I wish I could care for my ex-girlfriend but I don't know if I should


#1

First of all, I am grateful for this community and for being able to express myself here.

I left my girlfriend 3 months ago for God because I returned to the Church and I could not reconcile our sex life with my wish to be closer to Him and to receive the Sacraments again. We had been together for 2 years, cohabiting for 1 year, and she had brought me so much, as she was a (non-practicing) christian and I an atheist, and she taught me how to love and care for someone, which I had never had to do before. One week after I prayed to God that he would give me the strength to end our relationship, I broke up and told her that despite how much I loved her, she would always love me much more than I could return, and that I would rather be alone than hurt her anymore in this situation.

We met two weeks ago, as we had been talking again for a while, and while we were so happy and talkative, with a heavy heart I told her that I could not dissociate our friendship from our intimacy, that I had a great deal of temptation to fight against in her presence, and that I wanted to stop seeing her. What I realized in the following days is how much I cared for her and still loved her, perhaps more than before despite weeks of closeness to God, and that makes me really sad, because I know that she is in a pretty dark place now… She takes drugs to fight depression, she goes on dating sites talking to men who have no interest in helping her, and whether consciously or not, she is still trying to please me by having the same interests that I have had in these past 2 years, instead of becoming herself again.

I so desperately want her to find God and to be at peace, so I can repair what I have broken. I know how presumptuous this sounds, but I feel that nobody in her family and friends is willing to care for her like I hope they would, and I have taken the firm stand to not contact her because getting closer will only make things worse for either of us… Last time I saw her, I gave her a booklet on praying the rosary so she could use the one I had offered her some months ago. I have been praying everyday to Saint Therese of Lisieux for the past two weeks and I have asked my family and Godmother to pray for her as well.

I am still hesitant to talk to her mother as we still go along very well. I feel so stuck because I want to do everything in my power to help this woman that I care for, and I am afraid that my prayers are not enough and that maybe God wants me to do more in the world, yet at the same time I do not want to make things worse because I am so certain I will. If anyone has experience and advice to give on such a situation, I would appreciate it immensely.

Thank you all and God bless.


#2

The question is, do you want to marry this woman and have a life with her? Do you want her to be the mother of your children exactly as she is now, no conversion, as an atheist? If your answer is yes, then, is she willing to enter a chaste dating relationship?

If your answer is “no”, then, the kindest thing to do is to cut ties with her, pray for her and let her find someone new.


#3

The short answer is no and while there are many strong temptations and reasons to look back, I have made a decision and I wil hold it.

I am so confused by those new feelings. It’s like the love you have for a family member; you may have irreconcilable life goals, you may not like a bunch of personality or physical traits in this person, yet somehow after taking a step back you realize how deeply attached you are to them. It’s like God is trying to teach me something about love, but I don’t know what to make of it yet.

I like to learn from the life of the Saints when I’m confused about my own life, I often wonder what Saint Augustine went through when he left his concubine, also if there are other similar examples in the lives of other Saints. Does anyone have a suggestion of books or names on this?


#4

That sounds a lot like a decision to me.

I can’t think of any book about any saints which would help particularly but why not seek the solution in your own mind, after all it’s you that you must satisfy?

Maybe most people think that God wants them for some great purpose, I think a great purpose is to be a great Catholic and evangelise through example, by showing love and doing works of charity. if God wants more than that He will guide your life accordingly. There will be no reason to guess in my opinion. I would recommend reading about St Therese of Lisieux because she showed how we can serve God and ourselves actually in simple everyday ways which we can all emulate. Not dramatic perhaps but efficacious.


#5

Christ told us that his Saints would do greater things than even he did… I believe that if we can learn from His life for ourselves, we can learn from theirs also.

I understand the value of the “small path” and I have been trying to redirect my own life towards simplicity so I can be more aware of others and the need to serve my neighbor. I’m not looking for a grand purpose; simply, I believe in reparation for our sins just like returning stolen goods. I have caused great harm to this girl, as I have used her for my own pleasure and let her believe that we had a future together when I already knew the outcome months before I had the strength to call it. If God only asks prayer of me I will pray. But I have so much care for her now, I find it hard to think that this is all I can or should do.


#6

perhaps you might ask her if she would like your help in the ways you think you should?

Sometimes it’s kinder to leave such a thing but you are best placed to know this about you and about her.

I’d pray on it and not rush and see how you feel tomorrow after a nights sleep.
I wish you well, God bless.


#7

I don’t understand your story. You said she’s a Christian and she taught you, an atheist, how to love. Then you learned how to love God, so then you dumped her? And you think that’s what God wants?


#8

There is a natural answer. When we have sex with a person, our bodies release oxytocin that bonds us to that person. It will take time for those bonds to break down.

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/317556.php


#9

It sounds like you’re still kind of stringing this lady along by continuing to have a close relationship with her when according to you she loves you more than you can reciprocate and you’ve made a decision you don’t want to marry her.

If you have truly made a decision that marriage is not possible/ not what you want, then you are not doing this girl any favors by continuing to hang around and be a presence in her life. She needs to get over you and move on with her life and hopefully meet someone else who will have a lasting relationship with her, and if you keep hovering around trying to “fix” her and keep her in your friend zone at arm’s length, it’s not going to happen. Furthermore, it sounds like you are wanting to help her now because you hurt her by breaking up and you want to be relieved of your guilt. This is a bad reason to keep someone hanging around.


#10

You’d have to get the full story to understand… In short, just because someone is baptized and has faith does not mean they live a christian life and are willing to live one with you. I have realized that I could not devote myself to God if I was with someone who was willing to please me before God and who would expect the same in return. It hurt my faith, and it hurt my girlfriend.

I was really able to put words on it thanks to Saint Paul’s epistle:
“I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided.”

Thanks for this. I have found that prayer but especially confession help a lot against the temptations that I go through.

I sincerely believe that my feelings come from a place of love before that of guilt. As far as any guilt goes, while there is much left, I have been absolved. But I also want the best for her. It’s really painful to admit but I have to agree with you that the best is simply cutting ties and hoping for time to make us both whole again. What I have been doing is asking for Saint Therese to be the guide for her that I cannot be anymore.


#11

It is very good that you are praying to St. Therese. Have confidence in her intercession and keep asking for it.


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