When the “Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” came out, I was in the 9th grade and my parents were starting to permanently separate. When I heard Ex-Factor for the first time, I thought of it as the soundtrack to them splitting up. My father had left maybe once or twice but after a week he would eventually come home, and my mother would take him back. I remember her saying something about practicing forgiveness, and it takes hard work to keep a marriage. But even at that young age, I knew their relationship was toxic. He wasn’t treating her right, and she deserved much better than him. On the flip side, I couldn’t blame or knock her for trying, keeping hope and giving him a chance to do better. With over 20 yrs of marriage & 2 kids, I understand why she’d be willing to forgive & sacrifice to make it work. Hell, I was over here fighting for a 1 yr relationship to work.
“The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”
Break-ups are hard. I know because I’m living through one now. As I reflect on my last relationship, I see traces of my mother in my own actions. There were moments in the relationship when I felt and thought, “This isn’t right.” But I stayed in it; I loved him, I was loyal, I kept trying, I remained hopeful, I would accept him back and patiently waited for him to do better. He wasn’t perfect, nor was I. We both had our lists of faults and flaws.
What I can say about myself is I made excuses. Excuses on why he wasn’t loving me the way I wanted him to, and excuses on why I should stay in the relationship. I took everything personally; I thought it was me, that I didn’t do enough, and that it was my fault that we weren’t working out. I Failed to Focus on the Facts; I wasn’t 100% happy, 100% of the time and he wasn’t 100% in the relationship with me.
“If you love something, let it go. If it comes back it was always yours.”
That quote was my logic when it came to our relationship. There were 2 instances when we “broke up”, where we both should have walked away. After a few days of break and prayer, he would come back and I would allow him back into my space. Even after we officially ended at the end of last year, we still had the difficulty of detaching from each other.
Last month I told him, “Don’t call, text, or DM me unless you can love me the way I deserve to be loved.” I felt free after saying that. I was proud of myself for telling him such a strong and honest statement, because I knew that I deserved better. Letting go was the first step in healing. He contacted me one week and three days after I said that to him, absolutely interrupting my healing because his intention was not to love me better. To make a long and foul story short, it’s been a downward spiral from there as the truth came to the light.
“No matter how I think we grow/ You always seem to let me know/ It ain’t workin’.”
When it all boils down, he and I still love each other. I would never say that he was a bad or horrible boyfriend, because in the beginning he was amazing. I love his heart, his mind, his thoughts and beliefs. I don’t doubt whether or not he loved me throughout our relationship. He did, he just wasn’t in a position to give me his absolute best. However, how he exited the relationship and carried on after wasn’t how I expected him to act or be. Who he has shown himself to be at this moment in time, is clearly not meant for me.
I’ll let go, and you let go too.