Love: When to Walk Away, When to Stay

when to walk away

when to walk away

While my blog was under construction these last few weeks, my relationship with Mr. Sports Fan has gone through some construction of it’s own. We’ve quickly gone from project management, to total destruction, to rebuilding and back to project management in just a couple of weeks. The whole devastating ordeal has left me wondering:

When do you walk away from love and when should you stay?

I don’t even really know when or how it began to fall apart, but I know it happened quickly and suddenly, and left me physically and emotionally feeling the blow. Things were good, or so I thought. Sure we had our problems, but they were small, weren’t they? I thought so.

The weekend went as so…

We each took a much needed day off on Friday, something we workaholics very rarely, if ever, do. We decided to spend the day, all day, at Blue Hills Reservation, laying on the beach and just enjoying the day. We picnicked, laid in the sun, read, listened to music, talked, took a hike, found a family of young ducklings; all in all it was a great day and we decided to top it off with some ice cream.

Saturday we woke late and gently, had amazing sex (it’s pretty much always amazing though) and just lay in bed enjoying the rare luxury of a lazy morning together. We got up, had breakfast, got some work done (in our underwear because we were experiencing the first heat wave of the season) and just chit chatted as we sat at the table together, each of us on our laptop. Later in the day we decided to head out to the office, and then go do something fun before coming home and grilling something up for dinner.

OK, by now you’re probably wondering where they destruction and devastation comes in… wait for it… it’s brewing on the horizon.

We worked at the office longer than we expected and then went to a local ice cream place to grab a scoop. After some time browsing Barnes and Noble (we both love doing this), we made our way back home. At this time, it’s about 9 pm and dark, but I still went outside to grill us some burgers for dinner after getting into  little tiff about me needing his flashlight to light up the backyard. (Uh, hello? I didn’t plan on cooking out there in the dark!) Apparently while I was cooking, he was having “great difficulty” connecting his laptop to my Wi-Fi, so I told him I would take a look and try to figure it out after I cooked. OK. No problem, right? Wrong! His frustration with not being able to connect grew with every passing minute. We ate dinner and I tried to figure out the problem. He insisted that it was my fault and I must not have paid my bill (um, excuse me?!) while I asserted that my bill had just arrived the afternoon before so that could not be the problem. This discussion escalated while I waited on hold with Comcast for tech support as he proceeded to tell me (or at least from my point-of-view) everything that I’m doing wrong when it comes to running my house. Mother fucker this is my mother fucking house!

Comcast was having an outage so, nothing they could do to help me out of this dilemma. Wonderful! Being a resourceful single girl, I turned my phones hot spot on and got him connected to that. Problem solved, right? Wrong, again! He was already heated and not he was upset about the speed of the service. Kill me now! Seriously?! I tried to remain calm, but his constant barrage of “helpful suggestions’ on how to run my house was getting to me. “I just wish you were on my side,” I said to  him. I can’t even explain the expression on his face. I could see that the words hit him like a knife straight to the heart. But I wasn’t sorry, not in the moment, and it needed to be said.

“Wow, I can’t believe you just said that! That was an asshole thing to say. Wow!”

“Well, it’s how I honestly feel right now. I feel like you’re attacking me and I just need you to be on my side.”

We both sat there, silently, each still working on our laptop. At this point we know when to stop talking, and when to keep it up. This was definitely the shut-up-say-nothing-and-cool-off point in the argument. Typically after a few minutes of this we are able to discuss, not argue, about what just happened and resolve the problem mutually.

Not this time.

This time he packed up his bag with a few work things and some clothes and left, saying “I’m going to the office, I’ll see ya later,” and walked out. No kiss goodbye, and he didn’t even look at me.

When to Walk Away…

Did we really just get in a fight over the internet connection? Seriously?! 

This reaction, this walking away, this has only happened once before and it resulted in a phone call from him within 10 minutes; we hashed things out over the phone and then he returned. That wasn’t the case this time. I waited, phone in hand, for that call or text to smooth things over. It never came. 15 minutes after he left, the internet service was back up and running, so I sent him a message letting him know. No response. Wow! ‘Kind of childish,’ I thought. But when he didn’t return, didn’t communicate in any way— no call, text, email, smoke signal or carrier pigeon—for the rest of the night, I got worried. At 4:30 in the morning when I began calling his cell and office trying to reach him and couldn’t, I was beyond worried!

When I finally reached him on his office phone at 5:00 AM, he didn’t understand why I was concerned. After all, he said he was going to his office. I tried to remain calm, but he could hear the anger in my voice even if it wasn’t reflected in my words. Apparently he threw a movie in his laptop and fell asleep watching it. Oh, how nice! I’ve been up all night waiting for your dumb ass! “So, are you coming home?” “No, I’m fine here, I’m gonna get some more work done, maybe take a nap and I’ll see you later.You said mean shit and I’m just gonna chill here.” I didn’t like the answer, but I had to accept it, right?

I did not sleep at all! Not one wink.

I also never heard from him again.

(Queue endless streams of tears and uncontrollable sobbing leading to possible dehydration)

when to walk awayWere we really over? Was he really walking away for good, and over something so stupid? Granted I’ve ended relationships over some stupid shit, but we were different. We talked shit through. We came to resolutions. We acted like grow ups (for the most part)! Damn it! Did I really just invest 7 months of my life with someone who could just walk away so easily, so nonchalant? Did I really say something so terrible that warranted this reaction?

After one text and one email (his cell doesn’t work in his office), I decided that I had done my part to break the ice and the ball was now in his court. He never responded.

I was completely devastated, heartbroken and utterly exhausted, physically and emotionally, from not sleeping at all and from crying. Finally, I decided to make another attempt at breaking the ice and I sent him an email letting him know that I missed him and wanted him to come home. He sent one back saying he was working and just relax.I hate when he says,”relax, “but at least it was an answer. We went back and forth a little bit and then, after being awake for about 40 hours straight without so much as a cat nap, I finally passed out Monday morning around 3 AM. It was the first night since mid-February that I had slept alone.

Monday came, and with it came the normal drudgery of a typical Monday. I had still not heard from Mr. Sports Fan since the brief emails. If things were over, then I needed to know for certain,  but instead he ran away to his fort and was giving me the silent treatment like a two year old having a tantrum.

And then, just after midnight, he called.

Was This It?

He wanted to come and get his stuff, said he didn’t want to argue, said he didn’t have time for this stress in his life. I cried uncontrollably, I couldn’t help it.

“So, that’s it, you’re just going to give up and walk away without ever even discussing whatever happened?”

“I just don’t have the energy to argue, so I’ll come get my stuff.”

“So that’s it, we’re done? This is over? We are over?”

“Is that what you want?”

“No, it’s not what I want.”

“Then what do you want?”

“I want to talk about this. I want you to come home, but I guess it doesn’t matter what I want or how I feel because you’ve decided that’s it, we’re over.”

“You said  mean stuff and I don’t think you realize how your words affect people sometimes.”

This conversation went back and forth for a while—from yelling, to talking, to hashing out resentments, to saying mean things, to apologies, to talking. The roller coaster ride that was this discussion was making me nauseous!

When Do You Walk Away and When Do You Stay?

Mr. Sports Fan came home after our roller coaster of a phone conversation, and we decided to cut each other some slack and keep trying. When we each weighed the good against the bad, we decided that there was more good here than bad, and that should count for something right?

Every relationship has it’s ups and downs. The trick,I think, when you’re in the midst of building a lasting relationship is to realize that you are always going to be under construction, so to speak. As the architects of your journey, you have to decide whether you want to half-ass it and throw the building up with a shitty foundation, only to watch it crash and burn shortly after. Or, do you want to work hard and pour your blood, sweat and tears into trying to construct something that has the potential to be life-changing?

The choice is ultimately yours.

For Mr. Sports Fan and I, we’ve chosen to work harder. Whether we crash and burn anyway in the end, we will both still be changed forever.

~XOXO

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