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Thursday, September 1, 2016

One Girl's Story - Part 4 of 5: Devastated

[Dear Readers,

 A special treat this week.  Five posts, all from the same sister.

I'd like you to see how life changes and evolves in just a few short years.

This email came seven months after Part 3.

Best to you all,

- Bro Jo]

Dear Bro Jo,

Get ready, this is a REALLLY long letter Last time I wrote you, I was coming out of a weird "sort of" relationship that ended really suddenly and without a ton of explanation.

A few weeks after that I met a charming young man in my Singles' Ward who was very forward with his intentions and made it clear very quickly he was interested and wanted to take me out.

We dated for 6 months.

Here is the deal, I found out a couple days after our first date that he is divorced (he is 26, I was 21 at the time, I am now 22).

It was a little scary, but I was open minded and understanding about his situation.

He told me that he had been married for two years to a girl who was a convert.  She just woke up one day and decided that she didn't want to be a member of the Church anymore and she didn't want to be married anymore.

He said she was the first girl to every end things with him (vs the other way around).

He has never talked about her in a poor light, besides explaining problems she has/had, and how it has changed his view on certain things.

I thought / still think that was very respectable of him. (She really did have some serious mental issues, and some daddy issues, and all kinds of stuff that I think could affect him in a really negative way, and quite honestly, I am sure that it did.)

His divorce was a year ago in and he doesn't view it as a negative experience, but he viewed it as a learning experience and something that would help him become a better person in the future.

I found out that he was still "friends" with her, which to my understanding at the time, meant that if she ever needed a favor he could do it, or they would just check up on each other every once in a while and say hi.

We became serious really quick, everything just felt right.

Neither of us wanted to date anyone else, which I felt was really good because between his divorce and meeting me, he went on a dating rampage.

After a couple weeks of dating, he told me he had had a really cool experience, he had felt prompted to call her and see if she was doing okay, so he did, she wasn't, and he went over to see her.

He said they talked about the Gospel and how maybe that is what is missing from her life, she told him about a guy she had been going out with, and then he told her about me.

When he told me about this I became fairly upset.  I explained how that wasn't really fair to me, and how I felt that this meant he was holding on to her still.

He tried to explain to me that he struggled with just cutting her out of his life completely because she had become his best friend.

He felt that they had come into each others lives in such an intimate way for a important reason, and why would God want him to just shun her for what she did to him?

We talked through it, and he agreed to decrease the amount of time he spent communicating with her period.

Things went really really well for a long time.

Fairly quickly into the relationship I knew that I could marry him in the Temple and I would be very happy.

His family loved me, my family loved him, all of our friends loved us together and thought we were so good together.

We would travel with each others families and do quite a bit of stuff together, each learning and embracing each others interest.

I had told him that I felt really good about us and that I thought we could get married and be happy, he agreed, but he said it would definitely need more time than the "typical" Mormon timeline.

I understood and I was willing to take the time that we needed.

He always said he wasn't quite where I was, but he felt that we were headed that way, and he thought that once things fell into place he would catch up to me quickly.

I know that the fact that we were on a different page was hard for both of us throughout the relationship. We talked about it one night (4-5 months in) and he asked me if I had a deadline for when I would give up on him if he wasn't ready. I told him no, but I reminded him that I am applying to grad school this fall, and if all goes well, I would start June 2016, if we were not at least engaged by then, and I had to move away, I felt that we would not last, but at that point we would have been dating for 18 months, so if he still wasn't sure by then, then I was wasting my time.

About 2.5-3 months in, we were sitting in church one day and he just seemed off, I asked if he was okay, and he asked if we could go for a drive after church, so we did, and he then told me he had been struggling since his separation with "natural urges."

I totally understand how it could be so hard to have something such as sex quite freely in a marriage, and then all the sudden have nothing is really really hard on someone.

He said that he had struggled with masturbation, and there had been a couple times he had looked at porn too.

Seeing how torn he was, I wasn't mad per-say, I was definitely hurt, but I could see how much he was hurting and how guilty he felt.

We talked about it a lot that day. I felt that all I could do was love him, talk to him about his problem, and hold him accountable, let him know that I was not okay with that. I was really glad he confided in me.

He concluded that he didn't think it would be a long term problem, that if he was married, it wouldn't be an issue again.

We worked on it together for a while, and things were again, better than ever.

However, I stopped checking as frequently because it seemed like it was as much of a problem anymore, and sometimes when thing were going well, he seemed annoyed that I asked.

He had moved back in with his parents following the divorce (I think it was good for him).

But one of his friends had bought a place, and he moved in with his friend.

I felt like that was a really awesome move for him as well, for a while at least.

His friend is a super bachelor, and really lonely, and kind of needy. I felt like I had to compete with his friend for my boyfriends attention. It was really hard for me.

I became a little jealous of all of their inside jokes and all of the stuff that they would just pick up and do, I also felt like my boyfriend was getting the short end of the stick because he would go half in with his friend on everything for the house, but his friend owns it, so my boyfriend wasn't really ever benefiting from it. I had said something to him once, and he had been upset by it, so I just kept quiet whenever stuff like that happened after that.

Going back to the ex wife, I discovered over Christmas break that he had been talking to her kind of frequently again.

I became really upset, and we literally had the same conversation as when we first dated. I finally told him that I would never tell him who he can and cannot talk to, but I felt that he was still stuck and that as long as he kept her in his life, he would never be able to fully move on. He (sort of) agreed with me, and he said that I was really important to him and that he was fearful if he didn't cut back on his relationship with her that he would lose me. This current semester started, I had a lot on my plate. I was stressed all the time and he said that it stressed him out when I was stressed and there was nothing he could do for me. Things started getting rough, I was stressed that we were not able to see each other very often.

Soon, I felt like he was scheduling other things during our designated time together during the week, I understood that sometimes things would come up for both of us during those times, but I felt like it was on purpose. I also felt like when we didn't get to see each other, he hardly wanted to talk on the phone.

One night I was really stressed and I had a complete melt down while I was with him, I told him I didn't feel connected with him anymore and I felt like I was drowning in all of my homework and responsibilities. He swore he didn't want to break up, but he was concerned about me, and felt like our relationship was the only thing that could give at this point in my life. I told him I didn't want to break up, I just needed to figure out the balance for the semester.

We both agreed to work on our relationship and even decided to both focus on reading scriptures together when we had time, and on our own when we couldn't see each other.

For a week things were good.  We both worked on making each other a priority, and I worked on not projecting my stress onto him. Then the next week, it was back to the same thing, I felt totally neglected and like he just didn't care enough to see me.

I kind of threw a fit because he had literally planned on not seeing me from Sunday to Saturday because the only nights I had free he had planned stuff with his friends (vs the nights I was not free he totally admitted that he didn't really do anything productive that night). We got in a huge fight, the worst I have ever been in before. I told him I felt neglected, he said he had never been told that in a relationship before.

He said he would work on it, and for the next week he did, and things finally felt back to normal, we both felt happier and we both felt like things were really good again. side note: One reoccurring issue we had was that he would over-commit himself, if he had other plans, he would tell me he wanted to come see me after, and then he would keep me waiting because he didn't keep track of time or he wouldn't leave whatever he was doing.

It happened a lot.

Also, he would often push off our plans so that he could finish whatever he was doing, or he was just in general, always late (not just 15 minutes late, but like an hour late).

I tried to be understanding, but it can only happen so many times.

Now we come to Valentine's Day, this was my first Valentine's ever spent with someone, and I knew he knew that. I was really excited because I wanted to go to a special even together.

We had made plans to go to that, then go back to his place to make dinner.

He promised me that he was mine all day.

I had some stuff I had to do in the morning, so I thought if he picked me up by 2, we could get to the event before it closed with plenty of time to see the exhibit, and we could still make dinner and everything.

He agreed.

The day of, he texted me around 1 and said that he had been working on a truck with his friend all morning, and they weren't quite done, so he said he needed to push it off until 3.

I was okay with it.

3 rolls around, and he texts me to tell me he is just finishing, and he needed to go home and get ready.
At this point, I was upset with him.

I started to cry about 3:30, my mom and dad both told me he blew it, and my dad offered to take me himself right then.

The exhibit was suppose to close at 5, so I didn't think we had time.

He went to look up the hours (it was suppose to be leaving Salt Lake soon).

At this point my dad told me that it was open until 8, and my boyfriend showed up.

I was upset, but I really wanted to go, so I said lets just go.

I kind of pulled myself together in the car after a very strongly worded conversation.

He apologized.

He said he had been selfish.

We went to the exhibit, and it was fun, I loved it.

We we were leaving, he told me he thought that we should go out to dinner instead because they had just had a new roommate move in the night before, and he didn't know how to ask him to be MIA the day after he moved in.

I said that was fine, I understood.

We went to a Thai restaurant near where he had lived with his ex wife.

He literally spent all of dinner talking about his ex wife.

I was super upset at this point.

He made a comment about how his ex had often not seemed to want to spend time with him. I asked him if he realized that he was doing that to me too?

We left.

When we were driving home he admitted that he hadn't bought me something.

He said he would rather take me to the store and let me pick something out that I liked.

I scoffed.

He asked me if I thought it was a cop out, I told him I thought it was.

He then went into some big, long winded excuse.

He apologized and asked if I wanted to watch a movie at one of our houses.

I said sure.

He gave me his phone to look up a Redbox.

I opened his web browser, and it was opened to a google search of porn.

I showed it to him, asked him what it was, and he said "its my problem".

 I totally shut down.

I didn't want to talk to him.

He asked me if I wanted to go home and I said yes.

He then asked if I thought he was just an a-hole, or he didn't care.

And I said quite frankly, both.

Between everything that had happened that day, I was honestly questioning why I was even dating him.

He dropped me off, and I stormed inside in tears. My best friend left her Single Girls party to come see me and make sure I was okay. I was a mess.

I slept on it, and I felt like I needed to break up with him.

The next day.  At Church.

I was sitting in sacrament, and he came up to where I was sitting and asked if he could sit with me (the Bishop was making announcements and my bf was making a scene by standing there, trying to have a conversation).

I told him I didn't care, just sit down.

He kept asking me if I was doing okay, what he could do to fix things etc.

I still was pretty quiet and frankly, I wasn't ready to talk to him yet.

I left after sacrament, I was an emotional wreck and knew I couldn't be there around him any longer.

I had a really strong feeling that we did need to break up, I felt at peace with the decision, but I also felt totally heartbroken over the situation. I also felt really strongly that we aren't really over. Like somehow we might still end up together.

He texted me that night and asked what he could do. I told him that I didn't know what to ask of him that I hadn't already asked. I then told him if he wanted to talk, I would be home after 7 the next night.

He didn't say anything to me all day, I was devastated that he wasn't going to try.

He called me at 10 and asked if he could come talk to me.

I agreed.

We had along talk about the outcome. We both agreed that we needed to breakup. He actually said that he hadn't been feeling it for a couple weeks, but he wasn't going to just end things, he had wanted to work on it (ouch).

I also asked him how long he waited after our fight before he contacted his ex wife. (I had just had the feeling it had happened) He looked at me kind of dumbfounded then admitted he had pretty quick, but he didn't feel like he had anyone else he could have talked to about our problem.


I told him that quite frankly, our relationship was none of his ex wife's business. I was doing okay (not having a total meltdown), and then he gave me a hug, and I lost it. 

One effect he always seemed to have on me is that I could never really stay mad at him when we were together. We ended up staying there for a long time talking about everything. He kept telling me what he was going to miss about me, that I was the best girlfriend he had ever had, and the most loving person he had ever met. He felt like I had been made for him because I had always pushed him to be better and brought out the best in him, and then he told me that he didn't want to lose all contact with me.

At this point he told me that he didn't feel like we were really over, which I then admitted that I had had the same impression. I told him that I wouldn't date him again until he figured some stuff out (like the porn, and his unresolved issues from his divorce) I even suggested he goes to see a counselor.

I asked him to give me some space for a while, which is hard, considering the whole same-ward-thing and the fact that we have A LOT of mutual friends. I think he stayed so long, and I didn't want him to leave, but we both knew how much we love each other and that when he left, it really was just over and done with.

He kept trying to stay later, and I finally had to kick him out because the lingering was killing me, and if anything, it was making it harder. Obviously I was a roller coaster of emotions for a few days. 

Then of course, came Sunday, where I had to see him.

Sacrament was fine, but then after I swear he was waiting to see me, I walked out, and he was standing right outside the door by himself. Then I was talking to a couple friends in the hallway right before Sunday school, and he came up, and picked one off the group to start talking to, then I turned around to talk to someone, and when I turned back, he was talking to all of them. I was so mad because I had asked him to give me space, which I think would include my friends (considering he wasn't friends with them before we started dating).

Then I went into Sunday School, and my friends and I were spread out between 2 rows, and there was one empty seat on the row in front of me, next to my friends, and he came in late and sat in that seat. 

He kept looking back at me.

My friends who I talked to about it later all agreed that he probably misses me and that he just doesn't know how to deal with it. I understand that, but he did kind of do this to himself, so while he allowed to feel that way, he should respect that I did ask for space. I think that he thinks we are going to be friends once the feelings are gone. But I honestly don't think I can do that. I don't think I can see him go out with other girls and act like there was never anything more between us. I honestly believe that if there is someway that we are gong to end up back together, we need to lose and "re-find" each other in a sense.

I think that if we were to do the friends thing we wouldn't date again. I also think that I just can't be in his life until he figures at least some stuff out. I really feel ruined now, and so scared to date again. I can't imagine ever feeling crushed like this again. It is awful.

I also don't know if I can give him another chance if the opportunity presents itself again. I am worried that all of the crap we have been through would prevent me from ever really trusting him again.


What am I to do?

I wish I had of been strong enough to be a better support system for him. I wish that I could have been more selfless and that it didn't bother me so much that he chooses to be friends with his ex. I feel betrayed, because I feel like he stopped making me a priority at the end.

I felt like he said he didn't want to quit, but he never put in the work necessary. I feel like he made a lot of empty promises and could never prioritize me when it was necessary. I am hurt that despite how great our relationship was, he could never let go of his ex, and that I almost felt like his second choice by default.

I know that the porn issue was something deeper, but I was hurt that he couldn't deal with it, even with my support. I have never felt like my self worth was connected to a guy, but man I feel crushed. 

I have been contemplating sending this to you for a while now, I feel like I am just venting and looking for pity.

I just don't know how to handle what has been dealt to me, and quite frankly, most of my friends don't know how to help me either.

- Devastated (Lonely Ute)

Dear Devastated,

Breakups are rough.

And you've just gone through a difficult one because even though it's the right thing to do you don't want to.

Plus, if he had his way, you'd stay together and keep putting up with his bull until he either got back together with his ex-wife (a very real possibility given all we know) or you realized that he'll never fix things as long as you're in his life because, well . . . he won't have to.

Only three things will help.

1. Time. Perhaps a lot of it.

2. Lose yourself in the Gospel. Service. Magnify. Read. Pray. Worship.

3. Start dating again.  When you're ready. Just as you moved on last time you can move on again. 

And, if I were to add a fourth one, you may want to switch wards.

You can't get the space you need if you keep going places where he's going to be, and you certainly shouldn't stop going to Church.

I agree with your dad: the dude blew it.

And I'm sorry he did.

As you know I dated A LOT when I was younger; only one relationship worked out, and that's the one I'm in now!  (We call her "Sister Jo".)

Chin up,

- Bro Jo

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