“None of those things should have mattered, but I guess they did. I guess they were like water. Soft and harmless until enough time went by. Then all of a sudden you found yourself with the Grand Canyon on your hands.” – Carol Rifka Brunt
I saw this quote a few months ago, around the time AB and I broke up and I think it accurately describes what happened in our relationship. So as you know, Valentine’s Day was last Sunday. Most people I know were either being romantic and celebrating or upset or annoyed because they were single. I expected to be sad, but to my big surprise, I didn’t feel a thing. It helped that I stayed away from Facebook most of the day and didn’t have to watch lovey dovey couples all day. Another thing that helped was that I was busy on Saturday, I worked at Starbucks all day and met friends – one for brunch and the other for drinks. I spent Sunday at home, talking to a friend in India, cooking for the week, watching Friends, and trying to work some more on the job hunt stuff – things I usually do over the weekend.
AB actually texted me on Sunday morning and asked me if I was doing anything. I told him the truth – met a friend for drinks on Saturday night and had no plans for Sunday. He asked if I wanted to meet and I refused, which was a surprise for me. I think the reason I didn’t feel anything was because I can’t even remember when was the last time we celebrated Valentine’s day together. I think I had gotten so used to expecting things and getting disappointed and fighting about everything, that at some point, I stopped expecting. The last vague memory I have from trying to celebrate V Day with him is the year Ek main aur Ekk Tu was released. I just checked and the year was 2012 and I wanted to go watch the movie with him. For whatever reasons that I don’t remember now, the plan didn’t work out and we probably fought because I remember watching that movie alone at home because I refused to be sad and not watch the movie. I was a little annoyed at him texting me specifically to ask about Valentine’s because hello, where were you for the last four years!
Sometime later in the day, he asks me if I was really that miserable with him and if I’m happy now. He asked me the same question about ten days ago and I told him I’m unhappy and told him the reasons for it. This time, I asked him if he’s hoping to hear something. And then I explicitly said that I was unhappy. I told him that there have been many other things that I’ve been struggling with, besides the relationship, and he’s known that. If I made him feel that he was the sole reason for my unhappiness, I am sorry. I asked him what he’s expecting to hear from me when he asks me this question. I talk about the incompatibility between us. I try to stay calm and not get worked up when we talk about all this.
But I’m tired of being portrayed as the villain who dumped him and didn’t try to make the relationship work. When a relationship wasn’t working for more than three years, what did you expect me to do. I chose to leave rather than stay unhappy just because we were together for eight years. I tell him that it’s not my fault that he didn’t pay attention when I was saying that things are not working out for more than three years. He is where I was three years ago. At this point, it becomes a blame game. He thinks I’m blaming him for the relationship not working out. This is true to a certain extent, I am not over all the hurt and pain that I went through all these years. I just try not to think about it on most days. Then he tells me that I wasn’t perfect either. I accept that I wasn’t perfect, he wasn’t perfect, and that we were incompatible. Then he says that I chose to over look the good parts and focus on the messed up things in the relationship.Then he says that he will never be at peace with how things because he has a different belief system. And he hopes that I think it was a good decision when I look back at this decision in the future.
These conversations bring up so much frustration and hurtful memories for me, things that still bother me. I want to yell all the things that he did and did not do – how much I tried to spend time with him and build a life together, how I could never count on him for big things or small. I want to yell how he ruined my PhD defense and graduation day even though he knew how much it meant to me. I want to remind him of the ways he didn’t come through for me when I needed him. I want to remind him that he broke up with me on my birthday one year and I spent the evening crying and watching a movie, alone at home. I want to remind him all that I did when his family was visiting here in the summer two years ago, and all the things he didn’t do when mine was visiting last summer. But it’s no point, because all that’s in the past. There are reasons we broke up.
What he doesn’t understand is that he was still moderately happy in the relationship and most of his needs were getting met and that’s why he wanted to stay in the relationship. I was unhappy, seeking support from other people, and very dissatisfied. I didn’t get the support I needed from him in my worst or best times, and the relationship wasn’t meeting my basic needs. I don’t say these things to his face because I don’t want to hurt him or be mean or rude. I want to be compassionate towards his pain, but frankly, I’m tired of being labeled the inconsiderate person who doesn’t value love or long term relationships and chose to leave. If you couldn’t fucking make the effort when I was there, don’t expect me to stay just because we loved each other some years ago.
Sorry for the rant, but this has been in my system for three days, and I needed to get it out. I’m mostly doing fine, except when some things get triggered.