This week I let go of a relationship that didn’t serve me.
It was an old one that had returned. We had had a wonderful relationship in 2014. He was wonderful with words. This is what he said this time:
“I couldn’t forget you. We have a connection. You are my last relationship. I will be committed to our relationship. I don’t want anyone else………You are perfect just as you are. I love you. This is all I want when I retire.”
Stuff like that. As I am a true romantic, and there was a definite connection and physical attraction, I thought I had died and gone to heaven. He was back. I could have my prince and my happy ending. Hallelujah. My heart soared with joy.
Even though I remembered my heartache the last time, I was willing to forgive and start again. I jumped in all the way. I hadn’t truly let go after the first time. I gave it my all. I was willing to play it out: either it wouldn’t work out or I would have my happy ending. Why not go for it?
And I did. But the last couple of weeks something had changed. Why was I having to be on the defensive? Why was he complaining about everything? Why was he repeating things from the last time about what was wrong with me? I remembered these signs. I felt sick inside, and desperate to hold onto what I thought was a perfect relationship in my mind.
My son was visiting me and saw my anguish.
“Mom, look who you are. Beautiful, smart, making a difference for people, courageous, always striving, positive, loving,……….is this what you really want? Do you really want to be so desperate? Do you want to hold onto something that doesn’t serve you and doesn’t make you feel like your best self? The guy’s a jerk. He doesn’t hold a candle to you. He’s not even nice and doesn’t want what you want.”
At first I couldn’t speak. I didn’t want to admit it was over. But then I started talking. Over the course of a few hours, I got to say everything I was afraid of:
- that he was my last chance
- that there was no one else out there available that I would be attracted to
- that I wanted my happy ending
- that I was afraid to let go
- that he had promised we would be together forever
- I dreaded going back on “plenty of fish”
- I hated dating
- I was afraid there would never be someone I felt so close to or so attracted to
And once I was through sharing, the physical sensations eased up. I didn’t need this person. I could let go of the attachment.
I couldn’t sleep that night. I knew my freedom was at stake.
The next day I called him.
“I want to ask you a simple question. I am looking to create a great life with someone. Is that what you want?”
“I don’t know.”
“Well, that’s my answer. Thank you.”
” I’m thinking I just want to be alone. I think I can do it. I didn’t think I could before.”
“OK, well, thank you for telling me the truth. I guess we don’t want the same things. One thing. I just want to know what happened to I’m your last stop. We are together forever. True love? You couldn’t live without me?”
“I changed.,” he said with the cold voice that I remembered from 5 years ago. I shivered.
“OK. Well, thanks for the last year. It helped me get through COVID. I wish you well.”
“Hey, can I call you back in 10 minutes? I have to run into the credit union.”
“No. Nothing will be different in 10 minutes. Good bye.”
And that was that.
I am sad about the lost fantasy. I am sad that I thought it was real this time. I am sad that he didn’t communicate before just making me wrong and justifying himself. I am sad that once again, he wasn’t who he pretended to be: A wonderful man who loved me unconditionally and was committed for life.
Thinking that’s who he was kept me attached.
I’m not losing my dream. I’m just losing a fantasy that wasn’t real. I can still be committed to creating a secure, loving, partnership for life. I can just let go that it’s with him.
Now that I’ve let go, I can remember the last time. There was no warning. He just got mean. One day. He was cold and told me everything that was wrong with me. I couldn’t accept that this was the real him. Surely he was just in a bad mood. I begged him to change his mind. I tried to lure him back. I was ashamed at my behavior, but seemingly couldn’t help myself. So strong was the attachment to his original words and promises. I couldn’t let go. It felt physical that I needed to get him back so that I could be ok. And even though he was gone, I still held on to the fantasy that one day he would come back.
Well, he did. But this time I was smarter. I saw the signs early. The fantasy was over. This was the real him. And this side of him is not very nice. We don’t want the same things. It’s just that simple.
I am glad I got out early. And can finally let go.
I can move on. I don’t need someone to be ok. I don’t need anything, anyone, or to accomplish something to be ok. It feels strange, but wonderful.
I am sad when I’m sad, but mostly at peace. I can respect myself again. And honor myself.
I thank my children for believing in me and holding me to a higher standard.
Thanks for listening.