He Finally Realized He Needed Me Just As I Finally Decided It Was Time To Break Up

Taking a step back from a long-term relationship is a funny thing. Sometimes it leads to both people realizing they’re meant to be together or they’re not and they and agree on what to do next. Other times, the clarity it brings is different for both people, and that’s what happened with us. My ex was deciding he wanted to try again while I was moving on.

  1. Absence doesn’t always make the heart grow fonder. This cliche works in healthy relationships and friendships, when spending time away from someone else reminds you all the things you love about them and makes you miss them like crazy. But when a relationship is toxic, taking time away to reevaluate can give a glimpse into the reality of the situation and cause the opposite to happen. Being apart showed me his true colors, and boy am I glad I finally saw them.
  2. Neither of us understood how toxic he was for me. The red flags were there from the start but I was the last one to notice. My friends and family saw the demons he used to crush my world and my sanity, but we were both oblivious to the toll it took on me. He was degrading, mean, abusive and manipulative and I had absolutely no idea. The worst part is that he still doesn’t get it, even though I’ve done everything in my power to explain it to him.
  3. Without him, I could finally breathe. Without his restrictions and demands, I was able to be the person I’d forgotten I was, the person I wanted to be and that people around me had missed during our time together. I could talk without worrying about the impact my words would have on the bruised ego of a misogynist and make decisions without running them past someone who couldn’t have cared less what I wanted.
  4. There’s no denying I was the best thing for him. Everyone in his life including him saw the ways in which I made him better. I pushed him to try, taught him to be confident and gave him a reason to stand up for what he believed in. I made him bearable. One of his arguments for why we needed to be together was that he was better because of me, but what about me? He didn’t make me better, he made me worse. There was no way I was spending any more time as that person.
  5. People don’t actually change. He was so convinced that he could be the man I needed, but we both know that’s not true. Even after I told him the ways in which he was suffocating me, his promises to change came up empty. He couldn’t see that the things he was doing and the way he was acting was no different, but it didn’t stop him from demanding extra chances. How many changes does someone deserve before they face the music?
  6. His desperate begging just proved my point. The fact that he couldn’t stop pleading with me to stay shows he was incapable of listening to me. Every word I said went in one ear and out the other, and it only solidified my decision. While he spent those sleepless nights planning what he could say to get me back, I was sleeping soundly, knowing the better path for me was one without him.
  7. Just because I forgive him doesn’t mean I want him back. I don’t hate him, I don’t wish him harm and I don’t want to forget he ever existed. I am who I am because of what we went through, but forgiving him does NOT mean I want to be with him or want him in my life at all. Just because he’s lost without me and desperate to change my mind doesn’t mean I’m interested in lending an ear.
  8. Everything is so much brighter without his darkness. There isn’t a single aspect of my life that hasn’t improved since I left. His constant nagging, negative outlook and controlling tendencies took every ounce of energy I had, leaving nothing for anyone else or anything else. Now, I’m happy for the first time in a long time, and him telling me how miserable he is with me gone doesn’t faze me at all. Maybe he should have treated me better.
  9. I never meant to hurt him. Contrary to what he might think, I didn’t leave to ruin his life. I will always have a special place in my heart for him as my first love, despite what he did to me. I wish I’d realized things sooner and that I saved us both some of the heartache, but the truth is I want the best for him—I just want no part of it myself.
  10. I would walk away again in a heartbeat. Our fallout was messy and it was painful, but it was the most important thing I’ve ever done. And though it took so much out of me, I would do it again no questions asked. He may have realized he messed up, but for me, I made the best possible choice.
We only have one chance to live this life and I'm making the most of it. I'll make plenty of mistakes along the way but each one will send me further down the right path.