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How to let go?

(14 Posts)
Flambeau Thu 14-Jul-11 09:57:40

9 months ago the most wonderful man I have ever met told me our relationship had to end. Hes ten years younger than me and wants children and I can't have any more now. For months we cried and for months he told me he loved me but it had to end because he needs to be a dad one day. We worked in the same open plan office. It was ghastly. We tried to be friends but would either end up crying or having sex or both or worse arguing horribly - I said some really dreadful things about broken promises, called him dreadful things. Lost my cool a number of times when he would try and keep me in his life but at a distance. I couldn't handle it and eventually we drifted into no contact - mainly instigated by him because he could see I wasn't really moving on. I have done everything the books say in the last few months. I have started exercising like a mad thing, taken up new hobbies, and now in the last 2 weeks changed job. I thought he would say goodbye. But he didn't. I left on my last day - deliberately engineered to be a day when he wouldn't be there - and thought he would get in contact to acknowledge that we wouldnt ever see each other again if he didn't act then. Nothing. I want to forget him but he's on my mind 24/7. For 9 months I have been in this pain. What more can I do? how do I let go of this feeling of desperate loss? I feel like a love sick teenager.

SingOut Thu 14-Jul-11 10:16:04

I really feel for you, that sounds like a long tortuous and drawn out break up over such a loaded issue. It must have been very difficult sad Did you two ever discuss having children in non traditional ways, such as adoption or even fostering? Was he not amenable to those ideas? Just thinking/wondering aloud if you not being able to have children was the reason he had to split up with you or whether he was using it as a handy vehicle to hang everything on, iyswim?

It sounds like you are still waiting and/or hoping from some recognition from him, a sign of something. I know that feeling well and in many ways I'm in a similar position. I've given myself a deadline which is the day after tomorrow, because I've been moping about for almost 6 months and it has to stop. I have found the site Baggage Reclaim very very helpful in terms of adjusting my thinking to a setting where I can actually envisage moving on. There are so many posts on there that are quite pertinent to your feelings and situation.
Also, if you aren't letting go after this long, have you considered counselling? Is that an option for you financially? Perhaps it might help you to lay some demons to rest and move on from this bloke.
Hope you manage to distance yourself emotionally and begin the process of moving on. PM me if you ever want to chat about it, as I'm in the same boat smile

Flambeau Thu 14-Jul-11 10:23:34

thank you singout - I'll have a look at that site. I had a few counselling sessions a few months ago because I wasn't really functioning. I found it all very harrowing - lots of stuff came up about my childhood that I found hard to handle and made the problem worse. Felt like I was dealing with two things at once. Maybe I should go back now the utter gut wrenching bit is at least over.
What is your story? are you in touch with yours?

SingOut Thu 14-Jul-11 10:49:06

You're welcome smile I've heard counselling can be like that at the start, a bit like (if you excuse the icky analogy) lancing a boil. But after the initial pain of everything coming out, I think it gets easier. It can be hard to juggle dealing with pain and having a functional life - I go through phrases of sobbing like a crazy person and then just stuffing everything down for days or even weeks so I can get on with stuff. Then the grief resurfaces.
I'm not in touch with mine, he has severe mental health issues and I'm starting to wonder if he might be NPD as well... I don't really know. It was me who ended things because although he kept saying he loved me and wanted to be with me, he was behaving abysmally and (as we were in a long distance relationship and v far apart) never visiting me because of the aforementioned MH issues. It's hard because although I had to end things (we broke up repeatedly but I always went back; until now) I feel like my hand was forced by his behaviour. It's like being dumped but in a very passive aggressive way.

I can relate to a man saying he 'desperately wants to be with you, but...' There's always a but. I think if either of our blokes truly cared they'd be prepared to move mountains to be in the relationship. As I've been out of touch with my ex (for about a month and a half now with the odd email slip up) I've widened my social circle in a bid to keep busy, and it's been heartbreaking realizing how committed other people are to their relationships. Like the friend who was going to Africa in early June to visit her man who lives there, I asked how long since she last saw him, and she said 'beginning of March. It's a long time...' I nodded, and understood crushingly that yes, actually that is a long time. My ex last bothered to come and see me in January, and kept making excuses why he couldn't come back like he promised. He lives in Wales, I live in Cornwall. She lives in Brighton, he lives in Guinea. Stuff like that kind of drives it home to me. It's the little realizations that are crushing - like when you hoped for a sign or some contact from him when you left your job, and got nothing. sad

Anyway, sorry for hijacking your thread, that's my story anyway, and where I'm at. It does get easier with time, but a shift in mental attitude is needed to really make progress. There was something on BR about this but I can't remember where now.

Flambeau Thu 14-Jul-11 11:37:07

good grief, thats not a hijack - I need to know how people deal with this stuff. Wow yours sounds harder than mine - I guess you always wonder if the door is open and you could get the relationship back even though its pretty crumby? I dont think I would have the will power - if I knew right now I could get him to reach out and say he missed me a bit then I would be walking on air. But he has decided to cut me out of his life totally it would seem.

I just want this feeling to go. I have no idea how to make that shift in mental attitude sad its been so long and dragged out and I get the feeling he is relieved I will never see him again or he would have at least acknowledged it and we could have said goodbye. I said goodbye to every one of my colleagues except him. How strange is that? I have finally accepted that its over mainly cos I now know that even if he did change his mind I wouldn't be able to go through this again so I would turn him away. But to think I will never speak to him again is so utterly heart breaking. I'd just like to know how he is but I know if I contacted him he would be polite but business like for one reply and ignore a second. Hes not rude, just very clearly not wanting any form of relationship at all. How can that be? we were inseparable. how do they turn it off when they do? Because I want a dose of whatever he took to get over me - I'm bearly moved on at all. I feel so immature. I want to get a grip - outwardly I have, but interally Im still broken. Everyone says how amazing the transformation in me has been - I've invested in me like the books say, lost weight, hired a personal trainer, changed my hair, started doing charity work and meeting new people, landed a job I still have to pinch myself to believe I got it. I look like Im fine and having a ball. But I'm this " close to tears 24/7.

SingOut Thu 14-Jul-11 12:25:58

I see what you mean - it is very difficult to move on when the other person is always open to hearing from you and starting things up again. He's now suicidal, and has said that if 15 years hence I walked into a room where he was, he'd get up and go anywhere with me even if he was in a relationship with someone else. Yet he couldn't shift himself to actually see me in the present, so I don't know how much heed I should pay his words. There's definitely been an actions/words deficit with my ex, and I guess you don't have that confusion which is good. He's been promising since January that he would come back, and is still saying he will, that doing so is the only thing keeping him going. But he won't say when, just that he has to get mentally healthier first. So I'm left hanging and daren't tell him to fuck off in case he tops himself; he has two lovely kids.
Why is life so complicated??!

I think more counselling probably would help you. Out of interest, what would happen if you let yourself go when alone and be as sad as you feel inside? Sounds like you're trying to 'fake it til you make it', which is useful and can get you though for a while, but eventually if there is un dealt-with sadness and pain about what has happened, it is going to spill out in helpful or less than helpful ways.
Is there anyone you know that you can be honest with and say to, 'Look, I know I seem really happy but I'm actually shattered inside and really sad?' Is appearing fine on the outside for your exes benefit, in the hope he'll see you've moved on and are being so generally fabulous he wants you back? You don't have to be super happy if you aren't, its okay to be sad and there isn't a time-limit on grief. Did you give yourself a set time to mope and then tell yourself to get over it even though you hadn't processed how you felt and why?

I hope you don't mind me rambling on. I have friends but there aren't too many I can talk to about this. I wish you very well with moving on, I know how it is to powerfully long for closure and peace but not feel any nearer to it.

chubsasaurus Thu 14-Jul-11 12:53:23

I'm so sorry.

I have nothing to add but will watch with interest as the man I thought I would spend my life with has just shattered my heart and I cannot envisage how to possibly move on.

Flambeau Thu 14-Jul-11 13:09:13

singout - really truly its not rambling on. I can't bore my mates with this stuff anymore. 9 months down the line they wont want to hear it. It was just a hideous dribble away rather than an end. I still feel like there is stuff to say. But he doesn't. What are you hoping for? If he can sort himself out do you want to try again? I try and analyse what I want and I think Im being honest with myself that I just want some sort of contact. I know I couldn't take him on again, I would know this was coming again and couldnt take it. I just want to know how he is and to chat to him sometimes. But it would seem he wants to forget I exist.

Hey chubsasaurus - sounds like yours is recent? what happened?

Flambeau Thu 14-Jul-11 13:14:00

I am trying to fake it til I make it yes. I also am hoping he thinks I'm fine - I chased him A LOT for about 6 weeks when he ended it - cried buckets, pretty much begged. Made a total twit of myself. I literally couldnt believe it when he ended it - we were talking about getting married and having a ball. He said he had to marry me and accept he wouldnt be a dad or just end it as quick as possible. I thought we would be together for life. He was so damn beautiful and funny and attentive and sweet and charming. Damn. I thought I'd got it all.

SingOut Thu 14-Jul-11 14:56:37

I don't think my ex can or will ever sort himself out, his problems are too ingrained. It's taken me a long time to accept that it would never have worked. He was really good at projecting a version of himself, and it was only after some months when his actions just weren't matching that image that I realised it was not going to be okay. By then I'd fallen for the person I thought he was, and was hopelessly ensnared. Do you feel you have a dream about how things were and where you were headed and it's painful accepting that your future will not be what you thought? Because I have found and still find that to be the hardest thing to give up - the future he promised.
I thought we would always know each other in some form and it's agonizing accepting that, that's now not going to be the case. It's like a death, in a way. The death of what was going to be sad

Flambeau Thu 14-Jul-11 15:42:01

I so desperately want to contact him - see if after all these months of no contact we could at least say something kind to one another. But I can't risk the rejection. If I sent him a text or email the waiting for a reply would murder me and I daren't call him unless its horribly stinted because he doesn't want to know. He wanted to stay friends very much but I wouldn't accept it. Now I would just like to be in every couple of months contact - not even meet up or anything. I just dont want us to not know each other - I thought as you did that we would always know each other in some capacity. I wish he would just ask me how I am or something. But then I know that that is hanging on to the past and I should just let him go. I hate this round and round and round my head obsession

HalfTermHero Thu 14-Jul-11 15:55:51

Flambeau, I think you have actually done the right thing by having ended up in a situation where you will not have any contact with the guy. You say that you want to just see or talk to him every now and then but that will just be fuel to the fire. If you love him still, etc then how will you cope when he tells you the details of how his life is moving on, new relationships etc? It would be torture. You don't need to put yourself through that. It sounds like you suffered an awful and drawn out end/death of the relationship. Thank God for you that you can finally draw a line under it now and move on. He was not the guy for you but there is no reason why you won't meet someone who you are perfectly matched with shortly.

Flambeau, give the counseling another shot. Your distress is almost certainly to do with something other than this one man - no human being has that much power. There will have been some other event to do with loss or abandonment in your life that you never quite got over, and this has brought it up again.
In the mean time, don't make any attempt to contact the man. He has made his wishes clear. A good way to stop yourself from picking up the phone or whatever is to say to yourself 'DO I really want to be subjected to something as undignified as a restraining order?' (NB I am not accusing you of stalking, just saying that telling yourself not to be a stalker is a good way of movin on).

Flambeau Thu 14-Jul-11 16:03:07

Thanks SGB and HTH. I wont contact him - I've not done for months and I wont now. As you say he's made his feelings clear. Last time I did I got no reply anyway and I'm not going back to phone checking every few seconds. That was murder. The counselling thing - I guess so, but I dont think I could handle dealing with my childhood and this at the same time tbh :S

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