Post # 1
I recently accepted that my partner of 7.5 years is just never going to propose. I have decided to start from scratch dating again to see if there might be someone else that I could be happy in partnership with. The issue is that I do not want to let my resentment of my previous (and first ever) partner inhibit my ability to open my heart to someone new. I currently feel that my time was wasted and anger that I have to go with an alternative life plan b instead of the plan a I was holding out for for so long with my ‘first love’ but I know that I must take ownership of my feelings and my responsibility in allowing myself to be strung along throughout the previous 7.5 years. I am seeing a therapist to process feelings, but I would still like to reach out to anybody that might know of good resources for forgiveness because this is the first time I have ever felt such bitterness/resentment towards anyone to this degree in my entire life and I don’t like how this feels almost as if I will never be able to forgive for him choosing a different life path…he didn’t break up with me he just didn’t want to get married. He still calls me but I am not the same anymore which is the saddest part about it all…my disappointment fundamentally changed my personality and maybe if I could just forgive him, I can better open my heart to somebody else one day.
Thank you for any help as I am experiencing a lot of emotional pain right now,
Post # 2
violetscent : Im sorry that this happened to you. I can totally understand the bitterness of waiting and waiting only to find out that its never going to happen and having to start over.
The best advice I can give is to forgive yourself first. You werent the first woman to be strung along and you wont be the last. Work with your therapist, to learn to enforce your own boundaries on what is and what isnt acceptable to you.
While dating and relationships are about love and lots of times they are grounded in emotions, you also have to set firm boundaries that are practical for what you are looking for.
Take your time, and absolutely do not start dating again until you have a firm grasp of what your looking for, how to enforce your boundaries, and how to apply those things to relationships. Otherwise you could end up back in a relationship with someone who is similiar to your ex.
Post # 3
princessanon0125 : thank you so much for this kindhearted advice I really appreciate your taking the time to reply
Post # 4
Think about this: the person you really need to forgive is yourself, not your ex. He didnt make you hang around for 7 years, you chose to do so. By making him the focus of your anger and bitterness you’re missing the point in a big way. Stop focusing on him and turn your gaze inward. That’s how you heal.
Post # 5
sunburn : yes that is precisely what I’m doing in therapy. But I still wanted to request if anyone knew of any additional resources self forgiveness / other people forgiveness etc. Thanks for replying earlier
Post # 6
I feel for you. It is hard starting over after such a long period of time. I went out rock climbing with one of my girlfriend’s last night, and this was exactly our topic of conversation. She was with her previous partner for 6.5 years, and realized he was never going to move on marrying her and having kids. She was upset with herself for waiting so long (many missed ultimatums), and impacting her own chances to have biological kids. She was upset with him for a whole host of reasons.
She has recently started dating someone new, and said she had to get into counselling to not let the anger and resentment affect her new relationship. She is working of being at peace with whatever the outcome is for her – maybe she will have kids, maybe not.
If you can see a therapist, it would be a really great place to start.
Post # 7
You want to work on this resentment & bitterness towards your ex, okay let’s do an exercise. Break down and list exactly why you’re angry at him for whatever behavior he commited then list your response to that behavior. This actually worked for me. I’ll start with the obvious:
- He didn’t propose – And you stuck around for 4,5,6,7 years. (Amend this for the period you actually wanted to get married and reset the clock there)
- He misled me – He most certainly did and you willingly went along with it.
- He lied – He most certainly did….and you knew and you let it slide…for years. You sent a message that he heard loud and clear (I can get away with this)
- He wasted your time – No YOU wasted your time. The minute you got that first wishy washy answer you knew but you were too scared to push for the truth and waited and waited.
See what I’m doing here? You eventually come to the conclusion (as I did) that you can’t be any more angry with him than you can be with yourself….even more so with yourself because you allowed so much.
Once you make that breakthrough, that’s when you can start forgiving yourself and once you do that you can eventually forgive him for being an ass.
Bee the only thing you can do is control YOUR responses, see the red flags and act accordingly…..you get no bitterness or resentment when you do that because you don’t get invested. That’s the end of my self help. Hope it does some good.
Post # 8
What pps have said is true, of course. But don’t feel bad about hating what happened and feeling angry about it on occasion. A bit of anger and venting can be quite cathartic, especially if you have a woman friend who you can have the odd too many glasses of wine and turn the vent into laughing about it and her story too.
Most of us have had less than stellar relationships and exhibited poor judgement at some point . Stay strong, but allow yourself release too.