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Ex Girlfriend Left - Confused


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I am 38. She is 35. We dated for 3.5 years. We had a wonderful relationship. I was ready to marry her after 18 months. I know sometimes she felt the same way, but other times she would tell me she was not sure and she thought something was wrong with her. I would always tell her “If you never get to the same place as me, that is OK, I just want you to be happy”. After 3 years, that really started to make me feel insecure about the relationship. I can see that now after a few months apart. 
 

Last 5 months of our relationship she wanted to attend pre-marital counseling. We went to 3 sessions and that was it. 

She called me 2 months ago and said “I do not see a future with you”. I was heartbroken.
 

We have had several emotional talks since then, but largely no contact. Her friends all called me and said they were rooting for us. Several of her close friends have always told me she has a hard time opening up. She is very independent and her relationship with god is #1.
 

I will admit during the past 6 months of our relationship I spent too much time golfing, fishing, drinking with my buddies. That was a frustration for her. She had some alcohol problems in her family growing up. It scares her. She said that was not the reason for the breakup it was only a frustration.
 

The core reason, she just could never see a future. She said she battled it for a long time. I never knew. She kept that inside. 
 

She also said “this little voice in my head told me I needed to move forward alone.” Very hard to hear.
 

So, here is what she has told me since the breakup. Initially she wanted me to keep her apartment key and wine glasses and other stuff, but I brought them over anyways. It gave me an excuse to go see her so we could talk a few weeks after the breakup. 
 

She tells me:

- The breakup is the best thing for us right now.

- She is not throwing in the towel we just need to spend some time apart.

- I have no idea what the future holds.

- Right now I do not see myself coming back to this relationship. Breaking up was the right thing to do. 

- You need time to heal and that I need to respect her decision. 

Since then, she has been SO COLD to me. Hardly ever responds to my text messages. I have only reached out 4 times in 2 months. 

She has given me reasons to think that she is holding the door open, right? 

Has anyone gone through this? I thought we were going to spend our lives together. Heartbroken 💔 

Edited by SoCalMan38
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I'm so sorry but that door isn't open. When someone tells you to move on and heal, they mean it. She's feeling a tremendous amount of guilt, that's why she says things that seem she's coming around...it's to pacify you. This is holding you back from moving on with your life as hard as it is. So sorry for your loss.

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12 minutes ago, SoCalMan38 said:

But as you can see, she has given me so many reasons to think that she is holding the door open. 

Well, not really. 

She just threw a couple "there, there"-lines at you that a lot of dumpers use when they have trouble being honest because they know it will hurt their exes. So, they say things like this is just "for now" and whatnot, when it usually isn't. I get why that is confusing to hear, and she shouldn't have said those things, but she has given you plenty more reasons to believe this is over. 

It sounds like she has known for a while that this isn't the relaitonship for her, and though she attempted pre-marital counseling, her heart was not in it. You have been ready for marriage for a while, and she has expressed reluctance. That was your warning sign that this likely wasn't going to end the way you hoped. 

I feel for you, as I know it's hard to come to terms with. But it reads as though she has given this a lot of thought, and tried to be gentle with you when she ended it. 

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  • SoCalMan38 changed the title to Ex Girlfriend Left - Confused
33 minutes ago, SoCalMan38 said:

she has been SO COLD to me. Hardly ever responds to my text messages. 

That's not an open door.

I'm sorry. Breakups suck. But the only way to the other side is to just keep moving forward. No more texts, no more manufacturing excuses to see her.

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Just frustrations. My business basically collapsed because of Covid. That was difficult. I also got into a lawsuit. Which was difficult. It fueled some of my excess drinking the last 6 months, but that is all over now. Lawsuit done. Business is back up and running. I lost 20 lbs since the breakup. I am back to being healthy and fit. The drinking has basically stopped. I have tried to tell her that these issues are gone. Covid was a fluke. She also worked from home for 6-9 months alone. Mortgage broker. She worked long hours. She was very frustrated and at times I would come over and she would be crying because of the stress. Covid was hard on everyone. 
 

I should add, she did tell she she still loves me a few weeks ago. Things like that give me hope. This is very hard. 

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30 minutes ago, SoCalMan38 said:

I will admit during the past 6 months of our relationship I spent too much time golfing and fishing and drinking with my buddies. That was a frustration for her. She had some alcohol problems in her family growing up. It scares her. 

Why didnt you work on that? Also what did you talked on pre-marital counseling?

3 minutes ago, SoCalMan38 said:

I should add, she did tell she she still loves me a few weeks ago. Things like that give me hope. This is very hard. 

She doesnt do you any favor with what she says. You are still in "denial" phase of break up. Giving you any hope isnt a good thing. You need to accept its over. That means no contact. Stop trying to see her and to find excuses for that. You exchanged stuff so leave it at that.

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Yeah, is best you remove yourself now - totally!

Has been a few months and I know... you keep holding on, with hope. 😕 .

Doing this is not doing you any good.. just dragging it on.

Sounds like she has always been kind of 'unsure' . And has finally come to admit it to you.

 

In order to work on accepting it all & healing is No Contact anymore.

As you've read by other responders, she was trying to let you down easy, but fact is... no matter how a break up happens, it hurts! 😞 

So, leave all alone now and focus on YOU.  Do not reach out - as you've seen that result 'cold'.  She needs to be left alone .  So, she too can focus on herself, her own needs and so she can work on accepting it all as well.

Takes some time to heal & move on - but always best to remain NC in order to do so.

Keep busy with your friends, as you do.  Journaling helps too. - helps you 'vent' in a diff way.

One day at a time.

 

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15 minutes ago, SoCalMan38 said:

she did tell she she still loves me a few weeks ago. Things like that give me hope.

Okay, but this doesn't mean much - sure, she cared a lot for you.  She does not 'hate' you.  She was involved with you.

But, does not mean she wants to be involved with you... I've had same type of reaction after a BU, a cpl times.

Fact ~>  If she wanted to be with you, she would be.  Right?

And yes, for a while you will be in 'denial', as mentioned ( is part of the grieving process).

 

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I tried very hard to work on it. I was facing a lawsuit that would have cost me $500,000 had I lost. Thankfully, I did not. I developed severe anxiety at times. 2 panic attacks that sent me to the hospital. It was a lot to handle in my personal life. She understood I was going through a hard time. Sometimes having beers on the golf course and dinner helped to ease the pain. Nothing bad ever happened, ever, she just did not like it. 

We talked about all kinds of things in counseling. To be honest, we both thought our counselor was not the best. Looking back, we needed to have more heart to heart discussions and not rely on someone else. That was always my “job” in the relationship. I could always sense when something was wrong. I would always try and get her to talk to me. She would, but I just think she kept way more inside then I was aware of.

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Please stop talking to her friends about her. That's a sure way to infuriate her. I know I would be furious.

And no one just suddenly stops loving someone who was significant to them. I still care about my ex husband and we divorced 21 years ago. But that doesn't mean I want to reconcile.

I get it, though. You’re at the "grasping at straws" phase. It's very common in breakups. So don't beat yourself up about it. Just keep powering forward.

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Posted (edited)

Yup, only had 2 conversations with her friends. That is it. I have not spoken to her in weeks. 
 

The tough part is she told me she needs to “work on herself” She thought something was wrong with her because she was not sure why she was struggling to move forward with me. She told me she is worried about her future and it may never happen for her. Hard to understand that because I was so sure. 
 

I don’t know, just seems like maybe she needs time to figure this out. I am not contacting her anymore. That will help!

Edited by SoCalMan38
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4 minutes ago, SoCalMan38 said:

She thought sometimes was wrong with her because she was not sure why she was struggling to move forward with me

The harsh but unfortunate truth is likely that she just didn't see you as her life partner, and didn't know how to be honest with you (or herself) about that. 

 

 

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Yes, what Miss Cannuck said -I was her at age 38 in such a frustrating on and off 7 year boyfriend/girlfriend relationship with a wonderful man who asked me to marry him after 8 months of dating (I said no I wasn't ready). Banging my head against the wall like your girlfriend -why couldn't I be sure, why did I keep missing him and going back and yet, it wasn't quite right enough that it shook me to the core with the doubts.  He also was 38. 

We finally, mercifully, ended things.  And 5 months later -I was just having a random conversation with a mutual friend and not even speaking of him other than totally surface- when she told me her impression of him because they were friends.  It wasn't a negative thing -an observation.  That observation plus the time and space apart - was my epiphany. I finally understood why it wasn't right for a lifelong marriage.  I actually spoke to him after that and asked him if he agreed he was like this.  He did. Reluctantly, but he did. 

Not a bad person just not right for me.  About 2 months later I was back together with my ex fiancee - after almost 8 years apart.  And now it was right when in the past it was not. 

I'd been the runaway bride -not because I was independent -I was -a spunky "career chick" - outspoken, extrovert - but because unless a woman settles -and it's tempting in one's 30s! - if it's not the right match -if it doesn't mesh - not a list of pros and cons, not a list of checklist ingredients - passion, chemistry, friendship - rather to me it's a mishmash of all of it and often unexplainable why it works with this person and not with another. 

It's so tempting to blame it on the career, the "independence" (although men are presumed to be "independent" like that and yet they fall in love and commit) - the "no good men out there" but very often it's just two good people who are not good together.  Or good enough .... but not the "wow I feel (at least reasonably) sure and excited to be with this person" kind of good. 

One of my dear friends married Mr. Good Enough when she was in her early 30s -she told me this -told me he was "good enough."  She did love him.  She was good to him.  I never thought she was that into him -and he was that into her -totally. 

They were married only 2.5 years because right before the wedding she was diagnosed with terminal cancer.  He was her hero.  Only in his early 30s.  After she passed he called me, teary -which was unusual for him, he was stoic.  And I'll never forget -he said - vulnerably - do you think she really loved me?  I told him yes, yes she did.  Because she did.  But I know why he asked -because he always sensed he was just "good enough" - not her person, her one.  3.5 years later he married his one.  At least when I knew her she seemed genuinely in love with him in a way my friend had not been.  They were a better match.  They were in love.

So your ex might come back, might even talk herself into being "sure" and marry you -but do you really want to wonder if she's that into you?

I mean sure we all have our days -maybe even several days - when you need space from each other, when you're at odds with each other, frustrated (Hello Pandemic/virtual school/teleworking/small apartment) - but you feel safe and secure that the passion is there- may be  a little buried under the doldrums, under adulting, under OMG he left the fridge open for 2 hours!!! - but you know you're each other's one, you feel secure in that despite the whole "no guarantees" stuff. 

You know you're done looking even though you didn't look at everyone there was to look at.  What your ex though has is doubts to the core - and the core has gotta be a secure one if you're going to make it for the long haul.  She knows it's not and she cannnot and should not talk herself into or convince herself that you are right for her because a divorce -especially if you two had a child -would be far worse even than right now.

I'm almost 55 so I speak maybe from a bit more experience.  I can relate to what you are going through and I am really sorry.  It really is for the very best.  Please stop communicating with her people especially about her - it really sabotages the healing. 

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Thanks for sharing. I have only communicated with her 2 friends because they called. 
 

I tend to believe, the year or so during Covid, really damaged our relationship. Lots of stress and it definitely started to chip away at the insecurities. I truly believe if Covid did not happen we would have had more time to continue to develop our relationship. 

My good friends did not finally get on the same page until year 5 of their relationship. Now they are happy and planning to get married. 

I tried to explain that Covid was over, I was healing, drinking has stopped, dropping weight, let’s give this more time outside of the extreme stresses from this past year.

She was not willing to work on anything, obviously. So hard. From what my friends tell me that have gone through this, they typically do come back in some way shape or form when you have totally moved on. Hard to imagine what that would feel like, but only time will bring me to that place. 
 

Also, for the first time in my life, at age 38, I am really wanting to settle down and have a family. Never really thought or acted like this before. I always just thought it would happen when it does. Hard to have put so much of myself into someone for 3.5 years only to see such a final ending that ended in heartbreak. 

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Her door will never open again as long as she continues to feel the pressure of your investment in her.

The only real shot you've got is to move FORward to create a positive and robust life for yourself.

Otherwise, you'll stagnate pining for her, and that's NOT going to attract her back--just the opposite.

I understand that you'll need to grieve, but the less she knows or hears about that, the better.

I also understand that letting go of grief feel like you're letting go of hope--and of her, but just the opposite is true. Living YOUR best life IS the only potential for future curiosity and attraction. There is nothing in it for her to return out of feeling guilty or lousy for you.

If you need to use your hope to motivate yourself, then use it, but in the right direction. Commit to launching yourself forward to show not just her, but your Self, what kind of growth you can achieve and the passions for living that you can build.

Head high, and discover liberation as your win/win. You'll learn what that means once you get there.

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2 minutes ago, catfeeder said:

Her door will never open again as long as she continues to feel the pressure of your investment in her.

The only real shot you've got is to move FORward to create a positive and robust life for yourself.

Otherwise, you'll stagnate pining for her, and that's NOT going to attract her back--just the opposite.

I understand that you'll need to grieve, but the less she knows or hears about that, the better.

I also understand that letting go of grief feel like you're letting go of hope--and of her, but just the opposite is true. Living YOUR best life IS the only potential for future curiosity and attraction. There is nothing in it for her to return out of feeling guilty or lousy for you.

If you need to use your hope to motivate yourself, then use it, but in the right direction. Commit to launching yourself forward to show not just her, but your Self, what kind of growth you can achieve and the passions for living that you can build.

Head high, and discover liberation as your win/win. You'll learn what that means once you get there.

Love this!

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I know covid was hard on a lot of people BUT, for personality sake, and integrity, it's a matter how those saw opportunity to find ways to make it better rather than complain and fall into deep depression/self destructive behavior. You OP lost your ability to cope. It's great that you recovered but what you did during that time will leave an ever lasting impression. Did you two really have each other's backs? no. Trauma divides people or brings them together. It pushed you two apart. Maybe what scared her the most was she lost her ability to support you, and you lost the ability to cope. She questions, what will happen when you/her are faced with another traumatic situation or situation. Will all this happen again? She doesn't want to go there.

Edited by smackie9
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I'm sorry socalman....

Break ups stink. It hurts. You feel many emotions. It exhausting looking for signs and replaying conversations in your mind. I'm sorry. 

You missed some serious red flags in this relationship and continued on. You wanted marriage. As soon as a person tells you they don't think they want what you want, you have to end it. period. 

Looking for encouragement from other couple's experiences, people other than your girlfriend and the like are not helpful. All that does is give you more excuses to waste more of your time barking up the wrong tree.

You can find someone just as good as your ex, that actually wants to build with you.  Make that your new mantra.

Relationships last because both people want the same things, put in the same effort and put on the work.

One person cannot do it on their own. sure. problems arise but both of you are on the same page and doing what needs done. Not breaking up. Her reasons may be vague but the break up is not. 

Stop communicating with her and anyone else about her. block all social media. focus on yourself, your friends and family. in time you'll meet someone new and you will start again.  use this lesson to weed out ladies that don't see a future with you. 

I don't care if they're Miss Universe. If they don't see a future than don't waste your time.  Tolerating this will not win them over. It will break your heart.

I'm sorry.  This is the harsh truth and it's time to accept it. 

It's not too late. Start now.

 

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9 hours ago, smackie9 said:

I know covid was hard on a lot of people BUT, for personality sake, and integrity, it's a matter how those saw opportunity to find ways to make it better rather than complain and fall into deep depression/self destructive behavior. You OP lost your ability to cope. It's great that you recovered but what you did during that time will leave an ever lasting impression. Did you two really have each other's backs? no. Trauma divides people or brings them together. It pushed you two apart. Maybe what scared her the most was she lost her ability to support you, and you lost the ability to cope. She questions, what will happen when you/her are faced with another traumatic situation or situation. Will all this happen again? She doesn't want to go there.

100%. Never been faced with so many insane things in my life. We had some great time together our last year, but she definitely was frustrated about how I coped. Nothing much I can do, but move forward and better myself. Have already grown so much the past 2 months. Lost 20 lbs, stopped drinking, will probably do another 30 days before thinking about introducing moderation back into my life. She is well aware of my progress too. And she told me that she understood I was facing an impossible situation. But, you’re absolutely correct. I am hopeful that she will give this another chance in the future, but I can only allow myself to be the person she fell for. I was not that guy the last year!

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Hot Yoga 5 times a week, training for my second marathon, always been an athlete and very healthy. The drinking is something I want to incorporate back into my life responsibly. I am seeing a therapist to work through all of this. We have a good plan in place for everything. The excessive drinking is gone. No longer interested in drinking to alleviate stress. Hot Yoga has been incredible for me for this. 

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OP, you seem to be stuck on this tunnel vision - very fixated on what you want, who you want, how you want and you are completely ignoring who she is and the fact that she is not and has never been fully on board or able to give you what you want or be who you want her to be.

After 18 months, YOU were ready for marriage and yet she was very clear that she is not on the same page as you. Why do you keep ignoring her very clear message to you and her needs and decisions? Even after she dumped you, a pretty drastic move on her part, you are still ignoring HER message to you. Why is that? She is not a possession or a trophy you win if you get fit, stop drinking, etc.....do you even get that?

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