In this letter, I have described to you how I felt when you criticized me, snapped at me, yelled at me, nagged me, put me down, etc. I imagine the way I felt, was very similar to the way you felt as a child--i.e., constantly being picked on. You hated feeling that way, yet some three decades later, you were doing the same thing to me. I read somewhere regarding growing up in difficult circumstances, "You either become what you hate, or exactly the opposite." Please think about that statement.
When we were together, you seemed to operate by a blatant double standard. You did not like it--in fact, you would become enraged--if I ever gave you a critical look or spoke back to you. However, you saw fit to snap and yell at me whenever you wanted. You feared rejection, yet you constantly rejected me, by pushing me away, not responding to me, and giving me the silent treatment. Did you ever learn "the Golden Rule"? Did you treat me, the way you yourself would have wanted to be treated??
Once, a long time ago, you looked at me sadly and said, "I don’t know why I treat you like poo-poo." I would like to ask you now, some two years later, are you any closer to figuring out the answer to this question? Do you even think it is important at all?? I felt repeatedly hurt by your words and actions; I told you over and over again that they hurt me, yet you kept it up to the point that I eventually "lost it" in Mary’s office. Do you think there was some underlying, subconscious motivation on your part, for wanting to make me "lose it"? If so, then what exactly was this motivation? It seemed for all the world that you were trying your damnedest to make me "lose it" and leave you. It was as if you had some kind of "death wish" for the relationship! Now that it’s over, are you relieved in a way, and feeling triumphant in having accurately predicted the outcome? I propose that trying to answer these questions with the help of a good therapist, might be helpful to you in the long run.
In Mary’s office, when I finally reached the breaking point, you started to cry and said, "I feel like a failure." Did you feel like a failure to begin with, leading you to treat me poorly and push me away? Or did you first treat me poorly and push me away, and when I responded appropriately, then feel like a failure?? I think that throughout our relationship, both of these things were going on at the same time, and they simply fed on each other in a kind of vicious cycle. You’d feel like a failure, you’d push me away, and then when I became upset, you’d feel even more like a failure. It just got progressively worse and worse. Can’t you see the self- perpetuating nature of this? After two years, it seemed impossible (to me) for you to ever break out of this cycle anytime soon, and there was just no way I was going to continue letting myself be dragged down by it.
Throughout this letter I have tried to explain my feelings. I thank you for reading this far. But the major question at hand is--do you even care??! I remember one "argument" we had early on in our relationship--it must have been January or February 1995--one morning in your bedroom before I left for work. You were furiously pushing me away with the seething silent treatment and when I tried to tell you that you were hurting me, you replied coldly, "I don’t really care how you feel." Throughout the entire course of this relationship, I felt that that this was your primary attitude toward me. You repeatedly hurt me, I repeatedly tried to talk to you about it, and you repeatedly pushed me away. Even now, I feel an incredible sense of betrayal, like I plucked my heart out and left it totally exposed and vulnerable to you on the table, only to have you trash it over and over. What happened in Mary’s office--your throwing my expressions of pain back in my face--was the ultimate blow. The thing that hurts the most, is that in two years, after I gave so much of myself to you, you never, ever once genuinely acknowledged the pain you caused me. I doubt you ever will.
If there is one thing I would like to know, it is this: Why did you have to hurt me so much??? Why did you have to drive me to the point where the only way out of my pain, was to say goodbye to you as a lover forever??
You will never know just how much it hurt me, to love you but then have you repeatedly push me away.
Your experience with Sandy was very painful. Yet you told me you felt that the ultimate purpose for it, the lesson you learned, was that it showed you that you could love someone despite their faults. Perhaps the reason for our relationship, was to show you that someone could love you, despite your faults. As I have said, you have many wonderful attributes which drew me to you in the first place, and which I grew to love. And when I held you, it felt so beautiful and right, to have you in my arms. You will have to accept this on faith if on nothing else--I truly loved you. Ultimately, however, I could not handle being pushed away. I truly hope that in your next relationship, if it is with the right person, that you will be able to love her without pushing her away.