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Struggling with Breakup


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I'll try to keep this brief, my ex (30F) and I (33M) separated in July last year after 5 years. I had moved from another country to be with her after 2 years of long distance and we had been living together for the last 3 years of our relationship and have a dog together. WE had a wonderful relationship- full of adventure, mutual support and trust. I moved my entire life to be with her and so I never felt like my level of committment was an issue- she wanted to be committed but also maintain a level of independence, and tis became more of an issue towards the end. The reasons for the breakup were fairly typical, no infidelity, just stuck in a rut, both unsure about whether we wanted to get married etc etc. She hated the idea ofd a traditional heteronormative life. I always felt that those kinds of labels were harmful and our relationship was our own and we could make it what we wanted. If the idea of marriage was troubling, I was happy to wait and just enjoy being together. Our level of comfort together became somewhat of an existential crisis for her I became the central protagonist in her broader unhappiness about some aspects of her life- she wanted a change and I was collateral damage in that effort. She ended it in July and moved out- at the time it was a massive shock to me and I was (still am) heartbroken by it. We both had some lingering doubts about the future but the relationship on the whole was great, I think she (more than me) felt that she needed to focus on herself and the relationship was a comfort that was hindering her growth. We said our goodbyes and the relationship ended with a lot of sadness and regret that we couldn't agree on a path forward. It was about as amicable as you could hope for. Personally I had hoped that this would be an open dialogue but she felt she needed to cut the cord. While I did not agree with her decision, I have to accept her wishes. 

 

I stayed in the apartment we used to share and she went travelling around, visiting friends and family before moving back into a new apartment in our city. During this period we spoke very little (by choice), both doing what we needed to do to move on. I had a very brief rebound relationship, mostly due to weakness, loneliness and all the usual reasons. Of course It didnt make me miss her any less or think about her less, but it felt like a necessary part in moving on.

 

About 4 months after the breakup she decided to move back to our city and start her new life. The entire time during our separation I was missing her terribly and was always open to speaking about the relationship and potentially finding a way to fix things. The rebound relationship (if you could call it that) was very brief and admittedly a pretty poor coping mechanism on my part. As soon as I realised this, I was honest with the new woman and told her I wasnt ready. 

 

I was out of town for work for a few weeks just as she was moving back, and so I offered my place for her to stay for a few days while she went apartment hunting, and that also meant she could take care of our dog while I was gone. Unfortunately there was some evidence of my fling that she found when she arrived- some long hair on the floor and some condoms in my bedside table (she snooped and found them). Yes, I should have been more careful, but I genuinely didnt think and wasnt exactly trying to cover up a crime- I didnt think she would look in my personal belongings, but i guess i am just a man who doesn't think about these sorts of things. Man stupid.

 

She was obviously incredibly disturbed to find out I had been with someone else, and she felt betrayed by the fact that I had invited her to stay when I had been with someone else in our old bed. She felt that I set the whole thing up to punish her. She was incredibly hurt by my actions and it kicked off a few weeks of reliving the breakup, her mostly being furious at me for moving on so fast and treating her so callously. She said this act was the "final nail in the coffin"- I told her that her breaking up and moving out was the final nail and I was just doing whatever I could to move on. A rebound relationship didn't diminish the time we had together, but I can understand why she would feel that way. In all honesty, I would feel the same way in her shoes. Immediately after this she deleted all our photos from social media and blocked me. Up to this point we had both agreed that we didnt want to erase any of the happy memories together. 

 

Over the following months we had to keep in contact to arrange who would take care of the dog, neither of us wanted to give her up and so we were taking turns and that forced us to be in some level of communication throughout. Personally I have always had a hard time detaching from people and I would be lying if I said I had not thought about her every day, and often considered whether reconciliation would be possible. In her eyes I think that possiblity had vanished completely- if it even ever existed. I know that we were not together when I was with someone else, and that she ended it, and that I did nothing wrong- but you cannot control how someone feels- rightly or wrongly, and I feel absolutely terrible for breaking the heart of someone who I still love. The guilt is truly horrible. 

 

Its been a few months since then and we still have very minimal contact- things are very "professional" and cold between us whenever we have to discuss the dog or occasionally trade mail thats still arriving at our old place where I still live. I do not know if she is dating anyone, or where her mind is- aside from the fact that she thinks a lot less of me after the incident. Again, rightly or wrongly, thats tough to swallow when someone who used to admire you tells you that you let them down. I try to live my life with a level of integrity and throughout the breakup I never begged, and I made every effort in the world to make the transition as easy as possible for both of us- hence the offer to stay at mine. Ironically that offer became the trojan horse of hatred that sidetracked the healing process for both of us.

 

I guess I'm just struggling to come to terms with the fact that it is well and truly over- for a long time I felt confused by the breakup and was waiting for the moment when she would realise she made a mistake and come back. I tried to move on with my life, including dating other women- but that didn't help my own mental state and seems like it has now ruined any chance of reconciliation. I am keeping myself to myself at the moment- not dating, just trying to get into a better headspace and get my life back together. 

 

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Chances of reconciliation? Focus on myself? Be honest with her about how I feel? Leave her alone?

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No good advice, just mountains and mountains and mountains of solidarity. It’s really hard to move on when we didn’t end it and we’re hoping they’ll change their mind. Like holding onto the knife blade that severed the relationship as if somehow that can stop them from leaving (it doesn’t, just cuts up your hands). 
 

The quickest path to recovery is to go no contact. My ex hasn’t forced this on me, he’s simply not bothering to reply to my last message, which I hate, and he knows that causes me anxiety. Not even the 10 seconds to say he doesn’t want to reply right now. That’s what holding onto the knife blade has brought me. A front row seat to his process of demoting me as low priority in his life. 
 

I think you need to decide if you’re keeping the dog, or letting her keep the dog and go no contact. That’s the best advice anyway, never hope to reconcile, it could happen later but plan your life now as if it never will. I’ll do the same *solidarity fist bump*

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14 minutes ago, 1a1a said:

No good advice, just mountains and mountains and mountains of solidarity. It’s really hard to move on when we didn’t end it and we’re hoping they’ll change their mind. Like holding onto the knife blade that severed the relationship as if somehow that can stop them from leaving (it doesn’t, just cuts up your hands). 
 

The quickest path to recovery is to go no contact. My ex hasn’t forced this on me, he’s simply not bothering to reply to my last message, which I hate, and he knows that causes me anxiety. Not even the 10 seconds to say he doesn’t want to reply right now. That’s what holding onto the knife blade has brought me. A front row seat to his process of demoting me as low priority in his life. 
 

I think you need to decide if you’re keeping the dog, or letting her keep the dog and go no contact. That’s the best advice anyway, never hope to reconcile, it could happen later but plan your life now as if it never will. I’ll do the same *solidarity fist bump*

Big fist bump. Thanks for the words. 

 

I agree the dog has definitely been a reason for us to hold onto hope, its something that ties us together.

Long term I know we need to come to a more permanent solution for this but I can’t imaging losing my dog as well. Unfortunately I cannot commit to looking after full time because of my work commitments, so I am kinda stuck in that regard.

What you said about being demoted to a bottom priority in their life rings so true. I don’t hate her at all, she caused me a lot of pain but I want to look back on this period of my life with joy and eventually, no ill feelings. Cutting someone out once you breakup feels like a pretty callous way to go, but it’s definitely necessary. Once there are no rules to define how you treat one another (unlike when you are together)- it becomes impossible to know how to act or feel. 

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If she doesn't like the idea of you dating or sleeping with someone else she shouldn't have ended the relationship.

This drives me nuts.  People who leave yet think they still have the right to dictate what you should and should not do, AND who have the nerve to get mad at you for moving on when THEY are the ones who left.

Nope, no way, no.  My ex tried the same BS, told me (and his other exes too) that I must not have ever really loved him because I'm not remaining faithful to him for the rest of my life.  When HE left and HE is allowed to move on with whomever he wants.  Well, too bad buddy.  You don't get to own me for the rest of my life.

She can be as upset as she wants over the bruise to her ego (which is what this is all about).  She can't stand that you aren't going to pine away over her for the rest of your life.  Let her have her little tantrum.  She can take it somewhere else.

I'm sorry you feel like you did something wrong.  But you didn't.

I recommend you hire a pet sitter to care for the dog when you aren't able to.  Keeping ties to this ex of yours will guarantee you'll never find someone else, because who wants to date a guy who has an ex lurking around, coming into his home and interfering in his life?

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14 minutes ago, boltnrun said:

If she doesn't like the idea of you dating or sleeping with someone else she shouldn't have ended the relationship.

This drives me nuts.  People who leave yet think they still have the right to dictate what you should and should not do, AND who have the nerve to get mad at you for moving on when THEY are the ones who left.

Nope, no way, no.  My ex tried the same BS, told me (and his other exes too) that I must not have ever really loved him because I'm not remaining faithful to him for the rest of my life.  When HE left and HE is allowed to move on with whomever he wants.  Well, too bad buddy.  You don't get to own me for the rest of my life.

She can be as upset as she wants over the bruise to her ego (which is what this is all about).  She can't stand that you aren't going to pine away over her for the rest of your life.  Let her have her little tantrum.  She can take it somewhere else.

I'm sorry you feel like you did something wrong.  But you didn't.

I recommend you hire a pet sitter to care for the dog when you aren't able to.  Keeping ties to this ex of yours will guarantee you'll never find someone else, because who wants to date a guy who has an ex lurking around, coming into his home and interfering in his life?

Cannot disagree with this perspective. Its particularly hurtful when someone tries to reframe the relationship AFTER THEY break up with you. I don't believe that breaking up with someone means you never loved them, moving on with other people certainly doesnt mean that either. But when one person makes the decision to leave, they should bear the consequences of that choice, and all the *** feelings that come with it. After all, most likely they checked out months before they told you.

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She’s behaving like a spoilt child. Every step of the way from the break up to finding condoms and another woman’s hair it’s always about her and how much of a fuss something is. I think she takes herself far too seriously and seems to believe the world revolves around only her. A tantrum that never ends. And I don’t think this is about you or a reflection on you so shrug that off and let go of any guilt on your part. 

Respectfully, I also think you need to either keep the dog or give the dog to her. One of you needs to step up to the plate and own up to this dog sharing fiasco and stop using this poor dog as a tie of resentment linking the both of you. The dog deserves a better home and can be adopted by a loving person or family if neither of you can provide any longer. 

Also going forward, your place is no longer a free Airbnb for homeless exes. They need to find their own way and pay regular rates at other establishments or ask their friends for help but not you. 

All in all, better boundaries please. Let go of this woman. Find someone better.

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First you shouldn’t feel guilt for moving on after she broke things off.  Why expend energy, time, and resources on someone that isn’t sure you are the one they want to spend their life with.  She needs to know that she broke it off for whatever reason and you aren’t obligated to wait until she figures out what she wants in life.  
 

I understand the pain as nothing other than her decision made the relationship fizzle out.  Sometimes it would be easier if she did you wrong in someway.  I was in a relationship where a girlfriend was upset that I was with another women before we even started dating.  She caught feelings for me, but never told me and then tried to guilt trip me like I’m supposed to have been a mind reader.  It is unreasonable for her to expect you to wait and if an agreement was made, then maybe I could understand, but she made the decision to move on without you.  
 

Life is too short spending time with someone that isn’t sure you are worth spending time with.  As others have stated, she must think she owns your life and time.  You are an independent person and made a lot of sacrifices to try and make it work.  It wasn’t sufficient for her and you have to remember you made every effort.  Good luck!

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10 hours ago, NLYid88 said:

 I had moved from another country to be with her after 2 years of long distance and we had been living together for the last 3 years. She hated the idea ofd a traditional heteronormative life. 

 to arrange who would take care of the dog, neither of us wanted to give her up and so we were taking turns . 

Why was it long distance for two years and why did you move to another country? Did you have a job lined up?

What do you mean by "heteronormative life"? You didn't want to marry? She didn't want to marry? One or both of you are bisexual or wanted an open relationship?

What was your objection to commitment? What was hers?

You don't have to share custody of a dog, that's an excuse to hang on.

You're simultaneously moving on, dating others and hanging on to her.

That makes no sense. Did you ever meet in person before you moved there?

Do you ever go back home? Do you intend to live in that country in the future?

 

 

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9 hours ago, Wiseman2 said:

Why was it long distance for two years and why did you move to another country? Did you have a job lined up?

What do you mean by "heteronormative life"? You didn't want to marry? She didn't want to marry? One or both of you are bisexual or wanted an open relationship?

What was your objection to commitment? What was hers?

You don't have to share custody of a dog, that's an excuse to hang on.

You're simultaneously moving on, dating others and hanging on to her.

That makes no sense. Did you ever meet in person before you moved there?

Do you ever go back home? Do you intend to live in that country in the future?

 

 

Lots to unpack here.

We met in Europe (she is from the states) when she was travelling there for work. Two years of whirlwind international romance followed- I would travel to the US to visit and she would come to see me in Europe. We were determined to make it work and eventually I was able to get a work visa to move to the US to be with her. This was a fairly natural progression for me in my career as I work freelance in a creative industry. During Covid i was unable to leave the country (I was home for christmas this year for first time in a few years), but despite the breakup, my life and career is here in the US now and I intend to stay and make a life of it.

 

I think we both had doubts about the idea of marriage as an institution. It didnt seem like an entirely necessary thing for us to go through personally, we had both made such sacrifices to be together and moving my entire life to be with her seemed like a pretty clear indication of my committment. We would talk about it often, sometimes i felt she wanted to do it, sometimes she didn't, but this was never with the precursor of not actually wanting to be together ((until the break up). She also identifies as bisexual, but had never been in a relationship with a woman, while we were together of course we were monogamous but she felt that marriage was a heteronormative contract that would somehow be denying her the possibility of exploring that avenue of herself. If i'm being honest, I think the finality of it scared us both and we didn't want to go the same was as other friends and family members who had married in order to try to quiet doubts and then ended up divorced anyway. Any underlying issues we did have would certainly not be fixed by marriage and so I always felt that I just wanted to be with her any way I could- a wedding was not a priority for me at this stage in my life, and a majority of the time we agreed on that. I see now that our communication was lacking about what we really wanted from the future and what we were willing to sacrifice. She also did not really know what she wanted, she had somewhat on an identity crisis about "just being someones wife". All i could do was support her within the confines of the relationship and try to help her understand what she really wanted- in the end that process of discovery led us to this weird purgatory where she wanted to move forward but was afraid that the finality of marriage was too restrictive- or that she MIGHHT feel that way in the future. A lot of people on here are very cut throat about when people don't know what they want, but life is complex and plans change and I cannot hate someone for how they feel. In terms of our actions, we both supported eachother and were faithful and loving until the end. We just felt differently, and thats the saddest thing.

 

Up to this point we had both put SO much into the early years of the relationship (constant travelling, moving countries etc) that we felt we owed it to ourselves to hang on and make it work but marriage was NOT a fix for any lingering doubts.

 

As for simultaneously moving on, and hanging on etc, isn't that just the natural state for an unwilling victim of a break up? Im sure she had months to process before she actually told me, but I was blindsided. Of course I am somewhat hanging on to a relationship that I didnt want to end. I'm sure many people find themselves in the situation of trying to move on, doing all the right things, but still somewhat hanging on to the old relationship until it just doesn't bother them anymore. I'm not actively hanging on to the past, but you can't just turn that switch off- despite the circumstances. I've been through this before, it's just a psychological process that takes time. Not hanging on to the old relationship is much easier said than done, you just keep doing the right things in the direction of moving on until it actually works.

 

The dog is definitely something we just to figure out. I know we cannot continue to share custody but neither of us want to completely give her up.

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I don't think anyone would expect your feelings to disappear just like that.  That's nearly impossible for anyone unless you never had those feelings to begin with.  But you're right, going through the steps will eventually get you there.

What would be a bad decision is doing things actively to keep her in your life.  For example, the dog.  There are ways to deal with this that don't involve "co-owning" a dog or involve her coming over (or you going over to hers).  Like I mentioned before, no way would any woman who has a sense of self worth want to get involved with a man who's ex is still coming over to his place.  That would indicate an emotional attachment.  Every time you see her or know she's coming over those feelings would come to the surface.  It's hard to get over someone you're seeing regularly.  That's why I suggested hiring a dog sitter to come over and walk the dog, take it to the dog park, feed it, etc.  if you're absolutely not willing to give the dog completely to her.

I know what it's like to have a relationship end when you didn't want it to.  I would say just about everyone who posts on here has been through it.  All I did was keep telling myself "suck it up, you won't feel like this forever".  And I was right; after about two months I started feeling better, until those anxious, gut-wrenching feelings subsided and I was able to stop thinking about him nonstop.  Interestingly, he approached me a few years later wanting to date.  I went on a couple of dates with him but found him so insufferably annoying and boring that I gave up and declined to see him again.  And this was the man I swore was "the love of my life who I'll love FOREVER!!!!!111"  I cried over this guy for two months straight and now I can't stand to spend even 10 minutes around him. He contacted me again this past holiday season but I just am not interested.  So I basically blew him off.

You'll get there.

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32 minutes ago, boltnrun said:

I don't think anyone would expect your feelings to disappear just like that.  That's nearly impossible for anyone unless you never had those feelings to begin with.  But you're right, going through the steps will eventually get you there.

What would be a bad decision is doing things actively to keep her in your life.  For example, the dog.  There are ways to deal with this that don't involve "co-owning" a dog or involve her coming over (or you going over to hers).  Like I mentioned before, no way would any woman who has a sense of self worth want to get involved with a man who's ex is still coming over to his place.  That would indicate an emotional attachment.  Every time you see her or know she's coming over those feelings would come to the surface.  It's hard to get over someone you're seeing regularly.  That's why I suggested hiring a dog sitter to come over and walk the dog, take it to the dog park, feed it, etc.  if you're absolutely not willing to give the dog completely to her.

I know what it's like to have a relationship end when you didn't want it to.  I would say just about everyone who posts on here has been through it.  All I did was keep telling myself "suck it up, you won't feel like this forever".  And I was right; after about two months I started feeling better, until those anxious, gut-wrenching feelings subsided and I was able to stop thinking about him nonstop.  Interestingly, he approached me a few years later wanting to date.  I went on a couple of dates with him but found him so insufferably annoying and boring that I gave up and declined to see him again.  And this was the man I swore was "the love of my life who I'll love FOREVER!!!!!111"  I cried over this guy for two months straight and now I can't stand to spend even 10 minutes around him. He contacted me again this past holiday season but I just am not interested.  So I basically blew him off.

You'll get there.

Congratulations thats a wonderful outcome! How long were you guys together for?

 

Personally I make deep attachmments with people (working on that!) and so it always feels kind of wrong to suddenly demote someone from number 2 (i'm always number 1 😉 ) to a nobody. Those little things we hold on to just make it feel like the entire thing wasnt a total waste of time. It's tough to explain and i'm sure many here would disagree but we all have different styles of attachment, some of which make it harder to move on as we internalise the guilt of a failed relationship. It hasn't affected my self worth in a significant way, i guess its more the futility of spending five years with somebody who rapidly HAS to becomes a nobody. 

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22 hours ago, NLYid88 said:

She was obviously incredibly disturbed to find out I had been with someone else, and she felt betrayed by the fact that I had invited her to stay when I had been with someone else in our old bed. She felt that I set the whole thing up to punish her. She was incredibly hurt by my actions and it kicked off a few weeks of reliving the breakup, her mostly being furious at me for moving on so fast and treating her so callously.

How did you treat her callously?

She took off for 4 mos.  Then accepted your invite to stay there as SHE was looking for her own place.  You didn't cheat.  Whatever YOU did after your BU was up to you!

 

22 hours ago, NLYid88 said:

I do not know if she is dating anyone, or where her mind is- aside from the fact that she thinks a lot less of me after the incident. Again, rightly or wrongly, thats tough to swallow when someone who used to admire you tells you that you let them down.

Umm, didn't her leaving let you down?

IMO, YOU need to now consider working through all of this now. ( the grief) and give yourself time... as it will take some time before you feel okay again and accept what is.

Break ups are never easy - and in time, we usually do come to terms with it all.

Worst thing to do is sit on 'guilt'.  You did nothing wrong! So, don't let HER behaviour affect you this way.

Yah, she reacted.. but she hurt you as well.

If you two couldn't make this work out. fine.  Leave each other alone now.  Deal as you must and move on with your lives.  No more expectations.

One day at a time.  Be kind to yourself.

 

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23 hours ago, SooSad33 said:

How did you treat her callously?

She took off for 4 mos.  Then accepted your invite to stay there as SHE was looking for her own place.  You didn't cheat.  Whatever YOU did after your BU was up to you!

 

Umm, didn't her leaving let you down?

IMO, YOU need to now consider working through all of this now. ( the grief) and give yourself time... as it will take some time before you feel okay again and accept what is.

Break ups are never easy - and in time, we usually do come to terms with it all.

Worst thing to do is sit on 'guilt'.  You did nothing wrong! So, don't let HER behaviour affect you this way.

Yah, she reacted.. but she hurt you as well.

If you two couldn't make this work out. fine.  Leave each other alone now.  Deal as you must and move on with your lives.  No more expectations.

One day at a time.  Be kind to yourself.

 

Just to clarify, I don't think i treated her callously, but she feels that way. 

 

And yes, her leaving did let me down but as with my above point, my feelings have no bearing on the "correctness" of her decision. I think in my situation there is no right or wrong, there was no infidelity. She just acted on what she felt she had to do, and although my feelings were collateral- I'm not so arrogant to assume that staying with me was the right decision for her. It would have saved me a lot of pain in the short term but I do not believe that anyone should feel compelled to stay in a relationship if they are not completely happy.

 

I've broken up with women in the past and hurt their feelings deeply, but it didnt change the fact that it was the right choice for both of us down the road. There is no objective right and wrong in these situations. I feel people often conflate the feeling of being wronged (which is natural), with the other person doing something wrong TO them.

 

Thankyou for your words, moving on and taking the time is the only option for now. One day at a time.

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On 3/6/2022 at 3:41 PM, NLYid88 said:

I think we both had doubts about the idea of marriage as an institution. ..... She also identifies as bisexual, but had never been in a relationship with a woman, while we were together of course we were monogamous but she felt that marriage was a heteronormative contract that would somehow be denying her the possibility of exploring that avenue of herself.

I think the best thing is for you to move on. I'm not sold on the idea of marriage myself, and neither is my boyfriend. But we both know we want to stay together. We are both sure of this.

It sounds like she's not entirely sure what she wants, and that there's an entire area of her life that she needs to explore. The two of you had a wonderful run. You will always be part of her life in that way, and she will always be part of yours. It's sad, but it's also beautiful and wonderful.

Don't worry so much about the rebound, or her reaction to it. It's not a big deal. Her reaction to your rebound is most likely not evidence that she wants to get back together, and it doesn't make her a bad or inferior person. Frankly, I can relate to what her feelings must have been. I once rekindled with a boyfriend after eleven years. I'd broken up with him, so I was stunned to feel visceral jealousy when he told me about the relationship he'd been while we were broken up! 

Feelings can be totally absurd. Don't pay too much attention to them when you know they're silly. We'd all like to say that we know exactly how we feel, and know exactly why we do the things that we do. But the truth is, we're all learning as we go. We are always discovering new things about ourselves, about other people. We are always changing and growing. She was probably as surprised as you were that she had such a reaction to your rebound. She'll get over it, I'm sure.

Let this go. You shared a wonderful time together, but now it's over. Your future is in front of you and happiness is out there for you to claim.

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31 minutes ago, Jibralta said:

I think the best thing is for you to move on. I'm not sold on the idea of marriage myself, and neither is my boyfriend. But we both know we want to stay together. We are both sure of this.

It sounds like she's not entirely sure what she wants, and that there's an entire area of her life that she needs to explore. The two of you had a wonderful run. You will always be part of her life in that way, and she will always be part of yours. It's sad, but it's also beautiful and wonderful.

Don't worry so much about the rebound, or her reaction to it. It's not a big deal. Her reaction to your rebound is most likely not evidence that she wants to get back together, and it doesn't make her a bad or inferior person. Frankly, I can relate to what her feelings must have been. I once rekindled with a boyfriend after eleven years. I'd broken up with him, so I was stunned to feel visceral jealousy when he told me about the relationship he'd been while we were broken up! 

Feelings can be totally absurd. Don't pay too much attention to them when you know they're silly. We'd all like to say that we know exactly how we feel, and know exactly why we do the things that we do. But the truth is, we're all learning as we go. We are always discovering new things about ourselves, about other people. We are always changing and growing. She was probably as surprised as you were that she had such a reaction to your rebound. She'll get over it, I'm sure.

Let this go. You shared a wonderful time together, but now it's over. Your future is in front of you and happiness is out there for you to claim.

This is exactly right. She didn't know what she wanted, probably still doesn't, and honestly I can't blame her for that. Feelings can be absurd, fleeting and totally irrational; priorities can change. Personally, I'm the sort of person who does not react rashly to temporal feelings, and I try to NOT be a slave to my feelings. I like to take my time and think things over. Some people react emotionally, and that's fine too.

 

I guess I would have been more upset if she had NOT reacted to my rebound. Bottom line is that her reaction is irrelevant to my moving on.

 

Thankyou for the wise words

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35 minutes ago, NLYid88 said:

I like to take my time and think things over. Some people react emotionally, and that's fine too.

Also, even the most Vulcan of us is sometimes caught off guard by our feelings, whether we like it or not 🙃

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On 3/5/2022 at 8:23 PM, NLYid88 said:

because of my work commitments, so I am kinda stuck in that regard.

Go to Rover.com and find a dog sitter.  I have worked with several, and now my current one also watches my kids after school on some days, and we love her.  

You're ex is selfish.  Forcing you to walk on egg shells, keeping you on hold.  She is an unhappy, and will never be happy. and you can do better, and will do better.

All the anti-tradition mumbo jumbo is a cover and a way to buy time while they waste yours.  Don't waste any more time on this loser.

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OP, you didn't break her heart. Her ego got hurt. Big difference. She dumped you and she has zero regrets about that.

Her tantrum over you seeing someone else is 100% about her ego - how dare someone she deemed less than and discarded, aka YOU, move on and be with someone else before her greatness did the same. So now she has to punish you for daring to be desirable and not wallowing in a helpless and lonely puddle of tears because she left you. Toxic attitude beyond words. This alone should actually wake you up to the idea that you actually dodged a bullet when she left you.

You actually did dodge a bullet. Be careful about who you give your heart to and maybe don't be so blindly loyal and committed to someone who was never really committed to you. Healthy relationships are not this difficult and I doubt you'll have any trouble finding a good partner provided that you adjust your picker and learn to walk away from the "I am not sure about/scared of/don't want labels for commitment" types. If you want commitment and a certain life, then seek someone who is certain she wants the same. Life is too short to waste time on less.

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I genuinely disagree with "healthy relationships are not this difficult". All relationships take work and even great ones go through hardships.

Completely agree with her ego being the driving force, although again, I cannot control someone else's feelings. Everyone has an ego and they are fragile things. I'm trying to grow as a person and not be driven by my own ego- part of that process has led me to try to be empathetic towards myself and others. To be kind towards my own shortcomings and forgive others for theirs. Just because someone hurts you, it doesnt make them a bad person. The severity of my own feelings has very little to do with the objective truth of the situation- if there is such a thing. This is why i cannot judge her for feeling the way she does. Again, this comes from a place of trying to be empathetic and not just live in the ego bubble of "I'm perfect and i've been wronged". It's never that simple. If this is to be a moment of personal development for me, I need to be able to operate from a place that is not dictated by my own feelings of injustice. I just cannot allow myself to become a slave to simplistic, binary thinking. I think a lot of people go from relationship to relationship and all they change is their expectations of their partner- and learn nothing about themselves except maybe get a new hobby (thats not really growth- thats just what you spend your time doing).

I see a lot of pretty binary sentiment on this forum- "dumpers are evil" etc that really lacks nuance of the situation. I really appreciate the input from everyone here and it has definitely given me a different perspective on the outcome of this relationship but I cannot be untrue to the fact that for a majority of the relationship we were very happy, and I'm not just speaking for myself here. I do agree that it hurts because I put a lot of time and energy into a relationship that did not work out. I do not think that i dodged a bullet- people's priorities change as their lives develop and we just got to a point where our priorities did not align any more.  

 

Anyway, all this to say that I appreciate all your responses. And while this relationship was not "the one", she isn't even close to being a bad person, or a bad match for me. It just didnt work out at this moment in our lives. Both of us deserve to be happy and deserve to have the freedom to do what is necessary to achieve that. You don't really get any closure from that, often the sense of futility of the time spent is really what gets me down. I have to take this as an opportunity to understand myself better. I can't changer her or what she thinks, but I can use this opportunity to better myself.

 

Oh, and by the way for anyone interested in this stuff, yes I am a Cancerian. 😉 

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10 minutes ago, NLYid88 said:

Completely agree with her ego being the driving force, although again, I cannot control someone else's feelings. Everyone has an ego and they are fragile things. I'm trying to grow as a person and not be driven by my own ego- part of that process has led me to try to be empathetic towards myself and others. To be kind towards my own shortcomings and forgive others for theirs. Just because someone hurts you, it doesnt make them a bad person. The severity of my own feelings has very little to do with the objective truth of the situation- if there is such a thing. This is why i cannot judge her for feeling the way she does. Again, this comes from a place of trying to be empathetic and not just live in the ego bubble of "I'm perfect and i've been wronged". It's never that simple. If this is to be a moment of personal development for me, I need to be able to operate from a place that is not dictated by my own feelings of injustice. I just cannot allow myself to become a slave to simplistic, binary thinking.

Good man.

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14 minutes ago, NLYid88 said:

I genuinely disagree with "healthy relationships are not this difficult". All relationships take work and even great ones go through hardships.

Completely agree with her ego being the driving force, although again, I cannot control someone else's feelings. Everyone has an ego and they are fragile things. I'm trying to grow as a person and not be driven by my own ego- part of that process has led me to try to be empathetic towards myself and others. To be kind towards my own shortcomings and forgive others for theirs. Just because someone hurts you, it doesnt make them a bad person. The severity of my own feelings has very little to do with the objective truth of the situation- if there is such a thing. This is why i cannot judge her for feeling the way she does. Again, this comes from a place of trying to be empathetic and not just live in the ego bubble of "I'm perfect and i've been wronged". It's never that simple. If this is to be a moment of personal development for me, I need to be able to operate from a place that is not dictated by my own feelings of injustice. I just cannot allow myself to become a slave to simplistic, binary thinking. I think a lot of people go from relationship to relationship and all they change is their expectations of their partner- and learn nothing about themselves except maybe get a new hobby (thats not really growth- thats just what you spend your time doing).

I see a lot of pretty binary sentiment on this forum- "dumpers are evil" etc that really lacks nuance of the situation. I really appreciate the input from everyone here and it has definitely given me a different perspective on the outcome of this relationship but I cannot be untrue to the fact that for a majority of the relationship we were very happy, and I'm not just speaking for myself here. I do agree that it hurts because I put a lot of time and energy into a relationship that did not work out. I do not think that i dodged a bullet- people's priorities change as their lives develop and we just got to a point where our priorities did not align any more.  

 

Anyway, all this to say that I appreciate all your responses. And while this relationship was not "the one", she isn't even close to being a bad person, or a bad match for me. It just didnt work out at this moment in our lives. Both of us deserve to be happy and deserve to have the freedom to do what is necessary to achieve that. You don't really get any closure from that, often the sense of futility of the time spent is really what gets me down. I have to take this as an opportunity to understand myself better. I can't changer her or what she thinks, but I can use this opportunity to better myself.

 

Oh, and by the way for anyone interested in this stuff, yes I am a Cancerian. 😉 

So proud of you!!

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Thanks y'all. As someone who has struggled with attachment in the past (breakups ALWAYS hit me hard, especially this one that I thought would be my last)- I have to say that the ONLY thing you can really control is the way you think about things. Control of that will allow you to master your actions and your behaviours to affect others in a more positive way. What people do with that is up to them- again, NOT IN YOUR CONTROL.

 

People often talk about growth in simplistic terms like it's as easy as learning to play the guitar, getting a hair cut, or going travelling- that's the facade. Real growth is understanding yourself, accepting you are not perfect, and accepting that your ego is often the real enemy. It's what makes you cling onto dark thoughts for too long, act impulsively and fail to understand how and why you really feel about certain things.

I'm not spiritual in any way AT ALL, but mastery of your own ego seems to work pretty well for some Eastern belief systems where inner peace is really the ultimate outcome.

 

Thanks all.

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2 minutes ago, NLYid88 said:

Thanks y'all. As someone who has struggled with attachment in the past (breakups ALWAYS hit me hard, especially this one that I thought would be my last)- I have to say that the ONLY thing you can really control is the way you think about things. Control of that will allow you to master your actions and your behaviours to affect others in a more positive way. What people do with that is up to them- again, NOT IN YOUR CONTROL.

 

People often talk about growth in simplistic terms like it's as easy as learning to play the guitar, getting a hair cut, or going travelling- that's the facade. Real growth is understanding yourself, accepting you are not perfect, and accepting that your ego is often the real enemy. It's what makes you cling onto dark thoughts for too long, act impulsively and fail to understand how and why you really feel about certain things.

I'm not spiritual in any way AT ALL, but mastery of your own ego seems to work pretty well for some Eastern belief systems where inner peace is really the ultimate outcome.

 

Thanks all.

Big big hugs! I fully understand, as I am not with him but it's long story 

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I don't agree (and never said) that "dumpers are evil". Also don't agree (and never said) that personal growth is simple. And finally, I don't agree (and never said) that her feelings were bad or invalid. Just the way she chose to react to those feelings, from a place of ego and entitlement. She could have simply said "I know it's irrational and I have no right, but I admit it hurts to know you've been with someone else." Instead of saying things that made it sound like you did something wrong and deliberately hurtful.

Right now it's probably hard for you to see her in any kind of negative light. But you don't really need to, do you? You already realize you two are not going to be together and you seem to accept that fact. You're already ten steps ahead in the moving on process.

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