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dealing with a complicated break up

Hi Guys,


some of you may know I am going through a tough break up. My ex had been sexually abused as a child, which is well documented in the thread titled 'sexual abuse' and I am having difficulty dealing with the breakup and her past.


While I feel her past is the main contributer to our break up, we did drift apart during the last 6 months together. I feel feel this is because she was not interested in being intimate, so I did not make any advances, and therefore it was hard to show any affection.


I was just talking to my friend about the break up, and I was saying things I hadn't really thought much about. She works at a gym, and part of her job at reception is to be nice to the members etc. and being an attractive young woman, and members being mainly young men, they talk to her, then try to add her on facebook. Which is fine, I never had a problem with that, I trusted her, but then the last 6 months I noticed her on facebook more. She became friends with a gym member in particular and they messaged each other a lot.


We originally went on a break, and I happened to drive near her house while on the break, and I saw her walking our dog with this guy.


And now, 4 months after I moved out of our house, he is still on top of her snap chat friends, so she must be constantly snap chatting him.


We had difficulties in the bedroom due to her past, and she has endometriosis. So I had assumed she would not pursue a sexual relationship with anyone after our break up. I thought she would either decide to seek help, or just decide she is happy without sexual intimacy and carry on without it.


Am I very naive to believe the above? Is it possible she was cheating on me and is now sleeping with this guy? When she wanted to go on a break she did say that she was curious to see if she could have better sex with someone else, as she found it difficult with me, the only person shes slep with (which I put down to her past and endometriosis, not me) but she would not sleep with just any one. Has she / is she building a relationship with this guy to then sleep with him to see how it is?


I am still contributing to the rent on where she is living as I am on the lease. All of the furniture in the house, excluding the bed and bedroom items are mine.


I would be disgusted and extremely offended if she is sleeping with this guy in 'our' house I still pay a lot for and with my items still there.


I thought all of this stuff when we first broke up, but then I gave her the benefit of the doubt that she wouldnt do that. But now, since talking to my friend, it has brought all this up again and I'm frustrated.


I had also decided in my mind that once she went on her holiday, which had been planned since shortly after the break up, if she had not contacted me to try to sort things out, then I would move on. Well she has been back from her holiday for approx. 10 days now, and she has snap chatted me a couple of times, and randomly text me saying she will bring our dog over to play with me while she does the shopping. Which she did, but did not mention anythin about her past, how she is coping, or us, and I did not bring it up as she has asked me many times not to.


By bringing the dog over, was she hinting that she might be ready to talk about things soon? I hadnt seen her or our dog for approx. 2 months prior to that.


I am just becoming extremely up and down as this drags out. One minute I feel like she is the love of my life, her past is an extremely difficult thing to deal with, and I understand and can wait for her patiently. But then I think that she was cheating on me, physically or emotionally, and took advantage of me financially while we were together, and is still takig advantage of me.


I feel like an arsehole saying thta, but sometimes thats how I feel.


She seems different when I see her or she texts me. Shes distant, not as fun or something.


How do I make a clear decision on whether to stick around a little longer and hope she comes back to me, or to try to move on?


I really dont want to move on, but she has torn my heart out and thrown it off a building, and she doesnt seem to care.


What if I try to move on, and find someone I like, start something new, and 6 months into it she tells me she's dealt with her past and she realises she wants me back. I dont want to be in that position. I'd have to break my new girls heart or my ex's heart. I dont see how I could stay friends and be there for her emotionally (if she needs it in the future, as I'm one of only two people who know about her past) if I have a new partner.


I'm also nervous about being intimate with any other girl. I am not sure why, I've never had this issue in the past. I think maybe dwelling on her abuse, has made me less interested in physical intimacy. I still have a desire to be intimate with girls, but its different now, I dont know. I have not been intimate with anyone for nearly a year now. The last 6 months of my relationship with m ex we did not touch, and 4 months after the break up I havent. Will I get my mojo back and have a healthy sex life with someone else should I decide to move on?


Also, I know the name of her abuser. What do I do with it? Can I go to the police or some authority who will discreetly pursue it? I do not want them going to her house asking her to make a statement or anything, as she is not ready to deal with her past (as far as I can tell). I cannot rest easy knowing he is out there, getting away with what he has done to my beautiful friend, and is possibly doing it to someone else now. I need to help somehow.


How do I find the answers to these questions?


Re: dealing with a complicated break up

Hey JD13,


It's great to see you taking some steps to help resolve the problem that you're having. It sounds like you've got a lot of thoughts racing through your mind and I know that getting them out onto paper, or a computer screen, is a great first step.


I think a lot of the questions you're asking are really hard for anyone to answer. Mostly because it's hard to tell you what to do as any or all options could be the right one. I think what it comes down it is making a choice yourself, which will be the hardest step. I find the hardest thing about making decisions around relationships is the fear of making a mistake or having regrets. I also find it hard to let go, often holding onto a crutch for support (like keeping their number in my phone so I know I can call them if I need), when really in the long run what works best for me is to make a decision and stick to it without holding onto those crutches. In the short term it is really hard, but in the long term I can thank myself for doing it. 


I really encorage you to tap into your support network if you have one. Your support network could be family, friends or health professionals like a psychologist or a GP. They're going to be the best people to use as a sounding board while you work through the questions that you have. They might even be able to give you advice about what it's like from her perspective, something that you may be finding hard to understand right now.


Let us know how you go tapping into your support network and making some decisions.




Re: dealing with a complicated break up

Hey DJ13


It's great that you are continuing to reach out and seek support through this break up. There are many things in your post that I am sure people will have advice on but I would like to tell you that from my experience moving on does not mean finding someone new. Feeling don't work that way (as I am sure you have already figured out) you can't take all your feeling for one person and then give them to someone else. "Moving on" can mean being ok on your own. 


You have spent a great deal of time caring for your ex girl friend which I think is so admorable and kind but it is also really important to look after yourslef. It's not that you have to find someone new or stop think about/talking to your ex girlfriend, but maybe spending some time really thinking about what makes you happy and what you enjoy will make you feel better. 


I hope that things move forward positively for you from here Smiley Happy


Re: dealing with a complicated break up

JD13, it's really important that you do not go to the authorities without her knowledge. It's important she is in control of her recovery and justice so it's important that you don't take control away from her by taking any action on the perpetrator;s name.

How would you feel about starting to put yourself first? It sounds like she knows that you'll always be there for her - and I'm sure she will continue to to know that but at the same time, you need to start putting yourself first and moving forward - if even in part...

What else have you got going on in your life? What do you like to do? You've mentioned there are a few other girls in your life - a coffee couldn't hurt?

Online Community Manager


Re: dealing with a complicated break up

Thanks Sophie, I have read that in books, that she needs to deal with the abuser the way she decides and I shouldn't interfere. But I cannot live with myself knowing this offender is still out there getting away with what he has done and possibly still abusing children. I don't know what to do.

I have tried putting myself first, and I am okay, I just come on here when I'm feeling down. But I cannot forget about this beautiful girl who came into my life and the horrific abuse she must have suffered. I don't know how to deal with it.

I spoke with my ex through texts earlier today. I have had a hard past few days and couldn't help myself.
I asked if this is still what she wants (the break-up) and she said yes. I asked if there's hope for us and she said she is not sure, she can't say yes and doesn't want to say no. She says she feels happy now, just concentrating on herself, not having to worry about us or me. She says she tried to make us work (the last 6 months she tried to get in the sexual mood, we would have nice baths together etc.) sexually, but says I didn't try (she asked me to be more romantic, which I did try at but obviously didn't work). I feel like she is blaming me when I strongly feel the underlying issue is her past. She told me today she is just focusing on her degree and saving money at the moment and is enjoying feeling happy. I asked if she saw me in her future. And she said she isn't worrying about that part (relationships I guess) of her life just yet. She will deal with it after her degree. Her degree has 18 months left so this really worries me.
She said she still loves me but she doesn't feel in love with me. And she needs to feel in love with me for us to work. But I don't know how she will ever feel in love with me again if we don't see each other or communicate like we did.
I told her I want her back and I will do whatever she needs. Take things slow, see a councillor, be more romantic etc. she said it feels like too little too late but also said she needs more time.
I don't know how to read her. I don't think she knows herself so she isn't being clear. But I can't wait around for 18 months for her to start to deal with things, I'd really like to, but I'm lonely and sad, I'd need to try to find another companion. That hurts to say because I can't picture myself with anyone but her, but I guess that's how it is.
She said we felt like friends and housemates, we weren't intimate lovers. Which is something I use to say when I was frustrated about our scenario. But we did do bedroom activities about once a fortnight so I was exaggerating but she seems to have that mentality stuck in her head.
I'm really really sad about our conversation today, I was hoping she had been dealing with her past and had been coming to terms with it and realising we can work things out, but it appears to be the opposite, she has buried her past and our issues and is focusing on everything but her past and us.
It has only been 4 months since we went on a break, so I guess in the scheme of things it's not long. It feels like forever though. I am hoping she will realise she needs to deal with her past soon and in turn contact me to say she is on the right track and wants me in hand to help, but I don't see that happening anytime soon after today's chat.

Yes, I am talking to some girls. I feel guilty for doing so because I really want my ex, but I am lonely and she has completely blocked me out.
There's a girl I use to talk to online, and we use to chat on the phone before I met my ex. I got I contact with her again and she wants to meet up. She seems really nice, and I like her, but I'm scared to meet up with her because if it is good I feel like I'm abandoning my ex who might need/want me in the future.
There's a girl I went to school with who I talk to over Facebook who wants to be friends with benefits. This sounds good but my sex drive is suffering a little given the knowledge of my ex's abuse and me not being involved with sexual activities for a long time. And she is the ex of a family friend of mine, I feel really bad if I did stuff with her.
Then there's a girl who lives around the corner who I only recently started chatting to. She had just come out if a relationship too. We have gone out for a drink and walked our dogs together. She is really nice and I like her, but I'm unsure if she likes me romantically or just as friends. She has said she had friends she could set me up with but not to do anything I'm not ready for, so I don't know how to read her. I feel like a teenager again and I don't like that. She's also asked me to move into her unit as I am living at mums and she is living alone. But I don't know. I sort of like her, is it inappropriate to move in with her? Should I tell her first or just take a risk? I actually feel like staying at mums, saving money and waiting for my ex, but I'm 27 now, I should be on my own, I feel like a failure living with my mum. I do really like this girl (but if my ex wanted me back I'd be there in a heart beat) and could picture myself with her. I was reasonably happy with how things were going til I noticed she was friends with a girl I use to know. A girl I slept with when I was very drunk about 6 years ago. Without sounding like an arsehole, the girl is overweight and unattractive. The girl I sort of like is gorgeous. Since seeing they are friends I've backed off talking to her a bit because I'm nervous she will find out I slept with her friend years ago and judge me badly for it. I'm scared she willl think I'm a typical male, or disgusting, and it will ruin the friendship we have. I feel like a teenager thinking this stuff, but my emotions are everywhere since my breakup.
Maybe I should give this girl a bit more credit and she won't be so judgemental if she does find out? But I'm so nervous she will find out that I've pulled back a bit.

I don't know what to do. I really just want my ex back. I feel uncomfortable being single. I want to help my ex through her issues and nice in with our life together.
I don't know how to decide to wait patiently and happily for her, or to move on slowly and happily. I'm just unhappy at the moment.
I want to volunteer somewhere. I've put my name down at numerous organisations/charities for children and survivors of sexual abuse but haven't heard back. My ex and I love our boxer dog and we use to speak about volunteering for the RSPCA or some animal shelter. Maybe I should do that? The girl I sort of like loves dogs too, maybe I could ask her if she'd like to volunteer with me? As I don't think my ex would be up for doing it with me.
I'm scared about liking this girl, and if it goes anywhere (it probably won't, we will probably just stay friends). If it does become romantic, I'm worried that if my ex says she wants me in 6 months, ill have to break someone's heart by choosing who do go with, that's a big reason why I haven't tried dating properly. Because I'd go back with my ex, and I don't want anyone to feel how I feel right now, abandoned, not good enough, lonely, depressed, sad etc.

As you can see I don't know what to do. I'm usually in control of every aspect of my life so this is really bothering me.

Re: dealing with a complicated break up

Hey JD13,


It definitely sounds as though you're really confused about what the next best thing to do is. That you're trying to work out what will happen in the future, what your ex girlfriend might do, what the other girl thinks of you. Factoring in all the possible outcomes of the future can make deciding on an action today almost impossible. It's how we end up feeling overwhelmed, because we're trying to cover too many angles all at once.

Have you tried simplifying things a little? What about writing down the facts of today. Not what might happen tomorrow, but just exactly how things are today. Take all the guess work out and just wirte down things as they are. Then you could seperate them into things you're happy with and things you're not. Then put a line through all the things that you have no control over. Like what your ex is going to do, or what people think of you, or what the future will hold. Hopefully, at the end, you'll be left with a list of actions that you can focus on, to make positive change in your life, for you. It can be a great relief to put aside the whirlwind of guessing and double guessing, for a while, and just focus on the immediate, tangible things that you can do to be a bit happier.


Does that make sense?


Re: dealing with a complicated break up

thanks a lot for the replies guys. what you say makes complete sense. I read what you say and agree with it and feel I'm dealing okay with things, but then I get home and especially at night time I feel alone and want the companionship of my ex and get upset again.

Last week, I was very upset so I messaged my ex, she said she is happier now, she just wants to concentrate on her uni degree and saving money so she can buy a house one day. She's not focusing on that side of her life at the moment (I assume she means her love life and her past) she will deal with it after her degree.

Her degree finishes at the end of 2014 so that's 18 months away. This broke my heart as I want to try to mend things with her and waiting at least 18 months seems terribly difficult.

The next day I emailed her, asking her questions about her past and how I think that is the issue and I am comfortable and understanding of the issue and we can work on it.
I think I really overwhelmed her because her response was pretty harsh, saying she doesn't have to deal with her past, she tried while we were together and she's not ready to go backward and try again with me. She said she loves me, but shes not in love with me anymore, and she needs to be for us to try again.

I wish I hadn't emailed her but I thought I was doing the right thing by saying I think her past is the issue am here to help if she wants to talk about it.
She said she feels like she used her past as an excuse for us not to work while we were together, and I'm using it as an excuse now.

I don't see what other issue it could have been for us not to do well at intimacy other than her past. And sometimes she seems to agree it was her past, but sometimes she seems to think it was our connection. But when she says it she seems so confident and assertive that its believable. But I really think she is confused and is putting on a front, but I cant be 100% sure.

I've told myself I wont initiate contact with her again until Christmas, where I'll send her a nice text and then I might not contact her until her birthday in April. But that's going to be really hard, I'm not sure if I'll be able to do it but I'm going to try. Does anyone have any ideas on how I can stick to this plan? And do you think that is a good idea? Any other ideas on how to help would be appreciated.

I feel like our relationship isn't over, this is just a break, but is that me being obsessive or something? Should I let it go and try to move on? I don't know what she wants. She says shes happy at the moment but doesn't know what the future holds so cant say if theres hope for us or not, shes just enjoying being happy for now. I'm glad shes happy, I honestly am. I just hope she sees that she could be happy with me, if we address her/our issues.

Thanks for reading

Re: dealing with a complicated break up

Hey JD13,


I can hear how hard this is, and has been, for you. You sound really unsure and confused about what to do next.

If you read back over your posts, it shows how difficult this break up has been for you and how much you've struggled during it. You've said that she's telling you she wants to be on her own. It might be time to let that happen.

Here is some info on mindfullness. It's a great way of staying in the moment and giving yourself a break from al the hectic 'head miles' that we do in times like this.

I hope you give it a go.



Re: dealing with a complicated break up

thanks for the advice. Yes I think I will have to let her go.
Since my email last week she has said she wants a clean break. She thinks the relationship was just a great friendship and that's it.
She told me recently she hasn't been coping well, as she thought I was trying to move on, but realises now I'm not.
She said she is nauseous and vomiting a lot and has been to the doctor and has been put on medication to calm her down.
I feel absolutely terrible I am probably the reason she is sick. She has asked me to back off, so she can have a clean break, so that is what I have to do. As much as I want to be there for her while shes sick, but I cant.
She found out I had a quick conversation with her nan (who called me) and was worried I would tell her family about her past. I assured her I wouldn't do that and that we can have the clean break she wants.

So that's where we are at. The most beautiful girl I have ever met, has cut me off, and I am the reason she is losing weight and is sick at the moment. I feel absolutely terrible.

I have to grant her wish of no contact.

I hate the thought of her not in my life, but I cannot be the cause of her unhappiness and ill health anymore.

Re: dealing with a complicated break up

Hi guys,

thought I'd give you another update.

My ex and I haven't spoken, I see she on Facebook she is out partying, getting new guy friends on facebook, and snap chatting with guys.

I get so offended by seeing all this. I have blocked her from my facebook news feed I cant handle it anymore.

I don't go out much socially, not where I can meet girls anyway.

I have joined an online dating website, not sure I should, I think its sceptical, but I am lonely so I am giving it a go.

All I want to do is go home (to my mums) and sleep on the couch. I'm not enjoying work at the moment, its a little quiet and one of the older guys in the office doesn't like the radio on so I sit in silence a lot of the day.
My brother has had severe depression, my mother and grandmother have suffered depression before.
Could I be suffering a bit of depression? I've never really been social, but it feels enhanced now. And seeing my beautiful ex befriend strange guys is really hurting me along with her past, our breakup, my new living arrangements, not seeing our dog or her family anymore.

Should I go see a doctor or am I just being a sook?