Everything has gone wrong
I don't really know where to start with this. I met a woman online through a gay dating forum website. This was over 5 years ago and after some time, we became involved in a relationship. In my life I've had ups and downs and I guess I messed it up, I was beginning to fall for someone else and our relationship ended. She met someone else and moved on too.
I suffered a disability towards the end of us being in contact and she really really helped me with a lot of things that had gone on at the time and I owe her a lot for just that.
During the next few years apart my life was strained and this other girl I got with in my city really messed my head up. Despite helping me adjust to the disability, she was/is a control freak and things got really messed up with her taking control of my whole life. I have a part to play in all this is I let her and even when people tried to warn me, I didn't want to see it. As selfish as it is to admit this, I didn't want responsibility. I did have a very powerful connection with her despite the fact that it quickly became abusive and we have both been to therapists individually as well as mediation. A friend once commented that we bring out the worst in each other and should not be together as it became so volatile. I have always suffered with depression and had made several attempts on my life. No one is responsible for that but me but as I reached my lowest point, she would step it up a gear. Hurts to say that I was as needy and weak as she was manipulative and controlling. I am still trying to make sense of what I was getting from the situation, when I can see now I was probably very vulnerable and she wanted to make sure I would always be dependent on her. I have always struggled with my weight and rarely talk about it but I have fallen into a trap of not eating, this has spiralled and I am now in recovery to beat the disorder. Again, I am ashamed of what she did to me and what I allowed her to do. I have lost friends who wanted me away from her and would tell me I'm not safe etc, I passed off the abuse as misunderstandings, communication was affected. I took some really big steps to get away from her and she made an effort to address her own issues. I was a fool to let some of those lapse, got back in touch with her etc, allowed her to regain some of the control I'd cut off.
As time passed I regained some of my independence, got into a good job that I love and when I think of how far I've come, I should be proud but I know deep inside I am still weak. Not necessarily for her, just a weakness and feeling 'less than'. So following some really bad incidents, I walked away from what was an absolute trauma of a situation and spent some months cutting ties and trying to reach a resolution with her. I know she has her own struggle going on so I am trying to remain objective. What I can't forgive her for is what followed.
The woman I'd known online came back into my life at a time when things were looking up. I didn't know how long she'd be around for and I was still being very guarded and not able to trust people properly so I intended just to say that things been ok, knew she'd ask about my other relationship and rather than go into the details, I gave her a brief outline, let her know it was over without telling her all that had gone on. I guess I felt ashamed. That she would think less of me for allowing it to happen, for maybe realising I was not in a good place, that she would run a mile because of the baggage. She hated when I pushed her away and I knew I was still in that frame of mind and that it would put her off. Just needed someone truly on my side. Maybe I should have been honest and risk losing her again, but for me to continue getting stronger on my own. If I could turn back time I would have. I realise now that I probably didn't understand what had happened fully and for that reason covered it up. Some of the circumstances of my life I had to lie about, perhaps self preservation, perhaps denial. I see now that even though I try to justify it, I had lied about some really strange things to avoid having to tell her the truth about this messed up relationship.
I did not know that our on line relationship would take off again and we soon became what we were before. I felt complete, finally happy understood and accepted. It was the breakthrough that gave me strength and meant I could share my life with someone who truly cared.
I was still weakened by the other girl and I stupidly slept with her which I know is unforgivable and probably a sign I should be on my own for some time to repair. It ate away at me for a long time and in there antime I was swept away what was a real, honest, caring love like I have never felt before. We made plans for our future and she was so committed to me I wanted to take this secret to the grave, never ever wanted to hurt her. Guilt does not fade, no matter how much you may wish it away.
So as my life is taking shape and the future finally looks like happiness isn't just for other people, my world has fallen apart.
She found some crazy stuff online that I forgot about, stuff happening at the height of my chaos with the other girl, stuff that made her question my disability. Obviously worried and wondering what it was about, she asked me to explain it. I was so angry that the past was messing up my future with the one I am meant to be with, I demanded that ex put it right and explain what the online stuff was about. This backfired on me and in an attempt to probably control me again, she threatened to tell about us sleeping together. In the end I decided I had no option but to come clean. I confessed. I risked losing her but I refused to be controlled through fear and manipulation again.
Amazingly, she was willing to give me a second chance. I have never felt stronger, that I had finally taken a stand and I was about to begin a new chapter with no fear. It destroyed me that I had hurt her by cheating and I will never forgive myself for that. I tried to explain about the nature of the relationship, wishing I had done so from when she got in touch again.
I understand that this must have left doubts in her mind and I cannot blame her for that. She began digging online and some of the online stuff that came up showed that some of the circumstances of what I'd told her were not entirely accurate. Again, it was things I'd said to avoid having to tell her the whole twisted reality of what had gone on, if I can't even understand it myself, would anyone else? I never lied to trick her. I never lied to hurt her. Was it self preservation, walls I built up to stop anyone getting too close again? In my mind, I planned to be able to confide in her about the extent of what had gone on once we were truly together.
She now thinks I've lied about everything, is doubting everything I have told her. I am numb with shock that things have ended so badly. I desperately want to talk to her, to tell her everything from the beginning, even if just to give her closure and allow her to walk away. I would doubt she sees me as a suitable partner, knowing my history and problems. She will be hurting right now and I wish I could go to her and just gold her and explain everything. At times I feel I should probably avoid relationships as this past is still affecting me. The barriers I put up are preventing me from allowing me to move on and for me to be open with people about how I feel. I have now lost everything I ever wanted. The trust is gone when I was already stupid enough to damage something so perfect. I am seeking to begin therapy to deal with bigger issues, stuff I have avoided for years.
I can't allow myself to move on despite knowing that I should. Online relationships are preferential to me due to the nature of my disability but I can't help feeling that I should start afresh and remain alone until I have sorted my issues. Hurting so much.
Finding out the one you love and want to share your life with, has lied so much is very hard. You put yourself in her shoes, how would you feel? and what would it take for her to explain, for you to trust her again. I know you probably hid a lot of the truth so as not to hurt her, 'what you don't know won't hurt you' . If you can explain, that is why you did it. Maybe write her a letter, not email, and explain your reasons. An email is so easy to delete at the press of a button. A handwritten letter, ok she could tear it up, but I'm thinking if she loved you as much as you do her, she will be curious and at least read it.
Best of luck
But now I am at a total loss. Part of me wants her to know that it's not as bad as she is probably thinking. But I know I have lost her now and she has not contacted me since. Is this the time I take time to deal with my issues and put this down to experience, the hardest lesson I will ever learn. In her situation I would feel the same. I can't believe how I have messed this up and hurt her.
We had arranged to meet in a few months, this was going to be the start of our future together, I am numb inside. I am considering making the journey to where she lives and contacting her, asking her for five minutes of her time, just to be able to hand deliver the letter. If she refuses then I go home and make attempts to move on.
I feel a total loss. She said that following the years we were apart that I was a lot more stable and settled now, I wanted so much to tell her what a mess I bad been and everything that had gone on with the other girl. Would she understand? I have always felt that she is too good for me and deserves to be with someone with no hang ups, no history, no baggage. I believe the trust has gone and even if she learned the truth, it cannot repair the damage. I love her so much.
I am falling to pieces, it is suddenly hitting me just what I have lost. My future has just fallen apart.
I'm a little confused. This has been going on for 5 years and you have never met in person? You said:
"We had arranged to meet in a few months, this was going to be the start of our future together, . . "
We met online. Last time round before we drifted apart we hadn't met. Then the years passed, I was in messed up relationship with other girl during that time. Only recently the online woman from the past contacted me again, the relationship rekindled, this was at the beginning of the year. So after talking to each other online we decided we should meet. This was to happen in a few months time. I have already bought the tickets.
OK - so put the past behind you and start REALITY with this person when you meet her. Good luck!
I don't think I've explained this very well. Due to not being honest about things that had gone on with the girl in this city, the long distance girl has discovered stuff online that contradicts what I felt able to tell her. Now does not trust me and has stopped contact with me. I have tickets and had arranged to meet her but now I have lost her.
Then you have learned a valuable lesson to not lie to those you care about.
couple of options:
1) learn your lesson, move on, and look for a quality love in the future.
2) put your beggin' shoes on and ask to at least meet with you so you can explain and apologize to your friend of 5 years.
(after all, she did re-connect with you just recently)
You have invested a lot of time and drama into a long-distance relationship. YOU don't know if SHE is as she says. You have not met her and therefore, really don't have a full relationship with her.
As my walls came down I realised I should have just been honest with her, I was still in a bad place and didn't know if she was just gonna disappear. Then as things developed and we realised we had a future, I figured that I would be able to tell her the extent of what went on with my ex, I planned to do this when we met as it would be then that things would be concrete and I would have to mention the suicide attempts etc. Her ex had a history similar and I knew she would be put off, my heart is just broken now. Every day I sit down to write to her and let her know that it's not as bad as she is fearing and explain why I kept things from her but as I put pen to paper, I know her trust in me is gone and I cannot fix this. I am very low right now and struggling to see a way out of this.i can't bear to think I have hurt her.
The trouble with trying to forge and cultivate a relationship online is that the nature of the media makes it all too easy and tempting to lie about personal details and events as then can too quickly become a hard-set habit, especially if that foundation gets a chance to set via being inordinately prolonged beyond the point at which two people would and should normally meet in the flesh.
You say that meeting potential lovers online suits you. Yet clearly, evidently, it doesn't. Not beyond the purely practical advantages. It creates a basis for a web that cannot be undone without damaging the relationship.
Trust is another word for sustained behaviour over time and in all manner of situations proving the person PREDICTABLE. Without real feedback provided by interaction in the real world, i.e. without real shared situations, genuine trustworthiness can't get built, only an illusion of such. This is what you've broken. But how do you know she hasn't lied to you about certain details (but is better at it than you)? You don't, is the short answer to that one.
A letter is a good idea, within which I'd suggest you propose that she and you completely disregard the prior mere ruse of a relationship and start again from scratch FOR REAL. This correct basis would give you that priorly missing SENSE OF OBLIGATION for making wholly truthful disclosures where concerned the important info upon which each other's senses of emotional self-protection relied. But in order to say so with any credibility (including that you fully intended to come clean once face-to-face), you first have to finally *and fully* cease believing you can gain certain perks of a relationship (company and interactional stimulation) without doing the actual hard slog parts. Only when you're prepared to do the (sometimes messy) work it involves can you claim to be relationship-worthy or to accordingly have attracted/connected with a relationship-worthy/-ready counterpart.
There is no such THING as 'a bit of a relationship' and believing there is is where you've BOTH gone wrong. It's all or nothing...same as if you spliced a young potted plant in two - you wouldn't then expect it to flourish, would you. Instead you'd expect it to perform badly as it constantly fought a long, drawn-out, *futile* battle not to die. It needs the FULL amount of soil, root system, pot, food, water, breeze ...and room to grow. So - news for you: even if you *hadn't* lied/kept certain things secret (denied the young plant a full, self-contained pot so as to retain any nourishment) you were both onto a hiding to nothing considering the nature of the media deprived you both of so many more vital ingredients. The lies were therefore but a *symptom* of the underlying disease (said lack of reality-supplied pressure of obligation), not the disease itself. So even having told the whole truth and nothing but wouldn't have helped the pair of you. The relationship couldn't have thrived and survived, regardless...was inevitably going to die...When, not If, berbom. Because you weren't even benefiting from opportunities to feed, water and weed it properly and fully.
To put it more simply: having in your mind a mere concept of a future meeting up is not enough to make that meeting (where the relationship can take off) feel like a guaranteed inevitable whereby the relationship then strikes as real as then places said vital pressure to behave in accordance with the demands of reality. It's like if I told you to prepare for a trip to Mars next year. No matter how badly you wanted to, how seriously would you believe it and how meaningfully and sensibly would those preparations of yours be in the run-up? I suspect you lied because you DIDN'T think it would/could become a reality, not because you did. "Nice things don't happen to you", do they. ...or *didn't*.
Your crux question is why you believed you weren't lucky or deserving enough to get a real one...why you felt so Less Than as deserved Less Than. Old You laid the skewed and incomplete foundations of that relationship as dictated the poor quality of the building atop, meaning, now you're finding it difficult to get past the products of Old You as New You. That's because you've not yet caught up to your new & improved self. Once you have is the point where you'll be able to say to her, not only that you're not that same person but to prove it to her by listing all the new and improved, CONCRETE developments and spin-offs. In other words, today's actions and evidence (new job and confidence, plus posting on here) speak louder than past lies, actions and evidences.
The same can happen in relationships that get conducted in real life if, at any point along, one or both of you is in transition.
Alternatively, this online woman might have been just a stepping stone (during your transition) between crap girlfriend and whatever perfect-for-you model awaits. Progress *is* very two steps foward, one back. So if you stand back and examine your having been moving undecided between crap girlfriend and okay girlfriend and back again (a bit), you should be capable of seeing how the pattern mimicked your mental uncertainty over whether to stay 'safely' where you were or to get on with moving permanently away from it and up.
That, I suspect, is the (very) lengthier version of what Susiedqqq was trying to say (and which we're clearly in agreement over).
Maybe your online woman still loves you and wants to talk to you?
It may or may not work out, but if you have the tickets and you so desperately want to meet her and try explain things, why not use the tickets and go try do that? If she agrees to meet you and she listens that's good, if she doesn't at least you'll know you tried your best and won't forever be wondering what if. And you can try move on and focus on your life and meet someone else.
And I think there is always some doubt with online relationships, we can't see their expressions when they tell something however convincing or even believe if they say they are watching a movie but could be actually talking to 2 or 3 others! But people believe what they want to, especially if it's what they want to hear. (I watch catfish!)
Best of luck whatever you decide.