I signed up when I read a few brief stories about grieving breakups. I believe I can add some excellent experience to you grieving peers. I fell in love with a married man many years ago. This in itself was not right, but I was led to believe he was getting a divorce and a relationship formed. We are thirteen years apart, but I was very mature at seventeen … so I thought. I gravitated to adult conversation, adult life, and really did not have a childhood as one thinks of. I was only eighteen and did not know about life as it really is.
I hide this relationship from my family, friends, and everyone for quite a long time. Being so young, I had no thought of the other woman who was eleven years older than I was. He said he told her about us and wanted the divorce. He told me she was giving him a hard time and would make his life hell. I believed him and life went on for some time. I didn’t know what she meant by this, but I tolerated the excuses as I loved him no matter what he said. I really was a child dealing with something larger than me. I thought I was handling things just fine.
As time passed, I introduced him to everyone, but no one knew he was still married. I looked at my life and gave him an ultimatum. Each time I pressed marriage we would have the typical fights and makeup shortly there after. Several years passed and suddenly he divorced. I knew this relationship was wrong when I fell in love with him, but it truly was love at first sight. We stayed together for thirteen years, then married, and sadly divorced after nineteen years together. This man was very smart, successful in business, and excelled in his profession. He introduced me to the world and finer things. Now I don’t mean he was wealthy. He was far from this, but we did spend much time together going places, doing things, and I was truly in love with him. My professional life was always moving upward in management. The time I wasn’t with him, I excelled in my career. Charming, smart, handsome, and the love of my life! What could go wrong?
Four years into our marriage we purchased a beautiful house and were doing wonderful … so I thought. His company sold out to a major conglomerate and he had a lot of adjusting to do. The recession hit and we were working longer and harder. There was a little less time spent together due to this, but successful business professionals spend more time with their professional peers than their families. I knew this fact as being in this arena all of my life, and I never thought indifferently. We celebrated our fifth anniversary by eating out at our favorite restaurant and spent a wonderful night together. The sixth one was quite different. He wasn’t coming home at the same time; it got later and later. He was distant at times and I began to see the past of what we had done to his first wife be reminiscent in my life. Of course I asked him what was going on, to only hear lies. He stated he had to stay longer at work and was learning new things that he never experienced in his profession. He said time and time again, his job was more demanding. I got a little worried at this point. Being business oriented, I believed him for some time. Eventually he stayed away longer and longer. I spent all my time at work or in our home and found myself again waiting for him as I had many years ago. Then we went on a vacation, per my insistence, to our favorite island and came home to endure the same distance between us in a short period of time.
I hired a detective. And my worse fears were realized. Yes, he was doing to me what we had done to his first wife all those years ago. Was this fate? I asked for a divorce. Believe me, there were things he was doing that I could not forgive. I was devastated. I never told him how much he destroyed me, how he truly broke my heart. I never wanted to give him that. He was not nice during the proceedings, he lied about the income we saved together, manipulated the statements, and transferred what I thought was our retirement to an account I could not produce to the courts, he just denied, lied, and convinced his attorney friend.
He fought over splitting of the household furniture and furnishings. Legally he had planned what he was about to do to me way in advance. He turned something that could have been simple into a great mess. The other woman was ten years younger than me and has nothing on me in a professional comparison. I am not blowing my horn, but perhaps this was a problem for him. He never vented about any part of my career. We never really did without, as our incomes together afforded us a comfortable life. Or was he having a problem with himself?
I never cheated on him. I did during our long engagement as an ultimatum and broke off the engagement due to his lack of response. I dated another guy for several weeks, but never slept with him as I knew deep down inside I would go back with my true love. And as you read I did marry my love.
It is twenty years later. I did remarry a “remarkable” man. He is smart, talented, handsome, charming, and very honorable. He is a wonderful, compassionate human being. We love each other and will probably be together until we expire.
Often I think about my first love, only in the light I never told him what he really did to me and how devastated I was. I remember when we were sitting with a court official on the final day; he asked me if I still loved him. I paused and looked in his eyes and responded, “I am not in love with you.” I could not be honest with him, only because I felt he knew that I was. I couldn’t give him that. I’ll never know the truth in why he really asked me that question just then! Speculate is all I ever was able to do from that point. How could I confess my love with someone I wanted to knock out at that time? The truth was I did still love him, and in a way, I will always love him. I wanted to hurt him as he hurt me. I guess I failed. I moved away and thought that would help the hurt, it did not! So, think things through, take as long as you need before you make a major decision about life’s most important matters.
Now when I think about my first true love, I wonder how I could have been so stupid? Love will destroy your soul, so think with your head instead of your heart. Yeah, this is someone’s story but, the years and spaces undocumented bear love, hurt, loneliness, and years unrepaired. At least reflect on my story. If you see something or feel something not right, don’t ignore it or think you have it all. Talk, talk, talk about what ever isn’t right! If he runs, let him go, if you are hurt, allow yourself the opportunity to speak your peace until you can live with the decisions you are about to undertake.