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Hi Amy2705,

Yes, Maybe I was a little vague about how our relationship ended. We were on again, off again for a while but I was REALLY good about not letting him see how much of an emotional wreck I was. Anyway, in one of those "off" periods, I met my husband and we started dating right away. My ex, tried about 3 times to get me to go back to him, but it wasn't in a "I love you, can't be without you" sort of way. It felt more like jealousy and a bit of a "head trip" for him to see if he could pull me away from this new guy in my life. That's where I had to think long and hard about where he and I were headed. I knew he had reached a high comfort level with me, yet he was at a point in his life where he needed to "play the field" so to speak and see who else was out there. Well, I loved him with all my heart but I was not about to lose my dignity putting myself through that. So I finally took a hard look at him and said, "I can't". We went on one more drive together (at his request) and again, I held my own. I had to be strong and it was the perfect time since I could tell my husband had fallen in complete love with me (though I can't figure out why). So you can see, me looking at my ex and knowing I would be in pain for years to come, or looking at my husband and know someone in the universe, loved me completely. What would you have done? Anyway, it's obvious, the decision I made and now here we are...

So no, he wasn't the one that ended it for good, but he ended it whenever, he wanted to, I just finally took the last stand. The reason it may have sounded like he left me was because I've emphasized my love for him, but like I said, he seemed to be looking elsewhere for someone better towards the latter part of our relationship, and that would make anyone feel "inferior" and was becoming emotionally devastating for me so I had to move on with my life.

Getting back to the last phase of all of this...He does have a big ego now, yet I am one of the few people who know his insecurities. So when he questioned how I felt about him in HS, I reassured him. When we talked about old mutual friends, he told me how jealous he was. And when I pointed out that he had a few girlfriends during our "off" periods, he downplayed them to nothing more than bad decisions. I finally referred to myself as "the rebound girl" to which he replied that "I was never the rebound girl, but actually his HS Seetheart and he only had one of those..." so you could see where, the brakes had to be put on Fast!! That's where my last message took place that I've yet to receive a response to.

So it's hard to know where his head is right now. I was not interested in being a "new conquest" by any means so I wasn't going to feed his ego at all. I think I might have angered him at that point, but did he seriously think I would be gushing over him? Maybe me contacting him led him to believe that I was still interested and now he's not sure why I contacted him at all. I just don't know, but now I think you have the whole picture so...any thoughts?
Hi SimplyJ,

I don't know if you remember, but I think a while back I said I can understand how you're feeling because I too have a "love of my life" ex who I thought about for years and years. The end for us was also on/off. Even after I moved to another city. We started speaking again years later - which is when I realized that I'd created a fantasy of him that was never going to match the reality. In any case, we would exchange e-mails here and there, had the occassional coffee. I wouldn't speak with him for months or a year, then we'd swap a couple more "how are you, what's new" e-mails. It always had a "gracefully die out" feel to it. That was fine. Then I got engaged. He sent a mail a while later, I told him about the engagement. He wrote back "congratulations" - literally - that was it. And I never heard from him again - ever. The strange part about that is that there was never any remote suggestion of us getting back together. Absolutely no lines were crossed. And he lives with a long term partner and has two children with her. But for some reason, my saying I was getting married abruptly ended things - no more catch-up, no more friendly chats. I sent him an email a few months later. He responded "He must be a really great guy." Again, that was it.

All I can make of it is that despite the fact that there was never ever any suggestion that we would get back together. Despite the fact that it was nothing but a couple friendly e-mails .... well, the idea that I was totally okay with truly being "just friends" didn't sit well with him. Frankly, I think he had a bit of an ego related tantrum. I think he wanted to live in a bit of an escape world with me ... where it was "just like old times" -- I get his jokes, understand the vague references, remember the (now hilarious) stuff he'd wear in high school. There was a lot of common ground there. But, at the end of the day, it was still too much for him when something happened to clearly spell out "friends". Even though he had his own life and it was never anything but friends. I think he wanted the fantasy - and that's what our e-mails gave him. Especially because we never really spoke about anything serious. It was all catch-up and remember when.

I'm sorry for going on about myself. What I'm getting at is, I'm not totally surprised that your ex isn't writting back, because mine didn't either in similar circumstances. For whatever reason, I think it's satisying for men to imagine that they could - circumstances being different - be with you. I think they enjoy that "oh, y'a, I've still got it" feeling. So when you spell out for them that you're a friend - I think it might hurt their ego a bit. And you're right - you are a comfort zone. You and what you represent become that refuge where they can hide out and have funny "remember when" conversations with someone who knows them and likes them (and used to love them). Everyone tends to idealize high school sweetheart or first important relationship. Getting the feeling back and the nostalgia that comes along is a really satisfying escape (as you know!). But you have to be careful that what started out as you getting answers doesn't turn into you providing him comfort and escape. Part of that, for him, is probably thinking "she may have married someone else and I'm not available either, but it's just like it was and I'm not a reject. She still cares." So when you say "we were friends then and can be still " it might burst the bubble for him. That's what I meant in an earlier message when I said he might not want to be "friends" in the way you're thinking. Friends, yes - but a friend who brings him back into a world of nostalgia. You have to remember that in that world, you two were in love... you weren't friends. That's why I think you have to be careful about how long you want to spend going down memory lane with him. You're not really "friends". Sure, you can be "friendly" - but your relationship was based on being a couple in love. So saying "let's be friends" is asking for a whole new type of relationship with him. And I suspect that he was enjoying reminiscing about what was (love), not enjoying what is (friendship). That's the trap you've got to avoid. You can't let yourself get sucked in. Because I think what you were after is two-fold: (1) know that he loved you back then, and (2) leave things as friends today. He might not be as interested in the second as you are. Doesn't mean he wants to have an affair - that's not what I'm suggesting - but maybe he was enjoying remembering being in love and wanted to keep that going (ego). His interests and yours might be very different and serve different purposes/needs. Just be careful to keep yours front and centre and careful not to get swept along into territory that might be emotionally difficult for you. Like I've said all along - you know now that he cared for you when things ended. You've had some good catch-up. You're on "friendly" terms with him. You might consider leaving aside pushing for a full "friendship" (which I think is asking for a new relationship altogether) - that just might not be possible. And I'm not sure it would add much anyway. Especially if the price you pay in exchange is being his escape/comfort zone (remember that in that world, you weren't friends, you were more). Straddling those two worlds will lead to a heap of confusion and, most likely, keep you tied to him. You're trying to write a new story for yourself. Don't just add another chapter to the same book.





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