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How to stop regretting something

(27 Posts)
dudness Wed 28-Oct-15 21:19:58

In July I finished with my BF of 2ish years. We split up because I'd had self-esteem issues for about a year (well they had always been underlying but work-related stress sent them out of control) which led to me becoming jealous and controlling and generally a bitch. Since the split I've started counseling and am working on my self-esteem and am highly aware of how horrible i was.

i see my ex around about once a week (we work for the same company) and i still have strong feelings for him, while he can hardly bring himself to talk to me. I keep going over in my mind how if i'd behaved differently we'd still be together, and thinking of different incidents and regretting how i behaved. I know I can't change the past but I don't seem to be able to let go and stop beating myself up about mistakes i made. Any suggestions?

swisscheesetony Wed 28-Oct-15 21:22:08

You know nobody would die if you sat him down and told him where you went wrong and that you're sorry?

RomiiRoo Wed 28-Oct-15 21:27:40

Yes, say you are sorry but with no expectations of reconciliation - just that you regret that is the way you behaved and you are sorry.

My xH said later he regretted the way he behaved to me in our marriage. It does not undo it but I think, because I was the one who left, it was an acknowledgement that maybe I had reason to go. It actually takes a lot to admit you did things wrong and not just somehow blame the situation.

dudness Wed 28-Oct-15 21:29:22

I've apologised many times but he's still angry with me. With hindsight I can see that he adored me for a long time and i just pushed him further and further away. This isn't about me getting back with him, it's about me trying to move on and stop punishing myself.

ifyouregoingthroughhell Wed 28-Oct-15 21:37:27

It may be worth looking at the relationship as a whole, rather than just concentrating on what you perceive as your failings. Can you elaborate on your relationship a bit more? It may give you some insight as to why you felt so insecure.

springydaffs Wed 28-Oct-15 21:43:33

Is he punishing you, actively hostile? If so I'm not surprised you're finding it hard to forgive yourself.

OTOH he has every right to be angry. Just not to be vile to you.

Seeyounearertime Wed 28-Oct-15 21:45:28

I know what you mean OP. What helps me is actually thinking about it slightly differently.
Instead of remembering something I regret and thinking, "if inhadmt done that then this would have happened" or similar, I'm sure you know what I'm saying? Try allowing the memory to play in detail, actually consciously think of those regrets and instead think,
"I did that, it was wrong, next time I'll do this instead"
Eventually all bad memories and regrets become a moment of learning instead of regret.

And never forget that the past is the past and there's nothing you can do about it, best to concentrate on the now as that is the only thing you can affect. grin

dudness Wed 28-Oct-15 21:48:27

It was my first serious relationship for quite a long time and as soon as i realised i was falling for him I started to worry about losing him. This coincided with me getting a promotion at work which i really struggled with. BF was really supportive but i just never felt good enough.

ButtonMoon88 Wed 28-Oct-15 21:49:33

The fact that you are trying to fix your mistakes without the aim of 'getting him back' is positive, does he know this?
perhaps email/message/leave a note, saying briefly you apologise, hope he is well, you realise you needed to change, that's what you are currently working on, and you hope that at some point down the line you can be friendly again...

RomiiRoo Wed 28-Oct-15 21:51:53

I think his anger is his issue, then. You are separated; you have apologised; at some point he needs to let it go. No relationship breakdown is entirely one-sided, there are two people involved. I agree that there were reasons undoubtedly why you had self-esteem issues; maybe he also needs some self-reflection.

dudness Wed 28-Oct-15 21:57:05

Springy: I don't think he's punishing me, more protecting himself. He's not horrible, just keeps communication to a minimum and makes sure he keeps his distance.

Seeyou; that's what i'm trying to do, i just find it so hard to get over the 'if onlys'. e.g when i just typed the message about how supportive he was, i immediately started thinking 'if only i'd noticed that at the time'

ifyouregoingthroughhell Wed 28-Oct-15 22:01:30

RomiiRoo - That's also my thought. He maybe genuinely feeling hurt or rejected, or he may have encouraged her low self esteem. Depends on his personality. If he's not willing to sit and have an honest discussion about the relationship, maybe it's a punishment.

category12 Wed 28-Oct-15 22:06:20

You have to leave him well alone. I think this beating yourself up about the relationship is part of your self esteem issues, so you need to stop making it his problem, in any way by approaching him or wanting to interact. You have apologised, now if he wants to come to you, he can - but if he wants to stay away from you, respect that.

Keep working on yourself and forgive yourself. It's not about him. It's about you learning from it and accepting it's gone and over and moving forward.

ButtonMoon88 Wed 28-Oct-15 22:08:57

OP it's so important you know that everyone makes mistakes, everyone has regrets. I made horrible financial decisions in my early 20s, that i regretted for ages, but then I realised that was Doing me no good so I made a plan and started to repay my debts. I learnt from my mistakes and I no longer regret my decisions because I know that it's in the past, there is nothing I can do about that now, but I could fix it and I did. Just as you are doing. Give yourself a break, it sucks but make a change for the best, that's all you can do

LookAtMeGo Wed 28-Oct-15 22:12:07

What helps me is saying to myself that I did the best I could at the time with the tools I had.

So, yes, you might have acted incorrectly, but it was what you were feeling and thought was best AT THE TIME.

ifyouregoingthroughhell Wed 28-Oct-15 22:23:24

Did you know that the advice for getting over him is the same advice as getting him back ? No contact(at all !!!), new image and new, confident you. Whatever he found attractive in you to start with, he may well see again. If not, someone else will. If you were insecure and vulnerable when he met you, it was not a good match. It's hard to hear, and hard to do, but work on making yourself a complete person. Needy is not attractive, and a relationship will not last. Address underlying issues and grow. Going to get called harsh now.

dudness Wed 28-Oct-15 22:34:45

Lookatmego; that's a good suggestion. I'll give it a try.

if: It's the underlying issues I want help addressing. I agree with category12, the beating myself up about past mistakes is connected to my self-esteem.

TheSilveryPussycat Wed 28-Oct-15 23:08:27

You kind of replay in your head various scenes from your memories of times with him, yes? And wish you had done differently?

It can make a big difference if those memories are dissociated - seeing you and him as if a film had been made of those scenes, rather than re-living them from your own pov, (associated). Play out those memories with the changes you wish you had made, still dissociated. Then let it go.

If it still recurrs, try some different changes. But don't spend too much time on this!

Lexia123 Wed 28-Oct-15 23:57:02

I think I could have written a lot of your original post OP....

It is hard, but as others have said, there were two of you in the relationship. You have apologised, you need now to start to find peace with yourself, which it sounds as if you are doing by going to counselling etc.

I too have low self esteem, and could never understand why any of the men in my life would have wanted to be with me, but this self doubt contributed to the demise. Like you I didn't realise all that I had until it was gone, and I do regret that. But, you learn and hopefully grow from it.

It's not a mistake if you're trying.

dudness Thu 29-Oct-15 06:50:25

Thesilverypussycat; that's an interesting way of dealing with it but I'm concerned that replaying the scenes will just lead to more angst about how things could have been different.

Lexia and Button: thanks for sharing your experiences. It helps to know that I'm not the only person who has ever felt like this.

FredaMayor Thu 29-Oct-15 07:02:50

Learn what you can from the experience but don't let it continue to rob you of peace of mind. Avoid your ex if you can until you feel better able to cope with what you feel.

PuellaEstCornelia Thu 29-Oct-15 07:28:36

Try and stop going over it in your head - I know it's hard, but when you find yourself going over it, just say firmly 'I'm not thinking aobut this just now, I'd going to go and do the ironing/deflea the dog/repaint the bathroom ceiling. Don't keep reinforcing it!
Secondly, you can apologise but you can't control how he accepts it, or when he accepts it, so you have to accept that you're not going to be 'just frends'.
No eay, I know....

PuellaEstCornelia Thu 29-Oct-15 07:29:04

Not easy....(sigh)

Duckdeamon Thu 29-Oct-15 07:34:36

No contact with him would now be best, especially since you still have feelings for him. it's a shame you have to see him at work but good that he's avoiding you!

TheSilveryPussycat Thu 29-Oct-15 11:03:54

I get that - but I thought you might be replaying the scenes anyway? Hope things improve for you flowers

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