Three weeks ago I split from a guy I dated for nine months. We met on a chat site and began dating a month later (he’s 38, I’m 40) despite my concern that he was just out of an 8 year relationship (no kids, but properties with his ex). I quickly became the in-love, helpful girl who couldn’t do enough for him. He was thankful and sweet but I knew he wasn’t over his ex, even though he’d left. He assured me he was but she often came up in conversation, he compared her to me (as in me being perfect, her being awful).
I met his mum and friends (all married with kids). He told me he wanted kids. He said he ‘couldn’t wait to see the joy on my face when I had his baby’. We had unprotected sex for 9 months but I kept breaking it off because I realised he needed space. We’d always reconcile. The sex was great, I never had a bad time with him.
Then recently he put the brakes on. He wouldn’t let me put pics of us on FB and there was no mention of me on there. He never introduced me to others as his girlfriend, as ‘his ex would go mad’ (even though she’s dating someone else). I started to feel hidden. I got needy and sad. He did nothing, I ended things again. This time, he reluctantly let me go.
That was three weeks ago and I’ve realised I’m the ‘re-bound girl’. I feel used and broken-hearted and naive that this happened and that I put my all into this farce of a relationship. I very rarely fall so deeply in love. I’m looking to settle down and raise a family and I’m finding it really hard to move on. I’m dying inside and feeling like I fucked things up.
Any insight? I am attempting no-contact right now but I keep breaking it as we have some practical stuff going on (he’s living in a property owned by my boss – long story). Also, he texted me that he meant everything that he said to me over our time together – WTF – why did he say that? I’m such a mug. EC
Oh chook, I’m sorry. You took a gamble on a guy who was FULLY rebounding and while that sometimes pays off, mostly it doesn’t. Usually because the person is still grieving and processing the end of the relationship they’ve left and they’re just not in the right headspace to commit AT ALL. Don’t you wish they’d wear a neon sign flashing their rebound status so you could steer clear?!
I get how you feel used but he probably didn’t mean it; he was just messed up and flailing and seeking a soft landing to help him avoid those icky feelings we all have to wade through after a relationship ends. Cowardly? Sure. But maybe deep down he felt and hoped that he’d somehow get over his ex or process the split super fast because you were amazing and the sex was shit-hot and he wanted you to have his babies and all the rest of it. But as we both know, the guy was kidding himself.
For you, I could list a million post-break-up strategies but at the core of all of it there’s nowhere to go but through it. I realise at 40 and craving a family of your own, that grief of yours is particularly palpable, but it’s not the end of the road for you by any means. You have choices and while time may not be on your side, women do have babies in their 40s; some go it alone. So if that’s an option, I urge you to seek advice on it. Getting the ball rolling on your future once you’re feeling up to it can be hugely empowering and healing, scary as it is. But first, for your own sake, make the no-contact thing work. I mean really. Let someone else deal with the practical crap of his living arrangements etc. And don’t buy into or analyze his mixed messages or his texts. All of that is just a great big hook back into his world, and while it’s tempting to keep dipping back in when you’re heartbroken, right now you need to cut the cord.
Love, reality chick