I Helped Him Through A Life Rut & He Dumped Me When He Got Out Of It

My ex-boyfriend’s life was in shambles. He told me this on our fourth date, but I thought it was so sweet of him to be open that I’d support him if we got together. We started dating officially and I was his number one cheerleader. The only problem is that he left me on the sidelines as soon as his life improved. WTF?

  1. He needed rescuing and I thought I was up to the task. He was going through a rough patch that never seemed to end, to be honest. He was always losing jobs and running out of money but I loved him, so I was always there to support him. “Support” usually meant bailing him out when he couldn’t pay his rent on time (again) and giving him pep talks until rainbows almost flew out of my ears.
  2. It quickly became exhausting. Confession time: it was damn tiring always having to pick him up and be the positive one in the relationship. At first I thought it wasn’t really his fault—he was just unlucky, right?—but then I started to see that he was always attracting and creating drama for himself. He was hard on people and acted as though the world owed him something.
  3. I still supported him. I wasn’t going to leave him or anything, I just wanted him to get out of his “rough patch” so we could have a healthy relationship and I wouldn’t feel tired all the time. Then something happened that I really wasn’t expecting.
  4. His luck turned around. Slowly, things got better. He managed to hold down a good-paying job so he didn’t have to ask me for money every few days or weeks. I thought this was fantastic and my prayers had been answered, but there was a big catch.
  5. He started changing. When he started feeling more motivated and ambitious, wanting to make a success of himself, I was so proud of him. He got promoted quickly and then had to go to a nearby city for work. When he came back, he wasn’t his new bubbly self anymore.
  6. I panicked—something was up. I thought that he was sliding back into the darkness or something had gone wrong on his business trip. I kept trying to contact him but he wasn’t really interested in talking to me. This was new. I was usually the one he turned to and asked for help to get him out of the bad slump he was in, but now I was the one chasing him. He remained out of reach. What was going on?
  7. I went into rescue mode again. I was living off the script we’d been following from the start of our relationship. I was going to rush in and try to help him, get him out of his bad time, and support him. All I needed was a Wonder Woman costume and I’d be good to go—or so I thought. He was about to flip the script on me.
  8. He finally took my calls but I wish he hadn’t. I was ready to give him all the motivational pep talks he could stomach, but he wasn’t in need of those. He said that he was doing fine but he was just really busy with work. Uh, okay. He then said that it would be better if we went our separate ways because he wasn’t going to have much time for a relationship now that he’d been promoted.
  9. Wait a minute, what just happened? He was ditching his number one supporter just like that? After everything we’d been through and how much I’d helped him? I couldn’t believe the way he was turning his back on me just because he didn’t need me anymore. It was sickening.
  10. It’s given me a huge fear in my later relationships. With some time, I got over that loser, but I never fully got over the fear of it happening again. Even if the guy I’m dating isn’t going through a tough time his life, I still worry that if his life gets better than it is when I enter it, like if he has a big break in his career, he’ll realize that he doesn’t need me.
  11. I can’t help how I feel but I’m working on it. I’m still a loyal, supportive GF. I just worry that the person I’m with will turn on me the way that jerk of an ex did. I now know how important it is to make sure that my partner supports me the same way I support him, otherwise, the relationship becomes toxic. I also know how important it is to get with someone who’s self-sufficient and can help themselves instead of ask me for money all the time. But still, that niggling fear is always there. I know it might sound irrational, but it’s hard not to worry about it sometimes.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.