Home › Forums › Advice & Chat › Relationship.. how do I find peace?
- This topic has 9 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 1 year, 1 month ago by Copa.
I had a terrible break up years ago. My bf of 3 years was falling for someone else in his medical school class. She had a bf. At the time we were doing long distance but I just had a feeling about her that was negative. He said he didn’t like her like that. Our 2nd year of long distance relationship was hard. I felt like we weren’t connecting as much and fought a lot. The only other negative in our relationship was every time he had a min from his busy schedule like a few days or weeks off he preferred to travel and do trips without me. I couldn’t go bc i was in school in my undergrad. One time a month we would take turns to fly and visit each other. One night he went out with friends, she was one of them. He said all of them ended at her house and spent the night bc they were all drinking. I feel like something happened that he’s not telling me. I called him 5 times and never got an answer. He told me the next day they were all there at her place. I wasn’t happy about it. I went out with my friends the next weekend to forget about it. My guy friend kissed me and we all ended up at his place. Nothing happened beyond the kiss. My phone died and I couldn’t get a taxi. The next day his friend took me home. I told my bf at the time and was honest about it. I felt awful and disgusted we with myself. He wasn’t happy obviously but forgave me. 2 months later we broke up at the airport on my birthday. I found out that same week he pursued that girl I was suspicious about from his class. He saved her birthday and flirted with her hard core. She broke up with her bf and they got together. I had a friend who kept in touch with him and told me what happened. That whole situation still hurts to this day. I get that we broke up but I feel like he lied. He lied to me about his feelings for her. He even switched from army to navy so they’d be together. ( she’s navy and his family is too but he wanted to be different.) I always said karma would get them someday. They got married. I’m still scarred by that experience. He told me when we broke up he needed time and he wasn’t ready for a relationship with anyone. Obviously that was a lie. I mean was he that stupid I wouldn’t find out about it all. I truly believe he doesn’t think he did anything wrong but to emotionally lie to me and do that really damaged me. Am I wrong anywhere in this? How do I get past this hurt?KateKeymaster
It sounds like this happened more than 10 years ago now, and you’re married and have a child with someone else. If you are still feeling quite hurt by that breakup, I would suggest you really try to get to the bottom of why you’re feeling like that. Is anything going on in your life now that’s making you feel unhappy and insecure? I think it’s normal to look back on past relationships and feel some negative emotions, but if it’s still raw and hurting, that might be a sign that something else is going on, and/or you never processed some things. Does that make sense? Maybe have a few sessions with a therapist and see if it helps to talk to someone.DiGuest
I’ve been looking into getting a therapist. This came up recently bc I work with physicians and this topic came up. This is part of my life that I felt I never resolved correctly or as you said it I never processed it in some way. The only thing that upsetting about this is that he walked away thinking we’re still good. He has no idea I know about the rest of the story that he got together with her right after the break up. He still keeps trying to add me as a friend on LinkedIn and I decline it.ronGuest
Are you happy in your current life: career, as a wife and mother, with a group of friends. It’s strange to be obsessing over this after having both moved on with your lives. Do you still see this ex as the guy you wish you were with? Long distance relationships are very difficult.
Do you feel guilty? You say you were upset that he, and a lot of others, stayed over at the house of the woman whom you suspected of some involvement, or at least as a person of interest, with your ex. You complain that during this time you tried to contact him five times and failed.
Then, the very next weekend, you and your friend group sleep over at a friend’s house after you had kissed this particular guy friend… and your phone died on that exact evening. This sounds like you were deliberately playing a revenge game with your ex. He accepted your apology, but broke up with you two months later, on your birthday, at the airport. Clearly, he didn’t really forgive you for your revenge kiss. Telling him about the kiss could well seem less honest than a deliberate slap in the face. It was revenge for… what? You have no knowledge that anything inappropriate happened between him and this other woman that evening. He was part of a group at her house.
He then pursued the other woman, either after breaking up with you (which is totally kosher) or after you confessed to the ‘revenge’ kiss.
I think you have a lot to unpack about this series of events. You are not blameless. Once you and he had broken up, it’s a little strange that you would be interestedly following his life through your friends.
It sounds primarily like neither of you could handle a long-distance relationship. They require a huge amount of trust, self confidence, and lack of jealousy on the part of both partners.DiGuest
Ron, Well back then I know this. My phone I had died often it was a razor that i had for 3 years. The charger was in my car parked at another bar. Nobody could drive me and i couldn’t call a cab. His friend told me he can take me back in the morning. Did I intentionally go out to for revenge? No I told my co workers how upset I was still weeks after the incident and they knew and told me to come out and forget about it. Then the one guy kissed me. I realized what happened and stopped. I followed the group back to his place. I felt awful and told my friends I need to get home. Not everyone had a smart phone back then and I had the cab number saved in my phone. One of his friends said they would take me back in the morning. I would be the first to admit if this was revenge. I told him when I got back what happened. Not for revenge. If it was revenge I wouldn’t have cried the whole night and morning until I could call him. I called my friends freaking out. I never believe in revenge. You either leave or work it out but 2 wrongs dont make a right. He was upset at first but he told me he understood and trust me I would have known if he didn’t forgive me. He’s been upset at me over arguments and acted like he was fine but stayed mad. This was an odd one. I mean if he forgiven me so easily but said nothing happened that seemed odd. Almost like he understood what the feels like. The next morning after he stayed with that girl he said you don’t need to know about anything. I said what do you mean? He said don’t worry about it. He was reluctant to tell me everything that night. He lied about things in the past with exes I caught through his friends. I mean if he’s lied before I wouldn’t be surprised that he lied again. I also didn’t like that he texted her the whole time during my birthday party. I saw her name when he texted her next to me. I didn’t say I was blameless. I know I made a mistake but I admitted it 100%. Like I said I felt disgusted with myself. He didn’t break up with me. I said if you want to break up i understand bc i cant justify what i did. He said no he wanted to work on it. So from Nov to Feb we stayed together. I asked him several times if he wanted to ended it bc of the kiss he said no. In feb We mutually broke up agreeing we couldn’t do this anymore. He didn’t like the long distance bc it was hard. I didn’t like it bc I couldn’t feel like it trust him anymore. I asked him when we broke up, honesty now it doesn’t matter bc we aren’t going to be together, do you have feelings for her. He said no not at all. One of his friends that I was friends with at the time when we were dating was also friends with the girl he liked. They were all in med school. That friend didn’t know we were broken up bc he didn’t tell anyone but the girl he liked. The girl he liked told the girl I was friends with about their relationship and she reached out to me. Asked if I was okay. I told her I had to be bc we’re not together anymore. I told her my suspicions about the girl I thought he liked and I didn’t want to continue the relationship based on feelings like i couldn’t trust him.
He couldnt keep doing the long distance so we called it quits. I blocked him from Facebook bc it was painful. She was like well that girl you think he likes he had been pursuing her all during the beginning of Feb and now they are a couple. That girl told her all what happened and how it started. She felt bad for me and called me. She confirmed it when i told her why we broke up. She was so confused bc she thought we were still dating. That’s how I found out. The other messed up part. We were been broken up for over a month and nobody knew not even his mom. His mom called me and asked about going to a mystery dinner show. I was like do you know about your son and I? She was like what? I talk to him every other day. I told her and she was in shock. I mean talk about dishonesty his mom was upset that he didn’t tell her. His friends from undergrad still asked me when he was coming in town so we can all hang out. This was a month after the break up. I think everyone was in shock and even more when he moved on so fast. I wasn’t bc I knew better. He had feelings for her since he met her. I could tell from the beginning the way he talked about her. I asked him many times about it he said I was crazy. Yet I wasn’t bc he did like her. Another crazy thing, he pursued her even though she had a boyfriend. I knew who her boyfriend because he was friend with my friend’s boyfriend. This is all 2 different states. 9 hours away by drive. Small world. That’s messed up to do that when she was taken. In the end he got everything he wanted. I now work with his undergrad friend and by passing he told us he needed off for their wedding. That’s how i know that. I don’t follow him or look him up on social media. He tried to add me on LinkedIn which was odd and I declined.DaisyGuest
I’m going to address the two specific questions you asked of us here.
First, you asked, Am I wrong anywhere in this? Well, no one here can answer that. We can’t tell you if your ex was interested in the other woman before you two broke up. We can’t tell you if anything happened between them the night he stayed at her place. The only person who has the answer — your ex — is someone you don’t trust to tell you the truth. If you keep trying to figure out who is right and who is wrong, you’ll be spinning your wheels on this forever.
That leads me to your second question. How do I get past this hurt? I think, first, you need to accept that you will never have an answer to the first question. It’s a hard thing to accept (I HATE not knowing the truth about things!) But it may help to recognize that it doesn’t matter. The answer is completely irrelevant.
You already know the only truths that matter. You didn’t trust your boyfriend in your gut. He had a history of lying to you. He chose to spend his free time traveling rather than seeing you. He spent a big chunk of your birthday texting with someone else. To me, it sounds like you’re better off without him. But even if you disagree, that relationship is over, and nothing you can say or do will change that. The fact is, he chose another woman over you and he is with her, not you. That sucks. It hurts. Unfortunately, proving that you were right about it all along won’t make it hurt less.
He has moved on. But you haven’t, even though it has been years. It’s worth exploring why you are still hung up on these he-said-she-said details about a relationship that is LONG over. Are you in a relationship now? If so, how would your partner feel knowing that you are still this emotionally invested in your ex? I know if my boyfriend was this obsessed over a past relationship I would feel very hurt, like he really wanted to be with them and not with me.
Whether you are in a relationship or not, maybe you are staying stuck in the past as a subconscious way of avoiding being emotionally available to someone else, and thus protecting yourself from getting hurt again. The thing is, holding onto hurt in order to prevent hurt is…counterproductive. You’re still hurting! And it holds you back from ever finding real happiness with a more compatible partner. Someone you trust on a gut level. Someone who happily chooses to spend his time and attention on you.
Just some food for thought. I hope you are able to work through this and move on, perhaps with the help of a therapist. You deserve to be free from all of this pain!CopaParticipant
Hi LW. I’ve read all your posts and I think therapy would be a good idea for you.
It really strikes me that after all these years you still remember the nitty gritty details of who said what to whom and specific timelines. You can recall it like it happened in the recent past when really it was many years ago at this point. So yeah, it doesn’t really sound like you’ve processed this at all (which you seem to know). I can’t remember the details of any of my breakups with this level of accuracy, not even the one that made me feel traumatized.
I have an ex who married the woman he was cheating on me with less than a year after we broke up. When I’d try to have conversations about our relationship, he’d blame work. When I asked him outright if he met anyone else, he said no. When I finally showed him I had a photo of him with his other girlfriend, it was remarkable how quickly he went from “of course I’d never do that” to “this can’t possibly hurt you the way you say it hurts you.” The details between your situation and mine are obviously different, but I imagine the pain I felt might be similar to what you felt/feel. One thing that helped me move past the hurt was to remind myself that this man did NOT have the qualities I want in a partner. I didn’t want to be with someone who lied to me who knows how many times or for how long, who betrayed me, who couldn’t communicate how he was feeling or what he wanted/needed, who refused to take any accountability, etc. Cause seriously, who’d want that? I wouldn’t even want to be with a man who had recently treated another woman like that. But I’d repeat these mantras to myself until my emotional brain caught up with my logical brain. The man you’re describing? That man wasn’t a catch.
The bigger thing I did for myself, though, is speak to a therapist. That relationship/breakup fucked with my head for awhile — he still comes up in therapy from time to time if I’m being honest — and speaking with a neutral third-party and having a safe space to cry/work through my emotions was very helpful. My therapist at one point told me that it sounded like my ex never treated me like a person whose feelings he’d hurt and even the validation of someone seeing/hearing my pain helped.
Anyway, I’m just back from vacation and I’m wiped so while I’ve read your other posts and might respond in a couple days if I have something to say/add, I might. But if not, I hope you will take some steps to heal and move on.
- This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by Copa.
I agree that it sounds like the best thing would be to try and find a therapist if you’re holding onto these details for a decade plus (razr phone? What year was this?) and getting upset about normal life and friendship changes, while becoming a new mom. To get over that old shit, you need professional help if you’re still holding onto it this tightly. Are you unhappy?
If you are hoisting your issues like this onto friends (just saying, maybe you aren’t) It’s exhausting spending time with you. I find a lot of people want me to be their personal therapist and I just cannot. Everyone is shocked and traumatized and has gone through liberal hell through the pandemic. I don’t know if I personally know anyone who hasn’t lost someone. I have my own problems. Everyone does. To me it sounds like you have a lot of time to think about this old stuff. Read some books, learn how to knit or crochet, I have no idea what you could be into but you need to get your mind onto your present and out of your past. Do something other than replay your regrets in your mind. You have the choice as an adult in their thirties to dwell on things or reset your focus. Exercise your self control and phone a therapist if you find yourself remembering what bar your charger was at 12 years ago. Kidding, but really. Why are you stuck in your past? Are you unhappy in your current relationship?DiGuest
Copa and Daisy, thank you both. Your answers here was very helpful and I agree with it. Do I want to be with him no. Do I think we belong together? No do I want anything to do with him? Absolutely not.
That whole situation was just messed up years ago and I really like what Daisy said I was trying to figure out the right and wrong of that relationship. It doesn’t matter. I kept thinking in all of this did I deserve it? That’s the only thing I never answered that I left this hanging. So I wanted to relieve the pain by figuring that out here from another person’s perspective.
The girls helped me answer the questions that I didn’t. Really that’s all I wanted to know from a different point of view.
Anonymousse- again thanks for your suggestion but I don’t think we’re on the same page in this advice. This is separate than the other stuff I asked. 2 are present issues and 1 is the past. I resolved the other 2 and I am feeling better about this thanks to the other girls and their advice. I’m currently in search for a therapist. No I don’t talk about this much with friends hence I found my outlet here. I have 3 issues in my whole life that’s ever bothered me to the point now and these are it. I don’t like talking about negative stuff with ppl. My friend in told you about loves to hear about drama and to Talk about this stuff. I don’t, not to my friends that is. I’d rather do it on an advice column anonymously. Get other thoughts that don’t know me. It helps in the bias opinions. I mean I’ve had past friends that can drive me away with their problems why would I do it to my friends?
I bring this up now after so long bc of a few things:
– if you all caught on, I work with my ex’s good friends and where we all did our clinical there so questions from co workers and physicians on how do I know this person and that brings back all those memories. I saw them last when my ex and I ended things. So I guess work brings back a reminder of the trauma.
– next is I was told I could express my unresolved questions here and I really only had like 3 Total. it’s hard to talk about my issues with people so I don’t. I’m trying to find a therapist bc my last ended up moving after 2 sessions. She got relocated to another state. I the mean time while searching, this is my let out. 3 issues: 2 being the present and 1 from the past I never felt like I got to talk it out to express everything in one sitting with anyone. I feel like here I could. I wish I did this years ago. I probably wouldn’t have said it here if I did. Anyway, this was more of a place to let it out get some thoughts and advice to see if it helps me move on.
– lastly I don’t like to talk about my problems much with friends. Currently looking for a therapist. I felt like doing it here anonymously it’s a start to get some thoughts out.CopaParticipant
Well, hopefully you can understand that your three posts taken together come across a certain way — like you are quite unhappy and lonely in the present and still stuck in the past in a big way.
I’m not sure what specifically you are referring to when you ask if you deserved what happened. I don’t think your ex did anything wrong in pursuing his now-wife after you’d broken up. That doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to feel hurt that he dated/married someone you had suspicions about — that stuff DOES hurt! a lot! — but he was not wrong for it. Should he have lied to you about past exes and refused to tell you what happened when he spent the night with his friends at his now-wife’s place? No. But on the flip side, he didn’t deserve for you to kiss someone else. The relationship you describe reads like two people who started dating fairly young, had some problems/grew apart, but held on too long and hurt one another in the process.
If telling your colleagues that your shared connection is your ex-boyfriend brings you right back to where you were immediately after the break-up, then absolutely go speak to a therapist and explore that more.
Block your ex on LinkedIn while you’re at it. He won’t be able to continued sending you connection requests this way.
ETA: I don’t mean to sound dismissive, but what happened to you isn’t all that uncommon. I have both the ex I wrote about here and even another ex who immediately pursued the woman he told me not to worry about. I have friends and acquaintances who have experienced similar. If you have feelings about it, that’s ok, and some past hurts do follow us around in life. But it’s good to be able to get to a place where you’re not still banging your head against the wall about why a decade+ later.
- This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by Copa.