Today, in a surprising but not unexpected move, I told my partner of four and a half years about my intention to end our relationship.
This has been my third attempt in about nine months to bring up the topic. Every time before though, he talked me out of it with promises that things would be different. I just knew one thing for sure this time though. I never wanted to feel this way ever again.
To my surprise, he mutually agreed that this was perhaps the best thing for the both of us, and told me soon after that he would also be leaving the company that we both work for. That did not come as a surprise to me. With COVID he has been forced to work for his dad’s company due to budget cuts, meaning he has to travel twice a week between work and home.
I was told by a friend to make a list of my reasons, that it might give me better clarity if those reasons were on paper, instead of floating around in my head. And oh how I hate making lists! But here I am, but with brand new blogging account, trying to figure out where it all went wrong, And perhaps to convince myself that this is indeed the best thing for both of us, as hard as it it. Breakups are never easy.
So here goes:
- I lost myself in the relationship
This may seem like a cliche but this is true. Before we met, I did not smoke weed and I was quite adamant that I would never date a stoner (bad family history). But he did, and I looked it over. At first. About a year in, I also wanted to get closer to him, and I ended up doing something which I never thought I would. I rolled and smoked my very first spliffie. In the three years that has since passed, my opinion about weed in general has changed, and I am now less judgmental about stoners in general. And then he started to grow Magic Mushrooms in our bathroom. Three bad trips later, I figured that drugs were going to be a part of our lives as pancakes to breakfast. The truth was, on they days and the weekends he was not here, I did not feel the need to smoke at all. But I did it for him, when he was here. This is just one example of how I convinced myself to be okay with things that I didn’t really want or need in my life. I am thankful for the lesson nonetheless. It made me less judgmental in general.
- We could never agree on finances
I once bought a rub of grapes (using my own money), and got an earful about it when when we got home. I bought a plant one day when we were out of town, and he dropped me off at our weekend getaway, driving all the way back home. His parents had to come and get me and take me home. Yes, over a plant. I bought his mom a pendant for her birthday, and upon showing it to him, he told me to return it as his family does not ‘do gifts’. More on that later. He has set times in the day when he drinks coffee, and if I offer to make him a cup at any time besides his stipulated times, he would lecture me on how I am wasteful. I really can go on and on about this, but the point is that as a grown adult, earning my own finances, contributing my fair share to the household, I should be able to spend my money any way I please. But I couldn’t. Meantime he is getting parcels from Aliexpress every second week for his ‘projects’.
- We could not get along with each other’s friends
Most of his friends are people from his past who were all addicted to either crystal meth, or cocaine at some point. Needless to say, whenever we spent weekends with them, I always ended up drunk out of my skull, stoned and in no control of myself of my life whatsoever. This was usually when we visited them in the city. And this was what a whole weekend would be like! Meanwhile, my brother and his wife live two blocks away with their new born son, oblivious to the fact that I am in town, and I’m too embarrassed to go around. Once I finally decided I had enough, I was made out to be the wrong one, for finding faults in such ‘wonderful, sweet, and the most amazing people you will ever find’. But he would blatantly tell me in my face that my friends are assholes and he wants nothing to do with them.
- His family is dysfunctional
Mine too. In all honesty. But I somehow ended up in the middle of feuds between him and his mom. At 48 you would think he might have figured out how to handle his mom. Family dinners were always stiff. Whenever she wanted to tell him something, she would use me as a messenger. I would then receive the blunt of his disapproval. That’s not fair, is it? Regardless, the fact that he can’t communicate with his mom just meant that he did not know how to communicate with me. They really did serve as bad examples.
- We have different values
I want to get married. He doesn’t. And somehow in the four years he convinced me that it was a pointless thing to want. I want to have children, he doesn’t. He somehow convinced me that my life would be better without the burden. I want to celebrate birthdays and Christmases, he doesn’t. During our last Christmas he gave me a set of garden lights wrapped in newspaper. That was our Christmas. I grew up celebrating life, and special occasions. I now view them as just a waste of money and I rarely, if ever, celebrate anything anymore.
- His hygiene really put me off
I have to put this one in here, because it’s really a big deal to me. I get that people don’t always have money to wear new clothes, but if you wear the same pair of underwear for one week straight, just because you want to save on buying washing powder and replace your clothes, that’s a big no no. Especially if we are intimate. Fundamentally we just differ on so many things. Even on something so small. But it matters.
- The big age gap.
I always thought that age is just a number. But when you are in a long term relationship with somebody who is 18 years your senior, you are bound to run into problems. My friends are getting engaged and pregnant, planning the rest of their lives. Meanwhile my partner and I are planning our retirement in ten years. I think that any difference bigger than a decade will definitely cause some problems down the line. While my friends go dancing and having fun, I’m at home in bed nursing his bad back and skipping out on sex altogether.
A relationship should not only be based on sex. But at some point that’s the only thing that we had in common. If you are a twenty something old male, you are bound to have a bunch of raging, uncontrollable hormones. But when you have a partner who only wants sex once a week, and only in the same position over and over again, you are going to be pulling your hair out. Or yanking your chain. Literally. Because when you two are sexually incomparable, you are going to have to apply a lot of self love. You shouldn’t ever have to beg for sex. Your partner might not always be in the mood, but should be capable and able to keep up with you on most days. Not doing research to figure out if you are a nymphomaniac just because they think 2-3 times a week is signs of an addiction. You loose a lot of yourself respect when you constantly have to beg for sex.
- No communication
I told my partner that I want to grow out my hair. He told me he doesn’t like men with long hair. I told him about a birthday gift idea for my mom, and he told me off for spending money on her (long story here for another post). His lack of support later meant that I did not want to share anything intimate with him, because he was always too critical and judgmental of my efforts. At some point you just keep things to yourself, and talk about trivial things such as the weather. He loves politics and is very active. I am not. Or he would always talk about some fight he had with his mom. If you can’t talk to your partner about your dreams and ambitions, and vice verse, this is a huge red flag!
So I’m about halfway through my list of reasons as to why I decided to end my long term relationship. The truth is, during all this there definitely was some good times. Even great ones! But fundamentally we are just too different on the things which matter the most. Family, communication, aspirations and even the small things like deciding to celebrate a birthday or Christmas holiday. And that’s what really was the final straw that broke the camel’s back. We are both two great people. We’re just not necessarily great for each other.
And while I am sitting by myself, contemplating as to whether I did the right thing or not, I am slowly learning to love myself again. To have a coffee for just the hell of it. To buy my mom a gift on her birthday because she worked her butt of to put three kids through school single handed. To go out with friends instead of sitting home completely stoned over a weekend, in complete silence because we can’t talk about anything but at least we are not together.
A relationship ending is never just one person’s fault. Both people bring stuff to the table. I am old enough, mature enough and man enough to accept my part in all of this.
And I owe it to myself to sort out my own mess, in my own time. And I owe it to him to not expose him to the beautiful mess of self discovery.