We said goodbye about a week ago.
I made a decision that in 2011, I would live more authentically. I would ask for what I wanted in clear, concise, and in unambiguous language. While I wasn’t concerned about the nebulous nature of the logistical characteristics of our relationship (i.e. where we lived and whether we lived together or apart), I did consider us to be in a “forever, romantic” relationship where the specifics of what that might look like would make themselves known over time. I talked about my needs that weren’t being met and I asked for what I wanted out of the relationship. What I got was that he just wanted out.
And while I didn’t frame anything as an ultimatum, I knew there was a risk and I was willing to assume that risk. So the long goodbye is here. And yes, I am sad. But I am also proud of me, of us, really, we had an obviously painful discussion and we did it with love, dignity, integrity and grace.
Beforehand, I evaluated my needs and requests very carefully, trying to understand the line between healthy and unhealthy behaviors. I wanted to be sure of the differences between healthy support, affirmation and intimacies and those wants borne of desperation and neediness. After careful soul-searching, I came to the conclusion that my needs were and are valid, real, reasonable and healthy. And I wasn’t willing to go on without us making an attempt to get those needs addressed.
I was not expecting him to pull the rip cord, so while the breakup outcome was possible, I thought I would be the one who might be making that final decision sometime in the future, if it came to that. I was surprised by his response and do feel a bit rejected. However, I always knew that alone was a possibility and I’d already decided that if that’s the way it turned out, then so be it. Same resolution;different path.
And now I stand at a very critical juncture - at the same point in the de-partnering process when, in the past, I have made bad mistakes worse, although I do not consider this relationship a mistake. Historically, I could always recognize when it would be in my best interest to be sans partner, but had trouble sticking to it. If there was even a hint of rejection, I would become like a horse when the barn is on fire. Instead of trying to escape, I would run back into the burning building - and fight, claw, scratch, manipulate or wait myself back into the same situation I’d wanted to leave. I’ve done it twice before, with disastrous consequences. I remain hopeful that recognizing these tendencies will let me guard against attempting such a futile and unproductive thing.
There is a saying that people come into your life for a reason or a season or a lifetime and while I wish that this could have turned into a lifetime, it was not to be for us. I do not regard this relationship as a failure, however. I firmly believe that we were supposed to spend this time together - for him and for me. I have unloaded so many things over the past five years, some because of him and some in spite of him and I have a much clearer vision of myself and who I am and what I am capable of. So even without a forever ending, I cannot ever see myself regretting this relationship; too much good came out of it. I needed him to move further along my path and while I do feel sadness for the loss of “what might have been”, I feel gratitude for having had the opportunity to travel this section with him.