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It's Like A Nightmare


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I have posted about my relationship problems with my boyfriend of 5 years. It ended for good on Saturday in the worst possible way. Not only have I lost my partner, best friend and someone I considered family, but now I have to process how it happened and that what we had may not have even been real.

To give some background, we had a great relationship for the first couple years. I never doubted that I was with the person I would spend my life with. We were so strong and in love and I was incredibly happy. I couldn't wait for our future. About 2 years ago, he started to have health issues that caused a lot of pain and I saw him deteriorate over time. inevitably, it changed our relationship. We stopped being able to make plans, I became a caregiver and we both became depressed. I never questioned whether or not I would be by his side and help him in any way that I could.

At the same time, I had started a very stressful job in a toxic work environment (which is a whole other post in itself). I was overwhelmed and didn't have much support at the time. My boyfriend's problems came first. Eventually, his doctor told him that a test may have indicated that it was cancer. We spent over a month in agony awaiting the results of the biopsy. It was negative, but it still went undiagnosed.

He was prescribed narcotics to manage the pain. When we first got together, he told me that he had a problem with Percocet a few years prior after he was prescribed it for an injury. He told me that would never happen again. Naturally, I was concerned that being prescribed the same medication for an undiagnosed illness could lead him down that road again. My parents sat me down one day to tell me that they knew he had stolen painkillers from my dad. I was devastated that he would hide an addiction from me and that he would steal from my family who have always loved him and treated him like their own son. I decided to forgive him and move forward as long as he got better. So did my family.

He swore he stopped taking them, but I don't believe he truly did. A few months later, we were arguing almost every day. I no longer trusted him and this wasn't the only lie or half-truth that I caught him in. He decided to separate himself from the relationship indefinitely. The separation and his treatment of me broke my heart.

A month later, he calls out of the blue to tell me he was laid off. We began talking again. I agreed to help him with bills until he found a job because he didn't have anyone else and he would have to move out of state if he could not make ends meet. I still loved him and I helped him believing he would do the exact same thing for me. One month turned into five and I became resentful. I never wanted to be the girl who paid her boyfriend's rent. "How pathetic" I always found those girls to be, yet here I am. When he finally found employment, I never even asked to be paid back. All I wanted was for him to get his life on track and be responsible with his money so that we could start building a future. I truly believed he would do all the things he promised when he was able. He didn't.

We began fighting even more frequently. I felt that I had given him and our relationship everything I possibly could, and he wasn't holding up his end of the deal. I accused him of only coming back because he needed my help. About a month ago, he walked out of our relationship again.

He told me that he wanted to go to counseling and do what he can to make things better because he hadn't given up on us. I was angry that he left me yet again. Especially when I hadn't done anything wrong or harmed the relationship in the ways he had. But I was still willing to give counseling a try. I wasn't giving up.

During this time he would contact me here and there but he refused to really talk about what we were doing or what was happening. He told me he was working 7 days a week to make a deadline and we would talk when work slowed down. As insulting as that was to me, I accepted it. I saw on Facebook however, that he had time to update his page and go out with friends. I guess he was just "too busy" for me. Livid, I called him out on this. He still maintained that he wanted to work on things and he only went out the one time. He planned to come talk to me that weekend. He didn't.

Angry, I contacted him again. He told me he was still working all the time but that he would let me know what was going on. He didn't.

Finally, on Saturday I showed up at his apartment. I wasn't going to give him a chance to ignore or avoid me. Surprise! He was home, not working. In fact he was getting ready to go to his boss's birthday party. Stunned, I blew up at him for everything he was putting me through. I was disgusted by the way he was treating me after everything I had done for him. I demanded answers and explanations.

He told me that he was seeing a counselor on his own (I guess keeping me updated was yet another lie) and that she validated his feelings. He told me he was bitter towards the idea of marriage and kids (even though he was the one talking about this almost from day 1) and that he can't give me what I want and for my own sake, he's letting me go because I deserve better. I haven't felt rage like that before. I couldn't believe it. But he was right...I do deserve a lot better than that.

He then told me that he had a party to get to. Like none of this - or me - even mattered. I asked him how he could be okay with this being the last time he ever sees me and he ends it this way. He told me I should've called first and drove away while I sat in my car sobbing. I'm still in shock.

Several months ago, I bought Dr. Phil's book called Life Code after seeing an episode on TV about people in your life who are takers, imposters, etc. The book teaches you how to recognize them. Cheesy, I know. But for some reason I felt like I should read it. I never even opened it until last night. And then I couldn't believe what I was reading. He was the person this book described. When I bought the book, I was too scared to know the truth. Too scared to put words to what I couldn't explain or what I didn't want to acknowledge.

I believed he was a good, genuine person with a beautiful heart who had It rough growing up. I believed he loved me and wanted the best for me no matter what. I now feel like he is a user, a liar and lacks empathy. I feel as though I was preyed upon. Taken advantage of my kindness, loyalty, generosity and desire to be loved for who I am.

Not only have I lost the most important person in my life (besides family), it might not have been real to begin with. I don't know how to move past this shock and grief. I will never fully understand how or why this happened. I will never have questions answered. I feel like a fool.

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I should also say that in addition to what I lost, my dreams and plans for my future are gone as well. He took the most important years of my life away in terms of finding a partner, getting married and having kids. I'm older now and time and options are becoming ever more limited. It may take years for me to recover if I ever do. I feel like I might need to let go of those dreams completely.

If the one person who loved me most and knew me best, knew everything about me could do this to me, then who wouldn't? I've never felt so worthless in my life.

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I'm sorry to hear that your relationship ended, and in that way.

 

In another thread, you mention taking the opportunity to reconnect with yourself - and paying attention to loved ones and those who are supportive.

 

That seems like sound advice.  There's no need to let go of your dreams and plans for the future; this may delay them a bit, but every day is a new day.

 

Take a little time to see what lessons you can learn from this relationship and the loss, and then move on.  Focus on those dreams and plans and work the plan.  Every day.

 

All my best.

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Thank you Ratboy. When he walked out the 2nd time, I knew it would likely end for good this time. As much as I tried to prepare myself, I didn't do a very good job. I played the waiting game for over a month trying to get answers as to where his head was knowing he might be ending it and I was emotionally checking out of the relationship and becoming more and more angry because of all the unnecessary pain I was being put through. I tried to live my life as though it was already over. Nonetheless, it came as a shock. I always believed as strong as our love was for each other, ending things would be devastating for us both. That doesn't appear to be the case.

You're right, I knew a while ago and posted exactly what I needed to do in order to try and cope with this outcome. And this is where the depression comes in. People who don't struggle are sad, angry and confused following the ending of a long term relationship as well but eventually have that motivation to get on with it and do all the things they need to do. My depression is preventing me from doing those things right now. I can't stop the reel from playing in my head over and over - how it ended, everything I've lost, all the time we spent together, especially the good times, how much I still love and miss him even though I'm angry - and now how he will eventually move on with someone else and potentially give them what he was unable or unwilling to give me. It's overwhelming. I hate to say it, but while 5 years isn't an eternity, I almost don't remember who I was before we met. I know that I was a much happier, confident and complete version of myself. Also younger and a bit naive. I'm scared this will change who I am and that it might have changed who I could have been.

I wish I could accept this. I wish I could pick myself up and dust myself off and feel certain of who I am and what I deserve and that I will be okay.

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I understand - I've been there before.  I AM there, in certain ways.

 

Just remember, as trite and unfeeling as it may sound, YOU are in charge of how you feel.  You've still got all of your faculties.  Time stretches out before you.  Don't let this man rule your life anymore... perhaps he was right.  You DO deserve better.  Now go out and find it.

 

:console:

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I am so sorry to hear about what you have ben through, True1.  Please don't give up.  It's important for you to find yourself again.  I am glad you got something out of that Dr. Phil book.  Sometimes we hear the right thing at the right time and it just resonates with us. 

As for your ex, I think he was speaking the absolute truth (whether he meant to or not) - yes, you deserve better.  Certainly better that what he'd been able to come up with lately. 

I really wish that you will find that 'better', whatever it may be.  You deserve no less than to be happy and whole and loved for who you are.

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Thank you, Ratboy and Orso your kind and encouraging words mean so much to me.

It's tough how if you were on the outside looking in at your own life you would know exactly what to tell yourself to do. You would have all the answers. But somehow when it's happening to you that clarity isn't there.

How can somebody be your constant in life and the next day leave like its nothing? I'm really struggling to come to terms with this.

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I know what you are going through, I lost myself too in the breakup two and a half months ago and I am suffering in the same nightmare as you are. My ex moved on way faster that me too. I have no real advice, except you are not alone in this hell.

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I'm sorry that you're going through the same thing. It truly is like a death. The relationship, the dreams attached to it - and you have to grieve it like you would a death. It's almost like adding insult to injury to know that the other person can move on while we're still reeling.

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Last night I met up with some old coworkers from the law firm where I worked for happy hour (the toxic work environment mentioned above, and I remained friends with some of them). I figured what I need is to put myself out there more, do things with friends and be social. I think this was a mistake. The male attorneys who were there basically talked about the affair they both had with a married female attorney as well as various other "conquests". They knew I had just recently broken up with my boyfriend and basically told me that dating has changed since I was last single and that I'm not gonna find "the one" at this point and that I should just sleep around. Anyone who knows me knows that is the opposite of who I am. I was completely disgusted and I felt defeated and thinking that I should just give up on finding what I want because this is what is out there.

I admit, I'm old fashioned when it comes to dating and everything else. I also don't cheat and I don't sleep around when I'm single either. I can't be the only one like me out there, but they made me feel as though I'm completely naive as to how it all works now for most people. It even had me questioning if in all my relationships, I thought they were one way but was being deceived. I'm not looking to start dating, this time is supposed to be about me and rediscovery. But am I naive? Is this how it is out there and should I give up trying to find a like-minded partner?

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No, no matter what anyone says, they are just projecting an opinion about something so big and intangible that you cannot quantify it or categorize just by a small number of relationships.Even if you dated a 100 men, and got into 50 relationships, it still wouldn't be enough to state that this is how love or dating is in this time period. Love is a big thing that no one really knows what is, even if they claim they do, it is different things stitched into a patchwork idea. Dating is the same. So their opinion is not more worth than yours. Of course there are people just like you out there, no matter what happens to you, there will always be people out there that would want nothing but find someone to settle down with and love. 

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Thank you, it helps to know I'm not alone with all of this because it's so easy to feel that way. I grew up in a religious environment. I went to church and Christian school all the way up until college. I don't consider myself religious anymore and I wanted to go in a different direction than the majority of my classmates did (going to Christian college and getting married young). I wonder now looking back, might I have been happier if I did?

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That is impossible to say, there are many what if lives out there, but we only have this life to live. Just because you had a religion doesn't mean that you would automatically have a better life. You will find someone when the time comes, I know you are hurting, I know you feel lonely, but what helps me is to tell myself every time I miss my ex is that she is not the person I loved, the thing that I miss is the memories we had, and they are memories about the love she gave me and the support. Now she doesn't give me that or cares about me that way, so I realize is that I miss the past, which is sadly gone. Not sure if that helps you, but the person you loved and knew has changed, so have you, this has changed you both, even if it's hard to believe because of the love we still feel inside. 

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That is very true. It's impossible to know whether the path I chose was the right one. I also know that the person I loved wouldn't have let things end the way they did because it did not honor or respect what we had (or I guess what I thought we had). Maybe he changed or maybe this is the way he always was and this is just what happened under these circumstances. Intellectually I know that I deserve a lot better and that I did not deserve a lot of the things that happened in this relationship. I have to believe that what I deserve is out there, no an unrealistic fantasy. Somehow, none of it lessens the pain. At least for now.

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It won't lessen the pain until you have grieved, this is a loss, just like a death, there is no way of stopping the pain completely. Let yourself grieve the loss of it, only then will your logic have a role in it. You just gotta  feel the emotions and then use your intellect when you feel ready for it. No need to think about the future relationships until you feel more ready for it emotionally. 

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Every time I feel like I've turned a corner with all of this, I'm brought right back to where I was. I noticed my ex blocked all of my friends and family on Facebook...he deleted all pictures of us together. And he continues to add more girls. I know I shouldn't have looked...but I'm still trying to get answers. I have done nothing wrong in this relationship. I don't understand how he can so easily and so quickly rid his life of me and everyone else associated. I can't understand how he can let our last interaction be what it was.

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Hi True1,

 

I believe that just because he was the one who left doesn't mean he is doing so well. He also lost a friend and as you mention you have been a great support to him.

 

While he generally was a burden to you, you were always there to support him. 

 

And also how people deal with loss differs. You do not prefer sleeping around, etc. but maybe he does. Inreasing number of girls in his Facebook account does not mean he is happy and moved on.

 

Even if so, this does not put you in a worse situation. I think you should be proud of yourself for doing such a great job on that relationship. It shows that you are a good person and a good friend. 

 

When I experience such a loss, I try to remember good things and try to enjoy the experience of loving and caring for a person. 

 

I hope you will be moving on very soon. None of this is your fault anyway. 

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Thank you, half a person. I think you're right, everyone experiences loss differently. I have no idea how he is or what is going through his head. Maybe his indifference or matter-of-factness is a defense or coping mechanism. And maybe he truly isn't very effected by this. Either way, I did the best I could with what I had for both of us, even right up until the end. I may not have always gone about things the right way, but I did nothing wrong in the relationship. I held him accountable and this was the long-term result of being unwavering with that. I might be alone, but at least I can come away from this knowing that I loved completely, always did right by him, and that I was the kind of partner that I would like to have. Thank you for your kind words.

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