The 6 Things You Need to Know in Order to Let Your Ex Go

by Relationship Coach Rinatta Paries on June 8, 2012

in Articles, Break-ups and Divorce, Dating, Marriage, popular, Relationships

Most people have had a relationship in their past that is very hard to let go of.  This is the one that got away. This is the one that felt as if it was meant to be. This is the one that felt like true love, yet would just not work. Do you have a relationship like this, one that you still long for?

Or worse yet, are you in another relationship, still longing for and fantasizing about that one that got away? Want to let go and be free to move on?

You let go of a relationship like this by first understanding why you hold on.

The reasons you hold on:

#1. When your partner in that relationship was at his best, he met all of your needs. He was the perfect fit for you. If he could have been that way with you 100 percent of the time, rather than just sometimes, you would still be in the relationship. The times he was everything you needed are hard to let go of. You have been looking for that kind of love all of your life.

Here was a person who could meet your needs the way you have always wanted. You knew she could, because sometimes she did. But she wouldn’t. You wanted to make, force, or talk her into it. You did everything possible to make her be the way you wanted 100 percent of the time. You may have asked her to go to therapy. You used all of the tricks in the book you could come up with to evoke the behavior you wanted.

Finally you left the relationship. You knew you deserved better than just some fraction of what you wanted. Or perhaps that’s not how your story went. Perhaps he left the relationship and left you longing and wanting him back. Regardless, the attachment to your ex lingers.

#2. You have trouble letting go because you never succeeded in making your ex fulfill your needs completely and yet you believe you could and should have been able to. You feel that somehow not getting the love you wanted was your fault. If you were only good enough, smart enough, attractive enough, patient enough, your ex would have given you the love you wanted, all of the time. After all, she gave it to you sometimes.

#3. One of the things that keeps you hooked into that relationship is anger. Anger arises when someone has something you want but won’t give it to you, especially when giving it seems the natural or expected thing to do. You are justified in your anger, yet anger is a way to stay connected to someone, albeit not a positive way. If you keep wanting to call up your ex, or show and tell him how much of a mistake he made, you are holding on with anger.

#4. The person you loved truly had great qualities. With her you had an incredible connection. Maybe she loved you intensely. She may still love you. The only problem was that she could only treat you well part of the time. The rest of the time, she acted hurtful towards you.

It is very difficult to throw away this type of connection. And it is more difficult still when you occasionally interact with the wonderful, caring side of him. Walking away from or losing such a relationship can be the hardest thing you will ever do. Even when you walk away it may still pull at your heart.

#5. It is so much easier to let go of someone when it is clear she doesn’t care about you. It may be even easier to let go of someone who dies, because there is nothing that can be done. But to let go of someone who is well and alive and possibly still loves you is an incredible task. Yet let go you must if the partner you are clinging to does not meet your needs. If you are ever to be fulfilled in any relationship, you must let go completely of this past partner.

#6 and the most important reason you hold on: You don’t believe that you will meet another partner who will give you all the good you had in your ex-relationship. You believe that with the loss of this relationship you have lost the chance to get what you really wanted, and that now you will have to settle for less.

The ultimate dilemma is how to  let go of the living, breathing former partner who may love you, or whom you may love, and yet who is not good for you and is not available to you; how to let go of the one who seems to have been the one.

Letting go of an ex is hard!
If you are having trouble letting go, I can help.

Experience relief and clarity in the Get Clarity Coaching Session.

Here are the steps you must take in order to fully let go and move on:

#1 and the hardest step. Understand and accept that your partner would have given you the moon and the stars if he could have. Even when he appeared to be holding back or hurting you on purpose, he was always doing the best he  could. Understand that he never intentionally meant to hurt you.

#2 and equally hard step. Understand and buy into the following two concepts: change is hard and people can’t change for you. No matter what you did or did not do, your ex was, is and will continue to be a person with certain behaviors, habits, thoughts and ways of doing relationships.

#3. Forgive your ex, forgive yourself, and understand that her behavior was not your fault. Understand that all that she did, the good and the bad, comprise the totality of this person. Sometimes she was wonderful and sometimes she was horrible. And all of the time she was the same person.

There is no way you could have only his good side. Because you were connected to the whole person, you got  to experience the good side and the bad side as well. His bad side was hurtful, and in the end the bad outweighed the good. Since the bad side was a part of the package and could not be changed, the whole package has to be let go off.

#4. Learn to stop thinking about your ex. This again is a difficult step, in that when you have fond memories of someone or perhaps a painful breakup that you have a hard time making sense of, it’s very hard to not revisit these memories again and again. You go back to them for comfort or in hopes of understanding what happened.

#5. Mine that relationship for what you want in your current or future relationship. Use the gift of the love, connection and good stuff in that relationship as an inspiration to find more of that kind of love in your future or current relationship. Instead of looking back at what you had, look forward to having more of that in your future.

Think about, even list, all of the qualities that you loved about your ex. Add to the list the activities the two of you did that made you feel satisfied. Mine the ex-relationship for clues of what you truly want in a wonderful, fulfilling relationship. Now you have a good idea of what you are looking for in your next partner or what you should put into your current relationship. That’s the gift from your ex – the clarity of knowing what you want and need from a relationship! And that’s something to be grateful for.

Letting go of an ex is hard!
If you are having trouble letting go, I can help.

Experience relief and clarity in the Get Clarity Coaching Session.

#6. Do many, many physical actions that signal to yourself that you are letting go. Here are some ideas:

  • Write goodbye letters and burn them
  • Put away all the articles that belonged to him or her
  • If the two of you lived together, rearrange the furniture and get new dishes
  • Etc, etc.

Letting go of an ex is hard. Moving on to another relationship after such an experience is difficult. Attracting love, or giving your heart to someone is not easy. But, if you are to have a healthy, loving, fulfilling relationship, you must find a way to let go completely and cleanly, so that your ex is a part of your history, but is no longer a wound in your heart.

 

{ 123 comments }

Jeff September 1, 2012 at 1:55 pm

I met this women about thirty years ago. Had not seen her and last fall I ran into her. I asked her to lunch and the relationship took off. I fell hard for her. She then told me that there was an ex-boyfriend she still had issues with. I should have walked at that point. We continued on and about three weeks later she told me she was returning to him. I was upset and felt I had been played. I walked away. She sent me a gift at xmas, guess it was guilt. I have seen her a couple of times in the past several months. They broke up. She never called back and has moved onto some one else. Saw her a couple weeks ago and she just brushed our time aside as it never happened. I can not seem to get over her.

Sky August 24, 2012 at 10:27 pm

So, we were together 2 years and lived together for a year. It’s extremely complicated because I met him a day after my 17th birthday, he had just gotten out of jail. (he is not a bad guy, he has had a rough life due to his parents adopting him, kicking him out when he was 16, and never being there for him for any reason.) I ended up getting pregnant with his baby and due to complications I lost it. We were both extremely crushed and depressed. That was when the fighting started. We ended up breaking up. He then began to due drugs again (his real parents were drug addicts and alcoholics). He started to talk to another girl (he was known for being a man whore before meeting me). We worked things out and got back together. Everything was amazing for about a year. Then we broke up again. And that was when the abuse started. He moved into an apartment with two friends that were extremely bad influences. He began to drink and do drugs again. Then came another girlfriend. On the day that it was a year since we lost the baby, he was extremely intoxicated and under the influence. We began to fight and he ended up hitting me. He was extremely upset at himself for doing this and took himself to rehab that same day. A few months later we ended up working things out and moving in together. Things were amazing, again. But then came the beginning of the summer and things got horrible. One morning we got into a terrible fight and I left to go buy him cigarettes and when I got back he was gone. He went over to his friends out that recently got divorced. This friend is a terrible influence on him and I have never liked him. I ended up packing his things up over the next few days and took them to him. The shock came the last day I took his stuff to him. One of my bestfriends for 6 years (who is a huge slut) found out we broke up and tried to hook up with him. To hurt me and get back at me he fed into her desires. He hung out with her but never did anything with her. I came to drop his stuf off that last say and she was there. I freaked and ended up hitting her. He hit me after that. I cut off all communication between us and decided to move 5 states away to live with my absolute bestfriend. The last day I was at home, I ended up meeting up with him and telling him I was leaving. He was completely crushed. Days following my move, I would get angry texts from him followed by him telling me he doest want yo live without me. Then the day came that one of his friends told me he tried killing himself.

After all the drama between the two of us, I am nothing but mad. It has completely crushed me because we were engaged, living together, and wanted children. I was convinced that I was going to spend my life with him. It has been two months since our break up and I still can’t seem to let go. After everythig he did to me and put me through, I still love him and hurt over him. Moving did nothing for me and I still am depressed. I have no idea how to go on dealing with this anymore.

Steven Luke June 19, 2012 at 8:43 am

I just can’t stop thinking about my ex after I dropped the line five years ago. She keeps asking my close friends and selected relatives about me and so forth (then till present), not knowing that I’ve made up my mind as to not wanting to be connected with her in any way whatsoever. But my biggest problem is I cannot stop thinking about her and I hate it. Is this a telepathic issue or what? It’s driving me crazy though. Please help me break that connection.

Confused guy:(

Melissa Loughlin August 11, 2012 at 6:38 pm

Why cant you stop thinking about her ? How much is true ?
How much do you sincerely just love her ? & If so is that a bad thing – Will you ever feel this strongly again ? Ask yourself what is my next best step – for me ?

loretta June 4, 2012 at 3:35 am

HE cheated, got caught, denied it, we tried working through it he lied still contacted/ing her i spied he got mad and now wants a divorce. i cant come to the realization that it’s over why!

Ellen March 11, 2012 at 9:05 am

Thank you for your article. I am now in the “anger” stage. We had a GREAT relationship for a year and a half, and he asked me to marry him, first for me. He told me every day how much he loved me, how lucky he felt, what an idiot he’d be to let me go. We were HAPPY. And he walked away. And promptly found someone else. Everyone tells me he’ll do the same to this other person. But I am ANGRY. I’m angry that I’ve had to drop out the community of folks we were both involved with. I am ANGRY that he never told me the truth. I ANGRY at myself for turning my entire life over to him. I’m ANGRY that he didn’t have to go through this hell, people were waiting in line to set him up with someone. I used to be a kind, patient, rational, understanding person and loving partner and now I’m just ANGRY. Help!

Relationship Coach Rinatta Paries March 11, 2012 at 2:53 pm

Ellen, two suggestions for you. Go do the work at thework.org and work through the 4 questions and judge your neighbor worksheet until you can see what happened in a different light. In addition to that, you might want to schedule a session with me so that I can help you go back to the person you used to be. The first session, a way to try out working with me, is only $25. You can read more about it here.

khruzchiev flaris January 30, 2012 at 4:52 am

its a wonderfull advice, thanks

chobbi January 13, 2012 at 3:20 am

Hi,
I have had a huge dilemma and this has been with me from the last 17yrs. I am in love with a guy from school days. I have always have had very strong feelings about him. We were very close as friends when in school but were not in a gir boy relationship. We however lost touch over the years. we got back in touch due to my intiation around 5 yreas back and we have now moved on to the next level, only on the phone. He has professed he loved me all those years ago and I professed my feelings for him too. Since we live in two different countries we have not been able to meet up. we haven’t seen each other in the last 15 years. but when we talk we feel like soulmates. my problem is he has the tendency of just disapearing from my life for days on.. we have the most romantic conversations one day and then he just doesnot respond to my calls or texts for days on .and then he just appears back again and continues his conversation like noothing has gone wrong! the days when he is away like that i go through such depression that I cannot seem to function. i keep wondering if he is ok and what did i do!! and he never gives me an answer to this behavior. I really sometimes feel whether its worth the heartbreak i feel, but then i love him so much that i can’t let go.. what do i do??

vigya June 13, 2012 at 1:12 pm

Trust me the guy is married or in few other relationship. This is classic symptom of man cheating and have been married or are in marriage. Its your crush and if you don’t learn to manage it it will be even worst in future. If I were you i would say thank to him and not crossing the boundaries and leave you with more pain and hurt. Be careful..

Alexandra December 18, 2011 at 11:00 pm

Hi,
I divorced the father of my 5 year old two years ago, we were together 12 years.
I feel exactly what you wrote about not being able to let go the good part of him.
I still believe he was the one, and having a child together makes it impossible to not keep in touch. I was the one that left the relationship, yet I expected him to fight for us, which he never did. Now I feel he never loved me.
I have a new relationship but I feel that since I haven’t let go of my ex I am screwing this relationship as well, I feel helpless cause this new guy is really wonderful to me and I can’t be reciprocate.

guest March 26, 2012 at 5:48 pm

I see that one of you left the relationship. when someone does leave the relationship and wants to go back. Then the relfections are why not call him up?

Kristina December 7, 2011 at 10:52 pm

I’ve just tried everything. We dated 11 months and everything was perfect. Then one random day he messages me we have nothing in common and we can’t date. That’s impossible when he was in love with me and we dated 11 months. He never gave me the real reason. It’s been 5 months and we don’t talk or look at each other. I switched out of one class I had with him just because when people talked to me he’d take them away from me. I’m still hurt honestly. No matter what I do I can’t forget. I don’t even want to date anybody. Normally when I date someone else I heal fast. But I don’t want to here. I have no hope left. How do I heal??

Relationship Coach Rinatta Paries December 12, 2011 at 10:27 am

Kristina, go to my new blog and read through the tips for women here. Many of the tips there will give you ideas for what to do to feel better and let go.

Y-NY December 1, 2011 at 9:29 am

My ex and I seemed to be very much in-love. However there were some clear obstacles he was facing in his life. I was supportive, loyal, committed, loving, patient and kind. Still with all of this our relationship failed. I think it mostly had to do with him not valuing the woman I am. I tried everything to protect our relationship. It obviously wasn’t enough.
It’s hard for me to let go of him because he has so many good qualities that I truly love. Our relationship ended because we reached a point where we realized he was not putting me and our relationship first. His priorities were elsewhere (friends and drinking – mostly).
I’m at a point in my life where I don’t want to meet someone new. I want him and I feel so heartbroken that i’ll take him with all of his imperfections if this feeling would just go away. Only I won’t be satisfied… I deserve to be in a relationship with a man that will love, honor and protect me and our relationship.
It does feel better to write this down. Get it all out. Remember my self-worth.
They say time heals all wounds. I guess I’ll have to give it time.

B-JT December 15, 2011 at 12:26 pm

My ex and I where together for almost eight years. We are going through the exact same thing. She broke up with me this past november. I was the guy who did a lot of drinking. This past year was rough for the both of us. We both contributed to the breakup. It is so hard for me to let go of her. I think about her every day all day! I can’t go five minutes without thinking about her! But I try to stay positive with the breakup. Over the past month I have been doing a lot of self awareness. I have changed my drinking and changed a lot of my bad habits. I did not change my bad habits for her I changed them because I want to be a better person. I have found out that going to the gym will make you feel better. I understand what you are going through. You want a man who will love, honor and protect the relationship. It took a breakup for me to realize those are the traits I want to have in my next relationship. I want to be that guy who will put the woman first before anything else and value her as a woman. It is just really hard for me to let go! She had a lot of good traits about her that I will never forget. I also know time heals all wounds. It will take me a long time to get over her. She will always have a special place in my heart!

LC December 15, 2011 at 2:38 pm

B-JT

It is beautiful that you are trying to change for yourself and no one else. Yes my friend, time is the only one who heals a heartbreak. I broke up with my ex 2 years ago and I still think about him. I am like you, it is very difficult to let go. Times heals but you never forget about that special person. But one thing I will promise you……you will find love again and maybe just maybe better than the one you had with her :-). Good luck!

Mike November 23, 2011 at 11:16 am

I got out of a relationship with a girl who i was friends with for 6 and a half years. what started it was that her and her boyfriend wasn’t happy about they way things weren’t and she said that she has feelings for me. So she break up with her boyfriend afterwards and we immediately had sex because she felt that she was ready and that she really liked me. Later on however she said that the sex made her feel awkward because it made her feel sick because of heart problems. And she said that I was also being pushy. What threw me off about that was she pushes and when I push back she tells me to get off because she was sick. After a while I questioned her if she was using me as a rebound guy and she freaked out over it and we got into a huge fight that lead us to breaking up. Talked to her again and explained to her where I was coming from and that it was hard for me to trust a girl who said she really loves me then say she doesn’t love me anymore because of me pushing her away. I had the similar feeling about it and I spoke my mind to her about it and she spoke her mind on how she felt about my accusation and while things are still rocky between us hopefully all can be forgiven between us. I hope there is a way I can let go of the bitter feelings I have towards what happened and not let have another fight ensue. If anyone can give me advice I would most certainly appreciate it. Thank you

Relationship Coach Rinatta Paries November 23, 2011 at 11:01 pm

Mike, if you want to let go of the bitter feelings, focus on what is good about her. What we focus on grows.

Mike November 24, 2011 at 3:34 am

I wish that was so but she even told me that she doesn’t have many reasons to be compassionate right now and that she changed her ways after previous relationships before ours, I talked to my family about it and they told me if I felt that way in my heart then I was right to speak my mind that way and maybe what I said was right to because sometimes people just don’t like hearing the truth. So for me to think anything positive about her right now, the only thing I can think of is she did say that she can forgive in time but right now there isn’t a lot of positive things to think of her at this moment.

Rose November 14, 2011 at 9:22 pm

This has been a challenge for me, feels like a roller coaster ride at times. I want to give it a try and it fails and hurtful words come out from him. How do I manage to free myself from him, need more help.

Relationship Coach Rinatta Paries November 23, 2011 at 11:03 pm

Rose, coaching works well in terms of help in letting go. Here’s a link to check out coaching if you are interested: http://www.getrelationshipsright.com/claritysession

Rosie A. November 14, 2011 at 9:20 pm

I need help letting go.

Stephany October 6, 2011 at 8:21 pm

This helped alot. I felt this pinpointed almost everything Im going through except one thing. The one thing that is keeping me from moving on is knowing that he will be with someone else soon. I dont want him to find someone else and I certainly dont want him to think that she is better than me in any way or love her more than he loved me. How do I get over this? How do I stop caring?

jen October 20, 2011 at 3:49 am

thank god someone else has this feeling i thought i was going mad- just when i think I am recovering its like a knife in my heart when i think of him with someone else-i jus want it to go away-i dread the day I hear of him with another..

alex November 2, 2011 at 10:45 pm

i had the same problem! i just couldnt imagine my ex with someone else and i couldnt stop thinking about her(i thought i was becoming obsesses haha), but a month and a half after our breakup a friend told me she was in a relationship! i couldnt believe it, i mean just 1 and a half fckn months! it hurt a lot and i didnt know what to do, especially since the reason for our breakup was a misunderstanding about what we wanted to do while i was in europe for 6 months…she said i had made my choice and when i tried to fix it she was too proud and stubborn and didnt let me, so it was pretty hard for me to move on…
but now less than a month since i heard the bad news, i have tried to use it as some sort of closure, i think knowing that she/he is with someone else gives you the opportunity to move on because you cant do anything anymore. i dont tell you it wont be hard (it has been), but if your ex finds someone else you can move on and try to get yourself an opportunity to try some new things and enjoy life(i recently went skydiving which took my mind off of thing for quite a while haha) so try not to worry too much because it is inevitable for them to eventually find someone else, but in the bright side YOU WILL FIND SOMEONE ELSE TOO!! and maybe that person is the one! things happen for a reason!
so now im just waiting to leave to study in europe and i think that those unfortunate situations (at least that was what i thought at the moment) that put me in this position made me realize it wasnt meant to be and im sure ill find someone that makes me happier….so do me a favor and dont put your ex in a pedestal beacuse it stops you to move on and just try to be happy!
whoah it feels good to write it down haha
pd: this week i saw the first picture of my ex with her new bf and it hurt a lot, but then i said what the hell life’s too short to suffer that much for someone who doesnt want to be with you ;)
be happy bros!!

Lynda November 7, 2011 at 7:03 am

I am happy to have read this as well. I am going to keep it in my favorites. I was with my ex for five years, and what would have been our 5th anniversary on 11-5, he sent me a text the day before to let me know that he is having a “visitor” for a couple of days and he wanted me to find out from him instead of someone else. Mind you I just moved out 6 weeks ago, he met her the day after I moved out. We have actually spend about two weeks of the time we have been apart. So he was seeing her and me. I can tell you this hurt to the core of my soul this time. I was married before for a few years and this hurt more. I am going through this, I actually sent him a message on our what would have been a 5th year anniv and let him know, 11-5-11 is now the day our friendship is over, our chapter has come to an end…. So how do I feel today, better than then a little. As we all hear and see, it is all a process.. time away will heal, just can’t understand how he can move on so quickly. What I do keep telling myself, she is not me and really this is all about me and my new exciting journey. This helps me not to put my focus and energy on them and towards me. Thank you everyone for “listening”.

Annie November 23, 2011 at 5:09 pm

seriously dont worry your not the only one who feels like this i can completely relate to how you feel x

Jennifer Morris September 19, 2011 at 1:41 pm

Love Coach Rinatta,

I have read numerous articles about letting go and moving on…numerous times during the past four breakups in the past four years that I have had on and off with one man. I believe that your article was the inspiration and blessing I needed to finally move on. You really pointed out the plethera of mixed emotions when the situation involves someone you love who isn’t quite right for you. Your acknowledgement of the “grey area” which most advisors skip over, really resonated with me. Thank you! Right now, I think I’m going to go take a deep breath, stop crying, and be grateful for the promising future I have, all while sending on love to the man I will always treasure, but need to let go. Thank you so very much for your help!

Amy September 12, 2011 at 6:51 pm

This article sounds good but im in this relationship where for 3 yeard have been hell ive tried over n over again to make it work we have broke up every week for three years why is it so hard to let go when he has degraded me cheated on me and simply abuse me mentally n verbally. I have caught him with females I never look for trouble it always present itself to me like I always say wat we do in the dark comes to light. I want to move on but I just find myself wanting him to change n its just a joke. :(…

Louise Sneddon September 8, 2011 at 7:26 am

my boyfreind has dumped me, all he said was i can’t do this anymore it nothing you’ve done. so i keep beating myself up thinking ive got to have done somthing if things changed. but we went to collage and as weve got the same group of freinds were always seeing eachother and i still realy love him and i keep getting inclins that he does about me but he won’t admit it. I’m not sure wether to just let him go and try to get over him i really did love him, i still do! please tell me what to do and if its to get over him how can i? and if to get back with him how do i aproch it?

Love Coach Rinatta September 8, 2011 at 8:14 am

Louise, if you would like an answer to a question, please go to my Q&A website and ask your question there. Here’s the link to ask a question: http://www.asklovecoach.com/asklovecoach

Jeff July 26, 2011 at 6:57 am

My wife divorced me 2 years ago, after about 2 years of separation. We have 2 beautiful teenage daughters. I blame myself entirely for the divorce, due to an addiction I struggled with. We tried to reconcile, recently went on a weekend getaway. She says she sees that I have changed, but she feels like she’s “wrecked”, and has walls up that will never come down. We talked about her moving in to give it a try for the summer, then the other day she told me she can’t do it. I feel so much guilt every day…almost unbearable at times. Trying to let her go…really trying, but dreams every night, etc. Thinking of the past when my girls were little…feels like I’m letting life pass me by.

Viney May 5, 2011 at 1:07 pm

Keeping background as short as possible. Met someone a little over 3yrs ago. Within just a few months fell in love with him and thought that he was the one I would spend the rest of my life with. He was very closed with his emotions but I always felt that he loved me just as much. Shortly after moving in together 6months into the relationship we began having problems. Bascially what it came down to was I wanted eventual marriage and he wasn’t ready and couldn’t say that he ever would be. We began to fight regularly about everything and eventually I asked him to move out. We were apart a month and then got back together. We’ve done this three times. Each time he would promise me things would be different and each time after the “honeymoon” period they would deteriorate again. Six months ago I asked him to leave for the last time. We spoke frequently but could never work through things this time. After 3months of being apart I started to date someone new. He found out and was very very angry. Shortly after he called me wanted to come over and talk. He came over and told me that he’d had lots of time to think and figure things out and that now he was ready to get married and make things right. I was scared and still very hurt so I told him no. Another month and I’m out and see him with a new woman. I basically at that point did the same thing. Told him I still loved him and wanted to try again. He was angry and said no. So for the last couple months we have both continued to see other people, yet we do talk on occassion. We got together about a month or so ago and he told me that their was no chance for us unless I quit seeing this other man. So I did. I broke it off with him a week later. But he has continued to see this other woman. The last few weeks he has called or texted me everyday and we’ve seen each other a couple of times. But when I finally told him what he was doing wasn’t fair to me or her, that he needed to make a decision all he could say was that he was sorry that he is trying to find himself. I know at this point I need to move on and just let him go. Its just so hard when I hear from him everyday and don’t understand his intentions. And still feel such a deep connection when we’re together.

Jay Rogers May 5, 2011 at 9:25 am

I wish I could let go. She was all I ever wanted. Put me through hell but it didn’t matter. All the burns meant I was strong enough to fulfill the vows I wholeheartedly meant the day we wed. In my head I know it’s over. Any way I weigh it out, this is the right way. But every night, it’s her I wish I was laying next to. It’s her I wanted to grow old with. I’ve been through long term, heart felt relationships that ended. This is a whole new ballgame. I keep thinking that the more distance between us, the easier it will get. It’s been 7 months since everything ended and every relationship I’ve tried to have has been completely tasteless.

step April 20, 2011 at 6:04 am

Erik….heartaches can kill you only if you let it! Do not let a person have so much control over the very thing that keeps you stable, your mind. I have been there…repeatedly until I BECAME TIRED! You are not worthless to women, everyone falls, dust yourself off and meditate and keep it moving. …..Ask God for strength as well.

Cratsky April 6, 2011 at 7:57 am

This was a good article to read. It was comforting. Thank you for posting.

Having being left after 6 years together, I’ve had 6 months to think about the good times and the bad times. As a result of the relationship, I know more about setting appropriate boundaries, identifying ‘red flags’ and loving myself enough to put my needs first. For that, I am grateful.

I’m honestly a lot happier now than I was when we were together. I’ve learnt that yelling, feeling invalidated and constantly trying to ‘win’ someone’s affections are not part of a healthy relationship. That is dysfunction. I had to take a hard look at myself and ask, ‘What is it about you that is attracted to a dysfunctional relationship? Aren’t you worthy of a ‘healthy’ relationship? What IS a healthy relationship?’

I’ve learnt that you can’t go around the grieving process. You’ve got to go through it. Don’t idealise the past. Focus on doing the hard work to better yourself and aim to create the type of future you want. If you don’t love who you are, if you aren’t proud of yourself, how can you expect others to reflect this back to you?

You can choose to wallow in the past and remain sad/regretful or you can choose to move on. I chose to move on.

barbara January 20, 2011 at 8:44 pm

Thank you for this article, it’s really clear and rings true. The more the relationship met needs and fantasies perfectly the harder it is to let go. In a way it is a dual task, there are two things to let go of, the good, and then the bad. That is what makes it so hard, and creates the suffering, the fact of having to think through to contradictory set of feelings, and two different stories about the relationship. Conflicting emotions cause anxiety, but this is even worse, because there is also the need to hold on and believe in both. I find that I miss the bad as much as the good, I had no problem accepting that there was both. He broke up with me, and while it seemed to be good idea, because I was suffering too from the bad things in the relationship, I had no intention of letting go just yet. So in this past year, I’ve tried to let go but have just had too much gut wrenching anger to be able to forget or forgive for more than a day or two. But little by little I’ve managed to do other things, and coming back to it constantly no longer overwhelms me, in fact I feel that I need to dwell on this for as long as necessary, and that only by reconciling myself with every detail of the story, past and present can I let go of it, little by little. It’s almost like a kind of sacred ritual, as if every little aspect of it has to be sanctified before it can be laid to rest. There is a kind of religiosity about it.

Rebekah December 1, 2010 at 10:58 am

I have a situation I can’t seem to find the right words of advice about…My amazing boyfriend and I just broke up ( ages 30 and 37) . Neither of us wanted to, but we felt we had no choice. We fit together beautifully. Neither of us have ever connected in such beautiful, deep ways with anyone before. I have two kids and he has one, all of which love us together. It seems perfect right? Well, I am very devoted to my faith and strayed when I started dating him because we don’t share the same faith. We both know that down the road this issue would pose some major problems for both of us. He agrees with my beliefs and can see himself down the road on the same path I am, but neither of us want him to do anything that doesnt come from deep in his heart. …Not for me. Basically I have to be true to what I believe and he has to decide what he believes. And we both feel to do that we have to go seperate ways. The aweful part is that we both are terribly sad and miss eachother so so much! We love eachother and can see ourselves growing old together! How do I let go when I still feel hope for us? How do I get out of this sad lonely place? I don’t want to lose him but I also don’t want to keep him if this major piece isn’t going to fit….I just don’t know what to do next. He’s the love of my life :((

Carrie October 8, 2010 at 12:11 pm

I’m so glad i found this article thru google. I am going thru a breakup right now which is more complicated than complicated could be. I am engaged to a man i’ve been with for the past 8 years but in love with another for the past two years. And the other guy has decided to let me go because I couldn’t seem to make up my mind about who to choose. I love the other guy but due to “practical” considerations, i couldn’t choose him. And now, I am wondering about the many things I could have done differently had i been brave enough to do it. I miss him so much and i wish i could have my cake and eat it too. The other guy is the one that got away. And i guess i just have to live with that fact starting today.

Thank you for this article and to all those who have commented. You’re stories give me strength and hope.

As sure as Time is a friend, i know I will become whole again. Oh, God help me…

Missy May 5, 2010 at 8:19 am

Loved the article and some of the posts by readers. I was in a ten (10) month platonic relationship with a childhood friend I had reconnected with after seeing his Mom’s obituary in the newspaper. He was happily married with children and I was happily single and content. When I went to several crisises in my life within a short period of time I chose him to lean on. I’m a religious person and our relationship felt like a Godsent. He was just the person I needed to have in my life during my time of need. We never met in person. I just communicated with him via e-mail. He was a safe outlet and I considered him expendable although I thoroughly enjoyed using him as a confidant, quasi-therapist and friend without benefits except flirting. I started falling for him and told him so. I wrote a “Goodbye” letter and explained things to him. I was in anquish and missed the relationship so I prayed about and wanted to establish a long-term friendship with him. I was never dishonest with him and he was never dishonest with him. I knew we could never be anything more than friends. I got bored one day and got on Facebook and started sending messages to people who were acquaintances and associates of acquaintances and so on. I probably sent messages to about twenty people. One of the people I sent a message too was my friends wife. I complimented him and her and thought it was a nice, cordial message. Minutes after sending the message I got an angry message from my online friend stating that he was absolutely appalled that I had contacted his wife and mentioned that I’d been fliritng online with him and that he never wanted me to contact him again. I was shocked and blown away by his response. I apologized and asked for forgiveness and cried a bucket of tears. I read many, many articles about the subject of getting over a relationship and consulted friends too. I knew that the relationship was over but I did not want to let it go. Even after accepting the fact that the end had come suddenly, abruptly and by surprise I knew that there was nothing that could be done to fix things or make them right. I knew that I had no control over the situation and all I could do was pray. Pray I did and cry I did. It was only after I realized that the reason I hadn’t let go was because I didn’t really want did the healing begin. I cried so much that it affected my health and body, but in a positive way. My blood pressure actually went down to normal levels. My energy level increased. I was thinking clearly and making plans for my future. I had to get a grip on myself because one of the first things I wanted to do was contact him and “Thank” him for dumping me but I restrained from doing so because he’d asked me to. For someone who was only an online friend I missed him profusely and had grown more attached to him emotionally than I intended or anticipated. I’m glad in a way that he put a stop to the relationship because in hindsight I see that I was aimlessly floating out into dangerous territory and was getting in over my head. A friend heard about my plight and came over to comfort me. She asked me, “If that man had asked you meet him to have sex, would you have complied?” I had to think about the question for a few minutes before I could answer her. After searching my heart I felt pathetic and contrite because I probably would have ruined my reputation and the reputation of a good man whom I admired and respected if he’d had a weak moment. I wasn’t as strong, saved and sanctimonious as I thought I was I realized to my dismay. Even though I now understand why my former friend had become angry and dismissed me from his life, I still missed him and the platonic relationship I’d enjoyed these past months. The enormity of my loss hit me like a tornado. My heart was broken into a million pieces. I felt regrets that I had been so naive’, nonchalant and foolish but at the same time I felt blessed ironically. Even though it was not my choice to let go of the relatioship, I had to let it go and become a part of my past. Instead of having a relationship all I had to cherish was a memory. Instead of letting go because I’d been cut loose, I would have to let go by an act of my will. There was a time when I wanted to kick myself because I changed my mind after saying “Goodbye” the first time and tried to have my cake and eat it too per se. Then I realized that beating myself up would serve no useful purpose. What happened had happened, period. I couldn’t go back and erase anything or change anything. I’m finally smiling again although I know there are still a few more tears remaining inside that I must release when they swell up. I’m still tempted to contact him, but I’m not going to do so. I’m going to let go, forgive him, forgive myself and be grateful for an experience which has left me a stronger, happier, renewed person. I can honestly say that I NEEDED to have that good cry and I’m a better person because I allowed myself to trust someone enough to be open, vunerable and be hurt. When I fell, I fell hard. When I hurt, it was painful. When I cried, it was cleansing. When I got up, I no longer needed a crutch. It felt good while it lasted, but I don’t want to go backwards. It’s all behind me now. I’m not going to carry that baggage into my future. That’s too heavy of a load. Some people have wind beneath their wings. I had tears to lift me up. Some people had a friend to pull them up in their time of need. I had a friend to cut me loose in my time of need and that was exactly what I needed. I can’t help but to praise and “Thank God” for this particular person who came into my life. He was not meant to be a friend, a companion or even a guide, but he served his purpose. He was a welcome guest who didn’t overstay his welcome. One whom I enjoyed fellowshipping with but who couldn’t stay because he had a home elsewhere, not with me. So, I’m gladly waving “Goodbye” and blowing kisses at my dear guest as I let him go on down the road even though he can’t hear it or receive it. Goodbye Walter!

Deanna April 9, 2010 at 6:40 am

I was in a relationship with my boyfriend for nearly 5 years. The first year we were together we traveled to so many places, talked for hours on the phone or over coffee in some little hole in the wall place and enjoyed every moment we had. I ached when he was out of my sight. He was fresh out of a divorce and so was I. I felt like I had been awakened and had truly not lived life until we met. The passion we had (and could have now but…) was something I have never experienced.
Then after a tragic event that completely changed our lives occured, he became someone I did not recongize. I mourned for that former life and the happiness I felt. I now had to share him between so many other people and I was no longer a priority (maybe #5 or 6 if I think about it). He was angry and withdrawn. After 2 years of that my body couldn’t take it and I became very sick. I have not been the same for the last year but we continued to be together somewhat because of my fear of being completely alone. We would spend a few days a week together and I would fall off the cliff again emotionally when he left. I wanted him all the time but he was not capable of doing that. This week I received a letter from him breaking up with me. All of those dreams of kids and marriage are gone. Dreams that I should have with someone who is present in my life anyway not someone who is there 30%. My family is not supportive and I barely have any contact with them and now, without him, I wonder how I will get through. We talked every day on the phone and emailed many times a day. I know this will be the hardest thing to let go of but I have no other option. I wish that things would have been different but as Elizabeth Gilbert says in Eat, Pray, Love, I have to “stop wearing my wishbone where my backbone oughtta be”.
This article helped me a lot. I will be printing it off and reading it again and again. Thank you!

misty January 13, 2010 at 11:15 pm

letting go… my friend said let go of my ex.. but how could i??? i love him for years and waited for him to go back…then when i saw him, he is not ready for me. it was so devastating…. i tried to say goodbye but the pain is killing me… i know no one can help me but myself…. if only i could share my feelings to the peole around me. but i cant.. im also married and in bad relationship…

HELP- desperately to let go.... January 9, 2010 at 5:36 pm

I was in a relationship for only 4 months. I really connected with this guy, we have almost everything in common even in the intimacy. He live in NC and I’m in CT. We met in Facebook and we saw each other 5 times in this 4 months. We exchange so much love…well that’s what I thought. In my part, I gave him everything, I meant everything even money. We called each other 24/7. Sending pictures and videos. He is separated from his wife a year ago and now he is going to signed to papers to divorce. I was separated from my husband. His wife told him once she didn’t love him anymore and left him for another one. His separation left him financially broke so I helped him a little even when he didn’t have any money for groceries. I did stuff that I never did before with him. Overall everything was beautiful. He mentioned he did not want to commit but he seems to connect with me in so many levels that he told me many times he loves me and he sees himself having a life with me. That I was everything he look in a woman. So I planned to move to NC. The last time we meet we had a great time as always but I felt something was wrong. When I told him I love you he just avoided me with other questions. He once said: “if I feel to say I love you I will tell you”. For this Christmas, I paid his airlines ticket to see his ill dad in P.R. since he didn’t see him for more than 3 years. Also, he went to his 20 anniversary High School reunion. But before, I broke up with him because I didn’t felt the same love from him. I wanted out, disconnect me completely from him but I couldn’t. After that, we texted, called….my big mistake. Suddenly, his behavior change after two days in P.R. He told me he should be alone for a while because he doesn’t want to feel more pressure and he is going to be happy with or without me. I even so pictures at facebook having so much fun with his ex-high school sweetheart (he told me he didn’t have any romantic feeling s for her. He broke her heart once before). Now, he broke mine. I felt complete deception and anger towards him. So I sent him an email asking for all the money back. Money that I gave him with all my love and he didn’t deserve it. Now we are in bad terms. I feel so betrayed, hurt and used by him.

How can I let go a person that I love so deeply? He called me 24-7, we shared everything even the darkest secrets. I need to let go…..I think I was loving a person who was never real. Please….desperately I need to LET GO……!!!!!

OpenHeart Surgery January 4, 2010 at 4:16 am

I got divorced on 11 Sept 2009. In 2007, my wife moved out and was in another relationship. We never spoke muxh apart from divorce preparations – in Feb2008, I got into a relationship with a great person – Unfortunately, I found out she was working with her ex-boyfriend and was hiding this from me but they were extremely close still & I could not accept this so we broke up.
My ex-wife and I then tried to mend our marriage cos her ex-boyfriend moved and they decided to break up.
I could not make the marriage work cos although things were okay at first, we argued a lot and did not really forgive each other of our pasts – the more challenging this was that I realized that she was not a good partner to me but she challenged everything I said/did which caused arguments.
Anyways, they both have good qualities and I am struggling to let go of the past wrt them both; expecially my ex-girlfriend cos she really made me happy in all respects & we shared a short but great relationship
Any advice is welcomed so I can put closure to these and move forward.
Thanks
Mark

Love Coach Rinatta January 4, 2010 at 9:42 am

OpenHeart Surgery, I am sorry for your pain. You want to know how to achieve closure with both of these relationships. You can start by reading another article I wrote on the topic

If you are really, really serious about letting go of both of these relationships and eventually building another healthy, loving relationship, I recommend that you hire a qualified relationship coach – such as myself – to get you where you can’t go yourself.

Letting go of a relationship is hard work, and most people are never able to truly let go of their past relationships.

This one a process where information and advice isn’t enough. For example I can tell you how to pole vault. I can tell you EVERYTHING about how to hold the pole, how far away to stand, when to jump, how to position your body as you go over the pole… but until you’ve experienced it, it’s just a nice idea. You haven’t vaulted any poles. That’s why you would hire a coach.

Robyn December 9, 2009 at 1:38 pm

This article came up in a google search I was doing to try to find ways for my friend to find closure with his ex-wife. They divorced nearly 9 years ago after a 15 year relationship. During that time there was hurt, and resentment, but after the divorce they remained close and had a casual relationship from time to time. After meeting him, we became close and he confided inme that he was thinking about trying to make things work with her. He felt that his relationships since his divorce didn’t work out because he had not closed the door or gained closure with his ex wife, although we hants to because he realizes that the relationship is/never was a healthy one. He tells me he sees and desires a future with me but can’t seem to get over these conflicting desires with his ex wife. He did try to date her again. a few months ago, with disasterous results and is again about ready to bound into such a situation again. How do I help him close this door befre he gets hurt, again? Or do I let it ride its course and help him pick up the pieces? Can this really work? I would appreciate any advice.

Stacey October 16, 2009 at 5:26 pm

I originally found this article in 2005 when it was first written. At the time, I thought it captured my situation perfectly. It is now four years later and it still holds true. I have been with my now ex for nine years and the last four years have been really difficult. He was 100% what I wanted 40% of the time. We lived together for eight years then sold our house and planned to go our seperate ways. Mind you, we had “broken up” numerous times during this period but we still lived together and he would never move out. I even started a formal eviction process, but we would reconcile so I would drop the cases. After we moved into our own homes, I dated a few people but kept comparing them to the ex. About six months after splitting up, we got back together (still lived in seperate houses tho). I thought maybe we could make it work this time, and we were together for a year. One month ago, I tried to explain to him that it wasn’t going to work but he refused to believe that I meant what I was saying (probably due to our past history of on-again off-again). The entire time he has had issues with alcohol and he treated my daughter like she was a burden and in his way. My friends and family say he was jealous of her and they are probably right. I ended up telling him over the phone that it was over once and for all and to stay away from us, but he refuses to accept it. He continues to call, email, IM but I have not responded. The last time we broke up I kept in contact with him and compared everyone to him and nobody measured up. This time I feel like if I truly am going to move on, I need to break all connection to him. It is very hard when he tells me he loves me and always will and continues to reach out to me even when I don’t respond.

As I read all the posts from others situations, I fear I may never get over him. I fear I will never find that connection again and may end up “settling” because I’m lonely and don’t want to be alone. I think one problem many of us have is that we tend to forget the issues and how we feel in those bad times. We remember the good times and then we miss the person terribly. I have taken notes over the years to remind myself of how I felt during the low times and I read them when I feel weak and want to contact the ex. One of the most helpful things in this article is that my ex would have been everything I wanted if he could have been. He still says he is working on himself to be what I want, stop drinking, etc. I have been waiting so many years for that to happen because I wanted it to happen, but I have to accept that it will not happen. I only hope I can continue to be strong, move on and eventually find that spark with someone else.

erik September 12, 2009 at 3:46 pm

Even though it has pretty much ruined my life,
I am happy for my ex girlfriend Melissa.
After 4 + years together she finally left me,
got married, and had a baby.
She told me she didn’t love me anymore,
and had met and married ”the man of her dreams”.
Even though the effects of her breaking my heart have left me unemployed, alone, and hopeless, it makes me feel better to know she is happy!
Congratulations Melissa!
If only one of us can be happy, I’d rather it be you than me.
I would have easily gave my life to save yours . . . .
I guess I have.

Broken Heart August 26, 2009 at 2:14 pm

thank you all for sharing your thought. its kinda give me a sense of relief. i just broke up with my boyfriend, who i thought was the most wonderful guy i have ever dated. we have a lot of things in common and i really enjoyed the way he cared about me during the course of the relationship. all of a sudden everything got changed. he wanted to remain as friend and maybe go back into dating later. he actually sent me an email yesterday asked me if i wanna go some where with him. i tried contacting him after that email but he seem to be ignoring me now. i do understand that it is really difficult to remain friend with your ex if you still have a feeling for him, but i cant just let go of him. i still do wanna see him. its like one of the post here.. how can you let go of someone if you still want that person in your life? but i think i am ready to let go and move on. sometimes i feel like crying, deep inside my heart, i really miss him. and missing someone who might not miss you at all is the most painful feeling… i don’t even have the gut to tell him that i miss him… but i decided, i gonna let him go…

Mallory August 17, 2009 at 6:12 pm

I feel exhausted. 20 years of missing someone is a long time. I was hoping reading this would make a difference, but it doesn’t. I actually know to well what the issue is and why I can’t let go. I met the love of my life when I was just 17 years old. We were together for a little over 2 years. Our problem was timing. We were young and others were making decisions about our futures. We were pulled apart(literally) and never able to end the relationship on our own. My family had different views for my future and I felt powerless to fight them at the time. We had no closure. I was given the option to go college far away or not at all. Letters he sent to me were never given to me(this was prior to email and cell phones…I learned years later of the missing letters). I moved on with him constantly in my thoughts, but we were now 1000s of miles apart. I believed he moved on. I married and have two children. My husband is a wonderful person who loves me so much. He is so good to me. After 15 years of marriage, he asks me the other day why he isn’t enough for me. We don’t fight, but he knows. …my heart will never fully belong to him. I wish so much I could love him as he deserves. I have had contact with my ex. After 14 years, we communicated via email. I learned he has struggled just as I have over the years. He is married with three children. He said his wife has asked him in the past if he will ever love her as much as me. It seems we are both in the same place emotionally, but we also know we must do what is right for our spouses and children. We stopped emailing and haven’t had contact in the last 5 years, but I think of him each and every day. When my husband and I are “together” I think of him. I want more than anything to let go…I don’t know how to do so. I want to love my husband with my whole heart…I don’t know how to.

erik August 10, 2009 at 3:21 am

Believe me, all I have tried to do for almost 3 years, is to get over M _ l _ s _ a . . . ”my love”.
But you are trying to simplify things. Sometimes TIMING, is what makes a person not be able to ”move on”.
She left me. It was on my 40th birthday. I am a very athletic man.
I had feared being 40 for a few years before that terrible day happened.
We were together 4 1/2 years. She was 27 when she left me. It devastated me.
I lost my job of 25 years, and my beach apartment, my hair turned gray, I lost my confidence, and my power of attraction. I had been with many women before her . . . but I am now a total loser, and I haven’t had a date in 3 years.
P.S. ,
She got married to a much younger man, only a year after she left me.
They just had a baby . . . I am certain I will be alone the rest of my life.

Lauren May 16, 2010 at 1:54 pm

I just thought this comment was so sad and someone not giving themselves enough credit. You will find love again but only if you believe yourself you will. Because if you don’t believe you will, you don’t let yourself open up to the possibilities to fall in love. Thats what is so amazing about life, it surprizes you , sometimes bad and sometimes good. Sounds like u are due for a good surprize and it will happen just believe in it!

erik October 8, 2010 at 9:51 pm

Well,
I’m 44 now. And I did not recover.
I have lost my confidence completely.
I feel worthless to women. In fact, I have no value to anyone anymore.
I guess my broken heart, and the depression that followed, was what caused me to lose my job of 25 years.
And being unemployed has proven to be fatal.
I have been unable to find a steady job. So, I have fall deeper into hopelessness every day.
And as more, and more time goes bye,
It’s obvious that the trauma of being dumped on my 40th birthday has permanently ruined my life.
Not one woman on the planet, is interested in me anymore.
I have been alone for over 4 years now. I have not been on even one date.
It has been so long since I have had any kind of affection, I don’t remember what love even feels like.
Sometimes a broken heart CAN kill you.
It is too late for me now. I give up.

Gordon December 29, 2010 at 2:51 pm

Erik I just wanted to say I relate very well to what you wrote. I too am 44 and my wonderful wife left me many months ago(she was ten years younger than myself). It will be two years since she walked out the door in two months and there is not one day that goes by that I don’t pine for her, miss her and regret ever giving her a reason to leave (my issue was alcohol). In some ways knowing that you lost someone that was so perfect for you because of something you would have given up in a heart beat to save your marriage is a killer and I relive it over and over again. I too have thought about suicide, but can’t bring myself to do it. I know the pain though as well as anyone that has ever lived and loved. It is a burning rock in your stomach that has total recall of the past and in absolute vividness. I still can burst into tears if I don’t hold it back. All I can say is today I can hold it back. A year ago not even close. I thought I was going to have to get plastic surgery since the bags under my eyes were so huge. The real killer is since there is nothing we can do about our ex, dating at our age really is a whole new game. What attracted women to you in the past no longer attracts them and since our last relationship sits firmly in the past, we don’t have any real strategy to find someone new. And this my friend as you may know, even if we do find someone new, we compare them to our ex as if we have some giant check off list. I truly believe I will never love another woman as much as I loved my ex and I sometimes miss her so much I scream at god swinging my fist in the air, because he has never given me a reason for why I was at the place I was in my life when it was so important to change my bad habits.
I wish I could offer you some good advice, but there really isn’t any that is very useful for guys like you and me, however reading your story I did feel a kinship to you in some way and that at least for now has made me feel a bit better. I may never love again like I did with my ex. I may never realize the dreams and aspirations I had when I was with my ex (having children and growing old with her). And I may never truly get over her in a sense that I see I am better off without her, but ending it all is not the answer pal. You and I have to find a way to love ourselves again no matter what it takes. You may never have your ex again, but there is a reason to live and live you must. Take care and let her go.

Gordon December 29, 2010 at 3:42 pm

One last thing Erik, keeping tabs on her such as knowing she found someone else, married that someone else and then had children with that someone else is only contributing to and prolonging your pain. I am sure you kept up to date with what she was doing because you were hopeful to get other information such as does she miss you, does her current relationship make her wish she had given you another chance becasue now she sees what you two had together etc. I think I know this about you because I too have those thoughts. The only connection I have to her today is her brother, whom has been a good freind but honestly talking with him about anything makes it hurt even more or at the very least makes me relive some things I should have already let go of. The day he tells me she has found someone new, gotten re-married and had a child will be a day I don’t ever want to see. Sorry you had to. I can only imagine (and I have) what that feels like.

JF May 14, 2012 at 9:49 am

To Erik and Gordon- I just want to say something about your comments about being men in your 4os and not being able to attract women like you once did. I am 34 and just ended a relationship with a man who is 41. I had always dated men younger or my age but I loved my last boyfriend’s age. He took care of himself by eating basically well and getting just a moderate amount of exercise and I found myself very attracted to his age. He even gained like 15 pounds while we dated and I thought his body was beautiful. He was calmer and more loving than the younger men I had dated, a better lover… the lists of his good qualities is very long and I never found those qualitites with younger men. I felt like he was a real man. The only thing that came with his age that was a negative factor and the reason we are not together now was that he had more painful experiences with women in his past which he was hung up on and would not let go of and therefore put a wall between us that I could not get through. If you are willing to work on yourself and let go of your past pain, to truly open to love again, your age will be something a woman will appreciate.

Pete June 4, 2009 at 1:10 pm

I am so glad I found this in my time of need. I am a 34 year old male and fell in love with an amazing 24 year old girl. The chemistry was amazing and that grew into a one year relationship filled with arguments and dissapointments. But I would do it all over again. I understand we were on different pages, she wanted to explore the world and I wanted to settle down. This is when the problems started. She smoked pot alot and it bothered me. Eventually I blew up and yelled at her. She left me and it has been the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with. I see her often through our circle of friends and work and wish I could just move and be free of her. I have been in such pain since she left because I tried everything to make her happy. I was a good man to her and she still walked away. I guess this is why it hurts so bad..becasue I tried EVERYTHING and it was not enough.

European Man January 8, 2011 at 1:07 pm

This post is not to give you a word of comfort….. just telling my story as well, thats is 99% similar to yours, except the pot.
Also, I’m 29 and she’s 23.

I’m not going to dwell on the finer details of my relationship with her…..
At one point we were 100% kindred… and I cannot believe that myself and her went from those perfect moments to this in just a few months.
In July, August of 2010 we where great, and by mid October things had already deteriorated to a point of almost no return.

Although sometimes I say things I shouldnt in the heat of an argument, but I always apologized and I’ve been a very good man and companion to her. I’ve been there for better and worse, to the point of completely disregarding my well being for the sake of her well being. Maybe thats why she hugged me crying her heart out when she was breaking up with me, saying I was a great guy, etc.
And She still left me….

When I got home, I also cried that night.
Although I see clearly that this relationship would never ever work in the long run, I became very depressed, I struggle to work, to go to the gym, to do even the simplest things.
Sometimes I get nightmares with her and wake up in the middle of the night…

I’m a good looking guy and successful for my country standards. I have two girls who where blatantly happy when knowing I was single again. Both have asked me out on dates.
I keep postponing or making excuses to decline those dates because I dont feel well.. I feel inadequate. I dont feel like even setting up a foot outside my house. I dont want to talk or contact with anyone. Weekends are now passed at home doing nothing in silence.

I recall great moments we spent together…. I will never have those moments again with her.
I think of her beeing now (dont know if she is or not) with other men…and it hurts.

Most of the time I’m distracted by other stuff, but almost everyday comes a moment where I feel the heartache really deep.
Those moments are usually at night in workdays. I run from that heartache and those kinds of thoughts I described above by taking anti-depressants and sleeping it away.

Now comes the really twisted part.
I know that I should ask for help with a mental health professional, because these feelings are not normal and are crippling me. But…. I dont want the pain to go away. I want to suffer. I want for this to cripple me to the point of no return, of no recovery possible.

I havent got a clue why I want these things, but I do.
I also wish bad things to happen to her, I want her life to be filled with pain, loneliness and depression until the end of her days.
Sometimes when driving from work back to my house at the end of the day, I start talking by myself, like I’m talking to her…. I dont know why…and sometimes I get in these really twisted dark thoughts but I’ll not discuss them here.

Feels good to write about these things, provides some kind of small temporary relief….

G January 8, 2011 at 1:54 pm

European Man: Yes you do need a mental health professional. First you realize your relationship was not a good one and you are better off. And to top it off you wish her harm now. Seems that temper may have contributed a great deal to this relationship ending. It is natural even in a “not so good” “short term” relationship to feel pain and even a very deep ache in your soul when it ends, but in my experience in a situation like yours you will be 90% + better in a matter of weeks (You are young and have two gals that are in waiting). Try losing someone who you really cared about, made a commitment to and planned on spending the rest of your life with. Try losing a wife after many years that you loved more than anyone you have ever met and that you had found in her a person that completed you in ways you had never imagined possible. Try being in your 40′s when you have to start over again and your dating prospects are not nearly what they used to be. If you are lucky, you will have many more of these fly by night relationships before you meet the woman you are supposed to be with. And then hope you dont screw that up! Pain is pain I know, but coming from where I am coming from and my past breakups, you have no clue what it is like to lose a true soul mate. The guilt, the grief, the constant wishing you had done things differently and could be given a second chance. I have never wished any harm come to my ex at anytime even if she did walk away and never looked back. I loved her, truly loved her and it would take a lot more than just a decision that she would be better off without me to ever wish any harm come to her. And if I was a person with anger issues like you seem to be, I would be happy that she walked away before something really bad happened. I hate to say this but you almost cheapen the experience some of us are going through with your post. Yes please get some help, you need it. If not for yourself than for the next woman you have a relationship with.

Em June 1, 2009 at 10:25 pm

Thanks for this blog. This was very interesting. About 2.5 months ago, a long relationship ended. Last week I sent him an email to get some things off my chest. I ended the email with love and gratitude for what we shared. Thanked him. I told him I was not expecting a reply. Against all my friends’ advice, I did actually send it to him. My friends were mortified. Reading this article made me so glad that I did that. It was kind of my way of just saying what I wanted to say and then letting him go with love and not bitterness. He still hasn’t replied, but that’s okay. That wasn’t why I wrote it. Getting a response was not my intent. I’ve seen it on advice columns and also have heard it from my friends: write a letter and express all your feelings to this person, but don’t send it to them! Why is that? Is there wisdom to this advice and will I later regret it? I still have yet to feel any regret.
Just wondering. Thanks so much for this post. I enjoyed reading it. -E

Melissa May 18, 2009 at 8:49 pm

Great article, great comments. I just left a 9 yr relationship with the man I was sure I would marry and live happily ever after with. We started dating when we were 23, we went out a lot and always had a great time with his friends and mine. This man was smart, caring, and let me feel like I could always tell him anything. I felt that I had finally found the person I could be honest with, he was the one who tore down my emotional walls. About 1 1/2 yrs ago, things started getting ugly. He was drinking a lot, and his depression had become out of control. He ended up in hospitals and in various rehab facilities over the last year, has criminal charges pending, and has already served some jail time, with more to come. i found out that he has been lying about his alcohol abuse and his mental illness for years, and hiding all manner of things from me. I finally left and moved into my own place a month ago, after realizing there is nothing more that I can do, and he is continuing on his path of self destruction at full speed. The problem is that I do still speak to him, I do want to know if he’s ok (alive, at least). Sometimes I think it would be so much better to cut all ties and not speak to him at all, but I care so much and worry so much that I feel like I’m going crazy if I don’t know how he’s doing, if I don’t hear his voice every few days. I know in my heart this isn’t healthy, but I don’t know how else to keep myself sane. I’m a worrier by nature, and the past 18 months have amplified that by about 200%. Thoughts on how to cope?

Sallie May 16, 2009 at 3:15 am

How to let go? im sitting here at 4am because I can’t sleep. I have asked my husband to leave because of commitment issues. it will be 4 months tomorrow. we haven’t so much as had coffee but he claims we are working on us. I know in my heart that he is with someone now. how do I not care? we are still married and have two children.
It seems nieve, but how can you do that to a family? How do I stop caring? It’s like high school. he never calls me, but he will call when I don’t pay attention to him.
I think it is killing me that he can be with someone else.
I will try to take your advice to let go, but its SO HARD. Especially when that person says they love you. But I know what love feels like. I DESERVE LOVE.
He cheated, I tried to make it work. He was remorseful. I caught him lying again. I put him out of the house. Because I deserved better/but I also hoped he’d see what he was losing.
We have been together for 15 years, and married for 9. Since this celebration, both our birthdays, valentines & our anniversary have past. We spent on of those together. I call him and I feel like the other women, after a certain time, I can reach him. I know about another phone, and I just want to shake him and say, “we have a beautiful family, stop this,” but he is constantly lying about having a phone and wanted his family back.
2 days ago, My blood presure went threw the roof and I ended up in the hospital. Im late thirties, 2 children under age 9 that have never know a life like they are experiencing now. Dad here Mom there. But I’ll have to say, they are adjusting better than mom. Dad seems fine, he live at a party house with the boys, at 40!
i haven’t had sex with anyone but him in 14 years! he says he hasn’t been unfaithful since our seperation – whether true or not, he is pre occupied with HIS LIFE, i wish I was the same.
It consumes me. I scared myself laying in the hospital the other day. He asked me what happend, I told him, I didn’t want to talk about it. My brother told him I had a stomache issue. They are TRYING to help me move on and get irritated when I don’t follow their advice. I feel, in my heart, I won’t believe he could do this to our marriage again until I physically SEE him Screw someone. I came to his place unanounced and there was a huge blowout. I never seen who was there for HIM, but I deserve more. So do my kids, I have to see him almost EVERYDAY. it kills me.
I will continue to be decietful. like you said, he has done the best he can do. no guilt trip, sex or acting something other than what i am will change him. Instead of take this time to reflect on our family, he is living the bachelors life – which he fiecely denies – but why wont I use this time for ME. I remain consumed about him.
We made an agreement we would remain faithful. I don’t feel like he is honoring this commitment. we spend no time together. we don’t speak to each other other than child related issues. It’s been 2 1/2 years since i discovered his infidelity and 4 months since he’s been out the house. He says hed still be there if i hadn’t put him out. But what man would leave a beautiful family, if he thought he could continue to have both.
How do I focus on ME and not CARE if he is sleep with someone else? Dating them, talking and loving them? I cry as I write this. That is MY husband. He is supposed to do those things for me, but says Im so angry he cant enjoy my company anymore.
Im tired of the hurt.

Sallie’s last blog post..Dating Tip #1

Kathryn May 12, 2009 at 4:53 pm

Thank you for the article, and more importantly, all the comments, reading them has been healing for me.
I dated a man about 20 years ago. We were great friends in High School ( I didn’t know it, but he had quite a thing for me then too) and afterwards, while he was in the service, we dated whenever he was home. We had great times together, he was funny and smart, and attentive. I thought he felt deeply for me, but he never admitted to any feeling like thaqt, so I thought I was imaginging things. I felt deeply for him, but because of my pride then, I didn’t admit to it either. I went tru a traumatic time, losing a close loved one and basically making a mess out of my life and cut ties with him. Without any reason. I ran away from my bad mistakes, and he just reminded me of some of them.
I then met and a few years later married a man, who on the surfac was almost identical to the old boyfriend. (looks, service, intelligence, humor) He, it turns out married someone who , on paper, seems very much like me(looks, ideas, style…) . recently (or 20 some odd years later) we reconnected. It started off with basic how are you emails. It then went to about 10 emails a day, nothing intimate. Then I apologized for the way it ended. And he explained where his head was at the time, and how much I did mean to him, how he had planned on , when he got out of the service, his plan was to spend much more time with me and let me know how he felt so I could choose or not to spend the rest of my life with him, what he wanted. We then started IM-ing nightly. In 6 weeks, we IM-ed over 150 hours. He was seperating from his wife . I had asked my husband for a divorce the month before we reconnected. He is bipolar and for the first 10 years of our marriage he cheated on me constantly, which I only found out after he left the country to move in with a woman, leaving me and my 2 chidren. He attemped suicide a year later and was then diagnosed. After getting stabalized on medication, he wanted to come back and try to keep the family together. I was devastated at the thought of my family breaking up, and honestly, scared of being on my own, so I said yes. After 9 years of trying to keep life from disturbing my husband so as not to agravate his bipolar, I have had enough.
My old boyfriend married a woman with deep depression issues. They had almost seperated 3 times. They were seperating again because he did not think he could be happy with her and was trying to decide if he should stay in a relationship that was ok, but more along the lines of 2 people who liked each other but were not involved in each others life at all, or give them(his children) the opportunity of seeing one,possibly both his parents in loving dynamic relationships. He worried about her depression and the affect it would have on his children with her being the custodial parent if they did divorce. He works out of the country often on business.
Not to go into too much detail, but he needed to make a decision recently about what to do with his relationship. We have only met a handful of times, lots of emails, chat and phone. But (and I know how cliched this sounds), this connection is amazing. We will be IMing about nothing when I get sad and almost immediatly he asks ‘whats wrong?” he can tell how I feel. I feel it with him too. One day we were IMimg and I just started sobbing for no reason, I didn’t let on in the chat that I was crying and he asked what was wrong, I told him to tell me, cause I had no idea, he relayed that he had been thinking about a friend of his all morning who had passed away…he feels that we are connected on a heart and soul level. do you realize how improbable a mn saying this is?? He told me he was starting to believe in dreams and wishes again, he had given that up years ago, and felt that he had made his own hell, it was his to deal with. But with that pressure to make a decision, he finally, after distaning himself from me for a week or so (I have never asked him to choose, I know that if we are ever going to work out, he needs to leave his marriage because it is the right thing for them, never leave it for me) he and I got together for coffee and he said that he couldn’t quit his marriage yet because he felt he had not tired everything yet. I so understood that he got upset and said he felt like a hippocrite. He wanted to still be friends. He said that he has wanted me in his life since he was 16, and if the only way he can have me in his life is as a friend, then that is what he will take. After that, when we were leaving i huggedhim and asked him to promise me he would be happy. He said he couldn’t promise that. I then asked him to try to be happy, he said he couldn’t do that either.Here is my problem, he still calls or emails me every 2-3 days. Very sweet and thinking about me. has not crossed the line of inappropriate behaviour. I try to keep it easy and breezy and light. But inside it is killing me. I want the intimate connection we had. But I don’t want to lose him out of my life either. We have only met since then 2 times. And both times were fun and great, the only issue is he can’t seem to look at me. But when I am looking away, out of the corner of my eye, I see him stare at me, and then look away when I look at him. I have these ideas in my head that they will eventually break up, and we can be together, but if I walk away, then that door closes. I know this isn’t healthy, I have asked him to tell me to walk away, because with him I seem to not have any discliplin or boundries. He refuses to aske me to leave his life. But now I am thinking ineed towalk away and let him live his life. and to get on with my new life. The reason for this long book of a comment is so others may not feel like they are alone in their experiences. I gained so much from reading others comments.
thanks. I am trying to figure out how not to answer the phone or respond to the email. I guess i have to hold on to the thought that i love him enough to want him to be happy even if it is without me. and I want more for him than he wants for himself.

elein April 29, 2009 at 9:22 pm

this post reminded me of my ex. i used to be like what the article says.. but now.. i dont think i even know him anymore. people grow up, change, and become diff people. we become different and the memory of the past is just what it is – a memory. not reality.

so i do appreciate the memories we had, and i do care about him in a way. but its not the same anymore.

however, i am now stuck in another dillema. I have met this guy who is from england (i’m from aus) and even though we have not known each other long, I feel (albeit all the cultural differences and everything else) that we just connect. I feel like we want the same things in life, and i know this is silly (esp since we have not known each other long), but i feel like we understand and know a lot about each other, and he might possibly be the one.
he’s travelling now and has left, and is going to study his masters elsewhere. and i know (from past experience) that long distance is not a good idea.
but we still keep in touch sometimes and perhaps one day when i travel or vice versa we will arrange to meet up.
but i just dont really know what to do. its a situation where i have to just let go and let thiings happen by itself. but does that mean i have to let him go? i feel caught in the middle.
i have other guys on the side, one in particular which things may get serious, but it doesnt feel the same. i cant imagine having his kids or growing old with him. then again. i havent known mr england for a particularly long time.

Terry March 31, 2009 at 2:42 pm

I’m sorry, but this post does make sense to me in any real world way. Sending out positive feelings does not change the reality of what happened, nor, necessarily, what is still happening. What you’re suggesting sounds to me, not “is”, sounds like, “Make believe everything’s okay and it will be.” How can you tell someone that? Really? Whether we want the person back or want to be as far away as possible sending them “good thoughts” is lying about how we truly feel. If we are to grow and heal emotionally don’t we first have to be as honest as possible with ourselves? Sending them good vibrations is tricking ourselves to feel good when we think about them from that point on. But it doesn’t change things. It doesn’t resolve the issues we had. It doesn’t cause responsibility to be taken and maturity to set hold. It doesn’t protect us from future harm. Why would you say such things?

jade March 27, 2009 at 12:37 pm

nice!!!!!!

Love Coach Rinatta March 26, 2009 at 12:10 pm

Mel: I am glad the article helped.
Jenny: it seems your story is about how to get this man to love you, but look deeper. There’s something lurking below the surface that makes you stay in this relationship. is it because you feel you are not good enough to be loved?

Jenny March 25, 2009 at 12:39 pm

I have read all the article and all the comments that followed. I must say this is the closest article I have found to answering some of my questions. However, I am still confused as to what to do in my situation. A year and four months ago, I met a man who seemed to be what I had been waiting for for the past ten years of my life. I had a boyfriend in high school who I had broken up with then and it seemed like no matter how many years or relationships went by, I still thought about him. Right after high school, I met my soon to be ex-husband. We were together for six years. I think that I did love and care very much for my husband, but he wasn’t the man I was meant to be with. In fact, I knew that while walking down the isle, I was making a mistake. I feel as though I truly tried to make our marriage work, but as time went on I felt trapped with someone who I was not in love with. The last year of our relationship together I contemplated divorce, but because of our religion I hesitated. Finally, after talking until I was blue in the face, I gave up. I started to yearn for the feelings I had with my high school boyfriend. There had been no man in the past ten years that had made me feel the way he did. Well, I knew my high school boyfriend and I would never be together again. I didn’t even know where he was and by that point I think I just missed the relationship I had with him and the way he made me feel. More than wanting to feel in love again, I wanted to feel like I was capable of loving someone again. I had felt numb to loving for so long. And just to add, my husband was and is a wonderful person and for the most part we got along very well. But it was like living with a roommate rather than a partner.
Then one night a little over a year ago, my best friend and I went to a bar. I had gotten a little tipsy and we ended up talking to the guy sitting next to her. We were buying shots and drinks for one another and to make a long story short, he and I ended up kissing. I wasn’t sure what I was doing, but the attraction I had to this man was very strong. We had exchanged numbers and talked all night long until our phone batteries died. And to make this part even shorter, we began seeing each other. Within four days of knowing him, I had told my husband I wanted a divorce. My husband was crushed. He did not want this. He eventually found out I was seeing someone else. Since then, we have sold our house and live separately. Our divorce is not final, but he and I have talked and are friends. As for the man I left him for, that situation turned my world upside down. He and I did not work out as a couple. Our situation was very complicated. He was divorcing and it was a divorce he did not want. He was still in love with her. They shared a child. He also had two other children from previous relationships. For some reason, though, I fell for him very hard. I had that feeling about someone again like I had had back in high school. We were not intimate very often and infact, he had told me after a few weeks of knowing each other that he just wanted to be friends. That was very hard for me to take, and I feel like I had lost my mind a bit. I had tried everything I could to make him want me. I had said and done the most outragous things to get him. All of which just pushed him further away. We would go weeks or months without talking and then talk again. We hang out at his house and he had introduced me to his children. I did not have children and have always been on the fence about having them, but from the moment I met his children and seen the way he is with them, I have wanted one of my own or to be involved with his. I care very much for them. Also, seeing how good of a father he is has made my attraction to him stronger.
So many times, I have had friend set me up with men that it did not work out with. For whatever reason, I seem to be fine with dating as long as he and I are not talking or hanging out. But the minute we fall back into this weird friendship we have, I have trouble dating. I don’t know how to explain it, but after all of the drama he and I put each other through, we have managed to actually be friends. Infact, I actually watched his children recently for a weekend while he was working midnights. I know that he cares for me as a friend. He has showed me that many times. Infact, I was seeing a man who I knew was bad for me (but that is a whole other story) and this man happened to get a little aggressive with me one night. I was never scared that he would hurt me but I was upset that I had let myself be put in that type of situation. I had told him about it and we happened to be out with a group bowling and went for drinks afterward. Well he was giving me hell for letting myself get put in that situation. He then wanted to know where this other man hung out. I know that I shouldn’t have told him but I did (thinking the other man would not be there b/c he was in the national guard and should have been away at drill that weekend). He wanted to go there. So, he and I ended up going there. Sure enough, the other guy was there. The other guy started bothering me when I had went to the bar by myself once and then again when my “friend” walked away from me for a moment. Well, long story short, the two had words. There was not fighting and my “friend” and I had a great time the rest of the night. We did happen to go home together and some sexual stuff did happen, but I refused to let it go very far. I know how strong my feelings are for him and did not want to complicate things again. Plus, I was not as intoxicated as he and I did not want him having any feelings of regret. This has been about three weeks ago and we have not talked about any of the sexual stuff that happened. We have laughed and joked about the rest of the night, but never that part. I think I keep my mouth shut about it because I have a fear of rejection. I don’t want to hear the “we are just friends and i was drunk when that happened”.
After everything that has happened between us, we have remained friends. I really did not think that after all we have put one another through, we would still be talking. I don’t know how to explain it, but between my psycho-ness and the hurt he was working through w/his ex-wife, we have both somehow came back down to earth and remained friends. However, I still have these very strong feelings for him. It scares me that another ten years may go by before I feel this way about someone again. I really care about him and his children. And everytime I think I can handle being just friends, I learn that I can’t. I don’t want to cut him out of my life and sometimes I think I can handle waiting around on him. I think that now that I am not as crazy as I was when we first met that he is starting to see the real me and maybe one day he will see me as more than a friend again. I am on this constant rollercoaster. I know in the back of my mind that he just wants to be friends but then we will go through this period of going to dinners together and watching movies or just hanging out at his house with his kids and sometimes a group of us will go out. There is never anything physical between us with the exception of times like I mentioned before, which have only happened probably a total of 5 or 6 times. And I am good so long as we are talking or seeing each other. But when we start to go a while w/o talking, I get very depressed. I sort-of feel like this is an obsession but at the same time I think there must be something about me he likes or he wouldn’t keep talking to me. Reality tells me there will never be a relationship like I want unless I am willing to wait for a very long time. But I also don’t want to hurt anyone else again b/c I have feelings for someone else. And I am 26 and feel as though I am starting all over again with nothing and would like to find someone to settle down with and have children. I am honestly fine with not having children of my own, but at the same time I do not want to live a life w/o them at all. I just wish I could figure it out. I don’t want another ten years of feeling like I’m living a lie. I don’t want to have to force mysef into thinking I love someone when I don’t.
Please help. Do you think there is any hope to he and I ever having a relationship again? And if there isn’t any hope of a relationship, how do I live with being just friends b/c I refuse to let him out of my life unless that is what he wants?

Pat April 29, 2011 at 10:58 pm

you have to choose ma dear to love you more before you wish to get others to love you.

Mel March 19, 2009 at 6:51 pm

What a beautifull sentiment it is that true love is never really over, unfortunately the sense of loss that accompanies it is never over either. Although, you don’t feel that way every minute of every day, the moments that you do are almost unbearable. What I feel for my ex is a love that could stop the world from spinning. And it us undoubtedly hard to know in my heart that he truly felt what I felt, and that he feels what I feel. We don’t talk. Haven’t for the 4 years that have separated us,with the exception of 2 conversations, yet some things, you just know, you just feel. We’ve had our moment of closure, and have both moved on in ways of our own. Yet it’s moments like this morning, when I awake missing him, that I truly think that if this is what true love is like, I would have settled for something lesser. This article was just what I needed to read today. The words were undoubtedly spoken just for me. I have talked & prayed myself through letting go, but love doesn’t as easily let go of you. Reading this article , as well as the responses and stories, I cried, my tears a sweet release. Now the moment has passed, and I’m ready to go back to my ‘regular’ life.

matt February 7, 2012 at 5:41 pm

Me and my ex were together a while and we broke up then she started dating someone else but told me how much she misses me and everything and ended up kissing me. She takes my sisters out and constantly talks about how much she misses me but wont date me again so i decided i need to let go. I tried to stop doing the same things she does. Now i am around her constantly and she seems like she is having a harder time then me its like she wont let me let go i am apart of a volunteer organization and i tried quiting it because its getting to be alot to handle and she started cring and put a guilt trip on me so i could and she says she is still me friend but in the same breath tells me to let go. what do i do?

Love Coach Rinatta March 9, 2009 at 9:45 am

Dear Laurie, there could be many reasons why thoughts of your ex are coming up. Perhaps what you are missing in your current relationship is becoming evident? Perhaps there’s still healing that needs to be done of the last relationship? Perhaps you are masking some feeling from your current relationship by thinking about the past? Look deeply inside yourself and ask why and see if an answer will emerge for you. And if not, I will be glad to help you distill the reasons out in a ProblemSolver coaching session – click on the services link above – so that you can address them and not allow them to sabotage your current relationship.

Laurie March 9, 2009 at 12:47 am

Hi Rinatta I’m glad I came across your advice. I was up at 4am wondering why I’ve been thinking about a past relationship for the past few days. It’s been bugging me because for the first time in 5 years since that relationship, I’m finally in a great one now and I can see myself marrying this man. If I’m so happy with this relationship, why am I thinking all of a sudden for the first time in a long time about the past one? I had thought my ex was the one at the time and since I have never met anyone like him. I still blame myself for the end of that relationship. I really hurt him unintentionally and although I tried to make it up to him over and over again and begged him for forgiveness, he still wouldn’t give me another chance. I suffered for that loss for a very long time. He completely put up a wall and became a different person to me. He went from loving me and being my dream guy, to someone who treated me like I was nothing. He would call once in a blue moon to say hello, and it gave me a bit of hope that he would come around, but he never did. As time went on he completely faded away after that. My address and phone number had changed too ofcourse and there was eventually no way to contact eachother anymore. Why after 5 years of that loss do I still feel pain and regret and that I may have lost the man I could’ve married back then? After I felt that I had suffered enough atleast 1 1/2 yrs after it ended I had to block him out of my head. Now all of a sudden thoughts of this past relationship have been haunting me over the past few days. Why?

Melanie December 9, 2008 at 4:58 pm

Thanks very much for this article.

I have finally come to the conclusion that I must break all contact with my ex. We have been broken up for a year, but we have tried to maintain a friendship. I am feeling that I’ve done all I could and now I just need to get out 100% in order for me to feel better.

He meant more to me than anything when we met…I genuinely thought he was the man for me. I had been single for sometime and when we met, everything clicked. It was familiar and comfortable right away. Sure we had trying times, but when we were good to each other,things were great.
He was fairly depressed and had bouts of severe panic attacks. I nursed him through and he always commented that no one helped him as much as I ever did. He was very sweet, loving and we enjoyed spending days at a time together.

There was always something a little off though. Turns out he still wasn’t over his ex who had gone back to Malaysia (they dated for a year back in 2003/2004..he was 29, she was 18/19 and it was his first relationship and it was very turbulent (example:When he had panic attacks with her, she would tell him he wasn’t a man and that he was pathetic, she once punched him in the face during an arguement, he left her out in the middle of nowhere after a fight and never went back to pick her up, etc.).

What I didn’t know was that he was still in love with her and that they were still in communication..and she knew nothing about me. They constantly broke up and got back together (over the phone,msn, text message, etc) never seeing each other in 3 years,nor making plans to be together while she travelled and saw the world. He also had no other friends besides her and myself.

I am sure I bore the brunt of some of his frustration with her. I finally found out, waited it out (for 6 months) and I could do no more. I issued him an ultimatum. (Never wise, I know…but I was tired of the way he had started taking me for granted)He could either continue to work on things with me, or we could break up.

He told me that he needed to ‘feel’ single and that we should break up. I even encouraged him to go and see this girl (she’s 11 years younger than him) and see if they could work things out. 6months later, he went to visit her on one of her adventures (funded by his parents!(they tell me that hopefully he’ll see she’s still horrible!))(2 weeks = not long enough in my opinion). All this time, we are friends (we never talk about this girl,etc) and still hang out,sleep over (no sex), etc.

Meanwhile, I need to decide to stay in the UK or go home. I decide I need to be at home…I tell him that if he wants me to stay I will…but I want to be together. He doesn’t want me to leave, but he doesn’t want to be together either. I come home.

We still talk regularly…then communication starts to drop off. He calls me this weekend (after not hearing from him in 2weeks) and he tells me that he is going to spend the holidays with her in Malaysia(of course…paid for by his parents!!!!). I pretend/act to be happy and wish him well. He tells me he was was worrying about calling with the news.

I wish he had never called at all. I miss him terribly..but I am angry and sad and depressed. I know he never got over her (well, she’s obviously still very present in his life..as in…right now!!) and I guess he never will.
The only thing I guess I can do for myself is to cut all contact (he will call, but I won’t answer and I know him mom will try to contact me (but they are just as crazy to be paying for him to run off and see her when she snaps her fingers when they ‘tell’ me that they don’t approve of her!)..so sadly, I will cut contact with them too.

It all makes me very sad. I loved him and I did the best I could. I hadn’t loved anyone in a very long time and I’m thankful that he gave that gift back to me. I am thankful for a lot of things in our relationship..and I hope that someday we will be able to speak again…but for my sanity, I think I need to distance myself completely.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Love Coach Rinatta June 18, 2008 at 3:10 pm

Dear Angel, thanks for your comment. Your story is inspiring. It is hard to let go but when you do miracles happen.

Angel June 18, 2008 at 10:04 am

Not sure if anyone will even see this considering how long it’s been since the last posting. I hope someone does though.
I was married to(what I thought was)the man of my dreams for 5 yrs…together for 7yrs. He is a wonderful man and we had a great relationship. It took some years to realize that we served our purpose with each other. Yes I thought it would last forever, but he wasn’t the one ultimately. We helped each other grow up and learn things about ourselves, and when we were done it was over. It seemed that I had failed at a marriage, and I wanted so desperateely to hold on. There is life after a lost love…
My ex and I have kept in touch over the last 3 years since our divorce. I thought since we were best friends while we were married we could continue a healthy friendship. A few months ago I had to stop the communication between us. My ex admitted that he still loved me and regreted his decision. I thought I would be happy about what he was saying, but it was a little upsetting. I was finally over him, and i couldn’t bare the thought of him hurting like I did. He was angry when I told him that I didn’t think we should talk anymore. I’m in a relationship with an amazing man now. I told him when we first got together that I still carried on a friendship with my ex, and he was okay with that. I realized it would be disrespectful to my current relationship to keep what I thought was a friendship…in reality my ex has been holding on to our past in hopes of me coming back to him. Once I made the decision, and dealt with his anger towards me for it, I felt the biggest weight lift off my shoulders. I’m at peace with what the relationship was and is now. I’ve moved on completely and I’m fully able to love deeply and enjoy my future no matter what is in store.
So the morale is it is hard to get over the past, but you can and will move on.

shaun mair May 12, 2008 at 9:37 pm

i was marred for four years .and very happy till my ex find someone on the enternet. whill i was at work she said that i did a lot of things to her witch i did not.i still love her and think she still loves me but wont say well she got sick and went to stay with her sister in CA i lived in UT she told her sister and hre mom and the kids that she wonted me to come and take care of her so i did well when her sister got mad at me she got made at me to. she heart me very badly. after she left me i tard to kill myslef three times i love her so much. and she hold on to my things i think she wonts to keep some of me.please till me what i’m not doing i am very gaving and just wont to be loved

Irish January 9, 2008 at 9:51 pm

When I read this article, I really cried. I realized how i’m making my boyfriend suffer. I never felt he loves me. But I’m still hoping that he will someday. But as of now I am only hurting myself believing in such. I wanted to let go. But i don’t know how. Sometimes, I just wanted to die because of the hurt he is giving me and yet he always says that it’s a simple thing it doesn’t matter. Please help me. I really wanted to be at peace…..

Jon December 20, 2007 at 7:43 pm

I just want to give my complete thanks for sharing this incredible piece. After months of scouring the internet, I have found no article that address the problem I’ve had better than this one. I can honestly say I am thankful to have come across it.

In the beginning of this year ( 2007 ), I was recovering from the breakup of a 5 year relationship. I had to move into a new house, buy all new furniture, and basically start over entirely.

By the end of January I had completed all my goals of finding a new house to live in, and furnishing it. What happened in February is something I will never forget for the rest of my life.

I met the most incredible woman, who seemed to be everything I was ever looking for in my love life. She felt the same way too, and our relationship progressed at light speed; until we were spending all our free time together, and had plans of eventually getting married. We introduced each other to our friends, and family, traveled together, and lived a very satisfying life.

But along the way, things started to go wrong. Differences popped up and they proved to be insurmountable. After 6 months, this person that I loved dearly seemed almost impossible to get along with.

We soon broke up as I could not take the emotional abuse she regularly visited upon me. It’s taken me another 6 months to finally feel some closure. We kept in touch, and even made an attempt at getting back together that failed miserably.

The best lesson I can learn from this is not sacrifice everything you want in another person, even though you have love in the relationship. As this article says, you cannot make the person be everything you want them to be. She did give me all she was capable of giving, which was a lot. She welcomed me into her life fully. Which made it very hard to write her off.

I have moved on, and have dated many women since then. But as you say, true connection never dies. I will always miss my Julie, and always think of her in a loving way. Even though we will not be together, I wish that she find the man of her dreams, as I have the same hope for myself.

Thanks again for writing such a meaningful essay. It really meant the world to me.

Angel December 20, 2007 at 12:02 pm

I don’t know how I found this today but I’m so glad I did! I’ve been in a relationship for 3 years now. The first year was great! We had so much fun together ALL of the time. I’ve had long relationships in the past but never anything like this one. A remember the exact day that we got into our first BIG fight and ever since then it’s been nothing but downhill. Don’t get me wrong we still have good times and they’re great but they are definitely outweighed by the bad. At first he started getting jealous. Accusing me of everything!! Then he started getting flirty with everyone. I still don’t believe that he ever cheated on me but when we were apart I always wondered if he would. I began to feel like he was always looking for something else, something better than me but at the same time I know he loves me. Confusing isn’t it! So finally I left the relationship. I started dating someone else but it wasn’t the same. And during the time we were broken up it seemed like he went into a serious depression. He even went to see a shrink. We still kept in contact and eventually he convienced me that things would be better so we got back together. Things were great for awhile but soon went back to the way they were. All the fights and hurtful things being said to each other only this time I was saying just as much as he was. It’s like we think of the most hurtful things we can think of and say them to each other. Since the beginning we had talked about moving across the county together and now we’ve done it. Our dreams were finally coming true, or so we thought. We’ve only been out here for 2 months and things are worse than they’ve ever been, worse than I ever thought they could be. Until now I have to admit I blammed him for most things (because it was mostly him in the beginning) however I’ve realized I’m now doing wrong too. We both know it’s best for us to move on and that’s what we’ve decided to do. But I feel like we’ve been though so much together and now they we’ve finally done the one thing we’ve always talked about wanting to do together, we’ve given up. I think that part of me is scared because he’s all I have out here. I haven’t met that many people yet and I have no family out here but even still I don’t want to let him go. The stress level since we’ve been here has been so high. We’ve had to adjust to alot of new things. One of which is not know anyone else but each other. We’ve never been together all of the time before. Are we giving up? Is this someting we can work through. I want to believe it is but I just don’t know. A part of me wants to “see what will happen” but the other part of me wants to let go because I know I probably should but I just can’t do it. I love him so much!! Why can’t I just let him go?

Chennelle December 15, 2007 at 6:19 pm

I had someone that I really loved.He was everything that I have been searching for.He held me at night,he listened to anything that I had to say.He gave me advice.He helped me in every way. He would get jealous every now and then when he thought that guys were trying to talk to me.I loved that because it used to make me feel like he cared about me.He used to call me every night and we would talk for hours. But then he things began to go down hill.Then he broke up with me. Then he said that we could still be friends but it wasn’t enough for me.I wanted him back.All I do is think about him.And I don’t know how we got to this but we don’t even speak to each other, because every time we see each other I always have something smart to say.It’s like I want to say how I really feel, but I can’t because I feel like he won’t care, so I say something smart as a cover up which he can’t stand, but actually I would really like to have our friendship back. But then again I still want the relationship back.

ABC November 20, 2007 at 5:54 pm

I had someone who I thought was perfect turn out to be incredibly self-protective and immature, romancing me, making out half the night, always kissing goodbye over a few weeks- all the time, then saying “I don’t like you like THAT” like we were 14…. not the first time he had positioned a situation to make somoeone wonder if THEY misunderstood- classic crazymaking behaviour from an alcoholic’s child.

But in my mind for two years leading up to this, I’d dais “if only I could meet someone like him” – he was warma nd kind and smart….. and it tore me up to realize not only was it not going to work out, my whole sense of love and the future (with anyone) had been torn to shreds by what he’d done…. it has been such a painful year trying to get past that- I even dated someone just lovely and ruined that/hurt their ffeelings as a result.

Thank you for your article, I Googled “Giving up on love” today and came across it- maybe things will start to knit themselves back together and one day I’ll be ready to take a chance again after all….. THANK YOU

Jessica September 21, 2007 at 6:48 pm

right now.. i feel confused..but i can still feel my love for my ex.. i don’t hate him.. but i really love him from the bottom of my heart.. i always pray for God to help me.. but still.. i still love him.. i have a boy friend right now.. but i’m not sure if i love him enough.. it seems like i’m still in love with my ex.. i want to see him.. and i want to be friends.. but whenever i’m with my ex.. i just can’t seem to resist my feelings towards him.. what should i do?

April September 6, 2007 at 12:50 am

I met this one guy and dated him for 4 months. He was everything I could ask for and more and I guess i fell for him pretty hard because its been 4 years since the break up and until now I can’t seem to get over him completely. It ended because the timing between the two of us wasn’t right and we both were going through a lot of personal problems. So we decided to just break up. But since the break up, he hasn’t left my mind at all and especially my heart. The last time I had any contact with him was the day we broke up. I have to say that I still think of him everyday and just the thought of him and how much fun we had together brings a smile to my face each and every time. Sometimes I get sad though, cause I wish were able to keep the relationship going. But since 4 years has passed, a lot has changed in my life. Every guy i dated after him went down the drain. And this might be mean to say, but he was always on my mind no matter who i dated. I just always had that hope that one day we’d get back together. MOst of the time, I dont want to feel this way, i just want to move on and be happy with someone else or even living the single life. It just doesnt seem that way with me cause I can’t seem to get him out of my head. Was it love that I felt and do i need closure from this to actually move on?

Kim September 5, 2007 at 11:11 am

I met my ex husband in highschool. We started out as friends and eventually started dating as as couple. I got pregnant when I was 18 and we were married a few months later. I loved him and was ready for a family with him. He loved me also but was not ready and I believe he only married me b/c it was the right thing to do. We stayed married for 5 years and for the majority of it, he would drink all of the time, leave with his friends, wouldn’t keep a job, and just wanted to go and party all of the time. There was a time when we began going to church and things were good. But then I became jealous because he went from avoiding me for his friends to avoiding me for the bible. I was wrong for feeling that way, but I did. Of course, he went back to his old ways. I became angry and bitter and wanted to hurt him the way he has hurt me for five years. I never got gifts or presents for any occasion except once when he needed a reason to cash his paycheck and thought that buying me flowers would legitimize the cause. I adored him with my whole heart and soul and knew that He loved me also, but was unwilling to give up his “wild” ways to make me happy and just be the husband and father that he needed to be. I divorced him in 2001. He acted “ready” when he came to sign the papers as if it was just another day. I also acted as if it didn’t bother me. Time rolled on, he became well known for finding “anything you want”, and drinking and partying, he has slept with different girls. People call him to find drugs. He has made several thousands of dollars when he went to Louisiana to work.(20,000.00 in one month)But yet had nothing to show for it, he shared a camper with two coworkers, pimped out a girl for money, and other disgraceful things. And despite all of these things, I knew the whole time that he was still a good person and that he has qualities that no one knew that he had that made him that good person. I always felt connected to him and hoped that one day he would see the err of his ways and realize that life is so much better when you have love and a family to share it with. I felt like I could bring him back from all of the damage that he has caused for him self and show him that life is wonderful and just as fun without all of the partying and drugs and premiscuity. I’ve carried that burden for a long time, I’m suppose to guide him back to goodness. In the meantime, while he was living it up, I raised our 2 children, and became lonely. I prayed, night after night that God would send me someone to love and that loved me. Well, one day my prayers were answered. A guy down the road, who had a son as well, would ride by alot and eventually he stopped and we began talking. Talking led to dating and dating led to being engaged. He was a wonderful person. He treated me like there was no other and that I’ve made his dreams come true. He would clean, cook, do yard work and all of the things we women only fantasize that our men would do. I never had to ask him to do anything. If I even looked like I needed a foot, neck or back massage, he would give me one. His life was to please me and make me happy. He gave me all of the things that I’ve always wanted from my ex husband. Only, he wasn’t my ex. I cared alot about my fiance and I believe that when my ex came back in town that I began finding things wrong with my fiance just to have an excuse to break up with him and get back with my ex. I hurt my fiance and it hurts me to know that. Well, so now my ex husband and I are “mending” things. I love him but I feel like he has not changed into the man that I want to share forever with. He doesn’t possess the qualities that I loved about my fiance. He says that he has changed, but I’m not sure that those particular changes are enough for me. I thought that I was in love with my ex husband, but I am not so sure now. Even worse than that, I saw my ex fiance at ball practice (our kids go to the same ball park) and he brought a girl that he has been “talking” to. He said that she’s his old highschool sweetheart. Well, he leaned over and kissed her and to my surprise, I had to fight so hard not to bust out in tears because of how bad it hurt me to see that. I imagine this girl getting all of the unconditional love that was once mine. My ex fiance would have roped the moon and given me the world and I feel like I have made the biggest mistake in my life. Now, I can’t bring myself to hurt my ex husband and tell him that despite how he beleives that he has changed alot it just isn’t enough for me. I am afraid that I have lost the best man for me forever all b/c I wanted another shot at an old relationship.

Luch July 27, 2007 at 2:22 am

Hi,

i am now 29 yrs and my ex-hus is now 34 yrs old.we have been in love for 3 yrs. One day we two decided to get married, so we got married. After one year, we faced problem in our married life and we got divorced. After eight months, i found out that he is still single. One day he called and asked me how i was? After that we started dating once again. I asked him to come back in my life but he didn’t say anything. Even than we kept on seeing eachother coz both of loved each other very much. i asked him to stop seeing me or ignored me coz i believe that just seeing eachother will not be proper way to get into life. you know what he said… he told me that he loves me a lot and he can’t avoid me. One day he told me that he will try to come back in my life since both of us loved very much…. So what u think ?? friends.

Tara June 18, 2007 at 11:25 am

I was just reading your article trying to find some inspiration and words of wisdom. The only difference in my life is that my husband left me, not the other way around.

Our two year anniversary will be in August, but we have been separated since March and are going through a divorce. I still love him and I want to make things work with him, but sometimes I think I am crazy for wanting that.

To make a long story short, before we were married he cheated on me, we decided to work it out and then about a year after we were married he cheated on me again with another woman. I found out around December that he was cheating. We talked and had agreed to work through it, but he never stopped seeing the other woman, which I was no aware of.

Turns out that in January I find out I am pregnant and we were both very happy. Well, in February, my husband confronts me and tells me that he was still seeing the other woman and that he is not happy and wants to leave.

He moved out on March 1st and told me he was going to be living with a friend to get his head straight. Well it turns out that he moved in with the other woman and her 18 month old daughter. My husband is 33 and she is 22. This broke my heart.

We talk from time to time just able the baby and how I am doing, but I want us to be a family so bad. We have both changed in the time we have been apart and I feel that if we were to start over and take things slow, things would work out again. But he is still living with the other woman.

Please, someone help me out. Am I crazy for wanted to make it work.

norma May 15, 2007 at 2:15 pm

oh my God! Thank you very much for posting this article, it has helped me a ton! I was just in a really bad break up, i had been with my high school sweetheart for 4 years now and lived with him for almost 2. Things got really bad lately and he decided he needed to leave. I realized i had been so unhappy with myself that blamed my misery on him, pushing him further every time. Now that he’s gone, i miss him so much, im sad and feel empty, i wish i could do anything to get him back, i feel guilty. I am in a position where i dont know if he would ever give me a chance, its been so hard for me and feel so lonely.. I am willing to change for him, and myself. I dont know what to do or say, please if you have a suggestion or advice, let me know. Sincerely, Lonely.

Cindy May 10, 2007 at 8:33 am

This article was very powerful. I have needed to hear something like this for a long time. I have been hopelessly in love with my ex since I was 15. Hummm…that means 17 years now. We split when I was 20 and pregnant with his child. He has done some really awful things to me including cheating and abandonning me to raise our child both emotionally and financially.

Why I am stuck on this relationship I can somewhat understand after reading this article.

I see the good side to him and miss what we had. And the bad side makes me furious. He still loves me. He has told me he will always love me. Most people would say that is impossible because when you love someone you dont do such things to them. But I really think he does.

There isn’t any chance we can mend and get back together. It really is done, long ago done. I have dated plenty. My ability to actually fall in love and maintain a relationship seems impossible. I would be surprised if any guy ever lasted even two months. Yet I was with my ex for 5 years and had no difficulty in a long-term situation.

Maybe I will wake up one day and it will no longer pain me so much. I keep hoping.

Kim January 5, 2007 at 3:12 pm

I too have been in the same situationg as many of you but I have been hanging on to a man that I grew up with thought that he loved me. We had two kids together and then he left me for my next door neighbor. I should have known something was up when she stopped speaking to me. However, he has been promising me for years that he was leaving her or quote don’t want her, but yet he’s been with her for 5 yrs Iam the stupid one right. Iknow that now. but to make matters worse he got her pregnant and they just had a baby girl and Now my anger for him is twice that of before. I have just been staying away from him not talking to him every since the baby was born. He thinks I have a problem with the baby, but its not the baby its him i want to do things to him so to keep from doing them I stay away. I really am hurt by the birth of this child because now it really complicates things. If I want him I must deal with his child and i am not sure that I can. Does that make me a horrible person?

Ruth December 13, 2006 at 8:00 am

hey my name is ruth and i broke up with my ex about 5 months and i just cant get over him. i feel loke there aint no other guy how do i deal with this?

Teresa M September 28, 2006 at 1:52 pm

So this is common? What I’m feeling is very normal according to what I’ve read here. I thought maybe I had the problem of letting go. I mean hey, he’s obviously fine… he moved on and got married and had a baby… so why can’t I, right? Well, I did move on, I did get married, and I did have a baby. But sometimes I still think about my ex-husband and it runs me down like a freight train. Don’t get me wrong… I know I’m blessed with the husband I have now.

My exhusband was very emotionally abusive. I don’t think he did it on purpose. I just think he didn’t know any better. His childhood was a little rough. He would say the most hurtful things to me and then turn around and say the best things in the world. I knew he was tearing me down to build me back up the way he wanted. I know all of this today… but I still think of him and I still miss certain things about him. And I find myself thinking of the things I miss and then I miss him. Then I think why did I get the divorce? Why didn’t we try again? and again? and again? I let my mind get away with me and then my day is ruined. All because of a thought.

After reading the above article, I’ve come to realize that I’m not over it yet. And it has been 8 years. I’m not healed and I haven’t forgiven and most of all I blame myself. And until I take care of those things I won’t be able to give my “new” family 100% of myself.

Thanks for the inspiring and eye-opening article.

Claire August 7, 2006 at 5:17 pm

Hi…i think there is nothing much for me to say consider i am 19 and i am still very young but i did met someone 1 year ago…he make me laugh he make me feel comfortable in my own skin he make me feel secure…and loved….but we fought a lot i mean at least 3 times a week if not more…i have try to break up with him but it seems that i feel everytime no matter how hard i try…i still have feelings for him i am afraid…if i let him go…no one will ever love me again…i went out with some other guys while we are broken up…but they all not the same….they just want to have sexual contact with me…they just not interested loving me at all…like HE is…but i have to let go bec of us always fighting…but i really dont know how…everytime when i see him…i feel like i am about to cry….and it just really frustrating…and sad…and i don’t know how i could get out of this w/o getting extremely hurt…

Shante July 27, 2006 at 5:09 pm

I have been in a three year relationship, when i first met him I was lost and I felt like he cared enough more than any guy every did. I cheated on him and then he cheated on me. It was a cycle until approximately five months ago. He had got kicked out and stayed at my place for appx a month and then he moved about 1hr away from me. He says that he loves me and that he is not cheating on me. I believe that he does love me, but every time i call him he always says that I am calling him too much and that i am a bother. I honestly feel like our relationship is dwindling. I see him every week and we only have sex once a month. Although i am not cheating on him physically, I feel like mentally I am cheating on him because i have a friend and we talk and he is interested in me. He is waiting on me to leave my boyfriend. These are my questions: 1. Am i wrong for having a mental relationship with another man? 2. Is it worth even being with my boyfriend?

Love Coach Rinatta Paries July 21, 2006 at 7:16 pm

Damon, you can’t really help a person out of a bad situation until they want out. When it gets bad enough for her, she will get out herself. Until then, you can be patient if you choose to wait for her. However, be ware – people who hang on to abusive relationships usually can’t live with loving relationships. You may be to loving and giving for here and on the basis of that, she may end up rejecting you.

Damon July 21, 2006 at 1:04 pm

I was recently dating someone who was not over there ex and I had to end it. Though she is in love with me and I am with her but I just couldn’t continue to put myself in that position anymore. I am still remaining her friend but with no ties in an intimate relationship way. She was in a relationship where she became unhappy because first it was a ready made family and she didn’t want that, 2nd there was a mother involved who was ill and there was never any quality time spent together because of that. Eventually she fell out of love with that person. Now that they have split, they still continue to live together but a move is happening here shortly but it became abusive and they fight all the time. This other person says that they are in love with her but if your in love with someone you don’t hit on them no matter what. I have tried to tell her that no matter what this person says about being in love that is not the case. Those are not actions of being in love. Not to mention that this person is sleeping with others. Again this is not an action of being in love. What do I do? How can I explain it to her so she understands. I want her out of this bad place so she can heal herself and eventaully move forward with life. Please help.

julie June 25, 2006 at 5:29 am

i met the man of my dreams about 6 mos ago we had a whirlwind courtship then got married in a small but very romantic ceremony all of his family and all of mine. I have since found him looking at porn sites daddy’s with little girls and transvestites and all sorts of weird stuff, then recently he said to a guy in a chat room suck my cock then he said get back to me after the guy didnt respond. Then the guy said i am going to kill u then he said fu. I confronted him with this and he said that was his buddy that he was talking to and that they were just joking around should i have cause for concern that my husband that i just married is gay? or bisexual? he confesses his dieing love for me and we have great sex he wants like 3 times a day i dont know what to make of this or him for that matter.

Jane June 16, 2006 at 5:16 pm

It’s amazing and mysterious to see that God allows us to find what we need to find before we lose our minds … I note this was written in 2005 but it’s as if what’s said and recommended was meant solely for me and NOW! I actually made amends and wrote a quick message to the ‘ex to let him know he was in my thoughts and that I thought of him when I heard a song he loved. He later called – we laughed – we spoke a bit and we left the conversation without a doubt in his mind that I was NEVER going to get back with him. I felt empowered! I controlled the mood and kept it nice and light. Fine. Everything was settled. He asked if he could call again, I said “sure” … sure enough, he left a message late at night saying it was nice talking to me and for me to call back. I switched my number that same night. It’s been four months – I am smart, I have reasoned everything out, I know that he can’t FULLY give me what I need … I know that I don’t even want to be with him ever again and would wish him all the luck and love in the world if he were to be with someone else .. I don’t care … yet and still, EVERY SINGLE DAY SINCE I’VE LEFT I think of him and it hurts soooo bad. It’s beyond the ‘what ifs’ or anything else… I just miss him but more than anything I have an empty space in my heart. No need to bore you with the details of what he did or didn’t do but most of what everyone has written pretty much sums it up. I have been dating around, I do anticipate a wonderful life with a wonderful husband and children — yet and still, I KNOW that he was for me .. yet I KNOW I can’t be with him … life isn’t fare and I believe that regardless of the relationships we will be fortunate to have… there is that one, no matter how bad they were for our hearts, that we will ALWAYS smile for and enjoy the bit of sadness in knowing that it just couldn’t be … so while the article was great, it should be noted that these ideas are great to allow you to grow and release your pain BUT the spark and tingles you feel with them can NEVER be replaced and that is the painful aspect of life …

jazel May 13, 2006 at 12:59 pm

it is hard t0 let g0 0f s0me0ne u still l0ve. and u kn0w that he still feels the same. actually.. why d0 y0u even have t0 let g0 right?! if y0u kn0w y0urself that u still l0ve each 0ther..

its true that y0u have t0 deal with their bad side because its part 0f the package.. u are c0nnected t0 the wh0leself..

but h0w am i supp0sed t0 kn0w if he still l0ves me if he`s hurtin me intenti0nally.. f0r revenge.. i d0nt kn0w if this is w0rking.. but 0ur past w0nt let him g0.. i cheated 0n him but i learned my less0n n0w. ive been happy wit him after that and i th0ught he has f0rgiven me.. but i dint kn0w that he`s been keepin that anger and n0w he wanted revenge.. he said that he l0ves me but he just have t0 let g0 0f that anger.. i d0nt kn0w what t0 d0.. what t0 feel.. wh0 t0 c0unt 0n t0.. but i still w0nt give him up because i kn0w thats this is just my karma and i deserve this.. and i want him t0 learn fr0m his mistakes.. like i did. i l0ve him and i w0nt let g0.. is that stupid?! am i just f0oling myself ?!

sandra May 2, 2006 at 8:30 am

I thought I was the only one! I think we all do really don’t we.
I met my ONE when I was 17, and the week before I met him I had just got engaged to my husband. He was with another, as was I and I don’t think we really ever had a chance. The chemistry was there, but most of all there was the sense of rightousness and completeness that we both felt with each other. He stayed with his girlfriend and I stayed with my boyfriend. We became best friends who just couldn’t keep away from each other. After 4 years of studying together, I tried to put an end to it when we was leaving University. I didn’t see him for a good half year before we met by chance on the street. We both got jobs out of town but kept in touch by email. He then met someone else and said that we should put a distance between us. That broke my heart. That year on Valentine’s (leap year) I proposed to my boyfriend of now 8 years and we made plans to get married the next year. I told my soulmate that I was getting married. Within two weeks he announced that he was getting married the following year on Valentine’s Day. Oh how Mr Valentine has a lot to answer for.
We arranged to meet up once we had been settled for a number of years with children (maybe to put the past behind us). It was still there. It is still there. We meet from time to time and try and get a lunch in. I still wonder why we never managed it after nearly 20 years but he says that we will be here til we die. How do you deal with that – knowing that you both feel the same but can’t be together? I know I have to live with it. Sometimes I want to cut ties and never talk to him again, but then I know it would hurt too much. Other times, I’m just happy to be in his company and take what we can get.

Cass January 14, 2006 at 12:47 pm

Recently, I have had contact with an ex who 10 years ago was my first love and the person I thought was the one. Needless to say, our relationship ended at his hands,and at the time he was inlove with me and I with him and to this day he can’t really explain why.., except that he regrets it, feels terrible for it and wonders what could have been. Up until recently I hadn’t spoken with him in almost 9 years, during which time I have married a wonderful caring man and have a beautiful son…..but throughout that 9 years I continued to have thoughts about him and wondered how he turned out ( we dated at 22/23). I thought if I just found out how he was and how his life turned out I would stop wondering..but that didn’t become the case. What started innocently enough over a how are you email, quickly turned into something as we tried over email and the phone to figure how to be friends and keep in touch, getting closer with each communication. Nothing physical happened but emotionally it has. He still has feelings for me, and is also “happily” married…and everything I felt about him has resurfaced, but the whole time I have been confused and torn. I began thinking about him all the time and couldn’t wait to speak to him again or read his email, but at the same time felt guilt for what I was doing secretly from my husband, who I also love and worrying about hurting him. It has been extremely difficult because I shared some of the most beautiful moments of my life with this person…but as your article stated…I also shared some of the worst, because at the time when we were together, he was 100% what I wanted 30 % of the time, and the rest of the time he seemed unreachable and would find ways to pull away, and I often ended up it tears. He says he has worked through those issues and come out on top. I guess parts of me believe if he truly has then maybe it could work…but I never before this doubted how my life turned out or who I ended up with. Both my ex and I are married to people we also love, I have a child..he and his wife have no desire to have children. Over the last two months, the moral struggle and confusion I have felt got too much for me and was affecting my day to day productivity and sanity. About a week ago, I put a stop to our communication..I know we need emotional distance .. and we have to do the right thing, not just for the two of us but for our spouses as well., he agrees and understands, but it is very hard for both of us right now, because if our realities were different things would be different with us at this point. We are hoping that after some space and emotional distancing that maybe a couple times of year we can just let each other know how we are. Before that is possible though I need to let go of any thoughts of us ever together again. I am having trouble letting go of him, because I thought I had, but the recent events showed me that 10 years and thousands of miles didn’t change a whole lot. I don’t want my marriage to end, I love my husband and I know I can’t have both, but I am still struggling with how to let the it and the ex go. The article has helped me understand a little more about why I feel the way I have, but how do you actually do it?

Caza January 12, 2006 at 4:01 am

Hey everyone,

I supose it somehow makes me feel better to know that all around the world, a lot of people are going through the same things, or pretty much, as I am going through right now. My love story has lasted 9 years, but in difficult conditions. We met, we were 16, we fell in love straight away and saw each other everyday. I think, at that time, I was more mature than him, and some of the things he did made me feel bad…i have never been called “sweetheart or anything like that” and hardly heard that I was pretty in 9 years…but I truly and deeply felt loved and loved back. Everything was fine for 4 years. We had a good relationship, with a whole lot of love around us. Then came the moment I had to go abroad and study…I left home, he couldn’t come with me, and we decided to stay together. After 6 months apart, things started to become difficult. He was really jealous, and would go crazy everytime I would go out. I came back to my country at the end of that year, and had a terrible car accident in which I lost my mother. He was the first person I called, and we started going together again, I went back to uni, he came with me for 6 months, it was an amazing moment. Then, he left to study in Europe. I was on the other side of the world. But we still decided to stay together, and saw each other every 6 months in our country. However, there was one problem…after I lost my mum, i needed to be strong to keep studying far from my family and friends. And to do that, i protected myself from “hurtful” feelings, and started living in my own world to achieve what I had started. He gave me a lot of love, I couldn’t give back, and year after year, it became worse…I didn’t know when I was sad, or happy, couldn’t say I love you anymore, just couldn’t experience any emotion at all. I stayed in that state for 3 years, but he never let go…and I did hurt him a lot, and I was hurting too, and could not express myself. I never had any other men during this time, cause I knew I loved him, but it was getting hard after 4 years apart. At the beginning of 2005, I came back home with my degree to live. He stayed for 5 months before going back to Europe. And this is when we decided that it had to stop…he left in July 2005, not knowing whether he wanted to come back home for good…he had started to lose hope in us I supose and I understand because he was giving so much and not getting what he deserved back. We decided to stop calling or emailing each other until december…these months were really hard, but I guess it gave me time to work on myself, feel better and start expressing my emotions again. I was ready for any sacrifices when he came back. When I saw him, I realised how much he meant to me, and how much I loved him. We saw each other a lot during 2 weeks, without anything happening, and he told me he had decided to come back for good in July 2006…this is when I started seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. One week later, he told me those words that announce nothing good “I need to talk to you but I don’t know how I am going to tell you that…I am going out with another girl, and she is coming next week for the holidays and will come to live with me in July”! And here is the moment when you whole world is falling apart. He told me he still loved me, but needed to be loved…which he deserves. She came here, and I’ve had for the past 2 weeks to live with the fact, that I am no more “the one” but just the “ex”. She is coming back to live with him in July, and I am so shocked! I supose it’s too soon to start feeling better…but I don’t want to let go, I don’t want to lose him after all those years of holding on waiting for the day we would finally be together…here comes that day, but there’s another girl now…and I just don’t know right now how I am going to survive to this. I would rather spend my whole life fighting with him than make love to someone else. There’s nothing I can do now, he tells me he doesn’t know what willhappen until July, but I know that he is doing everything he can for her to come here this year and live with him. How to let go the person you have waited for for so many years, and have pictured your life with. I can’t find comfort in this article…I supose not yet, but I can’t find comfort in anything else right now. I have lost so many kilos in just a few weeks, and can’t stop myself from messaging him, and begging not to let go, so close to what we had been waiting for…

Here is my story…I supose, i get what I deserve, but I never did anything to hurt him intentionally…I was just in a terrible state of I dont know what it’s called..but I really do love him with all my heart. Now, learning from this, sure I did…but it’s to him that I want to give all this love back…

It’s a terrible feeling…

Just hope whatever happens, happens for the best…

Thanks for your stories and all the best to everyone…

John N January 11, 2006 at 4:35 pm

At age 22 I met the girl of my dreams. We shared our lives completely and I never thought of ever loving anyone else. Then an old boyfriend of hers appeared and we were over. About a year later I married someone else.

Fast forward 25 years.

I have found that old girlfriend via the internet, we talk almost daily and email everyday. While she is single, I am still married. I have seen her several times when I travel on business to her city. Nothing physical, just dinner and being together.

For the past 25 years the memories of her have been buried deep in my mind. Now they are back and I would do anything for her, if I was 100% sure of her, I would leave my wife today, even though my wife has been supportive and loyal all these years. I have never loved my wife the way I did the girlfriend. I know its not fair, but it is the truth.

I just can’t shake the ex-girlfriend from my memories. No matter how hard I try it haunts me. So losing the one you think is your soulmate is a never ending trail of hoping that someday you will be together again.

If nothing else I thought I had closed the door, only to find it open again.

Love Coach Rinatta Paries December 30, 2005 at 12:28 am

Dear Doreen

Thank you for your story and I wish you clarity and strength on your path to recovery.

Doreen December 28, 2005 at 6:01 am

I am so very happy that I found this article this morning ….

I am in the process of letting go of a very destructive marriage with my husband. He and I met over a year ago and during a short courtship I fell madly in love with this man. He became my world, I ate, slept, breathed … he was the reason the wake up every single day. Slowly I began to lose interest in my family and friends. I have 2 children from a prior marriage and he began to come in between them as well. As time progressed within the relationship, only a short month to be exact, I found out that he had a addiction to heroin. He basically force fed me the same drug that was destroying his life … I became more bound, more tied, more caught up in this web of manipulation, lies and abuse. I tried to stop using the drugs, went into programs, got clean and I would become stronger, leave him alone – then I would fall for his usual lines – ” I am sorry, I never mean’t to hurt you, you mean more to me than any drug, please come back to me. ” I would go back to him over and over, thinking if only if I paid more atttention to him, bought him more gifts, gave more sexual favors, etc. that I could “fix” his problems. During the past Spring, he went to jail for some drug related charges, he wrote letters and made phone calls saying that he had found God and he was a changed man. So in turn I began to nuture and care for him again …. little did I know at the time that I was about to destroy what was left to life as I knew it. He was released for a two week time period from jail, on probation, he violated for abuse of drugs, during that two week time frame he once again force fed me the drugs. He proposed to me, saying that if I became his wife he would and could stop the abuse of the heroin. So, because I wanted so much for this to work, for him to become a different man, I married him. His wedding gift to me was a needle in my arm, a overdose. Since he knew that he was going to be in trouble with probation, I hid him in my home from the law until one day they came with a warrant and took him back to jail. I was left alone with a habit, very sick, no money, hardly any belongings… just alone, broken hearted and very hurt. I went away to a treatment program and began to rebuild my life. The first step I took was filing for a divorce, I started the process of letting go. It lasted a whole 3 months. He would write and write to me, begging and pleading with me the whole time to just forgive him, that things would be different. I was alone, lonely, scared …. I was unhealthy myself. So I stopped my divorce proceedings and went back into my marriage full speed ahead. I lost 8 months of my life since his last incarceration. He would forbid me to leave my home for any reason. I wouldn’t leave to buy food or anything. Any monies that I had I had to give to his commissary account so he could have what he needed. I would visit him two times per week, each time he would become verbally abusive and I would leave in more and more pain. The bills, the abuse, the drugs he was demanding for me to bring to him … all of it … became too much for me to handle. I woke up one morning, I was due to pay him a visit. I decided not to show up. To move forward with my life in face of my fears of not being loved and being alone. Sure my heart is broken in pieces and my dreams are shattered, I just hold on taking each minute, each day .. one day at a time. I pray for strength to stay away from this man. I pray that I can come to terms with whatever I may have to deal with within my own personal life, so I don’t choose another relationship such as this.

I just wanted to share my story, as well as to let you know that I found this article very helpful this morning. I wish you peace and blessings. Thank You.

Love Coach Rinatta Paries December 12, 2005 at 11:26 am

Ray
it would seem to me that your little girl needs to have her mommy be well, so that if you do suspect mental illness I would urge you to insist on a doctor’s visit for your ex the sake of your daughter. And if you right, perhaps you will get your whole family back as a result.
Good luck.
Love Coach Rinatta Paries

Ray December 11, 2005 at 6:56 pm

Well, I must say that it seems as though the boat that everyone else is in here has plenty of room for me. 4 1/2 year on and off relationship which yeilded the most beautiful little girl anybody has ever seen in their lives. I did and still do so deeply love this woman. The woman who I believe, after 4 months of intense research, suffers from borderline personally disorder. We have been apart for 4 months which resulted in a huge mess. From having her arrested for harassment, to CPS getting involved do to suspected child abuse to monthly custody/order of protection battles. I did absolutely everything I could possibly do to please her including allowing her to destroy my self-esteem. Nothing ever sustained her satisfaction. There was always something I was not doing good. I am forbidden to communicate with her but she continually calls me, im’s me, emails me and leaves away messages directed to me. I just can’t let go of this woman even knowing that our relationship was so dysfuntional (do to me of course). She refuses therapy but I think the reason that I can’t let go is that I keep remembering how absolutely terrific our love and relationship was for about the first year. I guess I just feel so strongly that with the proper therapy, she will eventually become that terrific woman again and we could be back together and happy forever. Seeing that Rinatta Piries has not really offered anyone particular advise concerning their spicific issues, I don’t expect her to offer advise to me either. I guess it is still good for the soul to vent. I wish everyone here the best of luck getting over their ex’s. Thanks for reading my short story. There is so much more……….

Steve December 3, 2005 at 10:23 am

When I was 34, I met a beautiful 18 year old girl and we began what was a four year relationship. During that time we bought a house and had a beautiful baby girl, who is now one and a half years old. The final year of our relationship became very strained and my partner would beg me to change – show more interest in her – often being reduced to tears. My standard response used to be along the lines of, ‘If you’re not happy, go and find someone else’. She always used to reply by saying, ‘But I dont want anyone else – I want you’. I never expected her to go off and I think that hearing her say she wanted me gave me a sense of empowerment and indespensibility. Either way, it was a foolish thing to say, because I never really meant it and – inevitably – she took the advice and responded to the advances of another man, who she has been seeing now for about three months, and she has moved into her own place. But what is incredibly hard is that if I call her and she is with this other guy, she will say, ‘Stop bothering me – its over between us’. But then, next day she will call to say that she still doesn’t know what she wants and needs more time to decide if we should try and work things out. She says she still has feelings for me and still loves me, yet she is still seeing this other guy. Do you think we might get together again – and if we did, how could we handle things. I do still love her very much.

judi November 20, 2005 at 7:45 pm

OK…the how to let go piece…definitely caught my eye…as I am desperately searching for some release of the insanity that lingers with the obsession of someone you thought was “THE ONE”…because you have never felt that way before…and they seemed so perfect….but what happens when the other person lets you go…and you can’t get over it?….and you can’t stop thinking of them…or trying something to get them back? which only causes them to pull away more…what makes you think you will ever feel that way again…I am sure a lot of it is…trust…and self love…two of which…I have surrendered to…and lost…and now…I just want to change…to be better…and to NOT have any feelings for this person…and to be free of the bondage of them in my head….and heart…
help,
judi

Carrie October 8, 2010 at 12:35 pm

gosh, i can so relate to this, judi… I wonder how Time has dealt with your situation? You wrote this several years back… I wonder if you’ve finally gotten over him or has Time not made any difference?

Faith November 16, 2005 at 5:22 pm

Thank you for this article. It came at a right time when I needed this the most.

I just learned days ago that my ex is in love with someone else. He has liked a coworker for the longest time and during his last day at work he asked her out. He’s happily in love he tells me. Things are really good between the two of them. I was shocked and it broke my heart to hear this news. I need to let go.

I have had the hardest time letting go. It’s been a little more than a year since we broke up and we have hung out as friends since. Even as friends, we have always left our definition of our current relationship somewhat ambiguous until now…never discussing anyone we have been dating. I guess I was still hoping we would get back together and I don’t know what his reasons were for doing this. So, his news came as a shock to me. It was all new to me.

He was good to me during our relationship. He’s a gentle loving man who deserved more than I can give him. I couldn’t make him happy because of my hurt past so I held back alot especially my affection. I was really guarded. But when I was ready to give him more, he decided I was not ‘the one’ for him and he gave up on me and decided to be just friends. So, to me, he’s ‘the one that got away’ and I have been holding on to what could have been if I had done things differently-being less guarded. I am angry at him for giving up on me and not giving me another chance; angry at him for not telling me that my behavior had bugged him instead of allowing me to think everything was okay and thinking that he really loved me and was being extremely patient with me;angry at how didn’t want the relationship with me anymore and just wanted friendship without any discussion as to what lead to that decision. He took the coward’s way out by waiting for me to ask him where we were. He had admitted he had strung me along for two months after he knew I was not’the one’. The problem with our relationship was a huge lack of communication. As I am writing this down, I am just realizing how I am still very angry at him and I have never really got past this.

Now that he has found that special someone, I need to let go and this article helps me understand how and why. Thanks-

Lisa November 15, 2005 at 12:31 pm

It’s very interesting that I received this today. I know it’s a very universal theme, but how you described the relationship totally fits my past one. And, I must say, he’s ‘the one that got away’.

In fact, I left. I left because for almost 3 years we’ve been back and forth, and all the times we got back he found a way of hurting me.

We had a great connection, but really, I left because the good things were nothing compared to the bad ones.

The whole story is long, but I can make it short just by summoning all the problems: bisexuality, cheating, mental disease (he used to have serious psychotic crisis, all of them violent), drug and alcohol abuse…

The funny part is I know he loved me, and I loved him deeply.

Recently, he moved to Canada. Now he says that he has changed. That he found out that I’m the ONE. He says he regrets and hates all he has done to me.

I can’t believe him. I have good reasons to do so, but I still can’t.

I’m dating a great, REGULAR guy, and I’m in love with him… But he’s leaving soon. He’ll leave in the very moment my ex will be coming back.

I’m in love with my boyfriend, but I do love my ex. I’m afraid that if he catches me alone, I’ll end up getting back together with him… and get hurt again.

I believe he is my soulmate, but I can’t believe in him anymore.

Amy November 14, 2005 at 5:35 pm

Wow – this was an excellent article to read. Now 15 mos since my breakup with mr. right/turned out to be mr. Noncommitt. I spend less and less time thinking about him now then I did..It hurt for a long time…never thought before about ending my life, but after he broke it off – i did – I’m ok now and I truly liked Rinetta way of forgiving and releasing – I know I deserve better than he could have ever given me – but when it was good – it was GOOD!
I am now dating a new guy, and I pray that I truly give him a chance. He is the opposite of my ex and I truly know he is showing me and meeting all my needs. I like being a part of this website. Love after 40 is a difficult road.

Thanks -

traci November 14, 2005 at 5:26 pm

thanks for the helpful information, i was the person who was cheated on…involved with my ex for 18 years now.you just wonder how they act like they have no heart….mine told me the day he left….i was the best friend (out of all his friends,and there were lots)that hed ever had!! He didnt know why he was leaving it wasnt me its him….this is a phrase that hasnt sat well with me for years….i sat and wondered what i did, how i caused this….fact is i still cant convince myself it wasnt me..
thanks for any input that numbs the pain…….i am a strong person i am getting over it…..slowly

Love Coach Rinatta Paries November 14, 2005 at 3:24 pm

Dear Mary, thank you for your note. I hear your pain and I am sorry you hurt. Sending you a big hug. Know that you can move on and that you should move on. Being stuck in the past will not give you the love you want.

Know that I can help you move on, if you want the help. Be well and happy

Mary Perez November 14, 2005 at 2:17 pm

Rinatta,
I have been praying for an answer to my dilema for sometime. Today I open your newletter and there it was. It has been four years since I ended my relationship with the man I know is truly my soulmate. He has moved on and is now living with another. Over the years I have been haunted with thoughts of foolishly ending the relationship, guilt and pain. I think of him daily and to make it worse the he met his new love where we all worked. I recently learned after our first conversation in four years that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side and that there are major health (on her part) and financial issues. Since then I have been on a crusade of thought of how we can get back togethr and and how thing could be. This only keeps me in a state of emotional supension and feeling bad that another day goes by that his relationship hasn’t finally crashed and burned. Even if that does happen there’s no indication that he would be interested in me. I’m stuck in hoping against hope and I hate it. I know have have to let go and move on. I can’t go back and do things differently. He’s been so wonderful since the breakup christmas gifts every year,birthday wishes and always checking to see that things are going well with me. That’s why I fell in love with him, he’s a wonderful, care, and generous person. I desparately need to move on and heal. Your article was a blessing.

Sincerely,

Mary

Nolo November 14, 2005 at 11:33 am

You and others talk about letting go… walking away. But how do you actually do that? How do I not answer the phone when all I want to do is answer it. How do I not pick her up at the airport next Wednesday when I live for that day? She loves me and was never abusive but is not in love with me anymore. She loves my company. She calls me everyday… so how do I not answer the phone when I want to? How do I not want??
How do I let go when I don’t want to but am not getting what I need, want and deserve.

Janea November 14, 2005 at 9:09 am

Just what I needed to see today. I am actually in a relationship with someone I love and cherish but still has what I think to be an unhealthy relationship with his ex. She still is in love with him and has practically admitted that to me and he feels guilty for breaking her heart. I am left in the middle trying to work on a future with him but feeling like he still has one foot in the past trying to make her ok with their breakup which happened over a year ago. I’m not sure what to do.

I think I need to give him space to work on those unresolved issues, but he says he doesn’t think there are any and that their friendship is perfectly normal. Neither of us can continue to live this way. Does he have to make a choice? Can we have a future while he’s still so close to her?

It’s good to know I’m not the only person going through this. I don’t want to lose him over this but I don’t see how we could possibly move on until he is ready to let her go. It makes me very sad b/c I really think he could be the one. I guess if he is time will tell. But now the only thing I can do is walk away.

Ruth Freedman November 14, 2005 at 3:50 am

Dear Rinatta

You are totally amazing. I couldn’t believe it how you summed up so accurately my relationship with a man which unfortunately lasted for approx. 10 years of my life – from 35-45. (These were the last of my child raising years and I never had a child which I wanted so much).
I thought this man and I were destined to be together, and I loved him beyond words. I kept hoping he would commit himself to me and that we could set up home together and raise a family. But he did not want to go down this path with me (and I believe it now) or anyone else for that matter. Today, he is still single, 5 years after I broke off with him, finally, in my mind. During the ten years, I separated from him on countless occasions often for many months (longest 8 months)when I would try to meet and date other men but nothing ever came of that. Of course nothing could compare to his love for me or my love for him. The way he loved me was (as you so rightly wrote) the way I deep down wanted to be loved. The hardest thing in the world is when you can’t believe that a person who really loves you does not want the same things as you – permanence, building a home together, children, a dog perhaps to take out on Sunday trips to the sea etc etc et. All he wanted was his space, his freedom, a committment to eachother but not to a shared life. He loved me strongly and still says he does. It was an insane relationship that only now I can think about without going nuts with frustration, anger, disbelief and profound despair.
Only recently have I started to be able to treat him as a friend (he would still do anything in his power to help me – at any time). I realize now that if I can’t have with him the kind of life I longed for, we can at least help and support eachother as friends do.

Cindy November 13, 2005 at 6:19 pm

After reading this article, I felt an inner sense of peace.

You see, after having been married to a wonderful man with certain characteristic deficiencies, I now feel that it’s ok to be where I’m at. Our relationship was ending a slow and painful one. It took two years of me seriously contemplating leaving or staying.

And it was the most difficult decision to make, because I knew beyond a doubt he loved me and still does. I did too. The sad part was he could only treat me well part of the time.

By this I mean, he was emotionally unable to respond to my needs and whenever I approached him or told him I needed to be held, or just shown some tenderness, he just couldn’t. And knowing that the beautiful part of him who made me laugh till my sides hurt, just couldn’t connect with the emotion of tenderness made it such a challenge between us.

I knew I had always wanted a relationship where I could laugh and stay up with the person all night talking if we cared to…and this was the case with my ex.

I also knew that I wanted someone who would remember little things that were important to me, like telling me I’m beautiful, bringing me coffee in the mornings, asking me out on ‘dates’, or even just tenderly caressing my hair…and this was never the case. He always forgot anniversaries and never remembered my birthday, and rarely bought me gifts of love…where three times in our 7 years of marriage he told me I was beautiful. Not anymore than that.

And after a time of being with someone and days like valentine’s day, birthdays, anniversaries (wedding), or christmas do start to count when the words “I love you” are a very rare thing to hear.

And so with a growing distance (he often withdrew and could not share his emotions – where to the end he did not speak to me for three months) and a heavy heart, I knew I couldn’t stay, that it wasn’t good for me.

After almost one year of being on my own and moving across the country, I am finding I miss our moments of laughter, his crazy humour and teasing comical ways. I don’t miss anything else because I never felt I had it…still I miss him, he was a friend I cared for deeply and still do.

So with reading this article, I understand that going back for me is not my answer (I had started thinking of it!! I thought I was losing it!!) and that I’m normal in the sense of every word in your article! Thank you for redirecting my focus to where it needs to be…honoring that memory of him, and honoring that memory of what we once were.

Love Coach Rinatta Paries November 13, 2005 at 10:21 am

Dear Elizabeth, thank you for sharing your story and for your wonderful comments. It sounds like you are now on your way to recovery and peace.

Elizabeth November 13, 2005 at 2:09 am

The title: How to let your ex go. caught my attention and the write up really hit the nail on the head.

I never felt more loved than I’d felt with my ex. He proposed, I wore the ring (for which he’d made 5 payments on – yet it cost less than his cheapest pair of shoes), we talked about getting old together, there was going to be a whole beautiful future that is now never going to happen.

He had a jelousy problem. I wasn’t willing to account to him every minute I was not in his presence. He turned up with hickies — got into my bed and took his shirt off in the middle of intercourse. That’s when the 3 year relationship ended.

I’ve been single for three years now. I still feel too angry to move on and trust.

The guy before the last one left me for drugs and alcohol. That lasted a year and I was single for 3 years afterwards. The one before that admitted he molested children (in court he euphemized: ‘childhood-sexual-experience’ .) That one was a 2 year long thing, I was single for a year after it.

I could believe that the last guy would have given me the moon and stars if he could have. The two before that – nah.

It’s hard to believe any of them hurt me unintentionally.

The last two did have some ‘wonderful’ to their characters. The other one was near on pure hell.

The most recent ex helped me to realize my sexuality, and beauty. The man before him was really gentle, communicative, and never abrasive in the least. The pedophile brought my life fear and helplessness, but a wonderful daughter came from that union.

I realize now, becuase of this article that I need to forgive and send thoughts of peace, healing, and joy to them – for my sake.

I loved the last guy and still do, as you article so perceptively worded. The one before him was a kind of safety shield between me and the pedophile – whose family became a lot less aggressive towards me when I was no longer single. When I was in the relationship with the pedophile there had been a large number of disreputable men oggling me. I didn’t know it was because of a bet bettween the pedophile and them — about who could go out with me.

I don’t want any of them back.

I do want to become free of the anger. I deserve peace and gratitude. I deserve a deeper love than I’ve experienced thus far with someone else.

Your article really put a perspective on my situation. I see that there isn’t something wrong with me, It is possible that I’m not somehow marked for recognition by horrible men. It is possible I can be happy in a relationship.

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