It’s hard to explain how (or why) I loved my daughter’s dad for as long as I did. When he left me pregnant, I was devastated, and no amount of lectures about how I “should have known better” could change that.
I was oblivious to the fact that we were in a toxic and codependent relationship. Even though he left me stranded in November 2013, neither one of us seemed truly able to let the other one go.
A couple of months after he kicked me out of our apartment, he was living with a new woman. By that point, I was living with a friend’s parents, waiting to have our baby which was due in May. Despite the distance between us, and his lack of involvement in the pregnancy, he kept calling, texting, and emailing me.
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We argued practically every single day for four months. Both angry that the other person hadn’t “lived up to their end of the bargain.” I was angry because he acted like the pregnancy was no big deal for me. He was angry because I hadn’t “loved him as unconditionally” as he wanted. Instead, I expected him to be a decent dad to our child — who never asked to be born into our mess. And it ticked him off because I wasn’t happy with him simply fathering our kid and behaving as if nothing had changed.
There was so much rage between us, yet all I really wanted was to get back together. It didn’t matter that he treated me like garbage, because he also kept doling out little breadcrumbs that looked and felt like love.
While my ex was living with his new girlfriend and I was lonely at home, he kept our sexual relationship alive. If he wasn’t making comments about how he missed being intimate, he was calling me at 3am to say he was having an anxiety attack and needed me.
“Talk to your girlfriend,” I’d tell him at first. But then I’d usually cave. It drove me crazy how he kept reeling me back in after saying shit to me (like how much he hated me and that I was the meanest person he ever met).