Advanced search

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.

Ending a relationship - which of these options is less painful?

(18 Posts)
stirling Sat 23-Apr-16 16:26:34


I've been in a heartbreaking on/off relationship for more than 4 years. It's been the most intense, most wonderful relationship on many levels - especially in that we're similar characters and have a lot of common ground. The chemistry was out of this world.

What didn't work was his elusiveness and frequent disappearances. We weren't living together but after seeing him and spending a magical few hours together, I wouldn't hear from him for days. Then he'd suddenly reappear and bombard me with messages.

Yes I did try to contact him during those 'absences' but I'd either get no response or if he did answer, it'd be formal and he sounded irritated so I soon got the message to leave him alone. Needless to say I ended the relationship dozens of times but we'd inevitably get back together. It's been hell and I'm most angry with myself for repeatedly going back to a relationship where my instinct is crying out for me to keep away.

Four years on and I'm ready once again to end it. Does anyone have any tips on how I can break my addiction (it really feels like an addiction I have no control over) once and for all? I'm seeing a therapist who agrees that I do not need a man who can only offer 'part time commitment ', but it's not enough.

I'm wondering whether to delete his numbers from my phone or should I keep them there but block them? Should I report his email address as Spam?

The tiny voice of doubt is telling me that I'm potentially losing the best relationship I've ever had because of my insecurities. I've had 2 failed marriages where both of my ex husbands were unfaithful so I am very insecure and damaged.But I know that overall, I can't be with a man who is so mysterious. He maintains that he's not doing anything wrong and that I HAVE TO trust him.

Didn't have enough money to have him investigated by the way, so I feel that I'll never know...

Thanks for ANY advice.

AntiqueSinger Sat 23-Apr-16 16:36:58

Did you start seeing the therapist because of the relationship or for other issues or a combination of both?

Just asking because it seems that you may have deep seated insecurities about yourself other than this relationship, which is why you're willing to put up with being treated so disrespectfully.

ImperialBlether Sat 23-Apr-16 16:39:35

Oh I couldn't be doing with someone who disappears. That is not normal behaviour and his reaction - that you must just put up with it and trust him - is bollocks.

KnockMeDown Sat 23-Apr-16 16:45:40

He is obviously married. No good will come of this. You deserve better - someone who is free to commit himself and his time to you, but you will never have the chance to find that someone if you continue in this hopeless relationship. It's time to move on - delete, block, remove him from your life.

AntiqueSinger Sat 23-Apr-16 16:49:18

The reason this relationship feels so good when you're together is because he isn't really giving you the commitment of a real relationship with is mudane bits. I suspect (and I might be projecting wildly) That if the relationship was very committed, you'd still be afraid that he would cheat, and at least this way, because he doesn't really fully commit, you feel you never really 'have him' to lose. At a surface level it's a win win.

The reason you keep going back is because the alternative - a relationship with a fully commited man - is just a frightening to you.

Sorry if I'm just projecting. Either way, I think you need to work out why you have stayed putting up with this. What has been the pay off?

SoleBizzz Sat 23-Apr-16 16:49:19

Delete, block and totally remove any temptation of contacting him again. Your sanity deserves better.

thedogdaysareover Sat 23-Apr-16 16:53:36

This is not a committed relationship, he sounds like an emotional abuser. I had this happen to me with one particular man, for 3 years and I was very confused and hurt. I found a website about dating which I found very helpful. Search "disappearing reappearing man", the first hit on google is the one, and loads of tips on there about what do if it happens again. The problem is self-esteem. It helped me find mine again and to know what is and is not acceptable behaviour, also to spot red flags before you get too emotionally committed to someone. Good luck.

Sothatsflatwhite Sat 23-Apr-16 19:07:12

If you've decided you don't want to be in a relationship with him anymore why would you keep his number etc? I would delete and block everything to give yourself a better chance of moving on.

stirling Sat 23-Apr-16 20:48:00

Thank you so much for all the replies. This helps me enormously in that I don’t feel completely insane.
Antiquesinger I started to see the therapist because of a 'breakdown' - marriage ending, this relationship keeping me on a stranglehold, stress affecting my health. The relationship has played a large part in my breakdown. Interestingly, he also says that my ongoing suspicion and lack of trust has caused him 'long term psychological damage ' to quote his very words.
I've deleted his number in the past, but I've managed to keep it together and not contact him for 5 months at the most - then end up caving in.

It's like my fingers just type while I stare at them in horror. It's beyond me why I have absolutely no self control in this relationship.

SoleBizzz Sat 23-Apr-16 21:42:29

This is it now. No going back ever. Regain your control of your emotions.

croon979 Sat 23-Apr-16 21:59:32

Your post is painful to read for me. I have been there and spent 5 years of my life in and on-off relationship with a guy that would just regularly disappear. He was emotionally unavailable. Same script as you. The best chemistry ever. The chemistry was such as it was largely because he kept me dangling on a string. Made it compulsive, addictive and out of control. Took me a long time to realize that it wasn't real. The relationship, the passionate texts, the clinches every few days, the text bombardment, the sudden absence - none of it was real. This is not how real, loving, committed relationships work. It took me meeting my lovely DH (who is the exact opposite) for me to realize that this other guy was actually, a complete self-obsessed narcissistic shit. By comparison, everything with my DH was simple, blissfully simple. He liked me. He called/texted me daily. We dated. We married. The rest is history. There was no angst, tears, guesswork, limerance or soul-searching. No need for it. And I look back on the previous guy and feel that it was all fantasy and rather silly and childish.

stirling Sun 24-Apr-16 00:11:38

Thank you for sharing that Croon...that's eerily similar to what I'm feeling now. Hope I find someone who is the opposite...

FlumptyDumpty Sun 24-Apr-16 00:38:15

Google 'intermittent reinforcement'. I think you will find it interesting.

stirling Sun 24-Apr-16 10:23:11

Thanks Flumpty, that really was quite fascinating.. Never heard of this term before

Cabrinha Sun 24-Apr-16 10:32:49

The chemistry is only there because he is treating you like shit.

You should reframe how you write about it and speak about it to yourself. No more describing it as "wonderful", because it really isn't.

What you describe as wonderful chemistry, to an outsider just reads as "fuck that fucked up shit".

You need to start seeing that too.
Just delete and block the lot.

haveacupoftea Sun 24-Apr-16 11:24:13

He doesn't love you and he will never commit. Sorry to be harsh but I have been there and I wish my friends had just told me the truth instead of indulging my obsessions about him flowers

stirling Sun 24-Apr-16 14:35:22

Thank you so much, your replies are helping me to come to terms with what I already knew but sadly inside of me wished for a better outcome.

FlumptyDumpty Sun 24-Apr-16 16:05:41

flowers I've been there, stirling and it's v painful, but fwiw I think you are doing the right thing. I would advise planning some activities that will be fun, and hopefully give you a bit of a high, as your brain will miss the dopamine hits it was getting from being 'intermittently reinforced' by his unpredictable attentions.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now