She moved out … and moved on

Sorry I missed chat yesterday. Family emergency. Thanks to Glenn, who filled in.

I'm very excited to see you all at tomorrow night's RadioBDC/Love Letters show or at Monday's screening of "Casablanca." If you want to attend these events, make sure you RSVP so we get the right count.

Hi Meredith,

Up until a few weeks ago, I had been in a relationship with a girl for over 2 years. We had our own apartment, shared bills, kitten, you name it. Everything came crashing down and has left me alone with a serious feeling of abandonment.

Let me outline things a bit:

Before we moved in to our own place, "Bertha" and I had a very healthy, happy, loving relationship. We had been together since I was a junior in college. I really felt like I could 100% be myself around her. We had a plan to eventually move in with one another. This is something that Bertha adamantly wanted to do. When I say adamantly, I mean she was borderline obsessive with wanting to live with me. She would get upset if I didn't show the same amount of enthusiasm that she showed about making the next step and living with one another. It was okay though; I truly loved this girl and I loved the idea of coming home to her after a day at work.

Once I graduated from college, the apartment search was on. We finally found a perfect place and put a down payment on the apartment. We split the costs 50/50 of all the furnishings, cable, and electricity/heat for the place. We moved in to the apartment in September. After a year and half of being with Bertha, we were finally living together and everything was great.

The first couple of months were perfect. We talked about how great it was living with one another and how we both believed that living together has brought us even closer than before. We bought a tiny kitten and the both of us fell in love with it.

Then, things started changing. Bertha lost her job. The bills kept coming and since I was the only one making money, I paid for everything. She would always come up with rent but I paid for everything else. I also started noticing something else ... Bertha was not showing me as much affection as she used to. I thought it may be because of the high stress levels from losing her job. Things only got worse.

In December, I started suspecting that there was another man in her life. She was always going out to her girlfriend's house for parties and staying out all night long. She stopped having sex with me and was showing even less affection toward me when we were together. She was also still broke and I was barely making it by each month by paying her half of our bills.

In January, I finally confronted her. I was really sad. I could feel our relationship deteriorating. I questioned her about there being another man, lack of affection/sex, and her money situation. She said she was just going through a rough time and there was no one else and her behavior had nothing to do with me.

Due to her not being able to find a job, we decided we would have to give our 2-month notice on the apartment. Our plan was to move back to our respective family homes, which are about 10 minutes away from one another, save money, and eventually find another place once we had our finances straight.

Then, we were chatting online one morning while I was at work and she told me she was going to just move home on the coming weekend. She logged off soon after without giving me a real explanation for this change of plan. I didn’t hear from her for the next 24 hours. The next day at work she texted me to tell me it was over. I was shocked. I didn’t want to lose her. I had to leave work. When I returned, I came to find she took all of our stuff from the apartment. Including the kitten. It gets better. The next week, she posted that she was "in a relationship" with another guy on Facebook. I was (still am) crushed.

It's now a few weeks since I have last seen her found out about her new relationship. I am still living at our apartment by myself. I’m sleeping on the couch, either ordering out or having dinner at my parents' house and I have no idea what to do from here. I have so many unanswered questions: If she was so adamant about living with me, why did she do this to me after 4 months of living together? She told me she loved me every day. How is she okay with me being so alone and hurt? During the snowstorm, I was all alone in my apartment with no heat and all I could think about was her staying warm with her new boyfriend close by her. It was a terrible feeling.

I know that I must move out of the apartment ASAP. I just don't know where to go from there. I am 23, have a good job, play in a band on weekends, and have a very good group of friends. What is the healthiest way to rebound from something like this?

–Jack Straw from Wichita, South of Boston

I wish I could tell you why Bertha bailed, JSFW. She obviously wasn't ready for what happens when a grown-up relationship gets tough. She liked your life when you were both working and comfortable. Once it became difficult and you guys faced a hardship, she found solace somewhere else. It was a test. She failed.

Also, she met you when she was very young. This might have been one of the first times she was tempted to start a new life. Turns out, Bertha was just playing house. She wasn't ready for a big commitment.

The good news here is that you now know what to consider before moving in with someone else. You'll be able to ask difficult questions about finances. You'll feel more comfortable talking about the "what-ifs" and quizzing your partner about why cohabitation is a priority.

My advice is to avoid moving back in with your parents, if possible. I know you're a bit broke right now (thanks, Bertha), but you need to be around peers. Find some good roommates and get into a new routine. Focus on the band and hang out with people after shows. You say that you're "23, have a good job ... and a very good group of friends." And now you've got some great life experience under your belt. Just give this time. And maybe write a song about it.

Readers? Why did Bertha go? Will she ever pay him back? How can the letter writer get over this? What is the lesson here? What about the kitten? Help.

– Meredith