How do you find the strength to walk away from a relationship that no longer serves you? One day, you’re made happy and the next day, you feel insecure, unhappy and a distasteful feeling of sadness.
What happened to the caring guy at the beginning of the relationship? The sweet loving man who dotted on you with affection, laundered you with his attention and took away every feeling of doubt you once had about him. He was perfect.
But months later, it seems you’re the only one in the relationship. No calls. No delightful text messages. No surprise gifts. You labour hard to bring back those happy moments when he was fully invested in you by doing the calling and checking on him.
He promises to change. However this new lease of life lacks consistency. You love him, but you hate this situation of not being showered love.
How do you finally end it and move on with your life?
Over the past few days, Tush Magazine reached out to five Nigerian ladies who opened up to us, about how they summoned the strength to break up with someone they once loved.
How did you know the relationship wasn’t going smooth any longer? Were there any signs or change in behaviour you noticed?
He wasn’t eager to talk to me all of a sudden. You know at the onset of the relationship, the guy exhibited this fire brand energy, dotting all over me with affection and attention. Then, just a month after, the whole energy just poofed. He would miss calls and not call back.
Steadily he became distracted and started to withdraw from the relationship. He had this personal project that made it difficult for him to dedicate sufficient amount of time to me. It was draining and becoming not the ideal type of relationship for me.
I’m this kind of person that craves attention. At least talk to me, a 5-minute call or 30-minute chat, anyone. I tried to fix this communication issue threatening our relationship, but it didn’t work out.
Was it tough taking that decision? Walk me through that “exit process”, how did you come to a final decision you had to leave?
Okay, I suggested we should take a break. He didn’t flinch or ask me why. He was cool with it. I was surprised he also wanted one too. Immediately, I sent a break up text due to my feelings at that moment. This guy didn’t reply. His actions that night really hurt me.
Funny thing is we worship at the same church. Seeing him in church, stripped off the usual greetings and photo taking after service, the pain hit hard at home. Sometimes, I’ll get home and just cry. I didn’t expect anyone to do that to me.
What signs did you see that made you start rethinking if you were in the right relationship?
It started with communication. He was always pulling this busy card. With that, we drifted apart. Apart from communication, it was like I was disturbing him at some point, because how can you be sick and still say I can’t come to visit you. Even when he got better, I wasn’t permitted to visit him but he could allow my friend?
It was like I was the only one there so I just withdrew myself long enough before we broke up. I already made up my mind months before it happened. Plus there was a time he even threatened to leave me if I didn’t stop being soft and all. I already knew that was the beginning of the end.
How was it like leaving someone you once loved?
The breakup was a very dark period for me. I didn’t even know how to go about it, how to finally end this thing and stop making him feel he still had me. Firstly, I spoke to different people about it and they advised I leave since our lifestyles didn’t align. He wasn’t the best guy for me. But then, it was very hard to follow their advice.
So there was one day during my indecisive period, he called and told me he was coming to my place. He came that night and he asked if we were still together. To him, it seems we aren’t any longer.
Omo, I poured out my mind to him that night. I literally emptied my regrets, thoughts and every painful thing he had done to me. I cried too. He apologized but I was adamant that I needed a break.
The final break up happened around September 2019. But I was depressed. I would cry today, be fine tomorrow. I cried till January 2020. At that time, I knew I was completely healed.
The healing phase stretched me. I had to delete his number. Whenever girls talk about him around me or maybe I see his pictures, another crying bout will begin. My friends and other individuals helped me get through that period with their regular advice. They suggested I deleted every memory I had with him from my “mind”. That helped.
Happy at the beginning, what changed during the relationship?
We had this earlier turbulence that serenaded the early stage of the relationship. So I had this ex who was trying to get back. My boyfriend knew about this ex, but I reassured him it was nothing and then proceeded to blocking my ex.
Months later, the calm, sweet loving boyfriend I thought I was dating transformed into another being. He would disrespect me a lot with his statements sometimes. He would make some jokes which didn’t gel well with me. This disrespect would graduate into another level. He would compare me with other girls by beauty standards and one time, told me to my face, I wasn’t that beautiful.
I would complain about this sudden behavior but he wouldn’t bulge or exhibit any change.
I had to do something because I couldn’t be with a man with no respect for women. He would often body shame women on Twitter without no reason. I had to leave because it was getting unbearable.
Was it hard for you taking that decision?
It was tough going through it. I was aware of myself that sometimes I exaggerate my feelings and I needed to put that in check because I needed not to put two hearts on the line. I started by writing all of the things I wasn’t comfortable with. And the ways his words and action hurt me.
I wrote about how I felt and how I was constantly almost losing my self-esteem and identity as a woman. It felt genuine because I wrote it all down and read it over and over for like a week. It brought tears and clarity every single time I read it. I knew it was time to let it all go.
I called him on the phone the next week and told him the reasons why I wanted to break up. There was no sort of apology or deep concerns about how I felt at all. He went ahead and said ‘If that’s what you want, no problems, If you ever need anything, call me.
How did you heal?
I got a therapist. My mental health was in the mud.
What behaviours did he manifest that made you have a rethink about the relationship?
On a normal basis, he calls, sends paragraphs, hypes me a lot, always eager to see me (video calls) because it was a long distance relationship. He’s also the very busy type and I’ve always understood that so he tries to make up by calling, sending cute texts, video calls, etc.
All of a sudden it stopped. I wasn’t getting pictures from him like I used to, he won’t hype me when I send pictures, not picking calls or responding to texts and if he does, it was just straight replies. About a month later, he got a job in another country so he had to relocate. Conversation became very difficult because he was always busy, no calls at all, late replies, etc. I got fed up and called it quits six weeks after he travelled.
I wanted to give him time but what made me think about ending the relationship was when I asked why he changed all of a sudden. He stopped doing all he used to do.
This was his response: Keep all your emotional expectations away. I don’t have time for all this crap and bullshit.
I knew it was time to walk away.
Leaving was easy…What about letting go?
It was very tough for me. I had breakdowns. I was depressed. He was my first love. I have never loved anyone before I started dating him. We had just been together for 9 months before I ended it. I had so much love to give and I felt I deserved better. I broke up by sending a very hurting text to two of his numbers on Whatsapp and blocked him afterwards. I cried my eyes out and ghosted on everyone because I needed to heal. It wasn’t easy because I kept having flashbacks of our memories together.
I had to see a therapist because it messed me up. I wasn’t eating well or doing things like I used to. I cried everyday and kept reading cute mails I used to get from him. Looking at his pictures everyday and reading old conversations from when things were good. I had sleepless nights but I thought it was best for me to end it. I knew I was going to recover someday. Maybe not soon but someday.
Talk to me, What happened to your sweet guy?
Well, before the relationship began, it was all rosy. We talked a lot everyday, chatting especially and calls too. Then he also used to come see me everyday.
Then we started dating and it was like a switch went off. Talking felt like a chore, chatting most of the time always ended in arguments and fights and blaming the other party.
When it became almost an everyday thing was when I knew it wasn’t going last long.
Were you doing anything that prompted that change? If he was dotting all over you before the relationship, what now happened when the relationship commenced? Was he seeing someone else?
To be honest, I don’t know.
On my part I didn’t do anything that prompted him to change at least nothing I can remember. Whenever we talked he would say he didn’t want us to break up, that he was going to improve. Be more sweeter and stuff but nothing changed.
Him seeing someone else? Maybe, maybe not. I honestly didn’t know. Because there was a time during one of our “talks” that he said he dropped lots of girls for me. Bruh, was I supposed to bow down and worship you for choosing me and acting like an ass? Lol
He also said there were some that even knew about me but still wanted to be his side piece(s).
Leaving wasn’t that hard, yeah?
Well, after complaining multiple times and nothing changed, it wasn’t difficult. I’m not a quitter and I like giving things my best shot before giving up.
Plus it was exhausting, repeating the same thing over and over.
There was a time I was ill and he walked me from class to where I stay and even if he wasn’t my partner what to do was call later in the day to ask how I was faring but nothing all through the weekend. I called him and gave him a piece of my mind and let him know that that was really bad and there was no excuse to get him outta that except he was kidnapped or died or something.
Some other things and I just knew the breakup was long overdue.
When I ended it, he begged and begged and promised to change but I was done.
This article was written by Olabode Otolorin; connect on Instagram with him here