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Should I Try and Get Her Back

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Hobbyist posted 4/7/2019 16:30 PM

I'm trying to decide if a grand gesture (proposal) and commitment to work through my issues would be sweet and and accepted, or if that's batshit crazy stuff.

She broke up with me yesterday, because I was spiraling out on a topic we don't see eye to eye on. It was becoming a red flag to me, but only in a theoretical sense (I guess all red flags are like that), and I was just stuck on the topic. I see now, in a batshit crazy way, lol. I can elaborate if people are interested, though the discussion would get emotionally charged pretty quickly I think.

Now I'm trying to decide if I should work towards trying to get her back, or if I should just let her go.

We have six kids between the two of us, and she has hers nearly all the time, so that would be a busy house. But, we've been mentally preparing that and I think it would work. I love her, and I love her kids.

I just can't decide if I can fully trust anyone ever again (her, or anyone else), or will I always be on the lookout for red flags in every conversation.

ff4152 posted 4/7/2019 16:40 PM

If you really love this woman, lay your cards on the table and bare your soul to her. Without knowing the context of your conversation, is the red flag more you being overly sensitive or is it something in her behavior/mindset? If the former, talk to her without getting defensive.

Best of luck to you.

Hobbyist posted 4/7/2019 17:16 PM

The red flag had to do with pornography and cheating, and comparing the two. We've discussed pornography before, openly, and we both use it on occasion if we can't be together (like once every couple months, not daily), and we jointly decided that was OK. She's used it on occasion, and I have, too, and we know about that. Basically we both know it's not the best solution, and we agree it's probably wrong, but we offer loving forgiveness, which is the way it should be (I think).

Her statement that sleeping with someone else wasn't much different than pornography triggered the reverse connection in my brain. "If we say pornography is OK every once and a while, then she must think sleeping with other people is OK every once and a while". She's assured me in the past that she'd never cheat on me, and she knows it's a deal breaker for me. But in these recent conversations, she's talked about forgiveness and grace, and it's scarring me.

She has made some mistakes in the past, which I believe she's worked through, and her ex had issues with porn, but he did not cheat. Basically I was determined for her to agree that masterbating to images was far different than sleeping with someone else, even though they're both wrong. She was pretty adamant that they are very similar, and to me it sounded like she was minimizing the act of physically having sex with someone else. She did say that she thinks cheating is never OK, and that she'd never cheat on me. But the fact that she weighs it differently in the universe than I do made me really uncomfortable, and I got stuck on the topic. Again, her ex was mentally abusive, but he didn't cheat, so she has not experienced it first-hand (and I hope she never does!).

Hobbyist posted 4/7/2019 17:19 PM

I want to reiterate that the red flag was simply how far the line was away between porn and cheating. For me, it's lightyears away - I might use porn sporadically but I would never, ever, ever put myself in a situation where I would cheat. For her, the line is still there, but her statement that they're not that different is where I'm stuck.

ff4152 posted 4/8/2019 04:00 AM

What does your gut say? When you said she has made mistakes in the past, does that mean she cheated?

People have different views on a plethora of subjects; politics, religion, which baseball team is the best etc. One persons opinion doesn’t make theirs right and another’s wrong. The same thing can be said of porn IMO.

I happen to agree with you that they’re not the same thing. Viewing images on a computer screen is very different than having physical sex with someone.

That being said, an argument could be made that the energy, thoughts and feelings which go into viewing porn are a betrayal in themselves.

Is getting her to see things your way enough to end the relationship? Do you have a valid concern that she would cheat?

The1stWife posted 4/8/2019 07:13 AM

Her viewpoint on cheating would raise red flags for me.

You are wise not to ignore this.

EvenKeel posted 4/8/2019 07:18 AM

I'm trying to decide if a grand gesture (proposal)
No - do not proposal as a way to "solve" your disagreement. You have to understand if you can even work through this issue due to your varied opinions. Why would you even consider proposing to someone when you are a little fuzzy on their stance??

She broke up with me yesterday, because I was spiraling out on a topic we don't see eye to eye on.
So she broke up with you BECAUSE of the level you were freaking out?

I understand this is an emotionally charged topic. I would pay close attention to how you two problem-solved when you reached that point. IE you didn't. She broke up with you.

I am not saying you should or should not try to get back with her. How everyone deals with difficult issues is very important as an indicator though.

I have been clear with folks I dated on my past. I could tell the guys that were serious about me by how they handle it when I might have been a little too sensitive on such topics. I.E., they took clear stances that anything that made me feel unsafe or threatened would end immediately.

Pay close attention to not only how you guys problem solve but how much concern she has for what your triggers are.

Hobbyist posted 4/8/2019 08:33 AM

Yeah, you guys are probably right. She was sensitive to my triggers, but sometimes would do things that obviously should be triggering, without thinking, and then be surprised when it bothered me. I think she's an amazing person, and I love her, but our boundaries are different and I'm just trying to cope with that. I'm mostly trying to decide if this is a "me" problem or an "us" problem. The first one can be solved, there second one could also be solved, it just might be more difficult.

I want to go back to when I didn't listen intently for red flags in every conversation, when I could be relaxed and just live my life.

Hobbyist posted 4/8/2019 08:38 AM

To answer your question, EvenKeel, we'd been missing the mark on communicating well for a while, but when we first got together the communication was awesome. It's no like we stopped talking, it's just every talk ended in one of us getting upset. Me getting stuck on one topic wasn't the only reason we broke up, it was more of a last straw.

I don't know why I wanted it to work so bad (and still do).

Marz posted 4/8/2019 11:04 AM

Her viewpoint on cheating would raise red flags for me.
You are wise not to ignore this.

Wise info bud

Sounds like rebound to me.

Don't try and pound a square peg into a round hole.

EvenKeel posted 4/8/2019 11:27 AM

I don't know why I wanted it to work so bad (and still do).
Because break-ups stink! Even if we feel it is for the best, it still hurts.

Hobbyist posted 4/8/2019 12:45 PM

I'm just trying to decide if it was really for the best or not. I'm waffling between laying my heart on the line, and just letting her go. I grew an awful lot because of her insights and our talking through things. I shouldn't hold my partner to a higher standard than I hold myself, I'm just still figuring those standards out.

[This message edited by Hobbyist at 9:02 AM, April 10th (Wednesday)]

Hobbyist posted 4/8/2019 19:19 PM

Feeling a bit angry about it today, so still waffling.

[This message edited by Hobbyist at 8:58 AM, April 10th (Wednesday)]

phmh posted 4/8/2019 19:52 PM

I know I sound like a broken record on this recommendation, but I'd recommend reading the book "The Science of Happily Ever After" to help you find out what's important in a partner and to help determine if you are compatible. If you are ending conversations -- much less nearly every conversation -- with one of you being upset, you are not compatible.

Of course every relationship takes work, but when you are fundamentally incompatible, they take a lot more work and are much more likely to end poorly and/or comprise unhappy people.

It concerns me a bit that you were thinking of proposing in order to try to get her back. Hopefully that was just a knee-jerk, stunned reaction that you wouldn't have acted on, but I think that that was even a consideration given your recent behavior towards each other (and a year is still honeymoon phase!) is something to think about.

Take some time, lick your wounds, and find a lady with whom you are compatible. Once you do, it makes things so much easier and more wonderful.

Cooley2here posted 4/8/2019 19:57 PM

Hobbyist, you positively cannot have a good, strong marriage without a bedrock of shared moral values. If you need to use a therapist do it.

I assume any male who has had access to porn has viewed it. How often is where arguments come from.

Cheating is in another place entirely.

If you two are arguing over semantics you need to understand why. If you are arguing based on real differences in values then...........

Hobbyist posted 4/8/2019 20:52 PM

I'll check out that book, thanks. We were definitely arguing about semantics - she didn't like the fact that I was stuck on the conversation, and didn't want to put the effort into helping me "tie a bow" on the topic so I could personally move on. We're both stubborn like that but such an important topic to me should come a little more sensitivity, I would hope.

Anyway, what's done is done and now is time to reflect and learn.

UglyBetty posted 4/8/2019 20:54 PM


I'm very sorry it ended that way. I also understand your turmoil: on one hand, breakups suck monkey balls and you love her but on the other, how can you reconcile with someone who does not share your opinion on such a basic thing?

Maybe I'm missing something but did your gf actually say that sleeping with someone is the same as using porn? Or are we talking about different levels on a scale? I realise that each person's tolerance for these things is different but the following statements, when taken together, DO NOT COMPUTE: 1) Porn is wrong but we use it occasionally when there's no other way. 2) Sleeping with someone else is the same as porn. 3) Cheating is never right and I would never cheat on you.

Is she saying that she would sleep with someone else if she was desperate (because she uses porn if she's desperate and to her they are the same thing) but that's not really cheating? Because that is the ONLY way in which all the three statements above are true.

The thing is, I don't really think she's saying that so what exactly is she saying? Does she even know? Does she not understand the difference between being a voyeur (as with porn) and being an active participant?

I'm sorry your heart is broken but I don't see how you can move forward when you disagree on such a fundamental topic.

[This message edited by UglyBetty at 8:55 PM, April 8th (Monday)]

Hobbyist posted 4/8/2019 22:10 PM

Betty, you see why I got stuck, it does not compute. She didn't say they were the same, just that they're not that far off from one another.

[This message edited by Hobbyist at 8:58 AM, April 10th (Wednesday)]

Catwoman posted 4/9/2019 07:31 AM

I'm trying to decide if a grand gesture (proposal) and commitment to work through my issues would be sweet and and accepted, or if that's batshit crazy stuff.

My now-ex was king of the grand gesture. Problem is, it's not a fix all, and based on what you have described here, it is indeed batshit crazy stuff. Don't do it.

. . . we'd been missing the mark on communicating well for a while, but when we first got together the communication was awesome. It's no like we stopped talking, it's just every talk ended in one of us getting upset.

Let's get something straight--communication isn't just talking. It's listening, understanding, internalizing and moving forward together. You can talk until the cows come home, but if you aren't listening, if your partner isn't listening and internalizing, if you both aren't trying to come to an understanding about things, it's just noise.

Now, take as a case in point your issue with pornography and it being equal/unequal to infidelity.

Did you ask her why she felt that way (in a genuinely curious and non-threatening way). Did you try and understand how she made that connection without trying to convince her that she is wrong? Were you able to discuss each other's viewpoints without escalating into a right/wrong scenario (I already know the answer to this one).

Let's take a couple of possibilities on this topic. Now, I'm making broad generalizations, but I hope you can get where I'm coming from.

Let's say she made that statement because deep down, she really loathes pornography and lumps it in with infidelity. However, in order to keep the peace with you, she says she doesn't mind it But truly, she hates it. If she doesn't communicate this to you and if you don't receive that message clearly without reacting negatively to it, you're not communicating. So there's one possible side to this.

The other is that, like most people who have never personally experienced infidelity, she doesn't have a clue about the depth of the betrayal or the lingering effects of its aftermath. Is she able to communicate this to you without you reacting like she's a moron for thinking that? Are you empathetic to her in this scenario? Or are you merely focused on your viewpoint and unable to entertain another point of view, or perhaps to share your experience so that she has a deeper understanding.

I get the feeling you talk, but when you run up against major friction-causing issues, it all falls apart.

You didn't say how long you had been together, so I'm guessing it may be around the year timeframe. I think that's MUCH too soon to think about marriage (and if you're viewing a proposal as a grand gesture designed to manipulate her into continuing a relationship with you, I think that's one of the worst ideas I've seen in a long time).

I think you certainly CAN trust someone again, but I think a lot of healing needs to take place in order to get to a place of being able to discern who is trustworthy and who is not. I don't think it's the issue of always looking for the red flags as much as it should be the issue of looking for someone who meets your important criteria (whatever that may be). No one is going to be a perfect fit. There will be friction points. The issue then becomes how to best handle those, and what sort of mature, adult, non-reactive discussions you can have to come to a resolution on them.


annanew posted 4/11/2019 02:05 AM

Agree with Cat that she likely secretly hates the idea of you using porn, even if she does it herself. People are hypocrites that way.

I think it may be good to leave the break up in place, but I’d also do some thinking to yourself about how important porn is to you. The appropriate response to her statement would have been something like: to me, infidelity is absolutely out of bounds in a relationship, so if you feel that porn and infidelity are the same, we should agree to disallow both in our relationship.

Your main mistake was defending porn, imo. She’s allowed to feel it’s a betrayal, you shouldn’t tell her that her feelings are wrong.

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