We will have a “Broken Heart Blogger” every couple of weeks. It will be someone we choose that is going through a breakup. We will be giving him/her advice and asking our blogger to incorporate it into their blog. We hope this helps you to see that you are not alone and gives you new ways to deal with your broken heart.
Devastation had a name, and Henry had me completely. Telling this still makes my stomach turn after nearly a year of grieving and putting much of my life including my love life on hold to try to heal.
Over the course of two years my world was rocked by a man who promised the moon to me and pushed me off the top of the mountain we had voyaged together after reaching the summit. There were love letters that would make a hardened criminal sigh, trips to Europe and all over the US, meals, love making, and a lot of talk about what to name our hypothetical little girl, long talks, family dinners and lots and lots of plans made. We had an intimacy and friendship that was not something you don’t trip across everyday on the street, dare I say even now it was, real.
I was not a typical chick feeding into this fairy tale life; I was pretty realistic about men. I had been through a lot and experienced dark times with family and past lovers, but Henry was “my love” I knew it when I first met him. Henry wooed and seduced even my family members, we all loved him but the thing was he didn’t have to do any of that stuff. He was at times overly charismatic, like a politician campaigning for your heart, funny, handsome, well-traveled and a self-professed family guy. I thought it was funny at times how schmoozy he could be, knowing that he knew I saw through it and expected only that he be himself. He said he loved this about me, that he could stop all the charade and just “be” with me. “I have never loved a woman as deeply or been so influenced to be a better man by anyone, I am no longer afraid”, he said. I had letter upon letter talking about “getting cracking” at making babies, love and traveling the world.
Everyone loved him enough to believe that he had made a huge mistake when he broke up with me out of the blue last January. To everyone, we had it all together, and he’d thrown it all out capriciously following a two month depression he had told everyone about except his own family, the people who played an intimate part in a lot of hurt.
Nearly 2 years ago I began dating Henry casually at first, but had an undeniable chemistry a sort of karmic relationship if you will, it evolved slowly at first ironing out what I believed to be somewhat normal details. One of which, we’d both just ended relationships. Later I would learn he was dating other people, in other cities, something he never felt important to share in the beginning. Something believe it or not I believed to be his fear of the real thing.
He came in for the big push just after the holidays in early 2009 convincing me to give up my travel job to live with him. I still kick myself for getting swept up into what I now recognize as emotion and a lot of big talk. I was extremely independent at the time and had seen most of the world in less than two years on my own; I was not needy of anyone including friends or family. But…I loved him something awful and it was intoxicating for both of us having me painting again and working part-time to be able to travel on his whims not being swept off by my blackberry to travel far away from home. I would cook we’d get through a portion of the meal and begin making love on the table, it was utterly passionate.
I began building a home out of his version of bachelor pad, complete with meals, redecorating and fusing what I believed to be two futures. My art hung on the walls and there were always friends and music to end the afternoons, plenty of laughs and plenty of love. People were admittedly jealous.
There had been no fight, no real important catalyst other than his siblings throwing “lack of attention” tantrums. A red flag that I did not identify properly. All of the sudden it was everything and anything I said or did. At one time, it was as if I had hung the stars in the night sky, now I was tiptoeing around our home wondering what the heck was going through his head. If I breathed too loud or if I was just there near him, he was suddenly a beast almost sequestering himself.
He said, “It is work baby”, then he said, “It was his brother’s estrangement,” then he said, “We moved in too fast”, then he began to glaze over. Words like, “suffocation”, “needy”, were common place directed at me a girl who’d moved to Paris with just a backpack a few years prior. He perceived needy as me asking about his day, or making plans for the weekend.
I caught him indulging in porn on-line, and perusing ex-girlfriends, or women on a Facebook account with a bogus screen name attached. At one point I even saw a membership to a website devoted to hooking up with older women called Cougar Cubbies. He had an archive of nude photos of past relations, I’d accidentally stumbled across. He’d told me it wasn’t important and he’d get rid of them, he never did. He even established contact with random women under the guise of “work” a convenient excuse for distancing himself in the past the first time we’d begun dating. He was now actively sabotaging us knowing this kind of stuff would wear any person of substance out.
Each time I saw something or became concerned, I came to him immediately to talk about it, he always had an explanation and it was never “me”. What had been a healthy sometimes daily sex life had dwindled to me perching in cute panties trying to shake him out of what I believed to be a depression. He began turning me away, saying he felt bad about himself. I now understand he was breaking his bond with me physically and breaking me down in the process, something he’d probably become fairly good at over the years. For me, this was utterly devastating; I’d really begun to see myself as the sexy young mama of our now named hypothetical child something he’d out of nowhere stopped lovingly teasing me about.
The holidays rolled around and I was in complete limbo, it was looming and I wasn’t sure what. I had baked and cooked for friends, we’d wrapped presents together and we even had a little tiny tree I’d decorated thinking it would make the condo feel festive. He was nearly despondent, and that friendship I believed we’d shared amounted to nothing more than my growing need to make excuses for his behavior and lack of forthcoming about how he was going to turn a corner. I warned my family of his depression, he even spoke to my Mom assuring her I was the love of his life and what he was experiencing was work related. I urged him to go be with his family for the holidays he insisted on being with mine, he was a shadow of the person I had introduced them to earlier that year.
I was completely reliant on him for my livelihood at this time, a situation we both had created so that one of us wouldn’t be traveling for work. I felt utterly vulnerable and without that love he professed, I may as well been a flower without water or the roots that kept my bloom. None of any of it mattered now, because all of the sudden he was bent on undoing all that was said, promised, agreed or shared simply saying, “I’m not as happy as I should be.”
I didn’t even know what that meant when I heard it, I knew instantly it was an excuse. In the scope of life; it seemed that each unhappy period or frustrating period always had a glass of lemonade waiting at the end, so to me I didn’t get this. I was so insulted. Suddenly all that was wrong really wasn’t about anything, “just this unhappiness that had no name” until it did have a name and that name was, “me”. I somehow felt responsible for his happiness or unhappiness, he’d waited for me to step up to the firing squad and all my panic and trying to make him feel safe had put the target right over my heart. My relationship had fallen into a hole just when it was on the threshold of commitment under the guise of “unhappy.”
I called him out saying, “You’re making a huge mistake Henry and you know it!”, he answered me back that he knew it and that he was so scared to never meet another woman like me, I responded that he wouldn’t because I was already standing tall at his side. He said, “I don’t know why I’m like this, I do love you so”. The next day, I picked up my things that he had shoved into trash bags while I was at work. He never even once called to inquire where I was staying or if I was ok. I remind myself of this when I turn over on my side to sleep . For over a year he had fallen asleep in my hair with his hand tucked under my left breast. He even brushed my hair for me before bed often reading to me.
I recently read the book, “Men Who Can’t Love”, which I wished I had read 8 months ago to help understand the psychology behind my relationship. The hurt, anxiety, confusion and loss of worth all because a man who I still love dropped me giving me with a cowardly and bogus explanation leaving me in a tsunami of not just financial baggage but terrible loss and grief.
I was introduced as “the one” to everyone we met. Now I was “the one” who’d made him miserable and supposedly been the director of his life’s woes including the bullying he’d experienced from his younger siblings. Now, the story was that I single handedly had put a wedge between he and his beloved brother. Something that was so utterly bizarre to me, considering that this was the same brother who slept on my couch and ate my food with a big grin on his face.
Apparently, I’d become some kind of threat being, “the one” so the bus so-to-speak rolled over me conveniently chalking all that “happiness” we’d shared in over a year to UN-happiness with me to blame. Are you confused? You should be.
Hurtful is not the word. His family had ate at my table, shared happy times, personal moments and most close to my heart , I’d grown adoringly fond of his niece Tasha and all of this amounted to nothing now. I was easily kicked in the gut to help him push over the wreckage he’d created in both our lives and he was released of any responsibility they personally had played in pressuring Henry to be the “old Henry” instead of supporting him in growing into the man he professed to be.
I still grieve this person, and his family who I’d developed an enormous amount of affection for. I have since discovered this type of behavior was well established in his past.
People that met us together relished in how perfect I was for him, often noting, “Finally” in particular his family, so the hurt is profound for me. I took some kind of strange pride in people calling me the “Finally girl”, not seeing it as a subtle red flag. I vaguely had an idea of what the past represented in his life but preferred not to judge him for it or the women I didn’t know. Although, I’d seen many of their naked bodies on his Macbook.
So, the truth continues to unravel post –break up and none of it is pretty. After month seven, I had heard nothing from him even though the break-up had left me homeless, staying on friends couches and having to leave my new full-time job to relocate for work . Most recently, he’d given mutual friends an ultimatum about remaining friends with me. Something at one time I would have deemed beneath his character. I am still unclear why he felt this necessary and can assume he must know how humiliating this is to me, even though I have yet to say a harsh word about him to anyone.
I tried to reach out to him even writing him letters convinced “our love” was different from his past relationships and he must be severely depressed to have behaved this way so cold so calculating towards me. He has yet to respond to me, except one letter asking me for money he had insisted on giving me to pay my bills off so I could travel up north to visit his family for the summer last year.
I am slowly realizing, I couldn’t have been more perfect or imperfect in fact there is a chance our relationship would have lasted longer if I was unattractive, older, had a cat, was possibly unable to have kids, lived thousands of miles away, less educated or had had a rocky past myself …why?” one might ask, simply because he’d already have a reason to call it off. The truth is I was perfect for him not because I am perfect but because I loved him for the right reasons, which for someone like him are the reasons to bail. I held a loving mirror to him, and set the bar so high he can only lower it.
Henry is a Commitment Phobic and even if he marries his new girlfriend who incidentally wears the same sacred Samoan necklace he gave me, he will probably always have something on the side because he feels suffocated, trapped and in prison under what anyone would cherish as normal couple stuff. This could be the reason I am so loving, or because I did reach out to his spoiled siblings, because I used fancy French words, or the fact that I did stand up for myself, or because I either took or didn’t take the money, or because I made awesome meatballs but crappy lasagna, any of it is a reason to stay…or not stay in his case.
He’ll never find that utopic happiness, no one will, because loving someone is not to get high off them everyday of the year, its to marinate in the person’s soul and love them even when they are chubby and pregnant with your baby or suffering from an illness, or they lose that dream job or a parent. It is the circle of love that makes love complete not the falling in part, because anyone that loves someone for a long time will tell you the best part is not when it’s easy but when there is a person there loving you the same even when it’s hard.
It’s the human heart not the human head that loves, and ideals have no place in the presence of real love, because real love doesn’t make excuses and retreat, or judge when an ideal is not met, it endures and grows like giant oak tree appreciating the season whether it be winter or whether it be spring when life is renewed and created. The leaves of love sprout, and replenish because love is truly the eternal answer to the soul.
It’s terrible for me to hurt as horribly as I have feeling as if some shortcoming of mine had been one ounce responsible for his mental and emotional inability to be a man of honor or of his word. I still hurt; I still cry and I still feel torn because I grieve a part of me still weathering this aftermath. I also grieve a part of him I question ever existed.
A certain age of innocence, and genuine sincerity was robbed of me and finding it again is arduous in the wake and cold silence of a Commitment Phobic what feels like indifference. I still have depression and feel insecure in places that used to make others blush, but I recognize I wouldn’t hurt if I wasn’t sincere in the things I’d said, promised and acted on, and that is why I am taking time to heal.
Henry is now dating his sister’s best friend, someone he began seeing a little over a month after many of my things still hung in his condo. This woman I’d met during my travels with him, the summer he’d told me he wanted to marry me. She was utterly unfriendly towards me upon meeting me, yet another red flag I chose not to see never at the time fathoming that she had carnal knowledge of Henry. More than likely, he’d started something with her prior to me and now he is conveniently picking up where he’d left off. Call it the lazy lion syndrome. I can not be jealous of this person.
While this may have been an easy fix killing the proverbial “unicorn”, it most definitely is not a relationship built on a foundation of real sincerity. To her, she probably will never know how generic the things he is doing, saying and promising are including the trips he has taken her on. Many of these falling in love or scenarios he is replaying a different version of what he did with me with her. Because to her, I wasn’t “the one” and she is, she will tell herself this over and over. The photos, the guided rendez-vous to places I walked just a few months prior to her, including places so precious to me only I could have shared the information she will now be receiving as unique. She won’t realize the bed she is sleeping in was mine just weeks before she was there, the sheets I chose she sleeps on the towels, the paint on the walls, the auburn hairs no doubt still on the tile floor all mine.
To her, the fact that she is his sister’s best friend or because she shares certain interests is what will win him, in fact he already has another parachute on stand by and I guarantee if he hasn’t already thought out a reason to dump her, it is on the horizon. Her cats will be the tip of the iceberg, not because he is allergic but because she loves them and probably also because he hates them, and now the pressure to commit will be even greater because she is intermeshed with family. Commitment Phobic, survival after the fact is pretty rough. Sigh, maybe I should say a prayer for both of these wretched people.
My boyfriend is in the military service and our long distance relationship is difficult but made our bond to each other very strong. He wants me to move away with him in order to get married and start a family while I want to pursue my Ph.D and continue working and living in California. He is everything a girl could ask for, he is thoughtful, tentative, a great listener, if he needed to give up his life for mine, he would die for me and give me the whole world. We seem to make a perfect pair because of our physical attraction and how our ideals match with almost everything. We both enjoy each other’s company and intellectual stimulation and could grow as people together in our relationship. However, the major problems are the long distance between us-so we can’t have a physically intimate relationship- and our views on religion and family. He wants to raise his children Catholic while I am starting to discontinue my beliefs in any sort of religious congregation. He also wants to get married while I do not believe that marriage is right for me, nor do I feel ready to give up my life for children. When I initially tried to break things off with him he had a difficult time letting me go and was in denial of where our relationship was headed. He threatened me with verbal threats of suicide and letting me know that he never thought I would ever find anyone who was as good to me as he was. After many days of him crying and non-stop calling me, even while I was at work, we finally sat down and spoke, in person. I flew out to Hawaii where he is stationed and we spent a few days together. We were able to see each other in person and talk things through. When I got back home, the feelings and first stages of the break up were setting in, I am having feelings of doubt. I am worried that I have made the wrong decision about breaking up with this great guy because our beliefs didn’t perfectly align. So now I have to decide if we are right for each other…
I am crushed. I have been seeing this guy on and off for two years now. He has been doing the whole “yo-yo” thing the whole time, but I can’t seem to break away from him. One day he is so into it, and the next he’s not! I don’t understand.
I am not sure if there is someone else. I don’t think there is, but
who knows? I am always feeling drained, and I feel like all I think
about is him. I wonder “what mood” he is in that day. I cannot focus in school and my job is suffering, but I feel like every thought is revolved around him. Two years is a long time to he torturing myself, but it is like I am addicted to the cycle and can’t break free. I hope one day we can either be together or I can move on. Keep your fingers crossed for me.
Sitting in my pajamas eating Tijuana Flats and watching re-runs of The Hills. Waiting for my phone to ring. We are on a “break”. I just want to know what is going on with us. Should I stay or should I go? Need to get a life. It helps that I have sent some texts to him-ugh, that is pathetic. I should stick to my guns and not contact him. At least I know he is alive. Just wish he would pick up the phone and confess his undying love to me. Is that too much to ask for?? I don’t think so. It happens all of the time. Usually not as dramatic as in the movies but still. I’ll sulk today but tomorrow is a new day. I can do it. I hope.
I keep going back and forth. Should I be with him? Should we be broken up? I just can’t answer that. I don’t want to. I don’t want things to change. I want to be happy but if we break up, I know unhappiness will pursue. But then will there be happiness? I don’t know. I can’t look past today and my sadness. I need help. I need someone to answer the question for me. I don’t know if I am strong enough to do it on my own.
DAY 2 AD (After Death…of Relationship)
If I had wrote this blog entry yesterday (Day 1), you would have read paragraphs of anger and rage, putting all the blame on my ex-boyfriend and his anger issues. I would have told you (angrily) that the fact that I hadn’t cried since we broke up spoke volumes. I could have told you about the Facebook update wars, and my incessant stalking of his page to see what his friends were saying about his status going from relationship to single (damn the internet!). But today, that all changed. Like a lightning bolt hitting my brain, I suddenly realized that I was to blame for a part of the demise of my relationship, and I did cry. And as luck would have it, it happened at work, and I had to hurry down to the ladies room to try to control myself and the splotchy redness taking over my face.
I could tell you all the details about why we broke up, but the bottom line is that he was ready to settle down and I wasn’t – I know, a very strange situation for a woman to be in. We were also very different. Our personalities, the way we handled situations, our life goals – all of it was different. But my not being ready for this relationship to be THE relationship of my life contributed to a lot of our problems, caused a lot of fights that never should have been, and caused me to think and act like I was the person who mattered most in the relationship. But in the end, no matter what happened, who did what, and how much we may still love each other, we broke up.
I have a million emotions going through my body at any given second. There’s the grateful part of me, who still knows I have many single adventures left to experience. There’s the sad part of me, who has this deep, gaping hole where my boyfriend and my relationship once were. There’s the part of me that wonders if I am normal. So many of my friends are single and desperately want to meet the man they could settle down with, so why am I tossing a good fish back into the water? However, I think I am mostly upset because I feel like, in some ways, I brought this on myself. I brought this pain on myself. I was the one not ready to commit; I was the one making my boyfriend jump through hoops at times. Sure, he wasn’t perfect and is responsible for 50% of the cause of our breakup, but that means I am responsible for the other half. I constantly wonder why I can’t settle down. Why do I feel the need to move around and travel like a nomad? Why can’t I just settle down with the man I love and have it be enough?
I have been through heart break once before. I didn’t have any control over that situation though. The guy just fell out of love with me – the worst thing a woman can possibly hear. I remember crying for days and days, holding my chest as if my heart was just going to fall out at any time. I don’t feel like that this time around. Is it because it wasn’t as long of a relationship, not as serious? Did I not love this current ex as much? On some level, do I subconsciously know that the breakup was the right thing to do? I can’t answer that. Almost four years later, I can look back at that first breakup and feel relieved. I know that it was the right thing to breakup, and I became a stronger person after going through that pain. So if I got through that and learned what I did, my brain tells me that I’ll make it through this.
But the deep, gaping hole of where my relationship/boyfriend were wants to pull me down. Instead of taking the time and space I need, I feel the desire to talk to my ex boyfriend, to keep him in my life. I wish there were a way to be friends immediately after a break up, so you don’t have to give up your addiction to the person…or maybe that the addiction would just gradually fade. But unfortunately, I know that love doesn’t work like that. So it’s a struggle to not call him, to not text him. Part of me wants to fix the relationship, promise to work on my part, promise to compromise more, promise to be more in this relationship than I had been. But the other part of me doesn’t. The other part of me wants to have my crazy adventures and be single for awhile. That other part of me isn’t sure this guy is the one for me and doesn’t want me to waste another minute of either of our time. It’s the impossible angel-on-one-shoulder-devil-on-the-other situation.
So today, there is no resolution. There are no answers. It’s me sitting at home alone on a Friday night. Isn’t that what you do after a break up? You have to learn how to be alone again…
DAY 4 AD (After Death…of Relationship)
Today has been a day filled with thinking, the results of a Day 3 talk with the ex. It wasn’t a great talk but I do feel some things were addressed. He took responsibility for his fault in the break up – his anger, being unsure of how to be in a relationship after 10 years of being single, and of not better handling my needs and wants in a relationship. I took responsibility for my behavior – the provoking of fights, being scared of the seriousness of our relationship, thinking and behaving like I wore the pants in the relationship. We agreed to take the rest of Saturday and Sunday and think about what we both wanted, and then we’d talk on Monday when we met to get my stuff from his apartment (on neutral ground). However, patience has never been a virtue of mine, and I have the strong desire to call him and hash it all out. But there is a lot to think about, and it’s in my best interest to give myself (and him) time to think.
I seemed relatively satisfied with the outcome from that conversation….I just needed to think about what I really wanted in life, what my goals really were, if I really wanted to make this relationship work. The problem is that those answers don’t come over night, nor do they probably come in a week, two weeks, or even a month. The main issue at hand is whether or not I feel I can make changes to give this relationship a second chance. Of course, I am not alone. There is another person who has to ask himself that exact same question. Hopefully our answers are the same, but part of me worries that they won’t be. If I choose to try again, to try to make this relationship work, what if he doesn’t want to? Or vice versa. What if it’s better to cut our losses now? What if we leave things broken, and in ten years, I look back and regret that I didn’t try a little harder to make this relationship work? Is love the basic element in life and all the rest is just background music? Or like the song says is love sometimes just not enough? Obviously, these are all questions that can’t be answered in two days. In fact, I think a leap of faith has to be taken in one direction or the other…but which direction?
I’ve tried to spend some time thinking about my next step in life, what goals of mine are realistic or not, how I could possibly fulfill those goals and still be in this relationship. I tried to think of his pro’s and con’s and considered making a list like Miranda does in the Sex and the City movie (of COURSE I watched that…3 big break ups in that movie!), but then realized that the person we fall in love with doesn’t always have all the checkmarks in front of the boxes that we want in our perfect man. And I’m not perfect myself. Does one huge pro (the deep down to my soul happiness when I’m with this person) beat the huge con (anger issues stemming from childhood)? Do all the little, petty cons (smoking stains on his teeth, skinny calves, looks like a teenager when clean-shaven, not very well-endowed, doesn’t make a lot of money) make me the shallow one for even considering those factors? The chances of me meeting a Johnny Depp look a like are very slim.
After talking to Broken Heart Rehab, they made me realize two things – (1) if I do have serious goals that aren’t fulfilled, I could wind up resenting him for making me give them up and (2) even if we get back together, it doesn’t mean that we have to stay together forever. We could try again, try to implement our new wisdom and changes, and see where that takes us. If two months from now, we are still fighting, then the answer is obvious. Or if two months from now, everything is great, then obviously it was well worth the second chance. Maybe we both needed a wake up call. If you think about it in that regard, it doesn’t seem like a second chance is such a terrible idea. But as hopeful as I can be in trying again, what if he doesn’t feel the same? What if 4 days of holding out hope is all shattered in an instant when he says he just wants to leave things broken? There is a quote out there that says something like “sometimes it’s best to leave the pieces broken, rather than hurt yourself more by trying to put them back together.”
So instead of thinking of my future goals and dreams (which definitely won’t be decided by the meeting time tomorrow), maybe it’s wiser to think about what we can do to possibly save this relationship. But, what if it’s just the lonely part of me wanting a second chance? I guess that will be revealed in time though… A band-aid doesn’t help if you need stitches.