My name is Michael. I am 39 years old. I am miserable right now. I am not living my life; I am mourning the end of my last relationship. It was 6 weeks ago this past Friday that my girlfriend and I broke-up. We had been together for 2+ years. I loved so much about her, from her beauty to her laugh, her voice and her smile, to her work ethic and values. We were compatible and a great couple together in so many ways but I was unhappy with one major problem.
As time passed in the relationship, I was frustrated and unhappy that she never seemed to open up emotionally to me. She had affection for me, I was important to her, but she always kept the walls up when it came to letting herself love me. We would talk about it sometimes, usually when it became so difficult for me and things would boil to a head. When we did talk about it, she never indicated that there were “big issues” she struggled within that might be at the root of her feelings. She would reassure me that she wanted to be with me, that I was very important to her, and that she would try harder to show me that she felt that way. Things would go great for a very long time, but then revert back. I should be clear here; this was not a monthly thing. I think we went through two cycles of this over the course of the 2+ years. Anyway, I would keep trying to… well, this is going to make me sound even worse but… find a way bring down her walls and have her love me. You see, I had fallen in love with her.
I had tried to fight it in myself. So many things about her were so attractive to me, but this issue was a big warning sign. Yet my heart fell for her hard. Instead of telling her that, instead of being in a relationship of mutual love and the pleasure that brings, I kept it inside out of fear and ignorance. It frightened me; logically I saw the problem in our relationship that I was in love with her without reciprocation. It frightened me that without understanding why she held back if I told her I loved her it would drive her away completely. It was a calculated decision I made and in hindsight a mistake.
Trying to keep that all together inside was too much over the last 6 months. Although we rarely fought, and spent even more time together than we had at any point in our relationship including a few weekend get-aways - I was the walking-wounded. I loved her and enjoyed all the time we spent together, but I still hurt inside and longed for her to return the love I felt and showed. She could tell as well, that in this area I was not happy. I’ll spare the details of how it ended, it was more-or-less mutual. I instigated it and for the first time I told her that I loved her and it is hurting me to much to keep going like this. We officially broke-up that night.
For the next couple weeks, we exchanged some emails that were emotional. Not anger, not accusations, just emotional. A lot of things were never said when we were together, and I think much of that came out. She did finally open up about why she held back - she was afraid of becoming emotionally and financially dependent upon someone as a result of how badly her parent’s divorce impacted her mother. Through email we talked about that. She said she was not sure if she held back because the relationship wasn’t the “right” one for her, that if it was “right” wouldn’t you just know? Or she wondered if it was because of the issues she has over her parent’s divorce she never let herself just go, that they kept her from doing so and realizing it was indeed “right”. Either way, she said she knows she had to work through her feelings and she wouldn’t be able to do so in a relationship - she did not want to end up hurting me further if in a few months we were still in the same place. She also told me she was afraid, afraid that she’ll work this stuff out for herself and it will be too late but she knows it would be unfair to ask me to wait around for her to figure things out. I encouraged her to talk to someone professionally about it and she agreed to do so. I also told her how I regret she never told me about how her parent’s divorce affected her when we were together. Maybe it would have changed how things worked out or maybe not. At least I would have had some understanding instead of being in the dark. For really, that was the worst part for me. I was in the dark, wondering if she just didn’t find me attractive, or a dozen other insecurities that began to grow in my mind over time. With some insight into what was going on, I may have not grown so frustrated.
So that is the short version of our relationship and why it ended. There are many more details, from the emails we exchanged after we broke up and from the relationship, which I have analyzed to death over the last 6 weeks. I know this has been long but I’m trying to keep it as brief as possible so I’m leaving some things out.
Now, I’m sure you fair readers are thinking “That sucks Michael but it is for the best, you deserve to be happy” or other similar thoughts. I know logically this was the right decision. I remember clearly the nights I would go to sleep beside her with my heart aching. Yet here I am, miserable. I do not feel good about this, I am not happy.
I miss her more than I can express. I cannot get respite from the hurt I feel over not having her in my life anymore. All day, every day, she is there in my thoughts. I’ve tried to keep busy but she is there. I’ve tried to distract myself with exercise, but she is there. I’ve screamed out loud to “Fucking stop thinking about her!!” but she comes back to my mind. Even in sleep, my dreams most nights involve her. It is a 24x7 constant in my life right now… the grief, the loss. The longing for our phone calls, our dinners together, our bike rides, her arm in mine while we would walk, the physical intimacy.
I just want it to stop; I want her to be gone from my thoughts. I want to feel like myself again. As I said, I’m staying busy getting together with friends, but even then I know I am not myself. My friends see that as well, they know I’m still having a hard time and they understand. There is this detachment that is permeating everything I do with other people. There is that sense of loss too, wishing she was there with me and with us.
It is even impacting where I go and what I do. I’m afraid of running into her so I’m avoiding certain areas of town that I would normally go to. I’m avoiding certain activities I’d like to go and participate in. I’m afraid of seeing her at the grocery store, at a restaurant, at a coffee shop. When I do find myself, out of necessity, in an area I know she also goes to I cannot stop myself from looking everywhere out of fear I’m going to see her. On Friday I was going to go to a technology networking event until I saw her name on the RSVP list. I just couldn’t go there and see her; it would be too hard on me. I can barely stop thinking about her when I haven’t seen her or talked to her in 6 weeks - I’m afraid seeing her would just make me miss her even more. I’m also afraid I’d embarrass myself or her by not containing my emotions. Even when I actively try to minimize the possibility of bumping into each other, I still never relax. It is amazing how when you miss someone, you notice far more of the exact same make and model of vehicle everywhere you look.
The worst part, I want to contact her so badly. I want to send her an email or text message to tell her I miss her. It is pathetic and the wrong thing to do but sometimes I feel a desperate hope that maybe she is missing me too and I’m not the only one hurting over the end of our relationship. If I contact her maybe, just maybe…
I’ve been heartbroken before and I know I tend to take these things hard and can be a bit inconsolable. I also know, in time, this will pass. I’m doing what I think I need to do, staying busy until this grieving period passes. It is so fucking hard though, I felt like I needed to type this all out and put it out there.
I know this has been long, dramatic in prose, and maybe even a bit whiny. For that I apologize but thank you for reading and maybe identifying with something so many of us have felt.
a.k.a - MeanJoe