So the end with the Stand In, happened last year. For me things had been going off for a couple of weeks, for him everything was rosy. And perhaps that’s what what made it worse. Had I somehow made this worse? I hated being the bad guy, I didn’t want to be the bad guy but I knew that if it carried on I wouldn’t be happy and my unhappiness would have transferred to him so I had to end it to stop the pain for both of us and let him heal and find someone who could be right for him without having to change and I really hope he has.
Things had been good at the beginning of the four month relationship but the pressure I felt to make it work out had been building and I was starting to wonder if I was in love with him or whether I just liked the idea of being loved. He was kind in that he would always do what he thought was nice but there were things that just were not quite right and I would have started to resent if I had let things carry on. He wasn’t a terrible person, he just wasn’t the right guy for me and really I was just still in love with ‘the one’, I’d never got over him. It just wasn’t fair for me to try and make this guy replace him.
I had been doing up my house and had done a lot of work. Whether he meant to or not he started asking questions that made me feel suspicious about his motives. He had started asking about the value of my house, how much equity I had, and my salary. He started sending zoopla links to houses, talking about us both selling up and moving house, this started just after two months in. I tried to make it clear I wasn’t ready for that, plus my daughter was my priority, her ability to get to school and see her friends was the most important thing and I didn’t like the idea of moving her home at that point just over a year after me and her dad had split. Yet still the suggestions kept coming. I started to wonder if I was being seen as the means to get a bigger house and make this pop up family he seemed to want so much, but that would have been at the expense of my own freedom and my own happiness. I was not willing to give up my happiness again for someone I had known for so little time. This was killing off any feelings that had been growing as I started to worry that it was all too much. This guy was not in anyway a grown up version of the one at all!
The next bit of pressure was holidays. He seemed to want all my holidays to revolve around his family across the pond or to be taken in the south of France, my wanderlust for the world was disregarded as risky or expensive, he was not capable of spontaneity which is fine, there will be someone else out there that needs just that, but I’m a creative mind, it needs to be fuelled with wonder. He started applying pressure for me to book time off, save up a few grand just so we could go stay on the outskirts of a city in America where I’d never ever wanted to go, dragging my daughter with us as if this was some sort of treat when in fact for her that would have been awful. She is nervous around new people at the best of times, he actually suggested to save some money that she could stay in his brother’s apartment whilst we stayed in a nearby hotel. He just didn’t seem to get that for a child who would at that point be only 14 and a diabetic struggling with lots of little things, this would push her over the edge. The amount of times I hinted at that and he like the true sales person “overcame my objections” as if he was simply trying to placate a customer complaint led me to almost give in, it continued even after I told him straight. Why could he not understand that a holiday for me and my daughter would be about our needs and anyone else would come second? Had we not earned our right to be happy?
Then the comments on my parenting started to happen. I count myself as lucky. I am close to my daughter and cliche though it may sound we are more like sisters. She can be a bit thoughtless sometimes, yes she’s a teenager, (I can also be a pain) but actually she’s pretty damned awesome. I do not deal with the nightmares that some have to deal with, I am a very very lucky girl. So comments around me allowing her to add wash out colour to her hair, listen to heavy metal or watch TV programmes that I feel she is emotionally mature enough to watch were not in any way welcome. I was here doing my best, in my way, this was not his place! Plus his hints at how he could be a better replacement dad than her own father. This was not on.
There were lots of other little things. The life decisions he suggested he would be making for us. The lack of time to myself. Every time he worked at my office he would stay over, which was great at first but then it became a habit. The insistence that I should take lunch with him if he was working in my office. The insistence that he would leave at 4 and therefore so should I, even though my body clock was programmed for later in the day and I actually did better work at night. I saw my flexi sapped, my work suffer and my space gone. The suggestion that it would be great if my ass got a little bit rounder, it was okay to put on weight, No! my Body! my Life! It was all too much!
I realised that actually I could not pretend to be happy for the sake of another, he was killing me with kindness, killing me with control.
So I drove to his, 50 miles away as I felt I really owed him as much as to end it face to face. I turned up… he answers the door dressing gown over clothes really unaware, in spite of my warning message, phone calls to warn that I think he’d ignored. I was doing the right thing. I sat down nervous. I blurted I couldn’t do it. I explained I’d been getting more depressed again which was true. I explained I couldn’t be the person he needed, true. He bargained. I felt so guilty. He just wouldn’t have it, we agreed a two week break, it wasn’t what I wanted. The messages were pleading and I really couldn’t cope. I think I asked him to stop. I just wanted him to understand there was no going back. I could not be the woman he had in mind. I could not change again, loose myself after all I had done to regain myself. He just couldn’t understand.
After the two weeks we met, it was horrible, he was angry I hadn’t changed my mind. He bargained again and I stood my ground. He offered me help with my mental health, I wasn’t going to take that from him. I felt rightly or wrongly that is was his way back in. I needed a clean break. I needed freedom. I needed my own company, I needed my daughter. I needed myself back. I offered his gifts back, he told me to keep them. I gave the bracelet to charity, I explained they should be able to get something for it, at least it went to a good cause. I told him he could keep the Chromecast I had lent him and the almost new IPhone that I’d paid at the time a fair bit of cash for… his reply “damned right I’m keeping those”. So there we go… after the killing me with kindness, the control through niceness his true colours shone through with the offer of an IPhone… he perhaps could have just said thank you…