Stupid Boy

"So what made you think you cold take a life
And just push it, push it around?
I guess to build yourself up so high
You had to take her and break her down."

Love, Pain & The Whole Stupid Thing by Keith Urban {here}

How can people be so completely self-absorbed and arrogant?  I don't get it.  Did their mothers not teach them manners?  Of course, I can answer that question in this particular situation: his mother did not teach him manners.  Who is he, you ask?  Those of you who know me probably can already guess, but for the sake of not calling him out directly, we will just call him The Ex.  I need to give you a brief background to explain my opening question about people being self-absorbed.

WARNING: If your time is valuable and/or you don't have the patience for a long-winded post, turn back now.

So it all started when I met The Ex in 2007 when I was on Fall Break in Scotland.  He was friends with the people I was traveling with, and we really hit it off.  The next day was my 21st birthday and he offered to take me and my friend (KG) out to celebrate.  It ended up being a great night and KG played match-maker and set us up.  But, as whirlwind "romances" go, it seemed that it would be short-lived.  I left Scotland the next day to continue traveling.  We kept in touch when I got back to Italy, and we got to the point where we talked everyday.  He even came to visit me 2 months later and stayed with me for a week.  That's when we made our relationship official.  We didn't have an easy road ahead of us.  Distance was a pretty big issue.  I'm a SC girl, but he lived in NY and went to college in VA. Ok, so I'll just drive to see him on weekends, no biggie.  He's Jewish, I'm Christian.  It didn't bother me at all, but it was a huge issue for his family.  Needless to say, they were my biggest fans.
[Fast forward.]  We dated all through my senior year of college and beyond.  I was heels over head in love, and I was told the feelings were mutual.  We had our fights, like every couple battling the Distance Monster, but we also had some great times.  Looking back on everything, I see it differently.  I realized something last night.  I know that I loved him, but I think I also felt like the relationship had to work.  I needed him to be The One.  I made excuses for his selfish behavior, his thoughtlessness, his absence, his family, and everything.  I rarely put myself first.  But I needed it to work, so I thought that's what I was supposed to do.  I guess I was tired of searching for The One, so clearly The Ex should fill that role.  I don't know, I guess I just didn't want to have to go through another painful break-up, and I guess I had Wedding Fever...I can't really explain it.  All I know is that I wasn't treated like I deserve to be and I excused it.  When we were together, things were generally great.  I genuinely enjoyed the trips to see him at college, despite the 7-hour drive one way.  My BFFAE said something to me once that stuck with me.  (I refused to believe it at the time, but looking back on it, she has a very good point.) You shouldn't have to make sacrifices for someone else if they aren't willing to make those same sacrifices for you.  Here's where that comes into play.  The Ex, as I told you, was Jewish, lived in NY, and was planning to work in the high-profile banking industry after graduation.  He made it clear to me that I would have to be the one to move if/when we took the relationship to the next level.  It made sense to me, because the banking industry isn't exactly booming down here in the South.  Plus, I like NY.  Maybe I could find a cool job and use my Bachelor of Arts Degree in Art History.  (Let's just ignore the fact that my entire family lives well below the Mason Dixon line and I would be moving entirely too far away from them.)  Here's the big kicker...I was told that IF I wanted a future with him, I'd have to convert to Judaism, and even then, I wouldn't be a "real" Jew, so his family would never really accept me.  Stupid me said I would cope.  I convinced myself that that was okay. I actually considered converting. (I had decided that I could convert, but still stay true to my Christian beliefs.  Not the best idea probably.)  What was I thinking?!  Why would I want to be part of a family that didn't like me?  Regardless of all of the negative factors, I was determined that The Ex was The One.  He came to visit me one weekend and, out of the blue, suggested we go look at engagement rings.  I was THRILLED!  He let me know that it wouldn't happen right away (which I knew) but he wanted to know what I liked.  
[Fast forward.]  The Ex graduated from college the year after I did, so I flew to VA for the weekend to see him graduate and finally meet his family in person.  (I'd met his Grandma and her boyfriend and I'd spoken to his Mom on the phone.)  His parents were civil-ish.  That's the best I can describe it.  I'd assumed that they would take us out to dinner the night before his graduation to celebrate this awesome achievement in his life.  I was wrong.  They went to dinner without us and I had to beg him to order a pizza for us so I didn't starve.  It was an uncomfortable weekend, to say the least.  After he graduated, he moved back home to NY and back into his parents' home.  They regained control over his life and gave him an ultimatum, which he ever-so-gently (note the sarcasm) delivered to me at 2am when I was on vacation with my Mom.  If he chose to continue the relationship, they planned to disown and disinherit him.  Clearly he chose them.  I still don't know how parents can do that to their children.  It was a completely heartbreaking experience and I was lost.  Looking back, that was the straw that broke the camel's back.  Our relationship wasn't perfect and his family was placing too much pressure on him and he just cracked.  And I suffered because of it.
[Fast forward.]  For some reason, I thought we should stay friends.  I guess I just didn't know how to remove him from my life.  Besides, the only contact we had was via Blackberry or text because he was all the way in NY and I was in SC.  The problem with this "friendship" was that he took advantage of it.  Still does.  He comes to me when he has problems, and I talk him through things and give him moral support.  He rarely returns the favor.  Somehow he's always busy when I need a friend.  I have called him out on this in several tearful, frustrating conversations, to which he half-heartedly apologizes and I begrudgingly "forgive" him.  Last night, this happened again.  I've been distancing myself from him recently.  We broke up on Memorial Day weekend in 2009 (yes, I realize how long ago that was), but I was still holding on to something that didn't really exist.  His birthday was Wednesday so I gave him a quick call to wish him a Happy Birthday before he headed off to dinner with his Flavor of the Week Girlfriend.  (He's dating someone new every time we talk so I don't bother to learn names anymore.  Although, this one does have the same name as the one before her...)  He thanked me for remembering and calling.  He texted me last night to see if I could talk so he could tell me about how the night went.  I couldn't talk at that moment, but I called him about 30 minutes later.  He went into way too much detail about the night and the new girl, to which I reminded him that I didn't care to know such things.  He told his whole story, told me he might be falling in love with her (gag me - they've been officially dating for a few weeks), and said he wanted to go to bed.  I asked if he planned on asking about my day/life and he said no.  I snapped and told him he was inconsiderate (but I wasn't quite so polite about it) and that he only cared about himself and that I didn't know why I was even surprised and that he's a bad friend and blah blah blah.  I'm so over it!  I just can't handle the stress he adds to my life when he does this.  We are capable of a nice, friendly conversation, but then he goes and pulls this garbage.  What keeps me attached to him?  Why do I give him that power over me?  To be clear, I'm really and truly over him, in the sense that I'm not still in love and hoping that one day he will wake up and realizes he still loves me.  I gave up that charade long ago.  I am no longer blind to his flaws.  I know that we are by no means right for each other, so that's not why I do this.  I guess I have issues with removing people from my life.  I am fairly quick to forgive and move on because I don't like conflict.  Maybe I'm a push-over?  I don't know.  Do I have a right to be angry with him (even though I've kept in touch and let him do this to me)?  Any thoughts? 

Thanks for reading this (if you made it past the first paragraph even).


1 comment:

McKenzie said...

A- I too did the whole 'it has to work and it will if I just make this one concession' and then I turned around three years later and I had no idea who I was anymore. You are so much better off without him, and I know you will find someone who loves you for you, quirks and craft box included. Missing you tons, wish I could come give you a big hug and watch bad tv with you for 5 or 6 hours.


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