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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5823
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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To Dr. or Therapist Me and my ex-fiancee are still

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To Dr. or Therapist
Me and my ex-fiancee are still emotionally attached, although we have not been together for 5 years. I think there has never been a definite closure, that would enable us to move forward. I was the one that ended the relationship, and C. has never accepted my decision. We live separately, even dated others but both have not been in long a relationship since then. We hide our attachement and never really talk about it. We see each other few times a month. All that time I felt that I am still 'linked' to him and dating others was like betraying him. Initially was very angry with me but now I can see that he has still some affection for me. He sits very close to me or touches me and makes a joke about it. I find it very weird knowing that he is in a (distance) relationship now, yet what he truly wants is to spend some time with me and feel again some form of closeness. I somehow miss his closeness too, although when we were together I remember feeling lonely in this relationship. I do not understand what kind of attachement exists between us and how this can be resolved. I do not understand whether it is disfunctional or whether it serves a purpose? It is very confusing. I find it hard to hear about him dating others, and I think I realize the scale of the propblem now when he started dating more seriously, but still keeps an eye on me? Sometimes he talks about this that maybe we could buy a house together, or start a business together, and he is dating somebody else. I simply do not understand this whole situation anymore. What is it that we are neither together or apart?
Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.
You mentioned some very important points. One, you felt lonely when you were in the relationship with your ex. THat indicates you were not getting your needs met somehow. Whether that was because he kept you at a distance emotionally or that the relationship did not fulfill your needs completely is not clear. However, it is important to realize that being with him was not making you happy.
The second point you made is that although the relationship is over, your ex has never accepted that you left the relationship. He keeps trying to reconnect with you but on his terms. And he is touching you and sitting close to you even while in relationships with other people. That indicates a boundary issue and a disrespect for others' feelings.
The third point was that you fear expressing your feelings for him because you are concerned that he would refuse to be with you again to "punish" you for breaking up with him in the first place.
While some of these things are subtle, they do indicate imbalance in your relationship. It sounds like he as a lot of the control and does not respect your feelings or needs. That could be part of the reason why the two of you are still connected. Sometimes in relationships that are imbalanced, people are connected by a dysfunctional link that makes them feel they "fit" with one another because they both play a part in keeping those feelings going, even if they are not healthy for either person.
What you can do is decide whether or not you really feel this relationship is worth considering again. If you are with him, will you be happy? Will you feel complete? If not then it might be time to move on. If you do decide to move on, then it is important that you cut all ties. It will be difficult because you might experience grief over the loss, but if you continue as you are now, you will never feel happy or settled.
I hope this has helped you,
TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
This resource may help you as well:
Stay or Leave?: Six Steps to Resolving Your Relationship Indecision [Kindle Edition] Beverley Stone
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Thank you very much for the positive rating and bonus! I appreciate it.
My best to you,