Relationships

Gunpowder, lead, baseball bats, and words: a break up story

Miranda had her gunpowder and lead. Carrie preferred a baseball bat. I have my words.

As a man, if you need the attention of not one but two women (usually unsuspecting women) to erect your self-esteem, I’m the last woman you want to choose. When I find out, and I always find out, I won’t cry over you. I won’t ever lift a finger to “get you back.” But I will write about what happened because that’s how I process my world. And if you make me mad enough, I’ll let other people read it.

He stepped over that line. This is our break up story. 

It all started a little over six months ago when an ex boyfriend supposedly “butt dialed” me at six in the morning. He hadn’t called my number in over two years. There was nothing accidental about it but I played along. We chatted via text for the next 24 hours. The conversation consisted mostly of him apologizing profusely for the way he’d treated me before.

We’d broken up because we wanted different things. It was no one’s fault. I didn’t understand why he felt so bad about it. I do now.

Two month after that, I had a question about something happening at his work … something I knew he’d know the answer to, so thinking that we’d re-established a friendship, I called him. He immediately called back, answered my question, and then continued to text me a couple times a day for the next couple of weeks.

When I got a “good morning” text, I began to suspect he wanted something more. Then he suggested we go to dinner.

“Are you asking me out on a date?” I asked.

“Would you go if I were?” he responded.

“I’d love to meet you for dinner … to catch up. I can’t make any promises.”

We went to Dave’s Modern Tavern in Monteagle the Sunday of Labor Day weekend and he was everything I’d always wanted him to be before: chivalrous, affectionate, and attentive.

When we got back to his house, we talked for a long time.

“There are girls you can sleep with … and that’s fine. And then are women who can help make your life better. You were always the later. I just wasn’t ready. I am now. I’m ready for something more, something healthy.”

He said the words I’d always wanted to hear from him. I felt vindicated.

And for a few months, he backed up those words with actions. I started to believe that the really good guy I always thought existed underneath the sarcasm, anger, and bravado was real. That version of M just needed unconditional love to float to the surface. I felt over the moon but remembering what had happened before, I pumped the brakes.

I started staying at his place a couple days a week. Then when he suggested I bring my dog, we started spending weekends together too.

I always tried to go home on Monday. He’d act pouty and sulk if I wanted to leave. He often joked about me “renting a room,” which seemed like his way of introducing the idea of me moving in. The day I discovered his betrayal, I’d been basically living there for a month. I had a key. My tampons were in his bathroom closet. My shampoo sat in his shower.

M can tell himself whatever he likes now to make himself feel better but it’s like my friend Ernie says, “If a woman’s toiletries are here, we’re in a relationship and it’s serious.”

I’d been completely honest with M about what I wanted from the get go.

“I’m not interested in some non-committal hook up thing,” I’d explained. “I’m a loyal chick. If I’m seeing you, then I’m only seeing you. I expect the same.”

He’d assured me we were on the same page.

If I’m being honest, I only ever dipped my toe back into the relationship. By the time it ended, again, I’d managed to wade knee deep. But the more I kept basically living there by default, the more uneasy I became.

Trust but verify. That’s my motto. So when I saw his new iPhone sitting on the charger in the bedroom while he snoozed downstairs, I decided to take a peek.

Sure enough, there were texts from one of his female co-workers on there. He’d been texting her “good morning sexy” at 5 a.m. while I was still asleep in his bed. He’d suggested they take a “trip to the mountains together … just the two of us.” I looked at the time stamp. He’d sent this on Tuesday night. He’d been sitting on the couch asking me to rub his feet while texting her about a romantic get away.

My heart raced in my chest. I was furious. Part of me wanted to rush downstairs, throw the phone at his head, and demand an explanation.

The other, smarter part of me won. I didn’t need to hear anything he had to say. I had the truth. So, I sat there and developed a plan.

Miranda preferred gun powder. Carrie used a bat. Truth and words were my weapons and I planned to use them. 

First, I wrote him a two page letter explaining what I’d discovered. I told him he was a “disloyal piece of shit” and to “never make the mistake of contacting me again.”

I laid the letter on his coffee table. Then I snuck upstairs and grabbed his phone. I texted her from it.

“Hi. This is Tabitha Moore. I’ve been dating M since August. We’ve been basically living together for the past month. While he was sending you a ‘good morning sexy’ text, I was still asleep in his bed. M’s gonna try and make me the bad guy here. He’ll tell you I’m psycho, or crazy, or clingy. Ask around. I’m none of those things. But what I am, is a strong, independent woman not willing to waste another second on a disloyal man. You have to listen to your heart and make your own decision. I just thought you deserved all the information.”

I hit send, deleted my contact from his phone, placed his phone on top of my letter, placed his key on top of his phone, and left. When I got home, I blocked his number on my phone. He can send me 100 texts. I’ll never receive them.

I don’t know what M’s problem is. Really, it’s not any of my business. He’s a train wreck. I wasn’t trying to save him. I was trying to love him enough that he’d feel inspired to save himself … my mistake.

Not everyone’s worth saving. Some people are just terrible human beings. They do terrible things. I used to believe there was a good man under all that anger and self destructive tendencies. Now I know better. There’s no there there.

So am I writing this to embarrass him? No, if that were the case I’d use his name. There are a few people who will read this and connect the dots. But that’s not my problem. As Anne Lamontt says, “You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.” This is my truth. I own it. I can do with it as I please.

I’m writing this because there may be another woman out there struggling with a disloyal man, and I might inspire her.

First, do not waste your time with a disloyal man. It’s not in your best interest. Loyalty has no gray area. Men are either 100% loyal or they aren’t loyal at all. Loyalty is not situational.

Two, when people treat you like shit, remember that there is something wrong with them … not you. Normal people don’t go around destroying other people. I got that bit of wisdom from Pinterest but it’s oh so true.

Three, love yourself enough to leave what isn’t in your best interest. You’re better off alone than with a lying, disloyal man. I reward loyalty with loyalty and disloyalty with distance.

Four, listen to your gut. Do whatever you need to do to honor your intuition and get the truth. If you feel uneasy, there’s a reason.

And to anyone wagging a finger at me because I went through his phone, yeah … fuck you. M was not giving me all the information I needed to make the best decision for myself. I would have never stayed if I’d known. If I had to go through his phone to discover that truth, then so be it. I don’t feel even a little remorse. I’d do it again tomorrow.

And to the woman M moves on with … yeah, good luck with that. If he’ll do it with you, he’ll do it to you. It’s just a matter of time. You can’t say you haven’t been warned.

I suspect, based on their text conversation, that she’s an ex too … the one who came just before me … the one he’d described as crazy and too possessive. But maybe I’m wrong.

He’d be mortified to know that I wrote this. He’s a private person. Most bad people with bad intentions are. That’s why most serial killers are described as “loners.”

But I’m about as concerned with M’s privacy as he was with my heart, which is to say not at all.

Trust me, he got off easy. I know his secrets … the embarrassing, humiliating truth. I could be singing it from the rooftop. I’m not.

I could have taken a page from Carrie’s playbook and taken a baseball bat to his precious BMW M3.  I didn’t.

Yeah, I let him off easy.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton once said the truth is the only safe ground to stand on. This is my truth. I’ll never apologize for sharing it.

Now I’m off to see Sunday matinee. It’s the perfect day for it.

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