It wasn’t all that long ago

in the grand scheme of things anyway, that I fell out of love with Brent.

Things were getting to their breaking point. Brent had given me the ultimatum of being monogamous or being over and I was really struggling with that decision.

First off, I think ultimatums are just the most giant tool of manipulation so I was grouchy about that. Also, our relationship problems were way deeper than a simple experimental foray into seeing other people.

I was really worried about the kids and about how it would be as a single part time parent. I was really worried about what it would mean to have to cut Shawn out of my life, given that I felt he was nothing but a positive influence on it and was in no way guiding me away from my marriage.

I was overwhelmed. Brent has been excellent at constructing our life together in the image he wanted and I no longer wanted that image. I was tired of waiting for my turn. I realized it wasn’t coming.

I went to see a psychologist to try and figure things out for myself. My question was WHAT IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO?

She didn’t tell me. She asked me the right questions to guide me into answering that for myself. I left her office feeling heard and understood and confident in my decision making ability. I came home and told Brent all about my appointment and what I had resolved.

There was a lot of work to be done in our relationship to make it good and I was so far from satisfied that major changes would have to take place on all fronts. There is a special form of couples therapy that was recommended to me and I was excited to try it with Brent but I wouldn’t break things off with Shawn until we had been to a couple sessions and I could see how things were going. That said, I was willing to pull things back quite a bit with Shawn during this time. Really I wanted to know that Brent was going to give it a real effort, because I had no confidence that he would.

He just blankly said that if I didn’t cut Shawn out of my life completely, right that moment, then we were totally over. He did not care about how I felt about it , that to do such a thing I would need to feel somewhat optimistic about my future with Brent, that I owed it to myself to have some time to decide for myself if that was what I wanted to do.

He was not understanding. I would get that if this were an affair, but it wasn’t. He was also seeing two people as this was taking place and even went on a little vacation with one.

At this point, my heart was done. It was painful. I crumpled and sobbed. Not from losing Brent but from the realization that everything would always be solely about him. He had no caring or empathy or tenderness for me. I felt like I had been such a fool.

I was.

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7 Comments on “It wasn’t all that long ago”

  1. equivocality says:

    I hate ultimatums too. That’s a big red flag for me. Even if I run into a situation where a person has to choose between me and “something else”, I never say that I’ll leave unless I get my way. After all, how healthy can a relationship be based on an ultimatum?

    At least with how poorly you were treated, you’ll have no regrets. You’ll always know that nothing was your fault, and that getting separated was the best decision for you in that situation.

    I wish I was closer to you when you were married though. Maybe I could have seen the warning signs and helped you realize things sooner. True friends stab you in the front.

  2. When you first mentioned splitting up with Brent, I was shocked because I didn’t know any of the backstory. But every little glimpse into the past you’ve given since then has been just as shocking. Stories of fierce women being cut down by d-bags who can’t handle them make me sick. You’re well out of it.

  3. P.S. I assume the entries that I can’t see with this password (like the last one) are super secret? I can respect that, but DAMN it makes me wonder what you’re getting up to 😉

  4. you weren’t a fool. you were trying to live.

  5. Ms. Lia says:

    Ultimatums are the hugest warning sign ever. The biggest thing I’ve learned in my relationship journey is there are no rules and it comes down to a fundamental desire to see your person or persons live up to their most amazing potential, have them feel the sane about you, and respect and trust each other along the way.

    For sure it’s different for other people but for me it really is that simple.


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