It Was Me...And He Wasn't Happy!
(Baltimore, MD, USA)
My last relationship was with someone with self esteem issues who became very emotionally controlling and it intensified the longer the relationship continued.
We broke up the first time when I moved all my stuff out while he was on a business trip. I'd had enough. I was there when he returned and I tried to sit and calmly explain that we just weren't a good combination.
It quickly became heated and started to become ugly so we never were able to calmly discuss the dissolution. A few weeks later he had a family trauma and used that situation to make me feel bad for him and guilty for leaving. I returned, or actually, this time, I let him move in with me.
I made him explain all the reasons he didn't want to accept the breakup and explained my own challenges as well. He listed all of the things I had "done wrong" in the first break up and I created an action plan of correcting any of those things I felt I had culpability in.
I followed through with all of the things I said I would and when the relationship went too far south again, I explained that I fulfilled all my obligations and had done everything I committed to. I had to be forceful and very direct but he finally let me go...tough break up and tough one to break up with.