Ever Fallen in Love?

Have you ever had a relationship that utterly imploded and it was entirely your fault?

A few years ago I dated a woman for a short period of time. She was awkward and self-conscious and shy and I loved her. She was one of the most completely damaged people I’ve ever met. I don’t mean that in an insulting or patronizing way, I actually really respected that about her. She’s one of those rare people who, although the world has not been very kind, remains strong enough to continue to wear her vulnerability on the outside. I wanted to scoop her up into my arms like an injured baby bird and make everything okay for her.

Unfortunately at the time that I met her I was at one of the lowest points in my life. I was insecure and unhappy; I was in an unfamiliar city, alone, and demanded everything from those around me. It didn’t help that I have this bad habit of trying to provoke those I’m close to. I try to antagonize and rile them up into debating with me about anything and everything. I look down at people who don’t “get” this about me. But my motives aren’t always good and sometimes I’m hurtful and cruel. It was like this with her and I just wore her down with my cruelty and melodrama. We broke up and mostly stopped contact. I moved away from the desert, started to miss her quite a bit (and realized what an ass I’d been) and so spent months trying to win her back, trying to make her forgive me and give me another chance.

I see now that I was still making it all about me, which was sort of the problem in the first place. It’s been a couple years now. I’m not trying to regain her love anymore. I doubt that would ever happen. We currently have a very stilted, sterile, tight-lipped friendship. Getting her to love me again was never really the important thing anyway. Just proving to her that I’m not the person who hurt her anymore was what mattered. That’s still kind of a selfish need, to need to feel validated in that way. So now I’m letting that go too. I’m done chasing out demons, they can let themselves out.

I’ve decided that all I can do is be sincerely apologetic and committed to never being awful like that again, not as a misguided attempt to make things better with her, but just in general to never be that awful to anyone. If that’s still not enough, then it’s not and I guess that’s okay. It’s time to let some things just lie.

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6 Responses to Ever Fallen in Love?

  1. k- says:

    I wrote a long response to this a few days ago and thought it got posted. But obviously it didn’t.
    I don’t have the patience to restate all my brilliance. But the general gist of my comments revolved around your desire to let your demons let themselves out. I am constantly revisited my memories of my past shitty behavior (no matter how banal the shittiness), despite my desire to forgive myself and move on. I read this post the first time right before going to bed and as I was falling asleep, a memory of past shitty behavior popped into my head (and it was something that occurred almost two decades ago). Once the door was open, more memories of my past shitty behavior walked in and filled up the room. It took me hours to sleep because all these past demons were jostling for my attention. So I appreciate the post, as always Miranda. And I wish you well on laying your demons to rest. Mine refuse to go down lightly.

  2. steve says:

    Have you ever had a relationship that utterly imploded…

    Yes.

    and it was entirely your fault?

    No. It was mostly her fault, and we both knew it. This was slim consolation to me at the time, and still is.

    In a way I kinda wanted it to be more my fault, and so did she. Then we could have walked away, both feeling like it wasn’t meant to be, that neither of us were right for the other.

    Instead, we stuck at it for nearly a year, with me thinking she should change, and then finally giving up on her, and her believing there was still hope for something between the two of us for years afterwards.

    What does Gibby Haines say? “It is better to regret something you have done, than something you haven’t done.”

  3. Costa says:

    I had a whole response here, but it sounded totally stupid.

    New short answer? Not really no, but I was in a relationship where it was partially my fault because while she was crazy, I was a complete and utter spineless punk.

  4. xxadaxx says:

    The dream police, they live inside of my head
    The dream police, they come to me in my bed
    The dream police, they’re coming to arrest me, oh, no

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