‘Texas Tangled’ Asked:
This might end up sounding like a terrible romance movie…I am a 30 year old divorcee (I was married young in a military marriage that ended when I was 24). I was in a long-term relationship with *Travis for two years, in which we had great chemistry, lots of fun, good teamwork, and just solid, simple country life.
But as our relationship progressed, he had issues with commitment and couldn’t get to the next step or even talk about it. We would go through these cycles of everything being fine, then a build to a huge fight and then fine again. Finally, it began to really wear the closer to 2 years we got, and he broke up with me out of nowhere after our anniversary.
I went through a huge grief-depression period. But I eventually started online dating and started making choices to make myself happy as my 30th birthday was approaching with the start of the year. I wouldn’t say I was completely over him, but I was ready for something serious. I only wanted a serious relationship.
In January, I met a new man, *Kyle, who I instantly clicked with. He’s serious, intentional and forward about being with me. He wasn’t bothered by my emotional state, the trust issues I had developed, or that we were long distance. But mid-February, *Travis reappeared saying he had made a huge mistake. He was finally taking accountability for everything he had done and told me that he loved me.
It has completely thrown me. My relationship with *Kyle is only three months old, which I separated from to start counseling while I deal with the grief that this has caused. *Travis started counseling as well, and while we know we love each other, he’s still not ready for everything I need.
Why am I conflicted over someone who doesn’t seem ready? I know I love him deeply, and I always thought he was the one. But it feels like if we walk away from each other now, it will never happen, and we’re choosing to let each other go. And I also have a wonderful man who I had just met, semi-waiting for me wondering what I’m going to do with myself.
It’s incredibly hard to feel the pull of so many emotions and so many directions. How do you process through so much information and feelings to have a decision you are actually solid in making? Why am I so distracted by a love that wasn’t very healthy for me? And why can I not just connect back to the one that was doing me some good? Is it possible to reconnect with an ex and have it go well?
Dr. Zoe Answered:
The complicated thing about relationship dilemmas is that your emotions scream so loudly, they drown out the whisper of your logic.
*Travis came back. Of course he did. The relationship was good. Why wouldn’t he come back? But he came back with no ring and no promise of commitment. A loving thing for *Travis to do would have been to work on all of those issues and return only when and if he was ready to commit to you. He didn’t do that. Therefore, there is no reason whatsoever to start it back up with him.
We often want what we can’t have. You may have been taught that love needs to be hard-won. You may believe on some level that you have to fight to be valued. I’m not saying that *Kyle is the one, but I am saying that *Travis isn’t.
My best, most caring advice I have for you is to ignore your emotions and end it with *Travis. Let him know that when he has worked out whatever there is to work out, that he can try to connect with you. Make it clear that you may have moved on by that time. Wish him the best, and then do exactly that. Move on with your life, no matter how much it hurts.
After you’ve made the decision and taken action to end it, go ahead and give your neglected emotions some attention again. Continue to work on yourself, with an intention to understand what it was about *Travis that had you feeling so discombobulated. Work on healing the hurt that was triggered by that relationship.
This isn’t about choosing one man over the other. This is about choosing and valuing yourself first.
You’ve got this! It just takes a little grit and grace.
(*Names have been changed)
Are you in a similar situation with a man who isn’t committing yet? Check out this video from Dr. Zoe…