A really long one from June 22, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
I cannot believe that I am writing to you, but I am. So here goes. This letter will undoubtedly be long for many reasons. I talk/write a lot and there are so many things to explain concerning my present relationship.
Background info: I’m 27, a licensed attorney, have a kitty cat that I adore, and up until 7 months ago enjoyed a relatively stable and good life. In November 1997 Jonathan entered my life. On that first day, he told me that he was involved in a relationship with a woman who was in the hospital as she’d had their child only two days before. He also told me that he had 3 other children, all by different women. One of his children, his six-year-old daughter was with him as we talked. In November, BG, I had just relocated to the city where I attended college and where my best friend (Latisha) lived. We were, quite frankly, painting the town red and every other passionate color known. In short, we were living the life of two, very attractive, financially and emotionally (or so we thought) independent divas.
So, when Jonathan approached me and asked to take me out that night, my conscience was lost in the wind. I agreed. He asked if I had a problem with the fact that he had a live-in girlfriend and a new-born baby. I truthfully answered (knowing that he would be another notch on my belt) said, “Not a problem.” He called me that night. I didn’t feel up to going out. He came over. We talked. We danced. We kissed. We had sex. (I know, I know…the shame, the shame). In fact the only thing I am proud of is that I did use a condom. He stayed the night. After all, Linda (live in GF) was in the hospital. The sex was great, unbelievable. After talking to my best friend (BF) about the night, I put him out of my mind. About two weeks later (maybe sooner), he called and asked me out on a date. We began dating each other. He would come over on weekends and we’d have mind-blowing sex. We laughed a lot, talked a lot, talked about his GF and the new-born baby, how we were wrong, etc. He told me at one point that he loved me. I didn’t say a word.
The next day I asked him if he knew that he’d broken a sacred rule, i.e., telling a woman he loved her while involved in a purely sexual affair. He continued to tell me that he loved me. Sometime in December (very close to Christmas), I decided that I wanted a warm body in my bed all the time and not just for a couple of hours every night. So, I assessed the situation/relationship and discovered that he (1) was an opportunist and (2) could be manipulated and played like a finely tuned Stradivarius. And so I played.
The live-in GF is a customer service representative or mail room clerk for Allstate Insurance. I would say things to him like, “You have such potential. You’re wasting your life with Linda.” “Together we could have such a wonderful life.” Oh, I failed to mention that Jonathan has his own business that he is just now getting off the ground. I would talk to him about his business ventures, give him advice, show him how to draw up very basic contracts. In short, I turned the charm up 500% to facilitate his falling in love with me. And, BG, he did the same thing. So, on 12/25 I was scheduled to visit my family (3 hrs away) and he was going to spend Christmas with live-in Linda. As I prepared for the drive, he called and wished me a Merry Christmas and told me to drive safely, yada yada yada. I poutily said, “I want you to go with me.” He said, “Really?” I said, “Yes” in my throatiest voice. Not thirty minutes later I was picking him up and he spent Christmas with my family and me.
We drove back that evening and spent the night together. Well, I got a little carried away during sex and put a passion mark (a/k/a hickey – sp?) on his neck. Honestly speaking, I consciously put that hickey on his neck, knowing that live-in Linda would see it. Well, she did and he came over the next day and told me to prepare myself and my house because Linda was mad as hell about the mark and was about to kick him out. They had been together for 7 years. Everything was in her name — including the two cars they bought/took care of together. Sure enough, he got the boot and in he moved with me. Well, I have been on my own since I was 18. I am “stuck in my ways” and love “MY” space. I was hell to live with. The first night after he moved in I came in to find my house spotless, with everything in its place. Boy did I flip out and told him to never ever clean up again as I liked all the clutter. He would cook for me and I would fuss about the mess he made in the kitchen (even though he’d clean up after himself). Let’s just say I didn’t have time to adjust to the move-in.
On another topic, he told me the day he moved in that first time that I had to understand that he loved Linda and that I’d have to give him time and space to get over her. That hurt bad, but hey I was willing because I too had suffered a 7 year relationship breakup just 2 years previously and remembered that it took me just about all of those 2 years to get over my ex-fiance. Things didn’t go so well. He would do or say something to piss me off and I’d kick him out. Of course he went back to live-in Linda and I’d get even angrier that he did that — all the while telling me that he loved me. As soon as we cooled off, he would call and say that he wanted to come home. I’d be all mushy and tell him to hurry up and make sure that he brought all his sh*t from her place. He’d do it. Since November we’ve gone through at least 8 to 10 such breakups and reunions. In February, he was living with me and for a couple of weeks started telling me that he was tired, not feeling very well, etc. We weren’t being intimate.
On a Monday, I went home to check the mail and to call him for lunch. He wasn’t at his store. I called his pager (yes, my BF and I snooped and found his code), checked it and overheard a message from one of his past women — Vivian — asking when he’d like his Valentine’s Day present. I am steaming by now. I call the store then (actually I called after I checked his email) and when he wasn’t in and hadn’t been in all day, I called live-in Linda’s place of employment and found out that she had taken the day off. I jump in my car and go to her apartment. (I wish that I wasn’t being truthful). I knock on the door. There is no response even though both cars are home. I go back to my office and after 4 p.m. he has a detective to call and say that he has been in interrogation all day and that’s why he couldn’t return my pages. Yeah, I bought this. Well, anyways the following Thursday I packed up all his belongings and dumped them in front of his BF’s house (where I found him after he had just come back from visiting live-in Linda over the hill/my BF played detective for me). He confessed that night that he had been with Linda on Monday and that he had slept with her. I was hurt beyond words (but why didn’t I cheat with him on her…I can dish it but can’t take it, huh?) We break up and I’m taking it minute by minute. He apologizes. I tell him to go to hell. That night I turn to clubbing and Walk Me Downs. The next morning — Friday — I try to have a casual sexual encounter with a friend. My equipment won’t cooperate.
Yes, we got back together at some point in the future for a couple of weeks. That ended with me putting him out again. The police has been involved 3 times — twice I called so that he would take his things and leave and the other time he called and told them I had a razorblade after him. I didn’t have a razorblade, but I had assaulted him with my fists. I was arrested and a have since pled guilty to a misdemeanor. We broke up after that chaos and got back together the next day. However that night I said this is madness that must be ended. So, that Thursday it was a mutual decision and he went to live-in Linda (using my truck) and apologized, promising to be the man he had been in the past. She bought it and I put into effect my plan to get over my Jonathan obsession. I called the fam and said, “Hey, I can’t do this alone. I need someone.” My sister came down and I was making it day by day.
Oh, guess I should tell you that I am now pregnant by him. Yes, I know, I know. You wouldn’t think I graduated top of my college class and with honors in law school, huh? Anyways, I resign myself that this is truly it. The final episode of a bad soap opera. Well, that Sunday he calls from his mom’s, where he, Linda and their 6 mo. old child went for the weekend to tell me that he missed me, that he was talking to his 15 yr old son who asked what happened to me and Jonathan told the son that he loved me, missed me, wished things had worked out but I was too mean (absolving himself of any fault of course). Who was standing in the doorway and overheard what he said? Yes, live-in Linda. She told him the next day that he knew what he could do. Well, BG, I was miserable. I was crying nonstop, listening to my mom tell me that my baby would be affected by my depression. I was missing him so badly, envisioning him with her doing with her what he did with me. He called me Monday at the office and asked to take me to lunch. I declinded. He called me Monday night at home and asked to spend the night with me. I asked what about Linda and he told me that the only thing they had in common was the child. I hung up. He called back. I wanted to be with him. I went and picked him up and he spent the night. The next morning he goes to Linda’s before she leaves for work. She tells him to hit the road (we both expected that, after all that’s why we did it the way we did). He moved back in with me — to my open arms. We both agreed to work on our attitudes, expectations, very smart mouths, etc. It was good for 2 weeks and then this past Friday he made a selfish comment concerning my truck. I throw him out, take off work and head to my mom’s for the weekend. I wrote him a long letter, explaining that I had so many other options re: men that I would never settle for a selfish, insensitive one.
I thought for sure that he was going back to Linda. As I was putting my kitty in the truck he even said, “All I have to do is call and apologize [to Linda] once again.” I said, “What the f*ck ever” and left. I came back after running by the bank, but he was putting his things in a cab and blew me off. My kitty and I drove up to see Nana. He called at about 8 p.m., asking to speak with me. My mom wouldn’t let him as I was terribly upset. I asked my baby brother to “beat” my mom to the phone and lie like it was one of my sisters if it was Jonathan. He did, and I talked to him. He said that I was wrong for kicking him out. I told him that he was a selfish jerk a-hole who deserved live-in Linda. He asked me to come back that night as he was in a motel. He says he didn’t try to reconcile with Linda, but I think she said no to him. He would not have spent $40 a night for Motel 6 if he could have spent a free night in her house.
At any rate, I came back the next day to find a letter that he’d written on my door. It said in relevant part that he loved me (whatever love is that’s what he’s felt for me since we started dating one another), that he had truly tried to change every fault that I pointed out including me telling him that he was selfish (when he apologized and said that he’d work on being selfish I told him to work on it with her because I didn’t want him). The letter made me cry, made my mom tear up. He called about 45 minutes after I read it and said, “I want to come home.” I hurriedly went and got him. I asked him if he had called Linda and he said, “I asked her to bring [the child] because I miss her and haven’t seen her in a while.” Did you ask to get back together? No, when are you going to realize that the only thing between Linda and I is [the child]. I let it go.
Whew! BG, I do have some questions, but more than that I think I just wanted your honest evaluation of the situation. Why can’t he and I leave each other alone? We fight passionately and love passionately. He’s miserable without me and I him. Yet, when we’re together we haven’t been able to stay together for longer than 2 weeks. He’s 35, didn’t go to college and actually is like a street hustler. His heart is as big as Texas. Once we were set up in a city selling his products (he has a retail store including flowers, art, etc) and this 17 yr old’s car had died. Jonathan didn’t stop until he located a stranger who agreed to allow Jonathan to pay him to take the kid home (which was an hour away). When he does things like that, I fall in love with him all back over again. Our problems center around him expecting me (since I am an attorney after all) to provide the capital to upstart his business. He’ll ask for loans, loans, loans. I did only just start to practice law and I have chosen a less profitable area of the law — criminal to be exact. If I don’t loan him money or allow him to use my truck every day, I’m not supporting him and helping him. I will say this that when I was trying to take him away from Linda I did use my money in every way imaginable — we went to fancy restaurants, I’d buy him little gifts (and he did the same for me too). It’s like I created the monster and now I don’t want him around. It’s a mess.
Oh, and I should tell you this. Everyone (including strangers) who see us together tells me that I shouldn’t be with him. My oldest brother says that he’s a snake in the grass. He is, I must admit, a very attractive man. I’m talking about could have just about anybody he chose. He is slick. He started his business on the street corner. He is self-absorbed/selfish, but trying desperately to change that. He has been spoiled by live-in Laura and other women. When he would go back to her, she’d go out and buy him a whole new wardrobe just because. Whereas, I have never bought him anything but a $40 watch on his wrist (he thinks it cost like $500 or more) and 3 pairs of “Dockers” socks and a toy sports car. That’s it, BG. I have loaned him money and have always been promptly repaid. He does use my jeep most days. If he is using me, he isn’t getting much. He pays half of the groceries, rent, car note, etc. He also gives me money just because. He doesn’t have as much money as I do, and I don’t need a man to support me financially. I guess I’m so hard on him because everyone thinks he’s only with me because of my money. Sometimes I think so. For a long time, I did believe with all my heart that he loved Linda more than me. He would defend her if I personally attacked her — which I did constantly. She’s 39. I would call her old and ugly. He’d say, “She’s not ugly.” He never pays me compliments anymore because I am quick to say how pretty I am and how I’m doing him a favor being with him.
BG, I’m not a nice person. I know just how to say things to cut a person down to size. I am mean as a rabied dog when crossed, and I love having everything my way. My former boyfriend was a pushover. I was not satisfied with him because I could do anything I wanted to and simply flash my big eyes at him. With Jonathan, he’s no pushover, but gosh his strong personality is driving me nuts. He doesn’t back down from me even if I’m really upset and that makes it worse. He has promised not to cheat on me anymore. He apologizes for what happened in February. Just last night, I asked how did I know he wouldn’t do the same thing to me in 10 years when some young, firm 27 year old came along. He replied, “I am done with that. That was in the past.” He has told his business partner that he has never been with only one woman. In the same breath, he tells her that I am a tough woman, that he has never met anyone like me before, that he respects me because I am very much like him.
I want him — loyal, faithful, sensitive, honest, trustworthy. I don’t know if he is capable of those qualities. Right now, he is doing it. He keeps me abreast of where he is, etc. But truth of the matter is that I’m in my office from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m. He could be doing anything with anyone. I just don’t know, BG. Please any insight into this sticky situation is very much appreciated. Sorry so long-winded.
Did anyone get this far? Reason I ask is not just ’cause your letter is a record 3,233 words, and not because it’s not articulate, because it is, but — and here comes one of the harshest things Breakup Girl has ever said to a letter-writer — it’s not that interesting. You are more fascinated by, amused by, and addicted to this melodrama than anyone else is. Which is the problem.
Breakup Belleruth is about to be equally harsh. (And such language!) Here goes:
“You are not in love. You are addicted to melodrama, and more than a pinch of S&M too.
You need to get your ass in therapy (but you’re still having too good a time with this, and won’t yet. You’ll need to wreck your life a little more before you’ll look to changing yourself).
You need to join something like Love and Sex Addicts Anonymous, too (but you won’t for the same reason).
You’re right about needing support to get away from this. But as long as you focus your attention on wishing he’d be different, instead of wishing you yourself could change, you are, in a word, f*cked.
Also, by choosing to have his kid, you’re signing up for several more ever-so-predictable rounds of bullsh*t with this clown.
[Hey, Breakup Girl, the best thing you could tell her is that this story is boring. This is a form of spitting in her melodrama soup, as the Adlerians are wont to say].”
Okay, so that’s where I got the “it’s not that interesting” idea. (Remember, Breakup Girl is only a superhero, not a trained psychotherapist.) But it’s true, Angel. And even though I got to use cute turns of phrase like “melodrama soup” and print the word “f*ck” for what is I think the first time in breakupgirl.net history, the rest of my advice isn’t that interesting either: Leave. Buh-bye. Counseling. Support. Focus on work, friends, family, interests. You are obviously skilled and loved. You can be better; you deserve better. You need to do this for yourself. If that’s not incentive enough, then dammit, do it for that kid.