I feel genuinely stuck between a rock and a hard place right now. Still trying to be friends, my ex-boyfriend and I have been exchanging e-mails. Last week he sent me one, closing with the following question asked "out of curoisity and
wonder when i do decide to try another relationship[sic]": "why do you think you and i [sic] never worked out[?] ... i [sic] know that both of our feelings had changed over the course of our year and a half together, but what were some of the things that made the decision for you[?]"
Of course I didn't just hop on my keyboard and let loose the litany of things that I felt were wrong with the relationship. If I was to answer his question, which he said I could do at my discretion, I was going to carefully consider how I phrased my answer. We are trying to be friends, after all. So I waited on that letter writing session.
Well, a week has come and gone since I received his e-mail and today, during my post-class e-mail reading, I read a new letter from Mr Ex. And he again ended this e-mail with that question.
I can answer that question; it's not a matter of not knowing the answer. I do know why I wasn't happy in our relationship. It's more a matter of whether I should tell him. Telling him that I found his humour to be cruel is possible. I know I can tell him that I hated the way he teased me, made me feel like shit and, still worse, made me feel like verbally lashing out at him in revenge. But how do you tell a person that you feel intellectually stifled when you're with them--and still be friends?
I felt like enough of a bitch when I finally admitted that last bit to myself, admitted that the gap between our interests (mine having the unfortunate characteristic of being far too serious) was something that I couldn't deal with. I still feel like a bitch for feeling that way!
So, as I said before, the question for me is, "should I answer Mr Ex's question?"
They say that a wise man welcomes criticism, but I don't know if our tenuous friendship could survive that kind of scrutiny of the past. Should I just tell him to leave the past behind? And, as my mother suggested, should I tell him, since it's a learning experience his looking for, that each relationship is different and will have problems unique to it? Or should I just give him what he asks for: validation for almost a year and a half some would say was "wasted"?