Regrettably Yours

At one point in our relationship, the ex and I spent a little, well, a lot, of time shouting about what we both wanted from each other. I found the whole thing pretty impressive, since I have never been a shouter, and most people would find it amazing that I have ever screamed at anyone in my life. I guess I thought that if we were that passionate, it meant that we felt that passionately about each other, and not the more obvious- maybe if you spend so much time screaming at this person you shouldn’t be with them.

As it turns out, my dear homo-of-my-heart BC, who introduced me to the ex, and the ex have been in touch lately and got to talking. And it seems that the ex doesn’t understand exactly why it ended when he was “just trying to find himself”. Of course, his version of finding himself involved “I love you” text messages to another woman while I planned our wedding. But the ex, in his infinite wisdom, somehow got the idea that because we both loved each other so much, I would understand him completely and somehow know that it was some sort of self-definition need he was meeting or some crap like that.

To which, I reply screaming again-” YOU ARE 29 YEARS OLD!!!! YOU SHOULD KNOW THAT CHEATING IS NOT ‘FINDING YOURSELF’!!!!!”.

But now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, I’ve been thinking. About the kind of woman I am and the kind of woman I’d like to be, in or out of a relationship. And I’m almost completely sure that the kind of woman I’d like to be is not one who people assume they can run around “finding themselves” on. I’m disturbed that a person who was in my life for years and I agreed to marry even thought I was that kind of person. And while I’m proud of my empathetic self, there is only so much understanding one woman can do before she decides not to.

The standard Maya Angelou quote always applies- “When people show you who they are, believe them.” He kept showing me who he was- that he couldn’t be trusted, that what he said and did were two totally different things, that he was hedging his bets for something better. And the more he showed me, the less I believed him. Until it got to the point where he somehow assumed it must be OK to treat me that way- he’d shown me who he was time and again. And I had accepted it. I taught him to treat me that way.

And that scares me big time. I think of myself as a fairly together woman- decent career, good friends, head on my shoulders. And somehow that relationship that I desperately clung to is this vortex of warped in my life that I haven’t completely grieved and never want to replicate. I moved past denial to anger, bargained before the breakup, but I’m not quite at acceptance, no matter how hard I try.

Which leaves depression. Not the kind that keeps you stuck to the couch sobbing or unable to eat. But the lingering sticky kind of depression that makes you feel bad about yourself, question what’s wrong with you to live like you have. None of the traditional psychobabble seems to apply- I have parents who have been happily married and treated each other well as far as I know for 33 years.  So, in the depths of it, I decide it must be something wrong with me. Something I don’t feel like foisting back out onto the dating market.

And so I avoid anything that might even turn into a real date, because honestly, no decent human being should have to put up with all my baggage until I get my head screwed on straight. And I manage about 95% of any day to think about plenty of other things besides a relationship that I know I should be completely over.

But it’s the 5% that gets me every time. The time that I resent belonging to thoughts about someone who just doesn’t get it.

So tonight I’m off for happy hour with the cute shoes bureaucrats and to pretend none of this has occurred to me at all. Because another oft-repeated saying applies and I believe it: Fake it til you make it.

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7 Comments

Filed under Relationships, Soul Searching

7 responses to “Regrettably Yours

  1. Never settle for less than YOU are worth.

  2. This post really resonated with me in a lot of ways. Not that it is the answer for everyone, but I’ve been seeing a therapist for over 9 months now (since my breakup with a guy who thinks I should now be “a good enough friend” to let him disregard my emotions as he did in our relationship) and it has made a world of difference for me. That sticky sort of depression you speak of? I know it well, and it is dissipating through a lot of the work I do in therapy sessions.

    I have also not done any serious dating, and plan to avoid it for a full year. It was a vow to myself- to hold my own growth as more important than creating a relationship with a man. That in itself has created a lot of change.

    Just some thoughts,

    Lora

  3. Sometimes people are so busy being themselves they don’t pay attention to the type of person you are. So maybe it’s not that you gave off a “go cheat on me while I plan our wedding” vibe, but that the ex was just an asshole who didn’t know a good thing when he was engaged to her.

  4. Marianne Renoir

    Thank you for this post. I just emailed part of it to my sister, she’s going through a break up and I think what you’ve written is really wise.

  5. This was a good post, I liked the honesty and I really like that picture. You are wonderful.

  6. “And while I’m proud of my empathetic self, there is only so much understanding one woman can do before she decides not to.”

    Yeah. I’m not even proud of myself anymore. I love the honesty in your writing here. It makes me hopeful that I’ll be OK someday.

  7. Regardless of whether or not you believed him when the Ex showed you who he was, the fact remains that he did something inexcusable. I’ve been cheated on and I’ve gone through the entire range of emotions you’re dealing with now, but at the end of the road? There’s nothing you could have done that would have changed a thing. His actions, his beliefs, his behaviors, those are all his to own, and you did not enable him, did not allow him, to treat you as he did.

    If you had, you would be married to him by now, don’t you think? If you not only trained him to treat you a certain way, but enabled him to treat you in said way, and then allowed him to continue treating you in said way, this story would have had a much different ending.

    Please don’t ever think that you did anything even remotely wrong by yourself. At the very least, life is a long line of lessons and you’ve just experienced a new one.

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