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Lovingyou.com > Love Advice & Tips > Love Advice > Help! Married but can't forget ex!
Help! Married but can't forget ex! Unhappy posted: 10/09/09 at 8:59 AM
Brokenheartlady  [more]
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Would like as many opinions or similar experiences as possible so please respond!! I will try to make this short but it is complicated!!

Fell in love with first boyfriend senior year of high school (91). He was the rebel, I was the good girl. He was my first "everything" - he took my breath away because he was so passionate yet so tender with me. Parents hated him, so broke it off before college to please them. 3 yrs went by, he called and wanted to get back together - said he never got over me. I had been missing him terribly, so said yes. Things were wonderful, so much in love, then he got in trouble at work (He was a prison guard). He called me one day to tell me that he was in serious trouble at work, the less I knew the better, he was going to protect me from it, he would call when it was over. Said he loved me, I said I loved him too and we hung up. That's the last I ever spoke to him (94). Didn't know what the trouble was until it was broadcast all over the news a few weeks later that a prison guard was arrested and on trial for brutally beating a prisoner. After the reporter said his name, I was devastated, scared, confused, and generally a basketcase for the next few months. I never called his house because I was just too scared for a number of reasons.

Then 4 mths later a friend from college invited me to church where I met a nice man 9 yrs older than me. He liked me very much and we had lots in common. I was not physically attracted to him but he could make me laugh, which I really needed at that time because I was still torn up about the ex. So after two years of dating (and never hearing from the ex) I agreed to marry him. Fast forward 13 years, we have two great kids and a brand new home. But I've never truly been happy. I have never forgotten my ex - worried, thought, and dreamed of him every day for 15 yrs.

I have tried hard to forget the ex and devote myself totally to the marriage and our kids. But I have another problem. My husband is a musician (by hobby - his job is unrelated) and he spends 5-6 nights a week gone practicing or gigging with his many music groups. We have argued and argued about this from the beginning of our marriage and I was ready to leave him at yr 5 but then found out I was pregnant. I have tried to make my husband understand that we need him at home but it's like talking to a brick wall. In the past years, I have given up arguing so we could have peace in the home and I question if I really love or respect him anymore.

Every once in a while I googled my ex's name but all I ever found was old trial info. Then two months ago I googled him again and found him on myspace. My heart practically leaped out of my chest. He is not married but has just started dating a woman from our high school. Also found out that he still lives 30 minutes away from me, and belongs to a group that meets on Sunday afternoons at a local park. Last Sunday I drove to that park and saw him for the first time in 15 years - from a distance. I was too chicken to get out and say hello.

I question why I can't forget this man. Was it really true love and I messed up by not calling or supporting him all those years ago? I question if I still love or ever really loved my husband. I know the love for the two men is completely different. I don't really want to break up my marriage, but I feel as if I will never be happy. Please any advice would be appreciated!!

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posted: 10/09/09 at 9:33 AM

fair_is_fair  [more]
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I think because you always thought of your ex, you just never had room in your heart for anyone else. Im sorry, but your ex seems to have a bad record now and Im not sure what kind of person he is at this point. I think the way things panned out was you were never meant to be with him. I would be careful about this situation because getting any closer to your ex will pull you farther away from your marriage to the point where it will break it up.

So you only have a few choices

1. Either get over this man and try to work on your marriage.

2. Divorce your husband and allow both of you to find some one that you are happy with.

3. Attempt to suggest counseling and to try to work out the circumstances with your husbands music hobby before you consider any further action.

Dont stay together for the kids, stay together because you genuinely want to...you arent doing your kids a favor when you are always duking it out in the home. That really effects the children a lot, I know it effected me.

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When I am at work, its like I am Iron Man...I feel invincible when I don the armor of success....

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posted: 10/09/09 at 9:52 AM
Brokenheartlady  [more]
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Thank you for the advice. I have tried for years to forgt the ex, but he always pops back into my mind or I will actually go a little bit not thinking of him and then have a very vivid dream about him. Is it possible that I just need closure with the ex - since we never really broke up? I feel like if I knew that he no longer had any feelings for me whatsoever then maybe I could move on. I do wish I could feel for my husband what I feel for the ex. If he would just get as excited about his family as he does his music then maybe things would be different. Other than this hobby he is a good man. On the couple of nights a week he actually is home he is a great dad. He has no idea that I am so upset. It's just been such a long time since I've brought up the "music" subject that I guess he thinks everything is just fine. Also, the romance dept with my husband is dead as a doornail. The last time he surprised me with anything special was a party when I turned 25 (11 years ago). The only thing that really gets him going is his music. I get it because that's what brought us together in the first place (I have a degree in music education) but honestly his devotion to it has killed any enjoyment I get out of music.

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posted: 10/09/09 at 11:43 AM

Azerman  [more]
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The one guy was exciting but probably would be bad for you and your life. Your husband is not exciting and you have issues. The solution is not to jump ship.

Forget the old guy, It would almost certainly not work out and it would hurt many of the people you love very much. Pursuing that would be very selfish.

Work on the issues in your marriage. It sounds like you do not communicate with your husband about the problems and he has no clue.

Get control over yourself and your life. Make goals and you work to meet those goals. Do not let your life and your emotions run you. This means that you do what you need to do to forget the old guy. You have control over your thoughts if you take it. This means that you fix your marriage. This means that you set your priorities.

Do you love your kids? Wouldn't you do whatever it would take to make life better for your kids? Wouldn't you sacrifice a kidney or lose an arm if need be to make your kid's life better? Yet you would consider leaving their father for a man who just might be trouble and inflicting that on your kids? If you are not going to forget that guy then at least suffer in silence.

But wouldn't you just rather focus on building a wonderful relationship with your husband and children?

Be your husband's groupie and adore what he does with his music. At the same time be your children's defender and insist that their father be a wonderful family man. Do it in a way that does not create strife but builds a relationship between you two. Don't wait for romance but make it. Your children deserve a father who loves their mother with passion. Be winsome and win him over with your devotion and commitment. Don't nag and complain but do show your feelings so he understand the consequences of his behavior. Does he want you to feel like you do? Or will be work to fix it too once he understands?

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posted: 10/09/09 at 4:57 PM
Brokenheartlady  [more]
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Azerman, I have been working on the issues in my marriage for 13 yrs. And I have already "suffered in silence" for the same amount of time. Of course I love my kids. That is one reason that I posted on here for (hopefully) some help and guidance. I would LOVE to focus on building a "wonderful relationship with my husband and children". I already have a great relationship with my kids because I am pretty much the only parent they see and the only one who loves them enough to stay home with them 24/7. I am the only one who really takes care of them, when it boils right down to it. I did say that when my husband is here he is a great dad. That is for the one hour that we are eating dinner or right after he gets home until he showers for the next gig he is going to. In all the time we have had the children, we have gone out together todo something fun as a family just a handful of times. Been to the park just once. Went to the movies a couple of times. Have had a total of 2 small vacations. My husband has NEVER played ball with my son or shown him any of the important "guy" stuff that dads usually do. That is usually up to me. Why? My husband can't possibly do that because he's got to go. He'll do it tomorrow. All those "tomorrow's" have turned into alot of failed yesterdays. I do my best for the kids each and every day. I have always put my family's needs above my own. That is why I shut up about the music thing a long time ago. Just so that there would finally be peace in the house.

I have tried not to "nag" my husband about his music. I have tried getting him to give up some of it, not all of it. I do this as gently as I can because I know how upset he gets when I even mention it, because it is still a sore spot in our marriage. He gets very pouty and usually makes some sort of snide comment about me trying to be his mother. I'll say it's for me and the kids and then he says well at least he doesn't drink, smoke, cuss, cheat, lie, etc, etc so I should be happy. Which I've got to admit, at least he's right about that. It's just very very difficult because I feel like a single mom who is not allowed to at least find happiness and closeness with a man. The arrangement with my husband feels very much like a roommate situation.

I have tried being my husband's "groupie" in the past and it usually backfires because he will totally ignore the fact that I am there and just hang out with his guys every second until it's time to go home. The thing that really upsets me the most is that when it comes to his music, he thinks about it all the time, plans for it, organizes for it, marks each event on the calendar and crosses out the days until the event arrives. When it comes to remembering anniversaries, birthdays, special events for his kids, I have to remind him repeatedly (even though it is also written on our calendar) and he's always "oh yeah....did you buy the presents?" or "oh yeah, I almost forgot". I have not received an anniversary present in at least 7 years. What this tells me is that he doesn't really love us and it hurts like hell. I am tired of suffering in silence. I would almost rather be dead than hurt anymore - but it's my kids that keep me going. I know they need me so that is why I keep the family running as smoothly as I can.

I have never told anyone my feelings for my ex. Never breathed a word not even to my best friend, or my sister (whom I confide in about alot of other things). I have pushed my feelings for my ex away yet they repeatedly come back. I have had other boyfriends who I have to really think hard to even remember their names. It's just recently (since I found him on myspace) that I have become very confused. How do you forget someone when they meant so much to you? Before the whole fiasco with him getting into trouble, we were making wedding plans and were each other's soulmates. One day we were happy, the next he was snatched away - never to be heard of again.

I am not, never have been the cheating type. I have never even looked at or considered a relationship with any man outside of my marriage. I don't want any part of that. I realize that I have made a commitment to my husband, to my kids, and to God. I take that commitment very seriously. But what do you do when your husband pretty much ignores you 24/7? The biggest thing I am afraid of is being completely alone after the kids are grown. And I know that is what's coming and it frightens me to the core.

If I knew how my ex felt about everything I think life would be easier. That is why I am considering contacting him. If he no longer had any feelings for me, then it might be easier to just settle into whatever life my husband offers me. However, if he still has those same feelings that I have, I honestly don't know what I would do. Of course we wouldn't even be discussing this if my husband really loved me. I would be totally content to just be his wife forever. I don't know if anyone out there reading this understands what I'm going through, but being neglected (while not being as bad as physical abuse) hurts like a knife through the chest.

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posted: 10/09/09 at 7:24 PM

HellYaImNuts  [more]
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quote:
I question why I can't forget this man. Was it really true love and I messed up by not calling or supporting him all those years ago? I question if I still love or ever really loved my husband. I know the love for the two men is completely different. I don't really want to break up my marriage, but I feel as if I will never be happy. Please any advice would be appreciated!!


You probably can't forget him b/c you are still waiting for that call he talked about after his problems were resolved. He never called. Perhaps you didn't feel as if you had closure that way b/c it wasn't an offical break up between you two and it left you with false hope. I dunno.
But the point being, he never called like he said he would and it's been 15 yrs. I wonder if your ex was looking for a way out of the relationship to begin with and used his legal problems as a way out or to end things? If he wanted to be with you after all was said and done, he would have called. No?

As for your marriage? You have to figure out why you aren't happy. You said you weren't attracted to your Husband when you first met him. Is that the case now?
Are you unhappy with yourself in some way?
You've been in love with someone else for your entire marriage....you can't move fwd with someone else if you are still stuck in the past.

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~Love is a cycle. When you love, you get hurt. When you get hurt, you hate.
When you hate, you try to forget.
When you try to forget, you start missing.
When you start missing, you eventually will fall in love again~

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posted: 10/09/09 at 7:56 PM

fair_is_fair  [more]
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Im assuming because of all of this the affection has died between you two. I think you two should attempt to go to counseling and see if this can be resolved, if he wont go, then you should go yourself just to get some clarity of the situation.

I think you do need closure with your ex because you are constantly pondering the what ifs. This is the guy you were hoping to married and instead you settled for some one else. So the ex being in your grasp highlights your problems even more. However Im not sure if contact is the answer to this. I am thinking it might make it worse if you dont keep your feelings under check.

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When I am at work, its like I am Iron Man...I feel invincible when I don the armor of success....

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posted: 10/09/09 at 10:22 PM
Brokenheartlady  [more]
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You are right, I think I am still waiting for that phone call! I think I know the reason why my ex never called. I am not sure how long his prison sentence was, but there was a lengthy trial he had to go through that took several months. Even if the trial took 6 months and he was in prison for 2 years, everything changed for me. I had a new last name and moved to a different town for my new job. He couldn't call my parents because they also moved away from our family home. I didn't keep in touch with anyone from our hometown. So getting in touch would have been difficult. Also, if he had found out that I started dating someone else during his trial time, he probably would have been so pissed he never would call. That's my fault I know. I also do not blame him or think badly of him for what happened with that prisoner he supposedly beat. From what I can tell from the news stories, there was a riot going on there all day and he and another prison guard were having trouble getting everything under control when one of the prisoners jumped him. In my prejudiced opinion, the prisoner had it coming.

As I said in my first blog here, I was a good girl who hated to get into trouble. When my ex got in trouble with the law, I didn't know how to handle it. I hated even getting a dirty look from a teacher - you can imagine how jailtime and a trial scared me to death! I know now I should have fought for him and supported him through this process. But back then I didn't because 1)I was scared I'd be called to be a character witness and have my name plastered all over the news too. 2)My parents would have disowned me had they knew that I was dating him again and was in love - which I was going to tell them because we wanted to get married until this whole jailtime thing started. 3)All of my college friends, roommates, best friend told me I needed to move on and forget him. Truth is I was a coward and too young and stupid to realize that I really, really truly loved him and that moving on was going to be impossible.

You asked if I was unhappy with myself in some way. Well I think that I feel so horribly guilty for not calling him all those years ago and showing my support. I absolutely hate myself for letting him go through that alone. Well, he didn't go through it all alone. I read on his myspace page that his mother helped him through it. His quote was "My mother is my biggest hero. She has stood by me while I traversed living hell itself." I've read over that quote so many times it's burned in my memory.

Your question about my attraction to my husband is harder to answer. On the surface and speaking like a shallow person for a moment - he is not what you would call a handsome man but has some endearing features - he is very tall, nice blue eyes, cute "tight end". However, to be absolutely truthful with you, his kissing has always bothered me since we started dating and not turned me on in any way. On the other hand, one kiss from my ex turned me into butter. Sorry that's just me being honest. But obviously that is just a small part of what makes you love a person, so I thought that me not enjoying his kissing would be o.k. The sex issue is the same as the kissing.

I think the reason that I think of my ex so often is because of my husband ignoring me. When I need intimacy I think of how my ex treated me. Those are the only good memories I have so I reflect on them instead of trying once again to get my husband to stay home with us. We are just two totally different people. He is not a homebody at all and thinks that everyone should have hobbies, get out and be with other people. In his mind, just because you are married doesn't mean you change anything about how much you go out. I am totally different. I would prefer to stay at home most of the time. I am a shy person when it comes to being around strangers so going out all the time is not my cup of tea. Besides, I have to stay home while he goes out all the time because SOMEONE has to be here for the kids.

To be honest, I guess when I "let my ex go" by not calling him and started dating my current husband, I knew that my ex would not be good for me. Everyone around me said it so it had to be true. My husband, on the other hand, was a good man. He had a stable job, was a good "church-going" person, liked taking care of me, and my parents loved him. I knew life with him would be secure. I thought I could make it work. I thought I could make myself love my husband - and I do, but just not like I need to or like he deserves. I thought I eventually would get over the feelings and guilt over my ex. I was sooo wrong. I've tried letting go, but the sad truth is that the innermost part of my heart has always belonged to my ex. My husband ignoring me is not helping things either. If he would try just a little things would probably be different. However, I've come to a point that I don't even know if I would accept him if he did try. All those years of resentment and anger have taken their toll. I'm here for the kids, to make sure they have a stable home. I don't argue with my husband in front of the kids. I always slap on a smile and pretend everything is fine.

Sorry this is so long but I figure if you know the whole story it will be easier to comment.

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posted: 10/09/09 at 10:45 PM
spartan1  [more]
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Your husband is reality.
The ex is fantasy.

Your reality may not be what you dreamed it would be but it is real and you can either work on it or change it.

Fantasy is just that, fantasy. Your living in a world from 15 years ago. If you pursue this there is no way it will ever match up to what is in your mind.

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posted: 10/09/09 at 11:27 PM

fair_is_fair  [more]
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Its not your fault you didnt support your ex, you did what you felt was right at the time. So dont blame yourself. Hes a big boy, he can take care of himself and obviously he did. You need to get over that guilt.

As for your current husband, I understand you married him because he was the easy way into security and was less risky than waiting for your ex. You made a good choice in not waiting for your ex to come back to you, but a bad choice in not assessing the situation correctly with your current husband during dating. If you never felt right with him, things never change with marriage and kids. Could there be a possibility it can work out....maybe, but you cant force attraction. If you are not remotely attracted to him or feel loved when he kisses you, holds you or makes love to you, you are running into a huge dead end.

You are teaching your kids to accept things the way they are even if you are truly unhappy. Be careful about that. I think you really do need to find a therapist, professional help to help you through this. I dont want to advocate you stay in the marriage if you are completely unhappy, but you do need to at least sit him down again and ask for him to try to change his priorities because you are miserable. See where that goes first. I know its been a while since you brought it up, so it might cause some resistance at first. Try to avoid blaming him.

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When I am at work, its like I am Iron Man...I feel invincible when I don the armor of success....

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