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Nearly six months ago gf broke up with me while I was working overseas (building up money to support her and our dream of moving somewhere nice overseas). Catalyst for split was her kissing another guy. After trying to no avail to get her back - I asked her to leave the house three weeks after our break-up. Reason being she had told me that she had now slept with this other guy and "didn't want to try again becasue she didn't want to jepordise what she had with him".

 

Six weeks no contact.

 

She rings me up while I'm in the middle of a war-zone to tell me she made a mistake and wanted me back - she loved me and her daughter kept saying my name etc etc. Still overwhlemly in love I said that I wanted her back - however I added that I needed to know she was serious and I wanted to take it slowly (this was the logical part of my brain doing what my friends insisted I had to do). In short, after a weeks worth of conversations she decided to stay with this other guy. I told her she had never apologised for treating me like a piece of s**t and I never wanted to speak to her again.

 

An incredible three months no contact....healing......

 

Then today happened. She's been calling for three days. I've ignored all her calls - one of the number was her new bloke's house and she can sod off if she thinks I'm going to answer one from there. Eventually I receive a call from a number I don't recognise. So I answer it. Its her. She asks how I am etc etc and I poltiely ask how she is and specifically ask about her daughter. She asks about my job etc and I politley awsner.

 

She asks if I mind her calling. I say I do as I am still trying to move on and for my sake I don't think we should speak to each other. After some silence, she reluctantly agrees. She says a number of times that she is sorry for what happened. Then as if ignoring my request she asks "hows your Mum?". I reply "no seriously....I don't really want to talk to you". "Oh" she says and ends the call saying she'll speak to me "some time.....or never". I simply say "good bye, take care" and hang up.

 

Phew!

 

That was about thirty minutes agao. I'm still waiting to see how I react. Thought I'd get my thoughts down on this forum before I collapse or edge into depression. A large part of me says that I shold never go back or even consider going out with her let alone have contact with her. However a small but powerfull emotional part of my soul says it would be nice to go back despite what she did.

 

Thinking about it though - she was only calling to alleviate her own guilt wasn't she? She didn't have any intention of apologising with a view to getting back with me. I'm sure if anyone out there has a view it'll be the same as that of my mates - "never ever consider going back. Tell her not to call you and move on." Not quite that easy though eh?

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DN,

 

Thanks for replying. The problem lies in making the decision. I know what I should do logically - hope to never hear from her again and move on knowing I'm better off. But there is something in my head which I can't get rid of - something which says that I still want her back.

 

Anyway - I'm still not sure of her motivation behind the call so any decision of mine could be premature and purely academic....................

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The problem with not answering her calls is that you keep wondering what she wants and thereforeeee can't move on. I think it is better to take the call initially, find out what she wants quickly and end the call.

 

If she were to declare undying love and say she wants you back now, then you can decide what to do,

 

If it is less than that, then you should tell her not to call any more and that you won't answer if she does.

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Thinking about it though - she was only calling to alleviate her own guilt wasn't she? She didn't have any intention of apologising with a view to getting back with me. I'm sure if anyone out there has a view it'll be the same as that of my mates - "never ever consider going back. Tell her not to call you and move on." Not quite that easy though eh?

Tell me if I'm understanding you correctly, but are you wondering/hoping that she's calling you because she genuinely cares about you, because she's remorseful and finally feels love for you? And are those hopes keeping you ... well... hopeful?

 

From all you've written about her, if you're hoping that she cares for you in a genuinely good way, I'd say you're wasting your hopes on her. She doesn't feel the way you hope she feels, and she never did. You got jerked around and nothing she is doing so far indicates that she's different. You're just holding onto a fantasy, hoping the fantasy is real. It's not. I'd suggest you move on, otherwise you're just setting yourself up for more heartache.

 

Anyway - I'm still not sure of her motivation behind the call so any decision of mine could be premature and purely academic....................

My best guess about her motivation for calling is her selfishness, to see if she can pull your strings and exploit your affection. It's certainly not because she cares about you. It just seems she didn't tell you what you had hoped she would. But YOU seem to be hoping that something other than the harsh truth is hidden underneath somewhere. Just be grateful she isn't telling you what you want to hear. Some of us have had to listen to convincing lies to sort out the truth. Be grateful that she's not that good at lying.

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Miss M,

 

Good reply. Thanks. You're right, I know you are. When she first started calling my first response was that I didn't want to speak to her. My friends cautioned me to answer the hone and tell her I didn't want to aspeak to her. I didn;t want to answer as I thought I'd do the wrong thing - ie. engage in a conversation which would get my hopes up.

 

I think when I actually answered (by mistake) I did quite well. I was purely unemotional and while civil, I took the first opportunity to tell her that I didn't think we should speak.

 

The one thing thats bothering me is the fact that she said she was sorry so many times. Whatever anyone says about her I know she has a heart, but she is also incredibly selfish. She was upset when I abruptly ended the call. I'm a forgiving person and feel as though she deserves forgiveness. Is that wrong?

 

Then again Miss M, you are spot on with your analysis in that I do still hold out some vague hope. Whe she rang previously I told her one of the reasons I didn't want to talk to her was becasue she hadn;t even apologised for doing what she did. She made an effort to do so this time and I can't help wondering.............

 

Sorry if I seem like a lost cause to those who think I should move on. I've tried that. Its tough.

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When we love someone deeply and sincerely, it's really difficult to let go. I've been there enough times to know how strong that pull is. And talking to her when you're trying to move on is precarious because it brings back all those intense emotions and feelings. In fact, the feelings can seem even stronger when you're apart. That's why so many recommend NC until you've healed and moved past the vulnerable stage. And if you "weakened" and got back with her, you'd likely remember pretty quickly why it didn't work in the first place because close proximity also brings clarity. You might as well do it right and save yourself from the horror of that roller coaster.

 

The one thing thats bothering me is the fact that she said she was sorry so many times.

When we've been badly mistreated, apologies are what we want, what we know we deserve, and they feel validating. But from what you've written she really seems like an insincere and selfish person who isn't apologizing because she's genuinely remorseful. For instance, she apologized AFTER you mentioned that she hadn't apologized. After all those events and after all that time it didn't occur to her to say she was sorry? So you actually prompted her for an apology, told her what she needed to do in order to win you back, and on her next try she knew she had to do at least that to get an audience with you. When I look at that and all the rest of your description of her, it seems she isn't actually sorry. And I've even been immediately offered very sincere-sounding apologies that I didn't ask for that were still just bold lies, so that's still not proof.

 

Also, I noticed how she used her own daughter as a way to also manipulate your affections and emotions. Very, very shabby.

 

Whatever anyone says about her I know she has a heart, but she is also incredibly selfish. She was upset when I abruptly ended the call. I'm a forgiving person and feel as though she deserves forgiveness. Is that wrong?

The worst villainess always has some genuinely appealing aspects and qualities. And I'm guessing those are why you fell for her in the first place. She's probably got lots of very wonderful things about her that you can point to. But you can't look at those wonderful qualities when you're trying to remember why this relationship is detrimental. It's the horrible parts of her that ruined the relationship, not the good stuff. I'm also a longsuffering and forgiving person, always seeing the good in others, feeling a need to go to great lengths to be fair, so I do understand that tendency in you. But I've had to reel all that "nice-nice" in and keep a perspective because very self-serving people are especially attracted to that and will exploit that. There's a fine line between being caring, loving, generous, and being a doormat. And many of us can easily go right past that point without realizing it.

 

Sorry if I seem like a lost cause to those who think I should move on. I've tried that. Its tough.

No, you do not seem like a lost cause. And how you're feeling is very understandable. Again, I've been there a few times myself. And I know how difficult it is to move on. Genuine love just doesn't die so easily. But hang in there, and use whatever methods you can to keep perspective until you get beyond this, including posting here, and also listening to your friends who are trying to caution you. If you know your friends have your well-being in mind, then the fact that their heads aren't clouded with love for her is a great benefit to you right now. And when the emotions try to override the logic, ask your friends to remind you again about all the heartache she has caused you.

 

Good luck.

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Wow, thanks Miss M.

 

An objective view from someone who I have never met can really makes things seem clearer - as opposed to my friends who have shared/suffered my depression etc.

 

Writing stuff here certainly helps - especially when there are some posters with such good advice.

 

On balance I think I did the right thing by telling her I didn't want to speak to her. If she really means that apology (not that it should matter) then she can damn well send me a letter saying so.

 

Miss M: If you don't mind me asking - you seem to have been in a similar position. What do you think made you believe those lies you were being told? What was it about the person that, although their apology was thin, you chose to accept it?

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An objective view from someone who I have never met can really makes things seem clearer - as opposed to my friends who have shared/suffered my depression etc.

Understood. And actually that's very good insight, and I totally agree. It's true that sometimes friends are so biased AGAINST your ex that you can't trust their judgment either. But I mentioned that because a crucial part of your friends' help was when she called you that first time...

Still overwhlemly in love I said that I wanted her back – however I added that I needed to know she was serious and I wanted to take it slowly (this was the logical part of my brain doing what my friends insisted I had to do).
...So even though I totally understand what you're saying about the friends being too emotionally involved, if there is still any way they can continue to be helpful to you, use it. If necessary, use help from here and there in fragmented pieces, friends, posting, journaling, whatever works.

 

Also, another tool that might help is to make two lists of her traits, the good and the bad, and be very honest about the bad. It might surprise you to see how much bad there is, how lopsided the two lists. And then when you feel weak, pull out the lists to remind yourself, to help keep it in proper perspective.

 

And maybe it would help to also make a list of YOUR good and bad traits. I'm guessing that she got the better end of the deal when you compare yourself against her? One thing I realized is that I should value more what I brought to the relationship. And I realized that my partner's list of good qualities should reflect mine and compliment mine. If I'm not abusive and manipulative then why should I put up with that from someone else? (And if you are loyal and sincerely devoted to her, why would you put up with her betrayal?) So now I require that my partner consistently have more of the same good qualities that I appreciate in myself. It took me a while to even realize the relationships had been lopsided, but now that I understand that I'm no longer interested in lopsided relationships.

 

Miss M: If you don't mind me asking - you seem to have been in a similar position. What do you think made you believe those lies you were being told? What was it about the person that, although their apology was thin, you chose to accept it?

Hmm. This is a very good question. I've had a few relationships, (too many really), and they were typically somewhat different from what you've described, although there are lots of similarities. Usually I was being verbally and emotionally abused. No cheating was involved. And I was always the one who made the decision to end it. And the other person was usually the one who was begging for another chance, trying to convince me that I'd been unfair, or too hasty, or that he had changed and would treat me better.

 

Some of the reasons I believed the lies and took them back was because the person really was in some ways very charming and genuinely had lots of good aspects. And when we were together there were times when the relationship felt like something that magically clicked. At times our personalities fit neatly, comfortably, like two snug pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. And when we had differences and split apart I was vulnerable because the pain of loneliness was excruciating. And I was very hungry to love and be loved by someone. I literally didn't know how to function without someone in my life.

 

So I accepted the apologies because I was emotionally very desperately hungry, and I craved the validation that the apologies offered me. And also I was not able to feel whole and content within myself, or by myself. Thus the relationship felt intensely vital to my very existence, just as important as air, water, and food.

 

Also something in your queries makes me think you're trying to deeply understand why you're illogically susceptible to that emotional "pull." I had those same questions and some of what helped me is a book called The Betrayal Bond by Patrick J. Carnes. According to Carnes something in our past programmed us to be vulnerable in this way. When a person is both appealing and harmful, we get caught in a type of powerful and emotional push/pull dynamic. When they mistreat us, it makes us hunger even more for the "good" treatment, and we then look to that same person to assuage the pain s/he just created. So instead of responding logically like others and leaving the person, the bad treatment actually hooks us, and makes us feel more emotionally attached to our abusers. It works that way because it wakes up an enormous hunger for validation and kindness, and we desperately long to feed that hunger. This is the same kind of thing that is done to kidnap victims, and why they illogically protect their captors, and why they resist being rescued. It is why they have to be "de-programmed" when rescued. They have had to depend on their captors for their survival, even their food, and so they develop a deep appreciation for the person who mistreats them, a very strong emotional bond. This has also been called "The Stockholm Syndrome" named for the illogical behavior of some hostages taken in a Stockholm many years ago. And this is what many battered women experience and why they protect their abusers and repeatedly return to them. It's why they often say, "But when he isn't hitting me, he's REALLY nice." Many of us have these same tendencies without realizing what it is, and I found Carnes' explanations very helpful. If any of this rings a bell and you want to know more about it, PM me.

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