Should I stay or should I go.......again?
November 25, 2014 2:13 AM   Subscribe

My on and off love affair is off again.....I think. We had a row.....made day she cancelled forthcoming date....not heard from her since. Why do I care what happens next?

I've written about this relationship before.
It's been on and off for a few years. She always breaks up with me for vague and spurious reasons. She reached out to me and we got back together for a 4th time a few months ago. She said she doesn't know why she ends it and doesn't really understand herself. But she loves me and missed me dearly.
Anyway, we've been together a few months, had a lovely holiday and things were going ok.
But a week ago we had a tiff. Nothing too serious, and we actually made up quite quickly and spent a pleasant evening together. We made plans to meet up again, but next morning I received a text cancelling date as she needed time by herself.
I didn't respond to text.
And since then I've not contacted her, nor she me.
It's been over a week.
And now I'm not sure what to do.
A part of me just wants to leave it. She can get a bit weird and off with me at and cold..and this had been starting up again, hence the tiff. I had told her I was unhappy with this behaviour.
But I do still love her and her life isn't easy for various reasons, and I try to forgive and understand her behaviour.
So a part of me now feels that
a) I should leave it as it is because she cancelled and has been doing the hot and cold thing and I can kind of see where it's all probably going....another dumping.
b) But maybe I'm pre-empting something that wasn't going to happen because of my insecurities over this relationship.
Should I stay or should I go?
posted by blokefromipanema to Human Relations (35 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I haven't read your past history, but I will say this. You deserve someone who helps you feel secure and wanted in your relationship. Who you know is as excited about being with you as you are about them. If you feel you aren't getting that, you will never have the type of relationship you want if you don't make space for a more suitable person to come into your life. Don't accept crumbs. You deserve more.
posted by Chrysalis at 2:25 AM on November 25, 2014 [19 favorites]

Now that I've read your past history, I stand by my comment even more.
posted by Chrysalis at 2:30 AM on November 25, 2014

You've posted five questions in eight months about this relationship…
There was some very good advice from your first question about this.
I think you've become used to the drama and excitement of this on-again-off-again turmoil.
Take a another read of the answers for the first question about this…there were great insights for you.
posted by calgirl at 2:54 AM on November 25, 2014 [5 favorites]

Move on. Move on. Move on. Move on. Move on.
And move on.

I feel like such a cornball for saying it but it's true, "When people show you who they are; believe them."

You already know how this plays out. She will continue running hot and cold as long as you allow her to.

The only way to change her behavior is to stop being a part of it because as long as you begin with her again, you've given her permission to continue with her shenanigans.

Listen, I'm around the same age as you and I know dating sucks and I've been tempted to reach out to exes because I had a history with them and exes are easy and I don't have to try so hard to be funny or charming or engaging.

I also know on some level that I broke up with them before and they survived it AND they're willing to date me, so I could definitely break up with them again if it came to that. Exes are easy picking as long as they allow themselves to be.

Don't allow yourself to be easy picking for her anymore.

You and this woman, it's over. Move on.
posted by kinetic at 2:54 AM on November 25, 2014 [12 favorites]

Best answer: She's not good for you and she'll never give you the kind of love you want or deserve. I know it, you know it, it's practically visible from space.

That doesn't make it any easier to live through, I know. But for your sake you must.

Healing from a breakup can be long and hard, and just when you think you're going to make it through, she comes along and knocks you off the wagon. Relationships can be addictive, especially the dysfunctional on-again-off-again kind, because you know that there's good times mixed in with the bad, so you end up tolerating more and more of the bad in hopes of getting a little bit of good. Break the cycle forever, and remember this when she comes back again, because she will.

And never excuse someone's behavior with "her life isn't easy." That doesn't mean she can treat you poorly.
posted by Metroid Baby at 3:57 AM on November 25, 2014 [6 favorites]

When people were asked to rank-order their preference of spending time with three categories of people, they came up with this:

The categories: Someone who's generally happy. Someone who's generally sad. Someone who alternates randomly between being happy or sad.

The ranking:
1) Generally happy
2) Generally sad
3) Randomly happy or sad

And the reasons given were that with other people, consistency is (apparently) quite important. That they would choose to hang out with someone generally sad, over someone with random moods, shows that they would rather have a known experience of a person who's sad, than flip a coin and see what you get.

So that being said, why do so many people remain in situations where the other person is moody or generally unreliable?

In regards to conditioning, there's two kinds of rewards. Continuous rewards and intermittent rewards. Continuous rewards mean it happens every time. Intermittent rewards mean it sometimes happens.

A continuous reward means that you go to work five days a week for a month, and receive a pay check. An intermittent reward means you put money into the stock market and sometimes you win and sometimes you lose.

Intermittent rewards are generally much more powerful, for they are impossible to habituate to. With continuous rewards, one habituates to them quite quickly.

With the happy versus sad person in the previous example, we know what we're getting and so the reward comes when we make the investment. That is one of the fundamental bases of successful relationships of any kind. That we are not considering whether or not we will have a good time with this person, rather we know we are going to have a good time.

With the intermittent reward example, we don't know what's going to happen when we make the investment. It could be a great time, or it could be a terrible time. We're rolling the dice.

Why, then, in friendships or other relationships, would we choose to take an intermittent reward over a continuous reward? Because intermittent rewards are much more emotionally-powerful, because there is the perception of potential loss (a bad time), and also the perception of a potential win (a good time).

If we "win", then not only do we receive the benefits of the win itself, but we also experience the relief of avoiding the loss.

If we apply this to dating, it depends on what one is after. "The thrill of the chase" comes from intermittent conditioning – as in, one doesn't know what is going to happen. One could come out the other end having achieved a reward (whatever that is) or one could come out the other end have not achieved a reward. That's the thrill of the chase – winning / avoiding loss.

Settling down into a secure relationship is continuous conditioning. Meaning that if one acts in a certain, known way, they will receive a reward (whatever that is). Each iteration of the conditioning strengthens the reward basis. One successful date, begets another, begets another.

With regards to your situation specifically, the point here is that what are you really after? You seem to get an intermittent reward from this relationship. That is, you never know what you are going to get. Sometimes it's good, sometimes it's not.

Now that you know that is the least preferred experience, but also most powerful kind of conditioning, what decision would you make?
posted by nickrussell at 4:29 AM on November 25, 2014 [22 favorites]

Do you need a house to fall on you? This lady is NOT for you.

Get AWAY! Don't take her calls, don't answer emails.

She may very well love you and miss you, but she's also a complete and total mess and there's nothing that changes in your relationship, it will ALWAYS end, and you'll ALWAYS be miserable. For fuck's sake, break the cycle.

Listen to this over and over until you realize it's about you.

Break ups SUCK, but the only thing worse is putting yourself through it over and over and over again. This is not Groundhog Day. You'll never be able to get it right. There's nothing to salvage here.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 4:30 AM on November 25, 2014 [3 favorites]

Does it even matter what anyone says here? You've posted five times about this and yet have done the same thing every time. I'll put some money on us getting another post about the same thing in a month or two because you don't really seem to care about the chorus here telling you to dump her for good already.

Get real with yourself and ask yourself why you're so into all this drama that you keep going back for more. Then get some help sorting it out. You're future self will thank you for it.
posted by violetk at 5:16 AM on November 25, 2014 [8 favorites]

Go, for god's sake. This relationship sounds terrible. Being alone is always better than being in these tortuous relationships that limp along on life support. Go, get yourself together, and find someone new.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 5:16 AM on November 25, 2014 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Hello.
OP here.
Thank you for your replies. There does seem to be a unanimous view of what I should do.
I'm very aware that you are only getting one side of the story, and I'm sure she would paint another.
However, though I always question whether I have done or said something wrong that has led to previous break ups, I always reassure myself that she wouldn't have come back to me if I had been so awful.
And it's not the drama I'm addicted to. At least I don't think I am.
I genuinely love this woman and she does have nice qualities about her and we do have nice times together.
But yes, I do know this is not a healthy relationship and had been thinking it a lot lately.
How should I end it?
Should I contact her to do this or just leave it as is? After all, she cancelled meet up and we've not corresponded since so perhaps in her mind it's over already?
I Just want to do the right and honourable thing.
posted by blokefromipanema at 5:32 AM on November 25, 2014

The right and honorable thing is to take care of yourself. No one in this relationship is doing that - she's taking care of herself and her needs and whims, and you're worrying about her and making excuses for her and focused on her.

No one is thinking about you, putting you first, at all in this relationship. And that's not right or honorable or good. You need to be taken care of in a relationship. Someone has to put you first sometimes.

The truly honorable thing to do is to take care of yourself. Block her number. Don't let her into your life again. Unfriend her on Facebook. Learn a new hobby or two and get busy taking care of yourself.

Quit thinking of her and how she feels. She's not thinking of you and how you feel.

Contacting her to "end it honorably" is really just a way of prolonging the relationship. It's not that you're "addicted to drama" - you're human. Humans are animals. Animals LOVE intermittent rewards. It is how we are built. It's brain chemistry. It's hard to fight brain chemistry but you owe it to yourself to start moving on. People break up without "closure" - sometimes they just stop speaking altogether. And that's ok. It's not ideal, but what breakup is?

Take care.
posted by sockermom at 6:06 AM on November 25, 2014 [4 favorites]

Sure, maybe we are getting only one side of the story, and maybe she'd paint a different picture of this whole broken relationship: but we'd not talking to her, we're talking to you, and suggesting what you should do. Does she have nice qualities and have you had nice times together? Sure, but again: that's not the question here & now. The question is, what should you do about a person who has already dumped you four times, and --- if you were to get back together with her --- would only continue to dump you, over and over and over?

You're absolutely correct about one thing: for whatever reason(s), this is most definitely not a healthy relationship --- this woman, 'nice qualities' and all, has been jerking you around like a yo-yo. She dumps you whenever its convenient for her to be single, then reels you back in when she feels like it.

You say you want to do "the right and honorable thing" --- well then, take her at her word, and delete her from your life. Delete her from any social media like facebook, block her from texting or calling you. Do not, under any circumstances, answer any texts, emails, phone calls, smoke signals, or passed-on-through-a-mutual-friend messages. You deserve someone who'll treat you much better than this person ever has.
posted by easily confused at 6:09 AM on November 25, 2014 [2 favorites]

I think you should contact her one last time and officially break up with her. I think it might help to make it more real and final for you, and this time it will be YOU doing the breaking up. Do it in the way that feels most comfortable to you, whether that be a email or phone call, or whatever. But keep your resolve, and after you break up officially, go no contact for real. Block her wherever you can, and do not respond to anything she sends you. I have a feeling that when it's you doing the actual breaking up, she may come running back acting like this relationship is the most important thing in the world to her. Don't fall for it. You know it's bad for you, and it's bad for her too.
posted by catatethebird at 6:24 AM on November 25, 2014 [3 favorites]

I always reassure myself that she wouldn't have come back to me if I had been so awful.

This jumps out - you think you had anything to do with the breakup? She breaks up with you because that's her idea of fun. She comes back because someone called BS on her BS. And then when she feels better she becomes bored and leaves.

Her life doesn't sound hard, it sounds ridiculously easy. She can do whatever she wants and you will still be there for her.

The honorable thing to do, for her, for society, for whomever else she's having sex with (and safe odds are that she is) and for all of her future intimate partners, is for you to make it clear that her behavior cannot be tolerated. End it. And cut off all contact.

I'd suggest sending a non-emotional, even businesslike email stating that you want no further contact and then block her on everything. If she comes to your door, don't answer.

Don't give reasons, don't say you wish her the best, just state your decision to end it.

And then go hide in your Playstation or spend more time at the gym or visit your brother in Duluth or whatever it is you do when you need to check out and let your brain process something.

No one here wants to sound harsh. It's just that your problem is, indeed, so obvious anyone could see it from space.

We've seen this from all sides - there might even be some answers from people who were that girl. In this case, the internet is your friend.

Get out. Stay out. Be happy.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 6:29 AM on November 25, 2014 [2 favorites]

Best answer: It sounds like you've adopted an unhealthily passive stance in this relationship. SHE breaks up with you, SHE decides the two of you should be back together again, SHE gets flaky and may or may not dump you again ... the thought of bobbing along helplessly in the wake of someone else's whims like that is making me queasy just thinking about it. You have more power here than you're letting yourself have. You need to take care of yourself.

Whether you break up with her or not, there is going to be pain - but the pain of cutting someone out of your life that you feel you love right now but who is unhealthy for you is going to be a lot less than this prolonged, draining pain of never being able to feel secure in your own relationship. When you look back on this from 5, 10 years on, you're going to feel a lot better about yourself if you can say that you had enough self-respect to say what is going on right now is unacceptable and unfair to you.

Stop letting yourself just bob along in the wake of her whims, because that is obviously not going to get better. You deserve better. End this.
posted by DingoMutt at 6:53 AM on November 25, 2014 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Unless you want to be in THIS relationship, as it is, as it has been, the rest of your stuff doesn't matter.

I'm not sure where it comes from but you belong to a group of people who believe that there is something that one can say or do, or not say or not do, that can make precarious relationships such as yours viable, instead of the hot mess they are. There aren't.

Walking on eggshells all the time, wondering if what you're going to say or do may be misinterpreted is no way to live son.

As has been demonstrated, this lady is not right for you. It doesn't make her a bad person, it makes her bad for you.

You should break it off completely, no words, no note. But you're not going to do that are you? Of course not. So I'll offer you this:

"Sylvia, I know we have some very tangled emotions surrounding our relationship. We love each other very much, but we are totally wrong for each other. I really want to end it, for good this time. If you're ever tempted to call me to try to rekindle the love we have, please, if you really ever did love me, don't do it. It's best for both of us if we cut off all ties. I'll go my way, and I'll move on. I'll remember you fondly. Goodbye."

And that's it. Channel Humphrey Bogart when you say it. Like this, "I won't play the sap for you."

But really, don't bother. It's just one more opportunity for drama, and hasn't there already been too much of that?
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:54 AM on November 25, 2014 [4 favorites]

I stand by my previous advice.
posted by flabdablet at 7:00 AM on November 25, 2014

On seeing your latest update, I would further add that I think you SHOULD reach out to her to explain that this is over, so that you know that it is. Right now you're in this weird limbo that has just got to be misery-making, and that's no way to live. What would you do if she contacted you again right now - would you take her back? You seem to know that that is unhealthy, so take action to stand up for yourself.

When you contact her you shouldn't get into details, blaming, or anything like that - just let her know this isn't working for you and that the relationship is over. Then do the ol' Metafilter standby - delete her contact details, unfriend her on Facebook ... excise her from your life.

Why let bridges stand that only lead to predictable pain and uncertainty? Burn those suckers to the ground so you can move forward. Good luck.
posted by DingoMutt at 7:00 AM on November 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

Hey blokefromipanema, I hear you.

It seems to me, if you don't leave then you are choosing to stay.

So far you have chosen to stay.

Staying means: this relationship is a painful on-again / off-again, great-and-then-painful thing. It will NEVER be a stable, cuddly, live-together grow-old-together kind of a thing. Radically accept that this is the way it is, not the way you're dreaming in your head.

She's pushing old buttons of low self-esteem inside you. Think of it like dogs at the puppy park. When a dog sniffs another dog, and that dog runs away, the dog goes "oh well" and finds another dog to sniff. He doesn't collapse in a puddle of bereavement because that one dog left.

When people run away when you get close, it's not your fault.

Did you get that? You did not do anything wrong.

Maybe you're thinking in your head: but I crowded her! I was too needy! I looked at her too deeply.

Those are not wrong things to do. There are people out there who love closeness like that.

Also, all you'd be signing yourself up for is a lifetime of contorting yourself to be something you're not, and trying to read her mind all the time.

One the part that struck me is that when she said she needed space, you immediately ducked out, without a text or a check-in or anything. When she pulled away, you pulled away even more, and now you're guessing that it's over instead of talking with her about it. That's the only thing I would single out as something you could do to salvage some self-growth from this mess. Learn that when people pull away (even a little), you don't have to pull away harder to protect yourself.

Personally, I would leave this relationship. You are powerless in this situation.

How to leave? Eh, if you're leaving anyway then might as well risk it all, right? So call her up and ask "what's up? I haven't heard from you so I don't know where things are at." I'm going to guess that this is the most terrifying thing to do for you, to address her directly about her actions, but that will be part of your growth.

Remember what I said last time about AustenLand? Continuity exists, reputations are real? Keep that in mind when you talk. She pulled away, and if you're in a real relationship, you get to talk about that.

If she avoids you, avoids responsibility etc., then see Ruthless Bunny's script above.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 7:01 AM on November 25, 2014

I also stand by my previous followup advice.
posted by flabdablet at 7:02 AM on November 25, 2014

At some point, you are simply going to have to accept that putting your hand on the brazier gets you a painful burn every single time. Even if it's cold out.
posted by flabdablet at 7:08 AM on November 25, 2014 [2 favorites]

Best answer: How should I end it?

As quickly as humanly possible and with zero contact from now on. It's the only way to heal and move on.
posted by futureisunwritten at 7:33 AM on November 25, 2014 [5 favorites]

However, though I always question whether I have done or said something wrong that has led to previous break ups, I always reassure myself that she wouldn't have come back to me if I had been so awful.

This is a ridiculous line of thinking.

My ex husband was abusive, for God's sake, and I never did anything to DESERVE it. He also stayed with me BECAUSE I ALLOWED him to treat me like shit. (This is MY personal case and I'm not saying this is true for anyone but me.)

Just dump her and move on.
posted by kinetic at 8:21 AM on November 25, 2014 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Perhaps she just thinks I'm giving her the silent treatment because she cancelled our plans?
She did have a valid reason for wanting that day to herself as her son has a disability and has been challenging of late and she was going to have a day without him.
She needed her own space.
However, she'd been the one who made arrangements to meet up on that day and then cancelled, and I can't help thinking it was a snub because we'd had a tiff. She hasn't been in touch since so I'm sure I'm right. She has history of behaving like this.
Perhaps this is an opportunity for me to draw a line under this by ending it on my terms rather then it always ending on hers.
I think that may be better for my own peace of mind, though it will sadden me.
posted by blokefromipanema at 9:24 AM on November 25, 2014

Perhaps she just thinks... She did have a valid reason for... I can't help thinking it was a snub... She hasn't been in touch...

Once again, I respectfully draw your attention to my previous followup advice.
posted by flabdablet at 9:32 AM on November 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

though it will sadden me

Maybe it's just me, but "sadden" looks like a better option than "relentless mental self-torture".
posted by flabdablet at 9:34 AM on November 25, 2014 [6 favorites]

I have a totally different take on this dynamic.

Does she have a history of abuse? Especially maybe emotional abuse?

Maybe you have a history of abuse on some level, too?

It sounds like maybe she is being over-defensive, because a past history of abuse can effect you that way.

This said...


Don't pick up a relationship with her until she's been in therapy for at least a year.

You sound like maybe you need same.

There is no shame in self-improvement and you should both embrace it.
posted by jbenben at 9:35 AM on November 25, 2014 [2 favorites]

So you'll be sad? So what? It's only a feeling. Feeding this nonsense gives you a reason not to be sad, not to be anxious. It's little narcotic hits of drama and love.

Gambling is addictive because the pay off is unpredictable. Let that sink in. You are addicted to this relationship because once in a blue moon it pays off.

It's clear that you want to avoid feeling sad or empty or whatever it is that you feel when you're not with her. That's not love, that is some high-level co-dependence shit, and frankly you need a good therapist to sort it out.

Answer this question. Is any of this good for you? Be honest. You know it's not. What if doing this shit over and over ad infinitum keeps you from meeting and loving someone who is exactly right for you? You're taken with this woman, even when you're not together. You're just waiting for her to call you again, on her terms, when she needs you.

As for your last update. Read it. Out loud. You're justifying her behavior. So fucking what? You can only be loved when it's 100% perfect for her? You're allowed to have needs too. You're allowed to want something from her.


We all have our reasons for doing shit. Someone is marrying Charles Manson for fuck's sake.

Now stop acting like a 14 year-old and man up. Cut it off, detox from this and get your life back.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 9:38 AM on November 25, 2014 [8 favorites]

Perhaps this is an opportunity for me to draw a line under this by ending it on my terms rather then it always ending on hers.
A final thought – what is engaging in this relationship allowing you to avoid elsewhere in life? You sound rather wishy-washy and relatively dispassionate about it overall. As if you don't really want to make a decision.

I'll say that this seems like a distraction from something else – what are you avoiding? What is not making a decision here enabling you to ignore? If you made a list of the 'problems' in your life, and this was number 1, what is number 2?
posted by nickrussell at 9:55 AM on November 25, 2014 [3 favorites]

These sorts of questions are always so frustrating. I'll tell you why. It's because many people, like myself, have walked this road and know on a bone-deep level that you really just do not get it until you GET IT. Some of us - like you - have bashed our head bloody against the same immovable wall over and over and over again, to be told repeatedly by our nearest and dearest that some person or situation is just not right for us, and that we need to rip the damn scales from our eyes and end it already, if only so that they don't have to watch us hurl ourselves down into a bottomless pit. Again.

There is a little candle flicker of hope here, though. You say this:

Perhaps this is an opportunity for me to draw a line under this by ending it on my terms rather then it always ending on hers.

This line right here? This says to me that you are beginning to have the ego strength to realize that you WANT SOMETHING.

One thing that is really, really difficult to do when you find yourself viewing relationships as endlessly mysterious chess matches is to realize that you - yes, YOU - ACTUALLY HAVE TO WANT THINGS IN ORDER TO GET THEM. Which isn't to say that you necessarily will get what you want; it is merely to point out that, as nickrussell says, you really don't seem as if you are pursuing anything here. Rather, you seem as if you are at the mercy of this person and this quasi-relationship. And, naturally, because you don't really want something, you're not getting what you want.

Of course, you may be saying, of course I want things! I want her, you think. I want a relationship! I want this meandering, pointless, wandering whatever-it-is thing between me and her to become something. But what you don't really know in your marrow yet is that, when you really want something in an honest, healthy, just and committed way, you will just do what is required to have that thing, and you will also just leave it if you see that the situation is hopeless. You won't fart around with all this "hmmmm....well, let's see. I called on Wednesday at four and she didn't answer and if she still hasn't called back by tomorrow at noon, it means she's mad so perhaps I should not call...well, noon's when she picks up her kid from school, so maybe I'll wait til one but then maybe she'll be angry if I don't call before she picks up her kid so I should call and let it ring twice maybe at 11:15...." bullshit. You will know without trying so hard and without doing merely for the sake of doing what exactly it is that you want. And, as importantly, you will recognize what it is that you desperately DO NOT WANT, which sounds like more controlling, inconsiderate, flaky, neglectful, half-assed crap like you experience with this thing that's not really a relationship that you find yourself stuck in now. This woman and this relationship will appear to you as a raging, out-of-control FIRE!!!! And you will not rush in to see if the fire is actually really, really burning and hellish and all-consuming, you will just stay the hell away from the FIRE!!! forever and always amen.

And that is the crux of it, the mystery of this dating thing that you will not get until you GET IT. It is not about making the other person do what you want, or deciphering the things they do as though love were a Rubik's Cube or riddle or game of Stratego. It is not about figuring out what somebody else wants and giving it to them to the exclusion of your own needs, selflessly, like a saint. NO. It is figuring out what you want and going about the business of ethically getting it, and moving on when what someone else wants and what you want don't jibe. And when you do find a person you want to love and who wants to love you, and your heart chooses them irrevocably and theirs you, it is then that you will begin to work together with another soul to pursue what both of you want, and what will make both of you together, and as individuals, happy.

You know what you need to do. We cannot make you do it. You can make yourself do it. You can. You have been given great advice here by many but ultimately you have to find the courage to do what it is that you want to do, regardless of this woman's myriad, perfectly valid reasons why you shouldn't listen to your own thoughts and desires and act in accordance with them.

Good luck.
posted by TryTheTilapia at 10:38 AM on November 25, 2014 [6 favorites]

Best answer: Perhaps she just thinks... She did have a valid reason for... I can't help thinking it was a snub... She hasn't been in touch...

For fuck's sake. The fact that you continue to make excuses for her indicates that you really don't—and most likely won't—end it, regardless of how many ppl tell you what's obvious and how many times you ask them to. You're not going to believe anything we say bc you simply do not want to believe anything we say.

If you don't want to leave her, you know, no one can make you leave her. But then stop whining about her. At this point you've made your bed. Repeatedly.
posted by violetk at 1:02 PM on November 25, 2014 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Oh for heaven's sake.... she made arrangements that she cancelled and now she is (once again, as she has many times in the past) giving you the silent treatment, and you keep trying to make it your fault she's acting like a spoiled brat..... well guess what: the only part of this on & off mess that is 'your fault' is how you keep crawling back to her, to practically beg her to stomp all over you yet again. Sheesh.

In your last update, you wrote "She has a history of behaving like this." Let me repeat that for emphasis: "SHE HAS A HISTORY OF BEHAVING LIKE THIS". You know it, I know it, everybody that has ever answered any of your five (five!) posts about this sad excuse for a relationship knows it. This woman in no way, shape or form considers you her partner in a real relationship; instead, you fit somewhere between convenient sex-toy and an empty suit she can pull off the back shelf if/when she can't find an escort she prefers.

Please, do yourself one humongous favor: stop. Just, stop..... stop trying to contact her, stop accepting any communications from her, stop letting her use you as a doormat. Stop making excuses for her shitty behavior; stop trying to convince yourself that everything that ever goes wrong is your fault. Rip the blinders off and move on.
posted by easily confused at 1:07 PM on November 25, 2014 [6 favorites]

Response by poster: Some harsh answers...but good ones.
I've decided that I'm just going to walk away.
I'm not going to send her a message ending it as I feel it would feed the drama and it's moot and somewhat academic.
Silence says everything so that is the approach I'm going to adopt.
Should she contact me then I will decide upon either ignoring or telling her it's over.
Ta very much for all the responses.
posted by blokefromipanema at 11:18 AM on November 26, 2014 [2 favorites]

Should she contact me then I will decide upon either ignoring or telling her it's over.
My advice? Decide to ignore her now. She will get back in touch. They always do.

People like your ex and my ex like having their hooks in people. Contacting you after a spell of silence is standard practice - she'll want to know if she's still got a hook in you.

You're not a fish. She's going to dangle bait in front of you and if you decide now that you're not going to take the bait, you're a lot less likely to take the bait.

I receive an email from my ex every six months, like clockwork. I think he has a Google alert or something set! And you know what? Ignoring him is so, so amazing. It hurts for a few hours or even days (this has gotten better over time - I left him over 2 years ago now) and then I remember "hey, my life is so freaking amazing right now, I can't believe how much I let that guy drag me down!" and I go on being awesome.

Start being awesome and amazing and let it go. Let her go. Don't engage, don't respond, and don't put off deciding what to do. Stick to yourself and take care of yourself.

She will get back in touch. That might sound so sweet and so lovely now, but just wait - all it means is that she's asking "Hey, do I still have my hook in the blokefromipanema's mouth?" Silence is the only way for her to get the message: No, you don't.
posted by sockermom at 12:09 PM on November 26, 2014 [3 favorites]

Sandra Brown MA has some great stuff about relationships with toxic women but you might have to do quite a bit of rummaging for the stuff aimed at blokes.
posted by tanktop at 2:23 AM on November 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

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