Letter from October 2015 (some identifying details removed)
This is one of the hardest things I’ve ever written.
It is difficult to write because I know that there will never really be any closure between us. You see, I have this picture in my head of us and how things could have been and it kills me.
There was so much good between us, and we learned and explored so much together. I taught you how to order a martini and play craps and baseball, and you taught me how to fly a kite, make yogurt sauce, properly eat _____ food, and play cricket. We traveled by bus, train, boat and airplane to and within five different countries. You showed me around London and Niagra Falls, and I showed you around Las Vegas, New York City and Amsterdam. I taught you how to float in water, and you showed me how to improve my form in the gym. I took care of you when you had strep throat, and you took care of me when I had an injured knee. I picked raspberries and made you cobbler, and you gathered the ingredients to make me kabobs. I got you to try seafood, Thai food and Long Island’s, and you introduced me to mangoes with chat masala and _____ eggs. I kissed you and laughed every time you said “popcorns” and “scissor,” and you laughed and pointed out the way I said “chicken biryani.” I introduced you to raves and you took me to Redskins games. We went snuba diving and parasailing for the first time together, and saw the sun set on the London Eye. We moved into a new apartment as a couple and picked out brand new household items together, both of us for the very first time. We sang to each other, danced around for no reason, gave each other cards professing our love, sent each other love songs, and were always thinking of places we wanted to take the other someday. We touched each other’s skin and looked into each other’s eyes like we couldn’t get close enough.
Last summer, when things got more serious between us, I remember you happily exclaimed, “This is my first real relationship” where you weren’t just hanging out, as you said. And for my part, I realized last summer that I truly loved you, and that it was the first time I had ever really loved someone and trusted them completely.
When things were good, nothing comforted me like you. I was so in love with you. I still am. How could I not be?
But the problem is that there are the things that sneak into all this that have never fit, even now. Things that broke us apart. Things I’ll never understand. The past is the past…
However, things still sneak in that don’t fit, even though you’re supposedly changing. The calls on your phone to your (ex?) fiance. Drunk texting with your ex. Lies about who certain girls are that you know and what you were doing over the summer when we were broken up, when you could have just been straight with me. Your intentional attempts to try to make me jealous by lying about your ex, by your own admission. Your tendency to very quickly call me all kinds of names and verbally abuse me for almost no reason at all.
When I tried talking to you about any of these things, just to have a normal, respectful conversation, it seems to me that you take the fact that I even brought these things up as criticisms. The tactics you used to try to avoid honest communication about them included more lying, changing the subject, interrupting me and bringing up unrelated things I had done and ignoring what I had said, accusing me of doing the same thing (I wasn’t), blaming me for why you were doing it, claiming I was wrong and gaslighting, invalidating me by saying it was no big deal, and saying I didn’t appreciate all you were doing (basically saying I had no right to complain).
It felt like a set-up. I’d get framed and blamed as the “bad guy” for even bringing these things up, no matter how neutrally, even though if the situation had been reversed you would have been doing the exact same thing. Anyone would.
So these were my options:
1. I could bring it up and deal with your responses until you got mad and we broke up. Then you’d miss me and tell me you screwed up, ask me to come back, and I do, thinking this will be the time that you will understand. (This is our usual pattern)
2. I could not say anything and be unhappy and you’ll notice I’m not happy and say I don’t appreciate you and you’ll be unhappy too. (What’s the point? In this case, the relationship is a sham, and I can only do this for so long anyway before either #1 or #5 occurs)
3. I could ignore the behavior and pretend like I’m happy and things are perfect, meanwhile I do my own thing on the side to keep myself happy. (What’s the point? This also makes the relationship a sham)
4. I could try to get you to agree to a more casual relationship where we just have fun with each other and don’t try to rely on each other for more important emotional needs. Then all these underlying issues don’t matter, and we can just enjoy the relationship for what it is.
5. I could walk away
I tried to get you to agree to Option #4, and you wouldn’t do it even though I didn’t want it either– and you asked me for this one last chance, and I gave it to you. This was our last and best hope. I did see you putting in effort, and I know you tried. I saw the things you did for me and I know you love me. But I don’t know if you don’t understand what I am telling you, it is too difficult to hear, or you are incapable of giving it to me. I am not criticizing or blaming.
I tried too. That’s why I let you back in even though I was scared, and that’s what makes this so sad. I tried and tried several times to resolve these other issues so our relationship would have a chance, and this past week, I just couldn’t take it anymore. I’m not sure if things would have gotten resolved if I hadn’t gone out of town, if we would have ended up back in our same old pattern, to be honest. But they didn’t. The longer we stayed apart and didn’t talk, the easier it became to stay apart and not talk. And would this have been the time things changed? I am not going to comment on that because it’s so hard to give up on something you want so much…
But I feel like the only thing left for me, since Option #2 and #3 are ridiculous (hence, false choices) is to take Option #5, and it doesn’t mean I don’t love you. It means I learned for the first time in my life that two people can love each other, and that sometimes it isn’t enough.
That is the saddest and most frustrating thing I have ever experienced.
I know you know I don’t look down on you, and you already admitted that I didn’t say that the other day about the gas station and $100k, that it was you saying it because that’s what you think I believe because I’d said it that night after __________. You also know that I’d said it because it had hurt me to hear from multiple people that you said you’d used me for my money and that was my way of twisting that back around on you, and, yes I know it’s wrong, but don’t turn it into something it’s not.
You know I’m not “careless.” You know I care about you. I asked you all the time since last May when I found out all that you’d done why you loved me and wanted to be with me, and what did you always say? Because I was loving and caring. I’m sorry, but I didn’t let you drive home. You must take responsibility for your own actions. I didn’t tell you to leave; you got up and walked out. You were mad and you wouldn’t have stayed even if I’d asked you to– it’s happened before. And, even though I was upset, I was GPSing you the entire way to make sure you got home, of course, but I didn’t want to text you, because I knew we’d argue. You never even thought about that.
Is it that you feel the need to hate me when we aren’t together, maybe to make it easier to be away from me?
If we truly can’t be together, I would have liked for this to have the peaceful ending where we sit down, say, “I love you but it isn’t working out. I want the best for you and I want you to be happy.”
It would be hard, one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do in my life. It already feels like a part of me ripped away and my heart is bleeding out. Yet it‘s even worse now because how can you go from hearing someone say “My love for you is unconditional” as you said on Saturday night, to saying “Don’t ever message me again?” when that person meant everything to you for almost two years and you loved them so much? It’s unnatural.
To think about all of those things we planned and we’ll never do is like someone sticking a little needles into my heart for each item in a future never to exist. We’ll never go to hockey games, or NBA games, we’ll never see Spain or France together, or even go to more Redskins games, or wear the corresponding Halloween costumes we talked about. I wont make Thanksgiving dinner for you again, and you won’t make ____ cauliflower for me. We won’t write music together or go skydiving, or go to _______ and see ______ with the tickets I surprised you with, or ride on your bike, or walk along the boardwalk by the lake near your apartment. You won’t take me to that gyro restaurant where I promised to try lamb even though I only eat chicken and fish. We won’t watch the last season of ___________ together, or go dancing again like we talked about, and I won’t make a bunch of snacks to bring to your apartment for a Sunday football watching party, which I was all excited to do.
I’ll never hate you for the things you did that hurt me, and I don’t take them personally. We had that talk. I had the time of my life with you, and you opened up parts of me I didn’t know existed. You will always have a piece of my heart. I hope you find happiness. I wish somehow it could have been with me. I love you.