Says more about you than them. Have you ever considered therapy to help you figure out why and where all of this is coming from? Getting drawn to broken men is not a recipe for a good, stable and healthy relationship. What is broken in YOU that makes you seek out broken men?

 

I am in therapy for other issues but have talked about my relationship but she didnt think it merited a whole session about it. I dont think anything is broken in me, I just want everyone to feel loved and it makes me sad there are a lot of men out there who never got the love they needed and are now out there in messed up relationships. I guess I feel like by loving them, they will learn to love themselves but it doesn't work that way.

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All you wanted was for him to realise... This comes across as being quite selfish. He doesn’t need or have to realise anything

 

This is how people learn and grow and become better people though. How can he learn and grow if he doesnt know why we broke up? I mean I told him but he either didnt want to admit it or I dont know, see this is why communication is important because when there is uncertainty and misunderstandings then you cant learn from it and do better next time!

 

nor does a break up have to be mutual, and most of the time they’re not mutual.

 

I know most of the time they're not, I'm just saying the world would be a better place and people would be happier if breakups were mutual or at least discussed to the point where both parties fully understand what happened.

 

I’m not trying to be harsh, but it does come across like you’re putting your own wants and needs before his. Maybe it would cause him more pain to talk about it and smooth it over?

 

If talking about something causes someone pain, that is a sign that it NEEDS to be talked about. Clearly he never talked about the pain his other relationships caused him, he just got put on medication to numb himself from it. Nobody heals without working through their pain.

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This is very telling indeed. Says more about you than them. Have you ever considered therapy to help you figure out why and where all of this is coming from? Getting drawn to broken men is not a recipe for a good, stable and healthy relationship. What is broken in YOU that makes you seek out broken men?

 

Agreed.

 

With all due respect, for all the talk about his limitations and maturity issues this thread is becoming a kind of case study in immaturity.

 

You seem to be frustrated by the commenters on here for not "getting" you, much the way you were frustrated with a troubled 20something not getting you. It seems there's some kind of validation here that you're not getting here, and hoping to get through one more defensive explanation of things.

 

And all that explaining starts to become something like drama--not unlike, say, making thinly veiled emotional declarations on FB can kick up some drama.

 

Breakups suck, I get it. They're not always amicable, and rarely do two people process them the same way. You seem to want some kind of warm, loving thank you from him (and from us). But if things were warm and loving and functional there'd be no breakup.

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I am in therapy for other issues but have talked about my relationship but she didnt think it merited a whole session about it. I dont think anything is broken in me, I just want everyone to feel loved and it makes me sad there are a lot of men out there who never got the love they needed and are now out there in messed up relationships. I guess I feel like by loving them, they will learn to love themselves but it doesn't work that way.

 

I can only suggest you find another therapist. Unless you have never actually told them what you stated here on ENA, which is the key issue: ..."I only feel drawn to broken men so that I can help them feel loved, but once I am in the relationship their issues become obvious that no woman can help them, and that's when I lose interest."

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Maybe you've got some learning to do as well? Sounds like a really unhealthy pattern and yet at 46 years of age you keep repeating it.

 

It isnt really a pattern, I've only had 3 relationships and only 2 of them were with emotionally unavailable men. I definitely dont want the next one to be either!

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You seem to be frustrated by the commenters on here for not "getting" you, much the way you were frustrated with a troubled 20something not getting you. It seems there's some kind of validation here that you're not getting here, and hoping to get through one more defensive explanation of things.

 

Well we do all want to be understood and accepted, dont we? I am just picky with my relationships, I want to be with someone who gets me. And I'm not in here for validation, I just wanted to vent and talk to people because I feel alone right now, isn't that the purpose of this forum? I am just responding to the posts that are accusing me of something that isnt true so I am clarifying.

 

You seem to want some kind of warm, loving thank you from him (and from us). But if things were warm and loving and functional there'd be no breakup.

 

No I dont need a warm loving thank you from anyone (and from you guys that would make no sense). What i'm expecting from him is to acknowledge the things I am saying, and respect me enough to give me a reply when I send heartfelt messages. It's horrible for anyone to flat out ignore when someone is being open and honest with them.

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I can only suggest you find another therapist. Unless you have never actually told them what you stated here on ENA, which is the key issue: ..."I only feel drawn to broken men so that I can help them feel loved, but once I am in the relationship their issues become obvious that no woman can help them, and that's when I lose interest."

 

No I didnt tell her that because last week we hadn't broken up yet so I just told her we had an incident and a discussion about my feelings regarding not being happy with him but i guess she thought it was more important to talk about why I went there in the first place (possible ADD regarding my job situation).

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What do you feel accused of, exactly?

 

What a lot of us are picking up on is this deep desire to save broken men with your love, which you seem to think of as selfless and heroic. But, I'm sorry to say, it's not heroic. It's actually a bit self-serving and ego-driven, and I think you'd be well-served to look a little closer at that.

 

Imagine if I posted on here saying that, as a man, I know I'm so good and attentive in bed that I just want to help sexually inexperienced women discover their sexuality. Not a cute look, you know?

 

And you speak of pickiness, but who are you picking? It sounds like you want to teach men how to get you, and then you're frustrated when they're not good students, which is the root of your frustration with this guy.

 

These are patterns that will continue to repeat themselves unless you understand where they're coming from and/or challenge yourself to see them from a different angle.

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What do you feel accused of, exactly?

 

Well various things, incorrect assumptions.

 

What a lot of us are picking up on is this deep desire to save broken men with your love, which you seem to think of as selfless and heroic. But, I'm sorry to say, it's not heroic. It's actually a bit self-serving and ego-driven, and I think you'd be well-served to look a little closer at that.

 

I don't understand how loving someone is self serving and ego driven, the opposite actually. I was willing to take a risk on this guy, a risk for myself as well, and he was willing to take the risk too. He entered this relationship way more willing than I was though, I wasn't even interested at first. In fact I only went on the first 2 dates with him reluctantly just for something to do, and i thought we were just friends at that point. After the 3rd date (these were spread over a period of many months) I finally started to like him. He was all in before we even talked but it took me like half a year to be all in. So it wasn't like i was preying on this guy as someone I could save, I didn't even know about his issues until we were already dating for like a month, which was about half a year after we even met. But of course then you are in the honeymoon stage and you pay no attention to red flags.

 

Imagine if I posted on here saying that, as a man, I know I'm so good and attentive in bed that I just want to help sexually inexperienced women discover their sexuality. Not a cute look, you know?

 

I don't understand how that is a bad thing, but I will say sex tends to be more self serving that love is, so that was a bad example. To me, love is a gift, but sex is often used selfishly. I have never heard of someone loving selfishly.

 

And you speak of pickiness, but who are you picking? It sounds like you want to teach men how to get you, and then you're frustrated when they're not good students, which is the root of your frustration with this guy.

 

Nooo...oh the misunderstandings happening in this thread, lol By being picky with men I mean with the criteria that I have, such as I don't want to date anyone older than me, I don't want to date anyone who has full custody of kids, etc. You are looking at "getting someone" like it's a bad thing, we ALL want our partners to "get" us. And they're not students, they are partners.

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You are perfect, full of love and compassion and understanding, and I'm sorry that this troubled young man is not celebrating that in the wake of being broken up with.

 

I think that's kind of what you want to hear here (and perhaps what you enjoyed hearing from him when he wasn't playing video games) so I'll leave it at that.

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You are perfect, full of love and compassion and understanding, and I'm sorry that this troubled young man is not celebrating that in the wake of being broken up with.

 

No one is perfect, and I am not expecting him to celebrate me. I have already said what i wanted from him so I dont know why I have to keep explaining myself.

 

I think that's kind of what you want to hear here (and perhaps what you enjoyed hearing from him when he wasn't playing video games) so I'll leave it at that.

 

Now I feel like you are just trying to be cruel by mocking me for being in pain about a breakup. I guess I shouldn't have came here to make myself feel better!!

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It's not your job to soothe him; that's just babying. He's a lot younger than you, yes, but he's very much an adult.

 

It sounds like the relationship was a bit mothering early, that maybe some of what you enjoyed was helping him through hard times, so you're still wanting to do so, even when you're now the hard times.

 

He'll be fine, as will you. Live, love, and learn.

 

I agree. I think he will be ok. Time to let go.

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I am in therapy for other issues but have talked about my relationship but she didnt think it merited a whole session about it. I dont think anything is broken in me, I just want everyone to feel loved and it makes me sad there are a lot of men out there who never got the love they needed and are now out there in messed up relationships. I guess I feel like by loving them, they will learn to love themselves but it doesn't work that way.

 

Question: Were either of your parents alcoholics or suffering in some sort of mental illness wherein you needed to be the carer for them rather than them nurturing you? You have all the hallmark symptoms of codependency.

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