Seeking expert counseling is a sign of strength. A personal relationship with a caring professional is proven clinically effective.
I believe that I can help.
This woman is very hurt because she seemed to have backed off on the romance. One important event occurred on her birthday when you turned away from her kiss. A birthday cake, cards, and gifts don't mean anything when the one you love doesn't accept your kiss.
She already has issues of low self-esteem which are connected not just to her past history, but more likely to being rejected or unloved when she was young, which probably had a lot to do with her later behavior.
Feeling rejected by you, it was quite natural for her to go out with someone else. That he was someone you had to face at work made it that much more like she was getting back at you for rejecting her.
She doesn't really want to date others. She wants you to love her and not reject her. That is a major issue in her life.
You could heal this if you want to by asking her out again, telling her how much you care for her (if it is true), and spending some quality time with her, listening and being physically close (hugging and cuddling at least).
If you keep in mind that she responds very strongly to rejection, then you will find the key to keeping you in her heart.
I believe that this relationship will work out, but you have to show her how much you care. You are stronger than her and if you want her in her life, you can have her, but you must understand her emotional frailty and support and love her and don't let her feel that you do not care.
I wish you great success and shall keep you in my prayers.
Elliott, MAE, LPCC, NCC, CCMHC
Great anwser about her birthday,I was confused about her not being comfortable with me,I have always had problems with affection and or pda,not a close family upbringing,but continue to work on it even if i slack off every once in a while due to laziness.so backing off and NC is the right way and to continue when asked telling everyone I just want the best for her even though you can see how this is wearing on me..All her former BFs have dumped her they couldnt put up with her but I see her trying all the time through therapy and reading to better herself.Maybe I wont get the chance to talk directly to her.I did leave a letter at work with no negativity telling her and thanking her for being there for me and for sharing her life with me.No begging,didnt ask to get back together,I apoligized for my part of not making her feel important,I didnt use my health as an issue but I did let her know that i wouldnt Apologize being i needed to take care of myself..first then her..
Once again, I wish you great success. This relationship has a great deal of potential, and I believe that if you work on it in a loving way, you will be thankful that you did