struggling and looking for perspective/advice
So I've been in what has felt like a pretty amazing post-divorce relationship for a couple years now. I won't spend a ton of time going into it, but we're super compatible, she's amazing, and I'm totally in love (her too), but we have had our issues. We're not on the brink of marriage or moving in (our kids aren't even really aware that we're more than friends), but we are committed and are partners.
In the course of two years, we've had a few brief breakups due to (in our estimation) problems related to distance (we're about 1 1/2 hours apart). We are different people with our own lives, and sometimes we also struggle to communicate perfectly. However, whenever this has happened, we essentially can't stand being apart and after a few days just re-express our love and find our way back to each other.
The last time a breakup happened, several months ago, I was very much not on her wavelength, and I was pretty devastated by the abrupt ending of things, EVEN THOUGH we had been going through a very disconnected and rough patch in the preceding month or more and things really weren't great. This breakup felt permanent and real, and it was not what I wanted. I was heartbroken and hurt. About a month passed, and we found our way back to each other as we had a couple times prior.
However, I've found myself in a very anxiety-producing spot these days and I could really use some perspective/advice. Almost feels like I'm back in my D-day days in terms of how my mind is racing, stomach hurts, etc.
During this most recent breakup, she dated and slept with someone else, someone sort of peripherally in her friend circle and someone who is a part of her community. It is worth noting that during this time I *also* went on a few dates and slept with someone else (this person is *not* in my friend circle or connected to my community), so it's not like I was just home wallowing while this happened.
I'm a confident, generally unable-to-be-threatened dude and have up to now had 0% concern at all about who my partner has slept with in the past, what they've done, etc. In fact, we've been able to talk openly about this stuff with no issues. I *don't* care about that stuff, and I have my own past as well.
But this man has remained connected to her through social media and seemingly occasionally through text, and while I hate giving a shit about this, each time they interact there (comments, likes, etc.), it's like a sledgehammer to my heart. I really, really struggle with it.
I will also say that I think part of my problem here is that I think things started between her and this other guy like right at the instant that we "broke up" over the summer. While we have talked about this and she has been adamant that she never did anything with this guy before we were through, and I 100% believe that they didn't go on an official "date" or have sex or anything prior to us ending, I also feel very confident that at the very least she had been talking to the guy and was thinking about the possibility of dating him *prior to* ending things with me.
Anyway, as a former BS, you can imagine that a lot of this shit is triggering to me. I've talked with her some already in the past few months, but as I've also been to therapy again, my doctor, and really tried to work through what I'm feeling and why, I realize I need to talk with her again, explain my feelings, let her know my boundaries, and be prepared to permanently end things if necessary, because I simply cannot move forward if I continue to feel like this about another man.
I am going to have a serious talk with her tonight, and I know I'm going to tell her that I cannot handle another day of her continuing anything beyond a professional (when necessary) relationship with this man, and that's it. This really is a deal-breaker for me. Whether she's quite innocently continuing to be "friends" with this guy, I have enough experience to know that from his perspective, the "door is still open," he'd like a relationship with her, and he's playing that angle. I'm just positive about that.
However, I'm posting this looking for perspective. Why do I feel so hurt/triggered/bothered here, when in fact I was with other women during this time, too? Do you think it's because of the blurry boundaries surrounding the breakup? Do you think it's simply because this feels, to me (even if innocent on her part) that their relationship is continuing? Is texting and/or social media connection with a former sexual partner, especially if it happened during a brief "break" from a long-term relationship, just a universal red flag, dealbreaker, etc.?
I want to be clear: I know that what I'm experiencing is not Ok; it's not ok with me and I think it's objectively hurtful and bad boundaries. I will be expressing this tonight, and I won't go another day in this situation, but I guess I'm just struggling with how to navigate it because this relationship is so much different than my marriage, and I'm just struggling to make sense of boundaries, what's reasonable/not reasonable/etc.
Anyway, thanks for reading. I
6 comments posted: Wednesday, December 4th, 2019
Texts from old iPhone that I no longer have?
Hi, I thought if any group would know how to do this, it would be you all. This happens to not be infidelity-related for me, but I'm interested in performing this task for other reasons nonetheless.
My question: is there some way in the world to recover, or get a transcript, or *something* of old texts and/or imessages that I sent and received on a phone I no longer have?
Is there a database somewhere...a way to contact Apple...anything?
Thanks in advance for whatever you can tell me!
1 comment posted: Wednesday, September 25th, 2019
Divorce Book Recommendations
Hi all, I'm guessing there are multiple threads out there on this topic, but here goes anyway. I'm looking for two things:
1) A book to help guide STBXW and me as we prepare to tell your young (8 year old) child about the divorce.
2) A book to help us through the basics of everything. We are going uncontested, no-fault, no lawyers. Despite all the crap, I believe this is something we can do.
Mostly, because this is new to me, I want something that will help guide us through current/future family/logistical issues, not legal/asset/$$ stuff. I want to make sure we don't forget to talk about and explore some potential issues just due to ignorance.
Thanks in advance.
2 comments posted: Monday, February 6th, 2017
Good book for healing alone?
I read, it's kinda my thing. I've read all the popular books for dealing with A together.
So what if your WW is really your STBXW? What's a good book to help me out in trying to heal my own pain without the help of a partner?
I have Love Warrior but haven't read it yet. Is there something better?
4 comments posted: Friday, January 27th, 2017