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F23 broke up with me (M23) months after I told her about a friend kissing me


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My girlfriend and I have been together for 2.5 years. We met while both at home and have gone off to college about 2 hours away from each other. We finished our bachelor's degrees and now are both working on our master's degrees in the same cities we were both in during undergrad.


My GF seems to have avoidant attachment and I have anxious attachment. This has caused strain at points: reconciliation during fights is difficult for her and she doesn't always respond well for my needs for reassurance. She is, by all accounts, a great and caring person though and tries to make herself vulnerable, but ultimately her upbringing makes her need independence and distance from emotional situations. After being long distance for the entirety of our relationship besides a few holiday breaks, I am living at home while attending the second year of my graduate program and she is about to come home for an internship this fall. This means that we could finally have a chance to have a normal relationship for a few months until she goes 2.5 hours away this spring to finish school.


I was a D-1 Athlete on a Co-ed sport last year at my new graduate program. I was in classes with another female teammate who also was new at the school. We started out as friends, but had a ton in common. We had more in common than my GF: political views, lifestyle views, education, athletic endeavors, humor, etc. I found her physically and personality-wise attractive, but I have always had staunch opinions on cheating and always have prioritized my relationship. Although my GF didn't care as much about this and actually found it a hassle at points, I always stayed-in, hardly partied and always made sure to Facetime her before bed because I knew that long-distance wouldn't work without staying out of insecurity-inducing situations. At the start of our relationship, we defined cheating as going to someone else to fulfill needs and obviously anything physical.


I would spend time in class and during team trips with the other girl. we were both new to the school and shared classes so it was easy enough to get along; however, it never got farther than that. She D'Med me once and I had a short response to stop conversation. We didn't have each other's phone numbers or snapchats or anything.


Meanwhile, my relationship was straining. We had gone a month without seeing each other despite not being terribly far and both having cars. My GF had a pretty full courseload, a job during most weeknights and a weekend job so she could pay for rent and necessities. There was very little time for me and she started to stress and get more and more distant due to the way she handles stress. Additionally, throughout our relationship she has shown symptoms of depression: very negative self-esteem despite being attractive, very low self-worth despite working in healthcare jobs devoted to caring for and improving the lives of others and being intelligent and kind. This would rear its head when she got overwhelmed: her support system is not very good and she begins to withdrawal from everything, most specially me. She believes that she cannot do better or that she is not enough to make me happy and becomes self-destructive threatening our relationship.


Our team had a spring-break trip down south early spring. I spent some extra time with the other girl while traveling and doing coursework together--all consequences of our proximity of being at the same hotel for a week. Also, the other girl was among my closest friends due to the fact she was the only member of the team in my classes and we both were new to the team so experiencing similar situations. My girlfriend was withdrawing even more--last time this happened we broke up for a day due to her stress before she apologized and asked for me back. Feeling this coming on again, I facetimed her one day. In tears, I explained to her how I was feeling emotionally distant and unimportant. I asked how I can help her feel better and asked if she would be open to talking to a therapist at school to manage her stress or if there was anything I could do differently to help. She was pretty unapologetic, accused me of making her think she was depressed (when she was saying she felt worthless, tired all the time and always doing stuff but not getting anything back), and that our situation would remain the same until she graduated school. She said we could take a break if I wanted so she can get through the spring with the multiple jobs and school--which to me seemed pretty selfish and it wasn't like I was asking for a lot, just for her to reply to my texts a little more promptly and be more open to conversation when we facetimed instead of her shutting off the lights so she could fall asleep easier afterwards.


With the uncertaininty of my relationship, I was more open to the other girl than ever before. We hung out a bit just the two of us. Nothing happened, just some schoolwork and talking. She always seemed excited to talk to me, which is something I hadn't felt for a while with my GF. There wasn't anything more than some jokes and talking about our sport and our classes.


We got back and my GF was incredibly apologetic and said she would be different (which was a theme). I was receptive and said we could work it out. Meanwhile, I still had class with the other girl and we still had a few more trips together for competition. The other girl, fully knowing I had a GF, always managed to insert herself when I was feeling insecure and emotionally-distant from my GF. She began texting me pretty often, more than my GF and always replied quickly and kept the conversation going, which never happened with my GF and I always found problematic in a LDR. This kinda continued during the spring. There would be periods where my GF and I spent a lot of time together and things were good for a while and there wasn't much with the other girl. Then there were periods were we were more distant and I was more receptive to the other girl. I found out she had feelings for me and really liked me. I had a conversation with her saying that I liked spending time with her and I was confused by my feelings and didn't want to lead her on. She said that she was fully aware of the situation and it was okay and she would back off if I wanted. The attention made me feel more satisfied emotionally--she filled the gap in my relationship. There were things we could more easily talk about and even things I tried talked about with my GF and she didn't really respond to. I noticed I would pick fights with my GF after spending time with the other girl: like that my GF didn't seem interested in my life or that she wasn't supportive, etc. Eventually, my GF caught on and asked if something was up with me and the other girl. I said "i don't know" and explained how she liked me and that she was a good friend and it was tricky because I didn't want to hurt my relationship with the other girl because we had many mutual friends on the team and in class. She was a little upset but understood that she hadn't been very available with me. Despite this, my GF continued to be on and off available and at the end of the year, me and the other girl ran into each other and ended up going out to eat, getting ice cream and hanging out while I told my GF i was with a friend. At the end, she went into hug me which I was a little uncomfortable with and then she kissed me on the lips out of nowhere and I stopped it saying I have a gf and I can't. Hours earlier, I explicitly told the other girl that I wouldn't cheat on my GF just to make sure intentions were clear, so I was pretty angry at what happened.


I felt super guilty and she left. Eventually my GF had a break from school and came home. We spent weeks together and it was all good. I was happy. I knew that the other thing would fade because it was summer and we wouldnt have to see each other. I cut off communication. My GF went on my phone and saw texts to the friend I said I spent the night with saying I was with the girl and she freaked out about me lying. She said it wasn't anything to breakup over and that it would be okay, but asked me if anything else happened. Afraid to hurt her more, I said no, but after a few weeks I felt better about our future and incredibly guilty. I told her about what happened and that I stopped it. She was in shock and obviously hurt, but we kept on dating.


I visited her in her new summer internship and things were good. After a month she said she didn't think she could get past it and can't trust me. I told her that I promise not to do it again and that I cut communication with the other girl. We worked it out. Last week, after not seeing each other or really talking due to me being on vacation and her being busy with her internship, I visited her with a friend who came to see me. She was a bit off, but she seemed alright. I mentioned that classes started next week again (meaning that I would have to see the other girl again). She seemed off the rest of the time but with my friend there we couldn't talk. I visited other friends and couldn't Facetime at night. She became more distant by text and refuted having anything wrong.


We were both coming home for the last weekend (about 15 min away from each other) and on the car ride back, after not talking on the phone or Facetime for days, she said that she wanted to be honest and that we could talk on the car ride or in person. I said lets talk now and we can finish the conversation in person. She said that she couldn't trust me anymore: not that I had done anything else during our relationship to make her doubt me, but that the incident was causing too much stress and anxiety for her. It was making her too sad. She said that she was just someone who held grudges and that I wasn't continuing to do anything untrustworthy, but she just couldn't handle it. My car had just gotten rear-ended moments before and I was in the midst of an hours long drive, so I was a bit unable to handle the situation as well as I could. I reassured her that I wouldn't do anything else and anything that she needed I would do (access to phone, social media, location tracker) and that I am so sorry and that I regret it terribly and if anything it showed me how much I valued our relationship. She said that she needed a break or a breakup because she knew I wasn't a fan of the idea of the break--this was never really officially decided. She also told me she knew something about what happened that I didn't know she knew. There were minor details that I may have glossed over or may have forgotten (the incident was three months ago), but nothing totally material. I asked what it was and she refused to tell me. Saying that it was my chance to come clean and that telling me would defeat the purpose. I said there was nothing: maybe small things, but nothing I purposefully held onto. I told her that i told the other girl I wouldn't cheat right before she kissed me, which i hadn't told her. Instead of being positive about telling the other girl that, she was negative and thought that meant I thought something would happen--when i was just making sure it was clear I wasn't crossing a physical boundary. I began to get a little mad saying that it would be terrible to not know what piece of information is the cause of this and that I would just keep wondering if it was even real. She said that she doesn't owe me anything (actually i gave her money to help her out, clothes, a bed, bedding, etc that she hasn't returned, but that has nothing to do with this). I think the whole thing may have been a game to try to get me to divulge stuff, but there isn't anything else to really say. There are some minor details, but most of which I forgot or became blurred and really nothing consequential. I thought it may be a test. She said that she was done with this. I was having trouble hearing her in the car and said that we could talk more when I get back that evening or saturday morning which she agreed to. I got home and she said she couldn't meet. The next day I texted her and she said she was busy. She said she could meet me for a minute while she was somewhere so I got there but she had left saying that I didn't text her in time and her phone died. She was a few minutes away and I asked if we could meet at all and she said that she just wasn't up for it, but sorry I drove all the way there. That was Saturday. I didn't reply to the message. I sent an email to my school asking to switch classes to get out of the class I was with the other girl thinking proximity to this girl was the problem. I also blocked her on everything a week ago which I told my GF on the phone during the "break-up talk" but she didn't believe. I forwarded the email I sent to the school to her to let her know I was trying, but didn't send anything else. We haven't really communicated and I feel like she ultimately owes me a talk since our phone talk was pretty short. We've dated for years and to break-up on the phone seems foolish to me. She is back at her internship, but is gonna be home this weekend and will be home for the fall the following weekend.


I am not really sure where we stand right now, which is extra difficult to me. I feel like I can get the relationship back. We were finally going to be minutes away and she was going to work in the city I have school, so she could always be on campus when I had class at night. I am totally open to living my life under the magnifying glass--I am open to fully divulging interactions and making any changes necessary for her to believe me. This whole thing has rattled my self a bit--I always believed I was super-monogamous and good with commitment, but our rough patch just really highlighted an emotional need. Instead of potentially breaking up because she wasn't meeting my emotional needs, I found them elsewhere briefly. In some sense it is emotional cheating, but I saw it as relying on my social network and justified the fact it was okay because no physical boundaries were broken, up until that final kiss I quickly shut down. At the end of the day, the other girl started off as a friend and grew to my closest friend at that school--it was a grey area for me. I enjoyed the attention and feeling positivity rather than being dragged down by the negativity my girlfriend sometimes had and the lack of emotional intimacy.


Although, it may be foolish, I definitely would like to work this out with her. We have had a very serious relationship, lived in plenty of different places, worked many different jobs and attended different schools--there have been many obstacles and this just seems like another to me. I haven't heard from her since saturday night when she said she wasn't up to me, but I am honestly not sure how final this is or if she just needs time to think and we are on a break. I am still her fb photo, we are still friends on social media and although not totally receptive to me she will respond to my messages. She still has all my stuff and we left the conversation at a point where it didn't seem final... i mean on the phone after 2.5 years and driving to the same place. I know me going back to school is the source of this, but we had a solid relationship and I wanted to give it a chance to evaluate us once we closed the distance which would be this fall.


I am thinking I give her some space to cool-off and I think if I get through the week of school, then maybe she will realize that me being there doesn't mean that something will start off again with the other girl.


I am hoping for some advice on how to handle this.


TLDR: Rough patch in 2.5 year long LDR relationship with Anxious (me)-Avoidant (her) tendenices, got close to classmate who kissed me and I stopped it and cut her off. Told gf and tried to make it work, things improved for a couple months, but she just said she was done and "needed a break or a breakup" after she couldn't trust me. Likely sparked by my return to school, but I changed classes to be in classes without her. Things seem a little open-ended right now, need advice, currently trying NC until she returns home to non-long distance for good in 10 days.

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This isn't merely a rough patch. It's a distancing between two people eventually leading to some type of cheating or serious dysfunction. You mentioned it yourself that it "highlighted an emotional need" (5th parag. from the bottom, going backwards/upwards in the write up). In this 5th paragraph it seems you have a fairly good idea of what happened but I think you are in denial and grasping desperately to reclaim what you feel you've lost. The issue is that both of you have been limping along for awhile and your girlfriend was not fulfilling your needs in the type of relationship you're looking for. You're still in denial and panic and you aren't ready to let go. She's been a comfort blanket for you for a long time.


I think you are afraid of being independent and a free agent as you've been in a relationship for a long time with the mindset of a middle-aged married man. There is no right or wrong here in what you wish to do - this is largely relative and I don't feel that either of you are reckless enough to put the other at risk in any way. You both seem old(er), educated and worldly despite your naivete and are both seemingly oblivious to how fragile relationships and people in general really are. You did reference this again in the 5th paragraph from the bottom.


I thought the other girl's (your friend you go to competitions with) instincts about you were bang on. It's too bad she chose to use them to her own end and didn't seem to care about the long term effect it would have on you and the guilt you might have had engaging in any form of close relationship or friendship. Perhaps it's an indicator of another type of naivete, her opportunistic inclination and predatory desire to latch on to a weak link and break it at any cost. She seems impulsive and without much care for anyone but herself. I'm sorry you had to be a part of that. Birds of a feather will flock together. Enjoy your time with her (with your eyes wide open).


Best to dust yourself off, take responsibility for your actions as you already have and I would be cautious about hanging onto a relationship that has shown itself to be on its last legs for awhile. I understand much of the time both of you were long distance partners but I don't think you were happy in it. If you continue to insist on the relationship and getting it back, I wonder if it may be a bit like trying to resurrect the dead or like a Frankenstein coming back to life - moving and breathing but not really living (a shadow of the real thing).

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I can tell you are overthinking this. The whole relationship is over. Distance does not make the heart grow fonder.


In fact, if you were honest with yourself, you'd admit your attraction to the new girl.


It really doesn't take pages and pages of writing to get there.


You're young, in college, and supposed to be having fun. A relationship should not be drudgery--especially at this time in your life.

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Your girlfriend did the right thing breaking up with you...you were spending far too much time with this other girl and in many ways, I feel sorry for the other girl.

You lead her on and kept getting way too close and giving her confusing messages.


I honestly don't think you're mature enough right now to be good to any woman.


You don't understand what boundaries mean, what loyalty means and and you certainly don't understand what it means to focus on ONE woman and be good to ONE woman.


Until you grow up a little, it's probably best you leave the women alone.

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Your relationship was already on thin ice when you started turning to this other girl, OP. You felt the distance; your girlfriend felt the distance. You two weren't able to find a way to make it work.


The other girl isn't even the original source of all this, in my opinion. She was a catalyst in a break-up that was already coming. You and your girlfriend were growing apart and not wanting the same things from each other. I do agree with some others here that you were spending too much time with her, and it was skating a fine line between friendship and emotional cheating. But do I think your relationship would have lasted, even if she'd never come into the picture? It doesn't sound like it.


It seems the relationship had essentially run its course, and this was merely the straw that finally broke the camel's back. I don't think I would expect a long-lasting reconciliation here, if I'm being totally honest.

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When there is an emotional disconnection with your SO, you are vulnerable to an emotional affair with someone you see regularly, at school or work. No improvements were made by communicating your discontent with your gf. Many couples grow apart when they've entered the union in their late teens or early twenties. This is a time where people are still learning about themselves, evolving into a more mature adult. Don't feel like you've wasted these years together. It worked for a while and you had enjoyable times, so keep those beautiful memories.


I would accept that it's over, because two people who really care work through their problems together instead of taking breaks or breaking up. This is a pattern that won't stop if you two got back together. She dipped her toe in the water for a one-day break up, and now she's had the courage to do it for real. It's hard to go without a person you've had daily contact with, but you will learn to enjoy a new chapter in your life, given time and distance away from her.


You did cross relationship boundaries. A person of the opposite sex with whom you share chemistry with is the last person you should be close friends with while exclusive with someone else. On top of that, you should have gone no contact after that girl told you of her feelings. Not ethical.


If you're thinking of going out with her at some point, you have rose-colored glasses on. She has no respect for "taken" people. She crossed an ethical boundary, and is not hiding her poor ethics. I saw those types of vultures during my years, with women trying to flirt with/steal my boyfriends when I was a younger woman. I, myself, have a feeling of sisterhood with other women, and would never go after a man who is taken. I have self-respect and respect for others. You still have a lot more life to experience if you think your "friend" will make a good partner.


Take a year to yourself to be solo, clear your head, drama free. I wished I'd experienced more of the single life in my twenties. I got married far too young and now regret that decision. Good luck in your education, preparing for a wonderful career.

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The only person you haven't been honest with is with yourself. The distance should had been viewed as a test of how dedicated you are to your relationship...you failed and for good reason. You finally met someone who ticks off all your boxes, a more truer match. Sure I get it, you have invested immensely with your GF but, that isn't a reason to keep dating her. You are fooling yourself with every word in your post. You are afraid of the unknown, you have never known anything different from your GF, and being with your GF is safe and familiar, ya I get it. It's tough. Your GF has had a think, and she knows she should have kicked you to the curb, but she too is afraid of the unknown. You broke that trust, your relationship didn't stand up to the distance test, so why should she think any differently this time around. It's time to admit you really like this new girl, but you are afraid to move on from what is familiar. What is lost, can be gain with someone else.


The reason she hasn't deleted you yet and packed up yer stuff is that she's too busy with other things to worry about you or your stuff.

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Thank you, everyone, for the advice. I appreciate you taking the time to give me some feedback. I have been struggling with this greatly and also in the midst of trying to figure out my career path and post-collegiate athletic aspirations. I believe this played into the stress I felt in our relationship.


I partly agree with the sentiment that our relationship was lacking and on its last legs. My only comprehension with accepting that is the long distance and stress/possible depression my GF had. I realize that my crossing relationship boundaries may have been the catalyst to end a relationship held on by a thread, but I would say much of our difficulty was due to difficulty of her to reassurance me and my inability to remain patient with the lack of attention that I sometimes received. Surely, I am looking at the relationship through rose-colored glasses, but I believe that even without that bias there was a chance of long term success. Although there were certainly difficulties, we both shared similar fundamental beliefs and long-term vision--that just got lost on me, which is my own responsibility. I agree that I am a bit immature. I am only 23 and have been managing on finding myself while trying to grow with my SO. I believe that the other girl represented a different life-path, which I found attractive at the time. I felt somewhat stuck at the moment and this was a window opening.


The one day that we broke up my GF was under inordinate amount of stress. She had just started grad school with more intense work and working during the weekend. She moved into another family's house who she barely knew, so she was socially isolated and unhappy. She began withdrawing which prompted my pursuit which further stressed her. It took hours until we reconciled and she realized it was a mistake. She quickly changed her photos and removed me from social media--unlike this time. She has ample free time now.. works 8 hours and then goes home alone with no friends in the area.


As for the other girl, I have recently become very resentful. I cut her off about 3 months ago when I told my GF. No texts, calls, snapchats or seeing each other in person. We still followed each other on social media, but I removed her just before my GF and I took a break/broke up. I believe a lot of the worry my GF had was me returning to classes and having to see the other girl. I changed a class so I wouldn't be with her and its been three days and I haven't seen her--our class days barely overlap. The other girl knew fully I had a GF. She became opportunistic, asked my friends about how my relationship was doing to try to pick at its vulnerability, always texted me first and asked to hang out, and even one night (while out with others) tried to get me more drunk hoping something would happen. On top of that, hours after I told her I would never cheat on my GF, she kissed me. I also found out now she is calling me a sleezebag and that I treated my GF horribly and she is glad we didn't end up dating... this indiscretion of mine definitely hurt my GF, I had always been extremely good to my GF a part of the reason I was feeling neglected in the relationship. It was clear I was having trouble long distance with my GF--she tried and succeeded, albeit months later, to ruin to.


Although I did give the other girl a set of confusing signals, I was also highly confused. I tried to be fair. I told her I had a girlfriend and I never complained about my gf or relationship to her. 99.99% (besides that one talk) of our communication was just about normal everyday things. My GF was around, the other girl had seen her. I did not try to hide her at all.


Although perhaps delusional, I remain hopeful and rather confident that we will reconcile. I know I am most likely in denial. She mentioned before she will be returning home (10 min away) this weekend and then she is home the following weekend until January. We have never been in the same place this long--I was very excited to take this step and evaluate our relationship. Over the phone, last we talked she said we could talk in person. It seemed like she wanted a break, but she knew I didn't like the idea of that--although I think it would be good in a situation like this. We never really talked more about this, we became a little argumentative and she quickly said she was done but we could talk more. It doesn't exactly seem like closure to a long term relationship. I am still her photos and she is on social media frequently, she has a lot of my stuff and owes me money I gave her so she didn't need to ask her parents for some because she is too embarrassed. I was her best friend, the person she was closest to by far, I find it hard to believe she will go home 10 minutes away from me and not be open to the possibility of getting back together. I, and others who know her better, believe that she is just overwhelmed with me returning to classes and that she will come around once I get through a week and she realizes that me being there isn't that bad. I am prepared to live under a microscope, have already went NC with the other girl, switched my classes and work through the trust-building process. Again, this is maybe delusional, but I strongly believe that this will pan out.

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The other factor here is that you and your now-ex are both very young. The world is at your respective fingertips, and many relationships that begin young don't survive the transition into adulthood.


My sense is that your girlfriend was very much losing interest in the relationship. While school and life stress can certainly cause people to withdraw, it is often loved ones we seek out to support us when the going gets tough. She, on the contrary, turned away from you. The neglect you were experiencing was the big clue that she wasn't into this anymore.


I don't mean to be the bearer of bad tidings. It just isn't that likely that this will the girl you spend your life with, in the end.

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I could definitely see this, but my girlfriend is afraid to reach out when things get tough. She doesn't have a robust support system. Her relationship with her family is amicable, but not deep. Her relationship with friends is superficial. I would not be surprised if only one or two people know of this separation at the moment. She told me I was the only one she ever got close to, which I'm sure makes this situation all the more tough for her. Her previous , much less serious, boyfriends didn't really care much about her.


It wasn't that she wasn't willing to work this out before--I just believe she is afraid of being vulnerable. She is a textbook avoidant, her distance, to me, doesn't necessarily mean she is not interested in the relationship. It could mean that she is afraid of the intimacy that comes with feeling vulnerable with the rebuilding of trust following my crossing of relationship boundaries. When stress occurs, she can self-regulate her emotions less and is less inclined to be intimate emotionally--this results in her distancing.


The book Attached by Amir Levine has been great in explaining to me the dynamics of an Anxious-Attached dynamic.

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Don't be her therapist. Don't pity date. It's not fair to anyone. The fastest way to destroy trust and respect is to start psychoanalyzing someone who, after reading a book, you've determined is defective and needs your pity/help.That's not what healthy relationships look like.

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I don't think it's a good idea to overanalyze her attachment style or the way she decodes issues. She may be more independent than you think and the health of her support system may not be readily visible to you. This was a largely long distance relationship. The strength of her support system may very well come from within her. I find that you may in danger of victimizing her because she is different from you or her approaches are different. She may appear isolated but she may also be regaining deeper consciousness.


It's ok to grieve and to hope too. From your second post on page 1 (#10), I'm understanding you're learning your own emotions and your role in relationships. It's ok to keep learning (a good thing).


Both of you may come back to this - nobody knows. Long term relationships generally involve long term friendships too and sometimes friendships and feelings do rekindle. I think both of you have a better shot at repairing what you have in person though, not over long distance. Since you are still grieving the fall out, it's ok to put your life on pause for awhile and just take stock of what you feel and check in with yourself daily on what your thoughts are. Nobody expects you to date or party or meet new women or engage with anyone else. Take your time figuring things out.

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I understand that it's not my role to be her therapist--I know reading a book doesn't make me and expert and psychology in the first place isn't the most concrete field. I am not pity dating her, I would just consider myself someone who seeks information in the event of the unknown and always tries to improve situations. In the same sense that she seems avoidant, I am anxiously attached. Realizing the different needs between us has helped me rationalize my own fears of abandonment and bring me to a place of more security. Our early fights often quickly spiraled. I would feel space and seek closeness or reassurance often suffocating her of her feelings of free-will further pushing me away and causing my insecurities to flare up. I've since learned that giving space after a disagreement is her need, it allows her to self-regulate her emotions and to bring herself to a place where she can process ehr emotions and be better equipped to deal with mine.


I am trying to work on myself, figuring out what areas of my life I have neglected while being in a relationship. I always put her first and I think it may have caused some resentment that led to what happened. We will not be long distance in a couple weeks, so I hope we check in at some point.


When my GF and I spent a couple weeks together after this incident and before she knew, I began to feel very positive about the future of our relationship. I thought that she could very well be the one and we were having a great time together and seemed close and stable. I felt extremely guilty about holding onto this piece of information. As I thought about our future together, I felt extreme remorse about my actions and I also thought the in order to move forward and try to establish a long lasting relationship that all the chips should be on the table, so I told her.


And I am making no judgement of her support system, merely that it is mostly sufficient in the form of space. She grew up doing everything for herself, often being forgotten about and continues having trouble going to others for help or support. Her independence was what first attracted me to her, but our different views on a healthy level of dependency has caused issues in the past.

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I'm not certain she was completely comfortable with you in the relationship. This is probably not the easiest to hear but I don't sense that either of you understood each other well enough from the start. That is ok. After my husband and I married, he told me something I didn't know about previously. It caused me to rethink and took me time to process what it meant in the overall picture. Maybe what is important to note is that we were/are committed to the marriage and in repairing our understanding of each other. I think you did the right thing telling her the truth. In that act, you were also true to yourself and you've come clean about where your mistakes were.


I hope your remorse doesn't take you down a rather dark path in order to regain the affections of a woman who ends up not seeing herself with you. Every time we fall down, we need to pick ourselves up, assess the damage, patch up and keep walking. You aren't doing the wrong thing either by going through and reflecting on the ins and outs of where this relationship took both of you.


I agree with you that your differing levels of dependency were perhaps perplexing and frustrating at the start. If understanding attachment styles brings you greater understanding overall, it's not a bad thing. I'm wondering what you mean by her continuing to "[have] trouble going to others for help or support". Has she expressly stated that she wants the help of others but can't bring herself to do it? If she has, my view of her may change as she may very well be avoiding issues. I'm unable to avoid issues in a relationship and am largely a problem solver. I'm just not as quick as my husband is. He is too fast for me sometimes and appears incredulous that I can think on something for an extended period. I like to take my time. Where we have learned to grow together and see each others' strengths is in acknowledging that we both see aspects and perspectives the other may not have seen in his/her process.


She may be moving at a different speed as you but if she's stalled or not moving through difficulties as you think she ought to or have in the past, she may need to spend some time on her own.

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Excellent. That's what self help books are for. Insight. Now if you feel they help you understand the dynamic you may have in relationships, that's great. But when you do see her in person leave off the psychobabble and have a real heart to heart. After you do some reflection on your own happiness, of course.

I am trying to work on myself, figuring out what areas of my life I have neglected while being in a relationship. I always put her first and I think it may have caused some resentment that led to what happened.

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I meant that she often has trouble talking to people about problems she is dealing with (myself included) or going to other's for help. For instance, I loaned her a couple hundred dollars because she was worried about asking her dad for the money because asking him would signify she is a failure. When in reality, she NEEDS to work 40 hour weeks for her internship in order to graduate her masters and she has to pay for housing, food and gas. She doesn't believe that people will be there for her so she pushes everyone away and tries to be independent--part of the problem initially. Throughout the school year she was a full-time student (9-4 every weekday), worked part-time 4-9 on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday and worked 8am-7pm on Saturday and Sunday. She didn't want to take out a small loan amount to alleviate some of the stress of funding school and living expenses and instead worked herself to death and didn't have time for me or anyone else. I was attracted to her drive at first, but it always got in the way of her interpersonal relationships.


Anyhow, last Thursday she finally texted me saying that she was still feeling done with this and that we could find a time to meet to exchange stuff. We talked on the phone after and she said that she just couldn't move on from me hanging out with the other girl and my lying about it. I understand what I did breached our trust, but if the shoe was on the other foot, I would forgive her and move on. I gave her a long apology, some actionable things I could do and said that once we were near each other (she moves back home on friday about 10 minutes away from me), then things would be better. But she argued that if wasn't going to work long distance, it wouldn't work anyway--which to me doesn't make sense. She said she would never be able to forget about this--seems like an exaggeration to me, she has lied to me about minor things before and I have moved past it--and that the other girl just won't go away. Apparently, the other girl followed my ex on instagram the day she didn't she was done for good. I was super angry at this. It seemed petty and vengeful to try to stay relevant despite not talking for months. It was just a reminder to my ex about everything and continued to hurt her. My ex said she was just done with this and her feelings had changed because I was no longer credible. This really hurt to hear. I didn't intend for any of this to happen. I have always strongly valued commitments and the fact that I faltered has been hard to reconcile with myself.


Afterwards, in a bit of anger, I called the other girl to tell her to leave my ex alone. She told me she sent a message to her too on instagram, which my ex didn't know until I told her afterwards. This girl, months later, said that my ex shouldn't get back together with me and deserves better. She said I toyed with her emotionally and "he will never tell you the extent of the emotional cheating, but it was beyond unacceptable". She said that she felt better and less stressed after "making the decision to end things" despite the fact I just cut her off cold and it wasn't her decision. She told my ex that "getting out of a long term relationship is difficult but you will feel much better and feel happy you did." She also said she was "happily seeing someone" so it had nothing to do with interest with me. All of this was petty and slanderous and really highlighted how unstable she was.


On the phone, we were practically screaming at each other. She told me that she really liked me and that "there was basically no chance of us being together now because of what I did". To me, it doesn't sound like someone who is happy to be in a relationship with someone else. The truth of the matter is that I did mess up and allow her to get to close to me. I, at points, thought that she might be a better fight than my S.O. But the whole time I told her that I had a girlfriend and that I was confused, but liked spending time with her. I repeatedly told her I wasn't trying to lead her on. She always said "she understood the risk of spending time with someone with a girlfriend." She deliberately always texted me first, gravitated towards me at practice and school, asked me to hang out or help her with schoolwork, and asked around about how my relationship was doing. The last time we saw each other before she kissed me, I told her I would never cheat on my girlfriend--i didn't realize I had crossed an emotional line at this point, but had a very hard physical line. She didn't care about that and kissed me. Afterwards she told me that she wanted to kiss me more, "lay in the back of the car" and "help her put her bed together" as she was moving in. I rejected all of that. She was the aggressor in all of that and knew the vulnerability I had in a long term, long distance relationship that was struggling at the moment. I am upset at myself for letting her succeed to some extent and just justifying everything with she was only a friend. I am upset I lost my ex's trust and our relationship, but I am very upset that this other girl is playing the victim card at the moment because she didn't get what she wanted.

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Also, I am missing my ex dearly and although there are some rose-colored glasses at the moment, I do believe that I would like to rekindle things. We have yet to talk in person during all of this, but I will give her a couple weeks and see if we could meet. I am doing my best to improve my life and happiness. The breakup hasn't been as bad as I thought. I was a neuroscience major and just learning about the neurological effects of a breakup has been wonders to justifying what I am feeling and going through. It's a process with brain activity similar to physical pain or withdrawal from drugs. Input (ex's photos, reminders, etc.) stimulates area in the brain that the produce the neurotransmitters responsible for the emotions we feel. These emotions can promote thoughts that create a positive feedback loop further stimulating the brain and producing neurotransmitters. Our thoughts and feelings are simply chemistry--rationalizing this has helped me greatly with the grief and anxiety I am dealing with.


Additionally, a helpful fact for anyone reading this who may be suffering a heartbreak, studies show that taking Tylenol for 3 weeks reduces negative brain activity compared against a placebo. Study participants were shown photos of their ex three weeks after and those who took Tylenol exhibited less brain activity on a functional MRI and experienced fewer negative emotions.. fascinating! Knowledge is power.

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