Not looking for a dramatic exit....
December 11, 2008 8:15 AM   Subscribe

I'm breaking up with him. And I'm afraid. Yes, this is a long one.

My boyfriend (let's call him L) have been together for 5.5 years. We live together in an apartment with two cats. For the past year our relationship has been incredibly rocky. I tried to break up with him in Summer 2007 and he convinced me to stay. I decided this was a good idea because at the time I was still really in love with him and willing to work hard and make things work.

Since then, things have gotten worse. We get into arguments about nothing at least 1-2x a day. They've become so toxic that we no longer make up after. There are more negative statements than positive ones in our daily communication (which is apparently one of the signs of a doomed relationship). He has this tendency to over-explain his position on things, which always ends up feeling and sounding like a lecture to me. L is an aggresive, argumentative person and likes to point out the logical flaws in other people's arguments to the point that they no longer want to talk to him (I've seen this happen with him and other people often enough to know it's not just me). In our arguments, this boils down to a 20-minute lecture of how I have fucked up. I've told him to stop, he doesn't know how, so it has continued for a few months this way, and it's essentially killed the remaining love I have for him.

This is not the only woe in the relationship. There are many others that I'm not going to address because it would take far too long, but suffice to say they are serious (viz. sexual communication problems that boil down to him refusing to explore anything beyond vanilla... It's not so much refusing as he just doesn't seem to understand that his entire viewpoint on sex IS vanilla; explosive arguments that end up with him purposely breaking my stuff [including a laptop], spitting in my face, pushing me to the ground, calling me a cunt numerous times when he knows that's not a word I like hearing, mocking me and exploiting my insecurities; the fact that we have absolutely nothing in common and that having conversations about the things that I like [movies, indie rock music, visual arts, journalism] go absolutely nowhere because he has nothing to say).

I'm sure about this. I don't think you can blame me. Here's the question:

Considering how argumentative he is, and how explosive he is, what's the best way to approach him about this? I plan on doing this on Tuesday because up until then I am up to my elbows in stress. I plan on dropping off my dSLR at a friend's place in advance. I plan on prepping a backpack with toiletries, change of clothes, and my laptop. Then I plan on breaking up with him and leaving, and staying at a friend's place.

I'm afraid he will try to talk me out of it, try to have a conversation with me, blow up in my face, try to hurt me, etc. I'm also afraid that if he doesn't get angry then, he will AFTER and start tearing up my shit (books and stuff). I'm afraid of going back the next day to get all my stuff and having him be there and preventing me from doing anything.

I've decided to write off almost everything we mutually own. The television, game console, furniture, kitchen stuff -- everything that we've bought almost 50/50 evenly, he can have. The only thing I want is my bed, which I bought for $1000 and which he doesn't even like. I'm willing to leave behind my desk and my bookcases, but I do need to move my clothes (there's a lot), my books/CDs (there's a lot), and other shoeboxes of stuff I have.

My friend tells me this a brave thing to do. I can't really describe in an e-mail just how intimidating my boyfriend can be when he's fired up about something. I'm scared.

Any advice or perspective you can offer would be great. You can also e-mail me at
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (86 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
My two cents: just leave. Don't risk any more potential physical or emotional abuse from him.

You can arrange with the police to be escorted back to your house to retrieve belongings.

If at any point in the future he pursues or harrases you (in person, over the phone, via e-mail) -- at your friend's home, work, etc. -- consider taking a TRO (temporary restraining order) out against him.

Good luck.
posted by ericb at 8:27 AM on December 11, 2008

I'm so sorry that you've been going through this. Your friend is right. You are being brave to do this, the right thing for you to do. Now you need to think about how you can best protect yourself during this event.

He has, in the past, harmed expensive belongings of yours. Worse, he has harmed you.

Would having the friend there (or maybe even a number of friends there) be a possibility? You can tell him that you're breaking up, and when he starts getting angry, you open your front door and in troop in ten of your friends with boxes who greet him in a friendly way and start getting your clothes, books/cds, and other shoeboxes of stuff.

Don't take any of the corporate stuff- you can talk about that later, or maybe it you can just totally write it off. I'd consider taking the cats with you, too- he has already proved he is willing to hurt you, might he also harm your (even both of your) animals?

He may be totally thrown by this tactic and not become so violently angry. He may not be physical or abusive in front of outsiders. If you think he might, it might also make sense to ask a Sheriff or police officer to come and hang out for half and hour.

Anony, what he has done to you is abuse. There are resources available for you - and the authorities should be there to help. I wish you the very best, and next Tuesday, I'll be thinking of you (as will a number of mefites).
posted by arnicae at 8:28 AM on December 11, 2008 [21 favorites]

You want to break up with him, then you should. The barriers are fear based, so you can try to eliminate those barriers. If you're worried about your stuff, move it all out in the middle of the day. If you're worried about your safety, when you break up, bring a friend/witness. If you're super worried, call a cop. I don't say that lightly - police officers can be really good at defusing violent situations Pushing you down to the ground is assault - wouldn't a good officer want to prevent a crime instead of responding to one? It's easier for everyone.
posted by plinth at 8:28 AM on December 11, 2008

You might want to have your friend on hand (outside, maybe) for when you go break up with him, and you most definitely want to have someone with you to help you move your stuff out, both for carrying stuff and in case things go nasty.

Your friend is right, this is brave of you. Good luck.
posted by dunkadunc at 8:29 AM on December 11, 2008

If you are that worried, bring a friend with you. Have them stay outside, or in the car while you do the breaking-up bit.

When going in, think out how he tries to win arguments. Prepare yourself for how you expect him to react...and do not react in the way he expects. Don't let him engage you, in other words. If you have to, just repeat over and over "I'm sorry, this is over and I have to leave now."

It sounds like you are making the right decision, and I wish you all the best.
posted by Windigo at 8:29 AM on December 11, 2008 [1 favorite]

You need to leave. Don't break up with him first. Just get out of there.

When you go back to get your stuff, you need to go with two or three friends. They should be prepared to call the cops if he prevents entry or gets violent.


explosive arguments that end up with him purposely breaking my stuff [including a laptop], spitting in my face, pushing me to the ground, calling me a cunt numerous times when he knows that's not a word I like hearing, mocking me and exploiting my insecurities

This is called "abuse". There is the potential that he will seriously hurt you. Please get out of this situation right now.
posted by muddgirl at 8:29 AM on December 11, 2008 [14 favorites]

Can you leave while he's out of the house? That's what I've heard time and again as a strategy with abusive partners.
posted by tristeza at 8:29 AM on December 11, 2008 [10 favorites]

Could you take pictures of the stuff you're especially worried about? You'd at least be able to prove he damaged it later, if you needed to.
posted by electroboy at 8:30 AM on December 11, 2008

Take the kitties and leave when he isn't there.
posted by bolognius maximus at 8:31 AM on December 11, 2008 [6 favorites]

Leave with a few friends and take your stuff at the same time. Forgetting about everything else for a second, your safety is paramount and your interest in your property is somewhere second to that; both are more important than giving this guy any sort of dignity. Rent a zipcar or a U-Haul or whatever you need, get a bunch of friends together, load it up, and don't look back. If you still feel threatened while getting your stuff, get the cops involved. If he threatens you later, get a restraining order and consider investing in some sort of self-defense thing to have at your new home: whether that's mace or a handgun depends on where you are and exactly how toxic this guy is.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 8:32 AM on December 11, 2008

I'm afraid of going back the next day to get all my stuff and having him be there and preventing me from doing anything.

If you live in an area where the police force is not massively overwhelmed, they will often do a "civil standby" for people in your situation. They'll come by in a non-confrontational way to keep the peace while you get your stuff.

Call the non-emergency number of your local police department, explain the situation (that you are afraid of an altercation while picking up your stuff after a breakup) and ask if they offer civil standbys.

If that service isn't available to you (or if you're just not comfortable asking the police for help) then at least make sure you have a friend or family member along. Your boyfriend has already shown a propensity for violence and you don't need to be taking any chances.
posted by amyms at 8:32 AM on December 11, 2008 [10 favorites]

Actually, arnicae's idea of having a group of friends there for removing belongings and to diffuse the situation is good. If, on the other hand, he were to escalate things, an immediate call to the police would be the next step.
posted by ericb at 8:34 AM on December 11, 2008

Get a new place, move your stuff with a few good friends help when he is at work or something and DTMFA.
posted by boomcha76 at 8:34 AM on December 11, 2008

You don't have to break up face to face if it's someone you're afraid of.

Take time off when he's at work, pack your shit, leave and then call him.
posted by uandt at 8:34 AM on December 11, 2008 [1 favorite]

Take two friends and phantom your stuff while he is at work. Leave a note saying it's over. See if you can get out of town for a little while after. You already gave him a 5.5 year chance not to spit in your face or push you down. He doesn't get another.
posted by jon_kill at 8:35 AM on December 11, 2008 [8 favorites]

If he tears up your books when you leave, it will have still been worth it. I don't think there's anything you can do to ensure that he doesn't, aside from taking them with you, which will make leaving more difficult.

Bring a friend or a couple of friends with you when you come to pick up your stuff. That way he'll think twice about being explosive, and if he tries anyway, you have people to help you.
posted by Nattie at 8:36 AM on December 11, 2008

I second advice not to bother breaking up with that jackass. He should get the message when you and your stuff are gone. I also think its good advice to have someone outside just in case things don't go as planned and to come back with friends or the police if you have to retrieve anything else. TROs are not a bad idea either if he makes threatening calls, etc.

He doesn't sound like someone who would take your leaving well so why risk more abuse?

I'm really sorry to hear that you've been mistreated and I'm happy to hear you are doing the right thing. I hope everything goes well.
posted by zennoshinjou at 8:36 AM on December 11, 2008

Would having the friend there (or maybe even a number of friends there) be a possibility? You can tell him that you're breaking up, and when he starts getting angry, you open your front door and in troop in ten of your friends with boxes who greet him in a friendly way and start getting your clothes, books/cds, and other shoeboxes of stuff.

I think this is kind of a genius idea. It would take care of everything in one fell swoop, they'd be there to dissuade you from listening to his attempts to get you to stay, and you'd have this whole team of polite-but-firm-and-businesslike people there to keep things on an even keel. The only thing you would have difficulty with would be the bed, probably, but he may get so overwhelmed by a horde of people doing all this that HE may be the one to decamp for the night and then you'd all have more time to pack, break down the bed, make longer-term arrangements, etc., and so then you wouldn't even have to see him until much later.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:37 AM on December 11, 2008

The photos are a good idea.

I think you should call a domestic violence hotline, even if just to get confirmation on your exit strategy and to find out what resources you have. There's often kind of a weird line between what police in various jurisdictions can do for this part of the process, they'll be able to tell you more about that. There may very well be really good resources that you won't know you can use unless you ask (like a neutral person, rather than a friend, to accompany you in moving out, if a police officer isn't an option).
posted by Lyn Never at 8:38 AM on December 11, 2008 [4 favorites]

Wow, I'm so sorry. I'm glad you're getting out.

The most important thing right now is to get yourself to somewhere safe. At this point, it's probably a good idea not to be alone with him. Bring a friend when you're over there getting your stuff. If you care to discuss anything, stick to doing it in public places. Use this social pressure to de-escalate the situation.

Look up any domestic violence support in your area. There's no need to do this alone.
posted by advicepig at 8:39 AM on December 11, 2008

you most definitely want to have someone with you to help you move your stuff out, both for carrying stuff and in case things go nasty.

Yeah, you want someone present, like a police officer. If you go to your local police precint ahead of time and explain the situation face-to-face with an officer on desk duty you can easily arrange this. Schedule the move for an off hour, say early on a weekend morning, when things are quiet and there's plenty of patrol officers availabe to stop by and keep an eye on you. I have done this before with clients of mine; if there is a real threat of violence the police would rather prevent the domestic dispute rather than break it up and arrest someone.

And consider visiting your local family court and filing a protection order. I'm not sure how it would go considering that he hasn't actually been violent to you yet, maybe they won't issue you one, but it's worth investigating. If you investigate it now you'll at least be familiar with the procedure should he become violent or start stalking you at a later date.
posted by The Straightener at 8:39 AM on December 11, 2008 [1 favorite]

him purposely breaking my stuff [including a laptop], spitting in my face, pushing me to the ground

These are all actionable offenses. Forget just getting an escort: see the police & file charges. If you are not willing to do that (which you should!), get a court order of protection.

This is not the way a sane, workable member of society behaves. Do not believe that this guy won't escalate the violence when you try to break up - he is very likely to do that.

And, as others have said, get a police/sheriff or court-appointed* escort when you do break up & get your stuff.

* I once had to rent one, during a breakup with an unstable girlfriend. In my case, he was there to witness things, to avoid preposterous charges being fabricated or hysterical behavior, but a warranted court official brings a lot of control to the situation. Attacking this individual would be roughly equivalent to attacking a police officer - in fact, many of them are off-duty cops.
posted by IAmBroom at 8:49 AM on December 11, 2008 [2 favorites]

You don't owe him a break up. A relationship does not require any kind of formal ritual to be over. Take a day off work when you know he is working. Call every friend you have and have boxes and moving supplies ready. You and your friends get everything that is solely yours out that day and put it in a storage locker (renting one for a month is not that expensive). Leave him a letter and keep it short and sweet: "Our relationship is over. This is nonnegotiable. I have removed everything from this apartment that belongs solely to me. You are free to divide up our mutual possessions any way you want. Please place all of our mutual possessions you would like me to have, if there are any, in a box and leave it outside of [some friend's house that he knows how to get to, but not the friend you plan on staying with]. If I have taken things that you believe you have some claim over, leave a list of those things in the box and I will return them outside this apartment. I absolutely do not want you to contact me in any way and there is no aspect of this decision that is up for discussion. I ask that you respect my wishes about not contacting me, and should you fail to do so I will be forced to get a temporary restraining order, which I don't want to do, but which I am fully prepared to do. Good luck in the future."
posted by ND¢ at 8:49 AM on December 11, 2008 [23 favorites]

1. Talk to the police and some friends to help you move your stuff.

2. Move your stuff.

3. Leave a note.

4. Leave.

And, if you don't mind, please let us know how it goes.
posted by katillathehun at 9:01 AM on December 11, 2008 [1 favorite]

...and remember, whatever actions you decide to take about your stuff, that ultimately your stuff doesn't remotely matter as much as you & your safety & peace of mind matter.
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 9:01 AM on December 11, 2008

Yeah, my former roommate's boyfriend broke up with her by moving out all his stuff while she was at work, and leaving a note for her. He did it because she was just nutty and hard to deal with (which is why she's my former roommate, and he and I are still on good terms...anyway...) this guy is actually physically abusive. Get as much of the stuff you love (if he's as unstable as you say, take the kitties, too.) as you can first, then end it.
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 9:03 AM on December 11, 2008

you'd have this whole team of polite-but-firm-and-businesslike people there to keep things on an even keel

I don't know, using your friends for something like this sounds like a bad idea. This is really the job of the police. They're much more prepared for the potential for violent lashing out that seems likely in a situation like this.
posted by electroboy at 9:04 AM on December 11, 2008

I know I already commented, but I'm going to go with some of the others on this one:

A. You don't owe him a breakup

B. Get your stuff out all in one go, before he gets the chance to break it while you're not there.
posted by dunkadunc at 9:08 AM on December 11, 2008

Don't do this alone. Get help. A local women's domestic violence organization can help. Find them, call them and get help.

Get out of there.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:08 AM on December 11, 2008 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I didn't even see that part about him spitting in your face (I'm at work, a little rushed). You could totally get a protection order against this dude, and you should.

Let me tell you what they told me when I started working with clients with extensive histories of violent behavior: you can never become un-assaulted. Once you've been assaulted you are impacted, altered, in ways that can resonate well into your future. Take EVERY precaution. Save yourself from having to undo more damage than what this guy has already done to you.
posted by The Straightener at 9:09 AM on December 11, 2008 [1 favorite]

Oh, anon, all of the advice above X100.

I don't have anything more to offer than that, because it's definitely U-haul time for you, hon.

I know how scary this is for you, but believe me, your life will be so different when you get away from him. When you're in that situation, it looks damn near impossible to get out of, but you can do it.

My abuser did all sorts of degrading and hurtful things, and I was very scared that all my beloved possessions would be broken and ruined, so I went in with a BIG scary looking male friend, all in one shot with a u-haul, and it was the best thing I ever did for myself.

Once you get away, you'll be able to see in the clear, calm, cool light of reason that you were being abused and it would have only gotten worse, much, much worse.

Hugs and support to you, you are being very brave and I am very proud of you.
posted by Grlnxtdr at 9:10 AM on December 11, 2008 [2 favorites]

I'd rather miss my books and CDs than have a broken face. Just get out ASAP and worry about your stuff later. It is all replaceable.
posted by desjardins at 9:15 AM on December 11, 2008

National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1 (800) 799-SAFE / 1 (800) 799-7233

I've lived with abusive people and I know your level of anxiety right now. You need help beyond what a lot of us can give you. If you have a bad feeling about the way this might end, chances are you might be right.

If you think your partner is capable of monitoring your web usage or checking your browser history and keeping track of your contacts, you must avoid using any computers or phones that he has access to.

You should also avoid using usernames or e-mail accounts he knows about to discuss any of your problems or your planning.

Please call NDVH. It's not an overreaction to get in touch with them. They will be able to advise you on a best course of action. They're available 24 hours a day, they don't have to know who you are, and it's toll-free.

You can start with some general advice. You might find some of these tips unnecessary, but you should know your options.

National Domestic Violence Hotline: Safety Planning and General Guidelines for Leaving a Relationship

NDVH also has a directory where you can check for local help on leaving a relationship.

If you can do it safely, keep us posted on how things turn out.
posted by jeeves at 9:16 AM on December 11, 2008 [5 favorites]

If you can't or just really don't want to have the police involved, you should bring more than one friend. If he has the potential to get violent, two people may not be enough. If he owns any sort of weapons, or you think would try to use an object as a weapon, I would most definitely get a police-type escort.
posted by fructose at 9:16 AM on December 11, 2008

ND¢ hit the nail on the head sans the "good luck" line.
posted by AloneOssifer at 9:31 AM on December 11, 2008

Nth police help. Help from friends is not a bad idea, but he doesn't have to let any of your friends into the apartment, and could easily demand they leave lest he call the police.
posted by kmennie at 9:32 AM on December 11, 2008

Well, I typed up a whole thing about the NDVH, and jeeves was there first. Absolutely contact them. In addition to helping you make a safety plan so that you can leave without being injured, they can put you in contact with a local agency that can provide state-specific services, legal or otherwise.

They'll also have experience on how best to minimize property damage. But the safety of you and any friends who are involved is paramount. 10 people with their blood up eager to protect you and an explosive, violent person who's likely to do something is a combination for someone getting hurt. Call the experts.

Keep in mind that there are legal remedies to either prevent him from busting up your stuff, or to get recompense if he does. You first. Stuff later.
posted by averyoldworld at 9:36 AM on December 11, 2008

What jeeves said: Call the Hotline.

I have this sense from your post that you may not fully get the extent to which you have been victimized by your boyfriend. You haven't just had disagreements, arguments, miscommunications, etc..

You have been abused and your boyfriend is dangerous!

And if he has treated you this way off and on for 5 years, I am guessing that you are going to need not just immediate support for the break-up, but ongoing help, support, and counseling to help you learn how to spot and avoid abusers in the future and take care of yourself.
posted by hellboundforcheddar at 9:37 AM on December 11, 2008 [1 favorite]

I'd add considering getting some removal guys to help; they have vans, most offer a packing service, and they are usually very fast at clearing stuff (especially larger items like beds). Doing this while he is at work is probably for the best.

I'm honestly surprised anyone would put up with this for over five years.
posted by mandal at 9:42 AM on December 11, 2008 [1 favorite]

with him purposely breaking my stuff [including a laptop], spitting in my face, pushing me to the ground, calling me a cunt numerous times when he knows that's not a word I like hearing, mocking me and exploiting my insecurities;

I know that you may think you need some closure but you DO NOT...get the fuck out of there as soon as possible!!!!!!!!!!! This is not going to get better and he will only try to manipulate you....

so seconding what everybody else said....DO NOT BREAKUP WITH HIM, Just leave.....if you must tell him something leave him a nice letter on top of the freezer, advise your family of the situation, call cops if he shows up anywhere close to your house, get a restraining order as well...... hopefully i dont sound paranoid but I have seen terrible terrible things happen to friends of mine who didnt heed to this advice....your boyfriend has shown signs of being extremely dangerous....please recognize them.
posted by The1andonly at 9:47 AM on December 11, 2008

You really don't owe him a face-to-face breakup here. He is manipulative and physically and verbally abusive to you. Think of this as more of an escape than as a breakup.

I agree with everyone who said to get a large U-Haul and move all of your stuff out while he is at work or out or something. If he doesn't go out, try to get a mutual friend to invite him out and do it then. If you're not looking for a dramatic exit, that's really the best way to go about it.

If you have to do this in person, bring several large burly friends with you for protection. Don't put yourself at risk.
posted by mustcatchmooseandsquirrel at 10:09 AM on December 11, 2008

Good for you for getting out. Congratulations on making that decision. I agree that you should be very careful about what you tell him, if anything. Anything that's valuable to you, move out before he knows anything's happening. Take the cats if you want to. And you don't have to tell him face-to-face, since it will be not only scary but dangerous for you. You can escape. That's ok. It's even necessary.

A friend of mine left an emotionally abusive marriage by convincing her then-husband to go out of town for a weekend with his friends. We (her friends) swept in with boxes and packed up everything she wanted to take. When he came home, she was waiting on the porch and had already locked the door behind her for the first time; we were waiting in our cars down the street in case he got violent; fortunately, he didn't. I don't suggest waiting 'til he happens to leave town for a few days. But definitely take advantage of his time at work, and do take advantage of the help of friends for packing, moral support, and the safety of numbers. If you have a U-Haul, lots of boxes and bags, and a bunch of helping hands, you can get everything - even the bed - out before he knows it. And you get your safety, which is the most important thing.
posted by bassjump at 10:14 AM on December 11, 2008

bolognius maximus wrote "Take the kitties and leave when he isn't there."

Hell yes. Get backup. Get your shit, cats included, the hell out of there. Do not talk to this person. Just leave. You do not want to be there by yourself if he comes home and finds you packing up. You need to have a witness at the least, so grab as many friends as you can to help you throw your shit in a van and go.

Grab anything that is of personal value to you, and anything else that you legitimately own that you can take in one trip. Don't go back for more stuff unless you know damn well you can do so in private. DO NOT leave the cats there. If this guy is an ass to another human being, he's going to be worse to the animals, and they deserve better - as do you.

Finally, leave a note if you wish - but nothing more than "I have left you, permanently". No explanation, no reasons (he knows why, even if he won't admit it) and definitely NO information as to where you have gone. Make sure someone with the ability to protect you - legally - knows about the situation: Lawyers, police, domestic abuse personnel.

Good luck.
posted by caution live frogs at 10:14 AM on December 11, 2008

Response by poster: Listen to everyone here.

And make sure the cats have a place to go--it would be awful if he turned them out or hurt them in order to hurt you.
posted by Anonymous at 10:21 AM on December 11, 2008

If you are determined to get your belongings (pets, definitely), get them first. Get everything you need. Moving truck on day you are leaving when he is at work with many friends. After you get out, you are not going to want to, nor should you, have any contact with him at all. I feel trying to get your things later could be more dangerous than getting out in the first place.

So decide, and if you leave anything, plan on letting go of it. It is not worth the risk of going back and facing him.

And, after, make sure you are not alone anywhere for a long time.

Take good care!
posted by Vaike at 10:46 AM on December 11, 2008

Leaving is only going to be the first step of recovering from this situation. I'd get some help from a therapist if I were in your position. Good for you for being ready to move out.
posted by salvia at 11:09 AM on December 11, 2008

I'm sorry you're forced to go through this.

Listen to everyone else. Everyone is saying the same thing because there is only one answer.

Good luck and stay strong. He will likely try to convince you to stay (in any of a variety of ways). You must not, no matter what. He may even come to you at a later date and say "look, I've changed!" and might make a really good case for getting back together. You must not, no matter what. At some point after the breakup you may, in a fit of despair, think you made a mistake and consider going back to him. You must not, no matter what.

You can do this, and you will be so glad that you did. I am excited for when you finally realize that you've gotten your life back.
posted by penchant at 11:09 AM on December 11, 2008

I'm just going to agree with everyone here by saying:
Don't break up with him - just leave and take the cats with you.
posted by Julnyes at 11:11 AM on December 11, 2008

Considering how argumentative he is, and how explosive he is, what's the best way to approach him about this? I plan on doing this on Tuesday because up until then I am up to my elbows in stress. I plan on dropping off my dSLR at a friend's place in advance. I plan on prepping a backpack with toiletries, change of clothes, and my laptop. Then I plan on breaking up with him and leaving, and staying at a friend's place.

I will chime in with everyone else who says: get a few friends. Move when he's at work or otherwise sure to be away from the house for a few hours. Couple of cars/vans with trailers, take everything that you own. Prioritise the stuff that's irreplacable (cats, heirlooms, etc). If you do talk to him about it, preferably do it on neutral, ideally public ground, and with a friend or two close by.

Why do I say this?

explosive arguments that end up with him purposely breaking my stuff [including a laptop], spitting in my face, pushing me to the ground, calling me a cunt numerous times

Whether or not you recognise this yet, this man is voilent and abusive. You are in a violent, abusive relationship. I would not, were I you, take any futher risks with my safety. Avoid confrontations, avoid being alone with him. Get your stuff, get out, don't let him know where you're going. Talk to your local Women's Refuge about what your legal options are if he causes any problems.
posted by rodgerd at 11:15 AM on December 11, 2008

and as an additional note:

People like this always come to you and say "I'm better now, losing you changed me and I'm a better person." "please come back to me." "I'm lost without you" "Here take this (insert item you really like chocolate or flowers or a new kitten) as a token of my shame and regret"

These are all LIES.
posted by Julnyes at 11:15 AM on December 11, 2008 [10 favorites]

... him purposely breaking my stuff [including a laptop], spitting in my face, pushing me to the ground, calling me a cunt numerous times when he knows that's not a word I like hearing...

Behaviour like that is fucked up. You have to respect yourself. Don't put up with his shit. Those are all things you can call the police about.

To add to what others have said, anything you leave you should be cool leaving forever. My friend did the whole, "going back to get stuff with a cop" thing, and it was a big mess, and she didn't get all her stuff back. Eventually he gave some of her stuff back, but he'd remove important parts from what he returned.

Based on what you've said, i'd wait till he's at work, and come back with some friends and move as much shit as I could and then just go. I'm sure he'll figure out what's up. That dude sounds like a nut job. You can probably get a restraining order based on what he's done in the past.

And then, never ever see him again.
posted by chunking express at 11:17 AM on December 11, 2008 [1 favorite]

Just in case the previous 100 comments didn't convince you, I'll add mine. LEAVE! Now! I hundredth and one everything that has been said here already. Time to go!
posted by LunaticFringe at 11:30 AM on December 11, 2008

and as an additional note:

People like this always come to you and say "I'm better now, losing you changed me and I'm a better person." "please come back to me." "I'm lost without you" "Here take this (insert item you really like chocolate or flowers or a new kitten) as a token of my shame and regret"

These are all LIES.

THIS! THIS! THIS! Do NOT fall for this! And he WILL do it, I almost gaurantee.
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 12:18 PM on December 11, 2008

Oh honey, I'm so sorry you're dealing with this. Everyone else has good advice, and I want to nth the call the hotline, don't tell him, just leave, get a restraining order, and bring the cats. Definitely, definitely bring the cats. If you can't get everything, bring anything sentimental, because that's the first thing he'll go for if he destroys anything. I do think it would be better to get your stuff before leaving, because it is more dangerous to go back afterwards (even with friends). Anything you don't get....just start over, if you have to, and know that it is yours, and only yours, and well worth the price if it means you are out of this and safe.

You want to make sure that anyone who knows where you are once you leave, including your family, friends, and boss/coworkers, MUST know not to tell him. So either don't tell very many people where you are staying, or alert everyone not to tell him and not to tell anyone else, either. You don't want him calling some acquaintance who doesn't know the scoop and acting all worried to get the information.

I'd strongly suggest you talk to your boss/HR and building security if you work, and/or your advisor/dean of students and the head of school security if you're a student. Make sure they know that you are dealing with leaving an abuser, and they know what he looks like so they can keep an eye on who comes in/refuse to transfer his calls/beef up security for a few days/whatever other security measures are necessary.

You may want to change your number, and change your habits for awhile--go to a new coffee shop, a new bar, go the gym at a new time, etc, so that if he looks for you you'll be harder to find. I hope it doesn't come to that, but it's better to be safe in this situation.

Please follow up with a mod if you can! I'll be crossing my fingers for you.
posted by min at 12:19 PM on December 11, 2008

follow-up from the OP
I just want to say thanks for the support and advice you have all given me. It's moments like this when I am blown away by the kindness of the Metafilter community. I've received a handful of personal stories in the gmail account that have really inspired me to stay strong. So thank you.

Because of the comments on this board I've decided that I will actually move out all my stuff before breaking the news to him, in order to prevent anything messy from happening. This means I must wait until Wednesday (Tuesday afternoon I have a very stressful exam and won't have time to move). On Wednesday, I plan on moving everything to my parents' house and later in the evening, meeting up with him at a bar or restaurant or something near his workplace. I don't feel comfortable leaving him without a goodbye. I know that he has abused me but I can't let go of a 5 year relationship without having some kind of closure. He wasn't always horrible to me, and we had our good times. I need to say something and I will--albeit, publicly so that I can easily get away. I've talked to a few friends who are willing to help me move my gear on Wednesday so it should be quick and painless. I am a fairly organized person so a lot of my smaller stuff is already packed away in boxes. It's the bed and packing of books and CDs that will be the biggest headache I think.

One of the biggest concerns I have about this entire process is learning how to deal with mutual friends. I write a monthly article about a scene where he is a big player and it will be difficult to keep up to date on the scene without resorting to other sources, most of whom are somewhat close to him--and while I know these peeps quite well because of L, they would inevitably choose his side and may choose to act like total douchebags towards me. It's going to be fairly awkward. I know I'll manage but... just thinking about it gives me a headache right now.

I just wanted to say in terms of why I stuck around with a man like that. I have no excuse, really. We do crazy things when we are in love. I really thought the relationship was a cause worth fighting for, and therefore gave it my all, including my dignity. I easily forgive people but seem to have no capacity of setting boundaries. I'm a psych minor so I know this stuff pretty well, except maybe more theoretically than practically. :\
Thanks again Metafilter. I really appreciate it.
posted by jessamyn at 12:48 PM on December 11, 2008 [2 favorites]

I know that he has abused me but I can't let go of a 5 year relationship without having some kind of closure. He wasn't always horrible to me, and we had our good times.

Yes, you absolutely can, and of course you did.

Your closure is getting away from him. Every abusive relationship had its good times or else it wouldn't exist.

At least you're picking a public place to meet him, but please be careful even then. And good luck with your exams on top of this.
posted by katillathehun at 12:58 PM on December 11, 2008

Um I have been in a similar situation before. What I did was start syphoning things out of the house in advance. (You should've seen the look on his face when he saw the sheer volume of my stuff I'd gotten out of the house right under his nose! Ha-ha!! He thought it was a box or two maybe a suitcase. :) Nope. Try X2/3 that per load. Wanker.)

Anyway - I would definitely stress that it's a very good idea to organise yourself and get it all done in one hit. Before he knows what's going on. Preferably while he's not there.
Perhaps dupe one of his friends into taking him out... keeping him distracted while you make a get-away!! ha~ha!!

It might be worth contacting local womens shelters ect. - they will have some advice for sure. Or at the very least be able to give you a point of contact at the police station that they've known to exhibit some kind of compassion in the past. You could call them all you like but you're always taking a chance on whether they are going to give a damn and show up...
Anyway - they will know who you need to talk to, if it ends up that you do need actually need somebody to step in and help you. (I understand their hesitation to get involved but it's their fucking job...) Meh.

Good luck girlie :) You won't believe how much this is going to be worth it. Even if you leave with not one single damn thing... It's going to feel.. freakin' awesome :)
posted by mu~ha~ha~ha~har at 1:26 PM on December 11, 2008

3rding Julnyes.

Also, if the bf reacts suboptimally to your departure ("Please come back things will be different this time," stalking, threats), please please read Gavin de Becker's The Gift of Fear.

You do know how to clear your browser after looking up local domestic abuse resources, don't you?

Anybody who blames you is not worth your time. They can go fuck themselves.

Congratulations on getting yourself out. Really.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 1:40 PM on December 11, 2008

If you're going to meet at a local restaurant or bar, do yourself a favor and have a friend waiting in the restaurant or in your car to escort you out the door. You can even do something like excusing yourself to the rest room and texting/calling your escort to meet you at the door if you don't want them inside. Yes, meeting in a public place will greatly reduce the chances of further assault, but that goes away in a large part when you step outside. Bring a wing man/woman.
posted by plinth at 1:51 PM on December 11, 2008 [2 favorites]

Stuff is just stuff, unless it's family photos or stock certificates. Whatever love you did have dwarfs stuff. Let him have the stuff, with the hope he can enjoy it, and wish him well.
posted by StickyCarpet at 2:23 PM on December 11, 2008

Call the local Women's Shelter for advice. Have a crew of friends with you during any interaction. Don't give up your stuff. Bullies shouldn't win. Be civil, calm and fair. The police will help you retrieve your stuff if needed. Document the condition of the apartment so you don't get screwed by a landlord. Get yourself off a lease, if there is one. Get your name off the power bill. Don't hesitate to call police or friends to help you.
posted by theora55 at 2:40 PM on December 11, 2008

* disentangle your finances. if he has access to your accounts you need to nip that in the bud. The same for any accounts in your name including credit cards, cable, lease or whatever. Do not let him have the opportunity to jack up your credit;

** leave your stuff behind. It is only stuff. Only carry the most important things with you and do it while he is gone from the apartment

*** stay with a friend or family member so you have a safe harbour while deciding where to live;

**** Do not maintain any contact with him. Nothing. You don't need the guilt or the intimidation but you do need to make sure that there are no financial entanglements that will let him remain in contact with you or involved in your life.
posted by jadepearl at 2:41 PM on December 11, 2008

I don't know where you are, but in Georgia and probably every other state he has commited the crimes of criminal trespass to property- family violence (FV) (breaking items), simple battery- FV (spitting on you), and maybe battery -FV (if pushing you down left injuries). Georgia law and probably all other states mandate the police arrest the primary aggressor.

If he were to be arrested on a family violence charge, and it will be family violence as living together meets that criteria, then he will generally not be released from jail until he sees a judge. THe judge will order him to have no contact with you. The Judge has the power to order him to move out of your apartment and to order him to continue to pay his part of the rent. In Georgia if he violates the Judges order he is guilty of aggravated stalking -a felony.

Please get the police involved.
posted by prjo at 2:44 PM on December 11, 2008

If I were you, I would let a few trusted people know about my day-to-day movements for the next few days, where I was going and when I was expected. If he thinks you might be leaving him, he may decide to keep you from going anywhere, ever again.

I am dead serious about this. He sounds like a Hans Reiser.

Good luck.
posted by Countess Elena at 4:51 PM on December 11, 2008

Until Tuesday comes along, can you slowly move some books and CDs and whatnot to friends' places? I nth the notion that your safety is far more important than books and CDs, but it's going to be a hard time after this either way, and having just the essentials (your favourites) may be a comfort.
posted by Phire at 4:58 PM on December 11, 2008

Kind of busy with some other stuff at the moment, but it might be good to find a friend's house, a tiny storage unit, or something like that, and take your most important stuff out of there bit by bit, every day when you go about your business. Not like furniture or anything but your favorite books, papers, etc. That way you'll have the most important things safe and sound. You can do that REGARDLESS of your plan just as a safety net. It will also give you more leverage to cut the cord if needed.
posted by crapmatic at 5:24 PM on December 11, 2008

(nod to Phire up there, had the same idea)
posted by crapmatic at 5:25 PM on December 11, 2008

I've found with friends who stay for the last word in a situation like this are the ones who are so involved with the drama that they don't actually plan to leave.

Actually planning to leave involves having many other people come and remove all of your stuff when he is not there (and people to be there so that if he shows up you are not. there. packing. alone.)

And not meeting him in private and/or talking to him at all after this event. What do you have to say? Do you think he knows that things aren't going great, or why?
posted by Acer_saccharum at 8:29 PM on December 11, 2008

If you go through with that plan, get your friends to get your stuff out etc., and then actually meet him at a bar or restaurant to say goodbye.. First, do you really have to do that? Consider not doing that. Second, if you do, can you bring those same friends to make sure that they get you out of there?

What I'm worried about is, it could be that if you meet him to say goodbye, he will talk and talk and plead for you to take him back. And then if he talks you into it, **that is when he will be really dangerous**. I think a domestic violence hotline would tell you about that. Please be careful. Good luck.
posted by citron at 8:34 PM on December 11, 2008

Do NOT meet up with him, even in a public place. Move out, give yourself at least seven days with NO contact at all (you would be better off with no contact ever). He has shown in the past that he can make you do what he wants even when you know it is against your own self-interest (remember how mad/humiliated/frustrated you were when he spat/broke stuff/called you cunt? and then he convinced you to stay anyway). You are a strong woman for standing up to him and doing the right thing but you are undermining yourself to think to can have a nice chat and then it will be over. What could you possibly get from a conversation with him right now? An apology, a promise not to do it again? Don't give him the chance to do it again. If you want closure, write him a letter - after all he has shown that he ignores what you say in the past (don''t hurt me, don't call me names, don't break my stuff) so why on earth would he start listening to you now the relationship is over? A letter gives you closure without risking your personal safety or you taking him back again. Hold on to your anger. As to worrying his friends will disapprove of you leaving, my experience is most people are relieved when someone they know leaves an abusive relationship because they knew they had to wait for the survivor to make the decision him/herself. I think you will find there is a lot more support for you out there then you think. Congratulations on your smart decision to leave. This is probably the hardest thing you have ever had to do. I am proud of you.
posted by saucysault at 12:44 AM on December 12, 2008 [1 favorite]

Seconding the advice to take care of your cats first. This guy sounds like he could be capable of harming them to get back at you. Get them and yourself outta there stat. Good luck and hugs!
posted by frosty_hut at 3:59 AM on December 12, 2008

In a similar situation, I got a friend with a car and we cleaned the place out of my stuff and moved it into another friend's basement. I might have lost a few things to mould, but if we'd never done that it would have been easier to convince myself it would work and stayed.
posted by mippy at 4:52 AM on December 12, 2008

It sounds like the safest way to do this is to move out when the soon-to-be-ex is not home. Don't tell your soon-to-be your plans. Don't tell him where you're going, either.

Hire a professional moving service to come when you know he won't be home. Professional movers will almost certainly be much stronger, faster, and more efficient than your friends, they are covered under workers comp so you don't need to worry about a friend injuring him/herself while moving your heavy things, and your friends won't resent you for imposing on them by making them haul your stuff.

Professional movers can handle all your furniture and get it out FAST. They can also bring boxes and help pack as long as you have things clearly sorted out into yours vs. his sections. They also tend to be big, strong, bulky men, so if the soon-to-be-ex unexpectedly comes home in the middle of the move, he's unlikely to start anything with the big scary movers there. Use Angie's List to find good, reliable, relatively inexpensive movers. Rent a storage unit for your stuff if necessary.

If the cats are yours, board them at a pet hotel or vet for a few days or a week while you sort out your move. Make advance reservations for them to be checked in on the morning of moving day.

Seriously, this is the type of situation that you should just throw money at. Borrow from family/friends or charge to a credit card if you have to. Take time off from work if that's the only time you can do it when you know your soon-to-be-ex won't be home. Your mental health and physical safety are worth it.

Schedule the movers to come at a time you know your soon-to-be-ex will be gone, like when he has to work, and arrange to have this stuff out. Allow yourself about an hour or two between when the soon-to-be-ex leaves the house and when the movers are scheduled to arrive. Arrange to have a friend or two to come over immediately after the soon-to-be-ex leaves. Maybe your friends can bring some boxes and box tape. If you can't get free boxes, Walmart and office supply stores sell cardboard file boxes that are great for moving most stuff. They are a wee bit heavy (40-50 lbs) when packed full of books but nothing that professional movers with a dolly can't handle.

On moving day, you and your friends use the time before the movers arrive to put brightly colored post-it notes on the furniture you are taking and sort out your books, clothes, kitchen gear from your ex's. You want it to be very clear for the movers what to pack and take and what stays. For example, the books on this bookcase go, the kitchen gear in these cabinets goes, the clothes on this side of the closet go, etc. Again, use brightly-colored post-it notes to distinguish your stuff from his. This will help the movers a lot and get you out quicker, which both saves you money (they charge by the hour) and reduces the chances of your soon-to-be-ex coming home in the middle of it.

If the cats are leaving with you, have one of your friends pick the cats up after the soon-to-be-ex leaves and before the movers arrive and take them to the cat boarding place for you.

Prioritize getting your stuff out in this order:
1) irreplaceable stuff (cats, important documents, photos, family heirlooms, items of sentimental value, etc.)
2) expensive-to-replace stuff (laptop, other electronics, your most expensive essential clothing items, etc.)
3) stuff you'll need in the immediate future (current season clothes, toiletries, anything else you use on a daily/weekly basis)
4) bulky/heavy stuff (ideally you want the professional movers to handle all of this)
5) misc cheap crap you could just buy again (stuff you don't mind abandoning or waiting for the ex to give back to you)

Good luck!
posted by Jacqueline at 4:13 PM on December 12, 2008

in case you're still reading... please please please bring friends with you EVERY STEP OF THE WAY. most abusers are going to back down in the presence of other people. when i left my abusive husband, i moved in with a 60 year old woman. she was feisty, but she could barely walk. he was TERRIFIED of her.

do everything in public, bring people with you, do not ever ever be alone.

leave the books and the cd's and the bed. all of that is replacable. if he thinks you are going because he sees stuff disappearing it will be dangerous for you.

have friends call and check in on you or email you. have checkin times. if they don't hear from you or don't get a response, they start heading over to your place.

and right now, at least, hide the sharp knives. that's not me trying to be funny. that's me trying to make sure you're safe.
posted by micawber at 8:53 AM on December 13, 2008

I feel that meeting up with him after will just prolong things. It will also allow him to get even angrier, as he has a target.

Or it could be an opportunity to manipulate you.

Neither is good.
posted by Vaike at 7:11 PM on December 13, 2008 [1 favorite]

It would be great if you could follow up to let people know you're OK...
posted by rodgerd at 1:16 PM on December 15, 2008

follow-up from the OP
It's done.
He only told me last night that his workplace was holding a Christmas breakfast on Wednesday morning and that he'd be free for the rest of the day, "to spend it with me." What were the fucking odds, I would love to know.

I had 90 minutes to pack everything up and leave. And I had so much stuff. Six boxes of books, at least 10 bags of clothes, shoeboxes... Plus, because I had to start at 8am (as soon as he left), it was rush hour, we got some snow here, AND there's a bus strike meaning extra traffic, so everyone was held up on their way here. I had to prepare and pack everything myself. My friends--and the mover--eventually showed up and helped me move EVERYTHING. I owe them big. I'm typing this at my parents' place.

I made a really big mistake. I left without saying goodbye. He showed up just as we left. I know everyone in this thread thinks my ex-boyfriend is evil, but he's not. He's made mistakes, he's definitely abused me, but there's a lot of good in him, too, a LOT of good that outweighed the bad for a really long time. I made him sound much scarier than he is, perhaps. He can definitely get angry and break things and be threatening to others, but the extreme incidents I listed in the FPP were from at least 5 months ago... and I know that having done it once doesn't mean he won't do it again, but he was trying really hard to improve--seriously, he was, I know because I can tell you his track record--and he thought I supported him trying. He trusted me.

I loved him. I still do, I'm just not *in* love with him. But to leave him so that he arrives with exactly half of his life missing... I shouldn't have done that. I should have stayed and talked to him first. The shock was absolutely incredible. He was crushed beyond belief. He told me I betrayed him, that I was his best friend and he has no one else to confide in about this and that he trusted me for six years and I just completely shattered it. I feel guilty, no doubt about it, and I feel remorseful that I didn't wait, but I know he'll get over this eventually, and I hope he is man enough to actually turn to his friends for help.

I don't know what I was expecting. I definitely feel free, I have to plan my life right now and get it in order for the new year. But I didn't think I'd have to grieve. I thought it would be all past me since I no longer felt emotionally invested in the relationship. The numbness is only now beginning to wear off so we'll see what happens to me.

Thankfully, I have amazing, caring friends who can help me through this. I may do therapy in the new year if I think I need it (I'm well aware of the benefits of therapy and am already in touch with shrinks who I know I can work well with, so there's no issue there.... I just need time to process all of this first).

Thanks again to everyone who replied in this thread and who e-mailed me--for ALL your help. You guys helped me out in ways you will never know. Thank you
posted by jessamyn at 11:21 AM on December 17, 2008 [1 favorite]

He told me I betrayed him, that I was his best friend and he has no one else to confide in about this and that he trusted me for six years and I just completely shattered it.

To the OP: If he really believed that, then he would NEVER have hit you, not even the once. Doesn't matter if it WAS five months ago, if he really saw you as his best friend, he wouldn't have hit you even then. He wouldn't have hit you EVER.

Or -- okay, if you want to cut him some slack, maybe he THINKS that you were his best friend, but the fact that he hit his "best friend" means he has a very, very, very warped idea of what the term "best friend" is.

And: it is not your responsibility to help him get that straight, nor is it your responsibility to put your own life at risk while he gets that straight. There is no reason whatsoever for you to feel guilty. The fact that you feel the need to grieve right now is normal -- you did still bid goodbye to a way of life that gave you some sense of security, in the sense that there was a consistent place you went home to and a consistent person who was there, and now that consistency is gone and you're at sea. And you did still have some hopes for what could be. But -- who he is right now is not someone who really, truthfully knew how to be a best friend, and he was not someone who really, truthfully knew how to treat a best friend.

It is scary and confusing and sucks for you right now, but I swear to God, it will get better, and you will look back on this one day and realize that this was the absolute best thing you could have done for BOTH of you. It is natural to hope that he sorts himself out, but you have to understand that it is not your responsibility to help him do that. You need to take care of you first, and you have taken a big step towards doing that, and I promise you that you will come to agree with that in time.

Rest for now. Your family is there, your friends are no doubt rallying around you, and this is going to feel tumultuous for a while, but for the next few days, rest and be gentle with yourself.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:48 AM on December 17, 2008 [1 favorite]

but to leave him so that he arrives with exactly half of his life missing... I shouldn't have done that. I should have stayed and talked to him first. The shock was absolutely incredible. He was crushed beyond belief.

No, you did things right. Now maybe he will sit and think this woman that I loved so much was so afraid of me that she felt she had to run away in the middle of the day, and perhaps reflect on the things he has done to bring his life to this point.

Obviously there is so much nuance to your relationship that you can't convey in a little post on the Internet. But really, people shouldn't be hitting their partners, and I can't imagine what nuance we are missing out on that would make it OK.
posted by chunking express at 12:13 PM on December 17, 2008 [2 favorites]

And yeah, I think no mater what you did, this wasn't going to play out in some pleasant manner. You just need to move on. (Whatever that means.)
posted by chunking express at 12:15 PM on December 17, 2008

Good for you, and I'm glad to hear you're okay. But you shouldn't feel guilty. You're making excuses for him again. "The good outweighed the bad" (past tense, I noticed), "it was five months ago," "he was trying to change." While all of that may be very true, you were STILL afraid of what he might do if you left him. The person you love and live with should not do that to you. He said he trusted you. What did that mean exactly? How did you betray him? He trusted you to stay through all his bullshit and take whatever he dished out. That's how he trusted you. But he didn't hold up his end of the deal. He made himself untrustworthy to you. Yes, it's unfortunate that he had to come home just as you were leaving, but he would've felt and said the same things even if all had gone according to plan, and you were having a conversation with him face-to-face at a restaurant. Except THEN he would've had time to manipulate you into going back. Maybe you would've held your ground, but maybe you wouldn't have. The odds against you are increased when you give an abuser the time he wants. He might be a good person deep down, but that is not good enough in relationships. I repeat what I said above: whatever he did, however long ago he did it... you were still afraid of him. You did what you had to do. It can't always be neatly wrapped up with a bow.

You know what? Maybe it's good that he saw this. You looked at him and you still chose to leave. That was incredibly brave of you, and he saw that bravery. Maybe that was a message he needed to get, and maybe he wouldn't have gotten it clearly enough if you'd just been gone when he got home.
posted by katillathehun at 12:18 PM on December 17, 2008 [4 favorites]

It will have been worth it. It will have been worth it. It will have been so, so worth it.

I'm happy for you, and proud as one can be of an anonymous internet stranger. Be good to yourself, do what you have to do to get past this, and move forward. You have lots to look forward to.
posted by juliplease at 1:07 PM on December 17, 2008

Oh, man I am so happy to read this.

You are so brave. You did the right thing. Your guilt will fade (and I, like others, also think that you have no need to even feel it, but we can;t make you NOT feel something). You are awesome. You deserve good things.
posted by tristeza at 2:11 PM on December 17, 2008 [1 favorite]

Thanks for the update! Now don't ever go back to him.
posted by Jacqueline at 9:56 PM on December 17, 2008 [1 favorite]

Hey, nice job. The "having to grieve" bit makes sense; no matter how negative the situation was, you've still totally changed your life. Good luck in the new year! Ninety minutes, wow, I'm impressed.
posted by salvia at 12:37 AM on December 18, 2008

I am so happy!

Stay strong in your decision. You may feel guilt, sadness, and even things like regret. They may all enter your mind so be prepared for it and stay committed to your decision.

You sooo totally made the right choice and it is going to get better and easier for you.

Enjoy that feeling of freedom!

And I hope your future questions on here are all about how your new man treats you so well that it makes your head spin, and how can you possibly balance all the joy, and peace, and security, and happiness, and fun in your life.
posted by Vaike at 5:55 PM on December 19, 2008 [1 favorite]

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