Breaking up with Fox | My Mom’s feedback

For the breakup prelude and texts, start with this post.

This is the final post on this for the moment. It’s weird to post five things in one day but there’s no point in making anyone wait for any of this.

My Mom sat with me until mid day on Saturday. I had long-standing plans to go out with some girlfriends; the timing couldn’t have been better.

So I stopped texting for the most part, but found his change of tone rather unsettling.

By now you’ve probably read how the texting ended. I still haven’t responded back and am thinking through what to do. That’s actually not entirely true; I know what I need to do but am getting my head around it.

My Mom sent me an email about Fox and our relationship which I found pretty insightful. Thought I’d use her words instead of mine, for a change.


This will be simply a list of things that I observe -accurate or not…..

What struck me is the similarity between Fox and Roger [one of my Mom’s ex boyfriends]. They do all the right things, are Mr nice guys, BUT things are processed privately rather than working through things TOGETHER, etc. And then POOF you get the big announcement or acting out. You don’t know what is coming from left field, so to speak…. Introvert vs extrovert to some extent…..

Anyway….the list.

This business of saying to you the “good guys finish last” is so telling. I see it as a self defeating and self serving comment. It in essence says that “I did the best I could and the fallout is not my fault. It is your responsibility cause I’m a nice guy”…..I’m the good guy, you failed, so time to move on…….

You felt there was no drama or stress in the relationship – well seems there is some now…..There WAS conflict but Fox would not talk about it – I’m referring to the times when you asked if anything was wrong and he denied same. So what does he do – keeps score and dates and then goes off and makes a UNILATERAL decision to read your blog (to know what is really going on????) after promising you he would not do so). Seems to me he decided the relationship was over – forget discussing the issues – thus not in the relationship any more so he no longer need to hold to his promise of not reading your blog.

To be fair, you were also holding back on some of what you were feeling (and I do understand why) and trying to figure things out. But at least you were not acting unilaterally in terms of making a decision AND you had the decency to discuss with Tony along the way, why you were not able to continue that relationship. I suspect you would have tried to do the same with Fox if you had decided to dump him…..

In essence you opened your heart to Fox and trusted him. And he simply walked away after the first several bumps in the road. You can assure him long term relationships will not work like that….I suspect Fox is an introvert and is very accustomed to putting things in boxes so there is no hair out of place. I also think it is his nature to look in the box and keep track of all that is in there and then make decisions. IF Fox could have acknowledged that there was an issue/s, he could have responded more honestly to your questioning him if anything was wrong – could have said yes but I can’t/don’t want to talk about it now but will have the conversation later.

Part of the issue for the 2 of you is visibility and transparency. However, you had a very short road of getting to know each other.

I think Fox is a very private and tight person and is probably used to sorting things on his own (yes, I know he was in therapy but seems he may need some more depending on the kind of long term relationship he wants). I suspect he is not used to having to come to decisions through a process with another person. In other words, I think he likes to solve his own problems and then proceed. This pattern often will not work in a relationship. This may be innate to Fox’s personality and may be something very difficult to change or not…..

Another thought – seems the drama that was missing was there – BUT it was hiding inside. Things were black and white and there was no gray…..but when the door opened, it was all black.

Now after I have said all that, this does not mean Fox is a bad person. It simply means this may be how he operates and it really is all a matter of whether or not you can accept the way he operates. And he may be willing to work at that.

Yesterday you said your gut has been screaming at you about the disconnect or at least that is my interpretation. It is very important to listen to what your gut is telling you. Now that you have had some drama with Fox, you may have a clearer answer. I did like the fact that Fox treated you well and he was pleasant to meet. But the crux of a relationship is how well you can sort out your issues.

Whatever you decide, you know I am always here for you.

Love, Mom

38 thoughts on “Breaking up with Fox | My Mom’s feedback

  1. Wise words from your mom. Though the one thing I’d take exception with is the implication that his being an introvert was somehow responsible for his behavior. As an introvert myself I can confirm that there is a tendency to think through things and process them a bit before speaking about it.

    But making unilateral decisions about the relationship and going nuclear instead of trying to communicate and work through things isn’t Fox’ introversion at work, that’s his other personal pathologies. Seems to me more just a case of classic passive aggressive behavior. Even if as an introvert he took the time to sort and process things out in his head first, he still had the choice to communicate them to you assertively rather than just scorch the earth.

  2. I think there is really no need for me to comment on the situation. I think you and Fox both know what needs to happen. I wanted to comment on something totally different. As reader, thank you so much for doing 5 posts in one day. I am only saying this because you said it is weird, but having the whole story almost all at once was awesome. So thank you.

    Best wishes through all of this…

    • Thanks Fred. It was a lot of words for anyone to read in one day (even me! on an iPhone!). I did hesitate briefly about whether to put up our whole texts, but realized nothing can tell the story better because all conversation happened that way. And I couldn’t find the strength to put it in story format.

  3. I tell many clients that I believe that not everything happens for a reason but when things happen, we EVENTUALLY learn why it happens. As I was reading your posts today, what was interesting is I saw Fox’s thoughts and actions and worries VERY similar to your thoughts when you were dating Tony. In your prelude post, you mentioned Fox “shut down” so that is a huge red flag something is up. He insited he was ok but you knew he wasn’t. He left and it was his choice to leave and not discuss what was going on in his head. But maybe (and I’m not saying this is good or right of him to do so), just maybe in his head he was thinking “Ann just doesn’t care about me…she is more interested in this game than me and that’s not cool. I’m DONE.”
    We have all done things we regret when we are angry. And you said, it tells alot about a person. But nobody is perfect and maybe someone’s imperfection is that don’t communicate well when angry.
    Anyways, I like Fox but I don’t think he was/is right for you. I nodded my head in agreement with him in most of his texts to you and I can see where he was coming from.
    But he was not right for you becasue of the post you wrote write before all this break up stuff happened…The writing was on the wall. If he was right for you, you wouldn’t have written that post.
    And I can see why you turn to your mom for advice…she gives great advice

    • Hi Lisa. Yes, he reached his point of being done, thinking he had communicated clearly with me he was close to that point. From my perspective, he’d done no such thing. It had been one comment in a text and we’d talked about it in text (he refused to talk on the phone) and then again later. It was not as brief as he remembered, and at the end of the conversation he gave no indication he was still unhappy with where things were.

      There was much in his texts that I felt was a skewed version of what happened, and he was seeing things that way because he was hurt and angry. But I decided I wasn’t going to try to take all those things on. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter. I witnessed how he handed some adversity and when he reached his tipping point, I saw how he reacted. Very badly.

      I like him too; I don’t think he’s a bad man. But I’m not sure I can deal with that pattern of behavior where I feel I have to be the one trying to pull someone into a conversation and convince them to try to work on something with me.

      I’d be interested to know the stuff that you were nodding in agreement on… I’m trying to keep an open mind and see his perspective on things.

  4. How are _you_ feeling about this? Are you going to miss him? Are you relieved? Do you wish that you could be friends? Do you feel like you need him to change his view of you before you move on from each other? (It sounds like he did his own processing in the last segment of texting to move your from “bad person” to “person who doesn’t make Fox feel safe because Fox needs to be in control.” which shows some growth on his part in that process. In a sense, he CAN allow his mindset to evolve through processing.

    I had a boyfriend from ’03-’09 who always claimed that he was more into me than I was into him. Nothing I did could assure him otherwise. It seemed as if his position was comfortable for him, and it made him feel “right”, so he didn’t work hard to budge from it. He didn’t want to do any of his own work, even though this had been a theme in his past relationships. Like his past relationships, his negative thinking became self-prophetic and something about our dynamic ultimately pushed me away. So, if Fox was anything like him, you BOTH might have benefitted from getting out sooner than later, before damage would have been deeper.

    • Right now I feel sad, mostly. He was really amazing to me and I’ve never had anyone treat me so well. I will miss that. And he was integrating into my family and that’s embarrassing and sad to end.

      I’m glad you picked up on the progression of his texts – it was interesting to see the tone change. And disconcerting, to be honest. I wasn’t sure what was happening and seeing it all play out on text was weird.

      I do think some things became self-fulfilling. Perhaps on both sides. I’m not sure we can, or should, try to repair things at this point.

  5. Yeah, I don’t think you can come back from this even if you wanted to (and I’m pretty sure you don’t want to). Betrayed trust on both sides is just about the worst.

    I keep thinking of the time you met a fellow blogger and you asked him what he thought of you, and he said ‘bigger’ and how that one word hurt you so much that you wrote a blog post about it. And he was just a blogger friend who meant nothing negative with it! Fox will NOT come back from what he’s read here. He won’t. He’s desperate right now, but there’s no coming back from it.

    And it’s clear that you’ve been ambivalent about him pretty much from the start and aren’t champing at the bit to be all over addressing the needs of someone who you feel has betrayed your trust.

    I know you were in the midst of a maelstrom with the texting, but I really don’t understand why you didn’t let him end it and be done. Instead you pulled him back from the brink. Now he’s going to be all hopeful again and you have to end it :/.

    Well don’t ‘have to’, but I suspect that’s the way you are leaning. I see nothing in any of this that implies that you are particularly upset or distraught over the prospect. And I wonder if you are a bit giddy over Tony being back in touch right now and eyeing off that brass ring.

    Ugh. :(. Either way, breakups suck and I’m sorry it went down this way *warm hugs*.


    • It’s funny you remembered that “bigger” incident. That blogger actually mean something negative by it; I found out afterwards he was significantly angry with me about something. Came through in his approach to writing “me”. But anyway…

      Yes, hard to come back from where we are. On both sides. Fox did say he wasn’t surprised by anything he read about my sexual history other than some of what I described about how I felt about him (huge issue), and how hard it was for me to move on from Tony (big issue). I don’t at all blame him for being hurt and angry and know it would have been the same for me. How he chose to deal with it is a different thing entirely.

      Honestly, the reason I didn’t end it right away was two fold. I very much wanted him to not walk away feeling broken somehow. He’s a really lovely man and he’s been amazing to me. I sense he’s got self-esteem issues and was hoping, because I care about him, to be able to undo even a bit of damage based on what he’d read. It’s been a genuine debate in my head whether that’s enough for me.

      But the other thing was I was very afraid since if he was angry and if he could be vindictive, he could do a lot of damage in knowing my blog information. I felt like I needed to ensure he was off the cliff, per se. And then when the tone of his texts started changing I really didn’t know how to deal with it at all.

      But definitely I am NOT “giddy” over Tony. You and I both know it’s no brass ring he’s got. I know that to the bottom of my heart. I will share the conversations that Tony and I had, once I get sorted with Fox. But even if I choose to see him, I don’t feel that yearning or any hope that something has changed.

      I recognize that feeling (hope) and I’m staring my gut down and nope, there’s no hope there with Tony. I’ve even recognized the desire to continue to text him and keep the conversation going, but I’ve stopped doing that because I know it’s rather pointless. And knowing there will be a long silence from him (days or weeks) just proves it to me.

      I appreciate the warm hugs. Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

      • It’s totally weird that I remember the ‘bigger’ incident (I truly have a terrible memory): It’s no doubt because there were a bunch of complicated thoughts around it for me.

        And yeah, when I meant he won’t come back from it and drew the parallel, I meant one WORD from a friend really hurt you, and he’s just read a thousand words of ‘meh’ about himself from someone he’s in love with’ :/.

        I know you probably don’t think it was 1000 words of ‘meh’ (because you said some nice things), but it really was. We know it, he knows it :(.

        It would take a special kind of arsehole to use this blog against you. I can understand being afraid that in the hurt-angry, he might be that special kind of arsehole. I really hope not (I want to say ‘he really doesn’t seem like ‘that guy”, but who knows with people).

        With the low self esteem thing, there is NO way to break up with someone who is in love with you and not have them take that hit if the propensity is there. They might get over it eventually and see it for what it is (incompatibility vs ‘not being good enough’), but in the midst of badness, there’s no way to meaningfully bring that distinction home without making it even more messy (i.e. the more you work to convince them, the more hopeful they get that they can save the relationship because if you MEAN it, then they must be really great for real and therefore you must want to be with them still, right? OR ARE YOU LYING?! :().

        Good luck with how it goes. I hope it’s not too terrible *more hugs*.


        • You are quite right about the words; I spoke to him last night and he confirmed that he focussed on the negative posts instead of the positive. I can’t blame him; and even more fundamentally I probably couldn’t know someone was writing about me and not try to read it.

          He’s not that special kind of asshole; I’m sure of that now.

          And yes, you’re right about esteem. I was trying to be good, all things considered…

  6. Wow Ann what a shitty home-coming!
    Definitely agree with you Mom (fuckit, they are always right LOL)
    Go with your gut – I believe deep-down you know what’s right for you to do.
    Love Kim
    P.S. was so sad to see you had gone private over the weekend – thanks for the add xx

    • Thanks Kim. Yes, it wasn’t a great experience. I’m going to take some time to let my gut have a clear voice. I feel good about that decision and will summarize it in a post in the next day or two.

  7. I have been reading the comments and I believe you also put it in your posts, but do you think you will ever be able to make your blog public again? You write many times about wanting not to beat him up too much and him not being vindictive in the way you handled the conversations. Do you think if he reads that if will upset him causing him to be vindictive? Cause the guy is in love with you, so he is going to be back, just to check in at least, even if he is completely black and white.

    • I made my blog public again today. I believe Fox when he says he’s not going to violate my trust again. I don’t know that I fully trust it yet if we get back together and face issues again…but I don’t believe he’s reading now.

      He has realized how much he loves me and i genuinely believe he won’t do anything to cause me pain.

  8. I want your mom to adopt me (and I agree with Josh above, I am also an introvert and while I can fight dirty, I don’t)

    I kind of want him to read these words from your mother, though I know that defeats the purpose of his promise.

    <3 to you dear, I'm sorry this mess is even happening.

  9. Now that I’ve read the previous 3 posts and read this one again – I just have to underscore the “score-keeping” that he seems to have going. And I’m sorry – I may be oversensitive to all this, but I have scars from my ex for not only the abuse he dealt out, but also from violating my trust by reading my journals and keeping score. Any signs of the latter two and insecurity (not to exclude abuse, but that doesn’t apply to your situation) would have sent me running for the hills. And then there’s the threat of “telling” someone what you did/didn’t do. My ex was good for that too.

What do you think?