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Update - Leaving an Abusive Relationship.

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

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Old 9th August 2011, 8:32 PM   #1
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Update - Leaving an Abusive Relationship.

For the original thread, look here.

This is going to be my update thread from now on, to avoid out-dated responses to my old thread. A link to this has been posted there as well.

Today, my ex contacted me. He was pleasant, but it was really out of the blue. He asked when I was going to finish writing a book I had been working on, because he is curious what happens. I guess he thinks we're going to be friends from here on out, but he really disgusts me and I don't want anything to do with him in the long term. Still, I struck up a conversation with him, talked a little about his new girlfriend (that always seems to come up in conversation one way or another). I asked if he has been treating her well, if he's yelled at her. His response was "She yells at me more." To me that's avoiding the question and my answer seems to be 'no, I'm not treating her well, but in my opinion she's mean to me first so she deserves it.' Of course, I don't have any details on the situation, I'm just judging based on the mental state he kept during our entire relationship, and the thoughts he had on all females up until that point.. that they had wronged him in some way and were awful beings.

Anyway, after the "She yells at me more" comment, I said "Its not a contest, I might have yelled at you more in defense. Is she mean to you?" What I meant was, of course, that in our time I yelled a lot, but it was always when I was at my wits end with him and he wouldn't listen to normal conversation. Of course, he didn't listen to yelling either, which I eventually learned and started saving my voice and just sort of minimized myself until his rant/rage would end.

His response, "No. She's very loving 90% of the time." And then he made a very big change of topic, something that I couldn't ignore and had to address -- but something I will not divulge here. It had nothing to do with him and me anyway so its not really relevant.

So, it seems to me that, whether or not its true, he's taken the same stance with her. That she wrongs him and thus its okay that he yells -- since his answer was "She yells more." Well, that doesn't mean she starts it, or that she isn't in the right. The way he treated me, it was a miracle I didn't yell first. He would be absolutely awful, and sometimes he didn't raise his voice at all. In fact, that was always a point in his argument. I would ask why he's yelling at me, "I'm not yelling, I haven't raised my voice once." Of course, he understood perfectly what I meant, he's just a douche.

Overall it sounds like his life is going down the ****ter, and mine is pretty awesome. In fact, I'm very happy with life right now. I'm still working on improving it, mostly financially since I'm still attached to him in that regard... but slowly I'm making progress toward a complete separation. He also has some stuff here still but he may be stopping by to pick things up. And.. he may be bringing the new girl and her child with him, since they'll be on their way to the beach (my house is kinda on the way). That actually might be cool, I'd like a chance to see her / them together, see if I can't gauge how he's treating her. If she's really cold to me, I can guess he's already talking dirty about me to her, trying to make me look like a real bitch, like he did with the other girlfriends so I wouldn't listen if they tried to warn me about anything (and one of them did, turns out she was right and he lied to me about it). And I know, despite the way he may talk bad about ex's, he will still talk to them and be friendly with them, even if there is no real reason to talk to them (just casual banter - not like he has things to work out with them, such as him and I do with our financial separation). He just likes to be sought after, he would often brag about how they would ask him out when him and I would break up. If that's true, I don't know, could have been a ploy to make me jealous. If it was, it never worked.

So... yeah. I don't know what I'll do if its really obvious he's being mean to her. I don't think it will be obvious... he wasn't always obvious with me, just in front of our friends, sometimes his co-workers... they thought it was him being a wise ass, "Oh that's just how he is." etc etc... I know better.

Oh. Something random. I was with Leo last night... enjoying my time, watching a show, and for some reason at various points through the night my mind would wander to a time my ex was really awful to me. This has maybe happened once before, but not this many times in one night. Like I couldn't avoid it. It made me wonder... am I not over what happened? Am I somehow scarred from the memories? Those thoughts made me feel scared again. Not REALLY scared, just... kind of... a little bit. But I didn't feel scared of Leo, not scared of men in general... then again not scared of my ex either, cause I know he can't hurt me anymore. I wonder if I'm just scared of the possibility of it happening again? Or if it was just a shadow of a feeling from the memory itself? I think its the latter, but ... I'm nervous about it. I don't like having those flashbacks at all, its totally pointless. But then again, I also know I'll never forget a lot of those moments. The time he slammed my head in the car door, the time he physically restrained me so that I had to struggle free -which almost ended in him breaking my arm with an arm lock... the only saving grace in that incident was him coming to his senses just before my elbow popped. That was the memory I had last night. What frightened me was that feeling of being helpless... totally unable to defend myself, to break free... to have that much trust in someone and have it broken so many times.

I don't know how much I trust Leo. I feel that I do a lot, but I know its not as much as I would had I never met my ex. Its no fault of Leo's, I just don't have as much faith in people in general. I don't think Leo would ever hurt me on purpose -- seriously, not a chance. I completely believe that. But whether or not it would happen by accident... well, I suppose it always could, with anyone, and that's nothing I can really be nervous about because then I'll always be nervous! I suppose its a healthy concern... I really was way too trusting of people before. I fully trusted, believed in my ex... I should still keep my wits about me. I guess I'll fully trust, even without that small level of concern, when I get to know Leo better. That's probably how it should be anyway.

I do hope these memories of my ex cease. Its also strange how I had that memory last night, and then today he texts me. Its also funny, cause I know during the early stages of the breakup I would have these flash backs a lot, meanwhile he was remembering all the good times. I seriously can barely remember those times... I do remember being able to joke around with him, being comfortable with him on a level that I still haven't reached with Leo. I was completely at ease around my ex from the third date. Leo.. its been ..3 months? and I'm still not completely at ease. I'm not nervous, its not that.. (except for the thing I mentioned last paragraph, which isn't exactly there all the time anyway). Its more like how I act with everyone else. It often takes me months to become comfortable enough with anyone to be myself. 6 months at least. With my friends from the Academy it was shorter due to the nature of our bonding. At work, it took... more than 6 months. But now I am completely at ease with my Squad members. I guess its cause I care about what he thinks of me, so somewhere in my mind I'm on edge about that. Little by little I show more of myself, but ... I tend to be quiet. When I'm completely comfortable, things come to mind to say a lot easier. I am more relaxed and can joke around a lot easier. Right now, I can enjoy my time with him, but sometimes I find myself at a loss for words, which drives me nuts. Oh well, in time. I am noticing a progression, at least. And we work very well together so at least my quiet-ness isn't inhibiting my ability to enjoy my time with him.

I have noticed... lately, I'm craving loving attention. You know, stuff outside of the bedroom, sweet words, things that a serious relationship would have. Well, I can't have that now, I realize it... and for now I'm okay with it, despite wanting it. I know in time there will be someone to provide that to me, whether or not its Leo. I still like him very much, though, and really don't want to end what we have going.

I guess that's it for the update. Life in general is really awesome right now. I'm learning a lot, exercising and losing weight (well... I feel like I'm getting thinner but I just weighed myself and actually I've lost nothing). I just did a triathlon too, so I feel accomplished. Money is tight but not impossible to manage... I'm still always on time with my bills. I am very fortunate. I'm staying busy, enjoying every day, spending most of my time with Leo but also a lot of time alone. I've been kind of lazy lately and my house needs to be tidied up / cleaned, but that's no big deal... I'll get around to it.

Anyway, I plan to watch a movie with Leo tonight, so I better get ready.
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Old 9th August 2011, 8:55 PM   #2
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Good to hear from my my favourite law enforcement officer again. My take on the regression is it's related to your recent contact with your ex. Just remember that whilst yes, bad things did happen, you are safe now, and make self-affirmations like that to yourself. Maybe set some time aside when you're on your own and meditate those feelings out like that - you become an observer, quietly watching and listening to whatever you subconscious wants to say and see, and you accept it was hurt by those things and that person, and you reassure it that you are safe, and that you will conclude your business with him as soon as practical. I also advise you block any conversations with him about anything other than getting those final details completed. It upsets you to talk with him other than to go through the "divorce" settlement, so take control of that and don't let it disturb the brilliant life you have built for yourself in such a short time.
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Old 10th August 2011, 6:10 AM   #3
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Iv followed you thread from the start and it sounds like you have made great progress. You are obviously very strong and you know the right thing to do. Its good stuff.

However, part of me feels like your not completely over your ex yet. Even though you have Leo, you still engage in general chit chat with your ex which you don't really need to do, but yet you still find yourself doing it. I know you have to speak to him from time to time for financial reasons and that's understandable. But you still seem to have an interest in his romantic life, how he is treating the new girl, how the new girl would act around you etc etc. That's shows some kind of attachement still.

I think it will be interesting to see what happens when all ties are cut with him. Whether you will both end up still speaking or if you will start to miss him when he really is gone. I think you are projecting one image about how your feeling but how you feel deep down may be a little different.

Don't get me wrong though, as I say you seem really strong and like you have your head screwed on. I just hope you make the right choices in the long term.

Good luck!
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Old 10th August 2011, 9:22 AM   #4
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17 years ago, I was beaten nearly to death by my husband because I told him that I had filed for divorce.

For years I had absolutely no trust in men. I was afraid of them and I did everything I could to avoid them completely. Thankfully the victim's advocacy program sent me to therapy, and I learned how to trust myself again. Once that happens, you will be able to trust your own judgment, and trust others again. One thing that will accelerate that process is to cut yourself off from the abuser. Not only does interacting with him slow your healing, it also gives him comfort to know that what he did was "kind of okay", since you still talk to him and all....this is what my ex husband wanted from me and 17 years later, he still tries to get it. This is something I will not ever give him. He will never get to think for one second that what he did to me was okay.

Since then I have been in 2 relationships. The first one, the reason I'm here, ended with my ex putting a ring on another woman's finger behind my back. The second one, is the relationship I'm in now. It's funny, after being through all that, being betrayed by my ex boyfriend just seems pretty unimportant. I'm still angry over it, but looking at the big picture, it's nothing.

Good luck in your continued journey.
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Old 10th August 2011, 10:15 PM   #5
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Wow! Slammed your head against a car door. I don't even remember reading about that occasion, I thought the incident where he knocked you down and told you to lie about the injury was the only time. Glad to know things are going well for you, I had a hunch things would keep going with Leo. Any guy who comes over to a girl's house and helps her with chores obviously likes her. I figured maybe he knows you and he both went through rough relationships, and a result of that he was trepidatious and wanted to take things slowly.

I do very much agree with what betterdeal and usabup said. I know you can't go completely no-contact because you still have property/financial issues to work out. It's interesting though that you're still talking to the ex as much as you are.

This guy abused you physically, in your own words he psychologically broke you down to nothing. Yet even after all these months, you're still having pretty detailed conversations with him on phone, you're keeping tabs on his love life, he's keeping tabs on your life. I don't mean to make you feel bad, from my point of view as an impartial observer, I'm not certain that all of this is conducive to the goal of getting this person out of your life permanently. People in non-abusive relationships go no-contact to help them move on, to help them achieve emotional distance. Given everything that's happened to you, and given the nature and pattern of the person you're dealing with, I think that certainly makes a whole lot of sense.

As far as fearing the same thing happening in the future with another man, just continue this road of self-discovery you're on. It's only when you don't believe in yourself that you can rationalize in your own mind another person's mistreatment of you. Continue to grow as a person, to respect yourself, to love yourself, to know your rights, and you'll never have to worry about being mistreated by men. Good luck, and take care of yourself.
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Old 12th August 2011, 1:47 PM   #6
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I'll get to all your responses in a moment, but I wanted to say...

Its funny how I'll write here about an issue I'm having and it seems to solve itself. I had mentioned feeling that I am too quiet around Leo, that I still can't seem to relax enough to think of things to say naturally. I always have this issue in new situations and it tends to last several months. Well, this week I guess I hit a new level because things are coming to me much easier now and I feel even more at ease around him. I guess I feel okay to act more goofy lol. And still, he's more cuddly, I love it ^_^ I spend literally almost every night there, even working nights which is kinda nuts since it leaves only a few hours for sleep. But that's another issue (I try polyphasic sleep during work days anyhoo, seems to work mostly, otherwise one energy drink does the trick on really sluggish days).

To the responses, thanks for all the feedback.

Hi betterdeal! I always look forward to hearing from you too. :] Oh, the regression happened before contact with my ex! Actually before that text I hadn't spoken to him in at least a week, not even to bother him to get his stuff. But -- get this, I have been watching a show that has a couple with a girl that reminds me of me and a guy who reminds me of my ex... and yes, in the show he's abusive and they had just broke up around the time I started with the memories.

"I also advise you block any conversations with him about anything other than getting those final details completed." You are so right, and I have been mostly good about this lately... but I admit, when he texted me out of the blue with a conversation, I did get lured in. I'm too nosey for my own good and I ask questions, but I try not to divulge too much about myself... this time I did divulge some though, and I know that's a foolish thing to do. .. And damnit I just realized I'm supposed to go to the bank today and close an acct so he can get his money... and he's supposed to stop by grrrr. Well at least he'd be getting his stuff, just wish I remembered this when I was at Leo's and thus 15 min closer to the bank. I gotta touch base with ex, not even sure he remembers.

Hi usabup. The general chit chat with the ex is mostly at an end. In fact, I don't seek to talk to him at all anymore except about the separation. I was surprised when he texted me to chit chat this week, cause he never wants to talk normally... maybe its because things aren't well with his gf? Actually, I think they're okay with her, he may just be past the "honeymoon phase" ... which has me on edge / cautious with his intentions of talking to me. But you are also somewhat right, I have thought about the bond we shared... he may have been a prick but we were friends on some level when we were together, and we did share things easily. I never found it hard to talk to him like I do most other people. That is, until he became abusive. It was opposite with him. I trusted and was open at the get go, no problem, until he became an ass and I shut myself in. With everyone else I'm quiet first, then open and at ease later (you know, the normal way to be).

Hmm... I didn't think about my interest in the girl... actually, I'm only interested in how he's treating her so SHE doesn't become a victim. And I only vaguely care cause I know the chances of me stopping it even if he is abusing her are next to nil. Seriously, I have NO ATTACHMENT to him on a romantic level. The thought of him in that way disgusts me. When I HAVE to see him at all, I seriously get physically ill thinking that I EVER dated such a nasty tool. I DO NOT want to be friends with him. I HAVE NOT been keeping conversations with him in at least a month, except for this one text he sent me... I've barely spoken with him at all except to drop off his stuff. But yes, lately (which maybe fueled the bad memories too), I had been watching a show with a couple that made me think of us... and it made me also remember that we were once friends who could talk freely and easily. But I DO NOT want to be friends with him, as much as he thinks we will be. I DO have to be pleasant with him and, yes, my nosey/sadistic side likes to pry a bit and brag a bit about how well I am. But I do refrain 99% of the time when he tries talking to me, usually I don't respond. But I do have to be civil enough that he doesn't get pissed off and make my life a financial hell.

"I think it will be interesting to see what happens when all ties are cut with him. Whether you will both end up still speaking or if you will start to miss him when he really is gone."

Uh. No. When I can kick him to the curb, trust me, I will. I literally fantasize about being able to tell him off without any sort of worry that he'll **** up my finances. As soon as all our **** is separated (which will be like, jan 2012-ish), if he tries to be friendly and not **** off I'll let him know I have no interest in being his friend, even if that means I don't get to see my beloved friends that he's staying with. Yes, I do like to talk to him about stuff. No, its not cause I consider him my friend. Yes, it is because I'm being a little sadistic, wallowing in the fact that he's ****ing his life up and I'm thriving in mine. But I'm trying not to indulge that too much. And, yes, there had been moments that I was jealous of the fact that I was so at ease with him at first and yet so quiet around Leo, but NO that does NOT mean I miss him around. Please don't mistake what I mean. The only pleasure I get in talking with him, if I get any (not the case usually) now is not for any "friendly" reasons. I am happy to hear he's ****ing things up still, because I think he deserves it. I am not happy he's ****ing up another girl's life. I am happy I'm doing so well, and I want him to realize, "Hey, ass, I didn't need you after all, did I?"

Sorry, I'm getting angry even that some random person thinks I have any feelings for him at all. Seriously. Physically ill.

"I think you are projecting one image about how your feeling but how you feel deep down may be a little different." No. Really, just NO. I'm not advanced like that, I wear my heart on my sleeve at all times. I'm too bad of a liar to even lie to myself.

I made enough bad choices in the past that, yes, I will most certainly make the right choices long term. I don't want this ass anywhere around me any more than he has to be. I don't want to associate with him. I wish I could erase him completely in a moment. Each day that passes I actually remember a little less. Those memories I just posted about, the painful ones ... somehow today have no weight or bearing. I think them, I remember them like they were a dream, but I have no feeling about them. Something has changed in the past few days... not sure what. I'm more open with Leo, I feel no pain or attachment to those memories of abuse. I also feel more secure with Leo, more like... I guess... like close friends. Confident in our bond, maybe. I can't describe it, but any sense of fear I had is quickly fading. Like I said, amazing how I'll post a problem and then it seems to work itself out.

Again, I DO NOT feel for my ex AT ALL. I'm not mincing words, lying, hiding anything. Thank you.

Shayla, that's awful. I think I am experiencing what you did -- that a trust in myself is allowing me to trust others. Perhaps this change in my mood/feeling/acting is due to my confidence level rising lately. I've been having very good days at work, I even got to be a hero yesterday (first time in almost 2 years, it feels like) .. but thats another story. Anyway, my confidence is way up, my trust in my own abilities and decision making ... so yeah, it makes sense that I'd open up, and then the result of that opening up is a return in kind from Leo and others around me who are loving and supportive -- and hence, in turn, I trust them more.

"it also gives him comfort to know that what he did was "kind of okay", since you still talk to him and all." Ew, I didn't think of it that way. I'll make sure he understands again that it was not ever okay if he tries to be my friend... but again, I have to be tactful until I can sever all ties.

Shayla I'm sorry also about the betrayal from the other ex. That's terrible. I have a huge pet peeve with cheaters/cheating. Like... worse than most people. I can't even watch a movie/show that has cheating in it without getting physically ill and very VERY angry/disgusted. I don't have a fear of being cheated on, though, which is kind of funny... and I never have been cheated on. I cannot even imagine how it would feel or how I would respond.

Coffee -- more accurately, slammed the car door closed on me, which meant my head got pinned/slammed between the top of the door and the vehicle. It is the same one you're thinking of about "knocking me down" and telling me to lie about it. He didn't knock me down, I fell down on purpose to get out of the door frame so he couldn't do it again. It was slippery, I was on ice and couldn't move fast out of there in any other way (If I tried I would have probably fallen anyway, although the chance of my falling under the car was good due to the rivets the wheels had already made in the ice/snow, so I instead made a quick choice to fall where I chose -- not underneath the car).

"It's interesting though that you're still talking to the ex as much as you are. "

But.... I'm not! Did I say something incorrectly? The only contact I've had with him in many weeks now is ONLY about giving him things back, EXCEPT for the ONE time this past week he texted me conversationally. That's it! All other contact, as minimal as its been (maybe once a week for over a month now) has only been to say "Can you come at such and such time? Can I drop this off at such and such time?" So, I'm really NOt talking to him. Not even a little, so I don't know how everyone is saying I'm talking to him a lot. Its only to workout exchanged of property. ONE TIME this week he texted saying something and I decided to join the conversation, more for my own curiosity and desire to project to him just how well I am doing. Really, its a bitch move on my part cause I know damn well he's not doing good (I get his mail so I know about the money issues without having to talk to him). I don't know how anyone is getting out of that any possibility of me still having feelings for him. I DO NOT. I SERIOUSLY DISLIKE HIM VERY VERY MUCH. I only hate one person I've ever met in my life, and its cause they treated my best friend very badly (that holds more weight to me than myself being treated badly, I guess), so to say I hate him would mean a lot to me. But its close. Very close.

This guy abused you physically, in your own words he psychologically broke you down to nothing. Yet even after all these months, you're still having pretty detailed conversations with him on phone, you're keeping tabs on his love life, he's keeping tabs on your life.

- I guess I care less now about the abuse because I don't feel like it even ever happened. I dunno. I bounced out of it just fine, the only remnant was those memories I had this week that I mentioned. But I feel even better now about those... like, no fear thinking about them cause I laugh at the possibility of it ever happening again. It just wouldn't happen again, I wouldn't let it, so no reason to worry about it.

The only reason I know ANYTHING About his love life is cause he volunteers info WITHOUT ME ASKING. I DO NOT INQUIRE ABOUT HIS LOVE LIFE. I asked ONCE how he was treating her. ONCE! Just to make sure he wasn't being an abusive dick to this little girl and her child. She's like 6 or 8 years his junior, I'm concerned cause its like she's a child, and she HAS a little girl that he can also hurt. Also, more info he has VOLUNTEERED, I know she is 100% dependent on others for assistance (financially)... so I know how EASY it is for him to control her. Easier than it would have been for him to control me. And, again because he VOLUNTEERED this info, I also know she was obsessed with him early on, a tell tale sign of abusive relationships (means he's setting up a honeymoon stage to hook her in for the long haul, like he did to me). I DO NOT ASK. Usually when he says these things (through text) I don't even respond. A friend of mine asked me about 1.5 - 2 months ago, when they had just begun dating, if he was abusing her. I said I didn't know, didn't care. He asked me if I wouldn't feel bad knowing I might be able to help if he was abusing her. I said no, cause she wouldn't listen to me anyway. But.. I dunno, maybe I did feel a small pang of guilt at the possibility that he could be abusing her, and I wasn't going even a little bit out of my way to find out / help her. I KNOW the chances of her listening to me are small. I DO NOT want to talk to her, I don't care about her -- but, being a cop, its sort of ingrained in me to help if I think I can even a little... not to try is equal to negligence. So I asked ONCE to gauge it. I think he's being abusive... I think its starting. But I'm not going to talk to her. At best, if they don't break up, I might warn the friends he's staying with to keep an eye on her for me before I stop contact completely.

"As far as fearing the same thing happening in the future with another man, just continue this road of self-discovery you're on. It's only when you don't believe in yourself that you can rationalize in your own mind another person's mistreatment of you. " You are completely right, and I think I see this change occurring now... that I do believe in myself now more than I did before, and the thought of it ever happening is now a joke in my mind. The fact that it ever happened at all doesn't even seem real.

Again I will say, to all of you: I DO NOT HAVE FEELINGS FOR MY EX. Yes, I'm a bit of a bitch and I like to hear that his life sucks and I want so badly to rub in his face that mine is awesome. But-- I know him. I know he'll find a way to insult me if I tell him about stuff I'm doing, so 9/10 times I don't say A DAMN THING to him. I just end the conversation, I don't text back. This one time, yes, I did add tidbits to the conversation. Mostly I asked about him to avoid him finding out anything about me, however I did divulge one bit of info I thought would really make him mad/jealous/whatever.... I don't know if it had that effect but guess what? He didn't use that info to try and insult me. So no harm done. And after that the conversation was over, it lasted almost no time at all, and involved mostly him bitching about stuff to which I had minimal response because I DON'T CARE that his life sucks. I DO CARE that he's bringing another girl down with him... but again, I've been there and I know there's little chance I can help her, so I won't try.

Also, I'd like very much to kick him, but I won't do that either. It would please me VERY much to have him 100% out of my life, no NEED to talk to him so I can block him completely to the point where I don't even get his calls/texts... but I'm just not there yet -- financially. I AM READY TO SEVER TIES EMOTIONALLY, christ, I HAVE BEEN. I wouldn't have broken up with him in the first place if I wasn't ready. He is a foul person that I want out of my life. Even seeing his name leaves a bad taste in my mouth. He's like one of the pricks I arrest on a regular basis -- nasty, lazy, good for nothing.

okay, end rant.
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Old 13th August 2011, 2:53 PM   #7
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I hear you, I can totally see how you would be motivated to inquire out of concern for the welfare of the other girl. I didn't mean to imply otherwise, or to imply that there was some personal interest on your part in your ex's lovelife. You sound like a completely different person from way back when you started that first thread in terms of confidence and everything, and I think you have exactly the right attitude. Best wishes as always.
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