======= Date Modified 13 04 2009 12:04:49 =======
Just thought I would share this with you all fellow PhD students.
As some of you know from my previous posts, I'm coming to the end of my PhD (finish in Sept) and I've just submitted for a 6months extension.
Last week, I discovered that my partner (of what I thought of 7 years) has been using me for the past two years. He ended our relationship 2 years ago and from that point, we were together for five years. His reasons for ending it was that he felt that he would be unable to continue with a relationship and work out what he wants to do in life.
Over the last two years, and after the break up, we were pretty much together ie physical intimacy at every level, talked about babies, talked about the future together and used to occassionally refer to me as his gf, i spent LOADS of time with his family and lavished him with gifts at special occasions, we even talked about getting a flat together to rent out to students.
Anyway, last week, however, he has done a complete 180. He said that we were never in fact back together again. According to him, it's all completely in my head. He was never his boyfriend (over the last two years anyway) and he basically denied that we were in a relationship over the last two years. To him, I was just an ex who he used in any way that he could. Since last week, he still wants to continue with a physical relationship, ie to keep things open ended so to speak and not to say no to sex if it materalizes
This couldn't of come at a worst time. I've lost all of last week due to blaming myself and basically feeling like crap and an inability to concentrate. I've got so much to do for my PhD and it feels like he waited until I was completely happy with things only to let me down. I'm late in submitting a few pieces of work with my supervisors which I'm hoping to send today.
I feel like I'm completely stupid and I blame myself for thinking that things were back on track. I failed to really talk things through as I was so delighted that we were once again closer than we've ever been before that I didn't want to spoil it with him.
I seriously DO NOT want to do this PhD anymore! and I hate him for making me feel this way so close to the end.
I'm basically venting out on here to fellow PhD students, but any insight into this would be gratefully received!
As anyone got any tips on how to survive personal issues?
What an arse. Don't blame yourself. No doubt the game he was playing was: 'I'll let her go on thinking we're together, but I won't actually say so - that way I get everything I want while it lasts, and when it goes wrong it's all her fault for misunderstanding'. But even the most self-deluded prick must have known he was actively misleading you if he actually used to talk about having kids together etc.
Anyway, I suspect the best advice is to do what everyone always tells you you shouldn't: bottle it up. For now, at least. You've got ambitions of your own that don't revolve around this idiot: focus on those. You can be all the more proud of your achievement for having overcome this obstacle, and there'll be plenty of time later to dwell on what went wrong and all the rest of it.
OMG this guy is completely dysfunctional. Tell him to get lost, you don't need him - but you do need your Phd.
Your Phd will outlast an idiot like him. I understand why you are feeling so hurt and used by this guy he has treated you terribly. Seven years is a long time to invest in a relationship and it is really sad that it has come to an end. It is okay to feel to feel sad and angry about it. However you have also invested alot of time in your Phd don't waste that time as well.
Spend some time feeling sad about the situation and then move on, how ever difficult that feels. If you give up on your Phd you are the one who will suffer not him. Don't let him ruin this for you. In a couple of months time you could have your Phd and a fantastic new future ahead of you.
Also for your own good and self respect CUT ALL TIES WITH HIM.
I agree with what Magictime said - focus on your own ambitions in order to distance yourself from this man, who is only bringing you down. It sounds like he has his own issues in his head and that he doesn't really know what he wants - but whether he wants to be with you or not you shouldn't feel burdened by him. It sounds like you've suffered a real confidence knock and thats obviously affecting your work which is totally understandable, but please try to find a way out of it. Create as much distance as you can from him, don't respond to calls, texts etc however much you may want to, and he will get the message.
He's probably feeling insecure about your impending success and finding a way to mask that, and making you feel inadequate in the process. He says he needs to work out what he wants to do with his life when you probably have much more of an idea where your career is heading...he maybe can't deal with not having the upper hand here so is using you instead in order to get that control that he wants.
Good luck with your studies...and please try not to let him get in the way. Can you talk to your supervisors/other PhD students about this? I think you should just focus on your work (which I'm sure you're doing anyway)...and meet a new man! Nxx
Pineapple, I really feel quite bad for you. I'd like to just say I'm thinking of you and that your kind words back in May, when everything went wrong with my now Ex of 3 years really helped. All I can suggest is that you don't talk to him however hard that is, change your mobile, block him from messenger and leave alone. Don't let him ruin your ambitions of getting a PhD. You deserve it, keep telling yourself that. I know its very tough, I'm still reeling a bit even now, but it does get better. Go have a few days off, hang out with friends that aren't his mates and just chill out now writing or phd-ing until the shock has worn off a bit. Hang in there!!
OMG!!! I absolutely HATE this person!!!!! and I've never even met him. I've only just stopped balking at my computer screen. What a t***t.
I can't really add anything to what the others have already said: all sound advice. Good luck with the PhD and I suppose you can be thankful you didn't actually buy a flat have babies with him; and you can wash that man right out of your hair!!! pronto. Just think of how smug you can feel when have the PhD, the job, the foreign holidays, the flat of your own. And he, no doubt, will still be drifting about making false promises to other poor souls.
I am so sorry to read about this. It is sad really, but fact is that now things will change - or actually have already changed. Yes, nothing will ever be the same again and you might take some time to get over that/let go of the old plans/ideas/notions etc, but remember that where one door closes, another opens. Finish your PhD, it is something you really only do for yourself and that is what you should concentrate on - yourself and putting yourself first. Best of luck with getting that thesis finished!!
Oh Pineapple, poor you! Don't blame yourself for believing in him, it sounds like he did a pretty good job of exploiting the feelings he knew you had for him.
I agree with the others - your PhD is the route to achieving what you want in life WITHOUT him. You need to focus on your own ambitions and don't give him anymore of your time or attention.
His actions two years ago put him in a position of control over the relationship but you can shift the balance of power by excluding him from your life and moving on. In fact, he might find it quite bewildering when this happens, which serves him right!
======= Date Modified 13 Jul 2009 14:23:49 =======
============= Edited by a Moderator =============
What an absolute b****rd! Ditch this loser, no-one deserves THAT kind of behaviour from anyone. Hang on to your PhD, at least you know where you stand with that but get shot of that w****r as fast as possible.
Really sorry to hear about what's happened Pineapple - he seems like a right toss bag. I hope you don't mind me chipping in (I'm a chap but also a qualitative researcher, so in touch with my feminine side :$) No-one deserves to be treated in the way that he has been treating you. I agree with everyone of the posters below - get rid of him like the used piece of toilet roll that he is. To have the nerve to still want it on a plate outside of a relationship - grrr! You can do infinitely better, you'll never be happy with him (because of who/what he is), thank God you don't have a family with him, and the way you feel now won't last forever. I was always crap at English, but Shakespeare was bang on when he said that love was blind. You'll feel like crap for a little while, so take some time away from your work (whatever you can afford). Like associates with like, and I'm sure he'll get his comeuppance in future. Whatever you do, don't give up that PhD - you've come so far and done so well. I've followed all your posts, both your ups and downs, and you're almost there. Once you get that PhD and become Dr Pineapple (beauty and brains), you've got such a good future ahead and then you can make new plans, go anywhere and meet someone else, who will give you both the love and attention you deserve.
Best wishes x
Your really mustn't think you've done something wrong although I know from experience that the obvious thing is to blame yourself. But a relationship isn't what someone say it is, it's what actually goes on between two people. You judged it in those terms and that's right and normal. He's using the excuse that you split (then to all intensive purposes other than the terminology got back together) to justify the terrible way he's treating you now. I am so sorry that you've had to suffer his bizarre behaviour to such a terrible end. My (very short-lived) marriage ended when my husband had an affair while I was in my final year as an undergrad. I know it's not the same as where you are now but at the time I thought I would never be able to go back to the place we'd lived and get on with my life and finish my degree, but in the end I did it to prove that I was stronger than anything he could do to me. I even stayed in the same city for my MA, watched him lose what he had there and move away but got on with my own life, and now here I am doing the PhD, living with a new partner and making the best of my life, in spite of the lingering trust issues that any hurt like this leaves with you (forever?). I know your situation isn't the same, but my advice would be that you have to prove that you are better than this man, so go on and get your PhD and prove that however badly he's knocked you back, you can get back up and make something great of your life without him.
There is no other way to say it, but your situation sucks and you have every right to feel lousy. I went through a break up with my now ex-girlfriend when I was finishing my PhD and it was the worst possible timing and made everything seem 10 times harder.
From a practical viewpoint, might it help if you took a month or two off for "family reasons" (unless you already have a post doc or other job waiting for you)? I say this because I just soldiered on, completed my thesis and went through hell trying to get a post doc with all of my break up issues unresolved plus a horrendous ex supervisor stealing much of my credit for work. I too thought I wanted to give up on academia, but really didn't. In hindsight, what I would have done is take a couple of months off, got some perspective and mental space, then come back to my PhD with more motivation and less time in temping hell. I would have had some protection from my own self imposed pressure of finding a job (because I would still be a PhD student) while having to deal with what was happening in my life at the same time.
The second thing is that we all know that PhDs and academic life have a massive strain on relationships in general and we only have one side of that story. Looking back I know I had a lot of hatred, resentment and anger towards my ex for bailing on me at the worst possible time. However, with space I now realise what I had brought to the situation. My PhD was very stressful and this made things very uncomfortable around the house. Unfortunately for me, psychology PhDs don't have great job security, financial prospects and require a lot of job hopping and moving in the future. In contrast my ex's vocational doctorate made sure that she was straight onto a secure job and good income. Any outsider could probably see why she left, she wasn't evil, just sensible in her own way. On the flip side, one of my female post doc friend's relationship split up when her partners wanted to settle down and have a wife with a part time job and look after kids. To no one's suprise after struggling for years with a PhD that was the last thing she wanted.
This isn't to say what your ex did was acceptable, but understanding what happened may be helpful for putting your head back together, and moving on. There is no way of getting around that this was a guy you loved, and for the rest of us to weigh in with what a scumbag he was may help, but it also puts you in the position of having loved a scumbag too. I am not a therapist or anything but looking at all our situations it seems there was a disjoint in the way we saw our future and the way our exes saw the future.
I just wanted to say thank you to all of who've replied.
I'm feeling a little better today about it all and seem to be able to work today. I've informed my PhD supervisors of what has happended and they are very sympathetic and supportive.
I've been friends with my former 'partner' since 2000, so nearly 10 years of knowing each other to finally stopping all contact is going to be very hard. Today I'm going to try and go cold turkey and not contact him and see how it goes.
Everyday since this all happended he has been sending me messages asking how I am as well as telling me how special I am to him and how much he loves me- which is making things harder to let go. But I question as to whether if you could truly love someone you would put them through this.
I do think that perhaps so close to finishing my PhD has something to do with it , but I'm trying desperately hard not to blame my success on the ending of our relationship. In comparable terms, he has not completed an undergraduate degree, and there's me about to finish off my fourth degree and about to start a vocational doctorate, hopefully in 2010 if I'm successful. He tends to make comments about how much he would love to be in my position. I on the other hand, value the arguably more important things in life other than career/education, ie to be happy, healthy and , if lucky enough, to have a successful happy relationship with another person. At the moment, he's very focused on getting as much as he can out of his career and he doesn't feel that he can go for a career and have a successful relationship in parallel. Perhaps my success (well so far) has made him feel inferior in some way? or perhaps his pride or his ability to control me and/or relationship would be comprimised by my success (in his eyes anyway). Or maybe he felt that I should ultimately be with someone of similar attributes- ie a guy with comparable qualifications and therefore felt inadequate in someway? Over the years, I've tried desperately hard to keep the stress of my work and education out of our relationship so that it wouldn't become an issue. But for him, it just seemed to be the very issue of my future that may have made him feel uncertain.
In any case, I think it's an incredible shame. I loved (and still love) him to pieces and I would have done anything for him. He knew that I would drop it all for him and sacrafice it all for him. I was looking forward to a future together and I've remained 100% faithful to him over the years. It's now looking as if he used the love I had for him to take full advantage of it for his own benefit. If anything, he has shown me that I am capable of loving someone completely and that if I did meet someone new and they felt the same way (genuinely) then i know that I would spoil them rotten and I think it's completely his loss. I made myself completely available to him (regardless of how busy I was/am) and always gave him unconditional love and support everytime I saw him or contacted him- some may argue too much. I'm just going to focus my attentions on myself and if it happens, someone who can appreiciate me for me (if that makes sense!).
It doesn't however, make it any easier. I know that I've effectively wasted a lot of time and energy on someone who as it appears, just used me for everything he could get. I'm sure when I do cut him off (which I'm trying today) he will miss it (without sounding big headed!), if anything, he will miss the ability to control someone as much as he has done.
Oh dear, dear Pineapple, you are going to have to remove this person from your life. If you let this person back in, even a little bit, you will never be free. It takes a long time to get over these things, and the whole thing will have drained you. A friend of mine had a similar experience with her ex, who was actually physically violent towards her, but she said it got to the point where even though she knew she had to get out she somehow felt powerless to do anything about it. You may feel your situation is dissimilar, but the constant attempts to renew the relationship is really just a way of controlling you, of keeping the upper hand. As other have said you must cut him out of your life, don't answer the phone, don't communicate at all, he will feed upon these scraps of conversation and lure you back in. You might be able to get advice from relate, who deal with all partnerships, not just married couples. I'm not sure you should take too long a break, as sometimes it is harder to start up something again, especially as in this case it becomes entangled with negative feelings. you have vented a little here, but not enough! Write it all down, everything you can think of, all the bad feelings, all the anger and hurt. then, when you have got it all down on paper, burn it, watch the flames and regaqrd it( as much as you can ) as case closed. Then write something for your PhD, it doesn't have to be much, or even something you think you will include, but get back on track, remember that you have taken a first very positive step. Good luck, and best wishes. It isn't easy, but it will get better
''But I question as to whether if you could truly love someone you would put them through this.''
Hold on to that thought. Would you do this to someone? I've also had a similar experience with an ex that wasn't quite an x and it didn't end well. In the end we had to sever all contact and I took it very hard. People can be very jeolous and possesive without committing themselves at all to a relationship, unfotunately. Remember that the saying: 'The best revenge is living well' - get your PhD - once you have it will always be with you, unlike some people....
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