Thursday, June 18, 2015

End of a Relationship

My relationship of two years with my boyfriend just ended mutually.  I have such mixed feelings.  Things have not gone well between us for quite some time.

I am so tired, but I have been encouraged by my life counselor to write this the evening we broke up.  I am numb, overwhelmed, sad. 

I think we jumped into to a serious commitment too quickly after my divorce.  We were so head over heels in love in the beginning that we immediately started making life-long plans, buying a truck together, merging bills and even moving in together.  Not the smartest decision I have ever made and certainly not one I would want my children to copy. 

I knew right away that he was not a Christian and had no desire for Christ.  He always respected my faith and encouraged me to follow it.  That was always going to be a big divide between us.

I am sure there are Christians who would slay me for living with him and for being involved with a non-Christian, but it is God's role to work through this with me. Every time I went to God with my choices I was met with love and compassion and grace…more than I have ever felt in my life.  I would, however, never do it again.  It was the most blatant, sinful choice I have ever made.

We moved in together when I was having health issues a little over a year ago and my boyfriend was extremely worried about me.  Then we were busy with Heather’s band season.  That was followed by the busy holidays.  Then things settled down, and we slowly realized we just didn’t have much in common.

I frustrated the daylights out of him because I often didn’t hear and/or remember things he would tell me.  I do have hearing issues that doctors have diagnosed as an auditory processing disorder…that is part of the problem….but I was also so absorbed in the kids, planning things around everyone else but him, forgetting things he told me, arranging schedule stuff and commitments without including him, and arguing with him when I didn’t agree with the very opinions I asked him for.

I did not purposely choose to not to hear or remember things, but I could have done better.  I just got tired of being beat up for it as he lost his patience with me.

I kept hurting him and hurting him.  And then it got to the point that I felt pushed away.  We became barely more than roommates, and I wanted to build new experiences and do things together that he just didn’t want to do.

I was unhappy and insecure and he was unhappy.  I certainly didn’t feel cherished or desired anymore.  At best, I felt tolerated, and he felt disrespected.  Frankly, we both deserved better. 

We both admitted we had things to work on to make the relationship improve.  I didn’t want to lose him, but I didn’t want to go on feeling hurt and hurting him. When he would not agree to go to counseling it was time to call it a day...so we mutually decided that it was much too difficult to continue to try to make it work.

Now we are working out the details of undoing our budget and finances and household.  That is going to be tough as I lost Amy’s child support last year, but I am determined to make it work.  Any cheaper apartment would be outside of the bus line from school for Heather, so a move is not practical.  I will go back to having very little savings and eking it out with my tax returns as I have done in the past.  I am not about to stop tithing.  I just can’t do it.  God has been so faithful.

We had a family meeting with the girls, and Amy was mad that I made her come home from a friend’s house to meet with us.  He and I wanted to come clean with them as soon as possible, especially since he took the next day off work to move out.

He is such a gypsy and can live with nothing…he is leaving me all the kitchen stuff, towels, sheets…except for a few things.  He is only taking taking a chair, his paintings and his TV…that’s it.  He gave his couch to Stephen for his IU apartment and his bed to Heather.  I feel bad that he has nothing, but that is his choice.  He is even leaving his bicycle. 

I always thought when the going gets tough in a relationship those who value it are willing to put work into it...if one just simply walks away without a fight to save the relationship, it makes the other person wonder how committed you were in the first place.  I was truly hurt by his unwillingness to fight for us.

I will have to figure out how to buy a TV, and I have to laugh that I got overwhelmed about that.  I tackled so much after Dave and I separated that a TV should be nothing.  Dave actually had a spare TV that he is loaning me for a bit.

I logged onto Facebook recently and saw the following picture on a friend’s page.  I so needed to see this.

Fortunately, my health has been good, although the past three days I have been home from work with a fever.  I just got results back from my recent colonoscopy and the news was very encouraging...areas that were ulcerated have healed, and pending no problems I don't have to have another colonoscopy for 3-5 years!  I did injure my back which ended me up in the ER twice in March, and I have battled several infections in recent weeks...now I am slowly mending.

Stephen is heading back to Ecuador for 5 weeks with his campus fellowship....You can donate to his work by clicking here. Amy is home for the summer and is spending more time with Dave, which I am grateful for.  

The week of the break up Amy and Heather had just come to stay with me for two weeks, and even though I love them dearly, I was ready for a break and to mourn in peace and quiet.  

Amy is home for the weekend and working part-time.  She is planning a trip to San Francisco later this summer to visit a college friend.

Heather is busy with a summer P.E. class, drivers' ed and music lessons.  She is headed to Y camp later this summer, and right after our vacation at Cedar Campus she begins band camp.


Amy, Stephen and Heather at his IU apartment celebrating his 21st birthday! 

I will be doing some more traveling in the next few months.  I have a dear friend who served in our church for a time and then she moved back to England.  We stay in touch through Facebook chats and texts.  Another friend of mine knew how badly I wanted to see my London friend, and he donated cash for the plane ticket, a hotel room in Chicago the before the flight and money for my new passport and other expenses.  I am going the week of Thanksgiving!  This friend has blessed my socks off!

Then at Christmas I am attending Urbana, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship's triennial missions conference.  I am so excited...and as a long-time donor to InterVarsity my conference registration is free, and I also got a hotel discount.  I will be sending out letters to raise support to cover the hotel and other expenses later this summer.  I just know that God wants to use the skillset I am developing at my job to do some unimaginable things for Him in the future.

I also will be traveling to New York sometime next year to visit my nephew...and in January I have the opportunity to participate in an education program paid for by my employer to earn my MBA.  I am a little nervous but totally excited!

I guess you can kind of tell I have a new-found sense of freedom, although I am broken-hearted about the relationship ending.  I know the breakup was the right choice, as I started feeling relieved not too long after we ended it.  I didn't realize how I was walking in eggshells around him, trying to make things go smoothly...but there have been plenty of tears too. 

But I have been through worse, and God is not about to let me down yet.  Were my choices with my boyfriend taking God's plans for me for granted?  Did I not trust God for His timing for the right person at the right time?  Did I rush into the relationship head-long without thinking it through?  Did I fall for the first person who expressed interest in me in the midst of healing from my divorce?  (I don't believe the last statement as I truly loved him).  Perhaps "yes" to all of the above.  I obviously have a lot of thinking and praying to do.  

I do know this...I learned that I could love again, and I was and am still am extremely blessed that it made me realize that I am still a beautiful, desirable woman.  

I will always be grateful to him for that as long as I live.

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