The day that I married Steve was magical. We chose to have the ceremony in a hot air balloon, followed by a few days on a houseboat. The balloon glided through the mist as we said the vows that we had written ourselves. It was all about the two of us starting our journey together and making a commitment that would last forever. I believed in us and our marriage, right up until I was confronted with the other woman, lying in his bed, and even then I refused to believe that he would have intentionally treated me so callously. I am sitting here, writing this, expecting the divorce certificate to arrive in the mailbox any day now.
The choices that he made led to the most excruciatingly painful experience of my life. I would gladly choose the physical pain of childbirth over the emotional roller coaster that I still find myself on. His inability to be honest with himself, with me, with anybody, caused him to act on impulse, without giving a second thought to the devastation that he unleashed on me.
So why can't I hate him? I want to hate him so badly,but I find that the energy I am putting into focusing on hating him is leading me to obsess. I seem to be continually thinking about him, going over all the events around the breakup, everything that happened and imagining what the two of them are doing together. So I decided to try a different strategy - I acknowledged that I still care about him. Despite all the lies and deceit, there were positive things about our relationship, he just decided that there wasn't enough positive for him to stick around. As I have said before, it is easier to just get another woman off of the Internet, than work on what you have. If I recognise that I still have feelings for him, it seems to be easier to accept that the relationship has ended. This does sound strange when I write it down, but it is as if working on hating him got me stuck at that point, I couldn't move forward because I could never completely hate him. If I concede that I can't hate him, I am free to move forward to accepting that the relationship is over. I understand that this maybe not a path that is right for everyone, we all have to find our own way of healing, but it is worth considering. I seem to be more at peace with myself now I have decided that I still care about him.
I have never been very good at hating people, I don't even hate the woman that he left me for. I feel empathy for her, because she is exactly where I was, taking him to the airport and picking him up, listening to all his stories, cleaning up after him, turning a blind eye to how much he is drinking. She thinks she is special, the one who can bring out his true potential, they have so much in common, he has probably told her that he is sure that he knew her in a previous life, that they are soul mates, that he has never felt like this about anyone before. I know because they are all the things he told me. No I don't even hate her, because if it wasn't her, it would have been someone else - that is who he is.
I can't hate him because we did have some really nice times together. I feel sorry for him because I don't think that he will ever be able to experience a healthy relationship, where both partners are committed to working together for a future that they both want. There will never be open communication in a relationship with him, because he is a compulsive liar. He lies, even when he doesn't need to. He lives for the high - from alcohol, from risk taking, from illicit affairs, he is just not able to settle for a long term obligation, like a marriage.
Now, I can say that I did the very best I could have, in a relationship with a man, that despite his flaws, I thought was worthy of my love. Marriages do settle into routine, and it is easy to take each other for granted, but from my side, I was comfortable and looking forward to our life together. I can now see that he is incapable of that sort of life. Instead of taking boring old me away for the weekend for some quality time, he preferred the excitement of taking his affair partner away - the illicit, naughty, what if we get caught, excitement that his brain chemistry thrives on. He couldn't be bothered making the marriage work, but I couldn't have done anything more.
I have accepted that he is the man that he is, not the man that I thought he was, but that doesn't stop me caring about him and remembering the good times. It does, however make me realise that the relationship is over and it could never have been what I wanted or deserved.
The consequences of his choices are not all negative. I have become a resilient, strong woman who will from now on always listen to her gut instinct. I will not be ready to trust so easily and I will be more guarded about what I share with people. I have become assertive and confident and I know now to only accept people into my life that deserve to be there. Maybe I can't hate him because the trauma that I suffered through him, has made me the tough survivor I am becoming. I think I like myself more now and I have him to thank for that.
We love people because of who we are, not because of who they are. How few of us are truly worthy to be loved, yet all of us need to be. Love is a gift, given away freely, not a contractual obligation, not with reciprocal expectation. He hurt you and dishonored your commitment, but I believe you are right not to dwell on hating him. You gave a precious gift with the right heart and intentions. If he returned to the store and swapped it, problem belong him. Mother Teresa said, "All that is not given is lost." Like a skin water pouch, we have to refill our hearts and pour out so they don't become dry, cracked and useless. Keeping on loving. The world needs you too.
Your compassionate friend
Thankyou so much babe, that is beautiful and inspiring! I will keep on loving, but I am determined to love myself first from now on, which I believe is what we all need to do and what I stopped doing. xxxx
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