When I break up with a guy, I like to end things with as little drama as possible. However, after my last relationship ended, I realized how important it was to stand up for myself after not doing it much over the course of our relationship. Unfortunately, that came a little late.
I decided to stop fighting. We both brought baggage into the relationship but his was more prominent than mine. Eventually, the stress of it made it impossible to move forward and we knew we needed to end things. I wanted to keep fighting but he didn’t so I had to accept that we were over even though I thought we could’ve done more to save our relationship. I thought I was doing the right thing.
I let him take control. Like most of our relationship, I let him control the terms of our split. Granted, the actual breakup was mutual, but I still went along with all of his suggestions about how to handle things afterward. I didn’t want to get into any more fights and frankly, I was just exhausted so I let him take the reigns. The thing is, it never bothered him one bit and he never asked if there was anything I needed to move on. He decided how we would handle mutual friends, he made plans on how to avoid running into each other, etc. That made me feel worse than anything else.
I didn’t express my feelings or say what I needed to say. I get that after you break up with someone, there isn’t really a need to go over and over the ending with each other. You end things and you move on, but not before there’s some form of discussion to give you both closure. He wasn’t interested in that at all. I agreed that we needed to stop seeing each other but I still wanted to make sure I said my piece so I could fully let go. I wasn’t given that choice, but I didn’t exactly voice my needs either. I walked away without any final conversation and in my mind, that meant things were always up in the air.
I made everything more about him than about me. I noticed that I did this from time to time while we were dating, but it got worse after we broke up, if that’s even possible. When we were together, I often just let him win arguments because he was more sensitive than I was. I made excuses for him to anyone I talked to and justified his behavior before and after our breakup. I had always wanted to protect him because he had a rough past. It just seemed kinder to let things slide not make a big deal about things even if I was completely wrecked over us not working out. Looking back, this was the wrong move and it was just enabled him to keep treating me like nothing we had meant anything. Never again.
I went into hiding. Once we were done, I respected his wishes and avoided anywhere we might run into each other. I avoided a lot of social gatherings and cut ties with most mutual friends that still hung out with him, all of which led me to shut down even more than I normally do when I’m going through something rough. I couldn’t face things without breaking down so I built up an emotional wall to avoid feeling anything. It wasn’t until some time had passed that I realized I had nothing to hide from. We were both adults and should be able to handle things gracefully but he made me feel like I had no choice but to seclude myself while he continued to live his life.
I didn’t hold him accountable. He essentially told me to stay away, to not reach out to him unless absolutely necessary, and to just “get over it.”I guess these are somewhat reasonable requests, but it was the way he chose to go about it that made me upset. He didn’t have to own up to anything, even though it was his baggage and trust issues that caused us to break up in the first place. We talked at length about how one of his biggest pet peeves is people not taking responsibility for their actions while we were together yet he was the perfect example of that. It’s my fault for letting him get away with it and I’ll always regret that.
I gave up on love completely. I know that when I’m heartbroken, I claim I’ll never love again over and over, but this was the closest I’ve ever come to actually meaning it. I’d been put through the wringer by a guy I loved more than life itself. All my trust was gone, I didn’t know what was real or what to believe anymore, and the thought of ever loving another person again just didn’t seem like an option. I actively told myself that I was done with relationships and needed to accept being happy with what I had now: friends and family, a good job, my health. I didn’t need to put myself in a position ever again to be hurt like that. I know now that I can’t let one relationship, no matter how devastating, close me off from ever finding that again with someone else.
I let it define me for too long. I started to accept I was going to be “that” girl. I try to work through the hard things, put all of my effort into every relationship… and end up having nothing to show for it when they break my heart. I had made a sort of peace with it and when I finally decided to maybe open myself up again, I went in with the mindset that I had to take what I could get. I never gave myself a chance to experience something amazing because I was so cynical and was sure I’d just get screwed over again. I started to settle and get used to this idea. Thankfully, I’m now starting to see how ridiculous that is. Even if my history says otherwise, I can do so much better and I’m determined to do so.
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