1. I worked too damn hard to let it go.
What would other people think? This was supposed to be The Guy and I’ll be damned if I look like a fool in front of everyone. In hindsight, this was the worst logic to ever have in any relationship.
2. He was emotionally unstable and taking me down with him.
It wasn’t until a year after we met and a few months into dating that he told me he was Bipolar. I didn’t think it was a big deal and was able to deal with it pretty well. I was there to support him until his violence turned onto me and the fights got crazier. The emotional abuse left me in tears. Not even the cops pounding on my door, my smashed laptop, and my broken heart could tear me away. I was scared; his threats to kill himself, his want to stop taking his medication and his constant need for reassurance made me want to make sure he was okay. More than I ever wanted to be okay.
3. I was the breadwinner.
I had always considered myself one badass independent woman. I had been on my own since I was 17 and was handling things really well until my roommate decided she needed to move halfway across the country and head back home for good. So my boyfriend and I decided to move in together after 5 years of dating; it seemed like the next logical step. Well, one week into us moving in together, he punched a cab driver in the face and lost his job. What did that mean for us? That meant I had to get a 2nd full time job, never slept, and was paying all the bills. I started to hate him. I was actually glad to have those 2 jobs because that meant I never had to see him, let alone interact with him. I wanted to break up, but where was he going to go? I was way too invested to just kick him to the curb. He was looking for a job, but after a year had passed of me busting my ass for us, and him not doing the same…. I quit one of those jobs and he was magically able to come up with money. Humph, funny how that happened.
4. I had literally given up every friend I had for this guy.
Yes, yes, I know that I am a fool for doing that and I regret it to this day. I would choose him over my friends every time and they all started to fall off the earth because they hated him, too. I started to resent him for something that I allowed to happen; I should have stood my ground. He became my only friend and my worst enemy at the same time. I had no one to talk to about my issues besides the person that was the equal root of the problem. I trapped myself into a mess and I had to learn to be alone in order to build any other relationships up. I was terrified of losing my one friend in the world.
5. I cared too much about what his family would think of me.
In reality, I couldn’t stand them; they enabled his gambling, supported him quitting numerous jobs and never encouraged him to go to school. In the end, I was so ecstatic to break up with them, too.
6. We had talked about OUR future already.
There was a point in time that we wanted to get married, the whole shebang. I’m talking about looking for rings, checking out venues and making save the dates. I even paid for a photographer to take our engagement photos. Then I thought about all the nights I stayed at home while he gambled away all of his money at the casino… while I worked 2 jobs to feed us, he was giving away money for free. I felt like a horrible person, marriage is supposed to for thick or thin right? What kind of person was I if I wasn’t able to lift him up and support him through his struggles? I could do this. We could make it.
7. My biological clock was ticking.
If I didn’t have kids with this man, I was going to have to start all over with another one and that could take Lord knows how long. I didn’t want to risk it even though I knew he was incapable of taking care of children let alone himself. That same year I learned that it might be unlikely for me to have children of my own. I’ve come to terms with that and am overjoyed that I never did make that mistake. I was selfish to think that it would be okay to bring a child into a mess of a relationship.
When I made it out of there, I looked back in awe. Awe that I allowed that to last for 7 years, that I settled and made an illogical situation logical. But you know what they say about love and rose-colored glasses. Sometimes, we’re the ones who force ourselves to stay.