An ex is still in love with me, but I cant bear to hurt his feelings further! What do I do?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 24, 2007 4:25 AM GMT
    I will explain this complicated relationship as concisely as possible without revealing anything too personal. so about two years ago i met a guy online and we begin dating over the phone long distance. he was the first guy i really considered my boyfriend and the person to whom I became most close. The relationship never materialized in the flesh, but nonetheless we continued dating for over a year and he was there to support me emotionally through a transition period in my life.

    I was beginning to become interested in other people in my own city and after making out with some one and revealing it to him, he had an emotional break down and freaked out. When there is some one on the phone crying to me like that, I will say near anything to make them feel better. I promised to stay away from the guy with whom I had made out, but later we agreed that we were not officially dating because i needed time for myself with school.

    The relationship basically remained the same, us talking several times a day, and he would say things like "I can't imagine you with anyone else". Problem was I began seeing some one else and didnt tell him in order to avoid the tears. Long story short, a few months later I told him the truth. He really had a mental break down and broke into multiple personalities and was apperently hospitalized. Meanwhile, a few days later he revealed to me he had been lying to me about EVERYTHING with regards to his identity (pictures, name, age, backstory, etc.).

    What a mind fuck.....

    He was still the same person that had been there for me so many times, but by now it was impossible for me to consider a physical relationship because it was his physical self had betrayed me, and I frankly did not find him attractive. But by now I almost felt bad for him. Life had thrown him a shitty hand on many levels. I didnt want to take away the joy i give him. He was still in love with me. I had a love FOR him, but I was not IN love.

    So we've kept up with our talking several times a day (going on two years since we met, almost a year since the unveiling). Now I merely see it as an obligation. He tells me all the time "I love you" with so much passion and joy and I respond "I love you too", but it hurts because I know I dont really mean it. But because I am really the only good thing going on in his life (really, its the truth) and his emotionability, I keep up with it. He has an idea how i feel, he asks "you're just saying that because you dont want to hurt my feelings, right?" What do I say to that!? The truth? After two years? When any ounce of truth comes out, I am made to feel like shit and guilted into saying things I don't really mean in order to calm him down.

    I care too much about his well-being to cut him completely out of my life. We have since met in person twice, as recently as two weeks ago. It's rough. He questions why I dont want to be affectionate. He respects we are not BFs but 'buddy' status isnt enough.

    God, I'm fucked. I'm sure I'm not the first person to be in this type of situation. Any help or advice, please!

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 24, 2007 5:31 AM GMT
    I think you need to be honest. Telling someone you love them when you don't is wrong.

    You seem to have colluded in his emotional state by telling him what you think he wants to hear.

    I think you have to tell him how you feel because ultimately you are prolonging the agony of the break-up not just for him but for you as well.
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    Aug 24, 2007 5:52 AM GMT
    So you had a long distance relationship, never met, you met a another guy, told him, he got upset, admitted he'd lied about his life and now it's a mess.

    How can it be a relationship if you never met and had anything physical? How could you consider him your boyfriend? Especially if he wasn't exactly as he portrayed himself to be.

    My advice is to change your telephone number, forget about him, and get on with meeting people in the flesh.

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    Aug 24, 2007 6:35 AM GMT
    Had this happen with ex girlfriend. After the break she threatened suicide and alot of other self destructive behavior. She cheated! I was in love! It was my first real g/f and I was very young so I told her we could be friends. She always wanted more, but she said she would rather be friends than nothing at all. Eventually she started dating other guys and I dated other woman. Then one day the subject of "us" came up as usual and I had to tell her that we would never ever get back together.(8 years later) I also stopped returning calls! It was then that she finally really moved on. I think it is best to be honest with someone than tell someone what they want to hear. It might hurt them more in the begining but if you don't they might never be able to go on with there lives.
    (she is now married with 3 kids and lives in another state) Onebeat it might be best to let it simmer to a little less than friends. Stop contact on your end and make any conversation/communication short. It will only crush him again and again to hear about the loves in your life. I always left that part out. He was never your boyfriend and from what you stated he sounds like he has some mental issues. He is not your responsibility for life now. Refer him to a good therapist!!
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    Aug 24, 2007 10:02 AM GMT
    I agree with Mike. This guy needs help. I have had similiar situations happen to me, but it is not a real relationship. A good friend would tell him to seek help. I would not continue leading him on at all. Good luck buddy
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    Aug 24, 2007 12:40 PM GMT
    My ex housemate have this problem. He was attracted to this young body builder, excualty his distance relative. In the begining of the relationship it was he who pursue this young guy. Make all kinda promises, love , financial support for him to pursue his body building carrier.

    Now after the love is no more. This young guy start insisting that he honour all his promises. He accused him for making him gay.
    He have a complete control of his life, financial, social and even his properties. He blackmailed him to remain in the relationship or he gonna go to his office telling it all to his co-worker (major embarrasement when you are a director of major govermental department).

    My friend told me even when they are having sex he was basically doing the servicing work and hardly even have erection. He really have to go thru the charade of kissing him before going to work, telling I love you when he dont mean it.

    But of course outside of the house he is screwing around (even attempted to seduce my lover) without any guilt what so ever. He told me he just cant stand that guy anymore, but just not brave enough to leave.

    I dont think you situation is all that serious. You can just walk out of it (why dont you)if you wanted too. If you are afraid about hurting his feeling , now how about yours. You need to be happy and need not live this masquarade any longer.
  • Lincsbear

    Posts: 2613

    Aug 24, 2007 4:20 PM GMT
    I agree with the guys above,especially redheadguy and Laurence,you have to be very honest with this guy otherwise you`ll be in the same position in another two years` time.Telling him you feel the same as he does isn`t doing either of you any favours in the long run.It isn`t really helping him to get better or move on.I know you`ve acted out of the best of motives,but this guys` needs are beyond you.He needs professional psychiatric/counselling/care,not being told what he wants to believe.My advice would be to break the contact in conjunction with any medical professionals responsible for his care.You`re not responsible for his state of mind at the present,nor could you probably improve it anyway.Best wishes,John.
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    Aug 24, 2007 4:59 PM GMT
    I agree with Laurence, onebeat.

    This man was never your "boyfriend." Having a relationship virtually is not the same thing as having one in the flesh, and I am not even referring to sex by that comment.

    I mean, you need to meet, hang out, see each other in three dimensions before you can begin to psych out all the aspects that lead to being boyfriends or, even, friends, IMHO.

    And, by having an emotional breakdown over the loss of a "virtual" friend, he shows that he's in this neurotically as much/more than you are.

    I think you learned your lesson, but that poor guy is still thinking he has a fantasy boyfriend.

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    Aug 24, 2007 5:08 PM GMT
    You are not fucked, just confused.

    My first boyfriend was sort of like this. As our relationship turned to a friendship, he became more manipulating. He would do things like call me at work and say he was going to kill himself and then disappear only to call after I was emotionally drained and distraught. It was within a year after I lost a younger brother to suicide so I saw it as a form of manipulation of my true concern and compassion.

    He actually was very chronically depressed though. I eventually started to cut him out of my life when he would do things like that, and not talk to him for periods of 6 months at a time. I had learned to assign responsibility for his actions to himself. After that I did what I could for him, but became stronger and learned to get angry and hate when I needed to. Its funny how you can actually "hate" someone and still love and care for them.

    Anyway, after 10 plus years I am still a big part of his life and he says I am his best friend. He is taking medication now and doing much better.

    I had other relationships similar, in which I carried burdens to make others happy. Don't become a pack animal for others' misery, it will get you no where. Better to do what you practically can within reason. You can't give this person a new heart. Say a prayer or do a meditation and and let it go.

    The Tao Te Ching says:

    Therefore the Master
    acts without doing anything
    and teaches without saying anything.
    Things arise and she lets them come;
    things disappear and she lets them go.
    She has but doesn't possess,
    acts but doesn't expect.
    When her work is done, she forgets it.
    That is why it lasts forever.

    (Tao Te Ching [2] stephen mitchell)

    Here is something I posted previously,

    Here is a quote from _If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him!_ :

    "Love is more than simply being open to experiencing the anguish of another person's suffering. It is the willingness to live with the helpless knowing that we can do nothing to save the other from his pain."

    You just need to be honest with yourself and others.
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    Aug 24, 2007 6:01 PM GMT
    onebeat... um... i think you BOTH need help to be honest.

    how could you "date" someone over the freaking phone? and then be expected to be a monogomous boyfriend?

    ok, that aside... you obviously care about this guy.

    i think the best thing you can do for yourself AND for him, is to cut off all contact completely. no more IMs, phone calls, emails.. NOTHING.

    he has a serious problem -- and you keep feeding into it because you are too cowardly to just tell him that you don't love him. you're not helping him or yourself with this drama, trust me.

    this may all sound harsh, but i am speaking from some experience here, and i think harsh measures are called for in cases like this. ;)
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    Aug 24, 2007 6:29 PM GMT
    thanks for all the words of wisdom, guys. i know i need to do something soon. its just a matter of determining if i want him in my life as a friend. as far as refering him for psychological help, there's no way he can afford it, and at one time i even gave him $200 to help with some sessions. that did not do much. i seriously will consider just cutting him out, but i would at least owe it to him to explain the reality of the situation before doing so. he is also 34, and im 21, so many of you are right- he is not my responsibility. its just tough when you care about some one's well being and they are being fucked by all sides. ill let you guys know what i decide to do.
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    Aug 24, 2007 8:02 PM GMT

    Onebeat -

    Stop enabling him, stop torturing yourself.

    This is not a real relationship, and it never was.

    Realize that there are a lot of weird obsessive people out there on the Nets and you can't help them all.

    Hell, I don't call my husband 'several times a day' unless one of us is traveling; even then maybe only once or twice a day.


  • dfrourke

    Posts: 1062

    Aug 24, 2007 8:53 PM GMT
    ...Be Brave, Be Strong, Be Kind...and mostly BE CLEAR...when you talk to him...

    ...Acute pain versus Chronic pain...unfortuntely there is no option for "no pain"...

    - David
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Aug 25, 2007 1:04 PM GMT
    Tim... be careful of this situation and the possible repercussions it can have later on in life...for you

    What made you believe that you had a "relationship" with someone over the phone?
    Even if you talked non-stop online..he's still a disembodied voice on the other end
    The other thing is you cannot feel responsible for someone else's happiness or their safety as far as their mental health goes
    You might offer advice in a friendly way but what you do with your life should never be dictated by what someone else thinks or does
    I know you're young and you seem to be now heading in the right direction by dating other people but don't be sucked in in the future by the same emotional can be dangerous
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    Aug 25, 2007 1:57 PM GMT
    I agree with ITJock.

    You have to stop enabling this guy.

    Remember the part where he admitting he was LYING to you about EVERYTHING about himself? What makes you think he's suddenly telling you the truth about anything now?

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    Aug 25, 2007 3:32 PM GMT
    amen! exactly what i'm saying. once a liar always a liar.

    cut him off completely. it's best for him AND you.
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    Aug 25, 2007 6:28 PM GMT
    He lied to you about everything about himself. Why woudl you even bother talking to this person. How do you know he isnt lying about the break downs and the hospitalizations etc. Change you number move on with your life. you are young and cute and dont need this shit
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    Sep 02, 2007 1:23 PM GMT
    i think you should just have been honest to begin with. he only ever wanted the truth in love. too accept you for who you are and be accepted back like so. Keeping so much of your life a secret and lying all the time just to spare his feelings is not good. imagine that everything someone says to you, you believe to be the truth, and then you find out that only about half of what they say is. Key things that come from you are lies. lying about loving someone is not right. lying about your faith is not right. you felt betrayed by him for lying and yet you do the same thing back over and over? you never did say if he had lied to you since? just seems like two wrongs don't make a right. also this just seems so private. talking about it on here is like taking him on to jerry springer or maury povich. i know you are trying to get adivse and help on this but sounds like you have so little faith in youself or your walk with God. that you have to get advise on here. I know you are a believer and i guess what is God saying for you to do?
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    Sep 30, 2007 6:07 PM GMT
    Am going through something similar but with a longer term relationship. I intended to split in 94, then again in 01, but didn't. I kept letting my "kindness" and "open mindedness" send conflicting messages. I didn't believe that I am a good enough person to be fully responsible.

    My take on it now:

    Honesty and truth are the kindest ways in the long run. There are rare occassions where these are not the best policy, when the brutality may injure beyond healing. Your gut will lead you to know those situations. In those rare cases, let the 'varnished' truth lead directly to the >>unvarnished<< truth in a very short time. Just deliver with compassion and stick around long enough to >>hear<< the initial reaction. Don't react and argue, and don't stick around for abuse. Just listen.

    Then set your personal boundries & move on.

    I do believe that friendships after serious breakups are possible. I've seen that happen enough times to know it can happen. But those friendships seem to be immediately natural & effortless.

    You are a good person to care. Now be a better person and lead all concerned to a better life.