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Do Women Give Second Chances?

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

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Old 27th January 2018, 2:54 PM   #1
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Do Women Give Second Chances?

Ijust realized it’s been 14 weeks since my breakup… and yet I’m more hopeful than ever, withoutmuch reason at all.

Ibroke up with my fiancée of almost five years just before Thanksgiving. I broke up out of fear she was slowly butsurely leaving me. The first year/twowas amazing. Both of us, head over heelsin love. I proposed to her the end ofthe second year. We had big plans – separatehomes. I became a father figure to her12 year old (7 at the time). At the endof the second year, I started drinking. A lot. And then I had some bigissues with my son, which was heartbreaking and pushed me into a pit ofdespair. The drinking got worse, I sunkinto complete depression, I was useless to her, and I caused her a lot of pain. (not physically/verbally abusive, mindyou). I was a wreck. I’d lost all self-esteem, stopped working onmy goals, made her my purpose… and feltlike a complete piece of crap. I hatedmyself and was miserable. I couldn’teven touch her, intimately. I felt Ididn’t deserve her, or anything beautiful in my life. This went on for almost a year.

Thatchanged everything between us. Shebecame (understandably) distant, resentful, clearly frustrated… and this went on for months. I had a dream one night I’d lost her. I woke up, miserable, sad, and I went to seeher to talk. I told her about the dreamand told her I never wanted it to come true. I poured my soul out, told her how sorry I was for hurting her –withdrawing, withholding love, affection, and being cruel for so long. I told her I was 100% committed to them – to myfamily. I wanted to make things right,to commit fully to them, to our relationship. I even gave her a timeline to marry and move in together. In my mind, I’d owned up for my behavior,honestly wanted to make things good again, and “gave her” the security and certaintyshe’s always wanted – that I was ready for the next step in ourrelationship. She said something odd Ican never forget… after telling her allof this, she said “Why now?”. I told herwhy… I told her everything. I was vulnerable, honest, and committed. But something was different now.

Atthe conclusion of our talk, we agreed to work on things. She agreed we needed to spend more timetogether, moving forward. But nothingchanged. Her texts and callslessened. Her words became few when wedid talk. And our “regular schedule” ofTuesday nights during the week and Saturday night to Sunday afternoonsleepovers stopped. The “new schedule”became Sundays, from 2-5PM. Clearlysomething was wrong. So we talked aboutthat… and agreed to make more time, andyet nothing changed. Rinse, lather,repeat, for the next three months. I wasa nervous wreck. I was afraid, confused,and full of anxiety. (I’m 49 and she’s50, btw). Fast-forward… during the three months of emotionalpurgatory, I’d asked her over and over if she wanted out of therelationship. “No”, she said… she just needed time to focus on her healthand more time with her son. She said shedid not want to break up, and I simply don’t understand her and what she needsat this time… well, I said, I needyou – I need you to participate in this with me, or there is no relationship atall. She needed space. And I pushed her, got frustrated at her,insisted she make up her mind… IN orOUT, I demanded. Finally I gave her anultimatum. And it backfired on me. She called my bluff, so I dumped her. Big. Mistake.

Isee now, ever too clearly, I’d created the mess I was in. All those months I behaved as I did causedher to feel overwhelmed and need space, and I pushed and demanded otherwise. I was scared she was slowly detaching (whichperhaps was true), and instead of backing off, encouraging her to take all thetime she needed… I threatened her withbreaking up – which I did, which is sadly, the exact opposite of what I had wantedto happen. [sigh]

Sincethat day in October when I ended it, I’ve spent EVERY day – all day long –lamenting, reflecting, acknowledging what I did to create the situation – and howdecision after decision (at the end of the relationship) simply compounded myfailures. I never should have pushedher. I never should have threatened tobreak up with her “or else”. I nevershould have given her that ultimatum… and I damn sure shouldn’t have “dumped her”.

14weeks. It’s felt like an eternity. And yet she’s closer (in my heart and mind)than ever. Funny how that works.

The“bright side”… self-reflection, makingserious progress with my health, exercise, good nutrition, and so much more hasreally opened my eyes to the past unhealthy behavior(s). I’ve lost a ton of weight, put on a lot ofmuscle, I don’t drink much, I’m up at 4:30AM in the gym… and I’m healthy. Really healthy. And I’m so desperate to fix this betweenus. I think it’s the feeling of beinghelpless – my constant companion, helplessness, that is the hardest part ofthings. But I also know this had tohappen. I’ve transformed my life – my self,in massive ways for the positive. And Ihave a long way to go. But I’m on theright track, I’m aware that if this hadn’t happened exactly the way it did Iwould not be the man I am (becoming). Inthat sense I’m proud of how far I’ve come in the past few months.

I’vebeen “textbook”, through the process. I’vebacked off – given her space, time, not called – blown up her phone withmessages or texts… I’ve let that go andfocused on me completely. I did NC forthe first two months, aside from mailing her, her son, her parents Xmascards/wishes. She and I have texted onand off the past month, finally. Ireached out a month ago asking her to meet me for coffee as I had severalthings I want her to know. She acceptedimmediately, and we made plans to get together. Then tragedy struck and her ex – her son’s dad died. Poor little guy is crushed over his dad – whohas not been in his life (I’ve been his dad mostly), so our coffee plans werecancelled. We’ve talked since, and I’veasked her again to get together and she actually called me twice (returning mycall) to set up a day and time to grab coffee and talk. We had a nice chat on the phone andtentatively arranged our coffee meet-up. And then she cancelled the night before via text, saying she’s not readydue to all the stuff going on in her (mostly her son’s) life. So I said sure – I understand, and I’m herewhenever you want to talk or arrange another day/time to meet. She thanked me for being so understanding andsupportive, and said she’s free in two weeks. I’m frustrated and a sad, of course – but I didn’t do what I’ve alwaysdone… push things, be demanding or makeher feel bad. I’m trying to put myselfin her position, and I get it. So, I’llbe patient and wait… some more.

Sheknows how I feel. No doubt. Perhaps that’s why she’s hesitant. Perhaps she’s avoiding seeing me for fear shestill isn’t over it – and afraid she’ll fold/give in and reconcile. Or perhaps that’s denial and/orrationalization on my end. Or she couldbe over it – gone, done, and just doesn’t want to hear what I have to say becauseit doesn’t matter anymore. I don’tknow. I do know she’s not seeing anyone,nor am I. She still has some of myclothes and belongings, I’m still on her phone (family) plan and she’s payingthe bill. Good signs she’s stillthinking about things? I also know herbest friend and her family (and my friends/family) all are supportive of me,and hope we can work things out. So, I’vegot that going for me. I’m trying to behonest and real with myself – but I’m also hopeful and optimistic. I honestly believe she still loves me. I don’t think this is about a lack of love,but about a long period of drama and BS I’ve put her through, and she’s got alot of other issues/drama in her life so I get it. I know she doesn’t want to ever go back towhat we were doing. I don’t either. There’s so much I want to say… and I feel absolutely helpless.

Iwrote her a letter two months ago. Since, I’ve edited it, updated it weekly. There’s no begging or pleading orbargaining. I’ve not once done any ofthat since our split. I’ve been patient,honest, supportive, and respectful. Theletter is my attempt to explain with perfect clarity everything I did (that I’maware of) that hurt her feelings and create issues in our relationship. It covers it all. And, it explains why I did what I did, andwhat I would do differently. It’shonest, sincere, and loving – not sad or mushy or begging her toreconcile. The goal is to make anemotional connection. To reconnect withher. To show her I am proactivelychanging my life, my self, for ME, so I can be a better man for others in mylife. I’m a work in progress – I have alot more work. I don’t expect her(anything) to change from one coffee meet-up and letter. I just hope to connect with her, hope toregain her respect, trust, and yes – absolutely, a second chance. I’ve addressed all the issues, and I’ve mademassive progress. When she sees me, she’llbelieve me. The plan: read her the letter, and give it to her. Tell her how important they are to my life… and NOT ask to get back together – I’m nottrying to put the ring back on her finger, I just want to reconnect – slowly,and spend time with her again as if we are starting from scratch. No expectations – I’d just love to see herand have her in my life again. Maybejust go for a walk on the beach for an hour on a weekend… or grab a lunch, or a movie here andthere. And just see how things go. I want her to see who I am becoming. I’m twice the guy now than I was when we metand she was completely in love. I justwant the opportunity to reintroduce myself again.

She’sthe love of my life. And I’ve realized aLOT from this. And I hope I get thatsecond shot. I’ve really screwedup. But again, it had to happen or I’dnever have made the changes I’ve made. Ido honestly believe she still loves me. Maybe I’m delusional, but I don’t think so. My gut says I’m on to something. She’s very stubborn though. And proud. Like me. J These 14 weeks have been hard. Ifeel so stuck. All I want to do is reachout to her, explain things, show her positive changes and slowly return totheir lives. So, I wait…

Anyoneelse going through this?

Last edited by sdcajames; 27th January 2018 at 2:57 PM..
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Old 27th January 2018, 3:28 PM   #2
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But do not wait. Move on.
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Old 1st February 2018, 8:47 PM   #3
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Your story sounds earily similar to mine. I was not being a good boyfriend to her, I had been checked out for a year and half... her words. And I was. I was not paying attention to her, or being affectionate enough, getting angry at her and snapping at her, which made her feel she couldnt tell me things and had to walk on eggshells, we would get in a big fights every now and then where she would threaten to leave but wouldnt, we wouldnt really solve our issues just sweep them under the rug, I would pay too much attention to my phone then her, not always but you know what I mean. We didnt talk deeply enough or have sex enough. Those kind of things I was doing overshadowed all the good in our relationship. We still were really good for each other and still had fun and made great memories but my behavior pushed her far enough away to where she left me. She had called it a “break” and time apart at first, but recently it’s more of breakup. She told me last week she still cares about me and time will tell and we will see down the road what happens but she essential told me to move on like it may not happen. She also said she wasnt dating anyone.

So its been NC for a week now. I did call her the week before last to ask her to meet up so we can talk and left a message that she never responded to. Like you I completely realized everything I had done and woke up and have started making major changes for myself over the last month, including therapy, diet, excecise, being around friends, lost weight, growing a beard, deleted social media and all games from my phone, etc, really really happy with myself again. I also wrote it all out what I realized and wrote a complete list of promises and things I will do and how I will treat her of she ever returns. I don’t know if I will ever get the chance to tell her these things and show her so she can see it for herself I am making myself the best man ever.

There is also some lingering things like my mom is still spending time with her daugter once a week, yet she told me I can’t see her, and she still has our photos of us on her facebook which I have deactivated but reactive sometimes to look then re deactivate, and some of her things are still at our house. So I don’t know what that means for her, but perhaps she is till deciding what to do or waiting to see for herself somehow my changes, I don’t know. I know she is still hurting and I believe she still loves me deep inside underneath the pain I have caused. She is probably getting used to her new life without me. It’s hard to say and I am still in limbo of a sorts. My mom thinks she is trying to punish me for what I caused her to do. My mom had asked why she is still having her see her daughter and she replied she was confused, and when my mom asked her what she is going to do about me she said she didn't know, and when my mom told her she hopes we work things out she was silent. On top of all this she lives around the corner from me and I drive by that way sometimes when I leave the neaghborhood and sometimes her car is there when its late and sometimes its not. Makes my mind go negative thinking about what she could be doing. Everybody thinks she isn’t the type of girl to go sleep with someone after being with me so long but who knows.

I have way to much to offer and the dynamic of our relationship is pretty much irreplacable. But those are my positive feelings and not hers right now. It’s probably going to take something out of the blue to trigger her to want to reconnect, like seeing me out or running into me or seeing posts of my mutual friends still on her facebook of me doing what we used to do. Who knows.

So ya kinda similar. I love her more than words can describe and I just want her back so I can prove myself to her. But it does go both ways. For now I am just leaving her be because I don’t know what else to do plus I need to heal and keep woeking on myself.

Last edited by Von80; 1st February 2018 at 9:02 PM..
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Old 5th February 2018, 9:38 PM   #4
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@ von80

Thanks for the response.

Well... obviously I'm no expert or I wouldn't be posting anything But... one week IMHO isn't enough time for either of you to figure much out. Even a month can be too short of time for emotions like hurt, anger, resentment, etc, to subside. My understanding of NC is for the "dumpee" to put space between the situation and one's aspirations of personal growth and change. A "side-effect" of NC regarding the "dumper" is that they cool off and (hopefully) reflect on the relationship, miss you, and become open-minded to talking about the relationship - if there is still hope for reconciliation.

At the risk of sounding manipulative or just gamesmanship... what worked for me to get her to agree to meet and talk was that I sent her a short text, simply saying I've done a LOT of reflecting on things... and there are some things I want you to know, would you meet me for coffee? She agreed immediately to meet when she received this. A close female friend of mine gave me this advice when she broke up with her boyfriend. She said even though she was still pissed at him, she was curious to what "things" he wanted her to know, and she agreed to meet him. However... it's important to note she still loved him. I took her advice, and it got her attention.

I think slow and steady wins the race here. I think it's the only chance you/me/most people have (IF any) to reconnect. I think THE most important factor of NC is to rebuild yourself, heal, and reflect. Changes take time. You want to be in the position (should you meet with her) where you are healthier, stronger, and confident in yourself because you ARE a healthier person and you discuss your relationship from a position of being the change - not telling her you changed, but being it. Being the "good person" she loved/loves. Unfortunately that is a slow-going and isn't solved over a cup of coffee. But it's a start.

My "strategy", if you will, simple... give her all the time and space she needs, start with a text asking her to meet for coffee, then a phone call, and finally, we have a face to face. I haven't called, texted, or emailed her much - if anything at all. One text, one call, and she's called me back to confirm getting together. I think you/I have to be very careful not to push, not to reach out much (if at all), and not to beg, plead, or bargain. If I were you I'd simply shoot her a text asking her to get together for an hour or so, for coffee/whatever - and then let her respond. If she doesn't then she doesn't. I don't know your situation but I believe most of this process is universal, regardless of who did the breaking up.

This is one of those things where you have to simply focus on you 100%, and let go of the results and expectations. You have to be disciplined and trust the process - and you have to avoid mistakes. She ended things with you so she ultimately has to be the one to decide to give it another shot. Unfortunately your feelings don't matter (to her) it's her feelings that count. It's good you recognize some of the things you are aware of that caused damage/drama. Stick with that reflection. I realized the things I need to change are for ME - not for her. I know the things I need to change will affect the next relationship, if not fix this one. The first thing I did was focus on one thing I could do to feel really good about myself. For me, that was getting up at 4:30AM every day and working out. That one thing now has changed everything. Find your one thing and stick with it... no matter what. Results will come. The idea is to BE that person you want to be when/if you do have that chat with her.

I made the same mistake you did with complacency. I've since learned you have to court your partner forever - not just during the honeymoon phase. Courtship, romance, active listening... it should never stop. You have to be present. Even when it is inconvenient.

The biggest takeaway from reflecting on things is not the symptoms (not communicating, romance, etc) but the reason(s) why I was complacent and behaved badly at times. For me it was an underlying issue where I do not feel good about myself. That's why I made all the mistakes I made. And that's the key to change. With my new lifestyle and healthy habits I am happier than ever now, healthier than ever, full of energy, fun, and I genuinely feel like I'm the man I'm supposed to be. The goal is to stay in this place permanently. I'm absolutely convinced this will either present an opportunity to get back together with my finance - or, it will put me in the right place to be a healthy man for the next relationship. A win-win.

So be good to yourself. Keep doing what you're doing. Don't put time limits or expectations on anything, just be patient, try to figure out the core/underlying reasons of your bad habits/behaviors, and then you can change them. And try not to think about what she is doing, if she's dating, whatever - it just adds stress and it really doesn't matter if you're not going to get back together anyway. Just trust the process and be proud of yourself each day. Good luck!
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Old 5th February 2018, 9:44 PM   #5
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The longer the treatise on the possibility the less the possibility.

IME, whether with a wife or girlfriend, when they're done, they're done. They might come back and suck some more life out of you but that doesn't mean they're not done.

However, the more socially, politically or monetarily powerful you are, the more likely you to be an exception. However, why would you wan to be? Billions of other women to choose from and easy to get. Why slave away for one who threw one away?
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Old 6th February 2018, 5:21 PM   #6
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From my experience when they are done, they are done but that doesn't mean they don't come back in some capacity. In fact if you were a good guy, she will definitely be back to dump a boat load of guilt on your doorstep in 6 months or so.

I've been crazy enough to entertain it a few times but you will be treated worse on each successive reconciliation attempt.

Sometimes, as they say, its best to exit when there is still a little love left because once its all gone, things can get pretty ugly.
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Old 11th February 2018, 6:19 PM   #7
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It's not really a gender thing. The only thing you'll get if you look at it that way is generalizations, which probably doesn't apply to your specific situation.
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Old 13th February 2018, 8:59 PM   #8
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Update - 2/13/18

OK, so... I met my ex-fiancé for coffee for an hour Saturday. I think it went well, but I'm still confused. She was impressed with the changes I've made (I've lost a ton of weight and packed on a ton of muscle) so immediately she saw things were different. I've adopted a completely healthy lifestyle now (last four months - still, a work in progress) but she honestly believed me when I talked about my progress, etc.

I read her a letter I'd wrote. I explained all my bad behaviors - taking her for granted, drinking too much, being complacent, not taking care of myself, distancing myself from her emotionally... I went into detail. I wanted to be completely accountable for my side of the fence, and I wanted to make amends. I also explained about my new lifestyle, all the positives going on, my business, and then I told her what I would have done differently.

She cried a bit, told me how much I hurt her when I broke up with her, and said she isn't looking for a relationship right now - not just me, but with anyone. I said I'm not looking for one right now either. I came here to make amends, to take full responsibility for all the things I did that were wrong and hurt you - not to put the ring back on your finger, but to let you know how important you and your son are to me... I miss my family, and I'd just like to have you both in my life. I suggested we could just grab a coffee or a walk or lunch sometime for a bit, just hang out - no expectations, no pressure... just get to know each other again, slowly, over time and see how things go. To that, she said she isn't ready for it.

She said I love you, you're a great guy, but you really hurt me. It's taken a long time for me to get to this place and nothing is going to change overnight. I said I know... I'm just looking for some hope. She said she knows I've been waiting... and I've been patient and loving, supportive the past few months, and she appreciates me. But... she said I can't ask you to wait around for me - if you feel you need to date other women than you need to do what you need to do. I said ok, I understand that - but I've waited this long and I'm optimistic you'll come around.

Another positive... she said I'm welcome to see her son anytime. So I thanked her and said I look forward to it. (I love her son like he's my own - I've helped raise him, he never had a dad much). Anyway... I ended our time together before she did (games?) LOL. I walked her to her car and gave her a nice kiss - which she seemed to enjoy... said "So, make up sex in the car out of the question, eh?" LOL She laughed. Same old guy... you always make me laugh, she said. So I said give me a call if you change your mind... love to see you again.

So I think it went as good as it could. She was impressed, the attraction and chemistry was there... we laughed, she cried, she laughed more... but no closer to my goal.

It's kind of an anticlimactic experience. Past four months I've changed everything I could (for me), preparing for this day. And while I didn't get the "I'm sorry, but it's over - you need to move on, I'm done" speech, I didn't get much hope for seeing her again, either.

So help me out here if you will... does anything sound hopeful? Or did she just let me down easy? Not sure about that though - she's pretty direct, I would have expected a direct response of NO thank you... if she was truly done. I honestly don't know what she's thinking. But I'm thinking perhaps now that the door is open to see her son - maybe that will get me more face time with her. I think that's the key - IF she really isn't done yet. That's how she fell in love with me so deeply to begin with. Her son and I bonded big time, and I love that little guy a lot. She knows that.

So the "plan"... I was going to reach out this weekend and see if I can take him to a movie and lunch. Then maybe next week, shoot her a text and see if she's interested in grabbing a coffee or something simple and short.

Advice, thoughts, comments, and criticism welcome!!! What's the next move? And, does anyone feel there's some hope here?

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Old 13th February 2018, 10:00 PM   #9
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Leave her son out of this. There should not be a need to expand on that. NO buts. Try a different approach.
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Old 17th February 2018, 11:03 AM   #10
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I'm kind of the same position as you.

To be honest I think we are kidding ourselves. Perhaps we are making ourselves better for the next woman. I do think we both need to give up hope and move on. I think you get your chance. And if it goes. It goes
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Old 24th February 2018, 9:26 PM   #11
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Update - 2/24/2018

@ Cullenbohannon - I wholeheartedly agree... no child was used or held hostage in this process. And love the "Hell on Wheels" avatar... great show.

Well... it seems patience and practice has worked out. I'm happy to report I've been in semi-regular contact with her the past couple weeks - including a 4 hour phone chat last night, and tomorrow is our first "date".

Maybe I'm just lucky, or maybe I did the right things, or maybe a bit of both. But I absolutely believe one has to trust the process, and of course truly make the self-change(s) necessary and BE that change, and IF there is still love in her heart there is hope to winning it back. I cannot deny the fact she still loves me - albeit love is not enough, it has to be there for reconciliation to happen.

In my case, she sees clearly I've changed my life - I'm happier, healthier, more purpose-driven, and I never gave up. With that said it's going to be a long road to regain her trust. Walls have been built over time that I have to take down, brick by brick. And I'm up for the challenge. I don't intend on screwing this up... again.

@ Chassmash - I dunno... I never felt like I was kidding myself (in denial or whatever) over this whole process. I was - AM, absolutely determined to be a better version of me, and not for her - but for me. I've always known that no matter what else happens I can be a better man, and when that happens it'll make everything else in my life better. And then I got to work making that happen.

And it paid off.

Good luck to all of you in the same position. Trust in the process, let go of the outcome and expectations AND any timeline... focus on being the best version of you, and if there's love in her heart left still, there's hope.
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