Dear Just Wanting it to End,
You have two problems going on here. First, you have the problem of a codependent man who refuses to accept the reality of your break up. Second, you have the problem of having someone in your life that you care about who you want to fix. Why did you decide to get involved with this guy knowing his track record? I think you were attracted to the thought of someone who would always be around. Guys come and go, but this one was a sure thing. In fact, I think that you may be suffering from the same feelings of self worth that he does. I hope you have come to the realization that just because you are in a relationship, it does not mean that it makes you more valuable as a person.
Lets define co-dependency. Codependency is when you have excessive emotional or psychological reliance on a partner.
This. Is. Not. A. Healthy. Thing.
I would imagine that if you look up co-dependency in the dictionary, you would your boyfriend’s picture staring right back at you.
The number one thing you need to understand is that you can’t “cure” codependency. You can’t make him understand. The only way this guy will ever be able to be in a healthy relationship with someone else, is if he can be in a healthy relationship with himself. HE needs to come to that conclusion. I am sure that he truly believes that he doesn’t have a problem. Relationships are the primary source of comfort for him. He believes that every relationship that ends is his last and that is why he never lets go. Why you ask? It all boils down to low self esteem. Codependents think they are unlovable and flawed. When they find someone who fulfills this need to be loved and gives them a feeling of self worth, it is like a drug to them. An addiction. Your boyfriend is addicted to relationships. You are his addiction.
So, how do you break up with someone who is addicted to you?
I think you are going to have to treat this break up like any addiction that needs breaking. You either take the cold turkey route or the long and drawn out “weaning” route.
The Weaning Method
Personally, I recommend this way of getting him out of your life. You have to learn how to talk to him in a way that he will understand that it is over. The worst thing you can do is point fingers. You need to talk to him using “I” statements instead of “You” statements. For example, instead of saying “YOU are really annoying and clinging to me in a way that makes me want to punch you in the balls.” Say “I find that I am not as into this relationship as you are and it is unfair for me to keep going when I need to honor my own feelings.”
Do not bring up that he has serious issues with being a relationship hoarder. This break up is about the two of you, not about his past and definitely not his future. It is not for you to fix, just for you to let him down gently. Plan out what you are going to say in advance and meet in person. Look him in the eye and try to keep emotions out of the conversation. Too much of an emotional charge will only put a glimmer of hope into this poor boy’s skull. He will think that you are just upset and don’t mean what you are saying. Break up with him calmly and rationally and he is bound to take you seriously. Even offer to help him transition into being single. Start spending less and less time together and cut him off from your vagina. Completely.
The Cold Turkey Method
This is the “shout and out” method. This method means you cannot be friends with him, you must erase him from your Facebook, delete his number, do not go to his place of work, do not go to a party where he might be, do not pass go, do not collect $200. You must rip the band aid off. You break it off quick and dirty. Get it all out on the table, be your bitchiest and peace out. Not a healthy method and not a recommended method. He will most likely hate you for it and you will most likely hate yourself for your behavior. But, it is an effective method and ONLY use as a last resort. Will it help him with his future relationships? NO. Will you both feel like shit? Yes. On the other hand, you will have effectively gotten your point across. But remember, Fort Collins is a small town, and you will have to see him again eventually. Use as a last resort, and only as a last resort. This is the cowards way out.
Relationships are all about balance, so breaking up needs to be about balance too. Keep your emotions in check and he will take you seriously. If not, you can always pull the bitch factor. I know you are better than that and will find the right way to free yourself of his codependency.
What do you think of Robyn’s advice? Comment below and check back on Friday for Skippy’s advice!