This is it. I’ve woken up with an uncomfortable feeling in the pit of my stomach, I’m nervous but also excited. It honestly feels like I’m going on a first date. With someone I already love.
I slept well last night, considering I knew today was going to be huge. I’ve waited for this day for two months. This day, when I get the face to face break up I deserve.
As I’m getting ready he’s texting me arranging where to meet. I choose the southbank, somewhere near Waterloo or the London Eye. I want to find a little bench by the river, out in the open where, if I need too, I can cry without people staring.
Of course my trains are fucked, so I end up being late. I wanted to get there early and pick a place for him to just meet me at. I didn’t want to meet and then have to walk together somewhere, with awkward conversation. But that’s exactly what happened.
I came up the escalator of the tube and walked towards the entrance of the station. And he calls my name. We both embrace each other, the longest, tightest embrace we’ve had. This is two months of not seeing the person we have loved for seven years. I thought I’d cry, but I didn’t. Neither did he.
I think it was more relief. For ages I’ve tried to convince myself that he’s dead, that I can’t contact him, that I have to grieve. And now he’s here, in front of me, burying his head into my neck.
It’s raining outside but we walk to the southbank anyway, as I don’t really want to sit in a crowded bar. He tells me I look well, I return the compliment. He asks about my holiday to LA, said he had seen some pictures, and it made him happy to see me with my friends having a great time. I said I didn’t really want to ask him about his holiday, and he understood.
We ended up walking until we found some shelter under a bridge, and we stood by the Thames and started our convo there. He started by apologising for how he acted throughout this whole thing, he said that he’s incredibly ashamed about how he dealt with it all and the amount of pain he has put me through. He started crying. Throughout a lot of this I stay silent, giving him time to speak.
I can’t remember exactly the order in which things were discussed, I wish I had recorded it all. But after two and half hours of both of us crying my brain is a little fried. So I’ll just list as best I can what we spoke about.
I told him how cruel the whole thing had been. And asked him why he went about doing it that way. Why did he break up with me over the phone? Why did he do it in the last week of my job? He just said he needed to say those things, and he realised he was being cowardly, but he had to say it before anything went further.
I brought up the affair and said he’d already gone too far.
Did he not stop to think about me while he was shagging S behind my back? Did he not think of me during his whole thought process about going over to S’s and jumping him the moment he opened the door? He was just silent. I’m not sure he even answered.
He said that it wasn’t even the physical attraction of S that made it happen, it was the fact he could be so open with him, and that he surprised himself with what he was saying in front of him. That feeling of affection he got from S while opening up was something new and amazing.
I pointed out to him and asked him if he knew what he’d made S? He didn’t know.
I told him that he’d picked the one person that wasn’t connected to his life at all, wasn’t connected to his friends, family, London, England even. He’d chosen to open up to a remote stranger… essentially choosing S as a therapist.
I’ve wanted him to go to a therapist for years, I can see the pain he is in, but I can’t help with that unless he opens up. I’m also not trained to help with his issues.
But he is mixing up his feelings of relief for finally opening up to someone, with an attraction to S for listening. As if S is his saviour.
In fact, had G said all this to a therapist, that trained therapist would have advised ways of helping G turn to his family and sort out his issues. But S isn’t a trained therapist and also has ulterior motives in the fact he is attracted to G. So S is going to sit and say tell me more, let me help you, I can get you through this… Instead of being just a friend and saying turn around and speak to your family. Turn around and speak to your partner.
But you know what, you can’t fuck your therapist! It will end badly.
You hear so many stories of people falling for their therapist because of the release they feel and because they “connect” to them, because they “understand me”. But really, professional therapists will know how to deter this, will know how and when to put a stop to this. S isn’t a professional therapist, he’s a young guy from America going through a similar thing while being on his own in Leeds, plus that with physical attraction to G. He’s going to welcome G with open arms and open legs!!
G sidestepped my comment about S being his therapist by saying he was cold and wanted to go indoors. I made him fully aware that I was aware he had side stepped it, and that I’m not letting him get away with it.
We walked and managed to find a bar with basement seating that was completely empty. Good for a big private crying session.
I bring up the therapist comment again, and ask him what he’s told S that he hasn’t told anyone else before. How did he surprise himself? He went on saying that he has become more incisive when it comes to making decisions and that he realised he was a people pleaser and he has decided to be selfish etc… I stop him.
A) you can be selfish and more incisive when it comes to making work decisions, or with your family and friends… But when you are doing being selfish in a way that hurts the person you have loved for seven years you need to stop and think. You really cannot be THAT selfish, if it causes pain to other people.
B) that’s not what I mean… I mean tell me what issues you opened up about that you found surprising, issues that you didn’t even know you needed to address.
At this point he starts to break down… I can see it in his eyes how much pain he is in. How tough it is to say what he’s about to say. He tells me he realises just how much he hates his mum, how much he hates the fact he was forced to grow up, how much he hates his family for not helping him out with caring for her, how much he hates his dad for leaving.
I KNEW ALL THIS ALREADY!!!!
I have lived with this man in my life for 7 years and could tell deep deep down just how much he resented his family. Especially his mum. I know because I resented them. I watched for years how much pain the man I love has been in, but how much he masks that over and makes it look like he’s strong. He did it so much even I started to believe in his strength. But it would slip, and I’d see the real pain. And for that I resented his mum, and her illness. But mostly I resent his family, for not helping one bit. Letting him deal with everything. Stealing away his life, and his relationships.
He is very very damaged. And this is where a therapist would come in handy now. A professional one. Not S. Not a 26 year old American who is going through a divorce of his own.
G needs to be alone, and needs to deal with these issues on his own. He needs to deal with our break up alone. Then he needs to take the time to work on himself, love himself, and face his family with these issues.
After this revelation and after hugging him as he cried, I told him that it’s alright to feel these things. It’s ok to hate, but maybe it’s not hate, it’s resentment. He can resent his mum, but more so her illness as that isn’t her fault. He can resent his family for not helping. He is allowed to feel those things and its 100% warranted. He has been forced to grow up fast, he’s lost out on a childhood. These are massive deep routed issues. He is trapped. Trapped with no way out.
He calmed down and agreed.
I said him I wish he’d let down his guard before but he kept him and his mum so protected, understandably, that I couldn’t ever break that wall down. He said all he ever wanted was for someone to break the wall down, but again… He needs to convey that. I thought he wanted to keep it private. I’m not a mind reader.
It’s been him and his mum from as young as he can remember, they have a bond like no other, but there are issues there that are affecting him in other areas of his life, in other relationships in his life. He needs to address those issues for himself.
We discussed what him and S are. I said they are obviously official now and he said no, they aren’t, they aren’t saying what it is, just seeing how it’s going. They aren’t putting any pressure on it. I stop him.
I tell him that they are together, I tell him he went away for two weeks over Valentine’s Day, he has S coming over (tomorrow I find out, so I timed this perfectly) to stay in the house that I decorated, the side of the bed that I slept in. And I also say that I know they’ve discussed getting work in each others countries. I think he’s shocked by this because he didn’t know I knew that.
He still stands by that they are not “together”.
I tell him that he should go to NY and get work there, but I said it’s ironic because A) he hates New York, didn’t like it at all when he went. And B) he couldn’t leave him mum.
So I say we are stuck with the option of S coming here. He said he can’t anyway because S has a job in America after their job together in Canada.
So when are they going to see each other?
I tell him how cruel it was to come to terms with him breaking up with me, all the while setting up a safety net of S, and then breaking up with me. I asked him why he couldn’t break up with me and deal with that first, alone, before jumping into another relationship? He said because he’s weak. He’s not strong enough.
I’m not sure how much to believe. But to be honest this all sounds like he is using S. Using him as a crutch to get through it all, using him as a distraction.
To be really honest, I don’t even think G thinks it will last. Deep down. I think he knows it can’t work between them, but he’s going through with it. He’s feeling good with it, but I don’t think he sees a future, how can he?! He won’t admit to being together, and them being official, and he says he is too weak to be alone. Is that reason enough to jump into a relationship.
I say what will he do if him and S don’t work out and then he has to process two lots of break ups? He just shrugged and said I know.
We sit in silence for abit. Drinking our much needed wine, and crying. With a bloody play list that makes us feel we are in Dawson’s Creek. The saddest break up songs you’ve heard, it was unreal.
I hand him my letter and explain this is everything I feel for him. We both cry.
I then ask him to look me in the eye and tell me he doesn’t want to be with me anymore. I need to hear and see it.
It takes him awhile. But he says I love you, but I’ve lost the feeling of being in love with you.
I start to think of S being here tomorrow and getting my G. The man I love. My life.
I need to stop that. Stop thinking like that.
This isn’t my G. The G that’s sat here is very damaged, and I pity him. He won’t get the help he needs, which will be detrimental to his future relationships. I need to take some sick comfort in that.
We leave. We walk to the bridge and go our separate ways.
I stand there and watch him walk away. He looks back and gives me a little goodbye wave.
Then I walk away.
We have cried, laughed, hugged , held each others hands for the last two and half hours. It was the biggest emotional rollercoaster I’ve been on. I’ve come away with a sense of closure. I think the thing I’ve lost is hope… Which is the best thing to lose.
But I walk away massively worried about him, and the issues he is carrying. I pity him, and have a need for him to seek help. I’m taken over by this want for him to be alright. I’m feeling his pain, it’s heartbreaking. But I’m not his one now. S has to deal with that.
I phone my mum and chat through everything with her and she really hits home that it’s nothing to do with me and that he’s incredibly damaged and needs help. She’s saying this to make me feel better, but in fact it’s making me seriously worried about him. An hour after I leave him he texts me to say the letter I gave him at the end of our meeting was the most beautiful thing he has ever received, and it’s incredible that after everything he’s done I can still say those things. He tells me he wants me in his life, but knows need space and time. He tells me I’m so strong but make sure I don’t isolate myself… I’m not sure what he means by that. And then he tells me he loves me.
In this moment I have to call him. He picks up, he’s just getting home. I ask him if he is alright and he asks me to wait a second, I can hear him making his way upstairs, our/his housemates must be in. He gets into his bedroom and starts to cry down the phone. Bless him. What pain must he be going through.
I phone him because I want to say if he needs to contact me, and vice versa, that we should call each other. I’m now done with text messages and the possibility of things being misconstrued. If he has something to say he can call and I want to hear the tone of his voice. I don’t want him or me to read into any texts, projecting out own thoughts into what is written down. He agrees.
I then tell him how worried I am, and that I really want him to address his issues with his family, that he NEEDS too. He brushes it off and says he will be fine, and not to worry… There we go. He’s doing it again. We get so far, then he closes up and brushes it off. Ignores it.
I hammer it home and tell him that’s what he is doing, and that after 7 years I know him best, I think I know him better than he knows himself.
We say our phone goodbyes again, and that’s it. I start work, confide in people, chat it all through and distract myself. And then, again, later in the evening I receive another message from him. Thanking me again for seeing him and giving him my time, that it was so special to spend some time with me and it meant the world to him. That I’m a massive part of him and he will always love and care for me.
He’s not listened to what I’ve said, I don’t want texts anymore.
I reply saying how I feel is all in that letter. That I think he’s made a massive mistake and that I think he may feel that deep down. But that I’m always here for him.
He replies thank you.
And that’s that.