Help me understand my ex girlfriend's recent behavior. VERY LONG
posted by tokaidanshi to human relations (43 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'm 30 years old, and my ex girlfriend is about to turn 30.
She's Japanese, which may make some difference, but I don't want people to read too much into that, as I think this has more to do with her as a person and our relationship than any cultural issues.
First some background: We had a 2 year relationship, where we lived together for over a year. I wasn't fully engaged in the relationship for most of it, being freaked out about lack of career and life direction. We spent almost all of our time together, but I was often distant, and not super affectionate. I ended up moving away to do a grad program, a decision I made on my own, and I'm pretty sure this really hurt her. It was not a healthy relationship, mostly because she was super affectionate, super caring to me, and I was mostly a self absorbed selfish ass. We broke up about 3 months after I went away for the grad program, almost right after I'd come back to see her for Christmas.
After the break up, we had some contact for a bit. I bought a ticket to come see her over spring break, but she told me she was with another guy already and head over heels for him. I cancelled, she told me she wished I would have come, I got angry, she told me she said that because she’d just had a fight with her new boyfriend. After that, we didn’t talk for a few months.
Fast forward to now: I'm back in Japan for an internship, in line with my original plan for when I started grad school, except we aren't together any more. About a month before I came back, I wrote her a mail telling her that I'd be around, just in case she wanted to meet up for coffee one last time. She wrote back shortly after, telling me that she wanted to get rid of the cat that we'd owned together, and wondering if I might be able to take it when I graduated next year.
I said I wasn't sure what my situation would be like next year, but that we could talk about it when I got here.
Here's where we start to get to the most recent weird behavior. Our correspondence leading up to me arriving had been very friendly. But right before I got here, I got a mail saying that, even if I wanted to take the cat, she didn't think I would be responsible enough to take care of it, that I was a selfish person, and that I wouldn't even be responsible enough to do things like clean his litter box, take him to the vet, etc. (this is baseless, because I did all of these things when we lived together) I got a bit angry, and told her as much in an email, but again suggested meeting to talk things over. She agreed to meet the first weekend after I arrived in Japan. Just a few days before we were supposed to meet, she cancelled on me, telling me that she didn't think it would be fair to her new boyfriend for her to meet with her ex boyfriend, even to just talk about a cat, so we should just figure things out by email. I was a little peeved, because I wanted to see her one last time, and because figuring out this kind of thing by email seems prone to misunderstandings but said, ok, no problem.
We tried to figure things out by email, but quickly got into an argument, with things getting nastier by the mail. I felt bad, told her I was sorry for all of the vitriol, and to give me a week to try and figure things out, at which time I'd contact her.
A couple days later, she writes to me that it would be better for us to just calm down, meet, talk things over and figure everything out.
I said, either way, either meeting or by mail, but let's just try to be friendly. The next day, she sends me a friendly, almost flirty mail, saying it'd be a good idea to meet, but that if there's any chance that I still have feelings for her, that it wouldn't be a good idea for me, because, "after all, she's beautiful and it might get me all riled up." This was kind of a joke I think. I told her, no, it was ok, I'm already seeing other people too, so nothing to worry about, let's just meet and figure things out.
She responds in surprise that I'm seeing other people, asking for details about who they are, how long we've been dating, etc. Again, very friendly, but I don’t ask to meet, and just leave things there.
The next day, another mail, asking me if I’m going to go visit our old apartment, and if I do, could I pick up any mail of hers to give it to her WHEN we meet. I say, sure, ok.
Next day, another mail, saying it would be easier to meet on the weekdays than the weekend. I say ok, how about Thursday.
Next day, she says, Thursday is ok, but if you haven’t figured out anything about the cat, then what is the point of meeting. I tell her, I’ve figured things out, let’s meet and talk about it. She writes back late that night to say that it would be better to talk about it by email!
I reply and say, ok, no problem. Tell her I would love to take the cat, but probably shouldn’t promise to because I don’t know what my housing and job situation will be next year. (all things she told me were earlier were reasons why I shouldn’t even be allowed to take the cat ever.)
She responds with a long email, telling me that this proves I haven’t changed, that she doesn’t care about me at all, that she regrets ever dating me, that I am selfish and irresponsible, that she’s disappointed in herself for ever choosing to be with someone like me, that the only reason she’s glad she met me is that she learned to avoid people like me in the future, and that I’m just telling her a bunch of lies and this proves I’ll never change. She tells me that it doesn't matter what I say or do, that she will always think this way about me. Also, that she’s not criticizing me, but that this is just who I am so that’s why she’s saying this. She tells me she can never imagine ever meeting me, and that as much as she regrets ever being with me, or ever knowing me, she is equally as grateful to be loved by her new boyfriend as much as she is now. Also some more stuff similar to this, but you get the idea.
What is going on here? Our relationship wasn't a great one, and I wasn't a great boyfriend, but there have certainly been much, much worse, and we actually did have a lot of great times together as well. Our breakup happened long distance, and she found a nice new guy almost right away. I don’t have any hard feelings about the break up, totally understand why she left, and have told her as much many, many times. I’ve apologized profusely for being a poor boyfriend, told her I feel terrible about not treating her better, and told her I’m happy she’s found someone who treats her well. I’ve gotten angry a little bit, when she tells me I don’t deserve to even take care of my own cat, but for the most part I’ve been polite, friendly, and as civil and as flexible as I can be.
She has been at times friendly, flirty, cold, distant, angry, bitter, and everything in between. She is in what appears to be a very happy new relationship, I am trying to work with her on the cat thing, and I just don’t understand the wild swings in mood, and especially the really bitter last email she sent me. To me, it seems like, she’s already in a happy new relationship, I’ve apologized, and this should all be water under the bridge. Instead, she seems to be getting progressively more bitter, and her image of me has gone from, right after the breakup, a decent guy who wasn’t very affectionate and had some issues, to now, a self centered monster who doesn’t care about anyone or anything and can’t even take care of a cat. This is despite me being as polite and friendly as I can, her sometimes being friendly to me, and me telling her a million times I'm sorry, I'm glad she's happy now, and that I think she's a great person. I’ve been bitter at exes before, but it usually gets better with time, and especially after I’ve happily moved on, all is forgiven. I’m sorry that this is so long, but any idea what is going on here?