Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
Can't seem to make the break(16 Posts)
Question from a guy here who's been stuck in a cycle for 2 years which can't seem to break, but just perpetuates itself. If you want to skip the ramblings, scroll down to the bottom of the post.
Nearly 2 years ago, me and my ex split. We had been together for a year so not long, but it got pretty "deep", both in love (I think) but certainly I was head over heels.
My Ex, lets call her C, had depression when we met which was never a problem. I thought we talked about a lot of stuff and I tried to be as supportive as I could. I was crazy about this girl and would have done anything for her. Quite a few times, I had to take stuff on the chin when she had a bit of an episode and maybe said some horrible things/ran away etc.
It never bothered me as I loved her so wanted to do nothing but help. Maybe sometimes I found it hard but I certainly tried.
We seemed to have a great relationship, open, honest etc. As it turns out, there were some thing she was keeping from me, such as being raped when she was a teen, had herpes etc.
I always tried to let her know that nothing was a problem as long as we talked about it. I understood why she maybe didn't want to have sex a lot and had to be comfortable, it wasn't a problem. She has a daughter who was 3 at the time we were together. I had never expected to be invovled with a woman with a child so young (we were both 22 when we were together) but after a few months I really enjoyed it. I made sure I wasn't trying to be "dad" but also form a bond with C's daughter, which I did, quite strongly.
We got weekends away sometimes for along time, we were always very open about expressing that we loved each other and how much each other meant to us.
I thought things were going good, then they all ended rather suddenly. We were going on holiday for a weekend for my birthday/valentines day. The day of the flight, on my way to pick her up, she told me she didn't want to go. I said I could not too but she was insistent she didn't want to go with me and I needed to just go. So I did and spent the weekend in Amsterdam getting wasted, dreading going home to "that talk".
So long story short, we broke up, with very little reasoning. She just said that she couldn't be with me and it was for the best. She didn't want to have sex, she thought she was a-sexual and that I just needed to get away from her. I was heart broken, make worse by having no idea what I had done wrong or what I should have done differently.
We said we wanted to stay friends, honestly, I just couldn't lose her from my life, I had never felt so strongly about someone and I haven't since, I still think about her every day.
We were friends for a bit, a week after we broke up though posts on FB started going up with C saying she was going to fuck her new boyfriends brains out when he gets home. I had to remove her from FB as that was brutal to see.
We eventually just drifted apart.
6 months later we got back in touch, spoke a lot, she told me that it was such a mistake losing me. I didn't know if she'd cheated on me or what the hell had happened, I couldn't understand how you could just up and leave someone the day after telling them how much they mean to you and you couldn't do without their support.
We talked, and stayed friends for a few months. We met up, had lunch and spent some time together. That night, we back-slid and had sex. This caused her the next day to freak out. Eventually I had to say that I can't keep going through this maybe maybe not. Either she wants me or let me move on with my life. I stopped speaking to her for 6 months again.
Roll on a bit and at Christmas, a drunk me sends her a message. We quickly start talking again, she tells me that the whole last year she was off the rails, never meant to hurt me. By this point, we both had other partners. We chatted a lot, too much maybe, and she said the only reason she had got with someone else was that she thought I wasn't interested any more. We talked more and more, got close again. We didn't meet up too soon incase it got wierd again. Then one day,b she stopped talking to me again, all of a sudden. She had a new BF by this point and once again on FB (I really need to delete that horrid app from my life. Causes more trouble than it's wroth) so I just kept quiet and left it, accepted she had moevd on and tried to do the same.
Fast forward to this summer, we start speaking again! She was still with him but we sort of started flirting (well, I took it as flirting...) she sent me a few pictures, we spoke a lot etc. Then he left her because he didn't want to cmmit (she said) so we got closer and eventually met up again. Told me how much she missed me etc. etc.
We kissed but after a minute she pulled away and told me to go to bed (I had gone round to hers for a drink with her and her friends). Nothing more than that, just kept saying go up to bed.
A week later, we talked about it. She told me she wanted too but she couldn't, didn't want to ruin what we had. I don't think I reacted very well, I felt like I had just kept being strung along for nearly 2 years. I was drunk and maybe said some things I shouldn't have which I can't even remember. Too drunk and dropped my phone in my drunkeness so lost all the messages.
She just told me that she didn't want me to speak to her again and to leave her. So I did.
Then 2 months later, she messaged me out of the blue asking how I was. We spoke a little but I was concious she asked me not to talk to her. She told me how much it hurt what I'd said and that I seemed emotionally unstalbe. Half way through the conversation, she just started ignoring me.
Now she has another new BF, he's another amazing guy (as FB says) but she has spoken to me a few times since. She told me that I was emotinally unstable after my bit of an outburst.
If you've skipped the innane rambling. I've tried to be there for her no matter what for nearly 2 years. Even after we broke up, she pohned me a few times when hse had a panic attack as someone to calm her down. We have a few moments where everything comes back to the surface but she seems to stop herself at the last (or just after) moment.
I've asked her several times, if you don't want to be with me just say, it's not a problem you just ahve to be honest. The only answer I ever get is "it just confuses me".
So my question is, what the hell is going on? Every so often, one of us will try to stop speaking to the other completely and after 3 or 4 months, one of us crumbles. It's happened 4 times now and just keeps repeating.
From my side, I'm just uncertain about puting myself out there in case she shoot me down again. I've never felt so strongly about anyone bfore or since and she plays on my mind every day. From a womans perspective, what is going on? Why does she keep asking em to stop speaking to her, then after a month or two, speaks to me again?
The back and forth is not healthy for me. I really just need to know if she does or doesn't want me as it seems to be this horrible limbo stage where we just can't break away, but can't get it together.
I've tried to not speak to her as she has a BF, I don't want to step on any toes and she seems happy, but every so often she still texts me for a chat.
Where do I go from here? I can't bring myself to be the one demanding we don't speak but this isn't healthy. I feel as if I'm holding back part of myself for her just in case we get back together, which is damaging any relationship I end up in. I get the impression she doesn't want to let me go completely, but maybe she thinks the same as me, doesn't want to try incase it doesn't work.
I'm in uncharted waters, I've nver had this before. Any previous break up was clean but none of them had the sort of feeling attached that this one did.
Thanks for any help, I can't seem to get any sensible advice anywhere. It's either my guy mates saying "she's a bitch, fuck it and move on mate" or getting told to man the fuck up. Advice from a womans perspective would be appreciated as the workings of your mind are a mystery to me. I've tried to break away, but we always just end up right back at the same place, as if neither of us can quite let go.
She's stringing you along and only coming to you when she has nobody else. Seriously the beginnings of a relationship are meant to be fun and exciting but without all of this drama attached. Think you should go cold turkey - delete her off of Facebook and delete her number - she isn't showing you any respect.
Got lost about half way thru, but here goes.
She's playing you mate.
In the back of her mind she knows she needs security for herself and DC. Your a potential safe option; she knows she can control and abuse you as she feels necessary and she knows you will take it.
She does NOT respect you.
She has and will continue to cheat on you. She doesn't see you as her sort of man, rather as a provider.
If you do go for it you'll be in for an awful life.
I'll be honest with you. A few years ago I did something similar to this myself which I'm not proud of. He was a lovely guy and would always have been there for me no matter what and I knew it. I didn't respect him and only spoke to him when I had nothing better to do. This carried on for about 5 years and he finally realised what was happening. He's a lot happier now and I'm glad. I was very insecure and I used him. I'm ashamed to admit it but it sounds just like what I did. I took 5 years of his life which he will never get back and he didn't deserve to be treated that way.
Thank you all for your honesty, it's what's needed, especially emma, thank you.
I know my problems are tiny compared to some people out in the world.
I have tried before at the start to break away, I couldn't handle what felt like torture. Her parents spoke to me soon after to tell me how distraught she was and how big a mistake she had made. To hear her dad say he is sorry for it all and that he wanted us to work out was a big thing to me. He was a tough nut to crack when we first met, but all dads are. I told them to keep my number in case she needed me, so the mistake was mine.
I don't want to paint myself as perfect either, I'm far from it. I will have made mistakes during our relationship and i have definelty made mistakes after it.
I've never been very confident in myself, both in my looks and personality. I know there is no reason to either, on paper i do pretty good. Solid job that i earn enough to have a house/mortgage on my own, enough left for holidays/hobbies and to not really have to stop myself buying anything (within reason of course! I don't buy new cars every other week!), I'm healthy, i have a good family, good friends and I'm not that ugly. When i was growing up my Dad worked away so it was just me and my sister, i don't have any trouble being in womens company and have been taught how to treat women. Despite all that though, i always find myself on the recieving end of either a cheating gf or being left "on the hook".
It's a struggle not to give up completely sometimes, to keep the faith that I am treating people correctly and not being "too nice". I have a long list of of people that have used me, the only person that hasn't hurt me i hurt, because i broke up with her for another chance with C. Another stupid move. I have so many regrets, i find it hard to not give up and accept just being alone.
This is now just turning into me pouring myself onto a forum for random strangers, but it helps. Maybe i was just hoping that C would be different. I opened up completely like i have never done before or since and got burned for it, i guess i just hoped that i didn't do that in vain. The urge to just turtle and never let anyone get close ever again is strong.
Could be that she using you, maybe she is using you and doesn't know it. Maybe it is something else.
Does she make clean breaks with these other guys or does she try and keep them hanging? knowing the answer to that would help you understand.
It may be that she feels safe with you. She obviously has a lot of problems and has been through some dreadful trauma in her life. It may be that she can have sex with these other guys because she doesn't respect them and knows that ultimately they are not good guys. You though, you are a good guy, you love and respect her, maybe that scares her. She doesn't recognise herself as someone worthy of love, the more you love her, the more she will push you away.
I'm afraid there might not be anything you can do. If she comes to you and wants to make it work, she needs first to work on herself and deal with her demons.
Don't give up though, there are nice women out there who would be so happy to find someone like you
She's using you. If she wanted to be with you full-time, she would be.
Go cold turkey no contact. Truly. You are better than this.
She makes clean breaks as far as i know, but that's what I'm told... pretty sure I'm the only ex shes kept in touch for so long with.
I've hung around on the "maybe shes scared" but that's probably just me falling for the games. Maybe you are right and shes not concious of it, I've said to her plenty that she just needs to be honest and tell me straight, she just never gives a real answer to me. Then just doesn't speak to me for ages.
It's as if she just wont let me go but clearly has no desire for a relationship.
Should i ask her to not contact me, or just give up and not even bother? I just find it so mental that 6 monhs ago we have a big talk about how we both just thought the other wasnt interested and she told me she only went with current guy at the time because she thought i didn't want her. So i put myself out there and get knocked back. I don't understand the point of all that.
Thanks for the help everyone. I suppose if she puts effort in in the future then it'll show she gives a shit. Highly doubt that will ever happen though, been plenty of chances given to her.
Do you really want a lifetime of this? You won't be able to fix her and she seems unable to see her own behaviour for what it is. Maybe you like the drama of it all and think your love will save the day.
Been there done that and it just ends in misery as you keep having to work out what you did wrong.
You are trying to fix someone who is clearly abusive and it will drive you insane. No contact and walk away otherwise you are enabling her and the cycle will begin again.
You sound really caring and loving. Give it to someone who appreciates it.
You don't have to ask for no contact just delete and block. You don't owe her any explanations.
How old are you both now? Around 25? I think the issue is you are always giving her the option of being there for her. I'm in a similar situation but older and the woman! My 'C' wants to marry me, have it all etc we have parted and got back together over a period of nearly 4 years now. I can't commit in 'real life' so to speak but continue to spend time, have physical relationship. I know it has to end for good as we both live in limbo, never quite moving forward. I don't think your C is doing it on purpose. I think she is scared to commit and hopes you could maybe be the one but knows buried down you're not ( well this is how I feel). If my C didn't give me the option and walked away and was strong about it that would actually be the best for me. He lives in hope, I know he isn't the one, we care deeply for each other and are both probably in denial. Hth?
Change your number. Work out ways to detach emotionally. Stop wasting yourself worrying about her. Bet she's not.
You sound like a decent man and this woman sounds messed up. Life is too short to waste on people who don't care about you, your feelings or your wellbeing. Don't you think that there is a woman out there that will fall for you and appreciate having a caring partners. Should work both ways in a adult relationship. Get the life you deserve and drop the woman who is toying with you and trying out a number of men to see what best fits her needs. As a mum myself I would not act in this way, its immature and not healthy.
Run for your life and start a fresh.
Thank you all, i appreciate all the help and having some encouragement from people with no connection to the situation helps.
Very similar apple, it went quite fast for us too, probably too fast.
She still every so often, even when shes with someone texts me little reminders of the 'good times'. Like funny things that happened when we were together or reminders of the silly little things i did that 'made her feel special'. Whether shes aware of it or not, that's what hurts the most is always being reminded of that, meanwhile shes planning holidays with her bf.
I don't think she has a commitment issue though, seems capable of it with new guys. Planning holidays etc. With them. I got the upset txts that her last bf broke up out the blue right after the whole 'how much i love you' speach because he didnt want to commit but she thought there was another girl. Very familiar.
Youre right though, I can't torture myself the rest of my days like this, bang on the money at 25 (well just under) I've tried to get answers and all it leaves is more questions. I suppose I need to take not getting a straight answer actually as a no and move on. I did in the past, I had got over it all and it wormed it's was back in.
I need to get rid of all the stuff i kept like the love notes/wee presents and remove all reminders from my life. I've just got a new contract on this number so blocking will have to do. I know that if she does make contact I'll never be able to ignore her because i care too much, so I'll have to remove the chance to contact me.
I still think it's just been bad timing/personal troubles and that we work well together when there isn't all this drama. I don't have any other drama in my life at all, my life is pretty smooth and I'm a stable person. When dealing with this is totally throws me off balance though and she calls me emotionally unstable... after years of me helping her through her depression and doing so much for her, to turn round and have no appreciation for my feelings is brutal. Shows I suppose the balance in our relationship.
I know I'll always have a place for her though which is dangerous. I've never loved anyone like I did her and I don't think i will again. Maybe they will work out in the future, what has kept me connected is that in the back of my mind, I know shes the one, there is just so much baggage/drama round it. Or maybe I just need to drop the stupid ideas of deeper connections and 'soulmates' as childish thinking and GTFU. I just don't want to make a mistake, but I suppose I can't control who leaves my life and when.
Well, there is your answer: I don't have any other drama in my life at all
Get some you may think you are not addicted to the drama simply because you don't have any other drama in your life. But maybe you are addicted to it simply because you don't have enough other things in your life to occupy you?
You say that you will always keep a place for her and that you don't want to make a mistake. At the moment you are paralysed by this idea that anything you do might be a mistake. As regards this woman there is nothing you can do, mistake or otherwise if that depends on what she is going to do. She holds all the power to pick you up and put you down like a passive object at her disposal. The only mistake you are making is allowing yourself to do nothing and allowing her to decide. Therefore it can't be a mistake to allow yourself to move on and not be used in this way.
She has major issues clearly, and very sadly she seems to be making a bit of a mess of her life, don't let her mess yours up to.
Maybe i need another hobby to occupy myself. When i say no drama I mean i don't fall out with friends all the time, it's not just a story of my trials and tribulations. Maybe i need to fill my time a bit more though, get down to jiu jitsu since I've been saying i will for ages. Usually my track/race car keeps me occupied getting ready for next year.
I hadn't thought of it like that mini, me always being there means that it's too easy to pick me up and drop me, whether it's deliberate or not. I find it mental, i lose when I'm there for someone or lose if i wasn't. Suppose you just can't win with some people. Certainly taught me a big lesson that honesty is the best way instead of trying to soften a blow or let them down gently. Honesty and being upfront is far healthier and hurts less in the long run, maybe not in the short.
Join the discussion
Please login first.