Dear Eric— Part 1

Dear Eric,

I want to start this letter by saying that you are important to me and I love you. I am so grateful that you are a part of my life and I have enjoyed the last four years with you, immensely.

This last week has been hard on me. I feel betrayed. I’ve been forced to consider the direction of our relationship, something I’ve put on the back-burner for some time now. During this week, I sought emotional support from my friends, reviewed my feelings for their own value (unrelated to you), and debated whether or not I wanted this relationship to continue. I’ve finally reached a place where I know that no matter what happens, I will be fine.

I took the situation too personally, when it really wasn’t about me at all. If it is an issue with me, and you would like to see other people, then that is something we should discuss. I first ignored the messaging back and forth because… I trust you. I did feel it was somewhat shady, but you’ve always been honest with me so I felt I had nothing to worry about. I really do believe that you would never do anything to intentionally hurt me. We’ve never really had a fight. We compromise on many things. All in all, I thought our relationship was perfectly fine.

After some soul searching, crying, conversations, and reflection, I’ve realized a few things about myself. I was slowly becoming less of an individual.

My life has many stressors and I was putting a lot of them on you. Your life has your own set of stressors and I was putting them on me. I now know that I should be supporting you instead of trying to fix your problems and control your life. When you want to vent, I should let you vent to get it out of your system like you do for me, instead of giving you advice you never asked for. I feel important when I am truly needed and I let it get out of control. I thought if you and I were becoming a “we,” then I should help “us” in any way I could. But, that’s not how it works. It’s not my job to tell you how to live your life. It’s up to you to make the right decisions for your life, as it is my responsibility to make the right decisions for my life. We are two individuals, not one entity. I have a habit of giving unasked advice. It’s a habit I need to break so that I can be a better family member, friend, and girlfriend. I’m going to work on listening more intently and taking my own advice from now on.

We haven’t had a lot of personal space lately. I always want to be around you because it makes me happy and feel better about myself. I shouldn’t have left my happiness up to you. When you do wonderful things for me, it should be a supplement to the way I feel about myself. Like, an awesome cherry on my self-reliant cake. Instead, I let my own insecurities get the best of me… and you. I realize this is unfair to you. It was never my intention to stress you out or make you feel bad. You are my best friend. I’ve spent so much time with you that I’ve neglected some of my other friends. That’s my fault. I say the only person I need is you, but the only person I need is me.

When I talk to you from now on, I need to draw the line at what is appropriate conversation. Sharing everything is not communicating in a healthy fashion. I talk — thinking clarity will come with the purging of words — but I feel that all I do is confuse you because my mind sometimes goes in a million different directions. I barely understand myself, I shouldn’t expect you to understand my mind. But, I will say, you are incredibly patient with me and I really appreciate that. I need to stop taking the patience and understanding you have for me for granted.

I have made you more important than me. The fact that I couldn’t imagine life without you was not healthy. I need to focus more on myself. I need to do the things I say I want to do. They will give me joy and confidence. To be honest, sometimes I think if I make myself a better person I will be too good for you. I feel this way about you as well. If you become too good for me, you may leave me. Again, this is not the truth, but fear based on my own insecurities. It’s something I need to let go of because fear in a relationship leads to distrust.

I also realized that I made a terrible mistake. I would like to apologize for the way I spoke and reacted to your music. Metal is a way you express yourself. It is a stress reliever and a fun way for you to relax. It’s also a way to bond with your brother. I didn’t understand the abrupt shift in genres. I can’t expect you to never change. It was wrong of me to judge you and say it was a waste of time. I think I didn’t like it because it was different and I thought if we didn’t have most things in common it would hurt our relationship and drive us apart. But in reality, it makes us who were are. If I can’t accept that you have separate interests that’s my problem and I need to find the root of that feeling. We don’t need to share everything to be a happy, healthy couple. The things we do share are wonderful and special.

I haven’t been wanting to go out a lot, recently. This is because I haven’t felt very attractive. This makes me less social. I wanted to live in a little bubble. Again, my own insecurities. The truth is we’re young, fun, and get along with everyone. Now that I’m investing time in myself — eating better and exercising — I feel more confident. I’m uncovering the things that make me the awesome person I am. They were just lost for a while.

I don’t want to make excuses for my behavior. However, full time school and work is harder than I thought. I’ve been putting many things I’ve wanted to do on hold. I need to find time for these things. I think this aspect will improve when we give each other more personal time. In school, I really enjoy getting to know new people. The success I’m having in my classes is giving me more confidence. I want that for you. But I didn’t accept that school was such a different place for you. I’m proud of you for going back and think you’re doing a great job.

I’m going to remove myself from your parents issues (including the bunny situation). They give me stress and have nothing to do with me. I’ll be better at supporting you through this time than trying to figure out ways to fix their situation. They are not my responsibility. They are your parents and I will support you and be there for you. I’m proud of you for taking the initiative to help your mom through this time. I understand that she is important to you and I will not talk badly about her — or your dad — anymore. It’s disrespectful and I apologize for speaking ill of them in the past. I will not harbor resentment towards your brother’s engagement. I will not compare us to other people’s relationships. It’s not fair to either of us. We are on our own path. I want to be with you. Everything else will fall into place if it is meant to and on its own time table. Forcing commitment will not make anything better, it will only lead to problems. Expectations can only lead to resentment.

I’m frustrated with how slowly my life seems to be moving sometimes. If I want it to speed up I need to make changes and nobody can do that for me but me.

I’m going to let you fight your own battles. You’re a grown man. You can handle your responsibilities. Whether it’s gluten intolerance at restaurants or reminding you to pay certain bills. You can handle it. You’re money and credit and responsibilities are yours. I don’t want to be your “bulldog” anymore. I just want to be your lady. A lady that supports her man.

I love you. I wish there were more words. Sometimes the phrase seems played out; but I love you every day. I think you are a wonderful man capable of amazing things. In the midst of our last conversation you said, “I’m not perfect.” You’re right, but you are the man I’ve chosen and I think I made the right decision.

Whatever happens, I love you, you are special to me, and I want to be with you.

Love, Jessica

Thank you for your minutes.