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Newest Member: Stich

New Beginnings :
How do you break up with someone?

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 coach2015 (original poster new member #47928) posted at 5:23 AM on Friday, July 1st, 2022

I haven't been on here for a few years. This site was great for me when I first found out, when I was recovering from d-day, and when I tried R in an attempt to hold things together for my daughters. Now, two years after separating and one year after finalizing my divorce, I have spent the last two weeks agonizing over an unexpected dilemma that I find myself completely unequipped to deal with. And, in a moment of inspiration, I thought I might turn to the site that has helped me navigate so many emotional and relationship struggles.

I started seeing a wonderful lady just over 4 months ago. She is truly amazing, incredibly successful in her career (my father who was her former boss refers to her as a force of nature), kind, intelligent, and beautiful, and she is head over heels for me. I just don't feel the same for her. I see how amazing she is, and I feel no spark or chemistry. I have started to dread being around her, talking to her on the phone, or even receiving a text from her.

I feel constantly attacked. If she texts in the middle of the day while I am at work and I don't respond within minutes, I will get a wall of multi-paragraph texts explaining how cruel and selfish I am being. If I do not call her often enough or early enough or at the right time (yesterday she was upset that I did not call to wish her good luck before she went into an important meeting) she gets angry and tells me how she thinks I am supposed to behave. She has this specific inflexible view of how a relationship should look and she is attempting to force her ideal onto me. If ever I disagree with her she tells me I just don't know what a successful relationship looks like. And my personal biggest annoyance, when we disagree she makes it personal, instead of discussing the issue she makes personal attacks. In short, I have had enough. There is absolutely no part of me that wants to stay in this relationship.

Some difficulties with breaking up:
The timeline - I work from two locations so we are long-distance much of the time. The next time I will see her is this weekend when she is traveling to my place. After that, the next time we see each other is on a week-long trip. I am feeling that breaking up after four months requires an in-person conversation, and it seems wrong to break up after she has driven 4 hours to see me and even worse to do it on a trip. It also seems wrong to waste her time and continue dating when I have no intention of staying in the relationship. One of the first things she told me when we started seeing each other was that she was tired of being alone and didn't want to have her time wasted on a relationship that goes nowhere. It feels like no matter when I choose I will feel like a jerk for choosing that time.

What do I say to make it clear that there is zero chance of us staying together, while also being gentle and respectful? I feel that how I go about this is very important. First I want to completely let her go so she can move on, basically providing zero hope of us getting back together or continuing on. Second, I don't want a huge scene and she has a tendency to blow up and get highly volatile over what I consider rather small disagreements (two weeks into our relationship, she went into an absolute meltdown because I purchased a gray chair when she wanted me to get the green one).

She is connected with my family. My father is her former boss, my step-mother is one of her closest friends, and my youngest daughter has met her and thinks she is amazing (my oldest daughter is not a fan). Is there anything that should be addressed with respect to this?

Feels good just to get some of this typed out.

DDay May 2015
BH (me): 38 on DDay
EXWW (her): 37 on DDay - at least 3 PA
False R, separated May 2020
Divorced January 2021

posts: 18   ·   registered: May. 18th, 2015   ·   location: Washington State
id 8742842
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OwningItNow ( member #52288) posted at 11:21 AM on Friday, July 1st, 2022

A few things:

1. You describe a person/relationship that has not been working for a while. Next time, end it sooner out of respect for your time and hers.

2. Good people break up with people. It's a kindness, not an assault. It's an honest end to something that is not working, and honesty is always respectful to those involved. Stop feeling so badly about this.

3. Your extreme guilt shows you are struggling with taking on too much responsility for other people's feelings (boundary issues). Her reaction is on her, not you. Breaking up with someone is not a crime and is nothing to be ashamed of. Her telling you she didn't want to waste her time? So sad, too bad. That's her being CONTROLLING over something that is not her call (i.e. that the relationship will definitely work). There are no guarantees of anything when dating! It's dating! Ignore her controlling guilt trips and simply end it.

4. You must do it now--this weekend. If you cannot do it in person, then call her. That is that. It must be done.

5. Be firm, be clear, be concise, and be kind. And then end the conversation. Do you know how to do that? Practice ahead of time. Write down what you will say. Answer a few of her questions honestly but with few details ("We just don't see eye to eye" or "We're not a good fit" or "It's not the right time for me"). And then say, "I have to get going, so and so."

6. Let me tell you now: she is controlling (as you have described) and forceful. That she means she will try to control and force this R to continue. Be firm. No is a complete sentence. Your misplaced guilt cannot be allowed to derail your decision. Do NOT let her drag things out. Answer a few questions, and that's it. Apologize. Tell her she's great and will be a better fit for someone else, and leave. DO NOT LET HER TALK YOU INTO GIVING IT MORE TIME.

7. She will raise her voice. You stay calm, level, kind, and FIRM. That's your job, to believe in yourself and stand up for yourself. Do not betray yourself and let her push you around.

8. If she insults you, let her. Apologize and say you understand. Then say you have to go and you wish her the best. Walk away. This breaking up convo should get 15 minutes or so, and then end the convo. Don't let her manipulate the situation.

9. Rip the bandaid. Without guilt or shame. Good people sometimes break up with people. You are doing nothing wrong. Her feelings about it are hers to deal with. Boundaries. Stop feeling like YOU are a problem. Ending a relationship is not a You problem. It's a natural course of life. Have you done any IC on this? You do not seem clear on what you "cause" in the world and what another person chooses for themselves. You don't cause her feelings or reactions. She chooses them.

10. She honestly sounds awful. Why did you feel you needed to tell us she was so great? She's not. Be more honest. You gave her way too much credit for her good qualities and minimized her bad qualities. Why do that in your own head or with us? That will bite you in the behind every time and lead to unhappiness. Be honest with yourself and others. She sounds awful, you want to break up, and that's that. End of story. There is NO shame in that. It's not like you are wishing her a life of misery! You just want out. There is NO shame in that. Got it? Good. Now go do it.

Good luck. Come back and tell us how it goes.

[This message edited by OwningItNow at 11:30 AM, Friday, July 1st]

me: BS/WSh: WS/BS

Reject the rejector. Do not reject yourself.

posts: 5604   ·   registered: Mar. 16th, 2016   ·   location: Midwest
id 8742885
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WhoTheBleep ( member #49504) posted at 12:46 PM on Friday, July 1st, 2022

Everything OIN said, although I think 15 minutes is too long for a conversation like this. That's a lot of opportunity for her to try to manipulate you. You can do everything all OIN said in 5 minutes or less. The "I need to get going, so and so" is a great way to end. Say you have an appointment. If you are trying to hang up, and she doesn't let you, you can still hang up. It isn't rude. You told her you were going, and said goodbye, this isn't hanging up on her.

And yes, that means I'm suggesting doing this over the phone. After a 4-hour trip to see you... No. Then she's got to drive 4 hours back and will likely be highly emotional. And most certainly don't go on a week long trip with her. That feels like lying. Do it over the phone, and do it soon. Like today.

And ditto, come back and let us know how it goes.

I believe we have two lives: the one we learn with, and the one we live with after that. --The Natural

posts: 4405   ·   registered: Sep. 6th, 2015   ·   location: USA
id 8742890
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The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 3:37 PM on Friday, July 1st, 2022

End it respectfully over the phone. Nothing wrong with that

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 12307   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8742993
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WhatsRight ( member #35417) posted at 4:51 PM on Friday, July 1st, 2022

Although I feel you must somehow explain (not necessarily justify) your decision to her, but I agree that giving a lot of reasons for your decision is a mistake, because it gives her an "opening" to counter your reasons.

My youngest son is savant in trying to manipulate getting his way. As a mom, I was always keen on explaining my reasons for the decisions that I made concerning my sons. (I heard "because I said so" too much as a child I guess!) But my youngest could always take anything that I said, and make me almost doubt myself as to the fairness of it or whether or not it made sense.

It took me way too long to learn that if I just said "no" then there was nothing for rebuttal.

I do believe that you have the answer of what to say to her in your explanation to us in your original post. Whether or not someone was unreasonable in an argument, whether or not you should have called before an important meeting to wish her good luck, all of those types of things could be debated.

The one thing that you said that she cannot explain away or debate was that you felt no chemistry. Although this is hard to hear, it is irrefutable. She could argue with you that she will stop smothering you, or she will stop being so demanding of you, etc.… But she has no control over what feelings you have for her.

And you can, honestly, tell her that out of your affection and respect for her, you will not continue a relationship that has no future, especially considering what she told you about wasting time in relationships early on.

I totally respect the fact that you want to go about this in the right way. It shows your character and kindness. And yes, after a long drive to visit you, or just after spending a week together, it seems poor timing.

I think it would be best for all concerned if you called her and calmly explain the situation with your regrets and apologies.It doesn’t seem right to have her drive up to visit you or spend a week with you when in the back of your mind you’re just trying to figure out how to end the relationship. Although a phone call is not in person, it’s respectful of the timing and of her right to know what’s going on in her life.

Good luck to you. I hope it goes as well as can be expected.

[This message edited by WhatsRight at 4:54 PM, Friday, July 1st]

"Noone can make you feel inferior without your concent." Eleanor Roosevelt

I will not be vanquished. Rose Kennedy

posts: 7542   ·   registered: Apr. 23rd, 2012   ·   location: Southeast USA
id 8743027
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HalfTime2017 ( member #64366) posted at 9:59 PM on Friday, July 1st, 2022

Yikes! A truly successful, beautiful and kind person and still single? That is a red flag of sort no? May be it has to do with her controlling nature? duh duh

Everything OIN said. You sound like a very respectful man. I'm sure you'll handle it with grace. Sometimes, relationships just don't work out, and that's okay. Just remember that.

posts: 1345   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2018   ·   location: Cali
id 8743076
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EllieKMAS ( member #68900) posted at 10:55 PM on Friday, July 1st, 2022

In the words of Steve Martin you say "I break with thee, I break with thee, I break with thee" and then you throw dog poop on her shoes.

Kiiiiddding. Sort of laugh

Look, breakups suck. They just do. They hurt, and they're hard, and there's no easy way to do them. So I am a fan of the stark truth, delivered as nicely as you can. Be honest and be brief. "I wish you the best of luck, but I am no longer interested in dating you." However she feels or takes it is on her to sort out, not you.

And just saying, 'wonderful ladies' don't act like she's acting. Wonderful ladies don't engage in personal attacks or flop their own personal issues and insecurities all over their SO's. Wonderful ladies don't make their SO's afraid to disagree or express opinions. So yeah, she really doesn't sound very wonderful to me. She also doesn't sound particularly kind IMHO.

"No, it's you mothafucka, here's a list of reasons why." – Iliza Schlesinger

"The love that you lost isn't worth what it cost and in time you'll be glad that it's gone." – Linkin Park

posts: 3516   ·   registered: Nov. 22nd, 2018   ·   location: CO
id 8743085
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 coach2015 (original poster new member #47928) posted at 12:27 AM on Saturday, July 2nd, 2022

Thank you all so much for the feedback and great advice. I am going to do this over the phone this evening.

The feedback has helped me get past my doubts and reservations, and I have definitely taken the advice on how to approach the conversation to heart.

Edit to add: the doubts and reservations are in regards to how and when, and not about my resolve to end the relationship.

[This message edited by coach2015 at 12:28 AM, Saturday, July 2nd]

DDay May 2015
BH (me): 38 on DDay
EXWW (her): 37 on DDay - at least 3 PA
False R, separated May 2020
Divorced January 2021

posts: 18   ·   registered: May. 18th, 2015   ·   location: Washington State
id 8743099
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 coach2015 (original poster new member #47928) posted at 8:23 AM on Saturday, July 2nd, 2022

Did this over FaceTime tonight. I called her after she got home from dinner with friends. We chatted about her day and how her dinner went for a few minutes. Once she had finished talking and there was a pause, I said, "It is time for us to break up." I wanted to be sure my statement was definitive, with no use of "I think" or "maybe". Her response was "okay." I asked if she needed anything from me. She said she wasn't going to try to talk me into anything but she was disappointed in me for not having a conversation about it with her before making my mind up. As we were getting off the phone, she said again that she was disappointed, and that she loved me (this was the first time the L word had been used between us).

I thought I would feel a weight lifted as soon as it was done. Instead, I feel like a jerk for hurting someone. I am also starting to doubt myself. In the past, she has been so volatile and emotional. Seeing her so calm tonight made me start wondering if the volatile-pushy-aggressiveness I've been experiencing in the relationship was the result of some past relationship trauma that I should have been more sensitive to. Perhaps if I had put more effort into figuring out the why of her behavior instead of defending myself, things could have gone differently. Anyway, I am disappointed that I don't feel a weight lifted and am instead left with doubt and feeling like the bad guy.

Thanks again for the advice and support.

DDay May 2015
BH (me): 38 on DDay
EXWW (her): 37 on DDay - at least 3 PA
False R, separated May 2020
Divorced January 2021

posts: 18   ·   registered: May. 18th, 2015   ·   location: Washington State
id 8743137
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OwningItNow ( member #52288) posted at 9:44 AM on Saturday, July 2nd, 2022

feeling like the bad guy.

My friend, I am a strong advocate of IC for exactly these types of issues--you vs. you. You have a lot of unwarranted feelings of guilt and responsibility that keep you from feeling good (happy, relieved, confident, or whatever) when you should. This is exactly one of those times. Your inappropriate feelings of guilt or responsibility are your problem, not the breaking up!

I could get into the whole psychoanalysis of where these feelings come from as I've battled this beast myself (a difficult parent or childhood where you were always made to feel responsible), but let's not focus on that. Let's focus on the fact that you were unhappy. Period. She treated you in ways that did not make you feel good, correct? That information alone is enough to walk away and find someone different. That's what dating is about.

Dating is NOT about:

Trying harder to make an ill-fitting relationship work.

Hoping someone will change eventually.

Helping someone to change.

Overlooking all the bad and focusing on the good.

Feeling like a failure when a relationship isn't working.

Perhaps if I had put more effort into figuring out the why of her behavior instead of defending myself, things could have gone differently.

No, no, no.

You are too hard on yourself. Everything that doesn't work is not a problem with you! You are a good, logical person who is listening to his gut. Be proud of yourself for doing what is right (facing a difficult situation) instead of what is easy (avoiding conflict).

So how do you win in the battle of you vs. you? You talk yourself out of and away from unhealthy or unhelpful feelings like "I wasn't fair to her." (yes, you were. And you were fair to yourself.) Or "I should have tried harder to see her side." (No, relationships shouldn't be THAT much work. She didn't seem to try hard to see your side.) Do NOT allow these toxic thoughts to lie to you and mess with your head. Use self-validation and self-confirmation.

It is not your job to be a perfect saint and go around understanding and helping everyone's poor behavior. It is your job to know when it has been enough trying and when it is time to leave unhappy relationships. You did your job. Now tell that inner critic voice to be quiet, that you are a strong person, you can make a hard decision when necessary, and that it's ok to feel badly because it sucks to see other people hurt. All of that is true simultaneously.

You did good. Maybe she sensed it was coming? I'll bet you've been withdrawing for a while because you couldn't hide how badly you've been feeling. You'll feel better soon. So will she. And now your life will be open to a new, better relationship. Same for her. It's as it should be.

[This message edited by OwningItNow at 9:51 AM, Saturday, July 2nd]

me: BS/WSh: WS/BS

Reject the rejector. Do not reject yourself.

posts: 5604   ·   registered: Mar. 16th, 2016   ·   location: Midwest
id 8743138
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TurnedTurtle ( member #65603) posted at 10:42 AM on Saturday, July 2nd, 2022

The fact that she just said "okay" when you said it was time to break up, rather than having a highly emotional reaction like you feared suggests that she too may not have been feeling any chemistry.

Perhaps her previous highly emotional reactions and haranguing of you were, deep-down, ultimately attempts to drive you away? I just finished reading a book recommended to me by my IC, "Attached" which describes in useful-to-us terms the application of research on the psychological theory of attachment in regards to adult romantic relationships. From your description, it sounds plausible that this woman might have an avoidant attachment style.

In my limited experience so far, I'm finding that "dating" has just as much if not more to do with learning about myself as getting to know my date!

Anyway, it sounds like a good break up. You can grieve the loss, but do move on.

"Secrets have a cost, they're not free, not now, not ever!"

posts: 178   ·   registered: Jul. 27th, 2018
id 8743140
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morningglory ( member #80236) posted at 4:02 PM on Saturday, July 2nd, 2022

End it respectfully over the phone. Nothing wrong with that

It is very wrong to break up with an innocent partner over electronic communication. Disrespectful and cowardly. For a cheater or someone else who was abusive towards you, that's fine. But for a decent partner, they deserve the respect of an in-person break-up talk.

Simply tell them that you need to talk. That will give the hint that something is up. Then when you sit down with them, say that the relationship isn't working for you, and it has to end. No negotiations. No blaming. Be gentle but be firm about cutting the cord and going no contact. Trying to stay friends with someone you dumped (or who dumped you) is usually a bad idea.

[This message edited by morningglory at 4:03 PM, Saturday, July 2nd]

posts: 454   ·   registered: Apr. 15th, 2022
id 8743157
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WhoTheBleep ( member #49504) posted at 8:10 PM on Saturday, July 2nd, 2022

Morningglory, have you read the original post, and also subsequent comments? There were significant logistical barriers to breaking up in person. Doing it in person would have been the cruel thing in this case. OP and this lady have only been dating for 4 months, hardly a long-term relationship. Then there's this:

If she texts in the middle of the day while I am at work and I don't respond within minutes, I will get a wall of multi-paragraph texts explaining how cruel and selfish I am being.

This is just one of many examples of how this lady was not a "decent partner." I would say her behavior was controlling, and even abusive. It was only going to get worse. Coach2015 did the right thing. (Apologies for the T/J)

[This message edited by WhoTheBleep at 8:11 PM, Saturday, July 2nd]

I believe we have two lives: the one we learn with, and the one we live with after that. --The Natural

posts: 4405   ·   registered: Sep. 6th, 2015   ·   location: USA
id 8743175
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TurnedTurtle ( member #65603) posted at 10:29 PM on Saturday, July 2nd, 2022

I'm with WTB on the communication mode used to breakup with someone, particularly in this kind of situation where there are significant logistical issues with getting together in person.

I think one important distinction we could draw would be between synchronous and asynchronous modes of communication. Clearly, meeting in person is the ultimate in the array of synchronous communication modes, but as many of us have been learning over the last two years, video conferencing (e.g. facetime, zoom, etc...) is another reasonably effective synchronous communication mode (i.e. this is how I meet with my therapist! as I suspect is the case for many of us!). A telephone call is another synchronous mode, but is clearly lacking regarding the visual elements of body language, etc...

I suspect most of us would agree that asynchronous modes of communication -- texting, e-mail, or (gasp!) old fashioned letters and post cards -- are probably not the most effective way of communicating about significant relationship issues (although prior to about 100 years ago, letters were a mainstay of such communication!).

end threadjack

"Secrets have a cost, they're not free, not now, not ever!"

posts: 178   ·   registered: Jul. 27th, 2018
id 8743182
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 coach2015 (original poster new member #47928) posted at 11:38 PM on Saturday, July 2nd, 2022

WTB, OIN, T1stW, WR, EKMAS: Thank you so much for the advice on how to proceed and the support. When I was about to chicken out and just continue going with the flow, I reared your messages. Your words gave me the support I needed to move forward. She is upset with me that I did not wait until after the trip we had planned. She believes I sabotaged her summer and left her with no vacation this year. I am still glad that I did it now rather than later. I think things were only going to get more difficult the longer I waited.

HT2017: I do not think that a successful, beautiful, kind woman being single is a red flag. We do not look at a man who is successful, attractive, and kind and immediately assume that his being single is a red flag (I hope). All of us who are single, men and women, are single for a variety of reasons. Many of those reasons have nothing to do with how good of a partner we are, or could be. My little sister chose to focus on her education and then her career and then she decided to go to law school which led her to focus on a new career. Finding a man was not the goal.

The woman I just broke up with has multiple graduate degrees, has studied internationally, and is currently the vice president of a major organization. For most of her life, she was focused on building her career rather than starting a relationship. Before dating me she was married to an emotionally abusive man. After getting married, she found out that she cannot have children due to a childhood illness. This led her ex-husband and his family to treat her poorly. When they separated she chose to spend several years single working on healing herself. I was her first relationship since her divorce. I still do not see red flags with her. I see someone who needs to work through trauma and who needs a partner who fits the relationship that she wants. The fact that I am by nature a reserved and somewhat guarded person and she wears her emotions on her sleeve resulted in her feeling insecure in the relationship. I think she needs to be with someone who is more effusive and whose love language is words of affirmation. I will never be that person.

OIN: You have helped me feel okay with myself for doing this. I do tend to take on too much responsibility for the happiness and emotional well-being of people who are close to me. When I was in IC it was the focus of much of my IC. I grew up with a bipolar mother. I became sensitive to her moods and the subtle fluctuations that indicated a change was coming. I was the oldest with a gap of 7 years to my younger brother and 13 to my sister. With my father mostly away for business, I shouldered much of the responsibility for protecting my younger siblings. I would try to do things to keep my mother happy and alter my behavior in an attempt to keep my mother regulated.

I believe it was these childhood experiences that resulted in me realizing how much of an impact I can have on the emotions of those around me, and in turn, resulted in feeling responsible for the happiness and emotional well-being of those who are close to me. It is something that I have not been able to get past. I often set aside what is best for me in an effort to please the people in my life. On a number of occasions, this has been done at an extraordinary cost to myself and my happiness.

TurnedTurtle: I think the "okay" response was the result of feeling blindsided and overwhelmed in the moment. She has been thinking that we were going the distance and has been making plans as if that were a forgone conclusion. The long emotional texts and professions of love started coming late last night and have continued through the day.

DDay May 2015
BH (me): 38 on DDay
EXWW (her): 37 on DDay - at least 3 PA
False R, separated May 2020
Divorced January 2021

posts: 18   ·   registered: May. 18th, 2015   ·   location: Washington State
id 8743185
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OwningItNow ( member #52288) posted at 12:05 AM on Sunday, July 3rd, 2022

The long emotional texts and professions of love started coming late last night and have continued through the day.

Oh, boy. So there ya go. I knew (only based on what you had written about how she frequently calls you out and expresses displeasure) that she would not just walk away silently. Maybe that's anybody's response, idk. But someone who easily expresses unhappiness with you--yea, she's going to make her feelings known.

I had a very similar childhood as yours and catered to my selfish, moody mother. I recognize my own distorted thinking (as my IC calls it) in the things you say, and it's been a struggle to reframe things and stop trying to twist myself into a pretzel to keep others happy. I understand your instincts.

One additional thought for you to consider? People with our childhood damage and coping--catering, pretzeling, and trying to fix things to get love rather than exiting and looking for someone else--have a tendency to naturally attract the self-focused and selfish types, the takers. I have read that they sense our overly generous and forgiving tendencies in the things we say and do even early on, and these partners SO want someone to cater to their needs and demands. Just be careful of that. Realize that cutting loose demanding types is probably a good thing when it comes to us--and err on that side rather than questioning yourself. Our pickers are damaged. We give people too many chances. We overlook too easily. And as you said:

On a number of occasions, this has been done at an extraordinary cost to myself and my happiness.

Me too. But not this time, Coach! Not this time. You exited appropriately, and while I feel very badly for this woman as she navigates life, that does not in any way make YOU responsible for her. You are not. We all have to take the highs and lows and adjust accordingly. You handled this as well as any break up can be handled. And they all suck. But when your gut talks to you, err on the side of exiting and don't doubt yourself. Your gut always knows the truth of the situation.

P.S. If you would have broken up with her after vaca, she would have said you were a faker and a user. And she would have said she felt foolish spending vaca with a man who was only phoning it in. You were never going to win in this, although eventually she'll realize this was for the best. There is no good time to hurt someone. But every day lived honestly and authentically is the closest we can come.

me: BS/WSh: WS/BS

Reject the rejector. Do not reject yourself.

posts: 5604   ·   registered: Mar. 16th, 2016   ·   location: Midwest
id 8743187
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 coach2015 (original poster new member #47928) posted at 12:25 AM on Sunday, July 3rd, 2022

A new question comes to mind in the aftermath of this particular break-up. The woman I was dating and my youngest daughter have a close relationship. They met each other several years ago through my stepmother. Since I started dating her, she and my daughter have grown closer. She is somewhat of a mentor to my younger daughter and has been helping her work through her graduate school choices. My daughter has asked me why I ended the relationship. I want to be sure I am maintaining appropriate boundaries. I also recognize that this has upended some of my younger daughter's plans and she wants some answers. How much, if any, of the why is appropriate to share?

I feel a precarious balance here. My daughters and I are close. My younger daughter refers to me as her best friend, and I am the first phone call my older daughter makes when she needs advice, is feeling overwhelmed, or is facing a crisis. In contrast, my daughters have almost completely cut themselves off from my EXWW due to her inappropriate boundaries. She placed too high of a burden on them, basically treating them as though they were her therapist rather than her children. She had many inappropriate conversations with them, including discussing her sex life and other relationship issues. They have also distanced themselves from my mother, who they were previously very close with, for inappropriate boundary issues (I am not entirely clear on what happened here). They have cut ties with my EXWW's parents (this is a good thing for their mental health and not at all unexpected). My girls have been through a lot these last few years, and it seems to me that they are in self-preservation mode. They have maintained close ties with the more stable adults in their lives, me, my father, and my stepmother. I want to be certain that I am continuing to be a point of stability and consistency in their lives. I am concerned that them meeting someone I was dating and then me ending that relationship will be seen as lacking in stability.

Does anyone have any good advice for maintaining a balance between being a good parent and being a friend to your adult children?

DDay May 2015
BH (me): 38 on DDay
EXWW (her): 37 on DDay - at least 3 PA
False R, separated May 2020
Divorced January 2021

posts: 18   ·   registered: May. 18th, 2015   ·   location: Washington State
id 8743188
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WhoTheBleep ( member #49504) posted at 12:36 AM on Sunday, July 3rd, 2022

The long emotional texts and professions of love started coming late last night and have continued through the day.

Like OIN, I knew she wasn't through with you. Her behavior towards you during the relationship reminds me of my STBX. You would have eventually been walking on eggshells all of the time, as nothing you did would have ever been right. (I had less than 10 minutes to return a text, before being called selfish, along with other colorful names, and being accused of cheating. Been there, friend! Believe me when I tell you it does not get better.)

Stand your ground, Coach. She's hoovering/love bombing (I think we can call it both, as the relationship was still very new). If you get back together, she will revert back to who she is, and you already know that doesn't work for you.

Coach, I also agree that a woman being single (like meeee, and many many others on this site) is not a red flag. (Come on Halftime, you know better than that wink grin )

[This message edited by WhoTheBleep at 12:39 AM, Sunday, July 3rd]

I believe we have two lives: the one we learn with, and the one we live with after that. --The Natural

posts: 4405   ·   registered: Sep. 6th, 2015   ·   location: USA
id 8743189
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grubs ( member #77165) posted at 1:49 AM on Sunday, July 3rd, 2022

My daughter has asked me why I ended the relationship. I want to be sure I am maintaining appropriate boundaries. I also recognize that this has upended some of my younger daughter's plans and she wants some answers. How much, if any, of the why is appropriate to share?

Just enough to let her know it had nothing to do with you or your ExGF as much as an incompatibility between you. That dragging it on would be a disservice to all involved.

posts: 1264   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2021
id 8743193
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Notaboringwife ( member #74302) posted at 1:23 PM on Sunday, July 3rd, 2022

Grubs is spot on coach, in addressing your daughter's questions.

Keep it short, to the point and maybe (it's up to you) gently add that you are also disappointed in the change of plans for the summer.

Thank her for showing you her concerns.

Me: fBS late 60’s
Him: fWH late 60’s
DDay : March 2019
Separation: March 2019
R: June 2019

Shift your internal stance from "I’m right and you’re wrong" to "help me understand." Everything else follows from it...

posts: 318   ·   registered: Apr. 24th, 2020
id 8743220
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