It happened almost overnight. I fell asleep feeling content with the way things were playing out. I was living at my mom's with my boyfriend but it was only because we had goals. We were going to buy a house, get married and eventually start a family. We had a great relationship. He made me laugh, he brought me little surprises, we had great sex and I knew he genuinely cared.
The next morning I woke up confused. Suddenly I thought, is this the life I wanted to live? Being content, just drifting through. I started to consider what I thought were little things. I love to travel but it would take a lot for me to convince him to go anywhere. I was working two jobs to save the money we needed and to enjoy the little spare time I had yet he didn't even have half of my amount. He couldn't communicate and was constantly on his phone. He couldn't keep his eyes off other women, despite my constant nagging. I struggled to stay fit and healthy but he could care less. He no longer wanted to go for walks or bike rides.
Why now had all of these things come to the surface to expose that deep down I wasn't as happy as I thought?
I confided in friends, all responding with mixed feedback. "Just leave." "Fight to make things work." "You have to do what's right for you." "Give it time, things will get better."
In the end, I decided to bring it all up to him a week before we were set to leave for our romantic week in Niagara Falls. We had a devastating conversation. I was almost ready to leave when he said to me sadly, "Well... I don't really want to be with someone who doesn't want to be with me." My stomach dropped and my heart broke at his sadness.
It's not that I didn't want to be with him, I just didn't want to be with him as he is now. Was it fair of me to ask him to change? I had different memories of our time together, but that's what the beginning always was. Constantly trying to impress the other, finding commonalities and holding onto them with almost a desperation to find something to love about the person in a lonely state.
I broke. "It's not that I don't want to be with you, I just want us to be better together." We decided to give it some time, to work on things.
We took our vacation, but something was still not right. I felt that I was dragging him around with me, walking through the city while he longed to be back at the hotel room working on his fantasy team. He tried, he really did. He bought me an expensive gift, and I appreciated his thoughtfulness but I still thought to myself, "This doesn't change anything."
We went back to the real world and things fell back into their usual routine. I think it finally clicked in him as well because we began living like roommates rather than partners, lovers.
We had talk after talk, we said things that hurt each other, and we both played through our mixed emotions. We loved each other, there was no denying it but something just didn’t feel right anymore. Eventually we had our final conversation, tired of all the others before it.
We cried as we left each other and I went into panic mode.
"What have I done?"
I believe it’s a survival instinct. The inability to let go of something because we're afraid. Afraid of what? Failure? Loneliness? Missing out on this person? Of no longer being loved?
How quickly we turn on ourselves, morph into someone we no longer recognise.
I became crazy. Constant texting, constant calling. I felt lost. "Lets try and work things out." "It's too late," he would tell me.
I ignored the bigger picture; the unhappiness that I came from. I brought the grief that I felt in the relationship to the completion of the relationship. I was so focused on him loving me again that I forgot the most important part: loving myself. I was so focused on fixing things that I forgot why we were here in the first place.
My breaking point was hearing that he had gone on a date. It devastated me. Tore me apart and made me angry. I lashed out at him and said hurtful things. I judged him, but that wasn't fair of me. We all have our own ways of dealing with grief. I may not understand or agree with it, but I had to respect it.
It has only been a few days since it got to the point where we had to cut contact completely. I cried, feeling like my heart had broken again. I couldn't imagine life without him but what good was it doing me? It was driving me crazy and in turn making me crazy.
I decided I could no longer wallow in self-pity, which felt easier at the time. It was affecting all other aspects of my life. I picked up some books. I read on how to heal my broken heart and learned to try and love myself in the process.
A few days to learn so much about the grief I was feeling and harness it into healing. A few days to feel whole again, on my own, as I am.