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There's something missing in my house.
December 1, 2012 1:00 AM   Subscribe

My partner has temporarily moved out due to financial difficulty. Does the pain ever end?

She had her car repossessed and they're auctioning it Monday. Today she came home, told me her Mom said she would lend her the $1100 but only under the condition that she move back in. She's gone now.

We're a homosexual couple and her Mom didn't approve, which is probably the main reason for that ultimatum. I'm trying to come up with the money to help but with the short time frame (she would need it before she goes to work tomorrow at 8am, nothing's going to be open in time) things are looking grim.

I don't know what to do. I feel as if this is the worst pain I've ever been in. Her things are still here and she's coming to pick them up later. I now have to find another place to stay because I can't stay in our home by myself - it hurts too much. It was the first place we chose together, signed the lease together. The first place that wasn't "well she's over so often and oh her toothbrush and clothes are here so we kinda live together."

But it hurts to even think of seeing her, going out on dates, things of that sort. It hurts that we won't wake up together anymore, we won't have dinner or lunch together, we won't stay up late at night watching TV, having pillow talk, making love anything. She'll have a set time she has to be home and I know from experiences that her Mom isn't going to want her staying here too frequently (we went through that before we moved in together) and I doubt she'll defy that because her Mom is helping her.

I don't know how to deal. I've never felt like this before. The thought of seeing her again, hugging her, anything just hurts too much. I'm hurt that she didn't want to stay and try to work out sharing a vehicle. I feel like she broke up our family unit, something we were building together. I told her I could take care of the rent, bills, groceries and what-not until she got back on her feet, but she doesn't want me to do that and that won't help her get her car back in time anyway.

I just need to know how to cope. Some nights I can't fall asleep without her. Our schedules are so different and we usually only had time together between school and work. I'd wait up for her and we'd cuddle and talk and fall asleep together. Now she's so far away that most of that time will be gone. Also, I'm alone... in our home together... with all of her things. And I'll either be here when she picks them up or I'll come home one day and it'll all be gone. She tells me she wants to move back in together when she gets on her feet financially... but knowing her finances, I don't know when or if that will happen. She'll be done with school this month, but she owes them money. So she has to pay her Mom off, then that off... then what if she decides she doesn't want to move back in together until after she finishes law school? She said it would be under a year but I feel like this is the end for us. I'm afraid that I'll wait... and wait... and wait... and wait...

Part of me is furious with her for letting her payments get that far behind and not taking action before something like this happened. Part of me is furious with myself for not saying sooner, "Hey, let me help you out with this month's payment." I knew she was behind, I just never thought anything like this would happen. She'd have needed $300 or so dollars to catch up. I wish I could go back in time and offer it to her. I feel like I was selfish - I lent her money for her car payments before via credit card and it was like yanking teeth just to get her to make a payment on that every month. So when she told me she was behind I didn't speak up, and now I feel like, she was my partner. I should have helped her anyway. I should have thought of us the way I wanted her to tonight - as a partnership who goes through tough times together. I should have offered to pay her share of the bills for a month or two so she could focus on her car, and told her not to worry about paying me back. Anything.

I'm sorry for the rambling. It's hard to describe the pain I'm in right now. It feels different from a break up because there's no closure. She still wants to be together, but I don't even know if I can handle that. I told her on the phone I didn't think I could handle it and we were done. She asked me to wait and see how I feel once I've given the pain time and I've agreed.

But still, how do I go to sleep at night without her? How do I wake up in the morning with her not there next to me? How do I look in the dresser and see only my stuff? How do I pick out a Christmas tree, alone? How do I forgive her? I realize that in her scenario she probably felt like she had no other option. She needs her car to get to work and school, and sharing would help but we don't know if that would work long term. She told me it broke her heart too and that she wanted to marry me someday and to please understand. She actually said the words, "please be my wife [someday?]" and I said... nothing. But moved out so suddenly... She came home, I thought everything was fine. She told me. Then an hour later she was gone for good. I cried hysterically the whole time. I feel hysterical. I feel alone. I'm lucky that I have the weekend off because I don't know if I would have it in me to go to work tomorrow.

I feel it would actually be -less- painful if she had moved back due to relationship problems. People separate all the time, there's support groups for that, I'm sure I could buy a book. That would make sense to me. This doesn't. How do I help myself heal? Thank you, if you've gotten this far.
posted by Pericardium to Human Relations (31 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Ok, so that sucks you’re no longer cohabitating, but seriously?

I feel like I was selfish - I lent her money for her car payments before via credit card and it was like yanking teeth just to get her to make a payment on that every month.

No. You are not selfish. This is not your fault. Don’t buy her repossessed auctioned car. Ever heard the expression “Money can’t buy you love?” Repossessed auctioned-off cars sure as fuck won’t buy you love. If this is the issue here in your relationship, you have been exploited. Do you have a car of your own? Would you hold this against you if you were her?

Anyhow.

I think you can make it work by talking on the phone late at night, texting, etc., but the financial thing I just ranted about? Big fucking deal. Maybe this is a good thing...
posted by oceanjesse at 1:26 AM on December 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm so sorry about your situation, it's a tough one.

The best advice I can give is to try and reevaluate the importance of now, of the present moment. I know it seems climactic and important that everything be decided immediately but I think it's important to know that, even if it seems it, the fate of your relationship is not going to end abruptly tonight.

I know it hurts now but I don't think it's ever good to make a situation into a yes/no immediate decision unless it needs to be. I understand that the lack of closure is part of what sucks about this bit I think it may help if you view that element as proof that everything is in flux. There is still time to evaluate what you want from this relationship and whether that is possible given the circumstances. I get that the uncertainty seems shitty but I think it may help to view it as a chance for you to manage this situation in a more relaxed, calm fashion and to recognize that you can get some sleep and not deal with this whole thing right now. You have time to figure out how to emerge from this as happy as possible.
posted by sendai sleep master at 1:48 AM on December 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Does the pain ever end?

Yes, it does. You're reeling right now, but it just happened, and what you're experiencing is an initial reaction, not a permanent condition. It's a big change, and figuring out how this is going to work will be an unpleasant process but it isn't going to kill you or destroy your capacity for happiness. It's just going to suck for a while.

Don't move out right away, or make other big decisions on the basis of these immediate feelings. Let yourself settle so you can think straight. Take care of yourself: sleep, eat. The sun will rise in the morning.
posted by jon1270 at 1:50 AM on December 1, 2012 [9 favorites]


Ok. Breathe! And again...Breathe! OK then -
First off, she left you for a CAR! A freaking CAR!
Ok, breathe again.....

Does the pain end. Yes, it does. Quicker than you might think when you stop trying to turn this into some sort of Shakespearean tragedy. The girl moved out for a car payment. Why are you crying!!!! That being said, yes, it will pass. It hurts like nothing you've ever experienced before, but it will pass - if you let it.

Take some time to be kind to yourself. Call some friends and re-center yourself. Don't ... DON'T leave your home unless you absolutely can't afford to stay there. It's your home and don't give it up for a stupid reason. Hunker down, get your peeps around you and carry on. For real.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 2:52 AM on December 1, 2012 [16 favorites]


As everyone has said, this is a time to be kind to yourself, to forgive yourself. Be furious, feel your anger, but don't beat yourself up with it. You WILL get through it. I see several signs in what you wrote above that suggest you are holding your ground and drawing a clear, safe boundary because you recognize some element of unhealthiness in this dynamic. It clashes with what your heart wants. That is part of the hurt, too. And it is ok and natural to A) see which you've never seen before, and B) be so conflicted about it, including anger, longing, empathy, frustration and all sorts of emotions that may or may not make sense together or separately.

"Part of me is furious with her for letting her payments get that far behind and not taking action before something like this happened. Part of me is furious with myself for not saying sooner, "Hey, let me help you out with this month's payment." I knew she was behind, I just never thought anything like this would happen."

I think there may also be a part of you is furious because this isn't just about finances...her lack of responsibility and engagement isn't just a behavioral blind spot that's relegated to the money sector of her life. You could substitute other words for "payment" there. This is just the tangible instantiation of the bigger problem. Which, based on what you wrote above, I think you recognize on some level. That is good, but no less painful, I know.

I'm really sorry...I know it hurts very much.

You will get through. You will. Stay where you are. All of this is survivable and you will survive it. Find friends to lean on. Surround yourself with their words, thoughts, advice and comfort. And make sure you're a friend to yourself as well, letting yourself be comforted by your own words, thoughts and advice. Cut yourself some slack when your mind wanders into unrealistic fantasies, fits of rage, unhealthy thinking, and seemingly unending sadness. That's when the support network outside your head REALLY helps. For big and small things, from picking out trees to the time-and-thought intensive process of understanding and forgiveness. You will see how both are done, you will surprise yourself when they are, and you will find further yet odd comfort in all of that.
posted by iamkimiam at 3:18 AM on December 1, 2012 [7 favorites]


I was left for a car. I got a ride in it a couple of times. It was red and very sporty. It did me a huge favor. 25 years on, the driver is my Facebook friend, but not my lover and I wonder, now, why he ever was.

You deserve better. I deserve better. I don't know if either of us will get what we deserve, but better is surely better than reluctant.


My deepest and best wishes to you, and feel free to memail me. Please. Because I'm experiencing another red sports car thing that is not a red sports car, and the people who love me remind me that I'm awesome, and I deserve someone who just wants to be with me, no matter what.
posted by b33j at 4:46 AM on December 1, 2012 [5 favorites]


I'm hurt that she didn't want to stay and try to work out sharing a vehicle. I feel like she broke up our family unit, something we were building together.

Quite understandably...! You have been dumped for a car. In a sugar-coated fashion, by a coward, but.

I would be absolutely irate with her for all the bullshit -- forget what she is saying about marriage and so on and look at what she is doing, which is leaving -- and go ahead and grieve the end of the relationship. You can buy a book.

I should have thought of us the way I wanted her to tonight - as a partnership who goes through tough times together.

A lovely sentiment, quite useless with people who don't return it. "DTMFA" so you can go forward with grieving and re-building.
posted by kmennie at 6:13 AM on December 1, 2012 [7 favorites]


I think you're a very, VERY lucky woman to have had this eye-opening experience.

You are looking for a partner in life, someone who has the capacity to weather life's slings and arrows with you, and now this particular woman has just proved that she simply does not have the ability to become that for you. I'm thinking now of my friend who was devastated when her partner left her, claiming that the situation was too intense for her to handle. Worse: It was the night before my friend was scheduled for a major surgery with a long recovery time, and wouldn't be able to walk for weeks. My friend was scared and devastated. She had to scramble to make sure she had the proper supports for a difficult recovery. Family had to fly in to help her. It took her a long time to trust again. And several years later she found someone who loves her and they are a family. The woman who left her never would have had the ability to have that kind of relationship.

You will find love, you will be happy again. It just won't be with this particular person.
posted by mochapickle at 7:02 AM on December 1, 2012 [9 favorites]


Yes, this is a fresh wound and you are feeling it most intensely. You are feeling betrayed, which is a terrible thing to go through. It does heal, though. I promise. It takes some time and it's made a bit easier with devotion to treating yourself well. The part of you that felt it was over if it had to go back to furtive, part-time, castle-in-the-clouds status is your self-preservation, and it knows what's up. It's your love for yourself, and that's a love to count on.

Let yourself grieve this weekend. Don't wallow, exactly, but do grieve. Get the anger out. If there's anything you like doing to productively purge anger, do that. Make that plan for moving out and on (I'm so sorry you feel your shared space isn't tenable, because, whew, moving is exhausting...but you know what you can do and can't, so make it part of the healing process instead of a continuation of the hurting as much as you can). Give yourself an AWESOME Christmas.

If you have friendly, supportive people in your life, now is a good time to make fun plans with them and enjoy their company. If you're not quite at that point, maybe consider some new social activities to give your brain and heart some new connections to chew on.

While this was a big hit to your trust, it really seems to me like this means you've avoided a greater pain with this person down the line.
posted by batmonkey at 7:08 AM on December 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Money is one of the biggest reasons why couples break up. It's embedded in our lives in a way that it has to be agreed upon in some fashion if you're going to be living with someone. It sounds like your partner has been financially irresponsible, and that she's made you feel as if some of this is your fault.

Leaving someone for $1100 is a shitty thing to do, no matter what the circumstances are. Her mother is a controlling person, but your partner let herself be controlled.

You feel terrible, I know, but I think you should allow yourself to stay distant from your partner for awhile. She has to know that her actions have consequences and that one bailout doesn't mean that she can uproot both your lives whenever she wants to.
posted by xingcat at 7:15 AM on December 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


I think that part of the reason this is so painful for you is that you're trying to stop yourself from feeling the totally legitimate anger that you're feeling. I would be beyond pissed in your situation, not at myself, but at her. Go ahead and be furious.

You don't say how old both of you are, but I think the underlying problem here is that she's just not a grown up. That's a good thing to have brought to your attention, even in such a painful fashion.
posted by Ragged Richard at 7:17 AM on December 1, 2012 [8 favorites]


uh, how are you gonna get your share of the rent from her? you said she signed the lease, right?
posted by elle.jeezy at 7:43 AM on December 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I feel it would actually be -less- painful if she had moved back due to relationship problems. People separate all the time, there's support groups for that, I'm sure I could buy a book. That would make sense to me. This doesn't. How do I help myself heal? Thank you, if you've gotten this far.

Allow yourself to see this as a relationship problem, because it is/was. In a typical strong, steady relationship, moving out to live with a controlling mother and letting yourself actually be controlled by her, is not even an option that a person thinks about. So it might be a maturity thing, it might be something else, but bottomline is: she wasn't ready for a (or this) relationship.
So, allow yourself to see this as a breakup and try to make the break as clean as possible, dont let it drag on.
posted by Ms. Next at 7:51 AM on December 1, 2012 [5 favorites]


A partnership HAS to be 50/50. It's not going to work if someone wants to do less than 50%. That half includes all sorts of important things, including two big ones: financial responsibility and healthy boundaries with their family. Your former partner had neither of those things.

Your instinct to end the relationship was a good call. Fighting your gut reaction in this situation is going to lead to more frustration and heartache in the future. Putting in more than your 50% always does.

Dan Savage, MeFites and tons of other smart folks give this advice: focus on the relationship you want, not a particular person. It's infuriating advice when you are in love with the wrong person, because you are so attached. But you really need to look at the big picture. Do you want to spend the next ten or fifteen years playing mommy/savior to an adult (who, by the way, will most likely never acknowledge your help) or do you want equal footing in a relationship?

Having a real partner is wonderful. When people say a good relationship doesn't really take work, what they mean is that there are no questions such as, "What more can I do?". Because a person who is ready to be in an adult relationship takes care of herself and doesn't make unreasonable demands, like "make payments on this car I can't afford."

It takes time. Both to get past a failed relationship, and to find an equal partner. Don't try to rush either.

And, buy a book if you need it.
posted by peacrow at 7:54 AM on December 1, 2012 [16 favorites]


Wait, did this person not only do this shitty thing but walk out on a lease that you share? Everything about this is messed up. You really deserve to have a relationship with someone who is considerate, even if they aren't good with money. She wasn't ready to share a life with you, or do the hard work of communicating before crap hit the fan.

I feel it would actually be -less- painful if she had moved back due to relationship problems. People separate all the time, there's support groups for that, I'm sure I could buy a book. That would make sense to me.

This is a relationship problem. I know this is painful and impossible right now, but this woman was not ready for an adult relationship. You don't just walk out the door one day because you need 1100 bucks. Just because you weren't fighting or angry does not mean things were not problematic. You can still find a support group or read a book ( Sorry, I don't have recommendations for you, but other threads would). You've been treated very poorly, and it's okay to be unhappy, furious, miserable, and angry. But you should understand you didn't deserve to be treated with such a total lack of respect.
posted by oneirodynia at 11:44 AM on December 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Not knowing either of you, what this looks like from the outside is that you are a responsible, together, somewhat prone-to-caretaking in a relationship person who got involved with an irresponsible and hapless person who is not ready to be a partner to anyone. She got in over her head in debt and instead of working on it together, like trusting adult couples do, she bolted back to Mommy. Because she's scared. Not of being carless, but of having to grow up and do the scary things adults have to do, like acknowledge their own mistakes and fix them or pay the price. And leaving you that way while asking you to be her wife in the future just cements my impression. She can't commit to a partnership but she wants to keep you in a perpetual state of pining for her? That is selfish and unkind.

If I knew you in person, I'd take you out for a drink and say this in the kindest way possible: Bullet dodged.
posted by Lieber Frau at 2:08 PM on December 1, 2012 [6 favorites]


The thought of seeing her again, hugging her, anything just hurts too much. I'm hurt that she didn't want to stay and try to work out sharing a vehicle. I feel like she broke up our family unit, something we were building together.

It feels that way, because she did break up your family unit.

You feel upset because what you learned is that you were in a partnership, whereas she wasn't. That hurts to find out, but it's good you did.

Yes, there are some instances where cohabitating couples have to move apart, but can still maintain a partnership. Those circumstances, though, tend to look more like: Partner A has to go home and care for a ailing parent, but Partner B can't leave, because she is in the middle of army active duty/caring for a dying parent of her own/etc. But, in your situation, your girlfriend has agreed to move out -on terms that exist specifically to break up your relationship- and is okay doing so, because she needs some cash.

I would suspect that, on some level, you know that your separation is not due to a tragic circumstance beyond her control, but was a decision she made, and at your expense.

If you were my friend, I would take you out for a drink, just like Lieber Frau. Bullet dodged. You've learned the truth about your relationship, which hurts, but which means you can let yourself move on.

Feel hurt. Feel angry. Really let yourself feel her betrayal; you haven't done anything wrong here. Frankly she sounds young, and not ready for a real partnership. You also sound young, but also like a very generous and kind person. Be generous and kind to yourself. I know being in your formerly shared apartment is going to hurt, but maybe treat it like an adventure: it is a brand new place where you get to take care of you, and take hold of all the fabulous experiences that lay in front of you. Enjoy! It hurts, but you'll be okay.

Good luck.
posted by vivid postcard at 6:46 PM on December 1, 2012


I thought I'd update that she had exaggerated the time limit and I managed to come up with the money. She's thinking about whether or not to accept it because her Mom is saying she doesn't approve of our relationship, wanted to rescue her from bad times she's had with me, that our relationship will never be blessed because we're gay, and other things involving God and the bible. She also called my girlfriend a whore for considering the offer and said she "smells money and goes running." Then she said she needed to be an adult and face the consequences of letting her payments get behind, that she was abandoning their agreement (she moves home and her Mom pays it) and she felt hurt and betrayed.

So now my girlfriend is trying to talk her Mom into letting her come home, I guess. Even if she does accept the offer from me she doesn't know when she'll be back. She said she wants to save her relationship with her Mom because she's afraid she'll need her support in the future and she won't be there. She said she wants to come back but is trying to get her Mom to see how serious the relationship is so she can come home and still have her Mom too.

I guess her Mom saw an opportunity to break us up and took it. My girlfriend said she wished she hadn't jumped the gun and asked her for help but that ship has sailed now. For those of you who said that she isn't ready to be in an adult relationship, you're probably right. She was extremely close to her Mom... until she came out. Since then they've been up and down, her Mom says things like this then things get better then she does it again and so on. I think she just isn't ready to be in ANY relationship that her Mom disapproves of. So maybe she isn't ready to be "out," in that she isn't ready to lose her Mom to her sexuality. I'm still shocked that she'd walk out on me after living together for so long and then say she doesn't know when she can come back.

I told her a few of the things said here; when she told me her Mom told her to be an adult I said that an adult doesn't walk out on someone like this, especially when it involves walking out on a lease, a life we've built together, promises of commitment and marriage. I said a few more things about her coming home and she said she would tell her Mom. Basically her and her Mom are having a conversation where she tries to convince her to let her come back home.

In my heart, I feel that she isn't going to come home. She told me she'll make a decision tomorrow and I just know she's going to tell me she isn't coming home. Anything else seems too good to be true. To those who suggested breaking up, that's probably what will happen. I'm still a complete mess and I won't get closure if I'm in bed crying every night waiting for her to come home. The downside there seems to be that her Mom "wins," at least until she meets some other girl and starts the cycle all over again. I just don't want to be the girlfriend that the Mom hated and then she came around years later but by then she'd destroyed the first relationship. That would be fine if we were teens where that's just kind of expected but now... if I leave her it just feels like I'm giving up.

I apologize again for the long update. The issue turned out to be completely different than what I first thought - the money was just a tool to get her to move back and leave her gay relationship.
posted by Pericardium at 11:20 PM on December 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


You are not seeing it right now, but if this person goes away for good, you'll be lucky. You are better off with someone who feels more strongly about you than this girl does. If this car is even an issue, she doesn't feel strongly enough. If she leaves you for good, she frees you up to be with someone who really likes you. That is a lucky thing to have happen. You're not seeing that now because you're in the post breakup land of hurt, but it's true.
posted by kellybird at 11:49 PM on December 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


Basically her and her Mom are having a conversation where she tries to convince her to let her come back home.

She can come home at any time, because she is an adult. What she's trying to get is her mother's approval to come home.

This is not about the car; it's about her mother.

While it sucks we still live in an intolerent culture, we do. I'm going to be less harsh than some other folks and say that while it's mega suck that your girlfriend doesn't have the strength to value her identity over her relationship with her mother, you guys sound young, things sound fruaght and intense, your girlfriend sounds like she lacks some basic life coping skills, and being out is harder than it needs to be when your family is hostile.

All of that put together and it's not shocking she's capitulated to her mother. I'm sorry.

To answer your other question: yes, it will get better. You need to take care of yourself, though, and not let this torpedo your future without her. She owes you car payments and rent and you two need to work that out. Then you can get on with the hard and painful work of getting over a serious relationship that has ended. Again, I'm really sorry.
posted by DarlingBri at 1:37 AM on December 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


The downside there seems to be that her Mom "wins,"... if I leave her it just feels like I'm giving up.

Please keep in mind that "winning" this sort of contest is no basis for a relationship. Once the evil mom is vanquished, what then? You'd still have the same girlfriend, and she still wouldn't be what you wish she was. Yes, your friend's mom is bigoted and treating her daughter badly, but that's not why your relationship is falling apart. Things are coming apart because that's the choice your girlfriend is making. If she were committed to you then there would simply be no question about her moving away; it just wouldn't be on the table. Your girl isn't even asking for your help to break free; she's asking you to wait while she waits for parental consent that she will *never* get by asking for it.

My girlfriend said she wished she hadn't jumped the gun and asked her for help but that ship has sailed now.

I hope you realize that this, too, is 100% pure B.S. Your girl is choosing this every step of the way. Painting it as something she can't help is just another attempt to avoid responsibility for her choices.

Sorry. I know this is terribly brutal, but I agree with so many others that you're going to be better off for this, not worse.
posted by jon1270 at 5:21 AM on December 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


I thought I'd update that she had exaggerated the time limit and I managed to come up with the money. She's thinking about whether or not to accept it

Okay, I'm not trying to pile on this person you care about, but your update makes me sad. She's stringing you along with offers that are then withdrawn or changed, just like her mom is doing to her. you sound not only smart and level headed, but compassionate and generous. Don't fall into a trap of promising her money and whatever only to have her change the terms of the agreement. Be wary of the fact that even if you make her car payment, there's nothing to keep her from leaving the following weekend. I say this because money/car/mom's moods seem to be the driving factor in her life. I'm sorry because that sucks, but even when you're hurting, try and do what's best for you. That's not selfish, that's keeping you strong to make the right decisions in everyone's best interest. From my point of view as a stranger on the internet, you're giving too much of yourself to someone who is not ready to give back.
posted by oneirodynia at 9:30 AM on December 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


This girl is not committed to you. Feel bad for her poor relationship with her mother and her self-respect. But break up with her. Dating someone at your maturity level is much better, nad will be more fulfilling, than this.

I am so sorry you're going through this.
posted by anthropomorphic at 12:33 PM on December 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Thought I'd update that she isn't coming home. She said her Mom said if she leaves it's abandoning her and she's going to tell the whole family about the bad times in our relationship and turn her family against her. She also said her family doesn't really support our relationship but didn't have the heart to tell her, and that accepting the money from my Mom wasn't being an adult and if she was going to do that she might as well buy a bus pass and own up to the consequences because adults don't accept handouts. (Yet she doesn't see the hypocrisy in insisting that she accept the money from her, which entails walking out on a relationship and giving her Mom her entire paycheck until she has it made off... not adult.)

When I spoke to her she told me when she talked to her Mom she felt like it was right decision to go back to her, but when she talked to me she felt like it was right decision to stay with me. She asked for more time. I made her promise to actually give it more time and not to turn around and tell her Mom she's moving back (because then she'll say she can't stay because she made her Mom a promise to move back.) Dear MeFites, you probably aren't happy with me for waiting longer, but I'm still convinced that if I can prove to her our relationship is worth fighting for that she'll come home.
posted by Pericardium at 2:23 PM on December 2, 2012


Well, it's not up to us and our happiness doesn't matter, really.

We're just passing on the hopeful advice and terrible warnings of our own experiences and observations, hoping to save someone else from some avoidable pain that doesn't come with a medal or paybacks.

If that's the path that makes you feel most content, then there's not really much anyone else can say about that other than wishing you luck.

It does seem like you're now in a bargaining tug-of-war with her mom and working to ameliorate your pain by winning a contest of wills, but that could just be projection on my part from similar experiences. I hope whatever happens that you are happy, healthy, and safe.
posted by batmonkey at 11:08 PM on December 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


I don't want to downplay any of the difficulties of coming out (it's clearly massively changed your girlfriend's relationship to her mother) but the issue isn't the money or even really her mother-- it's that she's not mature enough for an adult relationship. There are a whole bunch of questions on AskMe about women in relationships with men who are still under their parents' thumb and won't introduce their girlfriend to their mother, or take their parents' side over their wife, or an endless variety of situations where a child cannot appropriately individuate themselves from their parents and stand up for themselves as adults. This is what is happening with your girlfriend, too. I'm sorry you had to find out about it in such a confusing way.
posted by stoneandstar at 11:49 PM on December 2, 2012


She's gone for good. Called me last night and said when she said she hadn't decided if she was moving back her Mom started screaming at her to get out of her life and was going to kick her out and said their relationship is over. Then she sat on the toilet and started wailing.

She said she couldn't hurt her Mom like that over the way our relationship has been the past few months. She said she still wanted to be together. I reminded her of the all the promises she's made to me about wanting to be my wife and how she promised to put everything into working on us and how she wanted me to trust her and feel safe with her and she said it was all true still. I told her I couldn't be with someone who would walk out on me so suddenly like that over $1100 instead of trying to figure out an alternate like borrowing my car (which I offered and hardly drive anyway) or taking the bus. She said she was scared when she made the decision.

In the process of trying to get her to come home I spent my entire paycheck paying off some of her debts, gave away my dogs which we fought about, cut off a friend which we also fought about, quit school so I'd have more money to help support us financially, and finally didn't go into my new job who will probably fire me over their new policy (1 call off in the first 90 days and you're done.) But she told me 2.5 hours before I had to wake up for work. I also haven't studied for a certification test coming up Tuesday because of all this and I doubt I'll have the energy to go anymore.

So my life is basically destroyed but I wanted to do all I could to fight for her. I'm left wondering how someone I fell in love with could do this to me so suddenly and without warning after 7 months together. It's as if everything I knew about this person was a lie.
posted by Pericardium at 4:27 AM on December 3, 2012


I wish we had the "7 month" figure a lot earlier. I would advise in your next relationship waiting at least that long before moving in together. It is not a very long period of time.
posted by MangyCarface at 7:24 AM on December 3, 2012


We lived together for seven months but dated for almost two years.
posted by Pericardium at 8:11 AM on December 3, 2012


In the process of trying to get her to come home I spent my entire paycheck paying off some of her debts, gave away my dogs which we fought about, cut off a friend which we also fought about, quit school so I'd have more money to help support us financially, and finally didn't go into my new job who will probably fire me over their new policy (1 call off in the first 90 days and you're done.) But she told me 2.5 hours before I had to wake up for work. I also haven't studied for a certification test coming up Tuesday because of all this and I doubt I'll have the energy to go anymore.

I'm so sorry. This is a hard lesson to have to learn, but an important one. I hope that when the pain of this breakup fades(and this is a breakup, right? I know she said she still wants to be together but you couldn't possibly be with someone who would do this to you, right?), you'll be able to take some valuable things from it.

The first is that you shouldn't date people who are in the closet. I know that your ex claimed to be out, but if she's still allowing her mother to apply this kind of leverage over the nature of her relationships, then she isn't really out. She's just in some sort of walk-in closet that gives her some room to move around, but will still ultimately destroy all of her relationships. You want to only date people who can proudly show you off to friends and family.

Second, and more important, is that you've now learned not to make this level of sacrifice for a relationship, especially one that's having problems. Now here's the good news: the people who are worth being with will not only not ask you to destroy your life for them, but they won't allow you to.

I'm sorry again. It would be great if we could all learn these things intellectually, but unfortunately it seems like the lesson only sticks when we have to go through shit like this. Focus all of your energy on getting yourself back on track, and none of your energy on your ex, and you'll be ok.
posted by Ragged Richard at 8:28 AM on December 3, 2012 [8 favorites]


One last update - I'm still in a lot of pain. But I'm starting to see this as a good thing for me. I had a fear of driving and relied on people for rides all the time - in the last few days I've driven SO much looking at apartments and going to job interviews. I drove on the highway for the first time. I just got approved for a place that fits my needs a lot more than this one and I was able to choose without the financial constraints of her income. This will be my first place by myself where I wasn't in a serious relationship that involved the person staying/coming over almost every night. I'm looking forward to making it my own, seeing what a place that's really "mine" looks like. I see this as a chance to live on my own as an adult since I'm no longer one of those people that went from living with parents -> living with my partner.

It still hurts. A lot. But I'm learning to see the positives in the situation.
posted by Pericardium at 11:34 AM on December 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


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