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My Breakup Story


Phenominal

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Sorry for the mini-book but here goes...

 

Three years ago, I met a wonderful man and we were inseparable from the moment we met. We ended up moving in together after 5 months. We were very compatible and never had any cohabitation issues. However, I have recently come to the realization that I have a drinking problem. We drank together and he saw a few of my really ed up drunk nights but they were spaced out and most of the times, we were drinking together. A six pack for him, a bottle of wine for me on the weekends and/or maybe 1x/week. I met him at a bar and would still go to the bar on my way home from work to hang with my bar "friends" a few times a week. Over time, he saw how frequently I was coming home a little more than tipsy. I would also lie to him and say I was working late to pad the time on my commute home so I could drink. He began to tire of it and would bring it up to me on occasion but he still stuck around. Over the last year, he slowly started to check out of the relationship (not talking, less affectionate, etc). In cycles, we would make up and things would be good for a few weeks and then again, he starts checking out. By the time we came upon our 3rd anniversary, he was sleeping on the couch all the time and there was clearly a problem. We had one of the heartiest conversations right after New Years, where he said he was unhappy in his life and I didn't deserve that he treated me with such detachment, that he wanted to not drink/smoke so much, move from our apartment somewhere else. I suggested keeping a dry house and working on it together, on looking for a new apt together. That didn't even last a week before we went and got a 6 pack and a bottle of wine (at his suggestion). He starts checking out again and I decide it's time to give 60 day notice and we can either move out together or I need to move back home and end these vicious cycles of unhappiness. He agrees but feels he needs a break and that he's tired of struggling and trying so hard. That his feelings for me have changed. I take that to mean he isn't in love with me anymore and my heart is broken. That was on a Saturday and I spend Sunday at my parents house. When I get back to the apt, he has moved out. Everything GONE...I look at his side of the closet and cry, his stack of books and cry, his things out of the medicine cabinet and cry. I go to a bar nearby and say I need to drink myself to sleep so I can stop crying.

I woke up on Monday morning and still upset, I start asking myself WHY didn't he trust me? The only times I lied to him were when I was drinking or because I was drinking. The trust was gone because I couldn't be honest with myself, let alone him. That was my moment of clarity. It was about me and I wanted to start to be honest with myself and that would mean taking a long hard look at me and accepting that I have a problem. I lost a good friend and an even better relationship because I couldn't face my own demon...and it dawned on me that this wasn't the first time in my life. I didn't like that version of me that I saw when I stepped out of myself and decided in that moment that I want to do something to change her. I went to my first AA meeting the very next day and it felt good. I have since been regularly attending and have even been around people drinking without feeling like having one. Before we even broke up, I had begun to take the baby steps of introspection and got a copy of Allen Carr's book “The Easyway To Control Alcohol” as well as lurk the self-help subreddits.

I had reached out to him on that Monday that I had the moment of clarity and he met with me to talk. I got to thank him because it was his actions and the gut-wrenching result of them that led to my introspection and ultimately put me on a path of restoration. I also got to apologize for having unknowingly put that strain on him and my remorse for the loss of us, of something that was otherwise great. He confirmed to me that night that he indeed decide to leave because of my drinking. I asked why he didn't give me that reason when we broke up and he said he had said it to me in lighter tones before and it just had never been accepted by me and apologized for his lack of emphasis and communication. He was happy to see me finally see the light. He offered his 100% support - call, text him anytime I needed to, offered to attend some AA meetings with me. I stressed that my decision and priority was myself first and he did not doubt my sincerity. I asked if there was any chance of reconciliation down the road once I have had some time of sobriety (again, stressing that my sobriety in no way hinged on his answer) and his response did leave the door open a crack. He said he was going to stay at his brother's for a few weeks and then eventually get a new place of his own but that he wasn't running out to find someone new. He offered to pay for moving the rest of my things out of the apartment. These things he said to me that Monday evening are telling about his emotions and love for me, even if he feels he still cannot express them outright. Ever since that talk, he checked in with me daily via text before I can even reach out to him, asking about how my meetings are going and how my progress is faring. He is not the type of person to hold on and linger so that fact that he is on some level speaks volumes and gives me a shred of hope for us. At times, it feels like I am hanging on to that shred for dear life and motivates me to stay the course. I hope that eventually we can find our way back to each other and that this only strengthens our bonds.

 

 

I reached out to him again last Monday and asked him to meet me because I had a few questions. I felt like I had been beating myself up over my alcoholism and needed to know what the real reason was that he left: was it because his feelings really had changed or was it just the drinking? If his feelings HAD changed, what caused them to change? His answer was that they had changed and it was because of the trust, which for me goes right back to drinking. I asked in a hypothetical situation where I hadn’t been drinking, and by that extension, lying to him and then the trust hadn’t been broken, did he think his feelings for me would have changed? He said that was hard to answer but after some thought, he said he didn’t think so. He said if there was ANYTHING else that contributed to his change in feelings, it was that intimate relationships require reliability and over time, he thought I wasn’t reliable (not answering his calls). I said that the times I wouldn’t answer his calls right away were because I was sitting at the bar and felt guilty so I would miss the call and then step outside of the bar to call him back. He said that was more damaging than if I had just answered and said I was at the bar. He also said that it really wasn’t fair for me to beat myself up about the drinking alone because it wasn’t just one thing. It was the sum of it all – drinking, trust, reliability, his own issues with himself. He admitted that he sucks at relationships and sucks even more at communicating and that he definitely could have done a better job at that. We pretty much left it at that and then he took the remaining items of his from the apartment and left. Since then, I’ve been looking at it like a self-imposed NC period for the foreseeable future.

 

Thoughts/comments?

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So just to update, he texted me last Friday asking how my day was going and I didn't respond. However, I also realized that when I last saw him (when he took the last of his things from our apt), he had offered to pay for my movers. He insisted that it would make him feel better especially since I had returned all of the gifts he had gotten me over the relationship. Should I let him and then resume NC or just pay for my move myself and keep doing the NC?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Handling the move myself. Have been good about maintaining NC even when he texted me. We had to pay the last month of rent on our old apt at the beginning of this month. He reached out that first weekend via text regarding an adjustment made to the rent, which I ignored. Finally on 3/3, he called me in the morning and I curtly told him I couldn't talk as I was at my AA meeting but he could pay whatever he wanted and I would pay the balance. I should be finished moving out this weekend, which leaves 1.5 weeks left on the lease. I'm going to text him that my stuff is removed from the apt and he can call a cleaning service and then schedule the exit inspection for whenever he wants and pick up a few of his remaining things which were forgotten. After that, it is FULL on NC as all of our ties would be severed and there wouldn't be any need for contact

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So another update as I am FINALLY at a point where I can begin full NC. Moved out of old apt and into the new one this weekend. I texted him around 9pm to let him know. The next day, as I was taking a break from unpacking, I check my FB and saw his friend had put up a picture of him and his guy friends at their friend's 40th bday party, which made me upset thinking about how we would have been there together if we weren't broken up. I realized that was probably why I hadn't heard from him and called a girlfriend and she came over which helped me get through Sunday. When I still hadn't heard from him (and also to have it in writing), I sent him an email on Monday morning:

Hi D,

I hope all is well with you.

I am fully moved out of our old apartment now. If possible, I would like for you to schedule for a cleaning company to come and clean/vacuum the place so that we can schedule the exit inspection. If that is not possible, please let me know and I will take care of it. There are a few more things of yours that I left on the windowsill but if you are not going to go back to the apartment, please let me know and I'll pick them up and mail everything to you.

Let me know when you schedule the inspection for and if I need to be present. Once that is done, I will drop the key, mailbox key, and fob to the management office. I have cancelled the cable and will cancel the utilities this week. I think that will complete everything that we need to get done with the old apartment. If I missed anything, please let me know. Also, just in case, I took pictures before leaving (attached).

 

He responded pretty quickly:

I stopped by the apartment on Sunday and took note of what needs to be done. I'll take care of everything from here. I told you I'd pay for movers; how much do I owe you?

 

I plan on having the apartment clean and ready for inspection by Wednesday or Thursday this week.

 

How is everything else? I hope all is well. Of course, call if you wanna talk.

 

My response to him:

Thank you. Again, please let me know if I need to be present for the cleaning/inspection or anything else.

You know I have been fiercely independent ever since you met me and despite all of the other changes I've been making in my life recently, that is not one of them. Grateful for the moving expenses offer but you don't owe me anything anymore. If anything, I owe you your keyboard, mice, and back rent, which as I said earlier, will be mailed to you. Other than that, I think that closes this chapter.

 

Everything else is going well. I am happier with my life's condition and direction than I have been in a long time. At the top of the year, you had said that we talked about wanting to be better people but that nothing would change. I can honestly say that I am working on becoming that better person that can live, love and be honest with myself. I hope and wish the same for you.

Thank you for asking.

 

 

And that is how the story ends for now. Indefinite NC and am now working on getting more months of sobriety in the bag, running and yoga, meditation, and a LOT of reading in my new zen-like apartment!

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  • 5 months later...

UPDATE:

The update is that I have since then gotten and remained sober, quit smoking cigarettes, working out and eating healthier and feel the best I've ever felt. We went through a brief NC period until I sent him a birthday card and he texted me back to say thank you. That turned into a text conversation that got a little flirtatious. A few days later, I realized I was going to be near where he lives for a 5K and took our conversation as a sign to see if he would come and cheer me on. He came and we saw each other for the first time since the breakup. After the race, we hung out for a while and talked, mostly about my sobriety and recent decision to quit smoking. There was a little awkwardness and I could tell he definitely had his guard up but I kept it cool and friendly until it was time to part. I didn't reach out but a few days later, he texts me to say that I inspired him to work on quitting smoking and asks me for advice about switching to e-cigs. I offer my support and pretty much since then, the doors of communication between us were opened. I began sending him daily motivation and sometimes we would send joking texts, a few deeper conversations but it was always over text. A few weeks ago, one of those texts was about True Blood, which was his favorite show. He didn't have HBO anymore so couldn't watch it so I offered my HBOGo to him and mentioned my ritual of Sunday dinners and True Blood. Rather off the cuff and not really intending him to take it seriously, I said "you know where I am on any given Sunday and you're welcome to join." He said that it sounded interesting and would catch up on the season and let me know about coming over the following Sunday. He finally did come over and we had dinner and watched the show together. There was no awkwardness this time and it was very natural, very much like how we used to be when together. As he was leaving, he said he had a great time and if I was free the next Sunday, he'd like to do it again. He had recently had a minor back injury and that week, I happened to sprain my ankle. When he came over that Sunday, I offered him a back massage in exchange for a foot massage and of course he accepted. After giving me a foot rub, he offered a back massage to me as well and I took him up. There was definitely some sexual tension at that point and after a little while, I stopped him and said thank you and then we watched the show and he left afterwards. The next Saturday, my plans got cancelled at the last minute and during one of our texts, I asked him if he was free and wanted to go hiking. He accepted and we spent Saturday afternoon hiking and on the way home, we passed our favorite movie theater and decided to see a movie and then he dropped me off at the train station. Saturday was spent very much like how we used to when we were together minus the occasional hand holding and kisses. When he came over for True Blood Sundays the next day, he saw the Tiger Balm on the counter and asked about the massage offer and I said I would give him one. After I was done, he offered to give me one and I declined saying my foot felt better now. His response was that he enjoyed giving me one and that I was taking the fun out of that so I said ok. The foot massage turned into a leg massage and then he offered a full body massage and I told him to keep working on my legs while I thought about it. It felt good and so I let him continue his way up until I started feeling the sexual tension again and stopped him. This time, he asked if it came with a happy ending. I asked if he though that was a good idea, that it might complicate a good thing at this point. Note that we had had a conversation about our differing views on sex (mine being typically female in regards to emotional attachment and his being typically male in that it was "just something people did all the time because it feels good"). His response was that we looked at sex differently but it was up to me, so I asked him if he could realistically do that and feel no emotional attachment. He shrugged so I said no and got up and sat on the couch. A few awkward moments and words exchanged and honestly, I was still thinking it over and ended up caving. It was good and there were a few times we locked eyes and I felt intimacy then but no kisses on the lips. We watched the show afterwards and then he left. We've texted since then as we usually do and he is planning on coming over this Sunday for the finale. I'm not sure where this goes or what (if anything) to do about it. I've believed in the possibility of us getting back together ever since the breakup. It seems like he was trying hard to keep some kind of detachment during the sex but otherwise receptive in every other way.

We hung out again the following week and it was just dinner and the show. No mention was made of the previous week but before leaving, he suggesting hanging out again the following weekend. I said I had plans but I'm sure we would work something out down the line.

Daily text conversations are still happening though...we'll see but I'm happy with where I am either way

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Congrats on your sobriety and overall healthier living.

 

With regard to your reconnection, don't be pressured into adding sex if you don't want to. It doesn't have to be part of your new connection until the emotional intimacy is included. Otherwise...just focus on the now for now.

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Thanks! Feel better than I ever have and not looking back!

 

With reconnecting, I wasn't pressured into it and wanted it too but of course I wanted it with the emotional connection. If there is a next time, I won't compromise so easily.

 

Of course I have wanted for us to have a second chance this whole time so having this door open back up a crack feels good but my life isn't as hinged on it as it was earlier this year. I'm taking it as it goes but still staying hopeful.

 

Thanks for always listening and responding with kind words and advice!!!

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