I was in a three-year relationship with Lenny. He is a handsome and successful psychologist. I loved the fact that he was smart. Everything was going well for us. We celebrated holidays together with his family and I was so happy to finally be able to celebrate holidays again, as it has been difficult for me since my mom has passed away. She was the matriarch of the family and we were best of friends.
I was close to Lenny’s daughter and my son imagined that Lenny would be his step-dad. My son’s father passed away when my son was 14, so having a father figure was important in a young man’s life. My son was nearing high school graduation, and it was time to decide on a college. My son got accepted to 12 colleges, as he was an honors student and intelligent. I was a proud mama and close to my son. He decided to go to a college about 20 minutes from where we lived.
Lenny and I decided that we’ll live together and I’d move into his place. His home was a bit far for my son to travel to the college he chose, so we decided that it was best he gets an apartment near campus. My son and I signed the lease for my son’s new place. My son was excited and scared about this new upcoming experience.
Arrangements were in progress. Lenny wrote me a beautiful card about how he was looking forward to our life’s journey together. I was happily in love. We also saw two therapists to make sure we were going to have the most incredible relationship ever. A bit before that he asked we what my ring size was. I couldn’t wait for the new chapter of our lives together and likely an upcoming engagement. Wow, what a dream come true! Finally to have a family again and celebrate holidays with family! Perfect!
Then it all came crashing down. My happily ever after, shattered.
Lenny called me on a Saturday afternoon, July 6, 2019, and told me that he couldn’t go forward with our plans and was ending our relationship. My heart was broken in a million pieces. What? How could this be? We went to therapy and did everything right. Later that afternoon, he left my belongings that I had at his place, at my door. This was two weeks before I was to vacate my current home. Where will I live? What will I do? My head my spinning and could not believe what was happening here.
I notified both therapist of the breakup and they were both in utter shock. One therapist, the first words out of his mouth were, what the f***? He then apologized, as he was flabbergasted. Then I told the other psychologist and she didn’t understand this behavior. What do you mean? She asked. Their responses made me feel a bit better, as there were no warning signs for this erratic behavior. It’s not like there were signs, and I missed them.
I planned to take a few of my mom’s furniture pieces to Lenny’s place, as these pieces did not fit in my storage unit. I’d need to bring a few things at a time, until we established where everything would go at his place, and slowly empty out the storage. That was our plan. Sadly I had to leave those furniture pieces out on the street. Most of the items in my home went to my son’s new apartment to start his new adult life.
Not knowing what to do, it was time to vacate my home. I ended up sleeping on my son’s sofa for about 3-4 weeks and living out of my suitcase. I felt so defeated and humiliated. A grown woman with her dog, sleeping on her son’s sofa. How shameful, I thought. During those few weeks, I spoke to Lenny’s family. They couldn’t believe what he has done. He let go of the most amazing thing in his life, me. They all loved me, and thought I’d be part of their family forever. One of his sisters said, he’d die old and alone. This sister suggested that I call Lenny, and tell him he can’t do this, and that I’m moving in with him till I find my own place. I couldn’t sleep on the sofa at my son’s place any longer. I spoke to Lenny and he agreed. He still loved me very much.
The reason he broke up with me, was that he thought, either I break up with her now or a month after she moved in. Which was better of the two? He decided to do it before I moved in. I told him there were other options. How about communicating with me how you’re feeling and what you are going through? Maybe we could have done something else. To him those were the only two options.
He’s been holding on to his mommy issues for years, and blames his past on everything, including the breakup. He’s an adult male that never truly dealt with his childhood issues. He’s never been married and never been in a long-term relationship before me. Ours was the longest relationship he’s ever had.
While we lived together, as I was looking feverishly for a place to live, he said how he loved going to sleep with me at night, waking up with me next to him in the morning, and how he loved coming home to me after work. What was he so afraid of that he ended the relationship?
He referred to his home as our home, his bed was our bed, his bathroom was our bathroom, all the while I was living out of my suitcases and had about 2 feet of space to hang up some of my clothes in his closet. It definitely was not our home. It was his. While I was there, we acted like a couple and did everything together. It was a total mindf***k living with him, but I didn’t have many options. He made sure to tell me that this arrangement was only temporary. Believe me, I knew that, as I couldn’t wait to get out of there.
I saved whatever money I could to rent a place. I needed first month’s rent, last month and a security deposit. I had to buy all new furniture, as I literally had nothing. I was starting over. After about 2 months of living together, Lenny asked me to start paying rent. I was shocked. Excuse me? I was nearly homeless because of you and have to start over because of you. I did not have my own room. If I did, I’d understand that he’d want me to pay rent, as he could have rented it to someone. We slept in the same bed and shared everything. He had the audacity to say, you do sit at the dinning room table. I couldn’t believe those words came out of his mouth. What? He’s a successful psychologist with a full practice. He made more money in a week than I did in a month. I have to start my life over and you want me to pay rent for sleeping with you in the same bed? It took me about 3.5-4 months to finally find a place and moved out. Finally no more mind games.
We stayed in touch after that.
Three months after I moved out, the world shut down due to the Covid pandemic. I felt so alone, I couldn’t see anyone. Lenny called and said; let’s go hiking. He knew I love nature, so every now and then we’d meet up to spend time in nature and grab a lunch or dinner too. I went for long periods of time not seeing him, which was fine by me.
I made a promise to his daughter that no matter what happens between me and her dad that I’d always be there for her. One day his daughter reached out and asked me to go to the beach. I said sure. I texted Lenny to notify him not to come out when I pick her up, as seeing him was pointless and would me emotionally disturbing. We went to the beach and while we were there, she did not feel well and got a rash all over her body. She went to the lifeguard tower and the next thing I know she’s on a stretcher on the back of a lifeguard truck. Now I had to call her dad and we had to make a decision to either take her to the hospital or take her home. We decided I’d take her home. Of course Lenny came out to greet us. He gave me a big hug. She went home to rest and he helped me with her belongings. I took some of her stuff into their home. Over the fireplace was a picture of us. I was smiling and Lenny was kissing my cheek. I said oh, why is that there? He said, you know I still love you and think about you everyday. I also have your picture on my computer screen. You and my daughter are the most important people in my life. Are the mind games still continuing? I thought to myself. Even though he feels this way, he still ended our relationship. This is how he let his emotional baggage ruin his life.
We spoke here and there and he admitted that his issues are affecting his relationship with his daughter, but when I mentioned that a few years back, he got all defensive. Now he’s realizing how damaging carrying his past into the present is. Because he’s so stuck as the little boy with his mommy issues, he never grew up emotionally to be a man. At one time he told me that I was dating a boy. I knew that, but I didn’t mind.
During the time we lived together, I told him that I’d hold his hand while he’s working on his issues. I’ll be there to love and support him, but since emotionally he’s a child, he couldn’t accept it. His love for me was/is only at the level of a child, because that’s where he was stuck. He made emotional decisions as a child, such as the breakup. It was either I break up with her now or a month after she moves in. An adult can actually see the bigger picture and have a discussion with the person he loves when things come up. He was not an adult emotionally, but yet he was a successful psychologist that helped everyone else, but couldn’t help himself.
If I am being honest with myself, there were red flags along the way that I chose to ignore, because I thought I was so happy. Finally having a family. Finally having a partner again. Life was good, so I thought. It has taken me about 3 years to completely let him go. I realized that I don’t need this man in my life. We aren’t friends and we are not a couple. How can I be friends with someone that treated me this way?
The most difficult part for me was, that he took all those years away from me that I could have lived with my son while he was attending college. Would he have stayed at home during that whole time? Probably not, but I would have had some more time living with my son. I felt that Lenny took that away from me. He could have ended our relationship 3 months earlier and everything would have been different.
As we know there’s a reason for everything in life and there’s a lesson to be learned from it all. When I let go of the notion that he took that time away from me from living with my son, that’s when the healing began and I was able to move forward. I wish him nothing but the best in life and I hope that some day he’ll be able to fully heal the little boy inside of himself.
As the saying goes: “People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.”
Reason: This is when a short-lived relationship brings you a benefit or helps you with a realization. It helps you with a specific difficulty you’re facing, either intentionally or unintentionally.
Season: This is when a relationship accompanies you through a certain period of your life. It lasts for some time and brings you joy and growth. You might learn a lot from the relationship, but it eventually ends.
Lifetime: This is when a relationship lasts a lifetime.
Some say that everybody who enters your life does so for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. No matter how long a relationship lasts, it can bring you something positive — even if it’s just a lesson in how to spot red flags.
Even when a relationship ends badly, you might find it helpful to consider the positive memories and lessons the relationship brought you. Although these positive aspects don’t necessarily erase hurt and pain, it might be comforting to remember the good while accepting the bad.
As long as you’re learning, you’re growing.