Something changed on Monday night. Something big.
Since I was getting in so late on Monday night and the Metro would be closed, SCL offered to pick me up from the airport, which is only 5 minutes from our apartment. I think both of us wondered if that was a good idea, but wanting to save the cash and the time, I agreed. I'd be seeing him anyway at the apartment, so why not get a free ride out of it?
When I got in the car, he began talking about his week, his latest therapy session, and how he's confronting some of his unhealthy behaviors and thought patterns. This was sort of weird, I thought. I couldn't understand why he was being vulnerable with me, opening up freely and without me pushing him. He never did this before.
We got home, and he asked to talk. Against my better judgment, I agreed even though it was incredibly late at that point. His sharing continued and eventually he wandered off into random topics as he often does. I brought it back. "I don't understand why you want to share with me, be open with me even more than when we are together, so what's shifted for you? What do I mean to you now?" He confessed that he'd been confused about that very thing. I was thinking to myself, it's crazy that he broke up with me, only to then attempt to be more connected and more open. This doesn't add up to me.
I asked again about why he had broken up with me. He began to share some bullshit excuses: that his parents don't care for me, that we have different personalities, that we don't share enough interests. And with each thing on the list, I got more angry. I could feel myself tensing up. When he was done, I said, "Well, that says a lot about what you value." What I meant was, you're a fucking idiot for breaking up with me over such minor things that could have been negotiated and worked out. I said, "Don't you think I have a list like that for you? Good luck finding the perfect woman." And then the hurt came, "What did you give ME in this relationship, SCL? I gave you everything. What did you ever give me?"
And I don't know what came over me, but a moment later, I found myself throwing my cup of ice water in his face, drenching him, the couch, and the wall. I was screaming at the top of my lungs, "My love meant nothing to you? You broke up with me over these bullshit reasons?" And he started sobbing, telling me it wasn't true. that he felt like he was being a fucking idiot. I screamed back, "You ARE being a fucking idiot! You are so smart in other areas of your life, so why are you being so FUCKING stupid about this? Why are you throwing this away, throwing ME away?"
I looked at him, sobbing and drenched in the water I had thrown at him. But I didn't say anything. I wasn't going to feel sorry for him, no matter how pathetic he looked.
But then in between sobs, he wailed, "I feel like I had blinders on. And now I see what it really take to have a relationship with someone." And he told me about how he valued my love and commitment so much--and how ambivalent he felt about this decision to end things with me. I couldn't believe it. Was he shifting? Was he saying what I'd been hoping all along he'd say, that he'd made a mistake?
He told me that he'd been wrong, that he'd been a jerk to me, that he'd lost so many opportunities to love me and care for me over the last two years. He wished he'd paid more attention to me, returned love to me. Regret, deep regret. And he was saying all of this without me having to ask him anything. It was pouring from me--this sorrow, this regret, this clarity about what we had together. And he was telling me that he made a mistake. I was so confused, and yet a little hopeful. We were so connected again. I said, "SCL, this is what is essential to a relationship, this connection to one another. The other things can be worked on, but this is something that must be there."
Could this really be the beginning of a new start with him?
SCL can never take back what he did, and he did some really hurtful things that will take me a long time to get over. For us to reconcile, he will need to show me confidence about this new perspective on our relationship. But honestly, if we are to get back together, he is doing every possible thing to show me that this is what he wants and that he's incredibly regretful of the pain he's caused me. Finally, he's being vulnerable, open, and honest with me--the very thing I had wanted all along. He's going to counseling regularly to work on the issues that he has that kept us from having true intimacy. He's committed to making those changes in himself and in our relationship. And he wants to go to counseling together as well as separately.
Things will not be as they were. They couldn't be, and neither of us wants them to be. We both lost ourselves in the relationship before, and we want something else. We want our own identities, more connection, and more openness. But this could be the beginning of a new start for us--a slow, cautious, hopeful, healthy start. I'm scared out of my mind, but he is the man I love. I'm blown away by the changes I see in his attitude and his perspective on me, on us, on himself. I'm not saying "Fuck you, you hurt me" and I'm not jumping in headfirst. But I am open to the possibility of a second chance for us.
I'm not telling many people who are close to me about this. I don't really want to hear what they have to say just yet. This is about me and what I want. What I want is to continue caring for myself and to be open to the possibility of letting SCL back in. I'm not sure what'll happen, but in my heart this is what I need. So, let's take it slow...
I compare this relationship a lot to the one I had with my most recent ex. And because of that, I am the last person to say, "You're making a big mistake." Because he and I were on and off for years. And no matter what anyone told me, even my very best friends, I did what a wanted.ReplyDelete
That said, my advice to you is that if you two do get back together, go to therapy together. I think that will help the both of you decide what it is you want out of the relationship, how to not make the same mistakes again and if you really should stay together.
In the end, you're going to make the decisions that your heart and head want you to make. Just be sure to listen to BOTH of them. And be careful, okay?
No judgment here girl. I totally believe in second chances, and sometimes more, if it is for the right person. I know first hand that people can change for the better and breaking up can improve your relationship in the long term. I don't want to leave a super long comment with my life story but just know I have been there. My best advice is to go slow and go with your gut, you are going to get shit from people...like friends and family...who think you are making a mistake. They are trying to look out for you, but ultimately it has to come down to you and him. No one can ever truly understand what goes on between two people in a relationship except for those two people.ReplyDelete
I had the feeling that this would happen as I've followed your story. I agree with both of the comments above- I, too, had an on and off ex who I kept returning to (and often think about returning to again). No matter what others have told me, my moments with him were the best moments of my life. If both you and SCL WANT it to work then I believe it definitely can. Therapy is key and it sounds like you two are being very cautious, which is good. Be careful and be happy!ReplyDelete
I agree - no judgement, just faith that the way things are meant to be, they will. Like Cee said there is a quote "The only two people allowed to judge a relationship are the two in it."ReplyDelete
And that song says it all. I often listen to it when Bear and I have fights. As a society we grow up falsely believing in ideals and happy ever afters. Life and relationships are so much more entangled and indescribable.
No judgment at all, but this post opens up old wounds for me. My ex did the exact same thing after we broke up. And he'd had "an obsession" too. Just be careful. At least you guys haven't moved out yet. The first thing that has to go is this other girl. No contact, no relationship, nothing. If he's going to commit to you, he needs to COMMIT TO YOU. Other chick has to go. And I second the idea of couples therapy.ReplyDelete
Also -- don't stop doing things that make you happy. Make time for yourself. Give yourself space. Enjoy life.
No judgment. I know all about that, because my ex and I kept going back and forth and my friends were all upset that he'd never commit to me. What they didn't understand was that I'm actually not the live together/marriage/babies type, so I was 90% ok with it. The only part that freaked me out was the possibility of him dating other people.ReplyDelete
Anyway, I wish only good things for you.
Someone once told me, "know that you are never standing on the edge of a cliff." Life changes and we change with it. Take your time and do what is right for you when it is right for you.ReplyDelete
All I can say is do what is right for you and your heart. Instead of putting him first, make him put your relationship first. My husband threw out an interesting statement that I thought I would share with you, "A guy knows when he loves someone and wants to spend their life with them. They know within a matter of dates. If he's making you wait, then you're going to continue to wait because he knows that you'll do that for him. It's a test and a game, which can only be one winner and one loser. Be confident and put yourself first and if he doesn't follow, then you're wasting your time and he's sucking it up."ReplyDelete
Thats why I love this bloggie community, its like getting an unbiased opinion. Nothing wrong with giving it another go, you seem to have the right ideas. Good luck with it!ReplyDelete
Thank you so much for all of your comments. It's helpful to hear both positive and negative experiences with such "second chances."ReplyDelete
I just got back from a much-needed therapy session. I asked C what she thought, and she said, "The only thing that will build trust is time. You will see in time if what he is saying is genuine. In the meantime you need to do what is best for you and take good care of yourself."
So, that is where I stand. I am willing to give SCL a chance, some time to show me that he is committed this time. And I am going to continue doing what is best for me. And Katie, if you want to come out to Kostume Karaoke at Solly's Tavern at U Street, let me know. It's Glee-themed. :-)