My ex and I broke up and got back together so often that I rarely knew where I stood with him. I was tired of the on-again, off-again thing we had going but couldn’t break the vicious cycle for the longest time. All it took to get out for good was opening my eyes to what was really going on.
We started spending holidays separately. Our last Christmas together, my parents invited us to spend the night on Christmas Eve and celebrate Christmas morning as well. After a lot of begging, my ex agreed to stay over… only to tell me that night that he was bluffing and thought I would let him off the hook when the time came. After that, we went our own ways around the holidays and it was the beginning of the (true) end for us.
Nasty became my main tone of voice. I like to think that I’m a pretty nice person, but any time I talked to my former boyfriend, I was just nasty. I was snarky, sassy, and sometimes even downright rude. There wasn’t any particular reason for this and that was one of the ways I knew that this relationship was finally reaching its breaking point.
He started farting in front of me all the time. My mom has always told me that people don’t change and that if there was something about a partner that really bothered me, I should consider how big of a problem it was and could become. I was absolutely disgusted by my ex farting in front of me. I repeatedly asked him not to do it and told him that I didn’t find it funny but he just didn’t care.
The weight on my shoulders just kept getting heavier. Our relationship became a chore and the burden of it became overwhelming. It was work to get along, and I felt more obligated than happy when we were together. When we finally broke up for good, I instantly— and I mean instantly—felt this massive weight lifted right off my shoulders. I felt like I could breathe again and had so much hope for what the future holds.
I had to bargain to get what I wanted in bed. This really bothered me. Some men go out of their way to please their partners and some just don’t. Towards the end of our relationship, the latter was the case in my relationship. I would have to negotiate my orgasms by promising to do things for him in return. The thought of having to do that for the foreseeable future was enough to make me walk right out the door.
My parents invited me to come home. Sometimes our parents see things that we don’t and know we need help before we do. I specifically remember my mother telling me that if I ever needed to come home, I was more than welcome. There’s no doubt part of the reason my ex-boyfriend and I had stayed together was that we lived together. Finding my own place sounded exhausting and expensive and it was easier to just stay, but when my mom opened the door to moving out and coming home, I started to truly consider breaking things off for good.
Advice from my grandmother hit hard. Wise and witty in her mid-70s, my grandmother said to me one day, “Men are like buses: there’s always another one coming along.” A lot of us stay in these on again off again relationships because we think we won’t find anyone else and admittedly I thought that way at one point. Spoiler alert: my grandma was right.
He straight out asked me if I loved him anymore. Sometimes we go through our day-to-day lives without asking the big questions of ourselves and our relationships. We assume we love someone because we put up with their BS, cater to their needs above our own, and don’t want to go through the hassle of finding our own apartments. That’s not love. A day or two after an Easter we didn’t spend together, my ex-boyfriend looked and me and asked if I still loved him. I didn’t think, didn’t pause—I just said no.
He moved on really quickly. After we broke up for the last time, we still lived together for about two weeks. Within those two weeks, he was already bringing other girls to our apartment as if he couldn’t wait the measly 14 days to hook up with someone new. Even if I had an inkling of getting back together, it left such a bad taste in my mouth. I couldn’t even imagine being friends with him after that, let alone getting back together.
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