Why Didn’t I Leave Sooner?

When I was 18 years old I got into a relationship just before I graduated high school. I was about to go off to college, he wasn’t coming with me but we were together for almost two years after that. I thought it was love.

But, I was wrong.

He was a jealous person and it emotionally drained me.

I couldn’t talk to any other guys without looking over my shoulder and wondering “Is he mad? Does he think we are flirting? Should I stop talking to him?” This was exhausting. It made me feel like I was constantly walking on eggshells. The relationship was toxic, but I thought it was normal.

He always made me feel like I was in the wrong-that I was the reason the relationship wasn’t going the way I wanted it to. If I hadn’t done this, if I wouldn’t have done that, if I didn’t talk to that other guy, none of this would be happening.

But I was young. I thought the jealousy was a form of love. I thought “Wow, he must really care about me and love me to want me all to himself!”

Wrong again.

Jealousy was his way of expressing his own insecurities. His insecurities took a mental and emotional toll on me. I didn’t need that and I knew it. All focus in other aspects of my life was gone. I felt obligated to constantly assure him that I wasn’t doing anything wrong. But instead of walking out, I entertained his nonsense and stuck around for way too long. Two years that I will never get back.

Two years of him going through my phone. Two years of him calling me to make sure I was home. Two years of him getting on my Facebook going through every single message with a fine-tooth comb.

All of my friends and family were telling me “You can do so much better. You don’t need this in your life. You’re better than this. Youve changed.”

I turned my head.

I didn’t change. They’re crazy. I was going to prove them wrong.

I didn’t.

I thought it was all just a phase and he would change. Like the seasons, I thought the cold dark Winter would soon turn into Spring and true love would blossom.

It just kept snowing, I became numb from the cold and there was no warmth to be found.

I guess I didn’t want to see him with anyone else, that’s why I stayed.

But after nearly two years, enough was enough. I was done.

I knew I couldn’t end it with him the way I wanted to. I wanted to sit him down and calmly tell him it was over, that this isn’t how we want to live and we both knew it. I wanted to wish him the best and leave on a good note. I couldn’t with him. I knew he would’ve convinced me to stay. He would’ve guilt tripped me like he always did and I would’ve burrowed my true feelings even deeper than they already were. But it was time to put my happiness first. I was done living this way.

One night, I was at his house and instead of sleeping over like I usually did, I told him I was going to go home. I was tired, it was late and I had to work in the morning. I kissed him goodbye.

That was it. It was over.

I didn’t answer his calls after that. I didn’t respond to his texts. A clean break, with so much left unsaid but at the same time, I said all I needed to say by not saying anything at all.

I couldn’t cater to his insecurities anymore. I couldn’t entertain the idea of staying with him because I didn’t want to hurt him.

Finally, I was free.

I walked away with only one burning question and it was this:

“Why didn’t I leave sooner?”

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  • Christa

    A breakup like that is very hard to do. I’ve went through one VERY similar to yours. I was 17, he was 21 and my first actual boyfriend. I took all I could take one night and I was done, simple as that. I was done being taken advantage of and being mentally abused. After 2.5 years I finally realized i really didn’t have to explain myself for no reason other than to make him happy. Everyone told me I didn’t have to all along but, like you, I felt like it was normal for the lonest time. I thought I would gain his trust that I did nothing to loose in the first place and everything would work out. Everyday as I drove to his house I would try to prepare myself for what all I was about to be accused of for the day. Looking back I feel so stupid for letting him waste my precious time but at the same time I’m glad I let him waste it early in life because I am now 23 and married to the most amazing man that has showed me true love, trust, and complete commitment. Going through what I did with my ex has made me overly thankful for my husband.