“I Never Expected to be One of Those Guys Whose Girlfriend Ruled His Life”…
Note from Alex: Here’s an article from my friend Rob who has been so kind as to share a personal story about relationships, sex, drama and all that it is over and in between. With that said, Rob, they’re all yours…
Hello Just Keep the Change, my name is Rob. I never expected to be one of those guys whose girlfriend ruled his life.
Heck, I remember talking with my buddies about a friend or two of ours back in college and how “that would never happen to me”. But a demanding, manipulative girlfriend can sneak up on you when you’re busy living life, and the next thing you know you’re in a relationship from hell. That’s why happened to me.
Kelli With an “I”
I met Kelli at work, like so many people do, I guess. She was a supervisor in a different department and, I have to admit, that kind of appealed to me. Things were great at first. We kept work in the workplace and there was no reason for our work status to matter. Heck, Kelli’s job was a big plus, because she introduced me to other managers and we got along. If anything, our relationship was helping me make friends at the workplace, and I was a young guy fresh out of college looking to move up.
Love and Romance
Like I said, things were great for the first year. We dated. We had our circle of friends, sort of a different circle of friends from what I was used to. Maybe I was looking for something a little different and more adult. Kelli was a few years my senior, but the age difference wasn’t that big of a deal. We had similar hobbies, similar interests. Even our lives were some pretty parallel: both from suburbia, both from broken homes, both from the same part of the country. We had reasons to relate.
Things were even casual at first. We dated off and on for about 4 or 5 months. I continued to see other people, but nothing much to speak about. Kelli was married to her career. We got along.
Things Take a Turn For the Worst
About five months in, though, we started to get more serious. It all started on Kelli’s 29th birthday. I made sure we had a romantic night. We made love. Maybe she was feeling her age, because we talked seriously about our relationship for the first time. After that, Kelli and I were in a committed relationship. It was something I wanted, too. We clicked.
Even then, things were good for the next half year. Then we started talking engagement and marriage. In hindsight, I realise Kelli was on a time table. Something in her needed to have a fiance, needed to be planning the future, needed to be talking kids and a family life and good schools. Me, I was still in a different place than Kelli, and that’s when I started to pull away. It was subtle at first.
That’s when Kelli started to show her other side: demanding, jealous, spiteful. I realized that Kelli was used to getting her way and that she didn’t like being told “no”. I guess being a supervisor does that to you.
Me? I had my doubts, but I also had a year together that was playing tricks with my mind. Kelli and I had had an amazing year together – in many ways, the best year of my dating life. We had been equals in a relationship for most of that year and I was content. Even now, I wanted to remain in the romance: it’s just that Kelli was wanting to go faster than I was. Well, that’s what I thought at the time.
My friends saw it differently. Moving into a new circle of friends, I guess I had lost touch for weeks and sometimes even months on end. When the engagement came about, I naturally wanted Kelli to meet my friends. They weren’t impressed, on either side of the equation. It’s always crazy when two worlds collide, but my friends were astounded I was with what they saw as a bossy, over-critical biyatch. Frankly, they were amazed I put up with Kelli’s act.
A Dramatic Argument
In one dramatic scene, one of my oldest, closest friends (Dustin) took me out for drinks and told me he thought we were co-dependent. I told Dustin my engagement wasn’t any of his damn business. Things got heated. I told him I should come over the table for the way he talked about Kelli. Dustin shot back with “Die tryin'” and walked out of the place.
We didn’t talk for a while. It put a real strain on our friendship. Frankly, I didn’t even know what codependent was, but Dustin got me to thinking. After considering what my buddy had to say, I decided he was right. Something was wrong. I wasn’t in the kind of relationship I wanted to be in.
So there I was, engaged to a woman who was a superior at work, who was friends (or so I thought) with half of my direct managers at work, and who was starting to put all kinds of crazy demands on my time and loyalties. Anytime were were apart for more than an hour, she was calling my Blackberry. She was demanding I “check in” with her at all hours of the night. She didn’t want me seeing my friends, sometimes even my family. Suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, I was in a crazy romance.
So we end up going to a party at my sister’s one night. Kelli was never very happy about these kind of get-togethers, but Kelli’s had gutted it out a few times, because my sister would obviously be her sister-in-law soon. My sister, for her part, likes to have a good time at her parties, so she didn’t like to see Kelli coming, because she had made a scene at the previous event.
We get to the party and are having a good time for about an hour. It’s at that point that I see Rachel, a woman I had known through my sister for a couple of years. Rachel and I had had chemistry from the start and I had asked her out when we first met. She was serious with a guy at the time, but had since broken up. Rachel and I would talk at these parties, but we had become friendly acquaintances and I didn’t feel any kind of romantic chemistry.
Kelli didn’t see it that way. She saw me talking with this hottie and I guess she didn’t like the way Rachel looked at me. From what happened later, maybe she sensed something in the way I acted, though there was nothing conscious on my part. Whatever the case, Kelli came over to the two of us and started up her act. She was snotty to Rachel and controlling towards me, trying to put me down or put me in my place or whatever. Rachel isn’t the kind of person to listen to that kind of stuff about someone she likes, so she told Kelli to calm down and stop being a bitch.
The next thing you know, Kelli is leaving the party and telling me to come along. We go outside to her car and have a huge fight. I had had enough. I grew a set and told Kelli our relationship had spiraled out of control. I told her she had changed. She told me she realized she didn’t know me. I replied, “I think it’s obvious we neither one knew one another like we thought.” Then I called off the engagement. Enraged, Kelli spun out down the road.
A First Kiss
So there I was, having made a big scene at the party with my fiance. As they say, the wedding was off. You can imagine walking back into that party (I had no ride) and having to answer all those questions. My sister and her friends wanted to know what had happened, then I had to listen to all my over-served friends tell their Kelli horror stories. Even at that moment, I didn’t want to hear that. Dustin told them they were stupid for saying all those things, since we’d be back together the next day. I told Dustin he was one to talk, but we grinned at each other and knew we were good again.
I went to apologize to Rachel for having to see all that and put up with my controlling ex-fiance. She was real cool about it. We found a quiet place away from everyone and sat and talked for a while. I told Rachel my troubles and she told me she’d been through something similar.
Rachel told me she was “out of there” and offered to drop me off. I accepted. Before I got out of the car, Rachel asked me out sometime, “if I was really through with that girl”. I replied, “I was about to ask you the same question.” Rachel told me that she was definitely through with Kelli. We laughed, then we kissed.
Rob and Rachel Sitting in a Tree
Kelli and I talked a few times about reconciliation, but it was a formality at that point. We both knew it was through. I was afraid I would see repercussions at work, but I eventually realized that Kelli’s personality had rubbed more than me the wrong way. We’re in different parts of the business, which is really good.
Rachel and I eventually started seeing one another. Rachel has some of the same traits I liked about Kelli – she speaks her mind, she’s easy to talk to, she’s gorgeous – without the negative traits. We make a good pair, because we’re equal parts of a couple. Right now, it’s just casual, but I can see it going somewhere eventually. There’s a lot of potential there.
With Rachel, I feel like I traded up.
Note from Alex: Thanks Rob. Now, it might be appropriate to write about what you could learn from the story… But instead, I want to ask you, what’s the lesson? Tell me in the comments! :-)