T.E. and I are “on a break.” When he suggested it I melted into a pool of “man I wish I could die right now” and could barely get words out, so discussing the parameters was pretty much out of the question. Add to that the fact that I was very distracted looking around for a hole to crawl into (because this is where one goes to die, right?) and it wasn’t until, I kid you not, a day or so later that I realized that I have no idea what we’re doing.
It’s a classic option when there are issues in the relationship – “we should take a break.” And I’m sure there are situations when it’s the perfect option, and really does answer some question or address some problem or SOMETHING that makes sense in light of the relationship issues. But right now I can’t think of any situations like that, and I REALLY don’t know what it’s supposed to be accomplishing for us. Our situation looks like this:
- T.E. has a wonderful and exciting new social group that he’s spending more and more time with, and it makes him really happy.
- Unfortunately there are only so many hours in the day and the more of them T.E. spent with the new gang the less I got from him.
- I, being the genius that I am, first decided that I needed to solve this problem completely on my own without talking to him about it at all. After all, that has worked incredibly well in so many relationships, right? Sigh.
- In trying to find this magic solution all by my self (pats on my back, oblivious) I came to the conclusion (fueled by 40 years of being single and, therefore, being unable to imagine a world where I could possibly be worth anything as a partner) that T.E. never actually loved me, but was just really lonely. Now that he’s got all these awesome friends he just didn’t need me anymore, and as such it was best for him if he dumped me.
- Then I told him that.
Now, to his credit T.E. debunked my carefully figured-out solution, which I liked to hear. But then my plan fell all apart (I’d really thought about how this was the solution that would make him happiest, so when this solution made him significantly UNhappy I was all confused and befuddled and lost control of the whole dang conversation) and the discussion spun off into crazy directions. The next thing you know we were both in tears and feeling terrible about the place where we were, but totally unable to find a solution that made it better. We knew we didn’t want to break up, but we weren’t sure of anything else after that.
And then he said those words.
“Let’s take a break.”
Now I think I felt glad that he wasn’t going with my well crafted “you should dump me” plan, given that the idea of not being his partner anymore ranks right up there with being torn into a bajillion pieces by rabid possums, so I jumped on this ‘not yet breaking up’ option. But if I’d had any of my mind around me at all at that point I’d have asked all sorts of questions about this break. Questions that totally plague me now.
Take a break to do what? We said 2 weeks, but does it have to be that long? Is this for him or for me? Is there some sort of goal to be reached in this time? Or conclusion or epiphany… In short, what is the point of these two weeks?
If they’re for me? Well we could have taken a break of about 45 minutes. I apparently just needed enough time to bawl my head off until I was completely out of water, and then get the ability to think again for a minute. Once I could think it was very clear to me what I want.
I want to be with him. And I want him to reprioritize his time to give me a bit more of it. I want him to decide that I’m worth some extra work on his part to juggle all the things he wants. And I want to be one of those things that he wants. I don’t need time to figure that out.
So here I am, taking a break without really wanting to.
Now the question must also be asked: what is he doing with this time? The crazy, pathetic, totally without any self confidence part of me pictures him happily hanging out with his friends, so glad to no longer have to make any time at all for his crazy, weepy, old girlfriend. I see phrases like “why the hell did I do that so long?” and “man, it’s so much easier without the old ball and chain” tripping easily off those lovely, English lips in that hot, English accent. And every time I see that I go into full-on, batshit crazy panic mode and want to call him right then and beg for a do-over. Because please refer to the first part of what I want: him.
But to be honest I know that if T.E. can’t find some way to want to work a little harder at this that really proves what I thought all along: he’s ready to move on.
So what am I hoping for from this break? In short, I’m hoping that T.E. misses me. I’m hoping that by the end of the second week he’s anywhere close to as messed up as I am and he’s sure that I’m worth some extra work. If he needs time to do that, to figure that out, to reach that conclusion then a break it is.
I just hope it doesn’t break us.