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Ask an Expert Question: I become possessive after a breakup. Will she forgive me?


My question is relating to the current situation with me and my ex girlfriend. We broke up exactly 5 months ago now after having a 2 year relationship, it was an extremely fulfilling experience being with each other and we connected on an incredibly deep level. After we broke up I continued to talk to her for months afterwards being likely very annoying and possessive toward her (which I didn’t see at the time). Eventually, after about 2-3 months I asked her to take me back and she said no, understandably.

I continued to beg and show my emotions to her. Eventually I stopped talking to her but only for 10 days. She reached out to see how I was doing and I stupidly took it as invitation to start talking again. I contacted her 2-3 more times after this within a 1 month span and this is where I made my biggest mistake. Wrote her an enormous letter saying why we should get back together. I didn’t pour my heart out in the letter I tried to say things from a calm and logical perspective but this was still a dumb idea which I quickly realised.

She got the letter and then never addressed it or replied to it. I felt terrible and new I’d jeopardised things a lot, she never reaches out anymore and I understand why, I’ve learned from my mistakes and haven’t spoken to her in a month,

I’ve taken time to work on myself and realise what went wrong and how I can fix it. Like I said I haven’t spoken to her in about 5 weeks until last night when I ran into her at a bar, she gave me a big smile and said ‘Hi’, I went in for a hug and then proceeding to go about my night like usual.

Should I acknowledge them and apologise about it to start fresh?

My question is whether I should continue to let time go by for her to forget about my past attempts to get her back or if I should I acknowledge them and apologise about it to start fresh? Because my goal is to still get her back eventually. Would love to hear back, thank you!


Ask An Expert – Response:

The first thing I wanted to say is I can hear how much heartache you have experienced over the end of this relationship. It also sounds like you have tried really hard to win your girlfriend back or to do something or anything to try and get her to change her mind about the relationship. A relationship ending is one of the most difficult things for us as people to deal with, even if we are the one ending the relationship. It’s like a mini death in a way because the deep connection we had with another person has now stopped and ended. That’s why we behave the way we do.

People can and do behave differently though, and how you act depends on your relationship or attachment style.

Your attachment style dictates how you behave in every relationship you have.

Your attachment style dictates how you behave in every relationship you have. One of the easiest things to notice is that some people most always move toward people and other people mostly move away. This plays out even at the end of a relationship. I can read that you have been moving toward her and even pursuing her in the hope that she may change her mind. But I’m unsure if that is how you were while you in the relationship or if you have pursued her more because you have realised how important she was to you. It’s clear that she cared about how you were feeling as “she reached out to see how you were doing.” But this may have been a courtesy call as she was used to you constantly pursuing her and you had now stopped.

Jack in your question you mention if you should let time go past so your ex forgets about your attempts. I don’t think she will forget; I mean how could she forget?

You were in a relationship for 2 years and when the relationship ended you continued to pursue her on and off for the last 5 months. As to whether you should acknowledge your past attempts and then apologise to start fresh? I don’t believe there is a need for this as she knows how you feel you have told her by talking to her and by writing a letter to her. She knows how you feel about her Jack. You also mention your goal is to still get her back eventually but there is no mention of your ex-girlfriends’ goal. What do you think her goal is? How is she showing you what she wants and what she would like?

We cannot change who we are at our core

Jack, I know how painful this is for you believe me!! I’ve worked with hundreds of men and women who think if they were different, things would be different. The truth is though that we cannot change who we are at our core. We can learn to adjust to each other yes of course we can.

But you trying to win her back and making promises to be different better etc. is not going to work. Even  if it did it would only work for a small while. Trying to be someone else to fit in with another person no matter how much we love them is not going to work in the long term. I call this auditioning for the role of partner. The role is far too hard to maintain in the long term and everyone eventually falls back into their natural patterns of behaviour. Of course, we can discover how to become an expert on our partner, and they with us but essentially we are who we are at a biological level.

And finally Jack you mention the mistakes you made. We all make mistakes and the biggest are made in relationships. Because we are learning who we are and who our partner is. This can be one of the greatest learnings if you let it be.

Reflect on yourself and how you were in the relationship and if your ex wants to stay an ex then let her do that. That’s her choice isn’t it. Allow her to have that choice and continue to work on yourself as you said. But do so for you so that your next relationship gets the benefit and so do you.

Jacqui Christie 
Rewire your Relationship

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