“You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches.” – Dita Von Teese
Unfortunately, sometimes somebody can develop a latent allergy to peaches. They liked peaches at first, but peaches are no longer on the menu.
I recently went through the weirdest breakup of my entire life. It was mutual, which was surprising, and we continued cohabitating while I find a place to move to, which was… awkward.
I am logically aware of the fact that we simply grew apart and are no longer what the other needs or wants in a partner, but the inherent feelings of rejection involved in a breakup, even a mutually agreed upon one, sucks.
I think my partner developed this “peach allergy” around February. If you recall, that was when the conversation about my weight happened, after he had enough to drink that he had eroded the filter that had prevented him from saying anything for the three weeks I’d been in recovery. I stood my ground and refused to go back to diet culture, and soon afterward I received and read “The F*ck It Diet” by Caroline Dooner, which changed my whole world. My partner got the audiobook and listened to most of it until he gained a modicum of compassion and context around my situation regarding diet culture. He hadn’t realized how much women hear terrible messages about their bodies from childhood and subsequently get trapped in disordered cycles of yo-yo dieting and over-exercise.
I honestly gave him a pass on that one, because he apologized, saw how his words had harmed me, learned more, and worked on his own body image issues to stop projecting them onto me and our sex life.
After this happened, his substance abuse continued and escalated. We had gotten into the habit of buying a bottle of wine each on a Friday or Saturday night from the local grocery store within walking distance, but my partner eventually started making a couple cocktails on top of his bottle of wine. This led to sexual dysfunction issues (colloquially referred to as whiskey dick) and the eventual alienation of my other partner who no longer felt safe coming to our home after his drunken behavior violated her boundaries. We both told him how his behavior had been harmful, and he said it wouldn’t happen again.
When I said, hey, your drinking is kinda freaking me out, please let me know if you plan to get drunk so I can make arrangements to sleep elsewhere on those nights, he stopped drinking at home. And instead began to get high every day. First it was cartridge vapes, then a dry herb vape, then smoking two bowls in two hours between dinner and bed. The final straw for me on the cannabis usage was when I was having a major pain flare and was unable to take my muscle relaxers for any relief because he had asked me to drive later so he could wake and bake, and then he got high without me actually signing off on the plan. He found me crying from pain and apologized for not thinking, and assured me it would not happen again. An honest mistake.
Looking back, I have a hunch that he realized he wasn’t really satisfied with the relationship anymore once I stopped being the workout buddy girlfriend, but he was numbing himself to avoid talking about it. And I get that — because it feels really crappy to tell your partner you’re not into things anymore.
For the first ten months of our relationship, we had such a level of open and honest communication that it was one of the most fulfilling relationships of my life. It was a really important relationship for me as I processed my first year out of an abusive marriage. This partner was kind, and loving, and just what I needed as I found myself.
The breakup happened in tandem with the launch of my book. It was a very stressful week for me and I was planning a Saturday launch party. Thursday night, my partner asked if he could have a free copy for a friend at work. I said she could buy it, and he seemed a little taken aback. He said she was surprised it was on Amazon, and I asked why. His response: I’m not sure, but I told her it was really easy to self-publish on Amazon and you can get anything on there.
I have all the respect in the world for self published authors, and I would have self published Gaslighting if I hadn’t gotten a deal from a publisher, but I am not self-published, and this was not a case of “anybody just self publishing their stuff on Amazon.” I am hugely proud of my book, and it is extremely vulnerable to publish your thoughts for the world’s consumption, and this conversation was extremely jarring for me, and I told him so.
He apologized profusely and said he didn’t mean to undervalue my work. When I didn’t immediately forgive him, he said he felt hurt I was discounting all the support and encouragement he gave me while I worked on the manuscript. I slept on it, and in the morning I asked him if he’d expect a free copy of anything his friends did, and he said no. When I asked why he expected a free copy of mine, he said “I just need to ask for an honest flub.”
At this point, looking back at the last three months of honest flubs and boundary violations, I realized this partner just… didn’t like peaches.
In the three weeks between the breakup and my move to a new place, we had a lot of heart to hearts and I left the house feeling a modicum of closure. We reassured the other that when it was good, it was great. He confessed that he realized he didn’t like cohabitating with a partner. While I wish he had handled that realization sooner and in a more healthy way, I know that’s just how he’s wired and it’s not a reflection on me as a partner. He assured me over and over that I was a wonderful girlfriend and a great partner, we just drifted apart.
Of course, in the aftermath of any loss of relationship, there are a lot of emotions. I’m hurt, I’m angry, and I’m still confused about how you can go from loving someone to just tapping out of the relationship. But I know that the grief of a breakup is normal, and it will not last forever. It’s already fading as I move onto new things in life.
Plus, there are plenty of people out there who do, in fact, like peaches.