I’ve come to the conclusion that the absolute worst part of going through a breakup is that one of the common reactions is insane distrust — distrust of yourself, the person you were with, and of the relationship’s meaning. This is something I’ve been struggling with throughout my break/breakup/”separation” from my fiance, which has officially gone on for seven weeks exactly. Unfortunately, I may be aware that I’m filled with doubt, but I haven’t quite figured out how to stop doing it. After the jump, about 10,000 questions totally plaguing me.DISTRUSTING HIM: Because I was caught so off-guard by our sudden “break” — he told me yesterday he considered it a “separation”, not a breakup, at least, not until I decided it was — I was left wondering what else I didn’t realize or know about him. I was always pretty trusting, but clearly he wasn’t telling me everything. What else didn’t he tell me over those nearly five years? Throw in a pretty active imagination and you have a recipe for disaster — I envisioned all sorts of disastrous scenarios that made no sense for the man I knew, but I also felt like I didn’t necessarily know him as well as I thought. Did he have a secret lover? Did he cheat on me even just once and impregnate someone else? Did he secretly think I was an awful shrew? Was he actually just a complete bastard and I didn’t know it? What if he was an ax murderer?!
The times I talked to him, I felt myself over-analyzing his words and his tone, looking for any sign that he was totally schizophrenic and I had never noticed. I also got a little sneaky, I’m ashamed to admit, desperate to know what puzzle pieces I might be missing. I obsessed over the fact that he might be schtupping someone else, planning on running off to some foreign country to marry her instead of me. That even if he didn’t, he would meet someone else and I would pale in comparison.
DISTRUSTING YOURSELF: If any of the above were true, how could I have been so utterly stupid and blind? How could I have missed any signs? How could I have trusted him and believed in him and been so stupid as to believe he wanted the same things? If I didn’t see the break coming, what might I not be seeing now? My instinct was off before — should I not trust it now? Or did I ignore my instinct all along? Most of all, with the distrust of your own instincts comes the realization that you have to learn to trust them again. If things are completely over, if I meet someone new ever again, I know I’m going to have to choose to trust them. But fool me once, shame on you, fool we twice, shame on me. Will I be fooled again?
DISTRUSTING THE RELATIONSHIP’S MEANING: I thought we had the stuff that lasts forever. Now that is totally up in the air. Was I wrong? Did the relationship last longer than it should have? Was I the only one in it for life, while he wasn’t, and therefore it was unbalanced and not nearly as happy as I thought? I worry he will look back on it and see it as just another monogamous period in his life with some random girl that he mistakenly almost made his wife; or that I’ll look back on it the same way. I worry that either of us will see it as a waste. I know, in theory, that nothing is ever wasted, especially if you learn something, but when you want something to be so much more than a learning experience, how can you be anything other than disappointed when it’s JUST that?