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Old Ex/Current BF/FML

First off, Hello all! I'm so glad there is a Group Therapy group on here b/c I NEED to vent and would love some input. A little introduction- I'm 26 yo young professional who is in grad school and doing very well for myself. I consider myself successful on all accounts, but am having some issues in the relationship department right now. I'm venting emotionally and without much thought to how this might appear online so if I seem crazy that's why. I'm not crazy, just f'n emotionally maniacal right now. What I'm really concerned about is my inability to get over my ex.

We dated for almost a year in 2010. 2010?!? Yes and I am still obsessing over him. This was a special relationship. The kind that everyone looks at and thinks "man I want that". The kind that everyone was rooting for. We complimented each other so well and had so much fun together. We quickly became best friends and lovers. It felt as if I had finally found "The One". Just as quickly I figured out that he had an extreme emotional wall up and this caused the relationship to be very push-pull. It was hard, but I always felt that it was worth it. We fought a lot and he continuously made me feel as if the fights were my fault and the emotions were blown out of proportion (what I now realize is a defense mechanism of out of touch people). Despite all of this HE told me he loved me and, after getting a job offer to move far, far away, asked me to move with him.

We began planning our lives together and he visited his new state several times. He brought back apartment finders and showed me places he had found online. About a month before he was supposed to go things got really weird and we had a fight. I knew something was wrong and he wouldn't tell me. I forced him to tell me and there it was, he said the wedding bells weren't chiming and broke up with me. I was devastated. What's more is that two weeks later when he returned my things to me he further insulted me by letting me know all the things that were wrong with me and OH YEAH he hates my dog. It was very odd and very cold and not the way he had treated me for the entirety of our relationship. Even though he had an emotional wall up he was very clear about never insulting each other when we fought and trying to always come to a solution when we were upset with each other (although that solution usually required that I compromise in some way and he did not). He never went to bed angry with me and no fight, no matter how big or small, seemed relationship-ending and hurtful up until this point. When we broke up I felt as if he were treating me like a sad puppy in a movie that just wouldn't leave, so the he threw rocks at me I got the picture and ran. Then... he left... he moved far, far away without saying goodbye.

Almost a year went by and he reached out to me on FB. He wanted to be friends and stay in touch. He wanted me to understand how much I meant to him. He didn't want to lose someone who had been so instrumental in his life. I was confused. I asked if he was trying to get back together with me and he said no, how could he when he was so far away. I tried being friends with him, but thoughts of him were meddling with my relationships with other men so I cut things off with him. Another year has gone by and now thoughts of him are intruding upon my current relationship. LinkedIn's lovely "people you may know" feature reminded me that he was still friends with the girl who introduced us. Damn you,LinkedIn. Seeing his picture made me melt and what's even more infuriating is that he has moved closer. Not back to the state I live in, but much much closer. I thought he hated this area of the country? What the hell is he doing here and why would he leave his beloved CA for a tiny po-dunk state?

So... I'm not sure what you can do with that information. I'm not sure what kind of advice you can give me other than "sounds like you need better closure and time will heal", but I guess any kind words are better than none. I keep hoping he'll reach out to me and I can find a better way to have closure with him. I also keep having this fantasy that he shows up with flowers and tells me that he's sorry and that he had to go work on himself and that he's the same person he once was, but without the emotional wall... ha. Sad thing is I have that now with my current bf. On paper my ex doesn't even compare to my current bf. It's as if I've found the perfect man for me who I can have a totally healthy relationship with... yet I don't long for him like I long for my ex. I don't love him and I'm not sure if I ever will. I'm stuck between a guy left a long time ago and won't really love me and a guy who is standing right here and waiting for me to love him.

I feel totally f'd right now.

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honeybunny08 honeybunny08 3 years
Thank you for the advice. I wanted to update anyone who was interested and let you know that I read through my old journals last night. I realized some very important things. 1) I'm idealizing the ex's memoir to an extreme degree- I have one entry about how much I love him. One entry about how different this love is from all the others I have felt before and the rest are entries of me being upset and experiencing that push/pull emotional torture. I did a good job of recording what he said when he broke up with me too and while back then I may have thought he was leaving the option open for us to possibly get back together, I now see it as setting me up for another long and drawn out push/pull scenario. He did contact me last year and asked if we could be friends again. We spoke for a few weeks and when I asked what his intentions were when he reconnected with me he acted as if it were an odd question. Again push/pull.... Whether or not he has a personality disorder IDK. I don't think he ever tried to hurt me on purpose. I do know that he had been through a lot and was suppressing a lot of emotions. I don't blame him now. I just feel sorry for him. The most hurtful part of what I read was something that I had conveniently forgot (and it's making me look at my current relationship in a different light). He told me that he really fell for me early on, but after he was offered his new position cross-country his feelings immediately changed. He said that he had spent the last few months of our relationship trying to recreate his feelings for me and trying to manufacture happy moments in an attempt to "hitch his wagon" to their momentum so to speak. This was hurtful then and hurtful now. It also makes me want to be very cautious about what decisions I make regarding my current boyfriend. My current boyfriend is amazing and he's not perfect, but he certainly has no major issues that would cause me emotional torture. He's a lot of things I want and need and while I don't want to drag this relationship out for too much longer I do want to give this one last fighting chance. The problems I have with my current BF are within me and totally part of my messed up mind. It doesn't mean that working through all these things will magically make me fall in love with him, but it will certainly give me a clearer picture of what will and won't happen. So thanks again for the comment and I wish you well in your endeavors in life!
henna-red henna-red 3 years
Sounds to me as though your ex has a personality disorder. That whole seductive, push/pull scenario is typical. I would guess that you will eventually hear from him again at some time in your life, and he will try to seduce you back into his life. Don't go! This guy will never emotionally commit, will always be manipulative and bouncing from one extreme to another. Learning how to get someone like this out of your head takes an intentional retraining. Right now, he is some fantasy guy, and you dwell more on the dreamy, "we're the couple everyone wants to be" scenario rather than on the truth....he was and is emotionally abusive and unavailable. Don't dress it up in pretty pictures....look full on at the blaming, the blowups, the unavailability....the whole ugly reality, and not the facade that others saw...that facade wasn't truth. And don't spend a lot of time thinking about him, or focusing on him. That's just focusing on the past. While you're doing that, you are missing your present. That means you're shortchanging yourself and your current bf. To retrain you brain, you need to develop a new habit. Pick an image, maybe a happy image of you and your current bf together, or maybe just a happy, non relationship oriented image, and each time you realize that you've allowed yourself to focus on this past guy, you intentionally take your mind to this predetermined alternative image. Every time! As soon as you realize what you're doing, thinking of him....change your focus. Another thing I would recommend, is for you to take a good look at your expectations around a man and a relationship.....there is no such thing as a perfect person or relationship. It just doesn't exist. We all have challenges in our lives and relationships take work, compromise, flexibility on some issues, acceptance of the fact that there are things we must just accept...(those things never include any kind of abuse....including emotional abuse!), because we can never change another person. It's really tough to get to a place sometimes, where you realize that you will always love someone you loved, but that it just isn't possible to live with them or have a healthy relationship with them. Some people will never have a successful emotional relationship, due to things like personality disorders that they refuse to recognize or address. This kind of personality requires intense therapeutic work, and mostly they are not willing to even consider that option. They enjoy that push/pull that you were describing...narcissism is a big part of their lives and their choices are all about what works for them, and screw everyone else. I really think you need to take a good look at this "on paper" thing. You're comparing a guy you're in a relationship with to a guy who completely failed in the successful relationship dept with you. That comparison is a personal issue that needs some scrutiny from you. Makes me wonder if you don't have your own commitment say he is perfect for you and yet you are comparing him to this guy who was emotionally abusive and unavailable....... I'd suggest talking to a therapist. I'd suggest some real introspection around your expectations and reactions within your relationships, and I'd suggest the book He's Scared, She's Scared by Sokol and Carter....recommended by bubbles, and a good read. It's about the passive and aggressive strategies of commitment phobic folks, men and women. After all, you are now in a relationship with a man who is emotionally available, and you are.......get the idea? Good luck OP. Hope you figure out everything you need to figure out, and find a way to be happy, sane, and appreciating a good thing.

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