After 10 years, she left me for someone else

Visitor's Question from a 31-40 year old Male
I have been with my girlfriend for almost 10 years. I thought she was the one and I wanted to marry her. She only had one guy before me. We dated through undergrad, grad school (long distance), and lived together for 3.5 years. We enjoyed the same things, had the same humor, and complemented each other's features.

She got a new job two years ago where she had to commute for 2 hours. All her new friends were single girls, ready to play around with guys, go drinking, cheating, and acting reckless. When I popped the question of marriage, which we spoke many times before about, she said she wasn't sure I was the one. The last year the relationship started deteriorating. We started treating each other like we were evil, "you are doing this just to piss me off", " you don't hug me", "you ignore me", "you treat me like a roomate" and so on.

Mutual accusations getting worse and worse. I thought I couldn't stand this any more, and breakup thoughts hit my head. Then one day she announced she was moving out and kept to her word.

I tried everything to get her back. I cried, I begged, I even helped her move out. We eventually got closer, went out and did things together, we went on nature trips together, and I kept begging her to come back. But she would always say she wasn't ready she wanted to be on her own.

Then for her birthday, I gave her a huge bouquet of roses and took her on a adventurous trip. The trip was great, we kissed, she told me I was getting better, and she may get back with me, but not yet. This was just two weeks ago.

But when we came back she all of a sudden stopeed all contact and is now with another guy, spending every living moment with him, most likely sleeping with him and acting like a total whore just to impress him, and she hasn't replied to my phone calls or e-mails.

I am devastated, I can't eat, I lost over 15 pounds in just a week, I can't sleep. All of a sudden it hit me - I am losing her. I feel she played me by going on a trip, and I also feel she is not acting like herself. I can't imagine living without her, and I would cut both of my arms to be with her. She is everything I ever wanted in life, my soulmate. Even her parents are on my side.

I don't know what to do. I am planning to write her a letter by hand, and hope she would think about us seriously. I am very afraid she is gonna brush it off and not answer or just say "we are through" right away.

Do you think ten years can be forgotten so easily? Will she cling to this new guy even if he's worse? Does she feel guilty for giving me hope while having dirty intentions for another guy. Help me please, what should I do? Advice
It really sounds like something was seriously wrong long before this particular incident. It's easy to start to take a relationship for granted after many years. Just look at how many marriages end in divorce because people 'drift apart'. So yes, she had this new job with new single friends. But lots of married women have single friends and don't end up leaving. You two were having lots of fights, not getting along and so on. That was about you and her, not about anything else. If you two did not handle and address that situation, it then naturally lead to a breakup.

I really doubt she was "using you" on that trip. It's far more likely that she really did feel a glimmer of what you two used to have - but that this other guy was a brand new relationship in her life and is full of the rush of lust and romance and everything else that new relationships always bring. New relationships always feel like they are "far more incredible" than anything you've felt before, they are powerful. That's how people hook up in the first place, with that "glue" that the rush of lust brings on. And it's very hard when someone is in that rush, to remember that you USED to have that same feeling with your previous lover, before things matured into the more long term solid love.

I don't know that a letter is the best idea. Face to face talks are always more powerful and it's better because you can get their reaction and respond to what they say. It's interactive, instead of getting a letter to her which she might misinterpret.

It's not that "10 great years" are forgotten" it's that in those 10 years there were many great years and then some awful times too - and she has no guarantee that if you get back together it won't simply be awful again. She can risk more awfulness with you or go on with the 'blast of love and amazing joy' she is currently experiencing with this other guy.

I would really sit down with her and say that you KNOW you both took each other for granted at the end of your relationship. That this was a huge mistake that you both made, that you both learned from it. But that you are very well suited for each other. That you know this new guy FEELS amazing to her right now. That that's the normal way relationships work. But that what she wants in the end is a guy that is COMFORTABLE with her for years and years. Can this new guy really "mellow into" the guy that you are already for her? She has to realize that the New Love feeling isn't eternal. It's temporary. And she needs to decide if that long term love she's seeking isn't what she already had with you (before things got nasty).

Ask her, honestly and truely, what it was about you that bothered her. Obviously there were some rather serious things that came out in that nit-picking. Don't argue with her when she brings them up. Just listen and learn. The more she feels she can tell you, the more you'll learn, and the more chance you have of making things better.

-- from Jenn
One of Your Friendly Advisors at

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