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Young and Hurting a Lot

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sadecon posted 11/2/2013 16:42 PM

I just need someone to talk to. This will probably be a long post, as I need to get a lot off my chest. Feel free to just skip to the bottom for the summary.

Iíll be 21 years old on Tuesday, and I am a junior in college. Iím trying to deal with a cheating partner, and itís not going so well. I suppose Iíll just get right into it.

I started dating my girlfriend in the 10th grade of high school. We were unbelievably happy together, and I couldnít imagine life without her. Two and a half blissful years, until we went away to college. We went to different schools, but they were within the same city and very much accessible to one another. We planned to stay together. However, as many of you may have guessed at this point, that did not last. Just a few weeks into our freshman year, we split up. It was very emotional, but we agreed that things had changed; we had grown apart, and wanted to experience college ďthe right way.Ē

I was miserable. Depressed, angry, and probably drinking a little too heavily, I completely cut off ties with her. We had each lost our best friend. She tried to reach out to me a few times over the year, but each time I shot her down. Despite the loss, the thought of being around her killed me. I admit that a complete walling off is not the perfect way to deal with a breakup that probably requires some communication. But, of course, no oneís perfect. I always remained very much in love with her, and refusing to acknowledge her was the only way I was able to deal.

She started dating a new guy by November. I was hurt by her expediency, and as a result I had a new girlfriend by December, hoping to upset my ex. I realize that this was immature, and unfair to my new girlfriend. But once again, I didnít care.

I suppose this is where things differ from your average story about high school sweethearts and college breakups.

The end of the year rolled around, and it was time to return home for the summer. I hadnít talked to my ex in probably six months, excluding an occasional message from her that she wanted to repair our friendship, and my blunt refusals. One day, right during the stress of finals, I received another one of her texts asking to talk. She had broken up with her boyfriend. For reasons beyond my understanding, this time I was receptive.

We didnít talk about anything substantive, just the lighthearted banter that I had loved some much. I moved back home for the summer, and broke up with my girlfriend. A few days later, I met up with my high school sweetheart, and we were back together in the blink of an eye.

Things were back to normally immediately. It was a wonderful summer of our old-fashioned hijinks. She had some concerns about going back to school in the fall (empirical evidence suggests that it wouldnít work out so well). I assuaged her fears, quite confident that this time things would be different.

Believe it or not, I was right.

Our sophomore year flew by. We stayed at each otherís places on the weekends, and sometimes during the week if we had late classes the next morning. We werenít together all the time, but it was frequent enough that we were content. Happy once again, we never had a problem. We always talked about our futures together, making our post-college plans and discussing our wedding and future children with a casual frequency. I went home for the summer, she stayed at school, and would come home every other weekend or so. It was painful to be away, but we kept busy and relished our time together.

Enter our junior year. Overjoyed to be living in the same city again, things were good. Never a hint of dissatisfaction. She joined a theater troupe of sorts, in an attempt to make more friends. Fast forward to about two weeks ago. She had a very small part in one of their performances (re-enactments of the Rocky Horror Picture Show, while the movie plays behind the performers). I wanted to come, but I couldnít, as it was parentís weekend, and I was visiting with my family. The next weekend, she wanted me to come to her campus so we could go to a party together. I had just gotten over an illness, and she had just come down with a different one. I didnít go see her last weekend, for fear that I might get sick again (my current course load and internship are extremely demanding, and I truly couldnít afford it).

This past week, contact with her was noticeably different. She was very distant, and there were some days when we exchange just a few texts. I asked her if something was wrong, and if she noticed that things were off between us. She shrugged it off every time. Last night I went to go see her, and she told me everything.

She said that she went to a party after the performance, and looked around at all the people going wild. People who were in relationships, but were okay with their partners kissing other people. She became convinced that she was missing out of an authentic college experience. She said that she ďdidnít do it rightĒ when we broke up last time, as she just jumped into a monogamous new relationship. She says that one of her biggest regrets is that sheís never experimented with a girl. She was tired of always ďworrying about whether [I] would approveĒ of what she does.

Then, the next weekend (when I didnít visit her because she had a cold), she went to another one of the theater troupeís parties. She drunkenly hooked up with another guy from the troupe. They didnít have sex.

We talked for about two hours. She sobbed. I cried. Sheís never felt worse in her life, and said that she never wanted to hurt me. She said that ever since that first party, she was thinking about talking to me about going on a break so that we could try new things, but she knew that I wouldnít be okay with that. She desperately wanted me to come last weekend so we could talk, but I didnít.

I felt numb. I was shaking. The person I love more than anything else in the world hurt me in the worst way. Sheís always had a fair number of guy friends, but I was never too jealous. I always *knew* that she wouldnít hurt me.

I initially told her that this was not something that I could get past. I had always told myself ďonce a cheater, always a cheater,Ē and that if I ever found myself in this situation, I would end things. No questions asked. Itís proving to be more complicated than that.

She said that she wanted our future together, but not right now. She didnít know if she wanted to continue our relationship. I didnít know either. We left last night agreeing that we would take a few days to think about where we stand.

Which brings me here. Iím an emotional mess right now. My best friend (besides her) is my roommate, but he has a romantic interest visiting for the weekend, so I canít talk about it with him. Thereís no one else I feel comfortable talking about it with. The only person I want to hear from is her, and sheís the one person I canít talk to.

For those who just scrolled to the bottom (which must be everyone, considering the length of the post):

Dated a girl from high school. Went to colleges nearby, but broke up freshman year. Got back together over the summer, been together since. Last night she told me she cheated on me last weekend, and while she wants to spend her future with me, she probably wants a break now, she she can experiment some more. This is a possibility that I might have been receptive to (but probably not), but since she cheated, Iím having trouble imagining that being an option.

Iím not sure what Iím looking for here. Advice, suggestions, condolences, I donít know. I havenít told anyone. Sheís extremely close with my family, and telling them that we broke up the first time was difficult enough, and the thought of doing it again is pretty much unbearable.

ProbableIceCream posted 11/2/2013 16:47 PM

I think the 180 would help a lot here (check the healing library). Detach, put your life back together. Doesn't mean you're necessarily giving up on a future, but it prepares you to move forward whatever decision you make.

painfulpast posted 11/2/2013 17:55 PM

Sorry you're here. You've been through a lot. Of course, my gut reaction is that you're young, there will be lots of heartache, blah blah blah. Right now, that doesn't help, does it? You're hurt, and rightfully so.

I don't really understand wanting to split knowing you'll eventually get back together. I also don't understand what she thinks she's missing? Casual sex with anyone? Not that great. It's been done to death, and no one walks away saying boy, am I glad I screwed everyone I met.

I think she's seen one too many movies, and listened to one too many stories about what college is for. College is to learn about your chosen field. It is not a place to relive the sexual revolution. At least, that isn't the purpose of it. Leaving home, becoming promiscuous, going back home like it never happened? That's a joke. There are more people that go to college and don't behave that way, so don't think that you are keeping her from anything that everyone else does.

If you can't accept another break up, then tell her that. You have nothing to feel badly over if that's your position. I wouldn't want to hang around and pretend I don't know my future spouse is screwing anything that moves that she thinks is 'pretty'. That couldn't be more heartless or less fair.

Sorry it's so slow here on the weekends. I'm sure others will say the same or similar. I agree - try the 180. It's for you to 'learn' to detach.

And yes, you are young. You will have a lot of heartaches in your life. The first one hurts like hell, it really does, They don't get much easier, but that first one - ouch.

Just promise this - if you split with her, do NOT in 20 years, after you're married and have a family, look her up and start something claiming some sort of unfinished business. This site is riddled with people betrayed with that story. Please, don't do it. If you end it with her, end it. That's all.

I really hope you start to feel better soon. Don't get too wrapped up in her answer. Better that you know the truth than to be lied to and think everything is fine. You've seen a little of that, and it's so painful. You are in a small group that received the truth without having to dig for it. .

gonnabe2016 posted 11/2/2013 19:10 PM

I would think seriously about *walking away* from this girl for now. And it is not ONLY due to your age.

She can't be alone. And that equals disaster for any person who is involved in a relationship with her.

Look at the pattern. You two were separated because of college. Broke up. She found a new BF very quickly. They broke up. She called you. The two of you have been (basically) inseparable since then. But the moment that *you* are unavailable -- she's off 'searching'.

This could be due to her immaturity. But what if it isn't? What if it is due to *something* inside of her? What if you get back together with her in the future, perhaps even marry, and you wind up with a job that requires you to work long hours or to travel? Do you really want the added stress of having to *worry* about what she is doing? You deserve to have the freedom to *have a life* without having to worry that your GF (or wife) is going to go 'searching' because you *aren't there*, kwim?

You'll survive this and you will stumble across someone who only has eyes for you. That is what you deserve.

LeopoldB posted 11/2/2013 19:41 PM

She has been honest with you - - at least to the extent reasonable given the circumstances. That is all you owe each other until further commitments are made. She needs time and space. Her desire to experiment and branch out are not unreasonable, even if they do hurt right now.

Don't throw a good thing away. If you win her now by entrapping her, you will lose her later when she forever regrets not spreading her wings.

You have plenty of time. You do not have to be totally together with her or totally apart from her. Let her know you love her, want the best for her, but you are not waiting for her. If it works out in the future as you both hope, you won't hold this against her and expect her to to do the same.

If she wants to experience being with another woman, ask if you can join them on occasion (or at least watch).

[This message edited by LeopoldB at 7:42 PM, November 2nd (Saturday)]

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