It’s almost been a year since I let go of my 9-year marriage due to his extramarital affair. By now, I figured I would completely have healed and be ready to move on to the next phase in my life. But like most memories, they tend to creep up on you when you least expect it. I guess in my case, all the memories surfaced since this is also our anniversary month. To make matters worse, when I would open my social media, I would get the reminders with pictures of our former life. In addition, I was subjected to seeing pictures of him and his new girlfriend plastered all over social media.
Since we broke up, I have told myself that it was the best thing that could have happened. I feel like a new person, and I have met people that I know I would have never met otherwise. I have no regrets about ending my marriage.
I do have other regrets, such as me thinking that perhaps I should have ended it sooner. Or I should not have done all that I did during our relationship, because all it left me was debt and regret.
But then, I realize that I grew due to this relationship. I also had fun and experienced love, and adventures that I know I wouldn’t have otherwise. I guess that those memories and for those reasons, are why I would go back to see him or even sleep with him on occasion. I admit, I like having him apologize and then beg to be with me again. It was a power trip, and I felt that it made what he did, a little better.
These visits where not indicators of me wanting to return to our old life. Simply I just wanted to relive the time when I heard a man say he loved me. I suppose part of me still also loves him, or the memory of him. The memory of when I was blind to the betrayal. The memory of when our bodies where intertwined as we slept. Memories of me listening to his heart beat as he held me. During those moments, I couldn’t imagine my world without him. Now, those memories seem like a dream that I had a hundred years ago. Almost, as if it never happened.
On our last encounter, I spoke with the woman he was dating. She tracked me down and asked me to tell her about him. We spent two hours talking about the history that he and I shared, the betrayal, the lies, and the secrets. Hearing all this, she swore she would never see him again. A choice I told her that only she could make. Oddly enough, he called me moments later.
As he had previously done, we began the apology dance where he would apologize, I would cry and he would swear he was a changed man.
He explained how she meant nothing to him, and how he would happily walk away from her in a heartbeat. He spoke of having no intention of marrying her, nor did he love her he said. While he spoke, she listed on the other line. Afterwards, she repeated her previous vow to never return to him. Only hours later, she retracted her vow.
He has a way of convincing people to see his viewpoint. Something I have known our entire relationship. I used to tell people that he could sell ice to an Eskimo. So, it was not much of surprise that she was enamored by him once more.
I was angry and hurt. He had spent that night with me, and in the same day returned to find her. I knew I did not want to return to that life. A life that although it started with stardust and dreams, consisted of tracking calls and never knowing what was a lie and what was a truth.
Yet, I could not believe that a woman could be with a man that hours earlier called her irrelevant, worthless, and a second option. I guess I could not believe it and I guess I didn’t think it was fair. How could someone that behaved that way, win again? How could he treat people as he did and still end up getting what he wanted? To add to it, days later they posted their newly revived relationship on social media. She specifically posted picture after picture of them together, almost daily.
I stopped asking why, and decided that I needed to heal for me. Not just think I healed, but really seal the wound that was still hurting, even if only occasionally. I knew therapy was for me. I also knew that despite the few financial connections he and I had, they were not enough for me to have any contact with him.
I also no longer needed any contact with his girlfriend. I had offered support and the ability to call me when she doubted if he was with me or someone else. An offer that I no longer stood by since she had returned to him. Perhaps it was my punishment to her for going back when she knew who he was.
Here I am weeks later, and I feel empowered. I still am having trouble sleeping, eating poorly, and on occasion feel lost. But he is not in my life and I have not returned to open the door to let him back in. This is where I am empowered. I have managed to keep the infection out of the wound this far, and it helps the wound hurt less. Now I look forward to when it will be completely closed off and no longer a mark on my flesh because I know that day will come. This divorce will not leave a scar for me, just a memory of a wound that once was, and over time healed.