An open letter to my ex

This is by far the most difficult piece of writing I’ve ever had to tackle. That’s taking into account my Year 12 exams, every University assignment, and even that time I had to tell a girl it would “probably be a good idea” to go get a check up.

Where are you supposed to begin these sorts of things? Do I skip right to the end, where you committed a betrayal so heinous it could slot straight into a Shakespearean tragedy? Or start at the beginning, when ignorance truly was bliss?

Everyone tries to suggest I joined a Cheerleading team to pick up girls, but that actually isn’t true. I joined for the sport, the challenge, and because I always love doing new things. The girls were just an added bonus.

Nevertheless, it was only a couple of trainings before I noticed you, jumping around at the front of our warmup, your only two good assets drawing the eye of every male in the room. Throw some flirting, a bit too much alcohol and a “Sooo, what are we?” in there and it was your classic 21st century romance.

There were definitely some good times. I stuck it out for almost two years so it can’t have been all bad. You were never one for a lazy day in; you got me off my ass and doing stuff. You challenged me, maybe a little too much, and forced me to confront aspects of myself I hadn’t known before. Because of you I learnt the values of patience, compromise, forgiveness. Oh, and you like superhero movies, that was the best part.

Introspective people love to cliché that “hindsight is 20-20”. I prefer to say that hindsight is a treacherous, backstabbing motherfucker that will make you question every decision you’ve ever made, doubt your own intelligence and gullibility, and wonder why your friends and loved ones didn’t warn you that you were being a massive idiot. (Spoiler alert; they did, we just didn’t listen).

Almost a year down the track, and the ultimate conclusion is this;

You had a complete and utter unwillingness to compromise or to affect any real change in yourself for the benefit of me or our relationship.

You just did not give a shit.

You claimed to! To this day you claim that you loved me, that you cared, that you are distraught by what you did and that it will haunt you for the rest of your life.

Surprisingly, I actually believe you. I don’t doubt that you meant well and that you had the best of intentions. Intentions mean fuck all, however, unless if affects your actions, which it most certainly did not.

Every effort I made, every concern I raised, through every discussion and argument and resolution..

 

None of it ultimately seemed to matter to you or make a difference in your life. You did you, and that was apparently good enough, so long as your boyfriend fit in there to take selfies with. You took away my solitude, yet gave me no companionship. It was the revolving door of my life, to bring up an aspect of us that I wanted to work on and suddenly find myself in a relationship with a talking tree-man, but instead of “I am Groot” can only say “I don’t know”.

You said that line so often that by the end I started to wonder if you knew anything at all.

No relationship is the fault of a single party though, and I will happily accept some of the blame. I have a tendency to aim for still waters; I avoid arguments where possible, and give up on a discussion if I sense too much resistance for fear of making you angry, more than willing to sacrifice my own happiness for the sake of keeping things mellow. That’s my bad. Whilst this may seem like a noble quality on the surface, it is just a recipe for misery.

The problem with being a martyr is, whilst repeatedly falling on your sword may seem like the right thing to do at the time, it will ultimately leave you unfulfilled and with a sharp pain in your stomach.

There is a fantastic book written by Dr. Gordon Livingston, “Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart”, that was recommended to me by one of my idols, and which I in turn recommend to everyone. Out of all the great lessons to take away from it, the most profound for me was in one of the chapter titles:

“Any relationship is under the control of the person who cares the least”…

…and by God did you seem to not give a shit.

Putting in as much effort as you want for a superfluous relationship is fine; but do not sit there and purport to love me whilst simultaneously dismissing my every concern as irrelevant and thinking only of yourself.

The hardest pill to swallow is just how bloody stupid I feel now. I spent two years convincing myself that all of the short comings and the stubbornness was just you, that it was inconsiderate to ask you to change, and that you really do care but this is just the way you are and I have to accept that.

I gave you benefit of the doubt, whilst doubting everything about myself.

Some will say that all this is petty, that I’m after some attention. It could be construed as downright mean and an attack on your character and reputation. Truthfully, this is for me; I don’t even care if you end up reading it. Everything said here is true, and far too overdue. As an added bonus, if someone else can read this and gain some solace, insight or clarity from my ramblings, all the better.

As for you.. after everything you and I went through, everything you put me through, and after what you did…

I wish you the best. Here’s hoping you find the will to change, I’d love to be proven wrong.

-Dan.

 

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