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It is how I feel at the moment - totally broken. Typing this is the hardest thing I have ever done. I am a very strong minded person, highly educated and in the past have been able to deal with things as they arose, especially relationships.

I dated a women for a year - I truly loved her and I expressed this to her, which is something I never did with any other.  Unfortunately for the relationship, there were so many cultural barriers (especially upbringings) that caused communications between the two of us to always break down. It was so frustrating because I would spend so much of our time together trying to explain something I said that she completely misinterpreted.  It wasn't her fault and I never blamed her. It made me appreciate her more. We were so alike personality wise (both problematic personalities - but we understood each other) that I enjoyed every moment around her and wished nothing more than to hear her voice and have her by my side. I got to the point where all I wanted to do was see her - this is the second problem. I pushed the relationship too hard at the beginning and this with the problem above... well... I screwed things up. In the process I lost sight of my life. Never did I take the same approach in previous long term relationships (3+ years and I am in my mid to late 30s) - in fact in previous relationships I was totally care free. She suffers depression and so do I and this too had an impact on the relationship - at times we held each other's problems against each other and cultural barriers only worsened things when we tried to talk it out.

One day and out of no where she told me that long term the relationship would not work and she made the decision that we should break up. Least to say, inside I was S-M-A-S-H-E-D to pieces. I was lost for months until a few months later we got back together, but, again, she made the same decision.

Skip forward sometime and she was out of the front of my mind and I really started to get my act together and set new goals. I never wanted to be with another women because she was always at the back of my mind when I got close to one. Anyways... skip forward some more time and one day I saw her - we just stared at each other, but I continued on as if nothing happened.  I started to think about her more as the days progressed then she plagued my mind for some weeks until..... I called her and arranged to meet up (I am a persistent person)- the worst thing I could have done.  We met a few times and I tried to get her back... she rejected and I made a total fool of myself by using foul language as response to her decision (I know - this is totally unacceptable and culturally inappropriate, but the thought of not being with her killed me inside and I froze up).

All I can do is think about her.  I took up smoking after having quit for a long period of time, lost total interest in my job, any hobbies etc. I sabotage any positive thoughts of moving on or moments where I try to regain traction by focusing on my job etc.

To this day I cannot comprehend, not so much the relationship, but why I am so attracted to her and why I cannot stop thinking about her. I can't think, concentrate (meditation does not work) and everything I do seems to remind me of her. I constantly think of the moments we spent together - her beautiful voice, face and body and more importantly her mind. This incomprehension is tying me up - I feel like I am stuck in a coffin. I want to forget her, but I don't want to. I want nothing more than to have her back, but I know it will never be possible. I just want to move on, but I am stuck and broken down. Forgetting was never an issue in the past, but it's something I refuse to do in the present - with her.

Please help me.



1 Reply 1

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hello Reslpsa, I am going to do something I never ever thought I would do on a forum like this: I am going to reference Phil Collins.

He has a song on one of his old albums where he describes exactly your situation above. It is a sad song, but also one that ends with the singer taking control. I'm paraphrasing a little, but the lyrics talk about a woman coming back into his life, just when he thought he'd gotten over her, just as he'd 'learned to be lonely', and she acted just like she'd never left.  He tells her to leave.

As hard as this is to do, I think that this is what you have to do: to the memories. Perhaps you could write her a goodbye letter, one that you don't send. The idea is that you write down all those good things you remember, those memories that haunt you. Get them out on paper, to get closure.  But this is about recognising that this is a time in your life that was wonderful when it happened but now it is over.  It is a similar feeling to what we experience when someone dies, only because the person is still alive we constantly have 'what if what if' going round in our minds. 

The only way to break negative recurring memories is to absorb yourself in the everyday, and if your thoughts turn to her, that's ok - just acknowledge that thought and return to what you were doing. This is a tool they teach you in a type of therapy called acceptance and commitment therapy (there is a very good book about it called The Happiness Trap which you can look up).  Meditation will allow your mind to wander, so I can understand why that may not work so well (I can't do it either) but if you involve yourself deeply in a task, especially something involving your hands or body (exercise, manual work) and keep at it.

Try and let go of the confusion... you clearly love this woman and it will take time for these feelings to subside, but they will. Don't fight against this. Experience the grief. And think about the goodbye letter, because it is important that you accept that this relationship is in the past otherwise you will be forever hoping to go back to it.