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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I posted my story before, but the basics are:
I wasn't a good husband. It involved an EA, alcohol abuse and anger issues. Wife left me a year ago. We've stayed in pretty constant contact. We've had numerous occasions of physical intimacy. Meetings for holidays and birthdays, etc. Several dates.

She's stated that she needed out of the situation I created, has moved to a new city (1.5 hrs away) is getting an apartment and has gone back to school which was always a goal. I've tried to send her a sizable amount of money from each check I've gotten. I wasn't motivate during the first year of separation but I've sober now, reliable and have my issues that lead to her leaving under control and out of my life.

Here as some of my confusions posed as a good/bad list.

The Good:
  • she's recently called me a standup guy
  • she's stated I am more mature and not stuck on getting my way
  • we go on dates
  • we have sex
  • she says "i love you" (never "i'm not in love with you")
  • she's mentioned me spending thanksgiving this year with her family
  • She seems happier now that I have stopped begging and worked on myself
  • her showing of affection has increased
  • she will say she misses me and thinks of me.
  • she has planned weekends for her to visit me and hike, stay the night.

The Bad:
  • her dating is an option, I've accepted but jealousy is a current issue
  • I don't know if her "love" is the same kind as mine. I'm afraid to ask and push her away.
  • I don't know if sex is as emotional for her as it is for me or more of a familiar physical intimacy. Again, afraid to ask.
  • There's no talk of us reconciling. No end date in mind
  • Financially I'm stressed but I love her and she left because of the situation I created.
  • I'm worried of becoming a plan b or the man she loved but is leaning towards it never working out

I realize no one is a mind reader, but I feel like I have reason to hope and perhaps she is afraid and cautious to reveal to much. I understand why she'd feel that and respect her desire to have space to figure out what she wants for her life.

We've been together since she was 15 and I was 17 (14 years ago). I know that young love is dangerous and people change. We've always been very close spent all of our time together. I killed her trust and faith in me, so I realize I have a LONG road ahead of me. I'm willing to spend the time, be patient and take any hits that come my way for the sake of her coming back.
 

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It has only been a year, you wife has every right to be cautious and get to know the better man you have become, she has put up with years of your alcoholic abuse and tbh you should be thankful she is giving your what you are getting. i do not agree with the dating thing, you are still married? But you are not in a position to choose. I guess she is waiting to see if you will stick with this new your or relapse, for her to leave in the first place after so many years would have been a huge thing, she will not rush back into living with you and that is understandable, it may take a few years. Enjoy it, you are still both young. She needs to rebuild her trust in you, how many promises did you make and break, it took years to create the damage that caused her to leave, it may well take years to undo it too. The fact that she is still in your life, speaks volumes, be thankful for that and stop pushing for answers at this time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for the honest response Aine.

I am very grateful that she is still in my life and will be around me. Like I said, I am willing to wait the amount of time it takes and agree that she deserves the time to reach her own decision and conclusions.

We are still married, although she's said that it doesn't matter if we are separated/legally separated/divorced. Whatever the outcome, the legal "status" of us isn't a concern to her. And frankly it's not to me either. As I understand it we'd have a lot of "starting over" to do especially when it comes to trust. A document from a court doesn't define what we feel.

I'm just having a hard time with the idea of her dating. Like I said, I've always had jealousy and anger issues, but my anger is not currently an issue. I go to AA and therapy regularly for myself and my issues.

I don't want to pressure her or ask questions and I DEFINITELY don't want to come to her with my complaints and neediness given all I've put her through. That's the only reason I've posted here to try and get some peace of mind as to whether or not what appears to be good signs are indeed that.

I'm assuming that when you say her being around "speaks volumes" was a way of saying that there are good signs and to relax?
 

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Yes, you need to work on yourself, you are not out of the woods. I have spent my life with a drinker who has cheated on me, I stayed for the kids and in the process he broke my heart but made me into a much stronger woman. He has gotten counselling and things are much better, I can see him trying, going out of his way but he has lost a part of my heart he will never get back. In fact I still do not trust him and probably never will. I still am of the mind about leaving, getting more qualifications, a new job etc so I am not dependent on him.
When that level of damage is done to a woman, she never really recovers, the trust is gone and tbh if she can become financially dependent why would she need that in her life, so the fact she is still around means she loves you but any reconciliation has to be on her terms, you lost the right to have a say. Most women would walk away, so yes be thankful.

Of course you just keep working on yourself, become a better man for yourself and may be eventually for her (or someone else) if it does not work out. As they say in AA its all about one day at a time, you have to see the relationship in this way too. The uncertainty is probably killing you but that is the consequence of your own actions, so own them and live with it.

You may want to set a deadline for yourself as to when you have decided you have had enough and will cut ties. She is dating and may well end up meeting someone she chooses over you, there is always that risk but there may be an element of getting back at you to let you see you don't have her fully anymore and cannot take her love for granted. There is little you can do except 1) suck it up 2) set your own deadline for the future 3) cut ties now and move on. I suspect you will choose 1) for now as the benefits outweigh the costs right now. That is your choice but those benefits and cost will change into the future. All the best with your healing.
 

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Best case scenario:

She hasn't gone dark no contact on you or initiated divorce proceedings. She seems willing to give you an opportunity to earn back her trust, but meanwhile she's becoming more self-sufficient because right now she doesn't feel she can rely on you. You could keep plugging away at demonstrating how you've changed and hopefully she'll come around to believe that you are now genuine, and move the relationship back to husband and wife instead of the long distance friends with benefits you've got going now. She may be dating to see if there's someone better out there, or simply saying so to test your dedication to her.


Worst case scenario:

She's leading you on so that you'll keep sending her money. Meanwhile, she's dating, and if she finds someone better than you, she'll keep you on the line as long as she can, but drop you when you're no longer necessary.


The truth is probably somewhere in between, and the hard part is pinpointing it because it's a moving target.

How long is the school program she's in? What is her response if you suggest that you could move to be nearer to her? Are the contacts with you steady-state or slowly increasing? (Or lessening) Does she ever talk about her long-term plans? What is her response if you are unable to send her money one month due to some unexpected expense. Does she get mad or do you brainstorm how to handle it as a team? Are you in counselling or therapy, to work on yourself with the goal of being a better person, not just of winning her back?
 

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Why should she date, you're still married. She has it good. This may not be a separation in her eyes but a preparation for D. She is not ready yet, she needs to finish school, get a job and another man first. In the meantime, she has a means of support, a male companion, sex when she needs it and a fall back man if things don't work out.

Do you have children? If not, rethink the financial support. It is a strain you don't need now. It amounts to penance and that will not get her back. She may respond to a show of self respect on your part. You are not respecting yourself in this situation.

I think you should get a legal separation and start the D. Listen to what she does and not her words, they mean nothing at this point. She really seems to be setting up an independent life. It would be better to know where you stand so you can plan and prepare mentally.

The arrangement is not fair to you. When she ask for a D, it will be more painful in this situation than one in which you are in control. Congratulations on your recovery, you will be a better man in your next relationship so don't stop your road to recovery no matter what happens to your marriage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well we spent last weekend, this past weekend and will be together this coming weekend. She has told me that I'm still a consideration for a man she wants to be with and am currently the only one she is seeing. Now that doesn't mean the only man she is talking with, but like you've said, the fact she spends this much time show that I'm an important part of her life as she is for mine.

I get a lot of crap for my decision to be financially and emotionally susceptible to this situation, but a mentor in AA told me to first think of it as an amends for the husband I was in the past, then realize it's my way of showing her that I'm stable, reliable and can be consistent in meeting some of her current needs.

I'm going to therapy and will be addressing my issues of jealousy while she has her space and freedom to make the choice that's best for her. That's a tough pill to swallow!

And you're right, I'm choosing path 1). I have a personal mantra that I say when getting too worked up or anxious: My heart will know when to quit, that moment is not now.

Yes, you need to work on yourself, you are not out of the woods. I have spent my life with a drinker who has cheated on me, I stayed for the kids and in the process he broke my heart but made me into a much stronger woman. He has gotten counselling and things are much better, I can see him trying, going out of his way but he has lost a part of my heart he will never get back. In fact I still do not trust him and probably never will. I still am of the mind about leaving, getting more qualifications, a new job etc so I am not dependent on him.
When that level of damage is done to a woman, she never really recovers, the trust is gone and tbh if she can become financially dependent why would she need that in her life, so the fact she is still around means she loves you but any reconciliation has to be on her terms, you lost the right to have a say. Most women would walk away, so yes be thankful.

Of course you just keep working on yourself, become a better man for yourself and may be eventually for her (or someone else) if it does not work out. As they say in AA its all about one day at a time, you have to see the relationship in this way too. The uncertainty is probably killing you but that is the consequence of your own actions, so own them and live with it.

You may want to set a deadline for yourself as to when you have decided you have had enough and will cut ties. She is dating and may well end up meeting someone she chooses over you, there is always that risk but there may be an element of getting back at you to let you see you don't have her fully anymore and cannot take her love for granted. There is little you can do except 1) suck it up 2) set your own deadline for the future 3) cut ties now and move on. I suspect you will choose 1) for now as the benefits outweigh the costs right now. That is your choice but those benefits and cost will change into the future. All the best with your healing.
 

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It still seems like getting the bad review at work. There is no way for you to fix it no matter how much of a model employee you are after the fact. It may seem like things are getting better, the boss isn't on your case and you keep surviving week after week, but the fact of the matter is, whether you know it or not, there is an ad in the paper for your job.

I hope things work out for you the way you hope they will, but most women don't forgive. She's letting see her only because it's convenient, when she finds someone else she likes it will be over.
 

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I'm willing to spend the time, be patient and take any hits that come my way for the sake of her coming back.
That's your answer.
Nobody can predict the future. All you can do is figure out if she's worth it, and put your "all" in to becoming a better person (whether she ends up being part of your future or not).

If it does work out, we'll all be very happy for you.
If it doesn't work out with her - you still gained a lot. Any journey of self improvement and discover is worth it.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The verdict is still out on me, that's for sure. But a few key differences with you analogy are that there was a time when she didn't want to see me at all during our separation. After four months of me being sober, going to therapy and seeing a psyc, she's now spent almost 2 months of weekends with me. I think it's not necessarily a bad thing that there's a 'ad' for my job in the paper. She's expressed that she loves me and has feelings of being in love with me. She spends her free-time on weekends with me instead of choosing to party or go out after her long school week.

And, she has verbally said I'm still a consideration for the position.

The downside is that she could find a guy she wants to investigate more and then our weekend time is no longer what it was and there could be a new candidate for the position.

Her seeing me does have its conveniences, but I know that she is willingly putting her emotions at risk and risking her friends and family thinking less of her for spending this much time with me. By opening herself at all to me, she's going against a lot of what her logic or mind might be saying.

Plus, I don't get the feeling of being used. She's sent me nice cards and texts letting me know outright that our weekends are extremely fun and a good way for her to unwind and escape stress. But additionally she feels good being around me because she feels I understand and know her better than most people.

She doesn't ask me for anything above what I've agreed to give her financially. Everything else I offer. She doesn't expect more. So I don't feel used financially.

Last night driving home from San Diego to Los Angeles - after seeing her - she texted me saying "Let me know when you're home safe. Love you!"

It still seems like getting the bad review at work. There is no way for you to fix it no matter how much of a model employee you are after the fact. It may seem like things are getting better, the boss isn't on your case and you keep surviving week after week, but the fact of the matter is, whether you know it or not, there is an ad in the paper for your job.

I hope things work out for you the way you hope they will, but most women don't forgive. She's letting see her only because it's convenient, when she finds someone else she likes it will be over.
 

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She's expressed that she loves me and has feelings of being in love with me. She spends her free-time on weekends with me instead of choosing to party or go out after her long school week.


Last night driving home from San Diego to Los Angeles - after seeing her - she texted me saying "Let me know when you're home safe. Love you!"
I really do hope that everything works out for you and things keep getting better. I know I'm guilty of reading my own situation into my responses, that women never forgive and look for a way out, and I'm sorry for that. Keep on battling my friend, it's got you where you are and it seems you're on the right track.
 

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Me too - I hope everything works out for you both! The text message she sent you shows that she cares about you. Not to mention, she's still in love with you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Ok, so it's been a couple weeks. We are still seeing each other on the weekends and have fairly regular contact during the week via text and a phone call every now and then, but she's not big on phone calls anyways.

I've started doing crossfit and trying to get into my own things (painting, reading, etc...). I still find it difficult because I find myself thinking of our relationship constantly and it distracts me during the day and has a tendency to distract me from enjoying other things. It's mostly the uncertainty of where we are at.

She recently has told me that she still has to stay completely in the moment with me. She can't think of the past or she will not be able to be around me in the present. And if she thinks of the future that brings up the past and makes any thought of the future out of the question.

I take two things away from that: 1) I have a lot of work to make sure I stay in the present with her as there is still a lot of anger (and hidden pain) and 2) she's probably going against a lot of instincts and emotions because she genuinely wants to spend time with me. So I work hard on not pressing the issue, even though I want clarity and progress. She's giving it to me, just in doses she can handle and are at her pace.

I asked her and she's said that she feels attraction to me growing as we spend more time together and I've noticed our weekends together start feeling more comfortable, almost like when we lived together considered ourselves married. I want to make sure I don't let it get TOO comfortable. It seems like the element of mystery and surprise is an attraction builder and I want her to know I see our time together as building new things together and not falling back into a comfortable mindset.

She still doesn't trust me, but I think that is slowly changing. I've left my phone around her and unlocked several times so there's the underlying (I'm ok with you maybe looking at it, I have nothing to hide). She looked up something in my browser and later said "I know you still delete your history". I explained that I only use one browser and what she was using is something I don't ever use. She seemed pleased with my answer. I further explained that I only use my phone for a few things, mostly research on relationships and being a better man, or google maps, amazon. I restated to her that the things I did in the past (porn, chatting with women, etc...) are out of my life completely and no longer a desire or a part of me. That she knows how much I want her and that I'm 100% committed to being a better man and staying that way. She also seemed to take me saying this as truth.

So now I guess it's a matter or time, patience and love, continually improving myself and creating opportunities for us to be together. I don't know if it's unrealistic for me to read into that her and I still have sex several times each weekend and that there are times we sext. Is that a gauge of her level of attraction to me? I know it can be a matter of release and comfort, but she's told me that she thinks of me sexually during the week and can't wait for the weekends. I try not to grasp at everything she does or says as a reason to increase hope, but based on our actions, things seem to be progressing even if it's slowly.

How do I address her anger and issues of the past being connected to the future? Is that a matter of time, patience and love? I've read that I should just never bring it up unless she instigates the conversation and wants to speak about it.
 

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You have to be patient, as I said before it took years to damage the relationship the way you did, it will take years to get past it, you cannot rush these things, if you insist she will just walk away.
You are doing well so far and I can understand why she just wants to take it one day at a time, she still doesn't 100% trust you. You have made promises in the past and broke every one of them right, only now when you are about to lose her you are pulling out all the stops, the same old story.

Enjoy the moment and stop pushing for more.
 

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I posted my story before, but the basics are:
I wasn't a good husband. It involved an EA, alcohol abuse and anger issues. Wife left me a year ago. We've stayed in pretty constant contact. We've had numerous occasions of physical intimacy. Meetings for holidays and birthdays, etc. Several dates.

She's stated that she needed out of the situation I created, has moved to a new city (1.5 hrs away) is getting an apartment and has gone back to school which was always a goal. I've tried to send her a sizable amount of money from each check I've gotten. I wasn't motivate during the first year of separation but I've sober now, reliable and have my issues that lead to her leaving under control and out of my life.

Here as some of my confusions posed as a good/bad list.

The Good:
  • she's recently called me a standup guy
  • she's stated I am more mature and not stuck on getting my way
  • we go on dates
  • we have sex
  • she says "i love you" (never "i'm not in love with you")
  • she's mentioned me spending thanksgiving this year with her family
  • She seems happier now that I have stopped begging and worked on myself
  • her showing of affection has increased
  • she will say she misses me and thinks of me.
  • she has planned weekends for her to visit me and hike, stay the night.

The Bad:
  • her dating is an option, I've accepted but jealousy is a current issue
  • I don't know if her "love" is the same kind as mine. I'm afraid to ask and push her away.
  • I don't know if sex is as emotional for her as it is for me or more of a familiar physical intimacy. Again, afraid to ask.
  • There's no talk of us reconciling. No end date in mind
  • Financially I'm stressed but I love her and she left because of the situation I created.
  • I'm worried of becoming a plan b or the man she loved but is leaning towards it never working out

I realize no one is a mind reader, but I feel like I have reason to hope and perhaps she is afraid and cautious to reveal to much. I understand why she'd feel that and respect her desire to have space to figure out what she wants for her life.

We've been together since she was 15 and I was 17 (14 years ago). I know that young love is dangerous and people change. We've always been very close spent all of our time together. I killed her trust and faith in me, so I realize I have a LONG road ahead of me. I'm willing to spend the time, be patient and take any hits that come my way for the sake of her coming back.

She's getting what she wants, and making little to no effort to get it.
Things are likely to rapidly change when that entitlement lifestyle she's got used to changes.

You've spoilt her in your guilt - and given her no reason to seek reconcilation (or anything else). why shouldn't she just keep doing what she's doing?

Have you found what caused the root of your anger/pain/frustration issues? Is it resolved entirely? Not just the Cognitive Behavior Sheep stuff, but actually worked out your triggers, your weaknesses, and got your life in order, and support structure worked out? If you are ready to move forwards, then time to start pulling back on the free giveaways and buying her attention.
When you're equals in the relationship and both contributing, and both getting what you want from it, and knowingly so, you can move forwards - sadly I'm betting that as soon as sugar-daddy dries up she's going to move on to the next one - because that's what YOU taught her. :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I understand what you're saying, but don't you also think that after she left me because I had an EA and multiple other infractions of her trust, that this is the time for me to show her reliability and consistency?

I'm trying to rebuild attraction at the same time as rebuilding trust. I'm working on the attraction through dating her and showing her fun weekends. I'm working on the trust by being emotionally and financially stable whereas before I was not.

And the anger is what she expresses, not me. She has a lot of anger about past circumstances or just hatred for places I spent a lot of time when we were dating and married.

I'm currently the "sugar daddy", so that would only dry up if she decides to move-on to someone else. I won't be a doormat if she moves on, but while she's spending all her weekends with me and opening herself up to a perceived emotional risk of being with me intimately and emotionally, then I don't see how me acting like I'm entitled to something or deserve something from her would help my situation.

If we ever do start to reconcile, that would seem like the phase in our interactions for me to start expressing more of my needs and ask for her to consider my feelings more than she does.

She's getting what she wants, and making little to no effort to get it.
Things are likely to rapidly change when that entitlement lifestyle she's got used to changes.

You've spoilt her in your guilt - and given her no reason to seek reconcilation (or anything else). why shouldn't she just keep doing what she's doing?

Have you found what caused the root of your anger/pain/frustration issues? Is it resolved entirely? Not just the Cognitive Behavior Sheep stuff, but actually worked out your triggers, your weaknesses, and got your life in order, and support structure worked out? If you are ready to move forwards, then time to start pulling back on the free giveaways and buying her attention.
When you're equals in the relationship and both contributing, and both getting what you want from it, and knowingly so, you can move forwards - sadly I'm betting that as soon as sugar-daddy dries up she's going to move on to the next one - because that's what YOU taught her. :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Aine, Good advice. I think I'm doing well not pushing for more. But I was wondering what to do when she expresses anger. I've read that you show your spouse that you understand and sympathize with how they feel (validate?) and you don't start making promises. Is that a good time for me to try and divert the conversation back to the present? Other advice I've read is that as a man, to help build your attraction you have to show the woman that you are emotionally stable and when the woman gets angry/mad/hurt you find a way to comfort her while bringing her out of the moment and into a place of safety and even humor. Does that make sense?

Also, one thing that I am confused about that is a little embarrassing to discuss, this past weekend we had sex several times. The first time she was distracted and got frustrated, but the next time she was very in the moment. In all of it she said to me "I want you to get me pregnant" and "I want to have your baby".

I did my best to just see that as an "in the moment" thing she said as I know she's not really wanting that. But my heart leapt and I thought her actually being able to say that could be a sign that she feels more close to me than she'll express or say when her guard is up.

Am I reading too much into that?

You have to be patient, as I said before it took years to damage the relationship the way you did, it will take years to get past it, you cannot rush these things, if you insist she will just walk away.
You are doing well so far and I can understand why she just wants to take it one day at a time, she still doesn't 100% trust you. You have made promises in the past and broke every one of them right, only now when you are about to lose her you are pulling out all the stops, the same old story.

Enjoy the moment and stop pushing for more.
 

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Well, there is hope here. I would either ask her if she wants to stay married and work on it or if she still wants to be separated. She is basically using you for sex and money, whether she seems happier or not, and if she doesn't want to work on it then that's your wake up call that she doesn't want the marriage anymore except for its benefits. She's dating too? Yikes. Maybe you can ask her first if she would be willing to not date others and just date you and work on it. If none of this is a good option then maybe just serve her with divorce papers. It would be a slap in her face but if I were you I wouldn't want to be used like that. I would move on, let her gold dig someone else and then go find happiness. I have a resource here for you that helped me, I gave it to a few others but maybe it can help you too. Free Divorce Information and FAQ's. Do It Yourself Divorce Papers and Forms.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Well, there is hope here. I would either ask her if she wants to stay married and work on it or if she still wants to be separated. She is basically using you for sex and money, whether she seems happier or not, and if she doesn't want to work on it then that's your wake up call that she doesn't want the marriage anymore except for its benefits. She's dating too? Yikes. Maybe you can ask her first if she would be willing to not date others and just date you and work on it. If none of this is a good option then maybe just serve her with divorce papers. It would be a slap in her face but if I were you I wouldn't want to be used like that. I would move on, let her gold dig someone else and then go find happiness. I have a resource here for you that helped me, I gave it to a few others but maybe it can help you too. Free Divorce Information and FAQ's. Do It Yourself Divorce Papers and Forms.
She definitely doesn't want the old marriage or to work on it. She wants to be separated and has said it could be a couple years before she'd know if she wanted anything else. She's not willing at this time to commit to just us.

I'm just confused about it all because she can act very caring and loving. When I ask for more affection when we're together, she gives it. Her words and actions seem conflicting to me. I don't doubt she has conflicting emotions about me.

This weekend I brought up that she wants to be free to date but doesn't want me to date. I asked her why and what that says about our situation. Basically, I'm a committed boyfriend. She said that's what I was willing to do and I countered with "only because if I don't, I lose your trust and I lose you - besides not wanting to date other people."

@aine has sort of reiterated my wife's words that it could take years. I've read stories on here that it could take a long time - even if she is dating and seeing other people.

I guess I always comes back to asking myself "what am I willing to do/endure/wait through." I'm not giving up yet, just frustrated and depressed.
 

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StD, you do have to set a time frame for yourself though, she is probably in a process of healing from the damage you caused, she likes what she sees but if you were the man I think you were, you made a lot of promises and broke every one, that is soul destroying, especially for a woman. She is being very cautious, and wants to see if you will relapse. She may also have a part of her that wants some vindication/revenge. Only you really know her, the being open to date gives her control and leverage which she never had before. Your willingness not to date shows her your commitment.
 
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