Advice about getting back with an ex
JOE0062 - Sep 25 2016 at 19:50
Over the past two years I've been living and traveling in Canada. I'm from England originally but I decided after finishing my degree I needed to travel and since arriving here I've decided I want to settle here eventually.
In my first year I met a girl, Hannah, Australian. We immediately hit it off and became close and involved with each other although as she was a student she'd be leaving Canada soon but coming back after finishing her studies. We were both upset the closer it got to her departure and after she left we spoke some more and decided that we could meet again when she returns in 8 months. I now know that the amount of time you put into a relationship doesn't guarantee it will succeed so I will try not to focus too much on the lengths of time apart. I lived life as fully as I had ever had in that time and kept close contact with Hannah. She was invested in this as I was, our mutual friends told me she spoke about me all the time.
When the time finally came to meet in Banff she suddenly dropped communication after telling me she was heading to her flight (which she had postponed a few days to go camping with her friends) I was worried and found out that she was still in Toronto with her friends and thought it was fine to not tell me she had accidentally missed the flight and was coming in a few more days. She was scared of moving to Banff, she loved Toronto and knew she'd hate living in such a small town but she came, two days later.
Our relationship from then on took off and we were very happy and close. We both suffer from fairly severe anxiety and depression and I particularly found it comforting knowing that we could be honest about that. Hannah was more able to look beyond those symptoms however. After a trip to Vancouver Hannah was set to briefly return home to go to her Dad's wedding. She had been complaining about Banff for a while, I had too, the town itself wasn't really the place for me. On the day of the flight back to Banff Hannah cancelled. She was terrified of coming back and relying on me for happiness when she didn't have her friends around her, we had become too close and spent all of her time together, impacting her ability to make friends. I was heartbroken but determined to get her back, she was completely honest with her feelings towards me and started counselling to work on her depression and anxiety attacks. There were 3 more attempts at rebooking the flight each time until the last she got to the airport and broke down. She wanted me to stop waiting for her and move on but she was completely in love and torn.
When she finally came back we had made plans to go to move to Toronto. She seemed quiet at times, readjusting to a few more weeks of Banff before the move. When we were alone she was as affectionate and loving as ever. She wrote poems in her spare time and one night after a very long week of sickness and insomnia she wrote a poem for me and left it for me to find. I was almost sure things would work out but a few days later she left to a near by town, needing space. We fought and argued and made up but Hannah was terrified of bringing me down with her, she couldn't handle the responsibility of caring for my feelings and hers when she felt so attached to me. she left for Toronto alone and I have not seen her in person since.
We've spoken all summer mostly in a friendly caring context, there have been many fights though, one of which led to some horrible news. Hannah had found out she was pregnant a month or so after getting to Toronto. I had been sending angry messages about feeling abandoned whilst she had been dealing with this alone. She was terrified and aborted it without telling me, she was scared I'd be even more angry. The abortion broke her, she couldn't look at kids on the street, look at herself or tell anyone what she was going through at first. She felt guilty about not telling me. Since I was very young I had always thought of abortion as a terrible, traumatic thing and so I wanted to understand our experience. She answered my questions and I did my own research. I tried to comfort her as much as I could through messages, I think it helped but she was still too scared to see me.
6 months on from Banff and Hannah is ready to see me, we've become calmer and more personal with how we speak to each other. I feel very strongly for her and she does for me. If conditions are right I would pursue the relationship again but fear is holding me back. I need advice. Am I crazy to go back to her? The whole ordeal hurt me a lot but I see things differently now, I see them for what they are. A young, scared girl who's had a hard time adjusting and dealing with awful things that have knocked her down. She's picked herself up and carried on with life and I feel like maybe she's different now, more mature and capable and ready. I'm fearing judgement from my friends who already say I forgive people like her too easily. Although they obviously have no idea how hard working through these emotions have been, there was no ease in this. Anyone with similar experiences please give me advice, this girl is special, one of a kind and I love her but I'm intimidated by the risks.
So I came across this website looking for the same thing you are, advice, and here is mine. Just to give you some background I've been married for 3 years and it's been really rocky most of the time, I like you believe we are something special and we can get through anything. I like you have forgiven things in the past that I have managed to reason through; however, if I am being honest, she seems to fail at being committed. It seems that she loves you a lot too, but the thing is with relationships it is not only about love. It is about how emotionally mature a person is, how well they can communicate, are they able to fulfill the responsibilities of a committed relationship? And she seems to not have been very good at this. I understand anxiety and depression, it's something that runs in my family, it's something that I have experienced myself, but I have managed to get myself to a point of true commitment and honestly and reliability. She doesn't seem to be at that point. I like to be an optimist and tell you that she might figure it out and things will get better, but it's really a Russian roulette. If I were to tell you what I think you should do my answer would be to not go through with it, to cut your losses and walk away, you have already taken the risks, you have already been forgiving for breaking your trust so based on your experiences it doesn't seem like things will change. She might really love you too but the thing is when you have been hurt so much at some point you have to realize you'll be better off walking way. I'm sure that's not what you wanted to hear but it's my honest advise.
By the way forget what people may or may not think about you. If you ultimately stay with her those who love you will support you and you'll get over feeling stupid. But the real ordeal is whether or not she will be a good partner, and she doesn't seem like she will. The person you need to worry about is you and how this will turn out for you. A very smart person said once that the true definition of craziness is doing something over and over again and expect a different result. Take it from me.
I can sort of relate to your problem, in a reversed way. Six years ago I moved away to be with an older woman I had met online and visited over the course of one Summer. Like your Hannah, I had a lot of anxieties and had a lot of difficulty adjusting to my new environment - in my case a bigger city. I can only imagine how much more difficult it must've been for Hannah having traveled miles and miles away from her home country, and then to hop between two or three different places there nonetheless.
One thing that makes your situation difficult is that you were willing to leave Banff for Hannah, so you could both move to Toronto together. And then she just decided to go on her own, freaking out over your relationship. I'm sure that must have been heartbreaking for you, and must have really screwed up your plans. Like Carolina said up above, you took some chances for her - but she was having problems making that commitment for you.
I think you and Hannah should try staying friends for a while, and see how that works out. I wouldn't make any major, life-changing decisions just for her, but maybe you could visit and hang out and keep in touch and see how that goes. If it seems like she is reaching a point of stability in her life and is doing well in Toronto, then maybe...
Wow, I'm not sure how but I totally missed that part about the abortion until just now. That is...really heartbreaking. And Idk, maybe that changes things? I guess that's up to you. I'm sure it was way too much for her to deal with at once, and it seemed like the right option for her at the time. But it's a shame she left you in the dark throughout all of it.
I'm not sure there's an easy answer here, but I don't think it's wrong to go back to this woman if you love her and the feelings seem mutual. Like I said though, do not make any major life-changing decisions for this woman in the near future, because you may end up seriously devastated. I think she needs to show you some more maturity and growth as a person before you even consider getting back together. Otherwise, you'll wind up with even more negative memories with this girl, and it will further tarnish and negate any of those pleasant and happy memories you made together.