6. The Way In Which We Love (2/2)
This is going to be a mess. This post uses references to attachment types from a previous post and love languages from part 1. Sorry for typos and grammatical errors, just wanted to get everything down before I lose the will to write again.
Sorry it’s been two weeks since part 1. The more I thought about writing this part the more I realized I had to revisit parts of my life that I still miss. Parts where I messed up and should have done something else. All the “what if’s” flood my head and I become a mess. I get a rush of emotions and I don’t know where to even begin.
But since I don’t know where to start, I’ll start from my last memories…
The last words she said to me were “I really loved you”.
I went through a huge whirlwind of emotions from those last words.
At first I thought “If you loved me, then why couldn’t we fix this?”.
This feeling turned into “If you loved me, then why couldn’t you show it?”.
Which turned into “Why couldn’t I save us? Even though I love you so much and I tried so hard”.
It took me a long time to analyze what happened to us. If I were to run a breakdown of how our attachment types guided the end of the relationship, it would go something like this:
Before I moved in, I can say with confidence that everything was perfect. It felt like we showed each other the perfect amount of love and care and that we fulfilled each other’s love tanks completely. She didn’t tell me this until I read “Attached”, but she has an anxious-avoidant attachment type.
The moment I moved in, I could feel that she was slowly fading away emotionally. She pulled me in with her anxious side, which gave so, so much love, and eventually took what I loved about us away. I became more and more anxious as this happened, and every time I tried to be intimate with her, she would feel like I was being needy and pull away. But when I gave her less affection, she gave some back. This causes a vicious cycle that never truly ends unless both people realize that something has to change.
My love tank was depleted and I was running on fumes. I became so anxious I didn’t know what to do. She kept saying that we were fine but to me, we were nothing close to fine. You know the song “Just Give Me A Reason”? It felt exactly like that.
My anxiety grew and I did one on of the most horrible things I could ever do and I read her diary. You don’t have to tell me how much of a breach in trust this was, I know. I can say how much I regretted reading it, but along with that regret, came huge insight.
She was trying to cope with all sorts of things on her own. I could see how needy and clingy she thought I was after I moved in with her. This is all before I knew about attachment types, so I didn’t realize that the avoidant part of anxious-avoidant people like to deal with struggles internally. They don’t like to talk about how they feel and end up burying it deep down.
I felt so guilty about reading her diary that I told her about it. We got into a huge talk and decided to try and communicate better in the future with each other. But I couldn’t let the things she said about me in her diary go in my head. I felt like I had to fix myself to be better for her. I had to be less needy and clingy. From my perspective, I was being just as loving as I was before I moved in, but everything changed after we moved in together.
Maybe it was getting too close for her. I tried giving her space. I tried sleeping downstairs and asking her if she needed alone time but nothing really helped. I just tried my best to do acts of service for her (her love language) so she wouldn’t stress about anything.
Around this time is when I felt that our intimacy had died. I felt so scared to do things like: hold her hand, hug her, kiss her, or anything couples would do. I tried bringing things up but every time I tried I was either met with a coldness or a burst of emotion. She felt that I was throwing a tantrum every time we had a “talk”, when all I wanted to do was to sort out the problems that we pushed away. Every time we had a “talk” she said that I was chipping more and more away from her confidence in the relationship.
There was a time where we were physically apart for three weeks where I had time to think about our relationship while being away from her. I tried talking to her about her attachment type and mine but she said that all the tantrums I’m throwing were making her so depressed. I felt like I was fighting for our relationship all by myself, and it was the loneliest time of my life.
When we were physically back together, she had started the bootcamp that I went to. I was so invested into her future that I got her a new Macbook Pro to help her on her career change. I tried my best to take any stress from home away so she can just study and relax. I woke up with her every morning at 6:50am, drove her to the bart, went to work, went to the gym, cooked for her, and picked her up from that bart at 9:30pm. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to do all these things for her. I wanted her life to be as stress free as possible.
I brought up our relationship a few times after that and she basically said that she didn’t want to focus on our relationship while going to the bootcamp. I felt devastated. I felt that she just wanted to push me aside even more than she already had. I didn’t understand why we couldn’t be happy like we used to.
My love tank has been long empty by now.
I ran on dreams and hopes of her realizing that I’m sacrificing so much to try and keep her happy. But things don’t end up the way you want them to.
Although physical touch is very VERY close to my primary love language, I realized that words of affirmation is what makes me feel the most loved. I realized that before I moved in she would always say things like “you look so good” or “I love you” on her own. After I moved in, saying “I love you” became too needy for her. I was afraid to say those words so I just waited the entire day for her to say it. But at that point, everything felt forced. I couldn’t get myself to believe if she was saying it because she really meant it, or she was saying it for me.
I wanted her to be proud of me so much. When I got hired at Bandai, she wasn’t proud of me. I asked her and she said that I compromised on my salary goals. Even though I wasn’t getting paid as much as I wanted, I truly enjoy working there.
The entire reason why I’ve been destroying myself at the gym is because she said she was attracted to my face, not my body. I’m sure she didn’t mean it as a back-handed compliment, but that’s how it felt. I thought if I could get back into shape she would be proud and physically attracted to me. I wanted to hear these words from her so bad. I wanted to know that she loved me as much as I loved her.
In the end, I ended up pushing her away. I was so anxious about our relationship that I talked to some of her close friends, thinking that she talks to them about her problems. I spilled too much about our private life and that was the last straw for her. I was visiting my parents for the weekend, and when I got to our house I found her moving all my stuff down.
Why did I talk to her friends? Why was I even more anxious than before? There was a lot happening to us our last few weeks together, but the tipping point was when she started saying someone else’s name in her sleep. The first time it happened I tried to brush it off, but after it happened a second time, I folded. I was striving so hard for her affection the past few months, and she finds solace in dreaming about another person. I confronted her about it, and she said he was just some cute guy at school. That killed me 20 times over. She hadn’t called me cute or handsome or good looking in a long time. It hurt so much.
Our last talk was pathetic. I bowed to everything she said. When I tried to share the blame, she would say “So now it’s all my fault”. I was still in shock, and I loved her too much to retort. That was the last day I saw her.
Everything has been triggering memories of her lately. This morning I just looked at another car and saw someone doing their makeup and it reminded me of how I drove her to work sometimes and she would do her makeup. I picked up a cup of Jamba Juice and it reminded me of the smoothies we would make. I pick up my phone and I remember how she had her fingerprints on my scanner. I’ve spoken to so many people and looked back on many aspects of our relationship since we broke up. These past two weeks especially. I realized that she exhibited almost, if not all, the traits of an anxious-avoidant attachment type. She holds all of her emotions inside, independent to a fault, and has a difficult time depending on people.
You might think that being independent is a good thing, and I totally agree with you. But there is a line where you can be too independent. People who are secure know that they can depend on people when they need to. They can also be depended on. But being avoidant pushes you to the extremes of being independent. You start hating being depended on and you can’t stand depending on people (except maybe your family). Another trait is finding comfort in thinking about being other people when you feel like your SO is getting too close.
In the end, I can analyze our relationship as much as I can, but it’s all for nothing is both people’s hearts aren’t into it. I felt that I was trying to hold together a relationship for two. I tried thinking to myself that maybe she was trying in her own way. Maybe pushing the stress of our relationship in the back of her mind was her way of loving me.
I talked to a lot of people. Every successful relationship is based on communication and trust. I tried so hard to earn her trust back after reading her diary. Was that the deciding factor of our break up? I honestly don’t think so. I felt that we were able to move on from that incident. But what we couldn’t fix was how we communicated with each other.
Coping isn’t the way to deal with stress or problems. The more you cope the more everything builds up, and if you can’t effectively communicate how you feel, the repercussions are dire. I wanted to share her stress with her. I wanted to be her rock. But it felt like she was holding back from being fully vulnerable with me.
I gave her my everything. I loved her with everything I had and was 100% transparent and vulnerable with her. She couldn’t do that for me. I probably ended up many times hurt more than she was. Her anxious-avoidant attachment type probably helped her move on faster than my anxious type.
Sometimes I want to hate her so much, then I instantly feel guilty for thinking that. I try to place part of the blame on her in my head but the only words I hear are “So now you’re blaming it all on me?” and I feel guilty. I know that a relationship is a two-way street but I’m having the hardest time accepting that it’s both of our faults.
I keep thinking, “How can someone I know that loved me hurt me so much, and someone who didn’t love me make me feel so loved.” This is referring to the ex girlfriend we’ve been talking about and an ex that cheated on me. I realized that the cheating ex spoke all of my love languages fluently and perfectly, filling my love tank every day. Whereas my previous SO spoke all my love languages before she showed her true attachment type.
People always wish for second or even third chances to make it work with their SO, but I truly believe that love should come easy. You put in your work for a better, stronger relationship. In the end, if both people’s hearts are in it, I feel that things will fall into place. I’ve learned more about myself than I have in the past 15 years of my life. Even though it hurts now, I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything.
There’s a ton more I can write, and honestly I don’t know what I’ll gain from writing this post. Closure? Maybe. I’ll never have her side of the story, how she felt throughout every stage of our relationship. But even if I knew everything before hand, I don’t think we could have avoided separation. Even if we had the chance to bring it back I don’t think I could do it, and I think thats okay.
But there are too many emotions swirling around, so I’ll leave it with this:
I hope that she felt loved up until the days we broke up. I hope that her love tank was filled with my acts of service for her (her primary love language). I was miserable, but I wanted her to feel loved. I wish I learned about all of this before we met. I wish I knew how to handle someone that is anxious-avoidant before. I wish we could have loved each other the way we needed to be loved.
I wish for you nothing less than the best this world can give.