Dear Cupid,I am turning to you because I am really struggling to figure this out. Basically I am currently in a relationship with a wonderful man, S. We have been together for one year and he is caring, funny, handsome, and thinks the world of me. I could not ask to be with a better person. However, we got together a year ago, just after I broke up with my ex, G. A year into my relationship with S, I still do not feel like I am over G. I am not deluded about G, I do not even want to get back together with him, and know that this would actually be impossible anyway. We have moved far away from each other too so it's not like I ever see him, and I have no contact with him at all. But I still think about him all the time, have very vivid dreams about him and long for him. I am not romanticizing my previous relationship with G, it was a truly awful time for me, and we had an extremely turbulent relationship. It was a very push and pull, overly dramatic relationship. He was an awful selfish man who never cared about my feelings and put me through a lot. I do not want to go into it too much as I could probably write a book on him, however it felt like he emotionally traumatized me by the end because he knew how to upset me and manipulate me. I had to have 4 months of psychotherapy after our break up because I was completely unstable emotionally and was having anxiety problems. The thing is, I still think about him all the time, even though I was the one that ended things which usually helps you get closure. I just don't know what to do, I know he affected me a great deal and I know I jumped into my relationship with S far too quickly because I was scared to be alone, and all the other usual reasons. But I love S now and see a genuine future, which is why I am trying to forget about my ex. I feel like I have not opened up to S fully because of this problem. I also feel like I loved G more than anything, and no one can compare to that love, it was the strongest I had ever felt it. Although I love Stuart it is in a different way, and I think that is because I haven't properly let go of G and allowed myself to love anyone else. I just feel like this problem is making me ill, has anyone else been in a similar situation? Can anyone recommend a good book on how to overcome this problem? Do you think talking to him would help to get closure? I really need to sort myself and my relationship out as it's making me feel depressed, I want to feel ok again and I don't want G to have such an impact on my current life.
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reader, Alittlebroken +, writes (26 August 2010):Alittlebroken is verified as being by the original poster of the questionThank you for your responses guys. Thanks anonymous, I have spoken to my current partner about this previously, and he has been very supportive; at the same time this is my problem and I need to deal with it on my own, there is only so much he can do. I know what is missing in my current partner that my ex had- and that is the bad boy attitude and treating me badly. But I don't want this in my current relationship, although it made me tick in the previous one. It made it more passionate, but also a lot more distructive; my current relationship is stable and open and loving and I wouldn't want to change it. However, I have always gone for the treat me mean and I'll stay keen guys- it really did keep me keen. I guess I'm just getting used to what a normal r/ship feels like and realising it doesn't all have to be arguments and crying.
TimmD, thanks for your advice. You're right, I definitely got into this relationship too fast after breaking up with my ex. I think I did it not only because I was lonely, but also because my ex had a lot of power over me and I thought that if I was with someone new he wouldn't have that hold over me anymore. I know I got with my current partner for the wrong reasons, but luckily for me, S has turned out to be someone I want to be with long term which is why I want to sort this issue out.
You're probably right about me holding stuff back aswell- ofcourse I have thought about getting back with him- but straightaway I have changed my mind. I used to think all the usual stuff "oh he was so great" etc, but over time I have become realistic and I remember now just how bad he was. I don't fantasize about him, I just feel like sometimes I miss the actual feeling that I had when I was with him I guess. I don't still want to be with him- BUT I have thought about "what if he was normal- then we'd make a perfect couple". Once again though, as soon as I have this thought- I change my mind straightaway and realise he would NEVER change, he has had severe issues since a young age and he has tried to change many times during our relationship. He will simply never change- and I then get angry at myself for wondering "what if" because I already know the answer in my head.
The thing is, I'm unsure as to why I have unresolved feelings for him. I think maybe I am holding some anger towards him because he treated me so badly- maybe I feel like I am owed an apology; I feel like I was too good for him; I feel angry at myself for falling for someone like that. When we broke up he really affected my mental health and I am still trying to pick up the pieces- I still suffer from anxiety problems, and he gets me down so much. I guess I am angry that I allowed him to do this to me; and I'm letting him affect me to this day. I sometimes feel like I need to write to him and tell him all this, I have thought about this quite a lot, maybe that will get me closure, but I feel like if I do this I will feel even more worthless, and then he will know he's got to me- he would probably get pleasure out of this; or worse, not care and not reply- I think if he replied apologising it might possibly do the trick, but this is unlikely.
I have tried to move on but he still affects me almost everyday. I think you're right, I probably do need more professional help, it's not always available though and there are waiting lists where I am currently live (I have moved since I went last time, otherwise I would go back to the same psychologist).
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reader, anonymous, writes (25 August 2010):i've never been in this situation before hun but i can see and understand that the way you are feeling must be terrible as you have 'wonderful, new relationship' but you could try to talk to your current partner about how you feel, he will be there for you and help you through eerything, he will want you to be open with him and if you still think abut your ex all the time then you and yor partner taking time away for a little bit may be for the best. if you take time then you might realise that the guy your fantasing and thinking about constantly is actually your current partner you just might not be able to see that, you may still be thinking about your ex as your current partner may be missing something that your ex had, something that made you tick. try and figure out what this may be and search for it in your current partner. hope this helps hun.
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reader, TimmD +, writes (25 August 2010):I don't think a book is going to help you. The problem is, you are saying the right things.... but I'm not sure if you really believe what you are saying. My first instinct is that you got into this latest relationship too soon after your last. You confirmed that and added that you just didn't want to be alone. Regardless of how you feel about this man, you may NEED to be alone. People that move from one relationship to another become dependent on a partner.
Again, you keep saying the right things... but you're also holding some stuff back. You say don't want to be in a relationship with your ex, but yet you give the main reason as "it probably wouldn't even be possible" like you have thought about it. What is it that you are not getting over about your ex? Do you still want to be with him? Do you fantasize about him? Do you wish you were with him, but everything was normal and he doesn't verbally abuse you? You still have some unresolved feelings for him, and unfortunately, if being with this new guy hasn't gotten you to move on.... then you may need some addition professional help.
One thing is for sure, until you get your ex out of your mind and officially move on.... your relationship with S will suffer. You've said it yourself, you feel it's holding you back.
My suggestion is to find a way to be honest with yourself about why you still think about your ex. Even if it means you still want him back. That doesn't mean you ARE going to get back with him, but you need to recognize it first and stop denying it. You may be able to do this by yourself, or you may need professional help.
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