Adventures in friendship
An old old ex boyfriend, W, came back into my life a couple of months ago. We had dated, only in the way teenagers in high school can awkwardly over 10 years ago and it ended in a short, silly way and faded into history. It was for the best as I have since been with the same man, now my husband, for nearly 12 years I love him with all of my heart. Since reconnecting, W and I have gotten close. Outside of my husband, W is my best friend and he introduced me to polyamory and as such, my husband and I have a girlfriend now. We are all quite happy, but W is in what I believe to be a toxic relationship. He and I had been toying with the idea of becoming partners, but his relationship issues keep getting in the way and I have no intention of getting mixed up in that until it's fixed. So, for now, we're just really good friends, but I still try and understand his relationship and offer support where I can. This was today's conversation:
Me: If you both are so unhappy in your relationship, why don't you end it?
W: It's up to her. I do not have the right to end it.
Me: Why? Is it this way in every relationship you've had?
Me:...but what about you and I? You ended things between us. You said you had enough and I didn't get a say. You just left.
W: Yes, and I've regretted that for the past decade. You're the reason why I can't back out of relationships.
Me: You do have a choice.
W: Yeah, I'll just move away. The problem will go away.
Me: For you.
He just nods and leaves and I am alone with my thoughts. All I could think at this point:
And I still don't get a say.
It was a petty thought, I know. It just hurt to hear that it would be so easy for him to drop me again, I guess, but in my heart I just want him to be happy. He's had it rough and his sense of self worth is so poor that he won't acknowledge what he really wants and needs. He tells me all the time his unhappiness and his partner's are all his fault...but a relationship needs all parties involved to work cooperatively to keep it alive and healthy. I just can't make him see that.