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I'm having a tough time dealing with something my girlfriend did. We were together for a year and a half and after treating her poorly for a good amount of time (something that I have analyzed and realized why it happened and vowed to never do it again) she broke up with me. The night after she broke up with me, she kissed another man and started dating him, having sex with him only three days after she had left me. They dated for a month and a half during which time she lived with him. I knew the guy that she was with before any of this happened (in fact, I introduced them when we were still dating) and generally thought that he was not a good person. My girlfriend has since broken up with me and we have gotten back together (long-distance now unfortunately). I love her more than anyone I have ever known, but I'm having a really difficult time coping with the fact that she was with him. Any advice?

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If you were bad to her and lost her to someone else because of it, the pain makes sense, and honestly you deserved it. Why you are feeling it now is confusing.

Maybe you feel like your feelings of possession were violated, when in reality you stopped "owning" her a while before any of that happened.

DISCLAIMER- Terms of possession something metaphor something sexist male emotions something.

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We've talked a lot about it. She says that she never really felt anything strong for him but that he was nice to her, which I had not been doing, so she felt a connection to him. And as to why she was with someone who was so clearly her inferior she believes that it was an evasion on her part, namely only seeing the few parts of him that were good and acting as if the overwhelming parts of him that were bad did not exist.

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Also, I don't think it's an issue with possession. It really has more to do with what doing those things with him (the one that has affected me most is the sex) meant. In doing those things she held him as an equal and I feel sometimes that transitively I was at best his equal and more likely his inferior in her view (this maybe irrational to some degree). It feels that the fact that she kissed/had sex with him means that her doing so with me is tainted in some way.

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Claire, that was rather unnecessary. I know that I was at fault for treating her badly and I've corrected the problem that was at the heart of that action. I'm not asking for sympathy, I'm asking for advice so I can work to make our relationship better now.

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You mistreated her. She left you for another man. Now you resent that there was another man in her life. Sorry, no sympathy here. Grow up, man up and start treating women better in the future.

You seem to not put much care into your posts before publishing them, on a regular basis. Your user rating and reputation on your profile would suggest as much. Perhaps you should work on that before denigrating others who are on here looking for advice on how to improve themselves and who wish to better understand their situation and emotions. Your post was not helpful in any fashion. Ensure they are before you continue to spend the majority of your time here in the psychology and self-improvement section. Otherwise it may be better for you to spend more time in another forum section. Just my opinion.

Edited by CapitalistSwine
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Also, I don't think it's an issue with possession. It really has more to do with what doing those things with him (the one that has affected me most is the sex) meant. In doing those things she held him as an equal and I feel sometimes that transitively I was at best his equal and more likely his inferior in her view (this maybe irrational to some degree). It feels that the fact that she kissed/had sex with him means that her doing so with me is tainted in some way.

She preferred him to you at the time because he at least treated her well, unlike you. Yes, that would put you, at least for romantic purposes, lower in that situation. BUT you have since learned and changed, right? That was then, this is now. You are better now than you were then. You may have been lower back then, but you've worked on it and raised yourself. If you think you can indeed make up for your past wrongs to her, than just do so and don't look at it forever like you're stuck in the past. Likewise, forgive her mistake in being with two people for a while that neither of which at the time were really right for her. She's with you now, a better version of yourself, and realizes her mistake in taking in the rebound guy too. People aren't infallible. We all make mistakes sometimes, but as long as we can learn from them and make things right, all is well.

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Dump her. She does not respect you, and for good reason. Start over with a new girlfriend and don't screw up next time.

While I agree that she both didn't respect me and had a good reason, I trust that she respects me now. And breaking up with her is not an option that I'm willing to pursue.

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I've gone through something somewhat comparable myself so I'll share and hopefully you'll get something from it.

I think you are going to have a very tough time getting over this firstly, especially if the time from breakup to now is very short, 6 months or less. If that is the case the only solution I think is possible is more time apart. I know there is the risk of losing her forever, but it may be your best option so don't remove it from the table all together.

Be sure you communicate how you feel, why you feel that way and find that she understands why you feel that way. If her emotional response to your feelings is satisfactory you need to stop dwelling and move on.

Make sure that the other guy isn't in either of your lives, not in a creepy controlling "stay away from him" way, but in a honest "I need time to get over this, I'm trying, but I cannot do this having him around me or you."

Make sure things are different in your relationship from the last time you were together, not only be 'better', but also change scenery if possible. New apartment, different bed, different furniture, different paint job on walls, something tangibly different helped me handle my relationship the way I wanted to. Don't break the bank in doing this.

Take things slower if you haven't already skipped this. Keep the physical relationship on par with your emotional relationship. The "I've missed you so much" makeup sex is fine if it happened, but backup and slow it down.

Living together already is a bad idea if avoidable. You want to make 100% sure this isn't or doesn't become a relationship of convenience. This goes along with the above point.

As much as your earning her trust back, she's earning yours. Do the best you can to be the person you should be in your relationship, and make sure she understands your needs as well.

Edit: Guess I should add credentials. I am happily married a year and a half now, with our fist child on the way. We spent almost 2 years apart with almost no communication which was very helpful in resolving our issues. We were both in different places in our lives from when be broke up and we each made an effort to make it feel like a different and new relationship.

Edited by TuesdaysThursdays
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I've gone through something somewhat comparable myself so I'll share and hopefully you'll get something from it.

I think you are going to have a very tough time getting over this firstly, especially if the time from breakup to now is very short, 6 months or less. If that is the case the only solution I think is possible is more time apart. I know there is the risk of losing her forever, but it may be your best option so don't remove it from the table all together.

Be sure you communicate how you feel, why you feel that way and find that she understands why you feel that way. If her emotional response to your feelings is satisfactory you need to stop dwelling and move on.

Make sure that the other guy isn't in either of your lives, not in a creepy controlling "stay away from him" way, but in a honest "I need time to get over this, I'm trying, but I cannot do this having him around me or you."

Make sure things are different in your relationship from the last time you were together, not only be 'better', but also change scenery if possible. New apartment, different bed, different furniture, different paint job on walls, something tangibly different helped me handle my relationship the way I wanted to. Don't break the bank in doing this.

Take things slower if you haven't already skipped this. Keep the physical relationship on par with your emotional relationship. The "I've missed you so much" makeup sex is fine if it happened, but backup and slow it down.

Living together already is a bad idea if avoidable. You want to make 100% sure this isn't or doesn't become a relationship of convenience. This goes along with the above point.

As much as your earning her trust back, she's earning yours. Do the best you can to be the person you should be in your relationship, and make sure she understands your needs as well.

Edit: Guess I should add credentials. I am happily married a year and a half now, with our fist child on the way. We spent almost 2 years apart with almost no communication which was very helpful in resolving our issues. We were both in different places in our lives from when be broke up and we each made an effort to make it feel like a different and new relationship.

Thanks for the help. It's good to hear about someone who was successful in getting over something similar. Is there anyway that you found to really get over it more quickly without evasion? I understand, at least partially, why it happened and I think I forgive her, but the thought of her with him will sneak into my mind sometimes and the automatic response is one of disgust and sadness. Since this frequently accompanies the good thoughts of her, I would really like to keep those thoughts from ruining my positive thoughts of her, but I know it's unhealthy to pretend that it never happened.

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