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Have I fallen out of love with my current partner and regret leaving my ex? Or am I consumed by guilt for having feelings before leaving my ex?

Community Member

I suddenly ended a long term (5-10yr) relationship with my ex. Whilst we had a lot of good times together, there were many aspects that made me feel trapped/frustrated/unhappy, or question whether it was for me. We also had differing views on the desire for children, work options and future goals. There were many times over the years that I considered ending it, but didn't as it didn't 'feel right'. At times I do believe I was in love with him, but these feelings were not consistent over the years, as much as I tried to pretend they were.

In the late stages of our relationship, I connected with a colleague at work. Whilst we had worked together for some time and were friends, it was not until an alcohol fueled staff dinner that an attraction presented. We hung out after the event and became flirty over the next week (talking, sexting), it was purely a physical attraction and ego boost, with no physical contact until a single hug on the way home one day. This unleashed a tidal wave of feelings and at this point feelings went from being superficial and flirty, to a strong emotional connection.

Although I had previously thought about ending my relationship, these thoughts had not been overly recent and I had certainly not planned on doing it then, but within days of the 'hug' I had told my partner that I felt things had changed (he also felt this over the last few months, longer than me in fact) and that I could not go along with his views on kids and a whole raft of reasons. Within weeks we ended the relationship, absolutely destroying him in the process.

I then started seeing my colleague and developed an amazing relationship in which we were both madly in love. However, recently I have begun to question my decision and feelings, I feel constantly anxious, unsure, confused and cry daily (extremely unlike me). The questions that run through my mind:

a) do I regret leaving my ex, OR

b) just miss the life we created (home, pets etc), OR

c) am I consumed by guilt for how it ended - I denied having feelings for someone else but he suspects it and I am strongly against any kind of infidelity, AND

d) have I suddenly fallen out of love with my current partner, or are my feelings masked by guilt, anxiety etc?I enjoy talking and spending time with him, the lovely things he does make me smile, but my feelings are unreadable.

How can I work through my guilt/anxiety/confusion to clearly understand what it is that I feel/want? Without causing more hurt to others.

1 Reply 1

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Guest_7702~

You are a thinking and I suspect warm person and have listed a number of things at the end of your post. Not wanting to hurt shows me a fair bit about who you are. Frankly if it was me I'd feel the regrets, the missing, the guilt and a host of other emotions all at once, and under those circumstances I think I'd lose confidence in myself and my ability to be a good partner to another.

I'd also be so overwhelmed by all these conflicting emotions I'd lose the ability to know if I loved or was even capable of loving. You won't realy have changed underneath though even if you can't see it right now.

Perhaps you need to regard relationships as being constructed by two people, with equal responsibility. The two have to be of like mind as well and something as fundamental as differing desires for children is a long term recipe for great unhappiness. So to, though perhaps not quite to the same extent, are disagreements over where to head and work.

You said you felt trapped. This has been an ongoing feeling. Not the basis for a happy long term partnership.

So you caught a glimpse of something different and it answered a need. It may have taken you by surprise. Although attracted you did not realy go that much further with it until you had talked things over with your ex.

Now in your new relationship the reaction is setting in. It's not really a surprise as this is a huge upheaval. The decision to separate is a pretty frightening one.

So it goes back to the idea of two people, how about you deal with the new together with you new partner, let him help you build. He must shoulder responsibility and care for you. Take your time and let confidence in your decisions return.