Help! Married but can't forget my ex :(
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Old 11-05-2010, 01:10 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Help! Married but can't forget my ex :(

I know, I'm an idiot. I'll just get that out of the way.

To sum up: Dated HS sweetheart for 4 yrs, that relationship ended and 2 yrs later I married my husband who is a pastor, we've been married 10 yrs, have 3 kids, marriage has been rocky and he's not at all what I had hoped/dreamed/longed for. Marriage has been the greatest disappoinment.

Besides that, I have a serious problem and it seems that no matter how much I pray and beg God and memorize verses, it eats up my brain and won't go away. I have such a hard time stopping almost constant thoughts of my former boyfriend. Nobody knows about this; it's too embarrassing to admit even to my closest friends. I have found out that this boyfriend has turned into an amazing man, has traveled the world, and seems to have a great marriage with a baby on the way. And like a dork, all I can do is obsess on the "what if". I long to be happy in marriage, to be in love with my husband, etc. But my husband won't even pray with me. He is often rude and unkind, and so far from wise. He ignores the kids. And every Sunday I have to sit and listen to him preach.

Sadly the relationship with the HS boyfriend (went thru college years too) was physically intimate. He was a great guy with a great family. (I have virtually no relationship with my husband's family, they live overseas and the family relationship is way different than your typical American, Christian family.) I truly did love him and did not leave him because I did not love him anymore...it was b/c I knew we needed to stop the intimacy and also b/c I knew I felt God leading me to serve overseas.

So to make a long story short (too late!), I'm just throwing this out there to hope for some helpful advice. I need a labotomy. I really wish for that part of my brain to be cut out so that I could quit longing for this guy. Again, I feel like I've tried everything. What does the rest of the world do to get over a past relationship?!

Thanks for the help.

P.S. Oh yeah, forgot to mention...my ex's wife is mutual friends with so many of my friends on FB as they now go to the church where I was married, so I see her comment on my friends' posts and it's so frustrating! I feel I can't comment after her, since she probably hates my guts for breaking her husband's heart and giving him a history. Does not help matters any.

Last edited by striving; 11-05-2010 at 01:54 AM.
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Old 11-05-2010, 01:50 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help! Married but can't forget my ex :(

when i was going through rocky times with my H i would fantasize how great my life was before i met him. i would tell myself i had so much fun and had all these great, wonderful boyfriends that were practically head-over-heels for me. It was a world of half truths. i had a lot of boyfriends. and they did want to marry me- because i wouldnt sleep with them. but it was far from perfect as was my relationship with any of them. i fantasized about this one guy in particular because sexually we had a very strong connection, and at the moment my sex life was suffering. i conjured up all kinds of 'what ifs' and 'if only'.

I guess its easier to fix something that's not real. Life can be so perfect in your head, with someone else because you can make them whatever you want. but i confronted the reality and brought myself back to who i was and the life i was creating for myself.

There's probably some truth to your story about your BF being a great guy, and that you really loved him. but obviously there's a lot you're not mentioning because you left him. It couldnt have been that great if you could walk away. And now you hear tid-bits about his life and from that you've created an entire perfect world with you in it. Think about it. what do you really know of his life? Look around you. How well does this perfect happy world you've created mesh with every other single relationship you've ever heard of?

Your relationship with your BF wasnt that great, because you left. That's the reality. And your relationship with your H isnt that great either. welcome to life. You can perpetuate your fantasy and give yourself a pseduo stance for demonizing your H, but what are you really comparing him to? Just a delusion. Your marriage sucks. its fine to confront that, but dont do it with something thats not even real.
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Old 11-05-2010, 01:57 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help! Married but can't forget my ex :(

There is not much advice I can give.

I don't miss any of my ex at all, they are all garbage if I do compare them with my husband.

I don't know if it is in the Christianity teaching. Spending too much time thinking about our past is not good for us. It only exhausts our energy. We can learn lessons from what happened in the past, but dwelling on the past is not healthy. Life is short, we don't have time to waste, especially on something which we know for sure it won't happen.
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Old 11-05-2010, 10:21 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help! Married but can't forget my ex :(

@Blanca, thanks for your input...of course you're right. What I'm doing is fantasizing and longing for that relationship since my current one is a failure. Just to clarify, though, the relationship w/ the ex was great...we had been through a lot, and we were strong...I didnt simply "walk away"...I tore myself away with a broken heart and cried many tears...at the time I believed I had to do it, no matter how much it hurt.

At any rate, I need to figure out how to force my dumb brain to quit going back to thinking of him...it happens in nanoseconds...I dont WANT to think of him, I want to love my husband and have a better marriage. And I would find great comfort in meeting others who have the same struggles.

Thanks again.
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Old 11-07-2010, 02:21 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help! Married but can't forget my ex :(

Quote:
Originally Posted by striving View Post
..it was b/c I knew we needed to stop the intimacy and also b/c I knew I felt God leading me to serve overseas.
I think the 1st tragedy in this is >>> you were a young woman who found herself passionately in love , but you allowed shame
& your religious convictions, to take a higher place in your life - above remaining with the man your heart resided with. I can ONLY IMAGINE your pain & regret here.

I sometimes wonder how I would feel if I let my boyfriend /now husband go (I gave his ring back at one time) -IF he married another- I would feel as your story describes. Just thinking about it alone -could bring me to tears.

I am sorry for this tremendous loss in your life. Looking back, do you feel God truly wanted you to take that mission trip?
What was it that compelled you so strongly to RIP your heart into peices- and his?

If you have some kind of peace/revelation/story that touched others lives, some evidence you DID the right thing, this will help you get past this -to think on these things. Not all was lost.

Don't know if this will help or not but -- I used to believe hearilty in the "Soul mate" theory (as I feel my husband is my soulmate)-- that God designs a certain special someone for each one of us & if we live relatively decent, they will eventually come into our life, our destinys will meet.

I no longer believe this.

A late night program I caught, a christian program in fact, can't remember the name of the show, it was about marraige, a very very wise Black man was talking. My mind has forever been changed on the "soulmate" theory ...

He explained in GREAT detail how it often hurts /wounds / even destroys many many many in life because people , when things are down & difficult in their own marraiges, will then feel like >>they either LOST their soul mate (as you probably feel & can not get past) ---or they haven't found that special someone God has waiting for them, that they made a tremendous MISTAKE marrying who they are with NOW .

This belief often leads to 2 things : Depression , the "What If's" over lost loves OR they feel they must get out of their troubled marraiges & go SEEK this soul mate that has eluded them in life, believing such a person accually exits.

He talked at length how their is NO soul mates, we can work within our marraiges, if your partner loves & is willing enough, to create that marraige we dream of. I know easier said than done, but just something to consider. One mistake may have led to other things in your life that was so NOT mistakes (your mission trip), look back over your life, reminesce the Great times with your now husband. Commit to "loving the one you are with", like that old song goes.
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Old 11-08-2010, 11:37 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help! Married but can't forget my ex :(

Thanks for the responses. Helps to talk about it.

What I'm going through is a battle of the mind. Trying as hard as I can to NOT think about that guy and his new family, trying to "be happy" in the life I have.

I read something really great lately..."the grass ISN'T greener on the other side, the grass is greener where it's watered." True, true. I don't agree with the soul mates theory either. My pastor once said, "once you say 'I do' then THAT'S the person that you were supposed to marry"...in other words, you're committed to it, so now make it work. It's just hard. It would help if my husband were nice to me, etc. I yell at myself to shut up every time I compare him to the other guy...

One thing I did was tape a photo of my husband to my computer monitor as a constant reminder of who I am committed to, for better or worse. I've just been racking my brain of ways to close the door on the memories of that relationship. I'm not sure how to control my thoughts (happens so fast, like unexpected lightening). I wish I could cut that part of the past out of my head completely.

Am currently memorizing the first part of 1 Peter 3 so that every time a thought pops in my head, I start reciting it, to remind me of what kind of wife I should be.

It's hard.

I'm glad for this forum. I appreciate your time to respond.
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Old 11-09-2010, 01:50 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help! Married but can't forget my ex :(

Forgive me for saying so...

but how HONEST have u two been with each other when discussing/arguing over yer rel'shp?

that is to say, have u kindly and heatedly told him how hypocritical he is to pastor a church, but not pastor (lead)
his marriage? have u been as brutally honest with yerself
as well?

i assume u have been so with each other, but i wonder also
about counseling if communication is that poor btwn u two.

i think there may be many a hurt or animosities built up btwn
u 2, unmentioned by u here on TAM. i do believe if u can
regain that communication, respect, kindness, once more
for each other via counseling, yer fantasies will be past.

let us know.

shalom.
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Old 11-10-2010, 12:02 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help! Married but can't forget my ex :(

I hope I would never call my husband a hypocrite, no matter what my thoughts are on the subject. I believe, and obviously I have failed many times, that my words to him should build up and encourage, not tear down. Of course there is plenty of work I need to do on myself...one reason I came to this site. I need to be the kind of wife that my ideal husband would deserve.

Yeah, communication is awful. Probably like a lot of marriages, unfortunately. It's on the long list of things we should work on.

I wish we could go to counseling. We can't afford it. Also my husband probably wouldn't agree to go.

I agree, though, the better our marriage, the easier and quicker the memory/fantasy will fade. Wish it weren't so one-sided (the efforts), but "join the club", right?
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Old 11-10-2010, 10:11 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help! Married but can't forget my ex :(

You wrote us alot of guilt/fantasy fluff re: yer exBF for historical purposes.
when we eliminate it, we get THIS "meat" to work with:

Quote:
Originally Posted by striving View Post
all I can do is obsess on the "what if".(<---YES! for/to THIS!--->) I long to be happy in marriage, to be in love with my husband, (i.e. this is where yer "what ifs" should be, u digg?)etc. But my husband won't even pray with me. He is often rude and unkind, and so far from wise. He ignores the kids. And every Sunday I have to sit and listen to him preach.(this is the epitome of hypocracy, and why i said so. we are unfortunately all guilty of some form from
time to time. but recognition/fessin up bout it say alot/alittle about me/u/him, no? U wanna defend him? thats good or bad
depending on what the psychiatriast/counselor finds goin' on
deep down w/ u as two and as individuals. can't afford one?
NO Problem. The Holy Spirit[H>S>] is worlds first & foremost "counselor" and only "charges" truth, effort, and Grace to render healing. It is both an easy n hard process depending on yer cooperation.

(AND...)
I could quit longing for this guy. Again, I feel like I've tried everything. What does the rest of the world do to get over a past relationship?!(are u really that desperate as a pastors
wife to call on what the world does??? And why do u not mention the H>S> at all? Have u nothing but "milk" or has it/that "gone sour?" YOUR problem is that YOU are already
DOING as the world does, with yer focus on exBF, and not
yer H, and not creating communication bridges for yer marriage
to drastically improve if not become all you've longed for. no?
i understand some of yer frustration(s), don't get me wrong there, but i know yer answer lies both w/in u, and outside u, as in your SOURCE of POWER, and not in that order either. If you dont like what i say/write, take it up with our mutual "EMPLOYER," via the H>S>.)

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Old 02-12-2011, 10:27 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help! Married but can't forget my ex :(

Striving,
I know what you feel.
I've been having similar memories to a NEAR-fiance I had 22 years ago!!!!

About a month ago, flashbacks and memories almost wrecked my work week as it was so easy to get tearful...

Don't know what's wrong with me, but I started thinking of her and recalled all the pain I felt when she dumped me. I cried my head off.
Look at what I lost -- I could have had a 30 y.o. virgin.

For the last couple of years, she and other former GFs have come into my mind, wondering why I didn't do this, or did that, or how I could have made things better and still been with one of them. Then the cold hard reality hits: it wasn't ever my choice to end it.

Maybe I'm going through this bec. I'm getting close to 50 and am feeling a lot of regrets.

It may have something to do with the state of my 14 year marriage. We are not maritally separated or talking divorce, but we have lived in separate states since July.

We have also been sexless - her choice - for the past 5-6 years, but that's improving.
That's a long story and may post about it in another thread here.

I've gotten over this and realize that "going back" in my mind to this woman (and only remembering the good things) won't do me any good and I shouldn't waste crying over something that happened in 1988!!! I should instead save my tears for my marriage and work to improve it.

Plus, I don't know that woman anymore. It's all a dream. This whole thing is about me and my emotions, not her.

You don't know your EX anymore either.
So I know where you're coming from.
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Old 02-24-2011, 12:16 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help! Married but can't forget my ex :(

I know that as a guy, my situation might not be as helpful, but I'll try. Before my college years, I had a really tough life. I wasn't necessarily a bad person, but I just wanted to get away. In my senior year of high school, I became very close to a girl who felt like my soulmate. She always believed in me, and was never ashamed that the police in our town seemed to know me on a first name basis. And she was never embarrassed when I showed up to school with bruises from my step-dad's biker friends.

About every other year before I married, I would come home, and it was like we never were apart. She even kept a scrapbook when our little local paper ran an article about scholarships or awards. She would always take my hand and tell me about how happy we were going to be together.

Problem was, I just needed to forget. Won't go into details, but just had a lot to put past me. I don't think I really pined over her, but I did think about her all the time. It helped to make me want to be a better person. Who knows, we might meet again, and I'd wouldn't want to dissapoint her.

Three months ago, I got a card from her. Twenty five years have passed. It had a clipping where I was standing in the background while the new president (Pres. O) was visiting my company. Somewhere in there, she said "I knew you would make it". No, I'm not wealthy, but I do make about five times the average salary of the people from the town where I grew up. She had heard that I visited the area for business, and wanted to see if we could have dinner. I'm smart enough to say no.

My long, convoluted point is to try to trust God, and be the best person you can be. I'm enough of a hopeless romantic to believe that he will eventually give you the contentment you wish for, one way or another, but for now, you have to focus on just taking the next step before you. Try to be the woman that would make any man swoon, not just the former boyfriend. In a sense, your husband is not fufilling the marriage covenant you made. Stay determined until it is resolved. Be the best you can be.
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Old 03-16-2011, 12:36 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help! Married but can't forget my ex :(

Seriously bluesky, check the category of this forum. Feel free to go help out other athiests who can relate to you. I chose this forum for a reason.

I seriously appreciate your comments Clarence. I've wondered if I was the only one out there with these kinds of problems with my thoughts. It's comforting to know I'm not alone. My brain tells me all these things that I know to be true...such as, I don't know that guy anymore, I chose my husband, I want to love my husband, that guy has a happy life with his own family, I've got great kids and a stable home, etc, etc. And then I go to bed at night and while I'm sleeping I dream of the ex...recently I dreamed that I went back in time and pleaded with him not to let me leave him, and another time I dreamed that he begged me to tell him I still love him. It's insane. And I wake up so angry with myself for having those dreams and frustrated that I dreamt it. It's like I need a labotomy or something! Sheesh! I need that part carved out of the memory in my brain for crying out loud. And during the day so many stinkin' times a fleeting thought of the ex will come out of no where, and I mentally slap myself in the face and say "stop it!". I truly want this to go away. I don't want to think of that relationship or that guy! I want it gone!

Halien, why didnt' you go to dinner with the woman you knew from the past? I was trying to catch what you meant...are you married now?

I do want to work on being a better wife. I started doing the Love Dare for my husband.

I'm just so frustrated that this annoying thing still sits in my brain almost 13 years after we broke up. I feel like I can't control it - especially the part where I dream about it at night. I'm so done with this but it won't go away!

Thanks for the input guys. I appreciate it. It's nice just to have someone to talk to, especially since I can't mention it to anyone I know.
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Old 03-16-2011, 09:28 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help! Married but can't forget my ex :(

i dont think you should be angry at yourself for wanting love. You simply miss feeling loved. that's ok. i think you should comfort yourself. The more you try to push it away the stronger it will come back. its a basic need and you have to meet it some how.

i still dream about other guys. i dont think its bad i just think there's a need of mine that is not being met. sometimes i really miss old friends of mine, dating, and i wish i could go back to my old life. I'm currently listening to Eckhart Tolle's audio book The Power of Now. I dont agree with everything he says but it is really helping me deal with my persistent obsession with living in the past. I guess i feel so powerless to change my current situation and i think if only i could recreate my past i would be happy again. but after trying that theory for a few years and nothing changing, except my ever increasing anger, i guess its time to try a new approach - Focusing on Now.
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Old 03-16-2011, 10:02 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default the memories come too strong sometimes...

Quote:
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i still dream about other guys. i dont think its bad i just think there's a need of mine that is not being met.

sometimes i really miss old friends of mine, dating, and i wish i could go back to my old life.

I'm currently listening to Eckhart Tolle's audio book The Power of Now. I dont agree with everything he says but it is really helping me deal with my persistent obsession with living in the past.

I guess i feel so powerless to change my current situation and i think if only i could recreate my past i would be happy again. but after trying that theory for a few years and nothing changing, except my ever increasing anger, i guess its time to try a new approach - Focusing on Now.
I see myself in your post, Blanca.

I love my wife and all, but as I've posted,
For those who are not get'n any; do you make out with your spouse?
I'm not getting nearly enough sexual intimacy and it kills me. Once a week or even once a month seems like too much for her.

These thoughts of past GFs started flooding my mind over the past 5 years or so, and seems to be connected to the lack of sexual expression in my marriage.

I know I can't go back and all of the former GFs dumped me, so that world is closed.

Odd how my mind wanders back to them when in reality, my mid-late 20s after college when I was single, alone and lonely was a time of heartbreak and rejection and is a time in my life I'd just as soon forget....

You know, I actually thought God had forgotten about me. I did all the right things, treated women well, didn't press them for sex, and even turned down some "offers" I got in my late 20s bec. I found casual sex leaves you empty and worse than before.

For background, I only had sex in HS (3X) before I became a Christian and all of 2 encounters during my 20s, so I was pretty sexually responsible, I'd think, and was more interested in finding a relationship than satisfying my desires, which I guess many others did at that time. I now realize I didn't pick up on the signals one woman I dated sent out and could have had her... but I wasn't in love with her and didn't have real feelings towards her... I couldn't see ML with someone I didn't love...

I picked my wife bec. she loved me and I loved her (we met 3 mos. after I turned 30) and she was the only one (so it seemed) who let me ML with her, important to a guy approaching 30 without any real relationship outside of a NEAR-fiance he had at 26.... We didn't start ML until 3 mos. into our relationship....

Thankfully, I'm not going back to the past as much. Searches online reveal little about most my EXs anyway, so it's a big waste of time.

Not sure if any of this helps but I sure know how you feel. Like you, I prob. should focus on the present.

Last edited by Clarence Rutherford; 03-16-2011 at 10:14 PM.
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Old 03-16-2011, 10:38 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help! Married but can't forget my ex :(

Hi Striving,

I think you're doing well and you should feel proud of yourself.

I assured you that only few people would ask for help, especially from God, when they face exciting temptation. They wouldn't value so many things in life or consider so much as you do, because what you do is too hard to endure and to make things easier, people will just go for it. EA or PA, grasp first, eat first, enjoy first, and think about it later.

You are a great daughter of God, He wanted you to know He is always there hearing your pain and your marriage has been blessed.

Give Father some time, probably some years, you won't see any hope in removing this amazing guy from your memories, but will see an amazing grace after this curse of your marriage is dissolved.

He has done an amazing work in my marriage. It took a total 8 years before my husband and I recieved the blessings.

That means I have been going through lots of emotional roller coaster including an EA like yours.

I kept praying to God. I complained, I whined, I cried but I always have faith in Him.

My husband sucked, really sucked... He had no moral value about relationship.

My husband is a different man now and he's the best husband that God has prepared for me.

As for the OM, it's the hardest part. He won't go away from your life. He's your love as well. Dreaming about him gives you joyful and loving feelings, those are the happiness that your husband failed to give.

Loving your ex from far with respect to his marriage and his wife, as long as you don't hurt any innocent parties, your husband, and his wife, there's nothing to worry about.

Meanwhile, keep working on your marriage. Keep communicating, your husband needs to understand he can't rely on other man to give emotional food and fantacies to his wife.

He must husband up, working 10 times harder to be your best husband who can satisfy you the most.

Keep turning to him, keep bothering him and keep whining to him for more loving attention - because he is your husband and you should.

Don't give up!

Last edited by MsLonely; 03-16-2011 at 10:44 PM.
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