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Past Loves

(15 Posts)
Earlybird Sat 19-Mar-05 08:57:43

My ex dp contacts me periodically via email (maybe once a year), saying he'd like to meet up. He was the big love of my life, and things ended very badly/painfully. He chose to end the relationship but not because he didn't love me - after an unhappy marriage/messy divorce, he couldn't contemplate living together/getting married/having a child with me and felt it was best to end things after 5 years. A bit ironic that he now is happily married (according to mutual friends), and has a young child.....

I struggled for a long time to get over him. I feel no need to be in touch, and I never respond to his emails. I can't see how it would benefit me in any way. I fear that seeing him will revive old feelings - feelings which I have struggled to put behind me. I don't wish we were still together, but I think seeing him could make me sad.

Some friends encourage me to meet up, saying that it will give me "closure". Is there anything to be gained? Perhaps it's relevant to say here that I have not had a serious relationship since we split...

Janna Sat 19-Mar-05 09:10:54

To be honest if you feel at all uneasy about meeting up with your ex then I wouldn't do it. It seems a bit odd to me that if he's happily married with a baby then why does he feel the need to contact you? You seem to me that you've done your best to try and move on and I admire you for that. How long ago did you split from him?
I don't have an awful lot of advice for you really as i'm going through a painful seperation myself at the moment for more or less the same reasons except me and exp have 2 kids and he wanted his life back. I can see this being me in a few years time.
Hope it works out for you whatever you decide to do.

Kayleigh Sat 19-Mar-05 09:13:17

Wow, difficult one. But my head says don't meet up with him. Agree with Janna, why does he feel the need to meet-up if he is so happy now ? Any explanations of his are not going to make things better for you, only worse.

popadopalis Sat 19-Mar-05 09:15:05

I agree with Janna, he can't be all that happy if he wants to meet up with his ex. If he wanted to put things right he could do that via e-mail. I wouldn't meet up because you may encourage him to keep contacting you and things could get messy. Obviously this is just my opinion but I would steer well clear as I can only see things becoming tangled and upsetting again for you.

expatinscotland Sat 19-Mar-05 09:15:28

'Closure'?! Look, if it doesn't feel right to YOU to meet him, then you've already managed to 'close' the door on the past yourself.

I have SO been there. He sent me an email three years after our split. I didn't respond. Just the emotions stirred up by his message were enough to make me realise I didn't need all that again.

No one has to wake up and be you all day. So do what YOU feel is best for you.

noddyholder Sat 19-Mar-05 09:18:07

The very fact that you have posted this and also that he still contacts you makes me think there are still feelings on both sides which could really be stirred up in a face to face meeting.You probably both have a fantasy in your minds of what ifs.Unless you want it to turn messy I would steer well clear But if deep down you want to see him nothing we say will stop you and it might bring closure but more likely to start something off-risky!!!

Pruni Sat 19-Mar-05 09:32:57

Message withdrawn

Freckle Sat 19-Mar-05 09:35:54

Simple solution. Block his email address and then he won't be able to stir up old emotions - unless, of course, you want that.

Earlybird Sat 19-Mar-05 09:49:03

We split 6 years ago, so it's been quite a while. Initially, we tried to stay friends, but it was too painful for me, so I asked him not to contact me. At that point,he said he wanted to remain friends, so part of me thinks these emails are his attempt to make sure those weren't empty words.

However, another part of me knows that he likes to think of himself/have others think of him as a "nice guy" and he did cause me a tremendous amount of pain (and there's the small matter that I did move continents to be with him). Pure speculation on my part, but maybe my refusal to be in touch makes him feel guilty for his behaviour?

Must say I have wondered if his wife knows that he contacts me. Also wonder if she would come along if I agreed to meet him, or if he would come alone. But, these are idle thoughts. I need to keep moving forward in my life. And, as I said before, I don't wish we were still together. I don't want to look back at him/the relationship if it amounts to torturing myself. Would only meet up if it would help me think "what did I ever see in him?"

Perhaps my friends who suggest it think I've not had a relationship subsequently because I haven't fully got over him...which is not true. The fact is that I haven't met anyone, but also now that I have regained my emotional equilibrium, am afraid of being hurt that badly again.

orangina Sat 19-Mar-05 09:55:11

Dear Earlybird, I can relate to lots of the things you said in your message. I had an ex dp who was a big thing in my life at the time, despite actually being quite an abusive man (not physically, but emotionally, what a master manipulator). When we split up (very painfully, definitely the very lowest point in my life to date), it was instigated by him, but I was so releived on one level, as I didn't have the courage to do it myself, for all sorts of reasons I won't go into now. Anyway, to cut a long story short(er), he obviously came to his senses a few weeks later (!), and came back to me saying "I made a mistake, please come back to me..." I found it SO difficult to say no, he had some wierd sort of power over me, but I managed it and I think it might have been the biggest shock of his life. I so clearly remember him saying he really needed me, as I was "the guardian angel of his good side", and that it would probably be eclipsed by his "bad side" without me and my love... Don't you just LOVE that kind of responsibility foisted on you?!?! I moved abroad, so did he (opposite sides of the world), and then followed daily e-mails from him for about 18 months about how he would always love me, wait for me, etc. I eventually said it would never happen, i could never trust him again, i couldn't see him ever changing etc...
Within 4 weeks, I got an e-mail from him saying he was getting married (!) to a local girl who broke off her engagement to someone else as soon as she met him (sub text clear enough everyone?!), I congratulated him and thought phew, this one is now OUT of my life. But I would still get these e-mails from him every 6, 9, 12 months, saying daft things like "I dreamt about you last night again and saw it as a sign that I should get in contact with you", and then proceed to tell me how marvellous his life was (ref: subtxt again).... These e-mails always used to knock me for 6, despite me being in a relationship with my now dh, a lovely, strightforward man who couldn't play his sorts of games if he tried, and with whom I am V. happy. I used to ignore the mails mostly, hoping he would get the message, until one day he called from abroad asking me why I never replied to his e-mails... I was caught TOTALLY unawares, can't remember what I said, probably apologised and said I was busy , but shortly afterwards, wrote him THE definitive e-mail saying I didn't ever want to hear from him again in any form, it was pointless and I got nothing out of it, and couldn't understand why he was doing it, especially as his wife was VERY insecure about me (according to him). And that was that.
So, my advice to you, summarised from this HUGE post (so sorry!) is:

a) Don't imagine that ignoring him is going to do anything, in terms of him getting the message or you acheiving "closure",
b) Writing that final letter/e-mail is VERY satisfying and can make you feel more in control of the whole situation (especially relevant if there are/were power struggles in your relationship),
c) I have met up with ex dp a few times since he got married (safe lunches, no wife in sight obviously), and they were supremely POINTLESS... we talked about stuff that didn't matter, he was constantly trying to score points, I just wasn't interested in that, and neither of us really wanted to know about the other in any depth, as it was somehow too intimate. And it rattled me, and I didn't like feeling rattled when I had/have a lovely dp/dh who I wouldn't swap for ex dp for the world.
d) Also, I would have to tell dp that I had met up with ex (otherwise it felt deceitful), and he couldn't understand it, he knew how badly hurt I was by him.
Don't talk about this much any more, hence sudden outpouring from me, so sorry . You must do what feels right for you, but I would say, write himn that final Dear John letter, and look forward to a future without those little annual surprises in your inbox.... good luck!

snafu Sat 19-Mar-05 10:10:13

<<I feel no need to be in touch, and I never respond to his emails. I can't see how it would benefit me in any way.>>

You've answered your own question really. But as someone who's been there and done that (from both sides, I'm embarrassed to say), I would confirm that it won't do anyone any good - least of all you - to get embroiled in any kind of contact. Closure only happens with life moving on and other concerns taking over, not from having a drink and a chat - I'm learning this the hardest possible way (and I'm still not there yet really!)

I think you'll have to be absolutely firm with him - write him that final email then block his address. There is nothing to be gained from meeting him - except the chance of a lot of hassle and heartbreak. Leave the past where it belongs, and ask him to do the same.

orangina Sat 19-Mar-05 11:56:57

snafu has just summed up v nicely what i was trying to say (!), and is a wise woman !

Earlybird Sat 19-Mar-05 21:32:55

It always amazes me how generous you ladies are with sharing your experiences. Thank you very much for the advice.

Whenever my ex makes email contact, he mentions that we haven't met up because I haven't felt "ready" - as if somehow I couldn't manage the upset. Of course I have considered meeting up, but then I think what in the world would we talk about? Our past experiences when we were a couple and in love? What might have been? Why exactly he got cold feet with me but felt able to commit to someone else a few years later? What's going on in our lives now? The state of his marriage?

Quite honestly, as I said in my initial post, I can't see that those types of discussions would be uplifting or edifying in any way. And why be emotionally familiar/intimate with someone who isn't available? I've always felt that we were very right for each other for a time, and that time has now passed. Best to move on without trying to redefine the relationship, or establish it on a different basis (of simply being friends).

As I said before, I don't know if his wife is aware he contacts me periodically. I don't want to meet her particularly (and feel it would be tremendously awkward anyway), and also don't want to be part of a deceptive meeting (if he chose not to tell her). So, all the way around, it seems a bad idea to me. Just thought I would ask here because my friends seem to imply that my resistance must be due to the fact that I'm not completely over him....

expatinscotland Sat 19-Mar-05 21:38:41

I blocked my ex. I had another one that was like orangina's - wanted e/one to think he was 'nice', when he was emotionally and verbally abusive whom I immediately blocked after we split.

Good luck moving on.

orangina Sun 20-Mar-05 10:55:25

earlybird... one thing I will say, individuals have the capability of pushing all the right/wrong buttons and winding us up, but that DOESN'T mean that we aren't over them... I wouldn't go back to my ex dp if I was paid £millions, but it doesn't stop him (wittingly? unwittingly?) winding me up on some level. Perhaps there is some level of closure between us that hasn't been reached (for instance, WHY did he treat me the way he did? WHy couldn't he love me enough to treat me properly? etc, etc...), but who knows with these emotionally damaged people (don't know if your ex falls into this category, not making assumptions, but mine DEFINITELY does...!) whether a satisfactory level of closure could EVER be attained. Ergo, ther may be certain things that can NEVER stop affecting you, but that doesn't mean that you are not over him.
I feel 100000000 times better not getting those random emails in my inbox every so often, and going for months and months at a time without giving him a 2nd thought.
Damn, am rambling again, this was meant to be a quick post ! Maybe you will never acheive full "closure", as it just may not be possible without raking up the past over and over again. But you owe it to yourself to recognize what's good for you and what isn't, and that's ok... . Right, enough from me, good luck...!

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