Ok, so... I was writing a post on someone else's thread, trying to impart the message that it can sometimes be vital to leave someone you love. I realized that I'd written something way too personal and that it should go here. I posted the advice and a link in case she wants the context I'm coming from, but I just didn't feel right using her thread for what had become a platform for exorcising my own demons
The longest relationship I've ever been in lasted three years and ended four and a half years ago. The last year of that relationship, especially the last 6 months was just... well, it left scars. I knew I needed to leave but I couldn't bring myself to do it. I kept convincing myself that it made sense to stay, that it would get better. Deep down I knew that what we had had become broken, I knew that I wanted and needed to move on. I knew that as much as it was a matter of love, my guilt and his dependency were what was holding me in place. And it was like none of that knowledge mattered.
We alienated some of our close friends, who couldn't stand the tension between us. We went on an awesome overseas trip halfway through that year and for a long time after I couldn't think of the trip without crying because it was such a beautiful escape in what was otherwise all too often a sea of pain. I stopped writing in my personal journal because I was too disgusted with myself. I tried to walk away a few times but each time I lost my resolve.
I had always understood intellectually what it meant to "live a lie" but actually doing it was... not good. For a while I sort of watched my life, detached, thinking "Wow, it's really possible to live like this. I could go on like this indefinitely, just losing more and more of myself." The thought was sickening but it wasn't enough to give me the strength to end it and that just made it even worse. Plenty of the time we were actually happy together, is the funny thing, we laughed and did stuff together and had sex even as our emotional lives deteriorated. But eventually even those good things got tainted and messed up and sad more often than not.
On the outside things were fine, I was prospering at work, I kept busy. Those closest to us knew different, of course. We screamed at each other and cried some nights, and once in the street in the middle of the day, and it still didn't end. It was never going to just magically end on its own or magically get better. And he wasn't going to end it himself, he wasn't going to let me go. He threatened suicide a couple of times after things had gotten really bad and to this day I don't believe he was trying to manipulate me, he had lost control of things just like I had and was floundering, failing. It would have to be up to me and I blew it.
I loved him so much, I really did. I wanted so much for things to just... be ok. Somewhere deep down I didn't believe that I could just leave any time I wanted. Or maybe I really just didn't have the strength, I don't know.
And then, finally, I began lining up a place to stay. I still didn't know if I would go through with it, up until the very moment I left. I left him huddled in a corner, totally broken. I left the man I loved, calling on the people who loved him to come save him but not knowing if it would be enough. Not knowing if he would even make it, but I somehow managed to reach the place in myself where my soul mattered more than staying with him in the hell we had managed to make in the midst of what had once been the best thing in either of our lives.
The really strange thing is that the guy in the story above is the same guy I've been dating for the last 6 months. Yeah, I know, I'm surprised too believe me. But the thing is, we had then and still have a deep base of compatibility, respect, trust, and caring. I never stopped loving him, he never stopped loving me. The problem wasn't in our love it was in the situation and our wills. I loved someone else and that was unacceptable and my desire to leave, combined with my paralyzing guilt and sense of responsibility, and his inability to just release me, it all just ruined what we had until it couldn't possibly be ok and we were both acting in extremely dysfunctional ways. Since then we've had a long time to heal ourselves, understand what happened, make amends to one another and become stronger and more independent people.
Me, 30ish bi female, been doing solo poly for roughly 5 years. Gia, Clay, and Pike, my partners. Davis, ex/friend/"it's complicated." Eric, Gia's husband. Bee, Gia and Eric's toddler.