I guess I'm not over her after all.
December 14, 2006 12:10 PM   Subscribe

How can I get over the selfish jealousy I feel towards my ex-girlfriend who is also my best friend and her new man?

First, this is much longer than I thought it could end up being and I thank those who read and respond.

My ex-girlfriend broke up with me over 4 years ago because throughout her life every time she dated someone she would eventually become depressed even if she was happy with that person. After she reached that stage with me and broke it off we've remained friends and have turned into best friends. She has stayed friends with her other ex's who were worthy of her friendship. She has changed a lot in the past 4 years and is now a very happy, active, and motivated individual. We've lived in the same house for 6 years, both with roommates and now just the two of us. When we broke up I felt like she was breaking up with dating more than she was breaking up with me. I never felt at all rejected and easily accepted the end of our relationship. It had evolved into a friendship before we officially ended it. Since then I've dated a few people who were terribly not right for me and she never had any issue with it except she knew I could do better. She dated one guy who was a jerk and she dumped him when she realized this. At that time, before any of the terrible stuff that I won't mention happened I hated this guy because I was both jealous of him and I knew he was a jerk who would not treat her properly. I was surprised at how jealous I was.

A short time ago she started 'hanging out' with a guy from work. I knew what was going on long before she did. She had no idea he was interested in her in that way. She was surprised to find herself wanting to date him. Again I was surprised at how amazingly jealous I was of both of them. This guy seems much much better for her than the last. Deep down I want her to be happy but all I can feel is selfish jealousy. I'm fine hanging out with the two of them but once they're alone I more or less start having anxiety attacks. I get the shakes, am super cold, my stomach churns, and I cannot sleep. This is quite unusual for me. Generally I have a refined ability to let things I can't control roll off my back. I am low-stress to the point of it sometimes annoying people that I don't get stressed by anything.

I told her about how I never felt rejected by her and always assumed that whenever she was ready to date again that the obvious guy was me. So 4 years after the fact, she informs me she just doesn't see me that way anymore. She says, and has been saying for years, that I'm cute and smart and funny and a great guy that deserves a great girl but that she is not that girl. She's always on the look out for me and wants to help me meet someone. I think I want or need her to really reject me so I can finally give up on her. She has nothing bad to say about me other than sometimes I can be boring. She wants me and her new man to be friends. She made the mistake of listing a ton of things we have in common and not a single thing that separates us. I'm finding myself irrationally angry at him and unable to deal with the conflicting feelings of my devotion to her as a friend wanting her to be happy and my feelings of rejection and selfish jealousy. I've never been this jealous or selfish in my life and it is a new and frustrating experience.

Now please kick my butt, give me your insight, and tell me how I might get over this. questions can go to: me.being.anonymous at gmail dawt com.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (28 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I'm always surprised at how angry I get when an ex finds happiness. It's hard to rid yourself of that kind of anger precisely because it sort of hides in the tall-grass of your personality until it's time to strike. The best solution: Find a new girl! Fall in love yourself. You'll feel better about you and about her.

On the other side: You said you accepted the end, but that you always figured she'd come back. That's, well, not accepting the end. I imagine your anger, then, is maybe not so much the buried wellspring we all tend to carry, but anger that things didn't turn out like you expected them to? And that's something you have to reconcile with yourself.
posted by GilloD at 12:20 PM on December 14, 2006 [1 favorite]

Hello, friend.

You're dealing with a lot of feelings. One thing I notice is that you're encouraging your own positive feelings with words like "deep down" and dismissing your negative feelings as "irrational" or "selfish." Why do you make this distinction? If the feelings are honest - if you're being honest with yourself - then isn't it possible that those angry feelings are part of your true feelings? You're allowed to be angry; you can permit yourself to feel that you've gotten the bad end of this deal.

Sometimes we suppress these negative feelings so much that we end up thinking that the right thing to do is still be friends with their target, and furthermore the negative feelings become yet another thing to feel guilty about. Don't fall into that trap - it's paralyzing. Embrace your anger and dismay that things didn't work out the way you wanted them to. It's part of the process that leads to getting past this.

I think I want or need her to really reject me so I can finally give up on her.

OK, now for a friendly reality check. She broke up with you 4 years ago. Despite close contact since that time, she's stayed completely on message that she doesn't find you suitable as a boyfriend. Now she's dating someone else.

You're rejected. But you know what? This isn't what's holding you back. You already know it.

You're going to have to come to terms with the way you really feel about this whole situation before you get past it. If I were you, I might bail out of the shared housing situation, drop her as a close friend, and start a short course of interpersonal psychotherapy to clear these things up in my head. But I'm not you; you have to find your own way.
posted by ikkyu2 at 12:22 PM on December 14, 2006 [1 favorite]

dude what do you want the intertubes to say? Suck it up and move on. That will probably entail NOT being her friend.
posted by evilelvis at 12:23 PM on December 14, 2006 [1 favorite]

You need to move out and also to stop seeing her socially until you are over her. This will be a few years down the line. Good luck.
posted by LarryC at 12:25 PM on December 14, 2006

I think you have to face it that she rejected you in the romantic sense when you first broke up.

Your critical mistake was staying friends after that..but that's neither here nor there.

It seems like you feel a bit betrayed. But she doesn't seem to be the one that was harboring secret hopes this whole time. From what you say, she doesn't like she was being at all dishonest...but you were, if only to a mild degree.
posted by milarepa at 12:28 PM on December 14, 2006

Not "she doesn't like she was being at all dishonest."
Should be: "It doesn't seem like she was being at all dishonest."

posted by milarepa at 12:32 PM on December 14, 2006

I think ikkyu2 was right on. My only thought is that you may start to "act-out" and do harm to yourself. You really do need counseling of some type. And as someone said, you should live separately. Living with her only festers these terrible attacks you have. Please get help for yourself.
posted by JayRwv at 12:35 PM on December 14, 2006

How's that tune go? The one that you might be whistling to yourself for a while? "You're moving up, and I'm moving out"? Something like that.

Hey, y'know, the feelings... They're just feelings. There're some great things that you can do to suppress those feelings or distract yourself, most of 'em involve getting a new girlfriend. I mean, things are great and all, but hey, you might even want to let her know "I'm just havin' some freak out jealousy. I know we're not getting back together, and that's cool, but I'm gonna have to do my own thing for a little bit."
Jealousy like this doesn't even have to be over the dating, y'know. I've felt irrationally jealous when one of my old pals got a new girlfriend and didn't want to hang out as much anymore. I dealt with it (I still think his girlfriend's an idiot, but she's about eight years younger than both of us, so I guess that's to be expected), and things are OK. Be happy for her, but don't dwell on it.
This is the time for you to kick your own life into gear. At the very least, you can always nurse the hope that by being super cool and into all sorts of sweet stuff (and lookin' good, etc.) that she'll pine for you again. But by then, you should have your own girlfriend and you won't even remember why you were all about her to begin with.
posted by klangklangston at 12:38 PM on December 14, 2006

I never felt at all rejected and easily accepted the end of our relationship
Doesn't look that way. You need to move somewhere else. You cannot live with her. You need a place of your own or with other roommates (roommates who don't know her well enough to update you on her daily life). You will never get over her and your jealousy if you see her daily.
After you've moved out you need to admit that you are not over her, that you never wanted the relationship to end (I always assumed that whenever she was ready to date again that the obvious guy was me) and you need to consider dating other people. I am not recommending that you find another live-in girlfriend, but that you take the time to get to know yourself without leaning on a girl/friend. As mentioned above, psychotherapy could be quite valuable.
Moving out will also be a gift to her. Think about how she must feel (even if she doesn't talk to you about it) about dating another guy, knowing that you are at home going mad.
And if you continue to talk to her, you must not talk about relationships. You can't hang onto this in any way. You've done so for too long already.

I am on the other end of your predicament. My wife is still good friends with her old, long-term, boyfriend. They talk on the phone every few weeks. It still gets to me even though he lives three thousand miles away and dates other people and she and I have been happily married for years. Jealousy is a sneaky bastard. But time has smoothed the rough edges and I can see that my sharp pangs are fading.
Take Care (and feel free to email me if you need some random person to vent to - I've been thru some downright disgusting break-ups).
posted by iurodivii at 12:51 PM on December 14, 2006

she firmly placed you in the friend camp. you gave her an emotional connection that she wanted in a friend but not a lover. she's moved on. you haven't. you stuck aroudn thinking that she'll come back to you. that, my internet friend, is fantasy land and belongs in j lo movies and not in your life.

you never felt rejected, you never felt dumped. you don't know why she dumped you the way she did. personally, and i'm cynical about this, but it sounds more like she wanted to let you down gently. and it worked. you've lived with her for six years and for the past four you thought she's come back to you. you've been waiting while she's been moving on. even though you've had other relationships, you're still stuck on her.

you need to move out and embrace your own life that is outside of her. and don't try to be friends with her new man. you don't need to be friends with him; it's your life. she can have her own friends that you don't need to be around except have a moderate tolerance for. rather than doing things for her like you've been doing for the last four years, you should try doing something for yourself.

your life doesn't have to be just one person especially someone how broke up with you. and that's probably why she views you as boring. live your own life, have your own existence, and stop using her as a crutch from being the person you want to be.

you didn't get the girl in this movie. but just trust that someday, you will.
posted by Stynxno at 12:56 PM on December 14, 2006

"I told her about how I never felt rejected by her and always assumed that whenever she was ready to date again that the obvious guy was me."

I can imagine so many girls reading this and just shaking their heads in dismay. It just doesn't work that way. You're lucky that this is how it has finally ended instead of her resenting you and toying with you or taking advantage of you financially.

In these situations, proximity is everything. Everything about this will be magified as long as you are dealing with it in person, every day. If you want to feel better, then you have to make room in your life for things to happen that will cause this.

You need to move out, or find out if she's willing to. Once it's done, you'll feel like hell. This is all the pain and rejection you were meant to have felt years ago. But it will go away, and even better, you will have a much more realistic understanding of the whole situation from start to finish once you've been out of it for a while.
posted by hermitosis at 1:05 PM on December 14, 2006

I told her about how I never felt rejected by her and always assumed that whenever she was ready to date again that the obvious guy was me. So 4 years after the fact, she informs me she just doesn't see me that way anymore.

[on preview: hermitosis said this more succinctly than me -- if you were my ex and you told me this I would be gnashing teeth with you at this point "I ALREADY broke up with you!"]

It seems to me that she told you this originally when you first split up and has done nothing to suggest otherwise and you're just now realizing that you've been carrying a torch for her. This is a hard thing to get a grip on. I've known a lot of couples who stayed close friends after breakups and there was often some sort of secondary breakup when one person moved on in an obvious way and the other person all of the sudden had to deal with the reality of what the breakup meant in the long term (i.e. that your special friend might very probably be finding another more special friend regardless of how special you were to each other).

You have some choices to make, you and you alone, not you and her. You and her also probably have some choices to make but the first step is deciding what YOU want, given that your friend has a new partner and that the new partner is not and will not ever be you. My suggestion, as someone who has done this before, is to do what you need to do to not have this person in your immediate emotional support network for dealing with this issue. You said what you had to say (how you figured the two of you would be together eventually) and she said her bit (that's not going to happen) and now you have to plan for you. Even though you say she's your best friend, and I'm not disputing that, your anger and jealousy is going to get in the way of you being a friend to her and not really super helpful for you to start wtih. So, get some distance. My suggestion is get your own place to live -- do you really still live together? that seems like a bad plan at this juncture -- and your own routines that are not all wrapped up in her. It's hard to untangle yourself from another person when the entanglements are part life, part love and part who knows what.

She HAS rejected you as a boyfriend but she's unlikely to reject you as a friend. You're just not really taking it at face value because you're carrying a torch. You need to decide how much you want to be in her life with the data point that she's probably not as unhappy having you be in her life with her and her new man as you will likely be. So the main thing you need to do is stop taking your cues from her and figure out what works for you and you alone. This is a hard change to make when you're used to having another person in your life to sort of bounce things off of and consult with but you eithe rneed to replace her with a more disinterested friend or relative (family can sometimes be great for these periods on your life) or draw upon your own inner resources to figure out what you need. Good luck.
posted by jessamyn at 1:10 PM on December 14, 2006 [1 favorite]

Speaking from a boatload of heartbreaking experience (some of it quite recent and fresh, actually): exes can really only be just friends when you're both truly over each other, which is pretty much signified by having absolutely zero expectation or desire to reunite. If you really were entertaining thoughts that she'd eventually come round to dating you again, then I'm sorry to say you do not fall in that camp, and you're not really "just" friends. You still have to get over her, and you're not going to be able to do it while maintaining the fiction that you guys have a mutually platonic bond.

As Jessamyn says perfectly, "you have some choices to make, you and you alone, not you and her." Consulting with a different friend, family member, or counselor is a good thought -- you know you need to be over her; the question is, how do you get there in a way that allows you to take care of yourself, to honor your feelings and gets you further along your path? Good luck.
posted by scody at 1:40 PM on December 14, 2006

I think I want or need her to really reject me so I can finally give up on her.

She has. When she says you're smart and good and she's not the girl for you, that is a very thoughtful, caring, gentle, considerate rejection. You have been rejected, as in, not chosen. As in, someone else chosen instead. As in, when you explicitly offered yourself, she did not accept.

What you mean to say is that you need her to hurt you. It's much easier to give up hope when someone has really hurt you. And it's a lot easier to let them make the final choice than to stand up and decide it for yourself. It's also easier to feel like a hero (or a victim) when someone else plays the villain.

So still you hold out hope as long as she treats you with care and respect that somehow this good foundation can be steered back into romantic love. And I don't blame you for this unrealistic hope. Every damn story in our popular culture reinforces this hope. Every damn movie character who's ever felt as you do ultimately gets the girl.

Think about why those movies get made: because that reality doesn't happen for so many people.

I've had other friends who've continued living with their exes, even when still hung up on them. And I always tell them it sounds like a nightmare idea to me. But I've learned to respect their choices and consider that some people perhaps can separate our their past romantic feelings from their current roommate relationship.

I certainly couldn't do any such thing in the same situation. And evidence shows that you can't either. Again, I don't blame you. I think it would be a ridiculous task to try. You've maintained a good friendship for 6 years in this house, but it's time to move on.

MOVE OUT. Move out, move on, and move on up. For what it's worth, it sounds like you guys do have a very good friendship and care about each other. You don't have to live together to maintain that. And you are too close to the situation. You're in pain now, and you're going to become a source of discomfort, guilt, pain for her soon as well.

The next best thing you can do to moving out is to spend time alone with her new man. Even if it's just a good 1:1 talk sometime when he is over. See him as a person and not a sausage, and you may see her interest in him as a real human emotion, not a mere plot twist in your own life.

Good luck. It hurts.
posted by scarabic at 1:50 PM on December 14, 2006 [3 favorites]

I know how you are feeling dude, as I'm going thru something similar right now, although we don't live together. The first thing that I thought when reading this is that you need to get out of the house. Everyone else has already mentioned the reasons why. DO IT IMMEDIATELY! And make sure she knows why. As someone said you need to focus on yourself, and while I'm not big on seeing a therapist, you must take care that you stay motivated with activities that will keep your mind focused of off the black pit of despair that will be gnawing at you after you stop seeing her.

I would recommend picking up a copy of Neil Strauss's The Game just to put things in perspective. You've got one-itis for this girl and you need to realize that there are hundreds of girls out in the world just like her. By moving out and cutting off contact with her (don't call her, avoid places she hangs out) you can start healing and moving on. Yes I know that it will seem like your investment of time spent with this woman would be lost but you haven't been intimate with her in years anyways right?

I really think the best thing you can do after getting away from her is to go out and talk to as many girls as possible. Flirt with everyone, from the teenager ringing up your groceries to the older manager at Barnes and Nobles. It will make you feel better as you realize that you still have the power to make girls smile and find people that like you.

One other thing might happen as well. By moving out and making yourself scarce in her life she may come to realize how much she wants you and may cause her to rethink the relationship. If you start aggressively befriending other women and she finds out about it, she will either be happy for you or it will trigger feelings of jealousy and force the two of you to re-evaluate things.

I know the consensus here is that the relationship is over but I want to let you know that there is still hope. You may have forgotten some of the rules of the game, but if you pull out and work on yourself with vigor 3 months from now you have more beautiful women in your life than you'll know what to do.

Best of luck.
posted by daHIFI at 1:51 PM on December 14, 2006

Oh lord, I somehow managed to miss the bit about you two living together! So I would say you have to MOVE OUT, as soon as you can. However, make sure that you're moving into a decent situation -- don't grab the first shithole that comes along, which will just compound your misery. Pick a place (that you can afford, naturally) that will feel welcoming and comfortable. Maybe it's got lots of natural light, or is in a cool neighborhood, or has built-in bookcases, or is a better commute to work -- whatever it is, it's vital that you pick a new living space where you will feel at home, and not like you've been exiled to some domestic siberia.

Beyond that, what scarabic says, a million times.
posted by scody at 2:17 PM on December 14, 2006

You are feeling horrible because you are finally dealing with the breakup you never had 4 years ago. Now is the time to move out and distance yourself from her, as others have put so well.

On preview, hermitosis has it exactly right: I told her about how I never felt rejected by her and always assumed that whenever she was ready to date again that the obvious guy was me. I can imagine so many girls reading this and just shaking their heads in dismay. It just doesn't work that way.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 2:20 PM on December 14, 2006 [1 favorite]

One other thing might happen as well. By moving out and making yourself scarce in her life she may come to realize how much she wants you and may cause her to rethink the relationship. If you start aggressively befriending other women and she finds out about it, she will either be happy for you or it will trigger feelings of jealousy and force the two of you to re-evaluate things.

I don't think that's a great idea: I don't recommend befriending or dating anyone if you're really just holding out hope that you and your friend will get back together.

I have been there (not living together, but codependent friendship with an ex) and it is hard when the stories you've told yourself fall apart. It is really easy to bide your time and wait for ex to be ready to date you again instead of taking the risk of dating someone new. (Seriously: move out!)

But this is why you need to separate yourself from this situation. Take some space, throw yourself into other things (work, hobbies, whatever. Don't make it about forcing yourself to get over her, just do whatever you can to distract yourself from the situation. Don't beat yourself up for being depressed or jealous (or whatever); it's okay to be a little selfish in these situations. It's probably a good idea to cut off all contact for awhile to get some perspective. Give yourself a set amount of time (Six weeks? Three months? Longer? Explain this to her and make a date.) before you talk to her again. This is a good idea because then you won't be constantly taking the temperature ("Am I ready to talk to her yet? How about now?") of the situation and you can concentrate on other parts of your life without worrying about it.
posted by SoftRain at 2:23 PM on December 14, 2006

I'm not a psychologist or a therapist, but here's my take on it.

1. Admit to yourself that you're trapped right now: the intensity of your feelings for this girl, and your (apparent) lack of outside romantic interests have created a situation where you may feel like you and she are OBVIOUSLY right for each other, and she just needs to realize that; however, that's not the truth. You and she cannot, I repeat, cannot be right for each other, because she does not want to be with you. Accept that, no matter how painful it feels right now. Embracing the truth makes you stronger and happier, clinging to delusions makes you weak and unhappy. I'm not saying it's your fault, but you are trapped. The way outside the trap, or rather through it, is to acknowledge that it's not going to happen, because she doesn't want it. Just accept it. You don't have to like it.

2. You're in a dead-end situation living with her. You've become very close, emotionally, but you have mutually exclusive desires for the relationship. The consequence of mutually exclusive desires in a heterosexual male-female friendship is basically always bad. This is essentially a toxic relationship that takes your energy and attention and gives you pain in return, am I right?

3. You need some time to work on yourself and get in touch with what you really want, because right now you have no idea. I'm sorry if that's harsh, but that's how it is. Think about it objectively. Unless you have emotionally masochistic tendencies, there's no reason for you to be in a situation where your needs are being so obviously unmet. At this point, I think you don't even realize how problematic it is that your needs aren't being met, probably (if I may speculate) because you're not confident that you deserve anything from someone that you like so much. You deserve to be with someone who wants to be with you.

4. One way that people grow is through honest, unhurried introspection; another way is through meaningful relationships. Like I said before, you may (probably) need some time for yourself before you can have a good relationship with someone else, but it will be much more likely to happen when you learn to be honest about what you want, and assertive about what you need. This is not equivalent to being demanding or childish; it's a healthy way to relate to other adults. People will respect you for it, and your life will suddenly become simpler and easier.

5. While we're on it, maybe think also about how often you do things in relationships that subordinate your own true desires and needs to those of someone else.

6. The shakes, coldness, and anxiety you're feeling are symptoms. They're your body's way of telling you that it's afraid. It's afraid because your mind suspects that the person who has been the emotional center of your life for many years is going to abandon you, emotionally and otherwise, but something has escaped your attention: she abandoned the relationship that you want many years ago. She's already gone. The reason that you're having anxiety attacks now is that you've mistaken her physical presence, and willingness to engage in a friendship, with her emotional openness to a romantic relationship.

An analogy. Once upon a time, you knocked on the door of her house, and she opened the door and you went in. At some point, she left, but you refused to acknowledge it. Don't worry about why she left; she had her reasons, and that's that. Now one day, you went outside and found yourself locked out. You're knocking politely on the door, and waiting patiently, but you know she's not there. She is never going to open that door again. She doesn't live there anymore. You're confused: this is the same house as before, how could she not be here? Don't be deceived by the appearance of things. It's the same house, but it will never be your home again. And she's not coming back. Leave that house, let it die the good, untroubled death of things past and become part of the earth again. Maybe someday a tree will grow there.

Anon, I'm sorry if any of these thoughts are offensive or inaccurate. I don't know you. But I hope you'll consider these things, and I hope they will be helpful.

You're going to be ok.
posted by clockzero at 2:32 PM on December 14, 2006 [3 favorites]

Hey anonymous. Just adding my own two cents, based on personal experience.

Like a lot of people have said, distance helps. This had made it infinitely more tolerable for me. If we had not been separated by external forces, I would gladly have wasted away waiting for her to 'rediscover' me no matter how harmful this might have been for both of us. Distance is a good idea.

I summarily disagree with people saying that you two can not be friends. This has not been the case with any of my exes and especially 'the ex' I'm referring to here. It's been over a year now and we're getting to that point where we can just be friends comfortably now. I still think about her and us as a couple, and romanticise about what could have been. But at least I have enough (emotional) distance to realise how absurd these thoughts are and that we're both happier now than in any fiction I can conjur up. She'll always be a big part of my past and who I am, nothing can change that, but the most important part is accepting that it's in the past.

What also helped me immensely was finding someone new. Ok, there was a sort of a rebound in-between that I'm not proud of, but then I found someone fantastic. It makes you realise that what you had was special in its own way, but not necessarily unique or a once in a lifetime deal. She might have changed in the last four years, now it's time to examine how you have changed or discover what you are capable of changing in to...

Good luck.
posted by slimepuppy at 2:41 PM on December 14, 2006

Pardon me for saying this, but:

"She has nothing bad to say about me other than sometimes I can be boring."

That's a really shitty thing for one person to say to another. In fact, it might be the worst thing. "You aren't being honest" or "you're unintelligent" or even "you smell" are pretty bad, but at least they reflect a rejection of some sort of attribute in the person being told them. "You're boring" means "I can't find anything in you yourself that interests me." "Boring" isn't really an attribute in itself; it's a gauge of the person saying it. So "you're boring" says more about the relationship the person saying it has with you than any other criticism.

Trust me, I've thought about this a lot. A girl once broke up with me because I was "boring." Girls who do that tend to be those who think they're better than stability. There are a lot of them in the world, unfortunately.

And if you think that I'm not really describing your situation, think about it: she's avoided getting closer to you for years, and ended up with a guy who's very similar, but who's not you. She broke up with you, and avoided dating you, because you're "boring." In other words, she felt as though she knew you through and through, and there really wasn't anywhere else to go. Given that you're not the first-- you say she's dumped people before because she gets tired of them, even if she has no complaints-- I imagine this is part of who she is.

See, when I first saw your question, and noticed how you've stayed friends for for more years, I thought of the obvious choice: try to win her back. You have the background with her, the history of steadfast friendship, to make that kind of thing really work. But, reading what you have to say, it's pretty clear that she's not really worth getting back. She can't really be part of a good relationship until she's learned to be with people through thick and thin, even when it's not that fun. She clearly hasn't learned that lesson.

Fuck her. Move on, man. Better places, better friends.
posted by koeselitz at 3:54 PM on December 14, 2006 [1 favorite]

argh, "for" = "four"
posted by koeselitz at 3:55 PM on December 14, 2006

Oh, and by the way, anonymous, you might meet a lot of girls (and others) who, as hermitosis says they might, "shake their heads in dismay," and tell you that "It just doesn't work that way. You're lucky that this is how it has finally ended instead of her resenting you and toying with you or taking advantage of you financially."

You shouldn't pay much attention. This girl dumped you for the most inane of reasons, and then stuck around with a complete and total disregard for your feelings. Anybody who's ever experienced love knows that it's an extremely powerful thing; and I don't blame you for a moment for harboring feelings. In some peoples' minds, being in love with somebody even though they're not in love with you might be some kind of crime, but it's not. You've done nothing to hurt her; you've been supportive, you've been honest, and you've been kind.

The only person you've really done wrong by here is yourself. Notice this: you're the only one really thinking about everyone's feelings here. You're trying not to be a dick to her new man, you want to make her happy. And she'd like everybody to "get along," but doesn't really respect who you are or what you feel.

I know, as lots of people do, that you'll meet people who think you were silly and even immoral to stay in love with her. However, she's the one who played sideways, not telling you what she wanted. She's the one who stuck around. You need to make a command decision and leave, because otherwise, she'll keep leeching off of you as she sees fit.
posted by koeselitz at 4:12 PM on December 14, 2006

I had to leave town and have spent the last two years avoiding meeting her for lunch or whatever when either of us happened to be in each others' area.

You should not maintain any kind of close relationship with her until you're really over her, or it may well cripple you.
posted by solid-one-love at 4:29 PM on December 14, 2006

evilelvis is brutal but very right
posted by matteo at 4:41 PM on December 14, 2006

Go, go, go! Start making your own world that doesn't have your XGF at the goddamn center of it, and grow up!

I love being a part of the AskMeFi almost-all-male 'fuck the bitch!' chorus. There's something nice about semi-socialized self-centered passive-aggressive resentful Internet-on-a-lonely-weeknight men unapologetically being, um, themselves. How can you not love it? It touches me in a very Fight Club-like, 'look at how not repressed we are, nuh uh' kind of way.
posted by waxbanks at 8:13 PM on December 14, 2006 [1 favorite]

Hey man. It's okay. Everything will be alright. Sometimes you just need to hear that. And sometimes you just need to say it to yourself.

All of us are stupid over love at one time or another. Hell some of us are stupid over love over and over and over.

There's no shame in trying to love someone. There's no shame in hoping that someone loves you back.

Everyone above is right, the reason you are taking this hard now is because you were in denial and didn't take it hard 4 years ago.

As long as you have been open with her, and let her know you want to rekindle the relationship, and she has flatly rejected you, then you've done all you can.

You can still be friends, but it's never going to be the same. People say it will be, and that it doesn't have to change, etc etc. But you're probably never going to be okay with her telling you stories of him banging her till she was sore one weekend or listening to her gush about he's just the greatest guy EVER.

However, being friends with her new man? Fuck that. That's practically turning you into a cuckold. You need only merely tolerate him, and then only if you intend to remain close or actively friendly with this woman.
posted by Ynoxas at 8:36 PM on December 14, 2006 [1 favorite]

However she feels about you, it isn't how you want. She thinks you're boring? Go find new interests, new things to research, new hobbies, new people. And if in the end it's still not her, well so ~what~? You still expanded your horizons and opened your life up to new things and people.

Oh, and as another voice in the chorus - Get out of Dodge, man. That situation hasn't been healthy for years, but now it sounds pretty fucking awful. I know you don't want to, but you need to get out of there as soon as possible.
posted by Meep! Eek! at 9:08 PM on December 14, 2006

« Older Save money at Vail Ski Resort   |   What's on your Flash Drive? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.