I mentioned in a comment to Ginny that Lora repeatedly said to Jon in chat something like “I didn’t go apeshit you dumped me and threw me out of my home. You know you can trust me with the whole truth.” Something about her repeatedly pointing out that she didn’t lose it then (when she’s lost it over so many other things) makes me feel like it’s coming. Also…I don’t know if she’s somewhat rewriting history or possibly doesn’t totally understand the facts of the situation. Or both.
So here’s the Cliff notes version. She and Jon got into a huge fight later in the night on the day they had couples therapy. The fight started because he wouldn’t look at something on her phone. She screamed all the abusive garbage at him that I told her back in February “If this happens again, the next time we talk, it’s not going to be a ‘you need help’ talk, it’s going to be a ‘we can’t live together anymore’ talk”. She continued to fight with him daily, waking him up every morning to fight, for nearly a week. During that week, I stopped speaking to her. If I had to, I kept it to single syllable comments and refused to engage in any personal conversations.
Jon told her that we all needed to talk. That talk was when I was going to tell her that we couldn’t live together anymore, and that I couldn’t have any kind of an emotional relationship with her until she stopped abusing Jon. During this time, she’d also decided that they (they, not her) needed to move out, so she told Jon that we DIDN’T need to talk, because they were moving out, so there was nothing to talk about.
She started to try to engage with me again. I refused to engage.
So she bought me a cupcake and a few other sparkly things (I’m not kidding. I looked at it before I tossed it. She bought me a cupcake and some sparkly jewelry) and left it and a little note apologizing for waking me up (completely ignoring that it wasn’t waking me up make me hit my limit, it was the ABUSE that made me hit my limit) and tried to talk to me again. She also requested (through Jon) that I not send her an email about how I was feeling, because it would stress her out too much. I texted her a little note, saying that, until we could talk about what happened, I wasn’t comfortable having any kind of conversation with her. She said that she’d rather start an email then, because she wanted things to stop being “awkward” (!!!) as soon as possible. In that email, she said that therapy really stressed her out, and she needed a few days away from us after therapy, in order to process her feeling in private (Because having her own bedroom is not enough for that, it seems). So maybe we can swing a hotel for her. I said that – if couples therapy stresses her out so much – then she really needed to STOP couples therapy and start going to solo therapy, until she was able to process her feelings after couples therapy in a way that doesn’t require her to get a hotel room for a few days. She agreed.
But we still never addressed how she and I couldn’t live together anymore. I felt, at that point, that we needed to have that conversation in person. I hit my limit with Lora hiding from consequences and hard discussions and trying to cover them up with cupcakes and emails of cute cat videos.
Then Jon broke up with her and said she couldn’t live there anymore. So we never had that conversation in the end.
It’s now become clear to me that Lora is not aware that Jon wasn’t the only person behind her not living with us anymore. I am. I’m not sure if/when she should be told that.
The email that she sent to me apologizing was the only remotely direct way that we communicated about things. And it didn’t touch anything of importance. This is a summary of the email:
She felt like I was waiting for a pissed off email from her, so she wanted to put that fear to rest. She wasn’t mad at me. She was sorry for hurting me and Jon. She didn’t know what else to say, but was pretty sure that I didn’t want to get into it. I don’t need to respond, because the point of the email is for her to apologize to me. I shouldn’t be concerned about her, because she has options.
As I mentioned in my post about this email, I did respond. But I kept it to just me being sorry too and that I’d get boxes for her. I didn’t get into anything because I was frankly just really happy for her to be gone. Now I wonder if not saying anything else was a mistake. As I thought when I originally read the email, despite the apology, she does an enormous amount of shifting focus away from her abusive behavior. She starts by telling me about the bad behavior that she ISN’T going to have. She makes several comments about how I don’t need to respond, which I think might be less of taking the onus of responding off of me, and more about trying to stop me from sending an email that lists the things she should be held accountable for.
Why am I rehashing this now? I’m rehashing it in part because I think it may be important for her to be told that technically I am the person who said she couldn’t live with us anymore. Or at least (assuming Jon agrees with me), I am the first person to say “Lora cannot live her anymore”.
Also, given her little foray into emailing me last week (sending me a link to some cute cat things or something), it may be needful for her to be told that I do not want her in my life at all, for at least the next six months, but more likely, the next year.
Part of why I bring this up (and maybe More Than Two has something about this, but I haven’t gotten to that part of the book yet) is to question what kind of closure conversation(s) metamours should have. I’m absolutely certain of the following:
- The kind of relationship (if any) the metamours had before the break-up will definitely inform whether or not there is one after the break-up.
- Some kind of communication should be had to establish what kind (if any) of relationship metamours will have after a break-up.
- Depending on the circumstances, it may need to be a series of conversations
- The timing of such conversations should partially be informed by the timing of conversations that the two people who are breaking up are having.
- The shared partner should probably have some idea of what the conversation entails, and what the metamours decide, in regards to their own relationship.
In the case of this abusive mess with Lora, I think that any conversation we have will probably be over email. I suppose that’s fine, as that way, I can write it, reread it half a million times, edit it half a zillion times, and then send it once I feel like I’ve gotten it all spelled out.
What will this email say?
There are a couple of things that I want to cover in it. I want to let Lora know that her last fight with Jon was the last straw to me. I think I may bend the truth a little bit and tell her that I wanted us all to sit down, because I needed to tell her and Jon that I couldn’t live with her anymore, and that I couldn’t have an emotional relationship with her anymore, instead of telling her that I had already talked to Jon about them. My reasoning there is so that she doesn’t think Jon broke up with her just because of me.
A part of me wants to say something to her like “I told you in February that if we had to have a talk like this again, it wouldn’t be the ‘you need help’ talk, it would be the ‘we can’t live together or have a relationship’ talk”, but I don’t know if that’s necessary.
Whether I say that or not, what I really want to say is something like “I cannot live with someone who tells their partner that he is a fucked up person who cannot relate to normal people, and has fucked them up with his fucked up ways. These words are inexcusable to me. They are abusive. They are wrong. I will not live with someone who says things like that. It is a hard limit for me. Those are words that tell me, more than anything, that individual therapy is something that you need very badly, to get at the root of why you would say such things to a person that you love. I cannot trust you or have an emotional relationship with you, when I know that those are words that you will use with someone that you have an emotional relationship with.”
Then I would tell her that I want no communication with her at all for at least six months. If she wants a check in at six months, we could do that, and I could see if I feel ready to open up communication then, or if I need another six months. I’m 99% sure that I’m going to need another six months, so I’m debating whether I should just say that, or go with the six months/six months thing.
The last part would be to express to her that I really hope she continues with therapy and works through her demons. I would tell her that, until she does, I cannot have any kind of relationship with her. I would also tell her that, should she decide that my response in this email makes her not want to be my friend ever again, I completely understand. But either way, I hope that she gets the help she needs, so that she can be a happy, loving person.
That’s the working thoughts, anyway. I’d love any ideas on what to say/how to say it/how much I should go into.
One thing that I do feel strongly about – right or wrong – Lora did behave abusively. Repeatedly. Jon has ducked around saying that to her. I have been easy on saying that to her. I generally hesitate to say things like “You did this WRONG” versus “We all have different ways of doing things”. But whether or not it is wise, a part of me feels like, if I can’t look her in the eye and say “I cannot live with you or have an emotional relationship with you because you abuse the people that you love” then I need to put it in writing, clearly, without euphemism or other statements that take away from the terrible truth of that statement.
We’ll see what ya’ll think of that.
So when do I send such an email?
That is a question that I don’t have any answer for, other than “not today”. I think ideally, it might be best to send it after Lora’s stuff is out.
Any comments people have, I would love. This is definitely something that I’d love feedback on, as putting closure on a relationship is a pretty big thing. I want to do it in the best way that I can, that stays true to me, and is respectful of Lora.