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Getting back together after a year apart


kt0304
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Has anybody got advice on how to get past what your partner got up to during the year break up i.e. dating, sleeping with women etc.

Really struggling with this especially as it was a long term relationship of 15 years before we split.

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Very hard thing to give advice on. I personally assume most people I break up with will date and have sex with people who are not me, so if I were to get back together with someone—which I have, once—I would do so only knowing I could accept that.

 

Did you go on any dates in the past year? Explore romance in any way? If so, maybe try to understand how all that was less about him than about you, so you can see that whatever he was up to was just that: him processing, him living, not him trying to hurt you or make this moment more complicated.

 

Can't help but wonder: Was jealousy or his desire to explore other romantic interests issues that had anything to do with the breakup? I ask because oftentimes an issue like this is a proxy for something a bit bigger.

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I had something similar. Rationally we both know it was natural and understandable but it was not a pleasant thought. What I did was, I gave myself a bit of time (a couple weeks if I remember correctly) during which I put this aside and focused on my current feelings about the relationship. After a short while it felt like a non-issue. If it came back to bother me later it would be more likely a reflection of some other problems in the relationship, and I would look at those problems instead.

 

How is the new relationship in general? Do you feel loved and respected? Do you feel secure, or somewhat threatened by the women he might have dated or slept with in the past year? Are you still carrying the old issues that led to your previous breakup? Did you date or try to date yourself during the time apart?

 

Ultimately only you can decide if it is okay with you or not. If it continues to bother you, the relationship will become too upsetting to stay in.

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I do know couples that have reconciled, but their gratefulness to have each other again out weighs whatever the other did during the breakup. They totally have np dismissing it, and focus on the here and now, building a relationship that is stronger than it ever was.

 

Since you struggle with this, this is a sure sign of having doubts, uncertainty about renewing the relationship and getting hurt again. Like someone mentioned, there's most likely unresolved issues still there and not being addressed.

 

If I were you I wouldn't jump right back in. You need to have a lot of conversations with him before a commitment can take place.

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  • 1 month later...

I have posted previously but I am still struggling with the same issue.

Together 15 years, got married and 4 months later split up. A mixture of arguing with us both and my partner not realising depression was in the mix for him. However, he reached breaking point and decided he no longer wanted to be in the relationship and so we split up.

Fast forward a year and we got back together because he realised his feelings were still there but was clouded by the depression and he just felt at the point he left he couldnt continue with how it was. We had a lot of discussions before just jumping back into it. One being that we both did explore dating in the time apart. At first it really didnt get to me but now it is like I am having a delayed reaction and am consumed with insecurities, irrational thoughts about him sleeping with other people which I know is irrational because I did the same but it really is getting to me and I dont know how to get past it.

It's been 6 months since we got back together and I want it to work so bad but the past is causing so many rows. It's like I need to ask questions about it to make sense of it, then my partner thinks I'm either being judgemental and hypocritical or probing him to catch him out on things even though he did nothing wrong as he was single.

Has anybody had similar experiences and got advice on how to get past it??

We are currently having marriage counselling too but due to lock down it is through zoom and it is helpful but find when arguments arise, the advice goes out the window.

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Here's your previous thread:

https://www.enotalone.com/forum/showthread.php?t=564540

 

Did you disagree with the advice you already got? I'm just trying to see what it is you're looking for that you didn't get in the previous responses.

 

All I have to add is, do you feel it's worth sabotaging your relationship to focus on what he did while you two were split up?

 

Also, I recommend individual counseling since this is more your issue than a "couple" issue.

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There wasnt too many responses but I agreed with what was said. I think it is because I am still struggling. I was thinking of asking my counsellor for individual sessions as that is something she offers. I just wondered on here if anyone had similar experiences.

It definitely is not worth sabotaging my relationship but it's like it consumes me with anxiety about it.

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I think there are more issues going on. I think what you posted only scratches the surface of what you have going on in your mind. After 15 years there has to be more issues than the fact that your X was dating and kissing and seeing other people.

 

If you just want an answer about your X dating, seeing, being with other people then its simple. You two were broken up, and there is no reason why he shouldn't or couldn't go out with others. And no reason why you should judge him on what he did while you two were not together. He does not have to answer to any of your questions or demands nor does he have to put your mind at ease or make any excuses for what happened. It is up to you to learn how to accept it. Its up to you to learn how what he did was not any action against you or the relationship. You must learn how to deal with it and if you want a relationship with your X again, you must learn how to accept that it happened and let it go.

 

Reason why is because if you dare to hold any actions he did while you two were broken up then its going to be the beginning of the end of the relationship. He doesn't want to walk on egg shells, he doesn't want to have to worry what he says to you because again.. not up to him to help you sort your mind out.

 

Now I see a person that is hurting and maybe wants to back into a relationship with an X because of the fear of the unknown. Going back to your X will make you feel better because he is familiar but no where does it mean that it will improve the quality of your life. So do you want him because it will ease your pain or do you want him back because you feel this is the best person out there for you? And a question for is.. if you are having this much anxiety then why are you entertaining the idea of getting back with your X? Wouldn't it be better to start fresh with someone else or is fear getting the best of you?

 

Are you afraid if its not your X then you wont find anyone? You afraid of the unknown, being alone, being single?

 

I think there is deep issues at play and before you can be in an open, free flowing relationship, you must put your past behind you. Just my two cents.

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We are already back together and have been now for 6 months. It genuinely is the only thing that is weighing me down right now.. and how our arguments go when they arise.

This is the thing, everything you say about what he did when single and how he acted is logical. I know this and know I have no right in what happened. What I cant cope with is how it is consuming me making me doubt myself and confidence if that makes sense? Like comparisons, were they better, how they looked etc.

I know it shouldnt matter and what makes it even more irrational is the fact I went out and dated too. So I know full well I am being a hypocrite right here but am struggling with the thought of it.

I havent gone back to him because he is familiar. When we are good, we a are so good and before we broke up I genuinely believed he was my soul mate. Breaking up made me think I must have been wrong, however, to get back together after a year apart does make me know more than ever we are meant to be together, we just have this added issue to get through.

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I mentioned somewhat similar experience in your previous post, although we weren't married and only together for a year (1.5 years now). Actually that was the reason I first came here I think.

 

I did discuss it with my therapist, and I think the most helpful comment from her was that it was okay to feel the way I feel. It was okay to feel disappointed and betrayed even if we were technically single and I was dating also. It was also okay to not know, at the moment, what I wanted to do about it. It really felt like an insurmountable issue and pretty much the only thing I could think about in two days. I didn't know if I would ever be able to look past it, and I realized maybe we should break up for good. I came to terms with that as it couldn't possibly be worse than living in constant distress ruminating. Surprisingly, after a few tearful conversations I calmed down and a few more days later it didn't bother me anymore. Honestly I might still feel hurt when I recalled the previous breakup, but now what happened when we were not together just feels irrelevant.

 

Accept yourself. Don't beat yourself up for "retrospective jealousy" "irrational" "you have no right to judge him as he did nothing wrong" etc. You can't and shouldn't try to shut down your own feelings. Even if you are able to temporarily suppress them, it will usually backfire. When people break up still in love with each other it can be hurtful to see that they could "move on" so soon. Especially in your case you were still legally married. Those emotional ties don't suddenly disappear even if you had a clean break with no contact. Try to understand your own feelings even if nobody else does. Allow yourself some time to feel and process those feelings fully, maybe with the help of a therapist. And if you simply can't get over it, that's fine too. Life is too short to stay in a relationship that brings you more sadness than joy, don't you think?

 

My bf was also hurt by something I did back then (he only mentioned to me later) that was not wrong but made him feel unloved. I don't know how he moved past that, but apparently for now we are far more content to have each other than we could be bothered by some past dates when we were trying to move on from the breakup.

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Unfortunately you keep saying 'breakup' and 'single' as if you were just living together. You need to consult an attorney privately and confidentially about what marriage is and what it entails and what separation and divorce is and what it entails.

 

You 'want it to work" but it didn't then and it doesn't now. Good you have marriage therapy because interrogating him about who what where women, is nonsense and not the problem. The problem is the marriage fell apart long ago and the issues were never addressed. People don't walkout of a good marriage 'because they're 'depressed'.

 

People can't just change their minds and walk out to 'date others' when there is marriage and kids. He did a lot wrong. Abandoning a marriage to screw around is wrong.

 

Why is he trying to brainwash you otherwise? Don't be gaslighted by bs technicalities. He was legally married, walked out, screwed around and dragged his sad sack back. Whole lot wrong with all that. Wake up and stop making excuses for his abandonment and cheating..

However, he reached breaking point and decided he no longer wanted to be in the relationship and so we split up.

 

the past is causing so many rows. even though he did nothing wrong as he was single.

 

We are currently having marriage counselling too but due to lock down it is through zoom and it is helpful but find when arguments arise, the advice goes out the window.

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I mentioned somewhat similar experience in your previous post, although we weren't married and only together for a year (1.5 years now). Actually that was the reason I first came here I think.

 

I did discuss it with my therapist, and I think the most helpful comment from her was that it was okay to feel the way I feel. It was okay to feel disappointed and betrayed even if we were technically single and I was dating also. It was also okay to not know, at the moment, what I wanted to do about it. It really felt like an insurmountable issue and pretty much the only thing I could think about in two days. I didn't know if I would ever be able to look past it, and I realized maybe we should break up for good. I came to terms with that as it couldn't possibly be worse than living in constant distress ruminating. Surprisingly, after a few tearful conversations I calmed down and a few more days later it didn't bother me anymore. Honestly I might still feel hurt when I recalled the previous breakup, but now what happened when we were not together just feels irrelevant.

 

Accept yourself. Don't beat yourself up for "retrospective jealousy" "irrational" "you have no right to judge him as he did nothing wrong" etc. You can't and shouldn't try to shut down your own feelings. Even if you are able to temporarily suppress them, it will usually backfire. When people break up still in love with each other it can be hurtful to see that they could "move on" so soon. Especially in your case you were still legally married. Those emotional ties don't suddenly disappear even if you had a clean break with no contact. Try to understand your own feelings even if nobody else does. Allow yourself some time to feel and process those feelings fully, maybe with the help of a therapist. And if you simply can't get over it, that's fine too. Life is too short to stay in a relationship that brings you more sadness than joy, don't you think?

 

My bf was also hurt by something I did back then (he only mentioned to me later) that was not wrong but made him feel unloved. I don't know how he moved past that, but apparently for now we are far more content to have each other than we could be bothered by some past dates when we were trying to move on from the breakup.

 

Thank you for your response. It is very helpful to know I am not the only one feeling this way, knowing it is irrational because I went out and did the same. What do you think made it not bother you anymore?

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Thank you for your response. It is very helpful to know I am not the only one feeling this way, knowing it is irrational because I went out and did the same. What do you think made it not bother you anymore?

 

I think it was a combination of reinforcing self confidence and reassessing the new relationship.

 

Undeniably, part of the initial hurt came from disbelief that someone who claimed to be deeply in love with you could be soon involved with someone else after the breakup, which led me to question his love and his motives. Part of me also felt like the reconciliation was maybe a "second best option" on his part since it didn't work out with the new girls. When I put the insecurities aside, however, I could see that was most likely not true. I myself wouldn't have been open to the idea of reconciliation if one of my new dates "worked out," but that didn't make him a "second best option" for me. Getting back together was not an easy option for either of us to fall back on. We both made probably more effort than we would have for a relationship with someone new. We made the choice and put in the effort because we wanted to be with each other more than anybody else. I also feel our current relationship is better than ever as we have learned more about each other and what the other person needs in a relationship. But most importantly, I think it is the realization that I would be fine walking away if it doesn't work out eventually. I know I have high standards so it doesn't really make sense for him to "settle" with me if he doesn't love me. I am also a very sensitive person so I could easily tell if his heart is elsewhere and wouldn't settle with someone like that either. So I no longer fret about the other women and whether he liked them more, etc. I don't even remember some of the names of the guys I dated back then.

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