Oh, GT. thanks for letting me vent. I really do appreciate it. Sometimes it feels good to let it all out with (a) third part(ies). It’s been so up and down the past few weeks and some days I’m ready to conquer the world, and other days I don’t want to leave the bed. My family is amazing, and I have wonderful friends on the ground here in Cleveland, so that’s awesome too. And I don’t want it to sound like I’m not getting better, because I am! I went from crying every single day for three weeks right at the beginning to just being angry lol. And all jokes aside, it gets easier a little at a time. And I’m trying my best to take care of myself and workout, eat well, drink merrily and laugh a lot. I’m finding my strength and I have my friends and family to thank for that. The one thing that still gets me is the idea that he just may be fine and I’m all upset and broken up, because it just doesn’t seem fair. But I suppose that’s life either way. And I’ll be seeing him in August because he’s going to give me some of the stuff I forgot when I moved (oh, I didn’t mention how we met) and he will be visiting his parents and family, who live across the street from my family (I used to babysit his older brother’s kids, which is how we know each other personally, but we have been neighbors for like, 40 years or something). Long story. Maybe one day I’ll share hahahaha. Anyway...

I really want to thank y’all for making me go from

to

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My ex and I recently broke up as I mentioned before. The way he did it was not the way you end a six year relationship; especially when that relationship is with a person who you’ve known for 16 years total. It’s been rough, the breakup part yes, but also coming to terms with the fact that maybe he just isn’t a friend anymore. I am apparently emasculating, not-empowering and not supportive. I work against him and shame him, so he feels.

He can be a sensitive guy, I get that. But some things that spurred his angst and anger: a couple of jokes that he read way more into than I could have thought, to the point where it seemed like anything I said was a problem. An example (and the most recent incident that I guess ultimately led to his breaking up with me, which I’ll talk about later): we were at his friend’s house (he’s Army as y’all mostly know) and we were talking about Teslas, you know the really expensive electric cars. I make a throw away, “Har har don’t you wish you were still a bachelor?” joke. That was it. We get home and he’s really upset. Why? Because that joke makes it seem like I make him do stuff, and don’t I know the things he does for me are because he wants to and not because he has to, and don’t I realize how much of an ingrate that makes me sound like, and I’ll never get it because it’s a man thing and had more been have been there they’d have thought him weak... Oh.... Ummm... Okay?

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Now, I get that he has been through and seen some shit, and I’m starting to think that this is him just avoiding dealing with his stuff. This is a man who has had six deployments to Iraq; who has been injured; who has had friends die in combat while he was there. And I understand that’s tough, but for years I suggested therapy. I never rejected him or didn’t listen, but when I suggested therapy, he’d get defensive and say I was doing just that. It was frustrating. Finally, after we left Bragg he was in a cuddly enough job (and not airborne infantry anymore which is the definition of a hyper-masculine MOS) that he started seeing a therapist. That’s awesome and I’m glad he has. But then in job training they did some exercise about the people in your life and if they see you as people, objects or vehicles. I, apparently, see him as the two latter. So after I picked him up from the airport on February 13th after he’d been gone for training for three weeks, he broke up with me in the middle of the night. I couldn’t move back to CLE right away because, well, money. I moved back at the end of April.

That was incredibly shitty of him. Just so so shitty. But you know what’s shittier? That he did it to someone who was supposed to be his friend for 16 years; we’d been together for six of those romantically. I was the person who held his hand as he waded through his divorce; I made sure he was supported during his deployments, even if it meant that I didn’t have but pennies to my name until I was paid next; I stayed with him and waded through the surprise baby he had with another woman when he slept with her in a tizzy after his deployment in Haiti (what happened there you ask? He was upset about some traumatic things, I suggested he seek some professional help because I can only do so much, and he “broke up” with me over the phone. From Haiti. What?). I was there. I uprooted my life to move to NC with him, and when we got orders to move to his new post, I found a job before we got there. I helped us settle, make new roots. I made sure he was always fed, things were clean, I was emotionally available, no matter how long my day had been, or what craziness was happening around me. I loved and accepted his beautiful children. I was happy to do all of it, because I love completely and strongly.

Now, I’m not a martyr. I had my share of things that I messed up. I can be rash and sometimes be a little blunt in things I say. Sometimes I resisted things that are so very antiquated but essential to army culture, and I didn’t always understand the place for some of those things that challenged my values. But I was always thinking about him and us. I am 28 years old; he’s been a central figure in my life for more than half of it. And I wasn’t treated in a friendly way. He’s ignored me recently, even when I wished him Happy Father’s Day. He told his bff and our mutual friend that he just “can’t deal with it right now” which says to me you don’t want to answer hard questions about your contributions to this. You hit the jackpot and didn’t even know it. He at one point said that “I can do my own laundry and feed myself. That’s petty shit.” Oh, all right then. Thank you for insulting me and all the other partners who offer that up as a sign of love, compassion and respect for their partners and relationships. I hope every time he looks at the myriad cards I’ve sent just because, or the beautiful chessboard I got made as an anniversary gift a couple years ago, or the bookcase I got while he was out of town, or the album I had done before one of his last deployments that he thinks of me and weeps for what he fucked up. He deserves to feel as broken as I have felt. I’ve never felt such vengeance and anger before.

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Y’all, I’m witnessing the very likely death of an incredibly important friendship. And it’s awful.