A Jounal of My Breakup because I operate best when thinking outloud.

A Jounal of My Breakup because

I operate best when thinking out loud even though it gets me into trouble!

I have a headache. This is not going to be easy. I am single again, so to speak. My GF recently ended our four year relationship. I know what it’s all about. I understand. You could say I’ve been waiting for it to happen for the last, oh, 6 months to a year. We were having a rough time and it was a rocky road but I wanted to stick it out. After all it was I that was failing in the relationship, I think, I guess. I figured it was like a disease and I just needed to get over it. But I knew that she would not put up with it forever. Her retirement was in the works and she would have more time on her hands come the summer. It’s funny. As I read this over I think of the people that put up with alcoholics or drug addicts or criminals or infidelity and wonder how my petty problems could be so terrible?

Let me explain. When we met she stated her expectations and I guess I stated mine. We both wanted companionship - someone for traveling and for activities. Neither of us wanted to marry, or even live together. Those things are less important when you reach our age. I would come over Friday night and stay until very early Monday morning. I’m retired it was easy for me but she worked. Easy for me except for all the packing and planning I would do every Friday and the unpacking and washing I would do every Monday when I got home.

I wanted sex, well because I’m a man and I felt like I could make up for all those years of being a nerd and avoiding relationships (or not getting to one correctly.) But it was more than that, really. For me sex and the intimacy is validation of our ‘togetherness.’ She seemed all for it. She is a girlie-girl. She wears bright nail polish and takes care of herself. Staying young is clearly a priority for her. She is nine years older than I am but you wouldn’t believe it unless you know her as I do. Our sexual drives seemed to match.

But we had other expectations. Mine was to not take the lead. What she wanted was OK by me. I got my way mostly when she wanted me to get my way. This was unspoken most of the time. If she sensed my desire to do something that she didn’t she would suggest it or point it out, making it OK. She was sensitive that way. Sometimes I negotiated and insisted on an agreement. Like the fact that she did all the driving-around when we were home, the way I like it, but I would drive when there was the need for an all-wheel vehicle to go skiing. I bought the AWD with her insistence that I do it so that we could go to the snow without having to depend on others. But even that got bad because I proved to be too bad a driver for her. We started seeking out friends to carpool with for the snow trips and let me drive only as the very last resort. So in a way I failed her there. That could be a minor failure of sorts. So I got my way in that I got to go home to my own space and do whatever I wanted and to be able to let my hair down on weekdays while she worked.

Like any other woman she can say to her friends: “I ended it because of his issues.” I have issues and she grew tired of them. I met her at a time when I was at my perfect weight. You know the BMI thing where I’m 5’7” and I weighed 159 lbs. I had been dieting for 2 years and lost 100 lbs. An incredible achievement! I had done it only once before when I was shocked at being 30 years old and weighing 190 lbs and so I dieted down to 145 lbs.
This time I was 52 and was waiting until I needed to lose an even 100 lbs before doing it. I guess. But the motivation came in my needing to find new friends as well.

It seems relationship changes or loss motivates me. Well maybe I got that backwards. Back at 30 I did a diet thing to get down to 145 and then met someone that wanted to date. I was thrilled. She was wonderful. Affectionate, thoughtful, a little liberated to the point that she would BRING ME flowers. Again, we had separate lives. She would invite me over for dinner in the middle of the week and I would sleep over. Then we would spend time together on the weekends. The issues then were different. I was too busy and worried about my work and succeeding. I guess I had the usually phobias about marriage and kids and responsibility. She eventually broke it off and included the comment that she would never plan a family with a psycho like me. Like most of my break ups we never talked again.

But back to the present heartbreak!

So the other expectation she expressed was that she wanted someone fit and trim. I was trim at that time and had become somewhat fit from a lot of hiking during the summer that we first started noticing each other. But prior to that time I was never much of an athlete.

The relationship started out with a bang! And that’s in more ways than one. When I said I wanted a steady relationship with her we started having relations. That was comforting. At the same time she pulled out the cruising brochures and started to negotiate with me about going on a cruise over the holidays. I protested that I was well-off but not rich, so we found a good deal and it became our first trip. It wasn’t going to stop - and that was fine with me somewhat, I guess. I had always said that I would like to travel but not alone. So I haven’t been to a lot of sights except when business travel gave me the chance and now I was retired and wanting to travel more. Let me interject here that she always paid her own way and just wanted me to ‘keep up’ with her travel spending. I look at myself as a good catch in that respect. I have a steady retirement income, etc.

We would go on at least two major trips a year, trips that would cost at least $750 and closer to $1000 or more. That’s really not a lot for some but I found out it adds up for me. And there were the 2 or 3 weekend holiday trips to ski. I agonized over how to afford this and realized that my living conditions could be drastically paired down. I had a large house with a mortgage and expenses and I could cut it down. I promised her I could fix my predicament by doing this. After all I wasn’t home much and it really wasn’t necessary to have a large place , that is, after I downsized. And that proved to be something I have a hard time doing. Downsizing means giving up, throwing away and pairing down. I am a little bit of a hoarder. Not enough to make the news but just enough to where I become disorganized and where it prevents me from picking up and moving.

I could see it coming for months. First she joked and called me her little Buddha. Then she would insist I purchase pants that would fit but very tight declaring that it would be the incentive for me to lose weight. Here’s were I guess I became passive-aggressive. I would resist. I would actually notice that I could have weight loss over the weekend while with her and then gain it back during the week from eating somewhat wrong. I just didn’t want to go back to the dreaded dieting like before. It demands a lot of discipline and so you need to be fully committed. I wasn’t.

So it happened. My ritual of sending her an e-mail to negotiate the weekend activities was returned with a “WE NEED TO TALK. Come over Friday for dinner.”

I arrived Friday at the appointed time and we went out for some light fare. Me feeling like the condemned man I surely was. When we returned to her place, she started with the expected phrase. I can’t even remember it now. It was “I don’t want to see you anymore.” Or maybe it was: “It’s over.” What I remember of it was the subtler gentleness. She is good. She only spoke of her feelings and her view, the right way to talk about feelings that are causing a breakup. She said she was no longer attracted to me. I didn’t need an explanation of why. I said that I understood that we were going through a rough period but I thought we could get past it. She seemed to leave it open to a platonic relationship in that she said she just didn’t want to have sex with me anymore. I didn’t try to negotiate that point because she added that she knew how important sex was for me and that she couldn’t do anything about it anymore. And finally she confessed that she was acting bitchy a lot lately and she didn’t want to be “the bitch” in the relationship. We exchanged comments about how wonderful it was while it lasted and that we would always have fond memories of our time together and …. (What do I say here: “BLAH BLAH BLAH” or “yaddy yaddy yad”? ) :frowning:

I immediately went out to my car and got the suitcase. I figured it was an 85/15 chance of getting dumped or getting something else so I was prepared. I had hoped it would have been another dressing down, one that would have carried the weight of an ultimatum. It’s usually what I need. I tend to operate best when I have an external force that plays on my conscience and that motivates me. I’ve succeeded in life because I’ve never really had people I could fall back on and so the real threat of homelessness etc. always kept me active to support myself and be prepared for the day I couldn’t or didn’t want to work.

I said something that popped into my head and that I’m still thinking about. I told her that I had this dichotomy about motivation, that I need the support and encouragement she had been giving me but that I seemed to insist on resisting it. I think it goes back to my sister and her often telling me that I’m a success only because of her nagging.

At this point, in the tradition of all the Fridays I had spent with her, we went for a brisk walk and she commented to me that I had kept up with her for the first time. She told me I should date someone younger but I don’t know. I’m of an older mind-set than my age so it was good that she was older. I guess she was thinking in terms of libido. Unfortunately all, most, women lose their libido as they age? What’s a guy to do?

I drove home and, not knowing what else to do, I updated my Facebook status to Single.

You could say I was gleeful. This would become a chance of a new life for me. I can now meet someone new and different. There’s the excitement of a new love over the horizon. I could negotiate new and maybe different terms.

But it only lasted a few days. When the weekend started to come around I was mournful and depressed. The reality had sunk in that I was single, alone again. I would have to plan the rest of my life without her. I would have to plan trips on my own. I would have to find someone like her but who could tolerate my “issues.”

When I was working I would say: “Never wish ill of your boss. You could get one that’s worse!” I wonder if that holds for girl friends?

Frankly, it seems to me like you’re better off without her. Ugh.

You wrote a very telling account of a very moving experience that most people would barely be able to put into words. You sound like you’ve had a fairly successful career, and while you’re single now you’ve certainly had some nice relationships up until now. With that said, I’d ask you to figure out what it is you want most out of life, and what is stopping you from getting it? I’m not only talking about relationships. Hippy-esque as it may sound, follow your passion first and foremost. The rest will follow, and if not then the hell with it!

On a different note, I think it’s amazing how self-aware you are. At the same time, you bring up many issues that, well… are complex and may not be suited to an anonymous message board. Have you ever considered therapy of some kind?

Have you considered getting a LiveJournal account?

My sympathies.

Blogs are free these days.

Thanks for writing back.

Even though I succeeded in Computers I was originally a Psych Major. So the self-aware goes way back.

I re-started counseling 4 1/2 years ago when I first lost the weight and wanted to get back into dating and relationships. I chose a female therapist for the right perspective. And I’ll probably printout out my story and go over it with her to see if there’s anything new and insightful.

Thanks for replying. You may be right. But it’s easy for you to say that because I’ve ONLY given you my side of the story … :slight_smile: OK?

I learned in high school that even a couple * that people see fighting in public * may still be a loving couple.

It’s the negotiated contract that counts. We weren’t married so it wasn’t
“through thick or thin.” Even so , for some that still doesn’t stop them.

I was breaking the contract. Can you understand that?

Thanks. I don’t understand what you’re saying about blogs being free.

Can you elaborate?

You must know then, that your habit of wanting women to tell you exactly what to do with yourself, and then becoming irritated or passive-aggressive when they do, is… unappealing to women with healthy psyches.

Don’t get me wrong, your girlfriend doesn’t sound like much of a prize herself. But I’ve seen perfectly reasonable women driven to insane levels of bitchiness by association with a professional-grade doormat such as yourself.


I don’t understand what you mean. I like this newly-found-by-me forum.

LiveJournal is a personal blog website. It’s probably much more conducive to what you’re trying to do here.

Good point. It’s something I’m working on. That 30-year-old GF from 25 years ago, also mentioned in the original post, gave me a paperback that discussed this. I think it’s called: “Wild Women / Passive Men”

No problem. As I got to know her I easily accepted her personality and behavior and fell into the role that best fit the relationship.

I started to get depressed about ‘something’ and that’s when I didn’t heed her warnings about my inaction on the 2 critical issues in my life and caused numerous confrontations. I am slow at doing things. Even house repairs are delayed unless they’re critical.

I’m trying to understand that ‘something.’ Was I tired of her? Disappointed? But afraid to initiate the breakup? I lost the ability to confront, communicate and renegotiate my needs.

Like I said - I’ve been on pins and needles for as much as a year. So you could say that I’m the baddie in this situation!

As Munch says a personal blog, such as a LiveJournal account, seems more suited to your needs than a discussion forum.

The dude just broke up with someone and it’s his first OP. Let’s leave the ‘get a blog’ comments unless it becomes a habit, okay? It is MPSIMS after all.

No one’s broken any rules — but yes, please, let’s be kind here and offer our advice to our new friend wopapers. The title of the thread seems to invite a little chiding, yes, but at bottom he’s just another soul out there looking for some help coping.

So everyone — please confine all future remarks to constructive advice, won’t you please?

Ellen Cherry
MPSIMS Moderator

Sorry, but I consider “get a blog” to BE constructive advice.

I don’t think you knew what your needs were. What did you want from her that you didn’t get? Even your post was framed in a very negative yet passive way - “I didn’t want to do this” “I didn’t want to do that” “then she made me” “then she was disapointed…” It’s like your life is a series of unpleasant things you are avoiding, rather than something you want to get out there and experience.

For example, when you talked about traveling, you talked about how the money thing had you stressed out, and exactly how much you spent, and how the money question figured into your relationship – but you didn’t talk about where you went and what you got out of the trip, or even if you had a good time (because of – or in spite of – your girlfriend). You said you wanted to travel but did you? Because you kind of sounded like you just went along with it in a “don’t rock the boat” kind of way.

What is it out there that you affirmatively want? I know you want sex. Anything else? What do you really look forward to? What experiences do you wish you had more of?

Barring a few situations, when people reinforce each other in negative ways, it isn’t necessarily anyone’s fault for being the bad guy. But the only person you can change is you.

It sounds like you two were just not a good match.

A couple of things though:
Very few people like to make all the plans in a relationship, it’s tiring and sometimes becomes more work than it’s worth especially in your situation where she works all week and you’re retired and had more time to look for things to do and plan. In this paragraph you don’t sound like a very fun person to be around, you can’t think of anything to do, you can’t ever drive and you don’t really like what she plans for you.

It seems odd that you even mentioned the work involved in packing to go to her house and unpacking when you got back. One person for two days it’s not that big of a deal. Are you an overall negative person?

She should not have mentioned your weight gain all the time. If it bothered her there are better ways of dealing with it.

In your description of yourself you do come off as kind of spineless and passive-aggressive which does bring out the worst in some people. It also encourages things like nagging you about your weight.

For real. There is nothing wrong with the OP writing about his breakup, looking for advice and sympathy. If he got a Livejournal and posted, there would be no one to read it or reply. It would be like he was talking to himself. It takes a long time to build up friends/readers if you have your own blog. Here, he has an audience. If you are annoyed by posts like this, don’t read them. Keep your negative comments to yourself.

To the OP, I am sorry for what you are going through. Your ex-girlfriend did not handle the breakup well. But I agree with others that she was obviously not a good fit for you.

Have you tried online dating? I have read here on the SDMB good things about OKcupid.com

Getting a blog isn’t constructive advice because, unless you pimp it, no one will ever see it. And if you pimp it, you’re a spammer. If you want advice, this is a good place to get it.