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I broke it off…

How do I move on when my boyfriend won’t let go?

Our elder offers advice on how to stop obsessing and get rid of the guilt.

Dear EWC:

I just broke off a relationship after nearly four years with a guy I was relatively happy with. I broke things off because he was very manipulative and didn’t respect my boundaries; we sort of ping-ponged back and forth over them.

I know I’ve made the right choice, but now he hangs around my friends at my work, asks them to get coffee and catch up, etc. The thing is, he was never close to them before we broke up. When I ask my friends about it, they tell me they don’t ask him there, but rather just don’t know what to tell him.

I get extremely anxious when I’m around him, involuntary tremors and trouble concentrating, as I have a history of anxiety and he’s now one of my tremors. He’s shown up at my door twice, and at work when I was closing up alone on Valentine’s Day, both times demanding answers about why we broke up, answers I’ve already sufficiently given to him. Now, through an old co-worker he’s apparently been meeting up with, I got wind of him wanting to propose to me. Which makes no sense because we’ve broken up.

I haven’t heard from him in about two weeks, as I returned his stuff to him and I think he may have gotten the memo, but now I carry around this guilt that maybe I didn’t try hard enough in this relationship. I don’t want to meet up with him again, and I know he can be manipulative. What’s some advice you could give about moving past this relationship and not feeling so guilty about all of this? Thank you.

Here4U replies:

I do not believe there is any reason that you should be feeling this guilty and I think you are being far too hard on yourself. Not all relationships work out and there are some that just are not meant to be. I believe you need to accept that yours was not meant to continue.

There are two people in a relationship, so the blame cannot be put on just one. It sounds to me as if there were problems in it that had nothing at all to do with you, as your boyfriend was manipulative towards you and did respect your boundaries.

In my opinion, you have probably been thinking way too much about the relationship, which has caused you to start questioning your role in the break-up. I would suggest that you make the effort to avoid thoughts so that you can end the preoccupation you currently have. I believe that once you make a concerted effort to stop your thoughts about him and the relationship, you will be able to move on.

I would also suggest that you not worry about him hanging around your friends at work. In my view, he probably does so now because he no longer has you. If prior to your break up he spent that time with you, there would now be a vacancy in his life and he probably does not want to spend it alone. It does not sound as if he is trying to get information from your friends about you, so it is harmless and unnecessary for you to concern yourself with it.

I wish you the ability to let go of thoughts about him so you can move on.

Letter #: 459144
Category: Dating/Relationship

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