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Struggling with the fact XP has moved on

(20 Posts)
Follett Tue 13-Sep-11 10:40:30

Name-changed as I am embarrassed to be feeling so pathetic about this. I'm hoping maybe just getting it out will help me make sense of what's going on with me.

Split with ex 3years ago after 7 years and 1 child together. I left him for various reasons but at the root of it all I never felt he really wanted me, it felt like a friendship rather than a relationship.

We have remained close, spend lots of time together as a "family" - days out, holidays etc. We both felt this was the best thing for ds (and he does seem completely unscathed by the split) but also because we enjoy each others company. There has been no need for formal contact arrangements, he is welcome here anytime, both as ds's father and as a friend.

He is a really lovely person, fantastic dad and is very important to me but I have never seriously considered getting back together with him, sadly I just don't think we work as a couple.

I have been telling him he should find himself a girlfriend, well now he has and I am gutted.

I'm not even sure why, can't really make sense of how I'm feeling. I'm scared that the friendship we have had was only ever temporary while he was single, I honestly (stupidly?) thought it would always be that way and got very irritated when other people would say that it would all change once he moved on.

We have vague plans for things we were going to do together (the three of us) and it's now dawning on me that they're unlikely to happen now. His new girlfriend may not like the idea of it, or worse, he might just not want to spend time with me anymore - why would he when he has someone else he could be with, someone more important to him?

I don't worry about him losing interest in our son, I know it can happen but I'd be astounded if it did. I accept that he is likely to see ds a bit less (currently almost every day, even if just for a an hour before bedtime), I have assured him that that is ok, it's right that he wants and needs to spend time with this girl.

I just feel a bit abandoned, I know how completely pathetic that sounds, but he has been the most important person in my life (ds aside). I have probably come to rely on him more than I should have but I really believed we'd be ok, now I'm feeling like such an idiot for not seeing that I was setting myself up for a fall.

I'm ok most of the time but then when he's here I find it really hard to look at him and really hard not to cry. I feel like I've been replaced, and not in a romantic sense - he is my best friend but now he's got someone else.

Despite all of that, I really am happy for him and hope it works out for them as I know he wants it to. Im just selfishly gutted for me. I have taken so much for granted and been very naive.

I dont really know what I'm asking...maybe similar experiences, maybe a kick up the arse?

ChitChattingWithKids Tue 13-Sep-11 10:52:32

I suspect you missed the mourning period that most people go through at the end of the relationship because your XP was around so often, and you were able to do things 'as a family'.

Now that he has moved on, you are truly saying 'goodbye' to what you had, and that's hard. You are also facing an uncertain future, as what happens now is not within your control. You have to let yourself be upset and mourn the loss, and then you should be able to let go of that hurt.

RabbitPie Tue 13-Sep-11 10:53:54

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Follett Tue 13-Sep-11 11:21:46

Chitchat - spot on with both points I think. This now feels like a break-up, it never really did before, and it bloody hurts. I miss him and he hasn't even gone anywhere (yet?) and yes, the shoe is now on the other foot and I have no control over this situation. It's very unnerving.

Rabbitpie - this is something I worry about, I don't know yet how she feels about our friendship and her view on it could have a huge impact on how things pan out. What happened in the end with your ex, have you managed to salvage a friendship at all?

RabbitPie Tue 13-Sep-11 11:45:30

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cumbria81 Tue 13-Sep-11 12:02:21

I am reading this thread with interest.

I broke up with my ex of 7 years last year, although in my case I quickly realised it was a mistake, but by then it was too late.

We remain good friends but I am painfully aware this probably can't last forever and am so scared of what will happen when it ends. He is currently seeing someone else, but she is foreign and older and so he doesn't seem to think it has a long-term future. In a way I am glad he is with her because it prevents him from meeting The One.

I would love for us to get back together and know our friendship is probably unhealthy for me, but it's better than nothing.

Smum99 Tue 13-Sep-11 12:04:10

Chitchat has it spot on, you are going through the loss phase - a new relationship will bring about a change (and I think you should expect that their will be changes in your relationship). If his partner is longterm he will be spending more time with her and building that unit.
I had a similar situation with my ex MIL, we got on wonderfully but I had to step out of the picture and not be such a friend when my ex met a new partner, it was right that the new g/f had the opportunity to build family relationships without me.It was a loss to me but a necessary step. The feelings of loss whilst painful will pass and it's often a necessary stage to get you to the other side and on towards your new life. Focus on what you would like your life to be - what is the type of person you would like in your life?

Also well done on the amicable relationship, you seem to have respect for each other and that is just a wonderful gift for your ds.They will be a transition period for you and your ex but use your excellent co parenting operating over time

Follett Tue 13-Sep-11 15:18:06

Rabbitpie- god, that's so sad, I'm really sorry it turned out that way.

Cumbria81 - do you think there's any chance he might decide to give things another go with you? Sounds very painful for you to be in that situation.

Smum - thank you, I do feel quite proud of how things have been for ds. I just hope it stays that way. I really never considered there'd be a chance that it would change. Silly, silly me!

I'm really having a wobble ATM, I'll be seeing him in a little while and I've a feeling he'll want to be out the door as quickly as he can. Yesterday evening
he went to leave once ds went to bed and I sheepishly asked him to stay a bit longer (idiot!)and he looked awkward to say the least so I quickly said no, it's ok, go and he seemed so relieved! I just feel like I need to be close to him, and chat and be normal. I don't know if its my sudden neediness (quite out of character) that's making him back off -and I certainly wouldn't blame him - or if this is just how it's going to be from now on.

And as much as I said I'm happy for him, and I am, theres also another part of me that wants to say "let's try again, let's bet married, let's have another baby!!"

It's madness, where on earth is this coming from?! And is it real or just some weird reaction to the change?

Fucking he'll, I'm a knob.

PoppaRob Tue 13-Sep-11 15:59:38

Long story short, my ex left on New Years Day 2008. A married mutual acquaintance (who shall henceforth be called Voldemort) had been paying her lots of attention where I'd taken her and the relationship for granted, and she moved out. Because she was only seeing Voldemort when he could sneak out we were seeing a lot of each other. Sharing meals, hanging out, ex-sex, all the things we should have been doing when we were married. Anyway, after 6 months or so he left Mrs Voldemort and he and my ex moved in together, at which point I sold up and moved 100Km across town to be closer to my daughter and grand-daughter and get away from a really unhealthy situation where she was only minutes away. I didn't really go through the grieving process until she'd hooked up with The Dark Lord, and if I'm completely honest if she knocked on my door now I'd welcome her with open arms. It sucks when you've found your soulmate and they've found theirs, but it's not you.

Follett Tue 13-Sep-11 17:59:23

Arf @ Voldermort!
That's quite a sad story rob, but I reckon you did the right thing in removing yourself from the headfuck situation.

Well he was here earlier and seemed perfectly happy, not uncomfortable as I was expecting.

I managed to not be emotional this time and just enjoyed having a chat.

Kept looking at him though and I love you?! I think I might... confused

I really don't know what is going on in my head, was this close to saying to him that I've made a huge mistake but stopped myself and will continue to do so. He's waited 3 years and is finally happy and excited about this new person and I won't ( I won't, I won't, I won't) spoil it for him.

PoppaRob Tue 13-Sep-11 21:45:11

Follett, the person you are in love with really doesn't exist. I had an idealised version of my ex. I loved everything about her and I thought she loved everything about me, but if that were the case I'd be snuggled up asleep with her now instead of sitting posting on Mumsnet at 6am. We had heaps in common, we were a great problem solving team and coped with all the usual family crises, we had some great times together, we were best friends and still remain friends (through Facebook etc.), but when the dust settled I realised she'd stopped loving me back in 2008 and she wasn't the person I was in love with. I still have feelings for her and I wish her no ill, but so much of her is really a stranger.

Follett Tue 13-Sep-11 22:15:44

No, I love him. There's no doubt about that, I've never not loved him...I just don't know if it's a romantic love. I was sure it wasn't and now this has happened and I'm seeing him as I did when we first got together. I hope it's just a temporary thing and not real because it's too late now.

I know you say you still have feelings for your ex but I hope you have been able to find someone else because as you say " It sucks when you've found your soulmate and they've found theirs, but it's not you."

Oh god, I just don't know. The whole romantic thing is just another layer of nonsense fogging my brain. The main thing is I don't want to be without him, I don't remember how to be tbh and the possibility of that and the uncertainty is scary.

PoppaRob Fri 16-Sep-11 08:37:48

Sometimes there's just one person who made such a mark on our lives that they're irreplaceable, and try as we might to work on building happiness with someone else it's only ever going to be a half hearted version of love, and of course that's not fair on the new interest so it's better to cut them loose and be on our own. It's not necessarily a case of yearning for their return or trying to fix things, it's just the concept we have of the powerful reality of what was, and it's a bugger.

dahlia4 Sat 17-Sep-11 11:34:26

PoppaRob-I think a soulmate is only a soulmate if it's a two-way thing. There are millions of people out there in reality.

PoppaRob Sat 17-Sep-11 12:15:12

True, dahlia4, but life's short, one's means are limited, and it takes a lot of effort to sift through millions of people! smile

dahlia4 Sat 17-Sep-11 15:01:32

I just don't think it's right to get fixed on the concept of 'he's the only one for me.......'I don't have the same experience as you, OP. Me and my ex are not amicable and he moved on mentally/emotionally years before we finally split. It's all very acrimonious and always will be because of the history. But, even he had been a nice person, and we had remained friends (something we never were when together), there's always usually going to come a time when they move on with someone new and I don't think I'd want to have built them into 'my life' that much ultimately.

crazyhead Sat 17-Sep-11 15:10:54

It is a tough situation, but the shift might also move things on for you in the end - perhaps leading to happy new developments in your own love life and a new sense of fulfilment (whether that's something you want now or later).

You might find looking back that though this was hard, but turned out to be a positive. After all, it didn't work romantically with your ex, but that doesn't mean nothing ever will.

Lifeissweet Sat 17-Sep-11 15:19:04

I know exactly how you feel and it hurts. I left my exH 3 years ago and he begged me to go back for over a year. He started seeing someone else, but he always told her that his time with me and DS was non-negotiable. He used to make it clear that if I wanted him back I only had to say the word (which was horribly unfair on his gf and I did tell him that).

I don't want him back. I just want to make that clear! However, he announced a few weeks ago that his girlfriend is pregnant and, for reasons I completely don't understand, I totally freaked out about it. I was crying for days. What an idiot. I still don't exactly know why I reacted like that. I'm ok with it now, but for a while I felt like I was grieving.

Take care of yourself and see how it pans out. You may be able to keep a friendship going after all.

Lifeissweet Sat 17-Sep-11 15:19:39

Oh - even more crazy in my situation is that I'm with someone else and pregnant myself, so it really makes no sense. I'm blaming hormones

SkinnedAlive Sat 17-Sep-11 16:11:22

I really feel for you. The heart has no logic even though the brain accepts the relationship is over. It is the final removal of hope that is the killer. While he was single and your best mate that tiny bit of hope lived. Now it is dead and I know the feeling - its is like having your heart and soul ripped out. It doesn't matter that the feelings are illogical - they are what they are.

I think you need to keep remembering that while you were in this friendship, you were not able to move on and find another man that is both your best mate and partner. I hope after grieving you can do that smile You deserve to be happy

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