Totally Frenched Out

From the blogger formerly known as Samdebretagne

Monday, April 28, 2008

Retrospection

I wonder if coming back here was a good idea. I have no vehicle and am pretty much confined to my mother's house, alone, with nothing to do. Not much better than being at the gîte. But at least there's cable here, right? Though my word, why does there have to be so many damn TV shows about happy young couples buying/building their first home?

I keep thinking about something Fab's older sister said to me. She said "Surely there must've been things you were unhappy with in the relationship too?!?". But no. Not really. Besides the fact that he worked way too much, I was indeed happy with "us". Not with our life, but I always thought our relationship was worth the crappy life. She seemed surprised to hear that though - she said "Well, if you need a list of Fab's faults, I can give one to you". Which made me laugh - no, Fab isn't perfect (his nail-biting just about drove me crazy), but neither am I.

Isn't that what love is all about? Loving and accepting someone unconditionally despite their faults? If I stayed this long in France, it's because I thought he was "the one", l'homme de ma vie. It's sad now to think about how this time last month, I was thinking we'd be engaged by the end of this year. I keep asking myself - how could I not have seen this coming? How could anyone else not have seen anything?

Il a bien caché son jeu.

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13 Comments:

Blogger Sophie said...

I am really sorry for you Sam. Must be really though to not have seen anything coming and *BAM* "dans la gueule!".
I have lived (when I was young and beautiful :-)) something similar. Another (very far away) country, gave up everything, blabla.. The break-up came out of nowhere, but the relationship was not perfect.

On another subject. I am hating MN right now. I feel depressed. 40°F, cloudy and some light snow right now.

April 28, 2008 at 8:26 PM  
Blogger Syd said...

I wonder if it's not a cultural miscommunication - I know zillions of expats in Sweden who have endured what they've dubbed the 'Swedish stealth divorce'. Essentially, everything's fine until the day their Swede moves out. I've always wondered if this sneak attack breakup had cues that were missed because they're culture specific.

Anyway, don't let it shake your confidence forever.

April 28, 2008 at 9:39 PM  
Blogger Starman said...

The phrase "blinded by love" hasn't been around this long without a reason.

April 28, 2008 at 10:13 PM  
Blogger Justin said...

Oh Sam! I feel for you because I have been there. It will get easier over time, and then someday you will actually almost miss it. Chin up! Life goes on. Focus on the good in your life... friends, family, etc. I know in my case I am happy I never saw it coming, it may have amplified the pain, but at least I never had to go through a long drawn out end. And the pain is confined to one small moment in time. I hope you can one day see it the same way. Enjoy your time with the family, then hurry up and get back to starting your new life in Paris. I am sure you are going to love it.

April 28, 2008 at 10:37 PM  
Blogger Alyssa said...

My first thought was "Thank God you're not back in MN for good!" I mean, this trip back was worth it for nothing more than to reinforce your decision to stay on in France--and you have that to look forward to.

I wish there was something I could say to make you in any way relieved about everything that's happened. You may feel that later, but I guess it's too early.

One thing is for sure: Fab is not going to find a woman who just accepts him and knows the meaning of love the way you do Sam. He was very lucky to have that, and he may realize that down the road. It is a rare quality that needs to be appreciated, because not many people know the meaning of love the way you described it.

April 28, 2008 at 11:29 PM  
Blogger judyb said...

i agree with alyssa's comment. Fab is an idiot for screwing this up.

April 29, 2008 at 12:25 AM  
Blogger purejuice said...

there is a part of the process when you think you're crazy, or idiotic, not to have seen any signs. this is the learning place, but it's also where we can be very hard on ourselves. i have found it true, and also very helpful, to think that i didn't partner up with a man because i was crazy and because i didn't like him. i did it because he was loveable and i did.
xxx

April 29, 2008 at 2:19 AM  
Blogger purejuice said...

p.s. could you rent a wreck car? if there ever was a rainy day, this might be it. and there's nothing like driving the highways to process stuff.

April 29, 2008 at 2:30 AM  
Blogger La Framéricaine said...

Dear Sam,

I have a tendency to think that syd's comments are right on the mark as concerns the issue of cultural differences in evasion, avoidance, and, even, abandonment styles in intimate relationships.

I am much older than most of your readers, have left or been left innumerable times, and have also managed to have been happily married for 20 years, though that did not even get started until I was almost 35 years old.

Oddly enough, as you describe what happened, it also sounds to me as if Fab has behaved in a way that will ultimately be self-defeating and will take a long time to rise above.

He did not have the courage, nor the self-confidence, to talk to you honestly and thoughtfully about his changing feelings; his home was dismantled and its contents sold off without his participation; his family-while its members may well love him--does not approve of his behavior; he defaulted to a relationship with a female coworker that may or may not persist and, even if it does persist, will always be marred to a certain extent by his unchivalrous treatment of you.

I'd rather be in your shoes any day than his because at least you are actively grappling with the repercussions of his defection and that grappling will lead to your future. There's no way out but through.

He's stuck in exactly the same physical situation he was in before you left and must deal, as you said, with the emptiness and the realization of the magnitude of the change that his cowardly behavior has wrought. Not a pretty picture at all.

I hope that you have a break in MN that will give you the time to review all of your own personal accomplishments in France and allow you to go back to France with a renewed appreciation of yourself and your particular passions.

Amitiés,

April 29, 2008 at 8:25 AM  
Blogger misschris said...

That must be hard with no car. Seb and I broke up when we were first together and I moved home for a time. I waasn´t sure what my plans would end up being but I bought a car in the first two weeks! I couldn´t stand it. I ended up going back to France and my parents adopted my car. Seb always says "I knew you weren´t serious about me anymore--you bought a car!" I couldn´t explain to him that in States you need a car to feel sane lol

You´ll be back in Paris soon enough and be starting that new chapter. I know it doesn´t look all the exciting from where you´re standing because of all the heartache but you may be a city girl at heart after all. It´s a whole new adventure filled with possibilities.

April 29, 2008 at 3:42 PM  
Blogger parisiannewyorker said...

I can understand the whole staying at Mom's and not having a car - because this is what happens to me when I stay at Mom's (although technically it is my fault as I have not bothered to get a driver's license). Do you have any fun hobbies? When I stay at Mom's, I spend my time drawing, sewing, and knitting (have set up mini-work studio) and now I actually like being stuck there - especially because my apartment is too small to have a separate work area.

April 29, 2008 at 6:34 PM  
Blogger TreeFeathers said...

Aw, Sam, I really feel for you. When a relationship ends this way, it throws so much more chaos into the mix; besides mourning the relationship itself, it leaves you feeling betrayed, violated, even used... I'm not saying this to make you feel worse, but I think it could help to really identify the different things you're feeling now, try and separate them out a little. Because those sorts of feelings can cause a person to withdraw, turn inwards, start blaming yourself, feel like you should change who you are. But DON'T do that! Fab is the one who is in the wrong here, who violated your trust, who lied and betrayed. Castigating yourself for "not seeing" signs or whatever is pointless - you are who you are, it was what it was. You shouldn't feel foolish for being a loving and trusting person. It's who you are. It may bring you pain at times, but it also brings you wonderful experiences and relationships that someone with a different nature would never know.

Put the blame where it belongs, not on yourself. Listen to some outside viewpoints to keep yourself on an even - and more objective - keel; like all the people here, who have been reading your blog, so many who don't even know you and yet are so firmly behind you, supporting you, cheering for you. WE all believe in you, WE love your trusting and loving nature, WE admire your intrepid spirit, and WE all think Fab sucks!! You deserve way better. Believe that!

PS - is there a gym or aerobics or martial arts class or something you could join while you're home? Some serious physical exertion would surely help, give you an outlet for some of the emotional turmoil so it's not just stewing around inside you while you watch tv all day. Force yourself to go for some walks, too, get outside, get some air, get your blood moving a little.

April 29, 2008 at 7:08 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

When you love someone, they have 'differences', not 'faults'.

May 5, 2008 at 11:47 AM  

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