I’m sure that everyone in the world has conversations in their head. Imagines how a conversation would go if you could say all the things that you want to the person who hurt you or someone you love. Tonight, I’m going out with some of my friends from work to an event that D and his wife also have tickets to. I doubt they are going to stay away and I’ve been playing over and over in my head how the situation will go. Will D or his wife come say “Hi”? Will he ask to talk to me? Will they pretend I don’t exist?
I hope his wife comes to chat with me, because truthfully, I really like her and as much as we can’t be friends right now because I have this giant pain in my chest caused by her husband, one day soon, that will disappear, and I’d like to continue being friendly with her, and I’d like to say so. But I’ve been thinking a lot more about how it would go if he came over to say “Hi” and asked to talk to me. If he said “Sorry” or tried to explain. I am really angry at him right now and I think I’d be really blunt, possibly outright mean. In my head, it goes something like this:
“I’m sorry too. I’m sorry I misjudged you. We had six months together where we never had so much as a heated discussion. I’m going through a difficult time in my life and I was talking to you about what was going on. The fact that I was having a rough time doesn’t preclude you from talking to me about your problems. You say you didn’t want to add to my stress, so you didn’t talk to me about what was going on with you. You fucking told me you were having a hard time with how busy it had been at work and how socially busy you were during April. You never gave me a single clue that your moods had anything to do with me or our relationship. I gave you a perfect fucking opening to talk to me about things when I asked you for a little more communication a few weeks ago. I have tons of people in my life who are going through way more difficult things than I am. We support each other. I talk to them; they talk to me. That’s how relationships work. Part of my job as your girlfriend, something I very much wanted to do, was be your support. You were having a hard time. You intentionally didn’t tell me about it for worry that it wouldn’t be supportive of me; you didn’t want to add to my stress. You fucking lied to me about what was bothering you. You did so, somehow justifying that it wasn’t adding to my stress and you didn’t process your shit in the meantime. You let it build up. To the point where instead of fucking talking it out, you got so stressed that the only thing you can do is decide to, immediately, with no warning, or sign of difficulty, end our relationship.
It’s obvious to me that your problem wasn’t with me. It was supporting me while I was separating from F. Fuck, that’s completely understandable. My life has been crazy. I have so many people in my life who support me. If you had just told me that it was too much for you, I could have gone to them for support. I don’t have to talk to someone who is unwillingly supporting me. I have people who want to be there for me. A lot of those people, in fact. It required a fucking conversation. “Hey, I’m really having a hard time hearing all about what’s going on between you and F. Do you think that I could take a break from it for a while, it’s really bringing me down.” That’s how that fucking conversation would go. And because I love you, and I’m an adult who knows how to actually be supportive of others, I would have happily backed off.
Let’s talk about this part from your classy break-up email: “I do know that, although I enjoy spending time with you, when we’re apart I experience a lot of anxiety and doubt when thinking about our next date and about longer term plans. Last night I realized that, at some point, our relationship changed for me from something I want to do into something I feel obligated to do. I don’t know why that is. I don’t know what caused that change. But I do know that it’s not the basis for a healthy relationship, and that it’s not fair to you or me to continue like that’s not the case.”
Here’s the thing about relationships: When you enter into one, when you commit to a partner, you are obligated to them. Feeling obligated is part of a fucking relationship. It is absolutely part of a healthy fucking relationship. Otherwise it’s not a fucking relationship. You said you enjoy spending time together. The anxiety and doubt in between? That’s what’s driving the obligation feelings. You know what you do? You identify the fucking source and talk to the person you’re in a relationship about those things. You work out together how to make it less work. To enjoy it more. Fuck. You don’t think: “Oh, I don’t know why things changed for me, clearly I have to dump her.” That is what’s not fair to me.
I keep thinking about how you said in those first days we were getting to know each other that it had to be easy and fun. That finding the connection was what made it worth it. It never occurred to me that it wasn’t the connection that you wanted, but the easy and fun. That the minute you had to work for a relationship, you would pull the plug. I get it. You’re married. You have all the obligations and commitments that come with that. You have kids together, and sometimes you have to do things just because you are obligated to. Again, that’s because it’s a relationship where you have committed to each other. All relationships are work at some point. All of them. Even poly relationships. Some would say even more so in poly relationships, although I wouldn’t say that’s the case in my experience. But at the first sign of work (a sign I didn’t even know about), you bailed. You failed me. And you know what that reaction tells me? You don’t want to be poly. You don’t want an actual relationship. You want something easy, fun, and simple. No commitment, no work, no struggle or communication. You know what a relationship like that is? Not real. It doesn’t fucking exist.
I feel sorry for you. You gave up a good thing because you were too fucking lazy to work for it. I am worth so much more than the way you treated me. You discarded me like I was disposable when the first sign of a challenge came along, after 24 hours of fucking reflection. You never gave us a chance. I see that now. I am so much better than the way you treated me.
Finally, you are a fucking coward. An email? With no warning? Out of the blue, late on a Monday night, with the subject line “I’m sorry”. I am better than that. Take your sorry and shove it up your ass. I am way too fucking good for you. Fuck you.”
Well, writing that out helped. I’d never say all those things to his face, but imagining telling him off is giving me great comfort right now. Every day is getting easier. The lump in my throat and pain in my chest and knot in my stomach are all diminishing with every passing minute. I had no problem sleeping last night after my first night of insomnia. I had fun this morning at my 40th birthday photo shoot and will have fun with my friends tonight. One day, I won’t even remember this.
This is my first experience getting dumped. Oddly, I find it way easier than dumping someone. I’ve always been the one to do it. I’ve always been horribly worried about hurting the other person, so much so that it affects me for weeks and I am quite concerned about the person’s well-being. In some ways, being angry and knowing it’s not me, but it’s him, is quite comforting.