Sometimes you realize you are no longer in love with the person you used to love most. This was me, this was my exact situation, and the worst part was admitting it to myself and doing something about it.

I never knew why some women stayed with crappy men. I never understood it. I could never wrap my head around why people stayed in relationships where they weren’t fully happy. I thought that it was simple, and just saying, “If you’re not happy, leave. Find someone better,” or “If you’re not happy, what’s the point?”

And that’s true. That’s what I kept asking myself in the ending months of my relationship. I couldn’t put my finger on what exactly went wrong and when it did.

So why didn’t I leave earlier?

Because the first rule of loving someone is that you don’t just give up when things are rocky. You try to stick with them and figure it out. I had invested so much time, effort, and love into this relationship with this man. Why would I just let go that easily? I did love him. I did care for him. He was my best friend, and my partner in crime. He at one time made me extremely happy.

But the biggest lesson I finally accepted was that you just can’t change people. And you can’t wait for them to change when they decide to do so. And I knew this, deep down. My frontal lobe was screaming at me, telling me to suck it up and live with reality. I couldn’t do it. I just kept thinking, maybe I’ll just give it time. After all, our good times outweighed the bad by a landslide. When the bad times did come though, it was really awful.

I started to think about my core values, and what I used to want in my “perfect guy” before I started dating. I wanted a smart guy, who had good hygiene, and supported me no matter what. Who wasn’t lazy, and was as ambitious as I was. I realized I had lost sight in what I wanted.

It’s just that our connection was so deep, and as a girl with a weird and twisted personality it’s hard to find a guy who is just like me in that area. The fact that I was with one made me happy to know he accepted all of my weird ways. That, too, is why I stayed.

Each time we had an argument, which was only a couple of times, they were really big arguments and it got bad. Sometimes we wondered if we should just stop it then, but we deep down wanted to work this out. We were both stubborn, we both hate to admit we’re wrong, so it was hard on us.

But the main difference between me and him, is that I always had to try and fix things first. I was the one who had  to fight to keep us together. His pride would not budge enough for him to admit to me, “Keely, I love you, let’s work this out.” He didn’t want to look weak, so that wasn’t an option to him. I would start apologizing for things I didn’t even do just so that we could get over the argument and be good again, because he never did anything to initiate a solution. That was wrong of me, and so dumb. Why would I do that for someone who clearly didn’t care if we worked it out or not?

And that is what hurt me. That he wasn’t too worried about losing me.

Why was I the only one that tried to save us? Why can’t I have someone who fights for me like I do for them? And why was I letting it happen?

I kept having to tell him, “I would never do that to you” in so many instances. The stuff he said or did to me, I would have NEVER done or said to him. The negativity in him grew after he started school again. It was negativity, everyday, about everything. Nothing made him happy. “College is a waste of time,” “Just another check on the list,” “That sounds really stupid,” “No, we are NOT doing that.” It was so exhausting.

But I kept trying to act normal. I knew he had been in a little funk lately, unmotivated, and not sure what he was going to do as a career. So I used that as an excuse as to why he acted the way he did. I wanted to be there for him. This goes back to not giving up and sticking through the rough times.

As the weather grew colder, so did he. We were inching away from each other, little by little, mentally. I questioned whether he was even happy with us like this. I asked myself over and over, “Could I raise a family right at this moment with him?” I kept telling myself, “No, you know you can’t. And you can’t deny it.” I was right. But what if he changes? What if I stick with him just a little longer? What if he finally gets his priorities straight? I knew none of that would happen. I was finally starting to accept it. His pride and his ego never let him admit to anything, or apologize. He was never wrong, and I was always the bad guy.

But if I couldn’t depend on him, and only I have to bend over backwards to save our relationship, why was I staying? Why was I making myself miserable over the fact he would never care as much as I did?

So I did it. I had mentally decided to stop acting, stop lying to myself. I let him know how I felt, and that was it. I was so tired of fighting for his love when he wouldn’t give a damn if we never even fixed our problems.

After all that was said and done, I am relieved I finally made the move, but it was so unbelievably hard to let go of the person I had truly and deeply loved and cared for, for such a long time. I loved him honestly more than I loved myself. I could have given him the world, but he would have wanted another galaxy instead. I wish that he would have seen the damage he did, the cruel words he had said, but now he is seeing the consequences of his lack of care and initiative to help strengthen us. My self worth will no longer be chipped away at or questioned, as I have accepted that I deserve someone who will care for me like I care for them. I deserve to be fought for, too.

I will never regret loving you, caring for you, or providing for you. I did my part, but you stopped doing yours.