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  • in reply to: Need HELP! Think this might be my last shot #31966
    Stephanie R

    I agree with everything you are saying. I just don’t know why it is so hard for me to accept the situation for what it is and move on. I was so optimistic and hopeful that he would have been able to get over it by now. I was hopeful that after we met up for drinks that would have changed things. When he mentioned a few weeks ago how he was considering seeing a therapist that gave me a sense of hope too because of how against it he was when I first suggested it. I haven’t talked to him since Thursday and I am trying to stay strong, but it is so hard. I agree that he needs to take the initiative, I am just worried that he won’t. And I know you keep asking me if this is who I want to be with in the long run when he handles obstacles by shutting me out- I honestly believe that once/if he realizes he needs to face these old wounds, if he were to start therapy, and realizes how important it is to take care of his mental health, then he would learn better ways to handle tough times. He is a great guy and he really just needs to realize the damage that he is creating to himself and his own life. I can’t make him realize that and I know that, but I really think if he ever were to start therapy then it would change everything for him. I also feel like I made it this far, he drove to my side of town to meet me for drinks and to hangout and to catch up. That is something he wouldn’t have done a few weeks ago. I wish I didn’t think this way and I could just throw in the towel and be like I’ve had enough, f*** you! But I can’t…maybe I should.

    I have always had bad anxiety, ever since high school. It is way better now then it used to be, but these situations make me so anxious. It makes it even more of a battle to let it go.

    in reply to: Need HELP! Think this might be my last shot #31949
    Stephanie R

    Hi Heidi!

    I read the article and I actually just recently learned the term “stonewalling” about a week ago for the very first time. I 100% agree that, that is what Matt is doing. I also read something recently that made me think of my current situation and I wonder if you think that this is what Matt is doing:

    It explained briefly how an ex could be purposely trying to discourage you from spending time with them and/or getting back together because they actually enjoy spending time with you. They’re hesitant about seeing you though because they will have to directly confront any obstacles or uncomfortable situations that they might need to deal with in order to get back together with you…

    The day before I asked Matt to meet me for drinks, I was very frustrated and I said something along the lines as “Friendship is a two way street. If you don’t want me in your life, that is fine, I just need to know so that I can stop putting energy into this. I’m not going to be the only one trying here.” etc, etc. And then I straight up asked him “Do you want me in your life or not?” He said “Yes, I want to be friends and give that a try.” I gave him an opportunity for an out and he didn’t take it which is also confusing for me.

    I did make the mistake of texting him about possibly seeing an IMAX movie sometime next week and he said he has plans on Tuesday and Wednesday, but possibly. I agree that I should back off, but it is just so hard. I will try my best not to text him first anymore and see if he even reaches out to me and initiates anything. Do you think it’s good at all that he met up with me for drinks and it went well? I just don’t see him wanting to be just friends with me either, like I don’t think he would ever want to hangout with me and a new guy I started dating. So that makes it difficult to understand what he’s thinking and understand how to act going forward.

    I have downloaded two dating apps again and I scroll through it a little bit, but not actively. The guys are just not good on there at all, it almost makes me feel more sad looking at all these horrible options, but I’m trying. I muted Matt on social media so I don’t have to see what he is doing. He still looks at everything I post though. Ugh!

    in reply to: Need HELP! Think this might be my last shot #31938
    Stephanie R

    Hi! I know I never got back to you, but I wasn’t really sure what was going on in my relationship, so I wasn’t sure how to put it into words to update you.

    So, yesterday I met up with Matt for the very first time since we stopped seeing each other. We met up at a brewery and it felt great to see him. The past week and a half or so I have just completely stopped trying to discuss the reason why me and him ended things. Ever since he ended things, he kept saying that we could be friends so I finally held him to that. A week ago I was like well if we can be friends, can we meet up for a drink? He seemed hesitant. I go “well friends get drinks together, so I didn’t think think it was out of line for me to ask you that. Do you not feel comfortable getting drinks with me?” He said “I feel comfortable with whatever.” So then I go okay well is there a day that works best for you. He said he was busy over the weekend but maybe Monday. I said “how about Tuesday? Lets meet at a brewery. Let me know if anything changes”. He agreed, but he also said he hopes we don’t end up talking about anything we’ve already discussed regarding me and him and he hopes that we can just enjoy each others company. I said that is fine. The next day he texted me saying “I think it may be too soon to get a drink and try to have ‘small talk’. We’re probably just going to sit there and stare at each other.” I said “We’re not going to sit there and stare at each other. I’m not going to bring up anything from the past. I feel like if we wait any longer than we won’t ever try this whole “friends” thing”. He responded by only saying “kk”. So then I go “well why do you feel like that? Are you worried that I’m going to bring up any negative stuff between us?” And he goes “I mean, I just don’t know what else we would talk about.” And so I go, “Well I know how much you love my stories and I have plenty of new ones for you”…I then listed like 4 random things and go “see, I’m good at thinking of random stuff to talk about. I know what you don’t want to discuss and I am going to respect that.” And he liked my text and goes “Cool, well I’m glad we’re on the same page.” Then over the weekend I texted him a few random things and he responded positively to each one.

    We then met up yesterday and it was so good seeing him. We ended up staying about 2.5-3 hours at the brewery. In the beginning he seemed to be a little uncomfortable and awkward, but he soon started to warm up. He started to make eye contact with me more as the evening went on and we smiled a lot and laughed at each other. Our connection and chemistry was 100% still there. We didn’t discuss anything between our current relationship, we just enjoyed each others company. When we were saying goodbye, he gave me a hug and told me to let him know when I got home. I texted him saying “I’m home. Thanks for meeting me. I hope it wasn’t as bad as you were anticipating [winky face emoji]”. He responded “Haha it wasn’t bad. Thank you!” Then I didn’t know what to say so I just clicked the heart to like his text. Then before I went to bed I said “I’m about to fall asleep, but it was nice seeing you so don’t go being a stranger. Maybe we can get drinks again sometime.” He just clicked the heart to like my text back.

    Today I have had so many mixed emotions. This morning I felt happy because it was so good to see him, but as the day has gone by, I just feel so confused and sad almost. I was hoping yesterday would bring me some clarity on what he is thinking, but I have zero clue. I know that the chemistry was still there and I am almost positive he felt it too because he kept smiling after I would say certain things and he was teasing me like we would playfully do with each other. But now I just don’t know where to go from here. I have been waiting weeks just to see him and I finally see him yesterday, but those 3 hours went by so fast! And now it’s like when am I going to see him again?? Am I the one who is going to have to continue making the effort? Should I try hanging out with him a few more times and then see if he is open to working things out with me. Or should I ask him now what he is feeling? I already know that I can’t just be friends with him, like the only reason I am doing this is in hopes that it will lead us to getting back together. But if it doesn’t lead to that then I am just going to get heartbroken again. If I say anything to him now though, I’m risking him rejecting me and then I won’t even get the opportunity to see him again even just as friends. I don’t know what the next steps are or should be.

    in reply to: Need HELP! Think this might be my last shot #31844
    Stephanie R

    Hi Coach Spyce!

    It’s been awhile since I have posted in here, I needed to think about things and figure out what I wanted to do in this situation. I haven’t talked to Matt a whole lot since the last time I posted in here, but he did reach out to me to say that he was considering seeing a therapist just “in general”. He said his friend sees one and says good things. He said this on Saturday. I told him that I was proud of him and that shows strength and that I am always here if he needs me. I haven’t talked to him since, but I can’t believe I still miss him! We didn’t even date for very long and time is just flying by and I am still thinking about him and I am still sad about everything. I think the fact that he said he is considering therapy is huge because he was being so stubborn about it in the beginning. I just want to see him and talk to him in person. I don’t even know how to go about this anymore or what to say to him.

    in reply to: Need HELP! Think this might be my last shot #31729
    Stephanie R

    Hi Coach Spyce!

    I agree that it might have been awkward for me to bring up to Matt in the beginning too. I did not know about the issues he had with his brother and the history of any of it until 2 weeks ago. Part of me is surprised that Matt’s brothers didn’t say anything to him. They knew we were hanging out and dating, so I feel like that is something Ben should have told Matt; especially since Ben knows how his brother is and knows the history between the two of them. I feel like Matt should be just as equally upset with Ben as he is with me. In my opinion, Ben was more obligated to tell Matt then I was. Now, I still have no clue how Matt found out or whether Matt has confronted his brother about this at all because Matt still hasn’t given me much of anything. And I’m not saying that Matt has no right to be upset, because it definitely is not the ideal situation, but I do not like being in the dark about what he is thinking. I believe he still does not know whether he wants to try to get past this with me or not, but him shutting me out while he tries to figure it out is extremely difficult and frustrating.

    He has told me that he is not mad or upset with me at all because this is something I did in my past, but his actions are telling me something completely different. And certain things he has said contradict that statement as well. I don’t like letting conflicts go unresolved especially this long. And I am worried the longer things go without us talking or seeing each other, our feelings for each other and connection will begin to fade and this conflict will just take over the situation which will ultimately end our relationship completely.

    I know this all seems like too much drama especially after only dating him for 3 months, but I honestly do care about him a lot. I could be myself around him and have fun with him and just felt comfortable. I am going to back off and give him space, but if I don’t hear from him in a week then I don’t think I can wait around longer than that. I will have to reach out to him and be like this has gone on long enough without us actually sitting down and having a real conversation. I will see how he reacts to that and I think that will ultimately tell me whether I need to move on or what. And everything you and Heidi have said is so true and I want an opportunity to express that side of things to him…kind of like an opportunity to stand up for myself before walking away completely.

    What are your thoughts about me reaching out in a week if I still haven’t heard from him? I think that is enough time to give him especially because I can’t just sit around and wait longer than that. Maybe we can brainstorm about what I would text him when that time comes and what I should focus on saying in person if that time ever comes, as well.

    in reply to: Need HELP! Think this might be my last shot #31719
    Stephanie R

    Hi Coach Spyce! Thank you for your response!

    I appreciate all of the kind words. As angry and frustrated I might get in some moments, I have been wondering if I am to blame in any of this or not. Should I have told Matt from the very beginning about me and his brother? Was it wrong for me to go three months without telling him? I also can see why Matt is having trouble with this. I don’t have a sister, but if he had hooked up with my cousin or best friend 6 years ago and no one told me then I would be hurt. At the same time though, Matt did tell me that if I had hooked up with his other brother, Will, instead of Ben, then he would be over it by now, which is what tells me that this is more of an issue between him and his brother and not me.

    My friends have been telling me to let it go and move on and give him space. I am well aware that nagging Matt about this is only going to push him away more and I think it probably already has a bit, but I am not satisfied with the way he ended things so abruptly. I feel like he left so many questions unanswered and has not explained to me well enough what he needs and whether he just needs space to think about things.

    So, in my mind I believed that he has made up his mind about not getting past this and he is moving on and forgetting about me. These past 4 days or so I have felt like I needed more of an explanation and I admit, I have been texting him more than I should. I haven’t called him, but I have been sending texts trying to get some sort of answer out of him. He responds the same every time “I’m not mad at you, or the past, we can remain good friends, but I do not see myself wanting to have sex with you knowing that my brother has.” That to me is so closed off and such a dead end that it has been driving me insane. It is giving me nothing.

    Last night I texted him again saying “I’m aware that me continuously reaching out is just annoying you, and you just want to bury this so you can move on, but it is not that easy for me to do. As strong as your feeling is that is telling you that you can’t ever be intimate with me again, is how strong my feeling is telling me not to let go, so what do I do. I know that the more I reach out, the further it pushes you away. But the way we ended things has made it more difficult for me to move on.”

    He responded saying “I still feel strongly about how I feel regarding not being able to get over the intimate part of things. But you haven’t given me any space at all. Last weekend when I was out of town was the only time that I haven’t heard from you and you said you would give me time and space. All of these texts aren’t helping at all. And this is irrelevant because just one person saying it is enough, but now I’ve had multiple people respond to me saying ‘oh yeah, her and Ben did hook up awhile ago.’ None of this is helping.”

    My first thought after reading his message was that “I never agreed to giving him space. WE never agreed on that.” I think he believes that we came to an agreement on giving him space and then he would reach out to me when he was ready to talk about things? But we never discussed that. I have been texting him a bunch TRYING to get answers like that because in my mind he had made up his mind and he’s already moving on. So, I was hurt because I felt like he wasn’t thinking things through, I thought he was already moving on. So I responded something similar to him last night. And the other part of his text made me think “is he talking to his friends about me and his brother?” It seems like he might have been venting to them about it and they all confirmed it, but I don’t know why that matters. Matt’s friend group now is the exact same friend group that I hung out with 5,6,7 years ago when Matt was living in D.C. and I didn’t even know him. So, I’m not surprised at all that his friends might have confirmed it for him, but what does that matter. I responded something similar as that to him. Then I finally texted him again saying something like: I have no idea what you needed from me, but I will leave things right here. I will no longer reach out to you and I will give you space. I don’t plan on dating anyone else or hooking up with anyone else in the meantime. When you have more clarity on things please reach out to me because I would really like to talk to you more about this. I’m sorry again for us being in this situation.

    That is pretty much how I left it with him, and he didn’t text me back so I assume that he will reach out to me whenever he is ready. I feel like if he wasn’t planning on reaching out to me then he would have texted me back saying something like “no you can start dating again, I don’t want you to waste your time waiting for me to get back to you.” Or at least, that is what I hope he would have done.

    in reply to: Need HELP! Think this might be my last shot #31709
    Stephanie R

    Hi Heidi! Wow, thank you so much for the detailed response! Definitely appreciate it!

    He isn’t forgiving his brother and this is a REALLY BIG red flag. I completely agree with you, but I don’t think he views it this way. Like he still has a relationship with his brother and they still stay in touch and hangout and everything. I think he views the situation like: his brother is blood, so he can’t abandon him or cut him out of his life, so he is just going to get rid of any girl who comes along that has had any history with his brother. He wants to find a girl who has never hooked up with his brother, which I think he believes would be the solution to his problem and would put an end to the feelings that he has. I also think that he is scared to talk about his emotions and relive his past traumas. I know he is embarrassed by the fact his brother has hooked up with so many of his exes (even though the high school girlfriend is the only one who cheated on him with his brother; I don’t think that Matt was dating his other girlfriends when it occurred, I think it was either before or after. I’m not even quite sure).

    What this statement sounds like to me is a fear that you carry about finding someone. I 100% admit that I have a fear of finding someone. I want babies one day and a family, so I think that is also a reason why I put pressure on myself. But I also have been through heartbreak so many times and I’ve honestly had enough. I don’t want to feel the pain that breakups cause anymore. I’m not afraid to date though. My last serious relationship ended 2.5 years ago and he broke up with me, pretty much out of no where. I dated the guy for 2 years and he ended it with me without even trying to save the relationship. He never told me when his feelings started to change and never tried to work on things. He waited until he fell out of love with me to ever say anything and that is when he broke up with me. After him I joined dating apps and went on many dates. Within the last 2 years, I probably went out on dates with at least ten guys and some even on a second and third date, but never connected or had natural chemistry. Matt is honestly the first person that I’ve had a connection with since my ex boyfriend. He is the first guy who has put in equal amount of effort as well.

    Explain this a little more. How have you reacted “incorrectly?” So, two weeks ago Matt decided to text me to ask me about whether I have hooked up with his brother before. I was annoyed that he asked me over text message, but I told him the truth right away. He said he’s not mad at me, but he doesn’t know if he can get past this. I tried calling him about 30 minutes later and he didn’t answer because he was in a zoom work meeting. So we continued texting and then I tried calling him Friday (the next day) and he didn’t answer again. He texted me saying that he was slammed with work and he was rushing because he had his friends rehearsal dinner that evening for his friend’s wedding. I was annoyed because he asked me at the worst possible time (before a super busy weekend for him) and he also asked me over text message. He said that this is something he has not been able to get over in the past so he probably won’t be able to get over it with me.

    I just started freaking out and I was anxious all weekend trying to text him. I didn’t call him again, but I sent him texts over the weekend with kind of an angry tone. I think I might have been trying to do some convincing and what not (many things that the ebook said not to do). His reactions were also reactions that the book said would happen in these circumstances. Last Monday I took a step back and switched my approach and he responded more positively, but it’s like he had already made up his mind about not being able to get past me hooking up with his brother and so he didn’t see why we needed to “talk”. He ended up meeting me in person last Friday (I wrote in my first post what he said during that time). He also went out of state over the weekend and I have tried texting him a few times this week since he has been back and he pretty much has said, I’m not mad at you, you didn’t do anything wrong, but I can’t see myself ever wanting to have sex with you knowing that my brother has. His attitude during these past 2 weeks have gone back and forth between hostile and then normal.

    Lastly, let’s see if there is a way to help inspire him into a place of healing. WHat have your conversations been like? How have you talked about this? How many times? I explained some of our conversations in the last paragraph of this post and my first post, but we have literally only talked over text message since he texted me two weeks ago asking me the initial question that started this. And that one time in person last week which was less than an hour long. During that time in person, I didn’t say everything on my mind and definitely did not say enough. I pretty much froze and couldn’t really get words out. He genuinely did seem sad about this, but he also seemed to 100% believe there was no way for him to get past this. I also couldn’t get my words out because I was on the verge of tears and I knew I was going to break down if I said some of the things that I wanted. I’m frustrated with myself for not using that moment to let him see my emotions and how I truly felt. Now, I keep going back and forth between sadness and anger. He pretty much just gave up on me over text message. I feel like my feelings have been nonexistent because the only thing that has been important to discuss or be understood between the two of us is that: he can never see himself wanting to have sex with me now knowing that his brother has.

    Literally, that is the main and only issue that is ending our connection/relationship/all the time that we have spent together. And that is the only reason why our relationship is not going to continue because he cannot get the thought of his brother being intimate with me out of his mind. Even though it was 6 plus years ago and we were drunk and it meant nothing. It was before I even knew Matt, I didn’t even know Ben had a third brother! I want Matt to hear what I am saying and understand my perspective. This whole time he was getting frustrated because he felt like I didn’t understand why he felt the way he did. But he didn’t even give me the opportunities…yeah one hour to meet in person and zero phone calls, only text messages. I have tried to see his perspective, but he hasn’t tried at all to see mine and he still doesn’t see mine. After going 3 months texting everyday and hanging out multiple times a week, went to the beach together twice, we have spent 7 days in a row together without getting annoyed or feeling overwhelmed. And now this. I feel betrayed and I don’t know how I could make him understand that I’m hurt. I mean I could say it to him over and over again, but I don’t think it is registering to him because all he is seeing is what I did 6 years ago.

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