In a bit of a bind...

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.

Azure-Supernova:
Note: Snip

Tricky... My first reaction was just "go for it, start again" At the same time I agree with the ex-partner scew in the way you see the person. I'm also a person who believes when a relationship is finished it's finished.

I've got to say, I don't really blame the new boyfriend for being a bit worried about the situation because, for one he's right and secondly I think it's a normal human reaction and especially if he knows what came between you.

I would suggest seeing her when you fly out, without the new partner if possible and openly talk about the situation and the way you both feel. Talk about the positives and negatives you both see to the relationship, don't sleep with eachother and think it through seperately after that conversation to see where you both are.

It kind of sounds like the two of you were and would be happy with each other but I would also be worried about what happens if life isn't peachy again? Couples are supposed to stick together through thick and thin, if something superficial could get in the way of a relationship I was having, I'd move on personally.

I guess I'm not really being much help after all...

I'll think about it and then get back to you.

Beldaros:
I would suggest seeing her when you fly out, without the new partner if possible and openly talk about the situation and the way you both feel. Talk about the positives and negatives you both see to the relationship, don't sleep with eachother and think it through seperately after that conversation to see where you both are.

I think this is what really needs to happen, I think we need proper closure on what happened and to really talk. So far our conversations have been few and far between, usually when she's really down and needs to talk about something serious. I got to thinking that with a proper conversation, our true feelings will come to the surface. I'll be honest - and this is probably going to sound really silly - but it helps just knowing that someone read the post. I feel like I've been bottling this up for ages.

Based on the information I've got, it sounds like you both want to be with each other, the only thing stopping that is her financial situation. Now again, there are probably details I'm not aware of, but it seems kind of unfair to this other guy the way this is playing out.

If she still loves you (and if she eventually wants to be with you) then she is essentially using this other guy for shelter. Now she may genuinely have feelings for him, but if in the back of her mind she is still picturing herself ending up with you, then this other guy deserves the truth.

Of course, there's the whole problem that she would have no where to stay. That is a bit trickier, to say the least. And obviously, if she outright tells her current boyfriend that she still has feelings for you, then I doubt he would want her to be living in his house anymore.

I don't know, maybe if it reaches that point then you could buy a one-way plane ticket and have her move to wherever you live? I'm not really sure if any of this is feasible, but hopefully it helps a little bit.

Azure-Supernova:
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.

I'll start off by saying that relationships are universally complicated, you're never going to get one that is problem free. If you really do love/miss this girl your heart is going to pull you back to her no matter what advice any one gives, and ultimately this is your life and you only get one shot at it so you should do whatever you feel is right. Okay? That's settled.

I don't like this situation one bit.

The timing of her relationship and your first breakup leads me to believe she functionally left you for him. I rather suspect she was seeing him at least casually before the breakup occurred. Given you were engaged, it raises the specter of cheating. It's understandable given the long distance relationship thing, but it's hardly laudable.

When you've broken an engagement and shacked up with a new person, telling your dumpee that "you still love them and want them in your life" is a fundamentally selfish act. It's fine to express that you'd like to remain friends, but leaving that romantic door open is straight up shitty. Shitty to them, shitty to your new partner. Again, cheating.

I don't trust her.

I don't think you should trust her.

I would be very, very careful about investing emotionally in this woman again. There are a lot of red flags here. The potential for a second betrayal is extremely high given what we know of her personality, and this time you might be sharing a residence/have kids/shared possessions/etc, making the fallout significantly more brutal.

You're gonna do what you're gonna do, but think HARD about this one before jumping back in.

Fairly warned, be thee.

SilentlyHilly:
Of course, there's the whole problem that she would have no where to stay. That is a bit trickier, to say the least. And obviously, if she outright tells her current boyfriend that she still has feelings for you, then I doubt he would want her to be living in his house anymore.

I don't know, maybe if it reaches that point then you could buy a one-way plane ticket and have her move to wherever you live? I'm not really sure if any of this is feasible, but hopefully it helps a little bit.

Oh he knows she still has feelings for me, which is exactly why he strictly regulates her communications through email, texts and Facebook. He doesn't want her talking to me at all. But I understand what you're saying, if she is telling the truth and she really does want to be with me then it's not fair to him. On the other hand if I'm the proverbial fish on the proverbial hook, I'd rather just know so she can throw me back into the pond.

BloatedGuppy:

You're gonna do what you're gonna do, but think HARD about this one before jumping back in.

Fairly warned, be thee.

That's pretty much a given, I'm a stubborn bastard that's for sure. But I genuinely was putting the feelers out there to see if anyone else picked up on this, because everything you said is what initially ran through my mind. Which is why I tried my hand at permanent separation, until she practically begged me not to. Sometimes I get the feeling that she's not sure if she wants me, but she definitely doesn't want me to be with anyone else.

But I appreciate the honest input.

BloatedGuppy:
-snip-

Yep, I'm with Guppy here. Two things about relationships; one always ought to know is that they can't thrive on love alone, in fact, love needs to make room for the really important bits like trust and companionship, among others. Next, one needs to learn when to walk away should it come to that. Of course, only experience in life can teach you all that.

But yes, seeing as you said, OP,

Azure-Supernova:
Sometimes I get the feeling that she's not sure if she wants me, but she definitely doesn't want me to be with anyone else.

This isn't just a red flag, it's accompanied by fanfare and a big, screaming sign telling you "NOTICE THIS!" I would not want to stay with a woman that would make me feel like that.

I was put in a similar (although significantly less serious) situation. I think she needs to work out what she wants, and she needs to be sure of it, or otherwise you and this other guy are both going to get screwed around. You can't sit around and wait to see how it turns out forever, you need to know now, so that you can move on, if you have to. There's nothing worse than sitting around waiting and waiting for something that may never happen. I know you don't want to pressure her, and it might be painful to walk away (if you have to), but it's not fair on you to always put her first.

 

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