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 Mountain Geek
Joined: 2/5/2009
Msg: 2
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Those on again off again relationships?Page 1 of 4    (1, 2, 3, 4)

So… what’s the deal? Were they just unable to do better?


So many equate sex to love -- they get back together and have sex and are in love.

I should start a DR. Geek column somewhere.
Joined: 5/14/2008
Msg: 6
Those on again off again relationships?
Posted: 5/17/2009 1:38:29 PM
I haven't a clue as to why people do that. It takes a great deal for me to leave a relationship if I am in love with the person. It is NOT something I'd do on a whim. It would take a lot of soul searching and contemplation to get to the point of leaving. If I ultimately make that decision, I am certainly not about to change my mind a week later and say, "Okay, let's give it another go!".

For me, when it is finished, it is finished. There is nothing left worth salvaging.
Joined: 1/22/2006
Msg: 7
Those on again off again relationships?
Posted: 5/17/2009 1:42:08 PM
Gwen tentatively raises her hand because she has one answer.

I had an on/off long distance relationship with a man for over two years. I allowed him to "come back" because I kept thinking he had come to his senses and had stopped being such an emotional coward. Apart from his inability to commit, he is a great guy--smart, energetic, not the best looking but acceptable, well-read, funny, and self supporting.

I was wrong about his ability to change.

However, had he lived next door so we could have fully explored the possibilities, he would have been toast after the first break-up.
Joined: 4/24/2007
Msg: 10
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Those on again off again relationships?
Posted: 5/17/2009 3:32:07 PM
umm, I've done it. He had many great qualities and I thought we could work through where we didn't line up; or at least should try. We broke up and got back together several times. People who have 20 year marriages have had things they worked through, they are the ones who met and beat challenges that life threw at them. I don't know, maybe it was my ego, I didn't want to be a failure.

I think sometimes people don't want to or aren't ready to admit what is there in front of their faces until they bash their face into the brick wall a time or two just to be sure.
Joined: 6/23/2007
Msg: 12
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Those on again off again relationships?
Posted: 5/17/2009 4:09:34 PM
"They need the eggs".......Woody Allen
Joined: 2/11/2008
Msg: 17
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Those on again off again relationships?
Posted: 5/17/2009 4:31:15 PM
They get a lot of attention (all the whining then excitement) and they are the center of all conversations because they never shut the fluck up about either whining or the excitement about the getting back together, plus all the drama.....barf. They don't want to do better, they want ATTENTION!!!!! And lots of it. I mean how boring would life be for them if they lived like a sane person with a good relationship? Who'd provide them tons of attention and hold their widdle hand and tell them how bad the guy is and how great they are and what would romance novels be like without all these attention whores. Personally I avoid them like the plague, and I know they are full of shit because I use to indulge in that kind of mind fluck.
 best kept secret
Joined: 1/15/2006
Msg: 20
Those on again off again relationships?
Posted: 5/17/2009 4:56:45 PM
Codependency is like watching the same two cars crash into each other over and over.

Humph ~
Joined: 2/4/2006
Msg: 21
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Those on again off again relationships?
Posted: 5/17/2009 5:08:25 PM
They still love the person despite the angst and hope that it could work.
They are a habit, the evil you know is better than a new one.
People do not want to be alone.
They are an addiction.
They can't find anyone else.
They don't think they can get someone else.
They make stupid decisions when they are drunk.
They get lonely and make stupid decisions when they are lonely.
They get horny and make stupid decisions when they are horny.
They don't know that more than 50% of the problem is them.
They are stupid.
They don't learn.

Thre are probably more.

My stepson's mother and her husband didn't break up but for about ten years before they finally realized that they did love each other and got married, while they were living with each other, they both had numerous affairs. They argued a lot and I never understood why they stayed together. Today, they are very happy and content.

I do know a couple that filed for divorce at least a half dozen times. The cousin got sick of it so the last time when they told him to withdraw the case, he didn't, when the next row ensued they were divorced inside two weeks. Fast forward two years, neither had found another and they had grown to appreciate what was good a lot more than the bad was a problem. 30+ years later they are still happily married. Who are we to say nay to true luuuvvvv.
Joined: 12/9/2006
Msg: 22
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Those on again off again relationships?
Posted: 5/17/2009 5:50:54 PM
One has no other options and one can't let go.
 *Just Jim*
Joined: 7/6/2007
Msg: 25
Those on again off again relationships?
Posted: 5/18/2009 7:24:52 AM

Love is not a rational thing so why should there be a rational answer to a question of love?

True, and if this you call "love" is a fit and fix all for many

to believe, is not true.

Many believe that they want to be loved,

and many believe that they are special and are someBody and

are needed [Not Needy] and are loved.

To me this is, if can I can rationally say it, love...
Joined: 4/24/2007
Msg: 26
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Those on again off again relationships?
Posted: 5/18/2009 10:21:40 AM
I've found myself pondering that old relationship of mine. Funny how sometimes a thread can spark that. I don't recall how many times we broke up... lots... and it was usually over my reaction to his behaviour with someone else, not with me. I've spoken of this man in the forums before; he was absolutely brilliant, a larger than life personality in many ways, but not a kind or compassionate person. He was too intelligent to fit in with a vast majority of people and lived a rather lonely and isolated life as a result.

The differences in our natures caused the conflict and the failure was the inability to give space to our differences. I struggled with whether I was, perhaps, too pedestrian or had an overinflated sense of fairness and compassion (his criticism of me). He was often unkind to other people; at least that's the way I saw it - he viewed it as he had poor tolerance for fools. Trouble was, most of the world were fools in his opinion. He was invariably kind to service people (waiters and the like) and was mostly thoughtful and considerate in his interactions with me and was a romantic and passionate person.

I had conflict over where is the line where you allow people to be who they are. << This is the point where my sense of fairness always gets me. His poor behaviour didn't effect ME directly, so was I being unfair in essentially demanding that he fit within my boundaries or tolerances of behaviour? He certainly thought so; even while he acknowledged he was flawed and needed to make changes in how he dealt with people he also was frustrated that, for him, much of life was about trying to be a square peg in a world of round holes.

He believed I should find the capacity to accept that as a brilliant man he had trouble with dealing with people. I couldn't accept the piles of bodies shredded at (what I interpreted as) the altar of his ego or self-centredness.

He was usually kind to me; not kind to my opinions, LOL. That distinction took us a little bit of effort to navigate, but we did. I still hear his voice over my shoulder as I write something saying "shallow, trite and derivative". Still, I learned to accept and give constructive criticism, my writing vastly improved and I tend not to get hooked by people (although I still get hooked by my own sense of fairness). I developed skills in forming logical arguments and much, much more. << He was an absolutely fascinating person and I learned so much about, well, everything including myself and interactions in this relationship. I truly did earn the equivalent of a post-grad degree through dating him.

He certainly didn't always agree with me, (heck he challenged every idea I formed - this was a very confronting relationship) but he valued and respected my intelligence and especially my sense of fairness and kindness. He said he learned a lot from my sense of people, and acknowledged that I often saved him from himself declaring I "interpreted the world for him". He certainly didn't always agree with my assessment of what was fair or kind but said he learned a lot about himself and (business and professional) relationships and was a better person for being with me. We both grew a great deal in our time together.

Here's an example of one of the times we broke:
At a business social function, he publicly cut down the CEO's personal assistant and she cried in public. Now, she WAS a bit of an airhead, but her "crime" was emotionally responding to a point he made, then strenuously arguing with him about it, so he tore her down. Kind of what we see happening in the fora on a regular basis; someone responds from "feelings" and gets taken out by logic, sometimes not nicely.

My point was: every human deserves respect, no one deserves public humiliation. One does not need to be right so badly that they do not temper their response with consideration of the source of the disagreement (she's an airhead; pull the punch) and the other considerations (not smart professionally to make the CEO's assistant cry in public: your colleagues won't remember you were right, they will only remember you were cruel). A bit on communication - the responsibility of speaking into people's listening and abilities in order to be understood. And finally, not being able to temper ones response means one is a victim of their own ego. One does not need to always "go for the jugular" in every interaction; sometimes walking away is 'winning'.

His point (to the best of my recollection) was: every human deserves freedom to live; they do not automatically get respect. People who continue to tackle a point in public, may end up with public humiliation. It was not intellectually honest to allow someone to 'win' when their argument held no merit. Everyone is entitled to their opinion; that doesn't mean their opinion can't be attacked or shown the flaws in it. He felt it morally bankrupt to pull his punch simply because it "looked good"; had she not been the CEO's assistant, I wouldn't be making this argument. And on about the devolution of our society because we cater to the feelings of everyone rather than merits of their argument.

Ultimately, the last time I broke up with him was for the same reason as all of the other times: he was not a kind person. His brilliance is unquestioned, and he was frequently right in whatever point he was making, but without kindness and compassion it was useless to me in a relationship. At the end of the day, it didn't matter whether I was being fair or not; once I acknowledged to myself that I couldn't give space to a part of his nature, and that it was a part of his nature that he couldn't alter as much as I needed him to, or even as much as he said he wanted to, it was over. But I certainly gave it my best before I threw in the towel.

I think the reason we go back is often because we think it will change. That whatever the issue is, someone can learn and grow. Often they do. Where we learn the most in relationships tends to also be the points where we have conflict. The tricky bit is learning when to work on it and when to let it go. I don't think at this stage in my life I would have the same conflict over whether I was "right" to end it with him.

Today I would see the differences in our natures as a clear incompatibility and wouldn't likely get into a relationship with him - and if I did, I wouldn't have gotten all caught up in whether my acceptance was fair or not (his criticism of my fairness had a point, lol) and I would have no temptation to try to save him from himself (I too can be a victim of my own ego). But I am not so sure if I would spot it as easily now if it weren't for all the back and forth effort I had with him so many years ago. Growth comes in many forms; sometimes we need to face the lesson numerous times before we get it. Sometimes the numerous times happens to be with the same person.
Joined: 4/11/2008
Msg: 34
Those on again off again relationships?
Posted: 5/24/2009 9:05:47 AM
I can only think of one relationship where I was on again and off again for an extended was someone I really cared about at the time. We would do good argue then things would escilate then take a break ect start over....At some point I woke up and just moved on ...I would guess the why behind is it was easier than because I was so much younger and going back to someone I knew was easier than starting over with someone else
Joined: 3/12/2006
Msg: 36
Those on again off again relationships?
Posted: 5/24/2009 10:17:56 AM
After reading the post on this topic ( amazing how many folks think they have it all figured out)
As someone who is in this boat I can tell you the why I chose to give it another shot with my wife of 20 years after 2 years of trying to get a divorce that just never seemed to happen court dates postponed etc..
Reason that don't apply
Can't find anyone else had a GF that would have done anything for me and after her a few FWB
Low self esteem not one of my issues

Reasons that I did choose to give it another shot
I really do love the women
The kids
Sex we always for the most part had great sex and a strong undeniable attraction
Disappointments in what I was finding dating so much so that I had for the most part just given up on the whole idea
She has the qualities I want she is smart enough to talk to and a reasonable adult pays her own bills etc.....
Comfort of an old friend was a large part of it it was so nice to just hang without the some on judging you etc....
Fate it seemed as our divorce was going on for two years without ever getting done maybe there was a reason (nobodies fault stars just seemed to not line up)
Loneliness maybe as when she called me drunk two years ago I decided to talk to her as an old friend and not a legal adversary

The end result is yet to be known but I don't think it’s going to work as people don't really change I am still a hard man and she is still an alcoholic woman with the emotional maturity of a four year old

But maybe addiction describes it best
I have a wild side that she both loves and hates but find irresistible
She has a comfort and a homey way that I can't seem to resist the world just seems right with her in my arms
I was on here today reading the forums (why I thought reading the opinions of a bunch of know it all would help) trying to make up my mind on what to do with my life from this point and am leaning towards the cold turkey withdrawal
Joined: 2/21/2007
Msg: 39
Those on again off again relationships?
Posted: 6/3/2009 3:37:32 PM
Some truly believe in "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again."

--Ms. Flis
Joined: 3/4/2008
Msg: 42
Those on again off again relationships?
Posted: 6/3/2009 4:27:00 PM

Ahhhh gosh i know the feeling.....thats why somedays, i think im better off staying single and enough of the dating game.

Dang, wasnt dating seem a lot easier 20 years ago?
Joined: 7/24/2008
Msg: 44
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Those on again off again relationships?
Posted: 6/6/2009 10:10:45 PM
i just got out of one of these i was doing it off and on for a year and a half but it was like every other week but she being 43 was bipolar to so i kinda stuck in there i loved her and well sometimes you have to let go of the things you love the most haha i must admit the sex was amazing but then it got to where i couldnt have friends cause i was doing them or hitting on them i couldnt go to bars or clubs or anything not even a movie with my brother but if u truly love them then give it your all and i did failed but hey life is full of bumps
Joined: 5/29/2009
Msg: 45
Those on again off again relationships?
Posted: 6/6/2009 10:20:29 PM
It is hard to let go of the love, and easy to be reminded of the pain or abuse. Just wait a few days, and the abusive personalities will return shortly after the reconciliation.

Best idea is for both to get counseling, but even a million counselors won't work unless both parties work on addressing the issues and understand that the most likely cause of the problem is a failure of each to address their own personal issues, and to stop blaming the partner for them.
Joined: 7/24/2008
Msg: 46
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Those on again off again relationships?
Posted: 6/6/2009 10:27:40 PM
i only broke it off one time during the whole time and i regrated it, plus it didnt help that we worked together and her being jealous couldnt stand the fact that my ex wife was still in the picture regardless no feelings or not even if it was for the daughters sake so after i found out that bit i was like well i guess there is nothing left to persue so i havent talked to her my daughter needs more then she does so bye bye and yes it does hurt and suck but after being with her a year and a half and finally she threw that in there nope dont think so so no more on and off its just off i turned off her light switch
 La Gioconda
Joined: 6/27/2008
Msg: 48
Those on again off again relationships?
Posted: 6/7/2009 12:08:51 AM
mirabelle13, message 43 hit the nail, imo. People keep going back because they have not learnt their lesson. As Margot pointed out, there is a hope that things would change, perhaps. In reality I believe we use those excuses, but they are form of denial, we know deep down, how things are. And as Pssst pointed out, and I agree with her, that if we love someone we shouldn't want to change them. I have learnt from past experiences, that if there is lots of turbulence and 'on again and off again' thing going on, there is certain need for drama. And yes, there are those couples living and spending whole life together in ongoing drama. I have heard about them, from my girlfriend and this was a relationship of her parents. They were making everyone miserable around them, and would argue and at the end they would be coming back, and don't you just dare to say anything bad about 'him' or 'her'. Some are drown to dysfunctional relationships, and believe this is the way to live life, because they have not known anything else in life.

La Gioconda,
Joined: 3/22/2009
Msg: 49
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Those on again off again relationships?
Posted: 6/7/2009 3:46:26 AM
Watched this Japanese soap opera (Long Vacation) few years ago, the couple so happened to have this kind of on again off again relationship. And I remember one of them said something like this:


Guess some of them just needs some drama to spice up their love life every now and then, and like to be reminded what they have does stand the test of time and thus it's for real, no?
Joined: 6/9/2007
Msg: 50
Those on again off again relationships?
Posted: 6/7/2009 3:56:17 AM
One of my girlfriends who I simply adore has been in a on/off relationship with this guy for the past 7 does my head in, but I've become so use to her crying phone calls that I promised to record her the next time just so she can hear all the shit this guy has 'apparently' put her through...I really don't have an answer for you OP..this woman as far as I know had a great childhood, healthly relationship with her dad, great job, financially stable..and stunning...why she does this to herself is beyond my understanding....
 Cherish Luv
Joined: 11/9/2008
Msg: 51
Those on again off again relationships?
Posted: 6/9/2009 11:43:15 AM
There are times, however, that one finds the one they truly love and try to overlook the problems that arise in the relationship. The problems become untenable, they break up for awhile thinking that old 'absence makes the heart grow fonder' and then back together, brief 'honeymoon' with both at their best, and then the problems start up again. That on again and off again can go on for years. What often happens in the apart time one forgets the 'bad times' and starts thinking about the good times they had and back they go again. When the pain far exceeds the happiness that love brings or brought is when one will walk away permanently.
Joined: 6/15/2006
Msg: 52
Those on again off again relationships?
Posted: 8/25/2009 7:27:13 AM
maybe it is all about having a very short, short term memory?
can't remember which state they are in together/broken?
Joined: 7/16/2009
Msg: 54
Those on again off again relationships?
Posted: 8/25/2009 9:08:58 AM
I think they just didn't have closure on their relationship. I'm in danger of doing that right now. And it's not a healthy thing. It was just difficult because we didn't break up due to any particular failure in the relationship. Still if you're going to split , I think you need to do so fully...or you are never able to move on. Something that I'm working on now. I'll let ya know how it goes , lol.
Joined: 7/27/2008
Msg: 55
Those on again off again relationships?
Posted: 8/25/2009 11:42:49 AM
I understand how these types of relationships happen, what I don't is why people keep going back to them.... Do you really think the 3rd, 4th, 5th time is going to be the charm? I been known to give a second chance but after that I am done unless either I or the other person (sometimes a combination of both) have really done some work to improve what ever made the relationship fail in the first place. I will admit though I have gone back to some people in my past because the sex was freken fantastic but never with the intention of it being or becoming more then that.

You can have a love for someone and still keep your boundries, it does not mean being a total biatch or prick to the other person just respecting them enough to try and have a decent civil relationship. They are out there my ex and I have a relationship like that. He is a great dad and although we had our rough patches in parenting our daughter apart bottom line he always been there for us when we really needed him. He is awesome and I tell him so!

Do I want to get back with him? No, we are diffrent people, these days I have a much better picture of what I am looking for and where the real clarity came is in what I have to offer someone else.
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