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Basically my ex and I have been broken up for about 8 months now. We still were in contact and would hangout for the first 3 months but we have not contacted each other at ALL for the last 5. Although, I think about him constantly and I miss him everyday. The reason we broke up is because I wanted to. I had never been with anyone else besides him in a intimate way. I also did not know myself outside of being his girlfriend of 5 years. I felt like my entire identity was surrounded by him. We needed time apart to grow. I have been seeing a therapist and she also agrees. I have actually been doing really well with the breakup as of recently. When I thought about him it was no longer sad, it was like looking at happy memories.

Recently I hooked up with someone and feel extremely guilty about it. All I could think about the entire time was my ex, and how I wish it were him. This is the first time I have ever been intimate with someone other than my ex. Also, I was filled with regret the next day. It was a drunken mistake, I don't think I was ready. The day after it happened I couldn't eat or do anything other than think about the situation. I just kept replaying in my mind what happened and what my ex would think about it if he knew. It felt like I had cheated on my ex, even though we have clearly broken up. I feel very confused and anxious all of the time now. I feel like this was a major step back in my process of healing from the breakup. Now I can't stop thinking about my ex and our relationship. After the hook up happened, I realized that I did not want to be with anyone other than my ex. I'm not sure if this is just me trying to go back into my comfort zone or not. I worry that I won't find anyone as good as him and I made a mistake. Then again I also picture being with him and feeling unfulfilled as I had in the past.

This has been an extremely mentally draining part of my life and I am just looking for any advice that people have in order to ease my pain.  

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I think how you are feeling is pretty common.  It's uncomfortable to be with a new partner when you have not healed from the past. 

It is somewhat of a set back, but like ripping a band aid off. it can be helpful, too. You are now feeling your emotions of what the break up means and how it feels.

You stirred up a bunch of emotions. But if you listen to them, feel them and when you've processed them, they will fade. you'll see. you will be stronger, better, more yourself.  This is growth. what you wanted.  It's not pretty.

Continue to ride out these feelings. Make no moves or decisions based on right now. 

give yourself some time. also speak kindly to yourself.  It's ok. It's gonna be OK. You don't owe your ex anything.  Don't tell him or confess or anything like that. Stay no contact. Tell yourself you are giving yourself time to see how you really feel in the long term.

Don't feed into the anxiety to act quickly or to change anything. Frankly, nothing has really changed.  You are a single woman.  You hooked up with someone.  The lesson here is, you aren't ready to really do that right now. 

Hang in there.  it's ok.

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25 minutes ago, xoxoxolovexoxoxo said:

 I also did not know myself outside of being his girlfriend of 5 years. I was filled with regret the next day. It was a drunken mistake, I don't think I was ready.

Sorry this happened. Good you are talking to the therapist about it. There are a couple things happening. One is the breakup with someone you were with 5 years.

 The other is drunken hookups, which in themselves are regrettable. Take a break and when ready, start dating guys you can form a relationship with.

Ask your therapist for healthier, more productive ways to cope rather than drinking or hooking up.

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33 minutes ago, xoxoxolovexoxoxo said:

Basically my ex and I have been broken up for about 8 months now. We still were in contact and would hangout for the first 3 months but we have not contacted each other at ALL for the last 5. Although, I think about him constantly and I miss him everyday. The reason we broke up is because I wanted to. I had never been with anyone else besides him in a intimate way. I also did not know myself outside of being his girlfriend of 5 years. I felt like my entire identity was surrounded by him. We needed time apart to grow. I have been seeing a therapist and she also agrees. I have actually been doing really well with the breakup as of recently. When I thought about him it was no longer sad, it was like looking at happy memories.

Recently I hooked up with someone and feel extremely guilty about it. All I could think about the entire time was my ex, and how I wish it were him. This is the first time I have ever been intimate with someone other than my ex. Also, I was filled with regret the next day. It was a drunken mistake, I don't think I was ready. The day after it happened I couldn't eat or do anything other than think about the situation. I just kept replaying in my mind what happened and what my ex would think about it if he knew. It felt like I had cheated on my ex, even though we have clearly broken up. I feel very confused and anxious all of the time now. I feel like this was a major step back in my process of healing from the breakup. Now I can't stop thinking about my ex and our relationship. After the hook up happened, I realized that I did not want to be with anyone other than my ex. I'm not sure if this is just me trying to go back into my comfort zone or not. I worry that I won't find anyone as good as him and I made a mistake. Then again I also picture being with him and feeling unfulfilled as I had in the past.

This has been an extremely mentally draining part of my life and I am just looking for any advice that people have in order to ease my pain.  

The person I hooked up with also knows my ex. I wouldn't call them close friends however they know each other well. I am worried word will get around and he will find out and never want to speak with me again which is why I feel like I should explain myself to him. Saying how much I regretted it and wished how it was him. I'm not sure what to do because I still love him and never wanted to hurt him. I was just drunk and trying to get over him and probably felt like this would help me. It did the opposite. I have never felt like this before. 

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7 minutes ago, xoxoxolovexoxoxo said:

The person I hooked up with also knows my ex. I wouldn't call them close friends however they know each other well. I am worried word will get around and he will find out and never want to speak with me again which is why I feel like I should explain myself to him. Saying how much I regretted it and wished how it was him. I'm not sure what to do because I still love him and never wanted to hurt him. I was just drunk and trying to get over him and probably felt like this would help me. It did the opposite. I have never felt like this before. 

I think if you say all this to him, you will just make it worse for him.  You did what you did.  It's not up to him to say it's ok or relieve your guilt. 

You'd only be doing it to make yourself feel better. it is not for him.

You gotta live with consequences of choices... we all do.  Don't get drunk when you're in a vulnerable state. And don't use being drunk as an excuse. It low rent imo.

 

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1 minute ago, Lambert said:

I think if you say all this to him, you will just make it worse for him.  You did what you did.  It's not up to him to say it's ok or relieve your guilt. 

You'd only be doing it to make yourself feel better. it is not for him.

You gotta live with consequences of choices... we all do.  Don't get drunk when you're in a vulnerable state. And don't use being drunk as an excuse. It low rent imo.

 

I also agree I should not be using how drunk I was as an excuse. I still made those choices. I have been feeling okay with the breakup recently which might be why I thought I could handle something like this. I obviously still am healing and was not ready. I think I pushed myself too far. I guess I just need to accept the fact it happened and live with it. 

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1 hour ago, xoxoxolovexoxoxo said:

It felt like I had cheated on my ex, even though we have clearly broken up.... I'm not sure if this is just me trying to go back into my comfort zone or not. I worry that I won't find anyone as good as him and I made a mistake. Then again I also picture being with him and feeling unfulfilled as I had in the past.

I have heard of people feeling this way before. These feelings seem to be pretty common to people who are getting over long term relationship break ups. Yes, I think you are grasping for a comfort zone after an unpleasant encounter. But you are right, going back will probably be unfulfilling. I think you just have to take some time and process your drunken hookup a bit.

I also agree with Lambert that this situation can actually be helpful. It emphasizes the finality of your break up like nothing else can. That's why it's uncomfortable. But it's also a step forward.

Edited by Jibralta
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31 minutes ago, xoxoxolovexoxoxo said:

I guess I just need to accept the fact it happened and live with it. 

It's in the past, it's over. Just a wobble, so brush yourself off and start fresh knowing you have a therapist who can help you replace self-defeating habits with productive habits.

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1 hour ago, xoxoxolovexoxoxo said:

Recently I hooked up with someone and feel extremely guilty about it. All I could think about the entire time was my ex, and how I wish it were him.

This shows you are not ready yet to move on.

It's anxiety you're feeling.  Maybe talk to your doctor for help with this?

It has been a few months, but you are not all recovered yet. ( as you did continue interactions for a few months after- not the best thing to do to work on accepting & healing- letting go, etc)

We cannot be 'friends' with an ex for these reasons.  We cannot let go properly...

You just need more time to work through all of your emotions. Do you Journal at all?  That could help, as you write it all out, all you feel & your thoughts, etc.

Be easy on yourself... we're human, we feel.

all takes time, you will get there...

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40 minutes ago, Lambert said:

I am worried word will get around and he will find out and never want to speak with me again which is why I feel like I should explain myself to him. Saying how much I regretted it and wished how it was him.

No, do not do this.  Whatever you did was your choice.  you do NOT owe him an explanation. - Is just not necessary.

I have ex's and I never explained myself to them.

 

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21 minutes ago, SooSad33 said:

You just need more time to work through all of your emotions. Do you Journal at all?  That could help, as you write it all out, all you feel & your thoughts, etc.

I do journal and have done it for years. I helps but not enough. I just feel like this pain will never go away. But thank you for your kind words.

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24 minutes ago, Wiseman2 said:

It's in the past, it's over. Just a wobble, so brush yourself off and start fresh knowing you have a therapist who can help you replace self-defeating habits with productive habits.

Thank you. I will try my best to work through this

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10 minutes ago, xoxoxolovexoxoxo said:

I do journal and have done it for years. I helps but not enough. I just feel like this pain will never go away. But thank you for your kind words.

I know.. you  feel this rough now.. but in time it will ease.

He cannot be in your life though, in order to succeed.  This is why we need that inner strength... 😉 

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Be kind to yourself and a lot more patient.

You were together 5 years and that's a long long time. So being broken up for just 8 months and only 5 really truly no contact is a drop in the bucket in terms of healing and letting go. For most people, starting to feel more normal takes a year or more of no contact and focusing hard on building their life and moving on. You are not there yet and that's normal.

That said, it sounds like you broke up for the right reasons, but also that you are not actually accepting the break up. You are still stuck in gf mode and reacting as if you are in a relationship - the guilt thing and the wanting to tell him thing. NO, nope, nope. You do not contact him or tell him anything. He is your ex and you do actually need to start taking concrete steps to accept that and move on.

Like when you catch yourself thinking about him, STOP. Literally force yourself to stop and think about something else. Anything else really. Start to interrupt those thoughts. Wash the dishes, turn on the tv, read something, get whatever work or school project knocked out, go for a walk. Anything at all to interrupt those thoughts. Thinking about him constantly is becoming a habit and the longer you indulge it, the harder it will be to break it. Don't confuse habit with love or caring. It's a self destructive habit that you need to actively nip in the bud right now. I know it's not easy, but the more you persevere, the easier it will get and eventually you will actually stop thinking about him. It will kind of sneak up on you when one day you'll realize that you haven't thought about him in ages and you are at total peace. Initially, though, it does take active effort to interrupt those thoughts.

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12 minutes ago, DancingFool said:

Be kind to yourself and a lot more patient.

Thank you for your words. It has been very difficult and I feel as if I never will get over him. I also feel like my brain won't let me and hopes one day we will end up together. This possibly could be why I felt so guilty since I feel like I ruined my chances of ever getting back together. It has been hard to try to not associate my actions with how he may feel even with no contact. 

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8 minutes ago, xoxoxolovexoxoxo said:

Thank you for your words. It has been very difficult and I feel as if I never will get over him. I also feel like my brain won't let me and hopes one day we will end up together. This possibly could be why I felt so guilty since I feel like I ruined my chances of ever getting back together. It has been hard to try to not associate my actions with how he may feel even with no contact. 

Yes, you will get over him, but you do have to allow yourself to actually believe that. That means that you have actually let him go for real - no getting back together some day. Life has to move forward and that means you have to stop looking in that rearview mirror. There is a reason why it's so small and your front window is huge by comparison. Eyes forward. Remember that you let the relationship go precisely because YOU needed to grow. Focus on that. You can totally do it even if it's not a straight road and there will be slip ups and that's OK. That's the patience and kindness to yourself part. 

What do you want to do for yourself? What do you want to learn or try? Make a list and start working on those things. Step out of your comfort zone.

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24 minutes ago, DancingFool said:

That means that you have actually let him go for real - no getting back together some day.

I think this is the hardest part for me. I know we are broken up physically but mentally I am hoping he will still want to get back together on my terms. This, I know, is extremely toxic behavior. I could never actually ask him to do that because it is unfair to him but this is just how I feel in my mind. I am going to have to accept that we are broken up and act as if it is actually the end. Not just temporary. 

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1 hour ago, xoxoxolovexoxoxo said:

I know we are broken up physically but mentally I am hoping he will still want to get back together on my terms. 

What is it you miss about your relationship? 

Revisiting this can help shed light on the ways it worked, how it didn't work. It might help you put to rest wanting to be with him again when you realize it's not realistic or feasible.

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2 hours ago, Rose Mosse said:

What is it you miss about your relationship? 

Revisiting this can help shed light on the ways it worked, how it didn't work. It might help you put to rest wanting to be with him again when you realize it's not realistic or feasible.

I miss him as a person, he was my best friend. However, I do not miss the constant checking in with someone and worrying about them aspect. I do like that aspect of the freedom but I deeply miss him as a person and how much fun we had. I often worry if I am being selfish putting my wants of being single before his feelings. However, when we were together I felt suffocated and stuck thinking I was only going to be with one person for the rest of my life. So there are multiple factors involved. 

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10 hours ago, xoxoxolovexoxoxo said:

. I often worry if I am being selfish putting my wants of being single before his feelings. 

You did the right thing ending it. Your therapist can help you with self respect and feeling like you need to be a martyr.

He will be fine. He has friends, family, there are doctors and therapists.

You can't save the world. Trying to fix, change or manage anyone is another thing a qualified therapist can help you with.

Boundaries indicate self respect and respect for others.

Work on that.

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14 hours ago, xoxoxolovexoxoxo said:

I miss him as a person, he was my best friend. However, I do not miss the constant checking in with someone and worrying about them aspect. I do like that aspect of the freedom but I deeply miss him as a person and how much fun we had. I often worry if I am being selfish putting my wants of being single before his feelings. However, when we were together I felt suffocated and stuck thinking I was only going to be with one person for the rest of my life. So there are multiple factors involved. 

You'll have to let go of that guilt eventually. It's not part of your life anymore. If you want to grow forward do that and shake that off. You don't owe him anything and you especially don't owe him the rest of your peace of mind and life. You can go on and date and meet others.

Was your ex controlling or did he expect you to give up areas of your life to be with him constantly? Was that implied in the time you knew him?

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2 hours ago, Rose Mosse said:

Was your ex controlling or did he expect you to give up areas of your life to be with him constantly? Was that implied in the time you knew him?

For the most part we had a healthy relationship where we would argue like other couples. However, during our breakup while we still communicated he told me if I ever hooked up with anyone else he could never get back together with me. He also would get jealous easily. I think he is insecure with himself so whatever I did with my own person would drastically affect him. 

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7 minutes ago, xoxoxolovexoxoxo said:

For the most part we had a healthy relationship where we would argue like other couples. However, during our breakup while we still communicated he told me if I ever hooked up with anyone else he could never get back together with me. He also would get jealous easily. I think he is insecure with himself so whatever I did with my own person would drastically affect him. 

Yes, let go. Permanently, totally let go. He has no say any longer over who you meet, who you date or what you choose for yourself. Be very careful about the company you keep especially in relationships. Stay away from insecure individuals who manipulate you or cause you to feel ill or bad about yourself even though you've done nothing wrong.

You are too shell-shocked right now and need to rehabilitate back to healthier friendships/relationships/people. This relationship sounds incredibly unhealthy. 

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25 minutes ago, xoxoxolovexoxoxo said:

during our breakup while we still communicated he told me if I ever hooked up with anyone else he could never get back together with me

When it's over you need boundaries . That means you end it, say bye, then delete and block him and ALL his people from ALL your social media and messaging apps. 

Why chitchat and entertain idiotic threatening behaviors? You either need a new therapist or you are not telling your therapist about abusive BFs, low self esteem, etc.

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I would suggest that you quit doing your journal. Why you ask? Because every single time you open up your book, you re-open those wounds and they will never heal. You can go back and read how bad you felt or how much you miss him or whatever and all those feelings come back. That journal is a trigger to bring back all those memories. Even tho you are in "No contact" with your X. The journal could be acting as your contact because you feel that its a close tie to him. Its like a scab, if you pick it every few hours, you think your wound will heal? 

And let me ask you, what are you so afraid of? Sometimes its easier to focus on someone else rather than yourself. So thinking of your X, how they would feel could be a time consuming distraction to what is really going on with your life. I mean, you had sex with someone and you were still thinking you wish it was your X. 

So why do you have such a fear of letting your X go? What do you think will happen to you? Do you think by not moving on you are doing yourself or your X a favor by saying, look Im still here and available to you.. 

I can tell you as a guy, if an X has not moved on and is still putting their life on hold for me, thats not cute or attractive, thats downright scary and would not even make me want to be with them. Why would I want to be with someone who is in the exact same condition as when I left her? Why would I want to be with someone who has not moved forward with her life and has not advanced or done anything since the break up? No no no no no nooooo. 

IMO, I would stop with writing down thoughts in your journal. I know its a way to help you cope, but it could be hindering your healing. Not saying do this forever, just for a little bit. Maybe by not pulling up those feelings daily, you can begin to heal. Just a thought. 

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