She’s made all the mistakes, so you don’t have to… Ask Erin is a weekly advice column, in which Erin answers your burning questions, about anything at all.
My girlfriend — well, my ex-girlfriend — broke up with me. I’ve gained a lot of weight in the past year, and she told me that she wasn’t physically attracted to me anymore.
Let me start at the beginning: She’s been in my life for almost three years. About two years into the relationship, she told me she had a crush on someone else. Because I felt so dependent on her, my attitude was “That’s cool, as long as you still love me.”
I didn’t hear anything more about it.
Then, out of nowhere, she told me that she’s interested in pursuing something with her co-worker who is exploring/questioning her sexuality. She told me she wanted an open relationship and I agreed because I love her. She had sex with the co-worker twice (that I know of), and each time, I was just home waiting for her, feeling powerless.
Then she broke up with me to be with the co-worker exclusively — but the thing was the co-worker didn’t want a relationship with her.
So, a month later, she came crawling back to me and we got back together. The past few months, I felt like we were making progress. However, she blindsided me again by telling me she has another crush on someone new. We broke up, AGAIN.
She says that she felt nothing for me, despite the three years we’ve been together.
I need help getting closure. What was it about me that wasn't enough for her? I don’t know if I didn’t give enough or if I did something wrong at some point... According to her, I’m not physically attractive. I admit that I’m fat. I know that.
Why was she with me for three years if she didn’t love me?
I know that you may not feel this way right now, but you are so much better off without her.
I have witnessed people staying in relationships that didn’t make them happy, believing that somewhere in there was love; I've also gone through it myself.
But love shouldn’t make you feel like shit all the time — and it sounds like what you got out of that relationship was mostly just bad feelings about yourself.
Your size has nothing to do with this. Her issues have everything to do with this. She would have done this no matter what you look like or how much you weighed. Please know that.
Her actions are not an indication of your worth. She goes from crush to crush, searching for whatever it is she's lacking in herself.
What concerns me is the importance of addressing your own insecurities around being loved. I know I say this a lot, but therapy can be so useful in sorting out one’s issues.
Therapy is not the only place to look for help, though. You mentioned that you felt dependent on her. There are 12-step meetings for people struggling with co-dependency issues and that might be a place to start if therapy is too costly or too daunting. There’s an organization called CODA that can help you find a meeting in your area. (Their site has many other useful resources as well.)
Don’t go to her looking for closure. She’s never going to give you what you’re looking for.
It really doesn’t matter what she felt for you over the past three years. If she felt nothing, then her sociopathic behavior is alarming — as you said, why stay with someone if you feel nothing for them? If she did love you, but still treated you this way, that's equally alarming. You don’t want to be with someone who thinks it’s acceptable to behave that way in a relationship.
Now is the time to focus on self-care. Self-care can mean a lot of things, from seeking professional therapy, to spending time with friends who do love and respect you, to allowing yourself a day on the couch binge-watching your favorite Netflix show...
Basically, put yourself first for a change and remember that a relationship should leave you feeling good way more of the time than it leaves you feeling bad.
You are enough.
If you have a question for me about love, lust, breakups, friendship, Russian poetry, infertility, The Jam, candles, or anything at all, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. As always, your anonymity is golden. xoxo