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How do you know when to get out?

Scared and Confused

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Scared and Confused

My ex-boyfriend and I were together for two years. We broke up about 3 months ago because we couldn't communicate with each other (well, that's the short answer).


We are in love with eachother, and the breakup was excruciating. But at the time it seemed like the best for both of us.


Since then we've tried to remain friends, and we both finally started feeling like we were getting on with our lives.


Ironically, since we've broken up, we seem to have learned how to communicate. We can talk much more openly with each other than when we were together.


Now, we're thinking about getting back together. The problem is that while we were apart, we both slept with other people. Mine was a rebound thing, I guess, and his was his ex-girlfriend who was another factor in our breakup.


They had been together on and off for about 7 years before I came along, and she's still in love with him. He says he's wanted to stay friends with her, but when she throws herself at him he usually gives in. He never cheated on me (I really believe that), but it obviously caused problems. I thought that because she tried to come between us, he should respect my feelings and let her go. Forever, this time.


His problem was that he was very stubborn (we both were) and he felt like I was giving him an ultimatum. He eventually lied to me, telling me that he wasn't going to talk to her anymore. I caught him talking to her on the phone one night after I went to bed (we lived together at that time).


I think I can forget that he slept with her again while we were apart - I know he was very hurt and lonely, and we both thought it was really over. And I did the same thing.


I don't know if I can forget how hard it is for him to say good bye to her. He's going to see her tonight to tell her face-to-face. He feels like he owes her that much.


Part of me feels like I should just walk away. but the other part says we've been through so much together, and we've both really grown because of it. We can finally talk to eachother and really open up.


The other thing is that he was with her for so long, and never had any intentions of getting married (they will both be 30 soon, and I'm almost 26). I'm afraid he'll never be ready to really commit.


Any advice would be great. I know that we're truely in love with eachother, but how do I know if that's enough?

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It sounds like the two of you should just be friends, for now.


It doesn't sound like either one of you are clear enough emotionally for a relationship at this point in time.


There was a compelling reason the two of you broke up. While it may have seemed that it was a communication problem, the fact that you communicate so well as friends is proof positive it wasn't. The communication was bad when you were together because neither one of you was ready.


Why don't you just agree to stay friends for a while, relate to each other on that level for a while, and then maybe try once more. If you go back with each other now, nothing will have changed.


I also think what happened after your breakup will be a much more serious complicating issue if the two of you get back together now. It may not seem that way to you but I've seen this stuff many times.


Friendship is golden. Enjoy some of it now. It's a great basis on which to build more over time. Stay apart sexually as well. If you want a healthy relationship later, don't use each other that way and don't run to your ex's either for those kinds of things.


Maybe the two of you can be in a relationship...maybe not. But right now is NOT the time.

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Scared and Confused

The problem is that we can't just be friends. It's too painful. If we're not together, we have to be completely apart, or we'll never get on with our lives.


I don't think you're right that we didn't break up because of the communication problem, although there was more to it than that. Neither one of us has ever worked at a relationship. We have both always been spoiled by our partners. We are also both very reserved and stubborn people, afraid of opening up to people because neither of us have had anyone in our lives that had always been there for us.


At the time I thought I was being completely open and honest with him. The problem was that I thought it was so obvious how I felt, that he should just know. And he did the same thing.


The reason we learned to communciate as friends was that it wasn't as emotional, I think. We both thought it was over, so it wasn't as intense. There was no pressure to "make it work".


I saw him on Saturday...I decided that I wanted to make it clear to him how I felt. I bought him flowers, and wrote the same thing on the card as I did the first time I asked him out (we are both pretty shy, so after months of him not asking me out, I sent him flowers to his office, asking him out for coffee sometime). My intention was to show up with the flowers (I had to drive over an hour to get there) tell him that I just want to make sure he knows how I feel, and leave. I didn't want him to think I was trying to rush things, or anything.


He really wanted me to stay, so we could talk. So, we went for a coffee, then went for a long walk. He held my hand...we both cried a little. We talked a lot. But we didn't even kiss. I was there for about three hours...we talked about everything that either of us was worried about. It was really good.


Last night we talked for another two hours...we're not back together, but we're committed to getting there. Neither of us is going to see other people, but we're not exactly going to see eachother, either. We're just going to talk. He lives 3 hours away (he was at his mom's this weekend when I saw him), so it's not like we can run into eachother, or give into impulse and see eachother.


We're going to try to take things slow...but I really think we are going to make things work this time.


I don't think that what happened after our breakup will complicate things that much. We've talked about that a lot too. Of course it hurts me to know that he slept with someone else, but he finally told her that they can't have any contact with eachother any more. Even as friends. And I have done the same with the person I was with.


We both know that we were hurting from our breakup, and although it was a terrible way to go about it, we were both just trying to get on with our lives. Why do you think it will be more complicated later? I don't think it could be worse that what I dealt with from her in the past. She was always telling him that they were meant to be together, and that no one would ever know him as well or love him as much as she did. She completely moulded her life into what she thought he would want.


I know she's not going to go away that easily (even though he has told her that he loves me, and will never love or want to be with her). She tried calling him three times this weekend. But I believe that he will only talk to her now if he doesn't have a choice (he'll answer the phone eventually when she calls - maybe I should get him caller id!). He knows now that it's impossible for the two of them to have any kind of friendship.


I really think we can make it work this time.

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