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Old 10-06-2007, 10:08 PM   #1
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~Tyger~ HB User
He has ex issues - where does that leave me? Please help.

Hi everyone.

Not sure what to do and need some advice. I've been stressing over this for a while. I've been seeing this very special man for about 10 months now. When we first got together he'd just come out of a long term relationship, and so made it clear to me that he was not ready for a serious relationship again so soon. I have been through tough breakups before, and so this was understandable. At that point I did not want a serious relationship either, so we enjoyed months of getting closer, with no expectation, and slowly our feelings progressed naturally.

Yet lately it has been a little different. Perhaps we have come to a point where we either take the next step, or stop seeing one another. We have not made this decision yet, but he has brought it up. Now he has admitted to me that he's still not over his ex. He never feels like there was closure there, and the breakup was sudden and spontaneous. He says that I am very special to him though, and his feelings for me have grown to be very strong. However, he needs to make peace with his last relationship if he is ever going to move on with me.

I am scared. I am worried that he has never begun to deal with his ex, and is experiencing the backlash now. I'm concerned that he'll meet up with her to recieve that 'closure', and end up wanting to be back with her, despite the problems and unhappiness that destroyed their relationship previously. She is a strong woman and will make her own decision too -- but I don't know how she feels about it, obviously. All i know is that he has some serious skeletons in his closet, and I feel like now I'm just waiting around for him to work out what he wants -- I'm on edge, like any second he could come over and tell me he is going to try again with her... or that he wants to have a relationship with me... or that he doesn't want to see either of us and start afresh. I cannot predict the outcome -- I'm completely lost.

Should I just sit by and wait for the outcome? I guess I don't have much choice. I know that I want to be in a proper relationship with him -- I'm ready for that now. But I don't want to be 'second choice', or 'plan B', or just continue in limbo like this. But I don't know how I have any control to change the situation anyway -- its like the ball is not in my court.

Any advice or similar situation outcomes would be really appreciated. I feel like I'm constantly in limbo, floating, no direction, and it is emotionally exhausting because I care so much about him. Its like I'm either closer than ever to having what I want -- yet also possibly further than ever. Its unsettling.

Please offer some guidence

 
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Old 10-07-2007, 12:12 AM   #2
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Re: He has ex issues - where does that leave me? Please help.

all right...i believe that either he deals with the ex and moves on with you or he doesnt. And then you move on alone. The last thing you want is to be in a realtionship of three- he, his ex, and you. Either he has moved on or he hasn't. With me, I thought ex issues were resolved and then they came through 3 years later and runined our relationship for good. I know it doesnt have to be this way.....keep your eye open.....doesnt let it go that!

Last edited by missbrit; 10-07-2007 at 12:35 PM. Reason: spelling!

 
Old 10-07-2007, 08:08 AM   #3
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Re: He has ex issues - where does that leave me? Please help.

Hi Tyger. When my partner and I first got together we were both fresh out of long term relationships, so our relationship grew more slowly as a result; I think that's only natural and to be expected. I think the best thing you can do here is take a step back, let him come to miss you, to want to be with you. You cant develop feelings of wanting and missing a man who's got his face shoved right up into yours all the time, so naturally the same is true the other way around!

I know it'd be hard to take that step back; you'll likely be filled with all sorts of insecurities about how he's spending his time and whether seeing her features in his schedule at all - but the thing is, you've got to get him to make the free decision that it's you he wants to be with, and he'll come to that conclusion much quicker if he gets a taste of what life's like without you constantly in it.

Best of luck and let us know how you get on.

 
Old 10-07-2007, 08:59 AM   #4
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Re: He has ex issues - where does that leave me? Please help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Tyger~ View Post
Should I just sit by and wait for the outcome? I guess I don't have much choice. I know that I want to be in a proper relationship with him -- I'm ready for that now. But I don't want to be 'second choice', or 'plan B', or just continue in limbo like this. But I don't know how I have any control to change the situation anyway -- its like the ball is not in my court.
Yes, the ball is in your court. You can always decide that you don't want to be with a man who's not emotionally available to you and tell him you care for him, you'll be his friend, but until and unless he gets the issues with his ex straightened out, you can no longer be in a romantic relationship with him, and pull it back. I learned the hard way that a man will never have respect for a woman who just sits around and waits for him to decide whether he wants her or not. in fact, that's the quickest, best way to lose a man. A man likes challenge, he likes knowing he doesn't have you in his hip pocket. That excites him and knowing he could lose you at any time makes him want you more. I'm not saying you should play games. I'm just saying that's how a man's nature works. If he sees you sitting around like a love sick puppy waiting for him to love you, he'll never really want you, especially when there's a strong, independent, elusive goddess out there somewhere competing for his affections without even trying.

Take matters into your own hands. If you don't want to be his plan b, second fiddle to some chick he's supposed to be done with, then don't be. He's not the only fish in the sea, and even if he were, he's still not worth selling out your self respect and dignity.

 
Old 10-07-2007, 01:56 PM   #5
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Re: He has ex issues - where does that leave me? Please help.

Let him have the closure with his ex. He needs it to move on and there is very small chance of that relationship rekindling. Also be glad he is telling you what he is doing. You'd be upset if you found out they got together and he was hiding it from you. Sometimes both sides have things they need to get off their chest. Let it happen...don't ask specific questions...all you need to know is they go together and talked and now its closed.

 
Old 10-08-2007, 02:52 AM   #6
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Re: He has ex issues - where does that leave me? Please help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laylah View Post
I think the best thing you can do here is take a step back, let him come to miss you, to want to be with you...

I know it'd be hard to take that step back; you'll likely be filled with all sorts of insecurities about how he's spending his time and whether seeing her features in his schedule at all - but the thing is, you've got to get him to make the free decision that it's you he wants to be with, and he'll come to that conclusion much quicker if he gets a taste of what life's like without you constantly in it.
This is really spot on Laylah... both your advice that I should take a step back, and your prediction of how that would make me feel. A month or two back I tried to give him more space and stay away... it was difficult and I found myself obsessing and becoming anxious every time the weekend rolled around wondering what he was doing and who with and why and how etc. Its like a vicious cycle. Of course, I did not let this on to him in any way... I'm very controlled and tend to think before I speak when I'm with a man.. I'm not the overbearing emotional type at all. In the past this has been both a positive and a negative. In this circumstance though, I think its a good thing. Otherwise, as Larrylou also wisely stated, I would appear to be the 'lovesick puppy' type waiting around and whinging for him to hurry up. No man wants that.

This, luckily, is not so. I've tried really hard to maintain independence throughout all of this, not seeing him too often or becoming clingy -- I keep seeing my friends and not falling into the trap of feeling like I 'belong to him' or he to me. But we have mutual friends, one in particular, and to see this guy is to often hear about my man, so it became really hard not to hamper this friend for info about how he's feeling or what he's doing/thinking.

As matter of time said, i'm glad he's been honest about this with me and has opened up enough to tell me he is having these troubles and thoughts of closure with his ex, and not sure where his life is heading etc. I even asked him if he needed space, his answer was that he didn't know, and it may depress him more. He is not the selfish type that would force me to be there though. I have to let him make his own decision... this I know.

But I'm so nervous right now. I feel a little ill... almost as if my actions in these next few days/weeks/months will seal the fate of all of this. I feel like I have to live up to some sort of expectation, although know its stupid. I can't help it. I resist the urge to call him or contact him, but then sit around feeling anxious and depressed because its almost as if as each day goes by, he's slipping away from me. Its all insecurity, I know. I've seen him quite a bit recently, so I'm planning not to see or contact him at all this week. I don't know if I should alert him to the fact that I'm 'giving him space' or not... or just do it, and let him figure his stuff out. Should I talk to him about it, or just take a few steps away and let it unfold?? I should also mention that although I'm sure he knows I'm really into him, I don't think he knows just how deeply. That would be too much pressure for him at this point, I think. And I'm not even sure of the depth of my own emotions. Its like I've withheld some parts of myself, because I am scared of being hurt.

Its an awful feeling when all your emotions are invested in someone who is not quite in control of themselves. I am not in control of him, either, so I feel in limbo and like my happiness is in the hands of another. Its taken me so long to find someone that I can love like I did my ex, and now I'm finally ready for a relationship... except I've picked someone who's not. Its so difficult. I find it hard to fall for people, so this feels sacred and special, and such a shame to give up on. I don't quite know how I'm expected to pick up the pieces and move on, when I feel like I've been alone for so long already. Its like going back to negative square one.

I know I have to keep myself busy and try to see other people, but all my friends are in relationships and too busy at work to see me too often, and I live alone in an apartment, with only myself for company, and I don't see much of my family at all as they live a while out of town. I am studying so I don't have alot of money to join groups, etc. I am involved in martial arts as I'm an instructor 2 nights a week, but thats about it. I have real trouble keeping my mind occupied, and i get distracted easily. When I am upset, it is so difficult for me to focus my energies on anything at all. I just become unmotivated and too jittery to concentrate. I can't even get through a whole movie sometimes. I'd love to talk to someone, even a professional, but I don't really have money for that either. I think it would help, getting some things off my chest, that I'm sure I've repressed. I get very lonely though, and a lot of the time I don't feel like I'm ever going to find someone to curb that loneliness. Its so difficult. I'm sorry to rant on and on... I just needed to get some of that out..

 
Old 10-08-2007, 07:07 AM   #7
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Re: He has ex issues - where does that leave me? Please help.

The ball is in your court Tyger and you can gain control of this situation.

He obviously needs to deal with whatever issues are there before he is able to move on with you or anyone for that matter. I think you should step aside and tell him to deal with his feelings. Tell him when he figures it all out to give you a call, and if he still wants to be with you and you are still available, then you can give it another try.

You can't sit around in limbo waiting to see what he does. That is completely unfair to you. You can use this break to see other people and he can do what he needs to do. Maybe if he sees that you won't wait around forever that will prompt him to put it to rest sooner rather than later.

There is no need for you to sit around and hope he "chooses you". You are a strong woman too and you can make this decision just as well as him. Don't let him control the outcome. You let him see that you can move on as well, even if you do so reluctantly.

 
Old 10-08-2007, 04:16 PM   #8
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Re: He has ex issues - where does that leave me? Please help.

Well, Tyger, I'm not an expert, but I've always been one to get things out in the open and say what I'm feeling. I know I can't expect other people to be a mind reader, and even though it can be hard, it's best to say what's going on. If you are giving him space, but that you're doing it for yourself, not just for him. then I think it's ok to tell him so. That from what he's told you, it sounds like he needs to figure some things out and until he does, it's best that you step back, and that you'll be his friend. If that's the truth.

But please try not to be so on edge about it. I know it's hard not to feel that you have to strategize, and what you do or don't do can make or break the rest of your life or at least your future with this guy. Keep an open heart and mind, be respectful of him and also very respectful of yourself, and things will work out the way they are supposed to.

I actually saw the last part of a movie with Ashley Judd on the Lifetime network yesterday that really made me think. I've actually had a very very emotional weekend and have been thinking about a lot of things. In addition, I finally broke down and got some stuff out on the table with my mom regarding some childhood trauma that has been haunting me for decades, and she did give me some much needed closure, for which I am so very grateful. But that movie really got me thinking about a lot of things that go on here on these boards. Like I said, I didn't catch the whole thing, but from what I gather, she was a woman who was in a lot of pain from a bad relationship with her dad and a lot of other things. When I came in, she was drunk and leaving a bar and some guy she knew took her to her father's house and she was knocking and pounding on the door and screaming and crying and he would't come to the door so the guy who brought her just took her home. She had a fight with her grandma as well because she would always complain about how bad her husband treated her and Ashley told her she couldn't stand to hear her whine about it anymore, etc. Ashley then had a fight with her boyfriend, i guess she did something stupid when she was drunk and he dumped her. So she went to her priest to talk about things and she said how frustrated she was that it says knock and the door shall be opened and she's been knocking and knocking for years and he said, well, then, stop knocking and just come on in. She didn't quite know what to make of that at first. She went back to her dad's place, and he let her in and she told him she wanted to talk. He picked up a guitar and played and she said I came here to talk but he wouldn't stop playingso she said "I'll let you get back to waht you were doing, thanks for the song" and her face said "I'm never going to get what I want from him, he's never going to give it to me, but you know, I don't really need it anymore." She went to her boyfriend, who already had another woman in his house, and she told him she was sorry for what she did, and she wished him luck, and that's it. She was at her grandparents and her grandfather insisted his wife pour him another glass of wine, when she was busy with the dishes and the box of wine was two feet away from him on the table. She told him to get it himself and left. He asked Ashley to pour him more wine, and she just picked up her purse and left. The movie ended with her going off by herself and enjoying the sunset by herself.

All this to say, what got me thinking about that, is, you get into real trouble in life when you expect or depend or need other people to give you closure, amends, apologies, support, whatever. The door becomes open for you when you decide to be free of what other people will or won't do, care or don't care, support or don't support.

Lord knows, I know that that is FAR easier said than done. I will always insist that to a large degree, we need each other. Humans are social animals and we all need love, companionship, a sense of belonging and meaningful touch. But we cannot sell out our self respect in order to get it. I don't wish to sound hypocritical, because I was one of the all-time worst offenders. For years, and years, I let bad, cruel, evil things that other people have done to me tear me apart, and I even went back to some of these people, trying to be more strong, confident, respectful of them and myself to illicit a different result, and all I got was more of the same, more disrespect, more verbal abuse, more crap. You cannot change what someone else is going or not going to do to you, for you, with you. All you can do is be the best you that you know how to be and if someone else wants to come along for the ride, hey, great. If they don't, that has to be ok, too.

You can't live your life on edge, feeling like you have to rub your tummy and pat your head and hop on one leg at the same time to "get him" to care. It took me a long, hard road to realize that's just not how it works. I was very very lucky that my mom finally gave me the closure I needed, that I told her what words I needed to hear from her and she said them. It was very freeing, traumatic for us both, and I wish I hadn't had to have put her through that at this stage of her life, but it had come to a now or never kind of head. But the other deeply emotional thing I've been struggling with since last Friday, I know I won't be so lucky. It involved an ex, someone I haven't seen or spoken to in a decade, but the pain is still very intense and deep. But every step, painful or not, is another step on the road that will hopefully one day lead you to a better, stronger, lighter, happier place.

Well, I'm rambling now, but all this blather to say, give him space for yourself, not just for him. Because you know that your life is short and precious, and valuable, and because you deserve a great guy who's emotionally available to you and who can and wants to be in a real relationship with you. You don't have to shut off from him totally, you don't have to kick him out of your life, just embrace the fact that you are good and special just as you are, and if he'd rather deal with other business elsewhere, then that has nothing at all to do with you. You are still smart, strong, and wonderful and whatever is going to come into your life, will still come. Good luck to you.

 
Old 10-09-2007, 08:18 PM   #9
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Re: He has ex issues - where does that leave me? Please help.

I think I know what I should do... but I feel ill just contemplating it. Following the advice here (and my own intuition I guess), I need to find that strength to walk away until he's worked out whatever it is he thinks he has to work out. I can't help feeling like I'm walking away from us altogether though. I don't have faith that he will come back to me... I know I should, but I just don't. And it hurts so much. I can't bear starting all over again, more depressed than ever, and with an extremely battered sense of self-belief. I won't lower myself to grovelling or waiting for him, but leaving him is like jumping in the deep end with no fins. I think I'm going to drown

Last night I hardly slept at all. I had fitful bouts of sleep that were scattered with nightmares of him leaving me and me leaving him, and him with another woman, and combinations of all of this. It was awful. I woke up shivering all through the night. This situation is taking its toll on me, and I'm trying so hard to stick to my decision and gear myself up to do what must be done... but I don't think I can until I'm absolutely, positively sure that its the RIGHT thing to do... and at this point I'm not sure. I guess its that difference between following the head or the heart. I've never been good at making those kind of decisions.

What I'm scared of is trying to leave again, and then falling back into this cycle with him... then he will never take me seriously if I do that. If I leave, its like there's no going back. That thought hurts terribly.

I think its clear that despite my best efforts at keeping my guards up for the sake of self-preservation... I managed to fall in love with him. Or at least fall FOR him, if not in love. I feel stupid. He is emotionally unavailable to me, and even if he was in love with me, I know he'd find it so hard to communicate. I'm so lost right now. I feel like everything is caving in around me... and I have to jump off that cliff, but I don't believe there's anything to catch me at the bottom.

 
Old 10-09-2007, 08:34 PM   #10
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Re: He has ex issues - where does that leave me? Please help.

Aww tyger (((hugs))) I know how hard it can be, really I do. I was faced with the same decision once, though it wasn't another woman, just his ambivolence about me and his feelings for me. I stayed, right under his nose because I guess I figured if I did, he'd choose me, because how could he not if I was right there showing him how much I loved him and wanted to be with him? Well, he left me anyway, and I not only lost him, but I lost all my dignity and self esteem, too. Not because he left me, but because I left the decision totally up to him and sold myself out in the process.

I know you've got to do what your heart's gotta do, and you need more time to process it. But think of it this way - if you leave, and he doesn't love you and miss you enough to come running after you, and that thought terrifies you, then why doesn't the thought of staying when he doesn't love you and care for you enough to choose you and only you now and for good, why doesn't that bother you as much?

I'm well aware of that feeling, that feeling of drowning, of feeling like you're lost and you'll never be whole, happy or "ok" ever again. I've been feeling that way for 10 years now, but even so, I still will never again sell myself short for a man, and haven't, even when other people have insulted me, badgered me, called me too picky, have even yelled at screamed in anger at me, I still have never pursued a relationship with a man I knew was wrong for me. I know I'm still the est judge of who's right and wrong for me, and what I deserve, how I want and deserve to be treated. I still love my ex, probably always will, but if he came begging for me to take him back, you know something, I wouldn't. Not unless he had become almost a totally different person. And what are the chances of that happening? sheesh.

Just think on it some more. And think about what you're trying so hard to hold onto. Not just him, not just his qualities and stuff, but the realtionship as a whole, where you are in his life, how devoted he is to you,how much he shows you that you're the only one and you're special, how good, lifted up, special and loved being with him makes you feel, and think hard about how hard you're hanging onto that, and why.

 
Old 10-10-2007, 08:30 AM   #11
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Re: He has ex issues - where does that leave me? Please help.

I so completely know how you feel! <<hugs>> The ill feeling that you have is normal, or at least it was for me when I went through what you were going through. It will all get better with time. I know that is easier said then done. It has been about 3 weeks now since I lost someone I was involved with. He right now has chosen to be back with his exwife. It hurts so bad and I am feeling everything you are but each day it gets a little better and I know deep down I am still a strong and beautiful person that any many would be lucky to have. It only took me like 5 years to feel this way..haha
I do agree that you need to step back and let him figure out what he wants. Don't be clingy or anything. He will come to realize something is missing as one of the other posters said. I don't know that I would really tell him that you are giving him space. Get together with friends or family. They can help a lot whether you realize it or not.
I also don't know if this is an option but at the beginning of this year I was going through a lot and very lonely and I went and got a puppy. She has been the best thing that has come along in a long time. She cured 99% of my loneliness.
Hang in there and know you are not alone. <<hugs>>

 
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