Slowly, Then All At Once
It’s happening. The Hesitant Boyfriend (who is no longer really a boyfriend but an additional child in my life) is no longer hesitating. He’s moving out. Of course, I’m also not giving him any other options, either.
I guess, if I was honest with myself, I knew this was coming. I also knew it was coming long before now. I feel like a fool for hanging in there so long, hoping things would change, knowing that with each passing day, and each passing paycheck he brought home that we never discussed (much anyway), that things were not only not improving, they were declining.
Ernest Hemingway, when asked how he went bankrupt, responded, “Slowly and then suddenly.” I think the breakdown of a relationship is like that. It happens slowly, then suddenly it’s just over. It’s been that way for me, anyway. I drag my feet, fearing to face what I suspect (know) in my gut is the truth. Finally, something happens that makes it ever so obvious that not even I, with my head-in-the-relational-sand ways can even deny, that he’s just not into me…or, at least, not enough to be living in my house with no financial obligations to pay for anything and no commitment to spending any kind of decent time with me. Then, it becomes painfully clear to me that I’ve been an idiot to allow this person to take advantage of me (because, when you take from someone without any intention of ever reciprocating, that is exactly what you are doing). By the time I figure it out, there’s no argument about it being over. It becomes clear that he’s okay with it being over as much as I am finally convinced that it can’t be over soon enough..
This explains much of the hesitation of The Hesitant Boyfriend. He’s known it wasn’t going anywhere for a long time. He couldn’t exactly admit this, because to do so meant he’d be kicked to the curb before he could even finish his explanation. He couldn’t afford to be kicked to the curb (where would he go and how would he pay for it?), so he denied his own innermost feelings, pushed them aside and tried to make like everything was fine. It worked, for a little while.
But his harping on my children for the most inconsequential things increased, his resentment over not being able to see his kids regularly (I warned him a year and a half ago this might occur), and he deliberately made plans to be busy during the holidays, something he did last year, which I told him would be a deal breaker if it happened again. I haven’t even mentioned the disrespectful manner in which he treated me in public, of late, the incessant and insulting putdowns, and on and on.
It happened slowly, then suddenly. We encountered the situation I told him would be a deal breaker and here we are.
After the clarity that comes with instances like these, things tend to unwind rapidly. In our situation, the Hesitant Boyfriend, who will in the future not even earn the title of ex, but instead will be referred to as the Non-Boyfriend or NBF has agreed to begin looking for another place with a tentative move out of the 10th and certainly by the time the 1st rolls around. Im getting the locks changed and canceling him off my insurance. He will leave with his books, clothing, and personal effects and his truck. I will keep everything else since I’ve easily paid for it all ten times over in the last year. Even he does not argue this.
So, it’s done. The unwind is happening and, as much as I do care for him, I am not going back there. To be honest, I’m relieved. It will be good to be able to come home at night, to enjoy my children without his criticisms and insults. I’ll save money, because I won’t be feeding him, fueling his car or paying for his car insurance (something he was supposed to reimburse me for but never did). It isn’t going to be exactly fun to be hanging out in the evenings alone (when my kids are at their other homes), but it certainly won’t be much of an adjustment and it will be a whole lot more honest. I’ll miss my cycling buddy, and I’ll have to learn to change my own tires, but those are small consequences to choosing to leave something that constantly created stress for me.
No use crying over something that really wasn’t. I gave it my best shot, and I do love him, but I’m so unwilling to stay in a lopsided and disrespectful relationship.
I’m looking forward to changing the Facebook status to something other than in a relationship. I’m looking forward to knowing what my holidays are going to look like and who is going to be in them. I’m looking forward to gaining back the control of my life that in some surprising ways had been seductively and gradually lost. Finally, I’ll miss the fun times, but I won’t miss the critical negativity that’s hung over our place every time he walks in the door.
He might be moving out, but I’m moving on.