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Breaks and Breaking Up It happens to most everyone at some point in life! Share your experiences!

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Old 10th October 2017, 2:31 PM   #136
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(((Jenny)))!!!!

Ah, I would post updates more frequently but I don't know where is best to post, or if anyone still reads this, or - what is even happening in my life most days, lol. But I was so happy to see you check in!

Right now, we are still spending time together, dating but not fully committed to a relationship again as we are starting new (although we are not dating other people) - we jokingly called it "exploring" just to see what happens. This has been a challenge in itself for me, because despite everything, sometimes when I am with him I find myself wanting to just go back to how it used to be (even if that is wrong, sigh). We have not been intimate ... we are really just spending time together, talking, seeing how this goes. I have gone out a couple times with his friends again, which really has been fun and feels like old times. I saw his father for the first time the other day, which was both awkward and nice, he gave me a big hug.

Jenny, I know his issues are still there. And I don't want to pretend that they won't eventually rear their ugly head, or that this will have some magical ending. So I don't know what I am doing, or why I am doing it. Except that I just still love him. He also is still coping with the loss of his dog. He has expressed that he is worried this is abnormal grieving, but tomorrow will only be 3 weeks and she was like his baby. Everyone grieves differently, I try to reassure him that this is okay and just listen. He feels bad that this has happened at the same time as us talking again, but I am happy to be there for him.

I guess I realize that this may be crazy, and the odds are stacked against us, and I may be a complete and utter fool. Everything I say here will just sound like I am rationalizing my poor decision making, and that really isn't the case - I am well aware that my heart may (likely) break again, but I am exploring this with my eyes wide open because, quite simply put, no one has compared to him.

I have to say - it is almost eery how alike our exes were (are)! I learned that he had done little to nothing since we broke up, and he had an extremely tough time. He has not had one family or friend game night, no barbecues, not one kayaking trip. These are things we did ALL the time. It seems he fell into a depression of sorts (well, I know I did) where he neglected things in his life. Anyway, your conversation with P and your ex's current state reminded me of this. Perhaps avoidants outwardly project one way, but cope in the opposite.

Anyway, I am so sorry to hear about your run in (and your ruined night of romance!). HSometimes these things reopen our wounds, even just a little. I can't help but wonder what J and P are going to go back to your ex and say (sorry, I am sure you have thought it too). Thank goodness he was caught up at work!

Nice on the Australian fling

I wonder if people who have to see exes more frequently just learn to deal with it better/more quickly. For example, when going through my divorce, I had 3 small children and had to constantly be in contact/see XH. So I guess I learned to deal with it.

How have you been dealing with this since?
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Old 11th October 2017, 10:27 PM   #137
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Hi Newheart-

I have to say, I don’t think you are necessarily making a huge mistake. I mean, yes, there are issues that will most likely come up again, but everyone and every relationship has issues. It’s not like only perfectly “together”, issue-less people get to have love or relationships. I think the key is, if you know what’s going to come up, making a plan to deal with these things when they do. Are you guys talking about that?

Some ideas- what about both agreeing to read a relationship/communication book and then discussing some things in it? I just attended a seminar at my workplace about having crucial conversations, and the instructor was excellent, and recommended a book called “Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most. ” He said it has helped his marriage immensely.

Or maybe agreeing to have a monthly “state of the relationship talk.” Like, the last weekend of every month, you agree to set aside an hour and discuss how things are going, what’s been good, what’s been bad, what changes you would like, etc.

Or maybe even both just vocalizing what you both see as the biggest impediment for a successful relationship, and strategies on how to deal with those issues.

I think the only way this could be a true disaster is if you just shut your eyes and jump back in without acknowledging the previous problems. But don’t be so hard on yourself. You love him, and he loves you, of course you want to try again!

Honestly, I think the only way to know if it’s going to work is to just get back in and try, but armed with some strategies and new outlooks. I really have my fingers crossed for you. ((hugs))

As for my situation- yes, after the run-in with ex's brother and SIL I have been thinking about my ex a bit more. Definitely wondering what, if anything, they told him about that night. From day 1 I have been sure that we would never get back together. My ex has extreme commitment issues, and I made it clear I wanted a commitment, so he knows if he ever came back, that would be what would need to happen. Now that all this time has passed, I can honestly say that I know I would not take him back. Commitment issues like that, especially in a middle-aged man, aren't fixable (in my opinion).

I will say, I did get a small (probably mean-spirited) sense of satisfaction knowing that he has also suffered in the aftermath of our break-up. And it definitely does not hurt to know that J & P probably told him I was with a man. During our awkward restroom conversation, P, in her tipsy state, said several times in reference to the Australian: ‘He’s handsome. And verrrry tall. So tall!’ My ex and his brother are both, well, not tall. LOL.

And finally, yes, like you, I got divorced when my kids were still fairly young so my I was just immune to my ex after a while. With other exes, after the break-up we fell into a semi-friendly situation and seeing them was not a problem. This one has felt so intense, we both went no contact, and although we live fairly close by, I live in a very densely populated area, so we have never run into each other. I'm sure it'll happen some day, sigh.

I hope you will continue to update and let us know how it's going!!
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Old 12th October 2017, 3:13 PM   #138
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Hi Newheart,

It's nice to read an update from you. It seems like things are going well for you since you're taking it slow. His grieving over his dog must be a lot to deal with on top of feeling out where you stand with him. I've never had any pets besides fish and turtles so I can't really understand how he feels, but if I cried when my turtle died, I think I would be completely devastated if my dog died. It is great for him that he has your support, I hope he appreciates it.

I'm sure it is easy to feel like you guys are back together sometimes, I think after you become intimate again is when it will really start feeling real. I applaud you on going slow but I can only imagine how hard it is to not be intimate, especially since you love him. I really hope that he treats you right and this can move forward in an emotionally healthy way for you. Please continue to update, I'm rooting for you!
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Old 30th October 2017, 10:36 AM   #139
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Just checking in ... not sure I have much of an update, but here it is. We've been spending time together and that has been great. I still feel like he is difficult to read, and while I don't want to continuously be having relationship status discussions, we did talk about it again over the weekend.

I was glad we have talked more since reconnecting, and shared this, but did express that I still struggle with his communication because I don't want to revert to guessing what his wants/needs are, and that he is not very expressive emotionally so I don't know what he is thinking. He is aware, acknowledged that his family has always told him the same thing.

He said to me ... "I have no doubt that we could spend the rest of our lives together and be very happy" ... and that out of many relationships he's had, he's felt the most strongly for me, and that things are going very well for us and we are really progressing, although he acknowledged that his struggle with the pup's death was definitely a set back. He said that reaching back out to me to reconcile wasn't something he did on a whim, he thought about it for a long time and it was important to him.

But ... he also said he doesn't know what he wants, because we live very different lives being that I have kids and he does not. He gave this an example: if/when he retires, if he wanted to move away, he knew it would be an issue for me because I wouldn't leave my adult children. This is true, but, it seems ridiculous to me to be worrying about something 25 + years away. I am not minimizing this - I understand where he is coming from, and maybe it is just comes down to incompatibility and what we want long term, but I don't see the point of not entering a relationship now because you might want to move if you retire. Conversely, he stated that at some point he may want to purchase a mother/daughter where he can take care of his parents, and that would be something I'd need to be okay with. (which kind of contradicts his whole fear of retiring and not being able to move - which I think is more related to his attachment issues) Sometimes, I feel like he is a walking contradiction, sigh.

In the end, he thinks things are going really well for us. I would feel the same, except I feel unsettled about his reservations, because I can't (and wouldn't) change that I am a parent first, so he has to accept this or move on. As usual, our two issues are: his communication, my availability.

As an aside, he said to me that he thinks he needs to talk to someone professionally because he is feeling a lot of guilt and grief still over his dog's death, so I encouraged him to do so. He was tearful and said that while he acts okay each day, he is really not. I am very concerned about this, and hope that he does talk to someone.

Anyway, he continues to make plans as if we are continuing as a couple, and I am just taking it day by day. At some point, either we will move on together or move on apart.
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Old 1st December 2017, 2:46 PM   #140
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Hi Newheart,

I just wanted to see how you were doing. I hope things are progressing the way you want them too. I know it can be more difficult around the holidays because of the pressures and expectations that are put upon us, even in the best of relationships. Anyway, I just figured that I would check in!
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Old 29th December 2017, 3:30 PM   #141
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I know I posted on my other thread, but wanted to thank you again Kellens for checking on me.

I am feeling particularly down today. Just a couple conflicts in the last couple of weeks that we haven't navigated particularly smoothly. Some days I catch myself thinking I am not happy, he can't possibly be happy, but then I never know what on earth he is thinking. The couple times I have brought it up, he has surprised me by saying he thinks things are progressing well, complete with examples of where we've improved. And I have to acknowledge there has been improvement in those areas - he is happier that we are talking more frequently when not together, and seeing each other more frequently. Yet, I still feel like I am sometimes on eggshells about things. Truth is, we are communicating more/better - as long as it doesn't include anything that could be perceived as negative, criticism, or conflict. Then he completely withdraws.

He isn't the same, and while I guess that makes sense and I don't necessarily want him to be the same person as last time because that won't work, I still struggle with how "cautious" he feels we need to be. He acts sometimes like he has PTSD, I swear. Sigh. That isn't nice I guess, I am just frustrated.

The afternoon is absolutely dragging on ... work is dead, and while I have plenty of projects to work on, with the impending holiday weekend and so much personal uncertainty, my heart isn't into anything at all right now.
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Old 29th December 2017, 4:07 PM   #142
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I'm sorry to hear that you are feeling down. This time of year can be really hard.

Reading your post, I can't help but think that "relatively new" relationships shouldn't be this hard. I'm still not convinced that there is not a basic incompatibility in this relationship, particularly as it relates to communication and conflict resolution. Although, I really respect the fact that you want to do everything you can do to make it work.

I hope 2018 brings the answers for which you are searching. Best wishes.
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Old 30th December 2017, 3:09 PM   #143
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Your ex sounds a lot like mine. I guess good guys can just be tortured souls inside and don't necessarily have the tools to communicate or get in touch with their feelings (or ours). A lot of what you wrote is verbatim what I have journaled. (i.e.: being a mind reader, conflict avoidant). I had to end it because I don't think he ever would have. My deeper needs werent getting met and I knew I couldn't be with someone who wasn't self aware enough to go to those uncomfortable vulnerable places with me. Or at least try. He had no reaction or opinions to our breakup and we haven't said a word since. It's really sad because like you, we didn't have fights, we had all positive memories, very tender moments, but all of our miscommunication and "conflict" was about his miscommunication and deflecting

I hope once the dust settles he will reach out but I'm not betting my money on it. He can live with the guilt of that. And hopefully he goes back to therapy to work on himself.

I'm happy you have him back in your life and you seem like you have a good head on your shoulders. Just stay true to yourself. Also just a thought, have you thought about going to therapy with him or alone? I have thought about going bc i can get anxious and act off my emotions which is not super healthy.
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Old 30th December 2017, 3:47 PM   #144
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Originally Posted by BriNyc82 View Post
Your ex sounds a lot like mine. I guess good guys can just be tortured souls inside and don't necessarily have the tools to communicate or get in touch with their feelings (or ours). A lot of what you wrote is verbatim what I have journaled. (i.e.: being a mind reader, conflict avoidant). I had to end it because I don't think he ever would have. My deeper needs werent getting met and I knew I couldn't be with someone who wasn't self aware enough to go to those uncomfortable vulnerable places with me. Or at least try. He had no reaction or opinions to our breakup and we haven't said a word since. It's really sad because like you, we didn't have fights, we had all positive memories, very tender moments, but all of our miscommunication and "conflict" was about his miscommunication and deflecting

I hope once the dust settles he will reach out but I'm not betting my money on it. He can live with the guilt of that. And hopefully he goes back to therapy to work on himself.

I'm happy you have him back in your life and you seem like you have a good head on your shoulders. Just stay true to yourself. Also just a thought, have you thought about going to therapy with him or alone? I have thought about going bc i can get anxious and act off my emotions which is not super healthy.
Yes, you characterized him perfectly.

I have been in therapy for my own issues, and believe it or not, made great progress, lol. He has not, and I don't think we are in the place to do couple's therapy (and sort of feel that is more reserved for marriages, if we need this dating I just think it isn't meant to be) ... I honestly don't think he will change. I don't think he can. I am not making excuses for him, I just think that he is who he is, and I likely cannot be happy with this type of person. I need someone who is clear and communicative, otherwise it just fuels my anxiety.

That said, here I am continuing to see him, continuing to make plans ... I just don't know when to call it quits, when to decide I've given it my all without feeling any regret.
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Old 30th December 2017, 4:17 PM   #145
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I definitely hear that! They have to want to change. I would often tell him that I don't want to change him. I can only tell him what my needs are and he can either be that person or he can't. He knows he needs to go back to therapy but I won't be the person who makes him go so he can resent me later on.

It's funny bc aren't we told we need to love people unconditionally. Even their dark sides? I think many of the reasons I was attracted to him in the beginning became things I couldn't deal with later on. I think it's really hard for someone to change at our age. I have seen it be done. But the person has to really want to change.

At least you are in this second time around with a little bit more clarity. And you know that if this doesn't work out that you gave it all your all. But something has to be different right? Don't they say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results?

I was reading through some of your prior threads and holy cr@&$ some of it felt like it was me. (When you were sick and he didn't check in and u txt him about forgetting about you). I know for you this was quite some time ago!! But it happened to me last month and I wholeheartedly understand your side. It goes back to basic values and making you feel secure and safe. I just wanted a simple txt asking how I was or if I needed anything. I think that's pretty reasonable! it was almost like he couldn't even connect to my pain.

Anyway I'm rambling. But everything will work out the way it's supposed to. It always does!!!
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Old 3rd January 2018, 9:58 AM   #146
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Originally Posted by BriNyc82 View Post
At least you are in this second time around with a little bit more clarity. And you know that if this doesn't work out that you gave it all your all. But something has to be different right? Don't they say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results?
I keep telling myself this - at the very least, I know I have truly tried and I will have no regrets. Though not perfect, I've also communicated more this time around. And oddly enough, if this doesn't work out, this time together has enabled me to view the relationship a little more realistically. I think after our break up I was missing him intensely because I was focusing on the best parts, my perception of the relationship seemed to be through rose colored glasses, if you will. Now I see his imperfections with more clarity (which is fine because no one is perfect), but I think I will be able to move on more confidently that I have done the right thing.
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