Just Can't Let Go

My ex and I have been dating for about 7 years. We are both single parents - he has 2,I have 1. We started dating when the kids were 3, 4 and 5. Things were a lot easier then. He had a crazy ex wife at the time, who has since mellowed, so there was a lot of time management and "adventures" in the beginning. We had arguments - mostly over not having enough time for each other. My father recently past away from a long battle with cancer. It has only been 6 months. In addition to that my job has had me working long hours for about a year - oh & he works in my office, so he knew how crazy I was at work. So the past two years have been hell between balancing my relationship, my daughter, my dying father, my mother and eventually the death of my father. Due to my plate being so full, I was confident enough in my relationship to feel I could focus 100% on my parents because I knew my dad didn't have long to live. So I was not the most attentive girlfriend because after my parents came my 9 year old at the time. I barely had time for myself let alone him but we still saw each other every day at work and we did get together when we could on the weekends, week nights. We got into a disagreement one Friday and by Monday he said he had done a lot of thinking and his life isn't where he wants it to be and our relationship isn't what it used to be or what he wants anymore. What we had in the beginning was incredible, he had never felt like that before even for his ex wife but things had changed, the last two years were horrible - oh and he didn't tell me this to my face, he did it through text, email and voice mail. I did finally get him to talk to me but he refused to tell me what was going on and that he needed time. To say the least I was devastated - I mean, the past two years have been the worst in my life and he is using this as the basis of our breakup & not to mention he his doing this before the start of the holiday season, the first one with out my dad - the one I needed him to really be with me during. I feel like he ripped my heart out and stepped on it - not to mention the past 7 years of my life feel like a waste. He wouldn't talk to me, call me back, text me back, nothing. He finally left me a voice mail message saying he doesn't want to say it's over but this isn't what he wants anymore. It's not about love or being attracted to me, he could be with me again and spend the night but things would just go back to being the way they were and he wasn't happy. I told him we could work things out, we can sit down and discuss things - he said we have been trying for 7 years. I said not one time in 7 years have you told me that we were at this point - NOT ONCE. I think he is seeing someone else because when I asked him if he has met someone else, he didn't answer. I asked him if he would rather start over with someone else or TRY to fix things with us - nothing again. I feel like my whole world has been turned upside down and not to mention my daughter who has told him that he is more of a dad to her than her own father. He hasn't asked about her once during all of this. I have to work with him and see him everyday which is killing me. He has no issues with it, he's fine, goes out with his friends on the weekends, goes around the office like nothing is wrong and I can't eat or sleep and my daughter is like MOM, stop already. Working with him is hard but having your 11 yr old tell you he isn't worth it, he has moved on and now so do you, is painful. All I keep thinking about are all the things I could have done, why didn't I try to make him feel more special, more important, why didn't I do this or that and you know in all of our short conversations, I have begged him just to try to work things out - I practically begged him to not walk away after 7 years and all he said was STOP, neither of of us should feel forced to do anything. He said he doesn't feel the same anymore - it started 10/7 and just last Monday, he finally said "Ït's over".....all I do is think my God I never thought we were at this point, I mean I know it's been tough, I have been going through a lot with my dad dying and I haven't been the best girlfriend but I never thought we were at this point. How can he just walk away from 7 years without blinking of an eye. He is tired of doing things alone. Well, I live on one side of town and he lives on another and he will NOT move and I cannót move to where he lives because the schools are horrible and I don't want my daughter to leave her great school for a crappy one, so it was going to be a while until we could live together but I was willing to do what it took to make it work until we could be together. I thought he was the one, we talked about growing old together, living by the water, we made plans - how can he just walk away??? I know our relationship wasn't ideal but I love him and I thought that is what love was about - sacrifice and compromise and being and staying by somoenes side even at the worst possible moment. I feel so crushed, I'm home on a Saturday night crying and he is out either with his new girlfriend or picking up women at a bar with his friends. We are 41 and 43 and I feel like I have just spent 7 years of my life with someeone I don't even know anymore, who can say such harsh things, who breaks up with me like a 16 year old and to not even ask about my daughter who he has been around since she was 4....it kills me. I just want to stop feeling so hurt and the pain and I want to be able to move on like he has. I want to be a role model for my daughter but that's hard when I'm in so much pain. I know my family and friends are over me talking about it, I'm over talking about it but I keep waiting for him to change his mind - even after he said ITS ÖVER. It's just hard for me to come to terms wtih him walking away after discussing our relationship with his friends, his family, himself but never me - all I wanted was a second chance to TRY - no promises just to TRY. I wasn't worth that to him? Our life together wasn't worth that?

Comments for Just Can't Let Go

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Dec 06, 2013
Just Can't Let Go
by: Doreen UK

Meredith your recent post says that your EX is not giving up on you but he needs time apart. He is not being apart from you on his own. He is doing it with someone else. What your EX is doing is testing the waters with someone else and if it doesn't work out he will come back to you which is why he says he is not giving up on your relationship and he wants to remain friends. At the end of your post you say you pass each other without acknowledging each other. (Where did his friendship go?) This should tell you that to get another job is the wisest decision so he won't be in your face. You need to not acknowledge any texts from him or future emails. You will only get hurt again. Let this man be the loser NOT YOU. Your daughter will recover in time better than you think. It is easy for us moms to worry about our children when actually the children are doing better than us. We have grown up emotions and feelings and harder to heal from. Your anger is justified. A good counsellor would be able to help you with this. It will hurt for some time but not forever. No one knows what the future holds. You could eventually meet a good man who will love you and your daughter. Your EX may find in time that he is not happy and perhaps his new girlfriend may cheat on him because what goes around comes around. You did nothing wrong. You just weren't with the right man.
It hurts now and will do so all over Christmas. But try your best to put lovely things in place for you and your daughter and make new memories. You won't realise now but perhaps in the future that you can be happy again and you can get your life back better. Often we go through life's experiences and wonder why things happen as they do. Most of us who have lost our spouse will feel the same way. But moving forward can be fun. Try your best to make it fun for you and your daughter. I personally couldn't waste tears over a man who didn't love me enough. If I was years younger I may feel the same way as you do. But I have a mature outlook now and see things differently. I know I have to move on in life after losing my husband. I don't have a choice. Life has dealt me this loss and I have to make the best of a bad situation. Best wishes for time over Christmas. May The New Year 2014 be a new start for you and your daughter and may it be the start of the best years of both your lives.

Dec 05, 2013
Still trying to get over the hump
by: Meredith

Right before Thanksgiving, he emailed me & told me he wasn't giving up on us forever but we needed time apart to really think thing through & to see if the sacrifices we would have to make were worth it! i thought when you loved someone you did things for the other person & didn't really think of them as sacrifices. He wrote he wanted to be friends, etc. So the Saturday after T-giving, I get a text message from his new girlfriend telling me "he told you he has moved on". You could have tipped me over with a feather. I couldn't believe that this man I spent 7 years with, had his girlfriend text me....she did his dirty work. All the things he wrote & said & I had a stranger tell me what he should have. She is having a hard time, I mean she called him dad & he has been @ her since she was 4. I can't stop thinking of everything he is going with her now, that we used to do! 7 years & in less than 2 months his newbie is moving in! I am going to have to look for another job, I am having such a hard time letting of the anger! We walk right by each other & don't acknowledge each other! I just can't. I'm dealing with my own hurt, plus my daughters & he is happy as can be!!! Life just isn't fair!!

Dec 05, 2013
just cant let go
by: teresa

my situation is similar in i had a love who didnt want anything to do with me but i found out by him not texting returning my calls not seeing me.i too was at my lowest ebb and he did that to me when i needed him the most.you must and should grieve.its made harder you working with him.i too have to work with my once guy although i am off with stress/depression at the minute due to it all.you have a daughter you can try to remain focus on but i want to tell you i responded cos i feel your pain .i also like i believe you do we have to face the fact there not coming back to us as hard as it is for us to believe it.

Nov 11, 2013
Just Can't Let Go
by: Doreen UK

Meredith you will get through this bad place you are in one day at a time. You will also become more mature through this. When you meet someone else in the future you will look back and see all the answers to the questions you have now before you. Better to find out now before you invested any more years in that relationship. Because you work with your EX it is making things worse for you. Is it possible to get a transfer so he isn't on your radar? Don't let your mind imagine him with someone else. You are punishing yourself. Try so hard every time a thought like this assaults you. CHANGE YOUR FOCUS. It will then get easier to renew your thinking. Just take ONE DAY AT A TIME. Best wishes.

Nov 10, 2013
More Help
by: Judith in California

Meredith, It's been 3 years since my husband passed away after a long illness and 35 1/2 years of marriage. Doreen's husband passed away 20 months ago after a long illness and 44 years of marriage. WE both were caregivers to them several years before they passed. We know loss,heartbreak and pain. We still are greiving over them.
I can only speak for my self here that I know all too well the rejection of guys in my life before him. I now thank God he never let me end up with any of those who rejected me. It was their loss. Sometimes God says NO and that's a blessing in disguise. This is yours.
We have given you some good sound explanations as to why he did what he did. Whatever he did or felt does not matter because his perceived thoughts of you do not in any way define who you are. His decision was not about you. His decision was about him and his finding someone else. If a man does not commit to you within two years time it just means it just means he's still looking. You did nothing wrong. You were caught up in your workload and Father's passing (and righfully so) that you could not see the signs that he was loosing interest. It's a good thing he did not move in with you. AND by the way that is never a good idea when you have children. Always require a ring. My husband wanted me to move in with him and his 3 children (I have one) . I told him no, not unless we were married. Please get Steve Harvey's book "Act like a Lady , Think like a Man" for yourself and your daughter.

One last thing . If you have to give up more or all of who you are to be in a relationship with a man then he is not the right one.

Continued strength and resolve is wished for you.


Nov 09, 2013
I hear ya!
by: Meredith

Judith, I do get it! You don't think I want to stop, I want to stop fueling this state I'm in with tears & living in the past or the pretend future of what ifs! I want to wake up each day with my heart in the same place my mind is! I know my life with him is now over but I'm do mad & hurt, thinking of a future w/o him is still hard to accept. I am so wounded, it's hard to get passed it! I started my journal & writing helps & letters to him I will never send help! But I still have problems like tonight! I'm here at home Saturday night & thinking if him with another woman being happy makes me sad at the same time! IM OVER FEELING THIS WAY! I gave him my heart & soul & when I needed him the most during my dads cancer & eventual death, he leaves me! I am truly trying, working with him is harder for me! I have lost my confidence & I need to get it back! I know I NEED to do this, I need to get back to me & not be afraid that nobody will ever want to be with me! Believe me, I am trying - I want to move past this stage - I will never understand why & I will never understand him! He doesn't deserve my love or my tears & my daughter & I deserve much better! I'm trying & pray every dad to God & my dad to give me strength to get through this!

Nov 08, 2013
The Writing on the Wall
by: Judith in California

Dear Meredith, you will not change him with your tears, or emotions. Why? Becuse he hasn't the internal capacity to feel empathy because he has sociopathic and narcissistic tendencies. Please know with each show of your emotion he is seeing you as weak and pathetic. And You obviously aren't doing the work Doreen and I have suggested to help you. We write because we care and if you continue to think with your wishes instead of your smart mind then I will stop. WE speak from experience. Your situation is no different from a lot of us women who have been dumped. We learn to move on and learn the lesson to be wiser in our choices as to who we let into our lives. You also have children to consider with your choices. WE learn to get to know ourselves then when ready we learn to get to know someone before we commit. WE ask questions of men to help us decide whether we want to give our time and personal intimacy too them. Yes they have to prove themselves to us not the other way around because we are the prize.
There are better, nicer guys with good strong character out there. . This one was never yours to let go of anyway. Go out with some girlfriends and learn to have a good time with out a man. Take your kids on a trip enjoy their time . They will be grown and gone before you know it. Don't let them see you as this weak and emotional wreck. Behave your way to success.
I wish you strength to do what you need to do.

Nov 07, 2013
Just can't let go
by: Meredith

So he saw me in the parking lot. Came up to me & said "this is hard for everyone". So I started to cry, first time I cried in front of him....he was like stone....never said a word. I was stupid enough to ask if he missed me during this past month. NOTHING! So I got in my car & drove off. I feel like I'm back to square one again. I know you aren't supposed to wish pain on anyone but I would like him to feel an ounce if what I feel! If he does feel bad, this was his choice, not mine. He is over it, I'm still picking up the pieces wondering how I am ever going to be able to trust again....

Nov 06, 2013
Just Can't Let Go
by: Doreen UK

Meredith I understand how you feel. Women have such strong emotions. You perhaps gave too much of yourself and so it hurts more. HANG IN THERE! It will get better. It is so difficult for many of us to switch off our emotions and feelings. Often we just have to let the punches roll and one day you will wake up and feel different. But because you work with your EX it makes it more difficult. I hope you can see a counsellor in order to help you through this. Perhaps they have some skills they can teach you that will help you move forward.
I wish you all the best. Visualise all of us on this site holding your hand and walking you through this difficult time. You won't feel so alone.

Nov 05, 2013
some help
by: Judith in California

Meredith, Please be strong. for you and your daughter. DO Not backslide into the if only's and the what if's. There was nothing you could have said or done to prevent His lack of character. Say to yourself each day , all day if you have to until it sinks in… "Why would I want a guy who has no standards, no character, no empathy or conscience? WHy would I want a man who could just up and turn his back on my children after 7 years? WHy would I want a guy who does not respect me enough to talk with me and doesn't respond to my daughter " The answer is "I don't want this guy who has so little character."

Youn gave him 7 years ,don't give him another day of your precious time. Keep it professional in the office. This will show him you are strong and can let go. IF he gets personal and begins to ask questions say " this is a place of business and walk off.

You are only missing what you hoped he could be not what he truly is…a jerk!

Talk with God and know he answered your prayer in seeing that you aren't with someone you don't deserve. HE has better plans for you.

Please know we are here for you and want the best for you too.

Nov 05, 2013
Letting go
by: Meredith

Doreen - work has been tough. It has gotten a little better but it's still tough. He walks around and acts just like we did when we were together. It's harder for me - I have a hard time turning off 7 years and just go back to being co-workers. He is a lot better at this than I am. I keep my door shut and listen to music so I don' thave to hear his voice. We have a small office so it's tough but I'm doing my best. I just want to stop feeling - I wish there was a magic pill I could take to make me forget. I try to remember all the things wrong when I look at him BUT once again my heart takes over! I wish time would hurry up and make this easier. He is a huge jerk for how he has treated my daughter - he can't deal with it so his way it to ignore it. Everywhere I go I have a memory - I guess that is another difference between him and I. I am way more emotionally vested in this - I wish I wasn't - I wish there was an off switch becuase I would be gluing it to the off position!!! I look at him and still see what was or what could have been, he looks at me and all he sees is someone he works with. He is ok with that while I'm still grieving over my loss. I wish I wasn't!!!

Nov 05, 2013
Just Can't Let Go
by: Doreen UK

Hi Meredith I understand how you feel holding onto someone you love because you see the finer points we don't see that make you still love this man. But we see the bigger picture. Take one day at a time and you will find that the days pass and you will feel stronger and more in control of your emotions and life in general. With your EX not replying to your daughter's text's says it all. He is not worth the time of day. How are you coping with working with him? Remember what Judith says. Keep it professional at work. Close the door of your heart to him and lock that door and don't let him back in. If you are tempted then think of your daughter and what this would do to her. She needs stability and you will one day be able to provide this for her. Walk tall. Hold your head up high and let him see that he is the loser not you. Life will get good for you again. Believe it. Make it happen at the right time. Best wishes

Nov 04, 2013
Thank you.
by: Meredith

Thank you so much ladies. I am getting there, I guess, each day gets a little better. Between this and the death of my dad, I feel completely overwhelmed at times. Sometimes I still think I'm in shock about what has happened. I am a very emotional person, a lot more than I like to admit & although my head knows this is the best thing that could of happnened - my heart takes over and all I can see and feel if the pain. You know I found out this weekend my daughter texted him, nothing bad, I think she misses him at times, just a "hi" and that's it. She really did feel like he was her dad and I guess him walking away and not saying goodbye to her, really gets to her at times. I have told her over and over again that he didn't leave her, he left me and the realtionship but that is hard for her to comprehend since he hasn't replied to her texts, so she views it as he did leave her. She tells me that one day I will find someone that wants "us" and that breaks my heart and that makes me want to just slap him for making her feel like that. Every time I feel sad, I think about how he treated my daughter - how can a man who knows how she feels about him, just walk away? I mean he dealt with me through a text message, he can't text her - I mean that's what her generation is all about!! I need to get my head back on my shoulders and get it straight - I need to realize it was his loss and that there is someone out there, hopefully, that will want to be with me and my better half Everyone tells me to date but I just don't think I can do that just yet. If my daughter was going through this, I would tell her to want more for herself and that she is worth the best - I wish I could follow my own advice. My own mother just shakes her head because she cannot figure out why I would want to stay with someone who is so completely selfish. I have no answer - right now, at this point in time, I cannot get past the fact that this man I was involved with for 7 years, just walked away! I should be grateful it wasn't 17 or 27 but right now it hurts as if it was! Thanks again for all the words of wisdom - I'm going to get there....I keep telling myself that!!!

Nov 04, 2013
Just Can't Let Go
by: Doreen UK

Judith hit the nail on the head with her advice to you. I echo this. Letting go is hard but if you focus on his behaviour to you which is not respectful along with discussing matters about your relationship with other people and not you etc. should cause you to UN-LOVE him. This is the quickest way to get over him. Your daughter has given you the answer. "Mom forget him" "He has moved on with his life and so must you." You feel that you wasted 7 years. Many people separate after 20 and 30 yrs. and longer. How do you think they feel? You will have learnt enough from this relationship that should make you stronger. In any future relationship make a contract about how you both want the relationship to be. It should always be based on mutual respect. You will also be teaching your daughter that you can't be disrespected by a man. This is no basis for a lasting relationship. You could also go and see a counsellor and explore why you look for failings within yourself so that you could resolve any baggage from the last 7 years that will help you in future relationships. Best wishes.

Nov 03, 2013
Just Can't Let Go
by: Doreen UK

You are a mature woman in years and you have a very mature 11yr. old daughter who gave you the right advice and it was painful to hear. He walked away because he could. He had the freedom, no ties to you, no commitments. So he wasn't as committed to this relationship as you. It hurts like H--l to go through what you are going through. Take one day at a time. Start treating yourself and your daughter special. do special things for each other and soon your pain will get less because you are replacing your sadness with something positive. Build on this each day. Keep a journal and write out all your painful hurt feelings and in this journal pour out all your anger and frustration so you get it out of your system. This man was SELF-CENTRED. He was only thinking of himself and not you. I don't know why it is but when you are caring for someone who has cancer and children, and working and trying to juggle so many things including death that you have more bad things take place stretching you and making life harder. this is such a common occurrence. I nursed my husband for over 3yrs. with terminal cancer. He died 18 months ago. Life is hard going through a cancer battle and also coping with grief from the loss of your father. If it hurts so bad, see if you can get some counselling to help you see more clearly how your life will move forward. But don't beat yourself up about what you could or should have done differently. NOTHING. You just both had different values and levels of commitment to the relationship. Don't worry about your daughter. She is such a mature young girl with a clever attitude and won't hurt so much as you are. Children just have a way of coping better and seeing things differently and will surprise you at how mature she can be. Care for YOU just now. Get your life back on track. Letting go is hard and tedious. But it will be easier if you change your FOCUS. I hope things do work out for you and get easier. Please write back for more support if you need this.

Nov 03, 2013
You Can Let Go
by: Judith in California

Dear Just, I'm sorry you are hurting. Now , Listen to your daughter. She can see what you refuse to see. This isn't about YOU..it's about HIM and his lack of growth during your relationship. His lack of empathy towards your loss of your father and his true lack of character as a man has come to the surface and you just refuse to see it . Notice I don't say "can't". I learned a long time ago that "CAN"T" is a child's word.

You have control over your own thoughts and actions and telling yourself you CAN'T is lmiting yourself to do what you know deep down is good for you and your children and that is to move forward and make plans for your own life now. Be good enough for yourself and treat yourself with respect and kindness. Know deep down you are worth better than you got. Teach your children to be strong and independent and how to let go of someone who just doesn't "feel it" anymore.
And Yes, he does have a girlfriend. Let's just admit that too. SO move on and in time find another MANfriend. He obviously never could commit to you in marriage so what made you think it would last? He's a coward in that he used childish behavior to break up with you via e-mail and texting instead of facing you like a real man of character and discussing all that he was feeling with you.
Begin to be just professional at work, only speaking when you need to and ignore him otherwise.

Stop with the CAN'T and get with the CAN let Go because of his total lack of character and becasue YOU deserve better from someone….Yourself.

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