He was hanging out, while I was barely hanging on.
Breaking up is hard to do. It always sucks, no matter who's doing the breaking. There's always a sickening beginning to the conversation, a dawning realization of what's going on. He uses the old lines: "It's not you it's me." "But I still love you." "This is for the best."
And as you feel yourself wanting to ball up and cry, his voice goes on and on, calmly, rationally, shattering your life into pieces. That's the worst part. You and your world are falling apart, and he's doing just fine.
You feel the worst kind of unloved. Breaking up always sucks but when there's a mutual sense of misery (or relief), it's easier to swallow. When it seems your whole life was just sucked from underneath you, and he seems relieved that it's over, you feel a unique kind of devastation.
You love someone who no longer loves you. You care about someone who no longer cares about you, at least in the way you want him to. It's gutting, this feeling. A regular breakup calls for ice cream and a Gilmore Girls marathon. This calls for simply hanging on as tightly as you can.
I felt like this when my favorite ex broke up with me. He used all the well-worn phrases. I knew he'd cheated on me, and honestly, I'd cheated on him. But I still loved him. I remembered all the good times we'd had, the good times we still had, and wanted to hang on. He just wanted everything to be over. He was calm, rational. I started weeping as soon as he dropped the "we need to talk" bomb.
You're a wreck when this happens. You feel like extraneous baggage, like something he dropped just to make his life easier. But you wanted to stay together. Maybe you were having problems, but they weren't worth breaking up over.
You remember the good times, the times he was gentle, the first flush of loving him, and you want to howl and cry all over again. Because you're doing a lot of that, howling and crying. Ugly crying — the kind of crying where the tears trail into your mouth, your face turns red, and your nose starts to run.
This is what your relationship deserves, you think. But he's out with the guys, watching football, or worse, maybe out with his new girl. And no matter how much you cry, there isn't a damn thing you can do about it.
Hopefully you avoid ugly crying in front of him. If you don't, and he stays calm. Well, that's the worst. He probably tells you that you'll be fine. Which is a lie, because you are not fine, and you will not be fine at any point in the foreseeable future, which you pictured happening with him, and which has suddenly, irreversibly shifted on its axis.
You hang up the phone or walk out the door, and you're crying and heaving and feeling like human garbage, and you know he's just thought, "Well, good thing that's over." Now what? This makes you want to cry and heave even harder.
I remember the first morning waking up without my ex. I felt hollowed-out and dizzy. I didn't know what to do with myself, or how to do it. I called up a friend and we just sat in front of the TV, watching mouths moving, not saying anything.
I didn't feel like eating; my stomach was too sick. I knew he was eating just fine, probably snarfing a pizza and hanging out with the boys. He was hanging out, while I was hanging on.
That's a horrible thing to know about someone you love, someone who no longer loves you. Someone who would have been the one to hold you through tears like this. That's no longer his job. And maybe he does feel bad, and maybe he does care that you're broken. But it doesn't feel like it, and without him, it doesn't matter.
Breaking up sucks. But it sucks harder when it's the end of the world as you know it, and he feels fine. I felt unloved, unlovable. I was losing my best friend. He was only losing me, and he seemed fine with the loss.
I ugly cried. I fell apart. He went out. It took me a long time to get my feet underneath me again, and he was dating some other girl within a sickeningly short period of time. Knowing that he didn't feel as devastated to lose me as I felt to lose him was the worst kind of misery.
It gets better eventually. But the sting of that unloved feeling never really passes. You hold it against them for the rest of your life. Because when things fell apart, you lost him — and he felt fine.