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I have really hurt someone and I don't know how to cope

(35 Posts)
poisonandwine Wed 25-May-16 10:56:42

I broke up with a long term partner 6 months ago, for a number of reasons - I really wanted time alone, I knew it wasn't going to work long term and I had started developing feelings for someone else.

I gave my ex the first 2 reasons, but not the last one. The person I developed feelings for (a male friend) was also in a relationship. For that reason, I stopped contact with him to try and get him out of my system and move forward.

Fast forward to now, and he has left his relationship and we are tentatively and very recently dating. He feels like a (not "the" because I don't believe in the one) right one and I feel happy to be spending time with him. I am still keeping a lot of my own time.

My ex knows we are dating and has got incredibly angry at me, saying I betrayed his trust and he knew I had feelings for the man I am now dating. I think he has every right to feel this way and he is angry and lashing out. I guess I probably deserve to just take it. However, I am feeling firstly very guilty and also a bit angry at him for being aggressive (verbally) and for having it wrong - he is insinuating that I left him for the other man. I really didn't - I left for me.

Any words of advice? I know he has every right to feel however he feels, but he seems to have latched onto an idea that is not a reflection of what happened. We still are in contact and have many mutual friends - I would like to remain friends with him but I appreciate this probably won't be possible...

HeyMacWey Wed 25-May-16 11:00:58

No advice other than to keep believing in yourself and the reasons why you ended the relationship. Also you don't need to keep justifying yourself to him.

It sounds like he needs plenty of time before you start to have any friendship with him as he's just too angry about it. And perhaps accept that this may not ever happen.

Try not to feel guilty and focus too much on the past and enjoy the new relationship.

whatdoIget Wed 25-May-16 11:07:21

You've started dating someone 6 months after your broke up with your ex. It's none of his business and you don't have to justify yourself to him. He doesn't have the right to expect you to listen to him being angry with you.

PottyMouthed Wed 25-May-16 11:11:55

You absolutely did the right thing and you are not in any wrong.
You parted ways with XP before you got close to the new man. You say it's very recent so 4/5 months between relationships is quite reasonable. But even it it had been a fortnight, you were broken up with him and were free to do as you wish.
He's hurt because he's beginning to realise that you aren't going back to him probably.
Even with partners who have been split up for years, the dumped party will usually be irked when they find out the other person has found someone new.
Concentrate on your new relationship and reduce any contact with XP or he could sour what you have now flowers

Pootles2010 Wed 25-May-16 11:16:16

Honestly? He has no right to be aggressive, to act like this - tell him to do one.

Does he think he owns you? You certainly do not deserve to feel guilty. You have handled situation perfectly. What a knobber.

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Wed 25-May-16 11:18:19

He never believed you were leaving him to 'be alone'. He couldn't deal with that level of rejection (being on her own is better than being with a man? A man like me?). So he's been waiting for you to drop the bomb that you're seeing NewP and in his heart of hearts, he thinks you've been seeing him all along and probably crossed over. So he's been nursing this big jealous rage for 6 months and now gets to let it out.

In his defence (kinda) he obviously worked out there was a spark between you and NewP and now it's like the whole of the story he's been fixating on has come true. I bet he'd be fine if you were with a totally random person now.

Cut all contact - I don't think you're ever going to be friends with this guy. And absolutely - what you do 6 months on is none of his beeswax.

springydaffs Wed 25-May-16 11:20:47

I don't think you do deserve to just take it.

yy very understandable he's hurt but you are no longer his business - you're no longer in a relationship, so it doesn't follow that you have any intense relating.

As hard as it is, he has to understand there is a wall between you now. You aren't interlinked. If you allow this level of relating you are acknowledging you are still half in a relationship with him. You aren't.

You made a clear-headed decision and he has to accept that. Who you go on to have a relationship with is your business, not his. You didn't end it to become available for the new guy so don't act (or feel) guilty. Don't let him put that on you - and don't take it.

I also think you're going to have to give up any idea you can be friends. Maybe 100 years down the line but he has been dumped and won't easily be able to morph into a friendship.

poisonandwine Wed 25-May-16 11:21:59

I know I did the right thing. I really did. Unfortunately I probably should have left sooner but I spent time voicing my concerns and trying to make things work, because it had been a very good relationship and he is a lovely guy.

After I left, I had a breakdown and was signed off work for a month and had to start taking medication and having CBT. I didn't do it lightly!

I hate hurting people. I think other people could see that the current man I am dating could see we had some feelings. But we didn't do anything until about 3 weeks ago! And I tried going NC with him for weeks while I was ill.

springydaffs Wed 25-May-16 11:26:23

That said, some friends of mine in a similar situation went to Relate to negotiate their split. The man had stumbled on her in bed with someone else and they split there and then. Perhaps she felt guilty and supported him in negotiating the end of their relationship via Relate.

That situation is not like yours, though. You behaved honourably throughout.

juneau Wed 25-May-16 11:28:18

You are doing and have done nothing wrong. You ended a relationship that wasn't working and now, six months on, you've started seeing someone else. You didn't cheat on your ex-P and you didn't lie to him - your relationship wasn't working and so you ended it. He has no right to berate you for seeing someone else and whether you liked this other guy for a while or not you did the decent thing by ending this with ex first. You have nothing to feel bad about. Please stop feeling bad and for your own sanity I would cut contact with your ex. He's your ex now - you have no reason to stay in touch or share details of your life with him.

WannaBe Wed 25-May-16 11:31:08

If there was chemistry between you and the man you are now seeing then it's possible that your ex picked up on it and has been anticipating the day you announce that you're seeing each other so he can say he knew all along.

That's not your fault. In truth many relationships end because there are issues already and one or other party starts thinking about the possibilities of being with someone else.

To develop feelings for someone else in the death throes of an existing relationship is perfectly natural, the fact you didn't act on those feelings until you were both free to do so means that your integrity has remained.

your ex is hurt because of the breakdown of your relationship. He's entitled to be hurt because this wasn't what he wanted, but you are also entitled to move on with your own life and to be with someone else.

You know the truth, your current bf knows the truth. That's all that counts.

squizita Wed 25-May-16 11:35:29

He never believed you were leaving him to 'be alone'. He couldn't deal with that level of rejection (being on her own is better than being with a man? A man like me?). So he's been waiting for you to drop the bomb that you're seeing NewP and in his heart of hearts, he thinks you've been seeing him all along and probably crossed over. So he's been nursing this big jealous rage for 6 months and now gets to let it out.

This really.
To do with his insecurity - which is his problem. He has the right to feel upset.

He doesn't have the right to be abusively angry with you - you did the honourable thing. Additionally, even if you had split rather than cheat, that still would have been the 'right' thing to do wouldn't it? Or would he rather have you with him with a secret on the side?!

Masculinity is indeed fragile...

poisonandwine Wed 25-May-16 11:35:55

Yeah - I think I will have to do that. I should have left sooner, but I just did what many people do, tried to hold onto something that was once good for too long. I didn't hold out hope of being with vNewP because he was in a relationship.

The problem this is highlighting is what I am having CBT for - a core belief that I am a horrible, awful person, which isn't helped by current barrage of messages from him. It's like I want to take his opinion rather than my own...

He has a partner now too - in fact he did when we were together. To add to the complexity we made an attempt at poly - at my suggestion and his enthusiasm - but it wasn't working for me. He is still with her and I thought they were doing ok.

springydaffs Wed 25-May-16 11:41:09

An attempt at poly? Sorry, I'm a simple soul and don't know what that is.

shovetheholly Wed 25-May-16 11:47:30

I don't think he has the right to feel that way, actually!

You fell out of love with him and in love with someone else. You did not, however, cheat on him. You did the grown up thing of ending the relationship that wasn't working before you started a new one.

While it's completely reasonable and understandable that your ex is hurt by this decision, at the end of the day it is one of those things that just happens. I am sure that, had he been the absolute perfect partner, your feelings wouldn't have developed for someone else!

The fact that he had another partner during your relationship, and was enthusiastic about a situation of non-monogamy with multiple partners, suggests to me that there is an element of hypocrisy in his reaction to your decision.

You are NOT a horrible person. You are allowed - and indeed entitled - to pursue your own happiness. flowers

squizita Wed 25-May-16 11:49:17

He has a partner now too - in fact he did when we were together. To add to the complexity we made an attempt at poly - at my suggestion and his enthusiasm - but it wasn't working for me. He is still with her and I thought they were doing ok.

Retract my earlier comment.

He's a stone cold hypocrite. Cut him off and ignore him: he does not deserve any contact with you and it sounds like he utilised your low self esteem to have his cake and eat it.
He DOESN'T have a right to be angry if he has a partner and wanted 2 women, and that's why you left.
Abusive git.

poisonandwine Wed 25-May-16 12:05:55

springydaffs Sorry - polyamory - we had decided to have a third female partner. It did work for a little while, but wasn't actually for me. It was my (misguided) idea, but he was very enthusiastic about it (as you might imagine!).

So best to not engage with him? I have told him I am not willing to engage with him on this anymore.

I reject that he is abusive - I think he is just lashing out right now after seeing me and vNewP together last night.

He is a lovely guy and it was a wrench leaving but I couldn't see it working long term (i.e. I couldn't see myself having children with him).

BlueFolly Wed 25-May-16 12:06:06

It is unrealistic to expect to stay friends with him.

poisonandwine Wed 25-May-16 12:07:23

BlueFolly - you are right...I tend to be a bit of a Pollyanna...

category12 Wed 25-May-16 12:14:03

Well maybe when the dust has settled you can be friends, but for now I would take giant steps away from him and not engage. Give it time and plenty of space. You don't deserve to listen to his anger.

springydaffs Wed 25-May-16 12:14:36

So you did the poly thing to spare his feelings, to ease the impact of the breakup for him? Even though it wasn't really your thing?

Girl, you need to address that - as well as your agony that he is upset. Your personal boundaries appear to be nonexistant leaking - we can't possibly make everyone happy all of the time. We can't possibly avoid hurting people in life.

Perhaps have a look at codependency? Oft misunderstood, quite complex, but do have a look to maybe identify patterns and beliefs that necessitate you sacrifice your own happiness for someone else's. Melody Beattie is a good one to watch.

ElspethFlashman Wed 25-May-16 12:18:22

We appear to have vastly different definitions of "lovely".

Lovely guys don't lash out at vulnerable exes. Lovely guys don't send abusive messages.

squizita Wed 25-May-16 12:23:34

I reject that he is abusive - I think he is just lashing out right now after seeing me and vNewP together last night.

Very few men who behave in an abusive way (though there are a few) sit down coldly and think "I'm going to call my woman horrible names till she cries" - most are upset or depressed or drunk or stressed and verbally lash out. Just as most child neglectors do not intentionally starve their child but usually have issues.
It doesn't make it OK and it doesn't make the poor behaviour go away.

-You are having CBT because of low self esteem
-He suggested poly and and then gets enraged when you, long after, find another partner (double standards, there... also acts like he still has a right to monitor you to some extent)
-He becomes angry, calls you names which you clearly state are aggressive and make you feel bad about yourself (even if he doesn't know about the CBT he must know you are vulnurable in this way) and your posts suggest more than once.

He might not be a Victorian moustache twirling villain but he is doing things which are abusive towards you. Even if they are raw and emotional things, he should not be doing them and YOU ARE THE VICTIM OF BEING "HURT" IN THIS SCENARIO NOT HIM - the fact you're guilty and think it's the other way round makes this all the more apparent to anyone looking in from the outside.
He's been aggressive and nasty. Many would say hypocritical. However angry he is, he shouldn't be doing that especially not to someone who needs CBT for confidence.
You have behaved in an upstanding manner throughout. Breakups do upset people but let's face it- he wasn't even left 'alone' he was left with 1 partner, not 2. If he is upset, that is a sad fact of life.

Stop excusing him.

If he's an OK guy normally, wait a few months before engaging.
Don't let him damage you. You are the one being hurt not him.

poisonandwine Wed 25-May-16 12:30:34


OK, I needed that, thank you!

It was ME who suggested poly though and I agree springydaffs - codependency is definitely a theme here. I am addressing it - have all the Melody Beattie books and have a great CBT therapist. Trying to get better at boundary setting - was doing well until he contacted me this morning.

I will leave him be, stay away from joint meet ups where possible (can't all the time and won't change my life to avoid him, but there are things I can do).

springydaffs Wed 25-May-16 12:41:53

You could try CoDA

I know it was you who suggested poly - you did it for him? To help him get over the break-up, to help him segue into a future without you?

At what cost to yourself!!

Have a look at joining a CoDA meeting near you flowers

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