This topic contains 9 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by Lane 1 year ago.
March 8, 2020 at 10:44 am #786838
does that mean you never loved them? Because I need help figuring that out
The only way I can see myself reaching out to her ever again is if I somehow found out she was doing terribly and didnt have much support. In the end she had come a long way from her depressed/anxious state but she needed a ton of emotional support during the relationship and honestly, I enjoyed being there for her in various ways and times. I was very selfless and she’d tell me that too. I asked stuff of her too dont get me wrong, maybe not very demanding which is a reflection of how close I am with someone, but you had to be understanding with her.
In the end I struggled to break up with her until I knew she was ready. And I encouraged her to build a support system besides myself before that point. When she finally she was ready to move on, hearing that hurt more than you can imagine, but with some outside advice/strength I accepted her decision and left. Note: I did not hop onto dating anyone. Even though I lost trust in her towards the end, I wanted to give our 3.5 year relationship respect by not suddenly dating someone else. I genuinely enjoyed the first ~3 years of it. It was like a dream.
But 7 months after the break up I’m questioning now if that was really love? It did feel like it during the rship. But then why did I not fight for her or go back? Why will I not accept her if she comes back (she will never)? I still think about her sometimes. It doesnt make sense
y’all have a wealth of experience and rship knowledge, so any input appreciated :)March 10, 2020 at 10:35 am #787048
To me you are describing a teacher-student dynamic. As in she relief very heavy on you at first and you liked it but also you wanted her to be more selfrelient. You build her up and set her free. Is that love? I think not in a partnership sense. There was never enough balance for that. But somehow she struck a nerve in your helping damsels in distress desires. As the male version of Florence nightingale fixing mode. It was for some reason a relationship with a clear start and end and therefore im not surprised you dont miss her. Also i feel you set her up: you set her moving off in motion and then you say she lost your trust. All in all i would call it a classic co-dependent relationship and you might want to take some time thinking on the appeal it had for youMarch 10, 2020 at 10:36 am #787049
Relief is reliedMarch 10, 2020 at 11:25 am #787055
Anderson, you sound like a nice guy and the fact you are reflecting back on this to gain more experience and knowledge about relationships is awesome! I really like Newbie’s analysis and do think at some point the dynamic of your relationship changed. When a relationship gets so one sided to where one partner is doing all the work, and giving all the emotional support to the other without getting any back in return I think the feelings of love start to die. She was depressed and anxious and it sounds like you were her entire support system. Then you felt trapped because if you left and broke up with her you would make her problems worse. So you hung around long enough to help her build a support system so you could leave. You were probably emotionally drained and just numb from having to deal with her issues and never being able to rely on her for your emotional support.
Gradually your feelings became those of feeling an obligation to her or wanting to make sure she is okay but the love was gone. I think we are all looking for a partner in life to share the good times and the bad times. Someone to hold us up when we are weak and be by our side when we are strong. And it goes through cycles where you can rely on each other and hopefully both of you aren’t going through something bad at the same time. It may not always be 50/50, but it should always balance back out close to that. If the relationship is 90/10 it’s just not going to work.
It doesn’t mean you didn’t love her. It just means you may have been in love with her at one point but something happened to change that. Unfortunately that tends to happen when we become unhappy and unfulfilled in a relationship.March 10, 2020 at 11:43 pm #787170
Every single person we love, we love in a unique way. There isn’t one objective measuring stick to tell you if you really loved her or not.
This doesn’t sound like a relationship of two equals.
I think you were done with this person and this dynamic and if you never contact again it’s nothing about whether you really loved her or not. It’s about you grew and moved on and don’t feel the need to look backward.March 11, 2020 at 12:38 am #787175
All great replies. I’ll just add that love isn’t a half of what is needed for a relationship to last, it’s much more complicated than that. So you might have loved her, but other things that came into play (such as, maybe her mental state?) disturbed the relationship and prevented you from fighting for her. Why would you fight if you knew this isn’t going to be a good relationship? I like to think that I loved my exes. But I’m glad I’m not with them and I’m not planning on contacting them either.June 1, 2020 at 9:44 am #791781
Thank you everyone for the responses. Some very true and thought provoking points. Sorry for replying so late. In short, it’s not entirely easy to keep talking about this with the transparency it deserves without needing a breather in between.
I should’ve mentioned that my relationship with my ex didnt ruin because of her emotional issues. She never felt like a burden, unless I was lying to myself. I loved being her rock. And she was mine but not as much (ingrained male ego to suck at receiving/asking for help). We ended because she emotionally cheated, and it damaged me and the rship for 2 whole months because she couldnt make up her mind. I suddenly realized that she was not ready for what I wanted. And everything soured after that point.June 1, 2020 at 9:55 am #791784
“You build her up and set her free. Is that love? I think not in a partnership sense.”
That’s a great question because my idea of love might be the core issue here. So I would like some guidance, please. Y’all are right that I get a fix from fixing people. I’ll also admit I’m not 100% certain what love is. But I always imagined an ideal relationship to be one where you build up each other. And in a way that involves setting a partner free…? Don’t get me wrong I love feeling depended on. But at the same time I will always push a partner towards growth and independence. (Or even a close friend). That doesn’t imply encouraging them to date someone else, or violating basic things that make a monogamous relationship etc. I dont know. It’s like the quote: Anyone can stand adversity, but if you want to test someone’s character, give them power. I always thought love was both people having the freedom/power to do whatever, but still choosing to be with someone. I could play mind games with a partner and make her keep chasing me, valuing me, never taking me for granted. But it’s not worth the time and energy. My ex didnt need to worry if I was cheating in any ways with others. (And I did get occasional strong interest from other women but I wouldnt pursue it). I may have even told her that if I wanted to cheat I’m such a good liar she would never find out. But the point is cheating doesnt stroke my ego. It holds no meaning, value or challenge.
But now I’m starting to wonder if you *need* to have someone fear they’ll lose you in order to stay with you or be loyal. As a kid I overheard people say various things like “Keep your woman/wife in control by never giving in completely etc or she’ll cheat etc” And I always thought that was such nonsense. But if there is some truth to that, then I’ll give up on the idea of a lifepartner. I can’t imagine being with a partner and -not- supporting them wholeheartedly and being their rock.
I’m thick skinned and enjoy being corrected so feel free to tell me if I’m wrong or naive in any of this. In case you’re wondering that I seem like the goodest man ever and there’s gotta be a catch. There is. I did various wrong things since a little kid, and beat myself up for ages, and that’s why my conscience as an adult is so hyperactive.June 1, 2020 at 11:09 am #791794
A lot of the things in your post are worrisome. Pushing a partner to independence with a close friend, saying you’re a good liar and she would never find out if you cheated, enjoying being corrected, so no you don’t sound like the “goodest man ever” in your post. And no being a good partner isn’t about building someone up to set them free. Or testing their character by giving them power. Anytime you open your heart to love someone you give them the power to hurt you. They always have the freedom and power to leave the relationship but the fact they choose to stay and be loyal is what shows their love. And you’re wrong. You can’t play mind games to keep someone chasing you and never taking you for granted. That might work for weeks or months but will never work in the long term because it won’t be worth their time or energy either.
When I’m looking for a partner I’m looking for someone who has their act together. And I mean someone who mentally, emotionally, and financially has their act together. I don’t want someone with addiction or dependency issues or mental health issues or who has a ton or debt and can’t manage their budget. Because I have worked hard to get my life together and I want a spouse who is an equal, not someone who depends on me to “push” them to grow and be independent. Someone who supports me, will always have my back, and is there for me but could totally live their life without me. I want them to WANT me not NEED me. And it is nonsense that a woman will cheat in you give in to her completely. In my opinion a woman is more likely to cheat if you aren’t meeting her emotional needs by letting her know how much you love her and would never want to hurt her or leave her. My husband and I both have zero tolerance for affairs. He knows if he has an emotional or physical affair, I won’t tolerate and I will leave. Likewise he feels the same way if I were to cheat. So if he doesn’t want to lose me he will stay faithful and so will I.
A piece of advice, in the future never tell a woman you’re such a good liar she would never find out if you cheated. Being a good liar is not a positive trait nor something a woman would want in a partner. I hope I am getting the wrong impression from your post because you now sound like you want to find a person you can make and shape into what you want. You use action words like “build up” and “push toward growth.” If you are out there looking for a woman you need to “fix” you have the absolute wrong mindset. I’ve known men like that. Usually they are older and choose younger women they can manipulate. They like these women to be dependent on them so they can’t leave. They control every aspect of their life, they tell them how to dress, how to act, who they can hang out with, where they can go, what time to be home, etc. Please tell me I’m getting the wrong impression here.June 1, 2020 at 5:00 pm #791831
It sounds like you’re struggling with the [Hollywood] IDEA of what love should look or feel like but the problem with this, is you are trying to compare and contrast it, to the law of physics, and why you’re failing because is love is not static, it ebbs, flows, flattens, rises, and in a perpetual state of motion based on one’s emotions, at any given point in time.
I would say you did love her, or you wouldn’t have stayed with her for so long. You knew there would be obstacles going in; took on the challenge; and this was the result of doing so. All relationships are challenging, and you can never know how it will go until you reach each milestone. Its good you’re reflecting on it to try and understand your part and role in it, as long as you take the lessons learned, and work on the areas you know you need work in, such as co-dependency.
Just know, contact and love have nothing to do with each other. It comes down to each individual in how they process or deal with the ending/death of a relationship. Some are able to become better friends than they were lovers. Others have to co-parent so no contact is not a viable option. And others simply don’t have the desire to remain connected to an ex.
I fall in the “no contact” bunch because I personally don’t see the need or value of remaining in contact with an ex. When I shut that door, I have no desire to keep it open, and find its best to just move on with my life, and let them move on with theirs.