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#63848 06/03/01 08:28 PM
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Irena Offline OP
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First of all, please let me introduce myself to you all..I'm Irena, I'm 34 (sometimes going on 15, sometimes 115..I live in Tasmania Australia..and it's dammmn cold here! [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com]<P>I've been looking alllll over the web for a place like this, and I'm so happy, I've finally found it! I've read through some of the topics, and issues, and can relate myself to most...but chose *this* area, as the best to post my problem.<P>In brief, I moved here from the mainland, because of a wonderful man that I just fell head over heels for. We'd been friends online for sometime before we actually met, and told each other some pretty intimate secrets about our past, and hepled each other through some tuff problems. Which brings me to *mine*....he told me once about an ex of his, who he loved more than life itself, their breakup truly broke his heart, but it had been over for about 2 years before I'd come on the scene. Anyhow, a miricale happened, and we fell inlove...both being alone for sometime, the thought of 'rebound' never came into my mind for either of us...well ok...not for me!<P>Since leaving my family, and home, for here...I've made this my new home, and as you people may already know...a bachelors house needs ALOT of cleaning!!!! and along the ways, I've found things I really wish I didn't!..(like little love notes, cards, etc) from him to her..and visa versa. All sweet and stuff..yeahh!..but it hurts to be reminded of someone's presence. We'd spoken about it, and he felt bad that I'd seen them, but it was a part of his past, and they're important to him, I understand that. [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com]<P>But, what I found last, was a BIG reminder of their love, and it's something I can't put behind me..this hurts toooo much! He's been carrying in his pocket, a ring, that she gave to him, as a token of her commitment to him, and I tell you, it felt like a knife plunged deep into my heart.<P>I knew the deapth of his love for her...but why after so long, and after telling me constantly, that *I'M* the one he loves, does he still need to have her symbolic love so close to him? I look at it this way...he NEEDS to hang on to his past...and he isn't over her!..and even yes, soemtimes I think he's still waiting for her to come back!<BR>We talked about this a few times, *but things only get talked about when I find things!)..it realllllllly hurts me more, the fact that he won't be open and honest with me, even if it's because he doesn't want to hurt me...but everytime I tell him he's hurting me more by NOT telling me things...(I'm rambling now aren't I??)..but you know what I mean!?!?!??!<P>I'm sick of being the instigator...and have decided, that the next time I find he's carrying it...I don't want to talk about it...I'll just leave.<P>So tell me your opinions...PLEASE!?!??!? is it just me...or am I right in what I feel..that he still and ALWAYS will love her? and that I'm *second* best?<P>Oh, and by the way...thanks for having the patience to read all of this! [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com])<p>[This message has been edited by Irena (edited June 03, 2001).]

#63849 06/04/01 05:17 PM
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Hey Irena<P>I understand that you might be feeling insecure in his love for you, but I really don't think it is something to leave over. <P>He loves *you*, not a ghost from the past. And the thing is, she is becoming this invisible formidable force between you, which ends up blown out of proportion.<P>Some people find it difficult to let go of tokens from the past, but he also can't deny that their relationship didn't exist. But it is his past and only that. He may always have some part of him that loves her. Respect that. But the likelihood of him harbouring some fantasy about a life with her instead of you is pretty slim. Try your best not to bring insecurity and jealousy into something that can be perfect. <P>And in saying that, also don't be afraid to communicate your fears to him, but let him know that they are *your* issues to deal with. <P>So Tassie's pretty cold at the moment huh? I'd love to visit one day :-)

#63850 06/04/01 05:58 PM
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Hi Jemma, [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com]<P>I hear and understand what you're saying, and thanks for the advice too [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com]<P>But the last time he and I spoke about it, I told him everything that it meant to me by his holding on....and the one thing that I tried to convey the most, was the fact that there'd be NO WAY we can have a full future together, if he's always going to have a piece of her with us...I can't accept that! and please forgive me if I sound totally old fashioned or whatever...but I always thought..(being somewhat of a 'new age believer')..that you can't move on in life, and begin a new chapter in your future, if you hold on, and bring your past with you!?!?!? (did that make sense??)<P>I understand everyone has a past..hell I know I do too!..but when something ends..I hurt for a while..I cry LOTS!..but I deal with it..and move on! I don't think he's done with his *dealing?*<P>I also understand what you're saying about her being an invisible force between us...but it's also hard when they still see each other every now and then..(they have a common interest in a gym here)...and THAT irks me too! *grrrrrrrrr* because I'd love to join there...but can't quite bring myself to go, and flash my flabby bits infront of her..as she's Ms. Aerobic Queen too! (that was nasty wasn't it??)I'm sorry [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com] but c'mon...it's a *girl thing*!! [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com]<P>Anyhow...yeahhhh it's cold again here today, but it's a really pretty place to live [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com]<P><BR>

#63851 06/05/01 08:32 AM
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Irena,<BR> I dont know how you are feeling but i certainly understand your grief.My belief to is why after so long would he still carry something like this around with him.I believe if i were in your shoes i'd feel the same way.How can he go on with the future if he cant put the past behind him,its my opinion he cant.This is not to say he dont care about you but i cant see the purpose of this IF he is over her.I would think long and hard about your relationship and all the things you have gave up.Do you in your mind believe they are completly thru no hope for their relationship>>Just something to think about.Good Luck Hun.<P>------------------<BR>Tracy

#63852 06/11/01 11:57 PM
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I think you might be right - but have you asked him what the ring symbolizes specifically? (Not just her - but what exactly does it remind him when he looks at it)Maybe that is the difference. I have something I will always keep to make sure I never make that mistake again and I never end up in that place. Maybe that's it. I HOPE SO!! If not and it is just so he can remember her fondly - well, that is crap and you are completely justified in my book in telling him you won't go on till he deals with it and makes up his mind. In this case, sure she's an invisible force between you - but it is not a force you put there and it is not one you can remove. And if you are not comfortable with it - your feelings are perfectly saine to me.

#63853 06/11/01 02:41 PM
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HI, Irena<BR>First, nice to "meet" you! I'm also kind of new to this site, but I'd like to help make you feel welcome, anyway. [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com]<P>Irena, boy do I know how you feel! From the OTHER side of the fence, though--I was the "guilty" one, and never even realized how much it hurt my H. What happened is this: I was married before and it ended in a very nasty divorce. My first H was very abusive and just plain mentally ill. It was just an awful, awful time for me and my children during that marriage.<P>Enter hubby #2, my present one. I never knew until just this past year how much he felt hurt and literally pushed aside by my hanging on to some things from my first marriage. To me, they were just "things", but to my H, they were a constant reminder of my past relationship WITH SOMEOME ELSE, which was a horrible one at that! I'm talking about some jewelry, some fine china and decorative items, all things I got for my first wedding. <P>Worse than this, whenever my grown kids came over for a holiday dinner, they would go on and on about their childhoods and their past. They totally excluded my H, who felt very uncomfortable and just out of place. No wonder he'd get up and leave the table right after dinner and go bury himself in a TV show! He told me during an argument recently that if we were "...all so damn happy with the past", then maybe you (meaning me)should go back to your first H!" He got that impression from the constant talk about the good times we all had, times where HE was not in our lives. Wow! How that must have made him feel! <P>When my H had an almost-affair this past year, a lot of crap came out into the open and this was one of his issues with me. He had never told me before how he felt about all these constant reminders, and once he opened up and talked to me about it, I saw something I didn't before. It was really very hurtful to him to feel so slighted, or left out, and his feelings ignored. Talk about a Love Buster! I was too stupid to realize this, but now that I do, I've made some significant changes in my home! Put away now are ALL of the things from marriage #1 and the only things out are those my H and I gave to each other, or had of our own when we first got together. <P>Your boyfriend does not realize how much he is hurting your feelings, I'm sure. Just tell him for me that NO ONE likes to feel like they are "second best", and sooner or later, the negative feelings that are caused by being treated this way are going to erupt and the results can be disasterous. <P>I know, because I was doing the same dumb thing as your BF, and wasn't thinking of anyone else's feelings but my own. Tsk! Tsk! Not anymore!<P>Good luck to you, Irena and hope to hear back from you soon.<P>Hugs...<BR>Winny [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com]<P><BR><p>[This message has been edited by Winnytoo (edited June 11, 2001).]

#63854 06/11/01 07:29 PM
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Thanks for your replies guys [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com]<P>heikefrank69...what you said, is EXACLTY what I wanted to know from him...and his reply was, it was a token of her commitment to him..which he didn't reallly elaborate on, but to me, knowing he's carrying it, can only mean that he's still hurting over their break up, and still questioning *why* it fell apart?? ...but!..(and yeahh there's a but here)..it's still in the bag he's hiding it from me in!...it's been there a full coupla weeks now..so MAYBE it's ok now??? who knows??? time will tell?<P>And *Winnytoo* ..thank you too [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com]<P>I can imagine how your hubby felt... but I'm really glad to see that you took his feelings into consideration [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com] feelings are a HUGE part of us..and yes, I know all too well how it feels to feel *second best* [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com] it's a very sad place to be [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com] and I hope things are only getting better for you all [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com] <P><BR>

#63855 06/29/01 01:49 PM
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Hi Irena,<P>I was near your BF's position a few years ago. I had dated someone who I was quite taken with for about 6 months (I assume your BF and ex-GF dated longer than that). After I broke up with my GF, I missed a lot of things about our relationship, had a lot of sadness and some hostility. I don't know the significance of keeping objects such as a ring or notes (I didn't) but I did have a fondness for places we had been together. To make a long story short, although I thought I was interested in dating, a new woman would really have faced an uphill struggle during the first 2 years after this breakup. After that, all those old feelings finally disappeared and I started to feel genuinely attracted to other women (I didn't really feel that during the first year). Now that old relationship just feels like ancient history. <P>My advice to you is that time will finally disperse whatever leftover memories and feelings your BF has for this woman, and one day he will look at that ring, say ####, and throw it in the river (or if it's valuable he'll take it to a hock shop). You will move to the undisputed #1 position if you are meeting his emotional needs. The questions will probably become "What feelings will you have for him by that time?" and "Will you be harboring hostility being built up now?"<P>I wish you the best of luck!! [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com]

#63856 07/02/01 10:26 AM
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Don't despair over a token. .. I too was constantly reminded of past relationships, when my other half and I were a "new us." He couldn't understand why I cared about a few pictures, letters, and that sort of thing he horded in a stash. Through time, it simply left--as the past became farther in the past, and I was his present and his past, the pictures etc. were tossed as unimportant.<BR>Don't stress over tokens, give it time. <BR>BTW, we've been together two years now, and I am his only past. . . [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com]

#63857 07/02/01 03:08 PM
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I haven't been here in a while, I usually come when I need to remind myself of how lucky I am. Today is one of those days since my H and I recently had an argument over feelings.<P>We've been married over 4 years...known eachother for 10.<BR>What I truly KNOW is when you love someone truly LOVE someone, the switch does not just turn off when the relationship ends. I had one BF before my H, and I can tell you I didn't love my BF, but I do love my H. I know the difference and let me be clear- the difference is times like the one you're talking about and your reactions to them.<P>The ring he carries in his pocket has nothing to do with you and has everything to do with him. The ring is a way of connecting with the memories and the feelings those memories bring. They were good ones, otherwise he would not want to relive them with that ring. Human quality here.<BR>If he's put the ring away, it is because he does not want to hurt you. No Einstein required to tell you he cares about your feelings right? But the ring has nothing and will have nothing to do with controlling his thoughts. We each control our own thoughts, and it makes bad business to try.<BR>I gather you are not "finding" items from his past...you are now looking for them. And the more you dig, the more you will surely find. Let me warn you, that kind of secret digging and finding doesn't help. If you want to know all of the details about his previous relationships I'm sure you could find the words to ask or setup time to discuss details. But, do you really want to know? Why upset yourself like that? Why ask for a picture and then be absolutely enraged by what you see? You know that is what will happen, right?<P>In short, he needs time to heal. He is not done and it is VERY clear. He has momentos, he still keeps in contact with her... You mention his relationship ended 2 years before you met and ask why isn't he done. He is not you. He has a different healing time. We all do, and it varies by situation as much as by person.<P>He probably does love you and I'm sure you have feelings for him. What is unfortunate is the timing and the fact that he turned to a new relationship before he was ready. But, enough about what should be. Deal with what is. Accept that this is the situation for you both. The question is "Now what?" State what you want, what you expect. Ask him what he wants and what he expects. The two will not be the same, but you can work toward a specific goal of what rules for your relationship you both can follow. If you just expect them and never really outline and discuss them, they won't magically happen. <BR>What I've learned about love is that there is expectation, and holding the other to meet that expectation can be damaging to you both. I've learned I can adjust MY expectations and *work* to define what OURS are. But mostly, patience is needed.<P>If he hopes someday his old relationship will rekindle, his relationship with her is certainly not going to help yours. It will only make his devotion confusing. Which one does he choose for lunch? or to workout with? or whatever.. He can't have both is what I am assuming you are saying in a nutshell.<P>Even more valuable though is looking at your own reaction to this to find out more about yourself. What are your values? your emotions? your judgements? your expectations? your needs?...and if you would leave if you found him carrying the ring again, what does that say about your loyalty to this relationship? If you could leave then, why can't you leave now? <BR>Just think...the existence of the ring in his drawer, pocket, his ex's drawer or the city dump isn't the problem. The perspective each one of you has about his prior relationship and your commitment is what matters.<BR>Good luck! Y.<BR>

#63858 07/03/01 09:27 AM
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Irena<P>I know how that hurts as I have also been through that before<P>Let me please remind you that she was before your time and do not make the same mistake of trying to pick up old knitted stitches that have been dropped in his past<P>Respect his past and tell him that you love him and that you are sorry he lost her and you will try to help make up his lost love by being the best girl you can<P>Try not to compete with her personality he explains as that is his view and might not even be really the way she is or was<P>Tell him that he can pack all her things in a box or two and would he consider putting it at his parent's place somewhere out the house<P>You must be very careful you do not remind him too much of her or he will start seeing her vision in his mind and compare her with you<P>Try to form a new life with him<P>And if you can, involve a counsellor or minister in your relationship now and then<P>This is the new you and him<P>Try to conduct it properly<P>Do not be the victim of his losing his past girlfriend<P>Because you are showing him your weak points and he will use them to play on them against you and upset you if he becomes bored with your nagging about her or anything that creates feelings inside of him against or for you<P>Rather make a new future together with him<P>Enjoy the present and forget about the past<P>You are in love with him and therefore very vulnerable<P>Do not go out of your utmost way to please him<P>Be relaxed in front of him<P>Read a book in front of him<P>Give him a peaceful atmosphere<P>Do not talk anymore about her<P>Leave him with the ring of reminder of her<P>Let him put it away himself<P>He will transfer the love he is holding for you when he sees you are ready to receive it<P>Just relax and enjoy your new love<P>But please find a Church<P>And get guidance from ministers or cousellors in the church<P>You will not be sorry I promise<P>Carol

#63859 09/10/01 09:18 AM
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Hi again guys, it's been a while...actually it's been about 75 days! I had to go looking in the archives to drag this out again...but I have a reallll bad development that I need some more help with...and in a hurry if you can...because it's eating me up alive.<P>After all the talking and forgiving, and the compromising we've done about this ex of his...I seemed to find the strength and confidence in me to actually almost befriend her! (shock horror! but I did it!) and she's not really a bad sort I guess, although I'm in no way gonna be doing coffee of lunch with her anytime soon! but I can be civil to her, when I have to!...anyhow, that's not my problem!<P>What I've found out after all that crying and heartbreaking crap I went through, this really is testing my own soul! ya know when you get that nagging feelign that something ain't right??...and so you ask and ask, but all you get is "honey, I really am telling you the truth!"...well I found something else this time...a letter in his pocket!..from someone he SWORE was just a friend!...although another EX..but he said her friendship was important, and wanted to keep it!..anyhow...to cut a really too long story shorter...this letter was to say that she lvoed him, won't give him up, yadda yadda yadda!...I just fell to the floor and cried my eyes out!!!<P>I confronted him, told him he was a F***** lying F***** B***** F**** and that I was leaving this time!..he wanted to explain it too me, so for some reason, I let him...and sort of believe it...but in a nutshell....I don't trust him!...I can't stand the thought of being intimate with him....I keep seeing *her* with him...and even though he told me that it was a kind of fatal attraction with this woman, (and that I can understand, as I made him give me her number...and she blatently told me to F*** off out of it, it's got nothing to do with me!) yeah right!!!!!..anyhow...he said he's been trying to get rid of her for ages, but she won't take no for an answer, and in it was far easier to keep seeing her, than to explain things to me, and etc etc etc....<P>Now...I know this may sound totally foolish...but as much as I feel betrayed, cheated, foolish, HURT, ashamed, dirty, ugly, fat, used, and I want to leave this planet....I still love him, and want to work this one out too...but I can't even stand the thought of him touching me at the moment...and I really do want to have what we had before...I'm just soooo damn scared.

#63860 09/10/01 06:39 PM
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Irena Offline OP
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Also, I just thought I'd ask one question to the guys out there, if that's ok? ...HOW can a girl tell when you really are telling the truth?..is there a secret man thing we don't know about??...do you lie without even thinking?<P>I'm sorry, but I need to know [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com]<P>He's telling me that "this time" he's telling the truth, and "this time" there's nothing else to find out at all..and aslo saying that if he hasn't learned his lesson "this time" he never will...but is he telling the truth....."this time"????<P>I know that there must have been a reason for him cheating, I know even that he WANTED to go to her...not just to shut her up and keep her happy and quiet!..because you can't do the *deed* without feeling some kinda excitement and lust about it...he admitted that part of him did want to go to her...and I can even understand the excitement of the cheat itself...but the lies, is something I just can't cope with, and need a guys input on it, please.<P>

#63861 09/23/01 01:27 AM
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Irena,<P>I see this forum is quite slow...have you tried posting on General QuestionsII, or even Divorced/Divorcing - cos it looks like a separation is imminent tho you aren't married. You will get a lot more responses there.<P>I hope you are okay, its been 12 days since you posted.<P>Hey, I'm an Aussie, too. In Victoria.<P>Nina


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