LoveShack.org Community Forums

Reload this Page LoveShack.org Community Forums > Breaking Up, Reconciliation & Coping > Second Chances

Ended it, but having doubts


Second Chances Called it off but doubting the decision now? Someone wants you back? Let us know about it!

Like Tree2Likes
  • 2 Post By marky00
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 28th October 2017, 8:28 PM   #1
New Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 5
Ended it, but having doubts

Six weeks ago I ended a relationship of three years and have been consumed with doubts ever since. Curious to hear some unbiased thoughts.

I’m 38, she’s 26. The sweet version of the story goes: we met on Tinder, met up Tindery expectations, only to discover that (age difference be damned) we couldn’t imagine having a better time with anyone else.

The more complicated version goes: she developed serious feelings faster, I remained a noncommittal male for far longer than she deserved, and we never found a way to snuff out this tension and imbalance (all magnified by the age difference) even as a very real and deep love developed between us.

Suffice to say the center couldn’t hold. From the beginning, she was often insecure and jealous, lashing out over texts when I was away on work. And I too often played the role as the one who had “figured it out” instead of making her see how much I loved figuring out life alongside her. I did this, of course, because I have my own insecurities that I'm sorting through. So there was a bit of the student/teacher vibe—fun early, but something we both outgrew but couldn’t figure out how to outgrow together.

The last six months were a challenge. She voiced concerns about my level of commitment. She was also going through stuff personally—hated her job, was getting seriously depressed. She couldn’t hear me (or feel me) when I told her how much I loved her, how much I saw us as partners. She became distant and I became needy—an inverse of our early days. She hated having to talk about things; more often than not, she just got tired and cried, which made me panic and go deeper into let's-figure-it-out-NOW mode. She pushed, I pulled.

Recognizing I was losing too much of my own core in this cycle, I finally said, “Hey, I see a future with us so what we’re working through feels manageable, even exciting. But I can’t be the only one. What do you want?” I’d hoped that being reminded that there were real stakes here, she’d kind of come around. But she just got quiet and said, “I don’t know, I don’t know.” I got stoic and said it was over.

We needed to break up, that I don’t question. Too much pressure, no way to release it inside the relationship. I can’t speak for her, but it’s given me time to sit with myself, to go to therapy, to begin addressing a lot of my own issues head on, to see the ways in which I failed to fully see and hear her. I’m not wallowing—I’m working, traveling, engaging with friends, finding joy, working on becoming a better man and person.

Still, it’s just not sitting right with me. When I think about my future, she’s part of it—we’re a team, taking on the world together, side by side.

Does she feel this way? That’s the question. While I tried to go NC, she’s reached out a lot with mixed messages. The day after the break she told me she felt “relieved,” but hated herself for feeling that way. She was just out of steam, exhausted. At the same time she told me she hoped “with all my heart that my love for you will give me the strength and clarity I lack right now.” She texted asking if we could still exchange birthday gifts. I told her that, sadly, a gift from her would only remind me of what I was struggling to accept: that the woman I want to be with has lost faith in the relationship. “That’s not how I feel,” she said, but didn’t say anything more. I didn't push, because we'd reached this point (I felt) because she was too tired to engage when we were together.

Later, the texts turned kind of mean, and when I asked her why she was so angry, she said, “Because I can’t feel what I want to feel and because we’re not in each other’s lives anyore.” Being hurt myself—I kind of felt like I had to break up with me for her—I got angry and stern, basically saying you don't get the relief of my attention and the relief of not being with me.

I haven’t heard from her in about 2 weeks, and am currently out of the country for another 2 to clear my head. It’s been nice, feeling more secure again. And I really hope she's getting what she needs, whatever that may be. Time to herself, time to experience life outside of my shadow, to tap into her inner strength, which is always something I loved about her (but something she told me she didn't always see herself). She has a new job that she loves, and from what I know is developing better relationships with friends (something she'd neglected when we were together). She's also in therapy.

Part of me thinks maybe she’s just super confused—about me, about herself, about life—and is reaching out on impulse; she wants me for emotional support but is over me romantically. Another part fears she still sees me as some stoic guy who doesn't really care. When I told her how hurt I was a few weeks ago, she brushed it off: "Well, you seem fine as always." And: "You're better off and you know it." I don't know where that comes from, given that I'd spent months and months telling her that she was all I wanted. I'm not fine, losing her is crushing, yet it's like we both feel we got dumped and are waiting for the other to step up.

At the end of the day, I just can’t shake the idea that there’s still another chapter for us, feel the world is brighter when I can share it with her, and believe that if we could address some issues as things cool off we can see a clear path together. So I'm wondering if there's something I can or should be doing that I'm not to let her know that my heart remains open to her, and how sorry I am for any moment when I failed to make her feel seen and heard.

Thoughts? Happy to answer any questions.
bluecastle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th October 2017, 1:58 AM   #2
Established Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 1,062
Actually u pushed, she pulled.


I went through something similar.


The way I see it, unfortunately, her feelings for the relationship have diminished to a point that make it not sustainable. It can't be reversed or fixed.


It's the crappiest thing bout LTRs. When 2 people are both seeing flaws in the relationship and its an equal balance. One person's reaction to this is to slowly detach while the other's is to try to fix things. The reality is that had the person not detached, then the other wouldn't have started acting clingy. It's a flaw in the human psyche and is what causes so many relationships to fail. What's even crazier is had a few factors been a little different, the roles could have been reversed. Luck, timing, personal issues in someone's lives all end up deciding who gets what role as the relationship starts to fail.


Right now, you should absolutely maintain NC. The cycle will never end if you stay in contact. You need to get it to a point where she stops "trying" to feel something for the relationship that she simply cannot.


In a few years, when she is healed and stops feeling guilty, there's a very small chance you might re-connect but don't count on it.
Cora and bummer like this.
marky00 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th October 2017, 5:33 AM   #3
New Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 5
Thanks for the advice. I should say that for most of the relationship it was me pushing and her pulling—and then, yes, toward the end it flipped. Still, even toward the end she was telling me she saw me in her future and wrote a long letter about where she was at: depression, self-hatred, growing pains, wanting to find her own footing as an individual—BUT totally certain that she wanted to be together. Problem was, by then I was so torqued with stress that I couldn't totally process it and FEEL it. With a bit of space, I can, and I guess I wonder if she still has those feelings. We're talking just a few weeks ago.
bluecastle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th October 2017, 2:55 PM   #4
Established Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 1,062
being technical here.


Pulling is done by the one less invested in the relationship. When someone dumps you, they pulled 100 per cent


Pushing is done by the one more invested in the relationship. When a dumpee gets clingy and tries to save a relationship, that is pushing.


I think you have the meanings mixed up.
marky00 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th October 2017, 3:36 PM   #5
New Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 5
I meant I was the one pushing her away—keeping her, and the relationship, at arms's length as she was the clingy one trying to pull me in. I worried about the age difference, I had **** I was working through, etc. It took me a while to fully "come around," as they say, and she has plenty of resentment about that first year that she'd suppressed for a while.

It's when it started to bubble to the surface that we started talking about things, trying to repair the dynamic, and we had plenty of success. But she was going through a lot (loss of job, depression, classic existential stuff in your mid-20s) and as patient as I tried to be her distance just left me frayed. After all, I was going through my own **** too.

I guess what I'm saying is that, while technically the dumper, I feel a whole lot more like the dumpee. I think we both kind of do, in ways, which is why this period is so confusing to me.
bluecastle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th October 2017, 6:21 PM   #6
Established Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Australia
Posts: 1,372
Get the impression you were way too complicated and too much over talk for her it got too much, especially with her depression and other things going on and you being older she was feeling like confused little girl, it all got too much.

l think things needed to be simpler on all that, less talk and crap and more just you guys gong along and enjoying yourselves.

As far as the non committal male thing, no such thing in most cases, but we ain't stoopid , if there's problems we hesitate , simple. lf everythings where it should be and the feelings are right suddenly we actually wanna go for it.

dunno about the future but right now she really needs time totally away from you two to clear her head and get perspective.first of all. My guess is she probably won't wanna try again then later but that'll just mean your so call non committal gut feelings nagging you were right.
Don't think you've really got much choice but to maybe leave her be for 6mths first of all. And if you do talk between keep it light and stay off relationship stuff.

Last edited by Chilli; 30th October 2017 at 6:32 PM..
Chilli is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31st October 2017, 7:13 AM   #7
New Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 5
Thanks, Chilli. At the end of the day, I tried meeting her where she said she was: wanting to check in, wanting more, etc. I really did want all that, and it was nice to express it, even if she didn't actually want it. She needs her time and space to be young, now she has it, and I guess I'll just ignore her reaching out.
bluecastle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31st October 2017, 7:28 AM   #8
New Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 5
It's hard not to feel a bit duped, since she was the one who upped the ante/made things complicated. But she was going through a lot. Oh well—moral of the story is age differences are real. I got bit, but learned a lot.
bluecastle is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

 

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Long distance relationship ended but with many doubts Azert Breaks and Breaking Up 2 25th June 2017 9:27 AM
He ended his marriage..and ended it with me as well.. ShatteredHearts The Other Man / Woman 31 14th August 2015 1:36 PM
First LDR-doubts? hazeleyedsara Long-Distance Relationships 7 30th March 2015 2:06 PM
doubts wanda_t Long-Distance Relationships 5 4th September 2008 6:33 AM
Having doubts Laurenwho Getting Married 3 31st July 2008 12:55 PM

 

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 3:00 AM.

Please note: The suggestions and advice offered on this web site are opinions only and are not to be used in the place of professional psychological counseling or medical advice. If you or someone close to you is currently in crisis or in an emergency situation, contact your local law enforcement agency or emergency number.


Copyright © 1997-2013 LoveShack.org. All Rights Reserved.