Dealing with the fact that someone you loved was not who you thought?
December 30, 2014 4:32 PM   Subscribe

How do you reconcile the person you loved at the start with the not-so-nice actions they did to lead to the end of the relationship? How do you stop yourself from feeling stupid/hurt/betrayed/unable to trust?

Following on from my previous question I met up with my ex to exchange stuff and talk about her wish to possibly get back together (cue groans). It was all going very amicably until we went for a meal after some drinks. I was even thinking it would be a good idea to get back together. Since our break up she has had a very tough time with a bereavement in the family and she cried a bit about it and we hugged and kissed.

Then she started to get drunk and angry about her boss emailing her. Then she started saying I had been selfish and wasn't there for her through the bereavement because we ended up talking about our relationship. This is true and I do regret this. Even though we were broken up I wanted to try and help but I was selfish and let my own feelings get in the way and had a go at her for her actions while she was grieving which is awful. But since then I had done all I could to help her.

Then she started telling me that she had been sent screenshots of messages in which my friends were bad-mouthing her. This is when it started to get really weird. She told me loads of different stories of where this information had come from - at first it was screenshots of messages, then it was a group conversation, then it was a 'hacking bot' sending her emails with screenshots, then it was that my friend's boyfriend had told his gay friends that she was exaggerating her family problems to try and get me to get back with her. I don't think any of my friends would say stuff like this and the story switched so much, it just didn't make sense.

Then she started mumbling something and I heard the words 'selfish c*nt'. I asked her "Did you just call me a selfish c*nt?" and she said she hadn't but other people were and she had defended me. Then she started getting angry that I didn't believe her stories and started pounding the table (all this in a crowded restaurant) and saying "Fuck you". I said I felt unsafe and threw some money on the table and left.

When I left she called me lots of times and then she messaged me saying "I'll just go out with her then". Turns out she has a new girl lined up already who has been waiting to see if we'll get back together. New girl said I would probably be too "stuck in the past" to get back together with her. I guess being stuck in the past is not a bad thing as my ex cannot seem to stop herself from being drunk and abusive even for one day when she is supposedly on her best behaviour trying to win me back. The whole day she was saying I was the only person she could see herself with, I am the only one she has ever had this connection with etc but she already has this new girl waiting in the wings.

Because of all the family trauma I also feel an extra dose of guilt and like maybe that is the reason behind all this, and there is something else I could have done to treat her better. I certainly could have been a lot less selfless when I was trying to help with the bereavement. It was probably foolish to even try.

I guess my question is, does everyone have this dark side waiting to come out? Why did I have some of the best times of my life with this person who in the end does not treat me very well? How much could the family trauma be to blame? How do you trust other people once someone has turned on you like this?
posted by gatsbyisgreat to Human Relations (30 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
People are messed up. People are cool. People are all sorts of things, sometimes at the same time. I've never really figured out the secret, so it'll be interesting to see if someone else below me has. That said, I just wanted to complement you for your self-reflection and awareness, but caution that you might feel more responsible for stuff that happened than might be warranted. Time will tell, but right now you're in the middle of this and the best thing you can do is try to habituate yourself to moving on. Later, with distance, you may have better insight. In the meanwhile, trust is a hard thing to get back, but magically it seems to come back with time, distance and, frankly, need. So, I wouldn't worry about it too much and enjoy being on your own for a bit.
posted by learnsome at 4:44 PM on December 30, 2014 [1 favorite]

Go read the comments from your last question. Your ex is an emotionally manipulative, sick, and toxic person. She is not representative of an emotionally and mentally mature and healthy person. She is not like most people you will meet in your life. She has treated you very, very badly and you would do well to never see her again and stop all communications.

Continue to work through this with your therapist and please understand that her behavior is not your fault. You didn't cause her to be this way and you can't change her into someone who is not this way.

Good luck.
posted by quince at 4:45 PM on December 30, 2014 [25 favorites]

People have many sides to them. They can be two things at once: generous and selfish, loving and spiteful, thoughtful and oafish, fun and draining. These are all the same person. The next person you have a relationship with will have all these qualities in them, just like you do.

Leave this girl behind and work on yourself for a while.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 4:47 PM on December 30, 2014 [5 favorites]

I haven't read your previous posts, so I can only comment on what you explained above.
I understand it is always hard to see a love come to an end and it is linked with a lot of pain. I think when you decide to break up, you decide to end the relationship and not try to work things out. That can obviously happen for different reasons. In my opinion you have been the wrong person to help her through a difficult time as you both have decided to not be a couple anymore. To be there for someone who is going through a tough time involves being very close to them in an intimate and vulnerable situation. This would just be totally confusing and leads to more problems as in having to identify the emotions coming along in a time that is hard anyways.

I do believe that sometimes you can be surprised and disappointed by someone you have been very close to. We all do have different sides and some are nicer than others but I think what you mean is when a certain moral boarder is crossed. I have personally discovered that disappointed after a long term relationship but if I am honest to myself I have just ignored signs from when we still been together. Little comments, actions that were clear warnings. Be more aware of those in the future and trust your feeling.
posted by eternitypost at 4:59 PM on December 30, 2014 [2 favorites]

This woman honestly sounds like someone who is either lying to manipulate or someone with a mental health issue. You sound like someone so desperate to be loved that you'll consider reconciling halfway through one dinner. Come on now; look out for yourself a bit better, eh?
posted by DarlingBri at 5:06 PM on December 30, 2014 [16 favorites]

I will share an anecdote.

I was young and engaged to a guy. We were dating for 2 years. We finally broke up and everything everyone said about him clicked. I saw him 4 days later with a new girl and fell apart. A week after we broke up he wanted to "meet to talk about things." He couldn't give me a straight answer to anything, not even why he started dating someone. When the conversation got too heavy for him, he got up as a crowd was passing and disappeared with them like in a soap opera, he did it purposefully for drama.

I called my dad and said "Holy shit, he's crazy! How did I not realize this?"

I'm sure I felt like you're feeling now. There are lots of things about someone that they may not show you, things they hide, or things you choose to ignore. It took a while to be okay trusting people again, but eventually I did. I met my husband and found what real love and trust feels like.

Really, time is the only way to get through this, but know that this is common for relationships. At some point you can't even believe you were around that person and they feel like an alien. Then you'll realize you're totally better off without them and will probably start feeling more like yourself and have a better chance at a more successful relationship.
posted by Crystalinne at 5:12 PM on December 30, 2014 [17 favorites]

Yep. This person sounds mentally ill or extremely manipulative. People like that can be very charming. You miss it the first few times you are up close and personal with it. Happens.

I'm also wondering why you would still be so willing to cut this person so much slack, why you think you had a responsibility towards them after breaking up (uh super weird, invites drama, and flat out is not true) and how you are finding the lying and yelling incident somehow excusable?

That she had someone else lined up is besides the point. You are focusing on the wrong thing.

Look at everything else that is wrong about this person for you? Of course she had someone else lined up!

Like I said, once you get to know the patterns, you won't fall for someone tricky and manipulative like this person was ever again. No, not everyone is like this. Toxic damaged people who don't take responsibility for their own actions and refuse to do self-work to become better people ARE like this. Know them and what they are like so you can avoid them in the future.
posted by jbenben at 5:25 PM on December 30, 2014 [4 favorites]

I used to think the world was mostly made up of normal people and peppered with weirdos. As the years go by, I'm starting to think the number of normal people is much lower than I previously thought. You need to look on these interactions as bullets dodged rather than trying to figure out what you might have done wrong. Logic can't be applied to everyone's actions and it's an exercise in futility to try.
posted by cecic at 5:37 PM on December 30, 2014 [11 favorites]

Best answer: I guess my question is, does everyone have this dark side waiting to come out?

Yes, everyone has less positive ways of coping when they're under extreme stress. However, how "bad" that "bad side" is varies greatly. As others have pointed out, your GF is on the more extreme end.

Why did I have some of the best times of my life with this person who in the end does not treat me very well?

This is the most important question you asked. I had great times with someone who treated me badly, and therapy was a godsend in seeing the patterns. Getting to the "why" will take you a long time, though. It could be a fluke, or it could be that there's someone in your family that you've learned to accommodate / appease / cover for / stabilize / [or something like that], so that is what "love" feels like to you.

How much could the family trauma be to blame?

Was this behavior absent before the family trauma?

How do you trust other people once someone has turned on you like this?

You have to build your ability to recognize poor treatment and protect yourself from it. It's really about trusting yourself. Listen to that part of yourself that wrote "my ex cannot seem to stop herself from being drunk and abusive even for one day when she is supposedly on her best behaviour trying to win me back." Strengthen that side. Don't give as much power to the part of yourself that feels guilty. Develop an internal "defense attorney" to argue with that part of you that guilt-trips you. Empower them with arguments including "nobody is expected to be perfect" and "I have a right to have feelings and wants" and "she is an adult and can take care of herself; it's not my job." You don't have to be perfect, and you deserve to be treated better than this.
posted by salvia at 5:40 PM on December 30, 2014 [19 favorites]

Best answer: Turns out she has a new girl lined up already who has been waiting to see if we'll get back together. New girl said I would probably be too "stuck in the past" to get back together with her.

Unless you have physically seen this person, i would bet you everything i own that they do not exist.

Because of all the family trauma I also feel an extra dose of guilt and like maybe that is the reason behind all this,

This is not your responsibility, nor your problem. She has had plenty of time to deal with all this shit on her own, and is still an absolute mess.

Do not ever talk to this person again. Block her on everything. If you see her on the street, turn around and go the other direction.

Multiple friends of mine have exes like this, and in basically all cases they have continued to be somehow involved in their lives for years mostly through "hey lets just get some coffee and talk" type stuff.

I think you need to accept the fact that it doesn't really matter if she's mentally ill or just a manipulator, because the end product is manipulation. And i don't think 'she can't help it' or 'she's had a traumatic past' matter at all when it comes to being a shitty awful person like this. They're explanations, not excuses. And you seem primed to treat them as both.

The recommendations of individual therapy are great, because you've asked some important questions here(like the "how did i have the best times?" one) that we can't really answer for you. I will say that i've had similar experiences, and that some of my fondest memories are with people who were absolutely awful to be in a relationship with and impossible to rely on.

As a side note, i strongly believe in the idea that a large number of people who date someone in their early 20s when they're a decade-ish or more older do it because they're immature as fuck, and no one their own age will put up with their own shit, and they want someone they can control and gaslight easily. This might be conscious, it might not, it might be a mix of the two. But i've always really felt that was true from everything i've seen.

How do you trust other people once someone has turned on you like this?

god i feel like a huge dick but give it time, and don't jump into a relationship with the next person that comes along ASAP just to avoid being alone. Take some serious time off after this, like, a year. Seriously. Hang out with your friends, do cool shit. None of how you were treated is your fault in any way, but your acceptance of this dynamic and continued placating, excuse making, and general minimizing of her behavior is pretty fucked up. Work on why you're so willing to accept this standard of behavior.

I always feel like shitty people like this have some kind of subconscious radar for people they can easily victimize, who will accept their crap. Figuring out why you accept it so readily could go a long way in not having a giant flashing sign on your back that says "i am an easy as fuck target". I've watched friends get perpetually caught in that, and watched some climb out of it.

Part of trusting other people is not accepting untrustworthy people in to your life. It's fine to be wronged by someone you thought you could trust, but i feel like part of the issue here is that your trust-detector is awfully miscalibrated. No small part of not getting mauled by a bear is not trying to ride a bear because it felt like a good idea at the time.
posted by emptythought at 5:51 PM on December 30, 2014 [29 favorites]

Nobody is ever just who you think they are. We all have different personas that we wear in different situations. There's a song by The Sisters of Mercy from their Vision Thing album that suits your situation. It's called "When You Don't See Me".
posted by starbreaker at 5:54 PM on December 30, 2014 [2 favorites]

Then she started to get drunk and angry

... to me personally all the rest of this is basically the bad results of someone who is a problem drinker or a person with mental health issues who has lowered inhibitions due to alcohol. So basically no matter what she did after this point, it's just "Drunk and/or mentally ill person behaves in a way you might expect them to" I am sorry this happened to you. Is there a reason you might, for some reason, think any of this behavior from her is rational or at all okay? Because as soon as someone started talking that kind of shit to me I would be showing them the door and not wondering if I had done something that was even partway responsible.

Why did I have some of the best times of my life with this person who in the end does not treat me very well? How much could the family trauma be to blame? How do you trust other people once someone has turned on you like this?

Unstable people often have a lot of great highs and great lows associated with them. In fact there is often something appealing to many people about instability and not knowing what is going to happen next. Some people like this feeling even when they start to realize it can be attached to people who are not good partners. Some people had parents like this and think this is how relationships happen and how people are supposed to interact. I was the happiest person once i realized that I could have a relationship that wasn't this much DRAMA and that someone would want to be with me even if I was in a bad mood and that I could be with them in a bad mood and it was nothing at all like the weird toxic crap you've described.

So, as emptythought says, it's not about trusting other people as much as trusting yourself to have good boundaries and to be okay with getting awful people out of your life. This person sounded awful (and maybe it's because of trauma, who knows, who cares. honestly?) and you're better off moving past her. There are a lot of warning signs that it might be worth learning by rote to see if you are in an abusive or neglectful relationship so you can be a little more mindful from the get-go about whether a person is worth trusting and what red flags or danger signs might be.
posted by jessamyn at 5:59 PM on December 30, 2014 [11 favorites]

Following on my previous answer, I think we all have that dark side you recently encountered. Angramainyu knows I have one, and I do my best to keep it sealed away when I'm with my wife. She doesn't deserve to see me at my cruelest.
posted by starbreaker at 6:00 PM on December 30, 2014

As someone who's had an ex and breakup like this, I think you'll find a lot of your answers as you work towards forgiving this person. This will take time (as in, years), and it does NOT NOT NOT mean EVER getting back together with this person, but understanding them truly as you learn to forgive them will provide reconciliation with a lot of the questions/'stuff that doesn't make sense' about how they treated you at their best, versus at their worst.
posted by destructive cactus at 6:38 PM on December 30, 2014

Does everyone have this dark side waiting to come out?
In my experience, yes. When we are hurt and angry, whether it's at someone else, something or just life in general, it always seems to bring out the worst in us.

How do you trust other people once someone has turned on you like this?
Accept that, just as you see someone at their best when they are feeling great, you see them at their worst when they are feeling terrible.

While it would be nice if we were all capable of dealing with our crap in a calm, logical and 'grown up' (whatever that means) way, the reality is that most of us aren't a lot of the time. Some people manage this well almost all of the time, some don't manage it well at all. It sounds like your ex is on the extreme end of 'doesn't manage it well' and has been dealing with a relationship breakup on top of other stressful events, so you've seen her at her very worst. It's likely there were signs of this through your relationship with her and, I think, the long-term key is to become aware of what those signs were and try and pick up on them in the future. It's far from a perfect science, though, unfortunately, so it's not until you see patterns of behaviour that these signs are readily spotted. If you've had similar issues in the past, looking back would be valuable to see where those patterns emerge.
posted by dg at 6:43 PM on December 30, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I am so happy to have found this site because your answers are all so helpful. In response to some comments – I definitely plead guilty to being ‘desperate for love’ unfortunately. This was my first serious relationship, and it felt like a long time coming and I probably bent my standards too much in an effort to keep it going. In between the drama, there was also a huge amount of good which made it hard to let go. I also unwisely kept pretty much zero boundaries up after the break up – partly because the relative died and partly because in our lesbian community people seem to all be best friends with their exes. It is really hard not to feel sympathetic to her when she is grieving and really hard not to feel like the 'bad guy' for the timing of our break up. I'm a bit scared my ex might spread some rumours about me now.

Sounds like the consensus is I need more therapy – my therapist has not made nearly as many useful statements as you guys so far so I will give her one more shot and then try and find one who will say a bit more.

Also emptythought really made me smile with the image of my ex as an angry bear so thank you!
posted by gatsbyisgreat at 7:03 PM on December 30, 2014 [5 favorites]

Sounds like the consensus is I need more therapy – my therapist has not made nearly as many useful statements as you guys so far so I will give her one more shot and then try and find one who will say a bit more.

There are definitely bad therapists out there, so if you're not clicking with your therapist you should totally feel free to find a new therapist, but please be aware that AskMetafilter and therapy are very very different things. AskMetafilter is about giving people advice, basically telling you what to do. Good therapists should help you find your own way and develop your own plan, without telling you what to do, except in very extreme situations (as in, your life is in immediate danger).

It's certainly helpful to have both, so I'm not trying to say one is better than the other, just that a therapist who gives too much advice is actually not a very good therapist. You want to learn to trust your own judgment, not someone else's.
posted by jaguar at 7:59 PM on December 30, 2014 [9 favorites]

The I-Didn't-Read-Your-Details-But-This-Is-What-I've-Learned-The-Hard-Way answer:
You grieve and eventually learn to accept that the person you loved never existed in the first place, that they were a fictional creation of someone much less worthy, and that you were not at fault for becoming their victim.

And then you pick up the pieces, and move on, a little bit more wary, a lot less trusting... but with any luck, still hopeful, because there *are* real people out there, and you'll encounter one eventually.
posted by stormyteal at 12:03 AM on December 31, 2014 [2 favorites]

"partly because the relative died and partly because in our lesbian community people seem to all be best friends with their exes. It is really hard not to feel sympathetic to her when she is grieving and really hard not to feel like the 'bad guy' for the timing of our break up. I'm a bit scared my ex might spread some rumours about me now. "

Emphasis mine.

Hey! I have a lot of lesbian friends, I'm female, but not self-identified as part of that community, y'know what I mean?

I knew that the community behavior of staying close with an ex was an aspect of your question. I did not speak to it in my first answer, even though it was forefront in my mind when considering your dilemma.

I have no idea why that is a feature of some lesbian cultures. Please enlighten me to the rewards.

I always *assumed* it grew out of two things: (a) general nature of women to be super cool emotionally towards people they love/loved, and (b) that previously, lesbians like all that identify LGBT, need to be cool with each other because it is a small (perceived) group and ultimately you gotta embrace those in your "tribe."

I don't know where you live, so maybe you are still entirely marginalized socially and culturally via your sexual preference. My husband is Egyptian, and I was just reading the other day how a group of men were sentenced to 3 years in prison there for appearing online in a gay marriage ceremony. The news story was about how their prison sentences were recently reduced to one year (social pressure?)

I get it. All of it.

I don't know what the situation is where you live, but that figures HEAVILY into how much deference you are required to show towards your ex. How big is the social circle? What are the outside constraints?

If you live somewhere semi-normal - hey! You do you, let the outside world figure it out! Don't let this toxic ex control too much of your future.

For further advice if your social environment is not friendly, please let the thread know your constraints and concerns.

We want you to live your best life. Details count.
posted by jbenben at 1:53 AM on December 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: jbenben - thank you for your question. Luckily, I live near a capital city where there is a relatively large gay community, so I don't feel unusually marginalised. However there are so few lesbian bars/nights that I'm sure it will take me no time at all to run into my ex. My ex was a big face on the lesbian scene when we met and she knows most of the people who run the clubs, so I'm worried I won't be able to feel good going out if she spreads anything about me. Her story about somehow finding out comments my friend made through my friend's boyfriend is also worrying (I'm hoping this is just one of the list of lies, but it was the last/most reasonable explanation).
posted by gatsbyisgreat at 2:24 AM on December 31, 2014

You've already received some great advice. I just wanted to add one thing.

I've been in the position of being utterly shocked and incredibly broken hearted because someone turned out to be not who I thought they were.

What I learned from the experience was that it wasn't really their alterior personality that was the cause of my broken heart, but rather my attatchment to it that was the culprit.

In my case this person tried hard to make me believe they were a certain thing. I, for the most part believed in that mask they projected (even though there were signs that it was indeed just a mask which I chose to ignore). Why did I ignore those little signs? Because I very much WANTED the mask to be real. I had invested much into the person and I didn't want that investment to go to waste. I wanted so much to believe that they were all the good things I thought they were because if they weren't then it meant that I WAS WRONG. And I did not want to be wrong.

When the mask started falling apart and it started becoming clear that they weren't the dependable, trustworthy person it was so painful for me. Admitting that your investment was a stupid one can be hard. Ultimately I realized that the heartache I felt when someone ended up being different than I initially thought was completely derived from my own attachment to the judgements I had made upon that person. I created an image of that person in my head (we all do this). And I didn't like how my image was not matching up to reality. So the cure was: Don't create attatchments to your own judgements or the images of others you create. Ideally, we shouldn't create judgements or images in the first place, but we often do this even without realizing so it's easier to just not invest yourself to those images. Once I saw things with this perspective, it no longer bothered me when I was wrong about someone.
posted by rancher at 3:07 AM on December 31, 2014 [5 favorites]

I'm worried I won't be able to feel good going out if she spreads anything about me. Her story about somehow finding out comments my friend made through my friend's boyfriend is also worrying

We've already established she's manipulative. Do you see how the above questions are allowing her to manipulate your thoughts, feelings, and actions?
posted by DarlingBri at 5:30 AM on December 31, 2014 [2 favorites]

Your relationship worked because it was symbiotic. You were so desperate for love that you were willing to overlook your ex's bad behavior, and your ex knew that as long as she showed you love and affection that she could also act badly and you'd forgive her.

It was your first relationship. There were good things about it and bad things. Eventually you realized that you deserved a better relationship and you left. Your ex is not taking it well.

First of all, at the end of the day as much as you care for someone, you have to look after yourself. It's not selfish to break up with someone, especially if the relationship is abusive. This is clearly a hot button for you, you don't want to be perceived as selfish, so work to get over it. There was never a good time for you to leave your girlfriend. She's going to press that button if it suits her. So she's using this family loss as a way to make you feel terrible. Really, that's it.

Don't worry about what she says. Everyone in your circle knows she has problems. Rise above. Be civil, nothing more, and don't propagate the gossip. The she said/she said crap must stop.

Block her number from your phone, or better yet, get a new number. Unfriend her, have her email go to a spam folder, and if you see her out in public, nod to acknowledge her, but don't engage.

Most of our relationships end up to be disappointments. I know you have a pressure in your group to remain friendly or besties with your exes. But in the case of abusive relationships this is not advised.

Also, stop looking for external validation of your feelings, and your actions. Do what's right for you. Also, expand your friend group. The norms for this particular group are not serving your needs. Find people who are kinder, less gossipy and who will support you, in whatever you decide to do.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:15 AM on December 31, 2014 [5 favorites]

A thing to consider about this one question:

Why did I have some of the best times of my life with this person who in the end does not treat me very well?

Have you considered that the reason that those times in your life were so awesome was because YOU were the one making them awesome?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:19 AM on December 31, 2014 [4 favorites]

It's okay to have loved the person she said she was. There's no need to beat yourself up for not seeing that she was holding a lot of anger and cruelty inside. You've now seen a lot of examples of her using alcohol as an excuse to let her anger and cruelty out, and it's healthy to end your relationship now that you can see more of the whole person. I can see how it would be tempting to say that you've seen her as a good person, you stuck around and saw her as a bad person, and what's to say the next layer of getting to know her won't show her to be the good person you thought she was in the first place? But it won't be.

When you meet someone, first you see the good things they show you, then you start seeing the bad things they can't hide. As you get to know them, you see which good things they maintain without trying, and which fall off as they put in less effort to impress you. And you start to get pieces of the bad things they're trying to hide. You're pulling off layers of the onion, but whatever she isn't showing you by now, when you find it, it something that you want to hear. She's already shown you all the good qualities she's got, and there aren't going to be any more to discover. It's okay to remember loving the good qualities, and there's no need to feel duped; the person you loved is part of the person she is. But there's a lot of bad side going on there, and that is also part of the person she is. If, having now seen that, you choose to overlook it, *then* you can feel duped, but you'll be the one fooling yourself, it's not her at all.
posted by aimedwander at 11:01 AM on December 31, 2014 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: She just emailed me saying she's been reading my facebook messages ever since we broke up (I left my password saved on her work computer apparently) and did all this stuff to sabotage our relationship because she doesn't deserve me. And to the people who said the new girl had never said all this stuff - bingo, they've never met. She just made it up to hurt me. I don't think I'll ever understand. Thank you again everyone for your advice. Need to stay well away and hopefully date someone healthier next time.
posted by gatsbyisgreat at 12:46 PM on December 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

I trust that the second she said that your password was saved on her work computer and that she'd been reading your facebook messages, that you changed your password so she can't do that any more. (Okay, maybe after telling her off because DAYUM.)

And good for you - it sounds like you're taking this as "yet another reason why she is an evil hosebeast".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:40 PM on December 31, 2014 [2 favorites]

she doesn't deserve me
Among all the lies, a nugget of truth.
posted by dg at 2:22 PM on December 31, 2014 [5 favorites]

Please protect yourself from getting further hurt by (1) changing ALL passwords to your accounts so she can't do anything malicious next time she is angry at you and (2) putting some distance between the two of you by reducing contact as much as you can - don't reply at all, if possible, to any messages from her or you really feel you need to reply, take your time (don't reply right away) and keep things as vague and neutral as possible.
posted by metahawk at 7:33 PM on December 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

I've told this story before on MeFi, but I'll retell it because I think you might find it helpful. I had a girlfriend and realized we weren't a good fit. But I didn't break up with her, because she'd just had an operation a month before, and it wasn't a good time. Then it was Mother's Day, which was a really bad day for her. And then it was summer and she was finally in a good mood and I didn't want to bring her down. And so on and so forth. For over a year, it wasn't a good time. I finally broke up with her, even though it was close to Mother's Day again, and I'm still the bad guy years later because I knew it was a bad time for her and did it anyways. But I had to for me. I had to for her. It wasn't fair for me to keep it going, hoping for some good time to break up with her. Ruthless Bunny is right. There's never a good time. There never would be a good time for you to break up with her, but it would be even more unfair of you to stick around when you didn't want to be with her. That would be unkind. It hurts now, but better for you to both be free to find partners that fit better.

As for your circle, be the better person. Don't feed into the gossip. If anyone asks, your line is "It's sad, but it didn't work out. I wish her the best." Say it kindly, but keep repeating it until people get that It Is No Longer A Topic Of Conversation. I understand that there are some groups that tend to date within themselves quite a bit, so if you need to maintain a social front when she's going to be around, just be neutral. "It's sad, but it didn't work out. I wish her the best". This is your new mantra.

Not every relationship will work out, and that's ok. You did the best you could and so did she (even if her best is a bit ... interesting sometimes).
posted by RogueTech at 8:58 PM on December 31, 2014 [2 favorites]

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