Is letting go the best option?

Discussion in 'Relationships' started by Craner, Jan 9, 2017.

  1. Craner

    Craner Member

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    Hi everyone, I have always been stalking this forum on and off throughout the years but never thought I'd have the courage to open an account let alone start my own thread but here I am and here's my story.

    I have been in love with a girl (who thinks she is bi) whom I met in uni for 6 yrs and I have always played the good friend role in the first 3 years, helping her go through her breakup with her then bf which she couldn't let go because of her not wanting to lose attitude.

    One day because of something I said she picked up that I probably see her as more than a friend and later on she said that she liked me too and we got together and lived together shortly after. It was not too long after her breakup but she ensured me I wasn't a rebound and she is long over her past relationship.

    We are now both in our mid twenties and had 1-2 years of happy albeit minor ups and downs time until our 3rd year together when she started getting more and more distant and defensive, making it harder for me to find a connection with her. We recently had a talk and she told me that she wasn't sure this is the life she can live with (the society we live in is quite traditional and homosexuality is illegal although you can still see couples around openly).

    I have always loved her with all I have and have told my trusted colleagues about our relationship because I am proud of her and wants her to know that I will always put her first before my friends (because I work long hours till late night at times). But this triggered an argument and resulted in her avoiding meeting my colleagues anymore if possible because she isn't comfortable.

    It seems to me that she can't truly love me and accept our relationship because she can't let her family down. She has to be a good role model and live the traditional life. I know her family and have always followed her back to her house during weekends. Her parents sees us as best friends and I've never forced her to come out to her parents about us because I know it will upset them. I never told mine as well although I always wanted to because it will upset her and make her uncomfortable.

    Recently we broke up because I couldn't stand it anymore. All these hiding made me resentful and sarcastic. Having to pretend that we are nothing but just best friends in front of our mutual friends and her colleagues. Having to joke about when we will each meet our Prince Charming etc is taking its toll on me because I'm a very honest person and hate living a lie. I have confronted her on this issue a few times and each time she asked me for more time which I patiently waited but all she did was avoid and pretend everything is fine. She told me when we began she thought she had the courage to live this life but now she tells me that she don't think she'll ever have the courage to come out to anyone.

    We used to talk about going to a foreign country to work together. It hurts me so much to think that after 3 years, only now she realise that she can't go through with this. That she is not sure. That she is not like me, I'm a lesbian whereas she is bi. She is not sure if she would not fall for another guy in the future. It hurts me to think that after I gave her the whole of my heart all these while, she kept a part of her heart for her future guy. She insists that she really loved me but I don't see it the same way because how can you really love someone if part of your mind is thinking that someday you might go back to guys.

    I really didn't want to give up on us but she left me no choice because I don't want to see her suffer anymore because all these anxiety and pressures from her family is making her life difficult. I also didn't want to turn into a bitter and sarcastic person that would get on her nerves and soon hate. Am I wrong to stop tolerating her indecision and lack of courage? I really miss her but I only want the best for her even if it kills me. I wish there was any other option but there's only so much I can do. Will I live to regret letting the love of my life go?
     
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  2. greylin

    greylin Well-Known Member

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    Yes, let go.

    I think it is a healthy thing for you to break up because you cannot live with hiding anymore. I hope you can find it in your heart to not judge her choices. It is not just growing up having someone tell you all your life your feelings for women is immoral, it is also illegal. That could scare lots of people back into the closet. I am not sure what I would have done if I were living in your country. I think you are very brave. If I were to put myself in her shoes, Bi or not, having a backup plan on marrying men or not, if I had made the steps to go with you, I would have expected you to help protect me. I think your outing her broke some trusts. You guys were not on the same page about that at all.

    I understand your feelings that you don't think she cherished your relationship as you have. Please don't think of it that way. Each person has her boundaries. Your boundary is to be as open as possible about your relationship. Her boundary is staying deep in the closet. It is not about lying or being truthful or not, it is about personal safety and being able to survive in society. Even though you both live in the same society, the feeling of safety often differs in varying degrees among people.

    Yes, let go, but forgive yourself and her. I hope you can appreciate how much you both have tried.
     
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    Last edited: Jan 9, 2017
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  3. Craner

    Craner Member

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    Thanks @greylin for replying and you're right. We live in the same society but have much different family backgrounds. I live in a big city whereas she lives in a small town. My family doesn't have many relatives we are very close to, whereas her family practically knows the whole village and there's too much reputation at stake.

    About breaking her trust I never really saw it that way until you pointed it out but yea you are right, she didn't want me to tell but I did anyway because me and my colleagues so happened had a bonding session, topic being relationships and I didn't think it through before disclosing since I always felt having her in my life was my greatest joy and I knew I could trust my friends not to judge. It's not like she never told any of her friends before, she did tell a few of her colleagues when we first got together but ever since she moved to a bigger company, she kept it secret because she just didn't want people to look at her differently. We were always opposites actually, me not giving a damn about how people see me whereas she cares too much about other's perceptions.

    Regarding illegality in my country, as I live in a multi-racial country, it would be more applicable to Muslims but yea, the traditional society still views homosexuality as something unnatural and disgraceful. Sometimes I wish I was a guy and things would've been so much more simpler but I'm not and never will be.

    Honestly, I actually don't mind living in the closet with her when it comes to her family and mine but seeing her suffer and our relationship suffer because of the pressures she is facing forced me into letting her go however reluctant, because I know she can't bear to hurt me but yet don't have the courage to be open together. I didn't want her to continue wasting her youth on me when I know eventually it will have to end. The marriage thing is a biting concern when it comes to girls our age and I can never blame her for choosing to live a life her family wants and society sees fit. I just wished that our love had been enough for her to pick up the courage and live our life together.

    Anyways, having written all these here has really lifted a heavy weight off my shoulders because it's been killing me that I have no one I can talk to regarding my breakup. Thank you very much for reading and responding.
     
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  4. greylin

    greylin Well-Known Member

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    I am sorry that you have to bear this loss. It is not that there was not enough love, there was, just not enough for this really rough circumstance you both were in. I cringed with you when you mentioned having to joke about meeting prince charming. That had to be just awful. I wish for you that you can find someone who can be equally yoked with you on this and be the kind of couple you want to be.
     
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  5. Bluenote

    Bluenote Well-Known Member

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    Honestly, I think this answers your question.

    Yes, you should let go - because there really isn't anything to hold on to anymore.

    The two of you are in different places and your needs are very different. Her situation is different from yours - she lives in a conservative country, with a conservative and close knit family, in a conservative town. It is very reasonable that she is not comfortable coming out. I don't think that it is a matter of "courage," but rather tough choices in difficult circumstances.

    I never advocate that someone has to come out, I always say think carefully if it could put you in physical danger, cost you family, your job, leagle troubles, etc... Of course, in that case I tell people they don't have to live in the closet forever, they can come up with a long term plan to change their circumstances so they can come out.

    This is what happened to me. I lived with conservative, violent parents in a conservative town. I made plans to go away to college in a more liberal area. I staid in the closet until I was away at college. I know plenty of other people who didn't come out until they were independent from their families, until they lived in a more liberal place, etc...

    She is in a tough place - give up her family, her home town, maybe even her country so she can be 'out,' or give up same sex love.

    Let's say, hypothetically, that she said yes and moved somewhere liberal with you (the US, the UK, etc... you get the idea). Could you really stand her giving up that much for you? Wouldn't you feel bad and guilty that she missed her parents, missed her home? Wouldn't it be hard every time she complained about the cold, or the weird food, or missing her mum's cooking? Wouldn't that leave an unspoken 'I gave up all that for you?' Could any relationship survive that much sacrifice and guilty? Could that ever be healthy?

    Now, it would be different if you both couldn't live a lie and wanted to get out of there. But if she doesn't want it -for herself - then it is just too much to do for anyone else's sake.

    She did truly love you. You are committing a logical falicy here, the old "if she loves me she would do anything for me, if she isn't willing to do anything for me, she must not truly love me."

    Loving someone does not mean that we give up everything else - all our other boundaries, identities, desires, etc... We all have to negotiate who we are with our relationships. Loving someone doesn't mean that we have to give up our safety, our families, our careers, etc... So yes, she loved you. But she just can't give up just about everything else to be with you. She doesn't want to have to make that choice, but society has forced her into a tough corner and she is doing what she thinks is best (and safest) for her.

    We could flip this on it's head and say "if you loved her, you would never ask her to give up that much for you."

    Of course, that would be false, as well. You can love her very much, but just not be able to stand living in the closet. You may really need to move to a liberal country. Needing that doesn't mean that you never truly loved her. It just means that society has forced you into a tough corner and you are going to do what is best for you (aka moving away.)

    This is a difficult topic. It is always hard to think about breaking up and our exes moving on to date someone else. That being said, things that we do in the future do not totally cancel out things that we did in the past.

    Let's say that someone is a good kid / teen who loves their parents. Then they get into their 20s and get really into drugs, turning into an addict. The fact that they are a selfish and irresponsible 20 year old doesn't mean that they didn't really love their parents as a 10 year old. It just means that that loving 10 year old turned into an adult who made bad decisions.

    Similarly, with people - it doesn't mean that they never loved you just because someday you break up and go on to date other people.

    Take you, for example. What does your future hold? Will you move to another country and meet a girl there? Will you fall in love with this girl and maybe even marry her? Just because you love a new girl, does that mean that you never loved your ex?

    Of course not. It just means that as humans we have the capacity to love, to lose love, to heal and to love again.

    That doesn't make us defective, or mean that we never loved. Honestly, it is probably an adaptation to the fact that all of us lose someone (or many people) along the way. If we didn't have the capacity to heal from a broken heart, most of us would be destroyed by life, condemned to live out our days without love.

    You see yourself with a girl who can be out. She sees that maybe someday she will be with a guy. That doesn't mean that you didn't love each other. It just means that you have different dreams and different needs. Not right or wrong, just different. Of course it hurts to think of her moving on. But it probably hurts her to think of you happy with another woman.

    Just try to let go of her peacefully and gracefully. Try not to judge her choices, or doubt her love.
     
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  6. Craner

    Craner Member

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    Thanks @greylin, yes, having to play along in those sort of conversations is the hardest thing I had to do. Now all I can hope for is that she can find someone else that will love her and live up to her family & society's expectations whereas I will seek for a life away from this country, away from her because I just can't bear to see her with anyone else.
     
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  7. Craner

    Craner Member

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    Thanks @Bluenote for the advice. Yes, we live in a fairly conservative country but I wouldn't say there would be violence towards us if we were to come out. I've always thought to myself what might happen if my family knew and the worst case scenario is that they'll kick me out of the house which is why I'm looking to establish myself in a foreign country before I come out to them. I never had a bf so for me, the expectations is not as high since I always kept to myself and am fairly independent. But for her it's much different, everyone knows she was in a relationship with a guy for 6 years and hence the pressure is mounting now since its been 3 years without a guy in her life. Sometimes I wonder why people don't realise that we are actually a couple when we always seemed inseparable. My cousin found out that way but I guess it's easier for people who can't accept to believe that we are nothing more than just best friends.

    I have no doubt in my mind she would never give up her family for me. They are always very close and yes, she definitely will miss the food. We've talked about going on work/travel programme and working overseas for a couple of years and eventually returning home but now it looks like I have to go through this on my own.

    And you're right, I always live with constant guilt because I feel like I'm the one preventing her from living a normal life, if I didn't appear, she would've probably fell in love with another man and lived happily ever after. My existence caused her so much emotional and mental torment to the point of anxiety and that's just not healthy.

    Actually I have always lived in the closet with her when it comes to her family, her set of friends/colleagues. Having to lie when they ask if she has a boyfriend, why not since she's quite charming etc. It's hard on me because over time, it made me feel even more insecure because she knows she is safe with me when most of my friends knows about us and I always put her first before my friends, whereas for her, I always have to deal with feelings of jealousy and insecurity because 1) nobody knows, hence thinks she's available 2) she's charming and flatters ppl when she talks 3) does not realise when ppl are flirting with her and making advances (I guess part of her enjoys the attention). It doesn't help that the effort she puts into our relationship has dwindled since the initial year making me feel less important. We've spoke about this and she knows she has taken me for granted but doesn't seem to up the effort anyways.

    I don't know if I'll meet another whom I'll love as deeply as her because I've always been an introverted person. If it wasn't for her confronting me about my feelings for her, we probably never would have started since I never wanted to put her in this position in the first place. But I suppose deep down I knew from day one there would not be a happy ending which was why I always wrote her a lil something on our monthsaries to capture our happy memories.

    We are still housemates though not roommates anymore. It's hard for us both now since we were each other's best friends and she still wants to maintain that but I don't know how to play that role anymore. Yet totally cutting off from her is making my life miserable as well but I can't talk normally without feeling hurt.
     
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  8. Gentry

    Gentry Active Member

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    Hi @Craner. You did the right thing. I know it sucks right now but it will get better.. Just let things play out, what's supposed to happen will happen. Trust that eventually you'll end up where you need to be and with who you're meant to be with.

    Also, fuck society.
     
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  9. Craner

    Craner Member

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    Hi @Gentry, yea, it does sucks.. My brain keeps telling me to just let it go but my heart still wants to hold on to it.. For now, we are just gonna stay as friends but it's definitely going to be hard for me to balance between being a good friend and not falling back to a lover role ie) doing too much and getting hurt again. Don't know how it will pan out but I think only by leaving the country would I be able go really move on.. Hopefully society in the future will be much kinder so other people don't have to go through what we have to =/
     
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  10. Gentry

    Gentry Active Member

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    Just be careful not to fall into a pseudo relationship with her or else you will get hurt some more. You deserve someone who will go all the way with you. Don't settle for 50% or 70%, wait for that 100%. I also think you might need some space away from her or maybe lessen your conversations for a while. It will be much harder for both of you to move on if you still talk/interact a lot. The situation is out of your control, even if you try all over again, no matter how much you ignore the problem, you will only fall into the same mistakes and hurt each other. Focus on improving yourself, welcome new opportunities (and women). Go on adventures with friends. Look awesome. Read more. Learn an instrument. You will heal soon and maybe find love soon

    I wish you all the best xx
     
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  11. Craner

    Craner Member

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    Thanks @Gentry, yes, it does seem like that is the kind of relationship she wants to maintain, all the good stuff but without the burden of the title which she says she can't live with anymore. After cooling off abit, we have now started talking back abit but it is not like it used to be, more awkward since I'm still recovering from the hurt whereas she acts as if nothing happened.

    Definitely, my priority now will be myself, I know I will have to let her go. I've been picking back my guitar and reading which I left since I got together with her. Hopefully I'll get a new job soon and get out of this place and live a new life.

    Thanks everyone for the support and I hope I'll be able to come back to this topic few years down the road and say that I've fully recovered =)
     
    #11
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