This post was originally made on my otherwise dead Dreamthingy on the 15th January 2015.
Oh, Doctor, honey, you and the Brigadier are never going to work. You go on about how you need him, but you aren't being honest - you've got no need for money or material possessions and even without the car you've got access to any form of public transport on Earth. You can't convince me that a man of your charm and intelligence, with your history of being able to show up anywhere you like and become the centre of the world, couldn't talk your way into a job interview for anyone else. You've got your house and your car now, and even as much as you love them they don't tie you down as scarcity does not exist in your world.
You don't really think you need him, you think he needs you. You think he needs you to stop him. (You're not yet at a stage in your life where you need others to stop you - you've only really done one cold judgmental genocide and turned yourself in to be regenerated in the next story but one, as if you knew it meant you'd gone too far.) Remember when you saw him murdering thousands of people out of racism, committing a genocide against a race he refused to try to understand, only seeing their different skin colour and how much their radicals hated you and bombing them while they slept - you knew he would do it, you asked him twice not to, you knew he was going to do it and yet you still saw him and your voice quaked with rage as you accused him of murder. And you went back to work the next story. You made a dark comment to Liz about how the Brigadier must be out of people to kill, but you went back to work the next story. Hell, both you and Liz have different haircuts in the next story, so maybe some time did pass, some time and anguish and reconciliation, but why would you go back to him for the next story at all?
You need to realise that you aren't going to change him, he is too stupid to change. Forty/howevermany years from now, when you're allowed to actually kiss your companions instead of just having relationshippy resonance in the way your platonic allegiences go, you'll be surrounded by girls who are cleverer than you by virtue of insight - 'but, Doctor, I believe you can save everyone and you don't have to do this terrible thing' girls. You've had some of those already in the past, though they were a little less obvious about it. Liz is clever, and you treat her like an equal, with great fondness and respect, but the Brigadier is stupid. His main contributions are telling people to do what they're already doing anyway, murdering people and wasting bullets shooting at invincible and friendly aliens in astronaut costumes. Doctor, honey, he's handsome, and he bought you an expensive gift, but some people are just toxic. He's made it clear that he'll continue acting in the same way he does no matter what you do to stop him. These are irreconcilable differences, and you need to dump him.
Oh, Doctor, you got it so close. You came so close to walking out on him and you ended up getting dumped yourself - literally dumped, stuck in the UNIT rubbish dump seconds into the future, after attempting to storm out with a faulty TARDIS. Then you apologised to him because you didn't want to go back and dig it out. You could have done better.
There were a lot of emotions at play. You'd failed to save Nazi alternate universe versions of your friends from drowning in fire, which has got to make you feel a little bit stressed, but that probably wasn't why you snapped at him. In fact, before then, you'd even slipped up and called him 'Brigade Leader', the title of his fascist version - you genuinely fell to the most clichéd slipup of faithless lovers. The Brigade Leader was not much of a better catch - he beat you, tortured you, threatened to shoot you even though he knew you were unable to save him, and (by your stated opinion) not as handsome without the moustache - but he left an impression on you, and I think it was probably down to his vulnerability. You were able to break him, you see. Your Brigadier observes, acts, and never reacts; the Brigade Leader emotes, panics, lashes out. Surrounded by the trappings of absolute power, he felt secure enough to show the little boy playing at being a soldier that you always suspected he is, but that he never, ever trusts you with. And, look at that. You got him to change.
The Brigade Leader would be better for you if he wasn't stuck in an alternate universe drowning in magma while hairy fire zombies tear people to pieces in the background. So what you do is you literally dump yourself and literally get back together with him after literally two seconds by convincing him you need him. You think you've had it confirmed that he can change, but actually it's the opposite. Change is impossible. You can do better.
Wow, Doctor, is that you? You look amazing! You're smiling so much more, and I love the cardigan and the big pockets and the shoes and is that a new hair colour? Oh my god, I'm so glad you finally dumped him. The lines have gone from your face. Even your voice sounds stronger.
I suppose there has to be some significance to the way you finally managed to get out of it. When you tried to dump him in dramatics, in anger and inferno, you ended up tossing yourself into the trash. So instead you just left with boredom, left him without a word positive or negative (except for a rare-for-you moment of vulnerability when you punched a brick while almost tearfully telling Sarah Jane that you won't won't won't go on like this), without a journalist and without a doctor and without a Doctor, running off to find something fun to do leaving him to stand around waiting for you to come back. With a booking for one of those awful dinner parties he used to take you to, the ones which are always just an excuse to show off how much cooler and more powerful his friends are than yours.
Two major things happened around the time you finally cut him out of your life. The first thing, on shallow inspection, just seems like more of the same; more shooting at beautiful things he doesn't understand. But there's more to it than that - he wasn't satisfying you any more. Never before have his ineffectual bullets and macho military action been so sexual, so impotent; we cut from you telling your new friend Harry (who is much better for you than the Brigadier, did I say?) about the Freudian theory of 'compensation' to the Brigadier firing a huge, pink-tipped gun from crotch level while grunting about giving the killer robot something. But the size is soon dwarfed, because the robot gets hit by the gun and immediately grows so much bigger, while the Brigadier looks on in despair at his own limp tool. Never before has the Brigadier been shown to be so unsatisfying. You put the robot back to normal size by chucking a cold shower over it, but even the girthy cannons on the Brigadier's tanks looked like toys in comparison. No wonder you were bored.
The second thing that happened is a little more beautiful. Didn't I tell you you couldn't change him? You never managed. You never changed him. In the end the answer was give yourself a little time alone to think, to face your fears, and then to let everything you learned tear you apart on the inside until it changed you. The hurt's going to fade, and you're going to remember and miss the good times - you're going to look upon him later in life as a loyal friend instead of as the genocidal, militaristic shit who committed a genocide and got away with it scot-free while simultaneously ruining everything you tried to accomplish. Maybe in the near future, when you're hurting for a friend and you're drowning in violence for a week, you might find yourself seeking out a soldier again who you have to convince not to kill things she doesn't understand - but do yourself a favour and make sure she's someone who's willing to change.
There might have been a moral in this post about how other people than you, Doctor, should have their relationships, but if there is one I have no idea what it is.