Note: I'm going to apologise in advance, because I know how whiny I can sound when I get going on this topic, but it's hard to avoid. I can't explain my compulsion to ask for advice, but seeing as I've exhausted every other avenue I figured I might as well see what my favourite online community has to say on the matter.
In August my ex-girlfriend and former fiancée broke up with me. It wasn't a huge surprise because our situations both changed radically. She was in a lot of debt and I had just lost my job and house. Unfortunately our relationship took the brunt of it and I think she just decided that she couldn't keep the relationship stable. Now's probably a good time to tell you that it was a long distance relationship. We'd been together for four years and we'd just celebrated one year of engagement as of June and we were all set to marry in 2013 and finally put an end to the long distance.
Note: Throughout out long distance relationships we actually met multiple times. We stayed together on every occasion and it just felt right. I was never a believer in soul mates as such, but from the time I spent with her I can honestly say I've never found someone who made me feel so comfortable with who I am.
So that's the exposition out of the way. The position I find myself in is a delicate one, because we're still in love. After the breakup we went our separate ways for a while before eventually drifting back to each other. I tried dating, but I just wasn't ready. In contrast she on the other hand jumped straight into a new relationship. Naturally I was upset that she'd moved on so quickly... until I found out that she hasn't exactly done much moving on, so much as moving sideways. She told me recently that she's not happy, that she still thinks about me and our relationship all the time. After a conversation within the last week, she still loves me and she doesn't want me out of her life.
Normally I've got a policy that I don't go back to my ex partners, because break ups have a funny way of marring the way two people think about each other. But with her it feels different because of the way our relationship ended. We didn't break up because we stopped wanting to be together or because we stopped caring or loving each other, it happened because of personal pressures. There's no bad taste in my mouth or ill will for her from the split.
So my position has improved. I've got a stable, secure career and a place to live. I find myself wanting to try again and so does she, to a degree. The problem I'm left with is that I don't want to be that guy. She says she's still madly in love with me, but that doesn't invalidate the feelings she has for her new partner who helped her out financially, put a roof over her head and lives in the same country as her. That's not to say I like this guy, he doesn't like me one bit and has decided to take every possible measure to ensure that she doesn't speak to me. Monitoring her phone, email, Facebook and blogs. It's a bitter pill, but if they break up she'll be homeless because she's still in debt and has no family to turn to.
I'm okay with being single at the moment, it's given me a chance to work out who I am outside of being a boyfriend and in a way it's nice to have less responsibility. She really is a good person and I know that she doesn't want to hurt either of us, but I'm starting to see this duality taking a toll on her mentally and emotionally.
I guess my question I'm asking myself is: Should I back off and let her relationship with him run its course? I'm not exactly asking her to leave him for me, I've been very cautious to avoid saying anything like that because I don't want to add to the pressure she's already facing from him. I care about her a lot and the last thing I want to do is hurt her.
Final Note: I'm actually flying to Pittsburgh at the end of January. Originally it was to be with her, but now it's more of a holiday. She wants to hang out with me, but I'm not sure if that's a good idea. Her partner found out about my visit and is insisting her chaperone every time we want to get together. January is a hard time for her on a deeply personal level and she said she'd really appreciate having me around, seeing as I know all about what a bad month it is for her.