It’s a humbling moment when you finally realize your relationship isn’t as great as you thought it was. When that moment came for me, I did everything in my power to try to fix it. For months, I sacrificed my own happiness trying to make things better with my boyfriend — but I finally had to give up and end things when I saw the bitter truth:
I was the only one trying.
This relationship was supposed to involve two people, but when things got rough, I kicked my efforts into high gear while he just went along for the ride. I was always the one to reach out and try to fix things, and he was always the one to shut down. All the love in the world can’t save a relationship if half of the team isn’t playing.
I’d built up too much resentment.
Even when he finally started to realize that he were going to lose me if he didn’t start trying, it was too little, too late. I resented all the things he’d said and hadn’t said to me, and I resented putting so much effort in for so long while he only began trying when he went into panic mode. I felt like I’d spent hours baking the best cake I could, and he just went and bought a cheap one from the grocery store and passed it off as homemade.
I was tired.
Trying to fix a rough patch in a relationship is tough work, and my heart could only handle so much. I was emotionally exhausted, and I hit a point where I decided I just couldn’t keep going anymore. I wanted to, sure, but there was only so much I could do before accepting that enough was enough.
It wasn’t worth it.
Our relationship was good, but not good enough to make so many sacrifices in an attempt to get us back to how we were “before.” Plus, I knew that even if we could somehow pull off a miracle, we’d probably end up in the exact same place a little while down the road. Every time we thought we’d fixed things, it was like a cheap band-aid when we really needed surgery.
It felt too forced.
I know long-term relationships are rarely easy, but this just felt TOO difficult. We were supposed to be working on ourselves because we loved each other because we swore we were meant to be together, but instead, it felt like we were trying to make something happen that just wasn’t supposed to happen. I had to make myself see that just because I wanted us to be together didn’t mean it was right for us to be together.
I wasn’t sure what I was trying to save.
After spending such a long time in a miserable, sexless, argumentative relationship, it became harder and harder to see why I was trying to make this work. We had our good times, but at this point, they were far outweighed by all the bad times. As much as I treasured those good times, I figured out that we’d both be a lot happier either single or with other people.
he didn’t want to communicate.
Every time I tried to open up to him, every time I tried to get him to open up to me, he’d shut down. He’d refuse to tell me what was going through her head, and sometimes he’d just walk out of the room while I was in the middle of a sentence. “I don’t want to talk about it right now” was a sentence I heard all the time, and eventually, I learned that “right now” actually meant “ever.” I couldn’t read his mind, and I couldn’t be with someone who refused to do the most crucial part of any relationship.
The foundation was the broken part.
We were trying to make the bruises go away, unaware that they were caused by broken bones. The little fights we had were just symptoms of much bigger issues, and by the time we realized it, both of us were too tired to go that deep to try to fix them. The very structure of our relationship was broken, and at this point, it was too late to knock it all down and restart from scratch.
I realized how little we really knew each other.
I thought I knew him as well as I knew myself, but when things went wrong, we both turned into people that we didn’t recognize. We became shadows of the people we’d fallen in love with, and whether it was the stress of all the fighting or just the inevitable ending of the “honeymoon phase,” I wasn’t sure. All I knew was that the person standing in front of me was a virtual stranger, and when I saw the way he looked at me, I knew he was thinking the same thing.
My heart was hurting.
I couldn’t take it anymore. I was in so much pain from trying and trying and trying, only to realize that nothing I did was working. I loved him more than I ever thought possible, but I realized I was sacrificing my own happiness trying to repair what we had. Letting he go was hard, but not nearly as hard as trying so hard to keep him with me while knowing it was only putting off the inevitable.
I couldn’t stand to see him so miserable.
I would have kept working on us forever if I thought it would make him happy, but I could see it in his eyes and hear it in his voice: he wasn’t happy with me. He might have thought he was, but I saw the difference between how he was before and how he was towards the end. Once I knew that he’d be happier without me, that was all I needed to finally let go and end things for both of us.
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