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Hi, everyone...

I hope you're all OK tonight. So I'm supposed to go on a road trip with my husband tomorrow...we will be visiting my in-laws. But this post is about a past relationship, one I had before I met my husband. I've been having a LOT of difficulty letting go of the past. I'm still holding onto painful memories and bitterness toward my ex-boyfriend, as well as his family and friends because of the way they all treated me.

I know that relationships often fail for different reasons but I will try to explain why I'm still hurt by what happened. I started dating him (my ex) when we were in high school, at about 15 or 16 years old. We had a platonic friendship before that. Anyway, our backgrounds were very different. I was of mixed race, I was shy, and not very popular while he was African-American and not shy in the least...he was friends with pretty much everyone. No one bullied him, but I was the constant target of bullies in and out of school. He was a really sweet person back then. He stood up to some of the people who made fun of me and he had a way of making me feel somewhat better about life.

I came from a broken home, a very toxic environment with an abusive stepfather and a mother who loved me but didn't understand my emotional needs. I had no friends and no other family who cared about me. I was very lonely. So you can see how a young girl with low self-esteem can easily fall for a guy who tells her she is pretty and showers her with attention, which is what he did. His parents are wealthy and although he had some issues with his father, he had a loving family. He never had to endure the constant verbal and emotional abuse that I went through.

His mother and some of the other people associated with him didn't like me. I'm not sure why, really. I can only guess at some of the reasons...the color of my skin, my physical appearance, and the fact that I was considered "weird" because of my extreme shyness. His mother was a bit prejudiced and she would make comments about my fair skin, almost like she was trying to belittle me for being light-skinned. It became more complicated when we started having sex and his parents found out. His mother decided that she hated me even more because of that. In her eyes, I was just a slut who corrupted her little boy.

His friends had a problem with me, too. I never did anything to his family or friends but they all hated me. They would tell him right in front of me that he could do better. I wasn't pretty enough, I was weird, etc. His father was always nice to me but I felt that it was more about pity than sincere kindness.

The relationship ended back in 2007 after a series of very unfortunate events. I made a lot of terrible mistakes, which I still beat myself up over. I take full responsibility for my actions but I also attribute my bad choices to the lack of love and attention I had. I had a late-term abortion in 2004...I was basically forced to terminate the pregnancy. It was either that or wind up dead or living on the streets. I was in my early 20's, I had no money, and I couldn't support a child on my own. I was very confused and lost.

His family made it clear that they would not help me. They are very judgmental people and they are extreme pro-lifers. They wanted me to have the baby, but they expected me to be on welfare. They did not tell him to take responsibility for his actions. Instead, all of the blame fell on me. My mother did NOT want me to have a baby out of wedlock. My stepfather would have k***ed me if he had known about the pregnancy...I mean that literally. After the abortion, his family put me through hell. They turned against me, adding to the abuse that I've suffered most of my life. My ex had issues with substance abuse and he became abusive towards me after I terminated the pregnancy. Not physically, but verbally and emotionally. He would blow up at me over nothing, calling me the most horrible names and saying I was stupid. Our conversations would consist of me crying uncontrollably. He even asked me if the baby had been his, implying that I was promiscuous.

When he found out about another mistake I'd made, he told everyone about it. He slandered me to everyone. Anyway, we broke up and I met the man who is now my husband. I love my husband but I can't stop thinking obsessively about my ex. I replay all the things that happened in my mind. I remember the nights I would lie awake, sobbing into my pillow because of how he treated me. I remember the time he cheated on me and contracted an STD...I forgave him for that, although he denied cheating on me, but he couldn't forgive me my mistakes. I can't allow myself to remember the good times we had, because that would just be even more painful. It feels "safer" to be angry and to hate him, to hate all of them.

He is now with somebody else. He has been with her since about 2009. During one of the last conversations we had a few years ago, he told me that I could be replaced. That hurt me deeply. I can't fathom saying that to anyone, let alone a person I once loved. This girl has pictures of them together all over Facebook. I've heard that he treats her very well and that she is happy. She is even friends with his sister on Facebook. But what really hurts is the most recent picture that she posted on Facebook...she is holding a baby boy that looks just like him. I'm convinced that they now have a baby together. It tears me up inside.

I guess this proves that I haven't recovered from my broken heart. I've just been able to hide it. I'm married and my husband doesn't seem to want kids, but this girl seems to have all the things I want, except that I'm more attractive physically. His family seems to have accepted her just fine, while I was treated like crap. This only confirms my feelings of being unloved and unwanted. Sure, my mother and my husband love me, but this is a situation that not even therapy can fix.

I'm sorry for my long-winded post. I know I sound like an obsessive nutcase. I know that it is unhealthy to focus on the past, especially as a married woman. But I don't know how to move beyond this. I thought I was getting better...but I'm not sure anymore. Has anybody else been through something like this?

Edited by FeelinBlueAllTheTime
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I think your taking the first step in moving on by just talking about it here. Its hard to come to a resolution at times when in the past you were hurt so badly. Do you still have feelings for the guy or is it just recent events that have made you angry and for that unresolved anger to surface? I wouldnt go looking at his or hers facebook again, some things are best left alone. I think its the fact you so wanted a child and they way he and his family behaved. I am thinking if you had a child now yourself with your husband alot of these issues would be dealt with. You went through a painful abortion and he seemingly got off scot free. The only thing I can suggest is try to move on, its the only option. We cant undo whats done and I hope you can find happiness in the here and now and with your husband who loves you. We go through a couple or even a few heartbreaks I think before we find the right person for us. He just wasnt the right guy for you hence why he treated you that way.

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I think we all have made mistakes in life that we deeply regret. It can be so hard to forgive ourselves, but I think we need to.

It can also be very hard to forgive others who have hurt us. I know. I am still struggling with this myself.

But if we don't forgive, (ourselves and others), these painful memories and regrets can eat us up inside, and take away any pleasure of living in the present.

For many years, I basically "lived in the past", and I didn't know how to stop doing that.

Finally, I just made the conscious decision that I was going to live in the present, and put the past behind me, and try to forgive myself for my mistakes.

I stopped listening to music that reminded me of people from my past, or those times in my life.

I found new music to listen to, and that has really helped me, as music has always been very powerful for me, and can influence my moods.

I also have no contact with people like my ex-boyfriends, and I try to keep them, and their memories, out of my mind.

Finally, I have just had to forgive myself for things I have done. I believe God has forgiven me, and now I need to forgive myself.

I know it can be incredibly hard, but we need to forgive ourselves for our mistakes.

Please be gentle with yourself. You are a wonderful person, deserving of love and respect!

Take care. ((((Hugs))))

Edited by AquaViolet
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Thank you both for your thoughtful responses...I really appreciate that you took the time to read all of that.

mrmoody...I wouldn't say that I still have "feelings" for him, if you know what I mean. I love my husband very much. But I'm pretty much stuck in the past. I never quite let go of the pain and the anger. I don't know how. I'm still hurt in ways I can't describe. We have both moved on in different ways. He has a new girlfriend and doesn't seem to care how much he hurt me. I married somebody else and although my marriage is relatively happy, I still think about what could have been, what I could have done differently. I feel like I will never be whole. I loved this guy very deeply and it still hurts me to realize that maybe he didn't feel the same way in return. I know it was the past, but I wish I could stop caring about it completely.

My husband is a wonderful person but I'm not sure he wants children. I've always wanted a family because I never really felt like I had one when I was younger. My mother always put my stepfather's needs above mine. I don't even know if I can still have children. I'm only 28, but I have developed some health issues lately. I'm filled with regret.

But I guess you're right...I can't undo what's been done.

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I still think about the hurtful things my ex did years ago and that as 14 years ago, the key is not to dwell on it for too long. You have to move on for your sanity. Its right when you say he didnt love you enough and in the way you wanted, so dont think of what could have been as he wasnt right for you. I know how that feels when someone doesnt love you as much back, my current ex has been telling me recently that she had loved her ex husband more than me. I dont know if its true or not but she knows my vunerable spots and maybe said it delibrately to cause harm. I do hope you can move on but it wont help if you keep looking at his or his current girlfriend's facebook. Block them both and dont look, it will only make you angry. And yes your anger is justified considering what happened just dont dwell in what could have been and focus on the here and now with your current husband.

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You're not alone in these feelings. From my experience, and from what you've written, I understand the anger, the obsession. If I ever saw my ex again, I'd be very tempted to kick him in the face. He chose not to love me, and in breaking up with me basically said that I wasn't good enough for his love. Now he's engaged after dating this new girl for less time than he dated me, and it sucked hearing that. Knowing that he could so easily offer his love to someone else.

But my anger, my frustration - being so upset with him for so long even after forgiving him for his actions and not understanding why - it was because I wanted an apology from him that I never got, and probably will never get. He did and said so many awful, hurtful things, and I'll never get the closure I want directly from him. I think it's similar in your case as well. You seem to be searching for closure from him and his family, some indication that he's sorry for the pain he caused you, or that he'll say something that acknowledges you as an amazing person, but he hasn't done it.

To be honest, I still haven't worked out my own feelings completely, but I can say that it'll get better, if you work at it in baby steps, as long as you keep pushing forward. AquaViolet's advice was good, and from my experience I'd also advise seeing a counselor/therapist/psychiatrist and talk it out with them, if possible. If that's not possible, I suppose I'll just say this. You are dearly loved, and even though I've never met you, you are amazing just the way you are. Don't let anyone else tell you differently. Focus on the things you love, the things in life that make you happy. Whenever my thoughts drift back to my ex, and my mind starts to go back to the idea that *I* wasn't good enough for him, I have to stop and reverse that thought. It wasn't that I wasn't good enough for him. It wasn't even that he wasn't good enough for me. Love is not a one way street. Both parties need to feel the same way about each other and if isn't happening, it isn't going to work. Simple as that. You're now married, right? You would have never met your husband had you still been dating your ex. In going down another path, you are open to so many new opportunities that may have been previously closed to you. The saying is true - when one door closes, another door opens. It's never easy, but it is possible. Just start out with baby steps - everyone on this forum will help you get to where you need to be, will support you, if you ask. I am a personal fan of the One Step at a Time section, check it out! :)

Edited by Tora
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My therapist (years ago) said something to me that really hit home "Is your anger serving you, or are you serving your anger?" Countless nights spent in tears, hours wasted trying to explain someone else's lousy behavior, suddenly seemed like such a waste of my time, and my emotion. My therapist helped me to realize that I was serving my anger/pain, and to get control of it.

I hope you can find a way to put your past in its place, and move on with your life. Instead of wasting your emotion on the ex and his family, try to do something productive with it. Find something that brings you joy, and invest your thoughts and emotions into doing it. Fall deeply in love with your husband...and accept his love freely and without hesitation.

Hopefully you will realize that your ex, and his family, aren't worth your emotion. They are who they are, they aren't going to change for you, and the only person that this is hurting is you...unfortunately. It's in the past, and you cannot change what has happened. You can however control how it affects you now.....try not to allow it to control you.

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Thanks to all of you that offered your input on this.

Tora...I believe that you definitely understand where I'm coming from, especially when you said that I seem to be searching for closure.

Yes, that is true. I feel like it wouldn't still hurt as much if they (both himself and his family) had at least apologized for the way they treated me. There was simply no excuse for the cruelty. I feel like I could accept his being in a new relationship if things hadn't ended so badly.

I know that he will never apologize, though, and neither will his family. They obviously felt justified in their treatment of me so I don't expect anything from them. But that doesn't change the way I feel.

You're right...I would never have met my husband if I were still seeing my ex. My husband is a great guy and I'm thankful to have him in my life, but our marriage lacks passion. I love him and I do accept that he loves me, but sometimes I just feel confused. We have very little intimacy and as I said before, I'm not sure that he wants to have children. Sometimes he seems to care more about sports and his job than about spending real quality time with me. He is a kinder, more stable person than my ex and his family has been much nicer than my ex's family...sounds terrific, right? And it is, but something seems to be missing. We are more like roommates or really good friends for the most part.

I hope this isn't TMI, but I had a very exciting sex life with my ex. Unfortunately, that relationship came with lots of drama as well. Now I'm married to a guy I love dearly and I'm growing bored in my marriage. I can't help but think about my ex being happy with this other girl, being intimate with her and doing all the things that I want my husband to do with me. Just to be clear...I don't want my ex. I don't love him anymore. I just want to feel desirable to my husband because that would take away some of the pain of being told that I was ugly and worthless and stupid by my ex, as well as others.

Anyway, you all have provided me with good advice. I will mull it over and continue trying to take it one day at a time.

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