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Originally posted on Aug 10, 2015.

So my ex and I were in a relationship for four years beginning when she was 18 and I was 21. About 1.5 years in we became poly for another 1.5 years then we went back to being monogamous. Polyamory wasn't really an issue during that time. Last October we moved into a house together with two of our friends. It turned out to be an extremely stressful situation that did not go well. During the spring my ex became more and more distant and was spending more time away from home. I also knew there was a guy at work she was beginning to have feelings for and she began pressuring me to open up our relationship again. We never saw breaking up as an option. I never wanted to be poly again, but I reluctantly agreed. I should have already saw this as a sign.

For the following month what we had was not really a poly relationship. There was little communication. She was still staying out late most nights of the week and not saying where she was or communicating at all. When questioned about it she would get defensive and say something like "I'm a free woman, I can do what I feel like." My roommates were hurt by the situation because we grew really close early on and then she spent virtually no time with them anymore. We went on vacation for 10 days and upon returning she almost immediately left and disappeared until almost 1 am. I knew what she was doing and was not okay with it. After about a week more of this type of behavior I confronted her and she confessed to having slept with the new guy five times during the time we had returned from vacation. We decided this wasn't working and we needed a break.

For the first few weeks of the break we alternated between trying not to speak with each other and fighting aggressively. I wouldn't talk to her for three days and then I would get several texts of her declarations of love and spiritual connection to me. I'd go about my business and then a few days later she would text me saying "Just saw so-and-so's new apartment and they seemed so happy. I wish that could be us." Basically getting mixed signals. Every time i would speak to her again and try to continue some sort of casual friendship my trust for her would either get betrayed in some way or she would only seem to communicate if she needed something from me. For example, we technically still share the house. I moved back to my parents due to the emotional baggage there, but I'm still paying rent and have yet to move my things out. One day I went back to pick up some clothes and discovered she had essentially moved me out of the house, rearranging our entire bedroom and moving my personal belongings, in addition to taking some of my belongings from my office. I received a message the same day saying "hey I wanted to let you know I paid your part of the internet and electric bills since you no longer live here." It felt like a passive aggressive back stab to me, especially considering at that point we were still "on a break" and hadn't once discussed me moving out permanently. I didn't speak to her for several days after that, opting not to fight about it, but she quickly realized why I wasn't speaking with her and covered up moving everything out as "just trying to be comfortable" and taking my personal stuff (mostly decorative plants) as "wanting to be nice and take care of your plants" (though they're literally a room away). I have a very forgiving and understanding personality so naturally after expressing my views I forgave her and went back to trying to be friends, but in the back of my mind felt like she was still trying to have her cake and eat it too (ie. breaking up with me, getting her own place to live, and getting a brand new FWB, but still having my emotional support and friendship).

This type of pattern basically continued for a month and a half. Her doing something I felt was messed up, her justifying it, me forgiving her and thinking maybe I'm the one who is wrong, and then her doing something I find selfish and inconsiderate again. The nail in the coffin for me was when for about a week she was being extremely nice, almost absurdly. I thought it was odd and felt like she was sucking up to me for unknown reasons, but it seemed like her way of trying to make everything "easier" for me (and perhaps make herself feel more like she's doing the right thing). I found out from my roommate that she had been having the new guy come over in the middle of the night and sleeping in our room (which she previously said she would never do out of courtesy and because it's simply uncomfortable). He swore it to have happened at least three times he was aware of. Naturally, I thought this was not right at all, considering the fact that 1. I still pay for the place, and I'm not paying for someone else to live there and 2. Most of my stuff is still in there. The bed itself is hers, but the bedroom set we split half the price of. and 3. Just as a friend I find it immensely inconsiderate to share a place with your best friend of four years and then disregard that.

I confronted her about the situation and she blatantly lied to both my roommate's and my face. She confessed to it happening once and then later confessed to it happening multiple times. She said she felt awful about it the first time, but I find that hard to believe considering it happened again, and again. After this I decided I just couldn't have this person in my life and told her I was tired of my trust and forgiveness being taken advantage of I could no longer speak to her. I blocked her Facebook and her phone number and it's been about a week since we've spoken. Initially she left me nine voice mails (yes even with a blocked number my phone still gets the voice mails and texts) and was freaking out crying and saying she was going to crash her car. I naturally had to call her and then she basically justified her behavior and just tried to find out "what other people thought of her" the entire time I was on the phone. Later that night she left a letter in my mailbox apologizing for everything and saying "she would do anything if it made me happy, even if that means never talking to you again." A few days later she sent me several texts speaking of "spiritual connection" and how "we HAVE to be together" again. Then nothing since. I have responded to nothing in about a week now.

My questions are...

Am I doing the right thing by cutting contact? Am I right in being extremely angry with and not having any trust in her anymore? Am I right in feeling taken advantage of and used and like she was (unconsciously) doing nothing but attempting to keep me on a leash or am I being overly sensitive?

I feel as if she treated the whole thing like I was just another guy she dated for two months and it's perfectly acceptable to just break up and get on with your life doing whatever you feel like. However, it doesn't make sense to me how one would choose to go about things in that way when they definitely want to continue remaining good friends and they claim to care about and don't want to hurt the other person. Also, just from a moral standpoint I would never have gone about things this way if our roles were reversed.

So what do I do? Should I keep trying to see it from her perspective and forgive her? Or should I just accept that she's selfish and immature and is playing emotional games with me and just cut her out of my life?

On A Break

I'm torn between urging you and your girlfriend to break the fuck up and get the fuck away from each other—any relationship that generates this much drama is doomed—and urging you to stay together if only to spare the innocents you'll both wind up dating after the curtain comes down on this shitshow.

A few quick points: You moved out, you blocked her on Facebook, you're not speaking—this isn't a break, it's a breakup. Maybe your on-a-break/soon-to-be-ex-girlfriend (OABSTBEG) shouldn't have brought that dude back to the house while you're still paying part of the rent (per her agreement), OAB, but you have absolutely no right to tell your OABSTBEG who she can fuck and where she can fuck him. (Your shit-stirring roommate sounds like a real winner.) If you don't want your OABSTBEG moving your stuff around the house, get your goddam stuff out of that house. If it bothers you that you're still paying rent while your OABSTBEG fucks some other dude in said house, stop paying rent. (Break the lease or sublet the whole place or sublet your part of the place; presumably a bed will fit in the room you had been using as an office.) And if it bothers you that your OABSTBEG is having sex with some other guy in front of the bedroom set you helped to pay for, ask your OABSTBEG to buy you out of your half of the bedroom set or—better yet—let her have the nightstand and the dresser and the chifferobe as lovely parting gifts.

And in answer to your questions:

1. Yes, you're doing the right thing by cutting her off. Not because the blame for this mess is all hers, OAB, but because you two are toxic together. Maybe you two can be friends one day—but you both have a lot of growing the fuck up to do before that day comes.

2. I think you're both at fault, OAB, but if being extremely angry helps you to end this thing, by all means wallow in your anger—just know that a lot of your anger is misplaced.

3. I don't know if your OABSTBEG was attempting to take advantage of you and your rent money or your emotional support, OAB, but she was definitely playing head games. Threatening to crash her car into a tree if you didn't take her call was emotionally manipulative/abusive; unilaterally reopening your relationship was a shitty thing to do; lying to you about where she was and what/who she was doing amounted to her slamming her hand down on the relationship self-destruct button. Doing everything you can to get someone to end a relationship and then freaking out when they actually move to end it—which is what your OABSTBEG was doing—is equal parts manipulation, aggravation, and cliché.

Finally, OAB, it is perfectly acceptable for someone to get on with her life—to do whatever she feels like doing—after a break up. That's exactly what people are supposed to do after a breakup. (It's also what people do when they're "on a break.") Your ex-girlfriend owes you nothing, she doesn't answer to you (or your shitty roommates!), and she doesn't owe you a flawless performance in the role of ex-girlfriend as scripted by you. And the only reason a guy would define "my ex having sex in her own bed, in her own room, with a person of her choosing" as an unforgivable, post-relationship-friendship-precluding betrayal is if that guy really wasn't interested in being friends with his ex in the first place. (You didn't like it when she played games, OAB, so don't play games yourself. Don't want to be her friend? Then don't be her friend. You don't have to justify it by pointing to the brutal way in which she violated the innocence of your bedroom set.)

This relationship generated plenty of drama while it was going on. There's no need to generate drama now that it's over... unless it was drama that you two loved, not each other. If that's the case, OAB, you should take each other back and stay together forever.

Listen to my podcast, the Savage Lovecast, at www.savagelovecast.com.

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