Can't choose to be with Ex, New Guy or just be alone?!

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Can't choose to be with Ex, New Guy or just be alone?!

Post by Cake90 » Thu Oct 13, 2016 10:23 am

Hi All,

I’m really in a pickle and I cannot for the life of me work out what I should do, any advice or help you can give me would be greatly appreciated! I am really sorry for how long this is, I honestly tried to condense it.

I am a 26 year old woman and I have a good family, a group of girlfriends and a good job.
I got in my first serious relationship at 17, with someone who I thought was the most amazing guy in the whole world. Of course I was Naïve, and despite my parents saying not to, I was too young, I moved into a house with him after just 6 months.
I came to find out that he was abusive, mentally and physically, and the damage caused to my self-esteem still affects me now.
I left after 4 years, after several attempts over the time I lived there.
I started having a bit more of a life; I got with him at 17 and so for the following 4 years I was a prisoner, I didn’t have crazy teenage drunken nights out or a very big group of friends, and so I started to live a life I had missed.
Out for a friends’ birthday some 6 months later and I was taken aback by one of her friends whom I had only heard things about and never met. We clicked instantly, and started spending time together.
Despite my hesitation to fall for someone again after my last fiasco of moving too quickly, we kept it very loose and casual for some 10 months or so. We completely fell in love, and it was so obvious we had to be together that we moved in together here.
I loved him with my whole body and I knew he was the one for me.
However, he had depression of which sometimes would cause him to hide away. I was very accepting of this as it was a fact I knew about very early on. I always knew he loved and cared for me, but sometimes, the feeling that I was in the way, or he didn’t love me quite as much as I did him was overwhelming.

After 2.5 years, I came out and asked him if he would ever want a future with me; marriage, kids etc. He’s such an honest gentleman that he answered quite simply, “No, I don’t think I will.”
My heart was broken, shattered into a million pieces. But I gathered my pride and left him, moving out to somewhere alone that left me heartbroken, and broke.
For the following year I felt like I hadn’t moved on, and still loved him just as much. We spoke almost every day still while he went off to “Find himself” travelling etc. Until one day he called me on Skype from France, telling me he had made a mistake and he had lost the best thing to ever happen to him. I told him my plans and wants for the future would not change, and would still be there – so he would have to be committing to wanting the same things. Back to him being such an honest person, he told me he wasn’t sure but he was sure that he’d try to come around to it. Well of course I missed him so much that this was good enough for me. I moved back in.
Another year goes by and for the most part, we’re happy. However, for the last 3 months or so, that familiar feeling of being in the way, and unwanted came flooding back.
Repeat to the last break up where I asked him if he was any closer to wanting to commit to me properly, and he said no.

I was expecting it, and after having this conversation in the April 2016, I moved out in June to another place with a female colleague from work.

I was living fairly happily here. I knew that there was no point in dwelling on this as I clearly was just not what he needed or wanted, it wasn’t working and I was not going to live somewhere feeling unfulfilled and unhappy again. I realised in my mind that it was less painful to love this man and not be around him, than it was to love him, and not have it feel equal.

Anyway he went very quiet and I barely heard from him. Living with a friend was a great tool to stop me from being bored and lonely, consequently texting him. But with his emotional issues and struggles in life, I was very worried not to have heard from him for some time, so I sent a very simple email (with a genuine reason to ask for bank details for some money I needed to repay from a past holiday we’d taken together) and said that I hoped he was OK. This was August.
I should also mention I had been for a couple of drinks with a guy I met out of the blue. At this point, It was purely an occasional casual drink.

The ex replied to my email asking if there was any hope. Professing his undying love and telling me that he has gone to therapy, he was fixing himself, and that if he thought I would say yes, he would propose to me right now. He wanted to spend the rest of his life with me, have children with me, settle down with me and be together forever. Back to him being an honest guy – This is not someone who says things he doesn’t mean so that was never a question.

This absolutely SPUN my head. It was everything I could ever have possibly wanted to hear… 6 months previous. I was doing OK. I was getting by and fairly happy in my life. Spending time with a wonderful gentleman whom I was growing to really enjoy being around.

I told my ex I couldn’t answer the question because I was too confused about this whole thing. He said he was going to do all he could to win my heart and then proceeded to… underwhelm me. I really wanted him to fight, try, push to win me over, but so far it has amounted to some poems sent in email (albeit beautiful ones) and notes occasionally left on my car telling me he loves me. I’ve not really dealt with how I feel about that and have kind of ignored it.
I continued to spend time with the new guy and after a couple of months, grew to find him a great match for me. We had tonnes in common, he was handsome; small details but he had tattoos and a beard; a look I have always been attracted to but my ex had neither nor any intention to.
He was totally opposite to my ex in every way except how much he cared for me. I was a lucky girl but I felt like a terrible person.
With all this ex stuff swimming in my head (this last week), and with the new guy showing signs of having some deep seeded feelings for me, it all sort of became a bit too much.

I drove myself to a local beauty spot, and sat in my car in silence, just thinking and trying to quieten my head. I came to the conclusion that me letting my ex try and not just telling him to lemonade off must mean that I still have feelings for him. When I thought more, yes, I still love him. We didn’t break up because I didn’t love him, we broke up because I loved him more than he loved me.
I decided that however true my feelings for my ex may or may not be, I could not continue to see the new guy and allow him to develop feelings I may not reciprocate. I agonised over the decision for he had done NOTHING wrong, and only wanted to make me happy.
I went to his house a couple of nights ago and broke the news, he had absolutely no idea it was coming and he was crushed. He was understanding that I hadn’t had time to breathe before relationships, but also told me that he has never had to say goodbye to someone he cared for so deeply when it feels so mutual.

I am now, “single”. Which I am OK with! These men have always appeared so soon after a serious relationship has ended and despite me being wary, they’ve both been wonderful, wonderful people. I’m not afraid of being on my own.
However I found myself devastated after splitting with the new guy, and I found myself at my ex’s house. We slept together and I felt instant shame. I regret going there before I had time for the emotions to settle.

Today, I receive a message from my ex, telling me to have a lovely day and that I am a wonderful person.
I was disappointed that the message alert wasn’t from the new guy.

Friends opinion: You still love your ex, new guy was a rebound. You’re upset because the new guy did nothing wrong and you feel like you kicked a puppy.
Other friends: Mike hurt you twice. I think you’re throwing away something special with new guy.
Other Friends: I think Jake got too serious too quickly and you’re not ready for that. Be single and enjoy it.
Sister: The you and Mike (the ex) story doesn’t feel finished. It was very obvious to me you were rebounding from heartbreak with Jake (new guy)
Parents: We always liked Mike, he was very honest and polite and loved you. Although we didn’t meet Jake, you really liked him last time you spoke to us. We were cautious when you said how wonderful he was because you have said that about your exes before when you first met them.

Any opinions on my next move would be greatly appreciated.
Final thought is that I feel absolutely awful for leaving Jake. He is such a lovely genuine person and I feel like I have treated him horridly. I feel completely at ease with Mike when I am with him, probably because we spend five years together. But I don’t know if it is worth the risk of having my heart broken a third time. If I go back into it with Mike, it’s forever. It feels the safe option.


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Re: Can't choose to be with Ex, New Guy or just be alone?!

Post by Mrconfused74 » Thu Oct 13, 2016 12:45 pm

You need to be alone, quite clearly you've never given yourself time to get over your ex, and so he has always been in the background, you should've cut off all contact, because as long as communication was going on you would never get closure, an he would always think there was hope.

Yes the new guy could've been a rebound but you say initially it was just drinks, going out like that you get to know someone a whole lot more than when you're dating them. So it could well be that he fell for you quickly purely because of how natural, honest and open you were.
Going back is always a challenge, I've tried an it didn't work, you always have the thoughts in your head of why it didn't work before, going back a second time sounds like you just want to settle for what you know. Yes he's saying all the things you want to hear, and as honest as you say he is! Is he saying them for the right reasons. Ultimately your friends and family want you to be happy, will you be happy with your ex? Maybe, the new guy? Possibly. What is certain that being on your own for a while will give you a chance to clear your head, and maybe enjoy yourself with your friends.

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Re: Can't choose to be with Ex, New Guy or just be alone?!

Post by Tarantula » Thu Oct 13, 2016 12:59 pm

I don't think Mike (the ex who wants you back, yeah?) will follow through if you give him yet another chance.

Poems and all that is all very well - but what you need is a thorough explanation of why he's rejected you so many times previously, what changed, the journey he's been on and why you can be sure he won't just change his mind again. If he could explain all that in mature terms with minimal rhetoric - explain precisely what he likes about you as opposed to others, why he didn't see that before, and why he now does - and why he now has the emotional maturity necessary to be with only you longterm.... then you should give it another shot.

But if he hasn't done all that already, then basically, it's another long wait for a train don't come. You shouldn't have to ask him btw. If he's for real this time, then he should know how you're gonna see it. He should be prepared for much scrutiny from you and be prepared to respond convincingly.

What was he doing when he was off traveling? Who was he sleeping with? How do you know he's not got other girls on the line? Or has he come back to you because the girl he really wanted kicked him out?

At 26, I suggest you get a bit more serious about who you want to spend your time with, because the stakes are high. Not a teenager anymore. As for new guy, well, he sounds like a decent option, but it's almost like you don't want a decent option... not enough drama. Not exciting enough.

Now that new guy is out (and if he has any self-respect, he really IS out, and won't take you back even if you ask), and old guy says he'll do whatever it takes... then he can wait a bit longer, can't he? I suggest you be still for a moment and think carefully.

All in all, I think the moment has passed for you and your ex. He's done it all before - how much more time are you willing to waste with him? He's blown all his chances, I think you should move on to someone brand new, in time. UNLESS your ex can come up with a convincing explanation for the above. Which if he hasn't already, then it's time to call it a day.

It seems to me like perhaps you enjoy the excitement of having many options (I know the feeling!) but if you're not careful, you'll end up emotionally hungover from all this soap opera stuff and wish you could just be with someone steady and kind. You seem all over the place so that's why I say, settle down, think with a mature perspective about the kind of life you want to have, the kind of future.

I don't think your ex offers a real future. I think he only wants you when he can't have you. On some level, if you go back, he will know, deep down, that he can dump you and give it the sob story later and you'll go back.

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Re: Can't choose to be with Ex, New Guy or just be alone?!

Post by snail » Thu Oct 13, 2016 1:12 pm

Tarantula wrote: Poems and all that is all very well - but what you need is a thorough explanation of why he's rejected you so many times previously, what changed, the journey he's been on and why you can be sure he won't just change his mind again... But if he hasn't done all that already, then basically, it's another long wait for a train don't come... I think he only wants you when he can't have you.
I strongly agree. Don't give Mike another chance - this is a relationship that's had every chance already and he still didn't want you. And he doesn't sound any better this time. "If I thought you would say yes, I would propose to you right now" - really? How convenient. Did you ask yourself why he didn't just propose to you?

I don't know about the new guy - with the timescale and other things going on it's difficult to say. I would suggest you cut all contact with Mike permanently, and then take some time to clear your head. If you decide you've made a terrible mistake with Jake, well, you'll just have to ask him to forgive you, and explain why things happened the way they did.
These mountains that you are carrying, you were only supposed to climb.

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Re: Can't choose to be with Ex, New Guy or just be alone?!

Post by Cake90 » Thu Oct 13, 2016 1:25 pm

snail wrote:
Tarantula wrote: "If I thought you would say yes, I would propose to you right now" - really? How convenient. Did you ask yourself why he didn't just propose to you?
Wow - This has blown my mind.
I didn't even consider this.

Thank you. I think I know deep down I don't trust his intentions.

Outsiders perspectives are powerful!

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Re: Can't choose to be with Ex, New Guy or just be alone?!

Post by Nomad » Tue Oct 18, 2016 5:41 pm

Hi Cake

I really feel for you with all that swimming about, all those emotions. I would say from experience, don't try and force 'the answer' - there is on one right or wrong answer, the best thing you can do is learn how to tune into and listen to how you feel right this moment. I think we all imagine that if we make the 'right' decisions then we will save ourselves a lot of problems later. This is heightened all the more if you have some trauma in your past such as your experience from 17 to 21.

That is also the danger of getting so much advice! We are all on here searching for the answer. But the more input we get, the more it adds information and muddles how we really feel for ourselves. Having said that, it does really help to hear different perspectives, but don't loose touch with how YOU feel. It may be that this is an issue in itself. When we are in abusive situations it is possible to become numb and out of touch with your feelings as a subconscious and protective response. Maybe you need some time to yourself to really hear yourself again and know what you want.

Some of the things you say show you naturally get caught up in the romance of either situation. There is nothing wrong with romance but it can temporarily blind you from the true person/situation. My advice for what it is worth would be to have some time out for yourself. It will be very empowering to chose yourself over a relationship. You are only 26 and there will be many guys you meet in your life who want to be with you and who are compatible with the real you. One of them will probably be a keeper, but the best preparation for when that moment arrives is to be at peace with yourself - then decisions just become natural instinct, and it's never what you expect!

Wishing you all the best

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