The following is a blog post I started a year ago, on September 27, 2011. I guess the break up with the Gone Boyfriend really was a long time coming. The post below isn’t complete. I’m posting it in this unfinished state, because I think it is a good lesson to me to go with my gut. I sensed something wasn’t right a year ago. Whatever was brewing inside the Gone Boyfriend was brewing for a while, and I was seeing something of it. I just was too afraid or unwilling to face it. My bad.
How can you tell if it is real love?
I find this a difficult question to address.
Maybe, because, before you can address the question at all, one must define love. This is something I cannot do. Well, maybe I can do it when it comes to loving that little sports car that just drove by, or loving my job or not loving it, or loving my children…but when it comes to an adult relationship? This is where I have trouble. What is real love? I don’t even know what it means to be really in love. Moreover, I’m not sure, having been beaten by men either verbally or physically or emotionally and certainly financially most of my life, that I can even understand the meaning of love or what it would look like or feel like to have a man be truly in love with me. Too me, it looks just too much like competition, or the lack of competition.
But, I’m currently in a relationship, and have been with a man for nearly a year. Eleven months to be exact and, well, questions are coming to my mind. Yes, they are keeping me up at night. I am beginning to wonder if this relationship is really right for me. Maybe, when I get done, I will come to the conclusion that my even asking the questions was the sign that things weren’t right. Then again, maybe everyone needs to ask the questions periodically just to check in and re-evaluate what it is about the relationship that still is worth committing to. At this point, I don’t know, but I am concerned enough about some things that I need to take a step back and ask, “What’s really going on here?” That’s not the only question I’m asking either…obviously.
There were more questions like “What is true love? How does it behave? What does it look like at middle age?” and so on. I’m still asking some of those questions, but I’m certainly not thinking I should be so surprised that the Gone Boyfriend is gone.
The beginning of love is always fun, exhilarating, scintillating, exciting, happy. The end of it, if analyzed, is bound to be many things. Sometimes volatile, dangerous, and painful. In my case, this ending is interesting, if not completely humorous. How can I possibly refer to the end of a relationship that was (or so I thought) the love of my life, certain to go the distance, as…humorous? I mean, after all, I am devastated. I really am. I would never have considered living with a man if I wasn’t 100% certain this was the real deal. We really had so much going for us in so many ways. I can’t even begin to explain or list the ways this relationship seemed so right. And yet, apparently, it wasn’t. I have yet to learn all the lessons from this. Much of what has transpired and will yet transpire will teach me important lessons only after the throbbing pain of loss has subsided and I can try to look at what happened with a bit less emotion. I get that. But right now, I’m riding an emotional roller coaster that rivals anything Disney or Six Flags could come up with.
So, in spite of the pain, how can I view this as humorous? Well, having two very stiff drinks helps.
The truth is, I am crushed. I am hurt. I am in all sorts of pain. (So much for that “calm before the storm.”) I’ve cried a lot today. He does not know this. I will continue to brush back the tears, to sob silently behind closed doors (read in the shower), until he is finally gone from my residence and, sadly, from my life.
Since there is now no “faking it” in our relationship (I never did, but I know he did…if not in the bedroom, then certainly elsewhere), we’ve had some very interesting conversations. He is one who likes to dodge issues; pretend like things are fine when, in fact, they are not. I, on the other hand, prefer to know the truth straight up. So, as people do, we had yet another conversation about the details of unwinding this thing. Mind you, we aren’t storming around tense and antagonist. We woke up this morning had coffee together, and began talking about the “unwind” like an old married couple might discuss the return on their mutual fund or the sale of some property or the latest developments with the grandchildren. Since the Non-Boyfriend (NBF), is not exactly one to be direct and honest about his feelings, and since I for some idiot reason felt I needed to know where he stood (this is critical, because I have absolutely no clue how he feels about me and how he feels about “us” in general and haven’t for a very, very long time). So…I started out asking questions and got some good information.
He admits to being such a neat freak that he makes Felix Unger look like a slob. He admits that this is not healthy, has created problems for us, but he’s at a loss as to know what to do. (Read: He’s unhappy with me because my teenager doesn’t leave his room Better-Homes-And-Gardens perfect every day. ) Here’s what my son’s room looks like…normally.
And the downstairs guest bathroom that he complains that my older daughter leaves a disaster (Yes, this is normally how it looks, not cleaned up for the picture.) :
And here is the kids’ bathroom, another source of contention for him:
He says he just cannot deal with the mess anymore and he is tired of cleaning up after everyone.
Let’s make it very clear, folks. This man is NOT paying rent. He is NOT contributing to the bills. He only pays for anything when asked and NEVER volunteers. And he DOES NOT clean up after anyone. Lately, even though he’s making more, he doesn’t even pay when asked. He comes and goes as he pleases and he is tired of cleaning up after everyone? (I was careful to point out to him that he had done absolutely nothing to clean or contribute to this place, without being directly asked, for the last two months. He agreed with me.)
I responded to his above statement, by reminding him of the fact that he pays nothing to live here and, lately, he contributes nothing, and he comes and goes as he pleases. I told him, if I were in that place, I would consider it my rent to do whatever I could around the house to keep the landlord (read: me) happy.
I pressed him further about his perspective. Here’s how the conversation went:
Me: So, how long have you known that this relationship was a dead end and you weren’t willing to go to the next level? (Read: how long have you known you wouldn’t every marry me?) Has it been, what? January? December?
Him: Oh not quite that long.
Yeah, end of conversation.
I have only two words for him at this point: GET OUT!
Actually, that’s not true, I have four words for him: GET THE FUCK OUT!
Instead, what I said was this:
“Well, then. You could have at least have been a gentleman and gotten out once you were sure, instead of taking advantage of me. I’d like you to work on finding a place where you can stay immediately.”
He mumbled something about working on it and named the 10th as a deadline.
I followed up with, “Well, since I just paid your rent, your utilities and your car insurance, and since you have absolutely no ability or motivation to pay me back, you will make sure this house is spotless. You can start with the floors downstairs and making dinner tonight.”
I’m changing the locks on the afternoon of the 10th, maybe even before. (He does not know this.) He cleaned the floors and made dinner tonight.
He can’t leave my life soon enough right now. (And, yes, obviously, he is not telling me the entire truth about where he is with things, which is really the reason we are breaking up; he simply cannot be honest, not with himself or with other people.)
This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
~ William Shakespeare
I find it humorous how relationships can turn on a dime.
I find it humorous, how, when a relationship end, the emotions can turn on a dime.
I have one week…just one more week.