I let her go. For love of her. What do I do now?

It hurts. A lot.

For those of you who haven’t been keeping up, my girlfriend and I had been seeing each other for the better part of a year. The attraction, both physical and emotional, was instant. She made my heart race the very first time I went out with her, and every time I saw her. I can honestly say that I loved her more than I have loved any other human being, on such a scale as to be indescribable.

The first time we broke up, I spent a month in an epic state of self-destruction which I am amazed I survived. We got back together in February, resolved to stay together and keep it from her parents. She decided (and I agreed) that we would tell them about us when she was free enough of their direct (i.e., money, living situation, distance) influence that our relationship would not impact her daily life or her ability to live it. As you can probably tell by the thread title, we didn’t make it that far.

On July 4, my phone rang. It was her mother. Apparently, she had been itemizing her phone bills (the whole family is on one plan), and came across roaming charges indicating that HSHGF had called home while in New Jersey (where I live). Mommy confronted her daughter, who admitted to her “crimes,” which prompted a yelling, screaming, hissy match that lasted a couple days, involved cussing, screaming, face-slapping (with my girlfriend as the recipient), grounding, the silent treatment, assignment of extra chores, withholding of tuition assistance, confiscation of possessions, etc.

Now, I don’t want to debate the lunacy of “punishing” a twenty-two-year-old college graduate. I don’t want to Pit her parents again (I think I did a good enough job the first time around, and nothing’s really changed). I just want to throw out there what I did and see how wise it was. And a little moral support never hurt, either.

I let her go. There is nothing that my involvement in her life will get her right now except more misery. She, quite literally, cannot continue to see me right now- she has her classes and her parents have taken her/their car keys from her. There’s no talking to the parents- I tried. But they’re not interested in a “low-class loser with no prospects (actual quote)” or what I have to say. They’re “not interested in getting to know me.”

She goes to LA in September for at least a year of classes out there, and I’m applying to law schools in different parts of the country for admission next September. I don’t feel right trying to anchor her to the East Coast when what she has a life to build. And I don’t want to sit home wondering if her new life has prompted her to forget about me and move on. I don’t want her to miss an opportunity because she’s nominally “with” me, and I don’t want the same for myself with regard to her. She has to devote herself to building her new life, and I have to decide where and how I want to do the same when I go away to law school in 2005.

I can’t look at her IM profile and overanalyze whether she’s moving on- I don’t want her to have to do the same to me. I can’t worry about how I relate to mutual friends because I’m worried about hurting her if my life changes, and I don’t want a surprise update that her new life will exclude me from now on. If we’re ever going to work, it’s because we love ach other, not because we’ve arranged circumstances to remain in each other’s presence. If she’s going to come back to me, it’s because she’s made a life for herself and wants me in it. And if I’m going to take her back, it will be because I learned to live without her and decided I’d rather live with her.

So we’ve blocked each other’s means of communication- IM, e-mail, and phone. We’ve told our mutual friends that conversation regarding each other is off-limits. We’ve agreed that she will call me on January 10 of 2005, and we’ll talk then. Seventy percent of me believes that she will, but the thirty percent that believes otherwise is convincing the rational part of me that, if she doesn’t, then I will have my answer and it will be for the best.

Did I do the right thing? I hope so, because this fucking hurts.

And what do I do now?

Oh boy. Let me guess, this is your first girlfriend…?

What should you do? First, tone down the drama and relax. Methinks you are in your very early 20s? A less-than-a-year relationship is not worth this kind of anguish.

Questions: Why did you cut off all communication, IM, e-mail, etc? What is the purpose of this? Whose idea was this? If it was yours, did she immediately agree, or put up a fight? Why is she supposed to call you on Jan. 10? What is the significance of that? And, if she really wants to be with you, why doesn’t she say “Fuck You” to her parents and be with you anyway? Get a job, and move out and in with you?

If it’s True Love, than why can’t you guys just e-mail and IM for a few months while stuff dies down, then move on? That seems like the logical thing to do.

Another question, you say she is 22 and a college grad, and still in school. Is she in grad school? Why does she live at home? If she is 22 and a college grad, why can’t she get a job, move out and go to school part-time? I have several friends who put themselves through college or grad school with a job and loans.

And why on Earth do her parents think you are a loser? You’re a college grad and going to law school, yes? Is it some sort of “class” thing? Are her parents rich and yours aren’t? Is it some sort of racism or religious thing?

This story just doesn’t make any sense to me, there’s gotta be more to it…

I agree. Why do these people hate you so much, and if she’s so whipped over you, why doesn’t she make a go of it on her own?

Well, you posted to my self-indulgent thread, so I might as well return the favor :wink:

You want my advice, from 10 years down the road? No, you didn’t do the right thing. Do one of two things now:

  1. Obstacles be damned. Get back together and tough it out, until one or both of you calls it quits, (or death do you part, as it were - Whichever comes first, I guess…)

  2. Take your own advice and Run :slight_smile: Don’t look back.

And can I take this opportunity to tell you how much I absolutely detest this phrase, having been on the receiving end of it. It should be right up there with “Let’s just be friends.” :wink:

I think you did the right thing. While her relationship with her parents as it is, this girl is undateable. At some point, she will either grow a spine and learn to assert herself as an adult around them, or she’ll cave and marry someone they approve of. Trying to change her into someone who will stand up for you and for herself is a bad idea, to say the least.

It hurts right now, but I think that later in life you’ll look back and realize how incredibly right your decision was. I once dated someone who was a slave to her parents’ approval, and now I’m married to an independent, self-confident woman. You won’t realize until you’re with someone else how much that dynamic with the parents is indicative of many other personality traits.

Of course there’s more to it. But at the end of the day, it’s all logistics.

nyctea, Jim, and kalhoun: First girlfriend? No. Not hardly. Not my longest relationship, either. But there was something visceral about this one, and the suddenness of the ending just makes it more painful than a gradual dying out.

Cutting off communication? My idea- over her objections. Why? Because one of us will break down and call the other when there’s nothing either of us will be able to do to fix it. That’s what happened all of January. One would call the other, and the pain would just continue. She’s going to be in LA. I’m going to be in New York. January 10, only because it’s a time after she’ll be established in her life out there and we’ll be able to look at this fresh. Again, my idea.

As far as the “if she wanted, she would” and the “fuck the parents” schools of thought, we tried that. They have too much control over her, too much power. She’s a 22-year-old, and, while she may know the price of everything, she doesn’t know the value of much. She’s been spoiled, both as a matter of parental overcompensation and as a tool of control, and she’s nevertheless very attached to them. It’s not a simple situation. And she can’t move in with me. She needs to go to LA for grad school and I won’t deprive her of that. I need to be here (my ridiculously well-paying job is here) so I can afford law school. Besides, she’d only be trading one dependent relationship for another, and neither of us wants that.

Her parents are upper-middle-class, I am solidly middle-class. But they’re barely there; they’re in debt up to their eyeballs to live where they do and have the same toys as thier neighbors. They’re worried that I’m after their money (they don’t know I’m more solvent than they are, wouldn’t believe me if I told them, and I don’t need to prove it to them). My suggestion that Mommy could write the prenup herself was, of course, rebuffed. The first thread (the Pit one) will give you a great overview as to why they dislike me so.

Giraffe: you are right on target. Regardless of how much I love her, I CANNOT date her right now. As things stand, it would never work. Something else would come up, the parents would never go away, and there’s never be a minute’s rest. I know some people whose marriages are constantly tested by parental medlding, and I don’t want that. Allow me to congratulate you and allow me also to say that someday I am going to date/marry a confident woman who is her own person. I hope that she will be that woman. But right now she isn’t and I can’t make her that way, because she’ll be acting for my benefit. Her change has to come from within, not because I tell her so.

To sum up: “consequences be damned” is really easy for me to say. I’m 30, make very good money, and could easily support her as well or better than her parents could. But to do that would mean she’d have to give up LA, her relationship with her family, potential employment in her field (classical civilization) and a whole lot of dreams she had. Me? I wouldn’t have to give up anything, and that’s just an unfair balance of power. I don’t want her to owe me.

If she moves on, she moves on. If she comes back, she comes back. If I am still capable of welcoming her back, I will. If I’ve moved on, I’ll let her know. But for now I have to let her go, which doesn’t change the fact that I love her. Dramatic? maybe? Overly so? Nah. It just sucks is all.

What a sad thread. I’m sorry you had to go through all this pain. :frowning:

Are you two Indian or Sri Lankan? It’s what came to my mind once you started mentioning social classes. I was reminded of caste systems.

Happy, I am still struggling to put my mind around this. I went back and read through your previous threads and I have some further questions.

Ok I have gathered that you are 30, just graduated college in New York and are going to law school. Where are you going to law school? Have you been accepted yet? You say you make good money. Did you have the job while you were in college or got it afterwards? And are you going to keep working after going to law school?

So, how did you two meet? Do you both live in NY? Do you both go to the same school? Does she live at her parents’ house or in a dorm at college? You mentioned previously that she was “at school” or something. If this is the case, then how can her parents prevent you two from seeing each other?

You said in a previous post, “I’m sorry I’m poor,” but now you say you make good money. Which is it? And how exactly do her parents know the details of your or your parents financial history?

You said in a previous post, “Johnny Superintendent looked at where I’d been and what I’d gone through to get where I am and deemed me worthless on those grounds.” Is " Johnny Superintendent" her dad? What exactly does this statement mean? Where had you been that caused him not to like you?

OK so she is going to grad school in LA soon. Great! So why can’t you guys resume your relationship then? You could talk to her whenever you wanted. Fly out to see her. Why not do this?

What I really don’t get is, how can a 22-year-old college grad be so controlled by her parents? How could they take her car keys away? Is it her car? Why doesn’t she move out? Why can’t she do what she wants once she gets to LA? Why were they reading her phone bill? If she wanted to talk to you, couldn’t she get a separate cell phone plan?

You said “My suggestion that Mommy could write the prenup herself was, of course, rebuffed.” I don’t get it. If the girl doesn’t even have enough money to move out of the house or have her own car, then why would you need a pre-nup? Does she/did she have a job? Is she an heiress or have some big inheritance? Why would two young poor kids need a pre-nup?

I still stand by the statement, if she really wanted to be with you, she would. She is 22 and about to go to LA. Why doesn’t she invite you to move out there with her? You could go to law school out there in LA. But it sounds like none of this has been discussed. What’s the deal?

Oh, one last one. You’re 30 and just finishing college. What did you do in the 12 years since graduating high school?

Well, I totally feel you. A year ago my fiance broke off our engagement b/c his parents strongly disapproved of me (yes, we’re both South Asian). It was a multitude of factors-I was too educated (I’m in lawschool), I was too much of a career girl, my skin wasn’t fair enough, we were from different castes (I’m Brahmin, he’s not), my parents weren’t rich enough by their standards (this one killed me as my parents are wealthy but they were multi-millionaires), Maharashtrians are a different race from North Indians and the two shouldn’t mix. You know what? It hurt like hell for several months but I got over it. Looking back I can’t believe I let myself get so upset over someone who is that much of a coward. Honestly, if she doesn’t stand up now, she never will. My parents started creating a ruckus when I started dating at 16 (an American) and I told them exactly where they could stuff it-there’s no reason my ex couldn’t have done the same. I cut off all contact with him-he proposed continuing to see each other with “no commitment” and I was like "umm, what? We were going to get married. "He still writes to me every 6 months regretting what he did. Whatever, let him suffer, I never write back.

I have since moved on and am a much happier person. My career is going incredibly well, I lost my 15 lb-school-weightgain etc. etc… I deserve much better and I’ll find it and I’m sure you will as well.

I think you did the right thing, too. If you’re feeling doubts, then go back and read your Pit thread again. It sounds like you’re enough of a romantic to see it as a Romeo & Juliet type situation, but just remember how that turned out. And in that case, Juliet was willing to make more of an effort at keeping the thing going.

In your case, she’s already taken sides. It sucks, and it hurts, but there it is. And if y’all try to make something long-term, it’s always going to be her family before you. And you’re just going to keep going through this same pain. It sounds like you’re making a real effort to make your life what you want it to be, and you’re succeeding. She’s not doing the same, and you deserve better.

Ah. Y’all have questions, I have answers.

nyctea: here we go:

I’ll enter law school in September 2005. I will not keep my job (which I’ve had for five years) upon entering- I’m saving enough money now so that I can pay a year’s rent, utilities and car insurance- the only thing I want to focus on is academics.

She went to school near Boston (just graduated), I go to school here. We met through mutual friends. We started dating, and everything was fine until I met the parents. They asked all sorts of questions about what I did, what my past was like, what my parents did for a living, etc. After I left that night, they told her they didn’t like me, and a week later, they ordered her not to see me anymore. She was vacationing with them in Miami at the time, and then living at home over winter break, so I had no way to see her. We got back together in mid-February, when she was back at school and again, they had no means to prevent her from seeing me. It got harder when she moved back home for the summer, but we were managing until Mommy found us out. Then, lockdown. Yes, she lives at home. No, the car is not hers. She’s in summer classes to prep for grad school, and living at home until she leaves.

“Sorry I’m poor” was all about the way they looked at me. To answer a couple of other questions first- I did two years of college right after high school, then ran out of money. I worked whatever jobs I could (which at first weren’t much) until I got a good enough job (five years ago, this job I’m at now) to pay off all my debts and go back to school. I just finished that now. I’m out of debt and ready to take the next step. But, where I see a tale of hard work and determination in that story, they saw some uppity poor kid who didn’t know his place. In fact, her mother told her that I seemed cocky and “too self-assured for someone who hasn’t finished college at 29.”

You cannot underestimate the level of control her parents have over her. They are overbearing and shortsighted and she is next-to-incapable of doing without them or anyone to provide for her. The semi-independent academic life will be sort of like a halfway house for her, I’m hoping, where she will learn enough to live on her own for real.

Pre-nup: they think I’m out to get their money. It doesn’t occur to them that I don’t want their money or that I loved their daughter before I knew who they were, or that they flatter themselves thinking they’re rich enough to be the target of a golddigger. Mommy said (paraphrased): “You just want our money, poor boy.” I replied (paraphrased): “I’ll sign a document that says I don’t and you can even write it.” It’s not about money- it’s about their perception of me. I don’t want a dime of theirs, no matter what they may have.

Why can’t I move out there to go to grad school with her? She’s there for one year before she moves on to a Masters program. Where that will be has not been decided. Where I go to law school has likewise not been decided. The original plan was that we would apply to programs in the same school or general area. That plan is now out the window. And it’s out the window for this reason: Why would I move somewhere just to be close to someone who won’t stand up for me?

And all of you who say “if she really wanted to be with you, she would” are right. And right now her heart or mind or situation or whatever you want to call it renders her undateable to me. I’m hoping that changes, but it never will if I’m always there for her. I took her back once after Mommy and Daddy lowered the boom, and I took her back because she promised me that it wouldn’t happen again. Well, it happened again. She’s not ready for me and I can’t hurt myself by waiting until she is. All I’m doing then is enabling her and causing myself pain.

I love her. And I want to be with her. But that won’t happen with things like they are. I have to let her go and hope she changes enough to choose me independently. She shouldn’t have to stand up for me. She shouldn’t have to stand up for herself. Those statements imply that she has someone to answer to. And as long as she believes that she does, then I cannot in good conscience be with her. If she ever gets it together, I’ll take her call. But not before.

[Round of applause] YAY!! Good for you. I am so relieved to hear you say this. Now that I see the whole picture, I gotta tell you, you are LUCKY to get rid of this girl now. Her parents are HORRIBLE PSYCHOPATHS and as much as you love their daughter, she is going to have some major baggage and psychoses related to her upbringing with them. She is brainwashed by them, and as hard as you tried, you can’t undo it. Just imagine what your life would be like with her. First, they would probably disown her, and she would be silly with depression and anguish over that, and she would go back to them. What do they call it? Stockholm Syndrome, where the victim is emotionally attached to the abuser? That is clearly what is happening to her. Now if by some chance you married and had a family, you would for evermore have to deal with her parents. It would never ever get resolved and be years of misery for you. I can’t even imagine it turning out well.

The poor girl needs to get some counseling out in LA for this prolonged abuse at the hands of her parents. She needs to go through deprogramming. Does she have any siblings?

You really should move on and forget her. What is going to happen when she calls you on Jan. 10? She hasn’t grown a spine and never will.

P.S. You should show her these threads, and let her see the reality of what has been going on.

Another vote for move on.

This girl is totally under their thumb, and that is NEVER going to change. Most kids cut the umbilical cord when they’re about 17. Marry her and you’re going to have one of those marriages in which Mom and Dad are calling the shots.

You’re a catch, and some smart girl in law school is going to see that and snap you right up.

January 10, 2005 is only about 5 months away. I wouldn’t answer the phone if I were you. It totally sucks, but sounds to me as if she’s made her choice. Don’t let her keep you hanging. If her parents are manipulators, chances are she is too. You don’t have 5 years to wait for her to hem and haw over whether or not she’s going to grow some stones.

By the way, good for you for having the determination to pay off your debts, I’ve gotta say you did a great job.

Still another vote for move on.

Until she gets out on her own and decides for herself what to do with her life, only two things can happen.

  1. She’ll keep you a secret from her parents and when they find out, the whole cycle will repeat itself.

  2. She’ll run off with you in what looks to be a romantic declaration of independence, but is actually her thumbing her nose at her parents. And once the revenge factor wears off, she’ll be asking herself why she’s in this relationship.

You know the truth. Now you have to believe it. You may be ready, but she isn’t. Let her grow up on her own schedule or she’ll break your heart again (and again and again…)

Yes, you did the right thing, for both of you, and you know you did.

Now you just have to deal with the pain, and that’s hard, but you’ll get through it: we’ve all seen that you’ve got plenty of guts. It’s a bereavement: you have to mourn what you’ve lost, and accept that your future will be different to what you’d imagined and hoped it would be. So mourn it, cry for it, and let it go.

I came this close to marrying a man who turned out to be under Mommy’s control, though he’d done a damn good job of hiding it until after I met them. Then then officially disapproved and told him they wouldn’t be at the wedding, so he dumped me. He was 43!

Though their reasons weren’t financial, I don’t think that’s the real reason in your situation either. I don’t think anybody would be good enough for their baby girl. Or else it is financial, and an asshole with a ton of money would be fine, but a great guy who is in school so isn’t exactly rich isn’t. As much as you might love this girl, do you really want to be related to those sorts of people? I know I don’t.

Oh, it hurts like hell. But yes, you did the right thing. Better to just end it. I don’t understand the January phone call agreement, but I’d be very surprised if you hear from her then. I’ll be perfectly happy never to talk to my spineless ex again.

I know for a plain fact that there is no way things can work out as they stand.

I think the thing that affected me the most was that she saw what horrible pain I was in the first time she broke up with me because of Mommy and Daddy. And she spent so much time reassuring me that she had learned from it, and she would never hurt me like that again.

Two days before her parents found out, she was gushing- calling me everything she could want in a future husband. Nine days after that, she says she can’t continue with me as her boyfriend. All this says to me is that nothing in the world will be worth as much as maintaining harmony with her parents, even if that harmony is the same kind that the occupied Parisians had.

Do I really believe that she will call me on the 10th of January? Most of me does. She’s kept all my things, and she still asks her friends to check up on me and make sure I’m doing OK. She hasn’t removed me from her contact lists, though I have removed her from mine. As to how long this vestigial attachmetn will last, I don’t know. She’s said I’ll never be out of her thoughts, but then again she also said she’d always love me and never hurt me like that again. So I’m not exactly holding my breath.

I’m moving on. I have to. I have a date next week and I’m going to go on that date and have a good time. Wish me luck.

Yep. Exactly.

Good luck. It took me a while before I was ready to date, but I now have a wonderful boyfriend who is of the opinion that I got royally screwed. Yay for him!