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Author Topic: Getting over past mistakes
Cadence350
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I've been in a relationship for over 1.5 years. She kissed some guy about a year ago while drunk. I forgave her thinking she would prove to me she was sorry and that I could trust her again. Since then, she's lied to me and continued to act inappropriately with other guys. None of these issues, individually, were all that major, and I think I was too in love to see how I was being treated, until a few months ago when I just sorta 'cracked' and all the built up hurt just got to me.

Lying and continuing to act inappropriately after, what I consider, cheating sounds like a deal breaker, but there was more of an underlying issue with why she was doing it. She wasn't acting unfaithful or lying because she's not into our relationship. That was her, immature, way of getting me to be more into us. Her mindset was that if I do things to make him jealous, he'll show his jealous side by standing up for us. I guess, from the beginning, I was too trusting and she took that as a sign that I didn't care.

Anyway, that is all behind us as we have found out what the underlying issues are and she has changed for the better in the last 4 months, however, my problem is now getting over all the wrong she did to me back then. We still occasionally have arguments about the past, and it's mostly me getting angry at her for what she did. I think a lot of it is just me being mad at myself for letting it get to this point without seriously addressing it early on. I know she's not an unfaithful girlfriend, and I do see a bright future with us, but while she is working on making this right with me, I need to work on letting go of the past, and it's proving hard for me.

Posts: 30 | From: USA | Registered: Jun 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Molias
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Feeling upset about things that have happened in the past is tough; I don't know that there's a way to get past it other than giving it time, talking with your girlfriend about any lingering issues that are unresolved if you need to do that, and taking space for some serious introspection.

If there are still things that are happening that are making you uncomfortable, those are worth talking about with your girlfriend, but if it's just a matter of you still worrying or being angry about things that happened in the past, it's really just up to you to find a way to work through it.
I know you posted at one point that you thought about taking a break from your relationship but that didn't happen; if you think you need some time to your own thoughts, you could do that now while you're sorting things through, or maybe take some time to do some journalling about how you're feeling about her, your trust level, and the relationship as a whole. It sounds like it might be helpful for you to spend some time in your own mind with this, trying to figure out exactly where you're stuck.

If this is about your reaction to your girlfriend's actions (and not her current actions) and you just can't get past your anger and hurt feelings about that, it may turn out that what she did was a deal-breaker and you're just now realizing that. And that's valid; you get to feel however you feel about it.

Another thought - if she's stopped doing the things that upset you at the time, there's really not much else she can do to "make things right" here, is there? Maybe this is just me nitpicking on a phrase, but I think if you get in a situation where one person is still trying to make up for things they did a year ago, that has the potential to set up a dynamic that's probably not going to work well for either of you.

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Cadence350
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Thank you for the response.

I did make a topic about a break and, I believe, it was shortly after she did kiss that guy. I don't believe a break is needed now. Honestly, I'd say for the past few months, we've been good about 80% of the time, but the main reason why we fight is because past issues come up. They are decreasing as time goes on, so we are progressing, I just thought I'd be over this stuff by now. I've seen a big change in her and I know she wants to make things right. As you said, there isn't much else she can do. She's not making the same mistakes she used to, and is super careful to make sure I'm okay with whatever it is she is doing.

And, while I did note that this particular incident happened a year ago, I think it was the following 5-6 months which is what I'm stuck on. So it's not that I'm not over something that happened 1 year ago, I'd say I'm still trying to get over that plus the way things were handled after it (which was pretty much from April until about December of last year).

I suppose time is all I need. And, maybe what you said is true about it actually being a deal breaker, but for me, I'd like to try more than just a few months to get over it before I admit it is over. I know for now, I do not need a break, as I know things are getting better and I am getting better, and I don't feel this is worth ending it over. Maybe in another 4-5 months, if I still can't get over the past, I might re-evaluate and think of that as an option. I think, at this point, I'm mostly angry at myself for letting myself be treated like that and also mad that I feel the two of us would have been in a much better place had she handled things a little bit better. It's one thing to break up with someone because you don't like them as a person, but I find it harder to end it with someone when you love them as a person, but just feel like they did some wrong to you in the past. To me, it means we are compatible, she just wasn't considerate enough of my feelings.

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Molias
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Honestly, relationships end all the time when the people in them love each other, but realize they're no longer compatible. Feelings of love and affection aren't necessarily enough to sustain a healthy relationship; sometimes the best thing to do for everyone involved is to end a romantic relationship when things are not working. I'm not saying that this has to happen in your relationship, but I do think it's important to realize that this is a situation that does happen. There's no award that gets handed out for staying with someone you love past the point when the relationship stops being a healthy and positive thing.

Moving forward, it may help to see what you can do to let go of your position as the Wronged Party here. You're saying that your girlfriend is no longer doing the things that upset you, and things are pretty good between you right now, so your best bet is to work from a clean slate here.

Because you mention she's making sure you're "okay with whatever it is she is doing," among other things in your posts here, I want to check in and see how much that really applies to her life and choices - you're not her parent or her boss, and if she feels like she needs your approval for every aspect of her life, that's really not ok. She's allowed to do things you don't like! Some of those things might have a bearing on how you feel about the relationship, but some might not. I don't know exactly how this dynamic plays out between you, but if that's really how things work, I think it's well past time to change how you approach things.

Posts: 1148 | From: San Francisco | Registered: Jan 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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