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.

Is it ever really possible to completely 'move on' if you genuinely loved someone?

(17 Posts)
wheredohairbandsgo Tue 05-Aug-08 00:27:09

In short, my exP of six years, dumped me when our dd was 10 months old and, another six years on, I STILL feel I haven't got over it It's like a life-long grief that I just cannot get over.

This weekend, he came over when I was having a party, so our dd could see her friends. He stayed for two hours and we talked about his new girlfriend ( who wans't happy he was there). I was a bit tipsy and quizzed him a bit, found out he 'loves her to bits' and would even consider having a baby with her. He kept asking me if I was broody too. Questions I shouldn't have asked.

It was like a knife to my heart.envy

By the time he left I felt suicidal just so I could end this physical pain inside of me. He's had another 4 year relationship before this one, and it didn't work out, he didn't seem able to commit to her either. I comforted myself that he would never settle down and now I fear he will. I just can't stand the thought of him having a baby with someone else. I think it would kill me.

I know I am being unreasonable. I know I should let the past lie and move on, but whenever I see him ( every week!) I always just think how much I love him, how no-one has ever made me feel the same way etc.. I still can't believe he doesn't love me and we won't ever get back together. While together I truly believed we'd be together forever. It's like I can't accept he doesn't want me anymore.

I hate the way every other weekend our dd flits from house to house. Now she's started staying with new girlfriend too. It eats me up inside.

I've also been in a new relationship for two years, but don't feel that same 'connection' and contentment I did with exP. I have been thinking of splitting recently and trying to find true love again ( although I am with a lovely man who does love me v much)

Has anyone ever felt the same and moved on? And if so, how can I? I am so sick of feeling like I am living with constant insidious grief and jealousy. I know it's definitely about time I got a grip and sorted myself out, but how??

Cynthia32 Tue 05-Aug-08 00:47:01

Its hard I know from experience. Theres no real way of moving on, it usually comes naturally after a while. But it has taken you a long time, maybe it would help you to talk to someone about it?

charliecat Tue 05-Aug-08 00:52:47

Someone who dumped you with a 10 month old baby doesnt deserve that sort of devotion

piratecat Tue 05-Aug-08 00:56:48

i am prob the last person to ask, but I don't think it's easy to move on completely from someone you loved so much and had a baby with who then dumps you.

i hope i will meet someone again, but mine was special, of a time when life was special.

twoGsinBuggerOff Tue 05-Aug-08 00:58:22

yes its possible.
it must be extra hard to just 'move on' when you have a living breathing all-your-energy-and-time-and-heart-and-soul-demanding human being as a result of the relationship, but yeah; put your mind to it and you can move on.

what are you gaining from holding on? dont you think its time to try to let go? smile

solidgoldbrass Tue 05-Aug-08 01:05:07

Yes, it's not only possible but essential to move on. He doesn;t love you or want you as a partner, but that doesn't mean you are unloveable or a bad person, it just means that this particular individual, for whatever reasons, does not love you in a romantic/couple/partner way.
If you have a child together then you cannot cut the person out of your life altogether (because your child has the right to see his/her other parent and your XP has the right to see the child unless XP forfeits that right by being an actual danger to the child). However, you can minimise contact with him for a while, and work on your own self-esteem etc. There is no sense or virtue in unrequited love: in nasty people it turns into stalking and harassment, for nice people it makes them unnecessarily unhappy. Let go and move on.

tweeni Tue 05-Aug-08 01:47:33

i think it is possible to move on, but sometimes if the break up was amicable then there will still always be a little something there.

RuthT Tue 05-Aug-08 01:57:54

I agree you can move on and if you don't you are likely to keep hurting yourself by asking questions that he will not answer in the way you want him too.

Just think about why you don't want to let go. Do you have a pattern of falling for men who ultimately won't commit? If that doesn't prompt a move how about a bit of parental guilt. Your dd will be affected by thier perception of what relationships you are in. So if you hanker after someone who won't commit to you then you may find that is what they end up doing too.

Is that working?

wheredohairbandsgo Tue 05-Aug-08 10:01:11

Thank you for your thoughts!

I want to move on too, I really do, and assumed it would happen naturally but it hasn't! No easy answers I supppose.

I just wondered if anyone had been in this situation and how they pulled themselves out of it.

lazaroulovesleggings Tue 05-Aug-08 10:12:28

No, I really don't think you can. I think you can learn to live with it, and just get on with your life. YOu need to accept the feelings in order to move on, and you also need to tell yourself that things might be much much worse for you now if you had stayed together.

LittleDorrit Tue 05-Aug-08 10:20:06

I know exactly how you feel, but you must let go. My exh left me two years ago when our baby was 3 months old, for someone he met at work. I feel like I have lost two years out of my life, because I felt like my life had come to an end, and I kept trying to make him love me. I guess when you are in that sort of situation it is very hard to get any perspective on things, and you really do feel like you can't ever be happy again. It is only in the last couple of months that I have realised that I need to forget about him, and that he is never coming back. It's a relief to finally let go.
In your case, I think the fact that he left his other relationship after 4 years is your answer...
You are incredibly lucky that you have someone else in your life, so please focus on that.

I read something really wise a while ago, that really struck me as being so true (it was Mariella Frostup in her advice column in the Observer) - "there is nothing more soul destroying or damaging to your self esteem than trying to make someone love you".

wheredohairbandsgo Tue 05-Aug-08 12:01:55

I read that quote too ! And knew exactly what she meant.

But I tell myself to let go, and try, but it feels like my heart won't.

That's what my problem is.

ConstanceWearing Tue 05-Aug-08 12:51:59

You might think this is going to sound heartless, but you are choosing these emotions, really.

You are choosing to invite him in for coffee and ask him personal questions. You know he won't say 'I still love you and want to come back', but you keep hoping he will.

Let this hope die. Limit your contact with him to a polite hand-over at the door when he comes to pick up DD.

Remember he left you and your baby when you both needed him. When you needed him most in your life, I would think.

Remember he is Mr. Cant-Commit.

Remember all the nasty things he ever did to you, and be grateful you don't have to live with it anymore.

Stop telling your brain that he's lovely and you'll never get over him. Tell your brain that he abandoned his family and you'll never give him the chance to hurt you like that again.

I still think my XH is gorgeous and I loved him beyond anything. But after several affairs I had to cut him out of my heart for the sake of my mental health.

It can be done. But you have to want to do it and you have to take steps to make it happen. Scabs don't heal if you keep picking at them. You have to leave them alone!!

My new DP is the loveliest man on the planet. But it feels like something is missing sometimes. The 'buzz' doesn't seem to be there. But you know what caused that buzz with my XH? Fear and drama. The knowledge that he had a roving eye. Overwhelming joy when he was lovely to me. Overwhelming grief when he was horrible.

I can live without that buzz. When I depend on somebody else for my emotions, that is not healthy at all.

nchanger Tue 05-Aug-08 13:20:12

namechanged for this one.

i was completely and utterly in love with my first love, we met, oh, 14 years ago. both too young, he was an arse, i was too young, didn't end too well, took a long time to get over him, but met DH and moved on, and blanked him from my mind for all these years.

have never felt that way again though i do love DH

looked him up on facebook, but din't get in touch, all in the past for me. then, he looked me up and got in contact shock

it brought back all the memories and i did feel a bit melancholy at first. we met up shockand i realised that although it ddin't negate any of the feelings i had for him at the time, i didn't feel that way now. the spark and attraction was gone.

we talked about the past, how we felt etc, he was very honest, apologetic and to a certain point regretful. we're both married to other people and while the spark has gone i felt somehow 'bonded' to him from our shared experience but not anything that would make me think i still love him or would want to start things up again.

i told him that meeting up with him after all this time, and hearing his apology and going over the past didn't make me feel any better or different as i really don't have any feelings now. it ddin't really give me any 'closure' if you get what i mean, as i had already closed things off years ago. that felt really good as i was worried about how i'd feel/ react when i saw him.

for what it's worth, he kept gazing at me, saying i hadn't changed at all, but he had, and not for the better, he has aged a lot. again, i thought i'd get satisfaction from that, but i ddin't really feel anything.

so, all in all, my experience is that no, you can't change how you felt and there maybe something there forever, but it will fade and you will get closure for yourself, even if you don't realise it. those strong feeling for someone may never be replicated, but it doesn't mean that love you find moving forward will be any less.

ConstanceWearing Tue 05-Aug-08 13:30:25

That's a really interesting thought, nchanger.

The love you have for one dp isn't the same love as you have for another. I had a very insecure relationship with XH. And it felt like proper love because I had a very insecure relationship with my dad (he was an alcoholic). That was what love was 'meant' to feel like, iykwim.

The love I feel for new DP is much more secure, so it feels as though something is missing. It would be very easy to interpret this as 'I don't really love him them'. But I do. It is just a different love that I don't usually associate with romantic love. Because there's no fear and insecurity, like I usually have.

I'm not trying to make this thread all about me, honestly, WDHG.

I'm just (long-windedly) giving an example of why your new love might feel a bit 'flat' by comparison, and perhaps like me, you tend to equate love with a sense of insecurity, or some other emotion that xp made you feel and new dp doesn't?

wheredohairbandsgo Tue 05-Aug-08 15:19:07

Thank you so much for sharing your stories.

CW- I was only 19 when I met exdp, and it WASN'T all perfect by any means. I guess though I never had any 'doubts' that I do with current dp. But also I was a much more insecure/ nervous person when I was with him and depended on him so much, in ways I would never do again ( I am older and wiser hmm) Also my family are v cold and he was the first person who made me feel properly loved and showed me so much affection.

I also take the point about 'choosing' the emotions, but it is so very hard to switch them off. Perhaps if I promise myself to try and ignore them all the time it might help.

I so desperately WANT to move on though. So badly. It just feels like my heart and head are at complete odds at times.

solidgoldbrass Tue 05-Aug-08 21:45:41

Kind of interesting that you use the word 'genuinely' about a relationship that didn't work out WDHG. All feelings are 'genuine' in that the person having them, feels them, but the feelings that you have for another person do not oblige them to have (or to keep on having) specific feelings for you ie just because you love someone doesn't mean that they do, will eventually, or even should love you in return.
You could try looking into some basic CBT techniques about shutting off unhelpful thoughts: do this for long enough and the thoughts will dwindle away. Also, as someone else said, minimize your contact with the XP to polite friendly handovers of your DC and interact with him only as co-parent, not as XP.

Join the discussion

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

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: