Getting over ex after tough break-up
Hello! Thanks up front for reading and replying. I already spoke to some people on IRC and thank them for their time too! I have to write a story off of me, it would not surprise me if it is too long to read for some of you. Either way, thanks for your time!
Last year end of may, I broke up with my ex girlfriend. We had a relation for about 4 years and it had its ups, its downs.. but was generally a very good relation. I am moving on with my life after breaking up, almost being together with her again, then being without her as she chose to continue with another guy.
We met at the end of my University days, she was still in college. We started out skyping, sending messages over whatsapp and within 2 months, we knew we really wanted to start dating. We started dating and within weeks we were in a relation. It was a good time, a good way of getting to know each other and a good way of building our relation. She loved me SO.. SO much from the beginning, it was crazy. I felt flattered every moment knowing a girl cared so much about me.. and did everything I could to make her happy too. Over the next years, many people told me it was kind of crazy/obsessed how much she loved me. There was also quite some distance between us in the beginning. Our towns were +/- 40 minutes apart from each other.
I found out soon that she can be very emotional and get depressed easily. The first situation was with her mother, she had a bad relation with her mother. Her mother is a good person but very difficult to get along with. Her mother disapproved of her choice for me but probably also other things that happened before me. She wanted to have a good relation with her mother so bad, that it often made her sad and depressed. I told her to keep speaking and seeing her mother and tell her father about it too. That worked, a while later, her mother started talking to her and things improved.
After a short period into our relation (+/- 6 months after we started?!?), she also started missing me alot if we weren’t together. Out of the 7 weekdays, we saw each other for 3 to 4 days. Sometimes even more if our schedules allowed it. She often left my apartment sad and crying that she couldnt stay longer (she has to get up early as a hospital nurse). After about 10 months, right after my graduation, she told me she really wants to live together with me and hopes I will move in with her. She doesn’t want to miss me so much and my job basically fits any town in a big 500km area. After a few weeks of crying and pressure, I gave in and promised her I move to her asap. I told her this was really something big for me as those 2 – 3 years after uni, are the last free years you have before you start a family. I told her I’d sacrifice them for her because I really want to make her happy. At that time, I finished university and she just finished college. She was doubting what to do. She could do a post-college nurse specialization or go for a University degree. She kinda wanted that University degree but was afraid of the level and costs. I told her to do it as I sensed she really wanted it. I promised her I’d see her through University and be there for her. She decided to do it.
We moved in together in a nice apartment and a very good 2nd year started. Money was never really a problem and we cared well for each other. In this 2nd year, she had her job in the hospital and 3 upcoming years in University. Work, University work and other factors caused the regular depressions and emotional outbreaks. She is a very sweet and caring person but also easily off balance. As her boyfriend back then, I always comforted her and cared for her the best I could. This worked well but this did put alot of stress on me too. Often, I was more a father/counselor instead of a boyfriend. I did not give up as she also gave alot of love back to me.
The town were we lived at that time was pretty isolated so over time, I asked her if we could move to a different town. She agreed and we picked the town where she grew up and where her parents and family live. Her University was also alot closer to it so it was totally convenient for both of us. We already had in mind we would live here for a few years and then move on.
In this third year, things became more heavy. Her first job in this town was a disaster. Bad hospital, bad care for employees and she was totally undervalued by her supervisors. Within weeks she burnt out completely and was sitting at home. I was there to care for her of course and we looked for a new job. We found it and this new nursing job was perfect for her. Nice place, nice people and she was being valued for who she really is. Things were on track again.
At this point, after we entered the third year, she also started talking more about marrying, a house and children. This frightened me. Of course she would first finish University (would be 1 year later) but these depressions that often came up and her instability, lead me to tell her I’d like to see her “grow up” a bit. Growing up is perhaps a bad way to express myself in this but she understood what I meant and also told me she knows she has to. Ultimately I did want all of this with her too but not in this state.
Over time, she started putting more pressure on me for marriage, children and a house. She didn’t want to know an exact date because that’s not how it works but she did want me to tell her just about when everything was going to happen. This was seriously difficult for me to handle. Often I was playing counselor / daddy, not being able to enjoy a relationship the way you should and before I move into that definite phase with her, I would want her to be really ready for it. In addition, she also told me she never wants to move out of town anymore. Her family and friends live there and she and her parents agreed she will take care of her younger sister (handicapped) when her mother can no longer do so. I know her well enough, when her parents get older in about 10 years, she will also want to care fort hem too. She’s that kind of type. Knowing this was so very important to her, I told her I will stick with her here and we go through life like this together.
The 4th year was basically last year, 2017. It started out ok. We loved each other, never really stopped caring about each other.. but the tension of what she wanted vs. what I was afraid of, was still there. We agreed to talk periodically about it but we never really came to a solution. Deep inside I was also kind of angry. I gave up my last few free years to live with her after only 1 year because she really needed me. I accepted we would never move out of that town because of her family, friends and the care she wants to give to her sister. I really consider these things sacrifices from my end which I, REALLY, gladly did for her. That she kept hammering on marriage, kids and a house, not simply waiting after her graduation and let it happen “naturally”, I kind of felt it was unfair.
After a while, may 2017, we broke up because of this. We both knew we were steering towards a breakup in the weeks before it happened. I was sad, very sad and she was devastated, TOTALLY devastated. I kept seeing her 1 or 2 times per 2 weeks to make sure her life got back on track. Shortly after me, she had 3 dates with a guy but it did not work out and they lost touch. Even 2 months after we broke up, if we met up and had lunch, she could still easily cry about us. I don’t cry easy but I felt the same.
Now, before I continue. The first 2 months after the breakup, were very sad on the one hand.. but also VERY relieving on the other hand. All the pressure, the care.. always being the counselor, the father.. it was over. For those 2 months I felt totally at peace even though I was really sad about it. At the end of that period, after summer break, I had a dream about us and our time together. It made me realize when I woke up that it may be over, but that I have to talk to her about it again. I am totally NOT a dreamer, but it happened and did something with me.
We met up real fast that day and I literally told her about my dream and we talked about everything. Few days later, we talked again, again and again. I realized that in those very few months only, she really got stronger and grew up. She got more realistic about life and really took control of her life instead of just letting someone else decide. Being without me that time, was good for her. In the end, after a lot of talking and crying, we decided to try again slowly. She told me she still likes me and cares for me, but is afraid to trust me again. I told her I totally understand and said sorry 1000x for breaking up and making her go through that hell. We started dating again, sleeping over, went on 2 holiday trips and the moment we had to go tell her parents, was coming close. I told her I’d buy an apartment close to her straight away and after we marry, we move in the house that she was building. This really made her happy.
Few days after that, she called me and said she wants a break for 2 weeks, think this over, and then talk. I suspected something may be wrong but I gave her that time. 2 weeks later we had a talk on the phone and she told me she did not want to continue. She told me the guy she dated after we broke up, contacted her again and she wants to see what he has to offer her. I felt kinda betrayed on the one hand but then again, officially we broke so it’s also my own fault. I told her i’d drive over to her place, we talk about it and then we say goodbye.
I came over at her place, we had a talk about it and she told me about the situation. How she is afraid to return with me to her parents even though she loves me and how at this moment, that guy also makes her feel really good. I understand this stuff completely, new love vs old love. Instead of acting jealous or bashing that guy, I simply told her what I have to offer her, living with her in her town, caring for her sister and all those things that she wanted before. She had to cry alot and this was very hard for her. She was really in doubt as she also realized she’s sacrificing 4 good years for something totally unknown. Added to that matter is that this guy lives 1,5 hours drive away from her and told her he will not move out of town for her. Nevertheless, I decided to leave, knowing there was nothing left for me to do. Bashing him is pointless, playing the emotional victim is pointless. I told her what I want to be for her and she supposedly made a choice, time for me to leave and get over it. Thats how I felt.
The next morning, she sent me a message.. how much she loved me and what I said to her, how she couldnt sleep that night, how sad she is and how afraid she is. I replied if she really loves me and to ask herself if she wants to continue with me regardless of what she said the night before. She replied again she loves me and wants to. I drove over to her place and the picture was almost perfect. She was relieved I was there, we had dinner, we went out.. I slept over at her place.. Everything was ok again. I don’t know what happened. The night before she said to me she wants to see what that other guy has to offer and let me go, day later she realizes who I am and what I have to offer her and wants me back. I told her fair and square, first thing she has to do, is tell that guy it will not work out. Then we go to her parents together and tell them the entire story. Then we start again, we marry within a year and we work on that future she always wanted. I wanted it too at that point, I really did. Seeing how she grew in only a few months time, I had faith she was totally up for it.
She told me she wanted to tell him in person. I advised her not to knowing how vulnerable she is to people appealing to her need to care for others. There was no way I could talk her out of meeting him so I let it happen. Forcing it would be bad aswell, she would not accept that. She met up with him and yea, you guessed it.. After meeting up with him, she texted me how MUCH she loves me.. but that she can’t hurt him and will continue with him. She then told me over the phone how he told her he’s so attached to her, that he never really felt anything for a woman before and that he depends on her. This all sounds really nice but I personally think he just pulled the emotional victim card to appeal to her caring side. She feels guilty for having to refuse him, feels guilty to refuse a guy who, at this moment, makes her feel like a queen and with her parents in the back of her head, she decides to ditch me. She also told me she can do this to me as she knows I can take it and handle it. At that point I simply said I hope she is sure about it and sure about her future, knowing he won’t move out of his town for her. I told her we should stop contacting each other and meet up in a few weeks, talk things over.
4 / 5 weeks later we meet up in a restaurant. She was happy to see me, gave me a hug, a kiss and I felt a real hug as if she missed me. We talked about alot of things, each other, the future, all kinds of stuff. I made sure the talk wasn’t about her new boyfriend as I don’t give a cent about him of course. During the dinner, she had to cry in the middle of the restaurant. She told me how sad she is we finally did not continue, how she misses me and how the thought of me dating other girls makes her jealous. I dropped her off home, comforted her a bit and then I left. I refuse to be someones surrogate boyfriend and just left.
4 weeks after that first dinner, we had 1 more dinner. Exactly the same thing happened as above. I let her speak about her new boyfriend a bit to hear her out. After that moment where she definately broke with me and went with him, she told me she would sell her new house (of which she was SO.. SO proud) as its “just a house right?”. At that dinner she said she is not going to move out anytime soon as she first wants to enjoy her house for a few years. Another thing was how she told me she’s really the smarter one of the two and actually kinda finds it attractive if she has a boyfriend who is smarter than her. She told me she always had this when she was with me. Same as before, she started crying again. This time I knew enough. I dropped her off home, gave her a little kiss and drove off. Not gonna stay there for 3 hours being the surrogate.
Interesting detail here is that she told this new guy after she let me go, she would not be in touch with me anymore. He doesn’t know we had the occasional text message and against him knowing, she went out for dinner with me 2 times. She told me at that 2nd dinner “I can’t tell him, it would hurt him.”. I find it disrespecting if she goes out for dinner with me while promising her new boyfriend not to. That tells me something.
Following week, I messaged her I wanted to come over to tell her something and then say goodbye. She was scared about it as she knew it would be my final goodbye but she let me come over. I told her one more time in a very gentle, loving, fair but also proud way. How I feel about all this, the entire situation, her choice, our past and what I have to offer her. Took me a good 15 minutes. I did not bash her choice, her boyfriend (did not even mention him) and said basically only what I wanted to be for her. I told her I will leave and that she can call me if she knows what he really wants. It made her cry alot and at that moment she said “I can’t give you an answer to this right now.”. She also said she is too afraid to contact me if she wants me back, feeling guilty how she treated me. I gave her a little kiss but then I left. In a certain way, I was very relieved but also proud. Not being that leftover guy from a small village pulling the “But I need you so much” bullshit.
That moment where I really took my leave, was about 7 weeks ago. I know and I saw it did something to her. I haven’t heard from her since. I also haven’t contacted her since.
Meanwhile, already after she let me go (3-4 months ago+/-?) I have been moving on with my life. I went out with friends alot.. and I am dating with a girl. This dating is slowly turning into something real. However, as you can read from all the above, I am not totally over my ex yet. It is difficult for me to continue with this date if I can’t block out my ex. If I go further or towards a relationship, I am fooling myself and I am fooling this girl I date.
For those of you who did take the time to read this, thank you. I am wondering what I have to do. I know I should not contact my ex but something inside me tells me that over time, she will come to realize that her current relationship is not what she is looking for. Not because I think its not what she is looking for.. but because of the things she told me. When you realize someone does not want to sacrifice for you and basically rolls over your future ideas, then realize you let a guy go who did show you what real love is, I think that’s the moment she is going to realize what she did. Also, the "but I need you so much", "I depend on you so much" shit will sooner or later not impress her anymore. I also think that when the honeymoon phase is over, she will put her demands on the table again just like she did with me. However, I know I shouldn’t wait for this, I have to move on.
Thanks for reading this. I hope some of the women out here can tell me what drives a women to do what they do. I know love and the choice for someone is not rational but that still does not explain for me how this all happened the way it happened. It would be easy for me to move on if I knew she really met someone she could depend on. My friends already told me 1000x.. “At this moment, she made a choice, this is what she wants for now at least.” and “The way you handled this and showed her how your love is real, is something that will stick with her and take some time.”.
Still, I can’t fully commit to this new girl yet. My friends are happy / jealous of me as they say everything is better (physically / mentally) compared to my ex. That may all be true but although my day to day life has been going great the last 3 months, these thoughts still bother me.
I would really like to know your thoughts about this. I am about to finish renovating my apartment. A friend of mine suggested that if I really want to make a point to her, and show her I am moving on, I'd have to invite her over for a short drink and simply tell her I am about to enter a relationship, wish her well but that this is it. I don't know to be honest.
It does sound like a long and very drawn out break up. Sounds like it was exhausting too.
I think she could of been having a tough time before she met you, with her mum. Was her mum was controlling, do you know? I think it would explain her behaviour of depressed, being indecisive and crying.
When you first broke up it did sound like she needed to carry on being single if you noticed she was starting to take charge of he life. Dunno what it's like to go through a break up but 2 months is nothing, she needed longer to heal and so did you I think.
No I wouldn't take your friends advice on inviting her round or telling her you're about to start a new relationship. I don't see how that would help either of you. I think it would bring every up again and you're likely to repeat history like it's done so many times before. Even if that's not the idea.
If you feel like you need more time to get over all this then be honest with your new gf. You both need to move on now.
Thank you for your reply!
Yes, before she met me, she already had issues with her mother. She had a very good connection to her father always but it became more difficult with her mother in her late teens.
When we broke up, I simply couldn't take it anymore. Being the counselor, dad, not the boyfriend. I think she learned alot about herself too ever since then.
My problem is that we both really wanted to start again. The moment when she texted me she wanted me back after she sent me away, was a pure moment where she herself, without being pressured/convinced/manipulated by anyone, decided to text me. I told her that week, please make sure what YOU want in your life and who YOU want. Don't let yourself be convinced or pulled into something you later regret, even if it's with me.
The way this entire situation went, gives me a feeling she's not 100% behind her decision. However, I know I can't wait. My life is my life and has to continue too. It's not easy however.
I'm so sorry you're going through this. Breakups are the most painful part of life, but it's where the most growth is, in my opinion. After more years married than not, I finally realized neither of us was happy, and only getting less so with every passing year. You're absolutely right that it's awful to want one thing, while needing another. I wanted my marriage to work with every fiber of my being. Turns out, wanting it to work is rarely enough. We both needed to be on our own so we could work through our issues and find our priorities, needs and wants, independent of anyone else. It was terrifying and painful, but it took less than a week to realize it was the right decision for both of us.
I'm not saying the breakup and/or resulting pain only last a week. Hardly. The breakup took a little more than 6 months from the time we first agreed that was what we needed. The practical stuff didn't take nearly as long as I'd feared. We both found new (and better) living arrangements, and got the joint responsibilities and assets divided quickly and fairly easily. It was the emotional split that took much longer. We managed to stay civil (mostly), and we got to where we could spend time as a family (we have two adult children) without it being awkward. If we didn't share children, we likely would have just let each other go completely. And there's nothing wrong with that. It's healthy to wish each other well and just move on.
I don't envy what you've been through, and will likely still go through, but I think you'll find that cutting contact may be the kindest thing for all concerned. If you don't see a future, and it's hard to be friends without the romantic stuff creeping in and confusing things, then you both need to just move on, and stop communicating or sharing details of your lives. Especially about new relationships. There is nothing good that would come of talking about new relationships with an ex. We all have that fantasy of making someone insanely jealous, and they make some grand romantic gesture to win us back. Real life doesn't work like that. LILY31 is right. You'd regret taking that freind's advice.
Whether she's 100% behind her decision is her monkey, her zoo. You're absolutely right that you can't (and shouldn't) put your life on hold while she figures herself and her life out. She'll never find her own feet if there is someone there to carry her. It's time to let her walk her own patch, and find her own way. If at some point her path leads back to you? Then you both have a new decision to make, assuming you're even avaialable and/or interested. Regardless, it's time to wish her well, and let her go.
Take care of yourself, and I hope you find lasting happiness. <3