Phoenix, AZ

"He told everyone I ended it; he packed his things and won't answer texts," woman on relationship

Amy Christie

*This article is a work of nonfiction based on actual events recounted to me by a friend who witnessed them firsthand; used with permission

Seeing your relationship isn't working out no matter how hard you try to fix things can make you feel upset, but how do you react when you don't want it to end, but your partner tells everyone you've already done it?

Is it ok to blame someone else when it's you who wants to get out of a relationship, or should you just face their reaction and learn to live with the consequences of your choices?

Could you forgive someone who wants to look good for their friends and won't agree to have an open talk so you both know if you can go on or not?

My friend Patricia, who lives in Phoenix, Arizona, has been dating her boyfriend Bryan for two years. They met after they graduated from college and have been together ever since. They both have full-time positions, so dating wasn't that easy in the beginning when each of them wanted to get promoted and did overtime or took on extra work projects.

"We saw each other just once a week when our relationship started, and we texted and called the rest of the time. I didn't mind because I was caught up with work and doing all I could to earn better. Gradually, our dates got more frequent, and once our salaries improved, we could relax and focus on each other," Patricia said.

They had dinner at different restaurants in Phoenix, planned a few day trips, and spent weekends together whenever they didn't have to travel for work. As their relationship kept moving forward, Bryan asked her to move in together.

"It had been six months of dating, and it was getting a bit tiresome to always get picked up from home or to leave early to be home and get some rest. So, I felt it was ok to give up on my lease and move into his home in Phoenix. This was like our chance to see if it could be something permanent and whether our habits and goals matched for the long run," Patricia said.

The first weeks were fine since they still had a lot to do for work, but after that, they got back to their regular schedules, and Bryan kept coming up with things his girlfriend had to do around the house. He didn't feel like helping but complained if she was too slow or if he didn't like the plates she served the food on.

"He wasn't like that before. As soon as we got some free time, he used that to start criticizing me. I hadn't realized he needed me to do most of the housework. I work just as much as he does, and we got back almost at the same time. Why would I need to do more while he watched TV and told me about his day?" Patricia said.

Things went on like this for months, with Bryan's mom visiting the couple occasionally. Each time she came to the house in Phoenix, she told Bryan she didn't think their relationship would last, and she added more things she didn't like about Patricia.

And when Patricia asked her boyfriend to stand up to her and let his mom know he cared about her, Bryan avoided getting into an argument with his mom and just asked her not to pay attention to what she said.

"I wasn't that worried about her opinion, but it clearly made a difference to him. It wasn't fair, and I wanted it to stop. I didn't need to prove I was a great housewife. I had my career, and I could cook, and the place was clean. That was good enough," Patricia said.

Unfortunately, as the days went by, her boyfriend found more reasons to be displeased with her, and things got to where he just left her a list of what she had to do and started shouting if she wasn't ready in an hour or so. They argued about house chores, and Patricia let him know she expected him to do his part.

"He needed to stop behaving that way if our relationship had any chance to last. I told him clearly he couldn't treat me like that. My patience was almost done, I had tried all I could, and he was still annoyed. So I stopped doing anything except sweeping the floor," Patricia said.

She avoided cooking and only ordered food for herself. Each time Bryan complained, she told him to do the same and do his own laundry too.

While she kept waiting for an indication that he understood her and was willing to finally start helping around the house, Bryan reacted very differently. Last Thursday, he packed his things in the evening and drove away in the morning before Patricia had a chance to ask him what was going on.

And he didn't stop at moving away. He also let all their friends in Phoenix know that Patricia had told him to leave and that she was the one giving up on their relationship.

"He told everyone I ended it; he packed his things and won't answer texts. I called his mom, but she wouldn't pick up the phone, and the friends I asked hadn't seen him, or they weren't telling. I simply don't know what else I can do except wait it out. If he doesn't show up in a week or two, I'll consider we're done," Patricia said.

What do you think about this situation? Was it fair for Bryan to leave with no explanation and pretend Patricia was leaving him? Can their relationship still work out if he finally realizes he should do his part for chores and housework instead of expecting his girlfriend to do everything with no help from him?

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Amy Christie is a passionate writer and journalist, always striving to bring out the positive and create meaningful connections.

Dallas, TX

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