How to Breakup/Deal With Break Ups/Possible break up

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Question
QUESTION: Hello Becky. I could use some advice on a possible breakup from a long term relationship. So I guess a little back story:
I have been with my girlfriend for 13 years. I knew a few years ago that I was no longer in-love with her. I held on for as long as I could. I can't do this anymore. About 2 months ago I met this wonderful girl. Nothing serious has happened with us. About 3 weeks ago we took further steps in our friendship and it has become something more. I like her a lot and she likes me a lot as well. She knows I have a girlfriend. It has kept her from becoming too close.

I finally told my girlfriend about the other girl. In our conversation, I told her I no longer love her. Needless to say, she was devastated. I hurt her deeply and I feel so bad, but its a burden I am willing to carry because I deserve this. I feel so crappy that I couldn't keep my long term relationship on the right tracks, so therefore I feel as a failure, but how could I possibly carry on the way it was?

One of the things discussed between my girlfriend and I, is that if we split, she will take my dog and move back into her moms place, leaving me with the sole burden of all bills and expenses. I have so much swirling around in my head. My girlfriend wants me to work this out, but how do you work it-out? I can't just fall in love with her. Being together just to please one side and to prevent a financial meltdown seems to be all the wrong reasons to stay together.

The other girl I have been seeing, I feel I might be falling in-love with her. I have a feeling she is too. She wants me to make a decision on what I want to do:stay with my girlfriend or break it off and start a serious relationship with her. I can't just ask her to move in and take over where my girlfriend left off of. That is wrong and a recipe for failure.

I think I have found the one person I truly want to spend my life with, marry and have children with. Since the beginning of my current relationship, I didn't feel the need or want to marry or have children. I'm just so torn. I like this girl. A lot! But I am terrified of what would happen if I left my girlfriend for her and it doesn't work out. But I guess life is full of uncertainties. This is the toughest choice I have ever made. But, like the saying goes, I made my bed, and now its time to lie in it. Please, any advice would be great.

Thank you, Jared C.

ANSWER: Jared,

the truth is, you really have to identify what it is in a life partner. And better yet, if you want to be married at one point in your life at all anyway.

You mentioned above that you never had thoughts of marrying your current girlfriend, well then ask yourself the question of, "why am I staying with her in the first place?" Not wanting to marry in general is something that needs to be established earlier on before you start dating, period. But it seems to be not the case with you; you definitely want to get married, however discovering to whom is the million dollar answer. You've been with this woman for 13 years! That's a lot of time to spend with someone that you aren't interested in marrying. While you two have problems, which clearly need to be worked out, you obviously love her in some way. Falling in and out of love, in my opinion, is a Hollywood definition of what love means in the Western culture to give providence to having multiple partners for the future. It pretty much justifies having relation after relation; the slogan is there to warn people of potentially failed relationships so that when it happens, they can throw that line to their beloved partner, who has devoted a great chunk of their lives.

Even if you do not want to be with this girlfriend of yours now, jumping into this relationship will not help you. Your second last sentence was as honest as can be, which is refreshing but I don't think you realize how lost you really are. You see, you don't care for this new woman at all. In fact, if you leave your girlfriend I can almost guarantee that you would be kicking yourself for having left her in the first place because I can REASSURE that this woman is nothing at all special. And really, the "falling in love" feeling you get is called infatuation and it's a facade. It lasts for a short while and guess what, the real person comes out and the real problems start to surface and you hey! Fall OUT of love with her. What you love about her is how she makes you feel, which is confusing you and having you believe that you love her, when really, you just want a fresh relationship that excites you, which this current girlfriend can definitely provide if you two work together on building it again from where it started in the first place. Because may I remind you, it is what brought you 13 years later to this very moment. Unless this girlfriend is physically, emotionally, or mentally abusive and is ruining your health and/or well-being, it seems to me that the idea of committing to this one person is what scares you the most. Which is completely normal and something we can discover.

But I should remind you that marriage is no picnic in the park after having been together for several years. It is a plant that needs constant love, attention and appreciation. You MUST nourish your relationship on a regular basis and yes, there are moments of free cards where things seem smooth and relaxing, but the work is constant because what you two are trying to do is a build a perfect marriage for the both of you to be happy, not a limp and lifeless one.

Unfortunately, what this girl you're speaking to doesn't realize (and you as well as it seems - with all do respect), is that you are trying to replace old with new and that doesn't fix the problem because that relationship too will become old and it will have to be replaced eventually one day; it's a vicious cycle in its own.

I really hope this has helped you gain perspective; my apologies if it has come on too strong. Best of luck.

Becky

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hello Becky, thank you for your advice. I think it came off as strong but much needed, so thank you. I feel so saddened as to the fact that I became so close to giving up on 13 years of history. There is so much turmoil going on in myself that I don't know what to do. I read and re-read your reply. What you say is true, I want to keep my relationship going,but then another part of me wants to see how this other new relationship goes. I ask myself over and over " will my life be any better/worse if I went with this girl?". I feel I don't even know the answer anymore. You said that jumping into another relationship would not help. Is this because of the "rebound" effect?

I had a discussion with this new girl earlier today. We talked about her possibly being a "rebound". The idea buried in me so deeply that I keep thinking about it. What if she is a rebound? I will then realize my error, and regret, wholeheartedly, my decision to leave my girlfriend. But can't these things work out? Is there no hope of a future that this new girl and myself are happy in? Will this definitely be a situation that if I make the choice to split up with her and try the new route , I will eventually end up alone and regretful? Please, don't pull any punches. I need the cold hard truth.
Thank you. Jared C.

Answer
The truth is, no one has any idea what the future holds and you can go on and on about possibilities of what could happen over and over again. However, since we can't understand or see what will be, we must look at what there is now. What makes you believe that you would be worse off with this girl you are currently with? Does she possess the things you want in a potential wife? Are you not attracted to her? Does she repulse you? Do you feel the chemistry? What about a deep and intellectual connection? Can you two connect deeply emotionally and have a wonderful conversation about absolutely anything? The most important things in life and the most meaningful moments are those spent in ultimate unity and connection. Essentially that is all that we are looking for.

This woman may or may not be a rebound, but if we look at the hard facts, I have to remain honest here. If you were truly unhappy in your relationship, you'd want to be alone right away after the break up. But since you are not being fulfilled emotionally and you don't seem to feel excited about your girlfriend, you are resulting to this woman as a means for potential excitement. But as I said before, it's a facade. This relationship is ONLY new, which is what makes it more appealing than what you are experiencing now. But in all fairness, you know nothing about this girl, you're speaking to her behind your girlfriends back and essentially basing your decision on an impulse to feel good. What about this relationship is making you feel bad? Ask yourself and be honest with yourself, because it's not enough for me to be honest for you. The answer is within you.

I said it would not help because you think the problem is with the girl you are currently dating so your immediate response to fix the problem is replacing the girl with someone new. However, the problem is neither there nor here, it is within you and the perception you have of relationships. You think that when things get hard, you can walk out as you please, which is a misconception 55% of those who get married have. I say 55% because that is the divorce rate and most people who get divorced do so because the relationship got too difficult, or problems overwhelmed them and they decided that opting out was the best answer, instead of working on their marriage as anyone should. You must first rebuild your image on what marriage should be and better yet how one treats ones spouse.

Ask yourself this too, what about this new girl makes you believe that she is a better fit for you than the woman you are dating now?

Looking forward to hearing back,

Becky

How to Breakup/Deal With Break Ups

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Becky

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Any questions pertaining to relationships and break ups and how to deal with the aftermath of a break up. Break ups themselves require intense coping mechanisms to deal with the immense pain, which are ones in which I have dealt with myself personally and have researched extensively to be more well equipped.

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Have been and is currently an Allexperts volunteer who deals with relationships and relationship issues daily. I have also myself gone through a tough break up from a relationship that lasted 5 years.

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Allexperts Chai Life Line

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Bachelors of Arts from York University Canadian Certified Teacher from Niagara University

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