Before I met The Ex, I was dating this guy…I’ll call him Texas. We met and worked together at good ole Abercrombie while we were both in school.
He, like most of the men I’ve dated, was a workaholic, even at our lousy retail job. But, he took me to nice dinners with wine and seafood, and despite not having much in common, we managed to laugh a lot during our relationship.
We broke up the first time because he said he wanted to work more. So, we went off to date other people, and somehow found ourselves back at square one, hanging out again.
However, he graduated school and found a job in another state. At that point, I didn’t want to have a long distance relationship, but I also didn’t want him to find anyone else and forget about me. My story is typical—except that our relationship wasn’t all daisys and dildos, it was abusive.
His words manipulated me to thinking I was ugly and a whore—sex was rare in our relationship, and when it happened, only missionary was allowed, I was to put on pajamas afterward, and he would always tell me he regretted it, since we weren’t married.
This would end in a fight, as it should, and I would leave in the middle of the night, if I could (once I started visiting him in another state, this was a problem). Like most people, I hate fighting. And I’m not very good at it. I’m soft-spoken and I often just curl up and cry.
Since I don’t yell often, my fights with Texas would include me repeating, “I’m really pissed off,” like a recently botoxed housewife. But it never worked. Texas would say, “Oh really? Get PISSED Lucky!!!! Get pissed!” as if he was waiting for me to turn red and scream. That’s just not my style. So, because he didn’t respect me, and because I didn’t act like a fucking grizzly bear during arguments, he rarely took my hurt feelings seriously.
As months passed in our long-distance semi-relationship, my bullshit meter was slowly filling up. It may have taken me a long time to realize how messed up he was making me, but it was happening. We had a blow up one night over the fact that I’d spent my earned money on flights to see him several times, yet he hadn’t returned the favor.
He called me one night to prove me wrong, and say he was finally coming in town to visit me. But it wasn’t the full truth—his company was paying for him to make an appearance at a local job fair. Regardless, he wanted to stay at my place.
At this point, I’d been on a few dates with The Ex and I wasn’t sure if it was a good idea, however I told him he could stay with me.
On the day he was coming in town, I had to bartend for happy hour, so he said he would meet me at the bar at 7 and have some drinks until I got off work at 9.
I showed up for work at 3, and the longer I worked, the more I didn’t feel right about him visiting me or staying with me. I secretly hoped it would just go away. The after work rush came, I got busy, and before I knew it, it was 8—an hour after he was supposed to be there.
I checked my phone. Nothing.
And then it hit me. Like a light switch, my blood boiled, and I hated Texas. This one incident was a perfect representation of our entire fucked up relationship—everything on his time, his will, and not a care in the world about me.
For the last hour of my shift, I was anxious. I kept eyeing the door, afraid he was going to show up. At five till 9, I counted my drawer as fast as I could, grabbed my coat and purse, and checked my phone again.
“I’m on my way, don’t leave,” he texted.
I ran out of the bar, hopped in my car, and raced to my apartment, laughing like an evil witch. He didn’t know where I lived, so I knew I’d be safe once I got there. And when I did, I sat in my bed, and laughed.
I could picture it: him standing in the bar with his suitcases, nowhere to stay, no one to talk to. Did I mention it was his birthday?
It was in those few seconds I realized there was nothing I could ever say to him to make him realize the pain he’d caused me. For the first time in my dating life, I’d told someone to fuck off, and I did it with a smile on my face.
Tuesday night, I reached that same point with The Ex. Since our nice night at the jazz concert, I was getting the “BBD” treatment—when a guy looks for the bigger, better deal. This was a common problem in my relationship with The Ex. He would never make plans with me, until he had consulted his work, his parents, his friends, his grandparents, etc…and then if there was nothing else to do, he would fit me in.
At first, it seemed like he’d changed. But he hasn’t, and I don’t deserve to be treated like that. At first, I felt foolish for letting him back in, but then I never would’ve reached the feeling I have now—RAGE. I have no desire to argue with him, or fix the problem. HE is the problem. Now all I want to do is go kickboxing.
If you’ve made it this far, I want to leave you with a true token. I did speak to Texas on the phone, a year or so after it all went down, and he told me he was dating a girl who he thought he wanted to marry. Until they took a trip together, and he realized she didn’t make him laugh. He said he immediately missed me, and broke up with her after the trip.
He asked me if I would consider getting back with him. I told him no, wished him luck in finding someone like me, and hung up.
He is still single.