I can't get over the way I hurt her

I hurt her so badly that even after she and I had moved on, I cannot get over the guilt of breaking her heart. I watched her break into pieces as I stood there motionless. She looked for help and reassurance, but I couldn’t give her any because it wasn’t good for her.

My ex-wife and I met 3 years ago. It was an immediate attraction. We were living in different states but were from the same hometown. She went home on vacation the same time I did and fortunate smiled upon us and we ran into each other. We get along right away. We started talking, went on a few date, spent a few nights at each together, and we left to our respective location. We continued to talk. We continued to date. We decided to set a flight schedule to go see each other. She flew out first and spent a week. I took some PTO and showed her around the town I lived at. We had a blast. The next month, it was my turn. I flew out to her and the same thing happened. She took some time off and we explored her city. The next time she flew out to see me, things were different. We spent a week together but it was different than before. I had, in my every intention, to break it off with her. It wasn’t because I didn’t want to be with her anymore. It wasn’t because she told me she loved me first, after 2 months of dating. You can’t put a timeline on love. It wasn’t because she was indecisive, needy, and emotional. I am too. It was because I don’t deserve her love. It was because I thought I wasn’t good enough for her. It was because of my insecurities.

“Back story about me: I grew up in a pretty sheltered household. I didn’t have my first real girlfriend until I was 18. We dated for a few years and even moved in together. One morning, my girlfriend woke up, looked at me in the face, and told me she was no longer in love with me. I was confused. I was lost. I was hurt. The woman I spent 3 years of my life with told me she no longer loves me. The woman I wanted to make my wife no longer wants to be with me. I didn’t beg. I let her go. I helped her move out. A few years later, she married one of my good friends. I attended the wedding. I didn’t go for her, I went for my friend.
I dated a few girls between that wedding and before I met my ex-wife. I was always vulnerable when it comes to the game of love. I was always taken advantage of. I was always the broken one. A few years before I met my ex-wife, I became a “player”. I had cars. I had money. I had my own house. Why shouldn’t? I was a bachelor. I was extremely marketable amongst the women’s department. I began to treat girls the same ways other girls before them treated me. I take them out on a few dates, manipulate them with my words, get them into my bed, and out the next morning. I was different. I was disgusting. But I was living a life that many younger guys wished they did. I was only in my mid 20s. I was trying to take advantage of my livelihood…until I met my ex-wife. She was different. She was patient. She was kind. She was respectful and most importantly, she didn’t want. She never wanted anything from me. She never ask for anything. All she does is give. She gives me attention. She gives me love. She gives me peace of mind. It sounds mildly retarded (excuse my French) but that scared the hell out of me. I was scared because that was how I was hurt so many times before. Before I was a manipulator, I was the manipulated. I’ve been used and I’ve been abandoned. It felt all too much the same. I was afraid. I began to seek out my old safety rock and I wanted to crawl into it.”

After the second visit, right before she boarded the airplane, I did what any jackass would’ve done to a perfect girl, and I broke up with her. She was confused, understandably so. She cried and I had the audacity to hold her in my arms. I walked her to the desk, to the security gate, and watched her leave. She cried the entire way. I went to my car and I cried. I cried because I know I just missed my chance with the girl of my life. When she got home that night, she called me to let me know she got home safely. She never mentioned anything about the break-up but we both know it actually happened and over with. For the next few months, we rarely talk. There was a few texts and Snapchat here and there but nothing out of the ordinary. Then one day, a week before Christmas of 2018, she messaged me. She told me she was heading home for the holidays. I wished her a happy holiday and we talked about what she planning on doing while she’s home. Right before we ended the phone conversation, she asked me what I had planned for the holidays. I told her I have to work Christmas week but I do have a few days off before and after New Years. She mentioned she also have days off but doesn’t have plan to do anything. Without missing a beat, I stupidly said “Would you like to come see me for New Years? We can go watch the fireworks together. I’ll fly you out”. She said yes.
After the New Years celebration, we began to date again. We continued to date long distance. We continued to date until I received a notice for a relocation. My work was going to send me elsewhere for a position I applied for and accepted. I told her about it. She was thrilled for me. But the problem was that it would double the distance of our relationship. She didn’t seem to mine it and neither was I. A few weeks passed after the relocation notice, she toyed with the idea of moving in with me. I told her that would be awesome but there’s a lot of logistics we need to figure out. So I flew out to her for a few weeks and we began to plan it. One thing led to another and the next thing I know, we were talking about marriage. I wasn’t ready. It wasn’t in my 5-year plan. But I was all for it because I love her. We eloped and was married in May of 2019. She wanted a traditional wedding so I promised her we will have a traditional wedding On July 17, 2022. The reason we chose that date was because our first kiss was on July 17, 2018, and it would give us a few years to save money up for the wedding. Also, it was a Saturday so it worked out perfectly. We had plans and we were going to go through with it.

Fast forward to the relocation process: We moved to my new location for work in September of 2019. She was able to move her job there as well. We purchased a house. We had everything we wanted. During the first year of our marriage, something in my head loosen. For some reason, somehow, I began to see her as a manipulator. I started to be scared of her. The thing with my wife is that when she love, she loves hard. When she does that, it scares me. The things I did before began to haunt me. I began to question myself if I deserve this kind of love. I was a piece of shit. I am a piece of shit. I used to hurt people for fun. I used bring them up and I break them down. I found joy in doing that. How can a monster like me be with an angel like her? I began to question everything. At one point, I even question if all of this was real. It began to affect my work, emotional and mental state. She noticed it and she pry. I was not an emotional talker so I didn’t tell her anything. She kept on prying and prying and I exploded. I told her what was wrong and I told her I wanted to be alone. She was confused. She asked what I meant and I stupidly told her I wanted a divorce. We were barely married for a year.
Naturally, she said no. She cried and she fought. We stayed together for a while longer. But inevitable, we got a divorce. She did it because she thought it would make me happy. It didn’t. I did it because I thought she deserves more than me. She does. We continued to stay in the same house until I volunteered to take on a temporary work overseas. I was going to be gone for 6-8 months. She wasn’t happy but she was okay with it because she knew I needed that time apart. A few months after I was gone, I told her she needed to move on. I told her she should see someone else because I dont want her to wait for me. She said no and that she wanted to talk. But I didn’t. I ignored her calls, her messages, and her cried for reasons. I was a monster. But after a while, with family and friends support, she moved on. I was happy she moved on. I was happy she began to open herself up for attention from other pursuers. I regret every second I am away from her but I know she will find someone better than me. We had a lot of good times together but I wasn’t able to match her love for her. I know someone else can. But after all of that, I cannot get over the fact that I hurt her. I hurt so bad. I watched it as it all happen before my eyes. I watched her break into millions of pieces and I did nothing. I was the cause of it all and now it haunts me. I cannot help but feel guilty of everything I did to her, and rightfully so.

I guess this is more of a rant than a cry for help. I just don’t know where to go or who to tell. It’s affecting me pretty hard mentally and emotionally. We still talk, occasionally. We check in on each other. She’s seeing someone else and I’m extremely happy for her. She’s moved on and I’m proud of her. To say that I’m not jealous would be a lie. But I won’t do anything to jeopardize her life again. I’ve told her before that I was sorry and she said she forgive me. We talked about the possibility of getting back together but I told her it’ll be on her terms and I would not force her into anything she doesn’t want to do. The truth is that I do want her back. The truth is that I need her back. She had asked me before why would she give me another chance? I hurt her so badly that she can barely trust me anymore, so why should she? I told her that pain is a hell of a teacher and I’ve since improved myself as a person. I want her to see that for herself. She said she understood. But she said she wants to give other pursuers a fair chance. I didn’t answer. I had the audacity to be mad at that statement she made. But I understood what she meant. Still, I didn’t answer. I didn’t want to.

Damn, men are really stupid sometimes. We really don’t know how good we had it until we no longer have it. Stupid me. Every damn night before bed, I wish I would wake up to when her and I first met. I would’ve done everything the right way. I would’ve love her harder than I ever did. I would’ve taken every single chance with her. Stupid me…

Like I said, this is more of a rant than anything. I just need to get stuff off of my chest. But please, if you ever been in the same situation, help me understand. Thank you.


Hi D,

Welcome to Heart Support.

I think you answered your own question friend -


I am a believer that every relationship we are in is there to teach us. It is up to us to examine those relationships and take the decisions that were made and either apply them constructively or destructively to our lives.

I can somewhat level with being blindsided by a significant other suddenly telling you they don’t love you. I was in a similar situation and it made me angry at first. In hindsight though, that was a bad relationship for both of us and it needed to happen the way it did. Unfortunately, there are a number of different ways a person can take this and run - you made your choice when you decided to play.

Maybe when you met this girl, you were so confused by what a good relationship looks like that you felt the need to end it. I experienced this as well. We knew each other for years before we started dating and I knew they kind of person they were usually with (abusive). Our relationship ended mutually because they didn’t know how to function when I treated them well, and thats ok, I understood. We were still friends after the breakup but over the years we drifted apart and we no longer talk. I still care about this person and would still help them if they asked me to, but that ship has sailed.

Frankly I think it was a sign of her commitment to you when she went back to you after you broke up with her. If it was me, I don’t think I would have, but I am broken as well with my own issues. None of us are perfect, certainly not me.

It seems like throughout the relationship process with this girl you are hellbent on punishing yourself. You feel you don’t deserve her or her love. You feel you must be punished for your past deeds. I think it is important to learn from our past and to understand our motivations. You did what you felt you should do during those times. Was it right? Probably not, as you seem to believe you are less worthy of love than your girl because of the path you chose.

We are all worthy of love. But we all have lessons to learn.

I don’t think its in the cards for you and this girl to be together, at least right now. Don’t get me wrong, anything is possible, but as much as you love her, and I believe you do, you are treating her to same way as you treated all those other girls whether intentional or not. It seems like this time, the lesson may have finally gotten through though. Love what you have when you have it because you never know when it might be gone.

I’m glad you’ve realized how much this girl meant to you. Im glad she opened your eyes to your own ways and I’m glad you see how incredible she was, because next time you are in that situation you can look back to this very moment in time and remember the lesson this relationship taught you.

You do deserve love, friend. We are all imperfect people who make mistakes and take things for granted. We act on our anger and do things that make us feel good when we know in our hearts it probably isn’t the way things should be. We say stupid things and we learn to regret them, but sooner or later we can come back around and understand that all of those things happened for a reason and we are big enough now to understand what those reasons were. After that we can start to grow and become better people. Some of us just learn harder than others.

I am sorry you are no longer married. Indeed, you learned a valuable lesson. Take it with grace and show yourself kindness. We are not our past, and we cannot change decisions we have made, we can only learn from them.

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