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Blindsided and Broken Up with while my mother was sick with Covid


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I (29F) had been close friends with my now ex-boyfriend (36M) for close to a year before we began officially dating. We were together as a couple for 6 months. We met through my mother, as they were once coworkers who have since reconnected, and she invited him over for a few family gatherings because she thought he'd fit right in with us, and he did. We developed a great friendship, have many things in common (video games, the same books/fave authors, music, etc) and even though we disagreed on a number of things, were able to discuss them with civility and learn about the others viewpoints, as well as discuss topics (theology, politics, racism, web development, etc) one of us had more perspective or experience with than the other and learn about the subject matter. Due to our ongoing regular contact and fun times and conversations, our friendship continued to grow deeper. We discussed traumas, how we've changed since childhood, the types of childhoods and family units we had, how they affected our lives, and as a result our friendship grew vulnerable and intimate (not sexually or physically) and we developed a strong bond and connections.

One night while watching a movie, he asked me to be his girlfriend and I said yes. We talked about our expectations, what we wanted and needed from a relationship and the type of partner we both need. We had done this just as friends during casual conversations about past relationships, but went more into depth as we wanted to be sure we had the same goals. We both expressed the want for a long-term committed relationship and agreed to be exclusive. He was previously married for almost 10 years and has a child from that marriage. He has been divorced close to 3 years now. I had met his son on several occasions while we were still friends and began to bond with him, so he waited a few weeks to tell his son (8 years old) that I was going to be in his life more often than just for play dates.

His marriage was a very unhappy one and he expressed that he had began going to therapy to deal with the emotional abandonment and turmoil he had felt during their marriage due to their lack of communication, support, disconnection, lack of intimacy and sex, and overall complacency that resulted in him asking to divorce. I had been happily single, living life, working on my career goals/hobbies, working on myself, going to therapy and traveling for 5 years prior to our relationship. My traveling, hobbies, life perspectives, viewpoints, confidence, self-image and overall demeanor I have these days (thanks to a few years of intense therapy) are some of the things he had told me first attracted him to me romantically and made him want to pursue a relationship. Thanks to Covid, my travels had been put on hold and I had to switch jobs in 2020 due to being laid off. I am currently living with my mother because my job loss resulted in me being unable to afford my apartment.

The first 3 months we spent getting to know one another, bonding and becoming intimate. Due to Covid and the limited things we could do, we'd plan dates outdoors or get tested before we went to one another's homes. He told me he loved me 2 months in, and I said it too. After that, I began noticing his insecurities coming out in subtle ways and did my best to reassure him I wasn't going anywhere and that I loved him, found him attractive and wanted him. He attributed his issues and habits to his military service, deployments, and trauma, though as stated, he was/is working through them in therapy. He started bringing up my traveling and suggesting that I was going to leave/break up with him to travel, that I should just move to my favorite country because he wants me to be happy and knows that traveling is what makes me happiest. I had corrected him and said that my life was in a transitional period and I was going to start putting down roots, wanted a committed relationship, and wanted this relationship. I know that I cannot travel for months/years on end like I was and expect my SO to wait around for me to come back, that's not fair. But he brought it up numerous more times over 6 months. The last time I told him I was offended that he felt the need to assume he knew what was best for me or what I wanted more than myself.

On top of that, the slightest things would cause him to become upset, like, he forgot to turn the burgers on the grill one evening and started berating himself and said they were no longer edible (they were fine). When I would tell him he looked nice in the shirt he was wearing, he'd say no. He'd make comments about his lack of hair (he started balding in his 20s and now shaves his head) and I would tell him I like him bald. In bed, he'd climax and then apologize if I hadn't yet and then get upset with himself, he called himself a disappointment and failure multiple times. I told him I don't like it when he says things like this, and that if I were unsatisfied I would tell him and we could find a way around it. We were newly intimate, he'd only had sex with his wife before me, and we both hadn't had sex in over a year. While working he'd say he was bad at it if he didn't do something correctly or had to resubmit his work. I always told him I was proud of him and that he'll get better at his job. On a nearly daily basis he'd make self-depricating comments and often disguise them as jokes, I repeatedly asked him not to do that and reassured him I loved him.

Periodically, I would "check-in" and ask him if the pace of the relationship was comfortable for him and if he had any concerns or things he needed to discuss. I always gave him space to express his needs, told him that if he needed to talk or needed something to just ask or tell me, and made sure he knew I loved him and he'd express that he loved me back. He said the same to me, but rarely if ever actually broached this subject himself. During this time, we met one another's close friends, I developed a closer bond with his son, and we began making future plans and discussing longer term goals about where we wanted the relationship to go over time.

I am a very motivated person who does "daily affirmation" things, goes to therapy still just to maintain my center of self, mental health and discuss happenings in my life. I am this way because I was very self-destructive and angry when I was younger and it nearly destroyed my life and it partially had a hand in ending my LTR/engagement. I have spent the last 5 years rebuilding my life, figuring out who I was and what I needed from myself to become the person I am currently and want to be in the future.

As our relationship went on, he began to say he was out of shape (he used to run marathons and worked out daily while deployed). I liked his body and found him attractive, I told him that. I also told him if he wanted me to, we could work out or go to the gym together and do meal plans. I used to lift weights as a hobby because my ex-fiance was an amateur bodybuilder, and these days just do it to maintain strength and because I enjoy it. He said yes, but due to his work schedule and child care obligations, only made it to the gym a few times.

Fast forward to this past month. My mother was diagnosed with Covid and got really sick. I had to vacate our house because I tested negative and was just starting a new job. I packed up and booked a hotel stay. When I went to his house later that day to inform him he needs to be tested, he, his son and I all went together. We all tested negative. I told him I had booked a hotel stay and he offered to let me stay in his guest bedroom. I told him I didn't feel right about it and didn't want him to feel I was taking up his space, especially while his son was there for his week as I did not want to take away from their time together. He insisted I cancel my hotel stay and that I could stay in his guest bedroom for as long as I needed and/or my mother was sick. I was very upset and cried because I was scared for my mother, and felt bad that I was suddenly in his space and that they had to get tested because of my potential exposure. He told me he wanted me to be there and reassured me I wasn't intruding. I told him that if he needed me to leave to just say so and I would go to a hotel, he never did.

I had planned a trip to one of my favorite cities in the US some months earlier. He asked to come with me so we went together (we were both fully vaccinated by this time and still wearing masks, we got tested the day before we left and the day we got back). The trip was so much fun and we created some great memories. The day we got back from the trip, he explained to me that he had "felt a shift" in his feelings this past week (literally overnight he just randomly felt this way), he wasn't in love with me anymore, and wanted to go back to just being friends. I asked him why the sudden change and he refused to answer me with anything but "I don't know." I tried talking to him about it, I asked him questions and he said he couldn't answer them. Two days later, we talked F2F and he explained to me that he felt suffocated and pressured while I was staying in his house and that he only offered to let me stay in his house because he felt obligated to, and that the extra time we spent together on the trip drove him over the edge with it and his feelings just "turned off." He refused to elaborate what he meant, but then said that his job was stressful and that my travels were more important to me than him, and that he feels its best for me to go back to traveling, and he was too stressed out and confused to put any effort into continuing or exploring his feelings.

I felt betrayed, lied to, and like he was just using me. He reassured me he did want the relationship before, he just didn't know what happened to his feelings, he didn't know how to ask for what he wanted, and he didn't feel the need to try or fight for it because he was too stressed. He offered a consolation prize of friendship and is now upset with me because I refused to continue being friends. He looked at me like a deer in headlights when I said it wasn't fair to me and it was selfish of him to expect me to cast my feelings aside and do what he wanted. He violated and broke the relationship, he made commitments, promises, and encouraged me to bond with his child. He violated my trust, feelings, boundaries and acted like I should be grateful he wants friendship. He got upset with me and said "well what now? I just lost a great friend and the woman I loved..." I refuse to reward him for his cruel, shitty behavior toward me. All I tried to do was love him and build the relationship we agreed we both wanted to have together. What about what I lost? All he could say was "I'm sorry. I don't know what happened" and kept bringing up his job.

The depth of his cruelty was honestly astonishing to me as I never thought that even if we had broken up in the future, it'd be like this. He seems genuinely more upset I won't oblige his invitation of "friendship" than losing the relationship he was adamant he wanted and the woman he was in love with. I feel as though he doesn't think he did anything wrong and that I owe him friendship. He said to me "Well what about my son? He loves you, and he needs strong women role models like you in his life." My heart shattered. I love his son, but I cannot be friends with this man anymore. Not after such violations and complete disregard of my feelings. I would be doing myself a complete disservice if I did anything less than walk away and remove him from my life. And I have.

Looking back, I now see that I don't think he is actually taking his therapy seriously or putting in the work to better himself, as he had told me he was doing. There was little, if any real progress. He's also confused, deeply insecure, lost and doesn't take good care of himself. I talked to a mutual friend that's known him for years, they served together during deployment. She said he told her "He's better as a friend than a spouse, and doesn't deserve relationships because he can't "do" them right." She explained to me that he probably meant that literally after I had told her why he said he broke things off. She was appalled, dumbfounded and confused by his behavior, considering she was the first friend of his he told we were together, her family (husband and kids) and I developed a friendship and she was genuinely excited for us.

I know I will be okay in the end as I have myself, friends, a support system, therapy and my life to live. Where did I go wrong here? My heart is shattered, but I know I did the right thing in walking away. What do I do/say to him if he comes back? I know that the thing that broke my heart can't repair it and I will not go back to him.

--Rae

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Rae, I have read your posts to others for years and value, respect, trust your judgment.  Do not let this man shake your belief in yourself.  This was not something you could predict/see because he did not SHOW this coming!  No more than my ex-fiance showed it to me.  HE pursued me, HE asked me to marry him, HE had been married 30 years (only broke up because she was cheating), was close to his neighbors, had long time friends, had lived in the same neighborhood for years, was someone people could trust, count on, so I LOOKED for the right things (even did a background check which I was open/honest about).  Yet still I got my heart broke.  I felt all of the things you are feeling now.  Shocked, betrayed, heart broken.

I am so sorry you are going through this, it is not fair.  IT IS NOT FAIR!!!  

I know you will be okay because of what I do know about you.  But you will go through the same painful process we all do, you know it well already.  :wub:
Damn.  (((hugs)))

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Thanks Kayc.

What I don't understand is his desperate need to be friends. It is just selfish and completely self-serving, expecting me to cast my feelings and needs aside to give him what he wants. I cannot believe he actually thought I would agree to that because he so easily discarded a relationship he was adamant he wanted for months. He violated so many things, and then acted like his friendship would fix all of it because thats HIS comfort zone. He is confused, deeply insecure and frankly, undeserving of my friendship, time and love. All he is going to do is run through every womans life he dates with a wrecking ball and leave her as damaged and confused as he is. He refuses to confront himself and has basically made his own self-hatred and low self-esteem into an identity, and it was honestly scary seeing the depth of it. I have been where he is and I know you can work through it, but you have to want to, to try and put in the work. He's not ready to, or for a relationship. I believed he was working through it and that's why I stuck with him because everyone has issues and its okay to stick by and support/encourage them if they're doing the work to make themselves better. It's clear he just goes to therapy, but isn't actually doing the work. He could be a good partner, but he actively chooses not to be and stays in his comfort zone of self-hatred and loathing. He told me he's not a good boyfriend and is better as a friend. Uhm, if THIS is your idea of friendship, you're not a good friend either. He's not a bad person, he's just lost, confused, and admitted he doesn't know how to ask for what he needs. He is going to spend decades lonely because he prides himself on being guarded, hard-headed, stubborn and unwilling to bend. He said he wants to be better, but I don't believe that anymore. I think he just says it because he thinks it'll just happen or someone, like his girlfriend, will do the work and emotional labor for him. I deserve better than that.

--Rae

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Rae, my dear, I can only echo what Kay has said in her response to you. You are a decent, mature, sensible, compassionate, dedicated, sincere person, and you deserve so much more than this man is capable  of giving you. Your analysis of him and his issues is spot-on, and I hope the day will come when you can look back on this time in your life with relief and gratitude that you were wise enough to walk away from him. ❤️

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11 hours ago, MartyT said:

Rae, my dear, I can only echo what Kay has said in her response to you. You are a decent, mature, sensible, compassionate, dedicated, sincere person, and you deserve so much more than this man is capable  of giving you. Your analysis of him and his issues is spot-on, and I hope the day will come when you can look back on this time in your life with relief and gratitude that you were wise enough to walk away from him. ❤️

Thank you, Marty. And Kay for your words. I know I will be okay eventually and that I did what was best for myself. I know its no longer my concern, but I feel sad for his son. Both of his parents are proud, broken, stubborn people who feel they don't need to change and their problems will only be thrust unto that boy as he ages. He's bright, kind and spirited and his parents' problems only serve to dull his shine.

I have already begun to reconcile the relationship and realize that I was set up for failure from the start. I am doing surprisingly well for it only being a week. I think about it sometimes, but I am mostly neutral. No one will ever be good enough for him because he feels unworthy of love. Any relationship or feelings he may have in the future will be short and intense, until he just "turns off" and runs to the next supply of validation he seeks when the one he has gets worn out and exhausted from his needs.

Thank you guys, truly. For anyone else reading this who is in a similar relationship or situation: This is your sign to walk away. Choose yourself. Your future self will be grateful for it.

--Rae

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On 5/4/2021 at 6:09 AM, Rae1991 said:

It is just selfish and completely self-serving, expecting me to cast my feelings and needs aside to give him what he wants.

NO NO NO NO!  He can't always have what HE wants!  Time to put YOU first, to hell with him!  I'm sorry, I feel very strongly about this!  You are right, it IS selfish of him!

You are an amazing, wonderful, compassionate, SMART woman, anyone would be LUCKY to have you!  You don't need him!  So glad to hear you say the words, 

10 hours ago, Rae1991 said:

Choose yourself.

 

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14 hours ago, kayc said:

NO NO NO NO!  He can't always have what HE wants!  Time to put YOU first, to hell with him!  I'm sorry, I feel very strongly about this!  You are right, it IS selfish of him!

You are an amazing, wonderful, compassionate, SMART woman, anyone would be LUCKY to have you!  You don't need him!  So glad to hear you say the words, 

 

Thank you, Kayc. You are one of the kindest, most compassionate people I have ever come across. You have helped hundreds of people on this blog with your advice, vulnerability and willingness to share so much of your life with strangers. I commend your depth of empathy and compassion, and ability to get through so much heartbreak and grief. Jim was lucky to call you his, and he should be grateful you've allowed him to stay in your life at all.

Something I noticed now that I have had time to reflect. He has Hero/Savior Complex. Always looking for validation through helping people and trying to solve their problems, even at great personal cost, so he can feel good about himself. When he offered the guest room, insisted I stayed and then used that as a reason for dumping me, it's exactly that. He saw I was wounded and rushed into help, then when I was "healed" and no longer needed it, felt resentment toward me. One time he said, "If you ever get the chance to move to Italy while we're together, I'd let you go and be happy for you that you are living your best life, and I'd come visit too..." Looking back on it again, Savior "white knight" nonsense. As if he's making some big valiant sacrifice in the name of love *eyeroll* I had my suspicions and looked up the definition and sure enough, almost every marker of it described him in some way. Some of the things he said about "letting me go so I can live the life I need....I deserve better than him.." when we talked F2F absolutely reeked of it too. "I'll never forget you, Rae..." Oh? You mean like how you just 'forgot' your feelings 2 days ago and are now dumping me? Am I supposed to be grateful for that consolation? No thanks, keep it. What a bunch of self-aggrandizing crap. The only thing he was right about is that I DO deserve better than him.

Ugh, he is a Mt. Everest of issues, most of which he has created for himself, but won't climb the summit and finally get over it. I absolutely dodged a bullet.

--Rae

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I look over the last 10 1/2 years that I haven't dated and I can see why!  I hadn't heard of the Hero-Savior Complex, but that makes sense!  He's probably not aware of it or what he's doing, just reacting how he feels in the moment.

Years ago my fiance broke up with me without a breakup or discussion, he just "stopped talking about" it, and started seeing others!  I call that cheating in my book.  I moved on.  Years later when I saw him he called me "a rescue operation."  I didn't let him get away with it, I called him out on it!  I told him the hell with that, he wined and dined me, HE proposed to me on bended knee, HE talked about going to Germany to get the family heirloom wedding rings (asked me to go with him!), the truth is he got cold feet, pulled back, dropped me like he dropped the subject, without the benefit of a discussion!  I had to learn to create my own closure, I was 23.  I'd thought he was Mr. Wonderful.  Nope.  He's 79 now and never married, still alone.

It's amazing to me how many bad eggs one can collect in a lifetime.  I consider myself a great catch, caring, devoted, loyal, hard working, good morals and values...how did I end up with so many heartbreaks?  I attributed it to not knowing how to pick them along with rushing into relationships too quickly.  Not any more!  I'll probably live alone for the rest of my life.  I've only encountered one in all these years that I'd consider and he hasn't shown interest, oh well!  I guess some things aren't meant to be!  All I know is, I've set my bar high and that's okay, I will never again "settle" or try to fit a square into a round hole!

What I notice in your current situation is, you are astute, you SEE what is happening, you're no dummy!  You're self-aware and you won't let someone BS you, I respect that!

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23 hours ago, kayc said:

I look over the last 10 1/2 years that I haven't dated and I can see why!  I hadn't heard of the Hero-Savior Complex, but that makes sense!  He's probably not aware of it or what he's doing, just reacting how he feels in the moment.

Years ago my fiance broke up with me without a breakup or discussion, he just "stopped talking about" it, and started seeing others!  I call that cheating in my book.  I moved on.  Years later when I saw him he called me "a rescue operation."  I didn't let him get away with it, I called him out on it!  I told him the hell with that, he wined and dined me, HE proposed to me on bended knee, HE talked about going to Germany to get the family heirloom wedding rings (asked me to go with him!), the truth is he got cold feet, pulled back, dropped me like he dropped the subject, without the benefit of a discussion!  I had to learn to create my own closure, I was 23.  I'd thought he was Mr. Wonderful.  Nope.  He's 79 now and never married, still alone.

It's amazing to me how many bad eggs one can collect in a lifetime.  I consider myself a great catch, caring, devoted, loyal, hard working, good morals and values...how did I end up with so many heartbreaks?  I attributed it to not knowing how to pick them along with rushing into relationships too quickly.  Not any more!  I'll probably live alone for the rest of my life.  I've only encountered one in all these years that I'd consider and he hasn't shown interest, oh well!  I guess some things aren't meant to be!  All I know is, I've set my bar high and that's okay, I will never again "settle" or try to fit a square into a round hole!

What I notice in your current situation is, you are astute, you SEE what is happening, you're no dummy!  You're self-aware and you won't let someone BS you, I respect that!

I wonder about that myself sometimes too, how I ended up befriending/dating so many careless, broken people. I have realized now it's because they want what we have: self-awareness, smarts, confidence, emotional maturity and IQ, and self-respect. As if these things just popped up one day in our lives and we didn't have to work to get them *eyeroll* So instead of doing the work themselves, I've found especially when it comes to men, they are taught and expect the women in their lives to give them these things and do the emotional labor for them in most aspects of the relationship.

My ex, at 36, has the emotional range of a teaspoon. He is 100% reliant on his feelings in fleeting moments to make massive decisions. He makes snap decisions based on how he feels during fleeting, temporary bouts of emotion. When the feelings are gone, so is he. He chases temporary emotional highs to feel valid and seen. He has no idea how to control himself, and feels it is everyone elses responsibility around him to perform the impossible task of doing his emotional labor work for him and give him what he feels he deserves: validation he is worthy. That, I have concluded, is why he was married. She was the only woman interested in him, he was deeply insecure, confused, young, and felt obligated because they were devoutly religious. So then it became her duty as his wife to make him feel worthy, and she inevitably failed because his worth does not belong to her and he gave her an impossible task. Likewise, she was not receiving from him what she needed to feel loved, heard and respected so she could return those things and neither of them got what they needed or learned how to love. Their marriage was a sad circus that left them both broken and lost. The one who will suffer most is their child.

"A rescue mission" yeah, he's Mr. Captain Save All the Women. What a hero. *eyeroll* He definitely "saved" them all by leaving them alone so they could find real men. 🤣 Boy bye!

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Wishing you the best going forward!:wub:

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  • 1 month later...

Just thought I'd leave a quick update here:

It has been 7 weeks and I can confidently say I want nothing to do with him, no longer care for him and don't even respect him. In speaking with 2 different therapists, they confirmed what I was thinking: 1. He was 100% emotionally abusing me and trying to break me down 2. He is deeply unstable, probably untreated Bipolar or something similar and has attachment issues and unresolved childhood trauma 3. He is a perpetual Peter Pan "man" who refuses to acknowledge his wrongdoings, take responsibility for himself, mature and grow up or deal with his problems. He wants to be taken care of by a woman and uses his sympathy-seeking "victimhood" beliefs and self-fulfilling prophecies to perpetuate his feelings of inadequacy and low self-worth. I refused to take care of him in the way he wants: a live-in mother he can sleep with. 4. He is well aware of and knows what he is doing, though he attempted to throw me off of it by feeding me sob stories and throwing himself pity parties. How can you respect someone who does not respect themselves and tries to make everyone else, namely women, perform their emotional labor work? Simply put, you cannot. Relationships and dating cannot be founded on sympathy and sob stories if you expect them to be healthy, functional and long-term.

His behavior made it impossible for me to respect him as a man or continue being attracted to him during the relationship. I realize now that I was in love with his representative, the person he claimed to be to draw me in: Confident, secure, funny, interesting, sharing of goals and values, actively working on himself/his issues, etc. A common tactic abusers and otherwise unsuitable people use to draw in well-adjusted, secure people. I knew I wanted out and had gotten fed up by 3-4 months in, but felt emotionally stuck and in denial because of how often he'd oscillate between being normal, loving and kind, to going into strange states of mania and being dismissive. I was not physically attracted to him, he has nothing to offer a relationship or potential mate, and even if he did is too stingy, untrusting and does not understand reciprocation in relationships. I was absolutely settling for him because I thought he was a good guy and friend, so I gave him a chance. That was my biggest mistake because I let our friendship cloud my judgement. I think he is truly incapable of love and does not understand functional relationships. After a while, he began making jabs at me, was selfish, self-centered, constantly negative and all around just a poor, incapable, controlling and abusive partner. He was also attempting to triangulate me with his ex-wife whom he claimed to hate yet was always comparing me to, and his married best friend (she's wonderful) whom I believe he is obsessed/in love with and is waiting around for her to leave her family for him (she won't).

He "dumped me" as a test of my loyalty and to see if he had ground my self-esteem down far enough that I would beg for him. He didn't touch my self-esteem at all because I did not allow it, I shut his jabs down at every turn, and it bothers him that I have self-worth while he doesn't and he wants what I have, so he attempted to take it. I dumped him for real the following day, simply by saying "I deserve someone who is 100% in, you're not up to my standards. Have a life..." To be completely honest, I am actually embarrassed I dated him at all because of how terrible he treated me and his obvious lack of self-worth.

It is not your job to fix, placate or otherwise uplift people who are incapable and unwilling to do it for themselves. RUN AWAY from people like this. They will only drain you. Mental illness or unresolved trauma of any sort does not justify abuse or taking advantage of your partner. They will not believe they have done anything wrong to you. Stop explaining, stop ruminating, stop giving them chances to change, they will not change, just go to therapy and move on with your life. Leave these lacking, miserable people in the dusty pits of misery they choose to live in. Misery loves company and so does confusion, and that is all these people will give you. Do not be cruel, or do what they are doing to you, understand that their behavior is not about you, but it is how they relate to the world and is all they know; simply walk away with your life intact. You can empathize with their struggles, but that does not mean you should entertain them, it will only validate how they behave. Hold firm in your boundaries and walk away.

--Rae

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Oh man, Rae, AMEN to all of that!  I have learned in the last 11 years I've been alone that I am valuable, just ME, alone!  If I am ever with someone in the future, (and I have set the bar high...you can't set it high enough by my way of looking at it!...we DESERVE to have people of character, value, morals, compatible beliefs, great sense of humor, and must love dogs!) I will not bow/cow to them or have to change myself to be with them, they will love me as I am, just like George and I did!  

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21 hours ago, kayc said:

Oh man, Rae, AMEN to all of that!  I have learned in the last 11 years I've been alone that I am valuable, just ME, alone!  If I am ever with someone in the future, (and I have set the bar high...you can't set it high enough by my way of looking at it!...we DESERVE to have people of character, value, morals, compatible beliefs, great sense of humor, and must love dogs!) I will not bow/cow to them or have to change myself to be with them, they will love me as I am, just like George and I did!  

Thank you for this. I am honestly embarrassed I dated him at all. He is not a man, but a broken child pretending to be a man who breaks women down to feel good. Absolutely repulsive.

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You didn't know until you did and you've moved on from it.  That's the important thing, what we do with the information we have.  ;)  I'm embarrassed about a couple of men I married, at least you didn't do that!

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  • 3 weeks later...

There was a famous person who when interviewed was asked about the fact there was no 'partner' in his life. He said he had a lot to offer a lot of people, but really not much to offer to one person. 

From the sounds of it, your ex had a lot of issues going on. I'm not sure from the sounds of it he meant to betray you. The exception would be about the part about "we can still be friends." That always sounds self-serving - at worst a set-up for booty calls or FWB, at best patting one's self on the back so mutual friends can be assured that one really is supportive and a nice person. I know exactly one person who remained friends with her ex-husband, and she thanked him on Facebook for supporting her through her cancer treatment. It does happen - occasionally. Bringing the child up was a dick move, though. 

Your story is the reason living together before marriage isn't a test that always works. If (like your ex) you don't have it in you to live with another human day in and out, one needs a way to end things civilly then go your separate ways. How fortunate you two never lived together. Undoing that would have been messy, indeed.

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No kidding!  Besides my (theology) reasons, I would not want to live with someone as I would want the full commitment BEFORE entanglement!  How can you give it any less than your most/best and expect great results?  Not for me...besides which the disentangling would be all the harder upon breakup.  Hard enough, emotionally!

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On 7/14/2021 at 8:10 AM, ipswitch said:

There was a famous person who when interviewed was asked about the fact there was no 'partner' in his life. He said he had a lot to offer a lot of people, but really not much to offer to one person. 

From the sounds of it, your ex had a lot of issues going on. I'm not sure from the sounds of it he meant to betray you. The exception would be about the part about "we can still be friends." That always sounds self-serving - at worst a set-up for booty calls or FWB, at best patting one's self on the back so mutual friends can be assured that one really is supportive and a nice person. I know exactly one person who remained friends with her ex-husband, and she thanked him on Facebook for supporting her through her cancer treatment. It does happen - occasionally. Bringing the child up was a dick move, though. 

Your story is the reason living together before marriage isn't a test that always works. If (like your ex) you don't have it in you to live with another human day in and out, one needs a way to end things civilly then go your separate ways. How fortunate you two never lived together. Undoing that would have been messy, indeed.

You are right, his untreated mental illness isn't his fault and I understand that. The emotional abuse and child-like antics may be a side effect of it, but it also demonstrates to me that to some degree, he was fully aware of what he was doing. He lied about a number of things that it just doesn't seem logical to lie about, made weird misogynistic comments about women only wanting him for his salary and "high intelligence" (he doesn't have wealth, only debt and he is not that smart tbh), but that could also be the deep self-hatred and low self-worth talking to make it seem like he's more desirable than he really is. Still, does not make it right. After the regular lies, dismissals, betrayal and details I won't mention that Kayc knows about, there is no chance of reconciliation or friendship. I know he self-sabotaged, acted out and has attachment issues as well, my therapist confirmed that after more sessions. He is supposedly in therapy, but even while we dated, I wasn't sure he was being honest. Truthfully, I was going to sit down and try to talk to him one last time about his behavior and if nothing was to come of it I was going to walk, but he dumped me before I could so I just walked away because it became clear he didn't care, or at least, did a great job of acting like he didn't. I started getting really heavy "Nice Guy" vibes from him and realized that how he was acting was him on his best behavior, and that was eye-opening for me.

I got the gist as well that his need to "still be friends" was a mixture of exactly what you stated and for him to use me as an emotional dumping ground/punching bag when things don't go his way with other women/his life. And, to show me off like cattle at an auction to demonstrate to other women how worthy he is because he's still great friends with his beautiful, charismatic, kind, "cool" ex-girlfriend and that they should want to date him because he's so amazing (but we're gonna gloss over all his issues, emotional blackhole and selfish, abusive behavior because he's such a cool, nice guy!) I refused to let him violate/push yet another of my boundaries and act like it wasn't an issue. The real end came for me when he behaved as though he had done nothing wrong and that I should just be okay with it because everyone acts like this and he's such a great friend I had no reason to be upset with him. That's when I realized he was absolutely void inside and had zero emotional capacity or intelligence. I don't dislike or hate him, mostly it's just pity now. Pity that he's trapped, too proud to ask for or seek help or be vulnerable, so afraid of life that he's closed himself off from it and giving/receiving love. It's a sad, lonely way to exist.

You are right, I am grateful I know better than to just move in with someone on a whim. Thanks for your perspective. :)

--Rae

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  • 10 months later...

Just thought I would leave a quick update here, one year later. Feel free to laugh along as you read this, I certainly did when reading the letter he sent.

He felt the need to reach out and write me essentially, a Dear Jane letter "explaining" how WE were both at fault for the things that went wrong...yes, let's all laugh together. Nothing has changed. He is still the exact same person he was when I refused to continue being "friends." I am not at all surprised by this, and frankly, I couldn't care less about him or his life. In this letter, he droned on about how kind I was, and how he's glad he met me and hasn't forgotten me and wishes we were still friends because his son still asks about me. He made no effort to atone for a single thing he did or his lack of effort, lies, or abusive behavior. The only thing I did wrong was not dumping him and cutting him off sooner because I cared about him as a person and believed the lies that he was actually making an effort and progress in dealing with his mental health and problems. This letter alone is proof he has not done a single bit of work to take accountability for any of his behavior through his life, including how he treated his marriage, how he treats his ex-wife and son, or his beliefs that women/relationships are objects for his pleasure and fulfillment.

He even had the guts to say that he was "heartbroken" over my miscarriage (what a load of sh*t), and that "I still wonder what that baby would've turned out like because you would've made a great mother." (Ew, Barf) This is the same man who I believe got me pregnant on purpose by stealthing (intentional removal of the condom without the partners consent or knowledge, it is illegal in several countries and states) and/or poking holes in condoms, and then blamed me for the miscarriage and said he didn't care and wanted it all to be over so we could "move on and just be friends again." I know (through his own admission while we were together) that he didn't even want the child he has, and that he felt obligated to have one to fix his marriage. I firmly believe he had a baby so she couldn't get away from him, and he'd always have someone to blame for his behavior/use as an emotional punching bag. I believe he was going to do the same thing to me and sadly, probably will with other women too. I am glad I had a miscarriage, I would NEVER willingly have a baby with such an awful, cruel, ugly person. He is already a terrible, physically present but absent father to the child he has, and he believes he's a great dad, as he said his son is doing "better than ever now that I'm going to therapy again" LMAO.

The rest of the letter was just him blubbering on about how great our friendship was, sprinkles of scripture he believes justify his actions and how God has forgiven him, and how well he's doing now. He even went so far as to assert that God would help us mend our friendship one day. I haven't contacted him since I told him I was shocked to find out I was both pregnant and miscarrying about a year ago. He is blocked on every SM channel I have and I put a block on his number through my phone company within days of our last conversation. I have no desire whatsoever to reconnect with him and he will not be getting a response. My therapist and I read this letter together, and had a good laugh about it, and then talked about how I felt hearing this word salad of braggadocious fakery and nonsense, and I asked her to keep it on file just in case he tries anything further. His refusal to atone for a single thing he said/did, and gaslighting, bragging nature of this sad excuse he calls writing, was the ultimate seal that I absolutely made the right decision to never re-engage, and that my gut feeling something was off, doubts, and questions about our friend/relationship were on point: He lied to me from Day 1 about who he was, and he knew exactly what he was doing regardless of his past experiences and traumas, he went from the abused to the abuser. Now, he's just doing "damage control" again hoping to tug at me so I will forgive him, as he tried doing last year with his insistence our friendship was stronger than everything he'd done and he and his son needed me because I helped him be better (ew, double barf). I feel as though he desperately needs to believe he's the "Good Guy" that he portrays himself as to the World, even though he is the opposite. I don't believe his is capable of truly loving, or caring about another person. The only good thing he ever did for me was dump me, so I had an excuse to run for the hills.

In speaking with several friends and 2 therapists, some concluded he may be Bipolar, Borderline, on the Autism spectrum, a narcissist, etc. I don't know for sure, and never will. Regardless of diagnosis or lack thereof, it is NOT your job to accept on-going bad behavior, disrespect or abuse from anyone and call it love. You are not a free therapist or punching bag, you are their partner/loved one/friend. If they cannot treat you with the respect and love you deserve and require to maintain a relationship, get as far away from them as possible and do not re-engage. You deserve better than they can give you.

This is your reminder to never re-engage or rekindle a relationship with someone who has done nothing but lie, betray your trust and abuse you (even if unintentional). You deserve better than the relationship your ex gave you, even if they left you because a loved one died and you can empathize with their trauma/past/grief, whatever. YOU DESERVE BETTER THAN TO BE ABANDONED BY A PERSON WHO CLAIMS TO LOVE YOU. ABANDONMENT IS NOT LOVE.

In my case, he didn't abandon me as he was never present in our relationship to begin with, he just pretended to be. He set me free from a future of chains, imprisonment, misery and abuse disguised as "love." I wish I had never met him. I realize that our entire friendship was all about his selfish need for constant external validation, beliefs that he isn't responsible for himself and doesn't need to do better, he just needs to apologize and keep on; and the "right woman" will submit happily to his desire for control and fulfill all his needs. He uses his religious beliefs to justify his behavior, as he grew up being taught that women are objects for male consumption, and their only duty is to please their husband, and that God designed relationships to be this way.

Hope this helps. Having the laugh with my therapist was certainly cathartic, as I haven't talked or thought about him in quite some time now. I have done my best to forget he exists, and it seems as though I have succeeded in that considering he wrote me a letter to remind me of his sad existence LOL. I hope you all get to a point in your healing where you can earnestly laugh about these experiences, even though the pain and anguish you feel in the moment is real. The best revenge is a life well-lived.

--Rae

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19 hours ago, Rae1991 said:

I firmly believe he had a baby so she couldn't get away from him

Oh wow.  Lucky this one got away! 

Rae, I've always had the utmost respect for you, you're very intelligent and not just your IQ, but even more importantly, your ability to be introspective and have common sense...I've seen highly intelligent people lacking in that department.  I also applaud your seeking help, so important!  Lord knows I've been to much counseling/therapy in my life!  The wise person knows to seek help when they need it!  It is good to hear from you again! 

I am friends with Jim still (now "Jim & Deeta" (again)...I truly like and care for him but it wouldn't have been a good match and I don't feel the desperation to have someone in my life that I once did...I've lived alone 17 years, I can continue to if that's how it goes. ;)  I've learned the limitations some people come with and enjoy the bits to them I can without feeling the need for more.  Toxic exes I can do without completely!

19 hours ago, Rae1991 said:

he grew up being taught that women are objects for male consumption, and their only duty is to please their husband, and that God designed relationships to be this way.

Oh wow!  No comment needed here!

 ew throw up GIF

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3 hours ago, kayc said:

Oh wow.  Lucky this one got away! 

Rae, I've always had the utmost respect for you, you're very intelligent and not just your IQ, but even more importantly, your ability to be introspective and have common sense...I've seen highly intelligent people lacking in that department.  I also applaud your seeking help, so important!  Lord knows I've been to much counseling/therapy in my life!  The wise person knows to seek help when they need it!  It is good to hear from you again! 

I am friends with Jim still (now "Jim & Deeta" (again)...I truly like and care for him but it wouldn't have been a good match and I don't feel the desperation to have someone in my life that I once did...I've lived alone 17 years, I can continue to if that's how it goes. ;)  I've learned the limitations some people come with and enjoy the bits to them I can without feeling the need for more.  Toxic exes I can do without completely!

Oh wow!  No comment needed here!

 ew throw up GIF

I hear that. It's funny because he grew up in a fundamentalist Evangelical church, and married into a fellow family. He claimed a few years prior to his divorce that he began to disillusion himself with these beliefs and wanted to be a better, kinder, more loving Christian. What better way to do that than cheat on your wife with a fellow Married "Christian" woman? LOL. He claims he didn't, but as I wrote before, it's obvious he did/was by his behavior and how he treated her/spoke about her later into our relationship.

He claimed in the several years since his divorce before we got together, he had found a more open, accepting Church that was welcoming to all races, treated women with respect, and by going was un-learning all the toxic beliefs his parents/church/ex-wife displayed. The reality is, once you got to know him better/date him (unfortunately for me), you realize he is still very much a fundamentalist and has not done an ounce of work to undo those beliefs, he just talks a big game and pretends like he respects women, cares about equality, and other social issues. Nah, he's a giant fake who plays the part for social currency. Again, going back to the whole desperately needing to appear as a "Good Guy" so no one believes he's actually racist, misogynist and doesn't even like women, and thinks he's above others. I've not met a loving, kind, genuinely upstanding Christian who behaves the way that he does. When I called him out, he accused me of just hating Christians, which I found hilarious. This man has such little respect for himself he can't even respect his fellow church goers. Yuck.

I'm so glad I found this forum, you Kayc and Marty, along with the contributions of fellow members has given me entire new perspectives about people, grief, and how each person's process is different. You have always been a light on this forum, Kayc. Replying to each post with your kind, experiences and life wisdom. You're doing work that few would enjoy or do at the extent, and us fellow members are grateful you encourage us to share and offer us your nuggets of love and compassion in return. 

--Rae

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19 hours ago, Rae1991 said:

he is still very much a fundamentalist

I know many fundamentalists that are not this way, so it's not that it's a fundamentalist teaching but how these individual's mindsets are.  I am a fundamentalist but treat all with respect and do not see someone as higher and someone as lower, it's important to first value ourselves!  By valuing, I don't mean elevating, huge difference.

19 hours ago, Rae1991 said:

This man has such little respect for himself

I think this is key and explains much, sadly.  Hurting people hurt people.  Such people try to elevate themselves by putting/holding others down.  Sad way to live.

I am so glad you've moved on from this person, none of us need this toxicity. :(

 

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On 6/1/2022 at 6:50 AM, kayc said:

I know many fundamentalists that are not this way, so it's not that it's a fundamentalist teaching but how these individual's mindsets are.  I am a fundamentalist but treat all with respect and do not see someone as higher and someone as lower, it's important to first value ourselves!  By valuing, I don't mean elevating, huge difference.

 

I do as well. One of the churches near my condo are quite community involved. They run food drives and pantries, fed families during the pandemic, support social justice initiatives and have female-led services too, and there are several devout families who attend. There are also rural Menonites and Amish in the surrounding counties and they have always been kind when I interacted with them. You are absolutely correct, his toxic family, childhood church and associates may be where he learned these things, but he is well old enough to find the tools, therapy, church communities and resources to do better for himself, he just chooses not to because lying and pretending to be someone else is easier and doesn't require any real effort, self-awareness or work.

However I do wonder sometimes, how exhausting, pitiful and burdensome faking your way through life must be, and what these people's lives would look like if they actually took risks and put true effort into themselves and their character. I have let go of many friends who behaved as such and admittedly, in my teens and early 20s I acted like this regarding my social circles because I wanted to be liked and didn't know better. I was about 24 when I began realizing that none of these people were actually my friends, they were just bar buddies and transients looking for people to use. I started looking for authenticity and honesty in all my relationships after some hard therapy sessions, and I got these solid friendships by being authentic myself after realizing that being liked by people isn't worth my self-respect or boundaries. I have a much happier life as a result.

--Rae

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8 hours ago, Rae1991 said:

he is well old enough to find the tools, therapy, church communities and resources to do better for himself

So true.  I figure when people are grown they have the responsibility to get help for their issues.  Some CHOOSE to remain ignorant or victim.  I can't waste my sympathy on them.  Lord knows I've had enough counseling and self-help, always learning!

 

8 hours ago, Rae1991 said:

how exhausting, pitiful and burdensome faking your way through life must be

Reminds me of Narcissism, always acting, it has to be hard!  (Like my last ex, Con John)

8 hours ago, Rae1991 said:

being liked by people isn't worth my self-respect or boundaries.

Amen to this!  Some people are leeches or drains on us, doesn't take long to figure out either.

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