Haven't posted here before, but really need advice on how to handle this.
My ex and I were friends for months before we tried dating. She knew beforehand that there was an age gap between us, but she spoke with her friends beforehand. Some of them were in similar relationships with people older or younger than them. One night while we were at a mutual friends house she mentioned that she should try dating an older guy instead of guys her age because they all treat her the same way. I figured that this was as good a time as any since she brought it up.
We were together for a couple of months and we were absolutely perfect together. Share damn near all the same interests and could do anything together and be comfortable. The sex was great for both of us and we could just sit and watch a movie and not say a word wrapped up together under a blanket. I helped her improve a few things in her life that she wasn't motivated to do on her own or didn't know how to do, and she got me out of a longtime slump of wanting to do nothing except sit on the couch and watch TV. I fell in love with her and her son. When she'd go to work he'd stay with me and we'd sit on the floor and play with toys I got for him and watch cartoons all day. Every time we had a disagreement on something we were always able to work through it, except one.
One night while she and her son were staying with me at my place I got up to grab something to drink out of the fridge. I hit the button on her phone to see what time it was when I saw a message from some guy saying "We belong together" and "I can't wait to hold you in my arms again." I didn't delete them or anything. A few minutes later she woke up and came into the living room and asked why I was sitting there by myself. I told her I looked at her phone to see what time it was and saw those messages. I calmly asked her what was going on and she told me it was some guy she dated for two weeks. They weren't anything and that he must have misunderstood a text she sent him and that she would tell him he had to stop sending things like that. We had a lot of trust in each other so I took her up on her word. For awhile they stopped and then after a couple of weeks started again. I wasn't even paying attention and hit her phone again and saw another one, "I miss you so much. I can't wait to see you." I asked her about it and she said it had to stop and told him again. She said he had one more time and then she wouldn't talk to him again.
The final straw came when it did happen again. I went to her place to stay the night because I was going to use her car the next day to go pick up some friends from out of state and bring them home. Everything was fine till she was sitting next to me and got a text. I glanced over from watching TV and saw that it was him again asking if he could see her this weekend. I didn't say anything, figuring she would handle it. Guessing she didn't see me or notice that I saw what was going on because she said she had plans but they would get together after the weekend. She was supposed to stay with me at our friends house that weekend to help him with his kids because he dislocated his shoulder.
I asked her why she didn't tell him to text her again and she said he was a friend and she didn't want to loose a friend. This pissed me off, and I should have just let things go but didn't. I told her it was bothering me that she would let this guy do this. If it was me and some girl was doing this to me I would tell her goodbye because you are more important to me than her. Then she brings up that I shouldn't make her choose. She starts gathering all my things and all the things I gave her and packing them up. I try to talk to her but she won't say a word. The whole time her 2 year old is trying to climb into my lap and hug me. After she gets all my things together she asks me to leave and won't speak to me. I tell her I love her and her son and don't want it to end like this. After about 5 minutes of silence I grab my things and leave.
We didn't talk for a few days. She was still on my FB page so I went through posting all the things I was doing, hanging out with friends, going to movies. Even put up new pics of haircut. She would Like things. A few days later she called with a question that I knew she knew the answer to. I talked like nothing was going on with me and we had a fairly nice conversation. The next day she calls again with another question, something she could have called anyone for but called me instead. Again we talked for a bit and I asked why she closed her FB page. She said she needed a break from it. I asked her jokingly if she was going to add me back to hers and she said not for awhile. I said cool and we hung up.
A few days later I texted and asked if I could bring the things I had of hers to her. I probably shouldn't have done that. She said if I felt like it. I took them to her and we talked a bit and I turned to my opened trunk and put my head on my arm and stood there. She moved closer and hugged me, she said it may not seem like it at the moment but that she still cared about me.
A week later I sent her a text and asked if she and her son wanted to have lunch with me. She had orientation at a new job that day and I told her I'd watch him while she was at work. He and I watched cartoons, ate and had fun. When she showed up I made her lunch and she sat on the couch a couple feet away and we watched TV a bit. She leaned her head over and I started stroking her hair like I use to when she was tired. Everything was fine until I started talking about us. Probably shouldn't have done that. She said she didn't know if we could be together again over and over, and she wouldn't look me in the eye when she finally said we couldn't.
Another week went by and I didn't contact her. One day a friend and I were looking at TVs where she worked and she happened to be there. She took her break and we wandered the mall while my friend was off somewhere else. We talked and laughed and went to get a soda before she had to go back to work. We went into a store where I was going to buy a hoodie I wanted. I saw one she wanted and they were having a sale so I bought it for her as a Christmas gift. I expect her to act like she didn't want it, but the only thing she said was she still had to get me something. We had a good time and then I left, telling her I had to be somewhere else shortly even though I didn't.
She finally unblocked me from her FB page and I can see she is now in a relationship with the guy show kept texting her. As far as she knows I don't know this, I haven't acknowledged it or sent her anything. I happened to run into his ex at a party a friend of ours had and asked her why she left him. She said he was a complete dick and treated her like crap. My ex won't leave her son with him, and when her son isn't with his dad she doesn't go around this guy much.
Now, here's the thing. Her son loves me, and I know she still has feelings for me cause she told a mutual friend she did. I finally figured out what happened during all of this. She wanted to go back to this guy, but because I told her at the beginning of the relationship that cheating was an automatic quit, no friendship, no nothing she used the argument we had as an excuse to break off our relationship instead of cheating. The whole time we were together she was only at her house twice, the rest of the time she was with me or at work. I'd drive her there and get there to pick her up 20 minutes ahead of time, stopping to say hi and walking around the store while she finished up. While I wish she would have just come to me and explained the situation, she didn't cheat so I can't hold that against her. When we talked about us she wouldn't even look at me. I happened to have the opportunity at a friends part to talk to his ex and ask why she broke up with him. She said he was a complete dick and treated her like crap.
If she had feelings for me and wanted to remain friends then there is something still there. She jumped into a thing with this guy within weeks of breaking it off with me, and all the other signs like not leaving her son with him, hanging around him much when she has her son and still occasionally talking to me says this is a rebound relationship.
I haven't been sitting still. I've been working on myself and getting a new job offshore that will allow me to do all the things she and I planned. I haven't reached out to her telling her I miss her, but she knows I'm still here. We have small talk occasionally and its hard to avoid her since we have mutual friends. Some people have told me to break it off completely while others have said be her friend, be there when what she has falls apart and she will come back if she still loves me somewhere in her heart.
Guess the question I'm asking here is how do you deal with the wait? I have some patience but not a lot. Some days are good for me while others I just fall apart. I've been married twice and divorced twice. Every time I've broke up with someone except once, and that is one I regret not fighting for or waiting for twenty years later. I can't let that happen again. I won't let that happen again. This woman turned my life upside down, and dealing with other breakups I know if this isn't love I wouldn't give a damn about her two months later. She motivated me, she made me laugh, she made me feel alive for the first time in 5 years.
What would you do to get her back?