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Author Topic: Do I Say Anything?
turtl3lady
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I got married this past May. We'll have been together almost 3 years this coming January. We are happy (as happy as a newly wed couple can be in their first year! [Razz] ) but I still, off and on, ponder about my ex. We were together 5 years...after I broke up with him, I was engaged to my husband now 10 months later. Quick jump, I know but...how I left him was so quick and out of nowhere, I surprised myself. I had no time to be upset about it because I had met this man (my husband) whom I knew I was going to marry and got together with him right away (one of those things where you just know that's the one and you take a leap lol). So, soemtimes, I often wonder how my ex is doing. I'll see a movie or hear a phrase and my mind jumps to the memorable times with my ex. I feel bad because I have only been married 7 months, been with my husband almost 3 years, and yet my ex still pops into my head (even though we broke up in the beginning of 2010). He was important to me, together since highschool thorugh til the middle of my university career. That's almost all of my teenage life. Do I express how important he was and ask if he's doing well to get this off my chest...or should I let it go? It's in the past. He's not part of my life anymore. But I feel like I just ditched him without a second thought (and I guess technically I did). I was already thinking about leaving him before I met my husband...just meeting my husband gave me the push I needed to end it. I dunno. I feel strange about it at times. Just leave it?
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Heather
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I don't think that our sexual or romantic histories need to be something we think of as being in any kind of competition with our current relationships.

As well, it's not like because one person has been important to us, another can't be. We all have room in our hearts and minds for far more than one important person or relationship.

That said, if you left a five-year-relationship with no warning, or any conversations before about thinking about leaving the relationship, to marry someone else, I suspect that that probably was something that was pretty hurtful to this ex. I hear the reasons why *you* might want to contact them based on your wants, but do you think this person would want to hear from you?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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turtl3lady
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That's what I mean...I feel such heavy, heavy guilt sometimes because it really was out of nowhere. I mean I was thinking about leaving my ex at the time, although I didn't exactly tell him because I wasn't sure I wanted to (it was a comfortable place). But when my husband came into my life, our wanting to be together gave me that push I needed to end that five year relationship that was really going nowhere. I know I probably hurt my ex so badly...and it weighs heavy on my heart a lot...to the point of recurring dreams of his telling me how upset he is and wanting me back and crying out (although I know that isn't the case).

And my husband is very important to me now, I'm not trying to compare them or think there was any competition between them. I just feel like I need to say sorry many times over (although in the past I have)...for leaving so abruptly the way I did. I know he probably doesn't care to hear from me anymore...I don't even know if he strongly holds a grudge and hates me for it...I just want to get rid of the guilt somehow. I don't love him or feel the need to be with him or anything, that's gone...I just hate feeling this way. But maybe that's my problem and I don't need to contact him to forgive myself for it?

See my compromising situation? I feel like the world's worst woman for doing this to him, in this way. I can't change the past...but I need to do something about how I feel now. Whether that's contacting him or not. The fact I've been having dreams on and off for the past 3 years about him begging to take him back and crying because of what I did...it's crushing. You know? Blah.

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turtl3lady
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It's like I feel reponsible for his well-being because of what I did to him (although I know that's not true).
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Robin Lee
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You said you have told him in the past that you were sorry. How did those conversations go? Considering that you have already apologized several times what do you think you need in order to feel more settled about this?

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Robin

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turtl3lady
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I don't know what I need...I'm at a loss. When I told him I was sorry, he seemed...fine. Calm. He always was. Maybe he didn't want to portray his hurt. Conversations were short. I think he knew I was sincere in my apologies...but I don't feel like he really accepted them. I don't know. I just don't know. All I do know is that I want to stop thinking about it and I want to forgive myself and move on with my life! [Frown]
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Heather
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It sounds pretty clear that this is really about you trying to find out what you need to do for yourself and your own feelings of guilt.

If this guy could track you down if he needed resolution, then personally, I think if he hasn't, you shouldn't contact him. You know you did something hurtful to him, so contacting him so YOU can feel better about it isn't kind or respectful in my book. To be kind to him now, I'd say you need to stay out of his life unless he contacts you. This is about your needs, after all, not his.

So, what do you think you can do for yourself in this so you can let go of some of these hard feelings and move on? What about writing him a letter expressing how you feel, but not sending it? Talking to a counselor or friend?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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turtl3lady
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So either way, I'm the bad guy then huh? *sigh* Am I seriously that bad of a person? [Embarrassed] ( >.< I suppose writing a letter but not sending it might help. Thanks.
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Heather
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People hurt other people sometimes, or act in ways that are hurtful.

Does it sound like you hurt this other person? Yes. Does it sound like you acted with less care and integrity than you could have? Yes. Does it sound to me like even now, you might be thinking about doing something that's primarily for yourself that might hurt him again? It does.

But you know what? We're going to do that sometimes. Because we're people, not perfect. There probably won't be anyone who goes through a whole lifetime without doing something careless or hurtful to someone else, especially if we're involved in intimate, close relationships. I know I have certainly done harm myself before, and caused hurt to someone. And more than one someone, at that, despite not causing harm to many people and doing my best not to cause hurt. It happens.

I personally wouldn't frame any of this as there being a good guy and a bad guy: I just don't think human behavior is that simplistic. But if you do, you do.

Either way, when we do hurt someone else, the very best any of us can do is to figure out how to make amends, if and when we can, and what the way is to do that which offers the other person the most of benefit to them and no harm.

And then, we work through our own feelings about it ourselves, maybe with help and support from friends and family, and figure out how to let some of our own bad feelings go, which learning whatever we can learn from our choices to hopefully avoid making choices like them again.

[ 01-02-2013, 10:31 AM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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turtl3lady
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I've learned my lesson in this case. At least in this realm. I've screwed up so much and I wish I knew how to make it right.

I just don't know how to stop feeling guilty. Just as soon as I think I'm starting to feel better, I got ANOTHER dream last night. Same situation. He's there, hurt and upset, begging for mercy as though I practically killed him and he can't get over it...it's so dumb, I know that's not the truth, but why do these dreams keep occuring?! It's crazy suffocating, I just want to forget and move on with my life!

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WesLuck
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Try surrendering all your pain to love and compassion. We all do dumb things sometimes. Once they've happened it's best to surrender all your suffering to whatever source makes you feel comfortable, because what's done is done - beating yourself up doesn't do any good for anyone. And I don't think you'll find very many people who have never done a single dumb thing in their life. [Smile]
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Heather
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Sounds like you need to find a way to make amends.

Knowing or feeling that it's not likely talking to him will be a good thing for him, but more something for you, what do you think YOU can do, for yourself, to feel like you've made amends?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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