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A not so nuclear family

Community Member

I've a bit of a tale to relate that's long, painful and maybe even a little cliche. About three years ago my partner of five years, with whom I have a child, and I separated after a long stretch of what I can only describe as comfortable misery. Our relationship before that period was a happy one, although unhealthy in other aspects (I was cheated on twice). She was a self-destructive and often careless individual, whereas I was patient, angry yet ultimately forgiving in nature. We had a child, and things stabilised for us for a time, but over that year we began to drift apart and were both too stubborn, foolish or ignorant to address it and work through it. It ended and we went our separate ways, yet remarkably managed to maintain (and do to this very day) a healthy and active parental relationship for the good of our child. Over the last three years I've had lovers (as I'm sure she has, as is her right) but I've pushed away anyone who has tried getting close to me, feeling more as though I was simply trying to fill a massive void within myself with whoever. The big problem here is that I've never truly fallen out of love with my ex. I have never, and fear that I WILL never, love anyone as intensely as I did (do? Did? I dunno) her. The frustrating thing is that after having a discussion with her about two years ago, it became apparent that we'd both had thoughts of getting back together, but the issue was that we'd had these thoughts at different times and the notions never quite met in the middle. Bummer! Admittedly I've had a tendency in the past to try and get things moving again, but to no avail. Earlier this year I was told that it would be great to be together again, but she simply wasn't physically attracted to me anymore, so it wouldn't work. That's fair enough. (still, though. Ouch!). The next complication is that over a year ago I started actually dating someone and we're still together. She has plenty of her own problems that complicate the relationship,too, but that's another story altogether. The thing is I find it hard to commit myself fully to a relationship, especially this one, while my greatest love exists on the fringes. The MOST difficult part occurred recently when my ex made her new relationship known. It froze my heart and twisted my Rotten guts, to paint a vivid picture. Realising today that she's never likely to reach out to me again as she has in the past is killing me. What little hope I once held is gone. This is rough!

3 Replies 3

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi Rex R,

It certainly does sound like you are in a difficult position. I wonder if in your mind you have created the thoughts of love for your ex-partner that aren't exactly reality, but more a desire and a wishful dream.

In your mind you may have thought of something that will never be, but is desired greatly.

It can be hard to let go of people from the past and to find a way to move forward again. There is a kind of grieving process we need to go through before we can move on.

It is wonderful you can share your child and obviously still have a part in the child's life, it must be a constant reminder of what you once had.

Hopefully sharing how you are feeling here may help you better understand your thoughts and emotions and maybe help you to move on and to let go of your ex.

It is a shame you were not able to reconnect in the past, maybe now that is just not possible.

Do you have mates you can chat with when you are feeling low or even just be with?

Cheers to you from Dools

Community Member
Thanks for your reply, Dools! Much appreciated. I've never been one for opening up to people, even friends and family, tending instead to deal with my own burdens on my own way. It was a pretty big step for me to come here and open up about my woes, but I think it has helped me to a point. I get what you're saying about the possibility of my manufacturing these feelings, and I've thought the same myself. I always did have a tendency to view the relationship through rose-tinted glasses, being myself somewhat of a pessimist (or realist, depending on who you ask), yet still hoping for the best. It was always a bit of a rollercoaster emotionally with her: I'd resent her, yet adore her; I'd want her behaviour to catch up with her and bite her in the arse, yet I always forgave her. Looking back, there were several toxic elements in the relationship, but a wise man once said that forgiveness is much more important in a relationship than trust. I didn't trust her. Never really did from the outset, but I loved her more than anyone (barring, of course, our child). I think that a love so hard-fought to keep and maintain is a very hard thing to let go, which is probably why I've had such a difficult time reconciling this whole situation.

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi again RexR,

There have been times in my life when there was someone I loved so much but they were not mine to love! For you, to have known that love and to not be able to fully trust that person nor have them in your life again must be very hard for you.

I do understand that letting go can be very hard, I also know that forgiveness is not easy either!

I sometimes find it is helpful to write a letter to someone I feel has hurt or upset me. I write and write until there is nothing left to write. All the anger, possible hatred, confusion, feelings of love, my needs and expectations, hurts and criticisms are written down.

Then I rip up that letter or if it has been done on the computer I delete it.

Then I try to write down a few things I am thankful for about that person. If I can't think of anything, then I try to write things I am grateful for in general.

Opening up and sharing how you are feeling is not always easy, hopefully you will find this forum and the people here helpful and supportive!

Cheers again from Dools