dear sharideth: My Ex Wants Me Back

Dear Sharideth,

I had a five year relationship end this summer. Basically she cheated on me after dropping me hints of wanting to “live independently” for half a year. After me providing for us for the last four years, she finally was getting her own career. And the day she had the job interview in another town 300 miles away, she decided to have her way with another man.

After digging up the truth for weeks – and being blamed for being paranoid – she finally told the truth. I first was angry but then supportive. Which again made her scared of me. She was scared because I was taking it so well!

She didn’t want to fix our problems so I agreed to break off. Because of our history, and because I am a nice guy, I helped her a lot on the move and let her live with me “as friends”.

So when the moving day to her new job came, we were again good friends, and sort of had a break down and decided to maybe try again – without really being together, but not not-together either…. so in a relationship limbo?

But after living some lonely weekdays and tense weekends togeter – with that all those unresolved issues, I told her that I want us to be just friends. She told that it came out of nowhere and she had tought that we would try to fix up thing. Well so did I, but since we didn’t have any plans “when to fix it”, I just started to feel more and more depressed.

She was pissed at first and told me “I was making the biggest mistake ever” for quitting her and that “my problems would follow me to future relationships”. She was also very sad… but told that “this was it”.

Now after couple weeks she called me, crying and hyperventilating how she wants me back for good. How she won’t be able to love anyone else and so on. She said she made a big mistake and wants to work things up. She says I can’t remember the good things we had. And how it is impossible we didn’t love each other. “Why can’t we fix something if we want to?” she cried.

The truth is, that I have already talked to some girls.. and realized that maybe there is another woman there who would love me.

I told her, that it takes more than “want” to make an effort, and the thing I can agree to, is to go to counceling with her – without making any promises. But we could figure out what “went wrong” and what do we want. Before she hadn’t agreed to counceling because she wanted me to “commit to relationship first”.

My friends and parents tell me to dump her to protect my self. But she has history of mental issues, and she is telling that it was some “condition” she was suffering when she did the deed. I am soon 30 years old, so I would really want to settle down, get kids and so on… I just can’t see my self being un-anxious with her again. Maybe the counceling could “fix that”. But am I hurting her more by going through it if I don’t feel anything but pity and sadness towards her now?

Beaten dog who still wags his tail?


the first thing i want to make very clear is that you owe her nothing. not even after 5 years. maybe not even ESPECIALLY after 5 years. you are not required to drag this out any longer just because she is having a panic attack about her future; which is exactly what this sounds like to me.

she got the benefit of using you (whether on purpose or not, i cannot say) while she got her life together. the fact that she cheated on you and pulled away right as she was about to grasp her career/financial independence is very suspicious, in my never humble opinion.

if you really see some value in counseling and want the relationship back, then that could be the right answer, too.


if you are only considering this because of some sense of obligation to the history you have with her and the fact that she is upset, then you are free to let it go.

i can only go on what you’ve told me, but it certainly sounds like it’s the security you provide that she wants back, not you. i know that sounds awful. probably because it is awful and you deserve someone who wants you for you and not as safety net.

if you do choose to walk away, make it a clean break or she will just continue to mess with your head.

oh so sincerely,


any other thoughts for our friend?

for more on this please see:

ending a long term relationship


14 comments on “dear sharideth: My Ex Wants Me Back

  1. Rachel says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more, Sherideth. Break free. Permanently. She will heal in time. She needs to get through the panicking phase and not be able to jump back in where she feels safe, because she probably won’t ever face her deeper root issues that way. She needs to face loss and accept that she made some serious mistakes and grow from them. She needs a chance to really heal and grow, and she probably won’t be able to do that being back in her safety net, where she may only find the freedom to cheat again when the moment seizes her in the future. It’s time for her to face it alone for a while and figure out the type of woman she really wants to be.

  2. Max says:

    Dude, you are suffering from “nice guy syndrome” Go out ASAP and get a copy of “No More Mr. Nice Guy” by Dr. Robert Glover.

  3. Dirk says:

    You are wise to see that it takes more than want to make an effort!

    If I had to throw out a guess, I would say she doesn’t want you. She needs you because you are an escape from the career crisis and other problems. If that is the case, the best thing for her is to be dumped and stay dumped. Either she’s stranded, and won’t get over it, in which case you don’t want to be with that sort of person, or she’ll get over it and maybe just maybe grow.

    And her notion of committing to a relationship without agreeing to counseling is BS. That screams “CRAZY GIRL” in flashing neon that makes Vegas look subtle. I’m living proof that crazy girls will use guys as an escape and that being in a relationship with the crazy girl is not the way to help her. It just feeds into the craziness.

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