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Did I break up for the right reasons? I miss my Ex.


OwenLotts
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Hi. I was in a relationship with my ex for 9 years. I ended up breaking up with her about a year ago after having long standing feelings that I could not fully commit to her. There was no cheating, no abuse, no major arguments or anything like that. It was just a gut feeling based on some concerns that I had that I could not shake. I brought my feelings up with her half way through our relationship and we eventually separated after 9 years

It's been about a year since the breakup and I have since moved to another country. Now that I am single again I miss the times we had together, her personality, I can see how much she meant to me and that I was lucky to have her in my life. In a way I can't ever imagine finding someone else that has the same qualities as my ex. My problem is I'm not sure whether these feelings are due to the grieving process of splitting up and the downsides of me being single again or whether they mean something else and perhaps I made the wrong decision to break up with her in the first place. How do I know which is the right feeling?

We got on great during our relationship. Personality wise she is genuinely a good person and fun to be around, always positive, humble, easy going and not materialistic. Never starting arguments and rarely ever in a bad mood. She has a great sense of humor and a sweet endearing outlook on life. From my point of view our relationship felt like we were best friends and companions rather than lovers and I always felt I could be myself around her. I felt reassured in life having her by my side. Every single day her personality put a smile on my face.

However certain red flags played on my mind throughout our relationship, preventing me from fully committing and which lead me to initiate the break up. Despite being emotionally attached and loving her in one way I felt that I was no longer emotionally attracted to her. Despite continuing to enjoy each others company until the end this also affected the physical aspects of our relationship.

Throughout our relationship she was always really bad with her own money. Taking out overdrafts and exhausting them, taking out loans, then taking out loans to pay off other loans and eventually taking out payday loans from multiple lenders to live month by month . It was something I realised she was doing early on, the letters coming through the post etc. I always said I'd rather she be open and honest about her situation and perhaps I could help her out but she simply did not want to talk about it saying it was under control and that it was none of my business. What concerned me more was this seemed to be a pattern of behaviour over many years rather than a situation she needed to get out of. If I had paid all her debts off I wander whether she would end up back in the same situation in a year or two. What concerned me was also her attitude to the situation, just ripping up the letters and throwing them in the bin rather than dealing with the situation intelligently.

Job wise and for her age she also earnt much less than I thought she could have earnt. She has some great qualities, is well organised, great interpersonal skills and always put the hours in but I always felt that she underplayed herself and lacked confidence or ambition. From my working experience I can honestly say she was worth double what she was paid. Despite offering to help her step up the ladder she seemed to be happy with where she was. This in itself isn't a major problem but being paid so little was part of the reason she was so much in debt. I couldn't figure out why she wouldn't want to better her situation.

She smoked cigarettes everyday of our relationship. In itself not great for a partner who doesn't smoke but she had more reasons than most smokers to quit. Before we met she recovered from an illness and had a second shot at life. Part of me expected her to get real and be more serious about life, her health and quit smoking. Not only was the physical aspect of smoking a turn off for me but I considered her decision to not appreciate and take advantage of her recovery by continuing to smoke as more of a turn off.

She always avoided discussing or dealing with difficult situations preferring to just ignore them. In the early days I always felt I was open to help her with anything as long as we could talk about it and be honest. Whether it be a relationship issue, her debt or any issue that we may have had together. But anything too difficult or sensitive to talk about or overcome she would rather pretend it was not an issue and just carry on as normal. This meant that we never really talked about the important stuff eg. each others needs, wants, how each other felt in the relationship.

She had very few interests, hobbies or activities. Despite having a fantastic personality she didn't do a great deal in her spare time. She rarely exercised and as a result was out of shape for most of our relationship.

Her family are from a different background to my family. I don't know whether this played a part but in my opinion her family seemed to have different priorities in life than mine.

I was basically in a situation where I was no longer emotionally attracted to my partner. I felt that she made poor life decisions (money, career and health) and was not willing to discuss these issues or change. Would these red flags give most people cause for concern? Did I make the wrong decision in splitting up?

I miss her so much but even now if we got back together I still don't know how i would feel. It's as if over time I love and have become emotionally attached to someone who doesn't share the same outlook in life as me. Bottom line is nothing was changing and if I was going to commit to her I would have wanted her to change. When in reality I have no right to expect anyone to change.

Part of me feels sad because I miss her. I wander how will I ever meet someone with the same kindness, good heart and easy connection that we had again. Even after 1 year apart I still don't feel motivated to date again and think of my ex most days. On the other hand despite being together for so long I do wander whether we were just incompatible as romantic partners.

Just interested in some opinions please and how I can make sense to move forward. Before anyone replies by saying I did her a favor, she's better off without me and deserves to be with someone who is completely committed, there's no need to make me feel bad, I know all this. Every conceivable guilty thought, viewpoint or scenario has been through my head a million times.

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Being with a person who stagnates in life such as with her career means she doesn't have the same hopes and dreams you do which is a source of incompatibility. She has poor financial management and does not live within her means, always in debt and ruining her credit history. This means she would've eventually impacted you negatively should you have married her and had joint credit and loan accounts. She doesn't own up to her responsibility and instead rips up default notices in the postal mail. She doesn't reveal everything to you so there's no telling what else she is concealing from you now and in the future should you remain with her. She smokes which is another deal breaker for you, doesn't exercise and treats her health with callous disregard and abuse. She doesn't have any hobbies nor interests which makes her dull as a door nail.

 

I know you miss her. I miss a lot of people in my life whenever relationships soured. However, you have to remember that whenever you reminisce wistfully, you're only focusing on good times; not everything including bad times. What helps me is actually focusing on bad memories because it's a rude awakening and will remind you why you decided to part ways permanently in the first place. Remembering the negatives will remind you why personality and character clashes occurred and why it wouldn't have endured anyway. That's the harsh reality check, OwenLotts.

 

I too remember certain good virtues in some people and those same people also showed me their true colors during moments of human weakness and their dark side of human nature. Then I remembered what they were capable of meaning their disrespect to me with complete abandon in the most vile ways. Once I become sensible and remember what was "unforgivable," then I know deep within my bones that I did the right thing by feeling safe and secure ever since I CHOSE to exit them from my life. (Or, in other cases if I can't rid of them if they're relatives or in-laws in particular, I enforce ultra strong boundaries with them permanently because I don't trust them anymore.)

 

You move forward by not constantly dwelling and ruminating on the past. Have healthy distractions, develop and immerse yourself into hobbies, interests, get healthy, exercise, eat right, surround yourself with morally influential, very upstanding people and give yourself a fresh start.

 

Don't have regrets. Whenever a partner has major character flaws and incurable defects, know that sometimes you have to go through a lot of people on this Earth in order to find "thee one."

 

I dated several duds just for dinners out but each one of those guys had a personality and character quirk and foibles which I looked up on with disdain. Then one day, I happened to stumble across my then future husband without ever seeking nor searching for anyone. I knew deep within my bones, he was "thee one." I listened to my gut instincts and intuition. Today, I'm happily married with two amazing sons.

 

There will come a day when you will know beyond a shadow of a doubt just like I did. Patience is key. Don't be in a hurry. Haste makes waste. You will be all right.

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Yes, you broke up for the right reasons. Some of your core values about life were incompatible. Even if you got back together, you would end up being miserable again for the same reasons. Imo, you need to keep going forward without looking back. You are still incompatible. Nothing has changed. You gave this relationship almost a DECADE of your lives and it didn't work out. Imo, that's a pretty definitive answer to your question. If it could have, it would have. Keep walking.

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Being with a person who stagnates in life such as with her career means she doesn't have the same hopes and dreams you do which is a source of incompatibility. She has poor financial management and does not live within her means, always in debt and ruining her credit history. This means she would've eventually impacted you negatively should you have married her and had joint credit and loan accounts. She doesn't own up to her responsibility and instead rips up default notices in the postal mail. She doesn't reveal everything to you so there's no telling what else she is concealing from you now and in the future should you remain with her. She smokes which is another deal breaker for you, doesn't exercise and treats her health with callous disregard and abuse. She doesn't have any hobbies nor interests which makes her dull as a door nail.

 

I know you miss her. I miss a lot of people in my life whenever relationships soured. However, you have to remember that whenever you reminisce wistfully, you're only focusing on good times; not everything including bad times. What helps me is actually focusing on bad memories because it's a rude awakening and will remind you why you decided to part ways permanently in the first place. Remembering the negatives will remind you why personality and character clashes occurred and why it wouldn't have endured anyway. That's the harsh reality check, OwenLotts.

 

I too remember certain good virtues in some people and those same people also showed me their true colors during moments of human weakness and their dark side of human nature. Then I remembered what they were capable of meaning their disrespect to me with complete abandon in the most vile ways. Once I become sensible and remember what was "unforgivable," then I know deep within my bones that I did the right thing by feeling safe and secure ever since I CHOSE to exit them from my life. (Or, in other cases if I can't rid of them if they're relatives or in-laws in particular, I enforce ultra strong boundaries with them permanently because I don't trust them anymore.)

 

You move forward by not constantly dwelling and ruminating on the past. Have healthy distractions, develop and immerse yourself into hobbies, interests, get healthy, exercise, eat right, surround yourself with morally influential, very upstanding people and give yourself a fresh start.

 

Don't have regrets. Whenever a partner has major character flaws and incurable defects, know that sometimes you have to go through a lot of people on this Earth in order to find "thee one."

 

I dated several duds just for dinners out but each one of those guys had a personality and character quirk and foibles which I looked up on with disdain. Then one day, I happened to stumble across my then future husband without ever seeking nor searching for anyone. I knew deep within my bones, he was "thee one." I listened to my gut instincts and intuition. Today, I'm happily married with two amazing sons.

 

There will come a day when you will know beyond a shadow of a doubt just like I did. Patience is key. Don't be in a hurry. Haste makes waste. You will be all right.

 

Thanks for the time you spent replying. Some good points that certainly ring true although I must respond by saying she was by no means dull as a door nail. In fact she was the complete opposite. She was very sweet, happy, kind, caring, engaging, fun and endearing with a great sense of humour. Those are the bits I miss about her.

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Yes, you broke up for the right reasons. Some of your core values about life were incompatible. Even if you got back together, you would end up being miserable again for the same reasons. Imo, you need to keep going forward without looking back. You are still incompatible. Nothing has changed. You gave this relationship almost a DECADE of your lives and it didn't work out. Imo, that's a pretty definitive answer to your question. If it could have, it would have. Keep walking.

 

Thanks for the reply. I'll take your comment on board.

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It was a good call to set her free. It sounds like you are homesick. It's been over a year. Have you tried dating locally? Would crawling back to her solve anything?

I ended up breaking up with her about a year ago after having long standing feelings that I could not fully commit to her.

It's been about a year since the breakup and I have since moved to another country.

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The smoking alone is enough of a reason to end things. I've known two people who died at age 62 because of smoking, and know 2 now who are struggling with COPD.

 

It's like you're trying to enjoy the beginning of your retirement years with your lifetime companion, but they are an invalid or dead.

 

Most people do have some good qualities, but sometimes their bad qualities are dealbreakers for you. Of course you miss a person you cared for, for so long. It's normal. I hope you haven't stayed in contact, because that might be a reason you haven't reached much closure in a year.

 

Even if you're not ready to date, start making lists of must-haves for your next relationship, and a list of dealbreakers, and stick with them. You probably didn't do this the first time around, and would've exited that relationship far sooner, for your own good, if you had. Good luck in this shiny new year.

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I think you made the right decision. This is who she is.

 

The points you mentioned are significant, and any one would be a deal breaker: money, smoking, and no interests. I think you are lonely, and as you were together a long time, you are reflecting on the positive bits. Normal. But, this is not a someone for a family and a long haul. I am curious why you did not bail when you first saw the way she dealt with money? That would have me running for the hills.

 

Are you dating?

Edited by Hollyj
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I agree with the others... maybe you miss being in a relationship and are looking back. But maybe think about looking forward to someone new. Because the truth is, getting back together just cause you are lonely is not going to work. All the same issues will just come back and much sooner than you think.

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Thanks for the time you spent replying. Some good points that certainly ring true although I must respond by saying she was by no means dull as a door nail. In fact she was the complete opposite. She was very sweet, happy, kind, caring, engaging, fun and endearing with a great sense of humour. Those are the bits I miss about her.

 

Ok, she wasn't dull as a door nail. I'm glad she was sweet, happy, caring, engaging, fun and humorous. I miss those qualities in a lot of people, too, OwenLotts. While that's all well and good, focus and remind yourself regarding what made you observe a certain person with disappointment and disapproval. This will be your wake up call and their disdainful characteristic traits will suddenly come to light and overshadow any virtues you endeared. I always remind myself and remember relationships went awry for blatant reasons and then I don't miss them anymore. Harsh reality check sets in within a second.

 

Remember people are package deals. In order to be compatible, they have to tick all your boxes for you in order to have a smooth, easy, content, stress-free life or at least most qualities must meet your criteria otherwise no amount of "love" can conquer all.

 

Finding "thee one" is like finding a needle in a haystack. It can be done with patience, perseverance, plain dumb luck, playing your cards right, whittling down your requirements and also, what you have to offer and bring to the table, too.

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Due to smoking, my father sustained a fatal heart attack AND died prematurely leaving my mother as a young widow with three children.

 

My husband's former boss' wife was a smoker who suffered from COPD and he was her primary caretaker to the bitter end. It was a painstakingly agonizing decline and death.

 

Smoking is a real deal breaker for me, too. And your girl's finances are a train wreck. All reasons to know this relationship would never endure at this rate.

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