Breaking up with a person who'll refuse to break up
August 25, 2010 7:36 PM Subscribe
Breaking up with a boyfriend who seems to be getting increasingly removed from reality, and is almost guaranteed not to accept the breakup? I'm preoccupied with thoughts of how this could get worse.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (22 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
He and I have been working for many months try to salvage any good relationship out of the long-term romantic relationship we had. He's been better- and worse-behaved at various times. It's time to stop working now -- time to start the process ("process" because I'm 100% sure he'll refuse at first) of fully disengaging. I truly wanted to maintain some relationship, but contact with him has become both incredibly frustrating/draining and increasingly creepy. So I need no more contact.
I have some details below, but if you want to skip them, the most important part is that I'm hoping for advice about 1) the wording and method of conveying "no more contact anymore" and 2) dealing with his virtually inevitable reaction (insistence on not stopping the contact).
Re. method: I have stopped wanting to communicate by phone or in person because of his extraordinary capacity for denial and fantasy. Even in writing he will ignore my most explicit statements if they're not what he wants to hear -- but at least in writing I have proof of what I actually said. I don't know how I should combine phone and email now. (I don't know if an "email breakup" is terrible, or less terrible since we've been breaking up for months and he will just refuse to listen to reality by phone.) It has always mattered so much to me not to hurt him / to minimize the hurt as much as I possibly can. That's why I've kept going so long with the salvaging attempts, which I accept has been a fundamental mistake on my part. :(
1) He's reached the point where he's just inventing stuff -- stuff that can be objectively disproven in many cases, using only our own communications -- about nonexistent promises I've made (and of course then "broken"), lies I've told him, and delusions I'm having (especially the delusion that I've freely and happily chosen the changes in my life including moving to a different city -- he says he sees that I am trapped in a "bad situation" I just don't know how to escape [!]). This is what feels so creepy, his increasing distance from reality.
2) I've been clear that I'm not comfortable having sex with him or spending a night sleeping in bed with him given the state things are in, yet he keeps asking and keeps saying he "knows" I want to spend nights with him. (Our last sex was more than five months ago, and our only meeting in person during the last several months [talking, for most of a daytime] was one month ago.)
3) I've lived in a different city than his for most of the last year; he knows my current address, although he's never visited here. I live in a freestanding house that's not especially secure in any way (and he's a recreational lock-picker like him). He may have some degree of a grudge against the people I now live with for enticing me away from him / away from his city, although so far he seems to be blaming that on me and my 'delusions' rather than on them. I've never known him to be remotely physically violent and I don't have any suggestion at all that he would be, but I'm preoccupied with concerns that he'll come here to insist on talking to me.
4) There are material loose ends, including some of my things still in his apartment. I'm willing to give these things up (I wish I didn't have to, but I accept that if it's for the best). I'm most concerned about how to make these things not an excuse for him to keep contacting me. I've been fortunate enough to have never had a bad breakup before, so I don't have experience with 'breakup rules' for stuff like this.