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So uhh... we broke up (divorced soon after) 9 months ago. My ESTJ ex keeps messaging me from time to time, saying things like we shouldn't have divorced, that the time we spent apart made him realize that I am the best woman he met and so on. I politely explained every time that I have moved on and have no desire to be with him again, along with 5452415 reasons why it wouldn't work for the second time.
I was so happy when I found out via friend that my ex started dating someone. Yet when he messages me (about every 2-3 weeks) and he talks about her, he keeps complaining how she's not good enough, that she irritates him with XYZ and subtly compares her with me. I always tell him things like the thing that he finds irritating is actually a trait he might enjoy (such as disorganized = carefree, he would definitely benefit from learning to be more carefree), that he should accept her the way she is and focus on the good. I have no reason to put her down, I always encourage him to stay with her, to work on making the relationship work and be happy (with someone other than me).

Why is he like this? Why can't he let go of the past? Is there anything I can do to help him move on?
 

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So uhh... we broke up (divorced soon after) 9 months ago. My ESTJ ex keeps messaging me from time to time, saying things like we shouldn't have divorced, that the time we spent apart made him realize that I am the best woman he met and so on. I politely explained every time that I have moved on and have no desire to be with him again, along with 5452415 reasons why it wouldn't work for the second time.
I was so happy when I found out via friend that my ex started dating someone. Yet when he messages me (about every 2-3 weeks) and he talks about her, he keeps complaining how she's not good enough, that she irritates him with XYZ and subtly compares her with me. I always tell him things like the thing that he finds irritating is actually a trait he might enjoy (such as disorganized = carefree, he would definitely benefit from learning to be more carefree), that he should accept her the way she is and focus on the good. I have no reason to put her down, I always encourage him to stay with her, to work on making the relationship work and be happy (with someone other than me).

Why is he like this? Why can't he let go of the past? Is there anything I can do to help him move on?
Well...who broke up with who?

It's easy to expect him to move on but clearly he is in a different head-space than you are. I think you should stop speaking to him.

Not that it's your fault, but it's not fair on his partner that he's talking about her behind her back, whilst remaining with her, and comparing you both. You aren't interested and you've told him that. Keeping contact with him is suggesting to him on some level that there might be a chance because you're still communicating - you're saying one thing and your actions are suggesting otherwise.

It is not your responsibility to help him move on. You are exes. Leave him to it.

Some people just don't know what they have until they dismiss it or let it go. It's not just a cliché.

I had an ISTP in my life who did something similar. When we met he told me very early on, "Hey, I just want you to know that I enjoy talking to you but we are just friends, okay? I don't want you to get the wrong idea that I'm into you romantically or for anything else." and I actually believed him.

And at the time I think he might of believed it too.

I dismissed the arrogance of his comment by chalking it up to his big-headedness, and he meant no ill, he was just trying to be direct. So I didn't take offence by his words because I knew I didn't want to date him either - at least we were on the same page. But a few months later when I'd cut contact with him because we were always getting into arguments, he eventually admitted he couldn't move on from me and he had made a mistake - his new girlfriend wasn't like me, she wasn't good enough and I was the one he 'really' wanted etc. He said all that whilst remaining with her - which I told him was wrong. It's all manipulation.

You can't have a relationship solely on your own terms. One person you date in public and another woman on the sidelines, waiting should anything happen in your primary relationship. If your ex valued your opinions, he would accept that you are divorced/broken up and that you do not feel the same way since you have told him that. It is a recipe for disaster entering into a relationship with someone who can't take no for an answer. Take it as a warning. He may not think he has bad intentions, but it is his responsibility to sort himself out.
 

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You can't have a relationship solely on your own terms. One person you date in public and another woman on the sidelines, waiting should anything happen in your primary relationship. If your ex valued your opinions, he would accept that you are divorced/broken up and that you do not feel the same way since you have told him that. It is a recipe for disaster entering into a relationship with someone who can't take no for an answer. Take it as a warning. He may not think he has bad intentions, but it is his responsibility to sort himself out.
Thank you for your feedback! The break-up was mostly mutual. He was bored, restless, clearly needed something else than me in his life, so we agreed that it would be best to split-up. Been together for 7 years. He got slightly cold-feet before moving out (but eventually moved out), said he sees it more like a "break" than "break-up", that perhaps after spending time apart he'll get his priorities straight. By that time I was emotionally done with the relationship. Hard to tell who broke up with who in the end, I'd say he was the one who initiated it and me who stuck with the decision.

I agree that not talking to him at all is probably the best course of action. I never initiate contact but I reply because I think it's the polite thing to do, but he should probably spend some time truly without me, even though we don't see each other in person at all. I also agree with you (and I told him so as well) that it's not fair, him comparing her to me and talking to me about it on top of that. I just sort of wanted to be there for him because clearly the aftermath of the break-up was extremely hard on him, but I guess it's not my place to keep saving him anymore.
I'll tell him we need to take several months off, with no communication at all. We do need to keep some sort of contact, since we own a place together and sometimes we have to talk about things related to maintenance etc., so cutting him off completely forever isn't exactly an option.
 
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