When everything collapsed: People about what they were taught by a failed relationship
Relationships do not always develop as partners want, and parting can be the only - and not always easy - way out of this difficult situation. But no matter how difficult the end of a relationship is, it does not at all mean that this is the “end of everything” - on the contrary, it can help you look at yourself and your life in a new way and become a stimulus to big changes. We learned from different people what the experience of parting taught them - and failed relationships.
Interview: Irina Kuzmicheva
I met an ex-girlfriend in Tinder. For almost a year we lived together, introduced our parents and tried a bunch of sex practices, but then began to move away. I became rough, cold and closed, and the girl wanted attention - it poured into quarrels with beating dishes and shouting at the whole house. After a couple of tense months, we parted.
I started having euphoria: I had a party, quit my job, left for a few weeks to travel around Europe, found many new acquaintances and tried to go on dates. But in fact, the relationship did not end: we occasionally slept together, continued to swear, hurt, did not hear each other, were jealous and tried to return each other. This lasted a few more months, and after another quarrel and mutual blocking in social networks, everything went to nothing.
At first, I underestimated the gap and its consequences, convinced myself that everything was alright and I did not feel anything. But, as it turned out over time, it was like a cold that had not been cured and developed into bronchitis. Only months later I can say that I survived the separation and everything got sick. I do not take offense and do not get angry at my former partner, I do not think that it was a bad relationship and I wasted time. Rather, I learned a rewarding experience.
I was convinced how important it is to pay attention to details that may confuse. Partly, my dissatisfaction was due to the fact that the girl seemed to me less experienced: she did not have a job, she only studied in the first courses of the university, got used to living with her mother and she had several times less social experience than me. I immediately paid attention to this, but did not think that this could be a problem. It would be more honest to admit that I do not have the strength to “educate” a partner without requiring him to “adult” behavior.
I realize that the former girl was also hard - she needed a strong shoulder, but I could not give it. At the beginning of a relationship, I rested on the fact that I was strong and could carry everything on myself, and then I gave up sharply, faced with burnout and fatigue. Perhaps this may scare the partner - or he will not have time to navigate. Now I am learning to talk to people with whom I come close, that I am ready to take responsibility and take initiative, but I am also weak, and sometimes I want to be helped by me to solve problems. This is not easy to admit, especially when long and stubbornly demonstrate a stone face. But we must try.
Another problem was how words and deeds diverged. Now actions are important to me, I began to ignore the pleasant phrases that support my ego, if they are not confirmed by actions. Previously, my inner narcissus could be impressed with compliments and stories about wonderful joint plans that, as a rule, did not come true. In addition, I realized that many of my relationship problems are associated with high expectations, fantasy, and the fact that I wind myself up ("She is silent because I am not interested in her," "She replied angrily," "She does not want to see me "). It also seemed to me that the partner should read hints and guess everything - I'm so clear. But no.
Honesty and openness are the main lesson I learned. When meeting with an ex-girlfriend, I kept a mask and did not want to admit that I like her. After - I could not say that I really needed her and I regret that I underestimated her. A couple of months ago I found the strength to tell one girl about my feelings - despite the fact that she refused, we were friends, and I calmed down. Now in my life there is a girl who I really like and with which everything is vague - in my plans to confess, regardless of the result.
My hardest parting is the last. My twin boys were then very young, they were one and a half years old. There were no grandmothers; I could only afford a nanny a couple of times a week for several hours. I was exhausted and exhausted, but did not understand that this was the limit. His beloved man was physically distant: he was simply not around. He spent all his time traveling, sea and mountain trips, at work and somewhere else - and I did not always know exactly where. He was not in the evenings, on weekends and on holidays. I was constantly alone with the children. And it’s okay I’d just carry a double stroller alone in the snow, bathe the children, put them to bed and feel that he was still with me. But no.
I tried to talk to him, but with the same success I could talk to the wall — I never thought that it was possible to translate the topic so rudely and deftly. At the same time, I was in a dependent and vulnerable position: I did not quarrel with him, I was afraid of losing him, but I felt that this was happening anyway. I tried my best, which I have almost gone. I tried to create comfort, to be beautiful, wise and patient, affectionate and host, to take initiative in sex - at a time when every hour of sleep is priceless.
One day he returned after another trip - but not to me. I was not even surprised: it happened when I had already decided that this could not continue. Our farewell conversation reflected my decision, which I myself would not dare to say out loud for a long time. It was very hard - morally and financially. It is hard to realize that the one with whom I hoped to live my life chose not me. I thought for so long that I have a person I can count on - although in fact I could only count on myself for a long time and on relatives and friends a little. It was very scary to be out of work with two children in a one-room rental apartment.
Parting is always painful, but it has never been so difficult for me to be alone. I had to do a lot of inner work. It is not a shame to admit that I am strong, but not omnipotent. I had to carefully figure out how I found myself at this point (including with the help of a psychotherapist). I learned to forgive, mainly myself, because for a long time I could not forgive myself this story. How could I be wrong? How could I turn a blind eye on everything that happened? How could I let myself be treated like that?
The parting taught me to notice these little "shots" inside when you feel that something went wrong. To pay attention to them, and not to decorate heaps of dung with flowers, as I used to. I learned to hear myself, it was not easy. And I finally learned to recognize men who know how to love and care for real, not in words. When a man loves, he does something for you and your children - not just once or twice, but all the time. Fulfills promises, and does not merge at the first difficulties. It would seem banal and obvious, but only through such cruel lessons I was able to truly feel and understand this.
A couple of years ago, I began to realize my transgenderness, but only last summer I found the courage to tell my girlfriend about it. For her, it was a complete surprise. She, of course, began to notice something, but she thought that it was all about our conflicts. In addition, by that time she began to think that the relationship with the girl was not for her, it was hard for her to resist the condemnation of others. She tried to support me, said she would wait for my transition, but it was hard for me because of my gender dysphoria. All year we lived in scandals. In the end, she went to the "real" boyfriend, her group mate. I do not know if she is bisexual, not used to labeling - for me love is not connected with sex at all. But this guy did not consider our relationship at all something "real", he called me a freak. But he was charmingly courting her, but she was not afraid to kiss him in public - that was what she wanted.
It was painful, but I did not stop loving her, I felt lonely. A few weeks later, she regretted me - she said she had not loved for a long time, but we can try again. Yes, at first it was a pity, perhaps partly affection. I helped her understand that that guy is not a very good person, that she deserves the best. I stepped over myself and my pride and accepted what they dislike me. But I had a chance. And indeed, after a couple of months, she realized that she still loved me. It looks like it turned out well - we have been together again for a year.
Parting, albeit short, taught me three things. The first is to boldly share the most intimate with a loved one. If he loves, he will accept and understand everything, and secrets will only lead to problems. Second - do not take your loved one for granted. My girlfriend was very attached to me, she said that she could not live without me, and then literally in my eyes grew as a person - and that’s all, I don’t need me. Then I realized that it would not be near by default, it should be protected. And the last - love will help to overcome everything.
We met in the Public Recognition of Moscow State University. When he accompanied me home from the first date, it was obvious that he was very worried. Then he gave expensive gifts and hundreds of roses, wrote poems to me. One day, I accidentally fell asleep on his lap when we watched a movie in the car, and he waited two hours in silence for me to wake up. For my part, it was not love, rather, I was pleasant and comfortable with an interesting person who sexually attracted me.
Those six months that we were together, every day I was convinced of the sincerity of his feelings. Therefore, I could not even think that he would initiate the break. We met, and he immediately blurted out: “I’m twenty-two, and with you I feel like fifty-five. We haven’t had sex for a month”. I was taken aback, because before that there was no problem. That month was very hard for me at work and at the university, so we met twice a week and could not be alone. Against the background of our tender relations, such a reason seemed silly to me - she was easily solved by conversation. But because of the insult and the words said to each other, we decided to leave.
I spent several weeks in tears, trying to understand why everything happened. Once, while doing the cleaning, I found the poems that he wrote to me at the beginning of a relationship, I remembered the emotions with which I started everything, and I realized that I don’t like him. He, an athlete, read me poems written with great difficulty and great feelings, and I sat next to me, and I was embarrassed because I did not feel anything. I realized that the insult could easily be thrown out of my head at least the next day. And all this time I was winding myself up about the loss, which was just sadness for the lost comfort and care.
These reflections for the first time prompted me to the idea that perhaps I am the abuzer, which is so often now spoken of. Of course, not one who mocks a partner, knowing that he is lovingly dependent on him. Perhaps it was a lighter form of abuse. Perhaps this is not an abyuz at all, but a format of relationships, when they love you, not you. Of course, I have never abused feelings - I still respect him and thank him. But now I have to know myself. Can I not only take from a person, getting used to him and stay in a relationship, but also really love him? Or the feeling of respect and gratitude to the partner is still my ceiling?
My most acute parting was my first year at the institute. It was the first love, we met from the eleventh grade. I was sure that this is my man, we made plans for a joint future. But one day he said: "You are not bad, it's about me." I felt that I was abruptly abandoned to the mercy of fate. It was very hard. Now I look at this situation differently. I understood that these were code-dependent relationships and I dissolved into them. For me, only "we" existed, and when everything collapsed, nothing remained - there was no separate "me".
The first thing that parting taught me is that anything can happen anytime. Today, a person can talk to you about infinite love and invent names for your future children, and tomorrow - not to answer calls and pretend that he does not know who you are. The second conclusion - there are reasons why a person does this, and not otherwise. When I realized this, it became easier for me to get out of the relationship, rather than trying to save them or endure them "for good."
And this parting helped me formulate who I am. In my opinion, in order to achieve harmonious relations, they must be joined by two individuals who respect the other's right to opinion, interests, and desires. And they have every right to disperse in different directions. This is the third and main conclusion I made.
By the way, now, I am married to that very young man. At some point I was curious how he was doing, I wrote to him, and he drove by and drove by. We talked all night in his car. After that, both of us became all clear. We have been together again for three years.
I love assholes, but this is not going far. And I decided to look at a completely new type for me - quiet, modest and clever. At the party, I noticed an introvert with a meaningful look that hung in the phone. Addicted to him. Word for word, and we agreed to go to the movies. That evening I didn’t even take cigarettes, having decided that they would scare him away. We watched a horror movie, I clung to his hand, he was moved.
We started dating. I already had a car, I drove it like an 18-year-old adorable, with loud music and open windows. He drove me to the last money in "Chocolate Girl" and walked after me with a tail on parties in "Solyanka". I told him about my great friends, photographers, directors and architects, sharing my dreams. He, as spellbound, listened to me and with a sigh informed that he could only share with me how to play computer games. Then I began a difficult period, I decided to change my life. He abruptly supported me then, never for a second left me - I was amazed how attentive and caring he was. It seemed that I would not find anyone better. He gave me flowers, made surprises, met me after university - just a fairy tale. And he always amused and made fun of me. I liked his friends and family.
But at some point I got used to it, but he got tired of surprising me: it seemed to him that I was not interested with him. He began to hang out, but I, on the contrary, wanted to calm down and, maybe, get together. But he was afraid to take this step. I didn’t particularly push, because I myself was scared. Sex has become a routine, I even became disgusting to do it with him. I understood that I had to part, but for some reason I did not do it. We constantly swore, although two years before have never done this. I cried, worried, he did too, but we could not stop cursing. There was an annoyance. In the end, in a quarrel, I blurted out that we were breaking up.
I began to live my life, but I quickly realized that I was missing him. I waited for him to call, but eventually gave up and called herself. He said he was glad our parting, that it was the right decision and he did not regret anything. For me it was a blow. It soon became clear that he has a girlfriend. I did not want to die, but it was very hard. I became very thin, began to work a lot - and after a few months he showed up. I decided to give us a chance. It was a big mistake, and a month later we parted. It became easier for me, as if the gestalt was closed.
I firmly decided that I should let go with dignity. Let it be hellishly difficult, but time will pass, and it will become clear that this was the right decision. In the current relationship, I try to negotiate everything, not to explode and observe if I am not trying to continue what has long ended. While I get it.
Photo: Silkstock - stock.adobe.com, MoMA (1, 2)