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She Sees the Error of Her Ways & Wants Her Ex Back - Relationship Advice

Updated on July 19, 2010

Dear Veronica

I will try to keep this short. I want my ex back and I need your help to get him. We recently reconnected on Facebook. We dated for 2 years in high school and for 4 years after high school. We broke up for good when we were both 22 years old and the reason for the break up was me. We got along great but I decided that being together 6 years was plenty of time and that we should get married. I didn't want to hear what anyone had to say. I thought I knew everything and I was positive 6 years was plenty of time to know. I drove him away because of it.

I wound up getting married at age 24 and having two children right away. I love my kids, but if I had not been in such a rush I know my whole life would be different now. He was a good guy but we were both just way too young and had no idea what we were getting into. Looking back I don't even think I was in love with him. I just wanted to get married. I had to give up so much. I had no idea how hard it would be. We had so many problems and wound up resenting each other. We were divorced when I was 28. So then I was a single mom and struggled to make ends meet. I had a few serious relationships in my 30's but it was just never right with anyone. I was still discovering who I was. I was never myself. I never went to college or had a job I loved. I was someone's wife and then someone's mother. I bounced from job to job just trying to support my kids. I was trapped my whole life. I love my kids. But I often think about what my life would be like if I had gone to school and figured out what I wanted to do for me in my life. My kids are adults now and are out of the house now. I feel so lonely. I spent years not having a career or even hobbies. I only worked dumb jobs and lived totally for them. I am 46 years old and I feel like I am just now doing things that I should have been doing 20 years ago. I am trying to take some classes and figure out what I want to do when I grow up lol. A few weeks ago I was searching for my first boyfriend online on Facebook and I found him. I don't think I ever got over him. I sent him a message and he wrote back. After just a few days of seeing him online I asked if I could call him. Hearing his voice on the phone brought back such a flood of memories and I cried and cried. I had a break down on the phone and told him I was sorry for what I did. Pushing to get married was wrong. He was right to break up with me. He had such a great life. He went to school and became a teacher. He always loved science and now he spends his life sharing that enthusiasm with the kids he teaches. He does these science fairs and goes on trips to NASA. He seems very happy. He got married when he was in his 30's but he's a widow now. I'm happy for him that he's happy but I am also jealous and I am mad at myself for ruining my relationship with this great guy and for doing what I did to my life. I want us to get back together. I'm a different person now than I was then. I think we could really get along now and have a good life. Do you have any advice for me how I can tell him I want him back? What should I do?

Debbie64

Dear Debbie64,

I want to thank you for writing me this email and for taking the time to tell the story of what happened with you. I get a lot of emails asking for relationship advice and I select the ones I will create Hubs for when I think I have some advice that will help. I do have a couple of insights to offer you. But mostly I wanted to post your email here on Hubpages because of how important your message is. 

I get a crazy amount of comments and emails from women who want to get married the way you did at a very young age. The lessons you shared here are so valuable. You pointed out a very major fact: you never got to be You. You were never an independent adult, growing and changing and learning, discovering yourself and pursuing your dreams. I'm very sorry you've made some decisions that you've had to struggle with. But I am very grateful to you for taking the time to articulate your experience and share it with me. 

You haven't had the ex back in your life for very long, and you're ready to rush into something again. I want to give you a couple of warnings I hope you will take a moment to consider.

I wonder if it's him you've been in love with all this time, or if it's being 22. He is a place marker. He represents that last time in your life when you were You. You said you were so and so's wife, and someone's mother, for the past 20 years or so. The last time you were just you was when you were 22 and life was ahead of you.

As you pointed out, you are a different person now than you were then. You've grown and changed, and yo've learned alot about the things in life are important and the things that do not need to be rushed.

Maybe he is the love of your life, but from what you wrote to me, I am not convinced. And I think chatting with him on Facebook or on the phone for a period of 3 weeks is not enough time to know.

There are some people that alway shave to be in a relationship. They'd rather be in a wrong relationship then be alone. You've documented for us that it would have been a different life for you had you spent some time on your own. 

I hope you'll consider that you still haven't achieved that "You" place. You were a wife and a mother. And now you're again looking to a relationship to define you. You said you're lonely, and I really am sorry to hear that. Loneliness sucks. But maybe this is finally a time where you can be You. You said your kids are adults out on their own. You've only just begun taking classes and letting yourself explore yourself for who you are and what you want to be.

I don't think you necessarily have to do that exploring alone. It's nice that you have your first boyfriend back in your life. A friendship with him might truly be something of value. I just don't think you need to jump on him with that "getting back together" attitude. You could be patient this time. You could wait, and work on yourself. You could nurture and grow your interests and enjoy being Independent You. Then if he wants to step up his relationship with you, it will have happened naturally in due time.

Meanwhile, while you're friendship grows, enjoy being yourself. Try some new things and some old things. Instead of trying to figure out how to tell him you want him back, why don't you just ask him if he wants to get together for coffee. I don't know if you live near each other now or if that's feasible. Getting together for a coffee pr a weekend or something and seeing what happens calmly and patiently while you enjoy your "me" time will probably lead to a much more stable and reasonable reunion.

Please also listen to him this time around. Don't just want what you want and dismiss what he's saying. You mentioned he's a widow. You have to think about the very real possibility that he has already walked down the aisle and may not want to do it again. I have the feeling you want to be married again. Maybe it would be smart to just take a beat here and learn about what he wants in his life. It sounds like he's living a very full life, enjoying his career and activities. He may not be looking to change it dramatically, with another marriage. 

I hope you can begin your journey of You in a healthy way. I hope you will continue this reconnection and build a good friendship. I hope you will be patient. Take time with this. Don't rush him or pressure him. Listen to him. Get to him as you get to know you.

And who knows. 

Good luck to you.

Comments

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  • profile image

    Debbie64 

    8 years ago

    Veronica thank you so much for answering my question. I am sure you get a lot of these and its very cool that you picked mine. I can see your point and it is true it is like i am doing it all over again. Why do i rush like this. I think that I just get excited when i see a possibility and then i dont know what to do wiht myself. I am going to take your advice though and be friends first and see what happens. he lives about 200 miles from me. It's not out of the question to drive the 3 1/2 hours to see him or maybe meet in the middle. I put it out there on my fb and said i was looking for something to do next weekend and he commented are you thinking of an overnight trip? so that gives me hope maybe he's thinking about getting together too. I will call him after work and talk about it tonight. I can feel myself rushing, i need to try to get that in check. Thanks Veronica! This is good advice and doesn't dash my hopes to the rocks.

    Sassy I don't know what his feelings on kids have to do with much, since like i said mine are adults and out on their own, and i wouldn't have anymore at this point in my life. but we have talked about kids since he's a teacher and around kids all day anyway.but thank you.

  • Sassypoetic profile image

    Sassypoetic 

    8 years ago from Katy,Texas

    Remember you're no longer teenagers... Things have changed in his life, and you have both matured mentally. Become friends again, get to know who he's become... Don't be quick to expose yourself. Take it slow remember he may still be very vulnerable if he recently lost his wife.. you don't want it to be due to that fact, or him being confused. Be more of a friend than anything else, because people do change. If something developes as the to you start spending time together.. Then wonderful, find out his views on kids and how he feel about them... Be sure of your feelings, not because you may be a little lonely... Good luck... Love is beautiful

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