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Time to give up or stick around longer?


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It's been a little over a year since my ex broke up with me. We were mostly NC for a couple of months before we started talking again and have been talking for about 6 months ever since. We hung out a couple of times, talked on the phone frequently, etc. She initiated things equally as much as I did. We got into a few misunderstandings here and there but talked through them so much better than we ever did while we were together. Things were seriously looking up and I thought there was hope that we were on our way to building the foundation to a stronger and better relationship. I really felt like she was warming up to me again. She saw that I had made significant changes and told me how conflicted she felt knowing that I had changed but still not able to trust completely that getting back together would promise that we wouldn't go back to where we were when we were together.

 

I refrained from talking about getting back together in the past two months, but recently brought it up again. I didn't put any pressure on her, just simply asked her if she would like to work things out with me. She told me she doesn't think she can. To put things into context, we were together for four years and things started to get toxic towards the last year of it. I cause her a lot of emotional and mental pain. Whenever we talk about getting back together, she brings up that she isn't over what I put her through. Her dominant feelings towards it is fear. She's afraid of getting hurt again and doesn't trust that it won't happen again.

 

I was hoping that through me sticking around, I could show her that I can be trusted. I wanted to show her that we could start over fresh. At this point I don't think it's possible because she hasn't yet healed from everything that happened. She's carrying a lot of baggage and associates me with so much pain. I don't know what to do to fix that. I think I need to leave her alone so that she can process that pain alone and hopefully, learn how to let it go and forgive me one day. I am terrified that in leaving her alone, I'll ruin all chances of us ever getting back together because she'll lose all feelings for me completely or find someone new. I'm afraid that she'll end up resenting me instead of softening her heart for me through the passing of time.

 

I could really use some advice. People keep telling me "why wait for someone to make up their mind about you?" and the answer to that is because I hurt her. I am responsible for the demise of our relationship and I feel like it's my responsibility to make it better. I understand that it is not so simple to make up your mind to go right back into a relationship with someone who caused you so much pain. I empathize with her fears and I understand why she doesn't want to. I don't want to let her go though and I could use some input. Does it make sense to keep sticking around and fighting to show her that I can be safe to love again, or should I give up and let time hopefully heal what I can't?

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Every time she sees you or talks to you it reminds her of how you hurt her.

 

Your anxiety is causing you to lessen your chances, not improve them.

 

You can't see change if it's happening in front of you because it's too incremental. If you leave her alone, she will have time to process the hurt and possibly forgive you, plus she will be able to SEE a new and improved you.

 

Is it guaranteed she will want you back? Nope, but right now I can almost guarantee that if you keep down this path your chances will be just about zero.

 

And no, she will not "forget" about you or that you exist. Unless she has a TBI the memory of your existence will not vanish.

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Every time she sees you or talks to you it reminds her of how you hurt her.

 

Your anxiety is causing you to lessen your chances, not improve them.

 

You can't see change if it's happening in front of you because it's too incremental. If you leave her alone, she will have time to process the hurt and possibly forgive you, plus she will be able to SEE a new and improved you.

 

Is it guaranteed she will want you back? Nope, but right now I can almost guarantee that if you keep down this path your chances will be just about zero.

 

And no, she will not "forget" about you or that you exist. Unless she has a TBI the memory of your existence will not vanish.

 

I'm thinking similar things you've articulated here. The thing is, she really wants to stay friends with me and stay in touch and talk every day. Do you think it's possible to still be reminded of how much someone hurt you and still want them in your life at the same time? I'm struggling to understand based on her behavior if leaving her alone will only cause even more damage or will allow her the healing she needs.

 

What did you do?

 

I was emotionally abusive in the way I handled conflicts between us. I'm not a terrible person or anything, just unable to properly handle and communicate my feelings in a healthy manner. I've been getting help for it the second we broke up. It's a sad thing how horrible things have to happen for people to realize they need to change. Often time it's just too late.

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I'm thinking similar things you've articulated here. The thing is, she really wants to stay friends with me and stay in touch and talk every day. Do you think it's possible to still be reminded of how much someone hurt you and still want them in your life at the same time? I'm struggling to understand based on her behavior if leaving her alone will only cause even more damage or will allow her the healing she needs.

 

 

 

I was emotionally abusive in the way I handled conflicts between us. I'm not a terrible person or anything, just unable to properly handle and communicate my feelings in a healthy manner. I've been getting help for it the second we broke up. It's a sad thing how horrible things have to happen for people to realize they need to change. Often time it's just too late.

 

I don't know what you mean by "emotionally abusive", but if you did anything like call her names, shout, use curse words, insult her or throw things or damage property then I can understand why she doesn't want to reconcile. I wouldn't.

 

And she's still in the cycle of abuse. She probably has trouble understanding why someone who claimed to love her treated her so poorly. She is possibly trying to negate the abuse by proving to herself she didn't love an abuser (because that thought is distressing). Maybe someone in her life has told her you're an abuser and she's trying to prove them wrong.

 

What kind of help are you getting? I hope by "help" you mean a counselor or therapist and not just lame reading stuff online.

 

Does your counselor or therapist recommend staying in contact with her?

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I don't know what you mean by "emotionally abusive", but if you did anything like call her names, shout, use curse words, insult her or throw things or damage property then I can understand why she doesn't want to reconcile. I wouldn't.

 

And she's still in the cycle of abuse. She probably has trouble understanding why someone who claimed to love her treated her so poorly. She is possibly trying to negate the abuse by proving to herself she didn't love an abuser (because that thought is distressing). Maybe someone in her life has told her you're an abuser and she's trying to prove them wrong.

 

What kind of help are you getting? I hope by "help" you mean a counselor or therapist and not just lame reading stuff online.

 

Does your counselor or therapist recommend staying in contact with her?

 

I didn't call her names or use curse words, but the things I said made her question herself a lot. I made her question her own sanity and just made her feel bad about herself in general by telling her that she didn't care enough, acted selfishly, etc. When I think about it, I understand why she doesn't want to because I agree that I wouldn't want to either. I'm just holding onto this hope that she can bring herself to believe that I've learned my mistakes and don't intend to repeat them twice and hurt her all over again with my carelessness.

 

She did tell me herself that she doesn't understand how I claimed to have loved her but hurt her the way I did. The only explanation I had was what I stated here: that I really didn't know better and didn't know how else to conduct myself in our relationship. I don't think she understands it and I don't know how else to get her to understand that my behavior was the result of my own internal flaws and insecurities and not because I thought she deserved to be treated the way I treated her. I don't want her to think that I am an abuser. I really do not believe that about myself and it kills me that I won't get the chance to prove it to her.

 

I am going to a therapist, yes. I haven't spoken extensively with my therapist about my relationship problems because I want the focus to be on the root causes of my flaws so that I can fully work on them first instead of putting the focus on my relationship.

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I'm thinking similar things you've articulated here. The thing is, she really wants to stay friends with me and stay in touch and talk every day. Do you think it's possible to still be reminded of how much someone hurt you and still want them in your life at the same time? I'm struggling to understand based on her behavior if leaving her alone will only cause even more damage or will allow her the healing she needs.

 

 

 

I was emotionally abusive in the way I handled conflicts between us. I'm not a terrible person or anything, just unable to properly handle and communicate my feelings in a healthy manner. I've been getting help for it the second we broke up. It's a sad thing how horrible things have to happen for people to realize they need to change. Often time it's just too late.

 

I'm glad you are getting help.

 

Sadly, you cannot be friends if there are feeling. Especially, if it was an emotionally abusive relationship.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think it's best to give her time to process what she's feeling and work it out. Meanwhile, keep doing what you're doing--therapy is a great step forward for yourself and understanding how to express your emotions in a healthy manner. If you really want to reach out to her, I'd say keep it from being in person for now. You can slowly try to build trust and show her a better you, but only after you both have been given space to heal and reflect on yourselves. I wish you the best.

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