In the past, I have always been able to spring back from a nasty breakup with a guy. I’ve had periods where I stayed single for decent periods of time, but it wasn’t due to being too damaged from a breakup.
This time there was something different. Something didn’t just click back into place after it was over. Maybe it was that the last 2 months of the relationship were spent in a high anxiety state of being. He was talking to other women over the internet. He had made himself completely distant from me, refusing to even hug or kiss me, let alone sleep in the same bed as me. He stopped telling me that he loved me.
He moved into an apartment about 20 feet away from mine and telling me that he wanted us to work through the issues we were having and that he wanted to be close to me. I wish he had moved anywhere else in the apartment complex except the apartment he moved into. Within a week, I knew he had another woman living with him, even though he said she was just a friend that was having problems with her husband and needed a place to stay for a little bit and that one of them was sleeping on the couch. I immediately told him to give me my key back, to which he replied that he thought it was an overreaction on my part. I later found out, by way of her car and seeing him get into it a couple months later, that the woman I saw was his new girlfriend.
His continuing to live in that apartment for a year and a half after that time tormented me. I was constantly looking at his windows to see if the lights were on or off and scanning the parking lot for his motorcycle or her car. It became a total obsession for me. I still catch myself looking to the windows of the apartment he lived in even though he’s long gone now. I wasn’t able to close the door on him and move on…maybe that’s what did it to me.
Or maybe it was how we started that did it to me. When I met him, I fell in love at first sight…something I didn’t even think was possible. But it happened. And I fell hard. It didn’t help that he made about twice as much as I make at his job and took me shopping and bought me nice things and took me out to eat at very expensive 5 star restaurants. He literally showered me with gifts the first month or two we were together. He was also extremely attentive and filled my head with all sorts of promises about how the future was going to be. There were red flags, but I was too enraptured by what he said and how he treated me that I just completely ignored them.
After about 2 months into the relationship, after he had been showering me with gifts and affection, he just kind of stopped. He pulled away. He didn’t want to hold my hand anymore. He didn’t want kiss in public anymore. He barely wanted to do anything with me.
After about 3 months, he lost his job. He tearfully asked me if I was going to leave him. I should have. I really, really should have. The thought definitely crossed my mind when he asked me that, but he assured me that he would get on unemployment (he received the maximum benefits available) and that he would spend all his spare time job hunting and turning in resumes. He abandoned his apartment and moved into mine with me. Then he spent his days playing video games and chatting with people on the internet instead of job hunting. He kept saying there were no jobs. (I’ve had a friend that is in the same sort of profession as he was tell me that there are ALWAYS loads of jobs in that field, so I now know that was a lie. Surprise, surprise.) This is when we started really growing apart and he repaid my devotion to him by cheating on me and feeding me a bunch of lies.
But really, I think it was all of those things put together. I was doomed from the moment I agreed to stay with him after he lost his job. But I can’t say that I did it to myself. Sure I knew better than to be with a guy that didn’t have a job and I stayed with him anyway, but that doesn’t mean that it’s my fault. Not even close to that. Yet, I’ve been beating myself up over it for almost 2 years now. I just haven’t been able to fully let go and move on with my life. I’ve been stuck in a holding pattern. I really hope Dr. H can give me the skills I need to do that.