July 27, 2020 at 12:09 am #115343
My relationship is quite complicated. I left my wife in late Feb 2020 after 7yrs of marriage, it was a very toxic and narcissistic relationship. Shortly after, I found and fell in love with my girlfriend. When we first started talking and chatting, she was very hesitant about being the “other” woman or the “rebound”. I constantly reassured her that she was neither of them, and that I wanted to have a full life with her (which was the honest truth). My girlfriend was very walled off due to being burnt in past relationships, and had been single for quite a while so she had developed a strong sense of what she would and would not tolerate. We eventually became official and shortly thereafter got engaged. Around June, things with the separation/divorce started to stall and it was starting to put me into a bit of a mental tailspin. My fiancee tried to warn me about the stress, but I was unable to comprehend it completely. I guess I started to become possessive, overbearing and controlling while I was struggling with my mental break. These were things that she absolutely refused to tolerate, and after I hit rock bottom, she suggested that I take 6mths to deal with my inner demons and discover who I am. Unfortunately I continuously messaged her every couple days, going around and around in circles for almost 2 weeks. I have been clinically diagnosed with ADHD and suffer from emotional dysregulation, which is now being controlled and managed. Unfortunately I have done a lot of badgering with my ex-fiancee, and really pushed her further away. She flat out told me that the traits she saw when I had my break, was not something she was interested in, and that I overstepped her boundaries and it was over. I tried to explain that I wasn’t able to see what I was doing, and I am sad/disappointed and hurt that I broke her boundaries, but I would never do it on purpose. I decided to try to push forward with giving her verbal space, while trying to do some sweet things for her (I used to make origami sculptures when we started to date) and leave them for her to see when she got to work (so she wouldn’t see me). However, that verbal space lasted a day. This morning I tried to be sweet and drop off breakfast at her place for her and her family, I didn’t even consider how creepy it was, but she told me it was unacceptable and super creepy. I apologized and went around in circles again. We eventually ended the conversation with her telling me that I need to see my therapist more because I am not handling my mental health well. I looked back to try to see what she was referring to, and it comes across as my constant circular conversations and badgering borders on harassing. I apologized to her for coming across as harassing, it was not my intent, I was just trying to grasp onto saving what I could of the relationship.
I am planning on doing at least 30 days of no contact, but I am wondering if 30 days would even be enough, or is any hope in this relationship lost due to the damage I caused?July 27, 2020 at 2:24 am #115346
@selacius First of all, most people date for about a year before becoming engaged!
You wrote:”..she suggested that I take 6mths to deal with my inner demons and discover who I am”. Yes, it seems you have serious control issues. You even tried to control the breakup; intervening into her space by messaging too often, leaving origami stuff at her workplace, and dropping off breakfast. She asked you to take 6 months to deal with your problems, so I suggest you honor that request and not contact her for 6 months. And yes, it seems you need to see the therapist more often and follow his/her advice!
You’ve done a lot of damage, but it might be possible to reconcile after you work through your emotional/behavioral issues and become a more stable person.July 27, 2020 at 6:59 am #115350
Thank you for your response, regarding the engagement, our bond and connection really grew quite quickly. We started dating prior to the covid lockdowns and since we work at the same location (different areas however), we felt comfortable seeing each other outside of work as well. Things really flourished between us quite quickly, it was a very emotionally intense relationship.
After reading the Advanced EBP program, I see where I was starting to develop some control issues, I was anxious and worried that she would get tired of the delays with the divorce/separation (even though I was only 3 months into them), and I was also worried that her outlook on our future would change (we would be bringing 5 kids total into the relationship), when things got a bit more settled due to finances. I didn’t leave my marriage because of this girl, but she did allow me to have the inner strength to get out of the toxic situation. And I think I held onto her a little too much in that regards.
I started the relationship off very confident and secure, I wanted to have a future and a life with her, I did the small sweet things for her (Origami as I said), I would help her with things (she was a single mom of 2 for 4 years before we started dating, so she was very independent) and she was appreciative of that.
I mentioned I was going to attempt to be sweet again and drop off the origami for her, to show her what I was like, however after reading the AEBP I have fully decided against that. I am going to go No Contact with her.
You recommend actually taking the 6months to go No Contact. Because of the damage I caused, I am going to go Detox No Contact, and was considering sending her an Elephant in the Room message at 30 days and then going No Initiation No Contact for the remaining period of time. I don’t want her to continually have that bad image of me, and I thought maybe the elephant in the room message would clear that and plant a new seed which would grow with another round of No Contact.July 27, 2020 at 7:48 am #115351
My other concern, prior to the break up and start of No Contact, I had purchased 2 Pandora Bangles for her that early on in our relationship she had discovered was still available. She had searched for them for a year and couldnt find them. She was excited that they were available but never jumped to buy them. In any case, I had bought them before the break up and was planning to give to her on her birthday (Sept. 11), that would be after my 30 days No Contact, but as you suggested, give her the full 6 months. I am unable to return the bangles as they are final sale (discontinued item). How or what is my best course of action with this?
ThanksJuly 27, 2020 at 4:03 pm #115352
@selacius I dare to say that all relationships start out as intense and passionate, but most couples don’t get engaged until about the 1 or 2 year mark as they want to find out if they are compatible enough to continue long term after working through various issues that normally arise in any relationship. IE: After the newness and passion subside somewhat over time, do they continue to communicate in a respectful manner, do they work through problems effectively, do they think they can live with the quirks and behavioral patterns of the other, etc.. Another important consideration in your case is whether or not the children will be able to get along well and be happy. So you see, there are many things to consider before jumping into engagement early on in a relationship.
I might be wrong, but it sounds like you started seeing this lady (outside work) while you were still married and living with your wife. Since you have 3 children, I’m curious as to whether you ever attended marriage counseling with your wife in order to keep your family together?
Your ex girl-friend would have probably endured the long drawn out divorce process if you had been more patient and not shown your controlling tendencies. People who have control issues eventually display them during one situation or another.. This is a serious flaw and something that will take quite a while to resolve with the help of a therapist.
The elephant in the room would be more appropriate after you’ve worked through your controlling tendencies as you would be able to tell her of the improvements. She already knows about your therapy and is probably hoping it will be effective. I understand you want her to remember you in a better light, but I’m sure she had some good memories of you, but she also has the other not so good memories.. If you send the elephant in the room letter this close to the breakup and badgering behaviors, it will remind her more of the negative behaviors she doesn’t like. It will be as though you’re again trying to control her thoughts about you.. But if you’re intent on sending it, don’t do it with the idea of trying to manipulate her.
Sending the bracelet on Sept 11th would be a very sweet birthday gift and it’s further out from the breakup; maybe enough time for her to allow the bad memories to fade somewhat. You could also send a short note with it letting her know how much you care about her etc..
Wishing you good luck:)July 27, 2020 at 4:22 pm #115353
Thanks again. Regarding my marriage, the last 2 years it was very non-emotional and we were ultimately living like roommates. My ex-wife was very narcissistic and berated me constantly for many different issues. I finally hit a point in time where I decided enough was enough when she forcibly pushed me out of the house in front of the kids as I went to a 2nd store to purchase a baby shower card for her. We had tried marriage counselling for quite a while and nothing lasted or changed in that process. It was always just a bandage solution. Since I left, my ex has gone to her own individual therapy (something I had suggested but she refused) and has realized she had many issues.
My ex-girlfriend and I started to talk over social media (as I said, we were in the same area of the hospital, but different departments so we would converse at work) when I got thrown out of the house, and a week later is when I actually decided to separate. More specifically, it was at this juncture where I had the strength and realization that my marriage was incredibly toxic. After I left, we started to talk more and developed a very quick connection. We had very similar interests, ideals, the conversation was very smooth and nothing seemed like a sacrifice or a compromise to do things with her. She was initially very reserved and hesitant of dating as she was worried I would go back to my ex-wife and that she would develop all these feelings and then get hurt. At the time, and still to do this day I am on the same page as she was. I wanted a future with her, and I wanted to spend time with her. She was very independent (having been single for a long while), and I was the first person she had in quite a while who had her back and showed her romance.
I’ve done some reflecting and realized that my controlling tendencies started to creep forward when we had our bubble burst and my ex-gf pulled back a bit. We had started talking about housing, and what we would need for the kids. All the while I was still being delayed with lawyers and not making any headway on that. We went out to a new build subdivision to get an idea of cost, and it was after this when we did our budget, that we realized, due to the costs I would have to be paying out, it may not be realistic for us to have the vision and life we had spoke about. She was also getting anxious about the unknowns regarding what was going on with my buyout/sale of the house, as I was. Along with my ADHD, I feel I have something called Rejection sensitivity dysphoria, which basically caused me to go into a flight or fight response over a perceived threat to my relationship. This resulted in me trying to pull her closer, and instead of being confident with what we had and reassured by the subtle things she was providing me, I became controlling. I panicked when she wanted time with just her kids, or with her family. Unfortunately during the pandemic and quarantine, my hobby (which I hadn’t done in years due to my marriage and not be allowed my own time) was shut down so all I realistically had was work and spending time with my ex-gf.
I wasn’t going to send the elephant in the room message at this point in time. I was going to wait until the 30 days are up (Aug 30th, so just over 30 days, however her sons birthday is Sept. 1st). I want to spend time working on myself, continuing with my hobby and giving her the space for that ugly image of me to disappear.
I have the option of dropping the gift off at her work desk before she arrives for her shift. I don’t know if that would be too creepy, or if it’s best to have it sent via mail.
After I send the elephant in the room letter, should I continue with No Initiate No Contact and wait to see what she does? Or assess by her response how to proceed further?
Thank youJuly 27, 2020 at 5:35 pm #115355
@selacius I’m sure the terms of the divorce will be you having to pay alimony +/or child support. But even so, you and the girlfriend could rent an apartment together. If either of you now live in an apartment or house, one could move in with the other, right? You will probably get visitation with your children and during those times, you could bunch up for those short periods of time (like alternate weekends or something). Isn’t your wife going to stay in the house with the children, or is that the home you plan on selling? Because you were married only 7 years, I’m assuming your children are very young and therefore, you’re looking at many years of financial obligation to your wife/children. This is all very sad and I’m sorry to hear you’re going through so many struggles..
OMG! She wanted to spend time with her children or family, but you apparently felt rejected. You have no legitimate excuse for becoming controlling! You even wrote that your ADHD was controlled/managed and I’m assuming with medication. Other people find things to do when apart from their partners.. Have your children met with hers? Have you met her family? Has she met yours? Sorry for all the questions, just trying to get a better picture of the situation..
I understood you were going to send the elephant in the room after 30 days, but I think it’s too soon. You wrote:”I was going to wait until the 30 days are up (Aug 30th, so just over 30 days”. And yes, if you send it, don’t initiate any further contact! When exactly was the ‘breakup’ and when exactly was your last contact?
You could send a birthday card to her son (if you’ve met him several times and get along well). And yes, dropping the bracelet gift at her workplace would be creepy!! Just send it in the mail.. She will probably respond, but if it’s only a “Thank You”, just reply “You’re very welcome and hope you had a nice birthday” or something like that..
If you don’t mind answering; what is your job at the hospital and what is your hobby?
I understand you’re going through a very difficult time and must be heartbroken, but continue with therapy and don’t give up hope that everything will work out for the best for everyone:)July 27, 2020 at 6:30 pm #115356
Yes I am waiting to see what will happen with the matrimonial home, whether my ex will buy me out or we will sell.
My kids will be with me 50/50, her kids she has sole custody of.
Since the break up (July 16th), I have been put on medication for my ADHD, prior to the break up I was not. My last communication was with her yesterday. Typically it would be 2 or 3 days between contact which I would initiate.
I have met her kids and her family, she has not met mine.
We are in the middle of a pandemic and only just recently did my province start opening back up again. My access with my kids also impacted our ability to spend individual quality time together. So outside of work and spending time with my ex-gf there really wasnt much that we were allowed to do. At this point in time is when I panicked, because up until then we wanted to spend as much time together as possible. But once she pulled back due to the outlook on the future, it was a drastic change for me and I got panicky.
Her kids quite liked me, and her daughter did get quite attached (her daughters dad is a deadbeat and virtually non-existant). As much as I would like to send a card, I fear it may hurt them more at this time.
I think I will send the bracelets in the mail with a small note saying Happy Birthday.
I work as a Radiation Therapist at the hospital. And my hobby is martial arts. It is an excellant distraction.
I am going to continue with therapy absolutely.
I will probably wait longer than 30 days for the elephant letter.
TyJuly 27, 2020 at 10:44 pm #115357
@selacius You wrote:”My kids will be with me 50/50, her kids she has sole custody of”. Since there are 3 children, it seems you might be the biological father of at least one of them and your wife is the biological mother of all of them. Maybe one or more from her previous previous marriage.. Effectively managing the shared custody of the children will have to be handled carefully so as not to cause any emotional damage to them.
I’m glad to hear you were apparently properly diagnosed by a physician and are taking medication that will hopefully normalize your thoughts and behaviors!
Okay, perhaps it’s best not to send her son a birthday card.
The pandemic quarantines, unemployment etc.. have affected most everyone on the planet. We just have to adjust to the changes and do the best we can to stay safe until a possible vaccine is available.
Stop initiating contact with your ex-girlfriend! I can assure you that trying to ‘talk’ your way through the issue at this time won’t help resolve the matter! Your most recent bad (controlling) behaviors are her most recent memories.. not good. IE:Every time you contact her, those are her predominate thoughts.. Shouldn’t you give her much more time and space to let them fade?July 27, 2020 at 10:50 pm #115358
PS: You’ve probably given her your opinions, thoughts, and plans already; so continuing to nag her about it will only hurt your case. And in fact what you’ve revealed to her might even make the elephant in the room letter moot.July 27, 2020 at 10:59 pm #115359
I am the biological father of the 3 kids from my former marriage. My ex-gf has 2 kids from her past two relationships.
I am no longer initiating contact with her. We still have a joint asset we need to resolve (we purchased a pop up trailer together, and i need to remove my tools from it). She needs to tell.me the date and time for pickup. It will be a very quiet meeting, with the focus to get my tools and nothing more.
I am hoping that with time her bad memories of me fade.
Tonight I had an epiphany that maybe I dodged a bullet. She pulled back when she realized that the life we spoke about may not be realistic. However, we had a lot of unknowns to deal with and we were many months away from even pursuing that life. If she pulled back due to that, it makes me wonder when/what else she may have pulled back on as well.July 27, 2020 at 11:47 pm #115360
@selacius I don’t know if you realize this, but it was unwise to purchase a pop up trailer together after only knowing each other a few months! Did you each pay 1/2? I hope you will be able to get your tools without anyone causing drama.
Your epiphany might be correct if she actually started pulling back after the house hunting and not because you started getting panicky and controlling before that.
In the future if you start dating someone else, you’ll need to use more logic and not get so highly emotionally charged so as to start thinking of marriage so soon after a relationship begins! And don’t buy stuff together either, LOL.
Continue no contact and send the bracelet in September if you still think it’s appropriate at that time..July 28, 2020 at 6:02 am #115362
Yes, it was a little unwise. It was a used pop up, so the expenses arent a big thing. Yes hopefully I can get them back with little drama. And the drama wont be from me.
I have done a lot of reflecting and reviewing our conversations. I can pinpoint exactly where she started to pull back and I started to be overbearing and controlling. She most certainly pulled back well before I got controlling. When she realized how difficult it COULD potentially be, its like she decided that was the end and pulled back and became very distant.
I will continue the No Contact and see what happens of it. Should she reach out, or anything changes, we need to have a serious conversation about MY expectations. Because if she pulled back due to something that wouldnt happen until much further down the road, what would happen if something else came up that needed immediate action.July 28, 2020 at 11:58 am #115364
@selacius Yes, it surely sounds like she pulled back after realizing you would have financial obligations for many years to come and wondering how that would affect her and her children in the long run. She’s been married and divorced twice or was in 2 relationships which resulted in 2 children from 2 different men. Maybe she showed the same tendencies to ‘jump ship’ with the other 2 guys when difficult problems/issues arose. And you say the father of her daughter is a “dead beat” dad, so I’m assuming the father of her son is more involved with his care..
I’m wondering why you never introduced your ex-girlfriend to your children and family?
Take care and stay safe:)
July 28, 2020 at 12:05 pm #115366
- This reply was modified 1 week ago by patricia12.
@patricia12 She most certainly did pull back. When we spoke of the house options for us in the future, she was very determined to have things a certain way. I spent days working on a budget that would allow for us to live comfortably. This was all met with resistance. In fact when we spoke of putting a downpayment on a house, it was always my buyout money that was being used. She never discussed putting anything in herself. Then during the break up she claims that I was not on the same page as her regarding the relationship. I was willing to put so much skin in the game, and I was constantly trying to find ways to make things work.
She had two previous relationships, not marriages. Her most recent relationship with her daughter’s dad, he was very manipulative and narcissistic. She ended up developing PTSD and seeking mental help for a while afterwards.
I wanted to introduce my ex-girlfriend to my children, however my ex-wife was extremely resistant to the idea. I reside in Ontario, Canada so during the pandemic and lockdown, we were restricted to 5 people from the same household. My parents were extremely afraid of being potentially exposed.
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