Let me begin in simple blunt terms as to what is going on in my life right now: My girlfriend of almost three years, a girl I have loved for more than 5 years, and a girl I have thought of seriously and spiritually as my wife for the last two years, has recently admitted to me that she is no longer in love with me and neither hopes or expects us to have a future. She also admits that because she isn't in love with me, she can't find the motivation to fix the relationship. The most she seems to be able to do is not kick me out of the house, since she doesn't want to hurt me.
This has hit me like a ton of bricks. Apparently the spark has been going out since September, and she kept it to herself this whole time, not wanting to be disloyal to me and figuring it would hurt me to know she was having doubts. Instead, she tried both to hope it would go away, then to work on it herself. She didn't actually tell me about the situation until basically she arrived at the decision that it is an unsolvable problem for her.
I am finding myself wishing I was dead everyday, although I haven't had serious thoughts of suicide so don't view this as a crisis letter. I just walk around numb and in a dream state. I wake every morning expecting this to be a nightmare, then get crushed to find out it is real. I occasionally try to write songs about it, but I find myself skipping my usual poetry readings and stopping writing because expressing myself right now is just too painful.
She says she still loves me, but I know all this means she cares about me enough to not want me to hurt. I think that is the extent of it. She was witness to two divorces before her mom, her role model, found happiness, and she has broken up with two boyfriends in the past AT THE EXACT SAME timing as this breakup (serious relationship for 2 3/4 years, then breakup), so while this is upsetting, I don't think it really shakes her. To her, this is just a normal inevitable part of love, and now it is time for us to move on with our lives.
I am so scared . I have lived in her home for two years now. The pets that were once hers now feel like mine as well. I have fed and loved them for two years. When she went away on a 3 month road trip, I bonded seriously with the dog Petrie, and since he has felt like was the first dog that was truly mine. This home feels like mine. The yard feels like mine. The bed feels like mine. But it is her name on the mortgage, she has been the one consistently paying the rent, and the dogs were hers for months before I came along.
I just feel like all of the sudden I am supposed to toughen up, grin and bare it, and move out. I feel like I am expected to go from feeling like I am with my soul mate, to understanding she doesn't and can't love me in a couple weeks time. I feel like I am about to lose my home, my pets, my bed, my safety, and most importantly, my wife. This is a woman who I have shared first symbolic wristbands, then rings on our wedding finger for almost our whole relationship. Someone who until three weeks ago called me her husband.
Everything that is in this email to you has been said to her. We have talked together, cried together, always at night, and always waking up awkwardly in the morning. We still have sex, still do our date night, still visit with each others family. We have all the trappings of our old relationship except hope, safety, or love from her side. I have expressed my feeling in every possible way.
I have worked very hard in the areas I realized I have been lacking: work around the house, constant jealousy, not supporting her platonic friendships with men, and helping with money in areas like rent, dog food, and meals. When I found out that she had been using one of my friends (a guy) as a secret advice counselor (she can't talk to her best friend, because we don't exactly see eye to eye), I resisted the guy-urge to be angry that she kept it from me or to accuse her of infidelity and told her I supported her and apologized for putting her into the position where she felt she couldn't be friends with a guy without me getting mad at her.
I have been able to confirm in a number of ways that this was no affair, by the way, mainly just by the fact that the guy, Leon, has made every effort to try to heal me and Darby's relationship, offering to do a peer mediation session, and even advising her on a number of occasions that she is giving up to easy with me. Oddly enough, as soon as I supported the friendship, and told her I was glad she had someone to vent to, she stopped calling Leon, leaving him feeling used and useless.
I, and even she, feels that since I found this out three weeks ago I have managed to do a complete 180 turn, yet she tells me it doesn't matter. She has told me that no matter what I do or say, that this is doomed.
I have asked and begged her to try to save this relationship. She says she already has, far before I knew about it. I have told her this isn't the same as working together, and while she acknowledges this, I know she doesn't really believe it. I have suggested going to church or visiting couples therapy. I have suggested a weekend together to try to bond again. I have told her I accepted that she doesn't love me anymore, but told her I feel this relationship is worth saving and I want to work on rekindling it. She seems receptive to doing anything that keeps me from hurting, but won't expend any effort saving the relationship.
Basically, she has told me she doesn't want to plan any us stuff in the future (therapy, church, etc.) because she doesn't see us together in the future. I have told her I feel this creates a self-fulfilling prophecy, but she doesn't seem to understand that.
I guess this is all I really have to say, can say right now. I don't really know what to expect as answer from you, and I am really scared of some tough love news. I really love this girl the exact same today as I have since December of 2002, honestly since I was in school with her in 1999. We should be celebrating our 3 year anniversary this New Years Eve. Everything I am is tied up and dedicated to her. I am afraid of losing my home, my wife, my safety, my life, and my pet companions.
well westernxer said it so I'll just say that I'm sorry to hear that you're having such a difficult time with things. You're not the issue here, she is. You can't make her love you or stay. If she is moving on then you will have to start finding your way on your own. Its a tough situation.
This is tough. I know that feeling of having your heart in your stomach....
Can I ask you this? When you came into her life, was there another guy already in her life? I only ask this , well because woman on a whole, do not leave a man, unless they already have one. Ouch- I know. You did mention she has a lot of male friends. I think male and females can be friends, but other after they have already had a realtionship ( and if it was not overly sexual) or if the guy or girl is not attractive. What I would do? Spill it all out , one more time for her, and then , give her exactly what she wants ( or thinks she wants) You will need a SHE TOX. Yes , no emailing, no calling, nothing!!! Let her really feel life without you. If she likes that, or can handle that, she really is not the one. If you can go back home or have a friend you can stay with that is your best bet. The old saying, if you love something set it free- it if comes back to you, its yours forever.
Tough... Sorry you`re in such a rough spot. I can`t advise you anything regarding this girl, but i can give you this advice: Don`t rush in too quickly anymore. Try to build a life, your life, that will include a woman, but don`t build a world around your woman. I nearly walked the same road. It also hit me like a ton of bricks. Fortunately, i`m far too independent for the relationship to consume me completely.
Please, for your own sake and happiness, don`t let the world revolve around a single person. It *can* lead to what you`re experiencing now.
Thanks for the advice. In response, she doesn't really have ANY male friends is the issue. She had this one, but apparently that fell apart when I supported it.
I don't have worries about infidelity. I know this may sound naive, because noone who gets cheated on expects it, but at the end of the day I KNOW, if for no other reason than she doesn't have time. She is part of a competitive all girl dance team that practices 15 hours a week, and she works 40 hours a week. Except for that, the rest of the week is filled up with stuff we do together (visiting each others family, working on some of the concerts I throw, date night etc) Simply put, there just wouldnt be time for another man.
Besides that, I trust her. Which could be foolish, but it comes from a couple situations of her friends telling me what she is like when I am not around, or me running into her in situations where she is out on her own. She won't even dance with other people.
Anyway, as far as the SHE TOX, thats the main issue. I feel if I could just walk out today and be gone that could really help, but my furniture, my office, all my stuff is in our house. Our cellphone bills are conjoined. There is no way to just GO. Instead there would be a way to slowly seperate ourselves from each other, something that I know would just lead her to feel more allright about the breakup
You say you feel like she's your wife, yet you didn't marry. Why not?
At this point, I'd be more worried about how you allowed yourself to be put in this position. Are you not worth protecting yourself and your needs in relationships? Why did you allow "everything you are" to be "tied up and dedicated to her?"
I'm sorry to sound so cold, Tommy. I know the physical ache such separation causes, a wailing of the soul. But you are not dependent upon her for your survival.
She's got problems that have unfortunately hurt you, and you're going to have to be the one to love you now.
you know what? there is nothing to say. youve built so much with this person, have so many memories, and she is not willing to put any effort in it, wants benefits (still date nite, sex) but doesnt want to WORK for the relationship? come on! you deserve to be loved. im sure you werent perfect in the relationship, because nobody is perfect - and im sure you've learned and grown in so many ways over the course of it. if youre willing to work on it, but she is so cold and distant about it. tear yourself from her as soon as you can. emotionally prepare yourself. get out because this is poisoning you. it wasn't always poison, its hard to pull away now... but its poison now!
Sadly, when one person decides or feels it's over, it's a done deal. Not too much you can do except move on and try your best to get over her. I'm sure it's very painful for you but hopefully in time you'll see that maybe breaking up was for the best. The last thing you want is to be with someone who doesn't love you the way you should be loved.
Hearts, I feel for you. There's nothing I can say that would make you feel better, but there is hope. It might be slight and it definitely requires you to have an iron stomach, so here goes.
When someone you love pulls away from you, the natural reaction is to grab them and cling to them as tightly as you can. This serves to cause the exact opposite of what you want.
The best thing you can do is give her the space required to miss you and perhaps in time she will recreate her spark. That means you have to tell her "This is not what I wanted, but I love you enough to give you what you desire. I'll be out by XXXX time."
Now here comes the hard part. You have to not only say it, you have to mean it and DO IT.
That's where the iron stomach comes in. You must absolutely do what you say you are going to do. You need to initiate no contact, get your own place, pick up the pieces of what is left and start to live your life. You need to hang out with friends or make new ones that don't know her. You need to tell yourself that you're worthy of being loved.
Why do this?
1. This is your road to recovery. You're hurt and she knows that, but you can't show her. You must remain strong and resilient. Utilize no contact to help your heart heal.
2. She needs time to miss you and she can not do that when you're around each other constantly.
3. In her case, she might just be under some stress or maybe she feels her life is mundane. Let her find that out without you interferinig.
4. While you're maintaining no contact, you're better able to take a step back and see the situation for what it is and review some areas of your life that need improvement. From what I can tell, you spend a lot of time together, perhaps too much. Do you have hobbies and friends outside this relationship? If not, that should be # 1.
Realize the only area you control right now is your life and your reaction to the situation. You can sit there and wallow in self-doubt and pity or you can resolve to not let this get you down. If you choose the latter, your road to recovery will take a lot less time and in the process, you might find yourself improving the quality of your life. For instance, you might join a gym, buy a mountain bike or maybe even take up skydiving. Either way you have to surround yourself with friends and go enjoy life. If anything, it will take your mind off her and serve to make you a more well rounded person.
There's no guarantee she is coming back. The only guarantee I can make is that if you cling on to her, you will definitely lose her for good. If you do as I suggest, she may initiate contact with you eventually, no guarantee. If that happens, take it slow. Don't respond right away. Show her you have a life and interest outside of her. Do get back to her, just don't be overly excited to do so. If you must contact each other to tie up loose ends, resist the urge to discuss "us" or other beg and grovel. She needs to see you are strong and getting along fine without her.
If you do eventually meet again to see if can work, you need to start the relationship over, as friends. You can not pick up where you left off or you are doomed to failure (I speak from experience here). You need to talk about what contributed to the demise of the relationship and what steps you both are going to take to prevent it from happening again.
There is no guarantee her feelings will be rekindeld, but there's always a slight chance that once she starts to miss you, to miss what you had together, she might reconsider what she's giving up.
Don't force it. Please. Do not try and control the situation. Focus on yourself and your needs. Work on your confidence and being a well rounded person with interest outside of her. Get a new dog if you really want one. Hang out with friends and get new hobbies.
If nothing else you will be even more appealing to someone more deserving of you. And your healing is the primary focus here, not her. So let's do what we can to get you on the right track and hope and pray for the best.
I read your letter and will try my best to give you whatever information and advice I can but I doubt you'll take it to heart for some time yet.
First I wanted to till you that what you're going through is pretty common and occurs all the time and it's her problem... but your fault. You tried you're best to do the right thing (avoiding arguments, being supportive of her desire to avoid drama, maintaining the illusion of a strong relationship, etc.) but doing this is exactly what's causing you this pain.
You are so focused on preventing her from feeling bad and putting up a brave front you are quite firmly telling her what she's doing is ok and that it's no big deal. You told us she's from at least a twice broken home so has grown with the assumption that if things aren't perfect it's perfectly fine to just walkaway. So she does, at least twice before she's walked away... and you're reinforcing that by rolling over and playing dead. You're being the "Niceguy" the good boyfriend and swallowing your pain is pretty much validating your place at the bottom of this relationship and a guarantee that she does it again to the next guy. And there will be a next guy, your relationship is over accept that.
The minute she chose to go to another man for support instead of you is the biggest sign that you are not her primary source of emotional support which means she's no longer that vested in you. I can't tell you how to get over you're pain, that's something you will have to work through on your own (like all men do and you will find away mostly because you don't have a choice) but I can tell you a few things that you should do and a few things that you NEED to do.
First things you need to do:
1) GET OUT. It's over all you're doing now is prolonging your own pain and puffing up her ego. Walk away before it get's really bad and she decides to put you out. (You have no say in this she's a woman and this is Amerika, her word can put you in jail, the hospital or the morgue)
grab what is yours, and move into your own place as soon as possible.
2) Don't talk to her anymore, you can't fix it and it's not worth trying to fix. I know this is harsh but do you really want to try to be with someone who says to your face I don't want you but I'll let you spend your money on me and then I'll just use you for sex ?
She will try to contact you, don't answer. She'll try to have your friends convince you to talk to her, don't let them. It's just gonna cause you pain. Move on with your life and let her deal with the repercussions of her actions. Maybe she'll think twice with the next guy.
Now let me address a few points you made that you need to go back and think about.
She did have an affair, the worst kind out there. An affair is a betrayal of trust and a sharing of intimacy with someone else instead of you, sex is only a small small part of it. She went to another man and shared the private details of you're life together and looked to him for emotional support and understanding. That's your job, she should have gone to you first especially if their were problems. Sex is physical and mechanics, the intimacy of sharing those feelings with someone else is the worse kind of betrayal.
The next thing I want you to think about is how you reacted after she told you. You rewarded her for it. You went out of your way to do everything she wanted and literally told her "I want you more than you want me and I'll do anything you want me to." What does this tell her about your relationship ? It's not a meeting of equals out to make things better for them both, it's all about her and nothing is more important than what she wants or thinks she deserves.
You have done everything in your power to show her that she is worth more than you, that she's better than you and of course deserves more than you. Stop playing her game, planning to spend your life with someone who has such little value for you is just the fast way to a lifetime of pain.
On a personal note technically, depending on where you live, you are legally married. Two years co-mingled and presenting yourselves as husband and wife is really all it takes. Leaving now and avoiding any drama should hopefully let you avoid a palimony suit and losing whatever money/possessions you have.
As for your girl she sounds like a using manipulative little shrew and you should be glad your gone. The way she used your friend leon to make you jealous/mad and then threw him awal like used tissue goes to show how well she values others, especially those who actually try to help her. You dodged a bullet my friend, be glad.
But it is her name on the mortgage, she has been the one consistently paying the rent,
This kind of reads like you've basically been living off her for the past three years, and are now upset that she's not in love with you anymore.
You said you've started paying some of the bills, but you also said it's only been for the past 3 weeks. 3 years of being one way is not wiped out in 3 weeks.
Were you really not paying, or contributing toward the bills? Even something so simple as dog food? That will build up a lot of resentment in someone, that can't be knocked down without a substantial amount change from you and a significant amount of time.
To give you an update:
I thought long and hard about the advice you all gave me: To do whatever it is that was best for me, and to only feel responsible for doing what it is I can do. I also gave careful consideration about what would be BEST for me.
I made the decision, on the night of Friday (the day we talked/the day I got her letter), that I couldn't make ANY more careful decisions at that point. It was impossible to be clearheaded sitting in that house, surrounded by memories, and alongside the pets I am so worried about losing. I also couldn't make any decisions feeling pressured to move out on her timetable.
So I left.
I left the house with the help of my brother, and only took some clothes with me. I purposely left everything of my old life behind in that house. I left my car, my toothbrush, my stuff, everything. I even left the note. I didn't do this in a panic, but in a kind of manic calm. I made the decision to not be dictated by the rules of someone who is not thinking logically (her), and to get somewhere where I can really think things out.
I have since moved into the house of one of the bandmates of the band I am managing. It is perfect. I am living comfortably in a 8ft by 8ft room that is reminiscent of my dorms at GSU. There is a queen size bed squeezed in here, and I have my clothes, some books, and some other accessories I picked up (shaving cream, razor, toothbrush) arranged carefully on the shelves. I have told my parents what is going on, and have staff members running my weekly concerts I organize, so there is no way she can contact me or find me right now. After this week, I plan on going on staying with some friends in Atlanta till Christmas.
I did all this to accomplish a couple things: 1)To regain control of this situation by doing the unexpected and making my own decisions. 2)To get somewhere where I can clearly think of what to do next and 3)To wrench every aspect of comfortability about this breakup from her.
She let things go in a way that suggests she wants a comfortable fairytale ending to our story, and seemed to think we could just do things this way. Obviously, through her past experiences she has some delusion that this takes place. She wanted to end this in a way where no bridges were burned, so she can happily restart this when she feels grownup enough to get married.
I know EVERY thing I should be doing right now should be for me, but I still very much want to save this relationship. It seems to me that the only way that can be done by completely denying any comfort she could get from me outside the relationship and hope she will wake up and "smell the coffee" as you say. I don't think there is much chance of this, but if there is anyway for it to happen I have to pull the rug out from under her feet the same she pulled the rug out from under my feet. It's not revenge, its just I think as long as she feels in control, I think she won't stop to look around at what she is losing.
The only communication I have had with her since you and I talked has been a single text message the night I left, simply saying "In the morning my car will here, my stuff will be here, my clothes will be here, my heart will be here but I will not be. I love you wife, Goodnight. Mwah Mwah Mwah." The last part is a reference to how we used to say goodnight to each other, and it was meant to say " I am leaving but I still love you." Instead she took it as suicidal, and has since been actively trying to contact me, through friends, through my voicemail, and through my family. I have not accepted any form of communication from her, and I don't plan to until this is sorted out.
The most controversial part of my plan, meaning the part that is probably the least psychological benefical for me, is that I plan to go by there on Christmas day. Christmas day was the day we fell in love 3 years ago, and I think along with this deprivation I am hoping she might become nostalgic. I plan to go by there on Christmas night, give her her gift, see where her mind is at that point. I plan to discuss with her then whether we should date other people, whether we want to take it slow and start dating occasionally, whether she wants me back in the house, or whether I need to just leave and move on. In any case that leaves me out of the house, I plan on moving everything I own into my home office in the house, and rent the room from her for January, and take my time finding a new place to move into.
Life is hard right now. Every morning is waking up forgetting what is going on, then realizing what is going on and a weight hits my chest. I alternate frequently between hating her, loving her, accepting this, hating this, wanting to see her right then, feeling all of this is stupid, and forgetting completely that anything has changed. Its a constant emotional rollercoaster, and it needs to end one way or another. I feel at this point there are only two ways it can end: with me coming back to the relationship as an adult and separate individual, or me leaving the relationship for good.
Anyway, that's all I can think to say right now. I look forward to your responses. Thanks for all the help.
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