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Relationship ended and feeling so lost

Discussion in 'Family, Home & Health' started by EllieTO, Aug 26, 2018.

  1. EllieTO
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    by EllieTO » Aug 26, 2018
    Hi PSers. I'm not sure why I'm posting. I think I pretty much know all the advice I can be given, but you're a wise bunch so who knows.

    Here's my story for whoever feels like reading. I got divorced almost 3 yrs ago from a man I was with for 14 yrs, including 4 yrs married. I won't go into details on that, but it was one of those situations that would never have worked out even though we were two good people, just not good for each other. I went through 2 really difficult years at the end and really tried my best, but in the end I decided to let go and never once looked back. I was suddenly single at 33, scared, optimistic and happy at the same time.

    I signed up for online dating not knowing what to expect, and set up my first date about a month after I moved out on my own. I wasn't expecting at all that I would fall in love with the first man I met. I was conflicted for a while about getting into a serious relationship so fast, and he was apprehensive about my very recent separation, but it worked out for us and we were blissfully happy. Within a year we were talking marriage and house and spending our lives together and everything was perfect.

    At about the 1.5 yr mark we decided that I would move into his place because it was bigger than mine, and we didn't want to rent somewhere new and be tied to a 1-year lease because we wanted to look for a house soon. Around the same time he brought up getting engaged seriously, asked me for details on diamonds and the kind of ring I wanted, and I pointed him straight to Victor Canera, even got a quote, etc. That's when I started lurking on PS. He strongly hinted that he didn't want me still holding on to my engagement and wedding rings when we moved in together, so I sold them even though I would've preferred to re-set the diamond. I was so sad to leave my place that I loved and there was a bit of tension around that time, but I figured it was just because there's never a good time to uproot your life, but I was willing to make the effort to move our relationship forward. Things were a bit rocky at first when I moved, but I think it was just us learning to live together. We're both clean and perfectionists, and had our own ways of doing things, so it was a matter of compromising and falling into a new routine. I think we did well and got over that, at least that's my perception.

    We talked about looking for a house, but he's very risk averse and was spooked by the housing market, which around that time was doing things even more crazy than usual. Eventually we had a talk where he admitted that he was just not ready, so I let it go and decided to be patient. There was also no more talk of engagement, but again I decided not to press the issue and let him do it on his own time. I didn't think there were any problems with our relationship.

    In spring of this year we were notified that we had to leave our rental condo. It's never a good time to be told you have to uproot your life and it's not your choice. At first he said this was the time for us to buy a house, then a few weeks later I had to sit him down again to find out what's up and he admitted again that he's not ready. So I stepped back again and looked for another rental. We had been paying below-market rent, so everything else seemed expensive, and he didn't seem ok with anything. Finally three weeks before our lease was to end and we hadn't found a new place, he dropped the bomb that he wanted to try living separately for a while. He thought that would bring us back to the place where we were so blissfully happy and he was so sure about us, and then we could finally move forward being sure. At first I said no, but we were still living together and we seemed fine otherwise, so instead of going through the difficulty of breaking up right then while trying to find a place and move, I agreed to do our separate moves and decide later on.

    So there I was, moving for the third time in 2.5 yrs, and with the crazy housing market came crazy rents, so I ended up paying much more for my new place and feeling like I will barely scrape by. But it still felt to me like our relationship was strong. I didn't understand what was holding him back, but I was willing to give him the space to figure it out. I was convinced it wasn't me, that it was just him and some sort of fear of commitment or who knows what. I was beyond understanding when really I felt like every step of the way the situation was unfair to me. I withdrew a bit, in a way to protect myself in case we really did break up. Being in limbo was killing me. Actually it was less than 2 months. We were still having good times together and I felt like he still cared for me and loved me just as much, but I didn't feel like we were addressing any of the issues, just coasting on. The situation was really hard on me and I told him at one point that I can't keep going like this. He promised that he was really committed and agreed that the situation wasn't fair to me and that he would make our relationship a priority, and I believed that he meant it and I decided to recommit myself 100% instead of holding back. Days later he left for a work trip. I took him to the airport and all seemed well. Somehow during that week he became distant, for the first time I felt like he wasn't there anymore. I knew he was busy with work, but it felt like more than that. When we finally had a chance to video chat I confronted him about it and he was really distant and didn't have much to say. The only thing he said was that he was worried we were only together because it was comfortable. I told him I disagreed and I had made it clear how I felt, so if he wasn't in it anymore then that was that. He seemed upset but kind of agreed, so we hung up and haven't had contact since.

    This was about a week ago. It's been a rough week. I feel so hurt and lonely and lost. I alternate between thinking that it wasn't meant to be, and feeling like I won't find anyone else I have such a connection with. He wasn't perfect, but we were good in all the really important, fundamental ways. I already learned from my first marriage that the future is never guaranteed. I was happy enough with him for 12 years and it didn't even occur to me that we may not make it. Despite that hard life lesson, I still believed that happily ever after was possible. Now it's really hard to believe it anymore. I'm also almost 36 now. I do want children and I'm keenly aware that time is running out. I feel like I don't even have time to be single right now, I need be out there immediately if I want to have a chance at finding someone and having kids while I can. I'm also incredibly lonely and crave comfort, but I know that I can't meet anyone in this state. I checked out my old dating site and signed up for Tinder just for the heck of it, to try to wrap my head around dating again, and it feels impossible. I gave 100% to this relationship, and I just don't feel like I can do it again with someone else. Every guy I look at is just a stranger, with a million ways they could be wrong for me.

    I really wrote way more than I had planned, and at the same time I would have to write ten times more to capture everything. I'm not even sure what advice I'm looking for, because I know that what I need to do is take care of myself to get through the next few weeks or months, and then get back out there with optimism. If anyone has any wisdom to share, please do. I just don't know how to get through these days.
     
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  2. ILikeShiny
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    by ILikeShiny » Aug 26, 2018
    I'm so sorry for the hurt you're going through. You're right - priority number one is taking care of yourself and healing fully before going "out there" again, but I also understand how hard it must be with your clock ticking. The last thing you want to do is find yourself in a relationship again that isn't completely transparent and with someone who is as committed as you are.

    Maybe seeing a counselor right now to talk things through would be of benefit?
     
  3. Golden_bird
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    by Golden_bird » Aug 26, 2018
    My advice will be short - if that man really loved you or cared about you ,he would have been ready to get married and have kids without taking a break and thinking about it . Yo can date for 5-7 years when you are 20 and don’t have much life experience and really no rush with anything,but after turning 30 and older , I dont Think you need to date 10 years to understand if you are right ppl for each other . Just move on and don’t waste your precious time ! He is just not simply man for you ! Some ppl are never ready for comment and being serious . He is goIng to behave the same even after he marries you . But later can be kids and so on . Don’t bring kids to that kind of marriage. Kids deserve to be loved and cared . Good lucky ! It’s never too late for something new !
     
  4. PintoBean
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    by PintoBean » Aug 27, 2018
    You cant take care of others until you take care of yourself first.

    Focus on healing your hurt and moving forward with being ok by yourself. Consider therapy for your head and heart, and extra TLC for your body like massages or yoga.

    I promise you - if I can be a 39 year old widow and work on this new journey in life, and make strides, you can too!
     
    


    


  5. gregchang35
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    by gregchang35 » Aug 27, 2018

    I am sorry that you are going through this.

    I totally agree with @Golden_bird
    As hard as it is to move on, that is what you have to do.
    The key take out is- now you understand what is good for you, settle for nothing less.

    Big hugs
    greg
     
  6. OoohShiny
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    by OoohShiny » Aug 27, 2018
    Reading your post, I think you know yourself well enough to know what you need to do to get through the current situation :) but it is scary and hard to get used to being a single person again, and you have the added pressure of your bodyclock ticking in the background and potentially adding time limits to the situation.

    Just to throw out an alternative point of view, have you considered separating the desire for a relationship from the desire for a child? It could be possible to have a child on your own, with sperm donation from a friend or from a sperm bank, and that would remove the need to find a partner to do so.

    I guess that if I was being totally blunt, one should ask the question "Is potentially rushing into a relationship with a less-than-100%-compatible person, in order to have a child, a good idea?"

    If the end result from both scenarios is that you end up a single mum, but the latter scenario brings added heartache, stress, and the many hassles of determining and keeping to child-sharing arrangements, perhaps it would be easier to remove that risk entirely?

    Like I say, this is a totally different point of view I'm putting forward for the sake of discussion and considering all options - I am sure you will get through this and life will pan out how it is supposed to for you, whatever happens :) My Gran always said that we have a path in life, we just can't see what it is!
     
  7. partgypsy
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    by partgypsy » Aug 27, 2018
    Sorry you went through it. In retrospect, the last relationship does sound like there were at least some yellow flags, like plans for engagement, but once you moved in plans stopped but not discussing it. When there were big life changes like moving you were the one to do the sacrifice, not him. But hindsight is 20/20. I understand how your sense of trust is a bit broken, because to tell you the truth it sounds like towards the end he was stringing you along and not being fully honest. He wasn't the one.
    I hope you get to a place where you are emotionally whole and healthy. I know you would like to "solve" the issue of relationships, children, but not everything is in our control. just be the best person you can, and other things will happen, good things. They may not even be the things you are planning for.
     
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  8. HappyNewLife
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    by HappyNewLife » Aug 27, 2018
    Oh wow, I'm sorry. That really sucks. I definitely agree with @Golden_bird. You've been SOOOOOOOOOOOO patient with this man. I'm sure he will come crawling back to you any day, but I hope you really think about it before you take him back. Life is too short to be with someone who isn't sure about you. You deserve the best, someone who is ALL in. HUGS. I hope your time of sadness is brief and that you meet the ONE soon!
     
  9. partgypsy
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    by partgypsy » Aug 27, 2018
    Also, you went from one long term relationship (12 years) to starting a relationship with someone literally a month after you moved out on your own. It wouldn't be the worse thing in the world, to discover who you are, not attached to someone.
     
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  10. bludiva
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    by bludiva » Aug 27, 2018
    This. I am sorry for what you are going through. It's beyond frustrating when the other person in a relationship doesn't know what they want, especially when they aren't being honest with their own selves. I second everything that PintoBean wrote, take time to care for yourself first, be kind to yourself, give yourself time. *hugs*
     
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  11. sunseeker101
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    by sunseeker101 » Aug 27, 2018
    Hi Starrysim, I think I understand your general concern here, that there are maybe some lessons to learn from the overall arc of your life involving men.

    The latest guy sounds like a definition of passivity in an intimate relationship, putting his words in your mouth, phasing out, dishing out ambivalence at every turn, and you, being patient, trying to understand, expecting (like any normal person would) that the urgency of the matter is totally obvious to him given your history, age, and desires — and from what you decribe, he was able to indicate in other ways that his heart and intentions were in the right place.

    Would it be fair to say that after anyone’s marriage ends and they’re setting out to date again, that their hopes are high and expectations low? Could a passive guy who fancies a maximum gain/minimum investment relationship sense that in you, do you think?

    Are you also an HSP with a very strong sense of responsibility, especially for people you’re in a relationship with? If relating and being open and honest with a partner is the most natural thing in the world for you, could it be very hard to spot a passive man on the take? This is what I’m thinking anyway.

    Are you wondering if the latest events have something in common with your first marriage? One way you could look at that is to consider your proto-relationships, like that with your father. What kind of presence was he in your life, consistent and dedicated or having changeable levels of interest?

    In the first case, a very strong relationship with a loving father who tells the truth and respects your time and needs, may lead you to think other men you’re also compelled to love are the same. This is innocence, and you can never be faulted for it.

    In the last case, you might come to expect that men prove their love by being there, even if they check out to changeable degrees over time.

    Anyway, hopefully that wasn’t a traumatic or offensive read. Overall, at 36 when you want children it’s a good idea to head to an OBGYN to check the effective youth of your system, and if possible move to freeze eggs. This would take some of the natural panic out of the prospect for you.

    For the rest, all I can say is: remember that your time, focus, and feelings are the most valuable things you have, and have to share with anyone else. As well, cast a cold and constant eye on how words and actions meet, or don’t, and don’t hesitate to look for answers and fire up your boundaries when you meet with backsliding statements.

    Okay, \/ out :)
     
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  12. EllieTO
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    by EllieTO » Aug 27, 2018
    Thank you so much for the replies. I've been reading them since last night but I start crying every time and just haven't known what to reply. I also read the thread about the cheating husband, and it makes me feel like this is really no big deal, relationships end all the time. At least there are no kids, no violence, I'm financially independent etc. I'm just in so much pain. Actually today I had to stay home from work, I have some kind of 24-hr stomach bug (at least I hope it's only 24 h) and I'm even more acutely aware of how alone I feel.

    @Golden_bird I think it's too simplistic to say he never loved me, but I agree with the rest.

    @OoohShiny I wouldn't have a child on my own. I did think about freezing my eggs, but at my age it's borderline too late. I also don't think I would want to be having kids at an age where I couldn't have them naturally. I don't really want to be 50 with a 5 year old either. It's just hard to believe that considering I had everything lined up since my early 20's, I ended up in this situation. I never had a strong urge for kids, but it was something I always assumed and took for granted would happen.

    @HappyNewLife A friend told me a similar thing and it really hit me. I should be with someone who is 100% excited and sure about spending his life with me. I will admit that I expected him to come back soon after, and I still think he will at some point. I'm sure he's going through a rough time as well. I just hope I can make some progress and have the strength to say no when/if he does. One lesson I learned from my first marriage is that ambivalence can destroy your life, and I went through it once, I don't want to fall into it again with someone else.

    @sunseeker101 Could a passive guy who fancies a maximum gain/minimum investment relationship sense that in you, do you think? If you're suggesting that he did it on purpose, no, I don't think that's the case. We were both in it 100% at one point, I'm just not sure what happened from there. I've also been through ambivalence, so I know it's not something you do for spite or fun, it's real and it takes time to work through and it takes a lot of strength to make a decision. I was willing to take the chance that we'd come out the other end stronger.
    Are you also an HSP with a very strong sense of responsibility, especially for people you’re in a relationship with? If relating and being open and honest with a partner is the most natural thing in the world for you, could it be very hard to spot a passive man on the take? Yes, that describes me (though I don't know what HSP stands for). I know he's been passive, but I was willing to give him space to figure it out. I didn't want to coerce or convince him to move forward and have it backfire later.
    In the first case, a very strong relationship with a loving father who tells the truth and respects your time and needs, may lead you to think other men you’re also compelled to love are the same. This is innocence, and you can never be faulted for it. Yes, that's me again.
     
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  13. EllieTO
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    by EllieTO » Aug 27, 2018
    @sunseeker101 I looked up what HSP means and even took the quiz, and OMG, that's me to a tee. And my ex as well, for that matter (the recent one, not at all my ex-husband). I'm surprised I've never heard of it before. I'm not sure what it means in the context of our relationship, but it's interesting to understand myself better and I might read up on it more.
     
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  14. Golden_bird
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    by Golden_bird » Aug 27, 2018
    I am sorry if I sounded harsh ! I didn’t mean to ! We don’t know the whole details and Situation. All of us give you advice from our own life experiences and it hard to give advice on relationship. What is fine with one person ,impossible for another . Very often we copy family model from our own family we grow up from . Like I remember my father was always loving and caring ,never hit my mom or something like that ,and once when I was in relationship with kind of very aggressive boyfriend ,when he started to behave harsh towards towards me , I quickly finished this relationship even with broken heart ,for me it was unacceptable to be hurt physically and emotionally....
     
  15. sunseeker101
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    by sunseeker101 » Aug 27, 2018
    Hi again Starrysim. Just thought I'd clarify that I don't think he did that on purpose. It's more the observation that a passive man (one who appears to have difficulty processing his own feelings and who also is found employing different tactics to leave the final line or conclusion-drawing to the other party) will engage his basic tendencies at some point during the course of a normal relationship. A good partner recognizes the intrinsic importance of being upfront about all key emotional and desire issues in a relationship, puts premium value on your time, and bears your situation and critical desires in mind.

    As well, it's good that you're able to gain perspective on how unusual it is for an adult to move in relationships in a full-hearted, compassionate, and open way with little or no games or politics in the early stages. Then again, I've never looked into the possibilities of an unhealthy HSP type, so it may well be that certain vices are more likely with this bearing (to maybe get an idea about your ex).

    I hope you can settle on a new understanding of what you require, how to identify it, and how to secure the soul and mind relationship you deserve and desire. There's one thing I do know for a fact, and that's any decent man would be very lucky to have a woman of principle, substance, kindness, and gentleness for a life partner. The best of luck.
     
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  16. Bron357
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    by Bron357 » Aug 27, 2018
    Try and remain positive for the future.
    I was married and while we discussed children from the outset it was decided it best to establish ourselves in careers, buy a house, accrue savings etc. There always seemed to be an excuse to “delay” until he finally admitted he didn’t want children at all and was hoping “I’d get over it”.
    It was Goodbye.
    I was 38 and figured that was that.
    I met my now husband at 39 and despite my best intentions to discourage him “I’m not interesting in dating, if you want to ask me out consider it an engagement and that I’ll be trying for a baby straight away”.
    So we were engaged (with a 4 carat plus diamond - still trying to test his mettle!) and I was pregnant at 39, had my one and only at 40.
    That was 17 years ago now.
    So, never say never, don’t panic or think time has run out. I know plenty of older mums, first or second babies well into their forties.
    Concentrate on yourself and what you want, don’t accept any less, set the bar really high and if a guy can get over it, he’s the one for you.
     
  17. missyminx
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    by missyminx » Aug 28, 2018
    @EllieTO I'm sorry you're going through this. I just wanted to say that maybe Tinder is not the place to be in right now. You're being exposed to many characters with different agendas, and you're in a vulnerable stage right now (maybe not, but just to be on the prudent side). The attention from Tinder might serve as a distraction but can also cause you greater hurt and self-doubt and hurt your emotional state if you meet a player or guys who aren't right.

    I have been through the Tinder stage and it was an emotional roller coaster for me because I joined it right after ending a relationship that I uprooted my life for. It took me at least a year after I left it, to reach a more stable emotional state. On hindsight I should have switched it off and just focused on myself and discovering things I like doing. Yoga works wonders, especially hot yoga. The immediate relief after I walk out of that hot room helps relax me a great deal!

    Be strong! If this guy doesn't leave you, there isn't room for a GREAT guy to enter your life! HUGS.
     
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  18. missy
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    by missy » Aug 28, 2018
    @EllieTO I am so sorry you are going through this and I just want say be kind to yourself. This is a very challenging time for you and as others have said focus on you and on doing what is right for you. You are still young and have plenty of time to fall in love with the person of your dreams who is worthy of you. You deserve a quality person who loves you as much as you love them and will put you first in the relationship. You deserve nothing less. Know that, internalize that fact and let yourself heal and take your time. There is no rush because the rest of your life is ahead of you and this is something you don't want to rush. Once you know for sure what is the right thing to do for you and heal then you will be open to finding the love of your life. I love what @missyminx wrote to you:

    Exactly. Or perhaps you will be the one to tell him it's over for once and for all and leave him. Either way only you know what is the best and most right thing for you to do since we are not in your relationship. But from an outside perspective (since you asked) I just want to emphasize you are still young and have time to meet your b'shert (true love) and make a life with him and whatever else that entails. Don't despair. I did not meet my dh til I was 33 and I was not ready to get married so we dated for years. I was not in a rush because I knew the rest of my life was at stake and did not want to rush into anything. And look at us now. Happy and together for 20 years. That will be you. Take your time. Know what you want. Don't let this person make you feel bad about yourself. This is all about what is right for you and being true to yourself and not making a decision based on age or time or anything besides what is best for you.

    Sending you good thoughts and gentle hugs. [​IMG]
     
  19. partgypsy
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    by partgypsy » Aug 28, 2018
    You just broke up with a guy you thought you were going to marry. You say you want to find a meaningful relationship that leads to marriage and children and you signed up for Tinder :think:
     
  20. scarsmum
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    by scarsmum » Aug 28, 2018
    I met my husband when I was 41, after four failed relationships. We’re going strong at 7 years and have a 2 year old and a 5 year old. It does happen, it can happen. The only thing that can stop it happening is if you decide to close off to possibilities. Get through day to day and stay open.
     
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  21. EllieTO
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    by EllieTO » Aug 28, 2018
    Thank you all for the kind words. Today was a rough day.

    @partgypsy No. As I said, I signed up to try to get my mind around dating again. I'm not setting up dates, far from it
     
  22. MakingTheGrade
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    by MakingTheGrade » Aug 31, 2018
    I was also divorced around the same age after a 10 year relationship with a great guy, but we married young and grew apart.

    My perspective may be a bit different since in my relationships I tend to be the commitment phobic one. Especially after my divorce. It has nothing to do with how much I love the person or how great they are, it’s just always a small voice in my head saying “but what if”. I try to be very honest and transparent with my cynicism about “forever”, I don’t want to lead anyone on and am upfront that there’s a good chance I’m someone who might never want to be married again for many personal and philosophical reasons. Im
    not bitter or pessimistic, if anything I love life. I just happen to be someone who is very content to be alone. I’m lucky I have a partner who has been with me for 3 years and is willing to fight the existential terror that is loving me. I guess he figures that for all my talk, I still choose to say yes to us everyday, so odds are good that I’m not going anywhere anytime soon. He’s also someone who isn’t traditional so it works.

    That being said, if he decided he needed a ring on it today, I don’t think I could. Nothing to do with him, just where I’m at with things. I wrote this ramble just to say that I hope the pain you’re going through isn’t compounded by self doubt or guilt or second guessing if you were fooled. Sounds like there is a lot of love, but you realized he isn’t who you need him to be for you to feel happy. The pain of those realizations and decisions suck but it sounds like you’ve gone through a lot before and have the resilience and self knowledge to come out of this stronger too.
     

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