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Ex wants to be friends but I'm heartbroken

(59 Posts)
richdeniro Sun 27-May-18 17:09:40

Hi There, I realise that this is a website for parents which I am not but I just wanted to get some outside perspective on a break up that I am going through and mumsnet was the first forum that showed up when I Googled relationship forum.

Started seeing a woman in January and we mutually (more her than me but I agreed) decided to end it around a month ago because we just felt our circumstances weren't right. She is 45 and I am 38, she has three kids (from a 10ish year marriage that ended at the end of 2016) so she felt she was holding me back from dating people my own age and the chance to start a family. She wanted to remain friends though and I agreed.

We did the no contact thing for about 3 weeks but I got back in contact with her last week by challenging her to a game on words with friends on Facebook (a mistake I know but I missed her) and then she followed up by messaging me on FB, within 4 messages she told me she 'was doing really good and was seeing someone'. I've recently found out that the person she has gone back to is her ex from before me - they broke up in September of last year and they were only together for around a month so. I've seen the guys Facebook and he is the exact opposite to me. I am quite well spoken, have a professional job, quite sensitive, no real baggage and like to think of myself as a half decent guy. Obviously I'm being a bit judgmental going off someones FB page so I hope you'll forgive me but this guy has a lot of tattoos, 4 kids by 4 different women, looks to have a non secure labouring type job, posts overtly right-wing/slightly racist posts/memes and from my first impressions is perhaps one of those alpha male types.

I am pretty heartbroken in all honesty as I didn't realise how strong my feelings were until she was no longer in my life and her telling me she is seeing someone else hit me like a bullet. I'm still not sure if I can be friends with her but I am wondering if she might have been seeing this new guy before we actually broke up and was cheating on me, I have nothing to go on but from a personal perspective I haven't even thought about dating anyone new having just broken up and I'm not the type of guy who goes for a rebound relationship.

Another thing that makes me suspect she may have been seeing him before we broke up officially is the weekend after we actually broke up we had arranged to meet up on the Saturday night for a drink as part of the whole staying friends thing. I waited around at home all day Saturday until 9.30pm before texting her asking what was going on, she replied just saying 'Sorry I'm out', I'm assuming she was with the new guy as her responses are never usually like that.

If she was seeing someone else whilst we were together I don't think I could be friends with her as it would be so disrespectful and I wouldn't be able to look at her in the same light. I'm also just wondering if she is intending to be friends with me, maybe subconsciously, as she wants someone to provide the emotional side of a relationship whilst she is probably more attracted to this guys carefree alpha male thing so will be having all the fun with him whilst I am the doormat who replies to her Whatsapps and provides emotional support. Overall I just can't imagine him being the type who will show a sensitive, caring, nice guy side which she said was something she really like about me.

Anyway a couple of days ago I sent her a long heartfelt message telling her how much I loved her, thanked her for the time we had together and hoped the new guy would be the one to give her the life she deserves. I left it 24 hours and she didn't respond so yesterday blocked her on everything and unfriended her on Facebook.

Obviously I am going no contact now and haven't really put a timescale on when I will get back in touch with her, if I do at all and just wanted some advice and insight from the outside about the whole thing really. I feel like she will eventually reach out to me but that could be months away although she would have to use someone else's phone or post me a letter as she has no real digital way of contacting me now.

Mosaic123 Sun 27-May-18 17:12:04

That sounds really sad. Time to move on, I'm afraid, to someone that is more interested in you. Good luck.

swingofthings Sun 27-May-18 17:18:06

It's hard when you are so in love with someone. You are clearly a very nice guy and maybe she's one of those women who are not attracted to nice guy and prefer the challenge of someone who treats them not so well.

You'll get there and hopefully find someone who will feel about you the same way you feel about her. Time really does heal, even if it doesn't feel so in the present time.

Ryder63 Sun 27-May-18 17:20:52

I would let it go. She's clearly not interested in you in the way you hope.

Ohyesiam Sun 27-May-18 17:28:14

Didn’t get to the bottom of your post, but wanted to reply before I have to go out.
Sorry you are feeling so bad. I was on a similar situation but with a man trying to decide if he wanted to carry on seeing me, or be just friends. I had to say friendship wasn’t on offer, as I was really into him. It was better than having my heart broken on a weekly basis.
Hope you feel better soon.

Bestie245 Sun 27-May-18 17:55:48

It sounds like she is pencilling you in as someone to fall back on as you are providing her with so much emotional comfort, she seems like the type of woman who likes the bad lads in which case she will probably never learn, will run to you every time she gets hurt... and drop you like a ton of shit every time she finds another loser. You're clearly an intelligent man - you already know everything I've said so far.

A healthy, compatible relationship should be where both people are being made to feel happy and fulfilled, you're obviously in love with her and have tried to make her happy but I wonder what she's bringing to the table for you other than confusion and hurt?

You sound like a very decent man, I am sorry that you've had your heart broken it really is like a physical pain and takes a very long time to heal. But you're better off in the long run being without this woman (I hate saying 'better off without them' etc as I know it's of no comfort right now, plenty of fish in the sea but I know you don't want another fish!)

But... she's a user and not good enough for you.

All the best darling xx

MooPointCowsOpinion Sun 27-May-18 18:02:11

It’s definitely time to move on. Was she right, do you want kids in your future? That could help you get over her, knowing you want different things.
There are hardly any decent men around, even less who are single, as long as you’re actually a decent bloke and not a “nice guy TM” you’ll find someone more suited to you. In the meantime continue to work on yourself/make sure you’re happy on your own, so you’re ready for her when she arrives.

Barbaro Sun 27-May-18 18:02:34

Agreed with everything Bestie245 said. Good luck in the future, you can do better.

mumofthemonsters808 Sun 27-May-18 18:22:22

Leave her be, you deserve someone better.If she values the alpha male type she's not going to value you and her behaviour confirms this.We tend to like people who are like ourselves, so the wonderful character traits you hold are wasted on her.Step away from any social media that provides information on her life, you are just torturing yourself..Dont fall into the friendship trap, because until you are stronger you'll fall into going back with her, when the relationship with alpha fails and it will because she'll be one of many.I know many women who would love to meet a man like you, so broaden your social circle and find your people.

SandyY2K Sun 27-May-18 18:48:48

Blocking and NC is best for you. My view is you don't really need the baggage of a woman with 3 kids and an Ex, when you sound like a 'a good catch'.

I think you need to have more confidence in yourself.

Don't attempt to contact her ever again and in time your feelings will fade.

yetmorecrap Sun 27-May-18 18:54:44

So sorry OP, I know someone who says she wants a good role model for her 12 year old and yet is only really attracted to hugely tattooed unreliable idiots And wonders why it never works out

richdeniro Sun 27-May-18 19:07:47

Thank you all for the kind responses. I know you're all right and she wasn't the one for me. I just hope that time will heel it quickly, not having any Facebook or digital contact will help I think and we have no mutual friends so our paths are very unlikely to cross.

I suppose it was kind of a whirlwind romance as it started off just as a 'fun relationship' really, we had met on Bumble and as she had a lot of free time she was able to whatsapp or call 24/7, we saw each other 4-5 times a week and even went on a Valentines weekend away so our connection became very deep. She's actually only the second person I've ever been with and felt I could be completely myself and tell everything to.

She is a very confident person, she's a personal trainer and to me seemed very strong willed and assertive. I was actually amazed she went for me as I'm more of the shy, quiet type. Before we had even met and we were going through the Bumble chat stages I had felt that a fun kind of relationship might not be right (ironically not for me, I was the one worried about hurting her) and at one point we decided to move on but she came back and persuaded me to go on a date with her. After our first date she even said she thought I was gay as I was very nervous and not as manly/confident as I guess she is used to, I again called it off but she then apologised and said she would come to mine that evening for our second date which is when the relationship really took off I suppose.

She told me her ex-husband was an amazing man which is why she was only looking for good guys and people like me as she knew what it was like to have a good person as opposed to someone less so (she divorced her husband because the marriage became loveless but they have remained friends).

I do wonder if she's gone back to this guy as a rebound but either way I need to get to the point where I don't care. My friends have told me that if she was able to start a new relationship up so quickly and tell you about it then she probably didn't care as much as I did for her. I guess her not responding to my last message is also proof of that too.

Again, thank you all.

richdeniro Sun 27-May-18 19:10:57

Sorry, I didn't mean only the second person I've ever been with.

I meant only the second person I've been with where I've felt that kind of connection.

Stinkywink Sun 27-May-18 19:17:51

I don't think the fact he has tattoos and a manual job means he is worse than you or a bad lad hmm but obviously the racist posts are a no no. And 4 kids by 4 different women isn't ideal but doesn't make him a bad person or necessarily bad dad.

Anonymoususer1938 Sun 27-May-18 20:24:56

To be honest she probably doesn’t know what she wants, especially if she only seperated/divorces recently. Don’t be surprised if she comes knocking again. The challenge and big decision for you will be whether to let her in again or not. She has the potential to really hurt you.....again and again.

Changedname3456 Sun 27-May-18 21:05:04

”And 4 kids by 4 different women isn't ideal but doesn't make him a bad person or necessarily bad dad”

Maybe not either of those, that’s true. But it suggests he’s either really not very bothered about barrier contraception and these are one night stands or short termers with whom he’s been exceptionally unlucky, or that he’s not one to stick around and make a go of relationships (or a combination of both).

1x1 and he’s not with the Mum? That could be down to any number of things. 2x2 and not with either Mum? Ok, it happens. 3x3? Starting to see a pattern there. But 4x4?! Yeah, that’s someone with more than a few commitment issues. Does that make him “bad?” Bet at least two of those ex’s would probably say so.

richdeniro Sun 27-May-18 21:14:02

The funny thing was I found out about the guy quite soon into our relationship as I asked if I was the first one she'd been with since her divorce.

She said no and told me about him and said that the reason she broke it off quickly after meeting him was because, and these were her words he was very chavvy and the type that had 4 kids with 4 different women and that he allowed them to swear a lot and she couldn't allow that around her own kids who are being bought up in a very I guess you could say, middle class way.

Yet now she's gone back to him because she felt she needed someone closer to her own age and who also has kids.

LuluJakey1 Sun 27-May-18 22:01:39

I am going to be blunt. Stop thinking about it- it is none of your business who she chooses to be with. She did not want to be with you. End of. You had a very short, casual relationship. You are over-invested in her. She does not want you.
The sooner you stop the sooner you will get over it.

Stinkywink Sun 27-May-18 22:15:00

You sound like a snob to be honest and yet you're supposed to be "nice" and "sensitive"? Most guys who profess to "nice guys" are often bitter and judgemental themselves.

Stinkywink Sun 27-May-18 22:17:21

And yes four kids by four women wouldn't endear me to him but you're attributing these undesirable traits to social class. As though it's a working class thing to be racist and swear around your kids.

And as he said before, the tattoos and manual job are indicative of nothing about his character.

Anonymoususer1938 Sun 27-May-18 22:34:32

Bit harsh.

MMmomDD Sun 27-May-18 23:05:39

OP - if having your own kids is important to you - and you mentioned it to her at any stage - then what she is doing is right.
She can’t give you that future.
And asking you to give it up isn’t fair. You might end up resenting her.

It’s a tough place to be. Sorry.

SantaClauseMightWork Sun 27-May-18 23:11:13

Have you considered there is a chance that she is letting you go because she thinks you might want kids at some point and she can't have any kids now?
Did you discuss this with her in detail?
I don't think you sound like a snob. I think you said those things as you definitely feel heartbroken right now and quite rightly so. Time to dust yourself and move on. It will heal in time. flowers

richdeniro Sun 27-May-18 23:31:48

I didn't mean to come across badly and now I've read my messages back I can see why some of you think that. I am definitely not a snob, both my parents are from working class backgrounds and had manual labour jobs. I guess I was just typing without really reading it back properly.

I guess I only mentioned his background from my initial observations and just couldn't understand why she went to someone who was the exact opposite to me within a week of breaking up is all.

Apologies if I offended anyone.

richdeniro Sun 27-May-18 23:37:42

We didn't speak much about the kids thing but she did bring it up a few times. I still don't really know how I feel about having kids myself now, if you had asked me in my 20s and early 30s if I'd wanted them and a 2.4 kids family it would have been a resounding yes.

However as I've grown up I know that life doesn't always work out how we expect and not really having found anyone up to now the feeling of wanting that has waned quite a bit. I kind of just want someone I can be happy and live life with now.

If the right person can along and couldn't have kids or already has them it would not put me off and I would forgo that part of life. I probably would have done with this woman too.

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