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CrushingHope 4th January 2018 4:15 PM

From GF to OW
 
I have posted about this before in other forums without much response (none at all the last time) so I'm hoping this is a more appropriate place and hopefully this won't be moved. I could really use some help.

Backstory condensed:

2 years ago, I met a man who was just out of a 7 year extremely toxic relationship. We dated for a couple of months at which point he ended things to go back to the other woman. 2 months later, he left her to come back to me. Then a few months later, back to her. That was LAST ('16) October. In that time, I have left that city and am now 1 hour away from him (I was only there for a short time for a 2nd career school program...I am in my early 40s). When we were together, it was the best relationship I had ever been in, in terms of being compatible and feeling excited about our future. We enjoyed our time so much together. But when he would end things to be with her again, I was so devastated and crushed because what we had was so good. And she was this abusive, alcoholic person who treated him like crap. I couldn't understand why he would keep doing this.

Fast forward to this past November. He contacted me (I had added him to the list of people I sent my new phone number to). Turns out he is working in the city I moved to (literally working down the street from me). We got chatting and within a week he was telling me how much he has missed me and has never been able to get me out of his head etc. He said that I'm the best thing that ever happened to him and that he was just an idiot for letting me go. But he's still with her. He never says anything concrete but "implies" that we are going to be together. He sent me a huge box of Christmas presents with the most beautiful card I have ever received...about how before me he was "okay" but didn't know what true happiness was. He messages me at 4am when he gets up, throughout the day, and right before he goes to bed. XOs, kissy faces, etc.

It seemed as though he was waiting for the right moment to leave her but "didn't want to make a rash decision and didn't want to do it over the holidays". For a month his texts were so loving and flirtatious and amazing and then over xmas, he started to pull back a little. He said things were the same, but they didn't seem to be. He is back to being more flirtatious again but it's still not quite the same. He continues to say that he doesn't want to make a "rash" decision that will flip his whole life upside down unless he knows it's right. He says when he walks away from her (for the 100th time), it will be the last time and he wants to finally close that book for good, but that he has to be the one to draw the conclusion that it's finally over. He said 'I know I have no right to ask this of you, but can you try to be patient while I work this out?"

He told me yesterday that they booked a trip together for the end of Feb. I was shocked. He said they booked it in November before we started talking again. I don't even know if I believe that.

I think he's confused about what he wants and I think it changes daily. He continues to tell me how things are bad there and "you don't have a clue what it's like living in that house". He says all she does is drink until she doesn't know her own name and that she's full of empty promises to change and that her words mean nothing anymore.

I know I need to give him some sort of ultimatum or just walk away but I'm finding myself so sucked in by him because he makes me feel like a queen when we're together.

I haven't seen him since last year. We have both agreed that seeing each other while he's still with her is not what we want to do.

Can anyone see this more clearly than me? I feel like it's more complicated than him keeping me around in CASE he decides to leave her or, or just for an ego boost or something. Why would he do that? What's the point?

Does anyone see that there could actually be a chance for us here??? Or is it completely pointless? I'm so messed up with the push and pull of this that I don't even know what I truly want anymore. I'm a really good, honest, loving person. I have never been in a situation like this and it's killing me. I go back and forth between thinking he is just really confused and messed up because of their relationship and thinking he is completely manipulating me to stick around and make him feel good.

There are soooo many more details to all of this but I don't want to write a full novel here.

Thank you for any kind advice. I am really struggling.

Zahara 4th January 2018 4:30 PM

A man will treat you this way because you allow it. If you accept and present yourself as being an option, he will treat you like an option. And trust that he will use that option. He makes you feel like a queen but he also makes you feel like something under his shoe. You are so desperate to feel validated that you're only looking at the highs, when what's important is focusing on the lows. Pay attention to the latter. Healthy and loving behavior is consistent. His behavior is toxic. Another reason why he stays with her because they feed through dysfunction. Even if he left her, he would likely repeat the dysfunction with you.

A man that loves you -- genuinely loves you does not treat you this way. You've taught him that you don't require respect and loyalty. I don't think you are going to get anything more than that.

Aim higher.

CrushingHope 4th January 2018 4:36 PM

Thank you for the reply, Zahara.

In my heart of hearts, I know you're right. So why why why don't I bring myself to let him go?

I guess I know the answer to that too...being in my 40s and being single for the better part of 10 years leads me to believe that he is my last chance at love and I'm holding on for dear life. My self-esteem is so shot now that I don't even know how to believe that there's anyone else out there for me. I am putting all my faith in love and happiness in his hands. I know how messed up that is but I don't know how to shake that feeling.

I would never advise any friend of mine to accept these tiny crumbs. Ever. But here I am, with my phone by my side waiting for his texts and validation...

Zahara 4th January 2018 5:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CrushingHope (Post 7503063)
Thank you for the reply, Zahara.

In my heart of hearts, I know you're right. So why why why don't I bring myself to let him go?

I guess I know the answer to that too...being in my 40s and being single for the better part of 10 years leads me to believe that he is my last chance at love and I'm holding on for dear life. My self-esteem is so shot now that I don't even know how to believe that there's anyone else out there for me. I am putting all my faith in love and happiness in his hands. I know how messed up that is but I don't know how to shake that feeling.

I would never advise any friend of mine to accept these tiny crumbs. Ever. But here I am, with my phone by my side waiting for his texts and validation...

I'm in my late 40's and was single for many years too. When you are whole within yourself and content with your life, you will not feel the need to desperately hold on to a man because time is running out. A man will be an added bonus to an already content life. Love yourself first. The rest will come later.

Delete his number and block him. Better yet, change your number. You need to go absolute cold turkey and never look back. You have to make a CHOICE. Yes, it is a choice. Until you are ready to get your life back, you'll keep doing this same song and dance. And that would mean wasting more years on a man that is never going to love you.

eye of the storm 4th January 2018 6:08 PM

[QUOTE=CrushingHope;7503050]...I met a man who was just out of a 7 year extremely toxic relationship. We dated for a couple of months at which point he ended things to go back to the other woman. 2 months later, he left her to come back to me. Then a few months later, back to her. if she is so toxic why did he keep going back? Maybe he is lying about her. ...
...But when he would end things to be with her again, I was so devastated and crushed because what we had was so good. Does it matter how good the relationship felt if he kept treating you like this? And she was this abusive, alcoholic person who treated him like crap. I couldn't understand why he would keep doing this. If I had to guess, she is not an abusive alcoholic who treats him like crap.

...We got chatting and within a week he was telling me how much he has missed me and has never been able to get me out of his head etc. He said that I'm the best thing that ever happened to him and that he was just an idiot for letting me go. But he's still with her. He never says anything concrete but "implies" that we are going to be together. He implies so you can build huge fantasies in your head about a future he has no intention of being in. He sent me a huge box of Christmas presents with the most beautiful card I have ever received...about how before me he was "okay" but didn't know what true happiness was. He messages me at 4am when he gets up, throughout the day, and right before he goes to bed. XOs, kissy faces, etc. It is easier to keep an AP than find, groom, and train a new one.

It seemed as though he was waiting for the right moment to leave her but "didn't want to make a rash decision and didn't want to do it over the holidays". Next it will be, can't leave till taxes are done. Then summer, then more holidays. He has been "pining for you for years" how is this a rash decision. He is saying that to keep you from pressing him for action... He said 'I know I have no right to ask this of you, but can you try to be patient while I work this out?" Translation: stop bugging me and if you do, the fallout will be your fault cause you weren't patient.

He told me yesterday that they booked a trip together for the end of Feb. I was shocked. He said they booked it in November before we started talking again. I don't even know if I believe that. Your brain is starting to wake up.

I think he's confused about what he wants and I think it changes daily. He isn't confused. He has her at home and you everywhere else. He is quite happy with things. He continues to tell me how things are bad there and "you don't have a clue what it's like living in that house". He says all she does is drink until she doesn't know her own name and that she's full of empty promises to change and that her words mean nothing anymore. You know he lies to her daily. Why on earth do you think that everything that comes out of his mouth to you is the truth.

I know I need to give him some sort of ultimatum or just walk away but I'm finding myself so sucked in by him because he makes me feel like a queen when we're together. Its called love bombing. Just walk.

....I feel like it's more complicated than him keeping me around in CASE he decides to leave her or, or just for an ego boost or something. Why would he do that? What's the point? It isn't complicated. he is a cake eater. ...

QUOTE]

This hurts you and confuses you because on your side it is a real honest relationship. But it isn't. You are side action for him. He will say and do what ever he has to in order to keep you in line.


Even if you put your foot down and say choose. And he tucks his tail and comes to your side of the street. He will leave and head back to hers. He will never be what you want him to be. Im sorry.

burnt 4th January 2018 6:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CrushingHope (Post 7503050)
I have posted about this before in other forums without much response

You are in the right forum now and should receive many responses.

Quote:

I met a man who was just out of a 7 year extremely toxic relationship.
Red flag #1. If it was a toxic relationship why did he stay in it for seven years? How long does it take for someone to recognize it's toxic and to leave? The fact that he stayed in it for that long alone should say to you that he himself has dysfunctional traits.

Quote:

We dated for a couple of months at which point he ended things to go back to the other woman.
Red flag #2. You were a rebound in the first place. On top, the fact that he left you only after two months says that you really meant very little to him.

Quote:

2 months later, he left her to come back to me. Then a few months later, back to her.
Red flag #3. You have been his temporary fix. His gf turns to alcohol at a time of stress and he turns to you for the same type of temporary distraction. She is using a bottle to escape and he is using you to escape.

Quote:

When we were together, it was the best relationship I had ever been in, in terms of being compatible and feeling excited about our future.
No it wasn't. You were with him only for two months before he started playing yo-yo with your life with his repeated cycle of push-pull. It's called 'affair fog'--that's what you experienced, not vision of a true future.

Quote:

And she was this abusive, alcoholic person who treated him like crap. I couldn't understand why he would keep doing this.
Actually, you can understand why he kept on going back to her, even though she treated him like 'crap', because what he is doing is exactly what you are doing as well. He has been treating you as a disposable toy and still you keep going back to him; why? Your answer is "we had a wonderful time for two months". Well, he keeps going back to her because he had a wonderful time with her for seven years. Will he stop going back to her? NO, for the same reason you can't help yourself going back to him.

Quote:

He contacted me (I had added him to the list of people I sent my new phone number to).
Why did you add him? That's a question you really should ask yourself. Was it because you secretly wanted him to call you back?
Of course he contacted you; you adding him gave him the incentive to pull you back in.

Quote:

He said that I'm the best thing that ever happened to him and that he was just an idiot for letting me go. But he's still with her. He never says anything concrete but "implies" that we are going to be together.
So, he tells you that you were the best thing that ever happened to him--is that why he ditched you repeatedly?

Words, words, words, sweet nothing words--his actions should speak loudly about how true those words are.

Quote:

He sent me a huge box of Christmas presents with the most beautiful card I have ever received...
And when you were opening that fabulously huge box of presents from him, right at those exact moments what was he doing?
Use your imagination:
What was he doing? Holding her? Kissing her? Making love to her? Caressing her in their bed? Making future plans? Cooking and eating Christmas dinner together?

Yes, you got a huge box of gifts, but she is the one who had his physical presence, affection, and attention.
He spent a few dollars on you to keep you at his feet for when it's convenient for him to come back and play with you.

Quote:

He messages me at 4am when he gets up,
When he is still sleeping right next to her or is that a few hours after he has had sex with her?

Quote:

It seemed as though he was waiting for the right moment to leave her but "didn't want to make a rash decision and didn't want to do it over the holidays".
It didn't stop him to leave her when he wanted to in the past. So, if he genuinely wanted to leave her, he would have -- holiday or not.

Quote:

For a month his texts were so loving and flirtatious and amazing and then over xmas, he started to pull back a little.
That's the biggest sign that he has been slowly reconciling with her. He emotionally pulls back from you only means one thing: he emotionally is attaching with her. Again this should also confirm that their holiday break together must have been a "kindling" time together.

Quote:

He said 'I know I have no right to ask this of you, but can you try to be patient while I work this out?"
He is correct. He does NOT have the right to ask you to be his toy to be strung along while he is choosing between you and his long term gf. If he loved and respected you, if would not have left you once, let alone a gazillion times.

Quote:

I think he's confused about what he wants
No he is not. He wants his gf and but he also wants you on the side for extra fun. There is no confusion about that.

Quote:

I know I need to give him some sort of ultimatum or just walk away but I'm finding myself so sucked in by him because he makes me feel like a queen when we're together.
Walk away. There is no other option you should consider.
He is not treating you like a queen, he is treating you like a disposable play-doll; you are his mistress, not his partner.

Quote:

Does anyone see that there could actually be a chance for us here??? Or is it completely pointless?
Even if there was a chance for this to work out, it would be unwise of you to be with a man like him. Say he drops her to be with you? Can you be sure that he won't drop you again to go back to her? You already know his words are empty, so for how long can you really sit with that sort of anxiety and uncertainty? And even if he doesn't go back to her, what guarantee do you have about him sticking with you and not seeking a new OW?

Quote:

I'm so messed up with the push and pull of this that I don't even know what I truly want anymore.
It will only continue to get worse the longer you stay with him. He has done enough damage already.
He is a perfect match for his drunken gf. Let those two dysfunctional people make a happy story together.
Save yourself.

You need to cut all contact with him asap. He is a manipulative lying pitiful user and he is damaging and hurting you.

CrushingHope 4th January 2018 6:23 PM

I know that so much of what you're saying is spot on. I would say these exact same things to other people. I'm an intelligent woman who just wants to find love and I guess part of me refuses to accept that I was tricked by him...and I guess continuing to be tricked by him.

When I opened the presents, he was on the phone with me. I know that doesn't mean much, but I know he wasn't with her. On Christmas morning he texted me and said he felt like a scrooge because he didn't want to get out of bed and go do Christmas with her and her (not his) daughter.

I asked if things were getting better with them. He said "not at all. I told her that I was going to spend the weekend doing my own thing because I wasn't going to sit and watch her play on her phone all day".

I know she's an alcoholic abuser because I have heard it first hand (he used to live downstairs from me...that's how we met) and my good friend used to live with her and her late husband (who committed suicide due to being treated the way she was treating him). So I know he's not lying about that but whatever...it's beside the point.

I guess I wanted to believe that I was enough to make him finally break that pattern with her. And because I wasn't/aren't, I feel like crap about myself and not being "chosen" has taken a real toll on me.

I just want to feel strong enough to say "I can't do this anymore". I have written the text so many times but can't bring myself to send it.

CrushingHope 4th January 2018 6:24 PM

I will read and reread these replies. I need it to sink in.

eye of the storm 4th January 2018 7:01 PM

"he was on the phone with me and not with her" He could have been in the bathroom, she could have sent him to the store. He could have been outside smoking. He was with her. Or he wasn't. But he CHOSE to not be with you.


And maybe she is a certified alcoholic harridan. Think about this for a full minute. He is choosing to stay with a horrible person....rather than be with you.


Now, I know that sounds like I am ragging on you. Im not. These are his choices. Not yours.


You are begging someone who does not value you to have a bigger place in your life. If you feel crappy now, think how bad you will feel if you "succeed" in catching this guy.


Really think. You are begging this loser to chose you. He is never going to value you. He has learned he can treat you like crap and you will continue spooning it up and asking for more.


Pick yourself up off the floor. Brush yourself off. Look in the mirror and promise the person you see that you will demand better for her.


Walk away from this guy before he destroys whats left of you.

BaileyB 4th January 2018 7:14 PM

No, I doubt that it will work out. This man can't decide where he wants to be and even if he did leave her, would you ever really trust him to commit and stay put with you. You shouldn't.

Men will treat you this way if you allow it. Absolutely. The first time he came and went, that was on him... But everytime he comes and goes again, that is on you... You continue in this painful cycle because you allow it.

You do seem like a lovely woman. You are still young and you can find love again. Don't settle for being someone's "plan B" - a warm bed in which he can visit when it's convenient for him. You deserve more than that.

CrushingHope 4th January 2018 7:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by eye of the storm (Post 7503191)
"he was on the phone with me and not with her" He could have been in the bathroom, she could have sent him to the store. He could have been outside smoking. He was with her. Or he wasn't. But he CHOSE to not be with you.


And maybe she is a certified alcoholic harridan. Think about this for a full minute. He is choosing to stay with a horrible person....rather than be with you.


Now, I know that sounds like I am ragging on you. Im not. These are his choices. Not yours.


You are begging someone who does not value you to have a bigger place in your life. If you feel crappy now, think how bad you will feel if you "succeed" in catching this guy.


Really think. You are begging this loser to chose you. He is never going to value you. He has learned he can treat you like crap and you will continue spooning it up and asking for more.


Pick yourself up off the floor. Brush yourself off. Look in the mirror and promise the person you see that you will demand better for her.


Walk away from this guy before he destroys whats left of you.

Yes. I have thought about this so many times...that it says a lot about him to keep her company, and the company of her friends who are also low-life kind of people (no offence to them but it's true...they go to bars and start fights with people. it's disgraceful, and she's the ring leader. Everyone in that town knows who she is). I keep thinking he is so much better than her. I know his ex wife who says that he was a completely different person before this woman. I keep thinking he's just a broken soul like I must be to have anything to do with him.

I know this treatment is not good enough for me. I know it so strongly. I have written myself so many letters to end this!! I am so angry and disappointed in myself for not having the courage to do it.

And I do feel like I'm begging him and then I catch myself and think "WHO the heck is this person I've become!?!?!" I have never been like this about any man, ever. I have never had myself in a situation like this and it makes me feel so unwell mentally. I feel like I've completely lost myself.

whichwayisup 4th January 2018 7:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CrushingHope (Post 7503063)
Thank you for the reply, Zahara.

In my heart of hearts, I know you're right. So why why why don't I bring myself to let him go?

I guess I know the answer to that too...being in my 40s and being single for the better part of 10 years leads me to believe that he is my last chance at love and I'm holding on for dear life. My self-esteem is so shot now that I don't even know how to believe that there's anyone else out there for me. I am putting all my faith in love and happiness in his hands. I know how messed up that is but I don't know how to shake that feeling.

I would never advise any friend of mine to accept these tiny crumbs. Ever. But here I am, with my phone by my side waiting for his texts and validation...

Those are questions you need to answer...Time to do some soul searching and ask yourself why you love and respect HIM more than you love and respect yourself.

This man has led you on and he has no intention of ending it with his girlfriend. He is where he wants to be, two women meeting his needs.

Please, end it with him, change your number again, don't hand it out to him and move on. Have a good long cry, grieve the loss and heal in the up coming weeks/months.

whichwayisup 4th January 2018 7:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CrushingHope (Post 7503203)
Yes. I have thought about this so many times...that it says a lot about him to keep her company, and the company of her friends who are also low-life kind of people (no offence to them but it's true...they go to bars and start fights with people. it's disgraceful, and she's the ring leader. Everyone in that town knows who she is). I keep thinking he is so much better than her. I know his ex wife who says that he was a completely different person before this woman. I keep thinking he's just a broken soul like I must be to have anything to do with him.

I know this treatment is not good enough for me. I know it so strongly. I have written myself so many letters to end this!! I am so angry and disappointed in myself for not having the courage to do it.

And I do feel like I'm begging him and then I catch myself and think "WHO the heck is this person I've become!?!?!" I have never been like this about any man, ever. I have never had myself in a situation like this and it makes me feel so unwell mentally. I feel like I've completely lost myself.

Maybe you haven't had enough, hit your rock bottom, not cried enough, not been hurt enough, not sick and tired of it all. If you want it over, make it over!! don't let fear of ending it and feeling pain make you stay. Pain is pain but if you get out now the pain is final and one that you can work through and come out wiser and stronger. If you stay you will continue to lose "you" and become someone you won't like very much. All for what? this guy is no prize!

CrushingHope 4th January 2018 7:29 PM

For so long I thought he was the prize. I could tell you so many things I liked about him and the way we were together. I think accepting that he's not the prize I have made him out to be is the hard part. I still see him as something wonderful and I actually do know that's not the case.

I have also seen a side of him when he was angry at some woman at work and he was telling me this story and calling her all these names and I just though "wow. I bet he called her (the ex) all these horrible names too when they were in a fight (which is all the time) and I bet he would call me these things when we are fighting (which we never did because it was always new and honeymoony)".

I feel like I trust and believe everything everyone is saying. And I do feel CLOSER to ending it than I have over the last 2 years. I just have to take that leap...it's so much easier said than done. Once I do it, the hope is gone.

BaileyB 4th January 2018 8:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CrushingHope (Post 7503223)

I feel like I trust and believe everything everyone is saying. And I do feel CLOSER to ending it than I have over the last 2 years. I just have to take that leap...it's so much easier said than done. Once I do it, the hope is gone.

The reality is, it's just a simple decision. To end contact.

When you are ready, you will make the decision. But, don't think of it as "all hope is gone." In fact, it is the best thing you can do... To cut this deadbeat from your life. It actually makes you available to meet someone else who will treat you the way you should be treated... And that, is the very definition of hope - to find everything you want in your life.

You know this guy is not it. Let him go.


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