About three years ago, I wrote about my relationship ending. It turns out that it wasn’t a breakup at the time, because she finally got what she wanted. A chance to move out of New York and to New Mexico. But tonight, it’s finally over once and for all. And I ended it.
So, we moved to Albuquerque, rented an apartment for a while, and finally bought a house together, with her putting down basically all of the down payment. I thought everything was finally going to be happy. I was wrong.
My parents and others (including some here at the SDMB) warned me that it was a bad relationship. An emotionally abusive relationship. A toxic relationship. I didn’t want to admit it, but clearly they were right. A good relationship doesn’t have one partner yelling at the other about how the other doesn’t care about how miserable they are at their job, yet refuses to take any initiative in finding a new one. Refuses to believe when told it’s okay if they quit straight out. Gets angry when it’s suggested that a new job is found before the old one is quit. A good relationship doesn’t devolve into yelling when mistakes are made attempting something new for the first time or when accidents happen. There are a lot of others, both emotional and physical, but a good relationship definitely doesn’t involve sending threats of suicide to your partner, forcing your partner to come home because of legitimate worry to find you sitting there at home working like nothing happened.
There’s a lot of other things that seem obvious now about how this relationship has been. I won’t bore you with all of them. But it seems clear that it’s never been about “us”, but about “you” and “me”, and what I could do for her. So I’m done. I’m done trying to take care of her, I’m done walking on eggshells trying to keep her happy, and I’m done with letting her make me miserable.
I just wish I had figured this out earlier. Without, probably subconsciously, having to cause a crisis that made it all crash down at once. Without slipping into compulsive gambling (and I’ve started going to meetings, but it’s only been a week) as some sort of response to my unhappiness that’s racked up a debt that’s going to take me two or three unpleasant austere years to climb out of. But when the chips were down, when I had no more money to gamble away, when I had no choice but to stop the lies and come clean and own up to everything I’ve done, there was no “us” in her response. It’s not that she was angry and upset initially, or that she attacked me personally in the first day or so. It’s that after a week there was no interest in a reason or possible understanding for why I did it. No real understanding there was still plenty of money coming in each month between the two of us (even with a plan to pay off debt as fast as possible) that while I, personally, wouldn’t have any money for myself there was plenty for living expenses based on our original arrangement and of course she’d have her pay. Her response was only about the money and how quickly I could get back the spent money. How we didn’t have any money while she was sitting on enough cash to run the household for an entire year. But that wasn’t “our” money (not that I wanted her to bail me out of my mistake with it), it was “her” money. And how unfair it would be for her to have to spend any of her money.
So I’m done. One way or another I’ll get off the mortgage. I’ll move out and find an apartment. I’ll keep going to meetings and work on myself that way. I might start going to counseling as well and work on myself that way. I’ll start eating better and exercising more and work on myself that way as well. I’ll start doing the things–and I don’t really know what those are yet–that I could never do because I felt that I was never free to do things by myself. I won’t be petty about breaking up, I won’t be vindictive, I won’t let myself hate her, and I won’t consider ever going back.
And when I’m finally ready to start dating again, I’ll find someone who is worthy of being with me.