I have regrets and non-regrets about our six years together:
1) you encouraged me to learn to drive, which has served me well. I shudder to think about losing my driver’s license. My life is far better, for learning how to drive.
2) you (correctly) sensed that there was something a little off with me and you encouraged me to get assessments, and it turned out that I had a learning disability, and that I have ADHD. All that explained a lot about why I am the way I am.
3) You steered me towards personal growth/self help areas, which uncovered a lot of my emotionally painful childhood, which led to me to confront the physical/sexual abuse I suffered through as a child. While “ignorance is bliss” and I may have be happier by not knowing, I guess ultimately it’s better to be aware of it, as it contributed to who I am, for better or worse.
4) You introduced me to a lot of life experiences which, as a former hermit/shut-in, I was not aware existed or was too scared to try.
5) You taught me how to dress properly (see #4)
The regrets? Putting up with, for as long as I did, the following:
1) Your controlling nature, combined with my previous lack of life experience, convinced me I had no value, and that my thoughts, opinions, and feelings were irrelevant.
2) Your temper, which quite frankly, frightened me, and which tied into regret #1, and kept me from standing up for myself.
3) Your possibly taking advantage of my lack of life experience and my timidness, which probably led you to think, “hey, here’s a guy who I can push around and manipulate into giving me all the things I wanted in life: house, car, furnishings, nice vacations, paying off my debts, respectability, and the seemingly unobtainable approval of your parents.
4) Giving up my free will, and my free time, and my eventual state of decent health, which was eventually ruined by working my butt off to be able to afford all those things that you wanted (see regret #3), without any appreciation or acknowledgement of the sacrifices that I made – made all for you. All I got out of it was the false notion that all I did and provided for you brought you happiness, which it never seemed to do. Oh, and what else did I get out of it? NeedingTWO canes just to be able to walk. And I’m only 50 years old.
My personal regret about what I did in the relationship?
This whole mess was brought about by the sense that I thought I was an abnormal person. I was a loner/hermit/shut-in, because I thought the world rejected me, and that keeping to myself was best for everyone. And then when I met you, I thought I might have a chance at a normal life. People would then look at me and say, “hey, he’s not a weirdo after all. He’s got a wife and a house and a car and a life and all the things that makes one a normal person”. And I must admit, it felt good to be, for once, to be thought of by society as a normal person, and not a freak or a misfit. So it could be said that I, in a subconscious way, used you as a symbol of my newfound respectability. Then again, you used me the same way, to impress your family. Neither of us were right or wrong. It just turned out that way. A bad six year long roll of the dice.
I sincerely wish you well. I was bitter towards you, but I’ve made great strides in releasing a lot of my bitterness towards you (not all of it, but most of it – I’m getting there). I can only hope, for your sake, you’re working towards a similar peace within yourself.