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Am I overreacting?


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Am I overreacting?my boyfriend and i have been together for nearly 4 years.However we were together before that for about 9 months. I broke up with him then because I found out he had intense feelings for another woman the whole time he was with me ( his school crush who he still had regular contact with , at the time we were 21 and 23 ).Shortly after we broke up he got into a relationship with the other woman but they broke up after a couple of months ending things on bad terms. About 2 months after they broke up we reconnected at our place of work and decided to take things slowly and have been together happily for the most part ever since. 

 

However periodically I’ve had a horrible feeling that he was not quite over her despite him telling me he absolutely was, he has sometimes hidden his messages from her and looked her up on social media on a regular basis ( we shared a computer) even whilst we’ve been together talking in bed but sort of leaning away from me which just fuelled the horrible feeling. 

 

Let me just make it clear that I’m on not jealous of him having contact with women or watching porn or anything like that , this horrible feeling stems from him leading me on when we were first together with only this one particular woman and my regret for not ending it sooner.

 

However for the last year nothing has happened to make me question what he has told me and I’ve been getting into a really good head space with it until yesterday I had a dream that ( typical I know) that he left me for her.So I did something I instantly regretted and looked in his notebook where he jots random thoughts down and found a piece of paper folded up tightly in the back of the book written 4 weeks ago detailing that if he was drunk he would *** her and that he is still mesmerised by her appearance and basically went on about how he needs to move past his feelings for her but why can’t and that if he lost me because of this  he would remember me till he died ( not that it would be his biggest regret ) and other sentiments to that effect.

Obviously I confronted him admitting that I went through his notebook and that even if he had the best explanation in the world I simply cannot deal with these feelings of mistrust anymore in the relationship but welcomed his explanation anyway. 

He tried to explain that yes when we have spoken about his feelings for her in the past he was truthful in that he has no romantic feelings for her but omitted that he maybe has never moved on 100% but their breakup was never resolved. He said that he felt that if he had told me this during those talks that he felt I would have ended the relationship and that he knew it would have seriously hurt me . He explained that the reason he wrote that stuff down was because he was trying to mentally process what feelings he still has for her ( nostalgic, sexual or otherwise ) to try and move past them  but stressed that he didn’t want her as girlfriend / SO because they were simply not compatible in that way. Also that everytime he did happen to think of her that he feels very guilty and that it has become a viscous cycle of negative reinforcement.

I countered that surely if I was everything he wanted in his future ( as he put it ) after 4 years he should not have fears about possibly ‘ losing control of yourself ‘ and possibly ***ing your ex if you met them whilst drunk 

We weren’t aggressive towards each other when discussing this but 
personally I don’t know how to move past this right now

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2 hours ago, Spaiel said:

.this horrible feeling stems from him leading me on when we were first together with only this one particular woman and my regret for not ending it sooner.

It's not too late to end it now. It's better than wasting another 4 years of headaches and heartaches.

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I think it's a spectrum - he has such strong feelings that he reacted as he did (not by cheating or anything but obviously they're strong).  For example I still care about my ex boyfriend who I was with before my husband but my caring isn't romantic feelings, my reaction to my caring is zero -I don't write about him, interact with him (our last interaction was in 2008 and my husband was there and my ex's wife) - or anything of the sort.  Would I tell my husband I care about what happens to him in life? No -because why-it might bother him for no reason at all.

Maybe he cares what happens to his ex girlfriend -I don't know, don't want to know.  I do know he is committed to me, loves me, is loyal to me.  And vice versa.  It feels really strong and secure that way.  Settle for nothing less IMO.

But if I had strong romantic feelings for another person such that I couldn't be true to my husband -if I felt like grass would be greener with someone else - then it wouldn't be right to be in a committed relationship as my heart would not be committed. 

It's a decision you need to make -I mean if your partner makes a casual comment that a celebrity is "hot" or that your friend's co-worker's cousin must work out a lot - it's annoying, not a dealbreaker IMO.  But you need to figure out what your line is.  Then stick to it.  In your situation I personally would feel uncomfortable about my partner pining away for someone else. 

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You are "setlee". Meaning just somebody he settled. While his true love, from one way or the other, is unatainable to him. 

Its an interesting, yet ankward position to be with. Lots of people "settle". Meaning after some "great loves" from one way or another just find somebody else that they can cohabit. But they usually forget those people and dont write them letters after 4 years. Meaning that he still didnt forget about her and still has feelings there. Even if he is seemingly with you.

In theory, that "status quo" where he is with you, even without too much conflict and where you get along very well, can last forever. However you should really be wondering what if that other person becomes available? Would he still be with you or just run back to her the second she wants to give him the chance?

Also, you are not overreacing. You should absolutely be mad that he after 4 years with you still harbors feeling for some other girl.

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7 hours ago, Spaiel said:

if he was drunk he would *** her and that he is still mesmerised by her appearance

Ick. Why would you want to be with someone of this character? That shows how superficial he is, valuing looks over the quality of a relationship.

He's the one who has kept himself mired in the past by keeping his ex alive in his present world by writing about her, and possibly staying in contact with her. Leave him to it. You're worthy of a decent partner, and he ain't it.

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58 minutes ago, boltnrun said:

Is he still in regular or semi regular contact with her?

Does he go anywhere where it's possible he could run into her while intoxicated? Does he deliberately go places where she might be?

I would ask the same.  Something seems to be reinforcing this ongoing preoccupation.  His obsession should be lessoning after 4 years of no contact.  Not just recently writing down how he wants to f* her?   It is so disrespectful to you and the relationship altogether.   How do you move past this? 

He broke your trust during the first round and you thought you moved past it to return. What you are discovering is not much has changed.  How is it he's earned your trust without making the effort to change?  Ultimately there is no trust.

People also sometimes subconsciously want to be caught.   Why would he document such a thing??

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10 hours ago, Spaiel said:

He said that he felt that if he had told me this during those talks that he felt I would have ended the relationship and that he knew it would have seriously hurt me .

Personally, I would find it more 'hurtful' that I was lied to for four years and robbed of the chance to make my own decision on the matter--effectively trapped. Whether he was attracted to someone else or not is small potatoes that I could have dealt with in the first few months (adios!) and been done with. It would be an invisible speck in my rearview mirror four years later. So, I think "I knew it would seriously hurt you" is some B.S. designed to pull at your heartstrings and keep you on the line (even longer!). 

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10 hours ago, Spaiel said:

I broke up with him then because I found out he had intense feelings for another woman the whole time he was with me ( his school crush who he still had regular contact with , at the time we were 21 and 23 ).Shortly after we broke up he got into a relationship with the other woman but they broke up after a couple of months ending things on bad terms. About 2 months after they broke up we reconnected at our place of work

Oh, I know a few ppl like this.... finding it hard to totally 'let go' and is often because THEY were the one's who were dumped.. so there they sit.. baffled.. confused and longing for the one they lost.

In ways, I think it is because the one who was dumped was not ready or willing to end things.. but had no choice.

BUT, yeah, by now he should have been over this... but apparently not 😕 .

You let him go for reasons.  And now, after this amount of time, you came to realize he's still stumped.. not so good. But, if you hadn't have come across that paper, I would have said, you have no concern on him cheating.. BUT...

Do you trust that he wouldn't cheat?  Big question...

I wouldn't be comfortable in this situation.. to have a partner still longing over his ex.

The guy needs to sort his life out IMO.  Maybe he shouldn't have agreed to get into anything with you again so quickly.. Not with his mind still this jumbled.

I'd just walk away, for good.  He's shown his uncertainty plain as day.. from searching her online, admitting what he'd do if drunk & seeing her again, etc.

Yeah.. no thanks 😕 .  Sorry you've had to experience all of this.

( BTW, I do have an ex, I know has viewed me a number of times on dating sites etc over last 2+ yrs, even though he's involved, but does not mean he'd cheat on her.. sometimes, it's more 'curiosity'.. but hey, that's all on him).

 

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It's curious how he's never blocked this woman from being able to contact him.  He clearly wants her to and he's not particularly bothered that you know about it. He also deliberately misled you during your talks about her because it was convenient for him to keep you in his life.  I couldn't continue a relationship with that kind of shadow hanging over it.

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