You’re Better Off Without Me

betteroffwithoutme.jpgThe last time I was single it lasted for 1075 days. I can mark the time by relationships or jobs or really bad arguments with the ex-wife.

I fell in love way too easily in the months that followed my first divorce, although I only managed to get engaged once! (wink wink) Wendy (she wasn’t my rebound btw) and I met at a Christian Open Mic that I hosted. About two months after we started dating I asked her to marry me, she said yes. Three months later she showed up at my door one evening with car keys in hand (I’d bought a car for her to use because her own vehicle was in terrible shape) and broke up with me, saying she’d been planning to break up with me some six weeks prior but wanted to go on the business trip with me to Washington DC so that she could see a friend. Then she ask if I wanted her to pay me back for the trip but added she didn’t “have the money to pay for the ticket, is that ok?” Next she requested the use of the car for ol’time sake, and added a final request to use the tanning booth at the apartment complex I lived in. Now, when someone sets me up in that fashion I say “I’ve been Wendy’d.”

I took away one thing from that experience. We’ll call it the “You’re better off without me” routine.

She started telling me a few weeks in advance of the trip she wasn’t good enough for me and that I should just move on.

In retrospect, she was hoping I’d take her advice thus saving her from confessing the foul deed. So now I pay attention to such ramblings.

In EVERY CASE since then in which a woman started the routine she was hiding something that she didn’t want me to find out. I’m sure it was their attempt at being merciful.

In the months that preceded my last divorce, my ex-wife suddenly started in with “You’re better off without me.” In the end, I would have been better off with NOT digging deeper. Perhaps it should be enough when one partner wants to move on and leave it at that. I soon discovered her second affair, and she was trying to end it in a way that saved her from full disclosure and me from the pain of infidelity.

I’m more careful now. Aware that some folks have closely held events in their lives they don’t want exposed reminds me of my closet of such things. Some are personal low points in my life, others, embarrassing moments in which I was the fool.

If I can’t figure someone out easily, I’m better off respecting the cloudy nature of some their sketchy explanations. Transparency is still not required for me.

Although I hate being alone, the fear of misspent “I love you’s” is greater than the certain solitude which awaits me for withholding them.

“You’re better off without me!” is not a cry for help, it’s a prelude for departure.

Thanks for reading this far.

(Originally Published: January 21, 2007)

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14 comments for “You’re Better Off Without Me

  1. TBoopster, Spitfire MysTERIous
    February 14, 2007 at 6:30 pm

    Tim, love is always worth the effort, and sometimes the pain of disclosure. And I believe that there is more than one person in the world with whom each of us can connect in the most meaningful emotional ways known to man. So don't feel bad about losing your heart. And while you are wise to guard it, don't wall it up – you'll miss what may become the last and best love!

  2. Tim H
    January 24, 2007 at 7:52 am

    People change, some relationships can't endure the changes. I used to view my marriages as 'failed', I no longer do. I didn't fail at being a good person or a loving husband in either case. Both of the women I married were just who they were, and in the end seem to be happier in their follow up relationships.

    Oh… thanks for the encouragement to keep blogging. πŸ˜‰

  3. ugli
    January 24, 2007 at 7:15 am

    At 42 I have discovered that I love who I have become and as a result I am never lonely. I learned to become my own care giver and I discovered I am my own best friend. As a single woman I have many male friends. Many are single too. We don't date and will never date. Platonic relationships are peaceful betwen men and women. Sexual relationships are always far from peaceful. A sexual bond holds a lot of power and pain if the relationship fail.

  4. ugli
    January 24, 2007 at 7:09 am

    BTW Tim you are a great blogger. Keep on blogging baby …

  5. ugli
    January 24, 2007 at 7:08 am

    In 22 years I had 6 failed relationships. I say failed because today I am very single. I am so grateful to be single, a feeling I have never felt before. I love my solitude and Tim in your solitude we write to each other.

  6. ugli
    January 24, 2007 at 7:06 am

    Love vs Lust

  7. Sandy B
    January 24, 2007 at 12:23 am

    I only tried this tactic once. It was my first relationship after my divorce and I was humble and pathetic then, astonished that anyone'd go out with me; he was, unfortunately, rather awful, and latched onto me like a leech with teeth and would not let go. Ending the relationship was like breaking out of San Quentin. FInally I tried the 'not good enough' routine, or a variation of it… He wasn't particularly brilliant, and finally he decided that I'd been so damaged by a bad marriage and unhappy childhood (yeah right) that I 'could not love again." Hey, whatever works! My feelings of self worth have risen immeasurably since then, and I'd never say that again; however, in that case I wasn't hiding anything, but yes, I was desperately trying to leave. πŸ™‚
    What a heartfelt, sensitive blog. But you've only been single for 1075 days! Amazing. I'm approached by the overweight misogynistic tattooed bikers, men who've never married but devoted their lives to their multiple dogs and their mothers… Oh well, the convent isn't all bad!
    πŸ™‚ Sandy

  8. Tim H
    January 23, 2007 at 7:34 pm

    Hi Eve. Thank you for you kind words here. I'm not alone in my life's experience, nothing sets me apart from anyone else that has suffered my fate. It hurts, and is very embarrassing. I never identified with the 'embarrassment' a person felt until it happened to me. In my case I can separate all other women from my ex-wife. My ex made some very poor choices and paid a price for it. As a footnote… she got remarried again last week. Luck her, eh?

  9. ****
    January 23, 2007 at 5:35 pm

    Wow Tim, this is an incredibly moving blog. I am in a very happy marriage and have been for 16 years–however, will never forget the pain from the first love of my life and the rejection, the cheating, etc. It is as raw today as it was back then in college. I was so desperate to learn every detail of the wrongdoings, who was it, when did it happen, etc. When you are in it–you want full disclosure. Now, looking back–I wish I never knew a thing. I wish so much he had the guts to just break it off with me and move on. Those scars, the knowledge of the infidelity and details, monopolized my every thought and made me feel completely inadequate. I agree with you in that sometimes to be guarded is best—but then you must also ask yourself–"what is it about ME that gets me into those situations?". I believe we teach people how to treat us. I also believe for every bad heartbreak there is another fulfilling and true love waiting to be realized. Keep the faith and keep being you.

  10. Rose J.
    January 21, 2007 at 9:59 pm

    Well I have been guilty of saying that exact same thing to my current boyfriend. And it's not because I was guilty of any misdeed, I actually think he would be better off with finding someone closer to where he lives, and to find someone who is more in tune with what he wants out of a relationship. We are still together, and he is going to visit me Feb 3. It's a very long distance relationship as he lives in Ireland. I am not sure what the future holds for us, and quite frankly he is more hopeful than I am. We are taking a "wait and see" stance right now. But we love each other, and there is something that is holding us together day by day. But the reason I said that to him was because I felt in my heart it would be easier for him to find a relationship that didn't have so many obstacles. I only want the best for him and his happiness.

  11. Debra ^j^
    January 21, 2007 at 5:44 pm

    I never mentioned anyone sharing a "full accounting" of their past in my comment. I have things from my past that I would not share because they would have no bearing in a relationship. A "full accounting" of a persons past is NOT important to me. What IS important is for a person to have dealt with their past to be able to have a healthy relationship in the future. I have and continue to deal with my past as it comes up and in doing so, I am free to having a healthy relationship today. I think it is important to not make up stories about people without knowing what you are talking about. I do agree with your statement that in a relationship, people need to discern what is important to disclose and what is better left unsaid. But secrets that DO have bearing on a relationship need to be shared, not hidden. Thank you for your feedback. I hope this comment clears up what I was actually saying. Deb

  12. Tim H
    January 21, 2007 at 5:14 pm

    All good observations Deb. I'm sure you will not settle for anything less than a full accounting of someones past because that is important to you. If you put it in the context of faith, God remembers the past no more. I agree some things are important to know, exactly what those things are is something akin to a 'negotiation' between two people. Each will find their comfort zone… or not.

  13. Debra ^j^
    January 21, 2007 at 4:32 pm

    Tim,

    My experience in regard to men making the statement or displaying in their actions, "you are better off without me," has been their fear of me leaving them once I fully knew all their "deep dark" secrets, shortcomings, bad habits, etc. One man actually confessed the day he broke up with me that when he looked in the mirror at himself he saw an ugly man and then he broke down in tears! I was astonished he felt that way after being with him for 11 months he never mentioned a hint of this to me.

    The fear has been once I knew the REAL person, I wouldn't like them anymore and leave them. All of this was based on their past experience of being left for various reasons and had nothing to do with the present. So they would end things before they got too emotionally involved KNOWING, I would leave soon anyway. Fear ruled their hearts instead of love and kept them not only stuck in the past events of their life, but blocked them from becoming emotionally involved in the present, because they just KNEW I would leave them for someone better looking, stronger, smarter, more money, etc.

    The reality is that self disclosure, although scary for sure, creates vulnerability and vulnerability bonds two people closer together. It is through "transparency" people are set free to be their true selves and with that freedom, a REAL relationship can be developed. Without it, the relationship will never last and no one will feel free to be who they truly are…the bad, the good, the beautiful, and the ugly.

    It is when you share who you truly are inside with each other that real love can be nurtured and grow. It is in knowing the REAL person, all their faults, bad habits, shortcomings, EVERYTHING people want to hide from each other, and still liking them, still wanting to be with them, and get to know more about them, it is then love moves from the initial attraction of "falling in love" to the long-lasting "forever until we die" kind of love…true love.

    That, my friend, is the kind of love I give and the kind of love I want in my life.

    Always,
    Deb

  14. Kim
    January 21, 2007 at 4:45 pm

    Tim ~ Some good points here….but let me say…any person male/female that takes advantage of another when they *know* there heart it isn't where it should be in the relationship is to me, nonetheless a thief! And so true, so true, I'm better off alone than dealing with misspent emotions. But I never give up! Love is real…I know this, absolutely. It will eventually find the truest of hearts.

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