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I have no idea where I stand

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Relationship advice A couple of months ago my partner of 4 years dumped me out of the blue. She had apparently been thinking about it for months so it wasn't out of the blue for her.

I was completely devastated and I did the usual desperate thing of messaging and emailing her saying how much I wanted her back and how much I loved her. A few days after she dumped me I noticed that she had befriended her ex on Facebook. This really got to me and I asked her if he had anything to do with dumping me. She assured me that wasn't the case but she did say that she had arranged to meet him for a coffee but just to see how he was doing. I accepted that as the truth because she is a very genuine person.

Around 6 weeks after we split I emailed her to say that I was moving on and happy so that she needn't worry about me and how I was feeling. It was a lie and really just a way to get her to communicate with me. It worked and she started responding to my friendly messages. A week later I got drunk and admitted that I had lied and that I was still a wreck, wanting her back very badly.

The very next day she contacted me to say that she was having a recurrence of an illness she suffers from. She asked if I could go round to check on her and I did just that. She doesn't really have a support network so it made sense for her to ask me as I had experience helping her through the illness and I live just a few minutes from her. For the next week I spent a lot of time looking after her and even slept in her spare room a couple of times as he was scared of being alone. During the week she admitted that she had seen her ex a couple of times but nothing had happened. She kept telling me how grateful she was that I was there for her during this difficult time for her.

Towards the end of the week I noticed that she was constantly answering text messages and visibly getting upset by some of them. She finally admitted that it was her ex and that he was furious and jealous that I was there for most of that week. It became clear that there was more than a couple of meetings between them and eventually she told me they had slept together.

Apparently she really wanted him to look after her but he couldn't cope with the nature of her illness. Naturally I was completely shocked by her lies and I felt incredibly used and betrayed. I was also very badly hurt by the fact that she had been intimate with someone else a matter of days after breaking up with me.

We are both in our 40s and she is a very kind and genuine person. I couldn't believe that she could do this to me and frankly I was shocked that she was capable of doing anything like this.

In spite of everything I calmed down quite quickly and decided that I could live with that and still wanted to get back together. I told her this and she seemed happy that I reacted that way. I felt that I was to blame for her ending things and she told me that she was very low when she got together with her ex. However, she also told me that she had hoped it would work out with him and she also admitted she had hoped he had changed (apparently they had split because of his very jealous and unstable nature).

I stuck around to carry on caring for her and one the next few days she told me that she had cut off all contact with her ex. She also told me that because I had demonstrated that I properly cared for her that she might reconsider the break-up when she was better. Her illness affects her mind so she was insistent that she was completely better before making any decisions.

Unfortunately I got more and more frustrated and demanded that she tell me if she really loved her ex and if I had any chance at all with her. In the end she insisted that we cut of contact for a while and now I feel I have blown it. Because she was capable of lying about him while I was looking after her I am terribly worried that she has made contact with him even though she insisted that she didn't want to be with anybody for a while. She kept telling me that her ex hated her because she had asked me to look after her and this made me think that all she wanted was him.

I feel like a complete idiot for still wanting her and I am convinced she loves the other guy (in site of his refusal to help her). Am I doing the right thing? I am so confused. Thanks for any advice.

I have no idea where I stand

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Hi Scotsguy

This sounds like a heart wrenching situation and it must be really hard for you at this time. My advice would be to speak to some friends or seek some counselling because what you really need right now is to focus on you and move yourself forward.

Unfortunately your ex does not know what she wants and you sound like a really understanding guy but you will constantly find yourself in this push pull cycle if you don't do something to stop it. Trust me I've been there. You tell them you're fine, then you're not and then you're fine and it does nothing for your self esteem or for life in general.

Now this is the hard part of my advice... You have to walk away and focus on you. As long as you are there she will go back and forth. The only way she will realise what she wants/needs is to not have you there and make that decision. Wouldn't you rather she wanted you and came to that conclusion herself? Equally would you want to be the easy option (this is meant in the nicest possible way).

I was the easy option and yes I won the girl back... But 7 years later I realised that I had always been putting myself second. I was downtrodden and miserable. Don't make my mistakes, get help now and get strong so you can establish if she really compliments you and really is 'on your team'.

I hope this helps.

I have no idea where I stand

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Hi singlelife. Thank you very much for the advice. I really appreciate your taking the time to reply. I think you are absolutely right about walking away and focusing on myself. In fact she suggested we cut contact 3 days ago so, although it is only 3 days, I have already started the process of staying away.

I worry, however, that I won't be able to cope with the thought that she is with him and that the period of no contact might jeopardize any chance we have of working things out.

On a positive note, the 3 days so far have made me see a bit more clearly and I'm a lot more angry about what she did. I think I was possibly too blinkered and obsessed before when actually I should've been incredibly hurt and angered by it.

Anyway I know your advice is sound so I will do my best to stay away and avoid contact with her for a while. Do you or anyone else know what is the best course of action if she contacts me sooner than is reasonable.

I have no idea where I stand

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That's good to hear that you are doing this. I'm not going to lie and say it is easy - it's not it's bloody hard and takes a lot of self discipline. So every day you make it through reward yourself!

If she contacts you, it depends on the context. I like to be honest and nice to people, so if she needed help I would say that you are not sure this is wise right now and is there someone else she can talk to? Just say that it's sensible to spend at least a month apart.

If she really has no one to turn to then go to somewhere that there is no temptation or opportunity to get 'too close'.

I hope that helps but worth seeing what other people think too - because I know my behaviours can sometimes suck me back into situations.

I have no idea where I stand

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Hello again singlelife. Thank you once again for this advice. You may not realise it but it means the world to me. Hearing good advice from someone with no agenda is very comforting.

One of my problems is that I cannot speak to anyone else because I'm afraid that if I tell friends and family about what she did they will probably hate her and I do not want that to happen. She is very close to my large circle of friends and family which, given she has very few people, is important to her.

I told her I would not tell anyone the full truth to protect her and she was very grateful for this. I know that when she slept with her ex we were not technically together so that is not necessarily so bad. However, the incident where she asked for and accepted my support for the week while hiding that she was essentially in a relationship would, I'm sure, put many of my family off her. She herself has expressed deep remorse for that and has even said she would never forgive herself for abusing my support in that way.

Anyway, your advice seems really good and heartfelt. I'm going to keep up the no contact thing and treat myself for each day I get through without too much pain. Your suggestion about what to do if she contacts me is great too. Thanks!

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