breaking up, moving on, being friends

Discussion in 'Relationships' started by consrock, Feb 6, 2015.

  1. consrock

    consrock Member

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    I broke up with my gf of 10 years just before Christmas. It was in the middle of what had become more frequent text discussions about her finding excuses not to go out on a date and I just asked her straight out if she wanted to be with me any more. Turns out she didn't!
    To be honest I thought we'd be together forever so for her to end it so abruptly was kind of a shock. But truthfully, I was less upset that I thought it would be (of course there was crying) and I guess I see now that we'd been growing apart for a while.
    She swore there wasn't someone else and said she wanted to be friends. I was upset so I said I'd think about it.

    Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago - she texted me and said again that she wanted to be friends. I had lots of emotions about that, 10 years is a long time and we were friends before we were a couple, so I said we should talk.
    And we did. And then she said she was seeing someone. A rebound thing, not moving on (her words not mine) just sex with some married guy she works with. It has been going on since early January and she swears we didn't overlap. But she had been flirting with him since our breakup (he's been very supportive apparently) though suspect it was before that and that's what prompted her to end things.
    I was upset and angry. And I told her so (I was very calm - no shouting) she accepted that but still wants to be friends.
    I do miss her but the whole shagging someone else so soon after our breakup is making me quite angry.
    Is that reasonable? should I just cut her out of my life? what can I do to resolve how I feel?
     
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  2. greylin

    greylin Well-Known Member

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    Your feelings about this guy and potential feelings about anybody else she will see for the rest of her life is very reasonable. Most of it will go away in time, but sometimes, you see an ex after many years and they are happy with someone else, it may surprise you how you would feel. I would not read too much into it about you, I think you are very normal. If hanging out and being friends with her is not so fun for you I really wouldn't do it. Tell her you need space and you don't know for how long, because I think it is hard to say at this point, don't you? I think that it is great that you were frank with her on how you felt.

    BTW, I am sorry but she is really tripping over the judgey side of me. Killing off a relationship right before the holidays, going with a married guy at work. It makes her pretty selfish and unprofessional in my book. (Sorry a bit cranky atm).
     
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  3. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member

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    As per usual @greylin hits the nail on the head. Only see her as a friend WHEN you're happy to, don't do it out of obligation/because she wants you to. Let yourself be angry, I don't mean confront her and have a big ol' argument, just let yourself acknowledge that feeling this way is alright.
     
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  4. consrock

    consrock Member

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    @greylin and @Nancy , thanks so much for taking time to share your thoughts. I'm relieved that you think how I'm feeling is ok, I've been losing a bit of sleep over it.
    And I think you're right that I need more time away from her. I'm going to explain that to her. And I guess if she understands then we might have a chance of being friends. If not, well then that's it.
     
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  5. Bluenote

    Bluenote Well-Known Member

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    OK, this is going to be a bit long, so please bear with me.

    No two relationships are the same and no two break ups are the same. No two friendships are the same and no two ways of being friends is exactly alike.

    You can't really put a set of rules out there "healing should only take 10% the amount of time you were in the relationship." Because, of course, things are very different if there was abuse, if the break up is amicable, etc... This goes for any other "rule" - to be friends or not, to keep in touch with the MIL or not, etc...

    Obviously, I have no clue if your gf started seeing this guy before you two were officially broken up.

    That being said, it doesn't sound like he is what broke you up. I mean, it sounds like you guys pretty clearly "grew apart." The fact that you don't sound gut wrenched heartbroken leads me to believe that you both see a fair amount of incompatibility and don't really think that your relationship was worth saving (or realistically, was savable).

    Sometimes when couples have "grown apart," they realize it slowly. But other times something triggers a big - aha moment. Maybe that is a health scare, or going back to school, or hitting a milestone like turning 35. And sometimes it is another person - even just having an unrequited crush can wake someone up to how their relationship is over.

    Which doesn't mean the other person broke up the relationship, any more than a health scare does - it just kind of provides the moment of clarity.

    I don't think there is a hard and fast rule about when and how to move on. Couples who grew apart might move on more quickly. There might be fewer hard or unresolved feelings. And, the couple may have been together in name only, but really living very independently in reality. And almost all couples come out of a break up with a bunch of unmet needs (if all their needs were met, why break up?)

    When I got divorced (I've since remarried), I started seeing someone pretty quickly. My marriage had been a mess for awhile before my ex-wife dumped me. There was no overlap, no cheating on my part. It was just a rebound. And, in my defense, she was really, really hot. Really Really Hot Girl (RRHG) and I kind of clicked doing all the things that I had missed in my broken marriage - dates, going dancing, having an actually effing sense of humor. But believe me, things were still a roller coaster on my end; I'd see RRHG on Saturday but wind up crying my guts out looking at pictures of my ex on Tuesday.

    Now, the next part, friends are not? You are not obligated to be her friend. You are certainly not obligated to approve of her affair, or to do anything socially with the two of them. It is also OK for you to take whatever time you need. If you need a few months to be friends, that is alright. If you need some time to get over being pissed at her and then go from there, that is alright, too. And it is OK for friends to be what you are OK with. Besties? Or people who make small talk if you wind up at the same party?

    After my ex and I broke up, we decided to be "friends." From my end, we had a lot of friends in common and I just didn't want the drama. So we were "friends," which meant being civil to each other in public and having very little to do with each other in any other setting.
     
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  6. consrock

    consrock Member

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    Thanks @Bluenote , I think you're right that this guy didn't break us up - but I do believe he was instrumental. That said, he was taking an opportunity and she let him. So I'm still a little angry with her.

    The anger thing got a teeny boost last night - I was out with friends and they mentioned that she's been posting photos of him (apparently she says he's "McDreamy") on her Facebook page. Now, she told me that he was a big secret and only 2 people knew about them. Facebook's not quite a secret place so I wondered if she told me about him so I wouldn't find out from my friends? And does posting photos signal rebound?

    Ok, yes, I do think I'm kinda jealous, I may not be in love with her like I was but I still love her and I appear to be in a "if i can't be with her no one should" type place - I feel like I'm back in school for gods sake.
    aarrrggghhh.
    I think I'll get a cat.
     
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  7. gr8dane

    gr8dane Member

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    I have an ex that wanted to be friends after she broke it off. I took the advice of someone who told me to take 60 days of no contact...and I mean nothing. It was possibly as hard as coming off heroin from what I have read.

    At the end of the 60 days I had a different perspective on the entire thing. I realized I did not want this person as a friend. My love goggles were removed and I saw so much so differently.

    You need this time for you. Be selfish and date yourself for a while (treat yourself how you would treat a new love interest). Find out more about you and what you want and need.

    You may want this woman as a friend however you need some time to deal with your feelings or every time you hear/read about her exploits with Mr. So and So, you'll get angry and that is not healthy. It is like re-opening a wound daily and it can't heal.

    I wish you all the best.
     
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  8. Spygirl

    Spygirl Well-Known Member

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    In my experience, I think friendships with an ex can happen if there's enough distance between the friendship and the relationship. Meaning -- you take whatever time you need to heal, regroup, and move on. Too many times we try to hang onto a relationship after it's ended by trying to be friends -- and then you witness things like your ex dating, and no matter what anyone says, it does sting even though you're over the relationship.

    If a friendship is meant to happen, then don't force the issue...be friends for the same reason you're friends with other people and not because you happened to date or be in a relationship at one point in time. I'm friends with some exes and not friends with others. There's no hard and fast rule.
     
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    Last edited: Mar 17, 2015
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  9. consrock

    consrock Member

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    Wise words @gr8dane, I really shoulda done the 60 day thing. That said, I am taking time for myself, not thinking about her at all and getting on with my life. I've bought new things for my house, clothes and booked a holiday. I've spent time reconnecting with my friends too, and that's been really lovely.
    Thank you for taking time to reply.
     
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  10. consrock

    consrock Member

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    ah @Spygirl you are, of course, so right and thanks for replying. Honestly, I'm not sure if I met my ex now we would be friends, she's a changed person and we don't have much in common any more. I guess its history that's keeping me talking to her, also she is having some problems with her health and at work and came to me abut them (like always). I didn't want to be a bitch about things so I helped her (not like I would've done when we were together tho). I'm not sure how I feel about that though.. Is she using me? (unintentionally or otherwise)
     
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  11. gr8dane

    gr8dane Member

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    Well done consrock!!!!!!!

    I threw out everything and I mean everything, plates, bed linens etc that reminded me of my ex. I even bought a new bedroom set and redecorated. Talk about a purge of things that reminded me of a very miserable time in my life. I found great awesome friends, in fact at this point in time I have amassed a great group of straight female friends most of which I met at my gym.

    I am staying away from the gay scene and temptation to mess around. And the funny thing is these women are all and I mean all, hotter than an Arizona summer. Being surrounded by that on a daily basis has really made it easy to say no to the odd advance I might get. I am in no shape to date and do not wish to drag some poor unsuspecting woman into my emotional recovery. And I am having a blast being single, and HAPPY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Do not underestimate the power of that 60 days. I no longer have any contact with the ex. Figured out that she is not someone I even want to be friends with after the fog cleared and I saw her for who she really is.
     
    #11
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  12. aftertheL

    aftertheL Guest

    First, let me say that I think that everyone who replied to your post has made some pretty good points and I don't feel like I can really add anything, but I read your story and I felt like another supportive message couldn't hurt. :)
    It's already been said, but you have every right in the world to feel angry. You are allowed to feel the way you do, whatever those feelings are and become over time. You shouldn't force yourself to accept something if it hurt you and/or made you upset.
    Ten years is a very long time to be with someone, and it can be quite hard to get used to this person not being in your life after a breakup.. I think that's sometimes why people try to stay friends, because in a way it feels less like an ending. There is no right or wrong answer about cutting her out of your life or not, and I think that you should take time to figure out what you want and what you will and won't accept from her. That said, I also think that you should take time for yourself without contacting her. I think it would be a good way for you to see clearer about this friendship issue.
    I was in a situation not so long ago where I was trying to force myself to be friends with someone who hurt me a lot, mostly because we had been good friends in the past and I was afraid to let it go. I think that I had known for a while that the friendship had to end and eventually something happened and it gave me the guts to end it. It wasn't easy, but when something hurts more than it makes you happy, I think that it's fair to try and make things better for yourself. I felt confused about this whole thing but a very supportive friend of mine told me that there's no point in suffering emotionally for the sake of being friends with someone, and I think that she was right. Just to be clear, I'm not saying the two situations are the same, it's obviously very different, but I also think that you shouldn't suffer just to be friends with her if you don't feel like it can bring you happiness.
    Also... There needs to be some trust for a friendship to be real. Do you still trust her?
    Anyway... I wish you the best of luck with everything, and feel free to message me if you ever need anything. :)
     
    #12
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  13. consrock

    consrock Member

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    hey @aftertheL, it's awesome to have the support I've got from everyone. Specially cos some days I need it more than others - It's her birthday next week and I just realised I don't need to do anything about it. Feels kinda weird. And kinda sad. Dammit.
     
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  14. Just Me

    Just Me Well-Known Member

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    It's my birthday next week, you can say happy birthday to me and get it out of your system :)


    Lol sorry, extremely bored in class... You should take that day to be selfish though and redeem yourself. Go out with friends and have a dinner or order in and watch your favorite show...
     
    #14
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  15. consrock

    consrock Member

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    Well, happy birthday to you for next week!! :)
    I like your idea - pizza and sci-fi it is for Tuesday.

    Now, pay attention in class..
     
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  16. gr8dane

    gr8dane Member

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    Good advice. Turn the sadness into something fun for yourself. Now is the time to be a tad slefish in a positive nurturing way.
     
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  17. aftertheL

    aftertheL Guest

    Hey! It's okay to be sad and to feel weird about it. I hope it went well and you managed to go through this day without feeling too bad. Hang in there!
     
    #17
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  18. consrock

    consrock Member

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    So here's the thing, I've not seen my ex since January and thats been good. Now she's contacted me and couple of others about getting together for dinner.
    (A little back story - my ex and I used to work together along with a couple of other ladies and we all had a real laugh at work. We hung out after work and all got on really well. Eventually we all went our separate ways but still get together a few times a year to catch up.)
    I've agreed to go (cos I don't get to see the others often) but I am def a little worried about seeing my ex. She seems happy and life is good for her. And while I'm doing ok I'm just not sure I should go.
    What does everyone think??
     
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  19. Lauren_1989

    Lauren_1989 Active Member

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    Hi, kinda jumping in half way through the conversation here but my advice would be to not see your ex until you're sure you're ready. Do not sacrifice your emotional recovery for this. I'm sure the other ladies in your group would understand if you explained the situation to them and perhaps you could organise something separate with them at a later date. This is an opportunity to rebuild your life in a way that suits you. If you're not 100% ready to see your ex then my advice would be to put yourself first!
     
    #19
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  20. consrock

    consrock Member

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    Yeah, I'm gonna cancel. It feels unfair (on me and my friends) but I can't risk going backwards now. Just spending a few days thinking about it has made me stressed. And honestly I can't begin all that crap again.
     
    #20
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