This topic contains 151 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by redcurleysue 6 years, 6 months ago.
August 7, 2014 at 2:21 pm #357958
I’ve been searching the internet for some advice and this looks like a nice friendly forum. I could really do with some helpful advice on a difficult situation that I am in right now. My ex is in the military and has just been overseas in a remote location for several months (nearly a year!). Before he went away we talked about a future together and agreed to start saving for a mortgage for when he came home. He came back for some leave half way through his tour and we decided to start renting together at this point. I moved into a place while he was away and he paid half of all the bills and seemed to be really looking forward to coming home. He talked about starting a family all the time and said it was that thought that kept him happy while he was away. A few months before he was due to come home things started to break down in the relationship. He was booking lots of holidays and making lots of plans with his friends over the summer when I felt he should have been investing more in spending time with me. Having been hurt and cheated on in the past I felt insecure about what was going on and expressed my concerns. However he very lovingly reassured me that he just needed this time to blow off a little steam after being away for so long and that he loved me to bits and wouldn’t do anything to hurt me. I felt happy with this but then other nagativities started creeping in to our relationship. I was having some problems with the place that we were renting and I expressed all these difficulties to him which must have left him feeling helpless that he wasn’t there and there was nothing he could do. The relationship started to feel strained.
Then out of the blue I got a message saying he wanted to put the breaks on with regards to our future plans but not to worry and that he still loved me just wasn’t ready for big commitments like marriage and children at this point. My heart fell out of my chest but I accepted that he was in a difficult environment and that we should wait till he was home to discuss such things. He then began expressing doubts over living together and said that when he came home he would need some space. As much as we did have a row about this and it killed me I decided to stick things out until he was home. I just thought that things must have been difficult for him over there.
Eventually he came back to the UK and came back early and surprised me which was lovely and we spent a week together. After this time I had still felt concerned about what had happened while he was away and told him that I loved and and wanted to be with him but that it would take time for the trust to return to 100% for me. His response to this was that he felt something was missing and the spark was no longer there for us. He said he wa just putting it down to being apart for so long and that things may have been fine but that it was now my fault because I had started string things. He said that as we had both now expressed doubts over the relationship he couldn’t continue to move forward together and that was pretty much that.
I didn’t really panic at the time as I thought he had made a rash decision and that he would be back given time. He contacted me on and off for the week following but it was mainly about collecting belonging and sorting things out. I was quite frosty during this time only responding as and when necessary. Eventually he came over to collect his belongings and after talking he told me that he still loved me and that I was still his girl. He seemed really genuine and I felt we would work things out. he said he wanted to spend time with me to see if we could get things back. He said he would say lets just continue with the relationships but he was worried that it would only carry on the way it was, so I suggested sending some time together to see where things lead which he agreed to. He didn’t seem to want to leave and was really upset and kissed me and gave me the biggest hug as he left.
For the following couple of weeks he contacted me on and off for really silly things and it felt like they were just excuses to get in touch. This again reassured me he would be be back. He told me he missed me and said he thought www were going to be together forever and that the breakup was killing him. Just two weeks after he said this I discovered he was spending time with his ex. Contact with me then stopped and he now appears to be wither with her or pursuing her.
I don’t get it. Is this what the breakup was all about? Has she come back into his life and he’s questioned things with me? Is she a rebound? Will he be back? He is posting pictures of them doing things together all over Facebook and appears to be making friends and reconnecting with all her family and friends on there. It kills me when I thought we could work things out that this has happened. His family and friends must also wonder what on earth is going on as one minute he is with me and then a few weeks later he is with her?
Should I wait for this man? Please help.August 7, 2014 at 3:35 pm #357980
How long were you together and how long WAS he broken up with her when he got with you ??? And did SHE break it off with him in the first place ???? And….what ages are you both ???? I need these facts to make a clearer assumption of all . ThanksAugust 7, 2014 at 5:01 pm #358000
I can speak to this being that I was in the military and then married to it for over 20+ years. Although our experiences came out differently we share similarities.
Back story: My (now ex) husband and I met while we were both on a remote assignment in Sicily (USAF) and received orders to separate bases. He actually stayed in Sicily another year to get his orders changed to my base so we could be together. About 8 months into our separation I broke up due to the distance and started started dating again. A few months later he called me on my birthday and asked if I would pick him up from the airport the next week to report in on the base I was at. I agreed, more out of being nice as I had been dating another guy for a couple months, but the moment I picked him up it was as if the year of separation didn’t happen and we picked right back up where we left off and were married 10 months later.
Personally, I believe he started pulling away when you complained too much about problems he wasn’t able to solve. Military men (or those who travel a lot) need to know their mates are confident, strong and able to tackle problems on their own when they’re away. Mine was gone for weeks, months, and even up to a year over the course of our marriage. I had to keep everything under control and let him know it with POSITIVE reports that everything was fine, including our 2 sons (even if they were misbehaving), so he didn’t have to worry.
Mine also took R&R trips during his deployments on occasion with military friends to blow off steam and thought nothing of it, because I took trips with my sister, girlfriends or with the kids when he was deployed too. You can’t stop living your life and having fun just because he’s away, in fact, you need to get out more when they’re gone or you’ll drive yourself crazy sitting at home.
Distance can put a huge strain on relationships and although you didn’t say how long you were together before he left, its hard to maintain the same spark and interest the longer you’re apart. You really need to be strong and have thick skin or you won’t survive in a military environment, and its likely he didn’t think you could handle it which altered his future picture with you?
I don’t know if his ex is a rebound or not because technically although you had a relationship you really weren’t IN a relationship because of the distance. The fact you started off so early with all your “concerns” and you didn’t “trust him” was more of a buzz kill than a happy reunion IMO. You should have been THRILLED he was back and spent more of your time reconnecting and having fun like you did when you started dating and treated the separation like it didn’t happen (like I did).
I don’t think he’s coming back. Being that he’s with another woman, ex or not, is pretty much telling YOU I’ve moved on and so should you. I know its hard but his mind appears to be made up at this point so I would really try to let go and move on as quickly as possible because constantly torturing yourself over it isn’t going to do you any good even IF he came back because the elephant (lack of trust) would be even BIGGER than it was before he came back.August 7, 2014 at 5:02 pm #358003
I think they had been broken up for about 8 months before we got together – she got into another relationship quickly but is now newly single. They were together for 3 years and engaged. She broke the engagement off, he said they used to argue a lot. They are both in the military and I think it was hard for them to keep the long distance thing going with being away so much. Apparently she chose to go away somewhere for 6 months when she could have stayed at home with him and that was the final straw. I know he must have loved her very much but when we were together he always told me he loved me more than he had loved anyone and that what we had was better than what they had together. I have been with him for almost 2 years and we only broke up 5 weeks ago. He is 29 and I am 31.
Looking forward to your take on things. Thanks for responding.August 7, 2014 at 5:16 pm #358007
It hurts but I guess I needed to hear it. I hadn’t looked at it that way and feel pretty guilty now. He actually signed off so we could have a future where we spend more time together. He is coming out early next year, the reason being that he didn’t like leaving me and wanted us to have a family and be around more. All this happened in the last few months of him being over there and it is a complete turn around in his behaviour. Prior to this all he used to say to me was that the thought of coming home and starting a family was what kept him going. It was always him that initiated moving the relationship forward. During his last few months away he started swinging backwards and forwards with his decision about commitment and being in the relationship. He kept saying he needed to come home as his head was in bits. His family and friends have said that his behaviour recently has been really out of character. I do wonder whether he is having some kind of breakdown. Either way I guess this is something he needs to work through on his own.
I would have really felt that I should just move on, but I am struggling with the fact he said the break up was killing him as he thought we were going to be together forever and he asked if I felt that we could ever be together again. This was only a few weeks ago, but like I said, the week after I discovered he had met up with her and communication has faded since then.August 7, 2014 at 5:56 pm #358009
Long distance is hard. Period. The bonding that is needed to stay together nearly impossible, even under the best of circumstances.
Men are logical. And long distance is almost always killed by logic. Long distance only really works because of heart – you have no other real connection. So when the heart falters, the logic comes in and kicks in and is done for most men.
It is ok to vent frustrations, but remember, in human behavior with people, you need to have one positive negative interaction to every 5 positive to make any people relationship work. So, if you were not in that balance, that will kill it.
Also, when venting, it is ok to say – I am venting, can you just listen, that will make me feel so supported. Then they know they do not have to act, otherwise they want to fix things, and if there is a challenge to that, that is it… Then say thank you.
This sounds over for now. I suggest to get out, and not speak to him. Make him feel the tension. The reality is that he will most likely start fighting with her again, and then reach out, unless they have really assessed what went wrong and how they will be now. I doubt that has happened. But, keep your chin up, by going no-contact.August 8, 2014 at 4:35 am #358048
Yup.. I think they ( ex and him)have unfinished business. Sounds like he has several issues to clear up. I would take Lane and Talllady’s advice. I know it’s hard, but just move on with life. having NO CONTACT ( and we all mean NONE) lets YOU heal and take care of yourself. You get your emotions/actions under control and with time more clarity. It lets HIM.. really miss you and decide if he wants you back.
NO CONTACT.. usually means they get back in touch.. mine did after 7 weeks.. but he disappearded again, then came back, then did it again, then came back..I said “feck off” at this stage.
WHEN. he gets in touch again.. YOU .. NEED to establish is he back for good or to use you and for an ego boost. TIME WILL TELL. It’s hard waiting I know.. but don’t exactly “wait ” Live your life. The most unexpected things happen when you LEAST expect it. I went back to where I first met my ex.. met an old mate, we hooked up for one night.. I am now officially OVER my ex…. now I have to just get over the latest hook up. ha ha ha !
Stay strong. Show him you are fun, independent and tough.. don’t NEED him , just WANT him.August 8, 2014 at 5:32 am #358049
Hi Claire, Hope you have family and friends around you , and you are getting great advice on here.
You are hoping that she is a rebound? And you would consider taking him back after this? Only you can decide that but in the meantime I think he has gone back to his ex.
Myself i’m not very good with no contact, recently I was in a brief relationship he started to fade away, I saw a message online which led me to think he was seeing someone else, so I texted him to find out for sure. The not knowing was what was killing me!
He replied with a long text basically saying sorry and yes it was true.
I think you deserve some answers from this guy, are you still in contact? I have since deleted all contact with my guy all photos everything as it hurt so much even to look at him. Would you consider deleting him/them off your Facebook?August 8, 2014 at 6:29 am #358054
Thanks for all of your supportive responses.
Tallady – Yes, I think the distance has been hard and could have been handled better on my part as Lane suggested. I do wonder whether some of this has come out of womens intuition though. It seems slightly suspect to me that as soon as we broke up he was in contact with her literally the next day. I don’t think he is one to cheat but I do think conversations have taken place prior and maybe she is the reason that he has been unsure about us moving forward. I didn’t feel insecure in our relationship ever until during the last couple of months, when I’m guessing she may have been back on the scene.
I do think he needs to explore things with her whether it works out for them or not. If it does then I will have to wish them the very best in my heart. However if it doesn’t and he can come back with the right attitude, or if he decides that she does not compare to me then I believe we will be able to have a more solid relationship with him after (if I choose to at that point).
No contact shouldn’t be a problem for me. My issue is checking facebook and following what is going on between the two of them. I know I need to stop this, it’s addictive though and it is hard but I must really try for my own healing.
Since we broke up I have not initiated any of the contact, it has always come from his side first and I have responded with the way I felt right. I had several ‘I miss you’ text messages in the first couple of weeks after the breakup. The first one I jokingly responded by just saying “that’s because i’m awesome” and then just went in to some brief small talk. After the second message I said I missed him too which actually opened up a deeper conversation with him saying that he is gutted about the way things have ended and that he really wanted to live with me and make me happy and that he was sorry he couldn’t do that. He said he was sorry he couldn’t keep me in love with him, which wasn’t true and i responded by telling him that I loved him very much and I still do. This then led to him asking if I thought we could ever be together again and I suggested that we meet up – however as you know he seems to have been spending time with her now and I haven’t heard much over the last couple of weeks.
He owed me some money and still has a suitcase full of clothes at my place. I contacted him last week asking if he could pay the money into my account and collect the bag asap so that we could both just move on now (this was done out of anger after seeing that he had spent time with her). He did put the money in my account and said he would collect the clothes soon, he asked me “what’s with the dry messages all of a sudden?” but I did not respond. He has no idea I know what is going on.
He deleted me off Facebook as soon as we separated and added her as a friend literally the next day. Photos have come up in my newsfeed that he has tagged mutual friends into and I think he hasn’t realised that I would see it – this is how I know what is happening.
I have also deleted his number and don’t know it off the top of my head so contact will now have to come from his side when he is ready to collect his things. I just hope by the time he comes over to do that I am strong enough, but things are getting easier every day and I am starting to accept the situation. Maybe they are a better match than we ever were? I just need to stop torturing myself and get on with living my life. Right now it is only me that is hurting ME. I need to be strong and crack on with things and stop looking at what they are doing. It’s very hard though.
Sarah – i’m not sure I want to speak to him for any answers, what is happening is happening and I can’t change that. Even if he isn’t actually with her and they are just friends then he knows how to find me. I think making your profile cover photo a picture of you and your ex though is pretty telling. I don’t need confirmation from him i’d rather recover from this alone and speak with him when I have my head together. I’m sure i’l get answers in time, but right now I think it is best for this to play out without input from me. If it turns into an argument I will only push him further into her arms. He is a big boy and needs to make his own decisions.
His mum contacted me last week literally begging me to stay in touch with her. She actually asked me to promise that I would not lose contact and that she thinks of me as a daughter still. This suggests to me that she thinks something isn’t right with the situation. I have told her that we can stay in touch but that it is best to let the upset pass for the time being. Pretty much everyone has been shocked by the breakup – particularly his close family and friends which is what makes me wonder whether he is just in a bad place right now and will come around. Only time will tell I guess, and I don’t expect it will be soon. I’m guessing if there are any changes it’s going to take another 1-2, maybe even 3 months now. I’m not going to sit around waiting though, I know that isn’t fair to myself. I’m going to really try and focus on getting back into my hobbies and being me again over the next few weeks. I have let a lot of things slide due to the breakup and it’s time to get back on track.
If anyone has any suggestion to stop me from looking at Facebook then please let me know! I think that is honestly the worst part of it right now and if I can kick that I will recover much quicker.August 8, 2014 at 7:17 am #358055
Hi Claire.. I snooped on my ex’s Fb all the time.. it DROVE me insae. he blocked me for 2 months.. best thing he ddi. he unbocked me and is trying to worm hi way back in.. it’s not working.
Turn OFF notifications from these friends. You can still message them to talk. keep busy. I wrote a list of all his bad poionts.. bullet points.. put it beside my bed, in the car, in front of my computer at work. i would glance at it, would make me confirm to muyself I was righ to do ” no contactr” and ensure I did not contact him.
After he unblocked me I looked at his page once out of curiousity.. have now stopped.August 8, 2014 at 10:25 am #358077
He’s just actually contacted me out of the blue!!! What do I do??? Just had a text saying he was going through my hometown and thought of me and he’s asking how I am. I’m trying not to get too overexcited and play it cool. How should I respond?August 8, 2014 at 10:46 am #358086
Don’t get excited. Wait to respond. Say.. you are fine. keeping busy. NO LONG TEXT. MIRROR him.. short text from him= short reply from you.
IF he replies.. say you are going out.. and DO go out.
Look up the text on e-thethering.. he doesn’t want you, but doesn’t want to lose you. NOT GOOD ENOUGH.
YOU >> MAY have to tell him you need timeout to think about things asn WHEN he decides WHAT he wants out of life.. tell him to contact you AND SEE IF you are still available
HE.. can’t have his cake and eat it..not fair to you.August 8, 2014 at 11:52 am #358096
I don’t really know if I even want to respond but feel a bit mean if I don’t. I don’t want him thinking he can just casually stay in touch with me but I also don’t want to cause further tension by sending a negative reply. hmmm.August 8, 2014 at 12:03 pm #358101
Ok, i’ve just kept it super short and said i was doing really well thanks and that I hoped he was ok. Didn’t ask any questions just a short and sweet response. I guess it serves the purpose of being polite without getting involved in a conversation.
Thanks for the advice :) I’ll keep you posted.August 9, 2014 at 7:19 am #358204
Feeling tons better this morning. Actually don’t feel the need to check Facebook and i’m going to get out and start getting my life and my head back together! Today i’ve set myself some small goals…clean the house, write a post for my blog, go for a walk and have a nice relaxing dinner with family this evening. Tomorrows job is to join the gym and then i’m out for a meal with a friend in the evening. I’m also planning on staring an open water diving course so i’ll be looking into that too! Exciting stuff!
There was nothing that could be really said in response to the message that I sent him yesterday, I simply put “I’m really good thanks, hope you’re ok and that the sun is shining for you in (hometown location)”. He was typing a reply to this for about 15mins (you can see this on the iPhone), the only thing that actually came through was “glad you’re well x”. Hmmm, whatever, i’m not being left hanging on.
Every day is a new day. xAugust 9, 2014 at 8:54 am #358209
Claire you are amazing! Your text back to him was polite and positive thats all it takes. You are right not to wait around for him (sounds like he doesn’t know what he wants in life) I am sure you will be fine with him or without him :)August 9, 2014 at 11:46 am #358242
Yup Claire.. stay strong. WHEN you feel like backtracking ( although you MAY not) come back here first.
NOW.. you are giving him NO attention.. he WILL step up the pace… but it will only be crumbs. So don’t reply.
IF.. he ACTUALLY phones and says he wants to meet ( which I doubt) ,THEN.. you need to devise a plan of action ( so to speak !) to resnare him ( if you want ).
Good luck !August 9, 2014 at 1:34 pm #358258
Good job Claire!
I had to set strict boundaries when I left my husband and refused to engage in his push/pull mental games. After awhile he finally got the message that his baiting didn’t work, but it still didn’t stop him from trying to ‘test me’ from tine-to-time. Just continue to respond like you do, or not at all (preferably) if he keeps trying to bait you like this.
The best thing to do is to REFOCUS all your thoughts and energy on YOU! I joined Meetup and filled my calendar with all kinds of activities (kayaking, hiking, social events, golfing, etc.) and also joined a co-ed softball team. Purchased self-empowerment books because your self-esteem and worth takes a big hit. Also posted inspirational quotes on my bathroom mirror and recited them until I believed it, then kept replacing them until I had completely rebuilt my confidence and created inner happiness.
Its a long process, but eventually thoughts of him will diminish as you get stronger—hang in there :-)August 10, 2014 at 6:56 am #358312
Thanks so much for the support. This really is a great forum. I’ve used a lot of forums in the past and often you don’t always get much of a response so I really do appreciate it ladies! :)
Yesterday I joined a diving club. I have a book and video to go through for the theory and I start pool diving next week. The course lasts for about five weeks with a final dive in the river. I went over to the the dive centre as I wanted to get out and meet people face to face. Two guys took me through everything i’ll be doing and what to expect (no they weren’t hot, unfortunately! haha). Apparently they do trips away too and 18 of them are going to Egypt next month so this could open up a nice new social circle and some amazing holidays!!! I’m really pleased i’m starting to turn this negative situation into something positive. Had a lovely meal with my family last night too.
I thought about him a lot last night, it was pretty hard to sleep. I do feel like I really miss him today. This is the first time i’ve felt that I just want to talk to him like old times. I certainly won’t be picking up the phone to do so, but I do wonder if I am feeling this way, is this what he will be going through too. I’m starting to wonder whether him and the ex actually do have a thing or whether it is just friendship – now they are both single there is no reason that they can’t spend time together. I really don’t feel threatened by this girl, which is actually unusual for me. It’s not like I know her, so I can’t even explain why. I think she is going to another event with him next weekend with a large group of friends. I have a feeling she is chasing him, however he’s going to have to heal from our breakup and make some choices on his own. Anyway, there’s no point me sat here guessing, I have no idea what is actually going on so it is only a waste of my mental energy.
Anyway, here’s to another new day filled with lots of activities that have the focus on my new single (and hopefully exciting!!!) life.August 10, 2014 at 8:31 am #358321
Hi Claire, we all feel like you.. the backtracking bit… NOT calling them, but wanting to call them. Stay strong, keep busy. You have the right mental attitude. Keep soo busy you are exhausted. Time heals all.August 11, 2014 at 9:22 am #358513
Ok,I got your reply to my secretive 4wks new guy. He told me after the fact of asking me out and now staying with me he wants no commitment what so ever. Well I started to like him in the beginning but he showed signs of no affection of any kind..He goes out of his way to have no physical contact with me. He only wants one thing from me in bed and then rolls over and goes to sleep. I get nothing sexually from him. He’s speaks with a sarcastic tone with me.I have confronted him and told him I can’t do casual and he said he would go ahead and leave. That wasn’t what I was looking for but I think th that’s the only option.We have two different ideas about the relationship. What do you think?August 11, 2014 at 9:25 am #358515
JODI.. ditch his sorry ass. this is going nowhere except more heartache for you ! He sounds like a right piece of shit.August 11, 2014 at 12:38 pm #358602
I think you’ve written on the wrong thread here, either way this doesn’t sound good. Move onto a nice guy, you deserve so much better. Just get rid of him and move the hell on like Harley says. There are over 6 billion people in the world…this guy is ranking right at the bottom of a very very big list.August 11, 2014 at 12:40 pm #358603
I agree with Harley JODI … I don’t think in his mind u r even in a relationship. Not trying to be crude but just using some tough love – to him you r the person whom he turns to when he’s horny that’s it!!! Sorry, but that’s not a relationship. When he said he would leave, you should have said – go ahead the door is right there!!!August 11, 2014 at 12:41 pm #358604
Almost forgot to post my own update here… Need advice please ladies. :) The ex has just text asking if he can collect the rest of his belongings next week. The trouble is I don’t think i’m ready to see him. I can’t take any more hurt right now. I’m just wondering what if he is using this an excuse to talk though? There was the message a few days ago and now this? He wasn’t bothered about collecting his stuff so quickly before. I don’t want to read into things though, it might just be that he has the free time to do it next week and is in the area or something.
How do you think I should play this one? I’m actually scared stiff to even text back because I just don’t think I can see him right now.