I seriously need to break up a relationship that I am in - one that has been running on fumes for weeks and was screwed up even before then. The problem is this guy has given me every indication that breaking up with him will result in histrionics such as the world has never seen. Everytime I tried in the past, he sees it coming and starts the “my life would be meaningless w/o you” and “the I hope you know that I am not going away that easily” routine and we break the tension by having sex. I know that I am being manipulated, have feet of clay and serious boundary issues, but nonetheless I am just not in the mood for a “SCENE” at this point in my life. I am about to graduate and start graduate school for one thing. So while these and other stressors in my life have made it convenient for me to put if off, I know this HAS TO BE DONE NOW! I AM SUFFOCATING! Anyone else been there? Any advice?
I’m afraid the only applicable advice is of that really irritating kind that’s simultaneously very easy, and very hard: get it over with. When a cut needs to be made, it’s best to make it swiftly and sure–slowly sawing away is worse for the heart in the longer run.
If he says that he’s not going away that easily, simply state rather firmly that he is, in fact, going away that easily, because you are actually dumping him. Then leave–you don’t want to give him a chance to pull his schtick on you. Whatever you do, never sleep with him again.
I have had that stuff so many times and it is all lies lies lies. He’ll get over it quick enough if you make sure you don’t see him until he’s recovered. Do it by letter and immediately go away on holiday and shag someone else.
Cut it off quickly, sharply, and now.
Speaking from experience, hanging out in “relationship limbo” is a terrible place to be.
Do not allow him to hang on to any false hope. Losing extended false hope is much more painful than a sharp break. Allowing him false hope will only drag the inevitable on and on unnecessarily. You will both be better off in the long-run once you learn to get on with your lives apart. The sooner, the better.
I only say the above because I have been sucked into situations where, upon breaking-up, the GF said we may date again, “maybe someday.” I fell into the trap and lived my life hoping that “someday” would come. In this situation, I have found that “someday” will never come.
NEVER tell someone “maybe someday” unless you really really really mean it. You may think you’re being nice, by letting the ex-SO down easy, but you are NOT.
If anyone you love ever breaks-up with you but tells you “maybe someday”, IMMEDIATELY RUN LIKE HELL AND DO NOT LOOK BACK !!
I’m doing much better these days, thanks.
Oh, God, get out!
I spent six months breaking up with someone in similar circumstances. Finally, I ended up yelling “get the FUCK out of my life” and moving in with my parents for a few weeks (knowing he would be on my doorstep when I arrived home from work - and my neighbors confirmed he was). I hung up the phone when I heard his voice, refused the flowers he sent, tore up the cards and mailed them back.
So, if breaking up over the phone is too cowardly, do it in person, in public, then have friends standing by to wisk you away. If he sits in the middle of the restuarant throwing a scene, you at least won’t be there to see it.
(And if you feel really guilty, have some of his friends standing by - but DON’T DON’T DON’T fall into the trap of thinking you need to help him make it all better).
Then break off all contact with him for months - maybe years - maybe forever.
(My life would be meaningless without you - answer “you are going to have to find some new meaning, it isn’t my life goal to provide you with purpose.” I hope you know I’m not going away that easily - answer “and I’m willing to get a restraining order to ensure you will.” Oh, and “I’ll kill myself.” - Great, it will at least keep you off my back. It helps if you talk yourself into bitch mode first)
Accept that absolutely no matter what he is going to think you are the bad guy, cal you all sorts of foul names nad tell terrible stories about you to all his friends. So you may as well make things easys for you, and not worry about what it looks like to him. It is your job to do what is right by your own moral code, not to make this easy for him. He will try and manipulate you with this otherwise.
Get all of your stuff from his place/his stuff from your place before you break up, or have it ready to hand to him as you break up. This means you never have to seee him again.
As others have said, do not be wishy-washy.
If you do not have an answering machene or caller ID, get one or the other and screen your calls. Never answer the phone if it is him.
Be busy. Getting ready for gras school should provide pleanty to dO: get ahold of next years reading list and move in at the library.
Oh God - Reading these replies has made me realize just how sick this shit has been. Not that I didn’t know before, but it’s kinda like being slapped with a soaking wet beach towel. It got so pathetic one night when I tried to break up with him over the phone that he asked if I would at least stay on the phone with him while the bottle of pills he was about to swallow took effect because he didn’t want to die alone :eek:
I noticed you didnt say anything about why you don’t like the guy. Anyway, I would just complete school then find myself another city. Worked for me at that age, around 20ish, right?
I have been on both sides of this dance. I’m not sure which one is worse.
If he’s making suicide gestures, call one of his friends and tell him to check on him in a little bit. Then–as others have pointed out–call him up, do it quick, and hang up the phone. I don’t think using the phone is “cowardly”; it’s going to suck for all involved no matter what, and it’s easier to get away on the phone.
I made similar pathetic-sounding suicidal gestures when I went through this (lo these many years ago). For me, it wasn’t deliberate manipulation; it was partially an instinctive “say anything that will get her to stay” reaction combined with a genuine desire to end the horrible way I felt. I wouldn’t have done it. Not knowing your soon-to-be-ex, though, I couldn’t say.
(It did take me a while to get over it, but the dragging it out made it ten times worse than it was. We get along well now.)
Look, I was that guy. When I was in college, and dating my (now soon-to-be ex-wife), every time she would even hint that she wanted to change the relationship in any way, I’d come unglued. Threatened suicide several times; actually, most recently about three or four years ago, long after I thought I’d outgrown that sort of thing.
When the time for the split finally came about two months ago, I wasn’t self-destructive, but I used all my powers of persuasion to make her stay. The only thing that finally made me accept the situation was her continuously repeating that she was leaving, and then actually walking out of the house.
A little unnecessarily maudlin, perhaps, but the advice is sound; repeat that you’re going several times, and then just go.
It’s best for both of you.
RUN for your life! Life is too short. Think about it. If this person causes problems, there are restraining orders, etc. Good luck!
Oh, I’ve heard them all. “I like you as a friend”, “I think we should see other people”, “I don’t want to have to kill you but I will”…
Remember that you are NOT responsible for how he feels or what he is going through becuase of the breakup.
This is major leauge manipulation going on here. See it for what it is.
Thanks everyone. I think that tonight is going to be the night. I am not looking forward to this, but I know that it has to be done, and the sooner the better. Wish me luck.
I’ve never broken up with anybody, but I’ve been on the other end more times than I care to recall, so here’s what little I can offer:
Do not hug him one last time. Do not call him by any terms of endearment.
Don’t attempt to make small talk afterward.
If you have no intention of maintaining contact with this person, FOR GOD’S SAKE DO NOT SAY YOU WILL. Don’t ever use the word “friend” unless you mean it.
Return all personal possessions he has left at your place.
Good luck, let us know how it goes.
(Someone said to collect your personal possessions from his place - I chose to abandon mine - a couple books I’d lent him, some other stuff that was replaceable, a couple hundred bucks I’d lent him - kissed it all goodbye, and it was worth it).
Well I finally got up the nerve. It hasn’t been that bad. I have not had any contact with him since then. I think that once I get over the feelings of guilt (God only know why I feel guilty) I’ll be okay. Thanks for the advice everyone
Be careful, he sounded kind of unstable. He’s not the stalker-type, is he? :eek