I Broke Up with Him and I'm Heartbroken
September 12, 2015 3:45 PM   Subscribe

I broke up with him a week ago. I feel like he is the one who broke up with me.

I posted a question here last Saturday asking for advice on my relationship. I ended up breaking up with him. I know that I made the right decision. But now I am heartbroken. I feel like he is the one who broke up with me. I've been having trouble eating and sleeping, and I've probably cried 10 times per day. I've been completely miserable the entire week. I don't think I've smiled once. My emotions have been all over the place. One minute I am okay and the next I'm all teary-eyed.

We live together and he is still here unfortunately. I have been staying away from him. I haven't talked to him. However, he has been knocking on my door to ask a question or he has texted me pretty much once per day. Thursday was his day off so that day he moved all of his stuff from my room to his (pretty much just his television and stand and a few nick nacks). I was very miserable that day because he was home all day.

My head knows that I did the right thing. He was constantly lying to me. It was impossible to talk to him about anything. I know I deserve someone who will be honest with me and won't act shady. But how do I tell my heart that? My heart keeps saying I made a mistake. I just miss him so much.

I know it doesn't help that he is still living here. I have been keeping my distance. I don't understand why he feels the need to text me anything though. Today he texted me that some celebrity was at his restaurant. I didn't text him back and an hour later he texted me again saying "Nevermind. You don't have to ignore me." But I do have to ignore him. How can I get over someone if I am still in contact with them?

On Thursday he also asked me if I would do him a favor and drive him to the bank and that he would give me gas money. I really didn't want to and it was late so I used that as an excuse. So he said okay, on his next day off then. I don't want to be a bitch, but I really don't want to drive him. I don't even want to look at him. I've been hiding in my room until he leaves for work so I don't have to see him (I work from home so I don't really leave the house much). Would I be a bitch for telling him I don't want to drive him to the bank?

Seeing him brings up so many emotions. Even seeing a text from him makes me upset. What's the best way to handle this situation? Do I need to just be miserable until he moves out? I am just really miserable and really sad. I've never broken up with someone I still had so many feelings for.
posted by Nicole21 to Human Relations (59 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
How is he still there, if you don't mind clarifying? I saw some of the answers from your previous question which proposed an eviction of some sort, and I can't say that isn't a bad idea. Are there legal restrictions on your ability to force him out?
posted by Ashen at 3:59 PM on September 12, 2015 [7 favorites]


You are not really broken up and you cannot begin to actually go through the final grieving process and recovery while he is in your house. If that is not going to happen until the 1st, you're just going to have to tough it out. Is there anyone you can stay with for a bit? Anyone who can stay with you?
posted by DarlingBri at 4:10 PM on September 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


One of you has to leave as soon as possible. Anything else besides that is irrelevant until either of you leaves.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 4:10 PM on September 12, 2015 [5 favorites]


He has to go, or you have to go, by the end of this month. Until then, can you stay with a friend or a family member?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 4:13 PM on September 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


Oh, it's HIM. Yep, get him out asap. Sit down and have the uncomfortable chat and give him a deadline for leaving. Move out to a friends for the week if you have to but tell him you expect him to be out by the time you get back. Tell him to move in with the floozy he loves texting so much, he's her problem now. Either way, stand your ground and get him out.
posted by Jubey at 4:17 PM on September 12, 2015 [5 favorites]


He broke your heart and your trust in him. It's fine to be sad and that's normal. But you also have every right to be furious or have someone be furious at him on your behalf.

Also, he can take a cab to the damn bank. You aren't his mom. He's not your friend. He was an asshole, he's manipulative, he's trouble. He's an idiot without any shame, integrity or conscience. It's beyond me how he can ask you for favors after what he did. This douchebag is way entitled.
posted by discopolo at 4:30 PM on September 12, 2015 [14 favorites]


Stand your ground. Find family and friends who can help him move his stuff out. Also, change the lock when he does move out. He will continue to hope you will give in to him and even forgive him because you miss him so much. I agree you made the right decision. I would invite friends, especially good male friends over to keep you company. Show him you still trust men, but do not trust him. That could finally force a decision on his part to drastic action, but I feel doubtful after ten days. You could do a lot better. Hope you find an awesome housemate!
posted by parmanparman at 4:33 PM on September 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Someone needs to move. You or him need to get out of the apartment.

He gets nothing from you and you certainly aren't his chauffeur. If he contacts you by anything method just ignore him. Repeat this to yourself, "He is a lying liar who lies." Because that's exactly what he is.

Move.
posted by 26.2 at 4:40 PM on September 12, 2015 [9 favorites]


As far as the texting goes, if he won't stop after you've asked him to stop (you have asked him to stop, yes?), I'd go ahead and block him. These texts are only hurting you, and you don't have to have that in your life.
posted by DingoMutt at 4:44 PM on September 12, 2015 [10 favorites]


Also, I would really examine why exactly you think not driving him to the bank (or any other place) might make you a "bitch." Is it "bitchy" to decline doing something for a person who has been lying to your face? Even beyond the fact that he treated you so poorly and disrespectfully in the first place, the two of you are not together, and being around him causes you actual (and absolutely justified, understandable) pain.

Often times it's hard to let go of a mindset where you're somehow obligated to comply with others' requests, especially if you've been socialized to just get along, please other people, put your needs aside when someone else wants something of you, etc. However, there is nothing "bitchy" about refusing to do something that hurts you - this is you taking care of yourself in a loving and healthy way.
posted by DingoMutt at 4:56 PM on September 12, 2015 [18 favorites]


And don't let any worry about you looking like a "bitch" or immature or unreasonable come into your head. You are not! He's a dick who manipulated you, and is trying to manipulate you by getting you to worry about whether you seem like a bitch.

Jeez, this asshole dude isn't worrying about being a psycho who lied to the gf who chauffeured him to work and back, and then pestered women for nudes? Wo-ow!

He has seriously no shame. He's crazy., like, What kind of nut robs a bank, then goes back to the same bank to ask for a loan? You're chief loan officer! No one w/ an ounce of sanity is going to call you a bitch or unreasonable for not doing this jerk a favor! No more favors for him.

He's totally absurd! I know right now you're hurting but you are going to look back one day and think---whoa, this jag cheated on me and then wanted a favor? Holy cats! Then you're going to laugh and laugh and laugh at him with your friends, I promise.
posted by discopolo at 4:59 PM on September 12, 2015 [8 favorites]


Response by poster: How is he still there, if you don't mind clarifying? I saw some of the answers from your previous question which proposed an eviction of some sort, and I can't say that isn't a bad idea. Are there legal restrictions on your ability to force him out?

He agreed to move out by the 1st so I was/am nervous about asking him to move out sooner. I know I shouldn't, but I feel bad just throwing all his stuff out on the front yard and forcing him to find somewhere else to stay on such short notice. I don't want to be unreasonable.
posted by Nicole21 at 4:59 PM on September 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


He agreed to move out by the 1st so I was/am nervous about asking him to move out sooner. I know I shouldn't, but I feel bad just throwing all his stuff out on the front yard and forcing him to find somewhere else to stay on such short notice. I don't want to be unreasonable.


Dude pestered women for nudes, had you driving him around, etc. you are definitely not going to look unreasonable for throwing his sorry ass out. You are going to look and feel foolish if you don't get him out of your hair ASAP. Don't be a doormat. Being a doormat is where deep shame crops up in your life later, when you're like angry at yourself for letting him treat you like your feelings and well being don't matter.
posted by discopolo at 5:05 PM on September 12, 2015 [11 favorites]


We are less than half the way through the month. Give him notice and get him out by next Friday. He has friends he can stay with, yeah? Or one of those girls who he pestered for nudes. You can put some of his stuff in a closet until he gets resettled, if that makes you feel better.
posted by BlahLaLa at 5:08 PM on September 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


Ok. You can get him out of there without being mean or a "bitch". You don't have to throw his stuff on the lawn. Tell him you can't handle having him around because it's too painful to be around someone you were close to who lied to you, cheated on you, and took advantage of you.

Feelings are one thing. Of course it sucks to end any relationship. Even one that was damaging. Sometimes *especially* ones that are damaging, because those are just really confusing.

But you really will regret not acting with self-respect. It is not respectful to yourself to allow yourself to be hurt by someone who has hurt and used you the way this guy has. And is trying to continuing to do!

Like how does he not see or care that you're suffering? Getting a ride from you is more important to him than being classy and leaving you alone, or even better, getting the hell out of there. He doesn't give a crap that you're upset. He just wants a ride. He'll say anything to get more out of you until he goes. He doesn't really care about you. Sorry to say it, but he wouldn't act like this if he did.

You need to stand up for yourself. That is not being a bitch.
posted by cotton dress sock at 5:24 PM on September 12, 2015 [24 favorites]


He is the one who's being unreasonable, not you.
posted by cotton dress sock at 5:26 PM on September 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


Hi Nicole21! I'm glad to hear an update and am so glad that you broke up with him, although I'm sorry that you're hurting so much right now. People have already been giving you great advice and showing solidarity in this thread, from the gentle to the kick-in-the-butt variety. Here's my bit.

First, you totally did the right thing by breaking up with him. This guy is an effing asshole who did you wrong: yes, there are some happy memories because all relationships have them. However, it's the hard stuff where someone's true character comes out. I say this as someone who has had a lot of experience with many break-ups, including ones where I was technically the dumper but it felt like the other person was dumping the break-up on me, pardon the pun. A "good" ex may be hurt, sad, angry, etc. but will try hard to be civil and respectful. A good ex will try to move out asap. A good ex will not ask you to drive him/her/etc. to the bank and certainly will not be a jerk about it when you say no. A good ex will not try to continue to jerk you around by sending you texts, then acting like an a--hole. This guy has and continues to show you what a horrible, selfish, inconsiderate person he is.

It's a pain to deal with now but also a blessing in that he reminds you every day that breaking up was ABSOLUTELY the right decision. Ironically, near all of my exes were decent during the break-up: even if I was sad or mad as could be at them at the time, I will give them credit for being civil. Actually, there was one ex who continued to be a jerk, and it was also someone who cheated on me and then refused to take any responsibility or blame or show any true remorse or regret. So, yeah.

Second, yes, break-ups suck, regardless of which side of the break-up you're on! What you're describing right now sounds very natural: crying so much, being confused and unsure, missing what you had before (or what you thought you had had.) There's something sweet, yes, bittersweet but sweet about break-ups is that you can get to focus on yourself: you get to reconnect with friends and family, reflect on yourself, and more. In other words, remember the awesome person you were before and are now! Getting over a break-up can take weeks or months (or even more, that's OK but we'll cross that bridge if and when we get there.) However, this process doesn't really start happening until your ex is physically removed from your home life. That'd be the second step in the process since you've already done step one.

I agree with people above that he needs to go. If you felt asap was too fast (it's not, I swear), then he could move out by this coming Friday. Waiting until October 1st will be torture for you and allow him to continue being a jerk. Plus, honestly, I worry he'd not actually move out then and make your life even harder. How can we help you get him out of there? Can your brother and/or mom tell him to move? Could they stay with you again?

Third, break-ups really, really suck. They make us miss our exes and doubt we'll ever find someone else. But we most likely will or at least will find that we're much better off single without the ex. I hear you: some people find their first break-up to be the hardest but I found a later break-up to be hardest. Five years later and I'm two-years into a great relationship with someone I plan to marry and spend the rest of my life with. (And I'd also be happy being single because there are rad things about that, too.) Many, many others here can share similar stories about Life After Break-Ups that has turned out great. Would you like to hear more of them? And, gosh, yes, what can we do to get this guy out of your house for starters?!
posted by smorgasbord at 5:36 PM on September 12, 2015 [14 favorites]


Hey, congrats on breaking up! That's awesome! If you're not comfortable kicking him out, what about staying with friends yourself? (That's assuming you trust him with your stuff.) Or, what about just keeping busy from dawn to dusk? Go running at 5 am, go to work, go to the library, go out with friends... Also, I'd try to be really clear -- and yes, bitchy if necessary -- "we are broken up. I'm sorry, but your problems, like that ride you need, are your problems. Maybe we can be friends again in a few months or years, but for now, I can't be around you."
posted by salvia at 7:00 PM on September 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


Response by poster: Actually, there was one ex who continued to be a jerk, and it was also someone who cheated on me and then refused to take any responsibility or blame or show any true remorse or regret. So, yeah.

I actually feel like he is trying to play the victim here because I am the one who broke up with him. I don't think he thinks he did anything wrong. When I broke up with him, he asked me if there was someone else because I broke up with him "for a really ridiculous reason." Oh yeah, breaking up with someone because they are constantly lying to you and cheating on you are really ridiculous reasons (sarcasm obviously).

This is why I feel like he will make a big fuss if I tell him he has to leave ASAP. He will try to make me feel bad and say something along the lines of "you broke up with me and you're kicking me out now?"
posted by Nicole21 at 7:08 PM on September 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


He will try to make me feel bad and say something along the lines of "you broke up with me and you're kicking me out now?"

I know it's easier said than done, but in all sincerity, a great answer here would be "Yes, that is correct. I broke up with you and you need to leave now." I think it would be good to say this now, because everything you say about him makes me suspect that if you're not saying it now, you're going to need to say it when he drags his feet and whines and fusses about how he can't possibly move out yet when the first does roll around (has he even started looking for a new place yet?).

He can try to make you feel bad, but that doesn't mean you are the one acting badly here. He can imagine he is a victim, but that doesn't make him one.
posted by DingoMutt at 7:14 PM on September 12, 2015 [25 favorites]


It sounds like you really, deeply know that this was the best choice. But of course your heart hasn't caught up yet! You were in a relationship with him because you love and care about him. That's huge. You can't just flip a switch and un-love him. You need to give your heart time to heal.

One thing you can try is this: when you get one of those waves of emotion, let yourself feel it. Don't try to tell yourself it's wrong to be sad over a guy who lied to you. Be kind to your heartbroken self. Notice what you're feeling and think about what you need. Are you feeling more sad? Angry? Are you grieving the happiness you shared with your ex, or the hopes you had with him? Do you need to be alone and cry? Do you need to be with a friend who will listen to you vent? Acknowledging your feelings doesn't mean saying the breakup is a mistake. It's about taking care of yourself while you give your heart time to catch up to your brain. (It's going to suck, but it'll suck less if you accept what you're feeling while you're feeling it rather than trying to tell yourself those feelings are wrong.)
posted by Meg_Murry at 7:27 PM on September 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


Like DingoMutt said, your ex may try to make you feel bad but HE'S the one acting badly. Are you worried about your safety when you have him leave? If so, can a family member come back to stay with you? If you're not worried about your safety and simply worried about his complaining, then it's going to take feeling uncomfortable to get him to leave. Yes, people like him -- or that ex I described -- always tend to see themselves as the victims when they are actually causing harm to others. In an extreme form, it's part of a personality disorder; however, you can't and won't be able to help him get better, whatever his reasons are. He needs to admit his problem and then open himself up to treatment. Currently, you're just making it worse for him but, mostly, you. In the other thread last week, someone had this great point: people like him are like cats, they always tend to land on their feet (and go on to find other people to exploit until those people wise up like you did, etc.)

I understand why you're sad and I know it can be hard to stand up to someone, especially when they're a jerk and there's a history of poor treatment, but it makes me sad. It's like you're used to being treated badly by him so instead of standing up, you continue to be treated poorly by him. You deserve to be treated better and believe in your own value and power! I love what Meg_Murry said about your being true to yourself and trusting yourself, let yourself feel the pain and loss. That's important and you deserve that chance to grieve (and heal!)
posted by smorgasbord at 7:29 PM on September 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


Also, to this (if he says it)

"you broke up with me and you're kicking me out now?"

Yes, because it doesn't make sense for people to still live together once they've broken up. Breaking up means no longer being around each other. And since he's not doing the honourable thing and leaving, which is expected and is what a good person would do, he is making you do what he knows is really hard for you.

Which is another unkind thing he's doing. He knows you might struggle with conflict and are vulnerable to guilt. In fact, he's counting on you to avoid conflict and feel guilty. Even though you've done absolutely nothing wrong. He's doing whatever he can to make you feel responsible for the outcomes of his bad behaviour.

It is really hard to stick to your guns when someone's pushing guilt buttons, or cornering you with crazy logic. When that happens, all you have to do is go broken-record on him. Just repeat the same things over and over again - what DingoMutt suggested is perfect. Don't even pretend like it's a normal conversation.
posted by cotton dress sock at 7:35 PM on September 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


I actually feel like he is trying to play the victim here because I am the one who broke up with him. I don't think he thinks he did anything wrong. When I broke up with him, he asked me if there was someone else because I broke up with him "for a really ridiculous reason." Oh yeah, breaking up with someone because they are constantly lying to you and cheating on you are really ridiculous reasons (sarcasm obviously).


Da fuq? Is this dude on drugs? At the very, very least, he's trying to manipulate and gaslight you with all the damn burners going. WTF is he talking about? Girl, he is MESSED. UP. AS HELL. Get him out of your house before he makes you go insane. He's so transparently lying. He knows you're kind and he is trying to play the victim.

I am legitimately scared for the possible monster that is going to come out when all his efforts to play victim and get your sympathy fail. I've been there, calmly standing my ground, and my ex flipped his shit. Just Flipped the Fuck Out. He was a liar and cheater, and minimizer, too, ("I'm not a bad guy! I don't come home drunk and beat you, etc"---turns out he didnt have to be drunk to get off on doing what he did) and I never in a million years thought he would get physically violent with me. He just turned into pure concentrated evil right before me. It was so fast I could barely react, or get what was happening enough to physically protect myself.

I don't want you to end up bruised mentally and physically because he's crazy and can turn into an enraged monster you've never seen before.

(As smorgasbord said, what can we do to help get him out of your house and away from you? Guys like him can turn on a dime from tears and pleading to utter psycho aggression and it's so terrifying.)
posted by discopolo at 8:09 PM on September 12, 2015 [15 favorites]


This guy... he just keeps trying to use you--again and again. And what, now you're supposed to be his personal chauffeur? No. Unless he a four-year-old, he can arrange his own g-damned rides like an actual adult (bus, cab, walking, whatever... 'cause his transit is not-your-f'ing-problem).

I think from now on, this guy should only get two possible curt responses from you,
said to him through your closed door with a vocal attitude of 'Dude, are you honestly still here?':

He asks you for something--anything...
"That won't be possible."
He asks again, or says "Well, the reason I'm asking is because...", you cut him off by repeating "That won't be possible." (as many times as needed).

He says anything else like "Hey, freaky weather we're having, right?"
"You need to move out."
This guy needs to be gone.
You are not his mommy, and he needs to hear (repeatedly, apparently) that he is no longer welcome.

Give. Him. Nothing.
(not even a head nod or a "Hi" if he says hello)

If you can't stay elsewhere until he moves out, think about having a friend stay over--letting jerkface know that that friend [that has your emotional back and is not his friend] will be there until he moves out.

Also, his phone number should be blocked so that you don't receive (or even see) any of his calls or texts.
posted by blueberry at 8:13 PM on September 12, 2015 [10 favorites]


Forgive me for being blunt, but this person treated your love, your trust, your heart and you like garbage, and continues to show no respect for your feelings.

You have no obligation to be helpful.
You have no obligation to be nice.
And you have zero reason to give a damn what he thinks about you. He's proven he's not worthy enough to judge you.

Who gives a damn if he thinks you're being a bitch? Or rude? Or if he thinks you shouldn't have broken up with him? His opinion doesn't count anymore. He gave up that right.

The only question that should matter now is: What is best for you? And you know the answer to that question.

Give him notice. Toss him out. Change the locks. Put him and his manipulative, guilt-tripping bullshit behind you.
posted by zarq at 8:54 PM on September 12, 2015 [10 favorites]


I do want to validate that it can be extremely challenging to assert yourself in this way, if you're not used to doing it in general (I don't know if you are, but it sounds like maybe not?).

And it's especially hard when the person you have to assert yourself against is someone who's been playing mind games with you for a long time. Who is being intimidating, twisting your words, cornering you, making you second-guess yourself. When you still have feelings for them. And when all your life, you've tried to be a good and kind person, because that's what you believe is one of the most important things about you. And when they use that against you.

I think a lot of us have been there, and we're just trying to encourage you to do better for yourself than some of us did for ourselves. I've been a little tough to try to break through some of the things it seems to me might be holding you back, but I'm not convinced it's the best way to put things.

One of those things was: he's not acting that way just because it's part of some messed up way of caring about you. He has cold, selfish objectives that have nothing to do with love - he wants a place to stay, a ride, etc. It's hard to hear that idea, I'm sure. It's hard to believe it when you have good memories, too. (I think that some of the pleasant moments you shared were probably real. Some of them just haven't been.) That might make you question yourself even more, and it might make you feel worse.

But just because this guy is doing what he's doing doesn't mean that you're not worthy of love, or unloveable. Or that you won't meet someone who will genuinely care for you and not use you. You are worthy of love. And there are plenty of guys who are decent, and some of them will be right for you. He's not one of them.

It is important to be kind. But it's also important to learn to have boundaries and defend them. I'm not saying it's easy. But it's the only way to prevent being hurt by this guy and others like him, and to clear a path so that people who know how to be truly loving will be able to meet you. You are worth love like that.
posted by cotton dress sock at 9:36 PM on September 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


Unfortunately, yes, it's miserable until someone moves out. I've had a couple roommate situations go bad and the day they move away, it's like winning the lottery. Don't let him manipulate you into taking him back, or, more likely what he wants, to sleep with you. He's a lying weasel and he can get his brother to come by with his pick up truck and pick up his stuff and get out.

If he needs to get out but leave some stuff there, let him. Get him out. But also put a time limit on his stuff. After a week, it's going to the garbage dump. He'll never come back for it. Promise. You did the right thing. I'm amazed at how strong you are!!!
posted by Piedmont_Americana at 9:49 PM on September 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'm going to say something that a lot of people probably won't agree with here, but it's something i've done in shitty situations and honestly i file it under the "put on your own oxygen mask first" sort of thing.

Why not just crash at a friends, or your moms, or somewhere until he's gone? Yes, he's the one who should leave, but you have a clear end date here at which you can go "ok fuckboy, you said you'd be out, now you need to leave". You're basically enduring pain until a scheduled surgery to get the failure removed here.

Seriously, just get yourself out so you can get away from him. Return to the house when he's not there.

Maybe i really am somewhat conflict averse, but you have a roadmap to solving the problem you're cruising down. Why sit there being made to feel like shit and having to deal with him just because dammit you're right?

I've sat through some mighty shitty situations because fuck it i'm right, or obligation, or whatever. I drew a line and decided fuck that several years ago.

What's easier, dealing with his tiresome argumentative ass that will throw a huge tantrum if you try and get him to leave sooner or just... not being around until he's gone?
posted by emptythought at 12:24 AM on September 13, 2015 [5 favorites]


Hey! Do you think your friends and family could collectively convince this jerk to leave? Maybe you'd feel more confident (and safer) in a group and maybe it would really get the point across that he's not going to be running any more game on you.

Doing great! This is real anxious awful stuff. Once he's out of there, you'll process, move on, and feel more confident advocating for your needs in the future.
posted by Pardon Our Dust at 2:56 AM on September 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


This guy is a manipulative jerk, maybe even a sociopath. You broke up with him because his treatment of you left you no choice. His attempts to portray himself as the victim in this scenario are disgusting.

I agree with emptythought above, if you do not have the stomach for further confrontation at this point--which is perfectly understandable--then just find somewhere else to stay for the next couple of weeks. Block his calls and otherwise cut him out of your life. At 0900 on 1 October, be at your apartment with the locksmith to change your locks. If he still has any belongings inside at that time, enlist a few friends to put them out on the lawn.

Then get on with your life, which will be immeasurably better without this loser in it, I promise.
posted by rpfields at 8:17 AM on September 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


I have been in your position and was too nice and let him stay too long. I ended up having to help him move him out. Spare yourself something similar, and start taking steps to move things along. Right now everything is still comfortable and familiar for him, and he feels no sense of urgency. You need to make things very uncomfortable for him to shake up his sense of complacency.

Start bringing boxes, markers, labels, packing tape, etc., home. If he wants to talk to you, you can talk at length about packing up his shit. Since he is behaving like a manbaby who can't take responsibility for himself, print him a list of rooms-for-rent on Craigslist, a list of moving helpers, and a list with prices for van rentals from U-haul and such.

Cheerfully deflect all attempts at conversation back around to him packing and moving out. If he won't pack it, start packing it for him. Leave a box for some clothes and his food and toiletries. Pile everything by the door. Make it uncomfortably obvious that he needs to be O-U-T. Hell, if you know some people who will play along, try to have someone come over when he's there and "show the apartment" as if you were looking for a new roommate already. Make it clear that the room/apartment will be available October 1st.

Make it clear to him that if the pile by the door isn't gone by midnight on September 30th, you're changing the locks and his crap will be outside.
posted by cardinality at 9:03 AM on September 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


But now I am heartbroken. I feel like he is the one who broke up with me. I've been having trouble eating and sleeping, and I've probably cried 10 times per day. I've been completely miserable the entire week. I don't think I've smiled once. My emotions have been all over the place. One minute I am okay and the next I'm all teary-eyed.

This is all normal.

We live together and he is still here unfortunately. I have been staying away from him. I haven't talked to him. However, he has been knocking on my door to ask a question or he has texted me pretty much once per day.

This needs to stop, all of it.

"[Guyname], this is going to sound harsh. Our relationship is over. I am not interested in being friends or receiving texts from you. And you need to be out of this house by Friday at the latest*, I cannot live like this. That is the end of discussion."

* be sure you're not running into any legal minefields re: eviction etc.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:35 AM on September 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


Response by poster: I do want to validate that it can be extremely challenging to assert yourself in this way, if you're not used to doing it in general (I don't know if you are, but it sounds like maybe not?).

And it's especially hard when the person you have to assert yourself against is someone who's been playing mind games with you for a long time. Who is being intimidating, twisting your words, cornering you, making you second-guess yourself. When you still have feelings for them. And when all your life, you've tried to be a good and kind person, because that's what you believe is one of the most important things about you. And when they use that against you.


Yes you are absolutely correct. He has been making me second-guess myself for a long time now and even made me question my sanity a few times. I really thought I was the crazy one for a while so I am really glad I found this forum. It has made me see things so much clearer.

Why not just crash at a friends, or your moms, or somewhere until he's gone? Yes, he's the one who should leave, but you have a clear end date here at which you can go "ok fuckboy, you said you'd be out, now you need to leave". You're basically enduring pain until a scheduled surgery to get the failure removed here.

I have considered doing this. I am just so afraid that the 1st will come around and I will come back and he will still be here. I don't want to have to endure another month of this. Legally, I do not think I have the right to just throw his stuff out. However, I also do not think he is going to ever sue me or anything. He doesn't really have his life together.
posted by Nicole21 at 1:13 PM on September 13, 2015


Legally, I do not think I have the right to just throw his stuff out. However, I also do not think he is going to ever sue me or anything. He doesn't really have his life together.


Just tell him if he's not out by Friday, you're putting his stuff in garbage bags for him to pick up. You don't have to throw his stuff out. Put a big tag on it with his phone number if you have to.

When I wanted my ex out, I actually packed his stuff, which was pretty cathartic. I gave him a few hours access to the apt to get his stuff and his dresser. I wanted him out, like you, I knew seeing his stuff gone was going to be hard, but I'm glad I didn't cave. Breakups hurt but they're normal experiences. You get stronger and better and happier, it just takes time and patience and self-compassion and sitting with your grief. It's rough to stop loving someone, but you really need to choose yourself by removing your empathy for him. That's what he relied on to make a fool out of you, and that's what he's trying to use to get you to take him back.
posted by discopolo at 2:09 PM on September 13, 2015 [6 favorites]


I think you need to change the conversation in your head while dealing with all this.

(But first, PLEASE practice in the mirror saying "that won't be possible." Do not say "I'm sorry, ..." leave that part out completely. Seriously, it does help to practice saying no.)

So, try to imagine what he might ask you for next, and think about how you will distance yourself by saying no. Try some of these:

I am disengaging by saying no.
This is your problem, not mine, and I am not making it mine.
I am no longer involved in the details of your life.
I am dealing with my own issues and don't have time or energy for yours.
Since you'll be on your own in three weeks, you need to start handling your own shit.
I don't owe you anything.
Not my monkeys, not my circus.

Just keep repeating in your head, say it out loud when you feel strong enough, and text it when you need to. Won't take long before he gets the message loud and clear!
posted by raisingsand at 5:26 PM on September 13, 2015 [5 favorites]


I have considered doing this. I am just so afraid that the 1st will come around and I will come back and he will still be here.

This is why you get a bunch of your friends to come over that day and say no, you already committed to this, you're leaving. Also on this part of the plan, random protip, but hospitals receive an OBSCENE amount of boxes EVERY DAY. Like, train cars worth of them. If you go to the recycling/waste department loading dock and just ask for boxes they will give you an entire car load of them(my dad works at a hospital, i've done this several times, i've sent friends there several times as well). I wouldn't pack his stuff because really? But i would leave a big pile of boxes and a couple rolls of packing tape in the middle of the room.

That said, the reason you wait til then, or at least i would, is that at least for now you have an agreement. He agreed to leave then. If it gets to the first and he tries to weasel out, then HE'S changing the plan, not you.

A lot of assholes like this place a strange amount of weight on "sticking to the plan" or "their word", yes, even lying assholes. You can bet that if this was the reverse situation, he would be holding you to the day you stated.

"I'm sticking to the plan we already had" Is a lot stronger of a position to argue from than "i'm changing the plan we had".

Then you can just infinitely repeat "We already had an agreement. This was a date you picked, and i'm just sticking to the plan we already made". This cuts him off at the pass on many arguments along the lines of "we had a plan and now you're just being a bitch and bla bla bla" which is likely yea, where suddenly a huge stream of vitriol and shitty language would come out.

I've gone both routes on this, and even with asshats sticking to the plan usually works with a little nudging.

Like he could get massively recalcitrant and stressful/tiresome/stupid to deal with if you try and change the plan, but "you already agreed to this" is a pretty damn strong position to start from.
posted by emptythought at 9:10 PM on September 13, 2015


Great comment emptythought, my only advice would be to eliminate any past tense from your holding him to his word.
“I’m sticking to the plan we already had”
→ “I’m sticking to the plan we both agreed on.”
“We already had an agreement.”
→ “We have an agreement—by midnight of Wednesday, September 30th you will no longer be living here.”

(and maybe a) “If you are trying to change that agreement, I may need to bring others [his family, your family, a sheriff] into this—which would probably be pretty embarrassing [for him].”
posted by blueberry at 9:46 PM on September 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Legally, I do not think I have the right to just throw his stuff out. However, I also do not think he is going to ever sue me or anything. He doesn't really have his life together.

As a lawyer, can I just tell you that the chances of him actually bringing a meaningful lawsuit against you for this are practically nil. Put his stuff in bags and right inside the door and tell him to get out. This shouldn't even be a consideration in your decision.
IANYL
posted by banishedimmortal at 9:48 PM on September 13, 2015 [6 favorites]


Again I just wanted to say that I'm so glad you've come to the forum. We want to help support you through this: yes, ideally, he'd be out earlier. However, if you find it's going to take until October 1st because you feel stuck, then keep checking back in and we'll remind you that you're on the right path. I mean, you already did the really hard part of breaking up with him so I know you can also tell him to leave. You're strong alone and even stronger with Metafilter behind you!!
posted by smorgasbord at 10:35 PM on September 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


Response by poster: Well, today he decided he wanted to talk to me before he went to work. He invited me to watch a movie with him. I said no thanks. He left and then came back and said "I thought you wanted me to be nice to you." I was like "huh?" He said he wanted to earn my trust back. I said that I didn't trust him because he lied to me on numerous occasions. He then went on to say that I also lied to him once. I asked him when but he couldn't recall a particular event. Riiiight.

He did tell me that he is definitely moving though. I am just going to need to keep my distance for these next two weeks I guess. I guess I need to make it clear to him that there is no way to reconcile this. I do miss him a ton but I also see how unhealthy of a relationship that was for me. I really want to just move on with my life. I'm really scared he will keep pushing. I just don't feel strong enough right now.
posted by Nicole21 at 6:09 PM on September 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


Ask your family to support you in kicking him out. If you're not strong enough to do it on your own, get your loved ones to help you.
posted by Gray Skies at 9:52 AM on September 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


I'm really scared he will keep pushing.

Everything you have described him doing supports this and it has to end as soon as possible. Every little text and comment and weak attempt at being nice he is making is to manipulate you into forgetting the horrible way he has treated you, and as best as you are able you need to make it clear that it is not up for negotiation. I am concerned you are communicating with him as gently and sympathetically as you have described his actions to us here. As much as you are able to, you need to be deeply angry at the way he has treated you and communicate that firmly to him. He is a piece of shit trying to turn you against yourself! I would have absolutely nothing kind to say to him, the only thing he deserves to hear is the word No! and maybe a few angry swears thrown in for good measure. He thinks he can manipulate you back into putting a roof over his head and wheels under his feet and he needs to understand that the jig is up, his tricks won't work and you are firm in cutting him off completely.

In the future you can put some time into understanding why you are more worried about being thought a bitch than protecting your own health and interests from the predatory attacks of a heartless abuser, but for the moment you just need to ride this out the best you can. This community is here for you and we know you have the strength to get through this and do what is best for yourself. I'm really sorry you are going through this but I am glad you've made the right decision to break up and protect yourself. Keep him as far from you as you can, do not help him, do not do him any kindnesses he doesn't deserve, and don't look back once he's finally out of your life. Good luck.
posted by kaspen at 4:26 PM on September 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


This sounds awful, yikes! Unfortunately, while it's creepy and manipulative, it's not unexpected because he's so clearly a jerk. It's good that you see how unhealthy, if not downright abusive, he has been towards you. Every time you start missing your relationship with him, focus on the present and how horrible it is for you. Please do things that make you happy and healthier, and that strength will come. Keep hanging in there!

What have your mom and brother said about the current status of the situation?
posted by smorgasbord at 5:19 PM on September 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yeah, it would be great if you had a couple of friends who could be there on the afternoon/evening of the 30th, so that if he starts hemming and hawing, they can just lift up his trash bags full of his stuff, put them on the front step or lawn, and stand by you as you close and lock the door with him on the outside.

This guy strikes me as the kind of person that could totally be doing nothing about finding a place, just expecting to drop a manipulative "But if you kick me out I have no place to go!" on the 30th.
posted by blueberry at 5:27 PM on September 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


Response by poster: What have your mom and brother said about the current status of the situation?

It's been extremely difficult. I am sad and that's so hard for my mom to believe. My mom said that he made me unhappy so why am I sad now? But I miss him. I can't help that. She's been a bit ticked off so I haven't really tried to talk to her much.

My brother has just been saying bad things about him and that really hasn't been helping me at all.

One of my friends is extremely angry at me for not kicking him out right away. My friend also basically told me that I deserve to have guys treat me this way because I'm a doormat. I've known this friend for 7 years so it really hurt hearing that. I don't know if I even want to be friends with them anymore.

I feel like the only person being nice to me right now is the person I am trying to get rid of. I feel so conflicted and alone. I feel like I don't really have anyone to talk to and that this whole thing was a big mistake. Look at the mess I've made. It probably would have been best if I just kept my mouth shut.
posted by Nicole21 at 1:02 PM on September 16, 2015


I'm guessing that deep down, you probably know the whole thing wasn't a big mistake. No one deserves to be treated badly or disrespectfully. And you know you needed to stand up for yourself and walk away.

Feeling conflicted or sad, or even wanting to be thought of kindly by the person we're leaving behind are all natural impulses when a relationship ends. Even when one ends badly. Endings are hard. This one's harder than most because it involves betrayal.

Sometimes we can't trust our instincts to be helpful when we try to resolve problems. And that's okay, and not something you should be faulted for, either.

The important thing is that you know you're unhappy and are doing the right things to resolve that.
posted by zarq at 1:40 PM on September 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


Tiny bit of tough love here: you are behaving as if you are passive, powerless and at the mercy of his preferences with no power of your own. Have you reviewed you lease, contacted a tenants rights organisation in your neighbourhood, and checked with your landlord to see if you can just change the locks and get on with your life?
posted by DarlingBri at 4:27 PM on September 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


It's been extremely difficult. I am sad and that's so hard for my mom to believe. My mom said that he made me unhappy so why am I sad now? But I miss him. I can't help that. She's been a bit ticked off so I haven't really tried to talk to her much.

This all sounds really tough! I'm sorry your mom is validating your feeling of sadness: we can glad about a break-up but also sad a relationship is over. I wish she could see that and express it in a supportive way.

My brother has just been saying bad things about him and that really hasn't been helping me at all.

This is also tough because, while I wish he were helping more right now, I'd probably feel the same way he was. Your brother loves you and is angry at this guy for treating you badly and continuing to do so. He's frustrated and wants you to be safe but likely feels helpless so it's manifesting itself as anger.

One of my friends is extremely angry at me for not kicking him out right away. My friend also basically told me that I deserve to have guys treat me this way because I'm a doormat. I've known this friend for 7 years so it really hurt hearing that. I don't know if I even want to be friends with them anymore.

Again, I feel for your friend here: she's absolutely wrong to say you deserve it because no one does but you ARE allowing him to continue treating you this way. Like DarlingBri said, why aren't you taking on the power you do have in this situation? Your friend may have said some mean stuff but why are you angry at her for being a frustrated pal who is at wit's end and not your horrible ex?! Yes, she shouldn't have said that and you can totally reevaluate the friendship later on but stop thinking about how she may have done you wrong and start focusing on how he is doing you wrong.

I feel like the only person being nice to me right now is the person I am trying to get rid of. I feel so conflicted and alone. I feel like I don't really have anyone to talk to and that this whole thing was a big mistake. Look at the mess I've made. It probably would have been best if I just kept my mouth shut.

He's not being nice to you: he's continuing to abuse you and please don't forget this. Don't indulge yourself in any thoughts of guilt here but focus on getting him out. You haven't made a mess but you're refusing to clean it up when the mop and pail are right in front of you. I'm honestly afraid that the longer he stays, the more likely you are going to back. Please, please, please take at least one step towards your safety and well-being, which are well-deserved. You can worry about these other people later on but how about putting them together to get them to do the work to kick him out now?
posted by smorgasbord at 4:34 PM on September 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


I feel like I don't really have anyone to talk to and that this whole thing was a big mistake.

Also, we keep talking to you. Literally dozens of us here at MetaFilter! You can tell how much we care and are worried for you, right? But, sadly, you're not really listening to us right now either. What do you feel is going to help you get him out of there?
posted by smorgasbord at 4:36 PM on September 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


One of my friends is extremely angry at me for not kicking him out right away. My friend also basically told me that I deserve to have guys treat me this way because I'm a doormat.

Damn, Nicole21, someone needs to say it: you absolutely do NOT deserve to have guys treat you like this one treated you. And you did take the difficult step of breaking up with him - that is in no way being a doormat. Even if takes you until the end of the month to be free of him, you're still a strong individual doing hard but necessary things.

Keep coming back to this thread if it helps, and in particular, keep reading what you've written about him. You know what he's really like, and you know what you need. We're all rooting for you!
posted by DingoMutt at 4:36 PM on September 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


You don't deserve this behavior -- no one does -- however, some of your choices are not wise and you have the capacity to make different choices. It seems that for now you are not ready to prioritize your safety and well-being. I hope that changes very soon.
posted by Gray Skies at 10:56 AM on September 17, 2015 [3 favorites]


One of my friends is extremely angry at me for not kicking him out right away. My friend also basically told me that I deserve to have guys treat me this way because I'm a doormat. I've known this friend for 7 years so it really hurt hearing that. I don't know if I even want to be friends with them anymore.

This kind of reaction is one reason people in abusive relationships keep things to themselves :/ Your mom and friend are frustrated, because they can see the abusive dynamic more clearly than you can. They also want the best for you. (They probably also get frustrated when they give you advice they feel will help, and think you won't take it - most of us like to think we can make a difference when we try to be helpful. It's more complicated than just giving advice, though, usually.)

The kinds of feelings you're fighting against are very strong, and not everyone is able to understand what they're like. Or, maybe they have experienced them, but too long ago to remember how it was, and they want to spare you what they experienced. (That could be some of us here, and I don't know, maybe your mom?)

Unlike the person in the middle of it, people outside of the relationship aren't confused by the powerful feelings that someone who's being manipulated can develop towards their manipulative partner.

(Some people learn a pattern, very early in life - when someone they love pulls away from them, they become anxious, and feel an even stronger need to be close to them, and fight even harder to get their love and attention back. That can happen later in life, without that early experience, but it's a sticky, almost compulsive pattern. Especially when the person pulling away has more power (because they're controlling, and tapping into the other person's vulnerabilities). People get locked into it (for lots of other reasons, too), and find it hard to let go.)

People outside also maybe haven't experienced what it's like to have their self-esteem and basic judgement continually undermined by someone they're attached to.

So you're fighting a hard fight, here. It's definitely harder when he's right in your space. If you can kick him out, that'd be best, but if you can't do that (or drop massive hints like cardinality suggested), maybe emptythought and others are right to suggest staying with your mom for the next couple of weeks. You could check in just once or twice, close to the date, to make sure he's on his way out. If he's not, in you go with your brother and garbage bags, and out he goes, with the bags.
posted by cotton dress sock at 6:30 PM on September 17, 2015 [3 favorites]


Yep, the more I think of it, you probably want to have as many people as possible come over on Wednesday the 30th. So that when he walks in the door ready to plop on the couch and watch Netflix, he's instead met with a room full of people that makes it clear it is a "You need to leave" intervention (because that's what it is).

Have the people come over in the afternoon (a couple of hours before he's due home)—maybe buy a pizza and some sodas so there's a moving-day/party vibe—and if asshat has hasn't packed any of his stuff, you and your friends start grabbing stuff off of hangers and stuffing it unceremoniously into trash bags and put them by the door. If he has furniture, shove it right by the front door or put it on the step outside. Electronics or toiletries? Put in a shoebox if you have one handy, and put it by the door.

Unless asshat opens the door and instantly and proactively starts taking out his stuff in boxes that he's already packed (which I doubt), as he enters you tell him
"You agreed that you would leave by the 30th and that's today; you need to take your things, leave your key, and go."
After that, if he tries to argue or plead or whatever, you and your group of supporters behind you just keep repeating
"You agreed that you would leave by the 30th and that's today; you need to take your things, leave your key, and go."
Honestly, get as many people there as possible—like a dozen or two dozen would be great—just wall-to-wall Nicole21 fans.

"But I wasn't able to..." he starts to say, or
"Listen Nicole21, can we talk alone for a minute...", or
"My mom got hit by a bus and..."
"But sweetie, I love you...." [or he tries to start crying]
your chorus of supporters just keeps cutting him off with
"You agreed that you would leave by the 30th and that's today; you need to take your things, leave your key, and go."
Basically, no matter what he says to you, the only words out of your mouth to him are
"You agreed that you would leave by the 30th and that's today; you need to take your things, leave your key, and go."
That's all he gets, and it's honestly more than he deserves.
posted by blueberry at 10:20 PM on September 17, 2015 [5 favorites]


Hey Nicole21, a friend shared this article with me and I thought I'd share it with you, too. <3
posted by smorgasbord at 10:20 PM on September 17, 2015


Alternatively, have your friends come over a few hours before he's off work, bag up all of his stuff and put it all on the porch...

(this way he is already "out" of the apartment, there's no wiggle room—it give you the high ground, because he knows it would be way harder for him to try and talk his way back in, than it would be to convince you to let him stay [if his stuff was still inside]. Plus, having all of your supporters there behind you really underlines this.)

...have a locksmith over to change out the locks [before he gets home], lock all the windows, and then play music and you and your friends have a fun pizza/movie night. In fact, I would have one of the friends plan to stay over that night in case asshat tries to come back later or something to try pleading his case again (if he does, call the cops).

So, anyway, if asshat comes home, sees the stuff on the front porch (or in the hall) and says anything complain-y, you and your friends repeat that he agreed to be gone by the 30th.

Let him know that every time he voices disagreement or tries to argue, that you have his parents/siblings on speed-dial and will be calling, telling them that while you both agreed he would leave by the 30th, that now he is refusing to do so, and do you guys want to come pick him and his stuff up before I start calling the cops for help [especially if he's being argumentative/verbally abusive/causing a scene]?
posted by blueberry at 10:37 PM on September 17, 2015 [3 favorites]


Yep, the more I think of it, you probably want to have as many people as possible come over on Wednesday the 30th. So that when he walks in the door ready to plop on the couch and watch Netflix, he's instead met with a room full of people that makes it clear it is a "You need to leave" intervention (because that's what it is).

This is a good comment.

My suggestion, to this effect, would be to get your one craziest knock-beer-can-on-head-until-it-pops-open ridiculous friend to come over. In one of the situations like this i faced, when the needs-to-leave person started throwing a tantrum or even getting physical(intimidation, maybe throwing stuff, maybe shoving, etc) that friend immediately jumped in their face and was all over them like "shut the fuck up, get your shit". The situation momentarily flared up but they shut up and i never heard from that guy again. Got home, and i was blocked on facebook.

calling, telling them that while you both agreed he would leave by the 30th, that now he is refusing to do so, and do you guys want to come pick him and his stuff up before I start calling the cops for help [especially if he's being argumentative/verbally abusive/causing a scene]?

Be very careful with this. You don't want to call the cops unless he actually gets violent. They may very well say "well ma'am, he has residence here since he's lived here longer than 30 days" and let him back into the house and tell you that you have to leave him alone. You do NOT want to let him known that this is potentially a thing where you live. Seriously, only involve the cops if he gets violent and you really need to(in which case they will likely take him to jail for DV. Even screaming or kicking around boxes of his own stuff counts as DV, at least where i am).
posted by emptythought at 4:03 PM on September 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


Response by poster: Be very careful with this. You don't want to call the cops unless he actually gets violent. They may very well say "well ma'am, he has residence here since he's lived here longer than 30 days" and let him back into the house and tell you that you have to leave him alone. You do NOT want to let him known that this is potentially a thing where you live. Seriously, only involve the cops if he gets violent and you really need to(in which case they will likely take him to jail for DV. Even screaming or kicking around boxes of his own stuff counts as DV, at least where i am).

I am definitely hoping I won't have to call the cops. I really don't want to get them involved. He has been packing up his stuff. There are a bunch of boxes in the hallway right now so it's looking like he is actually leaving. I am counting down the days!
posted by Nicole21 at 10:50 PM on September 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


Mod note: Folks, the OP will update at their discretion - please don't post comments here asking for one.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 6:24 PM on October 1, 2015


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