I texted terrible things about her to her family

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I am 56 years old with no kids, and my girlfriend, or ex, is 36 with four kids by four different men. I met her at work 14 months ago. She was in a financial mess. I helped her out, putting her needs ahead of mine, and ended up broke.

We were quarreling from the onset, but as time went by things got worse. I said things to her that were hurtful. I really love her and I'm sure she loved me too, but I felt like she never put enough effort into the relationship and that led to me being frustrated a lot. Four days ago I texted two members of her family about things she had told me about them. I said a couple more things that I'm too embarrassed to mention.

I promise you I'm not a horrible person. Obscenities aren't part of my daily vocabulary but when angry with her, some come flying out of my mouth. I haven't heard from her since I sent those texts. No, I didn't attempt to call or text her.

This woman means the world to me and I don't want to lose her. You probably won't have anything to say that will make feel better but I feel so awful and hopeless and thought if I reached out to someone, it would make me feel a tad better. I know this is probably the worst mess you've ever read but I can't wait to read your reply.

- Mess

There's little I can tell you that you don't already know. This has been an unhealthy, messy relationship, one that had you sending horrible texts to your significant other's family members. You say you were "quarreling from the onset," which means there isn't even a honeymoon period to romanticize.

I believe in apologies (when they're genuine), so if you truly regret involving her family in this argument, let her know. Then tell her you're sorry this didn't work out and wish her the best. There's no real closure with most unwanted breakups (or anything in life), but an apology and some words that solidify the ending might help you move on.

I know there's been a lot of therapy talk on this column, but I do think you could benefit from talking to someone about how this played out and the decisions you made along the way. It's a good time to figure out what happened and what you're really longing for when you say you don't want to lose her. You can figure out how this experience fits into your entire relationship history.

Please know that someone can mean the world to you without having to be in your life. Loving someone doesn't mean you're compatible with them. End this with clarity and you might feel better about letting go.

– Meredith

Readers? The LW wants to feel a tad better. But what happened here?