Am I on the right track??

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-06-2013
Am I on the right track??
9
Wed, 02-06-2013 - 12:43am

A little backstory, when I was younger (around 21) I had dated a girl for four years who broke my heart. It took me months to get out of bed; I lost over 40 pounds; it nearly ruined my life and drove me to suicide. I felt like I was the perfect guy back then. I treated women with amazing respect, caring, love, and affection.

Since then it's been a slow recovery. I became a shell of who I once was. I acted happy to make myself happy and it seemed to work, except I lost part of myself. I became only concerned with short-term, quick flings and relationships. My longest relationships in the five following years were a week and another for a month. I was terrified to give myself completely to anyone because I would get hurt again so badly. I was traumatized.

I am now 29. Four years ago I met a great girl and being who I was I immediately started a physical relationship with her before I got to know her. Well, long story short, I began dating her after a couple months and then quickly afterward learned that she had been pregnant for abot a month. We ended up having beautiful twins and we seemed to be making it work for the past four years. Despite my unwillingness to open up to her and her to me, we stayed together and we fell in love.

About a week ago we had a fight, and she left. She had never done that before so I was a little confused. She told me that she had been feeling depressed about our relationship for about a year. I had no idea, because we never talk about our relationship.

Now looking back I see how foolish we both were for not trying harder to grow in our relationship and make it stronger instead of just going through the motions. I immediately knew I had to make a big change for my family and become the person I once was long, long ago. Unfortunately, she is unwilling to give me a chance. She just tells me "I don't want to give you a chance right now. It's too late. I don't know how I will feel in six months." and so on...
At first I was depressed, but it only lasted about 3 days this time. I only lost 12 pounds this time. I regained my ability to think clearly after about four or five days. One of the main reasons being, I did some snooping (which I have never done) and looked at the phone records and found out she has been talking to another man for around two weeks. He is a rep from her work. As far as I know they have never had any physical contact. I do know he lives several states away so they cannot meet up or anything. But she had been talking to him from the moment she woke in the morning to the time she got off work and texting him all night while I was in the same room with her and the kids.

Now we are at a point where she is planning on permanently living at the friends house that initially took her in. We are giving up our apartment, because I cannot afford it alone. I will be forced to live with friends. It tears me apart to see my family fall apart seemingly out of nowhere. I told her I would be willing to do anything to fix this is she would just work with me, but she said no. She wouldn't talk to me unless she was picking up or dropping off the kids, and then she was very cold and uncaring. The last thing I told her when she said she was unwilling to try to work things out was that I couldn't do it alone so I needed to try to move on then. I stopped trying to contact her for the later part of the week and the weekend. I only talked to her about things we needed to discuss like money and the kids and our jobs. I was able to convince her to give me another month here, with us both paying the bills, so I could get a clear plan together.

After all the time apart I feel like she is starting to break a little bit. She posted a sad looking picture of herself on facebook. I posted a million happy pictures of me and the kids and my family. I haven't tried to talk to her about the relationship since last week, but tonight I offered for her to come over next week and watch a movie with me. She accepted without hesitation. I feel like this is a step in the right direction and maybe she was just so emotional that she didnt want to think about getting back together with me yet. I also have never in my life bought a girl flowers and she knows this, so I was planning on getting her some for our 4 year anniversary (this weekend) and telling her this is not for our anniversary, but for all the ones before this.

I was really kind of a jerk to her our whole relationship with just occasional shining moments where I would do something really sweet. For me doing a little bit felt like a whole lot because I had never been that way for 9 years. But she has never been in a long term relationship and she is 26 so she was expecting more. I feel like I can be that person again, and if she sees that she will fall in love with me even more than she thought she was before when I wasnt trying.

So am I on the right track? Slowly trying to sneak my way back into her life so she will give us a chance to work on our relationship? I have never felt such an immenant threat in my life like losing my family. I'm a lot stronger now than I was when I was 21, but I don't want to walk away from my family without trying everything to save it.

Avatar for khatru1
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-07-2004
Wed, 02-06-2013 - 1:34pm

I would say you are on the right track. At this point you must take it slow with small steps. She is in a fragile state in terms of tettering between a life with you or without you. Coming on too strong, being too much, could just push her away. You can express and show how much you care and your willingness to go all-in, and then let her come to you. She probably really needs sincerity, she needs to see it and hear it from you, just how much you mean to her.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-06-2013
Wed, 02-06-2013 - 9:04pm

Flowers seemed to go over well. The kids kind of gave it away before I could surprise her, lol. But she seemed at least appreciative of them. Guess I'll have to see how movie night goes. I'm not expecting her to come running back, but I'm hoping she'll at least open up a little...

Avatar for Kendahke1
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-09-2012
Thu, 02-07-2013 - 8:58pm

soule187 wrote:
<p>A little backstory, when I was younger (around 21) I had dated a girl for four years who broke my heart. It took me months to get out of bed; I lost over 40 pounds; it nearly ruined my life and drove me to suicide. I felt like I was the perfect guy back then. I treated women with amazing respect, caring, love, and affection.<br /><br />Since then it's been a slow recovery. I became a shell of who I once was. I acted happy to make myself happy and it seemed to work, except I lost part of myself. I became only concerned with short-term, quick flings and relationships. My longest relationships in the five following years were a week and another for a month. I was terrified to give myself completely to anyone because I would get hurt again so badly. I was traumatized.<br /><br />I am now 29. Four years ago I met a great girl and being who I was I immediately started a physical relationship with her before I got to know her. Well, long story short, I began dating her after a couple months and then quickly afterward learned that she had been pregnant for abot a month. We ended up having beautiful twins and we seemed to be making it work for the past four years. Despite my unwillingness to open up to her and her to me, we stayed together and we fell in love.<br /><br />About a week ago we had a fight, and she left. She had never done that before so I was a little confused. She told me that she had been feeling depressed about our relationship for about a year. I had no idea, because we never talk about our relationship.<br /><br />Now looking back I see how foolish we both were for not trying harder to grow in our relationship and make it stronger instead of just going through the motions. I immediately knew I had to make a big change for my family and become the person I once was long, long ago. Unfortunately, she is unwilling to give me a chance. She just tells me "I don't want to give you a chance right now. It's too late. I don't know how I will feel in six months." and so on...<br />At first I was depressed, but it only lasted about 3 days this time. I only lost 12 pounds this time. I regained my ability to think clearly after about four or five days. One of the main reasons being, I did some snooping (which I have never done) and looked at the phone records and found out she has been talking to another man for around two weeks. He is a rep from her work. As far as I know they have never had any physical contact. I do know he lives several states away so they cannot meet up or anything. But she had been talking to him from the moment she woke in the morning to the time she got off work and texting him all night while I was in the same room with her and the kids.<br /><br />Now we are at a point where she is planning on permanently living at the friends house that initially took her in. We are giving up our apartment, because I cannot afford it alone. I will be forced to live with friends. It tears me apart to see my family fall apart seemingly out of nowhere. I told her I would be willing to do anything to fix this is she would just work with me, but she said no. She wouldn't talk to me unless she was picking up or dropping off the kids, and then she was very cold and uncaring. The last thing I told her when she said she was unwilling to try to work things out was that I couldn't do it alone so I needed to try to move on then. I stopped trying to contact her for the later part of the week and the weekend. I only talked to her about things we needed to discuss like money and the kids and our jobs. I was able to convince her to give me another month here, with us both paying the bills, so I could get a clear plan together.<br /><br />After all the time apart I feel like she is starting to break a little bit. She posted a sad looking picture of herself on facebook. I posted a million happy pictures of me and the kids and my family. I haven't tried to talk to her about the relationship since last week, but tonight I offered for her to come over next week and watch a movie with me. She accepted without hesitation. I feel like this is a step in the right direction and maybe she was just so emotional that she didnt want to think about getting back together with me yet. I also have never in my life bought a girl flowers and she knows this, so I was planning on getting her some for our 4 year anniversary (this weekend) and telling her this is not for our anniversary, but for all the ones before this.<br /><br /> I was really kind of a jerk to her our whole relationship with just occasional shining moments where I would do something really sweet. For me doing a little bit felt like a whole lot because I had never been that way for 9 years. But she has never been in a long term relationship and she is 26 so she was expecting more. I feel like I can be that person again, and if she sees that she will fall in love with me even more than she thought she was before when I wasnt trying.<br /><br />So am I on the right track? Slowly trying to sneak my way back into her life so she will give us a chance to work on our relationship? I have never felt such an immenant threat in my life like losing my family. I'm a lot stronger now than I was when I was 21, but I don't want to walk away from my family without trying everything to save it.</p>

Why were you fine with treating her badly for so long that it took her leaving you for your to open a can of "act right"?  Was it because you never thought she would leave?

You were basically punishing her for what your ex waaay back in the day did to you. It's nice that you now see the errors of your ways, but it shouldn't have taken her moving out for you to do right by her.  The gameplaying you engaged in just about blew up your world and "sneaking" back into her life is just more of that.  It's time for that to stop and for you to make a declaration and commit yourself 100% or bounce.  Unless you start acting like you want her and the family more than the next breath you take, she will see right through this game you're playing and will be gone for good. 

You have to stop taking her for granted; you need to get over what your ex did you to. It's been past time for that. Your current girlfriend isn't the reason why your ex did what she did, so stop treating her as if she's got to pay for it.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-06-2013
Thu, 02-07-2013 - 11:47pm

I totally agree. We had been together for so long I just never saw us being apart as a possibility. I was perpetually stuck in a place I wish I had never gotten to. I didn't think every day "I'm going to ignore her feelings and neglect her," but our relationship just wasn't on my mind. I completely took her for granted.
I don't think it HAD to take her leaving for me to see it. I think if she would have sat down and told me how she was feeling I would have opened my eyes sooner. But that is the major issue in our relationship. We had little to no communication.
When I say "sneaking back into her life" I don't mean I am playing games. She has told me she needs her space and time. So I'm trying to respect that. But at the same time I can't show her anything if she doesn't talk to me or give me a chance to prove myself. So I'm trying to little by little open her back up to the possibility that I can be the person she deserves.
My family is and always will be the most important thing in my life. I have told her this before, but I guess I only really showed it with the kids. I know now that I need to show her that she is just as important to me as they are. She either doesn't believe me when I say it, or she doesn't want to. Or maybe she just doesn't care right now. I know then that I must show her. I just don't know how unless I slow play it and let her remember how good of a guy I can be, before we got too comfortable with each other. Then I can show her how I can really be, better than I even was in the beginning.
That's my plan anyway. I know if I fail then I may lose my family forever, so I am definitely not playing games or taking this lightly. I'm trying to think logically and have a gameplan. I really don't know what else to do.

Avatar for Kendahke1
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-09-2012
Fri, 02-08-2013 - 11:51am

Speaking as a woman, your best approach is to declare yourself and your intent and act accordingly. 

Manipulation is not the answer. That will be an insult to her intelligence and do more harm than good.  Face what will be like an adult instead of a spoiled child who can't have their way.

In the future, do more to consider the policy you implement and the potential for harm that being selfish can bring.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-06-2013
Fri, 02-08-2013 - 3:23pm

Thank you. I value the opinions of women on this subject very much. I feel like I need that perspective.

I did just what you said immediately after she called me and told me she was leaving. I spent the first three days telling her exactly how I felt about her and made it clear I do want to be in the relationship and I do want to be with her very much. I told her she was the love of my life and I wanted to grow old with her and that I'm terrified at the thought I may have screwed that up. She basically said she felt that me saying that was just too late, which I kind of understand. That is the reason for me trying to win back her heart a little bit before I can start working on things with her. Until now she would hardly speak to me at all.

And let me be clear about something. I was not nasty to her our whole relationship. Emotionally neglectful, yes. But I was always respectful and kind to her. I've never lied to her nor cheated on her in four years. I am home every night with her, never going out with my friends or drinking like I was all the time before I met her. I change my lifestyle for her and the kids and try to be there for her as much as I can. Lack of communication and romance is what it pretty much boils down to.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-20-2002
Wed, 02-13-2013 - 10:15pm

I think that your approach is very sweet. Just make sure your actions match up to what you are saying to her... You are definitely on the right track. Slow and steady wins the race; and it is much better for you to have opened your eyes now than never. Every or most women loves romance, so for you to show her how much you appreciate and love her with flowers, planning a night together, etc... these details do matter!!!

So keep trying, if doesn't work out, atleast you know you gave it your all. But, as you said before, don't come off too strong.

Good Luck!!!

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-06-2013
Thu, 02-14-2013 - 5:10pm

Yeah, the date didn't really work out. She wrecked the car like 10 hours out of state and it was this whole big deal. But we're going out tonight and it's Valentines Day, so we'll see where it goes. I am being very respectful of her even though she isn't really opening up to me like I want. I also have counseling lined up and I've invited her to go with me, but she's not really sure. I guess we'll see where things go. I know she wants or will want to get back together. She already told me. I'm just afraid if she waits too long she will lose me. I'm already losing some of my motivation due to her being so distant to me and continuing to talk to this other guy.

I feel like the window is closing if she doesn't join me in my fight for this relationship soon. I'm preparing myself for that, if it happens, though.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-27-2004
Sat, 02-16-2013 - 10:39am

" I am being very respectful of her even though she isn't really opening up to me like I want."

You need a longer perspective than you seem to have.   Consider how long you neglected her, the many incidents that hurt or frustrated her, each one contributing to the relationship you have with her now.  Each one of those incidents contributes to her wariness and her unwillingness to "open up."  She has no wish to make herself vulnerable to that hurt again.  She will be watching you closely for a long time before she decides you can be trusted again.  If you can't maintain your current good behavior for as long as it takes, then you've done too much damage to heal the relationship.