The one that got away(7 Posts)
Hi, not sure if this post will make much sense! Just wondered if anyone else has experienced this...
I've been with my DP for 7 years, we have a little girl together. We knew each other many more years before we got together, it always felt kind of inevitable. All in all, we have a happy relationship, with our ups & downs. I do love him very much & I feel there is a reliability & commitment in our relationship.
However, during the initial phase of our relationship- 6 years ago now- I fell in love with someone else, a good friend of mine at the time; the whole thing lasted a year. Nothing ever came out of that, nothing sexual ever happened, but it could have (it's just that this other guy & I didn't do anything until I would finally make up my mind...and I couldn't make it up for a whole year, the whole thing was torture to be honest for all 3 of us).
DP & I, at the time, discussed it loads (with all the pain that involved) & managed to get through it & become stronger as a couple. Still, this other guy who I gave up for DP still haunts my dreams! This is quite literal; I often dream of him & long for him. I often think 'what if...' I have cut all contact with him because I couldn't bear the guilt of knowing I would be contacting him behind DP's back (I had already hurt him enough by falling in love with someone else during that time). But I miss lots of things about him. Particularly the laughter he brought to my life, the openness, the sense of freedom, the sense of potential. The sense of youth.
I sometimes think- is this what my life is then? This is it? This is the last man I'll ever kiss & have sex with? Sometimes this thought hurts a lot.
This is totally normal and so common. The key is that you don't act on your fantasies.
It's not the ex that you want, it's being young again. Which can't happen.
All long term relationships go through this - the realisation that you'll never have a first kiss again etc etc.
If you did get back with your ex then in years to come you'd be in exactly the same position. The grass is very rarely much greener on the other side of the fence.
I think an awful lot of people have a One Who Got Away. The one you think "What if..." about. It's quite normal, but what's not normal is to pursue it, but you already know that.
You need to focus on rekindling your original love for your DP - go out for a meal if you can, try and have a laugh together, get pissed together - all the stuff that can get overlooked in RL. Reliability and commitment are fantastic attributes, but you need that spark as well. Work hard on getting that back, and the other bloke will seem much less important.
I think that spark that Hassled mentions has been missing since our baby was born (about a year ago). Not sure how to get it back, I feel so differently about my body & myself as a woman since I had the baby. I'm only now starting to feel a bit like myself again.
But weirdly enough, since becoming a mother, this other guy is on my mind even more; and sometimes it feels like a great empty gaping hole inside me & a big question mark: was I wrong to make the decisions I made? They seemed inevitable at the time- I simply could not leave my DP, I felt too guilty & loved him too much. But was I not brave enough? Not true enough to myself? What hurts is that these questions can never be answered really can they... And even though DP & I are are ever so close (we talk about everything), this is the one thing we never talk about, it's a taboo subject because it hurt too much at the time.
I'd keep it taboo if you are thinking of trying to save your relationship tbh.
These thoughts are fine to spill out on here or to friends, but imagine how your DH would feel if he thought you were yearning after somebody else.
Loads of people end relationships over stuff like this, and then end up with nothing. If it's eating you up then you need to find constructive ways to make peace with it.
Fwiw, I also had dreams and fantasies about my ex up until a couple of years ago. What cured me was one day I saw him in the street and realised that he too had grown older - he wasn't forever 19 as I had stupidly imagined him. He's been accumulating baggage all these years just like I have.
Ending relationships is tough, and most people don't do it without reason. You had reason enough to end it with your ex, so your DH must have seemed the better choice at the time. Has he changed, or you, or both of you?
Yes, MorrisZapp, all that you say makes sense...
This other guy was never my partner (so I don't consider him my 'ex'). We were involved & had strong feelings for each other for a year (this was during my relationship with DP). But we never exchanged so much as a kiss. I'm now 37, was early 30s at the time. I was aware, at the time, that my relationship with DP was potentially serious & would last, & I suppose that scared me. It's also though that this other guy was just so lovely. Slightly younger than me (2 years), very funny, very articulate, very different to my DP in many ways (my DP is very articulate too but is quite a serious guy in many ways, and he's older than me, quite a bit, about 10 years).
In time, yes, my relationship with DP has changed. We still communicate beautifully, we still love each other deeply. But time has taken its toll, the spark which Hassled mentioned is not always there to be seen (although sometimes it is, but rarely these days)...
(and no, I would absolutely never discuss these thoughts / desires with my DP, which is why I'm posting here).
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