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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 25th March 2017, 10:44 AM   #61
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I wrote a long update but for some reason it was held for moderator approval No bad words in it, lol ... not sure what I wrote wrong?
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Old 25th March 2017, 10:52 AM   #62
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An update ... where to start? I've had a crazy hectic work week, with a nice bout of the stomach flu right in the middle of it First time I've been sick in years, and it was a day that I had meetings with people who flew from Colorado to NY to be here. So, that was awesome. Anyway, I survived, I am on the mend, kids are on the mend, all is okay.

With everything going on, I thought little of him this week. I mean, I thought of him here and there every day of course - a song on the radio, driving past a similar car, a memory of his family that popped into my mind. But they weren't incessant, they weren't intrusive, impeding my productivity (the stomach bug took care of that!). I didn't intentionally play mournful love songs to use as my background music to ruminate, or any of the silly self destructive things we often do during a break up.

Today I dropped my daughter off at an event she is attending at a local college, located in a neighboring town. After leaving her at registration, I headed back to the car, walking behind a small girl no more than 3 years old wearing boots clearly too large for her and a mismatched dress. She was adorable. Her mother was ahead, baby on her hip chatting with a friend, her older brother was a few steps beyond them. I watched the little girl because I was nervous for her descending the stone stairs in too-big-boots (she did fine), but she also reminded me so much of a little girl XBF and I had seen one summer evening last August, riding in a canoe with her parents. Same age and complexion, and probably being in the town I was in already thinking of XBF, reminded me of this. We were launching our kayaks, and he was admiring the parents who were taking this little girl on a sunset canoe ride. We laughed at her holding the paddle, as big as she was tall. I thought again how he'd be a wonderful father, saddened that he hadn't had that opportunity. While I've raised my kids, at 40 years old, never really considered starting over until XBF. And I invested time into our relationship, thinking maybe it would be something I'd consider, not because I felt the need to have more children, but because I wanted to share that with him. I realize at this juncture of my life, that isn't an opportunity likely to rise again, doubtful that I will feel that way about someone in the little time I have left to procreate. But it isn't really about having the child, I guess, more about the amazing way I felt about him to want that.

We hiked a popular trail in a large preserve in that town last year, him equipped with 'bear spray' that became a running joke for the rest of our relationship. We stopped at a cute place for lunch, browsed some antique shops. It was such a wonderful day. I am so fortunate to have that memory.

I wonder, if you truly love someone, do you always remember the feeling, what it actually felt like? Like, the scent of the ocean brings me back to a happier time in my childhood, when my grandmother was still alive and would walk me to school, a couple blocks from the beach. Cherry blossom trees, while they only actively bloom a week or two, lined the route we took and always remind me of her. I can think of my ex husband who I 'loved' and I can think of my other long term relationship who I 'loved', both who I spent significantly more time with and shared much more of my life with and the memories we had, but neither of them compare to what I felt in my best of times with this ex. Will my love for him fade too, and one day I will remember him casually the way I think of them? Or will I have glimpses back like today where I will recall the love ... the love I had for him feels so different than the others. And yet, I recognize that he was at his capacity, and that was all he could give to me, and I accept that now.

Hmmm ... I wrote the love I had for him.

Somewhere along this road I have realized this is no longer just about a break up, but a journey. A journey to heal myself, yes, but a journey to make myself whole without him, without anyone else. A journey to recognize my mistakes and learn from them - which seems like a never ending goal. A journey to be content with my life, as it is, for I am fortunate to have what I have. And then maybe, someone amazing will join me in my journey one day, and maybe not. I am not going to pretend it does not make me sad to think that I won't love again, and some days the pain is heart breaking. But I don't really know what the journey has in store for me, so I will live my life day by day and see.
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Old 26th March 2017, 9:44 AM   #63
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I have been settling in to the 'new normal' of fewer dreams, or dreams where I am watching us through a filter, and no feelings are involved. Honestly, it has been a nice reprieve. Until I woke up this morning. Perhaps, brought on by me sitting with myself and doing a lot of thinking yesterday, after a week of distraction and chaos. There is something of a shift within when you realize yes, you deserved better, but also need to consider the part you played. And amidst all this thinking, I realized that yesterday was two months since the last time I saw him, kissed him goodbye, not knowing it was really going to be goodbye.

Dream setting: a huge party, at his house. Every family member I have ever met is there. His uncle from Texas, his sister and nieces from South Carolina. His parents and grandfather, his uncles and their wives, his brother's family from New Jersey. It's a party, but we are discussing future plans and Superbowl tickets were purchased. (While I am not a football fan, this is not surprising considering Superbowl weekend was the last weekend we were officially a couple). We were together, but unspoken ... something seemed off to me, there was no affection apparent in this dream.

I woke up thinking about the last time I was at a family member's house with him, and he sat on the couch next to me very gently caressing my back. That little act made me feel at ease, that we were right where we were supposed to be together, like he wanted me. Because I worked so hard to hide any sense of neediness, it is doubtful that he ever knew what little gestures like that meant to me, and I wish I had somehow communicated this to him, although I certainly reciprocated and was very loving and affectionate with him.

But when you are in that moment, not knowing things can flip like a light switch, you don't think that this very minor action will be the last time you experience this with him; you don't consider acknowledging small daily loving touches in any special way because you expect more, if you are hopeful, a lifetime of this.
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Old 26th March 2017, 2:51 PM   #64
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I am still loving your posts...

And I hope that you don't stop. And now I am going to crash your journal thread.

I am thinking about all the things that you have said. And, today I am back at my house after spending a couple of days at my main GF's place.

I had to come back to "approve" of the things my STBXW was taking out of the house. Not that I really cared as long as she was gone, and all that was yesterday.

So, I stayed in last night just chilling and today trying to clean up and get My house ready for me. It is kind of over whelming and sad to think of all the years I gave this woman that just sucked the life out of me. I cannot get over feeling like such a fool. Why did I not divorce her sooner???

Conversely, my main girl has been so loving to me. She is insanely, in a good way, in love with me. She should not be, I really don't deserve it. But she actually is making me fall in love with her by her force of will. She just loves me so hard that it is almost impossible to not love her. I scares me to death to actually be in love with any one woman. That is why I have so many GF's. Why any of them put up with me is a total mystery.

Maybe they are all crazy and I don't know it yet.

I have no idea why I am writing down all of this, esp on your thread.

Maybe I am crazy and I don't know it yet.
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Old 27th March 2017, 8:39 PM   #65
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And I hope that you don't stop. And now I am going to crash your journal thread.

I am thinking about all the things that you have said. And, today I am back at my house after spending a couple of days at my main GF's place.

I had to come back to "approve" of the things my STBXW was taking out of the house. Not that I really cared as long as she was gone, and all that was yesterday.

So, I stayed in last night just chilling and today trying to clean up and get My house ready for me. It is kind of over whelming and sad to think of all the years I gave this woman that just sucked the life out of me. I cannot get over feeling like such a fool. Why did I not divorce her sooner???
Crash away! It is nice to think that other than me babbling, someone gains something from this.

Maybe you didn't divorce her sooner because there was a lesson to be learned from this? I know, I know, it's so cliche, but I almost always can go back (after the fact, and sometimes it take a good amount of time and space to see it) and identify why something played out the way it did, and what I learned from it. Hopefully, you will too, if not now at least one day ...

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Conversely, my main girl has been so loving to me. She is insanely, in a good way, in love with me. She should not be, I really don't deserve it. But she actually is making me fall in love with her by her force of will. She just loves me so hard that it is almost impossible to not love her. It scares me to death to actually be in love with any one woman. That is why I have so many GF's. Why any of them put up with me is a total mystery.
I won't get into the depth of why you feel this fear (and I am sure if that is something you are even interested in getting over, you know it will require some emotional work!), but I just want to say - just don't take the love you have for granted. And give yourself some credit, she sees something amazing and worthy of love within you, deeming you worthy of her love.

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Maybe they are all crazy and I don't know it yet.

I have no idea why I am writing down all of this, esp on your thread.

Maybe I am crazy and I don't know it yet.
Let's face it, we are all our own shade of crazy!
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Old 27th March 2017, 9:06 PM   #66
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I skimmed through the chapters of your book.

Sorry you're here. Now you know where the term "broken hearted" comes from. Grieving is good. It will dissipate over time.

A couple of things I noticed. In a good relationship it needs balance @ 50/50 if you do too much you can get taken for granted and the attraction, etc. gets lost.

Don't ever give the impression that someone is worth more than you. They aren't. Mr right will come along when you least expect it.

Be patient you will get there. The sun always comes up in the morning.

If it doesn't were all in deep crap right along with you!!!!!!
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Old 29th March 2017, 8:04 PM   #67
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A funny thing happened tonight ... I found myself smiling as I was steam cleaning my carpet. Literally.

Had nothing to do with the task at hand, I just realized I was simply content with things, and it just crept up on me. It was wonderful to feel, without thinking about it. When you have to convince yourself that you are okay, you aren't there yet. When you find yourself smiling and humming doing mundane household tasks, well ... life can't be so bad!

This was after a long but very productive work day, a stop at the supermarket, and home-cooked meal eaten with my kids. I feel my life is coming back to me, and not just recapturing things lost since the breakup, but honestly, recouping time I didn't have to myself during the relationship too. Things were always so crazy, working a stressful job, raising 3 kids, running a household, and then making time for him, dinner with him, squeezing overnights with him. Not that I am blaming him, I just lost me somewhere in there.

I started a household project, am shopping for a new car, and just have time to breathe again. The snow is finally melting, and I am looking forward to getting back outside to do things I love in nature. It feels good! And sometimes, I find myself realizing it has been a few days before I have really thought about him, or thought about where I was a month ago, or two months ago, or a year ago, or the last time we spoke.

I won't ever forget him, but I am gently letting go so I can make room in my life for everything I deserve.
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Old 30th March 2017, 8:18 PM   #68
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I won't ever forget him, but I am gently letting go so I can make room in my life for everything I deserve.

That is terrific news! I am very happy for you!

I on the other hand, checked out my ex's social media, and there she is standing on a rock at the Joshua Tree National Park in California. She had told me about this trip to visit friends before breakup day.

She said:

"I love me, I love myself. Freedom. What a year!"

I thought I had turned the corner, but that hurt.

Oh well, eventually I'll make it to indifference.

I'm not quite there yet...
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An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward. So when life is dragging you back with difficulties, it means that it's going to launch you into something great. So just focus, and keep aiming.
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Old 31st March 2017, 2:25 PM   #69
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That is terrific news! I am very happy for you!

I on the other hand, checked out my ex's social media, and there she is standing on a rock at the Joshua Tree National Park in California. She had told me about this trip to visit friends before breakup day.

She said:

"I love me, I love myself. Freedom. What a year!"

I thought I had turned the corner, but that hurt.

Oh well, eventually I'll make it to indifference.

I'm not quite there yet...
Hi airborne,

I have to be honest, as well as I feel I am doing, I think if I had any connection to him on social media, I wouldn't handle it well either. Particularly if it was of him doing something we discussed, with a reference to freedom. It is completely understandable that this might take you backwards a notch.

I find myself fortunate that I have zero affiliation with him on any social media. That, and both of our FB pages are totally private so even if I checked all I'd see is his profile pic. I am not going to pretend that it wasn't a process to enforce myself not to check even that, though. While initially it was a required effort to not look, more recently I have fleeting thoughts as an afterthought. At some point, I suppose it will be nonexistent (or, that once in a blue moon ex stalking without emotion, lol).

Trust me, the longer you go without checking, the less it enters your mind and when it does, you want to keep the momentum going and hopefully will be able to talk yourself out of it. Hang in there!
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Old 1st April 2017, 8:51 AM   #70
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Another week has passed, a new month is upon us, marking the first full calendar month that I had no communication with him at all. In a week, it will be two months since we've spoken and our relationship ended. And, it will be okay.

Went out for drinks and appetizers with two friends last night. We had a good time laughing and catching up, but I couldn't help but be reminded of how depressing the bar scene is and how much I dislike it. Then, towards the end of the night, one of them was reminiscing on her recent relationships and the lack of dating prospects. For whatever reason, she always seems to find herself in poor relationship situations (cheating, verbal abuse, even physical in the past), situations I would have never tolerated. Well that is a whole other thread. But listening and then listening to her OLD efforts, and even thinking of the things I read people enduring here, just made me think that I was really, really lucky with xbf. Yes, despite his stonewalling and issues at the end that were inevitable because it was out of my control, I was still really lucky to have what I had with him, when I had it. It wasn't meant to be forever, but it was forever in the small space of time we had.

Which brings me to acknowledge the fact that, and this is truly not a reaction of my emotions (this is not an "oh, I will never love again! type thing") - I am completely level headed writing this - that just might not happen again for me. I mean, the automatic thing for friends to say is that he wasn't the one and plenty fish in the sea, yada yada yada. I say the same things to encourage single friends. And there will be more fish, I am sure ... but I am not so sure I will experience something like what we had again. The depth of feelings were unexpected and the year was brief, it was so hard and so easy, was so right but yet wrong.

I went home last night thinking about a time we took our dogs together for a walk around a small local lake, and how it was there that I first told him how I felt so lucky to have him in my life, and how happy he was, we both were.

Ironically, I opened my email this morning and I had an email from some love quote website (?) which was clearly spam and not something I had ever signed up for or received before. But the 'preview' showed me the first few words so I opened it to read, and this was the quote:

It is easy to love people in memory; the hard thing is to love them when they are there in front of you. - John Updike

It is almost eery to receive that unsolicited via email today. I relate to this on so many levels, too many to even go into here and now. I do wonder if I could have done a better job loving him in person, in real time, but I was so, so scared - there were many times I was so afraid I wanted to end our relationship to stop the uncomfortableness of it, but I also knew I needed to stop letting my past dictate my future. And I know he was scared, too, in the rare quiet moments he shared with me and let me in, he told me he was terrified by how quickly and deeply he felt for me. I never told him my fears in return though, and he wasn't equipped to handle them. Instead I sat with them.

There are people who say love is easy when it is right, and I think that is true for the most part and for many people, but it isn't a one size fits all statement. There are those of us who spend years picking up the pieces of a childhood, trying to put it together to have some semblance of a foundation that enables them to live a "normal" life, and they often may not have experienced love or witnessed love without it being tied to some manipulative tactic or toxic feeling. We are left to sort through what is real and what are our perceptions from our past, and in those cases, love is hard for the best of us, no matter how right it may be. Thing is, you need to fall in love with someone who accepts this about us - and they don't have to fix it for us, but be gentle and understanding as we go about our path of repair because it is a lifelong process, the past can rear it's ugly head at the most unsuspecting moment.

So yes, love is difficult for me in the face of it, but clearly easy in memory as demonstrated by this thread.

Last edited by newheart; 1st April 2017 at 8:53 AM..
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Old 1st April 2017, 12:14 PM   #71
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Is there a thread that explains what happened?

It seems like the guy really loved you.

Just wondering if all is lost.
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Old 2nd April 2017, 12:41 PM   #72
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It seems like the guy really loved you.

Just wondering if all is lost.
Hi airborne,

I have no doubt that he loved me to the best of his ability and to his capacity, but then ... either his feelings changed or his self preservation kicked in when something was triggered. So no, it is not an option. (Unless years from now after he's had much therapy and our paths cross again!) I realize I need someone who is willing to accept me for my imperfect self and work through that - not someone who retreats and disappears for days, weeks. I used to think we had a great relationship because we never, ever fought - there was no conflict, until October and it became apparent that one tiny bit of conflict, and he can't cope. Literally, over a misunderstanding for a text mix up. I learned that the absence of conflict doesn't make a great relationship - the ability to work through it does. I let it go once because it was utterly devastating and confusing (and I loved him, and I need to try), but now I know this is who he is and understand avoidant behavior a bit better. He can't tell me what he wants or needs but expects me to be that person anyway. I can't walk on eggshells all the time wondering, and I can't read his mind. I did everything I thought he wanted, to make him happy, figuring it would all work out in the end. He took that for granted. In the end, I had arranged a long weekend of festivities for his birthday just a few weeks before my own birthday, including a concert, game night with friends, dinner (I cooked) with his family, him telling me repeatedly what a wonderful long weekend we had ... but when my birthday came around and I expressed that I was disappointed that he cancelled us having dinner together (at his house, which we were just cooking ourselves), it was too much of a demand. Anyway, the hot and cold, the push and pull ... I can't do it. As much as I loved him, I didn't deserve that, and even if it means I spend my days alone, at least I am not in a constant anxious state over wondering what he 'isn't telling me.'

ETA: Sadly, I can empathize with the cause of his avoidant behavior. But I just wanted to add that I don't want to paint him to be some monster, he really wasn't. He could be kind, thoughtful, sensitive and always seemed to be very in tune with my feelings, but at some point we no longer could emotionally connect, like we spoke different languages when it came to our needs.

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Old 2nd April 2017, 4:08 PM   #73
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That sounds like it was an extremely difficult relationship to maintain.

Our exes were very similar in a lot of ways.

I didn't really know mine long enough to know she would flip out the first time I sent her a text scolding her for suspect behavior. She really put me in a no-win scenario, and I don't think too many boyfriends would have made it out of that weekend alive.

I always thought that couples that argued had the weakest relationships. Now, I think they probably have the strongest ones because they argue.

Maybe the new hip thing will be to sit down and write our instruction manuals to give to our partners. It seems more useful than time-outs and safe spaces.

I've always enjoyed unwrapping the mystery of my girlfriends, but at the same time, I've recently run into some troubled women that really, really, should not have been dating. Back to back, I've dated women that hated themselves. Both relationships blew up in my face in the most spectacular, unexpected, fashion.

Rule #1

If you hate yourself - get therapy, visit a shaman, or get hypnotized until you're at least content with who you are. Don't drag another unsuspecting, good-hearted human being into your trainwreck.

Rule # 2

Conflict happens - Attempt, that's right, attempt communication with your partner when conflict arises. Initially, your bf/gf was all you thought about, and you put in the effort to win them for your very own. That effort is a never ending process - like pruning a bush so that it doesn't get out of control and block a window.

Anyway, this is turning into a ramble, but you're my kindred spirit newheart, and we will survive the emotional landmines we stepped on.

I've come a long way since I wrote my birthday post, and I see you have too.

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Old 2nd April 2017, 5:41 PM   #74
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That sounds like it was an extremely difficult relationship to maintain.

Our exes were very similar in a lot of ways.

I didn't really know mine long enough to know she would flip out the first time I sent her a text scolding her for suspect behavior. She really put me in a no-win scenario, and I don't think too many boyfriends would have made it out of that weekend alive.
Agreed - while neither of us are perfect, I'm sure, our partners have exhibited behavior that says they are very detached and able to slam the door if something triggers them - often a protection mechanism. If it didn't happen then with her, it would have eventually happened (and you'd have been deeper in) ... same with me, so I suppose, we should consider this a painful blessing in disguise.

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Maybe the new hip thing will be to sit down and write our instruction manuals to give to our partners. It seems more useful than time-outs and safe spaces.

I've always enjoyed unwrapping the mystery of my girlfriends, but at the same time, I've recently run into some troubled women that really, really, should not have been dating. Back to back, I've dated women that hated themselves. Both relationships blew up in my face in the most spectacular, unexpected, fashion.

Rule #1

If you hate yourself - get therapy, visit a shaman, or get hypnotized until you're at least content with who you are. Don't drag another unsuspecting, good-hearted human being into your trainwreck.

Rule # 2

Conflict happens - Attempt, that's right, attempt communication with your partner when conflict arises. Initially, your bf/gf was all you thought about, and you put in the effort to win them for your very own. That effort is a never ending process - like pruning a bush so that it doesn't get out of control and block a window.
Lol ... I like the idea of an instruction manual!

Yikes! If you keep running into these women who hate themselves and there is some sort of pattern, can you identify what it was about these women that attracted you to them in the first place? Were there any red flags waving that you might have not picked up on, wearing those rose colored glasses we first have on when we are in the infatuation stage with someone new?

On rule #1, I wonder if people don't see themselves accurately or they think that they will be better/happier/worthy if they are attached to another person? And then unsuspecting people get sucked in.

I like your pruning a bush analogy ... I have to say the same for regular communication. One thing that I can say I could have done better was communicate more openly. When it became apparent how uncomfortable he was with communication and conflict, I went along and avoided it until it imploded. Or, until the bush blocked the window, the door, grew up the side of the house ...

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Anyway, this is turning into a ramble, but you're my kindred spirit newheart, and we will survive the emotional landmines we stepped on.

I've come a long way since I wrote my birthday post, and I see you have too.
That we have, airborne! I appreciate you talking to me during this journey!
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Old 2nd April 2017, 9:17 PM   #75
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Dear god I'm glad someone else gets the nightmares.

I'm going on for six weeks on five hours sleep a night.

With early waking during to that subconcious dread.
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