I hope we can be friends again someday.
November 17, 2011 6:02 PM   Subscribe

RelationshipFilter: Ok, based on advice from you folks and my friends (and therapist), I'm finally going to leave him. I talked with my best friend today and she agrees with me. I'm feeling really awful right now, I know I'm doing the right thing, especially when I look back on my previous questions. But I do actually like him and I just feel like crying. I know he loves and I love him, but as is so often pointed out, that does not make a relationship.

Right now, he's being nice and relaxed and home. And it's so hard, because if I hadn't made the decision to leave, I'd probably be trying to have sex with him because he actually seems approachable.

But I keep telling myself, look at those other questions, remember how couples's therapy went? He's not going to change.

Of course I like him or I wouldn't have stayed this long, but it's the hardest thing I've had to do in like forever. I tried a couple months ago, suggesting that I move out so we could try starting over sort of and value our time together more. He said if I moved out that was it and I caved. I stayed.

It's really not gonna be any different. He's not mean, there's just something that doesn't work romantically for me. And I know I'm not meeting his needs. It's just so sucky.

I'm planning on telling him Monday because he's in play everyday this weekend and that seems like a shitty thing to do to him. I have a friend I can stay with until I find an apartment. I'm already looking at places. I've got some money. I'm ok on that front.

I saw Miko's advice on breakup and I'm gonna keep reading it so I can keep that in my brain when it's time to talk.

I don't even know what to do this weekend. Do I just act like everything is normal? Do we have sex? God, I feel awful. I can feel the second-guessing starting, but then I remember the questions on here and the talks with my friends and how I feel most of the time here in this house, in this relationship. I know it's right, but...


I don't even know what I'm asking. I'm gonna hurt him and me and it's gonna suck a lot.
posted by inmyhead to Human Relations (36 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
Be kind and polite this weekend, but no don't have sex. If he approaches you, just say you're tired.
posted by DeltaForce at 6:14 PM on November 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


What DeltaForce said, do not have sex, try to keep the conversations minimal and small talk rather than about the two of you. I think the most important thing is to stop second-guessing yourself especially since you are going to talk to him soon. You need to stand your ground and the more you second-guess yourself, the more likely it is that you will stay in this relationship despite the fact that you know that it's time to leave and end things. Do not say anything that will escalate the situation, and don't leave ANY room for the possibility of you staying with him.
posted by sincerely-s at 6:32 PM on November 17, 2011


Don't wait until Monday, please. You are procrastinating because it is a scary thing to do. It is going to be a shitty weekend anyway -- you will be all torn up inside the whole time and he will pick up that vibe. Do it now and get it over with.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:40 PM on November 17, 2011 [12 favorites]


Can I just repeat what DeltaForce said because it's spot on? Be kind and polite this weekend, but no don't have sex. If he approaches you, just say you're tired.


It's sad, but the last time you had sex with your boyfriend, was the last time you will ever have sex with your boyfriend. Not telling him over the weekend is your gift to him, so do it right. Be kind, be civil, don't start anything, find moments to take a deep breath and/or be by yourself if you're having the "This is the last time I will shower in this shower, drink from this cup, etc."

Be gentle with yourself - you're not just ending the possibility of the relationship you never really had, but wish you did, but you're also moving out of a space that you knew. Hang out with friends, get as much sleep as you can, watch comedies - I know one woman who pretty much picked a quintessential song for the moment, and played it repeatedly - but try to remember that this is how it is for a lot of people ending a relationship. It's like the last 30 seconds on the roller coaster ride - the train's slowing down and heading into the station. Just be patient, even as you feel both regret for this ride ending, and impatience for the new ride you want to get to. The desire to just get out of there is strong, but don't rush through this. These endings are just as much a part of a relationship as the pleasant beginnings. It may feel lousy, and you may feel shaky, but's part of the human experience.
posted by anitanita at 6:41 PM on November 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Good grief, no sex! Either it will be bad, and you'll feel worse, or it will be adequate/nice/good and you'll want to change your mind or beat yourself up for leaving.

See if you can get out of the house as much as possible this weekend. Go for a walk, go shopping, go visit a girlfriend. Be polite, but avoid contact as much as possible.

Spend some time on Sunday thinking about why you're leaving and what the positive results will be. Go to a coffee shop or somewhere you can be alone and make a list of all the things you deserve to have from a relationship. Know that you are leaving because you deserve more.
posted by BlueHorse at 6:43 PM on November 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


god, well i broke that rule already.

once in a while he's just in these moods where we have sex and it's really good. but it's not gonna keep me here. it's kinda fitting. we had sex on our first date, might as well have it on our last. amazingly it didn't make me think differently at all, because that emotional connection just isn't there.

but i will probably alone for most of the weekend anyways with him busy with the play fri, sat, and sunday matinee. it just seems wrong to break up with him when he's got this big thing to do. i don't know. it would seem weird to just be here all weekend then.

i'm trying to pack up some clothing over the weekend. and sort things out from commingled possessions. a lot of my stuff is still in boxes from when me moved here two years ago.

i also found an extra bottle of lorazepam. i dont take it all the time and often get it refilled just so i remember before the rx ends so i now have a lot of it.

i'm actually glad the one radio station here started playing christmas music. it makes me happy.
posted by inmyhead at 6:53 PM on November 17, 2011


i also found an extra bottle of lorazepam. i dont take it all the time and often get it refilled just so i remember before the rx ends so i now have a lot of it.

Are you implying something with this statement?
posted by runningwithscissors at 7:01 PM on November 17, 2011


I'm gonna hurt him and me and it's gonna suck a lot.

I think you should reframe this. From your previous questions, it sounds like you two are nice, normalish people who have COMPLETELY OPPOSITE needs in a romantic relationship. You aren't breaking something; you are freeing both of you to find the relationships that make you happy, the ones that will end in marriage or pets or even, lord, unpacked boxes because you are SO SURE that this person is it, you're gonna live together forever.

This is a gift you are giving both of you, not a wrong you are perpetrating. In the end, you will each lead better lives than you are living now.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 7:01 PM on November 17, 2011 [20 favorites]


i'm just saying i have some fast acting anti anxiety medication to help me get thru this period so i hopefully feel less like thrwing up or crying.

thank you Snarl Furillo. that's what my best friend says too. i know. i keep reminding myself of that.
posted by inmyhead at 7:05 PM on November 17, 2011


I think it's very kind of you to wait for monday

Good luck, it will be hard, but you'll feel better after
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 7:12 PM on November 17, 2011


hey also - if he's going to be away most of the weekend, it would be a great idea to keep yourself busy cleaning the hell out of the house, and at the same time discreetly organizing and packing your stuff for moving.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 7:16 PM on November 17, 2011


thanks. it's his first big part so it's kind of a thing.

and yeah, i've already started...i packed away summer clothes. and i plan on doing just what you said. it will keep my mind off it.

we are just normalish people with different needs who tried very hard.
posted by inmyhead at 7:21 PM on November 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Stay away from alcohol
posted by the noob at 8:49 PM on November 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


This doesn't work for everyone, but it can help to plan something fun with a friend for immediately after The Talk. It forces you to actually go through with it instead of procrastinating. It also helps associate the breakup with the freedom you both need rather than the moping around you might do otherwise.
posted by vasi at 9:24 PM on November 17, 2011


What I mostly care about is that you actually do breakup with him on Monday, and really do move out. I will be thinking about you and rooting for you.

But Miko's advice is how you break up after 5 dates. Or 5 weeks. Or even 5 months. It is not how you break up with this guy you're living with. The way you breakup with this guy is to move your stuff out Monday day, wait for him to come home, and let him know that even though you love him and the past X years have had wonderful, you have to do the right thing for both of you because you are fundamentally incompatible for the long term, and the relationship just isn't going to make it. Do not ask him if he has any questions. This guy has a history of making you doubt your own judgement and renegotiate your own boundaries. Protect yourself.
posted by DarlingBri at 9:49 PM on November 17, 2011 [9 favorites]


Oh, I see re miko's advice. What you said is basically what I've said both times I tried to break up before. The first I tried to use moving away for a job to get out, but the job fell through and then I got laid off.

Then this last time, we had a talk where I suggested I move out because we might value our time together more.

But yeah, I see what you mean. I won't ask if he has any questions. It's gonna be hard to not cry a lot and say I'm sorry.

I have planned on going to a girl friend's house right after.

Maybe I need to rent a storage unit tomorrow and start putting stuff in there.

You always have pretty sound things to say Darling Bri.
posted by inmyhead at 1:05 AM on November 18, 2011


It's OK to cry a lot and even to say you're sorry because even in the best thought out breakups, someone is causing someone pain. The big question with big breakups is "How could you do this to me?" and there just isn't a good answer to that that isn't 12 hours of conversation.

But if you're committed to going, you may be best off presenting him with a fait accompli where you've actually left, rather than a situation where there is still room to negotiate and backtrack.
posted by DarlingBri at 4:26 AM on November 18, 2011


right. i guess i'll try to do most of the moving on monday then while he is at work.
he's already in a grumpy mood after work, that's not gonna make it better. oh well, not much i can do about that.
i can take stuff out of the basement and some stuff out of the spare bedroom upstairs over the weekend, but if i start taking out bookcases that would be weird.

should i put a time limit on the conversation? i don't want to make things worse by talking a long time.
can i say that we can meet in a week or a couple weeks and talk? not about getting back together but just talk?

i'm just so unsure of his reaction that i'm not sure what to prepare for. he's the kind that gets quiet angry, so i don't know.
posted by inmyhead at 4:39 AM on November 18, 2011


can i say that we can meet in a week or a couple weeks and talk? not about getting back together but just talk?

Nope! Three reasons:

1. That's a prime way to get sucked back in, either to the drama or the relationship.
2. Meeting up to talk also makes it really hard to heal and move on.
3. It can give either of you a false sense of hope that you'll get back together.
posted by runningwithscissors at 5:36 AM on November 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


I have planned on going to a girl friend's house right after.

Figure out what time you plan to leave. Ask her to come by and pick you up or help you get settled in your new place. This will motivate you to get yourself out of the house, and if you're embroiled, she can provide some extra motivation to get you out.

That being said, do not ask her to do this unless you are serious, and willing to wallk out the door once this is over.
posted by canine epigram at 6:21 AM on November 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


hmm, i'm not sure that is feasible. i don't want to be without my car because she lives about 30 minutes away.

there probably won't be much talking. i'm usually the one that does all that so i'll just have to not.
posted by inmyhead at 7:31 AM on November 18, 2011


Maybe ask her to call you at a given time, so that you have an excuse to get out of any uncomfortable situations/conversations.
posted by saveyoursanity at 8:20 AM on November 18, 2011


Ah! Right shes calling to see when I think i'll arrive cause shes making dinner. Which she probably will anyway.
posted by inmyhead at 8:43 AM on November 18, 2011


The problem with your last two breakup attempts, if I'm reading them correctly, is that you were unwilling to say "this relationship is not working for me and I want to end it." It's a hard thing to say, but every breakup I've ever had where I was unwilling to say that has been a long, drawn-out trainwreck. You can't blame circumstances or propose "taking a break" or anything like that. You just have to explain, as kindly as possible, that you are declaring the relationship over.
posted by Ragged Richard at 9:38 AM on November 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


i'm just so unsure of his reaction that i'm not sure what to prepare for. he's the kind that gets quiet angry, so i don't know.

Just know that he doesn't have to be happy or have had his questions answered or be okay or not be crying or, well, anything really when you go. If you say "I'm so sorry to have to tell you this but we're over and I'm moving out" and he starts screaming, just pick up that last bag and walk. If he starts crying and begging, "I'm so sorry, this sucks for me too but I can't help you" is also fine. With a guy like the one you've described, making sure you put your own oxygen mask on first and maintaining enough distance to not get sucked back into trying to please and keep steady his emotional issues is really key.

This is going to be really hard and take a lot of strength, but you have to hold on to the fact that he is an adult who can look after himself, and he's going to be OK. You are the boss of making sure you are OK.
posted by DarlingBri at 10:59 AM on November 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


i've been doing pretty good all day.

i know i have to do it.
it just seems so shallow to say to someone "you don't hug me enough or in a manner i deem acceptable" as a major reason for leaving. but it's so much more nuanced than that.

if it wasn't for some friends witnessing his behavior i really would think i had the problem.

i do like him, very much, as a friend. sometimes we have a nice time hanging out. but most of the time i feel like i'm on eggshells around him.

i think i'm going to talk sunday night after his matinee show so that it's not such a rough time of coming home after a long day at work.
posted by inmyhead at 1:25 PM on November 18, 2011


it just seems so shallow to say to someone "you don't hug me enough or in a manner i deem acceptable" as a major reason for leaving. but it's so much more nuanced than that.

Do not give him reasons. You don't need to. Just say, like Ragged Richard suggested, "This relationship is not working for me, and I am leaving." He already knows what the reasons are -- they are the same reasons you were in therapy together.
posted by Rock Steady at 1:43 PM on November 18, 2011


Do you need permission? Do you want to feel sure?

I give you permission to break up with this guy. I'm sure you're doing the right thing.

I think Darling Bri has a great script for you:
"I'm so sorry to have to tell you this but we're over and I'm moving out."
"I'm so sorry, this sucks for me too but I can't help you."

PS: You don't have to worry about his feelings anymore. You aren't his girlfriend any longer. You're his ex-girlfriend. DO YOU.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 1:56 PM on November 18, 2011


Wow, you all are the best support group ever. Seriously.

I've never been through something like this and it's just horrible.

I'll feel better when it's over.

And those words will have to work.

Deep breaths....
posted by inmyhead at 2:06 PM on November 18, 2011


i think i'm going to talk sunday night after his matinee show so that it's not such a rough time of coming home after a long day at work.

STOP. He's a grown man. He's not a child and you don't have to manage your life and your needs around what's best for him. Do you see how fucked up that is? If Monday is best for you, Monday is best. He's tired after work and that makes him crabby and he needs to be left alone for two hours so he can interact like a human? TOUGH SHIT. Stop pandering to his bullshit. The bullshit? We are done with that and you are moving out.
posted by DarlingBri at 3:13 PM on November 18, 2011


wow, i could feel you grabbing me by the shoulders and shaking me! i needed that.
posted by inmyhead at 3:18 PM on November 18, 2011


i promise i will let you all know what has happened. thanks for your support. it's really appreciated.
posted by inmyhead at 6:21 PM on November 18, 2011


inmyhead, been thinking about you all day today and I would really like to hear you're OK and find out how it went.
posted by DarlingBri at 2:43 PM on November 21, 2011


Hi Metafilter! I'm all moved in and having dinner with friends who helped me move. I just feel so much better. He really didnt have any reaction and his reaction seemed like he was trying to react but wasnt sure how. i kept it short, i cried, we hugged, my girl friend was waiting outside and drove when i left.

i feel compassion for him, but am more certain than ever i did the right thing. my new apt is awesome and im very psyched.

thanks so much for your support. it made this much easier.
posted by inmyhead at 5:32 PM on November 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


YAY! GO YOU! So glad it went without drama.

Be aware that you may crash in a few days and start having second thoughts and that's normal. You have to tough it out and your girlfriends can be really important in this phase. Keep busy, know the crying will come and go, and did I say keep busy? In a year, your world will look like a whole new place.
posted by DarlingBri at 12:36 AM on November 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


So it's been a week and two days. I just wanted to post an update for future reference and because you all were incredibly supportive and helpful.

It was good to be busy. I moved on Monday, Wednesday was the night before Thanksgiving and I met some folks for drinks and then went out on the town all dressed up, which I haven't done in years. I ran into some other people I know, went back to a mad crazy house party, had a good drunk cry, stayed over and had a misfits Turkey Day with some other people who didn't have family around. I helped chop and cook stuff and it was really a great day. I would otherwise have been home alone since my mom goes to her boyfriend's parent's home and they are a bit too dramatic for my emotional state that day. I normally went to my now-ex's parents' for Thanksgiving.

I felt free, not empty. I felt relieved. Any sadness I was feeling was for things that weren't happening anyways, the things that I had been sad about for our entire relationship.

I had to work Thursday night for a few hours for Black Friday. The the rest of the weekend I spent running around getting crap I needed for the apt, like a microwave and extension cords.

Monday I had an interview for a startup that I've been really interested in and then that night I had a few drinks with a mutual friend of my ex and me who has become a good friend to me. He was also very supportive of my decision. (He had contacted me a few days after he heard about this from my ex, I didn't feel it was appropriate for me to be the first to tell him since he was my ex's friend first.) This friend has been in a number of plays with my ex and brought up something that I think was touched on here too. He said that a good actor needs empathy, the ability to understand what someone else might be feeling in a situation. My ex cannot do that.

Tuesday, yesterday, was the day everything finally caught up with me. I was so angry with him for not being able to love me when obviously so many other people find me to be a lovable, likable, charismatic woman that they enjoy spending time with and talking to - and I don't just mean men. And I didn't want to blame him because I really think he might some sort of problem he needs help.

My best friend told me that sounded like self-blame and that if there was any blame, it does need to go to him because he was unwilling to do any work on his own issues or even acknowledge that he might have issues.

The close friends who helped me through this difficult time have told me again and again how they think I did the right thing, that I had worked very hard, that I was so unhappy, and even though they know him and like him, I need to take care of myself.

I know we get a lot of relationship questions here on askme and sometimes they seem redundant, but I cannot say enough how vital the support I received here was. I had a strong but small IRL support circle but it was so great to come here and reread advice and words of wisdom.

I think I'm gonna be just fine. A friend sent me this text last night: I'm confident for you because you are not fooling yourself or turning a blind eye to your own feelings.
posted by inmyhead at 8:00 AM on November 30, 2011 [9 favorites]


« Older Help me remember this darkish YA novel   |   The moon is dark and shadowed, the sun keeps... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.