Assuaging guilt and setting no contact

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 26, 2012 10:25 AM GMT
    This is my first real forum post. I've been lurking for a while and I love all of your advice.

    Details are exhausting, so here is the gist. Tonight I had a difficult conversation with my most recent ex telling him "I can't be friends for a while, I need space." I wished him well, and genuinely meant it, yet I still feel terribly guilty. The honest truth is that many of his qualities (that he has explicitly verbalized and owned) do not match my values and the direction I am headed in life. I like to think that I am a healthy, honest, humorous, achievement oriented man full of love to give... yet talking to him really makes me doubt myself and my goals.

    He even said at the end of the conversation that he thinks I am a catch, he thinks I am a sane and good person, and that he genuinely likes me for me. I wished him well, told him I think he is a good person and that I truly want the best for him, and then we parted ways.

    It's been 7 months since we split. I feel immature that it's taking me so long, but I invested a lot in this one...
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 26, 2012 10:48 AM GMT

    "It's been 7 months since we split. I feel immature that it's taking me so long, but I invested a lot in this one..."

    Well... taking you so long in what way?

    -Doug
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 26, 2012 11:20 AM GMT
    Taking so long to get to a place where I can be a genuine friend. Talking to him now still upsets me... and it's not because I want to date him again... it's because he is less than kind, and does hurtful things like leave drunk voicemails. I don't want to believe he is a bad person, I guess, but sometimes it feels like all signs point to yes... that I should leave this one alone.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 26, 2012 1:13 PM GMT
    so who broke up with who and for what reason?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 26, 2012 2:35 PM GMT
    It was sort of mutual. We agreed it was mutual. I initiated conversation #1 about being unhappy and overwhelmed with his lack of enthusiasm about communicating. He came back a day later with "we're both unhappy, this is over."

    It was long distance that drove us apart, but looking back in time there were so many "red flags" and challenging time points where I thought about ending it.

    I don't think we are compatible as lovers, I just feel guilty for not even wanting to be friends. Thoughts?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 26, 2012 2:56 PM GMT
    JerseyJames75 saidIt was sort of mutual. We agreed it was mutual. I initiated conversation #1 about being unhappy and overwhelmed with his lack of enthusiasm about communicating. He came back a day later with "we're both unhappy, this is over."

    It was long distance that drove us apart, but looking back in time there were so many "red flags" and challenging time points where I thought about ending it.

    I don't think we are compatible as lovers, I just feel guilty for not even wanting to be friends. Thoughts?


    To me I think that lovers are also good friends. and it takes a lot of effort to maintain a friendship after a relationship goes south.

    Honestly the worst thing you can do in my opinion is to be inconsistent. If you haven't talked to him since you broke up I highly doubt you want a friendship so you should go down that route. I think its common though. A few of my exes who said they wanted to be friends after dumping me stopped speaking to me right after. I think it's their way of trying to seem polite lol.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 26, 2012 3:32 PM GMT
    Thanks tmac. I agree that lovers can be good friends. I do feel bad for being inconsistent with him... I initiated our initial friendship and then when things got bumpy, I ended it. In his mind it might seem two-faced or manipulative. But with all due respect to myself, this has been a very, very cyclic pattern to our connection as two people. I do a lot of forgiving, boosting, lifting, encouraging only to get negative responses, self-hatred, and guilt trips in return. Half of his apologies are of the "sorry you feel that way" form.

    All of my contacts, regardless of whether or not they know him, have been advising me for a while to break contact and move on. I am too kind for my own good in this situation, I believe.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 26, 2012 10:34 PM GMT
    During our relationship he gave me a personal loan to pay off some debt. He offered. I didn't feel comfortable unless we put it in writing and he collected interest on the loan. He gave me the money, and I paid it all back.

    After asking explicitly for space last night... today he sent me the cash to cover to interest that he earned off of me. He told me that he feels guilty taking the money. This whole ordeal ended at least 3 months ago

    I called. Told him I don't want the money, that we had an agreement, and to please give me space.

    He's kind of driving me mad now...
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 26, 2012 10:35 PM GMT
    JerseyJames75 saidThis is my first real forum post.
    How many simulated forum posts did you make before this one?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 27, 2012 6:05 AM GMT
    Hi Paul, sorry but I didn't understand your question... what's a simulated post?

    And MuchMore,
    Thanks man. I feel like I over reacted a bit, but honestly the interactions between me and this guy have followed a destructive pattern for so long that I really do just need to move on.

    I appreciate your kind and helpful response icon_smile.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 27, 2012 7:30 AM GMT
    Oh. Haha yeah I get that. Or the worst is when you write the perfect post and the browser crashes. O_o
  • Sparkycat

    Posts: 1064

    Sep 27, 2012 9:13 AM GMT
    drama queen
  • Sparkycat

    Posts: 1064

    Sep 27, 2012 9:16 AM GMT
    Considering how much trouble you have ending a relationship I've concluded that you're actually a lesbian.
  • LuckyGuyKC

    Posts: 2080

    Sep 27, 2012 10:42 AM GMT
    Yeah .... nice guy but leaves you drunk mean voice mails..... I think you should invest in friends that don't go mean and you don't carry the baggage with over stuff you accumulate when you date.

    Lastly ..... tell him you are donating the interest that he earned to a charity that you know he likes in his name and make sure that the organization sends him the tax letter.

    He immature reactions come from hurt feelings that you broke it off .... let him go.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 27, 2012 11:07 AM GMT
    Relationships are nothing more than holding on and letting go. They are the existence of life.

    Sometimes we like to hold on to the part of us that feels guilt and shame. We love it because it makes us feel special in a way, unique, and isolated. Sometimes we don't know how to let go of that because we've never done it before. It's uncharted territory. The good thing is we don't have to let it go today - time takes time; the bad thing is we often search for something else or another personality to relieve us of it - the cycle continues.

    It sounds like this man doesn't fulfill your fantasy. You talk about redeeming qualities in yourself; he is the opposite of those. It was never his job to fulfill your fantasy.

    We all build a fantasy of what we want in a partner (physical and emotional). This fantasy is built on our own view of ourselves. If we have a false sense of ourselves then we can only have a very far fetched fantasy of someone to fulfill us.

    The key is to have a realistic view of our own qualities, and therefore we can build a realistic fantasy of what we want. To say that we are patient and kind is false; humans are animals with physical and emotional reflexes that do not involve patience or kindness. Accepting that we are not that wonderful is called humility. Through humility we gain truth.

    So you need to find out what you want to hold on to and what you want to let go of...
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 27, 2012 11:59 AM GMT
    JerseyJames75 saidTaking so long to get to a place where I can be a genuine friend. Talking to him now still upsets me... and it's not because I want to date him again... it's because he is less than kind, and does hurtful things like leave drunk voicemails. I don't want to believe he is a bad person, I guess, but sometimes it feels like all signs point to yes... that I should leave this one alone.


    Sounds like a healthy response.. sometimes we can't get to the freind place, sometimes we can... it takes energy and it takes perspective to sift through the emotional debris left at the end of a relationship.

    Once you go through the positive and negative aspects of your ex' in reflection, it will be much clearer to you if you want to freind zone him, or leave him in the ex's limbo-wilderness.

    Dont feel guilt over it - as you say you need space to get your head right on this.

    Cutting him off completely isn't necessarily the only option, you could make a plan to see him for coffee in x weeks time - make it a daytime or morning meet up, so you're well rested. It does two things, it gets him off your case as you will be seeing him down the track - he doesn't need to hassle you in the meantime... and it gives you a chance to sort through it.

    You mention your kindness being a problem - I know what you mean, but theres a person in your life more deserving of some kindness now, YOU. and YOU are most likely the one best suited to give it too.

    *HUGS*
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 27, 2012 12:59 PM GMT
    It doesnt sound like you actually like him all that much. If hes having a negative impact on your life, get rid of him. Lifes too short to spend it with people who bring you down. You guys had your moment in time, let go. Why should you feel guilty anyway? Do you call him with hurtful messages? Do you play guilt games and send back money? Do you abandon the relatioinship at the first sign of trouble? No, he did. Its ok to move on. Itd probably be good for the both of you. Youd have less stress and hed have to take a good look at the way he treats others.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 27, 2012 1:31 PM GMT
    Thanks guys. This has all been really helpful and I am feeling much better and firm with my decision. I need to do me for a while icon_smile.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 27, 2012 1:46 PM GMT

    I heard this quote before and it resonated a little bit.

    "It turns out people lie to themselves about three things; they view themselves in implausibly positive ways, they think they have far more control over their lives than they actually do and they believe the future will be better than the evidence from the present can possibly justify"

    I'm not saying you're a big liar, but I get the feeling you're trying to put yourself in a more positive light.

    We can only go by your side of the story and I know you find details exhausting but if your ex told you he likes you for you and thought you're a good catch. helped you pay off your debt and even after breaking things off giving you back money you owed just because he didn't feel right having it, instead of thinking about himself out of spite.....is the same guy who is full of negativity. always bringing you down, less than kind.

    I think you have your faults too but I don't think you're fully owning up to them.

    forgive me because i'm about to take another leap but perhaps you might feel guilty because he brings to surface some of your possible negative qualities that you're not willing to accept.

    Delta is right. realizing our own flaws does bring humility.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 27, 2012 1:59 PM GMT
    Being friends with your ex is not easy especially if one still has some feelings. Take some distance and time from him and resume things after a while to see if you both can be friends without all those feelings.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 27, 2012 4:46 PM GMT
    tmac, thanks for your honesty and for making me think pretty critically here. I know that I have flaws. I guess perhaps I contacted him too early after the break up thinking that I would be able to maintain a friendship, and then his behaviors really got to me. Although, I have no other friends or connections in my life that leave me drunk voice mails in any capacity... And considering the nature of his voice mail, it would also be fair to say that he has feelings for me too still.

    One reason I didn't paint him in an even more negative light is because I'm posting this on the internet, right? So I don't want to rip him apart. He stated on the phone that he is a "self proclaimed selfish bastard." I told him I do not think that of him. I told him I think deep down he is a good person. He said "being selfish means you get what you want in life."

    Honestly, he was probably just being reactive. He is a nice guy. I think the reimbursement came from a good place (or at least a guilty place). But I don't want the money, so I returned it with a firm but kind email.

    I'll keep reflecting on my flaws and hope to move forward now. Thanks again for all the feedback.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 27, 2012 10:06 PM GMT
    After some more thought today, I guess from his perspective I might seem a bit hot-and-cold. I contacted for friendship, and then got pretty hurt a month or two later by a single drunk voicemail. He did do a lot for me as you stated tmac.

    It's also funny how we are two people fighting over who DOESN'T want the money, versus two people who WANT the money... that's probably pretty solid evidence that we are both good souls.

    Nonetheless, I am going to give this a lot more space and time. Any kind of future connection needs to be absolutely disconnected from this turbulent moment.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 28, 2012 6:59 AM GMT
    More thinking and self-growth: I may have been passive-aggressive, and this may be a personality trait that I can improve. After his drunk voice mail, he followed up a few days later with a nice email with some photos from his birthday party. Had I been assertive about how I was feeling immediately, I could have easily said, "Nice photos, glad you had fun, can we please talk about something that upset me?"

    Instead I let the anger fester for a bit until he asked about my distant behavior. I started avoiding. And then I finally let it all out... only to learn that he had no clue of leaving the drunk voice mail. I'm not condoning his behavior... that's still 'too drunk' IMHO. Simply trying to learn all I can from this.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 28, 2012 1:02 PM GMT
    So I looked up passive-aggressive behavior on Mayo Clinic and I don't really think it describes me at all:

    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/passive-aggressive-behavior/AN01563

    I could be being too hard on myself... ?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 28, 2012 1:29 PM GMT
    Yeah, definately being too hard on yourself.

    You both sound like decent people - despite that, you aren't necesarily compatible for a relationship.

    You have a lot of empathy for each other, which is normal considering you had a relationship, in fact, you're still closer that freinds would be, which is why things are so raw right now.

    I dont think you're passive aggressive, but I think that you (probably both) need time to accept that you're not in a relationship any more.

    You sound like you've learned from your mistake about not letting the anger fester; other feelings fester too - make sure you don't internalise them.

    Learn to accept, forgive and move on, you can't change things that have happened, but you can chose whether you want to bring them along as emotional baggage.

    Take care.