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Old 08-11-2019, 07:54 PM
 
4 posts, read 442 times
Reputation: 10

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So I am looking for advice here Ö I am a 41 male happily married, yet I realize that I have never got over an ex-girlfriend from when I was 18-19 years old. Truthfully, it was not a healthy relationship which was my fault because I was very scared of losing her in the midst of the time my parents were splitting up.

Nevertheless, I recently ran into her, and my heart dropped, I was nervous, giddy, I could hardly breath. In the meantime, in my mind and heart she would had been the one that got away.

I do not have interest in rekindling anything with her and know that would not be the right path. I love my current situation and family, I just feel like I cannot and have not truly be free to give to my wife.

Iíve tried ways to let it go over the years, but she is the one my heart goes back to and believe it is a curse. I donít want to feel this way. Has anyone else experienced this? Any recommendations?
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Old 08-11-2019, 09:17 PM
 
13,390 posts, read 25,706,316 times
Reputation: 20724
You're not describing love, you're describing an anxiety attack. Getting so anxious around an object of affection is a sign, to me, that one is connecting some kind of sense of self with that person and his/her reactions. The anxiety is a lot of adrenaline, which feels very important and significant and all and is just plain biochemical and psychological.

I've done it enough times over the years (hi J, B, and maybe another J) that it is to be looked at as a rush of chemicals and insecurities (especially since, in OP's case, it's linked to another distressing emotional event) and is not a sign that the person is one's soulmate or one that got away or any such. I hear that in real love, one should feel safe, connected, calm, steady (and some excitement). Not giddy and ready to pass out and all adrenalized.

This is true regardless of gender or object of affection. Really.
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Old 08-11-2019, 09:20 PM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
14,973 posts, read 12,407,659 times
Reputation: 26606
Men who truly love their wife and family don’t harbor these feelings.
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Old 08-11-2019, 09:25 PM
 
Location: Tyler, TX
714 posts, read 607,907 times
Reputation: 357
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcap View Post
So I am looking for advice here Ö I am a 41 male happily married, yet I realize that I have never got over an ex-girlfriend from when I was 18-19 years old. Truthfully, it was not a healthy relationship which was my fault because I was very scared of losing her in the midst of the time my parents were splitting up.

Nevertheless, I recently ran into her, and my heart dropped, I was nervous, giddy, I could hardly breath. In the meantime, in my mind and heart she would had been the one that got away.

I do not have interest in rekindling anything with her and know that would not be the right path. I love my current situation and family, I just feel like I cannot and have not truly be free to give to my wife.

Iíve tried ways to let it go over the years, but she is the one my heart goes back to and believe it is a curse. I donít want to feel this way. Has anyone else experienced this? Any recommendations?
I had a similar crisis a few years back. It actually helped me to track down the ones I could, and send a letter talking about what happened, etc. with no way to reply. It was hard to say what I needed to say, but cathartic. I wonít say it cured my feelings, but it was good to just send some words out, even if they only ended up in the ether.
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Old 08-11-2019, 10:32 PM
 
Location: Pacific Northwest
1,569 posts, read 710,697 times
Reputation: 3162
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcap View Post
I do not have interest in rekindling anything with her and know that would not be the right path. I love my current situation and family, I just feel like I cannot and have not truly be free to give to my wife.

I’ve tried ways to let it go over the years, but she is the one my heart goes back to and believe it is a curse. I don’t want to feel this way. Has anyone else experienced this? Any recommendations?
It sounds like you are a bit obsessed and living in a fantasy of what "might have been" concerning her.

It's not real though. And you're doing your wife and family a huge disservice by continuing to hang on to the past. Your actions and feelings affect others, so appreciate what you have before you do something ill-advised and lose it.

She'll always be a part of your past, but she doesn't belong in your present or future. Let her go... for good. For everyone's sake.
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Old 08-11-2019, 10:51 PM
 
Location: The Pacific Northwest
6,031 posts, read 6,426,668 times
Reputation: 8307
Quote:
Originally Posted by hawaiiancoconut View Post
Men who truly love their wife and family donít harbor these feelings.
I donít think you need to shame him for the feelings he is having.

As a spiritist, I think you need to acknowledge the role she has played in your life, but also consider the investment youíve made in your marriage. Sometimes our desires tend to run away with us but at the end of the day, are you in love with this person or in love with the idea of being with this person?

If itís the former, i would say you havenít really known her for many years and you donít really know how compatible you are. If itís the latter, maybe you need to look at this more as a test of your character and your ability to grow from this experience.

And trust me, Iím not not coming from a place of judgment. Iíve had old flames come back into my life. Sometimes Iíve handled it well, other times Iíve handled it poorly.

I do think you need to step away from the situation and reflect on what is really important in your life.
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Old 08-12-2019, 08:05 AM
 
1,032 posts, read 290,265 times
Reputation: 2925
Have you been carrying a torch for her for all of these years? Or was it just when you saw her that all of these feelings came up? Why? Is she still smokin' hot and travels the world and is discovering a cure for cancer when she's not working for Doctors Without Borders or something? (as it seems to me you wouldn't still have all this excitement if you'd discovered she was leading your normal average life like most people are, gained a couple pounds, working an office job, has kids and a mortgage, etc.) How much do you know about what she's like now? Would you even like her? (It's too bad that when you saw her, she didn't exhibit some personality trait that would really turn you off; that seems to work for people in these situations sometimes.)

Sounds to me that, as someone else said, you're idealizing an idea of how it could've been, or of her and who she was (or who you thought she was). And stuck on the idea of "what could've been." The truth is that you were barely adults (how long were you together?), and it's likely that you still wouldn't be with her today anyway. And you say the relationship was "unhealthy"-- I'm not clear on whether that's because of her, or because of you. So I suppose-- based on how it is for most people, since we don't know how your life went at that point-- that "what could've been" is likely that one or both of you went off to college and then probably broke up during or after college. It's unlikely you missed the romance of your life.

At any rate, you say you don't want to be with her now, and that you're happy with your wife. So, simply, you need to find a way to let it go. I haven't a clue what that would be. Obviously, do not look to contact this woman in any way. I would suggest counseling, but then you'd have to explain it to your wife. Do you have any close friends or family members you can talk to about it, who are more familiar with you and your life than strangers on the internet, but won't blab to or judge your wife? Because you need to work this out somehow. You already say this is affecting how you feel about your wife, and the last thing you need is to also get into a mindset of comparison-- every time you have a fight or she puts the toilet paper on the wrong way or she wakes up with morning breath, you don't need to be thinking "I bet Jolene wouldn't..."

(I also don't recommend mailing any letters. If you need to write one, then do it, and then immediately "mail" it in the shredder (or delete key-- don't even save the document). There's no reason to burden someone else with your un-dealt-with feelings decades later, and you don't need to keep it around for your wife to find.)
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Old 08-12-2019, 07:37 PM
 
4 posts, read 442 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by K12144 View Post
Have you been carrying a torch for her for all of these years?
Yes, I have never felt resolved from this relationship and has been a lingering challenge over the years. Like I said, it feels like a curse and I donít know how to let go. Iíve even had reoccurring dreams. I would like to release this.

[QUOTE}you're idealizing an idea of how it could've been or of her and who she was (or who you thought she was). [/quote] I agree with this statement. I felt that she was the most beautiful girl and still was/is when I saw her. We also had a lot of similar interests so it was always a good time until I could not handle my own emotions. Before meeting her, I just went through my first heart break and my parents had just split up.

Quote:
The truth is that you were barely adults (how long were you together?)
Ironically, we were only together for about 1 year give or take a few months because after we broke up we saw each other on and off for a while. I think that if I new how to love her correctly at the time we would still be together today. I say this because she has been with her next boyfriend since that time and they are still married today. I loved the best I could at the time, and think that I was too afraid to trust her. I have a lot of regret because I could had trusted her and maybe things would have been different. The unhealthy part came from me as I was too scared to love her correctly Ė I was definitely insecure and all the bad things that go with that. I think I have never come to terms to forgive myself and never have felt the same way about anyone since, meaning like feeling and loving 100%. Like, Iíve only been able to love anyone since at about 80% capacity, if that makes any sense.

Quote:
At any rate, you say you don't want to be with her now, and that you're happy with your wife. So, simply, you need to find a way to let it go. I haven't a clue what that would be.
I do not think this affects how I feel about my wife from a day to day prospective, like I do not love her any less after seeing this former person. Rather, I have never been able to truly give love my all if that makes sense. Like, if this wasnít a weight in my heart, than I probably could love more and more freely. The disservice is that I feel like Iíve never let it go. I have talked to counselors and friends over the years. So, why not now reach out to strangers. My intent is not to try to go back, damage my life today, and rekindle something that is fantasy. My goal is to improve myself, somehow let go and get through this once and for all. [/quote]

Just wish I knew how to do itÖ
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Old 08-12-2019, 07:43 PM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
43,762 posts, read 42,381,785 times
Reputation: 84401
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcap View Post

I was too scared to love her correctly ...
Do you really believe this ^^^? You were, what, 18!!

I disagree that it doesn't affect your wife when you say that you have only been able to love/give about 80% of yourself since then. Withholding is not fair for either of you.
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Old 08-12-2019, 07:45 PM
 
4 posts, read 442 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluefox View Post
are you in love with this person or in love with the idea of being with this person?
Thank you for your words. I am in love with the idea of the person. Or who she really was at the time that I was not emotionally prepared for.

It was a tough time for me and I was too scared to love her. I think I never forgave myself for that as I did/do view her as the ideal person.

My wife is overall the most well rounded balance of all things. The challenge for me is that since I never resolved this old relationship in my heart, I know I cannot and have not given my wife my best. (Nor anyone else in the last 20 years for that matter).

I dont want to be with the ex, its the opposite, I just want to be over her... and I've never been able to solve this problem within myself.
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