Time to Throw in the Towel


[dropcap]W[/dropcap]henever I tell the story of me and the Spectacular Asshole back in the day, the listener asks me three questions: How long did this go on? How did you stand it? How did you eventually stop? The first two questions are easy enough; 3.5 years and I just did. The third one is a bit trickier.

What led to the demise of me and Mr. SA was a sequence of events in which I chose to be shitty toward him. Something I did that I lied about when I could easily have told the truth, something he asked me to do for him that would never have been a problem in the past but I refused to do on principle, and a night when we were being quiet together when I had the urge to say something loving toward him but squelched it.  In short, I became spiteful and withholding.

Now I have many flaws, but one thing I am through and through is generous. I give my time, money, belongings, pussy, affection, trust, expertise, and clothing freely. I don’t do it on the basis of what has been done for or given to me, or what I can reasonably expect to get in return. When I have a weakness for a man; whether it’s love or a boner or a crush or an odd fascination, I’m known to say things like “from a strategic standpoint it’s a bad move for me to tell you this but…” or “I know I should make this more difficult for you but…” or ” I should really learn how to say no to you but….” before giving them whatever it is they want or need. But like I said, I’m a generous person. I don’t keep score of what has been given to me and I don’t withhold things out of spite.

So when I got to the point with SA when I realized that three times in a row I could have been nice to him and chose not to, I knew it was time to bounce. After all the times I tried to quit him and couldn’t. After all the times he quit me and I cried myself to sleep over it, the moment I realized that he was turning me into someone I did not like I was done, just like that. And I never looked back until he reappeared in my life all these years later.

These days, there’s someone else in my life who hurts my feelings on a regular basis. How he does it is different every time. Sometimes it’s what he says, or what he obviously thinks but refuses to say. Sometimes it’s the things that he does just to annoy me, sometimes it’s the things that he could do to please me but won’t for some dumb reason. It’s the fact that he used to be awesome and now is aggravating, the fact that he’s aware enough to know that he bothers me but assholey enough to do it anyway.

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking if it’s that bad, why do you allow this person to stay in your life? Why do you not confront him or abandon him or give him a taste of his own medicine? And while I consider doing that stuff on a near-daily basis, the truth is I’m just not wired like that. It’s not really the way I operate. While I have a lot of bluster and will rip someone to shreds over relatively minor shit, when I’m truly butthurt I tend to take and take and take until I can take no more.

There have been many, many times throughout my relationship with ole boy where I’ve said to myself, that’s it. I’m done. FUCK him. I’m finished. And every single time I start to wrap my head around that way of thinking, he does or says something that reminds me of his dopeness and mitigates my wrath. And like the big softie I really am but don’t like to admit to being, I relent. I forgive, I carry on. Because – as we’ve seen with the Spectacular Asshole – I’m punkish like that.

But just the other day I made the decision not to do something. It wasn’t anything directly related to him, but it’s something that he would reap benefits from if I were to do it. And although doing it would make my life easier and allow other people to benefit, I’m not doing it. Because I don’t want him to have the satisfaction.

And that’s how I know that it’s time for me to be done with this dude. Because – for the first time since the glory days with SA – I’ve become spiteful and petty again. I choose not to say the good things I think about him, I choose not to support him the way I could because he doesn’t do it for me. I’m about to cut off my nose to spite his face and that’s how I know it’s time to throw in the towel. Not because of any one thing that he’s done, but because once again I’m becoming someone I never want to be.

But what about you guys? How do you know it’s time to give up on someone who hurts more than s/he helps? Is it something they do or a change you detect within yourself that makes the decision for you? Once you’re done do you ever look back? Speak on it in the comments.

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bag lady. digital nerd. beauty junkie. shoe whore. i'm a sucker for big words and box-fresh kicks. know a little bit about a lot of things and have something to say about everything.

Comments 20

  1. Ray. says:

    I’m the complete opposite. I will throw someone out of my life so fast, they wouldn’t even know what hit em. But one of the downsides to that is when you’re not a very social person you may end up being lonely, which really sucks. But I can’t really deal with disrespect well. I feel like if let someone get away with it once (twice for my closer friends), he/she will continue that kind of behavior. And that’s just unacceptable.

    1. max says:

      Ray you were too quick I wasn’t done writing the post! Read it again tomorrow and see the finished version.

  2. Ooh La La says:

    I relate. I can definitely understand how you feel. When he hurt me, it was the most awful thing I’d ever felt. He did it often, and it made me feel sad, small, and really insecure. Just when I would decide I couldn’t take anymore, he would do something to remind me why I chose him to begin with. I literally felt like I was losing my mind. I’d never felt like any guy had that kind of control over me before. That’s when I realized that it was all mind games with him. He was manipulative, and I felt like his puppet playing into all of his bullshit. I’m over him now, but he still tries to play games with me. That’s the thing about games — they don’t quite have the intended effect if you refuse to play back. I’m happy you’re past it because I now how it feels to be free from that feeling.

  3. nectar_imperial says:

    Question: aren’t you the least bit curious to see what the end-result might be of continually doing what might benefit him in spite of his general asshole behavior? And letting him know that you’re still going to be you…?

    1. max says:

      By the time I throw in the towel I am well aware of what the end result of being myself is. More shitty behaviour. So once I reach that point no, I’m no longer curious.

  4. Malik says:

    At least you have an alarm clock for when you decide to quit.

  5. streetztalk says:

    Good Post.

    Best way i knwo is if I see a change in myself that I don’t like. I think about the root causes for the change, and more than likely it’s that person, and it’s time for them to go!

  6. GirlSixx is ChloeRayne516 says:

    Is it something they do or a change you detect within yourself that makes the decision for you?

    The change that I notice in myself that let’s me know that its time to pull the chord is when I become EXTREMELY AT PEACE — I get very calm, it’s like a moment of clarity, I no longer care, have no worries things no longer phaze me because my mind has been made up.

    1. Tisha says:

      Yup…that’s me too. Once that moment of calm hits, there is no turning back. Once I’m done…I’M DONE. My ex used to always break up w/ me when we would argue (b/c that’s how he knew/learned how to argue) and I would tell him, I will continue to fight and ttry to make this relationship work but the MOMENT I stop caring the relationship is done for me. It’s like I emotionally free myself from it when that moment hits and whatever happens after is whatever. I can leave and not look back.

      Max, I don’t know what it is but latley you have been onpoint in my life w/ your posts.

  7. SmartFoxGirl says:

    OMG. This is me. All of it. I recently made the decision with the SAME exact reasoning you used. Once I found myself changing, becoming meaner, bitter, whatever…I knew it was time. It scares me to death how much hurt I can take. I can take a beating and keep on ticking with smiles and laughter too. It’s really bad when I fall for the wrong person. I’ll do anything for someone I love, anything. I save my wrath for people who don’t matter but when it comes to people I let in, lawd. I wish I was one of those people who can turn cold at a moments notice, stand up to anyone, etc. It’s like I’m a slave to my emotions. Call it chick logic or whatever but it’s real. The light at the end of my love & heartache tunnel is that I can do it if I get to the point where I’m breaking…and trust I’ve been broken. I won’t even share cause ya’ll will side eye me and pray for me at the same time. But like you said, I did it to myself. It’s what I allow. Making the decision to cut someone off who’s dear to you is hard but necessary because at the end of the day, I cannot let anyone change my spirit. I’m living for my child. It’s perfectly normal to look back but I just keep one foot in front of the other, day by day. Everything gets better over time.

  8. Starita34 says:

    *slow clap*
    Great read. Very soulful and I totally relate. This in particular gave me that “YES GIRL!” feeling: “… the moment I realized that he was turning me into someone I did not like I was done, just like that.”

    I can’t say that I was fully *snaps fingers* “just like that”, certainly not in my heart, but in action. I decided, I wrote the letter, and I haven’t spoken to him since. I was willing to make a lot of concessions for him, for his potential, for love, for hope…but when I noticed that his behaviors, his actions – or inactions were molding my behaviors, I knew I had to get out.

    Regardless of whom you’re dating, who you love, who you hang out with, who’s reading online – I think it’s important to never lose yourself. Grow-yes, learn-yes, adapt-fine. But change yourself to please another? No. When I found myself not telling him my real feelings, when I found myself holding back compliments to even the field, when I had to stop myself from kissing him…I knew. This can’t be life.

    Loved the post. Totally relate. I also know it’s hard, at least it was for me, good luck.

  9. I have a short fuse yet there are some folks that know my triggers…
    I like to give everybody the benefit of the doubt, but I also know that when i get the icky feeling in my gut repeatedly…its time to go. I’m not tryna find out what the next grimy move is because if I want grime I’ll go watch a damn reality show or something. But to me very blunt and honest I know its time to throw in the towel when I start acting like the very ppl i make fun of.
    I’m sure you’ve all heard the line: “fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me”…words I try my best to live by!
    Great post!

  10. KeepItMovin says:

    “There have been many, many times throughout my relationship with ole boy where I’ve said to myself, that’s it. I’m done. FUCK him. I’m finished. And every single time I start to wrap my head around that way of thinking, he does or says something that reminds me of his dopeness and mitigates my wrath. And like the big softie I really am but don’t like to admit to being, I relent. I forgive, I carry on”

    Damn Max, GET. THE. HELL. OUT. OF.MY. HEAD. LOL Been here, doing this. Got me thinking and rethinking. If I ever saw myself changing then yes I would have to chuck a deuce but I havent and I pray it doesnt come to that.

    It really is hard to explain to people why you still deal with someone who drives you batshit crazy. Words would never do it justice.

    Good Post!!

  11. Lo says:

    “[She] sang as if she knew me…”

    Max, you’re telling my (and probably a lot of other women’s) story right’chere. I’ve had friends ask me why I “put up with the craziness” that mah’ boy puts me through; but the sister of my soul said it best: “You’re the kind of person with a high tolerance for BS. But when you’re done with someone, you’re just done. And you’re not done with him yet.”

    But when I am… I am in the breeze. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. Something shifts in me and I’m able to release them to the Universe and wish them well with it. We may be able to be FRIENDS again at some point; but the We-ness of what we were? That we shan’t ever be again.

  12. MsNikki says:

    It’s weird I know it’s time to give up when looking or speaking to that person makes me sick. When I am sick and tired and happier with my solitude than I am having this person in my life then I know its time to fold.

    I had a SA and he broke up with me…the funny thing is I knew it was over before it was actually over and I was not upset in the least. I was relieved. it Restless nights, constant belittling and dealing with fits of anger it was the best thing that ever happened to me.

    You know when you are done when you stop caring. Never looked back although he did a few times ;p.

  13. YaYa says:

    I think each person has their own breaking point. I have someone kinda in my life who I swear could be “the one,” but he constantly disappoints and hurts me. But the moment I talk to him, I get butterflies or start feeling “hot.” He’s always had a crazy affect on me and he knows he can push my buttons unlike anyone else. I know he enjoys driving me crazy and playing with my emotions and he tells me that’s his way of showing “affection.” I told him if that was his way of showing affection, he could keep it.

    I used to blame his career field and job on why we weren’t together. And in some ways, I know its a major part of why we wouldn’t work even if we were together now. Since his job is currently on a “lockout,” I’ve only heard from him a few times. The saying “A man makes time for the things he wants,” always rings in my ear. He knows he could have me if he wanted, but he doesn’t make any real effort. He’ll come around every couple months, poke his head in and tease me, then disappear out of my life again.

    This has been going on for years and I’m always disappointed. I can only name one time where he has came through and done something nice for me. 1 time out of like 5 years. So now I’ve gotten to the point where I have deleted ALL of his contact information out of my phone. I’m really TRYING to be done with him. I don’t contact him at all. If he contacts me, I act nonchalant and cool. Its hard because I have such strong feelings for him. And no matter how much I try to escape him, one of our mutual friends always brings him up or I end up seeing him on TV due to his job. I’m all cried out. I have to be done with him for my sanity.

    1. max says:

      I went through a similar situation with a dude for eleven years before I finally dropped the pebble of hope I was carrying around. Now I am soooo fucking done it’s not funny. Sometimes it takes a while to get there but once you do it’s easy.

      1. YaYa says:

        Im slowly, but surely getting there. The longer I go without talking to him the easier it gets. Plus I don’t have to see him on TV right now so that makes it better too.

      2. YaYa says:

        11 years tho? OMG I thought I was bad.

  14. CB 28 says:

    I always think of the saying….”I miss your smile….but I miss mine more”

    That is how I know I am done. When I am strong enough to choose my smile over his.

    Great post!!

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