I went somewhere else for advice. I didn’t know how to tell this blog what was really going on, so I broke down and wrote “Dear Wendy” on TheFrisky.com and believe me, I never in a million years expected a response, much less a letter published in a “Dear Wendy” entry on the website. Mostly I thought maybe I’d get some low-level functionary to read this blog. I don’t know.
The link above has an excerpt from my letter and Wendy’s response. But I’ll detail for you here.
Anyway, the bottom line is The Boyfriend that I dated for…six years….and ultimately split with (very UN-amicably!) two years ago has been writing me emails. They’re friendly. Certainly more friendly than they were two years ago. Mostly they’re full of updates and questions—updates about his life, educational pursuit, and relationship; questions about my job and family.
The first email was definitely provoked by me. Before you jump to conclusions, it was for good cause. His girlfriend found a blog I had started prior to this one regarding my all-natural weight loss. And she commented. And I wanted him to know that it wasn’t me stirring the pot this time.
I’ll admit in the beginning it was a messy breakup and it was more than half my fault. I am constantly wracked with guilt regarding the fact that I was so emotionally unbalanced in the beginning. Alright, I was crazy. But for the past 18 months I’ve been really good, minded my business, and when I heard through the grapevine he had a new relationship, I minded my business. I didn’t see a picture of her, didn’t jump at the bait when friends had stories. I was good. So to see that she had commented on a blog that literally no one read (trust me, I have the stats on wordpress to prove it!) I was floored. Trust me, it’s natural to be curious. I’ve kept myself up more than a few nights wondering if she’s better than me (she probably is) if she’s prettier than me (isn’t that really subjective?), and if she’s petting my dog (God, that kills me the most). So I wrote him to say a) I didn’t seek her out and b) sorry if she read anything that made she or you uncomfortable.
And he wrote back immediately. And apologized, and made her apologize, and made excuses for why it probably happened (total coincidence, of course, despite the fact that there were numerous pictures identifying me and I knoooow she had to have known what I look like!) and after the initial shock wore off he wrote again. About his life, his dissertation, and what am I up to? And how am I doing?
So I wrote back. The initial emails were a brag fest between the two of us—who’s better, who’s happier. And then one day I was shopping for graduation gifts for some of my employees with a coworker and he walked in. We live in the same city, work in the same zipcode, and this hasn’t happened in two years? And all of a sudden now it happens? WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME UNIVERSE? WHAT?!
We chatted for about 3 minutes. Mostly just standing there feeling uncomfortable. And finally my friend pulled me away because “it wasn’t going to end unless someone did”. For weeks I was torn up inside. Stressed, upset, lacking appetite. And then I went to lunch and there he sat with his girlfriend. WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME, UNIVERSE?
The emails started after that. Asking how I was, acknowledging that the universe was indeed fucked up somehow as it kept pulling us into the same spots. I replied all to a series of emails from some friends mocking a local commercial—and the sentence I wrote? 3 minutes later an email from The Boyfriend popped up containing the same sentence. I swear I didn’t even know he was on the list. So he wrote again. And again. And again.
The emails are always friendly and lighthearted but mostly are full of his accomplishments. And every reply I’ve ever given had been nothing short of congratulatory, kind, and CASUAL. I encourage his school work, I acknowledging that I’m glad he’s found someone, I thanked him for the excellent care he’s provided the dog he kept. He asks about The Friend and I tell him the truth, I can’t get him to answer me anymore. He says that’s a shame. I admit defeat in every category. I still work in the same place. I don’t have a new boyfriend. It took me a long time to get my head above water . I walked away from something substantial. Stlil the emails keep coming.
One day I decided that maybe this was karma. Maybe the universe wants me to be miserable until I can admit that I was wrong and that I am sorry. I have never been an apologizer…ever. So I sucked it up, and hit reply to the latest email asking about my grandmother, and after two sentences detailing her excellent health following colon cancer, a stroke, two broken hips, and an aortic anurism…I start.
I apologize for cheating, for taking out issues from my childhood on an innocent bystander, for being crazy, for being a bad girlfriend. For keeping a messy house, for lying, for taking him on a 6 year long shit-storm. I took all the blame and this time I truly meant it. He deserves someone much better, I have work to do on myself. I AM THE LESSER PERSON! What a relief.
But the emails keep coming. Emails letting me off the hook, telling me ‘funny’ stories about how his new girlfriend dated someone I was very close to, all kinds of stuff.
WHAT DO YOU WANT UNIVERSE?!
I’m at a loss here. It’s haunting me. His emails are kind but make me feel like shit. I’ve apologized, I’ve taken the blame, and I’ve admitted to all my mistakes. I am truly happy for him and his new life, I realize I was holding him back.
What else should I do?
Wendy says I should write him one final goodbye next time he writes. So I guess I will. But I want to know why this happens and what the Universe wants from me? In the last four months I’ve had contact with him in person and his girlfriend, and I haven’t seen either of them in 24 months. It’s weighed on my mind more than normal, and I think that’s why I haven’t made any real moves in about a month. I’m stagnant because I feel weighed down by the past. I’ve apologized, there’s nothing that I can do now. And it didn’t make me feel any less shitty.
TheFrisky readers all have the same suggestions: he’s not over me (I disagree!), I’m hopeful that he’s not over me (trust me, it freaks me out to even type THOSE words!), and that he wants to know what I look like (he already does). The truth is I’ve asked him what he wants, why he emails me, and if his girlfriend cares that he does this…to which the answers are: none given, none given, no problem.
- Dear Wendy: “My Boyfriend’s A Freeloader” (thefrisky.com)