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Every visit, I’d leave not sure if I wanted to be with this person but as soon as I’d come home loneliness and nostalgia set in and suddenly I’m thinking “Well, it’s probably not as bad as all that. As much as I’m a non-confrontational person, I’ve tried to do some prodding about these issues, and I’ve been met with firm resistance. I don’t enjoy our time together in person, but maybe I just need to get used to it? Staying with her is easier, and safer, and better (so I tell myself). If I break things off now, I will have been wasting her time, for years.
But as the man said: that’s just pride fucking with you.
And nine times out of ten, what they’re asking for is permission to break up with their significant other…
because they can’t manage to convince themselves that they need to.
From an outside perspective, it can seem glaringly obvious what you need to do. For example: One of the first problems we deal with is that our brains will flat out lie to us and we very rarely realize it.
Most of us have a misguided idea of how our memories work – that they’re perfect snapshots of a moment in time, recording and replaying everything with perfect clarity and accuracy. Those golden memories of the early days of the relationship when things were better are sharp and vivid and can feel more immediate while memories of all the fights fade quickly… Even memories of abusive or coercive behavior grow faint enough that we can excuse them as being “not having to break up with someone; we’re naturally loathe to hurt somebody we care (or cared) for, even when it’s necessary.