A Betrayal of Heart & History aka Breaking Up Sucks

Tonight I broke up with my boyfriend. Er, ex-boyfriend. Whatever he is. Someone I care about and love, and have only respect for. I walked into his apartment after work, sat down, and from my depths of my anxious, rumbling gut told him I couldn’t be with him anymore.

Tonight was the first time I’ve ever see him cry. He was understandably hurt, and even a bit angry. He told me he thinks I’m wrong. That what I’m doing – what I did – is wrong, and that I handled it the wrong way. He told me he felt like he tried his best and gave what he could to me throughout our relationship and that what he gave was never good enough for me. He was hurt by the fact that I left suddenly on Saturday morning for space, and made this decision in silence. Without him.

My heart is aching. I want so badly to find a way to shut it off. I told him that I still loved him and he said that it wasn’t possible, because I was leaving. When he started crying, I asked him if I could hug him and he said, “no. not a chance.”

There is no clean way to do this. There is no easy way to look someone you love in the eye and tell them you can’t be with them. It’s a betrayal of heart and history. As deep as I felt in my bones that it was the right decision for me, he felt just as deeply that it was wrong.

Eventually, after going back and forth, I decided I needed to leave. The drive home was treacherous. I ugly cried and hyperventilated and tried to cover my mouth through sobs. I was, to put it lightly, beside myself. With anger, and grief, and sadness, and guilt.

This is the hardest thing I’ve had to handle since the day my ex-husband told me he wanted a divorce. For no reason other than some stupid gut feeling I can’t name or hold, I couldn’t make my heart work for this man. There were no grievous missteps or abusive words or arguments through our relationship – just the gradual building of something not being right. I’ve felt it for so long and tried to fight it back, yet in that moment when I sat across from him feeling paralyzed by my own heartache, I couldn’t help but wonder if I was making this biggest mistake of my life. I kept wondering if he was really right – that I had done all of this processing in my own head yet excluded him from it all. Maybe I set this up for failure from the get-go and caused this relationship to inevitably fail.

I’ve calmed. I’ve cried and talked to people and spent the evening with a few good friends. I bummed two cigarettes from my roommate and sat talking with him about how fucked I feel. This is the rawest I’ve ever felt while 100% sober. I’m cycling between wishing I could’ve just found a way to be happy and satisfied with the way things were, and realizing that I’ve got so much to give that I can’t stand to see myself settle into a relationship that isn’t feeding my heart and soul.

Plain and simple, I feel awful. I’m not even close to OK. I know that the person doing the dumping isn’t often thought of as the one needing much comfort or support, but damn if this isn’t the most unnerving and treacherous thing I’ve felt in a long time. The relief I feel is only there because I’ve finally done what I needed to do – I’m not excited or happy or content that yet another relationship has failed. I want to bundle myself up and cry and not leave the house for days.

I have a lot of work to do on myself. I have to face this big void of singleness and open myself wide to every aching vulnerability that comes with it. I have to keep learning so that hopefully, when I am ready for love, I never fall this far down into the hole and cause myself or someone else such heartache again.

I will be ok. He will be ok. Everything will be ok. 

5 thoughts on “A Betrayal of Heart & History aka Breaking Up Sucks

  1. Leah Able says:

    You can’t be with someone just because you don’t want to hurt their feelings. And he deserves someone who loves him fully. You did the right thing and it sounds like you did it fairly. Time will heal this. Experience the feelings, that is humanity, and use them to grow. Alcohol won’t help a thing. Hang in there.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Paul S says:

    I am so sorry to hear how you’ve been feeling, but you are also honouring your instinct and that is a great thing to feel, especially in sobriety.
    Blessings to you – this too shall pass (I hate that expression, but damn if it isn’t true most often)


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