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Seeking breakup advice - Very confusing situation


Will87

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Hello.

 

I am a longtime reader of these forums. I finally decided to create an account and seek some advice about relationship break-ups and heartache.

 

I have been in a relationship for 2.5 years. We broke up 2 weeks ago. The break-up happened after a fight about different priorities in the relationship. I wanted to get more serious, and she was wanting to keep the relationship "day-by-day" and live in the moment/enjoy each others company.

 

There is a reason for her hesitation. I made a terrible mistake and cheated on her early in the relationship. Unfortunately, I took her for granted and I wasn't committed to Christian morality at that time. I make no excuses for this behaviour and I fully expected her to break-up with me at the time.

 

She, however decided to stay.

 

Her trust and faith in me was very damaged, but nevertheless, we decided to stay together and try and make the relationship work. The agreement was to focus on the future and positive experiences. This went well initially for the first 12 months, but as time went on I began to feel the relationship stagnate. She was also increasingly distancing herself and spending more time with friends, however we would still be staying together most nights and she was affectionate. She still told me she loved me, and she was impressed with how much I had changed. She said she had learned to love the "new me." I took this to mean that she was beginning to trust me again.

 

But the relationship wasn't going anywhere, or so I felt. It felt unstable. She wasn't agitating for seriousness, and instead seemed to be increasingly building a life away from me - seeing friends much more regularly (previously we were inseparable).

 

I prompted the fight that led to the break-up. She initiated sex that morning, but I stopped and said that it "didn't feel right." I then left my apartment and went for a drive to cool-off. She called me and asked me to come back. I came back, but I wasn't able to relax around her. I finally came out with the truth. I said - "Even though breaking up with you is the right thing for me, I am scared of how much I'll miss you."

 

This wasn't a surprise for her. She knew I wanted to get more serious and we had a few fights about this in the past. She always fought for me. But this time was different.

 

To my surprise, she agreed and said "let's stop." I got angry and told her to pack-up her stuff and go. This was an angry moment where I let fly some hurtful remarks. I told her if she left now then she would never see me again. This was manipulative of me. I wanted her to fight for me. I gambled and I lost.

 

She left my apartment and I was left in a stunned silence. "She's gone" I thought to myself. But I accepted it in the moment, because I assumed she had decided we were incompatible and she really didn't want to settle down and have kids with me.

 

This is where things start to get strange..

 

After she left my apartment, I went to a local restaurant to have a meal. She called me in an upset voice and started talking about how she felt bad for stringing me along, how sad she feels and how she feels very sorry for me.

 

I wasn't in the mood. I needed space so I cut the conversation short by saying "I'm in a busy restaurant now, I can't talk about this."

 

She immediately got angry - "Who are you with?!?"

 

I hung up. I finished my meal and went home. My doorbell rings. I meet her outside my apartment door and she accuses me of lying about where I was. I told her I had just arrived home from the restaurant. We hug, there are tears from her, but she leaves. I go inside my apartment. Suddenly the door flings open and she is looking into my room, expecting to find a girl in there. She seemed surprised to find me standing there alone.

 

Again, we hug and I tell her to not be upset and make sure she drives safely. She leaves to go and meet her friend. I was privately annoyed that she didn't stay to try and work things out, but I was stoic and kissed her forehead and hugged her before she left. I felt like a father comforting a sobbing daughter. I felt sure, at this point, that she would return to me.

 

This is the last time I saw her in person. She stayed at her friend's place that night and I believe she is getting strong support from friends during this break-up.

 

2 nights later she called me and said "My friends say I shouldn't talk to you at all."

 

I am annoyed that she is trying to position me between her and her friends. I don't entertain the conversation and tell her that I need space and that i'll talk to her in a few days if she wants to. She calls me again and I ignore it.

 

The next night she calls me 3 times in a row and I ignore them. This is the last time she attempted to contact me. It was nearly 2 weeks ago now.

 

A few days after she last contacted me, I sent her a text message. It was a photo of us from earlier, happier times with a caption saying "it couldn't last forever." Again, I wanted her to fight for me. I was being manipulative, and I fully confess to that.

 

No response from her.

 

I wait 3 or 4 more days. She is silent. No response. I start to feel very unsettled. I think to myself "She has never ignored me like this before. What is she doing?"

 

On about the 4th day of silence, I drive past her apartment and see her car is there. I impulsively stop, get out of my car and go and ring her doorbell twice. No answer. I try to call her. I'm blocked. I text her to say I'm just checking if she's ok. No response.

 

I walk away bewildered.

 

The next day I sent her an email letting her know that I love her, but I respect her decision and will cherish our memories. I wanted to appear strong, not beg, but also let her know that the door is wide open for her to come back.

 

I maintain silence for 3 more days, and then I unfortunately went crazy. I tried to call her on whatsapp, facebook, and from a different number. This was all in the space of an afternoon. She blocked me immediately on all these mediums.

 

It has now been 4 days since this incident and I'm trying to move on. I haven't contacted her since then.

 

However, I am struggling with obsessive thinking now. Has anyone experienced this behaviour before from an ex?

 

The abruptness of her "Cold turkey" is frightening. I presume her friends are helping her, or she's met another guy. Another possibility is she is trying to punish me.

 

Can anyone here please help me to understand what is going on, and what I am going through now?

 

I have never been broken-up with like this before, let alone blocked.

 

My goal at the moment is to try and focus on other things, and wait to see if she ever contacts me again. But I find myself constantly slipping into obsessive thinking, depression and anger about that situation. I am feeling the loss. But I am waiting for her still..

 

....But the waiting is killing me. I know this relationship is over, on one level. But for some reason I don't have closure. How can someone just disappear like this, and aggressively block me everywhere?

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You cheated and even though she took you back once, once anyone cheats, lies, deceives or betrays, the relationship is basically dead. Even though people initially forgive, there will forever be a seed of distrust implanted within the deep recesses of one's brain.

 

She blocked you. Therefore, stop hounding and bothering her. Get her message: Leave her alone. She has since moved on with her life and whatever she does with her friends or a new man in her life is HER business, NOT yours.

 

You need to grow up and mature. A real man will back off and do the right thing by accepting, honoring and respecting her wishes.

 

Continue with your goal on focusing on other things. Stop obsessing over her because your former relationship with her is over and a done deal. Consider her history because she considers you history.

 

Take this relationship as a harsh lesson learned. Don't cheat, lie, deceive nor betray trust from this day forward because you'll lose every time. Don't manipulate, call a person's bluff, gaslight, engage in mind games and head trips because again, you'll lose every time. People will leave you because they're disgusted and they'll create new, healthy boundaries for themselves.

 

Think long and hard. Live and learn. And yes, people are passive aggressive. It's universal so grow accustomed to it. It's the way of the world.

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Your relationship has no future. She will never be able to trust you again. I know I would't have returned to a situation where my partner was a cheat.

 

Leave her alone and move on with your life. There is not future. You are not healthy together.

 

I suggest you stay single for a long while and learn from your mistakes.

 

Block and delete. Leave her alone!

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A few days after she last contacted me, I sent her a text message. It was a photo of us from earlier, happier times with a caption saying "it couldn't last forever."

 

I'd block you too, after receiving something like that. Your actions are bordering on harassment. It's a straight-up miracle your relationship lasted as long as it did. Leave her alone, don't date, and work on your issues.

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"I finally came out with the truth. I said - "Even though breaking up with you is the right thing for me, I am scared of how much I'll miss you."

 

Next time don't initiate a breakup unless you mean it.

 

Yes, you are manipulative. You wanted her to fight for you? You told her you wanted to break up! How was she supposed to mind read and know you were just trying to get her to do what you wanted her to do? I guess you think she should have known, but after everything she probably got tired of your manipulations.

 

I don't know why just talking to her wasn't the option you chose, instead of manipulation and games.

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"I finally came out with the truth. I said - "Even though breaking up with you is the right thing for me, I am scared of how much I'll miss you."

 

Next time don't initiate a breakup unless you mean it.

 

Yes, you are manipulative. You wanted her to fight for you? You told her you wanted to break up! How was she supposed to mind read and know you were just trying to get her to do what you wanted her to do? I guess you think she should have known, but after everything she probably got tired of your manipulations.

 

I don't know why just talking to her wasn't the option you chose, instead of manipulation and games.

 

 

Thanks for the feedback. I totally agree. I was amazed that she decided to stay. I would never stay with a cheater either. The reality is, I just had a lot of options at that time in my life and the dynamic was her trying to "tie me down." I only really realised my love for her after I cheated (oh the irony) and realised that I'd lost a good thing. But it was too late by then. I was left with a woman who was not giving me her best anymore, and eventually i got tired of it. If you want to stay, then stay. If you want to go, then go.

 

What I'm more interested in is understanding her bizarre break-up behaviour. But, I guess going "cold turkey" is the only way to cut a manipulative guy like me out of her life permanently. She was addicted to me and she needed to treat me like a drug. Maybe her friends helped her to see it.

 

I guess I'm proud of her. Good girl :)

 

After contemplating things this morning, I hope she doesn't come back now. I hope she gets out there in the world and finds happiness.

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What actions of hers do you find bizarre?

 

Chasing me and then abruptly blocking me when I was in no contact.

 

Just to clarify, she blocked me before I even attempted to call her. Usually ex's get blocked for blowing up the phone. I didn't do that. I only tried to circumvent the block after the fact. I think mine is a unique situation. I've done a lot of searching online and it doesn't seem like anyone has been in my situation. The typical situation is you beg and harass your ex and then you get blocked. In my case, I orchestrated a fake break-up to kick her lazy ass into gear and it backfired on me. I got blocked before I could even tell her that I wanted her back.

 

Just for some context, she cheated on her boyfriend before she met me. Nobody's perfect. I forgave her for that. But honestly, knowing what she was capable of probably contributed to my decision to cheat on her early on in the relationship. It was a bit of self-protection I guess, because I knew that if I let myself fall in love with her then it could be dangerous for me.

 

I've noticed there's a lot of very judgemental people on this forum. It's 2020. Everybody is having sex and we live in a culture/world that worships sex. I think cheating is a shame, but it's easy to see how it happens. A woman who truly loves me would see that I'm a work-in-progress and see that I'm open to change and spiritual growth.

 

She'll regret it once she gets out into the world a bit more and sees how uncaring it is. Real life ain't a Disney movie. Sometimes you have to lose it for a while to appreciate it.

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Can I ask how old you guys are?

 

I'm sorry for this moment of turmoil, I am, but it seems that you are pretty aware of the big truth here: you plus her do not equal something good, something sincere, something sustainable. You started off on a sour note, tried to make it a sweet one, but genuine sweetness proved elusive for a good long while. There was a whiff of it when you were in atonement mode, but then it kind of flip-flopped and she was the one pulling away. Poke, prod, push, pull: interesting, for sure, but also exhausting.

 

You sound like a good dude, and I bet she's a good dudette. Yeah, people make mistakes, so I'm not going to read either of you the riot act. Have made some myself. Live and learn. Still, when your go-to mode of communication is wanton manipulation? It's telling. It's generally a very good sign that you are in a chemistry experiment that is bringing out the worst in you, accentuating immaturity and lack of growth, rather than the opposite. It means that the thing everyone craves and needs—authenticity—isn't in the wheelhouse. And without that? It's just wheels spinning, gears grinding.

 

I know all the post breakup activity feels vital and important and unique and perplexing right now, but being frank? It's just two people flailing, the exhaust fumes of a thing ending and a void opening. It's always sour, this moment. The more dramatics involved? The blocking, the tears, the forehead kisses, all that? Well, I think that's generally a reflection of the core of the connection, what two people ultimately bring out in another. With the "label" ripped off, the truth is kind of revealed and what you're seeing right now—and reeling from, understandably—is that the core is a bit rotten. It was a few months ago, if not longer. It's just exposed.

 

You struck a humble note, or grazed it, in your earlier post, seeing this as a good moment—hoping she finds happiness and, I hope, hoping you do the same. Good line to keep walking, right there. Your recent post has some ego snarling in it, which is understandable, because your ego is pretty swollen right now. But I say just see that, acknowledge it, but don't indulge it. You've done that enough and it's not cute. Walk away from that line, knowing you'll thank yourself later.

 

So let her go, for real, and have faith that the lessons in that will reward you, sharpen your compass, trigger some self-work, and eventually lead you to something that doesn't trigger these cycles of manipulation and atonement subbing in for sincerity. That's the win here. Trying to unpack all this noise and find salvation in that? That's the loss.

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Sorry to hear this. "Make it work", "fight for" "took for granted". These are not the words of love. This type of manipulation is about your ego. Stay apart and get some help from a counselor. Focus on integrity and reducing hypocrisy. Reflect on being a better man and not putting someone through the wringer like this to make yourself feel better.

I took her for granted and I wasn't committed to Christian morality at that time.

we decided to stay together and try and make the relationship work.

I prompted the fight that led to the break-up.

I wanted her to fight for me.

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Can I ask how old you guys are?

 

I'm sorry for this moment of turmoil, I am, but it seems that you are pretty aware of the big truth here: you plus her do not equal something good, something sincere, something sustainable. You started off on a sour note, tried to make it a sweet one, but genuine sweetness proved elusive for a good long while. There was a whiff of it when you were in atonement mode, but then it kind of flip-flopped and she was the one pulling away. Poke, prod, push, pull: interesting, for sure, but also exhausting.

 

You sound like a good dude, and I bet she's a good dudette. Yeah, people make mistakes, so I'm not going to read either of you the riot act. Have made some myself. Live and learn. Still, when your go-to mode of communication is wanton manipulation? It's telling. It's generally a very good sign that you are in a chemistry experiment that is bringing out the worst in you, accentuating immaturity and lack of growth, rather than the opposite. It means that the thing everyone craves and needs—authenticity—isn't in the wheelhouse. And without that? It's just wheels spinning, gears grinding.

 

I know all the post breakup activity feels vital and important and unique and perplexing right now, but being frank? It's just two people flailing, the exhaust fumes of a thing ending and a void opening. It's always sour, this moment. The more dramatics involved? The blocking, the tears, the forehead kisses, all that? Well, I think that's generally a reflection of the core of the connection, what two people ultimately bring out in another. With the "label" ripped off, the truth is kind of revealed and what you're seeing right now—and reeling from, understandably—is that the core is a bit rotten. It was a few months ago, if not longer. It's just exposed.

 

You struck a humble note, or grazed it, in your earlier post, seeing this as a good moment—hoping she finds happiness and, I hope, hoping you do the same. Good line to keep walking, right there. Your recent post has some ego snarling in it, which is understandable, because your ego is pretty swollen right now. But I say just see that, acknowledge it, but don't indulge it. You've done that enough and it's not cute. Walk away from that line, knowing you'll thank yourself later.

 

So let her go, for real, and have faith that the lessons in that will reward you, sharpen your compass, trigger some self-work, and eventually lead you to something that doesn't trigger these cycles of manipulation and atonement subbing in for sincerity. That's the win here. Trying to unpack all this noise and find salvation in that? That's the loss.

 

Thanks for this. You're right, I would love to reach a point of humble acceptance. To appreciate the relationship for what it was, flaws and all.

 

She brought out the worst in me, but she brought out the best in me too. There were genuinely beautiful moments between us. That's why it hurts now. If it was a totally crap relationship, then surely I wouldn't be hurting.

 

I'm just frustrated that I'm hurt and I don't want to be stuck in this "anger" stage of grief for too long. The first week after the breakup, I couldn't access the anger emotion. I only felt paralysing fear and helplessness - "Oh my God, is she actually gone?" Just cycling through the disbelief. I fully expected her to come back. It thought it was all a big joke. I think they call this "Denial."

 

Now that it has been 2 weeks, it feels more real now. These thoughts keeping hitting me- She's actually made a decision, She's not playing games, She's actually trying to move on, She's probably with another guy now, How is she maintaining this with the COVID lockdown? These realisations keeps hitting and anger wells up inside me. I don't like feeling so angry, but it's better than feeling like I've just had my balls cut off and I'm a quivering mess on the couch. Anger is more self-empowering than fear.

 

I'm 32, she's 26.

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Sorry to hear this. "Make it work", "fight for" "took for granted". These are not the words of love. This type of manipulation is about your ego. Stay apart and get some help from a counselor. Focus on integrity and reducing hypocrisy. Reflect on being a better man and not putting someone through the wringer like this to make yourself feel better.

 

Respectfully, I don't think you understand relationship dynamics and attraction.

 

I wanted to get more serious with this girl. I wanted us to get a place together and think about planning a family. She was stalling me on this and she needed more time because she sees herself as a character from Sex and the City (free, independent, cosmopolitan woman). If I continued to push this matter then I would have just pushed her away further. She had the power because I wanted something that she wasn't giving me. And she loved it.

 

I was forced into a position where I had to pretend I was okay with waiting for her will she wasted time doing yoga and going to dinners with her friends, without making any plans for our future. That's obviously a miserable existence for me. So what I decided to do was orchestrate a fake break-up and see if she really wanted this or not. She could have easily stopped it from happening, but she immediately latched onto the opportunity to leave me.

 

What is happening now is she is experiencing life without me. She is in a relief period. At some point she will get curious and start to miss me. I believe that our relationship had enough good things in it that she will experience "dumpers regret" at some point.

 

Unfortunately for her, by the time she starts to miss me, maybe months from now, I would have already moved on. That will be her tragedy, but that will just be too bad for her.

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She did the right thing. It seems like she would rather be happy in her own way than deal with your pressure. Relationships based on cheating, controlling, manipulating, hurting, etc often crash and burn like this. Sorry.

I decided to do was orchestrate a fake break-up and see if she really wanted this or not. she immediately latched onto the opportunity to leave me.
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She did the right thing. It seems like she would rather be happy in her own way than deal with your pressure. Relationships based on cheating, controlling, manipulating, hurting, etc often crash and burn like this. Sorry.

 

I respect your view and I agree. However, we had a solid 12 months of good times before this break-up. The only issue we had was my desire to get serious faster than she was ready to (if she was ever going to be ready at all). The toxic stuff was in the early stages. Redemption is always possible and, when she looks back on the relationship after the emotional fog has cleared, she will feel the loss. Sorry to say, but cheating isn't always a deal-breaker. It should be, but it isn't in my experience, especially if you demonstrate a willingness to change.

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Her friends and family may have advised her that your treatment of her is abusive. She may have read up on it or gotten counselling. Blocking and deleting is the best recourse.

How can someone just disappear like this, and aggressively block me everywhere?
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What is happening now is she is experiencing life without me. She is in a relief period. At some point she will get curious and start to miss me. I believe that our relationship had enough good things in it that she will experience "dumpers regret" at some point.

 

Gently and with respect - not necessarily, Will. Not in the way you hope, anyway.

 

It sounds like she had been losing interest in the relationship for a while. Maybe she has someone else in mind, maybe this simply ran its course for her. Breaking up is sometimes the best option when one party has reached that point. She will probably miss you as a person, and your companionship, but it appears she's been emotionally checked out for some time. I think that for her, the romantic part was already over. This is why she kept stalling when you wanted to move things forward to a greater commitment. She doesn't want those things with you, unfortunately, but didn't know how to come out and say it.

 

I know you're angry and hurt that she didn't take the bait when you staged this break-up. But, that should tell you what you need to know. She didn't have the stones to pull the plug herself yet, but the end was coming at some point. Your behaviour post-break-up wasn't stellar, but that isn't the real issue. The real issue is that you have two people whose future goals no longer matched, in that you saw a future with her, but the opposite was no longer true.

 

I have a feeling when the fog has cleared for you, you will see that this break-up was the best for you, too. She wasn't on the same page as you anymore and staying together would have been a waste of time for you also.

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A few thoughts.

 

Big picture? What you're feeling—and what she's feeling—is all par for the course. You've been broken up for basically five seconds, so think of this stage like a city at wartime five seconds after some bombs have dropped. It's ugly, chaotic, everyone's running around trying to make sense of things. If you can kind of just accept that, rather than analyze every morsel, you'll be on the path to humility, growing from this as you let it go: appreciating what you had, appreciating the lessons to get you somewhere new.

 

Smaller picture stuff? Your tone, in talking about her, is not particularly respectful. Reducing her to a Sex and the City aspirant, for instance, who "wastes" time in yoga rather than in using that time charting a future with you. Um, not cool. Whoever she is in the world, whatever her interests and ambitions, she should be around people who think all that is awesome, compelling, and wants to support it and be part of it. That, more than anything, is how the present stretches into the future with relationships. When someone has to reject someone to find themselves—as it seems she was beginning to do—it's not really a sign that there's much of a shared future on the horizon. Things to think about, or not, as you see fit.

 

I've got a pretty forgiving view of cheating—it's a bad thing that a lot of pretty good humans have done, more or less—but at the same time? It destroys most relationships, with reason. Look back at yours, with clear eyes, and you may see a case study in that: how that choice of yours, along with her choice to try to get past it, recalibrated the whole machine in a toxic way that prevented authenticity, sincerity, a connection built on trust rather than one built on winning trust back, working through things, mini cycles of atonement and salvation and judgement. Imagine building a house where the floorboards are cracked and made of cheap wood. You can dress it up with great furniture and fixtures, but the foundation is weak and, eventually, it will crack, no matter how nice the kitchen counter is.

 

Your story, after all, is not that of two people who built a solid foundation, for years and years, and then had to see about rebuilding it after you made an awful, selfish choice. No, it's the story of a foundation built from an awful choice, and I do wonder, per the above, if deep in your core you could never quite respect her for forgiving you, and taking you back. Maybe she sensed that, maybe not, on some cellular level. But there's a reason she wasn't "all in," a reason she started looking for meaning and power outside of the relationship.

 

Your ego is fired up right now. This business of how she has a "tragedy" coming her way when she realizes she misses you, but you're already gone? Dude, c'mon. Get big by getting a little small. That's just more of the manipulation stuff, but the shadow puppet version: you alone in the a room creating stories where you're still king and your errant queen has yet to remember that. A mode of thinking that is best seen, and discarded, not indulged.

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A few thoughts.

 

Big picture? What you're feeling—and what she's feeling—is all par for the course. You've been broken up for basically five seconds, so think of this stage like a city at wartime five seconds after some bombs have dropped. It's ugly, chaotic, everyone's running around trying to make sense of things. If you can kind of just accept that, rather than analyze every morsel, you'll be on the path to humility, growing from this as you let it go: appreciating what you had, appreciating the lessons to get you somewhere new.

 

Smaller picture stuff? Your tone, in talking about her, is not particularly respectful. Reducing her to a Sex and the City aspirant, for instance, who "wastes" time in yoga rather than in using that time charting a future with you. Um, not cool. Whoever she is in the world, whatever her interests and ambitions, she should be around people who think all that is awesome, compelling, and wants to support it and be part of it. That, more than anything, is how the present stretches into the future with relationships. When someone has to reject someone to find themselves—as it seems she was beginning to do—it's not really a sign that there's much of a shared future on the horizon. Things to think about, or not, as you see fit.

 

I've got a pretty forgiving view of cheating—it's a bad thing that a lot of pretty good humans have done, more or less—but at the same time? It destroys most relationships, with reason. Look back at yours, with clear eyes, and you may see a case study in that: how that choice of yours, along with her choice to try to get past it, recalibrated the whole machine in a toxic way that prevented authenticity, sincerity, a connection built on trust rather than one built on winning trust back, working through things, mini cycles of atonement and salvation and judgement. Imagine building a house where the floorboards are cracked and made of cheap wood. You can dress it up with great furniture and fixtures, but the foundation is weak and, eventually, it will crack, no matter how nice the kitchen counter is.

 

Your story, after all, is not that of two people who built a solid foundation, for years and years, and then had to see about rebuilding it after you made an awful, selfish choice. No, it's the story of a foundation built from an awful choice, and I do wonder, per the above, if deep in your core you could never quite respect her for forgiving you, and taking you back. Maybe she sensed that, maybe not, on some cellular level. But there's a reason she wasn't "all in," a reason she started looking for meaning and power outside of the relationship.

 

Your ego is fired up right now. This business of how she has a "tragedy" coming her way when she realizes she misses you, but you're already gone? Dude, c'mon. Get big by getting a little small. That's just more of the manipulation stuff, but the shadow puppet version: you alone in the a room creating stories where you're still king and your errant queen has yet to remember that. A mode of thinking that is best seen, and discarded, not indulged.

 

Excellent post and I can't help but agree with all of it. I have no choice now but to walk into my future without her. When my own fog of ego hurt clears, as you say, then the hopelessness of the situation will become apparent to me.

 

When I look back now, the relationship was a slow-motion Goodbye for 12 months. She had trouble letting go, and she told me this constantly. One day she found the strength to leave (with a little push from me), and I suppose I had internalised an idea that she "wanted to leave me, but she couldn't."

 

It turns out she was able to find the strength in the end. It's best for both of us.

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