Yesterday was June 12th. Two years ago, in 2013, that day held a very freeing decision for me. It will always be an important day in my life, albeit a sad one because I broke up with my boyfriend of three and a half years. At the time I felt extreme guilt and pain because of his blaming and anger. Now, I celebrate.
Before I explain the breakup it would probably help to give a run down of our relationship. I met him Labor Day weekend 2009. He came up with a family that rents a cottage the same place we do each summer. We talked a little during the weekend and exchanged contact info. We talked constantly for the next few months and planned to meet up again. I was already infatuated by him at that point and naively ignored the fact that he did some things I morally couldn’t support (drugs, partying, sex, God know’s what else). I was barely 14, and he almost 17. I thought I had to give him absolutely everything because I wanted to be loved so badly. We began dating January 10, 2010.
Looking back, I can’t see any part of our relationship that was truly healthy. I admit, I was controlling at times (mainly due to fear of abandonment) and not always the best girlfriend in general. He was abusive… I haven’t told the details to anyone but he was definitely emotional and in some other ways. He liked to take advantage of my fears of him leaving and the fact that I would do anything to keep him near. I did things I will always regret. He hurt me more times than I can count, in more than one way. I was sick and didn’t realize it, I had major anxiety and depression as well as self harm. He was emotionally void and was annoyed with my “attention-seeking” behaviors. He didn’t care at all how bad my thoughts were getting. I felt if the one person who really loved me didn’t care than no one would and kept quiet. On top of all these problems, he had some legal troubles, anger issues/violence, nasty friends he would go behind my back to see, and lied a ton.. On top of everything else, our faith was on two different levels. I was closer to God and tried my best to follow Him but he wasn’t really raised in church and believed without following. I thought it was my job to save him when it ended up dragging me away from God for those years. Overall, we were a terrible match from the start.
Things got serious so fast. Even with all of our troubles, he gave me a promise ring the next September exactly one year after we met. I believed wholeheartedly that I was going to marry him. I didn’t think I deserved better, even with my mom and others close to me warning me about what they saw in him. Almost everyone in my life would tell me how he didn’t deserve me and I didn’t deserve someone who treated me as he did. I was so blinded by the first love thing and felt so attached to him that I didn’t care. I continued to plan my life around him and slowly lost hope that I could have a healthy future with or without him.
There were countless times I felt like I might want to break up with him, but I never got that far. It always ended in me hating myself more for “ruining what we had” even if some was his fault. I don’t want to go into detail as to what happened, but around our 2 year mark was a day when I truly wanted to die because I wanted to end things so badly but couldn’t. It was a silent suicide attempt and one of the worst weeks I can remember. No matter how hard things were, I still spent another year and a half with him. Everyday I woke up wishing I could get away from him but fearing more the loneliness that was sure to come if I did. He moved in to our basement (for college tuition reasons) and things went even more downhill. We fought constantly. He hated all of the supervision and having five people in the house. I hated having him there constantly. He began to sneak out. I was stressed with school and college and him. That May I still had him come to prom with me, just so I wouldn’t be alone. We spent the night arguing, and it ended in a screaming match. Part of his reasoning behind prom was “sex is okay since its a special night” which I absolutely didn’t agree with, so that’s what caused most of our fighting (he always attempted to push for it despite the fact that I was and am saving myself for marriage).
After the whole prom scenario I was done. I stopped wearing my ring and I spent weeks deciding how I was supposed to get out. My friend helped me through the worst of it and told me that I needed to end things for myself. I finally told my mom then who agreed. It was the scariest thing but I said the words. The hardest part was that he lived with us still, so every swear word, moment of rage, and even crying that came out of him was well heard by me. The next few weeks brought manipulation and ploys to win me back. I was vulnerable and almost did it multiple times. Luckily my mom stuck by me and I reached a point where I didn’t feel so terrible for choosing to break it off in the first place.
I have no words to explain how much better these last two years have been without him in my life. I try to remember the relationship as a learning experience, even though it was a painful one. Instead of worrying about someone else’s needs first, I’ve begun to look out for myself. There’s no way I would be here today, in recovery, if it wasn’t for that break up. I don’t want to imagine the alternative that could have been. No matter how this sounds, I will enjoy every June 12th after this because it adds another year to my freedom from an abusive, self-destructive relationship. Breaking it off was one of the bravest moments of my life.
Disclaimer: I don’t want it to sound like he’s the worst person in the world. He isn’t. A ton of issues in our relationship were mutually created. Some things he did were 10o% wrong, though. My problems plus his problems really just didn’t work out.