My ex-N broke up with me about a month ago. We had been dating for 18 months, but had been very close friends though, for the last 4-5 years. There had been no fights, and although he seemed a little distant recently, I thought that we were just going through a busy period, with work and deadlines (we both work in the tech industry). And so I came in that night, to his house, as I usually did, thinking everything was good between us. I looked at a project he was working on, for free for his friends, gave some feed back, and gave him a hug, letting him know how lucky his friends were that he had taken on the project for them. I kissed the top of his head and he nuzzled his head into my chest. This sort of affection was normal everyday behavior for us. Then I went off to make dinner. 45 minutes later, he was staring at the floor, telling me "It's over." I felt my stomach hit the floor and the blood drain from my face. I was in such shock, I asked him "What do you mean?" Still without looking at me, he said "I have been struggling with us for months. You said that you always loved my fearlessness, well, we just have different energy levels" That was a pretty general statement, so again I asked, "What do you mean?" "I like to go cycling, we haven't gone." This was the first time I had heard about his passion for cycling....funny because he has a bike in his garage that I have never seen him use. Next reason: "I wished you had more friends that you could introduce me to"...I don't really know what to say about this. Yes, he has allot of interesting, exciting friends, he's been a musician in the same city for 15 years! I only moved here a few years ago, and so have fewer friends but we are tight, but he never seemed to find them very interesting. Why would that matter anyway? But before I could say anything else "And you worry too much about things". I was overwhelmed. These were lame excuses, but also the first time I had ever heard of them. "How long have you felt this way, since Christmas?" It was early March. "Since before Christmas." I asked "Why didn't you say anything, don't you understand in a relationship that is full of love, mutual respect, and sharing you are supposed to talk about reservations when they come up?" Answer: "I didn't want you to jump though hoops to make try to make me happy". Interesting, in other words, it's your job it to make me happy, and when you fail, because its impossible for him to be happy, I will use the most ridiculous perceived faults and use them to devalue you and push you away. My last question: "Why are you doing this? Is it that you love me, but you are not in love with me?" His answer: "I don't even know what that means".
At which point I got up and packed my things. He watched me and lent me his suitcase. And that was it, a 20 minute one sided conversation ending to a relationship that had been years in the making and just 18 months long. Just so that you know, I am 34 and he is 37, even though the break up sounds more like a middle school dumping. I walked out of there in shock but somehow knowing I had escaped something, but I didn't know what just yet. See, everyone who knows my ex-N thinks he is cool, handsome, funny, bright, even outrageous, generous, and charming. A friend who will do anything you ask him to do (as long as its not too inconvenient and it makes him look good in front of peers whose opinions matter to him). But I know him, I was there behind the scenes, I saw how he criticized everyone around him, but was different in front of them, his general lack of empathy, how he liked to let people know about his accomplishments, how he believed he was a truly gifted lover, the hidden rage towards his father, how he couldn't really handle criticisms, how he has this sense of entitlement, and that the rules don't apply to him, how he pushed for threesomes even when I told him I was worried about how it would effect our relationship long term. How he shouldn't have to compromise, even for the one who loves him the most. About a week later I saw his profile on Match.com, surprise surprise dating already. What I read, how he presents himself to the world, is ridiculous and immature, exaggerating his lifestyle and coming off shallow, and he described himself as an open-communicator!!!! I know that I would not date this guy if his profile was my only impression.
I realize now, the reason I became so involved with him on a emotional level is because we were talking to each other non-stop for 3 years on IM before we even dated. (It's how we are encouraged to communicate to each other at work, rather then get up and talk.) We met at my first company, but when he moved to another company, we continued to IM everyday. Little by little I was lured in, I believed him when he said looking for a special lady, who would be like his mom (and now that I know her, that's crazy because she is a pretty difficult lady). That he wanted to settle down and find the mother of his children. BTW he said all of this while he had another girlfriend that I didn't know about, he doesn't understand anything about interpersonal boundaries. We came close to dating once but then he confessed up that he was seeing other women and he wasn't sure. Finally I told him that if he at least respected me as a friend he would leave me alone. At this point I knew I was somehow falling for him and I was trying to preserve myself from someone who was obviously unavailable emotionally (boy I didn't realize HOW unavailable).
4 months later, the 9 page letter. "I have been going to therapy, I am changing, I want you, you are wonderful, I see you as my wife. I have these problems, won't you forgive me? I want to be worthy of your love, that is my goal in life." And I folded. I became the girlfriend he could finally bring around to more adult events like weddings and baby birthdays, special events, so he wouldn't be the odd man out. After a couple of months, he stopped going to therapy, because it was expensive and the crisis was over. The first few month were wonderful and I gave my heart to him. Then I began to see the behavior I mentioned above and more, but it was nothing overtly terrible and I figured I could deal with it, and continued to give him my support love and affection. But I see now, he got bored and slowly pulled away from me. Slowly I began to feel more anxiety and I wasn't sure why. I had become the Madonna no longer the whore, only good for nurturing when he needed it, until he was ready to move on. He went through the motions, to keep me near, for months until he was ready to move on. I had no input because I'm not a real person in the relationship. Blinded by love and optimism, I didn't realize that the same way he evaluated and devalued others to make himself feel superior, he would eventually do to me. I gave him so much and he just received, giving not much back. But I didn't see that until now, because it is natural for me to give. For the most part, I am a happy person and I didn't need that much from him. And I trusted that like a normal human being he would talk to me, like I did to him about any issues that came up. But it was all a charade, a play he was acting in. Even so, having someone whom you have basically spoken to for every day for the last 5 years drop you like you were nothing is pretty traumatizing. But now that I know what he is, I feel a little better, like I am recovering from a hangover. Now I am the one who is going to therapy to figure out my own part in this mess, but one thing is for sure, him dumping me is the best thing he could have done for me.