So, I was together with someone for 16 months and things were 'okay' for most of that time. We moved in together and things rapidly unraveled as I came to some sharp realizations about the way things were going and asserted my needs--she immediately got squirrelly, the relationship ended soon after.
I feel like a heartbroken idiot and don't know how to move beyond my pain.
The entire saga is inside.
posted by yonega to Human Relations (30 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
So, I was friends with a woman for about 9ish months or so. Most of that time she was in a relationship, she also staunchly identified identified as a lesbian, so I didn't consider her a romantic prospect.
She asked me to help her with a web project and while working closely with her I became infatuated with her, even though I knew she was dating several people. So I made my move, sent her this epic 7 page text message declaration of romantic intent. She dumps the other three people, we get together.
Before I actually got close to her I saw her as being strong, aloof, and independent.. over the course of the relationship I realized she was really insecure and has very low self-esteem. I tried to be supportive of her; Giving her validation and reassurance.
She would get snappish and angry when she didn't get attention from me as often as she wanted or the kind of attention she wanted. I'm the sort of person who periodically gets very immersed in things and forgets to come up for air. She reached out to me in a way that was framed as though I was doing something TO her, rather than in a way that was about me. (e.g. 'Hey, I thought you might need some air.) And in terms of the kind of attention: She on a few occassions got weirdly angry at me for not asking her about her friends or her home country. Even though we talked about those things and I always listened and asked questions. I guess it wasn't enough for her or something.
Now, the entire time we were together she was in school and my nose was mostly on the grindstone, increasing my skills to end a period of underemployment, and after that working for clients as often as possible. So both of our social circles contracted a bit. (It's normal for my social life to contract when I'm really involved in something though.)
We tried to work together for a while, but whenever we had work sessions she would get frustrated and emotional and go from coworker to needy girlfriend in no time flat, ending the session.. so I called it off because I realized we were never going to be successful together.
Anyway, I really liked her, despite her flaws, and things were mostly okay. Spending time with her was a great way to unwind from work, I felt safe when I with her most of the time, and she was a very important part of my life.
Then last fall she starts making noises about moving in together. I liked her and wanted to see more of her, but also she asserted that she wanted a domestic relationship and that if I wasn't going to do that we may as well break up.
So, we create a plan, first I move into her place for a month, while I do some work on my house to accomodate her presence, then she moves into my place.
A week or two before the plan was enacted we had a big fight. She called me up one night, after it was already pretty late, and I'd been working heavily, trying to finish projects before the big life change, I'd also been doing a lot of family stuff around the holidays.. I was just completely drained. She wanted me to come see her (she never offered to come to me) and I told her I just couldn't do it. Then she started pushing, and I asked her to stop pushing, and told her that I really just needed some alone time to recharge so I'd be able to get through the things I had ahead of me. Even after I asked her to stop pushing, she kept pushing, and I told her that the pushing was making me nervous about moving in together, that I was afraid that she would disrupt my ability to recover from the effort of meeting my obligations. She took this to mean that I didn't want to move in with her and that I was backing out and got really upset, even as I told her that I wasn't backing out, but this was an important boundary. Then she said she had to get off the phone with me.
I meet her at her place the next night and she lays into me. She tells me that I'm unreliable, that I never do what I say I'm going to do, that my career as a freelance web developer is a stupid dream that will never come to fruition, and that I won't amount to anything and that I'm ruining her life by backing out and now she has no place to go. I tell her again that I'm not backing out and that I don't know what she's doing but I didn't come here to break up with her. Then I throw some reassurance and validation at her and we end up reconciling.
When I moved into her place.. things changed. I realized that her emotional stability was a lot less than I thought it was: She was crying alot and needing a lot more attention, validation, and reassurance than she had before. I figured she was just stressed out from school and nervous about moving or whatever.
So, she moves in with me and the first couple of days were great. Then shit got real. She started crying every time she came home. Asking me when I was going to do house things but never offering to help. Accusing me of trying to turn her into a nagging girlfriend. I call her on placing demands on me without offering to help me with anything and she apologizes for it later.
We sort of get on for the next few weeks, but she's not putting anything into the homefront or into the relationship, she's just crying and taking my support, also crying on the phone to her parents and getting them to help her with her schoolwork. I know she's busy with school, but I'm feeling completely drained at this point--so I tell her, I tell her that I appreciate that her school is taxing but if this is going to work she has to put into the relationship, she can't just take.
So, her spring break is coming up, and I'm viewing this as an opprotunity to spend some time together and work on some things. But she makes and cements a plan to go to her home country for her entire spring break--right after she moved into my house! I stew about this for a few days and then before she leaves I decide to talk to her about it, basically a rehash of the previous discussion. I call her on being a non-contributing partner in the relationship, on not including me in her decisions that affect me, or taking my feelings into account at all. She admits to this behaviour and promises to improve when she returns, she just needs a vacation, we reconcile. She leaves for her spring break--Hey, at least we'll have her summer vacation, right?
She calls me from her home country and asks me to marry her and move there. Lots more tears. At this point I'm like 'WTF?' Anyway, we keep talking and she tells me she's having some kind of emotional breakdown, but she loves me and wants to stay together or whatever.
So, she comes home. I stay up waiting for her but she doesn't get in until late and I go to sleep. I wake up and find her sleeping on the couch, I wake her up and take her to bed. In the morning we have some pretty good sex and then she tells me she's decided that she's going to quit school after the semester ends and move back to her home country. Another decision she didn't include me in, lays this on me with no warning. She says that I could come with her or we could do a long distance thing or something? I guess that was the consolation prize or something.
Now, I'm really upset, I feel as though I've been completely jerked around, so I tell her how I'm feeling and what I think of what she's doing and what she's done. She basically just listens mutely, we have a few of these conversations.
I hit a point where I just don't feel emotionally safe living with her (I caught myself hiding in the bathroom after bathing, because I didn't want to face her.) and I ask her to move out as soon as possible. Things are up and down until she goes. I keep being supportive of her and pouring energy into her and not getting anything back, but old habits die hard.
A few weeks later she moves out. (We lived together for about three months total.) I go to visit her once at her new place the day after I helped her move.. it's totally weird. She spontaneously rubbed my shoulders, something that she has never done, and tells me she did it because a male friend of hers noticed she was sore and spotaneously rubbed her shoulders, so then she realized I must be sore and decided to rub mine. Why she told me this? I don't know. (Over the course of things she did tell me things that seemed to have no point but to inspire jealousy, for example: Telling me about a male friend who was hitting on her when they were out drinking, asking me if I was okay with her marrying someone else for immigration purposes and they'd pay her 10K, stuff like that.) She initiates sex and it leaves me feeling really.. empty. I ask her for something small when we're parting, to walk to the store with me, it's silly but I just wanted to ask her for something and for her to say yes.
I call her up and tell her that I want to stay with her but she has to give, she's not been giving, she's only been taking and I'm feeling completely empty, I'm also really upset and that's showing as anger. We meet up for drinks a week later or so and she gets mad at me and tells me that I'm telling her bad things about herself and she doesn't like it and if I want to stay with her I can't say things like that and we should just break up. We agree to take a week to think about things. When I get home I text her and tell her that I still love her and I don't know WTF happened or WTF is going on but I want my girlfriend back, she tells me I'm really sweet and thanks me for all the flowery crap I always say about her.
Then the next day she calls me up and breaks up with me by way of forcing me to break up with her, saying she can't stand to see me making myself vulnerable to her and that I deserve better or whatever.
So, as I process this glorious clusterfuck that has just unfolded, we communicate by email and on the phone sometimes.. realizations about her behavior and the way she treated me bubble up and I share them with her. It's not a great time.
Shit levels off, we agree to go on a final date together after her semester ends, I begin seeing my therapist again. We do the final date thing, spend the whole night into the next day together showering each other in affection and love and validation. I lie to her a lot, when she asks me too. She needs to believe she's not a taker and a bad person and I know that she needs to believe this, so when she says she's not, I agree with her. I bid her goodbye, then I close her account. Bam, done.
So, I'm feeling like I found the good ending, however, she left some things at my house. She comes back exactly a week later, carrying a six pack of cider and a bag of chips (she says she was planning to watch a movie later and that's what that was about), she's wearing a short dress and some high high boots, and she's displaying need all over the place. Not two minutes inside the door the crying starts, she tells me how she misses me and she still loves me, and I respond to it. Fuck me, I respond to it, I still miss her.. she was never supposed to try to come back like this. I start giving her validation, reassurance, and love.. she asks me to lie to her some more and I do, we start touching each other, we have sex, very clear in that it means we're not getting back together. She also leaves without collecting her stuff.
A few days after that, I'm out and I get to thinking about her and I miss her so I call her with need, she's out with 'a friend'. So I go out, get riproaring drunk, hit on everything with legs, get home and notice she texted me at 5am asking me if I was still up to meet. I thought it was odd because who texts someone at 5am. We make a plan to meet this week to talk about everything.
So, a week from then, now we're at Friday, May 24, 2013.. also known as yesterday. She had cancelled on me for the day before and rescheduled to Friday, but she has limited time because she's going to 'a thing' (she's become very circumspect). So I go to her, and yes.. I have need. I need back some of that validation, reassurance, and love I gave to her.. but I know deep down that she doesn't give she only takes. So, that's exactly what happens. She even starts crying when I approach her that way and accuses me of crossing lines and blurring boundaries.. I guess she's the only one who is allowed to do that.
Anyway, I go home and do some thinking, then I have a realization. The friend she was out with last week and last night, she said she was 'not really' dating someone and that's who she's not really dating. She was friends with this person for a long part of the time we were together. I've never met this man, she never invited me to meet this man, and at the time when she was completely checking out of our relationship--taking from me and giving absolutely nothing--she was spending a lot of time with him. I highly doubt that the attraction suddenly manifested. Then I thought about it and realized that she always keeps a stable of admirers around to shower her with attention and validation. She was setting this shit up while we were together, treating me like shit, taking my energy and spending it with him.
So, now I realize that I need to be completely done with her. I don't want to get back together with her, I don't want to be her friend, I don't want to see her, I don't want to hear any news of her. I told her to come get her shat as soon as possible. Frankly, if she cancels the shit is going to the curb.
I don't know how to get on though. I feel pain, I've got a boatload of unmetneeds, I suck at pretending, and my emotional energy level--in terms of what I have left to share with other people--is at zero.
How do I move on? How do I commit to my work with this eating away at my psyche? I've tried to start dating again, but after she came back, I never called back the one woman I went on a date with and that ship sailed without me.I'm so upset/angry that it's physically hurting me. If I could edit her out of my memories I would do so without hesitation. I'm not an idiot but I let myself get completely taken for a ride.
I feel on edge and I'm worried about self-destructing, about losing everything that I worked so hard to build for myself over the last year, because I invested so heavily in this shit.
I'm sorry this is so long, MetaFilter.. I just know there are a lot of experienced people out here and I need some help. I'm doing the therapy thing but it's not working fast enough, I'm on edge and I need some advice to get through this patch.