I promised an enlightening story upon the return from my first REAL vacation in over five years. Well, here is what you’re going to get. Getting away for a week was FABULOUS. The grass was greener (literally, with a drought in the Midwest, their grass, plants, flowers were flourishing while ours, well, weren’t), the plants fuller, flowers bright and beautiful. Even a rainy afternoon couldn’t get me down. There was still morning sun, intriguing restaurants to try, oh, and shopping.
But what has followed in the week or so AFTER my vacation is what has really been consuming my mind. Remember that guy from my first post – 30 Things? Well, he had a bad attitude most of the trip. Was cranky, irritable. As a self-proclaimed pessimist, this was a struggle for me to deal with. I had to always find the bright side to the situation. Make excuses like, well, this is the most time we’d spent together in MONTHS, and 24/7 with ANYONE for 8 days is a trying situation (which I still believe to be true – we all need our space and time to ourselves if only to decompress, reflect).
Upon our return, I went days without hearing from him. Until he told me he was depressed and didn’t feel good about how he was treating me. This is nothing new. I expected this. But only 5 days after taking a vacation together (which is a first for us and what I consider a BIG step), he told me he couldn’t be in a relationship and couldn’t support me or treat me the way I deserve. I am not here to bash him. I respect that he recognized this and didn’t want to put me through it anymore. He asked how much longer I could put up with his shit.
This is a tough one. Because, the statistics show that I am a fool. This makes the sixth time he has either left and/or broken things off with me in over 2 ½ years. All I can say is, I won’t be done with this, or him, until I’m really DONE. My bullshit tolerance/threshold must be higher than most. I will know when I’m fed up and the feelings have faded. I’m not there yet. In the meantime, it’s been almost 4 days with no contact of any kind.
I am distracting myself with work, a day or two here and there with friends (my schedule doesn’t allow too much social time), and re-reading/glancing through my handy copy of “He’s Just Not That Into You” by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo. I’ve highlighted passages, and re-reading the tips in the book helps. It’s like an older brother and sister who know better and are encouraging me not to give up the fight.
I would like to share a passage from this book for reinforcement and to hopefully encourage some other ladies out there who are or have dealt with this same thing themselves. I know you’re out there.
“He’s sniffing around for something better, and when he doesn’t find it, he gets lonely and comes ‘home.’ It’s not that he’s so into you. It’s that he’s so not into being alone. Don’t give him the chance to break up with you for the fourth time. (God, even the idea of it sounds so beneath you, doesn’t it?) Reset your breakup maximum to one and move on.” (Behrendt and Tuccillo p. 99)
This is so much easier said than done. The last time, about 4 months ago, it only took about a week for him to show up, call, text, say he’d f**ked up and I was the best thing that had ever happened to him. I was just about done then. I knew we DID need time apart, if this, or anything else was ever going to be healthy or work out the way we both wanted it to. A week wasn’t long enough.
My biggest fear THIS time is that he won’t give me, himself, or us enough time to FEEL single, to embrace the loneliness, the boringness of spending most of our time without a companion or significant other. I believe he IS and CAN BE the person I want, the man who treats me with affection and consideration and is there for me, through it all. But it’s not fair to either of us to fall back into this breakup/make-up pattern.
I’ve been through this before. Actually spent 4 years involved with a guy who broke up with me, but we never took a “break.” I asked a friend why it was so hard for certain guys to break up with me. She said it was because I leave the door open to them. And she’s right. I know I’ve got to close the door, at least temporarily. I’m not quite there yet. But I am the sum of my small steps.
Another friend advised, just from the details of the situation, that he could have been cheating, since the things he was saying exactly mimicked the excuses she’d gotten in a past relationship, only to find he had been cheating. I don’t believe that. I believe it IS possible, but in this particular instance, I don’t think that was the case. But she did make a good point which was then reiterated in my re-perusing of “He’s Just Not That Into You.” He might not have been strong enough to end things, to tell me to leave. So, he was leaving the option up to me. That’s where my flaws come in. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t do it before, with the guy of 4 years. Not until I was finally DONE myself. I couldn’t do it now.
One more related quote: “A guy friend of mine refuses to break up with a woman he’s engaged to because he’s scared. (Yes, we’re a classy species.) When I beg the guy to pull the plug, he always says the same thing: ‘Greg, I’m waiting for the big fight. I’m just waiting for the big fight.’ In the meantime, he picks on, bickers with, needles his fiancée, just so he can have the ‘big fight’ and get it over with. It’s not pretty, but I hope it scares you just a bit. 100% of the guys polled said they have never tried to torture or humiliate a girl they were really into. Well, that’s a start.” (Behrendt and Tuccillo p. 147)
I’m confident that I won’t fall back into old habits, at least where he isn’t involved. I won’t drink away my pain with alcohol. I won’t drown my sorrows and extreme need for intimacy with promiscuity. If this has taught me nothing else, it’s that I finally don’t need those things to cope. I feel the pain with every sober fiber of my being. And this makes me a stronger person. A better version of myself. Don’t you think?Kara L. Rockwell twitter.com/karalynnbsu www.myfitnesspal.com/blog/