I’m writing you because I am feeling confused & heartbroken right now and I am hoping you can help.
I broke up with my boyfriend of almost 2 years a week and a half ago. It was a bumpy road from the start — he cheated on me early on — and things often didn’t run smoothly on 4 cylinders. Despite the often tumultuous time we spent together, I still grew to care for him a great deal and have love for him in my heart.
I decided to end the relationship because after so many ups and downs and times where I felt incredibly insecure about things due to his past behavior, I just felt it must be right. We had broken up 2 times prior over the duration of the relationship — once, after I initially found out about the cheating, and again after he made lewd comments to his friends about another girl at a party that he didn’t realize I overheard. As much as I wanted to move forward from these instances and leave the past in the past, at times it felt nearly impossible. If I’m being honest with myself, I spent a fair amount of time in the relationship feeling anxious, paranoid, insecure and eventually, “not good enough” — constantly comparing myself to other girls and assuming he would prefer them to me.
Despite all of this, I am still feeling very sad. I miss him and the good times that we had, and I really miss the routine we had established, and the companionship I felt — we spent practically every moment of our free time together. I miss our friendship.
I’m having a hard time coping and understanding whether or not I made the “right” decision. Beyond that, I’m doing everything in my power to avoid the terrible thoughts that can creep up on you after a break-up — i.e., “What if he’s getting along better without me?”; “What if he’s already started talking to some other girl?”, etc, etc. You can really drive yourself crazy (and nowadays Facebook and Gchat certainly don’t help :-/).
A lot of my friends and family have said I am better off, that I “can do so much better,” and that I deserve someone who will treat me better. It makes me feel better, at least temporarily, to hear these things, but I also know that ultimately I have to be happy with my own decision. Right now, I guess it’s natural to feel sad, but it also makes me start to second-guess myself and this choice, at times … especially when I’m feeling lonely. What if I’ve “given up” on something and don’t realize it until it’s too late?
The flip side of this is that I do not want to continue the immature, destructive pattern of breaking up and making up — I’ve never been in a relationship like that before and it doesn’t seem healthy or right.
Can you offer any insight or advice on the situation, my decision, and what I can do to move forward in the right direction — whatever that may be?
Tired of the Rollercoaster
Dear Tired of the Rollercoaster,
I was in a really tumultuous, abusive relationship after my divorce. I know how one can get on this roller coaster ride. Relationships like this are very intense and confusing. They are intensely great, and intensely painful. It’s called “Addictive Love” and is similar to other addictions.
There is that NEED for your boyfriend. You feel the suffering when you aren’t with him or he’s abusive, but an intense “high” when things are good. Very much like an illicit drug you can never get as “high” as you did in the beginning, but you remember the “high” and you want it badly. This is why you became so dependent on him, spending all your free time with him when you should have been balancing your time with girl friends, and family. Being with him is the only thing that has made you “happy”. Other things like achieving career and personal goals should make you that happy — not just him. True happiness comes from within. Nobody can make you happy. You have to make yourself happy.
To be with him you probably tolerated too much — cheating, talk of other women, and perhaps verbal or physical abuse. Many times these types of guys are very jealous and possessive, so they will keep you away from your guy friends and won’t like you going out with the girls. This may also have contributed to your becoming so dependent on him, as you probably lost touch with some of your friends.
From what you’ve written he probably has “talked to” other women, and has probably already had sex with new women. But don’t let this bother you, Honey, because he was probably cheating on you while you were together. You are better off without him and the drama. Don’t even worry about him and if he’s better off. He’s not concerned about you. Focus on YOU and making sure that YOU are better off. Download some Mary J. Blige on iTunes, and other songs that will give you strength and inspiration and listen to them everyday.
Tommy McFly of Mix 107.3 posted on Facebook last night that 60% of people in their 20′s are sleeping with their EX. Don’t be in that 60%. Move on! Just like getting over other addictions, you need to cut yourself off from it “cold turkey”. Block this guy on GChat and Facebook. It won’t help you to stalk him from afar, and it makes it way to easy for you to contact him. Erase his number from your phone so you won’t call or text him, or change his name in your phone to something that will remind you not to pick up – perhaps the worst thing he did to you! You will really need to pull yourself together so that you don’t go back, because it’s truly an addiction. I highly recommend you consider counseling, or go to Borders or Barnes & Noble and look for books on Addictive Love. I think reading about this, and seeing how other women coped and got through what you’re going through will help you stay strong!
You want a healthy, mature relationship, and it’s out there. Remember that if you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten. So change it up, and do some different things. Join a gym — those endorphins will get you feeling better in no time. Spend quality time with your friends and family. Don’t jump into another relationship. Take time to think about your goals, and getting to know you. Do for yourself, Honey!
Good luck and let me know how you’re doing! Let me know if you think you’re going to relapse!
- Miss A