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Relationship Advice? (long)

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I met this guy the summer before last and we really hit it off from the beginning. I guess we were both overly optimistic and ending up getting engaged within a couple months of going out. Everything was perfect for probably around 6 months, then things started to fall apart.

Well, not really fall apart, but we began to really get to know each other as most people do around the 6 month point. This is where people stop hiding the bad habits and stop acting like a new romantic couple, especially since we were practically living together.

After finding out his true nature and quirks, I wasn't so sure I wanted to continue toward the path of marriage without further investigation, so at around the 8 month or so point I called off plans and we went to the "just dating" stage. This was very hard for both of us because almost from the point we started dating we were "engaged" so turning back and going through the steps we never took before was really almost impossible.

But somehow we ended up doing it, and it wasn't all that bad. We had quite a roller coaster, just like any new relationship, but we always wanted to stick it out. But there came a point in time when I realized that this was not the man I was going to marry. The thing was, although I think he was a really nice guy, he wasn't for me and it was bluntly obvious. If I were to make a list of the top 10 qualities I'd want in a man he'd be lucky to have one.

So what did this mean? Well, it wasn't really logical to turn him into just Mr. Right Now or whatever, I mean we were engaged and we had spent a while living together and I couldn't begin to explain that I wanted it to be a not so serious relationship. Eventually though, I tried to communicate this to him and he fought me every step of the way. He made promises he could never keep to do things he could never do and because I felt I had some responsibility to this relationship I gave him chance after chance to prove himself to me.

But then I realized that he shouldn't HAVE to change for me, and that he couldn't change for me even if he wanted to. He didn't understand why the changes were important to me so him changing would only be on the surface if at all, and I could not put either of us through anything rougher than we had already been through.

So I tried to end it several more times but I am very weak when it comes to him. I feel the need to protect him and I never want to see him hurt. I realize that drawing this out hurts both of us more, but the look in his eyes made me just want to love him completely.

So you would understand my shock when in the past couple weeks he has completely lost all interest in me. I guess on some level I am relieved that he won't be the one hurting in this, but on the other hand suddenly I have these strong feelings to not let him go. The hardest part is when I start crying and he doesn't even look at me. I'm upset because when he would cry to me I would melt.

So I don't really know what kind of advice I want. Maybe on how to just let go after fighting for all this time to make it work.. I guess it's time to abandon ship finally, but it's just so hard after all this time and effort I put into it. Plus he was basically my life since I graduated from college, so I don't really know what to do with my time. I don't want to turn into a hermit. I do have some friends but it's hard to connect at this point in my life, it's much easier for me to just hide out in my house and waste away. This is one of the things that has been scaring me for a while, the feelings of abandonment and loneliness. Plus what am I gonna tell the family at thanksgiving and christmas lol! And how do I stop from seeing Joe Loser as a rebound..? Ugh. I don't even know why I get involved in the first place, it always turns out the same
post #2 of 5
Hello, Anna!
You seem to me a very intelligent,independent,strong-willed and very kind woman. You know what you want & right now it looks like you are lost because things have not gone the way you wanted. You are hurting now because you know in your heart that this relationship is over.
I don't think a person as nice as you will end up abandoned or alone... Please, let time heal you.
Good luck!(a friendly hug from a new friend! )
post #3 of 5
well....losing the self-defeatist attitude would be a very good place to start. if you go into anything believing that you're going to fail, you will.

since i've only had one relationship and i'm married i can only tell you what i believe works, and maybe that will involve telling you my story. one really big failing i notice in most people's failed relationships is that they didn't try being friends first, and when they dated, they just weren't themselves (as you said, it wasn't until SIX months after you were dating that you started being more of yourselves...). another is that they're just too afraid to truly commit in a relationship (and this manifests as insecurities and overly high expectations) and the third i'd give is that they're too lazy to make things work. it's easier to blame it on the other person and go on with their own life. quite honestly, i believe that the moment you meet the person you want to stay with the rest of your life, you know it. in our modern world, we're taught to ignore our intuition and instincts, but if you're brave enough to, it really is the best way to go.

i met my husband when i was 15 and he was 14...the MOMENT i met him, some little voice inside of me told me that i'd marry him someday. now i laughed at myself for having such a silly thought and was quite honestly scared by it a little, and i did some of the same things i saw in your tale. i tried to make reasons why it could never work, i tried to find qualities i decided i wanted that Chris didn't have, i doubted myself and said i was too young to know what i really wanted...i told myself this for over a year, all the while, Chris and i became best friends--and all the while i was falling COMPLETELY in love with him (and he me, though i didn't know it) and trying to convince myself that this was just another crush. we kept this up for another TWO years, before finally on my graduation night, i realized that i couldn't deny it any longer and i had to tell him how i really felt. you can imagine i was quite relieved and over joyed to find out that he felt the same way. (within 3 weeks, he proposed)

so the next year we dated and had no issues at all...it was easy, we could see each other every day, and he was finishing up his last year of highschool while i was attending a local technical college. (i couldn't bear to leave him behind and opted to stay home....)

then his turn to go to college came up...and that's when we started having problems. now this whole time his mother had been working on him with what modern society says about romance; you're too young to know what you want or who you are, you haven't dated enough people to settle down, you need to be selfish right now and be all me-me-me. and getting into a university setting in a dorm, he was hearing this 24/7 from all sorts of people. and suddenly, chris wasn't the same person i had known the last 4 years. we started to FIGHT and every single time we talked on the phone. his work ethic slipped, his moral compass broke. i was convinced that we were going to break up and we'd never be able to sort things out. it was hard and very draining, but we worked things out...chris had had his confidence shaken, but in the end, he started to regain his sense of self and made a decision that would change both of our lives forever: he enlisted in the army, and would ship out for basic training two months later...but he only did it after getting my blessing, and not wanting to hold him back, i let him join and tried to be a good sport about it.

being together every day again, things were fine, although we still squabled a bit, much of it thanks to his mother who was STILL convinced that i was merely a phase and if she tried hard enough, we'd break up.

then 3 days after my birthday (which was the day mommy scheduled his going away party ) he left for basic training at Fort Knox. the whole time, he wrote me about once a week and he was only given 3 phone calls in 11.5 weeks. we saw each other for about 7 hours at his graduation and he was off to advanced training in Texas.

and that's when we started to have problems again and started fighting almost constantly. he was shaken, yet again, and started turning into someone who bore no resemblance to the man i loved. it took about 6 months and a lot of heartache, crying and fighting, but things got worked out, and we got married...

he was THEN deployed 1.5 weeks later and has been in Iraq ever since. but while there, he was distanced enough from all the influences of everyone else to find himself again and he is once again the same person i fell in love with, but more so.

so i guess what i was trying to get at is that you will KNOW when you meet the right person, but you have to let go of your fear and be willing to work through all of your issues. too many people give up after they start having problems. also, don't make a list of high expectations, everyone i've met who does this has NEVER found anyone who meets them all, or even enough of them to make them happy.

have a little faith in yourself, and the person you're with.

does that help at all, or was i long winded for nothing? i thought maybe if you could see some of the things we went through, you could maybe see what i was trying to say...i didn't even tell you the stuff about all my in-laws! but that would take a whole nother post. we had to get married alone and 1300 miles from home...
post #4 of 5
First off I would suggest a long hard look at how you feel. You sound awfully conflicted here. Ask yourself what YOU want. Not what's good for him, but what's best for you. It sounds to me(and I'm just an observer here) that you don't want to be with him, but you're scared to let him go. I can tell you from experience it's better to let go.

Being alone can be scary, but focus on the positives! You'll be able to find someone that's right for you. You'll be able to do all those things you never do in front of other people. I would suggest getting involved in some sort of activity you enjoy that will allow you to meet other people.
post #5 of 5
Breaking up with someone is always difficult especially because you still have strong feelings for this person. But you have to realize that strong feelings aren't necessarily love. You cae about him because of what you have been through together. But based on what you wrote, you know that you need someone different for your life partner. All I can say is trust your instincts.
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