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Subject: Relationship Question allcomers wanted!! rss

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Robert Friendt
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I feel awful after I took a break with my girlfriend of three years, I met another girl and now have been dating her for 2 years now. I can't seem to get over how bad I feel about leaving the first girlfriend. I left my first girlfriend after she moved across the country for me, then about 6 months after we moved her dad died of cancer. This stressed our relationship, but even in the beginning we knew something was off. I left where we moved to and went back to school across the country again. She tends to pop into my life every once and a while and keeps telling me that she wants to get back together. I have made it clear to her that it will not happen, but I feel so bad about leaving her. My current girlfriend and I have been dating for about 2 years now and I am thinking about asking her to marry me, but I want to fully get over these feelings of guilt over the one I left. If anyone has any advice I would love to hear it.

Thanks y'all
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Back in the '80s I was married and divorced twice in less than 7 years. I can definitely say that when you have been close to someone, they are never completely out of your life. You have to accept that things will be different between you from now on, and move past that time of your life.

If you are certain that there was something wrong in your relationship with the first girl, then you were right to move on and find someone else. Apparently she hasn't, and is still stuck where she was two years ago.

There's nothing you can do for her, except when you meet her and she talks about getting back together, let her know it's not going to happen. (You don't have to mention that you are seeing someone else.) The sooner she accepts that, the sooner she can get on with her life.

Don't know if this helps, but it's what I've learned the hard way.
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Greg Hinkle
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In short, you can't control how other people feel. Learn to let go of your guilt. THAT, you can control.

(Right, sorry, this is Chit Chat. I mean, you can't control how other people feel EMOTIONALLY. Because you can always stop punching them.)
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JessA
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You need to make peace with your decision to end it. What do you think is at the bottom of your guilt?

For example, do you feel that you wronged her by breaking up? Do you wish that it could have worked out between you two? Do you feel bad that she is still holding hope for a reunion?

If you wronged her, you could try to make amends by apologizing for that wrong. Or you could decide to forgive yourself without addressing it to her, which might be the kinder option for her in this case.

If you are wishing it could have worked out between the two of you,maybe you are having some grief about that, but that doesn't mean you want to get back together, you can grieve what was lost while still knowing that it is better that you are without it.

If you feel bad that she is still missing you, that shows that you have compassion and that's a good thing. But you are not responsible for her feelings nor can you help her move on. She will have to do that herself. That is really more of a statement of where she is emotionally than it is about anything you did or didn't do wrong.
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Majik Mouse
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Jatoha wrote:
You need to make peace with your decision to end it. What do you think is at the bottom of your guilt?

For example, do you feel that you wronged her by breaking up? Do you wish that it could have worked out between you two? Do you feel bad that she is still holding hope for a reunion?

If you wronged her, you could try to make amends by apologizing for that wrong. Or you could decide to forgive yourself without addressing it to her, which might be the kinder option for her in this case.
...


Absolutely. It seems like the guilt seems to fall into two camps.
1 - Your guilt over the way you broke up with this individual.
2 - The fact that she is she is still hung up on you.

The latter you can do nothing about, but the former is an issue you can address. I think I disagree with the above quote on one level... If you are still carrying guilt after these years (and if she is still obsessing on you), it might be worth your while for both your sakes to apologize. It would have to be done very carefully and you would have to make two points very clearly: 1 - You are sorry about the classless way you broke up all those years ago. 2 - You still feel that breaking up was the right thing to do. In other words, you acknowledge that your guilt and regret over the manner the breakup was handled but keep firmly in the forefront that it was the manner, not the fact of the breakup, that you regret. Point one should be made clearly, exactly once. Point two should be made twice, once at the beginning and once at the end and should be worded carefully in order to not make it accusatory. Phrases like "lack of compatibility" are cliched, but can effectively used in a way that allows you to not blame her (hurtful) or exclusively yourself (the problem with such hackneyed statements like "Its not you, its me" is not only that they are insincere, but that, if the blame lies exclusively with you, the other party can believe that either you can change or, that if they are willing to accept you, flawed as you are, there can be no objection).

Of course, to an extent this is all moot point if the person you are currently with does not want you to contact this old flame and/or offer such an apology. This should be worked out between you.

After such an apology, you will need to work on allowing yourself to let go of the guilt. Hopefully, this will also allow her to move on, but that, in the end, is her decision and not yours. One cannot change the past but one can face it squarely, admit one's mistakes to the aggrieved party, and attempt to learn for the future.
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Joe Gola
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Jatoha wrote:
You need to make peace with your decision to end it. What do you think is at the bottom of your guilt?

For example, do you feel that you wronged her by breaking up? Do you wish that it could have worked out between you two? Do you feel bad that she is still holding hope for a reunion?

If you wronged her, you could try to make amends by apologizing for that wrong. Or you could decide to forgive yourself without addressing it to her, which might be the kinder option for her in this case.

If you are wishing it could have worked out between the two of you,maybe you are having some grief about that, but that doesn't mean you want to get back together, you can grieve what was lost while still knowing that it is better that you are without it.

If you feel bad that she is still missing you, that shows that you have compassion and that's a good thing. But you are not responsible for her feelings nor can you help her move on. She will have to do that herself. That is really more of a statement of where she is emotionally than it is about anything you did or didn't do wrong.

Dang it, Jess, I typed this whole thing out and then you come along and say something better. Don't be a Little Miss Speedytyper. Nobody likes that.

Ah, screw it, I'll just post mine anyway.

As a part-time advice-giving horse, I'll throw in my two cents.

I can think of three possible reasons why this might still be bothering you several years later, none of which are mutually exclusive:

1. Somewhere in the back of your mind you think there's a possibility that you were unkind or selfish.
2. The ex-girlfriend is good at manipulating your emotions.
3. You're a really nice guy and just feel bad about a relationship that didn't work out.

If you think there's a possibility that you were unkind or selfish, you need to examine your feelings and memories, and then accept it if it's true. If it turns out that you do believe that you were selfish or unkind, the next step is that you have to realize that there's not much you can do about it now except use the experience to help yourself be a better person in the future. Apologizing to the girl might make both of you feel better, though of course you would have to make your current position clear.

If the ex is manipulative, then you just need to be better at avoiding her, and to keep whatever communication does occur as short as possible without being rude. If you find yourself desperate to say just one more thing, that probably means she's manipulating you again.

If the problem is that you're really just a very nice guy...well, I dunno. Personally I think that there are two sides to our interactions with other people, a compassionate one and a selfish one, and these two opposites exist in the same space simultaneously and do not negate each other. Even love has a selfish side, and it's not a bad thing, because if human beings did not have any concern for their own happiness and welfare they would have gone extinct a long time ago. That's not to say that people have licenses to be jerks, but it does mean that you can't beat yourself up forever for breaking up with someone.

That's just my philosophy, though.
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Richard Hedke
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I've always been a big fan of the clean-break-no-going-back approach to ending a relationship. That's why I have always strangled my girlfriends and dumped their bodies in Lake Erie before starting a new relationship. I realize this level of commitment to a philosophy is not for everyone, but it is something to consider as it is highly effective.
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Jaime Lawrence
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jonnylawless wrote:


Best relationship councellors ever.
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James King
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rfriendt wrote:
I feel awful after I took a break with my girlfriend of three years, I met another girl and now have been dating her for 2 years now. I can't seem to get over how bad I feel about leaving the first girlfriend. I left my first girlfriend after she moved across the country for me, then about 6 months after we moved her dad died of cancer. This stressed our relationship, but even in the beginning we knew something was off. I left where we moved to and went back to school across the country again. She tends to pop into my life every once and a while and keeps telling me that she wants to get back together. I have made it clear to her that it will not happen, but I feel so bad about leaving her. My current girlfriend and I have been dating for about 2 years now and I am thinking about asking her to marry me, but I want to fully get over these feelings of guilt over the one I left. If anyone has any advice I would love to hear it.

Reading between the lines, I'm inferring that whenever your first girlfirend does "pop into [your] life every once in a while" (i.e. when she travels across the country to visit you), although you say you've made it clear to her that you and she will never get back together again, you apparently carry on certain aspects of your former relationship and thus give her the impression that there's still a spark of hope for some eventual reconciliation.

In essence, whenever your first girlfriend comes to town, it sounds like you haven't exactly attempted to put any emotional or physical distance between you and her whenever she's in town. Thus, I would infer you and she carry on as before. And even though you say, "We knew something was off," I think you can only speak for yourself. After all, after two years, she's still traveling across the country and evidently believes you aren't dating anybody else or aren't committed to anybody else.

I also infer that since you've not told your current girlfriend that you've been maintaining the appearance of an ongoing but tenuous long-distance relationship with your first girlfriend for the past two years, you are feeling doubly guilty for your failure to end that first relationship. After all, if the two women were to learn the entire truth of the matter, both women would undoubtedly feel that you were two-timing them.

Whether by telephone call or by a tactful but frank "Dear Jane" letter, you really do need to consider taking responsibility by the reins and decisively ending that relationship with the first girlfriend. After all, you wouldn't exactly be making the best argument of "I'm over you" if inadvertently or purposefully you treated her as a visiting FWB (Friend With Benefits) whenever she's in town. Until there's some convincing sense of closure with the first girlfriend on all fronts, you yourself won't truly be able to move on (even though you claim to have already done so). Moreover, after the fact, the first girlfriend will undoubtedly feel led on and deceived after all this time, no matter what you say. A thoughtfully- and carefully-worded apology would be in order to bolster the emphasis of your phone call or letter's content.

As for your relationship with your current girlfriend, you probably need to consult a professional relationship expert/counselor to determine now or at some future time (before marriage) whether you should or shouldn't ever share with her even a summary of this extended episode of your life that was occurring all the while you were involved with her.


Good luck.

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Gary Simpson

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My current girlfriend and I have been dating for about 2 years now and I am thinking about asking her to marry me, but I want to fully get over these feelings of guilt over the one I left. If anyone has any advice I would love to hear it.


You are assuming the girlfriend cannot do any better. Get over yourself. Then go be a fiance to your ACTUAL girlfriend. You are feeling guilty cause you are dicking around with people.
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