Thursday, 19 February 2009

Definition of "to lapse":


v. lapsed, laps·ing, laps·es

1. a. To fall from a previous level or standard, as of accomplishment, quality, or conduct: lapse into bad habits
b. To deviate from a prescribed or accepted way
c. To pass gradually or smoothly; slip

2. a. To come to an end, especially gradually or temporarily

There's not many people you can call on when you lapse late at night. Granted, there's about a million people waiting with eyes glued to the screen on the internet, but when the internet's the thing that's made you feel this way in the first place, that's one place to avoid.

Since meeting with the Ex on Sunday, he's been back on my mind. This is exactly why I didn't want to see him, why I kicked off a few weeks ago when the idea was first suggested. I'd called him, told him I couldn't: "I'm not ready to hear how great life is without Jo". But I came round to the idea, felt better having been away and we met up.

It was with this new found confidence and curiosity that I tested the waters by clicking on the profile of his friend last night, while having my nightly facebook chat with Northern Boy. The ex had brushed over her name when we'd met, both of them were in her profile picture and now, it finally clicked, living together in a shared house with others. Believe it or not, it's not that I think anything's gone on. It's the fact that whilst he'd mentioned living with a girl called Anna, he didn't say it was the one I knew. How would I assume they were the same person? Then there was the photo album of him, her, their other friends...including his ex, who until the late stages of our relationship I'd always kicked off about him seeing - all having a drunken, screaming, jolly old time in a pub somewhere.

As my brain began to scream at me for being so stupid, for not putting two and two together, and for even looking in the first place, it then began to whisper something else. "Look at all these things you stopped him doing. Look how he can see his ex now and not feel guilty. Look at him living with his girl mate who he wouldn't have been able to live with while he was with you". Feeling like you were a hinderance to someone's life on any level is not nice, no matter how irrational it sounds.

His life isn't on pause, but by not contacting him or allowing myself any knowledge of what he's been doing, I could almost pretend that it was. This worked for me. Now we've met up, emailed a couple of times and my head is filled with questions. We're over, but why does he want to meet? Am I on the backburner until he wants a girlfriend again? Does he think we can be friends?

As I lay in bed last night, I answered the questions in my head. We can't be friends. We were never friends, we were girlfriend and boyfriend. Now we are ex's, so we must be ex's. I'm not going to be on the backburner. I couldn't go back to him now, not with this whole period of his life that I don't know about stuck in the middle. He had me, he lost me and that's where it's got to be. Or I will be a mess, like I was last night and like I am writing this.

None of this meeting up shit, emails, texts - whatever. I was right the first time round, no contact is the way forward. I feel lke a broken record on this, but break ups ARE a broken record, unless you get rid of it and...err, buy yourself a new iPod.



Anonymous said...

You didn't 'stop' him doing them. When you're in a relationship, things are's normal NOT to see and ex, it's normal NOT to have a million girl mates who you're strangely close to. Yes, all this is ok when you're single but when you chose to be in a relationship, you must also accept that things change.
No contact is the best course of action, maybe one day you'll be able to look at pictures without the stabbing pain in your chest, but for now you can't and that's ok x

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

It's just that horrible feeling that he's having a better time now, you know? Like don't get me wrong, I'm having a great time being single, but I didn't mind making adjustments to my life for him. I think he always resented the thought of doing those things for me. Ouch ouch ouch. x

Anonymous said...

"We can't be friends. We were never friends, we were girlfriend and boyfriend. Now we are ex's, so we must be ex's."

There have been millions of words written about the bf-gf/ex-ex friendshiop question, and none have answered it as succinctly as this.

No Contact really is the best option. I get on with my life, delete all their details and declare them 'dead to me' until such time as I am comfortable acknowledging otherwise. It WORKS.

Forgive yourself for lapsing, though - it happens to the best of us, and the rest of us! x

AFC 30K said...

I broke up with a girl who I was madly in love with in our last year at uni. It was my choice but it still hurt. We were in all the sqame classses, in the same tutor groups and shared the same friends. We had been together since ourt 3rd day on campus.

Being together was hell on earth. The last day of uni she wanted to be friends (very noble of her since I was a complete shit to her) but I knew what you knew, we were not friends but lovers.

It's been very nearly 9 years since our last contact. I'm now happily married with a son (and onther baby on the way). I love my wife yet there is always a part of me that will love this girl.I know that we can never ever make contact again, but I can now look at old photo's fondly and know that I hope that she is happy.

Stay true to your self and have no contact. In the end, whislt very corney, it's true, time is a great healer.

Good luck Jo!

smidge said...

God i know how you are feeling with this one, particularly the fact that "His life isn't on pause, but by not contacting him or allowing myself any knowledge of what he's been doing, I could almost pretend that it was".

No contact means that suddenly his life will catch up with you. I feel like a small amount of contact helps you get over things better.

Plus facebook is the devil, im so close to deleting my account, but im just too nosy.

Anonymous said...

You are so, so right. I've always said the only way to get over one man is to get under ano- no, wait. I mean, cutting off contact is the best way to get used to a certain person not being around any more. Otherwise you're just torturing yourself with thoughts of what might have been and "Maybe if they see me acting like X, Y and Z, they'll want me back."

I had an ex who kept calling for months and months, asking to be friends, saying he missed me. My reply? "That's your fault. You dumped me. I'm your girlfriend, or I'm nothing to you. Now leave me alone."

I've never believed you can go back, 'demote' the relationship from romantic to platonic. I'm with you all the way on this. Can't tell you how much I agree.

Feel better soon. (((hugs)))

Not that we know each other, but still...hope it gets better. And soon. :D

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

China - that's it...there's no point in this silly 'lets be friends' malarky. We're either together or we're not. Seeing as he chose 'not', thats how it's got to be. No inbetweens.

AFC - That's what I dread though, you know? I don't want to look back when I'm married with kids and still think wistfully of him. I don't want to know how things go, that he's got a new girlfriend or whatever. I just want it ended and thats it.

Smidge - Thing is, facebook is doing me the world of good at the moment. It's the devil when a little story slips through the many nets i've put up to prevent them (the 'less of' button is great), but otherwise I'm really using it as a way to get in touch with people I probably wouldn't see if it was left to chance or text. Its useful. You're right in that no contact has its downsides though, but they are few and far between.

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

Papercuts - Thanks, I've always been a firm believer that ex means ex. I never want to be that ex who is hanging around, getting in the way of new relationships and dangling my life in front of an old boyfriend in a "take me back" kind of way. There have been Ex girlfriends in my past relationships who have done that and it's just bloody annoying for everyone. I just have to get over it and move on.

Anonymous said...

It's like you are me. This is exactly how I felt after Beardy and I broke up. I found out that after that he was back hanging about with his ex all the time, going out with all these people that I apparently "kept" him from.

You will get over him. Cut contact.

And then if you meet up in a year, maybe two, when you have fully moved on, you won't even need to think about being one of those annoying exes x

Huw said...

I think pinkjellybaby touched on this, but it's not that you stopped him doing things, but that relationships demand that we do certain things, sacrifice other things, and that's part and parcel of being with someone. To say you were hindering him isn't fair on yourself; in a relationship you should be each others' priority. And as for him having a better time now? Well, being able to go out getting drunk isn't a great trade for having someone you can turn to no matter what, IMHO.

Rambling Office Worker said...

Sorry to hear things went bad, I know it's cliché but there are plenty more fish in the sea!

Emsbabee said...

I did something similar this very morn. And a meltdown was the result. 'Look what's he up to without me, was I holding him back all this time, does he thank fuck every day that we're no longer together, bla bla.' Horrible, just horrible. But it just means you have to go through the process of breaking off contact again, which you seemed to be more than capable of last time, so it's bound to be easier this time. x

The Unbearable Banishment said...

No! No! No! Take it from someone who went there more than once but didn't learn his lesson. It's a Pandora's Box of trouble. But you already know that, don't you? Do the hard thing.

Anonymous said...

The scary thing about these lapses is that they often get you when you least expect them to. I have had a few - they get less common with time but even now sometimes I flick to Tracy's blog to see if she has opened it again. I don't want to see it - I just need to know it is still closed. silly really.

No contact is easier. It doesn't feel it, I know but the healing process is quicker and more straightforward - you can concentrate on where YOU are going, without worrying what the other is up to. I am glad I went down the non-contact route although even now - 15 months later, very occasionally I feel tempted to write an email. But I haven't done so.

When people first become single again they try to embrace old friends and old comforts. I did it too. It wasn't about showing to Tracy that I was having a good time - it was about distraction and just about getting a grip really and old friends knew me best, were more forgiving if I was miserable. It doesn't mean he is happy - or happier - or trying to punish you, or that you were stopping him doing things - it's about HIM and his need to find a life again and about distraction from pain. I am sure you are doing the same and if he peeped at what you were doing he would perhaps think the same as you did? wEll, maybe. Men tend to overthink less, don't they?

Be strong, Jo. You CAN do this. Just accept the occasional lapse and try not to let it affect you for too long. We ALL have them!

Anonymous said...

That's the thing with exs. You've got to X them out of your address book, phone, email, contacts, life. There's always going to be some baggage or residual issue.

AFC 30K said...

Jo you misunderstand slightly - I don't look back whistfully, I can actually look back fondly - no tugging of heartstrings, just a smile and a hope that she is happy.

Mouldy-Old-Tartlet said...

I used to work for a crusty old 2-partner firm of surveyors in Wimpole Street. One was about 70 and the other was nearly dead. Both were annoying, arrogant, far too rich for their own good and smelled slightly of fish. Yet, one had a very wise saying (that he would often come out with after having too many lunchtime ports) which was : "It's a good life - if you dont weaken."

Stay strong Jo, forge ahead, feel the force (Luke) and keep a stiff upper lip.

(feel free to contact me should you need any further trite phrases)

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

Blue - It's good to know you went through a similar thing and have come out the other side. You're right, this is going to take years rather than months.

Huw - I like that point about being able to go out and have fun VS being able to trust someone absolutely. He's gained a lot, but I suppose he's lost a lot too. I know I feel like I have.

Rambling - Ohh the cliches are always the things that speak the most truth though. You are right!

Emsbabee - Another partner in breakup! Sorry to hear you had a similar meltdown, as you can tell I know all too well how that feels. Same goes to you, in that I hope it gets easier and the urge to blame ourselves like that goes away!

Unbearable - Sometimes you have to go against the sensible option, which was what I did when we met. I knew it would have these consequences but I needed to do something. Having him come to get his stuff and not seeing him would have been weirder.

Reluctant - Thank you for that comment, it makes so much sense. Especially the bit about needing to spend time with old friends. I'm definitely being more sociable in that respect, I'm always available for a night out now! I think seeing him partying away with the ex who I'd always had an issue with was the killer. That just knocked me - I'm trying not to think about it, it's not my place to be annoyed any more. Luckily I have a diary and blog to vent my anger, and didn't go straight to text and email!

Ninetynine - Indeed , there's going to be an Ex shaped baggage with me for a while! I'm just going to try and not let it get in the way.

AFC - Ahh, thats what I hoped you meant. I still worry about looking back and always wishing after this relationship - almost as if parting on bad terms would have been easier. That gives me a little bit of hope!

MOT - Great comment :D Loved "one was 70 and the other nearly dead". Made me chuckle! I will use the force (luke) and have your email address for any future lapses.

Does anyone want to volunteer to be my e-replacement? Like someone I can send all the funny stuff I'd usually send him?

nuttycow said...

Where's my comment gone :(

Anonymous said...

"Does anyone want to volunteer to be my e-replacement? Like someone I can send all the funny stuff I'd usually send him?"


Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

Nuttycow - Has it been eaten? Do a synopsis I want to hear your view.

Chapati - Consider yourself hired. Let's get a email circle together of recently single, and we can all be eachother's e-replacements :D

Brennig said...

Exes are exes and they should stay out of mind and out of sight. Even the nice ones. I have an ex who wants to be a fuckbuddy and the whole idea is good/bad in equal measures of massiveness. Exes should just stay away. Sorry but there it is.

weenie said...

Latching onto this post a bit late sorry but no contact is the way to go and I think you're strong enough to do this. I've always been in the school that exes are exes - you can be civil to one another afterwards, but you can't be friends. That said, I need to speak to my ex soon but unfortunately, I'm still tied to him property-wise...

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

Brennig - I couldn't agree more. Fuckbuddies are not to be sniffed at either.

weenie - that's always a problem, when property is involved i imagine the situation is amplified ten fold. :(

Time traveller said...

"Look at all these things you stopped him doing. Look how he can see his ex now and not feel guilty. Look at him living with his girl mate who he wouldn't have been able to live with while he was with you".

You didn't stop him from doing anything, when you're with someone you're life changes and you accommodate each other. I'm sure you changed in some ways too.

For example I have a lot of male friends now I'm single, sometimes they even stay over (in the spare room) would I spend so much time with them if I was with someone? No. But that's ok. I wouldn't expect a b/f of mine to spend as much time with females friends either.

I'm not sure about the staying friends thing, I'm friends with one of my exes, but I can deal with that, another more recent ex. Its just asking for trouble.

None of this meeting up shit, emails, texts - whatever. I was right the first time round, no contact is the way forward.

:) I hear you! If someone's on our minds theres no room for anyone else.

I beleive it is possible to stay friends with exes but you need a LOT of time in between to really move on before that can happen. xxx

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

Thanks for the words of encouragement, TT! I really, really would love to get to the point where I could be friends - but even then I'm not sure what it would achieve. Isn't that a little bit like clinging onto the past, an ended relationship, even if the two of you know its dead and buried?

Time traveller said...

You need to get to the point where it doesn't matter to you anymore if you're friends or not. If it upsets you, you're obviously not ready.

I'm friends with my 6 year relationship ex, I'm totally fine with it. I never envisage us to be together again and I really do hope he's happy, as much as any of my friends.

I don't feel like it's clinging to the past - the more recent ex, that's a different story. You'll know what I mean about the long term ex when you get there :)

Now go and find someone to make you happy! :)

Go to Aus and Tokyo, go and stay with my friends ... they got me out of my rut, not a moment before time either xxx


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